Motley Crue blasting here now. I am very ready for action! Let's get this going.
Matt, do you think Felix Jones will ever pan out? I mean the guy has been in the league for a few years and we keep hearing "potential."Also, what are your thoughts on Harvin with/without Favre?Thanks
I am high on Felix and esp Harvin. Harvin first-you cannot forget that Harvin has only been a WR for one season. To me, I think he can revolutionize the slot position once he really learns the trade. Much faster, stronger and better after the catch than guys like Welker. Adding Moss also helps Harvin a great deal for the short term. He will be great. I also like Felix. But I am not sure that adding the weight in the off season was a great idea. Not quite as explosive or quick. And-how often does adding/losing a reasonable amount of weight really work out for RBs? I like that Dallas seems more dedicated to Felix too. The jury is still out, but don't sell him short yet.
What is wrong with MSW and the Jags. Do you think he will get traded...who is the better receiver moving forward, MSW or Mike Williams in Seattle..thanks
I tend to side with Williams there. Never been a huge MSW guy. I view both WRs you mentioned as true #2 guys, but Williams' size is a huge advantage and he seems to really be learning to use it. No dynamic qualities to MSW. I do think he is better than he is showing though statistically and the emergence of Lewis and Thomas has cut into his reception/target totals.
Three NFC teams that have a real good chance of playing in the Super Bowl are:
NYG, GBay when they get healthy and hmmm...ATL or NOrls.
I am a huge fan of Earl Thomas in Seattle. Seems like a playmaker every 7 days. What was your take on him coming out of the draft and what level of player do you see him acheiving?
I have him in my Top 10 Rookie Report and he certainly is a playmaker. I liked him a lot coming out. Pure FS to me that he clearly does his best work in deep patrol. Not afraid to tackle/hit though. Excellent ball skills. Very good range. Rarely do rookie FS come in and tear it up, but he-and Nate Allen-are doing it. Just think once he spends a year in the league and learns QB tendencies, the opposing WRs, etc. It sure looks like Seattle hit on both first round picks.
Do you think Beanie Wells will get it going and have a big second half?
He could. I am very much a believer in his running skills. I don't love that OL at all though and obviously the QB is not going to scare opposing D's to drop defenders off the LOS. But it does look like Fitz is finally healthy and that threat should complement Wells. If Hall can even be just okay, I could see Zona having a better 2nd half of the season than first. But color me skeptical.
That better not be Corabi-era Motley, pal.
Kickstart My Heart-Wild Side...don't worry Vince
Matt, can you get me off the hook? for old times sakes? What's wrong with the Bears besides the obvious. They seemed to make offense adjustments against the Cowboys and Packers but can't against the Seahawks??? Is it just bad coaching? Thanks for chatting!
Sorry Sal, Can't do it. As for the Bears, I would really have to tear the coaching tape apart to tell you and I haven't done that. But I tend to think it is the obvious. The line stinks-and it might be getting worse. Injuries. Bad players. Zero continuity right now with all the movement up front. Play calling hasn't helped. Stop with the 7 step drops already! And Cutler hasn't helped. He stars to sulk and/or do too much-and the wheels come off.
Matt, how improved is the Steelers O line this year? In the past 3 games against the Bucs, Ravens, & Browns, the Steelers have given up a total of 2 sacks while giving up zero sacks against the Bucs and Browns. How would you describe a starting 5 of Starks, Kemo, Pouncey, Legursky and Flozell? I think it's the best line that the team has had in the past 4 years. Thoughts?
Funny you mentioned that. I was just on Pittsburgh radio yesterday saying how no one is talking about the guys up front, but how they are drastically improved. The left side is slightly above average. Pouncey will be a super star. Legursky is adequate. Flozell understandably started rough, but seems to have learned the RT position quickly. Big physical OL. You look around the league, OL play is very poor right now. Pittsburgh's is better than many realize. New OL coach too.
MW, thoughts on Kenny Phillips' season so far? I think he's quietly having a great year.
