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  • Published: Sep 17th, 2014
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News, Notes & Rumors for 09-17-2014

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Radisson Hotels suspend support for Vikes

Radisson Hotels suspend support for Vikes

News:

The Radisson Hotel chain has suspended sponsorship of the Vikings. This is what the new Viking banner looks like.

Week 2 was disastrous for a lot of teams suffering significant injuries.

Redskins lost QB Robert Griffin for a number of weeks with a dislocated ankle. They also lost WR DeSean Jackson with a shoulder sprain.

Chiefs lost RB Jamaal Charles with a high ankle sprain and S Eric Berry with a low ankle sprain.

Chargers lost RB Ryan Mathews for a month with an MCL sprain.

Saints RB Mark Ingram with a broken hand for a month.

Bengals WR A.J. Green is dealing with a toe injury.

49ers lost TE Vernon Davis with an ankle injury and Vance McDonald with a knee injury.

The Bears lost CB Charles Tillman for the year with a torn tricep.

Bucs DT Gerald McCoy broke his hand.

Bears lost CB Charles Tillman with a triceps injury.

Jags lost TE Marcedes Lewis with a ankle injury.

Jets lost WR Eric Decker.

2-0 teams

Bills – Not making the playoffs.

Bengals – Playing better than I thought and should make the playoffs.

Texans – Amazing what a last place schedule will do for a team. No playoffs.

Broncos – Will continue to win as long as Payton Manning is healthy.

Eagles – Best team in a terrible division. Playoffs.

Panthers – Falcons have fallen & Saints 0-2. Panthers could make the playoffs.

Cardinals – With the 49ers struggling they may make the playoffs.

0-2 teams

Colts – Two tough losses but in an easy division. Playoffs.

Jaguars – When Hell freezes over.

Raiders – See comment above.

Chiefs – Are not as good as 13 and got a harder schedule. No playoffs.

Giants – Dead. No chance for the playoffs.

Saints – Will make the playoffs but not go far. Needed home field in NFC.

Bucs – Better but a couple of years away from playoffs.

Notes:

Bears 28 49ers 20 – The 49ers paid the price for not protecting QB Kaepernick. The O died in the 4th quarter under the blitz of the Bears. Meanwhile the SF D was giving up points in bunches. The losses by SF in both suspensions, injuries and free agents have reduced the power of the team D. They are now at risk for missing the playoffs.

Packers 31 Jets 24 – Only the Jets could score a TD to tie the game when the bench called a TO. The Pack is not the team they have been in the past. The D has never been outstanding but now is leaking badly. The pass defense is a sieve and may end up costing the team a shot at the playoffs. The O should be better with a running game but the O line is still bad. Pack should make the playoffs unless QB Aaron Rodgers goes down.

Cowboys 26 Titans 10 – Even the Boys D can handle an offense that is playing the wrong QB. Zach Mettenberger is the better QB but the team is starting Jake Locker. Both teams are 1-1 but neither is going anywhere this year.

Panthers 24 Lions 7 – The great O of the Lions disappeared under the rush of the Panthers. I am not a Cam Newton fan but against a bad D backfield he looked OK. Carolina may make the playoffs but does not have the O to go far. Detroit is at best a middle of the pack team.

Redskins 41 Jags 10 – The injury to Robert Griffin may actually help the Skins make the playoffs. QB Kirk Cousins is a better pocket passer than RG3. The Jags are in for a long season.

Bengals 24 Falcons 10 – The Bengals are close to being the best team in the AFC North. Their D is outstanding and as long as QB Andy Dalton doesn’t try to do too much they should get into the playoffs. The Falcons suffer from a really bad D which is the only team without a sack in the league. Despite the powerful O, they are doomed.

Browns 26 Saints 24 – Good win by the Browns. To see my detailed discussion of this game check out my analysis “Great win but Browns have a lot of work to do.” Read more at http://fryingpansports.com/#7JeDkshYhp4S5ChI.99

Rumors:

Raiders may want to fire HC Dennis Allen but team owner Mark Davis is cheap and won’t want to spend money on 2 coaches. The team has a week 5 bye so someone on the coaching staff could be promoted then.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said that the Boys are going to the playoffs. That is not going to happen any time soon. If they don’t he would like to get a better HC but no one that has any NFL credibility will take the job as long as he is the GM.

The Falcons believe that last year was a singular occurrence due to injuries. But the lack of defensive pass rush and inability to convert 3rd down on O is killing them. HC Mike Smith is a very good coach but may be fired if the team doesn’t live up to what I consider unrealistic expectations.

Tons of rumors about the new drug policy have finally become fact. While the reports have been that the NFLPA player reps approved the policy, my sources tell me that is not the case. What I hear is that the reps approved the NFLPA negotiating staff to work out the details. We will report on the details when they become available.

That is what I think. Tell us what you think by commenting here or tweeting me @NNRonDSN.

NOTE: Check out the live News, Notes and Rumors show on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 PM Eastern on or http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. On Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, former NFL scout Kelron Sykes and I talk football with just a little Indians and Cavs thrown in. The archive is available on http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/. Please join us.

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 .

He also edits .

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Dec 3rd, 2013
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  • Comments: Comments Off on Browns Jaguars Live Game notes.

Browns Jaguars Live Game notes.

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BrownsLogo2

 

Note:  Listen to the radio version of News, Notes & Rumors live 6PM Monday with my co-host Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports for the recap of the Browns game and review of the week in the NFL on .  On Fridays join Samantha, Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York and me for a preview of the weekends games.

