Zennie62 on YouTube

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What is Wrong with the San Diego “Super Chargers”?

What is Wrong with the San Diego “Super Chargers”?
By Will Osgood for Football Reporters Online

To answer the question of this article completely it would probably take a 900,000 word novel. I don’t have time to write such a piece, nor do you have time to read it. Instead, I will give a brief, to the point synopsis of such problems from a coach’s perspective. Some may disagree, although most will likely agree since it doesn’t seem to be brain surgery here.

1. A Lack of Commitment to the Running Game
Take Monday night’s debacle against the Broncos. While LT’s yards per carry average was not what it has been when he’s been at his peak performance, against a good defense he was consistently picking up positive yards and moving the chains. He looked fresher and quicker than I remember him in the last two-plus seasons. He had the quickness and explosion we’ve all gotten so used to from LT.
It felt like any play he was about to break the big one. He still had 70 yards, but on only 18 carries. Imagine if he was given carries on the goal-line early in the first quarter when the Chargers settled for another field goal. Say he gets to 25 carries. He gets very close to 100 yards, and I bet breaks a big one and gets well past that mark.

But more important is the effect the commitment to the run has on the Chargers both as a team and an offense. Norv Turner apparently felt he had to call all pass plays when only down by four points with about six minutes to go in the game. When Mike Nolan, the Broncos Defensive Coordinator, figured this out he just started blitzing an overmatched Chargers offensive line. Poor Philip Rivers had no chance to find men down field because blitzers were in his face as soon as he got back in his drop.

If Turner would’ve run the ball even once or twice on that drive, the Broncos would’ve had to respect that and played a little more conservatively, thereby giving Rivers at least a chance to find an open receiver.
As a New Orleans Saints fan I’ve seen how a pass-only offense ends up working out. You may put up great numbers and score a lot of points, but it is so hit or miss that you have as many three-and-outs as you do big plays. And the ball is in the air so much you’re bound to have a lot of turnovers.
Three-and-outs and turnovers kill your own defense because it puts them in horrible field position and makes them play far more downs than they are capable of handling before they break down. Complementary football, as Sean Payton calls it, is what wins football games. Run the football, keep your defense off the field, and give your offense a chance by being unpredictable.

2. Poor Line Play on Both Sides of the Ball
Again this is hard for anyone to question, but still bears being repeated. It is understandable why Norv Turner shies away from the running game. For the most part, they (the O-Line) have done nothing to reward his confidence in them. Since it is a little bit easier to throw the ball without great blocking, passing becomes your best option.

Part of the O-Line’s issues goes back to Pro Bowl Center Nick Hardwick’s absence. He is responsible for getting the line into its’ proper protections and adjustments. He has done this very well for a good number of years now. Without him the line is somewhat lost. Other injuries to Louis Vazquez have forced the Chargers to start two less qualified players on their O-Line for part of this season.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers are greatly missing the services of two men who are now in other buildings, Igor Olshansky, now with the Cowboys, and Wayne Nunnelly, the veteran D-Line Coach who had been with the Chargers for 14 years and is now doing a wonderful job with…you guessed it the Denver Broncos.

Of course, losing All Pro Nose Tackle Jamal Williams doesn’t help matters either. The Chargers D-Line has become an undersized, minimally talented unit that for the most part does not fit the scheme the team is trying to run. Many in Charger Land are now casting blame on GM A.J. Smith for his inability to find suitable backups in case of a Jamal Williams injury or dropoff in production because of his age.

I for one, believed two years ago Kentwan Balmer, a DT out of North Carolina, would have been the perfect man to eventually replace Williams at that nose spot. Smith instead chose CB Antoine Cason, who looks like he’ll be a good player, but seemed to be less of a need pick at the time. Now the Chargers are left trying to fill a couple D-Line positions with career journeymen. Is it any wonder they are struggling to stop the run?

3. The Approach Has Become Stale
It is not uncommon for coaches to feel as if they are no longer reaching the players on their team after ten years or so with the same team. Well, it hasn’t been nearly that long for Norv Turner, but it is reaching that amount of time for GM A.J. Smith. And under Smith, the approach has been the same. Bring in young talent, sign your core players long-term, but don’t at any cost overpay them, and only sign second-tier free agents who will make your team as backups or role players.

