Note: The photo is courtesy of Mass Hysteria Sports.

The New England "defense": I've never actually seen someone reanimate a corpse before, but watching the Patriot defenders bring Ronnie Brown back to life was the next best thing. Brown rushed for 113 yards on 17 carries and punched in four touchdowns. He even threw a 19-yard to Anthony Fasano midway through the third quarter. It was like watching LaDainian Tomlinson in a Ronnie Brown suit.

How bad was the New England D? Four of Brown's five touchdowns -- wrap your head around that for a second: five touchdowns -- came on the old "direct snap to the running back" play, which hardly ever works. Said Patriots safety Rodney Harrison: "I don't know why in the world we couldn't stop that play. They just came in and beat our butts. You've got a bitter taste in your mouth." Yeah. And that taste...well, insert your own "Brown" joke here.

And for the record, it wasn't just Brown. Ricky Williams motored his way to 98 yards on 16 carries. That's a combined 211 yards from two guys who had averaged only 2.6 yards per carry in two games against the Jets and Cardinals. Yes, the Jets and Cardinals. Oh, and Chad "I keep getting left for dead, and for good reason" Pennington was 17-for-20 for 226 yards and a QB Rating of 113.8.

I'll tell you what it was like. Remember that scene in Clash of the Titans where Perseus was fighting Medusa in that room full of statues, only the statues were actually proud old warriors Medusa had turned to stone? Well, the Pats were those stoned warriors, while Brown and Williams were a nasty, two-headed Medusa.

Matt Cassel, quote machine: That popping sound you just heard was the Matt Cassel bubble. The Rawhide Kid tossed for 131 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and finished with a QB Rating of 68.1. For the sake of clarity, that was 90.2 points below Ronnie Brown's QB Rating. Saying that Cassel was ineffective yesterday is like saying that existing on a diet composed of butter, gravy, and cake frosting is an ineffective way to not becoming a sloshing fatbag. But don't worry: Matt is staying upbeat on this one: "We have to go out and regroup. It is a learning situation for me, playing from behind." Oh yeah? Tell me, Mr. I've Spent Most Of My Career Sitting On The Bench, what isn't a learning situation for you right now?

The Oakland Panty-Raiders: The Silver and Black had a 23-7 lead with about eight minutes left in the game. In most places on this planet, that's a pretty safe lead. But not when Oakland is involved. The Raiders watched in mute but unsurprised horror as the Bills scored 17 straight points in those eight minutes to win 24-23. But this wasn't Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed. It was Trent Edwards, Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans. Although it should be noted that Rian Lindell tried to pull a Scott Norwood when he missed a 46-yard field goal in the third quarter, but he made up for it by booting in the go-ahead 38-yarder as time expired. The Bills are now 3-0 (for the first time since 1992) and alone atop their division, and the Raiders...are not. You can probably expect Raider head coach Lane Kiffen to be released from hell fired sometime today.

The Houston Texans: Yes, the Titans are good. And yes, the Houston Texans are bad. So very, very bad. Like "I just discovered a live, wriggling cockroach in my hamburger" bad. The Texans got mashed to pulp, giving up 31 points while scoring only 12 themselves...this despite making it inside the Titan's 14-yard line six times. The one bright spot for Houston fans was the play of rookie running back Steve Slaton, who racked up 116 yards on 18 carries and scored the team's only touchdown. (We won't talk about how he was stuffed on fourth-and-goal from the Tennessee three-yard line with about seven minutes to go.)

Matt Schaub: Mr. Schaub is like a dagger somebody stabbed deep in the heart of the Texans. Yesterday, he completed only 45.9 percent of his passes (17-for-37), got sacked three times, and threw three interceptions, the last of which got run back 99 yards for a touchdown. On the season, Schaub has thrown one touchdown versus five interceptions, and his QB Rating is 50.3 (it was 27.8 yesterday against the Titans).

Gary Kubiak: It's bad when a team sucks, and it's even worse when that team's coach is an idiot. But such is the case with the poor Texans. Kubes didn't throw the challenge flag in the second quarter on a 37-yard reception in which the Titans' Justin McCareins pretty clearly didn't get his feet inbounds. Kubiak swallowed his red flag again later on that same drive when LenDale White "scored" a one-yard touchdown in which he never crossed the goal line. Then, in the third quarter, he chose to go for it on fourth-and-four instead of kicking a sure-thing field goal. It should be noted that his team was only trailing by 12 at the time. That might have been a big three points for the Texans...but we'll never know, will we?

New Orleans Saints: Do I know my teams or do I know my teams? Go back and reread my picks for the weekend. This is what I said about the Saints-Broncos game: "I'm expecting a shootout in the first half followed by the Saints' patented second-half El Foldo." Well, check, check and double-check. All thanks to...

Martin Gramatica: Now it's time for a Scott Norwood reference. Gramatica -- who, unbelievably, was once nicknamed "Automatica" -- blew two field goals yesterday, the second of which was a 43-yarder that could have put the Saints up 35-34 with less than two minutes remaining. This seems as good a time as any to mention that Martin shares 23 chromosomes with Bill Gramatica, the kicker who tore his ACL while celebrating a field goal.

