Anquan Boldin Has the Last Laugh

Fine Fifteen

1. Denver (1-0). It’s a nice September schedule for the Broncos. With a half bye (10 days between games), Denver visits the Giants next Sunday. With an extra day to prepare in Week 3, Denver returns home to face Oakland on a Monday night. With a short week, the Broncos finish the month by facing defensively challenged Philadelphia. Get this: Four of the last 14 Denver foes had winning records in 2012.

2. San Francisco (1-0). In the last 365 days, Green Bay has played San Francisco three times. The Pack has allowed, on average, 36 points and 483 yards a game. It is not a coincidence that the Niners are 3-0 in those games.

3. Seattle (1-0). I don’t rank the Seahawks here with conviction, because Russell Wilson had defenders buzzing around him all afternoon in Charlotte. But you looked up at the end of the game, and Wilson still had 320 yards passing against a pressure D, and the Seahawks played well enough to steal one.

4. Houston (0-0). Really looking forward to seeing how Brian Cushing’s presence changes the offensive focus to blocking the Texans. Especially with two new tackles protecting Philip Rivers, I bet new San Diego coach Mike McCoy leaves extra blockers in to keep his quarterback clean.

5. New Orleans (1-0). Easy to see the difference between last year’s team and this one: a competent defense. Akiem Hicks, Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette pressured Matt Ryan enough so you could see how bothered he was by the pressure by the middle of the game.

6. Green Bay (0-1). Good team, but I continue to wonder if the defense can mature during the season, particular as long as cornerback Casey Hayward is missing.

Talk Back

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday's mailbag.

7. Chicago (1-0). Quality win, particularly after A.J. Green tormented the Bears secondary for much of the day.

8. Detroit (1-0). Impressive win for the Lions, for two reasons: Detroit got good play out of the offensive backfield for once, and good play out of the defensive front (three sacks, four more pressures) for once.

9. New England (1-0). No style points in NFL victories, which is a good thing for the Patriots.

10.  Dallas (1-0). End of schneid. Maybe it was New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the rabid Cowboys fan, sitting in Jerry Jones’ box that brought Dallas luck—and took it from their annual Arlington tormentors, the Giants. New York had been 4-0 in Jones’ new stadium until the 36-31 Cowboys win Sunday night.

11. Cincinnati (0-1). A.J. Green is a very tall Gumby.

12. St. Louis (1-0). Love the fact that Sam Bradford engineered three scoring drives (okay, one was a two-yarder) that ended in touchdown, field goal and game-winning field goal in the fourth quarter. Also love the fact that the Rams are now 5-1-1 in, arguably, the toughest division in football since the start of the 2012 season.

13. Tennessee (1-0). Maybe Mike Munchak’s right. Maybe you can still win by running the ball predominantly—in part because so many teams don’t work that much in practice to stop the run, because so few teams are big-run teams anymore.

14. Baltimore (0-1). Repeat after me, Timonium: It’s only one game … It’s only one game …

15. Arizona (0-1). Larry Fitzgerald touchdown catches last year: four. Larry Fitzgerald touchdown catches Sunday in St. Louis: two. The Cards are going to be a tough day for every team on their schedule.

The Awards Section

Lavonte David's late hit on Geno Smith ruined what would have been a Bucs win (top left). Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin (top right) and Reggie Bush (bottom left) enjoyed huge first days on their new teams, and Sean Payton was victorious in his return to New Orleans.
Lavonte David’s late hit on Geno Smith ruined what would have been a Bucs win (top left). Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin (top right) and Reggie Bush (bottom left) enjoyed huge first debuts with their new teams, and Sean Payton was victorious in his return to the Saints sideline. (Daniel Wallace/MCT/ZUMAPRESS.com :: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP:: Paul Sancya/AP :: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Offensive Players of the Week

Peyton Manning, QB, Denver. At age 37, in the 245th game of his career, Manning did something that hadn’t been done since the AFL and NFL merged in 1970: He threw seven touchdown passes in a game. His 27-of-42, 462-yard, no-interception performance, coming against the defending Super Bowl champs, will be one of those he tells the grandkids about someday.

Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco. Not a bad debut for the Niners’ new wideout, a month shy of his 33rd birthday: 13 catches, 208 yards, one touchdown. Great stat by the NFL’s Randall Liu Sunday night: There have been three 10-catch, 200-yard receiving games in NFL history on the season’s opening weekend. Boldin has two of them.

