Week 10 – 3 UP 3 DOWN
1. Michael Vick – The Philly QB has revived his career this year, and his week 10 performance really showcased that. There were numerous storylines that set the stage for the big game. Not only was it on Monday Night Football, against division rival Washington Redskins, he was also playing against former Eagles franchise QB, Donovan McNabb, the day McNabb signed an extension with the Skins. Vick this year is in the final year of his contract and is eyeing a long term deal with the Eagles. With all this set up, Vick dominated throughout the whole game. He accounted for 6 TDs (4 passing and 2 rushing) and racked up over 400 total yards (333 passing, 80 rushing). Season MVP talks are swirling around Vick after this performance, and it would be mind-boggling to not see him get a long term contract with the Eagles.
2. Atlanta Falcons – After defeating a team many still say is the best in the AFC, in the Baltimore Ravens, the 7-2 Falcons now possess the best record in the NFC and tied with only the New York Jets and New England Patriots as the best record in the NFL. The Matt Ryan to Roddy White connection is stronger than ever, and looks to be the most consistent QB to WR relationship out there. Ryan looks for Roddy often, and every team knows this, yet is still able to post huge numbers. Against the Ravens Defense Ryan was able to shred them for 316 yards and 3 TDs, with 138 yards and 2 TD going to White. Often overlooked on this Falcons team is the defensive line. They pressured Ravens QB Joe Flacco on what seemed like every play, the whole 1st half of the game. This Falcons team showed they have a great nucleus and core players, to really make some noise in the NFL as contenders.
3. Tom Brady – The unquestioned leader of the New England Patriots, QB Tom Brady led them into a hostile Pittsburgh atmosphere at Heinz Field and left with a victory. Brady has won six of seven overall against the Steelers and four of five at Heinz Field. He was 30 of 43 for 350 yards with no sacks or interceptions, and now has 14 career TD throws and three interceptions against the Steelers. Aside from the stats, Brady was seen over on the sidelines calling an offensive huddle and firing the guys up. He instilled in them each time, that the intimidating Steelers’ defense can’t play with them. What more impressive about Brady’s performance is that is comes after he has been struggling to ignite this offense ever since they traded away WR Randy Moss. Another impressive stat to note, is that Brady was not sacked 1 time in his 43 dropbacks, so he really did not have anything to fear regarding the Steelers defense.
1. Kansas City Chiefs – The loss to the Denver Broncos now creates 2 division losses in a row for the playoff hopeful Kansas City Chiefs. They now are tied with the Oakland Raiders atop the AFC West with a 5 -4 record, with the tiebreaker going to the Raiders. They were down BIG early in the game and were not able to get the top ranked rushing game on track. One highlight about the game is that Matt Cassel threw for over 460 yards and 4 TDs. Albeit, I’m sure it’s because the Broncos were up 21 points in the 1st quarter and were probably playing softer on defense, but at least Cassel was able to show he’s capable of putting up that sort of performance. A down side is that the Chiefs pass defense has now been burned 2 games in a row. The defensive backs are young, so it can not be good that they are taking these huge hits to their confidence during this pivotal point in the season.
2. Cincinnati Bengals – Last years AFC North champions are now 2 – 7. QB Carson Palmer, who came into this season as a guy people pegged as having a great year, has looked like a mediocre QB AT BEST. He threw 3 INTs that were jus incredibly bad passes. The young CB tandem that many thought would be the best in the league, has not provided any big turnovers and was not able to shut down the Indianapolis Colts passing attack. Even through the bad passing performances, Carson has been able to at least keep outspoken WRs Terrell Owens and Chad OchoCinco happy stat wise. It is clear, however, that as much as these guys love to put up stats, they love to put up wins even more, and this record is not keepin this teams playoff hopes alive. Just when the Bengals looked as if they would make the “UP” list, by driving down the field in the 4th quarter, led by the receiving of rookie TE Jermaine Gresham and winning the game, Gresham fumbles the ball and Cincy looks like the Bungles all over again.
3.Houston Texans – This is the year the Texans were poised to get over that hump and finally make the playoffs. They started off the year defeating divisional powerhouse Indianapolis Colts. Last week however, their downward slide continued. The Texans lost to the up and down division foe, Jacksonville Jaguars. As if it was not bad enough to lose this divisional game, the fashion they lost it in makes it that much worse. After rallying back from a 14 point deficit in the 2nd half, the Texans tied the game and were ready to send the game into overtime. The Jaguars had 1 more shot, and with a last second hail mary pass, Texans defensive back Glover Quin batted the pass into the receiver’s hands on the final play in regulation, giving the Jaguars a 31-24 victory. Tough way to loss, but even tougher now is looking at the losing record they possess, as they try to unseat the Colts at the top of the division.