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Observation Deck - Week 3

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Kickers are an under-appreciated, underpaid and overlooked commodity in the NFL. Adam Vinatieri proved his worth once again with a clutch kick in Pittsburgh this weekend. There is only one kicker in the Hall of Fame: the great Jan Stenerud. If Vinatieri is not a first ballot Hall nominee, it will be a great travesty in sports. The guy has kicked two last minute game winners in Super Bowls, and there is no telling what would have happened if either of those games had gone to overtime. With all the great no-name players the Patriots have playing as a cohesive unit, a great deal of success revolves around a great, reliable kicking game.

Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: Colts vs. Cleveland – I never thought I would say this about a game that Peyton Manning was in, but eesh. The Colts were very efficient but 13 points against the 30th ranked defense is sickening. The Colts won, but winning in Cleveland is no accomplishment.

Manning the Offense

While we are talking about the Colts, what the hell is wrong with the offense? Manning has 604 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs in three games. That ranks him 19th in the league in yards and 22nd in passing TDs. Analysts say that the Colts have everything to go all the way now that the defense has shown itself after three years under Dungy. However, the defense is only mediocre statistically, 22nd in yards allowed and 1st in points allowed. They have played Baltimore (26th ranked offense) and Jacksonville (15th ranked offense) in two of the three games. I think they have a great deal to prove before they hoist the Lombardi trophy.

Green in Green Bay

Though it pains me to say so, I think this is going to be – and should be -- Brett Favre’s last season. He is enough of a gamer not to retire during the season, but the Packers are falling apart. I think they made a great value pick with Aaron Rogers at 25th overall, but they let go half of their offensive line in free agency and didn’t address the gaping holes in a defense that allowed 350 yards per game last year. I just don’t see Favre staying around while the team disintegrates around him.

Surgeon General Warning

On a separate note, I think there is a growing epidemic among the media that needs to be stopped before it is too late. What I am talking about is the apparent bi-polar disorder sweeping the commentators. One week, the Panthers and the sentimental Saints are going to oust the Eagles and Falcons as the NFC elite, the next week they sing the praises of Vick and Mcnabb and how they are the class of the conference. Ronnie Brown is a bust; no wait, he is the air apparent to Ricky Williams. Arizona is going to be a playoff force; no wait, they suck so bad astronomers are conducting tests to see if a black hole actually exists in Tempe. Minnesota and Baltimore in the Super Bowl? I know they are simply making guesses but let us pretend for a few moments that parity has nothing to do with this and most of these people making six figure incomes to make predictions are simply idiots.

Fantasy Studs

Lastly, let me say how great my two quarterbacks are playing. Jake Plummer and Aaron Brooks are going to carry me to the championship this year. Am I kidding myself? Yes, actually I am. Was I asleep during those rounds of the draft, or just in a food coma? Whatever it was, next year I need to beat myself with a large heavy object and at least I will have an excuse. I did rectify the situation, see below.

Quick Hits:

Someone in my league actually dropped Daunte Culpepper this week after two dismal weeks. Oh yeah, I picked him up alright. Please, no email requests for a spot in my league, thanks.

I can’t figure out why the Raiders throw to Randy Moss as much as they throw to Courtney Anderson. Norv Turner does know Al Davis traded for him right?

T.O. got lit up again, this time it was a vicious hit by Charles Woodson. I think his mouth went and painted a big target on his chest.

Rodney Harrison completely blew out his knee this week. He turns 33 in December, and three torn ligaments could mean the end of his cheap shot career. I don’t wish injuries on a player, but does anyone think it is ironic that this happened to the most fined player in NFL history for questionable hits. Karma is a funny thing.

Oh yeah, Chad Pennington tore his rotator cuff again. I wouldn’t be surprised, if the next time he threw a pass, and his arm went with it. Oh well, I guess Bruce Bollinger is their leader, all is not well in Jet land.

The NFC East has gone from mediocre to the most competitive division in three games. I hope it continues because it will make for some great football.

On to week four….