NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

NFL GridIron Gab Daily Digest

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NFC Week One Previews

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 04:34 AM PDT

NFC Week One Team Injury Reports

Posted: 11 Sep 2011 04:33 AM PDT

David Garrard’s Potential New Destinations: Buccaneers, Bengals and Bears

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 10:31 PM PDT

The teams most link to David Garrard are the Seahawks, Redskins, Dolphins, Colts, and 49ers because their starting quarterback situations are all perceived to be bad. The other five I hear about – Raiders, Ravens, Jets, Panthers and Chiefs – have a lack of depth.

David Garrard has announced that he’s going to sit back this weekend and see if the offers change after week 1. This is a bit of a risk as his eventual deal isn’t going to be a guaranteed one after week 1, but there may be a more desperate team after that time.

At least half of those teams above are interested in David Garrard here on Saturday, but there are three more teams that might be interested on Sunday night.

The Bears
Why it’s a good fit: The Bears have Caleb Hanie – who the coaching staff hasn’t fallen for and a rookie Nathan Enderle as back-ups. Now, this destination is intriguing because I think Hanie can play and he’d be cut or traded for a 5th or 6th-round pick if Garrard were  signed. This destination will be more intriguing if the crumbling offensive line doesn’t block John Abraham and Ray Edwards on Sunday and Cutler ends up hurt or knocked out.
Why it’s a bad fit: Mike Martz’s offense is a complex one which – in the scenario where Cutler is hurt – means Garrard wouldn’t be ready to command it next Sunday, and probably not until the end of this season.
Current Back-Up: Caleb Hanie 0-0, 0 TD, 1 INT, 39.6 QB rating.

The Bengals
Why it’s a good fit: The Bengals are starting rookie Andy Dalton, who will likely have growing pains. Their O-line could allow defenses to pummel the franchise signal-caller into a shell or at least onto IR. It may make more sense to let big-bodied, mobile Garrard take the lumps until the line stabilizes. He could get his revenge in Jacksonville October 9th.
Why it’s a bad fit: There’s really no reason not to do this if Dalton struggles unless competition drives up Garrard’s price.
Current Starter: Andy Dalton, rookie
Current Back-Up: Bruce Gradkowski 6-14, 20 TD, 23 INT, 65.9 QB rating.

The Buccaneers
Why it’s a good fit: Josh Johnson could leave next year in free agency and – believe it or not – David Garrard will be cheaper, so long as a team like the Colts or Bengals – who would make him a starter – doesn’t take him. Garrard would get to stay in the Florida area. If Freeman is injured, he could get his revenge in Jacksonville December 11th.
Why it’s a bad fit: At 33, his days as a starter would be done, possibly for good.
Current Back-Up: Josh Johnson 0-4, 4 TD, 8 INT, 46.8 QB rating.

Chris Previews Lions @ Buccaneers

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 09:42 PM PDT

When Tampa Bay is running: The decision to use Earnest Graham as the third down back is going to be one that smallish, faster defenses are going to hate. The Buccaneers are unleashing a punishing rushing attack, and they don’t care who knows it. Last year, Blount had 110 yards rushing and a 7.33 per-carry average with 1 TD against this defense, but Raheem mentioned going conservative in the post-game. The Bucs’ line is healthier this year, the passing attack is going to be more potent, and this just opens things up for the run. That said, Detroit is one of those young teams playing with a nasty attitude and – unlike their offense – has enough continuity to really play with abandon. They gave up 4.5 yards-per-carry last year and 18 TDs. They will undoubtedly be better this year. Edge: even.

When Tampa Bay is throwing: The Lions secondary was something they wanted to address this offseason. Other than the awkward pay-cut scenarios in the Big Apple, Johnathan Joseph rebuffing the Lions was actually a bigger deal than Nnamdi Asomugha rebuffing the Jets. At least the Jets still have Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis. The Lions picked up Eric Wright, who’s a little above average. He’ll start, as will Chris Houston. FS Louis Delmas is pretty good, Amari Spievey can be attacked. For the Bucs, WR Arrelious Benn is coming off ACL surgery. It will be fun to see if Suh – who predicted 16-0 for his team will be able to bring down Josh Freeman. Edge: Tampa.

When Detroit is running: The Bucs were notoriously horrible at run defense last year, but they were also quite injured. The Bucs play hard for Raheem Morris and that youthful energy and the 2011 acquisitions – Mason Foster and Adrian Clayborn – are the main factors with which I pick them to stop Jahvid Best, Jerome Harrison and Maurice Morris. Those three – with Harrison as a Brown and an Eagle – combined for just two 100 yard games last season while one of them was Maurice Morris against this team. A lesser factor is that in the big 3rd preseason game, they held the Dolphins to 22 yards on 17 carries, 1.3 yards-per-carry. Edge: Tampa.

When Detroit is throwing: By week 4, I expect the Lions receiving corps to be 2nd best – not statistically, just in overall performance and talent – to only the Cowboys. For week 1, a fired-up, physical secondary will cause issues for Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson. What will push the Lions into another stratosphere will be when the new receivers get the offense down. Sunday is the first game in the offense for Titus Young, Maurice Stovall, and Rashied Davis. Young’s barely even practiced in it. Edge: Detroit, slightly.

PREDICTION: The Bucs are blacked out again. The Saints are the talk in the media. Top Bucs players narrowly avoided suspension, or are coming back from one. The Falcons were the team that went all out by bringing in Julio Jones and Ray Edwards. The Bucs will bring that youngry heat and find a way to get enough sacks and long pass plays. In the end, the Lions secondary is not yet ready for a battle of this magnitude. Bucs 31, Lions 30.

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Poll: Who Will Win Sundays Colts-Texans Game?

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 07:31 PM PDT

Report: Retired WR Randy Moss meets with Saints

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 05:04 PM PDT

UPDATE: Mike Florio of reports that Moss’ agent, Joel Segal, has not been contacted by the Saints. in New Orleans is reporting that retired wide receiver Randy Moss is a “wanted man” for Drew Brees and the Saints.

The report arrives following a source confirming Saints wideout Marques Colston’s broken collarbone, which he suffered after catching a key 23-yard grab at the Packers’ 18 with 37 seconds remaining in the final quarter.

According to numerous sources, Moss was at the club's facility on Saturday.

Five Keys to Redskins Victory over Giants

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 03:17 PM PDT

ook, there's a lot of things that frustrate me about being a Redskins fan: the constant search for a new head coach every four years (it's like Dan Snyder's own personal Olympics of hiring ineptitude), the never-ending carousel at quarterback, the comings and goings of high-priced free agents, and the idiot Cowboys fans who live in DC and just won't shut up even though they probably wouldn't know the difference between Tony Romo and Tony Kornheiser if either were walking down the street, among many others.

But even with all that, this one really gets under my skin: since Tom Coughlin has been the head coach of the New York Giants, he's 11-3 against the Redskins. No team in the NFC East has consistently beaten the Redskins over the past half- decade or so, the way the Giants have. There are few things in life that I hate more than the Cowboys (cold weather, overcooked hamburgers, and people who purchase gigantic SUV's but have no idea how to drive them are the only things that come to mind off the top of my head), but the way the Redskins consistently get b*tch-slapped by the Giants has got to be right up there.

After a tough first season for Mike Shanahan, there's a sense of hope in the air. The Redskins looked pretty sharp in the preseason (especially the starters), and seem to be catching the Giants at the most opportune time possible. If they're going end the six-game losing streak against the Giants, here are five keys to making it happen:

1. Don't Unnecessarily Hand the Giants the Football

In other, more simpler words: don't turn over the football. Over the last five times the Redskins have played the Giants, the Redskins turnover ratio is -11. Think about that: on average, they hand over the ball to the Giants at least twice a game, without forcing any turnovers of their own. It shouldn't come as any surprise, then, that the Redskins are 0-5 vs. the Giants over that span.

Regardless of the excitement built over the preseason, or the pile of injuries the Giants have accumulated on defense (more on that in a bit), the Redskins simply don't have the offensive firepower to where they can dig themselves out of a hole made by their own mistakes. If they hold onto the football, and maybe force a turnover or two from the Giants (more on that in a bit also), that's going to give them their best chance to win this game.

2. Get Off To A Fast Start

Take a look at the halftime score of the last five times the Redskins have played the Giants:

Giants 10, Redskins 7
Giants 21, Redskins 0
Giants 24, Redskins 0
Giants 13, Redskins 7
Giants 16, Redskins 7

The Giants have outscored the Redskins by a grand total of 104-28 – and that's only by halftime! And to make matters worse: three of those four touchdowns the Redskins scored came with less than 30 seconds to go in the first half, and one of them was by their punter on a trick play.

Given that, do you really wonder why the Redskins are 0-5 over that span? In many cases, they're already down by a score or two and having to alter their gameplan before most of the fans in the stadium are finished with their first beer.

The Giants come into the game, punch the Redskins square in the mouth, demoralize them, and force the Redskins to play catch-up for the remainder of the game, something they've never been good at anyway.

View the final three of the five keys to a Washington win revealed at Redskins Gab

Gridiron Gab NFL Week One Preview – New York Giants at Washington

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 02:57 PM PDT

It's here. Football. And on this ten-year anniversary of that tragic day, perhaps football can uplift us.



Out: CB Prince Amukamara (foot), LB Jonathan Goff (knee), DE Osi Umenyiora (knee)

Questionable: TE Travis Beckum (hamstring), DE Justin Tuck (foot)


Out: S LaRon Landry (hamstring)

Questionable: S O.J. Atogwe (hamstring), WR Brandon Banks (knee), TE Chris Cooley (knee), WR Donte Stallworth (shoulder), RB Ryan Torain (hand)


I'm thinking that the Giants can do some damage today. Good run game and set up the play-action pass. I don't think the lack of a tight end will hurt on Sunday. Have to watch out for Brian Orakpo. Giants will look to put a tight end on him, for blocking purposes. The Giants don't need to do anything fancy, just no turnovers.


Well, I guess we'll finally see what this defense is made of. The Redskins, like any Mike Shanahan team, can run the ball, and they're going to do so often, seeing as they willingly chose Rex Grossman as their QB. The Redskins don't really present a huge threat for the secondary, other than Chris Cooley. But, rookie Greg Jones will be tested at middle linebacker. They are going to attack him and attack him often. The Skins are going to try to isolate him. We'll see how he responds. How he does will tell us a lot about the game.


I think the Redskins could be really, really bad.

To finish the preview and find out the winner visit Giants Gab

Gridiron Gab NFL Week One Preview – Detroit at Tampa Bay

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 01:10 PM PDT

The Lions enter a season with momentum and expectations for the first time in years, their opponent is in a similar situation as well.  The Buccaneers took huge strides last year and if not for the Lions, would have made a return to the playoffs.  The Bucs were win number two in the Lions' four game winning streak that helped fuel the optimism that surrounds the 2011 season.

Both teams have very similar traits, promising young quarterbacks, receivers and running backs and a defense built around an aggressive and talented defensive line.  There are many that feel that these two teams are just laying the foundation for the next great NFL rivalry for years to come.


The Lions roll into Tampa with a healthy Matthew Stafford and Jahvid Best to pair up with Calvin Johnson and a host of other weapons.  The Lions heavily relied on Maurice Morris to set up the run to take pressure off Drew Stanton when they last played.  I expect the Lions do the opposite this week and attack the defense and dictate a high tempo.  Look for the Lions to spread the field early and often to attack the holes in the zone which will set Jahvid Best up for draws and screens.  By spreading the field horizontally, the Lions can slow down the Tampa pass rush and then they can open up the vertical game and target Calvin Johnson and Titus Young deep.

The Bucs were missing Aqib Talib and Gerald McCoy when these two teams played last year and they added DE's Adrian Clayborn and Da'Quan Bowers to their promising young line.  Talib is one of the better cornerbacks in the league, but he's still going to have his hands full with Calvin Johnson.  The Lions will look to exploit the more advantageous matchup between Nate Burleson and Ronde Barber as well as Brandon Pettigrew over the middle against a small linebacking corps.

Check out the rest of this preview featuring two young, risings NFC squads colliding at Lions Gab

Gridiron Gab NFL Week One Preview – Carolina at Arizona

Posted: 10 Sep 2011 12:56 PM PDT

Finally, it's time to get down to some real football. Time to get out to your favorite place to pile in a plate of buffalo wings while enjoying a beer and the Panthers playing on the big screen. Emotions are running high as Carolina prepares for it's regular season debut against Arizona. Although many believe this game will be a victory for Arizona, there are other factors that give hope that the Panthers will keep it close and possibly pull out a win.

Even in comparing last year's stats, it is possible to see some things that will favor Carolina in tomorrow's game. The first is the running game. Last year the Cards ranked last averaging only 86.8 yards per game, while the Panthers averaged 115.4 yards per game with two injured running backs (Williams, Stewart) and Mike Goodson. Who is Arizona's starting back? Beanie Wells who ran for 397 yards and 2 TD's last season. With virtually no run game, offensive game plan #1 for Cardinals will be moving the ball effectively through the air.

As for the defense, it looks to be one of the Panthers' biggest concerns this year.

To find out who wins read the remainder of the preview at Panthers Gab

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