I knew my 2009 NFL predictions would eventually prove embarrassing, they always do, but I expected that to come well into the season not the very next day! Who’s the opposite of Nostradamus? We need a term for that. I am that guy. Past Interference hereby officially apologizes to all the guys I singled out for improvement this year. Ronnie Brown? Did virtually nothing yesterday. Anthony Fasano? Well he improved in the category of fumbling the ball away. Jake Long? Manhandled by John Abraham. Pat White? My excitement wore off about the time he sailed a pass about ten yards over Ted Ginn’s wide open head. I mean a wide open Ted Ginn’s head. Oh it was ugly. Let’s not overreact to one bad loss, a road loss to a 2008 playoff team no less, but Miami played very, very badly yesterday and the score could have been a lot worse. The one bright spot was the run defense totally shutting down Michael Turner. Just keep repeating that Dolphin fans. It’s all we have. And Davone Bess looked good.
The worst part of it all was Chad Pennington playing like the 2008 playoff Chad Pennington, not the 2008 regular season Chad Pennington. That’s two horrible games in a row now for him. Sure the offensive line wasn’t giving him much time but Pennington had chances to get rid of the ball and either took a sack or was unable to hit an open receiver to salvage some yards. His arm strength looked weaker than ever and the team resorted to having him throw on the run several times to try to get something going. I should have put a big fat caveat in my 9-7 prediction. We might well see Chad Henne at QB sooner rather than later if Pennington keeps this up much longer and if that happens a losing record is likely. Not that I’d have a problem with the team putting Henne in there if Pennington is no longer what he was most of last year. The team simply couldn’t make any big plays yesterday. The few times they used the Wildcat it didn’t work. They might have been trying to set up a big pass play from White by running out of the formation the first couple of times. If that’s so it would have been brilliant except for White’s inability to hit the broad side of a barn on the play ‘cause that should have been 6. The big pass play Pennington pulled off came off a flea-flicker, not a downfield strike. Don’t be surprised if Henne gets in there sooner than you think (Is that another prediction?! When will I learn?). I still trust the management and coaching when all’s said and done so I’m not too worried (yet) despite yesterday's debacle.
You know, at least my playoff team picks don’t look half bad after a whole week. But I can’t figure out why I named Carolina as a playoff team. I thought they made a big mistake in resigning Jake Delhomme to a huge deal when he appeared finished last year in the playoffs. Like Pennington he’s picked up where he left off. Looks like Atlanta’s the better team right now. But don’t worry Panther fans, A.J. Feely’s on the way! Haha. (Did that trade Wannstedt made for him really happen? A second-rounder? Really?).