My Giants fianlly got the chance to play a bad team today, and true to form almost honked a game to the Texans. They trailed in the fourth quarter, but rallied to win 17-14.
Their bad play was a combination of being generally banged up (the defense was without Osi Umenyiora, Brandon Short, Sam Madison, and LaVar Arrington, and Michael Strahan left early in the game with a foot injury), and the classic sports sin of "looking ahead." Next week, the Giants face the Chicago Bears, who came into this week 7-0, and have been steamrolling their opponents. The Giants-Bears game was shaping up to be the marquee game of next weekend, and some of the bad play this week has to be a result of looking past the lowly Texans.
Of course, the Giants weren't the only ones looking ahead: the Bears lost to the 1-6 Dolphins today. Which is bad news for a depleted Giants squad, as they're going to be pissed next week...
Other NFL ramblings below the fold.
The past two weeks, all the sports talking heads have been abuzz over Michael Vick's performance, as he threw for seven touchdowns in the last two games. "He's turned the corner!" they all said.
Of course, those seven TD's came against the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cincinnati Bengals, who aren't exactly renowned for the ferocity of their defense. And the week before this two-week "corner-turning" stretch started, the Giants made Vick look pretty bad.
And then today, the Falcons lost to the lowly Lions, with Vick turning the ball over twice in the first half, and only passing for 163 yards.
The NFL and the networks who cover is are palpably desperate for Vick to be great, because he's the sort of flashy, showy player who sells a ton of jerseys, and drives good tv ratings. And the fact is, he's just not there yet. He puts up impressive numbers now and again, mostly against bad defenses, but good teams can contain him, and then he looks pretty ordinary.
The other highlight game of the day saw the Redskins beat the Cowboys on a wild last-second play. I haven't seen highlights of it yet, but I'll definitely look for them, because it sounds like an amazing finish-- a blocked field goal attempt, picked up and run back as time expired, with a face mask penalty on the return setting up a final untimed down, for the game-winning kick.
It's always fun when the Cowboys lose, and even more so when they lose in an ignominious manner. And reports on the game say that Terrell Owens dropped a sure touchdown pass that would've given Dallas the win. Really, it just doesn't get any better than this...
The Giants-Bears game next weekend is still the marquee match-up, though I frankly expect the Giants to get pounded. They're missing too many key guys at the moment, and Chicago is bound to be angry after the loss to the Dolphins.
But that's still looking too far ahead-- the marquee match-up of this week is still to come, the big Peyton Manning- Tom Brady showdown tonight. On paper, this ought to be a really fun game, which probably means a 9-6 snoozefest, but I'll watch at least half of it anyway...
Really, it just doesn't get any better than this...
Totally agree about TO. I wish the QB would get in TO's face and berate him the way he does to others when he doesn't get his way.
Do teams really "look ahead?" That seems really, um, odd. A team of, what, 50 guys are all thinking, "gee, next week's game is going to be really hard" while they are blocking, or getting blocked, or whathaveyou? That just seems like the kind of thing sports pundits say when they want to fill dead air.
I thought that the great thing about the NFL is that, on any given Sunday, any team could win. Parity has been a serious goal on the part of NFL for years. So that the Giants had a hard time today is because, really, there is not a huge difference between the Giants and the Texans.
But what do I know? I only watch sports where little streaks like 7 wins are in the noise, not half of the season.
For those of us in the DC area who aren't natives, watching the Redskins honk it is always fun, too, which is why yesterday's game was bittersweet even with the Dallas loss... I guess the best result (for all of us other NFC-Easters, as I'm an Iggles fan) would have been a 0-0 tie where TO gets knocked out with a concussion so he wouldn't be available for the post-game interviews, but such is life.