Saturday, August 30, 2008

College Football Update: Rodriguez loses in coaching debut for Michigan

For a second straight season, the Michigan Wolverines lost their first game of the season at home. Utah defeated Michigan 25-23. This of course marks the first loss for Rich Rodriguez as the Michigan head coach.

The Wolverines were down 25-10 in the fourth quarter when they scored two touchdowns. The first came when Steven Threet threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Junior Hemingway. The second one came just a few minutes later when Sam McGuffie scored on a three-yard run.

The Wolverines missed the two point conversion to tie the game. Ultimately, the miss for two made the difference in the game and now Michigan is 0-1.

Both teams struggled on the offensive side of the ball, not even reaching 400 total yards. The game ultimately belonged to Utah kicker Louie Sakoda, who kicked four field goals, including a 53-yarder.

Both Nick Sheridan and Steven Threet played for Michigan. Sheridan went 10-for-18 with 96 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Threet had one touchdown pass as well.

Michigan plays Miami of Ohio next week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

College Football Update: Les Miles doesn't want to be coach of the 2008 version of Michigan

Happy Saturday everybody! I hope you are as excited as I am about the return of college football. If you're not, then you are just crazy. (NOTE: You are not literally crazy)

LSU 41 - Appalachian State 13- With Hurricane Gustav preparing for a rendezvous with the Gulf Coast, it was all about the Tigers staying on track and not losing to the Mountaineers. Charles Scott had a huge day for LSU, carrying the ball 16 times for 160 yards. App. State did not have the luck they had against Michigan last year. The Mountaineers rushed for only 51 yards on the afternoon. With Troy and North Texas on the schedule, the Tigers should be 3-0 by the time they travel to Auburn.

East Carolina upsets Virginia Tech, 27-22- The Pirates scored two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter against the Hokies to win. The Hokies had jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the Pirates fought their way back into the game.

Ohio State blows out Youngstown State, 43-0- Jim Tressel and his Buckeyes made quick work of the Penguins. The big story of the day is the injury of running back Beanie Wells. Wells left the game with a leg injury.

That's all I have for now, I hope to have more later for you folks.

Friday, August 29, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Jacksonville Jaguars

We cap out the week and the AFC South with a preview of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jags have continued to improve each season under current head coach Jack Del Rio. Since his debut season in 2003, Del Rio hasn't finished worse than .500 in the regular season and has taken the Jags to the playoffs twice.

Del Rio hasn't quite reached the stature of previous coach Tom Coughlin, but Del Rio has a chance to take the Jags to another level in 2008.

The Jags have a chance to do something that no other team (except the Colts) has done in the division and that's win the AFC South.

The 2007 Jags were solid all around. For the second straight season, the Jags were a top 10 offense and defense. The Jags had the ability to score a lot of points on offense and suffocate their opponents on defense.

By far, the Jags biggest win in 2007 came against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 15. The fact that the Jags went on the road to a cold Pittsburgh and ran over the Steelers defense makes them a threat in the AFC.

If the Jags are to win the division this season, they'll need to beat the Colts, which they didn't do during the 2007 season. Their last win against the Colts came in 2006. If the Jags were to win just one game against the Colts, it could make the difference in the AFC South.

The Jags will open up the 2008 season on the road when they face the Tennessee Titans. At home, the Jags will face Buffalo, Pittsburgh and Minnesota. On the road, the Bears will play Denver, Cincy and Detroit.

Time for those burnin questions (yearbook style):
  • How does David Garrard do: He does fantasticamundo (Ole!)

  • Passing yards for Garrard: 3100

  • Touchdown passes: 23

  • Interceptions: 14

  • Leading rusher: Fred Taylor (but Maurice Jones-Drew gets the touchdowns)

  • Leading receiver: Not Matt Jones

  • Number of times Del Rio wears a suit: At least once

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Vince Manuwai, Uche Nwaneri, Gerald Sensabaugh

  • 80s song to best describe team: Panama- Van Halen

  • In 2008, the Jags will: Win the division, go 12-4
Enjoy the weekend because we close out the previews next week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Tennessee Titans

Today, we continue our week long look at the AFC South. We turn our attention to the former Houston Oilers, or Tennessee Titans for you young folks out there.

With Vince Young at the helm, the Titans found themselves in the playoffs for the first time since the 2003 season. The Titans were one of three teams from the AFC South to make it to the playoffs.

Young guided this team to the playoffs in only his second season as an NFL quarterback. The former Texas standout threw for 2500 yards in 15 games, last season. Young threw nine touchdown passes, but was picked off 17 times. If Young wants to stay with the elite in the AFC, he will need to improve on those numbers.

For a team that went to the playoffs in the AFC, the Titans sure didn't score a lot of points. The Titans averaged 18 points per game, 22nd in the NFL. If the Titans want to compete in the AFC, they will need to score a lot of points.

One receiving target Young could be focusing on this season is Roydell Williams. Williams had a career year in 2007, catching 55 balls for 719 yards. The former Tulane receiver is entering his fourth season and could have a breakout year for the Titans.

The Titans open up the 2008 regular season at home when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars. At home, the Titans will face Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Cleveland. On the road, the Titans will face Cincy, KC and Chicago.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Passing yards for Young: 2800

  • Touchdowns for Young: 17

  • Interceptions: 12

  • Games Kerry Collins starts this season: 2

  • Leading rusher for Titans: LenDale White- 1154 yards

  • Leading receiver: Roydell Williams

  • Tennessee Titan/Houston Oilers fun fact: Billy Joe Tolliver is the only quarterback to start at least five games for the Oilers/Titans and not win a single game. He's 0-7.

