Sep 202012
 
We'll be seeing this a lot this week, except the Redskin will be an Eagle.

We’ll be seeing this a lot this week, except the Redskin will be an Eagle.

Went 11-4 last week, Missing on Oakland, New Orleans, Baltimore and just like the rest of the world, New England. This week, I’m picking in time for the Thursday game!

NY Giants at Carolina (Without Hakeem Nicks the Giants lose this one. Whoever doesn’t get covered by Corey Webster puts up big numbers.)

St. Louis at Chicago (Good Jay Cutler shows up this week.)

Tampa Bay at Dallas (The Bucs win but Greg Schiano causes a controversy when he hits Jason Garrett in the knee with a tire iron during the handshake, because the Bucs never quit, even when time has run out.)

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (The Jaguar disaster tour continues with another loss. Two words: Guy Whimper. Should be the Jaguar’s mascot.)

Buffalo at Cleveland (C.J. Spiller breaks the single game rushing record with 500 yards. Cleveland decides to cancel the rest of the season.)

NY Jets at Miami (Jets pummel Tannehill and win, despite the linebackers totaling 23 missed tackles on Reggie Bush.)

Kansas City at New Orleans (New Orleans finally runs into someone they can beat. This basically works for any team that is playing a team coached by Romeo Crennell.)

Cincinnati at Washington (RGIII wins in a shootout, is anointed as the second coming of Christ as he torches a terrible defense.)

San Francisco at Minnesota (The most dominating defense in football dominates again. The talent SF has on defense at each position is frightening.)

Detroit at Tennessee (Jim Schwartz gets a win against the team he used to coach for. Jake Locker completes 5% of his passes, slightly above his average.)

Atlanta at Chargers (The Chargers revert to their Norv Turner ways.)

Philadelphia at Arizona (Kolb gets Kolberred* and Arizona’s underrated D is not enough to win it.) *See what I did there?

Pittsburgh at Oakland (Oakland is actually worse than Cleveland. You heard it first, here, on the Foosball Wizard.)

Houston at Denver (Denver is tough at home, but Houston is really good. They’re still underrated.)

New England at Baltimore (Can Baltimore do it without Suggs? I think they can since Hernandez is out.)

Green Bay at Seattle (Green Bay pulls off the difficult trick of beating Seattle in Seattle.)

 
Looks like it's time for another facelift, Jerry.

Looks like it's time for another facelift, Jerry.

It’s a QB driven league nowadays, and that’s partially due to the fact that it has become an increasingly passer friendly league. From the “Ty Law” rule to the limitations on how you can hit a QB, you have to be able to exploit the pass well to win nowadays. There were two notable exceptions in the playoffs last year: The New York Jets and the Bengals. The Jets got by with an incredible defense, while the Bengals got by with a decent defense and a soft schedule. It’s been theorized that you can’t win a Super Bowl with a caretaker QB anymore, like the Ravens did with Trent Dilfer. This could be bad news for the Jets, because Mark Sanchez still is not capable of carrying the Jets.

1. Peyton Manning

2. Tom Brady

3. Aaron Rodgers (This guy does more with less, so I’ve bumped him over several comparable QBs in the playoffs.)

4. Drew Brees (Similar to Manning or Brady with less physical skills, poorer decision making.)

5. Ben Roethlisberger (Makes Steelers’ poor pass protection almost turn into a boon.)

6. Matt Ryan

7. Michael Vick (His athletic ability dynamically changes the Eagles ability to compete.)

8. Joe Flacco (Good QB, but he’s not carrying his team yet.)

9. Jay Cutler (Bigtime skills, bigtime bad decisions.)

10. Matt Hasselbeck (Old, but you saw what he can do against the Saints.)

11. Mark Sanchez (Terrible accuracy and decision making at times, but plays well in crunch time.)

12. Matt Cassel (The most limited QB in playoffs. Doesn’t make mistakes, but unable to carry the team on his back at all.)

