Posts Tagged ‘Minnesota Vikings’

Favre’s Streak Ends at 297

Monday, December 13th, 2010

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 05: Brett Favre  of the Minnesota Vikings is assisted by medical staff against the Buffalo Bills defense at the Mall of America Field at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on December 5, 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
We all knew it had to end some time. The question was whether Brett Favre’s consecutive game streak would end at his (final) retirement, or if an illness or injury would slow him down. Today, we find out that The Streak will end at 297 consecutive games started. Brett Favre is on the Vikings inactive list for tonight’s game against the New York Giants. For the first time since September 27, 1992, an NFL game will start with Brett Favre on the sidelines.

The Streak is the second longest in the history of the NFL, and by far the longest of any QB in league history. Only Jeff Feagles had a longer streak of consecutive games started, which ended last year at an amazing 352 games. I must mention though, Jeff Feagles is a punter… 352 games is still 352 games, but with only one bar on his facemask, it is clear that punters aren’t in the NFL for their tackling ability. I still applaud the longevity and the effort.

Back to Brett though. His 297 consecutive games streak began with the Green Bay Packers, traveled to the New York Jets, and ended up with the Minnesota Vikings after a few more retirement announcements. He has gone on record to say that he will not play again next year. With a sprained shoulder and a team that is out of playoff contention, we may have all seen the last of Brett Favre in an NFL uniform. The Vikings, who started the season as a Super Bowl XLV contender, are now reduced to Tavaris Jackson as their starter, and will probably face considerable QB questions in the offseason. If this is the end, I will say thanks for the memories.

Click here to see all Brett Favre merchandise.

A Preview’s Preview

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

It’s been months since I’ve had a chance to write for the blog, and I’m happy to announce that we’re putting the band back together for a limited release Sold Out Tour. Sold Out probably isn’t the right analogy…let’s say By Invitation Only. So congratulations, valued reader, if you can see this, you’re seat is being held.

After my transition to the purchasing team, I’ve been spending most of my hours at the office practicing my multiplication tables again. I’m now openly searching for a math-only assistant so if anyone knows an out-of-work 4th grader looking to get a foot in the door, give me a ring.

Over the next few weeks leading up to the baseball season, we’ll be executing our three man weave to bring you previews for all 30 teams.

I know what you’re saying…Baseball?!?! In January?

Or

Who are you again?

Well, I understand the NFL is still Homecoming King of this high school, but before we know it football will pass and the nerdy A/V kid (baseball) will get his moment in the spotlight…for seven glorious months.

Personally, as of this morning, my Jets are still alive in the NFL playoff picture. Although, like the most popular man from LaGuardia to Newark, I too thought Gang Green had been eliminated mere weeks ago with their 7th loss of the season. Silly Rex.

Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings

Brent has his Vikings going full Favre ahead right now too, so for the time being, we’re both primarily concerned with football, much like the rest of you out there.

Ariel on the other hand…Well…Ariel didn’t have himself a very good weekend.

As with any division of people and goods, we held a draft last week to determine who would cover each team. With the first pick in the 2010 Baseball Preview Blog Draft, Brent selected his hometown Twins. I chose the back to back NL Pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies and Ariel was able grab his Cubbies with the 3rd (read: Last) pick.

While his Cowboys and Cubs aren’t looking so good, Ariel’s future in showbiz is as bright as ever. Check him out HERE.

So we’ll just slowly dive into it with some of the less attractive teams out there. Sorry Nationals, Padres and Diamondbacks, but someone has to be picked last.

Hopefully this will take some of the sting away from a long cold February that doesn’t offer much in the way of sports entertainment. Enjoy the previews as we push right through to Spring Training.

Pigskin: It’s what’s for dinner

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

So I watching a recent episode of Friday Night Lights (shame on you if you’ve never seen it) and viewed a scene in which the wily Buddy Garrity talked his way into announcing East Dillon football games on an exclusively Spanish-speaking radio station. The owner of the station hardly understood a word. But “football” needed no translation. Mention of “futbol Americano” (or soccer’s ugly namesake of a cousin) upset the station owner as he threw his hands in disgust and turned away.

