Who Dey? Who Dey? Ladies and gentlemen, the two newest biggest baddest assed teams in all of football are in the AFC North. And neither of them are the Steelers. Wha? The AFC North has gotten interesting right before our eyes. The world champs have played some pretty good football, and they find themselves in 3rd place. Oh yeah, it's ON now!
Well, except for the Browns.
Baltimore all of a sudden is an offensive killing machine. The Bengals are one divine intervention play away from being 3-0. And the Steelers have abandoned the run and are letting Big Ben run amok! It's a freaking world gone mad!
I learned a hard lesson over the last two weeks. The Bengals have put a HUGE ass whoopin' on two of my fantasy teams. And the lesson is this: Do not start your stud receiver against the Bengals until further notice. They blanked Jennings the week before last and killed me. Then they nearly blanked Santonio Holmes this week. In the first three weeks the Bengals have faced Brandon Marshall (4/27) Greg Jennings (0-0) and Holmes (1/18).
I sure didn't see that coming. In any case, I won't be starting a team's best receiver against them again. It sure looks like a death-wish right now. Luckily they play Cleveland next week, who do not have a best receiver, or any receivers. So that is a blessing.
I can't decide which is worse: Leading your league in total points and being 1-2, or being the worst 2-1 team in the league.
Speaking of things that suck, I caught Showtime's football show with J.B., Collinsworth, and Phil Simms for the first time. Wow. Uh, interesting. Anyway, Simms apparently came off a 5-11 week in picking games straight up. I say that because Collinsworth held up a crudely drawn sign that read 5-11 pointing toward Simms when they started the segment.
Anyway, fresh off that sterling week, Simms like most media types picked the Titans to win versus the Jets. The prevailing wisdom among analysts and commentators was that the desperate Titans would win a game that figured to be a "let-down" game for the Jets. Then at the end of the prediction segment (and show) Simms bashed Collinsworth upside the head with the crudely drawn sign. That was the best part of the show. Boys will be boys.
I placed a wager on the Jets.
Then on Sunday when I was flipping through games, I happened to land on the game where Simms was in the booth, and at exactly the moment for a "game-break" telling us the news that the Titans had taken a 17-14 lead on the Jets early in the third quarter. Simms leaped into action, "Well, I'm going to have to pat myself on the back, I picked the Titans in that game and I think they will hang on to win."
I had a pretty crappy Sunday for the most part, but when Sanchez threw that go-ahead touchdown for the Jets 5 minutes later, it made me smile.
Speaking of clue-less media types I noticed that Matt Millen has now taken up residence on the Monday Night Countdown set for ESPN. Hey ESPN, guess what? It is still too soon. Parading Millen around this soon after his crimes in Detroit is wrong on a couple of different levels.
First and foremost, people in Detroit still despise Millen. And understandably so. Inviting Millen to talk football on your network is like inviting the guy that raped your fiance to the wedding. Bad taste.
Secondly, we the masses don't believe anything this clown says right now and for the foreseeable future. You may have considered him brilliant when he worked for you lo these many years ago, but right now most football fans that know anything consider him a buffoon. Zero credibility.
Third, maybe I caught him on a bad night, but his delivery is as weak as his drafting prowess. Steve Young was smooth by comparison if that is any indication.
So in summary. People hate his guts and won't believe anything he says. And he along with Steve Young are ESPN's version of the "Stutters Brothers." Nice hire.
10) Seahawks: Being 1-2 and heading to the slaughterhouse in Indy next week is depressing to be sure. But assuming the Seahawks retire those horrific neon green jerseys they sported during the loss to the Bears, I think the most embarrassing part of the season may already be behind them. Look, you might need bright shiny gimmicky uniforms to sell soccer, but it is not necessary in the NFL. The game sells itself, and those obnoxious uni's take away from the game. As a matter of fact I'm pretty sure my cornea may have been damaged watching them so please cease and desist.
