Monday, December 19, 2011

Fantasy Football: The Aaron Rodgers Dilemma

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having an MVP fantasy football season. He’s the top scorer in most leagues, he has 30 points more than Saints quarterback Drew Brees (53 more than Tom Brady) and he’s scored 20 or more fantasy points in 14 of his 15 games this year.

For many fantasy teams, including my own, Rodgers is the reason we’re still chasing a championship. But this week we’re facing a dilemma that has some of us considering benching our star quarterback.

Wait, what?

I’m I really thinking about benching Rodgers with the fantasy season at a crucial juncture?

Yes, the thought has crossed my mind.

Before you call me crazy, hear me out. The idea is not as far-fetched as it seems when you look at how Week 16 sets up.

Rodgers and the Packers host the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, which is a very favorable matchup for Rodgers. The Bears currently rank 26th against the pass and Rodgers lit them up for 297 passing yards and three touchdowns in Week 3.

But the main issue facing Rodgers’ owners this week isn’t his opponent, it’s the schedule. When the Packers/Bears game kickoffs on Sunday night, the Packers may not be playing for anything.

The NFL scheduled most of the Week 16 games on Saturday because Christmas falls on a Sunday this year. Included on Saturday slate of game is a 3:15 p.m. (CST) matchup between the San Francisco 49ers (11-3) and Seattle Seahawks (7-7). The game is intriguing to the Packers because with a Niners loss, the Packers would clinch the NFC’s top seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Do you see the dilemma? A Niners loss would make Sunday’s Packers/Bears game meaningless. Therefore, Rodgers may not play the entire game. The Packers might choose to protect him from injury and sit him down. Which isn’t a bad idea considering how banged up the Packers offensive line is right now.

A simple solution for Rodgers’ owners would be to bench Rodgers for his back-up Matt Flynn. The problem with that strategy is Rodgers will likely play at least half of the game, maybe more depending on the score and how often he’s getting hit. There are too many variables to say, start Flynn.

The schedule makers also didn’t do Rodgers’ owners any favors when they scheduled the Niners game at 3:15 p.m. (CST). By the time that game ends, all ten noon games will be long over, as will the two other games scheduled for 3:15. That leaves just two games remaining in Week 16, the Bears/Packers game on Sunday night and the Falcons/Saints game on Monday night.

I would venture a guess and say that if you own Rodgers, you probably don’t have Drew Brees or Matt Ryan. That leaves Caleb Hanie has the only other starting quarterback option, if Rodgers and the Packers aren’t playing for anything Sunday night.

I cannot in good conscience recommend that you start Hanie in your league championship. I don’t care how bad the Packers pass defense is right now.

So, with all that said, we’re back to our original dilemma: Should you start Aaron Rodgers this week?

Unless you have a back-up quarterback who’s a top 10 fantasy scorer, absolutely you start Rodgers this weekend.

Rodgers playing just a portion of a game is still better than most fantasy quarterbacks who play an entire game.

Good luck and go Niners!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fantasy Football: 7 Unsung Heroes from Week 14

A heroic moment in sports is hard to anticipate, but easy to celebrate.

Often times those moments occur when a star athlete grabs victory from the jaws of defeat, even when it seemed impossible.

Then there are those moments where the unsuspecting athlete rises to a level beyond expectation and delivers a performance that reads like a football fable.

We refer to them as unsung heroes and in Week 14, there were several players who can wear that moniker.

Here are seven unsung heroes who not only made a difference on the field, but likely had a big impact in your fantasy league.

Ryan Grant, running back, Green Bay Packers

Grant, who was filling in for the injured James Starks, ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay's 46-16 win over the Oakland Raiders.

Sunday's game marked the first time since Week 3 that Grant rushed for more than 80 yards and his two touchdowns were his first scores of the season.

Prior to Week 14, Grant had tallied 31 fantasy points in standard scoring league. On Sunday, he scored 21 points.

For the owners who stuck with Grant, he rewarded them in a big way this week.

Brandon Jacobs, running backs, New York Giants

Jacobs had a season-high 19 carries Sunday night against the Dallas Cowboys and responded with 101 yards and two touchdowns.

While Jacobs has found the end zone four times in his last four games, the 101 yards were the most for him this season. In fact, the closest he's come to gaining 100 yards in a game was in Week 9 against the New England Patriots when he rushed for 72 yards.

Jacobs has quietly put together a solid fantasy season, with eight total touchdowns. If he can continue to gain yards and keep getting into the end zone, he's going to a hard guy to keep out of your lineup.

Mark Sanchez, quarterback, New York Jets

With his 25 fantasy points in Week 14, Sanchez outscored Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in standard scoring leagues. The only two quarterback who scored more points were Tony Romo (28) and Matt Ryan (28).

Sanchez is the epitome of a risk-versus-reward fantasy quarterback. It's really quite remarkable when you look at the last six weeks.

Week 9: nine fantasy points at Buffalo Bills
Week 10: 19 fantasy points vs. New England Patriots
Week 11: eight points vs. Denver Broncos
Week 12: 21 points vs. Bills
Week 13: 10 points at Washington Redskins
Week 14: 25 points vs. Kansas City Chiefs
It's uncanny how Sanchez has been good one week, then bad the next.

In Week 14, he was great. He finished with 181 yards passing, two passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns.

Sanchez and Jets face the Philadelphia Eagles next week and if history is any indication, he's due for a dud.

Antonio Brown, wide receiver, Pittsburgh Steelers

After Thursday night's performance against the Cleveland Browns, a lot more people know the name Antonio Brown.

Often overshadowed by Mike Wallace, Brown has emerged as the Steelers' most valuable fantasy wide receiver. If you don't believe me, look at the numbers.

Since Week 7, when Brown took over as Pittsburgh's No. 2 receiver, he has outperformed Wallace in nearly every statistical category.

In Weeks 7-14, Wallace has 39 targets, 29 catches, 422 receiving yards and four touchdowns.

During that same span, Brown has 59 targets, 37 catches, 663 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

When you convert those numbers into fantasy points, Brown has 81 points since Week 7 and Wallace has 65 points.

Detroit Lions D/ST

After four straight weeks of single-digit fantasy points, the Lions defense exploded for fantasy 24 points in standard scoring leagues in Week 14.

The Lions forced six turnovers against the Minnesota Vikings and scored two defensive touchdowns. The Lions also tallied four sacks and they did all that without Ndamukong Suh in the lineup due to suspension.

The Lions were a hot defense at the beginning of the year, with five double-digit fantasy games in the first eight weeks.

For the fantasy owners that started the Lions D/ST in Week 14, they have to be happy that their patience paid off and their Detroit defense came through at a crucial time.

Julio Jones, wide receiver, Atlanta Falcons

Jones has been one of the most frustrating fantasy players this year, mostly because of injury.

Jones has missed a significant amount of time this year with a hamstring injury, forcing him in and out of the lineup.

In Week 14, he was definitely in the lineup and rewarded the fantasy owners that started him against the Carolina Panthers.

Jones finished Sunday with three catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. That was good enough for 22 fantasy points in standard leagues.

It's clear that Jones, when healthy, has big-play ability that will make him a star in the NFL. However, for fantasy owners, his standout performances have been too far and few between.

So far this season, Jones has 90 fantasy points. Fifty of those points came in two games, Week 14 against the Panthers (22 points) and Week 9 against the Indianapolis Colts (28 points).

Jones' next task is proving he can get ready for his next opponent on a short week. The Falcons host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night in Week 15.

T.J. Yates, quarterback, Houston Texans (pictured)

Texans head coach Gary Kubiak gave Yates the game ball for his late-game heroics in Sunday's last-second win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

And Yates deserved it.