To be completely honest, I generally love this model. It has worked for some of the best franchises in the league, such as Pittsburgh, New England, Indianapolis, and perhaps you could include Philadelphia. But guess what? They’ve all at least been to a Super Bowl. The Chargers have not.

Players will buy into anything if it leads them to their ultimate goal. But when their ultimate goal is not being met, uneasiness and questioning begins to take place. You might say success breeds success, just as losing leads to more losing. In my opinion this has happened to the San Diego Chargers. You could see it in the First Quarter when both Tomlinson and Antonio Gates (both team leaders and core players) showed their frustration after a third down call on the goal-line.

Most people realize San Diego’s real leader is not Norv Turner. He is much more of a puppet to A.J. Smith. Turner is basically just a glorified Offensive Coordinator. Smith chose him after firing Marty Schottenheimer to keep the current offense (which again was smart), but also so he could choose his own defensive coordinator. Most organizations allow their head coach to make such a decision.

A.J. Smith is a wonderful talent evaluator, but he has worn out his welcome with his bold moves, most notably allowing Drew Brees to leave via Free Agency, although in hindsight it worked out okay because Rivers has developed nicely.
The bigger point is that the players know Norv Turner has no power, and therefore they do not respect him. And they do not respect A.J. Smith because he is a pompous, overbearing boss who is doing more than his job description entails.
If the Chargers have any chance at salvaging their season, Turner must retake hold of this team and their psyche. He must recommit to running the football, and find a way to get some production out of his lines, despite their lack of talent and size.
It is a tall order to say the least. It is unfortunate that Turner is in this position because he actually has done an okay job given the situation he’s been given. He’s fighting an uphill battle, and one very few coaching candidates now would want to be a part of. Truthfully, despite San Diego’s talent level, I would say the Chargers Head Coaching job has become one of the least attractive in the league because you are faced with A.J. Smith.
It is no secret what I think the biggest problem is in San Diego.

