September 14, 2010
On 4th-and-10, with 36 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and his team trailing by a point, Jets tight end Dustin Keller(notes) caught a pass near the sideline, got both feet down, and stepped out of bounds … with a 9-yard gain.
New York thus turned the ball over on downs. Baltimore had effectively clinched a 10-9 win. Initially, it seemed appropriate for the game to have finished that way, with the Jets inches short of where they needed to be. But upon reflection, it doesn't seem quite right for the game to have ended on a completed pass. New York quarterback Mark Sanchez(notes) was just 10-for-21 on the night for 74 yards. That 9-yard completion was his second-longest of the night. In the truest spirit of a miserable effort, the Jets should have somehow punctuated their opening week loss with a penalty — they committed 14 for 125 yards on the night — or perhaps with a mistake by Shonn Greene(notes).
Even within the context of an awful Monday night game, Greene distinguished himself (in a bad way). He was a mess. Five carries, 18 yards, a game-changing fumble, a hideous drop. It's not as if anyone expected a useful fantasy line from Greene against the Ravens — he was the No. 22 running back in the Week 1 composite ranks — but it would have been nice if he could have avoided the second-half benching. LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) dominated the backfield work over the final two quarters; he was at least competent, if unremarkable. Greene made a late cameo, dropped an easy swing pass that hit him in the chest, then returned to the sideline.
Amazingly, New York refused to take shots downfield. The team's longest gain from scrimmage actually came on a Brad Smith(notes) option keeper. The Jets repeatedly challenged Baltimore's front seven, which of course is a great way to lose. They'll hammer away at the Patriots' line in Week 2, probably with greater success. New York ran the ball a league-leading 607 times last season, so this team will almost certainly deliver a top-10 fantasy back in 2010. If Greene can't extract himself from the doghouse, he may not be the guy.
OK, we shall speak no more of this game. Let's begin the bulletry…
• It's never a surprise when Norv Turner loses early in the season, so there's really no need to panic about San Diego. But if you want to panic about Malcom Floyd(notes) just a little, fine. He had an ugly night in Kansas City, catching just three balls despite being peppered with targets (12). Philip Rivers(notes) missed him in the end zone twice in the final minute.
Arguably, Floyd's biggest play in the first half occurred when he unintentionally tackled Antonio Gates(notes) at the Chiefs' 5-yard line. Not great. Our resident Chargers fan is now begging for a resolution to the Vincent Jackson situation. Legedu Naanee's fantasy line was saved by a 59-yard second-half score, a TD made possible by the fact that every DB on the field decided to cover Gates.
• We have a few additional details on Ryan Grant's ankle injury, and they won't leave his owners feeling hopeful. This from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
"It's a significant injury to the ankle and the ligament involved in the ankle," McCarthy said.
McCarthy also said he didn't yet know if the injury would require surgery.
Grant was not available in the locker room, but he spoke to 1250 WSSP radio later Monday. Grant was vague about the injury, saying only that he would take it week to week.
• "You can't put the ball on the ground if you want to play," said Ken Whisenhunt, when asked about Tim Hightower's(notes) two fumbles in the win over St. Louis. Arizona's head coach later delivered the expected vote of confidence, however. Beanie Wells(notes) (knee) returns to practice this week and LaRod Stephens-Howling(notes) ran well in Week 1 (10 touches, 65 yards), so Hightower isn't looking like a must-start at Atlanta on Sunday.
• Matthew Stafford will visit Dr. Andrews this week for a second opinion (never a good sign), and, predictably, the Lions aren't talking. On Monday, Adam Schefter reported that Stafford's shoulder injury was a second-degree separation. As we've mentioned previously, the schedule ahead is messy for Detroit: vs. PHI, at MIN, at GB. Stafford wouldn't have been a recommended fantasy play even if he'd emerged from the Chicago game unhurt.
• Appropriately enough, the Houston Chronicle is still praising the Texans' offensive line for its dominant performance against Indianapolis on Sunday.
The Texans’ offensive linemen met Monday morning to watch tape of their handiwork. [Chris] Myers and his fellow linemen counted more than 20 knockdowns as they opened enough holes for [Arian] Foster to rumble for a franchise-record 231 yards, the second-most rushing yards for a running back in an NFL season opener.
When the whistle blew after Foster’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, the player deepest in the end zone was Colts linebacker Gary Brackett(notes), some 3 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
He didn’t start there. Brackett’s repositioning was an involuntary displacement thanks to a textbook block thrown by Myers at the goal line.
• Carolina quarterback Matt Moore(notes) suffered a concussion during Sunday's loss to the Giants, and he was taken to a New Jersey hospital following the game. However, Panthers head coach John Fox hasn't ruled him out for Week 2 versus Tampa Bay. Jimmy Clausen(notes) is Plan B for Carolina.
Photos via US Presswire