Wednesday, September 30, 2009
“FRO’s Favorite Five”
Frankie’s Favorite Fantasy Picks
By Frankie Underwood
Sr. Fantasy Football Writer-Football Reporters Online
Carson Palmer stays in state to face the lowly Cleveland Browns. This should be great for Palmers stats. Last weekend Cleveland gave up nearly 350 yards to second year Ravens QB Joe Flacco, and 260 to Denver’s Kyle Orton, the week before. Palmer’s had low yardage totals so far this season and is coming off a huge win against division rival and the reigning Super Bowl champion Pittsburg Steelers. After that big win this game against the winless Browns could turn into a trap game, but I believe Palmer and the Cincinnati Bengals can put the past behind them and take care of business in Cleveland. I actually thought about recommending Trent Edwards again this week since he has a very nice match up against the Miami Dolphins, but thought I’d just mention it in pacing in case he lets me down again.
I selected Oakland’s Darren McFadden for my week two Favorite Five, and here he is again. Houston has been torched by running back this season. In week one Thomas Jones dropped 107 on them. Then in week two Chris Johnson broke two long runs for touchdowns and totaled 197 rushing yards not to mention a 90 yard plus touchdown reception. Finally this past weekend Maurice Jones-Drew scored three touchdowns and 119 rushing yards. As long as Oakland can stay in the game, McFadden should be a large part of the Oakland offense. Houston’s Steve Slaton in also a nice play since Oakland can not cover the run.
Who is the number one reliever in Chicago? If I run the team I’d start Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox and use Devin Hester as the third therefore freeing him up to be the full time punt and kick returner, maybe run him out of the victory formation as a desperation play (you can email me for further explanation of that idea). Well since I do not run the team and Hester is the so-called number one receiver, I look for him to have a nice game against the Detroit Lions. Santana Moss, a similar yet extensively more experienced receiver, put up 178 yards in a loss to the Lions on Sunday. Also Percy Harvin, again with a similar skill set, scored against them in week two. Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler should attempt to force feed Hester the ball, and depending on how banged up RB Matt Forte is Hester may see some rushing attempts to go with his returns and receptions. Third receiver Johnny Knox should also be considered this weekend.
If you are still holding on to an Oakland Raider besides McFadden, hopefully it is tight end Zach Miller. This may be the weekend that Miller lives up to his off season billing as a top twelve TE. As have I stated before Houston can not cover tight ends, add this to the fact that Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell can not seem to find his wide receivers, and it should equal a big day for Miller. Whether coming from behind or dumping off because of pressure, Miller and McFadden should both be heavily depended on this weekend. By The Way, keep an eye on the Green Bay Packers Jermichael Finley Monday night in Minnesota.
Although their team has been decimated by injuries, The Buffalo Bills defense could emerge as a nice desperation play. The Bills will face a Miami Dolphins team that just lost QB Chad Pennington, and will be starting a new era behind Chad Henne. Buffalo should pester an inexperienced Henne with multiple blitzes, which will lead to sacks and interceptions. The San Francisco 49ers is also a defense worth starting this weekend.
Last Weeks Favorite Five
Trent Edwards - Don’t get much more of a bust than that.
Tashard Choice – Touchdown and decent yardage, That’s average but he gives you a couple more games worth or use
Josh Cribbs – Again, BUST!!! Sorry
Vernon Davis – I’d say I nailed that one, 96 yards and 2 TDs!!!
Green Bay Packers – 3 turnovers and one Sack, I guess that’s an OK day.
THE JET EXPRESS ROLLS 24-17: THE TITANS ARE THE LATEST VICTIM-By T.J. Rosenthal contributing writer
Football Reporters Online
The Jet express is rolling. Sunday's come from behind 24-17 win against the desperate Tennessee Titans in front of another frenzied home crowd passed two tests. First, the Jets defied a trap game that had LETDOWN written all over it.. Second, they weathered their first real mistake laden storm that saw a 14-0 lead turn into a 17-14 deficit. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez responded to his own careless stretch to help the Jets regain the lead late in the 3rd after a crucial Tennessee muffed punt. The fumble and ensuing Jet TD became the momentum change of a game that from that point on, saw the Jets never looked back.
