Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Hump This Day

We didn't get the meteor game Monday night, but it was pretty damn close. That said, my rooting interests were with the Bengals for reasons David explains better than I could.
Guys, guys, guys, there should've been absolutely positively no debate on who to root for on Monday--the Bungels. Who do we hate the most? The Raisins. Who is the favorite to win the North? The Raisins. And, gulp, who kicked our butts a zillion to seven last year? The Raisins.

And I don't buy the argument that we can beat them now with all their injuries. I want to play them at full strength, man to man, and see who beats who.
Now, of course, the word on the street has Ray-Ray and Ogden out for the season, and who the hell knows which quarterback will show up from week to week. And I'm not talking about McNair or Boller, I'm talking about McNair pre-Baltimorification, or what we saw at the end of '06 and on Monday night. Forget Boller, the Ravens have bigger issues at quarterback.

And they've got some problems on the o-line, too. Yes, I'm the guy who, on other corners of the internets, has been pimping the potential awesomeness of the Ravens' offensive line, but, to be fair, I said they might struggle in the near term, before dominating in a year or three down the road. Well, it's the near term, and they look dreadful. This is good because it distracts me from the Steelers' o-line issues, which, by comparison don't seem like much.

Does anybody find the whole Bill Belichick think kinda, I don't know, really, really weird? It's all very Nixonian in a "I'm freaking paranoid about everything" way. Why would the best team in the league, with the person on the planet as head coach, need to cheat? It just seems all very, very bizarre. And now that guys are coming out of the woodwork to nail the Pats -- something that may or may not have to do with New England's success, and the media's insistence on reminding us about it every three minutes -- makes Unabomber seem like a brazen, pompous jackass.

UPDATE: As I was writing this up, HSS worker bees were busy giving their thoughts, so because I know you're way too lazy to actually look at the last comment thread, here ya go:
- What is the appropriate punishment for the Pats? - ELSM

- Disband the franchise. Draft picks work if they are high picks like a 1st and 3rd or a 2nd and 3rd. If all they lose is a 5th and 6th or something like that, that is isn't worth it. - Cols714

- I think picks are good. I'd be fine with a 1 pick and then something, or a 1st one year and a 2nd the next year. The gift that keeps on giving! - Sepulvidite

- I think any penalty should include a suspension of Belichick. If using steroids is cheating and earns a 4-game suspension, why is this different? - sherm

- I don't think we need Goodell to do anything too Draconian. Stripping the Pats of their 3 Super Bowl wins should suffice. - Finnegans Wake

- Terrell Davis said that they should not be allowed to be in the playoffs, life NCAA and bowl games. -
So there you have it: the nerds have spoken. Personally, I think jail time is in order, but I'm old school that way.

I watched the Bills-Broncos game on Shortcuts yesterday (Dear DirecTV, I love you. Very much.) and a couple of thoughts:

* Roscoe Parrish is a bad ass, as both a mini-Santana Moss and, more importantly, as a punt returner. He's just like Ricardo Colclough, but 180 degrees the other way. Terrence McGee is a bad ass kick returner too. Brian Moorman's as much of a bad ass as you can be when you're a punter without the first name ROBO. Basically, what I'm saying is that the Bills' special teams is what the Steelers' are striving for. Not everyday you say Pittsburgh wants to be like Buffalo in ... well, anything.

* Lee Evans didn't do much, but playing against Champ Bailey has that effect, I guess.

* J.P. Losman, in a word, is a spaz. He's been in the league as long as Roethlisberger, yet every time I see him (and I'll be honest, I don't watch a lot of Bills' games) he seems like a rookie. Yes, I know, he can throw the ball really far, but every time I see him wind up and sling a football off my screen and see it drop incomplete 70 yards later, I'm reminded of Jeff Blake. Remember that guy? His forte was throwing bombs. Don't really have a point with all of this other than to say just because Losman can chuck it, doesn't really impress me. Especially with Ike on pace to grab 16 interceptions, and Tim on pace to pen a poem.

* Marshawn Lynch pretty much had his way with the Broncos. He'll be a nice test for the Steelers, although some could make the argument that if Jam Jam can't get more than 30-something yards, NO ONE has a chance of running the ball this year. And yes, I'm kidding.

* As SteelerBill mentioned in the comments, Larry Timmons had his mug all over special teams, which should mitigate some of the Steelers' fans bellyaching when Paul Posluszny comes to town. He was making plays all over the field Sunday, but I'll repeat something Wexell said this off-season: scouts like Larry T's potential; what you see is what you get with Posluszny.

That's not to say Posluszny is a scrub, but he probably won't get any better. I know, I know: Larry could turn into the 2003 second-round draft pick. Fair enough, but he could also turn into Joey Porter.

* Oh, and Donte Whitner, the guy I was fantasizing leading up to the 2006 draft, he's pretty freakin' good. I wouldn't trade him for Ryan Clark/Anthony Smith, but Whitner's definitely helping that Bills' defense.

Coming full circle, does everybody feel better about the AFC North after seeing the MNF game? I was shocked at how well the Bengals' defense played, but other than that, nothing much surprised me. I still like the Steelers, but I liked them last year after the Raiders game.