 

The first pass to TE Harbor was actually incomplete.  BAD CALL.  The receiver MUST maintain control of the ball to the ground.  He did not.

Jones-Drewdoes not look anything like he did before the injury to his foot.

Nice hit by Skrine right on time with the arrival of the ball on Jones-Drew

Punt returns were only one thing I liked about Poyer.  He has starting CB skills but is raw.  Great return!

Nice throw under pressure by Weeden.  Great adjustment by Gordon.  Schwartz let the DE in to hit Weeden as he threw.

McGahee for the TD.  47 yard drive on 3 plays

CL 7 JK 0

=

No contain allows the end around to get the 1st

8 guys in the box so Henne throws for 8

Todman for the 1st and no contain again

JONES-DREWis a lot slower than he used to be but still gets the 1st.  No contain again.  They are running the edges.

Ward called for pass interference.  Ref said “prior to the snap illegal contact”  WHAT?

1-10 CL 31 Todman for 13 up the gut.  This D does not look organized.

18 yard TD to TE Harbor ties the game.

CL 7 JK 7 80 yard drive

Gordon gets open again and Weeden gets him the ball for 23

Again Ogbonnaya hit behind the line.  Loss of 1.

3-7 Again Weeden is under extreme pressure but gets the ball out.  Gordon had it stripped by 27.

32 yard punt less 5 yards for illegal formation.  Not a good start for special teams

=

Kruger bad angle Henne gets by him but not Rubin

Skrine misses Jones-Drew and he gets the ball to the 40

Swing pass to Sanders gets 7 and the 1st

Jags catch the Browns unprepared.  But offsetting penalties negates the play.

1-10 CL 49 Todman gets 7.  The Browns are struggling with the zone blocking of the Jags

WOW A McFadden sighting!  Coverage sack by Sheard.  Henne had more than enough time to throw.

1-10 8yl McGahee gets 8 because Barn got a good block

3-.5 yard McGahee gets the 1st but was hit at the line

END OF 1ST QUARTER

 

Weeden overthrew Gordon by 6 yards

Gordon jumps way up and caught the ball 1st down

1-10 CL 48 Great catch by Gordon under pressure

Weeden finds Cameron to the JK 21 Protection was pretty good

Penalty on Cameron for false start

Little did a great job preventing a pick that Weeden threw into coverage.

Weeden shows touch to Gordon for 21 and the TD.

CL 14 JK 7

Great pick by Haden.  Timed it perfectly and undercut Shorts.

Marks gets by Lauvao and sacks Weeden.  His fumble recovered by Whit.

=

Despite a tackle for loss by the Browns, Henne gets the 1st on 3rd and 2

Browns struggle to tackle against the bubble screen

Sheard lost contain.  Todman breaks 2 tackles and gets 13 yards and the 1st

Winn gets Todman for a loss of 3.

Blitz by Mingo and Skrine fails to get there but Henne throws it away

A guy in the stands had a Weeden jersey on but had a pumpkin on his head so none of his friends would know who he was.

The Jags had the screen set up.  If Todman had caught it he would still be running.

So far Weeden has looked good.  7-11 with no picks is a lot better than usual.  Does that mean we will see the Bad Weeden in the 2nd half?

Poz almost picked off the pass to Cameron.

Another Weeden Flip underhand but this one is INC.  Greco let the pass rusher in that cause the flip.

Poz tips another pass to Cameron away.

=

36 yard punt.  Not good.

Mingo blocks the pass.  Nice play

Mingo gets Jones-Drew for just a yard.  Two good plays in a row

Ward gets Jones-Drew on a swing pass at the LOS.  Jags go 3 and out.

Weeden throws to Cameron who had 3 guys around him.  The ball was 2 yards off target and was PICKED.  Cyprian returned it for 23 yards to the Browns 17 2:29 left  Sorry Weeden, that was my fault for saying it earlier.

Weeden trusts his arm way too much.

=

Run for 6.  2 min warning

Eubanks gets a tackle of Jones-Drew for 2.

3-1 Jones-Drew throws a TD pass to TE Lewis.

CL 14 JK 14

Weeden is picked AGAIN!  Ball was 3 yards off target.  It was picked by Gratz.  The right side of the O line collapsed and Weeden wet himself again.

=

1-10 CL 28 Screen pass is blown up by McFadden who read the play.

Throw to Brown INC.

Browns call a TO after a Jones-Drew run to give Weeden time to throw another pick.

44 y FGA Good

JK 17 CL 14

Throw to Gordon very low.  He had to go to his knees to catch it.

2 passes net 7 yards.

Weeden fumbles and the Jags get it.  Schwartz gives up the sack and allowed the fumble.

Jags get a FG.

JK 20 CL 14 HALF TIME

 

Weeden is worse than Charlie Frye and Frye got traded at halftime of the 1st game of the season.

 

 

No passes yet.  That is good.

Throw to Gordon for 21.  Nice throw and good catch

1-10 JK 41 CB Ball tips the ball on a pass to Gordon but it falls INC.  It was off target again.

3-9 Pass to Little was too far out of bounds.  PN on JK Def. Holding

1-10 JK 35 Weeden hangs ball out to Gordon into double Coverage.  Hit to the head likely Concussion.

Gordon could be out for a while.

1-10 JK 20 Whit makes is average per run of 2 yards.  Mack and 82 can’t push 1 defender out of the way.

Nice throw to Cameron for 9.

Weeden throws the ball from the 4 directly at a CB but Little snatches it for the TD.

CL 21 JK 20 But it won’t last.

