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NFL Freestyle 9-16

Baltimore has proven to be a consistent competitor in the NFL and able to overcome injuries because of Ozzie Newsome and Steve Biscotti’s reliance on taking the best player available on draft day. Along with the totality of the Calvin Pace and Kris Jenkins injuries, the Ravens had to be affected Monday by not having their first top WR acquisition, Donte Stallworth, their best player on defense Ed Reed and either of their top two draft picks from this past draft, Sergio Kindle and Terrance Cody.

What I don’t understand about the Vincent Jackson trade rumors is that the Chargers appear to mainly be asking for draft picks. They have publicly stated that they are willing to let him sit out the whole year. The Vikings are in “Win Now” mode. Why don’t they ask for Jasper Brinkley? Their run defense got gashed again on Monday night. Why not ask for Erin Henderson and a player? Their special teams gave up record returns. The Redskins are interested now. I think that he could be what they need to send them to the top of the NFC East.

Buffalo isn’t in a position to turn down anything other than another tailback or a CB for Marshawn Lynch. They have holes. The Bills were totally woeful on Sunday. They got four of their nine first downs on one drive, where they went no huddle. They only got one first down in the third quarter. Their defense didn’t force any turnovers. The cupboard is bare.

Here are my thoughts on the concussion and collective bargaining agreement stories: these are great topics for the next offseason. Personally, I hope they hold out each player who has a concussion, even a “mild” one like Demarcus Ware, out for one game. Absent in most discussions on ESPN and other places about the quarterbacks missing time and Stewart Bradley going back in for Philly is the fact that the Bears put LB Hunter Hillenmyer on IR for concussion-related illness.

Many people are adding Michael Vick for their fantasy teams this week. It’s important to mention that Seneca Wallace has 26 career touchdowns and just 14 starts and 14 interceptions. He might be a good emergency choice.

The one thing I feel about all this craziness with the supposed fight between Schottenheimer and Rex Ryan, the Jets having to do push-ups if a teammate fails, the offense having to repeat plays in preparation until they get it right, Mark Sanchez checking down, the reporter feeling uncomfortable and all that is: it’s only week 1. At least the director of pro personnel didn’t say he was disappointed in Sanchez like Parcells said about Henne. The Jets still have the Bears, Lions and two games against the Bills on the schedule.

MVP Watch

Here I’ll look at the pre-season favorites for MVP and how they do each week. If one of them falls out due to a few consecutive bad performances, I’ll put in someone who’s doing well, like an Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles or Jay Cutler if they continue. Cutler’s teams are now 16-0 when his QB rating is 100+.

1. Tom Brady: 25/35, 258 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 129.0 rating vs. CIN
That was no slouch of a Cincinnati defense but it was just week 1. His QB rating was better than all but two of his 17 games last year. His real test may be this week against a Jets team that gave him his season low rating of 53.1 in their first meeting last season. I had him as my preseason favorite over Rodgers because I expected him to not let up in blowout wins whereas I expected McCarthy would be more “sportsmanlike”. However, …
2. Aaron Rodgers: 19/31, 188 yards, 2TD, 2 INT, 73.1 rating @PHI
…we don’t know if the Ryan Grant injury will end up hurting the Packers’ offense or whether it will end up hurting or helping Rodgers’ numbers. Rodgers admitted he played “terrible” but I think it was more that he was off rather than he couldn’t handle the Philly defense.
3. Peyton Manning: 40/57, 433 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT, 109.8 rating @ HOU
You certainly can’t argue against him repeating at this point. And if the Indianapolis defense can’t stop anyone, there are few offenses that can score as much as Indianapolis when their opponent knows they are passing. No one threw for more completions, attempts, yards or touchdowns this week than Manning. You have to go back to game 7 of the 2004 season to see that many yards from Manning and it was a career high for completions. The Giants defense looks to have improved so he should get a good test.
4. Chris Johnson: 27 car, 142, yards, 2 TDs; 4 catches, 8 yards vs. OAK
He is picking right up where he left off, though was out-gained by Darren McFadden on the same field.
5. Ray Rice: 21 car, 43 yards; 2 catches, 19 yards @NYJ
Rough start. Both his running yards and receiving yards were less than half his averages for each last season. The good news is that he won’t play a tougher defense all year.
6. Matt Schaub: 9/17, 101 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 67.5 rating vs. IND
Sunday, the best thing he could do to his team is hand the ball off to Arian Foster. I doubt that trend will continue.

Random thought:
Did Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison cost their teams at any point by running out of bounds?

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