I agree. Loads of talent. Versatile. Very good supporting cast too, which certainly helps. Everyone seems to be feeding off one another. But Phillips is/will be a star. Great to see after his injury.
How much trouble are the Chargers in if they lose this week as well?
Not that much. That division will still be winnable. But KC's schedule is VERY soft. That is a two horse race and I don't think any of us would be super shocked if SD (& Minny or Dallas) would rattle off a 2nd half winning streak. 5 of their last 6. 7 wins in a row. Something like that. Still, can't be very confident in that crew at all right now. But they have Rivers. Might be enough.
Gotta give you props. A few months ago a bunch of people in this chat were tearing into you for saying the Steelers were an elite team. Just want them held accountable.
Much appreciated. "Williamson, you are a homer! The Steelers aren't that good!"...trust me, it was then and it is now: Strictly business. Wasn't personal.
Can't believe you haven't discussed the hits from sunday yet. Do you agree that only--and only--the Meriweather hit was a flagrant foul?
I am already tired of that subject to be honest, but yes, I agree with you. Merriweather earned his fine.
When are we going to see the "old" Carson Palmer? I miss my friend. I wouldn't trade a large turkey leg and a gigantic bowl of corn for how he has been playing this season! Om nom nom nom
Don't know that we will. Ship may have sailed.
As a Charger fan the loss to St. Louis was alarming because it's probably the worst they've played all year. But I'm hoping it was just them coming out flat for an early start and overlooking them. That being said I dont think the Chiefs are that good and they can be had even if the Chargers only win 9 games
Might be right, but KC is going to win games. Their schedule is just so easy. And I do think they are better than you are making them out to be. Solid on D. They don't hurt themselves. Value the football. Excellent running game. Could be enough to win that weak division.
i keep hearing that the raiders need a ligament QB, i think the raiders have one in Bruce. the raiders are better when the have a journey man than an actual drafted QB. the last QB to take them the distance was a journey man, Rich Gannon!
Not sure I would go with that strategy just because Gannon worked out and Russell didn't. But-that OL needs built first and foremost. Also, it surprises me that the D hasn't improved. But I also tend to think that organization's problems are DEEP seeded.
How do you think Stafford's return will affect the Lions? Is he legit, or are injuries now a concern for management?
Injuries have to be a concern. But he is legit. Big believer here. But give Hill credit too-and Stanton to a much lesser degree. Those QBs played well for Detroit. Tend to think Detroit will win another 4 games or so even with Stafford. But the organization is certainly improving as a whole.
MW: What do you think Lynch will do in Seattle going forward? Do you respect me not even trying to disguise a fantasy question in your chat?
Mo, you aren't fooling anyone, but good work. Others could learn from your example. I think his role will continue to expand. The only power runner they have. Will be their lead dog. But Forsett isn't going away either. Might be a nice tandem.
Matt, what is a 'ligament QB'?
Good catch...that was prob supposed to be Legitimate.
Matt W the king of chats! You said the AFC West is a 2 horse race? Have to disagree my man, Denver has just as much a shot as KC and SD, and please don't tell me they are any better then Denver. Cassell is a wink link and SD D is overrated. Denver has played well against some very good teams and the schedule gets a little easier, plus injuries have been huge for Denver. 8-8 will win this division. Thanks Matt!
I agree that SD's D is overrated and that Cassel is the weak link. You have been reading my chats! Anyways, Denver's running game is quite terrible. I also don't trust the D to hold up over the season. A lot of injuries already. Could be right-considering the opponents, but I still have Denver pegged for 3rd.
Hey Matt, give some love to the Freechise.
I assume we are talking about Freeman? I like him. Quite a bit. Unafraid to pull the trigger. Gifted. Strong human being-arm, core, lower body, running. No question. Very encouraging. Right on course with where you want him to be.
No need to post....just saying thanks. Love your work and insight. One of the reasons I come to ESPN online.
