This was an incredible week for story lines in the NFL. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning for the 13th time. Drew Brees setting the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass record, eclipsing the 47 straight that was set by Johnny Unitas over 50 years ago. The Bears defense doing something that has never been done before, by having two players return interceptions for touchdowns in consecutive weeks. And to top it all off Tim Tebow will be on Monday Night Football!
On to my Thoughts...
2) I don't agree with the assessment that the Bears played horribly in the first half. The running game was working, and the defense was looking good. As pointed out by Steven in his Notes, Scribbles, and Things Jotted Down, the Bears did out-gain the Jags in the first half, 166 to 129. It's true that the passing game was a lacking rhythm, but while watching the game I never felt the Bears were in danger of losing. A similar sentiment I had while watching the Bears battle the St. Louis Rams in week 3.
3) The Vikings sure look like a legit threat in the NFC North. A top ten defense coupled with Adrian Peterson is good for a few wins, and if QB Christian Ponder can keep playing within the offense they'll be hanging around the playoff picture all season.
4) Like him or not, Ben Roethlisberger is a money player.
6) Who would have guessed that all 4 teams in the NFC West would have winning records at this point? I still think the class of the division is the 49ers and I'm not buying Seattle as a playoff contender.
7) Speaking of head scratching division standings, the 5-0 Falcons might have the NFC South locked up by Thanksgiving.
8) The Dolphins might be coming around. After dropping two consecutive games in overtime, Miami found a way to get it done in regulation by slowing down the high scoring Cincinnati Bengals by a score of 17-13. Before losing to the 'Fins yesterday, Cincy was averaging 36 points per game.
9) For the record, 1 week ago I did write that Robert Griffin III should learn how to slide. Fellow Redskins rookie Kirk Cousins had an up and down game in relief, completing 5 of 9 for 111 yards, a TD and 2 picks. Interesting to note that Cousins was #2 and not veteran Rex Grossman. And here I thought that Sexy Rexy would be a candidate for Ex-Chicago Bears player of the week.
10) I saved my lengthiest Thought for the end. Usually offensive linemen are only noticed when they are holding, jumping off-sides, or allowing a sack, but I had to spotlight something that Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Eric Winston said. To give you the back story on his quote, he was talking about the Chiefs crowd cheering when K.C. quarterback Matt Cassel went down to injury.
From our sister site, ArrowHead Pride;
"We are athletes, OK? We are athletes. We are not gladiators. This is not the Roman Coliseum. People pay their hard-earned money when they come in here and I believe they can boo, they can cheer and they can do whatever they want, I believe that. We are lucky to play this game. People, it's hard economic times, and they still pay the money to do this.
"But when somebody gets hurt, there are long lasting ramifications to the game we play, long lasting ramifications to the game we play. I've already kinda come to the understanding that I won't live as long because I play this game and that's OK, that's a choice I've made and a choice all of us have made.
"But when you cheer, when you cheer somebody getting knocked out, I don't care who it is, and it just so happened to be Matt Cassel -- it's sickening. It's 100 percent sickening. I've been in some rough times on some rough teams, I've never been more embarrassed in my life to play football than in that moment right there.
"I get emotional about it because these guys, they work their butts off. Matt Cassel hasn't done anything to you people, hasn't done anything to you people. Hasn't done anything to the media writers that kill him, hasn't done anything wrong to the people that come out here and cheer him. Hey, if he's not the best quarterback then he's not the best quarterback and that's OK. But he's a person. And he got knocked out in a game and we have 70,000 people cheering that he got knocked out?
"Boo him all you want. Boo me all you want. Throw me under the bus. Tell me I'm doing a bad job. Say I gotta protect him more. Do whatever you want. Say whatever you want. But if you are one of those people, one of those people that were out there cheering or even smiled when he got knocked out, I just want to let you know, and I want everybody to know that I think it's sickening and disgusting. We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Coliseum. This is a game.
"I'll sit here and I'll answer all your questions for the next 30 minutes if you want to ask them and I'll take all the responsibility I can take because I deserve it but don't blame a guy, and don't cheer for a guy who has done everything in his power to play as good as he can for the fans.
"It's sickening. And I was embarrassed. I want every single one of you people to put this on your station and in your newspapers because I want every fan to know that. This is a game that's going to cost us a lot down the road. That's OK. We picked it, we deserve it and I don't want your pity. But we have a lot of problems as a society if people think that's OK.
"I'll get off my soap box and you guys can ask any football question you want."
Those fans that cheered for Cassel's injury give Meatballs a bad name.