Archive for the ‘ Football ’ Category

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em, Snag ‘Em for Week 12

Start ‘Em

1. Aaron Hernandez – TE – New England – @ Philadelphia: He will undoubtedly be covered by a Linebacker in one on one coverage without safety help, as the Eagles try to take away Rob Gronkowski. Given the Eagles horrid linebacker play this year Hernandez could have a career game.

2. Matt Leinart – QB – Houston – @ Jacksonville: If your fantasy team recently suffered the loss of Jay Cutler you are most likely in the market for a new starting quarterback. Leinart has a potent offense around him and knows the offense well. The only problem is if they get up early and end up running the ball to close out the Jaguars.

3. Greg Olsen – TE – Carolina – @ Indianapolis: The Panthers have played well but can’t seem to win a game. Now they’re playing the Colts, the winless Colts that is. Look for Olsen to catch the ball early as the Panthers try to get out to an early lead.

Sit ‘em

1. Michael Crabtree – WR – San Francisco – @ Baltimore: The 49ers have been claiming that Alex Smith is an elite quarterback, and tried to prove it by throwing often against the Giants, giving Crabtree some decent numbers. But against the Ravens their air assault will be grounded, and not due to inclement weather.

2. James Starks – RB – Green Bay – @ Detroit: The Packers leading rusher is questionable at the moment. Even if Stark’s were healthy it’d be a tough matchup for him given the Lions front seven.

3. Tarvaris Jackson – QB – Seattle – vs. Washington: The matchup against the Redskins is a favorable one for Jackson, but he is still questionable as of the middle of the week. His limited practice schedule recommends to many fantasy owners that the bench is the best place for him on Sunday.

Snag ‘Em

1. Kyle Orton – QB – Kansas City – @ Pittsburgh: The former Bronco was acquired off of waivers by the Chiefs this week. He won’t start this Sunday, but will in the future. If you lost Cutler and missed the boat on Leinart picking Orton up off of waivers isn’t an awful move.

2. C.J. Spiller – RB – Buffalo – @ NY Jets: The question surrounds Spiller, can he fill Fred Jackson’s shoes? It is unlikely that he will pick up where Jackson, the leagues leading rusher before breaking his leg last Sunday, left off, but he’ll definitely get the chance.

3. Vince Young – QB – Philadelphia – vs. New England: Word out of Philadelphia is that Vick is still not practicing and is still questionable for Sundays game. Despite throwing 3 interceptions last week, if Young starts he could enjoy a better outing given the Patriots lackluster pass defense and getting Maclin back in the lineup.


Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em, Snag ‘Em for Week 11

Start ’em

1. Mark Sanchez – QB – NY Jets – vs. Denver: His numbers were surprisingly decent despite losing to the Patriots last Sunday. Say what you want about his rock star status despite lack of ability, but with the weapons around him, he always has the possibility to put up a big game. This week against the Broncos poses a great chance for that scenario.

2. Mario Manningham – WR – NY Giants – vs. Philadelphia: He’s matched up against the Eagles defense this week, is there another reason that’s more relevant? It seems that there is consistently an opposing wide receiver that has a career day against the Eagles secondary.

3. David Nelson – WR – Buffalo – @ Miami: The Bills were shellacked last week. What better way to put that behind them than playing the Dolphins? Fitzpatrick has made a habit of looking for David Nelson in the red-zone given his size. There should be plenty of opportunities for him to haul down a touchdown or two this week, but he’s only starting in a quarter of fantasy leagues, and only owned in a little less than half.

Sit ‘em

1. Cam Newton – QB – Carolina – vs. Detroit: Not playing one of the better fantasy options at quarterback this year seems silly, but Carolina’s offensive line looked downright awful against the Titans. Detroit boasts one of the best defensive lines in the league, making time for Newton to look downfield a near impossibility.

