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Bill Simmons’ Unintended Tweet Says Pats, Vikings Talking Moss (UPDATED)

Let the whirlwind begin.  We’ve just learned through Pro Football Talk that Bill Simmons put up a Tweet not long ago that indicated there are rumors swirling about a potential Randy Moss trade between the Patriots and Vikings.  The Tweet came down shortly after it went up, and Simmons posted another Tweet saying that the original Tweet was supposed to be a direct message to someone but the rumors are circulating.  Follow all that?

The speculation makes perfect sense and really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.  The fact that it was supposed to be a direct message makes matters that much more interesting, but does not necessarily mean there’s any truth to the claim.  Direct messages of this sort go back and forth between sports writers and analysts all the time and nothing ever comes of them.  It’s the way the business works in the digital media era.

However, there’s no arguing that the timing of the rumor is curious.  Here are several reasons the trade would actually make some sense:

1. Moss is in a contract year and already turned heads with his comments about his contract situation after the first game of the year.  He’s acting like he’s perfectly content now, but we can tell he isn’t.

2. The Patriots got their biggest victory of the season Monday night in Miami when they clobbered the Dolphins with an all-around team effort.  New England won despite Moss not catching a single pass in the game.  After the game, he was the only player on the sidelines who didn’t seem ecstatic.

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LBS NFL Power Rankings Week 5

1. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1, –)

Jeff Reed missed two field goals otherwise they probably would have beaten the Ravens, and that was with Charlie Batch as quarterback. They get Ben Roethlisberger back for their next game and that will result in more points. As long as the defense stays healthy, they’ll remain the top team in the league.

2. New York Jets (3-1, +1)

Treated the Bills exactly how they should have. The defense is the strength, but the offense is beginning to show they’re not too far behind. Will have a tough matchup Monday night against a rested and prepared Vikings squad.

3. New England Patriots (3-1, +4)

The score got out of hand on Monday night thanks to a record-setting performance, but they looked impressive on a few drives in the second half and their defense managed stops against a pretty good offense. They have holes but they’re still very good.

4. Baltimore Ravens (3-1, +6)

Their 17 points was actually the most allowed by the Steelers all year which is saying something. The defense is awesome and the offense is coming around. A huge week six matchup at New England looms.

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Patriots and Patrick Chung Have Record Setting Night

What started off as a close game between the Patriots and Dolphins on Monday night turned into a wild blowout. Miami actually led 7-6 going into halftime and really dominated the first half. Right after halftime, things changed drastically.

Brandon Tate returned the opening kick to the second half for a touchdown and the proverbial flood gates burst open. The Patriots forced just their second three-and-out following the kickoff return and safety Patrick Chung blocked the punt. Two plays later BenJarvus Green-Ellis was into the end zone for a touchdown to make it 20-7. The Dolphins scored on their next drive to make it 20-14, but the Pats busted out again. They marched down the field for a 12 play 78 yard drive that ended in a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Danny Woodhead. At this point, the versatile Pats had scored on a kickoff return, run, and pass.

Things really got out of hand in the 4th quarter. Patrick Chung blocked a 53-yard field goal attempt and it was returned for a touchdown to make it 34-14. A few drives later, Chung intercepted Chad Henne and returned it for a score to put the stamp on the game.

The Pats won 41-14 and became the first team in history to score on a run, pass, kickoff, blocked punt, and blocked field goal in the same game. Talk about a complete effort. What’s a matter boys, unable to return a fumble or punt for a touchdown? Slackers.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Steve Mitchell

Josh McDaniels Backs Kyle Orton on Titans ‘Dirty’ Talk

No, no, no.  Not that type of dirty talk, you pervs.  We’re talking about Josh McDaniels agreeing with his quarterback that the Tennessee Titans played dirty during the Broncos 26-20 victory over them on Sunday.  If you hadn’t already heard, Kyle Orton accused the Titans players of throwing cheap shots at his offensive lineman and called the game one of the “cheapest” he’d ever seen.

McDaniels indicated that the type of game he saw from Tennessee was the one he expected his team would be in for.  He also implied that their style of play is a product of the way their coach, Jeff Fisher, runs the team.

I was proud of our team because we knew that was the kind of game it was going to be,” McDaniels said. “You can put any tape you want to of Tennessee and there’s going to be 10 penalties. You either coach it or you allow it to happen. That’s how I look at that.

