News, introspective, insight & opinion from around the NFL & NCAA

News, introspective, insight & opinion from around the NFL & NCAA

Monday, October 26, 2009


We are happy to announce that we are all grown up now and have moved to the Bloguin Network. This is a real privilege for us and we are certain that you will get much more enjoyment and use out of the site. You can read all about our move HERE.

Our new home will be Hope to see you there!

P.S. Our baseball site has moved as well. The new URL is

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Guys, this will be our last post on this site. We are happy to announce that we are all grown up now and have moved to the Bloguin Network. This is a real privilege for us and we are certain that you will get much more enjoyment and use out of the site. You can read all about our move HERE.

Our new home will be Hope to see you there!

P.S. Our basebal site has moved as well. The new URL is

With Halloween upon us the theme for football fans is clearly trick or treat. As a kid, one of my most traumatic experiences was knocking on the door of someone's house and saying "Trick or Treat..." and having the guy who answered the door yell "TRICK!" and slam the door in my face.

Before we get started though, we need to award this year's Xtra Point Football best football fan costume. Congrats to Green Bay Packers "St. Vince." He seems to be in the running every year, but this year we've given it to him. Ok, on to the Halloween festivities.

After six weeks we have some surprises in the NFL. Some of you fans have been treated by your team while some of you have been tricked. Let's go by conference and division and see if your team has been giving out good candy:

NFC East

Giants (5-1) - Treat! About what you expected. They had a little hiccup last week, but nothing they can't correct.

Eagles (3-2) - Trick! They lost to the Raiders. That could come back to bite them.

Cowboys (3-2) - Trick! They have become way too comfortable in their new locker room. Too much talent being wasted here.

Redskins (2-4) - Trick! The blame is on Zorn but it all starts with the front office. It's amazing they can create the 2nd wealthiest franchise (behind the cowboys) running the team this way.

NFC North

Vikings (6-0) - Treat! We thought they would win the division, but we didn't think they would start off 6-0. Brett Favre has actually played well and he's brought them down the field in crunch time when he's needed to.

Packers (3-2) - Trick! Keep the ambulance close by because the offensive line is going to get Aaron Rodgers hurt.

Bears (3-2) - Trick! Lots of fanfare getting Jay Cutler, but Kyle Orton the QB they let go is 6-0!

Lions (1-5) - Not home, we have to come back. They do have one win already though...

NFC South

Saints (5-0) - Treat! Their candy clearly has the most caffeine in it. What an offense. Like the early 80's Chargers!

Falcons (4-1) - Treat! No sophomore jinx for Matty Ice. He's a bringht kid. A playoff team here, no doubt.

Panthers (2-3) - Trick! Jake Delhome is on the take. He's giving the other team the game plan. Gotta be. No other explanation. Mark Sanchez threw FIVE interceptions in one game last wek and still couldn't surpass him for having the dubious distinction of having the league lead in INT's.

Buccaneers (0-6) - Trick! I don't care how low the expectations were or how unstable the QB position is. In the NFL if you are 0-6 your fans have been tricked.

NFC West

49ers (3-2) - Treat! Singletary has them playing well. Without a a fluke loss to the Vikings and an injury to Frank Gore they would probably be 5-0. They have a legit shot at the playoffs. One of the surprise teams in my mind.

Cardinals (3-2) - Not home, have to come back. I know many didn't expect a lot just because they made a good run last year, but I did. We'll revisit them in a few weeks and see where they stand. Their season can still go either way.

Seahawks (2-4) - Trick! Mostly because I hate those green uniforms. I wish they would switch back to those old AFC ones that from the Steve Largent era with the grey helmets. They are better than those fluorescent ones they wore a few weeks ago though. Ugh. They are too flakey and their fans never know what team will show up. This division is up for grabs and they aren't doing much in the way of fighting for it.

Rams (0-6) - Trick! Again, low expectations do not have to mean an 0'fer. The Bucs will get a win at some point but I'm not sure the Rams will. They may be the Lions of 2009. They have already lost their last 16 games.