2. Jeremy Maclin – WR – Philadelphia – @ NY Giants: He is currently questionable but reports are that he will try to play this Sunday. However, coupling his injuries with the fact that Michael Vick may not be on the field either, playing Maclin does not look to be a safe option.

3. Eric Decker – WR – Denver – @ NY Jets: He has been a solid contributor in deep leagues all season, mainly because all he seems to do is catch touchdowns. However, with Tebow under center the Broncos pass offense has dropped every week, to a season low 8 attempts last Sunday. Not good odds for Decker to be an impact player.

Snag ’em

1. Lance Ball – RB – Denver – @ NY Jets: Knowshon Moreno is out for the year with an ACL tear, and Willis McGahee is highly questionable, thanks in large part to a short week before Thursdays game. You can call it the veer, the option, or Timmy’s offense, but the Broncos run the ball nearly 50 times a game, and Lance Ball is currently their top running-back on the depth chart.

2. Laurent Robinson – WR – Dallas – @ Washington: Last weeks blowout win against the Buffalo Bills was a coming out party for Robinson, who scored two touchdowns in the affair. Don’t expect an effort like that every week, but while he fills the void left by injured Miles Austin he will continue to put up decent numbers.

3. Matt Leinart – QB – Houston – bye: Picking up Leinart is not a move that will help you this week, but Houston sports an exceptional offensive line, two great running-backs, and one of the best wide receivers in the league. This explosive offense could help Leinart produce big time come fantasy playoff season. Pounce on him now, before he’s gone.

Week 10 Fantasy Insider

Sleeper Starters

1. Joe Flacco – QB – Baltimore – @ Seattle: The Ravens are still flying high after a last second victory over their archrival Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. The game-winning drive, highlighted by a touchdown throw from Flacco, will surely boost his confidence and translate into solid play versus a Seattle secondary that is beaten and bruised from a week prior.

2. Jacoby Ford – WR – Oakland – @ San Diego: With a rusty Carson Palmer waiting to show signs of consistency Ford could see a considerable amount of throws go his way. With a match-up against the Chargers all but guaranteeing a high scoring affair Ford is a great option.

3. Willis McGahee – RB – Denver – @ Kansas City: If you ask Willis, he’s the greatest running back in the NFL. Last week he backed up his mouth with some quality production. The Kansas City Chiefs sport a lackluster run defense, enabling McGahee another chance to shine for his team and yours.

Bench ‘em

1. Jay Cutler – QB – Chicago – vs. Detroit: Cutler lit the Eagles secondary up this week thanks to one necessity; he was not sacked. The Detroit Lions sport a harrowing defensive line that has the ability to shut down the run, forcing Cutler to obvious passing situations. It could be a long day for the Vanderbilt product.

2. Early Doucet – WR – Arizona – @ Philadelphia: The Eagles were torched last week against the Bears and will work diligently to turn things around. With most of the attention placed on Larry Fitzgerald the school of thought is that Doucet will be open, but with a 2nd string QB and a lackluster offensive line Doucet won’t get the chance to produce.

3. Rashard Mendenhall – RB – Pittsburgh – @ Cincinnati: His production this year does not justify his relatively high selection in many leagues. The Bengals strength this year is their defense, which will surely look to make the Steelers one-dimensional. If Mendenhall can’t find the cracks in the line there is an ample backup that coach Mike Tomlin is not afraid to replace him with.

Free Agent Frenzy

1. Earl Bennett – WR – Chicago – vs Detroit: Bennett emerged as Cutler’s favorite target last Monday versus an underwhelming Eagles defense. The match-up does not bode well for his QB to get much time in the pocket, but Bennett may become Cutler’s failsafe option.

2. Roy Helu – RB – Washington – @ Miami: Playing anyone on the Redskins offense is a gutsy call, but with a glowing endorsement from his coach, and the understanding that Ryan Torain won’t be seeing the field much, if at all, Helu, who can catch the ball out of the backfield as well as run, is a decent option in a deep league.

