After week two there were several teams that we were forced to re-evaluate.
Was Dallas the new NFC darling that pummeled the defending champs or the unfocused bunch of under achievers that got thumped in Seattle? Was Jay Cutler going to challenge his offensive line to a Chicago street fight? Would Flacco be “Joe Cool” or “that guy that only plays good sometimes” – the former being a much catchier nickname. And how in the name of Christ were the Bills leading the NFL in touchdowns? Some questions were answered, but as always I am left completely baffled at the conclusion of Sunday’s games. Just the same, I still feel the need to try to make some sense of it all. Let’s jerk it up, ya’ll.
If we had an intern, they would have come up with a kickass bird analogy for this spot…
If you were to tell me at the start of the season that there would be two 3-0 teams with bird nicknames I would have shrugged and said, “The Ravens, Eagles, and Falcons all have strong teams this year, not all that surprising.” BUT WAIT JUST A MINUTE NONCHALENT PAST TENSE BEN! The Arizona Cardinals not only beat the Eagles on Sunday, they embarrassed them. This wasn’t one of those games where Michael Vick put Philly in a hole by forcing the ball into tough spots; they were outclassed from the opening kick. As for the other quarterback in this contest, Kevin Kolb has rebounded nicely from losing the most boring quarterback controversy in recent memory by giving Arizona their first 3-0 start in THIRTY EIGHT FUCKING YEARS.
The Falcons made quick work of the Chargers who, much like the Eagles, had a deceiving 2-0 start. Despite my nausea with the idea of Matt Ryan being elite, it does look more and more like this year could be his coming out party. The NFC South seemed like the most competitive division in football when the year began, but with the rough starts for the other three squads this could end up being the Falcons’ division in a relatively uncontested manner.
Oh, and since we don’t have an intern all I really have is “Falcons and Cardinals take flight in week 3” and holy god that’s awful.
Look away, Nate
Somewhere around the time that Matt Cassel was scrambling around in Eli-esque fashion (which is to say he was suddenly elusive during a big play, yet still incredibly slow) and converting a huge 3rd and 11 with a few minutes left in the game…it hit me. The Saints are going to have an awful season. Sure, at some point they are going to go on a run and win a few games in a row but by their standards this year will most likely end up being a colossal failure.
After the bounty scandal I was certain they would rally much like they did in the face of Hurricane Katrina. But here’s the thing: this is almost a completely different team since then. Other than a few major pieces, almost the entire roster has turned over. When we talk about sports, this is a common error. I pretended that just because both teams in question went by the name “The New Orleans Saints” that they automatically share some of the same fundamental traits. Drew Brees might be the best quarterback in football, but at the end of the day he is only one man. The good news for Sean Payton, and these days there doesn’t seem to be much of it, is his value is going up every single week.
Just another quick note: all three teams that beat the Saints have only that one win.
The Baltimore Mavericks?
For years when the NBA playoffs started, the Dallas Mavericks had a lot of buzz. They were an exciting team to watch, they scored an absurd amount of points, and they had one of the most versatile big men of all time in Dirk Nowitzki. But year after year they were ousted in the early rounds of the playoffs, and it got to the point that every time they had a big time statement win in the regular season I would completely lose my shit every time someone tried to tell me how good they were.
“I’ve seen this before!” I’d yell.
On Sunday night the Ravens extracted some amount of revenge on the New England Patriots for their devastating AFC championship game loss, and again…I’ve seen this before. The Ravens have probably had more regular season statement game victories than anyone I can remember in the last few years, and it’s getting to the point where I just don’t care. This is not to say that regular season games don’t matter, because of course they do. Homefield advantage is important, and so is momentum. But the Ravens just seem like a team that might as well be on auto-pilot. They are going to win 11 or 12 games, lose a few that make you scratch your head, and be ready for the playoffs. They have the defense to hold teams not named the Patriots in check, and seem to have made a considerable leap on offense. It’s going to come down to January, because I think we all know that this is a team that is going to be there.
But until they do what the Mavericks did against the Heat, and win a championship, it’s going to be hard for me to believe. I will put a disclaimer that this isn’t fair, as much like when I talked about the Saints, there are a lot of players on this team that weren’t there in years past. But unlike a lot of teams in pro sports, the Raven’s core really does make them feel like the same team year after year.
-Each week here on MMJ I will overreact and tell you who I think the best team in football is, and with the 49ers losing a weird game in the big hefty bag (aka the Metrodome) I will bestow this label upon the Houston Texans who went to 3-0 after a convincing win in Denver. Note: being called the best team in football in week 3 on this website will not pay for gas. It will also not get you a new ear.
-The Detroit Lions scored 41 points on Sunday, which should be enough to win…well, every game ever. Unless, of course, you give up five touchdowns of 60 yards or more. I can’t have been the only Jared Cook fantasy owner that stared at the TV with childlike wonder as the tight end scored on a 61 yard pass play. More and more, these look like the same old talented yet undisciplined Lions.
-Speaking of discipline, If Bill Belichick is not fined for making contact with an official on Sunday night, brace yourself for the internet to once again explode with retro-active rage about him not being punished enough for spy-gate.
-In the interest of full disclosure, I dislike the Bears. But what I can never dislike, is a kickass touchdown dance. After scoring on a pick six Sunday, Chicago safety Major Wright busted out what he calls “The Chopper City Jook”. While I couldn’t find video of the celebration itself, here is how I would describe it: it looked like he was strapping on a jetpack, then dug a hole in the ground before finally planting a flag and blasting off. A new feature we are considering for this site is, “unhip white guy tries to describe TD dances”.
-If you like piling on these poor bastard replacement officials, here’s a line by line description of all the stuff they fucked up on Sunday! Seriously, it’s getting bad.
How did your fantasy team do?!? Let us know in the comments section! Just kidding I don’t care.