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Easy street

Colts riding high with favorable early season schedule

Posted: Wednesday October 12, 2005 12:24PM; Updated: Wednesday October 12, 2005 2:02PM
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I hear raindrops. This makes me very depressed. Saturday and Saturday night we got 10 inches out here in Morris County, N.J. The roof leaked in five different places, and this is a new one some guy put in last year. Worse yet, ground water was entering in the washing machine area. We sopped it up with towels, wrung out the towels, then sopped it up again, a desperate battle to keep up. Finally, at about 9:45 p.m., I jumped in the car for a hair-raising run to Home Depot before it closed at 10, so I could get some ... uh, get some what? Sand bags, that's it.

Route 10 was flooded in spots. I tried to circumvent the flood, and wound up in a deeper one. Slammed the car into reverse, gunned the motor and barely escaped. Never made it to the Home Depot in East Hanover, so let's try the one in Dover. Yes, they had kept it open, and it was almost 11 by now. Yes, they had sandbags to sell me, 10 of them, 60 pounds each. I schlepped them to the car. Oy, vey!

"Why not get a water vacuum?" said a young Home Depot woman with intelligence obviously superior to my own. It's a says which, huh? I bought it, actually put it together while The Flaming Redhead was smooshing down towels and ringing them out. It worked. Sucked up water. We did it for a few hours. Time for the Sunday games in a little while.

Now there's more rain. Therefore my rankings this week will be, everybody together now ... "ALL WET!"

NFL Power Rankings
Rank LW Team
1 1 They have faced one team with a winning record, Jacksonville, and that was a hard fought 10-3 victory. The next time they meet a winning team will be on Nov. 7, the day before Election Day. How many coaches will be out of office by then?
2 3 There I sat, gripping the edge of my chair watching Big Ben's knee going back, way back, Oh my God, this is a bad one! It is only at times of crisis like this that you realize how much you like a certain player. The way he muscles his way through the rush, the way he handles himself out there. Hope he'll be back quickly. Monday night I'd have laid a pretty heavy price against it.
3 11 New linebacker Chad Brown said the following after the victory at Atlanta. "With the Steelers and Cowher there was spit flying, yelling going on. Holmgren used to scream at guys on the sidelines. Here, it's just not like that. At first I thought, 'Man, what's going on? These guys are so unemotional.' But it made sense. Why get all emotional and crazy every week? When I thought back on when I played my best, it was when I was in control and had my confidence going. That's how these guys are all the time."
4 6 Defensive coach Larry Coyer said he "had to go back to Buddy Ryan" and employ his 46 Defense to counter the Redskins' maximum protection scheme. Four linemen, six defensive backs, equals 46, see? Dear Coach Coyer. Ryan's 46 was named after strong safety Doug Plank, who wore that number. The alignment was a 4-3 that covered each of the offensive interior linemen with a defensive player, and would place both OLBs on the same side. Shame on you. You ought to know things like this.
5 2 Please, no wild e-mails about how the Cowboys slaughtered them, and Philly still has a higher ranking. OK, say I placed Dallas at No. 5. Then the Redskins and Raiders, each of whom beat the Cowboys, would have to be at three and four. Then the Chiefs, who beat the Raiders, would be at No. 3. The Broncos and Eagles, each of whom beat the Chiefs, would move up to Nos. 1 and 2, which would place the Eagles higher than Dallas, which slaughtered them. Tough game, this rankings thing.
6 5 A buck says you can't name the Falcons' starting wideouts without looking. Michael Jenkins and Dez White, and don't lie, because I can tell.
7 17 Nine rookies are on the roster. My favorite is DE Chris Canty, No. 99. An able pass rusher, at a slender 6-foot-7, 279, but he shows such technical skill that he can't be muscled on the running plays.
8 8 Four games decided by a total of eight points. Hey, Stats, Inc. What's the record for a season? Wait a minute, I forgot that in the real old days, teams played a lot of ties. The Skins still might have a shot, though. .
9 9 Wasn't that a great game they played against the Steelers, although I must admit, the whole complexion changed after that penalty on Pittsburgh for interfering with the fair catch. I called the NFL's Supervisor of Officials, Mike Pereira, about it. I understood the rule. If a guy signals for a fair catch and muffs a punt, you still can't hit him. You have to give him another grab at it. But what if the ball hits the ground? "Then everything's fair game," the Supe said. What if the ball goes flying way off to one side and it's irretrievable, but it's still in the air. "Judgment call by the official." "Clearly, the rule needs addressing," I said in my most polite manner. "Clearly," said Mike the Supe.
10 12 Ex-49er LB Jamie Winborn is a great pick up for them. I got the word on why the Niners were mad at Jamie. Too undisciplined, they said. Too much freelancing. Well, Jack Del Rio's an ex-linebacker. He ought to be able to address the problem, if anyone can.
11 7 OK, Chad Johnson's upset because Carson Palmer didn't get him the ball more often Sunday night. And didn't look for him deep. He's upset because of all the double coverage. Hey, Chad. All the good receivers get their share of it. And I didn't see many plays in which you were wide open downfield.
12 4 If I were one of those "after the fact" guys, I'd be telling you, hey, I knew the Jets would bring them down to earth. And then my other voice would say, Oh yeah? Then why didn't you pick the Jets in your column? And I'd go into my backstroke and say, I was going to but I forgot. "You know what this conversation tells me?" says the Flaming Redhead. What? "It tells me that you're tip-toeing around on the back side of the moon."
13 13 Julius Peppers has no sacks. And these are the tackles he's faced. A rookie in New Orleans. The Patriots' Brandon Gorin. Miami's rotating door committee that the Jets' John Abraham destroyed. Green Bay's Mark Tauscher-OK, I'll give you this one; he's pretty good. And last week, Arizona's Fred Wakefield, a back-up, a converted defensive lineman. The Panthers' rush has generated five sacks in five games. Something, do you hear me, something must be done. This is my preseason Super Bowl team we're talking about.
14 9 A fumbled punt in the last three minutes snuffed out the Rams' chances last weekend. The Hawks' Shaun Alexander described this conversation with Coach Mike Holmgren: "'OK, you're the coach. I'm sure you've got something up your sleeve.' He did. A punt, a fumble, a recovery. Great idea. It worked."
15 18 Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce enjoyed his bye week by watching the next opponent, Dallas, destroy the Eagles. "I don't ever want to see a team play that well the week before we play them," he said. Yeah, and if Philly were up next, he'd be saying, "Wow, they'll be mad after getting beaten like that." And if the opponent were coming off a bye, he'd said, "They'll be good and rested." See, you can't win.
16 12 Another bye baby. Willie Roaf plays, they beat the Skins. Willie Roaf sits, they lose. Simple. To the point. Next case!