A few thoughts as Mike McCarthy & Aaron Rodgers contemplate how on earth the Packers are gonna dig themselves out of the NFC North basement…
» Sean Payton’s gotta be at least a little happy after the Saints lost at home without him. And every other highly paid head coach should be, too.
» Speaking of NOLA, Niners and Pats fans booking fare for that season-ending game in February should settle down. In baseball terms, we’re about ten games into the 162-game season. Back in April, the New York Metropolitans were a half-game out of first place. In other words, there’s a long way to go.
» Then again, the Niners and Pats did look awfully good.
» Good for eight-year vet Alex Smith and his season-and-a-game’s-worth of success. Thanks to the likes of Cam Newton, Andy Dalton, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, and now Robert Griffin III, fans these days expect their QB to be great from Day One. For one reason or another, some guys just take a little longer to hit their stride. You know what’s crazy? Smith’s only 28 – six months younger than the Browns’ soon-to-be 29-year-old rookie QB Brandon Weeden.
» Adrian Peterson deserves a lot of praise for his gangbusters return on Sunday, but how ‘bout a round of applause for modern science? It wasn’t very long ago a serious knee injury meant a year on the shelf, followed by a season of getting back up to speed. And two generations ago, a knee injury could end of a potentially Hall of Fame career. Don’t believe me? Ask Billy Sims. (Do yourselves a favor & YouTube him, People Under 30.)
» I saw nothing Sunday to change my opinion that the Lions: 1. Aren’t going to the playoffs; 2. Should’ve tried fixing their awful secondary in the off-season; and 3. Will be used by the government as poster boys for the negative effects of weed.
» Tim Tebow still stinks.
» Peyton Manning is still good (at least in September).
» If the thin air of Mile High is so tough on visiting players, shouldn’t the Broncos win every home game?
» Any reasonable human being applauds Mike Tomlin & Co’s decision to sit Ryan Clark in Denver after the safety had to have two organs removed there five years ago. The happiest guy of all, though, had to be Willis McGahee, who – back in the ’08 AFC title game – was on the wrong end of what’s still the nastiest collision I’ve ever seen. It was the pigskin equivalent of Balboa/Creed II – both guys on the canvas, one barely able to pull himself to his feet to claim victory.
» As I said in the preseason, people picking the Bills to go the playoffs seem to have forgotten Ryan Fitzpatrick is Buffalo’s QB.
» There’s some hand-wringing today over the officiating in Week One (gotta say, it didn’t seem that bad to me), especially over the fourth timeout in Arizona. Here’s a crazy idea for Commish Goodell to turn lemons into lemonade: use every bit of the technology we’ve got at our disposal here in the 21st century. In other words, have some shadowy officials safely hidden away in a bunker reviewing every play on state-of-the-art HDTVs, then feeding back their thoughts to the on-the-field refs. I know it sounds Big Brother-y, but it’d work better than having 67-year-old stripe-shirted retirees deciding games. Fringe benefit: It’d make Bud Selig’s sport look even more archaic than it already does.
» Kevin Kolb wins this week’s Mike Tomczak Award, given to the quarterback who’s only good off the bench.
» Chris Kluwe wins the weekend.
» The Uniform Monitor’s notes from Week One: If you don’t like the Seahawks’ new look, you’re on the wrong side of history ; the Redskins must stick with the gold pants; the Broncos’ orange jerseys are an upgrade from the navy; best uniform matchup of Sunday: 49ers at Packers; best uniform matchup of Saturday: Nebraska at UCLA.
» Watching games Sunday, I saw promotions for NBC’s new sitcom ‘Animal Practice’, which features a vet and his monkey assistant… which naturally begs the question, did the show’s creators spend the spring hanging out with the Detroit Lions?
Also, Fox has a show called ‘Mob Doctor’. Thank goodness I’ve got plenty of football to watch instead.