Archive for the Rankings/List Category


Tuesday Moring Running Back Week Eight: Return of the Lambeau Legend

It was a sight we thought we’d never see. It felt like hell had frozen over and Santa Claus had suddenly converted to satanism.

There was Brett Favre, the man responsible for the reversal of fortune of the Green Bay Packer franchise, running on to the field in the putrid purple of the hated Minnesota Vikings.

Surprisingly, he was met with a chorus of boos.

On one hand I can understand that. I would feel jilted too if I ever saw David Ortiz come back to Boston in a Yankee uniform.

However, this man did make the Packers a force to be reckoned with again after so many appalling years under such luminaries as Anthony Dilweg and Don Majkowski.

But as always, sports fans are entitled to feel what they wish about whoever they want.

So amid a smattering of boos and cheers, Favre was intent to prove he still could competently quarterback a team at his advanced age.

When it was over, Favre had thrown for 244 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-26 victory.

Even when it appeared the Packers would rally in the third quarter, Favre never let his guard down and was able to count on the reliable footwork of Percy Harvin, who is quickly becoming a candidate for rookie of the year.

So in essence, while Green Bay fans have the right to feel betrayed, they have to admit that their one time hero still can adequately run an offense.

Now, heading into the bye week at 7-1, the Vikings stand atop the NFC as the team to beat.

Elsewhere in week eight action.

• You’ve got to feel bad for the Giants. It isn’t often that a team goes from first to third place in the course of a day.

• I don’t think there’s a more dynamic wideout in the NFL right now than DeSean Jackson. His big touchdown catch literally knocked the wind out of the Giants sails.

• Sooner of later you knew the Broncos were gong to crumble for at least one game. The Ravens desperately needed a victory to keep pace with the Bengals and they not only won, they made a statement.

• Maybe Rex Ryan was half right when he said he felt like the Jets outplayed the Dolphins. It certainly appeared that way on offense. But on special teams, Ted Ginn, Jr. obliterated the Jets in taking two kicks to the house. That my friends was the difference.

• Even though Peyton Manning was out of sync with his passes, Joseph Addai proved that not only can he throw, but he can do it left-handed. An equally sloppy 49er defense helped the Colts escape defeat.

• Vince Young may have given the Titans a shot of confidence in leading them to a win, but it was Chris Johnson who was the difference maker as he rushed for a franchise record 228 yards.

Tony Romo proved that he isn’t afraid to use all of his targets by connecting with three of his receivers for touchdowns to beat the Seahawks. The win also moved Dallas into a tie for first with the Eagles in the NFC East.

• On most Sundays, the Panthers have trouble holding onto the ball, as Jake Delhomme currently leads the NFL in interceptions. But this Sunday, a savvy Panther defense forced Kurt Warner into throwing five interceptions of his own in a surprising win over Arizona.

• Even though Owen Daniels is done for the year, the Texans learned that they can exploit a power running game for the rest of the season. Backup RB Ryan Moats stepped in for Steve Slaton and scored a team record three rushing touchdowns in one game.

• The Chargers used the reliable LaDainian Tomlinson and the tenacious defense of Shawne Merriman to defeat the Raiders for the the 13th straight time.

• Isn’t it interesting that more and more reports about Tom Cable being an abusive person are now coming out of the woodwork. While I personally think his former lovers are beating a dead horse into the ground, I find it odd that they waited this long to come forward.

• So much for Derek Anderson being the guy to snap the Browns out of their funk.

• Sometimes I think Rodney Harrison likes to hear himself talk. He suggested Eric Mangini cut Derek Anderson to send a message to his team. Uh, Rodney, a lot more people need to be fired or released before the Browns can ever think about turning it around.

• All you need to know about the Rams/Lions game, a game I affectionately called the Toilet Bowl, is that the Rams James Butler intercepted a pass and forgot to take it out of the end zone. Congratulations to Steve Spagnuolo on his first NFL coaching victory, I think.

• The Falcons gave it a good effort against the Saints last night, but maybe they could have won if Michael Jenkins didn’t drop an easy pass in the red zone in the third quarter.

• Next week we got a couple of key divisional showdowns with the Dolphins at the Patriots and the Giants at the Eagles. See you next Tuesday for the analysis.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Seven: Vikings Ride Brett Favre Mojo

By the UO Sports Dude

This was one of the worst sports weekends of my life. The Oregon Ducks had the week off, the 49ers were on a bye, the A’s are long gone, and it’s still preseason for the Warriors and the Sharks (wait, we’re two weeks into the NHL regular season already? I had no idea).

Without the privilege of watching my beloved Ducks on Saturday, I was forced to watch something only one step below water boarding on the torture scale—Big Ten football. Iowa-Wisconsin, Ohio State-Purdue, Penn State-Minnesota? Gross. And by the way, what’s Michigan doing playing an FCS team in Week Seven?

It was so bad I chose to write my four-page philosophy essay instead. The only reason I retained my sanity through the weekend was the NFL Red Zone channel.  

But all will be made up for next weekend, when I travel to Seattle for the first time to support the Ducks in Husky Stadium. Who cares if my seats are in Lake Washington.

On to the rankings.

32 (32) – Rams:

Somebody please tell me why the Red Zone channel kept flashing back to this game during the last few minutes of the RavensVikings game? Really. Did anybody outside of St. Louis or Jacksonville care? Hell, did anybody in St. Louis or Jacksonville care?

