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Was Maurice Jones-Drew’s Decision to Kneel at the 1 the Right Move?

Maurice Jones-Drew is getting a ton of praise for his awareness, selflessness, and foresight to kneel down at the 1 yard line in the final two minutes of the Jags/Jets game on Sunday. The Jags were down by a point, 22-21, with the clock at 1:48 and running, and they had the ball at the 10 yard line. The Jets decided to let Jones-Drew walk in for the touchdown so that they’d have a 1:30 or so left to try and score a touchdown to win it. Instead, MJD outfoxed them based on what his coaches instructed him to do:

From the moment Maurice went down I was saying it was the wrong move. Considering the Jaguars were losing at the time he did it, he was taking a big risk that they could wind up losing the game if something went wrong. When you make the decision what you have to weigh is the likelihood of the Jags botching the field goal with a bad hold, snap, or kick against Jacksonville’s chances of stopping the Jets from scoring a touchdown in 1:30. To me, there’s a greater chance of something going wrong with the game-winning field goal than the Jets going 80 yards or so in 1:30. Maurice is getting lauded for wearing his thinking cap and making the unselfish play but I thought it was the wrong move. Luckily it worked out for the 5-4 Jags but imagine how bad he would have looked for not taking the free points if something went wrong with the kick.

Bengals OL Bobbie Williams Loses Pants, Butt Hangs Out While Blocking

They may say a lot of stuff about Bengals right guard Bobbie Williams, but they’ll never say the man quits on a play. Even when his pants are falling down and his butt is hanging out there for everybody to see. Check out this eye-popping moment from the Bengals/Steelers game that could easily be classified as a “wardrobe malfunction,” much like when Brian Westbrook was tackled by his jockstrap. Here’s the Bobbie Williams pants video:

No word on whether or not that play caused Williams to miss any action but maybe next time he’ll get some pants that come with a belt. Williams and company did a nice job only allowing Carson to be sacked twice by the vaunted Steelers D, so we’ll consider his pants to be a casualty of battle.

Chad Ochocinco Fans Mail Mustard to Steelers, Message to Ketchup

Mustard BoxThere’s no doubt that Chad Ochocinco is back in the spotlight of the NFL, front and center just the way he likes it. Last week he mailed the Ravens a giftbasket full of deodorant and then the Bengals went out and won the game. Chad was also fined $20,000 for trying to slip a referee a $1 bill during a video review, created a new rule stating that defenses can’t single-cover him, and this week he wanted to send the Steelers a package of mustard. Coach Marvin Lewis put the kibosh on that plan but the mustard still made it to Pittsburgh anyway.

But that did not stop someone from greater Cincinnati, identified on the package’s return address as “Fans of Chad Ochocinco,” from mailing the Steelers a box of the yellow condiment, which arrived yesterday.

It was a result of Ochocinco’s midweek Twitter pledge to send the Steelers’ defensive backs mustard because they couldn’t “ketch up.” Heinz Field puns intended.

“Thanks, Chad,” cornerback Ike Taylor noted after peeking into the box on his way to practice.

What are the chances that “Fans of Chad Ochocinco” really was Chad? I’d say pretty fair (not to say he doesn’t have a huge following). Here’s the thing about Chad screwing around: as long as the team is winning, it’s fine, but once they start losing, that’s when his antics and become a “distraction.” That’s the double-standard the media has for him that I’ve never understood. What’s he doing differently? He’s still the same guy, win or lose so the media should treat him the same way. Now that he’s back to Pro Bowl form with 639 yards and 5 touchdowns, they love him. I just hope he has a relatively quiet game in a Bengals win Sunday because my opponent in the Coors Light Fantasy League has Ochocinco. I still think I’m in good shape with Randy Moss and Marques Colston to counter.

Jay Cutler Is a Heart Breaker

Jay Cutler interceptionEver since seeing Jay Cutler preside over Denver’s implosion down the stretch last year, it was easy to conclude that Cutler’s a heart breaker in the mold of Brett Favre. While Cutler has immense talent and the ability to lead a team up and down the field, he no doubt has a propensity for turning the ball over. Anyone who watched Thursday night’s game against the 49ers, much less Sunday night’s season opener against the Packers, is aware of Cutler’s interception issues. In fact, Cutler has made Jake Delhomme look good by replacing him as the league’s interception leader. While a few of Cutler’s picks Thursday night could be blamed on someone else (Devin Hester for breaking off his route, the official for impeding his receiver’s pathway), there’s no doubt that Cutler is hurting his team with his errant throws.

