Tag:Peyton Manning
Posted on: September 19, 2010 10:00 pm
 

Manning Bowl is all Peyton so far

P. Manning and E. Manning talked before tonight's game began (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If we’re going to judge the first half of the Manning Bowl – and really, why shouldn’t we judge the first half of the Manning Bowl – you’d have to give it to Peyton Manning. By unanimous decision. Or by unanimous decision where Eli didn’t win a round on anybody’s scorecards. Or by knockout. Or by super-duper knockout.

A quick comparison:

Peyton Manning: He’s 13 of 18 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. He hit his first five passes for 52 yards, and his first incompletion was a pass that Reggie Wayne simply dropped. But for the Colts, it wasn’t only about Manning. It was as much – if not more – about the running game. Joseph Addai was awesome with 101 yards of total offense, and the offensive line opened huge holes for him and protected Manning quite well. So if Peyton is beating up on Eli, call it a group victory.

Eli Manning: He’s 3 of 8 for 17 yards, an interception, a lost fumble and a delay of game penalty. He’s not getting much help from anybody on his team. The defense can’t keep the Colts off the field, limiting Eli’s snaps, and the Giants run game is unimpressive – strange, because of how much success the Texans had against the Colts in this department last week. Considering New York is getting shellacked 24-0 at halftime, Eli should get more chances to take some shots down the field.

Still, it’s not looking good for Eli Manning or the Giants here. For Peyton, so far, is the master of the Manning Bowl.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .


Posted on: September 16, 2010 9:33 am
 

Hot Routes 9.16.10: Video killed the NFL star

Got a link for the Hot Routes ? Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) or drop it in the comments.
  • We've been discussing how "locker room spies" are beneficial to their new team (although Eric Winston told me he doesn't think Kyle Shanahan will make that big of a difference) and the Giants have the best one of all in Jim Sorgi, who was Peyton Manning's backup for quite a while. (Of course they also have, you know, his brother Eli Manning, but he doesn't know the Colts offense.) Sorgi, however, doesn't think it'll matter. Because it's Peyton.
  • One of Brian Bassett's readers noticed that Kris Jenkins had a tough time making it up the stairs at Cortland. Provided this account is true, well, it kind of makes it seem like he shouldn't have even been on the field for Week 1. Or we should have seen another injury coming.
Posted on: September 13, 2010 2:35 am
Edited on: September 13, 2010 2:38 am
 

10 Sunday stories that deserve your attention

Posted by Andy Benoit

1. The Bears are who we thought they were

For months we’ve been saying that Mike Martz’s system won’t work in Chicago. You can’t ask those mediocre receivers to run slow-developing routes – they just won’t get open consistently, we said. You can’t expect that putrid offensive line to sustain blocks in pass protection long enough for Cutler to take regular seven-stop drops, we said. And Cutler – oh jeez – you can’t ask Cutler to read the entire the field and take chances without making costly mistakes, it’s just not in his DNA (we said). J. Cutler (US Presswire)

Well, after one game, it appears that we were…exactly right.

Sure, Chicago beat Detroit. But teams have beaten Detroit 30 times in just the past two years alone. And had Matthew Stafford not been knocked out prior to halftime, the outcome probably would have been different (the Lions, led by Shaun Hill, scored zero points in the second half). And let’s not forget the controversial Calvin Johnson call at the end.

But all that’s actually beside the point. When the Bears watch the film on Monday, they’ll see an offensive line that gave up four sacks and put Cutler under continuous duress. (Heck, Lions journeyman defensive end Turk McBride – Turk McBride, for crying out loud! – looked like an All-Pro going up against Frank Omiyale in this game.) That same offensive line also failed to help its running backs punch in a go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter on four consecutive goal-to-go situations from the one-yard line.

One shudders to think what the Cowboys front seven will do to this group next week…

2. Safety first (if you’re a fan of moronic decisions)

How much disdain must Chan Gailey have for his passing offense to make the ridiculous decision that he made late against the Miami Dolphins? Trailing by three and facing fourth-and-10 on their own one-yard line with under 2:00 to play and two timeouts, the Bills opted not to try to pick up the first down, but instead, to take a safety.

