Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Big Ben Weathers the Storm and other thoughts from Week 9

Every football writer in the country is probably leading off their column by covering the mini-Super Bowl that occurred between the Patriots and the Colts on Sunday. I will definitely get to that later. However, I would like to call attention to last night's game between the Steelers and the Ravens first.

When I first tuned in to the game and saw the sheets of rain pelting the stadium in Pittsburgh, I figured we were in for a low scoring, defensive battle. After all, the footing was terrible, the visibility was virtually nil and the ball was as slick as it would've been had it been covered in grease. Therefore, I was truly impressed to see Ben Roethlisberger turn in a Brady-like performance by throwing FIVE first-half touchdowns. Big Ben has quietly performed at an elite level this season and often goes unnoticed when the discussion about who is among the Top Ten quarterbacks in the game is held. Like Glenn Close's psycho character in Fatal Attraction, he "will not be be ignored" for much longer.

On to the other thoughts:

- The Pats and Colts certainly fought an entertaining battle, didn't they? I believe that a healthy Marvin Harrison would've made the difference for the Colts. Reggie Wayne was the only elite receiver the Colts had ( he really should've made that catch though....that drop was a killer) and they still stayed stride for stride with Mighty New England for nearly the whole game. As for the Patriots, what more can one say? They have to be considered the overwhelming favorites to win the Super Bowl and have an excellent chance to go undefeated.

- My friend had this to say about Bill Belichick: "He's the kind of guy you want something bad to happen to." While I wouldn't go as far as to say that, I do find it rich that he accused the Colts of piping in stadium noise to disrupt his team. I can't believe he would find a sympathetic ear in the entire league who would listen to him. Your behavior has caused nearly everybody to hate you, Bill. Justified or not, you have made your own bed here. Have a nice nap.

- Adrian Peterson just continues to exceed the already-lofty expectations for his rookie year. Breaking the single game rushing yardage record is yet another bit of icing on the Rookie of the Year cake. He is truly the most talented RB in the league not nicknamed "LT."

- I think the Jets have cause for a little optimism. Yes, they are still horrible and probably will finish is the bottom three in the league. But Kellen Clemens is going to be a very good quarterback in this league. His ability to squeeze the ball into tight spaces with velocity and accuracy is a huge improvement over Chad Pennington's feeble tosses. I'm not blaming Chad...he never had a strong arm to begin with and he certainly deserves respect for coming back after two major shoulder injuries. But having a QB who can gun the ball downfield is going to eventually make the Jets harder to play against. Now if they could just do something about all those horrific drops by the receivers.

- You could have timed Shaun Rogers' touchdown run with a calendar. I still can't believe they didn't need to perform CPR on the big man in the end zone.

- Do you get the feeling that someone kidnapped Drew Brees in the beginning of the season, shoved him a root cellar somewhere and replaced him with a doppelganger out on the field? He must have have escaped his shackles during the bye week because he looks like a completely different quarterback out there.

- You know what, T.O? There's less "love" in those boos that you hear at Lincoln Field than you think. You may want to look into purchasing a bullet-proof vest for your next visit.

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