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Around The NFL

– Im guessing that this will indeed be the last (and I mean the LAST) season of Brett Favre’s long career. He looks tired and his play is starting to indeed decline somewhat. The Vikings are still one of the more talented teams but Childress looks to be a B-level head coach right now. It’d be sort of funny if Favre retired mid-season.

– The Dolphins are sitting pretty at 2-0 after a very impressive defensive showing in Minnesota. They play sort of like a throwback team from the 80’s or early 90’s, it’s like they stepped into a time machine in 1989 and landed in the year 2010. They have a  good, sound defense that covers the technical side of things and their offense is solid but far from spectacular. They don’t throw it much and when they do it’s pretty basic, but they can run it effectively. Look for this team to make a serious push into the playoffs.

– The Saints are 2-0, but they don’t look like an NFL powerhouse right now. Their offense looks like it’s still warming up and some of their defensive holes were exposed last week against the 49ers. Speaking of the 49ers, they look like they might be the best 0-2 team in the NFL (outside of possibly the Vikings). If this team doesn’t let their current record keep them down, I could see the 49ers not only making the playoffs but winning some games once and if they get there. Alex Smith is looking really good and their offense is balanced with Frank Gore running the ball. The defense is tough and has some nice talent on board. For those that think I’m crazy saying the 49ers are a playoff team keep this in mind – Against the SB defending champs, the 49ers had 4 turnovers in the game but held the high-flying Saints offense to just 25 points (that’s pretty good considering the offense they were facing and the turnovers) and the 49ers outgained the Saints by over 100 yards in the game. To have 4 turnovers and only lose by 3 points to a defending Super Bowl team is impressive, even though the loss obviously isn’t good.

– It’s strange to me (yes, I’m a Steelers fan so I’m unbiased of course) that the Ravens continue to get so much love from the media. The team is 1-1 but could easily be 0-2 if not for some very favorable calls in their Jets win that basically handed them the game-deciding TD in that game. What’s interesting about the Ravens this year is their offense has struggled so far and Joe Flacco has looked very unimpressive, even with all the weapons they have on that team (Boldin, Houshmandzadah, Ray Rice, Heap, Mason) the offense is only averaging 10 points a game (30th in the league). And yet their aging defense has played really well (2nd in total yards allowed).

– It seemed like last year there were definite signs of a power shift in the NFL from the long standing dominant AFC to the weaker NFC. After two weeks of action this year, I’m not so sure. The Vikings are 0-2, the Cowboys are 0-2, the Saints still look good, the Packers might be for real, the Eagles are an enigma with Vick at QB. It’s a long season, we’ll see how some of these teams look in a month or so.

– Speaking of Vick (the media love him!), with him named as the new starter by Andy Reid this week, it’ll be interesting to see how well he plays with this upcoming schedule – @ SF, ATL, INDY, @WASH, NYG, @CHI, HOU.

– Anyone else find it strange that Texans head coach Gary Kubiak elected not to attempt a 51 yard FG in OT against the Redskins on Sunday? Last time I checked Neil Rackers is a pretty good kicker. What made the decision even more questionable was the ensuing punt was booted into the endzone for a touchback. Basically a 20 yard difference in field position if Rackers had missed the attempt. The Redskins went down the field and missed a 52 yard FG, so maybe it was a good decision? But only because the Redskins kicker missed his attempt.

– It’s hard to imagine Panthers head coach John Fox returning after this season. The Panthers look bad and Fox seems to already be on shaky ground.

– It wasn’t pretty but the Chiefs are 2-0 after beating the Browns 16-14 last Sunday. With two former Patriot coaches, Charlie Weis, Romeo Crennel, the Chiefs are showing some of the same blue-collar toughness the Pats had in the early 2000’s. The Chiefs actually have a decent chance at a playoff appearance this year with their impressive young defense and a relatively easy schedule.

– I just saw Jeff Fisher on NFL Network discussing the high number of roughing the QB penalties that have been called so far. Naturally, Fisher (a member of the competition committee) defended all the calls that the NFL Network had showed as examples. All the calls shown were complete bullshit. Fisher stressed  “player safety”. Hey, last time I checked football was a violent game played by huge, athletic players, it’s a contact sport. Injuries are part of the game. I agree about protecting player safety but unless the QB is getting hit late, don’t throw the flag! It is and will fundamentally change the sport for the worse. It’s already happening, with defenders letting up on the QB in fear of a flag or thinking a QB was in the grasp and didn’t want to finish through (again, in fear of a flag) and the result was a completion for yards as the QB got away scott free. When things like that happen, we have a problem.

– I’d just like to send out condolences to Kenny McKinley’s family, friends and the Broncos.

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