First and 10: It ain’t easy being green

The Jets owe the Eagles a debt of gratitude. If it wasn’t for that nightmare of a “Dream Team” in Philly, the spotlight would be a little hotter on that other green team with high pre-season expectations. The Jets are sinking fast after the Patriots handed them a third straight loss on Sunday, and three veteran wide receivers are denying reports that they’ve gone to coach Rex Ryan to complain about offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

Here’s what else is on tap for Monday:

  • Sunday might be remembered as the beginning of the Tim Tebow era in Denver. Find out why Pat Kirwan thinks the Broncos should use the bye week to make Tebow their starter.
  • Al Davis‘ spirit was alive and well in Houston on Sunday, where the Oakland Raiders notched an emotional upset over the Texans thanks to a last-minute interception in the end zone one day after Davis’ death at age 82.
  • Adrian Peterson rushed for 122 yards and scored three touchdowns in a 34-10 Vikings victory Sunday, but was he the top fantasy player of Week 5? Cast your vote now.

First and 10: Last chance to vote

Will Cam Newton finally win the Pepsi Rookie of the Week award? Which quarterback and running back should be the FedEx Air & Ground Players of Week 4? Which of last Sunday’s dramatic comebacks deserves to be the GMC Never Say Never Moment of the Week? Voting closes at midday Friday, so log on and make your choice today.

Here’s what else is on tap for Friday:

  • With the second quarter of the NFL season about to kick off, Pat Kirwan takes a look at Week 5′s matchups and wonders if the Vikings or Colts might be about to get their first win. Plus, get ready for all this weekend’s action at NFL.com’s exclusive Game Center.
  • Aaron Rodgers is off to one of the best starts in NFL history. Find out what he thinks about Green Bay’s chances to repeat, why the team didn’t hold player-led workouts during the lockout, and Brett Favre‘s critical comments, in an excerpt from this Sunday’s “GameDay Morning” interview on NFL Network.
  • Speaking of Rodgers, his verbal war with Falcons receiver Roddy White is heating up again as the teams prepare to face off this week, after White said last season that the Falcons were better than the Packers despite Green Bay’s 48-21 playoff win.
  • With Chad Henne out for the season, the winless Miami Dolphins signed Sage Rosenfels to back up — or possibly compete with — new starter Matt Moore.
  • Patriots receiver Wes Welker has been a nightmare to cover this season, so is Jets CB Darrelle Revis up to the challenge? Steve Wyche breaks down Week 5′s key matchups.
  • The Eagles defense has the talent to play better than it has showed during the team’s 1-3 start, and Brian Billick says if Philly’s D wants to stop playing like dogs they must adopt the “cat.”
  • One common word keeps popping up in describing the Detroit Lions’ run from 0-16 in 2008 to a 4-0 start in 2011. Albert Breer shares what it is.

First and 10: A Cinderella story

You know the legend: Kurt Warner goes from bagging groceries to setting NFL records and winning a Super Bowl for the St. Louis Rams. Relive the incredible story of Warner’s rise from NFL Europe to NFL MVP when the documentary “Kurt Warner: A Football Life” premieres Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:

  • Kurt Warner terrorized defenses for years, but the other side of the ball gets equal time Thursday when veterans Brian Dawkins and Jason Taylor discuss the league’s hot topics on NFL Network’s “Total Access” Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.
  • Cam Newton has picked up the ins and outs of playing quarterback in the NFL faster than anyone expected, but as Jeff Darlington reports, he still hasn’t learned how to accept losing.
  • With their 4-0 football team riding high and preparing for a big division showdown Monday night, the Detroit Zoo is making a statement by feeding a Chicago Bear to the lions. Really.
  • While the rest of the world is beating up on Tony Romo for his shortcomings, Kurt Warner has his sights set on another underperforming passer — the Jets’ Mark Sanchez.

First and 10: Voters pass on Newton

If the first four weeks of the season are any indication, Cam Newton might well be the NFL’s rookie of the year. But despite his record passing pace, the Panthers’ exciting young quarterback has yet to be voted the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week. Will this be the week he captures the honor? You can help decide by logging on to vote.

Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

  • The Detroit Lions hit the big stage in Big D last Sunday, and their stirring comeback (or the Cowboys’ shocking collapse, depending on your point of view) was the talk of the league. If you missed the game, catch it on NFL Network Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET.
  • The Miami Dolphins held talks and/or workouts with veteran free agent quarterbacks David Garrard, Jake Delhomme, Trent Edwards and Brody Croyle on Tuesday as they searched for a possible replacement for injured starter Chad Henne.
  • Redskins tight end Chris Cooley breached NFL etiquette this week and rubbed salt in Tony Romo‘s wounds, calling the Cowboys quarterback a choker and revelling in his NFC East rival’s 24-point collapse against the Lions.
  • Find out who NFL Network’s “Playbook” crew of Sterling Sharpe, Brian Baldinger, Matt Millen and Joe Theismann are picking to win this week’s key matchups.
  • Check out Rich Eisen‘s latest podcast with guests Wes Welker, who’s on pace to shatter NFL receiving records, and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” writer Jeff Schaffer, whose fantasy football-inspired comedy “The League” has its third-season premiere Thursday night on FX.

First and 10: Power (Poll) to the Packers

The Buffalo Bills’ upset at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals dropped them from the heady ranks of the top 5 in NFL.com’s latest Power Poll, but otherwise there wasn’t much change at the top, with Green Bay and New Orleans leading the way. Find out where your team stands in our experts’ rankings, and log on to enter your own choices in our fan rankings.

Here’s what else is on tap for Tuesday:

  • With efforts like Monday night’s 127 yards rushing in a victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Tampa Bay running back LeGarrette Blount is making fans forget his troubled past and look forward to his bright future, writes NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington.
  • If you missed Sunday’s action, you can catch the best games again on NFL Network. Tuesday offers Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers going up against Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears at 8 p.m. ET, followed by San Francisco’s shocking comeback against Philadelphia at 9:30 p.m. ET.
  • Fans of teams suffering losing starts to the season are already up in arms. Listen in to radio callers in Dallas, New York, Philadelphia and Minnesota as they rant about their teams.
  • Is your team plagued by quarterback struggles? It’s never too soon to think about the future, and NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks offers up his weekly look at future prospects in his College Stock Watch.

First and 10: War is hell; football is a game

There’s nothing like losing a bunch of football games in a row to make otherwise reasonable people lose all perspective. That appears to be the case for Minnesota Vikings receiver Bernard Berrian, who told off a wounded Iraq war vet who criticized Berrian on Twitter, and Pennsylvania Gov. (and notoriously vocal Eagles fan) Ed Rendell, who said the 1-3 Eagles need someone to inspire them like Todd Beamer inspired Flight 93′s passengers on 9/11.

Here’s what else is on tap for Monday:

  • In Sunday’s most controversial play, Giants receiver Victor Cruz wasn’t touched when he went to the ground and let go of the ball, but the officials ruled him down. Were they right?

First and 10: Approaching the quarter pole

Week 4 marks the end of the first quarter of the season, a significant landmark for most coaches, and that means a lot of teams will have their first-quarter “grade” on the line when they take the field this weekend, says NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan. Get ready for all this weekend’s contests with NFL.com’s exclusive Game Center.

Here’s what else is on tap for Friday:

  • Former Redskins quarterback and NFL Network analyst Joe Theismann has some harsh words for Bears wide receiver Roy Williams in the latest episode of “No Huddle.”
  • Congress has invited NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith and the chief executive of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to Capitol Hill for a discussion on human growth hormone.
  • Quarterback stability and the presence of strong playmakers have done wonders for the Raiders’ pirate crew. Jason La Canfora breaks down the factors that have brought the swagger back to Oakland.
  • In his latest Pick Six, Adam Rank offers an alternative to the Pro Football Hall of Fame for players who feel slighted about not making it to Canton.
  • Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being difference-makers. Bucky Brooks looks at guys to watch in Week 4.

Want to get NFL.com’s top 10 headlines sent to your inbox daily? Click here for details.

First and 10: Joined in life, and in death

The Philadelphia Eagles defense from 1987-92 was one of the greatest in NFL history, and at the heart of it were Reggie White and Jerome Brown, two players whose legacy you can remember in a special documentarythat premieres on NFL Network Thursday at 10 p.m. ET.

Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:

  • Who would have thought a year ago that Buffalo and Detroit would be among the NFL’s elite? Tune into NFL Network’s “Total Access” today at 7 p.m. ET to hear the Lions’ Nate Burleson and the Bills’ Nick Barnett discuss some of the pressing issues of the week.
  • Is it possible that New England could lose two games in a row? NFL Network’s Albert Breer has the latest from Foxborough, where the Patriots are preparing to take on former teammate Richard Seymour in Oakland on Sunday.
  • Colt McCoy‘s arm and stature were questioned coming out of college, but he’s among a group of 10 that scouting legend Gil Brandt says have overcome any perceived weaknesses and are putting the league on notice.

