NFL ’06—When Dolphins Attack

1689682One undefeated team remains, TO being TO and powerhouse teams turning in woeful performances this year. That and much more from week number 9 in the National Football League.

The Chicago Bears went into their game at home against the Miami Dolphins as one of two teams (Indianapolis Colts being the other) undefeated on the season. It was déjà vu all over gain for these two teams. Only difference was this game came in week nine and the other was in week 13. The Miami Dolphins beat the Chicago Bears convincingly, 31-13. The last time the Bears had one loss in a season was 1985, which—oh, by the way—was the year they won the Super Bowl.

With the stingiest defense and one of the best offenses in the league, Chicago couldn’t get by the dominance shown by the Dolphins. Bears quarterback Rex Grossman threw three interceptions and the offense lost three fumbles helping Miami take control of the game. Grossman ended the day 18 of 42 passing for 210 yards and one touchdown.

The Dolphins took advantage of all the miscues from the Bears. In doing so, they proved to the league that they are better than their 2-6 record.

All eyes were on Sunday night after the Bears loss. The undefeated Indianapolis Colts were facing the New England Patriots on New England’s home turf. The Patriots have had the Colts number in recent years as Colts quarterback Peyton Manning hasn’t been able to get by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the tenacious defense so brilliantly assembled by coach Bill Belichick.

That all changed as the Colts beats the Patriots, 27-20. Manning threw for 326 yards and two touchdowns. Brady wasn’t so lucky on this night as he threw four interceptions, which was key in the victory.

There’s talk that this Colts team is better than 2005 which is hard to believe with running back Edgerrin James going to the Arizona Cardinals. Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison have consistently been one of the best one-two punches in the NFL and I don’t know if we’ll ever see a tandem like them again. Coupled with a defense that got better as soon as Tony Dungy took over as head coach, it would be surprising if this team didn’t make it to the Super Bowl or win it all with the way the Pittsburgh Steelers have played this year.

Terrell, Terrell, Terrell. It doesn’t take much for Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens to make a fool of himself. It came out in the last couple weeks that he has been sleeping in team meetings. It’s kind of funny that coach Bill Parcells would put up with this kind of behavior. Anyone who knows Parcells knows that he is a strict disciplinarian and doesn’t put up with anything.

During the game against the Washington Redskins, which they lost 22-19 in the last seconds of the game, Owens scored a touchdown then did his end zone antics by laying down with the football under his head. And here we thought the Sharpie incident and pom poms were ridiculous. Owens has done enough complaining so far that he isn’t getting the ball and he should have caught one pass yesterday. Maybe sleeping in team meetings is doing him more harm then good, eh?

Woe is us. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and the Green Bay Packers.

The Steelers haven’t been “super” this year whatsoever. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is going through his sophomore slump and have ended any chance of going back to the Super Bowl. They have lost six of seven and have matched their worst midseason record in the Bill Cowher era. It’s one of the worst returns by a Super Bowl team in 20 years.

The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-4 at the midway mark and are 1-4 in their last five games. Quite a stark difference from last season. Quarterback Carson Palmer has been fighting back from his injury and wide receiver Chad Johnson has been doing his best impression of Keyshawn “Give me the damn ball” Johnson. Are they related?

Johnson was quoted after the game, “Four? Four? That’s substandard. I’m supposed to be the best player and I can’t even get the ball. No excuses, I didn’t get the job done.” That wasn’t all he said either, and most of that can’t be printed. Coach Marvin Lewis had his press conference and said he has spoken with Johnson and wouldn’t disclose what was discussed.

The Green Bay Packers fans should be wearing limburger on their heads instead of wedges of cheese for the way they have played so far this year. After a 24-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills, they are 3-5 on the season and a long shot for the playoffs. Had they won, they more than likely could have had a chance of making it.

Quarterback Brett Favre has calmed down with coach Mike McCarthy where he doesn’t feel he has to do everything. Rookie wide receiver Greg Jennings has done an awesome job and wide receiver Donald Driver has been his usual consistent.

The defense is starting to get better and linebacker A.J. Hawk is showing why he was a number one pick as he’s been improving each week in a very young defensive set.

The Packers did make a huge mistake by not correcting a 14 year old one. After defensive back Troy Vincent was released by the Buffalo Bills, the Packers made no effort to get him. Vincent has been one of the premier D-backs for many years. Fourteen years ago, the Packers had a chance to draft him in the first round and decided to take quarterback Ty Detmer from Brigham Young University. Vincent wanted to be a Packer and they passed him right over. Still gotta wonder if they’re hurting in the front office.

The San Diego Chargers are again showing they’re one of the premiere teams in the league. At the half, they were trailing the Cleveland Browns and Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer let his team know exactly how he felt about it.

Schottenheimer “gave us a mouthful, a tongue-lashing. We deserved it, though. I’d be lying if I told you we weren’t getting frustrated because we were. But we kept our poise when we needed to”, running back LaDanian Tomlinson said. The result of the tongue lashing? A 32-25 victory for the Chargers to tie them with Denver at 6-2 in the AFC West.

The New Orleans Saints have enjoyed a great comeback this year going to 6-2 after their victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Running back Reggie Bush isn’t the only one making some noise in the Big Easy. Wide receiver Marques Colston is also making his contributions be known. He caught 11 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown and quarterback Drew Brees, well, he keeps on being himself throwing for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

“A quarterback is only as good as the offensive line in front of them.” This is a quote commonly used by every football coach, from peewees to the pros. Are the Oakland Raiders taking note? They must not be as their quarterback was sacked nine times. “Our defense had a few things to prove. I think they played very hard and very smart, which is something we needed”, Seattle Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren was quoted as saying.

The Seahawks offense didn’t do too shabby either. With quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and running back Shawn Alexander out, quarterback Seneca Wallace has stepped up and gotten the job done.

My fearless picks for Week 10 (Winners in bold)

GREEN BAY @ MINNESOTA
BUFFALO @ INDIANAPOLIS
BALTIMORE @ TENNESSEE
CLEVELAND @ ATLANTA
KANSAS CITY @ MIAMI
SAN FRANCISCO @ DETROIT
HOUSTON @ JACKSONVILLE
NEW YORK JETS @ NEW ENGLAND
SAN DIEGO @ CINCINNATI
WASHINGTON @ PHILADELPHIA
DENVER @ OAKLAND
ST LOUIS @ SEATTLE
NEW ORLEANS @ PITTSBURGH
DALLAS @ ARIZONA
CHICAGO @ NEW YORK GIANTS
TAMPA BAY @ CAROLINA

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