As a disclaimer, I am not even going to broach the issue of the debacle in Seattle. It was a bad call, plain and simple, and I would much rather write about actual football than labor negotiations and replacement refs. That soil has already been tilled.
- At the beginning of the season, I would have picked the Cleveland Browns for this year’s 2-14 team. They are well on their way to obtaining that level of futility (at least as far as the numbers go), but they have actually held it together pretty well for a team that’s 0-3. Losing to the Eagles by one, Bengals by seven, and the Bills by ten is hardly embarrassing themselves. I didn’t get to see the Bills/Browns game yesterday, so I watched the highlights on NFL.com this morning. One of the studio hosts said something to the effect of [paraphrasing] “We’re showing you these highlights because, well, we have to”. Something always gets missed in those one o’clock games that aren’t exactly the sexiest match-ups of the weekend. The teams that end up in the playoffs at the end of the year usually beat the teams that they are supposed to beat. It is a sign of mental weakness to lose to a team that you are supposed to beat handily. With that being said, The Bills’ 24-14 victory over Cleveland may not be a signature victory or even especially highlight-worthy, but that doesn’t mean that the game isn’t important or necessary.
- Peyton Manning is not the end-all solution to the Broncos’ problems. 8-8 was not automatically going to become 11-5 or 12-4 with the addition to Peyton Manning. One plus one does not always equal two. Adding a quarterback (a traditional one, I mean) was not a guarantee. Remember, the defense played over their heads last year, there was a lot of luck involved with that winning streak, the offense has been completely overhauled, and 2010 was the last time Manning took a snap in any capacity. There is going to be an adjustment period. Also, when the Broncos lost last year with Tebow at the helm, they were blowouts (35, 18, 26, and 35 points). There’s a reason beyond the quarterback position why this team lost games so lopsidedly. Keep in mind while reading this that I am not a Tebow fan, and do not think that Tim Tebow is a legitimate starting quarterback for any team in the NFL.
- Even if the potential game-winning touchdown against the Cardinals was not called back or the Ravens’ game-winning field goal was called no good, the Patriots are not playing like a dominant team. I know it’s early, but they are starting to show their age. The Cardinals really don’t have a legitimate starter at quarterback, and the Ravens’ offense has never achieved ‘point-a-minute’ status before. And yet, both of those teams were able to hang with the Patriots throughout the game even though the Pats have the advantage of having the greatest head coach and one of the best quarterbacks of our time. Something doesn’t add up.