Ravens, Jets go from 6-0 to 0-6; Titans now the worst team, Eagles the dumbest, and how about those Patriot uniforms?
By Jim Buzinski
After three weeks, many "experts" were calling the Jets and Ravens the two best teams in the AFC. Neither made much sense to me - the Jets had a rookie quarterback who was bound to play like a rookie at some point, while the Ravens were giving up a way too much points on defense to weaklings like the Chiefs.
|Which uniform is better? Pats throwbacks, left, or their regular home jerseys?|
Now, after starting a combined 6-0, the Jets and Ravens have come back to Earth, going 0-6, including two close losses Sunday - the Ravens 33-31 at Minnesota and the Jets 16-13 in overtime to Buffalo at home.
The Ravens made a great comeback against the Vikings, but a last-play field goal sailed wide left, and Baltimore is suddenly in third place in the AFC North, a game behind the Steelers and Bengals. The culprit was once again the defense, which is missing linebacker Bart Scott, safety Jim Leonhard and defensive coordinator Rex Ryan, all with the Jets. Last season, the defense allowed an average of 15.6 points a game; this year it's 21.6.
For the Jets, rookie QB Mark Sanchez was nicknamed the "Sanchize" after his 3-0 start. Jets fans are calling him something less complimentary after his five-interception effort against the Bills (1-4 entering the game). Sanchez was awful and his overtime pick helped set up the Bills for the game-winning field goal. Rookie QBs go through these stretches, so Sanchez will be fine in the long run, but expect the Jets to simply the offense and rely on their defense to win games.
Bad team, man: It's official - the Tennessee Titans (13-3 a season ago) are the league's worst team. This was confirmed in their 59-0 loss at New England. It was the biggest margin of defeat in the NFL since the league merger in 1970, while the 45-0 halftime deficit was the largest ever in history. It was the worst loss in Tennessee's history, which goes back to the Houston Oilers in 1960. The Patriots threw for 426 yards, the Titans minus-7. Tom Brady had five touchdown passes (six overall) in the second quarter, the most ever by a QB in a single quarter.
The Titans (0-6) not only were outmatched, they quit. At least winless St. Louis and Tampa Bay were competitive Sunday. In their last two games, the Titans have been outscored, 90-9. The team's long-term outlook is bleak -- they have no quarterback (Vince Young sucks and will be gone in 2010), no wide receivers and a defense that was clearly dependent on the now-departed Albert Haynesworth. I can see Jeff Fisher being fired; he's a good coach but the Titans have not won a playoff game since 2003 and teams sometimes need to start over. It's hard to believe this team was the AFC's No. 1 seed last year.
Cool or ugly?: I was watching the Patriots-Titans game with Cyd and Jim Allen and the subject of the Pats' throwback uniforms came up. Jim and I love them, especially the Patriot hiking the ball on the helmet, while Cyd thinks they are hideous. While we were talking about it, his sister, Jessica, texted her disgust at the unis. So, we have a 2-2 tie and would love to know what you think -- check out the throwbacks and the regular unis in the photo above and make your vote in the comments below.
Gay fans?: This came via Jay Original on our Discussion Board: "Anyone watching the Ravens-Vikes game? The two guys in the purples suits and Viking helmets were ‘featured' by CBS. Then the one dude noticed they were on the jumbotron and he grabbed his friend's hand and didn't do a fist pump ... he playfully bit it. The other dude snatched his hand away like whatever, and it seemed like they were a couple."
Clueless: Sometimes, the Philadelphia Eagles are the dumbest team in the league and it showed in the Birds' inept 13-9 loss at Oakland. This is the same Oakland team that was so bad last week against the Giants, that New York's Antonio Pierce said it was like a scrimmage.
But Sunday, the Raiders harassed Donovan McNabb all day (six sacks), and the QB looked rattled. He even got a penalty when he called a timeout without having any left, not a surprise from a guy who didn't know last season that NFL games can end in a tie. And Coach Andy Reid called 46 passes to 14 runs, despite the Raiders entering the game ranked 30th against the run. Reid is consistently one of the worst game managers in the league.
Jobless soon: By the time you read this it's likely that Redskins coach Jim Zorn will be ex-Redskins coach Jim Zorn. His fate was sealed after the Skins lose 14-6 at home to winless Kansas City, the second time this season Washington has lost to a winless team. After the game, Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties; that's an insult to any head coach, but if Zorn quits he won't get paid the remainder of his contract, so he awaits the pink slip that has to be coming.
Rolling: The Saints (5-0) look like the NFC's best team after their 48-27 walloping of the Giants, but for some reason I don't expect it to last. I'm still not sold on their defense and Drew Brees has a habit of coming up short in tight games. This is certainly a playoff team, but any Super Bowl talk is way premature, especially with the Falcons (4-1) lurking in the division.
The same holds for the 6-0 Vikings. This team could easily be 4-2 and I expect the Steelers to hand them their first loss next week.