The Bengals are at home, talented, healthy, and pissed. The Rams are
poorly-coached, their QB is a stiff who lost his job to Case freakin' Keenum,
their receivers are awful, their O-line is practice squad-quality, and
the only unit on their team that could be considered a strength at this
point (D-line) is banged up and lining up against a stout Cincy O-line.
The only way things could be worse is if...oh, I don't know...one of
their teammates was nearly murdered or something. What makes you think that Rams will rebound in this spot?
Matt Schaub: 20-of-34, 294 yards. 1 INT, 1 fumble.
Kenton Keith: 28 carries, 121 yards. 2 TDs.
Michael Turner: 10 carries, 147 yards. 1 TD.
Ronnie Brown: 23 carries, 114 yards. 1 TD.
Brandon Jacobs: 20 carries, 100 yards. 1 TD.
Brian Leonard: 18 carries, 102 yards.
Sammy Morris: 21 carries, 102 yards.
Willie Parker: 28 carries, 102 yards.
Ben Watson: 6 catches, 107 yards. 2 TDs.
Larry Fitzgerald: 9 catches, 136 yards. 1 TD.
Plaxico Burress: 5 catches, 124 yards. 1 TD.
Antonio Gates: 7 catches, 113 yards. 1 TD.
Jason Witten: 9 catches, 103 yards. 1 TD.
Braylon Edwards: 6 catches, 110 yards.
Devery Henderson: 4 catches, 101 yards.
Tony Gonzalez: 8 catches, 100 yards.
Antwaan Randle El: 7 catches, 100 yards.
Kris Brown: 5-of-5 FGs (3 from 50-plus).
Rod Hood: 2 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 TD.
Aaron Ross: 2 tackles, 2 INTs, 1 TD.
Junior Seau: 6 tackles, 2 INTs.
Fakhir Brown: 9 tackles, 2 INTs.
Jason Taylor: 6 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble.
Marlon McCree: 4 tackles, 1 INT, 1 forced fumble.
Andre Carter: 7 tackles, 2 sacks.
Tedy Bruschi: 7 tackles, 2 sacks.
James Farrior: 5 tackles, 2 sacks.
Will Witherspoon: 14 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.
Lance Briggs: 16 tackles.
Karlos Dansby: 15 tackles.
Scrubs of the Week:
Larry Johnson: 9 carries, 12 yards.
Jon Kitna: 2 INTs, 3 fumbles.
Joey Harrington: 16-of-31, 87 yards. 1 INT.
Byron Leftwich: 2-of-8, 28 yards. 1 INT.
Chad Pennington: 21-of-36, 229 yards. 1 TD, 3 INTs.
Vince Young: 3 INTs.
Michael Pittman: 5 carries, -1 yards.
Earnest Graham: 6 carries, 11 yards.
Shaun Alexander: 11 carries, 25 yards.
Warrick Dunn: 10 carries, 27 yards.
James Jones; 2 fumbles.
Lee Evans: 1 catch, 12 yards.
Mike Furrey: 1 catch, 14 yards.
Run Defenses: Rush yards per carry allowed to running backs: (Last game/Season)
New England Patriots (5-0) - The Patriots won by 17, and Bill Belichick looked like he was content to go home, turn on the hot water in his tub and slit his wrists? How is this team not winning the Super Bowl?
Indianapolis Colts (5-0) - Peyton Manning's Pep Talk of the Week: "Hey, NFC. I hate to tell you this, but you really suck. Really really really really suck. Let's see... I didn't have my top receiver. I was missing my starting running back. Even my defense's best player was out. Yet, I whipped up on one of the top teams in your conference? Why don't you just crawl under a manhole and let 12 AFC squads in the playoffs this year? Thanks, and have a good day!"
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) - ESPN's Bill Simmons is one of my favorite writers, but I was a "Remember that Monday?" ESPN Monday Night Football commercial away from having an aneurysm when he wrote that the Steelers and Seahawks were basically the same. What!? I think Pittsburgh is the only team that actually has a shot of knocking off Indianapolis or New England.
Dallas Cowboys (5-0) - I don't want to hear that the Cowboys should be lower on this chart. I don't want any "Romo sucks" comments. I said the Bills would beat Dallas for a number of reasons. The fact that the Cowboys won makes them even better, as far as I'm concerned.
Tennessee Titans (3-1) - Did anyone see Vince Young's post-game press conference? He looked like he was going to either break down and cry, or lash out at the media regarding his three-interception performance. I'm a huge fan of Young's but two of his three picks were absolutely horrendous. Still, Young is never going to be the most accurate quarterback in the world; his specialty is scrambling and winning games in the fourth quarter. I'll take a signal caller like that on my team any day.
Jacksonville Jaguars (3-1) - The Jaguars can't put teams away. They have no weapons at receiver. They're one of the most erratic squads in the NFL. Yet, they're in my Top 10. As I wrote last week, in a league where 14-2 coaches get fired, and players who run over cops become role models, anything can happen.