Apparently, this man’s been sleeping under a rock.

What has transpired in football circles recently – college and pro – borders on the absurd. In the NCAAs, we saw one of the decade’s greatest fly north to the NFL, another weasel his way west and insensitive, humiliating and criminal behavior including physical abuse and locking people in closets, allegedly. And I’m just talking about head coaches!

In the NFL, fortunately, the excitement has taken place between the goal posts. The playoffs have offered great entertainment: teams combining for 96 points, defensive linemen with a passion for spearing things, and Rex Ryan.

But let’s start in the amateur ranks, where the transgressions of several head coaches have been…well…amateur. Players accused Kansas’ Mark Mangino for making disparaging and humiliating remarks on the field. Down at South Florida, school officials concluded a report claiming Jim Leavitt grabbed a player by the throat, slapped him in the face and lied about it, was true. And at Texas Tech, receiver Craig James said that, after complaining about a possible concussion, Mike Leach forced him in – of all places – an electrical closet.

Sound doctoral advice. No?

Needless to say, all three men are currently on the unemployment line.

And then there’s USC.

A fantasy land for college football since Pete Carroll took over in 2000…until allegations involving recruiting infractions and Reggie Bush reached the surface. Next, headlines alleged running back Joe McKnight’s girlfriend received a vehicle as a gift. And just like that, Pete Carroll had had enough. Shortly after a disappointing 9-4 season, the long-sought after coach was wooed back to the NFL by the Seattle Seahawks. Must have been the weather.

But the drama was only beginning at “The Coliseum.” USC: a soap-opera for men.

The cliffhanger this time? Hiring Lane Kiffin. Yes, that Lane Kiffin. The same wunderkind fired after one season with the Oakland Raiders. The same loud-mouthed, baby-faced nuisance while at Tennessee. And now, just one year into his “tenure” at Rocky Top, he leaves recruits and Urban Meyer behind for a return to LA.

…and gets replaced at Tennessee by Derek Dooley. Come again?

Meanwhile, in the big boy league, stakes are high. We’re a Sunday away from learning the Superbowl matchup.

Vikings or Saints? Colts or Jets?

I can’t wait until Sunday to watch the final installment of a tremendous franchise, titled: Three Men and a Rookie. Starring two of the industry’s all-time greatest, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, an up-and-comer in Drew Brees, and, making his debut, Mark Sanchez – something tells me this chapter could be the best.
Give the rookie credit. He’s playing behind a spectacular defense, led by Deion…I mean, Darrelle Revis, a fantastic rushing attack and one heck of a coach – at the podium, at least. But as improbable as it seemed, Rex Ryan’s drawn-out post-season schedule – including a Superbowl parade through Times Square – is turning more and more probable each day.

Unfortunately, this week the Jets run into Indy’s relentless pass rush, led by Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, and Manning, the human audible. The Colts broke protocol last week and won a playoff game after resting their starters to end the season. It doesn’t really matter where Manning’s throwing the ball – I think he could even find me on a post route – but the veterans (Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark) and the newbies (Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie) are getting the job done.

Meanwhile, in the NFC, some things never change. As much as I can’t stand no. 4 after embarrassing my Cowboys last weekend, it’s hard not to be impressed with Favre’s four touchdown performance – especially touchdown no. 4 (but I won’t get into that). If Jared Allen and the defensive line replicate last week’s performance, there is no way Brees will elude collapsing pockets – or mullets.

One thing the Saints do have on their side – New Orleans. The only place louder than the Metrodome may be the Superdome, and there’s no doubt the Saints’ passionate fans – who have waited years for this moment – will let Minnesota hear it.

My prediction? Colts 20, Jets 10. Saints 27, Vikings 24.

And for you naysayers…Time to pat myself on the back for calling, while 6-3, that the Denver Broncos would finish 8-8. They did. I also predicted the purple-hot Vikings would lose late in the season to the Arizona Cardinals. They did. Fortunately, many of my other predictions haven’t made this blog.

Clearly, when it comes to making news – good or bad – football of the American variety leads the class. You could argue there’s been too much excitement recently.

