Random Shots - Week 3
By Joe Bryant
September 21st, 2011

Hi Folks,

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 too many hours watching, reading about and listening to football every weekend and throughout the week. It's the only way I keep relatively sane. Here's hoping it has a bit of value for you. Let's go.

I love the Arian Foster half smile. That's been sort of like his season so far...

Note to Bill Parcells on the Sunday Countdown show: Bob Barker called and wants his sport coat back. He looks ready for the 4:30 pm early bird dinner special in Boca Raton.

Parcells was interesting in the ESPN segment about how Twitter has "changed the NFL" with players sharing information and talking back and forth. Parcells said, "I always believed in collecting information. Not exchanging it". Unfortunately, he seems to have carried that over to his television career. Sometimes this column just writes itself...

Saw lots of email last week about me leaving out the music note in the Week 2 Random Shots. Sorry. Rounding into regular season form I guess. I finally got to see Jack White and The Raconteurs with my son last Thursday at the Historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. What a shrine that place is. If you made me pick a favorite musician today, I think White would be it. Here's a clip of them in a much bigger venue doing my favorite Raconteurs song Carolina Drama. The Ryman is so acoustically pure and small enough that he was able to sing the last two lines standing at the front of the stage with no microphone. Sweet.

Carolina controlled the ball for 12:33 of the first quarter Sunday. The Packers ran 3 plays for 14 yards. But to their credit, Green Bay never once looked panicked. They looked like and acted like exactly what they were: A great team trailing an upstart. And they did what great teams do. But those Cam Newton led Panthers are fun to watch.

I won't spend much time on Newton as that's all you anyone's talking about. But I told you last week how much I loved him and that I expected him to come down to earth against a really good defense. So much for that. What I find most interesting is that now everyone has been a Newton supporter from "way back".

One last Carolina note: Again this week, the first guy to enthusiastically chest bump Cam Newton after the TD was veteran backup QB Derek Anderson. He's seen it for a while.

Oakland traveled to the East Coast for a 1 PM game following a short week after Monday night missing half their receivers against a hot Bills team. And almost won. Yeah, I saw that coming...

But I do love those Bills. I told you Fitzpatrick was my man this year. Will be rocking this shirt on Sunday.

Feeling pretty fortunate Wednesday to be living in a world where the new look for Facebook seems to be the biggest crisis most people have.

I told you last week about Tedy Bruschi doing his Tiki Barber Jr. impression ripping Chad Ochocinco after complimenting his QB. Tom Brady responded this week. "None of those guys [has] any clue what they're talking about," Brady said. "They're outside. They're outside of the locker room. They don't know what we're trying to accomplish."

Good for him.

Jacksonville QB Luke McCown posted a QB rating of 11.5 in the first half. And that was the high point.

Blaine Gabbert how YOU doin'?

Giants WR Domenik Hixon has been lost with a torn ACL in his right knee. For the second straight year. That sucks.

Is there a lead big enough that the Vikings can't blow? I think not.

Fun moment Sunday with Raiders DT Desmond Bryant hitting Buffalo QB Ryan Fitzpatrick in the backfield. They gave each other the secret Harvard alumni handshake.

I love the crusty old white guy analysts and writers. They are literally physically incapable of observing a highlight featuring a white wide receiver without blurting out an Ed McCaffrey reference.

Here's one we've seen before: Lions QB Matthew Stafford left the game Sunday and was replaced by Shaun Hill.

Here's what we saw Sunday: Lions QB Matthew Stafford left the game Sunday and was replaced by Shaun Hill as the Lions coasted to an easy win letting the backup see some snaps.

It's different this year.

It's different in Buffalo too. After struggling in the first half, the Bills scored 5 touchdowns on all five of their second half possessions.

Things change fast around here.

Here's another one. In Week 1, the Chargers gave up 28 net passing yards for the entire game. They gave up 72 yards to New England in Week 2. On the first series.

After two games it's Kansas City 10, Opponents 89. Yikes.

It felt really weird with no Divisional games, didn't it?

