Originally posted 9/23/08. When I wasn't agonizing over Eagles injuries and admiring the defensive handiwork, I noticed a few other things around the league and the NFC East in particular.
Let's start with the recent obsession with the NFC East. Holy God, every football site I go to is giddily pissing themselves over how strong the NFC East is. To be fair, the division certainly makes an argument for being the juggernaut of the NFL thus far. Dallas is clearly the best team in the NFL, the Eagles' only loss was a close one to the 'Boys and they then dismissed the AFC's then-best, the Steelers. The Giants are the defending champs and are undefeated so far, and the 'Skins are looking stronger each week with an impressive Jason Campbell at the helm. And the 4 teams are 8-0 in games outside the division.
I'm just not totally sold on the Giants yet. This certainly stems out of my dislike for the G-men, and the painful offseason I had to live through with Chris gloating about his semi-crappy Giants team that played their 4 best games all season at just the right time. Even if they had their entire team back, I would see them going 10-6 at best, but the Strahan retirement and the loss of Osi Umenyiora take away - or at least significantly reduce - their biggest weapon, that mighty pass rush. The Giants beat the Redskins in week 1, who admittedly are a decent team, but played terribly in week 1. Next they beat the Rams, who, let's not forget, were only down by 7 points (albeit briefly) early in the 4th quarter. The Giants didn't dominate that game until the very end, and this was against arguably the worst team in the league. Finally, last week, they needed OT to finish off the Bengals. Yes, a win is a win, but in predicting future succees, I just don't see it for the Giants this season. But then again, I said that about them last season, so what do I know...
I understand all the hype for this division though, especially considering how other former powerhouse teams around the league are tanking by the second. What irritates me to no end is all of the fans of NFC East teams on message boards and blogs that LOVE to talk about how great this division is, like they take personal pride in it. Why?! I could care less how strong the rest of the division is, and I'd actually prefer that they all sucked. I don't want these teams beating up on each other 6 games a year; I'd rather have the easiest road possible to the playoffs. The shittier the division competition, the better. I mean, it's an NFL division, they don't need to earn respect. It's not like a college team playing in, say, the WAC or MAC or other semi-obscure conference, who might want to support one another to gain legitimacy. I had no problem with the good ol' days when the rest of the NFC East was miserably awful and provided us with 6 easy wins a year. And also... I hate the Giants and especially the Cowboys, and I don't care for the 'Skins. I'd like to see them all go 5-11 if I had my way. I don't want to see them glorified. What's with all this intra-divisional love all of a sudden? Pardon my French, but... suck it, NFC East.
I'd like to issue a special thank you to Ronnie Brown for making my fantasy team so awesome this week, as I was able to steamroll over Taz despite losing my top pick, Westbrook. And to think, Ronnie, I almost benched you for DeAngelo Williams! It was also nice watching you manhandle the Patriots D. Now what am I gonna do this week for your bye?
It was good to see the Chargers finally get a much-deserverd win this week after the Ed "I can't control my over-muscled jaw from inadvertently blowing my whistle" Hochuli situation. I don't see that game (or the ugly last-second loss to Carolina in week 1) keeping them out of the playoffs or the top of the division, but it was a very frustrating way to start their season. They may not yet be in the discussion for who the cream of the AFC is, but given the way the AFC teams have been stumbling each week, it's only a matter of time. They're a good team that got off to a slow start, but they'll be a big threat throughout the season.