NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on The Bill Smith Radio Show or the archive of the shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Monday Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports and I discuss the Browns game and the results of the weekend. On Friday Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York joins Samantha and me to preview the upcoming games.
By far the biggest news of the weekend was the Monday night injury to QB Aaron Rodgers. The latest report indicates that he has a break in his collar bone. Without Rodgers the Pack has little chance to make the playoffs.
Our thoughts go out to two NFL head coaches with health issues. FPS staff wishes both John Fox and Gary Kubiak a fast complete recovery. The job of an NFL coach is a 20 hour a day 52 week a year sentence. Those that take the job understand the physical demands that come with it. However, they do it for the love of the game.
Season ending injuries are way up this season. If the trend continues this season will set an all time record for such injuries. Many of the injuries are to the legs and knees. This is an unexpected result of the focus on concussions. Defenders are hitting lower causing the knee injuries. If the league tries to legislate low hits it will make tackling almost impossible.
Jets 26 Saints 20 – The Jet D line kept pressure on Saint QB Drew Brees all day. The two interceptions by Brees were both tipped balls caught by the Jets’ DBs. The D held the Saints to 3 of 11 3rd down conversions. Former Saint RB Chris Ivory burned the team that traded him by running for 139 yards on 18 carries for a 7.7 average with a TD. Jet QB Geno Smith was just 8 for 19 for 115 yards with no TDs and no picks.
Eagles 49 Raiders 20 – Eagles QB Nick Foles tied an NFL record throwing for 7 TDs. He burned the Raiders D for 406 yards with a 14.5 average per attempt and no interceptions. Raider QB Terrelle Pryor had a bad game going 22 for 41 for 288 yards but no TDs and 2 picks. The Eagles D sacked Pryor three times but ran for 94 yards on 10 attempts. He hurt his knee but may be able to play next week. Foles performance may put an end to the Eagles career of Mike Vick.
Titans 28 Rams 21 – This was a battle of runners. RB Chris Johnson finally began to earn his big check Sunday. In his biggest game this season he got 39 yards. Against the quality Ram D Johnson ran for 150 yards on 23 carries. Rams RB Zac Stacy ran for 127 on 27 carries. Both scored twice. The game was even deep into the 4th quarter. Kelllen Clemens was sacked and fumbled with 2:54 left. The Titans recovered on the Ram 19 and scored the final TD. The Rams got the ball back twice but could not recover.
Redskins 30 Chargers 24 OT – The Chargers defense scored first on a pass from the endzone being blocked and intercepted for a TD. The Redskins had balance on offense and got one more interception than the Chargers got. Redskin QB Robert Griffin threw for 291 yards and the team got 209 more on the ground. The Chargers depend on QB Phillip Rivers’ arm because they left the running game at home. RB Robert Mathews had two 100+ games coming into the game but got only 7 carries for 34 yards. Rivers threw a 19 yard pass for a TD and the Chargers kicked a field goal to tie the game with just 3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 24. But the Skins got the ball first in OT and Griffin drove the team down the field for the TD that ended the game.
Seahawks 27 Bucs 24 OT – Tampa forced 3 turnovers including two interceptions and they built a 21-0 lead. Buc QB Mike Glennon was outstanding throwing for 2 TDs without a pick. But Hawks’ QB Russell Wilson and RB Marshawn Lynch brought the team back. Tampa’s defense harassed Wilson all day. He had no time to read the D and throw. A TD pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin tied the game with just 1:51 left in the 4th. Then Wilson and Lynch drove the team to a winning field goal on their first possession in OT.
Colts 27 Texans 24 – The Texans had a 21-3 lead at half time. Then Coach Gary Kubiak collapsed leaving the field and the team seemed to lose focus. The team supports the coach despite the struggles of this season. The Texans played their best game of the year but the loss of their coach took the air out of the team and the crowd.
Panthers 34 Falcons 10 – The Falcons’ season is officially done. QB Matt Ryan threw 3 picks and lost a fumble. Panther QB Cam Newton did not play all that well but the D was solid enough to win. With the loss by the Saints, the Panthers are only a game behind and in good shape to make the playoffs.
Browns 24 Ravens 18 – The Browns beat the Ratbirds for the first time in 12 games. It was a big game for both teams and the Browns found a way to win. For more on this game check out Browns Ravens Live Game Notes on http://fryingpansports.com/ and the radio version of NNR with Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports covering the game on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.
The Redskins are protecting QB Griffin by not allowing him to run as much. He did run 6 times but most were because the pass protection broke down. He averaged only 2.8 yards per carry. He is fearless running the ball. The Skins are using option plays to replace his rushing yards with the TE or WR carrying the ball. But even on those plays Griffin will get hit. The team gave a lot to get RG3 and they need to protect their investment.
The Seahawks are going to get QB Russell Wilson killed because the O line is in shambles. I pointed this out in week 1. He is running for his life on almost every snap. If he gets hurt the season is ruined. It is the major failure of Seahawk management to fail to insure adequate pass protection.
The Bucs have to be heart sick having played as well as they did for four quarters in Seattle only to lose in OT. The team is playing hard but it has way too much talent to be 0-8.
Don’t assume the Texans will be in the first round QB derby in the 2014 draft. The organization believes that undrafted QB Case Keenum has shown enough to be a candidate for the job next season. He has thrown 4 TDs without a pick. He did fumble twice. The O moved much more efficiently under Keenum than under Matt Schaub. Keenum also helps attendance since he played at Houston. This means that Schaub will be elsewhere next year. The team may still draft a QB but it will likely be in the 2nd or 3rd round rather than round 1.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at http://www.merriam-press.com/. Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts. You can hear the previous shows on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and the live show Mondays at 6 PM Eastern time on The Bill Smith Radio Show.
He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.
To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.