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7-on-7: Vernon Davis doubles down

Andy Behrens
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When presented with an opportunity to soften his witheringly accurate assessment of Thursday's Bears-Niners matchup ("I think we can destroy them"), Vernon Davis(notes) did no such thing:

"I wasn't saying it to put anybody down," Davis said Wednesday. … "I'm just being confident."

As he should be, because his team's offense actually should destroy the Bears' defense. We've discussed that situation at length already. Here are a few more fun facts to get you fired up for the '09 debut of Thursday Night Football:

Matt Millen is in the booth, talking! Wooooo!

The Niners have lost four straight, while the Bears have dropped three of four!

Jay Cutler(notes) has thrown 10 interceptions in four road games so far this year!

Former Niners offensive coordinator Mike Martz didn't particularly like either San Francisco quarterback!

Matt Forte(notes) is averaging 3.6 yards per carry and the Niners are allowing 3.4!

That's, um…well, that's all I've got. Enjoy the game, America. Should be a barnburner. Serious draft position playoff implications. Mike likes this kinda party.

LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) missed practice on Wednesday due to a bruised hip. However: "Tomlinson said he didn't believe the injury was serious or would jeopardize his participation against the Eagles." Kevin Acee of the Union-Trib points out that the Chargers are spending a crazy amount of money on their running backs, considering the lack of production. [San Diego Union-Tribune]

Kyle Orton(notes) has reportedly shaved his luxurious beard, so you'll obviously want to downgrade him in the Week 10 ranks. Also, he claims that he would like to go downfield more often, but the deep passing game needs an assist from other aspects of the offense:

"Everybody wants to say, throw the ball 50 yards down the field. That's all great and you can say it, but there's a lot of things that go into it," Orton said. "There's coverage, you've got to have time, got to have the run to set up the coverage you want to throw it against. We had a couple [deep routes] called, we didn't get the looks that we wanted so we didn't throw them."

Over the past two weeks, Denver's longest passing play gained 23 yards. And again, no beard. [Denver Post]

Hopefully this official explanation will entirely clear up the Ryan Moats(notes) fumble/touchback review situation for you, Texans fans. Feel better? As a fantasy owner who suffered a small deduction for that fumble, I do not. [NFL.com]

DeSean Jackson(notes) has put himself in some rather impressive company. He's joined Randy Moss(notes) and Gale Sayers as the only players in NFL history to score at least seven TDs of 50-plus yards before reaching the age of 23. Also, there's this: "He’s in a tie for seventh place on the list of players since 1960 with 100-yard receiving games before turning 23, and he has an outside chance to tie Larry Fitzgerald(notes) for second on the list with seven 100-yard games." Moss, Sayers, Fitz...D-Jax. [The Fifth Down]

From the same author as the link above (Chase Stuart), you'll find a fairly ambitious attempt to test an idea about team defenses: "I've got a theory that there aren't necessarily teams that can only play the run well or can only defend the pass; rather there are just good defenses and bad defenses (and everything in between). … My claim is that theoretically – i.e., if we played 1,000,000 games so that randomness would be eliminated – defenses should just be defenses. No good run-D, bad pass-D teams; no average run-D, excellent pass-D teams; just defenses. That (I think) is a bold claim, so I better have some good reasons behind it."

There are obvious fantasy implications here. I'm definitely in the camp that believes great a great defense will limit everything, and when a team appears to be great vs. the run yet terrible vs. the pass, it's usually a shell game. Or as Stuart puts it, "defenses shouldn't be thought of as good against the pass or good against the run; defensive statistics should be considered fluid measures, because most defenses can choose how they'll let the offense beat them." [Part I, Part II, both via Pro Football Reference]

Brian Westbrook(notes) (head, ankle) returns to practice on Thursday, which obviously improves his outlook for Sunday's tilt at San Diego. Be prepared to deploy LeSean McCoy(notes) as needed, however. [Philadelphia Daily News]


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