THUNDERING BLURB » analysis http://thunderingblurb.com ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 College Football Top 25 review – tomorrow night http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/college-football-top-25-review-tomorrow-night/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/college-football-top-25-review-tomorrow-night/#comments Mon, 17 Nov 2008 07:59:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=305 Hey folks – just wanted to let you know that I am doing the top 25 review of the College football games tomorrow (probably tomorrow night). We had a little sick happening here so that’s eaten most of my night.

So I’ll do a slightly shorter than usual one tomorrow night and let you know my thoughts.

Although the words ‘Texas Tech – DAMN’ come to mind.

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RB Rankings for Week 11 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/rb-rankings-for-week-11/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/rb-rankings-for-week-11/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2008 22:57:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=301 Nothing like a wasted hour for an appointment where the person you were supposed to meet with was sick and you wait 20 minutes before anyone tells you that.

Back now and here are the RB rankings for week 11!

Michael Turner is still playing streaky though he has had two good games in a row. Can he get a third in before he dips? Playing against Denver, I think he can. While Ryan and his receivers will attack the weakened secondary, Turner will get plenty of work and Denver is 27th and have allowed 11 rush TDs so far. Turner might get caught up in the shoot out, but as Denver will have little run game, the Falcons will try to keep Cutler off the field and control the clock. Turner (and maybe Jerious Norwood at #22) will have plenty of work and likely see good production.

Let’s summarize Frank Gore’s week: Gore: Man my head hurts. I have a concussion. Singletary: You’re football player, you’re head doesn’t hurt, it’s your neck. Gore: It is? What a relief. Comedy aside, that smells funny to me. But he apparently looks good in practice this week and will start – and against a terrible run D like the Rams (30th in the NFL) and the Jets blew them up for 206 and 3 TDs. Gore may not do that alone, but he should have a pretty large day. If I was sure he was 100% – and I am not – he’d top this list.

Some call him All Day, I call him Purple Jesus (wish I could credit it to someone but I forget who coined it) but either way, you call Adrian Peterson for your lineup each week. It’s a tough matchup, sure. But the oline started opening huge holes for Peterson last week and I think Peterson will have great production again this week though nowhere near the 2 bills he had last time out. Keep in mind Tampa doesn’t give up TDs on the ground. But that didn’t matter to Thomas Jones against the Pats, huh? Still, keep it in mind.

I think this is a couple weeks in a row that that DeAngelo Williams has been a good to great play. Jonathan Stewart will get carries but Williams is still the primary and will get the bulk of the carries in a tasty matchup against the woeful Lions defense. While they may work at getting Delhomme back on track, I still think the bulk of the work – and fantasy points – will come down to Williams. Expect his third game with 100 yards and a TD.

The Bengals will not be the test for Brian Westbrook and the Eagles that the Giants were so not only do I expect Westy to rebound from his down game. He will get back involved both on the ground and through the air against a D that is bad in both areas of the game. Cinci did strangle the Jacksonville run game last week, but I think the Philly Oline and Westbrook are far better than what there is right now in Jacksonville.

Other notes:
#7 Marion Barber is going to benefit more than almost anyone else to have Romo back as finally opposing secondaries and defenses cannot throw 8 men in a box….. It makes me sad to see LaDainian Tomlinson at #12, but imagine if he wasn’t LT, how bad it could be. I think he will have issues but still have a pretty decent day that in perspective will blow away many other RBs vs the Steel Curtain….. How can Steve Slaton be #14 against the Colts? Two reasons – first, the Colts played better the last week and have Bob sanders back and second, Kubiak is saying they will watch his carries carefully and maybe limit them. DANGER DANGER!…. #17 Willie Parker may do better in his debut from injury but that harness worries me a little…. Ladell Betts seems to be ready to go, but I’m not sure how healed he is and how many touches he will get so he sits for a week at #28…. Willis McGahee wins the ‘who gets carries this week in BAL’ and his prize is a #23 ranking but I gotta tell you Baltimore is quickly becoming the biggest FF headache week to week not involving secret season ending injuries……

