Who needs Randy Moss?
As a Patriots fan, I’ll admit there were several times I missed Moss running like a gazelle like down the side line with multiple defensive back in tow. The offense, tops in the league in scoring coming into a revenge showdown, sputtered against the stout Baltimore defense for much of the day, as the lack of a down the field option allowed the Ravens to stuff the run and keep the Patriots unable to do much but checkdowns over the middle.
That was before Tom Brady and Deion Branch started getting their swag back. Down ten points to start the fourth, Brady and Branch hooked up for a touchdown and Branch converted for key first downs the Pats for field goals to end regulation and win the game in OT. Overall it was an impressive win for the Patriots against one of the league’s best teams, who had spanked them like impudent children in the playoffs 10 months ago.
Randy’s new team salvaged their season momentarily with a win in a contest billed as The Battle of Underachievers. While Moss didn’t wow, he contributed enough to help the Vikings beat the Cowboys. Percy Harvin’s kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half was the key. The Cowboys, now 1-4 and 3 games behind the Giants, are pretty much done and should start shopping for new coaches. And possibly a new QB.
The other big news of the day was the return of Ben Roethlisberger to a cheering crowd in Pittsburgh proving once again that people don’t care what you do as long as you can run fast or toss a ball far enough downfield. NFL schedule-makers granted Big Ben the gift that is playing the Cleveland Browns, and Roethlisberger shook off some early rust to throw three touchdowns. The Steelers continue to establish themselves as the class of the NFL.
Week 6 also saw its fair share of flagrantly illegal, borderline dirty yet admittedly awesome bone-crushing hits. Brandon Merriweather left Todd Heap in a pile in the middle of the field after nearly decapitating him on a play over the middle. But that had nothing on Dunta Robinson’s destruction of Desean Jackson in the clip above.
– New Orleans finally looked like a Super Bowl champion with a convincing in over the frisky Bucs in Tampa. 150 rushing yards from Chris Ivory brought the Saints some much needed balance.
– While much attention will rightfully fall on San Diego’s pathetic performance, credit is due to the Rams, who remain dangerous offensively despite massive injury issues. Sam Bradford looks like a true franchise QB.
– The Broncos were the better team against the Jets for 58 minutes, but a horrible late PI penalty and muffed snap handed the Jets the win. Denver’s got some exciting players but appears to be too undisciplined to win big games.
– Houston benefited from a dubious PI call of their own where Andre Johnson clearly pushed off in a wild comeback against the Chiefs. Still an impressive win for the Texans.
– Don’t be surprised if multiple coaches get the axe in the upcoming weeks. Wade Phillips and Norv Turner, we’re looking at you.
– Pierre Garcon had the catch of the week and possibly the catch of the year, non-Moss version.