Steelers, Cardinals a combined 2-4, Titans 0-3. Favre, Seahawks uniforms turn stomach.
By Jim Buzinski
How I saw Week 3 of the NFL:
That was then ...: Eight months ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals were on top of the football world, playing in a pulsating Super Bowl. Now, three weeks into the season they are a combined 2-4 and already treading water.
The Steelers (1-2) lost at Cincinnati on Sunday, 23-20, for the first time since 2001 after blowing a 13-0 lead. The Bengals drove for the winning touchdown on a frantic drive that saw them convert two fourth downs. It was great to see Carson Palmer healthy again for the Bengals (2-1); he was terrific on the final drive (7 off 11, not counting two spikes) and never lost his cool.
The Steelers really miss injured safety Troy Polamalu, who went out in the season opener. His interception is the only turnover the Steelers defense has all season. The vaunted Steelers defense suddenly looks pretty ordinary and has failed to hold leads the past two weeks. In the last two fourth quarters, the Steelers have been outscored a combined 24-0. Polamalu can't get back fast enough.
Meanwhile, it is obvious the 2008 Cardinals were a mirage (appropriate for a desert team), one that got lucky playing in a crap division and then got hot in the playoffs. Including the playoffs, Arizona was 8-2 at home last season. After Sunday's 31-10 drubbing by the Colts, the Cardinals are already 0-2 at home.
They still are in a crap division, so the season is far from over, but if the defense keeps playing like it did against the Colts (508 yards allowed) and Kurt Warner keeps getting played like a piñata, they will become the latest Super Bowl loser to miss the playoffs the following season.
Hot: The Colts have now won 12 regular season games in a row going back to last season. In that span, Peyton Manning has completed 71% of his passes and has a 24-5 touchdown to interception ratio. There is no doubt he is the best player in the league and maybe again the most valuable. The Colts already have a two-game division lead, a good sign for a team that has won its division five of the past six years.
Cold: The Tennessee Titans are now 3-7 since starting 10-0 last season. The Titans lost, 24-17, to the Jets to drop to 0-3; the Titans ended the game by throwing 18 straight incompletions. In case you're wondering, only five teams have ever started 0-3 and still made the playoffs.
Nauseating: I used to like Brett Favre back in his Packer days. But his whiny bitch, drama-queen, me-me-me act has alienated me and I wish for his total football failure with the Minnesota Vikings.
So it was disgusting to watch him throw a game-winning Hail Mary pass to beat the 49ers on a brilliant catch by Greg Lewis. It was then gag-inducing to hear ESPN's Tom Jackson call the play of the game not the TD pass, but Favre's downfield block on an inconsequential third-quarter play. Jackson went on and on about good ol' Brett acting like a kid and playing the game because he's just having fun, blah, blah, blah.
Nauseating II: Speaking of vomit-inducing, those neon lime green Seattle Seahawks uniforms were pretty ghastly. I thought people in Seattle had some design sense.
Coaching death watch: Has Redskins coach Jim Zorn been fired yet? Losing to the Lions doesn't do much for job security. Zorn is 3-8 after starting last season 6-2. It was nice to see the Lions finally get a win after going o-fer last season.
Workmanlike: The New England Patriots' 26-10 win over Atlanta wasn't elegant, but it reminded me of the kind of game the Pats used to win in 2003 and 2004 before they became a high-octane offense - solid defense (they held Matt Ryan to 199 yards passing and Michael Turner to 56 yards rushing) and a ball-control offense (almost 2-1 in time of possession) that is efficient more than flashy. It helped them win back-to-back Super Bowls and is the perfect formula as Tom Brady tries to get back his pre-injury form. Next up: the 3-0 Ravens.
Awful: Cyd was needling me for saying that Brady Quinn would be a good NFL quarterback after Quinn was yanked in Sunday's Browns' blowout at Baltimore. But the jury is still out on Quinn since I am not sure Peyton Manning or Drew Brees could help the Browns.
Quinn (still the hottest player in the NFL) was 6 for 8 with a pick when he was yanked and replacement Derek Anderson was a robust 11 for 19 with three picks. Cleveland has scored one offensive TDs in three games after finishing 2008 scoring 0 in their final six.