2013 NFL Trade Deadline

Today is the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline and some players, like Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon, are rumored to be on the trading block

Today, Tuesday October 29th @ 4 PM EST is the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline.  And for the first time in a while, there is some “buzz” around the date.  Already the NFL saw the trades involving former Ravens OT Bryant McKinnie to the Miami Dolphins for picks, former Panthers LB Jon Beason to NY Giants for a late round draft pick and former Browns RB Trent Richardson to the Colts for picks including a 2014 first-rounder. 

Some of the rumored players that are said to be on the trading block include:

Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew
Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon
Bills QB Dennis Dixon
Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald
Falcons TE Tony Gonzalez
Browns WR Josh Gordon
Eagles RB LeSean McCoy
Lions QB Kellen Moore
Giants WR Hakeem Nicks

However I never hold my breath around the trade deadline, as most trades in the NFL occur on draft day — due to teams unwilling to “give-up” a player until the offseason.  If any trades do happen at the 2013 NFL Trade Deadline, expect them to be something like the 2005 deal that sent former Niners QB Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a future 6th rd pick .

Eagles Deal Ronnie Brown to Detroit, Reacquire Jerome Harrison by Matt Lombardo

Just before the NFL’s trade deadline the Eagles dealt Ronnie Brown to the Lions in exchange for Jerome Harrison who spent time in Philadelphia last year. 

Minutes before the NFL’s trading deadline at 4pm today the Eagles announced that they had reacquired running back Jerome Harrison along with a conditional seventh round pick from the Detroit Lions in exchange for running back Ronnie Brown.

Brown, signed in August simply wasn’t a fit in the Eagles offensive system. The obvious lowlight for Brown’s Philadelphia career was a fumble along the goal line in week four against the 49ers when he attempted to pass the ball backwards after being met at the pile in what he called a ‘run/pass option’ after the game. Since the fumble, Brown took just three snaps in the next two games.

During his brief stint in midnight green, Brown compiled 38 yards on 13 carries in just six games. 15 of Brown’s rushing yards came on one carry.

Meanwhile, Harrison returns to Philadelphia for a second tour of duty after being acquired last season from the Browns. Harrison signed as a free agent with the Lions this season and has 14 carries for 41 yards so far this year. Now in his second stint with the Eagles, Harrison averaged six yards per carry on 40 attempts last season and scored one touchdown in Philadelphia last season.

Harrison now will join Dion Lewis backing up feature back LeSean McCoy who rushed for 126 yards and a touchdown on a career high 28 carries against the Redskins on Sunday.

The draft choice picked up by the Eagles is a conditional seventh rounder in the 2013 draft.

 

*** Editor note:  This trade was called-off after Harrison failed the Eagles physical with a reported brain tumor.  Brown was returned to the Eagles and Harrison was place on the Non-Football Injury List by the Lions.  Also Taking It to the House would like to send our best to Jerome Harrison as he battles through his illness.

 

Matt Lombardo is the Philadelphia Eagles beat  reporter and host for 97.3 ESPN in Atlantic City, NJ. Matt can be reached on Twitter @MattLombardoPHL or by Email at MDLombardo@yahoo.com

2011 NFL Trade Deadline by Lloyd Vance

Today is the 2011 NFL Trade Deadline and some players, like Cowboys RB Tashard Choice, are rumored to be on the trading block

Today, Tuesday October 18th @ 4 PM EST is the 2011 NFL Trade Deadline.  And for the first time in a while, there is some “buzz” around the date.  Already the NFL saw the trades involving former Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd to the St. Louis Rams for a sixth-round pick that could become a fifth-round pick , former New York Jets WR Derrick Mason to the Tennessee Titans for a 7th rd pick,  and former Seahawks LB Aaron Curry going to the Oakland Raiders for a picks. 

Some of the rumored players that are said to be on the trading block include:

Dallas Cowboys RB Tashard Choice

KC Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey

Chicago Bears safety Cliff Harris

Denver Broncos QB Kyle Orton

Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer

Denver Broncos QB Brady Quinn

Philadelphia Eagles CB Asante Samuel

Philadelphia Eagles QB Vince Young

However I never hold my breath around the trade deadline, as most trades in the NFL occur on draft day.  If any trades do happen at the 2011 NFL Trade Deadline, expect them to be something like the 2005 deal that sent former Niners QB Tim Rattay to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a future 6th rd pick .