3. Matt Moore – QB – Miami – vs. Washington: The reigning NFC Offensive player of the week, Moore will look to compound his efforts last week with another solid performance. He’s still available in nearly 95% of most fantasy leagues, and is as promising an option as Tim Tebow with absolutely no risk.

2011 Mock Draft

This year’s draft could be unlike any other. With a proposed rookie wage scale that is most likely going to pass, teams now have the opportunity to trade picks, and/or players, to move up or move down in the draft without sacrificing paying top quality, yet unproven, talent an arm and a leg. For most teams at the top of the draft board there is more than one hole to fill, and for teams looking to make the jump to the big time a glaring weakness could be fixed with a single top 10 pick. That being said, here is a mock draft with every team picking in their pre-determined spot, because who knows what is going to happen before draft day between the NFL and NFLPA.

1. Carolina Panthers – QB Cam Newton, Auburn

Why? Last years 2nd round pick Jimmy Clausen does not look to be the answer for the Panthers at QB, and with athleticism that rivals Vince Young and infinitely better throwing mechanics the upside for Newton is endless. A risky pick that could pay off in two years.

2. Denver Broncos – CB Patrick Peterson, LSU

Why? Everyone expects Denver to take a front 7 defensive player, but with two headed secondary of Bailey and Peterson the Broncos would force QBs to hold onto the ball longer. At 6 feet tall and a physical element to his game Peterson is tops on most draft boards, and with two 2nd round picks it makes sense.

3. Buffalo Bills – LB Von Miller, Texas A&M

Why? He’s so flexible that the Aggies made up a position just for him, “joker”. He can play LB or DE, and for a team with more than one need on defense the Bills need someone that they can plug in at more than one position from time to time. He fills more than a few holes.

4. Cincinnati Bengals – QB Blaine Gabbert, Missouri

Why? Carson Palmer has threatened to retire if he isn’t traded? Automatically creating a need for a QB. He had a great pro day, looked comfortable under center, and showed off more athleticism than originally thought. AJ Green is a possibility, but the Bengals need someone to throw the ball first.

5. Arizona Cardinals – DT/DE Marcell Dareus, Alabama

Why? He brings explosive speed from either the middle or off the edge, which can create havoc for opposing QBs. A lackluster pass rush last year could really benefit from the added attention offensive lines with give Dareus.

6. Cleveland Browns – WR AJ Green, Georgia

Why? There is a possibility that Green won’t be available here, but if he is the Browns will pounce. After drafting Colt McCoy last year having someone for him to throw the ball to is a major priority, and there is no one better than Green in this draft.

7. San Francisco 49ers – DE/LB Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Why? The 49ers gave up an alarming amount of big plays on defense last year. Partly due to insufficient cornerback play and partly due to the inability to rush the QB. Quinn offers a huge upgrade at the latter no matter where he plays, but his athleticism could lend himself to be used more as a LB.

8. Tennessee Titans – DT Nick Fairley, Auburn

Why? Even though Fairley is considered by many to be a one-year wonder thanks to an average 2009 season and the Titans have a huge need for a QB, but could look to bolster other positions first and address QB later on. Add to that the fact that the Titans employ Fairley’s former college defensive line coach and you’ve got a match made in heaven.

9. Dallas Cowboys – DE Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson

Why? Many early predictions had Bowers at the top of draft boards, but injury questions pushed him down. He’s a quality choice at #9, garnering comparisons to Julius Peppers during his workouts. For a defense that is thin past Demarcus Ware, Bowers can certainly bolster the line.

10. Washington Redskins – QB Jake Locker, Washington

Why? McNabb? Nope. Grossman? Nope. The Redskins need a QB, and Locker is the best available. He would have been the first overall pick last year, but a middle of the road senior campaign lands him at #10 this year. Negatives aside, Locker has been compared to Steve Young. For a franchise desperate for a QB, that’s a mighty fine comparison.

