Tag:New York Giants
Posted on: September 25, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: September 25, 2010 1:05 pm
 

Week 3 injury report & analysis - early games I

Titans @ Giants

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

DE

Jason Babin

ELBOW

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DT

Tony Brown

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

CB

Cortland Finnegan

THIGH

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Jacob Ford

KNEE

OUT

08/15/10

LB

Gerald McRath

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

LB

Chase Blackburn

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

TE

Kevin Boss

CONCUSSION

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Phillip Dillard

HAMSTRING

OUT

09/26/10

S

Michael Johnson

BACK

OUT

09/26/10

WR

Mario Manningham

ILLNESS

PROBABLE

09/26/10

C

Shaun O'Hara

ANKLE, ACHILLES

DOUBTFUL

09/26/10

CB

Aaron Ross

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Justin Tuck

SHOULDER

QUESTIONABLE


Michael Johnson helps the Giants D most by not playing – the guy has really struggled in coverage the past year and a half.
O’Hara’s leadership and grittiness would be sorely missed. His replacement, Adam Koets, is inexperienced, undersized and has spent most of his young career as a backup offensive tackle.

Brown is one of the quickest players off the snap in all of football. Ford brings length and athleticism on the edge as a pass-rusher, though the Titans can live without him. 


B
engals @ Panthers

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

DE

Jonathan Fanene

HAMSTRING

OUT

09/26/10

DT

Tank Johnson

TOE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

CB

Adam Jones

SHOULDER

DOUBTFUL

09/26/10

RB

Brian Leonard

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Antwan Odom

WRIST

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

WR

Terrell Owens

BACK

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Keith Rivers

FOOT

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Frostee Rucker

TOE

QUESTIONABLE

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

TE

Gary Barnidge

RIBS

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Tyler Brayton

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DE

Charles Johnson

CALF

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

WR

Brandon LaFell

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

DT

Louis Leonard

ELBOW

PROBABLE

09/26/10

T

Jeff Otah

KNEE

OUT

09/26/10

LB

Jordan Senn

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Steve Smith

THIGH

PROBABLE

Jones won’t be missed because the Panthers have such poor receiving depth.

Carolina needs Otah in the worst of ways. Even with DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, the team has just 208 yards rushing on the season. (Of course, it’s not like opponents have had to worry about getting burned through the air by Carolina’s passing attack). Still, Otah is the primary source of run-blocking power on the right side.

Steelers @ Buccaneers 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

QB

Dennis Dixon

KNEE

OUT

09/26/10

NT

Casey Hampton

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

G

Chris Kemoeatu

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

T

Max Starks

ANKLE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Hines Ward

CALF

PROBABLE

09/03/10

QB

Ben Roethlisberger

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

C

Jeff Faine

CALF

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

QB

Josh Freeman

RIGHT THUMB

PROBABLE

09/26/10

RB

Kareem Huggins

GROIN

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

LB

Niko Koutouvides

ANKLE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

CB

Myron Lewis

KNEE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

RB

Carnell Williams

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

TE

Kellen Winslow

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/22/10

DB

Tanard Jackson

Suspension

 

The Bucs are averaging barely over three yards per carry on the ground. Don’t expect them to get anywhere near that amount if Casey Hampton is back. Hampton outweighs center Jeff Faine by at least 60 pounds.


Bills @ Patriots

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

LB

Keith Ellison

KNEE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

S

Cary Harris

HAMSTRING

PROBABLE

09/26/10

G

Andy Levitre

NECK

PROBABLE

09/26/10

LB

Paul Posluszny

KNEE

OUT

08/20/10

TE

Shawn Nelson

Suspension

 

Date

Pos

Player

Injury

NFL Status

09/26/10

QB

Tom Brady

RIGHT SHOULDER

PROBABLE

09/26/10

WR

Taylor Price

ANKLE

QUESTIONABLE

09/26/10

RB

Fred Taylor

TOE

PROBABLE

09/26/10

CB

Terrence Wheatley

FOOT

OUT


Posluszny has been used at outside linebacker early this season, which goes to show how thin the Bills are in their pass-rush. Because of this, expect Buffalo to play a coverage-based defense against the New England offense and focus on stopping the run.

