If you’re the San Francisco 49ers, that answer is, “Noooooo-boooodddyyyyy.”
Head coach Jim Harbaugh has the 49ers playing better than they have since the late 90s, and he ends their postgame meetings with this rallying cry:
At this point, Eli went to work. He threw for 130 yards and a touchdown in the 4th quarter, twice continuing drives by throwing on fourth down. Down by 7 with the clock ticking and at the 49ers 10, Eli had to convert on 4th down again, but Justin Smith batted the pass down to secure the game for the 49ers 27-20.
1. The 49ers did it without any yards (on 6 carries) from Frank Gore. The Giants were without Ahmad Bradshaw. If they meet again in the playoffs, hopefully their main ball carriers will be healthy.
2. Late in the 4th quarter, Matt Ryan had three shots at the endzone to beat the New Orleans Saints. He couldn’t convert and the Atlanta Falcons had to settle for a field goal to force the game into overtime. In overtime, Falcons head coach Mike Smith opted to go for it on 4th and 1 at their own 30 and tried to run Michael Turner up the middle. It failed and the Saints had great field position and didn’t need much to win the game. That one’s on coach. Reward, meet risk.
3. I’m not sure anyone expected the Cincinnati Bengals to be playing for the division lead in week 10. But I’m pretty sure we all expected the Pittsburgh Steelers to. The Steelers jumped out to an early 14-point lead, but the Bengals chipped away and by the middle of the 3rd quarter, tied the Steelers on an Andy Dalton touchdown pass. But Big Ben brought his team back to score late in the 3rd to take the lead and the defense picked Dalton off twice to secure the victory.
4. The New England Patriots have been hard to read this season. Everyone knows how wicked their offense is. But defensively, they’re the worst in the league yardage-wise. They’ve beaten the teams they were supposed to beat, but when challenged by Pittsburgh and the NY Giants, they came up short. On the Sunday night game, Handsome Tom Brady and company were business-like in demolishing the NY Jets 37-16. As much as they’ve been unimpressive this season, I’d be surprised if they lost more than one game the rest of the season. The rest of their schedule reads like this: KC, Philly, Indy (yikes), Washington, Denver, Miami, and Buffalo.
5. Michael Vick has been terrible on the field and terrible in fantasy football for those of us who expected him to lead us into the fantasy promise land (me included). Vick completed less than 50% of his passes for just 128 yards and threw two picks. And yes, the “Dream Team” Eagles lost to the lowly Arizona Cardinals who started a quarterback you’d never heard of named John Skeleton.
6. Are the Chicago Bears for real? And if your answer is yes, then are the Detroit Lions overrated? I’m so unsure about these two teams and this game didn’t help. A month ago, Detroit looked like the much better team when they beat Chicago on Monday night. But on Sunday, Chicago looked like the much better team. If the season ended today, both teams would be in the playoffs, but Dallas and Atlanta are right behind them. Based on what I’ve seen, I’d be more scared of Chicago because of Matt Forte and Devin Hester.
7. When Baltimore and Houston played a few weeks ago, I made a remark that Baltimore showed Houston what a real team looks like, suggesting that Houston was all whipped cream and no pie. Now, which team is the real team? The Texans beat bumps on the Tampa Bay Bucs, while the Ravens lost to the 3-6 Seattle Seahawks. The Texans lead the NFL in scoring differential and have one of the most exciting players in the league in Arian Foster. Can we finally take them seriously? They have a very favorable schedule and winning 11 games isn’t out of the question. They have a chance to be one of the top two teams in the AFC, getting a bye in the first round of the playoffs, if they take care of business.
8. Guess who is in first place in the AFC West? Not the San Diego Chargers. Not the Tebowing Denver Broncos. And not the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s your Oakland Raiders! Michael Bush rushed for 157 yards on 30 carries to lead the Raiders to victory over the Super Chargers. The Raiders have a tough hill to climb for the rest of the season. They have to face all four NFC Central teams including the Green Bay Packers. And they face the Chargers in the last game of the season. The Chargers face some tough teams too, including Chicago, Detroit, and Baltimore. If the Raiders can hang in there, the last game of the season may be meaningful for them.
9. And the rest … The Dallas Cowboys are now only one game behind the NY Giants for first place in the NFC East. They put together their most impressive win of the season, beating Buffalo 44-7. DeMarco Murray looks like the real deal Holyfield folks. Congrats to the Indy Colts for continuing to lead the Suck For Luck race. How’d you like to be in the crowd for Curtis Painter vs. Blaine Gabbert? Denver ran the football 55 times and Tim Tebow threw only 8 passes in their win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Must’ve been turn back the clock day. The Miami Dolphins may have taken themselves out of the Suck For Luck race with their 2nd victory of the season over the Washington Redskins. Rex Grossman was back in the starting lineup for the Skins, but he played like Rex Grossman, throwing 2 picks in the loss. The St. Louis Rams earned their 2nd victory of the season beating the Cleveland Browns 13-12. What happened to Sam Bradford? Welcome back to the NFL Chris Johnson! That’s all I really have to say about the Tennessee Titans victory over the Carolina Panthers. Oh, and Cam Newton is now 2-7 as a starter. Baby steps.
10. Well, my pick rate has been terrible of late for Monday Night Football. Of course, I’m picking the Green Bay Packers to beat the Minnesota Vikings, but if they don’t, I’ll be just as wrong as everyone else. Does anyone think the Vikings and Christian Ponder win this game?