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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Johnson’

The Sunday portion of NFL week 12 has been thrilling.  Through the first 11 games of the day (with Chargers-Colts being played), eight games have ended with a score differential of a touchdown or less.  Five of the six early games are included in that total.  This is what the NFL is all about.  I guess it makes up for a rather ho-hum Thanksgiving slate.

With the Sunday and Monday night games still to be played, here are the Average Guy NFL Week 12 Awards:

Most Impressive Win

Chicago Bears – 31-26 over the Philadelphia Eagles

Eli Manning Warming Up

Eli Manning and the Giants rallied for a critical win on Sunday

Most Important Win

New York Giants – 24-20 over the Jacksonville Jaguars

Worst Loss

Tennessee Titans – 20-0 at the Houston Texans

Biggest Surprise

St. Louis Rams

Biggest Disappointment

Oakland Raiders

Offensive MVP

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears – 14 completions 21 attempts 247 yards 4 TDs 146.2 QB rating 7 carries 17 yards

Defensive MVP

Terrell Thomas, New York Giants – 1 interception 1 sack 6 tackles

Special Teams MVP

Brad Smith, New York Jets – 89-yard kickoff return TD

Most Surprising Performance

Chad Henne, Miami Dolphins – 17 completions 30 attempts 307 yards 2 TDs 1 interception 100.3 QB rating

Most Disappointing Performance

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans – 7 carries 5 yards 2 receptions 2 yards

Offensive Rookie

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams – 22 completions 37 attempts 308 yards 3 TDs 113.3 QB rating

Defensive Rookie

Jason Pierre-Paul, New York Giants – 2 sacks, 8 tackles

Most Impressive Performance in a Loss

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers – 26 completions 35 attempts 344 yards 1 TD 114.5 QB rating 12 carries 51 yards 1 TD

Quick Takes

  • The local FOX affiliate had to show the Panthers-Browns game so there was no watching the Packers-Falcons matchup.  So instead I tuned in for the whole Jaguars-Giants game and it was a good one.
  • Jacksonville had complete control in the first half.  David Garrard excelled and the Jaguars O-line opened up hole after hole for the backs while the New York defense seemed to have missed their wake up call.  Jacksonville piled up 145 yards on the ground through the first two quarters.
  • The second half was a different story.  The Giants defense caught a lucky break early with the Terrell Thomas interception and showed a much greater sense of urgency.  They blitzed quite a bit and it was particularly successful in the last few minutes of the game as they repeatedly hit Garrard.
  • One Jacksonville player I was really impressed with who doesn’t get much PT was the running back Rashad Jennings.  He has the patience to let the blocking develop and then explode.  That is a skill that is not often seen at that level in such a young ball carrier.
  • The absolute key to the Giants win? Zero turnovers.
  • Of course I’m very excited that the Rams beat the Broncos in Denver, but boy it was nerve racking. I was following the game online as the Rams let the Broncos get closer and closer and closer.  I was sure they were going to fold like they did in San Francisco.  Then FOX switched to live coverage after the Eagles-Bears game was over.  I was thrilled to see the defense finally get the stop they needed.  Now the Rams are back in first place in the NFC West.
  • Miami really stopped Oakland’s running game.  If you take away Jacoby Ford’s 13-yard run the Dolphins held the Raiders to just three yards on 11 carries…hard to believe.
  • I predicted the Chiefs would fall in Seattle.  I was clearly wrong.  What a game for Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe.

One BIG Question

Which game is bigger next week – Steelers at Ravens on Sunday night or Jets at Patriots on Monday night?  Let me know which one you are looking forward to more.

Photo source: Marianne O’Leary

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4.  Philadelphia Eagles at Tennessee Titans
Sunday, 1:00 pm

Vince Young on the sideline

Is this the most we'll see of Vince Young on Sunday?

Both the Eagles and Titans are coming off of big wins, but both are also dealing with injuries that will affect their success this week.  Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick is likely to miss another game, his third since hurting his ribs against Washington.  Kevin Kolb has filled in very nicely in Vick’s absence helping the Eagles win two games.  He was especially good last week against the Falcons, throwing for 326 yards while completing 23 of 29 passes for three touchdowns and one interception.  But the Eagles will be without two key offensive players, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and tackle Jason Peters.

