Going just 9-7 in last week’s NFL Pick the winners contest will not feed the family. My wife reminded me that she was kind of counting on me winning a pizza party this season, so the pressure is on! Now my mission is to study more – which means watching more football…
This week’s “Just Football” column deals with honors in the NFL, impressive and unimpressive performances, injuries, the BCS, games to watch, Penn State, the Griz at the Cats and my analysis, NAIA playoffs, high school football championships, and a note about the scheduling!
There’s a lot more…
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
-New England Patriots QB Tom Brady completed 26 of 39 pass attempts for 329 yards and three touchdowns in the Patriots’ 37-16 win over the New York Jets.
-Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo completed 23 of his 26 pass attempts for 270 yards and three touchdowns as the Cowboys defeated the Buffalo Bills, 44-7.
-Oakland Raiders RB Michael Bush ran the ball 30 times for 157 yards and one touchdown as the Raiders topped the San Diego Chargers, 24-17.
The Green Bay Packers whipped the Minnesota Vikings last night 45-7 to go to 9-0 on the season. With seven games left, can they go undefeated? They play Detroit (twice), Chicago, and the NY Giants. It will be tough. Only two of the remaining teams that the Packers play have losing records.
Although the AFC West is still up for grabs, my Kansas City Chiefs (4-5) are just now entering the tough part of their schedule – playing New England, Pittsburgh, Chicago, New York Jets, and Green Bay – that’s in the next five weeks, too.
Could things get worse for the Chiefs? Yep, it looks like Chiefs QB Matt Cassel injured his hand and will require surgery. He may miss a few games or the remainder of the season. It looks like Tyler Palko will get the nod in Cassel’s absence. Palko is 28 years-old and played his college ball at Pittsburgh. He’s thrown 13 passes in the NFL.
So, the Chiefs got “Tebowed” on Sunday in Kansas City by the Broncos. Everyone knew the Broncos were going to run the ball and they did, rushing for 244 yards and only throwing eight passes (completing two) in the whole game. It was a very unimpressive showing by the Chiefs.
Remember there are Thursday night NFL games, so get your pick selected before the Thursday night game starts.
To the House
Former Griz Marc Mariani opened the scoring for the Tennessee Titans on Sunday with 79 Yard Punt Return. Here’s the video.
-Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub will miss the rest of the season with a Lisfranc (foot) injury.
-Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick broke his two lower ribs on the second play of the Eagles’ 21-17 loss to Arizona on Sunday.
Final Bye Week
Week 11 (this upcoming week) is the final bye week for the 2011 season with Indianapolis, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Houston getting the week off.
Games to Watch
It looks like these two games are the only ones between teams with winning records.
-Cincinnati (6-3) at Baltimore (6-3)
-Tennessee (5-4) at Atlanta (5-4)
MAJOR COLLEGE FOOTBALL
And now there are only three undefeated teams left in major college football (LSU, Oklahoma State, and Houston). Stanford lost to Oregon and Boise State lost to TCU. Here are the top five teams according to the BCS:
1. LSU (10-0)
2. Oklahoma State (10-0)
3. Alabama (9-1)
4. Oregon (9-1)
5. Oklahoma (8-1)
11. Houston (10-0)
What to Watch
-#5 Oklahoma at #22 Baylor
=#16 Nebraska at #18 Michigan
-USC at #4 Oregon
Head on over to Grantland and read the column by Charles P. Pierce called, “The Brutal Truth About Penn State” – here’s a paragraph:
The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children. That is all they are about. The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the possibility that people lied to a grand jury about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the likelihood that most of the people who had the authority at Penn State to stop the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky proved themselves to have the moral backbone of ribbon worms.
FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION
Both the Montana State Bobcats and the Montana Grizzlies had the week off.
The state of Montana’s “Brawl of the Wild” game is coming up Saturday at noon in Bozeman. Yesterday we found out that the Montana State Bobcats (9-1) are ranked #1 in the nation in the FCS. The Montana Grizzlies (8-2) are ranked #7 in the same polls. The Bobcats have already clinched at least a share of the Big Sky Conference Championship. The Griz can play the “underdog” card.
No matter the outcome, both the Cats and Griz will be in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
Of course, turnovers will be the key in this game. The weather may be a factor in turnovers with the high forecast to be 22 and low of 6 and 60% chance of snow (this is of Tuesday morning).
Which team can run the ball may decide the outcome. The Bobcats average 237 rushing yards per game and the Grizzlies average 204 yards. The Bobcats average 36 points per game and the Grizzlies average 32.
Cats RB Cody Kirk averages almost 119 yards per game. He’s run for 14 TDs. The Griz primary RB is Peter Nguyen who averages about 57 yards per game. Nguyen is complemented by Jordan Canada who averages about 53 yards per game.
On defense, both teams give up about 21 points per game. The Bobcats allow 114 yards rushing and the Grizzlies 127. The Cats allow 192 yards passing per game and the Griz 201.
Griz QB Jordan Johnson completes almost 60% of his passes. He’s thrown six interceptions. Cats QB Denarius McGhee completes almost 63% of his passes. He’s thrown 10 interceptions.
The play of the quarterbacks will be the key in this year’s edition of Brawl of the Wild – and I am expecting a great game.
Pound for pound the players on the Carroll College football team are the best in Montana. So, it’s a normal thing for the Carroll College Saints to be in the 16 team NAIA football playoffs – this year they are defending National Champions. They have won six NAIA National Championships.
The first round starts on November 19, the quarterfinals are on November 26, and the semifinals on December 3. The Championship is slated for December 17 in Rome, Georgia, at 4:30 eastern time.
Valley City State (N.D.) (9-1) visits Carroll College (10-1). The game starts at 12:07 p.m. Go Saints!!!
HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL
You can view the Montana High School Association Football brackets HERE.
One note: It’s too bad that four of the five high school football championship games coming up this weekend are scheduled at the same time as the Montana Grizzlies/Montana State Bobcats game in Bozeman, and during the Carroll College playoff game in Helena. Montanans love football. Maybe the state should hold the high school football championship games on the Friday before the big Cat/Griz game – maybe even play them at Bobcat or Griz stadium or at both – and during the day.
Here are the Championship match-ups:
-Friday night, Helena Capital visits Billings West for the Class AA Championship (For you non-Montanans, Class AA schools are the largest schools in the state).
-Beaverhead County and Billings Central play for the Class A Championship on Saturday in Dillon.
-Fairfield and Malta/Whitewater/Saco play for the Class “B” Championship on Saturday in Fairfield.
-Fairview hosts Twin Bridges for the Class “C” (8 player) Championship on Saturday.
-Savage travels to Denton for the Class “C” (6 player) Championship on Saturday.
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