It's pure folly now to consider the New York Jets a playoff contender. They compounded one of the ugliest performances in their recent history last week with an even more unsightly one this week at home. But, at 2-2, they are amazingly still relevant so we keep a wary eye on the competition. There are a few opponents that rise to the top of the discussion.
Baltimore 23, Cleveland 16 - This game certainly seemed like it featured one that had just played a couple of days before on Sunday night previous. The Browns are terrible, yet they can run the ball a bit. The Ravens are potential Super Bowl material, even though the defense isn't nearly as stout as it once was. Wouldn't you love to see the Ravens play the Houston Texans? It's at Houston on October 21.
New England 52, Buffalo 28 - When the Bills extended the lead in this game to 21-7, even the most ardent Pat fan had to wonder about their 1-2 team. Then, Tom Brady slammed his foot on the accelerator, and the next time you peeked, they had outscored the stunned Bills 45-7. The Pats' defense awoke for a quarter or so, but they're not intimidating. Brady? Intimidating.
Houston 38, Tennessee 14 - After the 49ers loss last week to the Minnesota Vikings, though they blitzed the outmanned Jets this week, the Texans have to be considered the best team in football. The last eight games Matt Schaub has started, the team is 8-0 and won by a total of 160 points. That's a problem for everybody else.
Cincinnati 27, Jacksonville 10 - Guess what? The Bengals are pretty darn good. They haven't beaten a great team yet, but they are 3-1 and have two characteristics that should help them moving forward - a stingy defense and an efficient quarterback in Andy Dalton. They're 3-1, and, in their division, the Pittsburgh Steelers don't seem unbeatable any more.
Denver 37, Oakland 6 - If you were waiting for Peyton Manning to become comfortable, the wait is over. How does 30 for 38 sound? Does Mark Sanchez even have 30 completions yet this year?
Glenn Vallach has been a football fan for most of his lifetime, but never played organized pigskin unless you consider the thousands of youth hours running slant routes on city streets. Don Maynard was his idol, an adulation he took seriously, complete with a number 13 stitched to his sweatshirt. He remains a New York Jet fan through so much disappointment and embarrassment over the years. Coach Rex Ryan has rekindled a dormant fire, but sometimes he feels as if he doesn't understand the likely end result of all his efforts. It has been 43 years, after all.
- · Yahoo! Sports New York Jets page
- · Yahoo! Sports New England Patriots page
- · Yahoo! Sports Denver Broncos page
- · Yahoo! Sports Peyton Manning page
- · Yahoo! Sports Matt Schaub page
- · John Wawrow, The Associated Press, Brady leads Pats to 52-28 rout of Bills
- · Chris Duncan, The Associated Press, Texans beat Titans 38-14, improve to 4-0
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