Including Sunday night football there were 6 evening games this week, of those six, four were decided by three points or less on last minute field goals or missed field goals. Lets start with the crappy games and work our way up to the good ones.
-The worst game of the afternoon was the Denver Broncos 37-6 beating of the Oakland Raiders. Carson Palmer continues to be completely uninspiring as a Raider and Peyton Manning continues to be completely perplexing as a Bronco. Palmer Completed just over half his passes and threw no TDs or INTs, Manning went 30-38 for 338 yards and 3 TDs. Any statline with that many threes in it has to be pretty good right? Manning looked like his old self just a week after he looked washed up, crazy business. At this point it is hard to tell what to expect from Manning on a weekly basis.
-Next up on our tour of terrible games is Cincinnati @ Jacksonville. Cincy took this one 27-10 and it wasn’t anywhere near as close at the 17 point differential would indicate. The Bengals controlled this from the opening kick. Blaine Gabbert was downright awful and A.J. Green was an unstoppable machine. nothing new there. Anyone who would argue that A.J. Green is not a top 5 WR in this league, has not been paying attention for the past 2 years. Green has future hall-of-famer written all over him if he keeps this up.
-Now we finally get to some entertaining games. Lets start with what, while not the best, was probably the most interesting game of the week. New Orleans @ Green Bay. The Pack was looking a 1-3 start in the face while the Saints were desperate not to fall into an 0-4 hole which, in light of Atlanta’s morning game, would put them 4 games back in the division. Deep in the fourth quarter the Saints led by 6 but the Packers rallied back to take a one point lead and New Orleans late FG attempt sailed wide sealing a 28-27 victory for the home team. The Saints are now 0-4. On the bright side though, Drew Brees tied Johnny Unitas’ all time record for consecutive games with a TD pass at 48. Brees will look to break the record in sunday night football next week against the Chargers.
-Now on to the game involving the strangest team of this still young season, the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have managed to overcome having two starting QBs, both of which should never be more than backups, and go 4-0. They beat the Dolphins today in a wild comeback overtime win in Miami. For the Dolphins, take some comfort in the fact that, at times, Ryan Tannehille looked like a legit first round QB for the first time this season. The Cardinals defensive line might be the best in the league, but i still do not beleive this level of success is sustainable in the NFL without much much better play from the QB position. Ball’s in your court Kevin Kolb, Prove me wrong.
-The last of the afternoon games involved the Greg Schiano Buccaneers and the Robert Griffen Redskins. The Bucs new head coach has gotten a bit of a reputation as a bully, his insistence on blitzing teams lined up in the victory formation has only strengthened that image. The Bucs have really assumed the image of their head coach and they became an extremely physical team. Today being physical was almost enough to win the game but in the end their overall poor play cost them the game. For any Ravens fans keeping an eye on Billy Cundiff, he went 1-4 today in FGs but the one he hit was the game winner for what it is worth. the Redskins were able to hold on through a fierce Tampa Bay Rally and win 24-22 on Cundiffs FG.
-The last and probably best game of the day was Sunday Night Football featuring the Philadelphia Eagle and the New York Giants in a NFC East showdown. For a long time these two defenses were immovable and it looked as if the first half might end without points, but finally in the waning minutes of the half Philly pulled off a great drive capped with a Mike Vick TD to take a 7-0 lead. By the fourth quarter it seemed as if those defenses were long gone as the offenses marched back and forth up and down the field swapping scores. Finally the Giants were unable to finish their last drive as Lawrence Tynes long field Goal attempt fell just a few feet short of the cross bar and the Eagles soared to 3-1, The Giants fell to 2-2.