You knew I had to…
Reads, Listens, Views
It’s this time of the week where I share what I’ve been reading, listening, and viewing each week – football, fantasy football, and non-football.
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Quick Thoughts on Thursday Night Game
- Packers spreading out: With six pass catchers the caliber of Jennings, Driver, Finley, Nelson, Jones and that rookie, Green Bay will rarely use two-RB sets when they can spread out a defense, force the team to bracket one side of the field and leave the other side open with single coverage. The amount of times Saints CB Patrick Robinson was targeted nearly had me reaching for the phone to dial up the local civil rights watch group with an anti-bullying campaign. With Saints DE Will Smith suspended and first-day draft pick Cameron Jordan not making an early impact to see starter reps, New Orleans was in a heap of trouble going into this game.
- I was impressed with…Mark Ingram. Sure he didn’t get into the end zone on the free play, but that wasn’t his fault. He got positive yardage after contact at the line of scrimmage and against teams where the Saints will build an early lead, he’s going to have some huge days. Pierre Thomas is getting used where he excels – over the middle and in the flats where he runs tough and breaks tackles. He’s not a power back, but he’s a hard runner in the same vein that Greg Cosell labeled Cadillac Williams. Darren Sproles looks better than Reggie Bush looked in this offense. I’d like to apologize to the Tweeter asking me about Sproles – I was wrong about how often he’d be used. I don’t think this will be the case against teams the Saints can take the lead early, but Sproles will thrive in more even-competitive match-ups. He’s more decisive, as explosive, and finishes stronger than Bush had during his days in New Orleans. We’ll see if Bush gets it together in Miami.
- Aaron Rodgers is more talented physically, but this was the rare match-up where I can say Drew Brees did more with less and against a more difficult defense. Brees made plays under pressure that he actually made look easier than they were. I love his grit. There’s a perverse part of me that would want Brees over Rodgers if I were building a team because he’ll always have that underdog mentality where he feels someone somewhere is somehow counting him out. He’s going to push himself and his teammates a little harder. Again, this is more about my love for Brees’ game and nothing at all against the majesty of Rodgers.
- That rookie receiver/return specialist in Green Bay…What’s his name? ROY (perhaps, though alarmingly premature)? Anyhow, I thought you should know he and that Starks guy looked productive. Lots of great kick returns in this game for a rule designed to prevent them don’t you think?
Rent-a-Defense by Sigmund Bloom. “Unless most of the teams in your league carry a backup defense, more than half of the league should be available to you every week. Perhaps instead of playing one above average defense every week, regardless of matchup, we should instead target the widely available waiver wire defenses with the best matchups in any particular week? You can always make exceptions if your rent-a-defense gets hot…”
Rushing/Passing/Receiving Matchups by Mark Wimer and Joe Bryant. “This does NOT replace the [Footballguys] Cheatsheet ranking. The Cheatsheet rankings are the final say on where we see a player for that week. The Matchup Breakdowns are simply one more tool in the box when it comes to helping choose your lineup. Also note, just because a player has a “bad” matchup, it does NOT mean he’s not a starter in your league…”
Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder on Being a Marked Man by Andrew Goldman New York Times. I’m more of a believer in Snyder’s actions than whatever words come out of his mouth. Of course that’s a general life lesson to become a reasonably good judge of character. Here’s another amusing lesson in case you want to hone your skills to filter through horse hockey pucks.
Pot Brownie Mix-Up Gives Canadian Office Workers an Unexpected High by Eyder Peralta.
The Dan Strange Group (University if Miami Jazz Studies program) playing Criminal Intent. This swings hard and the alto and trombone solos are kickin’