What a crazy week. Lots of competitive games in the third piece of the 16-slice pie known as the NFL regular season. Of course, my attention has been diverted towards tonight; I finally get to see the Saints return to the Superdome where they belong. I wish I could liveblog the experience for everyone, but fortunately for me I'm not chained to the computer like other cybernerds. I'll be out experiencing New Orleans history amidst other people. But you should just know that I'll be debuting my Drew Brees jersey and smiling like an idiot. I might even speak with a Southern accent and pretend that I was exiled from New Orleans last fall. Just kidding. Maybe not. I'll be sparing you my Saints rambling in this space, you can visit the Saints Fanhouse for my coverage of all-things Falcon-thrashing over the next couple of days.
The Bills/Jets, Ravens/Browns, Bears/Vikings, and Panthers/Bucs were all down to the wire. Miami shouldn't even be able to claim a win after barely eeking out over the Titans. And things get weirder.
With the Patriots looking decidedly less than stellar, and the Bills and Jets playing surprisingly frisky ball so far, is there a possibility the AFC East is up for grabs. It's still entirely too early to tell, and through three games anything can still happen. Lord knows what'll happen to Pennington's shoulder when it gets cold outside or whether J.P. Losman can continue to look like a normal NFL quarterback. But it bears noting that pundits were penciling the Jets in for 1-3 wins and they look like they can go 7-9 this year.
Chad Johnson, for all his comic and football talent, does not play well when it matters. Division games. Johnson averages 70 yards and only has two touchdowns in career divisional games. He averages over 100 yards and a touchdown per game in non-divisional contests. He caught one catch for 11 yards in Sunday's game against Pittsburgh after talking a big game all week. Carson Palmer threw 4 touchdowns, none went to Johnson.
By the way, D.J. Williams completely jacked up Kevin Faulk.
Anyone who questioned Chris Simms' toughness should try rupturing their spleen and then running into a brick wall. I've been a critic of his play this far this season; he hasn't looked completely comfortable in the pocket and didn't get his first touchdown of the season until Carolina had taken a 17-0 lead in the third week. Still, he almost won that game despite suffering a potentially career-threatening injury. Jon Gruden indirectly caused Simms to risk his life; Gruden's been especially tough on Simms so far this season despite putting on a friendly face in the media. Word in Tampa is that he's really laid into Simms, and had Simms come out before trying to win that game it probably would have also been the end of his season -- by substitution.
At different times this offseason, I had both the Cardinals and Rams in the playoffs. I hate to say this because I know it hurts Kyle, but the Rams do not look good. Neither do the Cardinals. The two teams played grab-ass on Sunday, fumbling the ball like they were drinking with Leonard Little all Saturday night.
The Giants hate each other. Or, more accurately, they hate Tom Coughlin. Their season looks over already. I'm not counting them out, because they're suddenly playing with a rejuvenated Amani Toomer, but the Giants are still playing poor defense, still committing penalties on the offensive line, and, unlike last year, are getting NO pass rush from Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora. Only two sacks in three games. Ew.