Man, the day after it still feels really good that the Bears are 3-0 and in first place. It's also hilarious to hear everyone else trying to rationalize away the Packers loss to the point that they're still the "clear favorite" to win the division. That's fine. I'll be content with the "mathematical favorite" for now.
Bengals 20, Panthers 7
Really folks, Carolina is awful. Good to see Jimmy Clausen end the first half of his first start with a zero rating. The problem here is the fact that I'm forced to face the fact that Carson Palmer is done. We all know how much I love a good Armcock, and coming out of USC Carson was more or less the platonic ideal of a QB with armcock, armcockuracy, and all the "intangibles" that mediafolk love. Sadly, the injuries to his knee and rotator cuff have left him a shell of the man he used to be, and I just don't see the Bengals being able to go very far in that division without a quarterback who has a big enough arm to threaten the Steelers or one of the AFC elites in the playoffs.
Patriots 38, Bills 30
Wow, the Pats have a shitty defense. First the gimpy armed Carson Palmer gets them for 345 yards, then Rico Mirerez (yes, he's had two very good games, but Ryan Fitzpatrick's success against the Pats invalidates Mirerez's, while I'm just going to say the Dolphins have a terrible secondary without any evidence to back that up) torches them and now Ryan Fitzpatrick guides the Bills to 30 points. I'm actually beginning to look forward to seeing Cutler go up against them late this season.
Chiefs 31, 49ers 10
Aaaand that should do it for the 2010 49ers. I know the NFC West absolutely blows, but I think that team has just spiraled too far out of control. Pete Caroll will probably win the damn division at 8-8 and I have to see that happy bastard smile once again with an undeserved (well, I suppose in college it was more illegally-earned) sense of accomplishment. Oh, and the Chiefs are good outside of Matt Cassel, who, despite his 3 TDs on Sunday, still really sucks.
Titans 29, Giants 10
If I wasn't a backwards, jinx-fearing fool, I'd point out that the Giants are 4-10 in their last 14 games with 38 turnovers and that they look like a really bad football team. Alas, I won't say that because I'd rather not let the fact that I pointed out that the Giants kind of suck come back to haunt me. Even if they do suck. Nice rebound for VY, who I now begrudgingly root for if only because Jeff Fisher is a dick to him.
Ravens 24, Browns 17
Sure it was only against the Browns and you only threw the ball to Anquan Boldin, but you finally had a good game. Good for you, Flacco! Also, I can't decide if it's hilarious or sad that Browns fans are probably eagerly awaiting the return of Jake Delhomme. Probably both.
Steelers 38, Buccaneers 13
Well, the only thing surprising about this was the Steelers managing 38 points. One more game left without Rapey. They're definitely looking scary.
Falcons 27, Saints 24
Garrett Hartley kinda sucks. The Falcons are good, and they still had to drive down to get their own field goal to win the game, so people shouldn't say they didn't Beat New Orleans, but I'd still take the Saints in this division. It was good to see Matt Ryan finally string together consecutive good games for the first time since the first half of last season. I like the kid. I hope he's back on track.
Vikings 24, Lions 10
I really have to ask why the Lions ignore Calvin Johnson until the 4th quarter. Tough loss for the Lions. Favre still sucked (1:3 TD to INT ratio this year, with a 60.4 rating), but Peterson is doing everything he can to carry the Vikings. I have confidence that that won't be enough to win the North this year.
Cowboys 27, Texans 13
I don't buy that the Cowboys saved their season here, but, then again, the NFC East looks pretty shitty, so who knows? I do know that the Texans proved they're still the Texans by losing yet another winnable game.
Eagles 28, Jaguars 3
Beating a lame duck Jags team doesn't prove much of anything, but I have to finally concede that Michael Vick may, possibly, have learned, maybe, how to pass. In the abstract.
Rams 30, Redskins 16
Well, I didn't see this particular loss coming, but I can't say I'm all that surprised. The biggest problem for the Redskins over the last few years have been an inconsistent defense, one of the league's worst offensive lines, and a lack of a running game behind an aging Clinton Portis. Their fix to all of that was to sign Albert Haynesworth, the $100 Million Dollar Slave, and to trade for another quarterback who can take a beating behind that line. So no, they aren't playoff bound. Also, since we all know I'm a quarterback nut and one particularly interested in the handling of rookie QBs, I'm a huge fan of how the Rams are handling Bradford. They're letting him throw the ball (averaging 39 attempts) but also rolling him out, minimizing his reads, and letting him grow slowly while under fire.
Colts 27, Broncos 13
Suck it, McDaniels.
Cardinals 24, Raiders 23
Thanks to the ineptitude of Sebastian Janikowski, the Cardinals and Derek Anderson (currently sporting a young Jake Plummer-esque 67.6 passer rating) are now in the lead in the NFC West, because everyone west of the Mississippi hates quality football.
Seattle 27, Chargers 20
Well, San Diego's off to their standard September pants-shitting.
Jets 31, Dolphins 23
HOW HARD IS IT TO DOUBLE COVER DUSTIN KELLER? 6 OF THE FIRST 7 PASSES WENT TO HIM! DO NOT MAKE IT EASY FOR RICO MIREZ! Also, Chad Henne looked pissed (and rightfully so) everytime the Dolphins pulled him despite his absolute destruction of the Jets defense (363 yards) in order to run the f%&king Wildcat.
Well, that's it for the NFL this week. Prognostication Bukakke should be up in the next couple days. Go Bears.