I was still upbeat after getting spanked by Carolina, San Diego, & Indy, so I need to stay level after crushing the AFC East Dregs and the Tampa Bay Bucs.

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What can I say, fourteen years since we met and my wife still is yet to trade me in for a newer model. To quote Nomar Garciaparra: Thanks, Beautiful!

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So the mighty, Chris Simms led Bucs have been vanquished. The mighty Cadillac was unable to crank up any energy. The Gillette Stadium crowd actually made some noise, and the number two defense in the NFL gave up 28 points (which easily could have been 45 points). All-in-all, not a bad Saturday afternoon for the good guys.

As I intimated earlier, I am desperately trying to keep level-headed as the national pundits start reporting that Peyton Manning is lying in bed having nightmares of Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Roosevelt Colvin, and Willie McGinest blitzing at him unblocked like they were against Tampa. Just hold on one second. Tampa is a marginal team in a marginal conference. The NFC has one Super Bowl worthy team: the Seattle Seahawks. The AFC has teams that would crush Seattle who are going to be sitting at home and left out of the playoffs when the season is done. That is just how the worm turns. Remember in the mid-eighties, the NFC had the Giants, Bears, Redskins, 49ers, Cowboys, and Rams al l consistently performing better than anyone in the AFC. Or put it this way: Chris Simms is no Peyton Manning.

This season the AFC boasts the Colts, Bengals, Broncos, Patriots, Chargers, Steelers, Jaguars, and Chiefs who are all capable of winning in January. Does anyone believe the Vikings, Bears, Panthers, Falcons, Giants, Cowboys, or Redskins could actually beat any of those teams?

The Patriots are getting better at the right time. They could be the team to beat in January, but take a deep breath and let them get there first. Then, we can worry about the Jaguars or Steelers or Chiefs, or whoever the Patriots play in the first round. If they get past that game, then we worry about the Colts or Bengals in round two.

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As bad as the Colts looked yesterday, the scary thing is the way they struck at the end of the third quarter where they forced a few quick turnovers and Peyton Manning stopped doing the chicken dance long enough to move the ball downfield quickly. To me, the scariest receiver on the Colts is Dallas Clark. For a tight end, he has wheels and it is near impossible for a defense to stick a safety on him or a linebacker. If the Pats play the Colts again, the tow converted cornerbacks, Eugene Wilson and Artrell Hawkins, should give the Pats the best chance to shut him down.

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