  • When will Jeff Fisher leave the Titans: Most likely never (Unless he shaves the trademark mustache)

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cortland Finnigan and Justin Gage (12-Gage)

  • 80s song to best describe team: Limelight- Rush

  • In 2008, the Titans will: Probably win a wild card spot at 10-6

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Houston Texans

Today, our preview show party takes us down to the city of Houston, which is home to this team called the Texans.

First off, my condolences goes out to the family of receiver Harry Williams. He suffered a spine injury over the weekend in a preseason game and from the sounds of it, his career is over. It's always tragic to see a player's career get cut short. We ask that you keep Williams in your thoughts.

Now, it's time to get down to business.

The Texans were without a doubt in the world, the worst team in the AFC South last season. I'm not saying that to be mean or anything, that's how the standings played out last season. The Texans finished the 2007 season with a record of 8-8. It was their best season in the six year history of the Texans.

With Matt Schaub and Sage Rosenfels under center, the Texans had their best offensive seasons yet, just missing out on being in the top 10 for many offensive categories.

When Schaub went down, Rosenfels stepped in and shined brightly for the Texans. The 29-year-old started five games, winning four of them. Meanwhile, Schaub threw for 2200 yards and nine touchdowns in 11 games. Both of these quarterbacks are talented. While some teams struggle to find a quarterback, the Texans are in good shape.

The Texans open the 2008 season on the road when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers. At home, the Texans will face Baltimore, Miami, Detroit and Chicago. On the road, the Texans will face Minnesota, Cleveland and Green Bay.

Now it's time for the always hip, always happening, burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Schaub or Sage: Schaub

  • Passing Yards for Schaub: 2800

  • Touchdowns for Schaub: 21

  • Leading rusher: Ahman Green (956 yards)

  • Receiving yards for Andre Johnson: 1200

  • Fun Fact: Gary Kubiak has 14 wins as head coach. He only needs five more wins to pass Dom Capers and have the most wins as head coach in the history of the Houston Texans.

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Chester Pitts, Ephraim Salaam, Xavier Adibi

  • 80s song to best describe team: Bark at the Moon- Ozzy Osbourne

  • In 2008, the Texans will: Go 8-8, still finish in last place in the division

Monday, August 25, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Indianapolis Colts

We're more than half way done with the AFC in our preview of all 32 teams. This week, our attention turns to the AFC South. Today, we focus on the farthest Northern team in the South, the Indianapolis Colts.

When the Colts won Super Bowl XLI, it took a lot of pressure off of Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning. He had finally won the championship that has been missing in his hall-of-fame (or so I think) career.

With a title under their belt, the Colts were now on the same level as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

In 2007, the Colts didn't let up, going 13-3 and clinching the AFC South. It was the Colts sixth straight season of at least 10 wins, all during Tony Dungy's reign as head coach.

Not only were the Colts strong on the offensive side of the ball, but their defense played tough too. For the first time in 40 years, the Colts were a top-5 offense and defense. The Colts gave up the fewest points in 2007, giving up only 262 points. The defense was also second best in the league in giving up passing yards.

If it wasn't for the Patriots season, no doubt people would be talking about how great the Colts were on both sides of the football.

Then came the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs. In what might be one of the best playoff games ever, the Chargers and the Colts battled it out for all four quarters. The Chargers would win the game with LT and Phillip Rivers on the sideline. Manning had 400 yards passing in the loss.

What can be said about the playoff loss, I don't know. We've seen Manning perform in the playoffs before. The Colts were tough on both sides of the ball. They brought in Adam Vinatieri a couple of seasons ago to solve the kicking issue. Plus, LT was out virtually the entire game and Rivers didn't leave the game until late in the 3rd quarter. The odds were definitely in the Colts favor.

Are the Colts starting to lose their luster? It is certainly possible given that the Colts won their Super Bowl.

Plus, you have to factor in the division. The Colts have been the only division winner in AFC South history. However, Jacksonville and Tennessee are starting to make names for themselves and are ready to compete with the Colts. You could also make a case for the Texans, given that they finished the 2007 season in last place, at 8-8.

At this point, anything is possible for the Colts.

The Colts open up the 2008 regular season on Sunday Night Football. They face the Chicago Bears. The Colts will be playing their first game in Lucas Oil Stadium. At their new home, the Colts will face, Baltimore, New England and Cincy. On the road, the Colts will face Pittsburgh, San Diego and Minnesota.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Passing Yards for Peyton Manning: 3800

  • Touchdown passes for Manning: 27

  • Number of commercials for Manning this season: About 4 or 5

  • Number of commercials with Manning wearing a mustache: Hopefully 1 or 2 (He has to like 6'5" quarterbacks with a laser rocket arm too)

  • Rushing yards for Joseph Addai: 1000 yards

  • Leading receiver: Reggie Wayne- 1223 yards

  • Number of seasons before Tony Dungy retires: 2

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Tyjuan Hagler, Raheem Brock, Kyle Shotwell

  • 80s song to best describe team: Should I Stay or Should I Go- The Clash

  • In 2008, the Colts will: Go 10-6

Friday, August 22, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Cincinnati Bengals

We close out the week and the AFC North with the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals finished the 2007 season, 7-9. It was their worst record under current head coach, Marvin Lewis. While the Bengals continued to do well on the offensive side of the ball, it was the defense that was giving Cincy fans nightmares.

The only brightside for the Bengals defense was that they forced a lot of turnovers. In 2007, the Bengals forced 35 turnovers, which was third best in the NFL. As a matter of fact, the Bengals finished the season with a +5 in turnover margin, 8th best in the NFL.

The defense didn't have much luck stopping opponents from scoring. The Bengals gave up 385 points in 2007, the most since the 2003 season. The Bengals gave up an average of 24 points per game. In fact, the Bengals gave up at least 20 points in all nine losses last season.

The Bengals defense had a rough time stopping the pass, giving up 3600 yards in the air with 29 touchdowns, among the worst in the NFL.