And I haven’t even mentioned the Pro Bowl…

Little Things and The Playoffs

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Little Things from the NFL’s 2009 Season:

88 players in the NFL had at least one carry of 25 yards or more, including New York Jets punter Steve Weatherford. Not among the 88: Philadelphia Eagles RB Brian Westbrook and Indianapolis Colts RB Joseph Addai.

Eight RB’s finished with at least 1250 rushing yards, including the St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson, who was 2nd in the NFL in rushing yards despite being on a 1-15 team.

Two Carolina Panthers RB’s, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart rushed for at least 1100 yards.

Jerome Harrison of the Cleveland Browns averaged 143 yards rushing in the four games in which he carried the ball more than 16 times, including 286 yards against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15.

Adrian Peterson finished 5th in the league in rushing yards with 1383, despite only topping 100 yards in a game three times during the season.

Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans topped 2000 yards rushing on the year; he is only the 6th RB in NFL history to do so.

Johnson averaged 5.6 yards per rushing attempt on the season. Jamaal Charles averaged 5.9.

LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson both averaged 3.3 yards per attempt.

Reggie Wayne caught 100 passes on the year. 73 of them were for first downs.

The Top 21 players in the NFL in receiving yards include three tight ends: Antonio Gates, Dallas Clark, and Jason Witten. All 21 had at least 11 receptions of 20 yards or more, except Wes Welker, who led the league in catches, 123, and was second in yards, 1348. He had eight plays for more than 20 yards.

The Blind Side book/movie subject Michael Oher, rookie RT for the Baltimore Ravens, had the fewest yards receiving in the NFL in 2009 with -8.

Oakland Raiders rookie WR Darius Heyward-Bey, 7th pick overall, played in 11 games, caught 9 passes for 124 yards and scored one TD.

San Francisco 49ers rookie WR Michael Crabtree, 10th pick overall, held out until after Week 5, then played in 11 games, caught 48 passes for 625 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Austin Collie, 4th round pick of the Colts, and Percy Harvin, 1st round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, led all rookie WR’s in receptions with 60. Harvin and New York Giants WR Hakeem Nicks led rookies in receiving yards with 790.

Ten QB’s threw for over 4000 yards this season. Seven of them are in the playoffs. Kurt Warner, the 8th playoff QB, threw for 3753 yards.

41 QB’s completed at least one pass of more than 45 yards. Kurt Warner did not.

155 players in the NFL caught a pass of at least 35 yards. Larry Fitzgerald did not.

14 QB’s threw at least 500 passes. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler led them (and all other QB’s) in interceptions with 26. Peyton Manning was 2nd with 16. Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers had the fewest at 7.

Jon Ryan, punter of the Seattle Seahawks, completed the longest pass by a non-QB, 42 yards. He finished the year with a 118.8 QB rating.

The Cleveland Browns won four games in a row after going 1-11 in their first twelve.

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost five games in a row after winning five in a row.

The Denver Broncos won six in a row to start the year and lost four in a row to end the year to finish 8-8.

The Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints started the season 14-0 and 13-0, respectively. The Colts lost their last two and the Saints lost their last three.

The San Diego Chargers started the year 2-3 and then won their last 11.

The Tennessee Titans went 0-6 to start the year. They went 8-2 after that to finish 8-8.

BLACK MONDAY

Coaches are cleaning out their lockers today. So far Jim Zorn, who was for all intent and purposes relieved of his duties with the Washington Redskins somewhere around Week 6 or so, and the remainder of the Buffalo Bills coaching staff and have been told their services are no longer needed, wanted, or welcomed.

There is talk that Wade Phillips needs to win a playoff game to keep his job. Apparently an 11-5 season, the third playoff seed, a home playoff game, and a shutout to win the division in the season’s last game is not enough in Dallas to feel any sense of job security.

The expectations are different for Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. In Houston, Gary Kubiak will retain his position after the organizations first winning season, going 9-7 and being a loss by either the Ravens or Jets on the season’s final day away from making the playoffs. Plus Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson led the league in yards at their respective positions.

