Due to time contraints we move ahead in this week’s NFL coverage:
ATLANTA FALCONS v PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Falcons are very good, and look to go a lot further than Atlanta’s baseball team managed. The Eagles will still be a Vick-less wonder, but are at home.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v CHICAGO BEARS
Both of these teams can be terrific, or utterly, completely awful. However Chicago look like they’re beginning to gel. I hate Jake Cutler with every fibre of my being: he seems smarmy, whiny and full of himself. But he’s seeing the field the way co-ordinator Mike Martz wants him to and you will see a monster game from him at some point this season. This may well be it. Pete Carroll’s doing a very good job with Seattle, but he’s a long way from finished yet.
BALTIMORE RAVENS v NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
I dare say there was a bit of chortling going on in the greater Boston area last night as the bye week Pats watched new Viking Randy Moss suffering the glory and ignominy of being Brett’s new boy. He scored a classic Moss special, then watched balls sail slowly behind him the rest of the game.
On the sideline during the 2nd Quarter Moss could be seen explaining to Favre that he liked a straight on ball that he needed to catch up to as opposed to a ‘floater’ that he needed to turn back to catch. Brett was nodding. Think about it – no-one coaching the Vikes in the last 4 days had bothered watching Moss’ highlight reel? Randy is a greyhound – that ball needs to be JUST out of reach for him to chase. I know that. So either no-one told Brett, or hey, what if the old man can’t throw them that far anymore?
RAVENS WIN (Pats chortling stops)
MIAMI DOLPHINS v GREEN BAY PACKERS
Two teams that seem to be close to being very good, but flatter to deceive. Green Bay especially. Poor running game, porous offensive line, and Rodgers has stagnated at QB. They’re not BAD per se, but they’re not very good either. Miami is very similar, just with a better running game. Given the QB situation down there, Spagnolo may be a throaty voiced genius. When he hangs up his coaching hat he has a long career as an evil voiceover in animation.
I hereby salute Tampa Bay, a sweaty shitheap of a city, because no matter how awful your environs (just typing the name of the place makes me want to get an STD test) you’ve managed to grow two (almost three) brilliant professional sports teams. And on almost no money. Yet still you refuse to come to the games. If any other city in North America had pro teams the standard of yours they would have decade long waiting lists for seats, and fans so insufferable even Cowboys and Pats fans would blanch. But no Tampa Bay, you are too busy opening your shirts that extra button, enjoying the chill blast from your Wal-Mart air conditioner on high while applying low-grade fake tan and admiring the algae in your greasy hot-tub to actually bother attending games. Sporting excellence? A brilliant baseball team made out of scraps and an over-performing football team with a young coach? Pah. It’s two-fer Tequila night at Banana Joes. Roll on Tampa, roll on.
TAMPA WIN (although it will be tight)
DALLAS COWBOYS v MINNESOTA VIKINGS
VIKINGS WIN, Jerry Jones fires somebody.