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Random Shots - Week 6

  Posted 10/14 by Joe Bryant, Exclusive for Footballguys.com

Hi We do a lot of really insightful, thoughtful and serious features here at Footballguys with some very smart people thinking deeply for you. This is not one of those features.

This is a few pages of me downloading my goofy and dysfunctional mental hard drive that gets stuffed with way too many random items from 40 hours of watching and re-watching (God Bless Tivo) football every weekend. It's the only way I keep relatively sane. Here's hoping it has a tiny bit of value for you. Let's go.

Random Shots

Here's what happens when you sit an NFL Junkie down in front of multiple big screens with Sunday Ticket and fresh batteries in the remote.

Can we just go ahead and put Peyton Manning in the Hall of Fame right now? I mean this week. Let's have an induction this Thursday and be done with it. Good grief. I get it. I had the good fortune of watching Manning play his college football in Knoxville where I live and I'm as big a Manning fan as you'll find. But this is ridiculous.

I think my 8 year old daughter is watching too many commercials. She asked her brother if he had "Reptile Dysfunction". Then she asked if the Florida Gator football team had it. I said "Probably".

Did you catch the giant Richard Simmons guy wearing a sombrero and doing the J - E - T - S, JETS JETS JETS? Is this the Miami version of Fireman Ed?

Poor Browns can't catch a break. News is leaking out now that James Davis' mysterious season ending shoulder injury came when he was ordered to face off against defenders in full pads while Davis was just in a T-shirt. I'm sure the union will have fun with that one. I wonder if he'll get the standard issue Browns staph infection to go with it?

Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em Note: MC Hammer reportedly had a big hand in bringing 49ers WR Michael Crabtree into the fold. That's the most productive thing he's done in a while...

Crabtree spotted on the sidelines...

I think Cris Carter had it right previewing the Larry Fitzgerald vs. Andre Johnson matchup Sunday: "I don't know who the best WR in the NFL is. But it's one of these dudes."

Shameless request here - Anyone have an invite for Google Wave they'd care to give up? Trying to get up to speed there. I'll name next week's Hard Luck Awards after the first person to send one. My email is bryant@footballguys.com

Striking programming contrast Sunday morning: ESPN2 had the excellent Stephania Bell on talking about expected return times from different knee injuries. Flipped to regular ESPN and the Countdown show had a long segment pimping their documentary with a bunch of losers in a bar whining about how the Colts leaving Baltimore was like their wife leaving them. Child, please.

On that angle though a note to Bob Irsay. Your family pulled one of the slimiest moves in NFL history. Just look at what they did to those guys in the bar in the paragraph above when they slinked out of town in the middle of the night and kicked a city and it's fans in the teeth.

Yet Irsay was one of the first owners to claim the moral high road opposing Rush Limbaugh's reported bid to become a minority owner in the Rams. "I, myself, couldn't even consider voting for him," Irsay said, according to the Associated Press. "When there are comments that have been made that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive ... our words do damage, and it's something that we don't need." I'm no Limbaugh fan so save the emails. This isn't about Limbaugh. This is about knowing that you should keep your mouth shut when your name is tied to one of the more inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive owner moves in recent history.

Non football note (as if any of this is seriously about football). Band I'm digging this week is the Avett Brothers. Already have tickets for them at the historic Tennessee Theater in Knoxville for December as they tour to support their outstanding new album, "I and Love and You". They're hard to classify as wiki says they combine bluegrass, country, punk, pop melodies, folk, rock and roll, honky tonk, and ragtime to produce a sound described by the San Francisco Chronicle as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones." Others have described them as "indie roots", "folk-punk", or "grungegrass". Whatever you call them, I love the sound. You can see the the title track video from their new album here.

More throwback flashbacks. Kansas City and Dallas on the TV to match.

And New England rolls back the clock.

I wonder if they charged full price for tickets to the Buffalo Cleveland game? Browns quarterback Derek Anderson took until the last minute of the first half to complete his first pass. He would complete one more. And after the game, the QB job was so securely Anderson's that Brady Quinn put his house up for sale. What a train wreck.

Feeling a little old tonight. My 15 year old son is with my wife at the U2 concert tonight in Houston. It's a birthday present for her and a fun trip for my son who is an aspiring musician. 22 years ago, my wife and I saw U2 in Houston on the Joshua Tree tour. I was 23. My son is almost as old as I was the last time I took my wife to see them. Bottom line is that there's been almost a whole generation cycle of Bryant men taking my wife to U2. Yikes. That can't be good for me, can it? Although she's as beautiful as when I took her 22 years ago. I posted the details in this thread on our Footballguys message board..