The Carolina Panthers are keeping John Fox around… maybe? Because in Carolina, a winning season every other year is good enough. I think it is probably safe to say though that the John Fox-Jake Delhomme duo has reached its end. Delhomme threw for 8 TD’s and was picked off 18 times on the season, while backup Matt Moore started the last five games for the Panthers and threw for 8 TD’s and only 1 interception.

There are a lot of rumors flying around about Raheem Morris losing his job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was horrible, but Morris is a first year coach brought in to turn around a terrible team. You have to give the guy more than a year or two to do his job – unless of course you have Bill Cowher, his chin, and his mustache on the radar.

Maybe one case where it makes sense to fire a first year coach is in Oakland, where ironically nothing makes sense. Tom Cable allegedly hit a co-worker. That behavior is generally frowned upon. And Al Davis is Al Davis, so he may bring in a shuffleboard buddy of his who won a fantasy football league last season to coach the team.

PLAYOFFS

The Dallas Cowboys threw a donut at the Philadelphia Eagles to win the NFC East. With a win, the Eagles would have had a first round bye and a home playoff game. With the loss, they’ll travel to Dallas and play the Cowboys again this weekend. Donovan McNabb to DeSean Jackson and Tony Romo to Miles Austin are two of the more dangerous big play QB to WR combos in the league.

And speaking dangerous QB to WR combos, Chad Ochocinco/Johnson would like me to mention his and Carson Palmer’s names right now, but if I’m playing the Cincinnati Bengals I’m more concerned about Cedric Benson. Maybe the New York Jets backed into a playoff spot and maybe they didn’t, but Mark Sanchez is in the post-season and will do a very nice job of handing the ball off until he is absolutely required to throw it. Thomas Jones, get ready to see nine guys in the box against Cincinnati this weekend. Jets fans can mail cards to the Colts and Bengals thanking them for mailing it in in Weeks 16 and 17.

Following Philly/Dallas and New York/Cincy, the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers will square off in the third rematch of a Week 17 game this weekend. The Packers rolled over the Cardinals who had nothing to play for and did most of the rolling over all by themselves. There are some health concerns for Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie, Anquan Boldin, and Charles Woodson going into this game.

Baltimore travels to New England to play the Wes Welker-less Patriots. Welker tore up most of the _CL’s in his knee on Sunday. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Ray Lewis and company will look to put to rest Tom Brady, Randy Moss, and the Pats. Should that happen, the media will surely spark up the “Has Belichick lost it?” debate. For that reason alone, I’ll root for the Pats.

Brett Favre may or may not be on a tractor in Kiln, Mississippi this week. The Vikings can thank the Cowboys for beating the Eagles and getting them a first round bye. Favre loved Sidney Rice this season to the tune of 1312 yards and 8 TD’s. I don’t know what that tune sounds like, but it works for the Minnesota offense.

The New Orleans Saints are also waiting around for somebody to play football against. Drew Brees and his band of guys who can run fast and catch the ball will not have won in nearly a month when they take the field next.

The Colts are planning a really intense bye week in Indy. Somewhere Jim Caldwell is sitting with no expression on his face. The San Diego Chargers are taking it easy in a sunnier place where Philip Rivers can frolic on the beach and wait around for somebody to fly west to play a game.

THE NHL WINTER CLASSIC

The Boston Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in OT at Fenway Park in the NHL’s 2010 Winter Classic. Check out all our Winter Classic gear in this week’s items of the week!

The Weekend: A Prequel

Friday, December 4th, 2009

It’s been an interesting week in the sports world. The boxing match we’ve eagerly awaited, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr., finally looks set. The return of “The Answer” is no longer in question. And the best athlete at his position in the world made headlines for a vehicular incident…

Shame on you, Adrian Peterson, for driving 109 mph in a 55-mph zone.

What? You thought I was going somewhere else with that…

And now, a look ahead to a glorious weekend of sports.

Conference Championship Saturday

The only championship games in college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision* that actually make sense began Thursday with the Civil War and hit full stride Saturday.

*I wrote that out instead of typing its initials (FBS) purely for you to see how ridiculous-sounding that name is.

BCS berths are still at-large for many conferences. But that doesn’t mean these games will be close. Georgia Tech, Cincinnati and Texas are all expected to hoist trophies without a fight.