Under defensive mastermind, head coach Marvin Lewis, the Bengals defense has in fact not recorded a top 10 in either points or yardage. Lewis has had adequate success at the helm for the Bengals.

In five seasons in Cincy, Lewis is 42-38 with one division title to show for it. Lewis will enter his sixth season as the Bengals head coach, which is how long previous coaches Dick LeBeau and Bruce Coslet lasted in Cincy, combined.

If Lewis can't get the team on track, he could be looking for another job elsewhere.

The Bengals open the 2008 season on the road when they face the Baltimore Ravens. At home, the Bengals will play Jacksonville, Philly and KC. On the road, the Bengals will play Dallas, New York (both teams) and Indy.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Chad Johnson: I died a little inside just typing that

  • Johnson will most likely: Continue to be obnoxious

  • Will he change his name to "Ocho Cinco:" Depends, when will somebody teach him the Spanish language. (It's Ochienta y Cinco for those at home who have never taken a Spanish class)

  • Carson Palmer will: Change his name to nueve (Somewhere right now, Dave Klingler is LOLing)

  • TJ Houshmanzadeh will most likely: Continue to have his last name butchered (I know that feeling)

  • Running back most likely to carry the load in 2008: Kenny Watson

  • My favorite running back name: Kenny Watson

  • Running back I'd like to devote an entire blog post to: None other than Kenny Watson (It just rolls off the tongue)

  • Rookie we should probably watch for: Keith Rivers (Pat Sims of Auburn is my dark horse, if he stays healthy)

  • Any Chris Henry arrest questions: Not this time around

  • Coolest names (Top 3): TJ Houshmandzadeh, Frostee Rucker, Herana-Daze Jones

  • Does Frostee get some playing time: I hope so. America needs Frostee (I'd devote an entire blog post to Frostee Rucker as well)

  • 80s song to best describe team: It's Hip to be Square- Huey Lewis and the News

  • In 2008, the Bengals will: Go 6-10
Enjoy the weekend folks

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Pittsburgh Steelers

Our preview extravaganza takes us to Pittsburgh as we take a look at the defending AFC North champions, the Steelers.

What is there to say about the Steelers that hasn't already been said. They have a good team from bottom to top. They have a good quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger. They have a good running back in Willie Parker (until he got hurt).

They have good receivers in Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes. They also have a good defense led by Troy Polamalu. The Steelers also have a good young coach in Mike Tomlin.

The Steelers biggest problem is that they are good. In the AFC, good is not good enough to run the gauntlet. You have to be at that elite level with the likes of the Patriots and Colts. An elite team doesn't lose to Jacksonville twice at home, especially if the weather gives the elite team an advantage.

The Steelers have quite a ways to go before they can be in that class with the Patriots and Colts.

The Steelers open the 2008 season at home when they take on the Houston Texans. At home, the Steelers will face such notables as New York, Indy, San Diego and Dallas. On the road, the Steelers will face New England, Washington and Jacksonville.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Roethlisberger will most likely: Start a Mexican Fast Food chain.....I mean throw for 3000 yards

  • Number of times Roethlisberger gets hurt this season: At least once

  • Name the injury: But it's too hard!

  • Willie Parker will: Rush for 1200 yards

  • Leading receiver: Hines Ward

  • Ketchup or Catsup for Hines Ward: I think he's a Catsup type of guy (but does he use Heinz?)

  • Most likely to be named after a McDonald's sandwich: It's a no brainer, Troy Polamalu

  • Name of the sandwich: Duh! The Polamalu (Cheeseburger with pineapple slices)

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Billy Latsko, Polamalu and Mitch Berger (The real Berger)

  • 80s song to best describe team: Jack and Diane- John Cougar Mellencamp

  • In 2008, the Steelers will: Go 9-7

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Baltimore Ravens

After taking a day off from the previews, we continue our look at the AFC North. Today, we turn our attention to the Baltimore Ravens.

It's hard to come up with how to describe the 2007 season for the Ravens. The season was painful for any Ravens fan. The 2007 season made that magical year of 2000 seem like it was all ancient history.

The 2000 Ravens were built on two key aspects; a solid running game led by Jamal Lewis and Priest Holmes in the second chair, and a dominating defense led by Ray Lewis, Chris McAlister and Duane Starks snatching up interceptions from the corners and Rob Burnett taking down quarterbacks at will.

The Ravens in 2000 proved that defense does indeed win championships. No defense in NFL history has had the success that the Ravens had in 2000.

The 2007 Ravens had those same elements from the 2000 team, but did not have the same success. Consider this, the 2000 Ravens defense only gave up 165 points. In 2007, the Ravens defense gave up 384 points, that's more points than the offense scored during the 2000 season. It's almost nauseating!

The only bright point was Willis McGahee, who had a strong season in 2007, running for 1200 yards and seven touchdowns.

However, when you think of the Ravens, it's always defense that comes to mind. I think defense when I think Baltimore Ravens football. Only Lewis and McAlister remain from that 2000 defense. I don't know if the Ravens defense will return to that dominating form or not. It's hard to say at this point. They have the talent to get it done, but is that passion still there? I certainly hope so.

The Ravens open up the 2008 season at home when they face the division rival, Cincinnati Bengals. At home, the Ravens will face Philly, Washington and Jacksonville. On the road, the Ravens will play Indy, Miami and Houston.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • The starting quarterback in 2008 will be: Tryleith BolFlacco (See what I did there?)

