Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown was killed for months in Cincinnati for not trading Carson Palmer and getting something for him. In the media we laughed at him both privately and publically. The only thing that saved him from people crossing the line and calling him a completely inept moron was his pedigree given that he’s the son of the legendary NFL icon, Paul Brown.
The Bengals franchise has long been mentioned as being among the league’s worst. Under the ownership of Mike Brown, the Bengals have been called cheap; their personnel decisions stopped getting the benefit of the doubt long ago and in large part, if you polled the members of the media, from the top down, the organization as a whole would be listed perennially as being as among the worst run franchises in the game.
History may have just changed on a dime last week as Brown fleeced the Oakland Raiders for a first and second round pick for a guy who was never going to play for them again. As it turns out, Mike Brown was a genius and no one knew it! Brown may have just pulled off the biggest NFL heist since the Dallas Cowboys traded Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings for three Super Bowls.
As for the Raiders, by sending a first-round pick in 2012 and a second-round pick in 2013 to the Bengals, after a flurry of other recent deals, the trade leaves them with picks only in the fifth and sixth round in next year’s draft. Oakland expects to get compensatory picks after losing Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller, Robert Gallery, Thomas Howard and Bruce Gradkowski in free agency, but that’s not exactly the soundest long term strategy for keeping prime young talent flowing from the ranks of college players over the next two years.
After yesterday’s embarrassing loss at home to the Kansas City Chiefs 28-0, the Raiders dropped to 4-3 on the year. Yesterday’s contest between Carlson Palmer and Kyle Boller to see who could throw the most interceptions isn’t even the problem in Oakland now, the fact that they do not have a GM is.
Those who doubted the effect Cam Newton would have in Carolina are pretty quiet these days. His on-field presence lifts the whole team and the Panthers have been competitive each and every week regardless of the opponent. Newton had another wonderful day Sunday (18/23, 256-yards, 1 TD, 0 INT) and has now run for seven TD’s on the year and growing nicely as a pocket passer. While Newton may play like Michael Vick, there is a big difference, his size. Newton won’t be as injury prone as Vick throughout his career because he’ll be able to take the punishment week in and week out that a running quarterback sustains. Many in the media scoffed at his number one draft pick selection, but you don’t hear much about that anymore. After the 33-20 win over the Washington Redskins the Panthers are now 2-5. Carolina is no joke and a legitimate threat to win on any given Sunday.
As for the Redskins, their QB situation and the performance of Shanahan family favorite John Beck… (22/37, 279-yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) = Meh.
The Cleveland Browns beat the Seattle Seahawks 6-3 in a pitcher’s duel. Nothing to see here, move along…
Maybe we were a little too giddy about the Detroit Lions after the first five weeks. Everyone was looking forward to a Thanksgiving Day battle with the Green Bay Packers between two unbeaten teams. After losing to the Atlanta Falcons 23-16, the Lions have now lost two in a row at home and I’m having second thoughts of leaving the dinner table on Thanksgiving to see the Packers put up another tally in the win column. This is a great time to point out that while jumping on the Lions bandwagon may have been premature, jumping off the Falcons’ so early might have been as well.
Tim Tebow is a winner. He played like crap for most of the game but produced with the money on the line. The kid needs to play in order to be able to play well through an entire game. There’s no substitution for experience and at this point and at 2-4, there’s no reason for John Fox to take him out of the Denver Broncos starting lineup. Much like Cam Newton, because of his size, Tebow who also has a Michael Vick style of play, will be much more durable and less susceptible to missing time.
As for the Miami Dolphins, “Suck for Luck” is starting to permeate throughout the fan base. Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland’s jobs are both at risk, and we have an idea on who might replace them.
A much needed win by the New York Jets with 17 unanswered points as they came back against the San Diego Chargers 27-17 spurred by a previously underperforming defense. Also, Shonn Greene’s success running the ball (20-112-yards) and a Plaxico Burress sighting in the red zone (3 TD’s) could mean good things for the Jets in the second half of the season. I’m not quite sure what Philip Rivers was thinking throwing two 3 yard passes and a 4th down throw out of bounds in that final possession with time running out, but Phillips is never lost for words so I’ll let him speak for himself on that.
There’s something about playing in London that just makes the games unwatchable to me. I think it’s the sound that emanates from the stands, it sounds like a soccer match is being played. Never the less, the game counts as the Chicago Bears (24), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (18) counts as an official game. Both teams are now 4-3.
234 yards from scrimmage for Arian Foster is all you have to know about the Houston Texans (4-3) 41-7 shellacking of the Tennessee Titans (3-3). Houston shouldn’t get too high here and Tennessee shouldn’t get to low, these things happen.
In a rematch of Super Bowl XLII the final results were the same, a Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) win. This game wasn’t quite as exciting however with a final of 32-20. There isn’t much to talk about in this one other than the Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace 95-yard TD pass. The Arizona Cardinals are a hard team to gauge as their personnel equates to better then a 1-5 team, but that again, “you are what your record says you are.”
Dallas Cowboys (34-7) over the St. Louis Rams. Sweet Jesus…DeMarco Murray ran for a franchise record 253-yards in this one. When you consider that the Cowboys (3-3) have had the likes of Tony Dorsett and Emmitt Smith carry the rock for them, that’s no small accomplishment. On the flip side, perhaps it’s not time to mention Murray with Dorsett and Smith just yet. Coming into the game the Rams (0-6) had by far the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 163 yards per game. While it’s noted that they were shorthanded without starting quarterback Sam Bradford, they were averaging the fewest points in the league even with him. Everyone in St. Louis from the GM and coach to water boy will be showing up for work with their job on the line from here on out.
The Packers didn’t exactly play their best game on Sunday, but wins in the NFL count regardless of how close they are. Christian Ponder showed glimpses of promise and athleticism and has largely gotten rave reviews from this game. The reality however is that he under threw that first long pass to a wide open receiver and it should have been a TD and connecting on just 13 of 32 passes isn’t going to cut it. Had Adrian Peterson not come through with a monster game (24 rushes for 175-yards, 1 TD) we may not be talking so fondly of Ponder this morning. In the end, Aaron Rogers got’er done (24/30, 335-yards, 3 TD’s, 0 INT’s). At 7-0 the reigning champs remain the lone undefeated team in the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings fall to 1-6 as they will now Ponder if Christian is the future of their franchise (see how I did that there?)
For those of you watching the World Series Sunday night, the New Orleans Saints (5-2) embarrassed the Peyton Manning-less Indianapolis Colts 62-7. What can you say about the Saints offense, their head coach heads up to the press box and they don’t miss a beat. Just about any eligible receiver on the roster is good for 5-6 catches on any day.
The Colts are now 0-7. If you ever wondered how much Manning really meant to the Colts, you are seeing it now. Strangely enough, the legend of Peyton Manning probably gets a boost out of all of this. If the Colts get an opportunity to take Andrew Luck and have him sit for a year or two as Manning’s understudy, Colts fans will ultimately look back at this season as a blessing in disguise.
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 @ michael.cardan[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.