NFL Week Three: Snap Judgments and Quick Reads
At this point in the season, as early as it may seem, we are beginning to develop a definite opinion as to who is for real and who isn't.
Dallas played in last night's Monday Night Football event and nearly lulled their fans into a stupor with their mediocrity in the first half. However, the players saw fit to earn their million dollar paychecks by half number two and managed to limp away with a win over the not-so-good Carolina Panthers.
That said, there were a few teams this week who may need to call upon the ghosts of good teams past if they ever expect to be taken seriously in the future. Or, perhaps, they just need to accept the things they cannot change and embrace the fact that they won't be squat this season, no matter what they do.
Either way, time to throw a few more stones inside the NFL's glass houses.
JaMarcus Russell needs to be benched...immediately
The Raiders are a train wreck. Seriously. A. Train. Wreck. If they aren't trying to keep their head coach out of court, then they are trying to keep their owner from making any more personnel decisions.
JaMarcus Russell is Al Davis' guy. He was his pick. He wanted him. He wanted the big arm and the big play capability. The problem is, Russell is all arm with no accuracy. He makes bad decisions followed by even badder throws and the mystery to everyone seems to be why they continue to let him self-destruct on the field?
He is so awful that it's physically painful to watch him play. He not only ranks 30th in the league amongst starters, but he has the worst completion percentage (41.8) of any quarterback in the NFL; not to mention having a quarterback rating that makes you want to slap the crap out of somebody (39.8).
39.8?!? That's not for one game...that's for the season.
What is Oakland waiting for? Divine intervention?
Russell is not going to get better anytime soon and it matters not what the Oakland contingent may try to use as an excuse for his poor play, the fact of the matter is this: he's just not any good.
It makes you wonder if his backups are worse, because there is no other explanation for Russell still getting the nod. However, if Gradkowski and company are worse than Russell, then the Raiders need to just fire everyone on their staff, commit Al Davis to an asylum, and start from scratch, because things can't get much worse from here.
The time for naivete should be over at this point; Russell is not the man for the job. He likely never will be.
Quick read: As long as Russell continues to run the offense, Oakland will be lucky to win even one more game. Let somebody else play...ANYBODY else will do.
They say Denver is for real, but the Kool-Aid ain't temptin' yet
It's nice that the Broncos have been able to send a big "take that" to the rest of the league that basically stomped on them for the way they handled the Cutler situation. However, the 3-0 start is less a measure of greatness than a matter of "who have you played?"
Cincy was sleeping and obviously, like the rest of the league, didn't take the Broncos seriously in Week One. Cleveland is awful and has yet to win a game. Oakland is...well, Oakland.
So, it may have been premature to say that Denver would be a terrible team this season, but they haven't done anything to prove that they are a team worth being sold on, either.
As the next three games approach, we shall see just how seriously McD's crew needs to be taken. Dallas, New England, nor San Diego will be as easy as Cincy, Cleveland, or Oakland.
If the Broncos expect anyone to believe that this 3-0 start is because they have been good and not lucky, then win the next two out of three.
Snap judgment: Denver's winning streak is smoke and mirrors. The dust will soon settle on this hot start.
Raheem Morris is in way over his head
The Buccaneers were supposed to be in rebuilding mode. That is obvious from the fact that they have no playmakers on their team and have a stable of quarterbacks who are either too young, too old, or too inexperienced to be running an offense.
Newly inaugurated head coach, Raheem Morris, rolled the dice in the 2009 draft by taking his former protege, Josh Freeman. Well, that's all fine and good, but Freeman isn't ready to run a fruit stand, much less a football team.
Enter Josh Johnson, the other Tampa Bay project that wasn't supposed to hit the field until a year from now. He took over against the Giants after it became clear that Leftwich had already left the building (7-of-16 for 22 yds and an INT), but didn't fair any better (4-of-10 for 36 yds) against the Giants' stout defense.