On the surface, taking a safety always seems smart. The reason for this is because it’s such an unconventional move that there’s no way it could ever be as dumb as it sounds (if you explained the concept of taking a safety to someone who never watches football, at some point you’d hear yourself say “and now we’re going to give the other team two points.” Give them two points? What? Why?) In this case, the move was as dumb as it sounds.

The Bills gained nothing in field position by taking the safety because, instead of playing for a field goal (which would mean reaching the 30-yard-line or so), they now had to play for a touchdown (which, Bills fans might not remember these days, would mean reaching the goal-line). Buffalo gave up all their timeouts just to get the ball back with 36 seconds to go at their own 20-yard-line (and had the Dolphins gotten a better punt on the play, the Bills could very well have ended up right back on their goal-line again).

By taking the safety, the Bills were essentially hoping for – nay, planning for – a miracle. Evidently Gailey thought it would take an even bigger miracle for Trent Edwards and those no-name receivers (no-names save for Lee Evans, that is) to gain 10 yards. If you have that little faith in your passing game, you’re officially screwed.

3. Patriots D looks sharp

This was one of those games where the boxscore lies. The boxscore says that Chad Ochocinco caught 12 passes for 159 yards. It says Terrell Owens caught seven passes for 53 yards. (Batman and Robin? More like ROBIN and batman.) The stars may have put up good numbers, but the truth is, the Patriots secondary outplayed the Bengals’ receivers – especially early on, when Cincy wasn’t throwing out of desperation and the Patriots weren’t protecting a huge lead.

New starting defensive backs Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung were both outstanding. McCourty, the first-round rookie corner whom some are saying is already the best defensive back on the roster, stifled Owens on several deep balls in the first half. Chung led the team with 16 tackles, many of them vicious hits.

Phil Simms made an excellent point about this young Patriots defense: it’s faster. A lot faster. The Patriots have prioritized speed in recent drafts (except for the selection of linebacker Brandon Spikes, who had to have a sex tape leaked in order to make people forget about something even more embarrassing: his 40-time). On Sunday, that speed translated into more big plays.

Note: In a follow-up to that last parenthetical jab at Spikes, it’s only fair to mention that the second-round rookie was very solid in his starting debut at inside linebacker.

4. Devin Hester no longer a star return artist

Back in 2006 and 2007 when we said Devin Hester had already had a legendary career’s worth of touchdown returns, we didn’t mean Hester should call it a career for touchdown returns. But do you realize Hester has not returned a punt for a score in three years?

Sunday was a sobering example of how far Hester has fallen (by the way, his fall ironically coincides with his promotion to a starting receiver role). Six times, the Lions punted from backed up in their own end zone. On the day, Hester had five punt return opportunities – most of them on line-drive balls he caught in the middle of the field. His total return yards? 17. Three years ago, in a game like this, he would have had 17 touchdowns (don’t worry about the math – he would have found a way; Hester was supernatural back then.)

There’s no reason Hester can’t recapture his magic – he’s only 27. But seriously, what’s going on here?

5. Running backs relevant…sorta

It’s a passing league these days. Bu, like all you misguided fantasy players who don’t realize that your fantasy football scoring system is flawed, we’re going to give the running backs some love.
A. Foster (US Presswire)
For the youngsters, it will have to be tough love. The two electrifyingly speedy first-round rookie runners who were supposed to transform their respective offenses failed to get the wheels turning Sunday. C.J. Spiller ran the ball seven times for six yards against the Dolphins. The only part of Spiller that looked truly fast was his mind, which seemed to be spinning out of control at times. He was unusually hesitant on contact.

In Detroit (and can you believe we’ve now fit three Lions-Bears bits in this entire piece?) Jahvid Best got 14 carries but amassed only 20 yards. At least Best found the end zone two times.

No need to worry about either young runner at this point – it’s only one week, after all. They’ll get better.

