Posts Tagged ‘JaMarcus Russell’

NFL Week 7: A Review

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Another week is in the books as we rapidly approach the season’s halfway mark. Meanwhile, Michael Crabtree’s wondering where all the time went.
Let’s start with the shocker of the week…sorry Bears fans.

Chicago Bears v Cincinnati Bengals

Chicago Bears v. Cincinnati Bengals

I’ve been saying the Bears are overrated all along and the Bengals’ season start is no fluke but…WHOA! Before you could say “Al Afalava,” it was 31-0. Carson Palmer (Five TDs – four in the first half) played USC quarterback to the Bears’ directional school secondary all game. But (his words, not mine) Bears coach Lovie Smith claimed they, “gained some momentum with a field goal” to end the half. A 45-10 loss later, and Lovie was still waiting for old ‘mo to kick in. Speaking of “kicking in” – how about the CedBen show. Cedric Benson entered this game in hopes of demoralizing his former team. 37 carries and 189 yards sounds pretty demoralizing to me. Fortunately for Chicago’s defense, the offense was equally offensive. Matt Forte still can’t run. And Jay Cutler, fresh of a contract extension – how soon is too soon – threw three interceptions and was eventually removed from the game. Fortunately, maybe Chicago radio will get off the “Super Bowl-bound Bears” bandwagon. They may soon be hopping onto a different kind of wagon.

Let’s move on to the (pitifully) non-shockers of the week…

San Diego Chargers v. Kansas City Chiefs

Instead of talking about San Diego’s 37-7 laugher, let’s discuss what transpired following the game. Chiefs’ running back Larry Johnson, having managing a mere 49 yards on 16 carries against one of the league’s worst run defenses, was mad. So did he express his frustration to his teammates? No. Did he discuss his anger with his coaches? Nope. So he must have voiced his displeasure to the media following the game, right? Wrong again. Affectionately known as “Grandmama,” LJ went all new-technology on us and tweeted away. He threw repeated jabs at head coach Todd Hailey, saying he had no coaching credentials or, more eloquently, “Nuthn,” and used gay slurs on several occasions to boot. He should be safe though. No one pays any attention to Twitter .

Green Bay Packers v. Cleveland Browns and New York Jets v. Oakland Raiders

Why did I group these together? Do I really have to explain? The Packers and Jets beat the pathetic Browns and Raiders a combined 69-3. Aaron Rodgers (246 yards and three TDs) torched Cleveland’s secondary and Thomas Jones (121 yards and one TD) and Shonn Green (144 yards and two TDs after Leon Washington’s season-ending injury) ran around, over and through the Raiders. But I’d like to discuss the fates of two miserable quarterbacks. There are 32 NFL teams and 35 quarterbacks that qualify in the QB rating category. Oakland’s JaMarcus Russell and Cleveland’s Derek Anderson rank 34th and 35th, respectively. Seventeen other quarterbacks in the NFL have a higher rating than these two – combined! Anderson stole millions from his team after one, seemingly illogical, good season. Russell just simply stole millions from his team. And he doesn’t even seem to care how bad he is. But don’t expect any drastic changes in Oakland – not while Al Davis is still alive.

Indianapolis Colts v. St. Louis Rams

At least the Rams are trying. Unfortunately, when you face Peyton Manning, trying won’t cut it. Manning threw three more touchdowns (but snapped his consecutive 300-yards passing streak to begin a season – gasp!) as the Colts rolled 42-6. Manning leads the league in passer rating and surpassed another milestone – passing Warren Moon for fourth on the career completion list.

New England Patriots v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

God Save the Queen? More like God save the Buccaneers – who lost a home game 35-7 to New England…in England. Pats safety Brandon Meriweather returned Josh Johnson’s pass for six on the game’s fifth play and Tom Brady threw three touchdowns. New England has now won their last two games 94-7. Yes, that was against the winless Titans and still winless Bucs. But tell me you don’t fear Tom Brady right now…look me in the eyes…I thought so.

