I'm a day late with this, because it has been a busy week at the office for me. Here goes some thoughts, now that I have seen every game.
1. The Giants are ridiculously good. I mentioned the Jacobs-Ward-Bradshaw troika in the past, but check out this group of WRs. Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer start, and Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon contribute a lot as reserves. Even Sinorice Moss, their 5th receiver seems redeemable, and had 2 TDs on Sunday. The Giants have no apparent weaknesses, though I'm slightly concerned on an intiutive level with their pass protection. I want to see them against the Eagles.
2. The Seahawks have gotten healthy at WR finally, but are still a pretty average team, overall. I think Deion Branch is a tremendously overrated player.
3. The Carolina O-Line did a very nice job against Kansas City, minus both of their starting Tackles. By the way, that game could have been much worse, because the Panthers turned it over 3 times in plus territory.
4. The two most boring teams to watch in the NFL are Tennessee and Baltimore. It's just brutal to watch when they play each other.
5. The Titans have been killed the last 2 years for not drafting a WR in the First Round of the Draft. It's necessary to note, however, that Michael Griffin and Chris Johnson, the guys they did take, are stars. It really lends credence to taking the best player on the board, which is evidently a lesson they learned after drafting Vince Young.
6. A lot of people seem to think Kerry Collins is good enough to win with, over the long haul. I am here to assure you, he is no such thing. That's a team that needs a legit QB.
7. The Miami Dolphins are already a Parcells team. They're very physical, and sound, and it was no fluke whatsoever that they beat San Diego. They were absolutely the better coached team, and they dominated the whole game.
8. The second-best RB in the NFL, behind Adrian Peterson, played in Miami Sunday. It was Ronnie Brown, and not LaDainian Tomlinson. LDT is not the same player as he used to be.
9. Jacob Hester of the Chargers is a winning football player, even if he plays for a team in decline. His forced fumble on special teams was a thing of beauty, and an example of his brand of smart and physical play.
10. The fumble set up a goal line stand on 4th down for the Dolphins, where LDT got stuffed by Channing Crowder. It was the key play of the game.
11. One thing about getting to a game late in the week is that you tend to see analysis by other people before you see the game yourself. In that context, I was was watching the blocking of the Eagles TEs, after reading some stuff from Michael Lombardi on Nationalfootballpost.com. I agree with him. Not a one of them can block to save their lives. Their offensive line is terrible too, which is pretty amazing, given their well-known proclivity toward drafting linemen from both sides of the ball high in each draft.
12. Conversely, the Washington line has looked terrific for the last 4 weeks now. They won the game.
13. Jason Campbell is the best QB in the NFC through 5 weeks. That is going to sound a little crazy, but there's no doubt in my mind that it's true. He leads an offense which, amazingly, has not committed a turnover all season, and he's decisive and accurate with all of his throws. Every time he drops back, the ball is out on time, and he puts it right where he wants it. The Skins are playing great on offense, and look like legit Super Bowl contenders.
14. Matt Forte is more versatile than I thought, and he looked very natural split out as a receiver.
15. In addition to Forte, Kyle Orton, Devin Hester, and Greg Olsen have emerged as legitimate skill position players for the Bears. They are dangerous this season, and I expect them to win the NFC North.
16. Casual fans are going to be quick to blame Aaron Rodgers, but it is nowhere near his fault that the Packers aren't winning lately. They get manhandled on both lines, and they miss Cullen Jenkins really badly at DE.
17. I've decided that, in terms of style of play, Matt Ryan reminds me of Jake Plummer. He's more mobile than I perceived while he was in college, and is effective on the bootleg stuff, which mitigates his below-average arm. He'll never be a high-efficiency guy, but he has all the makings of a guy with a sense for making big plays. I bet he never grows a stupid mustache for a network TV picture, though.
18. Then there is the Colts-Texans game. Wow... just, wow. The Colts are not a good football team anymore, and won that game on a combination of guile and experience, and a corresponding lack thereof by the Texans.
19. Steve Slaton is an outstanding tandem back, but the Texans need to keep his carries in the 15-per-game neighborhood. He's like a much more instinctive Tatum Bell.
20. Marvin Harrison looks finished. He just can't separate anymore, and that was always his best skill.