AFC South Wrap Up Week 6

                       AFC South Wrap Up Week 6
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
Houston 28 Cincinnati 17
In the NFL a lot of us try to find a reason why our team is not playing well. We all know they have to have certain components that work together and believe in each other. When the chips are down and they are not in sync all you need is a good quarterback to right the ship. Matt Schaub is becoming one of those quarterbacks. In a season where the job of the head coach and status of some players are in question, Schaub is maturing before our eyes. When his running game was not working he was just fabulous. He was 28-40 for 392 yards and four touchdowns with a passer rating of 124.2 with one interception. Andre Johnson caught eight passes for 135 yards and Owen Daniels had seven for 78 yards and two touchdowns. While Steve Slayton was held to 43 yards on the ground, he chipped in with 102 receiving yards on six catches, one for a touchdown. The defense was also huge in posting their third straight shutdown of the run game. Last week Cedric Benson ran wild on the Ravens but this week was held to 44 yards on 16 carries with a touchdown. In the past three weeks the run defense has given up 44, 45 and 46 yards respectively. They are playing lights out and are led by the likes of DeMeco Ryans (12 tackles), Brian Cushing (three forced turnovers, including a pick late). Next week they host the Niners and are looking to get to 2-2 at home.
Jacksonville 23 St. Louis 20
After getting stomped by Seattle 41-0 last week the Jags came back with a purpose. Maurice Jones-Drew ran a career-best 33 times for 133 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Sims-Walker was benched last week for curfew violation and came back with 120 receiving yards of his own. David Garrard looked sharp finishing 30-43 for 335 yards but he was picked off twice and sacked three times. It was said that Jones-Drew had expressed his displeasure with the play calling. So if he wanted the ball more he got it in a big way. At halftime he had only 11 yards but got 122 more in the second half. The Rams stayed in the game despite all that effort from Jacksonville as Marc Bulger was back after missing two weeks. He went 22-30 for 213 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Torry Holt was playing his first game against the Rams and had 101 yards receiving. Steven Jackson had 128 yards rushing and receiving. But in the end, it came down to a Josh Scobee field goal with eight minutes left, and the Jags found themselves at 3-3 with Houston. They must still play with more consistency because you cannot stay in playoff contention losing big one week and winning the next. What happened against the Seahawks and then the Rams happens all too often to this team and they must find a way to string a couple of consecutive wins together. 
New England 59 Tennessee 0
Yes sir you read that correctly. This was not a test or a rehearsal for the Titans. They showed the kind of ineptitude that has not been seen in this league In quite some time. Players were playing as if they were disinterested or were on the sidelines laughing It up with one another. The lack of pass coverage brings up questions about the coaching. Kerry Collins flat out stunk up the joint. Yes I know that receivers are dropping passes too but at some point It has to fall on the leader of the team. Collins was a miserable 2-12 for -7 yards folks. Chris Johnson actually had over 100 yards rushing but so what. They are dead last in scoring in the league with only 84 points. I mean the Pats got 59 in one game against them. The defense is faring no better and fans don’t want to hear that Haynesworth being gone makes that huge of a difference. Yes they have injuries in the secondary, but players are drafted to get the job done, and It just Isn’t happening. For the most part they have the same players from last year but you can’t tell watching blunder after blunder. Mistakes are a part of this teams makeup right now. They have no go to receiver and they cannot count on the running game as well. Now they have a quarterback controversy even if they didn’t want one. When do you find out if your $50 million dollar investment has anything to offer? Why not put Vince Young in now to see If he can Ignite your offense in some way. He may not be the answer long term but this would be the time to showcase him while giving him the starting job back he wants so badly. He Is scheduled to make over $14 million dollars next year and most would say that is not going to happen. The year Is shot now so take the chance because In the NFL you can suck In the first half and make a run in the second. Sure It may not get them into the playoffs but they need to find a way to win. This brings me to my last