On to the love…

There’s especially no need to worry about the runners in the AFC South. Maurice Jones-Drew gained a hearty 98 yards on 23 carries against the Broncos. Facing a speedy but diminutive Colts run defense that has decided it will be porous again this year, Arian Foster, I think, became the NFL’s first 1,000-yard rusher in 2010. (By the way, Colts fans, no need to worry about your team’s run D– last time the Colts were this bad was 2006, when their SUPER BOWL CHAMPION defense ranked 32nd against the run.) Finally, in Tennessee, Chris Johnson posted 142 yards on 27 carries, which, unfortunately, means he’s behind pace for his ridiculous goal of 2,500 yards rushing on the season.

Most important of all, the teams of these three  running backs all won, creating a huge log-jam atop the AFC South.

6. A star is born

There is a new star in the broadcasting world, and his name is Jim Mora Jr. Thank God Jim Mora Sr.’s son never lead the Seahawks to the PLAYOFFS?! Now we get to listen to Mora call games with Dick Stockton and Charles Davis on Fox each week.

Mora made his television debut in the Falcons-Steelers game. He was extremely intelligent and, for a man ostensibly looking to get back into coaching, he was shockingly blunt. Mora’s best line came during a rant about his friend Bruce Arians calling a pass late in the fourth quarter on second-and-five before the two minute warning. “That play-call was a tragedy”, More said. If you get a chance, tune into a Mora game. You’ll be enlightened and entertained.

7. Redskins don’t win…Cowboys lose

The nice thing about fumbling away seven points on a meaningless play to end the first half is that it is such a huge mistake that no other mistake you make can possibly feel that bad. No matter what, as mistakes go, you simply can’t top that one. Though credit the Cowboys for trying. Specifically, credit Alex Barron. The former first-round pick showed everyone why he landed in Dallas in the first place. Barron wracked up multiple penalties in the second half, including the game-loser on the final play. After the clock struck 0:00, Cris Colinsworth cleverly shared a “get well soon” wish for Marc Colombo.
T. Romo (US Presswire)
It’s too bad we’re highlighting Barron’s mistakes because the man was not utterly awful the entire game. Of course, the Cowboys clearly didn’t trust their makeshift front five to begin with. Virtually every pass Tony Romo threw came off a three-step drop. There was a litany of one-step drop throws (until the final two minutes, some people probably wondered if Dez Bryant actually knew how to run routes, as the Cowboys kept throwing smoke screens to the first-round wideout).

Dallas’ offensive line issues will get fixed once Kyle Kosier and Marc Colombo are healthy. By the way, all this relates well to our next topic (a bonus topic!)…

7.BONUS. Does preseason matters after all?

Probably not. But it’s worth noting that there were three offenses that looked awful in the preseason: Dallas, Carolina and Chicago. Well, the games count now, but these units still stink. The Dallas offense scored seven points in Week 1. The Carolina offense had five turnovers. The Chicago offense had four turnovers and scored only 19 points against a rebuilding Detroit defense. This isn’t enough evidence to overturn the beloved “preseason doesn’t mean a darn thing” axiom, but the continued struggles of these teams are worth pointing out (which we’re doing here).

8. Lightning strikes, so don’t play football?

The Jaguars-Broncos game was delayed 30 minutes during the third quarter because of lightning. This prompted me to send the following email Greg Aiello, head of the NFL’s public relations department:

Hi Greg, we're going to pose this question in our NFL Facts and Rumors Blog, but thought we'd pose it to you guys first: Why does the NFL stop games because of lightning? All we ever hear is that the odds of getting struck by lightning are about the same as the odds of winning the lottery. So why pause a game because of it? Most of the 70,000 fans in attendance can't leave a stadium and get to safe cover that quickly anyway. Is it really worth the major inconvenience? 

(This email was sent after midnight eastern time, so if the league does have a response, it will come after this is published. We’ll throw it up if they send a response.)

9. Problem in Indy?

This is the perfect game for us media folk to blow way out of proportion. The Colts always beat the Texans…until now. The Colts can’t lose when Peyton Manning is on fire…until now. The Texans fit the description of a team on the rise. Etc.