  • Number of games Kyle Boller starts before he gets benched: 1.5

  • Number of games Troy Smith starts before he's benched: 10 or 11

  • Rushing yards for McGahee: 1100 (and 8 touchdowns)

  • Random Raven Fun Fact: Kyle Boller is the all-time Ravens passing leader with over 7000 yards (That's almost 4 miles if my math is correct)

  • Number of tackles for Ray Lewis: About 90

  • One word to describe defense: Not the same one from 2000 (Okay, so it's five words too many)

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Haloti Ngata, Dawan Landry and Le'Ron McClain (Joe Flacco gets honorable mention)

  • 80s song to best describe team: Never Say Goodbye- Bon Jovi

  • In 2008, the Ravens will: Finish the season 6-10

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The 'Boys, Charles Haley, the Facts of Life and more: An Oh No Romo Exclusive with Jeff Pearlman

We have a special treat for you kiddies today. Former SI writer, Jeff Pearlman was kind enough to do an interview with us. His new book is Boys will Be Boys, which discusses the dynasty of the Dallas Cowboys. The book is slated for release on Sept. 16. In the mean time, you can enjoy this Q&A session with Mr. Pearlman. (Note: No Preview is planned for today.)

There have been several books written on the Cowboys of the 1990s. What makes this book different from all of the others out there?

Excellent question. Having read every Cowboy book that's probably ever existed at this point, I feel safe in saying "Boys Will Be Boys" is very unique. If there's a writer who's tried to make the 90s Cowboys his own, it's Skip Bayless, who wrote three 90s Cowboys books in a very short span. I don't know Skip, certainly respect his talent as a writer—but his work is very, very, very gossipy, and I consider the way he "outed" Troy Aikman in Hell Bent to be one of the most unprofessional things in modern sports journalism. It's something that should have had him blackballed from journalism, but didn't.

Last year Norm Hitzges came out with what I'd consider to be the best '90s Cowboys work until that time, a beautiful coffee table book with large photos and cool details.

But my book is different. First off, I researched the hell out of it. People think guys like Skip are at an advantage, having covered the team, but I disagree. Coming from my vantage point, I couldn't rely on having attended practices or having go-to guys. So I literally tried to interview everyone. Every roster player, every training camp attendee, every coach, assistant, executive, hanger-on, etc. Details, details, details—it's a very detailed book. I also went out of my way to merge two disparate story lines—the amazing on-the-field Cowboys and the wild off-the-field Cowboys. I wanted to weave a narrative from the two, and rely first and foremost on reporting, not merely rumors and passed-down stories that have been reheated 100 times.

That's an awfully long winded answer. Put briefly, I'm very proud of what I'm offering, and think readers will uncover a very serendipitous read.

Is there one central figure that this book focuses on?

No, though I'd say the four stars are Michael Irvin, Charles Haley, Barry Switzer and Jimmy Johnson. Not be design, just how it unfolded.

How many players did you interview for the book and who were some of the notables you met with?

I spoke to 146 Cowboy players, coaches and administrators for this book, and probably interviewed, oh, 250-280 people overall. The key guys, as far as material, were probably Mike Irvin, who I stalked out at his Hall of Fame weekend, Clayton Holmes, Kenny Gant, Jim Jeffcoat, Larry Brown. There's a misconception about book writing, that you NEED the big names (Aikman, Emmitt, Irvin, etc) or a book can't be good.

From my first book, The Bad Guys Won!, I learned the opposite. Neither Dwight Gooden nor Strawberry spoke with me, and it didn't matter. They've been interviewed about '86 hundreds of times. The keys were the backup catchers, the long relievers, etc. Same with the Cowboys. Aikman and Emmitt didn't talk, and I wasn't overly concerned, because they've told their stories hundreds of times. The keys were tracking down men like Clayton, Kenny, Hugh Millen—the guys who were there, who witnessed it all and who have never been asked on the record.

Which player interested you the most writing this book and why?

Oh, Charles Haley. He peed in a teammate's car, masturbated in the locker room, very manic, loved, hated, loathed, tolerated. The ultimate merging of tragic and victorious.

You mention on your web site that you wanted to avoid being typecast as a writer who reports on just the negative aspects. How did you do that in Boys will Be Boys?

Well, I made it as much about the actual football as anything else. You can read Skip's work and forget there was actually a football team involved. That's not a rip, because drama sells. But I was just as fascinated by the on-field dynamic between Irvin and Harper, or Aikman's maturation as a QB. This is a football book.

How much emphasis did you put on the Herschel Walker trade? How much of an impact did that have on the Cowboys of the 90s?

Man, that was huge. You're talking about the best (Cowboys)/worst (Vikings) trade in NFL history. Put simply, without that deal the Cowboys don't win three Super Bowls. No way! It was both brilliant on the part of Jimmy Johnson and moronic on the part of the Vikes' Mike Lynn, who was a business guy trying to make personnel decisions on his own.

You also mention on your site that Deion Sanders was sort of the beginning of the end to the dynasty. He did help win a Super Bowl. What caused the end of this dynasty?

A lot of things. Aging, arrogance, indifference. Deion is a good person, and I think his heart is in the right place. But the '90s Cowboys were built as a cohesive, unselfish unit. Jimmy Johnson didn't tolerate selfishness. His model was Mike Irvin, an off-the-field disaster, but an insanely hard worker; special teammate.

Deion came in and didn't work hard; took practices off; taught younger players how NOT to act. Plus, he brought religion into the locker room, and suddenly guys who used to be studying film were attending extended Bible study. I've got no beef with religion, but myriad players said Deion took the focus away from football.

Could the dynasty have lasted longer if Jimmy Johnson stayed on as coach longer, or was it inevitable (Ed. the demise)?

I think it could have. He was simply a 100,000-times better coach than Barry Switzer, and all the discipline was lost when Jimmy departed. You're talking about an insanely talented collection of football players who smelled blood when Barry arrived. They knew they could walk all over him—and they did.

What was Barry Switzer's relationship like with the players? Who did he get along with the most? Least?

