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FOOTBALL FREAK: Finally, an exciting Sunday


Wow! 

Journal Pioneer NFL columnist John Turner.

Finally, we had an exciting Sunday of football in the NFL.
There was lots of drama, big upsets and fantastic finishes, unless you are a fan of the Giants, Bengals, Lions or Texans.
Many people who had the Patriots and Packers in survivor pools were holding their breath as both teams trailed late in the game. However, they both have one of the best in the business in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers, so we should not be shocked when they pull out the win after staring at the jaws of defeat. 
What a great throw by Brady and catch by Brandon Cooks to give the Pats a win. Rodgers took the Packers 70 yards to tie the game and send it into overtime, where he hits Geronimo Allison on a big passing play to set up the easy game-winning field goal.
There were also two big upsets as both the heavily-favored Steelers and Dolphins lost on the road, and the Redskins beat the Raiders at home. You should never underestimate a home underdog.
The NFL only has two undefeated teams left after only three weeks, showing that any team can win on Sunday and parity is the word.
Finally, who would have known that the first team in New York to get a win would be the Jets?
Hard to predict the NFL!

Stat of the week
Only five teams (2.9 per cent) since 1980 have made the playoffs after starting the season 0-3.   

Sure thing
The Packers on a short week, after a dramatic overtime comeback, host the Bears, who play tough at home but have big issues away from Soldier Field. The Packers beat the Bears at Lambeau.
Carolina looked lost on offence, and something is still wrong with Cam Newton’s right arm after off-season surgery. He was never an accurate thrower, but now he can’t even throw the long ball. 
New England can’t stop anyone, but they still have No. 12, who will put another 28 points on the board. The Panthers can’t outscore the Patriots on the road.
The Seahawks aren’t very good anymore, and you can see where they have spent all their cap money and it sure wasn’t on the offensive line. The ‘Hawks are playing at home, and that will be the deciding factor in winning over the Colts.

Don’t mortgage the house
Once again, I don’t think the Giants have the potential right now to play four consistent quarters on both sides of the ball, which is what it takes to win in today’s NFL. They head to Tampa, which got pounded in Minnesota. The Bucs rebound with win over New York.
The Raiders and Broncos both looked like they might both go undefeated into this big AFC West showdown in Denver, except they forgot they had to play last Sunday on the road, and both suffered ugly losses. The fact this huge rivalry game is in Denver will be the difference. Take the Broncos.
It’s hard to believe the Rams are one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL this season, and the Cowboys looked to have found their offence in the second half of Monday night’s game. This offensive momentum will carry over to a home win over the Rams in a shootout.

Upset special
The Freak has been hot with the “Upset Special,” picking the winner the last two weeks. 
This week the 49ers are a seven-point underdog on the road against a Cardinals’ team that has big trouble protecting fragile quarterback Carson Palmer. 
Winless San Fran has been in most of their games this season. The 49ers walk into Arizona and pressure Palmer all day, and come away with their first victory.
Last week: 5-for-7.
Season: 16-for-21.

John Turner is a Summerside schoolteacher and coaches youth football. His column appears every Saturday during the NFL season. Feel free to e-mail questions and comments to ssidespartansfootball@yahoo.ca.

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