Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bye Week

As a result of hurricane Ike, the Ravens have a bye week this week. The game was originally supposed to be played in Houston but the stadium was damaged during the storm and would not be ready for play on the first rescheduled time on Monday. The NFL also did not want to rush the people of Houston back to their city to watch the game or force the Texans to play for a home crowd full of people who had just lost their homes. While I admire the NFL for trying to do the right thing, why do they have to do it when it screws my team? A bye the second week of the season. That means the Ravens will now play 15 straight weeks. That sucks for them. There will be no time for their future injured players to really recover.

I am not trying to be heartless here. I used to live in New Orleans several years before Katrina. After Katrina and Rita I volunteered with the Red Cross for three weeks and was placed in Baton Rouge and visited New Orleans and saw the damage for myself. It was heartbreaking. But I believe the Saints played their first couple games in Baton Rouge. Also a few years ago there were wild fires I think in San Diego, again not exactly sure and too lazy to look it up. But the Monday Night game was moved to the University of Arizona in Tempe. I remember this because if you went to the Arizona you got to go to the game for free and I was jealous. So is the NFL trying to tell me that there is not a big college football stadium somewhere in the vicinity of Houston where the Texans could play for a week. I mean a week 2 bye also screws the Texans. They really would rather have a long season with no real bye than play in a different site with a still Texas bias crowd? Really? Really? I know neither team is supposed to be good this year, but still, are we trying to stack the deck against us?

On the plus side, the Ravens go one more week undefeated. Which is nice for people like me to contemplate. Even if its because of a hurricane. And since the Ravens play the Browns next week at Baltimore, we could be undefeated for the first three weeks of the season. The Browns have not been playing up to their hype this year. I have Derek Anderson on my fantasy team so I actually have paid a tiny bit of attention to them. That and it was impossible to miss how they got creamed at Dallas last week. This week isn't look much better for the Dog Pound. As I write this they are losing to Pittsburgh. Yes, its the end of the third quarter and the score is 10-3 Pittsburgh, so the Browns could come back. But Anderson has thrown 2 interceptions and no touchdowns so I'm not holding my breath.

Since the Ravens didn't play today, I spent some time watching other random games. Pretty much whatever was on. And also got several reals of highlights. So I'll throw out a couple random observations about the season.

Adrian Peterson is awesome and the Vikings are wusses. They/he ran all over the Colts and still lost because they only scored touchdowns. I'm sorry, but if you have someone run for 160 yards, your team should score a touchdown. Instead, they let Manning show that even injured he has learned to play in the clutch situations. And he came back and let Adam Viniteri kick a field goal to win the game.

Jay Cutler is awesome. Its possible that the Chargers are just bad this year. But Cutler cut them to shreds by passing for 350 yards with 4 touchdowns and a 2 point conversion. I mean he had an end zone interception but if you put up numbers like this every week your team is probably going to win. Even though Denver's defense almost gave up the game and let San Diego come back and take the lead near the end of the fourth quarter, Cutler carved up the Chargers D and scored. And then Shanahan did what everyone else called the risky move and went for the two point conversion for the win. I think this was the obvious right move. Everything that day had gone Denver's way. There were two botched calls that should have led to turnovers, one as a result of replay/review malfunction and one where Cutler fumbled but the ref blew the ball dead so it was not actually a fumble. Furthermore, Denver wasn't able to stop San Diego most of the second half, so if they lost the coin flip, I think they would have lost the game. And finally, Cutler's receiver seemed to have magnets or glue or something, they just kept coming up with the ball. I admire the "risky" play of Shanahan. I think he made the right choice and I'm glad it worked out for him.

The Pats managed to win without Brady. This is not really that shocking. The Jets barely beat the Dolphins last week. And the Pats have a great supporting cast and a great defense. As long as Cassel could manage to not mess up, the Pats were probably going to win. But, I'll have to say that next week Cassel is going to have to look more towards Randy Moss. Moss was happy with Brady because he got lots of passes and lots of touchdowns. Today Moss had 22 receiving yards for 2 receptions. He stepped up to the media this week and sounded more mature. But if he doesn't get his spotlight its just a matter of time before he implodes and takes whoever happens to be around him down with him. So throw him the ball Cassel, he's a super talented receiver, he'll probably come up with it and make you look better. It'll work out best for everyone this way.

My last observation of this week. Kansas City has won the title of the worst team in the NFL. Now I know some of you are thinking Cincinnati, but I'm pretty sure its KC. They lost to Oakland today. The Raiders were/are a contender for worst team in the league, but Darren McFadden had a great game and the Chiefs just got embarrassed. Next week Cincy could try and take the crown for worst team. But right not the Chiefs have won it.

Also, I have to briefly mention that somehow Maryland won. They beat 23 ranked Cal. Well, not ranked anymore, but they were at the time. I'm not sure exactly how this happened after their first two terrible showings, a loss to Middle Tennessee and a pathetic win against Delaware, but the Fridge came through. I didn't actually watch the game, I didn't want the pain. But now I'm tempted to watch the Terps play next week, which will undoubtedly bring if not pain then unneeded amounts of stress to my life. The Terps seem to play at the level of their competition. Which scares the hell out of me. It means a lot of close games and no telling if they are going to be the good team or the god awful team from week to week. But hopefully they'll manage to squeak out enough wins to get to a bowl game. Or maybe this Cal game was a sign that they have their shit together and will actually play well the rest of the season. That seems like too much to hope for right now. Anyway GO TERPS!!!!