1. Welcome back to planet Earth, Bill Belichick.
3. It's official: The Buffalo Bills are the team to beat in the AFC East. I don't know if the Bills win without Gibril Wilson losing his cool, but I do know I'm beginning to trust Trent Edwards to do the right thing. My buddy Rich Q. says he has Edwards figured out: He's the new Brian Sipe. Trust me, Buffalo, that's all good.
4. If we have the game's two best teams play for the Super Bowl today, those teams emerge from the NFC East. The division is 10-2 overall, but that's not what is most impressive. This is: It's 8-0 outside the division, with the only two losses to NFC East opponents. There is no division better, stronger or deeper.
5. I'll tell you who's ticked off most with the Cleveland Browns' tortoise-like start: TV. It has the Browns for four more prime-time games, including two on Monday night. Hey, look at the upside: You get to sleep ... with the TV on or off.
6. The Bears are in trouble and not because of Kyle Orton. Nope, it's because their defense is no longer a sure thing. The past two weeks it blew fourth-quarter leads and never looked worse than late Sunday, when three of Tampa Bay's last four drives went for 63 yards or more -- including a 79-yarder that produced the game-tying TD with seven seconds left.
|It's pretty rare to see this look on Bill Belichick's face. (AP)|
9. Looks like Jason Campbell found a system that suits him. He hasn't thrown an interception and has passer ratings of 104.1 or better the past two weeks. He reached 100 twice in his previous two seasons.
10. Here's a suggestion, St. Louis: Wait until the month is over, fire Scott Linehan and replace him with Tony La Russa. It's not as if he's doing anything this fall.
11. Why is everyone still talking about Ed Hochuli or asking if he should be suspended? Please. The guy made a mistake. He admitted it. He apologized. And he moved on. We should, too.
12. That makes Indianapolis 0-2 in its new home, and I mention that because it won 28 of its previous 32 at the RCA Dome. But this isn't the RCA Dome. This is Lucas Oil Stadium, and you wonder what home-field advantage the Colts might have sacrificed by moving into a new building. I'm not sure, but I know one thing: They don't improve until they stop the run. They allowed a 100-yard rusher in every game this season and allowed two against Jacksonville. Bob Sanders, get well. And fast.
|Week 3: Keeping up with Brett, Chad and Aaron|
13. I'm sorry, even though Denver is undefeated I can't take the Broncos seriously when they surrender 38 points to San Diego one weekend and 502 yards to New Orleans the next.
14. Admit it, Detroit: Wayne Fontes never looked so good.
15. Memo to Sean Payton: Find yourself a new placekicker. Martin Gramatica is only going to disappoint you. Oh, one other thing: Forget the inside run. If you don't have Deuce McAllister, you can't move the pile.
Just asking but ...
• Who's the best in the AFC now?
• How soon before the government steps in to bail out the Rams?
• Is it time to start a pitch count for Brian Griese?
• How long before Randy Moss sounds off on his new role?
• Should Kansas City and St. Louis count as byes?
Five things I like
1. Dan Henning's play-calling. Nice time to call trick plays, Dan.
2. Tony Romo's escapability. Yes, he's accurate, but, better, he's hard to tackle. Green Bay was the first opponent to sack him this season.
3. Mike Martz as anyone's offensive coordinator.
4. John Harbaugh as an undefeated head coach. You like to see good things happen to good people, and Harbaugh is one of the best.
5. Joey Porter as clairvoyant.
Five things I don't
2. Ben Roethlisberger's future. If the Steelers' offensive line doesn't plug those enormous holes exploited by Philadelphia's pass rush, Big Ben will have a lot more than a sore shoulder and sore right hand to talk about.
3. Denver trying a hand-off at its 1-yard line with 30 seconds left in the first half. That's why they have QB sneaks ... to avoid needless safeties.
4. Arizona punting on fourth-and-4 at its 48-yard line with just more than two minutes remaining. The Cards never got the ball back.
5. Deciding which to watch: The last game at Yankee Stadium or Dallas at Green Bay.
Numbers, numbers, numbers2 -- Cleveland offensive touchdowns in 33 series
3 -- Joey Porter sacks. He walked the walk after talking the talk.
5 -- Games decided by last-second field goals
7 -- Consecutive wins by Tennessee over Houston
12 -- Consecutive losses for Kansas City
228 -- Yards rushing by Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew
321 -- Brandon Marshall receiving yards the past two weeks
4-1 -- Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan as starters
The Baltimore Ravens didn't want to rush Joe Flacco on to the field, but they didn't have a choice. Kyle Boller got hurt, and Troy Smith got sick. So Flacco wins his first two starts, and now he won't sit down. So he's not producing Tom Brady numbers; he's winning.
Just as important, he has the confidence of a team that played far too long without a quarterback of consequence. Now I see why the Ravens were in such a hurry to draft him.
Next week's three best games
My top five
1. Dallas 2. N.Y. Giants 3. Philadelphia 4. Buffalo 5. Tennessee
My bottom five
32. St. Louis 31. Kansas City 30. Detroit 29. Cincinnati 28. Cleveland