Thoughts on the NFL Season So Far
The AFC is very strong and very competitive. Here are seven solid AFC teams that I can see making the Superbowl: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Denver, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New England, and San Diego. And I wouldn’t count Pittsburgh out. Baltimore (my local team) and Denver (my favorite team) both have a lot of room for improvement on the offensive side of the ball. I have more hope for Denver because they’ve shown that they can run the ball and Plummer will certainly get better (he’s had slumps before), while Baltimore hasn’t been able to run for two-and-a-half years now and McNair still doesn’t look like he ‘gets’ the new (to him) offense. Neither New England nor Indianapolis are playing as well as they did last year and they are 4-1 and 5-0, respectively, so watch out if they hit their stride.
The NFC isn’t as deep, but the three standout teams, Chicago (!), Philadelphia, and Seattle, are very strong. Can you believe how good Chicago looks? And we’re past the point where we can consider that it might be a fluke. One or two dominant performances we can chalk up to good luck or bad opponents, but not five in a row. Grossman is making phenomenal reads and throwing some amazing balls. Add that formidable defense and you have to consider them the early favorite to win the Superbowl.
If we ignore T.O., he’ll go away. The Dallas vs. Philly game this week was only a big deal because the media said it was. There was no circus beyond the silly media hyping of T.O./McNabb bad blood issues.
Everyone needs to cool their jets and stop calling for the benching of quality veteran QB’s in favor of rookies. You only start your rookie back-up if a) your starter goes down or b) it’s clear that the season is a bust. Rookie QB’s rarely help their teams win. And no rookie QB is going to put Dallas or Denver over the top. So shut it, knuckleheads. That includes you, ESPN and especially you, dumb ol’ Michael Irvin.
Why does nobody remember that the Broncos went 13-3 last year and were a win away from the Superbowl? That is a great year. And who was their QB? Jake Plummer, the same guy that everyone wants to bench. They guy has bad games, like all QB’s do, but he’s not a bad QB; he’s a quality second-tier guy.
Tier one: Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, and, if we are to believe our eyes, Rex Grossman. Proven tier two guys: Drew Brees, Mike Vick, Trent Green, Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Plummer, Marc Bulger, and, if they get their acts together, Ben Roethlesberger and Steve McNair. Second tier guys are the ones that will rarely be the main reason that you lose a game and will often put very good performances together and will sometimes be the hero. I hate to say it, but I can’t put Brett Favre in the second tier anymore.