Worst communication: Both teams were briefly awarded possession during the Steelers/Titans game. The offenses and defenses for both teams then also came onto the field, and both teams scored touchdowns simultaneously.
What a mess.
Best false stat: We actually took the time to do some real journalistic research to prove that you’re being fed dirty lies on Sunday afternoons by those number-fabricating TV networks.
A Fox graphic said it was the 48th consecutive drive in which the Eagles defense allowed points after Fred Jackson scored on the Bills’ first drive. Did you know that 80 percent of people believe vague statistics? The Eagles have been atrociously disgusting defensively, but not quite that bad. Last week the 49ers had a punt in the fourth quarter.
Best unintentional Al Davis tribute: Kickers converted seven field goals of 50 yards or more during the eight early games. This was their way of honoring Al Davis, who became only the third general manager in NFL history to draft a kicker in the first round when he selected Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th overall pick in 2000.
Sea Bass had three of those kicks, converting from 55, 54, and 50 yards against the Texans.
Best lack of fundamentals: Michael Vick remains the most dynamic element in the Eagles’ offense, and he’s putting up fine numbers despite often having the game on his arm because of Philly’s defensive deficiencies.
But a strong leader identifies and works around weaknesses. Vick threw interceptions on the Eagles’ first two drives, and the second one was the result of a quarterback who usually has tremendous mobility and pocket sense holding onto the ball for too long. The Eagles’ poor offensive line collapsed and Vick was struck in the back as he released a wobbly throw that landed in the hands of Bills safety George Wilson.
At a time when anything that can go wrong for the Eagles is going wrong for the Eagles, their offensive leader needs to show supreme field sense and be a reliable anchor. That didn’t happen early today when Vick was most needed with the Eagles on the road and in a hostile environment against a 3-1 team (now 4-1).
That’s a long rant on one piece of minutiae, and one bad decision that resulted in a bad throw. If we’re not turning minutiae into rants, we’re not trying. In fairness though, as this game wore on it became clear that Philly’s offensive line is jealous of the linebackers and the constant attention they’re receiving as the team’s glaring weakness. Overall it’s difficult to blame Vick since he often didn’t have time to even set his feet in the pocket, and do normal things like read through progressions. Vick finished with four picks, already putting his total for the year (seven) one ahead of his total for 2010.
However, that feeble cop out was written before Vick again held onto the ball too long with the Eagles down 21-7 on Buffalo’s 26-yard line as the seconds ticked down to halftime. They were in a position to at least get a field goal, and instead while looking for the end zone on third down Vick allowed the clock to read triple zeros. Half over, drive over, Eagles season over?
Most painful way to lose a shot at money: Our wallets bleed because of you, New York Football Giants…
Best QB/WR love affair: Pierre Garcon had 149 receiving yards and no touchdowns over the first three weeks before Curtis Painter took over for Kerry Collins in Week 4. Since then Garcon has 271 yards and two touchdowns.
Quarterback who should maybe try throwing underhanded instead: So something incredibly predictable happened during Minnesota’s 34-10 win over Arizona: the Vikings gave Adrian Peterson the ball a lot, and then they celebrated a lot of touchdowns. Four of them, to be exact, and on three of those scores Peterson was the first guy in the end zone to start the fiesta.
The resulting scene was glorious and gleeful, but while a four-touchdown lead by the 11-minute mark of the second quarter will cause such joy that pants are soiled on the sideline of a previously winless team, it also highlighted a continued embarrassment at the most important offensive position.
The Vikings scored 28 points on their first six drives, and Donovan McNabb had only two completions. He remains useless, meaningless, and highly ineffective in the Minnesota offense, three deadly adjectives for a quarterback.
Best premature Halloween outfit: While the women in our lives are figuring out how they’ll take advantage of the one day of the year when it’s acceptable to dress as the employee of the month at a high-end burlesque house, us men are left to maximize creativity while minimizing reputation-shattering embarrassment.
The solution? Do the double costume, and show what it would look like if Mr. T dressed up as a smurf…