When we last left name-dropping thought football enthusiast Peter King, he was making a stupid amount of money, resisting the temptation to have a slumber party at various players’ houses, and marveling at barren moonscape that is Eastern Connecticut thru his Acela cabin window.

So, what can we expect from our lofty companion this week? Did he get swine flu? No? Could he get swine flu? Is there a way to capture swine flu in a syringe and inject directly into him? No? Are we sure about this?

Just asking.

Let’s dig in…

As impressed as I am with Josh McDaniels in the wake of his 20-17 overtime victory over his mentor, Bill Belichick (I detailed much of that in last week’s column), I’m just as impressed with (Kyle) Orton. Will it last? I don’t know. Will the bubble burst? I don’t know.

Is Kyle Orton some sort of prodigal alchemist? I don’t know. Will bears one day learn to hang glide? I don’t know. Why did that German man just spend five minutes in the shitter with the New York Times and then put it back? I don’t know. For you see, journalism is like chemistry…

But right now, he’s every bit the surprising find to McDaniels’ Denver team as Tom Brady was to the Patriots in 2001.

1. Tom Brady didn’t play a snap of football until 2001. Kyle Orton has been starting games for years.
2. Tom Brady won the Super Bowl that year. So perhaps it would be wise to resist sucking the whiskey out of Orton’s cock just yet.

Underline this and put it in your mental bold print:

OKAY!

I’m not saying Orton is as good as Brady or ever will be

But you kind of just did. I have it underlined in my skull.

what I am saying is that he’s doing for the Broncos in 2009 what Brady did when Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury in 2001. Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl win no one saw coming. Can you sit there right now and say Orton might not do the same thing?

Yes. Yes, I can. He won’t do the same thing, considering that Peyton Manning is destroying the fucking world right now.

Sunday at Invesco Field at Mile High (what a silly stadium moniker)

Indeed. What a stupid name. When the hell did they get THAT dopey name for it? Oh, eight years ago? Well, then.

In Baltimore, the Bengals completed the AFC North Hat Trick. Three Sundays, three AFC North wins. And good things, evidently, come in threes, as in three-point wins

All good sentences, evidently, come fully explained, as in I explain what I just wrote in the previous clause.

Most important is the Bengals have established a physical presence, led by punishing rookie linebacker Rey Maualuga. “He hits you like a cinderblock wall,” Lewis said.

HE’S CINDERBLOCK CYANIDE!

Seriously though, I do wish walls would stop hitting me all the time. The other day I walked by a wall and it reached out and smacked me right in the cock.

The Bengals could have been the same old Bengals a couple of times Sunday. Ed Reed picked off Carson Palmer and ran 52 yards with a second-quarter interception for a touchdown, sending the crowd into a frenzy with the first points of the day. On the last drive of the game, Ray Lewis hit Chad Ochocinco coming across the middle so explosively that it tore his helmet off; Lewis got hit with a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness on a defenseless receiver.

“You could have folded then,” I said to Marvin Lewis.

“I could have asked you an actual question then,” I said to Marvin Lewis as I worked the shaft.

There are some interesting developments in Cleveland, with the scratch-and-clawing 6-3 upset of the Bills Sunday, following Adam Schefter’s report on ESPN that the Browns willingly allowed a rookie running back, James Davis, to practice recently without pads against fully padded defensive players, resulting in a season-ended shoulder injury for Davis.

Wait, WHAT?! What in the living fuck?

DAVIS: Hey Coach ‘gini, mind if I practice without pads and expose myself to brutal injuries?

MANGINI: Sure. So long as you remember today’s quote I posted in the cafeteria!

Michael Crabtree signs: Well, throw a parade.

Now that’s what I call sarcasm!

I’ll have a few thoughts on the uselessness of the holdout below in 10 Things, but let’s use this space for something useful — like what Crabtree’s role will be.

All variants of the word “use,” evidently, come in threes. But let’s waste this space for something more wasteful… WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH AIRTRAN?

After his third practice with Crabtree, quarterback Shaun Hill told me he thought Crabtree could be a useful piece this year. “He’s got strong hands, late hands,” Hill said.

Lofty hands.

Happy birthday, Brett Favre

You’ll never guess what I got you!

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(Favre) said he hasn’t had anything to drink but water, has sworn off sweets, hasn’t been hunting…

BUT WHO WILL TEND THE DEER STAND?!

…and said he’s throwing totally pain-free. I asked him about the gigantic welcome-to-Minnesota billboards Wrangler, one of his employers, has put up around town. “Haven’t seem ‘em,” he said.

“Wouldn’t know the first thing about them, except that the cyan needs to be adjusted maybe one or two degrees in Photoshop if they really want the jeans to pop on the sign.”

“All I see is the road between my house and the training facility.” Tunnel vision.

The focus of a pedophile.

2. New York Giants (5-0). Take it from me…

Meryl Streep is one HELL of an actress.

