These days, the “golden boy” just doesn’t look that golden, anymore.
Last year we saw Brady Quinn’s first go-around as the starter leave the Cleveland faithful with a bittersweet taste in their mouths. They saw what he was capable of in a 239-yard and two touchdown effort against the Denver Broncos.
And then they saw what we’re seeing now.
While much of Quinn’s poor play through the next two games was due to a broken finger, no touchdowns and two interceptions still didn’t sit well with the coach at the time, Romeo Crennel.
Especially when he was trying to keep his job.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
It’s a fair question. And quite honestly, based on Tim Tebow’s decision to return for his senior season at Florida, one that actually warrants a careful response.
We will undoubtedly have to wait until next April’s NFL Draft to find out for sure, but the question remains: Would it be better for an under-hyped college football star to take the short route to pro stardom and join the UFL, or take his chances in the NFL Draft and be a back-up?
Or worse—possibly not even make an NFL roster?
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, September 28, 2009
Like it or not cheeseheads, the magic is back.
And you have a date with it next Monday night.
Brett Favre erased an otherwise forgettable second half of three-and-out’s, an interception, and a turnover on downs by throwing the game-winner against the San Francisco 49ers.
But it wasn’t so cut and dry as that. After all, with Favre, it rarely is.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Sunday, September 27, 2009
Looking for the next big gem but not into digging for it yourself? That’s all gravy.
Take a look at the 10 safest rookie bets after two weeks (by position), along with some analysis toward their future, as well as a good look at their present.
And no, Matthew Stafford doesn’t make the list. Why? Because all he’s good for is interceptions; that’s why.
Mark Sanchez, QB, New York Jets
Last Week: 14-22, 167 yds, 1 TD, 0 INT
Sanchez has looked like a seasoned veteran in his first two games, throwing for three touchdowns, 435 yards, and only one interception.
However, the drop from 31 attempts and 272 yards in Week One to 22 attempts and only 167 yards in Week Two is exactly the kind of inconsistency you need to prepare for when dealing with a rookie.
Regardless, Sanchez is doing his best Matt Ryan impression and is easily the better play between him and Matthew Stafford going forward.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Tags: arizona cardinals, chicago bears, Chris Wells, Donald Brown, Fantasy Football, indianapolis colts, Johnny Knox, Julian Edelman, Kenny Britt, LeSean McCoy, Louis Muprhy, mark sanchez, Minnesota Vikings, new england patriots, new york jets, NFL Rookies, oakland raiders, Percy Harvin, philadelphia eagles, Sleepers, Steals
No thanks, Adrian Peterson. Brett Favre had this one.
Favre may still not own a 200-yard passing day as a Viking, but no one ever said winning games had to or would come by launching 50-yard passes.
Favre can’t face the 2007 Denver Broncos in overtime every week. But then again, he won’t be getting back-to-back supposed “cakewalk” matches with the Browns and Lions on a regular basis, either.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 26, 2009
Michael Vick to Play For Eagles on Sunday
Don’t get too excited, it won’t be as the quarterback.
Still, the coaching staff is counting on Vick to make plays, projecting him to be involved in somewhere between 10-15 plays.
You can probably even count on more than that. Kevin Kolb is expected to start as it stands, but Vick will likely be deployed in a number of packages.
The problem is, just how effective can he be in his first regular season game in more than two years?
Wes Welker Back at Practice
As inspiring as this is, it still means nothing.
While he did participate in Thursday’s practice, he was limited, opening the door to a possible “target share” with rookie Julian Edelman.
Bill Belichick isn’t foolish. If Welker isn’t 100 percent, he’ll just use him as a decoy and get some production out of Edelman. The rookie clearly has talent, and the Patriots would be doing themselves a disservice to sit him the rest of the way.
Monitor this situation all the way up until their game with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jerry Jones Gives Tony Romo Vote of Confidence
Well, I should sure hope so.
They got rid of Terrell Owens, labeling him as the one and only problem in Dallas. And now the owner raises doubt by saying he’s “backing” Romo after one bad game?
Don’t be like Jones and get too excited. Romo was facing the Giants tough front-four and the Cowboys barely lost the game.
Start Romo with confidence this week in a favorable match-up with the Carolina Panthers.
Saints Running Backs Sharing Reps in Practice
Add Tynell Hamilton to the mix in the Saints backfield.
Who? Well, regardless of not being very well known, Hamilton figures to get some grind with Mike Bell (knee) out this week, and Pierre Thomas being slowly brought back from his own knee injury.
