Thanksgiving Games Note
There is a scheduling flaw in the Thanksgiving games. Both the Cowboys and Lions had home games on Sunday. That’s not fair because their opponents this Thursday will have to travel. The NFL should force the Cowboys and Lions to play on the road before their Thursday game, that way both teams facing off Thursday will have had to travel in some form on the short week.
Baltimore Ravens 36, Philadelphia Eagles 7
By far the biggest news of the week came when Andy Reid shockingly benching Donovan McNabb. Watching this was like seeing a couple you’ve been friends with for years abruptly get divorced after you thought they had already survived the rocky parts of their marriage. Deep down you’re not necessarily surprised that the divorce came because there was a time, awhile back, that you were certain it would. But now that it actually has (seemingly), you’re absolutely floored. After 10 years, it just seems weird even thinking about Andy Reid ad Donovan McNabb not being together.
By the way, what in the world is Reid thinking? The stingy Ravens defense was giving his 10-year veteran problems, so to ameliorate the situation, he asks his callow second-year quarterback to make his debut and save the team’s playoff hopes in the process? And what does Reid do now? The Eagles have a short week….does he keep Kolb in there and hope for the best? There’s absolutely no way Reid thought this one through.
Other quick notes from this game….
Jarret Johnson was a beast for the Ravens, recording 1.5 sacks and disrupting about a half dozen more plays.
Ed Reed finally had another record-setting interception return. It had been a long time since the star safety took a pick back 100-plus yards.
The Eagles still can’t convert in short-yardage situations.
Joe Flacco was far from spectacular, completing less than 50 percent of his throws. But because he has a coach who puts him in positions to succeed (you listening, Andy Reid?) he managed to avoid any turnovers and toss two touchdowns.
New York Jets 34, Tennessee Titans 13
Great loss for the Titans. This unlikeliest of winning streaks had to come to an end at some point – might as well have it happen before any distractions stir up. And with a short week before playing Detroit, there’s virtually not time for anyone to dwell on this loss. The Titans will be 11-1 and under the radar before the holiday shopping season begins.
Chris Carr will be noted for his costly pass interference penalties in this game, which is too bad. The versatile defensive back has played extremely well since being forced into the starting lineup a few games ago.
Albert Haynesworth has been known to play with concussions, and sure enough, he was on the field in the second half after taking a shot to the head early on. Haynesworth now has 8.5 sacks on the season and remains, in my opinion, the NFL MVP.
Leon Washington is more than just an X-factor. He’s the best playmaker on New York’s high-scoring offense.
Back-to-back road wins against the Patriots and Titans is impressive, but I don’t know if the Jets want to be talked about as the AFC’s best team. When you have Brett Favre and play in New York, that creates a lot of added pressure – especially with the possibility of a subway Super Bowl being on the table.
Dallas Cowboys 35, San Francisco 49ers 22
Dallas is back, thanks in large part to a re-energized defense. Terence Newman did not have his best game Sunday, but a furious front seven helped make up for it, sacking Shaun Hill four times and limiting a Niners passing attack that started hot early on.
Terrell Owens did his thing, both during the week when he ran his mouth, and on Sunday, when he backed it up. Facing man coverage that looked more like “boy coverage”, Owens torched his former 49er team for seven catches and 213 yards. As obnoxious as T.O. can be, it’s hard to argue with his logic when he says that when he gets the ball, good things happen. Besides Calvin Johnson, there’s not a more unstoppable wide receiving when it comes to running downfield with a full head of steam.
One mistake Wade Phillips made was leaving Tony Romo and Marion Barber in the game down the stretch. Dallas had a comfortable lead and should have been thinking about preserving key players for Thanksgiving.
It was in a losing effort, but Isaac Bruce showed that he hasn’t slowed down much at all. The Reverend caught eight passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. True, Bruce’s numbers are down this year – he’s on pace for about 700 yards receiving – but that has more to do with San Francisco’s instability at quarterback.
Pacman Jones will be reinstated in time for the Pittsburgh game in a few weeks, but I’m not sure what Dallas will do with him. Newman and Anthony Henry are both playing well at corner, and the Cowboys are smitten over fifth-round rookie Orlando Scandrick in the slot. And don’t forget, sharing time with Scandrick at nickel back has been first-round rookie Mike Jenkins.
To read Snide Remarks from all Week 12 games, visit www.NFLTouchdown.com