Ferringo NFL Report: Browns Go For Ravens' Jugular, Slit Own Wrists
by Robert Ferringo - 09/27/2006
All apologies for my tardiness with the Ferringo Report. It has been a busy week, but not too busy to reflect on another upside-down, inside-out weekend in the National Football League.
So let me get this straight -- the teams that looked the absolute worst in week two were the squads we should have been backing to win in week 3? Is that right? The clubs that couldn't get out of their own way, and the teams that looked like they were in their third preseason game just seven days earlier were the play?
Think about it: St. Louis, Denver, Philadelphia, Washington, Tennessee and Green Bay all cashed in this week. However, I would nearly guarantee that the same sextet broke more than one piggy bank the week before.
Favorites went just 3-9-2 against the spread this weekend. Home favorites were just 1-6-1, and divisional favorites were an absolutely, mind-bogglingly pathetic 0-7-2 ATS this weekend. Amazing.
I suppose that's why they play the games. And that's why we keep coming back for more.
Here are the rest of my random musings from Week 3:
- Romeo, oh Romeo, where is your friggin' head Romeo? I understand why the Browns' head coach was looking for the end zone with is team on Baltimore's 4-yard line, up 14-12, with around 3:30 to play. Crennel was going for the jugular. A touchdown wins the game over a division rival. No problem with that.
But there are a few qualifiers before you make that move. You run the ball and take the field goal if:
1) Your quarterback is Charlie Frye.
2) The defense is the Baltimore Ravens.
3) A field goal means that the opponent - which hasn't scored a touchdown all day - has to drive down for a touchdown with little or no timeouts and under three minutes left.
This isn't Monday morning quarterbacking. That's just poor management.
- I don't understand why Atlanta played so much zone against New Orleans. That plays right into Drew Brees' strength and it limits the effectiveness of your best defensive player, DeAngelo Hall. Also, without John Abraham and with a weakened Pat Kearney, the Falcons should have been blitzing from every angle and playing press coverage on the outside. If they got beat deep, so be it.
- The Bears were 11-15 in the Metrodome before last Sunday. That really was a clutch win over the Vikings.
Two things concerned me about that game from the Bears perspective. The first is that they still can't run the ball. The second is that it took them four quarters to adjust to the overwhelming number of blitzes the Vikings threw at them.
- This is just conjecture on my part, but I think that the rumors about Kurt Warner didn't just have to do with his being a turnover waiting to happen. It wasn't heated, but there was definitely a confrontation between Warner and center Alex Stepanovich after that crippling fumble in the fourth quarter. I think Warner may be losing the team.
- What's more obnoxious than the people who work at an Apple store calling themselves and each other "genius"? Like, "Oh, hold on a second and I can transfer you to someone at the Genius Bar." Are you kidding me? Maybe if you were really a genius you would've figured out a way not to work a crummy mall job. Just a thought.
- Thus far, Seattle and Pittsburgh are a combined 3-3 ATS. Recent history suggests it's going to get worse. Over the past 12 years the 24 teams that appeared in the previous Super Bowl were a combined 142-191 ATS the following season. That's a feeble 42.6-percent clip. Only seven of those 24 teams posted a winning number ATS the following year.
- Wow, did Jacksonville take it to Indianapolis on Sunday. I don't know if it's a health issue for the Colts or if the Jaguars are finally surpassing them as a team. The Jags owned a 2-to-1 time of possession edge and outrushed the Colts by more than 3-to-1 (191 to 63). But those two interceptions by Leftwich (and the last one was awful) were the equalizer.
- As long as we're on the subject of teams that didn't deserve to win on Sunday, throw the Bengals in that group. The Steelers dominated them. But Pittsburgh turned the ball over five times - FIVE! - And I don't care who you are; you're not going to win many games with nearly a six-pack of fumbles and INTs.
- The top five NFL sack leaders heading into Week 4: Bart Scott, Trent Cole, Robert Geathers, Justin Smith and Aaron Kampman. I bet you can't tell me what team each one plays for.
- I don't recall where I saw this, but someone posed a very good question about Eli Manning: is he a good quarterback, or a guy who just seems to pull some throws out of his ass?
- I'm firmly in the Too Early To Tell category on the whole Mario Williams-Reggie Bush situation. Clearly, round one is going to New Orleans. But there's the thing: do you see how awful the Texans defense is? They're a disaster. So yes, I suppose it makes sense to start building there. Especially considering Gary Kubiak's upbringing when it comes to RBs.
- Mike Shanahan has beaten Bill Belichick five of the last six times they've met. I'm not certain if it's a stylistic issue, a matchup issue or a psychological issue. But I do know that it's real.
Also, John Madden hit the nail on the head on Sunday night when he pointed out how dispassionate the Patriots were. Tom Brady looked like a zombie whose dog had just been run over while his house was burning down.
- What was it that the Dolphins saw in the Mike Mularkey again? The last three offenses Mularkey was in charge of finished 22nd, 25th and 28th in the NFL in total yards. So should we really be surprised then that Miami is currently 26th in offense?
- Yes I hate the Yankees, but there's still no chance that Derek Jeter deserves the MVP Award. My vote - if I had one - goes to Justin Morneau, and it's not even close. Jeter has 21 more hits and is hitting 16 points higher. But Morneau is responsible for carrying that weak-hitting Twins lineup. The slugging first baseman has 20 more home runs and 30 more RBI, plus his OBS is about 60 points higher. Without Jeter, the Yankees would have had to rely on one of their 12 other All-Stars and MVP candidates. Without Morneau, the Twins are in the same league as the Royals.
- Maurice Jones-Drew does have the misfortune of a hyphenated name, but he makes up for it by having thighs like palm tree trunks. Drew tore up the Indianapolis defense last weekend, and I would expect the Jaguars to feature him more in the offense.
- I'll give you a dollar if you can tell me who Carolina's tight end is. Anyone? Anyone? Mike Seldman. I think that may have something to do with their rushing game troubles and I see it becoming a problem when teams start triple-teaming Steve Smith and Keyshawn Johnson.
- He's mouthy and has underperformed, but I have to give Kellen Winslow credit. He had three catches on third down -- each resulting in a first down -- on a key fourth quarter drive for Cleveland last week. But still, keep your mouth shut.
- Speaking of prima dona tight ends: Jeremy Shockey is a clown. My Giants friends worship him like he's Allah himself. But this is what I see: a head case and locker room distraction who drops a lot of balls, is injured most of the time, and a guy who celebrates the most mundane accomplishment with arrogance and bravado.
- The Eagles just look like a machine on offense. I'm not sure what the odds are, and I know it's early, but I think Donovan McNabb is going to win the MVP this season. They will have problems letting teams cover through the back door because they don't run the ball well (or ever) but they are amazingly efficient with their passing attack.
- Divisional road teams won seven of nine games last week (4-3-2 ATS), and the road teams were 10-4 SU (8-4-2 ATS).
- Is anyone else sick of seeing "Dancing With The Stars" highlights and features on ESPN? I mean, I know there's nothing going on in the Sports World right now so they need the filler, but spare me. They take shameless self-promotion to a whole other level.
Which reminds me: this week Doc's Sports is running a special where you can get any one of our handicappers' expert selections for the bargain-basement price of $20 for a full week. The special is to celebrate our 35th year of business. Hop on this gravy train and ride it all the way to the bank!
Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at email@example.com or check out his Insider Page here.