Carolina Panthers v. Buffalo Bills

Another installment of the NFL’s “pillow fight” featured Buffalo’s 20-9 victory over Carolina. Despite totaling just 167 yards Sunday, the Bills somehow won by double digits. How, you ask? Jake Delhomme’s league leading 11th, 12th and 13th interceptions didn’t hurt. Nor did a 4th quarter fumbled punt. Don’t worry Panthers fans; John Fox will “evaluate” the quarterback position this week. Wonder what his findings will determine. In related news, I have evaluated the TO experiment in Buffalo…and my findings are disturbing. Seven games, 18 catches, 242 yards, one touchdown – and seven drops. Not exactly Miles Austin-esque.
Atlanta Falcons v Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys v. Atlanta Falcons

Speaking of Miles Awesome…err…Austin, the former undrafted rookie from Monmouth didn’t match his 250 receiving yards in his starting debut, but I think another six catches for 171 yards and two touchdowns will do. His rapidly developing chemistry with fellow undrafted rookie Tony Romo showed in their 37-21 statement victory over the Falcons. Much maligned for most of the season, the Cowboys are tied in the loss column with the once super-New York Giants. Following another turnover-free Romo day, the emergence of Austin and the return of a Cowboys pass rush, led by a very wealthy DeMarcus Ware, that sacked Matt Ryan four times (after only twice all season previously) – the Cowboys may have finally found their swagger.

Philadelphia Eagles v. Washington Redskins

First off, enough with the Sherman Lewis bingo jokes. Yes, the newly-appointed Redskins offensive coordinator was calling out numbers at a senior home last week. But that’s like making fun of you grandfather. Not cool. Nor is what Daniel Snyder has done with this team. Jim Zorn still can’t coach. Jason Campbell still can’t lead. And the Redskins still can’t do anything right– including snapping the ball to the quarterback without throwing it off their own behind. Meanwhile, despite only three touches, DeSean Jackson led Philly in both rushing and receiving thanks to a 67-yard TD run and 57-yard TD pass. But four Redskins turnovers only resulted in a 27-17 Eagles victory, so who knows how different they really are from the team that lost to Oakland. We’ll find out next week when they welcome Eli Manning and…

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants

New York Giants v. Arizona Cardinals

…the New York Giants. Dare I say I’ve been right about them all season? After questioning their 5-0 record thanks to a cupcake schedule, (a factor almost every “expert” seemed to overlook) the Giants have lost two straight – and looked bad. As a Cowboys fan, I don’t know if there is any expression I enjoy more then Eli Manning’s “Oops…I did it again” look. But even Eli made Britney look good after throwing three interceptions in a 24-17 defeat. Arizona’s defense is making as many plays as their offense and the Cardinals have finally shaken off that Super Bowl hangover.

And now a three-part story on the exciting games of week 7.

San Francisco 49ers v. Houston Texans

With a 21-0 halftime lead, Houston seemingly had this one wrapped up. Enter Alex Smith. The former no. 1 overall pick replaced Shaun Hill and came within a possession of leading what was once “his team”, before falling 24-21. An interception on their last drive’s fourth down shouldn’t overshadow Smith’s three TD passes – all to Vernon Davis. Did it just take him this long to “get it”? We’ll find out this week after Mike Singletary tabbed him as the team’s starter. I can’t forget to mention Crabtree’s debut. Five catches for 56 yards – for those of you scoring at home.

New Orleans Saints v. Miami Dolphins

It was the sexy upset pick of the week. And with a 24-3 second quarter Miami lead, it seemed like John Q. Public had dominated Vegas once again (not that I would condone such a thing – stay in school kids). But then Ted Ginn Jr. forgot how to catch and Drew Brees remembered how to throw, and the Saints scored 22 unanswered in the fourth quarter to win 46-34. New Orleans, now the lone unbeaten in the NFC, has proven it can score on anybody. Let’s just say they may find themselves back in Miami soon and it won’t – or shouldn’t – be on the links or at the salsa bar.

Minnesota Vikings v. Pittsburgh Steelers

For the sake of time – and the fact that I’m over 1500 words – let’s skip to the game’s final seven minutes. Down 13-10, Brett Favre held the ball loosely – like he always does – and Steelers’ Brett Keisel stripped Favre and watched as LaMarr Woodley, and his convoy of blockers, rumbled 77 yards for a score. Percy Harvin then took the following kickoff up the sideline and broke a menacing Jeff Reed tackle attempt, mind you, for a touchdown. Still down 20-17 in the final minutes, and fresh off Adrian Peterson trucking over William Gay – you have to see it – Favre threw a simple screen pass to Chester Taylor. But Taylor let the ball slip through his hands and fall into Keyaron Fox’s lap. Eighty-two yards the other way later and Pittsburgh had knocked Minnesota from the ranks of the unbeaten, 27-17.

