* Now that Wednesday, aka “Media Day” in the NFL is upon us, you can start looking for the hype machine to really start turning with every waking moment being focused on the “T.O. Returns To Philly” storyline. Philadelphia is where Fox will park its pregame show on Sunday, and the game is by far going to be the most shown game of the regional games this weekend. Once you get past the Owens stuff, the game itself should be a very solid NFC East matchup between two good teams. Of course all that anyone will focus on is Owen’s and his interaction with any of his old teammates on the Philly side. Add to the fact that the fans are going to abuse him and its perfect drama for 4:15 on a Sunday.
* Word came down Tuesday that loudmouth tight end Jeremy Shockey will NOT be benched for comments he made about the Giants being outcoached vs the Seahawks two weeks ago. Shockey stated that his coaches did not prepare the team for some of the things that Seattle does before their game at Qwest Field on the 24th. Of course maybe it would have helped if the Giants would not have come out and played like scared puppies and then ran and hid after giving up a boatload of points and turnovers before scoring a bunch in the 4th quarter when the game was well over. Shockey is about the most overrated tight end in the game, and the way he carries on you would think he’s Tony Gonzales. This season Shockey has 11 catches for 134 yards. Stats that should not warrent him being allowed to question the coaches nor anyone on his team.
* While I am on the subject of tight ends with big mouths, can some please tell Browns TE Kellen Winslow to stop making a big deal out of every pass he catches. Winslow caught three passes against the inept Raiders on Sunday, and I swear after two of the three he got up as if he had just made the winning catch in the Super Bowl. Winslow is having a good season for the Browns, 22 catches for 228 yards and two TD’s, but what happened to the guy who said in training camp that he was going to be more humble? First he calls out his own coaches, then has to pose after every catch like a pro wrestler. Kellen – act like you’ve been there before. He can learn a thing or two from his teammate, Braylon Edwards, who simply gets up and goes back to the huddle like a pro after making a big play.
* Could it be possible that the Raiders do not win a game this season? That question has been thrown out on ESPN and elsewhere, and now after Sunday’s loss to the Browns seems more like a reality than ever. If the Raiders lose this week in San Fran, there schedule shapes up to really have only two other games against teams that you would consider winnable – at home for Arizona on 10/22 and at home for Houston on 12/3. They still have Denver twice, the Chiefs twice, San Diego, St.Louis, Pittsburgh, at Cincy, and at the Jets still ahead. I think you could seriously be looking at 1-15 or 2-14. How can you possibly bring back Art Shell next year if he can’t at least scrape out 3-5 wins?
* Each and every power ranking on various sites this week are back and forth between the Bears and Colts as being the number one team in the league. I don’t rate the teams in that regard, just give out my 1 through 5 in each conference. If I was forced to choose right now, I would have to give the nod to the Bears, based on defense. I think we’ve seen over the years that once January hits, defense is what wins games. It was defense that beat the Colts in the playoffs last season, and a lack of defense that doomed the Bears at home vs the Panthers. Right now I’ll take the Bears D over the Ravens or Chargers as the best in the game.
* The other game of the week than the Cowboys-Eagles game that I think will be high drama is the Monday nighter in Denver between the Broncos and the undefeated Ravens. Denver has done a nice job rebounding after their opening day loss to the Rams, and the Ravens remain undefeated after beating the Chargers on Sunday. The Ravens are allowing just 63.3 yards per game on the ground, the NFL’s best. Denver is 4th in the league in rushing at 150 per game. Clearly something is going to give at Invesco Monday night.