11. Houston Texans – DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin

Why? A 260-pound, lightly recruited tight end out of high-school Watt is now a 292-pound defensive beast. He can easily gain more weight to be a behemoth on the defensive line, and will give the Texans’ much more scheme possibilities in their 3-4 system.

12. Minnesota Vikings – DT Corey Liuget, Illinois

Why? Tremendous playmaker on the defensive side of the ball, Liuget can get in the offensive backfield faster than most at DT, and with a glaring weakness at the position Liuget has jumped from a possible 2nd rounder to a top 15 pick in many big boards after his pro-day.

13. Detroit Lions – OT Tyron Smith, USC

Why? Left Tackle is one of the most important positions in the game, especially when you have a quality starter who has the knack for getting injured. Smith could help sure up the porous Lions offensive line and be a security blanket for Stafford.

14. St. Louis Rams – WR Julio Jones, Alabama

Why? Sam Bradford is a stud, but he needs a receiver to throw to. Second to Green by fractions, especially after his eye-popping pro-day, Jones is a substantial upgrade, and could become the one-two punch that the Rams need for years to come.

15. Miami Dolphins – RB Mark Ingram Jr, Alabama

Why? This pick marks back-to-back Crimson Tide players, and the first RB off the board. For a Dolphins team that thrives on the running game Ingram just makes sense. Current RBs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown are looking at free agency, and some new blood wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars – CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska

Why? While many don’t think he will be available, if he is the Jaguars should be thrilled. They have a number of young defensive linemen thanks to last year’s draft, but cornerback is an area of concern. This pick should help solidify that.

17. New England Patriots – OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College

Why? The Patriots offensive line is old. Bringing in a player like Castonzo, who can start right away, can help refresh the aging starters. At 6’7”, 310 pounds, why wouldn’t you bring in a 53-game starter like this one? It’s just the Belichick way.

18. San Diego Chargers – DE Cameron Jordan, California

Why? With a mammoth need for front seven help, the Chargers would jump for joy if Jordan slips to them. The son of a former NFLer with a high motor and a fantastic work ethic Jordan gets the nod over Ryan Kerrigan, especially given the west coast ties.

19. New York Giants – OT Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin

Why? Tom Coughlin might appreciate Eli Manning’s arm, but he yearns for a tough running game that can eat up clock and tire-out defenses. Carimi offers the ability to do such a thing at either Guard or Tackle with history of playing in a pro-style offense with the Badgers.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – DE Ryan Kerrigan, Purdue

Why? Kerrigan can not only play DE if needed, but given the right set up he has the potential to excel at OLB. For a defense that is severely lacking in that area he makes for the best available option.

21. Kansas City Chiefs – G/C Mike Pouncey, Florida

Why? This will anger Steelers fans who want to reunite the Pouncey brothers, but the Chiefs need Pouncey when they are ready to cut ties with current center, over-the-hill Wiegmann. Replacing Mike Vrabel with a young OLB is a possibility, but Pouncey is a more solid choice.

22. Indianapolis Colts – DE/OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri

Why? When in doubt, go with the best available player. Smith would be an incredible steal at #22, and would be quite an upgrade on a defensive line that is in some need for a quick fix.

23. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado

Why? Yes, Andy Reid likes to build from the front on back, but it was extremely evident that CB is a tremendous need for the Eagles. Teams beat up whoever lined up opposite Asante Samuel. Smith is the best CB available, and some rank him above Amukamera. It’s a pick that needs to be made at this point.

24. New Orleans Saints – DE Adrian Clayborn, Iowa

Why? The Saints need more sacks from their DE’s. With Clayborn’s stock dropping by the day he could be snatched up by a willing Saints organization desperate for line help. Expect Cameron Heyward to be looked at given the family ties – father played for the Saints – but Clayborn gets the nod.

