What to look for in the Saturday Divisional round games.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

Cards @ Saints

Cards QB Warner had just another day at the office. Against one of the most improved Ds in the league he went 29-33 for 379 yards and 5 TDs without a pick. The Pack had no answer for Warner. They blitzed him and he picked man to man coverage apart. They rushed 3 and kept 8 in coverage and he found holes in the zones. The O line protected Warner for the most part and sub WRs did well to make up for the loss of WR Bolden.

On D, the Cards and the Pack allowed the score board to look like the something out of Pinball Wizard. Neither D could put consistent pressure on the others QB. The Pack was so focused on Warner that they allowed RB Wells 6.5 yards per attempt. They were lucky that their O was putting up so many points or Wells would have had more than his 14 carries. If the Cards are going to have any chance to stage the upset the D is going to have to play like they did last year in the playoff run to the Super Bowl. The passing game of the Saints is equally lethal. The Cards are 23rd in pass D. The D may be missing DE Campbell, LBs Davis and Hayes. If they can’t go the D will be in even more trouble. Get your popcorn ready, this could be a wild offensive show.

Saints

The Saint’s D coordinator Williams isn’t sleeping too well this week. He has nightmares of Card WRs running wide open through his D backfield. The Saints D had played much better this year than last but it has had a tough time against high percentage passing attack. The good news is that CB Jenkins is hampered by a hamstring but is expected to play. The bad news is that Boldin is optimistic about playing as well. The Saints are ranked 26th in pass D. The key to the game for the Saints D will be their ability to pressure Warner better than the Pack did.

The Saints O is outstanding. They are 1st in both yards and points, 4th in passing and 6th in rushing. The team stumbled into the playoffs with 3 straight losses. The O is going to have to play like they did early in the season and not in the last 3 games. They scored only 44 points in those losses. The 23-10 loss to the Panthers could have been explained by the team resting a lot of the key players but not the losses to the Boys and the Bucs. The problem was not rushing. They ran for 124 against the Bucs. The problem was not turnovers or completion percentage. The Saints may get RB Thomas back. That will help them get a running game going again.

The problem was they could not get the ball into the endzone. The game will depend on the Saints finding their scoring punch again. If they are forced to kick field goals to score, they will lose.

Both teams have a questionable D. But the Saints are struggling on O and the Cards are hotter than the sun. I will go out on a limb and pick the Cards in a huge upset.

Ravens @ Colts

Ravens

The Birds did a great job pressuring the Pats D with the running game. The O scored 33 points but got a lot of help from the Pats. They won’t get that kind of help from the Colts.

The O is going to have to get more out of the passing game. They won 3 of their last 4 games but those wins were against the dregs of the NFL. Against a team that scores like the Colts, 4-10 for 34 yards and a pick will not get it done. QB Flacco has not stepped up to the challenge like most expected him to do. The O line isn’t the problem, accuracy and lack of game breaking receivers are the critical issues. The coaching staff doesn’t trust Flacco to win games for them and they shouldn’t. He has crumbled in big games like against the Steelers. The running game is solid but won’t score often enough to keep the Ravs in the game. They will have to depend on the passing game and it will let them down.

The weakest part of the Ravs D is the pass defense. They are 5th against the run and 8th against the pass. They depend on pressure on the QB to control the pass. They won’t be able to get enough pressure on Manning to stop the Colts passing game.

Colts

The Colt O is devastating but it is one dimensional. They are #2 in passing but dead last in the running game. They are going to have to run the ball a little to keep the chains moving. The one advantage they have is that they can play catchup really well. Manning is playing at a very high level. The team lost 2 games but in both cases Manning and company were pulled early.

The Colt D has played great in some games and lousy in others. They rank 24th against the run and will get a lot of practice stopping it against the Ravs. The key injuries on D are all probable. That should help as the D has suffered a lot of injuries during the season. The rest the wounded got will help them.

