Week 8 has its football stories to remember for a good time to come. Some were simple picks but as usual the upsets rolled right in, with them was an action packed week with high scoring and great plays. Some teams handled themselves as expected as others fell apart at the seams.
The Bears and Colts kept their winning streaks with 7 in a row while the Cardinals also have 7 in a row, the other way with the worst start and record in the NFL. The Giants seem to be everyone’s favorite team lately while the season warms up at the mid point. So far this is what we saw for week 8.
Giants 17 – Buccaneers 3
Line Giants -9½ Total 38
The Barber Bowl proved to be a strategic game for the Giants. Weakened by the lack of 5 defensive players and playing in a windy Giant Stadium, the home team proved to be a methodical machine that over powered the Buccaneers permitting only one score, a field goal in the second quarter. Giants covered the spread and the game went under in a low scoring defensive rally.
Bears 41 – 49ers 10
Line Bears -16½ Total 41
“We don’t want to cause no trouble; we’re just here to do the Super Bowl shuffle?”
Since the 1985 Bears lead by Jim McMahon and William “Fridge” Perry, the Chicago Bears have not looked so good. The defensive line picked off Alex Smith three times in the first half to jump out and open the game by 24 points in the first quarter. You had to have been pleased to lay the points and play the over. It wouldn’t have been the trend to bet the over but if you did. CHEERS!
Chiefs 35 – Seahawks 28
Line Chiefs -6 Total 37
A depleted Seattle team with no quarterback and no MVP running back has proven to be weak and confused, at best. Hasslebeck and Alexander are greatly missed and the somewhat erratic Chiefs were able to walk away from Arrowhead stadium with a win. Both teams brought substitute quarterbacks to the field but Damon Huard walked away with a win over Seneca Wallace maybe due to home field advantage, maybe due to so many injuries. Who cares! If you bet the chiefs who could cover with one touchdown or push with two field goals, you loved it! Total over as well? How could you not, new quarterbacks throw interceptions and Wallace proved it, he also tossed for 3 touchdowns but running back Larry Johnson would not be outdone.
Jaguars 13 – Eagles 6
Line Eagles -7½ Total 38
Ok so Byron Leftwich gets hurt and the Jaguars go to David Garrard. Garrard and Fred Taylor take control of the situation and go on the road to bring in the win. Amazingly, Fred Taylor rushes for 103 yards and 1 touchdown, Maurice Jones-Drew carries 21 times for 77 yards and David Garrard adds 36 yards on 8 carries to 10 completions for 87 yards without a touchdown pass. A disappointing offense plays one very tough defense when Donavan McNabb, at home, facing swirling winds and a tough secondary cannot connect with returning star receiver Donte’ Stallworth..
Jags plus the points was a very fine pick and their defense can only make you want to bet the under. Any winners with this upset this weekend? If you had one make some noise. Great win for Jag fans.
Titans 28 – Texans 22
Line Titans -3 42
Old Oilers Bowl was a regular Texas style shoot out. The Texans passing up on Houston native Vince Young for defensive end Mario Williams turns back to bite them on the … David Carr had proven up to this game to be a good choice by completing 70.3 percent of his passes but against the Titans and a very able rusher in Young, that choice seemed dreadful. Young ran for a touch down and threw for another connecting with Bobby Wade early in the third quarter and a few defensive turnovers finished off this game. David Carr, sacked fours time and committing three turnovers, had his worse performance of the year going as far as obligating Coach Kubiak to replace him. Who would have expected his substitute Sage Rosenfels to out gun both quarterbacks and score 17 points coming off the bench in the third quarter for a stellar performance? Not US!
Titans cover easy with the old “just bet against the Texans” line but over 42? Sorry, we had the under!