Running backs

  1. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Broncos
  2. Frank Gore, 49ers vs. Rams
  3. Adrian Peterson, Vikings at Buccaneers
  4. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers vs. Lions
  5. Brian Westbrook, Eagles at Bengals
  6. Matt Forté, Bears at Packers
  7. Marion Barber, Cowboys at Redskins
  8. Chris Johnson, Titans at Jaguars
  9. Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Seahawks
  10. Joseph Addai, Colts vs. Texans
  11. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Raiders
  12. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at Steelers
  13. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Browns
  14. Steve Slaton, Texans at Colts
  15. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Titans
  16. Jamal Lewis, Browns at Bills
  17. Willie Parker, Steelers vs. Chargers
  18. Kevin Smith, Lions at Panthers
  19. Ryan Grant, Packers vs. Bears
  20. Brandon Jacobs, Giants vs. Ravens
  21. Larry Johnson, Chiefs vs. Saints
  22. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Broncos
  23. Willis McGahee, Ravens at Giants
  24. Peyton Hillis, Broncos at Falcons
  25. Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Raiders
  26. Dominic Rhodes, Colts vs. Texans
  27. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers vs. Lions
  28. Ladell Betts Redskins vs. Cowboys
  29. LenDale White, Titans at Jaguars
  30. Cedric Benson, Bengals vs. Eagles
  31. Julius Jones, Seahawks vs. Cardinals
  32. Deuce McAllister, Saints at Chiefs
  33. Ahman Green, Texans at Colts
  34. Justin Fargas, Raiders at Dolphins
  35. Antonio Pittman, Rams at 49ers
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New York Jets at New England Patriots Fantasy Breakdown – Patriots http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/new-york-jets-at-new-england-patriots-fantasy-breakdown-patriots/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/new-york-jets-at-new-england-patriots-fantasy-breakdown-patriots/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2008 18:07:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=296 Patriots Face a Team Finally Jelling –
The Jets’ defensive unit is really starting to come together. While they have at times had lapses, overall it seems that the guys in the trenches (both oline and d) have stepped up of late. In the new style Gang Green, the Patriots find themselves face a solid overall unit and a team much better than when the met earlier this season. The Jets rush defense is 5th in the league and only allows 74.6 yds a game, with only 7 TDs to date. And with the Patriots running back core banged up, it could be tough sledding for the ground game. As for the pass defense, the Jets are 13th, giving 223 pass yards a game along with 11 TDs in the air. They are tied with Atlanta, Indy and Kansas City at 10th in league with 11 INTs and are 2nd in sacks with 31. They can bring the heat and can be opportunistic on defense.

Again, keep in mind that this game may be played in the rain and could come down to the line play – it probably will regardless – and the rushing attack. If it rains, you might bump all the pass numbers down a tick, save maybe Welker for the short yardage work and maybe Faulk for the same reason.

Did I just reuse a paragraph? Maaaaaaybe.

Cassel – I’m not a fan of rolling Cassel out in this one. I respect he is better now at protecting the ball. I think he knows what Moss and Welker look like so they have actually seen passes. But I think the Jets will keep some real pressure on him and force him into throwing away or throwing where and when he shouldn’t. Unless you are very much up against it with other matchups, I would avoid him this week. The potential rain only worsens it.

Randy Moss – Moss and Cassel have been connecting more the last few weeks but Randy still isn’t blowing up in non-PPR leagues. Frankly he isn’t killing in PPR leagues either. If he draws Revis, you can count on a shoddy fantasy output unless he gets one long. If he can get against Lowery or split zones or coverage, he could make some nice plays. But Cassel and the offense are more dink and dunk than bomb which limits his upside. I think the matchup is a wee risky. Do remember that Randy does love the spotlight and this is a huge game for the division with far ranging implications for the AFC. He often shows up for these events and could have a MNF style game. Don’t love the matchup though.

Wes Welker – At some point preseason, we didn’t think Welker would repeat last season but he might. Well, he is on pace to catch an amount similar to last year’s. He fits in with the Cassel short game that is being played and so he is the best bet in the passing game, even against a tough secondary. In a PPR, he’s the guy you want – but weather, defense and Cassel make me want to warn you that he’s a lower end WR2 or 3 in a PPR league this Thursday and to be careful.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis – ‘Law Firm’ may have his work cut out for him this week. If it rains, he could see a huge workload but it may not amount to much against a tough Jets D. Bench him if you can and try not to put yourself in a position where you need to pray for a random TD.

