Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Week 6: I'm out of popcorn

At 8-5 in the picks, we had a so-so week. I just wish there had been some hype leading up to the weekend's games.

Cleveland 41, Miami 31
Another stellar game for Derek Anderson against another awful team. You can see it coming: At some point the Browns are going to have to commit to either Anderson or Brady Quinn. As soon as they do, the QB they don't choose will become a "distraction," his name chanted by the fans whenever Cleveland falls behind by more than a touchdown. Eventually the team trades him away for a draft pick (if it's Quinn, a second-rounder; if Anderson, a third). As soon as he's gone, the QB who remains goes down with a knee injury. Or just starts sucking.

N.Y. Giants 31, Atlanta 10
Remember our standing feature "The 5 Dumbest Things Peter King Said This Week"? It might make sense to resurrect it as The 5 Dumbest Things Tony Kornheiser Said This Week. Kornheiser has now crossed over from merely annoying to utterly aggravating, and it seems Ron Jaworski is as fed up as I. On at least two occasions during Monday night's game, Jaworski interrupted a Kornheiser dissertation to tell him to shut his fool ass up. The first came early in the game, after Eli Manning had put together two fairly decent drives. Kornheiser began unspooling a (clearly rehearsed) monologue in which he asked whether this would be the game that will prove that Manning is worthy of sharing his brother's last name. Shut the fuck up, Tony. He's playing the Falcons. There's nothing to prove when you play the 2007 Falcons. Then, later, Kornheiser began throwing dirt on Bobby Petrino's tenure as Atlanta's coach. Jaworski, incredulous, tried to point out that it's only the sixth week of the season, and that the one player around whom the entire Falcons franchise was built is unavailable because he's going to prison, so it's way, way too early to declare Petrino either a success or a failure. Kornheiser was having none of it. Of course he wasn't. See, Kornheiser is a talking head. That means that when he asks a question like "Is Petrino finished?" he doesn't actually want to know the answer. The point is to throw open a controversy that can be discussed ad nauseam. Not only is the question more important than the answer; the answer is absolutely meaningless. Poor Jaworski. All he knows is the correct answer.

New England 48, Dallas 27
Remember back in 2004, when Peyton Manning was pursuing Dan Marino's touchdown passes record, and every time he threw a short TD -- like, 1 to 5 yards -- he was accused by Tom Brady partisans of just padding his stats? Well, Brady had a 1-yard TD pass Sunday. Just sayin'. After the game, Terrell Owens declared that the Patriots are not, in fact, the best team in the NFL. The Steelers and Colts are pleased that T.O. has their back.

Green Bay 17, Washington 14
Tampa Bay 13, Tennessee 10
Jacksonville 37, Houston 17
Baltimore 22, St. Louis 3
San Diego 28, Oakland 14

Minnesota 34, Chicago 31
Here's what I'm so tired of hearing: "When will teams learn that they should never kick to Devin Hester?" Hell, if the rest of the Bears keep playing like this, there's really no harm in letting Hester score a TD or two. What was funny about this game was that just six days after the Bears came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat the Packers, about half the crowd at Soldier Field just gave up and left when the Bears were down by 14 to the Vikings with four minutes left. Front-runners. Sure enough, the Bears came back to tie, greatly assisted by a Vikings secondary that must have thought they saw a naked lady in the Bears backfield, because they were standing around staring as Hester blew right past them for the tying touchdown.

Kansas City 27, Cincinnati 20
It's been a few years, but these are the Cincinnati Bengals we all remember. It's interesting how, when a team isn't winning anymore, wide receivers' colorful antics suddenly aren't do funny anymore.

Philadelphia 16, N.Y. Jets 9
I don't know. I just had a gut feeling.

New Orleans 28, Seattle 17
The lesson we should take from this is not that the Saints are "back" to their 2006 form, but that the Seahawks are "back" to their form from just about every year except 2005 (and maybe that year, too). Still, this is the NFC we're talking about, so whose to say these two might not see each other again in January?

Carolina 25, Arizona 10
Sure enough: Kurt Warner had the Cardinals' starting job less than seven minutes before suffering one of his patented hand/wrist/arm injuries that might not end his season but will probably end his team's. I hate to say I told you so. Arizona should have signed Vinny Testaverde. I hear he was available.

SEASON: 56-33 (62.9%)
(2006 through Week 6: 58-29, 66.2%)
(2005 through Week 6: 56-32, 63.6%)

Down and Distance's exclusive KA-POWER RANKINGS are back for their third year. The product of a simple formula, the rankings have predicted 10 of the last 17 Super Bowl winners. Further, 14 of the last 17 Super Bowl winners finished the regular season No. 1 or No. 2 in the KA-POWER RANKINGS system. Unlike with other, lesser rating systems, no opinion is involved in formulating these rankings. None. Teams are ranked on a centigrade scale, with 100 representing the NFL's strongest team and 0 its weakest. Don't like where your team is ranked? Blame science. (Key: WK6 = This week's ranking. WK5 = Last week's ranking. POW = KA-POWER centigrade score)
1 1Steelers100.001711Texans 42.52
2 2Patriots 94.531814Cardinals40.26
3 3Colts 79.511920Browns 38.43
4 6Jaguars 75.282016Raiders 38.02
5 5Redskins 66.102122Chiefs 35.87
6 4Cowboys 63.952221Bengals 31.26
7 8Packers 60.462323Bears 30.11
8 7Titans 59.512424Lions 27.32
9 9Bucs 56.582527Dolphins 23.24
1012Eagles 55.542625Jets 21.47
1115Chargers 52.16272849ers 15.89
1217Giants 52.052826Falcons 14.56
1313Vikings 50.652932Saints 12.49
1418Panthers 50.443029Broncos 9.65
1519Ravens 49.473130Bills 9.59
1610Seahawks 44.993231Rams 0.00

Teams eliminated this week from Super Bowl championship consideration (what?): Jets. Teams previously eliminated: Dolphins, Rams.

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