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From the Press Box - Week 3

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From the Press Box - Week 3

I'm trying to decide if the game last night was the 'Debacle in Charlotte' or the 'Debacle in Carolina'.

Either way, debacle fits.

I had the Giants winning, though with all the injuries I was starting to lean Carolina. However, it still felt like the Giants would come out on top of a hard fought game.

Well, they came out on top at least.

It was good to see Ramses Barden have a big game, as he was a player I met back in 2009 when he was training for the NFL Draft. He struck me as a hard worker and while he was raw, his size and vertical made him intriguing.

Fast forward to this preseason where, after several years, Barden still didn't look like the light was coming on, I was pretty sure he was going to see the end of his Giants career.

It's impossible to say that one game will turn it around but last night he played like he suddenly remembered he was taller than most of the defenders and could muscle them out of the way to boot.

Can he keep it up? We'll see. It would be easy to slide backwards and fade when Hakeem Nicks or Domenick Hixon returns. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

I like it when guys come 'out of nowhere', like Barden and running back Andre Brown have this week.

It's a positive story, and you can't beat that after a week of Jay Cutler drama.

Never give up, Never surrender!

I am hearing a lot of fait accompli when it comes to the Vikings-Niners game this weekend. I ranted about it on twitter a little but you get the full brunt of it here.

I'll grant you that this is a very tough game. I had to write a strategy of attack for the NFCN blog at Bleacher Report yesterday and it was a very tough task.

So yeah, it's unlikely that they manage a win.

That said-are we really talking moral victories? Isn't this the league which saw the Arizona Cardinals defeat the Mighty New England Patriots without a quarterback.

Sure, the Niners are a far better team than the Pats-FAR BETTER-but that doesn't mean it can't happen. Just that it's unlikely an very tough.

I don't want to hear about 'moral victories' and neither do the Vikings.

The way some of the media-even Minnesota media-are talking one would think they Vikings might as well not show up.

The great thing about the NFL is if you do show up, anything can happen.

That's why you can keep your 'moral victories'.

I'll take the real ones, thanks.

Fly, Eagles, Fly, into the arms of the other teaaaaam!

Every time I think about the 2-0 Eagles, I am conflicted. On the one hand, it's not a shock to see them with two wins. On the other every time I think about it I feel like they've lost a game and I can't figure out when.

They just feel like a team who is 1-1. Something is off for them and yet somehow they've won two games.

It's an odd feeling.

It probably comes down to the Michael Vick interceptions. It is hard to believe that a team can turn the ball over that much and still win. The defense has played well and Lesean McCoy is as good as he was last year.

Vick hasn't been playing well, or at least isn't protecting the ball well. Can the Eagles overcome that? So far, they can.

I guess what does it for me is, they find a way to not lose, they don't find a way to win.

I would imagine they find a way to not lose again when they play Arizona this weekend. I'd put them under 'overrated' right now, as something is just not right with them and it feels like the wheels have to come off soon.

Underrated/Overrated

It's time again for some overrated/underrated takes. Follow along!

Overrated:Miami Dolphins
How are they overrated? Well, for one thing, people are very much overplaying the win they had last week against a bad Oakland team.

Reggie Bush's 2 billion yards on the ground notwithstanding, this team isn't terribly impressive. I won't be sold on them if they beat the equally unimpressive Jets this weekend although, on a personal note, it will suck if they do.

This team is rebuilding. Let's remember that and the fact that even with Brian Hartline they have no receivers.

Underrated: New Orleans Saints

Never thought they'd be in this category and yet here we are.

The Saints are playing bad. There's no getting around that. However, we are getting caught up in a rough start of the season and forgetting Drew Brees is still Drew Brees a this is still a potent offense.

The difference here has been defense and admittedly, that's been awful.

Still this is a team which will right itself against Kansas City.

Of course then they meet Green Bay which could be ugly.

Overrated: Alex Smith, mostly by Niner fan

Now, there is already a caveat in the title above this paragraph but I'm going to add one more. I have believed Alex Smith could be a solid quarterback for years and advocated him leaving the Bay Area for a fresh start.

Instead he got a fresh start in San Fran with a coach who gets him. Jim Harbaugh may actually be underrated by a lot of people.

Alex Smith, as happy as I am that he is playing well, is not an elite quarterback. He's not. He's a very good quarterback it seems. He is not, however, in the category of a Rodgers, Brees, Brady or Manning.

If you say this near a Niner fan, you'll hear otherwise. At length. For an hour.

He's playing very well and has since the middle of last season. He's not a game manager, but he's not at the level of the aforementioned players. He doesn't have that aura of invincibility, that feel of inevitability, and he's not a guy I feel confident bringing a team back from a deficit for a comeback win.

That's the biggest part of it. Rodgers, Brees, Brady-when they are down, you know they can come back, even when down big.

Smith? If the Niners are down more than a touchdown, I'd be worried. Two touchdowns? I'd be very worried.

San Fran fans are rightfully proud of this team. It's a tremendous team. Let's wait a bit before we sculpt Alex Smith's Canton Bust, though.

It feels like a lot of folks are still trying to justify that #1 overall pick. It's safe to let that go though-at this point, draft slot almost means nothing.

Underrated: Seattle Seahawks

I happen to have the Packers winning next Monday night, as do many people. That said, it feels like people are missing something in Seattle.

It's easy to dismiss the antics of the NFC West beyond the 49ers, but we shouldn't at least when it comes to the Seahawks.

That game against the Dallas Cowboys was impressive and the offensive line did much better than I expected. The defense is beyond stingy as well and Marshawn Lynch has played just like last year for the most part.

In the end, the Packers just have too much talent. However, don't be shocked if we look back on this season and see the Seahawks in the hunt for a playoff spot, trailing back to a big win against Dallas.

That'll do it for this week - enjoy the games and I will catch you next week for The Hard Count as well as this column as well. Will try to make time to do another Chalk Talk as well, but that's always dependent on hours in the day.

Have a Hobbit kind of day!

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"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
"The Bears still suck!"