Week Two Bumps, Bruises and Bow-outs
This season is starting out with many more injuries than
Jeff Blake (ARZ) - Bruised heel
Jeff Garcia (SF) - Mild concussion but returned
Steve McNair (TEN) - Dislocated finger but returned
Jake Plummer (DEN) - Shoulder separation
Kordell Stewart (CHI) - Strained neck
Clinton Portis (DEN) - Bruised chest
Corey Dillon (CIN) - Hyperextended knee but returned
Lavernues Coles (WAS) - Neck/back spasms but returned
Reche Caldwell (SD) - Dislocated wrist - will need surgery
Joe Jurevicius (TB) - Sprained knee
Terrell Owens (SF) - Mild concussion but returned
| Sunday Salutes
Why yes, I not only can write that check, I can cash it
When Jamal Lewis was talking on the phone to Cleveland linebacker
Andra Davis last week, he mentioned that if the Ravens would
allow him to carry the ball 30 times in the game that he could
break the all-time single game rushing record set by Corey
Dillon with 278 yards.
A man of his words, Jamal Lewis had an 82 yard scoring run
on the second play of the game. He had a 63 yard scoring run
in the fourth quarter. By the end, he had exactly 30 carries
in the game and he did, as foretold, surpass Dillon's record
by running for 295 yards. Lewis actually had a third scoring
run of 60 yards called back in the first half due to Marcus
Robinson's holding call.
The Raven's rushed for a franchise record of 343 yards in
all and with every record broken, there is also someone who
allowed it to be broken. The Browns allowed more rushing yardage
than any other game in their franchise's history.
The Brown's defensive tackle Gerald Warren summed it up in
an understated way when he later said "This could be
a wake-up call, the defense has to stay strong, stick together
and not let this move us back." A wake call is no doubt
needed too, since on Sunday in a historic game, the entirety
of the Dawg Pound was put to sleep.
It's one thing to make a mark, it is quite another to do
it behind glass in Canton, Ohio.
They were in the backfield anyway
Week two only had two running backs that scored on passes
this week - Reuben Droughns and Tony Fisher. Compared to week
one, when a total of seven different runners caught a score,
the day was very sparse for passing to the backs. No Holmes,
no Faulk, no stud running back, just backups Droughns and
Fisher who between them had no rushes and only three catches
for two touchdowns. Last week there were seven running backs
that had passing scores. Ricky Williams, Shaun Alexander,
Garrison Hearst and other names we might actually have on
our fantasy teams.
There were actually seven more touchdowns thrown to backs
yesterday. Problem was that those were defensive backs with
an unusually high amount for one day.
Errr... back to the waiver wire!
How did those red-hot players that no one owned last week
do now that they were acquired by teams happy to have their
QB Jeff Blake (ARZ): Week one - 385 yards, 3 TDs. Week two
- 55 yards, 2 interceptions
QB Joey Harrington (DET): Week one - 195 yards, 4 TD's, Week
two - 241 yards, 3 interceptions
TE Josh Norman (SD) : Week one - 64 yards, 1 TDs, Week two
- 0 catches, 0 TDs
TE Matt Schobel (CIN) : Week one - 97 yards, Week two - 13
yards, 0 TDs
WR Anquan Bolding (ARZ) : Week one - 217 yards, 2 TDs, Week
two - 62 yards, 0 TDs
What are you waiting for? Tony Fisher and Reuben Droughns
are still available!
Do a little dance, make a little love...
When the San Francisco 49ers tied the St. Louis Rams with
only 23 seconds left in the game, they used their little known
secret weapon. Terrell Owens ran straight into the endzone
and Jeff Garcia threw it right to him on fourth down. Who
would have guessed that would be the play? I mean sure - putting
FS Aeneus Williams man to man with one of the best receivers
in the past decade who is only four inches taller seems like
a prudent move but it wasn't in the end.
