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As The Ball Bounces: Week 2

Bob George
Bob George on Twitter
Sep 21, 2004 at 3:00am ET

How often do you see a kicker make only two field goals in a game, and both are from beyond fifty yards? Arizona's Neil Rackers did that against the Patriots, and would have made it three had a 58-yarder not been blocked late in the first half. Rackers came to Arizona after beginning his career in Cincinnati, so he goes from one losing organization to another. However, both franchises are experiencing a little bit of an upswing thanks to their new coaches, and Rackers looked like can win a few games for the Cardinals during his stay in Phoenix. He blasts one out of the end zone in the air, helped by the wind, of course.

Small market syndrome: If Pat Tillman had been a New York Giant, his tribute would have found its way to either ESPN or ABC. Instead, it became nearly an afterthought on television.

It was no afterthought to the players league-wide, who wore that number 40 on their helmets proudly.

Quentin Griffin's fumble put the entire state of Colorado on suicide watch.

It may have been the most noteworthy fumble since the Joe Pisarcik special in 1978.

The Ben Roethlisberger Era has begun in Pittsburgh. We're wondering why it took so long.

158 yards for Corey Dillon. Given recent Patriot history, that's like Drew Bledsoe putting up Michael Vick stats.

Now, if he can only smoke Miami for 158 yards.

Chad Pennington 22 of 29 passing? Now that's just plain sickening.

Omigosh. CBS finally did something right. Thurston Long on that Outside The Huddle is an absolute riot. It's about time CBS found an answer to former Fox comic Jimmy Kimmel.

Of course, it figures that Long is a computer-generated guy.

And they still don't have an answer for Jillian Barberie, though I'd pay big bucks to see the élan Barberie take on beautiful and sinewy Bonnie Bernstein in a catfight.

Geek of the Week: Two hands on the ball, Quentin.

If Shannon Sharpe ever tries to follow in Deion Sanders' footsteps, you can bet that it won't be as a New York Giant. As long as Herr Kommandant Tom Coughlin is there, at least.

Speaking of Coughlin, it would be nice of Bill Parcells to speak up on behalf of his friend and former assistant and put down all this dissing of Coughlin. Parcells is just as domineering and nobody complains about him.

It is completely unfair to ask Pat Summerall to try and pronounce T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

On the other hand, in his younger days, the old kicker had no problem with Iheanyi Uwaezouke (49ers). Go figure.

Losing Deion Branch was way too high a price to pay for a Hail Mary which never should have been attempted in the first place.

Wonder if Bill Belichick will use his "let them run" strategy on the Jets? Give Curtis Martin all the yards he wants, just make sure you stop Pennington. Might work.

They're already anointing Seattle as the NFC champs. 2-0, and both wins on the road. Eight of their last fourteen at home. Draw your own conclusions.

Griffin can take solace in the fact that Clinton Portis lost two fumbles, one of which was returned for a TD.

The Colts/Titans game was disgusting on many counts. Many experts still think that these two teams are the best in the AFC.

The Colts will never make it to the Super Bowl because their defense stinks and they cough the ball up at the worst possible times.

The Titans will never make it to the Super Bowl because they commit too many stupid penalties and they need more on offense other than Steve McNair and Chris Brown.

So, who will give the Patriots their stiffest AFC title challenge? Jets. Ravens. Broncos.

Back to school: What a game Saturday by UCLA's Maurice Drew. 322 yards. Five rushing touchdowns. Too many cramps perhaps cost him more of each. The Bruins had 424 total yards rushing. It's amazing that Keith Jackson, who was calling the game for ABC, spoke nary a "Whoa, Nellie!" at that UCLA ground game.

Holding Buffalo to only ten points is like sending the Red Sox out to face a rookie pitcher.

Chicago may not do as well as Cincinnati this year, but at least they've got an edge in Mike Browns.

So, Jerry Rice gets shut out from pass receptions for the first time since 1985 (an NFL-record 274 games). The Raiders still won. So why the temper tantrum at game's end? At least he explained himself, saying that he'll merely go out and start another 200-game streak.

We still love NFL Network's Game Of The Week, as long as they keep it to just one game.

For one play, Christian Fauria thought he was in the CFL, and it cost his team a touchdown.

Nice to know that NFL Sunday Ticket subscribers can still tune into Chargers Power Report and enjoy Katy Temple. Now, give her more than 2 minutes of air time and the men of America will be most grateful.

If not just the men of greater San Diego.

Can't there be just one commercial where Leon the Football Player actually goes into a game and gets clobbered by Rodney Harrison?

Watching the Colts do what they did to the Titans in Nashville had to take the starch out of anything Tennessee on Sunday.

Remember him: Fox's tribute during the Super Bowl XXXVI pregame show to former Buffalo lineman Bob Kalsu was a five-diamond gem. Kalsu, who is believed to be the last active NFL player to die in wartime combat before Tillman, was killed in Vietnam in 1970 amidst a hail of mortar fire. Kalsu's death carries more special meaning these days with the passing of Tillman. Fox baseball diva Jeanne Zelasko did a great job, especially her inclusion of two former Patriots, Chuck Fairbanks and Steve Zabel (Kalsu's former head coach and teammate at Oklahoma) in the piece.

Miami is just a wee bit more offensively challenged than Cincinnati, it seems.

Honk if you're sick of Terrell Owens and those stupid gold teeth of his.

Looks like new Bears' coach Lovie Smith got his wish. His number one goal as head coach was to beat the Packers. Seems like he's willing to leave things like winning the Super Bowl to the Patriots, which is just fine with the Nation.

Speaking of the Nation, they were out in full force in Tempe, and they were heard. Boy, were they heard. On Pat Tillman Day, that's remarkable.

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