HOT TOPIC WORLD WIDE WILBON

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Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall catches a pass against Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman that he eventually took in for the game-winning touchdown.
Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall catches a pass against Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman that he eventually took in for the game-winning touchdown. (By Jack Dempsey -- Associated Press)
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Guess who's 10-2 and waiting to see if he's 11-2? (Hint: His picks are highlighted here.)

The Three Best Games

-- Broncos over Cowboys, 17-10: Brandon Marshall's catch-and-run to put Denver ahead was easily the play of the day, and now we have to stop saying that the Broncos haven't beaten anybody. After spotting the Cowboys a 10-0 lead, Denver stuffed Tony Romo, sacking him five times.

Imagine this: Kyle Orton is 4-0 and looked so much better in this game than Romo, who missed one wide receiver after another, many of them open, until the end of the game, when he hit a big one on fourth and three. Why Romo would throw 16 times at future Hall of Famer Champ Bailey in one game is beyond me and, for that matter, beyond good sense. The Cowboys are 2-2 and you have to wonder who's going to be on a hotter seat, Coach Wade Phillips or Romo.

-- Bengals over Browns, 23-20 in OT: Okay, the Battle of Ohio doesn't score high on artistic impression . . . but . . . we're talking in-state rivals going down to the final play of overtime. This is precisely the kind of game the Bengals historically lose. But Carson Palmer and Chad Ochocinco had enough in them to make you wonder whether Cincinnati (3-1) can get back to where it was a couple of years ago before Palmer's knee injury.

-- Patriots over Ravens, 27-21: A gut-check game for the former champs. Tom Brady played probably his best game and certainly his most meaningful, hanging in there for a 15-round decision in a heavyweight fight. But Joe Flacco, in getting Baltimore in position to win on the road, stood toe-to-toe with The Golden Boy. Still, this is the best evidence yet that the Patriots have some championship stuff left in them.

Told You So

-- Saints over Jets: Okay, we knew the New Orleans offense was great, but how about Gregg Williams's defense? Yes, Gregg Williams. That guy. Getting it done. The Saints harassed the Jets all over the field and forced Mark Sanchez into some killer INTs.

-- Miami over Buffalo: Why did people think the Bills were going to win this game against a desperate Miami team that saved its season by winning?

(And by the way, of the six truly dreadful teams in the NFL -- Detroit, Oakland, Cleveland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Kansas City -- the worst by far is Tampa, which I actually think could go winless this season. Tampa had absolutely no chance of driving down the field to score on that final drive of the game, partly because the Redskins defense played pretty well but mostly because Tampa seems pretty incompetent on almost every level.)

Pardon These Three Picks

Ha, I didn't miss three! Tennessee over Jacksonville. Okay, I didn't think that much of the Titans coming into the season; I didn't have them making the playoffs, but I didn't have them 0-4. Does Albert Haynesworth's absence mean that much? Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy called for a change to Vince Young, with which I agree. As for the Browns, well, at least they fell in overtime.

-- Michael Wilbon


Mark Maske, NFL News Feed

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