Week Two was the Week of the Lunkhead in the NFL. Between Rams RB Steven Jackson spiking the ball in disgust after not being awarded a goal line touchdown that truly wasnâ€™t, to Redskins WR Josh Morganâ€™s bone-headed move that cost Washington a late shot at a tie and possible victory against the aforementioned Rams, to QB Robert Griffin IIIâ€™s accusation that there was some unprofessional playÂ from the Rams in the contest. Wow, is he in for a rude awakening as the season rolls along. Zip it, rook.
The cherry on top had to be New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlinâ€™s ridiculous tirade over the fact the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defenders decided to PLAY HARD until the game clock read 00:00.
Jackson should have put his head down and walked back even more determined into the huddle. Morgan should have looked at CB Cortland Finnegan, laughed, and then laughed again after K Billy Cundiff split the uprights. Coughlin? Donâ€™t even get me started. Actually, Iâ€™ll let former player, head coach and current ESPN analyst Herman Edwards say it for me:
Cause you see, Edwards was part of arguably one of the greatest plays in Philadelphia Eagles history. In 1978, the Eagles continued to PLAY HARD and got the leading Giants flustered, so much so that they were in a state of confusion that ultimately led to the infamous fumble. The wayward ball was scooped up by Edwards and returned 26 yards for the winning touchdown. But my apologies Tom, this too occurred during the Giants â€œvictory formationâ€. Give me a break.
When it come down to it these players, especially the rookies need to put their heads down and play. Stop the celebrating and chest-thumping after routine tackles, two-yard receptions or gains. Remember guys, that is YOUR JOB. You are only as good as your last play. Coughlin, the so-called stern task-master should be preaching “It’s Aint Over Til It’s Over”.
Thumbs up, Coach Schiano!
That said, letâ€™s look at some guys who have jobs to do this weekend, yet…
QB Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos â€“ While his week one performance was decent and awe-inspiring due to his return from neck issues that cost him the entire 2011 season, week two was a bit of a disappointment. Manning looked rattled early and I noticed that accuracy and overall arm strength seemed to be an issue. Depending on your quarterback situation, you might want to go with a contingency plan at the position if you are able. Something doesnâ€™t seem right.
QB Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders – Sure heâ€™s throwing for a ton of yards, but the icing on the cake, i.e. the touchdown passes just arenâ€™t there and thatâ€™s a problem. Â The Steelers arenâ€™t exactly soft in regards to defending the pass, and when you couple in Palmerâ€™s propensity for mistakes, things could get ugly.
RB Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints â€“ Listing Thomas here is not as much of a knock on him as much as it is that the Saints have SO many options on the offensive side of the ball. If there was even the mildest chance of consistency, think of the possibilities. There isnâ€™t really, so if you are looking for a Week 2 repeat, youâ€™ll likely end up disappointed.
RB Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs â€“ On paper this is a great matchup for Charles. However with news that his surgically-repaired knee is already banged up, red flags are flying up all over the place. Playing indoors on that Superdome turf certainly won’t help. Donâ€™t be surprised if Charles ends up limited in this contest against the Saints when all is said and done.
RB Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens – Â Yes I know. It Â really doesnâ€™t matter anyway, it is not as though you are going to bench him. I did think it was worth mentioning that the Patriots have only given up an average of 63 yards per game thus far and New England has done a great job of neutralizing the opposing teamâ€™s stars.
RB LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles Â â€“ Here is another one that doesnâ€™t really matter as much as I just felt here are some things youâ€™ll want to bear in mind. Firstly, the Cardinals defense is nothing to shake a stick at. Youâ€™ll also want to keep in mind that the Eagles are in the midst of quite a juggling act on the offensive line with center Jason Kelce out for the season, and injuries including offensive tackle King Dunlap, who incidentally is replacing standout tackle Jason Peters who ruptured his Achilles tendon in March. What does this all mean? It means McCoy is going to have to do some yeoman’s work to find those holes until he builds some cohesiveness with the new bodies trying to pave the way in front of him.
RB Cedric Benson, Green Bay Packers – This is one matchup youâ€™d be best served by steering clear of entirely. Aside from the fact that the Packers are a pass-first team, the Seahawks are averaging less than 50 yards per game allowed so far in 2012. You might as well go ahead and start the guy from the 80â€™s sit-com Benson instead.
Shonn Greene, New York Jets â€“ This is a huge game for the Jets, but if they are to going to leave South Beach with a victory Sunday, it wonâ€™t be because of a solid game on the ground. Greene brings a ho-hum carry per game average into this matchup at just over three yards and hasnâ€™t sniffed pay dirt against the Dolphins since the Reagan administration.
WR Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers â€“Coming off a really lousy showing against the Seahawks in week two, expect Dallas to be ready to right the ship against the Bucs in Week three. Defending the pass wasnâ€™t the issue in Seattle, as evidence by the 151 total passing yards allowed. Look for Jackson to be held to moderate fantasy totals on the road in Cowboys Stadium. Conversely, look for teammate WR Mike Williams to emerge with the better overall effort.
WR Nate Washington, Tennessee Titans â€“ Until any of the Tennessee Titans skill players get it going offensively, I would lean to keeping as many of them on the fantasy bench as possible. I would have had RB Chris Johnson on the list, but since this Sunday is his birthday, I am being nice. The Lions are allowing well under 200 yards passing per game, so Washington could have his work cut out for him.
WR Brian Hartline, Miami Dolphins â€“ While it is hard to ignore Hartlineâ€™s contributions last week with nine receptions for 111 yards. That said, all signs are pointing to the return of Jets CB Darrelle Revis and that doesnâ€™t bode well for Hartline, Â who will likely draw the shutdown corner. That said, if you are mortgaging your fantasy future on Brian Hartline, we need to talk.
TE Fred Davis, Washington Redskins – He’s here again? Yes. Right now, he unfortunately is a forgotten man in this offense just like WR Santana Moss. Until he starts feeling the * thud * of the pigskin against his chest on a regular basis, Iâ€™d move along to greener pastures.
TE Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos â€“ There is no doubt that Tamme has an outstanding rapport with QB Peyton Manning. But if there is a mental, mechanical or physical issue that is hampering Manning, it will no doubt affect Tamme. Play the wait and see scenario if you can.
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