Reggie Bush also factors into the muddled equation, making all three Saints running backs risky starts. And you thought it was difficult to predict their production before.
Chargers Center Nick Hardwick Out Until December
It just keeps getting worse for the San Diego running game.
This doesn’t hurt Daren Sproles’ value that much, as most of his production comes from the passing game and bouncing runs outside.
LaDainian Tomlinson, who is dealing with his own injury, could find it even more difficult to run in the middle when he returns, however.
Hardwick has ankle surgery, and if things continue to work against San Diego, he could end up going on IR.
Jamal Lewis Misses Wednesday’s Practice
Lewis is dealing with a bad hamstring, as well as a horrid performance against the Broncos, rushing for just 38 yards on 14 carries.
If he’s out this week, a suddenly-healthy James David could split carries with Jerome Harrison, making both Cleveland back-ups interesting plays.
Well, they would be, if they weren’t facing the Baltimore Ravens.
Marion Barber Practicing, Wants to Play Monday Night
While this isn’t exactly earth-shattering news, it’s worth noting.
Knock Felix Jones’ value down a bit with Barber practicing, although a hindered Barber ensures at least a few more touches for Jones and Barber’s other back-up, Tashard Choice.
The way the Carolina Panthers rush defense is going, all three backs could field solid numbers on Monday night.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tags: Brian Belichick, cleveland browns, dallas cowboys, Darren Sproles, donovan mcnabb, Fantasy Football, Felix Jones, Jamal Lewis, James Davis, Jerry Jones, Julian Edelman, Kevin Kolb, LaDainian Tomlinson, Marion Barber, michael vick, Mike Bell, Monday Night Football, new england patriots, New Orleans Saints, NFL Injuries, Nick Hardwick, philadelphia eagles, Pierre Thomas, Reggie Bush, san diego chargers, Tashard Choice, tony romo, Tynell Hamilton, Wes Welker
It’s gut-check time for Buffalo, Miami, and New England. Sort of.
After Monday night is over, two of those teams will be walking into next week’s slate of games at 0-1, and staring at the Jets and their seemingly unshakable rookie quarterback with a 1-0 record.
“Broadway” Joe ain’t got nothin’ on this kid Sanchez.
Except a Super Bowl ring, years of experience, and an alcohol addiction that could kill a Rhino.
But still, all the Sanchez haters out there can give it up. The dude was flawless in a 277-yard, one touchdown effort.
Oh, and Rex Ryan has it all figured out. Think about it.
Andre Johnson had 35 yards receiving, Matt Schaub is currently screaming in his bed with a nightmare of the Jets chasing him down, and Steve Slaton is still trying to figure out how he only had 17 yards rushing.
The answer to all of Houston’s issues on Sunday? The Jets are the 2008 Baltimore Ravens, the 2.0 version.
And this is without Calvin Pace. And they’re running their offense through a rookie quarterback.
But that’s just it. This kid isn’t anymore a rookie than Brett Favre isn’t eligible for the senior citizen deal at your local Taco Bell.
Give that man, and hell, Sanchez too, a free soda. Throw in a damn taco.
While Sanchez may have been solely responsible for Houston’s only points (a pick six), he made very few mistakes, completed 18-of-31 passes, and looked in complete control.
But why is this still a shock?
Rex Ryan, who many argue was “basically” Baltimore’a head coach in 2008 (sorry, John Harbaugh), has been here before.
He had solid holdovers on defense from last season.
All he had to do was lure some solid prospects and veterans (Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard) from Baltimore, and Bam!, he has a stud-driven defense.
Oh, and a solid draft on both ends didn’t hurt, either.
Still, so many doubters, not nearly enough time to list them off. And I know it’s only one week. I know it’s just the first of 16 tests the rookie quarterback will endure. But he passed it.
He passed it big time.
Sorry, Clark Judge. This kid’s got it.
And as long as Thomas Jones and company can keep up this whole “supportive offense” thing, we could see some progress on last year’s 9-7 finish.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Tags: andre johnson, Baltimore Ravens, Bart Scott, Contenders, houston texans, Jets Win, Jim Leonhard, mark sanchez, matt schaub, new york jets, NFL Playoffs, NFL Week One, Rex Ryan, Rookie Quarterback, steve slaton, thomas jones
(Sanchez was a good sleeper play on Sunday)
Forgive me for playing Nirvana’s “All Apologies” to the max level. But I can’t rid my shame. The guilt, dear God, the guilt.
