Brett Favre Dodges Jenn Sterger Questions, Says Arm Hurts

Brett Favre was his typical self on Monday night. He made plays to get his team back in the game, and then he made plays to take his team out of it. The man could have found Tahi for the two-point conversion but missed him, missed a wide open Percy Harvin in the final drive, and then he threw a pick six to seal the deal. Favre did what only he can — get your hopes up only to let you down, screwing over Doc Brown in the process, who had an otherwise nearly flawless week.

The true heartbreak kid was also the star of the show after the game. Standing at the podium answering questions from the media, Favre was regularly asked about the NFL’s investigation into the sexual harassment and penis photos. He declined to get into the issue, persistently trying to turn the topic back to football. Favre seemed uncomfortable every time someone pressed him on it and he truly seemed to be acting guilty. Thing is, Favre loves the spotlight and to be the center of attention so much he remained at the podium to continue talking and taking questions and he didn’t shut up until the P.R. director ended the conference.

Aside from dodging the Jenn Sterger questions, Favre also said his arm hurt more after this game than it had all year. He was seen grabbing his elbow towards the end of the game in obvious pain. Some might look at this as one of Favre’s annual excuses, but the injury seemed legit. Lastly, Brett confirmed he had been dreaming about Jenn Sterger throwing touchdown passes to Randy Moss for the past 8-10 years and that’s why he was so excited after the touchdown. He may have connected on that bomb, but in the end he did what he always does — break your heart.

Randy Moss Says He and Tom Brady Are Cool, Still Buddies

Even though the Vikings lost in his team debut, Randy Moss was more than accommodating to the media after the Monday night game. The sometimes aloof and often problematic receiver spoke honestly and was somewhat charming in his straightforward comments after the game.

When asked about Brett Favre, Moss says he stays out of his teammates’ personal business and that he just tries to be a friend to them. When asked about the Jets’ cornerback duo of Antonio Cromartie and Darrelle Revis, he was highly complimentary of the tandem and gave an honest assessment of their abilities. Moss also talked about his rapport with second-year receiver Percy Harvin, whom he ensured he’s not there to take his spot but to help him learn. He also raved about the talent on the team and how he watched Percy Harvin and Adrian Peterson when they were in college.

The man was so engaging, it was hard to envision this was the same player who had problems in New England and somewhat went off the rails on occasion.

As for the juicy stuff, Moss was asked about the report that he and Tom Brady went toe-to-toe the week before he was traded. Moss essentially laughed off the question, saying “Tom sent me a text today. Tom, I know you watching buddy, I appreciate that text. Sorry we didn’t bring it home buddy, but I appreciate the text.”

It was pretty obvious that the two are still on very good terms and still think very highly of one another. The text message and Moss’ endearment towards Brady doesn’t mean they didn’t get into a shouting match the week before the trade, but it does mean there were no hard feelings. I still have no reason to believe the report wasn’t true. I said it before and I’ll say it again, maybe if they were throwing him the ball in New England he wouldn’t have grown upset with the team. It’s that simple.

Deion Branch Returns to Patriots

A long-time rumor finally came to fruition Monday night as ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Patriots have decided to bring back wide receiver Deion Branch.  Schefter’s sources say the Patriots exchanged a 2011 fourth round pick for the veteran receiver, who will practice with the team on Tuesday.

As soon as the Patriots dealt Randy Moss, speculation began building that New England may make a run at the Super Bowl XXIX MVP.  Branch has openly stated that he would welcome a return to the team that drafted him, and he and Tom Brady have remained close friends during Branch’s time with the Seahawks.  It’s no secret that Branch doesn’t possess the talent that Moss has, but the chemistry he and Brady built during his tenure with the Patriots could make up for what he’s lacking in actual skill.

If the Patriots are trying to rediscover their old identity, this would seemingly be a step in the right direction.  I highly doubt there would ever be any rumors of Branch and Brady arguing over beards and hair styles, and there’s no doubt No. 12 will be pleased with the front office for bringing back his boy.  Whether or not the two can reemerge as one of the better wide receiver-quarterback duos in the league remains to be seen.

Michael Strahan on Favre Accusations: I Wouldn’t Be Suprised if the Jets Planted It

The Brett Favre sexual harassment drama is taking on a life of its own in the days and hours leading up to the big Vikings-Jets game on Monday night.  When Deadspin released the original report that alleged Favre contacted Jenn Sterger, a Jets employee, in inappropriate ways on several different occasions, there were more skeptics than believers.  When Deadspin brought the actual voicemails and photos into the fold, more people seemed to jump on board.  Now that another former massage therapist who worked for the Jets has made very similar accusations, it looks like Favre could have a major problem.

Michael Strahan was asked about the issue on the Dan Patrick Show on Monday and he downplayed it for the most part.  His reaction was understandable, as fellow players usually don’t like to bash one another especially when there’s no proof.  The segment can be heard here, but what really struck me as unreasonable was Strahan’s idea that the rumors have been planted by the Jets as a means of distracting the Vikings leading up to the big game.

