Monday, October 13, 2008
Are You Kidding Me?
With 1:19 left in the game, the Houston Texans faced 2nd-and-17 from the Dolphins 16 yard-line, down five points, 28-23. Fans of the winless Texans were headed to the exits. It was over. Last week, the home team gave up 21 points in 2:10. They were cursed and would just as well move to Detroit to become Lions fans.
The Texans hadn’t given this game away in the same dramatic fashion as last week, but they were doing their best. Since they had outgained Miami 485 to 370 and won the time of possession battle, they must have felt compelled to give up two big plays to Patrick Cobbs (who?) and turn the ball over four times (compared to once for Miami).
And now, with the clock ticking down, surely Matt Schaub would throw up one last charity pick, right? Perhaps even an INTD? Nope. Not yet. A diving catch by Andre Davis gains 19 for the Texans. Next play, Schaub appears to fumble the ball away to Miami as he gets sacked. Game over, right? Nah, these guys want to drag it out. The play is ruled an incomplete pass. One more minute… On third-and-ten, Schaub throws an interception to Andre Goodman. Ok, there we go. What’s that Ed Hochuli? The ball skipped off the ground? Great—ok, one more play.
Fourth-and-ten with 39 seconds to go and the ball on Miami’s 36-yard-line. Situation: still hopeless. And somehow, Andre Johnson makes an amazing 23-yard catch, in between two defenders.
“He was covered pretty good, but he made an unbelievable catch,” Kevin Walter said. “After that I said, ‘We’re gonna win this game.’ We were all confident after that.”
If all of the Texans weren’t confident after the Johnson fourth-down catch, Kevin Walter and Matt Schaub certainly were. After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Schaub finds a wide open Walters streaking across the field for a 30-yard gain. And now the Texans face a first-and-ten from the Dolphin 11-yard-line with 23 seconds left. After an eight-yard pass to Andre Johnson, and two incomplete passes, Schaub and the winless Texans have one last shot, facing fourth-and-two from the Dolphin three-yard-line with seven seconds left in the game. Schaub lines up with five wide receivers and an empty backfield. Guess who else has an empty backfield? That’s right, the Miami Dolphins. So Schaub drops back, reads the block of his right guard, jukes left and then goes right, jogging in for the game winning touchdown. And the Texans are on the board in the win column!
I was Wrong…
…about most of my picks, including the Panthers, who were routed by the Bucs. Untimely turnovers got them off to a bad start, and the Bucs running game took it from there.
…to put so much faith in all that three zone bunk. The Patriots, one of two teams crossing three time zones, failed to cover, as they were routed by the Chargers. The Eagles, on the other hand, had no problem playing on the left coast once the fourth quarter rolled around, erasing a nine-point deficit with 23 fourth-quarter points, scored partly thanks to three turnovers. As for the two time-zone crossing teams, the Raiders and the Cowboys both failed to cover, while the travel posed no problem for Jacksonville or Green Bay, both outright winners. Overall, the long-distance travelers went 3-3 ATS (against the spread).
I was Right…
…to change one of my Eddie In the Money Superpicks--I just changed the wrong one. Roddy White showed no ill-effects of the concussion he suffered in practice earlier in the week and Matt Ryan continued to impress in the Falcons big win over the Bears. Obviously, I should have left that pick alone and changed the Ravens pick, as Peyton Manning decided this was the week to start playing.
…about the Lions playing tough against an overrated (at least this week) Vikings team. Too bad Dan Orlovsky was playing with some sort of crazy international rules where the big fat white line at the back of the endzone is in. I also learned something. There is no New England Patriot juggernaut in the league this year. Take double-digit favorites at your peril. So far, only one of nine has covered. And you’d never guess who. (Seahawks -10 over Rams). Even nine points was enough to doom the World Champs tonight against the Browns tonight.
The Throw Me in the Mosh Pit Goat of the Week is none other than Pete Kendall, Washington Redskin left guard. With 23 seconds left in the second quarter, Kendall committed the cardinal sin of lineman-ball relationships. First, he tried to catch a batted ball. Second, after catching the ball, he thinks about just falling down on it (the right thing to do), but instead tries to run with it. The Result: A fumble returned for a Rams touchdown.
