Now that Ray Lewis is out for the rest of the 2012 season (but not retiring...yet), he obviously has a lot of time to think and watch other teams play football. And he's noticed a disturbing trend. The AFC North is in shambles, with the Bengals and the Steelers tied for second, two games behind the Ravens. (The Browns, as always, are at the bottom of the deck with just one win (against Cincinnati) so far this season. At least SOMETHING is constant in our lives.) Perhaps most shocking of all, however, is that the NFC division - usually a group of one or two good teams per division (except the NFC West, which is just terrible) - has more teams with winning records so far this year than the AFC does. (Only the Ravens and the Texans have winning records...and they play each other this upcoming Sunday.)
As Chase Stuart notes in his blog entry for The New York Times, the NFL is supposed to be a "parity-filled league in which any team could win on a given Sunday." As long as I've paid attention to football, however, it hasn't been that way. Everyone knows the Browns and the Bears stink. The NFC West is a joke. (Heck, the Seahawks went to the play-offs in 2011 with a LOSING RECORD!) And most football fans can name multiple quarterbacks and players who find any way to defeat themselves and give the game to the other team. (*cough*TonyRomo*cough*)
No wonder Ray is so worried! Everything he knows about football is being turned on its head, including the size of his former defensive coordinator Coach Rex "Fatty" Ryan! (See below for shocking weight loss photos. Seriously, I had totally forgotten how morbidly obese he used to be. Oy.)
Hopefully everything will right itself soon. The Steelers will return to dominance and fight with the Ravens for the title of AFC North Champion, leaving the Bengals and the Browns deeply in the dust. The Ravens' defense will get back to its previous strength while the offense continues to improve and stay on top of its game. Other leaders in the AFC will remember that they're being paid millions of dollars to win instead of bringing shame upon their home cities. And hopefully the only thing that DOESN'T change is the Patriots losing. Because to hell with Tom Brady.