2009 NFL Football Season: Week 6

October 25, 2009

This is coming really late this week because I was on vacation in Miami and Key West without a computer, but I am posting it anyway.


GAMES I WATCHED

New England Patriots over Tennessee Titans, 59-0

“This probably doesn’t mean anything in the long run but I will take the easy win.” – fellow Patriots fan.

Before getting too excited about the great performance the Patriots put on against Tennessee let me say that Tennessee was so bad that it was not really a true test for the Patriots. Brady looked like the Brady of old and maybe this is the kind of game he needed to get his football legs under him. But Tennessee just simply seemed to fold. This was a great win for the Patriots and with the Jets losing puts New England on top in the tough AFC East. I hope we can keep it going.

What has happened to the Tennessee Titans is really beyond me. Even with injuries and weak defensive backs, especially with Courtland Finnegan out, the team on the field just simply seemed to quit, again. I thought they quit against the Colts last week, and I definitely think they quit this week. I thought Tennessee played an excellent game against Pittsburgh in the opening game of the season but lost in overtime. Since then they have regressed to an absolute mess. And it’s not Kerry Collins’ fault. He played reasonably well in the first half. His woeful statistics were a result of numerous dropped balls by his receivers. On the defensive side they simply didn’t compete. I am shocked by how far this team has fallen. A few losses at the start of the season and the team has simply folded. What is really shocking is that it is a Jeff Fisher coached team.

MVP: Tom Brady, QB

Minnesota Vikings over Baltimore Ravens, 33-31

This turned out to be a wildly entertaining game between two excellent teams. Baltimore got behind early but came storming back in the second half to almost win the game, but for a missed 44-yard field goal at the end of the game.

Minnesota played excellent on both sides of the ball for most of the game, especially Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and Sydney Rice. Defensive end Jared Allen harassed Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco all day, but Joe stayed cooled and brought his team back in the second half.

The telling part of this game was the Minnesota defense collapsed a bit in the second half giving up big plays and scoring drives letting the Ravens back in the game. I don’t know if they got tired or the Ravens’ offense just started clicking, but it never should have been this close, as Baltimore was down 30-17 in the third quarter.

The Ravens have lost some real heartbreakers the last three weeks but they are an excellent team that should be around for the postseason. They competed hard throughout the game and came within a makeable field goal of pulling off the upset. Kudos to Flacco for being cool in the pocket and the entire team for competing hard for 60 minutes.

Adrian Peterson had 143 yards rushing but Favre was the key to the offensive attack in the passing game.

MVP: Brett Favre, QB

Atlanta Falcons over Chicago Bears, 21-14

To me the Falcons and the Bears look like to top tier teams but not teams in the very top tier. This was a reasonably well played game by both teams but the Bears blew their chance at a win with a fumble on the goal line in the third quarter that the Falcons recovered.

Matt Ryan continues to play very well and Roddy White seems to be coming on, although he has been very inconsistent in the past. Tight end Tony Gonzalez has really added a new dimension to this team and it is great to see a mostly receiving tight end who can actually block as well. This is a team I expect to improve as the year goes on.

Meanwhile, I am not sure what to make of Jay Cutler. Talent wise he should be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but he’s not. He talks a big game about being a leader, but frankly I don’t always see that on the field. And what happened to running back Matt Forte? The Bears have gotten little out of the running game this year and Cutler really needs the treat of the run to be more effective. The Bears are a puzzling team.

Atlanta defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux forced the fumble that held the Bears out of the end zone so I am going with him as MVP.

MVP: Jonathan Babineaux, DT

Denver Broncos over San Diego Chargers, 34-23

Denver is for real. They went in and handed their archrival San Diego Chargers a home loss in the division and are in the driver’s seat to win the AFC West. Kyle Orton may not be the flashiest quarterback in the league but he’s proven he is a winner. He is an accurate short to intermediate passer and the down field blocking for the receivers opens up nice holes. The running game is also starting to make progress.

The real star of the game though was Eddie Royal, who had a punt return and kickoff return for touchdowns that basically broke the back San Diego’s back, even though Darren Sproles also had a punt return for a touchdown. I believe that is the first time I have ever seen three kick returns for a touchdown in the same quarter.

Denver is on top, I am not sure where San Diego is going to net out. Their defense is not that good and will likely cost them the playoffs if they don’t turn things around.

MVP: Eddie Royal, WR/KR

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots

Defensive Player: Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Offensive Lineman: Logan Mankins, G, New England Patriots

Special Teams: Eddie Royal, WR/KR, Denver Broncos

Rookie of the Week: Brian Cushing, LB, Houston Texans


2009 NFL Football Season: Week 5

October 15, 2009


GAMES I WATCHED

Denver Broncos over New England Patriots, 20-17 OT

This was a well played game by both teams and Denver should have shaken off any doubters that they are as good as their 5-0 record. They have beaten both Dallas and New England at home in back to back weeks and looked good doing it.

This was a very disappointing regular season loss for Patriots fans (but every loss really is). How did the Patriots’ defense let Denver drive the ball 98 yards for a game tying touchdown?! That is simply unacceptable. I thought the game was wrapped up after we pinned Denver at their own two yard line, thinking we’d eventually get the ball back in decent field position and do something with it. Instead it was a steady march down the field and a game tying touchdown for the Broncos.

I never thought I’d say this but the difference in the game was Tom Brady’s inability to hit open receivers. Besides the obvious easy touchdown we should have had when Brady overthrew Moss near the end zone, he also missed some key throws in the second half that could have extended drives. Brady is still way off on his accuracy and reads. In his postgame press conference Brady indicated he and Wes Welker weren’t always on the same page, which is not a good sign. I hope he has not hit an impasse and continues to improve as the season progresses. If he starts throwing the ball like the Brady of old, then watch out, because that’s what was missing from the offense on Sunday.

Other than the long drive for the game tying touchdown and field goal in overtime, the young defense is playing reasonably well, but nobody will mistake then for the 1985 Bears or even the 2009 Ravens. This is a unit that should also improve as the season progresses. But giving up a 98 yard drive to let the Broncos tie the game and gain momentum is simply not something good defenses do.

Denver, meanwhile, has proven that their 5-0 record is no chimera. They play well on both sides of the ball and have nicely balanced offense. Kyle Orton is the second coming of John Elway. Just kidding! But Orton is making the throws he needs to make and keeps his errors to a minimum. In fact, as to now, he looks like a better quarterback than Tom Brady. I am impressed by this new Denver team.

I am hopeful that New England gets back on the winning track. The AFC is not going to be an easy conference to make the playoffs this year.

MVP: Brandon Marshall, WR

Cincinnati Bengals over Baltimore Ravens, 17-14

The Bengals versus Ravens matchup was another excellent game between two playoff caliber teams, one a surprise in the Bengals, and one many think is a Super Bowl contenders in the Baltimore Ravens. Like the New England loss to Denver, this was a regular season loss that Ravens fans have to lament. Not only did they lose to a division rival at home, they lost on an 80 yard scoring drive in the last minutes of the game lead by the Bengals’ Carson Palmer. This vaunted Ravens defense played very well most of the day, but gave up some yards on roughing penalties, and the Bengals usually took good advantage of it.

The most surprising thing about his game is that the Bengals and Ravens both played excellent football. This was not a case of the Ravens playing down to perennially losing squad. This looked like two top notch teams going at it. And but for a fluke play against Denver, the Bengals very well could be sitting on a 5-0 record today.

Two other notes, Palmer played with his non-throwing hand taped up after getting it stepped on in the second half but still had an outstanding game. And where did Bengal’s running back Cedric Benson, the would have been bust of a first round draft choice out of Texas, find his rhythm and toughness? Having seen him play poorly for the Bears I never thought I’d see Benson make anything of his career. He ran tough and hard against a stout Ravens defense, and set the tone for the game early. While Benson deserves a nod for MVP, Palmer led an 80 yard drive for a winning score so he gets my vote.

MVP: Carson Palmer, QB

Indianapolis Colts over Tennessee Titans, 31-9

Peyton Manning is playing as good as I have ever seen any quarterback play in my lifetime in these first five games. That may sound like hyperbole, but I am completely serious. The man is a machine. He completely picked apart the Titans and this really never was much of a contest.

What has happened to the Titans? I thought they played an excellent game against Pittsburgh to start off the season in a loss, but they can’t seem to win a game.

I hate to say this, but I felt the Titans basically gave up in the second half. Yes, I think they quit. Not a good sign for the Titans.

I really wanted the Titans to pull off the upset against the Colts, because they are desperate team and desperate teams are dangerous. They play the Patriots next week. I hope they look just as bad as they did this week.

MVP: Peyton Manning, QB

Miami Dolphins over New York Jets, 31-27

After losing their first three games of the season, the Dolphins are now sitting at 2-3, just one game behind the New York Jets and New England Patriots for the AFC East division lead. The division could turn into a dogfight this year as the Patriots continue to struggle on offense and the Jets and Dolphins are playing even better than they did last year.

This was a very entertaining game which went back and forth several times. I really liked the Dolphins offense game plan. Not only did they use the Wildcat and the running game to great effect in general, they ran screeners and up the gut runs to slow down the aggressive pass rush of the Jets. They did exactly what the Patriots did not do in their loss to the Jets a few weeks ago. Ricky Williams’ 51 yard screen play was the perfect call for a blitzing Jets defense. Then later in the game when the Jets didn’t blitz, CB Darrelle Revis got burned by the speedy Ted Ginn, Jr. (who has not lived up to his 1st round draft pick status to this point).

The Dolphins running game is scary to watch and should serve them well the rest of the season. Despite being 2-3 with an inexperienced QB, the Dolphins look to be in the mix this season. They won’t be an easy to team to beat.

MVP: Ronnie Brown, RB

Atlanta Falcons over San Francisco 49’ers, 45-10

The San Francisco 49’ers
appeared to revert back to their old losing ways against the Falcons. I watched this game on tape and it was an ugly sight to behold, unless you’re a Falcons fans. The first half was simply a mistake filled, sloppily played, embarrassing performance by the 49’ers on both sides of the ball. Running back Glen Coffee looked like the rookie he is and didn’t seem to know what he was supposed to be doing out there. Quarterback Shaun Hill was ineffective. And the defense lost its composure.

Roddy White had a career day running all over the 49’ers secondary. In the second quarter he burned Nate Clements for a 90 yard touchdown reception after Clements went for the ball instead of the tackle. Earlier, after a San Francisco timeout to calm the team down, he ran right through the defense for his first long touchdown grab of the day. His 210 receiving yards (on 8 receptions with 2 touchdowns) set the franchise record.

A perfect example of the 49’ers dysfunctional, childish mistakes was Dre Bly intercepting the ball in the third quarter and then having Matt Ryan catching him and knocking the ball out of his hands while he was celebrating. Foolish.

I can’t image practice is going to be very pleasant this week for the 49’ers. If they keep playing like this, they are in for another miserable, losing season.

MVP: Roddy White, WR

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Miles Austin, WR, Dallas Cowboys (250 yards receiving sets franchise record)

Defensive Player: Ed Reed, FS, Baltimore Ravens

Offensive Lineman: Justin Smiley, G, Miami Dolphhins

Special Teams: Sam Koch, P, Baltimore Ravens

Rookie of the Week: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (6 catches, 142 yards, two touchdowns)


2009 NFL Football Season: Week 4

October 6, 2009


OBSERVATIONS

Roughing the Passer Calls: Officials are calling roughing the passer calls closer than ever. The Ravens got tagged for one that was rather questionable against the Patriots, and later the Patriots got tagged for one that was an even worse call on what should have been a sack by the Patriots. Over the first few games I’ve seen very, very touchy calls on roughing the passer. I can only say that at least they are being consistent about it, but I don’t like it.

DeMarcus Ware: What has happened to Dallas linebacker DeMarcus Ware? He is easily being handled by single tackles and is getting no pass rush.

Brett Favre: Favre really knows how to step it up on the biggest stage. Once again we witnessed an otherworldly performance by Favre against his old Green Bay Packer teammates. I just wonder if he can keep it up all year long. With the best running back in the league, a good offensive line, and a stout defense, this team could be scary in the postseason. While I am a bit tired of the off season Favre drama, he sure is fun to watch when he gets revved up.

Aaron Rodgers: And on the other side, Rodgers is clearly one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He was not protected very well against the Vikings but still played well and put points on the board. If the Packers can get their offensive line woes straightened out Rodgers will be phenomenal. If they don’t he won’t even be upright at the end of the season.

LaDanian Tomlinson: I was not one who subscribed to the idea that LaDanian was on his last legs. But is he?

Washington Redskins: The Redskins eked out another close victory over a bad team. It will be interesting to see how many games they lose when they play their NFC East opponents. The offense is anemic and uninspired.

GAMES I WATCHED

New England Patriots over Baltimore Ravens, 27-21

First let me get this off my chest. I am sick and tired of hearing the Ravens and their fans whine about the officials every time they lose a game. This time they were whining about the roughing the passer call when Suggs brushed Brady’s knee, which eventually lead to a touchdown. While I agree the call was close and probably not a good one, later in the game the Patriots sacked Flacco and got called for roughing the passer, which was an even more ridiculously bad call than the one on the Ravens. So at least the officials were calling it consistently. The Ravens did not lose because of the officials they lost because they were outplayed.

This was a very hard fought game and had a playoff like atmosphere with two upper tier teams battling it out. The Patriots offense looks like it is starting to come together after looking mostly pedestrian the first three games of the season. While they didn’t look like the Saints or Colts, at least Brady had a bit more rhythm and we ran the ball successfully. The one thing I still have a very hard time understanding is why the Patriots are not running more screens and draws to slow down the pass rush. Other teams are using these staple plays to great effect, including the Ravens against us. The Patriots lived by the screen pass in their three Super Bowl runs. It would be nice to see it utilized more in 2009.

Also promising is the way the young defense is coming together and playing reasonably well. While nobody will mistake them for the Ravens or Vikings defenses, at least they are making plays and not getting completely outmatched. The big worry with the defense is the inability to get a decent pass rush going, although even here they were slightly improved against the Ravens.

Two interesting personnel notes. First, Laurence Maroney was booed by the fans. His dancing and prancing behind the line of scrimmage is getting annoying. Maroney thrives in open space but you can’t put Maroney in the game just on screens and halfback passes because you would end up tipping off defenses. But on short yardage situations he is the last person you want to see handling the ball in the backfield. I can’t imagine he will be a Patriot next year if he doesn’t improve, and I have seen nothing that would indicate he will. More surprising is that Joey Galloway was inactive for the game and was not injured. He has not done much this year and it makes you wonder if he will be cut this year. That would be shame because he does seem to have some legs left and could be a valuable player down the stretch. Maybe this will be a wake up call for him.

This was a nice win for the Patriots. The Ravens are one of the best, most well rounded teams in the league and will certainly be around once the postseason rolls around. They are team that I could easily see making it to the Super Bowl this year.

Finally, while his stat line does not stand out, Sammy Morris made some key plays down the stretch. And it’s those little important plays that are often the difference between winning and losing.

MVP: Sammy Morris, RB

Denver Broncos over Dallas Cowboys, 17-10

What a difference a year makes. The Bronco’s defense last year was abysmal and this year looks like one of the best in the league. The combination of new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan and the addition of a leader like free safety Brian Dawkins has really turned the defense around. Dawkins was fired and played extremely well against the floundering Cowboys. And while Kyle Orton may not be the best quarterback in the league, he’s doing just enough, along with Brandon Marshall, to get the job done. While I have nothing against Kyle Orton, had Cutler still been in the fold this offense would be even better. Denver’s 4-0 start and a win over a quality, if somewhat struggling Cowboys team, puts a stamp of legitimacy on their surprising 4-0 start.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, and Tony Romo in particular, appear to be in free fall. They have played terrible this season. Romo is inconsistent and a makes poor decisions and Flozell Adams can only block people with dirty tactics. I think it’s about time for a one game suspension for Mr. Adams. And DeMarcus Ware and the Dallas defense can’t seem to get pressure on the quarterback. Maybe Terrible Terrell really wasn’t the entire problem in Dallas.

And what happened to Bronco’s wide receiver Eddie Royal?! After a promising rookie season he has completely disappeared from the offense. Unfortunately he is on my fantasy football team and has done nothing for me.

For player of the game I have to go with Brandon Marshall for his 91 yards receiving and outstanding touchdown. Brian Dawkins is a close second.

MVP: Brandon Marshall, WR

Pittsburgh Steelers over San Diego Chargers, 38-28

The Chargers are another team that came into the 2009 season looking like it had a real shot at a championship. Instead the team is floundering around on both sides of the ball.

For the Chargers injuries to their defensive line has simply decimated the unit. Teams are running all over them and simply dominating their defensive unit. And while their offense is good enough, it’s not so prolific as to make up for their lack of defense, especially with the time of possession is so heavily skewed in the opponents favor. Rashard Mendenhall rushed the ball hard, picking up 165 yards and two touchdowns, but I want to see him do that against a stouter defense. The Steelers offensive line thumped the Chargers, whose defense simply couldn’t get off the field. The Chargers had a nice comeback, but really didn’t come that close to winning the game.

Adding to the Chargers misery, LaDanian Tomlinson is ailing and ineffective and receiver Chris Chambers clearly has seen his best days. I am surprised he is even still in the starting lineup.

The Steelers have seemed to right their ship, at least for one game. Their defense has remained stout and when Troy Polamalu comes back they will be even better. The Steelers are still an elite team in the league.

MVP: Rashard Mendenhall, RB


Minnesota Vikings over Green Bay Packers, 30-23

There was a lot of hype surrounding this game with Brett Favre facing his old team for the first time. The game certainly lived up to its hype. It was a playoff like game with a lot of hard hitting and great plays by both teams on both sides of the ball. As fantastic as Favre played, it was really the Vikings defense that won the game. They forced some turnovers and Jared Allen’s 4.5 sacks and safety was the key difference in the game. But he did take advantage of the Packers’ playing their second string, and then third string left tackle because of an injury to Chad Clifton.

But let’s start with Brett Favre. As bored and annoyed as I am with the drama king’s offseason will he retire, won’t he retire routine, he is fun to watch play football. He had just an amazing game. Amazing. And he had to be with the Packers’ defense mostly shutting down Adrian Peterson. Sometimes Farve is painful to watch, like when he throws multiple and sometimes dumb interceptions in the postseason. At other times he is simply awe inspiring. In this game he was awe inspiring.

And the Vikings defense really took advantage of the banged up Green Bay Packers’ offensive line. Jared Allen and the rest of the defense had eight sacks against Aaron Rodgers, including one for a safety. The Packers really need to straighten out their offensive line if they hope to have a decent season and a healthy Aaron Rodgers. Another standout for the Vikings was Antoine Winfield. This undersized cornerback can really blast running backs and receivers. It’s refreshing to see cornerbacks that can, and will, hit like Winfield.

Aaron Rodgers had an absolutely amazing game himself, maybe even better than Brett Favre given that Brett had plenty of time in the pocket an Aaron had defenders in his face all day long. Other than a few miscues he handled the pressure and played very, very well. I was most impressed with his ability to keep his team moving in face of the fierce pass rush by the Vikings. And despite getting behind, the Packers never quit on either side of the ball and gave themselves a chance to win at the end. If the Packers give Rodgers more time to throw the ball, their offense will really start to click.

And while Green Bay’s defense was victimized by Favre, given the lack of a pass rush I didn’t think they were absolutely terrible. They need to find a way to get more pressure on the quarterback to protect their defensive backs better. So far the defensive guru Dom Capers schemes aren’t working that well for the Packers. Aaron Kampman, their best pass rusher last year, dropping back into coverage just doesn’t make sense to me.

Overall this was an amazing game, and as much as it was Brett Favre’s night, it was the Vikings night too. Nobody needs to question why they so desperately courted Favre in the offseason. With the best running back in the league, a solid offensive line, speedy receivers, and a top five defense, they were close but not close enough, to being a Super Bowl contender last year. With Brett Favre, they may be the best team in the league. Let’s face it, Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels were not the answer at quarterback. Brett Favre may well be.

MVP: Brett Favre, QB

 

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Brett Favre, QB, Minnesota Vikings

Defensive Player: Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings

Offensive Lineman: Willie Colon, RT, Pittsburgh Steelers

Special Teams: Johnny Knox, KR/WR, Chicago Bears

Rookie of the Week: Mohamed Massaquoi, WR, Cleveland


2009 NFL Football Season: Week 3

October 4, 2009

OBSERVATIONS

Chad Pennington: Chad Pennington is one of the classiest players in the NFL and I hated to hear that he has yet another shoulder injury. I strongly suspect we’ve seen the last of Pennington as a viable starter in the NFL, which is a shame because he is a real winner.

The Wildcat: So far I have only seen the Miami Dolphins run the Wildcat offense successfully. I think the Wildcat is a passing fancy, although we continue to see it in certain situations. We’ve already had versions of this in the past with players like Kordell Stewart, so I limited situations this will continue. As a viable, oft used offensive set, I just don’t see it having legs in the long run.

