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Week 1 LAist Armchair Quarterback: Monday Night Massacres

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As ugly as the Monday night games were, they sure did get exciting at the end. The Ravens had eight plays inside the Bengal’s five-yard line with just over two minutes left in their game and failed to score. The 49ers whose offense struggled most of the game drove 86 yards in their final drive for a game-winning touchdown with 16 seconds left in the game.

Cincinnati over Baltimore 27-20. One of the cardinal rules of football is do not turn the ball over. I predicted the Ravens to stomp all over the Bengals in this game. Little did I know the Ravens would cough the ball up six times. The last one was in their final drive on the Bengal 2-yard line. That is just sloppy football.

The Ravens are in a world of trouble with quarterback Steve McNair and linebacker Ray Lewis injured. Without those two players healthy, the Ravens will revert to the 6-10 team they were in 2005.

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San Francisco over Arizona 20-17. This was a defensive game that was probably as ugly as Britney Spears’ performance on the VMAs. Taking a page out of Muhammad Ali when he fought George Foreman, the 49ers did their best rope-a-dope impression. They were completely inept offensively all game until that final drive.

As for the Cardinals they had a lot of false start penalties that prevented them from getting any rhythm on offense. The fact they couldn’t convert a third down towards the end of the game shows they still have some ways to go in order to be a good team.

The best part about this game was the camera shots of 49ers head coach Mike Nolan. Damn he looks hot in that suit on the sidelines. I wouldn't mind a couple of drills with him.

Top 5

1. New England Patriots. With their receiver corps, they look unstoppable. Their game against the Chargers this weekend will tell a lot about both teams.
2. Indianapolis Colts. Four words that drives fear in the hearts of their opponents: Peyton Manning got better. Colts games will be fun to watch all season.
3. San Diego Chargers. Offensively they looked blah, but anyone will against the Bears defense. This week's showdown against the Patriots will be a doozy.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers. Even though it was against the Browns, they looked much improved since last season. The AFC Central division should be tight all season.
5. Dallas Cowboys. I felt like I should put an NFC team in. If they don't shore up the defense, this will be another rollercoaster season for the Cowboys.

Bottom 5

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. It looks like another long season for the Bucs. The Seattle Seahawks beat them up badly, and they barely got out of there intact.
29. Oakland Raiders. They're not the worst team in the league! But their defense which should have been their strong point let them down in the 4th quarter when handed the lead. On an irrelevant note, they just signed their first round draft pick quarterback JaMarcus Russell. However with all the time he's missed I'd be surprised if he's on the field this season.
30. Atlanta Falcons. I don't think there's much that needs to be said on this one. At least they close for most of the game.
31. Kansas City Chiefs. Oh my oh my. No running game. No passing game. No defense. I really hope they didn't expect a playoff season with this.
32. Cleveland Browns. They are this season's Raiders. They changed quarterbacks midway in the game. Perhaps they should play the Michigan Wolverines just to make themselves feel better. Like prozac!

AP Photo by Dino Vournas