NFL week 14 open thread; Update: Metrodome roof collapsed; Update: Game on in Detroit, video of collapse added

posted at 10:30 am on December 12, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Pittsburgh Steelers won a huge game last week on the road in Baltimore, beating the Ravens in the Blood & Guts Bowl 13-10 in a great defensive battle.  This week, they have to guard against a letdown at home as the 2-10 Cincinnati Bengals come to Heinz Field.  The Bengals have had a very disappointing season, but they’d like nothing better than to catch the Steelers napping.  However, the Steelers also know that they have to win out to keep the Ravens from taking back the lead in the division, and they have a tough game next week against the Jets — which means they have to get wins.  Look for a lot of Mendenhall and the running game and some big-time defensive plays from Pittsburgh to win this one, 28-13.

Last week I went 5-1 to push my record to 49-30.  That’s three good weeks in a row; can I keep the streak going?

  • Giants at Vikings – This game got moved to Monday night (7 pm) because of the snowstorm of the decade.  The Giants’ flight got diverted to Kansas City, and the Metrodome needs more time to clear the roof before the game.  That gives Brett Favre another day of rest for his injured shoulder, but he may still not be able to make it, according to ESPN.  That would end the streak but give Tarvaris Jackson another game to prove he’s next year’s QB.  The Giants may be tired out from the travel and they may have been inconsistent this season, but I’d expect them to beat the Vikes no matter which QB gets the call.  Giants top the Vikings for the first loss in the Leslie Frazier era, 27-21.
  • Patriots at Bears – The potential game of the week.  Both teams lead their divisions, and both teams are playing consistently good football now.  The Bears have fewer weapons, though, and Jay Cutler is no Tom Brady.  Pats over Bears 31-22.
  • Chiefs at Chargers – I’d normally pick the Chiefs, especially after San Diego’s flop against the Raiders last week, but Matt Cassel just got sacked by his own appendix.  Brodie Croyle will start in his place, on the road against a division rival.  Croyle is 0-9 as a starter in the NFL, and if he gets to 0-10 he picks up a set of steak knives.  The Chargers have to win this game to have any shot at postseason play.  Chargers over Chiefs 24-17.
  • Eagles at Cowboys – Another great divisional game.  The Cowboys have played better of late, topping Indianapolis in OT last week and moving their record to 4-8.  The Eagles are a tougher nut to crack than the Colts this season, though, and the Cowboys don’t play well at home, going 1-5 this season.  Dallas will make it tough, but Philadelphia will keep pace with the Giants by winning 31-27.
  • Ravens at Texas – Baltimore doesn’t play well on the road, going only .500 while traveling.  Houston is their next-to-last road game, and the Texans could match up well against the Ravens.  A late-breaking story about a police raid on kick returner David Reed’s house (narcotics-related) may have them a little distracted, and last week’s loss to Pittsburgh may also have the Ravens off their game as well.  I’ll pick the tough Texans for an upset at home, 20-14.

Update: The Vikings won’t be playing the Giants at the Metrodome on Monday, either.  The roof tore in three places, and now they’ll either have to play at the University of Minnesota’s new TCF Stadium — which is open-air — or in another NFL stadium.

Update II: The Vikings-Giants game will take place in Detroit; Vikings fans here will get refunds, while tickets will be given away for free in Detroit. That’s a bad deal for the Vikes, as Detroit is hardly neutral territory. Why not Indianapolis?

Via OTB, here’s the Fox video of the collapse, which is pretty stunning:

<a href="http://video.msn.com/?mkt=en-us&#038;brand=foxsports&#038;from=foxsports_en-us_videocentral&#038;vid=ca15cffb-3b66-49a0-84ca-20ed0a175567" target="_new" title="NFL on FOX: Metrodome collapse">Video: NFL on FOX: Metrodome collapse</a>

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Are the Patriots playing today?

Wade on December 12, 2010 at 5:52 PM

I think the question should be “are the Bears playing today”?

sure doesn’t look like it.

