Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Next Time, Listen to the Mantra

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Next Time, Listen to the Mantra

Article excerpt

I am kicking myself this morning, and have been all week. I could have picked this. This craziness that has defined the NFL's first two weeks was easily foreseeable.

Not all of it, maybe, but the overall trend.

If only I had listened to the mantra.

It's a quarterback's league ... It's a quarterback's league ...

It's a quarterback's league ...

If I didn't believe before, I do now. All week, the theme among those who analyze the NFL has been the same, and focused on how weird, unpredictable and flat-out bizarre the league has been this season.

The Broncos are 0-2. The Jets are 0-2.

The Vikings are 1-1 and struggling, and the Falcons are 0-2, but still, of course, a major factor in the powerful NFC West.

Those four teams played in the conference championship games a year ago.

Now, the Broncos are without John Elway; the Jets, without Vinny Testaverde.

The Vikings are having trouble, suddenly, protecting Randall Cunningham, and Falcons quarterback Chris Chandler has missed all or parts of the first two games.

And the Final Four is 1-7. The one victory is a Vikings victory over the Falcons.

A quarterback's league? Is it even a question?

"Usually, that is the case," Colts quarterback Peyton Manning said. "I feel like it is. Usually, in most games if the team wins, the quarterback has played pretty well."

The Lions -- without Barry Sanders -- are 2-0, leading the NFC Central, a division they weren't supposed to win.

The Patriots -- wrongly picked by many to finish last in the AFC East -- are 2-0 with two division victories.

So, what to make of this? the pundits ask.

Is this chaos? A sign that you never, ever think you know what you're talking about when picking the NFL?

Not so, although a certain analyst's selection of Jets over Packers in Super Bowl XXXIV no longer looks so promising. …

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