Well, you could hear the champagne corks popping Sunday night as the old and tiresome ’72 Dolphins celebrated yet another season without an undefeated team. It is the first time since 1970 that the league didn’t have a team with a record of 4-0. What does that say about the current state of the NFL? Is it parity or is it mediocrity that is plaguing our most beloved sport?
Four teams are 4-1, two from each conference. It’s not a huge surprise who leads atop the standings; what is a bit of a surprise is who isn’t at the top. It seems the Saints and the Colts are both suffering from the Super Bowl hangover. You might have thought some other teams might also be right up there, for instance the Chargers, Cowboys and Vikings? The combined record for those three teams is a whopping 4-9. Some of the most concentrated talent in the league is found on those three teams. So what is the reason for their demise thus far in 2010? For one team it might be a 41-year-old gunslinger who’s taking too many risks. Another’s trouble stems from their coaching staff and the subsequent disciplinary problems. The last just doesn’t seem to have the talent that everyone thought they had. Can these teams turn it around? The Chargers have the best opportunity to make the post season since they are in the weakest of the three divisions. The Cowboys and the Vikings aren’t afforded the same luxury. And the loser of next week’s meeting between the two in Minnesota will certainly be in a lot of trouble.
Let’s discuss what went down in Week five and take a look at what is coming up in week six.
Clearly through five weeks the AFC has the two best teams in the league. The Ravens and the Jets share the best record in the NFL and they do it in similar fashion; defense, defense, defense. With a little bit of good old fashion smash mouth running. The NFC also has two teams with the same 4-1 record; however these two are not on the same level as the elite of the AFC. The Falcons are a legit contender in the NFC, not so sure about a Super Bowl though. The Bears on the other hand are a few steps below.
On the flip side there are three teams that are 0-5; San Francisco, Carolina and Buffalo. The latter two not a shock at all, the 49ers are, but no fear, owner Jed York has guaranteed that his team will win the NFC West. Usually it would be a pretty ridiculous thing to say; in this case though he may be right, maybe. Since realignment in 1990 no team has started 0-5 and made the playoffs, let alone won their division. The 49ers though, have played only one division game so far and are in by far the weakest division in the league. Couple that with non division games against the Panthers and the Raiders coming up and we just may have history made. Albeit improbable Mr. York will have to keep his quarterback and head coach from fighting on the sideline to fulfill his prediction.
Another disappointing team is the Cincinnati Bangles. Your father’s Bungles are back, but now they are stacked with talent at the skilled positions. You might think that their two wacky receivers are to blame. I am here to say it’s not their fault. There is something wrong with Carson Palmer and if he doesn’t fix it there’s going to be a lot of trouble in the Natti.
The Packers are a bit of a surprise. They were one of the sexy picks to win the Super Bowl this pre season. However injuries are mounting and there isn’t a team in the league that has been bitten by that bug like the Packers. Rodgers may not play next week due to a concussion and they are down to their third tight end. Not to mention Clay Matthews’ injury troubles. If the Pack doesn’t get healthy and quick, they’re in big trouble.
An undrafted rookie quarterback beat the Champs last week, with a little help from a very impressive defense. Max Hall led the Cardinals over the Saints for his first NFL victory. The Saints continue to struggle; it may get a bit easier though with three of their next four games against the Bucs, Browns and Panthers.
My favorite play from week five without a doubt was the tip, interception and run back for a touchdown by Kroy Biermann, the defensive end for the Falcons. Linemen aren’t the most athletic players on a football team and that is what makes it all the more enjoyable to watch when they chug down the field towards the end zone. All said it was quite an athletic play. Way to go Beer Man.
The ass kissing from the media over #4 continued after Monday night’s game. He threw his 500<sup>th</sup> touchdown (commendable) and he has now thrown for over 70,000 yards (also commendable). Both are milestones, but what you didn’t read or hear about was the milestone and record of 163 fumbles. Why does the media love this guy so much? He’s thrown for a ton of yards and touchdowns I know, but he’s been in the league since the 70’s. And to read how some writers called his performance Monday as “Magical” is sickening. What would the mainstream media label a performance by any other QB who lost two fumbles and threw an interception late in the game for a loss? Just sayin’.
Can you believe the Raven’s secondary hasn’t had an interception this year?
Lastly, Big Ben makes his much anticipated debut from suspension this week when the Steelers host the Browns. Not a bad first game for a possibly rusty quarterback. This game will also feature the first start for rookie Colt McCoy. One of these quarterbacks is going to have a lot more trouble than the other. Let’s just hope McCoy can come out of this game with his head still attached to his body.
So long folks talk to ya next week.