Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Archers Bull's Eye Week #8

If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.

- Hunter S Thompson

Can't go sailing off into the sunset without paying homage to my journalistic hero... and I use both terms loosely because the Dr of Gonzo wouldn't want it any other way.

I hate to see Locker Room flounder because I think the concept is a good one... but some times it's good to step back and re-examine priorities and limitations. Somewhere in the future I hope to find the time and resources, and other interested parties, and resurrect the spirit of LR in a new format. But like Wikkid, right now I have too much on my plate. I guess this is where some people would get sentimental and wax poetic about the good times.... blah.

Here's the week in review.....

Mother Teresa knocked out!...

The quote of the week was by Coach Billick when he said that beating New Orleans, the loveable underdog cinderella of '06, was like beating up Mother Teresa. An ugly job, but somebody had to do it.

That wasn't such a hard task after all, with the heralded savoir of Nawlins fumbling the ball on his first carry. It only got worse from there as he also added an intercepted pass to his resume of horrors. The icing on the cake was re-injuring his ankle in the second half, but fortunately it doesn't look like he'll miss any time.

Maybe he can spend some time with Brees this week and compare notes how to avoid throwing picks.... but I guess that's the blind leading the blind.

The irony after all the Bush-hype, which is still out there as optimism is very contagious in the world of fantasy football fanatics, that the real rookie impact player the Saints drafted this year was a guy out of a little college called Hofstra. Marques Colston is just the type of receiver that Brees loves to throw the ball to... and his numbers show it.

Now that the Ravens offense has been Un-"Fassel"-ized, maybe the lumbering dinosaur of an offense we've come to relate to the Ravens has finally been laid to rest in the muck of the LaBrea Tar Pits where it belongs. The Saints do have a decent defense... and McNair picked them apart pretty good. Hope this new thing called "offensive touchdowns" is going to stick around a while.

Heap mowing the lawn with the new Briggs & Stratton Bullock model

Time of Possession...

The Seahawks only had the ball a little over 17 minutes, but still managed to score 4 touchdowns which was only one shy of the Chiefs. The key to the lopsided time of possession was LJ 1-2-3 all the way down the field to 1-2-3... count 'em... touchdowns. Of course the two interceptions by Seneca Wallace didn't help the Seahawks situation. But he did manage to throw 3 touchdown passes and the bone-headed pass attempt/fumble during a botched field goal attempt by the Chiefs holder, Colquitt which turned into six for the Seahawks D/ST also helped make the score look closer than what it should have been.

The Raiders have an opportunity to knock out both of last years Super Bowl teams next week when they play the Seahawks, who will be without Alexander for sure for one more week. Who'da thunk it!!

The Lambeau Hop

Risking a life-threatening infection from a broken hip.... Favre finally attempted the touchdown tradition in Green Bay and looked like..... an old man who can't jump. It's great to see Brett playing the game he loves like a kid, but he is the embodiment of the saying "the mind is willing, but the body isn't."

Okay, Bryant you go run a fade 42 Double Jack route and I'll throw it to Woodson.

Meanwhile Denny Green was visibly upset when his rookie quarterback got a delay of game penalty... and the conversation must have been something like....

"I know you're going to be here in this league for a while and I'm going to lose my job after this year.... but why must you make my life so miserable?"


.... and the Packers are who we thought they were.... crown'em!!

"Ocho Cinco El Stinko" says Ron Mexico

... and DeAngelo Hall enforced it. The cheap shots that the Falcons took at CJ got them a penalty... but it accomplished the intimidation they were looking for. Palmer and CJ had a decent day, but there were some missed opportunities that could have made this outcome different. There just isn't any rhythm in the Bengals offense this year, and a key problem that needs addressing is the lack of a consistent running game. Palmer has been rushed and under pressure every week it seems like.

The surprise of the game besides a CJ touchdown... was Vick's accuracy and 3 touchdown passes. The past two weeks Mr Mexico has answered his critics with some impressive passing to go along with his running ability. With the struggles in Philly and Seattle... the Falcons are making a move to be in the upper echelon of the NFC along with the Giants and Bears. Crumpler could end up being the TE of the year as long as Vick continues throwing the ball as much as he has been.

