It’s easier to evaluate more of the other teams when you’re not concerned about your own. Thus, with a Broncos bye week, I spent this Sunday viewing the early and late games in the local sports bar, filled with Raiders and Chargers fans. Most Bolts fans are still optimistic even with Norv in charge — and they had a right to be today. The Raiders fans at this place are obnoxious fucks — I was in a Broncos sweatshirt and caught shit from a couple of the louder members, as did the fellow who donned a Chiefs cap. Anyway, here’s the assessment of the day’s action:
Chargers 28, Raiders 17 – Nothing better while sitting in a sports bar full of Raiders fans than watching the resurrection of Fantasy Jesus: four rushing touchdowns and 198 yards on 24 carries. Against a defense that had talent, Daunte Culpepper reverted to form: two picks and a fumble lost along with two TDs. The Raiders made some fatal errors, especially when everyone but punter Shane Lechler realized the punt fake had been audibled and he was supposed to kick it away.
Patriots 48, Cowboys 27 – Wes Welker is saving my fantasy team. Today, the Pats third wideout notched over 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns as Tom Brady and the Pats offense continues to destroy mere mortal football teams. They have 0-6 Miami next weekend, and it looks likely that the first real test for this team (since the NFC’s best is comparatively weak) is Indianapolis.
Packers 17, Redskins 14 – Fumbles and dropped passes killed Washington, and one of them was what Charles Woodson returned for the go-ahead touchdown in this one.
Jaguars 37, Texans 17 – A disgusting display of offensive acumen by Maurice Jones-Drew, who notched 260 yards total, 125 of those rushing, and two TDs. David Garrard continues to justify Jack Del Rio’s cutting of Byron Leftwich by throwing two TD passes. The Texans need to develop more depth at every position. When their stars are gone, like Andre Johnson, they are not quite what they showed us early on.
Vikings 37, Bears 34 – I have written before that no team can have Brian Griese throw more than 40 times and win. This is still proven out by the game today, but it was all about Purple Jesus: 224 yards rushing on 20 carries, and that’s not even counting the kickoff return he got back to the Bears’ 38. Griese threw for nearly 400 yards, but had some turnovers, and Peterson’s day overshadowed Devin Hester’s, who returned a kick for a score and caught an 81-yard TD pass.
Browns 41, Dolphins 31 – So, how do you like seeing Brady Quinn in a Browns uniform on the sideline while Derek Anderson rips you apart, Dolphin fans? With Cleo Lemon as the starter, Miami got decimated early, while mounting an attempt at a comeback in the 3rd quarter.
Ravens 22, Rams 3 – Well, I guess Gus Frerotte got only one week of competency. Five field goals from Matt Stover obscure the Ravens’ still atrocious offensive production.
Eagles 16, Jets 9 – Snazzy new throwbacks, same old result for the J-E-T-S. Getting only three Mike Nugent field goals, the Jets gave up one big play from Donovan McNabb to Kevin Curtis for a 75 yard TD pass that made the difference.
Buccaneers 13, Titans 10 – As Vince Young goes, so goes Tennessee, and when he left with a quad injury, that was that. Kerry Collins was simply lucky that two interceptions by Ronde Barber were overturned, even though Collins led a drive to tie the game.
Chiefs 27, Bengals 20 – Cincinnati becomes the first team to allow Larry Johnson 100+ in rushing yardage this year, and gave up two TD catches to Tony Gonzalez (who now holds the TE record for TD catches) and one to Johnson. The spiraling of the Bengals is one of the more interesting stories this year.
Panthers 25, Cardinals 10 – Old Man Bowl between Vinny Testaverde and Kurt Warner turned into “The Replacements” when Warner left with an injury — and recently signed Tim Rattay replaced him. Rattay threw three picks as Testaverde threw for 200+ yards and a TD pass to Steve Smith.
Saints 28, Seahawks 17 – The wheels may be coming off in Seattle. Shaun Alexander can’t return to form at all, Matt Hasselbeck has to throw so much that it’s becoming very predictable, and the Seattle defense let Reggie Bush run all over them early, and then let Drew Brees throw as he pleased to David Patton, mostly.
Photo: AP/Lenny Ignelzi