The rookie fifth-round pick from North Carolina rallied the Texans from 10 points down late in the fourth quarter to beat the Bengals 20-19 on six-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Walter with two seconds left.

Yates' comeback wasn't the only impressive part of his performance Sunday; he also ranked ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton in quarterback fantasy points.

Yates finished the afternoon with 300 yards passing, two touchdowns and 36 yards rushing. It was good enough for 19 fantasy points in standard scoring leagues, compared to Newton and Rodgers who had 18 and 17, respectively.

Yates' rise to relevance has been fun to watch, and it's not over yet. The rookie will lead the AFC South champion Texans into the playoffs in January 2012.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

NFL Tuesday Takeaway: What We Learned in Week 13

You know what makes the NFL great, its unpredictability.

Each week, contradiction and conventional thinking collide, giving us sport writers more than enough good stuff to write about on Tuesday.

From the superstar running back who's turned around his season to Tebowmania to a pair of rookie quarterbacks taking charge in year one, it's all covered in the Week 13 edition of the Tuesday Takeaway.  

CJ2K is OK

Don't look now, but Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson is relevant again.

Johnson had his best game of the season Sunday, rushing for 153 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.

In the last four games, Johnson has 486 rushing yards and three touchdowns, which included a 13-yard dud of a game against the Atlanta Falcons.

Prior to his recent breakout games, Johnson had rushed for a total of 366 yards in the Titans previous eight games.

Johnson needs just 148 yards to reach the 1000-yard rushing mark for the year. Johnson can make a lot of people forget about his sluggish start with a strong finish.

Tebow at ten

Tim Tebow started his tenth career game for the Denver Broncos on Sunday and he won again. Tebow has figured out how to win in the NFL, even though most of us haven't figured out have he's doing it.

Tebow is 7-3 as a starter, including 6-1 this season since taking over for Kyle Orton. Despite the continued winning, V.P. of Football Operations John Elway still isn't ready to commit to Tebow as the Broncos quarterback of the future.

Elway's non-commital approach to Tebowmania got me wondering about Elway's first ten games as a starter.

In 1983, Elway started ten games as a rookie. He was afwul.

Elway finished 4-6 as a starter that year. He threw seven touchdowns, 14 interceptions and completed just 47.5 percent of his passes. He also had one game-winning drive, something he would become known for during his career.

When you compare the two player's stats, there really is no comparison.

In ten starts, Tebow has 14 touchdown passes, six rushing touchdowns and four interceptions. And perhaps the most intriguing stat, Tebow has a higher completion percentage at 48 percent.  

I know it's only ten starts and it's a small sample size, but right now it's all we have,

Pondering Percy's big day

The Minnesota Vikings are getting Percy Harvin (pictured) the ball more often these days and it's paying off.

Harvin is coming off his best game of the year in Week 13 against the Denver Broncos. Harvin finished with eight catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. He also had five carries for 19 yards.

I've documented Harvin's rise this season in a previous article, but it bares repeating, he's on the brink of superstardom.

In the past five games, Harvin has 32 catches for 434 yards and five touchdowns (four receiving, one rushing). In the previous seven games, Harvin had 27 receptions for 276 yards and zero touchdowns.

It's clear that Harvin and rookie quarterback Christian Ponder are clicking right now. I expect this duo to be great for many years to come for the Vikings.

Run, Cam, run

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton broke an NFL record Sunday that stood for 35 years.

In the Panther's Week 13 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Newton ran for three touchdowns giving him 13 rushing touchdowns on the season.

Those 13 rushing touchdowns by Newton are the most rushing touchdowns in NFL history, one more than New England Patriots quarterback Steve Grogan scored in 1976.

Newton also became just the second player in NFL history to score a rushing touchdown in nine of first 12 games. The other player was hall of famer Eric Dickerson.

Newton has single-handedly turned around the Panthers offense. He's accounted for 26 touchdowns this year, which is remarkable when you consider the Panthers offense scored 16 touchdowns total last season.

A former quarterback leads Bills wide receivers

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Brad Smith was a heckuva quarterback at Missouri. Now he's a heckuva wide receiver in Buffalo.

In Week 13, Smith led all Bills players with ten targets. He made seven catches and 72 yards in a loss to the Tennessee Titans.

With all the injuries to the Bills receivers, Smith has moved into the starting line-up for Buffalo. In two games as a starter he has 17 targets, 11 catches, 149 yards and a touchdown.

The quarterback-to-wide receiver transition is not an easy thing to do. But Smith looks like he's ready to put his quarterbacking days behind him.

Green Bay Packers Stock Goes on Sale Today

The Green Bay Packers are the hottest team in the NFL at 12-0 and today you can own a piece of the franchise.

The Packers are selling stock in the franchise for $250 per share.

The team has 250,000 shares available at and by mail. The team is hoping the stock sale helps raise a portion of the $130 million needed to cover the renovation costs of Lambeau Field.

This is just the fifth stock sale in team history. The last time the Packers held a stock sale was in 1997. That year, they put up 400,000 shares for sale for $200 apiece. The team only sold about 120,000, raising $24 million.

The Packers stock is not like a regular stock. The value never goes up and dividends aren't paid out.

The Packers have been a publicly owned team since 1923.

The stock sale runs through February 29.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tampa Bay TV Station Apologizes for Showing Buccaneers Player's Penis on Air

A Tampa television station is apologizing after it showed a naked Tampa Bay Buccaneer player on the air.

WTVT, the FOX affiliate in Tampa, was interviewing Bucs OL Donald Penn after their Week 12 loss to the Titans.

While that interview was happening, another Bucs player was undressing in the background. You can't see the player's face, but home viewers were able to catch a glimpse of the player's private parts.

The station apologized later during the broadcast saying:

“Earlier in the Bucs’ post game there was an inadvertent shot and we apologize for that.”

This is not the first time a TV station has give viewers an eye full.

In 2008, Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe unknowingly showed himself to the world when KSMP, the FOX affiliate in Minneapolis, aired video of a naked Shiancoe toweling himself off after a victory against the Detroit Lions.

Report: Detroit Lions DT Ndamukong Suh Suspended Two Games for Arm Stomp

The NFL announced Tuesday that Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh has been suspended for two games following his stomping incident against the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving Day.

He will miss Sunday night's game at New Orleans and Week 14's game against the Minnesota Vikings.

Suh was ejected in the Week 12 loss to the Packers after stepping on the arm of Green Bay's Evan Dietrich-Smith.

Suh reportedly called commissioner Roger Goodell to apologize over the weekend, but that apology apparently wasn't good enough.

Also, Suh didn't help himself after Thursday's game when he defended himself, saying he lost his balance and that is what led to him stepping on Dietrich-Smith's arm. Suh also failed to show remorse for the stomping, essentially blaming the officials for his ejection.

However, on Friday, Suh backtracked and posted this apology on Facebook:

"My reaction on Thursday was unacceptable. I made a mistake, and have learned from it. I hope to direct the focus back to the task at hand -- by winning."

This is not thge first time Suh has been in trouble with the commissioner's office. He's been fined multiple times during two-year career and earlier this year he traveled to New York to meet with Goodell about his aggressive style of play.

Barring an appeal, Suh will be back for the Lions Week 15 match-up with the Oakland Raiders on December 18.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Percy Harvin On the Brink of Superstardom

The Minnesota Vikings were forced to get Percy Harvin more involved in the game plan Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. With Adrian Peterson out with an ankle injury, the Vikings turned to Harvin as their main playmaker.

Harvin would not let them down.