31 (30) – Buccaneers:

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any worse, they lose to Jake Delhomme’s Carolina Panthers. At home. The only bright spot was Cadillac Williams’ performance, because now my roommate can shut up about him being the reason why his fantasy football team is 1-5.  Your QB is Mark Sanchez! Cadillac isn’t the problem.

30 (25) – Titans:

This team couldn’t find an identity—until this week. They are now officially the best worst team in the AFC. And after witnessing Derek Anderson’s appallingly dreadful performance last week, Kerry Collins had to one-up him. He threw for negative seven yards in 12 attempts. Seriously. How bad can Vince Young be?

29 (27) – Browns:

Just so you get a sense of how truly pathetic Cleveland is, their top performer, according to the Yahoo! Sports box score, was fullback Lawrence Vickers, who had one touch for one yard.

28 (26) – Lions:

Scrappiness can only take you so far when you have almost zero talent. Jim Schwartz is a good coach, but can you really expect them to score even once when their QBs are Dante Culpepper and Mike Stanton and their number one wide out is Dennis Northcutt?

27 (28) – Chiefs:

That’s an odd way to score 14 points. Four field goals and a safety.

26 (24) – Redskins:

Washington has faced a winless team in every single game so far and they are still 2-4. If that doesn’t deserve firing, then I don’t know what does.

25 (31) – Raiders:

This could be the biggest upset in the history of survival football pools. Servers are still crashing as we speak.

24 (28) – Bills:

You force seven turnovers and still need overtime to score 16 points? Something tells me the Jets lost this game more than Buffalo won it.

23 (19) – Seahawks:

Fourteen total rushing yards. 0-11 on third down. Five sacks allowed. Seventeen minutes of possession. Talk about a bad football team. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time.

22 (23) – Panthers:

Why wouldn’t teams stack nine in the box? Jake Delhomme now has thrown 14 interceptions in his last six games and has a 56.8 QB rating for the season.

21 (22) – Jaguars:

The Jags were 11-16 on third down, outgained the Rams by 230 yards, and had only three penalties for 15 yards, yet still needed overtime to beat the least talented team in the NFL. How does that happen?

20 (17) – Dolphins:

The home team coming off of a bye week theory gets a big test this weekend when the Saints come to town. Not buying it.

19 (11) – Jets:

Congratulations to Mark Sanchez for becoming the first two-time winner of the weekly Simple Jack Award. Hey Mark, never go full retard.

18 (21) – Texans:

Houston made the Bengals look like, well, the Bengals. Matt Schaub has become a fantasy must-start every week.

17 (18) – Cowboys:

The epitome of mediocrity. 3-0 versus losing teams and 0-2 versus winners. Fantasy note: I am never drafting Roy Williams again.

16 (20) – Cardinals:

What is Arizona going to do when they play a team that takes away the pass? Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower are getting it done less than my food situation at home. I’ve been living off of Power Bars and instant oatmeal packets for two weeks. College.

15 (10) – Bengals:

This is what Jeffri Chadiha had to say about Cincinnati in ESPN’s power rankings this week: “Matt Schaub shredded them in their loss to Houston.” Thanks for all the hard work and insight you put into that one, Jeffri.

14 (16) – Packers:

And if his analysis of the Bengals wasn’t enough, Chadiha had this to say about Green Bay: “They still haven’t found a way to protect QB Aaron Rodgers.” ESPN, you seriously can’t find anyone better than this guy?

13 (15) – Chargers:

I hate fantasy football. Losing by three coming into Monday Night’s game, I owned Eddie Royal and Darren Sproles. Thanks to the amazing score settings in my lone remaining undefeated league, I received a total of 1.40 points from the duo, despite a combined three return touchdowns. Is there any activity more popular than fantasy football that causes so many complaints?

12 (6) – Eagles:

Is there anything more embarrassing for a head coach than losing to JaMarcus Russell? I can’t think of anything.

11 (13) – Bears:

Another gem from Chadiha: “Red zone problems killed them in a loss to Atlanta.” My freakin’ 11-year-old brother could have told me that.

10 (12) – 49ers:

Michael Crabtree is starting!! Michael Crabtree is starting!! Michael Crabtree is starting!! Michael Crabtree is starting!! Michael Crabtree is starting!! Yeah, I’m kinda excited.

9 (9) – Ravens:

Baltimore almost completed the greatest comeback of the season. Too bad almost counts for diddly squat. We almost made the playoffs. I almost won the lottery. They almost successfully completed your kidney transplant. You get the idea. Almost isn’t good.

8 (8) – Falcons:

Atlanta and New Orleans could be the most exciting division race this season. Their Week Eight will tell us a lot.

7 (14) – Steelers:

Big Ben is back, thanks to the re-emergence of one of the toughest football players in the NFL: Hines Ward. Man, does he play football the right way.

6 (4) – Giants:

The Saints stomped Eli Manning and the Giants so badly, that New Orleans even let Mark Brunell onto the field. Yes, that Mark Brunell. The one who hasn’t attempted a pass since 2006, and is making just under $5 million this season. Seriously.  

5 (7) – Patriots:

This game looked eerily reminiscent of 2007. Have Tom Brady and the boys finally got their mojo back? We won’t find out until they play Indy in Week Ten, but it will be fun to see how many points they can put up at Tampa Bay on Sunday. Is 60 out of the question?

