Tag:Pittsburgh Steelers
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.


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

Posted on: September 22, 2010 6:05 pm
 

Quarterback news: Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland

Posted by Andy Benoit

With Dennis Dixon out at least six weeks after knee surgery, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced that Charlie Batch will get the ball against the Buccaneers on Sunday. Though Tomlin didn’t say so specifically, you can bet Batch will mostly be giving said ball to Rashard Mendenhall and Mewelde Moore.

Batch attempted only 11 passes in two-plus quarters of action against the Titans. Counting the sacks he took, Batch dropped back to throw 13 times. The Bucs are allowing 111 yards rushing per game this season, but last season they allowed an NFL-worst 158. Thus, expect Pittsburgh to challenge them on the ground.

Tomlin could have gone with Byron Leftwich. The veteran quarterback was re-signed earlier this week and, on Wednesday, participated in his first full practice since tearing his MCL in the preseason finale.

In other quarterback news, Batch’s former team, the Lions, will once again be without Matthew Stafford. The second-year darling is still recovering from a right shoulder injury. Jim Schwartz has been coy about Stafford’s status, but Sean Leahy of USA Today reports that Shaun Hill will get the start against the Vikings.

Finally, in Cleveland, Jake Delhomme once again missed practice because of the ankle injury suffered in Week 1. If Delhomme is unable to throw interceptions for the Browns again this week, Seneca Wallace will get the start. It almost doesn’t matter either way, as this Cleveland offense is facing the white-hot Baltimore defense.

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

Posted on: September 22, 2010 10:03 am
Edited on: September 22, 2010 10:05 am
 

Hot Routes 9.22.10: It's a dog-eat-dog world

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • The Philadelphia Daily News , even amid a Phillies playoff push, is most concerned with reminding you about Michael Vick's past (see: right). Because, as Mike Florio points out , everyone needs to remember that Vick is getting a second chance! DO NOT FORGET THAT HE DID SOMETHING EVIL AND NOW IS GOOD. Otherwise this whole "he's starting now and the Eagles are winning" thing isn't any fun.
  • Chan Gailey is apparently exactly like Mike Shanahan -- because of his hatred for fantasy football players and use of as many running backs as possible -- except for the fact that his teams and running backs aren't worth playing/owning/using. To sum up: he's refusing to name a starter but he may or may not give C.J. Spiller more touches.
  • Pete Carroll, however, is all business, yo. You play like poop and he's gonna let you know. Optimistically, of course, but he'll let you know. In fact, he called out his main bro Matt Hasselbeck for playing so poorly against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
  • Derek Anderson shouldn't worry about getting yelled at. Well, maybe he could get yelled at, but he won't be benched immediately, as the Arizona Republic reports the team will be "patient" with him. That's probably because they don't have another choice.
  • John McClain of the Houston Chronicle writes that the rivalry between the Cowboys and the Texans is just "a figment of fans' imagination." I've only been to Texas like once or twice, so I can't say for sure, but something tells me that if the Texans beat the Cowboys and push them to 0-3, they will be talking a lot. And something else tells me that if the Texans represent the state at Jerry Bowl 2K11, a certain Cowboys owner and his fans will not be very happy.
  • With Luke McCown out for the year, Todd Bouman is the winner in the "David Garrard Replacement" sweepstakes. Guess we can take him out of the controversies column now.
  • And we'll close with awesome news for the always awesome Hines Ward, who was sworn into President Barack Obama's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Tuesday.
Posted on: September 20, 2010 6:18 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2010 6:45 pm
 

Report: Dennis Dixon has torn meniscus

Posted by Will Brinson

The Pittsburgh Steelers made the (official) decision to re-sign Byron Leftwich earlier than expected on Monday; turns out there might be a good reason, if Dennis Dixon is indeed going to miss significant time with a torn meniscus.

That's the injury that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting for the former Steelers backup turned Steelers starter turned backup, etc.

Florio reports that Dixon will get additional opinions on the injury Tuesday and Wednesday in order to determine what he should do for the long term.

For the short term, though, it would appear as if Charlie Batch and Leftwich are the only options for the Steelers to start in their third attempt to stay undefeated while Ben Roethlisberger serves his suspension.

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


Posted on: September 20, 2010 5:26 pm
 

Steelers re-sign Byron Leftwich

Posted by Will Brinson

The Steelers have re-signed Byron Leftwich, just two days after releasing him, they announced Monday afternoon.

