While I wonder whether if Texans cornerback Glover Quin played high school volleyball, here are my quick slants from Week Ten’s early games.
1. Houston’s Hail Mary loss to the Jaguars is a tough way for a season to go in the tubes. The Texans aren’t going to recover with the Jets, Titans, and Eagles up next on the schedule. While the winning play was fluky, the Texans can only blame themselves.
The team’s offense was in position to win, with the ball at the Jaguars’ 40-yard line and 22 seconds left. Next up: Penalty, incomplete pass, and a fumble by tight end Joel Dreessen that set up David Garrard’s miraculous play. The throw to Dreessen was a curious decision by Matt Schaub. If Dreessen was tackled, regulation may have ended before they could clock the ball again.
2. Minnesota’s 27-13 loss to the Bears wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Vikings had one long score on a broken play to Percy Harvin, and the offense was shut down completely otherwise. Brett Favre had four turnovers. The Bears didn’t take advantage of great field position a number of times, and still won comfortably.
Chicago had the better rush defense and pass rush in this game. It’s time for the Vikings to realize they aren’t unlucky, they are just a mediocre team deserving of a 3-6 record.
3. On the flip side, Jay Cutler played a very composed game aside from one terrible decision on an interception. He evaded the pass rush and made a number of excellent third down throws after facing some pressure. Devin Hester was the Bears’ MVP with a fantastic day on returns. The old Hester is back, which is a very good thing for Chicago heading into the teeth of their schedule. At 6-3, I’m still not sure they have enough to make the playoffs. Sunday’s game was a big step in the right direction.
4. Dwight Freeney is such a great closer. The Bengals scored a late touchdown to cut the Colts’ lead to 23-17 on a rare off day for Peyton Manning. Then the Bengals recovered an onside kick and were in position to go for a game-winning score. Two plays later: Freeney forces a fumble on a Jermaine Gresham catch to win the game.
Freeney has made an incredible amount of game-winning plays at home over the years.
5. We’ve heard whispers that the Dolphins would like to see what Tyler Thigpen can do at some point. It looks like they will get their chance with Chad Pennington and Chad Henne going down to injury. The quarterback injuries shouldn’t distract from an impressive 29-17 win over Tennessee. Miami’s defense was the difference in the second half and pressured Kerry Collins and Vince Young well all day.
6. Cortland Finnegan had Brandon Marshall frustrated all day. Marshall appeared to also be upset with Chad Henne at one point, and couldn’t control his emotions after one catch — throwing the ball out of bounds to get a penalty. It will get lost in the shuffle after a win, but Marshall is someone to keep an eye on the next few weeks.
7. It’s really a shame the Browns are 3-6 after their overtime heartbreaking loss to the Jets. Cleveland is playing like a playoff-caliber team, but it could take 11 wins to get into the AFC playoffs. 10 at a minimum. They have no margin for error.
8. I wanted to see what Colt McCoy could do trailing, in a two-minute drill situation. He calmly led the Browns on a game-tying drive against the Jets to force overtime. Well done. (Overtime was another matter, but there was more positive than not from McCoy again Sunday.)
9. The Jets played much better overall in their overtime road win this week. Mark Sanchez evaded tacklers despite an ankle injury. The offense controlled the clock in the second half. The defense stuffed the Browns when they absolutely needed it. They could have won faster if not for some Nick Folk misses.