What a crazy weekend at the Breeders Cup in Del Mar and because I didn’t have a chance to watch as many of the football games as I would’ve liked, here’s a fairly abbreviated version of Monday Musings:
-The Cardinals won as I expected in San Francisco…nothing shocking there. I also predicted that Adrian Peterson would top 100 yards…which he did. Nothing shocking there. But 37 carries for 159 yards!? A career high in touches (39) for a running back who at 32 was considered over-the-hill!? That is a clutch performance by a player who needed to step up when his team needed him the most.
-As for Drew Stanton…he was fine as Carson Palmer’s replacement but accuracy issues still prevail. I expect him to have a rough go of things on Thursday night against the Seahawks.
-After a shocking Redskins win Sunday in Seattle, the NFC West standings look like this:
I may be getting carried away here…but who would’ve predicted that the December 10th Eagles at Rams game could determine home field in the NFC playoffs?
-If Zeke Elliott’s suspension keeps getting postponed, Dallas’ playoff chances continue to rise significantly. The Cowboys looked like their 2016 dominant selves against the Chiefs on Sunday.
-I’m not sure how Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter keeps his job at this rate. A team that was poised to contend in the NFC sits at 2-6 with absolutely no hope. To me, a Jon Gruden return to TB is more likely (slim) than Koetter being the Bucs coach in 2018.
-Time to see what you have in 2nd year QB Paxton Lynch, John Elway. The Broncos are going absolutely nowhere this season and it’s time to determine if Lynch MIGHT be the answer or whether it’s necessary to draft Denver’s long term QB in 2018.
-Here’s an easy prediction to make: the loser of the Packers-Lions game tonight has a ZERO percent chance to make the playoffs. Fair enough?
-Nice comeback win for ASU over Colorado on Saturday. I wish I could break it down more but I literally saw none of the game. Win next week at UCLA, become bowl eligible, and I have to think that Todd Graham’s job is 100% secure going into next season.
-On the other hand, I watched the entirety of Arizona-USC and while coming away thoroughly unimpressed with the Wildcats defense, it’s obvious to this observer that the future is bright for this hard-trying team. In most years, Arizona loses this game by four touchdowns as they were thoroughly outplayed in the first half. But Khalil Tate led a furious rally to tie the game, erasing a 28-6 deficit. Unfortunately a crucial fourth quarter interception gifted the Trojans another scoring opportunity and therefore a two touchdown victory.
-Thank you Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for putting on the most fun and entertaining shootout of the season, a 62-52 Sooners victory in Stillwater. Talk about a big game that lived up to the hype and more!
-Iowa 55, Ohio State 24. Quite possibly one of the strangest outcomes of any college football game I can remember. Even ASU 13, Washington 7 the other weekend was slightly less surprising.
-It’s safe to say that after their duds on Saturday, Penn State RB Saquon Barkley and Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett are at this moment far down in the Heisman Trophy pecking order. It’s amazing how one week changed the entire landscape but with 598 yards passing against his rival, Oklahoma State, Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma is the deserving favorite. Then again a game against top-10 ranked TCU next Saturday may change things once again. And yes, despite losing to the Trojans on Saturday night, Khalil Tate is absolutely one of the five best players in the country right now. This is a 4-5 win Arizona team at best without him.
-Though their home loss to Iowa State was embarrassing, I’m not sure any team has better wins than Oklahoma’s at Ohio State and at Oklahoma State.
-Miami at Notre Dame this weekend is essentially an elimination game for the CFB Playoff. It’s so cool to see this rivalry matter for the first time since the late-80s!
-What a great slate of games in college football this upcoming weekend…TCU-Oklahoma, Georgia-Auburn, and Miami-Notre Dame are the headliners though Stanford-Washington, Ohio State-Michigan State, Oklahoma State-Iowa State, Alabama-Mississippi State, and Iowa-Wisconsin are a hell of an undercard.
-Let me tell you folks, as I said above…the Breeders Cup at Del Mar this weekend was an incredible experience. The venue, crowd, and quality of racing was beyond awesome! Unfortunately some of the seemingly most obvious winners on the two day card failed to hit the board, including the richest race horse of all-time, Arrogate, in the Classic, yet there were still some brilliant performances. I didn’t like Gun Runner in the $6 million championship race, but the morning line favorite put on a clinic and proved no doubt that he’s the best horse on the planet right now.