Sean Payton: He watched his quarterback throw for 421 yards while completing 81 percent of his passes (39-for-48), and yet -- with time ticking away and his team desperately needing a first down -- he called a running play on third-and-short that got stuffed harder than Tera Patrick. Thus it was necessary to pin the team's hopes on a 43-yard field goal. And, as noted, their kicker is Martin Gramatica. Not smart, coach. Not smart.

Mike Shanahan, quote machine: After barely escaping fate for the second straight week, Shanahan said: "It's nice to give up 32 points and still win the football game." Yeah, the Broncos are making a habit of that. Fortunately, next up: The Kansas City Chiefs!

Ben Roethlisberger: Sweet boogie-woogie-ing Christ. Big Ben -- who's my fantasy quarterback, by the way -- threw an interception, fumbled the ball away once, and got sacked eight times before getting knocked out of the game with a hand inury. Eight! His "performance" was good for -10 points in my fantasy league. I guess I should have started Delhomme. He only got 0.6 points, but that's still almost an 11-point swing. Ouch.

Willie Parker: This dude, who is also on my fantasy team, ran for 20 yards on 13 carries. Did I mention that my other stud RB is LaDainian "My toe is killing me" Tomlinson? Which is why I was disproportionaly happy when I picked Steve Slaton up off waivers. I hate my life.

The Steelers' offensive line: The allowed nine sacks (with backup Byron Leftwich suffering sack number nine) and gave up a safety (Roethlisberger threw the ball away in the end zone because he was surrounded and scared for his life). I'm not saying the Eagles weren't playing inspired defense, because they were...but come on, now. That line was getting spun faster than a turnstyle soaked in WD-40.

The Cleveland Browns: Last year's feel-good team is this year's feel-bad team. (Well, one of them anyway, along with Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, and St. Louis.) Yes, my friends, they are who we thought they were. Derek Anderson (14-for-37, 125 yards, 1 TD, 3 INTs, 5 sacks and a QB rating of 22.9) is rapidly transforming into Cade McNown. Braylon Edwards (3 receptions, 27 yards) looks less focused and more disinterested than Randy Moss did in Oakland. And Jamal Lewis (56 yards on 12 rushing attempts)...well, last season was a contract year, so what did you really expect? Brady Quinn Era, here we come.

Romeo Crennel, quote machine: After watching his team get pummeled by the Ravens, Crennel said: "I don't know whether we're trying to live off the success we had last year, but it's not working." Finally the coach makes a good call!

The Indianapolis Colts: Ah, the people of Indianapolis finally have something to take their minds off of the Colts' offensive line injuries: The team's once-again woeful run defense! The Jaguars heretofore MIA running game ran all over the Colt defenders. Fred Taylor rushed for 121 yards on 26 carries and Maurice Jones-Drew ran for another 107 yards on 19 carries. Seriously, if I hadn't watched Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams tapdance on, over and around the New England D, I would have said that the Colts run defense was the most pathetic I have ever seen. As it is, they'll have to satisfy themselves with being the second-worst I've ever seen. Oh, and the fact that their pass defense couldn't keep the Jags out of field goal range with about a minute left? That's pretty bad, too.

The Jags-Colts officiating crew: In the second quarter, Rashean Mathis intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and ran it back 61 yards for a touchdown. That's a pretty big play for a game that ends 23-21, no? It was a great play by Mathis, which was no doubt helped by the fact that he used a fistful of jersey to spin Marvin Harrison out of position before breaking in front of Harrison for the grab. It was a pretty easy call to make -- or, rather, it should have been -- but the the officials missed it.

Which brings up another subject. I think somebody should track interception stats so that we can know how many happen because the quarterback makes a bad decision or a lousy throw, and how many happen because the receiver bobbles the ball or misses a catchable pass, or because somebody interfers (as Mathis did) but doesn't get called for it, or because of a last-second Hail Mary pass, etc. Wouldn't that be interesting? I mean, let's say two QBs each have 16 interceptions on the season, but QB #1 only has five INTs that were entirely his fault while QB #2 has 11 that were his fault. That tells us something about each of those QBs, doesn't it?

My teams: I follow the Bears because I live in Chicago, the Colts because I grew up in Indiana, and the Saints because I love Drew Brees and the city of New Orleans. All three suffered heartbreaking losses. The Football Gods, they hate me. Now, futuremrsrickankiel is covering the NFC this week, but I still have to point out what I said about the Bears in our weekly picks: "I see Chicago coughing this one up in painful fashion, followed by three days worth of 'The Bears should have held on to Brian Griese' stories." Do I know my teams, or do I know my teams? (And yes, I know I blew the Colts pick, so don't bother to call me out on it. Meh.)

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I was a bit puzzled by the Oakland comment, because the game was played in Buffalo. But then I decided no matter where Oakland plays, a clusterfuck can ensue...and that is the thought!
Well, maybe Lane could take a quick side trip to SU as it is one of the rumors for his next destination.

Blogger Trev said...
I failed to start Ronnie Brown in my fantasy league and lost by 30. Hooray me!!

Anonymous AK Dave said...
Yes you know your teams... but apparently not your fantasy players! -10? Whoah... nice call. You should join my league so that I can win for a change :) J

Blogger m. Alana said...
I was starting the NE defense in the Ladies' fantasy league.


Now I have to hope and pray that Marmalard can make up a 21-point deficit tonight. Help me, Philip Rivers. You're my only hope.

Anonymous Ronnie Brown said...
Fuck you too, man.