Happy new year to my fellow MOT...
The biggest question coming out of last night's MNF game isn't whether the widely held preseason assumption that Peyton Manning was going to be just fine was exposed as empty -- although that is entirely on the table today -- but whether the atrocious work of the replacement refs finally pushes the NFL to make a deal with the locked-out standard-bearers. Let's hope so.
Meanwhile: Yes, Peyton Manning was/is plenty exposed. I think the default position should be "he can't," right up until he leads the Broncos to the Super Bowl -- as SI predicted.
Oh, and what the hell was Michael Turner thinking last night?
Week 2 Remainders:
*Greg Schiano's shenanigans: I appreciate flying in the face of NFL orthodoxy as much as anyone, but Schiano made a misstep on this one. (That said: Changing a culture is hard, and moves like this make it clear which way he wants the team to go -- but sometimes, "moves like this" are mis-steps.)
*Patriots schadenfreude: That was an excruciating way to lose, for a team that not only almost always wins at home, but seemingly had a gimme against a second- (or lower) tier team coming from West to East for a 1 p.m. start, which is the lock of locks. As it turns out, Aaron Hernandez is the Pats' MVP.
*RG3 Mania: That Josh Morgan thing was stupefyingly dumb. Let's just remember the "Cam Newton Principle" -- RG3 can be breathtakingly good, and yet the Redskins can still be a woeful team that maybe reaches 4 or 5 wins this season.
*The Pats are looking at Kellen Winslow? He's like a very poor man's version of Hernandez. Didn't Winslow fail his physical a few weeks ago? Pats looking a little desperate.
*Saints bountygate: As it turns out, yes, the players -- including Jonathan Vilma -- did have bounties out on players, like Favre. Hard to believe Gregg Williams would perjure himself to pin blame on Vilma.
*The best story of the weekend was the NFL assigning a replacement ref who is a Saints fan to be a part of the crew reffing the Saints game. I wish every sports media person had a profile attached to everything they wrote that included every team and athlete they're in the tank for.