Monday Morning Pancakes

RIP Eddie Guerrero.

WEEK TEN

(4-5) LIONS 29, (2-7) CARDINALS 21
Whatsamatta You?
As is their custom, the Cardinals made no attempt to run the ball. They rushed 16 times for 38 yards. Lions coach Steve Mariucci said after the game, “They throw the ball well, but when we can take away the run it makes them one-dimensional.” Riiiight, it was all because of the Lions’ defense that the Cardinals couldn’t run the ball.

How About?
Lions WR Roy Williams, who earlier in the season had questioned his chemistry with QB Joey Harrington, but for some reason was not released, caught 3 TD passes from Harrington in this game.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“A home date against the Cardinals is as close as the schedule makers will give you to an automatic win. Zona is 1-18 on the road going back to 03, and 0-12 on artificial turf. The Lions desperately need a win this weekend, and they’ll get it.”


Roy!….Roy Roy Roy!

(9-0) COLTS 31, (1-8) TEXANS 17
Whatsamatta You?
It’s hard to find a weakness in the Colts right now, but they did have 2 special teams miscues yesterday that kept Houston in the game longer than they should have been. Twice a Texans punt hit a Colts blocker, and the Texans recovered the muff. A huh huh huh…”muff”.

How About?
Colts WR Marvin Harrison had the 50th 100 yard plus receiving game of his career. He is now tied for second all time in that category. Jerry Rice is first with 76.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“These teams were tied at halftime when they met in Week 7, but the Colts will beat the Texans by as many points as they want to beat them by.”

(5-4) PATRIOTS 23, (3-6) DOLPHINS 16
Whatsamatta You?
Kudos to the Pats for winning and remaining in 1st place in the AFC East. But, how do you give up 437 yards of total offense to the Dolphins???

How About?
Pats FB Heath Evans was released by the Dolphins on October 25. A couple of weeks later, he came back to hurt his old team. He filled in for an injured Corey Dillon as the Pats’ feature back, and carried 17 times for 84 yards.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“The Pats have been having trouble stopping the pass all year, but now they are having trouble stopping the run too, and against the Dolphins, that’s a problem. Still, this is a game the Patriots absolutely have to have, and at this point, they’re the defending champs, and I have to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

(4-5) BILLS 14, (5-4) CHIEFS 3
Whatsamatta You?
Chiefs QB Trent Green had a nightmarish afternoon, getting picked off 3 times, and sacked 6 times.

How About?
Bills LB London Fletcher had TWENTY tackles. Deposed starting QB JP Losman came off the bench to relieve a concussed Kelly Holcomb and threw 2 TD passes to Lee Evans.

I’m A Moron (From Friday’s Column)
“Meanwhile, the Bills will have to attack the Chiefs, who rank 31st in the NFL against the pass, but 7th against the run, through the air. That’s not their game, and if they can’t go yard for yard with Willis McGahee against Larry Johnson, they’re going to get beat.”


A Bills Fan Tries Unsuccessfully to Grab Himself Some Man Crotch

(6-3) JAGUARS 30, (2-7) RAVENS 3
Whatsamatta You?
The long awaited return of Kyle Boller went great. 0 TD’s, 3 INT’s, sacked 4 times, and the Ravens scored three points.

How About?
The Jags scored over 30 points for the first time in 58 games. A lot of that was thanks to a couple of guys named Jones. Greg Jones started at running back in place of the injured Fred Taylor, and carried for 106 yards and a TD. Rookie WR Matt Jones had 117 receiving yards and a touchdown.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“But the Ravens offense can’t find the end zone to save its life, and you’re not going to win too many games if you can’t score a touchdown.”

(4-5) VIKINGS 24, (6-3) GIANTS 21
Whatsamatta You?
The Giants played about as bad a game as you’ll ever see an NFL team play. Not only did they allow 2 kicks to be returned for touchdowns, but they turned the ball over 5 times, including 4 Eli Manning interceptions.

How About?
Vikings safety Darren Sharper had 3 interceptions, and took one of them back 92 yards for a touchdown. Koren Robinson took a kickoff 86 yards to the house for the Vikings, and Mewelde Moore took a punt 71 yards to the end zone.

I’m A Moron (From Friday’s Column)
“Their (the Vikings) best hope is to try and shorten the game by running with Michael Bennett and Mewelde Moore, but if the running game is the Vikings’ best chance, then they’re in trouble.”

