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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“FRO’s Favorite Five” Frankie’s Favorite Fantasy Picks Week 4

“FRO’s Favorite Five”
Frankie’s Favorite Fantasy Picks
Week 4
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.

Jets Titans Recap-By T.J.Rosenthal contributing writer Football Reporters Online

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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AFC South Wrap Up Week 3

                                                     AFC South Wrap Up Week 3
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
New York Jets 24 Tennessee 17
If they thought they could not find another way to lose the Titans were wrong. Once again it was special teams that killed their hopes of win number one this year. They are now 0-3 and history shows that teams that start 0-3 do not make the playoff too often. Rookie Ryan Mouton was back in action and I would bet he wishes he had another week to heal up. He fumbled a kickoff and a punt and the Jets scored touchdowns on both errors. The first one helped put the Jets up 14-0 early and the second put them ahead to stay. Now head coach Jeff Fisher is taking a bunch of questions as to why he kept his faith in the rookie. The secondary is also thinner after Vincent Fuller broke his right arm on a heck of a collision.  Quarterback Kerry Collins could not complete a pass in the late stages of the fourth quarter. He has accepted full responsibility for his play but did not get help from his receivers. He was also under a lot of pressure from the Jets defense as they forced him to hurry throws and hit him several times. He finished 15-37 for 170 yards and a quarterback rating of 41.5. Fisher announced that there will be no changes in the lineup despite the 0-3 start. Running back Chris Johnson ran for 97 yards on 22 carries but did not score. They did better on defense this week as they held the Jets to 229 total yards but made rookie Mark Sanchez look good especially on third down. They had four turnovers with the Mouton fumbles and two interceptions by Collins. They are now in a hole that is very hard to get out of in the NFL. They will have to address the return game and maybe get some help in the secondary. During the off season they did not re-sign Chris Carr because they could not promise him time in the secondary and they could sure use him now. There is much work to do if the Titans stand any chance of making the playoffs. It is rare after a 0-3 start but it can be done.
Jacksonville 31 Houston 24
After one of the biggest wins in franchise history last week the Texans were looking to keep that feel good feeling they had. Instead they ran into Maurice Jones-Drew who had a big day. He had his first 100-yard game of the year running for 119 yards and three touchdowns. The Jags ran for 184 and that was the third straight opponent with over 180 yards on the ground against the Texans. It was especially heartbreaking when QB Matt Schaub went 26-35 for 300 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. The touchdowns all came in the first half though and he could not produce after that.  But Drew was a one man wrecking crew on this day and the Texans find themselves at 1-2 and back to the drawing board. Houston had there chances to stay in the game and failed to make it count when Chris Brown fumbled the ball at the goal line and the Jags got it back. Another chance happened when Dunta Robinson forced a fumble but the Texans went three and out to blow another opportunity. Mistake after mistake cost them so when in the third quarter LB Brian Cushing had a late hit penalty and it cost the Texans when Jacksonville scored off the penalty. Each team is now 1-2 and two games behind division leader Indianapolis.
Indianapolis 31 Arizona 10
 If there were any questions regarding Peyton Manning they were answered Sunday as he went 24-35 for 379 yards and four touchdowns. He appeared to make the right call every time as he moved Indy up and down the filed against a weak Cardinals defense. The Colts gained a total of 505 yards of offense and on defense gave Kurt Warner fits all day long. Indy also got two turnovers deep in their territory to stop Arizona drives. The Colts defense also rebounded against the run allowing only 24 yards on 12 tries to the Cards. The offense is moving crisply behind Manning and the Colts are all alone atop the AFC South at 3-0 with no one in their sights at this time. Looks like the Manning brothers like it in Arizona as Peyton won on his first trip there and brother Eli won the Super Bowl here.

NFC South Week 3 wrap up

                         NFC South Week 3
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
 New England 26 Atlanta 10
 It was one of those dreary days in Massachusetts and each team was looking for a 3-0 start. Things turned out the way of the Patriots as they held the ball for almost 40 minutes. Tom Brady was 25-42 for 277 yards and a touchdown and Fred Taylor scored once while rushing for 105 yards on 21 carries. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski chipped in with four field goals of his own and the Falcons never threatened. The Patriots defense did a good job of holding down the Falcon running game as Michael Turner got 56 yards and the team had a total of 58 yards on the ground. Still the Pats have to work on finishing a drive to get more points on the board. The have to be more effective in the red zone. Brady was able to cut down on his two game average of 50 passes a game and hand it off to Taylor. The Patriots continue to show faith in running backs that have done their time elsewhere only to come to New England and continue to excel. On the other side of the ball the Falcons offense just didn’t have enough time with the ball. They came in with confidence and were shut down. Matt Ryan could not get on track and finished 17 of 28 for 199 yards but no touchdowns. TE Tony Gonzalez was held to one catch which was one more than the Patriots planned on letting him get. The defense could not stop the Pats until it was too late on the drives that ended up in field goals.
New Orleans 27 Buffalo 7
They came to Orchard Park to see their beloved Bills but they also came to see if Drew Brees was the real deal. What they saw was a Saints defense that held Terrell Owens without a catch and held the Bills without a first down on their last five possessions. Owens was his old self missing an opportunity in the first half when he was wide open down the right sideline. QB Trent Edwards went 20-35 but could only manage 156 yards in the air. The offense could not score so they had to rely on a trick play off a fake field goal to get a touchdown. As for Brees, he ended his streak of 22 straight games with at least 200 yards passing and another of 12 straight games with a touchdown pass. He also fell short of the record for most touchdown passes in the first three games (11) and has nine. The game was not decided until the fourth quarter when running back Pierre Thomas scored twice and John Carney kicked a 35-yard field goal to cap a 17-point barrage. The Saints defense held the Bills to 235 yards of offense and forced them to punt nine times. Now the Saints find themselves at 3-0 on a day where Brees was normal for a day. If they can play with this kind of defensive intensity and Brees can be his usual self the rest of the league will have to take notice of the South front-runners.
New York Giants 24 Tampa Bay 0
Defense was the name of the game here. It told how bad the Bucs offense is as well as their defense. The Giants marched 80 yards on 12 plays capped by a six-yard Brandon Jacobs’s touchdown. The touchdown may not have happened if the Bucs could have held on to one of two interceptions they almost had. They fell behind 14-0 by the half just like they fell behind to Buffalo last week. The offense was horrendous in getting just 86 yards total. Yes, that’s would be under 100 yards of offense. They did not have a first down until late in the third quarter and about 50 of those yards came after Byron Leftwich was pulled. The defense allowed the Giants to kill the clock and score on offense as they had three long drives that ended in touchdowns. Second year backup Josh Johnson replaced Leftwich and at least moved the offense a bit more. Leftwich finished a miserable day going 7-16 for 22 yards. The Bucs are bad and they know it. Head coach Raheem Morris is going to have to make some major changes and now.
Dallas 21 Carolina 7
The second game at the Taj McJerry went a little better for the Cowboys. The defense came through with turnovers and big plays. They kept Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme struggling as he threw two more interceptions. DeAngelo Williams could not come through getting only 64 ineffective yards on just 11 carries. Delhomme’s bad luck continued when Terrence Newman picked him off and ran it back 27 yards for the score in the fourth quarter. He was also sacked twice in the quarter as well. Newman had a great day as he shadowed Carolina star receiver Steve Smith all game long. Smith managed just 38 yards on four catches. They allowed the Cowboys to dominate the line of scrimmage, as Williams could find no room to break one. Still the score was 7-0 Carolina at the half and the Panthers went into the locker room with hope for a better second half. It didn’t work out that way as they got a measly 96 yards of offense and just five more first downs the rest of the way.  The Panthers had so many chances to make this a game but they continue to struggle on offense. They are playing without confidence and with no sense of urgency. Delhomme plays as if he has forgotten what got him here. They now sit at 0-3 with nowhere to go but up. Or could it get any worse in Carolina?

