At the midpoint of the current NFL season, it is becoming remarkably clear which teams will secure playoff spots, which teams can consider this a rebuilding year and which teams will have to claw their respective ways into gathering a playoff berth. While the New York Jets look like clear playoff contenders despite losing a kicking match against the Green Bay Packers, the Dallas Cowboys are facing the prospect of a potential one-win season. A surprise squad that could garner possible wild-card contention is the Oakland Raiders, who for the second week in a row thrashed their opponent with a devastatingly high score.
At the New Meadowlands Stadium, fresh off a week of rest, Rex Ryan and the Jets looked as if they could have taken another two or three weeks to recover, as they were sloppy and out of sync against the Packers. All it took for Green Bay to win was three field-goals from kicker Mason Crosby and a little pressure on quarterback Mark Sanchez. The game was not without highlights for the Jets, however, as running-back LaDainian Tomlinson eclipsed the 13,000 yard mark to become one of only six players to do so in their first 10 years in the NFL.
In other NFL action, the Cowboys got beat again, but this time it was without their starting quarterback Tony Romo. Romo left last week’s game against the New York Giants with a broken clavicle from a huge hit by a Giants’ defender. Romo will likely be out for the rest of the season, with back-up Jon Kitna filling the void. Kitna was able to keep the Cowboys on track for another horrid outing, throwing four interceptions in a 35-17 loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At Oakland, Raider-nation was in fine form, as the visiting Seattle Seahawks were pummeled by an Oakland defense that combined for eight sacks in the game. Raiders’ quarterback Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns in Oakland’s 33-3 victory, showcasing a growing offensive threat that has propelled the team to 4-4 on the season.
Not content with keeping himself as the centre of NFL attention with his “will he or won’t he retire” shtick for the off-season, we had another week dominated by talk of Brett Favre’s off field behaviour. This time the iron-man’s game streak of 291 was in danger of staying still, with the quarterback being mentioned as a game-time decision due to a couple of fractures in his ankle. Rumours swirled that Favre had threatened a mutiny to staff who had said that they may bench the quarterback.
Unaware that it was a football game and not a pirate ship, Favre inevitable played against the New England Patriots, but was not able to complete the game. The ageing quarterback left in the fourth quarter after having his chin cut by a defensive player’s helmet. The cut required eight stitches but will not keep Favre out of next week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“I think what would keep most guys out obviously hasn’t kept me out,” Favre noted. “Call it dumb. Call it hard-headed. Call it what you want. Maybe all of the above. I love to compete.” And love to be the centre of the spotlight.