No dissention between
Housh and his Hass?
Perplexity and frustration are taking on whole new levels in T.J. Houshmandzadeh’s
world this week. According to the
Associated Press, last weekend in
Dallas Houshmandzadeh was angrily gesturing towards Matt Hasselbeck after the
Seahawks failed to convert on third down. His gestures garnered some
attention as if he were some kind of villain, but Housh insists that there is
no dissention between him and his quarterback, and that he was just being up front
“Man, I’ve been doing
that my whole career. Guys from
texted me and told me they were surprised it took me until Game 7 to do it,”
Houshmandzadeh said of his stomping and griping. “I didn’t mean no harm by it,”
he added. “I was just upset by the course of the game, which I would hope
everybody is. People express themselves differently, obviously, but it never
got this much attention before.
“That’s just how I am. I
don’t send subliminal messages. If I’ve got a problem with Matt, I will tell
Matt. And I didn’t have a problem with Matt, at the time. I just wanted the
ball. We were losing the game, and it was a big third down. Had we completed
it, I would have been fine.”
What’s interesting about
this story is that this is precisely what happened between Chad Ochocinco and
Carson Palmer during the back-half of Houshmandzadeh’s tenure in
thing is though, since No. 84 has departed from
has already surpassed his 2008 yardage and touchdown numbers.
Meanwhile, for the
Seahawks new supposed-to-be star wideout, it’s been anything but an appealing
start to his 2009 campaign. Among NFL receivers, Houshmandzadeh currently
ranks tied for 22nd in receptions (35), 35th in yards (383), and his two
touchdowns both came in one game, and against the Jaguars no less. The good
news though, is that of the remaining nine games the Seahawks have on their
schedule, seven are against pass defenses ranked 20th or worse when it comes to
yards allowed per game.
How good is Calvin
What happens to a
really bad team when they lose their biggest playmaker? Naturally, they
get worse, which is precisely what has happened to Jim Schwartz’s Detroit Lions
with the absence of “Megatron” Johnson. And while, according to the
Press, Schwartz maintains Johnson isn’t his only offensive weapon, he does
admit his presence makes a huge difference.
“Calvin affects the
coverages we see and everything that teams do against us, because they always
have to account for him,” Schwartz said Monday. “That’s true of every great
Adrian Peterson is a great running back that opens up the passing game because
teams have to focus on him. Calvin does that for us.”
Johnson has missed the
last two games due to a knee injury he suffered Week 5 against the
Steelers. His status this week remains questionable, but Schwartz is
optimistic his star will play this Sunday against a Seahawks defense that is
allowing 224.4 passing yards per game.
For what it’s worth
running back Kevin Smith made trips to the endzone three times in the first
four games with Johnson in the lineup. Since his early exit in Week 5, Smith
has lost his paydirt touch and has been shutout of the endzone completely in
the last three games.
How good is Peyton
Manning and the Colts offense?
The Colts quarterback has been something to watch this season. In six of the
Colts’ seven games this season Manning has thrown for 300+ yards and the Colts
are 7-0. Now, with star defensive backs Bob Sanders and Marlin Jackson
both on injured reserve and out for the season, Manning and his young receivers
may have to take the offense to higher levels, especially if they start getting
in to shootouts.
This week’s opponent, the
Houston Texans, could be one of those high-powered teams that fires plenty of
shots. However, as the
Houston Chronicle points out, Manning has
recorded just one game with a quarterback rating of under 100 at home against
the Texans since 2002. Texan players like safety Bernard Pollard know what they’re
up against, but also know they just need to step up their play.
“We understand what we’re
going against,” Pollard said. “Everybody understands what he’s capable of. We
know the weapons they have. But we’ve got to man up now. We’ve got to go play.
(The Colts) can make it look easy, but if we grind it out, if we hit them, if
we (knock) the ball out, if we try to confuse them, we can win.”
Is Manning the best
quarterback in the NFL? Defensive back Dunta Robinson believes so.
“The guy is still making
all the throws … unbelievable throws,” Robinson said. “Guys are covered and he’s
still putting the ball in perfect position, where only (the receiver) can make
the play. Nothing has changed about Peyton Manning. He’s the best quarterback
in the NFL.”
So how do you truly stop
one of the best quarterbacks and offenses in the NFL. According to head
coach Gary Kubiak, you don’t.
“You’re not going to stop
them,” Kubiak said. “You hope to slow them down and make a few plays in the
game that make a difference.”
The most impressive part
of the Colts offense thus far has been their ability to control games, and it’s
been with young talent like Austin Collie making huge contributions to go along
with experienced veterans like Reggie Wayne picking up their game and
displaying consistency on a week-to-week basis.
Since Week 4 against
Collie has averaged six receptions and 66 yards per game to go along with three
endzone trips. As for
well, he has been by far the best receiver in the NFL this season, as he
is averaging seven receptions per game, and has caught one touchdown in six of
the team’s seven games.
the NFL in receiving yards with 689; just nine yards behind leader Andre
Johnson, who coincidentally will be lining up across the field from him; both
Ravens focused on
Bengals running back Cedric Benson has found new life in
ask the Baltimore Ravens. Benson will be their primary focus on
Sunday. Sure, the Ravens should be worried about Carson Palmer and Chad
Ochocinco, but, according to
The Baltimore Sun, the Ravens aren’t going
to ignore Mr. Benson, something they seemed to do in their 17-14 loss earlier
in the season.