Ciannaky on December 12, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Here’s how snake-bitten the Patriots are this year-the other day one of their rookie players was suspended for 4 games (“forbidden substance”, I think?). he will be eligible to play in the post season.

Today his replacement already has a fumble recovery and an interception.

Oh, and the Saints are up handily on the Lambs and should go to 10-3.

And they will end up being a Wild Card most likely. Has there ever been a Wild Card with 11 or 12 wins?

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Has there ever been a Wild Card with 11 or 12 wins?

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Sure, Jax was 11-5 last year as a wildcard.

Ciannaky on December 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Well, my hat is off to the Patriots. What a complete demolition.

Who was that team in the Bears uniforms, anyway? They looked like impostors to me. Was that actually Lovey and the crew on the sidelines? Out-prepared, out-coached, and outplayed.

novaculus on December 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Why not Indianapolis?

Because Fox already has cameras and equipment in place to broadcast today’s game at Detroit. The announcers who have studied up on the Giants/Vikings matchup can slide into the booth tomorrow night and it’s no big deal for the network.

Indy is on the road today, so neither Fox nor CBS has equipment set up there yet.

The Monster on December 12, 2010 at 7:12 PM

All that heartache as a Jets fan reared it’s ugly head again tonight. $@^#%&%@%$!#%@#$^#*&&(!!!!!!!!

I all started with Santonio Holmes’ missed catch, and it was downhill from there. Cripes.

JetBoy on December 12, 2010 at 7:28 PM

JetBoy:

My condolences, but the Jets, are the Jets, are the Jets, year in, year out.

Willie on December 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Has there ever been a Wild Card with 11 or 12 wins?

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Sure, Jax was 11-5 last year as a wildcard.

Ciannaky on December 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Ha! I realized my error when I hit the “Submit Comment” button, as the Saints may be the record-holders in that category.

1987 Saints (first-ever winning season, too)-they were the Wild Card with a 12-3 record.

1992 Saints were 12-4 and were the Wild Card again.

The Saints also had an 8-8 team in 1990 that was a Wild Card team.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Holy MVP Brady!!!

RedNewEnglander on December 12, 2010 at 7:53 PM

how about skelly and the cards….yeah baby!!

cmsinaz on December 12, 2010 at 8:12 PM

JetBoy:

My condolences, but the Jets, are the Jets, are the Jets, year in, year out.

Willie on December 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Yeah, you’re not telling me anything I’m not aware of. Like I always said, the Jets are cursed…a voodoo woman in Baltimore put a hex on Gang Green after Superbowl 3, and I haven’t yet figured out how to break that curse…yet.

JetBoy on December 12, 2010 at 8:20 PM

Holy MVP Brady!!!

RedNewEnglander on December 12, 2010 at 7:53PM

.
You know it, baby! Cue the haters is 5…4…3…

Dopenstrange on December 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM

JetBoy on December 12, 2010 at 8:20 PM

hey, maybe it was Namath himself that put down that curse; he will always be the Jets hero evermore

Willie on December 12, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Has there ever been a Wild Card with 11 or 12 wins?

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Sure, Jax was 11-5 last year as a wildcard.

Ciannaky on December 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM
Ha! I realized my error when I hit the “Submit Comment” button, as the Saints may be the record-holders in that category.

1987 Saints (first-ever winning season, too)-they were the Wild Card with a 12-3 record.

1992 Saints were 12-4 and were the Wild Card again.

The Saints also had an 8-8 team in 1990 that was a Wild Card team.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Once every couple years a 12-4 team will finish second in their division and become a Wild Card.

However, I think 1999′s Titan team is the only team to go 13-3 and finish as a Wild Card. Their division rival who went 14-2 that year was…

Scroll down…

Jacksonville. You thought I was gonna say Indianapolis, didn’t you?

rwenger43 on December 12, 2010 at 10:04 PM

Well, my hat is off to the Patriots. What a complete demolition.

Who was that team in the Bears uniforms, anyway? They looked like impostors to me.

Yeah, that’s happening a lot lately.

Go figure.

