27 Sep 2004
Peter King extols the virtues of the Atlanta defense in his report on "The Game That Set Offensive Football Back Three Centuries." Seriously, what is the difference between last year's Atlanta defense and this year's Atlanta defense? It's mostly the same personnel, are they really that much better? Or did they get to play three games against the three NFC West teams that will spend the entire season sniffing Seattle's exhaust fumes? Or is it the switch to 4-3 and the arrival of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell? Gee, where did Ed Donatell coach last year? (looks down)
A Super Bowl berth could be decided by the Patriots' ability to contain Le'Veon Bell -- and by Pittsburgh's ability to avoid their usual defensive breakdowns against New England.