On Thursday, before Cincinnati’s game against the Jets on Thanksgiving Day, CBS Sports aired this video. It really puts a lot into perspective.

Enjoy, and Happy Thanksgiving from UDU.


Another crazy week in the NFL is in the books, and sometimes we wonder how this league continues to function. Front runners lost,underdogs won… It may be shocking to the fans, but at the end of the day it is yet another week in this unpredictable league.

Game Analysis

49ers 10, Chiefs 31
The Chiefs are 3-0, the Niners are 0-3. Which one of those did you see coming? The Chiefs seem to have it all together – Matt Cassel has some zip behind his passes, the running game is working pretty well behind Jamaal Charles, and their defense has plenty of fire power. Can they keep it up? Next week they have the Colts, a major test for a team who has just recently discovered winning. For Mike Singletary’s 49ers, they need a win, and fast.They are still struggling behind Alex Smith,and if their defense had a hard time with Kansas City, there will be no stopping Atlanta this week.
Player of the Game: Thomas Jones had his best game since coming over from NY, with 19 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown.

Lions 10, Vikings 24
This is old-school Minnesota winning – you play, win, and survive on the back of Adrian Peterson. Peterson got the hand off, and the Vikings flourished… all despite Brett Favre. Believe it or not, both Sean Hill and Favre had almost exactly the same stat lines: a little over 50% completions, one touchdown and two interceptions each, and just over 200 yards per quarterback. While we expect this sort of game from Detroit, the Vikings have some issues to deal with: Their 100 yards in penalties show just how sloppy they played, Favre has control issues, and their defense had problems handling the Lions. It is going to be a long road, and we bet this is the year Aaron Rogers finally beats Brett.
Player of the Game: Obviously, it has to be Peterson. His 160 yards and two touchdowns sealed the game for Minnesota.

Buffalo 30, New England 38
There was a point where the Bills look like they could actually win this game. Despite a nearly perfect performance from Tom Brady, the Pats still managed to let Buffalo in the game. For the record, almost all of New England’s stat lines are perfect: they won the turnover ratio, they had a balanced attack through the air and on the ground, they controlled the clock and they played well on defense. What that tells us is that despite a couple lackluster outings, the Pats are still dangerous and legit.
Player of the Game: Brady went 21/27 with 252 yards and three touchdowns.

Atlanta 27, New Orleans 24
Hello world, meet the Falcons. It only takes one statement win to get your name on the board, and that is what this overtime stunner did for Atlanta. They were able to slow down the Saints, and magically did not allow them to take over this game. Matt Ryan showed poise, Michael Turner went for over 100 yards, and their defense played a solid game. Of course, that was helped by three New Orleans turnovers and pretty good secondary coverage on Marquis Colston and Pierre Thomas. This doesn’t raise as many questions for the Saints as it does for Atlanta… you know, like “where has this team been hiding?” and “can they keep this up?”
Player of the Game: Turner went for 114 yards and a touchdown, but we have to make this a joint venture because Tony Gonzales had eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Tennessee 29, Giants 10
The Giants are on a downwards spiral – is there any way to stop it? This loss falls on the back of the entire team. Eli Manning thre two interceptions, Brandon Jacobs was nearly invisible, and the entire team did not seem to be able to take the rough play from Tennessee. Speaking of the Titans, what rebounding week for them. Vince Young went up against a tough defense and did not make any mistakes, albeit that he was not allowed to throw the ball very much. Of course, they are another team that went back to basics this week, and ran the ball on the back of Chris Johnson. Hey, whatever works right?
Player of the Game: Johnson had 125 yards on two carries.

Pittsburgh 38, Tampa Bay 10
Analysts said at the beginning of this season that was a chance that Pittsburgh would return from the Ben Roethlisberger suspension unscathed. They are at that point. The Steelers are 3-0, gaining this win on the back of Charlie Batch. Although Batch wasn’t flawless – he threw two interceptions – Pittsburgh played good old-fashioned Steeler football… run the ball, run the ball, run the ball. Thankfully, Rashard Mendenhall can handle the work load. It also helps that Mike Wallace can catch; he caught three balls for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
Game Ball: Mendehall had 19 carries for 143 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincinnati 20, Carolina 7
Let me say one thing: Just because Jimmy Clausen couldn’t get the offense started with only one week of practice as the starter under his belt, does not mean he will not be successful. It does, however, show that he isn’t the next Joe Flacco. Clausen couldn’t do much with his no-name receiving core, and DeAngelo Williams couldn’t get his feet firmly planted. Voila! No offense. This win was not pretty for the Bengals, who had to rely on Cedric Benson, and only Cedric Benson for their offense. No Carson Palmer. No Ochocinco. Just a little T.O. Not enough. Bottom line: this type of win doesn’t come every week, and the Cats should be thanking their lucky stars.
Player of the Game: Benson had 81 yards and one touchdown rushing, but also another recieving touchdown.

Cleveland 17, Baltimore 24
Cleveland was winning this game until the fourth quarter. Do I have to repeat that? They had that hard-nose pound-it-out mentality, and behind Peyton Hillis’ 144 yards, they were actually competitive in this game. It is only a question of when the Browns will be turning around, not if anymore. For the Ravens, this game was the arrival of Anquan Boldin. They had him running all over the field, and it is clear that he was clicking with Flacco (who played equally well himself, to the tune of 262 yards and three touchdowns). The Ravens have to get better to keep ahead of the Bengals and the Steelers, and they have to play a more disciplined game to do that.
Player of the Game: Boldin had eight catches for 142 yards and three touchdowns – 21 of the Ravens’ 24 points.