Isn’t that Special
Josh Brown, St. Louis Rams kicker, booted four field goals, including a 51-yarder off the upright (doink!) and the 49-yard game-winner (his 7th career game-winner). After an unsportsmanlike conduct call on Richie Incognito moved the Rams back 15 yards, they didn’t even try to get closer for Brown, even though they had 35 seconds left. They had such faith in them that they just handed the ball off to Steven Jackson. Perhaps the Rams remembered all too well the two heart-wrenching game-winners that Brown hit against them as a member of the Seattle Seahawks in 2006, including a 54-yarder in St. Louis. The man is clutch.
The Arizona Cardinals beat the Dallas Cowboys thanks to a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by J.J. Arrington and a blocked punt by Sean Morey that was returned for a touchdown by Monty Beisel.
With 10:10 remaining in the fourth quarter, Jacksonville punter Adam Podlesh was dragged two or three yards by Glenn Martinez, but ultimately hung on and probably saved a Broncos touchdown.
Mike Holmgren gets this week’s Bill Belichick Injury Disclosure Award for claiming most of last week that Matt Hasselbeck would play. Not only did he not play, but now he’s probably out for next week too.
A Big Welcome Back to Peyton Manning: 19 of 28 (67.9%) for 271 yards, 3 TDs and a QB rating of 134.7 against a tough Ravens defense. Please tell me we can’t count on continued big fantasy days from Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Expansion Hypothetical: If I was the General Manager of a new expansion team and could pick any player from any team, my first pick would be Drew Brees. I haven’t seen any quarterback throwing the ball more accurately or leading their team with more poise this season.
In regard to Matt Ryan’s throw at the end of the Chicago-Atlanta game: With only six seconds to work with, it really shouldn’t be that hard to stop someone from gaining 20 yards AND getting out of bounds. Right?
Midway through the first quarter, the Jets faced first and goal from the 7, and it only took them EIGHT plays to score a touchdown.
I’m pretty sure Bill Simmons mentioned something about having David Akers attempt 54-yard field goals with his 46-yard leg…and that was BEFORE it happened in the game Sunday. The result: A blocked kick by the 49ers returned it for a touchdown.
The best part of the Seahawks game was seeing Gary Payton in the booth and imagining how he’d look as a 6’4” WR. You know there’s something wrong with your city when the best part of Sunday’s football game was seeing a retired star of an NBA team that no longer exists.
With 6:43 left in the third quarter, I’m fairly certain I caught Romeo Crennel sleeping on the sideline. And not in the usually way, but literally—he was actually nodding off. Maybe that’s what happens when your team’s total combined punts and turnovers for the game is…ZERO.
Announce this Please!
In the Sunday night Patriots-Chargers game, I’m pretty sure (even though I was watching DVR-delayed and skipping everything but the actual plays) that Al Michaels made some Hochuli-related joke about how San Diego doesn’t allow zebras at the zoo. He didn’t even get a courtesy laugh from John Madden. Maybe that's the real reason Madden is skipping next week's Tampa-Seattle game. He just can't take any more of Al Michaels.
Pick Performance (correct picks in bold)
Panthers +1 over BUCCANEERS
TEXANS -3 over Dolphins
SAINTS -7 over Raiders
BRONCOS -3.5 over Jaguars
49ERS +5 over Eagles
CARDINALS +5 over Cowboys
SEAHAWKS OFF over Packers
CHARGERS -5 over Patriots
REDSKINS -13.5 over Rams
Bears -3 over FALCONS
JETS -8.5 over Bengals
Lions +13 over VIKINGS
Ravens +4 over COLTS
Giants -9 over BROWNS
5-9 (38-47-2 overall)
Eddie in the Money Superpicks
Lions +13 over the VIKINGS
Ravens +4 over the COLTS.
JETS -8.5 over Fitzpatrick and the Bengals
2-1 (13-4-1 overall)
Posted by Eddie Utah at 11:17 PM