First and 10: And the nominees are…

Will Bill Parcells and Bill Cowher — or their longtime running backs, Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis — be taking their place in Canton next summer? Will 2012 finally be Cris Carter‘s year? What about great linemen like Will Shields, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman and Charles Haley? Or former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue? Get an early clue when the Pro Football Hall of Fame releases the nominees for the Class of 2012 on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET. Log onto NFL.com or tune into NFL Network for full coverage.

Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

  • Dave Dameshek goes to town on Michael Vick for whining about late hits, Tom Brady for forgetting that he plays tackle football, Matthew Stafford for his TD celebrations and more in this week’s Shame Report.
  • Is Nnamdi Asomugha a bust? The early returns for the Eagles’ high-priced secondary are not good, and NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks explains why in his weekly scouting notebook.

First and 10: High drama on both coasts

Relive two of Sunday’s most dramatic games as they happened, with NFL Replay Tuesday night on NFL Network. First, watch the emotional upset at Ralph Wilson Stadium, where the Buffalo Bills snapped a 15-game losing streak to the New England Patriots, at 8 p.m. ET. Then, at 9:30 p.m. ET, catch the action from the West Coast, where the surprising Oakland Raiders outran and outhit the New York Jets.

Here’s what else is on tap for Tuesday.

  • No player would welcome the pressure of being called the next Ray Lewis, but that’s what some people are calling Arizona State LB Vontaze Burfict. Get NFL.com draft expert Bucky Brooks‘ take in this week’s College Stock Watch.

First and 10: Vick taking his licks

Michael Vick keeps taking a beating, and he’s not happy about it. The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback suffered a broken right hand during Sunday’s 29-16 loss to the New York Giants and afterward vented about what he believes is unfair treatment by officials. Is Vick right, or is he making excuses? “NFL GameDay” has the debate.

Here’s what else is on tap for Monday:

  • Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman has his best chance yet to redefine fans’ image of him when his team takes on the Dallas Cowboys on “Monday Night Football.” Find out what makes Grossman tick in a profile from NFL.com national reporter Jeff Darlington.
  • It’s only Week 3, but some teams are clearly getting a little too pass-happy, notes NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan in his latest Six From Sunday.
  • If you know any Minnesota Vikings fans, you might want to give them a call. They could use some cheering up after their team blew a third straight double-digit halftime lead.
  • Get a sneak peek at episode 3 of “A Football Life,” which chronicles Eagles defensive linemen Reggie White and Jerome Brown in life until their untimely deaths.
  • Wes Welker and Darren McFadden combined to score more than 60 fantasy points on NFL.com, but did either of them earn the title of fantasy player of the week? It’s your time to vote and decide!

First and 10: Don’t go into Sunday unprepared

Get ready for all of Week 3′s matchups with NFL.com’s exclusive Game Center previews, featuring stats, stories, videos and more.

Here’s what else is on tap for Friday:

  • Tune into NFL Network’s “Around the League” Friday at 5 p.m. ET to hear from Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson on his team’s upcoming clash in Chicago, a rematch of last season’s NFC Championship Game.
  • Cam Newton went undrafted in many fantasy leagues. Nobody’s sleeping on him now, though. Michael Fabiano says it’s time to make the Heisman winner your starting fantasy QB.
  • Behind a record-setting offense, the Patriots had a perfect regular season in 2007. With another high-scoring attack, can they do it again in 2011? Our experts debate which team will be the last to lose.
  • Most of the attention going into games is on the stars, but lesser-known players often end up being difference makers. Bucky Brooks runs down several players who could be in the spotlight in Week 3.

First and 10: ‘A Football Life,’ Part 2

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been called a genius at game-planning, but just watch him struggle to change the clock on his car’s dashboard. Plus Willie McGinest, Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi share their favorite memories of Belichick when Part 2 of NFL Films’ highly anticipated documentary, “A Football Life” debuts Thursday night at 10 p.m. ET on NFL Network.