 

 

Lloyd Vance is the Editor  for Taking It to the House , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).  Lloyd can be reached on Twitter @lloydvance_nfl

Patriots Smartly Move On Without Moss

Receiver Randy Moss will now take his talents back to Minnesota after the Patriots traded him to the Vikings

The National Football League definitely is a “What Have You Done for Me Lately” entity and that fact was shown once again earlier this week.  In a surprising trade, the New England Patriots decided that indeed they could continue on in the 2010 NFL Season without former 7-time Pro Bowl receiver Randy Moss (2010 numbers of 9 receptions for 139 yards and 2 TDs on 22 targets). 

The Patriots shipped their malcontent receiver and a 7th rounder to the receiver-desperate Minnesota Vikings for a 3rd round pick in 2011.  One of the bigger surprises was that Moss (33) was even traded in the first place because we all know that typically NFL teams would rather keep a player around for roster protection (i.e. injuries), even if they are a pain in the butt. 

The NFL’s trading deadline is next week on October 19th, but usually the league’s greatest trading activity is around their yearly draft that occurs each April.  However right now picks are more important than free agent veteran-type players to the Pats as they try to reshape their team– drafted 12 players in 2010.  Moss had sulked his way through the first four weeks of the season and clearly was more concerned with his current contract situation – being paid $6.4M in 2010 which is the last year of a 2007 deal – than playing hard on the field. 

After a brief hiatus, “Bad Randy” was back from Oakland and had now reemerged in Foxboro, Mass.  There were several instances where Moss seemed uninterested and loafed it on patterns preferring to only show his Hall of Fame ability only when he wanted to.  Not even the presence of quarterback Tom “Captain America” Brady – currently ranked 2nd in the NFL in quarterback rating (109.0) — could get Moss back in line this time.

Though some thought Patriots head coach Belichick’s benching of Moss, Derrick Burgess, and Adalius Thomas — both are also no longer in New England —  in late 2009 for missing meetings due to “bad weather” was long over. Week 1 of the 2010 season should have been everything Patriots’ fans needed to see that it was going to be a long season if Moss was around.  The Patriots won a hard fought 38-24 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, but after the game Moss only wanted to talk about himself.

In a rambling new conference, he said, “I think around here in the New England area, a lot of people don’t want to see me do good. And the reason why, I don’t know … Sometimes you want your boss to tell you you’re doing a good job. If you’re doing a good job and think you’re doing a good job, you want to be appreciated. I really don’t think that, me personally, that I’m appreciated … I’m not here to start any trouble. I am here to play out the last year of my contract.”  The final straw had to have been a much-publicized halftime shouting match with Patriots QB’s coach Bill O’Brien in Week 4.

The trading of Moss showed that New England no longer is going to try the “All-Star” route -– came close to winning it all in 2007 after starting the season 18-0 with a free agent laden team before losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants -– in building their team.  The last two seasons have ended with identical 11-5 records in regular season.  But both seasons also had disappointing endings – No playoffs in 2008 and an embarrassing lopsided home playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens in 2009. You can see that now New England have modeled themselves as a “team” oriented group which goes back to their 2001 “team first” Super Bowl winning version. 

Belichick in re-tooling his team is leaning heavily on character veterans (i.e. Brady and WR Wes Welker) and building through the draft.  Already this season has shown draft pick dividends with players like WR Brandon Tate, DB Patrick Chung, TE Aaron Hernandez, and others making solid contributions.

Currently, the Patriots are 3-1 and are tied for the top of the AFC East with the New York Jets.  And their latest effort on Monday Night produced a solid 41-14 drubbing of the Dolphins, showed New England can get contributions from a variety of players — 3 Special Teams touchdowns.  Did I mention that Moss went catchless in his last game in Patriots’ Red, White, and Blue.  Even though the former three-time Patriots’ captain had put up some huge numbers — catching 259 passes for 4,904 yards and 50 touchdowns in 51 games — and returned to his Pro Bowl form in New England, it was the right decision to move-on from a selfish player who clearly did not want to be there any longer. 

