Week One Bumps, Bruises and Bow-outs
A bit rougher than week one of last year, particularly for
Kurt Warner (STL) - Concussion, brought to hospital
Tiki Barber (NYG) - Dislocated finger, returned to game
Karsten Bailey (GB) - Pulled hamstring
Donald Driver (GB) - Severe neck strain
Robert Ferguson (GB) - Tore ligaments in ankle - out indefinitely
Brian Finneran (ATL) - Broken left hand
Larry Foster (ARZ) - Sprained ankle
| Sunday Salutes
|New York Giants
Oh for yesteryear
Last year, the NFL started out with a bang like all years
do. 2002 saw the average game score of 49.6 points and an
unbelievable 13 of 15 games that ended over the line. Of course
it did not last, but it's always something to look forward
to in week one - get the new fantasy team and your first week
out of the blocks is a point bonanza. So what happened? Who
invited defenses this time? This weekend saw an average total
points per game of only 41.8 points and that was greatly aided
by Detroit/Arizona (66), MIN/GB (55) and CHI/SF (56).
Take away those three games and the average game only produced
a total of 37.6 points. Take away 49 field goals and half
a dozen defensive or special teams scores and it was a far
lower weekend than normal. There were only four running backs
with over 100 yards rushing while there were eight during
week one last year.
Why did we draft those running backs in such a frenzy again?
The Boldin Beautiful
Maybe next year when you reach the 20th round of your draft
and you are looking for a longshot receiver, we now know to
look for a rookie receiver that plays for a very bad team
with a marginal, at best, passing game and who is not even
officially a starter in the sense of flanker or split end.
Look for someone who is stuck in as a slot receiver in multiple
receiver sets. That way you can be delighted when your receiver
- let's call him Anquan Boldin for the heck of it - goes off
to the tune of 10 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
The two starting Arizona receivers of Bryan Gilmore and Larry
Foster combined for 24 yards and no score (thereby meeting
expectations). I mean you should be able to count on setting
an all-time record for a rookie receiver in his first game,
Oh yes, almost forgot. When you find that rookie slot guy
on a bad team next year, he not only should be drafted that
year, but he canoot even be the first receiver drafted by
the team. This might be hard to find but is evidently worth
It's a fine gun - wish I could keep it. Just gonna hunt
buffalo with it, right?
The Patriots made the last minute decision to cut Lawyer
Milloy in order to save money and lose a player that did not
meet expectations anymore. In retrospect, this was along the
lines of trading a Winchester to the Sioux Indians at Little
Big Horn. "We got the horse, you got the gun - we're
In the ambush that the Patriots walked into, Lawyer Milloy
barely had time to cut the tags off his uniform before going
out and recording two tackles, three assists and a sack. His
replacement only managed two tackles, one assist and no sacks
even though safeties for the Patriots clearly had more opportunity
to make tackles than their counterparts for the Bills.
Tom Brady got to play the part of Custer, complete with a
48% completion rate and only 123 yards passing. It was actually
higher if you count the four times the Buffalo defense caught
the ball. This from a team that spent their last trip to Little
Big H... Buffalo defeating the Bills by a score of 38-7 when
Brady had over twice the yardage and three touchdowns while
Antowain Smith rushed for 111 yards instead of just seven
"Tell you what - you guys bring some chowder next time
and maybe we'll let you score."
Hmmm. You know, that whole rookie thing seems to work for
Chicago retooled their offense this spring by acquiring Kordell
Stewart in the hopes that he could not only bring veteran
leadership to the team, but also the chance to use his ability
to run the ball as well. Kordell jumped at the chance to become
a starting quarterback again and once he wore his uniform
for the first time, he kept asking trainers "do I look
good in this? I do, don't I?"
While his GQ rating is still undetermined, he is evidently
now easier to find by defenses. Kordell's first game for the
Bears entailed six rushes for 21 yards and five sacks by a
defense that was considered below average. Kordell's attempt
to gain yardage with his legs resembled a commuter trying
to merge into 5 o'clock traffic. Stewart ended the inauspicious
first game with only 14 completions on 34 attempts for 95
yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.
Fortunately the Bears meet another bad defense next week
to turn the team around. You know - that terrible team that
cannot stop anyone in Minneapolis.
I'm pacing myself
There were four big name receivers that changed teams in
the offseason. They were acquired by teams hungry for a difference
making pass catcher that could really open up the offense
and keep the chains moving. These receivers just came off
their first game with their new team so what happened?