With Wheatley out, struggling corner Darius Butler gets to keep his starting job at least one more week.


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Posted on: September 23, 2010 4:50 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2010 9:07 am
 

Givin' Em the Business: Bearded, drunk & stupid

Givin Em the Business recognizes all the people that annoyed you from the week that was in football. Feel free to provide nominations either in the comments or by yelling at us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .

Rank Who Why

1

Braylon Edwards
Everyone's done stupid stuff in their life before. Sometimes drunk driving is among that stupid stuff. But that doesn't excuse this bearded clown hopping in a car -- with two teammates! -- and cruising around New York City -- a city with approximately 7,000,000 taxi cabs! -- absolutely lit up -- two times the legal limit! -- while ignoring the fact that his team is under a microscope -- and that they provide a taxi service for players! The best part was when he said he didn't think it caused a black eye for his team. /SMH

2

DirecTV
Full disclosure: I am a DirecTV customer. I love DirecTV almost as much as I hate Time Warner. I spend hundreds of dollars a month their way for excessive sports packages (and some movie action, but just about 25 percent worth, if the IRS happens to be reading). But the joke of a job they're doing with their online Sunday Ticket package makes AT&T look like a competent cell phone company.

3

Andy Reid
Hey, big guy, make up your freaking mind, m'kay? Look, sometimes I find myself sitting at the buffet line wondering whether I want the quickly cooked hot wings or the slow-cooked ribs. And then I think "OHHHH, I want BOTH." So I keep walking back and forth between the two, trying desperately to decide which it is I want, flipping back and forth a couple times, before I finally just decide to have both. Of course, that doesn't make me a bad person because I'm not making decisions about REAL PEOPLE.

4

Brandon Jacobs
The NFL is (in Jacobs' own words) a 'cutthroat business.' As such, if you lose some reps, get fired or treated poorly, well, you have to deal with it like a grown man. It seemed like Jacobs was going to do that the first time, when he merely stated how disappointed he was for himself. Now, he's suddenly throwing helmets into stands and not-actually demanding to get trades. Follow your own advice, Brandon, and act like a man.

5

Vincent Jackson
There's some sympathy to be had for a guy that deserves more money than he's making and only got hosed because the CBA got cancelled. But there's also something to be said to the guy who could have signed a multi-million dollar tender, played this year and then earned a fatty-fatterson contract next offseason. And that thing is, "SIGN THE DAMN CONTRACT, DUDE."

6

A.J. Smith
Of course, V-Jax isn't just at fault -- could Smith and the Chargers really not just have given him a little bump in pay? Or said, "you know what, forget it, we'll take a second- and a fourth-rounder in exchange from Minnesota." They don't need him, necessarily, but why on Earth you'd pass up that kind of draft bonus in 2011 or that kind of production in 2010 is beyond anything reasonable.

7

Albert Haynesworth
Well, this is getting repitive, isn't it? There's a good chance Haynesworth makes it here every week. The amazing thing about his appearance today, though, is the fact that he was inactive for his team's loss against the Texans on Sunday for "being a pain." And he very nearly became the first person ever to get put on the inactive list after the game. Either way, Haynesworth clearly can't get rid of his attitude problem, he clearly can't get along with coach Mike Shanahan, and he clearly needs to get traded so we can stop talking about this every week.

8

Jerry Jones
JERRAH. What is the deal with this calm reaction to an 0-2 start? Why ae you supporting the team and Wade Phillips and trying to act like you're not worried about the team slowly losing its grasp on a chance to win a Super Bowl in your brand new stadium?!? Come on, man! We want hellfire and brimstone and cooking Phillips' bacon cooking and a midseason coaching fire and Tony Romo benching and everything else that comes with a really angry Texas billionaire.

