Thats' right, Jim Sorgi made his first appearance of the season and it should not be viewed as a coincidence that the Colts went on to defeat the Panthers, 31-7. Too bad the cameras couldn't capture that moment where Sorgi said, "Oh hell, I have to go into this game? Why can't Bellichick be our coach because then I'd never have to play."
But the big news is New England and Indianapolis both overcame temptation to look ahead, and instead took care of business rather handedly against potentially dangerous opponents. So now we get one of the biggest regular season games probably since the Cowboys and 49ers were slugging it out in the early 1990s. That also means that the real Super Bowl will be the AFC Championship Game, too.
The early handicap on this game has to favor the Colts -- especially if Sorgi is going to get into the game. The Colts will be at home and they have beaten the Patriots three consecutive times. The Patriots have looked pretty good, putting up impressive numbers against some allegedly good teams. But be honest, if the Colts really wanted to put a whooping on somebody, they certainly could. But Tony Dungy isn't hung like a field mouse, hellbent on letting everybody know how great he is. And nobody is going to confuse the AFC South opponents with the NFL Europe squads masquerading as the AFC East.
- For those of you complaining about Bill Belichick running up the score, you need to stop it right now. If you want to stop the Patriots from scoring you
play defensesend somebody out on the field to go Charles Martin on Tom Brady. That would put an end to it really quick. Luckily for the Patriots, Rodney Harrison plays for them.
THE CHARGERS RETURN
Congratulations to the city of San Diego for getting Qualcomm Stadium ready for an NFL game, that probably shouldn’t have been played. The Chargers performance also was a pleasant surprise considering that this team could have certainly mailed in this game. The game was a nice boost for the community that certainly needed some good news. A true triumph for the spirit of California.
Don’t let the 35-10 score cover up the fact that the Chargers couldn’t really muster any offense in the second half. The Chargers ended the game with 237 total yards, with two touchdowns coming on special teams and defense. Antonio Cromartie’s first touchdown being a total gift. So take it with a grain of salt when the media starts to proclaim that the Chargers are ready to challenge for the AFC title.
The true test will come on Nov. 11 when the Chargers play host to the Colts, followed by games at Jacksonville, Baltimore, and at Kansas City. Win those games, and that will be impressive.
Seriously, did you think you were going to be able to enjoy this? You know better by now.
- Hopefully the Colts won’t be looking past the Patriots game with the Chargers looming one week after.
- Philip Rivers completed only seven passes (on 11 attempts), but three of them were for touchdowns. That touchdown-to-pass ratio puts him in the company of some other great passers – like LaDainian Tomlinson.
- Mike Williams might be one of the biggest stiffs in the NFL. But that’s only because Dwayne Jarrett hasn’t been around long enough. Williams gator-armed a crucial fourth-down pass in the final minute that drew quite a tirade from former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon. Normally, you wouldn't think of playing a rookie who missed the entire preseason, but Daunte Culpepper is pushing the Raiders close to starting JaMarcus Russell. What the Raiders should do is give Russell a series here as as change-of-pace quarterback who can do some things that Culpepper can't. Like complete a pass. That's what makes Williams drop understandable -- it was the rare Culpepper throw that actually hit its intended target in the numbers.
- If the St. Louis football team is going to get over on the Browns, they might make a real run at 0-16. But the Dolphins might have them beat. Thankfully, residents in Southern California were treated to another Giants game. Haven’t we suffered enough? And you don’t want the NFL back here because you would start missing these awesome Giants games?
- Speaking of stadium, the Chargers had better get really comfortable at Qualcomm Stadium or else look to put some money into expanding Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, because there is no way you can justify using public funds to build a stadium. That is, if there was ever a justification for it before.
- The toughest job in sports? Trying to figure out which of the five Sunday games are going to have to be a part of NFL Network's "NFL Replay." Can you think of one game from Sunday you would willing watch again?
- The Lions are neat, but their opponents record are 10-20.
- Does anybody else believe that Eric Mangini is getting his karmic payback for ratting out his former boss? Or maybe he just blows.
HOW WE WILL REMEMBER USC
The fall of Troy has people giddy and while we don’t to spoil the party as the residents of Lilliput and Blefuscu, celebrate, let’s not be so quick to dismiss the Trojans just yet. Losing to Stanford is bad, but losing to Oregon – who could very well end up in the BCS title game – certainly isn’t. And realize that USC hasn’t lost by more than seven points since 2001. The Trojans will not win a national championship this year, that is true. But let’s not act like this is the end of the dynasty.
That being said, they could really use an upgrade at offensive coordinator. Maybe Al Davis will need to hire another coach this year.
- Much like the NFL, nobody seems concerned with what happened this weekend, instead choosing to focus on this week’s game of the century: Arizona State at Oregon. The Ducks will be done with the gauntlet part of the schedule after this week’s game. Of course, there’s still UCLA, looking to do just enough to save Karl Dorrell’s job.
- Thankfully, Kentucky can stop parading around as a national contender. Maybe they can pair up the Wildcats and Cal in a bowl game to see who can suffer the biggest flameout.
Alex Rodriguez is going to opt out of his contract and that will lead to speculation that he will end up in Anaheim. But there is a better fit for A-Rod and that’s San Diego.
The city of San Diego made a huge investment in the Padres by helping to make PetCo Park a reality. Now the Padres owe it to the fans and the city to make an investment into the team and bring A-Rod to San Diego.
Except, he’s going to back in New York.