Detroit Lions Fan Gone Wild video shows how men can hate women

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This video, called "Detroit Lions Fan Gone Wild", is the most popular video on YouTube today. It's also a massive shame. The video, created Sunday at the Detroit Lions game against the Washington Redskins, and where the Lions won their first game, shows just how men can hate women and in this case get away with it.

Look at the video here:

It shows a woman, a Lions fan by the jersey, and yes drunk and with her female friend, in an argument with another Lions fan who's a man. I can't hear what's being said clearly at first. But what bothers me is the man calls her names like a "dumb b___" and people laugh at her, again all men, one of which also says the same thing to her.


Then the police show up and even as they're talking, the man still makes offensive comments to her and the police end up taking her off in handcuffs.

Publicly drunk? Yes? But hey the guy was out of line for talking to a woman like that. In fact, all of the men were.

Is this where we've come to as a society? Where there are no gentleman and its ok to treat a woman like that? I believe had the man stopped talking to her in the abusive way he was, she would have calmed down. But he kept egging her on.

What do you think?

Take my poll below:

More fun polls on pollsb.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

Seven & Out By Michael – Louis Ingram Associate Editor/Director of scouting services-Football Reporters Online

Seven & Out
By Michael – Louis Ingram Associate Editor/Director of scouting services-Football Reporters Online
PHILADELPHIA (BASN): Each week the National Football League puts their significant moments on display. “Seven from Sunday” may focus on highlights, but there are some other considerations that may put a damper on the big picture…
Here, according to the NFL’s league office, are the highlights from Week 3 – along with our responses:
• New York Jets rookie quarterback MARK SANCHEZ became the first rookie quarterback to start and win his team’s first three games of a season after leading the Jets to a 24-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans.
(Although the Jets are 3-0, Sanchez, who’s been called “Sanchize” by some members of the New York press, will be called a “spic” just as quick should the Jets hit a prolonged losing streak. Stay focused, Matt – we want you to do well, but keep that shit in perspective…)
• The New England Patriots, who defeated the Atlanta Falcons 26-10, have won 16 consecutive regular-season games against the NFC, the longest winning streak any team has posted against the opposite conference since the 1970 merger.
(It’s a lot easier to win games when you have a league protecting your ass in case you get a hangnail in the pocket, but I digress. I respect Tom Brady, but I wish the league would respect the greatness of Fred Taylor as well. The ex-Jacksonville Jaguar was a steal as a free-agent pickup and his 21 carry, 105 yards rushing was the real difference for the Patriots. It’s called balance; and Taylor, like Brady, belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.)
• Philadelphia quarterback KEVIN KOLB passed for 327 yards in the Eagles’ 34-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, his second consecutive 300-yard game.  Kolb became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 300 yards in each of his first two career starts. 
(This statistic belongs in the “big fucking deal” category. Kolb, who choked in prime time last season when Eagle management wanted to hand him the starting spot at quarterback, threw for almost 400 yards in his first start because he threw 3 interceptions; and was playing catch-up for the entire second half in their Week 2 loss to the New Orleans Saints! And he beat the Chiefs – a team that frankly they were supposed to beat! Let’s see some bona fide wins – as in when the Iggles have to play someone they need to beat instead of an inferior opponent. Knowing Kolb was hand-picked by Andy Reid, and Vick is continuing his ghettoization on the Wildcat plantation, Eagles’ fans need to pray for a speedy recovery for Donovan McNabb.)
• Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver-punt returner DE SEAN JACKSON had a 64-yard touchdown reception in the Eagles’ 34-14 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.  Jackson has now scored a touchdown of at least 60 yards in all three games and is the first player in NFL history with a 60+ yard TD in each of his team’s first three games of a season.
(While I am happy for young Mr. Jackson, I just want him to get across the goal line first before celebrating! And, now that you have had your moment, my brother, stay on the j-o-b and keep it crack-a-lackin’ – we’re gonna need you!)
• Minnesota rookie wide receiver-kick returner PERCY HARVIN had a 101-yard kickoff return touchdown in the Vikings’ 27-24 win over the San Francisco 49ers.  Harvin has now scored a touchdown in all three games and joins Dallas’ FELIX JONES (2008) as the only rookies in the past five years to score a touchdown in each of the first three games of a season.  
(A good start for the young man touted by many to be Offensive Rookie of the Year; but God only knows how many fantasy assholes are creaming in their pants because of Harvin!)
• Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver HINES WARD (10,022) recorded 82 receiving yards and joined the exclusive 10,000 receiving yards club.  Ward became only the fifth player in NFL history with 10,000 career receiving yards all with one team (Colts, MARVIN HARRISON; Seahawks, STEVE LARGENT; Cowboys, MICHAEL IRVIN; Broncos, ROD SMITH).  Ward, who has 818 career receptions, also became just the 21st player in NFL history to record 800 receptions and 10,000 receiving yards in a career. 
(The good news is Hines Ward is being further recognized as one of the most complete receivers in football; the bad news is Ward will continue the Steelers’ backlog of potential Hall of Famers. We already know L.C. Greenwood, Ernie Holmes and Donnie Shell should already be in – now Ward will have to wait along with Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, Dermontti Dawson, Jerome Bettis - and the band played on…)
• The 30-year age difference between head coaches TOM COUGHLIN (63) of the New York Giants and RAHEEM MORRIS (33) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers marks just the second time in the past 10 seasons that two head coaches have faced one another with a gap of at least 30 years.  The last time it happened was November 4, 2007 when JOE GIBBS (66) of the Washington Redskins faced ERIC MANGINI (36) of the New York Jets. 
(I would prefer to remember that the real difference between Raheem Morris and Tom Coughlin is that in spite of the age difference, Morris knows a little bit about football, unlike the mistake near the Lake and Cleveland’s long–term woes in selecting NFL Super Genius Eric Mangini. The league’s answer to Wile E. Coyote will have the Dawg Pound denizens gnawing on their own bones before mid-season. The Browns would’ve been better getting a head coach from the Acme Company!)
Always remember, once the first point is confirmed on the dice table, if you throw a seven…you crap out!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Oakland Raiders lose to Denver Broncos - lift The Blackout Rule!

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The Oakland Raiders lost horribly to the Denver Broncos 23 to 3 in a game where one had to ask "Where was everyone?" The game didn't sell out but I've never seen a Broncos - Raiders Coliseum contest where most of the third deck was empty.

I'm serious. It was that bad.

The official attendance count was 45,602 people in a stadium that can hold up to 65,000 people. That's 20,000 folks short of the madhouse level of fandamonium that normally goes with this contest and its all due to the economy.

It pretty much goes without saying or writing but the San Francisco Bay Area economy is in bad shape, along with the American economy. While the unemployment rate is officially over 12 percent statewide and about 10 percent nationwide, it's got to be worse than that in reality.

I've never seen a time where most of the people I talk to are looking for work, and its people who I'm used to seeing with money in their pockets. Does the NFL adjust to this?


The Blackout Rule was designed for a different time when America was rich. Not today. The idea of The Blackout Rule was to get people to go to the football games by causing sellouts, then televising them.

That's not happening today.

The Blackout Rule needs to be lifted otherwise the NFL will find itself with a whole bunch of pissed off television execs and NFL sponsors. Jay Mariotti of ESPN and AOL is right: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should lift the rule for now and the future because its not clear when this economy's going to get better.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Green” Zone troubles continue to haunt Big Blue-By Dr. Bill Chachkes Football Reporters Online

“Green” Zone troubles continue to haunt Big Blue-By Dr. Bill Chachkes Football Reporters Online
(Photo: Coach Tom Coughlin must continue to search for answers for the Giants lack of scoring Touchdowns inside the 20-By A.F. Chachkes for F.R.O.

It’s been an Issue since the last year or two of the Jim Fassel era. Every other team knows about It. The Giants have issues scoring 6 points from inside the 20yard line. Why?

They have so many players that can produce offensively that It’s sickening. They should be averaging over 35 points per game instead of 27. QB Eli Manning still has quality Receivers and Tight Ends to catch the ball. No one really misses Jeremy Shockey anymore either since Kevin Boss came into his own. So then why can’t Big Blue get more love inside the 20? With Steve Smith and Mario Manningham emerging as legitimate downfield threats, and the depth behind them beginning to contribute as well, we have to begin to look at the play calling.

