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  • Published: Oct 29th, 2013
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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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Browns Redskins live game notes

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Brandon Weeden

Brandon Weeden (Photo credit: Erik Daniel Drost)

Browns Redskins live game notes

3 and out for the Skins is a good start for the D.

TRich showed his vision on the 14 yard run.

Weeden missed the wide open Gordon.  You can not do that

3rd and long again stops a drive.  The team has WAY too many of those.  Part of the issue is lack of getting yardage running because they don’t get to the 2nd level to open holes.

=

Haden breaks up the 1st down pass

Skins have a blocking issue as well.  They didn’t block the back side and were trapped by Taylor.

Rookie QB mistake caused the pick.  Can’t throw into double coverage.  Tipped by Brown and picked by Ward.

One play drive for the TD.  Great push by TRich for the TD.

=CL 7 WA 0 8:41 1st

Cousins is not even looking down field.  He is just throwing to the checkdown guy.

Great coverage and good pass rush and Sheard gets the sack.

1st down penalty not good.

Good job by Weeden to get the pass off accurately with a guy hanging on him.

Again a short pass on 3rd and long results in a punt.  The 3rd down playcalls have been a big issue.

=

Taylor locks down the run again.  Great play.

Long pass irritates the Skins bench.  But the ball was uncatchable.

Good coverage on the checkdown and the Skins are 3 and out.

Even TRich’s great vision can’t help because there was no blocking.

Fletcher smells out the swing pass.

MoMass open and Weeden misses him badly.  This again just can not happen.

Bad punt gives the Skins great field position.

Great throw by Cousins to Hankerson results in a TD Wash.

Young blew coverage.  He was not deep enough and let the pass go behind him.  WE NEED A NEW FS.

– WA 7 CL 7

No team can drive facing 3rd and long every series.  The Browns have 3rd and 8+ almost every series.

End of the 1st Q

Another bad punt from Hodges.  37 yards.

=

Ward does not wrap up and missed a tackle on the RB

Cousins  rifles a ball to a 1st down.  He is getting less nervous each play.

On 4th and 1 the Skins go for an off side by the Browns but it fails.

After the TO the Skins were going to throw but the penalty made them punt.

Weeden has not been accurate up to now in this game.  He has to get yardage on 1st and 2nd down.

Weeden missed Gordon again throwing behind him.

Former Buckeye Worthington knocks down the 2nd down pass.  3rd and long again.

Good effort by MoMass but the pass is only 4 yards and his effort is short of the LTG.

Good punt by Hodges 51 yards.

This game is going Skins direction.  The Browns have looked awful on O.

=

Cousins gets 17 yards and a 1st on a roll out.  If Griffin was in the game the score would be 21-0.

The Browns D leave the Skins best WR Garcon WIDE open.  He catches the ball but the Ref says it hit the ground at the 31.  The challenge was denied.

Royster runs a wheel route and the Skins convert on a 3rd and 9.

Cousins throws off target due to him falling down.  The pressure was not a factor.

44 yard FG

-Wa 10 CL 7 5:46 left

The Browns get an off side and only face a 1st and 5.  But the pass was behind Gordon.

TRich faces a team picture of the D and loses 2.  The O line HAS to get blocks.

Weeden is not seeing the field well.

Gordon is hit by Alexander and the LB is the loser in the contact.  Gordon’s effort gets the 1st

Good crossing pattern gets the Browns 2nd and reasonable.

Little was WIDE open and gets the ball.

Good run by Cribbs on the Wild Cat.

2 minute warning.

The Browns need to get 7 not 3 on this possession.

Great run by TRich for the TD.  Again it was his vision that allowed him to see the hole and get to the Goal line.  Good call because his knee was down.

Gut check time for the O LINE.  They have to push the ball in.  TRich breaks a tackle and scores.

=CL 14 WA 10

The skins are running no huddle and the Browns get a sack.  Rather than calling a TO as soon as the guy goes down Shurmur lets 10 seconds run off the clock.

Again if RG3 was the QB the half time score would be 21-7.

HALFTIME

Weeden starts the half by throwing a pick.  He never saw the LB drifting into the zone.

=

In 3 plays the Skins score.

-WA 17 CL 14

Schwartz is called for illegal procedure.

Another 3 and out by the Browns.  RT Mitchell was late picking up his assignment and Kerrigan blocks the 3rd down pass to TRich which would not have made the LTG anyway.  He was double covered.

