Saturday, September 04, 2010

Pre-season week 4 round up

I slept like a baby today. It was beautiful. Now that I'm thoroughly rested it's time to kick off with the news that 'Big Ben' Roethlisberger has had his suspension reduced to 4 games. Proof then that if you visit enough schools and spend enough time appearing to do charity work then you can get any suspension from the NFL cut. Next the news that Patrick Crayton has got his wish to be traded away from Dallas, heading to San Diego for the mere price of a 7th round pick. Bargain in my eyes. Crayton is a good receiver, he concentrates well through 4 quarters and is good under pressure. The Chargers just got markedly stronger. The Seattle Seahawks appear to headed in the opposite direction, telling WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (that's a fun name to spell) that they don't plan on keeping him for the final cuts if they cant trade him away. The theory is that they want to go with youth, as opposed to Houshmandzadeh's 79 catches for 911 yards and 3 TDs, which were all team leading stats with the exception of TDs; which was team tying. My best guess is that there is some kind of friction between himself and management, otherwise there is no feasible explanation for it. Not even the $7 million guaranteed. The Seahawks tried to bring in Brandon Marshall this off season who they knew would want a big contract, so money cannot be used as an excuse. This is just crazy. Why isn't Deion Branch on the dump list? Chad Ochocino has already hit twitter and told TJ that he'll be making a case for the Bengals to pick him up, because of course receiver is a position of need there in Cincinnati. I mean, all they have is Ochocinco himself, Terrell Owens, Andre Caldwell, Jordan Shipley, Quan Cosby, etc.... Meanwhile Alex Marvez is reporting that a source has told that Sage Rosenfels is off to the New York Giants, though he doesn't say anything about the compensation involved yet. That will push poor Rhett Bomar to the bottom of the pile in New York, but at least it all but guarantees a roster spot in Minnesota for promising young back up Joe Webb. So with the news done, it's time to recap yesterdays games: Bills 23 @ Lions 28 -- Good news for Lions fans if Stafford goes down; Drew Stanton can play QB. Ok, so he was 5/13 which is bad, but 94 yards and 2 TDs is still ok for a back up. The Bills QBs looked horrible and threw 2 interceptions between them. Without C.J. Spiller their offense went flat and QB Brian Brohm ended up as their number one rusher. Credit on the Lions D to DT Landon Cohen who finished with 4 tackles and 2 sacks, and also to DB Paul Pratt who led the team in tackles with 5 and also returned an interception from his own end zone all the way down the field for 6 points. Bengals 30 @ Colts 28 -- Offensively both teams lit it up. Curtis Painter was partially proved right by my coin flip the other day, throwing for 114 yards. 9/20 proved the coin flip partially wrong. Tom Brandstater however beat Painter mercilessly into the floor for the back up QB job in Indy by throwing 10/18 for 178 yards and 3 TDs, showing good ball placement in the process. Jordan Palmer led the Bengals QBs with 10/14 for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Blair White led the Colts receivers with 7 catches for 132 yards, including taking a quick slant by Painter for 52 yards. Brandon James finished with 4 catches for 56 yards and 3 TDs. Notable on the Bengals was Dezmon Briscoe (watch list) who took his sole catch for 5o yards and a TD. Bengals RB Cedric Peerman led all rushers in the game with 6 carries for 100 yards, including a 93 yard TD. Defensively Colts LB Pat Angerer had another good game recording 9 tackles and 3 assists. For the Bengals, watch lister DT Geno Atkins got 4 tackles and an assist while LB Roddrick Muckelroy (also watch lister) picked up 3 tackles and a sack. 3rd year DT Pat Sims also recorded 3 tackles and 2 sacks. Patriots 17 @ Giants 20 -- Rhett Bomar led the Giants in passing, throwing 11/24 for 171 yards, a TD and an INT. Not to be out done though, Patriots back up Brian Hoyer threw 15/26 for 266 yards, a TD and an INT. Defensive stand outs were Pats LB Tyrone McKenzie with 6 tackles and 4 assists, while DE Rob Ninkovich put up 6 tackles, an assist and a sack. For the Giants, LB Bryan Kehl recorded 7 tackles and 2 assists, while LB Michael Boley and DB Seth Williams both nabbed 5 tackles and a couple of assists a piece. Falcons 9 @ Jaguars 13 -- As Hurricane Earl swept towards the Carolina's, Hurricane Boring remained in place over Jacksonville. Just the one TD as FB Brock Bolen weaved and punched his way through the Atlanta D. Falcons back up QB Chris Redman provided the only noteworthy offensive performance with 15/22 for 142 yards. Falcons LB Bear Woods came the closest to having a noteworthy defensive performance with 5 tackles and a sack. Panthers 3 @ Steelers 19 -- Hurricane Boring then found its way North to Pittsburgh where the Steelers faced the Panthers. QB Byron Leftwich ended the speculation as to who will replace Ben Roethlisberger for the first four games by getting himself injured. The Steelers QBs threw just 15 passes between the four of them. Even then they managed to throw for more yards than the Panthers quarterbacks combined. Defense was the order of the day with 4 sacks for the Steelers and one for the Panthers. Stevenson Sylvester lead the Steelers with 5 tackles, an assist and a sack, while Panthers LB Jamar Williams lead his team with 6 tackles and 2 assists. Jets 21 @ Eagles 17 -- Rookie Eagles QB Mike Kafka really showed off his skills with 9/27 for 76 yards and an INT (Good job they hung on to Vick really). Meanwhile Jets QB Mark Brunell showed him how it's done with 11/17 for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively there were quite a few stand outs. Jets DT Matt Kroul notched 5 tackles, an assist and 2 sacks. Eagles LB Moise Fokou recorded 8 tackles and two assists, while DB Kurt Coleman picked up 4 tackles, an assist and returned 2 Jets fumbles for touchdowns. Ravens 21 @ Rams 27 -- The Rams looked good. They actually looked good. Hell, they've looked good all pre-season. It's scary. All three Quarterbacks got a chance to throw and all three found the end zone. The only downer for the Rams offense was an interception by Keith Null that was returned for a TD by Ravens LB Dannell Ellerbe. Far from being congratulated by his Head Coach John Harbaugh, Ellerbe was pulled aside and given a stern talking to after he mocked the opposition during the return, then stood next to the goal line and reached out to break the plane with the ball, rightfully drawing boos from the Rams fans for this classless act. It was good to see a coach finally pull someone up on this. Without question the wave of silly and disrespectful TD celebrations in the NFL has gotten to an extreme. In the end Ravens QB Marc Bulger never saw the field, but Troy Smith did. Smith went 18/38 for 237 yards and two interceptions. He atoned for those two mistakes by sneaking into the end zone twice with his feet. Defensively the big stand out was Ravens Jason Phillips who recorded 9 tackles. Bears 10 @ Browns 13 -- Colt McCoy (watch list) got off to a great start... fumbling his first snap as a starter, turning the ball over to the Bears. Luckily he recovered and went 13/13 from that point, throwing for 131 yards. One drive was capped by a hand off to RB Montario Hardesty (watch list) who ran in for the score... and then injured his knee and will miss the entire season. Classic. Todd Collins was the best Bears QB of the night, which is normally possible simply by virtue of not being Jay Cutler. But Cutler didn't play so Collins had to earn his place with 10/15 for 139 yards and a TD. Disappointingly rookie Dan LeFevour was only given 9 throws, of which he completed 4 for 44 yards. Bears LB Kevin Malast stole the defensive show with 9 tackles, 3 assists and a sack, closely followed by DE Henry Melton with 7 tackles and DB Brian Iwuh and LB Tim Shaw who both recorded 6 tackles and an assist. For the Browns, LB Marcus Bernard made 6 tackles and 2 assists while DB Larry Asante made 6 tackles. Broncos 24 @ Vikings 31 -- Rookie QB + My Rookie Watch List = fumble on first snap. To make things worse Erin Henderson returned it for a TD. Tebow finished the game with 12/16 for 167 yards, a TD and an INT. Brady Quinn also put in an appearance, finishing 14/21 for 149 yards and a TD. The best of the Vikings was Joe Webb, who went 5/9 for 100 yards, a TD and an INT, as well as rushing 4 times for 48 yards. Matt Willis and Eric Decker shined among the Broncos receiving corps, with Willis catching 5 for 122 yards and a TD, while Decker caught 10 for 114 yards. Defensively it was Vikings LB Erin Henderson who stood out, with 7 tackes, 2 assists, a sack and the fumble recovery for a TD mentioned earlier. LB Jasper Brinkley had 5 tackles, 2 assists and a forced fumble. DB Marcus Sherels finished with 5 tackles and a sack. Packers 13 @ Chiefs 17 -- Kansas finally got themselves a pre-season win this year (about which I'm sure they're delighted). Brodie Croyle went 11/16 for 119 yards, but it was RB Jackie Battle who stole the show with 10 carries for 67 yards and a TD. QB Matt Flynn took most of the snaps for Green Bay, finishing 23/37 for 304 yards. Rookie Graham Harrell finished 8/18 for 68 yards and could have led a 4th quarter comeback had his receivers not been so butter fingered. Defensively, LB Maurice Simpkins led the Packers with 6 tackles and an assist, while Chiefs DB Ricky Price led his team with 6 tackles and 2 assists. Dolphins 25 @ Cowboys 27 -- In the end the Cowboys rested their starters, but the Dolphins kept theirs out for a few series. In the end it didn't help. Cowboys QB Stephen McGee went 27/42 for 304 yards and a TD. Tyler Thigpen topped the Dolphins quarterbacks with 10/18 for 160 yards, 2 touchdowns and an INT. Dolphins back Ricky Williams proved to be the best runner out there with 2 carries for 45 yards. Dolphins DB Reshad Jones led his team defensively with 6 tackles and an assist. DB Bryan McCann held the honors for Dallas with 7 tackles. Saints 24 @ Titans 27 -- Saints QB Patrick Ramsey threw 11/16 for 98 yards. Today he was cut. That leaves the door open for Chase Daniel to become the back up to Drew Brees. Daniel threw 10/18 for 137 yards, a TD and an INT. On the ground, Ladell Betts made 38 yards from 7 carries and he too was cut today. The Titans didn't produce much in the air, but Javon Ringer, Samkon Gado, LeGarrette Blount and Alvin Pearman combined for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground, from a combined 38 carries. Defensively for the Saints, FS Chris Reis lead the way with 7 tackles and an assist, while DB Reggie Jones made 6 tackles. CB Cortland Finnegan lead the Titans with six tackles. Buccaneers 24 @ Texans 17 -- Bucs' QB Rudy Carpenter looked poised and confident, throwing 15//22 for 203 yards and 2 TDs. On the opposite side Texans QB John David Booty almost lead a late rally, finishing 17/37 for 209 yards and 2 TDs. Dan Orlovsky also got a chance to play, finishing 11/16 for 113 yards and 2 INTs, both of which were thrown to Tampa safety Corey Lynch, who returned one 91 yards for a score. Bucs' WR Arrelious Benn finished with 2 touchdowns from 3 receptions, but the yardage leader among receivers was Houstons James Casey with 8 catches for 81 yards. On Defense, Texans LB Darryl Sharpton had another good game with 5 tackles, an assist and a sack. Chargers 14 @ 49ers 17 -- No rest for "The Golden Mule" Anthony Dixon who carried 12 times for 80 yards and a TD. 49ers QB Nate Davis ended 11/22 for 103 yards, a TD and 2 INTs. For the Chargers Billy Volek led the way, finishing 15/24 for 159 yards and 2 TDs. Defensively Darrell Stuckey led the Chargers with six tackles and an assist. LB Antwan Applewhite finished with 4 tackles, 2 assists and a sack. On the '9ers side, rookie LB Navorro Bowman finished the game with 7 tackles, a sack (one of five for the 49ers D) and a forced fumble. DE Derek Walker finished with 7 tackles, and LB Bruce Davis finished with five tackles and 1.5 sacks. Seahawks 24 @ Raiders 27 -- Bruce Gradkowski took the field and with just 7/14 for the Raiders he put up 128 yards and 2 TDs. Kyle Boller came on to finish the job with 7/13 for 157 yards and a TD. For the Seahawks, Charlie Whitehurst went 11/22 for 210 yards and a TD, at least restoring some semblance of confidence in him. On defense, Chargers LB Tyjuan Hagler led the way with 8 tackles and 2 assists. Safety Kam Chancellor (watch list) followed with six tackles and 3 assists. The Raiders literally did not have any real stand out on D. Redskins 10 @ Cardinals 20 -- Matt Leinart finished an awesome 3/5 for 14 yards. If he plans on being a starter somewhere in the league then performances like that aren't going to help. Max Hall showed him how it's done with 7/9 for 126 yards, as well as rushing twice for 19 yards and a TD. For the Redskins it was a good combo at quarterback with John Beck finishing 11/21 for 132 yards and an INT, while Richard Bartel finished 12/14 for 125 yards and a TD. The only real defensive stand out for me was Redskins LB Robert Henson who recorded 5 tackles, 2 assists and a sack. So there we have it. Pre-season week 4 is done and now we await the beginning of the true 2010 season. You know it's that time of year when I go out and re-stock my coffee supply for the season. I also just want to say a quick hello to everyone from the various countries who Google tell me are reading this blog. Those countries would be; United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa and China. Be sure to tell you fellow countrymen about the blog, whomever they may be. Till next time, Have a great day everyone.

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