4 (5) – Broncos:

Josh McDaniels for Coach of the Year. That is all.

3 (3) – Colts:

I don’t have anything new to say because of the bye, so I’ll just repeat what I said last week:

The only thing better than Peyton Manning is this article from CNN. For all guys past puberty, Christmas just came early. This could transform college campuses, save marriages, and possibly bring world peace. Seriously, guys, you want to read this.

2 (2) – Saints:

Drew Brees passed for 369 yards and four touchdowns and I was still outscored by my opponent’s QB. I would be mad if I didn’t have such crazy man-love for Tom Brady.

1 (1) – Vikings:

I think someone brainwashed Brett Favre into thinking it’s 2001. He cannot possibly still be this good. So far, this is statistically the best season of his career. Wow.

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NFL Power Rankings Week Six: Vikes Holding Strong at the Top

It’s consuming my life. First went homework, then showering. My sense of smell and my taste buds quickly followed. Flowers don’t smell anymore, candy is no longer sweet. Is this a love poem? No. Wait, yes! Ahh maybe. It’s a love-hate relationship.

You see, NBA 2K10 is amazing. “My Player” mode especially. I spent practically the whole weekend creating, running drills, and playing training camp games with a 6’4″, 190-pound version of my likeness. It never got old, not even once, to see myself on the TV dunking over Taylor Griffin in the summer league.

But today, I rolled out of bed at 8:39 a.m. and walked out the door at 8:41 for a 9 a.m. class. On the way to campus, the semi-homeless, rubber chicken, joke book guy who stands in front of the Duck Store kindly pointed out that my already-stained sweat pants were on backwards. I realized it was time to get a grip.

No longer will I be breaking the virtual ankles of Dionte Christmas or Lee Cummard. Instead, I will force myself to read my 700-page philosophy text book and do my Decision Sciences homework. I am regretting this already.

But luckily for you, in between 2K10’s unique skill challenges and skill point divvying, I managed to squeeze in an entire Sunday of the NFL. 2KSports, you have met your match.

On to the rankings.

 

32. (32): St. Louis Rams

The Kyle Boller experiment didn’t last long. Marc Bulger replaced him in the fourth quarter and went on to compile a perfect passer rating—158.3—in his seven pass attempts. Now Marc, don’t you know how dangerous it is to give false hope to a fan base more depressed than Roman Polanski? Shame on you.

 

31. (31): Oakland Raiders

A fellow Power Ranker had this to say about the New York Giants: “The G-men made JaMarcus Russell look like the worst quarterback in the free world.” Umm buddy, JaMarcus Russell is the worst quarterback in the free world.

 

30. (29): Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Two questions: First, does Tampa Bay know that they are paying center Jeff Faine more than $13 million this season? And second, what’s it like for Ronde Barber being older than his head coach Raheem Morris? In other news, Morris just lost his last baby tooth. If only those darn wisdom teeth would grow in.

 

29. (28): Kansas City Chiefs

Without further ado, I now present you the captain of YOOOUUUURRRRR (stadium announcer voice) Garbage Time All-Star Team: MAAAATTTT CAAASSSSEL

 

28. (25): Buffalo Bills

Mark Sanchez won the Simple Jack Award for the dumbest performance in Week Four. Guess who won it this week? Hey Roscoe Parrish, never go full retard.

 

27. (30): Cleveland Browns

What a thriller this game was. Trent Edwards finished with a 52.1 quarterback rating and was by far the best quarterback on the field. Derek Anderson, the pride of Oregon State, went 2-for-17 for 23 yards and an interception. Hey Cleveland, how does Brady Quinn look now?


26. (27): Detroit Lions

The NFL Red Zone channel switched to the Pittsburgh-Detroit game with the Lions down by eight and driving on the Steelers 21-yard line with just under two minutes left. What happened after that?

1st-10, PIT21 1:54 D. Culpepper sacked by L. Woodley and W. Gay

2nd-16, PIT27 1:28 D. Culpepper sacked by W. Gay

3rd-21, PIT32 1:23 D. Culpepper sacked by L. Timmons

4th-34 PIT45 1:09 D. Culpepper incomplete pass down the middle.

I would bet you that Culpepper was probably tired of Gay’s sack. Rimshot!

 

25. (23): Tennessee Titans

I’m gonna keep saying it till they win:

“There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.” –George W. Bush.

 

24. (24): Washington Redskins

Washington should be ashamed of themselves. The Redskins committed one of the most embarrassing, heartbreaking, and pitiful plays of the season on Sunday. The Panthers were up by three on their own 35-yard line with two minutes left. On a 3rd-and-8, where a stop would allow them one last chance to tie or win the game with a two-minute drill, the Redskins allowed Jake Delhomme to rush for nine yards and a first down. Game over. And the worst part? He even juked one of Washington’s defensive backs on the play. Sad.

 

23. (26): Carolina Panthers

And the Jake Delhomme interception streak continues. That’s 12 picks in his past five games.

 

22. (18): Jacksonville Jaguars

One week after losing to a team that started David Garrard and Mike Sims-Walker, I bought into the duo and started them both against the supposedly wounded Seahawks. Yea, that one didn’t turn out too well.

 

21. (19): Houston Texans

This game would not have mattered at all 15 years ago. This season it was one of the more important games of the week. At least in fantasy circles for having so many top-flight fantasy players. These teams are both pretty horrible.

