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Monday Morning QB (cont.)

Posted: Monday September 17, 2007 1:54AM; Updated: Monday September 17, 2007 1:01PM
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5. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 2:

a. You'll need to be more accurate than that to beat Peyton Manning, Vince Young. Young badly overthrew an open Bo Scaife in the second quarter, causing the Titans to kick a field goal instead of being in position for seven.

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b. Worst job of not getting two feet down in the end zone on a gimme touchdown: T.J. Houshmandzadeh. A sure touchdown should have been negated in Cleveland because he didn't drag his feet right.

c. In what defensive scheme would the Panthers hope to stop Houston wideout Andre Johnson with linebacker Dan Morgan in coverage? A bad scheme, I would say.

d. The Saints look as bad in 2007 as they looked good in 2006.

e. Really dumb play by Chad Johnson at the end of the first half in Cleveland. Browns up 27-21, 11 seconds left, Johnson catches a deep out from Carson Palmer with no timeouts left and, instead of ducking out of bounds, he lunges forward, stays inbounds and prevents the Bengals from getting off another play. Got to have a sense of where you are, and what the clock says, Chad.

f. Phantom coverage job by Johnathan Joseph, the Bengal corner, on Kellen Winslow, resulting in the easy Winslow TD.

g. Tomlinson, Reggie Bush and Maurice Jones-Drew are 38, 39 and 41 in the NFL in rushing after two weeks. Chris Brown has 13 more yards (209) than the three of them combined.

h. Sebastian Janikowski will be remembered as much for days like this than anything else. The Broncos called a timeout in overtime just before the snap of the ball on a Raider 52-yard field-goal try; Janikowski booted it through, but the winner didn't count. When he kicked again after the timeout, the ball boinked off the left upright.

i. Justin McCareins had the biggest drop of the day. Easily. Had he caught a wide-open crossing route in the final two minutes at Baltimore, he likely would have sent a game the Jets had no business winning into overtime. Bad, bad drop.

6. I think the weirdest stat of the first two weeks is the Drew Brees passing line: 63.5 percent (good), 452 yards (OK), one touchdown, three picks and three completions of more than 20 yards (all bad).

7. I think all of a sudden the Packers might be a threat to a San Diego team not playing well on offense. They meet Sunday at Lambeau -- following another long plane flight for the Chargers, who might still be in the air on the way home if you're reading this at the crack of dawn EST Monday. San Diego has played two of the best defensive fronts in football in the first two weeks, and from the looks of it Sunday night, they're not getting the push off the left side of the line that they got last year. Green Bay's allowed only 26 points in two weeks. Re the Pack, "This was one hell of an improvement from last week to this week,'' Favre said over the phone afterward. "The pressure we face against San Diego on defense will be pretty intense for four quarters.''

8. I think, with San Diego (home) and Minnesota (road) upcoming, it looks like Favre might pass Marino during the Sunday-night home game with the Bears on Oct. 7. What a stage. Break out the Leinenkugel that night, boys. He's four touchdown passes away from breaking Marino's record of 420 career scoring passes.

9. I think Notre Dame is one of the most incredible stories in sports right now. How about a Charlie Weis team without an offensive touchdown after three weeks? They had minus-45 rushing yards in the first half of Saturday's 38-0 loss to Michigan. Startling.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. How does James Spader beat Gandolfini for best actor at the Emmy's?

b. There is a Mike McGuire sighting! When we last left McGuire, he was set to get a new platoon ready to deploy to Iraq. As you'll read here, there's been a few changes.

"Good to hear from you," he writes. "I bet you are busy with the season starting. Must be a lot of fun watching all those games at NBC. An advantage is sitting in that room with so many football and sports guys. Must be a dream job. Man, the questions I would ask those guys in the room.

"I made a tough decision this week that has been on my mind heavily the past few weeks. I had the chance to leave Germany on Dec. 1 of this year to return home, but I declined because I just cannot leave these guys over here yet. They are family to me, even more than family because I depend on them to watch my back. I am no longer the platoon sergeant for first platoon. I am the Company First Sergeant, so it's a much bigger responsibility. It should be fun. I am at the point where I wanted to be, in charge of my own company of men. I get to do things my way [for the most part]. This is going to be challenging and I will definitely keep you posted on the deployment and how it is going.

"The Rams played well until Orlando Pace got hurt, then lost in the trenches. Hopefully it can be fixed or we are hurting on the line. The Bills are my team that will make the biggest improvement. I thought they were going to beat Denver for sure. Like Chris Berman says, 'No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.' I really like their receivers and Lynch in the backfield.

"What about your Pats cheating? Makes you wonder. Take care and tell everyone we said hello.''

I wrote back and asked Mike to clarify where he was and what the immediate future held for him.

"Yes, it is a promotion, and I'm looking forward to the challenge. We are staying in Germany to deploy with this unit. I had orders to return to Missouri, but I declined them to stay here and deploy with men to Iraq. I have been training them and am confident in them, so me and the family are here for another year. I just cannot leave these guys yet. We have been training hard. The next seven weeks are on a field, exercise so I will be away from the family again, but they understand. We should deploy to Iraq soon after that.

"My family and friends in the United States are upset but not mad. They want us to come home, and I want to come home. Some things just seem wrong to do, and leaving now seems wrong. Believe me, I would love to see a football game again, see football at a normal time and watch it with my dad. Later, I guess.

"The family is well. My daughter is Tri Sigma at Missouri State. Very proud. My son gets his commission to become an officer in early December in the Army. Awesome. [My wife] Pam is behind me and understands my decision to stay, although by the time we get home after this deployment, it will be over four years since we have seen any of the family. Long time. Thank everyone for me and the guys, because they read your articles and follow you because of your concern for us. Take care, Mike.''

Consider it done, Mike.

c. Never a good idea to pitch to Derek Jeter if you could pitch to Bobby Abreu instead. I don't care what the stats say. Ask Curt Schilling if, with first base open, he'll ever want to pitch to the best player of my lifetime again.

d. Coffeenerdness: China Green Tips is saving me lately from the third latte of the day. Light, good taste, much better for me.

e. Thanks for everything, Rich Fitter. You took a fat guy and made him a little less fat. Good luck in your next life.

f. Good morning, Brad Greenburg.

g. You too, Pugsley.

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