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Week 6 Wrap-Up

Cleveland Browns 41, Miami Dolphins 34:
On a day when the Bears' defense yielded 311 rushing yards to the Minnesota Vikings, Miami's stop unit somehow outclassed Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and company - they gave up 41 points to Cleveland. I can understand the Bengals allowing five touchdowns to Derek Anderson, but what happened to the Dolphins' proud veterans like Zach Thomas, Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, Vonnie Holliday and others? It's time for Miami to blow its defense up.

We also have to ask if the Dolphins are the worst team in NFL history. Sure, the Rams are also 0-6, but that squad is missing a plethora of key players, including Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson and Orlando Pace. The only guy Miami doesn't have is Trent Green, and as far as I'm concerned, he's not much better than Cleo Lemon at this stage of his career.

That said, I'm not willing to put the 2007 Dolphins on the same level as the 1976 0-4 Buccaneers just yet, however, I can confidently state that besides Art Shell and his bed-and-breakfast buddies, Miami has assembled the worst coaching staff in NFL history. But that's to be expected from a head coach who watched porn and daytime soap operas instead of running the final preseason game on the exhibition slate.

Cam Cameron is clueless. The man billed as an offensive genius adamantly refused to give Ronnie Brown the ball against the Browns. After the first 13 plays of the game, when the contest was still close, he called nine passes and four runs. At that stage, Lemon was 2-of-7 for 18 yards, while Brown rumbled for 34 yards on those four carries. Lemon finished with 43 pass attempts, while Brown received just 19 opportunities to pound the ball.

If I were general manager Randy Mueller, I'd fire Cameron and his entire staff immediately. Then again, if I were Mueller, I'd be bumbling and clueless, and unable to make any intelligent decisions. Check out my Power Rankings for some of his memorable quotes.

With all that negativity targeted at Miami, I have to give Cleveland a lot of credit. Derek Anderson is playing out of his mind. It seems like a shame that the Browns gave next year's No. 1 pick to Dallas for Brady Quinn.

Kansas City Chiefs 27, Cincinnati Bengals 20:
I don't think anyone besides myself thought the Chiefs had a shot in this game. Even I thought I was a little bit crazy. Yet, the perennial underachieving Bengals managed to lose, 27-20. The reason for their defeat this week? Larry Johnson had more than 10 times the amount of rushing yards than he had last Sunday against the Jaguars - and that was with four minutes remaining in the second quarter!

I can't believe the Chiefs are 3-3. I just can't. There's no reasonable explanation for this. Damon Huard sucks; Larry Johnson is fat and out of shape; a rookie is the top receiver on the team; the offensive line can't block; the defense is among the worst against the run; and the only thing Herm Edwards can do is run fashion shows for NFL.com. I repeat - the Chiefs are 3-3. I give up.

Minnesota Vikings 34, Chicago Bears 31:
When Tarvaris Jackson hit Troy Williamson for a 60-yard touchdown, I chalked it up as a fluke. When Adrian Peterson dashed 67 yards into the end zone to tie the game at 14, I thought Chicago giving up a huge run was a one-time thing. Peterson, however, scored on another 73-yard scamper, giving the Vikings the go-ahead score.

There is no explanation for Chicago's defense sucking so much. You can't allow 31 points to the offensively challenged Vikings, in any way, shape or form - and especially if you have multiple Pro Bowlers on your defense. What's even more telling is the 311 rushing yards Minnesota accumulated. That's 40 more ground yards than any team has surrendered all year!

I'd yell, "BRIAN GRIESE IS NOT WHO WE THOUGHT HE WAS!" but I wouldn't want to sound like a raging lunatic who has nothing better to do than appear in Coors Light commercials. Sure, Griese threw for 381 yards, but he tossed two picks and fumbled once. The Bears need a quarterback who can take care of the ball. Then again, the Bears also need a defense with players who don't obsess with brainless and horrendously skinny "man-lovers" named Paris.

Philadelphia Eagles 16, New York Jets 9:
I'm glad to see that my Andy Reid-bye theory worked out. Coming into this game, Reid was undefeated after a week off. I tried to make sense of it, and reasoned that after an entire week of just eating Doritos and Oreos, Reid gets more energy, much like Popeye does with spinach. Reid flexed his muscles Sunday and knocked the Jets off his tugboat. OK... maybe I'm taking this analogy too far...