They Did The Mash... The Monsters of Midway Mash...

Can we just go ahead and create a new league for the Bears already.... or maybe demote the 49ers to NFL Europe. After scoring 41 points in the first half alone, the Bears just coasted the rest of the way throwing in as many scrubs as they could. Even then... the 49ers didn't get on the scoreboard until the start of the 4th quarter.

And I can't finish this summary with a halloween reference without mentioning Frank Gore-y, who slashed his way through the MoM Defense for 111 yards, the most any running back has been able to do all year, but as I said before... the scrubs had something to do with that. Hicks inherited Gore's fumblitis... so the running game isn't all positive in SF, but I had to give them something.... Mother Nolan's cupboard has been short of bones this year again.

I've Fallen and I Can't Get Back Up...

What is going on with McNabb and the Eagles? The last two games were close and lost in the last few seconds of the game. This week the Jags D just flustered Donovan all day. The return of Stallworth didn't even spark things for McNabb. Now Reid and Co have two weeks to figure it out and re-light that fire they had going out of the gate.

Garrard got the start for the Jags signal caller, which really didn't add anything new other than the complete disappearance of any passing game, which was spotty already. But the combination of Fragile Fred and the adapted lovechild of the lesbian couple Star Jones and Nancy Drew... took the mystery right out of this victory. They both combined for 180 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries.

Just Add Spice...

After the Texans got down 21-3 to the Titans thanks in large part to David Carr's two fumbles and one interception.


Enter the Immortal Sage... to perk up the recipe. Without the Pacman punt return for a touchdown early in the 4th.... Sage could have added a "save" to his pitching stats. The 6 year clipboard vet looked better than Carr had... but I still don't see this being a permanent change. Just a prudent coaches move to stop the bleeding for one week, and maybe have a shot at winning. Now if Cowher could just learn how to do that....

Vince Young's homecoming to the Lone Star state was sure to add a little extra mustard on this sandwich... and he didn't disappoint. He drew first blood by scoring the first touchdown of the day on a 20 yard scamper ala Vick. But the 87 yards passing suggests that he is definitely following in Vick's footsteps, which will be fantasy indigestion for a few years for those brave enough to go there.

.... I'm getting hungry all of a sudden.

The Barber of Seville

In the battle of the Barber Twins, Tiki emerges on top once again. Ronde has got to be tired of always losing that bet every year and having to buy momma's new car out of his paycheck. The flak between Tiki and the ESPN guys was more of a distraction this week than anything else... including Tiki's retirement announcement which set the fireworks off in the first place. If anything, I think he's inspired his team to play better and give him the ring he deserves.

The Bruce... aka The Graduate (who hasn't earned his sheepskin quite yet)... is struggling. When Caddy and Pittman are his top two receivers... it's plain to see that he's not getting a good look downfield yet or comfortable enough to go there with any frequency. As a result, defenses can stack the box and stuff the run and apply pressure on passing plays at will. He'll work through that tendency eventually... but in the meantime Caddy owners like me will have to grin and bear it.

Is It In You....

Or if you ask Marc Bulger.... is it on you? The Super-Charged Charger Merriman was all over him Sunday, collecting 3 sacks on the day. In related news, with all the testosterone in his face.... Bulger grew a ZZTop length beard during the course of the game. And while Bulger was eating carpet.... Torry Holt was wondering if he became invisible.

LT got off to a fast start with two touchdowns in the 1st quarter and cruised his way to 183 yards on the ground. For dessert he added a 25 yard catch for six late in the game to help seal the win. Baby LT (SJax) had to get his endzone celebration, too... but still didn't get anywhere near daddy's numbers.

Your day will come young grasshopper.

If I throw the ball to you... will you leave my head alone?

Do you think maybe Big Ben should just sit one out and let himself heal, rather than playing like he has been? Batch seems to have a little spark that the Steelers offense has been sorely lacjking otherwise... when he gets an opportunity. The Carr interception was a mistake you'd expect from a rookie who never took a snap in the NFL.... not a Super Bowl champion QB.

How did the Raiders find a way to be 2-5 when they were as hapless as the Cardinals a few weeks ago? Without the 14 points from the defense... they would still be singing the Art Shell Blues. Porter finally got out of Al Davis' dungeon and got on the field.... but nobody noticed, especially Andy Walter.

