|NFL Power Rankings|
Chicago Bears (3-4)Let's hear it for Brian Griese, 97 yards for a TD after his headphone went dead-except for the scoring pass, he says. Sounds like a PR gesture to me, but no matter. The point is that he did it himself, without interference, without a bunch of static breaking his concentration. John Unitas always used to say that the QB on the field, if he's been around, has a better feel for what the defense is doing than anyone else. To this I can only add the famous quote from Cowboy guard Blaine Nye, after the untried rookie Clint Longley beat the Redskins on Thanksgiving Day with one mighty heave. "The triumph of the uncluttered mind."
Philadelphia Eagles (2-4)I saw minimal pressure on Griese during that long march. Jim Johnson supposedly is the mastermind of the pressure defense. Where was it? They didn't blitz much. They didn't do much of anything.
Buffalo Bills (2-4)Now the scouts are saying that they knew all along that Trent Edwards, who faced some serious rushes when he was quarterbacking Stanford, was the real thing all along. "He's used to having people around him," quarterback coach Turk Schonert says, "because at Stanford there were gonna be people around him all the time." Maybe this is a new way of scouting. Look for a QB from a team that has a hard time protecting him, and if he's still standing upright in April, draft him.
Minnesota Vikings (2-4)Please explain this to me. Adrian Peterson gets six carries in the first half and six in the second, while coach Childress sends in a quarterback who has a broken finger on his throwing hand and is on the way to a 6-for-19 day.
New Orleans Saints (2-4)Sound the bugle. They're mounting a mighty charge, up from 0-4 to ... well, if they beat the Niners Sunday they'll be at 3-4 and in contention for ... for what? All I know is that there are people who picked them for the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-4)Don't remind me and don't ask me why. I picked them to upset the Steelers. When I taped the video with Brookie Swimsuit on Monday, I picked them again. And I'll repeat it when the guys down at United Cigar ask me, "Waddya, nuts or something?" When I'm lying under the sheets, on my way to becoming morto, my last words will be, "Bengals in an upset." And the chorus will intone, "and don't ask me why."
Oakland Raiders (2-4)I did some research. When is the last time this team drafted a QB that made the Pro Bowl? I mean they've done some of their best work with imported talent ... Jim Plunkett, Rich Gannon, those people. And the occasional draft choices (theirs) who have started have been journeyman types, Marc Wilson, Steve Beuerlein, etc. But how long has it been since one of their own actually came through in grand style? Answer -- 39 years. Ken Stabler was their second round choice in 1968.
San Francisco 49ers (2-4)It got so bad that even the Giants felt sorry for Trent Dilfer. Even Tony Siragusa, an ex-DT working the sidelines for Fox, murmured, "Poor guy," after the sixth sack. The rumor I heard was that Alex Smith was just about ready to return, but they didn't want him to face that ferocious Giants' rush, so Dilfer was fed to them. He's the modern day Primo Carnera. "There you go again," says The Flaming Redhead, "using a frame of reference 70 years old." Gosh, to me it seemed like just yesterday.
New York Jets (1-6)The only thing keeping them from 0-7 is a win over Miami. There, I've gotten through my audition for ESPN. So how's it look? Do I get the job?
Atlanta Falcons (1-6)On their return to New Orleans, ex-Saint Joe Horn was booed, and so was Morten Andersen. Oh my God, they booed Morten? Memo to fans: Never boo someone who's older than your parents and means you no harm.
Miami Dolphins (0-7)In the midst of the horrible gloom of this season, the NFL came up with some cheery news. The Dophins will be the home team against the Giants in London. Vegas immediately dropped the line by three points.
St. Louis Rams (0-7)QB grades for the last four games -- Bulger, 35.6, 42.7, 38.0, Frerotte 30.6. They look like my grades my senior year.