=

Henne throws at the feet of his receiver against the blitz.

Ward gets Jones-Drew for a loss of 3.  He is playing LB which makes the D vulnerable to the pass.

Shorts drops a pass but he was WIDE open

McGahee and Ogbonnayaget several good runs in a row.  Maybe the effort to make all those interceptions and fumble recoveries tired out the Jags D.

Weeden on 3rd and 5 is sacked.  Lauvao missed the blitzer LB Poz completely.  That was combined with the ET game.  The sack took the Browns out of FG range

53 y FGA NO GOOD

=

1-10 42 Jags go 3 and out.

Lauvao again blows the block and lets Whit get caught for a 4 yard loss

GORDON IS BACK.  He caught a short pass.

McGahee for the 1st

END OF THE 3RD

 

The ET Stunt still confounds the Browns pass protection.  Weeden is forced to throw it away.

TE Barn helping Schwartz with the DE.

Lauvao flagged for false start

Marks pushes Lauvao right into Weeden’s grill.

Cameron WIDE open vs. LB but Weeden overthrew him.

=

1-10 JK 15 Jackson blocks the pass.

D Bryant almost gets a sack.  That is what we are down to in watching the Browns.

Throw to Todman takes advantage of Jackson in coverage for the 1st

1-10 27 Browns fail to cover bubble screens well and JK uses them to get the 1st

1-10 40 Blitz fails to get the Henne passes to Sanders for the 1st

1-10 CL 49 Mingo gets Henne as he throws.  One of the few times the blitz caused an incompletion.

On 3rd pressure combined with good coverage causes Henne to throw the ball away.

1-10 14 The ball is snapped over the head of Weeden and the Browns give up a safety.  Weeden kicked the free ball out of bounds.  That was a smart play.

JK 22 CL 21

=

31 yard free kick return

1-10 CL 43 Face mask on Taylor.

1-10 26 Pass to Lewis to the 12

The Jags fail to get the 1st.  25 y FGA Good

JK 25 CL 21

Special teams strikes again.  The return is out to the 30 but the foul puts it on the 5.

95 yard TD pass to Gordon.  He caught it on the 22 and took it the rest of the way.

With the luck of the Browns he will probably celebrate with a joint and be out of the league for a year.

Or the league will declare he had a concussion and invalidate the TD

=

Sanders catches the pass to the 50.  No pressure and Ward was up on the line and Gipson missed the tackle.

16 yard gain because Haden was trying to rip the ball out rather than tackling the receiver

1-10 38 2:30 left

3rd 1 after a run and pass at the Browns 25.  They are well in FG range.

Jones-Drew gets the 1st 1:35 left 3 TO S

Browns had 10 guys on the field but Haden bailed the D out with a tackle.

Jones-Drew got 5 tough yards on 3rd and 1.

Bryant gets to Henne.  The QB almost threw a pick.

Shorts beats Haden for the TD.  Haden was looking for the short pass and was beaten on a double move.

JK 32 CL 28

The Highlight of the last Browns’ series was another Weeden flip.

 

Final Thoughts:

This was as disgusting a game as I have ever seen.  It reflected poorly on the players, the franchise, the league and the city.  As bad as it was for me, it was worse for those that spent good money and sat in the bitter cold to watch this debacle.

 

Offense:

When Campbell was hurt I predicted that Browns would not win another game with Weeden at QB.  So far I am correct.  Weeden is not an NFL quality QB.  Please understand I have nothing against the young man.  I am sure he is a wonderful person that is doing his best.  But this is Big Boy Football.  Not everybody has the skill or temperament to play at this level.  In my opinion Weeden has neither of those qualities.

Flipper is back.  How can a professional QB do that?  While none of the Weeden Flips were picked off in this game, his propensity to throw them is an indication of his lack of poise in the pocket.  Just before the 1st flip I wrote the following: “So far Weeden has looked good.  7-11 with no picks is a lot better than usual.  Does that mean we will see the Bad Weeden in the 2nd half?”  The answer was YES beyond my worst expectation.

Two picks and a fumble lost were made worse by a lot of near misses on picks:

1 Weeden throws to Cameron who had 3 guys around him.  The pass was picked.

2 The second interception was 2 yards behind Little.  It was caused by pressure from a leaky O line.

3 The Fumble resulted from Weeden running into pressure with the ball hanging out like a fish on a line.

4 When Mack snapped the ball over his head, Weeden showed the awareness to kick it out of bounds.  Giving up 2 is preferable to giving up 7.

5 Weeden throws the ball from the Jags 4 directly at a CB but Little snatches it for the TD.

6 Weeden’s 1st fumble recovered by Whit.

7 Weeden on 3rd and 5 is sacked.  Lauvao missed the blitzer completely.  The sack took the Browns out of FG range.

8 Cameron WIDE open but Weeden overthrew him.  This was one of a number of open receivers that were missed by Weeden.

9 He blamed the helmet for not getting the calls on time.

10 Weeden’s 2nd fumble was recovered by the Jags and they got a FG.

 

Weeden trusts his arm way too much and he tends to fall apart when something goes wrong.  He was

24-40 370 yards 3TDs and 2 picks and a lost fumble.  But many of the yards were by WRs not the pass.   For example Gordon caught it on the 22 and took it the rest of the way.  After the disaster, the administration claimed he had a concussion.  That was probably to get him out of the post game and Monday press conferences.

He is still panics every time he is rushed.  His footwork is horrible.  Weeden’s high throws result from bad footwork.  He is going to get someone killed like he almost did to Gordon.  When Weeden has a clean pocket, he can throw deep accurately.  With this O line that doesn’t happen often.

