Well, can Baltimore fans finally put to bed the nonsense about not playing well on prime time or wearing all black. Sorry, I am not a superstitious person, okay; I will not walk under a ladder, especially if there is a well fed Steeler girl atop it.
But I digress…
Now for a lap around the NFL…
Let’s start with the NFC East: Redskins and Giants are tied at 3-1. Rex Grossman will play like Rex Grossman eventually and then the party in D.C. will be over. Funny, for all the dirt and dissension between players versus management, the Giants have quietly improved and with Osi back, they could be interesting. Cowboys? If you look up the word implode there will be a picture of Tony Romo. As for the Eagles, too bad they did not spend a little more money on linebackers instead of corners.
NFC North. 4 & Oh! The Packers, they just look scary good. Like the 49ers did back in the 80’s, weapons everywhere and a QB that can cut you into dog meat. Then, surprise, surprise, the Detroit Lions! Nice to know something else besides the Chrysler 300 comes out of Detroit now. But seriously, Suh, Megatron, surprise team. Da Bears at 2-2, yeah, I’m over them and their over rated middle linebacker. We know a thing or two about the position around here, but Cutler is not the answer. Despite being a passing league, you still need to run the ball now and then, which they did this weekend, but really Martz is done. And the “oh-fer’s” the Vikings. I can honestly say I am sad to see Donovan McNabb’s career end like this, but it’s time to head off into the sunset.
NFC South: Saints, damn good team at 3-1, there lone loss to the champs and almost took that game. Sproles = Reggie who? Bucs 3-1, Freeman looks like the real deal, but I am still not sold on them yet, Curtis Painter almost beat them in their own house. Atlanta, I mentioned before Julio Jones was a bad idea, even more so now because they have forgotten who Michael Turner is. The 1-3 Panthers, sure they only won once, but damn was I wrong about Cam Newton, this kid can ball right out of the gate!
NFC West, Holy Harbaughs the 49ers are 3-1! Not bad with Alex Boller, I mean Smith. Seattle has to be kicking themselves for letting Hasselbeck go to the Titans, I mean Tavares Jackson? I think the Cards will be alright at 1-3, just a little more time. And the Rams, damn they need some wide receivers because Andrew Luck is not in their sights for being 0-4, and there are still 12 to go!
On to the AFC East The Bills and Patriots are knotted up at 3-1 in the AFC East as we put the vaunted Jets to 2-2, meanwhile, the Dolphins enjoy a big donut that not even a local reporter would find appetizing at zero for the win column. Buffalo lost a heartbreaker on the road at Cincinnati. Would have helped the Ravens, but alas winning on the road can be tough. New England bounced back, curses to all them except when they pad my fantasy team! In hindsight every team that Bill Parcells has left such as the Cowboys and later the Dolphins, whatever his capacity was and the prominence they seemed to enjoy, his imprint is wearing off.
AFC South, the 3-1 Texans just put a L on the Steelers, always a good thing. We will test their mettle here in two weeks. Titans are a surprising 3-1. I am not sure how long they will last without Kenny Britt, but you have to give them props. Jaguars at 1-3 are just going through the motions; wonder where Jack Del Rio ends up next year, NBC, CBS, FOX, ESPN, or NFLN? And the winless Colts, all I can say is Manning is toast and the Andrew Luck sweepstakes are between them and the Vikings at the moment.
AFC West, 3-1 are the San Diego Chargers (my best Yoda voice). Forgive me, but I just never picture Norv Turner lifting the Lombardi in my lifetime. Oakland Raiders, at 2-2, a team on the rise clearly not ready to deal with Tom Brady, but few teams are. Then there are the 1-3 Broncos who are still suffering from the decisions of the Josh McDaniels era and the 1-3 Kansas City Chiefs who I think have the worst coach in football, Todd “I need meds” Hailey.
AFC North, home! 3-1 Baltimore Ravens. Still have not reached their true potential, but I like what I see, think of the way the Packers toiled last year only to catch fire at the right time, this could be the Ravens. Everyone else in the division is 2-2. The Steelers, I do not care how you slice it, they are old and they paid a lot of money to those old players and have Swiss cheese for a line. Cincinnati has been unusually scrappy. I hate the thought! The Browns are a mystery; I do not even bother since they beat the Patriots last year. Nothing about them makes sense, see: staph infections.
So on to the purple part of all this, Sunday was a great game to return to a ferocious defense. To remind Rex Ryan, for all his scheming, it still comes down to players, and we have always had better defensive players than anybody.
So at this juncture, I would like to say we, even I saw a glimpse of what the Ravens possible future might have been. Let’s say for a minute, the Ravens had in fact hired Rex Ryan as head coach. He would have likely had immediate success, for a year or two; you can squeeze a lot out of a vet team. But eventually, that fire dies; the bluster loses its luster. I fear this is the beginning of the end for our old pal Rex. Decisions to pick up the likes of Derrick Mason or Plaxico Buress rather than addressing his offensive and defensive lines are going to haunt him. Those things can not be remedied overnight. I suppose he will make a fine coach for the Chargers someday!
Take a stroll around the internet and see how much of an impact Kelly Gregg, Le’Ron McClain, Jared Gaither, Derrick Mason are making with there new teams. Not much. Let’s be honest, there is only one Ray Lewis who seems to defy even time, but risk hitching yourself to so many older players and you start to rust.
Just ask the Steelers.