(6-3) BEARS 17, (2-7) 49ERS 9
Whatsamatta You?
God, where do I begin? Bears punt returner Bobby Wade lost 3 fumbles. Niners QB Cody Pickett completed as many passes (1) to the Bears as he did to his own team. But for sheer idiocy, the prize has to go to Niners coach Mike Nolan. Despite the fact that the game was played in winds close to 50 MPH, he elected to try a 50+ yard field goal on the last play of the first half, despite the fact that there was a 0.000% chance of the attempt being successful. That mule in that old movie that kicked field goals wouldn’t have made this kick. The kick was predictably short, and fielded in the end zone by Bears CB Nathan Vasher. Vasher then took the kick back 108 yards for the longest scoring play in NFL history.

How About?
Third string RB Adrian Peterson came on when Cedric Benson left the game with an injury, and carried for 120 yards and a touchdown.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“The woeful SF offense won’t be able to get anything going against the Bear D, and the Bears will roll to an easy win.”


Mike Nolan, Wanna Get Away?

(7-2) BRONCOS 31, (3-6) RAIDERS 17
Whatsamatta You?
Kerry Collins was booed lustily by the Raider faithful as he struggled through a day that saw him get intercepted 3 times, and sacked 4 times. But when Marques Tuiasosopo is your next best alternative, what can you do?

How About?
Broncos CB Darrent Williams had a big day. Not only did he take an interception back 80 yards for a TD, but he also had a 52 yard punt return that set up a Jake Plummer to Rod Smith touchdown pass.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“That said, the Raiders are bitches that can’t win against their own division, and Mike Shanahan can outcoach Norv Turner any day of the week, and twice on Sunday. Broncos win.”

(7-2) PANTHERS 30, (2-7) JETS 3
Whatsamatta You?
Brooks Bollinger looked like a viable NFL quarterback in leading the Jets to an almost-comeback win against the Chargers last week. He didn’t look like one this week. He passed for only 98 yards and was picked off 4 times.

How About?
CB Ken Lucas has played a big role in solidifying the Panthers’ secondary since signing as a big money free agent this offseason. He had 2 interceptions yesterday.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“But nobody stops the run better than the Panthers, which means that Brooks Bollinger will have to win this game with his arm. From there, you can do the math.”

(6-3) BUCS 36, (5-4) REDSKINS 35
Whatsamatta You?
The Redskins are much improved this year, but they’ve shown an alarming inability to win on the road. They are 4-0 at home, 1-4 on the road.

How About?
A lot of people had some eye popping games yesterday. Redskins RB Clinton Portis ran for 144 yards and a TD. His backup, Ladell Betts, had 2 TDs, one of which came on a 94 yard kickoff return. Joey Galloway had 131 receiving yards and a touchdown. However, all of that was lost in the way the game ended. Chris Simms hit Edell Shepherd to pull the Bucs within 1 point with 1 minute left to play. So, you kick the extra point, tie the game, and go to OT right? Well, the Redskins blocked the extra point, but were ruled offside on the play. The penalty moved the ball from the 2 yard line to the 1 yard line, and that was close enough for Jon Gruden to decide to go for the win with his bruising fullback Mike Alstott, who already had 2 TDs on the day. The Bucs gave the ball to Alstott, he did the rest, and the Bucs won 36-35, possibly saving their season in the process.

I’m A Moron (From Friday’s Column)
“These teams match up very equally. One team is riding the up escalator right now, and the other is riding the down escalator, so I’ll take the team on the way up (the Redskins).”


Cadillac Insurance From Alstott

(2-7) PACKERS 33, (6-3) FALCONS 25
Whatsamatta You?
Achi Machi. This was an awful loss for the Falcons. A loss at home to a 1-7 team isn’t something that Super Bowl teams do.

How About?
Samkon Gado? Gado, the Packers 5th string running back, rushed for 103 yards and 2 TDs, and caught a pass for a 3rd touchdown. Brett Favre said regarding Gado after the game, “In some ways, he came out of nowhere, but in some ways I did too. I just told him this week, ‘You just need the opportunity.”‘

I’m A Moron (From Friday’s Column)
“The Packers haven’t been getting blown out, and that’s because they still have Brett Favre and that’s usually enough to keep them in the game. What they don’t have is a running game that can close out a game in the 4th quarter. The Falcons have the best rushing attack in the game, and they’ll ride that to a win.”

(7-2) SEAHAWKS 31, (4-5) RAMS 16
Whatsamatta You?
The Rams pay Jeff Wilkins to kick, not to throw. That said, the Rams probably would have been a lot better off having him kick a chip shot 25 yard field goal to put them up 6-0 in the first quarter, rather than having him try and throw a pass on a designed fake field goal. The pass was picked off, and the momentum the Rams had was gone.

How About?
The MVP train keeps rollin for Shaun Alexander. This week’s tally: 165 yards rushing, and 3 touchdowns.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“The Rams have no way to stop Shaun Alexander. They are giving up close to 5 yards per carry, and that’s a death sentence against the Seahawks.”