There’s no way that’s true.  The timing may not be a complete coincidence, but that has nothing to do with the Jets organization.  First of all, Deadspin released the original report weeks ago so the buzz has been out there.  The only thing that may be strategic timing is Deadspin releasing the new material this week assuming it would create even more buzz with such a big game looming.  Secondly, if this turns out to be true the Jets wouldn’t exactly come out looking like choir boys.  Whether they were made aware of it at the time or not, that type of behavior reflects poorly on an organization.

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Special Teams Doom 2-3 Chargers Again

The Chargers’ offense looked great on Sunday, roasting the Raiders for 506 total yards, 415 of them coming in the air. Despite the impressive output, they managed to lose to the Raiders for the first time in 14 games, falling 35-27 in Oakland.

Special teams was the bane of San Diego’s demise once again. Their first two possessions, they had Mike Scifres’ punts blocked by the Raiders resulting in a safety and a touchdown. The blocked punts book ended a Raiders field goal, so San Diego was down 12-0 early in the game.

As if the special teams problems weren’t enough, Mike Tolbert and Philip Rivers lost back-to-back fumbles from the Oakland 1 and 14 in consecutive possessions. Even with the problems, the Chargers wasted little time taking the lead in the second quarter and a 17-15 lead into halftime.

San Diego’s defense did a good job shutting down the Raiders. They only gave up 279 yards with 16 of Oakland’s 35 points coming on defense or special teams. One has to figure that without the special teams problems the Chargers would have won the game.

That marks the third game San Diego had costly mistakes on special teams, all of which resulted in losses for the Chargers. They lost their season-opener in Kansas City, allowing a punt return for a touchdown by Dexter McCluster in a 21-14 game. They lost in week three to Seattle giving up two kickoffs returned for a touchdown by Leon Washington. In week five, they lost to the Raiders giving up nine points thanks to two blocked punts. It’s not unreasonable to think that the Chargers could easily be 5-0, and most people have to feel they’re better than their 2-3 record. They better get these problems fixed before it’s too late to make the playoffs.

49ers Fans Boo the Crap Out of Alex Smith, Chant for David Carr

Alex Smith was awful for the 49ers on Sunday night against the Eagles. In other words, he played like usual. Though San Francisco fans still are holding out hope that their former top overall pick can be the franchise quarterback, I have continuously said that he needs to be replaced. Don’t agree with me? Just ask Michael Crabtree.

Smith’s numbers looked somewhat respectable against the Eagles, but his pick, two sacks, and fumble lost for a touchdown tell more of the story. Smith was chased down and sacked by Brandon Graham in the 4th quarter and Quintin Mikell picked up the loose ball and returned it for a score. Instead of the Niners being down seven and driving, the touchdown changed the game and made it 24-10.

The fans immediately started booing the Niners, and specifically Smith for such a poor play. He lacked total presence on the play, opting to try and throw the ball on the run while he was being chased. The fans really let him have it after the turnover. On San Francisco’s next possession, Smith threw three straight incompletions and was booed after each pass! After the third straight incompletion, the fans started chanting “We Want Carr,” which is a nod to backup quarterback David Carr. Yes, San Francisco is in so much trouble their fans want to replace one bust quarterback for another former number one overall bust.

I don’t care what the numbers say because there’s no way you could possibly convince me that Alex Smith is a decent quarterback. He can’t sustain drives and he turns the ball over way too frequently. If dumb fumbles and costly interceptions are your thing, then you can have him as a quarterback. I’d much rather take someone who instills confidence in the fans and his teammates.

Taylor Mays, Winston Justice Slight USC in NBC Intro, DeSean Jackson Omits Cal

It’s always fun to watch the pregame player intros on NBC. They play a video-recorded clip of each player saying his name and his school. Many players say announce their school with pride, and most mention their colleges. Some players who bounced around different schools or want to represent their hometown shout out their high school in these intros. San Francisco 49ers rookie safety Taylor Mays was one of those people.

In his intro, Mays said “O’Dea” for his school, which is where he attended high school. Most NFL players have a ton of pride in USC — just ask Carson Palmer — so to hear him say that was a surprise. Mays’ slight was most likely the result of bitter feelings between himself and former Trojans coach Pete Carroll, who passed on him during the draft.

Winston Justice’s slight against the school was much less intended. The Eagles lineman said “Southern Cal,” which would make any USC fan bristle. They prefer USC and University of Southern California while “Southern Cal” is considered a pet peeve by most.

Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson gave his typical introduction. Instead of mentioning Cal as his school, Jackson said his high school, Long Beach Poly. Jackson has been doing this for a few years, so it’s nothing new. It’s pretty obvious that he’s more proud of LB Poly than Cal, but we don’t know if something happened that made him lose a connection to his college. I’m just chalking it up to another example of his brash personality.