Dallas 27, Houston 13
We did think this years’ battle of Texas would be a little more entertaining, but yet again the Texans lost the wind in their sails and failed to impress. While their wins against Indiapolis and Washington still count, once the attention is turned their way, Houston seems to fizzle out, Matt Schaub especially. Schaub threw for 241 yards and a touchdown, but his two interceptions didn’t help his team’s plea. Dallas showed resilience this week – they saw that their offensive schemes were not working, and made more plays towards Roy Williams instead, which obviously threw the Texans off. The ‘Boys defense wasn’t too shabby either, and DeMarcus Ware’s three sacks proved that they are still a scary team to play against on both sides of the ball.
Player of the Game: Roy Williams has never gotten a P.O.G. nomination, so this week we have to go with him. Williams had five receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns, one of his best performances as a Cowboy.

Washington 16, St. Louis 30
Huh? What? Who? The Redskins can’t be for real here. DeAngelo Hall can’t have let this happen, could he? Following a tough loss, you would have though Donovan McNabb and the Redskins would have come out firing. Instead, they played a horrible game. Of course it doesn’t help when your star wide receiver is fumbling or Donovan McNabb doesn’t seem to be into the game at all. But Sam Bradford got his first win as a Ram – and that is a hot commodity in St. Louis. He wasn’t exactly picture-perfect, but Bradford threw for over two hundred yards and managed the game Sunday, a huge step for the rookie.
Player of the Game: If we had to choose one, it would be Stephen Jackson yet again, this time for that first quarter 42 yard touchdown that set the tone for the rest of the game.

Philadelphia 38, Jacksonville 3
It was hard to imagine that Michael Vick could play better than he did in his first two games, but it is safe to say that he did not shy away from the starting position. Those who argue that Vick never had the chance to throw in Atlanta may start seeing their argument be proven right: although Vick did run for 30 yards on Sunday, he connected with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin for over 230 of his 291 yards combined. We also have to give major props to the Philadelphia defense, who sacked David Garrard six times on Sunday. Trent Cole, Trevor Laws, Asante Samuel, and even rookie Nate Allen… all the familiar names were on on this one.
Player of the Game: We have to give it to Vick, again. He went 17/31 with 291 yards and three touchdowns.

Indianapolis 27, Denver 13
Another week, another Indy win that shows just how good they can be when they are allowed to play their game the way they want to. That’s the thing – Denver allowed them to get started and turn into that well-oiled machine everyone dreads. That Bronco defense doesn’t look like they can stop a runny nose, let alone the great Peyton Manning. And if you can’t stop them, you sure don’t want to get into a shootout behind Kyle Orton, who had yet another game without a memorable play (unless you count his interception). We can say the same things about Indy every week, but it’s Denver that has to start worrying.
Player of the Game: We will give this week’s to Austin Collie, who had 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns.

Oakland 23, Arizona 24
One of the most interesting stats of the game: BOTH, yes we said both, teams had 100+ yards in penalties. This is what West coast football has become… well this is what Oakland and Arizona have become. The Cards are perfecting winning despite of Derek Anderson, and it is amazing just how bad two teams can play. But in the scheme of things, both of these teams look pretty horrible and have a lot to work on – but we aren’t going to go for all of that in this paragraph.
Player of the Game: No… not one. No stand-outs.

San Deigo 20, Seattle 27
You win any way you can, and Seattle did it on the back of Leon Washington. They have turned him into a special teams extravaganza, but the main story here is how San Diego, year in and year out, struggles to start the season. They just look horrible, and although the Seahawks exposed them on special teams for 14 points, there should be no reason that the upstart Seahawks were allowed in this game. Their defense has holes, Phillip Rivers can’t keep the ball away from the other team, and they are obviously missing they’re obviously missing Vincent Jackson’s ability to split the D. This is going to be a longer year than the Chargers thought.
Player of the Game: There is no choice – its Leon Washington. Washington had two returns for touchdowns – one for 101 yards and one for 99 yards, you know… the game winner.

New York 31, Miami 23
Personally, we think it was Tony Sparano’s sunglasses that clouded his vision/play-calling on the last series that eventually won it for the Jets. Or you can give the NY defense credit, or Rex Ryan, or Mark Sanchez. This was a total team effort by the Jets. From Dustin Keller and Braylon Edwards shocking Miami’s secondary, to LaDanian Tomlinson reawakening, to Jason Taylor’s sack, Miami didn’t have a chance. Even after Brandon Marshall caught ten passes for 166 yards and a touchdown (thanks to Antonio Cromartie), the Phins couldn’t finish this one. The lesson here: You make no mistakes, you win a football game. Then you go on to the next week and the next AFC East opponent.
Player of the Game: Because we aren’t sure how much longer this will last, for the second straight week we are going to give this to Mark Sanchez. Sanchez threw for 256 yards and three touchdowns and a 120.5 passer rating.

Green Bay 17, Chicago 20

Green Bay took this loss in their own hands. They beat themselves. Oh, sure, Jay Cutler’s halfway decent performance (although he did show faint signs of the “old him”) had something to do with it. But it was related more to the 152 yards in penalties, two turnovers, and complete lack of a rushing game. Chicago had the right game plan, and with their offensive line neutralizing Clay Matthews and Julius Peppers playing his game, the Bears took this leg of the fight. The only thing I would be worried about if I was a Chicago fan would be the fact that Jay Cutler looked confused and much like his mistake-prone self we are all used to towards the end of this game.
Player of the Game: Eh, no standout starts, but Brian Urlacher looked ten years younger.

