Musings, observations and the occasional insight in the aftermath of an NFL weekend that so rudely interrupts our baseball-crazed revelry here in Boston ....
• Just wondering, but what happened to that
New York took San Francisco apart 33-15 at Giants Stadium on Sunday to improve to 5-2, and the best news is that the resurgence is being fueled by defense. After giving up 80 points in the course of starting 0-2, the Giants have held four of their past five opponents to 17 points or fewer, with only the Jets breaking the trend in their 35-24 loss two weeks ago.
The G-Men have played their way back into the thick of an NFC East race that once looked like it would belong to Dallas. The Giants are just a game behind the Cowboys and suddenly their Week 10 showdown in the Meadowlands is shaping up as a potential battle for first place. New York should enter that game still very much on a roll, because the Giants have two consecutive bye weeks between now and then.
Two bye weeks? True. The Giants play the woeful Dolphins next week in London, and then they get their real weekend off in Week 9.
• It's pretty apparent that the NFC East is back. Three of the division's four teams are at least two games over .500. Only the Eagles are struggling, and I could make a convincing case for any of the other three teams winning the division. Dallas has lost some of its mojo the past three weeks, but the Cowboys are still 6-1 and dangerous. The Giants and Redskins are playing quality defense in the division that has always rewarded just that in the season's second half. And despite the Eagles 2-4 record, I refuse to totally discount
• Houston's 29-point fourth-quarter showing against Tennessee, which led 32-7 entering the final 15 minutes, was remarkable for so many reasons. But here are my two favorite nuggets from a game that the Titans won 38-36, on
-- Entering the day, Texans backup quarterback
-- Houston didn't start as well as it finished. Starting quarterback
• My hunch is that Falcons head coach
• Wouldn't you love to know if
McGahee acquitted himself well. Though he had just minus-1 yard rushing after his first four carries, he picked up 115 yards on his next 15 rushes, including a pretty 46-yard touchdown run in the Ravens' third road loss in four tries.
• If the league really is trying to showcase NFL-caliber football for an international audience next week in London, how do you explain the Dolphins being invited to play in the game? If the winless Dolphins were in an English soccer league, they would have been dropped down to a lower division by now.
• Pretty curious timing for a gadget-play call,
• You can't blame Buffalo fans for not being happy about the news that Bills owner
• Did you realize it was a backup QB-fest in Sunday's seven 1 p.m. games? In those games, we had eight of the 14 offenses playing quarterbacks they didn't start the season opener: At Houston, it was
• So much for a post-Dallas letdown by the Patriots. New England's last five possessions in its 48-27 rout of Dallas last week went touchdown, field goal, touchdown, field goal, touchdown. The Patriots' first five drives in their 49-28 rout of Miami went touchdown, touchdown, touchdown, touchdown and touchdown. That's 10 consecutive scoring drives, with eight touchdowns, two field goals, and 59 total points.
The last time I saw Moss and a quarterback playing playground pitch-and-catch like this -- "You go deep and I'll get it to you.'' -- the year was 1998 and the quarterback was
• I still can't decide who has the better shot at a perfect season, the perfect Patriots (7-0) or the perfectly dreadful Dolphins (0-7)? But imagine being Miami and being seven games out of the division lead after seven games.
• What's up with
Is it because the 49ers rank last in the NFL in passing, letting defenses key on Gore exclusively? Or does it have something to do with Gore receiving a huge contract extension from the 49ers, taking away some of the motivation he had under his rookie contract? He wouldn't be the first young NFL star to fall in that category.
• I can't help but think that the 49ers' anemic offense has really suffered from the loss of last year's offensive coordinator -- current Chargers head coach
• Time to give rookie running back
• Hey, I gave
• That was the right move, Miami, taking the
• I really don't know if
• Who said the Giants running game was going to desperately miss
But Jacobs and fellow Giants back
• Anyone else but me surprised that in the years that the Giants have been playing football, nobody has caught more touchdown passes than
• I think it's a good omen that in the week before the NFL plays its first regular season game outside of North America, aptly-named Redskins linebacker