What's been perhaps the most interesting aspect of the NFL preseason? Listening to Tony Kornheiser's commentary. Who else is going to use the term "Plutoized" in their commentary? (For the record, he said something along the lines of: "The Bengals had been so bad for so long that they could have been Plutoized from the league.") Classic. He might want to lay off on the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern references, though.
Well, it's a good thing the Bengals weren't Plutoized from the league after all. They looked absolutely fantastic Monday night. Based on his performance, you'd never know that Carson Palmer suffered a career-threatening injury at the end of last season. The team looked like a well-oiled machine.
Granted, they were playing the Packers, who looked more like the guys from Necessary Roughness than an NFL team. Brett Favre's performance calls into question his decision not to retire before this season. But let's be fair. The team has many more problems than Favre. In fact, Favre would have looked somewhat better had his receivers actually held onto the ball. Or at least looked like they were trying to catch the ball, which in many cases they didn't. The team also can't block (last year's miserable o-line does not appear to have improved), and they most certainly can't tackle. I don't know what the Packers organization is paying the defensive unit for, but it's most certainly not tackling. I can think of at least two Bengals touchdowns where it looked like the Packers were trying not to tackle.
Of course, the problem is that everyone wants to see Favre go out on a high note. We're just going to have to accept that, unfortunately, he's not.
But onto better teams...
Yesterday Adam Gold announced that he thought either Carolina or Tampa Bay would be the NFC representative in the Super Bowl. He acknowledged that most people didn't agree with him about Tampa Bay. Don't worry, Adam. Sports Illustrated has one-upped you and announced their Super Bowl teams: the Panthers (no shock there) and the Dolphins (!?).
Yes, I mentioned in a previous post that the Dolphins should be a much better team than in recent years, especially since they acquired a quarterback who can get the job done. But the Super Bowl? That's a bold pick, SI.
I don't even know what I'd do if the Panthers and the Dolphins played in the Superbowl. It would be the childhood team vs. the team that presently gets my allegiance. I think I would just sit in front of the TV in utter confusion. I'm personally hoping SI is wrong so I can avoid the whole thing.