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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Ten

Your Top Stories

The Steelers take on the Patriots in a match up of two of the best teams in the AFC.

1. In a move where the only surprise was the timing,  Jerry Jones fired Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, and named Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett as interim head coach of the team.  The news came Monday after the Cowboys were embarrassed in a 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the nationally televised Sunday Night game. The loss dropped Dallas’ record to a pitiful 1-7. This is the first time that Jerry Jones has made a coaching change mid-season, but the Cowboys owner, who bought the team in 1989, said that he had been in “denial” about how bad the squad had become. Phillips’ final record as the Cowboys’ head coach is 34-22, with a 1-2 record in the post season. He released a statement thanking the fans and the organization for all of their support. When asked for comment, new coach Jason Garrett said, “Wade is no longer the coach. I am the coach and what we’re going to do going forward (is) get ready to . . . give ourselves a chance to beat the Giants on Sunday.”

2. Broncos Linebacker and leading tackler D.J. Williams has been charged with driving under the influence. Williams was stopped on Friday at 2:40 A.M. for driving without headlights on, when he was arrested for DUI and ordered to appear in court on December 13th. This is the second time Willaims has faced such a charge. In September of 2005, Williams plead guilty to drunk driving, receiving a sentence of twenty-four hours community service. Williams will likely face a suspension from NFL Commssioner Roger Goodell. By comparison, Goodell handed down a four-game suspension to Chargers Wide Receiver Vincent Jackson for his DUI arrests. When reached for comment, Denver coach Josh McDaniels said, “We’re certainly disappointed and don’t condone that behavior from any of our players or anybody within our organization.”

3. It’s high school all over again, as the NFL is cracking down on the dress code. Noted NFL showman and provocateur Chad Ochocinco received a twenty-thousand dollar fine from the league for violating its uniform policy. Ochocinco had on gold cleats when the Bengals took the field against the Steelers in Week Nine, in violation of the league’s on-field dress code. This is his second fine of the season, after having lost twenty-five thousand dollars for violating the league’s social media policy by tweeting before a game. Jets linebacker Bart Scott was also fined twenty-thousand dollars for violating the uniform policy, though his offense was far less ostentatious. Scott was cited for not having his chin strap on at all times, in a violation more directed toward ensuring safety than maintaining professionalism.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills

For the third time in as many weeks, the Bills have ended the game three points away from their first victory, but have found themselves unable to seal the deal. Buffalo fell to Chicago, 22-19, for their eighth loss of the season. The Bills have one of their best chances to get that first win of the year this week when they take on the two-win Detroit Lions at home.

Head of the Pack

Your statistical leaders in:


1. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –2944 yards.
2. Drew Brees (New Orleans) – 2587 yards
3. Kyle Orton (Denver) –2510 yards

With no one falling out of the top three.


1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 864 yards
2. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) – 857 yards
3. Ahmad Bradshaw (NY Giants) –765 yards

With Chris Johnson falling out of the top three.


1. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 934 yards
2. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 878 yards
3. Terrell Owens (Cincinnati) – 770 yards

With Reggie Wayne falling out of the top three.


1. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 11.0
2. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 9.0
T-3. Tamba Hall (Kansas City) – 8.0
T-3. Osi Umenyiora (NY Giants) – 8.0
T-3. John Abraham (Atlanta) – 8.0
T-3. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas) – 8.0

