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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Starin' at NFL Week 7 Through My Rear View

My seventh favorite Tupac Shakur song of all time (of all time!) will serve as the theme for this post.

"Staring Through My Rearview" was one of Pac's original posthumus releases, appearing on the 1997 "Gang Related" soundtrack. Of course, more resourceful folk like myself had it a tad bit before then, as part of the many Makaveli bootleg mixtapes. The song wasn't the greatest one that Pac had ever done, yet of the songs released after his murder it captures the essence of what I'd always viewed him to be. Reflective, introspective, yet still angry, and of course down for his "homies".

(In case you were wondering, the six songs that rank above "Staring Through My Rearview" are: 6.) "Smile" feat. Scarface, 5.) "So Many Tears", 4.) "Hail Mary", 3.) "Keep Ya Head Up", 2.) "I Get Around" feat. Digital Underground, and 1.) "Brenda's Got a Baby". Each song holds its own as a song, and holds up over time. If you disagree, screw you. It's my list.)

Anyway, I chose to use this song to help us accurately reflect on the week that was in the NFL. Tupac had a Seven Day Theory (only God knows what the heck it was), and I have my Week Seven Theory. My theory simply states, we know who the cream of the crop in the NFL is, even if we don't know we know it yet.

(Keanu Reeves says, "Whoaaa...")

Follow me now, as we stare at Week 7 through our rearview.

"Multiple gunshots fill the block, the fun stops"

New York Giants 42, Dallas Cowboys 35

Green Bay Packers 28, Minnesota Vikings 24

The season effectivly ended for the two losing teams this week. The Cowboys not only lost a home game to their division rivals, but they lost quarterback Tony Romo for at least one month. The Vikings will never sit Brett Favre, and Favre won't ask for time off until he reaches that magical number of consecutive starts (300).

Meanwhile, the Green Bay Packers were able to beat their ex-husband and division rivals at the same time.

The New York Giants looked bad (Eli Manning threw 2 INTs before his first completion), then great (after trailing 10-0, they managed to take a 24-20 halftime lead, and extended it to 38-20 by the end of the third), and then terrible again (horrible fourth quarter INT by Manning, as well as an Ahmad Bradshaw fumble, allowing the Cowboys to get the game to within one score). Business as usual.

"You get shot while the whole block staring..."

Falcons 39, Bengals 32
Patriots 23, Chargers 20

The Chargers, Falcons, Patriots, and Bengals were all generally viewed as contenders in their respective conferences at the beginning of the season. Once the games started, however, each showed signs of not being as solid as previously thought.

The Patriots gave the New York Jets their first win of the season, and the offense looked terrible in doing so. The Falcons needed a fumble by Nate Clements during an interception return in order to keep them from losing at home to the winless 49ers. The Bengals "TOcho Show" couldn't get off the ground because Carson Palmer was delaying production. The Chargers lost games to the division rival Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders, as well as the rookie QB led St. Louis Rams.

In the matchup between the Falcons and Bengals, each team revealed its stripes, for better or worse. Much like their Week 1 loss to New England, the Bengals allowed the Falcons to take a 24-3 halftime lead behind big pass plays from QB Matt Ryan to WR Roddy White. White finished with 11 catches for 211 yards and 2 tds. The Bengals woke up in the second half, scoring 22 third quarter points and taking a 25-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.

But poor coaching (two missed two-point conversion late in the third, when an extra point would have given them a three-point lead), poor defense (along with White's production, RB Michael Turner ran for 121 yards and 2 tds), and one untimely turnover (Cedric Benson's fourth quarter fumble) resulted in the seven point loss. The Bengals are now 2-4, and as Terrell Owens said via postgame tweet, "Wht in Bengal Nation is goin on?!!!". Indeed.

The Falcons meanwhile ascend to 5-2, and sit atop the NFC South. They've won five of their last six games, and seem to have found the chemistry on offense they had back in 2008 with the Ryan-Turner-White combo.

In southern California, the Patriots continued to show that they will win games by being stubborn, spiteful, and fueled by nothing but the desire to be turds in the punchbowl. The Pats traded away Randy Moss three weeks ago, brought in Deion Branch to replace him, and Tom Brady has a QB rating of 75, and has thrown exactly two TDs.

Their record over that time: 2-0. They won both games by the exact same score, 23-20. Go figure.

