Thankfully, the camera was trained on the Chargers sidelines all day.
DEFENSE TO THE RESCUE
Marlon McCree returned a fumble 79-yards for a touchdown in the third-quarter that turned a potential tie-game into a runaway for the Chargers. But returning scores for touchdowns is such a Raiders thing to do. Really. The Raiders gained less than 100 yards in total offense yesterday, but turned two interception returns for touchdowns to lead the team to its second consecutive win. Watch out folks, the Raiders are back and they are going to the Super Bowl!
Give it up to the Raiders Inn Keeper who finally devised a game plan that made his team successful. Punting on third down might have been a bit of a stretch, but who can argue with the results?
Raven also used two-interception returns to cruise to a victory over Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. Wasn't Brees being considered for NFL MVP last week? You should not write Brees off after one game. But performances like this in big games is one of the reasons why San Diego let him walk as a free-agent.
THANKS FOR NOTHING BILL BELICHICK
You figured the cosmic choking force of Tony Dungy and Peyton Manning would be enough to turn Adam Vinatieri into a mortal. No such luck. At least not for now. Vinatieri made just another clutch kick and Manning celebrated like he just won the Super Bowl. Hell, that might be the closest he ever gets, so we should let him enjoy it.
But can Bill Belichick again explain how letting Vinatieri goes was a good idea? You figure that next week’s Sunday night extravaganza is going to come down to a game-winning field goal, right? Either Vinatieri boots the game winner for the Colts, or Janni Gogolak misses a kick for the Patriots.
With all that being said, it is hard to take anything Peyton does during the regular season seriously until he finally wins that big game. Next week would be a good start.
- Shawne Merriman should continue to take whatever supplement he wants after the way he abused Marc Bulger yesterday for three sakes. Not bad, considering that everybody was making all sorts of steroid jokes about him.
- Has Eli Messiah made a good pass this season? Good lord, every time they show Messiah on a game break, he is overthrowing Plaxico Burress who then makes a seemingly impossible catch. It's unbelievable. He deserves some Isotones.
- How soon until a potential Manning vs. Messiah Super Bowl begins to be hyped? You figure that if they can start playing Christmas commercials prior to Halloween, then it is not too early to promote a potential Manning Bowl.
- Speaking of choking quarterbacks, the Eagles lost again. Donovan McNabb and the Eagles were held to 229 yards, but when you compare it to the 94 yards the Raiders offense generated, that's not bad.
- Anybody else taking their time before jumping on the Mike Vick bandwagon? There has been no argument that he has a rifle for an arm. But he just hasn’t been able to put it all together. He is doing that now. Remember, the Falcons started 6-2 last season before finishing 8-8.
- The Falcons trashed-talked Ben Roethlisberger a week ago and delivered a cheap shot to Chad Johnson on Sunday. Yeah, mark that up as another reason to not jump on the Vick bandwagon. Some team will eventually take a cheap shot on him in the open field.
- (Expletive) the Panthers.
- Brett Favre is not going to break the all-time interceptions record on his current pace. But with Favre, he always has that puncher's chance to pull out a six-interception game.
- After beating the Steelers yesterday, how many Raiders fans are walking around today believing that they are the Super Bowl champs? Seriously.
- Why is it, when a Pac-10 team loses its first regular season game in years, they fall so dramatically in the polls? The Pac-10 loses and its evidence that the conference is weak. The SEC teams lose to each other and it is a testament to the league’s toughness. Whatever. SEC superiority is indeed a myth. They might put the most players in the NFL (for now), but they will be exposed in the bowls again this year when they roll over like Atlanta did for General Sherman.
USC's loss should have had a bigger impact on Boise State who defeated Oregon State earlier this season. So USC beat Arkansas (the best team in the SEC). Oregon State beat USC. Boise State beat Oregon State. So Boise State could win the SEC. Instead, they are No. 14 in the polls. The Broncos really need to beat up on Fresno State on Wednesday and hope that USC wins out the rest of the way.
- Anybody else taking their time before jumping on the Tony Romo bandwagon? The guy looked impressive beating the Panthers, but he is one miss-thrown ball away from a Terrell Owens meltdown and complete turmoil.
- Wait a minute, the Eagles stink, Dallas has a rookie quarterback and Bill Parcells is awful now and the Redskins are awful. Great, get that Manning Bowl promo ready.
It was nice to see David Eckstein and Scott Spiezio celebrating another World Series together. It would have been worse to see, say, Troy Glaus celebrating a World Series with another team. Is anybody else getting the feeling that Arte Moreno really wants to stick it to Angels fans by signing Barry Bonds?