If Offensive Coordinator Kevin Gilbride and QB coach Chris Palmer (who have both been coaching a very long time) have to know that they need better scoring production. Every other NFL defense knows Brandon Jacobs is coming on second and short and third and short situations. Like the playoff game last year, when Brandon Jacobs was pyle-driven to the ground on several short yardage situations, the entire free world knew when he was running between the Guards Sunday night.

If Eli would be allowed to freelance a few more play fakes every game the defenses would have to run a little less “8 men in the box” alignments and keep a few more defensive backs In the game on the short yardage situations. This would open up the corner routes and the crossing routes from the 25 yard line and in, and at least give the Giants a few more chances to score six instead of three points.

You can argue with me all you want that the Giants receivers are not that skilled yet, but Manningham looks like “White Shoes” Johnson when he “tight-ropes” up the side lines, and Smith runs a better down and in then Bobby Johnson ever did. Ok so Toomer and Burress were taller then most Receivers and Burress created mismatches everywhere he ran to on the field. But it was Toomer’s leadership ability that New York misses the most right now. But, the lack of a veteran presence in the Receiver corps has not stopped their growth as players. So again, why are the Giants only averaging 26 points per game?

I have come to the conclusion that It Is less an Issue with the players then it is with the play calling. Until the Giants diversify their Offensive Game plan to use all of their skill players equally, they will “telegraph” their every move to the opposing defenses, and you will see lots of scoring left on the field.

FRO's FAVORITE FIVE Top Five NFL Performances Week 2 by Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer-At Large, Football Reporters Online

Top Five NFL Performances
Week 2
by Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer-At Large, Football Reporters Online


The NFL can be a funny league. In their season opener, the Oakland Raiders likely should have won but let a game get away against San Diego. A week later, the Raiders probably should have been blown out in Kansas City, yet found a way to win late, despite being thoroughly dominated by the Chiefs. Consider some statistics… First Downs: 25-11, Chiefs; Rushing Yards: 173-67, Chiefs; Passing Yards: 236-99, Chiefs; Total Yards: 409-166, Chiefs; Time Of Possession: 38:39 to 21:21, Chiefs. Now, consider: Raiders’ quarterback Jamarcus Russell finished 7 of 24 for just 109 yards, only 4.5 yards per attempt, with a 46.0 passer rating. For more than 58 minutes, the Raiders scored just 6 points on a couple of field goals, and Russell was 3 for 17, for 42 yards on the afternoon. At this point, any reasonable football follower would be saying, “Come on, now, the Chiefs won easily, right?” Nope. In some sort of football wizardry, the Raiders managed to be within 10-6 when they got the ball at their own 31 yard-line with 2:30 to play. Despite three Raider penalties from that point, Russell went 4 for 7, for 67 yards, engineering a 9-play, 69-yard drive capped by a Darren McFadden 5-yard touchdown run with 1:07 left in the game, to give Oakland a most improbable 13-10 victory.


Entering the season, Cincinnati defensive end Antwan Odom recorded 15.5 career sacks in four years with the Tennessee Titans and one season with the Bengals. In 60 minutes against Green Bay, Odom had nearly one-third as many sacks, dominating the Green Bay Packers’ porous pass protection for a team record-tying five sacks in the Bengals’ 31-24 victory at Green Bay. Odom took advantage of Packers’ starting left tackle Chad Clifton’s injury. Odom had four of his five sacks after Clifton left the game. How good was Odom’s day? Well, consider that Odom, who leads the NFL with 7.0 total sacks, had more sacks on Sunday than any other player in the league has over the first two weeks combined.


Since two different running backs had outstanding games on Sunday, it was hard to pick just one without giving both their due. And, since this is technically FRO’s Favorite FIVE, let’s just divide the third best performance into a 3a and a 3b, starting first with Tennessee Titans’ running back Chris Johnson. Although it came in a Titans’ 34-31 loss to Houston, Johnson had a fantastic day as a dual threat, not only rushing for 197 yards on just 16 carries, for a 12.3 yards per carry average, but also catching 9 passes for 87 yards, finishing the day with 284 total yards. Okay, cue the special infomercial music… But wait, there’s more! Johnson also scored on three long touchdowns: Johnson’s 57-yard touchdown run gave the Titans a 7-0 first quarter lead; his 69-yard touchdown reception, also in the opening quarter, put Tennessee up 14-7; and his 91-yard touchdown burst up the middle of the field, gave Tennessee a 31-24 with 9:53 left in the third quarter. All worthy of perhaps the top spot on this list, except for the fact that there wasn’t much more after that. Those were Tennessee’s last points of the day as the Texans pretty much shut Johnson and the Titans’ offense down over almost the final 25 minutes of the game. Still, Johnson did more than enough over the first 35 minutes to be one of FRO’s top performances of the day.


Now for the other great rushing act on Sunday… When a running back runs for 159 yards in the NFL, he had a good day. When he does that on just two carries, taking one for a 79-yard first-quarter touchdown run to give his team a 10-0 lead, and another on the first play of the third quarter for an 80-yard touchdown to put his team up 20-10, and then he adds another 48 yards throughout the game, to finish with 207 yards on just 16 rushes, that’s an amazing day. That was 49ers’ running back Frank Gore’s day in first place San Francisco’s 23-10 victory over Seattle. Fueled mostly both those two big touchdown runs, Gore finished the game with an extremely efficient 12.9 yards per carry.


Whereas the Raiders’ magic trick was almost in spite of themselves, the Indianapolis Colts pulled off an opposite, yet even more amazing feat, making the most of the very limited time they had the ball. What odds would you give a team trying to win on the road on Monday Night Football if you knew that team would be given the ball for the equivalent of just one quarter to the home team’s three quarters with the ball? Well, maybe those odds would be better if you knew the road team was led on offense by Peyton Manning. The Miami Dolphins used their wildcat (actually, more of a slow, methodical pacing kitten) offense to run 84 plays to the Indianapolis Colts’ 35, while rushing for 239 yards and controlling the clock for 45:07 to the Colts’ mere 14:53. Holding the ball for two quarters less, while running 49 fewer plays? No problem for Manning and the Colts, who scored two fourth quarter touchdowns, to beat Miami 27-23, in an historic game in a few different ways. For Manning, it was the 37th time in his career that he led a comeback win in the fourth quarter or overtime. It was also his 119th career victory, moving him past the great Johnny Unitas and setting the franchise record for most wins by a Colts’ quarterback. But, perhaps most significant, and what makes the Colts’ win FRO’s second best moment in Week 2, was that the Colts possessed the ball for the least amount of time for a winning team since the NFL began keeping time of possession statistics in 1977. A football magic trick indeed.


We’ve seen many times how good Kurt Warner can be, but never as close to perfect as was in Jacksonville, in the Cardinals’ easy 31-17 victory on Sunday. Helping Arizona to a 31-3 third-quarter lead, Warner connected on his first 15 passes, en route to setting an NFL record for accuracy in a single game, completing 92.3 percent (24 of 26) of his throws for 243 yards, while throwing for two touchdowns and avoiding any interceptions or sacks. Warner didn’t complete a pass for more than 22 yards, but he spread the ball around to nine different receivers, six of those, for at least 13 yards apiece. Yet another way the former arena league star has etched his name into the NFL history books.

JETS FACE A TRAP GAME AS THE DESPERATE TITANS COME TO TOWN by TJ Rosenthal-Contributing Writer(Ny Jets Coverage) Football Reporters Online

by TJ Rosenthal-Contributing Writer(Ny Jets Coverage) Football Reporters Online

Few would've thought the biggest goal of the Jets in week 3 would be to avoid a let down. This for a club with a rookie Quarterback and a Defense whose star LB Calvin Pace is out until week 5 due to violating league policy. Yet avoiding a let down is exactly what the Jets must do this Sunday at home against the desperate 0-2 Tennessee Titans. Surprising wins at Houston and over hated rivals the New England Patriots have the Jets residing all alone in the AFC East Penthouse.

