October 1, 2016

Around the League, Week Two

by Jeremy Gottlieb, Patriots Daily Staff

September 23, 2009

Oh to be young and a moron.

Not yet-49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree possesses great hands, great speed and great talent, but not much upstairs. How else could one explain his once peculiar, now utterly ludicrous decision to keep holding out following being selected 10th overall by the Niners in last April’s draft? Apparently, it’s because Crabtree and his agent/fellow genius Eugene Parker, think that even though the former Texas Tech star was taken later than another wideout (Oakland’s Darius Heyward-Bay), he should be paid as much if not more because he’s just that good.

San Fran is offering Crabs five years at $20 million with $16 million guaranteed. The country may be in one of the worst economic downturns of all time and unemployment may be near double digit percentile points, but Crabs and Parker don’t care. They have told the Niners to take their $16 million guarantee and shove it up their red and gold asses. If Heyward -Bay is getting $23.5 million guaranteed for getting picked three spots higher, then Crabs should get that much too, if not more. After all, he’s better, even though he’s never played a down in the NFL.

Crabs and his camp are now threatening to hold out all year if they don’t get what they want. This is where I begin to feel my intelligence quotient decreasing just by sort of following this story. Do Crabs and Parker actually think that by re-entering the draft next year, some team will be even dumber than they and pick Crabs higher, thus giving him a higher guarantee? If I were an owner/coach/personnel guy, I’d do the opposite and let this petulant, entitled schmuck sweat it out and not give him any chance whatsoever to get what he thinks he deserves.

Look, the bottom line is that Crabs is never, ever going to get a better offer than the one from the Niners that he’s so cheerfully pissing away. It’s not bothering the team that he’s not around – they’re 2-0 with both wins in their division and are one of the early great stories of the season. And every day Crabs continues to sit and pout, he’s losing more and more leverage, cache and credibility. So enjoy continuing to sit around, Crabs. Don’t eat too many cheeseburgers.

This Week’s Five Best Teams

1. New York Giants: Eli Manning throws for 330, two TDs and no picks and leads a fourth quarter comeback. The two no-name receivers (their names are Steve Smith and Mario Manningham) each catch 10 passes for well over 100 yards and a score. The defense has a touchdown in each of its first two games. And they are already 2-0 in the NFC East. Yep, the Giants are the best right now, no question about it.

2. Baltimore: In two games the Ravens vaunted defense has allowed 50 points, an unheard of total for them over the last several years. But it’s OK because second-year QB Joe Flacco has completed 62.3 percent of his passes for 497 yards and five TDs, making the Ravens a real threat on the other side of the ball for the first time since they moved from Cleveland.

3. New Orleans: Drew Brees may have thrown six TD passes and led his offense to 45 points in Week 1, but that was against the Lions. After posting another 48 points last week on the road against the much tougher Eagles, it’s time to give the Saints their due.

4. Indianapolis: The Colts lost their No. 2 receiver, then held the ball for less than a full quarter at Miami this past Monday, but won anyway. As long as Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark are still running around, these kinds of results hardly surprise.

5. New York Jets: Man does it hurt to have both New York teams in the Top 5. But after seeing the way the Jets defense has flown around in their two wins, I have to give credit to fellow blowhards Rex Ryan and Bart Scott.

This Week’s Five Worst Teams

1. Cleveland: I wonder if all of the excruciatingly long suffering Browns fans knew what was in store for them when the league gave them back their team a couple of years after the previous edition moved to Baltimore. I doubt any of them expected/longed for the likes of EricMangini.

2. St. Louis: The 1991 Colts set an NFL record by scoring just 143 points in 16 games. I’m not joking when I say the Rams are going to push that mark.

3. Jacksonville: The Jags home opener against the Cardinals was blacked out on local TV, as they couldn’t sell out their stadium. They then went out and gave fans a great reason to come out by getting bombed, 31-17, a game in which the trailed 31-3 at one point. And the nightmare continues for Jags fans – coach Jack DelRio’s contract runs through 2011 which means there’s no way owner Wayne Weaver will do the right thing and shitcan him. Weaver would never eat Del Rio’s salary if he can’t even sell tickets.

4. Detroit: Mark it down, degenerate gamblers. This is the week the Lions win with the Redskins coming to town. And they’re going to win big.

5. Kansas City: The Chiefs have about five guys out of 53 who can actually play, but they still outgained the Raiders 406-199 at home last week. So naturally, they lost anyway.

What’s Trendy

Kurt Warner, Arizona: While Larry Fitzgerald’s imbecile little brother was tweeting about how old and lousy Warner is, the Cards QB was only setting a league record for accuracy, completing 92.3 percent of his passes (24-of-26) for 243 yards and two TDs in a big road win for Arizona over the Jaguars.

Antwan Odom, Cincinnati; Elvis Dumervil, Denver: Odom scored five sacks for the Bengals at Green Bay while Dumervil registered four for the reborn Broncos against Cleveland. These are pretty important accomplishments for two teams that haven’t exactly lit it up on defense the past few years.

Johnny Knox, Chicago: The Bears speedy little rookie out of that college football powerhouse Albilene Christian actually made Jay Cutler look good, catching six passes for 70 yards and a game-tying TD against the ferocious Steelers defense.

What’s Not

Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia: You’re not going to believe this, Philly fans… Westbrook got hurt on Sunday! He’s questionable this week with an ankle injury. It’s unbelievable, isn’t it? Seriously, is one week of this immensely talented guy’s career ever going to go by when he isn’t hurt?

The Dallas D: In Week 1, the Cowboys allowed the Bucs (the Bucs??!!) 450 total yards, then followed it up by being shredded again courtesy of the Giants and Eli Manning (427 more yards). They also have yet to register a sack or turnover and this is all on the heels of coach Wade Phillips – supposedly a defensive mastermind – taking over the signal calling.

Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh: Why did the Steelers lose to the not-very-good Bears, their first loss since Week 16 last year? Because Reed, normally as sure-footed as it gets, snap-hooked two chippies on the soggy Soldier Field turf.

And finally…

San Francisco, the Jets and Denver are all 2-0. Tennessee is 0-2 and the Patriots and Chargers are each about five minutes from being there too. What does it all mean? It means that the first two weeks in the NFL mean nothing. Sure, it’s good copy that teams thought to have no chance like the Broncos and Niners haven’t lost yet while a team like the Titans, who didn’t lose their first game last year until mid-November, are where they are. But talk to me about all three teams in a month, when patterns and trends have been established, when more injuries and their consequences have taken hold and when quarterbacks Kyle Orton of Denver and Shaun Hill of San Fran have gotten a few more chances to be their truly mediocre selves. Just look at last year’s Bills, who started 4-0 and 5-1 and missed the playoffs. It’s too soon to know too much. So let’s set the over/under on wins for the Broncos and Niners at 8. I’ll take the under.

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