(7-2) STEELERS 34, (3-6) BROWNS 21
Whatsamatta You?
The Steeler fans were booing Tommy Maddox like he was clubbing seals to death, not throwing incomplete passes in a game the Steelers were winning by 3 touchdowns. Maddox entered the game after Charlie Batch left with an injury.

How About?
Hines Ward broke John Stallworth’s record for all time receptions in a Steeler uniform. He did a lot more than that, though, he caught 8 passes for 124 yards. Included in that was a 51 yard TD reception from his fellow receiver, Antwaan Randle El.

I’m A Genius (From Friday’s Column)
“Cleveland ranks 28th in the NFL in stopping the run. Pittsburgh’s gonna run a lot in this game. Watch Grey’s Anatomy instead.”


Batchtastic

ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOOOBALL??? MONDAY NIGHT

(5-3) DALLAS COWBOYS AT (4-4) PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
9 PM Eastern, ABC

The Storyline
This is it for the Eagles. A loss tonight, and they are done. Not mathematically, of course, it’s still too early for that. But realistically, if they drop this game and fall to 4-5, and 0-3 in the division, their goose is cooked.

All Eyes On
Drew Bledsoe, QB, Cowboys-
A lot of people, myself included, questioned the Cowboys bringing in Bledsoe this offseason to be their starting quarterback. He’s proved a lot of people wrong. Bledsoe has thrown for 2019 yards through 8 games, and that is the second most yards any Cowboy quarterback has thrown for in the first eight games of the season in team history. If he can duplicate that in the second half, he’ll have himself the franchise record for most passing yards in a season. On a team that has had Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman as their QB, that’s an impressive record.

Brian Westbrook, RB, Eagles-
With TO gone, the burden of being the Eagles’ offensive star falls on Westbrook. Last week, he got the new contract to match his status on the team. Then, with the Eagles down by 7, facing 4th and 7 late in the 4th quarter and the game on the line, Westbrook was on the sidelines, not on the field. The Eagles need Westbrook to step up his game if they are going to save their season and make the playoffs. When the Eagles played the Cowboys earlier this year, Westbrook was limited to 36 yards of total offense. If that happens again tonight, the Eagles will lose.

HERE’S YOUR FORECAST
The last time these teams met was back in Week 5, and the Cowboys precipitated what could be the decline and fall of the Eagles by blowing them up 33-10 at Texas Stadium. They did it by going right at the Eagles’ secondary, as Drew Bledsoe and Terry Glenn were unstoppable in the first quarter of that game. The Eagles will probably overcompensate to stop Glenn this time, and that could open up opportunities for Keyshawn Johnson and Jason Witten, and for the running game.

When all is said and done, this game isn’t about the Cowboys, it’s about the Eagles. What they do in this game is a big test of the character of this team. Everyone knows they can’t afford to lose this game. Can they pull themselves out of the chaos that’s surrounded them the last 2 weeks and get a game they absolutely have to have? The Eagles haven’t been swept in a season series by one of their division rivals since 2000, when the Giants did it to them. They haven’t lost 3 in a row since 1999. The Cowboys are only 9-11 on the road under Bill Parcells, and 4-8 on grass during that time (vs. 18-10 on artificial turf). Yesterday, another one of last year’s Super Bowl teams came into a tough division game at 4-4, and in desperate need of a win. The Patriots got it done. I think the Eagles will too.

EAGLES 24, COWBOYS 23

What’s Left for 05
Cowboys
Home-
Detroit (11), Denver (12), Kansas City (14), St. Louis (17)
Away-
NY Giants (13), Washington (15), Carolina (16)
Predicted Finish: 8-8

Eagles
Home-
Green Bay (12), Seattle (13), NY Giants (14), Washington (17)
Away-
NY Giants (11), St. Louis (15), Arizona (16)
Predicted Finish: 9-7


The Eagles Need Westbrook Tonight

IF THE PLAYOFFS STARTED TODAY
The following teams would be in:

NFC
1. Seattle- NFC West Champs
2. Carolina- NFC South Champs
3. Chicago- NFC North Champs
4. NY Giants- NFC East Champs
5. Tampa Bay- Wildcard
6. Atlanta- Wildcard

1st Round Matchups
Atlanta at Chicago
Tampa Bay at NY Giants
Bye- Seattle, Carolina

AFC
1. Indianapolis- AFC South Champs
2. Denver- AFC West Champs
3. Pittsburgh- AFC North Champs
4. New England- AFC East Champs
5. Cincinnati- Wildcard
6. Jacksonville- Wildcard

1st Round Matchups
Jacksonville at Pittsburgh
Cincinnati at New England
Bye- Indianapolis, Denver

That’s it for this week. Check out the Wrestling Zone for more news on Eddie Guerrero, who has passed away at age 38.