Tennessee dominated Jacksonville on Monday night football but lost quarterback Vince Young to a knee/ankle injury.  It looks as if Young will be a game time decision so it’s unlikely that he’ll play.  Of course, they have a very able backup quarterback in Kerry Collins.  However, Collins did not leave the Jaguars game unscathed either.  He sustained a finger injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. 

The Eagles win if: They can protect Kevin Kolb.  They did an excellent job covering for Peters against the Falcons, only allowing one sack in the win.

The Titans win if: Chris Johnson tears up the Eagles defense.  In Tennessee’s two losses, Johnson had a total of 87 yards on 35 carries with no touchdowns.  In each of their four wins he’s run for at least 111 yards with a touchdown.

This is a good matchup of 4-2 teams.  To me the biggest battle will be the Eagles offensive line against the Titans defensive line.  Philadelphia may have been able to use smoke and mirrors to keep the Falcons defense off of Kolb but I don’t think they’ll be able to repeat that performance against Tennessee who leads the NFL in sacks.  I also think CJ will have an explosive game against the Eagles 22nd ranked rush defense.  I’m picking the Titans to get the win.

Do you think my prediction will be right or wrong?  Let me know in the comments section below.

 Photo source: Ray Montgomery

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I’ve been looking forward all week to the Ravens-Steelers game and was really excited to see it was going to be on in our market.  It was somewhat strange to me that much more of the media attention was focused on the Redskins-Eagles game.  There was never any doubt to me that Ravens-Steelers was the marquis matchup of week four.  I’d say it absolutely lived up to my expectations.  It was a brutal game and I’ll include more of my thoughts in the quick takes section below.

As for now, on to the Average Guy’s NFL Week Four Awards (before the Sunday night game):

Most Impressive Win

Denver Broncos Stand

The Broncos stood tall in week four

Denver Broncos – 26-20 at Tennessee Titans

Most Important Win

Baltimore Ravens – 17-14 at Pittsburgh Steelers

Worst Loss

Cincinnati Bengals – 23-20 to Cleveland Browns

Biggest Surprise

Jacksonville Jaguars

Biggest Disappointment

New Orleans Saints (I know they won, but…)

They Are Who We Thought They Were

San Diego Chargers

Offensive MVP

Kyle Orton, Denver Broncos – 35 completions 50 attempts 341 yards 2 TDs 1 Int 93.8 QB rating 3 carries 11 yards

Defensive MVP

Shaun Phillips, San Diego Chargers – 31-yard interception return for TD 4 sacks 6 tackles

Special Teams MVP

Marc Mariani, Tennessee Titans – 98-yard kickoff return for TD

Most Surprising Performance

LaDainian Tomlinson, New York Jets – 19 carries 133 yards 2 TDs 3 receptions 22 yards

Most Disappointing Performance

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans – 19 carries 53 yards 3 receptions 11 yards

Offensive Rookie

Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams – 23 completions 41 attempts 289 yards 2 TDs 1 Int 84.3 QB rating

Defensive Rookie

Taylor Mays, San Francisco 49ers – Punt Block “return” TD 11 tackles

Valiant Effort Award

Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams – 22 carries 70 yards 3 receptions 54 yards (with groin injury)

Most Impressive Performance in a Loss

Terrell Owens, Cincinnati Bengals – 10 receptions 222 yards 1 TD

Quick Takes

  • I really enjoyed watching the defenses of the Steelers and Ravens. 
  • Haloti Ngata is just plain nasty in the defensive trenches for the Ravens.  They moved him around quite a bit and no matter where he was he caused havoc.  He finished with 1 sack and 11 tackles. 
  • The Steelers have incredible speed all across their defense.  In addition to the usual suspects, Troy Polamalu and James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons was impressive flying to the ball.
  • It’s not fair to judge Joe Flacco based on the first four weeks.  He played at the New York Jets, at Cincinnati and at Pittsburgh.  Still, he delivered when it really counted today.
  • I’m not surprised that San Francisco put in a strong effort against the Falcons.  They are a passionate team that played hard against an Atlanta team that I think is overrated.  The 49ers just had too many things working against them.
  • I’m shocked that the Bengals lost to the Browns.  Especially since Carson Palmer seems to have fixed some of his issues.
  • Even though they lost, I’m impressed with the Lions performance against the Packers.  They converted 10 of 17 third downs and Shaun Hill had 331 yards passing.
  • Carolina linebacker James Anderson deserves a special mention.  He had an outstanding day with two fumble recoveries, 16 tackles and one sack.

