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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

2012 NFL SEASON: WEEK 6








The best thing about the Cowboys bye week is you get to see more games and how other teams are doing.

For starters, the Cardinals laid an egg in St. Louis. The Rams appeared ready to play this game. It also speaks volumes about the NFC West: they are better than people expected and the 49ers better be ready for a fight when they play their divisional foes. I still think that San Francisco will win the division, but it won’t be as easy as it was last season.

The Eagles need to be better with their decision making near the goal line. That’s great you have Michael Vick who can run up the middle, but he has turned the ball over way to many times. It cost Philadelphia a win in Pittsburgh and losses like that come back to hurt a team.

The Giants were down 17-0 to the Browns, and then they realized they were playing the Browns. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw gutted Cleveland’s defense for 200 rushing yards in the Giants 41-27 over the Browns. Cleveland is now 0-5 for the season… It’s going to be a LONG season on the banks of the mighty Cuyahoga River.

Baltimore won ugly in Kansas City as Chiefs fans were accused of cheering while their quarterback Matt Cassel was injured. Miami upset the Bengals in Cincinnati. Hmmm… maybe the Dolphins aren’t that bad.

The upset of the day was in Indianapolis as the Colts played inspired football. Colts head coach Chuck Pagano had to take an abrupt leave from the team to deal with a treatable form of leukemia. Trailing 21-3 at the half, Indianapolis scored 27 of the game’s final 33 to pull off an improbable 30-27 victory at home. Andrew Luck outgunned Aaron Rodgers throwing for 362 yards and 2 touchdowns, including running one in and tossing the game winner to veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne with 35 seconds left.

The Packers had a chance to tie to send the game to overtime, but Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal missed the uprights. The Colts have equaled their win total from last season in four games, while the Packers are now 2-3. Wrap that around your head for a bit.

At a rainy FedEx Field in Maryland, the Falcons continued their winning ways over the Redskins and reached 5-0 for the first time in team history. Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III left the game with a concussion. I seem to recall at Baylor he took a hit similar to what I saw last Sunday. There are reports that he will play this coming Sunday against the Vikings.

The Bears showed no signs of the effects of playing on a short week with their dismantling of the Jaguars 41-3 while receiver Percy Harvin was the star in Minnesota’s 30-7 victory over Tennessee catching 8 passes for 108 yards and scoring a touchdown on the air and the ground. Both teams are 4-1 and tied for first place in the NFC North.

The 49ers have only give up 3 points in the last two games. Their win against the Bills was a tune-up before their upcoming matchup against the Giants this Sunday.

Seattle and Carolina: again both Jekyll and Hyde teams. Can’t figure them out. The Panthers were expected to be the NFC’s breakout team in 2012, but they are playing like Sex Panther (it stinks!). Cam Newton was completed 12 passes out of 29 attempts for 141 yards while Russell Wilson was 19-25, for 221 yard with one touchdown and two interceptions. Carolina was abysmal on third down conversions converting twice on 11 attempts while Seattle was 7-14 in that category.

Again, the Panthers are playing like Sex Panther.

The Brady-Manning showdown had the potential to be a classic but fell flat. Behind rookie running back Stevan Ridley’s career-high 151 rushing yards which contributed to the Patriots’ gaining 252 yards on the ground, the Patriots were able to jump out to a 31-7 lead. Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for two touchdowns after that to make the score closer than what it was (and help out fantasy owners). Manning had 345 yards passing and three touchdowns, but 3 Denver fumbles put them in a hole.

Quarterback Tom Brady had 223 yards passing and one touchdown pass to lead the Patriots balanced offensive attack. Wide receiver Wes Welker led the game with 13 receptions on 104 yards receiving and a touchdown pass. Brady’s record against Peyton Manning improved to 9-4. Now his record against that OTHER Manning… (1-3, including 0-2 in Super Bowls)

If the Patriots deploy this same strategy every game, they might claim a fourth title in the Brady-Belichick Era.

In New Orleans, quarterback Drew Brees set a new NFL record for consecutive games with a TD pass:


This record started in Week 6 2009 against the Giants and was nearly de-railed if it wasn’t for a garbage-time score against the Rams in 2011. The last team to hold Drew Brees without a TD pass was the Jets.

The quarterback who previously held the record with 47 consecutive games with a touchdown pass was Johnny Unitas who is considered the godfather of the modern quarterback. If you get a chance, watch the old NFL Films of Johnny Unitas and you see many traits of modern quarterbacks.

The most important thing was that the Saints got their first win of the season. If New Orleans is to make the playoffs it is going to be a long and difficult road to do so.