I think as things stand 10-12 aren’t going to be able to do enough to take their teams to the Super Bowl, all other things being equal. 7-9 are the next tier up: They have some flaws, but there’s no reason they couldn’t string together 2-3 excellent games. 4-6 aren’t going to do things to sabotage their team most of the time, and may excel in any given game. 1-3 are the elite QBs, the ones that are going to cause all kinds of problems for the opposing team, and are likely to excel unless the opposition out gameplans and outskills their teams.

Sep 292010
 

They say a ship screams before she sinks. Jack Del Rio and Tom Coughlin definitely scream.

They say a ship screams before she sinks. Jack Del Rio and Tom Coughlin definitely scream.

Titans 29 Giants 10 – The ship is sinking as the crew mutinies in New York. The Tom Coughlin watch begins in earnest. No such watch will start in Tennessee, where Jeff Fisher is firmly entrenched. Even if Vince Young regresses, the Titans will still have Chris Johnson to fall back on. The only question is this: at what point will all those carries start to wear on Johnson?

Cincinnatti 20 Carolina 7 – Cincinnatti overachieved last year. The Bengals defense is better than I have given it credit for, but the offense still is what it is. Carson Palmer has never been the same player he was before the elbow injury and it looks like he may never be the same player again. Carolina is rebuilding and has correctly started the Jimmy Claussen era, but John Fox needs to worry a little bit if he will be there to see it through to the end. The Carolina running game has regressed, but it’s hard to run when you have such a weak passing offense and a group of receivers who could be replaced by uniforms filled with straw (once you get past Steve Smith.)

Pittsburgh 38 Tampa Bay 13 – Wow, watch out for the Pittsburgh Steelers when Roethlisberger comes back. If Ben comes back ready to play at the same level he always does there’s no reason Pittsburgh shouldn’t be considered the favorites in the AFC. Tampa Bay is still in the process of rebuilding, but they have to be heartened by the development of Josh Freeman thus far. LeGarrett Blount is a big son of a bitch who may be a powerful runner in the future. The dented wheels of the old Cadillac can only go so far.

New England 38 Buffalo 30 – A heartening effort by Buffalo, although New England isn’t what they used to be. That pass defense is awful with a capital “A.” How good would the Patriots have been if the past couple seasons if you replaced Tom Brady with an average QB? Is Bill Belichick such a genius if he doesn’t have a hall of fame QB all these years? I could possibly think of 4-5 defensive coordinators I would want to run my defense before Belichick nowadays. The release of Trent Edwards is an odd move by Buffalo, as he was a fairly cheap and solid option for a #2 QB. I wonder what was going on behind the scenes…

Baltimore 24 Cleveland 17 – The talent isn’t quite there for the Browns yet and Brian Daboll is possibly the worst offensive coordinator in the NFL, but this team is playing hard. Peyton Hillis ran like Brandon Jacobs used to against a tough Ravens defense. I’m still a little wary of Joe Flacco even though I have an ongoing lovefest with his skill set. Did anyone doubt that Anquan Boldin would be this good in Baltimore? The guy is a hell of a player. Todd Heap hasn’t been the receiving threat he was early in his career for years due to declining speed, but the guy is still a heck of a TE.

The Vikings better hope that the Great Pumpkin rises from the Pumpkin Patch.

The Vikings better hope that the Great Pumpkin rises from the Pumpkin Patch.

Minnesota 24 Detroit 10 – Well, at least Minnesota can still beat the Lions when they’re starting their second string QB. Detroit is on an uptrend while Minnesota is on a downtrend. Jahvid Best’s toe injury is a big worry. Toe injuries seem like nothing but they can significantly limit a player’s ability to perform. Remember: Johnathon Ogden retired due to a toe injury that wouldn’t go away and Antonio Gates’ ’08 season was significantly hampered by a toe injury. Brett Favre has reverted to his pumpkin self again. AP proved he is still a monster. I knew it as soon as I saw the preaseason game where he turned back into the field and ran over David Barrett for a few extra yards instead of going out of bounds. High character guy too.