Ravens 35 – Saints 22
Line Saints -2½ Total 37
The Ravens defensive unit showed to work on Sunday as usual. It’s no surprise that they walked away with two interceptions that they turned to gold with players like Ronnie Prude and Dawan Landry. The Defensive effort was expected but how about Steve McNair pouncing out an early drive that led to him running it in for a 5 yard touch down? Coming back from a concussion and poor performances the old boy is back and will most likely have a better half of the season from here on out. McNair connected three times for touchdowns in the first half. In spite of this Drew Brees, Joe Horn, Todd Heap and Marques Colston cannot be written off as not trying. Joe Horn became the all time team receiver with the most catches and the Brees-Marques connection seems to be warming up. Luck had to do with this game since there was lots of it on Heap’s touch down but in the end it was McNair’s passion and Billick’s play calling that won this game upsetting the Saints at home, becoming the first to spoil the Bayou party.
Close line for the home team trend didn’t work in this case and the shoot out might or might not have been expected. Baltimore plus, WINNER!
Falcons 29 – Bengals 27
Line Bengals -3½ Total 46
Trash talk went on for a week between corner back DeAngelo Hall and wide receiver Chad Johnson. Who had the last word? Michael Vick! That kid was on fire this Sunday bringing to the table a performance that Cincinnati players, fans and owners won’t ever forget. After ousting the Steelers last week, Vick passed ran and led his team to a win. Our humble opinion was Falcons and the Over! So we parlayed that baby!! Boy it feels good to have guessed that one. Vick threw for three touch downs hitting Crumpler, Jenkins and then Griffith passing for a total 291 yards passing and 55 yards rushing with three drives that Morten Anderson converted field goals on. Warrick Dunn’s 57 yards performance was low but the running game was really not present at this version of the OK Corral. Rudi Johnson scored a 1 yard touchdown on 46 total yards for the Bengals’ low rushing. Carson Palmer hosted an air display as well, hitting Chad Johnson for a touch down and later hitting Chris Henry for a 55 yard bomb that was just too little too late. Vick wound down the clock and gave it up with too little time to have it happen. If it did it would have down right been a miracle.
Did we say low margin and high Scoring? Yes we did! Take that to the bank.
Packers 31 – Cardinals 14
Line Green Bay -4 Total 44½
Old dog puts a beating on a young pup. That’s the head line here or could it be that after beating a bad team like the Dolphins and coming home to wait on yet another bad team like the Cardinals, Brett Farve and company now have some luck? Who knows, if we could guess the previous game, here we could only lose it all by not knowing what to take on the side and have guessed the total to stay under.
Ahman Green and Vernand Morency ran to combine 207 yards with each getting a 100 yard game. Green also punched in two touchdowns but Farve threw one and ran one in later. First Brett hit David Martin and later led the team down field to position Green. The Packers scored 21 points in the first half and the Cardinals only answered back with a 1 yard touch down run by Edgerrin James whose 24 carries for 84 yards was disappointing. This was a low passing lot’s of rushing game, at least for the Packers because Matt Leinhart’s 157 yards, 1 touchdown to Troy Walters and 1 interception along with James’ low performance permitted the cheesheads to gain confidence and take a victory.
Did we say “man I lost them both, can I have my money back?”
Chargers 38 – Rams 24
Line San Diego -9½ Total 46
LaDainian Tomlinson never went away folks. He might have had “bad” weeks but if you compare them to Sunday, they were terrible. It must be a problem sometimes to be so good; people will always expect so much of you. LT delivered though, rushing for 183 yards total on 25 carries but it was his two touch downs that made the difference early in the game. Steve Jackson later brought in a touch down for the Rams to take them to a halftime. Jackson’s rushing effort was dwarfed by Tomlinson though, Jackson rushed for 84 yards and his one touchdown before the half was all he could do against the San Diego defense directed by Shawne Merriman who taunted quarter back Marc Bulger by sacking him thee times.
To those of us who believe, the halftime score was scary but not trouble. That faith paid off in the end. As tough as the Rams defense was and how much they tightened up, the Chargers defense was also present, in their house. Marlon McCree was at home picking up a fumble and returning that for a 79 yard touchdown to pull a further lead on the Rams. The Rams not being out done traded off scores with the Chargers after this but LT’s advantage would not falter; late in the fourth he caught a pass from Philip Rivers for a 25 yard reception to seal the lead on the Rams.
