A weekly NFL column that heads in the opposite direction of your average pro football analysis.
1. Congrats to the Broncos for the 4-0 start. And condolences in advance to Denver fans for your team's 4-4 record at the midway point (Their next games are New England, at San Diego, at Baltimore and Pittsburgh). A home win over the Cowboys is supposed to be the crowning win that convinces us all they're for real?
2. The five best losses in Week 4:
a. Jets proved their defense is for real despite losing 24-10 to the Saints. New York's defense
may have six (Kris Jenkins, David Harris, Bart Scott, Darrelle Revis, Kerry Rhodes, Jim Leonhard) potential Pro Bowlers.
b. The Lions' Matthew Stafford got into some impressive grooves in a 48-24 loss to the Lions.
c. Browns should have settled their quarterback debate in their 23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals.
d. The Ravens have to think they can beat the Patriots regardless of their 27-21 loss. They'll see each other again in AFC divisional playoffs.
e. After falling 16-13 to the 'Skins, the Bucs have to think Josh Johnson and Cadillac Williams can probably lead them to at least one victory this season.
3. Too bad there are so few midseason trades in the NFL. There are about 15 teams that need wide receiver Terrell Owens more than the Bills, starting with the Chicago Bears.
4. Do you get the feeling the Titans would rather go 3-13 with Kerry Collins than have Vince Young succeed? This would be a great draft to start over at quarterback, and they don't need the PR mess of cutting V.Y. if he is an improvement over Collins.
5. From a marketing standpoint, do you think the Jags are nervous that David Garrard is starting to put up great numbers again? Or will he just be a stop-gap until Tim Tebow learns to throw like a pro quarterback?
6. The last two seasons the division that faced the woeful AFC West has produced teams that were overrated heading into the playoffs. The 2007 Packers went 4-0 against the AFC West and finished 13-3 before losing in the playoffs. Last season, the Panthers swept the AFC West and dropped their first postseason game. This year, the Giants have to be considered favorite to have the best record in the NFC since they face the AFC West. But will they be overrated because of it like the Panthers and Packers were? In fact, the whole NFC East is in danger of being highly overrated. The AFC West will also help Washington's Jim Zorn keep his job for a few more weeks, take the heat off Tony Romo in Dallas and make Michael Vick look good in Philly.
7. The Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 39 games. That ends Week 6 in Minnesota when Adrian Peterson reaches the century mark against Baltimore -- it will be the only time someone does.
8. The Browns probably chose Brady Quinn to start this season because he was a first-round pick, even though Derek Anderson looks like a much better quarterback. Now they have to turn their eyes toward another position. Would Braylon Edwards be on the field if he wasn't a high first-round pick?
9. Here's a solution for everyone who was is bored watching the Chiefs, Rams and Raiders lose without a fight: Relegation. Like the English Premier League and many other international sports bodies, the bottom two teams could be sent down to a new minor league for football. You'd eliminate some of the embarrassing blowouts and add some intrigue for teams that are already out of it. Can you imagine how much harder the bottom-feeding teams would play if they thought they were going to be kicked out of the NFL?
10. Despite the criticism, the NFL isn't going to back off its aggressive enforcement of personal fouls against the quarterback and defenseless receivers. Not with growing evidence of problems with head injuries. I'm surprised the NFL can't do more with technology to help players, like NASCAR did to protect its drivers after Dale Earnhardt died or MLB is doing by requiring the oversized helmets for minor leaguers. With all the money flying around the NFL, they can't do anything to help quarterbacks' helmets? They'd hate it, but it would let the defense play at full speed.