|MNF notes, take two.
Minnesota - The Vikings got an unbelievable number of breaks in this game, between the no call on the facemask, the Peterson non-fumble, and Bush tripping on what might have been the second of three straight punt returns for touchdowns ... The Minnesota corners are really covering for the safeties in that secondary - Winfield and Griffin combined for 15 tackles and played extremely physical all night ... I don't understand why more teams don't run out-and-ups followed by underthrown passes, considering it results in a 45-yard pass interference penalty seemingly more often than not ... Bernard Berrian usually displays hands of stone, but he did a nice job catching with soft hands tonight and not trying to use his body to absorb the ball ... How in heaven and earth does Adrian Peterson rush for just 32 yards on 21 carries against a Sedrick Ellis-less (mouthful) Saints defense? He looked both tentative and tunnel-visioned tonight ... I guess going to Gus was the right move ... Why did the Vikings keep booming punts to Reggie Bush? ... Does this "rabbit-out-of-hat" performance make up for the Indy game?
New Orleans - I think it is safe to say that the Saints will no longer be playing for field goals late in games; either that or they will be looking for a new kicker ... It isn't often that you can pin a loss on a kicker for both first and fourth quarter foibles; Martin Gramatica, this is what you get for celebrating like a moron ... It is a real shame that the Saints had to lose, at home, on the night when Reggie Bush just stuffed the MNF crew's criticism down their throats. They spent the whole first half ripping him for not being fast enough (when the problem has never been speed - it is about his instincts as a running back) and then he put on a punt return display that would even make Devin Hester jealous. 71 yards while cutting all the way back across the field (granted, the block was the biggest highlight on that one), then a 25-yard scamper that might have been another score had he not tripped up, finished off by a USC-esque 64 yarder that saw him hurdle two diving defenders at full speed and blow by the rest of the coverage in about a half a second. Once he becomes a full time receiver and return specialist, he's going to be one of the most valuable players in the league ... Speaking of Reggie, that fumble was "Bush" league as he was the victim of a blatant face mask (would have been a 15-yarder under the old system); no excuse for missing that call (go ahead and add this in to the part where I called the Vikings lucky) ... Lance Moore sure made a loud thud when he came back to earth; he cost Drew Brees his 27 TD/0 INT red zone stat dating back to last year when he dropped a fairly easy pass and then decided to bump set the ball to Phil Dalhausser, err, Ben Leber ... Robert Meachem wasn't much better, dropping an easy sideline pass and costing New Orleans a first down in the red zone (just before Ill-Fated Gramatica Field Goal #1) and then chickening out on a long third down pass that left the Saints a yard short from a new set of downs ... Writing it all down like this, I have to imagine Drew Brees was pretty frustrated tonight ... Finally, Duece McAllister looked like he was running in cement tonight. On an early red zone carry, he took one step, saw a blitzing corner, and just fell over like someone in a potato sack race. He's the short yardage guy for now, but he looks more washed up than anyone else I've seen this season.
Posted by Adam Hoff at 10/6/2008 10:22:00 PM
|The Titans’ win was impressive nevertheless, but not without the aid of some questionable officiating. The late roughing the passer call, which came on a false start penalty no less, was an absolute joke…In a game featuring the two best defenses in the league and with low YPA and YPC marks, it was interesting that zero sacks were recorded…Remember when Ray Rice was turning heads in the preseason? Wha happened?
Hope you sold Larry Johnson after his back-to-back big games, because that was ugly Sunday. If he’s that matchup dependent, then he’s simply not all that valuable, especially since it appears Damon Huard’s days as starter are coming to an end…Where did that come from, DeAngelo Williams? I’d still prefer Jonathan Stewart from here on out…There isn’t a more physical receiver in the league than Steve Smith.