point about Jeff Fisher. I have been a fan of his since he was hired by the organization. He has earned his place and respect in Nashville but time is not on his side. Just this past week Owner Bud Adams gave him a vote of confidence, but It was for this season only. He said that he would not fire a coach in mid-season but has done it before. He and his coach have formed a bond and that has allowed Fisher to have control of this franchise unlike most NFL head coaches do. So If this ship Is sinking then he captain must take the blame now. He keeps talking about how well this team does In practice or how he believes In his players and coaches. Defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil Is looking like he Is In over his head and special teams are horrible. Changes are In need and fast in Nashville because fans won’t take It anymore . The Titans don’t want to end up like the Raiders with their well past over 80 owners calling all the shots. That’s why they hire these guys so they can get the job done and when they don’t Its time to get another.

NFC South Week 6 Wrap Up

                         NFC South Week 6 Wrap Up
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
  New Orleans 48 N.Y. Giants 27
Wow Is a word you might want to use when describing the Saints offense. Maybe you could use the words awesome or unstoppable. Well they were all that and more In a battle of two unbeaten powerhouses. When the dust settled It was the G-men looking for answers. Drew Brees was simply marvelous In the first half alone. He threw where he wanted to and to whomever he wanted to. His first touchdown pass was to Jeremy Shockey from 2 yards and I guess you could say It was Shockey’s hello to his former team. He would go on to throw three more and finished the day 23-30 for 369 yards and four touchdowns. The Saints were also stout on defense keeping Eli Manning off balance all day. When they had the lead the Giants still tried to run they shut that down. Their defense limited New York to just over 23 minutes in time of possession. They would not let the running game beat them even though they were playing a monster in running the football. The Giants just could not move the ball consistently so they were never able to keep up. Three different receivers had at least 70 yards receiving for New Orleans and they kept making the big play on the arm of Brees. At times when It looked like it might turn into a game the Giants would make another mistake. Pierre Thomas and Mike Bell ran with purpose and helped compliment the passing game. If the Saints can maintain a strong defense they will go deep into the playoffs with the offense they have.
Carolina 28 Tampa Bay 21
This was another chance for Carolina to win another game and for Jake Delhomme to play a better game. They got the win but Delhomme continued his struggles going 9-17 for 65 yards, one touchdown and TWO more interceptions. With no passing attack the Panthers tuned to their one two punch in the backfield. DeAngelo Williams ran 30 times for 152 yards, two touchdowns, and his running mate Jonathan Stewart added 110 on 17 touches. As for the Bucs, they had great special teams play and that was it. Sammie Stroughter ran a kickoff back 97 yards for one score and Tanard Jackson picked off Delhomme and ran it back 26 yards for another score. The offense was horrible as Josh Johnson fumbled five times but was lucky to lose only one. He went 11-17 for just 147 yards and his offense only got 245. So head coach Raheem Morris continues to look for his first win of his NFL coaching career.
Atlanta 21 Chicago 14
Here was a game that the Bears should have won If they just stayed away from inside the Falcon 10-yard line. They turned the ball over twice and were stopped on a fourth down try In the last minute of the game when they could have tied it. Jay Cutler had a good day with 300 yards In the air and two touchdowns but could not overcome the mistakes that should have made this an easy Bear win. Matt Forte was one of the culprits as he fumbled not once but twice from the one and veteran lineman Orlando Pace moved early on a fourth and one to make it fourth and six on a late drive where they could have tied it. Needless to say they could not convert. The game was full of defense as each took turns stopping the other. Michael Turner decided the game when he scored the winner from five yards with just over three minutes left but only got 30 yards on 13 carries and Matt Ryan could not fare much better. He threw for two touchdowns but also threw two picks as his team out gained the Falcons to no avail. It was the second straight year that they have played a thriller and the second time the Bears went down in defeat. The Falcons kept pace with New Orleans for the division lead staying only one game behind.  

