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Patriots Finally Dump Maroney

There’s nothing like getting into your car after a hard day’s work and being treated to phenomenal sports news right away on the radio.  The first thing I heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub — my favorite station for Boston sports talk — when I started my engine this afternoon was that Laurence Maroney has been traded to the Denver Broncos.  Hallelujah.

Yes, I’m thrilled that the Patriots were able to finagle a 4th rounder from the Broncos in exchange for Maroney and a 6th rounder.  His days in New England were numbered to begin with.  However, I’m most ecstatic about the fact that I don’t have to listen to broadcasters, talk show hosts, and callers dedicate 75% of the post-game discussion to how much No. 39 sucks and what an epic bust he’s become.

There will be no more, “Why can’t Maroney just hit the hole hard?” No more, “I’m sick of watching Maroney tip-toe and side step.”  And, most importantly, no more, “Why don’t the Patriots just get rid of this guy?!?!?”

Maybe Maroney will be successful in Josh McDaniels’ offense out in Denver, but it certainly won’t turn into a situation where Patriots fans regret trading him if he tears it up.  The Minnesota product showed very few flashes of brilliance while running the ball with the Patriots and had an insanely difficult time staying on the field.  The sad part is I think Maroney has the talent to succeed in the NFL.  Sometimes a player just isn’t a good fit for a certain system, and I think this is a perfect example of one of those instances.

Marvin Lewis Uses the Old Shoe Problem Excuse Covering for Terrell Owens

There has only been one game played in the 2010 NFL season and already the haters looking for ammunition against Batman and Robin have something.

Both Terrell Owens and Chad Johnson were not on the field for the Bengals when they attempted a Hail Mary pass prior to halftime against the Patriots. The Bengals actually completed the bomb from Carson Palmer (rookie Jordan Shipley made the catch) but they came up short of the end zone as time expired. After the game, people were wondering why the star receivers were not on the field for that play.

Head Coach Marvin Lewis explained that Chad had gone into the training room early to receive medical attention. Apparently Ocho needed an IV which is completely understandable. T.O. however had less of an excuse.

After being badgered and pressed by the media, Owens told inquiring minds to ask Coach Lewis what happened. Marvin pretty much dodged the issue after the game, but he had more of an explanation on Monday: “[Owens] had shoes that just got here on Saturday. Again, we don’t need to get into all of that. It’s over. It occurred but it’s not a big deal.”

It’s issues like this that support the notion that Marvin Lewis did not want T.O. on the team. He was put in a bad spot and wanted to diffuse the issue so he did his best. Still, a shoe issue? That’s almost as bad as saying the dog ate T.O.’s homework. Understandable, but lame.

Sources:
Terrell Owens had shoe problem, Lewis says [Cincinnati Enquirer]

Ryan Grant Out for the Season for GB

Football is a game of injuries and the NFL is a league of attrition. After only one week in the season, many players are already hurt and we have learned that Packers running back Ryan Grant falls in that group.

FOX NFL reporter Jay Glazer says Ryan Grant is out for the season because of right leg and ankle injuries. Grant got hurt in the second quarter of Sunday’s season opener against the Packers and was in a walking boot after the game. The fourth-year running back from Notre Dame had picked up 45 yards on eight carries prior to the injury.

What makes this news especially surprising is that Grant has been a model of health and consistency in the past. Over the last three years, Grant had missed just one game. Now he gets hurt in the opener and is out for the season.

Backup running back Brandon Jackson becomes an instant pickup in fantasy football and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Packers bring in some more backs for a look. Though the passing game is what drives Green Bay’s offense, the loss of Grant will hurt the team.

Sources:
Packers’ Grant out for season [Jay Glazer/FOX Sports]

LBS Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

1. New Orleans Saints (1-0)

I’m respecting the champs here.  They kicked off 2010 by beating one of the best teams in the NFC.  I’m not going to bump them down based solely on the fact that it’s tough to repeat.