Lavernues Coles - (5-106 yards) Great first half, nothing
in the second
Peerless Price - (2 -30 yards) But one very nice catch
David Boston - (2 - 20 yards) Not only no good catches but
SD trailed for the final 57 minutes
Curtis Conway - (2 - 28 yards) But was the second best receiver
Evidently the teams would have been better served by just
drafting two receivers and then throwing away the first one.
101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody
has to cry
| Comedy Lineup
|| Tragedy Lineup
|| 3 FG, 3 XP
Huddle Fantasy Points = 129
Huddle Fantasy Points = 26
And he can sing the national anthem too if that is needed
Little did you know that 24 kickers yesterday would be beaten
by someone that did not know himself that he was a kicker
until the second quarter in the Tennessee - Oakland game last
night. When Joe Nedney played an impromptu version of Twister
during a kickoff and sprained his knee, the Titans turned
to their punter Craig Hentrich because he certainly the closest
thing to a kicker on the roster.
Hentrich not only played well, he went three for three with
field goals of 49, 34 and 33 yards. In a game won by five
points, his interesting yet successful attempts provided the
margin of victory for the home team. Now if he can just learn
to talk smack like Mike Vanderjagt...
I Love Idiot Kickers
The next time Peyton Manning fires up the Manning-mobile,
he may be sporting a new bumpersticker. Seems that Mike Vanderjagt
not only gets "liqoured up" in the offseason when
he has to appear on Canadian talk shows, he sobers up during
the season and can kick three field goals in a game. In fact,
the only points in the entire game. In fact, the only points
in a game that they won without any touchdowns.
Now both of you hug and start scoring double digits in games
In case you missed the games, here is a handy cheatsheet
for reference when you talk football with your coworkers today.
Are they really that good?
Washington - not really
Denver - Ummm... cough, cough, Portis, cough, cough
Buffalo - Whoo Boy! Man! (shrug)
Pittsburgh - Sure
Indianapolis - This is a trick question, right?
Carolina - Yes, but barely and only in the second half.
New York Giants - Tiki. Tiki, Tiki, Tiki. Mitchell.
Houston - Yes, but only in week one. Then it is back to the
"carriage is a pumpkin" thing.
Kansas City - (Just look pensive, like you are putting the
words "defense" and "Chiefs" together)
Minnesota - Probably not THAT good
Detroit - (spit out coffee on the floor, avoid your shirt)
Seattle - I think so. I still do. I said so before. Probably.
San Francisco - Who knows? They haven't played yet.
Atlanta - Yes, in spite of poor press
Tennessee - Sheesh - a punter. Go figure.
Are they really that bad?
New York Jets - You know - first Coles, then Chad, then...
Cleveland - Uh - boy. Probably not, Jim. (look at ceiling)
Cincinnati - Compared to what?
Jacksonville - Evidently not.
New England - Evidently so.
Baltimore - Yes, for a bit longer anyway.
St. Louis - So far, so bad.
Miami - They better hope not in this job market
San Diego - Yes, but they have really, really nice weather
and a zoo too.
Green Bay - No though losing the two best receivers in one
play may make it so.
Arizona - Bigger yes than flashing a C-note at a hooker
New Orleans - No, they just mixed up December with September
Chicago - Hey - you're just avoiding work now
Dallas - Yes but enrolled in the "Scared Straight"
Oakland - No, not as long as Gannon continues to get back
|NYJ 13, WAS 26
||Coles got his revenge,
Spurrier got his quarterback, Snyder got his win and Jets
continue to lose things.
|IND 9, CLE 6
||This was more like the World Cup
of soccer than the Superbowl except the hooligans were
wearing dog masks and mostly just burping in disgust.
|DEN 30, CIN 10
||It is notable that Plummer hands
off very well. It's not like the Bengals were starting
out with high expectations anyway.
|JAX 23, CAR 24
||Delhomme threw three touchdowns
in the second half to win the game for the Panthers. Carolina
offense = good. Carolina defense = not great. Jacksonville
offense = good. Now stop reading this before your brain
|NE 0, BUF 31
||Evidently the Bills are like that
one guy in tenth grade that came back from the summer
break with a deep voice and a beard. And a car that the
chicks all dig.
|BAL 15, PIT 34
||It's not exactly like Boller doesn't
still look good compared to previous Ravens.