Now the torch has been passed to players like Welker, Tate, Julian Edelman, and Danny Woodhead to fill-in for the sometimes motivated Moss.  There have even been whispers that the Patriots may go back to the future in recreating their “No Name” receiving corps from their former three Super Bowl winning teams.  There have been murmurs that New England is trying to trade for former big game hero Deion Branch, who has become a high-priced spare part in Seattle, before the October 19th deadline.

The other side to the trade is that Moss will now take his immense talent to the Minnesota Vikings (1-2) who greatly need a game-breaker.  Last season’s breakout receiver for the Vikings, Sidney Rice, is still battling a hip injury that could possibly keep him out until late November and there hasn’t been many other options for Vikings quarterback Brett Favre — 2 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 3 games.  Moss had been a player that Favre had coveted going back to when the two opposed each other in the NFC North. 

Favre even unsuccessfilly lobbied for the Green Bay Packers to rescue Moss from Oakland.  And now who blame No. 4 for wanting more weapons in Minnesota besides All-World running back Adrian Peterson –- currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards (392).  A receiving corps led by the likes of Percy Harvin (migraines), Bernard Berrian, Greg Lewis, Hank Baskett, and Greg Camirilo has produced only 27 receptions for 266 yards and 1 TD in three games so far including two loses.

But make no bones about it…. this is a gamble as Moss brings a Hall of Fame resume — 935 receptions for 14604 yards, 15.6 ypr average, and 151 TDS —  and some much-needed pedigree to pedestrian receiving corps, but you have to wonder exactly how hard will he play at the tail end of his career.  Rumored to want a deal on par with Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall — five years, $50 million dollars, $24M Guaranteed — 29 M in first 3 years.

For now Moss -– had caught 574 passes for 9,142 yards and 90 touchdowns his past Minnesota career — will get his familiar No. 84 Vikings jersey back and Favre will get the double-coverage worthy weapon that he has greatly desired for his 1-season unretirement.  “He can still go downtown and get the football, which is a stand-alone factor,” Vikings head coach Brad Childress said. “He could sprain his toe here sometime coming up, and you could say that he’s 33, it’s old age. But there’s always risk-reward. I don’t necessarily see this as boom or bust. I think he’s got some more football in him.”

“Moss in  the Twin Cities 2” will all begin this Monday when the Vikings take on the host New York Jets on ESPN and you know that Rex Ryan’s defense led by All-Pro corner Darrelle Revis will be waiting.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and Sports Journey Network , who is also an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

The NFL Trade Deadline passes with only two minor trades

gibson

There were only two trades at the NFL’s trading deadline and one involved young receiver Brandon Gibson going from the Eagles to the Rams for veteran LB Will Witherspoon

The 2009 NFL trade deadline came and went on October 20th at 4:00 PM EST with the same amount of fanfare accorded to the league’s annual Supplemental Draft (i.e. “Snooze Fest”) each July.  While names like San Diego Chargers LB Shawne Merriman, Cleveland Browns QB Brady Quinn, Kansas City Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey, Philadelphia Eagles WR’s Kevin Curtis & Reggie Brown, Kansas City Chiefs WR Dwayne Bowe, Buffalo Bill WR Terrell Owens, Cleveland Browns WR/KR, Josh Cribbs, Houston Texans CB Dunta Robinson and others were bantered around by the media there were only two minor trades with none involving the aforementioned set of high-profile players.  Remember unlike major league baseball GM’s, football personnel men don’t like to part with “their” players.  Most football GM types always fear injuries and lack of depth over a grueling 17-week regular season, so they usually keep players around, usually on their team’s inactive list, until the offseason even if they have no intention of really playing them – See  Eagles WR Reggie Brown and Bucs QB Byron Leftwich.

In looking for their third option in replacing injured MLB Stewart Bradley, the Philadelphia Eagles traded for former St. Louis Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon.  In return the Eagles shipped promising 2009 6th round pick WR Brandon Gibson and a 2010 5th round selection to the Rams.  Witherspoon should step-in right away to help combat a foot injury suffered by LB Omar Gaither and poor play in coverage by newly-signed veteran LB Jeremiah Trotter.  Witherspoon (29) has played 8 seasons in the NFL at both the weakside and middle linebacker positions with the Rams and Panthers, this season he had 33 tackles for the Rams. 

