Usually I’m able to look at the games from Sunday and find a handful of games that really stick out as being great. This week, most of the games played fit in that category. Lots of important games were played that had huge divisional ramifications and most of those games actually played out as well or better than anticipated.
Games of the Week
Dallas 13, TampaBay 9: Not the greatest game ever played, but one that Dallas definitely needed. Every win that they can get through this portion of the schedule with Romo out is a big win, and keeps the heat and the TV cameras off this team for at least a couple days.
Miami 25, Buffalo 16: A painful game to watch and to review, but important in that it tightens up the AFC East. The Bills played one of their worst games of the season, and the Phins are not the same team they were last season, and took full advantage of it. The next two weeks will go a long way to determine the pecking order in the AFC East, with the Jets and Patriots both due up for the Bills.
New England 23, St. Louis 17: New England continues to find ways to win even without a quarterback or running back on the active roster. Meanwhile, Jim Haslett really has the Rams believing they can win, which is pretty amazing considering the "success" he enjoyed with the Saints not too long ago.
New Orleans 37, San Diego 32: Speaking of the Saints, they were able to win this shootout despite some poor clock management at the end of the game. Taking the intentional safety with a 7 point lead, the Saints left 1 second on the clock for the Chargers to attempt a very makeable 50 yard Hail Mary. The attempt fell short, but I’m sure everyone on the Saints sideline did not want to take that transatlantic flight if the Chargers managed to complete that pass.
NY Jets 28, Kansas City 24: Brett Favre gets booed at home, Tyler Thigpen throws for nearly 300 yards and 2 touchdowns, but the Jets still manage to get the W. The Jets are pesky and are still hanging around, but after going 1-1 in games against the Raiders and the Chiefs, a playoff spot seems to be a bit more of a reach than many may have thought even two weeks ago.
Carolina 27, Arizona 23: With all of the focus in the NFC on the East, this was a battle of 2 first place teams that were looking to get more of a stranglehold on their respective division leads. Carolina looks like they may be for real, and could be headed back to the playoffs in a competitive NFC South. The Cardinals fell in this game, but can afford to in that mess of a division that they play in.
Cleveland 23, Jacksonville 17: Cleveland, despite all the problems they seem to be having internally, is quietly trying to turn their season around. After winning 2 of their last 3 games, they are starting to resemble the team that everyone thought they could be, and are not going to be an easy out for anyone down the stretch.
Mike Singletary: This generation’s Jim Mora? Only time will tell.
The Lions once again managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Do you think the Jets would have passed on Favre and drafted Matt Ryan knowing what they know now?
The NFL survived steroids, labor strife, and Pacman Jones. And water pills will be what brings this organization to its knees?
Monday Night Football
This looked like a great game before the season started, and now it has become even more meaningful. A loss tonight and the Colts are pretty much out of the race for the division. A win and the AFC becomes even more of a mess than it already is. I know I’ll be watching.