The season, as with every season, has been chock full of surprises. For some teams, it has been a rebirth and renewal to dominance, for some it is the same old story. And some, just boggle the mind. Let’s start in Denver, where Phillip Rivers has led the Chargers to an 8-2 record atop the AFC West by coming into Denver and just plain wearing them out. It is no shock that LT is primed to set the TD record for the season, and may very well end up the rushing champ to boot. If you passed on LT on draft day, you may want to consider getting into fantasy golf instead. However, the stunner has to be Rivers, who is third in the league in passer rating, with only 5 picks to go along with 15 TDs and 2300 yards. So much has been made of the trade with the Giants two years ago, and if the Chargers continue they will have made the most of the deal since they also acquired Shawn “Bonds” Merriman and Nate Keading as a result of the net draft picks for Eli.
Speaking of Eli, this was supposed to be the year that everything came together for him. Initially he looked sharp and in control of the offense. Now over the past six games, he looks more confused than he did in his first few starts. He is not utilizing his weapons, locking in on Plaxico Burress at every opportunity, and primed to finish with the same statistics or worse than last year. With Dallas coming on very strong, and teams historically being strong in the last part of the season under Parcells, Eli and the Giants have their work cut out for them. I understand their defense is a MASH unit right now, but the offense has got to get on track if they want to be playing in January.
While we are on January bids, does anyone want to win the NFC? Chicago can clinch their division with a win and losses by Green Bay and Minnesota, but after Chicago the NFC is settling into mediocrity once again. After Chicago there are five teams at six and four, not a ringing endorsement for the conference. The Bears also do not know which Rex Grossman will show up, the one that turns the ball over or the one who leads the team flawlessly. I don’t think if they appear in the Super Bowl that they can put together a complete game to beat the AFC.
Lastly, let’s shift back to the AFC. The Steelers have to be the biggest disappointment. Though technically not out of it, they have to win out, meaning they have to beat Baltimore twice, just to have a shot at a wildcard. Having already lost to teams like Jacksonville, Denver and San Diego, they have no shot of repeating their run of last season. I think too many distractions and lack of leadership have put them where they are.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: STL vs. CAR – this was like watching monkeys hump a football. St. Louis is more of a paper team than I thought, only managing 111 net yards against a defense that has more reputation than ability right now.
Quick Hits :
The casinos in Vegas are taking odds on which teams that Ohio State could actually beat right now. My money is on Arizona and Oakland.
Time Warner is still in negotiations on whether or not to carry the NFL network, to avoid their customers missing games this season. Their main objection to carrying the network is they haven’t found a way to exploit the players that will make them any money.
Donovan McNabb is out for the season with torn knee ligaments. At least now he can’t blame the bad play on T.O.
The Packers signed Todd Bouman this week due to the injury to Brett Favre and losing Aaron Rodgers for the season. Yeah, when I think of a replacement for Brett favre, I think Todd Bouman.
Is there any doubt that Jake Plummer and Byron Leftwich are done with their respective teams? The real question is whether or not they will start for anyone else. Oh yeah, and there’s always Drew Bledsoe. You forgot? So did the Cowboys.
Everyone needs to head for the shelters now. The 49ers are 5-5, one game back of the division lead after downing the Hawks on Sunday. I’m not sure if this was foretold by Nostradamas, but it is scaring me.
On to next week…