Week 9 observations

After a weekend celebrating my CMA graduation with my classmates (first, in an informal get together on Friday then the formal event put on by the CMA Society on Saturday), I was in dire need of the right kind of football snack on Sunday afternoon.   Queso Fundido (via a recipe from Rick Bayless’ “Authentic Mexican” cookbook) served with Covered Bridge tortilla chips was the perfect mix of cheese, chorizo, poblano and onion needed to chase away a weekend of celebrating.  Here it is, piping hot out of the oven:

What looked to be an interesting set of early match-ups really fizzled.  Only one of the early games was close in the last 5 minutes.   The lackluster games resulted in this delicious apple crumble being made when Jodi grew tired of keeping tabs on a slew of boring matches:

The later games were the complete opposite, with every game being decided late in the 4th quarter or OT.   I ended up watching bits/pieces of all the games rather than watching 1-2 in depth.

Steelers:  I didn’t want to, but with a long week ahead (including the Monday night Eagles game), I bailed on the late night game at half-time to get some sleep.  The last second loss means an unhappy household and a critical game coming up against the Bengals next week. 

Green Bay:  Aaron Rogers and the offense look super human and uber efficient.  Their defence continues to look like the soft underbelly of this team, but few teams can go point for point with the Packers.

San Diego / AFC West:  What a few weeks back was trending toward a shoo-in division title is looking a lot more suspect.  Proving last year was no fluke for strange outcomes (1st in the NFL in offence and defence but missing the playoffs), the Chargers continue to put up astronomical numbers on offence, but this year, are getting burned by turnovers.  Rivers is uncharacteristically off target in his passes and is fumbling at a clip he’s never seen.   They have the most talent of anyone in the AFC West, but have let the Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos stay in the playoff hunt.

Bengals:  At 6-2, they’re really the surprise team of the year.  Next week’s game against Pittsburgh has playoff implications for both teams.  It will be interesting to see if they can keep up the pace on offence or if under a rookie QB they’ll wear down over the season.   Their defence continues to look like a top 5 unit.

Giants-Pats:  The Giants got another “good Eli” game (and they’re getting way too many of those so far).  Hard for me to watch this and do anything but cheer for the Pats as the Giants have a healthy lead on my Eagles.   I read something last night that this game finally signals the end of the Patriots dynasty.  I wouldn’t go that far as I thought that ended a few years ago to be honest.   

Eagles:  Another frustrating loss, the 4th time this year they’ve lost after having a 4th quarter lead.   The offense had very little rhythm as the Bears bullied the WRs at the line of scrimmage.  It honestly looks like D. Jackson is playing not to get hurt so he can cash in on a new contract next season.  Aside from McCoy and the left side of the offensive line, everyone else contributed to the loss.  Overall, the Eagles looked soft.  The Bears are a physical team, and they were able to exert their will on both sides of the ball.  On defence, Samuel got burned badly on the Bears last TD and Rogers-Cromartie looks like he isn’t even trying on most plays and got torched all game long.   As a unit, they couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down and got no pressure on Cutler all game (it was easily the worst game for the D-line this year).   Bad penalties, a couple of terrible turnovers and a horrible throw by the punter on a fake punt killed any chance for a win.     Though not yet close to being eliminated from playoff contention, the Eagles have to go 7-1 or 6-2 the rest of the way and hope for help in the form of losses by the Giants, Bucs/Saints/Falcons and Lions/Bears to find a way to the postseason.  I’m not sure this team can play consistent enough football to go on that kind of run.


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