|NFL Power Rankings|
Carolina Panthers (2-2)Steve Smith, two mediocre days in a row. Now he won't talk to the meatballs, uh the media. For the whole season, he says. If I were the sports editor I know what I'd do. Wait for the Falcons' bye week, give DeAngelo a press pass and a notebook and send him into the Carolina dressing room. Do you know that there once was an era in which newspapers used to regularly cook up zany stunts like that?
Philadelphia Eagles (1-3)Andy, I say this as a friend. Either dream up a better protection scheme or get Donovan out of there. You're gonna lose him. A QB, especially one with athletic ability, is supposed to be able to dodge the first emissary of the rush. You know, big guy, throw him a fake and he goes off into right field. Not McNabb. The rushers are faster than he is, more agile. The first guy was getting him Sunday night. You're courting disaster. He's not ready to play.
San Francisco 49ers (2-2)Of all the drive-blocking guards I've seen, Larry Allen is up there with John Hannah as the most powerful. When his legs started failing him in Dallas, when he was OK in a small space but couldn't hit a moving target, I said, well, it's been a great career, let's think about the Hall of Fame. Then the Niners picked him up. And they said that last year his play was "miraculous." It was a mirage, in my opinion. Now it's all falling apart. Sad, huh?
Cincinnati Bengals (1-3)I got a release that said that they have figured out a way to get rid of all the pigeons that roost in Paul Brown Stadium. Laser beams. No, they don't zap the birds, they just scare them away. And do they have lasers for the pigeons in the black and orange uniforms?
Oakland Raiders (2-2)No one paid much attention when they ran for 200 against Denver. Everybody was focused on that field goal time out. Ditto the 186 against Cleveland, a game in which the field goal angle was the same. But suddenly, after a shocking 299 against Miami the word has gone out. Hey the Raiders can run it ... the ball we mean. They'll have a free week to sharpen their drive-blocking skills, then it's look out Chargers, here we come.
Minnesota Vikings (1-3)Where was Adrian Peterson in the second half against Green Bay? An extended bathroom visit? A phone call? Court appearance? After gaining 108 yards in the first half and establishing himself as the only, repeat only, means the Vikings had to beat the Pack, he carried the ball twice in half No. 2, for two yards and then another deuce. For God's sake, coach, show a little mercy for the loyal Vikes investors who had you, plus 1 ½, last weekend.
Buffalo Bills (1-3)Rookie Trent Edwards, in his first start, threw for 234 yards and a completion percentage of .786 (22-for-28). Only once in his career has J.P. Losman gone for higher than 60 percent and 230 yards in the same game. Ah the magic of fresh numbers. How they sing to the zephyr winds of the north!
Atlanta Falcons (1-3)This tells me something. DeAngelo Hall gets a six-figure fine, which he will appeal, does this create a mutinous atmosphere on the club? It most certainly does not. It is followed by a 10-point win over a hot team. From this I surmise either DeAngelo is not well loved in the locker room or they feel the coach is not to be messed with.
New York Jets (1-3)This is No. 3 on my tape parade, behind Steelers-Cards and Lions-Bears. Jet fans in my neighborhood tell me Mangini shouldn't have them in a 3-4 because that's what they read in the Newark Star-Ledger. All in good time. First the evidence, then the verdict.
New Orleans Saints (0-3)Here's the way it works in the swamp. Victorious Bills and Falcons leapfrogged them, hopeless Dolphins and Rams replaced that twosome. Saints sank slightly deeper into the meyer, uh, the mire. Will they win at home against Carolina? Yes, because that's what I picked in that video thing against the swimming suitmodel, Brooklyn Decker, and I'm tired of getting humiliated on that show.
Miami Dolphins (0-4)Zach Thomas is out and the defense gives up 299 on the ground. I keep telling people, no MLB has this kind of ball instincts on running plays. When his name comes up for the Hall of Fame, I'll be the first speaker on his behalf. I'm telling you, he's a modern day Joe Schmidt.
St. Louis Rams (0-4)Two offensive TDs in four games. But at least the defense had been hanging in. Then came 35 points and 502 yards by the Cowboys. So what's left? Dante Hall, kick and punt returner. Remember him?