The key to stopping the running game has been S Sanders but he is on IR again. The Colts’ D will struggle stopping the run but will get the win due to their O.

Saturday I will discuss the Sunday games.

Your fantasy football doesn’t have to be over.  Run a pro football franchise all year long for free at http://sportsims.net/.  Tell them Coach Smith sent you.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Football,nfl playoffs,divisional round,Super Bowl,Cardinals,Saints,Warner,Ravens,Colts,Manning,Flacco,sportsims.net

What to look for Sunday in the Wild Card round.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

Ravens @ Pats

Ravens

The Ravens turned their season around about 5 weeks ago. Prior to week 12 they were a pass first run second team. The team was putting too much pressure on QB Flacco asking him to win the game rather than be just part of a balanced O. From game 13 on the Ravs were in their heavy set (2TE) 34% of their snaps. That allowed them to run the ball much more effectively. RBs Rice and McGahee were devastating. In the final game McGahee ran for 167 yards. Rice will be key as a receiver as well as a runner. The Pats LBs have real trouble covering a back and Rice is an outstanding receiver.

The running has helped the passing game. In the last 4 games, Flacco has thrown for 7 TDs with just 1 pick. That is key for the Ravs. They need to be able to keep the Pat D from loading up the box. A couple of play action passes will do that.

The Raven D is not what it has been over the last few years in part because of injuries. They have struggled to cover the inside routes. Their pass D has been the key weakness on the team in recent games. The injury situation got a lot better because DT Ngata will start after having a full practice Thursday. He was limited on Wednesday. The pass D will be vastly improved if FS Reed can recover from a groin injury and start after having a full practice Thursday. Those two make a huge difference. Noga takes up 2 and sometimes 3 blockers which frees the LBs to run to the ball. Reed in the backfield insures that all WRs will have their head on a swivel waiting for the big hit from Reed.

Pats

The Pat O was hurt badly by the injury last week to WR Welker. Welker is one of 3 active WRs that has over 100 catches in the last 3 seasons. He is the underneath guy to pull coverage from Moss going deep. The key to the Pats passing game is the short pass to Welker. Welker is the safety valve for QB Brady and the passing game could struggle without him.

There is good news in the running game because according to NFL sources, RB Taylor should be back. Taylor is a great receiver as well as experienced in picking up blitzes. Both will be critical to keep the Pat O rolling.

The Pat D is another issue. This year they have struggled to stop the run without DL Seymour who they traded to Oakland and LB Vrabel to the Chiefs. The D also lost several players to FA including LB Colvin and Seau as well as S Harrison. The result was a D that tried to hang in rather than dictate to the O. The team has not been able use its complex Ds because the players that were smart enough to make adjustments were gone. Opponents have been able to run and pass against the simpler Ds because the team does not have the skill to compete. To stop the running game they are going to have to stack the line including using Reed at the point of attack. That will weaken the pass coverage and open things up for Ravens passing game.

Packers @ Cardinals

Packers

The Pack has been one of the hottest O’s in the last few weeks of the season. QB Rodgers has been on fire. In 5 of the last 7 games he has had a passing rating over 100. His passing has opened up the running game for RB Grant. Rodgers has as good a set of receivers as any team in the league. WRs Driver and Jennings are outstanding. They both are deserving of double coverage. TE Lee is solid and stretched the D down the middle. The O has avoided key injuries that have hurt the D.

One key to the game is the O line keeping pressure off the QB. They have allowed 51 sacks which is a concern if the Card D comes to play like they did in their playoff run last year.

The Pack D has lost pro bowlers CB Harris and OB/DE Kampman as well as key reserve LB Thompson. Even so, the team is playing well. The young LB crew has put pressure on opposing QBs regularly. Rookie OB Mathews is the key blitzer that has taken Kampman’s place. Pressure is key because the D backfield is vulnerable.

