I'm beginning to believe the erratic performances by so many NFL teams can be blamed on the lack of an off season during the lockout. No OTA's, mini camps, rookie camps, fewer practices in pads etc. How else can you explain the roller coaster ride so many NFL teams have their fans on week after week?

So who else has been as disappointing as the Chiefs?
San Diego, the Jets, Tampa, possibly St. Louis but for sure Philadelphia. Those 3-6 Eagles were beaten at home, again, by Arizona for their first road win of the season. The Cardinals were led by backup QB John Skelton, who threw three touchdown passes against the vaunted Eagle cornerbacks despite being hounded by a stout Eagle pass rush. Michael Vick passed for just 128-yards as Philly lost their 4th home game in five starts, which is worse than Kansas City. The "Dream Team" will now slowly sink into obscurity, possibly winning 7 games when people were calling for them to have home field advantage thruout the playoffs just two months ago.

I'm gonna need a clarification on what Mike Smith was thinking on 4th & 1.
What the hell was Atlanta coach Mike Smith thinking when he went for it on 4th & 1 from his own 29-yardline in overtime? I think everyone in the Georgia Dome knew RB Michael Turner was going to get the ball, he did & was stuffed for a 2-yard loss. Four plays later Saints' kicker John Kasay booted a game-winning 26-yard field goal. The win boosted New Orleans' 1.5 game lead in the NFC South with 6 games to play. Smith's Falcons had already dodged two 4th quarter bullets when Kasay missed a 37-yard field goal & then with 2:00 left in the game he kicked a 45-yard field goal to give the Saints a 6-point lead only to have it taken off the board by a holding penalty. We sat there in complete amazement when it became clear, after a timeout, Smith was sending his offense back on the field to get the first down. I picked the Saints to not only win this game but to win this division, so I'm not complaining about Smith's decision, just really puzzled by it.

Want to beat the Ravens? You'll need a losing record to get it done.
This is one of the top-3 erratic teams in the league. They beat Pittsburgh twice, Houston & the Jets, they were in first place & looking to put some distance between Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & themselves. Then along came the mighty Seattle Seahawks who beat them 22-17. The 2-6 Seahawks committed 13 penalties for 100-yards but RB Marshawn Lynch ran for 109-yards & locked up 3 Baltimore turnovers to top the AFC North leaders. RB Ray Rice was held to career low 27-yards The Ravens have been beaten by Tennessee(0-1), Jacksonville(1-5) & now Seattle(2-6). Pretty impressive huh?

Lions-Bears game breaks out into a hockey game.
I'm beginning to see a very ugly side to the "New & Improved" Detroit Lions. If things don't go their way, they start getting chippy. If their situation worsens, they get downright dirty. The Bears jumped out 20-0 early in the second quarter, the big blow an 82-yard punt return by Devin Hester. This broke Brian Mitchell's NFL career record for return TD's with 12. The ugliness began right before half & it exploded in the second half with more & more turnovers. The Lions committed six, two were run back for scores in a 1:52 span in the 3rd quarter. Next, Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley planted Bears' QB Jay Cutler, a few plays later Cutler was tackled by his facemask, ripping his helmet from his head. But it was the third interception thrown by Detroit QB Matthew Stafford that turned the game into a free-for-all. As Tim Jennings headed down the far sideline, fellow DB T.J. Moore was blocking Stafford who resorted to grabbing Moore by the helmet & slinging him to the ground. Moore jumped to his feet & attacked Stafford, right in front of the Detroit bench. You can imagine what ensued. It took a while for the zebras to restore order, there were a lot of people throwing punches. Moore was ejected from the game & expect to see 6-8 people fined from this game. Bears win easily, 37-13, handing Detroit their 3rd loss in their last 4 starts. Another note from this game, Stafford sustained a broken right index finger in the 1st quarter but stayed in the game. It might explain so many errant throws by a pretty accurate QB. Chicago will most likely lose starting left guard Chris Williams for the season with a broken wrist.

Lucky for Cowboy's cheerleader they won, because if they didn't...........
In the middle of Dallas' total beatdown of the Buffalo Bills came one of the strangest things I've seen after a touchdown. Losing 21-0, Bills wide receiver David Nelson caught a 3-yard TD pass from QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. Instead of spiking the ball or doing some other celebratory action, Nelson ran toward the end of the Bills' bench, where he gave the ball to a Dallas cheerleader, hugged & kissed her. I'm thinkin' Jerry Jones wouldn't be too thrilled with one of his legendary cheerleaders huggin' & akissin' one of the opposition. Thankfully Dallas pummeled Buffalo 44-7, so maybe Nelson didn't cause his girlfriend, Kelsi Reich, too much heat from the boss.

