Posted on: October 6, 2009 11:02 am

Week 4 NFL

Learned:  Pierre Thomas is a lot stronger than last year.  There were reports that he put on some weight in the offseason to handle more of a workload, and in his first full game he looked great.  It is one thing to rack up a few big carries versus the Bills; it is much more impressive to grind out tough yards and bust tackles on a 30 yard screen pass vs. the Jets.  Thomas looked like a monster Sunday, and with the Saints spreading the field out on every play he is going to have plenty of space to get his legs moving.  If he stays healthy he could turn in a Priest Holmes type of year. 

Confirmed:  Sidney Rice was a good draft pick.  As a Browns fan, I wanted them to take him in the second round of the 2007 draft (Instead, they dealt that pick and a first-rounder – ultimately Felix Jones – for Brady Quinn).  In his 3<sup>rd</sup> year in the league and first with a stable QB, he is a big guy (6’4”) that can get open and catch.

Burned:  LenDale White.  For a back averaging about 250 touches the last 2 seasons and scoring a bunch of touchdowns, the Titans have quickly soured on him.  Instead of pounding the ball all game with White and Chris Johnson, they are increasingly putting the game in the hands of Kerry Collins.  Perhaps his comments about how he lost a bunch of weight in the offseason for a new contract have backfired.  Instead of being rewarded for his newfound commitment, could the Titans be punishing him for admitting that (previously) he was dogging it and drinking too much?  For a guy that I picked as a #3 fantasy back, his 2-touch performance last week makes him worthless.

Posted on: September 29, 2009 12:21 pm

Panthers-Cowboys MNF

Learned:  Why Felix Jones does not see the field more often.  With a career rushing average of about 9 YPC, I was wondering why he only had 2 catches last year and did not get more rushing attempts.  Jones is an obvious liability in the passing game, as he "ole'd" one pass rusher and was called for a leg-whip on another.

Confirmed:  Felix Jones cannot stay healthy.  Also, the Panthers coaching staff continues to panick on offense.  At the first sign of trouble they become pass-happy.  Look at the Cardinals game in the playoffs, the Philly game in Week 1, and last night.  The instant they fall behind, they abandon the run and start chucking the ball around.

BurnedSteve Smith cannot continue to be a one-man show.  I have him on 3 out of 4 Fantasy teams, as he averaged over 100 yards in games he played last year.  However, teams finally seem committed to taking away anything over the top.  I do not know why teams suddenly started to do this:  For years I just thought he was too good of a receiver where he could constantly beat double coverage.  Now, they just roll the saftey over and have a corner play up close and physical.  If anyone has access to a lot of game-film or is a big Panther fan, I would love to hear your insight.  Have teams adjusted their coverage since the Cardinal playoff game last year, or has Smith lost something?  Delhomme is just going to have to pound it to his other guys over the middle to change this.  I guess the other alternative (and probably a better one) is to run Williams out of 3-WR sets.  With one safety always deep for Smith, this could really give Williams a lot of space to make a cut and explode into the open field.

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