NFL Week 10 Recaps and MNF Preview
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OUR NFL WEEK 10 KEY RE-CAPS - IT'S ANOTHER"UPSETTING" DAY/NITE IN THE LEAGUE AS THE GIANTS & STEELERS EACH LOSE HOME GAMES WHILE JETS, NINERS NAIL DOWN OT TRIUMPHS ...
OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT: NOW THE"OLE BALL COACH" MAY HAVE A SAY IN NATIONAL TITLE HUNT
By Jim Hurley:
If you stayed tuned into Sunday night's New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers clash, another Network Primetime Winner, then you heard NBC analyst Chris Collinsworth chat about the fact this year it's a"different NFL" with every one of the league's 32 teams already having lost two or more games - but go ahead and raise your hand if you went into Sunday's action thinking that both the New York Giants (now 6-3) and the Pittsburgh Steelers (also now 6-3) were gonna lose at home!
Folks, not only don't we have an Indianapolis Colts searching for perfection or a New Orleans Saints team rollicking along without a loss as was the case a year ago but now we have some of the super-power teams getting exposed in their own backyards.
Heck, the lights literally went out on the Giants in their humbling/bumbling 33-20 loss to 12 ½-point underdog Dallas at the oft-powerless New Meadowlands Stadium and there was very little juice coming from the Steelers in their never-that-close 39-26 loss to 4-point pup New England.
We'll touch on these two tilts plus much more in today's Jim Sez but first this important reminder:
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Extra, extra: Jim Hurley was smoking-hot on Sunday in the NFL as he cashed in with the Denver Broncos in their 49-29 win against Kansas City as that represented the top play of the day on the Closed Circuit. Meanwhile, Jim's Touchdown Club banged out an NFL Week 10 winner with Tampa Bay's 31-16 win against Carolina and don't forget the Blue Ribbon service rock-n-rolled with a winner on the Cowboys at the Jersey swamps.
NFL WEEK 10 KEY RECAPS
DALLAS 33, NEW YORK GIANTS 20 - All anyone needed after this lopsided affair was a video clip of Dallas' interim head coach Jason Garrett screaming,"How 'bout them Cowboys"!
Sorry, that might have been vintage Jimmy Johnson"back in the day" but Garrett didn't go overboard following his first-ever game/win as a sideline boss in the NFL and hats off to the 46-year-old long-time assistant to throwing bouquets the way of fired head coach Wade Phillips ... not sure a whole lot of guys in this industry would have done the same while basking in the glow.
The Cowboys (2-7) did plenty of things right in this game but the biggest thing is Garrett let 'em play: Rookie WR Dez Bryant wound up with three receptions for 104 yards and scored a touchdown; RB Felix Jones - often forgotten in the Phillips Era - finished off the G-men with 136 yards from scrimmage and don't forget triggerman QB Jon Kitna who stopped bumping into his backs/O-linemen long enough to throw for 327 yards and three scores.
As far as those Giants - the guys who entered this NFC East clash on a five-game winning streak - all we can say is the warts were showing through as QB Eli Manning tossed a deadly INT that turned into a 101-yard TD by DB Bryan McCann and the team's stop unit stayed in a trance for the full 60 minutes.
Dallas wound up averaging 8.5 yards per offensive play and barely a peep was heard from DLs Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora who both talk a good game but were part of the problem and not the solution for Tom Coughlin's club here.
NEW ENGLAND 39, PITTSBURGH 26 - You know that Patriots QB Tom Brady (desperately in need of a haircut and shave these days) and rookie TE Rob Gronkowski stole all of the post-game headlines here with their three touchdown pass plays (19, 9 and 25 yards) but how about a hearty round of applause for New England's offensive line as Brady was barely touched all night long and that ferocious Steelers defense wound up surrendering almost seven yards an offensive play while yielding 453 yards on the night.
The Patriots responded to Brady's first-half sideline tantrum that appear to send a wake-up call to the whole New England roster as the Pats defense sacked Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger five times and really roughed up a bunch of players including WR Hines Ward who was kayoed from this clash with a neck/stinger injury that derailed his consecutive game streak of catching at least one pass.
All the Steelers caught here was New England's wrath - it's obvious that last week's show-no-passion 34-14 loss in Cleveland really got under the skin of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and his club responded for its best effort in weeks.
The Pats are now 25-2 SU (straightup) following a loss since 2003 and no need to call this a"transition year" anymore 'cause the Pats may just"transition" themselves straight into another Super Bowl.
NEW YORK JETS 26, CLEVELAND 20 (OT) - Okay, so by now you're well aware of the factoid that the Jets just became the first team in NFL history to win back-to-back overtime road games but did you know that Rex Ryan's club continues to dodge a whole lot of bullets?
