|11.18.14 at 12:30 pm ET|
NBC Sports NFL analyst Rodney Harrison made his weekly appearance on Middays with MFB on Tuesday to discuss the Patriots-Colts game and Adrian Peterson‘s suspension. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Last week, prior to the Patriots-Colts matchup, Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne called this year’s Patriots secondary the “best complete” he’s faced from a Patriots team in his 14 years in the league. Harrison, a member of the Patriots from 2003-08, strongly disagreed that this year’s team was better than the secondary of the Super Bowl years.
“I thought he was crazy and I texted Ty Law and said I said, ‘Ty, he’s crazy,’ ” Harrison said. “He must’ve forgot what we did in ’03-04 and just flat-out kicked their butts, and it was one of those things — I don’t know if he was trying to take a shot at us or what he was to do, or maybe too many hits upside the head — he probably forgot what happened in ’03-04. But, to say that that secondary is better than our secondary — and at that point it doesn’t even matter. Just go out there and play.”
Wayne finished Sunday’s game with five catches for 91 yards. Harrison liked the Patriots’ game plan against him.
“What a great game plan by [defensive coordinator] Matt Patricia putting Darrelle Revis on him, and Darrelle wasn’t even worried about Reggie Wayne going deep,” Harrison said. “I felt like Reggie Wayne, he works extremely hard, he’s trying to run routes, but because of age and injury he’s just no longer the same player than he once was. He had a great career and he’ll still continue to make plays and he will finish strong, but some things you just have to keep to yourself.”
The Colts came into the game 6-3 and looking to prove themselves as one of the elite teams in the AFC, but Harrison said he knew going in they weren’t up to the challenge.
“The Colts really disappointed me,” he said. “I just felt like this was a good game to gauge if they were ready to get to that next level of upper-echelon teams in the AFC and everyone was talking about their No. 1 offense and I just knew they had a lot of weaknesses on the defensive side of the ball, just like I told Tony Dungy. I just knew they weren’t ready. As good as your quarterback is, you have some weapons offensively — you need a total team effort consistently and they haven’t played consistent football on the defensive side of the field.”
|11.18.14 at 10:06 am ET|
Welcome to the Week 12 waiver wire! Now that we’ve cleared the bye weeks for 30 of the league’s 32 teams, it’s time to think about depth and redundancy, especially in larger leagues. So, if you play in a large format, this is a day to check out my expanded waiver wire over at Rotobahn. It will be posted early this afternoon and I will highlight more key handcuff options. Check it out — it’s free.
As always, I do not list players with high rates of ownership. That said, Mike Evans is not owned in 12 percent of Yahoo! leagues. While that doesn’t merit an official listing here, it’s worthy of a mention. Make darn sure that he’s been taken in your league. The guy is a clear-cut WR1 right now. Amazingly, he was on our waiver wire just a few short weeks ago. If you listened to us on Evans and Odell Beckham Jr., you are sitting pretty right now.
As always, the ownership percentages are listed for each player. These rates of ownership are based on Yahoo! leagues, which tend to be smaller and more representative of the 10-team leagues most of us play in. Obviously, these numbers are mostly for perspective. What really matters is which players are available in your particular league, and you’ll need to do the legwork on that.
He’s paid the bills so far. It may not look pretty, but Sanchez is making plays and has a nice group of weapons to work with. His schedule is friendly with the exception of Seattle on Week 14. He can help you as a backup or spot starter. The former Jet has big-game potential on most weeks.
Yes, I am recommending five-pick Eli. He’ll be dumped in a lot of leagues this week, and he can be a QB2 for you and even a matchup starter. The Giants have a very nice closing schedule for the passing game, and he throws to that Odell Beckham guy.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins — 60 percent
He makes a very solid QB2 in smaller formats and he’s available in enough leagues to list him here. The Dolphins are improving in the passing game with a deeper group of receivers than they have had in the past, led by Mike Wallace and rookie Jarvis Landry.
Joe Flacco, Ravens — 57 percent
The ageless Steve Smith has begun to show his mileage a bit and the Ravens have not been a picture of consistency as a passing attack, but they have some tasty matchups remaining on the schedule and that makes him a nice matchup play down the stretch if you need some options.
Brian Hoyer, Browns — 14 percent
The numbers might say, “Move along,” but I think Hoyer is worth a look with Josh Gordon returning this week. The Browns’ remaining schedule is far from scary, and they may be throwing more now that they have an elite receiver on the field.
|11.18.14 at 9:51 am ET|
The NFL announced Tuesday morning that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been suspended without pay for the rest of the 2014 season.
Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault in Texas for injuries to his 4-year-old son he was disciplining. He had been on paid leave from the team since Sept. 17.
In a letter to Peterson, Commissioner Roger Goodell said, ‘The timing of your potential reinstatement will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy.’
The NFLPA immediately announced plans for an appeal, issuing a statement that read in part: “The decision by the NFL to suspend Adrian Peterson is another example of the credibility gap that exists between the agreements they make and the actions they take. Since Adrian’s legal matter was adjudicated, the NFL has ignored their obligations and attempted to impose a new and arbitrary disciplinary proceeding.”
|11.18.14 at 9:00 am ET|
Through 10 games, the Patriots have been flagged for 84 penalties (third-most in the league) for a total of 752 yards (most in the NFL). To this point in the season, here’s a breakdown of the calls that have gone against the Patriots, not including penalties that were declined or offset:
Read the rest of this entry »
|11.18.14 at 8:06 am ET|
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning and talked about Rob Gronkowski, last Sunday’s win over the Colts and looked ahead to this week’s game against the Lions. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Gronkowski has showed no signs of being slowed down after tearing his ACL last December. After getting back to 100 percent, the tight end has been on a tear of late — over his last six games he has caught 40 passes for 587 yards and six touchdowns.