Meanwhile, the rest of college football looks ahead to the match-up fans and experts have anticipated all season…

Wisconsin vs. Hawaii.

What? That doesn’t excite you? Fine.

How about the first time we’ve seen the no. 1 and 2 ranked BCS teams match-up outside the BCS championship?

Florida vs. Alabama serves as a de facto semifinal (barring unforeseen computer calculations). The winner most certainly stakes its claim as the favorite to exit the Rose Bowl, January 7th, as champion.

Will Tim Tebow leave another footprint in his quest to be the greatest quarterback in college football history? Can RB Mark Ingram make his final case for the Heisman? Who wins the Urban Meyer and Nick Saban coaching battle? What measures will CBS take to protect against a potential Verne Lundquist head explosion after Tebow scores his second touchdown?

Some answers I can wait for. But others – or other – leave me giddy.

NFL Week 13

A number of match-ups this week have significant playoff implications…and here are my thoughts:

I’m interested to see how the banged-up Atlanta Falcons (sans Matt Ryan and Michael Turner) host an Eagles team missing two big-play weapons of their own (DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook).

Speaking of which…has anyone noticed how seemingly contagious concussions have become? It’s nearly reached Swine Flu status.

Will Chris Johnson’s prediction (from 0-6 to 10-6) hold against the undefeated Indianapolis Colts? The Tennessee Titans have run off five straight wins since inserting Vince Young. And CJ remains on pace to break a historic record (Eric Dickerson’s 2,105 single-season rush yards) as quietly as anyone…ever.

Houston Texans v. Jacksonville Jaguars. Ehh.

The Dallas Cowboys look to avenge an early season embarrassment against the current embarrassment that is the New York Giants. Winners of one of their previous six, this is the Giants last chance to resurrect their season. The players and teams hate each other – no really – they actually don’t like each other. And as a Cowboys fan, I hate the Giants. So it should be exciting. For me at least.

At 5-6, the Miami Dolphins are playing for their playoff lives against a suddenly-human New England Patriots. The Pats ‘cloak of invisibility’ is long gone – especially on the defensive side of the ball. So why is it still so hard for me to pick against them? They even go out-flexed this week…

…by the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals. Two forty-something quarterbacks may go head-to-head this week. (I realize Kurt Warner isn’t 40 yet, but you’ve heard of “dog years?” I propose for every concussion sustained, a year is added to your age in “NFL-years”…making Warner somewhere around 52).

Anyways, this is the week the Vikings go down. Why? Because they play a legit team. Consider this: the combined record of the nine teams they’ve defeated is 39-71. Pretty staggering. It’s not that I don’t think they are good. I just don’t think they are that good.

So there are some appetizers for your football platter this weekend. And remember, with the holidays coming up, if you fall in love with the player’s wear on the sidelines, you can always buy that stuff here – at FansEdge.

What? I still have to pay the bills.

Week 9: When Fungus is Acceptable

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Hiding in Plain Sight

Last week Derek Fisher of the Los Angeles Lakers played 34 minutes and recorded 0 points, 0 rebounds, and 0 assists. He managed two steals and two personal fouls and without those you may not have even know he was there.

Michael Wilbon made a brief argument on PTI that Fisher is a guy who does the “other things” to help his team win. I’m sure he was moving the ball, screening, playing some defense, and being a leader and a nice guy, but in 34 minutes you think he would pass it to a guy who would make a shot or he would accidentally run into a rebound. Fisher was just hiding in plain sight, not contributing anything noticeable.

Flashback to 2006:

*Comedy Central airs the last new Chapelle’s Show on July 23rd. Borat opens the first weekend of November at the top of the box office. The confluence of these two events that happened just 3+ months apart created a venn diagram overlap in pop culture relevance where it became virtually impossible to escape people quoting Chapelle/Borat, especially if you were in college at the time. Chapelle was on safari and done with the show, but new episodes aired with many re-runs of the old ones and three and a half months was not long enough for some people to beat those jokes to death. And then Borat happens. So the quote wheel keeps spinning for the frequent repeaters out there.

