Archive for category preseason games

Thursday in the books

Just wrapped up the Drive Block with Mr. Lammey and Mr. Bloom – check it out to the right shortly or as I always suggest, head to ITunes or and subscribe so you not only don’t miss a Drive Block, you don’t miss an ep of the good work Cec and Sig do every day on the main Audible show.

Since so many starters didn’t play, we’ll just do a quick hits thing and get you out of here and on with your morning/evening.

David Carr went 20-29 for 192 yards and 2 TDs. Probably the official #2 in NY, and a standout surprising game it was….. Dolphin Qb Chad Henne went 16-20 for 137 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, and definitely looks to be the future in Miami, though not one that will arrive this year barrign injury….. Jake Delhomme’s backup Matt Moore left the game with an injury to his legs, but reports are that his leg was XRay’d and showed no broken bones. More tests will be done, but the thought is that it is a deep bruise…. Rashard Mendenhall looked good overall in his game, going for 79 yards on 21 carries – but he once again coughed up the ball, something that will get him in the doghouse if he doesn’t cut it out…. I haven’t been Vikings QB JD Booty’s biggest fan but he won’t lose his job when Brooks Bollinger looks like he did tonight. booty is still developing – what is Bollinger’s excuse?…. Who is behind Crayton in Dallas? Well, not Sam Hurd, who left Thursday’s game with an ankle sprain….. Troy Williamson did what he had to do and had a great game (4 catches for 84 yds and a TD) but it’s unlikely he will be a huge factor in this team. Meanwhile David Garrard was quoted as saying that this year Matt Jones knows his playbook and he is looking to him to be a go-to guy in the offense…. Rumor is that while Adam Jones is free to play for the Cowboys, one slip and he gets a permanant ejection….. Jesse Chatman put up a combined 180 yards and a TD against the Eagles tonight and while it may have been against guys just trying to make an impression, he did exactly that himself. He’s the #3 there and I wouldn’t expect more from him, but could be a nice guy to watch in case of injury…..James Hardy had a nice night with a pair of catches for 30 yards. he can still have a shot to contribute if he can be more consistent in his routes…..

That’s it for tonight….. see you for a couple of thoughts tomorrow, including some College takes on tonight’s games – that Oregon/Stanford game was a heckuva matchup.

Sunday Night Thoughts

Am watching the Lions/Bengals game again as I type this – not the prettiest game ever, but some interesting performances.

Just traded Calvin Johnson for Marques Colston straight up in a Dynasty League late last week. Will I regret it? Probably not – Colston may produce more often and more consistently than Johnson the next few years. But boy Calvin J looks rock solid.

On to the pair of games:

Lions vs Bengals
As I was just saying, Calvin Johnson is looking sharp so far in the preseason. So far he’s caught 7 passes for 153 yards and a TD. Some have been saying he might see less action without madman Mike Martz, but the truth is, he’ll get plenty of targets and with his size, he should be pretty successful. Kevin Smith continues to look good as he moves into the starting gig, while Tatum Bell continues to to play like Tatum Bell usually does. Lackluster and ineffective.

On the other side of the field, Chad Johnson left the game early with a shoulder injury. Early reports have been everything from a dislocated shoulder to a mild sprain. The staff isn’t acting too concerned so you shouldn’t be. But it’s worth tracking. Meanwhile, one of the new receivers got his groove on and one got hurt. Jerome Simpson caught 5 passes for 114 yards while his fellow rookie Andre Caldwell ended up in a walking boot post-game. At first it appeared Simpson was lagging behind Caldwell but the gap has certainly been erased in the last few weeks. Neither will hold much redraft value, but how they end up will determine whether they are worth holding onto for Dynasty Leagues.

Overall I can’t say much for Cinci so far. Nothing seems to be working and while I think Detroit will be effective offensively and decent defensively, I don’t think they are this good. But the question becomes – are the Bengals going to be this bad?

