NFL noise …
– A painful loss for Mike Singletary and the 49ers was made even more so by the fact that they were victimized by Brat Favre and the heretofore invisible Greg Lewis. The Niners did an admirable job on the peerless Adrian Peterson, and even survived the 101-yard jolt of kick-return electricity by Percy Harvin, only to be beaten by an aging, scatter-armed, me-first QB who threw three interceptions but had two of them dropped … and a guy without a catch in 179 minutes and 58 seconds of football this season. Even in defeat, however, the Niners may have established themselves as an NFC force, outplaying a likely playoff team on the road for most of the game, and without Frank Gore for virtually all of it.
– The Raiders were smacked in the face by reality after last week’s shocking win in Kansas City, and the only question now is which was worse: the play of the team’s current quarterback, or its treatment of a former one. JaMarcus Russell may want to think about switching positions soon, since he’s big enough to play defensive end, and as his 12-for-21, 61-yard passing day against Denver showed, has the passing touch of one, too.
As for the Raiders’ embarrassing attempt to have former league MVP and Super Bowl QB Rich Gannon banned from the team’s facility for having the gall to (gasp!) criticize a team that had a worse decade than Saddam Hussein did? Shameful, embarrassing and unredeemable.
After three games of their rookie seasons, Oakland’s Darrius Heyward-Bey has one more reception than San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree. Looks like the race to the all-rookie team is fairly even.
– On the plus side for the Raiders, however, the Cleveland Browns are making sure no one can call Oakland the worst team in the AFC. Not only did the Browns fall to 0-3 after being pistol-whipped by Baltimore, Eric Mangini’s club has turned on him, filing as many as five separate grievances with the players’ union over heavy-handed fines for silly errors such as parking in restricted areas and unpaid water bottle bills in team hotels. Oh, and at this point, the Browns actually envy the Raiders’ QB situation.
– For the second straight week, Eagles’ backup QB Kevin Kolb made his own statement about Michael Vick’s status as an Eagles’ QB. The statement? “Stay the hell on the bench.” Kolb threw for 391 yards in relief of the injured Donovan McNabb last week, and 327 more on 24-of-34 passing and two TDs in Sunday’s win over Kansas City. I’m not sure Vick could complete 24 passes if he started the next 13 games. Vick did get a handful of snaps, going 0-2 passing and running once out of the Wild Dog, err, Wildcat formation.
– Not even the Lions can lose them all. Prior to Sunday’s 19-14 win over the Redskins, the last Detroit victory came back on Dec. 23, 2007. At that time, the year’s top-grossing movie was Spider-Man 3, President George W. Bush still had a year to go in his second term, Hillary Clinton was considered a lock to be the next president and a junior senator named Barack Obama was still 15 months away from tripling our nation’s deficit. Now, that’s a long time between victories.
Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.