We must be careful not to get carried away about this outcome. But we also must ask the appropriate alarmist question: is Indy’s offensive line a problem? Left tackle Charlie Johnson wound up playing in this game (he’d been out for about a month with a foot injury), but it didn’t matter. Mario Williams dominated far more than his stats (four tackles, one sack) suggest.

And how about this: did you ever in a million years think Peyton Manning would post 40 completions for 433 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions in a LOSING effort? What the heck do we make of that?

10. Derek Anderson-Larry Fitzgerald woes

So I decided on Sunday around 6:30 ET to write about how Derek Anderson and Larry Fitzgerald were not on the same page – or not even in the same book, for that matter. Obviously, Fitzgerald’s game-winning 21-yard touchdown reception put a dent in that angle. But not a big enough dent to obliterate it.

I still say the Cardinals have a problem with their passing game. Fitzgerald doesn’t trust Anderson right now – nor should he. Anderson’s accuracy issues were evident several times Sunday. Twelve of the 15 passes thrown Fitzgerald’s way fell incomplete. Fitzgerald’s body language reeked of frustration. And all this was against a hapless Rams secondary.

It’s no surprise the Cardinals begged Kurt Warner to come out of retirement a few days ago.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: September 12, 2010 5:26 pm
 

Why the Texans beat the Colts

A. Foster had the best day a RB has ever had in Houston (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Three reasons why Houston opened its season with a 34-24 victory against the Colts.

1. Houston’s running game:
Arian Foster was a stud, rushing 33 times for a club-record 231 yards and three touchdowns. He’ll make you forget the name Steve Slaton (six carries, 29 yards) pretty quickly. Perhaps the most impressive drive Houston ran was the first series of the second half, when they used up about 8 minutes of game clock, handing the ball to Foster. The Colts simply couldn’t stop him. After his final TD of the game, with 1:56 to go, he slammed the ball to the turf. Then, he went to the bench and put on an oxygen mask. He had earned it.

2. The Colts wide receivers: On the surface, their numbers look good. Peyton Manning completed a career-high 40 completions, and Austin Collie (10 catches, 131 yards), Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and Pierre Garcon recorded at least 75 receiving yards a piece. But Manning was undone early in the game by a bevy of Colts mistakes. His receivers ran the wrong routes, they dropped passes, they fumbled receptions. In the end, Houston made them pay.

3. Houston’s early-game momentum:
The Texans jumped out to a 13-0 lead, and though the Colts answered with 10-straight points, the tone already had been set. This game was so, so important to the Texans, who entered the game 1-15 all time against the Colts. They had suffered through a few close games – a few games they should have won, actually – and they came in confident they weren’t going to let another opportunity to pass them by. Turns out, they didn’t.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

Posted on: September 9, 2010 10:09 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2010 11:28 pm
 

Brady extension has $18M per, $48M guaranteed

Posted by Will Brinson

Tom Brady's car crash this morning was certain to expedite his contract talks with the New England Patriots, given how bad the accident could actually have been. Sure enough, the Pats and Brady finalized an extension some time today.

The deal, announced by Sports Illustrated's Peter King at halftime of the Saints-Vikings game, will be official starting Friday and keep Brady on the Patriots roster until 2014.

"[Bob Kraft] wouldn't discuss terms with me," King said. "But I think it's safe to say that on a per-year basis, Tom Brady now becomes the highest-paid player in NFL history at about $19 million per year."

Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy immediately made the first point that came to my mind -- Brady won't last long in that spot, as Peyton Manning just figured out what the minimum amount of money is he'll be asking for.

Manning will have to shoot high though -- Clark Judge has some specifics on the contract. The new deal will pay Brady an average of $18 million over the next four years and  includes a whopping $48 million in guaranteed money.

You almost have to wonder just how close Brady and the Patriots were in their previous talks; as we'd noted, there were multiple reports earlier in the week that the two sides were close.

I ask that only because it's incredible negotiating luck to have your car get tattooed by a reckless Bostonian running a red light in their minivan, then walk away unscathed and right into a new extension that makes you the highest-paid player in the NFL.

Given Brady's career path though, anything less would actually be disappointing.