News & Notes:

– Injuries: Cowboy’s tight end Jason Witten sprained his knee in Sunday’s win. The Cowboys have said that they expect him to play barring a setback… For the second week in a row the Jets have released that they do not expect cornerback Darrelle Revis to play. Revis is still struggling with a pulled hamstring… Running back Ray Rice hopes to be able to play against the Steelers in Week 5. Rice is still recovering from a knee sprain…
– If you believe Colt’s president Bill Polian, the 18-game season is now a reality. Polian told reporters that it was a “done deal” and the NFL would begin playing 18 games next season.
– The 49ers fired their offensive coordinator, Jimmy Raye on Monday following the team’s 31-10 loss to the Chiefs. Sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that linebacker Takeo Spikes and safety Michael Lewis also may lose their starting spots for Week 4.
– After a convincing first start by Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Bills let Trent Edwards slip onto the waivers Monday morning. The Bills had reportedly been shopping Edwards, but decided to cut him after not receiving much interest.
– The funeral for Denver wide receiver Kenny McKinley was held Monday in Austell, Georgia. Late last week, authorities released that they believed McKinley shot himself after suffering his second straight season-ending knee injury.
– One day after Garrett Hartley missed a sure-thing field goal against Atlanta, the Saints are said to be in the market for competition. Harltey has three other misses this season, but Sunday’s 29-yarder that was shanked left is obviously

And the UDU Game Ball Goes to…

It was about time Adrian Peterson put his name in for consideration. Peterson took the Vikings on his back on Sunday, traveling 160 yards and putting up two touchdowns in the process – the difference between Minnesota and Detroit.

Does Braylon Edwards Need?

by Corianne Egan 

We apologize. Many of our columns are in response to crime or arrests. The reason? Because the choice to do the right thing is not that hard to make. Just ask the Jets this Tuesday morning. 

Jets’ wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested early this morning, nearly 5:15 a.m., for drunk driving. His blood alcohol content was .16, but the breathalyzer was only given Edwards after he was seen driving erratically and after a strong stench of alcohol was coming from his car. 

Braylon Edwards is not a smart guy. 

He’s been in trouble before; the Jets got Edwards for cheap only days after 

Braylon Edwards was arrested early Tuesday morning and ticketed for a DWI. (Photo courtesy of ESPN)

 he assaulted a man in a nightclub. And let’s be honest, this was not a smart decision by a man who has an entourage to drive him home, enough money to hire a cab, and practice the next day. 

It compounds the insult to know that the NFL has in place a Player Protect Program, that according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, works by: “Calling the appropriate phone number, and a player who has been drinking can get a ride home, no questions asked.  (As we understand it, they’ll even make arrangements to get the player’s car home, too.)” 

This incident makes one thing clear: Braylon Edwards will never change. He will only think of himself, and only concern himself with what ever can help him. He wants to drink, he will. He wants to dance around and taunt defense in a tough NFC East rivalry game, he will. You can’t stop him; you can’t control him. 

Not Rex Ryan, not the NFL, not the prospect of losing his football career. 

He is only concerned “doing him”. Instead of learning from the past, Edwards went out. Edwards got behind the wheel. Edwards put himself, and innocent people on the road in danger. Edwards doesn’t care about the Jets, or making a comeback, or proving everyone wrong about him. 

Braylon Edwards cares about partying, living without rules, and being reckless. 

And even though the first substance abuse arrest  is not a suspendible offense, it does allow individual teams to lower the hammer. The ball is in the Jets court. Do you do anything to win, or do you go with ethics? 

As a Jets fan, and a sports writer, I say bring on Laveranues Coles. I would rather win the right way, with the right players, then condone reckless behavior. Reward the hard workers, and show what you believe in. 

Strike two, Braylon.

Week 2 of the NFL season is in the books, and we learned some mighty big lessons: Michael Vick is the real deal, the Texans are here to compete, and Eli will never be as good as Peyton. Take a look at our game analysis, news, and of course, the UDU Game Ball.

Game Analysis

Arizona 7, Atlanta 41
Someone told Matt Ryan that people were doubting him. Then he went out, threw 225 yards and three touchdowns, and proved to everyone that he has a chance for a comeback this year. That, coupled with a good old-fashioned Derek Anderson performance, allowed the Falcons to sneak by this week.
Player of the Game: Jason Snelling had 129 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, but 57 yards and a touchdown through the air.

Ravens 10, Cincinnati 15
On the other side of the third-year-starter spectrum, Joe Flacco was abysmal today. While still landing a touchdown, Flacco threw four interceptions. The Bengals didn’t play the cleanest game, however. They relied on five field goals from Mike Nugent to win this game. The bright side: Carson Palmer was able to get both Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco in on the receiving action, and that may be key when Benson gets shut down against better defenses.
Player of the Game: Mike Nugent hit five field goals for all 15 of the Bengals’ points.

Kansas City 16, Cleveland 14
If you would have told us the Chiefs would be one of the 2-0 teams, we are not sure we would have believed you. Kansas City did this without scoring a single offensive touchdown – they sank three field goals and had one interception returned for a touchdown. Matt Cassell and Seneca Wallace both traded interceptions. It was not a very clean game by either team.
Player of the Game: Brandon Flowers returned an interception for a touchdown.

Chicago 27, Dallas 20
Most analysts call Jay Cutler, even after every problem he has had in the past, as the most dynamic quarterback in the league. Sunday, he showed why. Cutler pushed Dallas to this win, but Tony Romo helped the Cowboys lose this game as well by throwing two interceptions. Dallas fans can rejoice, however, in seeing rookie Dez Bryant return a punt for a touchdown.
Player of the Game: Jay Cutler went 21 for 29 with 277 yards and three touchdowns.

Philadelphia 35, Detroit 32
The weight on Kevin Kolb’s shoulders just got that much heavier. Michael Vick played like a young quarterback, but smarter and a throw first quarterback. It was quite a sight to see – his first down runs, his four passes to DeSean Jackson for 135 yards and a touchdown, and him making throws with zip and a spiral so tight it made you squint to see movement. Philadelphia looked like a complete team – with a running game and everything – but it was against Detroit. It was nice to see Calvin Johnson get a touchdown today, after that touchdown was taken away from him last week.
Player of the Game: LeSean McCoy had 16 carries for 120 yards and three touchdowns.