Despite what people think, players loved Barry in a way they didn't love Jimmy. Jimmy was actually hated by a lot of guys, who felt more like pieces of hardware than human beings under his reign. The problem is, loving your coach isn't always such a great thing.

Barry would cut practices short, let players goof around, etc. As for who he got along with best/worst: Worst was clearly Troy Aikman, who came to despise his laid-back attitude. Best was hard to say. Nate Newton loved him. So did Deion.

In your opinion, how does this dynasty rank with all the other NFL dynasties of the past and even the present?

Oh, I think these Cowboys would have put a real ass kicking to the modern-day Patriots. Too athletic, too skilled, too fast. Just a better all-around team, and Jimmy was the perfect coach. They're right at the top, probably with those Bill Walsh Niners and Lombardi Packers.

Will there ever be another dynasty like the Cowboys?

Only if there's an NFL city where magnificent football talent coincides with a resurgence of strip clubs.

Now comes the best part of this show. We took it upon ourselves to ask some fun questions. Enjoy.

If you could be any member of the 90s Cowboys, who would you be and why?

Easy—Alvin Harper. I've long dreamed of being banned from a strip club. Plus, single coverage all day.

Which Leon Lett moment would you rather be apart of: Thanksgiving Day against the Dolphins or the Super Bowl fumble?

Well, the Super Bowl was humiliating, but relatively inconsequential. That Miami gaffe, though, cost Dallas the game and goes down, alongside Jim Marshall's wrong-way run, as the most humiliating in league history. So, from Leon's standpoint, I'll take the super Bowl.

You start a team and you only have Steve Walsh and Steve Beurlein to choose from: Who do you choose and why?

Oh, not Walsh. He was a nice system QB and a very solid backup. But Beuerlein was a legit NFL starter who really knew how to manage a game. Now if it's between Walsh and Babe Laufenberg...

If you could be Deion for a day, what would you do? (Without getting you into trouble with your wife of course.)

I'd do everything to get out of my contract for another season of "Prime Time Love."

You made a Facts of Life reference, therefore I'm obligated to ask this question. Which Facts of Life character best describes you?

I'd say Natalie. Sorta geeky, Jewish and desperately wanting to roll with Kim Fields. (Ed. I'm more of a Natalie, with maybe a little Jo in me, possibly an element of Tootie.)

According to your biography on your web site, you mentioned that you dance professionally on the World Polka Challenge Tour. Me being part Polish, it's a running joke in my family that all the Polka songs sound the same. Any truth to that rumor? Also, do you play a mean accordion?

To be honest, I recently gave up Polka and am forming a Tupac Shakur tribute band. And, yes, that's me on accordion in "Brenda's Got a Baby."

Monday, August 18, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Cleveland Browns

As we continue our profile of the AFC, we now turn our attention to the AFC North. First up for the week is the Cleveland Browns.

Derek Anderson or Brady Quinn, that is the question that will need to be answered in the near future. After the Browns benched Charlie Frye and ultimately traded him, it was Derek Anderson's opportunity to shine in 2007.

No doubt about it, Anderson had a breakout year in 2007. In 16 games, Anderson threw for almost 3800 yards. He also added in 29 touchdowns. Anderson was also sacked only 14 times in 2007. In one game at quarterback, Charlie Frye was sacked five times. More impressive, Anderson won 10 games as Browns quarterback, just missing out on the playoffs.

The Browns also have Brady Quinn, who is a year younger than Anderson. Quinn was drafted late in the first round of the 2007 draft. Quinn was hyped as the leader, the face of the franchise.

This leaves Cleveland in a bit of a pickle. Do you go with the future in Quinn, or do you go with the current starter, Anderson. Odds are, the Browns will go with the hot hand as well they should. Anderson has a chance to really be a star in the NFL, even if it's not in Cleveland.

The Browns open up the 2008 regular season at home against a tough Dallas Cowboys team. No doubt, a win during kickoff weekend would be a huge boost for these Browns. At home, the Browns will face Houston, Indianapolis and New York (Giants). On the road, the Browns will face Philly, Washington and Tennessee.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Starter quarterback in 2008: Derek Anderson

  • Passing yards for Anderson: 4000

  • Touchdowns for Anderson: 35

  • Rushing yards and touchdowns for Jamal Lewis: 1100 and 12

  • Leading receiver: Braylon Edwards (1300 yards)

  • Average points per game for Browns: 24.3

  • Browns defense most likely to: Struggle and give up some serious points

  • Leading tackler: Kamerion Wimbley

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Brodney Pool, Hank Fraley, Rex Hadnot

  • 80s song to best describe team: The Best of Times- Styx

  • In 2008, the Browns will: Clinch a wild card berth

Friday, August 15, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Buffalo Bills

We close out the first division of the AFC. We finish up the AFC East with the Tornt.........Buffalo Bills.

In a division decimated by a dominant New England Patriots, it was the Bills that ended up being second chair in the AFC East. The Bills finished the season 7-9.

They started the regular season 1-4 and appeared to be floating in the basement of the division. However, the Bills would reel off six of eight wins and appeared to be in playoff contention. The Bills would lose their final three games and missed out on a Wild Card berth. Changes are in store for the 2008 season.

It appears as though the JP Losman experiment is all but over in Buffalo. As a rookie, Trent Edwards stepped up as quarterback, going 5-4 in 10 games, throwing seven touchdowns. The third round draft pick in 2007 showed much promise. With a star-in-the-making running back and a solid receiving corp, Edwards could have a breakout year in 2008.

The Bills open up the 2008 season at home when they face the Seattle Seahawks. At home, the Bills will face San Diego, Cleveland and Oakland. On the road, the Bills will face St. Louis, KC and Denver.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Will Canada love the Bills: They already do

  • Potential name for (possibly) new Toronto team: The Maple Leafs (PSYCHE!)