Cards

The Cards were bombed by the Pack last week. They put incredible pressure on QB Warner. The Cards did hold out some of their key players but suffered a major injury when WR Bolden went down. Bolden is a quick healer but is not expected to play Sunday. WR Breaston is going to have to pick up the slack. The other key injury is LT Gandy who is on IR. Bridges has replaced him but is not at all reliable to keep Warner upright. The entire O line has struggled at times to protect the passer. When they give Warner any time at all he will slice up any defense. But he can’t pass when he is on his behind.

The running game is not stable. RB Hightower fumbles way too often and rookie RB Wells struggles to pick up the blitz. The running game is solid in some games and disappears in others. They are going to have to be able to run the ball at least enough to keep the blitzes to a minimum.

The D is great in one game and terrible in the next. They have the talent but don’t seem to have the motivation in every game. Last year during the playoff run they were outstanding. They should be motivated to win in the playoffs.

Admittedly, I am a huge Warner fan. You will know in the first 2 possessions who is going to win. If Warner has time to throw and the Cardinal D shows up, it will be a close game. If not, the Pack will win easily.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: nfl football,NFL Playoffs,Ravens,Patroits,Packers,Cardinals,Warner,Brady,Bolden,Welker,injuries

Rap up of Preseason Week 3 Key games

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

There were a lot of games this weekend but I have chosen to discuss 3 in depth because they pitted potential playoff team against each other.

GB @ AZ

The Packs QB Rodgers throws a nice deep ball. He doesn’t often look off his receivers though and that will get his guys hit by the safety. The Pack will throw more and run less this year. WR Jennings is able to get open by speed and good patterns but was hurt and did not return.

Ryan Grant will get most of the carries but will still average less than 4 yards per carry. I still don’t consider him a Fantasy stud.

One of the problems that the Cards D has it that they don’t keep their rush lanes which allows QBs and RBs to find large gaps to run through.

The Cards CB Rogers-Cromartie can make some outstanding plays because of his speed and athleticism. But he needs to take fewer chances jumping patterns. He gets burned when he guesses wrong.

The Cards can’t protect Warner and the O won’t go anywhere. Rookie RB Beanie Wells has his jump step back and his vision is outstanding. He will be the starter before the end of the year. The D is not playing anywhere close to the playoffs of last year. The D needs to pick it up even in the NFL NFC West.

The Cards give the ball away too often. The biggest problem is fumbles. Warner gets hit almost as soon as he makes his drop. He has small hands and tends to lose the ball when he is hit in the act of passing. Also the 3rd and 4th WRs fumble to often.

Leinart looked outstanding against guys that will be greeters at Walmart next week.

The Pack’s 3-4 is coming along nicely. They are able to put pressure on the QB but they were playing the Cards. The pass coverage is getting back to game 1 levels. The running game is still not ready for the regular season.

OVERALL: The Pack is getting into the playoffs probably as a wild card. They will be a tough out IF their 3-4 continues to develop. It won’t and they will be one and done.

The Cards are the toughest team to figure out because their D is so fickle. IF the D decides to show up and play close to the way it did in the 08 playoff run, they can play with anyone in the NFC even with the shortcomings of the O line. If not, look for Warner to retire and the Cards to sink again into the middle of the pack.

NE @ WA

The Redskins D was blitzing coming down the elevator in the hotel. They came after Tom Brady like he was seafood and steak buffet and they hadn’t eaten in weeks. They can get away with that because the Skins have a solid group of veteran CBs that can bump and run for short distances.

The Giants showed the way to beat the Pats in the Super Bowl—blitz the devil out of Brady. The Pats O line is over rated and it showed in that game. They are OK but not much better than that. Brady reads Ds as well as any QB in the game but he can’t complete passes with 4 or 5 guys in his face or sitting on his backside. In addition a lot of the best plays of the Pats involve crossing patterns that take more time than quick outs or slants.

