Chicago Bears 24, Philadelphia Eagles 20
The Bears deserved to win this game, but the Eagles also deserve to have it said that Brian Westbrook did not play.
Then again, neither did Tommie Harris.
It’s going to be fun to watch the maturation of DeSean Jackson. He reminds me of Santonio Holmes in that he’s a high draft pick who is returning punts and adding speed to the offense, while at the same time, enduring some hard lessons and brutal growing pains. Potential-wise, Jackson has a slight edge over Holmes.
The Bears run defense remains dominant. So far, not one team has been able to successfully counter Cchicago’s tactic of bringing their linebackers up to the line of scrimmage.
What does Jim McMahon in the first half + Rex Grossman in the second half equal? Answer: Kyle Orton in this game.
Philly got lucky with Devin Hester Sunday Night. For the most part, they kicked to him and manned up in their coverage. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t foolish to give him opportunities in the first place.
Here’s why th Eagles, at 2-2, are still one of the top teams in the NFL: their defense is solid and the young linebackers are improving (Chris Gocong was exceptional in this game; Stewart Bradley has an intriguing blend of instinct and athleticism), and their offense is moving the ball despite being without Westbrook, top receiver Kevin Curtis, franchise tight end L.J. Smith and All-World guard Shawn Andrews.
Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman got banged up late. Let’s hope they’re alright – Chicago can’t survive with both guys out of the lineup.
Washington Redskins 26, Dallas Cowboys 24
This game was surprisingly simple to figure out: Washington came in and plain beat the Cowboys. Offense, defense, special teams, coaching – it was all decisively in favor of the Skins.
A healthy Santana Moss is to this offense what Jason Briggs is to the American Pie series: if he’s in, it has a chance to be great; if he’s not in, it mostly stinks.
On Sunday Moss had his way with Terence Newman. This has happened before. Newman – who, as many of you know, I believe is the best cornerback in football – has one, sometimes two absolute craphole outings a year. This was his craphole outing for ’08. He’ll bounce back.
Clinton Portis is a stud. I’m just waiting for Troy Aikman to burst out of the closet and officially declare his undivided love for him.
Jason Campbell is progressing in Jim Zorn’s offense mainly because Jim Zorn is progressing in calling plays in Jim Zorn’s offense. Campbell is not just a system guy – he is athletic and savvy enough to make improvisational plays. Zorn has learned this and has opened up the playbook for him, which is the main reason Washington has won three straight.
Terrell Owens might be ruffling more feathers in Big D than people realize. After this game, he subtly griped about the number of passes coming his way (though from the sound of it, he was answering a loaded question from a sound-bite scavenging media). The Cowboys seem to be forcing the ball to T.O. This was a problem in the first half Sunday because Shawn Springs was on Owens like stink on a Frenchman.
Tens of millions of people saw that Pacman Jones had his facemask grabbed on a punt return. Not among those tens of millions, however, was the official near the play. But what stood out about this was Jones’s livid reaction. If this had been basketball, Jones would have been ejected immediately. I’ve always wondered, Why do football players, helmets or no helmets, get away with so much verbal abuse of the officials?
In a losing effort, DeMarcus Ware at Chris Samuels’s lunch.
New York Jets 56, Arizona Cardinals 35
472 yards passing for Kurt Warner. Six touchdowns for Brett Favre. Seven turnovers for the Cardinals. The Jets score their 54th point late in the game and then go for two. The Cardinals unload a slew of onside kicks starting in the third quarter. Tell me this doesn’t sound like you and your buddy’s game of Madden.
I don’t think Eric Smith had malicious intent in his devastating hit on Anquan Boldin, but the NFL still has to suspend Smith for this. It might be the most egregious example of helmet-to-helmet contact on a defenseless receiver that I’ve ever seen. Even though Smith got his own bell rung and was probably exhibiting only aberrational violence, the leagues still has to send a message and sit the guy down for a game or two. Boldin could have been killed.
P.S. The Cardinals were killed. Fifty six points to a Jets offense that was less cohesive than Congress just six days before? I doubt we’ll see Ken Whisenhunt keep his team on the east coast for an entire week again.