By Kevin Lewis
-The Tennessee Titans are an absolute embarrassment. How did this team go from 13-3, to this? That 59-0 beat down the Patriots put on them was an absolute joke. It looked like, as Allen Iverson would say, practice! They are 0-6, and now you have the coach going to public events dressed in other team’s garb. Could it get any worse for Tennessee? Actually, Vince Young hasn’t started yet, so yes, it can get worse.
-After all the talking and the bluster, the arrogance and the big talk, all it took was three weeks for the Jets to be knocked right back down to earth. The losses to the Saints and Dolphins are excusable, as those are two quality teams, but losing to the Bills at home in overtime? Really? After Mark Sanchez, who was expertly dubbed a franchise QB after three weeks by some, proceeded to throw 5 INTs. He looked like a kid who just lost his favorite toy after each one of them. As I’ve been saying since the season started, less talk, more play. Talk with your play on the field.
-Peyton Manning, to this point, is the NFL MVP. What he is doing with that team, with the injuries they have on the defensive side of the ball, and some absolutely unknown players like Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon on the offensive side of the ball absolutely defies logic. This is arguably the best ball Manning has ever played and that says a lot. He is showing why he will be in the discussion as the greatest QB of all-time when it’s all said and done.
-What can you say about Minnesota’ Brett Favre? As tired of a lot of us are of Favre, he is playing excellent football right now. He is playing within himself, not making stupid mistakes, and has really been the straw that stirs the purple Viking drink thus far. The defenses are gearing up against Adrian Peterson, forcing Favre to beat them, and so far he has obliged. Now the only question is, can he maintain this level of performance through December and into the postseason? Those whispers for Brad Childress’ job stopped pretty quickly.
-The Eagles have an annual stinker every year. Remember the tie versus the Bengals last year? This time is was against the Raiders. There is no conceivable way to legitimize a team with the talent that the Eagles do losing to the hapless Raiders. There really isn’t. Donovan McNabb led his team to nine points against the Oakland Raiders. NINE! That is simply unacceptable.
The Giants took a major step back with a blowout loss in New Orleans, but I don’t think they are anywhere near as dormant as they showed in that game. While their secondary, which I’ve always contended was consistently masked by a simply dominant pass rush, is awful, the pass rush simply wasn’t there. Brees lit the Giants secondary up as a result. I think the Michael Boley (LB) loss is a major one, as is the Chris Canty (DT) one, but I don’t understand the fascination with DB Aaron Ross. He isn’t good, not even close. All he does is get twisted and turned by wide receivers, yet the way it’s painted, he’s the savior to the Giants secondary. I don’t get it.
-The Broncos just keep on winning. They aren’t the most impressive team in the world, they aren’t the most dominant, but they just keep on finding ways to win. From lucky breaks, to miracle plays, to stifling defense, to efficient offense ,the Broncos just keep on chugging. McDaniels will never say it, but this has got to feel good for him after all the garbage he went through this off-season. I still don’t think it was the right move trading QB Jay Cutler, especially when you consider that Cutler opposite that defense would be a scary thought for defenses, but the results cannot be argued with for now. I think the Broncos as situated right now are a “flavor of the month” kind of team, whereas with Cutler I think they would be a legitimate Super Bowl contending team.
– The Chargers are a mess. Every year, all the pundits, and fans gush over the team’s talent but every year they don’t get the job done. How exactly does Head Coach Norv Turner still have a job? He must have some incriminating photos of the Chargers GM A.J. Smith. Otherwise, how many times do the Chargers have to underachieve for the Chargers management to realize Turner isn’t the answer?
-What happened to Baltimore’s defense? Goodness. They’ve been dominant all these years, and now they can’t stop anyone, and their secondary looks like a group of walking turnstiles. Defensive back Frank Walker is the 2009 AFC version of Fred Thomas, and the deadly pass rush that football fans have been accustomed to over the years simply isn’t there anymore.
– The Carolina Panthers wide receivers haven’t caught a TD all season long. Can someone remind me why Carolina gave QB Jake Delhomme a contract extension again?
-The Rams are so bad, it’s comical. Watching WR Donnie Avery do the ‘Stanky Leg’ dance after scoring a TD against to bring the score to a very manageable 31-9, made me feel for the Rams fans and Head Coach Steve Spagnuolo. Seriously though, who does silly touchdown dances down four scores on a team that has lost 16 straight? Well, I guess we have the answer to that question.
-Dolphin QB Chad Henne looks like a player. With every pass he throws, he shows exactly why Miami would not extend Pennington (even before the injury). Henne just adds an element to the offense that Pennington just couldn’t bring. For all the good Pennington brings, with the smarts and the accuracy, he just could not attack the defense down the field. Henne can do that, and I expect Miami to open up the playbook more as he gets acclimated to the NFL game. I hate to say it like this given the severity of the situation, but Pennington’s injury might not have been the worst thing for the Dolphins.
-The Redskins stripped playcalling duties from Head Coach Jim Zorn. And so it begins. I know Jim Zorn hasn’t exactly done a wonderful job but what is he supposed to do when his QB is Jason Campbell for goodness sake. Again, it’s up to the coach to make the most out of his players, but at the same time you can’t turn a yellow school bus into a Mercedes Benz. Their defense, while very bland and unimaginative does its job for the most part. The offense is the biggest issue and it starts with the QB. Zorn will probably be fired after the season, and a major reason for that is the ineptitude of Campbell.