Powerhouses clashed! Underdogs prevailed! The Rams actually…won? Yes, it’s true – and it all went down in Week 8 in the NFL. Keep reading to find out all about it…
FIRST AND GOAL
The four biggest stories in football this weekend. As always, use the comments area below to answer my questions and talk about your favorite stories from Week 7.
BIG BEN > TOM BRADY?
Coming into the huge Steelers-Pats match-up, if I were to tell you that a QB was going to run a pass-heavy offense to perfection, control the clock and carry his team to victory, you’d think I was talking about Tom Brady, right?
Ben Roethlisberger was like a maestro conducting an orchestra against the Pats on Sunday, helping the Steelers control the ball for twice as long as New England. Big Ben attempted the second most pass attempts of his career on Sunday and the Steelers couldn’t have looked sharper. And that’s only half the story.
The Steelers defense shut down Brady and the Pats like no other team has this season. New England came into the game averaging 31 points per game and almost 475 yards per game. Against Pittsburgh, they scored 17 points and barely cracked 200 yards on offense. As of today, I say Pittsburgh is the best team in the AFC. What do you think?
EAGLES SET TO SOAR
I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but the Eagles look like they’re finally ready to make their playoff push. (What took so long?! It’s Week 8 already, for crying out loud!) Philly got their second division win in a rout over the Cowboys and now sit in second place in the NFC East. In addition to their big-play weapons, Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson, the Eagles boast the NFL’s #1 running game behind a breakout season from LeSean McCoy. After a shaky start, the defense has kept each of their last two opponents under two touchdowns. Did you see the same thing I saw: Are things finally coming together for the “Dream Team”?
TEB…OWWW, IT HURTS TO WATCH!
To say the Tim Tebow experience this season has been a rollercoaster ride would be an understatement. It’s more like riding a rollercoaster backwards with no seatbelt or handlebars. Yesterday certainly must’ve felt that unsafe for Broncos fans, who watched their current franchise quarterback fall to pieces, turning the ball over twice and getting sacked seven times. Escapability was supposed to be one of Tebow’s main traits, but he couldn’t evade the Lions pass-rush long enough to make plays. Unlike his first start this season, you can’t cover-up the terrible stat line with a big W at the end. With two weeks as a starter under his belt, here are Tebow’s numbers: 47% completion percentage, 13 sacks and a 71.1 QB rating. What do you say, Broncos fans, have you seen enough or do you want to give Tebow the rest of the season to prove himself?
RAMS (FINALLY) WIN!
What more do you want, St. Louis? First you get a World Series win, now you get the first win of the season for your football team? Seems awfully greedy, if you ask me. The Rams shocked the Saints, and most NFL fans, with a punishing win over New Orleans. St. Louis rode a throwback performance from Steven Jackson (159 rushing yards, 2 TDs) and a ferocious defensive effort (6 sacks, 2 INTs) to gain their first win of the season. The only good news for New Orleans: Drew Brees kept his consecutive games with a passing touchdown streak alive with a garbage time scoring toss – the 35th straight game has at least one TD pass. I’m sure he’d much rather have the win, instead. The result is even more shocking considering the Saints were coming off 62-7 blowout of the Colts in Week 7. So which Saints team is more likely to show-up next week, the offensive machine that scored 62 points or the error-prone outfit that gave the Rams their first win?
HEROES AND ZEROES
Who excelled and who came up short this week. Nominate your own in the comments below!
Frank Gore, RB, SF: 134 rushing yards, 1 TD
Eli Manning, QB, NYG: 31-for-45, 349 yards, 2 TDs
DeMarcus Ware, LB, DAL:4 sacks, 11 tackles, 1 FF
John Beck, QB, WAS: 20-for-33, 208 yards, 0 TDs, 2 INTs
Pete Carroll, head coach, SEA: called an inside run on fourth down with no timeouts left and :12 seconds left in the first half, with his team trailing by two touchdowns.
Olindo Mare, K, CAR: missed 31-yard, game-tying field goal with :29 seconds left in the game