The Eagles thought that young receiver Gibson was expendable as he was buried on the team’s depth chart behind DeSean Jackson, Kevin Curtis, Jason Avant, Jeremy Maclin, and Reggie Brown.  Gibson had emerged in training camp and the preseason as a good target, but the team never found a role for him — inactive for all 5 regular season games – even though he was never placed on their practice squad due to fears that another team would grab him. “I think [Gibson] is going to have a great career in the NFL,” Eagles coach Andy Reid said after the trade. Gibson now joins fellow former Eagles WR Danny Amendola in a depleted Rams receiving corps – starters Donnie Avery (hip) and Laurent Robinson (ACL –season) are both out.

The other trade on deadline day involved the Kansas City Chiefs continuing to clean house of the Carl Peterson/Herman Edwards regime.  The Chiefs sent underachieving DT Tank Tyler, who was a former third-round pick and an ill-fit for their new scheme, to the Carolina Panthers for a fifth-round pick in 2010.  Tyler had gotten some attention when the Chiefs were featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks during the 2007 preseason, but he never lived up to his hype as a quality “Space Eater”.  Tyler had started just two games for the Chiefs this season and now the Panthers will be looking for him to help replace NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu (out for the season with a torn Achilles’ tendon).

The only personnel moves left now for teams are 1) Claiming Players off Waivers, 2) Raiding other teams Practice Squads (players taken must be on their new team’s 53-man roster for a minimum of 3 weeks) or 3) Signing street free agents (higher profile players still available include WR Joey Galloway, WR Marvin Harrison, LB Derrick Brooks, and WR Matt Jones).

2009 NFL Season – Week 6 Preview

umenyiora

DE Osi Umenyiora will lead the Giants Defense against the Saints high-powered offense in Week 6’s featured game

Week 6 of the 2009 NFL Season is upon us and hopefully this week will bring some much-needed better match-ups than Week 5.  Last week, the NFL needed some more spicing up as there were six games where the winning team won by 19 or more points.  Even though the laughers last week did not hurt the NFL’s TV ratings.  Everyone, including yours truly, is looking forward to action on the field that equals the inordinate amount of weekly hype surrounding the NFL.  However I am not holding my breath just yet for more competitive games this week as six of the 10 games being played feature favorites of 9 or more points.

The  good news is that as bad as some pitiful teams are in the NFL (St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, KC Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, and others), there are also five undefeated teams ( Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants) entering Week 6.  Vikings QB Brett Favre said about undefeated, “This is the first time in my career to be 5-0, I’m very proud of this team.  It’s important to start fast.  But it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.  It only gets tougher from here on out.”  The five unblemished teams are the most undefeated clubs through the first five weeks of a season in NFL history.  We will see how long each of these teams can continue chasing the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins, but despite the red-hot Colts being on a bye, there will be at least one less undefeated after Sunday.  The reason being, the undefeated NY Giants and New Orleans Saints will do battle in the Bayou to see who is the NFC’s top team.  The Giants-Saints match-up is one of the most intriguing games thus far (See Featured Game).

Despite the entertaining Colts, Cowboys, Niners and Dolphins being on a bye, the Giants-Saints and a few other games fans are counting on to carry this week’s action. The Seahawks hosting the Cardinals and Broncos-Chargers are two good West Coast battles, but most fans are high on a key inter-conference battle. The Minnesota Vikings (5-0) host the angry Baltimore Ravens (3-2) in a game that will pit two former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid disciples in Ravens head coach John Harbaugh and Vikings head coach Brad Childress.  This Sunday’s game at the Metrodome will be all about the running game as both the Vikings and Ravens love to run the ball and stop the run, which are always big keys to winning in my book.  Since the start of the 2007 season, the Vikings led by All-World RB Adrian Peterson have been the league’s best in rushing offense (150.1 yards per game) and run defense (78.2).  Meanwhile, the Ravens’ ground game ranks fourth (130.8) over that span and their rushing defense is second (79.7).  There is also the interesting subplot of two surefire hall of famers on opposite sides of the ball in this match-up as Vikings QB Brett Favre (103-149, 1069 yards, 9 TDs, 2 INTs, and 104.1 rating) and Ravens ILB Ray Lewis go at each other.

