The NFL’s newest bad boy, DT Ndamukong Suh, was clearly missing out on the Thanksgiving spirit today, getting ejected during the 3rd quarter of the Lions’ ugly 27-15 loss to the Packers for kicking OL Evan Dietrich-Smith while he was down after a play. Not exactly a good look for the Lions, who were hoping to reverse their bad fortunes in turkey day games, but ended up losing their 8th straight nationally televised holiday affair in brutal fashion.
Green Bay was leading 7-0 at the half, and had failed on a 3rd and goal attempt when frustration overcame Suh and he took it out on Dietrich-Smith in plain view of the refs. The Packers lineman had driven Suh to the ground on the play, and Suh responded by driving his helmet into the turf before standing up, and stomping on his right arm as he walked away:
VIDEO AND MORE AFTER THE JUMP
For picks 1 through 5, go here.
Let’s continue with picks 6 through 10.
6. Cleveland Browns – A.J. Green, WR, Georgia: Cleveland’s in a terrible spot. They’re moving to the 4-3, but have nothing along the defensive line. They have a promising young quarterback in Colt McCoy — and they’re moving to the West Coast Offense — but he’s got almost nobody to throw to. They just cut NT Shaun Rogers along with a flock of grizzled defensive veterans — a fiscally sound move, but one that’s left Browns fans wondering who will take the field next season. Changing offensive and defensive philosophies during a lockout-hampered offseason in which coaches cannot communicate with players is tougher. The free-agency window possibly opening for mere weeks, if at all, is tougher. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh and Baltimore have stayed the course. This draft is critical for the Browns, forced to address needs all over the place. Pat Shurmur was brought in to groom McCoy and flip the switch on offense — and Green is the kind of sizzling wideout the team’s been missing since Braylon Edwards broke free in 2007 — and before that, since Webster Slaughter. Still, many could question the Browns passing up one of the blue-chip defensive linemen — but how do you meet two needs at once?
7. San Francisco 49ers – Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson: This is a tough one for me. In a mock with trades, I see Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers pressing for a quarterback, or possibly even trading down into a spot where they can gather picks and select Florida’s Christian Ponder late in the first. Honestly, how many more coaches can call Alex Smith their starter? That experiment needs to cease. With Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert off the board, the 49ers select Bowers, a defensive end who comes with question marks around the health of his knee, but, if ruled healthy, could serve as defensive stronghold while Harbaugh seeks a quarterback elsewhere. Moroever, there are some promising young passers to be had later in the draft, such as Washngton’s Jake Locker and Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick – not to mention the polarizing Ryan Mallett out of Arkansas.
Picks 8-10 after the jump.
As we all know by know, the Washington Redskins finally did something about the Albert Haynesworth debacle on Tuesday, suspending the $100 million dollar flop for the rest of the season without pay. The move brought a sense of relief around the Redskins’ organization, knowing they can focus on football now that the drama Haynesworth seemed to bring on a weekly basis is over with.
Yesterday, Mike Shanahan said that during their eight months together, Haynesworth was impossible to please, and it was simply time to part ways:
“He didn’t like the 4-3 defense a year ago,” Shanahan said. “He didn’t like the base defense. He didn’t like the nickel defense. He didn’t want to play nose tackle, didn’t want to play defensive end (in the 3-4 defense). We got him playing the nickel package, first and second and third down. He didn’t like first- and second-down nickel, wanted to play third-down nickel in passing situations. Hey, it was just time. It was just time to go in another direction.”
More surprisingly, Shanahan also said that he “hasn’t even discussed this situation with Dan” … meaning that overly-hands-on owner Daniel Snyder wasn’t aware of the suspension – which was officially for “conduct detrimental to the team” – before it happened. I don’t know about you, but I kind of love that.
Oh, and in case you’re still wondering if Shanahan made the right decision, we gently remind you of this.
Winners in BOLD.
All italics taken from The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath.
Indianapolis @ Tennessee:
“But even as I ran from room to room, trying to close the fourteen or fifteen windows on the side where the rain was coming in, it was too late, and the stills wet with puddles, and the water was collecting in streams along the floor.“
Cleveland @ Buffalo:
“It is the bold, the loud-mouthed, the cruel, the vital, the revolutionaries, the mighty in arms and will, who march over the soft patient flesh that lies beneath their cleated boots.”
Cincinnati @ Pittsburg:
“I have been feeling like a ‘new person.’ Like a shot of brandy went home, a sniff of cocaine, hit me where I live and I am alive & so there. Better than shock treatment.”
Green Bay @ Detroit:
“Another day in Hell”
Denver @ Arizona:
“Get a job. Learn shorthand at night. NOTHING EVER REMAINS THE SAME.”
Seattle @ San Francisco:
“Please, think – snap out of this. Believe in some beneficent force beyond your own limited self. God, god, god: where are you? I want you, need you: the belief in you and love and mankind.”
Philadelphia @ Dallas:
“How long, since I noticed stars; no longer, now, mere inane pinpricks on a smothering sky of cheap cloth.“
NY Giants @ Minnesota:
“A lifetime is not long enough. Nor youth to old age long enough. Immortality and permanence be damned. Sure I want them, but they are nonexistent, and won’t matter when I rot underground. All I want to say is: I made the best of a mediocre job. It was a good fight while it lasted. And so life goes.”