 

20. (20): Arizona Cardinals

It’s not a good sign when one of your defensive backs—Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie—has more total yards than your entire backfield combined. If Arizona wants to get back in the NFC West race, either Hightower or Wells will have to emerge as an at least mediocre back.

 

19. (22): Seattle Seahawks

Well that came out of nowhere. So did former Oregon Duck Nick Reed’s 79-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Great call on the play: “Nick Reed, you just scored, baby!”

 

18. (17): Dallas Cowboys

The only person Sunday luckier than Miles Austin fantasy owners was me. I woke up to find that my TV gets the NFL Red Zone channel for free. In HD.

 

17. (21): Miami Dolphins

Viva la Wildcat!

 

16. (15): Green Bay Packers

Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead of wearing a cheese-head hat, someone put some fudge on their dome. Fudge. Fudge-packers. Get it?

 

15. (14): San Diego Chargers

Here’s a good fantasy football board bet for you. LT touchdowns this season or the number of episodes Michael Strahan’s new sitcom, “Brothers,” lasts on Fox? I honestly have no idea.

 

14. (13): Pittsburgh Steelers

I know a win is a win, but come on Pittsburgh, you’re playing the stinkin’ Lions. At least try a little bit.

 

13. (12): Chicago Bears

Fun fact of the week: Chicago is 6-1 dating back to the second week of the preseason. Yea, I hate bye weeks.

 

12. (8): San Francisco 49ers

San Francisco showed up to their bye one week too soon.


11. (7): New York Jets

One more reason to hate the Jets: my fantasy team was up 89-87 going into Monday night’s game. The other team was done and I had the Jets defense. Yeah. I lost by two.

 

10. (16): Cincinnati Bengals

Give me all the crap you want but I’m not buying it. The Detroit Lions started 6-2 in 2007 and finished 7-9. Until Cincinnati has an “X” to the left of their name in the standings, I won’t believe it.

 

9. (6): Baltimore Ravens

Cheer up Baltimore, at least you gave NFL fans some entertainment value when Ray Lewis decapitated Chad Ochocinco. Wait, you’d rather have the win? My mistake.

 

8. (11): Atlanta Falcons

Hey, look! Michael Silver has man crushes too.

 

7. (3): New England Patriots

Finally, Boston fans suffer a miserable sports weekend. It’s about time. It feels like they haven’t not won a championship since 2003.

 

6. (10): Philadelphia Eagles

And now to Ollie Williams will the Black-U-Sports report: “Donovan McNabb’s Good.”

 

5. (9): Denver Broncos

This is what I said about Denver before the season:

“The Raiders, Chiefs and Broncos all can’t go 4-12. It would be a statistical phenomenon. That’s why, despite the awful Jay Cutler fiasco this off-season, I’m buying Belichick-disciple Josh McDaniels to put together a high-flying offense in the Mile High city.”

Looks pretty good now.

 

4. (5): New York Giants

Can somebody please beat the G-men? I am getting so sick of them. New Orleans gets a chance this weekend at home. Game of the week.

 

3. (4): Indianapolis Colts

The only thing better than Peyton Manning is this article from CNN. For all guys past puberty, Christmas just came early. This could transform college campuses, save marriages and possibly bring world peace. Seriously, guys, you want to read this.

 

2. (2): New Orleans Saints

New Orleans had a whole week to rest up at home before hosting their biggest game of the season. I like their chances. And Drew, for the sake of my fantasy sanity, can you please throw a touchdown pass this weekend? Please!

 

1. (1): Minnesota Vikings

Brett Favre for comeback player of the year. Adrian Peterson for No. 1 fantasy running back. Jared Allen for defensive player of the year. All equally important, all guaranteed locks. Book it.

 

The UO Sports Dude

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QBER/Week 4: Old New Favre Is Better Than Ever

(QBER is short for Quarterback Efficiency Rating, a more comprehensive and easily understood rating system that places the emphasis where it belongs—the ability of a quarterback to advance the ball, avoid negative plays and score touchdowns in comparison to his peers. A 100.0 rating is the league average.)

 

When the Minnesota Vikings signed Brett Favre in August, the question wasn’t whether the 39-year-old could still perform at a reasonably high level. The question was whether he would check his ego at the door and compromise his talents to fit the players and system around him. 

At the one-quarter pole of the season, the answer is an emphatic yes.

 

At 144.9, Favre ranks behind only Peyton Manning and Drew Brews in QBER, largely because of a ridiculous 8-to-1 touchdown-to-interception rate, the best in the league. He never had a ratio of better than 3-to-1 in his career, and that took place 13 years ago. Of course, he never had feature back Adrian Peterson in the same backfield, either.

 

The quarterback who replaced the Green Bay Packers legend hasn’t done too badly himself, as Aaron Rodgers ranks eighth (125.7) overall.

 

If there’s a concern about Rodgers, then it’s his hefty sack rate of one per 8.1 pass plays. He has lost 134 yards on pass attempts, the most of any passer, which more than offset his 108 yards on scrambles, also a league high.

