"Fire! Fire from the sky! It must be Kurt Warner!"

The Carolina Panther's pass defense: Well, I feel about as stupid as those Oklahoma idiots who decided to play "chicken" with a cop. After spending last week bragging up the power of the Panther's awesome pass defense, I watched old man Warner destroy them the way his God demolished Sodom and Gomorrah: With pure fire and lightning, baby. Kurt completed 71 percent of his passes (35-for-49) en route to 381 yards and 2 touchdowns. And it's not like the Cardinals were setting up the pass with their stellar running game: Edge James rushed 7 times for 17 yards and Time Hightower had 6 attempts for only 3 yards. In the end, Carolina won the shootout, but only because Arizona, true to form, bungled the game way...

The Arizona Cardinals: You know I have to say it: The Cardinals are indeed who we thought they were. After building a surprising two-touchdown lead in the first half, the Cards spit in the face of prosperity by committing a handful of critical failures. First, late in the second quarter, coach Ken Whisenhunt decided to fake a 39-yard field goal attempt. On fourth-and-14. The play came up four yards short of a first down, so Arizona lost the ball and an opportunity for a pretty sure score. Then, early in the third quarter, James lost a fumble that gave the Panthers a shortened field and set up a game-tying TD pass by Delhomme. Warner responded on 'Zona's next possession by hitting Anquan Boldin for a two-yard touchdown, but Dirk Johnson bumbled the hold on the extra point, leaving Arizona with a 23-17 lead late in the third. (Note: That's four points the Cardinals gave up. This will be important later.) After a Delhomme-to-Smith TD gave Carolina a 24-23 lead, Warner was picked off near the goal line and the turnover was eventually translated into a Carolina field goal that accounted for the final score of 27-23. You guessed it: A FOUR POINT MARGIN OF VICTORY. You can't make this stuff up.

The moral of this story: Don't bet on Arizona on the road. Just. Don't. Do it.

Ken Whisenhunt, quote machine: Regarding his decision to go for it on freaking fourth-and-14 instead of just kicking a field goal and extending a double-digit lead on the road: "Maybe that was a little bit long to run that field goal fake." Brilliant deduction, coach.


Jake Delhomme's amazing man-crush: I had no idea Jake was so in love with Kurt Warner. Regading their pregame chit-chat, Delhomme said: "Talked to him a good while before the game. Didn't get to talk to him after. I would have probably asked him for his autograph." Then: "It's hard for me to watch our defense play because we're going over stuff, looking at pictures, but I caught myself watching him today. I'm proud of him." That's some serious love that dare not speak its name. I'm sorry to report, though, that Kurt's already spoken for. But don't worry. If the world's heaviest man can find love, so can you, Jake. So can you!

heavy man
"You can reach your goals. I'm living proof. BEEFCAKE!"

Bucs versus 'Boys: The final score was 13-9. I will now rip out my own eyes and set them on fire. Damn them for letting me watch this abomination.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneer "air show": Wow. Jeff Garcia threw 44 times yesterday. That was the plan? Seriously?! Hey, coach Gruden. Time for a new plan.

Brad Johnson, quote machine: BJ played the role of "game manager" to slow-and-steady-wins-the-race perfection yesterday, completing 19 passes for 122 yards. Boo if you must -- the Dallas fans sure did -- but that 3.7 yards-per-pass average was good enough for the win. And the Cowboys haven't been getting a lot of those lately, so don't expect any apologies from Brad. "We knew going in it was going to be an ugly game at times. Third-and-long, check it down, let them boo you -- that's OK by me. You’ve just got to manage the game." You tell 'em, Brad. And, really, it's our own fault. We should be teaching the youth of America to admire game managers, not game makers.

The Detroit Zeroes: Ford Field didn't sell out for the first time since it opened in 2002, and the fans not in attendence missed out on seeing their team scrap their usual "fall behind early and never recover" strategy to employ the slightly more depressing "take an early lead and hang onto it only to miserably fail at the end." I, for one, appreciate seeing Detroit fail in new and different ways. Although it's worth noting that they're still spreading their hoochies for opposing QBs: Jason Campbell was 23-of-28 for a season-high 328 yards with a touchdown and a career-high 127.4 passer rating, surpassing his previous career-high (established last year...against the Lions). Detroit has now allowed six of the seven quarterbacks they've faced this season set a career-high passer rating against them. They also watched Santana Moss catch a season-high nine passes for 140 yards, including a 50-yard TD that put the 'Skins ahead late in the third quarter. Moss also returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown. It was the first time Moss had acheived the feat since 2002. Oh, and Clinton Portis ran for 126 yards. The point, in case you missed it, is that if somebody on your fantasy team is facing Detroit this week, START HIM. Even if he dies mid-week, start him. The Zeroes are resurrecting everybody.

