I may be one of the biggest optimists out there, but to win 6 straight will be VERY Difficult. We have to go on the road to Oakland with a banged up roster.... We get 10 days to get healthy, but Long will be battling his bum shoulder all season. We get Berger back for Oakland, and Incognito has been a tough man inside all season and hasnt gotten his due. Jerry has been invisible... no wait, correction, he has been visible for holding calls, and killing drives. Carey is going to have to do more on the right side. Lets face it, our OL is not what it was cracked out to be. They are a limping sore spot for this offense. They get very very limited push, and that was what it was geared for...... has the pass protection been good? yes, at times, but they are hurt at this point.... Marshall has to start playing like his 10 million dollar contract shows. He shows up and then costs us yardage with his antics lately... that needs to be tempered. I love his attitude and energy, but at this point, his frustration is becoming a problem. Why have we stopped throwing to Bess?? 4 games with a TD in a row, and all of a sudden he is not getting any more looks. Hartline is starting to evolve, and he is outshining both Bess and Marshall at this point.... This team struggles to put up 15 points consistently, and that's been the story all year.
As for the defense, they are as good as they will ever be. SEVENTY FIVE DEFENSIVE SNAPS and the Bears were held under 300 total yards. Thats pretty frickin unheard of. The Bears are faster KNOX, HESTER, AROMASHADU, FORTE.... all men with more speed than anyone on our D, and we held them in check for the most part. those first down eight yard runs were the knife in our back all game though.... Wake is a force to be reckoned with, and he will reek havoc next season for sure. Davis is the new Revis, and better. Dansby is a monster..... Crowder needs to be called down, lets hope Edds pushes him for the position next season. Its like Channing makes one big play on 2nd down, and thinks the drive is over. I saw Thursday night he got amped up over a 1 yard loss that he was in on, next play he was completely out of position and yielded a first down. I think he is TOO COMFORTABLE knowing that he is an unchallengeable starter at this point. Smith needs to learn how to stay on his man, too often he lets them separate and banks on his size to make up for guys getting past him... McDaniel needs more reps, when he comes off the bench in rotation he is ALWAYS around the ball, I dont know why he isnt getting more looks. Tell you what, this D will be a force next season once they get healthy and Nolan can implement more.
Special Teams isnt as bad as it was. No more blocked punts, no more blocked FGs. The coverage unit is a work in progress. WHY DID WE CUT J ALLEN??? Benny Sapp sucks, period. Carroll had a nice return on the first play, and no one gave him any credit for it. Yes the drive fizzled, but he broke the 50 and no one is talking about it. The gameplan was to contain Hester, and he only had 1 20+ yard return. For what its worth, STs was not the problem on Thursday.
Ok so the question is, can we win 6 straight?? YES. We need to get through Oakland to have a chance though. We are still gonna be banged up on OL and QB going into the game. If we can squeak out a win against a playoff competitor, then we may have a chance. Look, our Playoff outlook looks morbid right now, but it will get better. Just remember, the final month of the season was geared towards divisional rivalries, throughout the league. Is it time to start looking at who can help us? Definitely. Are we out of it? No Way. Will we be out of it if we lose to Oakland? Yes.
Put it this way..... If the Pats beat the Jets, and we beat both the Jets and Pats we both will be 4-2 in the division. We will gain 2 games on the Jets. They still have to play Pittsburgh too. Essentially, we can catch the Jets.... If the Jets beat the Pats, and lose to the Colts we can catch the Pats and have a better divisional record as well. The 3 team AFCE playoff picture is over! We need to take 2nd in the division to make the playoffs. We are tooo far off Balt and Pitt to get in at the 6. Its number 2 in the East or bust now. The South isnt a threat. They all have 3+ divisional games to go, and the cream will separate. The West will too. Lets all just hope for a good Thanksgiving and a Bengals victory, and maybe just maybe some breaks fall our way.
Thigpen beats Oakland, and Henne can come back and save the season. I have no doubt about it that we can beat the Browns at Home with Henne, and then do or die in Jersey for all the money. If we lose against Oakland, we are as good as toast at this point. 6-6 going into New York will not work. If we lose to Oakland we might as well shut down Henne and Long for the season, and get ready for a deep run in 2011. IF we beat Oakland though, we can make a run.
One game at a time. We have 10 days to prepare, THEY BETTER UTILIZE IT!!!