March 27, 2013
There are just a couple weeks left until the NFL Draft so you know what that means…it’s time to judge who “won” and “lost” in free agency. And we’re going to do it only about nine months before we really know how good these teams are and what signings were actually good.
New England Patriots
Yeah they lost Wes Welker to Denver, but signing Danny Amendola is a nice replacement. But that’s not why the Patriots are on the list. It’s because Bernard (Patriot-killer) Pollard has joined the Tennessee Titans. You may remember that it was Pollard who sacked Tom Brady on the play where Brady tore his ACL in 2008. He was also involved in the play when Wes Welker got a torn ACL in 2009 and when Rob Gronkowski got hurt and missed the Super Bowl. And just a couple months ago it was a ferocious hit from Pollard that knocked Stevan Ridley out and forced a crucial fumble in the AFC Championship Game that Baltimore went on to win. But this year, the Patriots don’t have to worry about Pollard because they don’t play the Titans. (I reserve the right to change this opinion if the NFL schedules the Patriots and Titans to play in the preseason.)
Seattle started the offseason with a bang by trading for one of the most dangerous weapons in the league in Percy Harvin. Then they added Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to an already stellar defense.
The New England defensive back (and new father) just scored a year’s worth of diapers from new Patriot Adrian Wilson for giving up the number 24 jersey, allowing Wilson to keep his number from his days in Arizona.
In one of the strangest free agent developments I can remember, Dumervil was cut from Denver because his agent didn’t get a signed agreement faxed to the team seven minutes earlier. Instead, Elvis was cut by the Broncos even though he wanted to stay and they wanted to keep him. It was an embarrassing situation for everyone involved, but signing a 5-year, $35 million contract with the defending Super Bowl champs is a nice recovery for Dumervil.
If not for the previously mention Dumervil debacle, the Broncos would have an almost perfect off season so far. Adding Wes Welker, Louis Vasquez, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Terrance Knighton fills just about every hole on the roster. If they can bring in Dwight Freeney or John Abraham to replace Dumervil, they will be in great shape heading into the draft.
Even though he isn’t a free agent, Tebow makes the list because there is finally a team that has come forward and said they actually want him on the roster. Yeah it is the Orlando Predators and yeah it is the Arena Football League. But at least he’d get a shot to play quarterback.
The Dolphins landed the biggest fish in free agency when they signed WR Mike Wallace. They have also made a splash by signing WR Brandon Gibson, TE Dustin Keller, and linebackers Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe. If all goes well, they could challenge the Patriots in the AFC East. If not, at least they have given their fans some hope and shown that they are going for it.
October 25, 2011
A week predicted by many fans to be an abysmal set of games turned out to be surprisingly exciting. Some of the best and most entertaining teams – New England, Buffalo, Philadelphia – had bye weeks. But two games projected to be lopsided, Green Bay at Minnesota and Atlanta at Detroit, proved to be highly competitive.
My fantasy projections for Week 7 did pretty well, too. (Editor’s note: Due to a combination of laziness and incompetence in the Fathead office, Rick’s Week 7 projections were not posted last week. We stink.) Dez Bryant recorded a TD and 90 yards receiving as the Cowboys demolished the Rams, and Jimmy Graham recorded 2 TD as the Saints more-than-demolished the Colts. A game that would have been more competitive a few months ago, but without Peyton Manning, the hands-down primary option was Game 4 of the World Series (for those who do not have two televisions in their man cave, that is).
Do I dare even mention Colt McCoy? To be fair, both teams are suffering from injuries to key offensive players, but still. I couldn’t get through the whole game. In a game with nine total points scored, no one wins.
On to Week 8 predictions.
This may seem like an easy pick, but Brees has been inconsistent this year – he’ll have a huge game, then throw a few picks the next. The Saints slaughtered the Colts last week, and there’s no reason not to think the same will happen against the Rams this week. The Rams are coming off a blowout loss as well to a similarly high powered Cowboys offense. Brees, as well as his receivers, are a good play again this week.
I’ll admit, that Broncos comeback Sunday was impressive. Scoring 15 points in three minutes after scoring none the previous 57 is a feat even if you are playing the winless Dolphins. But the no-point portion of the game is a better reflection of what to expect against Detroit.
The Lions don’t have stellar defense by any means. What they do have is big play ability in their corners. The way Tebow throws the ball – lofts it like you would a Nerf football – I envision a few turnovers here, and possibly a pick six. That’s assuming the unintended receiver can get past Tebow, that is, who I assume would be able to handle himself if he needs to make a tackle.
Staying in the same game, the Broncos have a solid frontline led by defensive end Elvis Dumervil. Matt Stafford has had a great year so far, but is playing hurt (as always). If the Broncos can get to him it’ll force him to look for his tight end in Pettigrew early. If they hit him hard and force him out of the game – a strong possibility – expect backup Shaun Hill to look for Pettigrew more often.
This is an easy pick – clearly you want to start him. But this week should be especially fruitful. The Panthers have trouble stopping the run, and with a rookie quarterback at the helm, the Vikes will likely feed Peterson as much as possible. It didn’t happen that way against the Packers last week – largely because Green Bay’s secondary is depleted without safety Nick Collins – but expect that to change this week.