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Jon Kitna a Disappointment Against Jags

The word “disappointment” pretty much sums up the Dallas Cowboys‘ 2010 season to this point, so I guess you could say Jon Kitna is just trying to fit in with his teammates.  As we all know, Tony Romo suffered a broken collarbone last weekend and is going to miss significant time, if not the remainder of the season.  That leaves the Cowboys’ starting quarterback duties to Kitna, who started his first game for Dallas Sunday against the Jaguars.

Barring a miraculous comeback in Texas, it’s safe to say Kitna failed his first test of the season.  On paper, it appeared Kitna was drawing a good opponent for his first start of the year in the Jaguars.  As I’m writing this, the Jaguars are dominating the Cowboys in the fourth quarter, 28-3.  Kitna has thrown three interceptions and (obviously) no touchdowns.

However, it’s important to point out that two of the passes were deflected by his own players — one through the hands of Miles Austin and the other tipped by Felix Jones.  The tipped balls prove that Kitna hasn’t really been given much to work with.  Dallas is a team that came into the year with high expectations and is staring a 1-6 record directly in the face.  They’ve clearly called it a season and are done concentrating.  Kitna might as well join the club.

Terrell Owens Gets Lucky With His Second TD Catch of the Day (Video)

Terrell Owens has been one of the fantasy surprises of 2010.  After getting off to a slow start, T.O. has caught 26 passes for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns in his last three games.  Most of us expected Chad Ochocinco to be the top option at receiver for the Bengals, but T.O. has been a monster and clearly Carson Palmer’s favorite option.

When things are going well, they’re going well.  T.O. already has two touchdown catches against the Dolphins today, but one of them was as lucky a catch as you can have.  His second touchdown catch was a 37-yarder that should have been easily picked off by Miami defensive back Chris Clemons.  Instead, Clemons bobbled the ball and flipped it right into the hands of Owens as he was going to the ground trying to corral it.  T.O. calmly trotted into the end zone.  You can see video of T.O.’s lucky touchdown catch here.

Better to be lucky than good, right?

NFL Orthopedist Says Brett Favre is Milking His Ankle Injury

This happened on Tuesday, so forgive me if you’ve already seen it.  This is the first I’ve heard of it, so I had to make sure everyone gets a good laugh out of it.  As we all know, Brett Favre is battling an ankle injury.  Chatter about his consecutive games played streak coming to an end this weekend in New England has been swirling about, although we all know there’s about a .00000001 percent chance Favre doesn’t start the game.

Favre has two fractures in his left ankle and had a noticeable limp at the end of Minnesota’s game against the Packers on Sunday (even more noticeable when he threw an interception to blow the game).  He’s already made reference to the fractures during at least one press conference, making sure we know he has huge stones and is good for something other than sexually harassing people.

SI’s Peter King spoke with a top NFL orthopedist earlier in the week, who basically said Favre is milking the injuries by telling people they’re fractures and leaving it at that.  The orthopedist calls one of the injuries — a stress fracture near Favre’s ankle — a “glorified ankle sprain” that can easily be shielded and medicated before a game.  He said the other — which is a fracture near the heel — isn’t compromising any critical structure and can also be treated with an injection.

Not that we didn’t already think Favre was a drama queen, but it’s nice to hear it from a professional other than his agent.  People with no medical background might think a fracture means it’s close to completely breaking, which clearly isn’t the case here.  Come Sunday, Favre will go through the same process hundreds of other players across the league will be going through before the game — getting treated so they can play through pain.  He’ll just be the only one trying to convince us he’s one tough Mississippi som’ bitch.

Jim Haslett: Albert Haynesworth in 3-4 Defense is Square Peg in Round Hole

One of the biggest stories this off-season was Albert Haynesworth’s refusal to appear at off-season activities for the Washington Redskins. The team had paid him a $21 million bonus but Albert was reluctant to participate because he didn’t feel like the team’s switch to a 3-4 defense fit him well. After embarrassing Haynesworth with conditioning drills, the defensive tackle is finally playing with the team and guess what? They’ve admitted the 3-4 defense is not a good fit for him!