RBs:                                                                           

McGahee gets several good runs in a row.     He averaged 4.1 yards per attempt.  Maybe the effort to make all those interceptions and fumble recoveries tired out the Jags D.  It entered the game with one of the worst yards per attempt against the worst Rush D in the league.  The other guys did very little as well.  Ogbonnaya averaged just 2.9 per attempt and Whittaker ran for just 2.1.  The O line did not help much because again Sunday the backs were hit at or behind the LOS way too often.

WRs:                                                                          

Gordon set an NFL record with his 10 catches for 261 yards and 2TDs.  It was the first time in NFL history that a WR got 200+ yards in consecutive games.  He was hung out to dry by Weeden but came back to play.              Cameron caught 4 for just 28 yards on 7 targets.  The others had a total of 10 catches.

O Line:                                                                                  

The line gave up 3 sacks for 28 yards lost and a total of 6 QB hits.  The line still can’t figure out ET game.  The Jags got 2 sacks that way.  Lauvao, Schwartz and Grecco each gave up a sack.  Beyond that there were many more pressures against Weeden.  Mack snap to the 3rd row of the cheap seats didn’t help.  That turnover cost the Browns 5 points including the field goal that resulted from the field position provided by the free kick.  RBs are getting hit behind or at the LOS way too often.  It is impossible for any back to make yards when they are hit behind the LOS.   And again even the veterans were called for pre-snap penalties.

Defense:                                                                                 

Browns DC Ray Horton said the team needs to do a better job leading to turnovers. “We didn’t get enough turnovers,” Horton said.  Even when Haden got the pick, the offense wasted the good field position.  Ward complained about the O not holding up their end.  He is absolutely right.

The Browns defense has consistently lost contain on wide runs.  The Jags who were at the bottom of the NFL in rushing gashed the Browns D time after time on the edge.  No adjustment was made and they continued to take advantage of the inability to set the edge.  The Browns also struggled with the zone blocking scheme of the Jags.  Ward was at the line to help against the run.  That made the Browns vulnerable to long pass.  Gipson struggles in deep coverage because he takes poor angles.

 

The pass rush was not a factor in the game despite the injuries on the Jags O line.  Blitzes are not getting enough pressure on the QB.  They fail to force the quick throw and put the pass coverage at a disadvantage.  The Browns made Henne look very good.

The throws to Todman and other backs took advantage of Jackson in coverage.  The linebackers have struggled in coverage all year.  Even Haden did not have a good game again.  Shorts beat Haden for the game winning TD.

But by far the worst part of the D was allowing an 80 yard drive in less than 3 minutes.  A top D can never allow a game to be stolen by a lesser offense with that kind of drive.  There was a 16 yard gain because Haden was trying to rip the ball out rather than tackling the receiver.

Special Teams:                                                                                  

Punt returns were only one thing I liked about Poyer.  He has starting CB skills but is raw.  His first  return was very good.  But again the special teams were inconsistent.  The punting and coverage was not acceptable.  The 32 yard punt in the first quarter was made worse by the 5 yard penalty for illegal formation.  Special teams errors struck again with a return out to the 30 that was negated by the foul that put the Browns at the 5.

Long return off the free kick added three points to the lead after the safety.

Coaching:                                                                              

Chud was way too aggressive after the 1st pick.  They had a chance to go into 2nd half 14-14.  Instead two more turnovers gave the Jags a 20-14 lead at the break.  There are still TOs due to confusion on both O and D.  The team was slow to get players in and out of the game.

The team continues to make the same mistakes over and over.  The D cannot figure out how to contain the run wide.  The O line continues to fail to block the ET game.  I am not sure if the problem is the lack of teaching or the players inability to learn and implement the adjustments on the field.

Front office:                                                                          

The last 3 losses lay directly at the feet of Lombardi and Banner.   Even after two QBs were injured, they refused to bring in a 4th player to backup and learn the system.  Since then we have seen two QBs go down with injuries.  Now they may be forced to start a QB who has never thrown an NFL pass and has been with the team for a week.  I can only assume that       they WANTED to lose to get a better draft choice.

 

IF they cared a wit about the fans they would have brought in a decent QB months ago.    The running game is a joke and the O line is a disaster.  The big dollar defensive FAs have not produced much and there have been very few contributions from the 2013 draft picks.  Just 3 weeks ago the team was in a position to challenge for a playoff spot.  But with 3 straight losses, they are now in a position to challenge for a top 3 draft pick.

The Weeden plague is spreading to the D and even Mack.  The Browns are in serious danger of losing their better free agent players because the front office has been unable or unwilling to make the moves necessary to win.  Why should we trust them with the 14 Draft?           If I was the owner I would fire them both for dereliction of duty.

Where do the Browns go from here?

A month ago I was somewhat optimistic about the front office and the draft.  That no longer is the case.  Maybe they should use all their picks on QBs then pass out the ones they don’t like candy on Holloween.  What I am most afraid of is that the Browns trade both 1’s to trade up to draft Texas QB Case McCoy.

 

That’s what I think.  Tell me what you think.

 

You can listen to the podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/ and hear NNR Live Mondays and Fridays at 6PM Eastern time on .  The Monday show is a review of the previous week and the Browns game.  The Friday show previews the upcoming games.

 

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 .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Nov 27th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 12

News, Notes & Rumors for week 12

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nfl

NOTE:  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday the NFL Preview show will be tonight at 6 PM EST this week only.  Please join Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports, Tony Williams Giants beat writer for Metro New York and me for the show.

