Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday Hangover: Your whole team is injured

The consistent theme woven through this season is the thread of injury. Whether it's a season-ending injury (Peyton Manning, Kenny Britt, Jamaal Charles, Matt Schaub, the list goes on), or it just feels like the whole season (Andre Johnson, Darren McFadden, Ahmad Bradshaw, Austin Miles), to the nagging little things that hold guys out of one or two games (Adrian Peterson?, Julio Jones, Shonn Greene, Michael Vick) the weekly CBSSports.com injury report reads like Tolstoy - with fewer Russians.

The biggest question marks going into week 12 will be the status of Adrian Peterson who has been remarkably durable for a guy who is the backbone of his team's offense and gets darn little support from their aerial attack. But given the Vikings 2-8 record and the certainty that they will not make the playoffs, resting a high ankle sprain might be the wiser path - which is why Toby Gerhart went off the boards so fast this weekend.

It would be negligent not to mention the enormous question mark that sits over Michael Vick's return now that his replacement went out and Tebow'd* his way to victory (*doing everything possible to lose except actually losing). For those of you who didn't tune in to the Sunday night game pitting the Giants against the Eagles, Vince Young's Sputnik looking passes have not found any more snap or any less loft in his days waiting in the wings. In fact I couldn't tell who was the more terrified fan base coming out of that game - Eagles fans who watched in horror every time a pass left Young's hand to float in the air for what seemed like days, just begging for a defender to get underneath it and swipe the ball away (which did happen 3 times); Or the Giants who somehow managed to pick only three of these pathetic lobs out of the sky. Since winning masks a lot of pain, I'm guessing the G-Men are more angry.

Bill Simmons posed the question: How many broken ribs must Vick have before fans are happy to start Young? He suggested 9, which seemed a little low to me. But with a 1-game win streak under his belt I'm wondering if Andy Reid is going t0 risk benching the healthy (if awful) Young over the ever-ailing Vick. Considering the Eagles didn't so much revive their season as they kept the plug from being pulled, every game is a must win so I have to think Vick will start, especially against a Patriots team that will not provide the tepid offensive performance that kept the Eagles in Sunday's game.

On to the week

- With Miami practically running away from Andrew Luck like he's got a venereal disease, St. Louis still having an awful lot of NFC West teams on the horizon and Carolina looking like they are bound to start winning games just any second now, the Colts have to feel as good about their chances of grabbing the No. 1 pick. By not playing this week they not only didn't risk losing but they let some of their competition put a little distance between them. Couple more weeks of losing and the Colts might actually peek out from their burrow and decide it is safe to try to win a game and avoid the shameful 0-16 season. I wonder if Luck will ask to use Manning's number?

-I'm officially starting Torry Smith from here on out. He has outlasted the rookie maybes and is now a genuine threat to score huge plays when he is on the field. Anyone who knows Lee Evans' track record is not even a little surprised that he's completely lost his spot to someone who can actually catch a football. I'm not saying Smith is going to post up 150 yards a game, but his speed is evident and frankly the 49ers DBs won;t be able to keep up with him Thursday night. As a Niners fan it pains me to say but I'd start both Anquan Boldin and Smith on Thursday night. On the other hand I'd consider keeping Ray Rice on the bench - even if he is the first player to score a rushing TD on the Niners this year, he's probably not going to break any fantasy records with Patrick Willis crushing his little body all night.

-Did you know that Vincent Jackson and Roddy White both had 100-yard +TD days on Sunday? Feels a little like the warming glow of 2010 when those two were reliable 100+ yards a week guys. Aside from a few QBs and AP is anyone truly reliable year over year? Calvin Johnson, Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe are the only three guys who were top ten in receiving last year and are top 10 this year.

-You know how QBs have their favorite receivers? Tony Romo loves Jason Witten and Austin Miles, Tom Brady loves Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees love anyone with two hands. Well, with Matt Hasslebeck maybe out for another game is it time to pick up Nate Washington who had a monster day with Jake Locker throwing him the ball? Not sure I'd take a chance on Locker (unless Jay Cutler is your starter - in which case you are beyond help) but if Washington has one of those simpatico relationships with Locker he might be valuable.

-Love that John Elway is able to see the forest for the trees. All the Tebowphiles may be distraught that Elway isn't yet committing to his QB, but what else is he to do? Tebow has a long track record of responding well to criticism and adversity with horrible passes followed by seemingly immaculate touchdown runs. He might be the Broncos QB for the next 10 years and every Sunday Elway has to take the stage and announce that he is not sure of Tebow has the job. Brilliant move if you ask me. If it motivates Tebow to higher levels of improbable victories - great. If he fails miserably Elway gets a new QB - great. Win Win for Elway.

-Speaking of which, the look on Elway's face when Tebow scored the game-winning touchdown was priceless. There was zero excitement in his body language, he just clapped and forced a grin that said: "Great, now I'm stuck with this guy for another week at least. So much for Andrew Luck."


Anonymous said...

who is Austin Miles?

Anonymous said...

That's who Miles Austin sees when he looks in a mirror...

Anonymous said...

he basically lists my lineup: andre j, adrian p, shonn g, miles a, forgot javid b, and aj green, and should include philip r since i think he sprained his mind or something. hopefully one of these guys is back in since my bench is out of room. would be in playoffs without the injuries