The Rucker Report: Week 10 in the NFL
OK people week 10 of the NFL season started with a familiar twist as Thursday night was the kickoff of this week’s action, featuring the Raiders and Chargers in an AFC West division battle with heavy playoff implications. Now the Chargers have us all in a state of shock because this is the time of the year when they usually run off a number of wins to put them in the division lead, but this year they’ve won games early and are currently riding three game losing streak ….so could they get right against their division foes?????? The Raiders and there new quarterback Carson Palmer had other plans taking a 17- 3 lead into halftime. The Chargers would mount a comeback in the second half , but injuries, turnovers and the Raider defense would put an end to that wrapping up a 24 – 17 victory.
Sunday’s action would see a number of dramatic endings to games that carry huge implications regarding playoff seeding , so we head right to the NFC South as the Saints and the Falcons renewed the rivalry in the Dome. The Falcons coming off a big win last week against the Colts needed this win against the Saints to stay in the hunt for the division lead. A hard fought back and forth game with both teams playing well forcing the game to an overtime session , however the outcome of this game would hinge on Atlanta’s Coach Mike Smith decision to go for it on 4thdown. The Saints stopped the Falcons effort on 4th down getting the ball back close enough to have an opportunity to kick the field goal and win the game which they did.OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOh Coach Smith you in trouble now…. you definitely gonna know why they call it “Hot-Lanta” for that one.
Next the Giants travelled to San Francisco to take on the surprising Niners. The Niners have surprised most with their play early in the season but they have been very consistent on both sides of the ball validating there 7 – 1 record. Both defenses were on full display during the first half only allowing field goals with the Niners taking a 9 -6 lead into halftime. Of course the Giants would try to stage another late game comeback, but the Niners and their much improved quarterback Alex Smith outscored the Giants 18 -14 in the second half capping a 27-20 win.
The Bears are looking like “Who we thought they were (Dennis Green Voice)” the team most thought they would be at the start of season riding a 4 game winning streak into their match up with the Lions. For Matthew Stafford and the Lions this would be a game to forget as the Bears dominated them on both sides of the ball and forced the young quarterback into 4 interceptions. We also got another stellar performance by the Bears “Mr. Everything” ….. Devin Hester who returned another punt for a touchdown adding to his NFL record 12 career returns for touchdowns, thus helping the Bears to a 37-13 win.
Ok I know our good friend & supporter Kevin Hart gotta screaming “PINEAPPLES” or telling anybody he bet ” They way my account works is …….” because the Eagles have been the NFL’s version of Jekyll & Hyde. The self proclaimed “Dream Team” …… people are still waiting to punch Vince Young in the face for that one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Welcome the 2-6 Cardinals into town …… easy win right (remember we’ve talking about the Eagles)??? All I know is that I was watching this game wondering if this team is ready to make the run necessary to make the playoffs. I even turned the channel thinking they had the game wrapped up with another 4th quarter lead, Cmon Son it’s the Eagles and fourth quarter leads rarely work in their favor as they lost this game 21-17 on a late score by the Cardinals making it 5 losses on the season when leading in the fourth quarter………. really fellas I mean really!!!!!!!
Wrapping up this week’s action we had a number of solid and surprising wins with the following………..
Cowboys 44 – Bills 7
Dolphins 20 – Redskins 9
Titans 30 – Panthers 3
Steelers 24 – Bengals 17
Jagz 17 – Colts 3
Broncos 27 – Chiefs 10
Texans 37 – Bucs 9
Seahawks 22 – Ravens 17
Pats 37 – Jets 16
Packers 45 – Viks 7 …….. GO PACK GO ( Just in case y’all wanted to know who I root for)
For this week’s version of “Say Word” it was easy to find a topic but when thinking of the appropriate words to describe my thoughts and feelings it was tough. Of course I’m talking about the scandal that has engulfed the Penn St. football program, the university & the community. First I’ll address the football side of it…. In my opinion the firing of Coach Joe Paterno was unwarranted at this time with the legal proceedings not taking their course to have all the facts of his knowledge and involvement. What Paterno meant to the program, university & community for SIX DECADES can’t just be discounted. It is my opinion solely regarding football and the young men that he recruited and coached at the university that he did his job to the fullest extent and regarding the happenings in an athletic department he followed the chain of command regarding informing those about the incident that was brought to his attention.
I also feel that as the head coach of this program he bears a responsibility to those that work under him in any role, therefore allowing him to resign at the end of the season would have been the proper thing to do. Instead the board of trustees concluded that his time was up and that decision sent the campus into an uproar with student rioting & protest for a couple of days. Understand this the outpouring of emotion that we all witnessed immediately following Coach Paterno’s firing was motivated solely by what he meant to those kids that were football fans , students & community members a number of them who may have never met the legendary coach face to face but understood his character as a man and the example he set as a coach / educator. I support Coach Paterno and the job he did for the University, the young men he coached and the positive impact he had on the surrounding community. I say that also understanding that he had to fall on the sword for this one, but she shouldn’t have been stabbed in the back by those said to be his most staunch supporters. 60 years of dedication ends with a phone call huh …………smh
Next I focused my thoughts on the actual scandal, the accused and the victims. Simply put former Coach Gary Sandusky should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for all that he did to those children for over 30 years. Even in his interview with Bob Costos on NBC last night he struggled with the questions asked about his innocent, which has further cemented in my mind his guilt. The fact that someone could do the things that were alleged to children is just despicable and I feel that the courts will get this one right. For all those that gave me there opinions I appreciate them all, but I also wanna add this to your thought process. For these universities sports programs are there biggest financial contributors which is the same in the case of Penn State. With that in mind where “winning” generates dollars understand that all happenings in these programs are known facts to all involved, so do I feel like Joe Pa knew more about this situations…… Yes I do just as everyone in the athletic program did, but also consider during this time (The Sandusky Coach Era) Penn States football team won two national championships , impacted the rise in enrollment, sold massive amounts of merchandise nationally thus bringing in millions and millions of dollars. Knowing this who was going to “blow the whistle” during this golden age? According to former Oklahoma Head Football Coach Barry Switzer “All secrets in athletic department are a known fact by all that work there ” but dollars are the best way to encourage silence. This has been the trend in college sports for far to long, but the problem with this situation is that it’s focus wasn’t on gaining a competitive advantage rather serving someone’s perverted needs. All in all this is a to be continued topic as the story continues to unfold.
The best point to come out of this whole mess is the fact that sexual abuse to children is a real topic that is not talked about enough or our children are not encouraged to talk about inappropriate encounters that go on. As we have said before this is another issue that we can start to take care of at home by encouraging are children to have honest communication with us , the things that they are exposed to and most importantly the people that they are around on a daily basis / the impact / example that they set for our children. We’ve all heard the slogan regarding terrorism “See something ….. say something,” the slogan should be universal because it will lead back to us becoming a strong community again positively effecting our children and their future. Remember people it takes a village .……………….
Til next week people “Be Easy” …… You just read the Rucker Report!!!