Music City Makeover, or Music City Mirage?

Player You Need To Know This Weekend

After a number of mini controversies already in the season, Josh Freeman (right) will be taking a seat for Mike Glennon. (Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com)
After a number of mini controversies already in the season, Josh Freeman (right) will be taking a seat for Mike Glennon. (Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Times/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay (No. 8). It’s way too early to play Glennon. Greg Schiano knows that, but Schiano just couldn’t bear to watch Josh Freeman anymore. Freeman’s completed 53 percent of his passes since Schiano was hired, his game has plummeted this year, and there was the matter of him oversleeping for the team picture, missing it and then not being voted team captain. A mess. A big, hot mess. I don’t blame Schiano for starting Glennon now and not waiting until the Bucs’ bye week. Do you want to play a home game with the most unpopular athlete in Tampa leading your team out on the field, trying to salvage your season? Glennon will surely be asked to pilot a safe gameplan against Arizona, and he’d better: The Cardinals’ D, according to The MMQB’s pass-pressure rankings, have 58 sacks/pressures/knockdowns of quarterbacks through three weeks.

Sound Bite of the Week

“No, but if you want to be on TV, hang around him.”

—Arizona coach Bruce Arians, asked this week if there was anything new to report on the playing status of safety Rashad Johnson, who had the tip of his left middle finger severed Sunday against the Saints. Johnson’s playing status for Sunday at Tampa Bay is questionable. But he’s sure getting a lot of media attention.

Ten Things I’ll Be Watching For This Weekend

1. The battle for the NFC North lead. And it doesn’t include Green Bay. Detroit (2-1) hosts 3-0 Chicago, while Green Bay has an easy game against The Bye. (I’d hate the Week 4 bye if I were a coach. Too early.) Man to watch for the Bears: Defensive tackle Nate Collins replaces Henry Melton (knee; out for the season), and he’ll need to give the Bears 30 good interior snaps against a team with a revived running game. But just because this is Collins’ first start doesn’t mean he hasn’t played—he’s been in nearly 50 percent of the plays this year as a fireman on the line.

2. Going Long. The Bears drafted inexperienced Oregon guard Kyle Long in the first round last spring for Sundays like this one: to face off against Detroit tackle Ndamukong Suh. Long’s been playing well for Chicago, solidifying a position of great need. Suh’s been intimidating and great for Detroit. This is the most compelling matchup of the weekend, mano a mano.

The London Debate

Can an NFL team succeed playing full-time in London? Don Banks says the league should be wary of expanding overseas, while Andrew Brandt says it makes perfect cents.

3. The return of Matt Cassel … in a very strange place. I bet Matt Cassel never thought his career would get resurrected in London. But with Christian Ponder out with a broken rib, Ponder gets the start against the Steelers at Wembley Stadium.

4. America’s Team against America’s Story. Looks like after not playing in a game since Aug. 8 San Diego inside linebacker Manti Te’o (foot) will make his NFL debut against Dallas.

5. Sit, Terrelle. Sit. Washington, defensively challenged through three weeks, will likely face pocket passer Matt Flynn instead of Terrelle Pryor (concussion). Flynn’s lost his job without playing two seasons in a row in two different NFL cities. And he’s not likely to push Pryor to the bench no matter how well he plays Sunday at home.

6. The trade market for the rock-bottom Josh Freeman. Is there one? And why trade for him now when you can sign him as a free agent after the season without compensation? Any team that signs Freeman would have to invest time in a now-marginal prospect mid-season, teaching him a new offense and trying to revive his career. Not the best time for that—unless it’s in a place like Jacksonville, for a conditional late-round pick.

7. We’ll have to wait until Monday night for the game of the weekend. Miami (3-0) at similarly 3-0 New Orleans, and the Dolphins are crossing their fins that ace pass rusher Cameron Wake (knee) will be able to play. He’ll be vital, because the Dolphins can’t afford to make it a scoreathon Monday.