Immovable Object Meets Irresistable Force...

...and the immovable object moved.

Holy Caped Crusader! Who was that three-time end zone visitor that scored three time as many TD's as any visitor to Investco Stadium all year?

oh.... Mr. Wayne

As methodical as an Ausberger Autistic figuring out an differential calculus equation... Manning pulled another one out of his ass. Thank you Mr Reliable (Adam Vinatieri). If Denver hadn't given him as much time as they did.... oh well.... for once the Broncos success at running the ball, which slashed through the Colts D like a machete... actually was a detriment to their hopes of a victory. If they were getting only 3 or 4 yards a carry, that would have eaten the clock up and never given Manning a chance.

If you looked closely at Plummer Sunday he was wearing the same get-up that Peyton wears in his new commercial.... and Plummer did his best to imitate Manning on the field, too. There's something to that 'rising to the level of competition' thing. Mike Bell avoided any chances of getting turf toe by diving into the end zone up-ended.... so if anything he was going to get turf head.

Patty Cake Patty Cake, Baker's the man, If He Can't Score....

The Jets lose.

Seems like Mangini brings a Boeing 747 one week.... and a crank-prop puddle-jumper the next. Hard to tell which team will show up from week to week. I expected the Browns offense to come out of the duldrums with their new OC, which made it look like a shoot out on paper... but Penny and Co just kept firing blanks all day. The call made for the Baker catch in the end zone was a bad call... he was clearly forced out and would have come down in-bounds, which would have sent the game into overtime.... still no guarantee of victory, but better than being ripped-off. Other than that the Jets had very little offense and wouldn't even have been in a position to tie the game at the end without help from special teams, as Justin "time for..." Miller ran the length of the field on the ensuing kick-off after the Browns just went up 20-3 late in the 3rd quarter.

Welcome back Reuben... hope this new offense gives you more days like this instead of the last few weeks of nothin'. Now if we can just find a rope long enough to pull Braydon out of the abyss then you guys might be a divisional contender... the Steelers and Bengals apparently don't want it.

There's a New Sherriff In Town...

...and if Sunday night is any indication, he'll make Parcells look like the genius he always has been, but we were seriously wondering about his age becoming a factor. Speaking of age.... what a difference a mobile QB makes to help loosen up opposing defenses. The statue wasn't able to scramble like that... and make things happen. Witten finally got a score and the toss from Romo was perfectly placed to avoid the possibility of an interception.... which was a big concern after last week.

It didn't look good for the 'Boys in the early going, with Gamble's interception and Smith's end around to put the Panthers up 14-0... it looked like Cowboy football status quo. But the momentum shifted and when JJ got in the end zone half way through the 4th, the Cowboys had the lead for good. TO didn't get any touchdowns to stroke his ego.... but he did get the 2 point conversion to make it a 21-14 margin. He also eclipsed the century mark and definitely has chemistry with Romo. But TO does make one concession.... and let's Romo get all the sloppy forehead kisses from Parcells.

The Kitchen Sink....

Would have gotten a touchdown from Brady Monday night if it wore a Patriots uniform. It appears that Brady and his new receiving corps are gelling just in time to go slay the perfect Colts who come to visit next week. Four different WR's scored touchdowns... so it looks like Brady will continue to make everyone he can happy.... except fantasy owners of Patriot receivers. What Shanahan does for fantasy owners of Denver running backs.... Belichick & Brady do for Patriot WR's. Anyone who can make Reche Caldwell look good.... is on to something. Why the Vikings were in single safety coverage is a mystery, but apparently they thought the running game of the Patriots was the more serious threat.


The lone bright spot for the Vikings was MeMo... as in the Patriot punt return unit didn't get the MeMo to watch out for this guy. The offense did absolutely nothing and Brad Johnson didn't help by throwing three interceptions. So Bollinger got a chance to add a little spark.... and threw a pick of his own.

Maroney had a decent homecoming... especially returning kicks. And had a good return of his own following Moore's touchdown, which put the Kiabosch on any momentum swings going toward the Vikes.

..... Happy Halloween

.... the sad thing is.... that ain't a costume!

Sagitta Veritas

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