The Jets own the only defense in the NFL after two weeks that has not let up a touchdown yet. QB Mark Sanchez has shown in a small two game body of work, that he can make some big throws and not wilt under blitz packages and mope after mistakes. The Jets receivers corps led by TE Dustin Keller, and WR's Jerricho Cotchery, Chansi Stuckey, the biggest  Jet question mark going into opening day, has done a solid job holding onto throws and making the most of their opportunities.

 This has allowed the Jet running game of Thomas Jones and Leon Washington the chance to get going, which the duo have done, albeit after two slow starts in the first halves of both games. The story of this team can be summed up in one word though: Attitude. It's a word that past Jet teams could rarely be described as owning. The 69 Jets had it. The Sack Exchange Jets of 1981 had it. The 1998 Bill Parcells had it. Other than that? Hmmm... Rest assured however, the 2009 version, led by brash head coach Rex Ryan has plenty of it. 

The Jets so far this season have talked the talk and walked the walk. Even the recent controversy regarding tampering with unsigned 49ers WR Michael Crabtree has left us with yet another chest thumping Ryan quote. The son of former defensive guru and loudmouth himself, Buddy Ryan, called San Fran's charges that the Jets were up to no good,"ridiculous" adding that he "wished we were playing them." The fearlessness of the Ryan is permeating down to the players. They get the message.

 The Jets are 2-0 and in sole possession of first place in the AFC East today through a combo of Ryan's swagger, a punishing attacking defense led up front by LB Bard Scott, David Harris and run stopping king NG Kris Jenkins, and the  poise of the young Sanchez. Whether the club is ready to handle championship style consistency in taking on a hungry Titans squad remains to be seen. For this very reason, Sunday is a big early test for Gang Green.

Tennessee has had a rough start in '09. They first  lost a tough road game in OT, 13-10 to the World champion Steelers then fell to Houston 34-31 in week 2 despite RB Chris Johnsons' 197 yd 2TD performance.  Starting 0-2 for the franchise that was 13-3 and held home field advantage in 2008 (before a shocking playoff loss to the Rex Ryan led defense of the Ravens 13-10 in the divisional playoffs), was not part of the plan for coach Jeff Fisher; a well respected head coach who currently owns the longest tenure in one place in the NFL ( Fisher was head coach when the Titans were still the Houston Oilers back in 1994). For the Titans, week 3 is as close to a must win as there can be this early. Starting out 0-3 is a hole that is often to deep to dig out of.

Three keys to the game:

Jets NG Kris Jenkins vs Titans C Kevin Mawae

The former Jets center during the Bill Parcells era is the key to the Titans ground game. A ground game that saw Chris Johnson break a 91 yard TD run on his way to 197 yard performance against the Texans. Jenkins is a killer and is playing at a high level for such an early point in the season. If Johnson and bruiser Lendale White want to excel on Sunday, Mawae better be able to move Jenkins. If not , Titan QB Kerry Collins may be faced with the unenviable position of having to pick up third and longs against the free for all Ryan will surely be sending his way.

Jets pass protection against Titans pass rush:

The Titans have still not adjusted to the free agent loss of defensive line stud Albert Haynesworth. Yet the pass rush led by Kyle Vanden Bosch and veteran Javon Kearse can still cause havoc. The pass rush needs to be kept away from Sanchez by the gelling O line of D'Brickshaw Ferguson, Damien Moore, Nick Mangold and Alan Faneca. this in order to to allow Sanchez him time to find a receiving corps that has been a pleasant surprise. CB Cortland Finnegan is a tough physical shut down CB who makes plays on the ball so expect the Jets to stay away from his side if at all possible as well.

Rex Ryan vs complacency:

Championship teams win the TRAP games: games that occur after big, tough, emotional wins. Rex Ryan has a tough task in keeping the energy high for a franchise that historically, can't enjoy prosperity. So many times under so many coaches , the Jets have taken their foot off the gas at the wrong time. As desperate as the Titans are, if Johnson can be contained, it could be a field day for the Jets defense on Collins. He's a solid veteran quarterback with an improved receivers corps in speedy Nate Washington Rutgers rookie Kenny Britt, to go along with Justin Gage, but Collins is no Tom Brady. Pressure that produced hurries and inaccurate throws from Tom Terrific last week,  will turn into sacks and turnovers this wee.k As long as the Jets can stay motivated like they have been these past two weeks. Sunday is a Trap game for the undefeated Jets, one of the early surprise teams in the NFL in 2009.

Under A New Direction, Are The Jets About To Soar? By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large-Football Reporters Online

Under A New Direction, Are The Jets About To Soar? By Jon Wagner-Sr. Writer at Large-Football Reporters Online
(Photo-Jets Superfan Captain Jet HAs Plenty to be happy about these days-Photo by A.F. Chachkes for F.R.O.

New York Jets fans have waited patiently for a long time –- through the past 40 seasons to be exact –- for a chance at another Super Bowl title, ever since Broadway Joe and his Jets fulfilled Joe Namath’s guaranteed upset of the powerhouse Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Since then, the Jets at times, after failing to produce a single winning season throughout the 1970’s, have had some flashes of success: four playoff appearances in the 1980’s, a couple more in the 1990’s, and four more in a span of six years, between 2001 and 2006. There were also the division championships in 1998 and 2002, and the Jets’ last appearance in a conference championship game in 1998.

Over that time, the Jets, a few times, thought they had the leadership they needed to eventually produce more championships. There was the attempt of pairing Bruce Coslet with Boomer Esiason after the two shared success together in Cincinnati. The Bill Parcells and Vinny Testeverde era then gave some hope, as did the Chad Pennington seasons which followed. And finally, there was the Eric Mangini and Brett Favre union, which through eleven games last season, had Jet fans talking realistically about an NFL championship –- that is, until it all fell apart over the Jets’ final five games of the 2008 season, leading to the Jets going in yet another direction with both their head coach and quarterback.

And still, no other Super Bowls for the Jets since that famed game in 1969.

So, it’s with trepidation that only two games into the Jets’ latest head coach/quarterback era, that Jet fans are ready to say that the leadership of current head coach Rex Ryan and Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez will become the magic combination that ultimately produces what Jets fans have been seeking for the past four decades.

After all, when things looked good for a short while under Mangini, both Jet fans and the media alike tagged the Bill Belichick disciple with the “Man-genius” moniker. It wasn’t long before that label gave way to much less flattering names.

However, just one preseason and two regular season wins into 2009, there already appears to be a real future for the Jets. It may not be this year, or even next, but it seems as though the Jets are finally in good hands.

The NFL is a quarterback’s league and a head coach’s league, particularly when that head coach understands how to win with defense first.

Sure, there have been previous Super Bowl winners that had good, but not dominant defenses, and yes, there have been others that have won with only a mediocre quarterback. And, of course, it takes many different facets of a roster working together to be a champion in the NFL.

But, for the most part, championship-grade success in the NFL has been predicated on solid leadership at perhaps the two most key areas: the head coach and his quarterback.

Just ask the combination which has stood in the Jets’ way for years in the AFC East, the aforementioned Belichick and his field leader, Tom Brady –- which is why their loss on Sunday to the Jets’ with Ryan and Sanchez now at the helm, the first time New England lost to the Jets at the Meadowlands since 2000, could be symbolic of the future of the AFC East.

Sanchez hasn’t been spectacular by any stretch in his extremely young career thus far, but he’s already proven to be an adequate NFL starter with a lot of poise, a great work ethic, and perhaps a lot of talent and upside as well.
Ryan meanwhile, seems to really get it. In his short time in New York and as an NFL head coach, he’s already changed the culture of Jetville and ingratiated himself to the New York media and to long suffering Jet fans. That’s no easy task in your first full season, let alone just two weeks into that season. Most of all, Ryan has brought what wins, to New York –- tough, aggressive, hard-nosed, yet smart and efficient play, from his coordinator days with the Ravens in… ironically, Baltimore (given the city of the team the Jets beat for their only other Super Bowl title).