Here’s what else is on tap for Thursday:

  • Tune into NFL Network’s “Total Access” Thursday at 7 p.m. ET to hear from Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew — whose team starts rookie Blaine Gabbert against Cam Newton and the Panthers Sunday — and Washington linebacker London Fletcher, whose Redskins travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys Monday night.
  • Twenty-six years after they stormed through the NFL on their way to 15-1 record, a dominating Super Bowl XX victory and an atrocious music video, the 1985 Chicago Bears have finally been invited to the White House.
  • Police said a package containing 2 1/2 pounds of marijuana was delivered from Eureka, Calif., to the suburban Kentucky home of Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson on Tuesday, where authorities say they found six more pounds of marijuana inside.
  • In this week’s Start ‘Em & Sit ‘Em, NFL.com fantasy editor Michael Fabiano explains why Ahmad Bradshaw should put up big totals against the Eagles — and why fantasy owners should beware of some big stars in Big D Monday night.

First and 10: A star is born … in Buffalo?

Okay, so Ryan Fitzpatrick hasn’t thrown for a gazillion yards in his first two games like Tom Brady has, but he is tied with Brady and Matthew Stafford for the NFL lead with seven TD passes. Three of those came in Buffalo’s wild 38-35 win over Oakland on Sunday. In case you missed that thriller — or just need to see it again — you can relive all the action on “NFL Replay” Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on NFL Network. Not that you’ll need an appetizer for that football feast, but you can also hear from Fitzpatrick himself on “NFL Total Access” at 7 p.m. ET. No doubt, he’ll have lots to say about that Raiders-Bills game — not to mention his Sunday showdown with Brady and the Patriots.

Here’s what else is on tap for Wednesday:

  • As the St. Louis Rams prepare to file a complaint with the league office about the Giants’ alleged stalling tactics in Monday night’s game, NFL.com’s Marc Sessler explains that faking injuries is nothing new in the NFL.
  • Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon refuted pre-draft critics who said Cam Newton didn’t have the chops to succeed in the NFL. Look who’s laughing now.
  • Willie McGinest, Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi share their favorite memories of Patriots coach Bill Belichick when Part 2 of “A Football Life” debuts Thursday night at 10 ET on NFL Network.

Faking injuries? Nothing new around these parts

Giants coach Tom Coughlin brushed off suggestions that his players faked injuries Monday night to slow down the Rams’ no-huddle attack. Regardless if the Giants are guilty or innocent, it wouldn’t be a revolution. This has been happening (at least it has been accused of happening) for years.

A few of the more memorable examples:

1988 AFC Divisional Playoff: Seahawks at Bengals

This one caused a firestorm. Seahawks coach Chuck Knox admitted that his nose tackle, Joe Nash, had faked injuries four times (hugely subtle) in order to stop the clock against the Bengals’ no-huddle offense. Cincinnati won 21-13 on its way to losing Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers.

1995: Bills at Browns

After the Bills beat the Browns 22-19 in a Monday night game in Week 5, coach Marv Levy accused Cleveland of faking injuries to slow down Buffalo’s no-huddle offense. Browns coach Bill Belichick wasn’t shy in taking exception to that hypothesis.

“I think that’s a bunch of garbage,” Belichick said. “It’s hard for me to have respect for Levy for saying that. It’s demeaning. We had guys out there playing as hard as they could play, with as much courage as they could show. For this guy to come back and make a ridiculous comment like that, I see where he had some players hurt in the game. If Levy thinks he’s the only coach that’s ever had a guy hurt, then I think he ought to take a look around the league.”

Belichick — just a sliver crankier back then — went on: “Here’s a guy offensively who came in and tried to run the wing-T offense in Kansas City. That was brilliant. And the best thing he did was turn the offense over to Jim Kelly in the second half of the Carolina game and against us. There’s a guy, Jim Kelly, who can run an offense and move an offense. Unfortunately, he (Levy) didn’t call more plays against us, like he did against Carolina. I would much rather go against him than Jim Kelly. I think it’s a disgrace for him to make comments like that.”

Fourteen seasons later, the Browns found themselves in another mess:

2009: Browns at Lions

Belichick disciple/nemesis Eric Mangini, at the helm of the Browns, accused the Lions of faking injuries to slow down Cleveland’s no-huddle offense during a 38-37 loss at Ford Field. Like you, we’re trying to imagine a scenario in which the 2009 Browns — ranking 32nd in total yards — could have moved slower. We’ll keep working on that.

– Marc Sessler

Powered by WordPress.com VIP | Subscribe (RSS)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,710 other followers