Atlanta at Detroit; Chargers at Jets Highlight Week 7
The 2011 NFL season is in full swing. In Atlanta, it even feels like fall with temperatures in the low 60s. The contenders and pretenders are starting to separate themselves. Our marquee matchups this week feature 4 teams that can easily fit either of the 2 titles. Atlanta, trying to enter the playoff picture after a slow start, is at upstart Detroit, which is hoping to bounce back after its first loss of the season to San Francisco. With the exception of its 2nd half debacle to Green Bay, the Falcons have played inspired football of late. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner look focused, and the defense has stepped up its performance. Julio Jones, the promising rookie from Alabama is questionable with a hamstring injury, and starting left tackle Sam Baker is questionable with a back injury. The question is how does Detroit handle the adversity of coming back from its first loss? The onus is on Matthew Stafford who has to compensate for a sub par running game. We aren’t quite ready to crown Detroit champs yet, Falcons in an upset 24-21.
The Chargers are 4-1 to start the season, but their four victories have come against Minnesota, Kansas City, Denver, and Miami. Teams with a combined record of 4 wins against 17 losses. At 3-3, The Jets have had a disappointing season and have not beaten any team of note either. After seeing the combination of Philip Rivers throwing toVincent Jackson against New England, I called the Chargers my dark horse Superbowl team from the AFC. Corner Darrelle Revis may have something to say about that duo on Sunday. At this point, I think both of these teams will probably end up being pretenders when it’s all said and done. I’ll take the home team Jets in this one 27-21.
There aren’t many eye-popping match-ups this week. Houston at Tennessee should be a good one. Andre Johnson remains out with a hamstring injury and the Texans have been out of sync ever since. On defense, Houston’s defensive stalwart Mario Williams is out for the year with a pectoral muscle tear. Although they were beaten soundly by Pittsburgh in their last outing, the Titans have played solid football all year. Chris Johnson is due for a breakout game. I’ll take Tennessee in a close one.
Tim Tebow, the people’s choice, makes his debut against winless Miami. The transition to being a starter as opposed to being a backup can be a challenge. Although the Broncos have only won one game, the Dolphins are overdue for their 1st victory of the year, as they are a team that has played hard and come close in many of their games. I’ll take the Dolphins at home
I also expect Cam Newton to get his 2nd win as a professional as Washington travels to Carolina with its new starting QB, John Beck. Carolina has been close to winning all year. The offense puts up points but their defense can’t hold teams. Washington’s o-line is banged up, which is not a good thing for a QB making his first start of the year. Let’s see how he handles the pressure of being a starter.
This is homecoming weekend at several colleges this weekend, including my alma mater, Morehouse College. The Maroon Tigers defeated Benedict 37-31 on Saturday afternoon to improve to 6-2 on the season. A shout out to the many viewers who gave the Last Word n Sports blog much love throughout the day.
High Schooler Jordan “Big Game” Howard continues to move the chains. Jordan rushed for 136 yds on 20 carries as his Gardendale Rockets team defeated the Jackson Olin Mustangs 20-0 at home. With one game remaining, Jordan has rushed for over 1200 yards to go along with 13 Tds.
Trent Richardson had 77 yds and 2 Tds as no.2 Alabama scored 31 pts in the 2nd half to defeat Tennessee 37-6. This was the first time in 7 games that Richardson did not gain 100 yds. No. 1 LSU defeated Auburn 45-10. On November 5th these undefeated heavyweights will battle against each other to determine who is the best team in college football, both are off next week.
There were several upsets on yesterday, with no.3 Oklahoma falling to unranked Texas Tech, and no.6 Wisconsin falling to 16th ranked Michigan State. There are still 4 other unbeaten teams: Boise St., Oklahoma St., Stanford, and Clemson. I don’t think any of these team are as good as Bama or LSU. Whoever loses that showdown, unless it’s a blowout, should still be in consideration for the BCS championship game regardless of the records of the other teams. That would be very controversial, but the SEC plays a different brand of football than the rest of the nation.
Division 1 college football is long overdue for a playoff system. The excuses that the NCAA and college presidents make as to why there are no playoffs hold little weight. These institutions need to give fans what they have long been clamoring for. A system where an actual champion is determined by competition between the best teams through an elimination process, not a mythical champion determined by a computer and a couple of polls.
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