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  • Published: Oct 29th, 2013
  • Category: NFL Football
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News, Notes & Rumors for week 8

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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:

Eagles Coach Chip Kelly’s offense has now gone 8 quarters without scoring a TD.  The team is now 3-5 and have lost 2 in a row.  Kelly has been forced to slow down the super speed O because of injuries and turnovers.  The only thing keeping the Eagles in the race for the NFC Least title is the bad records of the other teams in the division.  The future of this O is still very much in question.

 

Cowboy WR Dez Bryant went off on the sideline during a loss to the Lions.  He is right that he is the most talented receiver on the team and needs to get the ball more often.  QB Tony Romo is struggling this year to get the ball out.  If they want to win they had better find a way to get the ball to Dez.

 

Bengals OT Andrew Whitworth suffered a knee injury and will have an MRI this week.

 

Cardinal WR Larry Fitzgerald is the youngest player ever to amass 800 passes in his career.  He will be a first ballot Hall of Famer as soon as he is eligible.

 

Lions WR Ryan Broyles has a ruptured Achilles’ and will be lost for the season.  He has struggled with injuries in his brief career.

 

Pats RT Sebastian Vollmer was carted off the field with a knee injury.

 

Dolphins WR Brandon Gibson suffered a knee injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

 

 

 

 

Notes:

Giants 15 Eagles 7 – The G-Men kicked the Eagles to a win with 5 field goals.  The Giant D was not the key.  The Eagle O was totally inept and did not score a point.  The lone TD of the game came on a fumble recovery and return by the Eagle special teams member Najee Goode.  The O converted only 3 of 12 third down attempts and turned the ball over 3 times.  QB Mike Vick left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury but it did not matter.  He was 6 for 9 for 30 yards and a pick.  QB Matt Barkley threw only 1 interception and a fumble lost.  But behind Barkley the team was not close to getting the ball into the red zone let alone the endzone.  The Eagles had just 48 yards on 19 rushing attempts.  Giant QB Eli Manning threw for 246 yards and did not have a pick.

 

Broncos 45 Redskins 21 – Neither team could give the ball away fast enough.  The teams combined for 9 turnovers including 3 interceptions thrown by Payton Manning.  But Manning also threw 4 TDs and the combination of Robert Griffin and Kirk Cousins together threw only 1 TD.  Griffin was hurt again and replaced by Cousins.  The Broncos overcame the turnovers to dominate the fourth quarter and the final score.

 

Patriots 27 Dolphins 17 – The Dolphins were up 17-3 at half time.  Pats QB Tom Brady threw for 116 yards with a TD and a pick.  Brady’s throwing hand was badly swollen.  Most would expect the Pats lost but the D came through with 6 sacks and 3 turnovers.  The key adjustment in the second half was the Pats began to blitz often.  That stopped the Fish’s O cold.  The Pats scored 24 straight points in the 2nd half to put the game away.  The Pats ran for 152 yards.  Despite the injuries the Pats just find a way to win.

 

49ers 42 Jaguars 10 – The people of London have not seen such a one sided affair since they had to evacuate their troops from Dunkirk.  49er QB Colin Kaepernick ran for 2 TDs and threw for another.  RB Frank Gore ran for a pair of scores as well.  Jags QB Chad Henne did his best throwing for 228 yards with a TD and no interceptions.  But the Jags converted just 4 of 14 third down opportunities and the 49ers only faced 3rd down 9 times.  They converted 6 of the 9.  The Jags need a QB and will likely get the first pick in the 2014 draft to select one.

 

Raiders 21 Steelers 18 – Raider QB Terrelle Pryor opened the scoring with a 92 yard run for a TD.  RB Darren McFadden added 2 rushing TDs.  The Raider D held the Steelers to just 35 yards rushing on 19 carries and allowed just 4 first downs on 15 tries by the opponent.  Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 45 times and was picked twice with 5 sacks.  After two consecutive wins it looked like they had turned things around.  But the loss to the Raiders showed there are still a bunch of issues in Pittsburgh.

 

Lions 31 Cowboys 30 – The Boys kicked a field goal with 1:02 left in the 4th to take the lead to 30-24.  Then they let Lions QB Matthew Stafford drive the length of the field to score the winning TD with 12 seconds on the clock.  The issue was the scheme.  The Boys doubled the TE and left Calvin Johnson man to man.  Stafford hit him with the pass that setup the final score.  Stafford threw for 488 yards including 14 catches for 329 yards to Johnson.  The Boys had a 20-10 lead with 11:32 left in the game but could not hold on.  The Cowboy pass defense is a mess.

