Monday, September 24, 2007

O'Malley's Tallies: Week 3 -- Hump Week, Favre's Fountain of Youth, and Ronnie Brown's Coming-Out Party

While the NFL season may consist of a 16 game schedule, week 3 in the National Football League says a lot about the direction a particular team or individual may be heading for the year. With such a short season, a 0-3 start almost always means shattered playoff hopes right from the get go.

Despite those numerous bandwagon fans that like to jump on the coat tails of a 3-0 team, most committed NFL fans truly can start to see the writing on the wall by the end of week 3. For instance, if I were to have asked 100 people at the beginning of the year who would of thought the Packers would be 3-0 after starting off the season with three playoff teams from the year before, I have a strong feeling 90% of the participants would have thought I was nuts. In spite of all this, the Pack continued their impressive start by beating one of the country’s most likely Super Bowl favorites, the San Diego Chargers. On the flip side, what is with the Buffalo Bills? After an off-season of major improvements on both sides of the ball, the Bills are 0-3 including the past two games in which they were walloped by the Steelers and Patriots. On that note, let’s get to the Studs and Duds of Week 3 ...


1. Ronnie Brown – Well Ronnie, I think you quieted all the haters (including myself at times) for at least one week. Brown’s performance vs. the Jets on Sunday was undoubtedly his best of his short career, rushing for 112 yards and 99 receiving yards to go along with 3 touchdowns. While the Fish were indeed defeated by the Jets 31-28, the play of Brown and the offensive line was a very pleasant surprise for owners all around the country.

2. Brett Favre – In the twilight in his Hall of Fame caliber career, Mr. Favre has the Packers on top on the NFC North standings at 3-0. Going up against one of the top defenses in the league Sunday, all Favre did was throw for a whopping 369 yards and three touchdowns, including his 420th of his career which ties him with my favorite player of all time, Dan Marino, for most in league history. Not too shabby for a man that many have said has nothing left in the tank.

3. Philadelphia Eagles Offense – Whether it was Kevin Curtis receiving for 200+ yards. Donovan McNabb throwing for 381 yards and 4 scores, or Brian Westbrook having both 110 rushing and receiving yards, everything seemed to go right on Sunday for the previously struggling Philadelphia Eagles. The offense dropped a eye opening 56 points on the previously undefeated Detroit Lions and have seemed to find their stride as they head into their week 4 matchup against hated division rival New York Giants.

4. Marion Barber – Coach Phillips can continue to say it all he wants. Julius Jones and Marion Barber will continue to split carries for our team. I don’t want to hear it. The more and more MBIII runs, the better he gets. That trend continued Sunday night against the vaunted Chicago Bear defense in which Barber ran for 102 yards on the ground and had two touchdowns. This hard nosed former Golden Gopher is a bruiser and will most likely continue to punish defenders well on into deep January.


1. Rex Grossman – Congratulations Rex!! You have officially made to the “O’Malley’s Tallies” dud list two out of a possible three weeks. Just when some people start thinking its safe to believe in you, you go out and complete 46.9% of your passes and throw 3 interceptions without a touchdown pass in a blowout loss to the Cowboys. While there may be no guarantee that continued performances like this will keep landing you on the list, it will however land you on a spot on the sidelines watching Brian Griese very, very soon.

2. Marc Bulger – There are few teams more difficult to understand in the Not For Long league than the St. Louis Rams. Picked by some in the beginning of the year to contend for the NFC crown, the Rams have lost their last two games and have been very sloppy doing it. On Sunday, Marc Bulger had a dreadful game against the Bucs, throwing for only 116 yards and tossing three picks as well in a 24-3 defeat. Although his starting job is 100% safe, a playoff birth come late December is far from it with sub par games like this from their quarterback.

3. Alex Smith – While it may be tough to kill the 49er’s quarterback after leading his team to a 2-1 record so far, his performance on Sunday and frankly throughout the entire three games has been very poor. For the season, the former #1 overall pick is completing 54% percent of his passes, averaging only 153.7 yards a game, and has a QB rating of a dismal 67.4. Despite having one of the most talented and youngest defenses in the entire game, if the 49ers want to continue their winning ways they are going to have to have some improved play from #11 ASAP.

4. Miami Dolphins Defense – If you would have told me the Miami Dolphins would have a career day from Ronnie Brown, an offensive line that mauled the Jets defensive line all day, and a 300 yard game from Trent Green on Sunday, I would have expected a Miami rout. WRONG. The Dolphin defense apparently didn’t get the memo, only recording one sack on the day and not forcing one fumble of interception all day against a bang up Chad Pennington. With stars like Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, and Keith Traylor manning that front seven, performances such as that are simply unacceptable.

That is all for this week! Thank you for reading and I will speak to you after week 4 for another edition of O.T’s!!
John O'Malley is a Fantasy Football Expert at His column, O'Malley's Tallies, appears on Tuesdays at SportsJudge Blog.

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mangan said...

should have waited for monday night to complete your "duds" list... drew brees looked like scotty smalls from the sandlot trying to throw a baseball from left center out there tonight... absolutely horrendous.

and how can alex smith have his best game of the season and end up on the "duds" list? granted he hasn't put up big numbers as of yet (and the outlook isn't so great), but number 11 had a much better game than some other QB's who didn't make your list like eli (the retarded manning) and matt lienhart (2 tds, 151.3 ypg, 62.6 passer rating on the season). If Alex Smith had Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, he'd have atleast 6 TD's so far this season. Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Love your column--you are right on the money!!

John O'Malley said...

Mr. Mangan,

You make a very valid point about Drew Brees. Being that my column comes out on Monday nights before the game, Brees and the rest of the MNF stats were not taken into account. However, there is no doubt Brees would easily be #5 on my list my week!