Tag:Carson Palmer
Posted on: October 28, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 9:05 pm

Is $59 million for Fitzpatrick really worth it?

FitzpatrickPosted by Josh Katzowitz

While I probably shouldn’t be surprised that the Bills have given quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a reported six-year contract extension worth $59 million with a $24 million guarantee, I just don’t know if it makes sense.

He’s been solid the past two seasons as Buffalo’s No. 1 guy (and he’s been better this year than he was last season), but I can’t erase the visions of his play in 2008 when he replaced an injured Carson Palmer in Cincinnati. I thought he was nothing more than a backup then, and though, in a few ways, he’s proven that he is a capable starting quarterback, you have to wonder how long his career peak will last.

And if this deal ultimately will be worth it for the Bills.

As CBSSports.com’s Clark Judge writes, “I just wonder why they were in such a rush. I mean, the guy has been a backup most of his career, then broke into the starting lineup off and on the past two years after Trent Edwards fizzled. Now, six games into the season we've seen enough to believe he's a franchise quarterback? Geez, I don't know. I mean, he's 15-17 as a starter with Buffalo.”

I have little doubt that the Bills love the guy (obviously), and I know he’s a Harvard-educated man that plays the game in a smart way. Plus, pairing him with coach Chan Gailey might be the best thing that ever happened to Fitzpatrick. But $59 million for Fitzpatrick seems like a steep price to pay for a quarterback who’s probably hit the ceiling on how well he can play.

Hell, maybe I’m wrong. After all, Fitzpatrick went from being a backup who played minimally during the first three years of his career to a guy who commands nearly $10 million a year. The odds of that happening -- and Fitzpatrick could probably give us the exact figure -- could not have been good.

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Posted on: October 27, 2011 8:10 pm

Palmer admits he was selfish by leaving Bengals


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Fans in Cincinnati have been upset with Carson Palmer ever since he walked away from the Bengals and (kinda, sorta) retired. They think he abandoned the team -- which he did -- and they think he was selfish. But he had his reasons, considering he knows exactly how the Bengals organization is run, and I think he had good reasons for not returning.

But … he was still selfish for leaving, and even he’s willing to admit it.

“Well it’s been a long eight years,” Palmer told KNBR in San Francisco (via sportsradiointerviews.com). “I’ve been through a lot, seen a lot within that organization, and just decided. I definitely realized it was a selfish decision that I was making. I talked about it a lot with my family and decided that I’d like to continue to play but it was time to move on. And it was time for them to move on.

“I’m just excited and happy and blessed to be in the situation I’m in now playing for Coach Jackson and with this organization. I’m excited where this one is headed, and it’s also good where the Bengals organization is headed -- they’re headed in a great direction. They’ve got a good young nucleus of players, they’re playing really well, and I think it worked out well for both organizations.”

So, did he think he would actually beat Bengals owner Mike Brown in a game of chicken?

“I actually thought I might not get a chance to play this year,” Palmer said. “I didn’t think (Brown) was going to do it and was hoping for next year. But if that was what it was going to take, that’s what it was going to take. But fortunately I got the chance to play this year.”

Palmers Intro to Oakland
And sure, the Raiders were terrible last week, watching as Kyle Boller and then Palmer threw a combined six interceptions, but Palmer is pleased to be reunited with Hue Jackson. Meanwhile, the Bengals have moved on with Andy Dalton. But still, that doesn’t stop Marvin Lewis from taking shots at Palmer’s willingness to remain loyal to the team that committed tens of millions of dollars to him.

“At what point did Carson quit?” Lewis asked Yahoo Sports. “At some point last year he decided he didn’t want to be here. This didn’t happen at the end of the season. There was a point earlier on when he said, ‘This isn’t the place for me.’”

Or as one unnamed Bengals official told Les Carpenter: “We got rid of all our [expletive].”

Which strikes me as blatantly unfair. But Palmer seems happy in his location. The Bengals seem happy with their new quarterback. And everybody can go along on their merry way.

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Posted on: October 27, 2011 2:45 pm
Edited on: October 27, 2011 2:48 pm

Top Ten with a Twist: Advice for Tony Romo


Posted by Josh Katzowitz

When your wife is pregnant, the “letting friends and family know” phase is an interesting line to walk. Most likely, you tell your parents and siblings first -- maybe eight weeks in. Then, maybe a month later, you slowly begin to tell close friends. Word eventually begins to leak out. Then, you make the Facebook announcement and EVERYBODY knows the news.

