You can’t win like this.  The Philadelphia Eagles, after securing the go ahead score, promptly gave up a 75 yard touchdown pass with less than two minutes to go against Arizona.  Eagles lose.

The Green Bay Packers allowed Drew Brees to complete 84% of his passes for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns (and 41 points).  Packers lose.

The Dallas Cowboys let a third string quarterback on a 2-5 team go 25 for 30 against them.  Cowboys lose.

And the Indianapolis Colts gave up a record type of day to Ben Roethlisberger.  500 yards, 6 touchdowns, a passer rating of 150+.  Colts, needless to say, lose.

And none of this should come as a surprise (OK, maybe the Colts).  The Eagles and Packers have lousy pass defenses and have for years.  The Cowboys have been masking a bad defense behind an offense that keeps it off the field, but if you let the opposing team’s QB go 25 for 30, he doesn’t need to be on the field all that long.

And worst of all is the Colts, who appeared to have solved many or all of their defensive woes this season.  They were shutting people down.  Until it blew up in their face on Sunday.  You can’t win like this, and four teams that are probably going to make the playoffs don’t have real Super Bowl aspirations unless and until they fix the sieve defenses they are putting on the field.

This Week’s Sucked And Won

Ben Tate, RB (CLE).  Tate carried 15 times for 26 yards, a 1.7 average, against the fourth worst run defense in the NFL.

Who’s doing more with less?  The Cincinnati Bengals are in first place in the AFC North despite being the only team in that division with a negative point differential.

Shocking realization of the week

The Broncos have only played one team all season with a losing record – the New York Jets.

Your team is up.  Time is winding down.  The other team is getting ready to use their timeouts and the announcer invariably announces “if they can get a first down…”  Well, the Falcons got that first down.  They got two of them in fact, but somehow still managed to give the ball back to Detroit with enough time for the Lions to drive down the field.

And the Lions, a team that is notable for shooting itself in the foot, nearly shot itself in the foot once more.  They committed a delay of game penalty on the game winning field goal attempt, except the field goal was wide, so it would have been the game-losing field goal attempt.  Given another chance five yards further back, the Lions finally did something right.  And Atlanta?  Sometimes, it just ain’t your year.

This Week’s Great But Lost 

Matt Forte, RB (CHI).  Forte led all players in yards from scrimmage with 168 (114 rushing 54 receiving) and scored one of the Bears’ touchdowns.  Imagine what he might have done playing against the Bears’ putrid defense.

Could one of the things wrong with Seattle actually be that they miss Golden Tate?  When the receiver left in the offseason, everyone said Seattle wouldn’t even notice he was gone while Detroit was being dumb to pick him up.  Well, Seattle’s presumed #1, Percy Harvin, just got traded to the Jets.  That means their #1 receiver now is Doug Baldwin who has 29 catches for 371 yards.  How much less than Golden Tate is that?  Tate, with the Lions, is third in the NFL with 800 receiving yards on 55 catches.  Second guess that one.

Thursday Pick:  New Orleans (-2.5) @Carolina (Westgate Superbook)

I have to say I’m absolutely amazed to see the Saints favored in this game.  One win and all their problems are magically gone?  I’m not ready to jump on that just yet.  This game is nominally for first place in the South, which is sort of like someone winning the Democratic primary in Texas – who gives a crap?

Carolina Panthers 24 New Orleans Saints 20


“The Lions missed a two-point conversion attempt to level the match but Stafford moved his team up the pitch in the final 90 seconds to give Prater his match-winning shot.” – the BBC, reporting on the Lions/Falcons game played in London on Sunday.  Who doesn’t want the NFL in England?!

“They’re better than us right now.” – Chargers S Eric Weddle, putting their loss to the Broncos rather succinctly.

“I watch every play Nate has. Nate had a very good game. He had one bad play.” – Eagles defensive coordinator Billy Davis, defending safety Nate Allen after the Cardinals beat Philadelphia with a 75 yard touchdown pass.

“Why does it have to stop here? Why can’t we keep doing this?” – Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, on Pittsburgh’s 600+ yard 51 point offensive output on Sunday.

“[T]he fact of the matter is we’re still 3-5 and have a long way to go and we can’t lose sight of that.” – Washington coach Jay Gruden, declining to take a victory lap after beating Dallas on Monday Night Football.

“Those are habits.  Habits are hard to improve.” – Bears GM Phil Emery, on QB Jay Cutler’s unfortunate propensity to turn the ball over.

“I wasn’t even coming on a blitz.  I was sitting back in coverage and kind of saw him standing out there like he had nobody to throw to. I was like, ‘Well, let me go get it.’ So I just played football and went and got it.” – Chiefs safety Ron Parker, on a 14 yard sack of Rams QB Austin Davis.

“I’m not allowed to answer that question.” – Ravens coach John Harbaugh, declining to say whether he told an official an end of the game offensive pass interference penalty was an “embarrassing” call.

“What is Jets nation?  42,000 empty seats?” – WFAN’s Mike Francesa, keying in on fans’ frustration over the state of the NY Jets.