9) Raiders: Last week the team tried to ban Rich Gannon from their facilities because according to them, Gannon has been critical of the organization. Hey Crusty Elvis. Newsflash: If Gannon hasn't been critical of the Raiders over the last few years he's the ONLY one. If you want to ban everybody that has been critical of your organization, your games will be played in front of an audience the size of a high school scrimmage. Hey, I have an idea. Instead of trying to ban a former quarterback who miraculously elevated your POS franchise to a Super Bowl, you might want to consider banning your current quarterback. Gannon could take the field in his suit and tie and put up better numbers than Jamarcus Russell. Russell's numbers over the last two games against divisional opponents? 19/45 170 0 td 2 int. Maybe you should ban the guy that gave Russell a truck-load of money to be the NFL's worst quarterback, and provided him NFL's worst receiving corps.
8) Panthers: Punt. Miss tackle. Miss tackle. Punt. Miss tackle. Miss tackle. Punt...etc. etc.
7) Chiefs: December 6th at home against Denver. That is my ETA for the first possible Chiefs victory this season. Between now and then the Chiefs will face the remainder of the NFC East, San Diego twice, Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh. The bright spot is the Browns visit Arrowhead in week 15 so a win-less season is pretty much out of the question.
6) Rams: This gets tougher as I go. The Rams are to football what Deion Sanders is to refined broadcast journalism. But at this point that only nets you a 6 spot in the putrid poll. Steven Jackson owners have been pretty damn miserable so far until this week. Though I suspect some of them may have already had enough after the first two weeks and decided to bench him. Now everybody will be back on board and ready to start him vs the 49ers next week. The same 49ers that made Adrian Peterson look semi-mortal last week. The 49ers that are a Brett Favre "miracle pass" away from 3-0, and apparently poised to make the Rams their divisional bitches again at long last.
5) Titans: The Titans kind of got hosed with the schedule didn't they? 3 of their first 4 games, and 4 of their first 6 on the road. History tells us that 0-3 teams are exactly that. History. We can make excuses for the Titans all day long, but the bottom line is that for the first time in a long time, a Jeff Fisher team is playing like they have their heads up their arses. This week its off to Jacksonville, then home for Indy, and back on the road to the Patriots. The team that last December looked like a Super Bowl favorite might very well start the season 0-6. Whiplash anybody?
4) Buccaneers: It is hard to imagine how a team that couldn't top 90 yards in total offense in their last game, and is apparently going to start Jeremiah Johnson, or Josh Johnson, or You Can Call Me Johnson in their next game against a desperate Deadskins team would be ranked a lowly 4th in this weekly tribute to the turds. But these are fertile times for the Misery Index. Chin up though Bucs fans. A loss to the team that lost to the Lions might, and I say might, be enough to get you to the top... er bottom. The ball is in your court Jeremiah Johnson. Whoever you are...
3) Dolphins: This is not shaping up well at all. Still desperate for a win, with a similarly desperate Buffalo team coming to town next, and with a "not ready for prime time" QB running the show. Unfortunately this Sunday may be a "Last Chance" stop for the fish, with the Jets, Saints, Jets, and Patriots lined up for them after that. 0-8 is going to be a bitter pill to swallow after that 11 win season last year. But not as bitter as the pill Bill Parcells is swallowing right now. All he had to do was put his signature on a piece of paper in January and he would have stepped out of the path of this train-wreck, and deposited a huge amount of dinero in his bank account. I guess it's true, you regret the things you didn't do more than the things you did.
2) Browns: I know, I know. The Browns are beyond horrible. How in the hell can they not be #1? Well, it's like this. The Redskins just ruined the Lions 19 game losing streak. Losing to the Lions holds a lot of weight in this index, especially considering the 'Skins had the power of Scientology behind them. Don't worry though Browns fans, you will get your chance to lose the Lions in November. And if you keep getting outscored by an average of 22 points in every game between now and then, I think you will be in pretty good shape to wrap this thing up regardless. In any case, the downward spiral for the organization seems to be gaining momentum, while a baffled Mangini continues to be tortured with the Hoodie Envy.
1) Redskins: If Danny Snyder really loved the Redskins, he would sell the franchise, and get his football fix as the owner of a 10 million dollar entry-fee fantasy team in a league of his rich buddies like Tom Cruise. That way at least, he would only be a laughing-stock among a small group instead of a whole nation, and only Snyder himself would suffer the consequences of his horrible decisions. It's just a thought. Come on Danny, help me, help you.