At this point, the change to the 3-4 probably can be filed under 'lipstick on a pig': When Ced Benson (her?) goes for 140-plus, and you're only able to muster two sacks against an opposing line that is as nondescript as they come and the opposing quarterback is coming off an ankle injury and never moved that well to begin with, you might not be very good defensively.
And I don't buy this talk that the Bengals are a potential surprise team this year. They're not good, especially on offense, and they have the worst coach this side of Brad Childress. They suck. If you fancy yourself a play-off contender, you can't lose to that team, at home, ever.
And yes, I know it's early, and yes, I know that every team -- even the really good ones -- is going to have a clunker at least once a year. Problem is: the Packers haven't looked good yet, so I don't know if we can chalk this up as the exception rather than the rule. You'd like to be sitting at 9-4 before you get that clunker out of your system.
Yes, the title of this post is probably an overreaction, but so was the Super Bowl talk following three stellar pre-season games and a 6-point win over the Bears -- in a game where Cutlerfucker handed over the ball four times. There's ample reason for concern here, aside from the general shittiness of the line and the fact that Bigby and Collins can't seem to play more than one game without getting nicked up.
No. 1 in my mind is the penalties. Even though Machine Guns Ed and the boys got a littttttle flag happy yesterday, the number of false starts, holds, illegal contact after five yards ... it's jarring, and it doesn't seem like anything is being done during the week to address it. I mean, for Christ's sake: with the number of flags thrown on the Pack yesterday, we made the Cincinnati Bengals look like a disciplined football team. That is no mean feat.
Nick Barnett, living confirmation of the old adage: "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." In case you missed it, here was Barnett's Twitter reaction to his preposterous Daniel-San celebration, which came one play after he whiffed pathetically on a tackle:
"Oh yea for everyone that had something to say after I celebrated for making a takle (sic) for lost (sic) KISS MY ASS ... I was trying to get the defense fired up. . . And so what if I missed the takle (sic) before am I suppose (sic) to stay in a funk about it!?? Get a life"Nick, my man, this is why you have representation, be it an agent or a lawyer or whoever: so you don't go addressing the public on your own and come out looking like a complete and total fuckhead, and an idiot, to boot.
Sadly, though predictably, Barnett claims he's done with Twitter for the rest of the season. First we lose Michael Crichton, now Nick Barnett. Frankly, I don't see how the world comes back from this.
World keeps spinnin', officials keep fuckin' up: I know I'm a broken record, but good God -- every week I don't think it's possible for the officiating to get any worse, and then it does. First, you had the "touchdown" on the quarterback sneak by Carson Palmer, where there was no way in hell the linesman could see whether Palmer got in. The replay didn't show him getting in, that's for sure; if anything, the only time the ball broke the plane was when Palmer was fumbling the ball after the initial surge.
This points up my main beef with replay, the whole "you can't overturn the call on the field unless there's indisputable visual evidence." Why are we putting the thumb on the scale of the call on the field? Take the TD call on the sneak -- if the official had ruled he hadn't scored, there wouldn't have been indisputable visual evidence to overturn that call, either. Don't we want to make sure we're getting the call right, regardless of what the call on the field was? Why are we letting games rise and fall with the gut reactions of people who are really, really shitty at their jobs?
Here's another example: in the Cowboys game yesterday, Romo threw a ball that bounced off of Witten's heel and was intercepted, and the DB looked like he had a decent return set up ... except the official blew the play dead, ruling that the ball hit the ground. I've said this for years: on a play like that, you have to make the call that results in the play being allowed to continue. But for years, the officials haven't made that call, and they've been forced to say: "Whoops, missed that one. Sorry -- here's the ball at the spot of the interception." Something's gotta change. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but something's gotta change.
And we'll end with where the game ended: The dubious "false start" penalty on Jennings, which caused the 10-second run-off and the end of the game. I mean, does anybody believe Machine Guns Ed's post hoc rationalization for that one? First, dude says that the ball didn't get off before the snap, which was patently, demonstrably false. So, then, in fine Keystone Cops fashion, the officials get together and decide: "Somebody must have false started. Let's go with ... 85. Everybody good with 85? OK, 85."
And that's from one of the best officiating crews in the game. Shudder.