Carson Palmer, who was sitting on his Barcalounger all season, has been sent from the Cincinnati Bengals to the Oakland Raiders. Personally, I thought that Jason Campbell who has a broken collarbone could be back to play in a couple weeks after surgery. I know that most of the “experts” are saying that it’s going to be closer to six weeks, but I thought with a relatively small incision and the fact that he is an athlete, he could be back out there a little bit faster. Anyway, I think that Carson Palmer going to Oakland is good for both Oakland and Carson Palmer. He throws a beautiful deep ball. He has several receivers to throw to. He has an excellent running game to take some of the pressure off of him. This could be an excellent trade for both teams.
Green Bay Packers – they just keep winning. They played an excellent first half and cruised to the finish line. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL right now.
San Francisco 49ers – I had chosen the Detroit Lions in this game. I thought their front seven on defense would control the line of scrimmage. The San Francisco 49ers were able to run the football much better than I thought they would. Again, Alex Smith is not overwhelming anybody but he is making enough throws to push the ball down the field. He’s staying away from stupid mistakes. He’s playing good solid football. Frank Gore is running the ball like he did two years ago. The San Francisco defense is making plays. Although Calvin Johnson had a good game, he did not have a great game. The 49ers managed to prevent him from getting any touchdowns. Matthew Stafford who threw the ball 50 times (an excellent sign of an inadequate running game) but looked dazed and confused most of the game. Why are the 49ers playing so much better this year than they did last year? Was Mike Singletary that bad as a head coach?
Baltimore Ravens – I do feel sorry for the Houston Texans. It seems to me that every time they seem to get close to being an elite team, something happens. Three weeks ago spirits were high in Houston. Now, not so much. The Baltimore Ravens played the kind of game they needed to play. They protected the ball. They played solid defense. They were able run the ball better than they have in the last couple of weeks. More importantly, I think they ran the ball well against a good defense. Ray Rice had over 100 yards. Joe Flacco turned in a solid performance.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – I thought that the New Orleans Saints would pound the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into submission. I thought that we would see a combination of passing and running which would overwhelm Tampa Bay. That simply didn’t happen. On the final play of the game with New Orleans inside the 10 yard line and needing to score a touchdown the go-ahead, Drew Brees rolled out to his right and he never saw Robert Meacham open in the left corner of the end zone. It would’ve been almost impossible throw back across the field but he was wide open. In spite of this, I need to tip my hat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Josh Freeman rebounded from an absolutely terrible game last week and passed for over 300 yards and no turnovers. The Tampa Bay defense completely stopped any running attack that the Saints could muster. Drew Brees threw three interceptions, including one on the last play of the game.
Washington Redskins – Just two weeks ago, everyone was speculating about how far the Washington Redskins would go into the playoffs. It was a given that they were going to win the NFC East. Now, after Rex Grossman threw 100 interceptions (only four), he was benched. There was absolutely no running game, which the Redskins needed in order to be effective. I’m still scratching my head as to why the Redskins coaching staff (Mike Shanahan) thought that Rex Grossman was a dependable quarterback. There’s no doubt about the fact that that Rex Grossman can throw a beautiful spiral. He can also throw the ball 50 or 60 yards in the air. Yet, he proved over and over again in Chicago that he could not be relied on to be consistent week in and week out. He would simply do boneheaded things from time to time. Any football fan who’s over the age of eight would know this, yet Shanahan convinced the Washington Redskins that Rex Grossman was the one. I see nothing but confusion and disarray over the next several weeks. By the way, I don’t think that the Philadelphia Eagles actually won this game. I think the Washington Redskins lost this game.
Dallas Cowboys – When you play not to lose instead of playing to win, you lose the game. I cannot blame the Dallas Cowboys defense for giving up the game-winning touchdown with 22 seconds to go on the clock. I have to put the problem with the offense of the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys were inside the 10 yard line of the Patriots on four different occasions. We came away with only one touchdown. That is not winning football. With less than four minutes to go in the game, the Dallas Cowboys offense had the ball. They ran the ball three different times and didn’t come close to getting a first down. This is the difference between championship football and losing football. The Dallas Cowboys had to have two or three first downs in order to win the game. They couldn’t do that. That’s why they lost. If you want to win the game, you don’t give the ball back to Tom Brady, period. Jason Witten, Miles Austin and Dez Bryant are supposed to be some of the best receivers in the league. Throw the ball! Make a first down! We are paying Tony Romo millions of dollars to be a great quarterback. Let him be great or let him fail but let’s not lose games because were playing “conservative” (stupid) football.
Minnesota Vikings/Miami Dolphins – These guys are playing some really bad football. The Indianapolis Colts are at least improving in their mediocrity. These teams are not. Offense, defense and special teams need some significant help in upgrading personnel. Yuck. Oh, Dear NFL, if you’re listening, neither one of these teams deserves a national broadcast. The American people deserve better than these teams are delivering.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – the Buffalo Bills needed him to be just a little bit better. Two interceptions. It’s not that I think he played bad football. The Buffalo Bills just needed a little bit more from him.