There are is also a great showdown of two of the NFL’s best passers as strong arm Bears QB Jay Cutler and his team travel to Atlanta face Matt Ryan’s Falcons.  And NFL fans cannot forget that there are six division rivalry games (Detroit at Green Bay, Carolina at Tampa Bay, Cleveland at Pittsburgh, Arizona at Seattle, Buffalo at NY Jets, and undefeated at San Diego on Monday Night Football) as the teams start taking on familiar foes that will hopefully lead to more competitive games.  There are also several reunion games as former players and coaches renew “acquaintances” and some may not be so friendly.  Seattle Seahawks RB Edgerrin James will go against the Arizona Cardinals, who benched him for most of last season and then put him on the 30-year old running back scrap heap this past offseason. Jacksonville Jaguars WR Tory Holt goes against the St. Louis Rams — played for 10 seasons and won a Super Bowl title — but the Rams new regime thought his knees were shot.  Holt totaled 12,670 receiving yards with the Rams and he will become just the sixth player in NFL history to face a team for which he had 10,000+ receiving yards. Holt is also 34 receiving yards from 13,000 in his career.  Lastly, New Orleans Saints TE Jeremy Shockey goes against the NY Giants, who didn’t even want him on the sidelines when they won Super Bowl XLII and soon after sent him packing to Bourbon Street.

The factor that everyone hopes will lead to more competitive games is “adjustments”.  The NFL is a copycat league where teams can catch-up quickly and adjustments are the only way to stay ahead of the pack and combat falling behind.  With the third round of bye weeks, it is time for the “good” coaches to make the adjustments necessary to get their teams back on track or keeping them at the top.  Remember early season results are important (don’t want to get too far behind), but good coaches realize that they want their team peaking in the championship months of November and December when it is playoff push time. 

But all is not lost for most NFL teams going into Week 6 –- well at those with 1 or more wins…yes even the in-fighting Washington Redskins (2-3).  Since the current 12-team playoff format was instituted in 1990, 11 teams have rebounded from being at least three games under .500 after the season’s first five weeks or later to qualify for the postseason.  Of those 11, six won the division, including last year’s San Diego Chargers, who won the AFC West after a 4-8 start.  Remember last year the Indianapolis Colts record stood at 3-4 going into a crucial game against the AFC champion New England Patriots, Peyton Manning and the Colts answered the bell winning 18-15 then rattled off eight straight wins to make the playoffs with a 12-4 record.

Some Lloyd’s Leftovers for Week 6 include:

2009 NFL season has been one of turnarounds – Everyone knows about the woes of former 2008 playoff teams the former AFC South champion Tennessee Titans (from 13-3 to 0-5 this season) and former NFC South champion Carolina Panthers (from 12-4 to 1-3).  But there is the unique case of Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre.  Last season for the New York Jets, the graybeard quarterback go off to a slow start throwing only 2 TDs and having 9 interceptions on the way to an NFL leading 22 INTs for the season.  This season Favre is 5-0 for the first time in his career and his passing numbers are the exact inverse from last year at this time – 9 TDs and 2 INTs.

Dome Sweet Dome – With two touchdown passes against the Ravens on Sunday, Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre will record his 11th consecutive two-plus passing touchdown game at the Metrodome (eight with Green Bay, three with Minnesota).   Favre already holds the NFL record with at least two touchdowns in 12 consecutive games at Lambeau Field from 1994-96, which was equaled by Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner at the Trans World Dome (now Edward Jones Dome) from 1999-2000.

Injuries will be a factor in Week 6 – As is the case with every NFL week, injuries are going to play a huge part in many games.  Returning are Bills LB Paul Posluszny (forearm), Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart (Achilles), Steelers RB Willie Parker (toe), and Steelers S Troy Polamalu (knee).  Some bigger names listed as either “Out” or “Questionable” are Cardinals WR Steve Breaston (knee), Seahawks OT Walter Jones (knee), Seahawks OT Sean Locklear (ankle), Seahawks OG Rob Sims (ankle), Ravens OT Jared Gaither (neck), Ravens DT Haloti Ngata (back), Vikings DE Ray Edwards (hamstring), Vikings OG Steve Hutchinson (back), Vikings WR Percy Harvin (shoulder), Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery (hamstring), Jets OT Damien Woody (foot), Bears LB Hunter Hillenmeyer (rib), Lions QB Matthew Stafford (knee), Texans LB Brian Cushing (foot), Chiefs OT Branden Albert (ankle), Redskins DE Phillip Daniels (biceps), Redskins OT Chris Samuels (neck), Titans CB Cortland Finnegan (hamstring), Patriots OT Matt Light (ankle), and Patriots RB Fred Taylor (ankle)

NFL Trade Deadline is approaching – Tuesday October 20th is the NFL Trade Deadline and for the first time in a while, there is some “buzz” around the date.  Already the NFL saw the trades involving former Browns receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for picks and former Bucs D-lineman Gaines Adams to the Chicago Bears for a 2010 2nd rd pick.  Watch for the names like Bills WR Terrell Owens, Eagles WR Kevin Curtis, Titans QB Vince Young, Chiefs DT Glenn Dorsey, Browns QB Brady Quinn, Browns WR/KR Josh Cribbs and Chargers LB Shawn Merriman to possibly be changing teams around the deadline.  Of course I never hold my breath around the trade deadline, as trades like 2005 deal where former Niners QB Tim Rattay went to the Tampa Bay Bucs for a future 6th rd pick at the trade deadline are usually the norm.

NFL Week 6 – Featured Game

 New York Giants  (5-0) at New Orleans Saints (4-0), 1:00 PM ET (FOX)

 Broadcast Team: Thom Brennaman, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver (Field reporter)

“The Battle of the Unbeatens” will take center stage this week.  “This is certainly the game of the week,” said NFL Network analyst Steve Mariucci.  The former NFL head coach added, “It’s a battle of undefeated teams and it could be a preview of what’s to come in the playoffs.  These two clubs will probably meet at some point in the postseason.”

 The Giants have feasted on a rather light early season schedule, including a 44-7 blowout of the hapless Raiders last week and are 5-0 for the third time in team history.  The G-Men are also 3-0 on the road this season and boast the NFL’s top-ranked defense (210.6 yards allowed per game) and second-ranked offense (417.4 yards per game).  The Saints, who are coming off a bye in Week 5, are no slouch either — third 4-0 start in franchise history.  The NFC South leaders have combined a high-scoring offense – a league-high 36 points per game – with an aggressive defense – an NFL-best 13 takeaways – this season.  We always knew with Pro Bowl QB Drew Brees (87-129, 1031 yards, 9 TDs, and 2 INTs), RB Pierre Thomas, scatback Reggie Bush, and WR Marques Colston could score points.  But this season the story of the Saints’ 2009 season has been a defense led by new defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and free agent pick-up S Darren Sharper (NFL leading 5 INTs).

The Giants despite a weak schedule are clearly a complete team (offense, defense, and special teams) and have maintained the number #1 spot in my Power Ranking for a couple weeks.  “This game is going to be a real test for us,” said Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce.  The Giants defensive leader added, “The Saints are going to be prepared.  They’re a well-coached team.  They’re playing well on both offense and defense.  It’s one of our biggest challenges so far.”  On offense, the Giants have balance led by QB Eli Manning (87-135, 1212 yards (2nd in NFC), 10 TDs, and 2 INTs) and Thunder-and-Lightning RBs Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw.  Plus WRs Mario Manningham and Steve Smith (NFL leading 37 receptions, 481 yards, and 4 TDs) have made everyone forget Plaxico Burress.  On defense, the Giants game is pressure, pressure, and more pressure from a D-line led by Mathias Kiwanuka, Osi Umenyiora, and Justin Tuck (3.5 sacks) that usually leads to turnovers.

