NFL Nation: Marion Manningham

Next receiver up: Kyle Williams

September, 9, 2013
Today isn’t the day to worry about the San Francisco 49ers’ depth at receiver.

It was a huge question going into the season. However, if Week 1 is an indication of how the 49ers are going to go about the passing game with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham hurt, depth might not be an issue.

New addition Anquan Boldin had 13 catches for 208 yards. Tight end Vernon Davis continued his 2012 postseason chemistry with quarterback Colin Kaepernick with six catches for 98 yards and two TDs.

Kaepernick used all but 106 of his career-high 412 passing yards on his two primary options.

However, it won’t always be easy to get the ball to Boldin and Davis. The 49ers go to Seattle to face one of the game’s premier secondarys Sunday. Surely, the Seahawks will be focusing on shutting down those two players and forcing others to contribute.

The next option, if the Green Bay game was any indication, is going to be Kyle Williams. He was listed as the No. 2 receiver going into the season and that was the case Sunday. The Sacramento Bee reported Williams was on the field for 71 percent of the snaps. Other rotational receivers, Marlon Moore (21 percent) and Quinton Patton (five percent) were afterthoughts. Williams had three catches for 36 yards Sunday.

This is a week-to-week scenario, but it seems like after Boldin and Davis, Williams is the next option.
We have two receiver-needy teams here in the NFC North, so for the sake of the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings, if no one else, let's take a look at what's left of the receiver market after New Orleans Saints re-signed Marques Colston to a five-year deal earlier Tuesday.

As our guide, we'll use Matt Williamson's excellent ranking of the top 50 overall free agents available Insider. Below is how Williamson ranked the seven receivers (other than Colston) that he placed on the list.
  1. Vincent Jackson
  2. Brandon Lloyd
  3. Reggie Wayne
  4. Mario Manningham
  5. Pierre Garcon
  6. Laurent Robinson
  7. Robert Meachem

It's fair to say there is a significant dropoff after Jackson, one that will only enhance his value on the open market. The Bears have already had one go-around with Lloyd, and it wouldn't be surprising for Wayne to join quarterback Peyton Manning wherever he lands.

This is where free agency gets tricky, where contracts by rule are inflated. It's one thing to overpay for a Pro Bowl player. It's another to overpay for someone who can't play a lead role. Other than Jackson and perhaps Wayne, do you see a No. 1 receiver on this list? Nope. What you have is a list of players who fit closer into the No. 3 category than No. 2 seeking elite money. The Bears and Vikings must fight that temptation.

Giants won't have C David Baas

December, 4, 2011
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Green Bay Packers had no surprises on their pregame list of inactives, but the New York Giants had one: Center David Baas was a late scratch because of headaches. Earlier Sunday, the Giants learned they wouldn't have backup Stacy Andrews, who was hospitalized with blood clots.

The Giants also will be without receiver Mario Manningham. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw is active.

The full list of Packers inactives: Cornerback Davon House, linebacker A.J. Hawk, linebacker Desmond Bishop, linebacker Vic So'oto, guard Josh Sitton, tackle Chad Clifton and tight end D.J. Williams.

D.J. Smith and Robert Francois were announced as the replacements for Hawk and Bishop, but we'll see what alignment the Packers actually open the game with.

How I See It: NFC East Stock Watch

December, 8, 2009
NFC Stock Watch: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South


1. Wade Phillips, Cowboys head coach: Phillips' defense had performed well for several weeks, but it was victimized by the big play against the Giants. How do you explain the 260-pound Brandon Jacobs taking a 5-yard flip pass in the flat and racing 74 yards for a touchdown? Yes, the Cowboys may have been in a man coverage, but there has to be a safety available to make that play. Gerald Sensabaugh tried to make an arm tackle on Jacobs and it didn't work out. Phillips also heads the list because of his stubborn refusal to acknowledge that his team has struggled in December. He's not attacking this issue head on -- and I think that's a problem.

2. Flozell Adams, Cowboys left tackle: He's emerged as one of the dirtiest players in the game. Some of that nastiness at his position actually helps the team, but jogging across the field to push a player in the back at the end of the first half is disgraceful. He's trying to say he still thought the play was going on. Please. Adams and Justin Tuck already had a running feud going back to a Week 2 tripping penalty on Adams. If he doesn't watch it, Adams is going to get himself suspended. Then the Cowboys' offensive line will really be in chaos.

3. Redskins' playcallers: Some people say that Jim Zorn takes over the playcalling inside the red zone. Others simply say he puts those plays in the game plan for Sherm Lewis to call. Well blame it on whomever you want. The Redskins had the ball first-and-goal at the Saints' 4-yard line in the fourth quarter with a chance to ice the game. A touchdown makes it 37-23. Instead, the Skins played for a field goal and Shaun Suisham missed it right. Feel free to call Suisham the goat in the loss but I'm going with the conservative playcalling.

Jim Luzzi/Sports Imagery/Getty ImagesBrandon Jacobs' 74-yard touchdown catch changed the momentum Sunday for the Giants.

1. Brandon Jacobs, Giants running back: His 74-yard dash down the sideline after a short catch erased the momentum the Cowboys had gained by going ahead, 17-14. Jacobs looked a lot more like himself in banging into the line of scrimmage with reckless abandon. He didn't wait for things to develop. He just crashed through the line, picking up key first downs. He also showed excellent leadership before the game, whipping his teammates into a frenzy.

2. Domenik Hixon, Giants wide receiver/return specialist: Hixon finished last season as a starting receiver and he began '09 in that role. But the emergency of Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks has reduced Hixon's role, allowing him to focus on the return game. Hixon had studied the Cowboys' gunners all week and he knew how aggressive they were closing down his angles. When he was able to break a tackle and escape to the right side, it was clear sailing for a 79-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. The play effectively put the Cowboys away and caused one of the wildest celebrations we've seen from Giants coach Tom Coughlin.

3. Michael Vick, Eagles quarterback: It was a nice homecoming for a guy who was the face of the Falcons' franchise for six years. Vick had his first touchdown run and pass for the Eagles. Perhaps Andy Reid is finally showing us his full Wildcat plan. Or maybe he was just letting Vick have a little fun against his former team. Either way, it was a good day for Vick and the Eagles. And completing the long pass to Reggie Brown reminds prospective employers that Vick can still get the ball downfield. I know it wasn't a perfectly thrown ball, but it was still a significant completion.