Buffalo 7, Green Bay 34
If Aaron Rodgers was slightly upset after Week 1, he should be satisfied with his performance against the Bills. Rogers took the game on his shoulders, even rushing for a touchdown after throwing two of his own. But Green Bay’s defense played a big part in reminding Buffalo that they have a choice to make: rebuild, or continue trusting Trent Edwards at the helm.
Player of the Game: Clay Matthews had three sacks and led the defense to a seven-point game.

Pittsburgh 19, Tennessee 11
Vince Young was a shadow of himself – and Kerry Collins is still no better than mediocre. That puts Tennessee between a rock and a hard place. But it isnt like Pittsburgh has any stones to throw – Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon were not all-stars today either. This was the second game without won by a team who did not score an offensive touchdown – the Steelers won with a kickoff return and four field goals.
Player of the Game: Pittsburgh’s defense shut Tennesse down – and Troy Polamalu and Lamar Woodley anchoring with an interception each helped even more.

Miami 14, Minnesota 10
Brett Favre lost this game for the Vikings, there is no doubt in his – or anyone else’s – mind. Three interceptions and a fumble in the endzone were obviously the difference makers here. What is impressive is that even in the face of Favre’s mistakes, Chad Henne controlled and managed this game and allowed the Dolphins to win.
Player of the Game: Henne went 8 for 15 with 144 yards and a touchdown.

Tampa Bay 20, Carolina 7
Tampa is another 2-0 team that, even though their first two weeks do not pit them against tough opponents, seems unlikely. However, Josh Freeman played a pretty great game – emphasized by the fact that neither Matt Moore nor Jimmy Clausen could seem to complete a pass. The Bucs defense even seems to be stepping up their game, shutting running backs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.
Player of the Game: Freeman threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns.

Seattle 14, Denver 31
Seattle layed a smackdown on San Fran last week, but couldn’t seem to keep it up against Denver. Denver, however, has clearly rebounded from their Week 1 loss. What is interesting is that Josh McDaniels seems to have a different game plan for every team he faces, instead of sticking to what has worked for his team. This week, it worked. They used Knowshon Moreno as a secret receiving weapon, catching four passes for 67 yards.
Player of the Game: Kyle Orten completed 25 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns.

Rams 14, Oakland 16
There isn’t much to say about this game. The Raiders won, but couldn’t stick with a quarterback (they took Jason Campbell out for Bruce Gradkowski). One interesting thing that came from this matchup is the Sam Bradford-Mark Clayton connection, which connected for two touchdowns. If Stephen Jackson could have broken 100 yards, he would have most definitely had a touchdown and made a difference in this game.
Player of the Game: We guess… Clayton. If we had to have one. His two catches were for touchdowns.

New England 14, NY Jets 28
The Jets had to answer many questions after their lackluster performance against the Ravens – and, unfortunately for the Pats, they answered back loudly. Mark Sanchez proved that he can stand up against a legitimate team and play with the big quarterbacks in the league, and guess who is back? L.T. Tomlinson had 76 rushing yards, as well as 26 receiving. But it was the defense who shut Tom Brady down, holding Wes Welker to 38 yards, allowing only 52 rushing yards, and with special appearances by Antonio Cromartie and Jason Taylor.
Player of the Game: Mark Sanchez went 21 for 30 with 220 yards and three touchdowns.

Jacksonville 13, San Diego 38
They are who we thought they were – both of them. The Jags deceived football fans by dominating Broncos, but David Garrard’s carraige turned back into a pumpkin, and he threw four interceptions to prove it. Every piece of their offense helped lose this game – including Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Sims-Walker, who had a fumble each. Yes, for those two are keeping track, that is six turnovers. It was nice to see San Diego get their running game back though.
Player of the Game: Mike Tolbert may be the new No. 1 for the Chargers after running for 82 yards and two touchdowns.

Houston 30, Washington 27
Did you still want to speculate if the Texans are the real deal? This was a quarterback shootout, with both guys throwing for 400+ yards . The difference? Matt Schaub has Andre Johnson. Johnson caught passes for 158 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, helping the Texans to 2-0 with a game against Dallas looming on the horizon.
Player of the Game: Schaub thre for 497 yards and three touchdowns in the win.

NY Giants 14, Indianapolis 38
We don’t think the “who is the better brother” conversation is for anything but ratings. But don’t let it be said the offense lost this game for NY. It was their horrible defense and, what looked like, a complete lack of a defensive game plan. They allowed Joseph Addai and Dominic Brown to run for 160+ yards and a touchdown, and let Peyton Manning throw a touchdown to each of his top receivers (yet again).
Player of the Game: Peyton was perfect, throwing for 255 yards and three touchdowns.

Saints 25, 49ers 22
It’s not that the Niners are good – it’s that they rise to the occasion. Monday night you got a look at what things could be if Mike Singletary could push his team to perform at the highest level every game, instead of just when they are in the national spotlight. They obviously still have problems at quarterback with Alex Smith, but if Frank Gore can put this offense on his shoulders, and Patrick Willis can hype his defense up to this level every game, they can contend. The Saints always find a way to win – but losing Reggie Bush can be a big blow, considering he was on his way to a career season.
Player of the Game: Gore had 176 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns.

News & Notes

Injuries: An MRI revealed that Percy Harvin has no damage to his hip. As of Monday, it is being called a strain and it is not clear if he will be playing in Week 3… Shutdown corner Darrell Revis will be sitting at least two weeks with a hamstring strain… Dennis Dixon of the Steelers has torn knee cartilage. The Steelers regained the rights to Byron Leftwich on Monday, and he may even start next Sunday against Tampa Bay… A first look at Reggie Bush’s injury on Tuesday morning has reportedly shown a broken fibula. That is a season ending injury.
– Reports circulating Monday that Giants running back Thomas Jones asked the team for a trade. Head coach Tom Coughlin’s first statements since the rumors refuted those claims.
– Quarterback controversies are aplenty in the NFL this week. In Philadelphia, Michael Vick will be a backup, yet again, as Kevin Kolb comes back from a concussion to play against Jaguars. Carolina rookie Jimmy Clausen will be starting his first NFL game against Cincinnati over Matt Moore. In Tennessee, coach Jeff Fischer has reiterated that despite being taken out of Sunday’s game, Vince Young is the No. 1 quarterback for the Titans. And in Buffalo, Trent Edwards has been benched in favor of Ryan Fitzpatrick.
– After starting the season 0-2, the Cowboys held a players-only meeting. After the meeting, Wade Phillips seemed aggravated when he met with reporters. The ‘Boys play the Texans in Week 3.
– After making contact with an official during Sunday’s loss to the Bengals, Ravens coach John Harbaugh is reportedly being fined. Harbaugh faces a fine of up to $25K.

And the UDU Game Ball Goes to…

Matt Schaub went 38 for 52 with 497 yards and three touchdowns, including a late-game 34-yard pass to Andre Johnson to tie the game.

Week 1 is in the books, and we have to admit: There were some surprises. Check out our game by game analysis, news, notes, and of course – the UDU Game Ball.

Game Analysis

Vikings 9, New Orleans 14
Those Saints haven’t lost a step have they? Drew Brees still can seemingly march them down the field with ease and their defense is still strong, despite losing Darren Sharper. There was one searingly obvious thing about this game: Brett Favre did not look interested in playing football. Then again, the Minnesota defense didn’t do much either. What is interesting is that these two teams are so good, that they can only improve from here.
Player of the Game: Drew Breeeeeeeeeeees went 27 for 36 with 237 yards and a touchdown.

Miami 15, Buffalo 10
Miami’s win was less spectacular than some of the beat downs we saw in week one, but any win over an AFC East opponent is welcomed. The Fins stuck to their game plan, splitting touches between Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown and allowing QB Chad Henne to air it out to the tune of 182 yards. Surprisingly, this was a turnover-less game, but the Bills killed any potential they had with penalties and sloppy play. Trent Edwards was less than stellar with 139 yards touchdown.
Player of the Game: Ronnie Brown averaged 5 yards per carry, accruing 65 yards and one touchdown.

Lions 14, Bears 19
I think it is safe to say that Detroit was robbed in this game. A last minute touchdown pass to Calvin Johnson should have been ruled as a catch and allowed them to win the game, but that replay will be under review at headquarters for the next few weeks. Detroit has more problems than losing a game, they may have lost their starting quarterback to an ailing shoulder (again). Shaun Hill is not a valid replacement on any team. On Chicago’s side of the ball, Jay Cutler seems to have a clear line of communication with his receivers, especially Matt Forte, but he is still throwing interceptions (two this week) and needs to eliminate mistakes.
Player of the Game: Matt Forte had 7 catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

Raiders 13, Tennessee 38
If anyone thought Jason Campbell just needed a different team and a different game plan, Sunday proved them wrong. Campbell may have thrown a touchdown, but his interception took the wind out of Oakland’s sails immediately. Vince Young, on the other hand, was poised and in attack mode, throwing two touchdowns, including one to Nate Washington. If the Titans can eliminate some of their mistakes and penalties (they had over 80 yards in infractions) they can be a contender in the AFC.
Player of the Game: Chris Johnson ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns, starting his quest for 2,500 yards off on a good foot (pun intended).

Cincinnati 24, New England 38
This was supposed to be one of the best games of the week, but up until midway through the third quarter, it was a route. Tom Brady and Wes Welker obviously never lose that connection, and Brady’s three touchdowns proved that he is still an elite quarterback in this league. On the other hand, if you would have told me Carson Palmer was going to go 34 for 50 with 354 passing yards and two touchdowns, and lose, I wouldn’t have believed you. The Bengals showed promise, but they need to have a better game plan to compete in the ultra-AFC North. Oh and we think Ocho Cinco is back (159 yards and a touchdown!)
Player of the Game: Tom Brady went 25 for 35 with 258 yards and three touchdowns.

NY Giants 31, Carolina 18
Welcome to the sloppiest game of the week. These teams had nine turnovers combined, and well over 150 yards in penalties between the two of them (the Giants, who won the game, had 95 themselves). Both quarterbacks had three interceptions each, but it was the Eli Manning- Hakeem Nicks connection that led the G-Men to victory. Carolina apparently has a lot to worry about – their running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jon Stewart were stalled yesterday, Matt Moore was hopeless (quarterback rating of 32.6 for the game), and their defense couldn’t stop New York when it mattered.
Player of the Game: Hakeem Nicks had only four catches for 75 yards, but three of them were for touchdowns.

Atlanta 9, Pittsburgh 15
Was this the Pittsburgh D, or Atlanta’s lack of offense completely? You decide. Matt Ryan has a lot to prove after a lackluster sophmore year, and he didn’t turn any heads yesterday with a 252 yd, one interception day. Their only offense came on field goals. When Ben Roethlisberger was suspended, analysts pointed out that the Steelers could still do well – and they won this game on the back of Rashard Mendenhall, not Dennis Dixon. One thing was very apparent, no matter who is playing quarterback: The Steelers miss Santonio Holmes already.
Player of the Game: Mendenhall had 22 carries for 120 yards and a 50-yard touchdown run that won the game for Pitt in overtime.