Green Bay Packers (4-1) - Did anyone else get the feeling that the Packers are doomed for a 4-7 finish to their season after watching Brett Favre toss that senseless, underhanded pick to Brian Urlacher? That looked like the Favre of 2005 rather than the Favre of early 2007. Making matters worse, Brian Griese actually looks better than Rex Grossman, Kyle Orton, Henry Burris, Chad Hutchinson, Shane Matthews, Jonathan Quinn... I'm getting nauseous just writing the names of those crappy quarterbacks.
Seattle Seahawks (3-2) - Don't put too much stock into how poorly the Seahawks play on the East coast at 1:00 p.m. They're horrendous in that role - try 1-8 against the spread since 2002. My guess for Seattle's futility in that situation is the fact that Mike Holmgren doesn't have enough time to get four meals in. Does anyone else have a better theory?
New York Giants (3-2) - I can't stand it when people suggest that Eli Manning is playing the best football of his career right now. Manning's M.O. every single season is starting hot and cooling off as the playoffs approach. Before I break into Bill Parcells' house and steal his anointing oil, I'd like to see the youngest Manning sibling get it done in November and December.
Washington Redskins (3-1) - I have to make a quick note that I moved the Buccaneers out of the Top 10 because they no longer have their top two running backs for the rest of the year. I also considered the Bears. However, the Redskins would be 4-0 if it wasn't for a second-half meltdown against the Giants.
32. Miami Dolphins (0-5) - The Randy Mueller Quote of the Week: "Good golly gee, wow, we have a .500 record now and oh geez we played so well last week against the Houston Oilers. it was oh oh oh oh oh so nice to see Trent Green have such a great game. He is such a great talent, he can take naps on the field. Did you see how much that Houston Astros player was yelling at him? Gee whiz, that's how terrific Trent Green is playing right now. I can't wait until next week so we can beat the jolly Cleveland Indians, although they are such a great club. Hoo boy. Wow."
31. St. Louis Rams (0-5) - Gus Frerotte? Moving on, I wish the Bills could wear those jerseys every game. I'd even consider buying one.
30. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) - Oddities on how Kelly Holcomb, Tarvaris Jackson and Brooks Bollinger spent their bye week: 1:4 - They learned the difference between throwing to their own teammates and tossing passes to their opponents. 2:1 - They went to the eye doctor to fix their color blindness because they all seem to do is throw to random targets. 6:1 - They illegaly videotaped the Bears at Green Bay. 10:1 - They had a seance to channel the talent of Fran Tarkenton and Daunte Culpepper (pre-suckiness).
29. Atlanta Falcons (1-4) - About 1,000 people weren't polled in Atlanta, asking whom the quarterback should be against the Giants next week. 99.7% - Who cares!? They all suck! 0.1% - Mmmmm caviar... Anyone up for some piano playing!? (three guesses on who that is). 0.1% - Hey hey hey!!!! (three guesses on who that is). 0.1% - Wow, am I still in the league? Holy crap! (three guesses on who that is).
28. Kansas City Chiefs (2-3) - Prior to the start of the season, I predicted Larry Johnson to struggle because holding out would make him fat and out of shape. I also said he would wear down because of all the carries he had last year. And, I noted how horrendous Kansas City's offensive line is. Something I didn't bring up, however, would be Johnson's tendancy to run like a little school girl prancing through a flower garden.
27. New Orleans Saints (0-4) - Shaun Alexander is almost running the same way. The difference is, Alexander sits down like he's going to the bathroom at the first sight of contact. I'm so happy I decided to draft neither in any of my fantasy leagues.
26. Oakland Raiders (2-2) - Letters From Dominic: "Dear Payton, I saw you won vs. Tampa Bay Pirate Men this weekend by many points. You even cover spread for two weeks in a row. Good job. I spent my entire day betting on the games because we had a by weak. Someone toll me you have a new runnin back named Kendrick Keith. I sea your going threw more running backs. First you toss me aside and I have to live off JaMarcus Russell's trash until the Raiders gave me a contract, now your dissin Joseph Adore. That's mean man! Can I have you're autograph. You're friend, Domonick Rhoades."
25. Buffalo Bills (1-4) - I won the Bills +11 and Bills +10.5 second half, but I'm depressed. I wanted Buffalo to win because that game meant so much to them. I'm also upset Dick Jauron didn't yell, "They are who we thought they were! And we let 'em off the hook!"
24. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) - Let's hope Andy Reid has spent his bye week figuring out how to help his rookie offensive tackle protect against pass rushers instead of eating Doritos.
23. Carolina Panthers (3-2) - David Carr is now Carolina's starter for the rest of the season. Don't worry Panthers fans! There is a silver lining. Carolina always wins as an underdog and loses as a favorite. With Carr in at quarterback, the team will be a dog for the next few weeks. That's a guaranteed 7-2 or 8-2 record, right?
The Rest: 11. San Diego Chargers. 12. Chicago Bears. 13. Cincinnati Bengals. 14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 15. New York Jets. 16. Houston Texans.
17. Cleveland Browns. 18. Baltimore Ravens. 19. Arizona Cardinals. 20. San Francisco 49ers. 21. Detroit Lions. 22. Denver Broncos.