This news comes as no shock whatsoever, as it was already pretty much known they'd bring the Marshall alum back immediately following their game against the Titans.

What DOES make the signing interesting is that there's a chance Leftwich could actually start this coming week against the Buccaneers.

You may recall that Leftwich was a starter for the first three games of 2009 in Tampa Bay; given that Dennis Dixon was injured against Tennessee and that Charlie Batch does not possess powers that allow him to morph into something else besides Charlie Batch, there's a reasonable chance that Mike Tomlin will roll the dice with Leftwich against the surprisingly undefeated Bucs.

But all reports indicate that he's as confident and certain of his choice under center as anyone else in the entire world so don't be taken aback if even Flozell Adams taking snaps next week.
For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow  @cbssportsnfl   on Twitter   and subscribe to our  RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.20.10 Some box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

In this week’s 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention, we focused on how LaDainian Tomlinson appears to be handling a much heavier load than expected for the Jets. This is supposed to be Shonn Greene’s backfield. Well, the man Tomlinson essentially replaced, Thomas Jones, is doing the same thing in Kansas City. Jones carried the ball 22 times against the Browns Sunday (83 yards). Jamaal Charles, who is coming off the bench, had 11 carries (49 yards).

Third-round rookie tight end Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs with five catches for 58 yards.

Ndamukong Sun flashed dominance for the second week in a row. Suh recorded a sack against Michael Vick (he may have gotten away with a facemask on the play) and consistently pushed the interior pocket.

How about these rushing statistics for the Cowboys: Marion Barber 11 carries for 31 yards; Felix Jones 7 carries for 7 yards; Tashard Choice 1 carry for -1 yard. Somehow, you can’t help but think this is Tony Romo’s fault.

Trent Edwards was 11/18 for 102 yards and two picks against the Packers. When Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards to end the first quarter, that brought Buffalo’s net yardage on the day back to zero. C. Matthews (US Presswire)

Jermichael Finley has his second career 100-yard game. Expect at least five more this season for the best tight end in the NFC.

Should we just go ahead and vote for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award now? Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks for the second week in a row. This for a guy who sat out virtually the entire preseason with a hamstring injury.

Actually, we’d better not crown Matthews yet. Mario Williams followed his stellar Week 1 performance with a shimmering outing against the Redskins. Williams recorded three sacks, two tackles for a loss and two pass deflections. It’s safe to say the Texans probably don’t win that game without him.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries against a fairly-staunch Dolphins D. There wasn’t a cheap yard in the bunch. Peterson put on an absolute show late in the second half, showing his familiar powerful burst and uncanny change-of-direction prowess. However, his show came to an abrupt end on the second to last drive, when the Dolphins kept him out of the end zone on four-straight plays from inside the 10.

Chris Johnson had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at 12 by a Steelers D that has given up just one 100-yard rushing performance in its last 36 outings. Johnson managed just 34 yards on 16 carries. He had an 85-yard touchdown called back because of a Eugene Amano holding penalty (even with nose tackle Casey Hampton out, the Titans center had a rough afternoon).

A week after his impressive return to the NFL, Seahawks wideout Mike Williams had just one catch for seven yards against the Broncos.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss were both held to 38 yards receiving.

The Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 yards on 12 carries. Rashad Jennings actually got nine carries, producing 38 yards.

Philip Rivers 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an unofficial 3 screams at his offensive linemen against the Jaguars.

Shawne Merriman got on the field for the first time all season and recorded three tackles.

Tim Hightower was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals. With Beanie Wells still out with a knee injury, the third-year running back carried the entire load Sunday. Hightower rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown scamper in which he showed newfound quickness and acceleration.

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

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.)

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

 

Posted on: September 19, 2010 2:07 pm
 

Dennis Dixon carted off against Titans

Posted by Will Brinson

The Steelers miracle run without Ben Roethlisberger -- which included a win against Atlanta and a strong start against Tennessee -- took a nasty little turn on Sunday as starting quarterback Dennis Dixon was carted off the field against the Titans.

Dixon has been taken to the locker room for X-rays on his left knee and his return is listed as "questionable."

Charlie Batch took over the reigns for the Steelers (remember, they released Byron Leftwich yesterday, not that he could play anyway) and that means that the only other option -- should, hypothetically, Batch go down -- would be Antwan Randle El, who is now the backup quarterback until Dixon's status is updated.

Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) for the latest news on the Steelers quarterback situation.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com