Where else to begin this week in review but with the first tie that the NFL has seen in 6 years. All I can say is, it’s about time. There may be nothing better than seeing two teams that you have no vested interest in playing in overtime as time slowly ticks away. Anytime the clock gets to about 5 minutes remaining, I no longer want any team to win, and I was finally rewarded.
The real reason that the Eagles-Bengals outcome is good for the league is that it proves that moving to the overtime rules utilized in the college game is not necessary. There are three distinct phases to the game of football. Having your offense start with the ball guarantees nothing. I’m tired of everyone moaning about how the rules of overtime need to be changed any time a team takes the ball and scores on their first possession. If getting the ball was the only prerequisite to scoring, then college overtime games would never end.
So, enough about tweaking the rules of overtime, instead concentrate on changing the rules so that defenders can hit the quarterback again without being penalized and fined. Even kickers are protected less these days.
Other Games of the week:
Tampa Bay 19, Minnesota 13 – This one harkened back to when Tampa was part of the old black and blue NFC Central. Lots of sacks, hard hits and turnovers, and the game was still up in the air until the final Minnesota fumble. Tampa was also able to keep pace with Carolina in the ultra competitive NFC South.
Indianapolis 33, Houston 27 – So much for counting Indy out of the playoffs. Houston, as usual, kept this divisional game close, but in the end did not have enough to get past Indy. Things are tightening up in the AFC, and the playoffs may not be decided until the final weekend of the season.
Denver 24, Atlanta 20 – Speaking of the AFC playoffs, Denver was able to extend its lead in the AFC West while taking out the surprising Falcons. It took a little luck, as the Falcons dropped a potential game winning touchdown in the waning minutes of this one, but Denver, down to its 4th string running back, had just enough to try and wrap up a division title.
Tennessee 24, Jacksonville 14 – The Tennessee victory train just keeps on rolling along. They are not getting nearly the press as past unbeaten teams at this point in their seasons, but that’s just the way they like it. This team may fly under the radar all the way to the Super Bowl, which is surprising considering just a few weeks ago, many were wondering how they would get past the Vince Young debacle.
Pittsburgh 11, San Diego 10 – For the first time in NFL history a game ended with a final score of 11-10. Also for the first time in NFL history an illegal forward pass that wasn’t illegal and had no consequence on the outcome of the game caused multiple heart attacks in casinos across the country as San Diego went from covering, to not covering, to covering once again, for no apparent reason over the course of 10 agonizing minutes.
Dallas 14, Washington 10 – Dallas is back in the thick of the NFC wild card race once again, and not a moment too soon. The Cowboys still aren’t quite clicking on offense, but they were able to buy themselves one more week to try and work out the kinks for a stretch run.
Arizona has opened up a 4 game lead in the NFC West. Ridiculous.
Finally, the real Jim Haslett has come back to coach the Rams.
Chicago may want to hold a team under 30 points before the Bears talk about having a top defense in this league.
Same with the Ravens.
Didn’t Kansas City used to have home field advantage?
If the Miami Dolphins are 2008’s cardiac kids, then the Raiders are the senile old men. Oh wait, that’s just Al Davis.
Carolina’s 8-2. Just throwin’ that out there.
Monday Night Football:
I think you all know where 'The Greek' stands on this one. This is a must-win game for the Bills as they have been mired in a three-game losing streak and need to keep pace in the competitive AFC East. The Browns have thrown in the towel on this season that is when they’re not throwing each other under the bus. The Bills will circle the wagons with a hot crowd on Monday night and get their playoff drive back on track.
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