Falcons 32, Cardinals 10
The Matt Leinart Era
has begun in Arizona and, sadly, it bears a striking similarity to the Kurt Warner Era
. And the Josh McCown Era, the Jake Plummer Era and the Boomer Esiason, Dave Brown, Chris Chandler and Stoney Case Eras. After a third straight game of being driven face-first into the turf within half a second of taking the snap, Warner was demoted to back up, but holds no grudge against his rookie replacement, who will start next week in Kansas City.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to help him," Warner vowed. Unfortunately, salary cap rules prevent Warner from purchasing an entire new offensive line, so instead he'll opt to scream, "Look out, Matt! Here they come again!" on every play.
Cowboys 45, Titans 14
Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens
broke his hand in his last game and-depending on which report you want to believe-either survived a suicide attempt or an accidental overdose. But none of that would keep him off the field with a trip to Tennessee on the schedule. With the terrible Titans' secondary focusing all its attention on stopping Owens, Drew Bledsoe
found Terry Glenn
open for a pair of touchdowns.
"It was like they forgot he was even on the field," Bledsoe said. "I hope Terrell tries to kill himself every week! Um... I mean that in a good way."
Colts 31, Jets 28
The cult-like mass suicide of
fantasy owners was narrowly avoided thanks to a flurry of scoring-three touchdowns in the final two and a half minutes. For most of the first half, Manning had just nine passing yards. Late in the third quarter, hospitals were put on alert and on-call 911 operators were brought in to handle the anticipated influx of calls. Fortunately, however, Manning both threw one TD and ran another to secure the Colts win, averting the crisis.
The game ended with the Jets taking one last stab at winning, lateraling the ball repeatedly after time expired, which led ESPN's Chris Berman to hyperventilate. "So... many... WHOOPs!" Berman groaned as he regained consciousness.
Texans 17, Dolphins 15
Every father knows that when playing games with kids, you have to let them win a few to keep them from getting too discouraged. You have to pretend your finger slipped off the switch on the Hungry, Hungry Hippo's back or that you were caught by surprise when he ran past you without dribbling to dunk a basketball on a three-foot hoop. That's called being a good parent, and you have to admire Dolphins coach Nick Saban
for giving the Texans the same kind of encouragement, even letting No. 1 draft pick Mario Williams
get the first sack of his career.
Oh, wait-upon further review, it's come to our attention that the Dolphins just suck too.
Browns 24, Raiders 21
It's hard to label Cleveland a "winner" after knocking off still-winless Oakland to raise its record to 1-3, but bouncing back from an 18-point deficit isn't easy against anyone (though it's probably easiest against Oakland). Browns quarterback Charlie Frye
led the team back with three touchdown passes, but nearly erased that rally when he threw an ill-advised pass into the end zone with three minutes remaining.
"It was a boneheaded by me. I forced it," Frye admitted. "I was really worried until I remembered we were playing against the Raiders and they were as likely to eat the football as they were to complete a pass with it."
Panthers 21, Saints 18
New Orleans slipped from the ranks of the undefeated, dropping their first contest to Carolina. As the clock wound down to end the game, Saints coach Sean Payton
threw a red challenge flag to protest the final score.
"I know our team's not very good," he pleaded, "but didn't you see all that footage on CNN after the hurricane? I thought we were getting a free pass this year because everyone felt sorry for us. What was all that 'throwing to Steve Smith' stuff? You know we can't defend him!"
Ravens 16, Chargers 13
Baltimore extended it best start ever, going to 4-0 for the first time in team history in a game that pitted two of the league's top defenses against one another. At least that was how CBS hyped it, jumping to the conclusion that statistics derived from a San Diego playing two games against two of the league's worst teams then having a week off made a legitimate case for their being "the NFL's best defense."