Football Thoughts Archive

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The source for back issues of Football Thoughts.

For 10/31/2005

It's almost Halloween and, 7 weeks into the NFL season, let's go over what have we learned so far this year.

We've learned that:

 – New England's defensive front seven is one of, if not the, most formidable in the NFL. Unfortunately, their secondary might be given a good workout by the NCAA Division 2 champions.

 – The Jets' quarterback situation really was a house of cards waiting for the fat lady to warm up.

 – For all of the improvements they made to the defense during the spring, the Vikings are a fraud.

 – Bears QB Kyle Orton might be the steal of this year's draft. He's already made Rex Grossman expendable and, next year, he's going to put Chicago into the early ranks of NFC Super Bowl contenders.

 – LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the 5 best players in the NFL today. Make that 3 best.

 – Tom Benson, the Saints' owner, is a complete a**hole.

 – And his team is bi-polar. The Saints got waxed by the Packers in a game that they should have won handily and they fought the Falcons down to the wire in a game which never should have even been close.

 – The Bengals are for real.

 – Jeff Tedford QBs are to be avoided at all costs. A.J. Feeley, Joey Harrington (who in their right mind goes by Joey after the age of 10?), and Kyle Boller have collectively put together a string of something like 70 games without a single one that would so much as raise an eyebrow of a Hall of Fame voter.

 – Indianapolis at Jacksonville on December 11th ought to be one hell of a game.

 – Give Drew Bledsoe time in the pocket, and he will destroy any secondary in the NFL. Pressure him and he will still make stupid mistakes.

 – If the Miami Dolphins had an offensive line, they'd be in the lead of the AFC East.

 – The Houston Texans need a complete do-over. If I were Bob McNair, I'd fire the GM, coaches, scouts, equipment managers, even the waterboys, and start from scratch. I guarantee you that it could not possibly turn out any worse than this season has.

 – One reason for Houston's abysmal failure: Associate Director of Scouting Bobby Grier.

 – Jeff Fisher can flat out coach and Mike Tice/Sherman cannot.

 – Philadelphia is a team with problems -- specifically, injuries and the utter lack of a running game. If they make the NFC Championship game, I would be shocked.

 – It only took 4 weeks (actually, 3½) before Mike Vick (a.k.a., Ron Mexico) missed a game due to injury.

 – Archie and Olivia Manning deserve to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame if only for "contributions to the game". I cannot wait for next year and the first meaningful game in which Peyton and Eli play against each other.

 – Jon Gruden has a defense again and the Bucs are back from the dead.

I don't think that it's too early to start playing the identify coaches on the hot seat game.

Clearly, the two coaches who've already invested in asbestos underwear are Mike Tice and Dom Capers. I'd say that Mike Sherman is probably shopping for some and Herm Edwards, Mike Martz, and Brian Billick need to look for a good catalog.

Time to revisit the preseason picks and see how I'm doing.

AFC EAST: So far, I'm on track. I predicted Pats, Bills, Dolphins, and Jets and that's the way it's been so far. Called the injury to Pennington (OK, so that wasn't too hard) and pointed out that Miami's and Buffalo's biggest areas of concern were respectively the offensive line and J.P. Losman.

AFC NORTH: Well, I've got the first place and last place teams right, I've just switched up the middle ones. However, I have a feeling that the Ravens might just push the Browns for the cellar-dwellar role.

AFC SOUTH: I definitely didn't see the Colts starting 7-0. As expected, Jacksonville has been solid and the Titans have hit a learning curve, but man did I miss the boat on the Texans -- to call that team pathetic would be an insult to pathetic teams.

AFC WEST: The Broncos looked as bad as I thought that they'd be for 1 week and then, out of nowhere, Mike Shanahan found an NFL team in the detritus that flew back from Miami and he hasn't been out of a game since. The Chargers spotted the rest of the NFL two games while the sat Antonio Gates and forgot about #21. Not sure that they can win the division, but I'm still thinking playoffs. WOw, KC found a defense but Oakland is still looking for one.

NFC EAST: You know, I almost picked the Giants (they of the NFL's highest scoring offense) to win this division, but I chickened out when I heard that Eli Manning had an elbow injury. Now, I wish I did. I'll say this now, Eli's big brother, Peyton, will have a prolific, Hall of Fame-caliber career but Eli will win more championships. How about those Redskins. :?

NFC NORTH: As I said to someone earlier this week, unlees the Vikings can come back from the dead, the Bears will win this division in a "last man standing" kind of way. I hope that, if this really is Brett Farve's last year, he goes out with a bang.

NFC SOUTH: Well, the good news is that the Panthers still aren't out of this thing yet, but with 10 games left in the season, they're in 3rd place in what is looking like a very tough division. Also, hats off to the Saints who have shown a lot of heart and character this year. They're two very poor calls away from being 4-3, not 2-5.

NFC WEST: I don't know which was more surprising, was it that Seattle has already won more games than I expected them to, or that they're actually winning without both of last year's starting WRs. Maybe the conversation between my wife and I last Sunday during NFL Primetime says it best: "Who's that?", she asked. "Dallas or Seattle?", I responded. "Seattle? That can't be Seattle. Their receivers drop everything, even the stuff that hits them in numbers."


 – In the shameless self-promotion section, my post for "Why We Watch the Games" was voted the Post of the Year on Check it out:

 – Two weeks ago, my son turned a year old. Doing very well and keeping him mom and I very busy.

 – I entered a raffle at work the other day. Second prize was 2 two tickets to a Bruins game of your choice. Third prize was 4 tickets to a Bruins game of your choice.

 – I have to say that I haven't been terribly impressed with the quality of officiating this year. It seems as though the officials are almost daring the coaches to review certain plays.

 – An idea for an article later (and possibly a book), but great food for thought now: the Patriots Dynasty of 2001-2004 resembles the Yankees dynasty of 1996-2000. Think about that objectively (i.e., lose the anti-Spankees bias) and you'll agree with me.

Anyway, that's it for now. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send them my way.