What we learned.
10. Rexgasm Grossman is still really, really bad.
A common factor left out of the Rexgasm equation is this: Without Devin Hester (all ready the best kick returner in league history) the Bears do not have near the same level of success. So Sexy Rexy goes to the Super Bowl in his first year as a starter while routinely playing like Jake Plummer 2.0.
9. The Raiders already win the most improved player.
No team made a bigger upgrade at any position than the Raiders did trading Art Shell for Lane Kiffin. Now, it is not yet determined if Kiffin can actually coach. He is alive though, and that itself presents a monumental upgrade. The 2006 Raiders had the worst offense in the history of football. Their -60 differential between touchdowns scored (12) and sacks allowed (72) are a record that will never be touched. The -60 is on par with a 56 game hitting streak and Jerry Rice’s 197 touchdown catches. Those records will never be touched. Now the Raiders have Kiffin. They have a man whose father (Monte Kiffin) invented a defense responsible for a sweeping change in league philosophy (the Cover 2.) Yes he is crazy young. But, he has a plan and he has a pulse and that is good enough for hope of a Raiders revival.
8. The Rams are D U N.
When I mentioned the Rams as a potential Super Bowl contender I assumed their offense would be a top three unit in the NFL. I was wrong. Oh, so wrong. Marc Bulger looks like Marc Bulger should look. Stephen Jackson is now hurt. The line has been destroyed by injuries and the defense could be worst than last year. Things are looking just great for 0-3 St. Louis.
7. The Cardinals have turned a corner.
The Cardinals are not who we thought they were. This team is showing toughness, an improved plan of attack, and hope of actually challenging for the play-offs again, if not this season then next. (MOL Note: This was written before it was reported Kurt Warner will be the “No-Huddle Specialist” and that Matt Lienart is still firmly the Cardinals starting quarterback. Yep, nothing can go wrong with that.
6. Cutler to Marshall has the potential to be great.
Brian Griese had the smarts but the personality of a wet paper sack. Griese also possessed the arm strength of a man who would have great difficulties punching himself out of said sack. Jake Plummer had the mobility, a decent arm, and occasionally would fire a pass widely down field with his left hand thanks to the decision making of…well, hell a wet, paper sack.
And then Jay Cutler faces a blitz right in his mouth, slides a step to his left, takes a hit, takes a step forward and fires a laser into Brandon Marshall’s chest. Marshall spun and juked his way to the two-yard line and even in a loss a glimpse of potential brilliance was witnessed by the world.
5. The Cowboys are the clear NFC Super Bowl favorites.
Besides the Patriots the Cowboys have the deepest team in the league. With good to great players playing at every major position the team is set for a deep play-off run. Demarcus Ware, Tony Romo, Marion Barber, and Jason Whitten are a few of the top talents in the league. TO, Terry Glenn, Terrance Newman, Roy Williams and others are all very good players. This is the best Cowboys team since 1996.
4. The Chargers probably made the wrong choice when they hired the immortal Norv Turner.
Best-case scenario: Cam Cameron stays as head coach, thus the offense stays high powered. The defense then promotes from within and continuity is maintained.
2nd best-case scenario: Wade Phillips is named head coach, the defense stays high powered, and the offense promotes from within.
Worst-case scenario (for Chargers and Norv Turner): The Chargers name Norv Turner head coach. Turner is doomed to fail and the Chargers will miss the playoffs, as they tend to do every other year.
3. Randy Moss was a really, really good pick-up.
2. Brett Favre is still really, really good.
1. The Patriots are going to be tough to beat in January.
- The Bengals miss Chris Henry.
- The Jaguars running game is capable of winning games with time of possession.
- Eli Manning has a terrible supporting cast.
- An NFL ALL-OVERHYPED TEAM starts both Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey.
- In the right offense Jeff Garcia will win NFL games.