…I had plantar fasciatis one summer in the mid-nineties. Stepped on a rock with my bare right foot in July.

Good rock. Maualugian rock.

It still bugged me in December and didn’t go away completely until I did aggressive physical therapy.

Hmm. Who knew injuries persisted until you actively worked to rehabilitate them?

It’s like going through the day with a toothache. It never goes away.

Unless you do physical therapy, which you did not.

You can live with it by stretching and massaging it, but Eli Manning’s going to feel this ’til after the season.

Unless he begins doing physical therapy. And is more physically active than Peter King. HE MIGHT HAVE IT FOR LIFE IF MY OWN EXAMPLE IS ANY INDICATION. Will it last? I don’t know.

4. Indianapolis (5-0). Three road night games in the past 21 days. What team has played three road night games in a four-game span in NFL history? Doubt it’s ever happened.

But let’s not verify this. I only work for one of the biggest sports media conglomerates on earth, with infinite resources at my disposal.

7. Cincinnati (4-1). Not only are the Bengals in control of the AFC North, but also they’re 3-0 in the division, 3-0 on the road … and, oh yes, Carson Palmer’s back, and he might be as good as ever. He’s certainly as clutch as ever.

HE DEFINES JETER.

11. Chicago (3-1). Idle ’til an interesting battle of the whippersnapper quarterbacks — Cutler vs. Matt Ryan — at the Georgia Dome next Sunday.

Not to mention the ragamuffin running backs!

12. Pittsburgh (3-2). I don’t like dropping the Steelers four spots after a road win. I understand it’s not fair.

SO UNFAIR. Interesting Fine Fifteen nugget: You don’t qualify for the playoffs if you drop below #10!

It’s dubious that NFL Network can have (Deion) Sanders on the air commenting on anything relating to Crabtree when he’s advising him.

Indeed. Journalists should not be covering players that they advise. Not unlike what Peter admitted to doing in February of this year. JOIN ME IN THE WAYBACK MACHINE…

I said to Favre he should at least talk to (Mike) Tannenbaum; why wonder sometime down the road if it might have been a smart way to spend one final year or two in the NFL? A few nights later, Tannenbaum and Favre finally spoke and Tannenbaum began the sales job on Favre.

GOTCHA, BITCH.

Back to King’s original point. Hint: It’s useless!

Second, there’s no question Sanders is good on TV and makes good analytical points about all aspects of the game. The problem is, you don’t know when you’re listening to him who his sacred cows are, who he’s training, who he’s taken under his wing.

In other news: Did you know Bill Belichick visits cancer babies? It’s a side of him many people don’t get to see, but I do! HE LOVES CANCER BABIES AND IS A VERY WELL-READ PERSON.

Is he over-praising Ray Lewis or Ed Reed because he’s so tight with them? Or is he over-praising scores of other players because he’s worked out with them or advised them or mentored them or exchanged texts with them before and after games?

Remember: this is Peter King talking about another person. Who is not Peter King. TEXT HIM, JAY!

MVP Watch

2. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants. It’s sort of cute to have the Mannings 1-2. I’ll admit that.

Almost as cute as the Bowers twins! Little whippersnappers!

3. Darrelle Revis, CB, New York Jets. Well-documented. I love him. Shutdown machine.

He’s like a wall that covers you.

Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of the Week

Tried one of the low-cost carriers to and from Minneapolis for the Packers-Vikings game last Monday. They sure are friendly at Sun Country Airlines, and they fly big planes…

OOOH BIG PLANE! I’M THINK, THIS LARGE!

and, though they pack ‘em in like sardines, it’s at least non-stop at a sub-$300 round-trip fare.

BUT WHERE THE FUCK IS MY KIT KAT?

Shameless MMQB Book Promotion of the Week

In (my new) book, I also pass along some of my greatest hits from past columns. Like this gem from my coverage on the day of the 1999 draft:

Indianapolis will rue the day it bypassed Ricky Williams for Edgerrin James. This is a dark day for the Colts franchise.

And that sort of peerless analysis is why I make the big bucks.

So buy my book. It has old predictions that turned out to be wrong!

Tweet of the Week

“Just because you are clueless doesn’t mean everyone else is Peter. Is SI still in business?”
–@mcuban, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, to me Saturday night at 10:52.

This little tempest occurred when I was asked on Twitter where the United Football League game between Florida and New York was being televised. I said it was on “HDNet, whatever that is.” I had never heard of HDNet until seeing it was the outlet for Saturday’s game. A flurry of tweets informed me it was Mark Cuban’s channel. Cuban’s amiable Tweet followed. Then I wrote two Tweets:

“Nice to meet you, Mark.”

“Never heard of HDNet till tonight. Sue me. I cover football, not television.”

I cover football, DICK. By the way: nonfootball thought of the week, Part G, section subset 6W: Derek Jeter can play for my team ANYTIME.

