The Red Zone: Eddie Guns Misfires

Broncos 39, Chargers 38 – I’m a Denver homer and even I will admit that referee Ed Hochuli completely blew it. We shouldn’t have had that chance to win that game. That said, it was smart and ballsy to go for two after Jay Cutler threw it to Eddie Royal for the touchdown because it was playing with house money and because San Diego would be reeling from getting fucked over. These teams will be fighting for the AFC West crown, because Philip Rivers and that offense know how to close and come back. They wouldn’t have gotten to the AFC championship game if they didn’t. Cutler is still learning how to finish, and there could be some shaky times. But each offense looked really good for a half.

Patriots 19, Jets 10 – The game ended with the old Brett Favre that we’ve gotten used to: a late pick-off by Brandon MeriweatherMatt Cassel threw for 165 yards, didn’t throw any TD passes, but didn’t muck it up and while he’s not going to be raging up any fantasy rosters, he might stand a chance of getting the Patriots back to the playoffs.

Titans 24, Bengals 7 – How long is Marvin Lewis for this world of NFL coaching? He’s been undermined and this looks to be the worst team he’s ever fielded in his years in Cincinnati.  Kerry Collins, relieving Vince Young, threw for one touchdown and dispensed the ball to LenDale White and Chris Johnson to eat up yardage. Tennessee’s defense got lethal, and now they are in first place in the toughest division in football.

Bills 20, Jaguars 16 – What world is this we live in, with Buffalo starting 2-0?  Trent Edwards is looking like the starting quarterback they’ve been looking for (it helps if you have Marshawn Lynch to hand off to) by throwing a fourth-quarter touchdown against a tema that was in the playoffs last year.

Raiders 23, Chiefs 8 – I thought Oakland was worse when I made my picks on Friday, but I forgot to account for one small thing: if your head coach is planning to use THREE quarterbacks at different points in the game, you’re going to lose.

Colts 18, Vikings 15 – I didn’t see the game, so I can’t say there was a dicey non-call of a false start on Indy late (I could buy into that, though.) What I did see in the highlights is a dysfunctional offense thanks to injuries and lack of reps. Peyton Manning has some kinks to work out, and now.  Meanwhile, Minny has to figure out how to use Tavaris Jackson’s skills as strengths while he works out the kinks of handling the quarterback position. There is raw talent there, but you wonder if Brad Childress is the coach who knows how to use it.

Panthers 20, Bears 17 – Not only did Chicago cough up a lead (at least they covered) but they may have lost their most dynamic player for a while. Devin Hester has some cracked ribs, and they need him to set up their rushing offense with field position. What Kyle Orton and the offense does is much, much less effectvie when they’re backed up. (I know that is a universal of sorts, but it’s very true in Chicago’s case: they do not have the ability to pass their way out of being backed up in their own territory.)

Packers 40, Lions 24 – Detroit: still a bunch of sucky sucks.  Jon Kitna actually leads them back to take a one point lead after Aaron Rodgers opens it up big early, and then he throws picks on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter.

Giants 41, Rams 13 – St. Louis is the suckiest bunch of sucks right now: Marc Bulger must hate getting sacked six times and knowing that’s a low number when he goes out on the field.

Redskins 29, Saints 24 – If yoj mean to tell me that Jim Zorn will fuck around with Jason Campbell a little less and let hiim play like he’s capable, I’d have more interest and faith in the Deadskins.  Campbell showed off a good, deep-ball throwing arm, winning with a bomb to Santana Moss.

Buccaneers 24, Falcons 9 – Matt Ryan, this is what a real defense looks like. He didn’t complete a pass until the second quarter and Michael Turner was held to 42 yards. (I’m not acknowledging Brian Griese’s existence. He just doesn’t.)

49ers 33, Seahawks 30 – So, wait a second: you sack the opposing quarterback eight times and still lose in OT?  Matt Hasselbeck, lacking anything resembling wide receivers, was picked a couple of times, but what looked worse was the Seattle secondary, allowing J.T. O’Sullivan to lead the Niners’ offense back even after taking that kind of a beating.

Cardinals 31, Dolphins 10 – I’m willing to admit I may have been utterly and completely wrong on the whole “Miami will be better” angle and the “Arizona only looks good against the NFC West dregs” thing. Hell, Arizona looks good against the AFC dregs. When do they play a real team?

Steelers 10, Browns 6 – It was like the mud game between the Steelers and the Dolphisn last year, but much less entertainig, because every time the Browns got anything close to a touchdown, there were picks and bad clock management.  The Steelers didn’t win by the sort of margin I was expecting, but the pressure they put on Derek Anderson didn’t really allow him to get into a good rhythm.


One Response

  1. Actually, to my surprise the Orton/Forte combo was moving the ball effectively even from lousy field position in the first half. (I think the Panthers must have frozen when their first punt of the game was blocked and returned for a quick six.) But two key Chicago drives were stalled by forced fumbles on TE Greg Olsen, their first-round draft pick last year that hasn’t quite lived up to his billing yet. Although I will agree with the basic premise: as tireless Rex boosters like me have long been arguing, Kyle’s deep ball does look like crap.

    Now, Daniel Manning and Nathan Vasher aren’t Hester (whose ribs are only bruised, according to the Trib), but they’re no slouches either in the return department. And for me, the critical concern is that NO returner is going to do us any good if we can’t stop the stupid frickin’ special teams penalties — which plagued us all preseason, and ensured that we have to start behind the 20 on almost every single drive in this game. Special teams are supposed to be an ace in the hole for Da Bears, not a primary reason we lose a close game on the road.

    I’m also ticked off at Ron Turner for dipping into the Shoop playbook on a 3rd and 1 call. That WR screen hasn’t done diddly for this offense, and a 3rd and 1 is a running down for Da Bears anyway. And if you HAVE to run Jason McKie on a FB dive, you damn well better do it on 3rd and 1, not 4th and 1. Why did you sign Matt Forte if you’re not prepared to put the game in his hands? Ugh.

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