Hello Readers. I'll forego the "why is a musician writing a sports column" disclaimer this time and jump right in. First, a hearty welcome back to the union referees. They looked nearly as rusty as their scab counterparts last weekend, but that should improve soon.
Regardless of my apparent disbelief regarding the strength of the Eagles (3-1), they seem to keep finding ways to win more often than not. Beating the Giants (2-2) was an important division game; next week they visit a somewhat befuddled Pittsburgh. Washington (2-2), who leads the league in team rushing behind the talents of both Alfred Morris and RGIII, will have a tough time against the Falcons on Sunday. Dallas (2-2) pretty much got their asses handed to them by the Bears on MNF, and will be happy to lick their wounds during their bye week.
The replacement refs probably wouldn't have called this a penalty. Photo via AP.
One reason I like the old-school NFC North is that there's never a perennial favorite. In recent years, Green Bay (2-2) and Detroit (1-3) have been the leaders; not so right now. The Vikings (3-1) just took on two tough teams in a row and came out on top, and should roll over Tennessee next weekend. But the occasionally tough Bears (3-1) also have a couple of seemingly easy wins coming up, so this division remains a toss up for now.
Ro-mo you didn't! While he shows great talent on occasion, iit must be frustrating for all Dallas fans when this guy has a bad game. Photo via Getty Images.
When is Atlanta (4-0) going to lose? I don't think it's next week against the Skins, nor the following week against the Raiders. They face the Eagles in week 7, so perhaps that will give them a real test. Meanwhile, no one else in this division -- the Bucs (1-3), the Panthers (1-3), or most of all the Saints (0-4) -- are going to have any impact this season. Tampa Bay has a bye this week, then faces KC in week six for a craptacular battle of badness.
Like most winning teams, Atlanta is well-rounded with both offense and defense strength. Photo via Getty Images.
Watch out, Arizona (4-0); I think San Francisco (3-1) woke up and remembered how powerful they can be with a "message game" shutout of the Jets. I don't think that the Cardinals will be exactly running away with the division, though they should be able to get past the Rams (2-2) this coming weekend. Seattle (2-2), perhaps coming off the high of their high from the end of the previous week's game, didn't look so hot against St. Louis.
I think the last thing you want is to face an embarrassed Tom Brady in any game situation. Halfway through the third quarter of the New England (2-2) / Buffalo (2-2) game, the Pats were down 21-7 and the catcalls were scoming form the rowdy fans. Bad idea. Not many other guys than Brady can unleash hell in that particular way. A quarter and a half later, the score was 52-28 Pats, and the Bills were left scratching their heads (or more unseemly parts of themselves). As a sad Raiders fan with little to look forward to this year, I am hoping that Brady puts on a similar performance against Denver next week. Meanwhile, the Jets (2-2) got the worst spanking of any team this season so far with a 34-0 crushing by the Niners. I will ask any fan who is screaming to put Tebow in: do you really want to see what the Texans defense will do to him? What kind of person does that makes you? On second though, yeah, put him in. Finally, Miami (1-3) has one win, and that's because they played the Raiders. Sigh.
Te-bow! Te-bow! Te-bow! Photo via Getty Images.
Yours Truly, the Musician Sports Guy, was born and spent his infancy in Cincinnati, and as a result has a special affinity toward the Bengals (3-1). They looked good against the hapless Jags, and should also do pretty well for their next couple of games. But the fate of the division mostly lies in how well the always-tough Ravens (3-1) are playing week to week. They should crush KC next weekend, but then have upcoming games against Dallas and Houston. As some of my friends would say, shit's about to get real. The Steelers (1-2), who aren't looking too hot, had a needed bye this week, and host the Eagles this coming Sunday. Cleveland (0-4)... well, I was told not to say anything at all if I can't say something good. Moving on.
I thought the Texans (4-0) were Super Bowl bound last year, until injuries devastated them. I'll tell you right now, I don't see any other team looking as consistently strong as these guys this year, so until proven otherwise, I'd still say they are the elite team of the AFC right now, if not the entire NFL. They face the Jets and Packers in upcoming games. As for the Colts (1-2), Jags (1-3), and Titans (1-3)... moving on.
Get used to shots of Houston celebrating victories... there will be plenty more if they stay healthy. Photo via Getty Images.
The rather cake-like schedule of San Diego (3-1) will continue to give the impression that they're better than they are. Last week, I strongly suggested that the Broncos (2-2) would open a can of whoop-ass on the Raiders (1-3), and that came true. However, Denver will have, oh, a bit tougher time against a possible revitalized New England next weekend in Foxboro. The Chiefs (1-3) will continue their fight to be the bottom feeders in the AFC West this weekend against the Ravens.
Sad Carson is sad. So is every Raiders fan. Photo via Getty Images.
That's All, Folks!
Join us back here every Tuesday morning throughout the season, and feel free to leave your thoughts in comments, or wherever. I read 'em.