9

Matt Moore
The one thing that your team asks you to do, Mr. Moore, is to not turn the ball over. It also helps if you can not do so in the red zone as well. And really, anything slightly better than "Jake Delhomme" would satisfy the Panthers' fans and coaches. Yet, you're somehow worse. So now we all have to deal with the prospect that Jimmy Clausen could be good and Mel Kiper could be right. Also: all of our NBA blogger-as-a-quarterback jokes are dead . Thanks for nothing.

10

Icing the Kicker
No, this does NOT have to do with me losing one of my expert picks because Gary Kubiak out Mike Shanahan'd Mike Shanahan. It has to do with a ridiculous rule that shouldn't be in the NFL anymore. Look, it's okay to ice a kicker as the team is lining up and about to snap, but icing someone literally seconds before the snap happens and forcing the kick to go through is ridiculous. It's like standing next to someone who's putting on the 18th for their career low and screaming in their face, then giving them a mulligan and promising you'll be quiet. In other words, just annoying.

Posted on: September 22, 2010 9:40 pm
 

Fireman Ed charged with assault of Giants fan

Posted by Andy Benoit

Remember the incident between Fireman Ed and the Giants fan during the Jets-Giants preseason game earlier this year?

In a true testimonials to just how ridiculous the usually-great American legal system can get at times, Connor Orr of The Star Ledger reports that “Fireman Ed” Anzalone was charged with simple assault Wednesday.

In another testimonial to how ridiculous political correctness journalistic code can get, Orr was obligated to refer to Fireman Ed “allegedly shoving” the Giants fan (named Christopher Black).

There’s nothing to allege – Fireman Ed shoved the guy. And, anyone with half a brain would know that the incident is not worth a second thought.

Perhaps most pathetic of all this is how Black’s lawyer described the whole thing:

“My client walked to the front of his section and stood next to Fireman Ed to start a ‘Giants’ chant while fireman Ed was doing his ‘Jets’ chant,” Iler said. “Fireman Ed essentially turned and first shoved him down. And when Chris got back up, he started to chant ‘Giants Giants Giants’ again, (Ed) grabbed a helmet of some sort and shoved him down to the ground.”

Shoved him down to the ground? Sorry, but the ultimate judge – a YouTube clip – says that’s a lie.

It’s worth noting that Black was arrested shortly after this incident, which is equally ridiculous. Black is banned from the New Meadowlands Stadium. Fireman Ed was not punished (until Wednesday).

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Posted on: September 21, 2010 1:55 pm
Edited on: September 21, 2010 1:59 pm
 

Coughlin doesn't care what Jacobs says

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If Giants RB Brandon Jacobs is upset about being a backup, count coach Tom Coughlin as someone who’s not interested in hearing his opinion.

Jacobs Jacobs, after getting just four rushes for eight yards Sunday against the Colts, apparently requested a trade. Coughlin denied that was the case. But he also said that if Jacobs wants more playing time, he needs to act like it on the field.

"That's fine," Coughlin told reporters Monday, including the New York Daily News. "But there's a way to go about that. Go on the field and prove it. Talking about it and constantly bringing this up is not the answer. I know (reporters) enjoy that part of it, but that's not what it's about."

That’s right, it’s about flinging your helmet into the stands.

Oh wait, it’s not about that either.

It’s about wanting a trade, because Jacobs is upset about losing his starting spot to Ahmad Bradshaw, though that’s not likely to happen because Jacobs is in the middle of a $25 million contract. Or it’s about acting like a professional. 

A sample of how he’s NOT doing that. From the Daily News:

He apologized after the game (for the helmet-throwing incident), but when he was asked if he was taken out of the game for that incident, Jacobs cursed at a reporter. One week earlier, he had snapped at another reporter for asking if he and Bradshaw needed to put their egos aside to co-exist. And that came two weeks after he said "it's hard to stay positive" in a backup role.