The battle of the saint cities was s fun game to sit down and watch on the couch with a cold one and some chips. Just as much as we loved Atlanta we loved San Diego. Ok the points were high but so were our hopes. Over was the only way to go with that much spread, thank God some trends work once and a while.
Raiders 20 – Steelers 13
Line Steelers -9 Total 38½
This was an upset on many levels. It’s probably one of the worst displays in NFL history. The Steelers many expected to go and hammer a still playing awful Oakland Raiders was never to be found during this game. So much you couldn’t recognize a championship team here. The Steelers went in and committed all kinds of mistakes in the hands of Ben Rothlisberger when half way through the first quarter he threw two interceptions and one of the two Nnamdi Asomugha capitalized on for a 24 yard return. It seemed the concussion received in Atlanta was still very present.
In the second quarter Jeef Reed scored two field goals that Sebastian Janikowski answered to with one of his own to keep the Raiders in the lead. After halftime, Andrew Walter’s offensive was probably just as bad as Rothlisberger’s but without the concussion. Walter threw for 51 yards and no touchdowns with an interception that was never taken advantage of. All the same Oakland’s offensive amounted to nothing as Justin Fargas was held to 55 yards and the whole squad gained only 98 along with giving up 6 sacks. Big Ben still came back to put up some incredible numbers by passing for 301 yards, unfortunately for the Steelers 197 yards were thrown after they fell behind 20-6 and he tossed a pick to Chris Carr on the goal line to be returned for a 100 yard touch down. Willie Parker later caught a 25 yard throw to make it a final 20-13. The Steelers wasted drive after drive during this game and a spread of 9 could have easily been covered. We’d have guessed the under but a Steelers loss to quite possibly the worst team in the league?
Browns 20 – Jets 13
Line Browns -2 Total 37
The Jets went on the road this week to a game that was lost on a poor judgment call and on terrible offense. Chad Pennington was held to 108 yards passing no touch downs and two interceptions by Sean Jones. Some justice was made because the terrible call helped the team that hustled just a little more in this match. Mike Nugent made a chip shot in the first quarter that gave the Jets a momentary lead that later disappeared altogether. Phil Dawson got close enough to acquire a tie for the Browns with a 47 yard kick followed by a 2 yard touch down run by Reuben Droughns to take to the half. Droughns was outstanding against a Jets defense that permitted him a season high 125 yards while allowing Charlie Frye 141 yards of which a 30 yard pass was a touch down to Kellen Winslow.
Late in the third quarter Dawson put up one more field goal to a lead that gave way a mere 13 seconds later when Justin Miller ran back a punt for 99 yards. Nugent now puts one between the goal posts with a 47 yard bullet. Here is where the defenses trade off to place the Jets offense on the field one last time, on this drive Pennington hits Chris Baker with 59 seconds left in the end zone whose one handed spectacular grab was not enough. While in the air defensive back Brodney Pool knocked Baker out of bounds or so was decided. Game ended Jets lost. This was a toss up people. There was just no clear decision here but we would have guessed an under, these offenses really stink.
Colts 34 – Broncos 31
Line Broncos -3 Total 40½
Peyton Manning displayed an aerial assault in Denver this weekend. Throwing three touch downs and racking up 345 yards against one of the league’s toughest defensive units. Denver corner backs Champ Bailey and Darrent Williams were powerless against an arm that seemed like a gun. Precision passing and good scrambling won this game and although Jake Plummer had a great effort it was all for nothing, Manning would not be denied. It would actually seem, he knows exactly what to do against the Bronco defense. His three touchdowns hit Reggie Wayne who caught for 138 yards and was unstoppable.
Adam Vinatieri scored 4-4 field goals to win this one but his last was a 37 yard kick with only 2 seconds left on the clock.
