Letters: Tom Brady's knee

No mention of the Steelers as an AFC favorite? What about the Jets? The readers write.

Published September 8, 2008 9:00PM (EDT)

Letters: Tom Brady's knee No mention of the Steelers as an AFC favorite? What about the Jets? No mention of the Steelers as an AFC favorite? What about the Jets? Trying something new here. I've made a habit over the years of answering letters about this column and its contents right in the letters thread. But the newish bloggy format makes it seem natural to do it out here in public. Why not let everyone enjoy the wit and wisdom of, well, everyone, rather than limiting them to just the subset that clicks on "comments."

I won't do it every day. Just when there's a lively thread that seems to call out for some responses. And I have time. And I feel like it.

First up: Letters about "Tom Brady's knee changes everything."

thereofone I feel like you forgot to mention a team... but I need to finish this Primanti's sandwich before I can pinpoint it.

That's Pittsburgh. And I didn't forget to mention the Steelers, it's just that -- wait, I think I did just forget to mention them. Pittsburgh's crushing of the Houston Texans was pretty much the one case of an AFC contender clearly, and maybe even convincingly, getting the job done. That is, unless you consider Buffalo a contender, which maybe yes maybe no.

So, given the struggles of Indianapolis and San Diego and Tom Brady's knee -- the Patriots, saying Brady would undergo surgery, placed him on injured reserve Monday, ending his season -- the Steelers look like the new team to beat in the AFC. This week. I didn't even have them making the playoffs, so I'll need a little more convincing. But I shoulda mentioned 'em.

pageiger You forgot another one. Wait, I am almost done with my half pound pastrami sandwich from Katz's delicatessen on Houston Street (in NYC we pronounce it HOW-ston).

I didn't forget the New Jersey, uh, whatever they're called. Titans or something. I think a wildly optimistic outlook for the Jets would have them in the wild-card mix.

Or, as TomG76 put it: "Favre and the Jets almost lost to Pennington and the Dolphins. Take it easy there."

Wish I could join you right now at Katz's though.

That quarterback whose name you couldn't remember in your AFC East picks had a pretty good game on Sunday including a trademarked play just heaving the ball up for grabs which led to a TD. And that's knowing just 75 percent of the Jets' playbook.

I thought you would be thrilled. You hate kickers. Jets' kicker was hurt so Jets went for it on 4th down and tried for the 2-point conversion. Got the TD but no 2 points.

To clarify, I don't hate kickers. I hate kicking. I've actually enjoyed my extremely limited interactions with NFL kickers. But yes, that was cool. How football should be. No kickers, and lots of lucky, desperate heaves.

David I The Chargers didn't get "beat" ... they got "beaten." Seriously, King. Your writing makes me grind my teeth.

It do?

mkelly9772 The two teams that looked the best this Sunday were the Cowboys and the Eagles. And they play next Monday night. The winner of that game becomes the early season front runner to win the Super Bowl.

Take it easy there on the Eagles. Look who they played. I'd go with the Cowboys, the Steelers, the Bills and maybe the Bears. And don't forget that the Vikings and Packers, as of this typing, haven't played yet.

Calvin Coolidge Why would a guy good enough to start in the NFL be a college backup? Of course, not all NFL starters started in college. In fact, a little-known QB known as Tom Brady actually spent his college career as a backup at Michigan.

As Joe Blow points out, no, he didn't. Brady was a backup for two years and then a starter for two years, a pretty normal pattern. And he considered transferring after his sophomore season.

Fournier BTW its a shame that no one is talking about Michael Turner's debut against the Lions. That was an amazing performance even though it was against a JV defense.

It -- 220 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries -- wasn't amazing if it was against a JV defense. We'll know in a few weeks how amazing it was.

On the other hand, how about quarterback Matt Ryan? Nine-for-13, 161 yards -- that's 12.4 yards per throw -- a touchdown and no interceptions in the first game of his rookie year? I don't care if you're playing a JV defense. That's amazing. Ditto, to a lesser extent, Joe Flacco of Baltimore, who went 15-for-29, 129 yards -- a pedestrian 4.4 per throw -- with no TDs or INTs, but a 38-yard run for a score.

Generally speaking, NFL quarterbacks at the start of their rookie year are trying to find the bathroom, never mind the end zone.

tangosharkus Seriously, lest we forget, it wasn't Belichick who got his knee crushed yesterday. It was Belichick's creation. Promote Cassel. He's been a recipient of Belichick's tutelage for a while now and there is a strong likelihood that he will do just fine. A la Brady.

I hadn't thought of this because it's been a while since I've heard a "Brady isn't that great, he's just a creation of the Belichick system" argument. The rest of this year ought to make a pretty good case against that argument. Do check back in a few months.

By King Kaufman

King Kaufman is a senior writer for Salon. You can e-mail him at king at salon dot com. Facebook / Twitter / Tumblr

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