Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Posted: Monday October 22, 2007 6:16AM; Updated: Monday October 22, 2007 12:16PM
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 7:
a. The Pats were the biggest road favorite (17 points at Miami) since 1987, when San Francisco was a 23-and-a-half-point pick to win at Atlanta. The Niners won 25-17. I doubt any Patriot knew, or cared yesterday. And when it was 42-7, I doubt many gamblers were surprised.
b. Watching the Texans and Titans, one thing's certain: Those teams hate each other.
c. I know it doesn't matter much now, because the Eagles blew their season on that 97-yard Griese drive, but Andy Reid and the Eagles did a good job against Devin Hester. Keeping the ball away from Hester was the mantra all week in Philly, either by kicking the ball out of bounds or kicking it into orbit so when it came down to him he'd have no room to run. Final Hester return yardage Sunday: zero.
d. Gutsy performance by Kurt Warner in Washington, playing with one arm.
e. Gutsy mental performance by Washington cornerback Shawn Springs, flying from his father's bedside to play.
f. The stats won't show it, but Marshawn Lynch (27 carries, 84 yards) was a man against Baltimore.
g. You can blame a lot of things on Chad Pennington, Jets fans (and you do), but the performance of Kenny Watson cannot be one of them. Watson -- 31 rushes, 130 yards, three TDs -- was everything Rudi Johnson would have been for the Bengals had he not been plagued by a strained groin.
h. I do not think Scott Linehan is on the verge of being fired.
i. Bad, bad job by the Eagles secondary on the final, back-breaking drive by the Bears. There's no way you give the kind of cushion their defensive backs gave in those two minutes.
j. Dre' Bly made one of the toughest interceptions of the year Sunday night for Denver off Ben Roethlisberger.
2. I think this is what I expect to happen at the quickie NFL owners business meetings in Philadelphia on Tuesday and Wednesday: not a lot. But for you draftniks, here's a nugget. Look for commissioner Goodell to impose a 10-minute time period, down from 15, for the 32 first-round draft choices. (Actually, 31 this year because the Patriots got theirs taken for Spygate.) And also look for the draft to stay on Saturday and Sunday and not have the first round moved to Friday night.
3. I think the Rams are down about as low as a team can go. Just think: A team with Marc Bulger playing quarterback is touchdown-less in four road games, having been outscored 114-19. You know what that tells me? How important a good offensive line is. The Rams' line is one of the worst in recent NFL history. Maybe in all of NFL history.
4. I think the Jets need to soul-search a bit, and not just because they're 1-6. In the second half in Cincinnati, Pennington threw an awful interception (returned for a touchdown) and fumbled a center snap. Cornerback Darrelle Revis got called for two pass-interference penalties. Ben Graham shanked a punt 20 yards, safety Abram Elam slugged Kenny Watson at the end of a running play and got 15 yards for unnecessary roughness ... a disaster. Pile that onto the Dave Hutchinson story in the Newark Star-Ledger on Sunday morning about growing player dissatisfaction with Mangini in Year 2 of his program, and you've got a lost season with the Jets.
I don't think, however, that you'll have a quarterback change this week. Pennington, until the final few drives against Cincy, played very well. Not that I agree with staying the course at 1-6. I think the quarterback switch should occur now, because Kellen Clemens needs a half season for the hierarchy to determine if he can be the quarterback of the future. With the team 1-6, there's no time like the present to find out.
5. I think I admire Reggie Bush for, in his words, "trying to ignore the outside world'' for the trashing he's received in the last month. We now have a 22-game sample on which to judge Bush. He rushed for a 3.6-yard average last year in 155 carries. He's at a 3.5-yard average this year.
I made this point on NBC Sunday night: Since Deuce McAllister went out with a torn ACL three weeks ago, Bush has averaged 26 touches a game, for 111 yards. The Saints would take 111 rushing/receiving yards a week from Bush. They'd want more, but they'd take that. "The expectations on me are pretty high,'' he told me Sunday night, "because I came into the league with a lot of hype.'' He is what he is -- a tough-running back who isn't the firecracker everyone thought he'd be behind an average offensive line.