What have we learned - Week 1
New England is a damned good football team. This pisses me off, because they're not my team, but it's better than if the Cowboys were winning all these Super Bowls. Or Brett Favre. God I hate Brett Favre. Where was I? Oh yes, why would anyone pick against these guys in the playoffs? Oakland, on the other hand, has a way to go. Yes, they looked flashy at times, but I doubt it is going to take them very far.
I didn't watch much of the Buffalo-Houston game, because it looked like a snoozer, and from what I saw when I did turn it on, it WAS a snoozer. Buffalo has had a good defense for a while, and if Losman doesn't make too many mistakes, they could do some damage. They have to stop kicking field goals, though (five of them). That won't get it done against the elite teams. As for Houston, what can you say? Will they ever break through?
Cincinnati looks explosive, but let's face it, it's the Browns. They're giving Trent Dilfer a chance at quarterback, for crying out loud. The Bungles should be decent, but this week tells us nothing except they can beat up a bad team.
I watched quite a bit of the Kansas City-New York Jets game, and man did the Chiefs look good and the Jets look bad. I told you Chad Pennington wasn't very good. Why won't you listen? Since I am a Penn State guy, I love Larry Johnson, and I'm glad he is getting a chance to do something. It bugs me when people rip into someone who hasn't even gotten a chance. There's no reason to rush people in this league, especially when the Chiefs have Priest Holmes. Johnson has been in the league three years now, and it looks like he is going to start paying dividends. Are the Chiefs this good, or are the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets that lousy? Only time will tell.
I didn't watch Denver-Miami. Boy, was that a shocker. I'm not that surprised that Miami won, despite picking against them, but I am surprised it was such a blowout. People in Arizona could have told Denver that Jake Plummer was no good. Why didn't they listen?
I was stunned by Tampa's win in Minnesota. Boy, the Vikings looked bad. I watched a lot of this game because I thought it would be a good offensive game. The Vikings never put it together. Culpepper looked awful. Absolutely awful. I didn't expect him to be as good as he was last year, when he had Randy Moss, but man, he looked bad. I would hold off on the accolades for Carnell Williams, though - this was the Minnesota defense, after all.
I wish Philadelphia would be a little bit more like Pittsburgh. They ran the ball 40-odd times yesterday, and therefore Roethlisberger only had to throw 11 times. Of course he's going to be fantastic when he has that great offensive line and everyone is expecting him to throw! Here's Roethlisberger's line: 9-for-11, 218 yards, 2 TDs, no INTs. Now that's efficient. Tennessee took the lead in the Matt Leinart sweepstakes, I'll tell you that much.
Chicago-Washington was horrible. Just horrible. I watched about five minutes of the game and almost fell asleep. I almost fell asleep watching an NFL game! How sad. Tagliabue should step in and tell these two teams to get offenses. If not, they should go play in the Big Ten and the Big East, respectively.
I didn't mind that New Orleans beat Carolina, because everyone is picking Carolina to unseat the Eagles as NFC Champs (well, not everyone, but a lot of people), so any time they lose it's a good thing. However, let's hold off on the "triumph of the human spirit" crap, shall we? It's just a football game. Anything can happen in a football game, and the Saints are perfectly talented enough to beat teams like the Panthers, who are a bit overrated. And let's talk about that "triumph of the human spirit" crap when the Saints fold down the stretch, just like they always do.
I figured Seattle would suck it up on the road. Why can't NFC West teams win on the road? Why???? I'm not totally sold on Jacksonville, but they looked fine against a mediocre team.
My favorite game of the day was Detroit bitch-slapping around the Green Bay Favres. I revel in any Favre loss, but my favorites are when he looks awful, and he looked awful yesterday. Last year the Eagles held him without a touchdown pass for the first time in years, and yesterday the Lions held the Pack without a touchdown in forever. The best part was the way Favre looked throughout the game - like he was completely confused about what he was doing. "Is this a football field? What do I do without the oblong spheroid? Should I throw it?" Good times.
Everyone is bashing Arizona, but they only played like crap for short periods yesterday. Unfortunately, in those short periods the Giants scored in bunches, but it wasn't as bad as the final score - 42-19 - would indicate. The Cardinals don't have a running game, however, which will haunt them. They should have hired Bill Cowher. And the Giants now have Plaxico Burress. If you have Burress, who is, I believe, 9 feet tall, why don't you throw it deep to him at least three times a quarter? Only good things can happen. They did it twice yesterday, and the second time it set up their go-ahead touchdown.
Dallas beat San Diego. I hate the %$#^in' Cowboys. My question: the Chargers had a first-and-goal with 1.20 left in the game, down by four. They have a timeout and one of the best running back in the game. They threw FOUR STRAIGHT PASSES. Why? Why not run once? Why????
St. Louis will not go to the playoffs. You heard it here first. If you can't go into San Francisco and beat a team that won twice last year (both wins coming against the Cardinals, by the way), you suck. I don't care if the 49ers were rising to the challenge of playing for a new coach, or that they were rising to the challenge of honoring a dead teammate, or if it's a home game for San Fran. The Rams can't lose this game. Mike Martz challenged the first play of the game, even though it was obvious his player stepped out of bounds on the kickoff. He's an idiot. With the talent they have, the Rams should win 10 games each year easy. Martz costs them at least two wins a year.
I was pretty stunned by the Colts-Ravens game. Not that Baltimore lost, but that they tried to win by throwing the ball. Kyle Boller is lousy, Jamal Lewis is good, and the only way to beat Indy (unless you're New England) is to keep Peyton Manning off the field. So yeah, throw the ball. Go ahead. Nice game plan. Peyton Manning, glory hound, again tried to get a touchdown pass inside the five. If Chris McCallister picks it and goes 100 yards the other way, that would have been perfect. Stupid McCallister. And I can't go a week without mentioning Ray Lewis, the murderer. If I were a sports announcer, I would always work that into my call of a Ravens game. I'd be subtle, of course. "Ray Lewis really killed that quarterback!" "Ray Lewis is slaughtering people out there!" How long before Lewis came after me, I wonder?
As for my picks ... the less said, the better. I'm 7-8 right now. My hopes hinge on an Eagles win tonight! Watch the excitement - Vick, McNabb, Owens, Westbrook, the Eagles defense! I usually don't watch MNF, but it's Philly! This is one reason I like living in the West - the game starts at 6, so I don't have to stay up past midnight. Since I am old and tired, this is good.
All non-football junkies, I'll be back to normal tomorrow. I promise.