No one has a crystal ball. For the sake of Jets’ fans and the Jets’ franchise, it won’t take another 40 years before Jets capture that second championship, though we never know.

One thing though, already seems apparent. With the new Ryan-Sanchez era underway, Jet fans may be envisioning as bright a future for their team as they have since the last time the Jets won what their fans have been waiting for ever since.

Seymour Leads a New and Improved RaidersTeam By The Gambler [J.Gamble] Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online

Seymour Leads a New and Improved RaidersTeam
By The Gambler [J.Gamble] Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online
It’s hard to move on. It’s even harder when that move is from the Whitehouse to the Crazy House. Just ask former Pats Defensive Lineman Richard Seymour. On Sept. 6, Seymour, who spent the first eight years of his career with New England, was traded to what has been NFL abyss the past decade – The Oakland Raiders.
The move took Seymour by surprise. Sort of like those blindside hits he delivered on opposing quarterbacks as a Five-time Pro Bowler and key cog in The Patriots three Super Bowls. He never knew anything but winning. Loyalty.  Humble effectiveness. On-field leadership. All of the qualities it was reported the Raiders are lacking. Seymour must of felt like a friend of mine Sean Harris, an American citizen, who was recently taken from his fiancĂ©’ and daughter and illegally deported to Jamaica. Scared. Disgusted. Angry. Discarded like a sub-human.
“I didn't understand what was going on, Seymour said at a press conference at the Raiders headquarters. “ So it's like when something happens, you have to step back and realize what situation you're in."
 It’s understandable that he balked at the notion of going to Oakland. He probably even contemplated retirement for a moment. Seymour never expected his potential Hall of Fame football career with The Pats would end with him being pushed out the door foot-to-butt for a 2011 first –rounder.  Seymour claims personal family issues and a “procedural” issue with an NLPA grievance filed on his behalf, delayed his reporting to the Raiders. He says he called Al Davis and Tom Cable and told them he wanted to wear the silver and black.
Reports insist, however, that he was very unhappy with the trade. And who blames him? Geesh.  Talk about culture shock.
Oakland had to send a threatening letter insisting that he report within five days or risk being placed on the reserve/left squad list, which would stop Seymour from playing for any team in 2009, and consequently prevent him from achieving free agency until he played out his contract in 2010.
Then, all of  a sudden the wisdom of 1,000 sages hit Seymour, and he reported. Not really, but this is what happened. Once he came too and picked himself off of the floor, Seymour’s wife reminded him that there are still bills to be paid around here. Second, Seymour has always been a warrior and a leader.  He also loves the game of football. He realized there are worst things he could be doing than getting paid millions to pound quarterbacks heads into the dirt. Instead of letting the hard-feelings fester, Seymour is using his championship experience and locker room leadership to give Oakland the winning edge it has lacked.
“I’m aware of the [negative] things they say about the organization, "said Seymour, in a local radio interview, “I haven’t seen that.”
Tom Brady provided Seymour with a front-row view of  perfection at the QB position.  Seymour says new QB JaMarcus Russell has star-potential as well. “He has the qualities to be a leader,” said Seymour. “ He has an abundance of talent. But we know talent doesn’t get it done in this league.”
Seymour’s positive attitude resulted in two sacks and six tackles, nearly leading the Raiders to an opening-season win against the Chargers. Even in defeat, it was evident Seymour’s presence electrified a Raider defense that held LaDanian Tomlinson to 55 yards rushing and knocked him out of the game.
Since its Super Bowl run in 2002, Oakland has had the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 141.7 yards per game on the ground and 122 touchdowns rushing TD’s.
Seymour has altered those startlingly poor numbers with his boisterous play and subtle leadership. In Game 2 Oakland rode the back of its defense again, defeating Kansas City 13-10.  
This week Oakland looks forward to a big division game against Denver [2-0]. Oddly enough, people are giving the Raiders a shot in this game. Seymour and the gradual maturation of Russell are the reasons.
Seymour is the veteran leader who knows what it takes to win. Russell’s the young super-talented signal caller, looking for a coming-out-party location. The combo my equal signature victory for a down-trodden Oakland franchise, looking for a come up.
“The team has to be committed to winning and improving,” said Seymour. “ [If we do that ]… this is a team to be reckoned with.”

Is Kurt Warner Done? Hardly! By J.P. Fox-Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online

Is Kurt Warner Done? Hardly! By J.P. Fox-Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online

When Kurt Warner led the Arizona Cardinals to the playoffs with a 9-7 record last season, NBC’s Cris Collinsworth declared them the worst playoff team in the history of the NFL. The team had the 19th best defense in the NFL and they also held the title as the worst rush offense in the league, so who could really blame him? But, as we all know the story of Kurt Warner already, having him on your side certainly doesn’t hurt your chances in big games. Warner showed that all throughout the 2009 playoffs, leading Arizona to their first Super Bowl berth in franchise history. In doing so, he put the Arizona Cardinals on the map in the football world, and gave Cardinals fans the hope that they have deserved all throughout the teams history.

                The Cardinals had three 1,000 yard receivers last season in Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and Steve Breaston. And to aid the worst rush offense in the NFL, the team added Ohio State running back Chris “Beanie” Wells in the draft to a Tim Hightower-featured backfield and rid themselves of the aging Edgerrin James. But the whole offense will be dictated by the play of Kurt Warner. Warner put up huge numbers at the age of 37 and the team excelled in the playoffs as Warner capped the improbable playoff run by throwing four touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles en route to the Super Bowl. Even though he couldn’t lead the Cardinals to a Super Bowl victory, Warner is the franchise right now. No matter how old he is, the team will go as he goes.

As a free agent after the Super Bowl, Warner proved his loyalty to the franchise that gave him another shot by accepting less money from Arizona than from the San Francisco 49ers. Shortly after signing the two year contract extension, Warner had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip, something that bothered him at the end of last season. But with his hip now repaired, Warner is poised to lead the Cardinals back to the playoffs and even back to another Super Bowl.  Already having 3 Super Bowl appearances on his resume helps Warner in his Hall of Fame bid, and adding a fourth is certainly not out of reach. He proved he can lead an “average” team to his third.

Kicking off the season at home against the 49ers, Warner couldn’t lead Arizona to a win. He could only manage a 67.2 passer rating against a weak 49er defense. Warner also walked off the field holding the thumb on his throwing hand. Warner has been slowed by numerous injuries in his career but has always rebounded positively from them. And if his week two performance in Jacksonville is any indication of the near future, Warner doesn’t look like he is ready to slow down any time soon. With a 92.3% completion percentage, he broke the NFL’s single game record for that category, going 24 of 26. He focused on short to intermediate routes and was extremely accurate in doing so. It looked like the Kurt Warner that all football fans have been used to.

The Cardinals have the 27th most difficult schedule out of all NFL teams, which makes it very possible to win plenty of games, having only 5 of 16 games against playoff teams. Ridding themselves of Edgerrin James and adding the younger Beanie Wells should help the Arizona running game, which will take a lot of pressure off of Warner. Having the threesome of wide receivers that Arizona has only sets up Warner for success. If the defense can hold up and play decently, the running game can improve on last year’s statistics and the passing game can stay as lethal as last season, I believe that the Cardinals can win their division for a second straight season and make another run at a NFC title. But again, it all depends on Kurt Warner’s health and how productive he can be with all of the weapons he has. If he stays healthy and can stay on the field for a full 16 game season, something he’s done only 3 times in his career, the Cardinals will have a chance to make it back to back seasons in the playoffs for the first time since the 1974-1975 teams.

FRO's Results Rankings 2009 NFL Season Week2 By Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer At-Large-Football Reporters Online

FRO's Results Rankings
2009 NFL Season Week2
By Jon Wagner, Sr. Writer At-Large-Football Reporters Online

While there are many power rankings out there based as much on hype, expectations, and sometimes unrealized projections, at Football Reporters Online, we prefer to rank NFL teams on what's actually happened, taking into account only how teams have performed on the field and who they’ve played. At FRO, you won’t find yet another power ranking that doesn’t tell you much. Instead, here are FRO's Results Rankings:

Week 2

#1 NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 2-0 Last Week: #5
The Saints proved that it wasn’t just the level of competition (against Detroit) last week, as they throttled what is supposed to be a good defense in Philly. Drew Brees has thrown for 669 yards, 9 TD’s, and only 2 picks, while New Orleans’ 93 points is second only to the 1968 Oakland Raiders’ 95 points over the first two weeks of an NFL season.