They've shown that they will indeed make the playoffs, despite having no real quality strength to point to. They have no running game. They have no deep threat. Their defense ranks 29th against the pass, and is in the bottom half against the run. Yet they are 5-1, and tied for first in the AFC East with the Jets.

The Chargers are in full-fleged panic mode, but that's really nothing new. Week 6 last year, they were 2-3. This year 2-4. Last year, they finished the season by winning the last 11 games in a row. This most recent loss (a typical heartbreaker where Phillip Rivers pulls the team back from a deficit, only to lose out on a missed field goal), dropped them to 2-5.

With four games remaining against AFC West opponents, and one game against San Francisco, they can still pencil themselves in for 7 wins if they get their act together. But getting above .500 will be problematic, since they'd have to win at least two games against Indianapolis, Houston, Tennessee, or Cincy.

"I will never understand this society..."

Carolina Panthers 23, San Francisco 49ers 20

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 18, St. Louis Rams 17

Kansas City Chiefs 42, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

None of these six teams are any good, but two either lead their division, or are in a first place tie. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won 4 games against the bottom of the barrell competition. That doesn't stop head coach Raheem Morris from saying his team is the best in the NFC. (*Antoine Dodson voice* You are sooooo duuuummmmmb...)

The Kansas City Chiefs are actually halfway decent, but they benefit greatly from playing in the lackluster AFC West. Still, Thomas Jones and Jamal Charles are making quite a duo in the backfield, and Dwayne Bowe made two sepctacular TD catches. They'll end up at 9-7, and in the playoffs.

"Go on baby, scream to God, he can't hear you..."

Oakland Raiders 59, Denver Broncos 14
Baltimore Ravens 37, Buffalo Bills 34

The Oakland Raiders should have been arrested for what they did to the Broncos. In Denver no less. This game should be enough to get Josh McDaniels fired as head coach.

Meanwhile, don't look now but the Raiders are 3-4, and second place in the AFC West, Even they don't know how they've done it.
As we all know by now, God doesn't care at all about the Buffalo Bills. They jumped out to a 24
point lead, only to see almost all of it gone by halftime. Then, after going down by ten, the Bills came all the way back, and forced overtime on a last second field goal. Then with Buffalo driving in overtime, Ray Lewis literally took the ball from tight end Shawn Nelson's hands. The rest was history, an all to familiar one to Bills fans.

"First they try to murder me, then they lie to me..."

Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Miami Dolphins 22

In the ultimate hose job of the week, Ben Rothlisberger ironically benefits yet again from insufficient evidence. His goal line fumble should have been ruled Dolphins football, but the referees clamed ignorance, and the Dolphins fall to 3-3. The Steelers didn't look dominant, but they did make big plays. The Dolphins struggled to score TDs in the red zone, and in the end that lost them the game just as much as the referees incompetence.

"Now you see em, now you don't.
Some n----s be here for a moment, and then they gon'... What happened to em?" - E.D.I. Mean

Washington Redskins 17, Chicago Bears 14

Tennessee Titans 37, Philadelphia Eagles 19

The Chicago Bears were who we thought they were: a team unable to protect Jay Cutler. Cutler also was who we thought he was: a very generous giver of INTs. The loss dropped them to 4-3, and all signs point to them making a steady decline as the season plays out. The Redskins improve to 4-3, and are by far the hardest above .500 team to figure out.

The Tennessee Titans used 27 4th quarter points to win against the Eagles. Kevin Kolb was unable to move the offense when the Titans were rallying in the 4th, and because of that, we may not see him again this season. Head coach Andy Reid announced Michael Vick will be returning as starting quarterback following the bye week.

"I can feel your heart beating fast, guess its time to die..."
Cleveland Browns 30, New Orleans Saints 10
The feel-good story of the 2009 NFL season is over. The New Orleans Saints will not repeat as champs, and Drew Brees WILL have another multiple interception game like the one he had here. Anyone who has ever celebrated on Bourbon St. knows that for all the fun and beads tossed, the hangover is a real one.
"Who dat gon' beat dem Saints?"
Well coming down the stretch they play the Steelers, at the Ravens, at the Bengals, and at Atlanta. We can start there.


  1. Love, love, love it! I'm right with you guys on this one. The interspersed Pac quotes are classic!