Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 2

After watching Sum take the kickoff back for a score with his Week One FourCast, I have the daunting task of following him. I need seven on this drive. No pick-six here. I need a sure thing. Where is the Browns offense when I need them?

#1: The Measure of a Man

What makes a player great? Is it the number of touchdowns he scores? Is it a popularity contest? Is it the number of supermodels he impregnates? I beg to differ. Brett Favre will eventually hold all of the relevant quarterback records in the NFL. He will break the record for TD passes this season. He might break the passing yardage record this year. However, all of those pale in comparison to the record Favre broke when he led his Packers past the Giants. Favre eclipsed John Elway, moving into first place in all-time wins (149).

The all-time wins record is a testament to who Favre is. If Favre had to choose which one of his records he could keep, the best bet is that he would keep the all-time wins record. Since his first year with the Packers, watching him connect on game-winning TD pass to Sterling Sharpe, I could tell that something special was beginning. Even then, it was evident that Favre plays with heart. Favre has been called many things: a throwback, a gunslinger. However, there is one name he has earned. Winner.

#2: The Mis-Measure of Man

With the microscope on the New England Patriots after their videotaping fiasco, many forget about the players involved and their reputations. Sure, there are some players at fault, who knew what was going on. However, there are those that were just playing the game. Now, every player on the Patriots is potentially tainted. We heard Jaws on Monday Night Football. He said that every QB could complete 75% of their passes if they knew the opposing defense's calls. Does this mean that Tom Brady's career is a farce? I disagree.

I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I think the penalty Goodell imposed upon the Patriots was a bit heavy-handed. Anyone that thinks other teams do not participate in similar activities are naive. All sports involve an element of gaining as many advantages over your opponents as you can. If anything, this controversy will only cause teams already involved in these activities to come up with stealthier ways to continue. Half a million dollars, while affordable to Belichick, was a bit much. However the bane of this controversy will be the forfeited first-round draft pick. Just to put perspective to the value of the pick, the Patriots landed Randy Moss for a 4th rounder.

#3: Deep in the Heart of Texans

Throughout the far-from-storied franchise of the Houston Texans, many excuses have been made to explain the futility of the team. The wide receivers wore the underachiever label. The offensive line gave up a great deal of sacks. Probably, the most logical was the lack of a power rushing game. Yours truly bought into the theory that their team was caught with their pants down when Tony Boselli's injury proved to be career-threatening and the team lacked a backup plan. However, the apparent problem was staring them down from the opposite sideline in Carolina. That would be former Texans #1 overall pick, QB David Carr.

Watching current Texans QB Matt Schaub, one can easily see the difference between the current and former starters. While making his WRs look good, Schaub also makes his offensive line look better. Schaub understands the value of getting rid of the ball, whether he's aiming for a receiver or throwing the ball away. Carr would try to milk his time in the pocket trying to make the play, resulting in him staring up at the lights 249 times in his Texans career. Then, there's that little matter of the Falcons trading Schaub away and putting their hopes into the hands of Ron Mexico...er...Michael Vick. That’s another story in itself.

#4: Fantasy Fix - The Ground Game

The consensus top three fantasy football draft picks this year were LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson and Steven Jackson, in no particular order (after Tomlinson, that is). Often, great fantasy players get off to a slow start. Two games into the season last year, they had a combined 620 yards rushing averaging a little over a hundred yards per game. The teams were a combined 3-3. This year, the same three have so far put up a combined 284 yards, their teams going a collective 1-5. Has the playing field leveled in fantasy football?

Fear not, my fantasy football addicts. If you were lucky enough to land one of these three studs, do not succumb to the trade offers that bombard you as we speak. Stick to your big guns. They will hit their stride, and come fantasy playoff time, they should be at their peak. And if anyone doubts you, pull a "Pacino" and have them say hello to your little friend.

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