Seven & Out – Week #6

Seven & Out – Week #6
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Associate Editor, Director of Scouting
PHILADELPHIA (FRO/BASN): Each week, the League confesses seven deadly whims; and we’re here to decipher the sins – from the wins…
But first, a tip of the hat to 7& reader Rob Daniels - who offered a significant aside to the question in last week’s column, “How many of Kurt Warner’s 50 300 yard games did he win?” Daniels said, “31 out of 50.”
You know, Rob – I can roll with that. Thirty – one up and nineteen down means Warner’s passing stats were integral to his team’s overall success, and not filler for some fantasy freak.
The holidays are coming, and I have your address, Rob. Rest assured Rasta Claus will send you something to put under the tree…
Today’s Menu:
New England quarterback TOM BRADY passed for 380 yards and ties a franchise record with six touchdown passes in the Patriots’ 59-0 win against Tennessee.  Brady threw five touchdowns in the second quarter and became the first quarterback in NFL history with five touchdown passes in a quarter.
(In all likelihood, Brady will also be the first QB to get bitch-slapped in the regular season the moment the opportunity presents itself. This ain’t the fuckin’ BCS! New England is up 45 – 0, yet they’re still throwing the ball, and Brady’s still in the game.
I’m all for whippin’ dat azz, but if Brady had wanted to show what a real leader looked like, he could’ve just audibled and ran the ball the whole second half. When you add the new pom-pom rule {don’t hurt my Tommy!} it further taints whatever accomplishments Brady had earned thanks to his cheatin’ ass head coach.
You’d think Belicheat’d know better by now, after having the Giants beat the shit out of his 18 – 1 ass! Showing up an opponent should have been a lesson learned, but noooooo!
Stay tuned, y’all; because what comes around…)   
Arizona quarterback KURT WARNER threw for 276 yards in the Cardinals’ 27-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.  Warner (30,032) surpassed 30,000 career passing yards in his 114th career game, tying Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO for the fewest number of games to accomplish the feat in NFL history.
(Kudos to Warner for this milestone, but does this make him a Hall of Famer? I’m slightly leaning to yes – but there are at least three who’d better be in Canton before Warner even entertains a thought: try Ken Andersen, Randall Cunningham and Ken Stabler.)
New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 369 yards in the Saints’ 48-27 win over the New York Giants.  Brees has passed for 15,310 yards in 53 games since joining the Saints in 2007, becoming the fastest quarterback to reach 15,000 passing yards with a team.  The previous mark was 56 games set by Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO (Miami) and MARC BULGER (St. Louis).
(It seems each week we find at least one bullshit stat – and when it comes to Brees, all of these fantasy foreplay numbers still hide the fact Brees is only 55-51 career as a starting quarterback; oh, and the last time Brees was 5-0 out the gate, the team ended up 8-8 – and out of the playoffs. As Eugene “Mercury” Morris would say, “Call me if you’re in my neighborhood” – come December.)  
New Orleans had seven different players score a touchdown against the New York Giants to improve to 5-0.  The Saints became the fourth team since 1970 to have seven different players score a rushing or receiving touchdown in a game.  The Seattle Seahawks (10/30/1977 vs. Buffalo Bills), Cincinnati Bengals (12/17/1989 vs. Houston Oilers) and Jacksonville Jaguars (12/23/2007 vs. Oakland) also accomplished the feat.
(I’ve a feeling the Saints are gonna need some of those points a couple months from now; especially away from the Dome Depot.)
Jacksonville wide receiver TORRY HOLT had five receptions for 101 yards in the Jaguars’ 23-20 overtime win against St. Louis.  Holt, who had 12,670 receiving yards in 10 seasons with the Rams, became the first player in NFL history to post 100 yards in his first game against a team for which he had at least 10,000 receiving yards. 
(Playing well – and winning – is the best revenge…)
Holt also reached 13,000 receiving yards (13,066) in his 164th career game, becoming the third-fastest to accomplish the feat.  Only JERRY RICE (154) and MARVIN HARRISON (162) reached 13,000 yards in fewer games. 
(Told you the brother was smooth- next stop, Canton.)
Minnesota quarterback BRETT FAVRE threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns in the Vikings’ 33-31 victory over Baltimore.  Favre has now passed for at least two touchdowns in 11 consecutive games at the Metrodome (eight with Green Bay, three with Minnesota), tied for the third-longest streak (JIM EVERETT, Anaheim Stadium, 1989-90) with the most consecutive games with multiple TD passes at one stadium. Favre (Lambeau Field, 1994-96) and KURT WARNER (Trans World Dome/Edward Jones Dome, 1999-2000) each had a streak of 12 games, the longest in NFL history.
(They say it’s better to be lucky than good; well if Minny is 8-0 at midseason, luck won’t have anything to do with it.)
Pittsburgh quarterback BEN ROETHLISBERGER led the Steelers to a 27-14 victory over Cleveland.  Roethlisberger has now won all 10 of his starts against the Browns and is only the second player since 1970 to win each of his first 10 regular-season starts against one team.  The last player to start 10-0 against one opponent was Pro Football Hall of Famer JOHN ELWAY (against New England).   
(Well, it’s a lot easier to lead your team to victory when the referees are as blind as fucking BATS! Even Stevie Wonder could see that was not a first down, but, then again, the Seattle Seahawks know about getting screwed by referees when playing against Roethlisberger and the Steelers. I’m still waiting for his ass to score that touchdown from the “Get Jerome ‘Bus’ Bettis a Ring” Super Bowl, let alone get the “first down” against Cleveland.
If I’m a Browns fan, especially after watching the first down farce magnified on the big screen, I’m even more insulted. {Sir, let me confirm your order:  That’s One Royal Screwing, Hold the KY – with a side of Disrespect; you wanna be fried with that?)
Always remember, gang – once the point is made, roll a seven – you crap out!

Giants Zone Out In The Big Breesey

Giants Zone Out In The Big Breesey

By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large Football Reporters Online

New Orleans is known as “The Big Easy,” but the football game played at The Superdome on Sunday was anything but trouble-free for the New York Giants, who were unable to stop one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks and the league’s most prolific offense, which scored touchdowns on its first four possessions and never looked back.

After three straight effortless weeks shutting down some of the league’s worst offenses (winning consecutive games against 0-6 Tampa Bay, 1-5 Kansas City, and 2-4 Oakland), the Giants’ two-deep zone defense was picked apart by New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees in a demoralizing 48-27 loss, ending the New York’s five game winning streak to begin the 2009 season.

The Saints, who are 5-0 for the first time since 1993, set the tone early with a game-opening 15-play, 70-yard drive, which consumed 7:41 off the clock. The drive ended with a 4th-and-1, over-the-top dive for a touchdown by running back Mike Bell, giving New Orleans a 7-0 lead before Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning, who was making his homecoming, could touch the ball for the first time. The 28-year-old Manning, who was born and raised for the first 18 years of his life in New Orleans, played for the first time in the building where is father Archie Manning quarterbacked the Saints from 1971-1982.