Patriots vs Buccaneers
No Brady, no LaMont Jordan. We did find out Matt Cassel doesn’t stand up to close inspection as he put up OK stats but didn’t look very good doing it. Brady doesn’t often get hurt and the Pats will be happy for that if Cassel and rookie Kevin O’Connell don’t get it together. The defense looked a tad lackluster as well, getting run over by Tampa Bay’s running backs. The offense will be fine when Brady returns but it might not matter if the defense doesn’t step it up. New England is getting grabbed early as a team D. I might caution you against reaching for them.

Antonio Bryant sighting: Bryant looked good – he made a couple of nice catches and has been getting a lot of praise from Gruden. I’ve been fooled too many times to believe in him, but he may end up having some value if he can capture that #2 WR. But he’ll probably be long gone before I am willing to draft him. No one running back stood out, but Ernest Graham did grab a TD. While he faces a huge RBBC possibility I think Graham will be able to produce decent fantasy numbers and while he might not be a consistent starter for you, he will definitely be a good #2 or bye week Rb.

That’s all we have tonight (this morning). More later as we hear the outcomes of a few MRIs and injury reports.

Saturday NFL Games

Hey folks – another Saturday brings us that much closer to the launch of the 2008 season.

Here’s the high and low points from today’s games…..

Jets vs Redskins
So I was totally surprised that Brett Favre played today…. of not. Favre looked good enough in his limited action, hitting Cotchery for 2 passes and rookie Dustin Keller for a TD. Chris Baker took in a catch as well, so it’s still up in the air who will be the TE top dog there. Once Favre left, Kellen Clemens struggled, tripping over someone’s feet twice. He had 7 incompletes – 6 were dropped passes. Sometimes things just go badly. Brett Ratcliffe looked good again in limited action vs walk-ons and busboys. David Clowney left the game with an apparent shoulder injury – details to come.

Also leaving early was LaDell Betts who hurt his knee, though how serious is subkect to debate. We’ll have to see on that as well. Colt Brennan continued to look good in late snaps, and running back MArcus Mason is making a play for a roster spot as well, adding 75 yards to a three game total of 178.

Colts vs Falcons
Matt Ryan did what we expected him to tonight – he looked like a rookie, including throwing a pick that went for 6 the other way. Sadly for the Falcons, Ryan actually looked like the most advanced rookie as Chris Redman, DJ Shockley and Joey ‘The Pianist’ Harrington looked pretty morose as well. The one bright spot would be Michael Turner who rebounded fro ma decidely average game last week to put 114 yards in 4 carries on the struggling Colts run D. So far his per carry average is impressive (even the pedestrian 5-22 last week works out to 4 ypc) but the Colts aren’t dominating the run so the jury will still eb out. Turner has to produce though – that pass game is almost unbearable to watch, much less draft in fantasy.

The Colts QBs weren’t exactly Manninglike either – and boy are Colts fans worried. Not so much that Peyton won’t start week 1 – he should – but that he might EVER get hurt. Sorgi used to seem competant, but now just seems lost. Quinn Gray looked OK, throwing for 100 yards. Jared Lorenzon threw a pick. I shudder to think what would happen if Manning WAS down for more than preseason.

Vikings vs Ravens
Good news – Tarvaris Jackson looked good for a second straight game (7-11, 82, 1TD). Bad news – Jackson also went down with an injury to his right knee, hurt while scrambling before being tackled by Antwan Barnes. While he w asn’t a hot prospect on fantasy radars, his effectiveness was giving Bernard Berrian owners hope. Berrian did not make an appearance by the way, while Blurb stealth target Sidney Rice caught 3 passes for 31 yards.

