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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Monday, November 14, 2005

Colts, Panthers, Bears and Seahawks all win again

There are some hot streaks happening the NFL. Of course, the Indianapolis Colts are hot at 9-0. Undefeated and looking strong. The Carolina Panthers won their sixth in a row, continuing to lead the NFC South. They share the NFC's best record with the Seattle Seahawks at 7-2. The Seahawks just won their fifth in a row, as did the Chicago Bears. The Bears have what some have called a "stranglehold" on the NFC North, but their remainding schedule is brutal.

Starting with the Colts, how long will the unbeaten string last? Well, they're three games up in the AFC South, have the fourth ranked defense in the NFL (#2 scoring D), are already 4-0 in their division, and have finally beaten the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Edgerrin James is the #2 rusher in the NFL, already at 1027 yards. Nice. It's at Cincinatti this Sunday. Then home vs. Pittsburgh. Let's see how they play the next two weeks. If they can somehow win both of those, the rest of the league might want to get nervous.

The Panthers are being called the NFC's best by some. Do they deserve it? I know Steve Smith deserves it, being the league's leading receiver. Their Defense is ranked eighth in the NFL. They have the #2 Rushing D, but their Passing D is 21st. Guess that means they'll give the Bears all they want this Sunday, but what about the rest of the league? They play at Chicago and at Buffalo before hosting Atlanta and Tampa Bay. We'll see how they are after that run. Their playoff chances look great, I'd say. After that, I'm not sure.

The Bears have risen to 6-3 after their fifth straight win. Hosting Carolina Sunday afternoon will be a challenge, to say the least. Can Kyle Orton find a way to pass against the forgiving Panther secondary? Or will they try to run against one of the best rushing defenses in the NFL with their third string running back? Adrian Peterson did get 120 yards and a TD against the 49ers, but they're no Panthers. The Bears have two of their three top recievers out though (Berrian and Bradley), but can Muhammad and Gage find a way?

We Bears fans will find out a lot about the Monsters of the Midway this weekend. I hope the Bears D finds out a way to stop Jake Delhomme and the Panthers to get to 7-3 and keep their win streak going while ending Carolina's at six. The game is at Chicago, after all. Not sure it'll make a difference, and watching the Panthers dismantle the Jets yesterday I think the Bears will have all that they can handle. At this point, it looks like the Bears will do well to simply keep it competitive.

Do I even have to say anything about Nathan Vasher's record setting return of a missed field goal? Didn't think so. What a run and what a blocking show by Urlacker (who passed Vasher at about the 20). And how about that windblown FG attempt by Gould in the first? I've never, ever seen anything like that.

The Seahaws look ready to play as well. Alexander is on a roll, to say the least, leading the NFL with 1114 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Unreal. Can Holmgren make it work? Nov. 27th against the Giants will answer a lot. At least a lot more than at SF this Sunday.

Who's ready for some Cowboys v. Eagles tonight? Will Philadelphia continue to miss the contributions of Terrell Owens? Or will Donovan do his Monday Night magic once again and take out Dallas once again? The Cowboys smoked 'em 33-10 Oct. 9th at home. But the Eagles are in Philly this time around. If the 'Boys win, they're tied for first with the Giants. If the Eagles win, they can end the Terrell talk and get on with the rest of their season. Must See TV, and I'm working during it. Oh well, at least there's a couple of televisions at work to check out.


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