Your quarterback plays well, your team looks good looks good. Your quarterback becomes insistent on throwing it to the wrong team, you start thinking about the No. 1 overall pick.
But we all have to hold the phone for a week or two. Saints quarterback Drew Brees — he of the six Week 1 touchdown passes — is not going to maintain pace and throw 96. And Carolina’s Jake Delhomme is on pace to turn it over 80 times in 2009, but that won't happen either.
Minnesota’s Brett Favre is not going to play as conservatively as his 14-completion, 110-yard performance Sunday suggests. And Jets rookie Mark Sanchez is going to have tougher days than the one afforded him by the Houston Texans defense.
Remember, this is the first full football games a lot of these guys have played since last January. Preseason? Neither offenses nor defenses spend much time trying to attack opponent’s weaknesses in those games. It’s line up and try to work on your own stuff.
We’re living in a kneejerk reaction world where the quick and dirty evaluation rules. But the reality is, we won’t really know for sure about any team until about Columbus Day.
As bad as Delhomme and the Bears Jay Cutler looked at times on Sunday and as good as Brees and Dallas’ Tony Romo were, all of them just a tweak or two from flipping their fortunes.
Panthers must want to puke
Carolina has to feel like wretching after watching quarterback Delhomme’s total meltdown in their season-opening 38-10 hammering at the hands of the Eagles.
After four interceptions in 17 attempts (and a special bonus, strip-sack touchdown), the Panthers benched the 34-year-old Delhomme midway through the third quarter.
Benched him. A little more than four months ago, they gave him a five-year, $42 million extension with $20 million of it guaranteed.
And they gave him that deal while the wounds from his five-interception, one-fumble playoff meltdown against the Cardinals were still fresh.
For anyone keeping score — and no doubt Panthers fans are — Delhomme’s gone 24 for 51 with nine interceptions and two fumbles in his past two games. In that time, the Panthers have been outscored 71-23 with him at the controls.
And the Panthers — a 12-4 team last season — have no choice but to cover their eyes and try not to throw up. And the odds of that don't look good.
A whole new Vick?
Two years ago, Michael Vick wouldn’t have worn a tutu before a suit and tie. Just didn’t seem his style. Sunday, the new, improved, more presentable Vick was nattily turned out and looking very corporate watching the Eagles trounce Carolina.
Call it the ongoing Vick transformation. Or the ongoing management of Michael. We’ll see how long Vick sticks to his newfound persona and whether it sticks or it’s just schtick to get back in everyone’s good graces.
How ’bout them Cowboys? How ’bout hold on
A Cowboy couldn’t burp last year without a crawl appearing at the bottom of your TV, “Ed Werder reports that an unnamed Cowboy’s tummy is ‘off’. ” This year, the circus has packed up and left. So the Cowboys’ 34-21 win over the Bucs barely seemed to register even though Tony Romo threw for 353 and three touchdowns on just 16 completions.
Before anyone gets hyped over Romo, though, remember that A) this is a rebuilding Bucs team the Cowboys allowed to hang around and B) Dallas starts fast. Remember last year’s 41-38 epic game with the Eagles? Witholding judgment.
Is Favre really worth it?
Help me. What exactly did Brett Favre bring to the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1 of the 2009 season that Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson couldn’t have?
Favre spent a huge chunk of the Vikings’ 34-20 win over the Browns throwing checkdown after checkdown, handing off to Adrian Peterson (180 yards on 25 carries with three touchdowns; top that, L.T.) and looking lead-footed in the pocket (four sacks). It just makes you wonder if the $12 million dollars and accompanying circus atmosphere that Favre brought to the Vikings will all be worth it.
This is a win the Vikings could have secured with Tommy Kramer at quarterback. Still, Favre hasn’t had these kinds of offensive weapons before. Once he gets synced up with Sidney Rice, Bernard Berrian and Percy Harvin, it will be fun to watch.
It was unbearable
Believe this, as badly as the Bears feel today, their 21-15 loss to the Packers is not nearly as demoralizing as it would have been for Green Bay. The Bears spent a huge chunk of the night handing the game to Green Bay. In spite of Cutler’s pick and a mind-numbing special teams blunder in the fourth quarter, the Bears were leading a game they had no business leading with two minutes left. The Packers should feel like they laid down under a train and stood up without a scratch. It’s going to be a fun season in the NFC North.
Broncos coach finally catches a break
It’s been an avalanche of adversity for McDaniels since about the time he stuck out his right hand and said, “Thanks, Mr. Bowlen. I won’t let you down.”
Brandon Stokley’s 87-yard, catch-and-run touchdown off a ball tipped by Bengals cornerback Leon Hall with 11 seconds left (don’t tell me he should have knocked it down or left it alone, please!) finally flips the script a little bit for the 33-year-old McDaniels.
It was a lucky play. McDaniels’ detractors will no doubt factor that in when discussing whether this game signifies progress. Doesn't matter. The momentum Denver gets entering winnable games against the Browns and Raiders is far more important than whether the Broncos were more lucky than good on Sunday.
More bad news Bengals
Yeah, this one’s gonna leave a mark in Cincinnati. They play guts-out defense all day against the Broncos, take the lead late despite showing nothing offensively (something good teams are supposed to do: survive), then get beat on “a blooper play” as Cincy running back Brian Leonard described it.
Bury the Chiefs
If we believe all the blappity, blah, blah about games being won in the trenches (and we do) Kansas City is going to be in for a long, dark season. In the opener the Chiefs, allowed 41 for 198 on the ground against the Ravens. They managed 16 for 29 themselves with Larry Johnson getting just 20 yards on 11 carries.
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