Pittsburgh @ Tampa Bay – I guess we know which team is for real. These Steelers are dangerous and that’s without a QB. I say that without any harsh words for Charlie Batch, because the Steelers win with Batch. Check the records, when he plays they win. Mike Wallace has been quiet up until this game, and then he breaks out with a 2 TD performance and 100+ yards (and I sat him for TJ Houshmandzadeh on my fantasy team). I don’t think many people would expect that the Steelers could go 4-0 or at worst 3-1 and then get Big Ben back. I hope a lot of you picked them for the Superbowl. Inquisitive Mind 1 – 1 for the week.
Cincinnati @ Carolina – Well the Jimmy Clausen era started off about as expected, nothing spectacular. The surprising part was Carolina’s defense actually held a mistake prone Bengals offense to 20 points. Word of the wise to Steve Smith, calm down on the rookie, it’s his first start. Inquisitive Mind 2 – 1 for the week.
Cleveland @ Baltimore – Peyton Hillis had 144 yards rushing in this game. That usually spells an ‘L’ for the Ravens, but Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin put it on their backs to get this win. The pair hooked up for 3 TD scores and they got 80 yards from Ray Rice to finish this game on top. The Ravens ‘D’ looked lackadaisical, something that we rarely see, but I imagine that they’ll be ready for next weeks encounter with the Steelers. Inquisitive Mind 3 – 1 for the week.
Dallas @ Houston – This was the Cowboys team that many expected to show up all season. They looked hungry and they came out to play ball. The Dallas defense held the normally electric Texans offense to a subpar game and the Dallas offense had a great game from (gulp) Roy Williams (say that a few times for it to stick). The Cowboys needed this win, but this doesn’t address all of their issues. The Cowboys as a team barely got over 100 yards and I will say this, if they can’t run, they’ll be home during the playoffs. Inquisitive Mind 4 – 1 for the week.
San Francisco @ Kansas City – I feel sorry for Mike Singletary. I thought this was the game to turn it around for the 49ers. The only thing that got turned was the 49ers and they got turned out!!! Alex Smith probably is somewhere seeing if he can cash in on his life insurance and I’m sure that Mike Singletary is somewhere about to pop a blood vessel (for real, someone better watch this guy this week). The Chiefs are for real. They have won every way that they can so far this season and at 3-0 and another Chargers loss, they look good for the AFC West crown. Inquisitive Mind – 4 – 2 for the week.
Detroit @ Minnesota – Thanks for a few mistakes by the Lions. The Vikings didn’t look great but at least they put some points on the board. To make things worse for them they lost their starting center and their starting TE (Shiancoe). It seems like all the bad luck in the world is hitting them right now, but if they can just keep their heads above water (.500 ball) for the next 6 games,…..they just might be in the drivers seat in the NFC when they get healthy. Note to Childress, when a RB has 28 or more carries a game, the team wins 75% of the time. Just something I thought I’d drop. Inquisitive Mind 5 – 2 for the week.
Buffalo @ New England – Are you kidding me? The Bills put up 30 points? Did Jim Kelly walk through that door? The Patriots better hope their offense doesn’t have an off day or they are toast. Inquisitive Mind 6 – 2 for the week.
Atlanta @ New Orleans – The best game of the week!!! The 49ers can at least revel in the fact that they can up with the blueprint for beating the Saints. The Falcons followed that blueprint 1) run the ball (202 total yards on the ground) 2) keep the Saints offense on the sidelines (45:50 time of possession) 3) have a little luck (Hartley missing a kick and Payton calling a timeout before the Falcons missed kick). Good game by the Falcons. Inquisitive Mind 7 – 2 for the week.
Washington @ St. Louis – Maybe McNabb needed to throw for 400+ yards. A very game Rams team showed up and spanked the Redskins. The Rams lost Stephen Jackson to a groin injury, but his backup Kenneth Darby picked up where he left off. The Rams had 37 rushing attempts,…somewhere someone in Minnesota should be listening. Inquisitive Mind 7 – 3 for the week.