Browns 14, Buccaneers 17
In the battle of which team was the worst, the Browns won. We won’t say much about this game, other than the fact that Cleveland’s rushing game was non-existant, and that Jake Delhomme obviously didn’t leave his turnover problems in Carolina (the guy had two interceptions yesterday). We could also point out that Josh Freeman isn’t the second-coming in Tampa. Oh, and where in the world was Josh Cribbs?
No player of the game. Nope, none.

Broncos 17, Jaguars 24
Could the Broncos have dropped off any more since last November? Of course, this week they were victim to a drastically different game plan from the Jaguars. Jacksonville apparently has decided to take much of the pressure off of David Garrard – a strong performance by their offensive line and some pretty decent throws by Garrard, coupled with Maurice Jones-Drew racking up 98 yards helped them to this win. The Broncos had a Tim Tebow sighting (two plays, two yards rushing),  but Kyle Orton remained lackluster and their running game couldn’t get off of the ground.
Player of the Game: Garrard went 16 for 21 with 170 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers.

Colts 24, Texans 34
We told you. We told you last year, and we told you this preseason: If the Texans can get their act together, they can break out and be a legitimate team in this league. But this game could very well be a fluke. Peyton Manning went 40 for 57 with 433 yards and three touchdowns to three different receivers. Austin Collie, Reggie Wayne, and Dallas Clarke all had nearly 100 yard days and touchdowns. The only thing that jumps off of the stat sheet is the 73 yards in penalties the Colts took, but with those kinds of offensive numbers, couldn’t they have overcome it? Matt Schaub wasn’t even mentally prepared for this win – he went 9 for 17 with only 107 yards, a touchdown and an interception. What???
Player of the Game: Arian Foster was the main difference here. The running back racked up 231 yards (at the end of the entire season last year, Foster only had 257 combined yards) and three touchdowns on the day.

Cardinals 17, Rams 13
We have to give it to Derek Anderson – he didn’t completely suck. Anderson had a connection with Steve Breaston most of the day, and couldn’t seem to find Larry Fitzgerald at all (some may think Anderson overestimated Fitz’s jumping abilities, but he only caught 3 of the 15 passes intended for him, although one was a touchdown). Both teams looked horrible – there were four turnovers each and Sam Bradford didn’t exactly impress in his NFL debute, but the one aspect of the game that was impressive was the Card’s defense, which held Stephen Jackson to only 82 yards and picked off Bradford three times.
Player of the Game: Breaston had 7 catches for 132 yards.

Packers 27, Eagles 20
This was another one of those head-scratching games. The Eagles came into Week 1 completely healthy, then lost four starters before halftime. Then Michael Vick comes in, everyone flashes back to six years, and the Eagles mount a comeback? The Packers defense played very well – besides beging thrown the Vick curveball – but Aaron Rodgers seemed angry and upset with his, and his offense’s performance. He is right, there is more potential, especially with him throwing two interceptions on the day. Rest assured Eagles fans, this team is not in shambles – there is hope, and apparently, with Kolb’s concussion, it may rest in Michael Vick’s feet.
Player of the Game: Vick went 16 for 24 with 175 yards and a touchdown, but also rushed for 103 yards on the day.

Seattle 31, San Francisco 6
Statement game? We hope so. Pete Carrol and his Seahawks played a high-intensity game and racked up the points against the 49ers, and we can’t say we aren’t impressed. Matt Hasselbeck looked healthy with one passing and one rushing touchdown, and the defense limited Frank Gore and ate Alex Smith alive. It is safe to say that at the end of this season, Smith will be labeled a bust and San Fran will have to go quarterback hunting. As always, it will be interesting to see how Mike Singletary and his team will respond to this thumping.
Player of the Game: Hasselbeck went 18 for 23 with 170 yards and a touchdown, and also rushed one in himself.

Dallas 7, Washington 13
The Redskins won. And they won against Dallas. But there are plenty of problems in this game: It could be said that the ‘Skins won despite Donovan McNabb, not because of him, seeing that he went only 15 for 32 with 171 yards, and there were plenty of bonehead plays on Dallas’s part that handed this game over. Run a play like the Cowboys did at the end of the half that cost them a touchdown and the momentum, and you will hear about it the next day. Point is: The Cowboys did not look Super Bowl caliber this Sunday.
Player of the Game: DeAngelo Hall had 7 tackles, including one for a loss, and a fumble recovery for the touchdown that ultimately won the Redskins the game.

Ravens 10, NY Jets 9
Here is the thing: The Jets’ defense will keep them in any game this season, but an offense like this will not allow them to win. Only six first downs and 60 passing yards will not put you in contention for an AFC East title. The Ravens, however, showed off their new receiving core – but also showed how they have not stopped dropping sure catches. Joe Flacco must be frustrated. There is plenty to build on for both teams, that’s for sure.
Player of the Game: The Jets defense held the Ravens to one touchdown, keeping Ray Rice under 50 yards for the game and forcing dropped passes all over the field.

Chargers 14, Chiefs 21
San Diego always starts off slow… but a loss to Kansas City? That’s a tough one. Phillip Rivers didn’t look on the same page with any of his receivers, and that Chargers defense didn’t prove to be as strong as expected. Special teams and a decent rushing game from Jamaal Charles was all the Chiefs needed to stay on top – but the question is, was anyone still awake?
Player of the Game: Charles had 11 carries for 92 yards – that is 8.4 yards per carry – and one touchdown.