Oh, speaking of the Jets… they played Monday Night. I was surprised by their performance after rolling over against the 49ers.

Give credit to them, they made it a game. I think the turning point of this game was as the Jets were driving to tie the score at half time, Brian McCain intercepts a Mark Sanchez throw and returns it 86 yards to setup a Texans field goal. To go from at worst down 14-10 to now 17-7 had to be a drain.

J.J. Watt had his breakout game, including deflecting the game’s final pass as the Texans won 23-17 and became the AFC’s lone unbeaten.


Are the Texans for real? Well… they’re going to have to do it without linebacker Brian Cushing for the rest of the year who tore his ACL in the second quarter. Arian Foster continues to produce yards, this time rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown.

There is one place where the Texans need to improve and that is special teams. If it wasn’t for James McKnight’s 100 yard kickoff return for a touchdown, this game wouldn’t have been close.

Anyways, congrats Houston on a 5-0 start.

As for my picks, it was better as I went 10-4 and defeated Ms. Roberts for the week, but she still has a 5 game lead on me. Again, long season.


WEEK 5:         10-4
TOTAL:         42-35

BREAKDOWN OF RECORD
MONICA
NOON
3PM
NIGHT
HOME
AWAY
TV
≤ 8 PTS
OT
WK 5
9-5
4-2
4-1
2-1
6-2
4-2
5-1
5-3
0-0
TOTAL
47-30
24-16
10-11
8-8
27-15
15-20
17-13
19-25
3-2

The Panthers, Jaguars, and Saints get to enjoy a needed bye week. The Bears as well, but they are at 4-1 and tied for first place in the NFC North.

Week 6 starts off with Vice President Joe Biden debating Representative Paul Ryan at Centre College in Danville, KY the Steelers going to Tennessee. Pittsburgh, again is walking wounded, but the Titans have been unable to discover their running game.

The Cowboys return to action with a game against the Ravens. Last time Dallas played Baltimore, it was in the final game ever played at Texas Stadium and the Ravens won that game… running away. The Cowboys have never beaten the Ravens.

Two teams that are underperforming get together in Philadelphia as the Eagles host the Lions. Meanwhile, in Miami you have two teams that are surprisingly decent with the hometown Dolphins facing off against the Rams. The Jets are in a must win situation. If they lose to the Colts, it might force head coach Rex Ryan to deploy The Tebow. The Bengals take on the woeful Browns, the Chiefs are in Tampa, and the undefeated Falcons look to keep their record unblemished against the Raiders.

The Patriots are in Seattle in what has the makings of a trap game. Memo to New England: don’t overlook the Seahawks. Meanwhile the Bills continue their swing through the NFC West with a visit to Arizona.

The Vikings sit at 4-1, are in Washington. While the game that most of the country will see in the Fox 3PM slot is a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship game between the New York Football Giants and the San Francisco 49ers. Should be an entertaining game.

On Sunday Night, the Texans will not only make their first scheduled appearance on NBC’s Sunday Football since the program was established in 2006, but will be the home team in this game. I can imagine Reliant Stadium in Houston will be rocking that night. Their opponent: the Green Bay Packers led by reigning league MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers as they look to return to .500 after that surprising loss to the Colts.

Monday Night Football heads to San Diego as the Broncos take on the Chargers in an AFC West showdown. Both teams are in need of a win after losses last week. The Chargers are 3-2 while the Broncos are 2-3. Quarterback Peyton Manning has had issues with the Chargers in the past when he was with the Colts. Who could forget consecutive seasons of losing to them in the playoffs? Another entertaining game on the schedule.

The picks for Week 6 are below.

Kickoff Times are Central Time
Picks Indicated in BOLD
Sunday Day Games for the Dallas-Fort Worth Area are indicated with (DFW)


BYE WEEK
Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars
New Orleans Saints


THURSDAY NIGHT (10/11)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans, 7:20 PM NFL


SUNDAY (10/14) FOX DOUBLEHEADER

NOON FOX
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens (DFW)
Detroit Lions at Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Rams at Miami Dolphins

NOON CBS
Oakland Raiders at Atlanta Falcons
Indianapolis Colts at New York Jets
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Kansas City Chiefs at Tampa Bay Buccaneers


3PM FOX
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers (DFW)
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins

3PM CBS
New England Patriots at Seattle Seahawks (DFW)
Buffalo Bills at Arizona Cardinals


SUNDAY NIGHT
Green Bay Packers at Houston Texans, NBC 7:20 PM


MONDAY NIGHT (10/15)
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers, 7:30 PM ESPN

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