Monday, all Jacobs would say was, "I ain't talking to nobody," as he hurried through the locker room, leaving teammates to deal with the fallout from his latest controversy. Bradshaw, as he hurried to his car, insisted that Jacobs "isn't looking to be traded. ... Something got out there that wasn't right. I don't think he at all meant that he was trying to go anywhere else."
Either way, Coughlin isn’t interested in hearing about Jacobs’ bitchfest any longer.

But I wonder if Coughlin will care what S Antrell Rolle has to say about the way New York prepared for its game with Indianapolis.

“Things have to change," Rolle ranted on WFAN this afternoon. "If you want a winning team. If you want a team that has a competitive attitude and to have that dog mentality sometimes you have to let that team be a dog. Everything can’t be controlled. And right now everything is controlled within this organization. Everything is controlled.”

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Posted on: September 21, 2010 11:09 am
 

Archie Manning talks Saints, Manning Bowl 2.0

Posted by Will Brinson

Today's podcast entry features a pretty timely guest: Archie Manning.

After all, his two sons just did metaphorical battle in Indianapolis on Sunday night and then last evening, his team, the New Orleans Saints, won their second close game of the year as they took down the 49ers in Candlestick Park.

So we talked to Archie about those two fairly large events, what he thinks about NFL coaches replacing quarterbacks after just two weeks how the looming lockout will effect the NFL in 2011, and his role with the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year (fun fact: they're giving away $1 million to two college teams that can manage to go an entire game without penalties combined).

Hit the play button to see what he has to say and don't forget to subscribe via iTunes .

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .


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Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:43 pm
 

New Meadowlands goes Giants-->Jets in a timelap

Posted by Will Brinson

It probably really stinks working at the New Meadowlands. After all, most stadium workers just have to implement ice, change into "concert setup" and then flop out for football once a week; it's not like there's ever two sets of football change-outs you have to worry about. Again, unless you're at the New Meadowlands.

Then you have to deal with changing from the Giants to the Jets. Fortunately, when you capture that transformation in a timelapse video, it's actually pretty awesome. Enjoy.

New Meadowlands Stadium Change Over Time-Lapse from Ken Friberg and Daniel Life on Vimeo .

Posted on: September 20, 2010 10:25 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 11:48 am
 

Report: Brandon Jacobs to request a trade

Posted by Andy Benoit

Vinny DiTrani of the Bergen Record says a source is telling him that Brandon Jacobs will meet with Giants management Monday and request a trade. B. Jacobs

The bulldozing 265-pound running back lost his starting job to Ahmad Bradshaw during training camp. The temperamental Jacobs has frequently butted heads with members of the New York media, and, reading between the lines, he seems to have an iffy relationship with the coaching staff.

Jacobs has not been an effective runner this season or all of last season. The Giants gave Jacobs a new contract worth $13 million in guarantees prior to last season.

If Jacobs does get dealt – and, given New York’s lack of running back depth, it’s highly unlikely he will – his last hurrah in Big Blue will have been the bizarre helmet in the stands incident (which, by the way, is a story likely to stick around this week).

Stay tuned.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Category: NFL
Posted on: September 20, 2010 3:20 am
Edited on: September 20, 2010 9:17 am
 

10 Sunday stories that deserve your attention

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. Too much Manning

This is not an objection to NBC’s heavy Manning Family coverage Sunday night. We’ve come to expect the Manning home videos and Olivia/Archie luxury box shots. And, let’s admit it, we like it. And credit NBC for not ramming too many “AndE. Manning (US Presswire) let’s not forget, Cooper is a successful human being, as well!” reminders down our throats.

In this case, the “too much Manning” headline has to do with the fact that both players were on the field deep into the fourth quarter. Why? Why play either star in garbage time?

For the Colts, backup quarterback Curtis Painter clearly needs extra work (word is he gets close to zero reps in practice). Why not work Painter? And why not rest Manning and protect him from injury?