EA_MAN on December 12, 2010 at 10:29 PM

Holy MVP Brady!!!

RedNewEnglander on December 12, 2010 at 7:53PM

You know it, baby! Cue the haters is 5…4…3…

Dopenstrange on December 12, 2010 at 8:31 PM

But Brady doesn’t deserve all of the credit-the Patriots team as a whole, as well as the Evil Darth Belichick Game Plan, should all be the MVPs as well.

After all, he had so many people to throw to or hand off to it was obscene.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

But Brady doesn’t deserve all of the credit-the Patriots team as a whole, as well as the Evil Darth Belichick Game Plan, should all be the MVPs as well.

After all, he had so many people to throw to or hand off to it was obscene.

Yeah, and who are these guys anyway?

That’s the fascinating part to me; rookies, cast-offs, what-have-you’s…

EA_MAN on December 12, 2010 at 10:39 PM

Will tomorrow night’s Vikants game be on national network television?

YYZ on December 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Will tomorrow night’s Vikants game be on national network television?

YYZ on December 12, 2010 at 10:47 PM

Supposedly it will be on the local FOX affiliates in both markets, but that is all. If you can get any Canadian stations one of them may have it as well.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 11:02 PM

But Brady doesn’t deserve all of the credit-the Patriots team as a whole, as well as the Evil Darth Belichick Game Plan, should all be the MVPs as well.

After all, he had so many people to throw to or hand off to it was obscene.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

I’m not sure what post you read, as I never mentioned anything about Brady “deserving all the credit.” I did say he deserved MVP, which is an individual award, not a team award (that’s called the Lombardi Trophy.)Also, I don’t call having “so many people to throw to or hand off to” “obscene;” I call it assembling a good team and coaching them to be the best they can be. And rest assured, if Brady wins the MVP, the first people he’ll credit will be his teammates, just as he does after every game.

Dopenstrange on December 13, 2010 at 12:01 AM

Well I get home from work, check on the NFL open thread and it turns out all the overconfident Bears fans (with the exception of novaculus) never returned after their beat down! And I thought this was Bear weather, guys? Oh and the Bill Belichick-era Patriots are now 10-0 in snow games, btw.

Keef Overbite on December 13, 2010 at 1:48 AM

Dopenstrange on December 13, 2010 at 12:01 AM

I believe that was sarcasm.

Keef Overbite on December 13, 2010 at 1:52 AM

Dopenstrange on December 13, 2010 at 12:01 AM

You are correct. That was some game. Go Pats!

dogsoldier on December 13, 2010 at 6:54 AM

Out-prepared, out-coached, and outplayed.

novaculus on December 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

Well…the Bears are out-prepared and out-coached every single week. It’s just that most weeks they don’t play against Belichek and Brady. They whipped my Bears like a rented mule.

Jaibones on December 13, 2010 at 8:07 AM

After all, he had so many people to throw to or hand off to it was obscene.

Del Dolemonte on December 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

He’s a great QB, but yeah, when you can hand it off to some no-name generic running back and watch him get 6 – 7 yards untouched up the middle on every play, and when you can take a 7 step drop and never feel any pressure in the pocket all night, then the game gets a little easier.

Jaibones on December 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Jaibones on December 13, 2010 at 8:10 AM

Randy Moss could not be reached for comment…

Del Dolemonte on December 13, 2010 at 8:24 AM

Must say apecial thanks:

1) To the NY Jets for letting Danny Woodhead go. This kid has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Patriots. What a pickup!

2) To the Mangenius-led Cleveland Browns for whooping the Pats in a shocker a few weeks back. Bill Belichick now has his younger players’ full attention thanks to the Browns, and the Pats are now dispensing some serious whoop-ass of their own just at the right time.

Sweet_Thang on December 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM

Sweet_Thang on December 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM

1. Darn straight.
2. Although I was a little lot concerned after that loss considering they had the Steelers and Colts up next, that did seem to flip a switch. Phew!

3.And what about the Jets’ coaching staff out there tripping players? I thought the Pats were the “cheaters”? Paging JetBoy!!!