The Skins DB Fred Smoot had the best game I have seen him play in 2 years against the Pats. He was left man to man with the second receiver and had an outstanding half.

QB Campbell was more accurate than he was late last season but his passes tend to be high which puts the receivers in jeopardy. Some of those throws will get his pass catchers killed. He still struggles on accuracy with the deep ball with air underneath. He also is not looking the safety off before he throws. He will still throw some picks due to not recognizing the underneath zone coverages.

I don’t like the pass patterns that the Skins run. Too many of them involve the WR sitting down in a spot and waiting for the ball. A WR standing is too easy to cover and leads to balls getting picked. The Pats’ O with the QB hitting the WR in motion allows the receivers to have a better chance of getting separation.

The Skins won’t have the kind of rushing attack that fantasy players are used to with Portis.

The Pats D is going to be a little more difficult to game plan against. They are using more 4-3 to go with the 3-4 that has been their base D. The flexibility that the vets in the D give the Pats makes them very dangerous.

Look for Pats Vet Fred Taylor to get the ball a lot. Laurence Maroney has a tendency to but the ball on the ground. Taylor is a much more reliable runner that fumbles very seldom. He is also an outstanding pass receiver and pass protector.

WR Randy Moss is just a beast. Not only is he big and strong, he has been focused since coming to the Pats and runs very good patterns. He is the most dangerous WR in the league with Brady throwing to him.

Joey Galloway may be 37 but he still has speed. The best underneath receiver in the league, Wes Welker, was not in the game due to injury. He makes a great difference because it allows Brady to dump the ball off if the blocking breaks down.

Brady seems to be moving very well in the pocket. We will have to see about his injury on his last play because Bill Belichick will never tell us anything.

OVERALL: I haven’t changed my opinion—The Pats are the best team in the AFC IF Brady is healthy. They will roll over the AFC East and will play either the Colts or more likely the Steelers for the AFC ticket to the Super Bowl.

The Skins are a playoff caliber team IF Campbell plays well. If not, there are going to be a lot of REALLY good QBs in the 2010 draft.

BA @ CR

BA QB Joe Flacco is really becoming a top passer. He has a rocket arm and still shows very nice touch dropping balls over the head of the DB and into the hands of his guy. This could be a more pass friendly team which will only make the Ravens more dangerous.

The change from McGahee to Rice is official. Ray Rice is now the starter at RB including on 3rd down. He is younger and has a nice jump step. McGahee had that but injuries in both college and the pros have reduced his abilities. He may be the goal line guy which would give him some value in Fantasy.

The team is helping LT Gaither by keeping the TE or a RB on his side to block against really good pass rushers. Gaither has not played as well this preseason as he did last year as the starter. RT Oher has to keep his head in the game. He cost the team a TD by jumping off side twice (although the Refs only saw it once). The Ravens went from 1st and ½ yard to 4th and 12 and then missed the field goal. That has to change if they are going to challenge the Steelers.

WR Derek Mason looks really good for a guy that missed most of training camp. Maybe he looks that quick because he avoided most of camp. He’s going to be fine. One of the reasons that the Panthers have so many long runs is the blocking ability of WRs Smith and Muhammad. There are very few long runs without WRs and TEs blocking effectively down field.

The D plays so smartly. They put you in a 3rd and 17 and then let you have 12 yards so you have to punt.

OVERALL: The more I watch the Baltimore O the more impressed I am. Given how well the D plays, this might be the year that they overtake the Steelers. The O is no longer as weak as it has been in the past mostly thanks to Flacco’s development.

CR QB Delhomme isn’t throwing into double coverage. He is staring down his receiver and that brings double coverage to the throw. He has been around too long to still be doing that. Del also isn’t seeing the field very well against teams with a good draft rush. When he gets pressured up the middle he loses vision.

WR Steve Smith makes his first appearance of the
year. We noticed that because he held on the first play of the game. But he looks very good. The only question is going to be can Delhomme take advantage of the times he gets open and get the ball to him consistently.