 

Bengals 45 Jets 9 – The Bengals D made Geno Smith look like a rookie.  They sacked him 3 times and picked him off twice.  In the first quarter the Jets netted 1 yard on 9 plays.  The Bengals played long ball against the Jets defensive backfield.  The line gave Bengal QB Andy Dalton time and he threw a career high 5 TDs.  The Bengal D contributed 2 pick 6’s.  The over hyped Jets D looked slow and confused by the young Dalton.

 

Saints 35 Bills 17 – It was just another day at the office for Drew Brees.  He threw 5 TDs and passed for 332 yards and no interceptions.  The Bills were totally overwhelmed and looked like they would rather be anywhere other than the Super Dome.  Bills QB Thad Lewis was OK.  He went 22 for 39 for 234 yards with a TD and a pick but also lost 2 fumbles.  The Bills can’t compete against a top level NFL team.

 

Chiefs 23 Browns 17 – QB Jason Campbell is the 20th guy to start a game for the Browns since the team came back in 1999.  At least the Browns did not trade him in the middle of the 3rd quarter like they did Charlie Frye on his start game 1 against the Steelers in 2007.  For my complete analysis of this game check out Browns Chiefs Live Game Notes here on http://fryingpansports.com/.

 

 

Rumors:

With the trading deadline this Tuesday at 4PM EDT, the rumors this week revolve around possible trades.  Normally there is a lot of talk and very little action around the NFL trade deadline.  This season could be different because of the large number of injuries that have occurred.

 

WRs seem to be the most needed addition to teams looking toward the playoffs.  The Colts are interested in trading for one as are the Packers.  The Colts have already traded their first pick in 2014 to the Browns for RB Trent Richardson.

 

The Browns have the for sale sign out on just about everyone.  According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports they are willing to trade TE Jordon Cameron as well as WR Josh Gordon.  The 49ers are looking to move both WR Jonathan Baldwin and CB Nnamdi Asomugha.

 

The Falcons may consider trading TE Tony Gonzalez after their loss to the Cardinals.  They would ask him if he wanted to be traded first.  He resigned this year only to try to get a championship ring.  Now that the Falcons are 2-5 that is not likely to happen in Atlanta.

 

The Jags have the for sale sign out but have very few players that would attract interest.  DE Jason Babin is the one player in which a contender might have interest.

 

The Giants are willing to trade DE Justin Tuck according to La Canfora.  He also believes that the Vikes are trying to move DE Jared Allen and the Raiders could be willing to trade RB Darren McFadden.  With the emergence of RB Andre Ellington, the Cards might trade RB Ryan Williams.  The Saints would like to trade former 1st round bust RB Mark Ingram.

 

The Cards will have to trade WR Larry Fitzgerald or restructure his contract because of a very large base in 2014.

 

The salary cap issues are going to force the Cowboys to make some serious moves next season.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

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Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys before the 200...

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Fantasy Football Quarterbacks

Having a good quarterback is a key to success in fantasy football. Every year, the league is based more around passing than running. A lot of teams will throw to their running backs almost as much as they hand them the ball. When you are drafting, you should consider the following three QBs to be at the top of the list.

Most fantasy football players draft quarterbacks early, but not as early as they draft their running backs and wide receivers. That’s in spite of the fact that fantasy football quarterbacks will consistently score more points for a team than a running back or a wide receiver. The difference is that you can only start a single quarterback, but you can almost always start two running backs and two wide receivers.

That being said, quarterbacks are important, and here are some tips and suggestions about some quarterbacks to keep an eye on in 2011.

1. Tom Brady

Last year, he got the ball to Danny Woodhead, a Division Three, undrafted rookie, and two rookie tight ends. He got no help from Randy Moss and had to throw to Deion Branch, who is well out of his prime. He still threw for a nine to one touchdown to interception ratio. With Ochocinco in the lineup this year, he will be unstoppable.

2. Aaron Rodgers

All he did was win the Super Bowl, and he will have more talent this year with the return of both Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley.

3. Philip Rivers

Rivers just puts up numbers. Even when the Chargers lose, he throws for two hundred and fifty yards. With Vincent Jackson returning, he will have a huge year.

4. Tony Romo

People like to make fun of Tony Romo, and maybe he deserves some of this derision. But with starters like these, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Jason Witten, he’s going to put numbers on the board this year for sure.

