As this is my first football column, let me give you some background on my football knowledge. I’ve been watching the NFL since at the age of five, my uncle got me a “Chicago Bears rock” T-shirt and I was forever sold on my favorite football team.
Because of that, I’ll try to avoid putting my opinions on Chicago in this weekly column. After growing up watching Cade McNown, Jonathan Quinn and the immortal Henry Burris as Chicago’s starting quarterback, I could probably spend the next eight weeks filling up columns about how giddy I am every time I see Jay Cutler complete a pass.
What I will write about are a couple of things I notice after each week including teams or players that stick out for positive and negative reasons. I’m not a trivia machine — I don’t know who won the rushing title in 1974 (Otis Armstrong, 1407 yards … ok, so I cheated and googled it), but I have strong opinions that you may or may not agree with.
So without further ado, here is what’s on my mind after week four.
Is Denver the real deal?
The Denver Broncos are the most improbable 4-0 team in NFL history. As one ESPN analyst questioned after the Broncos dropped a preseason game to Chicago, “Does anyone else get the feeling that the Broncos just played their most important game of the season?”
After watching the Broncos get a miracle play to win on opening day in Cincinnati, I thought I had seen the ugliest win in NFL history. I also thought either team would be lucky to win another game also season with how poorly they played. But one game does not make an NFL season and three weeks later, the Broncos have yet to taste defeat.
Broncos fans are boldly proclaiming that they got the best of the Jay Cutler trade as Kyle Orton has “managed” them to perfection.
But what happens when Kyle Orton is down by two scores in the second half? He’ll likely be forced to throw to receivers beyond ten yards and trust me, that’s not a pretty sight.
Don’t be surprised to see the Broncos and their fans plummet to earth when they host the Patriots this weekend.
Are the Browns this year’s Lions?
The Cleveland Browns stink. I think it’s safe to say after the first quarter of the season that they are the worst team in the NFL this year.
Things have gotten so bad that first-year head coach Eric Mangini’s job has been reported to be on the hot seat already.
Does anyone else remember when Brady Quinn was touted as a possible breakthrough player during the offseason? The supposed “savior” of Cleveland football was benched in the second half of the third game this season.
Derek Anderson is clearly not the answer. Say what you will about his average performance against the Bengals on Sunday, but you don’t bench the guy you hope to be your franchise after two bad games.
Most people don’t remember Peyton Manning’s rookie year in which he threw 28 interceptions and the team went 3-13. Sometimes you just have to accept that you’re rebuilding this year, just like most Browns fans are beginning to accept that they may not win a game this year.
Favrebowl I makes Vikings NFC frontrunner
You know it’s bad when a coach challenges a play hoping it’s “just a safety” and your team will only trail by 16 points with seven minutes remaining.
Despite a late-game comeback attempt, Minnesota took Green Bay’s best shot and still won by a touchdown. The Packers outgained the Vikings through the air and on the ground, holding Adrian Peterson to 2.2 yards per carry. They even got a defensive touchdown. But none of it mattered.
They couldn’t stop the geriatric wonder, that all-time waffler, Brett Favre.
Favre looked like he did in winning the title all those years ago, running and jumping like a schoolgirl in an anime movie after every touchdown or big play.
If the Vikings don’t go at least 14-2 this year and win the Superbowl, Brad Childress ought to be taken out back and put down. This team is more talented than the undefeated Patriots team of a few years ago.
They have it all, superstars on offense, a dominating defense with a front four that could only seemingly be that big through performance enhancers … oh wait. But I digress.
Green Bay was supposed to be the big challenger to the Vikings for NFC North supremacy. I don’t see anyone competing with Minnesota when they play their best — and unfortunately, most teams won’t even beat them when they’re playing average at best.