Ditto this last sentiment for the Giants. In fact, given the beating Eli took Sunday night, ditto it in all caps: WHY NOT REST MANNING AND PROTECT HIM FROM INJURY!? The Giants offensive tackles couldn’t get a fingertip on Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis (each had two sacks and at least one forced fumble). Plus, backup Sage Rosenfels, acquired from Minnesota after the preseason, could benefit from some live game experience in Kevin Gilbride’s offense. So why keep Eli in there and risk injury?

You may be thinking that it doesn’t matter, the Manning brothers never get hurt anyway. Yes, and Tom Brady was once a player who never got hurt. Injuries are always a real possibility.

In fact, on that note, why do you think the NFL conveniently schedules these Manning Bowls for early in the season? (The 2006 Manning Bowl took place in Week 1.) The guess here is that the league knows that the deeper in the season the game is, the greater the possibility that one brother will be out with an injury.

2. Bad day to be a bad quarterback

There were plenty of quarterbacks who did receive the treatment that the Manning brothers should have received in the fourth quarter.

***Derek Anderson was benched late in Arizona’s blowout loss at Atlanta. Anderson was 17/31 for 161 yards and two interceptions. Backup Max Hall managed to complete two of his three pass attempts, though one of those completions went to Falcons fifth-round rookie cornerback Domonique Franks.

It’s likely that Anderson will be the starter against the Raiders in Week 3. It usually takes a head coach six or seven games to come to grips with the fact that they won’t be the one to solve Anderson’s accuracy woes. Hall’s name is more likely to surface in serious discussion around Halloween.

***Dennis Dixon left Pittsburgh’s win over Tennessee in the second quarter with a left knee injury. The Steelers have three different starting quarterback candidates next week (it’s like a Democratic primary election in Utah, and Ben Roethlisberger is the incumbent Republican candidate). Dixon is one option. Charlie Batch, who was 5/11, 25 yards Sunday is another. And third is Byron Leftwich, who was released earlier in the week but will be re-signed soon (if this was dating instead of football, Leftwich’s friends would be telling him he’s getting played by the Steelers).

Of course, if the Steelers are going to force seven turnovers and score a special teams touchdown each week, then maybe the man to start at quarterback should be whoever is best at taking a knee. That’s all this team seems to need from its offense right now. (For taking a knee, Batch is the best option, given that Dixon and Leftwich are both getting over knee injuries.)

***Sticking with the Steelers-Titans game, Jeff Fisher sat Vince Young late in the second half, citing the need to “get a spark” on offense. The Nashville crowd, forgetting last year’s 0-6 start, cheered Collins’ arrival, which means we get to spend the next few days once again wondering about Young’s psyche (If we’re lucky, he’ll publicly pout or get in trouble, which will allow us to also wonder about his maturity).

Don’t expect Jeff Fisher to wonder about Young’s psyche. “I wasn’t concerned, to be honest, about (Young’s) feelings at that point,’’ Fisher said afterwards when asked about the benching. “I was trying to win the football game.”

Young was a languid 7/10 for 66 yards with two interceptions and two fumbles (one lost). Fisher insists that Young is still the team’s starting quarterback (unless a certain hotheaded 87-year-old suddenly says otherwise). But how can a starting quarterback truly lead a team when the head coach has already tried to spark a comebacker by benching him? (By the way, thanks to an uncharacteristic soft zone defense from Pittsburgh late in the game, the Titans almost did mount a comeback.)

***Raiders head coach Tom Cable wanted to put a spark into his offense as well, so he pulled the covers off the ridiculous lie that Raider fans had somehow tricked everyone into believing: that Jason Campbell is a quality quarterback. The same problems that plagued Campbell in Washington – indecisiveness in the pocket, slow mechanics and a paralyzing fear of taking chances downfield – are, not surprisingly, plaguing him in Oakland. J. Campbell (US Presswire)

Trailing 7-3, Bruce Gradkowski opened the second half under center for the Raiders and led the offense to 13 points, pulling out a 16-14 win. Gradkowski’s numbers were fairly pedestrian – 11/22, 162 yards, a touchdown and a pick – but the Raider offense was markedly livelier under his direction.