It was one of Benson’s
most memorable games to date as he rushed for 120 yards on 27 carries and even
found the endzone against a defense that has historically been known to stop
opposing runners dead in their tracks.
“He’s a big back, but he’s
also nifty on his feet,” defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said of the 5-foot-11,
225-pound Benson. “He can make a cut because he’s nifty on his feet. Usually
with a big back, they take a while to get moving. But when he sees a hole, he’s
hitting it. We’ve just got to do a better job of playing gap-sound defense.”
Ravens defensive line
coach Clarence Brooks said, “The guy was the fourth pick in the draft [in
2005]. You’re not talking about a guy that’s chopped liver. The guy’s a good
player and a professional. He got away from us a couple times, and to his
credit, they worked hard and did a nice job. We’ve got to do a better job of playing
him and stopping him.”
The zone-blocking scheme
seems to be working in Benson’s favor thus far, but Palmer insists that he’s
just not a finesse back who makes quick cuts.
Benson provides “a little
bit more of a power running game with still some explosion,” Palmer said. “Just
that AFC North mentality from a running back where you’re going to run people
over, you’re going to make your own hole sometimes, and you’re going to break
With the primary focus on
Benson, who is coming off a monstrous game against his former Bears mates, the
passing game should open up, which may lead to big days for both Palmer and
On the Injury Front …
Colts defensive backs
Bob Sanders (IR),
Marlin Jackson (IR), and
Hayden will all be out this week against the Texans.
Start those Texan receivers. This
game features two of the NFL’s top passers, and with the Colts missing three
key components to their secondary Matt Schaub and company will go wild in
classic shootout style. I would even consider starting
(in a pinch), after all he is coming off a three-reception, 51-yard performance
last week, and could be targeted heavily in red zone situations with tight end
Owen Daniels lost for the season and backup James Casey out this week.
had a limited practice session on
Friday and is listed as questionable. His status for Sunday’s game against the
Bears remains up in the air.
Start Steve Breaston. Along
with his 2009 numbers Breaston’s knee seems to be just fine as he’s listed as
probable. Even if Boldin plays his best contribution could be as a decoy
against an aggressive hard-hitting Bears defense.
Both Saints starting
Sedrick Ellis and
Kendrick Clancy will be out this
week due to knee injuries.
Fantasy owners saw last week what
DeAngelo Williams and
Jonathan Stewart are capable of when
the running game is in full stride. Now, you add that factor to the Saints two
missing middle men, and you could have a recipe for unbelievable Panther
rushing success for the second week in a row.
TE Chris Cooley – Out
DE John Abraham – Questionable
WR Roddy White – Questionable
RB Jerious Norwood – Questionable
LB Curtis Lofton – Questionable
WR Devin Hester – Questionable
DT Haloti Ngata – Questionable
WR Anothony Gonzalez – Out
K Adam Vinatieri – Out
RB Donald Brown – Questionable
WR Pierre Garcon – Questionable
LB Channing Crowder – Doubtful
TE Ben Watson – Questionable
TE Jermichael Finley – Out
QB Aaron Rodgers – Probable
WR Antonio Bryant – Questionable
WR Muhsin Muhammad – Questionable
RB Jonathan Stewart – Questionable
WR Lance Moore – Out
LB Scott Fujita – Questionable
RB Kevin Smith – Questionable
QB Matthew Stafford – Probable
CB Aaron Ross – Out
RB Ahmad Bradshaw – Probable
WR Mario Manningham – Probable
DE Jevon Kearse – Questionable
CB Nate Clements – Out
RB Brian Wetsbrook – Questionable
WR Kevin Curtis – Out
WR DeSean Jackson – Probable
Fantasy MVP Watch –
QB Aaron Rodgers –
1989 passing yards, 188 rushing yards, 15 touchdowns (1 rushing), 2
QB Matt Schaub –
2342 passing yards, 16
touchdowns, 7 interceptions.
801 total yards, 10 total touchdowns.
979 total yards, 9 total touchdowns.
961 total yards, 5 total touchdowns.
2227 passing yards, 15 touchdowns, 4 interceptions.
2,032 passing yards,
16 total touchdowns (1 rushing), 4 interceptions.
receptions, 689 yards, 6 touchdowns.
QB Tony Romo – 1,908 passing yards, 13
total touchdowns (1 rushing), 4 interceptions.
receptions, 874 total yards, 5 touchdowns.
“It was a shock what
happened with the guys released, especially Edge, because he’s a good dude,” T.J.
Houshmandzadeh said. “Teams should just have him in the locker room even if he
can’t play, so they think, just have him in the locker room because he’s cool.”
Good luck this week. Thanks
Eric Huber is a staff
writer for Fantasysharks.com. E-mail him at