Time for more Things! What could be better on a Thursday, other than if Burn Notice was still running new episodes?
1. Tony Romo has a large weakness, which is about to be publicized more than it has been. The guy is a chronic fumbler, and he put it on the ground 4 times against the Cardinals (though the beloved tuck rule saved him from a fumble in his own end zone.) The upshot of this issue is that it will surely bear upon the team's decision to let Romo play with a broken pinkie on his throwing hand. Personally, I'd see what Brad Johnson can do.
2. Darnell Dockett (#90) for the Cardinals was dominant in the Dallas game. Really, more often than not, he is. I consider him to be the second best DT in the NFL behind Albert Haynesworth, even though he mostly technically plays a 5-technique DE for the Cardinals. He's really a DT, and comparing him to a Dwight Freeney does neither justice.
3. Everybody knows I love Yeremiah Bell, but there is another Dolphins defender whom I have a man-crush on. Take a look at Channing Crowder, #52, who plays ILB. I've actually liked him since he was an instant impact player at the University of Florida, but he has really come into his own since Zach Thomas left town. The guy is an impact player, and what is better, he is a free agent after this season.
4. I really like Greg Camarillo, who has replaced Wes Welker in Miami as the slot guy. He makes a lot of plays, and also wears #83, and as an added bonus, gets 12.5 yards per catch, as opposed to Welker's typical 10 or so (which is more than his 9 this year.)
5. Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison looked terrific on Sunday, and particularly in Harrison's case, I may have written his eulogy too early.
6. Joe Flacco got in a rhythm in the second half against Indianapolis, and at one point, completed 11 passes in a row. Then, he completed the 12th to Tim Jennings of the Colts (#23,) one of my favorite unknown guys in the league. Flacco is solid for a rookie, but still has a lot to learn.
7. Ryan Grant is a good RB, who runs downhill, and with good acceleration to the hole. When you carry the ball 33 times, and get 90 yards, you're not getting the blocking you need up front. In particular, Chad Clifton is just terrible at LT. I heard the play-by-play guy call him a Pro Bowler, and spit up my Diet Coke all over myself. He was once an average player, but he has declined significantly since those days. Mark Tauscher is underwhelming on the right side, his damn self.
8. Andy Reid gets a lot of credit for being a great coach. On Sunday, he made one of the most asinine decisions I've ever seen, and he was lucky it didn't cost him the game. At the end of the first half, with seconds left, they trotted out David Akers for a 52 yard FG attempt. This is the same Akers who is shaky even one inch outside of 40 yards. I would expect Andy took some physics somewhere along the way, and understands that distance is a function of both the trajectory of a propelled object and the force imparted on that object. A weak-legged kicker like Akers has to use a lower trajectory to have a prayer of getting the ball there. Of course, the kick gets blocked, and promptly returned for a Touchdown as time expired. The only play there was to throw a Hail Mary.
9. I told you so about JT O'Sullivan. This is what happens when teams get some film on you.
10. The Gary Kubiak/Kyle Shanahan team called a Huge Huevos play with that QB Draw to Schaub for the winning TD. If he didn't make it, it's game over. He made it easily, just like the knew he would.
11. Count the Panthers among the teams using direct snaps to RBs. Speaking of the Panthers, they just got off on the wrong foot, with a punt blocked and returned for a TD, and they never recovered. Their best player was #92, Damione Lewis, who has been an underachiever in his career. Jon Beason and Steve Smith were good too, but they're stars, so we expect that.
12. The Bucs introduced an interesting wrinkle, frequently using Earnest Graham at FB, with Warrick Dunn at TB. Graham actually looked like he didn't mind cracking somebody on the Iso stuff they ran. That's commitment to the team.
13. Jeff Garcia is easily one of my least favorite players in the League.
14. Cleveland looked terrific on Monday night, while the Giants simultaneously laid a huge egg. The Browns pass protection was vastly improved, and Derek Anderson finally hung tough in the pocket for the first time this season.
15. Speaking of pass protection, I think my fears were right about the Giants in that department. I heard the 4-letter crew call the Giants O-Line the best in the League during the pregame, and they are not that. They have a star, Chris Snee, at RG, but the other 4 guys are average. They do a very good job in run situations, but they aren't as good moving backwards.
16. Kyle Orton has really turned into a pretty good QB, and it was a shame the Bears lost when he played so well. Maybe it will make teams think twice about the idiotic squib kick.
17. On the other hand, Matt Ryan was terrific on Sunday, and also deserved to win. He's ahead of his years, from an intangibles perspective.
18. The Redskins were tremendously sloppy throughout their "debacling" at the hands of the Rams. I'm Emmitt Smiff and I approve this message.
19. Drew Brees is good, and he's playing very well, but the scheme of the Saints is one of the very best in the League, and it really puts him in position to be successful. Most of the time, they're going underneath with the ball, and they get a lof of yards after the catch on the screen and swing stuff they do. Sean Payton deserves tremendous credit.
20. There is really nothing very good to say about the Raiders. They looked terrible.
This weekend, I'll be officially launching my own site, which will be dedicated to league-wide analysis. I believe there is a void in the football analysis market which I can fill. This weekly posting will be part of my new site, but I still plan to post it here also, for the duration of this season. Other features of the new site will be dedicated, detailed analysis of line play for a few selected teams per week, and a Pro Bowl watch list. I still intend to be a rank-and-file poster here on MHR, where I can behave as a good Broncos fan, and also, I plan to model my site after some best-practices I see on this one.