Cable hasn’t committed to a Week 3 starter at this point, but it’s hard to imagine him not choosing Gradkowski. The other players love the veteran’s energy. Take a look at this thoughtful, though albeit somewhat illogical, quote from left tackle Mario Henderson: "I said it last year, (Gradkowski) is a great quarterback. A good backup and definitely a great starting quarterback."

While we’re on the Raiders offense…

We (I) have been extremely harsh on the first-round skill position players for Oakland. It’s not fair to boisterously criticize guys and then go quiet when they actually play well. So, I’m making sure to point out that Darren McFadden had an excellent game Sunday (30 carries, 145 yards). McFadden now has 48 carries for 250 yards on the season. Also, wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey is showing noticeable improvements as a route runner. Heyward-Bey has a unique ability to stop and start with a crisp suddenness. He caught six balls for 80 yards against St. Louis.

***In Carolina, Matt Moore was 6/16 for 125 yards and one benching, as Jimmy Clausen relieved him late in the second half. Moore’s completion percentage through two games is 40.8. Clausen may not be ready – if he were, John Fox probably would have used Moore’s Week 1 concussion as an excuse to start the second-round rookie – but with opponents now familiar with Moore’s weaknesses (which mainly center around pocket toughness), there are plenty who believe the Panthers need to make a change. 

***Finally, the quarterback controversy we’ve all been waiting for seems to have arrived in Jacksonville: David Garrard out, Luke McCown in. At least, that’s the way it went late against San Diego. Perhaps it was just a blowout factor. Or, perhaps it was a harbinger of change.
Garrard’s four interceptions (three his fault), weren’t a result of him trying to make a big play (because he doesn’t try to make big plays). They were simply poor execution. The Jags may not be prepared to make the switch under center just yet, but does this sound like a coaching staff that’s fully in Garrard’s corner?

“We need him to be more consistent. I thought he missed some easy things today.”
–head coach Jack Del Rio

“We protected good enough. We’ve got to throw and catch better. It’s that simple.”
–offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter.

3. Here you go, Bears fans

I got ripped by Bears fans last week for making three of the 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention negative bits on the Bears. Well, despite some early pass protection issues, Chicago went into Dallas and came out 2-0. Am I about to offer a mea culpa here? Absolutely not. I still think, ultimately, pass-blocking will be a crippling weakness for Mike Martz’s offense. But, just focusing on Week 2 Sunday, the Bears deserve a lot of praise. So let’s enjoy the moment and spread some around…

***Jay Cutler was terrific when he got time to throw. And he handled the early pressure from the Cowboys front seven well. Cutler finished 21/29 for 277 yards, three scores and zero interceptions (and for Cutler, a no-pick game is the equivalent of a 550-yard day….so, theoretically, he had 827 yards passing this game). Something Cutler doesn’t get praised for enough is his deep ball, which is probably the most accurate in the game.

***Devin Hester’s touchdown grab in the back corner of the end zone was the type of play that only happens after hours and hours of footwork drills.

***Matt Forte had 10 carries for 29 yards. (Oops, sorry, didn’t mean to include these numbers. I forgot that a positive Bears piece includes pretending that Forte is potentially the next Marshall Faulk.)
***New nickelback D.J. Moore intercepted Tony Romo twice.

***The Bears defense held the Dallas offense to just 13 points.

4. Speaking of the Dallas offense…

This is where we talk about Wade Phillips being on the hot seat, Jerry Jones assembling a team with no chemistry, Tony Romo not being a leader and the myriad of other stars in Big D being underachievers, right?

Well, what if I told you the Cowboys aren’t in that much trouble? Yes, the offense has scored just 20 points in two losses on the season. But teams as talented as the Cowboys are always just a few clicks away from exploding.

The Cowboys are still dangerous. Miles Austin looks even better than he did a year ago. Dez Bryant is living up to the hype. Jason Witten is too fundamentally sound to be anything less than the star that he is. Felix Jones, Marion Barber and Tashard Choice haven’t forgotten how to play. And guess what? The rest of the NFC East is 1-1, which means the Cowboys are only a game out of first place. It’s Week 2, folks.

Of course, if the Cowboys lose next week, then the (stuff) might actually hit the fan. Next week, the Cowboys are facing…

5. The Houston Texans

It’s not a Cinderella story if we’ve all been expecting it for three years. We’ve been waiting  on the Texans forever. (Imagine how we’d view Cinderella if she’d been invited to the ball but shown up late. What a brat!)
A. Johnson (US Presswire)
Still, there’s no denying that it’s fun to see the Texans succeed. One week after upending the AFC South bully Colts, Houston came from 17 down in the second half on the road to defeat a decent Redskins club in overtime.

Gary Kubiak masterfully used his icing the kicker timeout (insert your own “the NFL should do something about icing the kicker timeouts because it just doesn’t seem right” comment here….then insert the hollow follow-up comment that inevitably comes after you think about it and realize that there really isn’t anything the league can do about icing the kicker timeouts). Right before Redskins kicker Graham Gano successfully booted what was thought to be a game-winning 51-yarder, Kubiak motioned to the line judge. Gano then missed the unwanted mulligan attempt, and the Texans drove down the field and silenced a Redskins crowd that had already gone silent sometime shortly after Matt Schaub’s 400th passing yard.

Schaub finished with a gaudy 497 yards passing on the day. His performance overshadows the fact that Houston’s D has given up over 400 yards passing in back-to-back weeks. It’s almost gotten to the point that it’d make more sense to track Houston’s pass defense not in terms of yards given up but in terms of miles given up. But obviously, big days from Peyton Manning and Donovan McNabb against this team haven’t been enough. One common theme in both Texan wins has been dominant play by Mario Williams.

Redskins-Texans Part B: karma, irony or just bad blocking

How’s this for irony: late in the fourth quarter, Donovan McNabb converted a crucial third-and-20 to keep a potential game-winning drive alive. However, the play was called back thanks to a holding call against Washington’s backup offensive tackle, Stephon Heyer. Heyer is a former starter who plays both the left and right side with poor technique (ala a certain Cowboys offensive lineman who made Redskin fans quite happy a week ago).

6. A joke sits out

Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was deactivated for this game because of an ankle injury. Jay Glazer of Fox Sports said before the game that the team was sick of Haynesworth making the injury a distraction during the week. Jason Reed of the Washington Post noted, “Haynesworth did not watch the game from the sidelines, which team officials said was normal for inactive players. Offensive lineman Will Montgomery and safety Kareem Moore, however, both joined their teammates on the bench for the game.”

The Skins would love to trade Haynesworth, but there are no takers. They can’t just cut him because then he would win the power struggle. Haynesworth deserves a 2005 Terrell Owens-like suspension, but the Players Union would raise a stink about that, which only exacerbates the current distraction.

So here’s an idea: since Haynesworth is an underachieving part-time player and fulltime headache for Mike Shanahan, why don’t the Redskins just put him on Injured Reserve? There’s always something physically wrong with the big clown anyway – ankle, knee, (heart?). Wouldn’t it be great if, one day, Haynesworth is milking an injury and one of the coaches comes up to him and says, “Boy, Albert, sure does look like you’re too hurt to practice. We’re going to play it safe with you and keep you out…for the rest of the season.” Putting Haynesworth on IR would send a message and give the coaching staff as much power in this whole disaster as possible.

