The absurdity of Sunday afternoon’s occurrences left most fantasy football players ecstatic (except those who had Peyton Manning and Clinton Portis), left most betters furious (except those who picked the Texans and Dolphins) and left all NFL fans and experts absolutely dumbfounded. Here is what transpired:
The Kansas City Chiefs, fresh off two consecutive offensive efforts of over thirty points, put up a whopping 10 points and fell to the previously 2-6 Miami Dolphins. The now 3-6 Cleveland Browns traveled to the Georgia Dome, one of the more difficult places in the NFL to play, and defeated the Falcons 17-13. MVP candidate Mike Vick put forth a 16-40 effort with three turnovers… better watch your back, Peyton. The Houston Texans, the 26th ranked defensive juggernauts that they are, forced four interceptions and defeated the playoff-contending Jaguars 13-10. And finally, the New York Jets (led by iron-armed Chad Pennington, 49ers reject Kevan Barlow, and receiving stud Jerricho Cotchery) triumphed over the Patriots 17-14.
The three leading teams in the AFC, the Colts, Broncos, and Ravens, played the three other AFC teams with a combined record of 7-20. Sure, all three ended up winning, by a combined six points. Peyton Manning and the Colts almost fell at home to a Bills team playing without Willis McGahee and it’s not as if the Bills played with a real quarterback either with JP Losman throwing for 83 yards. The Ravens had to overcame a 19 point deficit to comeback and defeat the Titans.
“Basically, the production of the game in the first half, we moved the ball pretty good,” Titans QB Vince Young said. “In the second half, their guys, they stepped it up a little bit and went from there. Our defense did a good job of stopping their guys and getting the ball back to us” (Titansonline.com).
Yes, that was an actual quotation. And despite leading the first half, the defense did not do a good job in the second half; in fact, they squandered a 19-point lead.
The Broncos somehow found a way to almost lose to the Raiders, a seemingly impossible feat; Denver barely squeaked by 17-13. There is not much to say about this one except that the Raiders are absolutely atrocious and to beat them by anything less than touchdown should really count as a loss.
The Saints-Steelers and Bengals-Chargers games were undoubtedly the two best of the weekend, showcasing tremendous offensive performances. The Saints and Steelers combined for 984 yards of total offense, with Saints QB Drew Brees throwing for 398 yards. Reggie Bush put forth another mediocre performance and made a critical fumble late in the game, but their diamond-in-the-rough seventh-round pick Marques Colston had 10 receptions for 169 yards and currently leads the league in receiving yards. The defending champs salvaged some respect with the 38-31 victory; however, their 3-6 record is far from what Steeler Nation anticipated.
In one of the wildest games that I have ever seen, the San Diego Chargers overcame a 21-point halftime deficit and scored 43 second-half points to triumph over the Bengals 49-41. In this fantasy football player’s dream game, Ladanian Tomlinson ran for four touchdowns, Phillip Rivers threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns, Carson Palmer topped that by throwing for an astounding 440 yards and three touchdowns, and Chad Johnson caught 11 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns.
To conclude with a sentence predicting with any certainty the outcomes of next week’s games would be practically impossible. So, rather than blindly predict the NFL, I’ll finish with a couple of words on football’s biggest game next weekend. GO BUCKEYES.