Engram and Branch both to return?
Matt Hasselbeck and the Seattle Seahawks offense have had a rough start to the 2008 season. Numerous injuries to the wide receiver core have slowed the offense and have forced the west coast passing juggernauts to resort to running the football more than they would like. Not anymore. Week five will see a new “old” look offense against the New York Giants as both Bobby Engram and Deion Branch are slated to play, but, as the
Seattle PI pointed out, head honcho Mike Holmgren isn’t quite ready to make the claim that his offense is back in full swing. “To think it’s going to be Star Wars out there, that’s probably not the way it works,” Holmgren said. “Bless their hearts, they’re coming back. They’ve been hurt and it’s nice to have them back.” As for Hasselbeck himself, well he’s just happy to have someone to throw to on the inside. “If you talk to most quarterbacks, they would say in a situation like that it’s important to have a guy inside — a tight end or slot receiver — you trust and you feel good about,” Hasselbeck said. “We have both of those right now.” If Engram’s shoulder is fully healed, look for him to have a big game against the Giants.
What is up with Derek Anderson?
Fantasy owners are already getting their “bust” and “I told you so” signs out and are staking them in the heart of
Cleveland Plain-Dealer — nothing! “I’m throwing the ball well,”
Porter wants the ball more.
One catch. One lousy catch. It’s what Jaguars wide receiver Jerry Porter recorded in last week’s dramatic overtime victory over the Texans. Stunned, puzzled and bothered could be some of the words that could describe the emotions of fantasy owners everywhere, but what about Porter himself? Try cocky — well at least that’s the impression one would get according to the
Florida Times-Union. “Who’s made a big play when the ball ain’t thrown to him? So throw the ball to me. I’ll catch it. That’s it,” Porter said on Wednesday when asked about the possibility of him turning in to the Jaguars playmaker. “It’s just a matter of [quarterback David Garrard] throwing and [me] catching. I feel comfortable enough where if they call the plays and we go out and execute, it should be pitch and catch.” Porter signed a big contract in the offseason, and wants to live by it, but coach Jack Del Rio thinks otherwise. “At some point, he’ll get more involved and catch more balls,”
said. “That will happen as we continue to build this thing. But we’re not going to force it to justify any contract or try to make somebody happy. We’re just going to work our team and put our best effort out there to try and win games. I don’t think this needs to be a daily story about one person.” As in
is not a fantasy owner’s paradise when it comes to finding a solid every week starter at wide receiver, and I don’t think anything will change. The only worthy receiver of starting for the time being is Matt Jones, who leads the team with 21 receptions and 244 yards. Overall, I would stay away from Jaguar receivers altogether this week, unless you’re in a bye week bind and don’t have any other choices. The Jaguars host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night football this week.
Marshall and friends are on the minds of the Bucs secondary
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did a pretty good job of limiting the Green Bay Packers’ wideouts to just a few big plays, but “pretty good” may not be good enough when they line up across from the Denver receivers Brandon Marshall, Eddie Royal and Brandon Stokley, especially with the way the Denver air attack has been striking opposing defenses this 2008 season. And, according to the
Fox not frustrated with his rushing attack … yet.
To some, the Carolina Panthers rushing attack may be an utter disappointment four games in to the season, but according to the
Charlotte Observer, head coach John Fox insists that his 19th-ranked rushing attack isn’t as disappointing as people may think it is. “What people need to realize, the defense dictates that,” Fox said Thursday. “There’s a little more to inside the game than meets the regular person’s eye. We try to establish the run and most people who play us know that. We’ve seen similar philosophies in who we’ve played against. It’s a game within the game. But we’re not disappointed in our running game.” The Panthers love to run the football, yet both running backs, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, are averaging 25 carries and 102.5 yards per game combined. It may not be disappointing to Fox, because the Panthers are 3-1, and 2-0 at home, but to fantasy owners who expected more out of both running backs, it has to be. This week the Panthers host the 30th-ranked Chiefs rushing defense who are allowing 176.5 yards per game, so if there is a week to start either Panther running back it’s this one. Yes, the Panthers will be without starting left tackle Jordan Gross, and rookie right tackle Jeff Otah is listed as doubtful, but the Chiefs defense is also dinged up as linebacker Donnie Edwards will be out once again this week, while defensive end Tamba Hali and cornerback Patrick Surtain are probable with knee and shoulder issues. Start either running back if they’re your best options.