 

The QBER leaders after Week Four of the regular season:

 

1. P. Manning 153.3; 2. Brees 145.4; 3. Favre 144.9; 4. Ryan 141.2; 5. Orton 141.1; 6. Schaub 136.0; 7. E. Manning 133.3; 8. Rodgers 125.7; 9. Flacco 125.2; 10. Garrard 122.8; 11. Hill 117.7; 12. Cassel 112.8; 13. Rivers 112.1; 14. Cutler 108.0; 15. Roethlisberger 101.0; 16. Warner 94.5; 17. Brady 92.5; 18. Palmer 92.1; 19. Leftwich 88.0; 20.Bulger 87.5; 21. Wallace 87.2; 22 .Collins 85.1; 23. Romo 84.5; 24. Edwards 82.2; 25. Kolb 80.0; 26. Campbell 76.1; 27. Stafford 62.0; 28. Pennington 61.1; 29. Russell 53.8; 30. Sanchez 53.6; 31. Quinn 41.8; 32. Delhomme -0.6.

 

Some observations:

 

  • The unbeaten Denver Broncos have to be ecstatic about the Jay Cutler trade thus far. Not only did the AFC West leaders acquire a serviceable quarterback in veteran Kyle Orton, whose QBER is nine spots higher than Cutler at present, but they have a pair of first-round draft picks from the Chicago Bears on the way.  

         In 126 pass plays, Orton has yet to commit a turnover.

 

  • Mark Sanchez can only hope that he doesn’t have a game worse than the one he had last weekend.

         In 34 pass plays, the New York Jets rookie totaled 44 net yards, minus-two net touchdowns and four turnovers. As a result, his QBER plunged 

from No. 10 to No. 30 overall.

 

  • Know how the NFL has gone above and beyond to protect quarterbacks in recent years? It should be called the Manning Rule.

         In 268 pass plays, Eli and Peyton have been sacked exactly four times. Eight QBs were dumped more times in Week Four alone.

 

  • There may be no more underrated quarterback than David Garrard, the Jacksonville Jaguars veteran sign-caller.

         At 122.8, Garrard has a higher QBER than the more celebrated Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Tony Romo among others.

 

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Comeback Kid: Brett Favre’s Ten Best Moments

Brett Favre is back, for good or ill.

Once again, Favre’s late game heroics have propelled him to the forefront of the NFL – maybe not as a fantasy option, maybe not as a statistics darling – but as the gutsy, gritty game-winner we’ve known him as for the past 17 years (and counting).

On the heels of another fourth quarter comeback, let’s take a look at ten of the best moments in Brett Favre’s career.

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NFL Power Rankings: Week Three

Huge changes in the rankings this week. Call me fickle, but I think it takes two weeks to see the real identity of several teams. To be sure, these rankings will most likely look absurd by week eight, but hey, you don’t read these for the accuracy. Wait…

Sorry for taking  so long to get these up and that I’m mailing these in more than Matthew Berry on his Fantasy Focus Baseball Podcast, but I’m driving up to Oregon in six hours, and am still nowhere close to packed yet. Give me a break.

32 (30) – 0-2 – Rams – Went from the most fun to the most aggravating team to watch in just 4 years. Hey St. Louis, don’t worry, the NBA will be here soon. Wait…

Sadly, I don't think this would shock anyone in three years.

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Sadly, I don’t think this would shock anyone in three years.

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31 (29) – 0-2 – Browns – I’m sorry Cleveland, but you’re gonna be in for a rougher Sunday in Baltimore than a Jew on Easter. (It’s ok, my dad’s Jewish)

30 (28) – 0-2 – Chiefs – It doesn’t get a whole heck of a lot worse than losing to the Raiders at home. On the bright side, they get to play in Philly this weekend. Wait…

29 (31) – 0-2 – Lions – Just when you think the Lions might not be as bad this year, their defense has allowed the most points in the NFL.

28 (27) – 0-2 – Bucs – Don’t you love it when a team gets a new defensive-minded head coach and the defense is even worse than last year?

27 (24) – 0-2 – Jaguars – Earnest Wilford makes over $7 million this season. Really?Earnest Wilford?

26 (23) – 0-2 – Dolphins – When your team doesn’t have a single good WO, your QB is Chad Pennington and your best RB smokes more weed than Snoop Dogg and lives in the drug capital of the United States, yeah, your team isn’t very good.

25 (26) – 1-1 – Raiders – Is there a player that gets less out of his talent that JaMarcus Russell?

24 (25) – 1-1 – Panthers – I don’t care how decent Delhomme looked on Sunday, he is still worse than your girlfriend making you watch the Notebook and then not even making it up to you afterward.

23 (32) – 1-1 – Bengals – Sorry Cincinnati, I was a little too rough on your Bengals earlier.

22 (17) – 1-1 – Seahawks – As good as Seneca Wallace was at Iowa State, the Hasselback injury hurts. Big time.

21 (19) – 1-1 – Bills – Congrats T.O., on your first TD as a Toronto Bill.

20 (18) – 1-1- Redskins – If you picked Washington in your NFL suicide pick this week, you must have been more scared than I was after watching the preview of Jennifer’s Body and realizing Megan Fox would never be attractive to me again.

19 (21) – 2-0- Broncos – Even though I picked Denver as a pre-season sleeper, is there a less deserving 2-0 team?

18 (9) – 0-2 – Titans – “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.” – George Bush

17 (20) – 1-1 – Texans – That loss to the Jets looks a little bit better now, doesn’t it?

16 (14) – 1-1 – Cardinals -Even though Jacksonville is not good by any stretch of the imagination, winning an early game on the East Coast is big for Arizona.