When my wife was pregnant, though, under no circumstances was I allowed to tell an entire auditorium full of high school students that she was expecting. Luckily, Candice Crawford, Romo’s pregnant wife, has no such rules for her husband (though, watch her reaction in the video below. It’s iffy, at best). So, on Wednesday, when Romo spoke to students at Cedar Hill High School, he let slip that he was an expectant father.

Tony and Candice Romo are Pregnant: MyFoxDFW.com

Now, the news is out there, and yes, Tony Romo will be a father. With that, here is some unsolicited advice for the man whose life is about to change big-time. Because if Romo is about to learn one truth about being a dad, it’s that people don’t mind letting loose suggestions about how to parent your kid, whether that advice is wanted or not.

10. Breathe a sigh of relief: First off, Mazel Tov and congratulations and all that. Second of all, give thanks to the heavens that your wife is not having multiples. I’m sure Carson Palmer and Peyton Manning would be happy to tell you that raising twins is tough, especially in the first six months. After that, it gets easier, and while twins are a wonderful gift, I imagine Palmer and Manning would recommend having a singleton instead.

9. Take the baby class: As one of his buddies in the above video noted, Romo has probably never changed a diaper. Though he’s this big-time star quarterback and, on some weeks, he’s the toast of Dallas, his wife will ask him -- nay, force him -- to change diapers at some point. There’s just no way around it. And while it can be inconvenient to go to the weekly baby classes (or birthing classes or whatever), there’s no doubt he’ll learn something. Babies aren’t necessarily as complicated as the weekly Cowboys game plan, but that doesn’t mean you should cram it all in the last minute. Simply put, you have to prepare for game day.

8. Move to the suburbs: This might be a disappointing piece of news for Romo, but when you have kids, you have to move away from the hip area of town where you live and move out to the suburbs so your kids can go to the “good public schools.” Plus, once you’re a parent, you find out you’re more likely to be dining at the local Red Robin with your children rather than at the ultra-cool restaurant downtown. We know Romo isn’t adverse to going out on the town, but if you’ve got kids, you learn to sacrifice. Um, actually, never mind on this advice. Romo makes enough money to send his kid to private school. So, scratch this one. He can live wherever he wants.

7. Sleep-train the baby: The first few months of the child’s life, it won’t really matter what you do. Your baby will be up multiple times a night wanting food, and it’ll cry to make its wishes known. But at some point, you need to get your baby in the habit of falling asleep and staying asleep. The wife and I used this book, and it worked wonderfully well. Use whatever method you like to sleep-train, buRomot know that it’s imperative to do so, because if the baby is not asleep, the parents aren’t asleep. And I imagine it’s tough to perform well on Sundays if you’re working on only a few hours of shut-eye.

6. Discard the hat: You know that hat that Romo loves to wear (if not, check out the photo right here)? It’s probably time for that bad boy to go. And if he can’t bear to part with it, at least, cut down on the usage (last yaer, it seemed we got to see it every week at the postgame pressers). After all, there will be plenty of silly, tiny hats on the tops of the heads of Romo namesakes in the next few years. Tony should try to cut down on his own contributions.

5. Get the damn vaccinations: This might come off as high and mighty and pretentious, but I don’t care. Listen to your pediatricians and their scientifically-backed statistics about when to vaccinate your kids and why they’re so important. Don’t listen to Jenny McCarthy and her bone-headed analysis linking vaccinations to potential autism cases. The research for that link has been completely discredited. Get the kid vaccinated and make a contribution to society.

4. Cut food into small pieces: When the baby is old enough to sit in a high-chair and learns to feed him/herself, Romo has to remember to cut the food into tiny pieces for the baby to swallow. After all, there’s only room enough in the family for one choker (I kid, I kid).

