In an NFL season with more twists and turns than a bipolar soap opera writer can create all I can guarantee is that these 10 things are true……..if only for today:
10) The Tennessee Titans just don’t care anymore
With the Colts floundering (more on that later) and the Texans playing two-hand touch defense this game against the Jaguars was Tennessee’s chance to push the reset button on the AFC South. Instead, they score a total of 0 points in the first half, 6 overall, create a Maurice Jones-Drew highlight package, and look as uninterested as Paris Hilton in a physics lecture.
Chris Johnson is in witness protection and the Titans seem to be the only team unaware that they won their waiver claim for Randy Moss. Add the Vince Young soap opera and the fact that no Titans QB has thrown for more than 200yds in four straight weeks and you have a team that’s talking more to their travel agents than their coaches. With the temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s across the nation even I’d pass on an opportunity to sit on a seat as hot as the one under Jeff Fisher right now.
9) Tampa Bay Bucaneers should destroy all known existence of their orange sherbet jerseys if they want to be taken seriously. And, ya know, it wouldn’t hurt to beat a good team every now and then either.
I’ll admit, the Buccaneers are a great story this year. A ton of no names making names for themselves with a young, energetic, defensive minded coach who isn’t afraid of the moment. Josh Freeman at times looks like a young Ben Roethlisberger in the way that he’s difficult to sack, manages games, and seems capable of consistently connecting on clutch throws.
However, they still don’t have a win over a team with a winning record. Yes, they played the Ravens and Falcons (twice) tough but still came away from those matchups 0-3. The Bucs remaining Charmin double-quilted schedule ensures they’ll garner much more hype as the postseason approaches, don’t buy it.
8) Kansas City Chiefs are dangerous.
This team was my sleeper pick going into the season and they haven’t disappointed. No, beating the Denver Broncos by 4 isn’t what’s making me giddy. Kansas City being 8-4, undefeated at home (no really, it’s true) and leading their division by 2 games does. The Chiefs are ranked #1 in rushing yards and #2 in average yards per carry (behind Philadelphia). Translation: the Chiefs are built to win now.
The addition of Thomas Jones was a perfect compliment to the speed and quick strike ability of Jamaal Charles. The emergence of Dwayne Bowe and the improving health of their x-factor rookie Dexter McCluster makes them a very difficult team to match up with.
They have a huge game against the Chargers next week that can all but bury their division foes. If Kansas City manages to come out on top they’ll most likely be assured of a home playoff game. A dangerous encounter awaits any wild card team that’s sent to Arrowhead Stadium.
(speaking of Dwayne Bowe…….)
7) Champ Bailey owns Dwayne Bowe.
Fresh off a 13 catch 170 yard 3 touchdown performance Dwayne Bowe’s next trick was to disappear. I know the Broncos certainly highlighted him in their defensive gameplans but a no-show stat line is mind boggling. Either Champ Bailey deserves DPOY based solely on that game or Todd Haley told Dwayne Bowe to take a weeks paid vacation.
As a frustrated fantasy owner, I had to mention this. I appreciate your time.
6) The San Diego Chargers aren’t winning their division.
I know they start slow and finish fast but this year is different. Mainly because while they remained stagnant the rest of their division got better. The Chargers were always that tall kid in school that got his growth spurt early. Well a summer has passed and everyone has caught up to them. The Chiefs don’t fear them, they showed that week 1. The Raiders don’t fear them, they just showed that in a convincing 28-13 win the Chargers HAD to have.
It’s a shame the year Philip Rivers is having will mostly go unrewarded and will most likely be buried under an avalanche of disappointment and criticism. The Chargers are known as the Cowboys West for a reason. The similarities are shocking (tons of talent, inconsistent, sense of entitlement, etc.) and I feel these teams will share another commonality in the very near future. Wade, Norv. Norv, Wade. Nothing brings bad head coaches together like mediocrity.
5) Brett Favre needs to be saved from himself.