|STL 13, NYG 23
||Maybe the Rams still cannot score,
but at least Warner is over 300 yards passing again. I
mean - find the silver lining here, dude. Holt and Bruce
went over 100. Work with me on this.
|SD 14, KC 27
||The only ones that watched the second
half were optimistic Charger fans and angry Priest Holmes
owners. Richardson! Blaylock? HUH?!?!?
|MIN 30, GB 25
||Vikings appreciated the new place
much more than the Packer fans. Driver and Ferguson injuries
much harder to bear than the game.
|ARZ 24, DET 42
||I told you both teams would look
much better than they really are. I just did not know
it was going to be the rookie receiver showcase.
|NO 10, SEA 27
||You know, this was supposed to be
the light part of the Saint's schedule too.
|CHI 7, SF 49
||Trust me, Mr. Erickson, it will
not always be like this. Okay - maybe for Chicago but
not for your 49ers.
|ATL 27, DAL 13
||How important are you when your
boss pushes your wheel chair down to the field? Evidently
not so important that they actually need you in Dallas.
|OAK 20, TEN 25
||What a great game. After suffering
through the Jets-Redskins game on Thursday, this was one
that makes you say "Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!"
Winner: Houston 21, Miami 20
It's deja vu all over again.
So far the Texans have provided two critical features to
1. They have been a weekly trainer for defenses perfecting
the art of sacking the quarterback.
2. They have managed to decimate NFL survivor pools after
only one week the last two years.
The Dolphins led only 14-6 at the half but in the "hard
to get up for the game" mentality that these sort of
matchups inspire, the expectation was that the Dolphins would
rise up in the second half and mightily smite David (Carr)
using Ricky Williams and a defense that is even better at
home. They evidently failed to get that memo over to the visitors
I was all innocent enough. The Dolphins took the opening
kickoff at their 12 yard line and then in 13 plays reached
midfield before incompletions forced a punt. The Texans went
three and out and punted back to the Dolphins who did the
With only four and a half minutes left in the third quarter,
the Texans started out on their own 22 yard line and in one
play, David Carr hits Corey Bradford for a 78 yard touchdown.
All of a sudden this is a 14-12 game (they missed the two
point conversion run by Mack). Then the Dolphins get the ball
back and go three and out. Huh?
The Texans get the ball back around midfield since Jay Fielder
was sacked and lost yardage and the Texans march down to the
Miami five yard line in only seven plays before settling for
a field goal. This makes the Texans lead 15-14. Miami notices.
Miami does what we all expect and marches eighty yards for
a touchdown to retake the lead 20-15. They missed on the two
point conversion pass. They go for the two points since it
would make them up by seven points instead of six points.
In retrospect, this is where those little conversion cards
The Texans get the kickoff and chew up seven minutes to kick
a field goal at the five minute mark in the fourth quarter.
With a lead of 2 points now, 20-18, all they have to do is
run Ricky, chew up the clock, take the win and breathe an
embarrassing sigh of relief.
First and ten from their 31-yard line, they get a false start.
On first and fifteen, Fiedler hits Williams for eight yards.
On second and seven from the Miami 34-yard line, another false
start - sloppy play - puts it back to second and 12 yards
to go. And then it happens. On second down and 12, Fiedler
throws the ball which is intercepted on the sideline by Marcus
Coleman at the Miami 36-yard line.
The Texans then drive to the Miami 17-yard line using - get
this - Stacey Mack running the ball in Miami to set up Kris
Brown with 30 seconds left from the Miami 17-yard line. Brown
nails the 35 yarder because as we all now know - even punters
can chip those in. The Texans take the lead 21-20.
With only 18 seconds left, Fiedler is throws two incompletions
and a final heave-ho that is, appropriately, intercepted by
Texans win. The only franchise in the history of the NFL
with a perfect record for opening day. Houston has only won
five games in their history and yet have never started their
season out with a losing record. Once again - we must wait
for week three for that to happen. The greatest part of this
game was the report from Jabbar Gaffney that before the game
a Miami player said to him "see you after practice".
In the end, it was the Texans that were able to say "Oh
yeah, I got your practice right here."
Football is back and the fun and exciting finishes have not
gone away. Hope you had a great offseason, a great fantasy
draft and are looking forward to an even better season than
last year. May we all feel like the Houston Texans in week
one. This is your year - I can feel it. Bet you can too.
Now get back to work...