Chat with Chris Mortensen
Send your questions now and join Mort on Wednesday at 11 a.m. ET!
anthony (san antonio)
whats the latest on housh and his sideline antics, seems to be doing the t.o give me the ball or im gonna make life miserable to everyone else attidude? what gives?
Chris Mortensen (11:05 AM)
Well, maybe because so much attention was paid to Chad Johnson/OchoCinco
Hey Mort! With Eli's recent struggles, do you see the Giants putting more of an emphasis on the running game??
Chris Mortensen (11:07 AM)
That's part of the problem - talked to a GM the other night who has watched Giants and said Brandon Jacobs isn't the same. Bradshaw running with a foot injury. I expect them to be very physical in run game vs. Chargers. And hopefully the defense will play well enough and not make it a track meet - I think getting Chris Canty back (and maybe LB Michael Boley) will help.
Dave (San Diego)
Why can't the Chargers be like the 2007 Patriots and just throw every down? Rivers as Brady, Jackson as Moss, Floyd and Gates as the complements, and Sproles as Welker? I feel like Norv gives LT obligatory carries because he's "LT" and is afraid to hurt his feelings, when in reality the ONLY reason our offense has been so explosive is because of Rivers.
Chris Mortensen (11:10 AM)
The Chargers still are a pass-first team but at some point you want to get your O-line to remember what driving people off the ball feels like because if they're playing a good weather game late in year (I know, it's San Diego), you may need to run some. Other issue - maybe more important - is O-line is not capable of providing that kind of pass pro right now. And there's no Wesley Welker type to allow for the quick passing game to keep teams off balance.
anthony (san antonio)
i believe wade phillips is done after this year regardless of the cowboys record. you agree?
Chris Mortensen (11:11 AM)
I don't quite agree. If the Cowboys go to the Super Bowl, then Wade will be back, I believe. He will have to win at least 1, maybe 2 playoff games.
What are the chances New England stops the Saints' perfect season? Looking at the schedule, Dallas is the only other team capable of beating the Saints. So do you think abother 16-0 season is possible??
Chris Mortensen (11:13 AM)
I do believe the Saints have to play the Falcons in Atlanta, too. Seems to me like the Saints had their hands full at home on a Monday night so I'm thinking they finish anywhere from 13-3 to 15-1.
Are the Houston Texans a pretender or contender??
Chris Mortensen (11:14 AM)
I think the Texans are a contender because their defense is showing the ablity to make successful halftime adjustments. The offense is dangerous but losing TE Owen Daniels is a real blow.
Eric (The H)
Do you think the Bucs will get a win this season? If so, which team do you see them beating?
Chris Mortensen (11:17 AM)
Well, my attitude always has been nobody will go 16-0 and nobody will go 0-16. Yet in 2007 the Patriots went 16-0 and in 2008 the Lions went 0-16. The Bucs could beat the Packers this week. I can't say when they'll get their first win, I would just expect a win or three somewhere along the line.
James (Temple, GA)
Mort, is Matt Ryan's average year this yea a product sophmore slump or tougher schedule?
Chris Mortensen (11:20 AM)
Not a soph slump as much as a tougher schedule and defenses spend a lot of time studying a QB's strengths & weaknesses. So, it's part of the growing process. That was a tough, tough environment and a very good defense he faced vs. Saints. But of those 3 picks, only 1 was just blatant on him (for the TD). The other ball was tipped and the last one was a Hail Mary.
Mort, do you see a team ever moving to a complete spread offense? Chan Gailey did a nice job with Thigpen on the fly last year in KC and it seemed to cover up some obvious deficiencies on the offensive line (which they ignored when they brought in Cassel).
Chris Mortensen (11:22 AM)
We saw the Patriots basically do that in 2007. I saw the Jets do it under Parcells. You have to have the players to do it and a QB that can pull it off.
Looks like Baltimore is the favorite in Cincy this week. Cincinnati dominated the first game in every facet but the score. Now Baltimore puts up 300 yards/30 points on Denver, and holds their less than impressive offense to a score and they're the 2000 Ravens again? Can't Cincy get a little respect?
Chris Mortensen (11:27 AM)
Why are you worried about respect? There's no BCS formula that gets the Bengals a better playoff spot. I don't look at the point spreads. This should be a great game. If the Bengals win it, that "respect" will grow, if it really matters. The Ravens did a great job of self scouting during their bye and made some impressive adjustments with their defense but their secondary still has holes if the Bengals can protect Palmer.
Was listening to Mike and Mike this morning (sorry I couldn't hear you), but I heard the interview with the Browns fan that met with the owner. Do you think there is validity to his statement that if there aren't signs of improvement then Mangenius will be gone after this year?