Chargers versus Saints: If you're a fan of shootouts, this game was for you. But I thought of this game as The Day That Defense Died. But who knows? Maybe that was all part of the plan. Said Chargers defensive end Luis Castillo: "I thought it was what the fans here wanted to see. I thought they wanted a high-scoring game. I thought they wanted to see the ball being thrown. I thought they wanted to see amazing athletes making amazing plays, and that's what they got." Amazing athletes making amazing plays? Sure. On one side of the ball, anyway.

Drew Brees, liar, liar, pants on fire: Regarding his team's win over the team that once spurned him: "This game was not about me proving a point or proving anybody wrong or saying they shouldn't have let me go. We beat a very good team today that needed a victory as badly as we did." I very nearly let this one go until he made the "We beat a very good team..." comment. That's when I knew he was screwing with us.

Michael Turner: His feast-for-famine season continues. Yesterday's numbers: 17 rushes for 58 yards, no TDs. And several thousand fantasy football team losses.

Andy Reid, quote machine: Regarding Brian Westbrook, who returned yesterday to rush for 167 yards and 2 TDs, the coach said: "He was dialed up." Memo to coach Reid: Stop trying to sound cool. You're fooling exactly nobody.


San Francisco 49ers: Gak. These guys were so bad I thought new coach Mike Singletary was going to burst a vein during the game. Samuri Mike benched J.T. O'Sucksville after he got sacked thrice, fumbled twice and threw an interception on fourth down. Then he yanked tight end Vernon Davis for slapping a Seattle player's helmet, chewed the kid out on the sidelines, then sent him to the locker room. He probably wanted to launch the defensive line into space after Leonard "The Chunk Master" Weaver caught a couple short passes and shambled his fat butt downfield for TDs of 62 and 43 yards. But, since Singletary doesn't have access to NASA equipment, he was left to beg pardon from the Niner faithful for the team's pathetic suckage. Before he went into the locker room, he removed his hat and spoke to the fans above the tunnel, saying: "I apologize. I apologize to you guys." Good times, gooooooood times.

"We're number one! At sucking!

The Steelers' offensive line: What did Ben Roethlisberger do to piss them off? Sleep with all their girlfriends and baby mamas? Refuse to add them as friends on his Facebook page? Leave dismembered skunk parts in their lockers? Whatever happened, Roethlisberger got sacked five times yesterday, bringing his season total to 23. I'm half expecting them to buy him a new motorcycle for Christmas. Oh, and speaking of Big Ben...

Ben Roethlisberger: At least part of the reason this dude keeps getting sacked is because he stands in the pocket death-gripping the ball like it's an infant he's scared to drop. Do that for the 10 seconds or so and you're gonna get hit. And in addition to all those sacks, he also tossed four picks. Man, Ben, if you're that determined to help the other team out, why not just hand over your playbook or set the locker room on fire?

Lack of foresight: Steelers long snapper Greg Warren suffered a season-ending knee injury on his final snap of the third quarter. (I never realized snapping was such a dangerous occupation.) Anyway, this injury would prove to be Pittsburgh's undoing late in the game when, on fourth-and-22 from its 18, Steelers substitute snapper James Harrison -- who had never snapped in a game in high school or college, much less the NFL -- fired his first snap over the head of punter Mitch Berger and out of the end zone for a safety. That tied the score at 14-14.

Oh, but it gets worse. Berger injured his hamstring in the second quarter. After the safety, he had to launch a free kick from the Steelers' 20. It traveled only 49 yards and set the Giants up near midfield. From there, Eli led New York on its only touchdown drive of the game. The winning drive, as it turned out.

According to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: "Nobody has two deep snappers. The best you have after that is an emergency snapper. We identified James as our leading candidate. James Farrior was next." Yeah, how'd that work out for you, coach?

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Blogger DDC said...
Matt, awesome stuff man. WTF, was Ken Whisenhunt thinking? Anyway, I noticed a pattern with "Big Ben" in big games. The 2004 AFC Championship game against the Patriots, he threw 3 picks. One was a backbreaker that was thrown in the redzone and returned for a touchdown before the end of the 1st half. Then in the 2006 Super Bowl, the Steelers won in spite of him. His stat line that day a truly awesomely awful: 9-21; 123 yards, 2 picks and a QB rating of 22.6. Then in last season's playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars he threw 3 picks and one was returned for a touchdown. Obviously yesterday's game doesn't have the same type of importance, but man he was putrid yesterday.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Just some typos:

...and Tim Hightower...

instead of Time Hightower.


...bungled the game away...

instead of bungled the game way.

Anonymous Jon said...
Even worse was that the Cardinals had already made the field goal, but John fox had called time out. The announcer referred to the standard ice the kicker/ make them re-kick tactic as a clock-block, and I think that should be the term from now on. Almost as cool as Reggie's "man region" call.

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Wow, I didn't realize Edge was still alive! Thanks for the update. Clearly that move from Indy is working out.

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