 

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.

 

News:

The NFL has to get a handle on the horrible officiating.  It is totally inconsistent.  A perfect example is two calls on hits to the QB.  Bears’ QB Josh McCown was clearly not hit in the head and was tackled chest to chest while he was holding the ball.  The flag was thrown for roughing the passer.  Browns’ QB Jason Campbell was grabbed around the neck and thrown down head first and there was no flag.  The officials seem to think the fans come to see them.  That is not the case.  The only way to solve this problem is to have instant replay on the targeting penalty.

 

KC was missing their two best pass rushers against the Chargers.  An MRI showed Tamba Hali has a sprain of the lower right ankle.  He could be probable for the next game.  LB Justin Houston could not have an MRI on his elbow because of swelling Monday.  His MRI today indicated it was dislocated.

 

Bucs CB Darrelle Revis suffered a groin injury and may 4 to 6 weeks.

 

Offensive Coordinators all over the league are wasting time outs like they are water.  Then when the game comes down to the half or the end they don’t have them to use.  Being an OC requires you to think 3 or 4 plays ahead.  The Jets for example challenged a pass play and won the challenge.  But then they had to take a TO because they could not get the call in on time.  The challenge took more than 3 minutes.  Why they did not have a play both with the challenge being successful and without it is beyond me.

 

Notes:

Cowboys 24 Giants 21 – On the first two trips inside the Boys 10 yard line the Giants were too conservative and got field goals rather than TDs.  That was the difference in the game.  Failures inside the red zone have plagued the Giants all year.  The Boys’ first TD was scored by their defense on a fumble recovery and return.  The Giants were playing catch up all afternoon but did tie the game with a two point conversion with 4:45 left in the 4th.  But the Cowboys drove down the field and kicked a 35 yard field goal that ended the game.  Maybe the Giants problem is the ugly mustache of Eli Manning.

 

Chargers 41 Chiefs 38 – Bad last drive defense cost the Chiefs the win.  The lead changed hands 5 times in a mostly even game.  The Chiefs scored to take the lead to 38-34 with 1:22 left.  The Chargers got the ball on their 22 and in just 58 seconds drove for the winning TD.  The Chief D did not get their usual level of pressure on Charger QB Phillip Rivers.  He threw for 392 yards and 3 TDs without a pick and was sacked only once.  Rivers used big pass plays to move the ball.  During the game the Chiefs lost both their top pass rushers to injury.

 

Jaguars 13 Texans 6 – The Jaguars lost the lead for the 1st overall pick in the 2014 draft with the win.  Jags QB Chad Henne was not spectacular but was able to lead the team to a 10-0 lead with 7:57 left in the 1st half.  Ten points were enough given the poor play of the Texan O.  The Texans QB Case Keenum threw 34 times but got only 169 yards with no TDs and one pick.  They scored only 2 field goals.  Both teams will be drafting a QB early in the draft.

 

Patriots 34 Broncos 31 – The game was a turnover fest.  The Pats were in a giving mood in the first half and the Broncos returned the favor in the second.  The Broncos had only one drive in the first half.  The other points came directly off Pats turnovers.  In the second half the Pats stopped turning the ball over.  The game winning FG came on a Bronco turnover.  The Broncos were forced to play zone in the second half due to the loss of CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  QB Tom Brady picked it apart.  The thing that jumped out at me was the throws by QB Payton Manning.  They fluttered both with the wind and against it even on the short throws.  Payton Manning has not done well in cold weather (1-5 in games below 32 degrees).  That could be a major red flag for the Broncos chances of going deep into the playoffs.  It looks like the ankle may be part of the problem but this may be the beginning of the end for one of the all time great QBs in the history of the league.

 

Cardinals 40 Colts 11 – The Cards moved the ball and the Colts took advantage of penalties.  There were not enough of the latter to save the Colts.  The Cards ran and passed through the Colt defense with ease.  Colt QB Andrew Luck had one of his worst games of his career against the solid Cards D.  Luck was under 50 % completion rate for just 159 yards and threw a pick 6.  Drops by his receivers did not help either.  The score went from 7-3 to 34-3 before the Colts finally scored a TD.  Cards QB Carson Palmer threw for 314 yards and 2 TDs without an interception.

 

Ravens 19 Jets 3 – The Raven D made rookie QB Geno Smith long for his days in college.  Smith completed 11 of 22 throws but two of those were to the other color jersey.  The Raven O is still in low gear.  They struggled to get the ball into the end zone and kicked 5 field goals four of which were inside the red zone.  While the Raven D may be back the offense is far from playoff ready.

 

Steelers 27 Browns 11 – The Browns were in a position to challenge for a wild card spot prior to the ugly loss to the Steelers.  For a complete analysis of the game, check out my Browns-Steelers Live Game Notes here on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

Rumors are swirling around the Redskins.  Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that QB Robert Griffin III had asked the coaching staff not to show his bad plays in the team meetings because that would hurt the other players’ faith in him.  It supposedly was the policy at Baylor.  Silver said “This is real. RGIII has expressed to teammates his dissatisfaction with Mike Shanahan and this could be coming to a head. Inside the building, when you talk to people familiar with this situation they perceive RGIII as kind of insecure, specifically about Kirk Cousins, which may be one reason he was so eager to rush back.”  Both RG3 and Coach Shanahan denied the report.

It was also rumored that Shanahan never wanted RG3.  According to that report he wanted QB Ryan Tannehill (8th pick overall) who was available with the Redskins’ first round pick (6th overall) in 2012.  That would have avoided the trade with the Rams for several first and second round picks.