3. Have the “drugs are bad, mmkay“ talk as soon as possible: Though Romo benefited from the Cowboys decision before the 2004 season to release quarterback Quincy Carter because of substance abuse issues, Romo should make sure his offspring know the dangers of drug abuse as soon as possible. You certainly don’t want the drugs to derail your life, and with a rich daddy who's constantly under criticism and fan supervision, the availability and temptation to get involved could be greater. Otherwise, the child might have to appear on “Celebrity Rehab,” a fate no man or woman deserves.
2. Don’t hire the super-hot nanny: It didn’t work for Turk on “Scrubs” and it didn’t work for Joey on “Friends.” It's not going to work for Romo either (he should also make sure the nanny can’t fly using an umbrella).

1. If in the delivery room, just watch: We all know Romo has had a history of, um, fumbling the snap. Maybe he should leave the actual delivery of his kid to someone else (like, I don't know, a doctro) and just take pictures of the momentous occasion and/or try not to pass out during the childbirth.

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Posted on: October 26, 2011 8:59 pm

Jackson doesn't regret playing Palmer vs. Chiefs

The plan is to get Palmer up to speed ASAP. (US PRESSWIRE)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

With the benefit of hindsight, everyone agrees that it was an absolutely horrendous decision by Raiders head coach Hue Jackson to put Carson Palmer on the field last week against the Chiefs. Palmer, like Kyle Boller before him, threw three interceptions, including a pick-six. More than that, he looked a lot like the guy who led the Bengals to four wins last year and opted for retirement in the offseason instead of returning to the circus that had become Cincinnati.

When Jackson traded two first-round picks for Palmer last week, the thinking was that while Palmer upgraded the position, there was no reason to rush him onto the field. He didn't know the playbook or the players, and he was out of football for nine months. Factors that invariably led to what you saw Sunday against Kansas City.

"This football team is not going to blink," Jackson said after the game. "We've got to play better. We've got to play better offensively. I take full responsibility, because this is a team that I lead, and we didn't play like the Raiders can play."

Appearing on KNBR radio this week, Jackson was asked if he mishandled the quarterback situation last Sunday.

“No I don’t think so," he said, via SportsRadioInterview.com. "I know everybody keeps saying that last week I was making it about Carson Palmer. I think any time you put a player on your team like Carson Palmer, who was the first player drafted by Cincinnati and you put him on your team, I’m not the one that calls all the media to talk about him. My focus was to get my team ready. I never once said Carson Palmer was gonna start. I said we were gonna see if we could get him off and running. That means he’s off his couch, now he’s practicing with his teammates, getting to know his teammates, and that was it. I never once said he was gonna start, play, or anything.

"My goal was to get him back into practice mode, getting him back to throwing the football, and obviously he needed to practice a little bit with his teammates and that’s what he did. There was never any question in my mind what needed to happen. Kyle (Boller) needed to start. He knew the system, he knew the players, and I think that’s what everybody thought. Everybody else wanted to make a big deal about here he is, he should be playing, and because you put him on the team he needs to start.”

Jackson also admits that Palmer looked rusty (“Yes he did and deservedly so.") and understood that he would face adversity for the decision this week ("I already knew this was coming").

Not to worry, though. The loss to the Chiefs changes nothing. Palmer is still the future and the plan is to get him in the starting lineup as soon as possible.

"I’m not concerned exactly where we’re going because I know where we’re going. My concern was how we come out of this very quickly coming out of the bye. Make sure we have a very solid plan, get Carson up to speed, get him up to speed with this offense as fast as we can, and then let’s move forward.”

Mark your calendars: the Raiders host the Broncos on November 6. That's right: Carson versus Tebow. Pretty sure no one predicted that when the season began.

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Posted on: October 26, 2011 3:34 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 3:40 pm

Rosenhaus: No NFL teams called about T.O. yet

Posted by Will Brinson

The good news for Terrell Owens? He's got an offer on the table. The bad news? It's from the AFL's Chicago Rush, as our own Mike Freeman wrote earlier today.

And according to Owens agent, Drew Rosenhaus, that might be the only offer he gets for a while, since no NFL times have called him about bringing on Owens.

"No, I haven’t [received any calls] and I don’t think teams are just going to bang down our door," Rosenhaus said on ESPN Radio, via Michael David Smith at PFT. "I think they will continue to evaluate this. It may take another injury. It may take a team to lose another game. It might take a team that has a receiver go down or whose offense struggles further, or for a veteran quarterback to come in and say, 'I want Terrell Owens on my football team.'"

