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BTSC Weekly NFL Musings - Week 8 Edition

My apologies for the lack of content this morning and afternoon - the previously trustworthy laptop of mine has fried, putting me in a world of hurt. Oh well, c'est la vie. Hopefully I'll be back up and running by the end of the day or tomorrow.

Anyway, on to some thoughts from this past Sunday.


* No surprise to me whatsoever that Baltimore punched Denver in the mouth on Sunday. The Ravens sent blitzing linebackers at Kyle Orton all day, and he had no answer for it. Orton took very few, if any, shots down the field against the Ravens vulnerable secondary. I expect the Steelers will do the same when the two teams face off next Monday night in Denver. I wrote two Mondays ago that I thought Denver was in for a precipitous decline - maybe big enough where they may miss the playoffs altogether. Well, they got a huge victory over the San Diego Chargers that night to improve to 6-0, but I still don't think they're out of the woods just yet. Remember, Denver had a 4 game lead with 4 games to go last season and collapsed. As of today, they're just two and a half games clear of Denver with 9 to go. Let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet. I don't think they're as incomplete a team as they were last year, but I also don't think they're nearly as good as people are giving them credit for. 

* Bookmakers in Las Vegas finally avoided getting hosed for yet another week. Check out this tidbit I came across recently - last week, one woman at the Las Vegas Hilton Sports Book cashed in 5 separate 11-team parlays!. Each one paid 1,500:1. Insanity. How is that possible? Well, when you have 5 or 6 teams that you can count on stinking up the joint, that opens up lots of possibilities. Last week, there were 6 games decided by 28 points or more. This week, the underdogs held up much better. Oakland lost, but covered a huge spread. Same with San Francisco and Carolina. Speaking of that San Francisco - Indy game, it was good to see the 49ers be able to get some pressure on Peyton Manning. Heading in to the contest, Manning had been sacked just twice. On Sunday, the 49ers got to him 3 times and harassed him many others. I personally see the Colts as the biggest threat in all of football, and if you can't make Manning uncomfortable with pressure, then there's little hope at stopping them outside of controlling the clock via the ground game on offense. That's not exactly our forte, so I'll be keeping an eye on the Colts to see how their offensive line continues to hold up moving forward.

* I said it after the Steelers defeated the Lions and I still believe it - Detroit should be starting Daunte Culpepper. Matthew Stafford isn't ready to lead a team right now. And that's okay. My rationale has been that Detroit is in desperate need of wins now in order to keep the team focused and committed to what new coach Jim Schwartz is trying to do in Motown. That's awful hard to do when you're losing to the lowly Rams at home behind a 14 od 33 performance by your rookie quarterback.

* 3 straight games without an interception for Tony Romo! Wow, never thought I'd see the day. As I wrote in last week's column, I'm eager to see a false sense of enthusiasm and hope build around the Cowboys chances.

* No idea how the Giants were favored in Philly yesterday, even if the Eagles were coming off an unimpressive Monday Night win against the 'Skins. New York is in a world of trouble defensively and Eli Manning has reverted to his form of yesteryear, throwing the ball erratically all over the field. New York suddenly finds itself in a critical matchup with the equally desperate Chargers at home next Sunday.

* More from me just as soon as I can. Back to work trying to get my computer situation resolved.