News, Notes and Rumors for wacky week 10

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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  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.


NOTE:  Thursday at 6 PM EST Join David Kay of and the Sports Bank for a preview of the college basketball season on The Bill Smith Radio Show.



QB Jay Cutler missed only 1 game (and the bye week) and returned to start for the Bears against  Detroit.  However, he was forced to leave the game with a possible ankle injury.


Titan QB Jake Locker suffered a Lisfranc injury early in the game against the Jaguars.  The team believes it will end his season.


Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder injured his left non-throwing shoulder in the game Thursday.  He is expected to miss some time.


Texan RB Adrian Foster has a bulging disk in his back.  It will require surgery which will end his season.


Packer backup QB Seneca Wallace left the game against the Eagles with a groin injury.  He was not playing very well with a healthy groin.  Scott Tolzien replaced him.  In his press conference after the game head Coach Mike McCarthy said that Tolzien would start next week.


49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree could return to the field soon.  He has been cleared to practice.

Future Hall of Fame S Ed Reed said after the last loss by the Texans that the team was out coached.  The team then released him.  Moral of the story–The truth may set you free but it does not guarantee employment.



Seahawks 33 Falcons 10 – Despite a patchwork line the Hawks gave up only one sack.  The combination of passing by QB Russell Wilson (19-26-287 yards-2 TDs-0 interceptions) and the rushing of RB Marshawn Lynch (24-145-1TD) overwhelmed the depleted Falcon D.  The Hawks built a 23-3 half time lead then ran the ball in the second half.  The Falcon O ran the ball only 16 times for 64 yards.  The Falcons’ big FA addition RB Steven Jackson got just 11 yards on 9 carries.  That put the game in the hands of QB Matt Ryan.  He had a decent day going 23-36 with 1 TD and no picks but for only 172 gross yards.   The Hawk D held the Falcons to convert only 4 of 12 third down attempts.  The Hawks converted 9 of 15.  The Hawks scored 4 TDs and 4 FGs.  The only Falcon TD came with just 1 minute left in the 3rd quarter.


Panthers 10 49ers 9 – The O line of the 9ers is very over rated.  While they run block fairly well, QB Colin Kapernick was beaten down.  The Panther D got 6 sacks and more than a dozen hits on him.  The Panther D held the 9ers to just 151 yards and allowed just 2 of 13 third down conversions.  The 9ers allowed two long drives for a TD and a field goal.  The 9er O could do very little.  They had to settle for field goals in the first half and did not score after the intermission.  The 9ers also lost both safety Eric Reid and TE Vernon Davis. Both suffered concussions.  The Panthers proved they are for real at least on D.  The 49ers will go nowhere until they fix their O line.


Lions 21 Bears 19 – The Bears scored with 40 seconds left in the game.  They had two tries at a 2 point conversion to tie but both were unsuccessful.  Cutler started the game but was only 21-40 for 250 yards 1 TD and 1 pick.  He went out on the final drive due to an ankle issue.  Josh McCown came in and drove the Bears to the final TD.  The win put the Lions in first place in the NFC North.


Eagles 27 Packers 13 – In a battle of backup QBs, the Eagles showed more offense and defense than the Pack.  Eagle QB Nick Foles was outstanding again.  He was 12-18 for 228 yards with 3 TDs and no picks.  RB Leshawn McCoy ran for 155 yards on 25 attempts.  Tolzien was 24-39 for 280 yards with a TD but threw 2 picks.  It is clear that the Packers (5-4) are in deep trouble until QB Aaron Rodgers returns from a broken collarbone.  The win put the Eagles (5-5) back into the NFC East race.


Jaguars 29 Titans 27 – The Jags got their first win of the season.  The Titans had more passing yards, a better 3rd down conversion rate and fewer sacks allowed.  But they lost 3 fumbles and an interception.  One fumble was returned for a Jags TD.  Both Ryan Fitzpatrick and Locker lost a fumble.  So did RB Charles Johnson.  Fitzpatrick did pretty well going 22-33 for 264 and 2 TDs without an interception.  But the Jags build a 13-0 lead and the Titans could never catch up.


Steelers 23 Bills 10 – Bills QB EJ Manuel was back but looked very rusty.  He was 22-39 for just 155 yards with a TD and a pick.  The Bills could not get the O going in the air or on the ground.  They ran for just 95 yards.  They scored their only TD with only 3 seconds left in the game.  Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger was not much better throwing for just 204 yards with a TD and a pick as well.  The Steelers won by taking advantage of better field position and a 37 yard punt return.  Neither of these teams is going anywhere this season.


Ravens 20 Bengals 17 – The story of this game was in the last few seconds and overtime.  On the last play of regulation Bengal QB Andy Dalton threw a 51 yard Hail Mary.  Rather than knocking it down, a Raven DB tipped it up in the air and A.J. Green caught it for the score.  In overtime the Ravens stopped the Bengals and drove for a winning FG.  Both teams were busy all day giving the ball away.  They each committed 3 turnovers.




I have never coached at the NFL level.  As a coach I never allowed rookie hazing.  But my years of experience at the semi-pro level leads me to believe that a guy like Jonathan Martin would not have lasted a week on my teams.  If he did not have enough guts to stand up against a team mate, how could he be expected to stand up under the pressure of a big game?  The answer is he will not.  Because the team is only as strong as the weakest link, the team can’t allow someone like Martin to play.


The Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin uproar will end the jobs of both Dolphins coach Joe Philbin and GM Jeff Ireland.  Philbin will be fired because he should have known about the situation and should have stopped it.  Ireland will be fired for wasting a high second round pick on a mentally weak O lineman like Martin.


There was a rumor that Roethlisberger was irritated by the Steelers poor line play and had asked for a trade.  First it is doubtful that a team would take on his salary at his age with his history of injury.  Second there is no indication that he has asked for a trade.


Several coaches are on the hot seat.  The Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is one of the latest rumored to be in jeopardy of losing his job.  But he is not the one that drafted badly for so many years.  Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is the one that should be fired.  I outlined his draft failings earlier this year.  Check out my editorial


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  He has also published several novels on and a non-fiction work at  Follow him on twitter @NNRonDSN to get the schedule of Special News, Notes and Rumors broadcasts.  You can hear the previous shows on 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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