Chad Pennington is really lucky the Eagles didn't intercept him more than once. In the second quarter, Pennington threw into triple coverage in the end zone, just as he was guilty of last week. One Philadelphia player tipped the ball up in the air, which came within inches of linebacker Omar Gaithers arms.

On the next play, Pennington threw short of the marker on third down, doing his best impression of Trent Green, a.k.a. King of Throwing Short on Third Down. I'd say Pennington should have taken a nap on the field if he really wanted to imitate Green, but then I'd sound like Travis "The Timid Scarecrow" Johnson.

I guess what I'm trying to say is Kellen Clemens must start next week. There's just no question; the Jets are now 1-5 in a tough AFC and have no hope of making the playoffs. Pennington is not their future; they need to get Clemens ready for 2008. If he doesn't get enough snaps, he'll struggle the first half of next year, which will essentially waste an entire season.

Baltimore Ravens 22, St. Louis Rams 3:
Brian Billick is a genius. I don't get how all of his detractors don't see how smart he is. Take the Rams game, for example. The inept Kyle Boller was starting for the injured Steve McNair, and Willis McGahee had the luxury of scampering through wide-open running lanes against St. Louis' pathetic ground defense. Yet, Billick was cunning enough to call passes on each of his first four plays. McGahee then ran 11 yards on his first carry.

Any other coach would have pounded the ball with McGahee upon seeing this. Not Billick. He's smarter than that. Of his first 10 plays, eight were passes and only two were runs. Of his first 21, 15 were passes; six were runs. At that point, McGahee had 26 yards on those six carries. Boller, meanwhile, was 8-of-13 for 67 yards and a sack. Words can't even describe Billick's genius.

One thing I'll never understand is why the Ravens would ever take the ball first. If I had Boller, and a great defense going against an offensive unit without its starting quarterback, running back and top lineman, I'd put Ray Lewis and company on the field first. Actually, if I drafted Boller, I'd either attempt a new profession or jump out a window, but that's another story.

Jacksonville Jaguars 37, Houston Texans 17:
Houston could have established a 13-0 lead in this contest. They fumbled in the end zone on a reception that should have been a touchdown in the first quarter. Later, the Jaguars returned a Matt Schaub fumble for a touchdown. The Texans needed to win this game to avoid a 3-3 record, which is like 1-5 in the AFC South. Instead, they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly.

And that was just on offense. Houston surrendered an unbelievable 11 yards per carry to Jacksonville running backs. That means every time David Garrard handed the ball off to Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, they achieved a first down. And what happened to Mario Williams? After registering two sacks in the first of the week of the season, Williams has only one sack since then. He couldn't get to Garrard, and neither could anyone else on the Texans; the team managed to pin Garrard to the ground only once.

If you watch ESPN, you know Chris Berman always likes to chime in with a "yeah, but..." when talking about the Jaguars. This is because Jacksonville perennially wins as an underdog, and loses as a favorite. Well, the team deserves all the credit in the world for showing up to play the Texans, when they could have looked ahead to their matchup against the Colts next Monday night.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13, Tennessee Titans 10:
Blame me for completely misreading Dolphins-Browns or Jaguars-Texans. I was off this week. However, I absolve myself for any responsibility getting the Buccaneers-Titans matchup wrong. There's not much you can do when your team's starting quarterback leaves the game with an injury. This means much more when you consider that Vince Young does everything for Tennessee's offense.

That said, Kerry Collins played pretty well when you take into account that no one outside of Nashville even knew he was still in the NFL. Collins was 10-of-20 for 125 yards, leading the Titans to a game-tying touchdown.

Official Scott Green reviewed a call at the end of the second quarter, where Phillip Buchanon intercepted a Young pass on his own 5-yard line. Buchanon's right foot was clearly out of bounds. Instead, Green neglected the obvious and upheld the original call. I love the idea of instant replay, but honestly, why are plays even challenged when incompetent and arrogant referees refuse to make the correct calls?

