It's time to update my thoughts and predictions as the NFL season enters its final stretch. Mostly, I want to point out how brilliant some of my pre-season predictions were. Seriously, it's baffling why I haven't gotten the call to join the FOX Sports team. Hi Troy (Aikman)!
Second, David and Shannon are doing a little remodeling on their home. They claim it's to add a bigger master bedroom and another bathroom - but I'm sure it's because they wanted to give Rick and I more room for our Super Bowl party we're going to hold at their house.
Third. Troy Aikman (again). Hi Troy! I'm sure you're pretty impressed with my analysis and are just about ready to call me to come work with you and Joe Buck (my fellow St. Louisan) in the booth. Oh, by the way... hi Troy!
So here we go. I'll go in the same order as I did in my pre-season analysis, which I'm sure you've read over and over.
Wow -- Tony Romo. Who? First of all, let me point out how right I was that Drew Bledsoe would not be their guy. Lots of people picked this team to go far; I did not. Those people who did pick this team to go far can't take any credit for it because there is no way anybody could have foreseen the undrafted Tony Romo of Eastern Illinois (do they even have a football team?). This guy is the real deal -- a franchise quarterback that has even impressed Troy Aikman (but he'll never be as good as you Troy!). This guy will get a big, fat paycheck after this year. It's really fun to watch a nobody, kind of like that other guy who replaced Drew Bledsoe, Tom Brady, emerge as not only a star, but a superstar. Tony Romo has come so far out of nowhere that it's the biggest Cinderella story in the NFL since Kurt Warner, though I don't think Romo will win the Super Bowl this year. Bill Parcels will be in a fight with Saints' coach Sean Payton for coach of the year, but I think Payton will win that one.
San Diego Chargers
LaDanian Tomlinson = amazing. This guy may turn out to be the best running back that ever played the game, and that's saying something. Phillip Rivers has stepped into the QB role and performed like a seasoned professional. The Chargers could go all the way to the Super Bowl this year. But I'll make that pick later.
Kansas City Chiefs
It's hard to beat this team at home. Trent Green is back after backup Damon Huard did a great job and kept them in a position to make the playoffs. Actually, I was really impressed with Damon Huard during the preseason. Larry Johnson is an awesome running back, but this team will fall just a little short and they have to think about the fact that Trent Green doesn't have that many good years left.
New England Patriots
Tom Brady is still a great QB, but the wins for this team seem much harder these days. Chad Jackson and Laurence Maroney have contributed as rookies. Are they good enough to go all the way? I don't know, you can never count this team out.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Yikes. Very sucky. They lost the average QB Chris Simms to a spleen injury. The backup Gradowski is no help. They need to not win anymore to get a first-round quarterback. They finished 11-5 last year and this year they fell directly off the map.
Started out great, faltered, and now it looks like Carson Palmer has found his groove and they are moving up. Chad Johnson is an annoying loud mouth diva, but he and fellow receiver Houshmandzadeh are making the big plays.
Meltdown! I think the stupid motorcycle accident that Ben Rothlisberger was in made him realize he's not invincible. His performance, or lack thereof, also shows that he came into a great team where he didn't have to be a great quarterback to win, just a competent one. Now that he needs to be that great quarterback, it's clear that he isn't - as if that wasn't already clear with his lame performance in the super bowl.
Steve Smith is fun to watch. That little guy somehow makes the big catches. But I don't understand this team -- they should be better than they are. Here's a suggestion: trade Delhomme to Tampa Bay and get Brett Favre.
Found their quarterback in David Gerrard, replacing Byron Leftwich. I think these guys will be in the playoff race.
Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, but they can't stop the run and they will not make it to the Super Bowl. But rookie RB Joseph Addai has definitely made them not regret trading Edgerrin James. Still no "sup" for you, Indy!