“He surprises me all the time, just what his ability is,” Brady said. “He’s just got incredible ability to make catches, runs, the way he blocks, just as a teammate — there’s nothing he can’t do. It’s so fun to play with people like that. Gronk has been a guy I’ve loved playing with since I’ve been here, he’s just a phenomenal player, phenomenal athlete. He’s a tough matchup for everybody because he’s big, fast, athletic and he has a great attitude. It’s the whole package with him and the biggest issue that he’s had is staying on the field and that is hard for a lot of people, and I think he’s really worked hard to put himself in a position where he can be on the field, so it’s been great to see.”
Gronkowski hasn’t played a full season each of his last two seasons because of injury, so some have suggested the tight end be more cautious on the field when it comes to avoiding some hits. When asked about Gronkowski’s 26-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter where he dodged seemingly the entire Colts secondary, Brady said that wasn’t a play to avoid such hits, but did add there is a time when it is beneficial to avoid such hits.
“I think there is definitely times to play it safe and there is other times not to, and I don’t think that was one of those times,” Brady said. “The game was still a two-score game and we were trying to really put the nail in the coffin. You don’t want to go — and I’ve talked with other players over the years about — it’s great to try and gain extra yards and all those things, but it’s also to put yourself at the risk — like cutting back into seven guys on defense and taking a big hit to gain an extra yard and get knocked out of the game and knocked out of next weeks game, and maybe knocked out of the week after that. Those things don’t make sense to me.
“Part of being a smart football player is making smart decisions and you have to evaluate the situation and you have to try and make a smart one. We all try and do that on our particular plays, with our particular job and what we’re asked to do, but at the same time doing things that are in your … you can’t help the team if you’re not out there playing. In that particular situation Gronk made a great stiff-arm and cut back, really ran through the secondary, which was awesome. That is what he thought he needed to do and that is what he did. That was a great play and a great way to really end the game in a way.”
|11.18.14 at 8:00 am ET|
Every week over the course of the 2014 season, we’ll provide a look at the Patriots pass rush numbers. Like all stats, the numbers have to be placed on context of game-situations and personnel. And while sacks can be overrated, when evaluated as part of a bigger picture that includes quarterback hits and quarterback pressures (the latter courtesy of Pro Football Focus), it should provide a good picture as to which defenders are consistently able to get after the quarterback. Currently, the Patriots are tied for 15th in the league in sacks with 23. Based on the official NFL game books and PFF, here’s a look at the pass-rush numbers for the Patriots after nine games for the 2014 regular season:
Sacks (via gamebooks)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 5 (29 yards)
DE Chandler Jones: 4.5 (28 yards)
LB Dont’a Hightower: 3.5 (25.5 yards)
LB Akeem Ayers: 2 (18 yards)
DL Chris Jones: 1.5 (12 yards)
LB Deontae Skinner: 1 (10 yards)
LB Jerod Mayo: 1 (9 yards)
DL Casey Walker: 1 (5 yards)
DL Joe Vellano: 1 (4 yards)
DB Kyle Arrington: 1 (0 yards)
DE Zach Moore: 0.5 (2.5 yards)
DL Dominique Easley: 0.5 (2 yards)
DL Vince Wilfork: 0.5 (2 yards)
Quarterback Hits (via gamebooks)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 10
DE Chandler Jones: 8
LB Dont’a Hightower: 7
DL Chris Jones: 3
LB Akeem Ayers: 2
LB Jerod Mayo: 2
LB Jamie Collins: 2
LB Jonathan Casillas: 1
DL Joe Vellano: 1
CB Brandon Browner: 1
LB Deontae Skinner: 1
DB Patrick Chung: 1
DL Casey Walker: 1
DL Vince Wilfork: 1
DL Dominique Easley: 1
Quarterback Hurries (via PFF)
DE Rob Ninkovich: 20
DE Chandler Jones: 15
LB Dont’a Hightower: 11
LB Akeem Ayers: 11
LB Jamie Collins: 10
DL Vince Wilfork: 9
DL Dominique Easley: 7
DL Chris Jones: 6
LB Jerod Mayo: 5
DL Casey Walker: 3
DE Zach Moore: 3
DL Sealver Siliga: 2
DL Joe Vellano: 2
CB Alfonzo Dennard: 1
S Patrick Chung: 1
|11.18.14 at 6:00 am ET|
Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat ‘ a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback ‘ it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. Here’s a look at the target breakdown after 10 regular-season games this year.
WR Julian Edelman: 59 catches on 87 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: 53 catches on 80 targets
WR Brandon LaFell: 39 catches on 67 targets
RB Shane Vereen: 36 catches on 54 targets
TE Tim Wright: 18 catches on 20 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 11 catches on 18 targets
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 catches on 11 targets
FB James Develin: 6 catches on 7 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 4 catches on 5 targets
RB James White: 3 catches on 3 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 catches on 4 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 2 catches on 4 targets
TE Michael Hoomananwanui: 2 catches on 3 targets
WR Brian Tyms: 1 catch on 4 targets
RB Jonas Gray: 0 catches on 1 target