Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 6

Back in Week 2, I needed to score big on my FourCast. I called on the Cleveland Browns offense to guarantee me a score. Funny how I'm doing the PHSports FourCast for my second time, and I could probably ask for their offense to help me again. Pittsburgh had better look out in week 10.

1) The Hester Prynne-ciple

Rather than bear a single scarlet letter, Devin Hester wears three letters for the Bears: MVP. Hester may not be out there on offense (or defense) every play of the game, but his big plays are what keep the Bears in games. How valuable is Hester to the Bears? Last season, he won the Arizona game for the Bears with his 83-yard punt return for a TD. He crippled the Rams with two kick returns for TDs. He demoralized the Giants with an electrifying 108-yard return off of a missed field goal attempt. He also had two others last year. This year, he has already returned three kicks/punts for scores and had another long TD lining up on offense.

Momentum is the name of the game in the NFL. You see it every game. A momentum-changing play. Whether it puts a team back in the lead, gives them some extra cushion or puts them back in the game, the fact that the pendulum swing is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. The excitement that a momentum changer infuses into teammates and coaches can turn an average team into a good team. Had it not been for a Herculean effort by a rookie running back on the Vikings, Hester would have had the Bears in the win column again.

2) 81 vs. 81

Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, Randy and his simple-minded friend T.O. dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own. But after they came to work on the gridiron in Dallas their hopes, like "the best laid schemes o' mice an' men," begin to go awry.

Randy Moss isn't really talking this year (or rubbing his rear end on a goal-post), and T.O. decided not to talk this past week. Both are feats of gargantuan proportions. The challenge was silently made. However, if I was to crown a winner, I'd give it to backup kicker extraordinaire Wes Welker. Welker matched both Randy's and T.O.'s stats, combined. Also lost in this fray was Donte Stallworth, who came up one TD short of matching Welker. Then again, have I made a mistake in crowning my champ? Looking at the Cowboys, we notice that nobody really played the Welker or Stallworth role. The fact is that Randy Moss seems to be drawing more attention from defenses than T.O. who's nearly on pace to lead the league in drops again. Maybe we will see this matchup again this season. You know where. Round two could be interesting.

3) You may say I'm a dreamer...

...but I'm not the only one. I want to see the Patriots run the table and win the Super Bowl as the only 19-0 team in NFL history. However, my reason for wanting them to do this might make me the only one to think that way. I'm tired of hearing the bottle of champagne uncork every season. Those 1972 Dolphins know that once there is another undefeated team, they could be forgotten.

The big question is: Are the Pats good enough? Judging by the performance they had on Sunday afternoon, New England looks like a juggernaut. Another point I would like to toss around is the fact that it is harder to run the table in this era. For starters, there are two more games on the schedule. More importantly, due to the free agency era, there is parity in the NFL. There isn't another team in the NFL that can boast that they have as much talent on their roster from the starters to the practice squad. If the Pats happen to lose this year, that sound won't be a cork flying off a bottle, it will be the thud from me hitting the floor in disappointment.

4) It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

It was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness. No, this isn't a Tale of Two Cities. It's the NFL. If someone told me the Bears, Bengals, Saints and Rams would be in the bottom quarter of the league by week six, I would have called you crazy. Same goes for Jacksonville and Carolina being in the top quarter. The Rams can't seem to stay healthy. The Bears offense has come down to earth. The Bengals are finally showing the effects of having the inmates run the asylum. The Saints look more like a team whose city was ravaged by a hurricane. On the light side, we have Jacksonville, who's riding the hot hand of a mistake-free QB, David Garrard (Byron who?) and a rededication to the run game. The Panthers jumped on the wrinkled hand of Vinny Testaverde who showed that he knows who Steve Smith is. However, I have to hand it to our fellow writer Sum, who before training camp predicted the Packers to finish atop the NFC North.

1 comment:

Brad Slepetz said...

Regarding the '72 Dolphins: Amen. Let us pray that a team not named the Cowboys goes undefeated before those geezers are dead.