Pigskin Ponderosa

Sunday Pigskin Ponderosa: Eli Is Your 4th Quarter Savior

Yup, Eli is a boss. 

Week 7 included a litany of 3-3 teams and a meeting between the only two teams in the AFC over .500. Separation please!

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: TEXANS BEAT, WHIP, CASTRATE, BAMBOOZLE RAVENS

I imagined a scenario in which the Texans would win comfortably but beating the Ravens by 30? Didn’t see that one coming.

Houston slammed Baltimore 43-13 with relative ease to grab a leg up in the race for the AFC’s top seed.

The Texans held Joe Flacco to a meager 21 of 43 for 147 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Even the return of defensive end Terrell Suggs did not give Baltimore’s reeling defense a boost. Houston’s Arian Foster scored twice and the Texans outgained Baltimore 420-176.

Houston will earn home-field advantage through the AFC playoffs. Write it down. No really. It’s over.

NOT-SO BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE WEEK: MARK SANCHEZ MAKES ONE MISTAKE TOO MANY IN LOSS TO PATRIOTS. 

Plenty of good news came out of New York’s 29-26 overtime loss to the Patriots. Unfortunately, little of it revolved around Mark Sanchez.

The Jets quarterback threw for 328 yards but also tossed an interception when he severely under threw Stephen Hill in the end zone.

His biggest error came in overtime when he was sacked by New England’s Rob Ninkovich and subsequently fumbled, which the Patriots recovered to win the game.

The Jets played hard but at the end of the day Sanchez is still their quarterback.

BEST PLAY BY A PLAYER NAMED AFTER A BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: JOE MORGAN MAKES REMARKABLE TD CATCH

Drew Brees hit wide receiver Joe Morgan on a 48-yard scoring strike but it wasn’t a run of the mill score. Morgan managed to make a difficult catch, break a tackle, and then proceeded to backdrop a defender en route to scoring.

The Saints have won two games in a row. Operation Thwart Roger Goodell is in full swing.

THE FOURTH QUARTER DUEL WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR: ELI VS. RG3

Trailing 20-16 late in the fourth quarter, Robert Griffin III led a seven play, 77-yard scoring drive that culminated with a go-ahead 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss with just 1:32 left.

Undeterred, Eli Manning needed two plays to provide an answer. He connected with Victor Cruz on a 77-yard touchdown strike to give New York a 27-23 edge.

RG3 had one last try but when Moss fumbled during the next possession, Washington’s hopes for victory ended.

THE SHIP BE SINKING AWARD: ARIZONA CARDINALS 

Remember when they started 4-0?

Sunday’s 21-14 loss to Minnesota marked Arizona’s third straight loss. Their next three games are against San Francisco, Green Bay, and Atlanta.

Wow. They’re going to be 4-6 in the blink of an eye.

No playoffs for them in 2012.

BEST INDIVIDUAL EFFORT: MALCOLM JENKINS

If anything becomes of the 2012 New Orleans Saints season, defensive back Malcolm Jenkins may be the man to thank.

In the midst of Vincent Jackson torching the Saints secondary for 216 yards, he hauled in a 95-yard reception. It appeared Jackson would easily score. However, Jenkins ran him down at the 1.

The Saints D held on fourth straight goal to go plays to preserve a 35-21 lead. Jenkins’s play loomed large in a 35-28 Saints victory.

WORST EXECUTION OF EXECUTION OF CHEATING DURING THE BYE WEEK: SAN DIEGO CHARGERS UNDER INVESTIGATION USING STICKUM. 

Word arrived on Sunday that the NFL was in the process of investigating of the San Diego Chargers over claims of using Stickum during last Monday night’s meltdown against Denver.

The sticky substance is used to give defenders an advantage over their speedy offensive counterparts.

Reportedly, an official discovered a Charger equipment person had the substance and gave it to players. Eventually, it was confiscated.

San Diego issued a statement saying they plan to cooperate with the league.

Wow. The Chargers couldn’t even cheat properly.

REPORTS OF THEIR DEMISE, YADA, YADA, YADA: GREEN BAY PACKERS

Take a look at Aaron Rodgers’s last two games:

vs. HOU – 24 of 37  338 YDS  6 TDs, 0 INT

vs. STL   – 30 of 37  342 YDS   3 TDs, 0 INT

It’s not a coincidence that his return to MVP form led to a pair of Green Bay wins.

At the moment, he is the best player in the NFL.

WORST THROWBACK JERSEYS: THE HI-C ORANGE BUCS

Tampa rolled out their classic orange creamsicle/HI-C orange jerseys during the seven-point loss to New Orleans.

Years later, those things are still an eyesore.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR NEXT WEEK: THE FUNHOUSE 

Week 8 might be favorite thus far. Take a look at these gems:

  • Atlanta at Philadelphia – Michael Vick’s Eagles career is on the line versus his undefeated, ex-team.
  • Washington at Pittsburgh – RG3 vs. Dick LeBeau. Yes please.
  • Carolina at Chicago – Cam Newton will probably have another whiny presser after the Panthers lose 27-10.
  • New York at Dallas – The Giants will attempt to avenge their opening night loss.
  • New England vs. St. Louis – It’s the dreaded London game of doom. Who talks less? Belichick or those red coat security guards?
  • New Orleans at Denver – Brees vs. Manning for the first time since Super Bowl XLIV.

It should be a glorious week.

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