Thus concludes another riveting, and yet depressing for many, NFL week. Until next time…

NFL Week 6: The Review

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

NFL week six is in the books. We’ve officially reached the point where teams are who we thought they were – or are.

So what do you say…let’s say we get this party started right…Raider-style.

Oakland Raiders v. Philadelphia Eagles

“We went out and threw a fight on somebody and said, ‘Enough. Let’s play,'” said Raider coach Tom Cable after the game. And if you’re headed into a fight, who better to lead you than Tom Cable? Allegedly. JaMarcus Russell set season highs for completions (17) and passing yards (224) as the Raiders somehow defeated the mighty McNabb’s 13-9. Reverting back to form of year’s past, Philadelphia ran the ball just 14 times. Eagles coach Andy Reid has an extra day this week to let his visible disgust subdue. Fortunately for Eagles fans, next stop is the nation’s capital.

Washington Redskins v. Kansas City Chiefs

In what may best be described as an “offensive pillow-fight,” the Chiefs recorded their first win of the season, beating a pathetic Redskins team 14-6. Don’t let the score fool you – there were no touchdowns in this one. Washington converted just 2-14 third down conversions and held the ball for 23 minutes. Jason Campbell was benched in the second half. Jim Zorn was stripped of his play-calling duties. And Dan Snyder paid one million dollars for an up-and-coming hot dog vendor. I’ll let you decide which of those are true and which is false. Congratulations, Ryan Succop. The Chiefs kicker – and NFL Draft 2009 “Mr. Irrelevant” – went 4/4 and was apparently the only player who didn’t “Suck-op.”

Tennessee Titans v. New England Patriots

Speaking of sucking…have you seen the Titans? I know they’ve been hit hard by injuries…but 59-0? They gave up five touchdowns…in the SECOND QUARTER! Jeff Fisher should have walked off the field at halftime and never come back: “Okay guys…I’ve had enough. But keep at it…see you tomorrow.” Alas, he stayed – long enough to watch Brian Hoyer sneak in for the Patriots eighth touchdown of the day. Warren Moon – at the ripe old age of 52 – would have looked better in those Oiler jerseys then the Kerry Collins/Vince Young duo. Two completions…negative seven yards. That’s not a misprint. Oh…and Tom Brady threw for 380 yards and six touchdowns.

Houston Texans v. Cincinnati Bengals

Trivia time: Who leads the NFL in passing touchdowns?

It’s not Drew Brees. And it ain’t Peyton Manning. The answer is Matt Schaub. The Texans rode Schaub’s arm and a stout defensive front to a 28-17 victory. After a run of exciting finishes, the Bengals and NFL rushing leader Cedric Benson (another great trivia question) were held to just 46 yards on the ground. Making matters worse, Cincinnati also lost NFL sack leader, Antwan Odom, (yet another amazing trivia question) for the season. Time will tell if the Bengals can regroup and challenge for the division – or if it’s time to kiss the baby.

New York Giants v. New Orleans Saints

From a baby to a grown man – Eli Manning spent many a football Sunday at the Superdome – but never as a player. And he might want to keep it that way. In Manning’s hometown return, the other quarterback, Drew Brees, spoiled the party. Brees (369 yards and four touchdowns) and the Saints offense scored at will against what many considered the league’s no. 1 defense, winning 48-27. New York gave up 34 first-half points – matching the total they had given up in the first half of their first five games combined. The previously undefeated Giants benefited from a relatively soft schedule, and while they are still among the NFC’s upper echelon, don’t be surprised if they start to falter.

Minnesota Vikings v. Baltimore Ravens

Here’s your Brett Favre alert. The Vikings quarterback hit Sidney Rice on a 58-yard bomb on their final possession to set up Ryan Longwell‘s game-winning field goal. But don’t forget the Ravens came right back and positioned themselves for a 44-yard field goal – until Steven Hauschka missed it. Or the fact that they allowed Baltimore and Ray Rice to score 21 points in the fourth quarter, turning a blowout into a ballgame. The Vikings are 6-0. They’ve got the best rusher in the league, Adrian Peterson, and the best pass rusher in the league, Jared Allen, but they could very easily be 4-2. Looking forward to seeing how this – and by this, I mean Brett Favre – plays out.

Pittsburgh Steelers v. Cleveland Browns

When discussing the bottom-feeders of the NFL, let’s not sleep on the Cleveland Browns. Now 1-5, after a 27-14 defeat to the Steelers, the Browns remain incapable of doing anything right. Derek Anderson played like a Pro Bowler compared to last week, completing a whopping nine passes for 122 yards. He was just slightly overshadowed by Ben Roethlisberger’s 417 passing yards. I would like to personally apologize to Josh Cribbs. He deserves better. After returning a 98-yard kickoff to the house and rushing for 45 yards some team has to get him out of Cleveland – don’t they? And the Browns aren’t willing to pay the man! Pay the man his money! Unbelievable! I don’t know who I feel worse for – Cribbs or Cleveland fans?

Carolina Panthers v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In the latest installment of “games you shouldn’t subject yourself to” comes Carolina’s 28-21 victory against the still-winless Yuccaneers. They’re baaack! They even get to wear their retro orange jerseys this season. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart combined for 362 yards rushing and three touchdowns, overcoming Jake Delhomme’s two interceptions and 65 yards through the air. There’s not much else to say about a game like this. It’s too bad somebody has to win.

St. Louis Rams v. Jacksonville Jaguars

Another winless team? Really? A week in which Maurice Jones-Drew publicly called out his coaching staff, the Jaguars rode their little bowling ball to a 23-20 overtime victory. Jones-Drew ran for 133 yards and three scores. Now, 0-6, the Rams have lost 16 straight games dating back to last season. And there really isn’t cause for hope. Fortunately, Sam Bradford is healthy and ready to turn one lucky team around…

Green Bay Packers v. Detroit Lions

How did the Packers manage two bye weeks in a row? Oh…right…they played the Lions. Take a bad team like Detroit, sit their best player, Calvin Johnson, and their starting quarterback, Matthew Stafford, and what do you have? A team incapable of scoring. Daunte Culpepper and Drew Stanton threw three more interceptions than touchdowns (zero) and Aaron Rodgers excelled at leading his team into the red zone – and letting Mason Crosby kick field goals – as the Packers won 26-0. In more cheerful news, Donald Driver passed Sterling Sharpe for first place on Green Bay’s all-time receptions list. And, no, Brett Favre did not come through the tunnel to carry him across the field.

Arizona Cardinals v. Seattle Seahawks

Matt Hasselbeck’s health was widely considered the Seahawks measuring stick for success. That is until Kurt Warner and the Cardinals debunked that theory. Warner threw for nearly 300 yards, tying Dan Marino’s record as the fastest to 30,000 career passing yards, and Arizona won 27-3. Adding injury to insult – Seattle lost Pro Bowl lineback Lofa Tatupu for the season. Adding insult to injury – it’s raining in Seattle right now.

Buffalo Bills v. New York Jets

Just when you thought we were done with terrible teams…”it” won! Buffalo allowed over 300 rushing yards and still managed a 16-13 victory in overtime. I’m assuming Mark Sanchez’s five interceptions didn’t help. Maybe it’s time to hold off on the photo shoots? Following a 3-0 start this season, Jets coach Rex Ryan finds his team at .500. Over/Under on swear word usage in the locker room this week? 362. Meanwhile, despite losing Trent Edwards, replacing him with Harvard great Ryan Fitzpatrick and Terrell Owens remaining as existent as Dick Jauron’s head coaching job after the season, the Bills are somehow two games out of first place.

Chicago Bears v. Atlanta Falcons

Sunday night featured two potential NFC sleepers. But penalties and turnovers doomed Chicago from the start – and ultimately, their final drive –in a 21-14 losing effort. Jay Cutler, who, at the moment, cannot be considered the best quarterback in his own trade, threw another red zone interception, Matt Forte fumbled on the goal line and the offense committed three penalties on the game’s final drive. Whether it’s been the porous offensive line or the adjustment to a new quarterback, Forte is in the midst of a sophomore slump of epic proportions. And who knows if he’ll ever climb out. On the subject of sophomores, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan continues his impressive play and has his team just a game behind the marching Saints.

San Diego Chargers v. Denver Broncos

This was to be the game when the undefeated Broncos faced reality. In their previous meeting with San Diego, they were demoralized 52-21. They couldn’t win another big game – especially on the road. But the Broncos stomped all over those sentiments about as fast as you can say “Eddie Royal.” The second-year receiver returned a 93-yard kickoff and 71-yard punt return for scores. The 5’10 Royal pumped those legs so fast his Bronco throwback jersey was almost tolerable – almost. The Chargers’ Darren Sproles returned the favor with a punt return touchdown, but it wasn’t enough. The Broncos defense has turned back the clock, going all-Tom Jackson on opponents – having allowed just 10 points in the second half this season – and Kyle Orton keeps winning. Go figure. Kudos to Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator – and San Francisco 49ers vagabond – Mike Nolan. Apparently they didn’t get the message this team should finish with double-digit losses.

How can you not love the NFL? Unless you’re a fan of the Titans, Redskins, Rams, Rai…Scratch that. There are probably a lot of NFL-haters right now. Until week seven…

The NFL – It’s like a good Clint Eastwood movie

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009
Clint Eastwood

Forget my Fansedge blogging debut – I’m done with baseball. Whether a function of my beloved Chicago Cubs ruining the sport or my poor attempt at predicting the playoffs – (enjoy your baseball-shaped bruise Matt Holliday and well-played Kevin Gregg impersonation Jonathan Papelbon) I’m tired of baseball and I absolutely do not have the patience for Chip Carey any longer.

Chip – what happened? Incorrect stats. Horrifically terrible calls. Clichés on top of clichés. I used to like you.

But back to me. If I wasn’t ready to focus all my faculties on the NFL last week, I am all-in today.

Can you believe we’re almost a third of the way into the season? We’ve already seen multiple shockers and utter disappointments.

I’d be lying if I considered myself a Clint Eastwood buff – big Gran Torino fan – but here’s my take on the NFL’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

The Good

In Sergio Leone’s film, Eastwood plays Blondie – “The Good,” a bounty hunter in pursuit of buried gold. He survives numerous “standoffs,” in his successful pursuit for the treasure. In a season with arguably the largest talent gap in league history, only a select few have a legitimate shot of collecting their bounty. I call these teams…bear with me: the unbeatens. The New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, and the Denver – yes, Denver – Broncos. All five of these teams remain undefeated and all five have a legitimate shot of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy in Miami. The Saints finally have some semblance of a defense to match Drew Brees’ arm. Add in the return of Pierre Thomas on the ground and the exciting, yet enigmatic Reggie Bush in the return game and the Saints have the pieces to go marching. Their only obstacle could be a Kardashian or two – but looks like Lamar Odom has that covered.

I don’t know what’s more intimidating to a Vikings opponent, lining up opposite Adrian Peterson or Jared Allen? The “Adonis” or the “mean mullet?” The only thing holding either player back is their equipment. Throw in a weak division and some guy named Favre – and the Vikings could rack up some serious victories.

Next up: Manning Bowl.

Licking Oreo’s ain’t the only thing these Louisiana boys do well. Eli Manning and the Giants are running over teams, literally. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw are putting games out of reach by halftime. But the Giants have capitalized on a ridiculously soft schedule, so I’ll give them the next month (@NO, AZ, @PHI, and SD) to really prove themselves.

Name me an adjective that has yet to be said about Peyton Manning – I dare you. The man is putting up career numbers with guys named Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie at the line of scrimmage. And he is currently on pace to overtake Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record – by 200 yards. Wow. In related news, I hope Marvin Harrison has a great view from a barstool somewhere in Philadelphia.

What’s the more hideous Kyle Orton accessory: last week’s throwback jersey or the neck beard? Either way, nobody around Mile High is complaining about Broncos coach Josh McDaniels any longer. He may be younger than many of the players he coaches and enraged an entire fan base before ever stepping onto the sideline, but boy has his team, and Brandon Marshall in particular, responded. Has there been a better moment this season than McDaniels post-game, on-field cheer lead after the victory over New England? Can you even imagine something like that from Wade Phillips? I’d rather not.

The Bad

A ruthless sociopath, Angel Eyes – “The Bad,” is set on the murder and pillage of a nation…until Eastwood steps in. Unfortunately for the teams in this category – Eastwood has spoken.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans, St. Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all winless. And that group doesn’t even include the Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders. Can you remember a season with this many terrible teams?

I’ll keep this short and give each team the effort they’ve given their fans.

The Chiefs are improving, but Matt Cassel has a long way to go before justifying his contract. And…hello? Dwayne Bowe – he’s big, strong and fast. Maybe you’ve heard of him.

Can we please stop calling Tennessee the best winless team ever? How long can that last? If you’re a Titans fan, hopefully not as Kerry Collins grip on the starting quarterback job. Ladies and gentleman, the Vince Young era returns! Not that anybody says that’s a good thing…

The Rams have been outscored by 112 points. That is three more points than the Chiefs and Titans – combined. 112 points!

The week after Greg Olson, Tampa Bay’s second offensive coordinator this season, called Cadillac Williams a “complete player” and “every down back” – he ran for eight yards on 10 carries.

Did you see the “highlights” from the Bills-Browns game? Head coaches Dick Jauron and Eric Mangini, respectively, should be the first two coaches on the unemployment line – and deservedly so. Braylon Edwards hit the lottery and took his fumbling hands elsewhere, could Terrell Owens be next?

Which leads me to the Oakland Raiders…

The Ugly

In the film, Tuco – “The Ugly,” is a vulgar and comical bandit wanted by the authorities.

Sounds a lot like the Oakland Raiders. It’s time somebody relinquishes this team from the ageless wonder, Al Davis.

Their quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, has brought new meaning to the word “bust.” The former no. 1 overall pick is completing 40% of his passes – worst in the league. He has one passing touchdown. And has thrown for 600 yards. That’s a quarterback rating of 47.1 which, miraculously, is not the lowest in the league (Derek Anderson currently holds the honor). Making matters worse, the Raiders know he is terrible. Despite losing 44-9 to the Giants, Russell attempted just 13 passes – a NFL low for team attempts that lost by 35 or more.

Their head coach, Tom Cable, may face criminal charges for reportedly breaking the jaw of an assistant in preseason. The case is now in the hands of the Napa County district attorney. Maybe the authorities can do us all a favor and place the entire roster behind bar.

The state of California vs. the Oakland Raiders.

Poor personnel decisions and offensive ineptitude – facing charges of up to three years in prison and a potential move back to Los Angeles.

So there you have it – “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” Time to pop in a movie.The popcorn’s ready.

NFL Week 5: Feast or Famine

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

It was a feast or famine week in the NFL for most teams in Week 5. Some teams looked great in victory, some looked ugly in victory and some looked truly disastrous in defeat.

I hope you found that Miles Austin and Jeremy Maclin were available when you checked to see if they were on the waiver wire in your fantasy leagues this morning. And I also hope that you are in last place so you can pick one of them up or that the guy who is in last place has already given up and hasn’t checked his team since drafting Matt Forte second overall and starting the year 0-3.

Miles Austin caught a few passes and then ran all over, through, and aroundthe Kansas City Chief defense for 250 yards receiving on Sunday. Covering Austin must not have been high on Mike Vrabel’s to-do list this week when he and a few other Chief veterans took over practice after Head Coach Todd Haley pulled his coaching staff off the field because he was so frustrated with how poorly the team was practicing. Also not high on the Chief to-do list: tackling, taking the proper angle of pursuit, running fast, Gatorade baths for the coach.

Austin and the KC D made Tony Romo’s day. He just had to lob it out there and then sit back and watch his passing yards run down the field to an overtime win. Not a bad way to go. It sure beats trying to jam a ball into Sam Hurd with Champ Bailey covering him in the end zone on the last play of the game.

Haley chose to kick the PAT after Matt Cassel drove his team down the field for a TD with less than a minute remaining. Had he opted to go for 2 and been successful, the story today would have been a) Tom Brady’s former backup rallying his team late in the game and leading to them victory b) Tony Romo is terrible…blah blah blah…The Cowboys are terrible…TO somehow…There’s a huge screen in Dallas…Jerry JonesJessica SimpsonWade Philips. But, Haley kicked it and then lost in OT so now we talk about Austin.

Jeremy Maclin in Philly hauled in 2 TD’s from Donovan McNabb to rack up 142 yards receiving. Missouri Tiger fans cheered on their alum while DeSean Jackson fantasy owners threw tantrums while watching him catch the ball once for a total three feet.

Roddy White had the other big WR game in Sunday’s games, going for 210 yards and 2 TD’s against the San Francisco 49ers, who looked more like the 2-14 2004 Niners than any of the teams from the Joe Montana or Steve Young years. Matt Ryan threw for 329 yards in that game and Michael Turner scored three times. Frank Gore sat out again with an ankle injury, not that it would have mattered had he played. Michael Crabtree is supposed to debut for San Fran in Week 7, after their Week 6 bye.


Do the bad teams in the NFL look worse than usual this season? Maybe that is just a thought that has been rattling around my brain the last few weeks. But it sure was reinforced and highlighted by these six games:

Minnesota Vikings at St. Louis Rams
Pittsburgh Steelers at Detroit Lions
Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Bucs
Oakland Raiders at New York Giants
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans
Dallas Cowboys at Kansas City Chiefs

The six favorites (also the six teams who won) had a combined record of 20-5 coming into the weekend and the underdogs (the losers on Sunday) had a combine record of 2-22. The only favored team of those six playing at home was the Giants. After the weekend the winners are 26-5 and the losers are 2-28.


The Raiders, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Jacksonville Jaguars, Titans, and Rams could not combine the points they put up to beat the individual efforts of the Vikings, Giants, Atlanta Falcons or Seattle Seahawks. That’s four teams that scored more than the combined effort of those six teams, which was a blistering 35 points.


I would like to say that the Buffalo and Cleveland defenses were just so stout and beat up on each other so hard they held the offenses to a 6-3 final score, but that’s not remotely the case. Derek Anderson played the complete game on Sunday and completed only 2 of his 17 passes… and his team won! That’s about the same as when in pool you have all of your balls left on the table and your opponent scratches on the 8 ball to lose. You didn’t deserve to win, but you did.

2-17! This is the guy to whom Brady Quinn lost his job. When I was checking on my fantasy team Sunday afternoon, I was convinced that that stat must have been a typo or a mistake. No way can an NFL QB in a NFL offense with NFL wide receivers complete only 2 of 17 passes.

Also perplexing was that Oakland only threw the ball 13 times while getting trounced by the Giants 44-7. Coach Tom Cable clearly has more confidence in his right cross than he does in JaMarcus Russell. Keep in mind also that the team was playing without Darren McFadden at running back.

The Minnesota Vikings avoided faltering against a weak team after two back-to-back thrilling weeks. They jumped out to a 14-0 lead on St. Louis in the first half of the first quarter. Adrian Peterson scored twice, Brett Favre threw for a touchdown pass, and Jared Allen recovered two fumbles, returning one for a TD. Favre turned 40 last week and joins some punters and kickers in the 40+ club. Percy Harvin led the Vikings in receiving. Ram WR Donnie Avery scored a TD in the 4th on a pass from Kyle Boller to bring the Rams within 28 points and then celebrated with a solo dance in the end zone. His teammates apparently weren’t up for a TD dance down 28 points. Steven Jackson went for 84 yards on 21 carries but still hasn’t found the end zone yet this season.

Marc Bulger returned late in the game after Boller left with an injury. Bulger’s return to the field and the fact that Boller started again when Bulger was ready to play should create something of a QB controversy in St. Louis. The bigger controversy in St. Louis though is Rush Limbaugh’s bid to buy the Rams. Most shocking about this story is that someone actually wants to buy the St. Louis Rams.

Maybe James Carville and George Stephanopoulos are interested in the Raiders.

Big QB Days

Matt Hasselbeck returned from injury to throw for 4 TD’s in a Seattle Seahawk beat down of the Jacksonville Jaguars. I don’t get the Jags. They nearly beat the Colts in Week 1, then lost to Arizona in Week 2. They beat Houston and Tennessee after that to get to 2-2 and make people think that maybe they could put together a respectable season. Then they didn’t show up at all on Sunday and lost 41-0. Their season is kind of like the acting career of John Cusack. They won a few games, but other than that it’s been ugly. There was Say Anything, Being John Malkovich, and High Fidelity, and then there was everything that happened after that. In case you haven’t seen 20 or 30 previews for it, he is in a disaster movie (pun may or may not be intended) about the world ending in 2012. So don’t sweat not getting the Olympics in 2016, Chicago, they wouldn’t have happened anyway.

