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Browns’ Alex Mack Says Chiefs’ Shaun Smith Grabbed His Junk

We all know dirty play is commonplace in the NFL.  Players try to get any little advantage they can by throwing cheap shots during plays and after the whistle.  Most of the shots go unnoticed by the official, so we never hear about it.  However, I must admit I didn’t know things got that dirty.

Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, via Pro Football Talk, that Chiefs’ defensive lineman Shaun Smith grabbed his genitals during a play near the end of the first half of Sunday’s game.  The refs apparently missed it, but they flagged a fired-up Mack for unnecessary roughness shortly thereafter.  The penalty on Mack led to a missed field goal and the Browns went on to lose by two points.

“I don’t think he should be able to do that,” Mack said of the alleged dirty play.  “I’m still fired up about it.”

I’m not sure what’s worse — grabbing a guy’s balls during a play or gouging at someone’s eyes while they’re down.

Smith, on the other hand, responded to the accusation exactly the way you might expect.  “I don’t have no comment,” he said. “I don’t recall doing anything like that. I’m not known for being a dirty player or anything like that, so I don’t know what that was all about.”

Now, children.  Let’s try to play nice and keep your little boys out of it.

LBS NFL Power Rankings Week 3

1. New Orleans Saints (2-0, –)

The defending champs had a close call with the 49ers on Monday Night but have earned our respect. Their offense has done enough against two good defenses and they’ve held opponents to low scores as well.

2. Green Bay Packers (2-0, –)

The Bills can make anyone look great, but the Packers would impress against any opponent. They really opened things up in the second half and showed how much firepower they have. Six sacks already for Clay Matthews? Wow.

3. Houston Texans (2-0, +8)

Funny how a missed kick by Graham Gano had the ability to influence Houston by about 10 spots, but this offense is tremendous. The defense still needs a lot of work, but the Texans must be respected.

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (2-0, +5)

The defense that led the NFL in 2008 seems to be back now that everyone is healthy. They have some QB troubles but that will be fixed once Roethlisberger is back. Until then, the D will keep it together.

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Broncos WR McKinley Found Dead

According to FOX 31 in Denver, Broncos second-year wide reciever Kenny McKinley was found dead in his home on Monday.  The death is apparently being ruled a suicide.

McKinley enjoyed a stellar college career at South Carolina where he had 207 receptions — good for third most in SEC history — and over 2700 yards receiving.  The Broncos drafted him in the fifth round of the 2009 draft and he had struggled to remain healthy, being placed on IR during the 2009 season and before the 2010 season.

Terrell Suggs Roughing the Passer Penalty Typifies ‘Wussy’ NFL

Last week, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback called the NFL “kind of a wussy game.” Staubach referenced roughing the passer penalties that protect quarterbacks and the way receivers are protected when running routes downfield. The NFL certainly has shifted towards an offensive game which has made things that much more difficult for opposing defenses. Refs are getting so extreme in protecting its players that often times bad calls are made, and one in particular stood out to me on Sunday.

During the fourth quarter of the Ravens/Bengals low-scoring contest, Cincy had the ball 1st and 10 at the Baltimore 41. The Ravens were leading 10-9 with 5:34 left. Terrell Suggs broke free from a blocker and buried Carson Palmer. Palmer only started to get rid of the ball when he saw he was about to be sacked, so there was nothing close to a late hit (see the play here at nfl.com with your truly doing the voiceover). Still, a flag came out giving the Bengals 15 yards and putting them at the 26, in range for a nice kick. Cincy nailed a go-ahead field goal and wound up winning 15-10.

Former NFL VP of Officiating Mike Pereira already brought up this call and said it was the worst of the weekend. Not only was it a huge game-changer, but it typified the way the NFL has skewed towards protecting its offensive players. I understand that offense and passing attacks sell, especially in the era of fantasy football’s raging popularity, but the games have to be called fairly. There’s such a premium on high-scoring games and offense that the defense is getting screwed.

I don’t mind personal foul calls when they’re warranted, but let’s not be so quick to flag every hit. How about evening things out in favor of the defense once in a while?

Collinsworth: Peyton Manning Is a Player-Coach for Colts

I’m sure many of us have thought to ourselves that coaching Peyton Manning is the sweetest gig in the world. The guy calls his own plays, makes audibles at the line, and is practically the team’s offensive coordinator. With Peyton doing everything, what the heck does a coach need to do?

Obviously people have a lot of respect for Tony Dungy. We saw the way he coached up Tampa Bay’s defense and later Indy’s D, so he’s earned our respect. But how many of you have wondered how good Jim Caldwell really is and what he really does? The guy had a career .292 winning percentage in eight years at Wake Forest. Jim Grobe has been a .575 coach since taking over for Caldwell. With those stats in mind, it’s not a stretch to think that Peyton Manning is running the Indianapolis show.

Count NBC broadcaster Cris Collinsworth as one who believes that is the case. To make things clear, Collinsworth was simply praising Manning on Sunday Night Football rather than bashing Caldwell, but after hearing his description of Peyton as a coach on the field, it does make you wonder who is the brains behind the Colts’ operation. Here’s what Collinsworth had to say:

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Braylon Edwards Dougies on Darius Butler

Braylon Edwards had just one catch for nine yards in the Jets’ embarrassing season-opening loss to the Ravens. Braylon has become a popular target for fans because of his drops issues, even getting called out by Joe Namath during the week. But Edwards came up with a nice game on Sunday against the Patriots, catching five passes for 45 yards and a big touchdown that tied the game at seven in the second quarter.

Edwards got flagged 15 yards for taunting after the TD because he did the Dougie Dance. Rex Ryan probably didn’t care for the dance too much but I’m sure the kids loved it. Here’s the Braylon Edwards Dougie video via Jose3030:

I’m not sure which was better, Edwards’ dougie or the reaction from the dudes filming on YouTube. Definitely a close call.

Brandon Jacobs and Fan Fight Over Helmet

The frustration of Brandon Jacobs’ last several months seemed to manifest itself on Sunday night. Upset with himself after a run for no gain in the third quarter, Jacobs went back to the sideline and apparently planned to throw his helmet at the bench. As NBC’s Andrea Kremer reported, the helmet slipped and was launched 10 rows up into the stands.

Naturally thinking he had himself a souvenir, the fan wanted to keep the helmet. But as you can tell in the pictures, security and team officials tried to wrestle it away knowing Jacobs needed the dome protector for the game. I’m not sure who wound up getting the helmet but we do know it was quite a battle. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL investigated to make sure there was no malicious intent behind the toss.

This “incident” may have been minor, but it was representative of the problems and frustration of the on-field debacle for the Giants. It also served as a microcosm of Brandon Jacobs’ struggles over the past year — it’s amazing how he has gone from being such a stud to a non-factor in a matter of two seasons.