Miami @ NY Jets:
“The first day of swelter: grey, wet, warm rain making a slither of streets. A dog barks far off. The milk bottle sweat drops, the butter slumps. The house begins to look untidy again.”
Tampa Bay @ Washington:
“Amazing how money would simplify problems like ours. We wouldn’t go wild at all, but write & travel & study all our lives – which I hope we do anyway. And have a house apart, by the side of no road, with country about & a study & walls of bookcases.”
They say a picture is worth a thousand words … well Redskins fans, what’s an animated GIF worth? Here he is, your $100-million dollar man, Albert Haynesworth giving up entirely last night on national TV versus division rival Philadelphia:
It’s quite mesmerizing, really … it’s almost as though Haynesworth dropped a cookie down there.
And if you want to get an idea of the mindset of Redskin nation today, give a listen to Chad Dukes of 106.7 The Fan in DC go absolutely mental and scream himself hoarse during his radio show this afternoon (co-hosted by LaVar Arrington). All things considered, I’d actually say Dukes has got a pretty solid handle on the situation.
Last night’s Giants/Redskins game was pretty much over before it started, with the Giants dominating from the opening kickoff to remain in contention for the final NFC wild card spot.
One of the more contentious moments of the evening came at the start of the 4th quarter, when most people had probably already stopped watching. The teams got into a bit of a fracas, ultimately ending with punches being thrown by both Giants RB Brandon Jacobs and Redksins DT Albert Haynesworth. Predictably, the fight starts when DeAngelo Hall goes at Jacobs after the whistle (hmmm … where have I seen that before?). After Hall gets dumped to the ground, Haynesworth runs in to defend his teammate, swinging wildly at anyone who gets in his way. Meanwhile, Jacobs takes a boxers stance and squares off with both Hall and Haynesworth.
Enjoy the MMA action:
Now, clearly both players should have been penalized (not just Haynesworth), and there’s no doubt that Jacobs will receive a fine from the NFL. But these are two of the biggest, baddest men in the game today, and there was definitely something thrilling about watching them go toe-to-toe with one another.
It’s too bad that was the most fight the Redskins showed all night.
Hall, on the other hand, was not fined at all. This may seem a bit odd considering that Hall launched himself into the Falcons sideline seemingly intent on starting trouble (mission accomplished!). But apparently Mr. Goodell saw something different than the rest of us, and decided to punish everyone involved except Hall.
Other fines handed out following the brawl include Redskins safety LaRon Landry ($7,500), Washington defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth ($5,000) and Falcons director of athletic performance Jeff Fish ($2,500).
And again, Hall = $0. Makes perfect sense.
Smith had this to say after Thursday’s practice:
“I received a letter from the NFL office this morning,” he said. “I want to reiterate that I’m always going to have my players’ backs and I’m going to take care of them.”
Good for Smith. DeAngelo Hall is a punk with a history of starting trouble, and it’s ridiculous that Goodell would let him off the hook like that.
Yep, it’s that time of year again! Time for bloggers and sportswriters across the land to create meaningless mid-season NFL awards lists!
And who are we to buck the system? If nothing else, this exercise allows us to take a step back to examine the first 9 weeks of action, and heap accolades on those whose performances have set them apart from the pack thus far (in either a good or not-so-good way).
So without further adieu, here they are, the inaugural ReadAndReact Mid-Season NFL Awards:
MVP: Brett Favre, MIN - As much as we hate to admit it, the old man has been the difference maker in Minnesota, and is the main reason they’re sitting atop the NFC central. So far. It’s mainly about the attitude he brings, and the belief the rest of his teammates now have in their chances. But so far, Favre has put up excellent numbers (16TDs vs 3 INTs), and shows no signs of slowing down. But then, we were saying the same thing about Favre and the Jets at this point last year. We’ll see how the arm holds up come week 16.
Coach of the Year: Josh McDaniels/Mike Nolan, DEN – in a total shocker to everyone in the league, McDaniels has come into Denver and changed the team culture in record time, leading the team out to a fast 6-0 start. And Nolan’s defense – currently 3rd in the NFL in Total Yds/Gm, and 1st in defensive touchdowns (8 so far) – has been the main reason for their success.
Offensive Player of the Year: Drew Brees, NO – I’m taking Brees over Peyton Manning here, mainly because we’ve come to expect this sort of ruthless efficiency from Peyton, but Brees seems to have entered a new stratosphere in 2009. He’s playing about as well as you can at the position (106 QB Rating), and has the Saints leading the NFL in total offense.
Defensive Player of the Year: Darren Sharper, NO – With a league-leading 7 interceptions (3 of them returned for TDs!), Sharper has changed the attitude of the Saints defense, and helped turn them into a force. Is it scary that a Saint is getting the award for both offense and defense? Yes, and it’s why I like the Saints to go all the way this year.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Percy Harvin, MIN – One of the most exciting offensive playmakers to come along in a while, Harvin is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. With 5 TDs in 8 games – 3 via reception and 2 via KO return – Harvin has challenged the Vikings coaching staff to develop more ways to get the ball into his hands.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Jairus Byrd, BUF - The first-year DB has been a ball-hawking machine, with multiple interceptions in 3 consecutive games! With 7 interceptions so far, Byrd is tied for the NFL lead, and is on pace for 14 this season, which would tie an NFL record.