7. Eagles not saving talk radio after all?

Could And Reid actually be curtailing the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia? Despite a very stellar performance from Michael Vick, the sentiment around the league seems to be, “Don’t get your hopes up, Reid says Kevin Kolb is still The Guy.”
M. Vick (US Presswire)
Come on, Andy! Please – please – just let us at least have the fun of speculating about the possibility of Vick stealing the starting job. Pleeeaaaasssseee!

In fact, let us see a little more of Vick before you go putting him on the shelf and running your team the right way. We never get to see electrifying mobile quarterbacks these days. (Probably because of what Bill Walsh once said, which is essentially that athleticism-based quarterbacks put the head coach at the mercy of the man under center.) But the mobile quarterbacks are fun! They're so much more fun than the fundamentally-sound dropback passers.

Yes, it’d be a political nightmare to turn your back on Kolb at this point, but think of how much fun the Vick storyline would be each week!

By the way, for those of you who read last week’s Key Matchup on the Lions defense against Vick, for the record, Detroit did indeed wind up playing zone, which still didn’t neutralize the speed of the Philly receivers (see DeSean Jackson’s 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown). And the Lions did indeed shadow Vick. Instead of using a linebacker, they went with safety Louis Delmas. It wasn’t a poorly-executed plan – Vick was held to only 37 yards rushing. But the plan was contingent on Vick not making consistent throws from the pocket. On Sunday, Vick was able to make those consistent throws from the pocket, in part because his escapability eradicated several would-be sacks.

8. Don’t fall in love with the Chiefs

Kansas City is a young, up-and-coming team. At 2-0, it will be very easy to forecast them as the breakout club of 2010. Don’t.
Yes, the Chiefs are much improved. But their Week 1 win over San Diego was influenced by weather, home opener momentum and huge plays on special teams. Their Week 2 win came against a Cleveland team was counting on Seneca Wallace at quarterback and that specializes in losing home openers (1-11 since 1999). Kansas City’s win was also propagated by a Brandon Flowers interception return score and a late missed field goal by Phil Dawson. The Chiefs still haven’t shown they can sustain offense under Matt Cassel (check out the iffy Week 1 and very average Week 2 box scores). They’re getting better, so be encouraged. Just don’t let go of that grain of salt yet.

9. J-E-T-S counting heavily on L.T.

Upon closer inspection, it appears that LaDainian Tomlinson is the No. 1 running back in New York. Can that really be?

We thought Shonn Greene sat most of Week 1 as punishment for early fumbles. But against the Patriots, Greene had just 15 carries for 52 yards. Tomlinson had 11 carries, but they came in bigger moments. He gained 76 yards on those 11 carries and 26 yards on four receptions, showing hints of the lateral quickness and acceleration that made him the best running back in football three years ago.

This isn’t to suggest that Tomlinson is the L.T. of old. But Phil Simms said something very interesting during Sunday’s broadcast: “What I see with LaDainian that I didn’t see as much in San Diego, with him, it is (now) all out every play.”

P.S. Tomlinson isn’t the only old-timer getting serious work in New York’s backfield. Fullback Tony Richardson has handled a majority of the load ahead of Hard Knocks star John Conner (The Terminator). Richardson was excellent against New England.K. Kardashian (US Presswire)

10. FOX chickens out

We’ll wrap up by throwing FOX under the bus. This is because the network kept things too P.G. During the Cowboys-Bears game, FOX did a full-screen three-graphic special on Miles Austin. The theme was, basically, how great is it to be Miles Austin right now?

The first graphic was about Austin putting up big numbers on the field. The next graphic was about his big new contract ($20 million guaranteed). The third graphic was about his ripped abs, which he recently showed off on the cover of Men’s Fitness.

And that was it. Numbers, contract and abs. No mention of the best thing in Austin’s world right now (the reward that those three previous things undoubtedly helped him earn): Reggie Bush’s ex-girlfriend.

FOX didn’t have the guts to do a Kim Kardashian photo during a football presentation. Fortunately, we do. (And, just to prove that Fox could have done it, we actually used a rare tasteful photo of the sex symbol.)

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