5. Matt Schaub

Schaub would be higher on this list, but the running game on his team is going to reduce the number of passes that he’s going to throw. That’s going to affect his fantasy football performance. He’s still a good pick, but he’s not as good as some of the other quarterbacks on this list.

6. Matt Ryan

He’s been playing long enough to consider him a veteran. He could be a great value pick in your league this year, because he usually goes late. So keep your eye on him.

7. Matthew Stafford

If he can avoid getting injured, he should be able to put numbers on the scoreboard for you.

There are a few QBs not mentioned that could contend for these spots, including Peyton Manning.

John Clifton has written more about fantasy football quarterbacks at FantasyFootballTips.org.

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  • Author:
  • Published: Sep 8th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Tuesday Morning QB: What we learned from the NFL Preseason.

Tuesday Morning QB: What we learned from the NFL Preseason.

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The 4th preseason game was a preview of the 09 Lions and the UFL.

There were a lot of players in the last preseason game that will end up cut by their current teams. Several of those were picked up by the Lions on waivers. Some of the most notable included Yamon Figurs (WR), Kevin Hobbs (CB), Copeland Bryan (DE), Marcus McCauley (CB), and Cletis Gordon (CB). McCauley (Mn) has started in the league and may start for the Lions.

The UFL has been scouring the cut lists to get players. Expect them to sign as many “name brand” NFL players as possible. Teams have also been stocking their practice squads with young players (2 full years playing credit or less). Any team can sign a player to its 53 man roster from another teams practice squad.

Quarterback starters are named except in Cleveland.

The Jets named rookie Mark Sanchez the starter. Sanchez is not ready to start. He has the same problems that all rookie QBs. See the detail of these issues below.

Tampa Bay has picked vet Byron Leftwitch as their starter. Leftwitch won the job as a seat warmer for QB of the future rookie Josh Freeman. That seat won’t be warm for a while. If the Bucs fall out of the playoff chase, Freeman may take over. However, he is much further away from be ready to start than Sanchez. The Bucs traded Josh McCown.

The Lions are going to start rookie Matthew Stafford. Stafford is going to have a very rough season unless the O line comes together.

Then there is the Browns. Coach Mangini has not announced which QB will start. Everyone assumes it will be Quinn. If he is hoping that keeping the starter a secret will give him a competitive advantage in game 1. Based on how the Vikes D and the Browns O looked, whatever advantage that might be is not going to be nearly enough.

Why do so many rookie QBs that start end up failing?

There are 3 areas that even the best rookie QB has to get experience in before he can be successful. First, the speed of the NFL game is many times that of college. Patterns develop faster. The rush gets to the QB faster. The DBs close on receivers faster. A QB has to adjust to that and the adjustment takes time.

Second, the defensive players are all better and smarter than the best college player that they ever faced. They bait rookies into interceptions and hide coverages much better than college D ever could.

Third, the complexity of the O and D playbooks in the NFL. A typical college playbook is 100-150 pages. The average NFL playbook is closer to 1000. A college QB has never faced the combinations of man/zone coverages, zone blitzes, and rotating zones that he will in the NFL.

Why did Matt Ryan (AT), Ben Roethlisberger (PT) and Joe Flacco (BA) succeed when so many others failed?

All three of those above had a couple of things in common. The most important was a great running game. They were not asked to win games. Rather they were asked to keep the chains moving and not lose the game. All three had solid O lines. You don’t get a good running game without a good O line. The other thing each had was an above average D. Pittsburgh and Baltimore had outstanding Ds. Atlanta’s D was better than most think.

In the case of most of the failures, the teams had none of those qualities. When you ask a rookie to be the QB, he will not succeed without some of those factors around him.

College Football snippets.

Ohio State has to play better on the O and D lines than they did against Navy if they want to win vs. USC.

The Buckeyes were unable to run up the gut against a lighter D line. They were also unable to protect the passer effectively. The Midshipmen were able to run the ball at will against what was supposed to be a great OSU D. If they play the same way against USC, it is going to be a very long game.

BYU makes a statement to be included in the BCS.

Those that didn’t watch the Oklahoma BYU game may have thought that the upset by BYU was due to the injury to QB Sam Bradford. That is not the case. Even when Bradford was in the game, the BYU team was putting pressure on him, stopping the run, and moving the ball against the Sooner D. The way BYU played indicates they are a very solid team. Even if they go undefeated, they will lose out to a 1 loss SEC or BIG-12 team for consideration for the national championship game.