2. Green Bay Packers (1-0)

Didn’t look overly impressive against the Eagles considering how many injuries the Birds had, but they’re going to be a very good and a Week 1 road win only helps.

3. Baltimore Ravens (1-0)

We already thought the Ravens would be one of the better teams in the AFC.  A win over the Jets on the road and the addition of T.J. Houshmandzadeh proves they’re a force to be reckoned with.

4. Minnesota Vikings (0-1)

Had Brett Favre not missed the entire off-season, they probably would have taken down the defending champs to start their season off.  Their defense is probably the NFC’s best and Favre should shake the rust off.

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Jets Are Not Sniffing the Super Bowl with Sanchez as Starting QB

While the Jets have been calling themselves “the Miami Heat of football,” I’ve been laughing at their bravado. Sure they have an excellent defense, but their Super Bowl aspirations are misguided. All along I’ve said that Mark Sanchez will hold them back and after the first week of the season it appears as if that will be the case.

The Jets lost on Monday Night Football to the Ravens 10-9. The only thing uglier than their 14 penalties for 125 yards were their passing stats. Second-year quarterback Mark Sanchez went 10-21 for 74 yards without a touchdown or turnover. No receiver had more than two catches and 18 yards. There’s a reason none of their receivers made it onto my fantasy team and this was it.

Granted, the Jets were facing one of the best defenses in the league in the Ravens, but less than 100 yards passing won’t cut it for a Super Bowl team. See, the Ravens were also facing one of the best defenses in the league but they threw for 248 yards. Baltimore has a similar amount of play makers on offense as the Jets, but the difference is they have a more experienced quarterback.

I thought Mark Sanchez played well enough for what the Jets needed him to do last year in the playoffs. I feel like Sanchez will be a good quarterback in a few years. But Mark Sanchez is still a young quarterback and a lot is being asked of him. His development as a quarterback is not at the same stage as the team’s defense. One is Super Bowl-ready, the other is still learning the league.

It may only be one game, and Mark Sanchez may still be good in time, but the Jets are not going to the Super Bowl this year with him as their starting quarterback.

Photo Credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Does This Look Like a Disgruntled Star Wide Receiver?

Earlier today we told you how we believe the comments Randy Moss made on Sunday after the Patriots win over the Bengals are being blown out of proportion by the media.  The truth of the matter is people wish Moss would be so pissed off that it affected his play, because it’s better business to be able to call him a cry baby and say he’s quitting on the Patriots.

Earlier in the week, a big deal was made out of the fact that Moss wasn’t voted a captain by his teammates.  Clearly the wide receiver hasn’t lost any respect amongst his teammates.  Actually, it appears he’s still one of the leaders in the locker room.  Check out the video of Randy Moss breaking it down in the Patriots locker room:

Would a receiver who wants out be leading the charge in the locker room after a hard-earned victory just moments before taking the podium?  I didn’t think so, either.

Video Credit: YouTube user stella5378

Ray Rice, Shaun Ellis in Pregame Fight

Ray Rice is a 5’8″ running back for the Baltimore Ravens. Shaun Ellis is a 6’5″ 290lb defensive lineman for the New York Jets. Perhaps someone should remind Rice it’s not a good idea to mess with someone about twice his size, as he did pregame.

Prior to kickoff of Monday Night Football’s contest between the Ravens and Jets, ESPN showed footage of Rice and Ellis in a war of words. Ellis stuck his hand in Rice’s face as if to say “back off” little man. Ed Reed was in there trying to play peace maker but he didn’t appear to have much luck. The best part was former Ravens linebacker Bart Scott picking up a football Rice had tossed at Ellis and chucking it at him. Here are a few pics of the pregame skirmish (with video below)

Ellis got the early laugh by absolutely crunching Joe Flacco on Baltimore’s first offensive play. I’m surprised they didn’t have to cart Flacco off the field after that bone-crushing hit.

Here’s video of Ray Rice and Shaun Ellis fighting:

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