Tom Brady is on pace for 7,520 yards this season. I'm just saying...

Along those lines, any Patriot player wearing a jersey that starts with an 8 or a 1 that isn't named Mallet or Mesko is a viable fantasy prospect...

Great contrasts in coaching Sunday. You see Bill Belichick going for it on 4th down playing to win. And you see Jim Harbaugh playing not to lose. It's easy to put all that on coaching ability. The reality is that much of that is job security coupled with personnel. You give Jim Harbaugh a quarterback like Tom Brady and grant him Belichick's unfireable sainthood status, and he makes the aggressive call too. Big picture, people.

On Belichick, I'm with my buddy David Dodds that we might be witnessing a "game changing" shift with the 2 TE sets. Losing Hernandez might throw a hiccup in the momentum but I think we may be seeing a fundamental divergence in how to run an offense. And the athleticism of these young TEs certainly is a factor too.

I love Cris Collinsworth. He threw out a true "Yogi Berraism" Sunday night with "Are we ever going to have a game that doesn't end on the last play?" You knew exactly what he meant (just like with Yogi) but that's still funny. Hat tip to Footballguy CalBear for that one.

For all of us killing Tony Romo for choking in week 1, you have to give him credit for last week.

But my favorite part was he threw the key pass to WR Jesse Holley. You've heard it by now that Holley won a shot to try out with the Cowboys on Michael Irvin's reality show a while back. Sunday, he was the hero hauling in the long pass that set up the game winning kick. Peter King of Sports Illustrated had a great quote from Holley after the game, "All I ever wanted was a chance. I thank God for Michael Irvin giving it to me. I thank God for Mr. Jerry Jones giving it to me."

That's awesome.

Peter King also had some great tidbits on my darling Buffalo Bills: QB Ryan Fitzpatrick is a 7th round pick. WR David Nelson who caught the winning TD is an undrafted player who didn't even start full time in college. TE Scott Chandler leads the team in touchdowns and he's a waiver wire pickup from Dallas. Starting RB Fred Jackson was undrafted. And their best wide receiver is Stevie "Styles" Johnson who was a 7th round pick. You have to love these guys.

Update on CJ2K. He now only needs 1,923 yards.

I still think Matty Ice is the stupidest name in the NFL today but that's not his fault. But what a performance by Matt Ryan Sunday night. With a revered superstar like Michael Vick returning home, Ryan seemed to be in an almost unwinnable position. Yet he delivered big time in the clutch. That's pressure. There was a cool moment before the game where Ryan and Vick embraced. It truly looked like they were able to compartmentalize all the hoopla and pressure surrounding them and just go out and play.

Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald had this gem from Dolphins coach Tony Sparano after their Week 2 loss: "It's baffling to me. It really is. I don't have any answers for it."

Coach.
You said that out loud.

Back in 2008 when Tom Brady lost a season with his knee injury, I wrote that if I owned a team, I'd make my QB wear a knee brace.

Sunday Brady took a hard shot to his left knee from the Chargers' Antonio Garay. Later Brady said, "I'm glad I had a knee brace on. He got me in a good spot and I'm glad the knee brace took the brunt of the force...why I never wore a knee brace before, I have no idea, and why every quarterback doesn't wear one on his left knee I have no idea."

Just adding to the pile of "why they should listen to me..."

Hat tip to Footballguy Frank Shinnick for that one.

Goodbye Larry Johnson. We hardly got to know you again.

Atlanta's Michael Turner is more of a bulldozer than a burner these days. But he's still pretty darn good.

Love those Bear fans. They're up in arms again that they can't win with Mike Martz calling so many pass plays. Unless of course they are winning with Mike Martz calling so many pass plays.

Hopefully the Giants flopping with fake injuries to stop the clock on the Monday Night Football stage will finally draw enough attention that the league will put some teeth into a rule adjustment. That's pathetic. I thought I was watching soccer.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles times reports that quarterback Jeff George says he could learn the offense in a matter of days. Yeah, that's JUST what they need.