This shouldn't be too big a shock, considering the entire NFL no-showed Owens workout in California.
Week 7 Recap

But Rosenhaus said he wasn't concerned about whether or not teams were expressing interest because, eventually they would, and he guaranteed that "all 32 teams were paying attention" to Owens workout on Tuesday. This is probably true, considering it was broadcast live by the NFL Network.

But I'm not so sure that the receiver will ever be in demand. Owens will be 38 in December, he's just a few months removed from a serious knee injury, he won't exactly be dirt cheap, and he's a known problem in the locker room.

Eliminate the teams he's played for in his career (the Eagles, Cowboys, Bengals, 49ers and the Bills) and there's scant few contenders that might want to sign the veteran.

And even if a contender desperately needs a receiving threat, there's no guarantee that Owens is even the best option available.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 7:29 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2011 9:32 am

No NFL teams show up for Terrell Owens workout

Posted by Will Brinson

You might be shocked to hear this, but not a lot of NFL teams are interested in watching Terrell Owens run around a field shirtless. Or, alternately, they're not interested in signing him -- not a single team showed up to the workout Owens had in California on Tuesday.

Owens agent Drew Rosenhaus said prior to the workout that he wouldn't be surprised if teams avoided the trip to California, but chalked the absence of personnel people more to an ability to watch video of Owens than a lack of interest in the player. Owens sounded more realistic.

"I only need one team," Owens said. "I only need one chance."

Physically, Owens looked in impressive shape given his age -- he'll be 38 in December -- and looked quick.

"I don't feel as old as my age actually is," Owens said. "Honestly, you're only as old as what people say you are."

No one's ever doubted Owens skill, regardless of his age. The bigger problem is that Owens is a notorious pain when it comes to his locker-room presence, and that's something that a contending team isn't likely to deal with, unless it's desperate.

What kind of team would that be? Well, the Titans have expressed interest in Owens, but even Rosenhaus admitted that it was a "running interest" (read: alternately hot and cold) and they're a possibility for the wideout because Kenny Britt's done for the year.

But although Owens put up nice numbers in Cincinnati last year, he wasn't exactly an explosive downfield threat, much less a true No. 1 wideout, which is what Tennessee needs.

Week 7 Recap

How about the Raiders? Well, Owens, who played with Carson Palmer last year, wouldn't rule it out.

"Well, I'm very familiar with Carson and if that situation comes up, then definitely I'll have to assess that and talk with my agent," Owens said. "But at this point and at this stage in my career I definitely want to go to a contender. I want to compete for a Super Bowl."

But that doesn't mean he wouldn't play for a non-contender.

"No I'm not going to give up," Owens said about the possibility of retiring if a contender wasn't interested.

He might have to consider giving up, though. There's probably no more than a 20-percent chance that an NFL team signs him, but like T.O. said, maybe there's a chance.

Although if he's at the point where he's filming himself playing football, it might be time to get concerned he's crossed into Uncle Rico territory.

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Posted on: October 25, 2011 9:57 am

Coach Killers, Week 7: Carson Boller, everybody!

Coach Killers is your weekly look around the league at those performances, decisions and "Wait, what did he just do?!" moments that put the guy in charge squarely on the ol' hot seat. (Getty Images)

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Raiders quarterbacks (take your pick)
Remember Raiders head coach Hue Jackson in the days leading up to the Chargers game, joking about about drinking irish coffee before deciding on his quarterback? He was coy and evasive about whether Carson Palmer would start less than a week after Jackson swapped two first-rounders for him and save Oakland's season. Carson had spent the previous nine months on his couch refusing to play for the Bengals, and while the Raiders was a better situation for him (think about that for a moment), he didn't know the offense or his teammates, and would no doubt be rusty from having taken nearly a year off.

The QB changed, the results didn't (Getty Images)
So when the Raiders took the field Sunday, it was with backup Kyle Boller. Not ideal, but it's what you have to do given the circumstances. What you can't do, no matter how bad things get against a division rival: you absolutely can not bring Palmer in.

First, because, as we've established: HE'S NOT READY. Second, long-suffering Raiders fans have something this October that they haven't possessed in a decade: hope. (The Raiders entered Sunday's game with a 4-2 record. Since 2002, the last time they went to the Super Bowl, Oakland won four games or fewer for an entire season four times. And they haven't had a winning record since 2002.)  After gazing on Palmer in all his unmitigated awfulness, now that's been taken away from them, too.