25. Seattle Seahawks – QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas

Why? Matt Hasselbeck is almost ready to join his brother at ESPN studios and its evident that Charlie Whitehurst is not the answer. If the Seahawks can groom Mallett under Hasselbeck for one more year Mallett could become a true starter in the NFL.

26. Baltimore Ravens – OT Derek Sherrod, Mississippi State

Why? Drafting Sherrod makes the Ravens better at left and right tackle. They would be able to move Oher to the right side and sure up both ends. If Pouncey is still available it would be an easy choice to take him over Sherrod, but the Ravens will still be happy with this pick-up.

27. Atlanta Falcons – DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State

Why? The possibility of Heyward and Clayborn flip-flopping is there, but ultimately the Falcons need defensive help in a bad way. No matter which DE is available by the time they are on the clock, expect the Falcons to snatch him up.

28. New England Patriots – OLB Akeem Ayers, UCLA

Why? A player who can play right away, but would benefit from some tutelage, Ayers has an uncanny ability to rush the passer. The Patriots benefit from Ayers having a subpar combine and pro-day, two of the main reasons he will still be available this late in the draft. Another reason is the amount of 1st round defensive players available this year.

29. Chicago Bears – OT Nate Solder, Colorado

Why? The Bears had the worst offensive line in the league last season. Yes, the league! At 6’8”, 319 pounds Solder has the ability to stop pretty much anything coming his way. And, being a converted tight end, he also has the athleticism to lead block on running plays. He is raw, but is a great value selection at #29.

30. New York Jets – OLB Justin Houston, Georgia

Why? Have you met the Jets? They preach defense, defense, defense, and add to that some more defense. They have a need at WR with question marks surrounding Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, but will find it hard to pass on a converted DE to OLB who can rush the QB as well as Houston can.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Aaron Williams, Texas

Why? Williams’ not only plays CB, but his athleticism, tenacity, and physical play allow him to dabble at free safety. For a secondary that got lit up in the Super Bowl last year and is looking at possibly not re-signing free agent to be Ike Taylor, adding depth to the secondary is a necessity.

32. Green Bay Packers – DT Muhammed Wilkerson, Temple

Why? A Temple guy? Really? He is the best DT still on the board, and with Johnny Jolly spending a lot of time in the courts it is a need for the reigning champs. Wilkerson not only is capable of stopping the run, but also is capable of rushing the QB from the outside when called upon. A good pick-up to end the first round.

February Fools!

In case you missed it, the Philadelphia Eagles proved once again that they have absolutely no idea what they are doing. After a few weeks of skirting around the question of their defensive coordinator position, almost as well as some politicians, it became abundantly clear on Wednesday afternoon that Andy Reid is losing control and is starting to resemble a gorilla with his head cut off. Reid named former offensive line coach Juan Castillo the new defensive coordinator yesterday. You may be asking yourself, who? Allow me to shed some light on the issue. Castillo is a former college linebacker, in Division II. He went on to play one season of professional football for the San Antonio Gunslingers, of the USFL. After 12 years outside of “pro” football he was hired as the Eagles tight end coach in 1997, then changed to offensive line coach in 1998. Have no fear; he does have three years of experience as defensive coordinator, for Kingsville High School in Texas; impressive, right?

Naturally, I had assumed that the Philadelphia Daily News would be all over this story with their snappy headlines on the back page, but it seems as though I was wrong. Today their back page was a picture of Andy Reid and the letters “WTF” strewn above him.

Subtle, no, but it gets the point across rather well. In an effort to help them out for future publications I have come up with some off-the-cuff headlines that the Daily News can use whenever the Eagles defense does something wrong, err I mean right. Oh, what the hell, they can be used either way.