The Jets (7-2) overcame three missed field goals by PK Nick Folk who was last week's hero in that 23-20 OT caper in Detroit plus the J-E-T-S defense somehow managed to hold the Browns to one single first-half TD (along with a pair of FGs) despite the fact Cleveland totaled 196 offensive yards in the game's first 30 minutes.
So, were the Jets"lucky" to snatch this battle in the Dawg Pound that left NYJ boss-man Ryan thrilled while his younger/twin brother Rob (Cleveland's defensive coordinator) had that lockjaw look at game's end? Well, the Jets were lucky if you consider a team missing three FGs and still winning - and not needing an OT field goal to win it, for that matter (see QB Mark Sanchez-to-WR Santonio Holmes for 37-yard game-winning catch-and-run play with just 16 seconds left on the clock in the extra session) - but reality is the Jets have played down to the level of competition the past couple of weeks but didn't pay for it with any"Ls".
One last thing: The Jets didn't allow a 100-yard rusher for the ninth straight game this year.
SAN FRANCISCO 23, ST. LOUIS 20 (OT) - You tell us ... is it too late for the SF 49ers (3-6) to make a run at this horrid NFC West Division crown? Heck no!
San Fran head coach Mike Singletary woke up this morning and found his Niners just two full games back of the division-leading Seattle Seahawks but - before we delve into this latest win - note that the Niners still have four more remaining games against NFC West foes including a Dec. 12th home tilt against Seattle and there could be hell to pay considering the Seahawks copped a 31-6 season-opening win back on Sept. 12th.
As far as this OT win headlined by PK Joe Nedney's 29-yard field goal with nine-plus minutes remaining in the bonus, the under-the-radar keys here San Fran didn't allow the Rams to get a couple of short-yardage plays late including one drop-dead stop of RB Stephen Jackson (20 carries for 81 yards) plus Niners RB Frank Gore kicked in 67 yards receiving and was a major safety valve for QB Troy Smith who threw for 356 yards and zero INTs.
The 49ers were - once upon a time - an 0-5 team but now they have first place in their division in clear focus and the"mojo" has been all positive.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Tell us the truth: Did you ever think this year that the whole BCS Championship Game matchup might well be determined by South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier - a/k/a the"ole ball coach"?
It's funny how things shake out in the sports world sometimes and now here we sit with a couple of weeks remaining in this here-and-now College Football Season and there remains a great possibility that Spurrier - the national champion head coach way back in 1996 - could have a major effect on this year's title contenders should his spunky Gamecocks beat an undefeated Auburn team in the now-set SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4th.
Yes, we're jumping ahead of ourselves here 'cause 11-and-oh Auburn - fresh off that wild 49-31 come-from-behind win against Georgia this past weekend - still must beat def ending national champ Alabama in this year's version of the"Iron Bowl" on Thanksgiving Weekend (with the game in Tuscaloosa, we might add) but if Heisman Trophy frontrunner QB Cam Newton and mates win there than all that will stand between them and a shot in the BCS Championship Game will be the born-again Spurrier who sounded very much like a church preacher in the locker room following his club's 36-14 win at 6 ½-point fav Florida.
Now throw this into the equation for the SC Gamecocks: Beat Auburn in the SEC Championship Game and suddenly South Carolina will be playing in a BCS bowl game and you might get some added"juice" should Carolina play either an unbeaten TCU or undefeated Boise State in one of those bowl tilts.
Hey, as long as we're on the SEC here how about a negative word on Florida's cry-baby head coach Urban Meyer?
The sore loser watched his club fall to 6-4 SU with that latest loss in"The Swamp" - hey, we said it back following that one-sided 31-6 loss to Alabama that we wouldn't be shocked if the 2010 Gators lost four or five games and we hit that sucker on the head! - and Meyer is simply getting what he doled out in recent years. It's known as bad karma.
Remember how Florida piled up the points and trick plays in slugging a batch of foes in many games during Meyer's first five years in Gainesville?
Well, now 2010 is a coming-home-to-roost deal for him as his once-potent and athletic defense has been shoved all over the field lately - see 31-, 33-, 31- and 36-point yields in four of the team's last six games - and so much for this guy being a great teacher of quarterbacks as signal-caller John Brantley has been a major bust in Year One of the Tim Tebow Era.
We loved how Meyer hopped on Tebow's sturdy back to get all the glory in the four years that pre-ceded this devilish '10 season but now Meyer seems to want no part of his club's current quarterback struggles - did you see where Brantley completed only 16-of-31 passes for 130 yards with one INT against the Gamecocks and let's not forget that late-game botched handoff play too.
Sometimes you do reap what you sow, Mr. Meyer.
NOTE: Catch our Jim Sez Mid-Week Update next as we get you the latest Heisman Trophy Report plus lots more!
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