Well I will post that one!!
Jaguars that bad or Titans that good?
Little of both. Jags are just SO up and down. Unpredictable. That was obviously the Bad Jags. They got down early-that is a problem for that team. That game was over at half time. I also do think that was prob the Titans best effort too.
What more do you need to do to get a page on Wiki? I would have thought you'd be there already.
Never checked. And I don't go to any web sites that are not football driven. Seriously. Mapquest once in a while! Not exactly a celeb here though!
How do the Fins win on Sunday?
It could happen. No doubt. Their D isn't easy to play against and Ben can have games that he forces the action. Miami needs to win the turnover battle is what I am getting at. I worry that Henne might be a little wide-eyed, but Bess has become a handful and I think Marshall has a big advantage over any PGH CB. Plus, the Phins OTs might do very well vs. Woodley and Harrison.
I always read your chats! They get me through Wednesdays at work! Matt could you please compare Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant, really feel like Denver got a stud who is quite and works hard.
Thomas is certainly growing on me. Work in progress though. VERY simplistic route tree at G Tech. I do like Bryant better though. More physical. Attacks the football more. Much better after the catch. More fluid. But Bryant is awfully special in those regards.
How did I get so completely destroyed by John Abraham He is old and washed up right?
He is not. Still an excellent player. DEs/Pass Rushers are too often judged just by sacks. He didn't have a ton of sacks last year, but was still an excellent pass-rusher and very disruptive. I also think that is about as poorly as I have seen you play Joe-hiding an injury? Still think Thomas is the best OLineman in the league.
Matt thanks for the chat as always. Pitt, Baltimore Jetts and the Indy Mannings better than any one in the NFC?
My Power Rankings-check them out on Football Today every Tuesday-are like this at the top: 1. PGH 2. Jets 3. Balt 4. NEng 5. Saints (might be too high on them) 6. Colts 7. G Men
How many games have the 9ers won with Crabtree in the game now? Like 2?
Give the new OC some credit on Crabtree's improvement though. I think he can really play and can be great. Much like Dez Bryant's description. They need to feature him more.
Love your work and I rarely find anything you do laughable, but not including Jamaal Charles in your list of top 10 RBs is silly. What he's done over his last 13 games is remarkable. Besides, this is a league of matchup busters and game-changers, and JC is rivaled only by AP and CJ in that department. LeSean McCoy? You're better than that, Matt.
Thank you-I think. I love him. Did the Fantasy Convention here in Pittsburgh and had Charles as my 6th overall player. If you read the preface, I had a tough time choosing between Charles, Mend and McCoy for the last two spots...which puts Charles at #11. McCoy is big time-worse OL. Better receiver than Charles. But trust me here-love Charles. Love. But, he isn't their feature guy! Which I do not condone. But I do appreciate the debate-always.
M-Dub, thoughts on Pats/Chargers? Who wins and why? Look for Hernandez to have a career day...Bolts can't cover a TE with a sheet!
Haven't dug into next week's games a ton yet, but leaning towards the Pats. SD is pretty beat up now. Great call on Hernandez. Liking this new Pats O. Loved the old one. Actually-could be the best two Os in the NFL. GREAT QBs. Give a huge coaching advantage to the Pats though. Really looking forward to this one. Actually, I will be hosting Cover It Live Sunday for this game and the Steelers at Miami game. If you haven't yet, stop by-very cool forum.
Cover It Live on TV or internet? Where can people find it?
On the .com. I think you can find it right on the front page during games. Not positive on that. But I promise that it isn't difficult to find-just never been on that end of it! I also do it every Monday Night. It is a blast.
What is up with the inconsistant catching by D.Bowe? Should they be searching for A new #1
For sure. Too unreliable. But-considering that they have Moeaki, McCluster and Charles (who I love), they might be able to get away without a true #1 on that O for the long term.
Matt, while we have you giving scouting reports on rookies, what do you make of J. Best? I'm excited to watch him play the Bears for years... the same way I'm excited to run my car off a cliff and walk away with only scratches.
