Changing up the format of our reactor articles, here's a live blog of my channel surfing between the early games in Week 7. Thoughts and observations on a game by game basis, as they happen.
TAMPA BAY vs CHICAGO
- Josh Freeman looks jet-lagged, or something. Most of his throws have way too much air, not enough zip. First two passes: interrupted by Urlacher, dropped.
- Matt Forte got a pair of fantastic downfield blocks from his receiver and TE on his 1st quarter touchdown run.
- Ernest Graham limps off the field badly, no weight on the leg. Looks done for the day.
- NFL fans in London continue to get really lousy games. This one is a sloppy one. Bucs only points on a safety after a Mike Williams drop/interception on the 1 yard line.
- Wow. Jay Cutler with an absolutely brilliant throw to Roy Williams for a touchdown ... throws a floater halfway through his seven step drop, off his back foot, but defender in press coverage and has no chance.
[Edit]: Matt Yoder offers this observation:
In London, it's amazing how effective Chicago's running game has been. After Tampa Bay made the Saints one dimensional last week, Matt Forte and even (gasp!) Marion Barber have been running wild. Interestingly, almost all of Chicago's big runs have come on sweeps or off-tackle plays. This offensive line may slowly be turning into a professional unit!
I had given up on watching this game, with Chicago up 21-5 and Tampa looking completely flat. Figures they would pick that exact moment to mount a furious comeback. 21-18 now, Bucs have the ball, but can't close the deal.
DENVER vs MIAMI
- The good news for Londoners is that they aren't stuck with this one. Horrid game. Matt Prater missed two field goals already, stifling two decent drives by the Broncos.
- Tim Tebow with a fantastic slide left out of the pocket and completion downfield after somehow feeling backside pressure directly on his six. Makes you wonder who was whispering in his ear. #ThankYouJesus!
@injuryexpert: Six passing yards. How's Tim Tebow working out for you?
@smaclemons: If Jags would have drafted Tebow, woulda helped tickets until the Jaguars kept losing, then town turns on Tebow, and we're set back years
With the 6-0 score still unchanged, midway through the third quarter.
@AlexMarvez: No joke: MIA-DEN may be the worst NFL game I've ever covered. Combined 0-13 on 3rd downs & 89 passing yds, mistakes galore. Just dreadful.
Tim Tebow tosses a touchdown pass to bring Denver within a score. 15-7. Then he leads the Broncos down the field on a miraculous drive, depending on a replay decision on a big play setting up a 1st and goal with under a minute to play...
- Feels like a home crowd for Denver as referees confirm play. 1st and goal.
- Tebow with a fantastic screen play to the tight end, sucking the entire Miami defense to him and giving his TE a wide open lane to the end zone.
- Then Tebow ties the game on a keeper. Mayhem ensues, and my feed gets Heidi'd by the Raiders-Chiefs broadcast ... NOOOOO!
- Of course, Tebow somehow leads the Broncos to victory before the "home" crowd. Justin Bieber believes in Tim Tebow.
NEW YORK JETS vs SAN DIEGO
- Sanchez to Keller in the game's opening minutes -- miscue, returned for a TD. My Jets pick over the Chargers already looks like it's blown.
- Sanchez finds Keller again for one of the game's better plays, as the entire offense sweeps left. Keller slips out for a little screen to the right and has all day to rumble.
- San Diego is getting back to its Week 1 gameplan in the red zone -- Ryan Mathews exits and Mike Tolbert and Antonio Gates are the primary weapons. Gates with a big TD catch on third down.
- For all the talk about the "terrible chemistry" between Sanchez and Plaxico Burress, the QB has been trying to feed his big WR all day. Has two nice catches, one for a TD.
- Jets home crowd is vocally unhappy at the end of the first half, down 21-10. Surprised?
A break ensues, in which Sanchez finds Burress two more times for touchdowns, capping a comeback win.
- Chargers finding ways to lose. Stench of death in this team. Needs serious fumigation.
TENNESSEE vs HOUSTON
Tweets with Houston already up 17-0 on a lackluster Tennessee team:
@ChrisWesseling Don't hold your breath waiting on long Chris Johnson run. He's terrible. Still hesitant to make a cut, slow motion
@SigmundBloom Matt Schaub is far and away the #1 fantasy QB so far today and he hasn't completed a pass longer than 8 yards to a WR
[Edit] Tom Gower added more observations:
Texans lead 20-0 at the half, which properly reflects the differential in quality of play thus far. The Titans are being hurt offensively by the poor play of Chris Johnson and the non-Nate Washington wideouts. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the Texans offense has flowed through Arian Foster, both on the ground and through the air, and Matt Schaub is playing a very good Matt Schaub game after some shaky passes early.
After Houston goes up 27-0:
CLEVELAND vs SEATTLE
Tweets with Cleveland up 3-0:
@NinnyJams: Something tells me the Seahawks will be unable to overcome that huge deficit.
@WillHubert: I'm stuck with the Browns / Seahawks game here in Canton, Ohio. Really a test of how much of a fan I am b/c these teams r awful.
@BrianMcIntyre: This Seahawks-Browns wasn't officially going to be ugly until there was a shanked punt. Thank you, Brad Maynard. 9 yards. Yeesh
CAROLINA vs WASHINGTON
- Aside from Cam Newton-to-Steve Smith, I defy you to name one good thing about the Carolina Panthers. This is an awful team on so many levels. Even mange to get penalized on their own field goal tries.
- John Beck is getting time to throw, but is still completing only 50% of his passes. Rex Grossman could probably be doing better, but he's stuck in "bad Rex" mode.
- Cam Newton with a rushing touchdown after the entire Redskins defense bites on a play-fake.
- Cam Newton goes ham after the break, sparking a 24-point second half. My fantasy team rejoices.
ATLANTA vs DETROIT
- Detroit doing a good job of underwhelming, and making my pick of Atlanta to cover the 4 points look pretty good. One key: Calvin Johnson has one catch. Brent Grimes in the Falcons secondary getting primary coverage, and battling.
@FalconsJAdams: Wow! Optimus Grimes 2, Megatron 0.
- A little moment of history as Tony Gonzalez officially becomes the second all-time receiver in NFL history. Not second among tight ends ... second period. Behind oln Jerry Rice. Amazing.
- Also amazing -- Roddy White's fingertip grab of a Matt Ryan throw in the back of the end zone. Spectacular.
- Big surprise in this game is only 33 yards passing in the first half from Stafford. Barely more than Tim Tebow. Play-calling a factor? Or are the Falcons showing that you can take the top off the Lions' offense by locking down on Megatron?
- Bad news: Matt Ryan gets his ankle crushed by one of his offensive linemen on a third-down dropback. Goes down in a heap. The good news: he is able to walk off on his own power, nothing appears to be wrong with his knee. The bad news: he's is walking into the tunnel.
Matt Ryan returns, as the Falcons stumble to another unremarkable second half, but they are able to do enough to keep the Lions from closing with another miracle comeback. And the bad news for quarterbacks carousels around to the other sideline...
@realfreemancbs: Matt Stafford getting his leg looked at.