View From The Sidelines: Week 4
By Ira Kaufman | Tribune StaffDon't be fooled by Jacksonville's 139 rushing yards against Houston - QB David Garrard accounted for 41 of them. The Jags can't be taken seriously as a Super Bowl threat until they get Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew going on the ground. ... The Chargers are still packing a lot of heat on enemy QBs despite the season-ending loss of Pro Bowl OLB Shawne Merriman, one of the game's premier pass rushers. Credit veteran defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell for mixing up San Diego's fronts and coverages. ... Besides the 4-0 record, here's another reason why Buffalo's Dick Jauron is the early frontrunner as NFL Coach of the Year. Trailing the Rams 14-6 on the road at halftime, Buffalo ran on 21 of its 29 second-half snaps. That's faith in your guys up front to get it done, folks. ... Keep your chin up, Jay Cutler - even when John Elway was in his prime, he usually struggled at Arrowhead. ... The good, the bad and the ugly were all on display as Kurt Warner threw for 472 yards against the Jets but had a hand in six of Arizona's seven turnovers.
Published: September 30, 2008
Published: September 30, 2008
While handing out kudos for Tennessee's terrific getaway, save some plaudits for the league's nastiest offensive line. ... Since that 0-4 start last year, the Saints have scored at least 22 points in 15 of 16 games. ... Here's Denver coach Mike Shanahan on Tampa Bay's Year of Living Dangerously: "It's a pretty impressive football team when you turn the ball over seven times and still win both games." ... You may not see a more misguided game plan in '08 than the one concocted by Cowboys offensive coordinator Jason Garrett against Washington. Eight conventional rushing plays in 58 snaps? That's a disgrace. ... Former USF standout Stephen Nicholas, still behind Michael Boley on Atlanta's depth chart at OLB, continues to play well on special teams. ... Week in and week out, 49ers RB Frank Gore may be the league's most underpublicized player. ... Lee Evans of the Bills doesn't make a ton of catches - he makes big catches.
Jim Zorn certainly doesn't look intimidated by the immense shadow Joe Gibbs left in the nation's capital. ... In their two home losses to Denver and San Diego, the Raiders yielded a total of 52 second-half points. ... Of the five QBs who threw for 300 or more yards Sunday, only Drew Brees of New Orleans emerged as a winner. ... The NFC South is a combined 10-6 this season, a nice start considering the division went 27-37 last year. ... Philadelphia bottled up Matt Forte most of Sunday evening, but when the Bears desperately needed to grind out a first down in the final minutes, their outstanding rookie RB made an instinctive cut and moved the chains. ... No team craves a defensive leader more than the Bengals. ... The Cardinals haven't enjoyed a winning road record in a full season since 1976 and Arizona's meltdown against the Jets doesn't bode well for 2008.