I think Best is injured. The bye comes at the perfect time for him. I do REALLY worry about a rookie wall with him too. But Stafford coming back should help and hopefully his feet are healed by the next time he hits the field. But there is a lot to like there-but if he doesn't have his superb burst and quickness, he will become very average. So, he isn't a full time player like an MJD to me.
Matt, as a Niners fan I keep plotting out our route to 8 or 9 wins and the division. But games such as Zona beating the Saints, Rams beating the Chargers, and Hawks beating the Bears are scaring me. Is the West better than we all thought and what do you think the winner's record will be?
It might be slightly better. Seattle in particular has surprised me. I thought they would be terrible. And STL didn't fold after getting crushed by Detroit. Nine wins will be enough, and 8 might do it. But there are still a lot of divisional games left and someone has to win those!
Do you think CJ is going to get worn down in the next year or so? That is a lot of carriers no matter how good an RB he is, no?
I do really worry about that. However, to his credit, I compare him to Gretzky a bit in that he has such great vision that he doesn't take a TON of big hits in the open field. But unlike 99, he will stick it right up in there and doesn't shy away from a hit at all. I think Fisher does overuse him. He will still be very good, but it wouldn't take much for him to turn into a 4.45/40 guy instead of a 4.24/40 player.
What do you think of Dan Connor. How was he not starting before? He's got the highest metrics of any MLB in the league.
He has been great. Actually watched him at Strath Haven HS-and of course at Penn State. Well, they were starting Beason at MLB and Davis at WLB! That is a GREAT pair. Connor isn't really a SLB to me and their scheme is pretty specific. Still-has exceeded expectations for sure. Another thing-I used to CRUSH Carolina's DTs. They have played much better than I expected as well.
I know your not an injury expert, but what do you make of Steven Jackson? I keep hearing about nagging injuries, but his performances continue to be solid.
He's a warrior. Stud. 3rd best RB in the game. Another guy though whose career longevity I worry a lot about.
Matt where do you think Shawne Merriman ends up? Right now rumors are NE or SF. Who is more likely?
I keep hearing Baltimore. His home town. When to Maryland. They could use a pass-rusher opposite Suggs. Kindle is done for the year. Not a believer in Merriman at all though here any more. He hasn't been a difference maker for years.
Brighter future: STL, Det or Cleveland?
Clev has to be last. For one simple reason: QB. I know STL has a QB and I think DET has a QB. Pretty sure that CLEV does not. But I did think McCoy played a great game in his debut. He HAS to be the starter the rest of the season to see. But give me DET. More pieces in place. Very impressed with the personnel moves. Suh. Calvin. Best.
Heard a lot of good things about the Chiefs D, but not so much about Eric Berry specifically. Is he playing well for a rookie, at least so far?
A little up and down. I really like that secondary, but Berry has been beat his fair share. Makes plays. Versatile. Not real worried long term about him.
Is New Orleans offense finally breaking out of its early season slump?
Seems to be. I still think Brees was fighting injuries early on. They were actually physical against the Bucs and established a running game-which was huge for them in 2009. I do think they are much better off schematically when they have R Bush too.
Does Seattle have a QB in Whitehurst?
That is a conundrum. Ideally, they need to know that answer before this next draft. But-they are a contender in their division! Surprise! Can't be fooling with the QB situation while that is still the case. In this instance, their success could possibly hinder the long term development of the franchise. Of course, we have no idea what Whitehurst is like at practice and behind the scenes.
Your are not showing any love for the Colts. Why?
Aren't they my 6th ranked team in the league. That is some love. Before the season, I picked them to win the whole thing. They did lose to Jacksonville...
Quick fantasy question.....BenJarvus Green-Ellis at San Diego or Ryan Torrain at Chicago?
Yuck. I guess Torrain. More carries. But that is a tough D to run on.
Folks, I am out. We will do it again soon.