With no one falling out of the increasingly inaccurately named top three thanks to a four-way tie for third place.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Tennessee at Miami, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – For the second time in a about a month, there’s intrigue and interest in what impact Randy Moss will make with his new team. The Titans are also facing the question of whether Vince Young or Kerry Collins will be starting, and moreover, who will be taking the bulk of the snaps in the game regardless of who starts it? The Titans report that Young is a game time decision this week, as fans are excited about the prospect of a “three-headed monster” with Young behind center, Chris Johnson running the ball, and Moss going downfield. Tennessee has won three of its last four games, but lost to the resurgent Chargers going into their bye week. Every win matters in the AFC South where the Titans are tied with the Colts for first place in the division at 5-3, but with the Texans and the Jaguars each only a game out of first place. For their part, the Dolphins have been hot and cold this season, never stringing together more than two wins in a row, but never losing more than two games in a row either. To add to the peculiarity, each of Miami’s four wins has come on the road, meaning that nine weeks into the season, the Fins will be looking for their first home win despite being a competitive team. Still, with Chad Pennington expected to start for the first time since early 2009 (and so excited at the prospect that he’s rapping) expect Miami to come out roaring and attempt to not only get their first victory in front of the home crowd, but to gain ground in the highly competitive AFC East.

2. New England at Pittsburgh, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – This game has my vote for being the likely AFC Championship preview. The Patriots have been nigh unstoppable this season. They’ve played their share of close games, but have continue to manage to eke out the win, even over other league leaders like Baltimore. The offense has looked stellar despite numerous changes at receiver, and when they entered week nine with the best record in football, many thought that no one could stop the New England juggernaut. Then along came….The Cleveland Browns? That’s right, the 2-5 Browns did not just beat the Patriots, they routed them to the tune of 34-14. Expect the Pats to come out with a chip on their shoulders, eager to prove that least week was an aberration against the class of the AFC. The Steelers are in much the same boat, having won three of their last four games after the return of Ben Roethlisberger and standing tall at the top of the AFC North. Pittsburgh is looking good, but is still in search of a win over a major player in the playoff race since Big Ben has come back behind center. The Steelers are still smarting from a loss to the defending Superbowl Champion New Orleans Saints on Halloween night, and will look to show they can still hang with the best with a victory over the Patriots.

3. Philadelphia at Washington, Monday 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – Donovan McNabb doesn’t know the two-minute drill. He’s out of shape. He didn’t give the Redskins as good a chance to win as…Rex Grossman. These are the reasons that Mike Shanahan has given for his controversial benching of McNabb in the last two minutes of Washington’s loss to Detroit. What’s more, the Redskins’ bye week has given our nation’s capital plenty of time to mull over these ever-changing justifications, given us even more intrigue when McNabb takes on his old team for a second time. As usual, the NFC East race is increasingly competitive, and to both stay in the thick of things and put this unpleasantness behind them, 4-4 Redskins badly need this win. The same goes for the Eagles, as the return of Michael Vick coming out of the bye helped give Philly a tight, but signature victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Week Nine. Despite their injury issues, the Eagles have won three of their last four, and are only one game behind the New York Giants in the division. Vick currently holds the league’s highest passer rating at 105.3 and in the last year of his contract, he’s looking to show not just the Redskins or the Eagles, but the entire league, that he still has what it takes to lead a team in the NFL. Expect a great game between two division rivals who both really need this victory to keep up in the chase for the postseason.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Seven

Your Top Stories

Favre will come home to Lambeau for the second time in the shadow of allegations of lewd behavior.

1. The hits just keep on coming. Week Six in the NFL included a number of devastating hits throughout the league that has led to the wringing of hands, the gnashing of teeth, and may actually lead to some action from the NFL. The front office imposed fines on three players: James Harrison of the Steelers, Brandon Meriweather of the Patriots, and Dunta Robinson of the Falcons. Harrison, upset at his $75,000 fine and threatening to retire, was excused from the Pittsburgh practice today and told to cool off. Meriweather, on the other hand, facing a $50,000 fine of his own, apologized for his hit and promised to “play within the rules” in the future. Robinson also received a $50,000 fine. The NFL warned these players and the rest of the league that continued vicious hits, particularly on unprotected receivers and those of the helmet-to-helmet variety, would result in suspensions. On Sunday night, former Patriot and renowned hard-hitter Rodney Harrison suggested that only such suspensions would curb the these sorts of tough tackles on the field.

