Seldom will I lead the blog with a Packers thought (I try not to push an agenda much), but you know me, and you know who the Pack played last night….So, in honor of a 5th straight win over the Vikes, here it goes:
I cannot imagine a tougher spot for Aaron Rodgers to be in. It would be bad enough if you were simply trying to replace a legend. But, to try to replace him, while making your first pro start, while on Monday Night Football against your most hated rival, while your legend plays for his team the day before and leads them to victory….well, he surely had a few things going through his head.
So, while I remain bearish on his ability to get this team to the Favre-ian heights of 2007, I was pretty impressed by the composure of the lad, and the overall quality of the remainder of the team.
But, man, what an ugly game. I know it is vintage NFC North smashmouth football, but let’s try for fewer than 20+ penalties next time…
I love reading the Minneapolis papers after a Packers win! …
Anticipation gave way to reality on Monday night at Lambeau Field.
After an offseason spent adding expensive pieces such as defensive end Jared Allen and Bernard Berrian, the Vikings hoped to show the Packers they were ready to challenge the defending NFC North champions.
Instead, the Vikings made too many mistakes and played too inconsistently as they lost 24-19 in their season opener before an announced crowd of 71,004 at Lambeau. It mattered little that Aaron Rodgers and not Brett Favre was the starting quarterback.
"It's a huge disappointment as far as internally, as far the players in here feel," Vikings receiver Bobby Wade said. "We understand it's only one of 16 games, but right now we've got a taste of disappointment. We lost, we got a chance to beat a division team and we dropped the ball."
Wade wasn't just talking about one facet of the Vikings game either.
Minnesota's defense, which ranked first in the NFL against the run last season, gave up 92 yards to Packers running back Ryan Grant, including a 57-yard run in the fourth quarter.
Grant's run set up Rodgers' 1-yard touchdown scramble.
The special teams gave up a 76-yard touchdown on a punt return to Will Blackmon in the third quarter. And quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had a pass intercepted by Atari Bigby at the Packers 39 late in the fourth quarter to end a potential rally.
"[We] put ourselves in a position to be able to come back up the field and win it, and unfortunately the only turnover of the game ended it," Vikings coach Brad Childress said. "I think it's all about us developing consistency.
Now, on to the Cowboys….
What will Felix’s role be moving forward? …
Wade Phillips didn't seem to really want to give a straight answer today.
"I just think it's a comfort level with us and him," Phillips said when asked whether Felix Jones would see more playing time. "He's amazingly confident during the game, though."
The Cowboys' first-round pick had a phenomenal debut, rushing for 62 yards and a TD on nine carries and breaking another big run that was negated by a penalty. But all nine of his carries came after Marion "The Barbarian" Barber left the game with bruised ribs in the third quarter.
Phillips pointed out that it's pretty tough to take Barber off the field, adding that the Cowboys would try to use the backs together more often than they did in the season opener. The official word coming out of Valley Ranch is that Barber shouldn't be limited by his sore ribs when the Eagles come to town.
That means you might not see much of Felix in the early going again. The rookie, who has a whatever-you-ask-whenever-you-want attitude, recognizes that he benefits from Barber banging away on the defense.
"With me coming in, it's kind of different," Jones said. "They're used to Marion's running style, and I come in and show them something else."
It just isn't clear how many shots of something else opposing defenses will get each week.
Blue and Silver Report looks at the Winslow game-plan …
The Cowboys defense hit its stride mid game yesterday, going almost 29 minutes, 28:58 to be exact, without allowing a Derek Anderson completion. The defense had a little help from a Braylon Edwards drop on Adam Jones, but didn’t need any more assistance.
The impressive task was shutting down Kellen Winslow Jr. who made some big grabs in the middle of Dallas’ defense on the Browns long TD drive that ended the 1st quarter and bled into the 2nd. Dallas used a variety of coverages on him in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, never allowing him to get single coverage on a linebacker or strong safety Roy Williams.
Much of the time, the Cowboys sent SOLB Greg Ellis with Winslow wherever he went. And when I write follow Winslow everywhere, I mean precisely that. Several times Winslow lined up as a wide receiver and Ellis lined up directly opposite him.
Cleveland always ran in these situations and used Winslow as a decoy to gain an open an edge to run towards. The only time Winslow lined up as a traditional tight end, Ellis jammed him and passed him to ILB Bradie James, who put a second wallop on Winslow for good measure.
When Winslow lined up in the slot the Cowboys made sure had had a corner sitting in coverage with him. Anthony Henry, Adan Jones and Orlando Scandrick all took turns blanketing him. The only time Winslow caught a pass the last 40 minutes of the game came on the one play where he drew single coverage from Roy Williams. Winslow beat him on a nine yard out.
And then this…. Is Romo a Daddy? …
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo.
Oh, he played fine, and the Cowboys buried Cleveland.
But according to several reports, rumors were spreading quickly Sunday that his girlfriend, Jessica Simpson, is all aglow because she might be carrying Baby Romo.
If it's true, she should consider reviewing tapes of the 2007 playoff game between Seattle and Dallas before she asks Romo to hold the little bundle.
Milestones to hit in 2008 …
Here’s a look at some of the names and numbers to consider for the upcoming NFL season. Special thanks to our friends at Cold Hard Football Facts for some of this info.
Fact: In the last 30 years, nearly 53% of teams that won their first game reached the playoffs. Only 23% of teams that lost made the postseason.
--Devin Hester has scored 11 combined kickoff and punt returns TDs. His two year total is just two shy of the all-time record held by Brian Mitchell. Hester also holds the NFL record for most yards averaged per touchdown, with 80.9.
--Jerry Rice’s 197 TD receptions may never be challenged. However, Terrell Owens (129), Randy Moss (124) and Marvin Harrison (123) could all eclipse Cris Carter’s second place total of 130.