On that first drive, Brees was just getting started, completing 5 of 7 passes for 43 yards against the Giants’ very soft zone with its injury-depleted secondary, while also running for six yards and a first down on 3rd-and-3 from the Saints’ 37 on the game’s first series.

The Bell touchdown marked the fifth time in as many games that New Orleans scored on its first possession this season. The score also gave the Saints 31 points (most in the NFL) on opening drives this year, which surpassed the Giants’ 27 points on such drives. On the game’s next possession, New York’s streak of scoring on its first possession in its first five games came to an end when it managed just one first down before punting.

The next time Brees touched the ball, he threw six straight passes, completing all of them, leading the Saints 80 yards in just 2:48, finding ex-Giant tight end Jeremy Shockey on a one-yard touchdown pass, putting New Orleans up, 14-0, with 2:11 left in the first quarter.

In less than 12 minutes, the Giants had already just about given up their average of 14.2 points per game (second only to Denver) coming into the contest.

At that point, Brees, who finished the game going 23-30 for 369 yards (his 32nd career 300-yard game), with four touchdowns and no turnovers, had already completed 11 of his first 13 passes for 123 yards against a Giants’ defense which entered the game ranked first in the league both overall (allowing 210.6 total yards per game) and against the pass (giving up just 104.8 passing yards per game).

The Saints led by double digits the rest of the way, in what was supposed to be a Bayou showdown between arguably the top two teams in the NFL entering Week 6, although the Giants briefly showed signs in the first half of getting back in the game.

After the Saints’ second touchdown, Domenic Hixon returned the ensuing kickoff 45 yards to midfield, but New York could only move 19 yards to the New Orleans 31 yard-line, for a Lawrence Tynes 49-yard field goal, to pull to within 14-3 with three seconds left in the first quarter.

The second quarter featured a scoring explosion. The Giants scored a pair of touchdowns, but allowed another three, and trailed 34-17 by halftime.

After Tynes’ field goal, it took the Saints just four plays and 2:20 to go 57 yards and take a 20-3 lead (the PAT was missed) on a 36-yard toss from Brees to wide receiver Robert Meacham.

The Giants responded though, taking the next possession 9 plays and 73 yards in 4:59, closing to within 20-10 on running back Ahmad Bradshaw’s 10-yard touchdown run with 7:41 left in the first half. The game nearly got away earlier on that drive when Saints’ safety Darren Sharper returned the ball for an apparent touchdown, but it was called back for a personal foul call on New Orleans linebackers Jonathan Vilma’s late hit on Manning.

The Saints struck right back on the next possession, however, going 5 plays and 61 yards in only 2:37, taking a 27-10 lead on a Brees 12-yard touchdown throw to Lance Moore. That scoring drive was aided by a very questionable 35-yard pass interference penalty on Giants’ cornerback Corey Webster who got his feet tangled with Saints’ receiver, former Hofstra star Marques Colston (games highs of 8 receptions and 166 yards), setting New Orleans up with a first down at the New York 12 yard-line.

Hixon again responded, returning the kickoff that followed, 68 yards to the Saints’ 37 yard-line. The Giants used the short field to score in just four plays, as Manning, who was held to just 14 of 31 for 178 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT on the day, threw his only touchdown pass of the game, a 15-yard strike to wide receiver Mario Manningham, who ripped the ball away from Sharper. The Giants were in the game, down 27-17, with 3:19 remaining in the half.

On the next possession, Brees and Colston again had their way with the Giants’ pass defense, connecting on consecutive hookups of 40 yards and then another 20 yards, to the New York 8 yard-line.

The Giants defense finally had what looked to be a momentum-changing moment though, stopping the Saints on a goal-line stand, as New Orleans running back Pierre Thomas (game-high 72 yards on 15 carries) was stopped on 4th-and-1, on a surge led by Giants’ defensive end Osi Umenyiora.

After Manning completed an 18-yard pass to Manningham, he was sacked and fumbled. The Saints recovered at the Giants 8-yard line. Two plays later, running back Reggie Bush scored on an easy 7-yard touchdown run with just 9 seconds left in the half, to lead 34-17.

