1. This weeks Idiot of the Week award goes to William Clay Ford Sr. (with Al Davis as a close second). William Clady Ford Jr. has stated that he would like to fire GM Matt Millen but he does not have the power to do so and that his father is continuing to stick behind Millen. This may be the worst run franchise in the history of football. It’s like Clay Ford Sr. hates to win and just keeps Millen around because he enjoys yucking it up with him on gameday. I swear, Matt Millen doesn’t even have scouts, just Mel Kiper. Honestly, how many “Millen Man Marches” and losing seasons (seven under Millen) and first round wide receiver busts can one owner endure before changes are made? I’d love to buy the Lions and just clean house.
2. I’d be willing to bet that the Green Bay Packers regret trading away Defensive Tackle Corey Williams to the Browns now. This whole defense, particularly the defensive line, looked exhausted and flat warn out towards the end of the Sunday Night game. Added depth, especially from a huge contributor like Williams was last year could have made a big difference.
3. Ken Whisenhunt should be the object of scorn and derision in Arizona for electing to the punt the ball back to the Redskins instead of trusting his offense. After punting the ball the Redskins never surrendered the ball and simply ran out the clock. When you have two of the leagues best wide outs and a veteran two-time league MVP quarterback, shouldn’t this be a no brainer?
4. Assuming Lane Kiffin gets fired, good for him for holding out and making Al Davis have to pay him the two million dollar termination clause coming his way. I can see Mike Shannahan hiring Kiffin as some sort of consultant just to stick it to Al Davis and to pump Kiffin for information.
5. Darren Sproles should be nicknamed Mighty Mouse. True story.
6. The Falcons will continue to win and play well if they can keep Matt Ryan from throwing more than twenty times a game. Michael Turner sure has opened up the play-action pass in this offense.
7. I wonder how much Brett Favre is regretting coming out of retirement now?
The Fine Fifteen
1. Dallas Cowboys- Is there any doubt that Terrell Owens wants to win a Super Bowl this year? Though Owens was shut down by the Packers, he made unseen contributions via blocking for Marion Barber and more importantly, Felix Jones’s touchdown. He even chased down safety Nick Collins sixty yards from the opposite side of the field when Tony Romo threw a costly interception in the end zone.
2. New York Giants- Why do the Giants always have to make it hard on themselves? Every time I watch the Giants play I’m reminded of that Eli Manning quote where he talks about how the Giants love to win in tough situations (ex: They couldn’t win the NFC Championship in the fourth quarter on the chip shot field goal, they had it win it in overtime with the long field goal). Maybe it’s the mark of a great team, but how much adversity can one team take? I mean the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime…really?
3. Philadelphia Eagles- Can Donovan McNabb and Brian Westbrook stay healthy? The Eagles defense terrorized Ben Roethlisberger all day. However, after McNabb was knocked out of the game, Kevin Kolb replaced him and quickly threw an interception. I know this is a bit obvious, but if this team is going to continue to compete, these two offensive cogs must stay healthy for the whole season and beyond.
4. Green Bay Packers- Didn’t Aaron Rodgers look quite Favrean with that jump pass to Greg Jennings? In case you missed it Rodgers was about to be sacked when he jumped in the air and slung the ball side armed to Jennings for a first down…in between two defenders. That being said this whole team looked beat down in the fourth quarter and ready to go home. Also, Al Harris may be out for the season which could spell trouble for the Packers with the lack of depth Green Bay already has in their secondary.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers- Will Ben Roethlisberger be the next quarterback taken victim by lack of blind side protection, scratch that, any protection? On a team as deep as this, how can the offensive line be this terrible and go unaddressed? I mean NINE sacks? Come on. I know Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall was an absolute steal and hard to pass up, but either Virginia Tech offensive tackle Duane Brown in the first round or USC guard Chilo Rachal in the second round instead of Limas Sweed, might have been the better choices. Protecting your franchise quarterback ought to be priority number one.
6. Tennessee Titans- Is it possible that this team is the 2008 version of the 2001 Baltimore Ravens? Will Kerry Collins actually make it to another Super Bowl? Hilarious comment by Deion Sanders last night on NFL Gameday Final. NFL Network shows a clip of Collins throwing an interception and then shows him running ten yards for a first down. Rich Eisen exclaims, “He’s doing his best Vince Young impression (i.e. running for a first down)!” Sanders responds, “He already did that when he threw the pick!” Damn.
7. Denver Broncos- Can the Broncos offense keep saving their defense in nail biters for the remainder of the year? This offense is unbelievable and in fact is statistically on pace with New England’s offense from last year. The defense, however, is horrendous. At times on Sunday the Broncos ran a 3-4 defense with 4-3 personnel (the Broncos have not run a 3-4 since Wade Phillips was their head coach). If this doesn’t signal that there is a defensive problem, I don’t know what does. Quick point, more credit needs to be given to the Broncos offensive line, particularly rookie Ryan Clady, who is playing like a seasoned veteran at left tackle.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars- Is this where the Jacksonville Jaguars begin to turn it around and become this years version of the San Diego Chargers? This team just seems too talented to be 1-3. On a side note, I’m addicted to NFL Gameday Final and for those of you who missed it Maurice Jones-Drew thanked Deion Sanders for his uplifting text message to the team and credited Sanders with helping to motivate the team this week. According to Jones-Drew, the Jaguars now look at themselves as 1-0 instead of 1-3.
