NFL Sunday recap

Posted: Sunday, September 07, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Forgive me Songbird.

Wooooooooooooooo for my Dodgers! They completed a sweep of the Diamondbacks this weekend and have a 1.5 game lead over Arizona for the NL West flag. My boys have won 8 games in a row now heading into 3 games with San Diego.

There's still plenty of baseball to be played. I'll summarize something a buddy of mine and I used to say:

Him: Why do they play 162 games?

Me: Because there are 162 games to play.


A visor is half a cap. I get it keeps the sun out of your eyes while letting heat escape from the top of your head to cool your body on warm days.

But can anyone explain the value of wearing such a half cap backwards? And not just backwards...but upside down? If I could find a picture I'd show you what I mean.

It was not a good day for the Seahawks in Buffalo. The Bills dominated Seattle in all phases of the game. The Seahawks ended the day with only 252 yards of offense. QB Matt Hasselbeck competed just 41% of his passes for 190 yards, due in large part to drops by his receivers. He was also sacked 5 times. Seattle couldn't run the ball either. And compounding the existing offensive struggles...injuries to WR Nate Burleson and RB Maurice Morris.

The defense was inconsistent at best. They only managed 1 sack for a short loss and only 3 tackles for lost yardage in the running game.

The Bills also dominated on special teams, getting a punt return for a TD and winning the field position game.

The Seahawks have some work to do. The next game is at home against San Francisco.

So a quick word about Brett Favre's debut for the Jets. They won the game. Favre threw for 194 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was 15 of 22, which is pretty efficient. He didn't throw an interception, but he did fumble twice. And he did fling up a couple of questionable throws...I won't call them passes, they were throws. The turnovers are something you just have to overcome with Favre. He plays reckless. When he wins, he's called the gunslinger and it's a good thing. When he doesn't, he's careless and out of control. But let's say so far so good for Jets fans. The next game is at home against New England.

The Patriots will have to play through some uncertainty after QB Tom Brady went down with a knee injury. It's possible that the injury is serious enough that he'll be out for the season. We probably won't know for several days until he can be properly evaluated. And the Patriots are notorious for keeping the extent of injuries as secret as the NFL allows. Matt Cassel played well in relief of Brady, and the NE defense held on for the win against Kansas City. But make no mistake...if Brady is out for any length of time, it severely impacts the Patriots. The next game is at the Jets.

You just can't turn the ball over, and that's exactly what got the 49ers in trouble on Sunday. They fumbled 4 times, losing three, and QB JT O'Sullivan threw an interception. Statistically speaking, both SF and Arizona were pretty even. But when you turn the ball over 5 times, you minimize your own chances to score while practically giving up points to the other team.

And so it went for the 49ers against the Cardinals. The next game is at Seattle.

The talking heads for NBC's Football Night in America were quite irritating this evening. Jerome Bettis and Tiki Barber need to slow down and think about what they are saying. And Collinsworth needs to keep them more organized. They start talking and you can't follow them from hi-light to hi-light because they don't tell you what they are about to describe.

And to Peter King, please let's not suggest that the NFL season is completely ruined on the first day simply because Tom Brady has been injured. Yes, it's unfortunate if the injury is so serious that he won't be able to play. But there are 31 other teams in the league. Brady is NOT the be-all-end-all and neither are the Patriots, despite what the talking heads would have us think.

Remember that the Giants actually won the Super Bowl? And last season there were 5 teams in the playoffs that hadn't made the playoffs the year before. There are compelling stories all over the league.

The injury is a tough pill for Patriots fans. But you know what? Some years ago, a young Tom Brady was an unproven guy out of Michigan who had to step in for an injured Drew Beldsoe. Do you remember what he did? Yeah...he led New England to an upset win over the St Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. Those were the Rams who were known as the greatest show on turf by some.

So it's too bad for Brady that he was injured, but it happens. Now Matt Cassel has a chance to step in and take over. So let's keep our perspective, shall we?

Please pardon me for the wonky tenses. What follows is part play by play and part recap.

QB Peyton Manning was a bit sharper than I expected after not playing all preseason. WR Marvin Harrison is back and looking healthy. RB Joseph Addai looked pretty strong too. For the defense, Dwight Freeney is back to harrassing the QB.

However, Manning had a few timing problems and there have been some dropped balls. He is definitely off. There was an ugly series in the red zone and that's not usually how we describe the Colts offense. And TE Dallas Clark went out with a knee injury in the first half. So there's still some work to do for Indy.

The biggest worry is the offensive line. And O-line play for Indy was suspect.

And lest you think only one team is playing tonight, the Bears are tough. The defense is playing much better than they showed in the preseason. They have put pressure on Manning and confused him. QB Kyle Orton is solid, managing the game well and staying away from big mistakes. He's made some excellent throws, and he's getting strong support from the running game.

Now Devin Hester, the Bears great kick returner, made a huge mistake. He tried to lull the Colts cover team into thinking he was going to down the ball in the endzone, then started to run it out. But the Colts were paying attention and tackled him inside the five yardline. That's the kind of mistake that can change the momentum in a game. Now the Bears have to punt from their endzone and the Colts will get good field position.

The Colts take advantage of Hester's mistake and methodically march down for a TD.

The value of a sustained drive against the Colts is that it keeps Peyton Manning off the field. He just engineered a drive during which he gained confidence and got into a rhythm with his recievers. He read defenses better and checked at the line more effectively. But now by sustaining a long drive, the Bears have disrupted that rhythm and stalled some of that momentum.

That's the theory anyway. Better for the Bears if they had gotten points though.

The defense has the points covered though. The Bears forced a fumble by WR Marvin Harrison and run it in for a TD.

And then Chicago stuffs the Colts on 4th and 1 at midfield. The Bears are been more physical and motivated than Indy. They cap another strong drive with a TD to make the score 29-13. The Colts are in a huge hole now.

Indy has to go back to work. And the Bears should be able to build on what they did go the Colts. They dominated Indy and confused Peyton Manning.

Well, I guess that wraps up a most excellent sports weekend. Later gang!


  1. Janna says:

    **searching frantically for something remotely useful to say**

    Um... uh...

    **trying to think of something relevant**

    I was in a marching band 20 years ago.
    We played at halftime, and we marched around. I think we started on our left feet.
    I once saw a football player get his arm broken during a game.
    Cake sounds good.
    Especially cheesecake.
    They never served that at football games.

  1. Bond says:

    Interesting day of football indeed...

    Congrats on the Dodgers taking first...I have not given up on my team, but then again, I still believe in Santa Claus!

    Great recaps...

  1. Consider the Patriots screwed :P

  1. See, I knew there was another reason Tom "I'm so terrific, I'm shagging a super model" Brady bugged me - he's a frickin' Michigan man.

    Go Bucks!