|If the Browns and Bengals can’t get their offenses going against each other, it’s officially going to be a long season for both. Brady Quinn must really not impress during practice, or he would’ve been in that football game Sunday…Chris Perry is about to fumble his way out of a job. Cedric Benson is horrible, but since all other backs are hurt, and Perry is injury-prone, I guess he’s worth a look in fantasy leagues. And bravo Cincy, at least the franchise no longer even hides the fact character means little to them. When is Rae Carruth due for parole?...The next time I hear someone make a joke using the name Houshmandzadeh, I’m going to defenestrate him…If you own Jamal Lewis and can get Steve Slaton for him, consider yourself lucky.
So that’s why I drafted Matt Schaub in so many leagues. Not a great sign for Houston that he got 7.7 YPA with zero sacks and turnovers yet still lost, but still, this offense should get on a roll with four upcoming home games against soft defenses. Especially once someone tells Andre Johnson the season has started…Maybe age and all that mileage has finally caught up to Fred Taylor, who has averaged just 3.6 YPC this season…I’m fully onboard the Steve Slaton hype machine.
Muhsin Muhammad has a lot more left in the tank than I expected, and his familiarity with Jake Delhomme and the Carolina offense has paid off. He’s also an exceptional blocker…Rookie quarterback and all, Roddy White is going to have another good season…Michael Turner has been about as boom-or-bust as you can get so far, with opponent the clear reason why. Part of the problem is that he offers nothing in the passing game, so tough run defenses are going to remain a problem. Still, he’s going to be just fine long-term.
This Denver defense isn’t just bad, it’s awful. The line couldn’t generate any pressure even after LT Branden Albert left an already suspect Chiefs O-line. That said, I’ll eat some crow regarding Larry Johnson, as that’s two straight big games…He may be a horrible blocker, but Tony Scheffler simply has to be targeted more than two times…Jay Cutler is on pace to throw for 5,100 yards, which would top Dan Marino’s all-time record (5,084 yards).
Of the 49ers’ NFL-high 19 sacks allowed, only three have come on third down. Mike Martz deserves plenty of the blame, but J.T. O’Sullivan often holds onto the ball far, far too long…When you consider his teammates, Drew Brees has a pretty good case as the league’s MVP right now. For someone who supposedly lacks arm strength, he sure does throw a pretty deep ball…Not sure Vernon Davis can even be treated like a top-15 fantasy tight end at this point…I for one wrote Deuce McAllister off for dead, but since Reggie Bush can’t run between the tackles and Pierre Thomas was only decent and struggled in short-yardage situations, it looks like McAllister is going to be given every opportunity to be fantasy relevant again. Don’t expect any explosiveness, but there figures to be plenty of scoring chances.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Jets and Cardinals combined for 91 points Sunday…I’m glad I avoided Thomas Jones like the plague in fantasy drafts, because if that’s all he can muster playing at home against Arizona and with the benefit of a big lead, there’s not much room for optimism…Brett Favre sure does know how to run a playaction…The Anquan Boldin hit was just brutal.
Part of the problem with choosing Aaron Rodgers over Brett Favre wasn’t just comparing the two of them, it was the real downgrade in depth. If Rodgers can’t return from this shoulder sprain, the team is in big trouble, especially with all those injuries on the defensive side…Jon Gruden, please get Earnest Graham more touches…Not sure what to make of Ryan Grant, as he wasn’t even on the injury report last week, so the hamstring issue can’t be blamed. The problem with him is that he doesn’t counter a poor YPC mark with any receptions. Still, he’s more of a buy-low than someone to panic about.
Will someone, anyone please try to explain to me why Brad Childress punted down 13 points with 2 minutes left, which just led to three straight kneel downs by Kerry Collins? He didn’t want to hurt the fragile psyche of Tarvaris Jackson? He didn’t want to win? He is an idiot?...One gets the feeling we’ll be seeing more Chris Johnson and less LenDale White as the season progresses…Adrian Peterson owners still need to have Chester Taylor for insurance, but it sure is nice to see how irrelevant he’s become.
The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Darren McFadden. Painkilling shots before the game only delay the recovery from turf toe injuries, and he was clearly hobbled while trying to fight through it. Tough break he suffered the injury while the opportunity was there with Justin Fargas sidelined…Chris Chambers’ 33 percent catch rate is embarrassing…The Al Davis news conference was absolutely fascinating. Must-see TV to be sure. Things we learned about Davis: he’s lucid, emotional, paranoid and quite possibly the scariest human being alive, especially in HD. I fear for Chris Mortensen’s life.
Don’t get me wrong, I like Marshawn Lynch, but Fred Jackson needs to see 10 touches a game…I can fully understand the new regime going back to Marc Bulger, and the INT returned for a TD (“pick-six” needs to stop) was egregious, but Trent Green’s 7.4 YPA and two sacks taken were an improvement. I’m just saying.
I’m shocked by how well this Redskins team has been playing. The secondary has been nothing short of fantastic…If anyone should be complaining Terrell Owens, it’s Marion Barber…Jason Campbell has been one of the most pleasant surprises of 2008…Another week, another upgrade. Only health stands in the way of Santana Moss finishing as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver this season.
Kyle Orton has been a popular add this week, but I don’t buy it…No matter what he makes, defensive coordinator Jim Johnson is underpaid…Forget the mistakes, Philadelphia hit a home run with the DeSean Jackson pick…Because he racks up tackles to go along with the sacks, Trent Cole is an IDP beast…David Akers remains accurate inside 40 yards, but he’s not beyond that. This is clear. If the ball is anywhere on the opponents’ 24-35 yard-line, the team should consider it four down territory.
