Tuesday's NFL Blog

QB Ben Roethlisberger (Jim McIsaac/Getty)

Did the Steelers draw an extra preseason game? ... The blame game is underway in Kansas City ... injuries are hitting teams hard ... the unfiltered view out of Tampa Bay and more from our network of Scout NFL team experts!

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Run away! Run away!  Former Browns defensive back Hanford Dixon is a columnist at our Browns site, and just like the thousands of Cleveland fans who showed up to support the team at their home opener against the Steelers, he was disappointed by the team's poor showing in a 34-7 rout.  "All we had to do was match the intensity that the Steelers had and we didn't do that," he said.  "They came in here, slapped us in the mouth and we turned around and we ran and went home." Scout.com subscribers can find out what he thinks the team do in the coming weeks before things get even more ugly in Cleveland.

The blame game:  By his own admission, C.E. Wendler is playing the "blame game" at our Chiefs site after Kansas City lost 20-3 to the Texans on Sunday. And he wasn't happy that the Chiefs tried to become a passing team rather than playing to their offensive strength.  "When Eddie Kennison yanked a hamstring on the first play, the Chiefs should have abandoned their 'we're sorry for giving Larry [Johnson] 400 carries' campaign," he said.  "I'm not suggesting Johnson should have received 35 carries against the Texans, but with a quarterback who had barely played in preseason and an inexperienced wide receiver corps, the Chiefs should have split 40 carries between Johnson and Michael Bennett." Catch his analysis of the Chiefs' woes at our Kansas City site.

Eli sparkles:  Our Giants team expert, Ken Palmer was impressed by quarterback Eli Manning's performance even though New York came up short against the Cowboys. "He was calm and cool in the pocket and very accurate with his passes," he said.  "His game-opening bomb to Plaxico Burress was right on the money and his only interception came because his intended receiver, Burress, fell down." Scout.com subscribers can read the rest of his observations on the Giants' performance.

It's a mystery:  Over at our Green Bay site, Steve Lawrence points out that the Packers have more than a passing interest in what the real scoop is on Eli Manning's shoulder injury that he sustained against the Cowboys since Green Bay faces the Giants this week. Is he going to miss up to a month of action as one report claims? Or will he play this week? Click here for more on this story. 

Monday morning quarterback:  Dylan Johnson at our Seattle site explains how, "despite weird penalties, early offensive ineffectiveness, special teams blunders and some kinda really big whistle, Seattle beat Tampa Bay on opening day." Check out his Monday Morning Quarterback feature to get his take on the game.

An unfiltered view:  You'll also want to be sure to check out Matthew Postin's view of the same game -- from Tampa Bay's perspective. You'll find out, "Who shined? Who stunk? And how hot is it under Jon Gruden's seat?" Scout.com subscribers can get Matthew's take at our Tampa Bay site.


Minnesota's Kevin Williams sacks Atlanta QB Joey Harrington
Tom Olmscheid/AP

Hardcore analysis:  At our Vikings site, personnel analyst Kevin Brown liked what he saw from the Vikings defense against the Falcons, saying, "The Vikings defense under Leslie Frazier appears better, not worse, than it was under Mike Tomlin. They held Atlanta's running game to 3.4-yards-per-carry on 28 attempts, sacked Joey Harrington six times and held him to a 61.8 passer rating. Granted, they will face stronger team's than this, but this was what they need to do against teams of this caliber."  Brown breaks down how each member of the Minnesota defense performed on Sunday in the team's win over the Falcons in this Scout.com subscribers feature.

Banged up:  Our Dolphins site is reporting that talented safety Yeremiah Bell is done for the season. Get the details here.   Scout.com Senior NFL Reporter Adam Caplan says that the same is true for Rams offensive tackle Orlando Pace. Since injuries across the league from the first week of action have been significant, teams will need to look through available free agents for depth, so Caplan has updated his list of offensive and defensive free agents at our network's NFL site.

Bad news for Baltimore:  Not only did the Ravens lose their opener on Monday night to the Bengals by a count of 27-20, the suffered some injuries to key veterans such as OT Jonathan Ogden, QB Steve McNair and LB Ray Lewis. Scout.com subscribers can get the details from Aaron Wilson at our Baltimore site.

Now if you can't say something nice...  Over at our Steelers site, Ryan Wilson summed up the Steelers' thrashing of the Browns saying, "Midway through the third quarter, I was half-expecting CBS play-by-play man Kevin Harlan to announce that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell had granted the Steelers an unprecedented sixth preseason game.  That's the only way I could make sense of the Cleveland Browns' worse-than-usual performance." Scout.com subscribers can get his full take on the game in this feature.