Jake Plummer ran a touchdown in early and later tossed one to Jevon Walker. That and Mike Bell’s two touch downs, both from the 1 yard line made it a close game that Jason Elam tied late in the fourth quarter. The Colt’s had one last drive though and went up field to place Vinatieri to do what he does best, win the game in a last second kick.
We appreciate the Colts plus points and bringing in the total over. We got a push and a win, and we’ll take that over a split anytime!
Cowboys 35 – Panthers 14
Line Panthers -4½ Total 41
The fact that Drew Bledsoe was benched during last week’s game and was sidelined for this game gave Dallas Cowboys fans renewed hope in their team. Bill Parcells’ move was more than justified by the end of this game. Questioned as to why a 70 game starter sat it out during the whole week, Parcells intelligently let quarterback replacement Tony Romo do the talking. With a week to feel the ball out and practice plays Romo took the field. He brought mobility and precision to Carolina but only after The Panthers commanded a 14 point lead.
Jake Delhomme’s performance began well but ended up less than expected. On the two first opening drives he connected a few times to get the team up field but the scoring came in the hands of running back DeShaun Foster and wide receiver Steve Smith placing the Panthers in a comfortable lead. Maybe one they got too comfortable with and after losing starting corner back Ken Lucas, Dallas took to the field in the second quarter. Tony Romo pass completed 24 of 36 and threw for 230 yards once his confidence arose to the challenge. Before halftime, Romo hit Jason Witten in the middle to score a 3 yard touch down. This was followed very late in the quarter by Mike Vanderjagt who missed an earlier try but then placed a 38 yarder for a first half score 14-10.
Third quarter not being worthy of mention due to mistakes on both teams and no points scored since Delhomme could not connect with receivers who kept dropping the ball. Steve Smith, Michael Gaines, DeShaun Foster and Keyshawn Johnson dropped pass after pass and Johnson’s could have been a score. Fourth quarter was all Dallas and Romo connected with an array of receivers in order to seal the game, his favorite Terrel Owens who, being covered by rookie Richard Marshall, caught for 107 yards but no touch downs. Ownes and Terry Glenn helped the cowboys drive into Panther territory for more scores but it was Roy Williams’ interception run for right after Julius Jones’ 14 yard touchdown that doomed Carolina. Owens converted for 2 points after Jones’ effort and Marion Barber III punched in a 3 and a 14 yard touchdown late in the quarter to rally 25 points and win.
Dallas fans at heart bet this plus the points and we could only cheer for a total over. In the end it paid nicely.
Patriots 31- Vikings 7
Line Patriots -1½ Total 40
This game was as lop sided as a skinny kid playing with a fat child on a see saw. Brad Johnson, 185 yards on 20 completions of 33 passes, ended up benched for the last quarter as he watched Brooks Bollinger replace him to finish this defeat, at home. Johnson was sacked four times and was intercepted three times to end his performance. From the opening drive Tom Brady passed six times for 94 yards that led up field to a touchdown by Reche Caldwell for a 6 yard score. Chester Taylor was canned up during this game and ran for only 22 yards which didn’t help the Viking cause at all. Stephen Gostkowski came in and kicked a 23 yard chip shot which was followed up with another great drive of ten plays that ended in a 9 yard pass to Patriots’ Benjamin Watson for a 17-0 lead for the half.
Around the third quarter came a unbelievable punt return in the hands of Vikings’ Mewelde Moore, that went 71 yards. It seemed that the Patriots could not let off the throttle on this one so a minute and a half later, Laurence Maroney returned a punt for 74 yards to set up Troy Brown’s own 7 yard reception. The Vikings were beat but it wasn’t over, Brady still had one in the canon to pass off to Chad Jackson who caught a 10 yard reception that he ran in for a 24 point difference.
If you loved the Patriots and split with a total that should have gone over, Monday night you hated the Vikings for not scoring the gimme to make a parlay look great.
That’s all for this week’s recap. Have fun on Sunday.