December 01, 2009
It's all baseball, all the time as we work to finish up a 2010 Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball Mag that I'm sure you guys will be proud of. But I don't want to completely shut out the football peeps, so here's a very quick collection of my quick-hit thoughts from Week 12. It's a nuked brunch all the way, and as soon as I finish this sandwich, I'm hitting "send" and going back into the baseball numbers. To the bulletry:
• It took Perry Fewell about 10 seconds to win me over in Buffalo; this guy is the anti-Dick Jauron, through and through. Jauron stayed faithful to Marshawn Lynch(notes) at all times; Fewell went to Fred Jackson(notes). Jauron never met a conservative call he didn't like; Fewell has been far more aggressive with his decision making. Jauron's team seldom looked to throw deep; the Bills, coincidence or not, have hit on several long passes since Fewell took over.
• I saw some Ray Rice(notes) complaining in some blogs last week, people who feel he should be getting more of the workload in Baltimore. Okay, I understand the goal-line frustration from Rice owners, but No. 27 has 20 or more touches in seven straight games, and in the 2009 version of the NFL, that's a lot of work. Pierre Thomas(notes) owners are insanely jealous, believe me.
• I didn't get to watch all of the Saints and Patriots, but did it look like Randy Moss(notes) was trying his hardest to you? Either way, New England figures to get back to business in Miami this week; Tom Brady's(notes) got an outstanding resume in bounce-back games and the Dolphins defense is a terrible match for the Patriots. New England's defense limits the playoff upside, but let's not overly downgrade the offense for one nightmare in prime time.
• The Larry Johnson(notes) believers like to blame his 2009 problems on the Kansas City line, and yes, LJ did look pretty snappy working with the Bengals last week. But keep in mind Johnson left Kansas City with a 2.7 YPC this year, which is barely halfway to the 5.2 YPC that Jamaal Charles(notes) currently owns. Granted, Johnson and Charles have different skill sets and Charles is probably a better fit for what Todd Haley wants to do, but I blame Johnson's demise in Kansas City on Johnson, first and foremost.
• The Falcons and Bucs played a fun and intriguing game in the ATL last week but from a strategy perspective, the endgame was a mess. The Falcons wasted a spike in the final minute but got away with it; teams need to realize that you only spike the ball when it's 100 percent obvious that you need to. Meanwhile, Raheem Morris wasted his timeouts on defense and didn't leave any time left for his offense to potentially get into field goal range after the Falcons scored.
Morris may eventually develop into a fine NFL head coach – he did an excellent job with the Bucs defense last week – but he's been lost with in-game strategy the entire season, reminding us how risky it is for a team to give a top job to someone who's never even been a coordinator before.
• I don't know how healthy he was at the end of the game, but Knowshon Moreno(notes) looked like a potential fantasy stud during the balance of Denver's convincing victory over the Giants. Moreno quietly has 80 yards or more in his last three starts, and he's capable as a receiver as well.
• LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) no longer has the skill set of an elite back, but he's got the next-best thing working for him – a coach who continues to treat him like a star. It could have been a crash-landing season for LT, but Norv Turner and the surging Chargers offense are providing a rescue parachute.
• The Jake Delhomme(notes) finger injury gives John Fox a convenient excuse to shift to Matt Moore(notes) this week, but the change needed to come a month ago. Alas, Fox is the same guy who buried DeAngelo Williams(notes) behind DeShaun Foster(notes) for two years, progressive moves aren't his thing.
• I don't care about measurements and pedigrees and preconceived notions – Justin Forsett(notes) should be playing in front of Julius Jones(notes) for the balance of the year. Period, the end. Do the right thing, Seattle.
I could write more, but I've got a meeting set with the Fabulous Jake Fox. Back later this week with a new Shuffle Up and Deal and other assorted miscellany.