|NFL Power Rankings|
Baltimore Ravens (2-1)One little upward nudge is all they get after a back-up QB put them into a fourth quarter fright for the second week in a row.
Denver Broncos (2-1)The Jags got rolling with an 18-play TD drive that lasted 11:44. "Like being on a treadmill for half an hour straight," said Bronco LB Ian Gold. Or like having to listen to ESPN's ... no, I won't get into that now. I promised I'm saving that stuff for my announcers column in February.
San Diego Chargers (1-2)The Packers didn't throw maximum protection at them to control their fearsome edge rushers, Merriman and Phillips. They sent out lots of receivers. And this pair remained invisible. Thus a defense that was the star of the highlight reels last year gave up 405 yards. Offensively? Looked like a one-man show to me. Antonio Gates, who kept making circus catches, bailing out the continually misfiring Philip Rivers. I think you've already guessed that I am inordinately bitter when one of my special selections takes the pipe. I know for a fact that there's an e-mailer out there who's going to write in that I've picked against Green Bay three straight weeks. Proceed with care, my friend. I know who you are and revenge is not a pretty thing.
Chicago Bears (1-2)They have taken of his buttons off and cut his stripes away, and they're hangin' Danny Deever, I mean Rex Grossman, in the morning. I will offer this thought. When Brett Favre suffered from receiveritis, everyone said what a shame. But where's Rex's help? Their only legitimate wide receiver threat, Bernard Berrian, catches one, drops one. Muhsin Muhammad, 34, was once the most feared receiver in the league, with 198 catches in two years. I don't know what he is now. His head certainly isn't in the game. The third wideout, Rashied Davis could be in the witness protection program, and does anyone know who the fourth wide is? George McAfee maybe? Johnny Morris? Yeah, I know, Rex's picks are killing them, but it ain't all his fault, honest.
Carolina Panthers (2-1)Here's what I would do. When Carolina plays Atlanta, I'd get special dispensation from the league to have Steve Smith and DeAngelo Hall miked up. Talk about a highlight reel. Wouldn't you like to know what SS said to DeAH to set him off the way he did?
Washington Redskins (2-1)Someday Jason Campbell might be a very nice NFL quarterback, but right now the two-minute offense is not part of his game. You have to understand how long it takes to run a play, and when you're on the other team's one-yard line with 58 seconds left, a pass for the end zone is the same as a spike. It will stop the clock. You can't afford to just throw a down away.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-2)The problem is that when you get too fancy with analogies or tricky speech patterns, you open yourself up to a whole can of germs. After the loss to the Redskins, Andy Reid said, "Our execution is a hair off." After they crushed Detroit, right guard Shawn Andrews said, "Hair grows back unless you use Nair or get some kind of laser treatment." You see when coach Reid said a hair off, he didn't mean hair off, like lots of hair, what he meant was ... uh, am I really getting through to anyone or just wasting time, as usual?
San Francisco 49ers (2-1)Gosh, I don't know. They're still on the winning side, but that wonderful new defense that was supposed to carry an attack that was engaged in sightless gropery was torn asunder by the Steelers' 205 yards rushing. "What do you mean by Yards Russian?" asks La Flamboyante Rousse. Hmmm, not great but not bad. At least someone around here is trying.
Arizona Cardinals (1-2)Kurt Warner, no huddle, two-minute specialist. Remember what Bill Bradley wrote in his first book? A professional athlete owes it to himself to experience all phases of his career.
Detroit Lions (2-1)First trap. Bears are favored by a measly three. This is an appeal to all those who had the Lions against Philly, based on their unblemished start, and got skunked. Can you think of a single solitary person who would risk money on Detroit now? I'm not running a tout sheet here, but the Lions are a classic formula pick.