I'm not making any predictions today, not after going 0-4 last week. Any prediction I make would probably end up being wrong and then I won't be able to enjoy the games because I will be too irritated. Sooo, I will just make a few observations.
- The last thing I want to see is a Super Bowl with Brett Favre in it, but I'm a little worried about the Saints today. They ranked 26th in the league yards per attempt against their rushing defense. I know he's been kind of invisible for a while, but Adrian Peterson still plays for the Vikings. He's still the best running back in the league. I've seen enough movies to know that the hero always comes back at the end when you think he's down and out. Peterson will be the best player in the building today, and I think he could be the difference in the game.
- I'm also concerned about how the Saints offense is going to deal with the Vikings pass rush. The best way to attack the Vikings is to use 3 step drops and wing the ball in the flats. That's not the Saints offense. They rely on a downfield passing game. They've only given up 20 sacks all season, so they've done a great job of protecting Drew Brees. But I wonder if that changes today.
- I've been hearing all week how the Jets plan to throw all kinds of blitzes at Peyton Manning. That just doesn't seem to make any sense to me. If there's one guy in the league that won't be rattled by wacky blitzing schemes, it's Peyton Manning. I'm not too worried about Revis Island either. The Colts' passing offense doesn't run thru the wideouts, it runs thru Dallas Clark. The Jets blitz Manning, I see Manning dumping off to Clark and/or Joseph Addai all day long. Peyton Manning never had that big of a problem beating Rex Ryan's defenses when he was Baltimore's DC, I don't see why he should have that big of a problem today.
- Not a very good opening to the US World Cup team's tuneup schedule. They didn't play their top flight lineup, but still, losing 3-1 in California to Honduras is not where they want to be with that WC opener against England a little over 120 days away.
- It looks like Juventus' 2-1 home loss to Roma yesterday is going to be the final strike against coach Ciro Ferrara. A Torino newspaper is saying that he's done and going to be dismissed.
- Former Premier League and Real Madrid star Ruud van Nistelrooy is leaving La Liga to join German club Hamburg. He was one of the top goal scorers in Europe during the last decade, but has riding a lot of pine lately with Real. He should get more playing time in the Bundesliga.
- Leeds United continues to be the Cinderella boys of this year's FA Cup. After bouncing Man U in the last round, they now are in position to do the same to Tottenham after earning a replay at home with a 2-2 draw at Spurs yesterday. Jermaine Beckford drove home a PK in stoppage time to even the score. It was his second goal of the game for Leeds.
- Barca has gotten thru the first half of the La Liga schedule without a loss. They coasted to a 3-0 win at Valladolid yesterday. Goals for Xavi, Alves, and Messi.
- A lot of results in the books already today. In La Liga, 3rd place Valencia stumbled a bit with a scoreless draw against drop zone club Tenerife. Real Madrid plays later today hoping to rebound from last week's loss at Bilbao. They should rebound as they host a Malaga team that is winless on the road this year.
- AC Milan is red hot with 13 points in their last 5 matches. They hope to continue that in what is the biggest match of this weekend, when they face Serie A leaders Inter in this afternoon's Milan Derby. Inter currently leads AC Milan by 6 points.
- Arsenal may be fighting for the lead in the Premier League, but they are now out of the FA Cup thanks to a 3-1 loss today to Stoke. The defeat spoils the return of former Arsenal defender Sol Campbell to the Gunners. Arsenal was banged up and didn't really have their A team out there.
- Finally, it looks like Robinho's time with Man City and in the EPL is over. The Brazilian star, who came to Eastlands last year and scored 14 goals, hasn't scored yet this year and has seen his playing time evaporate. He is heading back to Brazil and probably will rejoin Santos, the club he started his career with.