In week one, the mighty Texan offense was smothered. In week two Tom Brady was baffled. Sunday, the Titans were in the end, outmuscled. The 24-17 win sets up a week 4, marquee matchup with Drew Brees and the 3-0 Saints. THAT however, will be then. THIS, is now. Now, means enjoying a hard fought victory against a team with the number one rushing defense and one of the leagues top RB in the dangerous Chris Johnson. The Titans become the latest victim for a Jet team that few envisioned would be in the AFC East drivers seat so soon in the Rex Ryan era.
The old AFL rivals, both in their vintage wear ( Jets in their ugly blue 1960 NY Titans gear and the Titans in their "Luv Ya Blue" Houston Oilers uniforms. Houston being where the franchise originated from) took to the field in a tale of two cities. The Titans, 13-3 in 2008 came to the Meadowlands 0-2 and in desperate need of a win after losses in OT to the world champion Steelers and the high powered Texans in a wild shootout in week two. The Jets came in to the contest 2-0 and riding high after knocking off the despised Pats at home for the first time in a decade.
The Jets wasted no time in proving to the home crowd and to themselves, that coming out flat would NOT be part of the equation. A balanced and controlled opening drive highlighted by throws from Sanchez to Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery led to a gutty TD. Sanchez ran 14 yards for in the score thanks to a nasty head on collision with the Titans Michael Griffin at the goal line. Stretching the ball over before it was knocked loose, the play symbolized the new Jet toughness. It furthered the notion of Sanchez as a leader perhaps beyond his years. The 7-0 lead was also a great start that was about to get better.
On the ensuing kickoff, Jets Special teamer Jason Trusnick delivered a jarring hit on Ryan Mouton setting the ball free. The Jets recovered and suddenly were in position to go up two scores. On third and goal from the four, a pretty play action by Sanchez to a diving decoy RB Thomas Jones action left back up TE Ben Hartstock all alone. Sanchez's short toss and Hartstock's catch made it 14-0. The Titans offense hadn't taken the field yet. The Jet defense came out strong as well, pressuring veteran QB Kerry Collins and leaving Chris Johnson (197 yds in week two) with little room to find big runs. After one ,the Jets were in control on the scoreboard and emotionally, 14-0.
The second quarter did not follow the same script as the first. The well coached Titans settled down after the initial firestorm, and began to close in on Sanchez. Finally they got to him, stripping the rookie QB of the ball, and the Jets, of control of the game. Putting together a solid drive of their own off the turnover, QB Kerry Collins got hot with accurate throws under pressure and tight coverage. Then bruising RB Lendale White entered the stage. Taking the ball from the Jet 6 White bounced his way of off a plethora of hits like a pinball for the first TD scored on Gang Green's D in 2009. 7:24 to go in the half Jets 14 Titans 7. The Titans were back in the game.
Sanchez then continued to struggle , with balls now slipping from his hand on throws in the falling rain. Other tosses missed their target. Meanwhile the Jets ground game of Jones and home run threat Leon Washington , for the third straight week, had trouble establishing itself early on. A Rob Bironas FG with 4:38 left cut the Jet lead to 14-10. The half ended that way and as both clubs hit the tunnel. It was now the Titans who now owned the momentum.
Jeff Fishers club rode this momentum to a 17-14 lead four minutes into the third. thanks to former Steeler speedster Nate Washington's 9 yard TD catch from Collins. As the 3rd wound down, the Jets were slowly becoming in danger of entering the 4th trailing a team with a two headed ground churning monster. Johnson and White, thanks to a succession of Jet three and outs, were now becoming a threat. A Titan pair that moved chains and ran out clocks out on a regular basis in '08.
