Legendary college basketball coach John Wooden said, "If you're not making mistakes, then you're not doing anything." Well then I suppose I was doing something last week when I said the Texans were the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. "Not so fast!" cried the Atlanta Falcons. "We are undefeated too!" Falcons management bombed my inbox with mail, demanding respect, until I agreed to mention their current standing at the top of the hill in the NFL. Fact is, the Texans lost Sunday and the Falcons are now the ONLY unbeaten team. Yes, it's true. I'm quite certain I've got it right this time. Now, if we can do something about Matt Ryan's terrible "Matty Ice" nickname, I think all will be well in Atlanta.
And speaking of making mistakes, what's going on with Michael Vick? With two more picks and a fumble on Sunday, Vick is responsible for 13 of the Eagles 17 turnovers through six games. This leads me to one possible conclusion: he's allergic to the football. What else could it be? I think they make a medicine for that. It's called "victory," something Vick and Eagles had snatched from them in the last seconds for two weeks in a row. This week seemed especially painful as Philly blew a 10-point 4th quarter lead and lost to the less-than-fabulous Lions in overtime. Still, the Eagles are sitting at 3-3, but they certainly have the look and feel of a really bad team. Owner Jeffrey Lurie has coach Andy Reid on a very short leash, but yesterday, Reid fired his defensive coordinator Juan Castillo (who was actually an offensive coach prior to getting switched to defense), maybe in an effort to save his own neck for another week or two. I fail to see how firing the defensive coordinator is going to stop Vick from bumbling. The defense can only do so much when the offense continually backs them into a corner thanks to turnovers.
In other news from this weekend:
There's no crying in baseball. Or football. Unless if you live in the nation's capital.
What an awful stretch of days for people in Baltimore. First, the Nationals fold like a deck of cards the MLB playoffs after a superb almost-100-win season, and now, two big time Ravens starters are out for the year--Ray "Ray-Ray" Lewis with a torn triceps muscle and Lardarius "I don't have a nickname yet" Webb with a torn ACL in his knee. In an effort to reinforce the battered defense, the Ravens plan to take Terrell Suggs off the PUP list and see if he can return or if they need to chalk his season up to a loss and put him on IR. As for Lewis, he is 37, which is about 67 in football years, and one has to wonder if maybe he's played his last down?
No one was injured this week in the kneel down. Tampa Bay made mincemeat out of Kansas City on Sunday, but not without providing quite possibly the dumbest play so far this season. Punting from deep within their territory, Bucs punter Michael Koenen had his punt blocked into the end zone. As most punters suddenly lose all football sense when they're actually out on the field, Koenen inexplicably picked up the ball and heaved it forward, looking a bit like the smallest kid on the Pop Warner team trying to toss that gigantic football with all the strength his little arm could muster. By some miracle, a Chiefs player picked the ball off on the fly and basically had a police escort into the end zone for an easy score. Why didn't Koenen just throw the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety? At least that way you don't give up a touchdown. Kickers! SIDE NOTE: I was stunned to find out that Ronde Barber is STILL playing. Wow. Talk about someone kicking around the football with T-Rex and Brontosaurus.... if Ray-Ray is 67 in football years, Barber has to be pushing 90.
And the clouds parted and from the heavens a voice rang out, "And let there be 'Discount Double-Checks'!"
Thanks, Aaron Rodgers, for finally showing up on my fantasy roster. Rodgers threw 6 TDs on Sunday and netted me a cool 44 fantasy points. His teammate and recipient of 3 of the 6 TDs, Jordy Nelson, earned owners an average of 30 points. Fantasy owners need to gear up for week 7, as 6 teams are on a bye. And these are teams loaded with fantasy gold: Atlanta (Ryan, Turner); Denver (Manning); Kansas City (Charles); Miami (Bush, Hartline); San Diego (Rivers, Gates, Matthews); and Philadelphia (Vick, Maclin, Jackson). If your bench isn't very deep, you might not want to wait much longer to go fishing for replacements.
Next week, in a halfway decent Thursday night game (that I probably still won't watch), Seattle visits San Francisco.
In the AFC, Baltimore at Houston appears to have the makings of a big game. I suspect we'll hear many of the NFL analyst talking heads slobbering over this one, which usually means the game won't even come close to expectations. And with so many teams sleeping in on Sunday, I do believe I may follow suit.
Until next week, friends, enjoy the games!
Hershberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org