Kathleen Nelson of STLToday.com reported that Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo was late to the post game press conference because owner Stan Kroenke wanted to talk to him after the game. Spagnuolo spun it that he "valued that time" with Kroenke but some are whispering that his coaching seat is warming up. Steve Spagnuolo would be unemployed for about 30 seconds if Kroenke cut him loose.

This could get really interesting as I love the Rams but they have Baltimore, Washington, Green Bay, Dallas and New Orleans as their next five opponents. This team could easily start 0-7 before they hit the softer part of their schedule.

I do think ESPN's Cousin Sal and Bill Simmons may be onto something with Tony Romo. Maybe the way to keep him from choking in the 4th quarter is to have him sit out a quarter like he did Sunday. His body was telling him he was early in the 4th quarter when he threw the long pass in overtime. I dunno.

Is there a bigger and faster guy in the league that goes down easier than Brandon Jacobs? I don't think so.

Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka tackled Rams TE Michael Hoomanawanui Sunday. That's a lot of vowels for one play. The only thing better would have been if Ben Roethlisberger had thrown the pass.

Bills owner Ralph Wilson was unable to attend his first home opener in 52 years as he recovers from a broken hip. Wow.

The team plane carrying the Browns was delayed after getting stuck in the mud. And you thought that only happened to you. They didn't seem to mind after the win. "Maybe we should get stuck in the mud every week," Joshua Cribbs said.

Bears QB Jay Cutler spoke to reporters after he was pounded by New Orleans: "It was a long day out there. I had to throw a lot of balls before I wanted to. ... The Saints were the better team today. They rushed me hard and forced our offense to do things we didn't want to do."

Translation: "You guys are going to get me killed if you don't start blocking".

Introducing your newest Bronco wide receiver: Tim Tebow.

I'm with ESPN's Mike Greenberg on this one. Eli Manning's being booed at home. Mike Vick has a concussion. Tony Romo has a punctured lung. Who would have thought that Rex Grossman and the Redskins would be the picture of quarterback and team stability in the NFC East?

I'll admit it, I was wrong about Kevin Kolb. I said this summer that Kolb to Arizona felt like Scott Mitchell to Detroit. I should have said this felt like Scott Mitchell's 1995 season to Detroit.

Was it really just a few months ago that a "washed up" Steve Smith was looking to get out of Carolina? Turns out he wasn't quite washed up and his "I want out" talk was just a tad overblown.

I said last week I wanted to see Cincinnati WR A.J. Green perform against a defense that had broken the huddle. It might have been without Champ Bailey, but he gave me an answer Sunday in Denver. Kid's the real deal. And so is his QB Andy Dalton. Rookie WRs and QBs aren't supposed to be this good.

Houston coach Gary Kubiak flashed the coaching family tree Sunday going Skeletor Jr saying Arian Foster was fine and he was pulled because he was "tired". Apparently, Kubiak and Foster need to confer before the post game presser to get their story straight. Foster admitted he pulled himself after his hamstring tightened up.

Here's what it's like to be a Seahawks fan these days. Seattle's possessions at Pittsburgh: punt, punt, punt, end of the half, punt, punt, punt, punt, surrendered on downs, punt. Thanks to Footballguy Mark Cheshier for that one.

Raiders coach Hue Jackson is as high on WR Denarius Moore as we are. Jackson was asked Monday if Moore's breakout game would earn him more playing time. "Oh, boy, you better believe he has," Jackson said. "There's no doubt. You can't deny that one. What the guy's doing, as I said before, he's done it in training camp, he's done it in practice, he's done it in preseason games, and he's dong it in regular season games. He is as advertised."

One more music note since I missed last week. And this one is pretty far out there for most of you. But these guys killed opening for the Raconteurs at the Ryman last Thursday. Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three. It's a funky mix of Blues, Country and Western Swing. It's not for everyone but these guys were incredible.