8. The Giants trying to salvage the wreckage. As former Giant Carl Banks said in the wake of the 38-0 embarrassment at Carolina, the depressing thing about the performance was the offensive line showed no fighting spirit. This just in: The Kansas City pass rush is tougher to block, and the game Sunday will be at rabid Arrowhead Stadium.

9. The Ohio Bowl. Cincinnati at Cleveland, with Clevelander Brian Hoyer, suddenly dangerous, angling for the upset.

10. Peyton continuing to be pretty good. No quarterback’s ever been this sharp in a three-game stretch to start a season. Quarterback rating: 134.7. Quarterback ratings of Manning’s seasons in his 30s: 101.0, 98.0, 95.0, 99.9, 91.9, 105.8. In other words, he’s playing well. The Eagles fly to Denver to try to derail Manning. I don’t like their chances.

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23 comments
Salina34192370
Salina34192370

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metalhead65
metalhead65

REDSKINS REDSKINS REDSKINS REDSKINS REDSKINS REDSKINS REDSKINS not a fan just like saying it since it has been deemed politically incorrect.

gary41
gary41

Of course Lockers rating is a mirage.  Clearly the offensive design was to run the ball and manage the game, so against stacked defenses he was a one game surprise.  His rating, going from awful to mediocre, is not worth discussing, with mostly short yardage dumps and less than 100 attempts at this point.  He has benefited mostly by a much improved team overall.       

PeterKingconscience
PeterKingconscience

This site is really bad. Peter, the quality of the football writing, while expanded, has greatly been reduced. It is hard to read and actually annoying how pushed it is by SI. Please go back to your normal coverage for SI. I know that wont happen, but it should.

greengunkush
greengunkush

Figure in all the dropped balls and jake rating is 100+

FredFlintsone
FredFlintsone

Titans have a great D also  that helps any offense a whole lot

drfastman
drfastman

I used to look forward to Sundays and MMQB but with "all nfl all the time" its wearing a bit thin. Sometimes too much of a good thing makes it a bad thing. 

SamPerkins
SamPerkins

You guys are making so many editing mistakes, you are almost impossible to read without being distracted by the errors.    SI is getting sloppier and sloppier, esp the King columns. This is just the most obvious:  our savant says, "But with Christian Ponder out with a broken rib, Ponder gets the start ..."


CharlesScaife
CharlesScaife

Thats a Jeff Fisher for you rams fans. Let your best player go in FA then overpay for role players. That happened for 17 yrs in TEN.

Phroggo
Phroggo

Steven Jackson meant more to the Rams than they realized.

Dana2
Dana2

@Pancho Villa  " ♫♪♫ Hail to the foreskins!! ...  Hail to victory !  ♫♪♫ (snip!) ... 

" ♫♪ Red Lobster on the warpath! ♪♪

♫♪ ♫ Fight for old D.C ! ♫ "

:D


Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@CharlesScaife I have never seen what the attraction to Fisher is, he is a average coach that cant win the big one. The Rams could have done better.

Sdwalt
Sdwalt

@Phroggo I am a Chargers fan but always liked SJ a lot. I wish he was on the Chargers.

donald5
donald5

@Phroggo Guy couldn't stay on the field.  He's been limited to 14 carries already and on track to miss the next 3 weeks (lucky they get a bye in there).  

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

@donald5 @Phroggo   Couldn't stay on the field?  In his last 4 seasons, he played either 15 or 16 games and had over 300 carries in 2 of those 4 seasons and 260 & 257 carries in the other seasons.

M as in Mancy
M as in Mancy

@Sportsfan18 @donald5 @Phroggo 

Jackson was a monster, but he's not getting paid for what he did from 05-12. He's getting paid to play/dominate TODAY and TOMORROW. Out of all the stupid things STL has done to get to this factory of sorrow, not overpaying for a 30 y/o RB with plenty of wear and tear is one of the smarter choices.

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