September 26, 2005
LaDanian Tomlinson
and Shaun Alexander:

Why were they the consensus 1-2 picks of fantasy football? Because of games like Sunday: LT had 192 yards and 3 TDs (1 pass!); Shaun had 4 TDs, 140 yds.
 
 
 
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
INSTANT.  DIS-TORY.

Too early in the NFL season to definitively proclaim anything? Come on! Quickie-style Instant History demands nothing less! For example:

Cincinnati is the NFL's best!
Despite the Pats' typically clutch win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, I'll argue that -- this week -- the Bengals are the best team in the NFL.

The Steelers were clearly overrated (and out-coached, as usual), and the Pats need to spend this upcoming week finding a replacement for the injured DB Rodney Harrison before they take on LaDanian and Co.

Because if they played this week, the Pats would get beat by the Bengals' balance: An emerging offense (which put up 24 on a VERY good Bears D) and its restless D (5 INTs for the 2nd straight game).

That's not meant to say the Pats aren't a great team (Tom Brady's 12-for-12 finish was awesome); it's just that, for now, the Bengals are better.

More:

CONFIRMED!
Cadillac is s-i-c-k! 158 yards breaks NFL record for rush yards in first three games of a career. It's not that he should have been taken over Ronnie Brown; it's that he should have been taken No. 1 overall.

Green Bay is s-i-c-k-l-y! Put it this way: The Bucs beat the Packers at Lambeau for the first time in 13 games. Fire Sherman?

DEBUNKED!
Culpepper stinks! In W3's biggest "statement" game, Daunte threw for 300 (and 0 INTs) in win over Team Formerly Known As America's Team.

Mid-week injuries matter!
McNabb (chest): 365 yds, 2TD
Vick (hammy) 64 rush yds, 2TD
Leftwich (pick 'em): GW OT TD

Panthers are contenders!
Real thing loss to Miami proves is that the Pats can't be THAT good if they lost to a team as inconsistent as Carolina.

REVEALED!
Colts D still better than O!
Okay, got it: The D is improved (16 pts allowed in 3G). It's okay for the O to show up any time now.

Cowboys have a backbone! After Monday night's debacle, Dallas is on the right side of a double-digit 4th-quarter comeback.

CHECK OUT THE QUICKIE EVERY WEEKDAY MORNING!
WHO'S GOT THE MOMENTUM ...
Chris DiMarco: 15-foot putt on 18 seals Prez Cup for U.S.
David Akers: Eagles K injured early, returns to hit G-W FG
J. Johnson: Wins at Dover to take over NASCAR pts lead
... AND WHO'S GOT NO MO'
Rodney Harrison, Takeo Spikes, Kurt Warner: All injured
Michigan: Out of CFB rankings for first time in 114 weeks
New BCS "human" poll: Can the system get worse? You bet...
 
MLB Pennant Mania
AL East: Unit pitches tonight for NYY, Schilling for BOS. Just preparation for next Saturday's Matchup of the Year. With wins today, both teams can move into a WC tie with idle CLE.

AL Central: Chokers a week ago, the White Sox showed grit in winning three games this weekend vs. Minnesota. CLE lost to KC, putting them 2.5 GB with 6 to play, helplessly idle today as the ChiSox play Detroit.

AL West: Is it too melodramatic to say that the A's (4 GB) must win tonight in their series-opener at home vs. the Angels? (No.)

NL Wild: Down just 1 game to HOU with 6 to play, the Phillies are doing everything possible to set their fans up for disappointment.

CFB Wknd Wrap
"The Big Three": USC, Texas and VA Tech are clearly the elite of the Top 25, and you can already see the "three unbeatens" scenario looming on the BCS horizon.

Quickie Top 10 Ballot:
1 USC | 2 Texas | 3 VA Tech
4 Florida | 5 Michigan St
6 LSU | 7 Cal | 8 Ohio St
9 Fla St | 10 Miami/Georgia

Who's NOT No. 1: Louisville. Yes, this was my pick to face USC in the Rose Bowl. And Purdue: Best of Big Ten? Wrong.

Heisman: Laurence Maroney. The Minnesota RB put up a weekend-best 217 yards on the best rushing D in the country. (But Reggie Bush is my No. 1 contender, until further notice.)

Looking Ahead to Next Week:
Florida at Alabama. Of all the remaining games on the Gators' schedule (at LSU and home vs. Fla St, included), this is the toughest.

MNF: KC/DEN
KANSAS CITY -- The hot topic in Chiefs country (and fantasy leagues) is the double-threat backfield of Priest Holmes and Larry Johnson. The bigger reason to watch is to see if the new-n-improved Chiefs D is for real. (9, ABC)

MNF: CFB Edition!
I would have LOVED to have seen Tennessee, in a snit, actually forfeit their game to LSU. Instead, they'll have a ready-made excuse when they lose a second straight SEC game on the road to a Top 10 foe. (7:30, ESPN2)

Travis Henry:
Will reportedly get a 4-game ban for substance-abuse policy violation. So maybe THAT'S why the Bills got rid of him...
 
 
Today on ESPN.com
Quickie: Live!
Page 2 Critics
Prez. Cup
 
NFL's Top 5 (pre-MNF)
Bengals
This team can do it all
 
Pats
Ah, you doubters...
 
Colts
D still carrying them
 
Eagles
Grit out a big tough W
 
Bucs/Chiefs
Caddy rolls/KC rising?
 

I had a hard time getting into the President's Cup. If you're like me, Jason Sobel's analysis is Must-Read to get a handle on why it's compelling.

Derek Jeter gets hate letters: And these are the scary, race-hating kind, not the typical ones that Red Sox fans want to send from the barstools.

AJ Burnett isn't happy with his soon-to-be-ex-team: "We play scared, we manage scared, we coach scared, and I'm sick of it, man."

More Burnett: "It's depressing around here... It's like they expect us to mess up."

Still more Burnett: "Guys are out there busting their [butts], yet you still hear negativity. I'm not saying no names, just too much negativity."

Did you expect me to talk about Joe Paterno at 4-0? Having been at the game cheering for N'western, the ending was too brutal to dredge up again.



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