2011 NFL Week 3 Primer
Giants @ Eagles, 1:00PM ET
You have to love that after all of the media reports dedicated to how Michael Vick is this mature, changed person that when walking to the locker room following his injury against the Falcons on Sunday night, he points to the scoreboard in response to heckling fans. He’s changed all right. Now instead of using his middle finger to diss Falcon fans, he uses his index. Get well soon, Mike.
Patriots @ Bills, 1:00PM ET
I’m sure the sentiment for most people heading into this game is that the Bills will “come crashing down to earth” after the Patriots get done with them. But I have a different take: I think this game is going to be fun as hell. Buffalo showed in the first two weeks that it has more than enough offensive weapons to be dangerous and obviously New England can score. This could be a 52-52 game about midway through the fourth quarter.
Texans @ Saints, 1:00PM ET
Sean Payton hasn’t quite mastered how to best utilize Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas in the same backfield, but once he does the Saints could revert back to their ’09 form when they blew teams out on a weekly basis. Meanwhile, Arian Foster once again looks doubtful to play and fantasy owners that drafted him with their top pick are starting to realize that yes, his hamstring is going to be a major problem early on.
Jaguars @ Panthers, 1:00PM ET
It’ll be the Rookie Quarterback Bowl in Carolina this Sunday when Blaine Gabbert makes his first professional start against Cam Newton, who has already thrown for over 800 yards in his first two games. Maybe if he stops throwing the ball to the other team he’ll pick up a win to go along with all of those fancy yards.
49ers @ Bengals, 1:00PM ET
Cincinnati receiver Jerome Simpson and offensive tackle Anthony Collins were detained by police late Wednesday when authorities investigated a package filled with 2.5 pounds of marijuana delivered to Simpson’s house while both players were present. Neither player was arrested but it’s great to see that the Bengals are already in mid-season form when it comes to obeying the law.
Dolphins @ Browns, 1:00PM ET
Just what every head coach on the hot seat needs: a three-game road trip following an 0-2 start. In three weeks if the Dolphins are 0-5, you can bet that Tony Sparano won’t be on the sidelines when Miami hosts its next home game (vs. Denver on October 23). And no, I mean literally bet on Sparano being canned: theSpread has his odds of being let go listed at 3/1.
Lions @ Vikings, 1:00PM ET
Let’s sum up Donovan McNabb’s career. Booed on draft day. Has appeared in 967 playoff games and one Super Bowl but has no ring. Had to put up with T.O. and a slew of media members and fellow athletes bashing him at every turn. Benched for Rex Grossman… possibly will be benched for Christian Ponder. I feel sorry for McNabb and I don’t mean that in a condescending way. I actually feel bad for the guy. Ah, well: Lions 56, Vikings 3.
Broncos @ Titans, 1:00PM ET
If there’s one game I don’t care if I see a down of this weekend, this would be it. I apologize to Denver and Tennessee fans but this matchup is the epitome of boring. But hey, go get ‘em Kyle Orton and Matt Hasselbeck. You do your thing. I’ll be over here watching Giants-Eagles, Texans-Saints or hell, even Jaguars-Panthers. Just anything but Broncos-Titans on a nice fall Sunday afternoon.
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Posted in: NFL
Tags: Arian Foster, Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton, Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, DeAngelo Hall, Green Bay Packers, Jay Cutler, Kerry Collins, Matt Ryan, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Tony Romo
Reality sets in for Indianapolis
Peyton Manning is obviously a great quarterback, but should the Indianapolis Colts just fall apart now that he’s out for potentially the entire season?
I have no sympathy for the Colts, as they’ve avoided developing a real backup for Peyton Manning for years. We all watched several years ago when they rested Manning and played Jim Sorgi. Contrast that to New England and the emphasis they place on backup quarterbacks. When Tom Brady got hurt, they had Matt Cassel ready to go. Now they’re at it again with Ryan Mallett on the bench. Wouldn’t the Colts love to have Mallett now?
I don’t blame Kerry Collins. He had a tough time today in Indy’s loss at home against the Browns, but he came out of retirement to take on this complicated offense. I blame the Colts brain trust, and they’re paying the price now for their lack of preparation.
The Peyton Manning situation is growing more worrisome by the minute
Question: How worried are the Colts about Peyton Manning’s neck injury?
Answer: They just brought Kerry Collins out of retirement.
That cloud of doubt I talked about in this piece on Tuesday is starting to get even bigger in Indianapolis. That’s because according to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, the Colts’ “braintrust” does not believe Manning will be ready for Week 1. Mortensen says that Manning is “hopeful,” but the report and the addition of Collins say otherwise.
