by Robert Ferringo - 11/22/2005
"Put the women and children to bed and let's go looking for dinner."
- Joe Kane, "The Program"
The elite teams of the National Football League once again imposed their will on helpless foes. Denver skunked visiting New York, San Diego blasted a meek Buffalo squad, and Indianapolis throttled the upstart Bengals.
However, the most impressive performance of the week has to belong to Chicago. The Bears dominated - and I mean Dominated - everyone's Super Bowl pick, Carolina. The Panthers average 28 points per game, but were limited to one meager field goal and only 235 total yards (169 by one player).
I am a Bears fan. However, I think I've always been fair in my criticism and praise of this team. I've been saying for weeks that this defense just punishes people and is the best in the league. If you think I'm letting my emotions cloud my judgement, just ask Jake Delhomme.
OK, that was definitely a lame intro, but I'm packing to go home for the break and time is at a premium. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and here are my random thoughts about the Week known as 11:
-- Indy is the ninth team in NFL history to go 10-0. Six of those eight went to the Super Bowl and five won the title.
-- The City of Atlanta is turning on its Falcons after two straight home losses. That defense looks more like Version 2003 than Version 2004. You think they miss Ed Jasper?
-- Of the Jets' last 18 possessions, 11 have ended with either a fumble or an interception. They may never score again.
-- Detroit had almost three times as many penalties (17) than it did points (7), and their miscues allowed Dallas nine of its 29 first downs. On all four Cowboys scoring drives a failed third down became an automatic first down due to Lions penalties.
-- In the last game that Tommy Maddox started for the Steelers, Pittsburgh ran the ball 30 times (for 72 yards) and threw it 28. Against Baltimore on Sunday, the Steelers ran the ball just 26 times (for 70) and threw it 36.
When Ben Roethlisberger plays, the Steelers run the ball 64 percent of the time and average 142 yards rushing per game. With Maddox, those numbers dip to 50 percent and 71 yards.
-- San Francisco, Houston, Buffalo, Baltimore and the Jets are a combined 0-25 on the road.
-- If you haven't been watching this season of the Family Guy, you have no idea what you're missing. The last two episodes have been two of the funniest half-hours I've ever seen.
-- Four of Tampa Bay's wins have come by a combined nine points. Conversely, three of Atlanta's losses have come by a total of nine points.
-- Cincinnati linebacker Odell Thurman is running away with the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He was the only Bengal defender that showed up on Sunday.
-- I was wrong when I said last week that Buffalo would lose by 30 in San Diego. It was 38.
-- On Carolina's first 10 drives they totaled 42 plays and 120 yards. Six of those drives went three and out.
-- If I see one more musical/highlight montage about Terrell Owens and the Eagles fall from the elite I'm going to puke. It's over Philly fans. Over.
-- People can't devalue the Jaguars win over the Titans. Tennessee has owned Jacksonville for years. Also, I've commented before about how Byron Leftwich is a young Steve McNair. You saw what I meant this week.
-- Let's get this straight: Second-and-8 = running down. Second-and-3 = passing down.
Obviously those are broad strokes. But that's my interpretation of The Book. And if you're and NFL coach who's Going By The Book, you would call plays accordingly.
-- How long will it be before some uncreative hack holds a concert in a prison, a la Johnny Cash's famous Folsom performance? I guarantee some no talent ass-clown is going to see that move and try to rip that move off.
-- I'm confused.
Who is Heath Evans?
Who is Rep. Jean Schmidt?
Who is Marion Barber II?
Who is Kenji Johjima?
Is Abu Musab al-Zarqawi dead?
What the hell is Quidditch?
-- I was watching the game with a gentleman who had bet on St. Louis over Arizona. Though the Rams trailed only 13-10 at halftime, just by watching their body language - lethargic, disinterested - as they walked into the locker room I could tell that they were finished. I made a friendly $50 bet with my boy and had fun collecting when the Cardinals outscored STL 22-11 in the fourth quarter.
-- Who has been a bigger bust; Bills tackle Mike Williams or Lions wideout Charles Rogers?
-- In the fourth quarter of the Monday night game John Madden actually accused Brett Favre of making a bad throw. I had to use the DVR to go back and make sure I wasn't hearing things.
-- I'm not too worried about Seattle's performance against San Fran. They were looking ahead to their showdown with the Giants.
-- Minnesota has now won three in a row, and is officially a Hot Team. They would not have hit this streak with Dante Culpepper under center.
-- The first half of the Indianapolis/Cincinnati game was out of control. When the dust settled there were 10 touchdowns in the first three quarters, 82 total points, and 943 total yards.
-- Nick Saban is so smart and the rest of us are not only so dumb, but so worthy to be in his presence. Right. Good call coming out and saying that you don't care about the score, the situation, or this season, genius. Season ticket holders love that.
-- This Thanksgiving, when someone that you haven't seen in a long time and that you have no interest in talking with asks you what you're doing now, say "Contract work for the government." When they inquire further, tell them that you're doing public relations and market research in regards to torture methods for the Dept. of the Interior. Explain that torture is imperative in fighting the War on Terror, and inform them that you're part of a team whose goal is to determine acceptable pain threshold differentials between male/female and adult/child civilians. Tell them not to worry; most of the research is being conducted on homeless or mentally handicapped people, as well as at state run children's homes. Then change the subject by asking about their family.
-- How can you blame Herm Edwards for the Jets situation? He's used five quarterbacks, has 10 players on IR, lost 3/5 of his offensive line from last year, and lost his defensive leader to free agency. How is that his fault?
-- Someone please explain Tampa Bay to me. I'm baffled. They looked lost at sea three weeks ago, but have stormed back with two wins over two very strong teams. But in those games their outstanding defense has been torched for 62 points. I don't get it.
-- Is it just me, or are Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard getting beat deep by receivers an awful lot this season?
-- Ron Mexico-Vick looked unstoppable for the final three quarters against Atlanta. He started 2 of 8, but went 19-for-30 after that, finishing with 306 yards. If he did that more than once every two years I'd get off his back.
However, he did lose the game for Atlanta by fumbling late. He has 10 fumbles on the year (four lost). Combine that with his six interceptions and he's good for a turnover a game.
-- If you're not a Kansas City or Houston fan and you watched more than 15 minutes of that Sunday night game you must really hate your wife, kids, job and life.
-- The 2004 Browns defense (aka the 2005 Broncos) held the Jets to just 22 yards rushing. Denver's first offensive drive was 17 plays for 95 yards and spanned 9:34. New York's offense for the first half was 13 plays for 50 yards in 6:21.
-- Todd Peterson is Atlanta's regular kicker. You're telling me they have to let the punter kick a 55-yarder in a dome? Are you serious? Incidentally, Jay Feely - the guy they let go - is 3-for-4 from 50+ this season.
-- Yes, the Rams really only gained six rushing yards.
-- "Somewhere, right now, Jeb Bush is eating a live puppy."
- Stewie Griffin