#2 NEW YORK JETS 2-0 Last Week: #2
Opening on the road against a likely playoff contender, and playing against another team which still figures to be a Super Bowl contender, the Jets are the NFL’s only defense to not surrender a touchdown, while starting with a pair of impressive conference wins on the strength of an attacking defensive scheme which Rex Ryan brought over from Baltimore.

#3 NEW YORK GIANTS 2-0 Last Week: #9
The Giants continue to struggle in the red zone (or green zone, if you Tom Coughlin), but in spoiling the Dallas Palace debut, Eli Manning proved once again that he’s at his best in two-minute drills, and he may have found the numbers 1 and 2 options he was seeking in Mario Manningham and Steve Smith. Big Blue is sitting in good position heading to Tampa after already posting a couple of NFC East wins, one of them, on the road.

#4 BALTIMORE RAVENS 2-0 Last Week: #10
After a generally unimpressive win against the Chiefs at home (despite rolling up a franchise record 501 yards), the Ravens looked good in holding off a late “Charge” in San Diego to go 2-0. It says something about your team when you can travel out to the west coast, Phillip Rivers passes for a career-high 436 yards to your quarterback’s 190, and you can still win a fairly high-scoring game, 31-26. Baltimore may be more versatile in finding different ways to win, than their preseason blueprint for success originally suggested.

#5 MINNESOTA VIKINGS 2-0 Last Week: #6
The Vikings can thank the schedule maker for two easy road wins (at Cleveland, and at Detroit) to get out of the way before they unveil their Favre era at the dome they call home for the first time (in a game that counts). Still, Minnesota took care of business and won fairly easily for the second straight week, scoring 27 straight points in Detroit after spotting the Lions a 10-0 lead.

#6 ATLANTA FALCONS 2-0 Last Week: #7
The Falcons have taken advantage of beating up on a pair of 0-2 teams (Miami and Carolina) at home. Week 2 was already a little tougher than Week 1, but so far, Matt Ryan has picked up where he left off last year (in fact, he’s been a little better). Michael Turner got going against Carolina and future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez has already been a factor for Atlanta.

#7 SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 2-0 Last Week: #11
Staking an early claim as perhaps the team to supplant Arizona as the new team to beat in the AFC West, the Niners’ formula of tough, solid defense, and either QB Shaun Hill or RB Frank Gore making enough big plays, had them earning two wins against the only other real contenders in the division, including one on the defending AFC West champions’ home field.

#8 INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 2-0 Last Week: #17
Garcon… oh, Garcon? Could you please serve Peyton a 48-yard touchdown catch and give him his 37th game-winning comeback (in the fourth quarter or overtime), making him the Colts’ all-time winningest quarterback? Thank you, Garcon. Peyton should be giving you a big tip for that one. Indianapolis thus far, has been the protype of the fine line that is the NFL. If not for that late Peyton Manning-to-Pierre Garcon hookup, and a failed Jaguars two-point conversion a week earlier, the Colts might be looking at 0-2 instead of 2-0.

#9 DENVER BRONCOS 2-0 Last Week: #18
Really? The Denver Broncos at number 9? Like it says above, this list is based on results, not on November or December projections. Until they prove us wrong, it’s hard to knock the Broncos’ 2-0 start. Is Cleveland bad? Sure. Did Denver get a huge lucky play in the final seconds against Cincinnati? Absolutely. But, 2-0 is 2-0, and the Broncos are one of only nine undefeated NFL teams remaining (already, after just two weeks!), allowing a league-low 13 points. At this point, the Broncos might be wishing they can play all of their games against teams from the state of Ohio.

#10 DALLAS COWBOYS 1-1 Last Week: #8
Against the Giants, Tony Romo once again, proved he’s still far too mistake prone in big games before the Cowboys can be considered serious contenders in the NFC. Dallas now has it’s shiny new football museum to play in, but it may house mediocrity this year. On the plus side, any time you allow 450 yards off offense and still win by 13 (as Dallas did at Tampa Bay), or come within a last-second kick of beating an NFC Super Bowl contender (in the Giants) despite losing a turnover battle 4-0, it suggests there’s enough to your team to overcome your problems and win enough games later in the season to be in the playoff hunt.

#11 PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1-1 Last Week: #4
A pair of makeable fourth-quarter left hooks by the usually reliable Jeff Reed prevented the defending champs from starting 2-0 in Chicago, but the Steelers’ bigger issue is that they’re still having problems getting RB Willie Parker going. Until they do, they will sometimes struggle to score points –- of which they have only 27 in eight quarters and a few minutes of overtime thus far.

#12 BUFFALO BILLS 1-1 Last Week: #15
Buffalo should really be a surprising 2-0, but they couldn’t finish what they built for nearly a whole game in New England. However, the Bills got their first win, looking strong in a relatively easy bounceback win over winless Tampa Bay, behind RB Fred Jackson’s 163 yards on 28 carries.

#13 SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 1-1 Last Week: #16
Doesn’t it seem that the Chargers play close games every week, every year? They could easily be either 2-0 or 0-2 so far this season, so 1-1 is probably about right. The Chargers stole a game in Oakland despite being outplayed by the Raiders. On the flip side, they were in good position to rally past the Ravens late, but came up short thanks in part to a terrible play call. You run for 53 yards on 20 carries all day, your quarterback has a career-high 436 yards, and down 5, 4th-and-2, from your opponents’ 15 yard-line, in the final minute, you decide to run the ball up the middle only to get stuffed for a game-ending 5-yard loss by Ray Lewis? Really? Throw the ball there and you might be up closer to where the Ravens are, and they’re the ones down near number 13 on this list.

#14 CHICAGO BEARS 1-1 Last Week: #21
The Bears could easily be 2-0 with a tough schedule (at Green Bay, vs. Pittsburgh) so far. Cutler was solid against the Steelers (especially on a final game-winning drive) and this time, he avoided the mistakes (no picks against Pittsburgh) that he was prone to in Green Bay (4 INT’s). The Bears got a break with Reed’s two missed field goals, but they capitalized, and you can’t fault them for that. Good win after a gut-wrenching loss to the Cheeseheads.

#15 ARIZONA CARDINALS 1-1 Last Week: #22
Okay, so the Jaguars are bad, but a nice bounceback rout in Jacksonville, traveling to the east coast, after letting the opener get away at home, in the desert. Warner was nearly perfect against the Jags, setting an NFL record for accuracy against the hapless Jags.

#16 CINCINNATI BENGALS 1-1 Last Week: #27
Now, that was more like it. After a bad offensive performance against Denver, the Bengals scored as they were expected to this season, posting 31 on the Packers. Meanwhile, their defense repeatedly introduced Aaron Rodgers’ to the Green Bay turf.

#17 PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 1-1 Last Week: #1
No McNabb, no excuse. Donovan doesn’t play defense. The Eagles were ranked at the top of this list after their defensive dominance in Carolina. As good as the ‘D’ was there, that’s how bad it performed against New Orleans. Hence, the drop from the top spot all the way to a middle-of-the-pack number 17 ranking.

#18 HOUSTON TEXANS 1-1 Last Week: #30
Like several other 1-1 teams mentioned above, the Texans are another team to turn it around nicely after a horrid Week 1 effort. Houston was a trendy preaseason playoff pick this year, but an 0-2 start would have dealt a decent blow to that prediction. Not to worry… for now. After getting nothing against the Jets at home, Houston lit it up for 420 yards in Tennessee, getting Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson on track. The problem is, they also allowed 449 yards to the Titans, 240 on the ground –- something they’ll have to fix soon to stay a legit playoff contender.

