Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Posted: Monday September 24, 2007 5:59AM; Updated: Tuesday September 25, 2007 9:02AM
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 3
a. My God. Those Eagle uniforms. Vomitous. Ridiculous. Pajama-like.
b. Huge non-interference call on the Packers' first offensive series, with the Pack in San Diego territory and Donald Driver getting mugged. Four minutes later, it's 7-0 San Diego on a Philip Rivers TD throw.
c. Jon Gruden really has his team ready to play.
d. Get off Brian Billick's back, Baltimore. Steve McNair is going to have a bad groin all season. The team will need Kyle Boller to relieve competently and win -- which he's done now twice.
e. Hurry it up, Jay Cutler. There's a playoff spot hanging in the balance of your maturation process.
f. Quietly, Eli Manning is proving he can handle everything New York throws at him.
g. Leftover Spygate Note of the Week: One of the major benefits of videotaping the signals, I'm told, is that Belichick was able to identify which coordinators and assistant coaches in the league were slow to make their play calls. When the Patriots played these teams, Belichick and the offensive staff often planned to run more no-huddle than usual. Now, just because the plays aren't videotaped anymore, presumably it doesn't seem like that would be impossible to detect anyway. Just have a scout in the press box or a staffer study the sideline signal-callers and note how much time is left on the play clock when they begin their signals and how much time is left when they end.
h. Want Perspective of the Week? Read Barry Horn's story in Sunday's Dallas Morning News about the journey of former Cowboys offensive lineman Alan Veingrad (now Schlomo Veingrad) from the Super Bowl to, as Horn writes, "ultra-orthodox Judaism'' in Florida. Fascinating read.
2. I think when I hear Tedy Bruschi, the ultimate honorable competitor, rail about the Patriots' honor and how he'll stand up to anyone who questions the team's integrity, I'm really hearing him say: I'm ticked off that our great record has been sullied by Rodney Harrison's HGH suspension and Belichick getting caught videotaping other teams' signals.
3. I think it's time for a mercy benching in Chicago. Watching the first half of the Bears-Cowboys game on Sunday night with Cris Collinsworth and a few of the lads at NBC, we heard John Madden and Al Michaels, rightly, taking Rex Grossman's temperature after good throws and bad. And we agreed you can't play football if judgments are passed after every other throw. But for Grossman, that's what it's come to now. The anti-Grossman camp, which must be 85 percent of the Bear fans, is drowning out the pro-Grossmans, which by now may just be family and friends. For the sake of trying to get this team back on its feet, Lovie Smith has to the do the right thing in that locker room and make a change.
4. I think the poor Bills just can't catch a break. Now it's Paul Posluszny, their leading tackler, breaking his forearm and following Koy Wire and Ko Simpson to the sidelines indefinitely. Saw some good things from fellow rookies Marshawn Lynch and third-round pick Trent Edwards, relieving the injured J.P. Losman. But this is going to be a lost season for the Bills. Too many injuries. Not enough time to get them back.
5. I think one of the great things about this game is how you can have the shovels throwing dirt on you one week, then you can win the next week playing totally unlike you've been playing all along. The Giants had been a sieve on defense, with injuries and poor play on the verge of killing their season. Not so fast. Four stops inside the 5-yard line on the last Washington series of the game saved their season.
6. I think it was justice that the Raiders won a game the same way they'd lost it last week, calling a timeout to distract Cleveland kicker Phil Dawson just before he kicked a late field goal. As in Denver last week, when Broncos coach Mike Shanahan called a timeout, freezing kicker Sebastian Janikowski, he did it on time but Janikowski hit the kick anyway. When he had to re-kick, he hit the left upright. Same this week, almost exactly. Dawson made the free-out field goal that did not count, then had the one that counted blocked by Tommy Kelly.
"The tough thing in this game,'' Kiffin said in midweek, "is that it's such a game of inches. In college, it's so different. But I tell guys here that if they can just make one more play than they made in the game, there's a good chance we can win. How many games do you see where it comes down to one play at the end. It's amazing.'' Right now, the last two Oakland games have come down to that final play.