Another 4th down punt by Steve Weatherford from the Jet 40, was to send to the ball back to Tennessee, up 3 and looking for more. Instead , a muffed punt, again by Ryan Mouton gave the Jets the mouth to mouth resucitation their offense needed. The turnover was the turning point of the game.The Jets early on in 2009 have become sound at capitalizing on opportunites. They didn't let this chance pass by either. A key throw from Sanchez to Jerricho Cotchery left the Jets on the 3. Cotchery was called on again holding onto a 6 yard slant thrown like a bullet by Sanchez (17-30 171 yds 2 TDS) for the lead 21-17. Now it was the Jets who looked to roll out their defense for the kill as the 4th quarter began. End of three, JETS 21 TITANS 17.
The stadium was rocking again as the Jets stood 15 minutes away from their second straight home win against a top notch AFC team. Before they could go for the kill, the Jets needed to deliver the knock out punch. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer then dialed up the play. A bomb to Jerricho Cotchery. Sanchez faded back and threw a beautiful () yard fade to Cotchery who made a difficult catch in tight coverage. The Jets were in the red zone. The drive stalled there. on third down, Sanchez, under pressure, rolled out and found FB Tony Richardson brielfy alone in the end zone. Fullbacks are not accustomed to working the sidelines and the high throw became a bit too much for Richardson to negotiate. Still, a clutch Jay Feely FG gave the Jets a 24-17 lead with 11:30 left.
Enter the Jet defense. Though Chris Johnson (22-97yds 0TD) broke free for a scary 30 yard run on the following drive, the march towards a tying score died there as pressure on Collins was turned up by Rex Ryan's crew(Collins missed his last thirteen throws of the game).The teams traded another pair of three and outs as the 4th reached the midway point. Former Raven, the dependable S Jim Leonard then returned a Titans punt to the Tennessee 40 as the Jets sought to ice it. On the follwoing play, Sanchez threw high to Chansi Stuckey and was intercepted by S Chris Hope. This thwarted a chance to leave the Titans for dead.
Collins and Co. began the march downfield once again with under 7:00 to go, as White and Johnson took it to the Jet 40. Run stopping mammoth NG Kris Jenkins then made a huge 1st down stop of Johnson; a 5 yard loss that forced the Titans into a long yardage situation. The situation led Collins to a mistake. Unable to step into a throw due to a collapsing pocket, Collins was picked of by LB David Harris. This ended a drive that had the Ttians with their best field position since the early 3rd quarter. 4:13 left.
The Titans last gasp drive started with with no timeouts and just over two minutes left . After more pressure then a David Harris sack , a 4th down incompletion sailed harmlessly over Jet secondary's heads. Final score:JETS 24 TITANS 17
Soon the J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS will head to New Orleans for a showdown with the high scoring Saints. A club whose offense regained its balance thanks to the return of starting RB Pierre Thomas. Something will have to give. A high powered offense and a wild high flying shutdown defense.The showdown next week in the Big Easy is a marquee matchup thanks in part to the Jets latest win over the Titans. For Gang Green, the confidence is growing. So is the win column. 2009 couldn't be off to a better start for Rex Ryan's Jets, perhaps the newest darlings of the NFL.
Giants Blank Bucs, Start 3-0 For Second Straight Year-By Jon Wagner Sr. writer at large-Football Reporters Online
Giants Blank Bucs, Start 3-0 For Second Straight Year-By Jon Wagner
Sr. writer at large-Football Reporters Online
In a game like this, little analysis is needed. The numbers speak for themselves:
First Downs: 27-5, New York Giants; none in the first forty minutes for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Total Net Yards: 397-86, in favor of the Giants.
To put those first two categories into perspective, the Giants, on the opening drive alone, of their game in Tampa Bay on Sunday, just about matched the Buccaneers’ offensive output for the entire contest.
The Giants started the game with five first downs during a 12-play, 80-yard drive which resulted in running back Brandon Jacobs’ first touchdown of the season, on a 6-yard run, giving the Giants a quick 7-0 lead, 6:55 into the game.
