Some random thoughts about the weekend’s NFL action:
- Speedy recoveries to the Eagles’ Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook. If either of them spend much time on the DL this season, I can’t see the Eagles getting out of their division.
- Speaking of which, Peter King notes that the NFC East is currently 10-2 as a division. However, in a seriously egregious case of burying the lede, he failed to mention that the two losses are Washington losing to New York, and Philly losing to Dallas. In other words, the NFC East is 8-0 in games played against teams not in the NFC East! Certainly the strongest division in football through 3 weeks, as evidenced by the fact that King has Dallas, Philly, and New York as #1, 2, and 3, respectively, in his Fine Fifteen list.
- The Broncos are going to fall apart at some point this season, although they will probably still make the playoffs, already having a 2 1/2 game lead on San Diego for the division. But whether they fall apart or not, that offense is fun as hell to watch. Jay Cutler is all the things Jake Plummer never was: cool, with good vision, and diabetic to boot. But he can throw on the run every bit as well as The Snake could, maybe better, since he has better pace on his ball. And oh my, does he have a set of receivers and an offensive line that loves punching people in the mouth. I don’t think the Broncs will keep up this pace and threaten New England’s point total from last season, but they will score a heck of a lot of points, and their games should be pretty consistently entertaining all year.
- I still like the Eagles’ chances against Dallas in the postseason, should we get to that point, but this Cowboys team can really play. I don’t know what they’re putting in T.O.’s Kool-Aid, but he’s been drinking it up, and that offense is ridiculous.
- In other Eagles news, I’m glad that Coaches Reid and Johnson remembered that it is, technically, legal to blitz in the NFL, a stratagem that they either forgot in the Monday night game against Dallas, or were holding on to bring out in overtime, which they didn’t quite get to.
- I like the Dolphins doing something really unique, going to the direct-snap to the running back set multiple times in their beat-down of New England. One of Tuesday Morning Quarterback’s running arguments is that so many NFL coaches play mincing fraidy-cat football, punting on 4th and 2 from the opponent’s 40 yard line, kicking field goals when down by 21 late in an effort to hold down the final score, because they are afraid that, if they go against conventional wisdom and lose, they’ll be held responsible, whereas if they go with the CW and lose, the players get blamed. In this case, you gotta love that Miami coach Tony Sparano was confident that, win or lose, GM Bill Parcells will have his back, because Parcells knew that playing straightforward vanilla football would not be enough for the formerly sad-sack Dolphins to upset a team with a 22-game regular season winning streak. This kind of thing can’t work indefinitely, or probably even two weeks in a row, with the quality of film breakdown every NFL team has now, but it was great to see for a day.
- Ohio must be a really depressing place to live right now – manufacturing base disappearing, Ohio State gets de-pantsed on national TV by USC, only it’s one of those de-pantsings where your underwear accidentally comes down too, and now there you are, on national television, naked from the waist down. Throw in the fact that the Browns and Bengals are cover-your-eyes awful, your hockey team is called the ‘Blue Jackets’, and you only have two more seasons before LeBron bolts for the Brooklyn Jay-Zees, and that is one state I would not want to be living in right now.