Diner morning news: good teams, bad teams
QUOTE: “Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.” -- Rita Mae Brown
The Broncos, Colts and Saints are all 6-0. That's the most undefeated teams through Week 7 in NFL history -- isn’t that amazing? Sunday, we saw too many lopsided games, and every week we’re seeing a larger gap between the good teams and the bad teams. The combine difference in the scores yesterday was 254 points, which breaks down to 22.1 per game. What happened to all the close games?
There were three return touchdowns of at least 75 yards in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s 27-17 win over Minnesota. Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley had a 77-yard fumble return for a touchdown, Vikings rookie Percy Harvin had an 88-yard kick-return touchdown, and Pittsburgh linebacker Keyaron Fox had an 82-yard interception return TD. It marked the first time in NFL history that a game featured three return touchdowns of at least 75 yards in the fourth quarter.
Random game thoughts
1. The Steelers just know how to win games and keep fighting. I love Mike Tomlin, who has a great line: “On Sunday we play the game, on Monday we evaluate the game.” We do the same thing here at the Post.
2. How many more bad games does Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme have to play before he’s benched? I realize they gave him a large guaranteed extension this past offseason, but Sunday, Buffalo only had nine first downs and less than 200 yards of offense, and the Panthers lost in large part because of Delhomme’s three interceptions.
3. The Panthers are not very good — so all this talk that they had a soft schedule ahead and can win games is not realistic. You have to play well to win games. The schedule has nothing to do with winning; it’s how your team is playing.
4. Second-round defensive back Jairus Byrd of the Bills is going to be a very good playmaker. He has a knack for finding the ball and had two more interceptions Sunday.
5. The Bengals, Cowboys and Cards really proved something to me with their impressive wins. The Bengals running all over the Bears was a major shock. I’ve been looking for the 2005 Carson Palmer and he showed up: 20 of 24 passing and five touchdowns. Wow. If he’s back, the Bengals are in this for the long run.
6. I was not a big Cedric Benson fan before he went to Cincinnati, but I admire him now that he’s turned his life and career around. He took a setback and turned it into a comeback. That I love. The Bears were outflanked too many times on defense, which resulted in allowing big runs. Jay Cutler was bad, but so was the entire Bears team. They need to fix their offensive line to be able to win on the road.
7. The Dolphins have to be feeling like crap today — their season is going to be remembered as “what might have been.” They held leads on two of the three undefeated teams and looked like the better team until the fourth quarter. Against the Saints, they built a lead but turned it all back. When you play the Saints, no lead is safe — you must keep scoring and keep being aggressive.
8. Miami wide receiver Ted Ginn can look very good on one play, but unfortunately, he looks bad on too many plays. His hands are so inconsistent, and his hand placement is very bad.
9. Darren Sharper: 11th career interception return TD (one shy of Rod Woodson's NFL record); third interception return touchdown this season (one shy of NFL single-season record); sixth interception. So much for not being able to run or cover man to man. Smart football player’s who knows how to play and make plays. It’s being proven in New Orleans, and in Denver with Brian Dawkins.
10. Wide receiver Marques Colston of the Saints is very hard to cover right now. Even when he’s covered, he’s open because of his size and balance.
11. Eight more teams had over 400 yards of offense. The breakdown: Seven of them won and one lost — the Panthers. The NFL is an offensive league now, and to win, you must have a passing game.
12. First, the Jets lose Kris Jenkins. Now, Leon Washington has a season-ending injury. These are two of their best players. Sunday, it didn’t matter against the Raiders, who didn’t play like the playoff team that Richard Seymour mentioned last week.
13. The Raiders can pull JaMarcus Russell, but the alternative, Bruce Gradowski, isn’t much better. Gradowski did his best Jeff Garcia impersonation, which is to hit his third or fourth step and then start running around. The Raiders, like the Browns, don’t have a quarterback.
14. Mark Sanchez of the Jets had a nice bounce-back game, but his real test will be at home in the Meadowlands when the wind is whipping -- which might happen this weekend in the rematch against the Dolphins.
15. Speaking of the Brownies -- how does Derek Anderson keep his job? He was 12 for 29 and less than 100 yards and has completed 49 of 118 pass attempts in four starts this season, 41.5 percent. And for the third straight game, he had fewer than 200 total yards. This just in: The Browns do not have a quarterback. Someone should let that secret out of the bag.
16. The Texans are fighting and finding ways to win and clearly are the second-best team in the AFC South this year. But does that mean they make the play0ffs? It will be close, but they have to stay healthy, especially at quarterback. This week, they go to Buffalo and should be able to play well enough to win. I can hear Matt Bowen cheering now.
17. When the Falcons get behind in games, they get further behind. They have to play their style and their style only. They’re very bad on defense, and if they can’t control the game with their offense, they’ll lose, especially on the road.
18. Miles Austin has been sensational for the Cowboys and has dominated two very bad secondary units in Atlanta and Kansas City. Tony Romo and the ‘Boys offense found their passing game.
19. I really don’t know how the Bucs and Rams are going to win a game this year. Both teams are really bad. And what does it say about Bucs coach Raheem Morris when he has to call his GM, Mark Dominik, to get permission to insert Josh Freeman into the game?
20. Peyton Manning was great to see in person, without having to play against him. His preparation is rare, but his ability to make plays is even rarer. Since 1998, the Colts have only had Manning at quarterback, while half of the NFL has had 12 different starters. Much more on him in the Tavern.
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