1. I think this is what I liked about Week 3:
a. Kyle Orton has really taken command of the Denver offense, and I don't say that just because he threw for 476 yards Sunday. You notice that Tim Tebow was the third quarterback Sunday? That's a nod to the fact that Orton's running the offense so well that Josh McDaniels doesn't think there's any point right now in taking Orton off the field to throw the Tebow change-up at the defense.
b. Talk about two backs fitting well together. Thomas Jones vs. San Francisco: 19 carries, 95 yards; Jamaal Charles vs. San Francisco: 12 carries, 97 yards.
c. What a run by Rashard Mendenhall, his spinning, pirouetting move against the Bucs.
d. You're not as slow as everyone thinks, Charlie Batch.
e. Calvin Johnson had to be 10 feet tall to make that second-quarter catch against the Vikes.
f. Will Witherspoon, reborn. Who knew he could run the passer like he's doing?
g. Gus Johnson I at Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay, after a Steeler touchdown: "LISTEN TO THIS PLACE! IT SOUNDS LIKE WE'RE IN DOWNTOWN PITTSBURGH!!
h. Gus Johnson II at Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay, "CHARLIE BATCH COMING OFF THE BENCH TODAY! HE LOOKS LIKE JOHNNY U!''
i. No peeking: Sports quiz--Where'd Danny Woodhead go to college? (Answer in number 9 of 10 Things.)
j. Excellent use of instant replay by Walt Anderson twice in the third quarter at New Orleans. Reversed two calls and got both right.
k. The Saints' decisiveness in bringing in some kickers this week for auditions. Can't hold the seat forever without performing, Garrett Hartley, not after missing gimmes.
l. Bernard Pollard. A bruising hitter he's always been. In Houston, he's become a defensive leader and a tackling machine on the level of DeMeco Ryans. Fifteen more stops Sunday against Dallas.
2. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 3:
a. Adrian Peterson is going to see that first-quarter drop, with nothing but open field in front of him, for a long time.
b. If you won't trust your kicker, Dallas, and you certainly don't when you won't let David Buehler attempt a 46-yard field goal and instead go for it on fourth-and-two, then why didn't you cut him last week and sign a trusted vet?
c. When Eli Manning looks at his ridiculous left-handed interception in the red zone in the film room today, he'll puke.
d. As will Tampa Bay rookie safety Cody Grimm (son of Russ), who lost coverage on the 46-yard Steeler touchdown pass to Mike Wallace.
e. First Drew Brees interception in 261 days and 242 attempts. Come to think of it, there's a lot to like about that stat -- and the fact that the Saints' first turnover was in the ninth quarter of the season.
f. You're staring down your targets, Jimmy Clausen.
g. How do you NOT cover Percy Harvin, Lions?
h. You're not making everyone forget the way last year ended, Carson Palmer.
i. Come on, Kareem McKenzie. Control yourself. His double-shove of a Titan in the fourth quarter -- inexcusable.
j. The Giants, in general, are contending with San Francisco for 2010's most disappointing team.
3. I think a Week 4 bye is way too early. Players shouldn't head into their bye week in September.
4. I think I buy Chris Mortensen's report Sunday that Brett Favre has had second thoughts about his return to the Vikings. And why wouldn't he, when the team basically dragged him off his property a month ago? But will he act on his emotions and quit? I don't believe it. Not for a second.
5. I think there is no official in sports who loves to hear himself speak more than Ed Hochuli.
6. I think Dan Rooney took up for his old friend, Paul Tagliabue, for the Pro Football Hall of Fame the other day, and I thought I'd give you some of his logic. Since I find it, like, logical.
"His successes were often of a nature whereby he worked behind the scenes to prevent something from happening, rather than reacting after the fact. An example was during the anti-trust suit with the USFL, our outside council suggested that he would settle the case with the USFL. Tagliabue spoke up and said he had a different opinion and that settling the case would be the worst thing the NFL could do. It would open the door to other people to start a league then sue the NFL to get an award from the suit or to have teams join the NFL. His argument and logic made sense and the owners agreed ...
"As to whether or not Paul is responsible for whatever happens next [in the labor negotiations after pushing through the last agreement in 2006], that is confusing to me. Times change and both sides know that we are probably at a point where we need to make changes. Paul successfully guided us during his tenure and now it is time to examine where we will be in the future. That is always inevitable as circumstances over time demand adjustments.''
I doubt Tagliabue will get in soon; I should know, because I presented his case for three years to the body of voters, and there's a sense that he'll not get in until this labor thing is resolved -- and maybe not for a long while beyond that.
7. I think what would concern me if I were a Jaguar fan is not only the 13-of-30 performance by a quarterback, David Garrard, who should be beyond a day like this, but also the play of the two second-year tackles, Eben Britton and Eugene Monroe. Philly had six sacks of Garrard and could have a couple more.
8. I think that's the first of many, Sam Bradford.
9. I think you'll get a kick out of the silly numbers the latest New England hero put up in college. Answering the quiz first: Danny Woodhead went to Chadron (Neb.) State. Look what he did in his four years there:
|Average rushing game: 25.8 carries, 178.9 yards per game.|
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
a. Congrats on 2,500 wins, Bobby Cox.
b. Austin Pettis, the nephew of one of the best-fielding center-fielders of our day, Gary Pettis, is the receiver/returner/occasional quarterback-on-the-reverse on the fun-to-watch Boise State team, and I can't wait to see what some smart NFL offensive coach does with him at the next level. He threw a touchdown pass to start Boise on its 37-24 win over Oregon State Saturday night.
c. The last week of the baseball season was looking interesting, until Papelbon and Okajima took the mound Sunday night.
d. The Red Sox have to think seriously about whether Papelbon's going to close for them next year. Maybe this is just one of those years. But he can't get the Yankees out anymore. That's sort of important.
e. I wish something could make me interested in the National League West race.
f. I've got a lot of admiration for Jose Bautista and his 52 jacks.
g. I'm not saying my wife and I went to a nice restaurant in New York the other night or anything, but when she put her purse on the floor by her chair, a server hustled over, picked up her purse and put it on a velvet footstool.
h. Coffeenerdness: Quite pleased to try the Italian Roast from the New Hampshire Coffee Roasting Company. The darker the better, as far as I'm concerned, and this one's got a good kick to it with no bitterness.
i. Missed The Office the other night. I thought Michael was off the show. What's the story? Does he have one more year?
j. A big thanks to Liz Melby and the bartenders at the Harpoon Brewery in Boston for the runpeterkingrun.com fundraiser Thursday night. A more selfless, generous group of people you'll never meet, and my media panel (Albert Breer, Ron Borges, Ian Rapoport) and I are grateful for the hospitality. And the Raspberry Hefeweizen, of course.
Green Bay 27, Chicago 20. The Bears are getting ready to show America what they can do over the next seven days -- tonight on ESPN at home, then next Sunday night at the Meadowlands against the Giants on NBC. They're better than I thought, particularly with a line that exposes Jay Cutler to the rush. They're got the firepower to win this game. I just like Green Bay's playmakers better -- and the Packers corners will hold up against Cutler's onslaught.