Kevin Faulk – Short yardage stuff is nice and his value is probably more along the lines of PPR leagues than non-PPR. Still he may get some short yardage work, mud or no. Aside from last week vs Buffalo, Faulk had caught Faulk has been targeted quite often and occasionally made some big gains. A very risky flex, however.

As I said with the Jets post I am cautious with my Thursday starts, especially in this matchup. I think this could devolve into a chess-match oline/dline struggle in the trenches which could be exciting to watch (well to some of us it might be) but not explosive offensively. I think this game could go either way – it’s tough to win in New England but the Jets have begun to come together and now face their biggest challenge. If they can get out of their own way, they can win this. But you can’t count the Pats out, not until the final whistle.

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http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/286/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/286/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2008 22:26:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=286 As I said on the ESPNRadio show (I am an attention whore, huh?) LaDainian Tomlinson tends to get even better as a season wears on. He has the mother-of-all matchups this week and is healthy. God help the Chiefs – or God help Norv Turner if he doesn’t have LT (and to a lesser extent, Sproles) plan a cleat on their backs and push. Tomlinson should come out the bye like a house afire.

Adrian Peterson aka All Day aka Purple Jesus aka the reason i am still alive for the playoffs in one league has a mtachup that isn’t quite as good as LT’s but it’s quite salivation worthy nonetheless. The Pack is 27th in the league vs the run and last week got decimated by Chris Johnson and LenDale White for 178yds and a touchdown. In week 1, ADP thumped them for 103yds and a TD. He could, concievably, do even more this time around as he is red hot coming into this matchup.

Now, Frank Gore may find himself behind along with the 49rs in this game. He may be involved in a little catchup. And it’s a tougher matchup than folks give it credit for because the Cards score so well. But the 49rs involve him in the passing game so even behind, he is still a factor. Also, San Fran will need to control the clock if they are going to try and limit Warner & Company’s time on the field. That’s all Gore. And lest we forget, Gore torched them in week 1 for 96 yds and a TD on the ground and another 55yds receiving. This man is a stud and you don’t worry so much about him in matchups – you just plug him in.

Brian Westbrook is healthy, his Qb is healthy, the WRs are finally healthy – all good things. The Giants are a tough matchup no doubt but Westbrook has an advantage in that he is 1) involved in every aspect of the offensive gameplan. Carries, receptions – he gets you points everywhere. And 2) with the gang all healthy, you cannot just focus on Westy. He will have more room to run for the fact that McNabb will throw to Curtis and Jackson at anytime so the defense will have to stay honest. Finally, the oline is keeping McNabb very safe but they are also blocking better for Westbrook. That extra push will help him gain yards even against a tough NY Giants team.

Maurice Jones-Drew may be a long shot – I talked a bunch today about how I was worried about the mental state of the team. But the line is healthy and the matchup is very good. If Garrard can keep the ball moving through the air, MJD should benefit on the ground. I think he will get the chance to break into open space, use his speed to his advantage and have some long gains. This might be a little higher than many have him, but I am still looking for MJD to step forward the rest of the way. Hopefully I am right and our concerns about the emotional exhaustion of the team are unfounded.

Other thoughts -
You start #9 Chris Johnson every week regardless of matchup…… #13 Mewelde Moore gets the start with Parker hurt again and should have a good day…. #17 BenJarvus Green-Ellis will get another start with Morris and Jordan out and is looking pretty good…… I put Ray Rice as a cautious #18 – everyone is banged up there…… I think #26 Darren Sproles may get some garbage time against the Chiefs and could be a nice flex play….

