A bit over half-way through week three's match-ups, we already know several things about the 2008 NFL season:
1. It's not the system in New England, it's the quarterback. Since replacing the injured Tom Brady with Matt Cassel, the Patriots have struggled. That's not entirely shocking, except that many have suggested that Brady was the beneficiary of Bill Belichik's system rather than the other way around. Sunday's resounding thumping at the hands of the heretofore hapless Miami Dolphins ought to put to rest that misguided logic.
2. The Minnesota Vikings have spent two years and gobs of money on talent to surround a player that is not the answer to their quarterback question, only to spend considerably less for a player who just might be the answer to that question. While not spectacular on Sunday, Gus Frerotte was what the Vikings needed him to be--capable and competent against a very good Carolina Panther's defense. Where Tarvaris Jackson routinely threw balls into the ground, Frerotte guided them into the waiting arms of his teammates. And where Jackson missed wildly on deep passes, Frerotte was close enough, hooking up with a not-too-speedy looking Bernard Berrian on a key play in the game. The difference between Frerotte and Jackson need be measured not simply in numbers, which were better than Jackson's numbers over two games, but also in leadership. Where Jackson seemed to be on his own planet, nearly comatose at times, Frerotte was energetic and commanding. Given Minnesota's stout defense, Frerotte might prove to be just enough to make Minnesota a contender. Not that anyone told Vikings' head coach Brad Childress so.
3. St. Louis Rams' head coach Scott Linehan will be fired after today's game. Already pathetic looking in their first two games, the Rams appear intent on showing they are one of the more putrid teams in the NFL in decades. With two minutes left in the first half, the Rams trail a team with no receivers and no real running threat by nearly three touchdowns. No chance Linehan escapes this disaster.
4. Not far behind the Rams on the crud meter are the Kansas City Chiefs. Herm Edwards might last the season, but only if tightwad owner Carl Peterson cannot find a replacement from within that will make the team modestly presentable to the fan base. It's difficult to imagine anyone doing worse than Edwards, but whomever does replace Edwards would have to rely on the team that Edwards assembled. Yuck.
Up Next: More on the Vikings' Victory over Carolina