Who’s More Surprising? The Titans or The Broncos?

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Who’s More Surprising? The Titans or The Broncos?

In the far Corner we have the 0-6 Titans who I heard (for the first time) described as “bad” on the radio yesterday and in the Near Corner we have the 6-0 Denver Broncos.  Only club can be labeled “Most Surprising Team After 7 Weeks.”  Who will it be???

Honestly, I think this is one of those fights that nobody wants to win.  Tennessee has no desire to be the “surprise crap team” of the league.  Denver has no desire to be the “surprise good team of the league” either.  Think about it.  IF you’re Tennessee you have to admit that you didn’t see it coming, you were completely unprepared, you knew Kerry Collins was going downhill, you knew Kyle Vanden Bosch needed a partner up front (and you didn’t get him one), you could’ve unloaded Vince Young for value and you didn’t, and Floyd Reese was right to think you were going nowhere.

If you’re Denver you don’t want to be a surprise team.  Sneaking up on people doesn’t do you any good at all.  If you’re Denver and everyone looks at you as a “surprising” team then that means you’re a fluke, you deserve no respect, and you just stumbled on all your wins.

If I’m either one of these teams I don’t want the label.  Nope, if I’m the Titans I want everyone to say “Well, here’s their bad year that they get every 6 or 7 year” and if I’m the Broncos I want everyone to think “Oh geez, they’re back!”

So, why do we want to give them these labels?  I’ve already gone on at length about how the Titans are a stable franchise so we’re should be a little uneasy that they are so bad, but they can rebound.  The Broncos, however, are a completely different story.  This is a story of rebirth:

The Broncos fired Mike Shanahan (a dude who won two Super Bowls and made Denver into a place where even I could run for 1000 yards in a season) and they let him go with a little trepidation.  I mean, Pat Bowlen cried when he announced that he fired Shanahan…his friend.  Pat Bowlen wanted to remake his franchise…a proud franchise.  Bowlen wanted to let Denver become a new team and in the process he could have a new day as the Owner.  I totally get it.  He has the right to do as he pleases…it’s his team.

So, he hired the young hot-shot O Coordinator from New England.  Good get, right?  Josh McDaniels is young, worked under a great coach (Belichick), and he’s an offensive mind (which Bowlen clearly prefers.)  So, he brings in old Joshie and they get to work fixing the Broncos.  Ole Josh comes in and he already has his sights on Matt Cassel.  {It is at this point that I must question Josh McDaniels’ ability to judge talent since Matt Cassel is a MOMUMENTALY GIANTIC bust in KC} but I digress…

He decides he wants to get rid of Jay Cutler.  Jay Cutler gets wind of it.  You’ve heard all this before.  McDaniels didn’t handle it very well (and he probably learned his lesson) but Jay Cutler acted like a baby.  So, they bring in Kyle Orton from Chicago (questionable move at best) and they get to work.  Now the Broncos are 6-0 and Kyle Orton looks like Joe Montana.  So, clearly Josh McDaniels can call plays.  He can also coach Quarterbacks.

Now we have a new revelation…Kyle Orton is an animal!

Forget this most surprising team crap.  Let’s talk about the most surprising player.  Heck, he could probably be the Comeback Player of the Year.  Kyle Orton was a guy who, when he was at Purdue, was in the middle of a PR campaign to get him the Heisman.  He was supposed to be a good pro-level Quarterback.  They brought him into Chicago and then replaced Rex Grossman with him.  (I suspect that they were weirded out by the eye liner Grossman kept wearing.)  Kyle Orton is in an he stinks.  Is he being coached well?  We can’t tell. We don’t want to crap on Lovie Smith, but maybe he was deficient offensively to the point that he was ruining Quarterbacks.  So, Kyle Orton leaves that situation, goes to Denver and “ding, ding, ding” he’s good all of the sudden.

I don’t think any player would mind being the surprise player of the year.  Not because it would make it difficult for them to play and teams would be game-planning for them (that happens all the time) but because it brings validation.  Kyle Orton’s career was validated (through good coaching) in 6 games.  6 GAMES people!  Josh McDaniels is a Quarterback-maker.  He made Matt Cassel, but we discovered that Matt Cassel isn’t that good.  Matt Cassel needs Josh McDaniels.  Maybe Kyle Orton needs him too, but I have a feeling old Joshie will get the fattest of fat extensions before long and he’ll be in Denver until all my kids are out of the house.