Peyton Manning threw for 300+ yards and 3 TD’s as the Colts took advantage of playing the Titans. Over the weekend I heard both Tony Dungy and Ron Jaworksi say that Manning is playing better than he ever has before. That could be scary. Manning’s career is kind of like Will Smith’s. Will Smith makes one movie a year and it’s a huge financial success, even if it is terrible or the ending doesn’t work or the twist in the middle is ridiculous or he looks hideous. Peyton Manning delivers every season – no matter who the cast around him is, who is directing the action or who is writing the script. Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are 2nd and 3rd in the NFL in receiving yards and first year coach Jim Caldwell is undefeated thus far.

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 3 TD’s against the Rams. Matthew Stafford was out with an injury. Daunte Culpepper threw for 282 yards in his place. Calvin Johnson left the game early with an injury that may or may not have been a knee scrape. Megatron’s status for Sunday against Green Bay is up in the air. Fast Willie Parker was Injured Willie Parker again on Sunday so Rashard Mendenhall did the leg work for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Eli Manning continues to throw Steve Smith’s way. Smith is leading the league in receiving yards and touchdowns. Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw shared the ball carrying responsibilities but it was Bradshaw who scored twice and had three times as many yards per carry.

The Arizona Cardinals blew a 21 point halftime lead before Dominique Rogers-Cromartie returned a Matt Schaub interception back for a touchdown and a win near the end of regulation. Schaub threw for 371 yards on the day, including 101 yards and 2 TD’s to Andre Johnson. Kurt Warner also topped 300 yards and connected with his number 1 receiver for 2 TD’s. Larry Fitzgerald had 79 yards, including the TD’s. Steve Slaton and Owen Daniels both topped 90 yards of total offense for Houston and Anquan Boldin had 81 receiving yards for Arizona.

The legend of Chad Henne was born last night as the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 31-27 with 21 fourth quarter points against Rex Ryan’s Gang Green. Henne was 20-26 for 241 yards and 2 TD’s in an offense that is built for travel by truck or train instead of helicopter or airplane. Ted Ginn, Jr accidentally caught a long TD pass for Henne, who made just his second NFL start out of the University of Michigan. Ricky Williams blazed his way to 70 yards receiving and 68 yards rushing. The Dolphin Wildcat O produced 110 yards of offense.

Despite taking the loss, Jet fans have to be a little bit excited about Braylon Edwards and his 64 yards and 1 TD effort after being on the team for about 100 or so hours. Mark Sanchez should benefit from having that threat line up next to him in the coming weeks.

Man Hugs

I was sitting with my wife watching a football game a few weeks ago and she was noticing that a lot of guys pat each other on the butt after a play or on the sideline. She found it strange and asked me why. I said I didn’t know, it’s just what guys do on the football field. This is an aspect of the game that goes unquestioned and mostly unnoticed. But what does not go unquestioned or unnoticed is Bill Belichek’s hugging habits after and before games.

Has any man’s hugs or handshakes been more analyzed and scrutinized than Bill Belichick’s? The talking heads on TV and the voices on the radio love talking about how this man hugs other men. First it was Eric Mangini and the hugs or handshakes after games when the Jets played the Patriots. This year it is the hug that Belichick shared with Bronco Head Coach Josh McDaniels before the game and the hug that they did not share after the game.

Is he sincere enough at the traditional mid-field Head Coaches handshake/man hug after every game? Does he blow them off? What kind of hug is it? Who does he hug and who doesn’t he hug?

I have a better question. Who cares? This is the sports equivalent to celebrity tabloids reporting an encounter between two rival heiresses at a Hollywood night club. Apparently both men and women love a good soap opera.

Josh McDaniels has taken over a volatile situation in Denver with a quarterback who looks like he dropped out of Stillwater. He reigned in Brandon Marshall and started the season 5-0 after beating his mentor and the New England Patriots. Tom Brady had a costly and uncharacteristic late game fumble. Randy Moss caught only one ball and it was an interception on a hail mary at the end of the first half.

Kyle Orton is 5-0 and Cedric Benson is leading the league in rushing yards. What’s up with that, Chicago Bears?

You saw a lot of retro jerseys during the Week 5 games. This week’s item of the week is a retro look you can have of your own. Sorry, it’s not the Denver Bronco brown and yellow socks.