- DJ Gallo, ESPN.com
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The NFL regular-season opener is still more than a week away. But there’s no reason to wait to overreact to Week 1 results. We have plenty of recent preseason information to freak out about. Follow me to hyperbole!
New England Patriots – It’s never been a secret: The surest way to beat Tom Brady is to knock him around. New England’s line is letting him get hit all preseason. “We didn’t do anything offensively except lose yardage and turn the ball over,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said after New England lost to the woeful Buccaneers on Friday night. “It was tough to watch any of what we did offensively.” Ahh! PANIC.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers – They beat the mighty Patriots. They’re 2-1 in the preseason. There’s a new coach. A new attitude. A new approach. Positive feelings. All those things teams say after embarrassing themselves the year before. PLAN THE PARADE!
Indianapolis Colts – Recent Colts history: from 1999 to 2010, Indianapolis goes 138-54 with Peyton Manning as its starting quarterback. Manning then misses the 2011 season and the Colts go an NFL-worst 2-14. Seems like Manning was the key to their success, right? Not everyone would agree.
If u don't like it buy ur own team and try to make the playoffs 9 seasons n a row n put together 7 straight 12 win seasons n a row as Owner!
— Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay) August 26, 2012
First of all, “Buy ur own team,” have your dad give you a team ... “toe-may-toe,” “tuh-mah-toe” canning corporation given to you by your father. Same difference, right? But beyond that ... team owner Jim Irsay is clearly INSANE! PANIC.
Washington Redskins – Seriously, have you seen Robert Griffin III smile? It will transform you. If you don’t think RG3 could be the greatest quarterback ever, then you obviously haven’t talked to a Redskins fan. PLAN THE PARADE.
Denver Broncos – In the first two preseason games, Manning looked out of sync and weak of arm. No touchdown passes, three interceptions. Was his career over? Had the Broncos foolishly invested $96 million in a quarterback who had approximately the same number of neck surgeries? Can you spell PANI … what? Manning threw for two touchdowns Sunday? PLAN THE PARADE.
Jacksonville Jaguars – Blaine Gabbert is the worst starting quarterback in the NFL? Oh, really? Any other oh-so-fascinating facts from 2011 you want to share? Stop living in the past, man. Would the worst quarterback have a 100.6 passer rating this preseason? That’s right. In your face. It’s like Maurice Jones-Drew doesn’t want to win a Super Bowl. PLAN THE PARADE.
Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill was the new Dan Marino there for a few days. But then he went out and put up two stinkers. It’s very confusing. Whatever. No one cares. The Heat got Ray Allen. PLAN THE MIAMI HEAT PARADE.
Dallas Cowboys – Tony Romo looked crisp against the Rams on Saturday night, the defense has been dominant all preseason and Dez Bryant will be able to create space thanks to being surrounded by team-appointed bodyguards/chaperones. Plus, it’s the Dallas Cowboys, so a preseason doesn’t really happen until they PLAN THE PARADE.
Houston Texans – The Cowboys are looking good? They’re not even the best NFL team in Texas! Let’s hope I-45 can handle all the bandwagon traffic. PLAN THE PARADE.
Minnesota Vikings – The franchise’s only hope is so healthy they’re not going to risk playing him until the regular season. PANIC.
Cleveland Browns – Always PANIC.
Philadelphia Eagles – Please read this sentence very slowly and carefully lest any sudden movements or loud noises cause Michael Vick to fall apart. PANIC.
San Diego Charges – [Double-checks team’s official website. Sees Norv Turner is still the head coach.] PANIC.
Detroit Lions – Matthew Stafford is already injured. Plus, the defense is still just eight months removed from being torched by the guy who is currently the Seattle Seahawks' backup quarterback. PANIC.
Seattle Seahawks – Seattle has uncovered a quarterbacking gem the rest of the league stupidly overlooked! What morons! And just think of all the money the Seahawks will have to surround Russell Wilson with talent as soon as soon as they can dump Matt Flynn’s contract in two years. PLAN THE PARADE.
Baltimore Ravens – It’s one thing to say you’re the best quarterback in the NFL. It’s another to go out and prove it in the preseason. Joe Flacco put the ball up 36 times for the Ravens on Thursday night, leading them to a 48-17 win over Jacksonville. PLAN THE PARADE.
Carolina Panthers - An unstoppable quarterback! An extremely confident center! PLAN THE PARADE.
Arizona Cardinals – Stoppable quarterbacks! An extremely underutilized wide receiver! PANIC.
San Francisco 49ers – The defense is stout, Alex Smith is looking solid and Randy Moss has been happy all preseason (probably thanks to having to play only parts of games). PLAN THE PARADE.
Tennessee Titans – Jake Locker is playing exciting football and the Titans' running back is, like, way faster than Usain Bolt. PLAN THE PARADE.
Buffalo Bills – They’re 0-3. While preseason records mean nothing, it would be wrong to overlook a possible bad omen when it comes to the Bills. Also, it’s a general football rule of thumb that when a team decides that adding Tarvaris Jackson to the roster will make it better, it’s time to PANIC.
Kansas City Chiefs – Their defense has been awful and their defensive players keep getting injured. You have to really go out of your way to get hurt while not hitting anyone. PANIC.
Atlanta Falcons – The Georgia Bulldogs are ranked No. 6 to open the season. PLAN THE PARADE.
Green Bay Packers – Packers fans are obviously in a pretty excited state about the 2012 team. PLAN THE PARADE.
St. Louis Rams – Sam Bradford following St. Louis’ most recent preseason game: “I think today was probably our worst performance in the games we’ve had so far.” This from a man who has seen some bad performances in his day. PANIC.
New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees looks as sharp as ever and as far as anyone knows, whoever is coaching the Saints this year is some kind of football genius. (Well, not Joe Vitt. He’s not. But maybe the guy coaching during Vitt’s suspension is.) PLAN THE PARADE.
Chicago Bears – Jay Cutler has Brandon Marshall back and will probably put it all together in his seventh year. That’s normal development for elite quarterbacks, right? Plus, Lovie Smith will maybe learn to get out of his own way and Brian Urlacher’s new German knee will make him as good as ever? Yes? Maybe? No? No, right? PANIC.
Cincinnati Bengals – Cincinnati’s offense has struggled in the preseason. “We have to figure out what we’re good at,” says offensive coordinator Jay Gruden. What if it’s nothing? Ahh! PANIC.
Oakland Raiders – Based on the throws he’s making, Carson Palmer’s infamous John Morrell ad could actually end up going down as one of his best decisions. PANIC.
Pittsburgh Steelers – So much for that revamped offensive line. The Steelers lost their first-round pick, guard David DeCastro, to a torn MCL. James Harrison had knee surgery and Pro Bowl receiver Mike Wallace has missed all of training camp. Also, Todd Haley. PANIC.
New York Jets – They haven’t scored a touchdown in three games and were booed by their own fans in a preseason game, which is almost as sad as attending a preseason game. Things are already beyond PANIC.
New York Giants – Has anyone heard about this team? It's completely overshadowed by the lousy Jets in its own hometown. That can’t be good. If the Giants had done anything interesting or impressive in the past year or so, we would have heard about it. PANIC.