#19 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1-1 Last Week: #3
The Seahawks quickly learned the difference between a joke divisional game at home against the Rams and a real AFC West game at first place San Francisco. Of course, losing QB Matt Hasselbeck to a fractured rib before halftime in Frisco, didn’t help.

#20 GREEN BAY PACKERS 1-1 Last Week: #12
High preseason hopes for the Packers and Aaron Rodgers have quickly given way to concern for a Green Bay team which is fortunate to not be 0-2. Rodgers, the Packers’ offensive line (10 sacks allowed), and their defense have all been less than impressive at different points over the first two weeks.

#21 TENNESSEE TITANS 0-2 Last Week: #13
The Titans, preseason Super Bowl challengers, suddenly face a must-win Week 3 situation against the resurgent Jets after opening with a pair of heartbreaking three-point losses. The Titans are doing some things right (especially RB Chris Johnson), but they couldn’t score much in Pittsburgh when their defense played well, and then, when they got the offense going, they couldn’t stop Houston from scoring. If the Titans can’t put it all together soon, Tennessee may quickly see very high expectations turn into a season of disappointment.

#22 NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 1-1 Last Week: #14
With a healthy Tom Brady back, the Patriots were supposed to be storming out of the gate. Not so fast. They’re lucky they’re not 0-2 both overall and within their own division. Only a late Buffalo collapse (you cold say, even just one Bill’s fumble) saved New England from that, before Brady and the Pats’ were then bashed and bullied by the Jets’ aggressive defense, in managing just three field goals at the Meadowlands, the first time in 37 games that New England failed to score a touchdown.

#23 WASHINGTON REDSKINS 1-1 Last Week: #24
Raise your hand if you’re breathing a huge sigh of relief after taking the Redskins in your knockout pool (official disclaimer: FRO does not officially condone gambling of any kind). When you win and you only go from number 24 to 23, you must have not been all that impressive. Bingo. After losing to the Giants, Washington evened their record, but in ugly fashion, failing to put the ball in the end zone in a weak 9-7 victory over a Rams team that got crushed by a team from a different Washington (as in the state, not D.C.) a week earlier.

#24 MIAMI DOLPHINS 0-2 Last Week: #29
How can you posses the ball for three quarters to your opponent’s one quarter and still lose at home on Monday Night Football? Ahh, the overhyped Wildcat. Successful? Yes, to a point. But, as Miami showed, when you’re not explosive, the wildcat can lead to very long, methodical, time-consuming drives that yield little on the scoreboard. The Dolphins were much better than they were in Atlanta, but the end result was the same.

#25 OAKLAND RAIDERS 1-1 Last Week: #20
Being far more impressive in a loss to San Diego than they were in a win in Kansas City, the Raiders actually go down 5 spots after their first victory. Somehow, after choking away a game they should have won at home against the Chargers, the Raiders managed to win a different divisional game on the road, in Kansas City, that they had no business winning. Oakland was thoroughly dominated by the Chiefs until Jamarcus Russell, who had been awful, put it together on one last drive to eek out a 13-10 win and get to 1-1.

#26 KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 0-2 Last Week: #23
The Chiefs hung in nicely in Baltimore without Matt Cassel, before ultimately losing by a couple of touchdowns, but how do you outgain a team 409-166 at home and lose 13-10? Somehow, a strong game produced an awful results, and the Chiefs deserve to be 0-2, and due to a strange scheduling quirk, that could become 0-6 if they’re not careful. Kansas City suddenly join the NFC East for the next month, playing a Philadelphia, hosting the Giants and Cowboys back-to-back, before traveling to Washington.

#27 JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 0-2 Last Week: #19
The Jaguars are only ranked up here instead of down near the bottom because they pushed the Colts to the brink in a 14-12 loss in Week 1. It has nothing to due with their poor game against the Cardinals in which they fell behind by four touchdowns and looked lost dealing with Kurt Warner, who picked them apart with the precision of some type of quarterback surgeon.

#28 ST.LOUS RAMS 0-2 Last Week: #32
The Rams climb out of the cellar with a much better effort in the nation’s capitol than they gave in Seattle, but a league-low seven (you know it’s low when it’s still grammatically correct to spell it out) points in two games is downright embarrassing. Marc Bulger is averaging just 4.9 yards per pass attempt. Ouch.

#29 CAROLINA PANTHERS 0-2 Last Week: #31
The Panthers are very much in the Titans’ boat, though they’ve looked worse so far, in getting there. Like Tennessee, Carolina was a popular pick to be a playoff contender to perhaps go far, before starting 0-2. And, like Tennessee (at, the Panthers also face a must-win Week 3 game on the road. It’s going to be tough to get that first victory with the Cowboys seeking their inaugural win at the Dallas Palace on Monday Night Football. Jake Delhomme took much better care of the football in Atlanta than he did against the Eagles, but the Panthers have allowed an alarming 66 points, be it due to their defense not performing up to expectations, or the offense giving opponents a short field.

#30 TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 0-2 Last Week: #25
34-21 loss to Dallas, 33-20 loss at Buffalo. See a pattern? Maybe a 32-19 loss to the Giants? The Bucs allowed 462 yards to the Cowboys and 438 yards to the Bills. That’s 450 per game, second only to Houston’s 455.5 yards allowed per game. Tampa Bay just doesn’t have the firepower offensively to keep up with numbers like that, so if they don’t start stopping the opposition at least a little bit, it’s going to be a long year.

#31 DETROIT LIONS 0-2 Last Week: #26
After getting smoked by Drew Brees and the Saints, the Lions looked good for about 25 minutes and had a surprising 10-0 lead on the Vikings before it all fell apart as Minnesota scored the next 27 points. Detroit has allowed a league-high 72 points. That’s not exactly the way you want to compliment your offense and your number one pick and quarterback as he learns on the job.

#32 CLEVELAND BROWNS 0-2 Last Week: #28
Other than a meaningless touchdown with 28 seconds left against Minnesota, the Browns offense has not been able to get the ball in the end zone. Their defense has kept them in both of their games by halftime, but both of those losses turned into second-half blowouts. Overall, the Browns, as a whole, have showed the least of any team over the season’s opening two weeks.

AFC South Week 2 By Rafael Garcia Sr. Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online Southeast Reg

