If you watched any of the NFL highlight shows last night you would think the biggest story on Sunday was the post game spatt between Jim Schwartz and Jim Harbaugh. When I saw the headline “Schwartz and Harbaugh go at it,” I thought there was some corporate a legal squabble somewhere. Personally I prefer to see two women in mud go at it if there’s going to be a cat-scratch, but never the less, the spunk and attitude that these two coaches take to the field with them is good for their respective teams. Harbaugh played for Baltimore in 1998, when Schwartz was a Ravens assistant, so it’s not like the two guys don’t know each other. This will blow over, nothing to see here, move along…..
The biggest story coming out Detroit Sunday wasn’t the post game silliness however, it was the fact that the San Francisco 49ers (5-1) went East on the road and won for the third time already this season, something that this generation of 49ers fans are certainly not accustomed to seeing. Frank Gore ran for 141-yards on just 15 attempts and conversely, the lack of a Detroit Lions (5-1) running game exposed a glaring weakness that was previously having been covered up by the fact that the Lions were finding ways to win on defense and through the air. The Lions ran the ball for only 66-yards and had a very hard time protecting Matt Stafford.
After Delaniie Walker’s touchdown made it 22-19, Detroit had a chance to drive for a tying field goal or a go-ahead TD, but couldn’t get a first down against a swarming defense confused and harassed Stafford all day. Calvin Johnson had 7-catches for 113 yards but the 49ers double teamed him on almost every snap, keeping him out of the end zone, something no other team has been able to do this year. In fact everyone but the Chicago Bears (3-3) has been victimized at least twice this season by Megatron.
This is a copy cat league so look for Lion’s opponents going forward to play lots of nickel and dime and make the Lions bead them with the run. This was a huge win for the Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. While Lions will certainly be a force to be reckoned with this year, those of you who were mentioning them in the same class of the Green Bay Packers (6-0) just received a reality check.
I’m not quite certain how Kyle Shanahan and Mike Shanahan felt that they were going to be able to win over the long run with Rex Grossman and John Beck as their QB’s, but that’s who they’ve given the keys to the Washington Redskins (3-2) car to this year. Sunday Grossman’s bubble burst and he reverted back to who everyone (except the Shanahan’s) thought he was, Brett Farve-lite (a gun slinger who can make plays but also rip the heart out of a team by turning the ball over.) The problem here is that Grossman’s upside is nothing like the future Hall of Famer’s, but his bad day’s are…. It now looks as if the keys to the car in Washington have been taken from Grossman and given to Beck. Peter King said it perfectly last night on Football Night in America. “The Shanahan’s love me some John Beck.” Personally I just don’t get it. The Miami Dolphins (0-4) are as desperate as they come for a franchise QB, they have been since the day Dan Marino left. If Beck couldn’t start in Miami, how the heck is he going to start in Washington? I don’t get it?
To me the Dallas Cowboys loss gets pinned on head coach Jason Garrett. The Cowboys played well enough to win and Rob Ryan’s defense was able to curtail Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for the second time in a row (except for the last drive.) Garrett’s decision to go conservative on their final possession, running the ball three straight times to wind down the clock before punting the ball back to New England was where the game ended for me. The Cowboys needed to move the ball on that possession using up all the time on the clock or sticking it in the end zone. Brady got the ball with 80 yards to go and 2:31 left, a virtual death sentence for a defense. To no one’s surprise Brady methodically moved the Patriots down the field hitting Aaron Hernandez for an eight-yard touchdown pass with 22 seconds left for the game-winning touchdown and a 20-16 victory.
Exactly what was Garrett thinking there? “Hey, I have an idea, let’s punt the ball back to the most proven clutch quarterback in football since Joe Montana with the most efficient passing attack in the NFL and let’s see if they can beat us!” I’m guessing the radio talk show boards in Dallas are lighting up this morning.
We spoke about how the NFL Glory Days are Back for Bay Area Football, and that means football is back not only in San Francisco, but across the bridge in Oakland as well. Jason Campbell broke his collar bone in the second quarter of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns (2-3) and Kyle Boller came in and went 8 for 14 for 100-yards and managed the game well enough for a 24-17 Oakland Raiders (4-2) win. The Raiders will need somewhat of a permanent solution for Campbell if they are going to make a playoff run and it’s unclear at this time if they are committed to giving Boller the reigns or if they will bring in a veteran. The Terrelle Pryor option is there but the kid literally just came off his five week suspension this past week and he hasn’t done anything but run the scout team and study the playbook in his bedroom. People will scream that this is the perfect situation for Brett Farve, and while that may be true I think even Farve knows enough is enough (I hope).
Earlier this week I had a source tell me that the Oakland Raiders contacted agent Robert London for their vacant GM job (boy, do they ever need one now). Working the phones last night my source revealed that after the game the Raiders contacted the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) and inquired about the availability of retired QB Carson Palmer. There is a tie here as Oakland’s head coach Hue Jackson was Cincinnati’s wide receivers coach from 2004 to 2006, when Palmer was enjoying some of his best seasons. Bengals owner Mike Brown has been unwavering in his position that Palmer is under contract and that he would not trade him, however given the fact that the Bengals are playing so well with rookie Andy Dalton under center, perhaps Brown will come to his senses and take the free quality draft picks that would be thrown his way.
Monday night’s game with the Miami Dolphins vs. New York Jets is a must see for football fans. Forget the records, it doesn’t matter. These two longtime AFC East rivals have been hooking up twice each year for decades now providing some of the most entertaining NFL games you’ll see.
The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.