Then when San Francisco kicked a bullet-fast squib directly
into the facemask of Rich Coady and recovered the live ball,
they were all set up for a dramatic comeback. There were 13
seconds on the clock and Garcia spent four on an incomplete.
With only nine seconds left, Garcia hit the slanting Cedric
Wilson who caught it and ran. And he cut and he ran. Then
he ran a little more until he reached the Ram's 29 yard line
with nary a second left on the clock. Meanwhile, on the sideline,
the entirety of the Dennis Erickson's coaching staff was screaming
"GET DOWN! GET DOWN!". The 49ers still had a time
out they could have used.
By the time the Rams took the overtime kickoff and marched
down for the winning field goal in only four plays, it seemed
a missed opportunity that the stadium could not locate their
copy of "That's the way, uh-huh, uh-huh, I like it..."
Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh,
somebody has to cry
| Comedy Lineup
|| Tragedy Lineup
|| 4 FG
Huddle Fantasy Points = 106
Huddle Fantasy Points = 24
The best eight teams from last year made it into the second
round of the playoffs for 2002. How are they doing now only
two games into 2003?
Tampa Bay - (1-1) Tied for last place in NFC South. Only
five NFL teams have less points scored.
Oakland (1-1) And this by barely beating Cincinnati in Oakland
Philadelphia (0-2) - Last in NFC East and no other team has
less points scored.
Tennessee (1-1) - The most respectable of the final four teams
San Francisco (1-1) - Chicago was a breeze but St. Louis
New York Jets (0-2) - snuck into 2002 playoffs and now cannot
even buy a ticket
Atlanta (1-1) - Losing Vick meant making Spurrier look good
Pittsburgh (1-1) - At least they are tied for the lead in
the AFC North
The best eight teams from last year and not one had made
it two games without a loss. There are currently eight teams
that are 2-0 on the season and only Indianapolis made it to
the playoffs last year when they were waxed by the Jets 41-0
in the wildcard round.
Parity now is just a great big dice cup each season that
has the good and bad teams roll out in random fashion.
Sunday's Couch Commentary
20, KC 41
just like last year except the Chiefs are not allowing
opponents the big comeback wins. How many more Holme's
highlights must we suffer this year?
|BUF 38, JAX 17
||Bills hot start reminiscent of last
season while Travis Henry rekindles the spirit of Cris
Carter by rushing 21 times for 26 yards and three touchdowns.
|TEN 7, IND
||McNair loses the
use of his ring finger while the Colts finally find a
use for their middle finger. George's rushing average
now held constant by standing him up at the line of scrimmage
and then just tipping him over forward.
|DET 6, GB 31
||Yes Mooch, the folks at home watched
the game but you've already exceeded expectations. On
the plus side Harrington still has thrown one more touchdown
to his own team than he has to defenders. It is a start.
|CLE 13, BAL
yards. Jamal Lewis gained more rushing yardage on his
second run than the Browns did in the entire game. As
expected, that is a very bad ratio. In the background,
a noise comes from the bench " cough-cough-Couch-cough-cough"
|WAS 33, ATL 31
||In the land of mini-me runners,
Rock Cartwright and Ladell Betts versus T.J. Duckett goes
to the team with the best defense. No - I mean Washington
had the better defense.
|MIA 21, NYJ
his old self by throwing for 373 yards but only scoring
once in a loss. The Dolphins lose that monkey hanging
onto their dorsal fin from last week.
|SF 24, STL 27
||Rams hold off surprise attack by
Garcia and Owens for the win while Martz pays the team
doctor to tell Warner that he has contracted a rare disease
with no symptoms but which prohibits him from starting.