 Ms. Reich, bottle blond, fake boobs & more teeth than Trigger, you gotta love the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

Long snapper 'rolls' the Rams to victory.
The Cleveland Browns snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when long snapper Ryan Pontbriand rolled a snap back on a point blank field goal attempt that could've won their game against the St. Louis Rams. Pontbriand, the AFC Pro Bowl long snapper, hit the foot of another lineman & the ball rolled back to holder Brad Maynard, who eventually got the ball into position to kick, but Phil Dawson's timing was thrown off & he hooked the kick wide left. The Browns failed to score a touchdown again in a home game, losing 13-12. The good news for St. Louis was Sam Bradford made it thru the game on his gimpy ankle & RB Steven Jackson continued to rip thru NFL defenses, rushing for 128-yards.

I said last week Houston was headed to 12 wins, I'm even more convinced today.
The Houston Texans already have a stranglehold on the AFC South with a 7-3 record. They pounded the Buccaneers 37-9 in Tampa yesterday & this team is hitting on all eight cylinders. The Texans have done it without all-world wide receiver Andre Johnson for 5 weeks. Johnson's hamstring should be fine after Houston's bye next week. The guy everybody wanted to hang in Dallas last year, Wade Phillips, has come to Houston & put together quite a defense. They stop the run, rush the passer & with the addition of CB Jonathan Joseph, this is a good pass defense as well. I'm still not a Matt Schaub fan, but he has a lot of playmakers at the skill positions & when Johnson returns, the Texans could be a mess to deal with in the playoffs. Tampa Bay continues to disappoint, Josh Freeman seems to be regressing after showing so much promise last season.

There was a Chris Johnson sighting in Carolina yesterday.
Not the Chris Johnson that held out for a new contract all during training camp & into the start of the season, Not the Chris Johnson who was averaging about 2.1 yards per carry after signing a new contract. Nope, the Chris Johnson that played for the Titans yesterday was the Chris Johnson that ran for 2,000 yards in 2009. The Titans swamped Carolina 30-3 & Johnson ran for 130-yards & added another 44 receiving. Tennessee still has an outside chance for a wildcard spot, but the real Chris Johnson is going to have to show up every week. What the hell happened to the Cam Newtons? Three friggin' points at home? The Titans sacked Newton five times & knocked him down another eight, that's what happened.

Steelers show Cincy rookie what it's like to compete in the AFC North.
Bengal rookie QB Andy Dalton got his first taste of real AFC North action losing to Pittsburgh 24-17. The Steelers were fresh off a tough defeat by division rival Baltimore & now Cincy will have to face a Raven squad coming off a tough defeat. The Bengals had compiled a 6-2 mark without playing Pittsburgh or the Ravens. Let's see how tough Cincinnati can be playing four more division games plus the Texans. I like Dalton a lot but this team will fade from wildcard competition. Bad news for the Bengals, their best corner, Leon Hall, suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon & will be lost for the season.

Jim Harbaugh is my coach of the year candidate, no real competition either.
Remember how bad this team was last season with Mike Singletary as the head coach? With 7 games left to be played, Harbaugh's Forty-Niners have already won 2 more games than last year's team won all season. The 8-1 Niners have a trip to Baltimore & a home game vs. the Steelers left on the schedule. These should be their only competition as they could win 13-14 games & have home field against anyone in the NFC with the lone possible exception of undefeated Green Bay. Every time I watch this team I'm amazed at the production Harbaugh gets from his reserves. They've built a quality defense even losing Aubrayo Franklin & Takeo Spikes. The Giants have been playing good football lately & Frisco coaxed Eli Manning back into his old turnover ways. He threw two picks & both were converted into touchdowns. Harbaugh has WR Michael Crabtree playing up to his vast potential, rookies Aldon Smith & Kendall Hunter contributing in a major way. I've always liked Harbaugh as a coach, but honestly, I never saw this coming.

Maybe Rex Ryan ought to just keep his big mouth shut.
Once again he's been made to look foolish, his Jets were crushed by the Patriots 37-16 at the Meadowlands. The game was very close & the jets should have gone to halftime with a 9-6 lead except Jets QB Mark Sanchez called a timeout with 1:24 left. he scored on a QB draw on the next play, but he gave Tom Brady's guys an extra 20-25 seconds by calling the timeout. Of course Brady threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to TE Rob Gronkowski with 9-seonds left in the half. Ryan called it "the stupidest play in football history" as he headed to the locker room at half. Sanchez threw a pair of second half picks & both were converted into New England touchdowns. The Jets now face a short week, they play in Denver Thursday night, plus limited practice time to prepare for the Tebows & their option offense. New York won't win the AFC East, they're a game behind the Pats & were swept in the season series, so it's like a 2-game deficit. The good news is the Jets face a bunch of crappy reams in the second half, KC, Washington, Philly, Miami & Buffalo. But maybe the Jets are just as crappy, we'll see starting Thursday night.

Don't forget to call into my radio show tonight to predict the score of our Monday night game, Minnesota at Green Bay. Show kicks off at 6:05 on KRMS 1150AM, 97.5FM & live streaming audio on the internet. Give us a call on anything on your mind regarding football or to predict the score for a great prize, 877-330-1150 is the toll free number or 302-7000 in Central Missouri. Internet stream at

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