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Ricky Williams: One and Done

For a while there, it looked like the Miami Dolphins had a chance. But the longer Monday night’s soggy matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers went, the more you could tell nothing was going to happen with Patrick Cobbs carrying the ball.

The Dolphins desperately needed someone to carry the ball through the mud, so they activated both Ricky Williams and Jesse Chatman for Monday night. And both were knocked out of the game; worse, Williams is already on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle.

Miami just took a huge step down the road to 0-16 by losing Williams for the rest of the year. But will Ricky be around in 2008? There was talk the Dolphins were showcasing Williams for a potential trade; now that his showcase is over prematurely, the Fish may keep Williams during his contract year and sign him on the cheap should he perform well. The legend continues.

NFL Week 10 Wrap-UP Report

This week’s NFL Week 10 wrap-up report looks a little like this: we take a look at the happenings of this past weekend in the NFL; we ask a bookmanager about Peyton Manning’s worst day ever, Adrian Peterson’s injury as well who he thinks the second best team in the league is now that the Colts are suffering through a mini-slump.

The Colts lost their second game in a row after Peyton Manning threw a career high six interceptions, what can we make of this? Are the Colts still the second-best team in the NFL right now?

This game had the same feel as the Cowboys-Bills game earlier this year.  Tony Romo turned the ball over at every opportunity but he was saved by rookie Nick Folk’s 53-yard, game-winning field goal.

In the Colts/Chargers game, Manning threw the ball away six times but the Indianapolis D kept San Diego from scoring over the final 36:13 to set up what should have been another chance at redemption for Manning and the Colts. Manning drove Indy deep into San Diego territory giving Adam Vinatieri’s a chance at a gimme 29 yard game winner, except he pushed the ball right, and the Colts lost the game 23-21.

Can we say that Manning and the Colts are on the decline? If you look at Manning’s interceptions, or more accurately his targets in that contest, you’ll have the answer: Pro-Bowler Reggie Wayne and then Aaron Moorehead – who had 27 career catches in 34 games going into Sunday’s game – and Craphonso Thorpe, who came from the Colts practice roster and had yet to catch an NFL pass. Wayne did his part, catching 10 for 140 yards and a TD but Moorehead and Thorpe showed why they aren’t ready for primetime. I predict more of the same until Marvin Harrison, Dallas Clark and hot rookie Anthony Gonzalez come back from injury.

Toss in Vinateri’s miscues and it’s hard to say if we saw the real Colts on Sunday. If the Colts can get all their players healthy again they are a lock as the number two team in the league but they are missing three of Manning’s top four targets on offense, and Dwight Freeney on defense – their number one pass rusher. With these guys they’re the definite No. 2 team in football. Without ‘em? Who knows?

The Dallas Cowboys beat the NY Giants in convincing fashion Sunday can anyone stop this team from winning the NFC?

The Cowboys are clearly the team to beat in the NFC. They exposed the Giants as pretenders for the NFC title. The Giants’ six wins this year are against teams with a combined record of 15-39, and their three losses came against the NFC’s elite teams, losing twice to the Cowboys and once to the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers are the only other NFC team with a chance to beat the Cowboys; Favre continued his renaissance with 351 passing yards and three TDs versus the Vikings at Lambeau.  The Packers will probably be the last squad in the NFC to pose a challenge to the Cowboys.

Adrian Peterson was on his way to smashing the rookie rushing record and winning the overall rushing title until he was injured versus Green Bay, how will he come back?
Peterson’s final two college seasons were cut short due to injuries, so this has to be a scary moment for the Minnesota Vikings and their fans. The reports are saying he tore a knee ligament, Coach Brad Childress says Peterson will be out of the next game but with his history of injuries and the Vikings season all but lost it would be ludicrous to rush him back before he’s ready.  It may be bad news for some Bodog Fantasy teams but it would make the most sense for the Vikings and their star.

And then there was one. The St. Louis Rams put up 37 points this weekend and beat the New Orleans Saints, leaving the Miami Dolphins as the lone winless team. Will the Dolphins win a game this season? If so who will they beat?

Miami will be in tough to pick up a win before the end of the season, but they have a chance in Week 13 when they face an equally horrible New York Jets. The Jets lone win came at home in Week 3 when they beat the Dolphins by three.

Is there anything else that we can take away from this weekend?

Ben Roethlisberger is playing like an elite quarterback. The Steelers will earn a bye in the playoffs. Steve McNair’s career is coming to an end. Brett Favre’s is not. Albert Haynesworth is more valuable to the Titans than Vince Young. Tony Romo was worth the money

Alex Smith is a bust.

How Great was Patriots vs. Colts Game?

The Patriots dropped the cash!

That’s the main storyline (as far as we’re concerned) about Sunday’s Patriots-Colts game. Sure, the Pats went 9-0 straight up and will now carry the 1972 Miami Dolphins on their backs for the rest of the season – or until they lose, whichever comes first. But it was easily the toughest game of the year for both teams, and New England escaped by the skin of its teeth.

It took two fourth-quarter TD drives (keyed by two Tom Brady bombs) for New England to win 24-20 as 6.5-point road faves. Indy’s offense did well in the first three quarters, but the absence of Marvin Harrison was problematic for Peyton Manning, especially once Anthony Gonzalez was knocked out in the first half with a finger injury.

Even if you had given the Colts a full complement, Sunday’s game would have been a close one. Perhaps they will meet again in the AFC Championship (fingers crossed).

Now here’s a highlite video of the Colts/Patriots game from Sunday. Enjoy.

NFL Week 7: Is 43 too old to be playing pro football?

When 43-year-old Vinny Testaverde led the Carolina Panthers to victory last week, he became the oldest starting QB to win a game in NFL history. But it also took a pair of injuries to Jake Delhomme and David Carr for Testaverde to get another shot at NFL glory.

It’s very rare someone gets to strap on the pads at age 40 or above – Atlanta’s Morten Andersen is 47 and threatening to break George Blanda’s record of playing in the NFL at age 48. But kicking doesn’t take nearly the toll on the body as lining up under center.

Even regardless of ability, the NFL shuns the older set. The escalating veteran’s minimum contract keeps kickers like Andersen sitting by the phone waiting for a desperate team to call (hello, Falcons), and the dressing room can be a lonely place for a 40-something surrounded by people nearly half his age. Still, it beats mowing the lawn.

NFL Week 5: Panthers at Saints; Dolphins at Texans

The Saints are laying three points at home? Well, Carolina’s defense has been brutal this year, 26th in the NFL in efficiency and especially awful against the pass. But the Saints have been near the bottom of the league in every aspect of the game. They have no talent in the trenches, and it would seem all David Carr needs to do to win Sunday is hand the ball to DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams. Then again, that’s what I thought last week against Tampa Bay, too.

The Dolphins-Texans matchup has a bit more mustard on it. Miami’s defense is vastly underperforming at No. 29 overall, but the offense is starting to click in its first year under head coach Cam Cameron. Ronnie Brown is back on the radar screen after two excellent weeks, so if the Fish (+6) have Trent Green pepper the field with short passes, they have a solid chance to finally win a game.