15 (13) – 1-1 – Packers – I wonder which is worse: picking Green Bay in your suicide pool and getting mocked by all your buddies for losing in week two, or being a Packers fan and getting mocked by the entire NFL for losing to the Bengals—at home.

14 (10) – 1-1 – Cowboys – I can’t figure out which one of these is dumber: The centerfield hill in the Minute Maid Park, Tyler Perry, the plot of Surrogates or having a mega-scoreboard that hangs too low. My head is about to explode.

13 (16)  – 1-1 – Bears – Usually a team would move up after beating the Steelers, but Jay Cutler is too much of a spoiled, prep school douche bag.

12 (15) – 2-0 – 49ers – I think Shaun Hill’s seven step drop is so ugly that Matt Hasselback got hurt on purpose just so he wouldn’t have to watch it any more from the sideline.

This never gets old.

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This never gets old.

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11 (22) – 1-1 – Jets – Anyone that can make Tom Brady look like Owen from Dodgeball, earns my prodigious combination of dislike and respect.

10 (5) – 2-0 – Colts – That is about the ugliest way to start a season two and oh.

9 (4) – 1-1 – Eagles – The NFL has to be scripted, no other way this works out so perfectly for Ron Mexico…err Michael Vick.

8 (6) – 1-1 – Chargers – It would suck to be the guy who got suckered into drafting LT in the first round.

7 (8) – 2-0 – Falcons – Hey Atlanta, could you beat Carolina any less convincingly?

6 (2) – 1-1 – Steelers – It’s a good year for curses, they’re making a comeback. Don’t even try to come back Troy, just save yourself for next year.

5 (1) – 1-1 – Patriots – Maybe God isn’t a Pats fan. Or maybe He’s just testing us. I choose to believe the latter.

4 (11) – 2-0 – Giants – I think Eli Manning read my Anti-man Crush story and is now playing well just to spite me.

3 (12) – 2-0 – Saints – There’s a new title-holder for the Greatest Show on Turf.

2 (7) – 2-0 – Ravens – Wow, a  Ravens team that can finally do it all: pass, run and play D. Scary.

1 (3) – 2-0 – Vikings – I have faith. Although a loss to my hometown 49ers this weekend wouldn’t be the end of the world. Hey Brett, can you get all the INT’s out of your system on Sunday? K thanks.

 

The UO Sports Dude

www.keithabecker.wordpress.com

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A Look Back at the 6 NFL Teams that Passed on Adrian Peterson

Adrian Peterson, aka “All Day”, aka the “Dominator”, is without a question the best running back in the NFL right. At this rate, he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame in the future.

He runs with speed, power, fury and a little chip on his shoulder for teams passing him in the 2007 draft.

Teams questioned his durability with his aggressive running style.

Let’s take a look back at the 2007 draft to see which teams passed on Purple Jesus.

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Monday Morning Hangover: 10 Thoughts On NFL’s Opening Week

What does a 27-year-old wannabe sports writer and Tom Brady have in common? We’re both nearly 6’4″? Maybe we both like tossing footballs around? Oh, we’re both good looking?

All of the latter is true, but there’s one big thing we have in common. We’re both making comebacks tonight. Well, today. I’ve been on a three-week hiatus from Bleacher Report because the Internet has suddenly became too rich for my taste.

We all know about the knee injury heard ’round the world at the beginning of last season to Brady.

Today marks the first game of his comeback.

His shoulder injury was much ado about nothing, and he seems healthy and ready to be at center stage again. And what better defense to play his first game against other than the Buffalo Bills?

As I prepare for what will be the last of an exciting, breathtaking, heart-pounding opening weekend, I looked into the football mirror and pulled out 10 stories that engaged my football intelligence and got me going.

OK, it’s really a Coors Light bottle, but who cares anyway.

 

10. The Dallas Cowboys Pound the Bucs Without T.O. Anyone Surprised?

I wouldn’t even consider this a story worth mentioning if it weren’t for ESPN constantly talking about how the Cowboys would look without T.O, blah and blah.

If anyone thought that Owens was that important to that Cowboy offense to the point that Tony Romo wouldn’t know what to do with himself, they must go on informative football dates with Jessica Simpson.

Romo is a prolific QB that knows how to chuck the ball, even if he had a core of receivers from Bleacher Report.

Not to mention he has former No.1 receiver Roy E. Williams, healthy, an emerging Miles Austin, the do-everything TE Jason Witten, and an overlooked Patrick Crayton.

With the subtraction of T.O’s antics, which obviously bothered Romo, the Cowboys will be better off without Mr. T.O.

All Romo needs is the help of his defense, which looked shaky at times in Tampa.

With the N.Y. Giants coming to party at the new Dallas Stadium, DeMarcus Ware and company better practice tackling horses to get ready for Brandon Jacobs.

 

9. What Happened to the St. Louis Rams?

I know the Rams were terrible last season, but we could partially attribute that to injuries to QB Mark Bulger and RB Stephen Jackson amongst other players, but what excuse could they use for Sunday’s dismal performance?

Maybe Bulger had a finger ache? Jackson had a slightly torn toenail?

I’m not even remotely sure of how you can get blanked by the Seattle Seahawks 28-0. Zero. Dunkin Donut hole. Not one point.

This was the greatest show on turf not too long ago, but now are the greatest show on the sideline because their drives end so fast.