He responded with season highs in touches, catches and receiving yards. He also scored a 39-yard touchdown on a seam route that had him matched up against a linebacker. This was a new strategy for the Vikings, who haven't used Harvin as a deep receiver much at all this year, despite his speed.

Harvin, who's in his third NFL season, caught eight passes for 95 yards and carried the ball five times for 11 yards. Harvin was also used as the Vikings goal line back on two straight plays in the fourth quarter. On one of his runs, it looked as if he scored on a one-yard plunge, but was ruled down by the refs.

Harvin was also responsible for setting up that goal line situation with 104-yard kickoff return. He just missed scoring a touchdown when he was tackled at the one-yard line. Harvin's 104-yard return was the longest play in NFL history that did not result in a touchdown.

Harvin finished Sunday with 210 total yards. According to the Minnesota Vikings PR department, in 40 career games, Harvin has seven games with 200-plus total yards, which is a franchise record.

The Vikings have said for weeks that they want to get Harvin more involved in the offense, and recently they have. In his past four games, Harvin has 24 catches for 278 yards and three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing). In the previous seven games, Harvin had 27 receptions for 276 yards and zero touchdowns.

Harvin is clearly the best receiver the Vikings have and it would serve them well to continue feeding him the ball - even when Peterson returns. Harvin and rookie quarterback Christian Ponder have established a good report and I expect that will continue to improve this off season.

Harvin appears to have rid himself of the dibilitating migraine headaches that forced him to miss games and practices last season. When he's healthy, he's pound-for-pound one of the toughest players in the NFL and on the verge of becoming a superstar.

Fantasy spin: Harvin's big game on Sunday should be a welcomed sight for Harvin owners. After a slow start to the season, he's finally producing fantasy points. Harvin had a season-high in fantasy points in Week 12 and I expect that trend to continue. Despite being 2-9, the Vikings will continue to find ways to get Harvin the ball. The Vikings will use these next five games to help bring Ponder along and build towards next season, which will include plenty of Percy Harvin.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Marshall Faulk's "Out Magazine" Comment on NFL Newtwork

When discussing fashion on the NFL Network Sunday morning, Marshall Faulk asked Michael Irvin, "Were you dressed by that stylist from Out Magazine?"

Out Magazine is described as a gay and lesbian perspective on style, entertainment, fashion, the arts, politics, culture, and the world at large.

Irvin, who's brother is gay, was featured in the magazine in July. Irvin seemed less than thrilled about Faulk's comment.

I'm not sure Faulk's comment warrants an apology, but it was in poor taste.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Al Davis Would Have Loved These Raiders

It's too bad Al Davis isn't around to see the present day Oakland Raiders (5-4). He would have loved the way his team is playing football right now; with an emphasis on speed and big plays. Davis, who passed away on October 8, always coveted players who could stretch the field and make impact plays. The Raiders have emerged as an explosive passing team and quarterback Carson Palmer is the main reason why.

Palmer, who was acquired from Cincinnati for a first- and second-round draft pick, has taken advantage of the Raiders speedy skill players. In the two and half games he's played for Oakland this season, Palmer has completed 18 passes of 20 yards or more. That's two more 20-plus yard plays than the Raiders had in six weeks with Jason Campbell. After studying the Raiders games, it was clear that Campbell, who broke his collar bone in week 6 against the Cleveland Browns, is better at throwing intermediate passes than deeper routes. Palmer on the other hand is almost the opposite. Palmer's intermediate throws are reckless at times, while his deep passes are more accurate.

Of Palmer's 18 passes of 20-plus yards, eight of them have gone for 30 yards or more, five have gone for 40 yards or longer and two have gone for 50-plus yards. The Raiders are currently ranked second in the league, behind only the Houston Texans, for the most yards per pass completion with 13.1.

Palmer, meanwhile, is averaging more than 315 yards passing per game and the average distance of his five touchdowns has been 33 yards (TD passes: 58, 18, 40, 26, 33 yards). The news gets better for Palmer as the Minnesota Vikings are next on the schedule for the Raiders. The Vikings rank 30th against the pass currently, allowing 272 yards per game. The Vikings have also given up 18 passing touchdowns this season, which ranks them second to last in the league.

Oakland's new found big play pass offense should bode well for their playoff push. Add a healthy Darren McFadden (foot) and Jacoby Ford (ankle) to the offensive mix and the Palmer-led Raiders should be considered the favorites in the AFC West division.

Fantasy football impact: Palmer is a very good option at quarterback this week and going forward, especially if you own the injured Matt Schaub, Matt Cassel or Michael Vick. The other player I really like going forward is rookie WR Denarius Moore. Moore has had two nice games with Palmer at helm, including a 5 catch, 123 yard and 2 TD performance last week. Look for the duo to get even better as the season winds down.   

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NFL Week 10: Tuesday Takeaways

We are now ten weeks into the NFL season and I'm getting carpel tunnel trying to keep up with all of the records that being broken (or on pace to be broken). Meanwhile, why didn't you bet the New England Patriots Sunday night? And LaDainian Tomlinson (pictured) did something in that game that deserves noting. It's all covered in The Source's Tuesday Takeaways.

1) I've written about this before, but watching Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald succeed without QB Kevin Kolb should be concerning for Arizona. On Sunday, Fitzgerald had a huge game, catching 7 passes for 146 yards and 2 TDs, all from back-up QB John Skelton. The Skelton to Fitzgerald connection has proven to be quite reliable, at least more than Kolb to Fitzgerald. In seven games with Skelton at QB (5 in 2010, 2 in 2011), Fitzgerald has 42 catches for 598 yards and 4 TDs. In the seven games with Kolb throwing to him, Fitzgerald has 34 catches for 603 and 2 TDs. The Cardinals paid a lofty price to land Kolb so benching him probably isn't in the plans. However, if the Cardinals keep losing with Kolb (1-6) and winning with Skelton (4-3), expect the pressure on Kolb to rise like the Arizona heat.

2) Another topic I write about often (as does everyone else) is Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' assault on the NFL record books. The Green Bay QB is the top passer in the NFL, and the the numbers aren't even close. Rodgers added another 4 TD passes on Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings, giving him 28 TDs on the season. Rodgers also is closing in on an NFL record for most consecutive games with at least two TD passes. Currently, Rodgers is on a nine game streak with at least two TD passes. The NFL record is 13 consecutive games held by Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Add it to the list of records Rodgers will likely break this season.

3) Speaking of touchdown streaks, Saints QB Drew Brees continued his march towards an NFL record on Sunday. Brees' second quarter TD pass to Jimmy Graham against the Atlanta Falcons ran his streak to 37 consecutive games with a TD pass. Brees moved ahead of Brett Favre on that list, but he still trails Johnny Unitas, who threw a TD pass in 47 straight games.

4) Another streak worth noting is the Vikings inability to win a division game. Minnesota's 45-7 loss on Monday night to the Green Bay Packers was their ninth straight NFC North loss dating back to last year. The nine straight division losses is a franchise record for the Vikings, who have two more games to try and break the streak (@Detroit 12/8 and vs. Chicago 1/1). Sidenote: The Vikings are two seasons removed from going 5-1 against NFC North teams (finished 12-4 in 2009). 

5) When oddsmakers installed the New York Jets as one-point favorites on Sunday night against the New England Patriots, we all should have run to place our bets on the Pats. The Patriots, losers of two straight games (Steelers and Giants) heading into that Jets game, never lose three games in a row. From 2002-2011, the Patriots have played 147 games without enduring a three-game losing streak. That streak will continue after the Pats defeated the Jets 37-16. While that streak sounds impressive, it's still a (very, very) long way from breaking a record. From 1980-1999, the San Francisco 49ers went 287 games without a three-game losing streak.

6) Jets RB LaDainian Tomlinson's 60-yard performance on Sunday night against the New England Patriots didn't warrant a second-look, but he did accomplish an impressive feat in the process. Tomlinson moved ahead of Detroit Lions great Barry Sanders on the all-time yards from scrimmage list. Tomlinson now has 18, 206 yards from scrimmage in his career, which is 16 yards more than Sanders (18,190). Tomlinson now trails Jerry Rice (23,540), Emmitt Smith (21,579), Walter Payton (21,264) and Marshall Faulk (19,154).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Did a Green Bay Restaurant Put Glass in Adrian Peterson's Food?

This is clearly speculative at this point (Twitter speculation nonetheless), but did someone at a Green Bay restaurant (or maybe Appleton or some other hillbilly Wisconsin village) try and sabotage Adrian Peterson's food?

Minnesota Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford (@sanford33) tweeted:

Wow I just talk to @VShiancoe and @AdrianPeterson did have glass in his dinner from last night

I'm not sure this happened, or if it was on purpose. But the idea of it certainly ranks pretty low on the scale of crappy things to do to a person. My guess is this story doesn't end here.

The Vikings are in Green Bay to play the rival Packers on Monday night.

Rex Ryan to Patriots Fan: "Shut the Fuck Up"

If you watch New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan on the sidelines during a game, you notice one thing very quickly, the guy likes to swear (a lot). I'm not a lip reader, but he drops the F-bomb more times than Eddie Murphy and NWA combined.

According to Mike Freeman from, the NFL is looking into an incident in which Ryan told a New England fan to "Shut the fuck up." (Warning: video contains explicit language.)

Ryan has a history of reacting to heckling fans. In February 2010, he was fined $50,000 for an obscene gesture.

Bill Belichick to NY Jets Defense: Suck My Dick!

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belihick is about as boring as its comes when addressing the media. But when the media isn't around (at least he didn't think they were), he's quite animated apparently.

According to the New York Post, As Belichick left the MetLife Stadium field Sunday night after his Patriots beat the New York Jets 37-16, he put his arm around his son, Stephen (pictured), and said:

“Thirty-seven points on the best defense in the league, suck my dick."

The Post reports Belichick was asked about his comment during a Monday morning interview on WFAN. He said, "Any conversations I had privately I'll keep private."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NFL Week 9: Tuesday Takeaways

All 32 NFL teams have now played at least half of their regular season games and befuddlement is the best way to describe week nine of the NFL season. Ten road teams won this weekend, including notable wins by the previously winless Dolphins and Giants (see below).

Week nine made us rethink Eli Manning's elite status, got us wondering about Chad Ochocinco's career and we're closing the book on the 2011 MVP race. It's all covered in The Source's Tuesday Takeaways.

1) The NFL quarterback passer rating doesn't always tell the whole story. However, in the case of Aaron Rodgers, it tells the entire story and then some. The Green Bay QB is the top passer in the NFL, with a quarterback passer rating (QBPR) of 129.1. Rodgers' QBPR Sunday against the San Diego Chargers was 145.8, giving him eight straight games of a 110+ QBPR. What is perhaps even more impressive than that stat is the gap between Rodgers and the rest of the quarterbacks in the league. The number two QB on the QBPR list this season is Drew Brees with a 100.6 QBPR. That 28.5 gap that separates Rodgers and Brees is the same margin that separates Brees and Redskins QB John Beck, who is the 30th best passer in the NFL with a 72.1 QBPR. If you're still not convinced Rodgers is your NFL MVP this year, Rodgers is the first player in NFL history with 2,600-plus yards and 24 TDs through his first 8 games (2,619 yards and 24 TDs).

2) Maybe Eli Manning is an elite quarterback after all. The Giants QB tossed a last-minute touchdown Sunday to beat the New England Patriots 24-21. Manning has been brilliant this season, leading New York to a 6-2 record at the half-way point of the season. His stats jump off the page this year and for once it's not his lofty interception total that grabs your attention. His TD/INT ratio is 15 TDs to 6 INTS and his ability to finish games has been masterful. Manning's fourth-quarter passer rating of 119.3 is the best in the NFL. By the way, the last NFC team to beat the Pats at home were the Brett Favre-led Packers. Pack won 28-10 on November 13, 2002.

3) Speaking of the Patriots, the Chad Ochocinco experiment in New England has been a colossal failure, and Sunday's game against New York provided us with more evidence. So far this season, Ochocinco has 9 catches for 136 yards and zero touchdowns. On Sunday, Wes Welker finished the game with 9 catches for 136 yards and zero touchdowns (his fifth 100-yard game of the year). The fact that Welker matched Ochocinco's season totals in one week tells me #85 is likely done after this season - not just with the Patriots, but with the NFL.

4) Dallas RB DeMarco Murray continues to break Cowboy records held by Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith. With his 136 yards rushing on Sunday against Seattle, Murray has now rushed for 466 yards in his last three games. The 466 yards is the most by any Cowboys player in a three-game span, surpassing 446 yards by Emmitt Smith, who accomplished that feat in 1993 (his MVP season).

5) Another Hall of Famer saw one of his records fall in Washington over the weekend. Redskins rookie RB Roy Helu broke Art Monk's franchise record for most catches in a game with 14 grabs against San Francisco on Sunday. Monk, who is one of the all-time great WRs, recorded 13 catches in a game against Cincinnati back in 1985.

6) Drew Brees joined Brett Favre and Johnny Unitas as the only players in NFL history to throw touchdowns in 36 consecutive games. Brees' first quarter scoring toss to Lance Moore moved him into a second place tie with Favre for most consecutive games with a TD pass. Brees is still 11 games behind former Colts great Unitas, who holds the NFL record with 47 games in a row. In Sunday's win over the Tampa Bay Bucs, Brees also became the first player in NFL history to throw for more than 3,000 yards through the first nine games on the season. Brees currently has 3,004 yards passing, tops in the NFL.

7) The Houston Texans are running away with the AFC South title, quite literally. The Texans have two running backs who are on pace to surpass 1,000 yard rushing this season. Arian Foster (656 yards) and Ben Tate (623 yards) have combined for 1,279 yards on the ground and look poised to join DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart as the only rushing duo in NFL history to rush for 1,100 yards apiece in a season. Williams (1,117 yards) and Stewart (1,133 yards) rushed for 2,250 yards combined in 2009.

8) The Miami Dolphins lost ground in the 'Suck for Luck' sweepstakes Sunday when they beat the Chiefs in Kansas City. Behind Matt Moore's 3 TD game, the Fins destroyed the red hot Chiefs 31-3. Not that they needed them, but Miami scored two second half touchdowns in week nine. In the previous five games, they had scored one second half touchdown.

9) Finally something to smile about (see picture above). It took Atlanta WR Julio Jones (pictured) nine weeks to score his first NFL touchdown (50-yard TD catch Sunday against the Colts). It took him six minutes to score his second NFL touchdown (80-yard TD).

10) Pittsburgh Steelers WR Mike Wallace has proven this year that he is an elite wide receiver. Wallace has 6 TDs this season, with an average yards per touchdown of 45.1 yards.

Monday, November 7, 2011

NFL: Minnesota Vikings Stock Sale 'Not Permitted'

The Minnesota Vikings stadium push got a creative new option Monday when Rep. Phyllis Kahn said she'll introduce legislation requiring the Vikings to sell 70 percent of the team via shares of stock, with a portion of the proceeds being used to pay for a new stadium.

She told the Star Tribune, “(Governor Mark) Dayton asked for all ideas to be put on the table and that’s exactly what I’m doing here,” Kahn said. “No single idea [for funding a new stadium] has gained enough traction to pass the Legislature.”

It turns out this idea won't work either. According to an NFL spokeman, public ownership of NFL teams is not an option.

“It is not permissible under our ownership policies,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Weekly. “There is no public ownership permitted.”

The Vikings rivals to the east, the Green Bay Packers, are the only NFL team that is publicly owned. The Packers are grandfathered in because they went to public ownership when league rules permitted it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NFL Week 8: Tuesday Takeaways

The NFL regular season is nearly half complete and week eight was another example of why NFL is king. Nobody saw St. Louis' upset over New Orleans coming, a missed field goal gave Vikings rookie QB Christian Ponder his first victory and a fumbled exchange late in the fourth quarter cost Philip Rivers and the Chargers a win on Monday night.

Plus, parity rules in the NFL. According to Michael Signora, NFL Vice President of Football Communications, 22 teams went into week eight with a .500 record or better. It was the most through the first seven weeks of the season in NFL history.

Week eight may be done, but the NFL weekend is never complete without The Source's Tuesday Takeaways. Here they are from week eight.

1) When San Diego Chargers RB Curtis Brinkley (pictured) scored a fourth quarter touchdown Monday night against the Kansas City Chiefs, he extended an impressive streak that dates back to before the second Iraq war began. Brinkley's TD was the Chargers 140th consecutive game with a touchdown, the longest current streak in the NFL. The last time the Chargers failed to score a touchdown was November 24, 2002 when the Ray Lucas-led Miami Dolphins destroyed the Drew Brees-led Bolts 30-3. The Chargers are 26 games away from tying the Cleveland Browns mark of most consecutive games with a touchdown at 166 games (1957-1969).

2) Speaking of Brees and late game touchdowns, his meaningless TD pass to Lance Moore at the end of Sunday's loss to St. Louis marked the 35th consecutive game that he's thrown a TD pass. Brees needs one more TD pass to tie Brett Favre for the second-longest such streak in league history. Brees is still 12 behind former Colts great Johnny Unitas, who holds the NFL record with 47 games in a row.

3) Vikings fans have heard coaches say it for years: Adrian Peterson needs to get more involved in the passing game. On Sunday, Minnesota finally looked like they're committed to making that happen (including two shovel passes, something new for Peterson). Peterson finished with a career-high 76 receiving yards on five catches against the Carolina Panthers. This was only the fourth time in Peterson's career that he's had five or more catches in a game (his career high is six catches).

4) Speaking of the Vikings, the reason they aren't getting blown out in the second half anymore is because Ponder is sustaining drives and keeping his defense on the sidelines. In the three fourth quarters that Ponder has played, the Vikings are 10 of 16 (62.5%) converting on third down. In the five fourth quarters that Donovan McNabb played, the Vikings were 4 of 17 (23.5%) converting on third downs.

5) When it comes to winning games, Miami and Indianapolis are the worst in the league. Both teams are winless and look to be in direct competition for the right to draft Andrew Luck. One of the major issues facing these losing teams (among many issues) is their inability to score points, including once they get in the red zone. The two teams have combined to convert 43% (Colts: 47%/Dolphins: 39%) of red zone attempts into touchdowns. In contrast, Luck and the Stanford Cardinal are scoring touchdowns 78% of the time they get in the red zone (100% if you count field goals - 47 of 47). Surprisingly, the Tennessee Titans are converting 70% of their red zone opportunities into touchdowns, the best in the league.

6) It should come as no surprise that the Arizona Cardinals lost on Sunday to the Baltimore Ravens, despite racing out a big first half lead. The Cardinals are the NFL's most prolific losers, now with 704 losses in their franchise history. And that loser label will stick for a while in Arizona, the team with the second most losses is Detroit with 605.

7) Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen is quietly putting together an exceptional season and he should start getting some attention for Defensive Player of the Year honors. Allen is on pace for a 25 sack season, which would break Michael Strahan's record of 22.5 set in 2001. Allen currently has 12.5 sacks, which is tops in the league. Allen is also on a seven game streak with at least one full sack. The record is ten straight games set by Denver's Simon Fletcher and Dallas' DeMarcus Ware.

8) How important is Darren Sproles to the New Orleans offense? Very important. When the Saints lost Reggie Bush to free agency this offseason, they quickly signed Sproles to fill the role of pass-catching running back. Sproles leads the Saints in catches this season and is on pace to break the single-season reception mark for running backs set by Larry Centers. Centers caught 101 passes for the Arizona Cardinals in 1995, Sproles is on pace for 102 catches this season (Bush has 21 catches so far this season).

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 8 NFL Twitter Takeaway

Maybe it was the great finish or the match-up of young QBs or the fact that I'm a Vikings fan, but this week's Twitter Takeaway is heavy on Vikings/Panthers tweets. Despite my allegiance to the Purple, you must admit it was an entertaining game and the tweets were equally as enjoyable. However, the tweet of the day came from Evan Silva who quoted New York Giants RB Brandon Jacobs in one of his tweets. It's a fantastic quote.

As I do every Sunday, I gathered some of the best tweets that I saw during the games and put them here for you to enjoy. And while you're at it, give all these folks a follow.

Rams are 1st team to shutout Saints in 1st half since Bucs on 9/16/07

#Cardinals PR Patrick Peterson with 2nd punt return TD of season. First time a Cardinals player had 2 in season since Vai Sikahema, 1986

A Peterson great run for TD. Whatever happened to the Chris Johnson arguement on who was better. Always take gd big man vs gd liitle man.

AP now has 61 rushing TDs in 69 career regular season games. Ties Eric Dickerson for 4th-most in NFL history for first 5 seasons.

#Vikings finally make good on promise to get Adrian Peterson more involved in passing game, and he cruises in for 19-yard TD.

Holy hell AP is a bad man. TD

Anybody who thinks that Cam Newton and Tim Tebow are comparable, watch his touchdown pass to Greg Olsen.

Newton hadn't lost a fumble all year. Has two today. Jared Allen causes it on strip-sack. Vikings ball at CAR 39 with 1:03 left.

Brandon Jacobs on #Giants win: "I got nothing positive to say..I got a fast-ass car being delivered Tuesday. That's it"

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leigh Bodden Released By New England Patriots

Two days before they're set to face the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New England Patriots have released one of their cornerbacks. Leigh Bodden was cut by the Patriots Friday, according to multiple reports.

Bodden, who had been demoted to the Patriots nickel cornerback, signed a four-year deal with New England worth $22 million prior to the 2010 season. He is making $3.9 million this season.

According to, the 30-year-old Bodden had played 222 snaps this season, with 22 passes being thrown in his direction. He’d allowed 12 completions and one touchdown, while breaking up four attempts.

Bodden has 18 career interceptions during his nine season in the NFL.

The Patriots currently have the worst pass defense in the NFL.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski Apologizes For Bibi Jones Photos

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski apologized Wednesday for pictures of him posing shirtless with pornstar Bibi Jones. In the photos, Jones is wearing Gronkowski No. 87 New England jersey. The pictures were posted on Jones' Twitter page.

"I didn't intend anything to hurt the reputation of anyone on the New England Patriots or on behalf of Robert Kraft," said Gronkowski. "It was just a simple picture, and that's all."

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, meanwhile, is reveling in the fact that the tabloids aren't talking about him.

"I'm just glad I'm no longer the one that people are making fun of on my team on a daily basis," said Brady, who is married to supermodel Geisle Bunchan. "Gronk has definitely pulled into the lead there."

Fantasy Football 2011: Week 8 Waiver Wire

Injury lists get a little longer for NFL teams this time of year and we're starting to see some prominent names popping up on those lists. Last week was a tough one for several players, many of whom are every week fantasy starters. Beanie Wells, Willis McGahee, Darren McFadden, Marshawn Lynch, Santana Moss and Earnest Graham all went down with injuries in week seven and many of them will miss multiple weeks.

Finding consistent replacement players for the guys mentioned above won't be easy on your waiver wire, but there are some good options out there for those of you looking to cobble together a line-up every week. Here are the week 8 waiver wire pick-ups from The Source.

Christian Ponder, QB, Minnesota Vikings
Never before has a quarterback who completed 41% of his passes been a cause for optimism. But for the Minnesota Vikings, Ponder certainly breathed new life into a struggling offense and nearly engineered a comeback win over the unbeaten Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Ponder's ability to get the ball downfield makes him a valuable fantasy quarterback. He finished Sunday's game with 219 yards passing, 31 yards rushing and 2 TDs - a solid stat line for a guy making his first career start. Ponder has some favorable match-ups coming up and is worth stashing as a QB2 right now - with the potential to start for your fantasy team in a couple of weeks.

Bernard Scott, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
Scott is the epitome of a short-term investment. Scott will fill-in for Cedric Benson on Sunday, who's serving a one-game suspension. Scott is expected to get the bulk of the carries for the Bengals against the Seattle Seahawks. Scott is a good play this week simply based on opportunity. Scott could be in line for 20 or more touches and that's a good amount of work for a player sitting on a lot of waiver wires.

Knowshon Moreno/Lance Ball, RBs, Denver Broncos
With McGahee likely out for two games with a broken hand, the Broncos will turn (once again) to Moreno as their main ball carrier. I know a lot of owners dumped Moreno after a slow start, so he might be available if you need RB help. However, if Moreno is gone and you're still desperate for a RB, consider picking up Ball. Look for ball to get the short yardage and goal line carries (at least the ones not taken by Tim Tebow).

Roy Helu, RB, Washington Redskins
Good luck trying to figure out Mike Shanahan, but if you need a RB, Roy Helu may be the guy with the most upside on the waiver wire. With Tim Hightower done for the season with a knee injury, the Redskins will rely on Helu and Ryan Torain to carry the load. While Torain appears to be the front-runner for more carries right now, Helu should get his opportunities as the season goes on. But then again, good luck trying to figure out Shanahan.

Michael Jenkins/Devin Aromashodu, WRs, Minnesota Vikings
There are several reasons to like the Vikings wide receivers these days. The Vikings now have a QB in Christian Ponder who isn't afraid to throw the ball downfield, Bernard Berrian is out of the picture and Percy Harvin has a lingering rib injury. Jenkins is coming off his first career 100-yard game and looked like Ponder's favorite target. Aromashodu meanwhile, is on the field the most of any Vikings WR and was targeted on several deep passes in Sunday's loss to Green Bay. If you need one WR it should be Jenkins. However, if you're in a deeper league where the waiver wire has been picked clean, Aromashodu may be for you.

Jabar Gaffney, WR, Washington Redskins
With Moss sidelined with a broken hand for 5-7 weeks, Gaffney will likely see an increase in targets. Gaffney is more valuable in PPR leagues because of the number of targets he'll get, but in standard leagues he's just marginal. He's there if you need him, but if you don't need him don't waste a transaction on him.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Report: Minnesota Vikings Release Bernard Berrian

The Minnesota Vikings have reportedly cut ties with Bernard Berrian. According to NFL Newtork's Jason La Canfora, Berrian was released Tuesday morning.

Berrian was deactivated for Sunday's game against the Green bay Packers, the second deactivation of the season for him. Vikings head coach Leslie Fraizer declined to address Berrian's benching, only saying the two would have a meeting this week. The meeting happened and Berrian is gone.

Berrian signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 2008 and had a very good first season with the Vikings, catching 48 passes for 964 yards and seven touchdowns. Berrian's production fell off after that. In 2009, he finished with 55 catches for 618 yards and four touchdowns and last year he managed just 28 catches for 252 yards and zero touchdowns.

So far this season, Berrian had just 7 catches for 91 yards and zero touchdowns.

Berrian signed a six-year, $42 million contract with the Vikings in 2008 that included $16 million in guaranteed money. The Vikings restructured his deal this offseason, making Berrian a free agent after the season.

Minnesota Vikings CB Chris Cook Charged With Felony

Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook will face felony charges stemming from a domestic assault early Saturday morning. According to multiple reports, the Hennepin County attorney in Minneapolis filed a felony domestic assault strangulation charge against Cook on Tuesday.

Cook was arrested at 2:10 a.m. Saturday at his home in Eden Prairie, Minnesota after a neighbor reported screaming from Cook's residence, according to police.

According to the charges, Cook choked his girlfriend multiple times and struck her in the ear.

Cook has spent the past three days in jail and missed Sunday's loss to the Green Bay Packers.

This was Cook's second arrest in eight months. In March, he was arrested in Lynchburg, Va. after he was accused of pulling a gun on a neighbor. Cook was found not guilty of that charge.

Fantasy Football 2011: Week 7 Tuesday Takeaways

If you didn't believe it before week seven, you must believe it now, the NFL is a quarterback driven league and you need a good one if you want to win.

This weekend in the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings took their rookie signal caller for a test drive, The Green Bay Packers rode their reliable QB to victory and the Carolina Panthers' young gun looks legit. Then there's that guy named Tebow.

It was an action packed week seven that can't be replayed. But it can be relived in the The Source's Tuesday Takeaways. Here are The Source's takeaways from week seven.

1) The Minnesota Vikings have found themselves a quarterback. Rookie Christian Ponder (pictured) made his first career start Sunday against the Packers and looked solid. While his stat line doesn't jump off the page - 13/32 (41% comp. percentage), 219 yards, 2 TDs/2 INTS - Ponder immediately changed the Vikings offense. What Ponder did, and what Donovan McNabb didn't do, was he forced the ball down the field. Ponder's average yards per pass completion was 16.8, McNabb was averaging 6.6 yards per completion as a starter. Ponder's ability to complete passes downfield made the Vikings offense less predictable and opened up (a lot of) running room for RB Adrian Peterson (175 yards, 1 TD). Another reason Vikings fans should be optimistic, Ponder has converted 6 of 8 (75%) third downs. Previous to his benching, McNabb was converting third downs 44% (42-96) of the time.

2) Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers posted his second highest passer rating in his career in Sunday's 33-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Rodgers finished Sunday with a 146.5 passer rating, which was 8.9 points lower than his career best of 155.4, which came against the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Through the first seven weeks of 2011, Rodgers has had a passer rating of at least 110 or greater in every game, he's the only QB in NFL history to accomplish this feat. A league MVP trophy will look nice next to his other awards.

3) Despite playing awful football for 57 minutes, Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow continued to prove he's a valuable fantasy football quarterback. Tebow managed 15 fantasy points on Sunday's 18-15 win over the Miami Dolphins, continuing his impressive fantasy run dating back to last season. In his past five games (games where Tebow saw significant playing time), he has scored 15, 17, 21, 16, 15 fantasy points (standard leagues). The guy throws an ugly, inaccurate ball, but he scores fantasy points.

4) I mentioned Peterson's big game against the Packers, but it was another former Oklahoma Sooner running back who stole the show on Sunday. Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray was filling in for the injured Felix Jones and rattled off a ridiculous 253 yards rushing, including a 91-yard touchdown. What Murray did on Sunday was remarkable for two reasons:
  • Coming into Sunday's game, Jones had 255 yards rushing ALL SEASON.
  • Murray is now the Cowboys all-time single-game rushing leader, outperforming Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett. Not bad company.
By the way, Peterson and Murray's 428 combined rushing yards in week seven set an NFL record for the most rushing yards by two players from the same school (Oklahoma Univesity).

5) All Larry Fitzgerald wanted before he signed his big contract this offseason was a commitment from the Cardinals that they would get him a quarterback. As it turns out, Arizona still haven't lived up to their end of the bargain. QB Kevin Kolb has been inconsistent this season, throwing for 1,553 yards, 7 TDs, 7 INTs. (with a 58% completion percentage). More importantly, Kolb's arrival hasn't improved Fitzgerald's numbers much over last year.
  • 2010: 35 rec. 403 yards, 4 TDs (seven games)
  • 2011: 31 rec. 505 yards, 2 TDs (six games)
Fitzgerald has more yards this year compared to last year, which is encouraging, but he's on pace for five touchdowns. Fitzgerald is a player who should have double digit TDs every season. Keep in mind, Fitzgerald scored 35 touchdowns from 2007-2009. He should be finding the endzone more often - I don't care who's playing quarterback.

6) I can't say Tennessee Titans RB Chris Johnson took the money and ran when he signed his new contract this offseason - mostly because he hasn't done much running this season. After a miserable performance (10 carries for 18 yards) on Sunday against a leaky Houston Texans run defense, Johnson is now on pace to rush for 715 yards this season. That's startling bad, especially when you consider Peterson currently has 712 yards rushing after seven weeks.

7) Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton continues to prove his critics wrong. Newton tied a rookie quarterback record by scoring his seventh rushing touchdown of the season in Sunday's 33-20 win over the Washington Redskins. Newton tied Vince Young, who set that rookie rushing TD mark with the Tennessee Titans in 2006. Newton has nine games left to break the record. My guess is he'll break the record soon and then make that record unbreakable.

8) Something very rare happened Monday night and Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice would like to forget it. Rice lost a fumble against the Jacksonville Jaguars snapping a 522-carry streak without a fumble. The last time Rice fumbled was December 27, 2009. Jay Sean's song Down featuring Lil Wayne was the number one song in America the last time Rice fumbled.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week 7 NFL Twitter Takeaway

Twitter and NFL Sundays have become like peanut butter and jelly, hamburger and fries or Beavis and Butthead - it's hard to imagine one without the other.

When something happens on your big screen, you instinctually reach for your small screen and moments later the Twitter world is reading your instant analysis.

A former colleague of mine and an Emmy-award winner at WCCO-TV, Gregg Litman, wrote an article about this topic earlier this year. It's a very good article about how tweeting during live events has changed the way we watch TV. His article inspired me to take all my favorite tweets from NFL Sunday and post them here. While you're at it, give all these folks a follow.

Closing in on Unitas' unbreakable 47 straight games w/ a td pass, @drewbrees now at 34 games. Favre had 36 straight. Marino-30.

#Packers QB Aaron Rodgers' passing rating of 146.5 was the 2nd highest of his career. Best was 155.4 at Cleveland on Oct. 25, 2009.

Eight of Ponder's 13 completions went at least 12 yds today. Averaged 16.8 yds/comp. McNabb avgd 6.58. Huge difference.

Kyle Boller completed a better percentage of his passes than Carson Palmer. They had 6 INTs combined, completed 15 to their own team. Wow.

#Browns are 2-0 without Peyton Hillis - yes fans they can win without him although it'd be nice to keep Hillis

As of now, #Bears (4-3) would be 6th seed in the NFC, behind 3 division leaders and the Lions. Wins over Bucs and Falcons is HUGE

#Packers WR Greg Jennings might have the #Vikings number. 28 catches for 461 yards & 6 TDs in last 4 games against MIN. 7-116-1.5 average.

Felix Jones this season: 255 yards and a TD on 64 carries. DeMarco Murray on Sunday: 253 yards and a TD on 25 carries.

The #Saints have more points tonight (62) than the #Rams have all season (56)

One last thought on Ponder: Put that 4th q drive together without Harvin and behind beatup offensive line.

I've converted to Christian Ponder.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Minnesota Vikings Most Arrested Team Since 2000

The Minnesota Vikings are having a losing season on the field, but off the field they've moved into first place in one dubious category.

According to the website, with the arrest of cornerback Chris Cook on felony domestic assault/strangulation and fifth degree domestic assault early Saturday morning, the Vikings have taken over first place as the most arrested team in the NFL (see full list of teams below). got their information from, which has been tracking NFL player arrests dating back to 2000.

As of Saturday, the Vikings have tallied 36 arrests since 2000, pushing them ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Carson Palmer Traded to Oakland Raiders

Carson Palmer said he thought he was retired, then he got a text from Oakland Raiders head coach coach Hue Jackson. Jackson told Palmer that the Raiders were working on a trade to land the 31-year-old quarterback. Just before the 4 p.m. Tuesday trade deadline, a deal was reached and Palmer was headed west.

"For the past six weeks I thought I was retired," Palmer said during a news conference Tuesday. "Week 1 hit and I thought, I've got to look elsewhere and find what the next phase of my life might be. Then I got the text from Hue."

Palmer didn't come cheap for the Raiders. Oakland gave up a first-round pick next year and a second-round pick in 2013, which could become a first-rounder if the Raiders (4-2) go to the AFC Championship Game.

"As far as the draft picks, what we have to give up, I never hesitated because I know exactly what I'm getting," said Jackson, who coached Palmer at USC and was an assistant in Cincinnati. "I don't think you're ever mortgating the future when you put a big-time franchise quarterback on your team."

Oakland's need for a quarterback started Sunday when Jason Campbell's season ended with a broken collarbone.

Jackson left open the possibility that Palmer, who says he's been working out during the season, could start Sunday vs. the Chiefs.

Fantasy impact: Palmer is an upgrade over Campbell, but it might take a few weeks for Palmer to get back into football shape. He's worth picking up if you're hurting at quarterback or you had Campbell on your roster. The Radiers wide receivers - Jacoby Ford, Denarius Moore and Darius Heyward-Bey - all should get bumps from Palmer's arrival (it's better than having Kyle Boller throwing them the ball). RB Darren McFadden will also benefit from Palmer being under center. He was certain to face eight or nine man fronts with Boller at QB.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Report: Brandon Lloyd Traded to St. Louis Rams

With a Tuesday afternoon trade deadline looming in the NFL, the Denver Broncos have sent WR Brandon Lloyd to St. Louis Rams for a sixth round pick, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The Rams are 0-5 this season and desperately need a playmaker at wide receiver. Lloyd meanwhile, is in a contract year and will look to cash in with the Rams.

Lloyd will be reunited with Josh McDaniels, who is the Rams offensive coordinator and Lloyd's former head coach in Denver last season. Lloyd flourished in McDaniels offense, leading the NFL in receiving yards with 1,448 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2010.

Lloyd, who is 30, has 19 catches for 283 yards and zero TDs this season.

Fantasy impact: Lloyd's arrival in St. Louis improves Sam Bradford's stock and Steven Jackson should get a bump too. Lloyd's arrival also means Mike Sims-Walker is likely out in St. Louis and Mark Clayton's sneaky value is all but gone. As for Denver, look for Eric Decker to get more targets and keep an eye on the return of Demaryius Thomas. Thomas is returning from an Achilles tear suffered during the offseason. Thomas is worth a look in most leagues, but don't expect immediate success - considering the severity of his injury.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Minnesota Vikings Stadium Plan Gets Good News, Potentially Bad News

The Minnesota Vikings got a big win off the field Tuesday night when the Ramsey County Charter Commission rejected a proposal to let Ramsey County residents vote on a tax hike for a proposed Vikings Stadium in Arden Hills. However, there's a new problem reportedly about to snarl the team's stadium plans.

Around 10 p.m. Tuesday night, the commission voted 10-6 against allowing the stadium funding question be added to the ballot. Ramsey County has proposed using a half-cent sales tax increase to fund $350 million of the new stadium in their county.

The Vikings argued that holding a countywide referendum on a proposed half-cent sales tax hike to help build a new football stadium would delay the project by two years and add at least $110 million to the $1 billion proposal.

“We cannot tell you whether a referendum can pass,” wrote Lester Bagley, the team’s vice president of public affairs and stadium development. He said a countywide vote in November 2012 would push stadium construction into 2013 and inflate the current costs by at least $110 million.

“Neither the taxpayers nor the team can afford such a major delay caused by adding this referendum provision,” Bagley wrote.

The Charter Commission is a 17-member panel appointed by members of the county judiciary to oversee and make changes to the Ramsey County Charter, a sort of county constitution. Before Tuesday night’s decision, the commission held a public hearing in which Ramsey County residents by about 2-to-1 favored a public vote on the proposed sales tax increase.

However, there is a new potential obstacle for the Vikings. According to the Star Tribune, the Metropolitan Council is set to release a report Wednesday, requested by Gov. Mark Dayton, on the feasibility of building a stadium on the Arden Hills site, a former Army munitions plant that’s heavily contaminated. According to the Star Tribune report, doubts are being raised on the Vikings' plan to open the stadium by 2015 and the report says the Arden Hills' plan is "an aggressive schedule that is unrealistic."

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, a stadium supporter, has suggested he could still call a special session on the stadium this year if a deal comes together. But without broad consensus from all partners, the issue could end up waiting until the next regular session, which convenes at the end of January.

The Vikings lease at the Metrodome is set to run out after this season.

Fantasy Football 2011: Week 5 Tuesday Takeaways

To call this NFL season a wacky one would be an understatement. It's downright ludicrous, crazy, insane. Six quarterbacks remain on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing yards mark, New England Patriots WR Wes Welker is on track to catch 144 balls for 2,368(!!!) yards and 16 touchdowns and at his current pace, Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson will catch 28 touchdowns this year.

While offenses have been thriving, defenses have been sieves. However, not to be lost in the mediocrity is Minnesota Vikings DE Jared Allen (pictured). He has 8.5 sacks through five games and is on pace for a 27 sack season (Michael Strahan has the NFL record with 22.5 sacks). So yeah, it's been a ludicrous, crazy, insane season so far.

Wait, you want more proof? The Lions, San Francisco 49ers and Buffalo Bills are a combined 13-2, while the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Jets and Atlanta Falcons all have losing records. Ludicrous, crazy, insane.

Every Tuesday The Source takes a look back at the weekend (and Monday night) that was in the NFL. Here are The Source's takeaways from week five.

1) If I were Mercury Morris and the '72 Miami Dolphins, I'd start getting worried about the Green Bay Packers joining my club. With an unstoppable offense and an improving defense, I don't see a loss on the Packers schedule.

2) It's Tim Tebow time in Denver and I couldn't be more excited about it. Tebow may not win many games under-center for the Broncos, but he will put up big fantasy points. In the final three games of last season (games Tebow started), he finished with 15, 17 and 21 fantasy points (standard scoring). Fantasy owners got a taste of what Tebow can do last week when he led the Broncos back against the San Diego Chargers, a game Denver eventually lost 29-24. Tebow finished with 79 yards passing, 38 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns (1 passing, 1 rushing) - that's 12 fantasy points in less than a half. Go get Tebow now!

3) Atlanta QB Matt Ryan needs a new nickname. Matty Ice is melting down late in games and it's led to the Falcons starting 2-3. Much like he did in Sunday night's 25-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers, Ryan has started games extremely well, but he's finished them poorly. In the five games Ryan has played this year, here are his stats by quarter:

  • 1st quarter - 75.7% 290 yards 3 TDs 1 Int
  • 2nd quarter - 61.2% 271 yards 1 TD 2 INTs
  • 3rd quarter - 53.2% 321 yards 1 TD 1 INTs
  • 4th quarter - 58.7% 420 yards 2 TDs 2 INTs
Ryan goes from a 75% passer to a 58% passer over the course of the game. And where is that big play offense with Roddy White and Julio Jones? All of Ryan's seven touchdown passes have come when the Falcons are in the redzone. How about the nickname: Matty Melt Down?

4) I think I'm over my obsession with Cincinnati Bengal wide receivers. I've now moved onto Buffalo Bills WRs. I'm mostly interested in them from a PPR standpoint, but it's also a healthier relationship considering the Bills are 4-1 and none of their WRs have a drug investigation pending (how does Jerome Simpson still get to play?). I was intrigued by the Bills WR group back when David Nelson started getting a ton of targets out of the slot. But then came Naaman Roosevelt and my mind was nearly blown (great name). Roosevelt is a little known WR from the University of Buffalo with shifty moves and good hands. Roosevelt saw a lot of snaps during Sunday's 31-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles and ended the games with 5 catches for 41 yards (on 7 targets). Look for Roosevelt to be on the field more with starting WR Donald Jones expected miss 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury. Roosevelt will stay in the slot, which is a great place to be in Buffalo's offense, and former slot guy Nelson will move outside opposite WR Steve Johnson. If you're in a deep PPR league, Naaman Roosevelt is a name to remember (yaa-man).

5) Speaking of obscure names to remember, the Kansas City Chiefs have a new featured back and his name is Jackie Battle. Battle finished Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts with 119 yards on 19 carries, a game the Chiefs won 28-24. While Battle didn't find the endzone, he did force the Colts defense to focus on the run, which lead to a four touchdown day by QB Matt Cassel. Battle hits holes faster than Thomas Jones and finishes runs stronger than Dexter McCluster, which makes Battle a valuable commodity on fantasy waiver wire this week. Pick-up Battle and consider taking a flier on Cassel and WR Steve Breaston (2 TDs on Sunday) going forward. If Battle continues to run hard and keep defenses honest, this Chiefs offense can be (dare I say) explosive. They were pretty good last year when they had a consistent running game.

6) My Frank Gore apology (take 2): The San Francisco 49ers RB did it again, showing me once more that I was wrong. Two weeks ago, I suggested rookie RB Kendall Hunter should start getting more touches because he had looked more versatile than Gore. Gore responded by ripping off 127 yards and a touchdown two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Eagles and this past weekend against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers he rumbled for 125 yards and a score. That's 252 yards and 2 TDs since I ripped him. I guess motivation is born out of the keystrokes of The Source. Look for Gore to have another solid game in week six when he leads the 4-1 Niners into Detroit to face the unbeaten Lions on Sunday (BTW-Niners win this game).

7) The #SuckForLuck sweepstakes is down to two (maybe three) teams: Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts (dark horse: St. Louis Rams).

8) Where has Clay Matthews gone? In five games this season, the Green Bay Packers OLB has just one sack, putting him on pace for 3.5 on the year. Matthews has been a disruptive force since coming into the league, recording 23.5 sacks in his first two seasons. Maybe it's his quad, which has kept him from practicing much of this season, or maybe it's a lack of talent around him. The Packers lost DE Cullen Jenkins in free agency to the Philadelphia Eagles and DE Mike Neal has been sidelined all this season with a bum knee. Or maybe (the most likely case) he's just as good as ever, but now teams are using two blockers on him each play. Despite Matthews having just one sack, the Packers have sacked opposing quarterbacks 12 times this season, good enough for ninth in the league. So to answer the question where has Matthews gone? He's the guy getting double-teamed every play and opening up opportunities for other players.