Quick SlantsNews and notes from the NFL
LEAGUE OF PARITY UNDERWHELMING
Whatever happened to football's dynasties? Okay, we know what happened to the Patriots. Tom Brady's knee.
But when you cast your eyes over the width and breadth of this 32-team NFL, on this eighth Sunday of the season, it's hard not to be underwhelmed. One team remains undefeated and there isn't anyone who would call Tennessee a dynasty. Maybe after the Titans beat somebody with a winning record, we'll talk.
Every major sports media organization has what is known as a Power Index, which ranks all teams based on a wide variety of criteria. This week, four teams are tied for top spot in the World Feature Syndicate power index, one of the most respected of such attempts to keep tabs on the best of the best.
The Chargers, the Colts, the Giants and the Cowboys are deemed this week's creme de la creme. The Colts and Giants are underdogs this week. The Chargers have a losing record. The Cowboys lost to the Rams last Sunday.
And these are the best of the best? Parity in the NFL always has been perilously close to mediocrity. At this point in the 2008 season, the league seems to have slipped below that line.
CHAD ON ANDRE
Just about the hottest receiver in football these days happens to be Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans, who has caught 30 passes for 450 yards over the past three weeks. That puts him well on his way to surpassing his previous best season (2006) when he caught 103 balls for 1,147 yards. "He can't be stopped," said no less an expert on pass-catching than Cincinnati's Chad Ocho Cinco. "He's big, he's fast, so you just pick your poison. At some point he's going to beat you no matter what you do."
WORLD OF HURT
Denver's defence already was in trouble before Champ Bailey went down with a groin injury last weekend. Now they are going to have trouble stopping anyone without Bailey, their shutdown corner who is gone at least a month. Even with Bailey in the lineup neutralizing the other team's best receiver, opposing quarterbacks have completed 73% of their passes.