The Panthers have 2 rbs with injuries. Neither look too serious. Williams will be ready for game 1. Stewart is more of a question. He has missed a lot of practice time and has not appeared in any of the preseason games. However rookie RB Goodson (Texas A&M) looks quick and has good vision. If Stewart can’t go early in the year, Goodson should be more than able to give Williams some rest. Having that many good RBs should be against the rules.

The Panther O line is struggling with games up front. G Keydrick Vincent is the weak link in the line. The 9 year vet seems to have forgotten how to play DL games when the DT goes outside and the DE comes around inside.

The D struggled to stop the run last year. They ranked 20th in that area. This year they seem to be getting better.

DE Brayton and Peppers combine to make a really good pass rush combo. Peppers seems to be fine with his contract and is playing well. Rookie DE Everett Brown looks good in the pass rush as well. At 6-9 with long arms, he will be hard to throw over.

LB Diggs is really playing well. He seems more focused this year. He is attacking the run down hill including stopping a dive at the goal line. He is also covering his receiver much more closely than he has in previous seasons.

OVERALL: The Panthers will take a couple of steps back this year. The passing game is only as good as Delhomme and he seems to have regressed. The great running game will face 45 guys in the box unless he can keep them honest with the pass.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Packers,Cardinals,Rodgers,Warner,Jennings,Rogers-Cromartie,Grant,Wells,Leinart,Walmart,3-4,Patroits,Redskins,Brady,Campbell,Portis,Taylor,Maroney,Moss,Galloway,Welker,Belichick,Ravens,Panthers,Flacco,McGahee,Rice,Gaither,Mason,Smith,Delhomme,Brayton,Peppers,Diggs
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 27th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on The Cards' season will depend on how the D plays.

The Cards' season will depend on how the D plays.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

t

The Cardinals remarkable run in the 08 playoffs had little to do with the offense. It was the much improved play of the D that made the run possible. The only way the team makes the playoffs in 09 will be if the D continues to improve. So far in the preseason, that is not happening.

Kurt Warner is one of the great stories in football over the last few years. He continues to play at a very high level even though he is 38 years old. He has to stay healthy for the team to have any chance at a winning record. The protection he has gotten for the last 4 season in Arizona has been poor to average. If he is healthy, he will have another pro bowl year and is a great pick in the fantasy draft. Matt Leinart has had a good preseason and looks like he is finally able to read D and use his obvious physical abilities. He has clinched the backup position. The 3rd QB will be between Brian St. Pierre and undrafted Tyler Palko. That will depend on which has looked better in camp. St.Pierre was given a chance to challenge for #2 but failed totally.

WRs Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin are the best combo in the league. 3rd WR Steve Breaston came on strong last year in both the return game and catching passes. But he is hurt with a knee and PCL injury but should be fine for game 1. Jerheme Urban and Early Doucet are very talented and need only more experience to become starting quality. TEs have a lot of potential but little production. Leonard Pope is projected as the starter with Stephen Spach and Ben Patrick as the backups. Pope is a big target but is too tall to be an effective blocker. Spach is coming off a major injury and Patrick is suspended for the first 4 games. Vet Anthony Becht should make the team and is a better blocker then any of the others. How long he stays will depend on how the others develop.

The running back situation is also a little clouded. Last year rookie Tim Hightower was celebrated by some as the Cards’ answer at RB. But in 143 attempts he averaged 2.8 yards per carry. That is more than a yard under what is considered average around the league. He can catch and block a little but is not the plow horse that the team needs to carry 250 times a year. The team realized that and drafted Beanie Wells (Ohio St.). Wells has the ability to be a starting back with power and break away speed but has a history of injury. He has yet to play in the preseason but is expected to see action this week. There is no viable bench strength.

