ESPN really knows how to pick them. Last night's MNF game between the Jets and the Vikings had plenty of intrigue going into the game, with the Rex Ryan's on a roll and the "under fire" Favre connecting with new teammate Randy Moss for the first time. The first two-and-a-half quarters of the game were not exactly dramatic, and could probably be described as "plodding" and "boring." But, the last quarter is, as they say..."why they play the game." Favre was his feisty, vintage self, as he threw three touchdown passes in the final quarter plus and nearly pulled off a comeback in a game that was lost. It was good football drama. But, the "other" vintage Favre threw an interception in the last minute to seal it for the Jets, 29-20.
There were other games played on Sunday, week 5. Like the Vikings, the Cowboys fell to 1-3, after they fell behind the Titans early, but just couldn't reel them all the way in. Tony Romo was pretty good in leading Dallas back, but a late "excessive celebration" penalty against Mark Colombo (which was a ridiculous call, by the way) after a touchdown gave the Titans a kickoff from the Cowboys 15 yard line. The Titans "no-name" kick returner promptly returned it deep into Cowboys territory and they promptly scored the game-winning touchdown for a 34-27 victory. So, the 1-3 Cowboys will play the 1-3 Vikings up there next week...speaking of drama.
It is clear that the Saints are not the same team without playmaker Reggie Bush. But, I say that they are also missing starting running back Pierre Thomas just as much. Without the threat of a good running game, teams are loading up to defend the vaunted Saints passing game and are forcing star QB, Drew Brees, into mistakes. This is precisely what happened Sunday as the Saints were upset by the Arizona Cardinals and rookie QB Max Hall, 30-20. The defending champs aren't in any significant danger, yet, but a quick return for Thomas and Bush will certainly be welcome for New Orleans.
Time for a shout out to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1), who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals (2-3) 24-21. The Bengals won the AFC North in 2009 and were supposed to challenge for their division again, but one has to wonder about the chemistry of that team, as it seems like there are just too many contrary personalities to keep it together and working. The Buccaneers have a young QB (Josh Freeman), a young defense, and a young coach (Raheem Morris)...and yet, they just continue to beat teams that they were not supposed to beat. At this point, it would seem that the Buccaneers are not going to be a pushover. Although I am not a Bucs fan, one has to give them props for where they are at for 2010, and that is -- on top of their division after five weeks.
The "Slip Sliding Away" award may have to go to the Green Bay Packers if they have any more injuries...in fact, it may have to go to them anyway. Already missing star RB Ryan Grant for the year, the Packers have lost key defensive players...some for weeks, and others for the season...and are also missing their top two tight ends, and may not have starting QB, Aaron Rodgers, for this coming Sunday due to a concussion. They need a "get well soon" card.