• Two short weeks. That's about all it takes in today's NFL to completely flip the script. Two weeks ago, the New York Giants looked like an undisciplined disaster in a penalty-strewn loss at home to the Tennessee Titans, and the buzzards were already starting to circle the head of New York's embattled coach,
But a mere 14 days later, the Giants (3-2) look far more dominant than disastrous. A 17-3, sack-filled win over the visiting Bears last Sunday night got New York headed in the right direction, and on Sunday at Houston's Reliant Stadium, the G-Men fairly well dismantled a Texans (3-2) team that was the toast of the NFL entering Week 3.
(N)ot F(or) L(ong), indeed.
Houston, beaten 34-10 by the Giants, just showed us the other side of how quickly fortunes can change. The Texas were riding high with their 2-0 start, but in Weeks 3 and 5, they dropped a pair of home games against the Cowboys and Giants -- losing by 14 and 24 points -- and now look remarkably similar to the recent Houston teams that never seemed able to either stand prosperity or make the playoffs.
The Giants' refocused defense suddenly looks for real, giving up just 13 points in its past two games. The Texans' once-unstoppable offense suddenly looks fraudulent, having scored just 23 points in the losses to the then-0-2 Cowboys and 2-2 Giants. All that newfound resilience and maturity on display in Houston in its wins over Indianapolis and Washington, that's so September.
Both teams, we should note, are still tied for first place in their divisions. But now it feels like they're hurtling in opposite directions, with the Giants coming off their most complete game of the season, and the Texans coming off their worst showing yet. That could and probably will change again, of course. Let's give it another two weeks and see where the season takes the Texans and Giants. It has been an eventful ride already for both franchises in early 2010.
• Houston quarterback
• I'd love to know what
To repeat myself from Week 1, I'm not sure I know what a legal catch is any more. I was almost positive Spurlock's catch would be reversed by replay, because I thought the cameras clearly showed he failed to maintain possession once he hit the ground. The way I saw it, Johnson's nullified game-winning catch against the Bears in Week 1 was about three times more of a catch than Spurlock's upheld reception against the Bengals.
Why do I think we're in for another four of five days of raging debate about this latest call, and that the NFL's rules for the possession of a reception just got more confusing than ever?
• Just another undisciplined losing effort by the Cowboys, who have kind of specialized in those throughout a good bit of the
• Big, impressive win for the Titans at Dallas, and now the AFC South is my favorite division in the league. Houston, Jacksonville, Tennessee and Indianapolis are all 3-2, tied for first and tied for last. That's the kind of year it has been so far in the NFL.
• Cardinals rookie
• Where exactly has that Cardinals defense been all season? With Arizona's defense putting 14 points on the board courtesy of return touchdowns by defensive backs
• Raiders cornerback
• I think they got hosed on the Spurlock call, but that doesn't absolve the Bengals entirely. The defending AFC North champs let a Bucs team that won three games last year pin a third loss on them, dropping Cincinnati to below .500 at 2-3, two full games behind first-place Baltimore.
• Kudos to
• I know the Chiefs weren't going to beat the Colts on the road by playing it entirely safe, but
In a game that finished 19-9 Indy, those calls arguably cost Kansas City six points, so they weren't insignificant.
• I'm more impressed every week with the Chiefs' young secondary, and Kansas City's defense has been superb, in general, for most of the season. Holding the Colts to four field goals and one touchdown gets Indy beat on most NFL Sundays. Kansas City has given up just one non-garbage time touchdown in its past two games.
That's why it's a shame quarterback
• The Chiefs were trying to line up for a 51-yard field goal attempt with 1:12 to go at Indy, but something was missing. Namely, a holder. Kicker
• With the 3-0 Chiefs losing, not only is it the first time since 1970 that no one in the NFL made it to 4-0, but also it's the earliest the grumps known as the 1972 Dolphins had to spring for their big annual champagne toast to themselves. Drink up,
• So I'm watching the Jaguars-Bills game early Sunday afternoon and the announcers point out that Buffalo quarterback
I found that fact both bizarre, and almost impossibly cool, all at the same time. Here's to you, Mrs. Fitzpatrick. Maybe it'll become a trend.
Come to think of it, if he thought it gave him an advantage,
• Speaking of married quarterbacks, maybe we know a little bit more why
• What a brutal week for the Packers, to lose a fourth-quarter, 10-point lead at Washington and the services of four key contributors in NFL sacks leader
Green Bay was banged up coming into Week 5, and now the Packers figure to be in near-crisis mode when it comes to health as they prepare for a visit from Miami and Minnesota over the next two weeks.
The Packers simply can't be taken seriously as a Super Bowl contender at the moment. Green Bay has little killer instinct and it keeps letting inferior teams hang around all game. Green Bay's final seven possessions at Washington ended in four punts, two missed field goals by
But the carnage wasn't completely confined to Green Bay's depth chart. In the early Sunday games, Broncos rookie receiver
It's not getting any easier for NFL commissioner
• Jacksonville is another 3-2, tied-for-first-place club that has dramatically reversed its course in the span of the past two weeks. The Jaguars were down 10-0 early at Buffalo, then proceeded to rip off 36 of the game's next 46 points to win comfortably, 36-26.
With wins over the Colts and Bills, Jaguars head coach
• Have we ever seen worse quarterbacking than we had to endure in the Bears' 23-6 beat down of the Panthers? Carolina rookie
Clausen actually got benched too, with former Carolina starter
• I knew ex-Panther
• After the Lions rookie's Peppers-like