I'm ready to start ranking my current MVP order.
1. Tony Romo. He's 7-2 as a starter, ranks #1 in passer rating, #1 in yards per attempt, and #4 in pass TDs. He's an incredible player to watch, avoiding pass rushers and drilling passes downfield. I say if the Cowboys make the playoffs, Romo is the MVP (though admittedly Dallas' struggles without Romo were as much a factor of lousy backups).
2. Adrian Peterson. He's the league's leading rusher on division leader. If the Williamses get suspended and Peterson drags this team into the playoffs with more big games, he can win the award.
3. Eli Manning. In a funky year, watch the QB on a #1 conference seed. It was a debatable MVP field when Rich Gannon won MVP in 2002 for the #1 seed Raiders (though Gannon did more for his team than Manning does for his: Gannon had 10 300+ yard games that year).
4. Give me your defensive players as contenders. Give me your DeMarcus Ware, your James Harrison, your Troy Polamalu. How about Justin Tuck, or Albert Haynesworth, or Nnambdi Asomugha. It might be easier for a defensive player to win a rare MVP if there weren't so many defensive players having such outstanding seasons. I even like Jared Allen (though he hasn't played nearly as well on the road) and Kevin Williams (if he doesn't get suspended). I'm not enough of a homer to name Antoine Winfield here (ha! I am, see!). But seriously, Haynesworth, Harrison, and Tuck have been incredible players this year.
Be wary of the Packers
The Packers play nobody that's currently better than .500, and if they win out, they'll be 9-7 with a 5-1 division record. I won't feel good until they lose their eighth game.
(Why do I have more fun writing "be wary" than simply "beware"? Am I a pretentious jackass? Probably).
Madden? Strippers? Come on!
This isn't quite fair: I've been pointing out the unintentional homoeroticism of John Madden for years (my favorite was this one), and now this "stripper" business gets explicit notice.
In 2008, Bernard Berrian has 795 yards and 5 TDs with a 20.9 average. He's been better than I thought (though I also didn't think Gus Frerotte would be starting 10 games for the Vikings this year).
Darren Sharper has mostly gone unnoticed in 2008 (his interception Sunday night was nice, but he took terrible angles on some tackle attempts). But in five games, Madieu Williams has been making plays. I know this can't be true, but it sure feels to me that in five games he's made more positive plays than any other Viking safety has made all season.
The Commercial Life
You know those Sony commercials, where a guy is at a store and then the panel comes out to tell him why he should buy Sony? Those commercials are dripping with expectations of masculinity. In one commercial, the male customer says he doesn't like sports. The panel all stares at him angrily, the chicken even rising and squawking in anger. Translation: men are supposed to like sports. In another version, the male customer asks if he can watch soccer on the TVs too, and after a pause the entire panel laughs at him. Translation: men are supposed to like manly, American sports like football, not some sport like soccer. It's a case of advertising being laced with assumptions about how we're supposed to behave according to our gender roles.
The 99 yard pass/catch examined (Kevin Seifert). Let me again praise the pass protection on that play: the offensive line set up a perfect wall for their QB standing in their own end zone. Beautiful.
The Metrodome is in PETA's top 5 vegetarian-friendly NFL stadiums. You know who has eaten the garden burgers at the Dome? Me. And hey, we rank ahead of Lambeau, which is really what matters.
Kevin Williams and Pat Williams: we find out soon (Star Tribune). If they get suspended, Jared Allen becomes a critically important player. He'll need to still get a great pass rush without the big DTs taking up blockers, he'll need to play better on the road, and he'll need to play a bigger part in run defense.
In 2003, Charles Tillman basically ruined my entire winter. Grant's Tomb thanks Tillman for his performance Sunday. Do I feel better about the miserable end of the 2003 season? No. No I don't.
Daily Norseman looks back at the Bear game.