The Aaron Rodgers Era begins in earnest
I have to keep reminding myself that it's only Week Two, and that nothing in the NFL is decided in September. But doesn't Aaron Rodgers look great so far?
Four touchdowns and no interceptions, two wins. The Packers are looking smarter by the minute.
Brett Favre has looked pretty good himself. Three touchdowns, one interception, one win, one close loss.
By those numbers alone, it would be ridiculous to say that Aaron Rodgers looks better than Brett Favre. But he does.
My assertion is almost completely based on visuals. Rodgers, to me, simply looks sharper right now.
Peyton misses his playmates...badly
Peyton Manning's current situation is a stark reminder that quarterback is the most dependent position in football. If your linemen don't protect you, if your receivers don't catch the ball, it doesn't matter how good you are.
The Colts' offensive line has been terribly decimated, and Peyton did not take a live snap the entire summer. Even a passer as talented as Manning needs protection, and Peyton is a rhythm and timing passer. He hasn't been able to establish any consistent rhythm, and it shows in his play. He looks, for the most part, like just another guy out there.
Other random thoughts:
Who's the AFC's best passer?
Speaking of AFC quarterbacks, with Tom Brady done for the year and Peyton Manning looking somewhat off-kilter, who is the best quarterback in the AFC right now? Is it Ben Roethlisberger? Is it -- gasp! -- Brett Favre? Who knows, by year's end, people could be whispering Matt Cassel's name.
Seahawks off to a slow start
Moving on to the NFC, it looks like many NFL "experts" may have overestimated the Seattle Seahawks. Being 0-2 is far from tragic; the New York Giants began their 2007 season that way. But when one of those losses comes to the San Francisco 49ers, it may be time to re-evaluate things.
How good are the Giants?
Speaking of the New York Giants, they are 2-0 and just had a convincing 41-13 win over the hapless St. Louis Rams. But don't be deceived by the score. Going into the locker room at halftime, they only led 13-6 against one of the NFL's worst teams. The lopsided score was a result of a barrage of points near the end. One has to wonder just how good this team is. In the loaded NFC East, it's just a matter of time before they find out.
Did Ed Hochuli "blow it?"
No, Jay Cutler's apparent fumble on the game-winning drive will dominate the water cooler. He made a throwing motion, and the ball slipped from his hand before his arm went forward. It was clearly a fumble, but the officials whistled the play dead and declared it an incomplete pass.
In his postgame press conference, Chargers head coach Norv Turner said referee Ed Hochuli admitted privately that he had blown the call.
Opponents of instant replay claimed that it would take the "human element" out of football. Well, those folks can sleep easy. Humans can still screw up the game if they try hard enough.
Marvin Lewis and the Real Estate Market
Finally, what in the world is wrong with the Cincinnati Bengals (other than the fact that they are the Cincinnati Bengals)? With a defensive-minded coach and an offense loaded with high-level players, they can't seem to do anything on either side of the ball. Not only can't they win, they can't score, and they can't stop anyone.
The real estate market being what it is, perhaps Marvin Lewis should put his house on the market now.