Tuesday, September 12, 2006

NFL feverishness . . .

As The Monk predicted last week, the first week of the season was unpredictable.

OK, I didn't actually predict the unpredictability. That said, the NFL is just nuts. Look at the list of 2006 playoff teams that just honked:


Each of those teams played a team that did not make the playoffs in 2005. Three of them took a whupping: Tampa got crushed, Denver was futile against the Rams' defense (haven't had that comment since 1999 -- the year the Rams won the Super Bowl and had the #4 defense in the league), Atlanta ran at will on Carolina, Washington honked at home to the Vikes.

Look at the list of disappointments from the weekend:

New England
Kansas City

How come two winners are on here? Because they stank. The Pats won 19-17 because the Bills screwed up -- Buffalo had 4th-and-1 at the Pats' 7 up 17-7 in the third quarter and instead of kicking a field goal to put the impotent Pats' offense down by two TDs, the Bills blew a fourth down play, the Pats obtained momentum and turned the game around.

The S'Hawks scored all of ZERO touchdowns against one of the three worst teams in the NFC, Detroit.

Meanwhile KC was in the midst of getting rolled by the Bengals even before Trent Green got headhunted and the Cowmanures were outperformed on both sides of the ball by a Jacksonville team that lacks the playmakers on offense and defense that the Cowpatties have.

Best performances:

(1) Cincinnati's defense
(2) Pittsburgh's quality win without Big Ben
(3) Baltimore rolling the Bucs in Bucville
(4) Atlanta waxing the Panthers in Charlotte.

Worst performances:

(1) Oakland's offense = Aaron Brooks completed 6 passes, suffered 7 sacks
(2) Tampa's offense
(3) Green Bay
(4) Carolina's defense = choking up more than 200 rushing yards

Potentially meaningless performances:

(1) Eagles whupping the Texans -- beating an NFL Europe quality team means little for the Green Menace.
(2) San Diego throttling Oakland -- the Raiders are awful, period.
(3) Arizona's win over San Francisco -- predictable because the Niners stink
(4) Giants loss to Indy -- a bit of hopefulness here, perhaps, but Indy was the best team in football in the regular season last year and the Giants rolled up more than 430 yards on offense on them. The argument that the Giants' schedule is tough because they play a lot of teams among last year's top-12 defenses means little because the Jints can score with anyone. The question is, can they win close games -- there will be a lot this season.

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