I'll tell you what I hate about the mainstream media - Six months ago I actually lost count of how many sportswriters were willing to write off Brett Favre - griping about how the Packers needed to build for the future and how being saddled by a soon to be 38-year old doing Prilosec commercials certainly wasn't doing the franchise any good. Now we're four weeks into the dance and Favre's grabbing more air time than Brittany and O.J. combined - connecting on a sweet 66% of his passes - setting NFL records like they're going out of style - and the Pack are one of only three teams in the league with a perfect 4-0 record. Yea, he's a little gray around the edges and his middle name's Lorenzo, but he's still one of the all-time best - and that's more than you can say about anyone else in the league right now, including Peyton Manning.
…The kids are rocking in AZ after Sunday's smack down of the Steelers - but apparently Matt Leinart's bent on head coach Ken Whisenhunt's quarterback platoon system - "I'd be lying if I said I was happy with the way things are going. I want to play, I want be the starting quarterback, I want to play every single play." Look, I appreciate the enthusiasm - but understand, if you were getting the job done in the first place, Kurt Warner would still be holding the clipboard. The Cards are off to their best start in twenty-years and for a change people are actually buying tickets - man up and roll with it. Nobody in Phoenix wants to toss out another year, while you learn to adjust to a no-huddle offense - especially your teammates.
In other news from the desert - An Arizona judge sentenced Bucs tight end Jerramy Stevens to 12 days in jail and $3,160 in fines for a D.U.I. arrest last March in which the former first-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, blew a .204 - three times the legal limit of .08. The dude's lucky he didn't get nailed under the state's extreme-DUI category, which would have cost him a cool 30-days behind bars. Stevens is appealing the case and more than likely will not serve any jail time until the conclusion of the 2007 season.
… I've officially starting a petition to change the name of the AFC West to the AFC Worst. One-quarter of the way into the season and nobody can top out better than .500? From what I hear the freaks in So. Cal can't get off the Charger bandwagon fast enough - Tell me again, whose idea was it to let Shottenheimer and Wade Phillips bail in favor of Norv Turner? I may not be able tell you where my keys are right now, but I do know better than to dump on a pair of seasoned coaches that got you a step away from the Big One less than a year ago.
The Broncos have a mess of their own - Shanahan's still running the ship, Cutler's at the wheel and from all outward appearances the team is no better off than they were with Jake Plummer - figure that one out. Cutler's got great upside - but right now he's just not getting the job done. Toss in the fact that the Denver defense has more gaps than Michael Strahan's teeth, and you're looking at a team that's about two years away from being a real contender. That's not going over too well in the 5250 (Mile High City).
As far as KC and Oakland - well… they're KC and Oakland. Nobody can look so bad - or so good - in the same season and continue to miss the playoffs like these guys. Props for being consistent. I will point out that if Janikowski hadn't bounced it off the uprights two weeks ago in Denver, Al Davis' crew would hold sole possession of first place in the AFC Worst - how scary is that?
…From the "I didn't know he was still in the league" files - Thirty-six year old Gus Frerotte will be the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams this Sunday when they head to the heat to take on the Cardinals.
… Hey Chi town - still sold on the whole Griese gives us the best chance to win scenario? Thirty-four of fifty-two passes - three interceptions (one for a touchdown) and a quarterback rating of 68.3. The sad part is, he actually is better than Grossman - but his career's been circling the drain since Denver, and now you're on the road in Green Bay at 1-3. Now might be a pretty good time to panic. Good luck in the offseason…
Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past ten years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.
Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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