QB Troy Smith didn’t lock the #1 job down, going 3-5 with a pick. Lucky for him, Kyle Boller looked…. well like Kyle Boller (8-12, 40, 1INT). Could Joe Flacco still win the start? It shouldn;t matter in your redraft leagues and Flacco has a ton of work to do to become an effective QB, so I kinda hope they let him marinate on the pine a year. Ray Rice, on the other hand, is making anyone who took Willis McGahee worry, as he continues to look very solid (8 for 77, 1 TD and 3 catches for 17 yards). McGahee is facing recovering from his knee ’scope and if Rice keep playing lights out, the Ravens may just let McGahee rest a while longer.

Dolphins vs Jaguars
Chad Pennington looked good in his debut in the sea-foam green, while rookie Chad Henne looked very good the rest of the game. McCown and Beck were MIA in Miami. Read into that as you will. But the real story here is Ricky Williams’ continued assault on Ronnie Brown’s carry total and Brown leaving the game with a hurt thumb. Now, apparently he could have continued to play if the game meant anything, but Sparano has been vocal in his Ricky love, so be aware – if you take Brown, do so at your own risk and nowhere near the second round, where his ADP had been last year. Williams could figure into the running game very heavily.

Oh and Tedd Ginn is starting to look good. I will always think it a bad choice, but Ginn is starting to develope into a nice target.

The Jags had no rhythm and looked out of synch the whole night. Garrard couldn’t string a good series together, the run game stalled and the recievers were unspectacular. It’s only preseason, but the Jags need to get some semblance of momentum going or they could start off on the wrong foot – something that could cost them in the tough AFC.

Texans vs Saints
Steve Slaton is continuing to look like a nice late pick in redrafts (and Dynasty leagues) as he once again looked very good (12-57, 1TD). It’s hard to say whether anyone will unseat incumbent Ahman Green but Green is old and tends to be hurt – and Chris Brown just tends to be hurt. So Slaton, Darius Walker and Chris Taylor are all guys to watch closely. Matt Schaub is looking solid and he, Andre Johnson and Owen Daniels should make beautiful music together all season long. Kevin Walter might sneak in there for some love too.

The biggest piece of news for the Saints would be the appearance (effective no less) of Deuce McAllister, who saw his first action of the preseason. 16 yards on 4 carries aren’t stud back numbers of course, but he picked up a trio of first downs and ran hard. Overall, the Saints offense looked as good as you’d hope, though the defense struggled a little at times. The secondary is better than last year (how could it not be?) but still needs work as the Texans QBs threw for nearly 300 yards and 2 TDs.

Cardinals vs Chiefs
Kurt Warner started but didn’t impress tonight, while Matt Leinart went 7-11 with a TD. Warner didn’t play badly – just not well enough to unseat Leinart. Stay tuned. The Cards D came to play – Chase Stuart mentioned them as a good Defense by Committee candidate in Thursday’s Drive Block and if tonight is any indication, he is once again right. Newly acquired Travis LaBoy with 6 tackles, 1 assist and a pair of sacks. This is a D on the rise and one worth considering in Fantasy. They might finally have stopped teasing Fantasy Owners and arrived.

While Larry Johnson looked solid with 14 carries for 61 yards, Brodie Croyle missed a few recievers and stalled without getting into the end zone while Tyler Thigpen had gaudier stats (16 for 27, 174 with 1 TD) but threw a late pick. The O-line also gave up 4 sacks, something they still need to improve upon if they are ever to get the team on track again.

Chargers vs Rams
Darren Sproles hurt his knee during a special teams play and could miss some time. The Chargers shouldn’t flinch though, as rookie Jacob Hester continued his outstanding play with 12 carries for 59 yards. Craig Davis played very well at reciever and – well everythign else. He caught 2 passes for 40 yards, ran for 10 and had a 36 yard punt return.

While the Rams running backs are contributing nicely in Steven Jackson’s absence, the offensive line is not. Marc Bulger is already taking hits and he’s very shaky right now. He threw two picks and only got 56 yards on 7 completions for the half. The Rams need better play from him, but they need to protect him as well. Back to Steven Jackson though – with Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard playing so well, I have to wonder how much longer Jackson will sit. He’s losing his leverage and every positive yard by Pittman and Leonard eats it away more.

