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Vernon Davis Cries While Pumping Up the 49ers Pregame (Video)

If 49ers tight end Vernon Davis knew the Cardinals were going to lay down for them on Monday Night Football, maybe he wouldn’t have poured in as much emotion to his pregame speech as he showed. As our man Steve shared with me, VD got so carried away with things pregame it looked like he was crying. Check it out:

Maybe he just splashed some water on his face because I sure saw some moisture in those eyes and what appeared to be tears streaking down his face. I’m not missing something there, right? VD only had 32 yards on two catches but Troy Smith missed him for a wide open touchdown. Luckily against the Cardinals it didn’t matter. Arizona, which has lost six in a row, got outrushed 261-13. It doesn’t get much more pathetic than that.

Jimmy Johnson: Player Personnel, Not Coaching the Problem for Arizona Cardinals

LBS recently caught up with Super Bowl and National Championship winning coach Jimmy Johnson who’s running the first annual Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl (enter here for your chance to play football at Cowboys Stadium after the Super Bowl and be coached by Jimmy Johnson!). Jimmy already told us he thinks coaching is an issue for the 49ers, but what about their Monday night counterpart? Johnson thinks the players are the problem with the Cardinals, not the coaches.

The Cardinals reached the Super Bowl under coach Ken Whisenhunt and have won the NFC West twice. Jimmy attributed Arizona’s 3-7 start to the loss of key players over the off-season, including Kurt Warner, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, and Anquan Boldin. He said the coaching is the same, but they’ve lost a lot of good players.

While losing Dansby and Rolle have hurt the defense tremendously, the biggest dropoff for the Cardinals has been at the quarterback position. Arizona has gone from starting potential Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner to using Derek Anderson and Max Hall in games. Under Whisenhunt with Warner at QB, the Cardinals have had the 7th, 3rd, and 11th most productive offense in football. This year they’re the 28th, only better than three teams. I agree with Jimmy — it’s the players that has resulted in the losing in Arizona, not the coaches.

Jimmy Johnson: Mike Singletary Like a Motivational Speaker Taking Over a Team

LBS had the opportunity to sit down with National Championship and Super Bowl winning coach Jimmy Johnson recently. Jimmy is running the first ever Crown Royal Jimmy Bowl which is a football game between two teams of four adults the Friday after the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium (go here for your chance to play in the game!). One of the subjects brought up was 49ers coach Mike Singletary, who seems to be in an unstable position in terms of job status. San Francisco was expected to run away with the NFC West but instead they’ve struggled to a 3-7 start.

When asked about Singletary, Johnson said it was like a motivational speaker was taking over an NFL team. That’s funny, because Singletary is a powerful speaker with a background as a motivational speaker. Though Jimmy has been a motivational speaker, he says there’s two important factors about the audience that makes it easy for the speaker’s message to be received: they are open to your message, and they pay to hear you speak. Johnson explained what we knew, that in the NFL the players aren’t always open to your message, and they already have a ton of money, making them less likely to listen.

Though the 49ers owners are the only ones who can make the call on the job status of Mike Singletary, it was pretty obvious that Johnson did not think Singletary was qualified. After going 5-4 since taking over for Mike Nolan in 2008 and 8-8 in 2009, the Niners have completely flopped. Singletary, while loveable because of his speeches, likely isn’t the man for the job, but San Francisco’s biggest problem in my eyes is this.

Chargers’ Defense Owns Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning is a 10-time Pro Bowl quarterback and three-time NFL MVP. One doesn’t accumulate such accolades without performing extremely well against opponents throughout a career. However, for whatever reason, Peyton Manning seems to struggle against the San Diego Chargers.

The Chargers beat the Colts 36-14 on Sunday night, bringing both teams’ record to 6-5 on the season. San Diego’s defense put on a show, intercepting Peyton Manning four times, twice for touchdowns. In fact, Manning is 4-5 in his career against the Chargers with 16 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. In terms of recent history, Peyton is 1-4 against the Chargers since 2007 with 10 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. There aren’t many teams that have success against Peyton, but San Diego is one of them.

