Today is the beginning of the NBA season, and...it just doesn't hold much allure to me. As I have blogged before, the NBA is so predictable. We know that the same six teams or so are going to fighting it out to the end with the Lakers winning the title again -- boring. So, now we come to the NFL and the 2010 season where there is not too much that has been predictable. Most folks expected the Jets, Colts, Steelers, Ravens and Patriots to be atop the AFC, but the Chiefs have unexpectedly cast themselves into the mix The Texans and Titans, from the South, are also playing well, which creates some real drama for that division. It is the NFC that has analysts and common folks collectively scratching their heads. The Cowboys were supposed to be the first team to host a Super Bowl at home...and they find themselves 1-5, now, and do not have their starting QB, Tony Romo, for most of the rest of the season. The Giants started out an awful 1-2 in the East, but have reeled off four wins in a row in rather impressive fashion, and now may be the team to beat in the NFC. That is, unless the Seahawks (4-2), Buccaneers (4-2) and Redskins (4-3) do not have something to say about it -- you're kidding me right? These three teams have been bottom dwellers the past few years, but here they are atop or near the top of their divisions. Ahhh...gotta love the NFL, where parity is a reality. On any given Sunday, any team can beat another team...and in any given year, a bottom feeder can rise to the top, and a top dog can sink to the bottom.
The big drama for week 7 involved none other than Brett Favre. This week, the news was more related to on-field issues than off-field (which is good, I guess). Favre came out of yet another rough start...against the Packers, no less...and now has two small fractures in his already banged up ankle. He was also publicly criticized by his coach...and here I thought that Favre was the coach. :-) The big drama is whether his 291 start streak is in jeopardy. With 99 percent of NFL QBs, it most certainly would be, but...we're talking about the Old Gunslinger here. He will tell them that he is going to play and they will probably shoot his ankle with some painkillers and send him out there for week 8 against the Patriots. One begins to get the idea (which I have already pondered, actually), that Favre will not come off the field until they cart him off, once and for all...and it could happen this Sunday. I do believe that when this happens, that he will be finished...but, how can anyone say for certain(?).
It is apparent that the Saints aren't marching anywhere this year without running backs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas. Thankfully, they are both slated to be back in New Orleans' lineup this week...and none too soon, since Sean Payton's bunch was thumped by the steadily improving, but perennially lowly, Cleveland Browns 30-17. Thomas' running style is the solid, pounding variety that backups have been unable to provide. Bush provides such an unpredictable element that opposing defenses have to plan for...and it keeps opposing coordinators off-balance. The Saints will be happy to have his shifty, quick bursts back in the offense.
Finally, when I checked the scores around lunch-time Sunday, you know that I had to do a double-take when I saw the score -- Raiders 31-Broncos 0 -- with 13 minutes left in the second quarter. This was almost surreal. The Raiders have been nothing, if not terrible, on offense since Rich Gannon left nearly a decade ago. Meanwhile, the Broncos have not had that poor of a showing this year, even though they were 2-4 coming in o last weekend. There had to be much rejoicing for Raider nation when the final outcome was 59-14 in favor of the silver and black. A person just has to wonder...one, if the Raiders can possibly keep this up, and two, just how long of a leash does young Josh McDaniels have with Pat Bowlen's pride and joy? Well, there is much that remains to be seen as the final ten weeks unfold. I have to believe that major injuries, like Favre's and Romo's, are going to continue to play a major part as the season unfolds (and the higher-ups want to expand the season to 18 games???). At the rate that things have been changing this year...I am willing to bet that it is going to get very interesting before it is all said and done.
P.S. Yes, Dolphin fans, you were robbed of a win...we Seahawk fans remember a Big Ben wrong call around the goal-line in Super Bowl XL painfully well...