According to CBSSports, at one point in the first half, the Giants had outgained the Raiders 262-9. I don't have any words for that.

Shannon Sharpe was killing it at halftime. He said the Giants had to put in David Carr because they didn't want Eli to hurt his other foot kicking the Raiders butt.

I told you Willis McGahee was terrible...

(For those of you that don't hang on every word each week ok that's all of you I was down on McGahee this summer as I hyped Ray Rice. Up until Sunday's game, McGahee had been making me look pretty bad...)

Denver running back Knowshon Moreno fumbled early in the game. On the next series, he looked like a fullback in the gauntlet drill holding onto the ball with both arms and hands.

What's wrong with Maurice Jones-Drew? This was his second consecutive game with 40 yards rushing or less. Jones-Drew said the loss was the worst game he's been associated with in his career. "It's an embarrassment," he said. "If the other guys are not embarrassed, I don't think they should be playing this game."

Anyone hear that Josh McDaniels faced his former boss Bill Belichick last week? Supposedly there's some sort of "student vs. teacher" storyline thing going on. Sheesh. Enough already.

Note to Bills coach Dick Jauron I think I'd hold off on remodeling the kitchen. Bills COO Russ Brandon was asked about Jauron's status as head coach: "I am not commenting on that, guys. Obviously, this is a low point for all of us. I feel for everyone in the organization and more importantly the fans. This is not where we expected to be right now."

Ouch. The dreaded "no comment". That's several levels worse than the dreaded "vote of confidence". Unless it's from Al Davis. Then it's reversed.

Credit where it's due - I ragged on Josh McDaniels over the Jay Cutler thing this summer. I was wrong - the Broncos are a very good football team. Hats off.

Footballguy Heinrich Hofmann asked me if there was something in the Cincinnati water. The Bengals are 4-1 have the 2nd best record in the AFC are 3-0 in the division and 3-1 in the conference and are on top of the AFC north. The University of Cincinnati Bearcats are ranked 8th in the AP and 9th in the USA polls and have a nationally televised game this Thursday against South Florida. Must feel good to be a football fan in Cincinnati these days.

I've been as hard on Brandon Marshall as anyone this year. The guy may make boneheaded moves off the field or on the practice field but he's a smart instinctive football player come Sundays. Small thing that many wouldn't notice Sunday but Orton threw a pass that was batted high up in the air. Marshall immediately moved in traffic to knock it down to the ground.

My standard response for a player returning from injury is "be cautious". There's always the fear of a re-aggravation or problems when the player goes from practice speed to game time effort. So I went into Sunday with conservative expectations for Browns RB Jamal Lewis, Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck and Giants QB Eli Manning. All had pretty much career days. I love this game...

"Guys were giving me chest bumps pregame," Hasselbeck said returning from a chest / rib injury after being sidelined two games.

"I should have worn a sign."

Word of advice to Seahawk fullback Owen Schmitt: Save it for the game, Son.

Weekly "Turnovers Will Kill You" Testimony: The Rams had more total yards (400-377) and first downs (27-21) than the Vikings but lost 38-10. The only thing worse than turnovers is turnovers in the Red Zone. St. Louis went nuts in that area Sunday.

I feel bad for Richard Seymour. Oakland's defense allowed 220 net rushing yards and 263 net passing yards Sunday to the Giants in a 37 point loss. "We're not playing the game the way the game is supposed to be played. Everyone has to take care of their responsibilities."

From an organization standpoint, New England to Oakland is a long ways to fall.

This is the first time in his career that Brett Favre's been 5-0. I didn't know that. After the game he said, "I think physically and from a talent level this is the best team I've ever been on." I like Favre as much as anyone, but there's no need to say stuff like that. That's just not good for anyone.

I was pretty defiant in my stand earlier that there's nothing wrong with Tom Brady. Watching him miss a wide open Randy Moss in the endzone on 3rd and 12, I'm starting to rethink that position. The defining trait for Brady, and really the Patriots as a whole, used to be that they never ever ever failed to take advantage of opportunities like that. Now we're having Brady miss receivers and the Pats defense give up multiple 90+ yard drives in a game. One to tie the game in the 4th quarter. If I'm a Patriots fan, I'm not panicked. But I'm not resting easy either.

Same for Jets fans. I said the loss in New Orleans was nothing to worry about. But they got handled in Miami. And the Dolphins aren't the Saints. Although it was fun to watch an offense that Rex Ryan dubbed a "gimmick" run roughshod over New York.

