San Diego Chargers 30, New England Patriots 10
Did the Patriots really call timeout with :02 left in this game? Pathetic. Looks like Belichick runs up the scoring even when he’s losing. Or would that actually be called running down the score?
San Diego’s defense was spectacular Sunday night, particularly Jamal Williams up front and Quintin Jammer on the edge. Jammer defended Randy Moss better than anyone since Moss went to New England.
Matt Cassel was awful in this game. If you’re a Pats fan, you’re just hoping it isn’t because all of his weaknesses and tendencies are starting to show up on film. Cassel needs to accelerate his decision-making in the pocket. He also needs to trust his receivers more (i.e. Randy Moss) and be willing to stretch a defense.
This just in: Deltha O’Neal has given up another deep ball.
LaDainian Tomlinson (toe) is clearly not himself right now. Why even play him late in this game?
Here’s why the Chargers will win the AFC West: Philip Rives is having a career year, Vincent Jackson continues to blossom, and that offensive line, with Marcus McNeil and Nick Hardwick both healthy, is back to being the best in the AFC.
Arizona Cardinals 30, Dallas Cowboys 24
Although this was the first game in NFL history to end on a blocked punt for a touchdown (that’s a neat and surprising piece of trivia, by the way), the Cardinals won this match straight up. They dominated up front and made fewer mistakes than Wade Phillips’s men.
This was the first truly bad game that Flozell Adams has had in quite awhile. Adams could not handle the speed of Bertrand Berry or Travis LaBoy.
Marc Colombo wasn’t much better for the Cowboys over on the right side. He had his lunch eaten all afternoon by Chike Okeafor. Both Cowboys tackles struggled in run-blocking, which may be part of the reason Dallas used so many delay handoffs.
It’s easy to say that Terrell Owens needs to get the ball more, but Tony Romo didn’t have time to hit Owens. The shoddy pass protection forced Romo to check down and throw short, usually to Marion Barber (11 receptions). Barber was at least able to manufacture 128 yards on these receptions, but this isn’t Cowboys football.
Someone tell Leonard Davis that a lineman spiking the ball is only cool if the running back hands it to him. It’s not cool if the lineman picks the ball up off the ground himself. In fact, as Davis learned, it’s a 15-yard penalty.
Watching Edgerrin James at this point in his career is like watching Emmitt Smith in the final years of his career. You know you’re seeing an intelligent, dedicated, Hall of Fame runner, but it gets harder each week convincing yourself that these traits make up for the dire lack of burst.
Kurt Warner is playing at an extremely high level. Not many quarterbacks hang in the pocket as well as he does.
Jacksonville Jaguars 24, Denver Broncos 17
Get used to the losing, Denver fans. In 2001 your team started 3-1 and finished 8-8. The next year they started 4-2 and finished 9-7. In ’03 the Broncos started 5-1 and finished 10-6. They did the same thing again in ’04. And in ’06, Mike Shanahan’s crew began the season 5-1, only to finish 9-7.
In fairness to Denver, they were without Eddie Royal and Tony Scheffler in this one. But the absence of those guys doesn’t explain Jay Cutler’s downfield interception or Brandon Marshall’s fumble.
The Jaguars makeshift offensive line appears to be gelling. Watch, now, as this offense starts to take off. You saw a strong hint of it today with Maurice Jones-Drew going for over 100 yards again.
All seven of Matt Jones’s receptions on Sunday seemed to come at just the right time. I joked about this not long ago, but now I’m being serious: I think his cocaine arrest helped him. The severity of the issue made the former first-round pick realize that he actually could be expendable.
Marcedes Lewis had only three catches Sunday, but all three seemed to expose gaping holes in the middle of Denver’s pass defense. Mark this down as the week that the Broncos’ most fatal flaw was exposed.
Green Bay Packers 27, Seattle Seahawks 17
It’s not surprising that Seattle’s offense struggled in this game; Charlie Frye was under center. Mike Holmgren has zero confidence in Frye.
Just in case it isn’t clear to everyone, Aaron Rodgers is playing excellent football. Coming into this game with a passer rating of 95.5, Rodgers completed 21 of 30 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns.
It speaks well for the young QB that Greg Jennings has continued his impressive ascension, which began last season playing with Brett Favre.
Holmgren called out his defense this past week, particularly middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu. He basically said what everyone can see: more big plays have to be made.
Charles Woodson continues to pad his stats. He picked off his fourth pass of the season Sunday and also recorded his first sack.