The long road back to consistent posting begins quickly...
• Hate football? Well, then the NFL had the game for you this week, with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings racing one another to the bottom of the sports on television barrel. The hightlight? Watching Dan Orlovsky completely miss where he is on the field as he jogs out of his own end zone, giving up a safety. I’m with Dan; if I were in that stadium I’d want to get the hell out of there too.
• That looks like what everyone expected the Patriots offense to look like sans Brady. Honestly, I just don’t understand why that offense can’t move the ball. Yes, Tom Brady was incredibly important to how that side of the ball worked, but are we to believe that Matt Cassel is completely incompetent? Because that’s pretty much how bad you have to be to put up 10 points with these tools. Yu know what stat line is going to thrill Randy Moss? Being outgained through the air by both Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris. One more loss like this and you have to expect the Art Shell era Raiders quotes to come pouring out.
• 25/34, 276 yards and a TD is what a David Garrard stat line should look like with this team. Also, Matt Jones, ladies and gentlemen. Grinding your teeth to tune of 7 catches for 69 yards is definitive proof that cocaine is, in fact, a helluva drug.
• The Raiders coaching change worked exactly the way it was supposed to. At least, I think it did. I mean, isn’t the point of firing a young offensive coach who has been mentoring your offensive talent and replacing him with a line coach who has a history of losing at the college level that you’re trying to make your team demonstrably worse? I thought we’d agreed that this was the plan. Jamarcus Russell will be giving an “I eat because I’m unhappy, and I’m unhappy because I eat” speech soon enough.
• For everyone who says that this season is proving that Reggie Bush was the right pick in 2006, I ask you to remember that Mario Williams is continuing to improve even as his team crumbles around him. My point is that it doesn’t matter who picked Bush and who picked Williams; the real point is that they both dodged the Vince Young bullet.
• Also, who the hell is this Lance Moore character?
• If you watched the game between the Seahawks and the Packers, you probably don’t exist. Still, the fact that Charlie Frye can turn in such a wildly inconsistent and detrimental performance on only 12-23 and 83 yards (2 TD and 2 INT) is a testament that he hasn’t lost his knack for taking his team right out of any game they play. Derek Anderson…behold his works, ye mighty…
• Rumors are flying that after three straight sub par performances, J.T. O’Sullivan (They make margaritas in your mouth there) is in danger of losing his job as the 49ers starter. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the team, thanks to offensive coordinator Mike Martz, is looking into bringing Jon Kitna to the west coast. You know what, I’m glad that Alex Smith is totally off of that team after this year. It’s bad enough that he’s been completely misused by that staff; I’m not sure I could bear the sight of Jon Kitna teaching him how to use faith healing to stop brain swelling.
• I’m not making fun of Warrick Dunn ever again. It gave me no joy to do it before, and at his age putting up 115 yards on 22 carries is ridiculous. If he emerges for one more great season, and Earnest Graham can handle the power game, this Bucs team is going to be a weird one for opponents, particularly with Jeff Garcia managing the intermediate air game.
• Steve Smith will have to go down one day as the player with the greatest disparity between fantasy value and actual team value, right? How can a player put up 112 yards on 6 catches and not get into the end zone once? I mean, is there anyone on the Panthers that doesn’t turn into dust as soon as they cross the 20 yard line?
• The word for that Matt Schaub game winning run to the end zone is pwned, Channing Crowder. Also, I can’t not feel good when Joey Porter is unhappy. He and Kellen Winslow have that effect on me. In all honesty, I can’t figure out how a goal line play inside the five empties out the defensive backfield and has nobody even looking at the QB. I feel like when the opposing QB is under 35, that’s a big no no.
• Thomas Jones having 3 TD makes my ears bleed and my sky turn green. That doesn’t make sense. To anyone. Ever.
• Equally good from that game is the Bengals rush corps. Take away Ryan Fitzpatrick, and they averaged 1.3 yards a carry. Oh, and in case you’re worried, Cedric Benson actually brought that average up from where it would have been (1.5 YPC versus 1.3 for Chris Perry). I’m waiting for the team to buy the rights to Michael Vick from the Falcons and sign Marvin Lewis on for 5 more years of
purgatory Bengals football.
• Guarantee at least 50% of fantasy leagues have seen at least one Peyton Manning trade this year, and this week represented the last laugh for the a-hole who gave you Chris Perry for him.
• I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a quarterback stare a hole in a receiver like Joe Flacco did on Sunday. He might as well have put a bright green “THE BALL IS GOING TO THIS GUY” sticker on the helmet of his target every play. You know who wouldn’t do that, and could tutor Flacco on how not to do that either? A veteran with winning experience who has started some solid games as a pro, particularly one with some mobility to force defenses to respect him as a threat to take off. It’s too bad the Ravens don’t have that guy on the roster.
• The Redskins looked like they were backing week one on Sunday, except this time it wasn’t against the defending champs, but the Rams. Yeah, those Rams. The strangest part is that the team didn’t get any of its three second round draft picks involved in the pass game. This offense should be lighting up the board and daring teams to catch up, and no matter how good Portis is (and he’s VERY good), this is no longer a power team. The fact that these guys will be a step behind every other NFC East team out of conference now (because nobody is losing to the Rams in that division after this pat week) is going to come back to haunt them as the Giants keep rolling along.
• Also, three lost fumbles is cause for coaches to break out the pine tar.
• You didn’t watch anything but the end of Atlanta vs. Chicago, but that’s ok. The takeaway of the evening is that Matt Ryan is legit. The Bears did exactly what you’re supposed to do to a young, inexperience QB; the Atlanta run game was held to 75 yards on 2.5 yards a carry. In response, Matt Ryan (22/30, 301 yards and a TD) took a receiving corps that everyone thought was a quarterback killer and carried the team. Roddy White had a good year last year, but 9 catches for 112 yards and a TD is better than anything he did with Harrington. More remarkable still is Harry Douglas and Michael Jenkins combining for 9 more catches and 154 yards. To me, it’s telling that this was the first game the Falcons have won this year when Michael Turner was held under 100 yards. You have to imagine that the run game is going to find some consistency, and if Matt Ryan and the pass game continue to gel, then the single best story of the year will be happening in the locale of the single saddest story of last year.
• The Cowboys are in the wrong division to be running Brad Johnson out there for the next four weeks. But the good news is that Jon Kitna may be coming to town! Quick, take away TO’s belt and shoelaces.
• The Cardinals have the luxury of playing in the NFC West, and I’m calling that we’ll all forget about them until they sneak into the playoffs with a first round bye. Warner and Fitzgerald have figured one another out, and now Warner is making use of his 3-4 targets, which will make this offense that much more interesting when Boldin returns. Oh, in case you missed it, for all the talk about him being reckless with the ball, Warner has completed 70% of his passes for 12 TD to 5 INT, and is averaging over 8 yards per pass attempt. All of this serves to raise the big question I’ve been toying with for the last week: Kurt Warner, future hall of famer? MVP, Super Bowl ring, great stats. A deep playoff run would have to lock him up with his career numbers, right?