THE WARNER MACHINE
Funny, if you ever look at the NFL.com fantasy section, it seems that they are using the "Warner Machine" in a lot of their headlines. They must be big fans.
The Cardinals have a huge game against the Cowboys on Sunday. If there ever was a chance for the Birds to finally make a name for themselves, this is it. The Cowboys are banged up, distracted (more on that later) and have a porous defense that should be taken advantage of.
Arizona has been incredible on offense, especially when the Kurt Warner Machine holds on to the ball. Cardinals fans, you hate when Cowboys fans take over your stadium. (Cowboys fans were forced to buy extra tickets to future games to get single game tickets for Sunday.) So do something about it. A win will not only legitimize your candidacy for the NFC West crown, but give you a chance to shut those obnoxious fans up for a change.
Take the Cardinals.
SAN DIEGO FIGHTING FOR GOOD
Forget playoffs. Forget Super Bowls. The Chargers season comes down to just beating the Patriots. San Diego can finish the season 3-13, but it will be a success if they can beat New England.
Seriously, somebody from Southern California has to beat a New Englander.
This is going to be the time. The Chargers are a desperate football team. Which, in NFL terms, means that they will most certainly win. If not, that quick hook they used on Marty Schottenheimer should be used on Norv Turner.
Take the Chargers.
THE GREATNESS OF THE RAIDERS
The Tom Cable era begins this week. And for those of you who follow trends, realize that the last time the Raiders replaced a coach four games into the season (Mike Shanahan in 1989 with the same 1-3 record as Lane Kiffin) and replaced him with an offensive line coach (Art Shell), the Raiders won their next two games and finished 8-8.
Can this year's Raiders do it?
Not so much.
The Raiders are guaranteed at least one more win (Kansas City) and there is some decent talent on this team. Tight end Zach Miller is a stud. The running attack is good. JaMarcus Russell might not be as good as Al wants us to believe (and I won't get over it), but he's not as bad as some of the guys are there playing quarterback. So there are some capable players. And be honest, not many teams could be successful playing under the conditions that Davis has fostered in Oakland.
Don't expect the Raiders to pull an "us-against-the-world" mantra on the way to a Super Bowl title. But they should be able to pull it together enough to win at New Orleans. (And it's booked in the GA.)
- Kiffin can't seem to quit the Raiders. The former coach is mentoring Russell in preparation for the Raiders game at New Orleans. Wait a minute, didn't Davis try to spread the rumor that Kiffin didn't want Russell, and didn't think he could win with him? That is awfully curious that the quarterback and former coach are still tight.
- St. Louis FC's best chance to win a game might be this weekend against the Redskins. Seems strange to say after the team defeated the Cowboys and Eagles on the road. But that's the rub. The Redskins are due for a trap game against the happless St. Louis FC. Just don't expect it. The Redskins might struggle at first, but they will likely pull it together to beat this team.
- Raven has such a badass defense, but it sure seems to get turned out by Gomer a lot. Gomer has seven touchdown passes and no intereceptions in his past seven games against Raven. Somewhere, Johnny Unitas is rolling over in his grave, knowing that this dip(expletive) is getting over on Baltimore.
- Gus Frerotte is a fantasy option this week. That's because they are playing Detroit. Don't let them say that Matt Millen never developed a quarterback. He's developed plenty of opposing quarterbacks. BTW, Millen for Raiders GM? How come this hasn't been brought up sooner?
- Slap yourself in the face if you are looking forward to these games: Actually don't go James Dungy for wanting to see the Bengals at Jets. There is going to be a lot of points scored, so don't be ashamed. Sure, it's the NFL-equivalent of wanting to see Crossroads, but don't be too down on yourself.
- The Panthers are the best team in the NFC right now, reminding many of that magical 2003 season. A big help was the suspension of Steve Smith, which forced this offense to find some other playmakers. The key is the defense though. The Panthers have faced Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, and Larry Johnson in recent weeks, holding them all in check.
- Seems that Adam Jones took Wednesday's post seriously. No Adam, just because you spent some time repainting a youth center does not mean you can go slap your body guard around. The Hater Nation is sorry if it gave the impression that the story was legitimate. That's on us.
- Anybody else sick of hearing about the 'Wildcat' formation? What we really want to know about is all of the Cougar formations.
- The Bears and Falcons game seemed like -- at least at the beginning of the year -- to be one of those 'slap yourself in the face' games. But this one might not be horrible. Kyle Orton is really disturbing because he's attributing his great start to being sober and settled down. Now who are us drunks supposed to look up to? Brian Griese?
- Jacksonville is really in danger of falling behind in the AFC South. And here's the deal, they aren't going to win at Denver. The Orange Hobgoblin won't forget that playoff loss in 1996 to the upstart Jaguars. He's going to make Jack Del Rio pay, and it wasn't even his fault.
- Were you really planning on doing any work today?
- Donovan McNabb said he was embarrassed by the Eagles performance in recent weeks. Quick, make sure he doesn't have a copy of his Super Bowl performance. he might puke again.
- Wade Phillips must be really happy that he took the Cowboys job.
- People waiting for the Seahawks to "turn it on" will be waiting a long time. You don't want to chuck the season after one bad loss, but they just have too many issues. Mike Holmgren's final regular-season game against his former team just won't have the same zip it should have had if all of his receivers didn't get hurt.
- How happy is ESPN that they do not get to flex the Browns out of their three Monday night games?
No. 1 Oklahoma plays No. 5 Texas. No. 3 Missouri plays host to No. 17 Oklahoma State. No. 6 Penn State is at Wisconsin. No. 4 LSU is at No. 11 Florida. There is a chance that USC could be back in the Top 5 by the end of this weekend. BYU could be right on their tails.
But here is what is going to happen.
Oklahoma beats Texas. This is a no-brainer, keeping the top spot. Texas falls to No. 10, behind BYU. Missouri will roll past the Cowboys. Penn State will lose, falls to No. 11. Florida will beat LSU. The Tigers will move to No. 9 ahead of BYU. Florida will jump past USC in the rankings.
Go ahead and book that.
You hung tough this long? Bless you.