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Ferringo NFL Report--Week 6

By Robert Ferringo of Doc's Sports Picks

Here are my nonsensical ravings about week five in the National Football League:

- So let me get this straight: Bruce Gradkowski, Matt Leinart and Philip Rivers are now more reliable in the fourth quarter than Brett Favre, Drew Bledsoe, Jon Kitna and Steve McNair? Is that what it has come to?

The days of making a decision based on a team's starting quarterback aren't over, but they are suspended. Next time you're going to do so, you might as well punch yourself in the face. Or just pick what team is going to win based on the color of a team's uniform.

- Terrell Owens was overheard yelling on his way to the locker room, "Why the fuck am I here? Why did they even bring me here?" He was also captured on camera saying the same thing on the sideline.

I'm sure the Cowboys are thinking the exact same thing.

- In the Monday Night Football game after a Denver kickoff to Baltimore returner B.J. Sams, Mike Tirico came out of left field with, "They kick to Sams, who was arrested on Tuesday for a DUI, his second in 14 months. We'll be right back in Denver, 6-3 Broncos."

What if things were like that in real life? Imagine being at restaurant and having an announcer say, "Julia will take your order. She took a pregnancy test yesterday but it came back negative. Which is good because she wouldn't have known whom the father was. Also, her cell phone is about to be shut off for nonpayment. Can she start you off with something to drink?"

- Jacksonville was dealt a crippling blow with the season-ending injury to inside linebacker Mike Peterson. This guy is the heart-and-soul of that defense, as well as one of the top six or seven MLBs in the entire league. That defense is still strong, but it won't be nearly as good as it was with Peterson.

- People are just now realizing that New England plays on a field straight out of "The Sandlot"? Go back and look at the week one tape of their game against Buffalo. I don't think that turf has seen a tarp since 1998.

- Lito Sheppard said in a televised interview that T.O. was "the ultimate teammate you would like to have."

- When bad clichés happen to good quarterbacks: "This isn't a race, it's a marathon," said Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair after the Ravens 13-3 loss on MNF. Well put.

- Hank Baskett's game-changing 87-yard touchdown was the result of an outstanding scheme coupled by phenomenal execution. The normal counter to a weakside corner blitz is a quick hitch to the weakside wideout. Philly knows this, but instead of doing that they left the blitzer unblocked - knowing that it would be up to McNabb to evade him - and call a hitch-and-go to beat the safety who was cheating up.

The play worked brilliantly, and that's why D-Nabb is the MVP right now. He's one of three quarterbacks - Brady and Manning - that have the presence to not get rattled by an unblocked blitzer, calmly set up and deliver a beautiful deep ball in that clutch situation.

- Everyone was praising the scheme and game plan of Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jim Johnson, but the coordinator I was most impressed with was Tennessee defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. The Titans were shredded at home by Dallas and then bounced back to hold Indianapolis to a meager 14 points.

-What's killing the Colts run defense - which is downright pathetic - is the odd Corey Simon Situation. Simon is on the PUP list right now, but rumor has it that it's a contract issue and not an injury one. Indy let Larry Tripplett go in the offseason because they had Simon, and now they're left with no size up front. Also, this is what I meant in the preseason when I said they were a worse team after letting Reagor and LB David Thornton go.

- That pass interference call on Will Allen was awful. Face guarding? What is face guarding? He did turn around. Horrid call.

- "We've gotten away from the run. That's the stupidest fucking thing. I thought we play to win the game. … It's like we do the opposite, trying to give the game away," said Edgerrin James after Arizona blew a 10-point lead against Kansas City.

Weird. Someone criticizing Denny Green for not knowing what the hell he's doing.

- Carolina is 3-0 with Steve Smith and 0-2 without him. But we're going to find out a lot about this team next week when they roll in to tussle with Baltimore.

- Kitna single-handedly crushed the dreams of Detroit backers last weekend with his fourth-quarter collapse. It was like a drive-by raping. His shoddy play directly led to a pair of Vikings defensive touchdowns en route to a 26-17 loss. That destroyed anyone who had the Lions +7 or less and it beat Under bettors (total was 42). Brutal.

But hey, it could be worse. You could be working the late shift at Wendy's on a Tuesday night.

- Was that Bernard Berrian or Willie Gault out there on Sunday? Now, Buffalo corner Terrence McGee is not a slow guy. In fact, he's one of the most explosive return men in the game. But Berrian blew by him for a 62-yard game. Like McGee was standing still.

- San Diego's offensive line did an absolutely unbelievable job against Pittsburgh on Sunday. They allowed four sacks and took zero holding penalties even though they called more than 40 pass plays. If Pittsburgh's defense isn't wreaking havoc in the opponent's backfield it becomes a pretty average unit.

- Is there a more schizophrenic unit in the NFL than the Washington Redskins offense? They average 34 points in their two wins and just 10 points in their three losses.

- I don't know about you, but I would definitely vote for a Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert ticket in 2008! If you haven't seen it yet, go to You Tube and find Jon Stewart's piece about George Bush's job description. It's hilarious.

- Big Ben has zero touchdowns and seven interceptions. His quarterbacking rating is 38.4.

- For the love of God, someone explain to me what Art Shell is doing with the Raiders. I swear, they should not be this bad. Bad, yes. But at this rate they shouldn't win a game. Tell me why Shell would bench Andrew Walter for Marrquis Tuiasosopo in the fourth quarter of that embarrassing loss to San Francisco? Haven't we already established that Tui can't play in this league and that Raiders are the only team dumb enough to pay that guy? Give Walter the reps! The kid is the future.

- Minnesota's offense has scored four touchdowns. The Vikings defense has scored three touchdowns.

- Before their final drive, which began after a fumbled Chicago exchange on their 42-yard line, Buffalo managed to cross into Chicago territory just three times. Three times they crossed midfield. In those three situations the Bills managed eight plays for 17 yards and two interceptions.

Oh, and the Bears were without two defensive starters.

- This is going to sound odd, but one of the things I've been most impressed with this year has been the punting. Across the board these guys have been outstanding.

- Also, when are the Cowboys going to realize what is blatantly obvious to everyone else - your offensive line is TERRIBLE and you have a quarterback who crumbles in the face of defensive pressure. Let's try some max-protect and send out just T.O., Witten and Glenn and let them do their thing.

- I was on the phone with my boy Burk, reassuring him that Drew Bledsoe had at least one awful decision left in him late in the Philadelphia game, when Antrel Rolle maimed Larry Johnson. My first thought was, "Larry Johnson is dead." Fortunately, he's OK, but don't think the Steelers will take it easy on him this week.

- Anyone who thinks that Marty Schottenheimer is all of a sudden going to ditch 30+ years of football experience and become a gambler is sorely mistaken.

- My favorite non-Chicago Bear this year has to be Wes Welker. He's a poor man's Don Beebe, which is awesome.

- Just a thought, but maybe the reason no one is buying St. Louis is because after they lost to San Francisco and they've beaten three teams with a combined 2-13 record by an average of four points. And two of those wins came from atrocious fumbles deep in Rams territory by quarterbacks who are complete train wrecks.

- Governor Sonny Perdue claims that he's helping Georgia because his brilliant innovation was to add "Graduation Coaches" to state high schools. Not a guidance counselor, but a graduation coach. Schools don't have enough money for both art and gym (they have to choose), and there aren't enough rooms so many schools have double-wide trailers on the lawn that are used as classrooms. But they have graduation coaches.

So here's my question: since Georgia dropped two spots last year to fall to No. 40 in the country for education; so who are they employing as coaches, Art Shell?

Questions or comments for Robert? E-mail him at or check out his Insider Page here.

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