|10.29.10 at 9:47 am ET|
Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan Show, ESPN’s Adam Schefter talked about the decision Vikings coach Brad Childress is faced with in regard to deciding if an injured Brett Favre will get the start Sunday against the Patriots. Schefter said that while he didn’t know if it would be Favre or Tavaris Jackson in the Minnesota starting lineup, he did say that the quarterback situation went beyond just determining whether or not Favre’s injured ankle was OK.
“The bottom line to all of this, is that there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye,” Schefter said. “It’s really intriguing how it’s going to unfold, and I don’t have an answer to how it’s going to unfold.”
Here is the rest of the Schefter interview (to listen to the segment click here):
“I think where this story is at right now is that I think there’s a part of Brad Childress that wants to start Tavaris Jackson, period, as his quarterback. Partly due to health, partly due to performance, not just health. The question I have is not whether Brett Favre is going to be tough enough to fight through this injury and play, the question is whether or not Brad Childress has the fortitude, the courage, the bravado to go and bench Brett Favre.”
(Childress caring about breaking Favre’s starting streak) “I don’t think he cares at this point. Here’s the thing. We’re going to get the answer on Sunday. That’s what is so intriguing about it. Whether he feels like, ‘You know what? I don’t care. I’m going to do what I want. We’re going to go with the quarterback I want to play.’ You’ll know when that game is kicking off what Brad Childress has decided.”
(What if Childress starts Favre and then takes him out?) “All that does is delay that question for another week, although Tavaris comes in and struggles against the Patriots’ defense, and if that’s the case then it’s easy next week. But if he comes in and plays well what does he do next week?”
|10.29.10 at 8:54 am ET|
So just about the entire country will be tuning in to Foxboro at 4:15 on Sunday to see Brett Favre meet Tom Brady, er, the Vikings and the Patriots. Patriots, play some defense and rush the passer and you SHOULD be okay.
* – Over the last 12 regular season home games for New England: 12-0. 23 or more points scored in each. 27 touchdown passes vs. just five interceptions.
* – Tom Brady vs. Brett Favre: Catchable balls: Brady 74.2 percent (ranked first); Favre 65.4 percent (ranked 19th).
* – The Patriots have scored 14 or more points in their last 20 games, the second longest current streak in the league (San Diego, 29).
* – In each of the last seven seasons, the Patriots have held at least three opponents to fewer than 10 points, the longest such streak in the league since at least 1990. That streak is in serious jeopardy as they have no such games yet this season. The Vikings haven’t had even one such season since 1998. Detroit’s last season holding three or more opponents under 10 points? 1983.
* – The last two NFL teams to win and score 23 or more points DESPITE fewer than 190 total yards were: The Vikings (a 24-21
win over Dallas in Week 6) and the Patriots (their 23-20 win at San Diego last Sunday). New England is just the second team to accomplish that in a road game since the end of the 2006 season.
* – The Patriots have only six turnovers this season, tied for the third fewest in the league. The Bears had six turnovers just last Sunday alone.
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|10.29.10 at 8:07 am ET|
What better time of the year to debut the LEEInks weekly fantasy column than Halloween ‘ now I can use a lame pun for the title! As should be expected here every Friday for the remainder of the season, following are some slightly obscure names I expect to tally some serious points, based off of matchup analysis.
Sure, it would be easy to recommend an elite back such as Frank Gore against a Broncos defense that just got torched by Darren McFadden for 196 total yards and four touchdowns. And yeah, anybody can say Arian Foster is in line for a big week against a horrid Colts run defense that he demolished for 231 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1.
But I’m here to reveal the diamonds in the rough that are primed to explode, even if the majority may be riding the fantasy pine or are on the waiver wire. Like the creepy old lady in the neighborhood who actually gives out king-size candy bars, these players might not initially appear attractive, but if you’re willing to take the risk, they could yield a nice profit.
So this Halloween, if your lineup is feeling some bye-week woes, or you’re at the bottom of the pack and need a spark, give the old lady a visit and plug in one of these guys. You can thank me when you’re watching your fantasy team dominate while mowing down a king-size Milky Way.
Ryan Fitzpatrick at Kansas City
Quick quiz: Who leads all fantasy signal-callers in points per game? Shocking answer: Not Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Peyton Manning, but Buffalo’s Ryan Fitzpatrick, who wasn’t even starting entering the year. Fitzpatrick has netted 26.0 points a game in standard formats, while throwing for multiple TD passes in all four of his starts. Most recently, he absolutely shredded a stout Ravens pass defense for 382 yards and four touchdowns. His 102.2 passer rating trails only Manning’s.
|10.29.10 at 1:03 am ET|
With the Patriots anticipating the sight of Brett Favre under center when the Vikings hit Foxboro on Sunday, let’s take a look at Favre’s career numbers against the Patriots.