1. Juan in a Million…Too easy? Ok
2. Last Juan Left Standing…I have to get these out of the way
3. Was There Only Juan Candidate Left?…Originality is sorely lacking
4. Here’s the Juan
5. Welcome to the Juan-Zone
6. From 32 to Juan
7. What was Wrong with Dick Jauron?
8. I’d Kill for Juan More Interviewee
9. Is Sean McDermott Available?
10. Is Jeff Fisher Available?
11. Seriously, Is Jeff Fisher Available?
12. That Offensive Line Looks Great!
13. Hey, Remember Buddy Ryan’s Defense?
14. It’s True, God Hates Eagles fans
15. Juan Chance Left For Andy

And, for good measure, five headlines you are sure to never see in reference to the Philadelphia Eagles under this regime:
1. Andy Reid is a Genius!
2. Reid, Castillo Coach Team to Victory
3. Eagles Defense is #Juan in League
4. Eagles Reward __________ with New Contract
5. Philadelphia Eagles Are Super Bowl Champions!

Love the column? Hate the column? Feel free to let me know, or send me a comment on twitter, @adamholman225

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Stop Raining on the Parade

National media has a love affair with sports, but a supreme hatred for all-star showcases. With two in one weekend you would have thought every single analyst for hockey and football had their dog die over the last five days. None are enthusiasts of the way these things are displayed, and many deal with their disgust and anger in the wrong way. It is a fact that these “games” are not exactly entertaining when compared to the regular season, or especially playoffs, but if the NFL and NHL are determined to have this platform someone needs to tell the analysts its okay to be a fan for just one day. After all, the fans are the only reason these things are played. It’s not a time to dissect plays, critique the coaching moves, or question the refs; it is simply a time to enjoy capable skill level of the players on the field or ice. Stop whining that there is no defense, no hitting, no checking, no real desire, etc. etc. It’s an all-star game, it is the one time that players are supposed to laugh and smile during play.

The Pro-Bowl, once again, was played the week before the Super Bowl, a change that was first enacted last year to help drum up more interest by using the Super Bowl buzz as a backdrop. The idea is a tad silly considering the lackadaisical effort of everyone participating compared to the supreme exertion put forth during a Super Bowl game. The players basically treat the game as an on-field vacation because that is essentially what it is, and for the most part the fans are aware of that. This year any sort of tackling or competitive fire was gone after minute one of the second quarter, but can you really blame the players? It’s not their fault they are trying to not get injured during a meaningless game of glorified touch football that the NFL wants them to play. Yes, being named to the pro-bowl is an honor, but did you know that being named a pro-bowler and being named an all-pro are two completely separate things? The first doesn’t matter much, but the second is extremely prestigious. Let them enjoy themselves. Lets just watch and marvel as the players run faster and throw farther than anything most of the watching public could dream about.

The NHL All-Star weekend had taken a year off last year thanks to the Winter Olympics, and in that time Brendan Shanahan, the NHL vice president for hockey and business development, decided to blow up the old way of doing things and implement something entirely different, a players fantasy draft; a move that had every hockey player/fan reminiscing about their younger days on the blacktop or pond. Conferences were no longer the dividing line for teams. The idea was a bit weird at first, but seemed to create an interesting dynamic during the Friday night draft, especially when certain players were not taken where they felt they should. The “game” is played on Sunday, but the more interesting night of the weekend is the skills competition, where players can not only show off their amazing talents, but also let the fans get a sense of their personalities through random antics, props, and showmanship.

As is customary, and in the same fashion as the Pro-Bowl, defense is at an all-time low, as players have no desire in getting injured during the “game”, but it is still relatively fun to watch the tic-tac-toe passing and snipering that some of the best players in the league are capable of when given open ice.

The only viable complaint that cannot be argued against is that the best players don’t always participate. This is not in reference to the players that are legitimately hurt, but there are others that decide that the Pro-Bowl or All-star game is not really what they want to be doing and make up some sort of excuse to get out of it. Fans want to see a fun game that is featuring the absolute best players, not the second or third choices. If the fans vote you in, at least act like that means something to you and take part. In football it is about a quarter of playing time, and in hockey its 17 minutes of skating around trying to set up pretty goals. I think you guys can handle it.

All in all, both experiences are fun as long as you remember to watch both with a grain of salt. If you are incapable of doing so then go watch a repeat of CSI or one of the 10 Law and Order shows that run these days. Isn’t an episode of either always on?

The Smorgasbord of Week 8

In a weekend that saw some crazy story lines in the NFL it was tough to find one that triumphed over the rest, until about 2 hours ago. The Minnesota Vikings decided to waive Randy Moss one day after the Vikings lost to the New England Patriots, Moss’ former team. Moss, a surefire first ballot hall of famer, can now be picked up by any team in the league in an assembly line format based on record, starting with the Bills and ending with the Patriots. Maybe Brad Childress, the head coach of the Vikings, felt he was losing control of the locker room to big name talent, i.e. Moss and Favre, and wanted to flex his own muscle, or possibly there was a rift between Moss and teammates, perhaps the Vikings brass didn’t like the unsatisfactory effort Moss displayed on the field Sunday and his post-game rant at the podium. No matter what the excuse is this decision doesn’t make much sense. The Vikings just traded away a third round draft choice to bring Randy back to Minnesota, where he started his career, and now they just dump him like a scrub? It is a guarantee that Moss will be picked up by another NFL team, but the specific team is still a mystery. My best guess is the San Diego Chargers, a team desperate for a number one wide receiver due to Vincent Jackson’s hold out, but also has a chance of winning in a relatively cookie cutter division, something that is important in the scheme of Randy Moss actually trying when he steps onto the field.

As for the wild weekend itself, some of the story lines that were generated yesterday are almost unfathomable to conceive. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up! The New Orleans Saints, a team that couldn’t seem to get their act together over the last few weeks and were shelved by the Browns, were able to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, the same Steelers that sat atop almost every power rankings list in recent weeks; were able to go 3-1 without their number one quarterback, and have a defense that scares almost anyone. While the Saints don’t look like the team that won the Super Bowl, which is a result of their depleted backfield with injuries to Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, they will most likely use this most recent win as a turning point in their season.

The impressive Detroit Lions, who’s record does not show their ability to be competitive in every game, not only beat the Washington Redskins yesterday, but were able to get Donovan McNabb benched in the process, in favor of Rex Grossman! For clarification purposes only, Rex Grossman is famous for being the worst quarterback on a Super Bowl team, albeit a losing effort against the Colts, thanks to Rex throwing one of the easiest interceptions in recent history. Remember when all those “experts” said the Philadelphia Eagles would regret trading McNabb away? Every Eagles fan was simultaneously screaming, “I told you so”, in the fourth quarter.

When you’re talking about unimpressive it doesn’t get worse than the Buffalo Bills, the doormat of the league without any real chance to escape that fate. For a team that is still looking for it’s first win losing in overtime in back to back weeks, to the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs, can be either a positive or negative. Positive in the fact that it means the Bills are being competitive, but negative because it is increasingly more frustrating that they can’t pull one out. The Ravens and Chiefs are both atop of their respective divisions, which can lead to the possible deduction that the Bills have figured out how to play relatively good football. However, it can also lead to the obvious conclusion that both first place teams overlooked the Bills and didn’t prepare for a team that they assumed was an easy win.

Remember when the sexy Super Bowl pick was the Dallas cowboys, especially considering that the Super Bowl is in Dallas this year? Well that pick has backfired for anyone who made it. The boys of big D are off to their worst start since 1989, and on top of which have to swallow the utterly embarrassing loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on their home field yesterday. Without Tony Romo the offense looked stagnant, but more importantly, the defense was shredded for 5 total touchdowns by David Garrard, a career high for the Jacksonville quarterback.

One post-script: In non-surprising news, Favre started his 292nd straight game but was unable to finish, and was yet again considered as the greatest iron man in the NFL. Did I mention the Vikings lost?