Chris Mortensen (11:28 AM)
Lerner seems to be admitting he botched things. I have always made the case he never should have fired Phil Savage. But, yes, I can see an owner like Lerner firing Mangini after one year.
Mike (Portland, me)
Mort, do you see L J getting any playing time in KC even after his suspension.
Chris Mortensen (11:32 AM)
The Chiefs are in a quandry - they don't want to let LJ misbehave his way out of town but they can't "deactivate" him every week like some people are suggesting. That was one thing that was made clear in the Philly/TO grievance case; the Chiefs technically are supposed to retore him to "prior status" but I'm sure they'll make a case that he was averaging under 3 yards per carry and marginalize him. Or, maybe like Brandon Marshall in Denver, he gets with the program.
Should Mike Vick be traded
Chris Mortensen (11:35 AM)
Well, the trade deadline has passed but maybe next March before his bonus is due. Or they could just release him. I'm not sure if anybody will be anxious to trade for him as of now. Maybe he'll get a chance to show more as the season moves on.
Ryan (San Diego)
If David Tyree doesn't make that catch or Eli is sacked, are people in NY a lot less patient with his continued average play?
Chris Mortensen (11:36 AM)
People in NY, in general, would be a lot less patient on anything! But don't act like Eli wasn't prominent in that Super Bowl win. Remember the first part of that pass to Tyree? And Eli played extremely well throughout the game.
Evan (Bronx, New York)
Do you think Giants will win despite their 3 game losing streak against San Diego
Chris Mortensen (11:37 AM)
Yes, for the record, I do think the Giants will beat the Chargers.
tommy (new orleans)
with the overall improvement of the saint's defense , the line still gives up a lot yardage , i know sedrick ellis is out , but why do they seem too place too little emphasis on stopping the run?
Chris Mortensen (11:38 AM)
Did you watch the Dolphins game? Stuffed 'em and the Wildcat. They were missing Ellis
You don't look at the point spreads? Oh come on.
Chris Mortensen (11:40 AM)
I do not look at point spreads and I only become aware of them when people point it out to me. I'm not a gambler. Some people have explained how and why they establish spreads. But those spreads don't affect the outcome of a game or how I cover the league. I got enough on my plate without worrying about the spread!
Kevin (Chanhassen MN)
Mort,To what do you attribute the Vikings' defensive troubles in the second halves of games? They look gassed by the third quarter. Are they just not pacing themselves?
Chris Mortensen (11:41 AM)
I think anytime the other QB is dropping back that much, guys get gassed in the 2nd half; that's why you see some of these great finishes. It's also why teams like to be 8 or 9 deep to have a good d-line rotation.
Eric (The H)
Do you see Slaton getting more carries, less or about the same amount with Moats from here on out?
Chris Mortensen (11:44 AM)
I would think Moats gets more carries if he stays hot, then at some point (maybe even soon) Slaton gets another chance. But if you're a running back and you fumble, you won't play. I'm sure they're working hard on technique with Slaton; he's too talented not to work with him. Tiki Barber's career went to the next level when Tom Coughlin came in and corrected by emphasizing a technique to secure he ball.
Jeff (Charleston, SC)
Hey Mort. Do you think Michael Turner can sustain that monstrous impact he had on MNF? Dominating on the ground like last year, and when Jason Snelling comes back, is it sustainable?
Chris Mortensen (11:45 AM)
I think Falcons are very committed to making it happen. I expect their offense to get better as the season moves on; plus it will be nice when not only Snelling comes back but Norwood, too.
Robert (Monrovia, Ca)
Any idea who the new Browns GM will be?
Chris Mortensen (11:48 AM)
What I have reported is that the Browns may be looking for a Parcells-type - who knows? Maybe Parcells leaves the Dolphins after this year to work with Mangini, whom he likes? (Wow, let's start that rumor...just kidding). I have heard that Marty Schottenheimer's name has been internally discussed for that type of senior VP/FB operations role but I don't know if Marty would embrace that.
can we see tedd ginn in a better role now that we see what his strengths are?He's no devin hester but works good in space.
Chris Mortensen (11:49 AM)
Clearly, he is an impact returner and he'll still get a dozen or so reps because the Dolphins will need to throw over the top with Chad Henne. Ginn is the only guy 've seen that that stretch the field like that.
Eli has thrown 82 INTs in 81 games ... his career passer rating is under 80. Let's get real about him. If his name wasn't Manning, he would have no support in the NFL.