Considering what little the New York defense would allow the rest of the day, it was pretty much game over at that point.
Still, here’s a further look at the Giants’ numbers dominance:
Total Plays: Giants 76, Buccaneers 36.
Time Of Possession: Giants 43:38, Buccaneers 16:22.
Third Down Efficiency: Giants 10-for-16, Buccaneers 0-for-9.
And, the most important numbers for New York: a nice, crisp, 24-0 road victory, pushing the Giants’ 2009 start to a perfect 3-0, marking the first time the Giants have started a season with three straight wins in consecutive years since the 1993 and 1994 seasons.
As difficult as the Giants’ grueling, last-second two-point victory was in Dallas last week, that’s how easy New York got by Tampa Bay a week later.
In sharp contrast to the Giants’ win over the Cowboys, this was utter dominance at Raymond James Stadium, summed up very simply by Bucs’ first-year head coach Raheem Morris, who admitted to AP reporter Fred Goodall, “They beat us down… “We were beat by a grown-man team, a team we want to be like one day. They came in here and took it to us. Out-manned us, out-gunned us… It wasn’t even close.”
The NFL’s youngest head coach was also well aware of the aforementioned statistical disparity between his team and the Giants, telling Goodall, “You get five first downs and you’re 0-for-9 on third down. You have 86 yards total offense. It was completely disastrous.”
Tampa Bay (0-3), which blew its shot at the playoffs last season with an 0-4 December collapse, lost for the seventh straight game.
What made the Giants’ defensive performance particularly impressive was that Big Blue, despite being depleted and limited with injuries to several key players, completely shut down and dominated a Tampa Bay offense that averaged a more than respectable 20.5 points and 401.5 yards per game over the first two weeks of the season.
The Giants held the Bucs to just 58 passing yards (the fewest since they gave up 53 yards through the air against Atlanta, on November 9, 2003) while posting their first shutout since a 36-0 rout of Washington at home, on October 30, 2005. New York also recorded their first game on the road without allowing a point since a 23-0 win at Philadelphia on November 20, 1983.
Giants’ head coach Tom Coughlin was happy with his defensive unit’s effort, saying “I was pleased with their energy, the way that they played, the way that they focused, their purpose… the fact that they took the challenge and really wanted to go and prove against a team that rushed for 174 against Dallas that we could stop the run. I thought the approach was really good. The leadership was strong… the energy that they showed from snap to snap, I thought all that was good.”
Meanwhile, the Giants, who entered the game averaging a decent (but not great) 100 yards rushing per game, broke out with 226 yards on the ground, led by running backs Ahmad Bradshaw (104 yards on 14 carries) and Brandon Jacobs (26 rushes for 92 yards), each of whom continually broke initial first tackles to gain additional yardage.
“I thought Bradshaw did a nice job,” Coughlin said. “He got hit, spun, got himself north again. He was able to do that on a number of occasions. Brandon did a nice job on some of the runs of just taking the pile and moving it… a lot of times [there were] two, three, four guys that he was able to move.”
While Bradshaw, in a larger role this season, was complimenting Jacobs very well, Bucs’ running back Derrick Ward, who teamed with Jacobs to give the Giants a pair of 1,000-yard rushers last year, was held to just 2 yards on 5 carries against his former team, after leaving the Giants as a free agent in the offseason.
While the Giants’ ground attack keyed their offense, it was a combination of their rushing and an effective passing game led by Eli Manning (14 of 24 for 161 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions) which helped the G-Men to three different twelve-play scoring drives, while controlling the ball for their highest time of possession since October 29, 2000, when they had the ball against Philadelphia for just three seconds longer (43:41) than they did on Sunday.
Leading the NFC East by a game over both Philadelphia and Dallas, the Giants will finish up the third and final game of their longest road trip of the season, next Sunday at 1pm EST, at Kansas City (0-3), which began a four-week stretch of playing the entire NFC East with a 34-14 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday.