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Tag:Wes Welker
Posted on: September 20, 2010 2:52 pm
 

Hot Routes 9.20.10 Some box score tidbits

Posted by Andy Benoit

In this week’s 10 Stories That Deserve Your Attention, we focused on how LaDainian Tomlinson appears to be handling a much heavier load than expected for the Jets. This is supposed to be Shonn Greene’s backfield. Well, the man Tomlinson essentially replaced, Thomas Jones, is doing the same thing in Kansas City. Jones carried the ball 22 times against the Browns Sunday (83 yards). Jamaal Charles, who is coming off the bench, had 11 carries (49 yards).

Third-round rookie tight end Tony Moeaki led the Chiefs with five catches for 58 yards.

Ndamukong Sun flashed dominance for the second week in a row. Suh recorded a sack against Michael Vick (he may have gotten away with a facemask on the play) and consistently pushed the interior pocket.

How about these rushing statistics for the Cowboys: Marion Barber 11 carries for 31 yards; Felix Jones 7 carries for 7 yards; Tashard Choice 1 carry for -1 yard. Somehow, you can’t help but think this is Tony Romo’s fault.

Trent Edwards was 11/18 for 102 yards and two picks against the Packers. When Marshawn Lynch ran for 14 yards to end the first quarter, that brought Buffalo’s net yardage on the day back to zero. C. Matthews (US Presswire)

Jermichael Finley has his second career 100-yard game. Expect at least five more this season for the best tight end in the NFC.

Should we just go ahead and vote for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award now? Packers linebacker Clay Matthews had three sacks for the second week in a row. This for a guy who sat out virtually the entire preseason with a hamstring injury.

Actually, we’d better not crown Matthews yet. Mario Williams followed his stellar Week 1 performance with a shimmering outing against the Redskins. Williams recorded three sacks, two tackles for a loss and two pass deflections. It’s safe to say the Texans probably don’t win that game without him.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 145 yards on 28 carries against a fairly-staunch Dolphins D. There wasn’t a cheap yard in the bunch. Peterson put on an absolute show late in the second half, showing his familiar powerful burst and uncanny change-of-direction prowess. However, his show came to an abrupt end on the second to last drive, when the Dolphins kept him out of the end zone on four-straight plays from inside the 10.

Chris Johnson had his streak of 100-yard games snapped at 12 by a Steelers D that has given up just one 100-yard rushing performance in its last 36 outings. Johnson managed just 34 yards on 16 carries. He had an 85-yard touchdown called back because of a Eugene Amano holding penalty (even with nose tackle Casey Hampton out, the Titans center had a rough afternoon).

A week after his impressive return to the NFL, Seahawks wideout Mike Williams had just one catch for seven yards against the Broncos.

Wes Welker and Randy Moss were both held to 38 yards receiving.

The Chargers held Maurice Jones-Drew to 31 yards on 12 carries. Rashad Jennings actually got nine carries, producing 38 yards.

Philip Rivers 334 yards, 3 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an unofficial 3 screams at his offensive linemen against the Jaguars.

Shawne Merriman got on the field for the first time all season and recorded three tackles.

Tim Hightower was the lone bright spot for the Cardinals. With Beanie Wells still out with a knee injury, the third-year running back carried the entire load Sunday. Hightower rushed for 115 yards on 11 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown scamper in which he showed newfound quickness and acceleration.

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Posted on: September 19, 2010 9:43 am
 

Revis to cover Welker some too?

Post by Will Brinson

When the New England Patriots and New York Jets meet Sunday, the biggest matchup to watch will be Darrelle Revis and Randy Moss. That's because they're they've been talking it up and they're a pair of elite players.

However, Revis might not be shadowing the unappreciated future Hall of Famer the entire time -- Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports that Revis will also cover Wes Welker, in order to "take away what the Jets perceive to be the Patriots No. 1 offensive threat."

Two things; first, this is a smart move by the Jets. Moss is really, really good, but so is Welker, and if they can successfully use Revis to stop Welker and Tom Brady from moving the chains, it'll be a lot harder for New England to take shots to Moss.

That being said, the real gamble here is leaving either Kyle Wilson or Antonio Cromartie alone on Moss -- if Brady and Co. figure out the coverage and adjust so they're taking shots at Moss when he's not on Revis Island, you'd have to think they stand a better chance of scoring some long TDs.

(Unless, that is, Revis is still not quite in full season shape and dealing with a hamstring . Then this is just "very convenient.")

And of course the notion that "Welker is better than Moss" coming from the Jets' locker room shouldn't motivate Moss to get off said island at all either.

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Posted on: September 18, 2010 2:27 pm
 

Randy Moss is appreciated after all

Posted by Will Brinson

Randy Moss said he wants to feel appreciated (he also said he doesn't feel wanted, but that was the early part of his public contract discussion). Well, the comedy troupe Improv Asylum put together a little video to let him know that he IS appreciated in the city of Boston and among Patriots fans. It's a pretty funny video (the "professional escort" commenting on Wes Welker killed me) -- the only downside is that you'll be singing "Raaaaaaandy!" for the rest of the afternoon.



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Posted on: September 13, 2010 5:48 pm
 

Moss, Belichick had sit-down to discuss comments

Posted by Will Brinson

Randy Moss got a little riled up in front of the entire postgame press corps on Sunday, and his comments made many wonder what the hell he was thinking. One of those, obviously, was Bill Belichick.

Who, according to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald , had a little sit-down meeting with the not-so-gruntled wide receiver.

Rapoport reports that Moss told him the discussion between he and Belichick occurred (in fact, it was something he referenced during his tirade) and that Moss simply felt he needed to get his feelings "off his chest" now, rather than later.

Moss also apparently stated that Belichick made the coach's expectations for going forward clear -- while he didn't expound on what Belichick expected, it's pretty reasonable to assume that it involves "trying," "playing hard" and "not pouting because you aren't paid yet."

Apparently, the two are all good now, although Belichick wouldn't acknowledge the meeting.

"I keep the conversations that I have between the players and myself private," Belichick said. "And that’s the way it should stay."

So it would at least seem like there won't be a bigger issue made out of Moss' contract situation for the remainder of the regular season. Although given his apparently non-existent understanding of timing and nuance, that's no guarantee.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 4:58 pm
 

Moss: No new contract is a 'slap in the face'

Posted by Will Brinson

Randy Moss recently made some preseason noise when he told CBSSports.com that he wanted a new deal and felt "not wanted" by the Patriots as a result of their not giving him more money.

Following the Patriots romp over the Bengals on Sunday (the score was closer than the game), Moss again emphasized his desire for a new deal, only this time during the postgame press conference.

He stated that if New England didn't offer him a new deal, it would be a slap "in the face" -- the word "smack" has also been thrown out on Twitter, so the exact verbiage isn't precise, but Moss' intention is.

However, despite his uncorked nature during the team's press conference, Moss said he "didn't want to leave" New England and was fully prepared to play the entire season out on his current contract.

"If I'm wanted here, I want to be here," Moss said. "If I'm not, I'm not. It's a job."

Moss was also asked about the upcoming matchup with the Jets, and responded by saying that he "prided my offseason on staying off Revis Island."

That's all good and well, but you would have to imagine that he should be more worried about staying out of Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft's doghouse -- public comments like these don't often sit well with those two, especially with the Patriots coming off of a feel-good, dominating performance against the Bengals.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 2:39 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 2:48 pm
 

Patriots surprisingly destroying Bengals

W. Welker celebrates one of his TDs today against Cincinnati (AP). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

The Bengals have been a sexy pick to win the AFC North. I’ve been asked over and over again about how good the Ravens will be and if the Bengals have a chance to win the division. “Um, yeah,” I say. “The Bengals did sweep the division last year to win it. Remember?”

The Bengals also were a sexy pick to beat the Patriots today in Foxboro. And in reality, this was a big game for Cincinnati.

So much for sexy.

At the end of the first half, the Patriots are annihilating Cincinnati 24-3. We’ve already told you about Wes Welker and his two touchdowns, but we haven’t talked about New England’s defense, which has made RB Cedric Benson irrelevant (10 carries, 28 yards) and the Patriots young secondary which has done a good job containing Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.

Meanwhile, the Bengals defense isn’t stopping anybody.

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Posted on: September 12, 2010 1:34 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 2:09 pm
 

Welker scores 2 TDs, continues to impress

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Patriots WR Wes Welker ramped up the Wow factor on his return from his ACL injury at the end of last season. While it was amazing to watch him play in the preseason after less than seven months recovery, but his nine-yard TD catch in the first quarter of the New England-Cincinnati game was nothing short of … well … awesome.

Deep in Bengals territory, QB Tom Brady flung a screen pass to Welker, who made the catch at about the 11-yard line and dashed into the end zone to give New England a quick 7-0 lead. It wasn’t a great catch or anything, but just the fact Welker was out there to do it, that’s what makes it such an impressive feat.

Welker said last week that, though he’s ready to play, he doesn’t feel like himself quite yet. Well, “not quite himself” looked pretty good to me. And pretty bad for the Bengals.

UPDATE (2:08 p.m.):
Welker has caught another one. That makes two TDs today for a guy who probably shouldn't have returned until mid-season.

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Posted on: September 9, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: September 9, 2010 12:06 pm
 

Matchup Focus: Bengals DB vs. Patriots WR

Posted by Andy Benoit

It will be strength on strength when the Bengals corners line up against the Patriots wideouts (Sunday, 1:00, CBS).

First, understand something: New England’s receiving corps features the same two stars as 2007 (Wes Welker and Randy Moss), but it does not feature the same explosiveness.
R. Moss (US Presswire)
At 33, Moss has dissolved into strictly a straight-line receiver. This isn’t the end of the world – we’re talking about arguably the greatest deep threat of all time. Moss doesn’t quite have the wheels he had in Minnesota, but his speed still ranks in the NFL’s upper 20 percentile. More importantly, he’s a master at tracking a deep ball and disguising his intentions when exerting for a catch. That’s why he was still able to post 1,264 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.

The problem is, Moss is no longer a premium threat when changing directions. He has stiff hips and limited agility. Thus, instead of running any route on the tree, he now only shines running the 9 Route (fly pattern). Moss has never been a good route runner, but he at least used to be dangerous enough to command safety help simply by being on the field. Now, if the Patriots want Moss to command safety help, they have to design plays specifically for him to do so. This ultimately limits the rest of their offense (just a bit).

The Bengals will likely play a safety over the top against Moss, though in cornerback Johnathan Joseph, they have perhaps the best deep-ball man-defender in the AFC not named Revis. Joseph has excellent catch-up speed and a keen sense for timing his attack on a hanging ball. (By the way, in case you’re wondering, Domonique Rodgers-Cromartie is the best deep-ball man-defender in the NFC.)

More concerning to the Bengals should be Wes Welker. (We’ll assume Welker, in his first meaningful game back from ACL surgery, will be his usual self. A big assumption? Perhaps. But the man looked sharp throughout training camp and the preseason.)
J. Joseph (US Presswire)
Welker, obviously, thrives as an underneath receiver. Leon Hall is a Pro Bowl caliber corner, but he’s not a press corner (neither is Joseph). That’s virtually a moot point, though, because the Patriots almost always line Welker up in the slot or flanker position (two yards off the line of scrimmage). Still, Hall must be physical with Welker early in his route. Hall is usually tremendous in this capacity, but he’s also a tad inconsistent.

The key to Cincy’s defense will be whether Hall can control Welker in the five-to eight-yard range. Fortunately, Hall is an adequate tackler. But for preventing Welker from even catching the ball to begin with, the Bengals may want to have weakside linebacker Keith Rivers patrolling the underneath flats (stopping Welker in motion over the middle is nearly impossible). By committing Rivers to the flats, Cincy would be gambling with Chris Crocker against athletic tight end Rob Gronkowski in coverage – but at least that matchups pits an intelligent eighth-year veteran against a first-game rookie. Plus, if Rivers is in zone coverage in the flats, he can combat Kevin Faulk’s receiving prowess out of the backfield.

If we’re to follow this train of thought, then it all comes back to whether Joseph can handle Moss. If Joseph can’t, then Crocker will be needed in deep coverage, which means the Bengals would likely end up counting on Roy Williams to cover in the box. Just the idea of Williams in any sort of coverage gives defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer nightmares.

What to expect: a modest day for Moss (say in the neighborhood of five catches, 65 yards), a solid day for Welker (eight or nine catches, 100 yards) but the contest ultimately decided by whether the Patriots can find a third weapon in the passing game.

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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