News and Notes

Injuries: Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb sustained a minor concussion during the Eagles’ game against the Packers. Kolb will undergo tests, will not return to practice until Friday, and may start (pending results) on Sunday against the Lions. The same is true for linebacker Stewart Bradley. Fullback Leonard Weaver is out for the season with a gruesome ACL tear as well… Carolina quarterback Matt Moore is reportedly feeling better after a blind-side hit by Osi Umenyiora at the end of Sunday’s game. Moore will undergo testing later this week… Matthew Stafford left Sunday’s game with yet another shoulder injury after a sack by Julius Peppers, and his status is uncertain for upcoming games… The Colts’ Bob Sanders is rumored to have another bicep tear and could be out for the rest of the season, pending tests of course… The Texans defense took another hit when defensive end Connor Barwin fractured his ankle. Barwin will be out for the rest of the season.
Tom Brady spoke to a Boston radio station on Monday and detailed the crash that he was involved in last Thursday. Brady says, “I was the most non-distracted driver on the road that morning, my hands were at 10 and two.”
– New York news agencies are reporting the New York Jets are being investigated for apparently harassing a female reporter at their practice facility. The woman, a former Miss Spain, alleged footballs were being thrown at her by a member of the coaching staff and that she was verbally taunted in the locker room.
Alex Barron has returned to Dallas and has not been shot, yet.

And the UDU Game Ball Goes to…

Arian Foster had 233 yards on 33 carries with three touchdowns – that is an average of seven yards per carry, and the main difference between the Colts and the Texans last week.

We love us some us.

Posted: July 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

…and some T.O.
by Matt Shanley

In the same month where tens upon thousands of media members, sports fans and nine-tenths of the general public have publicly blasted basketball megastar LeBron James for signing a contract to play for an organization where he’d be the second fiddle, Terrell Owens should be respected, revered and looked at in a positive light for making a similar decision.

Earlier this week, the often troublesome wide receiver Owens, signed a one-year, incentive-laden deal with the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals, a team whose receiving corps has been headlined by another superstar who craves the limelight, Chad (Johnson) Ochocinco.

In spite of the heat Owens takes season in and season out, it’s hard to argue with the points he makes. In San Francisco, quarterback Jeff Garcia more or less froze him out of the offense because of his end zone antics. In Philadelphia, not even quarterback Donovan McNabb defended him when he requested more money following his record-setting season which ended in a Super Bowl appearance. Though Tony Romo’s star shines brightly, there’s little doubt that he was ready to handle a receiver of Owens’ caliber in his first two seasons at the helm.

In Southwest Ohio, Owens will huddle with experienced, established players, most of whom are mature enough to understand the risk the Bengals took in signing him. All of them, though, know the reward that could come due to signing him, too. In a depleted AFC North division, T.O. could be the difference-maker for a team struggling to get over the hump.

Though in years past, Owens has caused countless Sundays filled with heartache among NFC East fans (like myself), it’s undeniable that he has etched his initials into every receiving-related history book the National Football League has to offer. Now 36 years old, T.O. has undoubtedly lost a step or two. Never once, though, did he line up on the other side of another Pro Bowl caliber wide-out. He will when lines up opposite Ochocinco. Rarely have his play callers taken charge. Quarterback Carson Palmer will.

When you’re an elite wide receiver, regardless of your level of play, be it Pop Warner, Division-III college football, or the NFL, you want the ball. You blow past the jams, you beat the double teams, you fly to the outside shoulder, you want the ball. You deserve it. The only problem Owens ever faced in his career was that he knows this.

Cincinnati, the Safe Haven

by Corianne Egan

Welcome to Cincinnati, home of the Bengals. Welcome to the team that will now serve as your P.R. firm, your anger management instructor, your parole officer. Welcome to the town that is your teammates’, and your own, last chance.

In the last five years, the Cincinnati Bengals have become almost a halfway house. They have it all: drug busts, alcoholics, rage issues, criminal records, divas, and a handsome headcase quarterback for the ladies. And as of Monday, they have inked their newest charity case – Terrell Owens.

Owens has had a stormy tenure in the NFL. After alienating teammates and brass in San Francisco, he traveled to Philadelphia. As a result of the Eagles’ collapse in the 2004 Super Bowl, his relationship with his quarterback and his coach soured. T.O. then traveled to Dallas where, a few reciever controversies and crying spells later, he was expelled from the locker room. Last year in Buffalo was seemingly uneventful. He has waited longer than most of the free agents on the market before being signed by the Bengals.

And ladies and gentlemen, he already has a best friend on the team. See Donovan McNabb part two: Ocho Cinco. Fans may remember that T.O. swore to change his name to Ocho Uno if he was signed by the Cats. We just can’t wait to see those endzone celebrations (and the 15 yard penalties/ridiculous fines that go with them).

The Bengals are never ones to shy away from controversy. You want criminals? Running back Cedric Benson has arrests for boating while intoxicated and assault. The Chicago Bears let him go. In 2009, he became Cincinnati’s leading rusher. Defensive tackle Tank Johnson has had run-ins with the law on numerous occasions – weapons charges included. The Bengals even apparently have a knack for picking winners – 2009 rookie Rey Maualuga was arrested for drunk driving only three weeks after season’s end.

Did you need a list of behavioral problems as well? Cincinnati has taken in several players that the rest of the league would not touch. Along with Benson, and now T.O., the Cats picked up Larry Johnson last year after Kansas City let him go because of “conduct detrimental to the team”. Last year, the team drafted Andre Smith against all inklings that he had issues with authority (see: 2009 combine). Smith held out the entire preseason before signing on August 30th. He fractured his foot on one of the first days of training camp and missed 14 weeks.

These lists don’t even include Chad Johnson – oh, we’re sorry, Ocho Cinco. This guy was fined $20K for “bribing” a ref with a dollar bill, and another $30K for wearing a poncho and a sombrero. Those weren’t his only fines in 2009 – he had $7K and $10k for wearing an orange chinstrap… twice.

