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Travis Williams - The Roanoke Sports Examiner
What if the Steelers are better without Ben and other "What ifs" from Week 3
By: Travis Williams
Back when I thought I was going to be the next great Saturday Night Live writer I took a sketch writing class at Second City in L.A. Of all the things I learned probably the most valuable, aside from helping write a fight song for the Banana Slugs, was a brainstorming technique called "What if."
It's pretty simple, as you just toss the phrase what if in front of any idea you might have. I know it sounds kind of pointless, but it really does make throwing ideas out a lot easier.
So with all but one game of the third week of the NFL season in the books I think it's a good time for a little "What if" session.
What if the Chiefs are legit?
Kansas City is now 3-0 and let's be honest, most of us looked at their first two victories with a "yeah, but..." mindset. Granted you do have to look at their schedule through an honest pair glasses; you have to be honest with yourself about how good the Chargers, Browns, and Niners really are (a combined 1-8), but three wins are still three wins.
They are playing solid defense, allowing only 38 points so far this year and should greatly benefit from having this weekend off before their match up against the Colts.
Kind of like the email I keep getting from that exiled Iranian Prince who wants me to help him bring money to US and promises to cut me in on the treasure if I'll give him access to my bank account, a big part of me thinks this is too good to be true. However, what if it really is legit?
What if Michael Vick is really just the benefactor of playing two awful teams?
Don't get me wrong, I'm a Mike Vick guy. He is one of three players, (along with Mark Rypien and LaVar Arrington) whose jersey I have owned. With that said, I love the fact he appears to be back and better than ever, but can't help but wonder how much that is due to his opponents being awful.
Of Mike's 750 passing yards, 575 of them came against the Lions and Jaguars. Likewise, five of his six touchdowns came against those same squads. The Jags ranked 29th in total defense and 29th in points allowed this season, while the Lions come in at 30th and 26th.
I'm not saying that Mike isn't really back, lord knows I hope he is, but what if he has just played some really bad teams? Kind in mind a very average looking girl can look like a ten when standing in line beside a bunch of ones and twos.
What if Ben Roethlisberger's absence is the major factor in the Steelers playing so well?
Sure you'd have to think added the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback would help the Steelers, but what if it doesn't? What if all the drama surrounding him has cause the rest of the fellas to step up their game? And maybe more importantly, what if it is a relief that him and his drama aren't hanging around the clubhouse right now?
Football players aren't that different from the rest of us. You know how different your office or classroom can feel when the office diva isn't there. It's fun, you're loose, you aren't worried about getting chewed out playing for having your radio up too loud and you don't have to fear your fruit roll-up mysteriously disappearing from your lunch sack.
Your work environment drastically affects your productivity and I just have to wonder if the Steelers' environment isn't much better without Big Ben in there drinking like a champion and picking cookie crumbs out of his beard.
What if the Jets really do thrive off drama?
It seems the most of us spent the first few weeks of the season just waiting for this situation to implode on itself. Between the Revis hold out, the Edwards 5:00 AM joy ride, and
blowing up, we all just figure there was far too much negativity for this team to be successful.
So about that, yeah, it doesn't seem to be the case.
Maybe the Jets really are that rare breed that needs the added pressure to produces their best results. Maybe they are like that kid you knew in college who would wait until 2:00 AM the night before an essay was due to begin it, but yet always hammered out a masterpiece. That guy needed the pressure. If you got him working on something a week in advance he would totally tank it, but give him three hours, a pot of coffee, and bag of chili-cheese Fritos, and dude could solve the mysteries of time travel.
Maybe the Jets need that pressure. Maybe they need to live on the edge to get the best out of themselves. It just makes you wonder how much they will have to cook up in order to make a Super Bowl run.
What if we quit paying attention to any team in the NFC west?
Seriously, would it really make a difference?
Weren't the 49ers supposed to just walk through this division? Weren't they the sexy pick to make it to the NFC title game? Now, three weeks in the Cardinals, with Derek Anderson under center, look like they could easily be the team earning a playoff birth come December.
Now I'm not saying the division isn't without it's bright spots, I'm just saying it's going to take you a few minutes of Googling to figure them out.
On a brighter note this could become the NFL's version of the developmental league, from which a guy like Sam Bradford could really benefit.
Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 8:18 AM
bring money to US and promises to cut me in on the treasure if I'll give him access to my bank
Posted At 7/01/2012 07:58 AM
Very interesting! Keep writing your articles.
Posted At 3/26/2013 12:10 PM
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