Another wild week for my football teams, but they were all winners again. I can breathe easy for another week as everyone’s at least .500 after the past weekend. Then we have the Bears, who, well, are not very good.
Let’s start with Illinois, since they’ve started the season 4-0 for the first time since 1951. Conference play begins, so things may change for the Fightin’ Illini in the near future. I’ll enjoy the 23-20 victory over Western Michigan and look forward to beating the Purple Nerds this weekend. You may also know them as the Northwestern Wildcats.
So much for my bold prediction of the Irish dominating again this week over Pittsburgh, instead they had to overcome turnovers, again to get their second win of the season. Pitt pretty much took receiver, Michael Floyd, out of the game with double coverage, so Tommy Rees did not have his security blanket. Even without Floyd factoring in the game the Irish won 15-12 in a truly boring game. That win moves the Irish to 2-2 on the year.
So, the Cowboys came limping in to this week with Tony Romo in a flak jacket to protect his ribs and punctured lung, Felix Jones’ shoulder in a sling because its dislocated, Dez Bryant coming in and out the game with leg issues and Miles Austin out with a hamstring. Romo survived four bad snaps by his center, rookie receivers running bad routes, and a so-so running game. The two biggest plays of the game came from Romo, one when the ball was snapped to him prematurely and went 20-yards behind the line of scrimmage before he picked it up and threw a pass for a two-yard gain under duress. The other was the game winning drive when Washington sensing the wide receivers were completely out-of-whack decided to keep sending all-out blitzes daring Romo to throw complete a pass. He did just that when he rolled out, bought time and hit an open Dez Bryant for a first down putting the Cowboys in field goal range. The Cowboys took an 18-16 lead and then the defense sealed the deal when they stripped Rex Grossman of the ball just over 20-seconds to play. The Cowboys took a knee and that was the game. The Cowboys face another undefeated team, my second favorite team to watch this year, the Detroit Lions. The Cowboys defense will have more of a challenge this weekend facing a potent passing attack that includes the best receiver in football, Calvin Johnson. The Cowboys will have to have less mistakes this weekend to beat the Lions, and if they do they’ll beat Detroit 24-21, if not the Lions may massacre the ‘Boys.
Is it just me or is Mike Martz trying to get fired? Can you blame him, the Bears still have not provided him with a receiving core worth squat or a QB that will listen. Why do you think the Broncos were so quick to let Cutler go? Because he has issues listening to coaches. In Martz’ offense you either conform to his way or its no way. That really hasn’t worked for Cutler, and he has so little faith in his offensive line that he often gives up on a play too early. Then there’s the flipside to Cutler when he holds the ball for over six seconds and takes a sack. It’s like he has no internal clock. The Bears were no match for the Packers this weekend as the Pack jumped out to a 14-0 lead and didn’t look back. Martz was suppose to be more committed to the run game this week, but they only rushed the ball nine times for 2-yards. Cutler outperformed Matt Forte with three rushes for 9 nine yards. I will admit the Bears did get screwed on a wonderfully designed trick play on a punt. The Packers punted and Devin Hester faked like the ball was coming to him on the near side of the field. Before the Packers knew what hit them Johnny Knox was running free down the far side of the field for a touchdown. The play was called back for a phantom hold back at the twenty. The Bears defense again let up at least 100-yards rushing and was lit up in the secondary as usual. If I were the Panthers this week I would just let Cam Newton throw 50 times, as they will probably win the game. Bears fall to 1-2, staring 1-3 in the face.