*The Chicago Bears are going 13-3 on their way to the Super Bowl with Rex Grossman at QB.

*Terrell Owens leads the NFL in touchdown receptions and has 1,180 yards receiving.
*Michael Vick throws for 2,474 yards and runs for 1,039 yards and combines for 22 TD’s.
*Larry Johnson is second in the league in rushing and rushing TD’s, with 1,789 yards and 17 TD’s. He also added 410 receiving yards and 2 receiving TD’s.

Now those three fantasy football studs are hiding in plain sight. Vick is out of jail and on the bench. TO is in Buffalo not doing a whole lot and Larry Johnson has been cut by the Chiefs for vomiting his thoughts on Twitter.

Many professional athletes and celebrities and people not famous have not yet evolved the filter between the brain and the fingertips. And it is not their fault. Evolution takes time and social networking is relatively new. The brain to mouth filter was not even fully evolved in many and now they are under stress to develop a second filter on the fly to protect themselves from their thoughts escaping through their fingertips to Twitter and the world. Maybe we should cut all these athletes who type stupid stuff a break because evolving that kind of ability will take generations.

Ups, Downs, and Laterals

Of course sports are cyclical and players begin to decline once they’ve reached a certain age, but TO, Vick, and Johnson seem to still have enough ability to offer a team something productive. Instead they are just being hidden in plain sight by their own specific circumstances.

While individual players find a way to hide in plain sight, it is very difficult for teams to hide team weaknesses. And at the half-way point of the NFL season, with the playoff picture forming, those weaknesses are apparent to everyone.

Three – maybe four – of the divisions are all but mathematically clinched. It would take a melt down of New York Mets proportion for the Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, or Minnesota Vikings not to win their division.

The Colts and Saints both remain undefeated after getting challenged hard by the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers. A missed FG by Kris Brown of the Texans prevented Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and DeMeco Ryans from taking a shot at Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, and company in overtime. The Colts have played two tight games in a row.

The Panthers were marching, nearing FG range, down three with less than three minutes to go in the 4th quarter when Jake Delhomme fumbled and New Orleans recovered. Three and out for the Saints, followed by a DeAngelo Williams fumble returned for a TD by New Orleans on Carolina’s ensuing possession put the Saints up 10 with 2:00 to go and there’s your ball game.

The Vikings sat the week out on a bye and still gained ground in the division with the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers losing. No word yet on any team boating excursions during the week off. Had there been some sort of team building exercise, I’m sure Twitter would have been a flutter. Maybe Brad Childress would have been in a drag. You never know.

The Saints have played three close games in a row which they won by one-possession scores. The Colts have played two close games in a row, winning the two by a combined seven points. The Vikings are a missed FG and a Brett Favre to Greg Lewis 32-yard TD with 0:00 on the clock away from being 5-3. There is no NFL team this season that is going to march over every opponent they play. Even the teams with the best records have won fugly a time or two and escaped with a win.

The New England Patriots not winning the AFC East would not be a Mets-type collapse, but probably more of a Minnesota Twins sneaking up on the Detroit Tigers sort of let down. It might be possible for them to get caught all season long, but nobody will believe it can happen. Tom Brady is connecting with Randy Moss like it is 2007 and they have a linebacker who is in his forties in Junior Seau.

The Show

Remember in Bull Durham when Crash Davis tells Ebby “Nuke” LaLoosh that he needs to get new shower shoes?

“You’ll never make it to the bigs with fungus on your shower shoes. Think classy, you’ll be classy. If you win 20 in the show, you can let the fungus grow back and the press’ll think you’re colorful. Until you win 20 in the show, however, it means you are a slob.”

I think the same goes for bad mustaches and facial hair that looks more neglected than grown. At 6-0, it is something to joke about, but now with two Bronco losses in a row, it may be time for Kyle Orton to think classy. He’s had it off and on throughout his career, but it might be time go now.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are sitting on top of the AFC North in a tie with the Cincinnati Bengals after beating the Denver Broncos on Monday night. The Bengals are coming off a win over the Baltimore Ravens. Cedric Benson rushed for over 100 yards for the second time this season against the Ravens. Maybe that vaulted Ravens-Ray Lewis-D that earned Trent Dilfer a ring is finally showing its age. Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward hooked up for two TD’s last night in their win over the Broncos.

