I hadn't planned on taking a weekend off from posting (except for a couple of items that I put up over on Collaboratory); it merely happened that way. Anyhow, my Monday reflections on the NFL and MLB:
:: I actually did not watch the Bills game this week; instead, I went out with the family to enjoy a rare Sunday off together. I did listen to the fourth quarter on the radio, and my jaw dropped when I heard the score: at the time it was 20-10 in favor of the Bills. (The Bills went on to win, 23-10.) I had noted earlier this very week that I did not think that the Bills were in the same class as the Dolphins, and that I expected their lack of strong defense -- which has neither stopped most opponents' running games nor forced turnovers -- to be the major reason why they would lose this week. But, in the immortal words of Chris Berman, "That's why they play the games." The Bills forced six turnovers yesterday (versus four in the previous six games combined), including four interceptions (versus zero in the previous six games combined). They held Ricky Williams, one of the NFL's top running backs, under 100 yards and didn't let him break any runs longer than 14 yards. The one thing they could have done better was move the ball in the fourth quarter with a power running game. All in all, though, a totally surprising and welcome victory. Next week, Detroit -- a bad team that can kill you if you overlook them.
:: There was a lot of scoring in yesterday's games. There were five games in which both teams scored more than twenty points; seven teams scored more than thirty points; and there were four overtime games. Wow. (Of course, one of the games decided in overtime was the Cardinals-Cowboys snoozefest, which the Cardinals won, 9-6.)
:: My pick for NFC Champion, the Philadelphia Eagles, won 20-10 over Tampa Bay. Tampa has a very good defense, but the Eagles' back Duce Staley put up 152 yards rushing, and the Eagles are now a healthy 4-2, leading their division but trailing Green Bay and New Orleans for overall best record in the NFC. (Both those teams are 6-1.)
:: As for my other Super Bowl pick, the Piitsburgh Steelers, tonight's game may make or break their season. Their division doesn't seem to be very good (although Baltimore is showing some real signs of life right now), so this may be a year when 9-7 is enough to win it and get into the playoffs, but the Steelers are 2-3 as they host the 4-1 Indianapolis Colts in tonight's game. The Colts will be a tough test for them. If the Steelers want to be a playoff team and prove that they can beat someone other than the Bengals, they have to win this one.
:: Baseball now. Two games have been played in the World Series. The series is tied at one game apiece. Each team has scored fourteen total runs thus far in the Series. Both games were decided by one run. This Series could end up truly being a Fall Classic.
:: What exactly are those red things the Angels' fans keep banging together, anyway? Apparently they make an amazing amount of noise, but the noise they make doesn't seem to translate well to the TV speaker, because it didn't sound that loud to me.
:: Win or lose, Barry Bonds is having an excellent Series thus far. I hope this silences all his critics who claim that he can't get it done in the postseason.