November 23, 2009

Nail-biters galore

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

It sure was one hell of a weekend for nail-biting games in the NFL. The Colts, Cowboys, Lions, Jaguars and Raiders all had to hold on while their leads were threatened in the final minutes of their games. Then there were two big overtime games which saw the Giants and Chiefs sweat out big victories. If you’re a fan of excitement you got more than your money’s worth tuning in yesterday.

Indianapolis defeated Baltimore in a very simple way, it scored touchdowns and only allowed field goals. This Ravens team is now backed against the wall for their playoff run and their once-surprising offence now resembles its previous incarnation: One that can move the ball but lacks any sort of finish. At least now they have a kicker that’s competent.

If I could bet on such a thing, I would wager that the Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will be unemployed after this season. Two games in a row the highly talented outfit has struggled and somebody’s going to have to pay for it. You can blame Tony Romo’s bruised back for his poor performance — 152 yards, his smallest total in a win — but only scoring a TD with minutes left in the fourth quarter against a decimated and woeful Redskins is just shameful. At this rate, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a big choke job on Thanksgiving against suddenly frisky Oakland.

How are the Falcons hopes doing? Last season’s NFC “it” team isn’t looking so hot after falling to the turned-around Giants. It isn’t Matt Ryan’s fault though, blame their defence that can’t seem to contain anyone.

So, if Kyle Orton really was healthy enough to play, why didn’t he start when Chris Simms did nothing to inspire confidence last week in relief? Maybe he just didn’t want to get too beat up by the Chargers, who are rolling away with the AFC West title as I’m writing.

Speaking of rolling, the Saints were offered little resistance by the Bucs and now have a huge matchup next Monday against the Patriots. Do they even make numbers high enough for that game’s over/under? If it’s posted at anything less than 60, I’d bang the over. This one’s going to be a barn burner — and New Orleans’ first loss.

Talk all you want about Brett Favre and how he killed the Seahawks yesterday, but the real murderer is Brad Childress. You calling four TD passes inside the ten yard line absolutely killed Adrian Peterson’s potential fantasy day. That’s the area where he’s supposed to burst through your stout line and rumble in for an easy score. Stop letting Favre wing it and give Peterson his due.

I’m not sure what’s the biggest statement to take away from the Lions-Browns clash: How well the offences did or how poorly the defences played? When Brady Quinn is in position to win, there’s something to be said about how poorly your unit played. And when was the last time you saw a play run with literally no time left on the clock? Well that happened and it was the game-winner. Too bad nobody in Detroit could watch it.

Finally, Terrell Owens must really like his new coach/QB combo. After a largely disappointing first 10 weeks of the season, TO racked up 197 yards yesterday in interim coach Perry Fewell’s debut. It wasn’t enough to get the Bills a victory though, as the Jaguars were able to score on their final possession and ruin Fewell’s day.

This week: 6-8 (with Tennessee +5 tonight)
This season: 84-67-1

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