I'm so glad this Patriots thing is over.
(It's over, right?)
The only thing more annoying than the blowhards talking about how Belichick shouldn't get in the Hall of Fame or asking if the Patriots did this stuff in the Super Bowl (that's you, Mariotti) had to be the senseless idiocy of New England fans.
Why is it that people compelled to defend someone in a story like this always feel the need to use the term "media-created" to describe the story.
Sorry, Pats fans. Bill Belichick created this story. Did the media always handle it properly? No. But it wouldn't have been a discussion piece of any kind had Belichick not cheated.
Also silly are those blaming Jets coach Eric Mangini. Fine. Shouldn't have snitched on his former boss. But how stupid was it of Belichick to pull that stunt against a coach that he knew was aware of the practice, three days after a league memo reminding teams not to do it? That's brazen, arrogant, and trumps anything Mangini did to break an "unwritten code".
Anyway, I'm glad that we appear to be moving on. I wish I could be excited about more than one game this weekend, but the Chargers-Packers game is the only compelling one. Maybe Frisco-Pittsburgh or Indy-Houston, but the latter lost luster with word that Texans WR Andre Johnson would miss the game with a knee injury.
Hopefully, this ends up like Week 2, which I wasn't terribly excited for but turned out very entertaining.
Last week: 11-5
San Diego at Green Bay: I'm trying not to get too giddy about this 2-0 start. The Packers have looked okay on defense, but were not sharp in that department for much of the Giants game. If they cover Antonio Gates like they covered Jeremy Shockey, they're screwed. Gates will have a field day if the Packers aren't physical with him at the line of scrimmage.
While LaDainian Tomlinson is a concern, the Packers can neutralize him with a cornerback. The Chargers aren't deep at wide receiver, so coordinator Bob Sanders can be creative with his matchups to keep Tomlinson in check in the passing game. The Packers do have to tighten up against the run, but San Diego has yet to run well so far this year.
For Green Bay, it's going to be all about copying as much of New England's blueprint as they can. The Packers need to take some shots deep to keep the defense from cramming the box, and they need to spread out the defense to neutralize (a bit) San Diego's dangerous linebackers.
What will hurt Green Bay is the inept running game. What will hurt the Chargers is Norv Turner.
The pick: Green Bay
Other games (home team in CAPS)
BALTIMORE over Arizona
NEW ENGLAND over Buffalo
Indianapolis over HOUSTON
PHILADELPHIA over Detroit
N.Y. JETS over Miami
KANSAS CITY over Minnesota
PITTSBURGH over San Francisco
TAMPA BAY over St. Louis
SEATTLE over Cincinnati
OAKLAND over Cleveland
DENVER over Jacksonville
Carolina over ATLANTA
WASHINGTON over N.Y. Giants
CHICAGO over Dallas
NEW ORLEANS over Tennessee