(Headline inspired by Rebuilding Year’s birth-seperation-documentation)

Yesterday’s 26-20 loss to Baltimore left Cincinnati mired at 4-4 and looking like the league’s biggest underachievers (other than the defending champs). WR Chad Johnson (above), however, remained focused on individual goals, writes the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Mark Curnutte.

“Anybody have the stats for today?” Johnson asked at one time. “Four – that sucks. You have your best player, and you can’t even get him the (expletive) ball. I just go out there and get the job done. But now, all of a sudden, there is a problem this year. How many catches did I get? Four. That (expletive) sucks, too.”

He has 40 catches for 483 yards and two touchdowns at the mid-point of the season. He is on pace for 80 eceptions for 966 yards and four touchdowns.

“When Christmas comes around, I might as well be a hood ornament. Because all I’ve been so far is a decoration – a decoration sitting out there all pretty, ready for people to jump on.”

Johnson wants the ball but doesn’t want to come across as selfish. He said the more he gets the ball, the better the chances are that the Bengals will win.

“What is No. 85 now, some kind of secret?” he said. “They know what the hell I can do.”

Full credit to the Providence Journal’s Jim Donaldson — he might not be the most exciting columnist on the planet (or even in Providence), but he’s awfully big on making definitive statements. With an entry titled “Overall best QB? It has to be Brady”, Donaldson continues,

If my team had one game to play that meant everything, which guy would I want?

In the ’80s, the answer was Montana. If you saw him win four Super Bowls, as I did, you’d take him, too.

Now, the answer is Brady. If you saw him win three Super Bowls, as I did, you’d take him, too.

A mere 5 hours later, after observing Tom Brady’s 4 INT night against the visiting Colts, Donaldson declared, “Let’s face it, nobody’s better than the Colts.”

Has Tony Dungy gotten into Tom Brady’s head?

Remember what pigskin pundits used to say about Peyton Manning? How he couldn’t beat the Patriots, especially in Foxboro, because Bill Belichick’s defensive schemes left him confused and muddled? That Manning couldn’t win in New England because Belichick had “gotten into his head.”

Well, in the highly hyped matchup of the two best quarterbacks in football, Manning won decisively, bettering Brady by a much larger margin than the final score indicated.

While it’s hard to contest the fact that Brady had a poor evening, I think it would be more accurate to suggest someone got in Kevin Faulk’s head.

What kind of crazy numbers would the Bolts’ LaDaminan Tomlinson have put up yesterday had he been properly utilized in the first half against Cleveland? Everyone who doesn’t have LT on their fantasy team is relieved they didn’t find out, but the Chargers have to be encouraged by sacking Charlie Frye 5 times without the services of Shawne Merriman.

Excusing Tiki Barber and Jeremy Shockey from his critique of Big Blue’s “slack, lusterless” effort against the Texans, the New York Sun’s Allen Barra wonders if the New York Post’s 2nd or 3rd worst columnist isn’t going to waste.

For some strange reason, Tom Coughlin waited until the final quarter to show that the Giants had other people besides Burress who could catch a football. Tiki Barber started things by taking a swing pass for 13 yards, and Jeremy Shockey finished them by making a leaping grab in the end zone for a two-yard TD to put the Giants ahead for good. Shockey, who had only one touchdown catch in his first four games, now has four in his last four. He caught a season-high eight passes against the pathetic Texans, but you still get the feeling that the Giants aren’t using him nearly enough ” and except for the short TD receptions, they’re scarcely using him as a primary receiver. (His yards per catch average after eight games, 9.9, is his lowest in five NFL seasons)