Matt Hasselbeck made his return from an injury-riddled 2008 and looked pretty good throwing for 279 yards and three TDs, but did turn the ball over with two INTs.

It didn’t matter, because the Rams defense was a tow bridge that just let everything wearing a Seahawk on their helmet through. Pitiful. Can they be the 2009 version of the Detroit Lions? Or will the Lions be the 2009 Lions, again?

 

8. The Arizona Cardinals Were A Fluke Last Season

When the Cardinals represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last season, I asked myself, “Is this the best team out of the NFC?”

No.

Sorry to Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, and Anquan Boldin, but they were not the best overall team in the conference, but they got on a hot streak and beat anybody opposing them in the playoffs.

I give them all the credit for that, but this year they may not even make the playoffs. Coming out and starting the season 0-1 to the San Francisco 49ers won’t help.

Warner passed for nearly 300 yards, but threw two INTs and his leading receiver was Tim Hightower. Shaun Hill outperformed Warner and didn’t turn the ball over while passing for 209 yards with a touchdown.

This was with a 22-carry, 30-yard performance from Frank Gore and a receiving corps of Isaac Bruce, Vernon Davis, Josh Morgan, and Arnaz Battle.

The Cardinals have problems. They better pray for Boldins to heal quickly.

 

7. The Detroit Lions Will Not Score 27 Points Again This Season

Matthew Stafford looked OK yesterday. His defense didn’t. Good luck guys.

 

6. Reggie Bush Is Officially A Bust

Everyone has been scared to admit that Mr. Bush has totally underperformed since he and his lackluster buddy Matt Leinart arrived in the NFL.

I’ll do the honors: Reggie Bush is a bust. Period. No arguments.

I actually like Reggie Bush. He seems like a stand-up guy, and aside from his mistake of actually dating Kim Kardashian after Ray J had fun with her on camera, he’s made good decisions off of the field.

But unfortunately for him, he hasn’t while on it. Aside from a few punt returns for TDs, Bush hasn’t provided Drew Brees and the Saints with much.

His statline from Sunday: seven carries, 14 yards, five receptions, 55 yards, two fumbles, one lost.

His teammate from USC Leinart has already been topped by Mark Sanchez in one game, and Mario Williams has eaten Bush’s lunch.

Welcome to mediocrity Reggie. Don’t stay too long.

 

5. The Chiefs Put Up 24 Points On the Ravens Minus Matt Cassel

I always thought Brodie Croyle had a better chance as an actor than a football player, until Sunday.

With Matt Cassel out to injury, Croyle had 177 yards passing with two TDs and no INTs, all against a much heralded defense in Baltimore. This was thought to be an afterthought of a game, until about 2:30 Sunday afternoon.

That’s when fans figured out Croyle and his Chiefs came to play. Even though the final score looked a bit lopsided, it wasn’t at all. Maybe the Chiefs can be this year’s Cardinals, especially when Cassel returns.

In the loaded AFC, maybe not.

 

4. The Washington Redskins Need A Makeover

DeAngelo Hall has lost it. Albert Haynesworth has gotten rich and no longer hungry. Carlos Rogers and Sam Smoot are second-tier corners. Clinton Portis is beat up from years of hits and injuries. Santana Moss is irrelevant. So is Antwaan Randle-El. Jason Campbell is a career backup.

It’s time to start anew, Washington.

 

3. Jake Delhomme Is Just Plain Ridiculous

The Carolina Panthers are loaded with talent and should contend for the division.

Oh, and Jake Delhomme has turned the ball over 11 times in his last two games dating back to last season.

Seriously, what is wrong with this guy?

The man who took over the “Jake the Snake” nickname after Jake Plummer suddenly retired is starting to actually look like him. Maybe John Fox should rename him “Jake the Fake” after his latest performances.

At some point somebody in that locker room is going to LeGarrette Blount him in the worst way, and nobody will care.

His turnovers are causing the team to lose, and they know it. Fox tried to be diplomatic in the press conference and say it’s never one guys fault, but in this case it is.

If Delhomme doesn’t get his act together soon, like next week, the Panthers will be showing Jake the gate.

 

2. Ladies and Gentlemen, Jay Cutler Has A Problem

The man who whined, cried, and babied his way out of Denver had his worst nightmare last night at the hands of a healthy Green Bay Packer defense.

The problem everyone knew he would run into showed its hideous face immediately against the Packers, as Cutler repeatedly had nobody to throw to.

His receivers are young, inexperienced, and just not that good. There’s no Brandon Marshall or Brandon Stokley to get the ball to, just Devin Hester who was his best target, Earl Bennett, and Greg Olsen.

Johnny Knox looks like a good change-of-pace receiver, but not a consistent, dependable target. The Packers made sure that Olsen wouldn’t kill them, and the result was four picks thrown by Cutler that could’ve easily been six or seven.

The overconfident Cutler felt like his arm and talent could overcome the lack of talent and experience at receiver and make those guys great, but so far he’s just making himself look bad.

Somebody needs to call Matt Jones or someone.

 

1. Brett Favre: The Decoy

Brett Favre’s statline from Sunday: 14-for-21, 110 yards, one TD.

Adrian Peterson’s statline from Sunday: 25 carries, 180 yards, three TD’s.

Favre did just what he needs to all season for the Vikings to be successful. Hand the ball off to Peterson, watch him run through and around defenders, and throw the ball efficiently when necessary.

