NFL Week Eight Observations: Big deals spice up trade deadline

Alex Smith is having a great year, but the Chiefs are winning with defense. Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Week Eight in the NFL was just as crazy and exciting as we’ve all come to expect from the game we love. Not as crazy and exciting as game five of the baseball title series, but it served to appease our appetites.

The Good

-The Kansas City Chiefs are talented on defense as well. I’ve praised Andy Reid on his use of offensive weapons, but getting five turnovers from the Denver Broncos to win 29-19 was impressive. On a night when the offense wasn’t working, this was a clutch performance by the defense.

-The Minnesota Vikings are 6-2 despite being down to what amounts to their third string quarterback and not having prized rookie running back Dalvin Cook. The defense remains stout, run game is consistent, and Case Keenum is manning the quarterback position nicely. The Vikings are the definition of next man up.

-Last week I said the Buffalo Bills need to get LeSean McCoy more scoring opportunities if they want to maintain their winning ways. McCoy ran for 151 yards and a touchdown Sunday in another Bills win pulling them to 5-2 on the season.  Yes Virginia, the Bills are for real.

-The New Orleans Saints have managed to win five in a row beating the Chicago Bears 20-12. Despite two fourth quarter fumbles by Mark Ingram, the defense managed to hold on and secure the victory when rookie corner Marshon Lattimore sealed the victory with an athletic interception. Who would’ve thought the Saints defense would be the catalyst behind a 5-2, NFC South leading start.

The Bad

-Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed can’t stay healthy. He’s perpetually hurt despite his immense talent. Now it’s a hamstring injury that limited him to one catch for five yards in Sunday’s 33-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Same injury will most likely keep him out against the Seattle Seahawks this coming Sunday. Kirk Cousins looks worse for wear whenever Reed isn’t his safety valve.

-The 2-5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ woes can be tied to franchise quarterback Jameis Winston’s inconsistencies. They brought in more weapons (1st round draft pick tight end OJ Howard and free agent wide receiver Desean Jackson), but he’s still as up and down as an instable stock. On consecutive throws in Sunday’s loss to the Carolina Panthers, he threaded a needle between Luke Kuechly and Captain Munnerlyn, then overthrew a wide open Adam Humphries.

-Despite beating the New York Jets 25-20 in what looked like a monsoon Sunday, the 4-3 Atlanta Falcons’ offense doesn’t look the same this year without Kyle Shanahan calling plays. Last year, they threatened to hang 40 every week. Now, they’ve only scored 30+ in two of their seven games.

The Ugly

-Bears’ tight end Zach Miller severely dislocated his knee against the Saints Sunday. He underwent emergency vascular surgery to repair a torn artery which saved his leg. To make matters worse, his would be touchdown catch on the play he injured himself was called back.

-San Diego Chargers’ Travis Benjamin muffed a punt, recovered it, ran backwards into the endzone, and was tackled there for a safety. This play is a microcosm of the Chargers’ season and recent history.

-Mother Nature caused the Falcons/Jets and Cowboys/Redskins games to be played in torrential downpour rain conditions. At one point, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan held his throwing hand under his jersey to keep it dry until he snapped the ball. Here’s another vote for retractable roof stadiums.

Bonus Coverage: NFL trade deadline deals are pretty rare. However, despite Tuesday’s 3 p.m. Eastern time deadline, two pretty big deals were finalized on Monday. The Houston Texans sent embattled left tackle Duane Brown to the Seattle Seahawks for draft picks and cornerback Jeremy Lane, while the New England Patriots dealt quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers for a draft pick. Both deals appear to help both teams get what they need. Only time will tell who got the better of each deal.

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This is getting out of hand. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Allsport/Getty Images.

Dr. Rick warns his patients, young homeowners who are turning into their parents, you can expect to pay more for snacks and drinks at a movie theater. It's the same deal at a professional sports venue. Three years ago, I put a down payment on a cheeseburger at Toyota Center ... I still have three more payments to go before I get it.

But this is ridiculous. The PGA Championship, the lesser (least) of golf's majors, is charging $18 for a beer, a 25-ounce Michelob Ultra, at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa. It's $19 for a Stella Artois. You can buy a six-pack for less at the supermarket. Aren't there laws against price gouging, like during a hurricane? Isn't Tulsa where the Golden Hurricanes play? Get FEMA in here. Did tournament directors get together and ponder, how can we piss off our fans? Sure, it's Tulsa and there's not much else to do, but that's no excuse.

Charging $18 for a beer makes the concession stands at Minute Maid Park look like a Sunday morning farmer's market. A 25-ounce domestic beer during an Astros game is $13.49. A 25-ounce premium beer is $14.45. Yeah, that's high for a beer, but at Minute Maid Park there are lots of hands in the till. Aramark wants to make a profit, the taxman has big mitts, and the Astros want their cut, too. Look, you want to sign Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez to an extension or not? Then drink up and don't complain. Some quiet grumbling and head-shaking is permitted, however.

You know the PGA Championship is charging too much for a beer when even the rich pampered players take notice. "18 (!!!!!) for a beer ... uhhh what," former PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas tweeted. "Good thing I don't drink a lot."

Like he will be in line for a beer at a public concession booth, anyway.

Of course there will be fans sneaking in beer in baggies strapped to their ankles, like stuffing your pockets with store-bought Snickers before going to the movies. It doesn't have to be this way. The Masters, the most prestigious golf event, charges only $5 for both domestic and imported beer. I know it's a gimmick, part of The Masters mystique along with pimento sandwiches for $1.50, but still it's a welcome gesture. You never lose when you treat the public fairly. When Mercedes-Benz Stadium opened in Atlanta, Falcons owner Arthur Blank insisted that food vendors charge the same inside the stadium as they do at their regular restaurants. Same thing when Denver International Airport opened, fast food restaurants couldn't jack up their prices to their captive customers. Here? There needs to be a loan window outside the Cinnabon booth at Bush-Intercontinental.

Except for the Masters in Augusta, golf's majors aren't tied to a city. A major comes to a city maybe every few years or in most cases never. There's no need to ride into a city like the James Gang, rob the local bank, and high tail it out of town. Golf should be the last professional sport to stick it to fans. While the game has made strides to open its arms to lower-income youths, golf remains an elitist, extremely expensive sport for regular folk. Equipment is expensive, private courses are exclusive and country clubs are exclusionary. Public courses are less expensive but still expensive and crowded. Plus there's never been a professional sport more dangerously dominated by one person than golf. I can imagine network executives on their knees praying that Tiger Woods makes the cut and plays on weekends. Otherwise, TV ratings go straight into the toilet, you know, like whatever team Mattress Mack is betting on. (I joke because I love, and frankly a little scared.)

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