The Rams' Marc Bulger posted a perfect QB rating Sunday. That says a good bit about how much stock I put into QB ratings...

Colts offensive coordinator Tom Moore (or whatever they call him these days after the retirement / unretirement) is funny. He said he didn't call plays in to Peyton Manning. He calls in "suggestions".

It's taken me a while but I'm starting to realize finally that far and away, the most desirable trait I want in my quarterback is not size or height or arm strength or the ability to throw the deep out. It's accuracy. Watch Drew Brees closely and you'll see what I mean. The game at this level is more about throwing darts into a 10" window than it is winging the ball 50 yards downfield. Lots more.

I looked up "awesomeness" in the dictionary and a picture of the Broncos throwback socks came up. Hands down, the best throwback uniforms out there. They should wear them every week. It was like Alabama helmets with the numbers mashed up with the San Diego Padres. And yes, I'm aware I'm flying solo with this opinion. The icing on the cake was Brandon Marshall twisting his socks a little to get the barbershop pole effect going. It's not my fault if you guys can't see the genius there...

San Francisco DB Dre Bly made a really nice interception on a Matt Ryan pass. Then instantly threw his hand up on his helmet doing a "Deion Sanders" move. The problem was that he was still on his own 20. And there was a motivated Roddy White chasing him. For the record, White is a LOT faster than Bly. In just a few yards, White had made up the difference and tackled Bly from behind forcing a fumble. Video here if you haven't seen it.

Even worse, Bly refused to acknowledge the bone headedness of his play and said after the game, "Dre's going to be Dre'," Bly said. "When I make plays, and I've made a lot, I express myself." Not surprisingly, after a meeting with coach Singletary, he saw things a bit differently. "I want to come to you all [and] publicly apologize for yesterday," Bly said. "My comments were totally, totally inappropriate. I apologized to coach. I'm not a selfish guy. I didn't mean to embarrass him if I did, embarrass my team, embarrass the ownership, embarrass the fans. I'm a prideful guy. I like to have fun. It was totally inappropriate. I got caught up in the moment, and it was wrong."

It's almost comical now but we said it a few weeks ago it's still holding strong: The best 2 minutes of television each week are the last 120 seconds of the Bengals game. This is getting crazy.

But not as ridiculous as this: With two days remaining before the blackout deadline, the Bengals are in danger of not selling out this week's game against the Texans. It would end a 46-game sellout streak at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals are playing the most exciting football I can remember from them in years. They're 4-1 and should be 5-0. After years of mediocrity, they are on fire and playing exciting football. And now they can't fill the stadium?

I like Hispanic Heritage month for the league. The Miami game was fun with the ref making the first call in Spanish. And all the other stuff - I'm all about it. But aren't there like 24 or so Hispanic players in the league? Is it wrong to ask why the league doesn't have a Black Heritage month? Seems like a much bigger audience.

ESPN was hyping the Braylon Edwards story during warm-ups Monday night. Mike Tirico says something about Edwards having troubles with dropped passes as the camera pans to Edwards on the sidelines. As soon as Tirico says the words, Edwards drops a pass. He did much better once the game started...

Kansas City LB Mike Vrabel has more offensive touchdowns than Larry Johnson this year.

Here's a series from the Giants game:

NYG RB Jacobs 6 yard rush to the 5
NYG RB Jacobs 3 yard rush to the 2
NYG RB Jacobs 1 yard rush to the 1
NYG RB Jacobs rush for no gain from the 1
NYG RB Bradshaw 1 yard touchdown

Yes, Jacobs owners, Tom Coughlin hates you.

The Eagles are 11-0 after a bye week under coach Andy Reid. That has to say something, doesn't it?

Here's the opening line from the Associated Press recap from the MIN - STL game: "ST. LOUIS -- A 40-year-old in pink cleats was good enough to beat the St. Louis Rams."

Not surprisingly, Chad Ochocinco is the first athlete to market with his own iPhone app..

Atlanta WR Roddy White somersaulted into the end zone after his 90 yard TD but landed on his rear which drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

"He didn't hit the landing because if he hits the landing it's not a 15-yard penalty," coach Mike Smith joked. "I told him if he's going to do it, it needs to be Olga Korbut. And he looked at me like he doesn't know who Olga Korbut is. Then I told him, 'Well, maybe Mary Lou Retton.' And then I figure that's '86, he doesn't know who Mary Lou Retton is. It went right over his head and my head."

