Monthly Archives: October 2011

Rise/Sink/Float Week 8

Each week, we look through the Sunday NFL results to find one team that’s rising, one team that’s sinking, and one team that stays at the same level. You’ll see these changes reflected in our weekly Football Relativity comparison of all 32 teams.

RB Steven Jackson and the Rams ran all over the Saints, via stlouisrams.com

Rise – Cincinnati Bengals – The Bengals took care of business in Seattle, taking an early lead and then getting two return touchdowns to run away with a 34-12 win. That’s an impressive victory, given the travel, Seattle’s rabid home crowd, and the Bengals’ reputation. At 5-2, the Bengals are a legitimate playoff contender, and if they can steal a game from the Ravens or Steelers, they’ll suddenly be in the thick of the AFC North race.

Sink – New Orleans Saints – After a dominating 62-7 home victory over the Colts in Week 7, the Saints fell behind the Rams in St. Louis and couldn’t mount a comeback. The 31-21 loss exposes the biggest problems with the Saints – the defense. Coordinator Gregg Williams’ attacking style is great when you’re playing with a lead, but it leaves you vulnerable in a way that doesn’t work as well when you’re trying to climb out of a hole. That’s the reason we didn’t bank on the Saints as a legitimate Super Bowl contender before the season; it’ll be interesting if this problem turns its ugly head again.

Float – Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens trailed the Cardinals at home 24-3 late in the first half, but rallied to take a 30-27 win. That wasn’t a great performance, especially the week after a stinker in Jacksonville. But it keeps the Ravens in position leading up to a key Week 9 game in Pittsburgh. If the Ravens can win this week and sweep the Steelers, they’ll be in pole position for not only the division title but a bye.

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Peterson leads Vikings to win over Panthers

For National Football Authority, we break down the Minnesota Vikings’ 24-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers. We analyze RB Adrian Peterson’s bad-turned-good day, compare the play of rookie quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Cam Newton, and more. Click here to read all about it.

QB Christian Ponder and the Vikings beat the Panthers, via vikings.com

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Week 8 Transactions

Each week, we note and comment on the NFL’s biggest transactions. Here are the transactions between the end of Week 7 and the beginning of Week 8. We’ll begin by focusing on four fascinating cuts.

Leigh Bodden, a player on the New England Patr...

Ex-Patriots CB Leigh Bodden. Image via Wikipedia

– Bodden, once a major free-agent signing, had fallen out of the lineup in New England, and he reportedly lost interest. So he was cut, even though the Patriots were also losing Dowling to injury. Bodden cleared waivers. Faulk moved right back into the lineup after missing the early part of the season.

Vikings (cut WR Bernard Berrian) – Berrian, once a high-dollar free-agent signing, had little production and a questionable attitude in Minnesota. The Vikings, who hit on something with Michael Jenkins and even Devin Aromashodu, had enough depth to just move on.

Bears (cut S Chris Harris) – Harris, who entered the year as a starter at safety for the Bears, got benched, then got pressed into emergency starting duty, and then got cut. He landed on his feet after the Lions claimed him on waivers – just before a Bears/Lions game in Week 10. Harris adds depth to a Lions secondary that isn’t up to the level of the rest of the team.

Cowboys (cut RB Tashard Choice, activate LB Bruce Carter from physically unable to perform list) – Choice, who had some nice moments in Dallas, got hurt, and the Cowboys waived him injured to move on to rookie DeMarco Murray. Choice was claimed on waivers by the NFC East rival Redskins.

Redskins (put RB Tim Hightower and TE Chris Cooley on injured reserve) – Hightower, the Redskins’ leading rusher thus far this season, was hurt against the Carolina Panthers. Cooley battled knee and hand injuries that ultimately ended his season. These injuries further depleted a Redskins offense that is struggling mightily.

Bills (put OLB Shawne Merriman on injured reserve) – A lot has gone right in Buffalo this year, but not the Merriman experiement. His knee hasn’t been right since he was in San Diego.

Buccaneers (put RB Earnest Graham on injured reserve) – Graham, who was filling in for LeGarrette Blount at running back and was also an effective fullback/pass-catching back, tore his Achilles against the Bears. It’s a big loss for a thin Bucs backfield.

Chargers (put OLB Larry English on injured reserve) – English, a former first-round pick, will miss the second half of the season with a foot injury.

Falcons (put FB Ovie Mughelli and OG Mike Johnson on injured reserve, add FB Mike Cox and OT Kirk Chambers) – Mughelli, one of the few fullbacks with a significant role in the NFL, suffered a knee injury that will cost him the season. Cox comes on board as a fill-in. Chambers adds depth for a banged-up offensive line.

Colts (put QB Kerry Collins on injured reserve) – Collins, who suffered a concussion during his effort to fill in for Peyton Manning, won’t be able to come back. This could be the end of a pretty good career.

Dolphins (put QB Sage Rosenfels on non-football injury list, add QB J.P. Losman) – Rosenfels, who is battling a nasty strep infection that won’t go away, had to give up on the season. Losman becomes the Dolphins’ latest emergency backup quarterback.

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Interview with Bills CB Terrence Wheatley

National Football Authority gave us the opportunity to interview Bills CB Terrence Wheatley. We asked him about what has made the Bills successful thus far, what it’s like to join a team as the season begins, and what Bills fans are like. Plus, Wheatley tells us about his Halloween fundraiser to support the Make-a-Wish foundation. Click here to read all about it.

CB Terrence Wheatley, via bostonherald.com

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Pick ’em Week 8

We continue to make progress in college picks and lose it in NFL picks. Hopefully we can make up some ground pro-wise with this week’s picks.

The Chiefs and Chargers face off in an AFC West battle, via chargers.com

NCAA picks
Michigan State +4 at Nebraska
Georgia -3 vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Baylor +14.5 at Oklahoma State
Kansas State +14 vs. Oklahoma
Stanford -8 at USC
Clemson -4.5 at Georgia Tech

NFL picks
Carolina -3.5 vs. Minnesota
Buffalo -6 vs. Washington (Toronto)
New England -3 at Pittsburgh
Dallas +3.5 at Philadelphia
Kansas City +3.5 vs. San Diego

Last week: 3-2 college, 1-4 pro, 4-6 overall
Season: 26-16-2 college, 16-23-3 pro, 42-39-5 overall

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Preja vu: Ponder leads Vikings to face Newton, Panthers

For National Football Authority, we preview the battle between rookie quarterbacks Christian Ponder and Cam Newton as the Vikings visit the Panthers. We also talk about how RB Adrian Peterson needs carries, how a defensive end other that Jared Allen could impact the game for the Vikings, and how the Panthers may use CB Chris Gamble. Click here to read all about it.

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, via nationalfootballpost.com

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Suicide Pool Suggestions Week 8

We’re on a major roll with our suicide pool picks. Last week featured three wins plus not one but two traps avoided. Let’s keep it going this week. Find out what your best option is among the Bills (against the Redskins), the Titans (against the Colts), the Texans (against the Jaguars), the Ravens (against the Cardinals), or the Giants (against the Dolphins) — and which of those games are traps to avoid. Click here to read all about it.

RB Chris Johnson and the Titans take on the Colts, via courierpress.com

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