The O line had an up and down year in 08. They were up during the playoffs but down the last half of the regular season. LG Reggie Wells is not well known but is very good. T s Mike Gandy and Levi Brown are average but Brown is young and should develop. C Lyle Sendlein is coming back from injury last year. G Deuce Lutui needs to keep focused. He is very inconsistent. The bench is barely OK. G Elton Brown and C Donovan Raiola have some starting experience. The staff thinks T Herman Johnson potential but I don’t see it.

The D line seemed to turn their top effort on and off like the light in a refrigerator. It was on in the playoffs and they looked outstanding. It has been off so far this preseason. The starters in the 3-4 are LE Darnell Dockett, NT Gabe Watson, RE Calais Campbell. Dockett is the only dependable player there. Watson has a history of injury putting him out for long periods of time. There is no reliable backup at NT. Campbell is the new guy replacing UFA Antonio Smith. We have seen a few flashes from Campbell but he is going to have to work harder every snap. Bryan Robinson has experience at E and NT but the team would prefer to play him at E if Campbell fails. NTs Alan Branch and Rodney Leisle have two things in common. They have the weight to play the position but have not had much production.

At LB, the best part is inside. IBs Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes are very good. Dansby can do it all including cover receivers and Hayes is an outstanding run stuffer. OLB Chike Okeafor is a fair blitzer but he and Clark Haggans are getting old. The team drafted both OLBs Cody Brown and Will Davis to replace them in the future.

The D backfield has the potential to be outstanding. Starting CBs Bryant McFadden and CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are both potential stars. McFadden came from Pittsburgh and is starting quality with upside. Rodgers added the Cromartie to his name just before the draft to remind everyone he is the cousin of start CB Antonio Cromartie of San Diego. Rodgers is not quite to his cousin’s level but is coming fast. Safeties Adrian Wilson and Antrel Rolle are very good as well. Wilson is all pro and plays like it. Rolle was a very good CB who is a better FS. The nickel back is CB Ralph Brown and rookie Greg Toler has looked good in camp.

OVERALL: The Cards O is fine IF Warner is healthy. The D will determine how far the team can go this year. If it plays like it did during the playoffs, the team should make the playoffs in 09 and do some damage there. If not, it will be a huge disappoint to the Cardinal fans that expect the team to be back in the Super Bowl. That isn’t going to happen but they are in a weak division and have a good shot at the division title.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Cardinals,Warner,Leinart,Fitzgerald,Boldin,Breaston,Hightower,Wells,Gandy,Lutui,Brown,Dockett,Campbell,Smith,Watson,Dansby,Haggans,Davis,Cromartie,Rogers-Cromartie,Chargers,Steelers,McFadden,Rolle,Wilson
  • Author:
  • Published: Aug 24th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

Rap up of Preseason Week 2 Key games

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nfl

Chargers @ Cardinals

The Charger O  line is not playing nearly as well as it did last year. They are giving up sacks more often than they should. Even all pro tackle McNeil is slacking. LG Goff is not doing the job.

The SD Defense looks sharp in the red zone but not so much in the middle of the field. They totally stopped QB Kurt Warner and the Cardinal O in two 1s vs 1s series in the red zone. They picked Warner off in the endzone and forced a 4th down when the Cards had the ball 1st and goal inside the 10 from a great kick return.

In the middle of the field Warner was able to find receivers wide running open. The Card running game was just OK against the Charger D. They did not have their #1 pick RB Beanie Wells. He is out with ankle problems.

Matt Leinart was the 3rd QB in the game against the Chargers. He came in with only 8:35 left in the game but drove the team from his own goal line to the Charger 11 in 5:32. But on 2nd down and 3 he threw into double coverage incomplete. On 3rd overthrew WR Long in the endzone. On 4th he again threw into tight coverage and turned the ball over on downs. He looked sharp until he got to the red zone then couldn’t convert. In 2 games Leinart has a passer rating around 78. He is fighting journeyman Bryan St. Pierre for the backup spot.