If someone is going to go, the owner will choose the coach because he can get another staff without costing him any draft choices.

 

Beyond the rumors, the performance of RG3 has been way below what was expected.  Part of the issue is the injury that was less than a year ago.  But RG3 to be effective has to run the ball.  That opens up the inside lanes for the running back and keeps the play action pass effective.  He either can’t or won’t run.  He is fragile and needs to protect himself.  But until he improves his pocket passing accuracy like Seahawk QB Russell Wilson has, he will not be as effective as he was in his rookie season.

 

There are rumors that the Colts flaws are showing.  QB Andrew Luck has begun to turn the ball over and the loss of WR Reggie Wayne has hurt the offense.  The Colts biggest issue has been an inconsistent defense that really struggles on the road.  The Colts have lost 2 of their last 3 games in bad blowouts.

 

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 .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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  • Published: Nov 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors for week 11

News, Notes & Rumors for week 11

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nfl

NOTE:  This week the NFL Preview show will be on Thursday at 6 PM and next week it will be on Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving weekend.

 

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.

 

 

 

News:

The best news of the week was that Texans coach Gary Kubiak was back with the team.  He is a good guy and we hope he continues to have good health.

 

Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe was is facing possible drug charges.  According to league rules he is exempt from suspension until the legal case is adjudicated.

 

Steelers WR Emmanuel Sanders was lost for the game and perhaps longer with a foot injury.

 

The end of the Patriots Panther game was another example of bad and gutless officiating in the NFL.  After seeing TE Rob Gronkowski tackled in the endzone the official closest to the foul threw a flag.  The officials waived it off and ran off the field like a bunch of girls that had shoplifted a sweater.

 

Having been an official I have a problem with that.  The call should have been either pass interference if the ball was catchable (it was only 4 yards from one of the biggest and most athletic receivers in the league) or defensive holding.  The prior would put the ball on the 1 with an untimed down.  The alternative would have moved the ball 5 yards closer and provided an untimed down.  At the very least the officials should have had the guts to explain to the team and the viewers at home why the flag was picked up.  That kind of action makes the league look like the games are fixed.  That is the one think that can destroy the legitimacy of the league.

 

ESPN reports that the Dolphins have asked for a delay in the hearing on Richie Incognito’s non-football injury grievance.

 

Ravens General Manager and Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome was taken to the hospital during this week’s game at Chicago.  NFL.COM has reported that he is feeling fine and has returned to Baltimore.  We wish the Hall of Famer Newsome the best.

 

 

Notes:

Steelers 37 Lions 27 – The Steelers wore the Bumble Bee throw back uniforms which should be called throw up uniforms.  The Bees started hot throwing a couple of short passes which Antonio Brown took to the endzone to build a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with the no huddle O.  That was something that they had not shown before.  The Lions scored 27 second quarter points but did not score again.  The key play was a fake field goal attempt by the Lions in the pouring rain that failed.  In the 2nd half the Steelers increased the heat on Stafford.  Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger ended up 29-43 for 367 yards and 4 TDs without a pick.  The Lions defensive line could not get much pressure on Roethlisberger only sacking him once.  Lions QB Matt Stafford did not have a good day in the winds of Hines Field.  He was only 19 of 46 with 2 TDs and 1 interception.  The Lions also lost 2 fumbles.  WR Calvin Johnson caught 6 for 179 yards and 2 TDs but did not have a catch in the 2nd half.

 

Raiders 28 Texans 23 – The Texans are done.  Neither their O or D played well.  They turned the ball over twice and the offense was so bad they benched Case Keenum (13-24 170-1-1) and brought Pick Six Matt Schaub (12-25-155-0-0) back in.  The Texans got an 87 yard TD on a punt return by Keshawn Martin but were -2 in turnovers.  Undrafted QB Matt McGloin threw three TDs in his first NFL start.  He was 18 for 32 for 197 with the 3 TDs and no interceptions.  The Texans took a 17-14 lead into the 3rd quarter but McGloin threw two of his TDs in the quarter.  The best the Texans could generate under Schaub was two field goals.  The Texans were able to convert only 2 of 16 3rd down attempts.

 

Bears 23 Ravens 20 OT – The Ravens had a 10-0 lead when the field was cleared for almost 2 hours due to heavy rain and lightening.  When the game resumed the Bears tied the game on a field goal and a pick 6 by David Bass.  The poor field reduced the pass rush of the Ravens.  However, it did not seem to slow down the Bears pass rush.  Baltimore QB Joe Flacco threw two picks and 1 TD.  He now has thrown 13 of each this season.  That combined with the hip injury to Ray Rice are the primary reasons the O has struggled in 2013.  Bears 2nd team QB Josh McCown did not.  The Ravens got the running game going with RB Rice gaining 131 yards and a 5.2 yard average.  He is looking healthier.  The Ravens got a field goal to tie the game with 3 seconds left but the Bears kicked a field goal in overtime to win.

 

Eagles 24 Redskins 16 – Eagles QB Nick Foles took advantage of a Redskin defense that is one of the worst in the league.  He threw for nearly 300 yards and led the Eagles to two TDs and ran a third in himself.  Under Foles the Eagle O does not come close to running the 80+ plays per game.  But unlike QB Mike Vick, Foles does not turn the ball over.  He has thrown 16 TDs and has yet to throw a pick.  While leading rusher LeSean McCoy was held to 77 yards he did score 2 TDs.