Running backs

  1. LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  2. Adrian Peterson, Vikings vs. Packers
  3. Frank Gore, 49ers at Cardinals
  4. Brian Westbrook, Eagles vs. Giants
  5. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars at Lions
  6. Thomas Jones, Jets vs. Rams
  7. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  8. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. Saints
  9. Chris Johnson, Titans at Bears
  10. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Raiders
  11. Tim Hightower, Cardinals vs. 49ers
  12. Marshawn Lynch, Bills at Patriots
  13. Mewelde Moore, Steelers vs. Colts
  14. Brandon Jacobs, Giants at Eagles
  15. Steve Slaton, Texans vs. Ravens
  16. Matt Forté, Bears vs. Titans
  17. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Patriots vs. Bills
  18. Ray Rice, Ravens at Texans
  19. Deuce McAllister, Saints at Falcons
  20. Jamaal Charles, Chiefs at Chargers
  21. Kevin Smith, Lions vs. Jaguars
  22. Kevin Faulk, Patriots vs. Bills
  23. Joseph Addai, Colts at Steelers
  24. Leon Washington, Jets vs. Rams
  25. Jonathan Stewart, Panthers at Raiders
  26. Darren Sproles, Chargers vs. Chiefs
  27. Le’Ron McClain, Ravens at Texans
  28. LenDale White, Titans at Bears
  29. Justin Fargas, Raiders vs. Panthers
  30. Julius Jones, Seahawks at Dolphins
  31. Maurice Morris, Seahawks at Dolphins
  32. Jerious Norwood, Falcons vs. Saints
  33. Ricky Williams, Dolphins vs. Seahawks
  34. Derrick Ward, Giants at Eagles
  35. Fred Taylor, Jaguars at Lions
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Broncos vs Browns Breakdown – part the second http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/broncos-vs-browns-breakdown-part-the-second/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/11/broncos-vs-browns-breakdown-part-the-second/#comments Thu, 06 Nov 2008 18:55:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=282 So when we last left our intrepid Blurb, Denver was all broken down. Now, we’ll take a look at Cleveland and see what is worth starting – if anything – tonight.

Browns
Passing –
If you were going to stick a first time QB into a game, this is a matchup you’d think about. In fact, you have to wonder if Crennel was just biding his time until this game to give Quinn a shot at survival. Well, maybe and maybe not. The Donkey bring the heat – they are ranked 9th in the league in sacks with 20, though the Browns have been stingy giving up sacks, only allowing 11 so far. Still, the Denver pass rush is pretty solid. That said, not much else is. Champ Bailey is hurt and he was about the best they had in a shaky secondary. The Doncos average a hefty 243 yards allowed per game, have given 12 TDs up and only picked off 3 passes. That’s bad, maybe even worse than bad. This is a good matchup for the Cleveland passing offense, but as you will see, they have their own question marks.

Brady Quinn – Come all without, come all within – You’ll not see nothing like the mighty Quinn. With apoligies to Manfred Mann (and my readership) I HAVE seen something like the Mighty Brady Quinn before, just not in the Pros. Quinn played well in college though he did turn the ball over more than his fair share. He has decent arm stength, though won’t be hitting anyone from his own goal line in the opposing end zone anytime soon. The fact is, we have no idea what Quinn can do at this level. Add to it the shaky state of the Browns offense – fragile Stallworth, cement-hands Edwards and occasionally angry and staph infected Kellen Winslow – and who knows what he can do. If you were caught with your pants down due to Schaub, Orton and Anderson and are desperate for a start Quinn is a guy with a good matchup and lots of question marks. You can start him in a desperate pinch but I would rather not. Then again, Buffalo in Week 11 is pretty grim too. Could be a long year for the Mighty Quinn.

Braylon Edwards – Edwards was far and away the most targeted guy in the offense through the first 9 weeks. Too bad that a) he is catching a horrific 40% of his targets and b) with Quinn in there, all past history is out the window. It isn’t going to help Edwards’ confidence to have a first time signal caller starting. Still, I think this is a game where Edwads can suceed. The Broncos secondary is pretty bad and he should get the seperation he needs to break a few big plays. While Edwards is no better than a #2 or 3 most weeks, he has a fair chance to play better than average this week.

Kellen Winslow – Really, the only other threat in the pass game, Winslow has been angry and bitter since his staph infection. But with a new QB, Winslow may have a shot to do some damage. Question is, does he care? There are multiple TEs I like better than Winslow – Clark, Gonzo, Gates, Daniels – but as bad as many other TEs have been, unless you have those guys, Winslow’s upside and ability make him a guy you can start.

Rushing
The Broncos rush D isn’t much better than the pass D, giving up 144 yards a game on the ground and 10 Tds. In the last two games (bracketing the bye) they have allowed 300 yards. That would be…. not good. Good matchup for the Browns though.