Jackson panicked. Boller threw three first-half interceptions, the Raiders got down early, and Jackson, perhaps finally realizing that he had mortgaged Oakland's future, decided to get Palmer some work against a Chiefs team that suddenly looked like defending division champs.

Bad idea. Because when Palmer entered the game in the third quarter, he picked up right where Boller left off, tossing three interceptions of his own. And all the talk about the zip on his throws? He must've left that on the practice field, too, because our first glimpse at 2011 Palmer looked a lot like the 2010 Palmer that struggled with the Bengals.

Yes, we get it, that was his first game action since last season. But that's our point: don't even subject him, his fragile psyche and the fans' hopes and dreams to that in the first place. Not now. It's okay to lose convincingly with Boller. People expect it. But to throw Palmer in the mix and to have that happen … well, that's bad. Really, really, bad.

Not to worry, though.

"This football team is not going to blink," Jackson said after the game. "We've got to play better. We've got to play better offensively. I take full responsibility, because this is a team that I lead, and we didn't play like the Raiders can play."

Um, okay. It gets better (or worse, depending on your perspective).

"We knew they had a quarterback controversy," said the Chiefs' Kendrick Lewis, who pick-sixed Boller's first pass of the afternoon. "We studied film and studied their routes and knew they would have a limited playbook. When we had the opportunity to make big plays and capitalize, that's what we did."

No argument here.

The 4th interception of the day for the Kansas City defense was a pick six off of the newest member of the Oakland Raiders Carson Palmer.

Chargers' two-minute offense
San Diego scored 21 points in the first half against the Jets, and led New York for three and a half quarters. And then, when they needed to score a touchdown with just under two minutes to go, the offense showed all the urgency of a team trying to run out the clock. It was only slightly more inexplicable than the defense's decision to cover Plaxico Burress until he got into the red zone because quarterback Phil Rivers, one of the league's best quarterbacks, is supposed to excel in these late-game situations. Sunday, he did not.

A recap:

* 1:29 on the clock, ball on Chargers' 24-yard line. Rivers to Antonio Gates for 18 yards. Perfect start. We've seen this before, right?

* With no timeouts remaining, Rivers sashays up to the line of scrimmage like it's the first drive of the first quarter. Compounding matters: head coach Norv Turner appears to be in no rush to get the play call into Rivers. Twenty-nine seconds later, the Chargers finally snap the ball. Rivers, perhaps drawing inspiration from Tim Tebow, takes a deep drop before throwing a four-yard pass nowhere near the sidelines. Patrick Crayton makes the catch, the clock continues to run.

* Rivers liked the previous play so much, he runs it again, but only after 46 seconds have elapsed. Seriously.

* On third down, the ball is snapped with 17 seconds left in the game and the Chargers having gained a grand total of 25 yards. Thankfully, Rivers throws the ball a) downfield and b) to the sidelines. It falls incomplete. If nothing else, the clock stops.

* On fourth down, needing 51 yards and with just 11 seconds to do it, the Chargers will undoubtedly call a play that gets them a quick first down and then take one last chance in the end zone. Because, really, they're out of other options at this point, right? Turns out, not exactly. Rivers did something nobody expected: he throws the ball … out of bounds.  And we don't mean in a position near the sideline where only his receiver can make a play. We mean: over the bench, almost into the crowd.

So, yeah, that happened.

"Very disorganized," Tony Dungy said Sunday during NBC's Football Night in America. "You expect more Philip Rivers and that offense." Yes, yes you do, Tony.

Chargers tight end Randy McMichael agrees.

“We had them down and took our foot off the gas,” he said. “I’m not giving credit to anybody. This is our fault. Nothing to do with the play calling … Their secondary isn’t anything. It’s our fault. The guys in this locker room, we lost the game. The San Diego Chargers beat the San Diego Chargers. Nothing to do with the New York Jets. It’s embarrassing.”

Unfortunately, the San Diego Chargers don't get a win and a loss for beating themselves.

Jets cornerback (and former Coach Killers honoree!) Antonio Cromartie had a different take.