Cowboys vs Broncos
The ‘boys aren’t looking like world beaters in preseason, but they don’t have to. They know what they have to do, know what their studs CANdo and are just curious how the new fellas will fit in. Felix Jones, for one, fits like a well worn pair of boots. 3 carries for 17 yards and a 27 yard catch isn’t a tone of work, but Jones continues to look good doing everything and anything they ask of him. Cecil Lammey doesn’t love him and watched him practice in the Cenver/Dallas intersquad days this week – in practice, he dances too much. But so far, it hasn’t hurt his game impact. We’ll have to see if the practice flaws catch up with Jones on the playing field.

As Lammey mentioned on both the Thundering Blurb podcast and The Drive Block, Adam Jones and Brandon Marshall jawed a ton in those same practices. Well, Marshall won this round to the tune of 6 catches for 59 yards and a TD. Jones looked good shagging punts though, and the Cowboys need him to contribute there as well. Broncs rookie Eddie Royal continues to look great and added 2 catches for 67 yards. With Marshall out, the Broncos shouldn’t miss a beat with this talented rookie in place and it’s concievable that once there, he won’t let go and could end up in the #2 spot, with Stokely remaining in the slot.

Bears vs Seahawks
Bears QB; the job nobody wants. They should advertise on, because the guys in place don;t seem to want to win the job. Kyle Orton looked like Kyle Orton (I ywan even typing his name) and Rex Grossman had one of his ‘down’ games – the Seahawls pressured him and he folded like a tent, including an INT that popped into the air as he was hit while throwing. The Hawks kept the heat up and Rex just looked lost. Luckily, the Bears D seems back on track, as that accounted for pretty much all the good play from Chicago in this game.

The Seahawks need Matt Hasselback to return soon, as Charlie Frye seemed to be auditioning for the Bears Qb role – 203 yards is nice. 3 INTs? Not so much. The biggest bright spot was RB Justin Forsett – a DraftguysTV alum, Forsett lit the Bears up for 136 yards (on 15 carries) and a TD. He’s got to fight to make the roster, though TJ Duckett is expensive for a guy who will likely end up a fullback. Neither guy is Fantasy worthy right now, though at least Forsett has upside that has yet to be tapped. A very late flier could be worth the time.

Packers vs 49rs
Don’t let JT O’Sullivan’s numbers fool you – his 8-17, 154 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT mask a QB who missed open receivers, made bad reads and generally looked as bad as Alex Smith’s statline looked. Here’s another QB fight where nobody seems to want to win. Luckily Frank Gore and Vernon Davis looked good despite the QBs and rookie Josh Morgan added to his impressive week 1 total with 114 yards and a TD on 5 catches. Here’s another guy who could be worth a very late add to yoru roster on draft day. But the QB situation might make me look elsewhere.

The Packers have to be a bit worried with Aaron Rodgers’ struggles. Rodgers was terribly inconsistant – on the other hand his line played awfully and he found himself with little time to throw, constantly scrambling and being sacked 4 times. Maybe Favre escaped more than was pushed out?

Thats all for tonight – will review tomorrow’s games (and Thursdays which I didn;t have time to today) tomorrow night and Monday.

And as sure as Mike Nugent bouncing a kick off an upright in a game winning situation, I’ll be back all next week.

Thoughts on the Saturday Games

Hey folks -a quick ‘Around the League’ on today’s games and one note from yesterday -

Charlie Batch broke his collarbone and will be gone for a couple of months – so today the Steelers signed both Byron Leftwich and Daunte Culpepper. Will Culpepper be able to live as second fiddle or is he in Tomlin’s office right now lobbying for first chair? Funny how both MIA QBs landed in the same gig – they can compare notes for sure….

On to the games!

