Quote of the day
"Going back to 2000, teams that have opened with an onside kick have had a plus-60 percent win percentage whether they got it or not and we knew that we would have to steal a possession in this game a couple of different ways. When they work, you're good; when they don't, you're not good." -- Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, after an opening onside kick attempt failed to go the required 10 yards, leading to an early FG by the Colts
With five weeks of the NFL season almost done, I don’t know that we can yet tell who’s going to be really good this year – particularly in the NFC, where only two teams are 4-1: Chicago and Atlanta. Chicago got the benefit of a weak Carolina opponent yesterday, overcoming a 6-16, 32 yard, 4 interception performance by their own backup QB Todd Collins. In Cleveland, Atlanta was locked in a 3-point game until a late pick-6 made the margin look more comfortable. Tampa Bay also has only one loss (3-1), but they needed a couple of late-game Carson Palmer interceptions to overcome the Bungals.
The Saints came into this season with a roster that was largely intact from last year, and expectations were high. But so far, they are only 3-2, and their largest margin of victory is only 5 points, while the team has failed to score more than 25 in any game so far. (Last year, they scored less than 25 only once in the first 14 weeks of the season.) Yesterday, they managed to lose to Arizona – when the only TD scored by the Arizona offense was by offensive tackle Levi Brown.
Dallas was another team with preseason hype, and many of the pundits picked them to emerge as the NFC Super Bowl representative in their home field. That could still happen – but at 1-3, they are currently last in the NFC East. The good news for them is that no other NFC East team appears poised to run away with it.
The other NFC team with big aspirations was the Packers. But they are also 3-2, and are getting pecked to death with injuries, including a late game concussion sustained by Aaron Rodgers – which may or may not cause him to miss any time.