After 10 weeks of football, there only seem to be a handful of great teams in the NFL. The Pats, Colts (despite Sunday's loss), and Cowboys. Maybe you can throw Green Bay and the Steelers in there, but I'm not going to do that. Plus there are two divisions that are clogged up with mediocre teams, the NFC South and the AFC West, and one division clogged up with horrendous teams, the NFC West.
Anyway, on to what we learned.
1. San Diego needs to find an offense, fast. Even though they beat the Colts last night, when your entire offense revolves around Darren Sproles and Antonio Cromartie, you're in trouble. The fact is the Colts should have won that game despite Manning throwing 6 ints and not having two of his biggest receiving threats. This was about the ugliest victory the Chargers could get and it showed in full detail how awful their offense has become. And quite frankly, it all starts with Rivers. Rivers seems to be continually regressing as a QB and can't seem to throw the ball with any consistency or zip. He's also underthrowing receivers regularly. His poor play has killed LT's running game and it's neutralized the receivers and Gates. What makes all of this strange is that Norv Turner, while a horrible coach, is a great offensive coordinator. He's the reason why the 49ers offense is so bad this year, because he left to coach San Diego. But how does a guy who's so good in the booth as an O-coordinator have such a terrible offensive team as a head coach? Especially when San Diego had a powerful offense last year and hasn't really changed personnel. It's mind boggling. Actually, it's just Norv Turner being Norv Turner. The lesson, as always, is never, ever, ever hire this man as your head coach.
2. Speaking of horrible quarterbacks, somebody needs to put down Steve McNair. He's beyond terrible. All the INTs, all the fumbles. It's become expected at this point in time. Plus you know you suck when a crowd cheers when you get benched for Kyle Boller. That can't be stressed enough - Baltimore fans cheered when Boller came in. Might want to pack it up after this season Steve.
3. Vince Young is starting to teeter in the direction of becoming a disappointing player. Deep into his second season, it's becoming apparent that VY may unfortunately be the second coming of Michael Vick, just without the dogfighting (I hope). As in, he's a QB that can keep you alive with his feet, but when push comes to shove, he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a pass. The simple fact is that you can't go real far in this league unless you have a QB who can consistently complete passes. And right now, VY can't do that. Not to mention that in yesterday's game he threw his first TD pass in a month and a half - while throwing two picks.
4. Miami may have lost their one shot at winning a game this year. They could have beaten the Bills, but instead caved in during the 4th. Granted they still have the Bengals and Jets on their schedule, but the Bengals are getting better now that Chris Henry is back and the Jets may have found something in Kellen Clemens. If you're Miami, you've gotta win when you've got a chance. You can't wait for some supposedly good matchup. By the way, I didn't mention the fact that the Dolphins play the Pats in their second to last game because it doesn't matter. New England's third team could still kill Miami.
5. Just when I thought the Saints had finally turned things around, they fall back to earth. In fact, the Saints may be the perfect example of the NFL this year. As in the league is filled with a bunch of teams that seem to transform from Jekyll to Hyde on a weekly basis and hover around the .500 mark. Although the truth is that the Rams really never should have been 0-8. Their problem was that they had multiple injuries combined with a braindead coach. They've at least solved one of those two problems now, so I'd expect them to at least win one or two more games before the end of the season.
6. The Lions also fell back to earth on Sunday. I thought they'd beat the Cardinals, but instead I found myself questioning whether they'd even get to 8 wins after the game. This team has a brutal schedule remaining with tilts against the Giants, Cowboys and two games against the surprising Packers. 10 wins suddenly seems like a real stretch after this buzz killing loss to the Cards.
7. I'd like to welcome Rex Grossman back. He's still a horrible quarterback who seems unable to understand certain elements of the game, but it's not like Griese is much better. Rexy had a good game against the Raiders, but remember, they're the Raiders. Wait until Rexy lines up against the Giants in three weeks - if he's even still starting then.
8. The Cowboys definitively proved they're the best team in the NFC, even though everyone already knew that. Romo continues to be impressive and TO has been on a roll of late. Dallas's defense may not be great, but their offense incredibly potent. That said...
9. Green Bay is starting to become impossible to write off. They're going to win their division, but the real question now is how far can they get with no running game? It's never good when your team's leading rusher heading into week 10 has 203 yards and is on the IR list. But who knows, maybe the Packers found a diamond in the rough in Ryan Grant. Although I doubt it. That said, the Packers play in the NFC, so having a running game may not even be that important. The truth is we'll learn a lot about the Packers when they play the Cowboys in 3 weeks. All I know is that this team seems to be riding a wave of luck, like when two Vikings defenders nailed each other on Favre pass that should have been picked off but instead wound up in the hands of a Packers receiver. That isn't going to happen all year for Green Bay. Like my two days in Vegas last week, eventually your luck runs out and you double down on an 11 and get a 2.
10. How is it possible that we had a team in the NFL that hadn't thrown a TD pass to a receiver until yesterday, yet the team still had a winning record? Yeah, the Redskins hadn't thrown a TD pass to a receiver until yesterday. How that's possible is beyond me. But it says something about the NFL this year, and that is that a lot of teams are pretty mediocre.
11. The Steelers are a confusing team. They blew away the Browns on total yardage, but barely won yesterday. They've also lost two head scratching games this year to Arizona and Denver. Sure those were both road games, but those aren't good losses at all. I keep wanting to put the Steelers into the up echelon of NFL teams with the Pats, Colts and Cowboys, but I can't do it. Hell, Green Bay might even be better than them. Well, maybe not.
12. Did the Carolina/Atlanta game even air on TV? I know I saw I highlight of it somewhere I think, but I may have been hallucinating. God what a season, Vinny against Joey. That's about as awful as it gets.