After the Bengals slapped the Cleveland Browns around (a bit to my surprise), the focus went from impenetrable defense to scoreboard watching. First, I want to say my new best friend is Roscoe Parrish of the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo was up 17-14 when Parrish returned a punt for 82 yards putting the Bills up 24-14. Then, with 17 seconds left in the game, game tied at 24, J.P. Losman completed a 30-yard pass to Parrish to the Jacksonville 24 with ten seconds left in the game. That play enabled Bills place kicker, Ryan Lindell to kick a 42-yard field goal for the Buffalo win. Roscoe Parrish, this one’s for you.
So as of now, Denver and Kansas City own the two wild card spots. After that, it’s open season. The Jets, after their dominating 26-11 win against the Texans, are 6-5. Jacksonville’s loss dropped them to 6-5. Also, be weary of Buffalo and Miami; each at 5-6.
So after 11 games, is the playoff picture clearer? No, not at all.
The Bengals still have life left for the AFC North title. The Ravens and Bengals play this Thursday on the NFL Network (local 12 for Cincinnatians).
A few NFL notes.
The Bengals, after shutting out the Browns, now have the second best scoring defense in the AFC North. They’ve given up 233 points – Pittsburgh (254) and Cleveland (238) are worse. Baltimore is best in the division having given up 147 points after their shutout against Pittsburgh.
How awful are the Steelers playing now? Ben was sacked nine times! But I'm sure you can the pulse of Steelers nation at Behind the Steel Curtain. Depending on how they react to the loss, it may be best served to stay away if you're using a computer at work.
A note to live by for Houstonians: If David Carr throws 54 times, you’ll probably lose. Heck, they didn’t just lose, they only scored 11 points.
Frank Gore’s last three games: 159, 212 and 134. Not to be outdone, Stephan Jackson, in the same game, touched the ball 32 times for 192 total yards.
Is Carolina the worst 6-5 team in the NFL?
We discussed this slightly during the Gameday post, but what is it about Michael Vick that I’m supposed to believe is good? Is he special? No, not really. He just runs fast. Big deal. Does he have an accurate arm? If you believe a career 53.8% is good. Jim Mora Sr. called Vick a coach killer. The Atlanta organization expects us to believe that he's such a special talent, that not even the playbook can contain him. But wait, there's more. People are actually defending Vick!
The Falcons blog at AOL Funhouse says:
You make over $100 million, you better put every damned player on your back and lead the team to victory. If you can't do that much, then you're not worth the money and are just another mediocre Kyle Boller quarterback -- with speed.
The blog goes on to say "Michael Vick was the only one that showed up today and no one guy can win a game by himself." Dunn averaged a scorching 2.7 yards per carry on 19 attempts. That just tells me the Saints defense could care less about Vick's threat to pass -- justifiably so! The Vick led offense has failed to score more than 14 points since the 29 scored in Cincinnati on October 22nd and failed sevens times this season. We hear it, at least from the outside, all the time; the receivers can't catch, the linemen can't block, the offensive coordinators are horrible. Personally, I think Vick stole over $100 million from the Atlanta Falcons organization. You make that much, you better have results, not excuses. So is Vick a special talent? For the track team, yea. For the NFL, a resounding hell no.
There are two divisions in the NFC where second place has a losing record; all AFC divisions have a second place team with a winning record.
STREAKING. Baltimore has a five game winning streak -- tops in the NFL. The Michael Vick led Atlanta Falcons have a four game losing streak -- tops in the NFL.