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Tuesday Morning Overreaction

I'm sure no fans in the league are reacting (over or under) this week, more than those of the Philadelphia Eagles. After losing their 3rd consecutive NFC Championship game, and second in a row at home, the Eagles helped Terrell Owens screw the Baltimore Ravens. With a happy Terrell Owens, the Eagles stormed out of the gate to a 13-1 record this season.

This past weekend if the Eagles beat Dallas they would again wrap up home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With Terrell Owens considered the missing piece it looked like the Eagles were looking ready to roll through a weak NFC.

Then the unthinkable happened. Terrell Owens came down from making a leaping catch and injured his ankle. Though originally considered not to be serious we later find out that Terell Owens strained ligaments, and has a fractured fibula which would require surgery. Eagles trainers say Owens has an "outside chance" of being able to make it back for the Super Bowl, should the Eagles be playing. I guess it's too bad all those situps that T.O. does after scoring a TD, can't help him now.

Will this mean doom for the Eagles? Who knows? but fans in Philly are already beginning to freak out, thinking of the past 3 failures in the NFC Championship. Some are already calling Philadelphia as a city cursed , while some are saying this gives the Eagles an excuse to lose in the playoffs again. Which is truly a joke to me. Good teams, championship teams, learn to deal with injuries. Just ask the St. Louis Rams, who won the Super Bowl, after losing their starting QB to a season long injury in the preseason prior to the 1999 season. Or how about Bill Belichick and the Patriots, whose franchise QB went down with a collapsed lung during their 2001 campaign. The Patriots also happened to be near the tops in total games missed due to injury last season. They also are so decimated by injuries in their secondary that they've got a WR playing CB, yet they aren't looking for an excuse to lose.

Tying up those loose ends

The Eagles weren't the only team this week to clinch goals. The San Diego Chargers clinched their division this past weekend. The Green Bay Packers managed to clinch at least a playoff spot despite getting pounded by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Rams, and Panthers clinched the fact that a team with at best an 8-8 record will be in the playoffs, which in turn clinched the fact that there are going to be a lot of people griping about how unfair the playoffs are.

This upcoming week however there will be even more that can be clinched up. The Steelers can clinch homefield advantage with a victory or a New England loss. The winner of the Indianapolis/San Diego matchup will clinch the 3rd seed in the AFC playoffs. The Packers can clinch the division with a Win vs. Minnesota.

But one of the biggest clinches can be done by the San Francisco 49ers. who with a loss and a Cleveland win can clinch the worst record in the NFL and the #1 overall draft pick next year. Way to go Niners.

Sometimes it's best to do nothing.

This past Monday Night the Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots 29-28, largely thanks to Tom Brady making a horrible decision in not getting sacked. On 3rd and 9 with under 2:00 to go, Brady dropped back to pass, and was rushed by the Dolphins. A Dolphin defender had Brady in his hands and was about to drop him for a sack. A sack would have meant 4th down, but also means the Dolphins most likely have to use one of their final 2 timeouts, and the Patriots would punt meaning the 'Fins would have to drive approximately 60 plus yards to try and score a TD.

Instead as he was going down Tom Brady just threw the ball up, without looking at where it was going to go. It went right in the hands of a Dolphin defender. Miami then managed a 4 play scoring drive from the 21 to win the game. Sure every qb makes mistakes, but the worst part of this whole ordeal was that Brady made the same terrible pass two weeks in a row. Only the week before Brady was lucky enough to have one of his own teammates near enough to snag the catch. Therefore Brady was lauded for getting the pass off, instead of chastised for the poor decision. Although, Brady did acknowledge later on it was a terrible idea to throw it and, that he'd try to never do it again. Hey, Tom, try harder.

Let's hear it for doing the right thing.

Peyton Manning, and the Indianapolis Colts have been chastised a bit by the media this year for running up the score when victory was assured. Some have said that Manning is glory hungry in his pursuit of Marino's record, because they Colts are still passing when up by 2-3 TD's in the second half.

This past weekend however Peyton Manning had the ball on the Opponents 3. He needed only 1 TD to tie the record. Rather than attempt a pass, Manning simply knelt on the ball and ran out the clock. It's nice to see some teams do the right thing sometimes.

Personal Streaks and Playoffs do not mix.