Green Bay Packers 17, Washington Redskins 14:
It's amazing how the Redskins find new ways to lose in the second half almost every other week. A couple of games after surrendering multiple scores to Eli Manning and a hobbled Plaxico Burress, and seeing their backup running back trip over his own feet on the way to the end zone, Washington blew a 14-7 advantage, thanks to a Santana Moss fumble that was returned for a touchdown. The Redskins could be 5-0 right now.

Green Bay and Washington combined for eight fumbles. These are the two teams pining to be second fiddle to Dallas in the NFC? Can the NFC borrow a good team like Jacksonville for a few years until it rebuilds itself?

Carolina Panthers 25, Arizona Cardinals 10:
Everyone's going to use old-men jokes regarding the fact that Vinny Testaverde became the oldest quarterback (43 years, 11 months) to ever start and win an NFL game. But I'm above that. Testaverde played extremely well, hooking up with Steve Smith 10 times for 136 yards and a touchdown. Testaverde started 7-of-7. No news yet on how many adult diapers he used throughout the duration of the 25-10 victory.

New England Patriots 48, Dallas Cowboys 27:
I can't believe Wade Phillips said Bill Belichick's achievements were tainted prior to the game. It doesn't matter if Phillips truly believed that or not. I just don't understand why anyone would anger Belichick and the Patriots. If I were a coach gameplanning against New England, I would praise Belichick to no end, and write sonnets dedicated to Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Tedy Bruschi. Perhaps then Belichick would show some mercy and not completely demolish my team.

Brady now has 1,771 yards and 21 touchdowns. With those numbers in hand, Brady is on pace for 4,723 yards and 56 scores, the latter number breaking Peyton Manning's mark of 49. Fortunately, the Colts are also undefeated, so Brady may be forced to play late in the year, allowing him to set a new NFL record.

San Diego Chargers 28, Oakland Raiders 14:
The Good Norv: The Chargers gave the ball to LaDainian Tomlinson eight times on the first two drives (14 plays). They consequently established a formidable 14-0 lead. The Bad Norv: The next three possessions, San Diego went to Tomlinson just four times out of 13 plays. The team obviously couldn't get into the end zone; in fact, the only drive in that span that didn't end with a punt was a Philip Rivers pick-six.

Speaking of that interception, Rivers' folly was one of the ugliest, dumbest and most irresponsible throws I've ever seen. Words can't even describe it, but I'll try. Rivers, who was under pressure, desperately threw a wobbling, dying duck late across his body in an area occupied by a grand total of no Chargers. The only one in the vicinity was Oakland's Thomas Howard, who easily ran into the end zone.

The Chargers' defense restricted Oakland to just seven points, but I don't think they played particularly well. On the Raiders' sole scoring drive, Daunte Culpepper converted a 3rd-and-14 with a 16-yard completion; a 4th-and-12 with a 18-yard hookup to Ronald Curry; and a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line with an easy toss to Zach Miller.

New Orleans Saints 28, Seattle Seahawks 17:
Can I say that it's a relief to see Drew Brees and the Saints thriving again? Brees is one of the great-character guys in the NFL, playing for a city that could use a winner. I know I'm not supposed to be biased, but I hope New Orleans keeps on winning.

Reggie Bush, meanwhile, enjoyed the three longest runs of his career. Anyone who says the Saints made a mistake drafting Bush quite frankly doesn't know anything about football. He's such a multi-faceted threat on offense, capable of being of utilized in almost any role. His speed and versatility cause headaches for any defensive coordinator. He's bashed so frequently, he's probably the most underrated player in the NFL.

On the other side of the spectrum, Shaun Alexander is still running like a three-toed sloth. I've written repeatedly that Alexander, who gained only 35 yards on 14 carries, looks like he needs to go to the bathroom on every single play. If there aren't any running lanes available, he takes a dive. It's pretty embarrassing if you ask me.

Does anyone get what Mike Holmgren was thinking at the end of the game? He needed a field goal, and a touchdown plus two to tie the Saints. Inside New Orleans' red zone, Seattle ran the ball on third down, despite having no timeouts. Instead of kicking a field goal on fourth down, Holmgren called a pass play, which ended up being an incompletion. Maybe Holmgren wanted to go to the bathroom himself, thus trying to end the contest as quickly as possible. Hey, I think it's a good theory. Anyone else have anything better?


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2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
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2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
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NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog


2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
Quarterback Rankings - June 25
NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
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2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
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