“Our guys did a great job of keeping their poise and composure and not getting drawn into a big unsportsman-like game because I know that’s what they were trying to entice us into doing.”

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Michael Crabtree Seemingly Takes a Shot at Alex Smith

The San Francisco 49ers had high expectations coming into the 2010 season, yet have started off the year 0-4.  They’ve lost two close games to quality opponents and gotten blown out in their other two losses.  They’ve somehow created a situation where the Rams could legitimately win the NFC West.  As we would all expect, there aren’t many happy campers to be found around the Niners organization these days.  One such unhappy cub scout is wide receiver Michael Crabtree.

Desperately needing to make a change, the 49ers fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye after their 31-10 shellacking at the hands of the Chiefs week three.  Many, including ourselves, believe that Alex Smith deserves a lot of the blame for the struggles the 49ers have had on offense this year.  Does Crabtree agree with that claim?  When he was speaking to reporters about new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, that’s kind of the impression he gave.

Mike Johnson did his thing. He did what he was supposed to do.  He got everybody the ball. Only thing is, Mike Johnson can’t throw the ball. He can just call plays,” Crabtree said Monday, according to Lowell Cohn if the Santa Press Democrat.

It’s possible that this was Crabtree’s way of using the whole “the coaches can call the plays but we have to execute them” typical response, but he should have done it without throwing someone under the bus.  Instead of saying he “can’t throw the ball,” he should have added that Johnson also can’t catch it, run it, or block.  Unless he was intentionally taking a shot at his quarterback, of course.  If that’s the case, he chose his words quite wisely.

Can the St. Louis Rams Win the NFC West?

After watching the Rams beat the Redskins 30-16 last weekend, we recognized that rookie quarterback Sam Bradford gives his fans reason for hope. On Sunday, the Rams handled the Seahawks 20-3 for their first divisional win since week 11 of 2007. The back-to-back wins gives them their first winning streak since week 6 and 7 in 2008 (their only wins that season) and it ended a 10-game losing streak to Seattle. Now it may be time to raise the stakes: does Sam Bradford and the improved defense give Rams fans reasons to believe the team can win the NFC West? Sure does.

A big reason why the Rams are in contention to win the NFC West is the poor quality of teams in the division. Although Arizona is 2-2, the Cardinals barely won their two games and were blown out in their losses. They’ve changed from Derek Anderson to Max Hall twice during games because of pathetic quarterback play and they lack an offensive identity. If Sebastian Janikowski could kick, they’d be 1-3.

Seattle looked great in a 31-6 season-opening win over the 49ers, but they’ve been brutal on the road and only beat the Chargers at home because of two Leon Washington kickoffs returned for touchdowns. The Rams just got done dominating Seattle 20-3 and appear to be much better. That Seattle beat San Francisco 31-6 tells you all you need to know about the hopeless 0-4 Niners. Even a change at offensive coordinator couldn’t give them a boost.

You could knock the Rams by saying that they could win this division by default, but I’ll prop them up citing their solid defense and improved quarterback play. They haven’t allowed more than 17 points in a game and the defense seems to be getting better each week. Ditto for Sam Bradford — the rookie quarterback has thrown for 944 yards and six touchdowns in his first four games. He may be on pace for the most productive rookie season by a quarterback since Peyton Manning in 1998. At this point, they look like the best team in the NFC West.

Photo Credit: Elsa/Getty Images

Jared Allen Forced to Change Calf Roping Sack Dance Celebration

The NFL is sometimes called the “No Fun League” because of all the limitations placed on celebrations. As someone who values team or individual, I generally don’t have a problem with this approach. HOWEVA, what the league is doing with Jared Allen seems somewhat unnecessary.

FOX NFL reporter Jay Glazer apparently reported on Sunday morning that the league will start penalizing Vikings defensive end Jared Allen 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct if he continues his calf roping celebration as is. The Star Tribune explains that the NFL doesn’t want players going to the ground for celebrations.

Allen only has one sack on the season through three games, so maybe he just was trying to avoid the entire situation. Perhaps he used the bye week to work on a new dance. First they take away the mullet, and now the sack dance. This just isn’t Jared Allen’s year. As long as he doesn’t change it to mimic an electronic device, I think we’ll be in good shape.

UPDATE: Allen says he’ll alter the dance.