Redskin QB Robert Griffin threw an interception and lost a fumble under a lot of pressure from the Eagle D line.  RG3 never looked comfortable and the game was over before the Skins O got started.  Not only is he playing behind a patched up line he is without any quality receivers.

 

Bills 37 Jets 14 – Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel outdueled Jets rookie Geno Smith to lead the Bills to a win at home.  Manuel was 20 of 28 for 242 yards and 2 TDs without an interception.  Smith was 8 for 23 for 103 yards and three interceptions without a TD.  He also fumbled twice but recovered one.  Smith has turned the ball over 20 times this season including 16 interceptions.  Smith was replaced by Matt Simms who did throw a TD pass.  The Bills jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the second quarter mostly from Smith’s turnovers and the Jets never recovered.  The Bills defense got 4 sacks and harassed Jet QBs all day.

 

Saints 23 49ers 20 – The Saints got a little home town officiating.  Late in the game the 49ers sacked Brees taking them out of field goal range.  But there was a flag for a hit to the head which wiped out the loss and added 15 yards.  Replay showed the hit was on the neck.  The kick was good which tied the game.  As time expired another field goal got the Saints the win.

The Saints D shut down the 49er running game.  49er QB Colin Kaepernick threw two TDs and the defense forced 3 turnovers.  He was chased all over the field and got sacked 3 times.  The 49er receivers did not get open.  The loss puts the team in danger of missing the playoffs.  They are now tied with the Cardinals at 6-4.  The passing game of the Saints prevailed.  QB Drew Brees threw for 300 yards and led the Saints to 2 touchdowns and three field goals for the win.  The Saints are a much better team at home than on the road.  At 8-2 the Saints need to keep winning to have any chance of catching the Seahawks.

 

Broncos 27 Chiefs 17 – The flaws of the Chiefs game were exposed against the Broncos.  The Chiefs do not have the offense to score enough to overcome a quality team.  They had build a 9-0 record against backup QBs on below average teams.  The Chief offense had not scored a TD in 6 quarters coming into the game.  That is not a formula for a championship.  The Broncos are a legitimate threat to go all the way to the Super Bowl ONLY if QB Payton Manning can stay healthy.

 

Bengals 41 Browns 20 – Four turnovers and two blocked punts did in the Browns chance to win.  When your fans give the team a standing ovation for getting a punt off, thing on special teams are bad. For the details of the game check out my Browns Bengals Live Game Notes on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

The Steelers will face major cap space issues in part due to the big contract they gave Roethlisberger.  They are also getting old and brittle particularly on defense.  Look for the team to let some big name (and big salary) older players go including SS Troy Polamalu.  A trade of Roethlisberger is not likely because the cap hit would be over 12 million dollars.

 

Watching Vikings RB Adrian Peterson over the last few weeks I have to believe he is not healthy.  He does not have the burst or the jump step he has shown over his career.

 

With 6 weeks to go in the season it is time to look at those coaches on the hot seat.  The two that jump out are Jacksonville and Tampa Bay.  Both are very much in need of more wins to insure their return next season.

The Vikings, Falcons, Texans and Redskins share the Under-Achiever of the year award and the coaching staffs may be gone next season.  Redskins coach Mike Shanahan has an excuse due to the bounty that was paid for QB Griffin and the salary cap hit imposed by the NFL.  That excuse may not apply to GM Bruce Allen.  Both the trade and the errors that resulted in the penalty by the league were decisions made by Allen.

 

 

This week’s “Too smart for your own good” award:

Lions Coach Jim Schwartz wins the award for going for a fake field goal in the 4th quarter leading the Steelers by 4.  The attempt failed (as most of them do) and the Lions lost the game.

 

 

 

 

 

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 .  

To keep up with the News, Notes & Rumors podcasts, follow me on twitter @NNRonDSN.

 

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 19th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

News, Notes & Rumors Week 2 of the preseason

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nflNews:

NOTE:  Next week I will discuss in some detail all the preseason game performances by the starters.

Injuries continued this week.  TE Dustin Keller MI tore all the ligaments in his knee and has a dislocated knee cap.  He is out for the season.  The Fish may trade for a starting quality TE.  But this injury will really hurt the development of QB Tannahill.

The Broncos lost 3 players Saturday against the Seahawks.  CB Champ Bailey left with a serious foot sprain, WR Wes Welker had an regular (not a high) ankle sprain and G Louis Vasquez had a knee injury.

The Browns lost 4 players to injury including OG Pinkston (high ankle sprain), RB Dion Lewis (broken leg),  and TE Barnidge (knee sprain).  In addition first round pick Barkevious Mingo suffered a bruised lung and spent 2 nights in the hospital.  He should be ready for the opener against the Dolphins.  The Jets lost LB Quinton Coples (ankle) and the Giants lost WR Victor Cruz (heal).

Bills QB E.J. Manuel has a knee issue and will not play the rest of the preseason.  He had a minor knee procedure on Sunday.  The bad news for QB Kevin Kolb is that HC Doug Marrone said the injury will not affect the QB competition.  In my opinion Kolb is not a starting quality QB.

Notes:

Kevin Kolb

Kevin Kolb (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of the scores of the preseason games were very low again this week.  While I wish I could tell you it was due to great play of the defenses, I cannot.  In most cases the offenses look pathetic.  Turnovers, penalties, missed passes to open receivers, and poor execution have been the hallmark of this preseason.