What a sloppy, ugly game that was Monday night, although both defenses deserve credit. Especially Baltimore’s unit, which looks like the best in football. Those linebackers are out of control…Did everyone enjoy the Rashard Mendenhall era as much as I did?...Joe Flacco (pronounced multiple different ways by the crack MNF team) sure does look like a future star. I’m really surprised how good he looks so soon. This Ravens team is no joke…What was up with that overtime coin toss? The coin never flipped once!...And now, because the Steelers were my survivor pick this week, I’m off to go have a heart attack.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 9/30/2008 7:38:00 PM
|In covering the MNF games for Rotowire, I come away with additional thoughts that don't quite make the player updates. It seemed like a good idea to start recording those notes in an ongoing Monday Night Football blog. We'll see if that's true or not. But here we go.
Steelers - It's a shame to see Mendenhall go on IR, because he was actually playing pretty well. He ran hard and even threw a fantastic block picking up a blitz. And I'll say this for the guy, he barely even winced as he jogged off the field with a fractured shoulder ... Carey Davis showed zero burst and brings nothing to the table as a runner, even before he hurt his ankle. I suspect we'll see a lot of Mewelde Moore next Sunday night ... Santonio Holmes should be doing more in that passing game. He gets good separation and it is shocking how easy he gets off the line of scrimmage against press coverage (especially given his narrow frame). I suspect that he doesn't "stay with the play" all the time when Big Ben scrambles, but if you saw his catch-plant-cut combo while breaking a tackle and making the next guy miss on his 38-yard TD, then you know he needs to get the ball in space, which isn't happening ... Hines Ward was doing a TON of yapping tonight and it wound up saving the game when he got into Jarrett Johnson's head to the tune of a late hit personal foul that shifted the momentum ... It was funny to see the 180 the ESPN guys pulled when Big Ben started making plays by scrambling. One minute they are killing him for holding the ball too long and showing "most sacks since 2004" graphics and the next they are singing his praises and regaling us with the "QB rating while being hit" screen shot. Good to see the MNF crew sticking to their guns.
Ravens - Le'Ron McClain had an interesting night. It looked like Baltimore wanted to go with him in the red zone early, but he was so slow hitting the hole on a first-and-goal carry that they immediately went back to McGahee on second and third down. Of course, once McGahee got dinged up, McClain got plenty of reps and showed that he can be consistently effective. He actually has really nice patience in the hole and does a good job keeping his feet moving. But no one will ever mistake the guy for Brandon Jacobs, that is for sure ... For the first half, I was struck by how much Flacco reminded me of Roethlisberger from his rookie year. Of course, the ESPN guys latched on to that idea and poor Flacco immediately started taking sacks and fumbling. Once Tony K wondered if perhaps Flacco thought he was "invincible" (to Jaws' credit, he dismissed this notion entirely), the B-More rookie got right back to completing passes and showing poise in the pocket. More hilarious knee-jerk reactions from the guys in the booth. That said, I do think the Big Ben comparison is somewhat apt given their frames, small conference/division experience in college, skill sets, and rookie situations ... What ever happened to Ray Rice? ... Oh, and what ever happened to Mark Clayton? The Ravens really need a second wide receiver to give them consistent route running and blocking, if nothing else.
Posted by Adam Hoff at 9/29/2008 10:33:00 PM
|As expected, two things happened Sunday:
1. Rams lost to the Bills.
2. Scott Linehan was fired.
So, while I'm not exactly pleased with my team sharing 0-4 with the Bengals, this is a good thing. If the Rams had won, did that make Linehan a better chance at leading this team to the playoffs eventually? Of course not. Let's look at the implications of the firing.
1. Jim Haslett is the interim head coach. I'm fine with this actually, as the Rams wouldn't be going anywhere this year even if Bill Cowher or Bill Belichick took the team over. Of course after the season, if Haslett is somehow given the full-time gig, I think I'll be sick.
2. Mark Bulger - Look for Bulger to return to being the starting QB, as Trent Green completed just 53% of his passes and failed to throw a TD yesterday.
3. Jay Zygmunt - Probably next on the chopping block and deservedly so.
4. The biggie: who is the next Head Coach? I'd say the candidates (in no particular order) would be:
Jim Haslett - If you can find me a Saints fan that says this would be a good hire, please comment below. Barring a great finish, I just don't see the interim tag being removed for one more permanent.
Marty Schottenheimer - He's old, but Marty would bring stability and credibility. Since playoff expectations wouldn't be there next year, he'd fit right in.
Bill Cowher - Anytime there's a vacancy, his name will come up, but would Cowher come out of semi-retirement to coach the Rams? Would YOU?
Mike Martz - He's going to get another HC gig next year most likely and this would certainly be an interesting reunion.
Al Saunders - Current staffers will be considered, but I don't see this being enough of a change. Of course he would come cheap however.
Pete Carroll (insert any front-line college coach here) - Despite the loss to Oregon St., Carroll is still in a great situation and seems unlikely to leave, especially for a gig like this. Of course if the Rams pay his likely exorbitant asking price and give him total control, perhaps this could happen.
Mike Singletary - He's going to get his chance some day, and with the Rams likely to overhaul their LB corps this offseason (at least I hope), he's be a great fit there. Of course how he'd fare as a HC is anyone's guess.
Jason Garrett - He's going to be a hot name this offseason and though I have no idea how he'd fare as a head coach, I'd roll the dice on this guy before hiring a retread like....
Jim Fassel / other retread - Unfortunately, this seems as likely, if not more so, than any of the other names on this list. I'm not sure the Rams can lure a "big name" and even if they could, would they pay the asking price ($5 million a year or more)? Seems doubtful.
Posted by Dave Regan at 9/29/2008 9:17:00 AM