Injuries are also a big part of this game as the Giants injury list includes LB Michael Boley (knee), DT Chris Canty (calf), and CB Aaron Ross (hamstring) – all are probably out.  Conversely the Saints maybe missing CB Malcolm Jenkins (ankle), CB Leigh Torrence (hamstring), T Jermon Bushrod (knee, ankle), G Jahri Evans (toe), and RB Mike Bell (knee)

LV’s Pick:  Everyone will talk about all of the offensive weapons in this game including QBs Eli Manning and Drew Brees.  But to me this battle comes down to each team’s offensive line.  The Giants O-line has been together for 30+ consecutive starts and the veteran group will need to protect Manning (heel) and get Bradshaw and Jacobs going.  The Saints defensive line has been getting pressure from ends Charles Grant (4 sacks) and Will Smith, so the G-Men’s line led by center Chris Snee will have their hands full.  The Saints group has some injuries, but after a week off they will need to be ready because the Giants have the best D-line rotation in the league.  Many are predicting a high-scoring affair, but I believe both teams will look to establish the run and look for turnovers on defense.  Despite maybe a big play or two from the Saints, I still believe that the Giants’ NFC East bred physicality will be the difference.  Expect a big day from Bradshaw and Jacobs on offense and their attacking D-line. – Giants 24, Saints 20

NFL Week 6  

SUN, OCT 18 

Houston at Cincinnati 1:00 PM (CBS)

Detroit at Green Bay 1:00 PM (FOX)

Baltimore at Minnesota 1:00 PM (CBS)

NY Giants at New Orleans 1:00 PM (FOX)  

Carolina at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM (FOX)

Kansas City at Washington 1:00 PM (CBS) 

St. Louis at Jacksonville 1:00 PM (FOX) 

Cleveland at Pittsburgh 1:00 PM (CBS)

Arizona at Seattle 4:05 PM (FOX)

Philadelphia at Oakland 4:05 PM (FOX)

Buffalo at NY Jets 4:15 PM (CBS)

Tennessee at New England 4:15 PM (CBS)  

Chicago at Atlanta 8:20 PM (NBC)

MON, OCT 19 

Denver at San Diego 8:30 PM (ESPN)

 Bye: Dallas, Indianapolis, Miami, San Francisco

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)

Trading Deadline is not silent as WR Roy Williams lands in Dallas

(Philadelphia, Pa) — Every year at NFL trade deadline time there is a lot of banter of this player or that player moving, with usually little activity.  But 2008 will go down as the year a legitimate Pro Bowl level player changed hands.  With everyone expecting All-World Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez to change hands (never did happened as I guess Chiefs GM Carl Peterson asked for too much in return), surprising it was the lowly Detroit Lions who became major players.  The winless Lions traded unhappy receiver Roy Williams and a 7th Rd Pick to the Dallas Cowboys for a 2009 first, third and sixth round pick.

Willams after a soap opera offseason filled with holdout talk had struggled this season with only 17 catches for 232 yards and 1 touchdown, but much of his lack of production was due to injuries and poor play at the quarterback position.  The interesting thing now is how will the big physical receiver fit in with a Cowboys team that already had 13 Pro Bowl players in 2007 including Terrell Owens.  T.O we all know has been a distraction at times this season (complained after having only 17 passes directed his way in a week 4 loss to the Redskins) so it will be interesting to see how America’s favorite popuri of star players fits together or explodes.  With the addition of Williams to offensive weapons T.O, running back Felix Jones, running back Marion Barber, and tight end Jason Witten the cupboard is full, but a hand injury to quarterback Tony Romo (out 4 to 5 weeks) casts a huge shadow of doubt and desperation on the Cowboys.  It was a total surprise to me that the Cowboys even went for another  receiver when they greatly needed secondary help (see Pacman Jones suspension and Terrence Newman’s groin injury) and another back-up quarterback.   All the fun will start for the Cowboys and veteran quarterback Brad Johnson this week as they face the more dangerous than expected Rams in St. Louis.

There was one other trade in the NFL on Tuesday as the Buffalo Bills traded former 2006 first round pick (26th overall) defensive tackle John McCargo to the Indianapolis Colts for a fourth-round pick. The Bills basically gave up on McCargo after a couple of injury plagued and underachieving seasons (only 2.5 career sacks).  However the deal does make sense for the Colts who were starved for defensive tackles and McCargo is a quick penetrating guy, who should fit in well with DE Dwight Freeney and DT Raheem Brock.

 

Lloyd Vance is a Sr. NFL Writer for Taking It to the House and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA)