Posts Tagged ‘Mark Sanchez’

In a Quarterback’s League, Do You Know Who’s Taking Your Snaps?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Here’s a post from one of our new copywriters. I’ve been promoted to President of Overseas Operations or (POO) as I now force my underlings to refer to me. This is Brent Widmark, and he’ll be thrilling you week in and week out with tales of Norse Heroes. Enjoy…

NFL teams cannot be in a “must win” situation in week 3, can they? Well, yes, they can. Only three teams since 1990 have made the playoffs after starting the season 0-3, the most recent being the 1998 Buffalo Bills, led by Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, and Doug Flutie in the twilight of their careers. In the AFC, after week two the Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, and Jacksonville Jaguars all found themselves looking down the barrel of an 0-3 season. In the NFC, the Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, and Detroit Lions were trying to replace the donut in their win column. The only two teams of these nine two scrape out a win were the Jaguars and the Lions, who ended a 19 game losing streak. Somewhere Matt Millen is breathing a sigh of relief and hoping he’ll never have to answer another question regarding his credibility as an ESPN analyst after being the architect of Detroit’s flawless 0-16 season in 2008.

Quarterback problems are a common link between teams who are still searching for their first win. Chad Pennington may be lost for the season for the Miami Dolphins. Jake Delhomme is frustrating Steve Smith fantasy owners. And the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Kansas Chiefs are looking for stability at the QB spot. The Chiefs have the best chance at finding that as Matt Cassel continues to bounce back from injury. Also injured last week for the Chiefs was WR Dwayne Bowe. As Al Michaels would say, he had a hamstring. Brand new Chief Bobby Wade could be a sleeper fantasy WR option if Bowe’s hamstring doesn’t mend.

Chicago Bears v Seattle Seahawks

The NFL is a quarterback league. Top quarterbacks can take a team up a level by themselves. That is why the Chicago Bears were aggressive in trading for Jay Cutler. If the NFL is a quarterback league, then the NFL media is a “What did you do last week?” entity. In Chicago, after a week of Cutler bashing on the radio after his week 1 four-interception-performance against the Green Bay Packers, it’s been nothing but praise as the Bears have beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks to go 2-1. Quarterbacks like Cutler, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Ben Roethlisberger prove to be invaluable every season.

Last season Pennington led the NFL in completion percentage at 67.4 percent. His injury is not great news for wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr, who needs the most accurate passer he can find. If he catches the touchdown pass that went in and out of his hands near the end of the week two against the Indianapolis Colts, the Dolphins may very well be sitting at 1-2 and still dreaming of being the 11-5 team they were in 2008 and not the 1-15 team they were in 2007. The Miami Dolphins will turn to former University of Michigan QB Chad Henne. Also lingering on the depth chart is rookie, Wildcat specialist and former West Virginia Mountaineer QB Pat White.

When the Dolphins drafted Ted Ginn, Jr in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft, fans, commentators, sports writers, hot dog vendors, and Brady Quinn were shocked that the team did not draft Notre Dame QB Brady Quinn. Quinn sat in the green room at the draft and sheepishly watched himself slip through the top 20 before being selected by the Cleveland Browns at number 22 overall. The Browns are now 0-3 and have thrown six interceptions on the season, the second most in the NFL, three by Quinn and three by his backup/quarterback controversy counterpart Derek Anderson.

If the Browns need to seek inspiration for turning their season around, they need only to look a little north to… Detroit? Yep, to the now 1-2 Detroit Lions. Before he was drafted number one overall, former Georgia Bulldog, Matthew Stafford publically welcomed the challenge of trying to turn the Detroit Lions around. He beat out Daunte Culpepper in training camp to earn the starting quarterback spot and the privilege of chucking it up to phenom WR Calvin Johnson. Stafford led them to a win over the Washington Redskins in week 3, their first win since December 23, 2007. After throwing five picks in the first two games, Stafford threw zero on Sunday and connected with Bryant Johnson for his second touchdown of the year. The Lions will now hope that RB Kevin Smith’s shoulder injury is nothing serious as they try to double their win total from the last 22 months next week against division rival Chicago Bears.

After losing to the Detroit Lions last week and barely squeaking out a 9-7 win against the winless St. Louis Rams in week two, the chair under Washington Redskin coach Jim Zorn may be beginning to feel a little warm. No costume Clinton Portis can conjure can hide the way the ‘Skins have played this year, but reason to celebrate is right around the corner as the next three opponents for Jason Campbell, LaRon Landry and company are a combine 0-9 right now. A 4-2 start to the season is Washington’s for the taking.

The only other 0-2 team, besides the Lions, to win in week 3 was the Jacksonville Jaguars, who got 119 yards and 3 TD’s from RB Maurice Jones-Drew. No coach looks better on the sidelines than Jack Del Rio and few coaches walked off the field happier than he did on Sunday. The Jags and QB David Garrard will face two 0-3 teams in the next three weeks and should have a good chance at finding themselves with a .500 record or better after week six. A Jags win may have helped Florida Gator fans forget Tim Tebow’s exit from Saturday’s game. Actually, no. The flags in Florida are still at half-mast and counselors are available on the University of Florida campus to help students cope with the fact that Tebow may miss the Gator’s next game in two weeks.

It’s a QB league and the New York Jets look like they have found a franchise QB in former USC Trojan Mark Sanchez. Sanchez comes from a brotherhood of USC QB’s that includes Cincinnati Bengal Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinal Matt Leinart, Kansas City Chief Matt Cassel, and John David Booty, who was bumped to the Minnesota Viking practice squad when Brett Favre unretired, swooped in and stole his roster spot and his number. Sanchez and Head Coach Rex Ryan, son of famed defensive wizard Buddy Ryan, have the J-E-T-S off to an undefeated first three weeks of the year after knocking off the Houston Texans on the road and the New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans at home.

For several reasons, Sean Salisbury is not mentioned in the above list of former USC QB’s. No, there will not be a picture.

And speaking of 4, as we call him where I am from, Brett Favre version 2009 was Brett Favre version 1997 for at least one play on Sunday, throwing a 32 yard TD pass with two seconds left in the game to beat the San Francisco 49ers. On the receiving end was former Philadelphia Eagle WR Greg Lewis, who was signed by the Minnesota Vikings just before the season began. The Vikings remain undefeated, helped by a Frank Gore sprained ankle early in the game. Rookie, and former Alabama Crimson Tide RB, Glen Coffee took Gore’s place and rushed for 54 yards on 25 carries against the stout Minnesota Viking defensive line led by Pat Williams, Kevin Williams, and Jared Allen. The Vikings will try to improve to “Favre and O” against the Packers on Monday night. Favre might look across the way at Greg Jennings and Donald Driver and wish he was back in Green Bay. Or he might turn around and see Adrian Peterson and feel really good about being old in Minnesota, in the dome, where it is warm in December.

Joining the Jets and Vikings in the ranks of the undefeated are the New York Giants and Eli Manning, the New Orleans Saints and Drew Brees, the Baltimore Ravens and Joe Flacco, the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning, and Denver Broncos and John Elway… err Bubby Brister? Nope. Kyle Orton is 3-0, Denver!

Looking to week four, New York Jets shutdown cornerback Darrelle Revis has a huge challenge in front of him as he goes against Drew Brees’ high flying New Orleans Saints offense. Isaac Bruce will face his former team when the Rams and 49ers square off. Terrell Owens will try to start a new streak of consecutive games with a catch when Buffalo goes to Miami. TO’s record setting streak of 185 consecutive games with a catch was snapped on Sunday. Brett Favre will square off against the Green Bay Packers for the first time since leaving the team for retirement, before coming back and signing with the Jets, retiring, and then coming back again this year with the Vikings. Hopefully for the Vikings his muscle memory does not kick in when he sees a wide open green and gold clad Nick Barnett. That game is on Monday night and is expect to attract an enormous audience. If the Vikings lose, nobody in Minnesota or Wisconsin will be happy on Tuesday. I wonder what kind of questions the media will serve up to Aaron Rodgers all week…

In fantasy leagues, if you own Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Larry Fitzgerald, Kurt Warner, DeAngelo Williams, Steve Smith, Brian Westbrook, or Donovan McNabb, you’ll want to sit them this week. Their teams have the first bye week of the season.

Item of the week is this classic top seller. Support your alma mater, your favorite NFL player’s former stomping grounds, or just get a great looking long sleeve tee for the fall.

Mischief. Mayhem. Football.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

God Bless America, football is finally BACK! Each season it seems like the layoff was a little longer than last year, but the Men of Winter (that’s the opposite of Boys of Summer, right?) took the field and here we go again. Week 1 was a torrid affair…let’s take a look around the league for the highlights of the week’s best games and performances.

Donovan McNabb vs. A Late Hit

Donovan McNabb has been through a lot in Philly. Mercilessly booed before he even had a chance to put that Eagles cap on his head on Draft Day in 1999, he’s also had to deal with Rush Limbaugh’s 15 minutes as an analyst on Monday Night Football. He’s had TO and the tears and shouting and driveway sit-ups that come along with that horror show. He’s dealt with Iggle’s fan’s calling for his unseating countless times. He’s had to deal with the addition of Mike Vick. Most of all he’s had to deal with 4 NFC Championship losses plus losing Super Bowl XXXIX. And this past Sunday, he had to deal with a broken rib or two caused by a late him from Carolina Panthers defenders. I don’t know what a broken rib feels like, but I would guess it feels like constantly getting the wind kicked out of you. Which is probably how Donovan would describe his time in Philly anyways. Good luck Philly fans. If Donovan can make it back before Vick’s week 3 banishment, all might still end well. If not…oh brother.

Philadelphia Eagles v Carolina Panthers

Jay Cutler and Jake Delhomme vs. Their Own Right Arms

Stop! Don’t…UGH! DON’T THROW IT THERE!!! CAN YOU HEAR ME!?!?!? This is the basic mantra of Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers fan’s this past weekend. Cutler, in his defense, is in a new offense following his quiet departure from Denver and working with slightly inferior receivers this time around. Delhomme on the other hand, was recently given a 42 million dollar extension, which he apparently thought was 1 million for every interception he could successfully complete. Last year’s season ended with 5…count ‘em FIVE…interceptions in the Panther’s home playoff loss to Arizona. His four to start this season will have Carolina fans standing next to the television with a baseball bat during next weeks game against Atlanta.

Mark Sanchez vs. 2 counts of non-aggravated stalking against this writer

If my soon to be good friend Mark Sanchez keeps this up, I’m moving to New York to start a project where I procure a copy of the greater Manhattan phone book, flip to the S’s, and just start knocking on doors until I find him. Yeah, I said it. The kid looked great. He moved well in the pocket, he looked down field, he was able to go through his progressions and he didn’t for a second show that deer in the headlights gaze that most rookies get. He may very well struggle at some or even many points throughout the season, but on the road in his first career game where the Jets were moderate underdogs to an offensively potent Houston team, I don’t think fans could have asked for much more.

Adrian Peterson vs. the Cleveland Browns Equipment Manager

Adrian Peterson is a man. A man who is sickened at the thought of you putting your hands on him. To prevent you from doing so, he will rip your jersey, tear off your facemask, and perhaps bust your helmet. Look at this video.

If you listen closely you can here Peterson tell Browns cornerback Eric Wright, “Unhand me you scoundrel…this jersey is brand new, and I won’t see it sullied this afternoon!” If you see the Vikings lead runner coming at you this season, you’d be best following the advice of our National Poet Laureate Runner Up, Ludacris and “Move…person! Get out the way.”

Tony Romo vs. What Used to Be Called the Tampa 2

They might want to change it to the Tampa 1 3/8 after Romo and the Cowboys torched the Tampa sky this weekend. Romo hit new receiver Roy Williams, cagey vet Patrick Crayton and speedster Miles Austin on deep TD passes for a career high 353 yards to go along with his 3 touchdowns. If Dallas can continue their aerial attack next weekend when the host the Giants, it should be an exciting showdown as the Cowboys open their new 9.575 trillion dollar stadium. My buddy works for the Cowboys and he tells me that the seats at the new stadium are covered in premium, full grade, grass raised gazelle hides for a soft comfort than cannot be matched.

See, you would believe anything about this place!

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Fate

A lot of my family lives in Cincinnati. They love the Bengals. They love Carson. They loved TJ when he was there. They usually like Chad. But this team has been on the wrong end of the karmic scale for I don’t know how long now. At one point in the 80’s, they must have run some old lady off the road while the team bus was travelling to Pittsburgh because seemingly nothing has gone right in the last 20 plus years. Sunday’s last second, deflected pass was yet another thick spoonful of failure for Bengals fan’s to swallow. Kyle Orton was throwing Chad Pennington-esque helium filled balloons out there all afternoon and the much improved Bengals D was holding their own. Carson Palmer drove them down the field for a game winning drive. Then with 38 seconds left, Orton uncorked another floater intended for “trying his best” Brandon Marshall, that miraculously ended up in Brandon Stokely’s hands as he ran down to the 1 yard line and pulled every Madden Football players favorite move—lean over the end zone to shave time off the clock—as the Broncos snatched an opening day win and got on the plane home before the officials could change their minds. It could be another long year in Cincy if this team isn’t ever going to catch a break.

Tom Brady vs. His Knee Brace

The Patriots ran up against the Bills with both teams wearing their AFL 50th Anniversary Jerseys last night—am I wrong, or should most teams scrap their most recent versions and all revert back to the old school uni’s?—and we got to see the Golden Boy back in action for the first time in more than a year. Following a devastating hit to his left knee in the opening quarter of last season, Brady came back to embark on another 50 touchdown season…He looked rusty. He looked tentative. But eventually, he just looked like Tom Brady, as he led the team to two scoring drives in less than two minutes to rally back and steal a win at home. As a Jets fan, it sort of makes me sick to admit this, but I’m glad he’s back. Football needs Tom Terrific, like baseball needs Jeter, like basketball needs Kobe, like hockey needs some Scandanavian guy. Whether you like them or not, it’s just not the same without them.

Item of the week is any of these classic throwback hoodies. The Tampa Bay one is a heavenly shade of peach, no?

Offseason Moves

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Here’s a post from a new writer we have here at the blog. Check it out below.

Hi, I’m Dan Bressler and I’ll be writing from time to time here on the blog. I’m a senior at Bradley University and I interned at FansEdge this summer. Let’s get right to it.

The NFL offseason moves always intrigued me. Franchise players revitalize the fanbases of some teams and long time favorites have to transition to new roles with other teams. Millions of dollars are tossed around from coast to coast trying to attract big names. Most importantly, the offseason is the time where losing teams become playoff contenders. Remember when the New Orleans Saints were one of the worst teams in the NFL, only to sign stars like Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, and Marques Colston and became a force to be reckoned with?

Here are 5 offseason moves I find will significantly impact teams in the NFL for the 2009-2010 season and beyond. These players could even be a boost to your fantasy team, with improved individual stats over last season.

1) Atlanta Falcons sign TE Tony Gonzalez: Gonzalez is one of the most talented tight ends – no, one of the most talented football players on the field today. Spending all of his 11 NFL seasons in Kansas City, he became well known as an above-average blocker and a reliable receiver. Tony Gonzalez is a leader on the field, and will be a great mentor to second year QB Matt Ryan. He will be another offensive weapon defenses have to worry about, in addition to the WR pair of Roddy White & Michael Jenkins, and RB breakout Michael Turner. Gonzalez is an improvement to an already stellar offensive line and will serve as a forceful blocker.

Chicago Bears v Denver Broncos

2) Chicago Bears sign QB Jay Cutler: From the ashes of the highly public conflict between Jay Cutler and new head coach Josh McDaniels, the Chicago Bears come out of nowhere to trade their ho-hum QB Kyle Orton to Denver for the promising Jay Cutler. Cutler has only been in the league for 3 years, but on skills alone, he is considered among the best at his position. He passed for over 4,500 yards last season and threw for 25TDs, stats that were among the elite NFL QBs. He led the team to an improved 8-8 record and created superstar status for Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall. His popularity exploded, and he earned a roster spot on the Pro-Bowl. By moving from one team famous for cold weather and famous running backs to another team famous for cold weather and famous running backs, Cutler should have no difficulty adjusting to Chicago. Don’t expect another 4,500 passing yard season just yet, but the Bears will gain a confident, talented leader in Cutler – attributes missing from their previous quarterbacks within the last decade or two.

3) Philadelphia Eagles sign QB Michael Vick: One NFL team had to gamble on Vick, and the Philadelphia Eagles decided to roll the dice. Fans may have been confused as to why the Eagles signed Vick, but to me, this is a smart move by the team. Their franchise quarterback, Donovan McNabb, has only been able to play for a full 16 regular-season games in only four out of his ten NFL seasons. As immensely talented and as a great individual McNabb is, he is severely injury-prone, which creates a possible risk for his team to miss the playoffs in 2009. If McNabb goes down, Vick will lead the team with comparable skills. The Eagles missed out on Matt Cassel, Jay Cutler, Jeff Garcia, and others to backup McNabb. And while Vick may not have the speed he once had in 2006, he may have the arm and the field awareness to lead his new Eagles team to the playoffs if necessary. Furthermore, McNabb has publically supported and vouched for Michael Vick to join the team, which reduces potential conflict and preserves team chemistry.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Jets

4) Washington Redskins sign DL Albert Haynesworth and re-sign CB DeAngelo Hall: Remember how I mentioned that offseason moves can cause a losing team to become playoff contenders? In 2009, the Washington Redskins may very well be an example of exactly that, and it could be defense that leads this team. Haynesworth may present an off-field problem, but his on-field performance shines: 8.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles last season. DeAngelo Hall only played 7 games with the Redskins, but had 25 tackles, 2 interceptions, and 8 pass deflections. Hall became a viable defensive back for the team, and made for an easy re-sign. Haynesworth and Hall join current a Redskins defense with fierce players including London Fletcher, Fred Smoot, and Carlos Rodgers.

5) Cincinnati Bengals sign WR Laveranues Coles: When opposing defenses would play the Bengals, CBs and LBs would hone in on the speedy Chad Ochocinco, providing the No. 2 WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh with single coverage that lead to a big year in 2008 and a free agency move to Seattle this season. Ochocinco’s mouth is still enormous, but there was a void in the Bengals offense that needed to complement #85. Enter Laveranues Coles. He’s not a superstar WR, but he is a veteran playmaker, healthy enough to consistently start games for the team and be an above-average receiver. Team defenses may struggle to contain both Ochocinco and Coles, and a healthy Carson Palmer will have improved numbers with this new WR addition. Expect Coles to catch around 7-9TDs, catch 85 passes, and have over 800 receiving yards this upcoming season.

Other players not mentioned include new Chiefs QB Matt Cassel and Bills WR Terrell Owens. Torry Holt has moved on from his greatest show on turf days to help the Jaguars get back to the playoffs and Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez has a chance to be a difference maker.

Do you agree or disagree with my picks? Care to give your top 5 great NFL offseason moves of 2009? Send a comment below! Let’s enjoy another great NFL season…

V-R-E? R-V-E? How do you spell it again?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

And the old cowboy ambles in to dusty bar once more. Brett Favre is back and at this rate, I imagine he might actually play for all 32 franchises before it’s all said and done. Favre signed with the Vikings yesterday after months of the 3rd consecutive sold out Retirement Tour.

Brett Favre Agrees To Play For The Minnesota Vikings

Favre is probably my favorite quarterback over the last 20 years; defying time and age, he plays the game with reckless abandon, has as much fun as a rookie, and all the other good cliché’s people say about Brett. They’re all true. The annual will he/won’t he saga has grown incredibly tiresome, but let’s say you could mow the grass really well—like cool patterns and perfect lines—and by the time you were 75 you might say, “I’ve had enough of this, I’m hiring a crew.”

