Well, even though the Jaguars do everything but admit it, looks like David Garrard is now their QB. David, take some advice from an old statistician. As long as you keep your passes per game low (17 and then 22 in your two starts) and runs per game high (46 and 33), you're going to have some very pretty pass-rating numbers. That's the way the system works. Of course, you might not end up with enough attempts (14 needed per game, and that includes the ones in which you didn't play) to qualify, but that's OK. Someone on the club can carve you a trophy.
Rod Marinelli, the Lions' coach, has figured out the formula for containing Michael Vick. "When you're chasing this guy," says Marinelli, whose Lions beat Atlanta on Sunday, "the first guy, the second guy and the third guy are probably going to miss. It's going to be the fourth guy to run him out of bounds or get him down or stay alive." OK, today you'll be the fourth guy, Joe. Here's a supply of field rations and a canteen of water. Good luck.
All the crazy, unexplained losses can make you cynical, if you let them. As I told my wife the other day, "Straight up, underdogs lead favorites, 258-192, so far." "Wait a minute, 450 games haven't been played," she said. "See," I said, "didn't I tell you it was a crazy year."
This is what happens when you've handicapped a team to win. You forget all the screwups, all the missed blocks and tackles. But that terrible non-interference call at the end when T.J. Houshmandzadeh was wrapped up in a tight bear hug by the Ravens' Ronnie Prude, is the one that drives you absolutely wild. "Did you see that! Did you see that!" I'm yelling in a house that is empty -- except for Little Jake the tabby. She didn't see it.
Did you see the numbers that Tony Romo ran up against the Skins? Try 24-for-36 for 284 yards and a ranking of 109.0. Do you realize that these kind of numbers in, say, the John Unitas era would have people talking about Romo as if he were the second coming. That's another reason why I don't like the system.
I picked them to beat the Skins. They're 7-0 under Andy Reid, following the bye week. Hank Goldberg, the ESPN handicapper, is very big on these kinds of trends. I keep telling him, "Hammer, as they say in Vegas, the wheel has no memory." Now I'm doing it myself. Lord have mercy.
While all that crazy stuff was going on at the end, I was watching Joe Gibbs on the sideline. Not a cheer, not a shriek, no nothing. Even Tom Landry used to show emotion at times like these. What is it with this guy?
I get a very warm and comfortable feeling when the Buffalo special teams play such a big role in a victory. Very few people work as hard at it, or are such nice guys as their coach, Bobby April, and the people on these units. It wasn't only long runbacks that sunk Green Bay. It was Brian Moorman, punting out of his end zone. Backed up and facing unpredictable winds, he kept booming them out of there and giving his team field position. He and the Chargers' Mike Scifres are my two all-pro favorites at this point. (Damn, I did it again, and I swore not to.)