The Card #1 D did a good job but the team just doesn’t have the depth of a top NFL team. Last year they had very few injuries on D. If they sustain some this season, the D will not be good enough to get the Cards back in the playoffs.

Giants at Bears

The Giants were focused on stopping the run with Forte. The Bears were passing more than running and passed the Giants #1 D crazy. The O line of Chicago looks very solid. Future Hall of Fame T Orlando Pace looks healthy for the first time in 3 years. The Giants D could not get to Jay Cutler much. Cutler was 8-13 121 yds 1 TD.

Forte looks very strong. He is finding holes and exploiting them. Given the improved QB and O line, he should be very close to the first teer RBs in fantasy football. Kevin Jones looks good as the #2 RB but is going to have to hold onto the ball better. The only problem the Bears O has is a lack of depth at QB, WR and in the line. Hester is the #1 WR which takes him out of the return game for the most part. The Bears receivers will look better than they are due to Cutler. This team is going to challenge for the NFC title if the key players stay healthy.

The Giants looked like they were in San Jose instead of Soldier Field. They are much better than they looked. The O line was harassed consistently by the Bears D. However, the lack of any NFL quality receivers will haunt this team the entire year. Eli Manning is not going to have as productive a year as he did last year. He just doesn’t have the guys to catch the ball. Look for more INTs and fewer TDs.

There is nothing wrong with the Giants running game. Brandon Jacobs is a beast. He was the only weapon the Giants had that worked against the Bears top D. He tore huge holes in the D line. He is a top teer RB in FF.

The Giants D will come around. It looked shell shocked against Cutler. They will be susceptible to the pass if their pass rush doesn’t produce more pressure than it did against the Bears.

Dolphins v Panthers

Miami: O sharp Pennington is accurate and has the touch that some lack. He has timed up even the new WR like Patrick Turner (3rd round USC) and Hartwell (4th round Ohio State). The running game looks very sharp against a good Carolina D. Brown is running hard inside. Getting Thomas back at guard has helped.

Other than stopping the run of Williams, the Dolphin D did real well. They are putting a lot of pressure on the opponent QBs. The D seems much more aggressive than it was last year. That should help.

Carolina: Delhomme is still inaccurate too often. He misses wide open WRs deep. Then there is Williams.

On the Carolina 2nd possession, he had been held to 1 yard on 4 carries. On 2nd and 8 from the Dolphin 26, he started left and changed direction when he saw the hole was not there. He was then hit in the backfield by 2 Dolphins, spun off it, was hit again by another broke that and scored avoiding two more tackles. That is why he is one of the top backs in Fantasy football.

RAMS vs FALCONS

Turner is an arsonist—he burns up defenses. He has a combination of speed and vision that is very rare. 2nd RB Norwood is also outstanding. He has excellent vision and a second gear that prevents him from getting caught from behind.

Falcon QB Matt Ryan is continuing to develop. He is seeing the field like a vet and has the arm to make all the throws.

The Rams look good and horrible from one play to another. The O line is still very poor. They are going to have to do a much better job protecting QB Bulger if they expect to win many games. They block the same way for a pass as they do for a screen. They touch the D lineman and let them right in.

RB Jackson has his jump step back and looks good. I still don’t recommend drafting him in Fantasy due to problems on the O line and the probability that the Rams will be playing from behind a lot in 09. Ex Falcon WR Robinson looks really improved. He is catching the ball in traffic, and running better routes. Getting open against the Rams isn’t that hard.

Ram tackling is awful. They couldn’t tackle a lamp post because it would be moving too fast. The #1 D gave up 9 yards per play in the first Q. There were a couple of semi-bright spots on D including 2nd round pick James Laurinaitis. He picked off a pass, blitzed effectively and best of all attacked the run down hill.

