Yes indeed, I love sports talk radio. A forum for fans to speak their minds, and for mindless hosts with prepared notes to strike nerves to bolster their ratings with ridiculous statements and unsolicited opinions. Kinda like what I do here right? (Tongue planted firmly in cheek…) Look, there are incredibly knowledgeable fans and hosts of course, so just bear with me through my cynicism and sarcasm for a moment. I was on my way home from work the other night and had the local sports-talk radio station on. The late night host was pontificating as usual, airing his myriad of grievances. On this particular night he watched the tapes from a most recent Philadelphia Eagles game, and just couldn’t comprehend how Eagles quarterback Michael Vick missed this open guy down field, the obvious play here, made the wrong decision there, etc.
Can you hear me rolling my eyes?
I’ve always gotten a kick out of the “arm-chair quarterback” analysis. Please understand professional or not, player or not, it is MUCH easier to see plays develop and the aforementioned “obvious play” when viweing it from above or on film. There is an advantage of having the “after the fact” luxury to see things develop at multiple angles, views and speeds. However if you are down in the middle of the action, at field level, with 280 lbs guys running towards you flailing their arms looking to plant you like a fall flower, it’s not so cut and dry.
I am not making excuses for lack-luster performances believe me. Being a Philadelphia native, that’s not my way – but I do understand while analysis and opinion both play a part in the whole experience, there is always more than meets the eye. Always.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some guys that late night talk radio show hosts around the country may be pontificating about after the games this week!
QB Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins – In what would be a difficult match up anyway, Griffin enters this game after taking quite a shot the week before that forced him to leave the game. I would expect the Vikings to continue the onslaught ultimately making for a difficult afternoon for the Redskins rookie signal caller. Like Washington Head Coach Mike Shanahan reminded Griffin – SLIDE. He is a talent no doubt, but his hesitancy after getting his bell rung could be a problem.
QB Eli Manning, New York Giants – If the sacks and pressure come in this game the way it dis the last time these two teams faced each other, Manning could find the going pretty rough. While the Giants are banged up on the defensive side of the ball, they are finding similar issues on the offensive side of the ball. In most cases they have been able to make due with second and even third tier options, but San Francisco is not exactly a team that you don’t want to go into the game with any less than your best.
RB Vick Ballard, Indianapolis Colt – Ok folks, come on now with all the Vick Ballard talk!!! Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am “under reacting” to the situation. On a gross majority of ranking lists for the week, Ballard is top 20, and in some cases listed as a top 15 option at the position. Most outside of Mr. and Mrs. Ballard had no idea who this kid was up until a few days ago. While I can understand the waiver wire excitement, I am not sure I can anoint an unknown commodity top 15-20 status by any stretch of the imagination.
RB Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams – A RB that has disappointed thus far in 2012 going up against a rushing defense like the Miami Dolphins. Not overly inviting to say the least. Jackson is a marquee name that has yet to deliver and I am pretty sure he doesn’t buck the trend of mediocrity this week. If you have other options, most definitely give them the nod and relegate Jackson to the pine. However there could be a light at the end of the touchdown-less tunnel, as the Rams face the Packers in week seven.
RB Alfred Morris, Washington Redskins – Granted Morris has been a nice surprise so far this season. However this matchup, like for his quarterback is no easy task. Bear in mind over the past few weeks they’ve managed to keep 49ers RB Frank Gore and Lions RB Mikel LeShoure under wraps, so I am not so sure they’ll cower at the thoughts of defending Morris.
RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots – The saving grace to Ridley’s value this week will be the respect that has to be paid to the arm of QB Tom Brady. That said, the Seattle Seahawks rush defense is for real. So far in 2012 they are only allowing a pedestrian 67 rush yards per game. Should be an interesting matchup for sure, but I would probably steer away from the Patriots running game entirely this week if you can.
WR Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs – Basically this boils down to the guy delivering, or attempting to deliver the football. Are you overly confident in Chiefs QB Brady Quinn? Exactly. The Kansas City fans cheered robustly when starting QB Matt Cassel went down with a concussion. Well folks, that’s not Lenny Dawson behind center this week, it’s one Brady Quinn. How is that for penance?? Look for Bowe to struggle mightily as the Notre Dame alum founders on the road in Tampa.
WR AJ Green, Cincinnati Bengals – Obviously Green is a must-stat player in all league formats, but look for him to be nagged all afternoon by Browns standout CB Joe Haden.. Returning from a suspension, look for Haden to be ready to go. Sure, his name sounds like he is an appliance repairman, but in reality he is one of the best at his position and that could make for a less than ordinary game from Green.
WR Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions – I have already resigned myself to the fact that WR Calvin Johnson will get his against the Eagles. Also realize that the Eagles historically have trouble with decent 3rd options at receiver, so that is good news for WR Titus Young. However that spells trouble for Burleson who will likely draw tough, physical coverage from Eagles CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
TE Jacob Tamme, Denver Broncos – Like many other fantasy owners, I expected much more out of Tamme when he was reunited with QB Peyton Manning. After TE Dallas Clark was lost for the season, Tamme and Manning set up a nice rapport that folks were looking for when they both players ended up playing in the Mile High City. Well thus far things have not gone as planned. Despite some decent yardage totals, the red zone threat most recently has been Tamme’s teammate TE Joel Dreessen. A tight end by committee situation that isn’t in New England probably isn’t one you want to be associated with.
TE Dallas Clark, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Wow, that still seems strange, doesn’t it? While I understand the difference between QB Josh Freeman and QB Peyton Manning is immense, the fall from fantasy relevancy for Clark both confusing and disappointing. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Freeman got this once sure-handed, reliable security blanket involved again, but until then, he’s just a big name with little production.
Have a great week!
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