Reggie Bush, RB, Detroit. In his first game for the Lions, Bush was the workhorse back Detroit coach Jim Schwartz prays he can be for 16 weeks. Bush had 25 touches and generated 191 yards—including a 77-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown.

Defensive Players of the Week

Robert Quinn, DE, St. Louis. The former first-round pick, who had an excellent offseason and camp for the Rams, continued to emerge as a force in the season-opener. He sacked Carson Palmer three times and forced two fumbles in the Rams’ 27-24 win. The biggie: With 11 minutes left and the Rams trailing 24-21, Quinn strip-sacked Palmer, Chris Long recovered at the Cards’ 22, and Greg Zuerlein followed with the game-tying field goal.

Shaun Phillips, OLB, Denver. What’s the biggest fear any Broncos fan had heading into the season? The pass rush. And Phillips, more than any single Denver defender, did something about that Thursday night, sacking Joe Flacco twice by himself and sharing a third. “I took it personal that everyone was like, ‘Oh what are we going to do about the pass rush,’ but I’ve had like 70 sacks in my career. What am I some bum or something like that?” said Phillips. Apparently not.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Brandon Fields, P, Miami. It was a field-position game in Cleveland, with two offenses struggling for much of the day. Fields punted five times for a 53.8-yard average, with a stellar 47.6-yard net average. He had a vital 66-yard punt early in the third quarter with the Dolphins backed up at their 16 that rolled out of bounds at the Cleveland 22. A 66-yard net punt, with his team down 7-6 and getting nothing done offensively. That’s big.

Coach of the Week

Sean Payton, head coach, New Orleans. Almost gave this to defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, but Payton, as the captain of this ship for the first time since the last game of the 2011 season, showed the Saints can pick up where they left off in their days of dominance. The Saints had the discipline on both sides of the ball they often lacked last year, and Drew Brees had the sounding board he missed for 16 weeks. Payton is now 11-2 against the formidable Falcons.

Goats of the Week

Bill Leavy, referee, Green Bay-San Francisco game. When there are offsetting fouls after a play has ended, the down is not supposed to be replayed. But Leavy erred on this most basic of officiating tenets, and it played a major role in San Francisco’s victory. With 9:02 left in the second quarter, Colin Kaepernick scrambled out of bounds, and he was hit late by Clay Matthews. Matthews was flagged for hitting Kaepernick out of bounds, two steps after the play officially ended. A scrum ensued, with Matthews and Niners tackle Joe Staley going at it. Staley got a personal foul. But instead of ruling that the play should stand and it should be 4th-and-2, meaning the Niners would have attempted a field goal, Leavy ordered the down replayed. Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin, making it 14-7 San Francisco instead of 10-7. Leavy admitted his error afterward, but that likely didn’t make the 3-hour, 40-minute flight home much nicer for the Packers.

Lavonte David, LB, Tampa Bay. His hit on Geno Smith in the final seconds of the crushing loss at the Jets hands him the goat horns, though it wasn’t the kind of egregious sideline smash that you think was a cheap shot. Whether you agree with the call or not, whether you felt it was ticky-tackand it was closeit sticks. David’s hit on Smith with seven seconds left gave the Jets the chance to kick the game-winning field goal, a 48-yarder by Nick Folk. Jets 18, Bucs 17.

David Wilson, RB, New York Giants. Two fumbles at Dallas Sunday night in the 36-31 loss to the Cowboys. Two lost possessions in a five-point game. Wilson is on the verge of renting all of Tom Coughlin’s doghouse, and he’d own it if Andre Brown wasn’t out with a fractured leg.

Kyle Knox, LB, Jacksonville. Knox did something in the Jags-Chiefs game I’ve never seen before, and it showed such a lack of football instinct that it deserves mention in this space. Jags punter Bryan Anger kicked one downfield and it bounced once toward the Kansas City goal line. Knox, in full pursuit, grabbed the ball at the Kansas City 19 when it was bouncing in the direction of the goal line. Who knows? Maybe it goes dead at the 12. Or the two. But Knox stole yardage from his team, foolishly.

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321 comments
Saintsman3
Saintsman3

Peter, it's incredible that a seemingly intelligent person like you could have missed Breaking Bad the past 6 years.  It's the best TV ever, with the possible exception of the Andy Griffith Show.

A.F.Davis
A.F.Davis

Peter...just subscribe to Netflix streaming service, you still have time to get on the Breaking Bad train!


It'll be worth...trust me!

wavemkr
wavemkr

Cowboys defense gets 6 turnovers, one of which occurred on special teams (Cowboys ST player Dwayne Harris voted NFC ST player of the week by NFL) and yet not one mention in PK's def or ST players of the week.  Let the Peter King Cowboy hating bias continue....... additional PK Cowboy hating bias..... Cowboys at 10, not because they beat the Giants, but because of "luck" because a Jersey Gov was present and because David Wilson fumbled (note he fumbled twice, Eli threw 3 INTs).  And of course be sure and remind everyone that the Giants had won four in a row at Cowboys Stadium, because that was relevant to our power ranking.

rokrjon
rokrjon

Thanks to you, I drafted Jared Cook and with my other players, I put up 218 in my PPR league.  Unfortunately, I was playing the guy who had Peyton Manning and I lost 225 - 218. 

KirkM
KirkM

I don't get the Jets hate, Peter.......???

You know...you had three Buccaneer items in your "10 things you didn't like" and I'm asking, especially concerning the penalties, do you not think the Jets defense had SOMETHING to do with that?  The media "pile on" has been insanely over done so far.  The whole "ticky tack" personal foul penalty wasn't so ticky tack.  Geno Smith is a QB and he was a full yard out of bounds.  If that were Tom Brady you would have verbally destroyed the young TB defender and some would have called for a fine.  Victim of circumstance or luck...they won the game.  A wise Defensive Coordinator, who is now the Seattle Head Coach, once told me, "You need 4 things to win a football game...talent, preparation, execution & luck."  The football Gods rarely shine on the Jets...on Sunday, they shined for a short bit.

It's quite clear the Jets defense is going to be something special as the year goes on...especially against the run and pass rush.  Personally, I don't think NE survives tomorrow night.  Too many injuries and the Jets defense has too many similarities to the Lions and I think you see a repeat of Preseason game 3...although the score might not be as high.  I expect something like 17-10 Jets.  In fact, I have either the Jets or Dolphins winning the division this year.  NE doesn't have the horses right now, they are relying on a brittle WR and, until they have Gronk back, are going to struggle for the "big play."  The loss of Vereen is huge as well.  By the time they are healthy the season will have passed them by.  9-7 wins the AFC East this year.  I'm calling it now.

I'm fairly football savvy, having played quite a few years myself, and I think you can read quite a bit into the preseason with the way the new collective bargaining agreement has training camp locked down.  These guys simply are not getting the practice anymore.  The preseason games are a far greater indicator as to how the teams are going to perform.  Philadelphia being the exception due to Kelley wanting to keep his "system" under wraps.

Outside the 49'er, Seattle, Denver & the Texans...EVERYONE looks very vulnerable.

ProfessorGriff
ProfessorGriff

stop talking about teblow - its a shame how much you ride the guy's genitals and he isn't even playing in the NFL

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

I believe you should have included Rey Maluega of Cincy in your GOAT list.  Senseless personal foul that cinched the game for da Bears.

thebyron
thebyron

Not sure if I agree with your take on the Super Bowl halftime shows.  In the past decade they've had elder statesmen Paul McCartney, The Who, Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, and Bruce Springsteen.  The Stones in particular were a ratings bonanza.

In my opinion these were all better performances than Madonna or Beyonce (you can argue about The Who; their performance was pretty mediocre) and FAR better than the awful spectacle that was The Black-Eyed Peas.

dhe1966
dhe1966

Just for the record, Michigan didn't decide not to play Notre Dame any more in Ann Arbor. ND surprised Michigan's Athletic Director last year with a letter cancelling the last 3 years of the contract. ND is keeping Big Ten lesser powers Purdue and Michigan State on their schedule, but for some reason decide to stop playing Michigan (two 38-0 demolishings in the last decade might have something to do with their decision).

SaraTonin
SaraTonin

Great example of a Sports Writer talking out of both sides of his face:


Leaves Atlanta out of his "fine 15" (whatever, I would wipe my butt with it if it wasn't digital), then later appoints Sean Payton Coach of the Week for (Qouting) beating "the FORMIDABLE Falcons."


Which is it, Petie? Are they "formidable? Or beneath your notice? Or is your mouth too strongly attached to your favs that you can't even see what you're writing?


Take
Take

Peter King is a Patriots fan in case none of you knew that:

The Raiders and Pryor DID BEAT the Colts.. The Refs beat the Raiders. There is no doubt the NFL did not want "The Bad Guys" to go into little Indianapolis in their nice stadium and soil their home opening game.. Luck ran for a TD with 5 min left, a TD that should of been called back. I never seen more holding in 1 play in 25 years of watching football. Raiders players including Charles Woodson were irate when they need no flags. In fact it was so obvious they all stared to walk back to where the ball should of been spotted. The Raiders did not even think for one moment The Refs would actually award that TD to Luck do to the blatant holding...

By the way I should also point out it was not just that one play, Both Luck TD passes as well there was massive holding. Luck got hit on both plays he threw that TD but not before at one point a Colts player was in his back holding a Raiders D line man leg for dear life BUT no flag....Touch down stands.. If that was The Oakland Raiders are you telling me the Touch Downs would stand?? I would be willing to bet my house that the Touch down would be called back.. Flags would be flying EVERY WHERE...

I'm not a Raiders fan, I just watch football and I'm bias but it does not a Peter King or any "expert" to see the NFL has been screwing the Raiders for years and that Colts game was obvious yet the media will never admit to it because the media also hates the Raiders. I believe the media hates The Raiders so much is because of Al Davis. The media loved to ick on Al Davis but why? The answer is they hate him, they despise him, because Al Davis never had a "source" when he was running the Raiders. The media simply had to guess what Al was going to do next un like other teams where the media always quotes their "sources" I believe this is the real reason why the media hates the Raiders.

JamieBergman
JamieBergman

Sorry to say that this is the last time I am going to read MMQB.

After last week's PC commentary about the Redskins, I spent the entire time reading this weeks wondering when I was going to run into a political statement that annoyed me. If it has gotten to that point, then it is time to go elsewhere for my sports reading entertainment.

Peter, I enjoyed reading your work, and as a football writer you are incredible. Good luck in the future.

epste696
epste696

Offer the option to print without images.

melanic.whoosh
melanic.whoosh

How did Danny Trevathan not make the GOTW list? How much more goatesque than dropping the ball at the one-yard-line while prematurely celebrating his TD does he have to get?

MarkBravura
MarkBravura

David DeCastro deserved a spot in your Goats of the Week for his perfected targeted chop block on his teammate Maurkice Pouncey that ended the Steelers' center's season. He couldn't have delivered a more accurate shot if he were a trained military sniper.

smileyrebel
smileyrebel

I calculate the average StubHub ticket price as:  Irish: $148, Patriots: $139, Michigan: $88, Cowboys/Washington $44.  I laugh at the patriots fans shelling out $139/game with no Tebow time included.

Carnifex
Carnifex

 One thing I think I think: If Peter King is going to complain about Bill Leavy, then he should at least have the journalistic integrity to mention that the league also rescinded the personal foul against Joe Staley which offset Clay Matthew's personal foul. It SHOULD have been first-and-goal, not 4th and 2 nor 3rd and 6. Let's not have a Packers pity party.

nyjets011269
nyjets011269

A ticky tack call ?  Not only was Smith clearly out of bounds but he is a QB.  Any extra contact against a QB is going to be called regardless.  That's just the way it is now.

macoah
macoah

great call on the educated guess. we just finished a blind tasting of cabernets at park and orchard in east rutherford, n.j. educated guess was the big winner by far. our invite to visit during super bowl week is still open. we are only a few minutes from the stadium

Richard Long
Richard Long

What I would like to know is what a terrible call, like the one in the GB/SF game, results in for the referee?  And what are the results of the grading of refs?  Remember last year, during the strike, everyone complained about how the replacement refs impacted games.  Gee, the regular guys aren't always better, are they?

IvanAJagerbomb
IvanAJagerbomb

Why do so many sports writers incorporate Twitter posts in their stories...many who make the entire article about one tweet?  If people cared about those comments, we can just do to Twitter directly.

JaredMiles
JaredMiles

"Sunday’s leading rusher: Terrelle Pryor, quarterback, Oakland. In his first NFL start, Pryor rushed 13 times for 112 yards."

It was his second NFL start.

seamillguesthouse
seamillguesthouse

I understand Peter King is not going to mention the name Redskins any more in his articles  or on this website.

Does he think his opinions are so important that he can pressure a  long standing NFL team to change there name because suddenly he agrees with some politically correct bozo. I say boycott Kings  MMQB  website and his inflated opinion of himself..

bobinpowell
bobinpowell

I think that's a silly comment about Weeden, especially since you didn't watch the game closely.

consigliari51
consigliari51

Yes, playing with a bum leg in the season opener brings to mind one of America's most decorated war heroes.  Excellent analogy.  Next week we should discuss how much Zach Sudfeld is like MacArthur.  

Funny.  Anyone else makes such an absurd comment and PK would spend half his article giving them a stern lecture about how inappopriate it was.  But hey, it's the Pats, so I guess hyperbole is warranted, huh?

