Andre Johnson

2010 NFL Season: Week 12 in Review

The season is winding down and the significant games for this week are in the books.  Tonite, the San Francisco 49ers play the Arizona Cardinals.  The game may well prove to be very entertaining (Remember last year’s tilt in San Francisco?), but both of these outfits have proven unfit for the rigors of this season.  Big winners this week: the New England Patriots who have found a way to get deep without deep speed; the San Diego Chargers who are serving notice that they are a team to be reckoned with — until the playoffs start; the Chicago Bears who provided a template for beating the high-flying Eagles; the Atlanta Falcons who showed that in the Dirty South, they have just enough to take all comers; and the “Survivors” — Pittsburgh and Baltimore — who were probably peeking around their Week 12 opponents, and thinking about health insurance for Week 13.

Chargers, Chargers Everywhere!

A few random thoughts:

  • As great as Peyton Manning has been in his career, he cannot like living THE LIFE OF MCNABB right now.  Without Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Austin Collie, and Ryan Lilja, Manning is experiencing life on the other side.  He still has Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon and others, but this is his first taste in years of getting hammered — with no hope of relief.  Manning, unlike McNabb is not able to make plays with his feet — and it shows.  He’s giving up interceptions for touchdowns.  He isn’t choosing to throw the ball at the feet of his receivers to avoid turnovers.  He’s taking big risks and losing.  Fortunately for Manning and the Colts, they’ve lost 2 games in a row, but moved ahead of Jacksonville in the playoff hunt.
  • In 5 of his last 7 games, Manning has averaged less than 6 yards per pass attempt.  That’s awful.  You cannot win in today’s NFL doing that.  During that span, the Colts are 4-3, with one of those wins coming by 6 points over the Bengals who were “fueled” by Carson Palmer’s 3 INTs.  Manning has thrown 10 picks over the frame — and had two games with no touchdown passes.
  • The national media is articulate, understanding, and acutely accusatory in their analysis of Peyton Manning’s present condition.  Commentators are able to identify injured players at skill positions and along the offensive line.  Many have become Maddenesque with their ability to break down offensive line play (Exhibit A: former wide receiver Cris Collinsworth; Exhibit B: Yahoo.com’s Shut Down Corner column).  THE LIFE OF MCNABB, however, is not about making excuses.  It’s about making plays…even when playing with guys like James Thrash, Todd Pinkston, Hank Baskett, and Freddie Mitchell.  It’s about figuring a way to move the ball on the ground even when your running backs all weigh 180 pounds soaking wet and the last tackle they broke was made by a toddler on the living room floor.  The Colts may make the playoffs, but I suspect Peyton Manning may need what Jay Cutler needed last year if he is to right this ship, right now.

What Can This Brown Do For You?

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2009 NFL Season: Temple3’s First Annual NFL All-Pro Team (OFFENSE)

The 2009 NFL regular season comes to a close next Sunday.  It’s time to dole out the hardware.  This year’s awardees will receive the coveted Cyber Ankh Award for injecting the spirit of Ma’at into their work.  The list of competitors is long — and I’ll attempt not to leave out too many men who have had great years.  At the end, I have a few additional awards for folks who’ve demonstrated some unique skills worthy of mention.

2009 Cyber Ankh Awards

Without further ado…the 2009 Cyber Ankh Award winners are: (more…)

2009 NFL Season: Week 6 Recap

There were some compelling story lines that emerged this week.  The Bengals took a not-so-surprising plunge back to earth after beating the Steelers and Ravens.  The Giants were undressed.  The “Sanchise” took it on the chin 5 times and the Jets found a new way to lose.  The Vikings showed just how tough they’re going to be down the stretch.  (It looks an awful lot like the Saints and Vikings are going to play for the NFC Championship.)  The Eagles did the unthinkable.  With all of these stories, perhaps nothing was more surprising that the rapid and complete demise of the once-proud Tennessee Titans.

Welker_v_Titans

AP Photo - Winslow Townson

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2009 NFL Season: What Week 5 Tells Me

How did they do that?

Is he really that good?

Wow.  I had no idea that team was that solid.

Dolphin tastes more like Shark than Chicken!!

That’s what people were saying on Monday after a week of surprising outcomes.  Perhaps none was more surprising that the score by which Atlanta dominated San Francisco and the method by which Miami defeated the New York Jets.   (more…)

Is Steeler WR Mike Wallace the Real Deal?

Last week, Steeler rookie WR Mike Wallace had 7 receptions and 102 receiving yards on the road vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.  The Steelers lost the game, but the rookie served notice that he just might be a player.  I was impressed enough to scoop him up in my FFL, even though I think the Steelers are at the softer spot of the 2009 schedule and are likely to run the ball more.  I think Wallace is about to do some special things.  Here’s why:

Mike Wallace takes Jonathan Joseph for a ride.

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2009 NFL Season: A Question of Evolution

The NFL game is changing — and fast.  Take a look at the top rushers, by yards per game:

  1. Adrian Peterson
  2. LaDainian Tomlinson
  3. Clinton Portis
  4. Edgerrin James
  5. Jamal Lewis
  6. Larry Johnson
  7. Fred Taylor
  8. Ricky Williams
  9. Steven Jackson
  10. Willie Parker

The NFL's Top Rusher -- Adrian Peterson

The old guard doesn’t have much time left.

Now, take a list at the top wide receivers, ranked by yards per game: (more…)

When Steve Smith became the NFL’s best wide receiver

Steve Smith is NASSSSSSTY! But he’s not the Best Receiver in the NFL. He can do a lot of things.

He can do this…_39500383_smith_300.jpg and this 26.jpg and this

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and best of all, he can even do some of this…

ph2006112601152.jpg and alot of this

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But, he’s still not the best. Steve Smith has had one phenomenal year. He’s had two other solid seasons. The rest of his career has either been marked as his rise from special special teams player to star starter or injury-plagued seasons breaking the hearts of the Panther faithful.

There was, though, a coronation. I don’t know how I missed it, but I understand how it happened. There are other elite receivers in this game: Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Torry Holt, Chad Johnson, Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald…even Joey Galloway. Smith offers a unique mix of factors, though that tend to separate him from most other receivers.

Harrison, Galloway, Holt are on the back end of fabulous careers. Smith is an excellent route runner and deserves to be mentioned in the company of these stars.

Moss and Owens are supremely talented physically and each has only the other for comparison in that regard. Moreover, both are reviled by the media. Smith may be half a foot shorter, but his blazing speed and capacity to fight for balls at the peak of the throw put him in conversation as well.

In recent years, there has been a new group of big, young receivers who have redefined the position. Andre Johnson is one of those players. Plaxico Burress, Roy Williams, Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, and several others have changed the way defenses are called and teams are configured.

Still another batch of fleet speedsters are enjoying some success. Recent Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch is one example. The Jets-Redskins back to Redskins-Jets tandem of Laveranues Coles and Santana Moss are two more examples of this type.

And then there’s Steve’s roommate from junior college, Ocho Cinco, Chad Johnson. He has as strong a claim as anyone to the throne.

Steve Smith is as good as it gets, but he’s going to have to get some more before he’s the best there is. The Houston Texans may be trying to get him to the top by themselves. Yesterday’s line: 8 catches, 153 yards and 3 touchdowns.