Granted, Curtis Painter (42.4 QB rating) has been dreadful this preseason so maybe signing Collins was just a precautionary measure by the Colts. Maybe they just wanted to ensure that Manning would have a decent backup regardless of whether or not he’s able to play in Week 1.
Then again, why would Collins come out of retirement if he didn’t think he would have the opportunity to play? He’s 38 years old and it’s not like he needs the money. Chances are the Colts told him that there’s a good chance he’ll suit up for Week 1 and then Manning’s injury status could be a fluid situation the entire year. (In other words, Collins may play more than just one game.)
Either way, there’s legitimate concern that Manning won’t be ready for the start of the season. Of course, if he only misses one or two games it won’t be the end of the world. In fact, if he needs more time in order to become 100-percet healthy, then he should take it.
But if he’s banged up all season then the Colts are in some major trouble.
Colts earn No. 3 seed in AFC after narrowly beating Titans
Here are three quick-hit observations on the Colts’ AFC South-clinching 23-20 win over the Titans on Sunday.
1. Colts hit jackpot on Sunday.
First, the Chiefs lost to the Raiders at home. Seven. Then, the Colts beat the Titans on a last-second field goal by Adam Vinatieri field goal as time expires. Seven. Then, the Jaguars lose to the Texans. Seven…jackpot. All right, so that last thing didn’t even need to happen if the Colts beat the Titans but it worked well with my jackpot theme so I forced it in there to make the bad analogy work. Sue me. Give Indianapolis credit for not backing down when Tennessee came out swinging. The Titans had nothing to play for and it’s human nature to think that, in that situation, Tennessee might roll over. But they didn’t, and the Colts showed some resolve by continuing to fight for four quarters. You would expect them to do that with the playoffs on the line, but look at the Chiefs. They would have won the No. 3 seed in the AFC had they beaten the Raiders, who also had nothing to play for. But the Chiefs thought Oakland would lay down and when Oakland didn’t, Kansas City tucked tail and ran away. Now Indianapolis has the No. 3 spot and has earned a date with the Jets next weekend.
2. Manning does it again.
This wasn’t an overly impressive outing for Peyton Manning, who was out-gunned by Kerry Collins (who threw for 300 yards and finished with a passer rating of 111.1). But it was Manning who once again came up clutch in the end by leading his team into field goal range in the closing minutes. Manning couldn’t move his offense much in the fourth quarter, but it didn’t matter in the end. He saved his best work for the finale and now the Colts are once again AFC South champions.
3. The Titans deserve some praise.
Give Tennessee credit for showing up to play on Sunday. This is a team that was criticized for giving up last weekend in Kansas City but they came out swinging against the Colts. When Indy held leads of 13-6 and 20-13, the Titans could have shut it down and let the Colts cruise in the second half. But Tennessee didn’t and the Titans wound up making a game out of it. And hey – surprise! – Randy Moss actually made a big play when he snagged a first down pass in the second half to keep a drive alive.
Vince Young, David Garrard both hurt in MNF game
Both starting quarterbacks in the Monday Night Football game were injured in the first half. Vince Young sprained his knee early in the first quarter, while David Garrard took a hit from a Tennessee pass rusher in the second quarter and went into the locker room just before half. (His injury is unknown at this point, but don’t rule out the possibility that he took himself out because he’s God awful.)
The good thing for Tennessee is that Kerry Collins is Young’s backup. He hit Bo Scaife on a 2-yard touchdown pass midway through the second quarter and then orchestrated another scoring drive that netted the Titans a field goal. Tennessee currently lead 17-0 at half.
Unfortunately for Jacksonville, their backup is not Kerry Collins but Trent Edwards, who was signed three weeks ago after Buffalo dumped him following two brutal starts at the beginning of the season. He came in and took the Jaguars right down the field, but then Mercedes Lewis crapped on the drive by fumbling inside the red zone. Tennessee recovered the loose ball and held Jacksonville scoreless in the first half.
Edwards looked great on his lone drive, but soon enough he’ll remember he’s Trent Edwards and start checking down every chance he gets. Of course, he’s probably a better option than Garrard at this point, so even if Garrard is healthy to start the second half, Jack Del Rio might as well leave Edwards in.
Update: ESPN will think twice about putting the Jaguars on Monday Night Football again after their performance tonight. Thanks to Collins and a dominating performance by their defense, the Titans rolled Jacksonville, 30-3. Maurice Jones-Drew never got going for the Jags and Edwards was picked off on the first possession of the second half.
Reports say that Garrard suffered a concussion in the first half, which is why he never returned.