You know, this week I expected my e-mail in-box to be overflowing with apologies from humbled Cincinnati Bengals fans. I thought for sure I'd get hundreds of e-mails reading something like this:
Boy, you're right. The Bengals might not be as good as I previously thought. If not for a bogus fumble ruling against David Carr, it's likely the lowly Houston Texans would've rallied to beat us in Cincy. Jason, I'll never doubt your expertise again. You are indeed the greatest football mind in all of sports journalism.
Instead, my in-box was filled with celebratory Bengals fans chanting "Who Dey?" after the Bengals got lucky and stole a 16-10 victory over the Texans. Bengals fans are harassing my brother at work. He made the mistake of marrying into a Bengals family and settling in Cincinnati.
Hey, look, leave my brother alone. He's just like everybody else in Cincinnati. He doesn't know a damn thing about professional football. When God was passing out football intellect, he was standing in the long line of future Cincinnatians waiting for season passes to Kings Island.
When it comes to the NFL, I'm the only Whitlock with an opinion that matters. Here are the 10 NFL truths from Week 4:
10. In terms of poise, toughness and creativity in the pocket, Donovan McNabb is in the same class as Tom Brady.
My respect for McNabb, already high, elevated in Week 4 after watching him rally the Eagles from a 24-6 deficit against the Chiefs. McNabb, playing with a hernia, sidestepped pressure all afternoon, kept his eyes on his receivers and made plays downfield.
McNabb is the league's MVP in the first quarter of the season, followed by Indy pass-rusher Dwight Freeney and San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
9. The 0-4 Green Bay Packers will win the NFC North.
OK, the division might be the worst in the history of the league, but I envision the Packers going 8-4 or 9-3 the rest of the season. The Packers are not as bad as their winless record.
Had the Packers huddled and taken their time before their final fourth-down play against the Carolina Panthers, Brett Favre and the Packers would've finished off their rally and upset the Panthers on Monday night.
The Packers will win their next three -- vs. Saints, at Vikings, at Bengals -- and finish the season on a five-game winning streak -- at Bears, vs. Lions, at Ravens, vs. Bears and vs. Seahawks. In between those strings of victories, they'll grab a win on "MNF" against the Vikings.
Will the Packers still fire Mike Sherman after he leads them to a division crown? Probably.
8. Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz are far more concerned with fielding great offensive football teams than with fielding championship teams.
The Chiefs and Rams have enough defensive talent to be competitive. The problem is neither Vermeil nor Martz sets a tone with his ballclub that defense is as important as offense.
Vermeil came to Kansas City determined to prove he was the mastermind of St. Louis' Super Bowl offense -- not Martz. The Chiefs have set all sorts of offensive records while winning very little. Meanwhile, Martz probably doesn't know the names of his defensive players.
7. Unlike most NFL gurus, I'm willing to admit a mistake.
There was a typographical error in an early edition of this column. Editors of this column mistakenly printed that Kansas City's defense was closer to being fixed than Indy's defense when I meant just the opposite.
NFL schedule-makers are in a neck-and-neck battle with Freeney for Indy's defensive player of the year. Baltimore, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Tennessee -- the Colts' first four opponents -- aren't exactly offensive juggernauts.
A glance at Indy's future schedule reveals only three offensive challenges all year -- the Rams, the Patriots and the Chargers.
6. The alleged "experts" tabbing the NFC East as the best division in football are wrong.
It's actually the third-best division, behind the NFC South and the AFC West. The Redskins and the Cowboys are frauds, and it's too early to jump on the Giants' bandwagon.
Meanwhile, the NFC South is home to three Super Bowl contenders -- the Buccaneers, the Falcons and the Panthers. And the Saints have enough talent to beat anybody on any given Sunday.
The AFC West probably lacks a true Super Bowl threat as long as Marty Schottenheimer is coaching the Chargers, but you have to respect what the Broncos and Chargers have done the last two weeks. The Chiefs are going to improve as the season wears on. They'll add three players after the bye week who will improve their club -- suspended corner Eric Warfield, and offensive linemen John Welbourn and future Hall of Famer Willie Roaf.
And as long as Randy Moss lines up for the Raiders, no one wants to see Oakland on the schedule. Just ask the Cowboys.
5. Matt Millen's contract extension in Detroit might be the most shameful heist since Paulie Walnuts -- to get back in Tony Soprano's good graces -- strangled one of his mother's best friends for her life savings.
How do you get a five-year extension after leading the Lions to 6-10, 5-11 and 3-13 seasons?
Millen's next score will be throwing head coach Steve Mariucci under a bus for this season's failures. Remember how Tony Soprano took care of "Feech" La Manna, sending him back to prison on a parole violation rather than whacking him? Same thing here. Mariucci knows Millen is out to get him, but "Mooch" has no idea "Big Mill" is killing him with Joey Harrington and underachieving receivers.
4. Washington defensive coordinator Gregg Williams deserves another shot at being a head coach.
Williams is responsible for the Redskins' undefeated start. It sure as hell has nothing to do with the 'Skins' offense. Williams would make perfect sense in Kansas City as a replacement for Vermeil, who is likely in his final year.
Williams is a native of Excelsior Springs, Mo.
3. If the Dolphins remain warm and somehow win an injury-decimated AFC East, Nick Saban will receive a lot of praise, deservedly so. I, however, will chastise Saban for entering the season with the worst QB situation in the league.
Seriously, with the Jets and Patriots ravaged by injuries, the Dolphins could be a legitimate playoff threat with a mediocre quarterback. But there's just no way the Dolphins can win a playoff game with the three-headed QB monster of Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels and A.J. Feeley.
Frerotte is completing 51 percent of his passes. That's totally unacceptable in the NFL. Rosenfels is the worst backup in the league.
If the Dolphins had Philly third-stringer Mike McMahon, they could pull off a playoff upset. I expect McMahon to save the day in Philly if the Eagles ever have to rest McNabb.
2. Let me be the first to apologize to Penn State's Joe Paterno. I thought he was old and washed up, too.
Well, he is old. He's just not washed up. I expect the Nittany Lions to knock off Ohio State this weekend.
1. Jaguars 24, Bengals 21.
Jason Whitlock is a regular columnist for The Kansas City Star. His newspaper is celebrating his 10 years as a columnist with the publishing of Jason's first book, "Love Him, Hate Him: 10 Years of Sports, Passion and Kansas City." It's a collection of Jason's most memorable, thought-provoking and funny columns over the past decade. You can purchase the book at TheKansasCityStore.com. Jason can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org