Last Week: Miami Dolphins 21 New England Patriots 0
Record: 9-4, 1st in AFC East, 4th in AFC
Next Week vs Houston Texans (4-9)
*This may sound weird, but I'm actually less worried about the 21-0 loss since it came at the hands of the Miami Dolphins. That's not to say I was encouraged by the shutout in South Beach, but I'm not going into full blown panic mode either. The fact is, Nick Saban and the Dolphins are very familiar with what Belichick and the Patriots like to do. They know our schemes, they know some of our signals, and thanks to some interesting audio tapes they got their hands on (the league is looking into where the Dolphins obtained these tapes seeing as the NFL only gives teams game tapes without audio), apparently they knew some of Tom Brady's audible calls at the line. That being said, it still isn't acceptable that the Pats were shutout 21-0. Tom Brady looked more like Rex Grossman, Matt Light was beaten by Jason Taylor like he was caught banging his sister (sorry Zach Thomas) and the Pats secondary looked like, well, they looked like they were a group of no name street walkers (not too far from the truth). Granted Maroney was out, but you can't tell me he's the difference between a win and a 21-0 loss. Nah, they just had a bad game. It happens you know, it's just that here in Patriot country we aren't all that used to it. So, like I said, I'm not going to panic just yet, but if the Pats are anything less than impressive next week against the lowly Texans, then I will no doubt start tossing peeps under the bus. And not that mini bus that the "special" kids ride on either.
NFL News and Notes
*Think the Houston Texans still believe they made the right decision in the draft? Not only have they had to watch Reggie Bush run wild all season, but this Sunday they learned that they didn't just make the wrong pick, they may have alienated all their fans by doing so. And it's not because they passed on Bush, but on QB Vince Young. A lot of Texan fans thought this was a no-brainer. Young grew up 7 miles from Reliant Stadium in Houston, and of course won a National title at the University of Texas. Add to that, most Texan fans have already had it with current QB David Carr and would have loved nothing better than to add their prodigal son to the hometown team. Instead, Texan GM Bob McNair and head coach Gary Kubiak decided that they would stick with Carr (and their current RB Dominick Davis) and add who they believed to be the best defensive player in the draft, DE Mario Williams. Granted it's only 13 games into this season, but right now the returns aren't looking good. While Williams is struggling to make plays, Young is 6-4 in his first 10 starts along with 4 straight wins. The kid has that "it" factor that you just can't explain. His numbers will never be great, but I'll be damned if he won't carry you to some wins all by himself. The dagger? Playing for the Titans, VY will be in Houston once every season, throwing the Texans mistake in their face for a decade+ to come.
*Chargers RB LaDanian Tomlinson set the single season touchdown record this week when he ran for 3 more against the Denver Broncos, bringing his season total to 29. I've said many times throughout the season that LT is establishing himself as one of the greatest running backs of all-time, and this only helps to validate that. I will personally be rooting for him to get to 40, although I don't see it happening. But the best part is, the guy is only 6 years in, and barring injury (trust me I just knocked on wood), we could possibly see him break this record....a few times. Freaking awesome.
*Speaking of LT, If it weren't for him, the New Orleans Saints would probably be in line to win every award the 2006 season has to offer. Drew Brees leads the NFL in passing yardage (4,033), QB rating (101.2), touchdown passes (25) and is second in completion % (66.4). Not to mention he's leading a team that owns their division at 9-4 and has an inside track to a first round bye in the playoffs despite going 3-13 only a year ago. It's safe to say that if not for LT this year, Brees would be the run away winner for the MVP. Next in the Mardi Gras parade is head coach Sean Payton. Only a year ago he was helping Bill Parcells win games in Dallas. Now, he's fresh off a stomping of his mentor, and has the whole league talking about the turn around he's helped pull off on the Bayou. He's got this thing won hands down, unless some idiots decide to chose that fat, pear-shaped loser that roams the sidelines for the Jets. Finally, there's Reggie Bush. Despite being the most hyped draft pick in Saints history and starting out slowly, Bush has more than answered all his critics. His rushing might not be what people thought, but he is on pace for 100 receptions and has been scoring TDs in bunches lately. And if it's not Bush, why not the rookie from Deleware, WR Marques Colston. Before getting hurt a few weeks back, Colston might be running away with the damn thing. Even with the two missed games, the guy has gone nutty to the tune of 59 grabs, 917 yards and 7 TDs. Gotta give it to the Saints. Not only do they bounce back from a 3-13 season, but they bounce back in a city destroyed by a flood while stomping out the best teams in the league. Props to you Big Easy, for taking one of the toughest situations ever to face an NFL team and turning it into a season for the ages.
My NFL Picks
Last Week: 4-2-0
2006 Season: 43-36-6 (.541)
*Would have been nice to cap the week with a ballsy Monday Night win, but it wasn't meant to be. Good news is, 3 other games I considered picking this week all would have been winners. Now I know what you're thinking. I bet you think there were probably 4 games on top of that that I thought about picking that I would have lost right? Wrong. I'm feelin' hot bitches!
1. Ohio St. (8-1) 1
2. Pittsburgh (10-0) 2
3. Florida (8-2) 3
4. UCLA (8-0) 6
5. UNC (7-1) 7
6. Wisconsin (9-1) 8
7. Alabama (8-1) 5
8. Kansas (8-2) 9
9. Wichita St. (10-0) NR
10. UCONN (8-0) NR
just missed: Texas A&M, Gonzaga, Duke, LSU, Oklahoma St.
dropped: (4) Texas A&M, (10) Marquette