Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Week 5 was pretty fun, wasn't it?

Well, it wasn't if you're a fan of the following teams: Ravens, Lions, Texans, Buccaneers, Jaguars, Bills, 49ers, Eagles, Chargers, Packers, Chiefs, Saints, Seahawks and Bengals.

If you are unsure what to make of the season, don't feel bad. Most of the prognosticators that put the Chargers and Cowboys in the Super Bowl are looking quite... um... well, I'll let you decide. The darling rivalry will lose a tremendous amount of luster come November 2nd as the Patriots and Colts are scratching and clawing through the early fall. The Steelers are the shakiest looking 4-1 team we've in a couple of seasons and no one can think of something nice to say about the NFC West... okay, that's not so different.

Imagine what Week 6 will bring...

Kickoff: JuLonn Dunbar, New Orleans Saints - It was a heartbreaking loss for the Saints, especially considering Reggie Bush's exploits and a standout performance against formidable running combo of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Yet, if there is something to appreciate besides Bush's blazing speed, it was not only Dunbar's "decleater" block on E.J. Henderson on the first return, but the glorious (albeit brief celebration) at 0:17-0:19 seconds into this clip.

Respect due to ReDskins4ever26 for recording this as I spent hours searching for ANYONE who may have found those two seconds made the highlight of the game... other than the returns, of course.

1st Quarter: Kyle Orton, Chicago Bears - The Bears and passing? A combination that hasn't been seen since... hell, passing in the Windy City existed in theory in football, but was used more in hockey and basketball. Maybe that's a bit too harsh, but the fact that Orton (not Randy) made 24-of-34 completions and amassed 334 yards (both career highs) can give the Bears confidence in trying to supplant the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North. Sure, it was against a Lions team that, for the lack of a better term, is in shambles. Yet, can you think of the last time the Bears had a consistenly good passing game?

2nd Quarter: Steve Slaton, Houston Texans - The young franchise thought they had a star in current Giants backup QB David Carr, but due to a poor offensive line, friction with management and an early start in building a losing culture, he became damaged goods. Dominack Williams (nee Davis) was on his way to becoming an upper-echleon running back in the league, but injuries threw curves in that path. Yet, Slaton is adding to what can be a very good offensive core for the franchise. Just as in his college days in West Virginia, he's displaying a great burst of speed as his 5.0 yards-per-carry show. Adding some pass-catching abilities from the backfield, Slaton looks as if he could be the all-purpose back that the team has been searching for. As soon as this team figures out if Matt Schaub or Sage Rosenfels will play under center as the year progresses, that quarterback will have another weapon to go along with WR Andre' Johnson and TE Owen Daniels.
Yes, it's early to project 285 rushing yards and 100 receiving into sudden greatness, but with Indianapolis, Tennessee and Jacksonville in the division, Houston just might have something to work with here.

Halftime: Sage Rosenfels, Houston Texans - Staying in Space City, the Colts got real, real lucky against those Texans on Sunday. Despite looking desperate, this is still one heck of an inspired hit they gave to Sage Rosenfels. If I got spun like helicopter propellers as he did, not only would my body hurt, but the pride, heart and soul of me and my future children. In fact, I'd probably take a kneel down on the next offensive set and retire on the spot. So props to Rosenfels for reminding me why I would have never, ever, ever made it to the NFL.

3rd Quarter: Washington - The one-upmanship in the NFC East always amazed me. It comes down to even the seemingly smallest details of jersey colors. Traditionally, teams wear the colored shirts at home and the whites on the road, but with the Dallas Cowboys as the league's premier offender, they shape the decisions of at least two other divisional opponents, Philadelphia and Washington. The Eagles forced their Beltway rivals to don their burgundy threads on the road, but the Redskins' colors ran through Lincoln Financial Field and those Eagles. Why do I give them respect? Because I personally don't think they wear them enough.

There may be a good luck, bad luck factor to it all, yet most of the football jerseys you may see in the stands and out in public are the traditional home ones. Why not wear them on the field?

4th Quarter: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons - When Michael Vick was the quarterback, the Falcons relied heavily on their running game to limit potential mistakes in passing the ball to what were considered a suspect group of wide receivers. While Vick was a dynamic runner at the position - so good that when he was coming out of Virginia Tech, Hall-of-Famer Steve Young once said that Vick may end up better than him - he had the ability to get the ball to his wideouts, but not the accuracy or the trust from anyone in the organization. Now, with a traditional passer in rookie Matt Ryan, Atlanta may have found an aerial attack for the first time in nearly fifteen years when a slew of QBs were finding Andre Rison wide open in the end zone.
White is a major part of this discovery, with 454 yards receiving (third in the NFL) and two touchdowns. It's great for the Ryan, the rookie from Boston College, to find someone to depend on early as he is feeling his way through the league. Yet, it's even better for White, who had started to emerge as a deep threat last season with the trio of Joey Harrington, Byron Leftwich and Chris Redman. Now, he can shine a bit more with having to learn about one QBs tendancies, abilities and limitations instead of worry about who will start the next game.

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