By Matt Noonan
It’s been a rather interesting season.
No one would have imagined that after roughly eight weeks, (excluding Monday’s game between Kansas City and San Diego), Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Detroit would be in contention for playoff spots.
Did anyone expect the Indianapolis Colts or Miami Dolphins to be winless, especially after eight weeks of the regular season?
Finally, who truly believed that Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans were going to be a good team?
Again, it’s been quite an up-and-down season, but here are some rapid reactions and thoughts from Sunday’s slate, enjoy.
Philadelphia Runs Past Dallas’s Defense: Against the Cowboys defense, which was ranked first in the league against the run, the Eagles rushed for 239-yards and two scores thanks to LeSean McCoy, who finished the game with 185 yards on 30 carries, and quarterback Michael Vick, who added 50 yards on seven carries.
Indeed, Rob Ryan’s defense has experienced a great deal of success this season against the run, but perhaps a game like Sunday’s against the Eagles might help sure up the front seven for the remainder of the season.
Both squads are currently in a three-way tie for second place with Washington, and two games behind New York.
Blame Game – Bill Belichick:Against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick once again proved that he’s human.
In the fourth quarter, Belichick chose not to challenge a Rob Gronkowski catch, which appeared to be a touchdown. He also elected to attempt an onside-kick that completely failed.
In some ways, many fans might consider this the second coming of 4th-and-2 from ’09 against the Colts, but all in all, there’ll certainly be a lot of questions directed toward the field general on Monday at Gillette Stadium when he meets with the media.
Great Endings: Sunday featured some bizarre, yet interesting endings.
In Baltimore, running back Ray Rice finished the game with three touchdowns, and 63 yards on 18 carries, as the Ravens beat the Arizona Cardinals, 30-27. Quarterback Joe Flacco completed 31-of-51 passes for 336 yards, but didn’t toss a single touchdown.
In Carolina, Christian Ponder led the Minnesota Vikings down the field, and set up a Ryan Longwell field goal, which helped the “Purple People Eaters” defeat the Panthers, 24-21, as well as end snap a two-game losing streak.
In New Jersey, the New York Giants rallied to score 10-points during the final quarter to beat Miami, 20-17. Quarterback Eli Manning connected with wide receiver Victor Cruz on a 25-yard pass late in the final quarter, which secured the win for Big Blue.
Finally, in St. Louis, the Rams snapped their six-game losing streak by upsetting the New Orleans Saints, 31-21. Running back Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two scores, while quarterback A.J. Feeley completed 20-of-37 passes for 175 yards and tossed one touchdown too. Saints quarterback Drew Brees finished the game with one touchdown and two interceptions.