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Tuesday November 4, 2008 10:20 am

Denny Green Special: Giants Look Strong, Titans and Steelers Keep Winning

Troy Polamalu

In honor of Dennis Green’s infamous 2006 press conference following his Arizona Cardinals’ meltdown loss to the Chicago Bears, I give you the “They Were Who We Thought They Were (TWWWTTW)” edition of this week’s NFL Review.

TWWWTTW – The New York Giants: Yes, the Dallas Cowboys go into the “They’re NOT Who We Thought They Were” file. Yes, the Cowboys were Tony Romo-less. But the Giants did exactly what everyone expected. They completely schooled an overmatched opponent.

TWWWTTW – The Tennessee Titans: I’m still not sold that they will have the stuff to make it through the playoffs and into the Super Bowl, but they did show me something with the fourth quarter ending drive and in overtime to beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Their running attack seems legit, and it’s especially needed if they are going to have to counteract a mostly timid passing plan with QB Kerry Collins. While Collins led that end-of-regulation comeback with some good passing, I still believe that sort of passing effort will end up in an interception come playoff time. His second-to-last series in the fourth quarter was highlighted by some rocky passing.

TWWWTTW – The Indianapolis Colts over the Patriots: Typical match-up between these two. They scratch and claw with no one having an obvious advantage. It’s a close game going into the final quarter when either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady (in this case Matt Cassel as Brady’s stand-in) pull off the big drive in heroic fashion. Manning is getting back in the groove and safety Bob Sanders’ return means Indy’s defense is that much stronger. The Colts will be in the hunt for a wild card berth. Will their playoff experience be the stumbling block for Tennessee further on down the road? Last week I was tapping the Pittsburgh Steelers to do the tripping. Their Monday night win (using substitute QB Byron Leftwich in the second half) keeps them my favorite for AFC champs.

Can you believe TWWWTTW? – Rookie QBs: There’s always a lot of hype when new quarterbacks come in from the college ranks and take on the starting job, but how many really pan out right away? The Atlanta Falcons’ Matt Ryan and the Baltimore Ravens’ Joe Flaaco are beating the odds. No one expects them to lead their teams to the promised land this year, but these rookies are ahead of the curve. Now it appears that Brady Quinn will get his chance to show what he can do as a starter for the Cleveland Browns. BTW, despite the Pats’ loss, the other “nearly rookie” QB Matt Cassel has been surprisingly efficient, as well.
Is he really who we think he is (WWTHI)?: Mike Singletary got raves for sending one of his players to the showers in the fourth quarter and for an awesome post-game press conference. Now we find out he dropped his pants at halftime of that game in order to emphasize how his team was getting their butts kicked. He’s got to calm down, he’s got to motivate, he’s got to lead. I’m still on his side. We have to allow him a grace period, but he’s got to show improvement. Check out Jim Haslett’s job in St Louis as he took over that ripped-up team.

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