--Peyton Manning needs 37 TD passes to pass Fran Tarkenton and move into third on the career list.
--Jamal Lewis is 895 yards away from becoming the 24th player in NFL history with 10,000 rushing yards. Shaun Alexander needs 569 to reach 10,000, but he’ll need to find a team first.
--With a sixth straight 1,000 yard season, Edgerrin James (11,607) will move into eighth place on the all-time rushing list.
--LaDainian Tomlinson is seventh all-time with 129 career touchdowns and needs just seven more to run past Marcus Allen and into the Top 5.
--Issac Bruce needs 58 catches to become the fifth man with 1,000 career receptions, and he needs 826 yards to pass Tim Brown (14,934) for second all-time in that category. Marvin Harrison’s fifth all-time, with 13,944 yards.
--Eric Moulds (9,995), Mushin Muhammad (9,934) and Tony Gonzalez (9,882) will likely become the next members of the 10,000-yard receiving club.
Meanwhile, After a 12-0 weekend for the Big 12, Now we actually have some games to anticipate …
Kansas at South Florida (ESPN/8 p.m. ET, Friday) -- Both teams will be trying to prove their national legitimacy in a battle between old Bill Snyder disciples Mark Mangino and Jim Leavitt.
Iowa State at Iowa (Big Ten Network, noon) -- Hard to believe that the game for the Cy-Hawk Trophy is one of only four this week matching 2-0 teams.
Arkansas at Texas (ABC, 3:30 p.m.) -- Darrell Royal and Frank Broyles aren't roaming the sidelines like the good ol' days, but Mack Brown hasn't forgotten the thumping that the Razorbacks gave his team in Austin in 2003 in their last trip.
Oklahoma at Washington, (ESPN, 7:45 p.m.) -- Bob Stoops didn't like his last trip to the northwest when he was jobbed by a Pac-10 officiating crew in Oregon. This game should be easier, particularly with Ty Willingham's job status being an open question in Seattle these days.
Washington State at Baylor (FSN, 12:30 p.m.) -- This matchup is intriguing only because a judgment can be made about the relative strengths of the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences when its worst teams meet.
Nevada at Missouri (PPV, 12:30 p.m.) -- Rangy Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick gave Texas Tech fits last week. It won't be quite as easy in Columbia, particularly with top Nevada running threat Luke Lippincott out for the season with a knee injury.
New Mexico State at Nebraska (PPV, 7 p.m.) -- This has some entertainment value as New Mexico State mad scientist Hal Mumme and talented QB Chase Holbrook faces the Nebraska secondary. How much will the Cornhuskers miss Barry Turner? And how much will the Aggies be a mystery in their first game of the season?
SMU at Texas Tech (FSN, 7 p.m.) -- Wonder if there might be a few passes at Jones SBC Stadium in this one? Tech has dominated the series, winning the last 12 games since SMU's six-game streak from 1981-86.
Missouri State at Oklahoma State (FCS, 7 p.m.) -- Don't expect the Cowboys' talented offense to show much mercy against Terry Allen's Missouri State team. The Bears have never beaten a Big 12 team in nine previous games.
In MMA news, Evan Tanner is found dead …check this story…
A body believed to be former UFC middleweight champ Evan Tanner's was found on Monday in the Palo Verde mountain area in California after Tanner had gone missing in the area over the weekend.
Tanner, 37, had blogged ominously about his trip into the desert to "cleanse."
"I plan on going so deep into the desert, that any failure of my equipment, could cost me my life," he wrote on his journal for Spike TV.
A member of his management team told Yahoo! Sports, "What we were told is that (Sheriff's officials who found Tanner) believe his motorcycle had run out of gas, so he went to walk out in like 115- to 118-degree heat. He was miles away from his camp. That's where the helicopter found him. Right now, they just think that he succumbed to the heat."
Tanner made his MMA debut in April of 1997 winning three fights in one night, including a win over Paul Buentello. His biggest fight came in February of 2001 when he challenged then UFC Light Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz in the main event of UFC 30 but was knocked out in just 32 seconds.
Tanner later moved down to 185 pounds and won the vacant UFC Middleweight Championship over David Terrell, but then lost the title in June of 2005 to Rich Franklin in a fight where the winner would also become one of the coaches for the 2nd season of "The Ultimate Fighter".
The UFC signed Tanner to a four fight contract last November with the first fight of that contract taking place earlier this year in March at UFC 82 in Columbus, Ohio. He lost by KO to Yushin Okami and then suffered another loss in June to Kendall Grove by split decision on the TUF 7 Finale show in Las Vegas.
UFC 88 pay outs …Matt Hamill got 10k? For the 2nd biggest fight on the card? What is that, 6700 after taxes for risking your life?
Rashad Evans $120,000 ($60,000 Show + $60,000 Win)
Chuck Liddell $500,000
Rich Franklin $100,000 ($50,000 Show + $50,000 Win)
Matt Hamill $10,000
Good morning Sports Sturm,
On behalf of soccer fans in the DFW, I wanted to invite you and the rest of the BaD radio gang to join us at the Industry Bar (5427 Beltline Rd., about a mile east of the North Dallas Tollway in the Studio Movie Grill strip mall) for Wednesday evening's American Outlaws watching party for the USA-Trinidad and Tobago World Cup Qualifier from Chicago.
Kickoff is at 7pm.
Thanks for your Premiership coverage on the blog (c'mon Liverpool!) and your broadcast work for FC Dallas. Of course, with me being in the Inferno, I don't get much of a chance to listen to you working the FCD games since I'm always in section 116 of Pizza Hut Park singing!
We hope to see you Wednesday!
Last night reminded me of Freeman’s Miracle
This guy must not like Oasis - scary