2. Brett Favre met with the NFL this week to discuss the allegations that he made sexual advances and sent explicit pictures to former Jets employee Jenn Sterger. Favre has refused to comment on the allegations, adding only that it is a “league issue” and stating that he is focused on the upcoming game against the Packers. Sterger is reportedly refusing to cooperate with the NFL’s investigation into the story, first reported by Deadspin.com. She is currently an employee for the Versus network, and her manager indicates that she has had no discussions with Favre regarding any sort of settlement. Favre  met with the NFL’s vice president for security Milt Ahelrich on Tuesday, though no decision on the league’s part has been made thus far.

3. Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee received a one-game suspension from the team after his arrest for public intoxication this week. McAfee was swimming in a local canal in the Broad Ripple neighborhood when he was confronted by police. McAfee reportedly had a blood alcohol level of .15 and when asked how much alcohol he had consumed that night, responded “a lot cause I am drunk.” McAfee is the fourth Colts player to be arrested on alcohol-related charges this year. The Colts have a bye this week, but McAfee will miss Indy’s Monday Night game in Week Eight against the Houston Texans.

Undefeated Teams


Two weeks ago, the Kansas City Chiefs lost to the Indianapolis Colts. With that there were no more undefeated teams left in the NFL. This was the first season that the NFL did not have a 4-0 team since 1970. This is particularly surprising as at least one NFL team has started 10-0 over the last five seasons. The ’72 Dolphins are popping the champagne early this year. Come back next week when we will start the “Head of the Pack” feature.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

Buffalo Bills
Carolina Panthers

The Lions left this list in Week Six with a resounding 44-6 win over the St. Louis Rams. The following week, the 49ers managed to scrounge up their first win, beating the Oakland Raiders 17-9. This leaves the Panthers and the Bills as the leading contenders for futility this season. The Panthers may have their best shot at a win this week as they take on those very same 49ers who could not manage a victory until one week ago. Meanwhile the Bills will likely have to keep waiting as they take on Baltimore and have a tough schedule ahead of them.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Philadelphia at Tennessee, 1 P.M. EST on FOX – Who will be playing quarterback for Philadelphia seems to be a weekly mystery this season, but thus far, it hasn’t mattered all that much. Both Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb have been impressive down the stretch for Philadelphia and their stellar play has led the Eagles to a 4-2 record, good enough for a share of first place in the NFC East. Kolb and the rest of a talented Philly squad got a big victory over the 4-1 Falcons in a game many thought would be a much closer and more competitive contest. Despite Vick’s continued recovery, Kolb is widely expected to start against the Titans. Tennessee, meanwhile, has quietly racked up a 4-2 record of its own, with a 30-3 rout of division rival Jacksonville last Monday Night. Chris Johnson has been as fearsome as ever, racking up more than one hundred yards against the Jags. Both Titans QB’s, however, have been fighting injuries. Vince Young did not practice today due to a sprained knee and ankle, nor did his backup Kerry Collins due to a hurt middle finger on his throwing hand. It’s currently unknown who will start against Philadelphia, but both quarterbacks have shown themselves to be able of leading the Titans to victory. Expect a good game between these two teams with multiple options at quarterback.

2. Pittsburgh at Miami, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – Big Ben is back in Pittsburgh, and tossed for three touchdowns in a significant victory over the division rival Browns. The competition for Roethlisberger gets stiffer this week, however, as the Steelers travel to Miami. It’s unknown at this time what the impact of the recent controversy will have on the Pittsburgh defense, and on James Harrison in particular, but at 4-1, the Steelers are sitting pretty atop the AFC North with the return of their franchise quarterback. The Dolphins are coming off a big win of their own, unseating the Green Bay Packers in overtime to pull back into contention in the supercompetitive AFC East. Chad Henne and Brandon Marshall have been connecting with regularity and giving Miami a much more explosive pass attack. With Parcells stepping back, the Fins seems to be stepping up. This should be a good matchup between two hungry teams.

3. Minnesota at Green Bay, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – Welcome to Brett Favre’s Homecoming take two. Favre and the Vikes were able to win both games against the Packers last year, but this is a different year with different results. Both teams have underperformed relative to expectations and badly need a win. The Vikings beat the Cowboys in the desperation bowl last week. With parity as king in the NFL this year, a win could put them a mere half-game behind the division-leading Bears. Still, who knows what type of distraction the ongoing investigation into Favre will be, and it remains to be seen what impact recent addition Randy Moss will make as he transitions to his new team. For their part, the Packers have lost two games in a row, both in overtime, and find themselves at .500. Green Bay started the season by winning three of their first four games, but this two game skid has raised some red flags in Wisconsin.  Many questions are being asked about Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy. Nothing would help silence the critics more than a big victory over the division rival Vikings and former ally Favre. Expect both teams to lay it all out on the line this week in a division where one win can mean the difference between being at the top of the head and at the bottom of the pile.

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The Andrew Preview: NFL Week Two

Better late than never. Again, my apologies for the delays and the brevity, it’s been a hectic week.

Your Top Stories

1. Sainz of the times in the Jets locker room. A foreign language correspondent complained of sexual harassment by members of the Jets while in the New York locker room. Clinton Portis was widely condemned for his comments defending the Jets’ behavior. Additionally, Roger Goodell criticized the Jets and their staff for allowing this and has instituted mandatory sensitivity training on the subject.

Peyton and Eli Manning will square off for the first time since 2006.

2. Quarterback injuries strike again. Michael Vick will make his first start since 2006 due to the injury to Kevin Kolb. Also, Seneca Wallace will start in Cleveland due to the Injury to Jake Delhomme. Finally, Matt Stafford is out for Detroit ushering in the exciting Shaun Hill era. Last year saw a rash of quarterback injuries; with three starting QB’s out in just the first week, will the 2010-2011 season follow suit?

3. The looming lockout. A group of four teams, consisting of Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, voted to decertify the union this week. Decertification would strip the union of its collective bargaining rights, which would allow individual players to sue the NFL in the event of a lockout. The move has been widely characterized as a means for the players to gain leverage in negotiations.

Undefeated Teams

Half of the league.

2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams

The other half of the league.

Three Big Match Ups

1. Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – This is one of the very few matchups this week between two teams who walked away with a win in week one. Pittsburgh managed to succeed despite the absence of Ben Roethlisberger and young quarterback Dennis Dixon will attempt to carry that momentum against one of the early favorites to lead the pack in the AFC. The Titans, meanwhile, are riding the amazing running skills of RB Chris Johnson who has openly declared his intention to continue at a record setting pace this year. It’s a bit too early to tell, but this may be one of the matchups that gives us a view of what to expect in the playoffs on the AFC’s side of the bracket.

2. New England at NY Jets, 4:15 P.M, EST on CBS – Wes Welker came back in force in week one, scoring two touchdowns and looking in fine form after his injury. The Patriots may be back on a roll and are looking to get a win to bolster their AFC East credentials. The Jets, meanwhile, struggled against Baltimore in their first game of the season, and will look to right the ship and justify their Superbowl hopes. Of particular interest is the matchup between Randy Moss who has expressed dissatisfaction with his contract and standing in New England, and Darelle Revis who is shaking off the rust from an extended holdout and having to overcome a tight hamstring.

3. NY Giants at Indianapolis 8:30 P.M. EST on NBC – Oh yes, it’s the Manning bowl. The Giants came away with a dominant win over the Panthers in Week one, with Hakeem Nicks emerging as a true deep threat and favored target for Eli. The Colts, meanwhile, lost to division rival Houston, the first time that they’ve fallen to the Texans in a meaningful game. The G-Men will look to continue their winning ways while the Colts will attempt to show that last week was an aberration and they can return their dominating success of last season. Of course, Peyton vs. Eli will be a major focus of the broadcast, so expect numerous shots of Archie in the stands looking stoic.

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