I don’t care if they were the apparent savvy pick as home dogs, shame on me for taking the Lions ATS this week. One thing has become clear; of all the supposed bad teams in the NFL, Detroit and St. Louis are in a class of their own at the very bottom. There’s a legitimate chance the Lions finish 0-16…I still don’t view Kyle Orton as worth a roster spot in fantasy leagues, but he’s been an obvious upgrade over Rex Grossman…If offered a first round pick, of course Detroit should trade Roy Williams. Doubtful that offer comes rolling in, though.
Gutsy performance by Aaron Rodgers. The Packers were upset because of their defense, certainly not the offense…Ryan Grant wasn’t bad Sunday, but still, you can’t help but be left wanting more, especially considering the matchup. Meanwhile, nice to see Michael Turner perform well outside of Atlanta…I would call Greg Jennings a future star if not for the fact he already is one…John Abraham is a one man wrecking crew right now…Fears of Roddy White being unproductive because of a rookie signal caller can easily be put to bed now. White is the real deal.
Joseph Addai has been rather pedestrian, but it’s comforting seeing few other carries given to Dominic Rhodes. The touchdowns will come…So this is why I avoided Marvin Harrison like the plague at draft tables this year. The guy is toast. 9.6 yards-per-catch? Ouch. If Anthony Gonzalez is forced to miss much time, bump Dallas Clark way up. At least until his next injury…Want an IDP sleeper? Look no further than Freddy Keiaho…No one should have been panicking over Andre Johnson’s slow start in the first place, but it’s safe to go back to treating him as a top-5 WR from here on out…Never in my life have I seen a worse stretch of football than Sage Rosenfels during the last 3:36 of Sunday’s game. Up 10 with the ball and less than 4 minutes left, he decides to do a superman impression? I could go over the next two horrendous turnovers, but let’s just say Matt Schaub’s starting job is safe. Not that it ever should have been in question to begin with.
It’s time to reconsider our preconceptions about the Dolphins, as this current team should not be taken lightly. The defense is playing very, very well…It’s not all the “wildcat,” as Ronnie Brown looks extremely good running the football (although he never switches hands). It’s like the knee injury never happened. Ricky Williams, meanwhile, looks like nothing more than a complementary piece. Since the Dolphins get the 49ers at home Week 15 and then face the Chiefs in Kansas City Week 16, Brown has to be viewed as a top-10 fantasy back, at minimum, right now…If Chris Chambers’ injury proves serious, bump Vincent Jackson up, especially since Antonio Gates is hobbled as well…I’m really trying not to beat a dead horse, and Miami’s run D has been sneaky good all year long, but LaDainian Tomlinson is a shell of his former self.
The most impressive aspect of the Giants might be their depth. Lose Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora? No problem. Justin Tuck, Mathias Kiwanuka and Fred Robbins are Pro Bowl caliber replacements. Suspend Plaxico Burress? No sweat, Domenik Hixon can step in and go off for 100 yards in one half. There certainly wouldn’t be a drop off if the team lost its top-two running backs either. Now, if David Carr is ever pressed into action, that’s a whole different story…It’s safe to say Seattle does not enjoy playing on the east coast…I’m beginning to think Deion Branch is prone to injury.
Dale Sveum deserves to be fired immediately for his inexplicable decision to start Jeff Suppan in Game 4. At first I understood and could even applaud not wanting to start Yovani Gallardo on three days’ rest since he had pitched just twice since May 1 and the future was more important than one game, but the fact he was brought in as a reliever destroys that theory completely. Why in the hell wasn’t he starting in the first place? Gallardo may not have been dominant during his Game 1 start, but the defense was the real culprit, as all three runs were unearned. Moreover, he fanned seven over four innings during his final regular season start. He also dealt during his three inning relief appearance after replacing Suppan, who sported a positively Cy Young like 4.57 K/9 IP mark, 1.54 WHIP and 1.3:1 K:BB ratio this season.