CharlesKellett
CharlesKellett

Peter, your article falsely implies that Michigan jointly decided to not continue the Notre Dame series. That is incorrect. Notre Dame unilaterally cancelled future matchups.

Chickens.

Mike26
Mike26

@dhe1966 ND hasn't been any more relevant the past 30 years than Wisconsin, Georgia, Texas A&M, etc.  They are legendary only in their minds.

Tyler_Durden
Tyler_Durden

@Take a fan blaming the refs for their team's loss? Wow... never seen that before... lol

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@Carnifex :  Even as a Packer fan, I agree.  As it was happening I thought "No, don't do it Clay"  and he did it.  I thought the penalty on Staley was bogus and it should have been first and goal on the 3 yard line.  The Packers were outplayed again by the 49ers - a superior team in most aspects to Green Bay.

PhilipDutton
PhilipDutton

@nyjets011269  Couldn't agree more! And if that were Tom Brady being shoved when he was clearly out of bounds you can be sure the King would have called it "the right call". Peter King is biased against certain teams and many of us find it deplorable and a drag on the entire MMQB site. It gets old when King keeps using the word "circus" when mentioning the Jets. Try something original in your efforts, Peter.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@nyjets011269 they told Harbaugh that running QBs can be hit like RBs... but it was out of bounds, so I agree with the call. But quarterbacks running for yards are allowed to be hit hard if the ball's in their hands

WillWillis1
WillWillis1

@IvanAJagerbomb PK has been doing it for a couple of years now, though personally I always thought his motivation in drawing his readers' attention to Twitter was really to gain more followers of his own there.

I don't care either way though. About 1/3 of his columns in general are padding/filler anyway. I read what interests me and skip what doesn't.

Carnifex
Carnifex

@seamillguesthouse his writing has gotten slightly less insightful and this column progressively more uninteresting every year, yet his ego is through the roof. there's a portrait of him trying in an attic somewhere. if there's not a serious turnover soon, I won't be reading this fluff and presumption much longer

JPM
JPM

@seamillguesthouse I say lead the way, seamillguesthouse.  Show some commitment.  Don't post here anymore.

KevinMoss
KevinMoss

@CharlesKellett No matter what, it is a shame because it is one of the greatest rivalries in NCAA football.  ESPECIALLY is you live in South Bend (2 miles from Michigan border) and EVERYONE in the area loves or hates one of the two teams.

KevinMoss
KevinMoss

@CharlesKellett And several times in recent years Michigan has spoken of cancelling the contract, too...  This is the pot-calling-the-kettle-black...

Carnifex
Carnifex

@Mike26 @Richard Long shoulda been first and goal, Staley did nothing wrong unless getting punched in the face by goldilocks is illegal now

OK
OK

@KevinMoss @CharlesKellett  

Nice try, but that carries about as much weight as the Father saying, "But I was just trying to help the altar boy all those times in the rectory, Judge."

Notre Dame dumped the series, and not even Touchdown Jesus changes that FACT, chump.

Shane Mac
Shane Mac

@OK @JPM @seamillguesthouse I mean they got the Hogs guys as their semi-mascot already and the pig noses would be a great give-away to their fans entering the stadium.

OK
OK

@Carnifex  @CharlesKellett 

Wolverines fans also hunger for Notre Dame's litany of pedophiles to defend.

Perhaps the Fighting Irish and the Penn State Sanduskys ought to join the same conference. We'll throw in SMU, USC, and a few SEC diploma mills for additional corruption purposes.

OK
OK

@KevinMoss@CharlesKellett 

More factual history to drive you and your feeble bs back to the record, preacher. Not to fear, you'll always have Navy to horsewhip on Homecoming and Predatory Priests Defense Fund Day.

#####

http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/college/notre-dame-pulls-series-michigan-fighting-irish-play-scheduled-game-michigan-2014-article-1.1168144

Notre Dame pulls out of series with Michigan, Fighting Irish will play last scheduled game against Michigan in 2014

Irish AD informs Michigan counterpart of decision before Saturday's game to avoid an automatic renewal of the contract.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 5:18 PM

Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012, 5:18 PM 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Notre Dame is opting out of its series with Michigan, meaning the last scheduled game between college football’s winningest programs will take place in 2014.

A letter from Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick to Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon cancelling games in 2015-2017 was obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Brandon told the AP he was handed the letter on the field in South Bend, Ind., about an hour before Saturday night’s game.

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