While I sit here trying to figure out whether I enjoyed the Steelers' blowout or Tom Brady's knee blowout more, I would like to point out that Bill Belichick has a career record of 41-56 without Tom Brady under center.
With two bad quarterbacks, six running backs on the roster, a suspicious offensive line and an average defense, Randy Moss is basically back on the Oakland team he quit on two years ago. Fortunately, when New England is starting Chris Simms in December and struggling to go 7-9, they can look back on last year* and think of all the good times they had winning. (*Super Bowl not included)
And the nice thing for Brady is that with only playing 15 snaps this season, he could still win the MVP. Because the about to be atrocious Patriot offense is going to go a long way toward proving his value.
In another seaboard city, Philadelphia redeemed my blind faith in them, as they advanced me in the survival point, gave me a 400-point cash-in in the betting pool and McNabb and Jackson gave me lots of fantasy points.
The people who picked Philly in the survival pool are happy today. But fifteen people who used to be in it are not. San Diego, Indianapolis, Detroit, Seattle and Cincinnati all boned over survivalists. A full 30% of the pool is gone. Jake Delhomme delivered a sick dick kick to six people on the final play of the game in San Diego. In three years of running this pool, I have seen many popular picks come down to the last play of the game. I have never seen it go the wrong way for the people. Even more remarkably, I wasn't part of the San Diego crowd.
For the dinner pool, the current standings are Ryan 91, Me 89, Max 86, Brian 72. I have 6 on Green Bay tonight and 4 on Oakland and if just Oakland comes through, I will win the week. One week at a time and all that foofaraw, but last season I was down about 35 points after the opening week. So this practically locks it up for me, I think. I already have a dinner destination in mind and it will be expensive. Good God, will it ever be expensive. If you're wondering what happened to Brian, he did his annual Week 1 16-point fan pick on Detroit and that firecracker blew up his hand, severing the thumb.
Fantasy is another issue. At least five times last season, my quarterback was the only player to score a TD for me. You'll be happy to know I picked right back up where I left off in Week 1. McNabb had 3 TDs and that was it for the Ladybugs. Colston, Boldin, Shockey, Addai, DeSean Jackson...nothing. Nate Burleson scored a touchdown for my opponent before spraining his knee. Tim Hightower had a goal line TD...from my bench.I'm tied 66-66 going into tonight. He has Adrian Peterson (the good one) and I have Selvin Young. I'm sure I'll keep my non-touchdown ways alive and lose. And lest you think it's not me and my mighty hex powers, Frank Gore and Jerricho Cotchery - two guys I had last season - both had touchdowns today. I can already tell I will lose one, win one all season and then lose in the final week of the regular season to miss the playoffs. Making the third straight year I pull that feat off. Can't wait!
Going back to speaking about the Steelers, their dispatching of Houston yesterday was almost boring in its dominance. It is now no longer acceptable to rank Roethlisberger any lower than third when discussing the league's quarterbacks, and the offensive line - everybody's main source of concern heading into 2008 - pushed around a Texans defense heralded as being on the come up. Smith and Kemoeatu destroyed the right side of Houston's defensive line, and Justin Hartwig wasn't as noticeable as Sean Mahan was last year. That is a compliment, because Mahan was only noticeable when his man was caving in the pocket.
With Brady out, the middle of the Colts' offensive and defensive lines as porous as cheesecloth, David Garrard balancing out his three interceptions last season with two Sunday and the Chargers losing at home, have the Steelers already become the favorite in the AFC? There are only two games left in Week 1, so it's not too early to declare that Pittsburgh and Dallas will meet in the Super Bowl for a fourth time this February. I personally cannot wait. When James Harrison and Marion Barber collide, it will be more powerful than the Large Hedron Collider that is going to implode the Earth inside a black hole this week. Harrison and Barber will crash into each other deep in space, bond into a hypergiant stars and create a new galaxy. The Crush Galaxy.
On another note...Arizona, St. Louis, Houston. If you are tabbed as the breakout team of a season, you will be killed in Week 1. It's just a fact at this point.
So now I wait for tonight to see what happens. If Green Bay and Oakland win while Selvin Young outdoes Adrian Peterson, I will manage the incredibly rare 5-0 effort across my football ventures. That would be Steelers, fantasy, survival pool, dinner pool and points betting pool. Wow. So much victorious football. It would rank as the second greatest day of my life. Behind the daughter, ahead of the wedding. We shall see, shan't we?