Sunday Snide Remarks – Week 8 Late Games
New York Giants 21, Pittsburgh Steelers 14
- Great win for the Giants – they were clearly the better team on Sunday. The New York secondary absolutely stifled the Steeler receivers (you may have noticed Ben Roethlisberger holding the ball for half an hour every time he dropped back). Also, Pittsburgh’s mediocre offensive line could not handle the Giants’ aggressive front seven.
- Steve Spagnuolo might be the best defensive coordinator in the league right now. Few dial up blitzes as effectively as him. Sure, he has some stars to work with, but overall, the Giant D is middle of the road in terms of raw talent. Yet it’s performing at an elite level.
- Can’t remember the last time I saw a Giants game that didn’t include the announcers beating an Eli Manning storyline to death. Thank you, Kenny Albert and Troy Aikman.
- Speaking of the Fox broadcast, did anyone see Pam Oliver botch her report at the beginning of the second half? It might be worth You Tubing (if you have an extra minute or two).
- James Harrison sailed a long snap over Mitch Berger’s head for a late game-tying safety. Here’s what I don’t understand: why doesn’t the backup center, or even starting center, handle the long snap duties in emergency situations?
- New York has the best rushing attack in football this season. This alone should be enough to finally send one of these starting offensive linemen to Hawaii (I vote for right guard Chris Snee).
- Plaxico Burress didn’t get an opportunity to truly stick it to his former team Sunday because he began the game on the bench as punishment for missing a treatment on a neck injury. Ironically, it’s this kind of behavioral garbage that helped make the Steelers Burress’s former team to begin with.
Cleveland Browns 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
- Two organizations badly needed this outcome: the Browns, and ESPN. From a television standpoint, thank God this darling team is still in it.
- By the way, at 3-4, are the Jaguars still in it? What’s the deal with them?
- Derek Anderson appears to be one of those players who performs well only when he has something to prove. Playing for his starting job again this past week, Anderson was mentally sharper, and thus, less predictable.
- Cleveland’s best play call this season came in the second quarter on a fourth-and-one. Anderson play-actioned and rolled right before hitting a wide open Steve Heiden for a momentum-boosting 51-yard-gain.
- By the way, speaking of Heiden….Kellen Winslow, didya see the veteran tight end’s solid performance? Didya see his blocking? You think maybe you might shape up now that, you know, it’s obvious this team does not need you?
- Don’t drink the Matt Jones Kool-Aid. Yes, the guy had his first 100-yard game of what has been a fairly stellar season, but understand the bottom line with Jones: he’s an ultra-athletic former first-round pick who runs horrendous routes, wastes more motion than player in the game and shows less energy than a hungover Eeyore.
- Shaun Rogers is playing like a man on fire right now.
Seattle Seahawks 34, San Francisco 49ers 13
- Obviously the story of this game is the press conference held by Mike Singletary afterward. You have to admire the interim head coach’s purity. He’s clearly not a guy worried about his own job status. The rules have been laid down; Singletary can’t preach them in this manner too many times again. What he’s saying is right….it’s only a matter of whether the modern football culture – and specifically, the 49er football culture – can handle it.
- If Singletary is using this season as an audition, then he should fire Mike Martz right now. Martz’s offense is a quarterback killer and head coach killer.
- Case in point: J.T. O’Sullivan. San Francisco was wise to make the move to Shaun Hill. It’s one thing for a quarterback to not be making plays – it’s another to be giving up plays. With 17 turnovers on the year, that’s what O’Sullivan was doing.
- Believe it or not, Seattle is just two games out in the NFC West. Their season is far from over.
- I was going to make a joke about the 49ers giving up 116 yards receiving and two touchdowns to Seahawks fullback Leonard Weaver, but after seeing Weaver’s highlights, it would be almost unethical for me to not take the opportunity to genuinely praise the man. Not only is Weaver a very good blocker, he’s become a much nimbler runner. He actually shows a burst.
Houston Texans 35, Cincinnati Bengals 6
- It might be time to start thinking about the possibility of a winless season in Cincinnati. The mere thought of that is staggering when you consider the number of talented young players on the roster. But Cincy’s already halfway there and heading into the second half of the season with no quarterback, running game or heart.
- Any quarterback controversy in Houston is officially off the radar completely. Matt Schaub was 24/28 in this game for 280 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.
- Schaub’s touchdowns were distributed to wideouts Kevin Walter (two) and David Anderson (one). I wonder…is three touchdown passes to white wide receivers a single-game record in the salary cap era?
- It’s great to see Dunta Robinson back and playing well after that horrendous leg injury he suffered last season. Robinson could be a real difference-maker in Houston’s secondary down the stretch.