The Giants entered the locker room at halftime stunned, having allowed three more points in a single half than they had in any of their previous five games this season (they gave up 31 in a win at Dallas) and eight more points than they gave up in their previous three games, combined.

Brees completed the first half with a 157.7 passer rating, going a near-perfect 17 of 20 for 247 yards, 3 TD, and 0 INT. A huge part of the Giants’ inability to cover receivers downfield was their severe lack of pressure up front on the Saints’ quarterback. Brees wasn’t sacked and was hit just twice in the opening half, while New Orleans rolled up 315 yards of offense and scored touchdowns on five of 6 first-half possessions.

“I don’t know that we ever hit him,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said of Brees. “At this level, if you’re going to stop the pass, you’ve got to get pressure. You’ve got to force the quarterback not to throw it on his tempo.”

Which is exactly what Brees thought was the key to his success, saying “We wanted to really dictate the tempo of the game the whole way through. “Seven different guys scored touchdowns. That’s big. That’s the type of rhythm that, when you get in, you feel like you can call anything and it’s going to work.” It was the first time that seven different Saints scored in a game since November 2, 1969, at St. Louis.

After each team traded punts to start the third quarter, Manning was intercepted at the New Orleans 40 yard-line, prompting a frustrated Manning to slap Bradshaw on the shoulder pad and berate him for Bradshaw’s breakdown in pass blocking.

Brees and the Saints took advantage of the turnover, going 9 plays and 71 yards in 5:11, for Brees’ final touchdown of the day, a 12-yard touchdown pass to Colston with 4:10 left in the third quarter, giving New Orleans a 41-17 lead, effectively ending the Giants’ hopes.

The Giants had an early fourth-quarter touchdown pass after a great scrambling job by Manning nullified by a mysterious holding call. New York then settled for a 38-yard Tynes field goal, to trail 41-20.

New Orleans running back Heath Evans added a 2-yard touchdown run with 7:04 left and backup quarterback David Carr, in for Manning with the game out of reach, closed the scoring with a 37-yard throw to rookie wide receiver Hakeem Nicks (5 catches for 114 yards), who caught a touchdown pass for the third straight game.

New York will need to return to form defensively when it returns home next week to face another good quarterback, Arizona’s Kurt Warner, when the Giants host the Cardinals (3-2) at 8:20pm EST, on Sunday night, at Giants Stadium.


by TJ Rosenthal for Football Reporters Online (photo-Mark Sanchez by Rich O'Neil)

By losing to the struggling 1-4 Bills in OT  at home on Sunday, the Jets season came crashing down in a myriad of ways. They dropped their third straight and for the first time in 2009, fell out of first place. Mark Sanchez threw FIVE picks, leaving the Jets on eggshells as to how to handle him from here on In, and wondering If and when a benching to save the offense is worth considering. The Jets lost the heart and soul of the defense for the season when NG Kris Jenkins tore his ACL. A defense that only weeks ago was being heralded as the league's top ranked unit will now have to do it the rest of the way without one of the NFL's best run stoppers. A loss like this, after rushing for over 300 yards on the ground leaves you wondering as to whether the Jets can go out to Oakland and take care of the Raiders who were the leagues worst team before somehow beating the Eagles at home on Sunday. Who would've thought as the 3-0 Jets prepared for New Orleans, only a week away from acquiring the "missing piece" in Braylon Edwards, It could collapse so quickly. Only Jet fans would've thought that. We've seen it all before. Over and over and over. It's a movie that won't stop rewinding and playing itself all over again. Some call it the same old Jets. I just call It the Jets.

The real story of Sunday's swoon can be picked up with the Jets on top 13-3 and seemingly on cruise control. Thomas Jones had already broken off two giant runs of over 70 yards, one a TD. The Jets defense had sent Bills QB Trent Edwards off In an ambulance after suffering the 2nd concussion of his career. The cold and windy Meadowlands conditions made it hard to throw quick deep strikes. Midway Into the 3rd the Jets simply needed to move some chains, play some defense, and wait for a Bills mistake in order to gain a short field and put the game away: like good teams do. Instead, the Jets started creating a blooper reel worthy of a best short film nomination at the Cannes film festival next year. This allowed Buffalo back into a game they were out of.