Felix Jones: The Cowboys exciting, fast, play making running back, who injured his ACL last year, has yet another knee injury. This makes me wonder if he will ever stay healthy enough to have a consistent impact for the Cowboys.

New England Patriots over Atlanta Falcons, 26-10

New England’s offense is still a work in progress. Brady is clearly still rusty with his timing, rhythm, and accuracy, but I am confident this will improve throughout the year. We finally got our running game going. As I mentioned last week, we really need to utilize the backs on our roster and establish a successful running game to keep defenses from pinning their ears back and going after Brady. Look what happened to the Cardinals against the Colts!

The young defense is playing surprisingly well so far. It will be interesting to see how this unit progresses as the season unfolds.

We really, really needed this win given we have the Baltimore Ravens coming to town.

MVP: Fred Taylor, RB

GAMES I WATCHED

Detroit Lions over Washington Redskins, 19-14

I have to admit I loved watching the Redskins lose and the Lions finally win a game. Matthew Stafford did a great job in the pocket and appears to be a player, with improvements in accuracy and touch, who will be around for a long time. What was most impressive to me about the Lions is that they did not fold late in the game when the Redskins hit a big play to Santana Moss for a touchdown. Last year the team would have probably folded up the tent and lost but they did not panic and closed the show. This was a very impressive showing for the Lions.

The Redskins, on the other hand, continue to look lost on offense and are not generating big plays on defense. And even though Albert Haynesworth is not playing like a $100 million man, his loss to injury in first half hurt the defense.

Congratulations Detroit.

MVP: Matthew Stafford, QB

New Orleans Saints over Buffalo Bills, 27-7

The Saints may be the best team in the NFC but I was not quite as impressed with them in this game. As with most teams this year, it’s really the teams that run the ball effectively that have had the most success on offense, even if its’ a team that still ends up passing far more than running. It was really Pierre Thomas’s second half 126 yards rushing that salted away the game for the Saints.

The Bills are an enigma to me. On the offensive side of the ball they have the personnel to score more than they are. The Saints may have an improved defense but they are not stalwarts on that side of the ball. Their two best receivers, Terrell Owens and Lee Evans, were not even factors in the game. They have an effective running game but they have to get points. I think the Bills need new leadership and Dick Jauron should be out after this season if they don’t show some improvement.

MVP: Pierre Thomas, RB

Indianapolis Colts over Arizona Cardinals, 31-10

I know Arizona is a passing team but they did just the opposite of what you need to do to beat the Indianapolis Colts – run the ball. Granted, Tim Hightower and Chris Wells have fumbleitis but going into a shot gun formation and passing every down plays right into the hands of the Colts’ defense. Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are not that great against the run (and therefore I do not consider either a premier defensive end) but they are outstanding pass rushers. By getting behind and not running the ball, they allowed Freeney to run free, and harass Kurt Warner. It was ugly. Wayne Gandy, the left tackle assigned to Freeney, is the goat of the game and was schooled. Why the Cardinals didn’t give him help when they realized Gandy was not going to be able to block Freeney is a real head scratcher. And to top it off the Cardinals turned the ball over twice in the red zone that the Colts turned into points for huge swings in momentum.

Peyton Manning was his usual brilliant self. He appears to be playing about as well as I have ever seen him play. The Colts offense took advantage of the Arizona turnovers and the defense took advantage of the Cardinal game plan with their excellent pass rushing ends. The Colts offense looks to be the best in the league at this juncture.

MVP: Peyton Manning, QB

Dallas Cowboys over Carolina Panthers, 21-7

This was really kind of sloppy looking game for the most part. The Panthers are not impressive on offense and gave up huge running plays on defense. The Cowboys won the game, but they too don’t look like the offensive juggernaut some expected them to be. Both Tony Romo and Jake Delhomme have had rough starts to their season. I don’t think we will see Romo benched but I won’t be surprised to see Delhomme benched in favor of Matt Moore, or even A.J. Feeley, before the season is out.

MVP: Tashard Choice, RB

 

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Offensive Player: Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis

Defensive Player: Dwight Freeney, DE, Indianapolis

Offensive Lineman: Carl Nicks, G, New Orleans Saints

Special Teams: Darren Sproles, KR, San Diego Chargers

Rookie of the Week: Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions