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Andy Behrens

Sunday Scene, Week 1: Commissioners, get the league fee from Brady owners NOW

Andy Behrens
Roto Arcade

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The Tom Brady news is in, and it's as bad as you feared.

Yahoo!'s Michael Silver reports that the Patriots' QB is "expected to miss the rest of the 2008 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, according to a source familiar with the injury."

Matt Cassel replaced Brady on Sunday and went 13-for-18 for 152 yards and a touchdown. But all we've really learned about Cassel is that he's capable of beating a bad team when he's playing at home. He'll be seriously tested next week when the Pats visit the Jets.

As Silver points out, "Cassel...hasn’t been a starting quarterback since high school."

You'll want to add Cassel, but this will undoubtedly mean more rush attempts for Maroney and Morris, more blitzing from opponents, and a lower ceiling for Moss and Welker.

Commissioners, get on the phone. It's an awkward conversation, but it needs to happen. Tonight.

"Hey, dude, too bad about your quarterback. So, um...about the entry fee..."

POSTGAME

After rushing for 80 yards and two short TDs, Marion Barber went for X-rays on his ribs. Felix Jones was effective in relief for fantasy purposes (62 yards, 1 TD), and he also picked up blitzers. He clearly helped himself today.

The recently-concussed Derek Anderson took a shot to the head from Anthony Henry early in the fourth quarter, but quickly shook it off. Minutes later, Romeo Crennel chose to kick a field goal trailing 28-7.

Browns fans are still booing. Except for the ones who own Phil Dawson.

Just in case you wondered what Chad Ocho Cinco thinks of the name-on-the-jersey situation:

After the Bengals' 17-10 loss to Baltimore, Ocho Cinco refused to address the NFL's ruling.

"I ain't worried about the name, man. We just lost the game," he said."I ain't worried about that."

Get used to lines like this one from Tim Hightower: eight carries, 13 yards, one TD. Edgerrin James still managed 100 rushing yards on 26 carries as the Kurt Warner-led Cardinals beat the San Francisco O'Gores, 23-13.

Your Brett Favre quote of the day: "The last game I played, it was 120 degrees colder."

Spectacular finish in the Carolina-San Diego game, where Jake Delhomme hit Dante Rosario (7 REC, 96 YDS) in the back of the end zone as time expired. The DeAngelo Williams-Jonathan Stewart job-share was nearly two-to-one in Williams' favor (18 carries to 10), but both backs were productive.

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UM...THIRD HALF? SECOND FIRST-HALF? YEAH, OK, WE MESSED UP THE SUB-HEADS...

Let's quickly run through a few suspected committee situations. These teams have played, and the numbers are in the books:

Cincinnati -- Chris Perry 18 carries, Kenny Watson 2;

Miami -- Ricky Williams 10 carries and 4 receptions, Ronnie Brown 6 and 3;

New England -- Laurence Maroney 10 carries, Sammy Morris 10;

Houston -- Steve Slaton 13 carries and 3 receptions, Ahman Green 5 and 4;

Pittsburgh -- Willie Parker 25 carries, Rashard Mendenhall 10 (garbage time);

Jacksonville -- Fred Taylor 9 carries, Maurice Jones-Drew 5 (and 4 receptions);

Tennessee -- Chris Johnson 15 carries and 3 catches with one touchdown, LenDale White 15 and a one-yard TD;

Seattle -- Julius Jones 13 carries, Maurice Morris 6;

Tampa Bay -- Earnest Graham 10 carries for 91 yards, Warrick Dunn 9 for 54

New Orleans -- Reggie Bush 14 carries for 51 yards and 8 receptions for 112 (the knees seem OK), Pierre Thomas 10 carries for 52;

Baltimore -- Ray Rice 22, Le'Ron McClain 19, Willis McGahee 0.

Don't jump on McClain just yet, but he did rush for 86 yards. He's suddenly a RB of interest, although it depends on the McGahee situation. You're not handcuffing Willis twice.

Totally unconfirmed (yet very bad) news on Tom Brady from Tom Curran:

"Everybody I talked to said it's a torn ACL," said one Jets player. "Players AND coaches. When we came in here that's what people were saying, 'Brady's got a torn ACL.'"

We'll see. Whatever it is, it isn't good.

Donte Stallworth "tweaked his groin during pre-game warm-ups," according to Pam Oliver. This is perhaps a new low.

Derek Anderson threw a perfect first quarter strike to Braylon Edwards for what should have been a 53-yard TD...and Edwards' hands stopped working, briefly. That's drop No. 1. Tony Romo was a perfect 5-for-5 on the Cowboys' opening drive. It ended with a one-yard touchdown plunge by Marion Barber.

We've now got video of the Brady injury. Um...pay no attention to the fantasy ad that precedes it.

Since we're sending you to the NFL's website anyway, check out Roscoe Parrish's punt return TD. He shamed some tacklers there, changing direction several times and spinning away from John Carlson, who just had no chance. And that wasn't Buffalo's only special teams TD.

Yup, Frank Gore indeed looks like the centerpiece of the San Francisco offense: 11 carries at half for 80 yards and a 41-yard TD. He also has two catches for 19.

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SECOND HALF

We begin with your Tom Brady update:

Still injured.

The Boston Herald reached out to Will Carroll, who speculated that it might be a PCL.

“His foot was down and his leg went backwards. It’s the usual mechanism. I still haven’t seen a really good angle to be sure, but I didn’t see any twisting.”

This will be a miserable week for Brady drafters, obviously. The next time New England offers a comprehensive injury update will be the first time.

Nate Burleson and Vince Young suffered knee injuries we'll be fretting about, too.

Also, Brodie Croyle is down with a shoulder issue. Damon Huard replaced him and quickly went 4-for-4 with a TD pass to Dwayne Bowe.

The Detroit defense offers no resistance whatsoever. They're apparitional. Jerious Norwood went through them for a 10-yard TD. It appears he really will get some work this year.

So it's not exactly an even distribution of carries in Pittsburgh. At the start of the fourth quarter, leading 35-3, Willie Parker had 25 rush attempts for 138 yards and three TDs. Rashard Mendenhall had only five carries. (But no fumbles!) Hines Ward with a big day: six receptions, 76 yards, two TDs.

It's Devery Henderson, not Robert Meachem, with the long, game-changing score for New Orleans. That game came down to a fourth-and-six for Tampa in Saints' territory, and Scott Fujita picked Jeff Garcia.

Thomas Jones reintroduced himself to the end zone. He visited only twice last year. It appears that the Jets' massive investment in blocking infrastructure has helped.

Michael Turner had what would've been his third touchdown negated by a holding penalty on Roddy White. It was an obvious hold and it helped free Turner, but you just knew he was going to obliterate and/or embarrass any Lion who dared to challenge him. Too bad.

Turner broke Gerald Riggs' single-game Falcons rushing record with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

So I just tried to write a bullet on Chad Pennington, but Dwight Lowery broke that up, too. Dude is everywhere.

Trent Edwards and Marshawn Lynch were not really bothered by what was supposed to be a very good Seattle defense. Edwards went 19-for-30 for 215 and a TD. Lynch had his usual 90-something total yards and a score.

Matt Schaub and Kevin Walter connected for a classic Jim Everett-to-Quinn Early score, making it 35-10, Pittsburgh. Schaub later ran for a TD, and somewhat miraculously finished with a nice fantasy line.

"This was sweet for me." That's what Matt Cassel said in a post-game interview. Jerk.

To those who endured that Bengals-Ravens game, we're sorry. Carson Palmer finished with 99 passing yards, and Chris Perry rushed for 37. Perhaps we shouldn't bury the Baltimore defense just yet (two sacks, two turnovers).

Ray Rice had 22 carries for 64 yards and three receptions for 19, but this sort of thing obviously can't happen:

Ray Rice rushed up the middle for 12 yard loss. Ray Rice fumbled. Johnathan Joseph recovered fumble and returned for 65 yards (Shayne Graham made PAT)

Donovan McNabb simply shredded the Rams: 21-for-33, 361 yards, 3 TDs.

Shades of '07: Sammy Morris and Laurence Maroney each carried 10 times, and Morris had the TD. Important to note that Maroney didn't really take off last year until Morris was out of the frame.

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FIRST HALF

The updates get no bigger than this: Tom Brady limped off the field in New England after injuring his left knee, and his return is "questionable". But that's just a placeholder because the Patriots can't officially say "Oh (expletive)." Matt Cassel is at the helm.

Randy Moss is still having exactly the first half you expected (5 REC, 111 YDS, 1 TD), but the injury did not look good. Brady stepped into Bernard Pollard and the QB's knee bent unnaturally.

OK, maybe Matt Ryan is more than just a pair of shoes. (Smoot's words). The first pass of his NFL career was an absolute strike to Michael Jenkins, who beat Travis Fisher immediately (and decisively), then kept running. Ryan's first drive: 1-for-1, 62 yards, 1 TD.

And six minutes later, Michael Turner makes a cut behind the line, then bulls over and/or through various Lions on his way to a 66-yard score. He pulled away from his pursuers at the end, too.

This just in: Brett Favre still has an arm. He hit Jerricho Cotchery for a 56-yard score. Assist to Andre Goodman, who threw Cotchery into the end zone.

Willie Parker reached the end zone from seven yards out, which doubles his TD total from last season. You might want to double-check the math there, but that seems right.

Chad Pennington began his day 0-for-4, and nothing was close. Two could have been picked, although the second of those was really more Ted Ginn's fault than Chad's. Ronnie Brown's first touch went for seven yards and a first down, and he moved a small pile of tacklers.

Jerious Norwood took the handoff, got to the line of scrimmage, looked to pitch it back to Ryan, but found a defender in the way...so he just decided to keep the ball and break three tackles on his way to a 17-yard gain. Moments later, Turner rode his O-line over a few helpless Lions and broke the plane for his second score.

And this is exactly what you're looking for if you're invested in the Lions' passing game.

Willie Parker again, this time from 13. That quadruples his '07 TD total.

Goodness. Brett Favre lobbed a jump-ball down the middle of the field on 4-and-13, and Chansi Stuckey plucked it from the air at the goal line. That's a 22-yard TD. It was really a no-risk pass, given the situation. The two-point attempt failed.

That's right: they went for two, after passing on a relatively short field goal attempt. Mike Nugent is either injured, or that's a vote of no confidence.

In case you missed Fantasy Football Live this morning, Jason Cole declared that Tennessee's Chris Johnson will get 200-250 touches this year. If that happens, he's a top-20 running back. He's off to an encouraging start: eight carries for 61 yards, and three receptions for 34 and a TD.

Late in the first half in Atlanta, the Matt Ryan who threw 19 INTs in college last season made an appearance. He tried to throw a pick-six to Paris Lenon, but the linebacker dropped it.

No player has been more heavily dropped lately than Tony Scheffler. The TE you've been adding, LJ Smith, has produced so far: three catches, 23 yards, one TD. Rookie DeSean Jackson is having a big half, too: four receptions, 70 yards. And Brad Evans wants you to know that Hank Baskett is doing well.

PREGAME

The second reign of Orton is upon us, citizen. Awaken! Rejoice!

Feel free to stop by Sunday Scene throughout the day. There will be updates.

Also, Pianowski and I will be lurking in the chat window over at Fantasy Football Live today. (We threatened to launch a competing show; this is the uneasy compromise). We'll be available to answer the graduate-level questions that lesser experts dread.

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Photos via AP (top) and Getty Images (Orton)

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