1. I think the leash is short for Donovan McNabb. It's fine for Vikings coach Leslie Frazier to say the 0--3 start isn't his quarterback's fault, but it is McNabb's fault more than anyone else's that Minnesota has scored only six second-half points this year. Frazier will be under heavy pressure to give rookie Christian Ponder a start if McNabb can't win at Kansas City on Sunday.
2. I think I trace New England's defensive deficiencies to recent drafts. The Patriots haven't picked a defensive end or outside linebacker in the top 50 since 2003 (Ty Warren), and they haven't developed a young pass rusher since Bill Belichick took over in 2000.
3. I think, suddenly, the Jets have a matchup problem with the Ravens' passing game on Sunday night. Baltimore has two new receivers since the last time the teams met—rookie speedster Torrey Smith and veteran Lee Evans—and New York cornerback Antonio Cromartie got beat up at Oakland last week. I don't see this as a grind-it-out game for Baltimore. The Ravens will try to beat the Jets deep.
TOM DIPACE (SMITH)