Now, you go to the other extreme and you say “Who’s the most surprisingly bad player” and you get alot of answers, but I think one person stands out…

Now, this isn’t all Vince’s fault.  He’s been sitting there for weeks wondering what’s going to happen, but he’s been put into two blowouts and he’s done absolutely nothing.  Be honest with me:  Didn’t you think that when Vince went into the game we’d see Superman throw on his cape and become the player he was a couple years ago when he drug the Titans to the playoffs?  I thought he would come in and do something great, but I still thought he’d need a change of scenery.  Well, to my surprise, and most other people’s he stunk.  Now, Vince Young is the surprise stinker of the year.  {And please don’t bring up Michael Vick.  He sat in prison and he was never a very good Quarterback to begin with.}

Now the question is simple:  Who are you going to bank on?  The most surprisingly bad player or the most surprisingly good?  Kyle Orton might NEED Josh McDaniels to be successful.  Vince Young might need a change of scenery to turn his career around.  Either way, you need to put your money on 6-0.  Sorry Titans…nothing you can do right now can change our minds.  With that said you’ll find it hard to catch me betting against Kyle Orton or for Vince Young.  It’s just too obvious right now…
Catch my picks after the jump…

I’m 69-31 so far (if you care) so I’m feeling pretty good. I mean, really good. Even my wife was impressed and she doesn’t really care about the NFL. (Except that the Bengals are good…she’s feeling some Ohio pride over that one.) Given my little mushy story let’s just get to the picks…

Denver @ Baltimore: Good game.  Denver is the class of the league and Baltimore needs to get it together.  Since I already said that nobody will ever go undefeated I have consider the possibility of Denver losing.  (But not this week.)  DEN – 37   BAL – 30

Giants @ Philly: The Giants need to pull themselves together and Philly needs to do something with the Mike Vick experiment.  (For my money I think Mike needs to become an ENT [Don’t worry, it’s an inside joke and is in no way to disparage Mike other than to say I think he’s done.])  Eli Manning is proven, Donovan McNabb never really has been and Kevin Kolb is the “Crouching Tiger”..how long before he hits McNabb’s “Hidden Dragon”?  NYG – 24   PHI – 13

Houston @ Buffalo: Turrull has 4 drops, one in the endzone.  Other than that how can you say anything about the Bills?  Houston’s Matt Schaub is, supposedly, the hottest fantasy QB in the league.  He’s probably not slowing down now.  HOU – 33   BUF – 9

Cleveland @ Chicago: I know I just crapped on Lovie Smith, but I think he’s a better coach than Doofgini.  I mean, how could I miss picking against Cleveland?   CHI – 13   CLE – 2  I know I gave Cleveland a safety.  I didn’t say the Bears were good.)

Seattle @ Dallas: Seattle is resurgent and the Cowboys just pounded the Falcons.  I mean, how do you call it any other way than a toss up?  If I had to pick a deciding factor I’d go with Tony Romo.  If he holds it together the Cowboys defense just showed it was capable of holding the Falcons down and they would probably be able to do the same with the Seahawks (who are NOT the Falcons.)   DAL – 24   SEA – 10

Miami @ Jets: I would like nothing more than to see the Jets succeed and the Dolphins have the perfect way to crush my dreams…The Wildcat.  Kris Jenkins is out and now the Dolphins can exploit the Jets defense.  As much as I want to see the Jets succeed I think it’s time for them to go on a slide so Mark Sanchez can build a little character.   MIA – 28   NYJ – 14

San Francisco @ Indianapolis: I read this one on the schedule and I said “Oh s&*^” because I know that the 49ers cannot stop Indy from scoring at will and I know that Alex Smith is clearly improved, but he won’t be able to drive through enough scoring to keep up.   IND – 33   SF – 17

St. Louis @ Detroit: Matthew Stafford’s hurt and he “might” play.  St. Louis sucks royally.  Personally, I don’t think either one of them can score.  STL  – 0   DET – 0

Oakland @ San Diego: I don’t believe in San Diego, but I KNOW that Oakland sucks.  (And Al Davis still talks to people who aren’t there…)  SD – 24   OAK – 3

Jacksonville @ Tennessee: Crap vs. crap.  I’m not picking the Titans because I spent the whole first half of this column telling you to pick 6-0 and NOT 0-6.  JAC – 10   TEN – 0

Minnesota @ Green Bay: This “Clash of the Titans” is just another opportunity for Aaron Rodgers to exhibit that he knows exactly how to handle this whole “I succeeded Brett Favre thing”.  Because I like Aaron Rodgers and the Packers have another shot I’m going with the Cheese.  (I don’t think Green Bay gets tripped up AGAIN by the Vikes.)   GB – 27   MIN – 20

Carolina @ Arizona: Carolina sucks, the end.  (Oh, and Kurt Warner is another year and a half from the Hall of
Fame.)   ARI – 34   CAR – 13

Atlanta @ New Orleans: Monday Night in New Orleans and Reggie Bush just got done spouting off about how they can go undefeated.  Don’t you think the Falcons are sick of it already?  (Oh, and sick of sucking in big games?)  Yeah, it’s time for the Saints to lose.  You don’t mess with Mike Smith.   ATL – 38   NO – 35

Enjoy your NFL this weekend.  Gosh I hope I’m right because some of these games are really crazy.  I’m looking forward to it!

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