Sports

NFL Sundays Have Been Full of Surprises

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Showdown Sunday has some unexpected casualties

Going into Sunday the schedule told you there would be carnage on the side of the road but when the dust settled many pundits had to revisit their December forecast because some of those expected to attend the NFL’s Holiday party will be at home instead. The first to twist in the wind was the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” who despite being two touchdown favorites couldn’t seem to handle the Cardinals at home and may have been doomed after the first quarter when Vick took a hit while in the process of letting a pass go and promptly had two ribs cracked and wasn’t the same after that.

The loss drops the Birds to 3-6 on the season and 3 full games behind the division leading Giants whom will be in town this weekend. Amazingly the loss drops Philly to a pathetic 1-4 at home this year for the team that was all but expected to be at worst getting to the NFC Championship game, now we may have seen the end of the former Put Pass n’ Kick winner as Andy Reid sold his soul during the free agency period and now it may be time to pay the piper.

Someone else who may be feeling the steel head up under his feet (insert foot joke here) is Sexy Rexy who should have been out of Super Bowl predictions to start the season but figured it was too late to turn back and pushed more chips in the center of the table at the beginning of the season. Also in his address was a plea to the rest of the league to beat the Patriots. Now it looks more like a request for others to handle their biznis’ for them as the Jets got hammered at home 37-16 by the Pats who have won 3 out of 4 but would gladly trade the three wins for the one that got away last year.

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Unfortunately that may be all the Jets will remember from this era as even though they are only one standings game (two games with the tie-breaker) behind New England, it feels like three and has Ryan questioning his franchise quarterback in the open media and making people wonder if he is the right choice to lead them to the promise land. Much like the afore mentioned Eagles the Jets have many faithful fans looking to plan ski trips this Winter as many thought their weekends would be booked through the end of the year.

The Lion’s started the season on one of the most unbelievable runs in NFL history because of how unexpected it was. Just a couple of seasons removed from setting the ultimate mark of futility, Detroit started 5-0 and then lost the unbeaten streak and their mojo with a game and a handshake in week six. Since then they have lost three of four including a critical loss to division rival and are tied for second with the Chicago Bears whom make them feel as welcome in Chi Town as Capone did Elliot Ness. Much like Jets the Lions got hammered in a game their coach felt was a “must win”. Turnovers and a healthy dose of and lack of intensity to start the game sparked a 20-6 halftime deficit that left it all over but the shouting.  From there the Lions reached into their bag of dirty tricks and pulled out some cheap shots that will not be forgotten any time soon, particularly now that they may be the ones on the road next month. But they will have a next month for the first time in a long time.

The AFC North litmus test was passed by the Steelers who now have a leg up on not only the Ravens and Bengals but for AFC best record and the all important home field advantage by going into Cincinnati and squeaking out a win. Now they get some much needed rest as they get two consecutive bye weeks. First with the conventional scheduled week 11 bye then with a trip to the Chiefs on the 27th whom are sinking faster than an arrowhead in water, and now are without a quarterback, before they run it back with the Bengals on the 4th of December but this time at the ketchup castle. Now I don’t believe in style points or moral losses but if there is such a thing as a positive ‘take a way’ then the Bengals have to know that they were just one play away from sending that game into overtime and then all bets are off. Cat fans gotta take solace in the fact that rook was trying to make a play, made a bad decision, and that’s what rookies do, but any compunction over the Palmer holdout subsided a long time ago, for now. Which brings us to Sybil or the Ravens if prefer.

I just don’t know what to make of these guys who can look like the best in the AFC one week and then literally get knocked off by Appalachian State the next. A shocking ‘give back’ after an epic win over the Steelers the week before, sweeping the season series and giving them the tie-breaker, pales in comparison only to their week 8 loss Jacksonville. They never cease  to amaze me on how anemic their offense can look at times particularly the inconsistency of Joe Flacco and the passing game. Three tough games in a row against the Bengals, Niners, and then the rivalry interstate toggle with the Browns will answer the questions of whether the Ravens will be on the road in week 1 of the playoffs or working on their draft boards.

Redemption will be on the minds of many going into next Sunday, but the coaches of the teams on the wrong side these games would just be happy to get to next Sunday. Who do you think took the biggest loss over the weekend? Let us know here or in any of the quick links.

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