Thursday, October 7, 2004

First Quarter Surprises And Mishaps



New York Giants [3-1].  The Giants have been doing it with running the football, screen passes, opportunistic defense and solid work ethic. 


Atlanta Falcons [4-0].  That defense has greatly improved.  They’ve won twice on the road including a win at Carolina.  Warrick Dunn is having a fine season.  And all this without Michael Vick having that unbelievable offensive game.


New York Jets [3-0].  There is another undefeated team in the AFC East.  While the Jets don’t have the experience or even the talent as New England….they are a tough out.  Pennington plays solid and Curtis Martin is having a very good year.  In reality, they haven’t beaten anyone yet [Bengals, Chargers, Dolphins].  They have the Pats in two weeks. 


Denver Broncos [3-1].  They are a Quentin Griffin fumble away from being undefeated.  And in a division in which the Chargers and Raiders shouldn’t be factors and the Chiefs losing their first 3 games…Denver has a great shot at winning the division.




Carolina Panthers [1-2].  The one game they weren’t supposed to win…they win.  Then they lay two eggs at home.  Their o-line is bad, they have their two biggest offensive weapons out and their defense has under performed.


Tennessee Titans [1-3].  They’ve already lost two home games against divisional foes.  Which means that all they have is Houston twice and at Jacksonville and Indy.  Tough to get back into the race that way.


Washington Redskins [1-3].  The defense has been much better…but the team is turnover prone.  Add to that the fact that the coaching staff has mismanaged games over the past two weeks:  games they could have won if managed well.  They’ve already lost two division games and two road games they were favored to win.  And they haven’t faced Philly yet.


Kansas City Chiefs [1-3].  Big win in Baltimore may have saved season.  They lost to the Jags, Broncos and Panthers with poor 4th quarter play.  They beat the Ravens by playing well in the final period.  Now, they cannot lose many more games this year.  But if any team can explode to a streak…it’s Vermeil’s Chiefs.


Cincinnati Bengals [1-3].  To my surprise, Carson Palmer is playing very well.  Yeah, he’s making rookie mistakes…but that happens to any new QB in there.  But, the defense and running game need to help him out.  If you’re asking Palmer to throw 40 times a game….some are going to get away from him. 


Tampa Bay Buccaneers [0-4].  Just hearing that Chris Sims will be starting just shows that Chuckie is reaching for answers.  Factor in that they are, in reality, the worst team in their division…and they haven’t played any of them yet.

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