|NFL Power Rankings|
Chicago Bears (4-6)Doesn't it seem like every week someone on the team says, "This is the one we have to win." And they lose. And next week someone says the same thing. Same result. Seems to happen every week, but you know, when there's this great grey mass of mediocrity, everything becomes sort of meaningful in the watered down playoff picture.
Carolina Panthers (4-6)Seems that in the old days, when they had the quarterback miseries, they'd just snap the hats on tight, take a deep breath and say, here we come, right atcha, try and stop us. Seven in the box, eight, didn't matter. I don't know, teams just don't seem to do that anymore. They get schemed out of it, talked out of it. From a coaching standpoint, I'm probably being very stupid and very simplistic, but ... you know what I mean.
Kansas City Chiefs (4-6)Nothing to be ashamed of. Slugfest against a quality team, then finally on the last drive, Peyton gets hot and takes his boys in for the win. And maybe the young QB Brodie Croyle, can get hot enough to put enough points on the board, himself, against the contending teams still ahead.
Minnesota Vikings (4-6)Chester Taylor's 164 yard day gives him 468 with six games to play. Slightly under 90 a game will give him his G-note for the season, and wouldn't that be a neat thing, a team with two, thousand-yard runners that finishes out of the playoffs? Has this ever ... I mean attention Nick Stamm of Stats.Com. Are you standing by?
Baltimore Ravens (4-6)Well, I mean a lot of these guys will have something to tell their grandkids. The day they hauled us out of the locker room to go finish the game. Well, you see, son, I'd just taken the first bite of my egg salad sandwich ... I'd just cut the tape off ... turned on the boom box ... sat down on the potty. You know, there might be a book here.
Atlanta Falcons (3-7)I saw an Alge Crumpler quote ... "That's all we were talking about, how a win over Tampa Bay would put us only a game out of first place." Surely this couldn't be true. I looked it up, figured it out myself. Yes, by God, it really could have been. The Falcons? I mean THE FALCONS!
Cincinnati Bengals (3-7)Is there a more anonymous, former Pro Bowl running back than Rudi Johnson?
New York Jets (2-8)And the guy they chose to spy Big Ben with was not a nifty-footed safetyman, whom he'd brush off like a fly, or even a linebacker, who'd still afford a size advantage. but ex-Dolphin David Bowens, a 6-3, 265-pound speed rushing, hybrid LB-DE type. Big yet quick. Eric Mangini pulled the kind of stunt his ex-boss, Bill Belichick, made a living with, reaching into the shadows for a formerly anonymous person. Haven't seen the tape yet, so I can't tell you exactly how he did it, but I'm looking forward to watching it.
St. Louis Rams (2-8)Bulger took a beating but pulled one out against a team even more desperate than the Rams are. Mind if I move on quickly?
Oakland Raiders (2-8)OK, it's bad enough that on the first play, the Vikings called a flanker reverse pass, Sidney Rice to Visanthe Shiancoe, a tight end whom I could run faster than, and got 79 yards out of it. In the second half they did it again -- same cast, Rice to Shiancoe -- this time for 15 yards. Wadda youse guys, dumb or sumting?
San Francisco 49ers (2-8)Interesting strategic point in the Rams game. They're down by seven with 1:55 and all their time outs left. Fourth-and-10 on the St. Louis 28. So they kicked a field goal, Mike Nolan's reasoning being that he didn't want to go for the long-shot TD and overtime. He wanted to try to win it straight up, kicking onside, and if that didn't work, forcing a punt and getting another shot. That's what happened. St. Louis ran three and out, and the Niners got the ball on their own 11 with 1:28 left. St. Louis must have gone into a really soft zone, because the Niners marched all the way down to the St. Louis 21 in 11 plays, which included four spikes. The 12th play, unfortunately, was intercepted on the goal line, but there must have been some furious action going on there. An average of 7.3 seconds per play (with spikes). So the strategy wasn't that skewed after all, was it?
Miami Dolphins (0-10)So Donovan McNabb had to leave the game with a sprained ankle and the guy who came in and did 'em in was A.J. Feeley, who used to be their own QB. You know, the way the position is going these days, in a few years you'll be able to say that about all of them except the very tip tops, Peyton and Tommy and Big Ben and Tony R. They'll all be gypsies, traveling men, human road shows.