After tying It 13-13 on a Lee Evans TD, The game remained tied until the final minutes. The Bills drove down,  wound the clock down and had a 47 yarder to win It into the wind on the last play. Yet K Rob Lindell missed it, forcing OT and a reprieve. In OT, both teams had chances on the other side of the 50, and threw them away. Both QBs trading interceptions before the Bills settled down and drove for the game winning FG. The game winner  by Lindell coming after Sanchez's mind boggling 5th pick, at the Bills 42 with 6:25 left. The Jets had a 49 yard FG attempt into the wind minutes before with Jay Feely (who nailed a fg Sunday to for a new Jet record) but punter Steve Weatherford bobbled the snap. A Dwight Lowry Int of backup Ryan Fitzpatrick thwarted the ensuing Bills drive before the fatal Sanchez pick gaveIit back to the Bills for the final time.

This loss was a sickening one for the Jets and a typical one for all those who follow Gang Green . How can a team lose when Jones rushed for 210 yards including a 71 yard TD run? Leon Washington even added 99 yards on the ground In the loss.  That's over 300 yards on the ground. Prized acquisition Edwards managed only 3 catches for 40 yards. Buffalo, a team that managed only a FG the week before in a loss at home to putrid Cleveland somehow found a way with a backup QB, In the winter conditions, to get It done.

 To keep pace in a division with Tom Brady, these games must become wins for the Jets. They don't need to be 59-0 wins like the Pats gave their faithful on Sunday against hopeless Tennessee, but they must be games won by taking control and keeping the pedal to the metal. Maybe the Jets don't have the talent that the fans thought they had. Maybe Mark Sanchez Is not ready to start in the NFL. Maybe Rex Ryan does not come gift wrapped and ready, and still has some learning to do. These unanswered questions are not a form of panic. They are the result of going out against a Buffalo team that can't score , whose coach Dick Jauron Is on the hot seat, whose defense is missing key starters, and blowing a 10 point second half lead at home..

"By no means is it over," Bart Scott said after the loss. "There are a lot of teams having this conversation and they're 0-6 and they know realistically they can't win. We are who we are. We're a 3-3 team.. at the crossroads. We have to go to the West Coast and lay a tough game. We haven't earned the right to say games are easy. All games are going to be tough. We have to go out there and get it fixed."
 Scott Is on the mark when he says it's not over. Yet the truth Is this season can go one of two ways from here. Jet fans know the path to the way things usually go from here, downhill with the speed of an an avalanche. Whichever way It goes, It will do so without Jenkins. Let's see If Rex Ryan can instead carve a brighter direction for a franchise that can never, ever, even for a split second, enjoy prosperity. A team that consistently blows the must win games.  An organization that regardless of the talent that is brought in, invents ways to lose during the few seasons that actually offer hope. Hope that more often than not , turns to a glimmer of promise, before crashing and imploding on the landing pad. 


Jet defense needs to rebound: Miami was a disaster:

 The wildcat and Chad Henne had their way. Sunday the Jets couldn't shut down Ryan Fitzpatrick. This after knocking out starting QB Trent Edwards. Fitzpatrick made key throws and moved the chains with his feet as well

Dustin Keller vs Bills LB:

In windy Giants stadium (the Jets are the only franchise on Earth that plays home games in another teams stadium) Keller was the key. The safety valve. The one guy that could provide Sanchez with a rhythm that would extend into confidence. Instead the double digit targets to Keller amounted to two catches. Awful day between the two. Poor communication. These two need to play catch outside In a windy parking lot and forget about cozy Florham Park. This ain't sunny Los Angeles Mark.
The conditions only worsen as the calendar moves to the winter months. 

Lee Evans and Roscoe Parrish vs Jets secondary:

 The Bills have two speedy WR to go along with Terrell Owens. Shut them down and the Bills are, well, the 2009 Bills. Driving towards FGs. Sunday Evans got loose for the first time all season to tie the score. His first productive game all year. Unable to keep them under warps, the Jets ended up in a 13-13 tie late third quarter after controlling the game all day.

Visit the new Zennie62.com

Zennie62 blog net

Google Analytics Alternative