Update (10:23): Tom Curran notes that the "accident really shook" Brady up and the deal was signed this afternoon. Perhaps most importantly, it comes in at around $78 million in total money.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: September 9, 2010 7:45 pm
 

NFL Predictions from the F&R Crew

Posted by Will Brinson

It's prediction time, kiddos! And really, nothing's more awesome than putting yourself in charge of compiling these, creating HTML, squeezing them in just before the start of the first game and then being totally wrong a few months from now. The nice part is, you can make your own predictions below. Seriously, you can, and we're interested. So comment away. Or don't -- this post will be here all season long so you come back and remember just how right we all were.

Award Josh Andy Will
SB  Champs Colts Colts Falcons
NFC Champs Packers Saints Falcons
AFC Champs Colts Colts Chargers
NFC South
Saints Saints Falcons
NFC North Vikings
Packers Packers
NFC East Cowboys Cowboys Eagles
NFC West 49ers 49ers 49ers
AFC South
Colts Colts Colts
AFC North Bengals Ravens Bengals
AFC East Jets Patriots Patriots
AFC West Chargers Chargers Chargers
MVP Peyton Manning Aaron Rodgers Philip Rivers
Coach Jim Caldwell Mike Tomlin Norv Turner
Offensive POY Chris Johnson Aaron Rodgers Aaron Rodgers
Defensive POY Darrelle Revis Troy Polamalu Patrick Willis
Offensive Rookie Ryan Mathews Jahvid Best Ryan Mathews
Defensive Rookie Ndamukong Suh Brandon Graham Sean Weatherspoon

Posted on: September 3, 2010 11:33 am
 

Hot Routes 9.3.10: The Flying B

Posted by Will Brinson and Andy Benoit

Because you know you needed some news that's not relating to Ben Roethlisberger or North Carolina football. Follow us on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) to send us links you'd like to see featured in future episodes.
  • Remember the legal battle about the Ravens stealing a logo when they first moved to Baltimore? Well, according to Cleveland.com, "A divided three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled Thursday that the commercial use of the "Flying B" logo in old game films infringes on amateur artist Frederick Bouchat's copyright."
  • Derrick Ward is going on a little free agency tour, according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio , and his first two stops will be Houston and Seattle. Houston seems like an immediately solid fit, considering the loss of Ben Tate, provided that the reports of Ward's demise are exaggerated.
  • Safety Pat Watkins, recently released by the Cowboys, visited the Bengals . Watkins played for Mike Zimmer in Dallas. No sense in signing him though – even without Gibril Wilson, the Bengals are pretty well set at safety.
  • JJ Cooper of Steelers Lounge continues to just straight up dominate offensive line analysis. If you like the Steelers (or just good football reading), you should be checking his work out.
Category: NFL
Posted on: August 31, 2010 11:14 am
Edited on: August 31, 2010 11:16 am
 

Falcons don't mind new position of ump

Collisions were a major reason the NFL decided to reposition the umpire (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past week or so regarding the umpire’s new position about 10 yards behind the offensive line and how it affects hurry-up offenses because the ball will be spotted a little slower. Like, say, the Colts and QB Peyton Manning.

Andy wrote about it yesterday, so check that out for some background.

But you know who’s not worried about the new positioning? The Falcons. That’s what D. Orlando Ledbetter writes in today’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution . Atlanta has run its no-huddle offense in all three of its preseason games, and so far, the team hasn’t had problems adjusting.

"Obviously it's different, the way they set the ball," Ryan said. "But we have not had any issues thus far with it."

The Chargers, though, can sympathize with the Colts. This, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune , which quotes QB Philip Rivers as saying, “It’s a problem. We’re down 11 with five minutes to go and we have to wait and look for people to snap? It’s an issue.”

Let me just put in my two cents. I can understand why the Colts would be frustrated with this, but the NFL says it made the move because of the umpire’s safety. More than 100 collisions and a handful of concussions suffered by those officials last year seemingly make this a pretty good idea.

And if the players’ major argument against an 18-game schedule is because they fear for their safety, they should sympathize for men who are older, slower and not in as good a shape but still share the same football field.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com