By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus NEW HAVEN (BASN) —...
BASN NFL Picks: Week Seven
By Tony McClean
Updated: October 18, 2007
NEW HAVEN, Ct. – While mainstream media continues its godlike worship with guys like Tom Brady and Tony Romo, other writers are bemoaning the fact that in their eyes, there’s a shortage of quality quarterbacks in the league.
In a SI article entitled “Can’t Anyone Here Play This Game?”, Damon Hack states “What once was the most glamorous position in sports has become a circus of fallen stars, bumped-up second stringers, unprovens, and never-weres”.
Hack continues. “Lets put it this way: Tavaris Jackson? Cleo Lemon?” While Hack did take shots at other quarterbacks, his clear cheap shot at Jackson and Lemon harkens back to what Donovan McNabb stated earlier this season about the unrealistic over scrutiny of black quarterbacks.
Now, I’m not trying to say that Jackson and Lemon will have their busts in Canton one day, but to dismiss them as inferior plays right into the very essence of No. 5′s comments.
Last week in a 41-31 shootout loss to Cleveland, Lemon threw for 256 yards (24 of 43) and contributed four touchdowns (two running, two passing TDs). How was he rewarded? The Dolphins traded his best receiver (Chris Chambers) to the Chargers.
As for Jackson, his overall numbers (two TDs, five picks) have not been impressive. But the Alabama State standout has also been battling hamstring issues all season as well. To give up on him before he’s even played an entire season would be a bit silly. With Hack’s thinking, Mr. Brady would have been out of the league before he got his chance.
Again, I’m not gonna tell you that Lemon and Jackson are Pro Bowl bound, but they deserve just as much a chance as guys like Vinny Testaverde, Gus Frerotte, Mark Brunell, and others.
Just my two cents.
FACTOID OF THE WEEK
The New England Patriots are averaging 38.3 points per game this season (230 total). If they reach that level this week against the Miami Dolphins, they would become the third-highest-scoring NFL team in history over a season’s first seven games. The top three in the category: 2000 St. Louis Rams (296), 1950 Los Angeles Rams (285) and 1966 Dallas Cowboys (266).
Rookie running back Adrian Peterson of the Vikings currently leads the NFL in rushing. Six rookie running backs have led the NFL since 1950. Which one of these players didn’t lead the league in rushing as a rookie?
A. Jim Brown
B. Eric Dickerson
C. Ottis Anderson
D. George Rogers
(The answer comes at the end of this column).
LAST WEEK: 9-4 (43-30 overall)
Looks like we’re recovering nicely from that snag from a few weeks ago. There’s also no truth to the rumor that I bought a Jimmy Rollins voodoo doll either. (I’m saving that for the 2008 baseball season!!!). In fact a hamstring injury here (VY) and a fumble recovery there (Skins), and we might have gotten into double digit wins. But hey as we always like to say, I’ll take it.
VIKINGS at COWBOYS
Upset alert?? Chew on this. Adrian Peterson, a Texas native whose mama didn’t let him grow up be a Cowboy, comes to Big D as the league’s leading rusher after he singlehandedly beating Da Bears by himself last week. We all know what happened to the Boys at home last week. The whupping New England handed Dallas last week was very similar to last year’s thumping at the hands of the Saints. They would lose the next home game following that loss. Can history repeat? Me thinks so.
BUCCANEERS at LIONS
What’s more surprising: the Rockies in the World Series or the Bucs sitting in first place? Tampa has already matched their win total from last year while the Boys from Motown are two weeks removed from a thumping at the hands of Washington. The Bucs have won six of their last seven meetings, including four straight, against their former division foes. I’m not sure if it’s karma, but Tampa is doing something right.
CHIEFS at RAIDERS
After being outscored 40-13 in losing its first two games, Reverend Herm’s bunch has won three of its last four to move into a tie with San Diego atop the AFC West. Yeah, the offense is still predictable (run LJ left, run LJ right, run LJ up the middle, throw to TG on third down), but folks haven’t been able to stop it. Up steps the Raiders, whose defense just happens to be the fifth-worst in the league against the run. After last week’s loss at Qualcomm, Oakland has now lost 16 straight division games. Ooops, make that 17.
STEELERS at BRONCOS
Two weeks ago, the Steelers dismissed Seattle 21-0. Come Sunday night, Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu, and Santorio Holmes will be back in the lineup. As for the Broncos, they’re still trying to get the number of that San Diego bus that handed them their worst home loss since 1966. Mike Tomlin’s bunch hasn’t been getting the hype that the Pats and Colts have gotten this year. And don’t ya get the feeling that alright with them. Especially after another win.
COLTS at JAGUARS
Way back in December when the Colts last visited Jacksonville, Peyton Manning failed to throw a TD pass and the Jaguars ran for 375 yards in a 44-17 victory. This time they meet on a Monday Night in which the Jags are looking to get themselves back in the overall AFC picture. Keep this in mind: Jacksonville has yet to allow an opponent to score more than 17 points. They’ve forced seven turnovers over the last three games, and have held teams below 100 rushing yards in each of their four wins. Just a hunch that this will be enough for a Jags win.
Dolphins over Patriots: The upset special of the season.
Seahawks over Rams: I wonder how Andre Woodson looks in blue and gold.
Saints over Falcons: Then again, Woodson may be more suited for black and red.
Ravens over Bills: Baltimore eeks out another ugly road win.
49ers over Giants: I know Alex Smith is still out, but I think San Fran can pull off the upset.
Titans over Texans: If VY is healthy, this will be a bit easier for Tennessee.
Redskins over Cardinals: We’re guessing that Grandpa Gibbs’ boys won’t be as sloppy as last week.
Bengals over Jets: The lesser or two evils pick.
Eagles over Bears: Chi-town is still in shock over last week’s Viking loss and the Cubbies flop.
TRIVIA ANSWER: C. In 1979, rookie running back Ottis Anderson ran for 1,605 yards for the St. Louis Cardinals. However, it was Earl Campbell’s 1,697 yards that led the NFL that season.
Byes: Carolina, Cleveland, Green Bay, San Diego.