Tampa Bay Sports Day

NFC South Recap

New York Jets 17 Carolina 6

Somehow some way Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme finds a way to get the ball in the hands of his opponent. Sometimes he does that a little too often, like he did Sunday when he threw four more interceptions and was a miserable 14-34 for a mere 130 yards. He looked about as lost as a kitten in a dog pound. He got absolutely no help from his running game either as DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 75 yards on 25 carries. There was also the problem of 11 first downs to go with 179 yards of total offense and three sacks of Delhomme. Head coach Jack DelRio is already on the hot seat and must now decide if its time to bench his quarterback. Then add the fact that Delhomme broke a finger which will make the decision easier. He had a passer rating of 12.7 and appears to have lost all confidence in himself. He now has 18 interceptions and that is his career high for a single-season. The worst part is that alot of his picks have resulted in scores too. When they had an oppotunity to score they could not. They had just intercepted Jets QB Mark Sanchez and Delhomme quickly hit Steve Smith in the end zone for a touchdown. Jets head coach Rex Ryan did not believe it was a catch and challenged the call. He would wn and the Panthers would have to settle for a field goal. It has been a season to forget for Carolina and Delhomme and it isn’t over yet. The question is not whether Matt Moore will start next week. The question is will Delhomme ever get his job back. Speaking of jobs, what about DelRio? Can he last the season and if he does will he be here next year. Highly unlikely at this point so please stand by. One thing is certain and that would be that this team has to make alot of changes if they hope to compete next year.

Atlanta 20 Tampa Bay 17

It has not been a kind season for either of these teams. The Falcons had high expectations coming into this season but were 5-5 coming in. The Bucs, playing under new head coach Raheem Morris, have had one of those years you already want to forget. Still they have played hard for their coach and rookie QB Josh Freeman is showing that he can be an NFL quarterback. On this day he was sacked six times but was 20-29 for 250 yards and two touchdowns. His counterpart Matt Ryan was hurt early when his foot was rolled on and he could not return. Also injured for the Falcons were running back Michael Turner, linemen Harvey Dahl and Sam Baker, The question is when will they return because they are so key to the Falcons success. So Chris Redman came in and saved the day when he hit Roddy White for the winning score with 23 seconds left. The Bucs had a chance to win but like usual found a way to lose it. Atlanta finds itself still in the playoff hunt but will need to keep winning and get some help from the rest of the NFC. The Bucs find themselves at 1-10 and need help badly. They could only muster 13 first downs and had just 73 yards on the ground. Penalties continue to haunt them and they added eight more on Sunday. They appear to have their quarterback of the future and have Cadillac Williams in the backfield. They will need to shore up the offensive line to protect Freeman better and their defense needs to improve dramatically. Redman was not bad in going 23-41 for 243 yards and no picks with two touchdowns. Tony Gonzalez is the only thing they have to count on as he addded nine catches for 83 yards. The Falcons are still in the playoff hunt but need teams like Philly and Green Bay to lose as well as continuing to win themselves. Three of the last five games are at home where they are 5-0 this year and one of those are against Philadelphia. They also go to the Jets and Tampa where they have a good chance to win those games if they are healthy. If Ryan and Turner do not return soon it won’t matter because Atlanta needs them if they have any chance at making the postseason.

New Orleans 38 New England 17

Wow would be a word to describe this Saints offense I would say. Another could be explosive or plain and simply terrific. It was the showdown of the week and it was not supposed to disappoint. Drew Brees against Tom Brady is all the billing you needed to sell this one but it was Brees who made the statement. He was as accurate as you can be and finished 18-23 for 371 yards and five touchdowns. It was the first time a quarterback has thrown for that many scores against a Bill Belichick defense. They had no way of stopping Brees especially in the second quarter when he threw three scoring passes to three different players. Yet, as much as the offense has done the real story is the improvement of their defense. Darren Sharper sent Brady to bench for good with one of two picks the D had and the Pats looked lost and confused. It was a sight to see when Brady walked off the field each time he was stopped. He had a look on his face rarely seen during his career. His offense could not move the ball and his ground game did not help. They got two touchdown runs from Laurence Maroney and that was all they could get. Brady was harrassed and knocked around the whole game. So now the Saints are 11-0 like the Colts and are looking to run the table. It is games like this that can define a season and the Saints can use this win to propel them all they way to the Super Bowl. Saints receivers had a ball as Marques Colston had only four catches but that was good enough for 121 yards and a touchdown. Devery Henderson chipped in with only three catches but he finished with 116 yards and a nice 75-yard strike from Brees. So with their offense in sync and their defense playing ferociously the Saints have a good chance of running the table. Of course we all know that will be a moot point if they end their year the same way these Pats did when they went 16-0 only to lose to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Now we will see if they can win out and with games at home against the likes of Dallas and Tampa and roadies at Washington, Atlanta and Carolina, an undefeated season is looking better every week. I have a question for all of you. Give me a reason for Brees not getting the MVP this year.