Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"HELLO CLEVELAND!".....and other thoughts from Week 12

Don't look now, but the perennial NFL door-mats Browns are making a mad dash for the playoffs. They are 7-4 and have a very friendly schedule for the rest of the season.

Cleveland still has issues on the defensive side of the ball, but their offense is proving that, when it's in the groove, they can compete with anyone in the league except perhaps the Patriots or Cowboys. Derek Anderson has gone from an after-thought to a top 5 quarterback. Braylon Edwards has emerged as a top-flight WR. Jamal Lewis, whose career was thought to be on the downside (to put it kindly), has run with a passion that he hasn't exhibited in years. I'm reminded of a Shakespearean quote to describe him: "Who knew the old man had so much blood in him?" (It seems only appropriate to use the Bard's words in connection with a team coached by a man named Romeo.)

As Derek Smalls from Spinal Tap said, " I mean, people should be envying us, you know?"

Trust me, Cleveland....fans of other teams already do.

On to the other thoughts:

- I'd say the recent performance of Huggy Bear Jr., Justin Fargas, makes it a little easier for Oakland to give Lamont Jordan his walking papers, wouldn't you?

- You really need to be awful in order to make Tavaris Jackson stand out in a game. Congratulations, Eli Manning....you achieved the improbable.

- Not too complain too much, but with all the weeks he hasn't scored, I think Chad Johnson could've come up with something a little more original than grabbing the camera for his end zone celebration.

- With a weapon like Devin Hester, I'd think it wouldn't matter that Chicago's once fearsome defense is now porous and their backfield will now be comprised of "The Other" Adrian Peterson and Garrett Wolfe. And why on earth do teams continue to kick to this guy? They're not playing with fire...they're jumping right into the inferno.

- Big time kudos to the Philadelphia Eagles, who came thisclose to beating the mighty Patriots. New England has such an aura of winning about them right now that I'd say teams expect to lose to them. The Eagles, backup quarterback and all, didn't fall prey to that negative line of thinking and left it all out on the field. Belichick and Co. are going to need to be at their best the rest of the season or someone just as unlikely will knock them off.

- Welcome back, Frank Gore....Here's a guy you really root for....a superior player on a bargain-basement team who fights the overwhelming odds and achieves success...kind of like Kelly Leake from The Bad News Bears.

- Boy, even with a fistful of gold, those Rams just can't buy a break this year.

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