My friend Paul Charchian pointed this one out: Almost as amazing as Derek Anderson's stat line, the Raiders' wide receivers combined for two yards on Sunday.

Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt was impressed with Houston WR Andre Johnson. "He's a scary player," said Whisenhunt. That's saying something from a guy that sees Larry Fitzgerald every day in practice.

Here's how you know the Patriots had a tough day: Randy Moss had as many interceptions as he did receptions.

Players play. Coaches coach. This one was evident Monday as Miami defensive tackle Jason Ferguson said the players on the sideline thought they should pass the ball at the endzone on the team's final drive. "That's why we are players and not coaches," Ferguson said. "All of us were talking about, 'Why won't you pass it?' Because we got a touchdown, that's why."

While I'm on Miami, that was fun to watch two young and very good quarterbacks. Sanchez of course gets all the hype and the GQ spreads but I like Henne a lot too. I think we'll be seeing both of these guys for a good long while.

Peter King had this Monday on how the Bengals pulled together with defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer whose wife, Vikki, died earlier in the week. "I was at their house Thursday," coach Marvin Lewis said over the phone from Baltimore after handing Zimmer the game ball for a strong defensive performance. "And Vikki had post-it notes all over the kitchen, reminding her about what she had to bake for the players. It obviously was very, very tough for Mike and his family. We told him to do whatever he thought was best -- coach, not coach, bring his family, stay with his family, fly in Saturday night on a private plane, fly in Sunday on a private plane. He decided to just come and coach. It was an amazing thing he did. I told him, 'I don't know how you did it, but you know I love you.' "

Albert Haynesworth is hurt. I'm shocked.

Joe Posnanski pointed out on his blog that this Sunday, Washington will be playing a winless team for the sixth consecutive week. Wow. That hasn't happened in the NFL since...ever.

Hard Luck Awards For Week 5

CIN QB Palmer 73 yard pass to WR Henry to the 4 (Graham FG)
CAR QB Delhomme 22 yard pass to TE Rosario to the 2
CAR RB Stewart rush for no gain from the 2
CAR RB Stewart rush for no gain from the 2 (yes, again)
CAR RB Williams 1 yard rush to the 1
CAR RB Hoover rush for gain from the 1
KC QB Cassel 9 yard pass to RB Johnson to the 4
KC RB Johnson 2 yard rush to the 2
KC RB Johnson 1 yard rush to the 1 (Cassel to Vrabel TD)
DAL RB Barber 4 yard rush to the 4 (Folk FG)
NYG RB Jacobs 6 yard rush to the 5
NYG RB Jacobs 3 yard rush to the 2
NYG RB Jacobs 1 yard rush to the 1
NYG RB Jacobs rush for no gain from the 1 (Bradshaw TD)
OAK RB Fargas rush for no gain from the 5 (Bush TD)
MIN QB Favre 24 yard pass to WR Harvin to the 5 (Peterson TD)
STL RB Jackson 13 yard rush to the 1
STL RB Jackson rush for minus 1 yards to the 2 and fumble
STL QB Boller 5 yard pass to TE Fells to the 3 and fumble
SF QB Hill 61 yard pass to WR Morgan to the 2 (Coffee TD)
ATL QB Ryan 24 yard pass to WR White to the 1 (Turner TD)
ATL RB Norwood 2 yard rush to the 4 (Ryan TD)
HOU RB Slaton 3 yard rush to the 1 (Brown TD)
HOU QB Schaub 5 yard pass to RB Slaton to the 1
HOU RB Brown rush for no gain from the 1
HOU RB Brown rush for no gain from the 1 (yes, again)
IND QB Manning 9 yard pass to RB Addai to the 3 (Manning to Wayne TD)
IND QB Manning 19 yard pass to WR Wayne to the 5 (Addai TD)
MIA RB Polite 2 yard rush to the 1 (Brown TD)
MIA QB Henne 12 yard pass to WR Camarillo to the 4 (Brown TD)
NYJ RB Jones 3 yard rush to the 3 (Sanchez to Edwards TD)
NYJ QB Sanchez 35 yard TD pass to WR Edwards challenged and reversed (Jones TD)

Sometimes it's better to just not know...

That'll do it for this week, Folks. Thanks to Footballguys Keith Overton, Heinrich Hofmann and Kyle Lebeda of www.Katchop.com for the help on this one. If you've got a Random Shot of your own, shoot me an e-mail at bryant@footballguys.com.

Thanks for playing along. I hope you have a gas with whatever you're doing in your life. Here's to Football.

J