Atlanta 27 New Orleans 24 – Atlanta looked pretty terrible in week one but they’re clicking now. New Orleans will rebound, they are still a great and talented team. Losing Reggie Bush will hurt their offensive options but with people like Sean Payton and Drew Brees at the helm they will adjust. Look for more touches for Lance Moore. Also, DEAR GARRET HARTLEY: AT LEAST YOU’RE NOT SCOTT NORWOOD.

Dallas 27 Houston 13 – Same old Texans. I am not liking Gary Kubiak as a coach lately. Even Dallas can get motivated when everyone is kicking dirt in their face. The challenge will be to keep this up. Both of these teams should be in the playoffs this year based off of their talent and if they fail heads will roll. Alarm for Cowboys: Jason Witten is banged up pretty bad, but is toughing it out. Alarm for Fantasy Football Players: Despite a sighting of famous pizza delivery man Roy Williams, don’t expect that kind of production from him on a weekly basis.

Kansas City 31 San Francisco 10 – I love that lunatic Mike Singletary, but this coaching staff isn’t getting the job done. The teams’ performance is very uneven. Romeo Crennel is doing a heck of a job with the Chiefs’ offense and Charlie Weis no longer has a gall bladder. Hey, has anyone seen Michael Crabtree lately? Me neither. The Chiefs will come back to earth soon but the fans have to love the progress this team is making. Dexter McCluster is electric. Chiefs fans deserve it: they are some of the best fans in the NFL.

Even DeAngelo Hall has friends.

Even DeAngelo Hall has friends.

St Louis 30 Washington 16 – The Rams are closer to being a winner than the Redskins are right now, as sad as that is. Without McNabb the Redskins would be in an even more sorry state. Sam Bradford is coming along much faster than expected but the Rams have to start thinking about the future at running back. Steven Jackson has a lot of tread on his tires, is injury prone and a little long in the tooth. Oh, and DeAngelo Hall, please close your mouth. You are a third tier cornerback who thinks way too much of himself.

Philadelphia 28 Jacksonville 3 – The biggest sinking ship in the NFL besides the New York Giants is Jacksonville. If it wasn’t for MJD Jaguars fans would pray to have the games blacked out every week. The Eagles are winning ugly when they aren’t playing Jacksonville, but with players like Michael Vick, Maclin and Jackson in that offense they will at least keep their fans entertained. Michael Vick is still not an accurate QB. What is it they say? “There’s two things you can’t teach a QB : arm strength and accuracy.” Important words to remember. Vick has arm strength, at least. The Eagles will get by as McNabb wasn’t the most accurate QB in the world either… a curiosity as Philadelphia runs perhaps the purest version of the West Coast Offense in the NFL.

Indianapolis 27 Denver 13 – It’s not fair to have to go up against Peyton Manning after the tragedy the Broncos endured this week. Perennially underappreciated Kyle Orton is getting the job done. He is somewhat akin to a poor man’s Chad Pennington with a greater ability to win the game on his own and a greater propensity for bad decisions. Peyton Manning has rightfully (IMO) panned the NFL’s decision to go to an 18 game schedule, mostly because he won’t have time to work with the undrafted free agents and castoffs Indianapolis likes to identify and work with in preseason, which will be shortened. I also think players undergo enough wear and tear in a 16 game format. We’ll break here for a reader question, since it is Denver related:

Anthony Roselle writes: “This isn’t exactly a question, but more of a topic of discussion. What do you make of teams that don’t have a clear cut #1 WR. Example Broncos, Bears, and Chargers. They don’t have a clear cut #1 WR. One week Naanee tears it up the next week nothing, similiar for Malcolm Floyd. Also who is the #1 for the Bronco’s Gaffney, Royal, or the rookie Thomas. Does it pay to start any of these WR’s from these teams. It seems like one week they’re hot, and the next week nothing.”

