Week 3 Notes & Predictions

Can you believe we’re already three weeks into the 2010 NFL season? And some teams are already pressing the panic button, while other teams find themselves off to great starts. Who will be the winners and losers in this week’s edition of NFL action?

NFL Splinters | Week 14, 2009

Prior to the season, few, if any, of us could have predicted the Cleveland Browns playing Muhammad Ali to the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers’ season. But Thursday night, the Browners delivered a knockout punch, 13-6. The glaring statistic from Thursday’s game is the eight sacks endured by Ben Roethlisberger. Eight sacks? To the Cleveland Browns? Wait…How many sacks did the Browns have going into that game? 24? That means the Browns picked up 25% of their current sack total against the defending…now definitely past tense…Super Bowl champion, Pittsburgh Steelers. I am trying to imagine the discussions in the huddle. Does anyone think Big Ben became a tad concerned with assignments? Any moments of awkward silence? What are the chances Roethlisberger was reduced to begging?

This Date in College Football Belt History – October 15

October 15, 2005 – The top-ranked, 5-0 Southern Cal Trojans of coach Pete Carroll traveled to South Bend for their annual battle with Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish of coach Charlie Weis stood 4-1 & ranked 9th nationally. Weis was in his first year as Head Coach having been the offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots & had been dubbed this season’s “offensive genius” by many around the nation. Both teams played at a level indicative of champions but Southern Cal’s All-Pac 10 QB Matt Leinart was the difference in the game as his quarterback sneak for a touchdown gave the Trojans a hard fought 34-31 win for The Belt & the Jeweled Shillelagh.

Pete Carroll and the Art of Complacency

After the game, SC running back, Joe McKnight stated: “Washington wasn’t the better team, they just outplayed us.” McKnight’s quote is eerily reminiscent of the comments made by another Trojan a few years ago. Moments after their loss in the 2005 Rose Bowl, Matt Leinart remarked: “I think we’re a better football team; they just made the plays in the end.”

This Date in College Football Belt History – September 24

September 24, 2005 – The top-ranked, 2-0 Southern Cal Trojans of coach Pete Carroll traveled to Eugene to meet the 24th ranked, 3-0 Oregon Ducks of coach Mike Bellotti in the Pac 10 opener for both teams. After a slow start in which the Ducks jumped to a 13-0 lead, Southern Cal erupted for 35 points in the 2nd half while the Trojans’ defense held Oregon to just 65 yards rushing in a 45-13 Southern Cal win to retain The Belt in their 16th consecutive successful defense.