Cedric Wilson needs to work on his sheepish look for the
next time the cameras follow him for the last fifteen
minutes of the game.
|HOU 10, NO
guessing the team jet resembles a pumpkin again and preparing
for the Chiefs to visit Houston next week no longer looks
as appealing as it once did.
|SEA 38, ARZ 0
||When a team can secretly suspend
their star receiver for the game, you knew this is was
not going to be a nail biter.
|CHI 13, MIN
||The good news
here is that Chicago is on a bye next week so you will
not be disappointed again.
|NE 31, PHI 10
||Plucked, cut up and
made into a shocking eagle chowder that seems to be the
soup of the month now. The "draw straws" system
of running back rotation seems to need revamping.
|CIN 20, OAK
||Once again we
are faced with a "are they really that good/bad"
set of questions. This just in - Kitna threw for exactly
200 MORE yards than Gannon did. And yet lost.
|DEN 37, SD 13
||The second string backfield for
Denver only scored half what the first string did but
that was still good for more points than the Chargers
could generate. If SD gives Portis 120 yards in two quarters,
I wonder what Jamal Lewis is saying about his trip there
Winner: Carolina 12, Tampa Bay 9
The 49er-Ram game was a heavy contender here, but anytime
a Superbowl champion can play their home opener against a
team that they beat twice last season, it is a good story.
The Panthers took the lead, 9-0, when John Kasay kicked his
third field goal in the third quarter. The Buccaneers had
reached the Carolina 21-yard line in the second quarter, but
Martin Gramatica's field goal attempt was blocked. He redeemed
himself right before the end of the third quarter when he
made his 41 yard attempt and drew the team to within six points,
The two teams both had two series leading up to the third
attempt by Gramatica from 47 yards out with 8:27 remaining.
It was, of course, blocked by Julius Peppers big paw and gave
the Panthers a big sigh of relief that they promptly turned
into a "three and out" series.
After Tampa Bay did likewise, the Panthers took the ball
to midfield where they punted down to the Tampa Bay 10-yard
line with only 1:49 seconds left to play. Ninety yards away
from a win, Brad Johnson led the team down to the Carolina
23 with only 19 seconds left and third and 15 yards to go
for a first down.
He hit Keyshawn Johnson for 17 yards down to the Carolina
6-yard line. After spiking the ball to kill the clock with
only five seconds left to play, his final chance was a touchdown
strike to Keenan McCardell who was wide open in the endzone
and almost exactly the same game time and quick route that
Owens caught his score in the Rams game. The Buccaneers tied
the game 9-9 with only an extra point to kick to take the
heart-wrenching win away from the Panthers.
Now two of Gramatica's field goal attempts had already been
blocked. That is a reason for concern and when the Panthers
loaded up half their team over the left offensive guard, it
was a clue that they were not going to go quietly into that
good night. Snap - set down - kick - WHACK!
The Panthers managed the very rare trifecta for blocking
kicks. Jon Gruden was displeased, but not nearly so as to
cast suspicion on him when the his Special Teams unit is collectively
found face down in the Gulf of Mexico by passing Cubans immigrating
to America in a '67 Dodge Dart with pontoons. Maybe they all
went swimming and drowned?
The Panthers won the overtime coin flip but after the kickoff
only reached their own 37-yard line. They punted to the Buccaneers
who got down to the Carolina 42 yard line before needing to
punt. It is not that Gramatica could not attempt a 59 yard
field goal, it was just that Gruden was concerned how far
back the batted kick attempt would go. In order to give the
Panthers poor field position, they punted to Steve "you
looking at me?" Smith who returned it from his own 8
yard line and made it 52 yards away to the Tampa Bay 40-yard
line by running through the aforementioned special teams unit.
The Panthers could only get as far as the 24-yard line before
fourth down. Then before they could kick, Todd Steussie had
a false start to make it from the 29-yard line. From 47 yards
away, John Kasay nailed his fourth field goal in the game
to take the win 12-9.
It was appropriate that the Buccaneers lost to the Panthers
since they lost on poor special teams play to a defense that
would not allow them to even get a kick off. In this world
of temporary champions and no dynasties, it was appropriate
because the Panthers and Buccaneers first met last year in
Carolina and though the Panthers put up a spirited fight,
they lost to the visitors.
The score last year was 12-9, Buccaneers.
What comes around, goes around.
Now get back to work...