As a starter, Favre is 3-4 against the Patriots and 2-2 against Bill Belichick New England defenses. In addition, he’s 128-for-209 (61 percent) with 1,438 passing yards. Perhaps the number that stands out the most when it comes to Favre and the Patriots is that while he has 12 career touchdowns passes against New England, he has just three picks.
Oct. 2, 1994: In his first career game against the Patriots, Favre went 25-for-47 for 294 yards, one touchdown and a pair of interceptions in a 17-16 New England win at Foxboro Stadium.
Jan. 26, 1997: In perhaps his most memorable performance against the Patriots, Favre threw for a pair of touchdowns and ran for another in the 35-21 win over New England in Super Bowl XXXI. Favre ended up going 14-for-27 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns.
Oct. 27, 1997: Favre was efficient, going 23-for-34 and tossing for 239 yards and three touchdowns, but came away with a 28-10 loss to Pete Carroll and the Patriots at Foxboro Stadium.
Oct. 13, 2002: Favre threw for three touchdowns and 147 yards in a rainy afternoon at Gillette Stadium. Favre was 17-for-27 and had zero picks in a 28-10 win over the Patriots. It was contest that was more well known for two things: the return of Terry Glenn to New England (as a member of the Packers) and the Patriots’ ill-advised decision to wear blue shirts and blue game pants. Ugh.
Nov. 19, 2006: Perhaps Favre’s worst game against the Patriots ‘ the Green Bay quarterback was knocked out early in a 35-0 New England win at Lambeau Field. The quarterback was just 5-for-15 for 73 yards before yielding to Aaron Rodgers.
Sept. 14, 2008: In Favre’s introduction to the Patriots-Jets rivalry New England got the best of the gunslinger with a 16-9 win at the Meadowlands. The Patriots held Favre to an 18-for-26 line for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Nov. 13, 2008: It was old-school Favre, who reached into the past and pulled out a classic performance in a 34-31 overtime win over Matt Cassel and the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Favre ended up 26-for-33 for 258 yards, a pair of touchdown passes and no interceptions.
|10.28.10 at 5:23 pm ET|
Vikings injury Report for Thursday
Did Not Participate
QB Brett Favre (foot/ankle)
S Husain Abdullah (concussion)
CB Chris Cook (knee)
|10.28.10 at 4:02 pm ET|
Patriots Injury Report for Thursday
Did Not Participate
S Jarrad Page (calf)
RB Fred Taylor (toe)
QB Tom Brady (right shoulder)
|10.28.10 at 2:31 pm ET|
FOXBORO — One of the major differences Deion Branch has noticed early on his second tenure with the Patriots is the make-up and behavior of the team in practice.
“These guys are much younger,” Branch said Thursday. “You have to think about I came in with Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel, Willie McGinest, Ted Johnson, Ted Washington. Those guys are older, veteran guys, experienced guys. The guys we have now are young but have the same hunger, though. These young guys are very ambitious. They want to go out and make plays. The only difference is the experience and the age.”
While Vrabel was notorious for talking and shouting at players during practice, Branch says the younger guys now collectively have the former Patriots linebacker beat.
“There’s a whole lot more trash-talking with these guys,” Branch said with a hearty laugh. “It’s a lot more with the younger guys. It’s fun though, because they remind me of me. I did that just one year. I realized I saved a lot of energy not talking a lot of trash.
“It’s funny, though. You see the young guys. Spikes is one of them, he’s real funny. Who else? Meriweather. Brandon is a talker. But it’s exciting to see these young guys.”
Branch said while he’s still refreshing himself with the “Patriot Way” on offense, he is happy to be helping the younger core of talent like Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman and Danny Woodhead with the system.
“It’s great, especially when the young guys are still asking me questions about certain things when I still learning certain things,” Branch said.
Branch admitted Thursday that he expects quite the carnival atmosphere on Sunday when the Vikings and Patriots square off at Gillette Stadium on Halloween. But it’s hardly something that’s front-and-center in his mind.
“I don’t know how that’s going to pan out,” Branch said. “Am I excited to see it? Nah, I just want to go out and do my job and hopefully, we’ll win this game.”
Branch also talked about holding the basketball for a stunt during a timeout of the Boston Celtics-Miami Heat season opener on Tuesday.
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