Friday afternoon quarterback

September 18, 2009 | Keith Melchior

Here are some thoughts from last weekends NFL games:

How many of you wager on football? If you do, do you use those guys you hear on the radio and TV promising to give you a a free release  if you subscribe to their service? One guy said he promised to go 5-0 last week with the inside information he had. I think it’s funny that one pro football handicapper has all this secret information on the east coast teams and he is willing to share his weekly selections for only $300+  for the next 3 weeks, but only if you call NOW.  There’s some fat guy who used to be on weekly offering the same thing, but I haven’t heard anything about him this season. Maybe some disgruntled bettor got a hold of him after a busted weekend.

For all the callers to talk shows who are worried about the Ravens defense, take a deep breath and hold it for 5 seconds, then breathe normally. They dominated KC except for the 1 drive that was highlighted by the 50 yard pass play.  Same with Hauschka detractors. The winds were swirling in the east end of the stadium and the winds pushed the ball to the left. He hit the ball well and it drifted. I counted at least 4 times when the ball fell off the tee on kicks from the east 30 yard line.

The Bears are done. Losing to Green Bay on the road only to face Pittsburgh at home in week 2 without Urlacher. 0-2 and no playoffs in sight. Bye Lovie!

How about that Cleveland Browns defense. Missed tackle after missed tackle allows Adrian Peterson 180 yards rushing with 3 TDs. Their only highlight was Josh Cribbs returning that punt 67 yards for a score. Other then that, they have nothing and will finish last in the North.  Can’t wait for that sorry bunch to come to Baltimore next weekend. Maybe all 3 RBs will gain 100 against that porous defense.

The Bengals snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when Brandon Stokley grabbed a batted pass and ran for a last second TD. The Broncos had one of the worst defenses in the league last season. For Carson Palmer not to light them up is not a good thing for Marvin Lewis’ future in the queen city. One good thing came from that game….no Ocho Stinko highlights. 

Will the Steelers be the same without Troy Polamalu the next 5 or 6 weeks? Their secondary depends on him being all over the place to help the corners in coverage. Too bad the Bears have no receivers or the Steelers could be looking at 1-1 Sunday afternoon. Roethlisberger continues to be a stud with the game on the line though. He was 16-18 in the 4th quarter alone. We hate that guy, but man, can he get it done in crunch time.

San Diego is all banged up for this week’s game against the Ravens. I can’t wait to see how the offense attacks the Chargers defense and how the Raven’s D attacks Phillip Rivers. If Darren Sproles plays in place of LT, which it appears may happen, they must contain him and keep him inside and not allow him to get outside. The Ravens have had difficulty against some of those smaller scat-backs over the years and I hope this one doesn’t end the string of non-100 yard rushers allowed. The Chargers had trouble in Oakland Monday night and haven’t seen Joe Flacco or the 3-headed running backs in person yet so I’m really looking forward to a Ravens victory.

Buffalo had the game against the Patriots all but sewn up until the kickoff was run out of the end zone. Perhaps Leodis McKelvin thought he couldn’t down the ball because his momentum carried him into the end zone and had no choice but to run it out. He had to protect the ball no matter what. He didn’t and Brady orchestrated the Patriots victory from a short field. I recall a similar occurrence when the Chargers were playing the Patriots in the AFC Divisional playoff game. Brady threw an interception late in the 4th quarter and the Charger player who picked it off tried to be a hero and return the interception. He coughed up the ball and Brady won the game with a TD pass with less than a minute to play. I think that is the game that got Marty Schottenheimer fired.

The Eagles may look like geniuses in signing Mike Vick, now that Donovan McNabb has a broken rib and is doubtful against the Saints at home. Vick can’t play until next week, so enter Jeff Garcia to fill the void. If they start Kolb and he stumbles, look for Garcia to step in and pick up where he left off before the Eagles jettisoned him 2 seasons ago. How could that guy not catch on with a team after the pre-season. He is a proven winner (except with the Browns) I can’t see the Eagles slowing down Drew Brees and that powerful Saints offense.

The Lions will suffer their 18th straight loss since the start of last season. I thought I heard someone say the Lions lost their last 3 games in 2007, but I’m not certain. The last Lion team to have a winning season was the 2000 team that was 9-7 led by former Terp coach Bobby Ross (5-4) and Gary Moeller (4-3) after Ross was fired. Oddly, Ross and Wayne Fontes were the only 2 Lion coaches since the George Wilson and Joe Schmidt teams of the 1960′s to have 3 seasons of at least a .500 record. The Baltimore Orioles are the Detroit Lions of baseball

Speaking of the Orioles, there is a certain flagship radio station that does an “uncensored” pre-game radio show in Lot O, west of the stadium. A few months ago, one of their talk show hosts was all up in arms and offended about Terrell Suggs being on one of the TV sports shows wearing a New York Yankee hat. Well, in that very same lot, where that very same sports talk show host sits, the flagship station featured former Ravens Mike Flynn and Musa Smith signing autographs. Guess what Musa was wearing?  Yep, a New York Yankee hat. The Orioles flagship station featuring a former Raven wearing a Yankee hat.  Funny how NOTHING was said about that incident.  Had I been thinking, I should have snapped a picture and sent it to Mr Angelos.

Lots of playoff-possible matchups this weekend featuring 1-0 teams against each other. Ravens/SD, Jets/Pats, Eagles/Saints, Giants/Cowboys.  Locally we get to see the Deadskins in their home opener against St Louis, even though the Saints/Eagles game could potentially be a great game. I don’t know if locally we’ll get the Jets/Pats game on CBS at 1pm because of the Deadskin game. If you suffer from insomnia, tune into Fox at 1pm and you’ll be asleep by 145, unless you want to please your honey and get things done around the house before 4pm .

My picks this week…. Atlanta, Minnesota, Green Bay, Jacksonville, KC, New England, New Orleans, Tennessee, Washington, Tampa Bay(Buffalo comes back to Earth), Seattle, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Ravens, Giants, and Indy on Monday night.

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