Early thoughts on the early games:
* Steelers gave the game at home away to the Bengals. The defense played its heart out in the second half, and took a 14-7 deficit and ended up 17-14 in the 4th quarter. The wheels came off from there, with two fumbles, and then Big Ben threw a pick in the end zone with a chance to tie the game and then they would have had to have the two-point conversion. Willie Parker was off the charts, rushing for 133 yards and two scores. The Bengals are 3-0, and are sitting pretty atop the division, while the Steelers have to be kicking themselves for basically giving this one away.
* Miami still looked like they were sleepwalking in their 13-10 home win over the not so good Tennessee Titans. Daunte Culpepper was just 17-for-26 for 168 yards and he ran for a score. The Dolphins are fortunate to have escaped this one with a win, and the Titans would have gotten a shot in the arm for a young team with a big home win. Credit Ronnie Brown for Miami with 90 yards on the ground on 26 carries.
* I thought that the Lions were going to be better than they are, and today’s loss at home to the Packers shows just how far they are away from being a decent team. Jon Kitna, despite throwing for 342 yards in simply not the answer, and Rod Marnelli’s defense was awful once again, giving up 340 yards and 3 TD’s to Bret Favre and 101 yards to Greg Jennings. At least at 31-24, it was an entertaining game.
* Give the Panthers credit for overcoming an emotional effort from the Bucs and getting a late field goal for a gutsy 24-23 win in Tampa. Steve Smith did create some mismatches for the Panthers, and ended the day with 116 yards on 7 catches. Carolina at 1-2 now looks like they can get back on track with a home game against the Saints next week, with New Orleans coming in on a short week with the Monday nighter at home vs Atlanta.
* I hate to say I told you so, but I knew that the Jags would lose today in Indy. While the Jags made it interesting, I felt that coming in with the chip on their shoulder from Monday night they would not have the same intensity. Bryon Leftwich was just 16-of-28 for 107 yards. That won’t get it done in the playoffs, which the Jags think they will be in once January hits. The Colts are still REALLY good, and will win the AFC South.
* How about the Bills laying that egg at home vs the Jets?! New York is better than advertised, and the Bills maybe not as good as they looked last week against the Dolphins. What a crazy start to the AFC East.
* Ouch on the early games, with a mark of just 4-4. I need some big wins in the 4’s to make it another big week.