|09-15-2005, 10:07 PM||#1|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
Football? Great! Footbrawl? Not a good thing
Renee Prusi, Journal Sports Editor
SoCals link: http://www.miningjournal.net/sptcolu...o01-sc0915.asp
Battle analogies are often used to describe National Football League action. Mostly, these are overwrought cliches about the clash of linemen or what have you.
Week 1 of the NFL season, though, unfortunately lived up to some of those overblown terms.
Reportedly, members of the New York Jets fought amongst themselves as the team sputtered to a 27-7 loss at Kansas City. National sports Web sites indicate at least one team member was visibly bruised after a "discussion" with a teammate.
Then Monday night came and the fists flew. Philadelphia linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Atlanta defensive back Kevin Mathis were both ejected before the contest even began after an altercation in warmups.
Footbrawl season has begun, apparently.
Being fired up and ready to play is fabulous. Throwing punches is not. Period.
Let's hope the action on the field is great this weekend but that tempers are contained.
As for this week's games:
New England at Carolina: The Patriots, in the opening game a week ago, won as expected, but the Panthers were upset by the emotional New Orleans Saints. In a rematch from Super Bowl XXXVIII, Patriots 30, Panthers 27
Detroit at Chicago: The undefeated Lions head to the Second City to face the battered Bears. While some Detroit newspaper writers are talking Super Bowl, the Lions still have something to prove before others jump on the bandwagon. This week helps when it's Lions 28, Bears 10
Minnesota at Cincinnati: The Vikings were humbled at home by the Buccaneers last weekend, while the Bengals topped division-rival Cleveland. The Vikes don't want to fall two games behind Detroit, so Vikings 31, Bengals 30
Pittsburgh at Houston: Pittsburgh's Willie Parker was a man of steel last weekend, rushing all over the Titans. Houston didn't show much spark at Buffalo. This week, Steelers 29, Texans 22
Jacksonville at Indianapolis: Two of the AFC's top contenders face off in this one. The Jaguars are a solid team, but the Colts may be galloping through the season. Colts 26, Jaguars 23
San Francisco at Philadelphia: The 49ers were one of the surprise winners in Week One, while the Eagles were edged by the Falcons Monday night in the aforementioned brawl-game. San Fran may have improved from 2004, however, Eagles 38, 49ers 28
Buffalo at Tampa Bay: Watching the Bucs dismantle the Vikings last Sunday, I was impressed. The Bills did a number on the Texans as well, but at home, Buccaneers 17, Bills 16
Baltimore at Tennessee: Are the Ravens going to be an also-ran this season? In my book, you do not count out a team with Ray Lewis on it any week. Ravens 24, Titans 20
St. Louis at Arizona: Whose pride was damaged more in the first game? The Rams, spanked by the Niners, or the Cardinals, stomped by the Giants? Rams 33, Cardinals 28
Atlanta at Seattle: The Michael Vick Show heads west. The Seahawks are a decent team, but Falcons 23, Seahawks 16
San Diego at Denver: After an unbeaten preseason, the Broncos were riding high. The Chargers? Supposedly one of the top AFC teams. Last week, both tanked. This week, Chargers 15, Broncos 12
Cleveland at Green Bay: The Packers scored the least points in the NFL last week: 3. Sigh. The Detroit Tigers managed 14 runs last Sunday, for pity's sake. Adjectives to describe the Pack performance against the Lions? Well, in a family newspaper, my choices are dismal, frustrating and pitiful. The Browns, under new coach Romeo Crennel, lost at home to the Bengals last Sunday. Will other Packers step up to fill the void left by the season-ending injury to wideout Javon Walker? Packers 10, Browns 7
Miami at New York Jets: Jets coach Herman Edwards probably has put fear into the minds of his fumbling team. The Dolphins must be elated by an opening game victory over the Broncos. This will be a test to see if the Dolphins really are good and if the Jets really are bad. Jets 22, Dolphins 20
Kansas City at Oakland: The Chiefs' defense played so well that its coordinator, Gunther Cunningham, allegedly wept with joy. Raider QB Kerry Collins played like he was new to the league instead of a veteran in his 11th season. Even in Oakland, Chiefs 20, Raiders 15
New Orleans at N.Y. Giants: Instead of opening their home season, the Saints are on the road again, playing an early Monday night contest in New Jersey. The team will play its remaining home schedule in San Antonio, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., while New Orleans is rebuilt from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. The team has done well despite its challenges. Can it overcome the Giants, big winners in week one? Saints 19, Giants 16
Washington at Dallas: The Cowboys rallied to beat the Chargers, while the Redskins eked out a victory over Da Bears. QB Drew Bledsoe played well for his old coach (Bill Parcells) and his new team (Dallas). The Redskins are in the midst of quarterback turmoil, so Cowboys 25, Redskins 14
Record last week: 8-8
|09-15-2005, 10:09 PM||#2|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Bama Baby
|09-15-2005, 10:11 PM||#3|
Draft Defense Early&Often
Join Date: Oct 2004
Hank's Take: Win it up front
By Hank Bauer, Special to Chargers.com
Thursday, September 15, 2005
SoCals Link: http://www.chargers.com/news/headlin...?news_key=2310
Hank Bauer, former Chargers running back and current color commentator for the Boltsí radio broadcasts, discusses last weekís loss to the Dallas Cowboys this Sundayís match up against the Denver Broncos.
The most important thing in this league is that good or bad, you have to forget about last week because youíll get steamrolled if you donít. Iím certain that the Chargers will move on, but theyíve got another tough one this week at Denver.
If you want to look at last week simply, the Chargers lost the line of scrimmage offensively. Thatís symptomatic of what happened to the Jets twice last year, which kind of worries me a bit. I know itís not the coaching. Carl Mauck is a great coach. Itís the same players that have been successful, but in my opinion, the Chargers got beat up front. That impacted both the running game and the passing game.
LaDainian Tomlinson only had 19 touches, and I think that will be rectified. Itís no secret that thatís not enough for him. Statistics show that itís not enough. This team is 1-8 when he gets under 20 touches in a game.
For all those people who asked why we didnít run LT at least one of those four times at the goal line, there are a few reasons. They hadnít run successfully the whole game. They only had one timeout and the clock was under a minute. Youíre going to have to use the timeout if you run and donít make it. Then you lose the element of surprise because you have to throw it. I think all of those things were reasons why they didnít run. Furthermore, two of those passes were there. The play calls were good, they just werenít executed.
Who knows what would have happened if Antonio had played? Is he worth four points? Probably, but he played in both of those Jets games last year when the same thing happened.
Drew missed four or five throws. Any one of them could have been the difference in the game. Thatís what I love about Drew, heís the first to say that. Heís his own biggest critic.
Special teams were awesome. Hanik Milligan, Steven Cooper and those guys are doing a great job, and Coach Steve Crosby is really coaching them well. I canít say enough good things about them.
A few guys that stood out to me on defense were Jamal Williams, Drayton Florence, Jacques Cesaire and Igor Olshansky, who were all quietly great. The defensive line was outstanding. Jamal had only one tackle, but he just dominated. These guys do all the dirty work up front.
I was excited about the way Luis Castillo played as well. If Igor canít go Sunday, Luis will get his first start, and I canít wait to see that. The roughing the passer penalty hurt, but it was an effort deal. He was playing full throttle. I like that! He just has to be careful and make sure to play under control.
Quentin Jammer is under the gun this week. I watched him closely against the Cowboys and on 57 of 61 plays, he was perfect. Those four other plays hurt us. Thatís got to stop. Iím sure that they think he has a little self doubt. I donít think he does, but the bottom line is theyíll be coming after him.
Denverís offensive line got dominated last week. Miami just owned them up front. When Jake Plummer had time to throw, he was really good. Thatís classic Plummer. The Broncos want to run the ball first, and Miami shut down the run. As Jake goes, so goes Denver. When they played the Chargers last year, Plummer had two touchdown passes and no interceptions in the first game and Denver won, 23-13. Game two in San Diego, Plummer threw four interceptions and the Chargers won.
When Jake is flushed and trying to make plays, thatís when you can get him. Wade Phillips is great at coming up with ways to pressure quarterbacks, and heís certainly working on something right now.
To me itís a simple deal this week. Offensively, you have to find ways to get LT the ball. You have to get it to Gates as well, and at the same time you want to distribute you the football and keep Denver off balance.
The strength of the Broncos is their linebackers. Thereís no question about that. Al Wilson is as good as there is. I think the Chargers just have to be patient and control the clock. Itís going to have to start up front. The Chargersí offensive line has to have a great game this week. Denver gives you a lot of different looks. Their defensive line and linebackers are always stunting. They never just sit. Theyíre always moving, twisting, zone blitzing. The Chargers better have their thinking hats on.
As many yards as Miami had in their win over the Broncos, the last play of the game was a fumble recovery for a touchdown. If it werenít for that, the score would have been much closer. They find a way to keep the score close.
It would help to not get behind early because that changes the game plan. Itís hard to be patient when youíre behind. In the Chargersí last four trips to Denver, the Broncos led 20-0, 19-0, 27-0, and 13-3. Thatís a combined 79-3. The Chargers have to get off to a fast start.
Denver is a very difficult place to play, but if the Chargers can get the ball to their playmakers and avoid falling in a hole early, I like their chances. Itís going to be another exciting week of football, and I canít wait!
|09-15-2005, 10:18 PM||#5|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Sep 2002
A pet parrot resting on your key-board could conceivably go 8 & 8 just picking straight up winning teams
|09-15-2005, 10:19 PM||#6|
RIP Darrent Williams
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Glendale, AZ
same thing i saw.
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