Here is a look at Manning’s career numbers against the team his brother spurned in 2004:

    2010 reg. season L 36-14, Manning 285yds, 2/4
    2008 reg. season W 23-20, Manning 255yds, 2/1
    2008 playoffs L 23-17 (OT), Manning 310yds, 1/0
    2007 reg. season L 23-21, Manning 328yds 2/6
    2007 playoffs L 28-24, Manning 402yds 3/2
    2005 reg. season L 26-17, Manning 336yds 1/2
    2004 reg. season W 34-31 (OT), Manning 383yds 2/1
    1999 reg. season W 27-19, Manning 404yds, 2/1
    1998 reg. season W 17-12, Manning 137yds, 1/1

Shall we call it a case of Eli Karma? Works for me.

Photo Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Jay Cutler Likes Chicago Bears Being an Under the Radar Team

Aside from the Chargers and Falcons, the Chicago Bears had the biggest win of the weekend. The Bears beat the Philadelphia Eagles — a team many considered the best in the NFC — 31-26 on Sunday. Jay Cutler threw for four touchdowns, the defense sacked Mike Vick four times, and forced him to throw his first interception since 2006. Chicago is now leading the NFC North and quietly tied for the second best record in the NFC.

Maybe it’s the low-scoring offense that’s kept this team out of the consciousness for most fans and media members, but that doesn’t seem to bother Jay Cutler. The quarterback told Alex Flanagan of NBC Sports that the Bears “want to fly under the radar. We’re not worried about anybody else.” He added “We don’t want a target on our back. The more we win, people are going to take notice.”

Here’s a video of the report in case you’re interested:

Cutler is exactly right — being under the radar and not talked about as one of the top teams is a good spot to be in for Chicago, but the win over Philly has boosted them into extreme relevancy in the NFL. People have been forced to take notice of the Bears who have one of the top defenses in the league. With games against the Jets and Packers to end the season, they need to rack up the wins now.

Michael Vick Throws First Interception Since 2006

It looks as though Sunday is a day of firsts across the NFL.  Aaron Rodgers lost his first fumble of the year during the early games in what would turn out to be a 20-17 loss to the Atlanta Falcons.  Michael Vick had a streak going that was slightly more impressive, and that too has come to an end.  Vick threw his first interception of the season against Chicago — a pass that was tipped in the red zone by the Bears defense.  Because he missed time while he was in prison, it also happened to be Vick’s first pick in four years.

So during what has turned into an MVP-caliber season for Vick, he has shown us that he’s capable of making a mistake — one that technically wasn’t even his fault because a Chicago defender made a great play to get up and deflect the pass.

Meanwhile, the Bears are ahead of the Eagles 21-13 at the half and Jay Cutler looks like he actually has a clue.  He’s completed only seven passes, but three of them have gone for touchdowns and he — brace yourself — has yet to throw an interception.  Don’t worry, a long 30 minutes of football is still looming.

UPDATE: Jay Cutler threw four touchdown passes and the Bears won 31-26.

Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson Ejected After Fight (Video)

The Houston Texans put a good old fashioned whooping on the Tennessee Titans in Houston on Sunday, but that won’t be the biggest story of the day.  Cortland Finnegan and Andre Johnson were both ejected from the game following a brawl unlike any other we’ve seen this year in the NFL.  For a few seconds it looked like a UFC fight.  Finnegan is known for being a dirty player — something he’s proud of — and apparently managed to get under Johnson’s skin to the point where both players’ helmets ended up flying and punches were exchanged.  Johnson definitely got the best of Finnegan.  Check out the Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan fight video, courtesy of YouTube user poontogen:

Now, the question becomes what will the punishment be. Roger Goodell is certainly not going to appreciate this incident, and hefty fines are a guarantee. Suspensions aren’t out of the question, either. It’s getting down to the wire in fantasy leagues, and I’d definitely be worried if I had Johnson on my team and was fighting for a playoff spot.  Thanks to Twitter users JenKay1988 and onealty for the pics.