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News » Second guesses: Colts, Crennel teetering 2008-10-20


Second guesses: Colts, Crennel teetering 2008-10-20


Second guesses: Colts, Crennel teetering  2008-10-20
Yes, we were fooled by Peyton Manning. We thought he was back on target and that's all the Colts needed.


Unlike the Packers, we forgot that you need a solid rush defense and a running game of your own to actually win in the NFL these days. Or any days for that matter. The Colts can do neither right now. They need Joseph "I Want More Money" Addai and safety Bob Sanders back. The Colts are in serious trouble right now and may actually miss the playoffs in Tony Dungy's final season.

NFL Week 7

Week 7 action

    Panthers 30, Saints 7 -- Recap | Box
    Bears 48, Vikings 41 -- Recap | Box
    Bills 23, Chargers 14 -- Recap | Box
    Rams 34, Cowboys 14 -- Recap | Box
    Giants 29, 49ers 17 -- Recap | Box
    Steelers 38, Bengals 10 -- Recap | Box
    Ravens 27, Dolphins 13 -- Recap | Box
    Titans 34, Chiefs 10 -- Recap | Box
    Texans 28, Lions 21 -- Recap | Box
    Packers 34, Colts 14 -- Recap | Box
    Raiders 16, Jets 13 -- Recap | Box
    Redskins 14, Browns 11 -- Recap | Box
    Bucs 20, Seahawks 10 -- Recap | Box
    Patriots 34, Broncos 7 -- Recap | Box

Analysis

  • Johnson: Trouble in Big D
  • Glazer: Favre insider trading?
  • Marvez: Flacco starting to lead

Video

  • MNF Pats-Broncos preview
  • Albert and Johnston on Cowboys
  • Online OT: Complete NFL coverage

Photos

  • Week 7 action
  • Fantasy: Top moves

The weird part is that we thought Jacksonville would knock the Colts off their division perch, but instead, it will be the mighty and unbeaten Tennessee Titans. Nobody would have guessed Jeff Fisher's team. They are the only unbeaten team in the league, although I am not sure they could beat the Giants tomorrow in a game for all the marbles.

I still have my doubts about Kerry Collins, but the Titans sure can run. Granted, they were playing the woeful Kansas City Chiefs, but rookie Chris Johnson rushed for 168 yards and LenDale White, who generally rumbles for two yards before falling down, managed 149 yards and a fantasy-league tantalizing three touchdowns.

Peyton's Colts are now 3-3 with a division loss to the Jaguars. Well, we will find out next Sunday when Peyton visits Nashville. If the Titans are for real, they dump the Colts below .500 and start to pull away.

Kick this strategy to the curb

OK, let's put a moratorium on freezing the kicker. Please, no more timeouts just seconds prior to a potential game-tying or game-winning kick. No mas. In fact, the whole scenario is becoming pretty lame.

And honestly, how effective is this strategy? It didn't work for Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt a week ago, and it backfired on interim Raiders coach Tom Cable against the Jets. With the Raiders holding a three-point lead, Cable called timeout, and yes, Jay Feely's attempt bounced off the bar and was no good.

What a bonehead decision that looked when, given a second chance, Feely converted and New York and Oakland went into overtime. I'm sure Al Davis wanted to fire Cable on the spot. It surely reminded Davis of a similar mess up last season when good buddy Lane Kiffin, who eventually will collect his remaining $2.6 million from the Raiders, did the same thing and cost himself a win against Mike Shanahan and the Broncos.

Another famous one was when Buffalo froze Nick Folk last season and the Cowboys kicker promptly drilled his second opportunity. I'm telling you, kickers seem to get it right when given a second chance. This timeout thing isn't working. Plus, it's so predictable now.

Who knows, maybe kickers are simply checking the wind when they attempt their first kick, knowing it really doesn't count. I say put the pressure back on the kicker. Make them kick right away. Let them put it all on the line. I bet half of them mess up and we can all go home early.

Romeo, where art thou brain?

This has not been a good decision-making season for Romeo Crennel. He has shown shoddy clock management at times and risky play-calling at others.

Well, he cost his Browns another one Sunday in Washington. Perched inside the Redskins' five-yard line with six minutes left, Crennel went for it on third down and fourth down from the Washington 3. And he didn't run the ball, he called for three straight Derek Anderson passes.

But when two of them didn't work, he should have kicked the field goal and taken his three points. Had he done that, the Browns would have been tied with the Redskins when his team rallied minutes later to score a touchdown and nail the two-point conversion.

Instead, the Browns fought valiantly and had the ball again, but this time, Phil Dawson's 54-yard field goal was wide. Oh, well. This was a very physical game, and it's too bad that Crennel couldn't have been a little patient in the end.

Granted, Cleveland scored their touchdown on a fourth-down goal-line play, but it was set up by two tough runs. You can throw on fourth down when at least you've tried to pound Jamal Lewis. But with all your timeouts and six minutes left, you have to take the points and pray that your defense holds.

Well, Crennel didn't take the points, but his defense did hold the Redskins — not once, but twice. Coaching decisions like that could end up costing Crennel his job if the Browns don't rally and make a bid for a wild-card spot.

Early losses will haunt Saints

As the Saints flew over the Atlantic Ocean last night toward Great Britain and without Reggie Bush, I'm pretty sure Coach Sean Payton and his players were second guessing two road losses in September to the Redskins and Broncos. They could have won both of those games, and now they own a 3-4 record and don't play in the Superdome until Nov. 24 against the mighty tough Packers.

They play an equally disappointed San Diego team in London, and the loser probably will be missing the postseason. The Saints can't afford much more losing because the Panthers, who whipped them on Sunday, and Tampa Bay are both 5-2 and tied for first place in the NFC South.

After Arizona next Sunday, the Panthers have two softies in the Raiders and Lions. The Bucs face the shell-shocked Cowboys next Sunday before playing the Chiefs, Vikings and Lions. Jon Gruden's team is in pretty good shape if the Cowboys don't put up a fight.

The Saints have Drew Brees and all these receivers, but they don't really have a running game and not much of a defense. Brees was shut down by Carolina's secondary and Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith took it from there. The Saints are very exciting, but they are not a complete football team right now. And those early losses, when mistakes cost them two games, probably will haunt them for the rest of the season.

But if Bush needs major knee surgery or is out three to four weeks, well the season is officially over.

Don't penalize Steelers for toughness

The Pittsburgh Steelers are the poster boys for physical play this season. Troy Polamula questioned Roger Goodell's fine policy for what the Commish believes are illegal hits, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has played in pain all season while leading the Steelers to a 5-1 record and putting them in total control of the AFC North.

But the toughest and meanest Steeler of them all is receiver Hines Ward, whose block on Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers broke his jaw. Yes, Cincy's first-round draft choice is done for the season.

There is not a tougher player in the NFL than Ward, who has collected his share of Goodell fines lately. You can't second guess what Goodell and the league is attempting to do. They want a safer, cleaner game day. They know injuries are going to occur regardless of fines; they simply want to prevent unnecessary major injuries like concussions and busted knees.

Two of the game's toughest blockers are Ward and Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who has de-cleated his share of defensive players. Now, I will second guess whenever Portis launches himself toward an unsuspecting opponent's head. We will have to wait and see if the league views Ward's hit on Rivers as cheap or not. I don't think so.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 20, 2008

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