One BIG Question

With Ben Roethlisberger back will the Steelers go undefeated the rest of the season?

What are your thoughts on week four?  Do you disagree with any of my picks?  Let me know in the comments section below.

Photo source: Julio Enriquez

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Heading into the 2010 NFL season there are a lot of interesting storylines in the AFC South.  Can the Colts hold on to the top spot in the division or will age at key positions finally catch up with them?  Can the Titans maintain the momentum they had at the end of last season?  Will the Texans finally take the next step and make the playoffs?  Can Jack Del Rio keep his job by coercing a good season out of his Jaguars?

Division Winner

Indianapolis Colts

Admittedly, this is a boring and predictable pick.  But, the Colts are as solid as they come, having won between 12 and 14 games in each of the last five seasons.  Some of their personnel losses will hurt them, but with Peyton Manning running the show and a healthy Dwight Freeney, I expect the Super Bowl runner up to have another excellent season.

Peyton Manning at Super Bowl

Will Peyton Get Another Shot at the Super Bowl?

Most Valuable Player

Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis Colts

Despite a lot of youth in the receiving corps and a very minimal running game, Manning was still tremendous, winning his fourth MVP.  The way he broke in new receivers Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie was brilliant.  Expect continued excellence in 2010.

Most Important Player

Bob Sanders, S, Indianapolis Colts

The story of Bob Sanders is well-documented.  A highly-talented safety, he has a hard time staying on the field.  In fact, he has missed 49 games while appearing in 47.  Sanders is a critical piece of the Colts defense.  If the 2007 NFL Defensive Player of the Year stays healthy, the Colts will have a much better shot at working their way back to the Super Bowl.

Offensive Player of the Year

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans

Considering the number of touches he gets (408 carries and receptions in 2009), at some point I think you have to start worrying about Johnson’s ability to stay effective and healthy.  I think he’ll be fine this season though and will continue to be a huge part of the Titans offense.

Defensive Player of the Year

Mario Williams, DE, Houston Texans

Williams will rebound from last season, in which he played mostly hurt and had only nine sacks.  In fact, I expect him to have a monster year.

Top Newcomer

Aaron Kampman, DE, Jacksonville Jaguars

Interestingly, this division does not have a lot of newcomers.  These four teams will be depending on the development of the players already on their roster and rookies for improvement.  Regardless, Kampman is a solid addition to the Jaguars.  After tallying 37 sacks in the previous three seasons, Kampman was never comfortable with Green Bay’s 3-4 defensive alignment and only had three and a half sacks last season before going out with a season-ending knee injury.  The Jaguars desperately need help with the pass rush and Kampman will provide some.

Top Rookie

Derrick Morgan, DE, Tennessee Titans

All four AFC South teams focused on defense in the draft.  I like Morgan (not just because of his last name) to have the best rookie season of the bunch.  He is very athletic and has a lot of promise as an NFL pass rusher.  Another advantage he will have is playing time, as he should get plenty of it in Tennessee.

Most Improved

Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans

The Texans are searching for a back that will step up and fortify their running game.  With the season ending injury to rookie Ben Tate, Foster will be the man.  In the last two weeks of the 2009 season Foster ran for more than 200 total yards and three touchdowns against the Dolphins and Patriots.  If former star Steve Slaton is fully recovered from injuries and the fumbling issues that plagued him in 2009, he will certainly compete for playing time.  But ultimately I think Foster will be the answer to Houston’s running game questions.

Most Pressure

Vince Young, QB, Tennessee Titans

After playing his way into the dog house and out of a starting role, Young resurrected his career by taking advantage of the opportunity to play given to him after the Titans crashed and burned at the beginning of the 2009 season.  When he entered the starting lineup last year he had nothing to lose.  Now the expectations will be much higher.  Young’s offseason strip club altercation only added to the pressure.

Biggest Loss

Keith Bulluck, LB, Tennessee Titans

Bulluck was the second leading tackler for the Titans last year and also had three interceptions.  It will be difficult for Tennessee to replace his production, but even more importantly, it will be almost impossible to replace his leadership skills.

Can the Titans or the Texans challenge the Colts for AFC South supremacy?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Photo source: IAN RANSLEY DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION

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