“I have never felt comfortable of even being mentioned with him,” Manning said. “Dan Marino, after my dad retired, was my favourite quarterback growing up, so it is pretty much documented through the years when I have been asked about Dan Marino how I feel about him.”
The victory was also a big one for Broncos coach John Fox, who spent nine seasons as head coach of the Panthers.
ELI CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE
They may be the defending Super Bowl champions and clear leaders of their division, but all is not right for the New York Giants.
In fact, not much is.
And if it wasn’t for the fact that they reside in the dysfunctional NFC East, simply making the playoffs could be an issue based on their current form.
The Giants weren’t even competitive on Sunday, getting blown out 31-13 by a Cincinnati Bengals team that had lost its previous four games.
Quarterback Eli Manning had another brutal afternoon, a theme for Big Blew recently, completing just 29 of 46 attempts for 215 yards and two interceptions.
Worse yet, Manning, who also had a lost fumble, has now gone three games without throwing a touchdown pass and just one in his past four, leading to questions in New York that his once rifle arm has lost some of its zip.
“I don’t think so,” Manning told reporters after the game. “I don’t feel like it’s tired.
“I’m not worried. Over the years, we’ve gone through stretches where we haven’t played our best football and we’ve been able to bounce out of that and that’s what’s going on right now.”
The Giants, who with back-to-back losses have seen their record slip to 6-4, head into their bye week before what will be an important home date against the Green Bay Packers in Week 11.
This one was over almost before it started as the host Bengals seemed better prepared, despite their four-game losing streak. Though the Giants had surrendered just two touchdowns in the first quarter in their first nine games, the Bengals put two past them in the first five minutes. The defence was vulnerable both to the big play and to the run as Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw for a career-high four touchdown passes.
FALCONS REMAIN UPBEAT
Their wings may be clipped and perfection no longer part of the discussion, but the Atlanta Falcons don’t feel like they’ve been grounded.
“This is football, no one’s going to go around crying,” Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (below) said following Sunday’s
31-27 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
“No one’s going to go around panicking or anything like that. We’re a good football team and the confidence hasn’t changed. Our scheme isn’t going to change. There is no magic answer for why we lost or why they won.”
Gonzalez also rejected the notion that the Saints have a huge mental edge on their divisional rival as New Orleans has won nine of the past 11 meetings.
“Every year is a new year, I don’t think they’re in our heads at all,” Gonzalez said.
YOU GOT THAT RIGHT, BOOMER
There’s a lot of hot air circulating around the network NFL studios most Sundays but it’s hard to argue with the words of CBS studio analyst Boomer Esiason (above) this week.
It was only halftime of a game the New York Jets were going to lose 28-7 to the Seattle Seahawks, but when asked his opinion on the AFC East weaklings, the former NFL quarterback hit hard.
“I don’t know how to describe the Jets offence other than they are pathetic,” Esiason said.
That they were ... and more.
The Jets have slipped to 3-6 and have now lost three in a row and five of their past six games. On Sunday, against a Seahawks team that had to do little more than show up on their own field, their only score came on a defensive touchdown.
All the while, New York coach Rex Ryan continues to stick with Mark Sanchez at quarterback, even though he committed two turnovers for the seventh time this season. Sanchez completed an embarrassing nine of 22 passes for 124 yards.
On the other side of the ball, the Jets had no answer for running back Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 124 yards to allow the Seahawks, who remain undefeated at home, to score the easy win and move to 6-4.
CHARGERS COACH RIPS TEAM
Before his career goes completely up in flames, San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers could probably learn a little from the youngster who was his opposite number on Sunday.
An interception by Rivers resulted in Tampa Bay Bucs cornerback Leonard Johnson returning it 83 yards for a touchdown and what turned out to be a commanding 31-21 lead early in the fourth quarter Sunday. So typical of the Chargers, who also allowed a blocked punt to be returned for a TD in the first half of yet another giveaway 34-24 loss.
Those two plays were essentially the difference in the game, which prompted a minor meltdown from Chargers coach Norv Turner afterwards.
“Is it acceptable? No, it’s not acceptable,” an enraged Turner said in his post-game press conference. “Is it acceptable having a blocked punt and an interception for a touchdown? No. That’s not what we’re trying to accomplish out there. We’re trying to go win games, and those things are keeping us from winning.”
In contrast to Rivers, Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman has thrown 13 touchdowns in his past five games and has been picked off just once.
It has been that kind of a play that has the upstart Bucs at 5-4 and in the NFC wildcard race.