                                                     AFC South Week 2
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer-Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
Houston 34 Tennessee 31
As the teams prepared for this game each knew that this would be a pivotal game. Yes it’s early but this was a divisional game and the team that won this one would take a big step forward and the loser a step back. Each team was trying to avoid going into a 0-2 hole and it was the Texans that came out the victor. It started well for the Titans as running back Chris Johnson scored twice in the first quarter. The first score was a beauty as the Titans were facing third and 19 and wondering what play to call. They decided on a draw and Johnson took it to the house showing his blazing speed. The next one was a thing of confusion, beauty and pure speed. Johnson was split wide left and noticed that no one was wide enough on defense. Kerry Collins noticed the same thing too and called a quick count snap. He got the ball to Johnson and with nobody near him he was off to the races. It was 14-7 and the Titans looked well on their way to a rout. No sooner than the second quarter started they were at it again. At the 12-minute mark Collins hit wide receiver Nate Washington from 8 yards out and it was 21-7 Tennessee. This is what the Texans were trying to avoid all week long. They talked about keeping their mistakes to a minimum and here they were in a hole helped out by their own mistakes. There was still time though and they had to decide if they were going to stand toe-to-toe with Tennessee or give in early. They chose to stand and fight and a great game ensued from there. Now it was Tennessee’s turn to make the mistakes that would eventually cost them the game. On their next drive Houston would close the gap. Titan cornerback Nick Harper and free safety Michael Griffin bit on the run and were burned by WR Andre Johnson’s 72-yard scoring catch. Just over a minute later QB Matt Schaub hit Jacoby Jones from 29 yards to tie the game. A field goal followed and the Texans had just scored 17 unanswered points to take their first lead of the game. Rob Bironas finished off the first half scoring tying the game with two seconds left in the half. So now the Texans had showed the Titans they could play with them. That they could push and shove back and not be intimidated by their long time foes. The third quarter would provide more drama when Chris Johnson took a handoff from the Titan nine and went left. Before you knew it he was in the open field and there was nobody that was going to catch him. 91 yards later he had scored his third touchdown of the game and it put his team up once again. Still Houston would not give in as they drove 65 yards on 11 plays to tie the game at 31-31. Now the stage was set for a dramatic finish between these two divisional teams.  After two punts by each team Houston got the ball with just over seven minutes left and moved the ball 63 yards on nine plays to take a 34-31 lead. There was still time left for Tennessee to tie or win the game. So with less than two minutes left Collins took the snap and felt the pressure coming. He took a step into the pocket to avoid Amobi Okoye’s rush and then inexplicably dropped the football. Defensive lineman Jeff Zgonina picked up the fumble and sealed the win for Houston. The Titans had their chance and gave it away but it was not the only reason they lost. The defense could not get the job done on this day. They allowed Schaub too much time to hit his receivers. He finished 25-39 for 357 yards and a career high four touchdown passes. Andre Johnson had 10 catches for 149 yards and two scores. This game showed that the Titans are adjusting to life without Albert Haynesworth. They do not have that run stopper and the secondary was unusually soft. They have plenty of work to do and going into a 0-2 hole in their division puts them seriously behind the eight ball. As for Houston, well it was a win but they cannot rest here. They must learn from their own mistakes as well. They allowed Johnson to run wild on them as he had 16 carries for 197 yards and added nine catches for 87 yards more. Kerry Collins was 21-33 for 216 yards and two touchdowns but his fumble late cost his team a chance for the win.
Arizona 31 Jacksonville 17
Last week the Jags had trouble playing a team within their division and this week they were at home and made it a record day for Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. He was 24-26 for 243 yards and two touchdowns, had a passer rating of 131.2 and completed a single-season record 92.3 % of his passes. The pass rush never showed up for the Jags and Warner took full advantage. He completed passes to nine different receivers and got help from Jacksonville when they had a field goal blocked and returned for a touchdown. On top of that Arizona was able to run as well averaging over four yards a carry. Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew had 13 carries for 66 yards and four catches for another 17. That will not get the job done when you give your star player only 17 touches for the game.  So the Jags start off 0-2 and will look for answers as they face Houston and Tennessee the next two weeks. Warner was able to throw right and left as well as short or long. He had no turnovers and was never sacked. The Cardinals had a 24-3 lead at the half and stretched it to four touchdowns later. As for the Jags, well let’s just say, they were awful. Quarterback David Garrard was in desperation mode most of the game. He was sacked four times and fumbled three other times. His line gave him little or no protection and players were blaming each other after the game. They must take responsibility one by one and as a whole. It will take so much more for them as coach Jack Del Rio find his hold on the job weakening. It’s early but time will not wait for the things this team needs to do to compete.
Indianapolis 27 Miami 23
Someone please explain to me how you lose a game in which you control the ball? A game you dominated for most of the night? The Miami Dolphins found a way to give a game away on Monday night. Everything was working to perfection starting with the Wildcat. Running back Ronnie Brown had a huge game as he found hole after hole to gain 136 yards on 24 carries to go with two scores. Quarterback Chad Pennington hit receivers to complement the running game. The Dolphins kept Peyton Manning and the Colts offense off the field for most of the game and yet they managed to win. If that was not enough Miami had the ball for just over 45 minutes and still could not win. One thing for sure this game shows that Manning still has what it takes to move his football team even with new weapons at his disposal. He showed that he could make the most of his opportunity even when his time on the field is limited. He turned two short passes into touchdowns with some heads up route running by TE Dallas Clark and wide receiver Pierre Garcon. The defense was on the field most of the game but when they needed to make a stop they made it. Manning finished 14-23 for 303 yards with two touchdowns, as he made the most of the few chances his offense got. So the Colts are 2-0 when they could be 0-2 with a few twists and turns. Either way they proved that their man behind center could still move an offense at will and it will take much more to knock Indy of its high horse.

NFC South Week 2 By Rafael Garcia Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online Southeast Region

                                    NFC South Week 2
By Rafael Garcia
Sr. Contributing Writer Football Reporters Online
Southeast Region
 Atlanta 28 Carolina 20
This was another one of those divisional games that would set the tone for the rest of the season. Panther quarterback Jake Delhomme had to regain his confidence and the Falcons were trying to start 2-0 for just the seventh time in team history. Falcon QB Matt Ryan got his team off to a good start and took his team into the locker room with a 21-13 lead at the half. He showed that he is maturing with each game and is starting to take control of the offense as opposed to managing it. He finished 21-27 for 220 yards three touchdowns and one pick. At one point he was so in the zone he completed 13 consecutive passes. It was also the first time in his young career that he threw for three scores in the first half. The Panthers were determined to stop running back Michael Turner but he still managed to get 105 yards on 28 carries. Meanwhile Delhomme got his groove back as he went 25-41 for 308 yards and one touchdown. His big mistake came with just over two minutes left in the game. Chris Houston intercepted his pass that was intended for Steve Smith and then with one last chance his hail mary was knocked away with time running out. So now the Falcons take their show to New England and a chance to put the Pats at 1-2. It will be a homecoming of sorts for Ryan who played his college ball at Boston College.
New Orleans 48 Philadelphia 22
Well so much for containing Saints quarterback Drew Brees. After throwing for six touchdowns last week Brees came back with another three. It resulted in another 40-point game for the Saints and another big win. He finished 25-34 for 311 yards with a pick. Brees showed that at this point he is the most prolific passer in the game right now. It was as if he could do whatever he wanted when he wanted to. He hit receivers across the middle and hit them long. The game was close enough in the first half as the Saints held a 17-13 lead. In the third quarter things opened up for the Saints when Ellis Hobbs fumbled the kickoff and Chris Reis recovered it at the Eagle 22. Two plays later it was 24-13 New Orleans. Scott Shanie picked off Philly quarterback Kevin Kolb on the next possession and that led to another score. Now it was 31 -13 just like that and the air was taken out of the Eagles. The questions about backup Kolb were answered for at least one Sunday as he went 31-51 for 391 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. With McNabb out again head coach Andy Reid will once again turn to Kolb to start next week. So the Saints take their highflying act to Buffalo next week and they do not look like they will be slowed down. Brees is hitting receivers on short passes and they are turning them into big gains. He is hitting his long passes with receivers in stride. The running game is working as well. Now the defense needs to step it up as they have shown that they can give up the big play too. If the “D” can pick it up this Saints team could go deep into the playoffs this year.
Buffalo 33 Tampa Bay 20
When the two teams took the field Sunday they looked evenly matched. By the end of the first quarter the Bucs appeared to be overmatched in this one. They allowed Bills running back Fred Jackson to scorch them for 163 yards on 28 carries as their front seven were consistently shoved back by the Bills offensive line. They let them get into a rhythm that produced 220 yards passing and 218 rushing. A balance they cannot allow if they wish to compete with the rest of the NFC South. Yet there was some good production by some in a losing effort. Quarterback Byron Leftwich wasn’t too bad in going 26-50 for 296 yards and three touchdowns. He did make mistakes as well throwing an interception to Donte Whitner who ran it back 76 yards for the score. He was forced to play catch up all day after his team fell behind 17-0 after just one quarter. The running game, that was so successful thus far, produced little to nothing. Cadillac Williams was held to nine yards and the team as a whole managed just 57 in a game dictated by the passing game. The defense gave up 438 yards of offense to Buffalo as Trent Edwards went down field more often than usual. With the game still in hand the Bucs let Terrell Owens get open for a 43-yard touchdown that sealed the win for Buffalo. Now the Bucs fall to 0-2 and find themselves in hole early in the year. Their defense must make their adjustments and Williams must get the running game in gear. Leftwich needs to look down the field a little more and not rely on the short pass as much.  Being in the same division as New Orleans and Atlanta does not give them a lot time to fix things. Next week they have the huge task of trying to stop the New York Giants run machine. A 0-3 hole looks likely if they cannot right this ship during the week.

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