Pocket Change – The Weekend in Football


Of all the things that came out of last weekend’s football action, I think the most depressing is knowing that the season is already half over.  Wow.  It’s gone fast.  At this time next week we’ll have a definitive #1 in college football, the Baltimore/Pittsburgh rematch will have taken place (and we’ll see if week one was a fluke), and we’ll all have more sleep with the time change!

We’ve dwindled the college football unbeaten teams again this week as Kansas State and Clemson both fell to conference foes.  We’ll lose at least one more this coming weekend with LSU playing Alabama.  Most people see this as the game of the year, and it could be, but even if it’s not one thing should be decided.  Whichever team wins will be the unquestioned number one team in the country and in the driver’s seat to reach the SEC Championship Game undefeated, and with a win there also the BCS National Championship Game in January.

What’s up with the underdogs these days?  The Rams surprised everyone and the Saints last Sunday in St. Louis.  This undoubtedly cost some people in their knockout pool.  The previous week the Jaguars took out the Ravens, and this week the Cardinals almost did too.  The Giants had to work hard just to get by the winless Dolphins in New York.  This is one reason to think that there will not be any team going 0-16 this season.  They’re all too closely matched most weeks, and even with the lowlier teams, nothing is guaranteed.

Speaking of upsets, who’s more upset this week, the Saints, the undefeated teams in college who went down over the weekend, or the Tim Tebow fans?  One thing seems apparent, and that is – there’s probably more on the way.

The more I see Andy Dalton, the more I’m impressed with him.  Cam Newton might have bigger stat numbers and get all the publicity but Dalton’s the one with the results.  The Bengals look like a team that could will challenge for a playoff spot all season and Dalton and the Cincy defense are the main reasons why.  With a big road win in a difficult place to play (Seattle) last Sunday he appears to be playing with the poise and confidence of a veteran, not a rookie.

OK so let’s get to it.  Tim Tebow had what could be described as a bad rookie game last Sunday against the Lions.  The fact that there’s so many people that want to knight him after one game and hang him after another is ridiculous.  The guy has only started FIVE regular season games up to this point.  He’s in the second year of his career, learning yet another offensive system, and he was supposed to be a project anyway.  The fact that he was drafted so highly wasn’t his fault.  He has many flaws in his game, which everybody knew and pointed out, and he’s only going to improve over time.  That’s it.  He’s proven to be a guy that won’t make excuses, will work hard to get better, and only wants his opportunity to play.  He has that now.  Two games is not a fair sample for any player to be judged, no matter what the results are.  Hopefully he can learn from the Detroit game and come back a better player.  If not he’ll be another in the long list of great college players who couldn’t produce at the same level in the NFL.  For his sake I hope it’s the former.

Here we are.  The unofficial beginning of the holiday season!  The football season will continue to bring us gifts each week and with the season halfway done, every game will be bigger for the contenders.  Let’s sit back and see who can stay the course and who falls out along the way.