In today's TMQ, Gregg Easterbrook wonders at Emmitt Smith's first career pass, celebrates Randy Hymes and Jason Dunn, and properly delivers the Worst Blocks award to the Buffalo offensive line for the play where they stood around with blank looks on their faces while Richard Seymour took the ball from Drew Bledsoe and lumbered into the end zone.
Well, apparently it's pretty easy to beat up on Ray Lewis. All you need is an all-world running back, an all-world offensive line, a quarterback that doesn't make mistakes, and the ability to keep the Ravens on the field for 40 minutes. It's hard to even fault the Baltimore defense in this game. They were on the field for 78 plays -- almost twice as many as their offense, and other than a flea-flicker in the first half, Boller and company looked pretty mediocre.
Here's today's ESPN Page 2 Snap Judgment, featuring quarterback ratings and comments by yours truly. The other writers ooh and ah over Peyton Manning, but actually Manning didn't have such a great day yesterday. Sure, there is a major difference in the defenses, but who expected that Byron Leftwich would outpass Manning by 100 yards -- and that the Colts would win anyway? Now featuring some additional commentary on how Terrell Owens really has made the difference for Donovan McNabb this season.
In Terry Bradshaw's weekly column, he writes that the Pats, Steelers, and Cards were all impressive Sunday, while Carson Palmer, the Titans, and the Chiefs -- even though they haven't played yet -- were disappointments. Bradshaw also makes the point that "more and more coaches challenge calls they shouldn't and that many of them don't know the rules." I'm guessing he was watching the Redskins game...again.
More on the Joey Harrington controversy, but this time Curt Sylvester of the Detroit Free Press morphs it into a ranking of the toughest guys in recent league history. A certain Detroit Lions GM makes the list. Please use the comments to discuss notable omissions, but I must say this: Anyone who writes about football for a living and thinks Jim McMahon is tougher than Ray Lewis ought to consider a new line of work.
Pat Tillman was Jake Plummer's teammate at Arizona State and with the Cardinals, and Plummer wanted to honor Tillman by keeping the No. 40 decal on his helmet for the entire season, instead of taking it off after one game as the league mandated. But after being threatened with a $30,000 fine, Plummer has decided to take the sticker off his helmet. Here's my question: What does the league think it's accomplishing?
SI's Dr. Z is back with a pretty coherent look at the generally abysmal offensive line play that is being seeing around the league. The article goes beyond the most frequently given reason -- the proliferation of free agency and accompanying lack of continuity -- to offer other explanations. Any Dr. Z article that doesn't mention the Flaming Redhead stands a better chance of being a worthwhile read, and this one passes the test.