Bradford’s injury shows the danger for a top junior player skipping the draft.

Had Bradford been part of the 08 draft, he would have been the #1 pick. Upside is that he and his family would be set for life financially. Downside is he would have to play for the 0-16 Lions. I wrote that Bradford was making a mistake by not going into the draft. He had nothing left to prove to NFL scouts. Now that he is hurt and his team has a loss in non league competition, the chances for the Sooners making the national championship game are reduced by half. The news about the injury is promising and we all hope he gets back to action soon.

Virginia Tech is not ready to compete for the NCG.

The game vs. Alabama was a must win for VT to have any claim on a spot in the big game.

Talk of Rutgers being a national power is at best premature.

A above average Cincinnati team spanked Rutgers. So much for preseason rankings. Does anyone remember Georgia being #1 in the preseason polls of 08?

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 17th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Rap up of the Preseason 1 NFL games

Rap up of the Preseason 1 NFL games

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This will become a regular Monday column. I will comment on some of the key games of the week. Let me know what you think of it.

Cleveland at Green Bay—Ugly is as ugly does.

Cleveland: The Browns looked bad. The Browns need a pass rush and the ex-Jets don’t have the ability to generate it. Look for DE Williams to get traded. He is not a fit in the 3-4. By the way, Mangenus said that QB Ratliff was a guy he really liked in the trade down from the 4th pick in the draft. Coach, just what was it you saw?

Green Bay: Packer fans shouldn’t get too giddy about the win because they were playing only part of the Browns D without NT Rogers. The Pack O looks very sharp. Bret Who?

Dallas at Oakland—QB Russell looks better

Oakland: JaMarcus Russell looks a lot better. He still is not starter quality but seems to have been working on his mechanics. The running game looks sharp and deep. On D the pass D is fine but they will have to find a way to stop the run.

Dallas: The Dallas O looks confused and shaky. The 1st team O line struggled against Oakland. Romo still has not convinced me he is all pro quality. TO may have been a distraction in the locker room but the WR corps is not nearly as talented as it was before he was released. The D looks OK. DE Igor Olshansky needs to step up his production. S Gerald Sensabaugh may be better in pass coverage than Williams was but does not support the run as well.

Washington at Baltimore—Is it soup yet? Yes, Campbell Soup.

Washington: Jason Campbell is still the QB because the team couldn’t get anyone else they liked better. He is still as inconsistent as always. His mechanics are a little better but still not solid. The other big question is the O line. RT Stephon Heyer held his own against a good Ravine D line but the running game struggled. It was not totally because Clinton Portis was out. The line had a tough time running against the Ravines D. The D didn’t have new addition DT Albert Haynesworth and it showed. They struggled against the running game.

Baltimore: Joe Flacco is great between the 20s. It is in the red zone that he struggles. Having WR Derrick Mason back helps a lot. Don’t forget him in your Fantasy Draft.  RB Willis McGahee looked good. Competition from Ray Rice has inspired him. C Matt Birk provides leadership for a young line. The O line is not yet ready to deal with multiple blitzes. They had better get ready before they play the Steelers. The D looks ready now. It is good to see SS Dawan Landry back from injury.

Denver at San Francisco—Opps, we got the wrong QB!

Denver: QB Orton looked HORRIBLE! He will get better. QB Sims was better but played against the reserves. We will see how he does against some starters. The D is worse. The team looks like it has no idea what the 3-4 is let alone how it is supposed to work. Any change in system will take some time. That time has not come yet for the Broncos.

San Francisco: The team isn’t sure who the QB should be. Smith looked good but it was against Denver. Hill wasn’t in long enough to tell much. Huard would have been better last year in KC with decent protection.

Atlanta at Detroit—Matthew Stafford looks like the real deal.

Detroit: Stafford looked good. He made good reads and accurate throws. The running game is going to be a problem. I am not a fan of Kevin Smith. Rookie Aaron Brown (TCU) could be a find. The D looked a little better but Atlanta wasn’t showing much. The Lions held the Falcons to under 250 net yards. Besides, the Lions won the game!

Atlanta: The Falcon’s O is ready to go. RB Turner looks perfect. Rookie of the year QB Ryan is middle of the season sharp. The Falcon starters are fine but the team does not have enough depth to keep the O going a full season. The D looked totally off. The D gave up over 400 yards to the Lions. That is a bad sign.

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 is a senior writer for and edits http://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

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