That is followed by another bad punt by Hodges.

=

Cousins is hot now.  Good throw to the 15 then a nice pass for the TD.  He read the Blitz and Hankerson was WIDE open for the score.

The Skins see that the Giants are getting pounded 24-0 by the Falcons so this game puts them in a position to win the division with a win next week.

As the sun pulls away from the shore and the ship sinks slowly in the west…

-WA 24 CL 14 7:40

Weeden is staring down the receiver.  Nice throw to Little but a vet DB core would have picked it too.

Weeden again stares down Little and CB Hall nearly picks it.

Browns set up to go for a 4th and 3 on the 41 with Cribbs in the backfield and the Skins call TO.

Weeden on 4th down panics and throws the ball away.  How can you do that?

=

Garcon is called for taunting.  The Browns were lucky that Haden was not called for a push after the taunt.

Brown is called for Illegal contact.  Skins 1st down.

Lots of broken tackles and Ward goes out with a leg injury.

Thanks to good pressure Cousins is called for grounding.  That led to a punt.

Weeden hits 2 in a row to take the ball from the 15 to the Skins 43.

Then he under throws a ball to Little and is picked again this time by Fletcher.

=

The Skins move the ball right down the field.

3rd quarter ends with the ball at the Browns 44.

Browns lose contain and Cousins runs for 6.  With Griffin that would have been 6 points.

Redskins put the game away with a TD by Royster.

-WA 31 CL 14  11:19 LEFT

Nice throw from Weeden to Benjamin 69 yards for the TD.  Weeden finally took advantage of a guy in the Skins backfield that was bagging groceries 2 weeks ago.   Too little too late.

=WA 31 CL 21 10:21

Great throw by Cousins for 32 yards to the Browns 44.

Three broken tackles on Morris again.  The D is tired.

Garcon recovers the fumble on the Browns 8.

Morris runs through a hole the size of the Mississippi River on the back side to put the Browns further out of their misery.

-WA 38 CL 21

A 4 and out by the Browns was expected.

= 3:14 left but the game was over long ago.

Conclusions:

This loss should finally change the minds of fans that Shurmur has to go.  The fans were fooling themselves about the Browns being a “hot” team because they had won 3 straight games.  The fact is that we beat a banged up Steeler team with a 97 year old QB that was sitting watching TV just a couple of weeks ago, a Raider team that has not been a factor in decades and a Chiefs team run by a former Brown’s HC we fired due to lack of wins.

Shurmur’s lack of ability or willingness to allow players to do what they do best has hurt the team.  It will continue to hurt the team as long as he insists on believing he is the smartest guy in the room.  My experience is that those that think they are the smartest guy in the room usually are not.

As I have said before the running game is a mess.  It does not give Richardson a chance to be successful.  The fact that Weeden has no power to audible away from a run when he sees 97 guys in the box is also due to Shurmur’s desire for control.  The OL is not getting to the second level of the D and without that the running game will never be successful.  Part of the issue is the blocking scheme.  The rest is a lack of talent.

Another issue with Shurmur is his total lack of ability to make adjustments on the fly or at half time.  Week after week we see the D adjust to what the Browns are doing but he is not capable of making changes to those adjustments.  We have heard him say over and over ‘I’ll have to check the tape.’  That is a clear indication he does not understand what is going on during the game.  If you don’t understand what is happening you cannot adjust to it.  Making in game adjustments is an essential part of job of a coach.

I have come to believe that Weeden is not the right guy.  I am aware that he has regressed over the season but cannot overlook his lack of accuracy and ability to get the ball out on time.  He misses easy passes that an NFL starter MUST make to be successful.  His decisionmaking is also a big issue.  If he was 22 I would be willing to see if he develops.  But at 29 the team doesn’t have time to waste a couple of years waiting to see if he comes around.  This was a bad choice made worse by bad coaching.

I have also changed my opinion about the future of Heckert.  The latest information I have is that the choice of Shurmur was more Heckert than Holmgren.  That combined with the Weeden choice over guys like Wilson makes his grade much lower.  It was also Heckert that allowed Shurmur to be OC in addition to HC.  Childress was available at the start of the 2011 season.  Despite that, Shurmur insisted he did not need an OC and would do both jobs.  It is clear he is not capable of doing EITHER job effectively.  In my opinion Heckert has to go along with the coach.

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 http://fryingpanpolitics.org/.  Follow him @NNRonDSN.

 

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