Hard Luck Awards

Josh Freeman 17 yard TD pass to Mike Williams nullified by penalty. Resulted in a Connor Barth FG

Cam Newton 18 yard TD pass to Greg Olsen nullified by penalty. Resulted in a Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell TD

Danario Alexander (Rams vs Giants): 68-yard reception to the 1
Davone Bess (Dolphins vs Texans): 1-yard reception to the 5
Sam Bradford (Rams vs Giants): 68-yard pass to the 1 (Danario Alexander)
Ronnie Brown (Eagles vs Falcons): -1-yard rush to the 5
Michael Bush (Raiders vs Bills): 22-yard rush to the 1
Jason Campbell (Raiders vs Bills): 9-yard pass to the 1 (Chaz Schilens)
Brent Celek (Eagles vs Falcons): 9-yard reception to the 3
Scott Chandler (Bills vs Raiders): 10-yard reception to the 1
Tashard Choice (Cowboys vs 49ers): 2-yard rush to the 5
Austin Collie (Colts vs Browns): 13-yard reception to the 1
Andy Dalton (Bengals vs Broncos): 9-yard pass to the 5 (Brian Leonard)
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Bills vs Raiders): 10-yard pass to the 1 (Scott Chandler)
Arian Foster (Texans vs Dolphins): 3-yard rush to the 5
Arian Foster (Texans vs Dolphins): 0-yard rush to the 5
Arian Foster (Texans vs Dolphins): 2-yard rush to the 4
Arian Foster (Texans vs Dolphins): 2-yard rush to the 4
Josh Freeman (Buccaneers vs Vikings): 6-yard pass to the 4 (Preston Parker)
Jabar Gaffney (Redskins vs Cardinals): 4-yard reception to the 5
Toby Gerhart (Vikings vs Buccaneers): 42-yard reception to the 4
Tony Gonzalez (Falcons vs Eagles): 14-yard reception to the 1
Shonn Greene (Jets vs Jaguars): 1-yard rush to the 5
Jermaine Gresham (Bengals vs Broncos): 4-yard reception to the 5
Rex Grossman (Redskins vs Cardinals): 4-yard pass to the 5 (Jabar Gaffney)
Montario Hardesty (Browns vs Colts): 1-yard rush to the 3
Montario Hardesty (Browns vs Colts): 2-yard rush to the 2
Roy Helu (Redskins vs Cardinals): 7-yard rush to the 3
Chad Henne (Dolphins vs Texans): 1-yard pass to the 5 (Davone Bess)
Tim Hightower (Redskins vs Cardinals): 0-yard rush to the 3
Shaun Hill (Lions vs Chiefs): 28-yard pass to the 5 (Titus Young)
Peyton Hillis (Browns vs Colts): 1-yard rush to the 5
Jesse Holley (Cowboys vs 49ers): 77-yard reception to the 1
Mark Ingram (Saints vs Bears): 4-yard rush to the 5
Mark Ingram (Saints vs Bears): 1-yard rush to the 4
Brandon Jacobs (Giants vs Rams): 6-yard rush to the 3
John Kuhn (Packers vs Panthers): 7-yard reception to the 1
Brandon LaFell (Panthers vs Packers): 9-yard reception to the 3
Spencer Larsen (Broncos vs Bengals): 10-yard reception to the 3
Brian Leonard (Bengals vs Broncos): 9-yard reception to the 5
Greg Little (Browns vs Colts): 11-yard reception to the 4
Mohamed Massaquoi (Browns vs Colts): 28-yard reception to the 1
Ryan Mathews (Chargers vs Patriots): 3-yard rush to the 2
Colt McCoy (Browns vs Colts): 28-yard pass to the 1 (Mohamed Massaquoi)
Colt McCoy (Browns vs Colts): 11-yard pass to the 4 (Greg Little)
LeSean McCoy (Eagles vs Falcons): 0-yard rush to the 3
Donovan McNabb (Vikings vs Buccaneers): 2-yard rush to the 4
Donovan McNabb (Vikings vs Buccaneers): 42-yard pass to the 4 (Toby Gerhart)
Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers vs Seahawks): 0-yard rush to the 1
Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers vs Seahawks): -1-yard rush to the 3