The truth of the matter is this: the Bucs are young on both sides of the ball and are not ready to compete with any team in the NFL. Not a one.
Perhaps they can keep it close for a quarter or two, but beyond that, they will crumble like a house of cards because they do not have the personnel experience to go toe-to-toe with most defenses in the league.
Tampa Bay may be good once the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit like they should, but right now they are just not playing like a professional football team. It's disgraceful that it took them over two quarters to get a first down. That's just bad. Wasn't the offense supposed to be better without Jagodzinski?
The Bucs better do some soul searching in a hurry, because their next four games will be against a mad as hell Washington team, a well-coached Philly team, a Tom Brady Pats team, and a Carolina Panthers team with some serious splainin' to do about the kind of club they want to be.
The Bucs have no chance of winning any of those games if they continue to play like a Division I-AA football team with no clue how to execute plays on either side of the ball. They'll be 0-7 by their bye week and new coach Morris may be sending resumes out to college teams.
It's gonna be a long year in Tampa.
Quick read: The Bucs may actually be worse than the Lions this year. Just sayin'.
Terrell Owens can't buy a touchdown...or a catch one, for that matter
Owens is a little miffed about how people have criticized and berated his play over the last few weeks. Former NFL safety Rodney Harrison saw fit to throw him under a bus, run him over, back up, and do it all over again when he called him a "clown" on national television.
In Terrell's defense, he can't do any more than run the routes and catch the ball. It is clear that the offense the Bills are running at the moment isn't looking to do enough passing to make a playmaker like T.O. relevant.
Funny thing, though, is that everyone knew that before the start of the season. Trent Edwards is not Tony Romo and this ain't Dallas. Terrell Owens is not going to have another 1,000-yard season with a quarterback who has no desire to throw the deep ball.
The Bills are expected to get Marshawn Lynch back this week and you can bet that on the totem pole of receivers, Terrell Owens will fall even further down than he already has this year. Edwards is simply more comfortable playing dink and dunk than airing it out; just ask Lee Evans.
For Owens part, his days of being "the man" ended in Dallas last season, when they chose to dump him before he dumped them. Terrell's ego is still likely seething from that fact and he likely hoped to make a big splash this season in Buffalo so that he could send a big "ha ha" to the Cowboys.
Well, the reality of it is, Dallas is struggling to find a big-play guy like T.O., but they don't miss him or his antics one bit. They have moved on and T.O. is now struggling to find his place on a team that doesn't have a Pro Bowler as its quarterback.
He's in for a rude awakening as he slowly starts to realize how truly irrelevant he has become.
Quick read: Buffalo is no better with T.O. than they were without and they should have changed the quarterback and the coach while they were out shopping for improvements.
The Redskins were supposed to be better...right?
If Daniel Snyder isn't careful, he will end up becoming the Al Davis of the NFC. This team was supposed to be much better, right?
During the preseason, all the chatter was about how the defensive line was going to be a monster with Haynesworth added and Orakpo drafted. No teams were going to be running all over the Skins this season. No way.
Well, someone forgot to tell the winless in 19 tries Detroit Lions that, as they methodically and without much effort converted third down after third down on Sunday and kept control of the ball for the better part of 36 minutes.
Washington couldn't get anything going until it was too late to matter, and even then they looked like a team with no sense of urgency.
Who are these Redskins?
Those who try and say that Campbell played well are deluding themselves. He had over 300 yards, yeah, but a large chunk of those yards came once the Lions started playing prevent—a scheme that has no point whatsoever, but that's another story.
As for the run game, well, where is it? Is Portis disguised on the sideline, waiting to make his appearance at a later date? He must be, because he hasn't shown himself once this season.
The Redskins have been an underachieving bunch so far and they need to wake up before they find themselves permanently situated last in the NFC East with no conceivable way of climbing any higher.
Quick read: The Redskins are not who we thought they were.
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