Archive for category New England Patriots

2010 NFL Rookie Analysis – Devin McCourty, CB, New England Patriots

Since I’m now located on the East Coast, I’ve been following East Coast teams much more closely than I have before.

Of course, you’d have had to be blind to miss Rutgers recent rise to prominence (hence the rumors they are the target of a pilfering attempt by the Big Ten) no matter where you lived. But there’s a lot more to the conference than I thought before I returned back to NY.

This year, 18 players from the Big East Conference were drafted and a slew of others were picked up as street free agents.

Over the next week we’re going to take a look at some of them, where they went and what their landing spot might mean for their success in the league.

Previous Article:

Anthony Davis, OT, San Francisco 49ers

In our second edition, we look at another former Scarlet Knight – cornerback Devin McCourty.

 

McCourty will help a secondary which allowed some huge games in 2009

Devin McCourty, CB, Rutgers – Drafted by the New England Patriots at 1-27
It seems like this selection confused people as many thought the more pressing defensive need was pass rush and either a defensive lineman or a linebacker. But the secondary is a problem as well and with teams like the Vikings and Packers coming to town this year and the Colts always a threat in the playoffs, the Patriots know they need to secure the secondary.

McCourty was a pretty good corner at Rutgers although he did allow a lot of passes. A tough, versatile player with return skills, McCourty fits the Belichick mold of solid, muti-functional athletes who can fill several roles. It looks as though he will start out as a nickel back and more than likely get some special teams work, probably on coverage as well as returning kicks but don’t be surprised if in a few years he’s moved to corner where his press skills will come to fruition. You could see him a lot this year in fact, as the Pats play nickel defense nearly half the time.

At 5′10″, 193lbs, McCourty isn’t the prototypical sized defensive back, but he’s incredibly tough and competitive and that may make up for some size issues. The physical nature of his game will also secure him a frequent spot on coverage units and you have to know Coach Belichick will try to recreate some of the seven blocked kicks McCourty produced for the Scarlet Knights.

The Patriots not only struggled against the likes of Drew Brees and Peyton Manning but were torched by Chad Henne (335 yards, 2 TDs), Kyle Orton (330 yards, 2 TDs) and Matt Schaub (303 yards, 2 TDs).

McCourty should be able to step in and help reverse course for New England, and very quickly at that.

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NFL Late Hits

I’ve been throwing out my thoughts on Monday mornings on Twitter and will probably continue to do so, but felt like a proper article makes a ton of sense.

With that in mind, welcome to NFL Late Hits, my new Monday article here at The Thundering Blurb. It won’t cover everything that happens in the NFL on a Sunday, just the stuff that for whatever reason sticks in my brain by day’s end.

Two huge plays yesterday have caused some chaos in the NFL media and Fantasy Football community – one was the 4-2 call to go for it by Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, the other, Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew taking a knee at the one to milk the clock in the Jets game.

Let’s start with the call by Belichick. I’ll admit, I didn’t see it when it happened.

I did discover a new food allergy so, you know, win!

Instead, I went over the hightlites and looked over the game info at NFL.com. I can’t say I thought it was the best call, but I’m not sure it’s the worst ever.

Say what you will, but Belichick goes on fourth pretty often and it works out for him more than most coaches. I may be remembering wrong, but on NFLN last night, I believe Mariucci said it worked somewhere in the neighborhood of 78% of the time for him.

It’s not a bad percentage – on the other end of the field.

Look, Belichick has forgotten more about football in the time it took me to type this sentence out than I know now. So I’m sure he had all the facts, figures and percentages in his head when he made the call.

I just don’t know why you risk giving Peyton Manning the ball on your side of the field.

A great coach rolls the dice. Sometimes you hit the point, sometimes you crap out. Like The Hoodie said in his press conference, people will question you anyway.

I think it was a bad call. I also think the media shouldn’t be pulling their hair out over it.

Especially since, had the Pats made it, we would have had another round of ‘This is the kind of GENIUS which has made him so successful’.

A little perspective please.

Speaking of perspective – ok, so if you lost your Fantasy Matchup because Maurice Jones-Drew took a knee on the one yard line, you might want to skip a few paragraphs to where I chat about Brian Westbrook.

This was the right call. Could Jaguars kicker Josh Scobee have biffed the extra point kick? Sure. It happens less than 2% of the time, but like the man said ’so you’re saying there’s a chance?’.

Listen, when people say Fantasy Football is ruining enjoyment of the game, it’s because of reactions like this.

Scobee – shaky though he has been – wasn’t missing that kick. A short, high, kick is very hard to block. I know it cheeses you off not to get the 6 points but the Jags needed to milk the clock.

Whether reports are true that Head Coach Jack Del Rio called for a knee prior to the play or not, it was the right decision.

Seemingly overlooked in the ‘DAMMIT MJD YOU COST ME MY GAME’ shouting was the fact that Jones-Drew picked up the first down. That game was done. They could burn the clock all the way to the wire (which they did) and kick a ‘gimme’ field goal (which they also did).

It’s a no brainer. Sure, like Belichick’s call above if something bizarre had happened and the Jets had gotten the ball back and won, it would look foolish.

But the best way to finish a game and win is to keep the ball out of the hands of the opposing offense’s hands. They did that. As much as I don’t love the thought of Mark Sanchez having to lead his team 80 yards to a win, all it would have taken was a missed tackle and the Jets could have walked away with a win.

Why take that chance? Keep the ball in your hands as long as you can. Milk the clock. Kick the field goal.

It’s maddeningly simple to me, as it was when Brian Westbrook did it previously.

Hell, MJD even apologized to you which he really didn’t need to. Of course he admitted he had himself and screwed himself too, but also pointed out that hey ‘you play to win the game’.

Side note: With players owning themselves and other players in leagues that often deal with pots of prize money, is the league going to come down on this as gambling?  I know the arguement has been Fantasy isn’t gambling, but you have to wonder if the NFL worries.

Things didn’t go all that well for the guy who last took a knee at the line either. Brian Wesbtrook suffered his second concussion in less than a month yesterday and you have to start thinking we’re seeing the end of him in the NFL.

Listen, I’m no doctor – in fact I didn’t even stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night – but twice in a month is bad. In fact, as far as I can tell, it’s awful.

The more often you get them, the more easy it is to get them. More than one player can testify to that and with the recent discussion in the media and NFL circles about head injuries and their long term effects I cannot imagine the Eagles rushing him back out there.

Especially not with LeSean McCoy there. I mean, isn’t this what you picked him for?

Maybe not, if you run a grand total of 13 times.  The Eagles only threw to the backs a total of five times as well.

Sure, they were down and yes they moved the ball through the air effectively in the fourth quarter. Still, there was never a threat that they were running the ball – I wonder if the success moving the chains via air freight than on the ground says more about deficiencies in the Chargers secondary than the Eagles pass attack

Either way, one hopes the Eagles – and Westbrook himself – are very cautious this time out.

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Shock And Awe: The Winners and Losers for Day 1 of the 2009 NFL Draft

It’s a little bit folly to try and really declare winners and losers for a draft that isn’t even finished, much less a day old. Players haven’t even stepped on a NFL field yet, and some may not pay off for several years to come, forget this season.

Still, by the end of Saturday, it’s a worthwhile endeavor to examine some teams who have ended up looking smart and others….

Well, not so much.

So with the realization in mind that we still don’t know everything – here are the teams who made our jaws drop, though not always for good reasons.

The Shock

Oakland Raiders
Maybe Al Davis and his Raiders will prove us all wrong, but right now their draft can be summed up in an exchange I saw between Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times (where the Raiders once resided) and Raiders beat writer Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee (which is close to Oakland i suppose).

Farmer: Why were the Raiders reaching like that in the second?

Jones: They reach because that’s what they do.

They weren’t going to go offensive tackle, despite the need, because that’s not really the Raiders way.

And I knew they weren’t going to grab Crabtree, whether or not he was the best wide receiver on the board at the time. Crabtree’s lack of timed 40 speed made it impossible because Davis is crazy for speed like the bird in that cereal commercial is coo-coo for cocoa puffs.

But I never thought he would bypass Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin, who had the speed and a more developed game. I’m a little nonplussed.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish Heyward-Bey a failed career and he will probably turn out ok. But picking him up at 7, when they could have traded back and picked him later?

That’s just not achieving maximum value.

Worse, the team manages to follow it up with an even bigger reach in choosing Ohio Safety Michael Mitchell, a guy most people didn’t even have ranked in their drafts much less the second round.

Mitchell also may develop into a solid player, but right now he looks like a workout warrior and a huge reach as the third safety off the board behind Patrick Chung of Oregon and Louis Delmas of Western Michigan.

It’s one thing to fall in love with a player. It’s another to waste a pick five rounds early.

The Raiders have five picks on Sunday, two in the fourth round. They can recover, given the tremendous value still on the board, but if they keep picking like this, they might as well throw darts at a list on the wall.

Dallas Cowboys
How can I say it’s a bad draft when they didn’t draft anyone?

Bad enough the Cowboys didn’t have a pick for the first round due to last year’s wheeling and dealing, but they then traded out of the second.

Meanwhile, value continued to tumble by them in the form of solid safeties, wide receivers and defensive ends.

Maybe it’s not bad in the sense the Raiders draft was on Saturday but it’s shocking to watch the usually wheeling Cowboys nuetered and missing out on the value on the board.

Cleveland Browns
The Browns made a big move back when the Jets traded for the fifth pick and Mark Sanchez (more on that in a minute) and were poised to grab some great value all day long.

Instead, they kept moving backwards accumulating more and more picks. And when they did spend them, it’s questionable whether they took the best value on the board.

I can’t argue with the selection of Alex Mack. The center from Cal is a versatile lineman who can work at almost any position along the line. And Brian Robiskie is a polished, fast receiver who runs a solid route tree and will contribute early, especially if Braylon Edwards is traded on day two.

But the Browns can’t rush the passer and need a linebacker or top flight defensive lineman.

I say need because while Mack is a great center, USC linebackers Clay Matthews and Rey Maualuga as well as Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitus were on the board still.

Maualuga was in fact still on the board when Robiskie was picked. While offensive line and wide receiver were needs, the pass rush was a bigger one and with several very good linebackers on the board, the Browns chose to fill less important needs.

They also bypassed shoring up their need at cornerback by letting Vontae Davis and Alphonso Smith sneak away as well.

And as much as I think Hawaii defensive end/linebacker convert David Veikune will be a good upside pick, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi was a luxury, especially behind the Robiskie pick.

Massaquoi may become a good possession receiver down the road, but they could have grabbed a corner, safety or even replace Winslow at tight end.

For a team with so many holes who is rebuilding, it seems like they filled few of them with four picks in the first two rounds.

The Browns have four more picks on Sunday – one in the fourth and three in the six. Lots of defensive talent remains on the board and I hope they can recover from a lackluster day one.

The Awe

New York Jets
Jet Nation is a tad split over the selection of USC quarterback Mark Sanchez, especially given the talent that slid out of the first round and through the second. But when you look at the price they paid, it’s more than reasonable for a possible franchise quarterback.

Defensive end Kenyon Coleman, quarterback Brett Ratliff and safety Abram Elam were players who in all likelihood would get cut before camp or in Ratliff’s case, clearly hadn’t impressed the new regime all that much.

Aside from that, adding the second rounder to a swap that spanned twelve spots between first rounders is a marginal price to pay.

The Jets have put themselves in a position where they cannot make many mistakes on day two though. They have four more picks on Sunday spread across four of the five rounds.

As I said with the Browns, there are many value picks to be had but the Jets have to be conservative to a great extent. They already rolled their dice once and that’s as much as they can risk.

Detroit Lions
I will openly admit – and it’s a shock to nobody who has read my work the last few months – that I do not agree with the Stafford pick. It’s not an awful pick – just not one I believe had to happen this year.

Yet, Stafford could develop into a nice franchise quarterback and he is far from awful. While I may not agree with the strategy to rebuild the franchise, it’s a solid pick.

On the surface, Brandon Pettigrew at 20 made me wince as well. But, like Stafford, Pettigrew is considered the top at his position and on top of it, he’s a tremendous blocker.

He’s no offensive tackle but he will be able to stay in and protect Stafford. A pick that is more shrewd than i gave it credit for at first. As Stafford and the oline get better, Pettigrew can release and become more of a pass catching tight end.

Finally, hard hitting cornerback Louis Delmas. Again, top at his position. And Delmas is the type of hard nosed player who could help give this defense a personality – something it greatly lacks.

The Lions are looking to become more physical on the defensive side of the ball and Delmas will bring that in spades. They also need some help in the secondary and this fills that hole.

Three picks. Three players arguably at the top of their class. They may not have filled all their needs but the ones they did fill were given top talent.

With five picks on day two, including the first in round three and another later the same round, the Lions stand to pick up some very good value. They could easily pull someone like Jarron Gilbert or Michael Johnson to help fill the defensive line hole, pick up the top guard on the board in Duke Robinson or even a decent tackle like South Carolina’s Jamon Meredith.

New England Patriots
The rich get richer. And richer. And richer.

How the organization ended up with the same amount of picks they started with, but also an embarrassment of riches in players is beyond me, but that’s how they end up being the great team they are every year.

Four picks in the second and every one a value.

Patrick Chung, second best safety in the class brings some thump to the secondary and will make receivers pay dearly.

Defensive tackle Ron Brace got overlooked a bit with BJ raji getting the love at Boston College, but will stuff the run as good as anyone in the draft class and is likely to take over for Vince Wilfork at the nose tackle.

Darius Butler, one of the top corners in the draft, probably won’t start this coming season but will take over in the aging secondary within the next year or two.

And while Sebastian Vollmer is a project for the offensive line, he will develop into a nice right tackle and used to play tight end, so he has the versatility to move around for trick plays if need be.

And, oh by the way – they have seven more picks. By the end of the draft they may have multiple picks for next years draft as well.

Before I let you go, dear reader, here are a few teams I am on the fence about. Tomorrow could be pivotal for them.

San Francisco 49ers: One pick, but what value. But you better build on Crabtree use your remaining six picks wisely.

Houston Texans: Methodically took care of two key needs with picks of USC LB Clay Matthews and DE Connor Barwin. Six more picks to shore up the corners and get a back to compliment Steve Slaton.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Almost made the Awe list, but as much as I loved watching them grab two very good offensive tackles in Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton, passing on Crabtree and Maclin and then a host of good defensive line prospects makes me wonder if last season’s Oline injury woes didn’t get in their head too much.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you really need to leap up and pay the price you did to move a few spots? Especially since nobody in front of you was likely to grab your choice of Josh Freeman? Six picks on day two and like the Jets you’d beter make them count. Unlike the Jets though, your new franchise quarterback is a far bigger project and has more question marks.

Pioli named GM for the Chiefs

Quick update – first off I know it’s been slow even with the college prospects declaring left and right (Crabtree of Texas Tech is going, Taylor Mays is staying at USC) but as I have mentioned before, my family is undertaking a large move – the month of January is pretty crazy. So we’ve been behind on the news.

And honestly with the exception of Mays and Tebow staying, none of this makes a huge difference. What will matter is the workouts between now and the draft – and we’ll cover that plenty here and on Draftguys and NFLDraftbible. So bear with me please.

Second, Scott Pioli has left the GM post of the Pats for one in Kansas City. It’s a crazy job he’s undertaken and there is a ton of work to do. Plus, we’ll find out how much he did vs Belichick when it comes to drafting and other stuff. Herm Edwards may be on the clock – we’ll see whether he is going to be escorted out of the building soon. With a change at the GM spot and perhaps one at the coach position, one wonders what else will happen.

Will Gonzo and LJ get their wish to be traded or will they get sold on the new regime? Will the defense switch to the 3-4 when everyone they drafted of late is for the 4-3. What abotu Thigpen?

Should be interesting and we’ll talk abotu that and much more tomorrow night at the all new time of 7:00 PM PST/10pm EST on Blogtalkradio.com’s fabulous Fantasy Sports Channel.

NFLN says Matt Cassel will Start

NFLN’s Adam Shefter is saying that Pats QB Matt Cassel is planning on playing today, after there was some question due to the death of his father.

It’s always hard to gauge how something like this will affect someone – Cassel hasn’t been practicing and the Oakland secondary can be good, though they played badly last week. Word is Asomougha will NOT shadow Randy Moss and CB CHris Johnson has been streaky. I have Cassel ranked pretty high – but always consider that we don’t know how he will react after his father’s death.

Some friday Notes – Parker and Bush

Reggie Bush was limited in practice today, however the New Orleans Times-Picayune expects him to playand if that’s the case, they’ll probably give him a decent load. While I hesitate to jump on the 20-25 carry bandwagon right off the back, they will probably use him both in the pass game and the ground game.

I think he will be a decent start and I think Pierre Thomas gets most of the secondary carries. McAllister? I don’t know but I don’t feel he is a very safe play this weekend.

I didn’t have Bush on my RB rankings – I would slot him around 20 (give or take) as I am unsure what kind of touches he will get and Payton has eased his star players into the gameplan more than once. This is a game the Saints have to win though and I expect him to be a factor somehow.

Willie Parker practiced for the second straight day without any limitations, though he is still listed as Questionable for Sunday. Assuming he steps in no gopher holes, he should go against the Pats this Sunday. My biggest concern is he might tweak that knee again like he did. Add to that the fact that while the Patsies can be run on, they rarely cough up a TD (4 to Ronnie Brown way back in Week 3) and they just held the Dolphins to less than 60 yards running last week. Parker will probably better that yards total, but a TD may be hard to come by. And that’s assuming he’s healthy all game.

SAMMY MORRIS ACTIVE

I don’t know how much he will play but it certainly adds another level of difficulty for Law Firm tonight. Benjarvus Green-Ellis may have less carries against a very tough run D.

New York Jets at New England Patriots Fantasy Breakdown – Patriots

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.

New York Jets at New England Patriots Fantasy Breakdown – Jets

Breakdown

The Jets offense Faces a Tough Challenge–
The challenge is as much mental as it is physical – maybe moreso. The Pats tend to have the Jets’ number and will be at home, always a major advantage for them. The Pats’ pass defense will be sorely tested by Favre & co – which is good and bad for both sides. The Pats have given up the 6th most TDs in the league through the air at 14, but they have the 22nd most sacks with just 16. They also have the 8th most INTs with 10 and that is Favre’s Achilles heel if anything this year. Teams average about 200 yds through the air against New England’s D, which is better than average against the pass. They can be stout against the run also – averaging 100yds and a mere 4 TDs on the ground. Keep in mind that all those TDs came in one game against Ronnie Brown. They did just lose Adalius Thomas though, which will negatively affect the Pats’ pass rush as he had the most sacks on the team at 5. This is a defense that lacks playmakers but will always get more out of the sum than its parts.

Keep in mind that this game may be played in the rain although the severity of the rain (if it arrives at all) is in question. It could come down to the line and the rushing attack regardless of weather. If it rains, you might bump all the pass numbers down a tick, save maybe Keller for the short yardage work and maybe Washington for the same reason.

Favre – He could go big or have a rough night – figure he hits the average for QBs against the Pats – 200+ but not by much – and maybe a couple TDs at most. He needs to protect the ball and make smart decisions, not turn the ball over which he has done all too frequently. If he cannot protect the ball, game over. I am cautious about starting him as I think the matchup is completely hit or moss. A Patriots pass rush minus Adalius Thomas could give Favre more time and the oline is playing much better than it did early in the season but Favre presses sometimes and if the Jets trail, he may try to make too much happen. I would be happier if my matchups elsewhere were good and pass this week.

Cotchery/Coles – I have been splitting the difference with these guys as that’s what Favre is doing. They can both hover around 50 yds, each have a shot at a TD and then again, they may not. In a blowout last week, neither was looked at much – 1 catch, 3 targets for Coles, 1 catch on 1 target for Cotchery. In a ppr I lean towards Cotch as he gets more looks (7,13,8,1 targets over the last four games) vs Coles (5,11,5,2). Coles has more TDs and gets more looks overall in the redzone (14 targets to Cotchery’s 10) but neither has a ton of TDs. I expected more and have been disappointed with the production to daye, even knowing Favre wouldn’t hit stride right away. I think that one of the two will have a good game – but it’s hard to say who. Both are WR2/3 – Cotchery in a PPR is def a 2.

Keller – I bring the rookie TE up because I looked at the stats today in response to an email about him. Keller is starting to gather momentum. He has 4 red zone targets in the last 2 games and is 4th behind Coles, Cotchery and Washington for targets this season – 3rd the last 3 weeks. He’s heating up and may get some work short here.

Thomas Jones – Jones will likely be a workhorse here but no more than RB2 for you. They will need to control the clock and control the ball 0- I figure 20 or so carries – but likely no 100yds and probably no TD. RB2/flex

Washington – flex guy – may get used in the flat and on screens to keep the defenses honest but very risky to start this early in the week.

Overall, I am cautious about who I start here. As I always say, Thursday is no day for risks. Most of the Jets are risks. Even if they win (and I do believe they have an excellent chance to make that happen) the score could be low.

Back in a few with the Patriots break down.

Extra News and Notes

Hey guys – a few notes I didn’t get to during the Thundering Blurb News Stampede but wanted to touch on here:

Bye Weeks: Cleveland Browns, NY Jets, Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams

Cleveland Browns
Romeo Crennel has said he nearly yanked Derek Anderson during the third quarter against the Bengals. Anderson probably bought himself a little more time – at least until after the bye – but just know that if you have Anderson as your guy, the clock is not just ticking. Sounds like it’s about to strike midnight for DA.

New England Patriots
The Boston Globe is reporting that Kevin O’Connell could get some playing time in Week 5 – or beyond. It’s not like Cassell is playing all that well, so it’s not a shock. I doubt many people are using Cassell as anything more than an emergency QB, but something to keep an eye on especially as it affects the rest of the the fantasy players on the team. Cassell does seem to be clicking more with Moss and Welker. More of a change now could throw that off.

Cincinnati Bengals
There is some speculation coming from the Cincinnati Enquirer that Carson Palmer’s elbow injury could be worse than the fatigue or mild inflammation we have thought it is. There are completely uncomfirmed reports via ProFootballTalk that it’s potentially surgery-requiring but until I hear that from someone else, all I will say is that this is something to watch out for. Without Palmer there, the fantasy value of this team dips even lower.

That’s all for now – catch you later with more news and injury updates!