However unlikely, these Bengals have become winners, last year finishing atop the AFC North with a 10-6 record. While their 37-0 first round loss to the Jets was embarrassing, it was a milestone they will no doubt use as fuel to their fire next season. And their team lacked one important thing last season – a passing game. Owens will no doubt bring that to the team… if he can keep his ego and body in check.

If the team can stay out of trouble, if Carson Palmer can keep his nerves calm, if head coach Marvin Lewis can keep the personalities under control, the Bengals can be a strong presence in the AFC once again this year. That is a lot of “ifs”, isn’t it?

But for a team whose future relies on “ifs”, and who seemingly survived most of those issues last season, it may not be too tall of an order. Worst case scenario: the implosion will be fun to watch.

George Steinbrenner dies at 80

by Corianne Egan

Baseball is a sport of tradition. The New York Yankees are the epitome of that tradition. On Tuesday, the Yankees lost the face of their franchise.

Early Tuesday morning, George Steinbrenner, the owner of the Yankees and a legend in New York lore, passed away. His passing came shortly after he was hospitalized for a massive heart attack. He was 80 years old.

George Michael Steinbrunner was born in Ohio on July 4, 1930. As the son of a shipping executive, Steinbrunner ventured into the family business and made a majority of his money as a chairman of the American Shipbuilding Company. He purchased the New York Yankees in 1973.

Steinbrenner ran the Yankees his own way from day one. He took what was already an institution and made it a brand, a way of life. The fresh white pinstripes and unmatched grooming policy gave the Yankees outward class that no other franchise could match.

“The Boss” was not your stereotypical owner, sitting in a luxury box and doling out money to the franchise. Steinbrenner ran the Yankees from the second he became majority owner, employing a GM almost as a formality. He has had spats with players and managers alike, and was even banned from baseball for a short period of time in the 1990s.

While the Yankees’ history was not created by Steinbrenner, their international brand certainly was. New York has fans spanning the entire country because of their winning ways and accessibility. Steinbrenner’s business savvy allowed for large endorsement contracts and the team’s own television network.

Throughout the years, Steinbrenner has been both lauded and criticized for his contribution to baseball. Some analysts pin baseball’s inflated salaries on his wallet. He has spent his 30+ years in the limelight as a controversial figure – after public spats with Dave Winfield (which eventually led to his banning), and illegal ties to President Nixon’s reelection campaign in 1974. 

Reasoning and controversy don’t change hard statistics and facts, however. The Yankees have won 11 pennants and seven World Series titles under “The Boss”.

The fate of the Yankees has yet to be determined. Both of Steinbrenner’s sons, Hank and Hal, have an equal share in New York’s ownership. If Yankee Stadium is the “House that Ruth Built”, the newer, more luxurious version will serve as George Steinbrenner’s legacy for decades to come.

A King No More

By Matt Shanley
From the moment LeBron James walked off the court of the TD Garden in Boston last May, I was convinced.

The King appeared to be dethroned. He ripped off the jersey of his resident Cleveland Cavaliers for what many believed to be the last time. And while many assumed he would bolt for an immediate contender in his impending free agency, I was convinced that LeBron’s next basketball-related decision would have little to do with basketball.

The look on the face of James was one that few have seen from a professional athlete of his stature. He seemed defeated more than he seemed disgusted, and so, I became convinced that the man who has openly expressed his desire to become the first billionaire to grace the world of professional basketball would leave the only team he’s ever known to pursue a city in which his brand would thrive.

Tonight wasn’t the first time I’ve ever been wrong, however, it’s the one instance I know I’ll remember for a long time.

Instead of James’ decision having nothing to do with winning, it involved winning so much that it will hereby deprive the few fans the NBA has left of the great talent that was LeBron James.

A few months back, I wrote about the first Cavaliers game I’d ever attended. It was simply electric. The man did something as simple as toss powder into the air and grown men gasped. I wrote that I had never been in an isolated area where you could tell that every set of eyes was laid on the same person until I bared witness to LeBron James as part of a live audience.

Never again.

Now, yeah, some eyes will be on LeBron. Most will be on new teammate Dwyane Wade, though. Some will be on ex-Raptor Chris Bosh, too.

If nothing else, I view “The Decision” as a cop-out. When LeBron James says that he feels like his best chance at winning a title is in Miami, all I hear is “I can’t” and “I don’t.”

“I can’t step up when it counts.”

“I don’t want to be the man every night.”

He won’t have to be. Now, in Miami, he’ll never again let down his hometown Cavaliers. He’ll never have to live up to the legend of Michael Jordan like he would in Chicago. He’ll never find his name desecrated on the back page of the New York Daily News.

No. He’ll never again be alone in taking the fall. Unfortunately for him, though, he’ll never be praised for rising above the odds.

The “King James” moniker is no longer relevant. LeBron is now merely a prince, or worse yet, a jester, who’s only worth is entertainment and spectacle bigger than the performances he’s paid to deliver.

LeBron goes to…

by  Corianne Egan

For seven years, LeBron James has been in the spotlight. As the 2003 draft’s No. 1 pick, James has never shied away from the media. Thursday night was no different. In a one hour special, nationally televised by ESPN, LeBron announced his decision.

“This Fall, I will be taking my talent to South Beach and playing for the Miami Heat,” James said.

And with those words, every resident of Ohio’s hearts broke. New Jersey and New York let out angry sighs. Chicago breathed a sigh of relief. And Miami rejoiced. Five cities were changed forever.

With the move, Miami automatically jumps in the power rankings. Just last week, the Heat resigned star Dwayne Wade and added fellow star-free agent Chris Bosh to their roster. The three stars, all members of the 2003 draft class and close friends, have catapulted expectations of the team to extreme heights.

In seven seasons and 548 games, James has accrued 15, 251 points, an average of 27.8 points a game.