10.22.2004
 
Friday Football
  • Randy Moss is still a game-time decision, but this is a good read regarding the Vikings' gameplan. The Tennessean has their take too.
  • The Seahawks beat the Cardinals 38-0 and 28-10 last season, but I'm hesitant to give Seattle the 6.5-7 points they are spotting to Arizona. Anthony Simmons and Grant Winstrom are key members of this Seattle defense and they're both out for the next few weeks. The Cards are usually better at home and have probably had to put up with Dennis Green yelling at them for the last two weeks. Of all the crazy 7 point lines there are in week seven, I'm staying away from this one.
  • I mentioned on Wednesday that it was interesting to see that Lee Suggs has had so many passes thrown to him lately. This Ohio story tells why.
  • Roy Williams update.
  • The news keeps getting worse for Warrick, Bengals. They are a huge home underdog on Monday Night, and the Denver Post calls the game a possible trap for the visiting Broncos.
  • The Panthers seem to respect this top rated Charger offense. But it's still not known how much Keenan will play this week nor how effective he can be after sitting out so much time. This is the second trip to the east coast in the last two weeks for San Diego. I know how bad off the Panthers are these days, but this game looks like it will be closer than some think. It's strength vs. strength and weakness vs. weakness.
  • Michael Bennett 'looked good' in practice. Offensive Coordinator Linehan has no sympathy for fantasy football, he likes going with 'the hot back.'
  • What ever happened to super sleeper Justin McCareins?
  • More turmoil in Oakland. What does the NFL do with a game if both teams have a mutiny before kickoff?
  • Travis Henry is expected to start this week versus the Ravens.

The Juice to come later today or tomorrow morning.

10.21.2004
 
Thursday Football

 
Today's Baseball

10.20.2004
 
Today's Baseball

I don't really have much to add to the Sox - Yanks series. There is one thing, though, that I just can't stop thinking about. It pretty much applies to every game the Sox have from this moment on to the end of the 04 season. It's a quote from Herb Brooks after the US team defeated the Soviets in 1980 but still had to play Finland for the gold medal. He said to his team before that gold medal game: "If you lose this game you will take it with you to your fucking graves. Your fucking graves."


 
Wednesday Football
  • This gentleman over at the Football Project thinks giving Rice #80 is a bad idea.
  • After having dinner with the young Ravens QB, Jim Fassel backs up Kyle Boller (BiWeekly plug for BugMeNot).
  • Story on the Steelers and their injuries on defense.
  • The Miami Herald seems to think the defense of the Dolphins needs to do more.
  • Culpepper's record pace.
  • Is it time yet for ESPN's NFL Match-Up to become an animated feature? Jaws: "I have the Kansas City blueprint and the playbook calls for the quarterback be effective through the passing game." Hodge: "As usual, my friend, you've overlooked the Power of the Running Game. Let's take a look at what EA Sports has put together. As you can see, the face of the player is clear. You see the roof of the dome well and there clearly are fans in the stands. That is how is should be done." Jon Stewart needs to go on that show and rip them apart too.
  • Antonio Bryant is expected to step in right away.
  • Duce Staley 'content' with his role.
  • You Go Joe expected to see some time this week versus the Bears. Galloway expected next week.
  • LaMont Jordan finally out of the doghouse, will continue to see more time. He looked real good on his two plays last week.
  • Mike Holmgren intends to use Rice as more than a professor.
  • Koren Robinson has at least 21 reasons he may be suspended, and 8 reasons why the 'Hawks may not miss him too much.
  • Duane Starks is a key part of the Cardinals' defense. He missed the 49er game, but may be playing with a shoulder harness now.
  • Caldwell officially done for the year as they welcome two veteran receivers.

One of the things I feel really defines how involved a receiver is in a team's offense is to look at how frequently he is thrown a pass. Catches are one thing, but times thrown to can be much more informative. I don't understand why this isn't a more frequently 1) used, and 2) talked about stat. If they can discuss fantasy football on CNBC now, someone in the NFL can surely put out official 'targeted' stats amongst their various other numbers. The Football Guys at least know what's important. They just make you pay for it. So after six weeks, these are my brief thoughts about who's getting passes thrown to them:

These numbers are unofficial and probably not 100% accurate, but they're probably not that far off either.
  • Alge Crumpler is tied for his team lead with Price at 32 targets. Over the last three weeks, Alge's had 17 passes thrown to him for 10 catches.
  • Eric Moulds is the offense in Buffalo. He's been targeted 46 times in five games this season. The next closest has 16. His 279 yards over the last three contests have come from catching 21 out of the 33 passes thrown to him.
  • With Antonio Bryant coming into Cleveland, things will surely change with who they throw the ball too. It was interesting for me to see, however, that Lee Suggs has been thrown 16 passes in their last three games.
  • With Robert Ferguson's injury problems, Donald Driver has received 29 throws his way over the last three weeks and Javon Walker has gotten 26. Those are both high numbers probably due to the fact that they don't have much depth at WR and also because the Packers have been playing from behind in 2 of their last 3 games.
  • Andre Johnson Superstar: 60 targets for the season. The next Texan has 26. In Andre's last three games, he's reigned in 22 of his 36 passes for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns.
  • The Vikings' passing output over the last three weeks is interesting to see too. Mewelde Moore: 22. Marcus Robinson: 22. Nate Burleson: 13. Randy Moss: 13. Randy does have 3 touchdowns and if he does play this week, I expect him to be primarily a red zone target. There's no way the Vikings should let him run down field with that hamstring problem.
  • I was surprised to see that Stallworth (51) has been thrown about the same number of passes that Horn (51) has this season. Horn's overall numbers are much better.
  • Antonio Gates has 28 over his last three games. The next closest Charger has 12. Expect that to change dramatically as they've added two slow, possession receivers this week.
  • In the last three 49er games, Eric Johnson was thrown to 35 times. Brandon Lloyd has been healthy for only two of those games, but he was targeted 21 times in those 2, including 10 in their last.
  • Randy Hymes leads all Ravens receivers with 26 targets. Surprising for a guy who probably wasn't on anyone's fantasy radar screen at the beginning of the season.
  • Finally, the Colts. Harrison: 44 for 29 catches. Wayne: 41 - 26. Stokely: 36 - 25. Pollard: 10 - 8. Clark 9 - 2.

10.19.2004
 
Tuesday Football
  • As expected, Travis Henry will take over the starting role once he's healthy. I think it's clear McGahee is the better option behind this offensive line because of the unique way he can make yards on his own. But ever since the 03 draft, there are all these issues around keeping Travis Henry happy. Since the Bills probably don't know what they're going to do with these two guys yet, keeping Henry as the starter is probably the only way to keep their options open.
  • Marvin Lewis has tried to take some of the heat off of Carson Palmer. I don't understand where this outcry is coming from. You drafted this guy with the first overall pick a year and a half ago and just because Jon Kitna had a career year in 03, you're ready to jump ship just so you can go 8-8 again?. If Carson was playing in Pittsburgh, he'd probably be undefeated and everyone would be saying what a great decision it was to sit him his first season. The Bengals have one wide receiver right now (although he's mentally off his game), an inconsistant offensive line, and a defense that can't even stop the Browns. To make things better, they host the 5-1 Broncos on Monday Night, and P Dub is still doubtful.
  • Some notes about William Green and Lee Suggs.
  • Despite spraining his ankle, Byron Leftwich expects to practice this week and play on Sunday.
  • I'm going to go ahead and start saying today that the Dolphins have a good chance to get their first win this week when they host the Rams.
  • The Jets should get Moss and their two guards back this week versus the Pats.
  • The Titans say Chris Brown's shoulder injury is not serious.
  • Coach Green seems to have something in store for the Cardinal offense.
  • The Falcons may get DeAngelo Hall back this week when they travel to KC.
  • Lots of things happening with Green Bay's offensive skill players.
  • The MRI on Moss isn't great news. Like I wrote yesterday, he probably won't play this week.
  • Mewelde Moore will get his third straight start.
  • Jerry Rice is a Seahawk. Grant Winstrom is out 4-6.
  • Story about Portis' progression in his new offense.
  • Antonio Bryant is a Brown, Morgan a Cowboy.
  • Len Pasquarelli in his weekly ESPN (Insider) chat makes a good note about the job security of Wannstedt and Haslett. Watch out for their bye weeks...
  • Trade deadline is 4pm today.
UPDATE: Keenan McCardell goes to the Chargers for 3rd, 6th round picks in 05. The Chargers also picked up Bobby Shaw. Reche Caldwell's status in uncertain, so these guys may be able to step in pretty soon.

UPDATE 2: I forgot to mention that I caught Reuben Droughns on NFL Total Access this morning. He talked about the 'system' and the 'back' with Terrell Davis. And he spoke about how being a FB in this system has helped him read the holes more quickly. Shanahan is all about the 'make one cut and go' policy and this guy seems to understand what he's doing. He looked trim, confident, and really, a lot like TD. I'm on board the bandwagon. Ding, ding.

10.18.2004
 
Monday Football
  • Willis McGahee didn't look like he was running at 100% but still had a nice day because he's just such a rare combination of size and speed. Willis actually looked a lot like Edgerrin did the year he came back after his surgery. But McGahee is just so much more physical than Edge and most other running backs. Yesterday, he pushed piles, stiff-armed defensive linemen to the ground and still showed enough speed to turn the corner on the Miami defense. What he doesn't yet have is that change of direction quickness that will get him in and out of holes more effectively. Edge was the same way when he came back. I don't have an official stat, but CBS kept a running total on how many of McGahee's yards were earned after first contact. The last one I saw was something like 93 out of 98. Basically, he was getting most of his yards on his own, without much help from a poor offensive line or tricky play calling.
UPDATE: The writer of this article doesn't read BBeach, and I just found his story. We just watched the same performance. He's got quotes though.
  • With the Seahawks on the two yard line with less than a minute left, the Patriots used all three of their timeouts to help prepare and rest their defense to keep Seattle out of the end zone. The final score was 30-20. The line was 3.5.
UPDATE: I finally found a record of the timeouts. Go here, and page down to the end. Three timeouts in the last 12 seconds of the game, by the winning team.
  • Washington won again despite not scoring more than 17 points. The point totals for the 'Skins in their six games so far now reads: 16 - 14 - 18 - 13 - 10 - 13.
  • I failed to realize in advance that we were being deceived by both the Lions and the linemakers yesterday. Roy Williams was active but didn't play and Kevin Jones saw limited time. Detroit was absolutely due for a let-down game and the Packers were absolutely due for a win. I feel like I just failed a mid-term. The Lions go to NY to face the Giants next week.
  • A couple of good Monday reads are Len Pasquarelli and Peter King.
  • The Jets decision to go for two with over 18 minutes left in the game (they missed that attempt and a subesquent one to make up for the first) didn't come back to hurt them in the box score, but it did hurt anyone who was foolish enough to think the Jets could cover 10 points this week.
  • The Eagles average margin of victory this season is 14.8.
  • Deity foresake me if I ever think to myself that the Raiders will win again this season. They probably won't go winless, but may I be damned if I ever say so again.
  • After listening to Mike Tice, it sounds like Randy Moss will probably be forced to sit this week. Tice called Moss a quick healer, but also indicated that he's in no way prepared to have this a lingering thing for his top wide receiver.
  • Another game that Chris Brown sits out. He says he'll play next week.
  • As expected, Brandon Lloyd had a good game against the Jets. Part of the reason is because Eric Johnson received a lot of attention.
  • Koren Robinson has reportedly appealed a four game substance abuse suspension.
  • More later if my laptop becomes functional again.
  • I forgot to link PFBW's Whispers earlier. It always has good info.

10.17.2004
 
Sunday Morning Football
  • According to this, the Raiders are on the brink of self-destruction. Are things really that bad after only 5 games? I'm no so sure. But it's seems even more clear to me now that if they can't get a win out of today's game, they're probably done.
  • The weather should be nasty in Buffalo today.
  • Fox Sports' John Czarnecki wonders if Tomlinson will be able to finish the game today.
  • I got burned last week when an hour before gametime Eric Johnson said he wasn't sure if he would play. So I benched him for Jason Witten. This week, he's saying he's going to start despite a cracked rib.
  • Kevin Jones may see some time today. He even says he's not 100% so I'm not so convinced.
  • So apparently when I said that the trade deadline passed this passt Tuesday, I was mistaken. I read it somewhere. It's the 19th.
  • Willis McGahee will indeed start.
  • Why are there only two 4pm games today?
  • Corey Dillon is starting, but it's unclear what is role will be.
  • Rueben Droughns will be starting, with Griffin to work off the bench, according to John Clayton.
  • Fanball is reporting that William Green is starting. I'm sure Suggs will get plenty of carries, but this makes me think even more that the Browns are coddling Green's mind, possibly at the expense of the team.
  • Shad Meier has his appendix removed yesterday and is out. Rookie Ben Troupe will start.
  • Tony Hollings is inactive.


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