Chris Mortensen (11:51 AM)
Yeah, yeah. Heard that before. Did you know that under Dan Reeves, John Elway's stats were just one-plus on the TD
Jordan (New York )
Mort, love your work. How come the Giants haven't brought in a veteran safety for a work-out? If they lose again this week in similar fashion do you expect them to over the bye? If so, what are the options?
Chris Mortensen (11:54 AM)
Not to be mean-spirited, who are you suggesting the Giants work out? I do think it's interesting that with the UFL in season, some personnel people have expressed a little frustration that some of those players aren't available for either signing or workout, as injuries mount. Those UFL players will be available in December. The Giants loss of Kenny Phillips was one of the most underrated injuries of pre-season.
Billy (Miami, FL)
Mort, do you agree with ESPN's current ranking of the Jets ahead of the Dolphins? I never thought it would be possible for a team to sweep another team in one year and still be considered an inferior team. I guess strange things can happen in the NFL.
Chris Mortensen (11:55 AM)
I don't participate in those power rankings. It's a collection of guys but I would not be able to put the Jets ahead of Dolphins after being swept.
Has Andy Reid learned his lesson that he has to be patient with the running game to open up the entire offense? I'm guessing not, but I remain hopeful!
Chris Mortensen (11:56 AM)
Andy Reid and OC Marty Mornhinweg are pretty smart guys. They have a lot of weapons and philosophically, the Eagles are always going to be pass heavy. They make corrections when they see fit. We'll see.
I Hope people aren't thinking the Saints-Panthers game will be a push-over. These teams know each other well. and the Panthers Defense is getting better by the week, not to mention the run game. Panthers want it just as much as the Saints. I think it will be a very competitive game.
Chris Mortensen (11:57 AM)
I would think after watching what the Panthers did in Arizona, it would be foolish to dismiss them. The defense actually has been getting better, as you mentioned. That's a pretty resilient group. I agree with you.
Who do you see coming out on top of the NFC East when it is all said and done?
Chris Mortensen (11:58 AM)
I think I picked the Eagles to win the division so I'll stick that way for now. The Cowboys could do it. Of course, I was brilliant enough to pick the Redskins as a wild-card team.
Jordan (New York )
Mort, I was thinking Chris Mcalister (move him to safety) Lawyer Milloy or Will Demps. What do you think? Completely off base for the Giants?
Chris Mortensen (11:59 AM)
I'd have to check on those guys. If I hear something, I'll try to make it known, perhaps via Twitter.com @mortreport.
Great comparison with Eli and Elway, Mort. Throw out Elways' best two seasons (both resulting in Super Bowl wins) and call them even. Now that's reporting!!!
Chris Mortensen (12:00 PM)
Now, wait a minute. I was making a statistical point. Elway carried an average team for a lot of years. Physically, competitively, I put him high on the list of greatest quarterbacks ever.
That's a cop out... Eli tossed 2 more interceptions at home than on the road, so you can't really throw wind at Giants stadium into the equation.
Chris Mortensen (12:02 PM)
I was speaking more on the career perspective. And the fact is, he did win a Super Bowl. I also saw receivers dropping balls in some of those losses and running game so-so. And I do wonder, having suffered from plantar fascia injury myself, if it's affected him enough to throw him off. But he hasn't played well in most of these losses.
Matt in Philly, don't bother trying to educate Mort on Eli, he is contractually required to only say good things about the Patriots and the Mannings.
Chris Mortensen (12:03 PM)
LOL! Patriots Nation calls me a hater. Now I will admit that I am fond of the Manning family.
CAL (St. Paul, MN)
Mort, how far do you think the Vikings can go in the playoffs? They haven't beaten any teams with a record better than 4-3, is this something to be concerned about?
Chris Mortensen (12:05 PM)
I wouldn't nitpick on the Vikings' opponents. I was very impressed by their performance in the only loss at Pittsburgh. The Steelers are the defending Super Bowl champion with a chance to repeat and the Vikings gave them all they could handle on the road.
Denver has played outstanding to date. Going forward they continue to have a brutal schedule. Do you believe the Broncos offense is solid enough to sustain a playoff push?
Chris Mortensen (12:06 PM)
I do believe the Broncos will have to make opposing teams defend the whole field, meaning Kyle Orton needs to get a vertical game with Eddie Royal and Brandon Marshall.
Chris Mortensen (12:08 PM)
I just saw some real good questions come in. One I want to answer about Eli's QB class. I would pick Big Ben to build a team around if I made to make a choice among that group which includes Rivers. Time to go. Enjoyed the time...even with you, JP! Again, catch us on Sunday NFL Countdown @ 11 a.m. ET; Adam Schefter and I also will make our usual SportsCenter appearance @ 10 a.m. And I am available on Twitter via @mortreport. God Bless!