Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tuesday FourCast: Week 9

My apologies for the slight delay this week, but since this gig pays me the equivalent of the number of touchdown passes thrown by Ryan Leaf since 2002 I opted to take care of other pressing matters first. In any case, it was a crazy weekend in the NFL, chock-full-of broken records, concussions, and that little game that was played out in Indianapolis.

#1: How Many Fingers Am I Holding Up?

I’m probably one of the biggest fans of solid hits delivered on the football field. The view of a crushing blow that lays out a wide-receiver after goes across the middle for a pass, or of a special teams player causing a punt returner to leave his feet because the return man idiotically forgot to signal a fair catch, is just pure gold. That is, it’s great, if the guy who got decked can get up and play again in the same game. But when the result is a massive concussion, or other serious injury, I’m less happy.

This season we have seen quite a few players leave and/or miss games due to concussions. We may have even seen Trent Green’s career come to an end. Yet, too often, players who suffer concussions are rushed back to the playing field. The Carolina Panthers are desperate to rush David Carr back to the field after his concussion this past week. Laveranues Coles is desperately needed by the Jets and Kellen Clemens, even though he suffered a concussion recently as well. Hopefully Coles will continue to heed the advice of former teammate Wayne Chrebet. And hopefully more coaches will take the lead of Cam Cameron, who refuses to let Trent Green risk his future health and happiness even though the quarterback is dying to get back out there.

While the big hits are entertaining, I’d rather see the players have full careers than mistake my two fingers for four.

#2: Still Not Crowning Their Ass

WARNING: Mandatory item on the Patriots. All haters please skip down to #3.

What a game. Sure, it wasn’t the 41-38 final score that most people were hoping for, but we did get to see just how important defense is, even in a contest of offensive heavyweights. Early on, it was the Colts who pressured Brady into mistakes and miscues (even though I contend that the interception just prior to the Addai touchdown would not have been a pick if Randy Moss were the intended receiver rather than Stallworth). And in the end, pressure by New England’s front-seven led to Manning’s “fumbleception” to Roosevelt Colvin.

But even though the Patriots remained resilient, and played impeccable football against the other NFL powerhouse in 8 of the final 2 minutes of the game, I still refuse to crown them. I see three potential games that the Pats could conceivably lose, plus, they’ll still have to make it through 2 playoff games and the Super Bowl. The three games which, in my opinion, could cause the ’72 Dolphins (whose regular season opponents, by the way, had a winning percentage of 0.364) to drink their champagne yet again are: November 18 at Buffalo, December 9 against Pittsburgh, and December 29 at the Giants.

#3: Return of the Macks

This week will see the return of two solid players who were suspended by Roger Goodell because of their off-the-field conduct. First, DT Tank Johnson will return to the playing field on behalf of the Dallas Cowboys. Johnson received his suspension due to various events, ranging from his possession of guns to DUIs, that occurred during his tenure with the Chicago Bears. Even though Johnson remained unsigned until after the second week of the regular season, the commissioner allowed those two weeks to serve against his suspension. Logic? None, but then again this does relate to the Cowboys, so no logic is the norm.

Secondly, Begnals WR Chris Henry returns this week as well. Henry received his suspension on the same day that Pacman Jones was suspended for the entire season. This could not come at a better time for the listless Bengals, who are struggling with a 2-6 mark and who might be without Chad Johnson for a week or two. Ironically, this comes right as Titans RB Chris Henry is about to begin a suspension for substance abuse. Note to self: don’t name my children “Chris Henry.”

#4: And I Thought 196 Yards Was A Good Day

It’s no secret that I’m a Redskins fan. Therefore, it’s no secret that I cringe most every week when I see a Joe Gibbs team passing on 3rd and 2. This weekend finally gave me some sort of a sigh of relief thanks to Clinton Portis’ 196 rushing yards. Sure, we barely beat the 1-8 Jets, but we got our ground game going and our starting running back was assured to be the week’s rushing leader. What? He finished second?!? By 100 yards?!?!?! Holy $#!†.

Adrian Peterson is a beast, there’s no other way to put it. The Chargers are known for their weak secondary, not a weak run defense. But just by looking at the highlights from that game, it’s clear that Peterson was a man on a mission … either that or he’d been smoking the peyote and running like crazy. I fully admit, I thought he would’ve been injured by this point in the season and I drastically underestimated him. That said, I’m really thankful for the trade in which I acquired him for Chad Pennington in my fantasy league. To think, I hesitated on pulling the trigger on that deal.

Last year, the rookie who was breaking records left and right was Devin Hester. Now we’ve got Peterson, who is well on his way to breaking the single season rushing record as well. An even greater feat would be for Peterson to lead the Vikes into the postseason, and in the NFC that’s a very real possibility.


Paymon said...

Spot on with the AP bit. The Chargers D is designed to stop the run and they were useless against a one-dimensional with a 3rd-string QB.

Childress will have a major decision on his hands after the season with the QB position. Do you ...

a) Stick with the status quo

b) Admit failure with Tarvaris Jackson and draft a QB in the 1st round of the draft

c) Admit failure with the product of QB factory Alabama State and trade for Derek Anderson who will either be tendered or franchised.

d) Do none of the above

Sam said...

It's true. Adrian Peterson IS a beast. The boy can run. All the Vikes need is a good, experienced QB, a good WR, and a good special teams coach :)

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