“Trying to get him to do the 3-4 stuff was trying to get a square peg into a round hole. We were trying to force the issue,” [defensive coordinator Jim] Haslett said. “Obviously, it hasn’t worked out the way we would like. I still think he can do it, ’cause he’s a good athlete and he is athletic and tough enough to do it. I think he just needs more time doing it. … The good coaches in the league are smart enough to know that you try to get a guy to fit the system, but there’s no reason why you can’t change the system to fit the guy.”

I never agreed with the way Haynesworth handled his business — if he wanted to play in a different system, he shouldn’t have cashed his bonus check. Once he cashed the check, he should have joined the team in workouts and been a model teammate. Still, the Redskins were hurting themselves by dicking Albert around and not using him during games. The big man had a monster game against the Bears this past weekend and is a difference-maker. They’re only hurting themselves by not playing him or getting the defense to fit him better. Now that he’s on the field consistently, Washington is much more of a defensive threat.

Captain Morgan’s NFL Halloween Weekend Preview: Texans vs. Colts


Make your Holiday legendary with Captain and Cola. Join the party on Facebook.

Why Should I Watch?

You won’t hear many people talking about it, but the AFC South has quietly emerged as one of the best divisions in football.  The Houston Texans began their season with a bang when they defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a convincing score of 34-24 in Houston.  The Texans have since leveled off a bit, but the Colts have not played exceptionally well and are battling significant injuries.  Indy will be looking to prove week one was a fluke, while Houston will be trying to convince the AFC they’re for real.

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Troy Smith Finally Gets His Shot: Starting for Niners in London Against Broncos

It wasn’t the boos or Mike Singletary that took Alex Smith out of the lineup for the 49ers — a separated shoulder has the former number one overall pick out 2-3 weeks. Backup David Carr played so poorly in relief of Smith last weekend at Carolina that San Francisco has declared third-stringer Troy Smith their starting quarterback.

He wears number one on his jersey and he remains number one in Ohio State fans’ hearts, Troy Smith is in his fourth season (fourth already!) as a quarterback in the NFL. Smith seems to be the forgotten man when it comes to Heisman Trophy winners in the NFL. Selected in the 5th round in 2007, nobody expected much out of him in the pros so he’s never received the bust label. Weird thing is four years into his career, we really don’t have a clue who he is and what he can do.

Smith has thrown 89 career passes, completing 48 of them for 558 career yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. He was actually set to be Baltimore’s starting quarterback in 2008, his second year in the league, but a severe case of tonsillitis kept him from eating for four days and he lost 20 pounds as a result, falling out of football shape. Rookie Joe Flacco played well in his place and took over the starting job.

Troy Smith served as Flacco’s backup the last two years until Baltimore decided to bring in Marc Bulger as their backup. Smith went to San Francisco and wound up as the third string guy, sandwiched between David Carr and Nate Davis, and now we finally will have a chance to see him in action. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for a few years to see Troy Smith get his shot and I’m excited to see what he’ll do.

Broncos-Niners Game in London Expected to Sell Out

It’s a good thing football is a little-known sport in Europe.  Otherwise, this year’s chapter in the NFL London series would probably draw the attendance of a Division 3 high school football season opener.

Generally speaking, fans in England make their way out to Wembley Stadium when the NFL comes to town because it’s a new phenomenon.  Europeans are passionate and informed about soccer but still learning about American football.  That’s probably why this weekend’s contest in Great Britain is expected to sell out, despite the fact that it’s a match-up between the San Francisco 49ers (1-6) and the Denver Broncos (2-5).  If you’d like to know more about either team, they’re both conveniently located in the bottom five of our Week 8 NFL power rankings.

It can’t get much worse than that.  In fact — given the way both teams have played lately — this game could be the worst of the weekend.  When the NFL first scheduled this game to be played in London, there’s no way they could have known the two would start out so poorly.  However, if they eventually achieve their goal of globalizing American football and expanding their fan base, they’ll need to send over a better product.

For now, just having a football game in London creates enough buzz.  Last year, 84,254 fans visited Wembley Stadium to watch the Patriots dominate the Bucs.  This year, another 80,000 are expected in attendance to watch the bottom of the barrel in the NFL.  With an increased knowledge of the NFL and the game of football, European fans will eventually figure out that the product their being sent is garbage.  That will either mark the end of this experiment, or force the NFL to put more effort into scheduling the right game for this annual event.