Jamal Lewis – Lewis has been busting his tail every game this year and really showing me that he has some gas left in the tank. He may be old, but I think he still looks pretty good. The offensive line however has not been very helpful. Most of his points have been coming from dogged determination on Lewis’ part. The Broncos are giving up a bunch of points week to week to fantasy running backs and Lewis’ hard work should pay off this week. I think he;s a solid RB2 with upside and the only big question is – will Quinn be effective enough to keep 8 men out of a box. I think he will be just good enough to keep things clear for Lewis. Hopefully the Browns D will keep things close enough so that Lewis gets touches. I think Lewis is a solid start though and would encourage you to do so, depending upon who else you have in your stable.

That’s it for now – see you tonight on the Drive Block and tomorrow for the afternoon Fantasy Show!

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2008 – the year of the fantasy rookie http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/2008-the-year-of-the-fantasy-rookie/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/10/2008-the-year-of-the-fantasy-rookie/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2008 13:40:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=224 While finishing up the top RB by Strength of Schedule article – which we will talk about tonight on the Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show – I noticed something about the RB list I had made.

There were tons of rookies on it. And it isn’t just RBs.

When we look back at this year in fantasy football, along with the underproduction and injury plague that has again befallen a portion of the top 10, we may see this as a unique year where a huge portion of rookies at all positions put up stellar numbers.

Whether it be the growing list of rookie RBs who have graced us with exceptional numbers or the very rare wide receiver rookie who has been fairly playable this year, it’s definitely been bonus time for many owners who grabbed one of the rooks late in the draft or quickly off the waiver wire.

Steve Slaton, Felix Jones, Matt Forte, DeSean Jackson and to a lesser extent Eddie Royal, Jonathan Stewart, Darren McFadden – all have been more than playable on a regular basis.

Oh and that Matt Ryan fellow does all right down in atlanta, huh? Playable Rookie Qbs – almost as rare as playable rookie WRs.

And by playable, I don’t mean they are merely warm bodies for an emergency. No, depending on the league, these guys are playable weekly. Heck in the Fantasy Sportswriters Association league, I can roll out Matt Forte and know each week I am getting great production.

And while Matt Ryan isn’t a top 10 QB, he’s already in the top 20 in many leagues and is a perfectly legit option in a QBBC. Hell, this year he’s been better than guys like Pennington and Carson Palmer while not far behind Peyton Manning and Jake Delhomme.

While Palmer and Manning are certainly having off years, it does point to how research and paying attention to the NFL draft and preseason can pay off.

Matt Forte is a top 5 back in many leagues. Steve Slaton and Chris Johnson haunt the top 10.

How valuable is it to have either of those guys? How much more if you drafted both? In more than one league I took Forte in the 5-8 rounds and then grabbed Slaton very late. It’s worked out hasn’t it?

We had an inkling that Forte might be worth rostering. He was the sole back in Chicago. They needed to run. Seemed to make sense. That he has turned out to be the immense talent they hope Cedric Benson would be but never was is a shock, but looking at some of the predraft rankings on sites like DraftCountdown.com and the postdraft reactions of guys like Sigmund Bloom at Draftguys.com, you could see he might be something to watch.

But even those of us who pour over tape all off-season have been caught short when it comes to Forte’s production.

What does this mean? Is it time to start seriously looking at more rookies than just the odd Adrian Peterson?

It’s a fair question. Why has this crop been so productive?

Injury has allowed some players to step up early. In the case of the RBs, we’re talking about an unusually talented crop of guys – one of the reason RBs were not being mocked as going early in the NFL draft to teams that needed them (aside from McFadden, Stewart and Mendenhall) is that the RB class was talented and deep. While more Rbs went in the first than was expected (Chris Johnson was a surprise, Felix Jones not as much), many teams waited a round or two and grabbed guys late. These guys had talent, but many fantasy owners looked past them and their situations because ‘he got grabbed in the 3rd – he must not be very good’.

A big mistake in many cases. Draft position, as we know, isn’t everything.

The dual back system has also helped these guys. Years ago (not even that many), Felix Jones would never have seen any carries unless Mario Barber got hurt. Just wouldn’t have happened. But now, teams are willing run out more than one back – sometimes in the same backfield, but at least more often than just to spell a tired stud.

Matt Ryan stepped into a situation that looked bad but wasn’t as bad as we feared. They tried to improve the oline. They had a very good running back tandem to take the pressure off him. They knew they had to protect their franchise QB and they did. Also, turns out the WRs weren’t as bad when someone could hit them consistently with a pass.

It’s very rare for a QB to shine as a rookie. More often than not, if they are in the game their first year, it’s because the team is desperate. It has huge holes. They cannot be protected. Ryan is in the perfect situation. It may be hard to repeat.

What we will need to do throughout the season and after it is over, is look at each of these guys in turn and breaking down how they did what they did. Was it opportunity due to injury as with DeSean Jackson? Was it a misjudged oline and an instant starting shot, like Forte? Were they just far better than we knew – like Slaton?

Things to watch as we move into and past Week 6. For sure, we’ll all be paying very close attention to these guys and those that follow in the coming years.

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College Football Top 25 review – Week 3 http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/college-football-top-25-review-week-3/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/college-football-top-25-review-week-3/#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2008 05:00:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=184 #3 Georgia @ Arizona State
Georgia left no doubt that they were a contender today, beating Arizona State soundly, 27-10. A complete turnaround compared to last week’s squeaker against South Carolina, the Bulldogs ran out to a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and did not relinquish it. Georgia kept tremendous pressure on ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, sacking him 4 times. They also absolutely locked down the Sun Devil run game. The ASU backs compiled a stunning 4 yards total. Without having to worry about the run, the Georgia secondary was free to roam the field, locking down Carpenter’s receivers and the linebackers blitzing at will. Carpenter found himself scrambling on most plays, trying to keep the play alive long enough to find an open target, often to no avail. Defensively, the Sun Devils stifled Bulldog running back Knowshon Moreno for part of the game but in the end could not fully contain him, as he scored twice and totaled 149 yards. Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford also had a very effective day, compiling 185 yards and one touchdown through the air.

#4 Florida @Tennessee
Gator quarterback Tim Tebow didn’t throw for very many yards but did throw for a pair of touchdowns as Florida left Tennessee with a 30-6 victory. The Vols out-gained the Gators 258 yards to 243 but turned the ball over three times, and that was three times too many against the efficient Florida offense. Even worse, two of the turnovers were in key areas of the field: a fumble at the two-yard line and an interception in the end zone. And even though the Vols ruled the overall offensive yardage totals, the Gators out-rushed them 147 yards to 96, controlling the pace of the game. Tennessee has struggled to start seasons before and rebounded, but will have to stop the mistakes if they hope to repeat that. Aside from the key turnovers, the Vols were called for nine penalties totaling 95 yards. The Gators were penalized for nine themselves and the teams sparred and fought numerous times, but when added to the other mental mistakes, the Vols were clearly hurt more than Florida.

Buffalo @ #5 Missouri
Tiger quarterback Chase Daniel’s career-best 439 yards and two touchdowns helped overcome three turnovers and allow Mizzou to remain undefeated. Daniel also set a Big 12 record for consecutive completions with 20. Buffalo kept it close for three quarters but it was death by inches as for every touchdown they scored, Missouri duplicated and added a field goal to boot. Buffalo wide receiver Ernest Jackson was the center of the Bulls’ offense, scoring all three of the team’s touchdowns; two by receptions of 32 and 3, and one on a spectacular 97 yard kick return. That return, as well as the two fumbles and a bad roughing the kicker penalty were huge reasons Buffalo hung around so long in the first half. But in the end, the 590 total yards Mizzou rolled up on Buffalo was too much and they eventually separated themselves for good from the Bulls.

#6 LSU @#10 Auburn
Auburn gave LSU everything it could handle – and almost more – but the LSU Tigers staged a second half surge and sealed the deal with a Jarrett Lee touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell with just over a minute left. Lee came in for starter Andrew Hatch and started off badly going 0-5 on his first series including an interception returned for a touchdown before turning things around in the second half.

Rice @ #7 Texas
The Longhorns scored 17 points in the second quarter and never looked back, whipping Rice to the tune of 52-10. Texas was lead by quarterback Colt McCoy who threw for 329 yards and four touchdowns, bringing his career total to 62, breaking Major Applewhite’s previous record of 60.

#9Alabama @ Arkansas
A pair of interception returns for touchdowns sparked a 49-14 domination of the Arkansas Razorbacks by the Tide, who had six of their seven touchdowns on plays of longer than 25 yards.

Massachusetts @#11 Texas Tech
Texas Tech ran away and hid from Massachusetts, hammering the visiting Minutemen 56-14. Quarterback Graham Harrell threw for 322 yards and four touchdowns while running back Shannon Woods added three on the ground.

#12 South Florida @ Florida International
South Florida took down the Panthers in their own house totaling 322 total yards in a 17-9 victory. SFLA linebacker Brouce Mompremier was airlifted to a hospital after colliding with teammate Carlton Williams during a tackle in the third quarter. Mompremier was seen slowly moving his arms, and was believed to be regaining some movement in his legs before they loaded him onto the helicopter. No other details are available at this time.

Troy @ #13 Ohio State
The Buckeyes made a change to bounce back from their devastating loss to USC by giving the start and nearly all the snaps to true freshman Terrelle Pryor, who led Ohio State with four touchdown passes to a 28-10 win over Troy.

Wyoming @ #14 BYU
BYU is on a mission to show the nation that they deserve every win, this time stomping Wyoming to the tune of 44-0. Quarterback Max Hall threw for 189 yards and three touchdowns in the Cougar’s 14th straight win, longest in the nation.

#15 East Carolina @ NC State
ECU became the latest ranked team to fall to an unranked school when they were stunned in overtime by the Wolfpack, 30-24. ECU Quarterback Patrick Pinkney’s fumble set up an Andre Brown touchdown for the NC State victory.

Temple @ #16 Penn State
Penn State leapt out to an early second quarter lead and never looked back as they trounced visiting Temple, 45-3. Running back Stephfon Green led the offense with 132 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Boise @ #17 Oregon
I said in my Pac 10 preview on College Football Insider and NFLDraftbible that the Ducks needed to limit mistakes and not fall behind – neither was a goal they met as Oregon quarterbacks threw three interceptions and Boise State ran out to a 24 to 6 lead in the first half and never looked back. A late surge by Oregon was not enough this time as Boise quarterback Kellen Moore threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns in the 37-32 upset.

#18 Wake Forest @ #24 Florida State
The teams combined for five field goals as Wake Forest edged the Seminoles 12-3.

Sam Houston St @ #19 Kansas
The quarterbacks combined for 696 total yards passing but the Jayhawks’ were able to put the ball in the end zone more times as they defeated Sam Houston State, 38-14.

#20 Utah @ Air Force
Air Force put a scare into the Utes, but three second half touchdowns by running back Darrell Mack lead a come back victory to the tune of 30-23.

#21 West Virginia @ Colorado (Thursday)
West Virginia quarterback Pat White and his main running back Noel Devine ran up a total of 281 yards but it wasn’t enough as Buffalo’s Rodney Stewart ran for 166 yards and kicker Aric Goodman kicked a game winning field goal in overtime, sending West Virginia home with a heartbreaking 17-14 loss.

South Carolina St. @ #23 Clemson
Clemson running back James Davis ran for three touchdowns as the Tigers blanked the Bulldogs 54-0.

#25 Fresno State @Toledo
Fresno State held onto the win, 55-54, but may not hold onto their ranking as it took a knocked down 2-point conversion pass to get the win in the second overtime.

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Wednesday Injury Report Reaction http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/wednesday-injury-report-reaction/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/wednesday-injury-report-reaction/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2008 13:32:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=153 I thought this morning might be good time to take a look at some of the names on the early injury reports and consider what their presence (or lack thereof) might mean for the fantasy world.

Jeff GarciaDid not Participate – just a reminder that he is out Week 2 and Griese is in.

Willis McGahee - Limited in Practice – McGahee is still a shaky start any time soon – as we saw Sunday, even if he’s activated, he may not play. Ray Rice needs to stop running outside. Keep LeRon McClain in mind if Rice has another game in which he struggles and McGahee remains hurt.

Ahman Green - Did not Participate – Green is also out – I haven’t seen if Darius Walker was activated off the practice squad, but Steve Slaton is the main back here with Chris Taylor behind him. I still say Slaton is the guy here, but Taylor will ge this shot. Bad matchup against BAL though, so both might remain on your bench.

Troy WilliamsonDid not Participate – Battling thigh issue, Williamson also sees Jerry Porter back and fully participating in practice. No word on the rumor Williamson’s hands have been permanantly dipped in cement.

Dante RosarioDid not Participate - Rosario came away from the Panther win over the Chargers with a hurt foot as well as a winning TD. Might allow you to get him off waivers next week. Or you can still get him now – but keep him on your bench. Steve Smith returns and we just don’t know what that will mean for Rosario. He may be the real deal, but give it anothe rgame to be sure.

Ryan GrantLimited in Practice – Grant is still nursing his hammy and as if I needed another reason to be cautious with the use of him or reinforcement that he just didn’t look himself last Monday except for the 57 yard run, Grant says he’s not 100% and would have scored on that play if he had been. Aside from that run, he looked very average against the Vikes – he has a much better matchup against Detroit so I feel better running him this weekend, but don’t be shocked if he has another so-so game. Brandon Jackson did not participate in practice, recovering from a concussion he got Monday night.

Dallas Clark - Did not Participate – Clark’s knee is hurt though in what way is not toally clear. Keep an eye on this as a few more days of this and he won’t play. Indy looked off Sunday night (clearly) and so did Clark with only one catch.

Ben WatsonDid not Participate – Once a fantasy tight end destined to break out ‘any minute’ Watson has yet to be healthy since Camp started. Not a good option any time soon.

Mike Nugent - Did not Participate (OUT) – The Jets kicked hurt himself against the Dolphins and Jay Feely was just hired to replace him. Yipes! The Jets have been a little underwhelmed with Nugent the last season or so. If Feely does well, maybe Nugent finds himself unemployed.

Laveranues ColesLimited in Practice – Coles is still healing but may see more action this weekend against a Pats team which – true or not – seems ripe for the taking to much of the AFC. I want to see a full practice before I send you out with him as more than a #3 or 4.

Marques Colston - Did not Participate (OUT)- 4-6 weeks…… *sigh*

Deuce McAllisterFully Participated – Just a reminded McAllister is still around and as much as I love Pierre Thomas, McAllister has the vet status to have a chance to earn his job back. If he does, I don’t expect it to last the season, so hold Thomas.

Chris CooleyDid not Participate - Cooley’s quadricep suddenly acted up and given he has never missed a practice before, we let this one slide. He says he’ll play, so I do too. But let’s watch the report Friday, shall we?

Drew Bennet – Did not Participate – his foot is keeping him off the field which isn’t helping the Rams any.

Donnie Avery - Limited in Practice – Avery’s knee forced a limited practice for him. He should play Sunday but we’ll keep you posted. With that offense and a solid Giants D, you probably want to avoid him anyway.

Brodie CroyleDid not Participate (OUT) – Croyle will not be playing this weekend as you know, so Damon Huard will fill in for the forseeable future.

Vince Young - Did not Participate – Still trying to sort out what is going on with Young and find it odd he isn’t ruled ‘Out’ at this point.

Ben Roethlisberger - Did not Participate - Add a knee injury to the shoulder bump and as we said on The Blurb Fantasy Football Show last night, it starts to remind you how physical Big Ben plays and that does make him an injury risk.

Hines WardDid not Participate – Veteran priveledge, day off. A little tired maybe but since it was on there I just wanted you to know it was nothign really. He will play.

Donte StallworthDid not Participate – Stallworth is rarely fully healthy and not a good option if he is this sunday.

Philadelphia did not practice on Wednesday, but Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis would not have anyway.

Miles Austin - Limited in Practice – The Cowboys need him more for depth than anythign right now, but when he comes back it will provide a measure of security.

That’s all for now – News show in a couple of hours – see you then!

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Giants look solid on first drive – Skins do not http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/giants-look-solid-on-first-drive-skins-do-not/ http://thunderingblurb.com/2008/09/giants-look-solid-on-first-drive-skins-do-not/#comments Thu, 04 Sep 2008 23:23:00 +0000 admin http://thunderingblurb.com/?p=129 Eli looks like Late Season Eli, Plax is loving his new contract, Boss got an end zoen look and Jacobs was out on at least 1 3rd Down.

But a good drive by the Giants. I like what I just saw there – but it’s very early.

Redskins – well, they didn’t turn the ball over. That’s worth something. They better avoid those false starts or it’s going to kill them tonight.

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