Some teams will have receivers who are targeted more regularly than others. Denver is not one of them. It is characteristic of the Josh McDaniels offense to spread the ball around a lot, and unless there’s a stud there like Brandon Marshall or Randy Moss targets will vary a lot from week to week. With the Bears, I think you can expect Johnny Knox to get consistent targets but the ball will be spread a bit, albeit to a lesser degree than the Broncos. With the Chargers, they throw the ball so much that all their receivers should have no difficulty getting sufficient targets each week. It’s hard to identify a “#1” for the Broncos, but Thomas has the most obvious physical skills for the role. Royal will remain a slot receiver. Floyd and Knox will tend to be solid starts every week.

Arizona 24 Oakland 23 – Both of these teams just aren’t that good and lack talent at the QB spot. I think they’ll both focus more on running as the season goes on, as that is where their strengths lie. Fitzgerald will continue to underperform as long as the Arizona QB situation fails to change and his injuries linger. Darren McFadden has finally arrived. If you’re in a fantasy league I would pick up Fitzgerald if I could do so cheaply, in case he turns it around. Just don’t give up much for him.

Seattle 27 San Diego 20 – Seattle is better than expected, and it’s great to see Leon Washington succeeding in Seattle. He doesn’t look as explosive as he did before that absolutely horrific leg fracture last year, but he’s still a game changer. The Jets were fools if they thought they could replace him with Joe “Vomitorium” McKnight. Couldn’t they have kept Chauncey Washington (Now lost to the Rams) on the roster instead of McKnight? San Diego continues to find ways to lose despite immense talent. That said, Seattle is a difficult place for San Diego to play since it’s very loud and they run an offense with a lot of long winded playcalling terminology. It’s a recipe for false start and delay of game disasters, and they contributed to the San Diego loss. The San Diego offense will continue to remain explosive with Rivers at the helm. If the Seattle offense can continue to get at least some production out of its receivers John Carlson could be a useful fantasy TE.

Well,"Wildcat" was written in a kind of obsolete vernacular... Wildcat.... Wild....cat......PEcHOooOoOoo....

Well,"Wildcat" was written in a kind of obsolete vernacular... Wildcat.... Wild....cat......PEcHOooOoOoo....

New York Jets 31 Miami 23 – Mark Sanchez is looking much more developed than Chad Henne despite having less experience as a starter. If I looked at them play and didn’t know anything about them I would assume Henne is the younger QB. Henne is bigger and has a stronger arm than Sanchez, but in all other facets of his game Sanchez is superior. The Jets pass defense was abused by Henne, Marshall and the Dolphins and Kyle Wilson, although talented, has been a liability in the secondary so far. The Jets passing defense was scary bad in this game. Opponents take advantage of Jim Leonhard’s size, Eric Smith’s coverage skills, Kyle Wilson’s lack of experience and on occasion Antonio Cromartie. They need Revis and Pace back. The Jets still may be the class of the AFC after Pittsburgh, but Matt Slauson is a gaping hole in the left side of their offensive line. Vladimir Ducasse is not ready to play in the NFL yet. Prepare for big Sanchez numbers when Santonio Holmes rejoins the offense, which will also mean more room for Dustin Keller. The Jets out wildcat’d the Dolphins, just as they said they would. The Dolphins are one of the few teams that run the wildcat in a sensible manner but it looks like defenses have finally caught on. Jason Allen is an absolute joke – an Antonio Cromartie without the coverage skills and without the hordes of illegitimate children.

Chicago 20 Green Bay 17 – Wow, who saw the 3-0 Bears coming? Certainly not me, although I took the Bears in this matchup with the spread. Cutler still makes some god awful decisions and the offensive line is poor, but the run defense is surprisingly stout despite the fact that Tommie Harris is a liability nowadays. The Bears might continue to surprise this year, but they are still a borderline wild card team. The number of penalties the Packers accrued on Monday night was downright embarassing and lost them the game, but they will rebound. Aaron Rodgers is a magnificent QB and Jermichael Finley is in the top tier of NFL tight ends.


 

Here’s a backlog of reader questions. Unfortunately, they were trapped for over a month in a dimension where Art Schlichter is a Super Bowl winning quarterback and Tom Brady is a destitute street urchin with a bad haircut. So, I guess he was a lot like Tom Brady in this dimension but with less money.