Jay Cutler made the Pro Bowl last year and is beloved by fantasy owners and stat geeks because he racks up yardage totals, but I’m guessing most coaches will gladly replace a few hundred yards passing with less interceptions. It’s probably also the reason Josh McDaniels wanted to bring Matt Cassel to Denver over Jay Cutler — he likely saw issues with Jay and his whole gunslinger mentality. I’d even go so far as to say that the filter Cutler seems to lack when he makes appalling comments is the same filter that would prevent most quarterbacks from throwing into traffic the way he does. I wonder what the Chicago Sun-Times is saying now considering they determined Jay Cutler was worth $100 million after looking good in one preseason game! Real smart, guys.

Trashing Eric Mangini Is Trend of the Week for Players, Media

One of the go-to topics for LBS is ripping on Eric Mangini. The guy thinks so highly of himself and his teams that it’s just laughable. Plus, when stories emerge such as ones where he fined a guy $1,701 for taking a water bottle from the hotel minibar, there’s no choice but to rip him. I’ve actually eased off this subject because it’s just so easy and because I think there comes a point where things get too excessive. In other words, people are kicking him while he’s down. For instance, just scrolling through Fark Sports and you’ll find three Mangini-crushing stories.

The first story is about Mangini playing dumb regarding Brady Quinn’s contract salary escalators. Mangini essentially claimed he didn’t know that Brady Quinn makes more money the more he plays. For Mangini to say he doesn’t know anything about that is absurd; he knows very well what’s at stake financially. The next story regards Jets first round pick from last year, linebacker Vernon Gholston. Since he’s been a bust, the NY Daily News went out of its way to say people in the organization blame the pick on Mangini. Finally, running back Jamal Lewis said Mangini wears them out in practice during the week and that’s why the team gets hammered on Sundays. This seems like a chicken/egg scenario, but since Mangini’s method is not working, I’d side with Lewis.

It’s so typical the way the media operates, piling on to a guy when his team is 1-7. Mangini is worthy of plenty of criticism but it seems like it’s deserved. The question is why people keep empowering him? As a Bengals fan, I hope Cleveland continues to believe he’ll be the guy to turn around the franchise. The only thing better would be if Baltimore or Pittsburgh hired him.

DeAngelo Hall Will Fight the Entire Falcons Team by Himself

DeAngelo Hall has quite the history with the Falcons. He’s been in a few fights on the field, most notably one with Steve Smith that killed his team during the Bobby Petrino days, and he also had an issue with Terrell Owens. As if that weren’t enough, Hall also reportedly tried to fight one of his former Falcon teammates during halftime when he was a member of the Raiders. Now Hall’s a member of the Redskins and they were in Atlanta Sunday taking on the Falcons. I’m not sure what started it, but Hall tried to pick a fight with the Falcons. Let’s go to the videotape:

The most striking aspect of the video is that there were no Redskins who came to aid Hall. That tells me that they either don’t care for him, or that they’re so defeated and done with their season that they really don’t have much motivation. Either way it doesn’t look good for them. By the way, how did Hall walk out of that situation without being penalized or kicked out of the game?

UPDATE: Hall is accusing the Falcons coaches of poor conduct in the skirmish and he’s right; Mike Smith was out of line and should be fined for his behavior and the elbow he throw.

Joe Theismann Crushes ‘Vindictive’ John Riggins for Dan Snyder Remarks

Joe_TheismannThe Redskins have become a certifiable mess, and a lot of it starts at the top with owner Dan Snyder. The team is 2-5 this year despite having spent plenty of money on their talent, and the fans are unhappy, as is ownership. Former player John Riggins recently had his radio show canceled on Snyder’s station WTEM in D.C., and he’s responded with some harsh, critical rants about Snyder and head coach Jim Zorn. Riggins’ criticism, while humorous and biting, came across to many as excessive. Count former Skins QB Joe Theismann as one who isn’t on board with Riggins’ criticism, as he told the 2 Live Stews on Sporting News Radio:

“John’s not outspoken about this football team, John’s just decided to attack people personally, and I think he is way out of line. I don’t agree with his opinions. I think it’s vindictive, I think it’s downright harsh, and I think John speaks specifically for himself.

John thinks he’s representing the fanship, but I don’t believe he is. The Redskin fans are frustrated — this football team has not achieved anywhere near what I think the fans believed they were capable of doing. But to attack the owner and say the things about the owner that he said, to attack the coach and say the things that he said about the coach, seemed purely motivated in one mean-spirited way, and I don’t agree with it.”

Even though Riggins’ rants have received plenty of play across the airwaves for their entertainment value, it’s nice to hear a different legend call Riggins out for his inappropriate behavior. People have learned that screaming and yelling and making outlandish remarks will get you on TV (thanks, ESPN), but it doesn’t earn you the respect of anyone. Riggins doesn’t have mine or Theismann’s respect for what he’s done. No doubt the Redskins are in bad shape and a lot of it is due to the ownership, but there’s no reason to go about the criticism in the manner that Riggins has.