Move on. Get over it. Keep your mouth shut. Don’t be so bitter. This is the advice Packers fans so generously offer Brett Favre. It seems, though, that the Packers themselves should be the ones heeding this advice. The Packers would like everyone to believe they have moved on and gotten over the Brett Favre drama. Their words and actions say otherwise. Upon being questioned about Favre’s alleged coaching session with the Detroit Lions, some Packers players were quick to pass harsh judgment with complete disregard as to the story’s accuracy. If anyone knows how quickly rumors spread within the NFL it is the players, and most players would not comment on something they know nothing about. A team that has moved on and completely separated itself from a former controversy would not readily concern themselves with a new controversy. A team so supposedly anxious about a media circus would not offer their services to perform as clowns in the next media circus to come to town. Why is it that Packers’ players quickly jumped all over this, without so much as taking a breath, when they have moved on? Why were some players so ready, willing and prepared to comment when they had already gotten over it?
The three teams I’m most interested in?
No, not the Carolina Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, or even the undefeated Tennessee Titans.
Try the sloppy Cleveland Browns, the surging Houston Texans, and the surprising Miami Dolphins.
All three of these teams are still below .500, are inconsistent as can be, and quite possibly could be out of the playoff picture completely in three weeks.
However, their recent re-emergence into playoff relevance has me giddy with all the possibilities they bring to the table.
1. A quarterback controversy, combined with a coach on the hot seat, heading into a potential divisional opponent playoff match-up. If you haven’t guessed, that would be the Cleveland Browns.
2. How about the Wildcat toting, trick-play dealing, Ted Ginn running Miami Dolphins? Come on, who out there wouldn’t want to see Ricky Williams win a championship and take a drag while holding the Lombardi trophy? Yeah, me neither. But I feel for Chad Pennington.
3. Lastly, the Texans are so hot, I’m getting blisters, and I live in Wisconsin. The Schaub to Johnson connection is better than high-speed internet (sorry, roadrunner), and I simply cannot get enough of it. Oh, and Owen Daniels is becoming an elite tight end.
At the very worst, these three average teams have helped make this season fun to watch. And because of these three teams, I can’t wait to see what else 2008 has in store for us. But there’s 29 more teams to keep track of, whether we like it or not, so take a look:
So much for bringing sexy back. Their cool “Wildcat” offense is no longer surprising or effective, and the Dolphins are back to being the Dolphins again. So, what does this mean for the league?
Well, first of all, it means literally any team can beat any other team. The Chargers, Patriots, Dolphins, and Browns are all you need to look at to believe it. They’ve all beaten and lost to opponents they probably shouldn’t have, and I’ve got news for you. It’s not ending here.
With the St. Louis Rams winning their second straight game over a solid opponent, they become the new Miami Dolphins, and they place themselves back in playoff contention. For now.
The only constant we can rely on in today’s NFL is the Tennessee Titans haven’t lost yet, and that uncertainty is the name of the game. If you’re still in love with the days when Brett Favre was always wearing green and gold, no matter the injury or the weather, then you better start forgetting. It’s time to adapt.
Even when considering Tennessee, it’s time to realize there’s no sure thing in this league. As discombobulated as the Colts seem to be, they’re sure to give the Titans a tough game next Monday. And the week after that the former Oilers get the surging Packers. Can they really make it to 8-0?
In today’s league, it’s anyone’s guess. And as I’ve said all season: Stop guessing, and start watching. This isn’t a tarot card totin’ man’s land. This is for football fans. Leave your bets in Vegas, because baby, you’re gonna lose.
Brett Favre throwing for six touchdowns does not mean the Jets are going to the Super Bowl. Heck, it doesn’t even mean they’ll compete for their division. With the Bills being 4-0 and a team that’s still pretty good in New England, the Jets have a battle on their hands.
However, this offensive outburst displayed improved communication and chemistry. It showed that with Brett Favre at the helm, this offense can score points, and a lot of them, when it has to. It also showed, that at 38 and with a new team, Favre is still a darn good quarterback.
You don’t score 34 points in a quarter by luck. The Jets defense harassed Kurt Warner all game, forcing four fumbles and three interceptions. Do you think they minded giving up 470 yards through the air and 35 points? Of course not. Their job was done at halftime.
These Jets, at worst, bring some extra life to the AFC. A conference with undefeated teams such as the Bills and Titans, and supposed Super Bowl contenders Jacksonville and San Diego gasping for air in the land of 2-2, is as wide open as it has ever been. And as long as Favre is slinging passes, he’s going to have something to say about it. If you haven’t been impressed yet, have no fear. I have a strong feeling that things are about to get even more interesting…
Forget about Ronnie Brown and his fantasy day from heaven. Where the heck did all those plays come from? The Miami Dolphins pulled plays out of a college spread offense, and brought some life to their attack in a complete dismantling of the New England defense. If nothing else was accomplished in week three, Miami, at the very worst, exposed the Patriots as a very beatable team.
What else do we know about the AFC East that we’re either not quite ready for or don’t want to admit to? First, Brett Favre and the Jets are not on the same page, and it’s becoming a real possibility that they never will be. Second, the Buffalo Bills need to be taken into serious consideration as a division title contender. Lastly, not a whole lot separates the Patriots from the other teams in their division. The last two weeks have shown that.
Look at the other side of the league, and you find the NFC East with the most disgusting display of talent and good coaching you might ever find compiled in one division. But that’s where I stop myself and say: “It’s only week three, man”.
While the Redskins’ offense has come to life, it doesn’t have the power to stay above water against the other three strong teams in the division. We could seriously be looking at three playoff teams out of this division. Believe that.
But enough of me wasting your time with thoughts and predictions in paragraph form. Here are your top 32 teams (guess who’s 32), and a very good reason why they’re there, or where you can expect them to be headed. SPOILER: The Miami Dolphins have not jumped 10 spots. Enjoy.
Aside from Redskins tight end Chris Cooley revealing more than just his playbook, this week was nothing but gravy in the NFL.
Aaron Rodgers continues to impress, while backed by a quite clearly explosive defense. However, the Packers were facing the Lions.
Interesting circumstances had certain teams winning or losing games, and sending a bunch of pre-season Super Bowl contenders to the dreaded 0-2.
Just off the top of my head, it’s looking like Mike Holmgren’s swan song is going downhill before it could really ever get started, the Chargers desperately miss Shawne Merriman already, and the Minnesota Vikings, despite already being labeled as one-dimensional, are…well, just that.
However, what has not changed, is that Tony Romo and the Cowboys are the team to beat in the NFC, the Colts are still relevant in the AFC, and Tom Brady or no Tom Brady, the Patriots are undefeated.
But aside from the rise and fall of many teams, the most telling fact in the league has remained the impact of the 2008 draft class.
Felix Jones returned a kickoff for a touchdown on Monday night, DeSean Jackson registered his second straight 100 yard game to start his career, Eddie Royal caught his second straight touchdown, and Jonathan Stewart had two rushing touchdowns. And that’s just on the offensive side of the ball.
Here are the week two NFL Power Rankings…
In the name of Tim Couch, what has happened to Alex Smith? If you take a closer look, past the recent shoulder injury, past the loss of his starting job, and even past now being labeled as a bust, you have to ask yourself, how the heck did we get here?
The truth is, the blame cannot and should not be put squarely on Alex Smith’s shoulders. As the number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, Smith entered the league with as much hype as any quarterback in recent memory, only to throw one touchdown to 11 interceptions.
This less than desirable outcome had the San Francisco front office shaking their heads, wondering if they had made the right decision. Then came signs of progress in year two, with Smith posting admirable sophomore numbers, throwing for 16 touchdowns and almost 3,000 yards.
But now two years later, all we can remember is Smith as the underachieving, athletic quarterback who could never grasp the system, find his receivers, and realize his potential.
But therein lies the problem: the system.
One huge injury, and the entire NFL is shaken and destroyed.
But it wasn’t just Tom Brady’s injury that hit the league. Big names like Vince Young, Brodie Croyle, and Drew Bennett all found out they’ll be missing significant action with injuries.
We found out that Brett Favre is comfortable as a Jet, and likely to get more comfortable, that Aaron Rodgers isn’t shy about leaping into the stands, and Michael Turner is the real deal.
But away from all the injuries lies an even more interesting phenomenon: the impact of rookies immediately to start the season.
From the Titan’s Chris Johnson, to Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson, rookies throughout the league turned in huge performances to help their teams go 1-0. See for yourself. The teams moving up in the rankings after week one, for the most part, all have a rookie or two playing a huge hand in their success.
Brett Favre is a Jet.
The Packers are starting over with Aaron Rodgers.
Everything has gone to hell.
How disastrous, or dare I say beautiful, would it have been if Ted Thompson and the Packers caved to Favre’s demands, and we started the season with a Favre v.s Rodgers epic battle?
Sadly, we will never know. Unless, of course, the stars align just right, and we see the Jets and Packers in the Super Bowl.
Then we have the Chargers, last year’s AFC Championship surprise, trying to re-assemble their team with four stars who are, for all intents and purposes, still pretty banged up.
Antonio Gates is still stumbling around with his big toe, Rivers and LT are still recovering from knee surgery, and Shawne Merriman doesn’t want to go under the knife. Something’s got to give, and I get the feeling it’s Merriman’s knees.
Last but not least, the constant over-analyzation of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning’s injuries, or lack there of.
What happened to routine surgery and letting a guy relax for a chance? I guess when you’re famous commerical-doting, Super Bowl winning quarterbacks, you can’t exactly go limping around the mall without making Sportscenter.
And this was just the off-season.
Without any further haste, because we all would hate to keep the drama train from running wild off the tracks, here are the Power Rankings for the end of the pre-season:
We all know who Brett Favre is, what he represents, what team he’ll really be remembered by, and everything that has to do with this summer-long saga that has, for the time being, been put to rest.
But what you don’t know is that Brett Favre is not Joe Montana. Not because he didn’t win three additional Super Bowls or didn’t have Jerry Rice, but because he, at 38, still has it.
Brett is not Dan Marino. Not because he’s better in every meaningful statistical category after passing Marino, and not because he actually won a Super Bowl, but because nearing the end of his career, he isn’t playing with hobbled ankles.
Our beloved number four is not John Elway. Not because the odds are against him to go out on top winning a championship, let alone two in a row, but because he isn’t limping into the 2008 season, and he doesn’t look like he’s 50 when he’s only pushing 40.
Brett Favre is Brett Favre, and there has been no one like him, and undoubtedly we will never see anyone like him again. And because of that, I will explain to you why Favre and the Jets will shock us all.