The plot thickens:  On Monday at our Jets site, Dan Leberfeld reported that a Patriots employee was apparently caught taping the hand signals of Jets coaches. Now he files this update.

Live from San Diego!  Our network's Bears team expert, John Crist, was at San Diego blogging live from the pressbox while he watched Chicago come up short against the Chargers. While watching the fourth-quarter action, he wrote, "He's just too good, so you can't keep him contained forever. [LaDainian] Tomlinson fights his way into the end zone from seven yards out. After the Kaeding conversion, it's a nasty 14-3 Chargers lead with 9:09 left in the fourth quarter. That might wrap it up right there the way this offense is performing today. By the way, both San Diego touchdowns were the result of turnovers." If you didn't get to see the game and want a great description of the flow of it from his vantage point, Scout.com subscribers can click here to read John's live game blog.

Give them their due:  Kevin Saleeba points out at our New England site that while Randy Moss and Tom Brady got the lion's share of the media attention on Sunday for the Patriots trouncing of the Jets, the offensive line really stepped up and made things click offensively.  "Thanks to the men up front, Brady had all the time in the world to pick apart the Jets secondary for 297 passing yards and three touchdown passes," he says. Read his full report.


Jason Campbell
Nick Wass/AP

So how's that crystal ball?  Following the Redskins' 16-13 win over the Dolphins, team expert John Keim took a look at ten issues that were discussed prior to the game -- and how the Warpath Insiders staff did at predicting their outcome. As a portion of his response about how they had predicted quarterback Jason Campbell would do, he said, "We thought he would look better; he's poised and relaxed. But we were concerned about his ability to look off safeties and recognize blitzes. He did fine with the latter, but he did not do a good job looking off the safeties." Scout.com subscribers can read his full report at our Washington site.

Unhappy campers:  At our Raiders site, Michael Wagaman reports that the crowd became so frustrated with quarterback Josh McCown that they were booing him by halftime. Scout.com subscribers can read his full report card on the Raiders in their debut under their new head coach, Lane Kiffin.

Record-breakers:  Our Jacksonville team expert, Charlie Bernstein, reports that it was a record-setting day for both the Titans and the Jaguars as Jacksonville dropped their home opener, 13-10. "The Titans set franchise records for most rushing attempts in a game (49), and most rushing yards (282)," he noted.  "The attempts and rushing yards allowed were also records for the Jaguars franchise, eclipsing their old marks of 44 attempts (accomplished three times, the last being on 10/2/05 vs. Denver), and 246 yards allowed (inaugural season of 1995, vs. Seattle)." Read more about the game at our Jaguars site.

Just the facts:  Did you know that the Colts held the Saints tandem of Reggie Bush and Deuce McAlister to an average of 3.5 yards per carry, a huge improvement over the 5.33 yards per carry they yielded during the 2006 season? Or that without Fred Taylor's one run of 17 yards and he would have had -1 yard on five attempts against the Titans? You'd know that along with other detailed performance facts if you'd read my "Just the Facts: AFC South" feature today. And you'd find out which player I chose as each AFC South team's player of the game. Scout.com subscribers can read it at our NFL site.

White flag impulse:  Our Lions team expert, Nate Caminata posted his analysis of Detroit's road victory on Sunday, saying, "Any Lions fan who raised a white flag after Oakland running back Justin Griffith took a Josh McCown swing pass in for a touchdown, pushing the Raiders in front 21-20, please stand. Everyone else who is still sitting can leave. Because you're lying." Find out what impressed him most about Detroit's 36-21 win over Oakland in this feature at our Lions site.

Some very special questions:  "A day after the special teams, notably J.R. Reed and Greg Lewis, cost the Eagles a win in their season opener against the Packers, the hot news in Philadelphia is the possible return of Reno Mahe," reports Chris Steuber at our Philadelphia site. But is the return of Mahe or even former Olympian Jeremy Bloom the answer? Steuber explores the various solutions the team will need to consider, and offers up an intriguing one of his own. Scout.com subscribers can learn more at our Eagles site.

Exclusive interview:  Chargers offensive lineman saw his first action in a regular season game on Sunday against the Bears. Amberly Richardson talked to him about the game and San Diego's upcoming matchup with the Patriots. Check it out at our Chargers site!

Today's Birthday Bunch: Former Chargers LB Steve Foley (32), Panthers WR Dwayne Jarrett (21), former Bucs LB Shelton Quarles (36), Ravens DB Ed Reed (29), Seahawks FB Mack Strong (36), Saints CB Fred Thomas (34)

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