By: Bob George/
September 26, 2012

Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower returning to practice field an encouraging sign
Why was Patriots LB Kyle Van Noy doing pushups at a bowling alley?
Patriots owner Robert Kraft owns no concerns that Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are missing OTAs
New NFL policy lets players who don’t want to stand for anthem stay in locker room
Former Patriots rip NFL’s new anthem policy

Let's go back and haul out old 1970s Buffalo kicker John Leypoldt to do the honors. He lines up at the 30 following an offside penalty and only reaches the 10-yard line. Now is where you could use guys like Ellis Hobbs and Bethel Johnson.

ESPN has a cute feature on its Monday Night Countdown called "C'mon Man!" They left this one out.

44-41, Tennessee, overtime. Detroit driving, has an easy field goal attempt to extend the game. Fourth down and one.

They instead line up and try to draw the Titans offside. Oops, the center, Dominic Raiola snaps the ball. Shaun Hill, in at quarterback, has to try and make a play. Hill is stuffed, Titans win.

Hill and Jim Schwartz say "miscommunication". Raiola fell on the sword.

Wow. What a way to lose.

C'mon, man.

Dan Carpenter missed two late field goals north of 40 yards to help Miami lose to the Jets. That was bad. Detroit got worse.

Justin Tucker came within about an inch of "wide right". But Lion Nation felt much worse than you guys do.

Geek of the week: Why Shannon Sharpe is still on the CBS pregame show is stupefying. He can't talk, he's still pro-Denver, and most of what comes out of his mouth is either unintelligible or simply wrong.

Boomer Esiason: "Kansas City and Scott Pioli are learning that the Patriot Way only works in New England."

Sharpe: "Wrong! Tom Brady is the Patriot Way! Simple!"

No, Shannon, you're wrong. The Patriot Way is everything. Bob Kraft. Bill Belichick. Brady. And all the other 52 guys. Pioli may one day succeed in Kansas City. But Sharpe lowered himself to Tom Jackson's level by making that kind of dumb comment.

News item: BenJarvus Green-Ellis finally suffered his first NFL regular season fumble. Guess that's kind of like the Dodgers being 11-16 and can only make the playoffs as a Wild Card since The Trade.

But the Bengals won anyway. The Redskins may have upgraded the quarterback position, but they still need to learn how to play defense.

The other hot new slinger, Andrew Luck, couldn't beat Jacksonville at home. Remember, Peyton Manning had a learning curve also.

Speak of the devil, that's two weeks in a row that Manning nearly brought his team back late in the fourth quarter.

Do you think the Dodgers would take Kyle Arrington, Devin McCourty and Sterling Moore?

How really good is Christian Ponder? A good question to ponder through.

Back to school: Taylor Heinicke torched the UNH defense for an FBS record 730 passing yards on Saturday, as his Monarchs dropped 64 on the Wildcats. How must UNH feel, scoring 61 but losing?

That comeback by Oakland was really something.

So was that hit on Darius Heyward-Bey. Raider haters would say that it's usually the Raiders that lay those sticks, not receive them. He didn't suffer any debilitating injury, fortunately, but it did go against type.

And the Raiders did manage to bring Marcus Allen back into the family. He never should have been dissed in the first place.

Hate the loss all you want. But Torrey Smith catching those two TDs on the same day his brother died in a motorcycle accident was a feel-good story. He got the game ball after the game, but now the hard part starts.

The lousy officiating continues. So does fan interest. Can you spell "status quo"?

As long as players learn to adapt and find out what they can and cannot get away with, and as long as fans keep watching, nothing will change. It will be the real officials who will have to capitulate, not the owners.

Oh, and the coaches need to learn to adapt, too. Belichick will be a little lighter in the wallet in a day or two.

Arizona went home and thumped the Eagles. Yup, they're good.

And you still cannot name one single Cardinal defensive player, can you?

Remember him: One of the highlights of the Super Bowl XXXVI pregame show on Fox was the feature on Bob Kalsu, a former Buffalo guard who turned out to be the only NFL player killed in action in Vietnam. Lieutenant Kalsu played for the Bills in 1968, was sent to Vietnam the following year, and died in July of 1970 presumably of friendly fire. He and his wife Jan had a daughter and she was pregnant with their son when Kalsu lost his life. His widow remarried but still felt the pain of her husband's death in that terrific piece that Fox did. Kalsu's name is displayed on the Vietnam Memorial in Washington. He is a member of the Bills' Ring of Fame as well. He played under former Patriot head coach Chuck Fairbanks at Oklahoma and with former Patriot linebacker Steve Zabel as well, and both men spoke respectfully of Kalsu, saying that he simply saw going to Vietnam as his duty and he did it, though it did ultimately claim his life.

Again, calling all Patriot fans. Lion fans. Saints fans. Dolphin fans. Go and console your favorite Packer fan.

The ending of that Monday night game beat all. Dual possession? Did M.D. Jennings really have more of the ball than Golden Tate? And did they really have to try that meaningless conversion? If so, how come the officials on the field didn't just know to run the XP?

The league struck back on Tuesday. Call and result both stand. Funny, but the best part of that statement was that offensive pass interference wasn't called on Tate which would have negated all the slop that followed. In other words, the officials screwed up but everything's OK.

The most amazing thing about the postgame was that at no time did Pete Carroll use the words "pumped" and "jacked".

Guys like Mike Pereira and Gerry Austin will always have broadcasting jobs as long as this officials standoff continues. They truly know how bad things are out there.

Thought for the week: What will it eventually take for something to break?