Bills vs Redskins
Trent Edwards looked shaky tonight, but he’s in no danger of losing his job to JP Losman, but still looks to be a bye week filler at most…. James Hardy had a good news/bad news night – good news is he got a nice 16 yard TD, bad news is, he ran a horrid route, got nailed for a penalty and dropped a pass. Work in progress though he is, he’s a huge redzone target and if he can progress like I think he can, will put up some points this year…..This just in – Clinton Portis is still nails, but say goodbye until the opener – sounded in his in-game interview as if he is done with preseason….. LaDell Betts is also darn good, but won’t see the field this much in season, unless Portis gets hurt…. Colt Brennan – not as good as he looked in game 1, not as bad as he looked today (though really, not that bad today)….

Miami vs Tampa Bay
We know for sure Jeff Garcia is breathing better today without The Favre in town…. The Bucs offense ground out some drives and wore the D down – this grind it down style worked well but it WAS the Phins…. Mike Bennett looked good, but he won’t win the #1 and please see the previous sentance for perspective…. Ricky Williams looked very good and totalled 5 carries for 31 yards, while doing it with good burst and power…. Ronnie Brown is being slowly entered into game situations, so don’t read much into his 4 yards yet…. John Beck looked OK tonight which is as much as you will ever get from me in terms of a ringing endorsement. He is still odd man out in the QB sweepstakers, behind newly acquired Pennington, McCown and locker-room favorite Chad Henne…..

Atlanta vs Jacksonville
Matt Ryan looked pretty darn good in his preseason debut, going 9 of 15, for 113 yards and a touchdown. Chris Redman (3 of 6 for 13 yards and an int) was not so good…. Another few games like this and the Falcons will have all the excuse they need to put Ryan out there and make him the face NOW, so maybe he’s worth a very late flier in a draft…… Michael Turner was not so much the Burner tonight as he had 5 carries for 22 yards. The line didn’t do him any favors (my biggest concern with him this year) but he didn’t make anything happen either. Also, he’s not much of a pass catcher… Don’t overreact or anything, but this is worth monitoring….. Matt Jones had a good game and is really having a great camp, if just to spite me for saying he wouldn’t last the day after that cocaine charge… But don’t be fooled – he has done this before to some extent and honestly, this is still an offense that will spread the ball around a alot and Jones isn’t a guy who can fly down the field, and therefore not someone I think will give you many points. Watch him have a great season to anger me now…. Chauncey Washington had 12 carries for 33 yards and a TD, but he also fumbled…. Still, I believe he will end up the #3 there and overall I felt he looked good…. Greg Jones also looked his usual solid self, but I’m not sure he’s the guy I am waiting to break through, though he is a trendy pick in some leagues….. Falcons HC Mike Smith – a former defensive coordinator for Jacksonville – looked good in his own preseason debut against his old team….

Indianapolis vs Carolina
Pillsbury Throwboy Jared Lorenzon had a great game (12/23, 117 and 2TDs) while current #2 Qb Jim Sorgi looked shakey and off tonight….. Mike Hart looked good with 2 carries for 20 yards and 2 catches for 21, but he will have to work harder to crack the #2 spot behind Addai….. Oh yeah, Quinn Grey also had over 100 yards but got two INTs instead of TDs…… Dwayne Jarret suddenly remembered he was on the Carolina Panthers, posting 3 catches for 43 yards including some in traffic, which is impressive as the last time he was in traffic, he was securing a DUI, not a ball…. if Jarrett can pull it together like this consistently, he might still be a factor in the WR core, since DJ Hackett is still hurt and Steve Smith will serve a 2 game team suspension to kick the season off…. DeAngelo Williams had a great showing with 9 carries for 55 yards and 2 TDs, but he doesn’t have rookie Jonathan Stewart breathing down his neck yet…. Still, he had a nice showing and might hold onto significant carries as Stewart is still rehabbing his toe….

Denver vs Houston
As with every. single. preseason. The question is – who is the Denver Rb and who is the backup? Selvin Young struggled but will hold the job for the forseeable future, but Audible (and Blurb) fave Andre Hall was the guy who shone brightest tonight, carrying the ball 8 times for 43 yards, including some important 3rd downs….. Blurb Favorite Anthony Alridge had 20 yards on 4 carries and added 20 more on 3 catches… As I said on the Drive Block on Thursday, this is a battle worth watching as the value at Denver is often the guy BEHIND the #1…… Edge to Hall, but with Alridge’s speed, he’s an intriguing guy….. Eddie Royal had a few nice grabs (2-13) and looks like he is grabbing that #2 slot….. Brandon Marshall (2-9) and Darrell Jackson (1-14) weren’t shining much brighter…… Matt Schaub looked good in limited action and Sage Rosenfels looked great with the majority of the work going 10/15 for 137 yards and 1TD…… Steve Slaton looked the best out of a bunch of ‘meh’ running back performances…..

St. Louis vs Tennessee
With Steven Jackson still holding out, we got a look at both Antonio Pittman and Brian Leonard and while neither destroyed the Titans, we got a look at a straight split (Pittman got 6 carries to Leonard’s 5)though Pittman won the first round, going for 21 yards and a TD, as well as tacking on 2 catches for 16 yards…. Leonard got 12 yards, 11 of which came on 1 carry….. Marc Bulger threw a pick 6 (that would be an INT returned for a TD) and that’s not a great start is it?….. This just in: Chris Johnson is fast…. The real deal steal in Tennessee hada 66 yard TD, though his total overall was only 77 yards on 6 carries. He added 1 catch for 13 yards….. Who is Quintin Ganthers? Well, just a dude who went for 8 carries for 115 yards and 2 TDs, including a 45 yard TD run… Too long a name? Call him Chris Henry’s (9 carries for 38 yards) ticket off the squad, maybe…. LenDale White had 6 carries for 33 yards and looked good, but all his targets will belong to Johnson now, so his value takes a hit, though he will be reliable for carries on the ground…. The Rams run D, by the way, is horrif right now and so maybe Ganthers just looked good by comparison….

Dallas vs San Diego
So Phillip Rivers showed us he is pretty freaking healthy, looking good and throwing a TD in limited action….. No Tonlinson, but he back-up may have made an appearence. No not Darren Sproles, though he was good in his time (5 carries for 7 yards and a TD) but I am talking about rookie Jacob Hesterwho came to play and got 13 carries for 49 yards and 2 TDs…. The Chargers want to use him in a ton of ways like as a fullback, H-back and backup running back so I think he and Sproles will split back up duties and in the event of the unthinkable (LT injury) they will split that too…. Keep in mind also – Hester got 2 goal line carries and got 2 TDs…… Dallas is still looking for that #3 WR and Miles Austin stated his case tonight, compiling 5 catches for 64 yards… I still don’t have much faith in Crayton, so I am not sure he’ll produce good numbers in the 2 spot (if he keeps it all year) so I am all for taking a very late flier on Austin to see what happens…. Felix Jones did well in his debut tonight, carrying 6 times for 32 yards and catching 2 balls for 29 more and he is exactly what the Cowboys want in a compliment to Marion Barber. But the guy who really stepped up was Tashard Choice who logged 7 carries for 40 yards and 1 TD…. Choice will not be a huge factor barring an injury to Barber, and scored in the 3rd quarter during mop-up duty…. But Dynasty owners will want to watch him – he’s got enough talent in my opinion to where he could be a factor somewhere down the road…

That’s all for now – we have one more game – Cinci and Green Bay – on Monday night. Remember one thing – don’t read too much into any of these performances. Keep an even keel and don’t overreact – a good job isn’t always that impressive and a bad day isn’t always disasterous.

I’ll be here to help you sort one from the other…..