Through five weeks, Jim Zorn is the coach of the year, hands down. After beating the Eagles in Philly on Sunday, without Shawn Springs and Jason Taylor to boot, the Redskins are 4-1 and are finished with all of their road games in the tough NFC East. They ran for 146 yards against the team that entered as the best run D in the NFL. Through 20 quarters, Washington has still yet to commit a turnover!...I’ve come to the conclusion Andy Reid is a fraud. I don’t care how great of a system Philly runs, it has to be more about his assistants and coordinators because no one so dumb as a tactician can be the brains behind the operation. Still, Zorn is the one who deserves a ton of credit, from the innovative Antwaan Randle-El touchdown pass (in which Reid wasted a timeout by calling for a replay when Randle-El was clearly behind the line of scrimmage) to the decision to kick an extra point twice in the second half when the idiotic “chart” called to go for two.
It’s Matt Prater’s world, the rest of us are just paying rent. Not only will Prater boot a 70-yard field goal some day, he’s a huge asset in the field position battle with all those touchbacks…I would continue to chastise Jon Gruden for playing Warrick Dunn so much, but the guy has really been playing well, so it’s tough to fault him…The Bucs have a collection of solid backup quarterbacks, but they are a starter away from being a real good team.
Lee Evans is averaging a respectable 27.0 yards-per-catch this season, so it’s probably not a great idea to let him get behind the secondary…I know everyone generally considers Marshawn Lynch to be a special running back, but the fact of the matter is, his 3.6 YPC mark this season is unacceptable. And it’s just 3.9 for his career. And that’s with a strong passing game at his benefit. Since he gets so many touches and Buffalo has a soft fantasy playoff schedule (MIA, @NYJ, @DEN), he’s still a plenty valuable fantasy back. But Fred Jackson is the more explosive player…Jason Peters has been nothing short of awful since returning from his holdout…Tim Hightower is on pace to finish the season with 353 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns.
For someone whom I once considered a top-5 player in the league, Carson Palmer is awfully inaccurate. He missed Chris Perry twice Sunday on short routes that would have resulted in Perry walking into the end zone…Speaking of Perry, what a disappointment. When Cedric Benson is outplaying you, it might be time to hang up the cleats…To me, Jason Witten is one of the 25 most valuable properties in fantasy football…Patrick Crayton and Pacman Jones have stone-hands. Just brutal…There isn’t a bigger fan of Marion Barber than myself, but I must concede, Felix Jones can play and needs to see double-digit touches on a weekly basis.
I actually recommend dropping Laurence Maroney at this point. At least that way you’ll never have the temptation to start him again. There were moments during his rookie season I was convinced he was a future star, and that seemed only more likely as New England became such a force. Forget about it. He’s a bum…And so is Vernon Davis…Patrick Willis, on the other hand, most definitely is not.
Mike Tomlin is a breath of fresh air. He’s captivating during his press conferences, and he’s usually pretty straightforward when it comes to injuries. Listen, I can understand the benefits from not being forthcoming with every detail, and I take football far more seriously than anyone should, but this isn’t national security. Some coaches really could do well by not taking themselves so seriously…Is there a worse unit in the league than Jacksonville’s ground game? Now that’s a problem.
The Cubs didn’t lose because of a curse or because of choking, and forget the fact that postseason baseball is a complete crapshoot anyway with the disproportionately shrinking sample size; they lost because the Dodgers were the better team. Carlos Zambrano’s 6.20 K/9 IP mark this season ranked outside the top-50 among starting pitchers who qualified. He had absolutely no business whatsoever starting over Ted Lilly. Also, Rich Harden’s velocity has been way down for the past few weeks, so he was clearly hurting. Meanwhile, the Derek Lowe/Chad Billingsley tandem is underrated, and with that bullpen, I wouldn’t be surprised if Los Angeles won it all.
As much as I love Gina Carano, and believe me I do, Elite XC took a crushing blow when Kimbo Slice did his best Glass Joe impression Saturday night. I don’t care if he found out who his new opponent was five seconds before the fight, that was embarrassing.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 10/6/2008 3:52:00 PM