AFC East

Patriots (4-2) - Treat! Any real concerns have been answered. "What's wrong with Brady, what's wrong with Brady?" Five touchdowns in one quarter now shut up!

Jets (3-3) - Trick! What a tease. I bit less talking by the coach and some defensive players and a bit more paying attention to what you are doing on the field may help here guys. How about stopping the run and maybe getting a sack or something? Sanchez did complete 10 passes to his team and only 5 to the other team last week, so there is promise. The loss of Kris Jenkins may hurt more than anything else. If they turn it around here, they will be fine. Lose to the Raiders this week and the rest of the season will be a disaster.

Dolphins (2-3) - Treat! Chad Pennington was actually a good manage the game QB for them and the loss hurts, but they may have found something in Chad Henne. And the Wild Cat is no gimmick with the personnel they have. They get their best two players Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams on the field at the same time. How can that be a bad thing? Their defense may do them in though. They should have one the Colts game. If your offense keeps the ball for ¾ of the game, you are supposed to win the game.

Buffalo (2-4) - Trick! Sure they beat the Jets last week for a nice division win, but that's starting to not look like much of an accomplishment as the Jets are on the verge of collapse. Dick Juron sure makes some odd in game decisions.

Bengals (4-2) - Treat! Carson Palmer is back. Without the fluke play in week one, they would be 5-1. And nice job by Chad Eight-Five by buying the extra 1,600 tickets so the game didn't get blocked out on TV in Cincinnati this past week. Maybe the guy is growing up.

Steelers (4-2) - Not home, we have to come back. I guess it all comes down to if Troy Polamalu can stay on the field or not. They are clearly a different team without him. Perhaps the biggest single impact guy to their team in the league not named Peyton Manning. Ben Roethlisberger is not the best at anything but just knows how to win. Reminds me of Derek Jeter.

Ravens (3-3) -Trick! Joe Flacco and Ray Rice are doing their part. It's time for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the rest of the "D" to hold up their end of the bargain. And Ray, enough complaining about the referees (even though you are right) because no one wants to hear it. And you should lucky that shot to the head on Chad Eighty-Five should cost you a suspension, not just s fine. You could have really hurt the guy. Remember Darryl Stingley?

Browns (1-5) - Trick! Ha, ha , ha.... What a joke. That Eric Mangidiot is something else isn't he?

AFC South

Colts (6-0) - Treat! Peyton Manning had the ball for less than 15 minutes in the game against the Dolphins and he pulled it out. Enough said.

Jaguars (3-3) Trick! Have to be disappointed with the poor start. Expected a lot more from them. They can still get a Wild Card spot though. Del Rio is a good coach though and can certainly turn them around. It's still early.

Texans (3-3) - Not home, we have to come back. Not sure how to read this team yet, I think their fans are confused too. They should be able to put up consistent points so they have a shot to make a run.

Titans (0-6) - TRICK IT'S A TRICK! RUN, IT'S A TRICK! MY god, RIP. What the hell happened here? How the might have fallen..., they were 14-2 last year! Fisher must be sick. He's a great coach and this has to be killing him. Anyone calling for his head is a moron. I would guess they have to start playing Vince Young here at some point just as a matter of principle to see what they have don't you think?

AFC West

Broncos (6-0) - Treat! Pat Bowlen got it right hiring a young Mike Shanahan, maybe he got it right with Josh McDaniels too? Knowshon Moreno is doing well and you can't say enough about Kyle Orton's performance. They were the laughing stock of the NFL with their off season circus of moves and non moves, but look who's laughing now....

Chargers (2-3) - Trick! How many times does Norv Turner have to trick us? And I don't care what anyone says, Ladainian Tomlinson will never be the same player he was, those days are over. They will probably make the playoffs again; they have too much talent not to. But Norv will find a way to screw that up. Love Philip Rivers though, he's a fighter. Have enough guys like that on your team and you will win. He can play for my team any day.

Raiders (2-4) - Trick! The defense they put out there is actually not that bad? If Jamarcus Russell can't learn to read a defense soon those, they are going to have to make a switch. He's certainly got the physical tools. Hey, I'm not calling the guy a dope or anything, playing QB in the NFL may be the toughest thing to do in all of sports? There have been many great athletes that couldn't play in the league, he wouldn't be the first. But he's got to show some improvement soon; it's time.

Chiefs (1-5) - Trick! This is a turn-around story so expectations couldn't be that high. But you have to be disappointed if your team only has one win in six weeks. After all, it is the NFL and everyone is playing for a paycheck. They have a great management team in their now and they are headed in the right direction. Matt Cassel should be there for a few years and have some success over time.

Mike Cardano is the founder of the Around the Horn Baseball Bog and Xtra Point Football Blog.
Have a Fantasy Football or Rotisserie baseball question? Want to know who to pick up, who to activate and who the hot prospects are? Ask Dr. Roto. Let Dr. Roto guide your team to a league championship.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

No Respect!

Why is it that Kyle Orton gets absolutely no credit for being a good NFL QB? In fact, not only doesn't he get credit for being a good QB, he's frowned upon and looked at as a stop gap until a good one comes along.

The Denver Broncos were the laughing stock of the NFL this off season when they let Jay Cutler go to the Bears and received Orton back as part of the compensation. They were the laughing stock again as they new coach Josh McDaniels lobbied publicly for and failed to get New England QB Matt Cassel who ultimately was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs.

When Orton was a Chicago Bear they couldn't wait to get rid of him. In 2005 as a rookie Rex Grossman (the predetermined starter going into the year) was hurt in preseason and Orton played the first 15 games. Orton was 10-5 as a starter and when Grossman was healthy they placed him as the starter in game 16, throughout the playoffs and for the Superbowl.

The coaching staff asked Orton to minimize mistakes and to let the rushing attack and the defense win ballgames rather than employing an aggressive passing attack. Measuring Orton by victories, his rookie season was a successful one even by historical standards. Orton's 15 starts and 10 victories are both rookie records for Bears quarterbacks, and the 10 victories are the third most in the NFL since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, behind only Ben Roethlisberger's 14 victories in 2004, and 11 victories by Joe Flacco last year.

Following the 2005 season, the Bears signed veteran Brian Griese as the team's second string quarterback. Orton, now demoted, became the Bears' third-string quarterback, and did not see any playtime throughout the entire 2006 season.

In 2007 the Bears played merry-go-round with their QB's. Grossman. Greise, Orton.... In 2008 more of the same, Grossman, Orton.

So now he's in Denver. Orton has led the Broncos who were the laughing stock of the league no more than seven weeks ago to a 6-0 start. Kyle Orton, is not pretty. True, he doesn't groom himself and could use a shave, but that's not what I mean. He doesn't put up flashy stats and isn't charismatic. He simply manages the game, and manages the game well.

He manages the game so well in fact he has the 3rd highest winning percentage behind all active QB's with more than 2 full years of game starts.

My apologies if your favorite QB isn't on the list but let's take a look at the QB's that are generally regarded as the best QB's in the NFL and where they rank.

No one wants the guy. Josh McDaniels didn't want him, Lovie Smith didn't want him, the fans in Chicago definitely didn't want him, the pundits in the TV and print media didn't want him.... I don't even know if his mother wanted him? The guy is always the fall-back position. Grossman doesn't work out... ok try Orton. Greise doesn't work out... ok try Orton, Cassel doesn't work out... ok, try Orton.

All I know is the guy wins. I'm a life-long Jets fan and my guy threw five picks last week. FIVE! If Orton was my QB we'd be 5-1 right now and not 3-3. And there are at ten teams at a minimum that would be better off if Orton were their QB too. Count'em. - Mike Cardano
Mike Cardano is the founder of the Around the Horn Baseball Blog and the Extra Point Football Blog.
Have a Fantasy Football or Rotisserie baseball question? Want to know who to pick up, who to activate and who the hot prospects are? Ask Dr. Roto. Let Dr. Roto guide your team to a league championship.
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NFL Week 6 Final

Sunday's games ran the gamut from two shutouts to two shoot-outs. Let's go around the country for a quick wrap up and commentary.

Patriots beat the Titans 59-0: The return of Junior Seau.... What's Jeff Fisher to do, conduct a human sacrifice to scare his team into performing? Brady threw for six TDs in snow and slush and an undrafted rookie played the bulk of the second half at QB to blunt the shots that Belichick was piling on.

Buffalo Bills beat the Jets in OT 16-13: Ryan's defense wasn't bullied like last week but then again, the offense disappeared and special teams failed him. Sanchez threw five INTs, a botched snap in OT doomed a FG, stupid penalties made it worse and Thomas Jones romped for a Jets record well over 200 yards in a wasted effort. Different coach, different players, same old Jets.

Raiders beat the Eagles 13-9: Yes you read that right. McNabb was shut out while JaMarcus Russell hit Zach Miller for an 86 yd. score. Camera shots of Al Davis with blanket on his lap in his special chair are just plain sad; or mean depending on your view. With nothing working why didn't Philly use the Wildcat?

Arizona Cardinals beat the Seahawks 24-3: Seattle got punched in the mouth early in the first quarter and never recovered. It couldn't get on the field until 11 minutes had ticked off the clock. Hasselbeck got manhandled with five sacks and Kurt Warner became fastest to throw for career 30,000 yards.

Carolina Panthers beat the Buccaneers 28-21: The Bucs keep getting closer to a win but are now losing to other bad teams. Jake Delhomme remained upright by handing off the ball to Williams and Stewart for 257 yards. Even two INTs that gave the Bucs two scores couldn't spoil the Panthers' day.

Falcons beat the Bears 21-14: Bears @ Falcons was the Sunday Night game. Not a pretty game but one in which red zone mistakes cost the Bears a win. Here's a hint of what it was like: Jay Cutler ran for more yards than any RB on either team. A game that appeared even on paper and was played out that way. A defensive pass interference penalty had the Bears at the Atlanta 14 with 1:07 left but they couldn't convert. The battle of the Smiths had Mike defeating Lovey. See these two meet again in the playoffs.

Kansas City beats the Redskins 14-6: Todd Haley got his first win as head coach and after the game SI's Peter King reported that the Redskins stripped Coach Jim Zorn of his play calling duties. Well that should take care of it, right? Despite benching Jason Campbell, Washington couldn't score a TD.

Saints beat the NY Giants 48-27: Were Giants exposed or was it just one of those weeks? Hard to tell since the Saints never seemed to be doing anything other than scoring one way or another. Brandon Jacobs had only 33 yards. Not sure if that is the start of a problem that is arising or just a symptom of the game getting away? Drew Brees gets back on track as he throws for four TDs.

Pittsburgh beats the Browns 27-14: Steelers continue dominance over the Brown but Big Ben thinks team offense wasn't as good as he thought it would be. Browns highlights: QB completed 9 passes! Oh, and Joshua Cribbs 98 yard kickoff return for a TD.

Jacksonville beats the Rams in OT 23-20: Jones-Drew goes off for three TDs but Rams made it more than interesting. St. Louis remains winless and Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo looked liked a beaten dog in post-game interview. Rams extend the NFL's longest losing streak to 16 games.

Minnesota beats the Ravens 33-31: But for a last-second missed FG the Ravens would have stolen the magic out from under Favre and the Vikings. Adrian Peterson finally cracked the 100 yd. rushing mark, and Ray Rice ran caught for a monster fantasy game. Flacco held his own but Favre is on a mission. Neither team's vaunted defense could hold the other.

Houston beat the Bengals 28-17: Matt Schaub made his fantasy owners happy with four TDs and there was no winning final drive this week for Cincinnati. Chad Eight-Five had a great day but Andre Johnson, held without a TD had 135 yards receiving.

Green Bay beat the Lions 26-0: Two shutouts in one day for the NFL. Not good. Aaron Rodgers still got clobbered with five sacks (does his O-line dislike him?) but threw for 2 TDs and 350 yards. Detroit looked awful and lost another QB as Culpepper pulled a hamstring.

Broncos beat the Chargers Broncos 34-23: The Broncos were on Monday Night Football for the 18th straight season, which is the longest active streak in the NFL (mention that one at the water cooler today for 2 points.) The Chargers were able to convert on just 2 of 11 third-down opportunities. Denver's defense swarmed Philip Rivers, and three of its five sacks came on third down. Kyle Orton just moves the chains.

Mike Cardano is the founder of the Around the Horn Baseball Blog and the Extra Point Football Blog. Mike is also the founder of the fantasy sports games Ultimate Franchise BaseballTM and Ultimate Franchise FootballTM.

Have a Fantasy Football or Rotisserie baseball question? Want to know who to pick up, who to activate and who the hot prospects are? Ask Dr. Roto. Let Dr. Roto guide your team to a league championship.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Why does management hate Kellen Clemens?

What did Kellen Clemens do that was so bad that the Jets constantly go out of their way to make certain that he does not play?

It begs the question, if what he did was that bad, why is he still on the team? Are they punishing him by banishing him to the bench?

Did Clemens rape a member of the Johnson family or something? By the lengths they are taking to keep him OFF the field you might think so. (Ok, maybe not rape, but possibly a gentle molestation.)

Clemens' base salary this year is $535,000 ($937,500) if you include his prorated 1.6 million dollar signing bonus he got with his July 28, 2006 contract. His 1.6 million was spread over 4 years in addition to his salary of $275,000 (2006), $360,000 (2007), $445,000 (2008) and $535,000 (2009).

Clemens was the Jets 2nd round pick in 2006, the 49th player picked in the draft. He had a pretty decent career at Oregon. If he was at a college that gets more PR he would have been a pretty high profile guy.

When Chad Pennington got hurt in 2007 Clemens started 8 games. The Jets went 3-5 under Clemens and he was serviceable. Nothing that would catapult him into being THE GUY but no worse that many QB's have in their 1st 8 games. In fact, batter than many who became great QB's.

He lost out to Pennington in 2006, he lost out to Pennington again in 2007, he lost out to Brett Favre in 2008 (not much of a fair fight there, but he was about to lose out to Pennington again anyway), and he lost out to 1st Round pick rookie Mark Sanchez in 2009.

Yesterday, the NY Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez in his 6th professional career game (he only played 16 college games) faded back to pass 29 times and connected on 15 of them. 10 times the ball went the Jets, 5 times it went to the Bills, and the other 19 times the ball hit the ground with no one catching hit (which I guess should be considered a positive compared to the 5 interceptions.)

I don't care who you are. You could be Joseph Willie Namath. You could be Peyton Manning, a rookie, a veteran it doesn't matter. At some point, after 3 interceptions, 4 interceptions, 5 interceptions, ....... there has to be a unanimous consensus between the 80,000 people in the stands, the millions watching on TV, the offensive coordinator, the head coach, the team owner, the QB's mother an anyone who is even heard second hand what is going on that it's not your day and you have to come out of the game and the back-up has to go it.

After Sanchez threw 4 interceptions did they think that Clemens would throw 2 more and Sanchez would only throw 1 more so the lesser of two evils was to leave Sanchez in? If you didn't put the back-up guy in on a day like yesterday, exactly when would you do it? The Jets would have received a $535,000 Salary Cap Savings if they just cut him this year. Instead, they have a kid QB that desperately needs to sit, relax, watch and learn for a bit and a back-up who apparently, the coach can't or won't play.

A buddy of mine in our office has Rex Ryan's cell phone number. He left the following message during 4th quarter of the game.

"Rex, you are paying the guy $937,500 this year! He's standing there with a baseball cap on freezing his ass off! Put him in the game and let's see what he can do, the other guy doesn't have it today! It doesn't mean that you are calling him the starter. It doesn't mean that you are creating a QB controversy; you have to try to win the game!"

Whatever Clemens did must have been really bad....... - Keith A. Baker
Keith A. Baker is a sports agent in Stamford, Connecticut. His goal is to offer a unique insight to the world of sports. Comments in his columns are for entertainment purposes only and do not reflect the views and opinions of his firm or his client.

Have a Fantasy Football or Baseball question? Want to know who to pick up, who to activate and who the hot prospects are? Ask Dr. Roto. Let Dr. Roto guide your team to a league championship.
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