"When you're up by 11 points in the fourth quarter, and you can't even finish the game up, that shows what kind of team you are: a team that can't finish," Cromartie told The Newark Star-Ledger. "And that’s been San Diego the whole time. There it is."

And Rex Ryan's response when he was asked about McMichael's comments? "Stay classy, San Diego." We're not kidding.

Week 7 Recap

Kevin Kolb, quarterback, Arizona
You think the Cardinals regret a) trading a second-round pick and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie for Kolb, and b) then giving Kolb a $62 million extension? Because we're almost positive Arizona could go 1-5 with pretty much any combination of Derek Anderson, Max Hall and John Skelton.

Against the Steelers, Kolb looked like … well, the same dude we saw behind Donovan McNabb in Philly. We were confused when the Cards gave up so much (and then paid so much) to get him in free agency since Kolb hadn't shown that he was anything other than a quality backup and spot starter.

Kolb threw an interception on Arizona's first possession, which led to seven Steelers' points, and he now has just as many TDs as picks (7) this season. He's also completing just 58 percent of his passes, and missing wide-open targets. On Sunday, he short-hopped a ball to tight end Rob Housler on what should've been a first-half touchdown, and the TD pass he did throw -- a 73-yarder to LaRod Stephens-Howling -- was a Tebow special: the ball traveled 10 yards and Stephens-Howling did the heavy lifting for the final 63 yards to the end zone.

As long as we're making comparisons, here's one more: through six games, Kolb is basically Kyle Boller with a permed mullet. This is not a compliment. (Upside: if there's ever a movie about his life, Danny McBride's getting the lead role, though Kenny Powers might have a better arm.)

Like he did in the team's previous loss, Whisenhunt vowed to examine what the Cards are doing and who's doing it. Clearly, Kolb is part of that examination, although there has been no discussion of replacing him. "I"m not saying that," Whisenhunt told the Arizona Republic's Kent Somers when he brought up the possibility. This is what happens when you pay guys $62 million and you're not really sure if they're going to pan out: you have to play them while you find out. Through six games, Kolb's struggling.

That said, he said after the Steelers loss that he felt he was making progress.

"When you have lost five games in a row, I don't think anybody is progressing at the rate we need," Whisenhunt said when apprised of Kolb's remarks.

"I think you're naïve if you say that. I'm not saying Kevin is naïve to say that. Kevin has made progress in some areas, but I think all know there have been some plays he's left out there."

We don't think Kevin's naive, either. Saying "I'm progressing!" is a coping mechanism.

Titans offense, defense
The biggest game of the season against a hated division rival and Tennessee decides to take the afternoon off. That sums up nicely what we can expect from this team the rest of the season. The Titans stumbled out of the gate losing to the Jags, then beat the Ravens in Week 2, got to 3-1 and then were smoked by the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Following their Week 6 bye, they came out wholly unprepared against a team they see twice a year every year, and following a 41-7 beatdown are now 3-3.

And there were no bright spots Sunday. Texans running back Arian Foster, not happy to just run all over the Titans, added an arial assault to the whipping. He had 115 receiving yards in the first half, including a 68-yard pitch and catch from Matt Schaub. By the time it was over, he had 119 yards receiving and another 115 rushing and three touchdowns.

“We got embarrassed in our own backyard. That’s the tough thing about it,” safety Michael Griffin said. “It can get worse. No team is going to look at us as a team that won three straight games. They’re going to look at us as a team that was 0-and-2 against good teams. We’ve got to turn this thing around.”

Luckily, Chris Johnson and his Amazing Disappearing Act, isn't to blame. At least according to Chris Johnson.

“Basically, if you are watching the game and you really can’t tell what is going on with the run game then I would say you really don’t know football,’’ Johnson said. “I wouldn’t say I am the issue. I am very confident I have been doing the things … I do.”

And in 2011, "doing the things I do" means rushing for 18 yards on 10 carries. Yes, Chris, keep doing that. It's a huge help.

Kyle Boller haunted the Ravens on MNF. (Getty Images)
Tie: Rams defense/Ravens offense
Lord have mercy on both these units. It's the unstoppable force and the immovable object having taken the shape of ridiculously bad football. The Rams, an admittedly dreadful team, got steamrolled by a Cowboys' run defense that, prior to Week 7, didn't exist. Remember: Dallas couldn't run the ball late in the game last week against the Pats' porous D. Against the Rams? It looked like Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith joined forces, hopped in a time machine, and went off.

