Tuesday, October 13, 2009
How I See It: NFC West Stock Watch
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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
1.Dre' Bly, CB, 49ers. The veteran corner suffered a major humiliation Monday, a day after his post-interception showboating precipitated a fumble during the 49ers' 45-10 home defeat to the Falcons. San Francisco trailed, 35-10, when Bly put his right hand behind his helmet a la Deion Sanders, only to have Falcons receiver Roddy White strip the football from him. "Dre's gonna be Dre," Bly said afterward. The 49ers pretty much called a news conference to say Dre's not gonna be Dre. "I want to come to you all publicly apologize for [Sunday]," Bly said. "My comments were totally inappropriate. I apologize to coach. I am not a selfish guy. I didn't mean to embarrass him, if I did embarrass my team, embarrass the ownership, embarrass the fans. I'm a prideful guy. I like to have fun. It was totally inappropriate. I got caught up in the moment. It was wrong."
2. Shaun Hill, QB, 49ers. San Francisco's offensive line was arguably more to blame than Hill, but the line's stock was already low. Hill had managed to overcome the line's problems this season in becoming one of the NFL's more efficient quarterbacks in key situations, including third downs and fourth quarters. Hill appeared completely flustered Sunday. He had no answers for what the Falcons were throwing at him. Perhaps taking a cue from his head coach, Hill seemed to lose his composure at times. His final stat line was in JaMarcus Russell territory: 15 of 38 passing for 198 yards and an interception.
3. Mike Singletary, 49ers coach. Singletary could seemingly do no wrong during the 49ers' 3-1 start. By his own admission, the performance he turned in Sunday showed Singletary remains a work in progress. He called timeout to rally his defense, only to have the Falcons complete a 31-yard touchdown pass on the next play. Bereft of timeouts later in the half, Singletary could not challenge a questionable call. As the game progressed, Singletary lost his cool to the point that he jawed with Falcons guard Harvey Dahl during the game. It's OK for a head coach to show emotion. Singletary certainly must be true to his personality. He crossed the line in this game and seemed to realize the error of his ways. Singletary owned up to his mistakes and even said the 49ers were outcoached in terms of preparation. Not a good week.
1. Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks. The Seahawks went from down and almost out to feeling like a leading contender to win the NFC West. The way Hasselbeck played in returning from broken ribs changed everything for Seattle. Hasselbeck showed the fire of a linebacker from the moment he ran out of the tunnel for pregame introductions at Qwest Field. He scrambled freely and popped back up quickly when taken down. Hasselbeck also made all the necessary throws in completing four touchdown passes. Only four quarterbacks have higher ratings this season. Hasselbeck has seven touchdowns -- more than Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers or Kurt Warner -- despite missing 10 quarters to injury.
2. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, CB, Cardinals. The precocious second-year cornerback was right last week when he said teams would eventually pay for throwing his way. Rodgers-Cromartie's 49-yard interception return for the winning touchdown with 2:20 remaining against the Texans gave "DRC" a needed boost after a disappointing start to the season. The 2008 first-round choice has Pro Bowl potential. He was suffering through a sophomore slump even before he suffered a broken right index finger during an embarrassing home defeat to the Colts in Week 3. The injury made his interception even more impressive, although teammate Adrian Wilson was right when he put the brakes on comparisons to Cardinals Hall of Famer Larry Wilson, who famously picked off a pass with casts on both wrists.
3. Aaron Curry, LB, Seahawks. The fourth overall choice in the 2009 draft has played the enforcer role effectively during all three home games. His fumble-forcing sack on Jaguars quarterback David Garrard set up a 26-yard return for teammate Cory Redding. The turnover led to a touchdown that gave Seattle a 27-0 lead on its way to a 41-0 blowout. Curry finished the game with nine tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one pass defensed and one crushing hit on special teams. Curry brings a menacing attitude to the Seahawks' defense, particularly at home. His performance Sunday provided additional evidence that Curry can be an effective pass-rusher, answering questions raised about him before the draft. Curry has one fumble-forcing sack in each of the Seahawks' last two home games.