Mark Sanchez NJ was himself on Saturday.  He went 5 for 5 driving the ball down the field against the Jags then threw a pick in the endzone.  With 24 seconds left in the first half the Jags muffed a punt.  The Jets got possession on the Jags’ 3.  And in typical Sanchez fashion he ran out the clock on 3rd at the 6.  The Jets came away with nothing.  This team is going nowhere until they replace Sanchez.  He is a disaster waiting to break the hearts of Jets fans.

We saw RB Eddie Lacy GB for the first time this preseason.  He looked very good.  He broke tackles and looks like the winner of the back of the future for the Pack.

The Jags are horrendous and the issue is not all QB Gabbert.  He left the game with an injury.  The D is playing a little better than last year but the O is abysmal.

The Colt O line is very poor at both run blocking and pass protection.  QB Andrew Luck took way too many hits last year.  The team has been unable to find quality O linemen in recent drafts.

Rumors:

The NFLPA is planning to file a grievance against the Pats on behalf of TE Aaron Hernandez because the team did not pay him for a workout bonus.  The union is walking on VERY thin ice here.  It should leave the issue alone.  There is no good PR that will come out of representing Hernandez.

Having seen two Jags games we know a couple of things.  First, the team needs better quarterbacking to be successful.  Second, the helmet looks like the new team owner could not afford the extra money to paint the entire hat gold.  Instead, the front looks like it is flat black primer.  Maybe if they win more they can have the front of the helmet painted gold as well.

Fantasy Football hints:

Look for RB Adrian Foster (HO) to have a great season.  The injury is a concern but for the first time in a while Foster will have an outstanding FB leading the way.  FB Greg Jones comes over from Jacksonville to become the lead blocker for Foster.  He is a solid blocker that can catch out of the backfield as well.

As much as I like QB Russell Wilson SE, I am concerned about the O line.  Be careful about taking him too early.  He has lost a real weapon in WR Percy Harvin and the O line is not protecting him as well as it should.

Unless RB Monte Ball comes through the Broncos are going to depend on QB Payton Manning more than last year.  RB Ronnie Hillman is not effective enough to provide a balanced pass/run ratio.

RB Steven Jackson AT looks very good behind a line that can block the run.  While his carries and yards will be significantly higher than last year’s group (ranking 29th in rushing), the gross numbers for QB Matt Ryan may go down.  It should however make the Falcons more successful in the playoffs.

The Giants were 9-7 last season.  But they lost 3 games by 4 points or less in part because they were not able to execute at critical times in those close games.  This season the first string has exhibited the same lack of execution at key moments in games.  If they want to contend, they will have to clean up those details.

That’s what I think.  Tell us what you think.

You can listen to the NNR podcasts at http://fryingpansports.com/radio-show/.

Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro football 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/.

He also edits http://fryingpanpolitics.org/. 

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Thoughts about Black Monday in the NFL

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English: LOVIE SMITH, of the Chicago Bears, in...

English: LOVIE SMITH, of the Chicago Bears, in action during the Bears game against the Cleveland Browns on November 1, 2009 in Chicago, IL. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thoughts about Black Monday in the NFL

 

Browns:  The one gift I had to wait for was the firing of HC Pat Shurmur.  I am not a fan of former Bronco HC McDaniel but he would be better than Shurmur.  Of the coaches expected to be released my choice for the Browns would be Ken Whisenhunt.  He is a D guy but a good coach that made the best of the bad personnel decisions made by a poor GM.  My second choice would be Lovie Smith if he is let go.  Both have been to a Super Bowl and would run a tight ship without being a dictator.

 

I have mixed feelings about GM Tom Heckert being fired.  While he has by far done the best job of any GM the team has had since 1999 that is not a very high standard.

 

Cowboys:  They are out of the playoffs thanks to QB “Captain Collapse” (I want a copyright on that phrase) Tony Romo.  It will not cost his HC a job but this team has underperformed for years.  Maybe Jerry should think about firing his GM—himself.

 

Cardinals:  Ken Whisenhunt deserved better than he is going to get.  He deserved to have an NFL caliber QB.  But the blame for the collapse belongs on the shoulders of GM Rod Graves.  All indications are it was his choice to trade for QB Kevin Kolb.  Graves did not choose wisely.

 

Bears:  The Bear cubs are the first team to start a season 7-1 and not make the playoffs.  The total collapse of the O line and injuries on the D ended any chance of the playoffs.  HC Lovie Smith may be fired but deserves better.

 

Chiefs:  There is no hope for fans of the KC Chefs.  They will be cooking up another bad batch of BBQ because they fired HC Crennel but kept inept GM Pioli.  If the GM stays look for the Chefs to hire ex-Bronco HC McDaniel.  McDaniel will want to try to recover the career of QB Cassel.

 

Chargers:  The firing of both HC Norv Turner and GM Smith are 2 years too late to prevent the need to rebuild rather than tweak the roster.  Under less than brilliant leadership of these two the team got old and inept.

 

Jaguars:  Who cares?  GM Smith was fired but it looks like HC Mike Mularkey may be safe for now.  This team is dying as quickly as the town in which it plays.

 

Eagles:  HC Andy Reid is out.  He will not be unemployed for long unless he decides to take a year or two off.  He is a very good coach but 14 years is long enough for any coach to grow stale.

 

Jets:  The team fired GM Mike Tannenbaum but not HC Rex Ryan.  Frankly both should have gone.  The team needs to produce more and talk a lot less.

 

Panthers:  Some changes are not for the better.  This team fired HC Fox 2 years ago and now may fire Ron Rivera.  Rivera is doing the best he can with a less than stellar roster.  He has a hc (head case) at QB and a lot of holes on the team.

 

 

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/.

He edits .  

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