Instead they just lived vicariously through rookie DeMarco Murray, Dallas' third-round pick. Murray's first touch of the game came on the Cowboys' first possession, on first and 19 from the Dallas nine-yard-line. Ninety-one yards later … touchdown. That set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Murray, who saw extended action because Felix Jones was out with an injury, rushed 25 times for 253 (TWO-HUNDRED FIFTY-THREE!) yards.

Jeff Gordon's Rams Report Card in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is … well, about what you'd expect: Defensive line - F, linebackers - F, secondary - D-minus (woo hoo! passing!).

Head coach Steve Spagnuolo got an "F" too. "Spagnuolo was supposed to build this team from the lines out . . . and yet the Rams keep getting manhandled in the trenches, despite heavy investments there. Overall sloppiness remains pervasive six games into this winless season. … The death march continued."

And that's about the best thing you can say about the 2011 Rams.

The Ravens, meanwhile, entered Monday night's game as one of the best teams in the AFC, with their always-stout defense and a young offense that was supposedly improving. Other than the Week 1 hurting they put on the Steelers (which included seven Pittsburgh turnovers and great field position for Baltimore's offense), and the hapless Rams, the Ravens' offense looks to be right out of the era prior to the invention of the forward pass.

And that's fine if offensive coordinator Cam Cameron is feeding the ball to Ray Rice, easily the team's best weapon. But against the Jags, Rice fumbled early and ended up spending much of the evening on the bench. Predictably, Baltimore's offense faltered. (By the way, if Joe Flacco was benched every time he had a turnover he'd be on the practice squad by now.)

By the time it was over, Rice had eight carries for the night. In related news: the Ravens scored seven points, and that came on the next-to-last drive. Ironically: Flacco threw one of the worst interceptions you'll ever see on the last drive, sealing the win for the Jags.

“It's about as bad as you can play on offense,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said afterwards. “I don't know if we could play any worse than that until that [late] drive."

You can't. We checked. The Ravens didn't get their first first down until the third quarter.

“If we don't get the consistency on offense, we're not going anywhere," Harbaugh continued. "You can't play like we played tonight on offense and expect to win. We all know it. We got our butts handed to us from that sense, and we'll go back to work just like we always do.”

Linebacker Terrell Suggs, like everybody else, has no idea what the offense was doing.

"I don't really know what the game plan was," he told CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco after the game. "When I have a Pro Bowl running back, and he's not getting his touches, I'm going to feel some kind of way about it. He wants the ball. And I think we should feed him. Ray Rice is a phenomenal player. You have to use your phenomenal players. I have to question how many touches Anquan [Boldin] had. We've got guys on this team that can do some great things. We have to use those guys. It's that simple."

And this is why the torch-and-pitchfork crowd will be mobilizing this week and calling for Cameron to be fired (it's a weekly occurrence, but the cries should be especially loud this week after losing to the previously 1-5 Jaguars).

Maurice Jones-Drew ran for 105 yards against the NFL's best run defense, Josh Scobee kicked four field goals and the Jaguars snapped a five-game slide with a 12-7 victory over the Ravens on Monday night.

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Posted on: October 24, 2011 11:42 pm

Darren McFadden in walking boot, on crutches

Posted by Will Brinson

It's hard to imagine things could any worse for the Raiders after Sunday -- they lost 28-0 to division rival Kansas City, the newly-acquired Carson Palmer threw three picks and Darren McFadden got hurt.

But the news that McFadden is in a walking boot and on crutches, well, that's worse.

"I’m hoping to get him back soon," Hue Jackson said Monday per our Raiders Rapid Reporter Eric Gilmore.

Of course, Hue also said that Carson Palmer had "poise" and "leadership" on Sunday, which are now apparently code words for "no arm strength" and "an inability to see guys on defense."

There are lots of concerns with the Raiders right now, coming off that brutal loss, but the potential loss of McFadden for any length of time is easily the biggest problem facing Oakland.

Michael Bush is a capable backup and a physical runner, but McFadden's been -- arguably -- the best running back in the NFL this year. Getting Palmer acclimated and keeping this team in contention in the AFC West without him would be a difficult task.

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