No single game jumps out at me from the schedule as bye weeks continue to sit some of the top fantasy players this week. At least we are smack dab in the middle of the divisional battles as they are always good for entertainment.
Jamal Lewis dominates the news, and I say give it a rest once the weekend is done. Following a bye week, Baltimore’s Lewis is expected to sit out between 2 and 4 games thanks to his guilty plea on Thursday.
I’m sure the dirty laundry hounds will do the exact opposite and shove it down our throats at least until the game on Sunday night mercifully kicks off.
The countdown begins as it often does this time of year to see who remains as the sole unbeaten team. Seattle and Atlanta continue the NFC version of survivor while the AFC East hogs the action with the Jets and Patriots the only remaining unbeaten teams in the AFC. Philadelphia has a bye to lick their wounds and prepare to continue their steam rolling ways.
Great White Game of the Week – NY Giants at Dallas
Sunday October 10th @ 1:00 pm ET on FOX
You don’t hear any complaints about Tom Coughlin’s training camp these days in New York. Tiki Barber leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage, the defense is playing solid ball
and the Giants are 3-1 going into an important division showdown in Dallas this weekend. The Cowboys, fresh from an early season bye week, want to show New York the third spot in the division as whoever loses drops another critical game behind the 4-0 Eagles.
Vinny Testaverde might well be the feel good story of the league, as the geriatric wonder continues to sling the ball around at an incredible pace. Credit an awesome job by the Dallas offensive line for making sure the Statue has time to throw the ball. Expect more of the same as the Cowboys don’t scare anyone with the likes of Eddy George and Richie Anderson as the ball carrier. The Giants will look to turn up the heat against the immobile quarterback. Keyshawn Johnson can expect to see a lot of throws his way and needs to shut up and step up.
In the mean time the Giants, led by retread Kurt Warner and a surprising Tiki Barber. Many thought Barber was in jeopardy of losing his job to coach favorite Ron Dayne, but with Dayne out last week and replaced by Mike Cloud, Tiki took it to the house to the tune of 182 rushing yards and 196 yards from scrimmage. Dallas will need to put the clamps on Barber and make Warner beat them through the air. Expect good games from both Amani Toomer, who has been fairly quite thus far, and Tim Carter if Warner is forced to duel with the Vin-man.
Shark Sighting – The Tuna earns honorary shark status this week as he has the extra week to get ready for the visiting G-men. Parcells is one of the greats in the game, and turns Vinny loose again.
Whale of a game – Baltimore @ Washington
Sunday October 10th at 8:30 pm on ESPN
This game will be overshadowed by Jamal Lewis’ guilty plea on reduced drug conspiracy charges. Fantasy owners will be more interested in who is carrying the rock for Baltimore. Word is Jamal will play, but if I’m coach, I probably keep him on the bench and give Chester Taylor and Musa Smith some solid work to decide who will be the starter while Lewis serves out a certain NFL suspension.
Taylor has been the guy to come in and spell Lewis and on passing downs, so he adds a dimension Jamal doesn’t. Smith is more of a power runner and fits the offensive strategy of the Ravens. If one doesn’t pick up the lion’s share of the touches, Baltimore joins the growing list of teams with RBBC’s.
Clinton Portis may not get to match up against Jamal Lewis this game, but you can bet he is looking for redemption after getting slapped down by the Browns last week. During the pregame show he bragged he was the best back in the game. The Browns answered by giving him a miserly 58 yards on 20 carries.
Baltimore needs a win to keep pace with the division leading Steelers. Washington needs a win or risks becoming irrelevant in the NFC East after only five weeks. This isn’t how Daniel Snyder and the Redskins fans expected to feel after a season opening win against the Buccaneers, but three straight losses has this team reeling and desperate to salvage the season.
Shark Sighting – Unlike our fearless leader I don’t think Musa Smith will be the go to guy once Lewis sits out his suspension. Chester Taylor has been the guy whenever Lewis needs to sit and gets the rock. Musa Smith becomes the change of pace guy.
Miami @ New England – The Train Game
Sunday October 10th @ 1pm on CBS
Whoever loses this game will look like the victims of a train wreck, something the Miami offense has looked like often this season. Miami hasn’t won a game in Foxboro since 2000, and they were a much better team then. They do have a sense of desperation at the thought of going 0-5 and basically having nothing better to look forward to than the number 1 pick in the draft next year. Wannstedt is a goner, unless the ‘Phins suddenly put on a 10-0 burst.
Can you imagine Ricky Williams walking into that clubhouse right now? The Miami players, no matter what they say in public, must feel completely betrayed by Williams’ last minute retirement. He’s still smoking heavily if he thinks they want him on the team now. In fact, is there anyone who believes that he is coming back because he still has a passion for the game, or is it possibly the eight million and change he doesn’t have to pay back? I imagine he wishes he’d been more responsible with his cash now that he actually has to Pay for his chronic.
Shark Sighting – Ricky won’t be any where near the Dolphins and just as well. Fiedler again gets to play engineer as this train careens towards the most disastrous start in Dolphins history.