That’s all he has to do. Favre doesn’t need to be the risk-taking gunslinger for this team to be successful. If he makes the right reads and throws when it’s time, that offense will speak for itself.

If Peterson stays healthy, the Vikings can win a lot with this formula. With Adrian’s running style though, it’s always the high possibility of injury. Chester Taylor is no Peterson, but could fill in well if that does indeed happen.

For now, the Vikings have a winning formula that’s as potent as it is effective. Wasn’t Percy Harvin one of the best picks of the draft for this team? The Vikes are dangerous.

 

Opening weekend of the 2009 NFL season was like a great night of drinking. You had so much fun and memories that you can’t possibly remember it all, but when you wake up with that weird feeling, it was worth it because you had such a good time.

Fortunately, there’s more to come in the form of a Monday Night doubleheader featuring T.O, the return of Brady and the always fun Raiders.

Until next week, enjoy your hangover and your Monday night, and stay thirsty my boys and girls.

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10 Reasons the Minnesota Vikings Will Not Win the Division

Ten Reasons the Minnesota Vikings Will Not Win the Division

1. Brett Favre.

Everyone is raving about how good Favre will be this year. I really do not see why. The man is basically 60 years old, has played in many games throughout his career, it is not an ideal situation for an old man to be in.

He did not attend any of the camp this year, and has been throwing to high school receivers this summer. That might actually hurt my argument because the high school players and Vikings’ receivers are at about the same level.

 

2. The wide receivers on the Vikings are sub par.

Favre has enjoyed having many good, reliable receivers on his team through the years. None of the Vikings ones are of their caliber. Bernard Berrian can only catch the long ball, Sidney Rice is a huge underachiever, Bobby Wade is irrelevant, and Percy Harvin is a rookie. Harvin is about the only spot with upside in the core, but I do not see him stepping up and catching big passes on third down to keep drives moving.

 

3. The Vikings have a tendency to give up, especially when on the road.

How often does this team have big come from behind wins? Never? They rely on their great running game to power through and keep the ball in their hands. If they fall behind, they will be forced to move the ball through the air, which has not been successful in recent years.

 

4. Penalties.

This team gets a ridiculous amount of penalties, it seems like there is any big play that could change the course of the game, there is a holding call, or stupid pass interference. The team will have to get over that if they expect to be successful.

 

5. Adrian Peterson thinks he is playing basketball.

He fumbled way too much last season. At times he was basically dribbling the football because he would fumble it and fortunately it would come back to him. I am sure the coaches and AP addressed that in the offseason and it will not be as big of a problem, but it is still an issue.

 

6. The special teams are vulnerable to big play makers.

Players like Reggie Bush and Devin Hester are simply too much for them. They plan all week to shut them down and they are still able to beat them over and over again. It is disgusting to watch as the players take wrong angles or get juked out.

 

7. Brad Childress.

I have watched him fail over and over again. Why would I expect anything but failure out of him at this point. The good thing is, Tarvaris Jackson is out of the picture, for now. Childress has kept a team with the potential and talent for greatness mediocre for many years now. The set up is much better now, but my bet is he fails yet again.

 

8. Their defense can’t tackle.

The Vikes enjoy having EJ Henderson back, which will drastically help the squad. However, the Vikings just simply can’t seem to take quarterbacks down and end up giving them all the time in the world.

Part of this is the coaches faults, for blitzing in wrong situations, but seeing blitzing linebackers fly at the quarterback just to watch him take one tiny step either way and dodge them is unacceptable. Jared Allen is the only legitimate threat to get sacks.

Kevin Williams will get his, but he is primarily there to clog up the middle. Even immobile quarterbacks are able to evade them and scramble for a first down or find the open receiver. It definitely does not help the defensive backs who take the heat for it.

 

9. Minnesota franchises go out of their way to disappoint fans.

When is the last time any MN fan was proud of their franchise for the team’s accomplishments? Maybe five years ago when the Twins were relatively successful in the playoffs? It is a reoccurring trend that Minnesota franchises provide false hope to their fans.

Much like this year, everyone is predicting the Vikings to be a Super Bowl contender. I am not buying into the hype, it’s just not worth it.

 

10. They won’t get so lucky this year.

The Vikings should have lost to the Lions and the Saints last year but got bailed out by two very questionable calls by the referees. Both calls put them in field goal range and Ryan Longwell nailed both for the wins.

Now after reading this article you must think I am a big Green Bay fan. Well, I am not. I love the Minnesota Vikings, they are my favorite team, but seeing everyone make all these wild predictions about them are just ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder if they have ever watched a Vikings game.

I hope my predictions are wrong, I really do. I am not very optimistic about the Viking’s season, but at least I am staying within the realm of possibility.

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Tarvaris Jackson’s Top Five Landing Spots

With Brett Favre’s signing, one thing is certain, the Vikings have too many chickens in the coop. Someone’s gotta go and word is that Tarvaris Jackson is the one on his way out.

With Sage just acquired and John David Booty with untapped potential, Tarvaris’s chances are up and his likely place in 2009 won’t be in purple.

The word is that Minnesota will entertain offers until the weekend until they consider releasing him, but will probably want something for him. A late-round 2010 draft pick seems like a likely payment for the fourth-year quarterback.

The Vikings will want to keep him out of the division, but you can’t always get what you want. Here’s a look at the top five teams that could give T-Jack a second chance as a backup or Wildcat quarterback.

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