Keef Overbite on December 13, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Thanks Ed.

You mentioned the San Diego Chargers and you picked them to win! 31-0 was a pretty good indicator of the Chargers potential when inspired to play. THey need to continue to win and get healthy so they can make a run at the playoffs.

dthorny on December 13, 2010 at 11:49 AM

3.And what about the Jets’ coaching staff out there tripping players? I thought the Pats were the “cheaters”? Paging JetBoy!!!

Keef Overbite

KO:

The NY sports media was RELENTLESS against BB and the Pats during “spygate”. Years later, we still hear the “cheating” mantra, some saying the Pats won their SB’s by cheating. Can you say “sophomoric”?

Of course, the “tripping scandal” will be “yesterday’s news” tomorrow – at least with the NY media.

As for BB, this year has so far been his most astounding. NO serious minded folks anywhere expected THIS kind of success. So far, anyway, it’s been one for the ages here in NE – BUT it’s not over yet!

Go Pats!!

Sweet_Thang on December 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Form SI’s Peter King this week:

In the past week, the Patriots have beaten two of the best teams in the league by a combined 81-10. As it was in 2007, when New England was laying waste to the league while going 16-0 in the regular season, there’s a gap between New England and the rest of the league that, in today’s football, is rare. I thought the beatdown of the Bears at Soldier Field Sunday was significant because, as Brian Urlacher said, “They came in here, our field, our weather, and pounded us.”

Three years ago, when the Patriots exterminated the rest of the league, they did so under the shadow of Spygate, when they were sanctioned by commissioner Roger Goodell after the first game of the season for secretly videotaping teams’ defensive signals to try to gain an advantage. I figure now is a good time to look back at history and judge just how much an advantage the Patriots got from Spygate, because now we have the perspective given us by recent history.

Since the commissioner whacked the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick in September 2007 for the longterm practice of taping the opposition’s sidelines, New England has played almost half the number of games (64) as it played coached by Belichick before the sanctions came down (126). So the sample size is good to determine what sort of edge Belichick and his team got from knowing what the opposing signals might have meant. And the answer I found is: not much, apparently.

Before I go on, understand I’m not attempting to minimize what the Patriots did wrong. Roger Goodell was right to take away a first-round pick and whack the Pats $750,000 for the misdeed.

But check out the pre- and post-Spygate numbers, including playoff games, for the Patriots under Belichick, and you’ll see why the video practices seem so wasteful:
.
.
G W-L Pct. Points per game
.
Pre-Sanction 126 87-39 .690 23.4
.
Since Sanction 64 49-15 .766 29.4
.
.
Pretty interesting. New England’s gone from winning two-thirds of its games with the benefit of taping illegally, to winning three-quarters of its games and scoring six points more per game without taping — and with so many new pieces on offense.

I was reminded of this last Monday, when the Patriots were mercilessly pounding the Jets 45-3, and just thought how interesting it is that the Patriots are the highest-scoring team in football — by a whopping 41 points — in a year in which they’ve totally changed their offensive philosophy to more of a tight-end-centric one with two rookie tight ends as the keystones. (Just when teams start focusing defensively on the tight ends, the Patriots unleash the wideouts. In Chicago yesterday, Deion Branch and Wes Welker combined for 16 catches and 266 yards.) It all just proves to me that Belichick used to be and still is the smartest guy in the room … and how unimportant to everything on the field the videotaping seems to have been.

Sweet_Thang on December 13, 2010 at 5:39 PM

Hmmm, What happened to the Steelers yesterday? Only 9 offensive points? Y’all think they are the bomb but that was some pretty weak playing. Why couldn’t they have come to Baltimore and play like that? Ha! Anyway, I think your wrong again Ed. The Ravens are going to keep pace with the Steelers and may even catch them if the Stealheads keep playing this bad.

Hey Jetboy, I feel your pain. The Ravens are a much better team but just seem to find ways to give it up.

Come on Ravens! You can beat the Texans.

JohnnyD on December 13, 2010 at 7:54 PM

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