Rashard Mendenhall (Steelers vs Seahawks): 2-yard rush to the 2
Heath Miller (Steelers vs Seahawks): 16-yard reception to the 4
Cam Newton (Panthers vs Packers): 6-yard rush to the 5
Cam Newton (Panthers vs Packers): 3-yard pass to the 2 (Jonathan Stewart)
Cam Newton (Panthers vs Packers): 34-yard pass to the 3 (Greg Olsen)
Cam Newton (Panthers vs Packers): 5-yard rush to the 3
Greg Olsen (Panthers vs Packers): 34-yard reception to the 3
Kyle Orton (Broncos vs Bengals): 10-yard pass to the 3 (Spencer Larsen)
Preston Parker (Buccaneers vs Vikings): 6-yard reception to the 4
Brandon Pettigrew (Lions vs Chiefs): 7-yard reception to the 4
John Phillips (Cowboys vs 49ers): 8-yard reception to the 3
Isaac Redman (Steelers vs Seahawks): 1-yard rush to the 2
Philip Rivers (Chargers vs Patriots): 21-yard pass to the 5 (Mike Tolbert)
Philip Rivers (Chargers vs Patriots): 1-yard rush to the 1
Aaron Rodgers (Packers vs Panthers): 7-yard pass to the 1 (John Kuhn)
Jacquizz Rodgers (Falcons vs Eagles): 10-yard rush to the 3
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers vs Seahawks): 7-yard rush to the 1
Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers vs Seahawks): 16-yard pass to the 4 (Heath Miller)
Tony Romo (Cowboys vs 49ers): 8-yard pass to the 3 (John Phillips)
Tony Romo (Cowboys vs 49ers): 77-yard pass to the 1 (Jesse Holley)
Matt Schaub (Texans vs Dolphins): -1-yard rush to the 2
Chaz Schilens (Raiders vs Bills): 9-yard reception to the 1
Matthew Stafford (Lions vs Chiefs): 7-yard pass to the 4 (Brandon Pettigrew)
Jonathan Stewart (Panthers vs Packers): 19-yard reception to the 4
Jonathan Stewart (Panthers vs Packers): -2-yard rush to the 3
Jonathan Stewart (Panthers vs Packers): 3-yard reception to the 2
Ben Tate (Texans vs Dolphins): 7-yard rush to the 3
Ben Tate (Texans vs Dolphins): 1-yard rush to the 2
Ben Tate (Texans vs Dolphins): 1-yard rush to the 1
Mike Tolbert (Chargers vs Patriots): 21-yard reception to the 5
Mike Tolbert (Chargers vs Patriots): 0-yard rush to the 2
Mike Tolbert (Chargers vs Patriots): 0-yard rush to the 1
Mike Tolbert (Chargers vs Patriots): 1-yard rush to the 3
Michael Turner (Falcons vs Eagles): 6-yard rush to the 4
Michael Turner (Falcons vs Eagles): 0-yard rush to the 2
Michael Turner (Falcons vs Eagles): 0-yard rush to the 2 (yes, again)
Michael Turner (Falcons vs Eagles): 2-yard rush to the 4
Michael Turner (Falcons vs Eagles): 0-yard rush to the 1
Michael Vick (Eagles vs Falcons): 9-yard pass to the 3 (Brent Celek)
Michael Vick (Eagles vs Falcons): 10-yard rush to the 4
Hines Ward (Steelers vs Seahawks): 15-yard reception to the 4
Nate Washington (Titans vs Ravens): 8-yard reception to the 4
Cadillac Williams (Rams vs Giants): -1-yard rush to the 2
Danny Woodhead (Patriots vs Chargers): 0-yard rush to the 4
Titus Young (Lions vs Chiefs): 7-yard reception to the 1
Titus Young (Lions vs Chiefs): 28-yard reception to the 5

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

That'll do it for this week, Folks. Thanks to Footballguys Doug Drinen, Frank Shinnick, CalBear and Mark Cheshier 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 ball with whatever you're doing in your life. Here's to Football.

J

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