For LenDale White, this is Heaven.

For LenDale White, this is Heaven.

Did the injuries in the Denver backfield cause the knee jerk reaction of signing LenDale White to Denver? Or was there a rocky mountain surplus of tequila and tacos?

The LenDale White signing was due to injuries. Unfortunately, LenDale tore his achilles tendon while chasing a truck full of tequila.

“Maybe you’re just sitting around your house with your buddies. Maybe you go bowling and you have a couple of drinks. … I like Patron Platinum. It’s like some people like strawberry soda. It’s good.” -LenDale White

If water covers 2/3’s the earth, is the other 1/3 covered by Revis’s new but deserved ego? I can’t remember someone still in a rookie contract demanding top $ of the position. He deserves it but is he going the wrong way about it? Say have the extension signed and put in or just play out the contract. A distraction to a team with too much pressure on it already I think.

Revis is going the wrong way about it, but he shares the same agent Chris Baker and Pete Kendall, two players “wronged” by the Jets, did. I think they’re settling a score with Tannenbaum. Revis gave up so much guaranteed money I feel that they weren’t even acting in his best interest. It’s a shame this is happening in a Super Bowl run year.

T.O and Ocho. …. yeah, I don’t know about that one. T.O. is the SHAQ of the NFL now in my opinion, a part time option but not a starter who can demand attention but not give you the minutes.

Terrell Owens has been more of a liability than a matchup problem since his final year with the Cowboys. If you watch their offense that year they scheme with their other receivers to try to help Owens get open. T.O. is old and I wonder if Randy Moss is going to finally have age catch up with him too.

Mike Martz Jr. stealthily prepares to install his offense inside an Alpaca.

Mike Martz Jr. stealthily prepares to install his offense inside an Alpaca.

Mike “Mad Man” Martz claims as for as Jay Cutler, “nothing to work on” as far as his QB play of mechanics. …. is this an endorsement of condemnation for the cut-man?

Martz doesn’t demand much from a quarterback besides accuracy, quick decision making and a fast release. Cutler has all of those, so he should be fine. That said, don’t be surprised if he throws 20+ interceptions again behind that offensive line, with those receivers and in that scheme.

Is it wrong to use Albert Haynesworth as bait for next years Shark Week if he can’t pass a conditioning test? Cause if he can’t tread water for a few minutes in shark infested areas I don’t see how he can at least occupy the attention of a center and demand a guard for double teaming.

I hope the sharks like processed meat and sweets.

The Charger fallout of LT leaving and the statements of entitlement. Are some players jealous they were not the face of the franchise like say … I dunno, Manning and Big Ben Rapist?

L.T. is a good guy and still a good player, but he’s no longer a superstar and was upset he wasn’t being treated like one in San Diego anymore. He’ll be great for the Jets playing with that chip on his shoulder.

Like reports of the demise of the fooseball wizard is Jeff Garcia’s retirement by default premature? Some system needs a solid #2 who just thrives or at least is more competent than the incumbent starting QB?

Jeff Garcia can probably still be a backup somewhere but he’s a bit of a prickly character and a lot of teams don’t want to bother dealing with him now that he is older. Even the Oakland Raiders couldn’t handle him refusing to play backup last year. I have to admit, I’d consider suicide if I was regulated to a backup role behind JaMarcus “Purple Drank” Russell.

Giselle Bundchen is also a crack addicted prostitute in this universe.

Giselle Bundchen is also a crack addicted prostitute in this universe.

Andre Johnson, much like Revis does he deserve the #1 salary for his position?

Yes. The best receiver in the NFL. A bit of an injury risk though.

Of all the relocations in the off season between veteran players as well as coaches, general managers, etc. Who has the most to prove
in the new surroundings and why?

If Mike Shanahan really wants to be known as a “genius” he better make something of the Redskins. He rode in to the Super Bowl with a partially inherited team with John Elway at quarterback and a killer running game and he hasn’t really succeeded since. I don’t think there’s anyone out there who has more to prove than Shanahan.

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