My Denver Broncos are days away from 4-0 and the 2008 installment of the NFL has been a fun one to watch already. Here are some of my random thoughts across the league, and it seems that I like to talk about quarterbacks:
1) A warning to Bronco fans: since 2002, the Denver Broncos have begun a season with a record of 5-2 or better in all but one season (last season). That's five out of six years with a 5-2 start, a feat that the Broncos look prepared to match this season (it would require winning at least two games vs. the following: Chiefs, Buccaneers, Jaguars, and Patriots). Now for the warning: of those fast starts, only one season witnessed a Bronco playoff victory. Two 5-2 starts even evaporated into a postseason-less ending. As nice as 3-0, and maybe even 4-0 sounds, it doesn't mean a thing this early in the season.
2) The Detroit Lions fired GM Matt Millen today. Finally. Really, I think that Millen was the victim of bad choices and bad luck. For example, two of the four first round receivers he took are now notable busts: Mike Williams from USC and Charles Rogers out of Michigan State. The thing is, at the time, most scouts and pundits were lauding those selections. The Lions just seem to be a magnet for crummy, underachieving draft picks. Meanwhile, I hope the Ford family realizes that firing Millen was the biggest mistake they could have made. The only passion I've seen from Lions fans in the past seven years was their hatred for Millen. Now that that's been taken away, I can't see any reason to pay attention to the Pussycats, except maybe to hate on Jon Kitna. Yeah, that'll do.
3) The St. Louis Rams announced today that they're going to start QB Trent Green against Buffalo instead of QB Marc Bulger. Bulger has been bad - very bad - but Coach Scott Linehan has got to be out of his mind if he thinks that Trent Green is going to right the sinking ship. Since 2005, Green has thrown all of 12 TD passes (and 16 picks). Furthermore, Bulger's biggest problem was that he continued to be sacked (97 times in his last 31 starts, and 11 times in 3 games this season). Trent Green doesn't strike me as being the picture of mobility. In summation, Scott Linehan just decided to replace Marc Bulger with... an older, more fragile, version of Marc Bulger. It's been nice having you in the NFL, coach.
4) Speaking of journeymen quarterbacks, the Vikings sound prepared to go through this season with Gus Frerotte as their starting QB. Whatever high they had on Tarvaris Jackson sure died quickly, didn't it? I'm rooting for Gus since he's a former Bronco. Then again, what has Gus NOT been?
5) Did the 2007 Cleveland Browns really even happen? There's already a ton of talk surrounding QB Derek Anderson and whether it's time for the Cleveland "Predominantly Oranges" to go with Notre Dame product Brady Quinn as their starter. As a Pac-10 guy living in the state of Oregon, I'd love to see Anderson (Oregon State) do well, but the opportunity for a rebound is running out.
6) How is it that Chiefs coach Herm Edwards has seemed to get a free pass for so long? The consensus seems to be that since the Chiefs are rebuilding Edwards has a good measure of grace, but what about Herm Edwards and his coaching career makes Kansas City management think he's the guy to rebuild? He didn't do much with the pieces he had to begin with. That said, he's making the right choice in starting Damon Huard at QB this weekend over Tyler Thigpen. If Larry Johnson can slow the game w-a-y down and Huard can manage it well, the Chiefs might actually keep this one close.
7) Man, I want to see Gary Kubiak succeed, but the Houston Texans look like they're taking a big step backward this year. I was thinking the defense would be this team's identity by now, but in reality Houston is equally mediocre on both sides of the ball. At least RB Steve Slaton has shown some promise.
8) Some of the talk about the Broncos/Saints game now is that Denver had a player lined up in the neutral zone in the game-changing third and one that forced New Orleans to try for the field goal with two minutes left. My question: does there seriously need to be a reffereeing error excuse for every game Denver wins? The fact is, Pierre Thomas didn't get the necessary one yard (bad call by Sean Payton, in my opinion) and the never-clutch Martin Grammatica pushed his ensuing kick wide. Games are won - and lost - by the players, not the officials.
9) After a weekend in which both the Jets AND Packers lost, the Brett Favre arguments seem to have died down a bit on both sides. For my part, let me say that I think the worst is yet to come for the New York Bretts. I haven't forgotten that #4 threw 29 interceptions in a season as recently as 2005.
10) Sorry to keep dumping on the Rams, but the Angry Sheep just released starting cornerback Fakhir Brown and replaced him with Jason Craft, a former Saint. Is it just me, or is it probably not a good idea to fill a weakness in the secondary with a defensive back from the Saints? I mean, if the Saints secondary didn't feel like Craft was good enough to play there, why would he be an upgrade for St. Louis? At least the Sheep have a good kicker (how funny was it to see Josh Brown get booed by the Seahawks' faithful on Sunday?).