It’s sad but it’s true. It’s almost like a higher power is trying his best to tell Favre “Pssst, big guy…….go away!”. I respect Favre a lot but the type of year he’s having (10td’s 18int’s), the beating he’s taking, plus the cell phone pic embarrassment is all one gigantic voice no longer whispering but shouting for him to stop tarnishing his legacy. I know one year won’t spoil his Super Bowl rings or brilliance of lasting 20yrs in todays NFL at the QB position. But tell me your last memory of Favre right now. Is he on all fours? Is he crawling? Is he wincing? Is the defender running past him with the football?
Obviously the sum of his career far outweighs whatever is going on now but at some point in life we all have to take the hint. Brett’s ignored that voice long enough, he had the best statistical year of his career last year. That’s incredible. But to think it could be duplicated was short sighted. And now, he’s paying for it. I feel for the guy which is why every Sunday he lines up under center I join the voices, “Pssst, BRETT!”.
4) The firing of Josh McDaniels was more overdue than a Wesley Snipes tax payment.
Trading Peyton Hillis? Ok, those kind of stories happen all the time in the NFL. We can let that slide…..
Trading Jay Cutler for Kyle Orton? Alright, that’s a little odd but you’re a new coach so let’s see what you do with this……
Trade Brandon Marshall? He’s our best offensive weapon! Yes he’s a diva but so is every 100 catch 1,000 yard WR in the league! Ok, your from the Belichick coaching tree, right? No hassle, my way or no way, stockpile draft picks…..fine. Let’s see what you do with them……
Move UP to draft Tim Tebow?! Cue Vince Lombardi:
The goal of any coach is to leave a team in better shape then you found it. Clearly the Denver Broncos would’ve been better off if they never found Josh McDaniels.
3) Not all 9-3’s are created equal.
I know the Jets just got beaten and sent to their room without supper by daddy Belichick and Uncle Brady, but, I believe their 9-3.
New Orleans keeps making the right play at the right time. I know they were a Bengals idiotic false start and a bonehead Roy Williams away from being beaten in consecutive weeks. But I believe their 9-3.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have fought through a Big Ben suspension and a very difficult AFC North. Their 9-3 requires no justification.
However, the Chicago Bears have also managed a 9-3 record. I’m not not quite sure how but I’m not a believer. Each time Jay Cutler drops back I fully expect to see him peeling himself off the turf or a defender running the opposite direction with the ball. I don’t know what it is but even when they win a big game I’m left unconvinced. The Mike Martz/Jay Cutler arranged marriage seems doomed to fail when tested on a big stage.
Gentleman in exactly 5 days maybe they will make a believer out of me…….
2) In an unprecedented medical procedure Peyton Manning decided to switch bodies with Cooper.
I understand Peyton wanting to share some spotlight with his lesser known brother. It’s touching, it really is, but it’s time to end this experiment. I’m sure Cooper is a great guy and has a unique skill set all his own……but none of this helps the Indianapolis Colts.
(uhh, do I know you?)
I know the Colts have been riddled with injuries but I don’t recognize this Peyton Manning. He’s actually making *gasp* bad reads! Not just bad, pick 6 the other way Ryan Leaf bad. In a division nobody wants to lead the Colts still have a chance but they need the real Peyton Manning to please stand up.
Listen, I praise Peyton Manning like no other when he’s doing well. I think the guy is the most cerebral QB we’ve ever seen. He tells the defense what they’re going to do before they do it. I’ve said for years that he doesn’t see the football field, he sees the matrix. But I have to be fair, and right now, Peyton Manning is not playing good football.
1) Going to Gillette Stadium after November isn’t good for the self esteem.
Just ask Rex Ryan and the Jets who went from brash trash talk to questioning their own existence. They were completely dominated in every phase of the game. The Jets struggle offensively from time to time but that defense (the same one that intercepted Brady twice and only relinquished 14 points in their first meeting) allowing 45 points and over 400 yards is the equivalent of Tiger Woods unconscious in a neighbors lawn.
Some serious and deep soul searching is required. I like the fun and games Jets as much as anyone but after a performance like that it’s time to lock the doors, turn off the phone, and stare at yourself in the mirror until you figure out the rest of your life. Okay, maybe not that dramatic but you get the point.
I believe in the Jets but if they, or anyone, is going to have any chance at representing the AFC in February they’d better start taking themselves more seriously. And maybe plant a GPS on Danny Woodhead since locating him on a football field is near impossible.