Philadelphia @ Jacksonville – The Mike Vick Experience 2.0. 4 combined TDs. Throwing out of the pocket to just about everyone. Scrambling when necessary. This is the best that Mike Vick has ever played, and yes I’m talking only a two game sample. If he would have played like this in Atlanta and didn’t have that bad math incident, he’d be the closest thing to a god in Atlanta right now. Kolb should enjoy this opportunity to watch because it’s going to happen for a while. The other side of this is that Mike Vick must have had cash registers rolling in his head because he’ll be a free agent at the end of this year. Somebody’s gonna pay. Inquisitive Mind 8 – 3 for the week.
Oakland @ Arizona – Somebody had to win and it should have been the Raiders, but that’s how the ball bounces. This was an ugly game and it came down to the usually automatic Janikowski. He missed a 32 yarder to win the game and he also missed two other field goals earlier in the game (41 and 58). It has to suck for him. Inquisitive Mind 8 – 4 for the week.
San Diego @ Seattle – Maybe Pete Carroll should have gone to San Diego? The Chargers are not in a good place right now. They are missing Vincent Jackson and it showed on Sunday. The running game isn’t what it used to be and being a pass first team isn’t going to help you win a lot of games. Add in Leon Washington’s two kick-off returns for touchdowns (101 yards and 99 yards) and the Chargers are in trouble. Inquisitive Mind 8 – 5 for the week.
Indianapolis @ Denver – Kyle Orton was thisclose to throwing for 500 yards. Let that marinate for a little. That used to be almost 3 games of output for him. Too bad this performance came in a loss to the Colts. Manning threw for 325 yards and neither team could run the ball so we got to see an aerial show. Austin Collie had a monster game with 171 yards and 2 TDs. Inquisitive Mind 9 – 5 for the week.
New York Jets @ Miami – Braylon I’m sorry. I should have started you and stuck with you like the Jets did, but I was a bum. Plus I listened to the crew about this game. I thought it was a toss up, but the fellas (Terrell, Allen, and Daniel) all had me lean towards the Dolphins. Somebody should find Braylon Edwards and make sure that he doesn’t go and get another drink after this win. Inquisitive Mind 9 – 6 for the week.
Green Bay @ Chicago – (Shaking my head in disbelief). How can a team be 3-0 and not have won a game? Introducing the Chicago Bears. The Packers beat themselves last night with the 17 penalties, even though they took it to the Bears the majority of the night. I’ve said here before that Cutler has those INTs in him and he was lucky that 2 were dropped last night and 2 more were overturned by penalties. No running game to speak of for both teams, and this is supposed to be the Black and Blue Division? The guys at Union Station agreed with me so I won’t be walking this week, but I might go over to Soldier Field today and try and get some of that good ‘ole home cooking that the Bears seem to have going over there. Inquisitive Mind 9 – 7 for the week.
Another bad week. I blame the Packers and the Redskins. But it was also a great week. I want to thank the folks over at ESPN for inviting me to the ESPN Chalk Talk. I’m not sure how I made the list, but hopefully I can stay on it. To Coach Gruden, yesterday at the Chalk Talk I asked you and Jaws (Ron Jaworski, for those that don’t know) why the Bears continue to try Hester? I would have him as my main returner (both punts and kickoffs) because he helps you win field position each time. That’s worth at least 3 to 6 points a game. Coach Gruden’s response was that he wouldn’t kick to Hester and that’s the main reason why he’d be just my returner. For every great pass that he caught (Dallas last week) there are other bad mishaps or opportunities for him to take big hits as a WR. You just don't take the Lamborghini grocery shopping each week. Then last night during the game Jaws referred to our conversation saying that you said you wouldn’t kick the ball to Hester after his punt return for a TD. Get me some face time on a show guys.
Record thus far, 19-13 plus this week leaves us at 28-20 for the season. Not bad, but fighting for first place.