The Dallas Cowboys went to the Philadelphia Eagles and took away a big win that, coupled with the San Diego Chargers victory over the New York Giants, puts the Cowboys in first place in the NFC East.

Tony Romo has 9 TD’s and only 1 interception during his team’s four game winning streak. Miles Austin continues to be a big play guy, catching only one pass but for a 49 yard TD.

Philip Rivers took the Chargers down the field and threw a TD pass to Vincent Jackson with 0:21 on the clock to give San Diego a one point win. Eli Manning was 25-33 for 215 yards and 2 TD’s, but the Giants were flagged for over 100 yards in penalties which will stop any team from gaining momentum in any direction.

The bye week for the Giants this week is sorely needed. DeMarcus Ware is salivating at the opportunity to play the Green Bay Packers and their O-Line this week. And the Eagles have to fly all way across the country to San Diego, which, for the sake of the entire city of Philly, I hope goes better than their trip to Oakland did.

The New York Jets come off their bye for a Week 10 match up with the Jacksonville Jaguars, who beat the Kansas City Chiefs last week. The Jets and Jags are both 4-4 with neither team having a realistic shot at winning their division, so this game is huge for both teams in the scope of Wild Card spots. Maurice Jones-Drew leads the NFL with 11 rushing TD’s.

Matt Cassel stuck it to all Dwayne Bowe fantasy owners by throwing 2 TD passes to Chris Chambers, who had been on the Chiefs for about eight seconds.

Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals went to Soldier Field and inspired the crowd to boo loudly the home team Chicago Bears. Tommie Harris went ahead with a punch to the face of a Cardinal O-lineman to get ejected four plays into the game. We like your enthusiasm there Tommy, we just need you to direct it in a more positive way. Warner and Jay Cutler both had big statistical games, but the Bears could not overcome 89 yards of penalties and or their inability to convert on third down.

The Packers were probably hurt most by their Week 9 performance, losing to first time starter rookie Josh Freeman and the previously winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Aaron Rodgers was bludgeoned again and the defense did not do much in the way of stopping a bad offense. Two weeks ago Minnesota, at 6-1, was coming into Lambeau Field to play a 4-2 Packers team. A Packer win gives both teams two losses and sets up the Pack up to tie the division at Tampa Bay with Minnesota on a bye. Instead, the cheese falls to 4-4 in an ugly way. Three of their four wins are against one-win teams: Lions, Browns, Rams.

Speaking of the Lions, Browns, and Rams… the Browns and Rams were spared by being on a bye, but the Lions suffered another loss. So did the Washington Redskins.

Calvin Johnson returned to the line up for the Lions and they played the Seattle Seahawks tough, but could not find a way to win it, in part because rookie Matthew Stafford had five learning opportunities in which the ball went the other way on him. Matt Hasselbeck spread the ball around. Six Seahawks had five or more catches. T.J. Houshmandzadeh caught his only TD pass.

The Atlanta Falcons beat the Redskins to move to 5-3 and put themselves in a nice position for a Wild Card birth. Michael Turner had a huge game, 166 yards and 2 TD’s and Matt Ryan hooked up with Tony Gonzalez for a TD. Clinton Portis left the game and with him took Washington’s only hope.

The Tennessee Titans won their second game in a row and handed the San Francisco 49ers their fourth loss in a row. Vince Young is 2-0 as a starter and Chris Johnson leads the NFL in rushing yards.
The Niners have lost their last three games by one possession scores. Next week Mike Singletary squares off against his old team, the Chicago Bears, in what will be a critical game for each team’s drive for the post-season.

To Week 10:

Thursday night games begin with the Bears and 49ers.
The Bengals and Steelers play to break the tie for the AFC North lead.
The Patriots go to Indy for an always fun game to watch.
And either the Chiefs or the Raiders will win because they play each other.

The New York Yankees 2009 World Series Championship is still only less than a week old and there is plenty of World Series gear here for you to commemorate #27.

The item of the week this week is some real NFL sideline apparel to help you get ready for cold weather.