1) The Lions had to win in a short week – In a thrilling shootout with the Panthers, the Lions pulled out a victory due to very impressive play by Matthew Stafford. The Detroit starter, playing with a broken hand, tossed five touchdowns and helped rally his team to victory. Detroit’s D played a big part as well, pushing the young Newton into four picks. The Lions can now look ahead to their Thursday showdown with Green Bay at home. This could be the game that helps determine whether or not they will be playing into January.
2) The 49ers are on cruise control – The 2nd Best??? team in the league won big again against the hapless Cards who may be wishing they had held onto Matt Leinart. No one is going to challenge them the rest of the way. Thanks for coming out, NFC West, but this thing is officially over…before Thanksgiving.
3) Tony Romo is playing inspired football – Tony Romo has quietly spent the last four weeks playing the best overall football of his career. He wants to win, he has to win and his Superbowl or bust attitude seems to be paying off. His teammates are galvanized and rallying around him. In the past three games he has 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Other than Aaron Rodgers, is anyone else in the league playing better? A more interesting question: could Romo be a dark horse MVP candidate?
4) Could Matt Barkley surpass Andrew Luck? – The short answer = no…and yes. Barkley is riding a tremendous wave of hype in the wake of his incredible performances against Stanford and Oregon. He is throwing the ball extremely well and is running USC’s offense as well as Palmer, Sanchez or Leinart. If he come out this year (he is a junior) he could have a shot at being the number two player drafted, and certainly the second quarterback. However, if the hype machine continues to roll he could possibly gain enough momentum to at least make it more of a debate than a certainty that Luck will go number one.
5) The Raiders! The Broncos! – Who could have predicted before the year began that a Raiders / Broncos game would actually mean something? No one sane but with “The Football Jesus” and a refreshed Carson Palmer this could actually be an interesting contenst…with playoff implications.
Wow…not even Yanksgiving yet…