9. Buffalo Bills-Can this team win the AFC East and go deep into the playoffs? Though this team is young and has no real superstar standout players, they work well as a unit. No one man is bigger than the team and I think that makes them dangerous.
10. Indianapolis Colts- Is it possible that we’re witnessing the demise of the two long time AFC power houses? Doubtful, but Manning’s road to the Super Bowl or the playoffs for that matter has sure gotten tougher.
11. Minnesota Vikings- Do the Vikings really think that Gus Frerotte can get it done for them the entire season? The defense is outstanding and Adrian Peterson is a monster but saying that Frerotte can be what Brad Johnson was for the Buccaneers when they won a Super Bowl is quite a stretch.
12. San Diego Chargers- Will LT keep being so “classy” even though the team is 1-3? Phillip Rivers appears to be carrying this team and has finally stepped into his own but if the team loses again I forsee another “I’m so frustrated” rant from the “classiest” guy in the NFL.
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Did Brian Griese really throw the ball 67 times? Maybe John Gruden loves collecting quarterbacks so much because he think their arms will fall off halfway through the season.
14. New England Patriots- Are the Patriot’s enjoying their humble pie? Its all well and good to talk about eating humble pie when you’re blowing teams out, but I’m curious to see how the Patriots rebound after Ronnie Brown ran and threw all over them. Something tells me this will be a different Patriot team after the bye week.
15. Washington Redskins- Will the Redskins miss the playoffs sheerly because they are in the NFC East?
Notes: I know that Baltimore is undefeated but they are starting a rookie quarterback from a DI-AA college.
“My Beer Drunk Soul Is Sadder Than All The Dead Christmas Trees Of The World”
1. William Clay Ford Senior has finally decided to fire Matt Millen and is reportedly replacing him with Emmitt Smith. Emmitt has stated that his first act as GM is to trade for quarterback Matt Hassel. (http://www.profootballtalk.com/2008/09/14/emmitts-new-name-of-the-week)
From Big Baby Bas- “Should the Rams really have traded Stephen Jackson for picks? Since 2000, almost all of their high draft picks, obviously excluding Jackson, have been defensive players who did not pan out (Archuletta, Damione Lewis, Anthony Hargrove, Jimmy Kennedy). Why let one of the few remaining bright spots on the team go for picks when u clearly don’t have the scouting dept to do ne thing with them?”
Response- Great point. The St. Louis Rams have consistently been one of the worst teams with regard to building through the draft, or building period for that matter. From the first to the seventh round the Rams have consistently hit busts. Scott Linehan is clearly on his way out and it is clear the Rams are going to and should clean house and start from scratch. Granted, Jackson is a bright spot on the team when he is not hurt and actually on the field. However, from a management standpoint, giving a six year 44.8 million dollar to a twenty-six year old running back that has had injury issues in the past is not the right move if a team is looking to rebuild. As many teams have demonstrated, finding running backs in the second or later rounds/undrafted is just as a effective as getting them in the first (see Marion Barber III, Ryan Grant, Clinton Portis, Frank Gore, Willie Parker, Brandon Jacobs, Michael Turner, Selvin Young/Andre Hall). Furthermore, having Jackson without the offensive line to block for him minimizes his true effectiveness. Thus, by the time this team finally rebuilds, Jackson will be hitting that magical running back wall of thirty.
All that being said, a team has to start somewhere and high priced free agents and large contracts have been established as the unsuccessful way to go about it. Thinking from the mind of a hopefully effective GM (goes back to the cleaning house bit), I would rather have two first round picks this year and ideally draft a left tackle (Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe, or Andre Smith all come to mind) to protect Marc Bulger and help with the run game and a defensive leader to team with DE Chris Long such as MLB’s James Lauranitis or Ray Maualuga and move Will Witherspoon back out to SLB . Then, I would drafting a running back in the third or fourth round (possibly C.J. Spiller or Javon Ringer). In my opinion, this would go a long way in helping a team that is losing by on average by 29 points a game, than giving 44.8 million dollars to a running back with no one to block for him and a defense/offense that is so ineffective that the Rams will consistently be playing from behind and thus unable to run the ball anyway.
Bright spots are great, but winning puts fans in the seats.
Thanks for the comment. Hope this answered your question.
Non Football Quote of the Week (Courtesy of How I Met Your Mother)
Lily: “How can you sleep with bimbos and still be in love with Robin?!”
Barney: I don’t get what you mean? That’s like asking how ants carry 300 times their body weight yet root beer floats are still delicious? I mean are the two even related?”
And I’m Out. Comments as always are welcome.