A little of this and a lot of that, following Week 7 in the NFL ...
- Nothing can demoralize an NFL quarterback and his offense quite like giving up a pick six.
Unless, of course, your quarterback gives up six picks instead.
OK, neither of the Raiders’ quarterbacks threw all six of Sunday’s interceptions during an embarrassing 28-0 home loss to Kansas City, but when starter Kyle Boller combined forces with new guy Carson Palmer to toss a pair of 3s at the Chiefs, the end result was the same.
Suppressing the urge to rush to judgment on the wisdom of trading what could be two first-round draft picks for the 31-year-old Palmer will be tougher than the Wonderlic test was for Terrelle Pryor, but to say the landscape has suddenly shifted in the AFC West would be an understatement.
Palmer is going to need a Silkwood-style shower during the bye week to scrape the rust off, and even that may not be enough if Darren McFadden’s foot injury is serious. The Raiders are all-in for this season after sacrificing what was left of their already-thin 2012 draft, and if trading for Palmer was their idea of playing pocket-aces, he’d better complete a better hand than the one they threw on the table Sunday.
- You gotta hand it to Detroit Lions’ coach Jim Schwartz — as long as you hand it to him gently — for learning his lesson after last week’s embarrassing chase-down of Jim Harbaugh following the postgame handshake heard round the league. On Sunday, he refused to take the bait after the Lions’ second straight loss when Falcons coach Mike Smith hit him with the ol’ electric-shock hand-buzzer.
We’ll see if he has really turned the corner next week, when Denver coach John Fox licks his palm before the postgame shake.
- Speaking of the Broncos, it looks like all those intangibles that aren’t supposed to make up for a glaring lack of talent are sometimes tangible. Tim Tebow was Clark Kent with a broken left arm for 3½ quarters in Miami before ducking under the instant-replay hood and emerging as Superman.
Two TD passes and a 2-point conversion to rally back from a 15-0 deficit with five minutes to play? I can’t remember where I heard it, but somebody once said all the kid does is win. At least I think someone mentioned it once.
- After Dallas receiver Dez Bryant declared his 2-3 Cowboys team to be “unbeatable,” the ’Boys went out and hammered St. Louis 34-7 on Sunday. Perhaps the loquacious wideout needs to flap his gums more often to provide motivation for an obviously inspired Cowboys team.
Or, perhaps, Jerry Jones needs to schedule more games against the 0-6 Rams.
- Knock on some wood if you’re superstitious, but I’m going to say it anyway: Cal alum Aaron Rodgers is playing the quarterback position just about as well as it can be played, and his defending champion Packers have an exceptional chance of running the table in 2011. Not a single one of the nine remaining games scares me if I’m a fan rooting for someone to shut the 1972 Dolphins up — and I am. Injuries are just about the only thing that could separate Green Bay and history.
- Just one more thing: At the other end of the spectrum, it is entirely conceivable that the horrendous 2011 Dolphins could run the exact same table as the Packers — in reverse. I wonder what corks the bitter old ’72 cranks would be popping then.
Bob Frantz is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.