Actually, that’s a lie, but it’s not for a lack of sorrow that some of my predicted “starts” didn’t pan out. After all, I tend to follow the advice that I give out. So, this week, fair friends, you were not alone.
Through those highs, and those terrible lows, I promise you that you were not alone.
While I may have led you (and you, and you) astray, if only a little bit, I still had enough tricks up my sleeve for the first week of fantasy action.
Enough to keep you listening to my fantasy advice, perhaps? Well, before I indulge myself and your fantasy hopes into another Fantasy Football: Start and Sit column, it’s only my duty to review my picks, and to fully explain why certain players failed to live up to my expectations, while also boosting my ego with my “correct” calls.
The Record: 9-5
Okay, so Brett Favre didn’t throw for 200+ yards and two touchdowns. My bad. In fact, he barely cracked 100, and only threw 21 passes.
But no interceptions and a score doesn’t make playing him a total loss. Still, as far as “starts” go, he was a dud.
And I apologize for Willie Parker. Boy, was that a blown call.
I truly did not believe he was that washed up, or that Tennessee’s run defense would show-up like that. Both of those comments could be overblown, but considering Mewelde Moore did pretty well overall, I’m placing most of the blame on Parker no loner living up to his “Fast Willie” nick-name.
If you followed my lead and played Greg Jennings (despite a nagging injury), Matt Hasselbeck, and Ray Rice, you were pleasantly surprised.
Rice topped 100 yards rushing, Hasselbeck threw three scores, and Jennings hauled in the game-winning touchdown and over 100 yards against the Bears on Sunday night.
You were probably feeling rather smart if you followed my “Sit” suggestions this week, as well.
Jay Cutler had a forgettable four-pick performance, Larry Johnson only managed 20 rushing yards against the Ravens, Kevin Curtis only had 26 yards against the Panthers, and sitting Pierre Thomas was a good choice.
If you went the extra mile and plugged Mike Bell into your line-up on a whim, kudos to you.
Jeremy Shockey and Mark Sanchez made me look smart, while Peyton Hillis and David Clowney did nothing to warrant a spot on the “look out for me” list.
The jury is still out on Darren McFadden for tonight, while Carnell Williams (originally a sit candidate) had over 90 yards rushing and a score. Still, with Derrick Ward splitting carries, he will continue to be a risky play.
All in all, it’s only Week One, but with a 9-5 record on my start-and-sit calls, the fantasy gods may soon be shining on you to listen to this advice.
Look for this week’s Fantasy Football: Start and Sit column on B/R, or go straight to www.theredzonereport.com for all of your fantasy advice and NFL news.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Monday, September 14, 2009
Tags: brett favre, Carnell Williams, Darren McFadden, David Clowney, Derrick Ward, Fantasy Football, greg jennings, jay cutler, Kevin Curtis, Larry Johnson, mark sanchez, matt hasselbeck, Mike Bell, peyton hillis, Pierre Thomas, Ray Rice, Willie Parker
It’s official. Brett Favre is human, and as much as you may despise him, he’s apparently pretty honest, too.
He admitted he wasn’t at the top of his game during the Jets’ five-game slide to end 2008. But he also said he would have gladly hit the bench, and probably even for good.
He’s even declaring 2009 as his “the streak may end” campaign, and regardless of your opinion on him as a player, his personality, or his supposed hidden agendas, that’s damn respectable.
He’s a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and for all intents and purposes, he’s still “got it.”
But he’s not an idiot. He may talk as if he were one. He may wear dirty, crusty red hats that only under-paid (are they under-paid?) fat truckers would wear.
But damn me if I’m wrong; this guy is honest.
Maybe to a fault, but still. You have to admire Favre’s recklessness. His love for the game.
Because no matter which side you’re on: Green Bay’s, Minnesota’s, or hate the NFL altogether, this is still a remarkable story.
Oh, and the best part? We’re just getting started.
Favre was done, people. He truly was. ESPN’s “Skip” Bayless had it right. Favre was done after retiring from New York, and he wasn’t kidding around when he shot-down the Vike’s before training camp, either.
Call him an OCD gambler, but the guy just couldn’t kick the habit. He simply couldn’t pass up the chance at going out on top. Or at least coming close.
But the best part in this entire “Favre Saga”, as many journalists so eloquently put it, is Favre’s calm demeanor and realistic outlook on everything.
He’s not coming back for revenge. Not completely, anyways. That would be foolish, and even he admits it.
He’s not shy about hating Ted Thompson or feeling spurned by the Packers. That stuff is true. But to come back and risk it all for two lousy games that he might even lose? It’s not worth it.
It has nothing to do with the stats, his legend, or (now that we’ve heard from the horse’s mouth) that remarkable streak he started 16 years ago.
Love him or hate him, it’s time to open your mind to the possibility that Favre may actually have something left to give the NFL.
Even if it’s for less than 16 games.
Posted by Kevin Roberts Date: Saturday, September 12, 2009
Is Eli Manning overpaid? Uh, yeah.Is he an elite quarterback? It’s arguable, either way.
What isn’t arguable, however, is that this New York Giants team is built to last on both sides of the ball, and regardless of any “key” losses they’ve had, they should still contend for their division, at the very worst.
Then again, they looked as if they were destined to repeat for much of last season, until they collapsed out of nowhere and called it a season in their first playoff game.
Will that happen again? In today’s NFL, the only answer I can think of is “if they’re lucky”.
They have a hard-nosed turned softy coach (just kidding) and an overpaid quarterback who isn’t nearly as good as the rest of the world thinks he is.
Are those problems? Not really. Read on to see what the New York Giants should be concerned about in 2009.
5. Can Ahmad Bradshaw Be Derrick Ward?
While Derrick Ward’s departure leaves a 1,000-yard gap, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be Ahmad Bradshaw’s to fill.
If healthy, Brandon Jacobs figures to handle the bulk of the carries. However, if Jacobs’ reckless style of play were to have Bradshaw starting, there’s no reason to think why he can’t keep the Giants’ offense operating correctly.
With yardage jumps of 190 yards and over eight yards per carry in his rookie season, to 355 yards last season (five yards per carry), it’s evident Bradshaw can produce at a high level and makes the most of his chances.
4. Which Rookie Receiver Will Step-Up?
We know Steve Smith is starting in the slot, and Domenik Hixon’s experience and solid play should keep him as the No. 1 receiver.
However, the second starting spot is up for grabs, with two rookies, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, Sinorice Moss, and David Tyree battling it out.
Tyree has yet to stay healthy enough to try to live up to his 2007 Super Bowl helmet catch, which could likely end up in a release in favor of the younger, more talented receivers.
Moss has been a complete bust, hence the addition of Barden and Nicks, who should make Moss expendable, or at the very best, the fifth option.
Both rookie receivers are immensely talented, but Nicks appears to run more polished routes and has proven to have reliable hands.
Barden, on the other hand, has a continuous case of the “dropsies” and also hasn’t look very fast in camps.
Look for Nicks to have the job, and possibly even beat-out Domenik Hixon.
3. Are Domenik Hixon and Steve Smith the Answers?
He may not be Plaxico Burress, but in his first season with major action as a starter, Hixon performed fairly well.
The Giants brought in reinforcements, though, to “aid” Hixon and fellow starter, Steve Smith, as well as push them competitively.
Quite honestly, it was a youth/talent movement. Hence the lack of true desire to bring back a 35-year-old Amani Toomer or a 30-year-old Plaxico Burress.
While Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden are sound additions to the receiving corps, Hixon and Smith are still too talented to not get a fair shake as the starters.
2. Can Brandon Jacobs Stay Healthy?
Jacobs topped 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2008, and that was while sharing the backfield with fellow 1,000-yard rusher Derrick Ward sharing the ball.
Oh, and he missed three games.
Jacobs’ tough, physical running style has garnered praise from teammates and opponents, alike, but his reckless style of play causes worry in New York, and for good reason.
While it’s impossible to predict if he’ll play a full 16 games (I doubt it), what is easy to predict is his likely impact, regardless of the amount of games he suits up for.
Jacobs is the Giants’ offense now, and as long as he’s on the field, the “G-Men” will pound the ball, and will do it well.
So, can Brandon Jacobs stay healthy?
Sure. I just wouldn’t bet on it.
1. Will the Defense Remain Dominant Without Steve Spagnuolo?
As long as the new defensive coordinator runs the aggressive style Spagnuulo did, the talent should take care of the rest.
Despite losing Osi Umenyiora, the Giants still ranked sixth in the league in sacks, and fifth in scoring.
The additional loss of Michael Strahan to retirement only displayed the great depth the Giants had in their line-men, and in turn made two defensive ends, Justin Tuck and Mathias Kiwanuka, stars of their defense.
The addition of Chris Canty through free agency and Clint Sintim via the NFL Draft shows progress on an already nasty defense, one that should continue playing well.