But then spring rolls around. Beautiful green grass sprouts up. You see your neighbors with their shiny new riding mowers and what the heck, it’s just one more year, right? You can’t begrudge a man for wanting to hold onto his talent. You can however take issue if he holds a national press conference every time a thought comes into his head.

So Brett leaves Green Bay on a sour note and heads to the Jets. He leaves the Jets after one season and heads back to the NFC North. Was this all a part of his master plan to get back in the division and show the Pack what they let go? Does his addition to an already well stocked Vikings team secure Minnesota a playoff spot? These questions and more answered below in a quick peek at cold and blustery NFC North. Let’s reverse it for an incredibley exciting and potentially cliff hanger of an ending!!!

Detroit Lions—Oh Detroit, it has not been the best year in the sports world for you. The Red Wings lost the Cup. The Tigers are leading the division, but it’s a slim lead. And now the Lions are ready to take the field, and vanquish memories of the first 0-16 season in NFL history. And they will do just that, but probably only by a game or three. With franchise savior QB Matthew Stafford, the WR physical anomaly that is Calvin Johnson, and steady RB Kevin Smith, the offense will be much improved, but I called the commissioner and teams are still required to play offense and defense this season. Bummer.

Chicago Bears—My Bears friends are going to be honked off at me, but I’m serious. Jay Cutler is the best QB this city has seen since the invention of television, but they’re missing any semblance of a wide receiving core. Matt Forte is emerging as a great RB, Greg Olsen will likely be very good and Devin Hester can be a game changer, but the Bears are a grind it out type of team and unfortunately their defense isn’t able to keep them in the 17-14 range that they are accustomed to playing in during their Super Bowl season. If the coaching staff recognizes this early enough, maybe they’ll try to become a shootout kind of team, but that seems unlikely. I guess they could go 10-6, but that might not be enough this year.

Cleveland Browns v Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers—The Packers are the forgotten team in this division and I don’t get it. They have a very good quarterback in Aaron Rodgers, RB Ryan Grant has back to back impressive seasons, they have a talented core of WRs led by Greg Jennings and their defense can be good. I say CAN because sometimes the take a week off and allow 50 plus points, and look like this. In their defense however, they lost six games last year by 3 points or less. If even half of those games go the other way, they…well they still don’t win the division, but you see my point. Look for a better finish from the Cheddarmen this year. Is that a known term? Did I just make that up?

Minnesota Vikings—Let me just say that I have publicly stated that I thought the Vikings were the best team in the division before Favre signed. Even with Sage “Throw it away, Throw it away!” Rosenfels at QB, I thought they could win the division again. Adrian Peterson is one of the five best players in the game. Their offensive line is stacked. Their defense led by Jared Allen brings pressure from all sides and stuffs the run. Stopping the pass is a different story, but you can’t have it all. The Vikings are the kind of team the Bears used to be. Run the ball. Sack the quarterback. Stop the run. Now they’ve added a Hall of Fame quarterback. He’s like a rug that really ties the room together. Last year, before his right arm deteriorated into a mess of tangled tendons, Favre led the less talented Jets to an 8-3 start, defeating the rivaled Patriots and undefeated Tennessee Titans in back to back weeks on the road. There’s no reason to believe he can’t offer that same level of production in the Metrodome this season.

Vikings fans, I don’t know if you’re excited (you should be) or sickened. I don’t know what it would feel like if Tom Brady signed with the Jets. Weird is my guess. But if this little honeymoon in Minnesota works out, you can thank the Jets for drafting Mark Sanchez and handing Brett his walking papers with a plane ticket to Minnesota tucked neatly inside.

Lots to catch up on here. A bunch of baseball trades from a week or two ago. Football previews. The Health Care debate. Check back again soon as we try to catch up.

Item of the week is…you guessed it!

Oh, Oh! Pick me! Pick me!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Drafts are great. Fantasy drafts. Real life drafts…Draft beers. This weekend the NFL Draft makes its annual barrage on hope, expectations and exhaustion.

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