Then Cuban accused me of being condescending to his channel.

Which you were. Don’t make me defend Mark Cuban, fella.

And so on. The Tweeters loved that. @Iluvcollinfultz wrote: “Oh, HELL YES! Old man Twitter catfight!! Ding, ding, ding!!” And @PatIVERSON wrote: “Round 3! King sidesteps a Cuban punch, throws a body blow! Intense!”

Not really.

“Play nice, fellas,” came in a while later, from @qbkilla, someone who always played nice. Warren Sapp.

Warren Sapp! WHOA! It’s like a rare Hollywood Squares episode! Also, I know Tony Dungy.

f. The Patriots ought to wear those togs every single, solitary time they wear white.

Every time they wear white and are alone?

Gorgeous. Classy.

Sexy.

And those helmets with the real Patriot snapping the ball … fantastic.

Holy shit. The Pat Patriot logo is one of the dumbest fucking logos ever conceived. It looks like it was drawn in an 11th grader’s notebook. The Patriots never won anything in those fucking uniforms. And this year, wearing the throwbacks, they’ve lost to Denver and barely beaten Buffalo. Awful, horrible Buffalo. But if you Pats fans would REALLY like to go back to uniforms that make you play like complete ass, be my fucking guest.

Bill Belichick has to be verrrrrry comfy with his manhood to wear that cheerleadery pompom ball on the top of his hat.

I expect more from a coach who has Sun Tzu books in his personal library. Now excuse me while I enjoy this Sunrise chai with my pinky out.

Loved the Chiefs’ Texans helmet. Strange, of course, with a map of Texas on the side of helmets the day they play a Texas team, but good helmets nonetheless.

Indeed. They’re the exact same as the Chiefs regular helmets, only they’re geographically incorrect. Awesome.

The Broncos uniforms were so ugly I actually like them.

I like old things, like U2’s music!

Matt Hasselbeck. I’ve said it before and will again: If he stays upright, Seattle contends for the playoffs.

Now there’s a bold statement. This just in: Matt Hasselbeck is kinda important!

Rashard Mendenhall, you’re making Mike Tomlin’s job tough. With 242 yards and a 5.5-yard average carry the last two weeks by the second-year back, what’s Tomlin going to do when Willie Parker returns from his turf toe?

Uh… not play Willie Parker?

Tough decision.

The Lions are not terrible. They compete.

They’re human. Also, they’re 1-4.

Tony Romo threw for 351 with no turnovers and took only one sack … without Terrell Owens and Roy Williams. He threw for Miles Austin, Patrick Crayton and Sam Hurd 25 times and netted 304 passing yards from those throws. What’s that say to you? Says it’s a blue-collar game to me.

What does that even mean? Yes, it was a real lunch pail game out there for Romo. He threw to his available wideouts. THEN HE WENT HOME AND WATCHED THE HISTORY CHANNEL, WHICH YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE EXPECTED.

e. Patriots 27 carries. Laurence Maroney five. Wall, meeting handwriting.

If it’s a cinderblock wall, that handwriting is in for a good smack.

g. Chris Berman said this Sunday morning, and it’s still true: Darrius Heyward-Bey has more names (three) than catches (two).

It’s funny because it’s obvious and old!

Magic’s over, Kerry Collins. It’s Vince Young’s turn.

You’re gonna have to do a lot more to make me believe in you, like doing a Sling Blade impression. RECKON I LIKE DEM FRENCH FRIED POTATERS HMM MMM.

I demand to know…

Shouldn’t THIS be the name of King’s book?

…why the volume on some television commercials is 30 percent higher than the volume on the regular program. And if I find out it’s anything like the sponsors pay more money to get their volume raised, I vow to never buy that advertisers product again.

THIS MEANS YOU, WESTIN!

Earlier this morning, 2:06 a.m. Because my hotel coffee stinks out loud…

MARRRIOTTTTTT!!!!!

…I get my coffee on the outside. (Sound familiar, Mr. Seinfeld?)

NOT!

Tonight, on the walk back from NBC’s studios, I stopped at a midtown deli in need of some caffeine. But not wanting to risk the coffee, not knowing how long it’d been in the urn, I got an Illy Issimo cold cappuccino — 8.4 ounces of (I hope) two shots of espresso and lowfat milk and cocoa. I’ll need it an hour from now. The early results are encouraging. That is, I’m not drooling on the keyboard.

And just look at my flawless syntax. It comes in threes, that is to say, there are three awkward transitions per sentence! Usefully used is my uselessness!

I wasn’t sure it would be possible for the Pam/Jim wedding episode of The Office to be better than I thought, because it was a much-anticipated show.

This sentence brought to you by Illy! Illy: For When You Want To Sound Like Kige Ramsey!

But it was a superb hour of television. I won’t spoil it for you

OMFG! THEY MOVE TO MONTCLAIR!