Last week I mentioned, that if the Steelers were to enter the Playoffs with Ben Roethlisberger on his current 26 game winning streak, that it would ultimately spell doom for the Steelers in the playoffs. Though I do not think that Big Ben or any player or team should lose a game on purpose, I do believe that the fates would choose an untimely playoff game to snap Ben's personal winnning streak. With the loss of the Patriots this past monday night things are setting up beautifully for the Steelers. With a win the Steelers could clinch homefield advantage in the AFC. With nothing left to do in Week 17 the Steelers could have their normal starters start the game, but later put in the scrubs and second stringers. A loss in week 17 then to the Bills in this scenario would be attributed to the Starter Ben Roethlisberger. Thus ending his streak but getting the Steelers primed for the playoffs. This would also give Ben the excuse of "Hey I didn't play the whole game." This would be the best scenario for the Steelers.

Interesting Stats.

Peyton Manning is one TD away from tying Dan Marino's single season record of 48 TD's. Now such a feat would imply that Manning is having a great passing season. There are some stats that would support this. Such as Manning also leads the NFL with 4,168 yards and a QB Rating of 123.9.

Manning's WR's are also seeing the benefit of this season. Indy has 3 WR's at 900 yards or more this season, and all 3 WR's are also on pace for more than 75 receptions this year. All 3 WR's also have 9 or more receiving TD's this year.

But of all the great offensive stats for the Indianapolis Colts, the most suprising to me was the fact that Edgerrin James in 2nd in the NFL in total rushing yards this season with 1,464 yards. He's only 47 yards behind the league leader. James also has 9 rushing TD's. Now remember Edgerrin James is only 3 years removed from a horrible knee injury. So despite the fact that Manning is having one of the best season's by a QB ever, and despite the fact that Colts are widely considered to be a passing team, Edgerrin James is having one of the best years for a RB. Maybe we should start thinking of Indy as a balanced offense.

Sideshow's Top 14

Rank (LW)



Last Week's Results


1 (1)



Won 33-30 vs. N.Y. Giants

Big Ben won the Rookie QB Showdown vs. Eli Manning.

2 (2)

New England


Lost 29-28 vs. Mia

Despite losing the trap game to Miami, New England still is the second best team in the league.

3 (4)



Won 20-10 vs. Bal

A bend but don't break defense doesn't instill enough confidence to surpass N.E.

4 (5)

San Diego


Won 21-0 vs. Cle

Going into snow covered Cleveland and Shutting out hapless browns a big deal for team from Sunny California.

5 (3)



Won 12-7 vs. Dal

Not often does a team win and drop 2 spots, but loss of T.O. really weakens the Eagles.

6 (6)



Won 34-31 vs. Car

Mike Vick's flashy run from the 12 on 4th and Goal, helped Falcons clinch first round bye.

7 (7)

N.Y. Jets


Won 37-14 vs. Sea

Time to see if Jets are ready for big time, as they face off against Patriots next week.

8 (8)



Won 33-17 vs. Cin

Bills part of 4 team tie for last playoff spot in the AFC.

9 (10)

Green Bay


Lost 28-25 vs. Jax

Favre 3-9 lifetime in Metrodome. Guess where he plays next week.

10 (13)



Won 28-25 vs. G.B.

Jags in playoffs if they were to start today, but has easiest remaining schedule of the 4 fighting for it in the AFC.

11 (NR)



Won 28-27 vs. Det

Thanks to a botched Detroit Extra Point, Vikings play vs. GB next week for division.

12 (9)



Lost 20-10 vs. Ind

First team this season to hold Peyton to less than 2 TD's. Defense needs to stay strong if Ravens want playoffs.

13 (11)



Lost 34-31 vs. Atl

Despite loss Panthers still currently last NFC playoff team

14 (12)



Lost 45-17 vs. K.C.

Nobody deserves this spot.

The Cellar Watch

Rank (LW)



Last Week's Results


30 (31)



Won 29-28 vs. N.E.

Miami wins big intradivisional game. But still not good enough to escape the Cellar.

31 (32)

San Francisco


Lost 26-16 vs. Was

Over the entire season the Niners have been the worst team, as evidenced by their record, but....

32 (30)



Lost 21-0 vs. S.D.

....right now Browns are the worst team.