Cleveland vs. Detroit—See my complete game analysis at

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

Technorati Tags: NFL,NFL Draft,Fantasy Football,Cardinals,Chargers,Warner,McNeil,Goff,Wells,Leinart,Giants,Bears,Hall of Fame,Pace,Jones,Hester,Manning,Jacobs,Dolphins,Panthers,Pennington,Turner,Hartwell,Brown,Thomas,Williams,Delhomme,Norwood,Ryan,Bulger,Jackson,Robinson,Laurinaitis,Cleveland,Detroit,nfldraftdog
  • Author:
  • Published: Apr 25th, 2009
  • Category: NFL Football
  • Comments: Comments Off on Niblets with NFL Draft sauce for 4/25/09

Niblets with NFL Draft sauce for 4/25/09

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

nib nfl

By Bill Smith

Rumors that we might believe:

The Browns are rethinking their draft away from a WR and more toward a D player. Both BJ Raja (Boston Col) and Brian Orakpo (Texas) seem to be the leaders.

However, the Jets have a deal with Jacksonville to move to the 8th pick if one of the 3 players they want is still on the board. The Jags want desperately to trade out of 8 to get more picks.

The Pats are looking hard at Clay Matthews OLB USC. They love players with a pedigree and smart guys. Matthews may turn out to be the best of the USC linebackers and he was a walk on in college.

I predict:

Don’t expect the Edwards (WR Cleveland) trade to be completed but a QB deal could be. It looks like the Giant deal is dead.

The deal with The Lions signing QB Matthew Stafford (Georgia) increases the chances that some team will want one of the Browns QBs. Reportedly the Vikes are interested among others.

The Lion’s pick also drives up the value of 3rd QB Josh Freeman (Kansas St). Look for him to be gone by pick 19 Tampa.

While a number of potential suiters might like to trade up to get QB Mark Sanchez (USC) but he will be taken by Seattle with the 4th pick. The value of the 3rd pick 2200 points. That is too much for the Jets at 17 or Tampa at 19 to get to.

ILBs will fall. Both James Laurinaitis (Ohio State) and Rey Maualuga (USC) have fallen to the bottom of the first round or maybe into the second. The value of an ILB is lower than OB and neither of them had a particularly great pro day.

Chris Beanie Wells (RB Ohio State) has fallen but has gotten up. Because of his toe problem and his 40 time early in the draft season he fell to the late 1st or early 2nd but he has made a comeback. Look for Wells to be gone no later than 21 to the Eagles.

The Bengals are not worried about the off the field problems that OT Andre Smith (Alabama) had by getting suspended for the Bowl game and quiting at the Combine. The Bengals will take Smith with the 6th pick unless BJ Raji is there. That might cause them to change players.

Despite the hype a couple of players will under produce based on their draft position.

OT Eugene Monroe (Virginia) is soft. While he will become an outstanding pass blockers, he will never be the run blocker you would expect.

3-4 OLB Brian Orakpo (Texas) is not a pass rush specialist and will disappoint the team that drafts him. He will be a good backer but not the pass rush guy they think they got.

Tyson Jackson DE LSU and Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State will be among the candidates for D rookie of the year.

Rumors that are probably not true:

The NFL has told the Bengals that they must use the no huddle offense in 09. That is only because felons violate their probation if they are within 20 feet of each other.

Detroit seriously considered bringing Mike Vick in as their starting QB and taking an OT with their first pick. That was not because they though Vick was a winner. They knew that PETA would send hundreds of protesters into the stadium and the Lions could use the extra attendance.

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 https://fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .

My email is [email protected]il.com.

Technorati Tags: Edwards,NFL Draft,nfl,college football,Browns,Giants,Stafford,Lions,Vikings,Sanchez,Bucs,Ohio State,USC,Wells,Bengals,Raji,Monroe,Jenkins

© 2011 FryingPanSports. All Rights Reserved.

This blog is powered by the Wordpress platform and beach rentals.