  • Bills player most likely to be beloved by the Toronto crowd: Terrence McGee

  • How long before the Bills move to Toronto: Hopefully never

  • Passing yards and touchdowns for Trent Edwards: 2800 yards, 19 touchdowns

  • Rushing yards for Marshawn Lynch: 1300

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Kawika Mitchell, Langston Walker, Jabari Greer

  • 80s song to best describe team: Rain on the Scarecrow- John Mellencamp

  • In 2008, the Bills will: Go 9-7, finish in second place
That's all I have, you guys enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: New York Jets

We continue our look at the AFC East. We focus on the New York Brett Favr.....I uhh mean the New York Jets.

Yes, I said Favre, after all he's a Jet. Hey, it does beat being a Shark, I suppose. Favre gives the Jets an answer to their quarterback question. It also proves that if you can't choose between Kellen Clemens and Chad Pennington, just go with a 38-year-old quarterback.

Favre provides stability, if only temporary. There's much concern over the rest of the offense. The Jets offensive line was the fourth worst in the NFL with giving up sacks. They gave up 53 for the regular season. Running back Thomas Jones also had some issues. He ran for 1100 yards, but scored a career worst one touchdown. Jones averaged 3.6 yards per carry in 2007, his worst output since his rookie season in 2000.

Wide receiver Jericho Cotchery had his breakout year in 2007, catching 82 balls for 1130 yards. However, Cotchery scored only four total touchdowns for the season.

Favre will only take the team as far as this offense will go. Ultimately, this offense's success will depend on the offensive line. Can free agent acquisition Alan Faneca provide stability to the line, or will Favre get sacked more times than a bag of potatoes.

The Jets open up the 2008 season on the road when they face the Miami Dolphins, who now hold the rights to Chad Pennington. At home, the Jets will face Cincy, Arizona, Denver at St. Louis. On the road, the Jets will face Oakland, Tennessee and San Francisco.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • How long will Favre last at quarterback: After the Patriots game (Probably later)

  • Number of times Favre gets sacked (assuming he goes the entire season): 41

  • Number of passing yards for Favre (assuming): 2900 yards

  • Number of touchdowns and interceptions for Favre: 19 and 15

  • Will Favre retire at the end of the season: Yes

  • Any more questions on Favre: Hell no!

  • Rushing yards for Thomas Jones: 1024

  • Leading receier for the Jets: Jericho Cotchery

  • New York Jets Fun Fact: Ken O'Brien is the all-time leader in getting sacked in Jets history. He has 338.

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Cotchery, D'Brickashaw Ferguson and Darrelle Revis

  • 80s song to best describe team: Don 't Do Me Like That- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

  • In 2008, the Jets will: Finish 6-10
That's all folks

Photo Credit: New York Daily News

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Miami Dolphins

Today, we continue our look at the AFC East as we focus on the Miami Dolphins.

What can be said about the Dolphins that hasn't been said already. When you think of the Dolphins, two names come to mind, Marino and Shula. When you look at the 2007 Dolphins, only one thing comes to mind and that's the 1-15 record.

It's been a bad time to be a Dolphins fan. At this point, I'm sure some Dolphin fans are reminiscing about the days that Marino was the quarterback and Shula was the coach.

This season, things are changing in Miami. It started with Bill Parcells being named the Executive VP of Football Operations, which led to Jeff Ireland being named GM, which led to Tony Sparano being named head coach. Now it didn't necessarily happen in that order, but I think you get the point.

The challenge for Parcells is to turn this laughing stock of a team back into division winners. The Dolphins selected and signed Michigan tackle Jake Long with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. Long will try to bring some steadiness to an offensive line that hasn't experienced it in a while.

On Friday, the Dolphins signed former Jets quarterback Chad Pennington. It's a great opportunity to get some veteran leadership on this squad.

The key to this squad has to be Ronnie Brown. Brown started the season strong and had 600 yards and four touchdowns in his first seven games. However, a knee injury ended Brown's season. If Brown can stay healthy, he will make a big impact for the Dolphins in 2008.

The Dolphins open up the regular season at home when they face division foe, the New York Favre's, I mean Jets.

At home, the Dolphins will face San Diego, Oakland and Seattle. On the road, the Dolphins will face Arizona, Houston and Kansas City.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • The starter at quarterback for Dolphins for beginning and end of season: Chad Pennington

  • More likely to see action on field, Beck or Henne: Chad Henne (Sorry John)

  • More likely to see action off field, Beck or Henne: Oh haha!

  • Rushing yards for Ronnie Brown: 1100

  • Random Jeff Ireland Fun Fact: Field goal kicker at Baylor. In game against Rice, made 58 yard field goal, but missed from 43, 45 and 27, which led to Baylor losing the game. (Source: The Wiki)

  • Best moment in Dolphins history: Ace Ventura beating up the Philadelphia Eagles mascot at the Dolphins game.

  • One word to describe Dolphins defense without Jason Taylor and Zack Thomas: Screwed

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Reagan Mauia, Samson Satele, Ikechuku Ndukwe

  • 80s song to best describe team: Right Here Waiting- Richard Marx

  • In 2008, the Dolphins will: Go 6-10, finish in last place

Monday, August 11, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: New England Patriots

With the exception of two teams in the NFC, we're done. Don't worry, we'll do the Packers and the Bucs eventually. I only ask that you stay patient. In the mean time, we turn our attention towards the AFC. This week, we focus on the AFC East. Today, our attention is turned to the AFC champions, the New England Patriots.

It's hard to believe that the 2007 Patriots were one win away from finishing the season (both regular and post) undefeated. Had the Patriots not lost the Super Bowl to the New York Giants, no doubt people would be speaking of the Pats as though they were the greatest team of all time.

Everybody would view them under a favorable light. Tom Brady might possibly be declared the best quarterback of our time and maybe of all time. Randy Moss would make his presence felt in the future among the voters in Canton. Bill Belichick would have silenced all the critics from the Spygate controversy. Had the Patriots won, who knows what we would be saying now.

The Patriots open up the 2008 regular season at home when they face the Kansas City Chiefs. At home, the Patriots will face Arizona, Pittsburgh and Denver. On the road, the Pats will face Indy, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle.

Now it's time for the always popular burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Number of kids Tom Brady will have (not including his first): 3

  • Names of those kids: Tom Jr., Bill and Skippy (Okay, I wanted the third one to be funny)

  • Number of passing yards for Brady: 4124

  • Touchdown passes: 38

  • Interceptions: 14

  • Rushing yards for Maroney: 1023

  • Leading receiver: Randy Moss

  • Total receiving touchdowns for Moss: 14

  • Any love for Welker: Only if he grows the mustache again

  • One word to describe the defense: un-dominant

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Stephen Gostkowski, Mike Vrabel, Adalius Thomas

  • 80s song to best describe team: Lost in Love- Air Supply

  • In 2008, the Patriots will: Win the division (Groan)

Friday, August 8, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Seattle Seahawks

We finish out the NFC West today with our look at the defending division champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

The 2008 season will in fact be the final one for Mike Holmgren as the Seahawks head coach. Holmgren has spent nearly 10 years as apart of the Seahawks organization.

Fresh off his success with the Green Bay Packers, which included a win in Super Bowl XXXI, Holmgren left to join the Seahawks for the '99 season. Holmgren took over a team that hadn't made the playoffs in a decade.

With young quarterback Jon Kitna at the helm, Holmgren led the Seahawks to a first place tie in the AFC West and their first playoff berth since the 1988 season. The Seahawks would lose to the Miami Dolphins in the wild card round.

After joining the NFC for the 2002 season, the Seahawks would make the playoffs the very next season. Once again, the Seahawks would lose in the wild card round, this time to the Packers. Of course, not before this great moment in playoff history.

The 2004 season would be the first of four straight NFC West titles. In 2005, Holmgren would lead the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. The Seahawks would lose that game to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Last season, the Seahawks lost to the Packers in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

Earlier this year, Holmgren announced that this season would be his final as the Seahawks head coach. Jim Mora Jr. is slated to take over the team after Holmgren is done.

Whether this is the final stop for Holmgren or not, you can't deny the fact that he's been one of the best coaches in the 90s and in this decade. He's made Brett Favre and Matt Hasselbeck into superstar quarterbacks. He's also worked with Joe Montana and Steve Young. Holmgren has worked with some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and he has left his mark on the league.

The Seahawks open up the season, going cross-country as they face the Buffalo Bills. At home, the Seahawks will face Green Bay, Washington and New England. On the road, the Seahawks will face Tampa Bay, Miami and New York (Giants).

Time for those burnin' question (yearbook style):
  • Will Matt Hasselbeck ever grow hair: No

  • Best option for Hasselbeck's head: Wig

  • Hasselbeck and his wig will throw for: 3400 yards

  • Leading rusher for Seahawks: Whoever stays healthy

  • Deion Branch will: Catch 100 balls (Yes, I said balls)

  • Olindo Mare field goal misses: 9

  • If Holmgren's moustache had a name, it would be: Steve

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Lofa Tatupu, Ryan Plackemeier, Jordan Babineaux

  • 80s song to best describe the team: Always on my mind- Pet Shop Boys

  • In 2008, the Seahawks will: Win the division, go 11-5
Enjoy the weekend (and the Olympics)

Oh No Romo

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Arizona Cardinals

Today, we put the focus on the state where it is always hot, but the football team is always not. You guessed it, it's the Arizona Cardinals.

When I think of the Arizona Cardinals, I think, that is the franchise where careers go to die. Emmitt Smith and Boomer Esiason are the names that come to mind. Kurt Warner will be another name to add to that list once he calls it quits.

Last season, the Cardinals showed quite some promise and won quite a few games. They finished the season .500 for the first time since the Cardinals reached the playoffs in the '98 season.

Warner returned to old form, throwing for 3400 yards and 27 touchdowns. First round pick from 2006, Matt Leinart only played five games, he missed the rest of the season with a collarbone injury.

The showdown this training camp will be between Warner and Leinart. The question that needs to be asked is, do you go with the veteran who led most of the way last season, or do you go with the young upstart quarterback that is the future of this franchise. Head coach Ken Whisenhunt has a lot on his plate.

Now I know Leinart can't be mentioned in this preview without bringing up the infamous party pictures from earlier this year. I won't delve any further into these pictures. We here at Oh No Romo prefer to take the high road. We're a football blog, not US Weekly Sports edition. There are some exceptions, but this Leinart story is irrelevant. Enough of this PSA, on with the football.

The Cardinals will open up the 2008 regular season on the road when they face division rival San Francisco 49ers. At home, the Cardinals will face Miami, Buffalo and Dallas. On the road, the Cardinals will face Carolina, Philadelphia and Washington.

Now it is time for the always popular, always strange burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Starter for 2008: Kurt Warner

  • Finishes the 2008 season: Kurt Warner

  • Number of games Leinart plays: 8

  • Edgerrin James will: Run for 700 yards

  • Leading receiver for Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald- 1178 yards

  • Most interceptions: Antrel Rolle- 4 interceptions

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Chike Okeafor, Roderick Hood, Al Johnson (Best damn Swedish Pancake place in Wisconsin)

  • 80s song that best describes team: Old and Wise- Alan Parsons Project

  • In 2008, the Cardinals will: Go 9-7

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Should Rodgers kick Favre in the balls?

If you're like me, then you're sick and tired of all of this Brett Favre crap. You've probably had it all up to here with this Favre fiesta. So, I leave you with this question and this question only. If you had $40, would you pay that amount to see Aaron Rodgers kick Brett Favre in the balls? This is not a hard question. Is it a yes, or a no? It's your call.

Here's the poll.

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: St. Louis Rams

Today, we continue to profile the NFC West with the St. Louis Rams.

The Rams finished the season 3-13. This team was awful last season. Injuries plagued the team and the offense struggled a lot.

Marc Bulger had one of his worse seasons in his career. Bulger threw for 2300 yards, 11 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. The 11 touchdowns was a career worst for Bulger.

One huge factor for the Rams in 2008 will be Steven Jackson. The 1000 yard rusher is currently in a holdout, but should be ready to play come the regular season. If Jackson stays healthy, it will be hard not to give him a new contract. Only time will tell if a deal gets done during training camp or not.

The Rams will open the regular season on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles. The Rams play notable home games against New York (Giants), Chicago and Miami. On the road, the Rams will face Washington, Atlanta and New York (Jets):

Time for those burnin questions (yearbook style):
  • Marc Bulger will: Throw for 3000 yards

  • Steven Jackson will: Be ready for week 1, rush for 1000 yards

  • Number of Chevy truck ads featuring Chris Long with Howie Long: About four (Maybe two for the playoffs)

  • Number of sacks for Long: 4

  • Torry Holt will: Retire in 3 years (I'll make a hall of fame case for him later)

  • Scott Linehan will: Still be coach next year

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Pisa Tinoisamoa, Fakhir Brown, Richie Incognito

  • 80s song to best describe team: Lost in Your Eyes- Debbie Gibson

  • In 2008, the Rams will: Go 7-9

Monday, August 4, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: San Francisco 49ers

We're now down to a little more than one month until the start of the 2008 NFL season. I don't know about you guys, but I'm excited. This week, we get to focus on the NFC West. The good news I have for you guys is that Brett Favre is not rumored to being traded to any of these teams. For that, I say sweet! Today, we put our focus on the San Francisco 49ers.

I'm still kicking myself over the fact that I picked the 49ers to win the NFC West, last season. What kind of a fool am I, right? This team had so much potential last season, but they never lived up to my hype. I'm disappointed and saddened.

Last year was just awful for the 49ers. The offense was horrendous. The 49ers were last in points and total yards in the NFL. Three different quarterbacks started last season after Alex Smith went down for the season. Those three were Trent Dilfer, Shaun Hill and Chris Weinke. Dilfer led the team with 1100 yards passing, seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The offense scored 10 points or less in seven games last season. In fact, the 49ers only scored 219 points the entire season.

This season, the 49ers have three quarterbacks battling it out for the right to start on opening weekend. Alex Smith, Shaun Hill and J.T. O'Sullivan will battle it out in training camp.

The 49ers open up the regular season at home when they face the Arizona Cardinals. At home, the Niners will face Detroit, New England, Philadelphia and Washington. On the road, the Niners will face Dallas, New York (Giants) and New Orleans.

Time for those burnin' questions (yearbook style):
  • Starting quarterback for opener: Alex Smith

  • Quarterback who finishes season as starter: Shaun Hill

  • Frank Gore will: Run for 1100 yards

  • Leading receiver: Ashley Lelie

  • Mike Nolan will: Be the best dressed coach in the NFL for another season or two

  • Fun Fact: George Seifert has more wins as 49ers head coach than Bill Walsh, even though Walsh has more Super Bowls

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Tully Banta-Cain, Parys Haralson, Isaac Sopoaga

  • 80s song to best describe team: Money for Nothing- Dire Straits

  • In 2008, the 49ers will: Go 7-9, finish in last place

Friday, August 1, 2008

NFL Preview Show Extravaganza: Atlanta Falcons

Because of the Brett Favre situation and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being a potential candidate in the Favre sweepstakes, I'm holding off on their preview for now. Today though, we will focus on, the ATLANTA FALCONS. This will be the last one before the weekend.

Could there have been any other team that has suffered more in 2007 than the Falcons? This team fell apart in 2007. Nobody could wish that amount of bad luck on a franchise like the Falcons. First was the Mike Vick dogfighting situation. I won't go further.

Then there was the issue of who would play quarterback. It came down to Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington. I'm sure you know how that turned out, so I won't bother you with that.

The worst thing and I mean THE worst thing that could have ever happened to the Falcons happened when head coach Bobby Petrino left town with THREE GAMES LEFT in the season to go and coach the University of Arkansas Razorbacks. I'm sorry, but that is about as low as low can possibly get. It was a shameful move by Petrino to begin with. He basically ditched the team and it's terrible that it had to happen to the Falcons. Okay now, time to get off the soap box.

The Falcons open up the regular season at home when they face the Detroit Lions. They have some notable home games against Chicago, Denver and St. Louis. On the road, the Falcons will face Philly, Oakland and Green Bay.

Now it is time for the always popular, always crazy, burnin' questions (Yearbook style):
  • Matt Ryan will: Get potato'd! (Sacked a bunch of times)

  • QB who starts the most games: Ummmmm, Matt Ryan?

  • Michael Turner will: Be the best producing back for the Falcons (1421 yards for scrimmage)

  • Coach Mike Smith will: Last a lot longer than Petrino, but sadly only two seasons

  • Leading receiver for Falcons: Umm, I don't know

  • TV Movie to describe team: Falling Without Style

  • Coolest names (Top 3): Todd Weiner, Ovie Mughelli, Todd "Son of Troy?" McClure (Von Hutchins, Jerious Norwood and Montavious Stanley all get honorable mention)

  • 80s song to best describe team: I Ran (So Far Away)- Flock of Seagulls

  • In 2008, the Falcons will go: 5-11
Enjoy the weekend--and the vid

Oh No Romo

Photo from Razorback Legacy