If you were listening to ESPN's Countdown to Kickoff Sunday you would have heard Mark May predicting a Ram's win. And to be honest, after the debacle that was the last three weeks, I wasn't sure I disagreed with him. Most alarming was the thought of how the Skins would handle Stephen Jackson, a big, bruising back, the type of which the Skins have not adequately defended all year. And the Rams also have, what we in the spectator sports world know as "skill players" of offense--Torry Holt, QB's the Rams seemingly rotate in and out who routinely throw for 300+ yards, just as the rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick did against the Texans last week. But as Tony Kornheiser mentioned this morning, give a professional coaching staff a week of game film, and they can usually figure people out. Which the Skins did yesterday, and thanks again to the return of Cornelius Griffin, the Skins gutted out a win yesterday, behind 100+ yard rushing days by two running backs, Portis and Cartwright.
Having said all of this, the Rams have not been among the league's elite for a while, and the Redskins win shouldn't be overestimated. On top of that, as Doc Walker said on 980 this morning, next week is at Arizona, Arizona has what we in the spectator sports world know as "skill players" on offense, the Skins have had problems with Arizona in the past, and this is no time to look ahead. And the team is still only 6-6.
I went off to a movie yesterday (Aeon Flux) with the Bills up 21-3 and came back to find they lost. And Sage Rosenfels, who fans here will remember as a backup on Marty's Skins team, led the Fish back in the final seconds, throwing a TD pass to Chris "Time Has Come Today" Chambers.
Break up the Vikings. Brad Johnson, another former Skins QB, leads Vikes to fifth straight win. Mike Tice, who looked like he might not last the year, may end up as coach of the year.
A very good TV game yesterday. Broncos go for 4th and a long one with two minutes left from their own 46.5. The officials initially said they made it, but with 2:01 left on the clock, Vermeil was able to challenge it, and the spot on the field was overturned. I don't blame Shanahan for going for it in that situation, they just didn't get it done.
Bears are an unbelievable 9-3, and Farve through an unfathonable interception that was returend 95 yards at the end of the first half and converted to a field goal for Da Bears. The Bears are 9-3; the Seahawks, who play tonight in phila, are 9-2. The Redskins have beaten both this year. If the NFL had the BCS, maybe the Skins would be in the Fiesta Bowl.
The other very good TV game yesterday, and the Bengals finally break through by winning one of the "big ones". They'd lost earlier in the year, badly, to the Steelers in Cincy, and lost a shootout with the Colts.
Because I live in the Balt-DC area, the other TV game was this monstrosity.
I don't know why this game wasn't televised yesterday. The Fox networks played movies. This will happen if both the Ravens and Skins have 1 pm games, but the Skins played at 4 yesterday.
College Bowl Special
After blowing out the Buffaloes and the Bruins Saturday, the Texas Longhorns and the USC Trojans advance to the Title Game, which as 980 pointed out this morning, we have to now wait a month to see.
How mad do you think the Oregon Ducks are? At 10-1, they get shut out from the BCS bowl games (basically the four top tier games: Sugar, Fiesta, Orange, and Rose) and then they get shunted back to Dec 29's Holiday Bowl with 7-4 Oklahoma. Could be an ugly game for the Sooners if Oregon brings its peaved off game to play.
I'm one of those odd guys that likes the bowl games, but we could do without the corporate brand naming. This year we have the Meineke Car Care Bowl (So. FL vs. NC State); The GMAC Bowl (UTEP vs Toledo); the MPC Computers Bowl (Boise State vs. Boston College); the Capital One Bowl (Wisconsin vs Auburn) and the Champs Sports Bowl (Clemson vs. Colorado). We also have the Poinsetta Bowl, which I think is a new one, but if a new bowl name was needed, somebody could have come up with something better.
The Alamo Bowl features Michigan vs Nebraska, both 7-4. I'm glad to see Nebraska in a bowl game, but this game could be ugly, as I think Michigan is much better than its 7-4 record, and Nebraska is probably not as good as its 7-4. The Big Ten, in which Michigan plays, is a very strong conference, especially this year. The Big 12 can't say the same.