Around the NFL...
In week two, NFL defenders started to experiment with what they could and couldn't get away with. A lot of linemen are taking late-ish hits at QBs, and a lot of cornerbacks tugging on WRs down the field. More and more DB's are hitting receivers past the 5 yard mark and some DB's like the Steelers and Ravens are clearly holding receivers and getting away with it. While watching the Jets- Steelers game I counted no less than 5 potential holding calls against the Steelers that were never called.
Of all things the horrible consequences of replacement refs, this threat to player safety is probably the most terrible. Right now players are feeling like there's a substitute teacher in charge, and they see it as an opportunity to take guys like RG3 out without any repercussions.
A few years after electrifying the NFL, Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has seen his game fall apart. Last year he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry and barely reached 1000 yards in 16 games. This year, he has gained 21 yards on 19 carries and has yet to find the endzone.
Mike Freeman of CBS Sports asked a scout about Johnson's struggles, here's what he had to say:
"Everyone has an opinion on what's wrong with him. One theory going around football is that he's injured and is hiding that injury, but I don't believe that. When I watch him on film, I see a guy who got a lot of money, and just doesn't care as much as he once did. It's pretty simple to me."
Johnson signed a four-year, $53.5 million contract after a lengthy holdout last season.
According to an Associated Press story, NFL quarterback Vince Young is nearly out of money despite signing a rookie contract in 2006 that was worth a guaranteed $26 million. He is suing his business agent but I wonder if more teams, like the Packers, are going to offer players financial seminars on how to manage their money. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who got a big payday and now is almost broke but there are a lot of sharks out there who want a piece of every players big paycheck.
Are the two best teams in the NFL the Giants and 49'ers ? The Giants did loose their first game to the Cowboys but they looked extremely sharp last night and Peter King actually picked the Panthers to beat the Giants may want to get out of Boston and get down to New York where sports fans know that the Giants look good.
The times is right for the Jets to rise. Around the Web a lot of sportswriters are saying that Brady is suddenly looking very old and that the Pats domination of the AFC East could be coming to an end. The pieces are in place for a dominate team to take the AFC East but the Jets still are missing a lot of pieces, a very good running game for example via a better running back. The key for the Jets is going to be to keeping a team that can generate some chemistry on offense while finally putting a shut down defense on the field that walks the walk.