Redskins, Browns and Seahawks’ Reality Checks’ Highlights Top 10 Week 8 NFL Thoughts

by on March 5th, 2011
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‘Reality checks’ are the theme of this week’s NFL Thoughts column as several NFL teams now have to come to grips with their respective ‘realities’ as the 2011 NFL regular season gets set to move into its second half this coming weekend.

The Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns and Seattle Seahawks all had some eye-opening reality checks this past weekend and now have to face some cold, hard truths as they prepare to move further into the 2011 campaign.

Okay, with Week 9 quickly approaching, let’s get started.

1. Redskins Reality Check

Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan tried to make football fans and Redskins followers everywhere believe that Rex Grossman and John Beck were not only serviceable veteran quarterbacks, but the reality of Washington’s quarterback situation is that the Skins had better draft a young gunslinger to address their near future needs in a hurry. Not only that, but I also believe that ‘near-future’ may not include Shanahan much longer.

2. Different Faces, Same Old Song

The Cleveland Browns change the names and the change the faces, but one thing has been a constant in Cleveland for quite some time now – the Browns will be bad. I know they’re rebuilding and have seen plenty of positives in getting off to a respectable 3-4 start, but I just don’t see the Browns getting much better any time soon – despite the fact that I really like Colt McCoy!

3. One Step Forward, Two Steps Back!

Talk about taking one step forward and two steps backwards and the Seattle Seahawks have got to be one of the first teams that come to mind. The Seahawks went 7-9 to win the NFC ‘Worst’ last season in Pete Carroll’s return to the NFL, but looking nothing like the blossoming team they did just last season – mostly because they’re getting some inept play at quarterback. Seattle needs a 5-4 finish over its last nine games just to reach the 7-9 mark they posted a year ago, but I don’t see it happening!

4. Duh, Really?

Am I the only sports writer/handicapper on the planet that didn’t know the Detroit Lions were going to roll all over the lowly Denver Broncos in spite of Tim Tebow’s heroics the previous week against Miami? I’m a Tebow fan and I’ve got to say at this point, it looks like Florida’s former golden boy isn’t going to cut it as an NFL starter.

5. Steel-Toed Boots

I called the Pittsburgh Steelers’s win over the Patriots this past weekend although many NFL analysts thought Tom Brady would extend his mastery over the Steelers. Winners of four straight games, the Steelers have kicked their opponents with steel-toed boots during their recent winning streak.

6. Bad News Baltimore?

The Baltimore Ravens have looked more like a football version of the Bad News Bears in losing to Jacksonville 12-7 in Week 7 and falling behind early before coming back from a double-digit deficit to beat Arizona 30-27. I sense the Steelers will get some serious payback against the shaky Ravens for their 35-7 road loss to Baltimore the in their regular season opener.

7. Pondering the Move No More

Well, it would appear that the Minnesota Vikings no longer have to ‘ponder’ their future at quarterback thanks to the eye-opening play of rookie signal-caller Christian Ponder.

8. Real Reservations

Maybe it’s me, but I’ve got some real reservations about the Houston Texans even though they sit at an encouraging 5-3 after eight games. The Texans haven’t been able to take control of the AFC South even though perennial division title winner Indianapolis is a mess because of the loss of Peyton Manning.

9. Andy, Fine and Dandy!

Are you kidding me? The Cincinnati Bengals and Marvin Lewis apparently found a real gem in rookie gunslinger Andy Dalton. The former TCU star has shined immensely in completing 62.4 percent of his passes with nine TD passes. Dalton’s TD-to-interception ratio isn’t that good, but he’s getting his team into the end zone consistently as the Bengals have scored at least 23 points in each of their last four games.

10. WTH?

All I can say is that no one – and I mean absolutely no one – not even Steve Spagnuolo’s own mother – had the slightest inkling the St. Louis Rams would pull off one of the biggest upsets of the season in beating the New Orleans Saints on Sunday. This, as they say, is why they play the games. Still, I’ve got to say, what the hell New Orleans?


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