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News » Addai's AWOL and the Cowboys are bland


Addai's AWOL and the Cowboys are bland


Addai's AWOL and the Cowboys are bland
Having reached the midway point of the 2008 NFL season, it's time to hand out some awards. Whereas most NFL experts and TV talking heads will be quick to tell you who's the half-season MVP, coach of the year and comeback player of the year -- the "Cheat Sheet" is more invested in some awards you won't see the NFL handing out:


The "Heidi Klum in the new 'Guitar Hero' ads" Award

For the guy who's looking better than ever, even after all these years:

Winner: Kurt Warner: You can make the argument that nine weeks through the 2008 NFL season, 37-year-old Kurt Warner is the league's MVP. Yes, the same Kurt Warner who was the NFL MVP twice before, in 1999 and 2001. Warner's the top-rated passer in the NFC, the NFL leader in completion percentage and the locker-room leader of the NFC West's undisputed top squad.

Runner-up: Kerry Collins.

The "Talking in Text Messaging Lingo" Award

For the fad that, unfortunately, does not seem to be going away anytime soon:

Winner: The calling a timeout at the very last moment before the ball is snapped on a last-second field-goal attempt move: We've now seen this one not only not work, but backfire twice this season.

A few weeks ago, Ken Whisenhunt called a timeout just prior to a Nick Folk game-tying attempt. The ball was snapped anyway, and Folk missed the boot. On his second try -- after being "iced" -- Folk nailed it through the uprights, sending the game into overtime.

The same scenario happened the following week in the game between the Jets and Raiders. Jay Feely missed his first game-tying attempt at the end of regulation, got another try at it after being "iced" and calmly banged it through.

Coaches, it's not working. If anything, it's giving kickers the opportunity to visualize and practice a freebie kick. For the fans, it's annoying. Please stop doing it.

Runner-up: The Surprise On-Side Kick.

The Marques Colston Award

For the best rookie selected in the seventh round:

Winner: Chris Horton, Washington: The 249th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, the Redskins rookie linebacker has three interceptions, two sacks and a forced fumble. He's been a welcomed addition to the Washington defense, and arguably the 2008 Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Runner-up: Peyton Hillis, Denver.

The Dirk Diggler Award

For the NFL coach who pulled his pants down for his entire team at halftime during his very first game:

Winner: Mike Singletary.

Runner-up: None

The Elephant in the Locker Room Award

For the high-profile guy who's not playing much of a role for a playoff-bound team:

Winner: Matt Leinart: This was supposed to be his team this season, wasn't it? Cue the crickets . . . or the beer bong.

Runner-up: Vince Young.

The "Calling Brett Favre a Gun Slinger" Award

For the latest "buzzword" the TV announcers can't utter enough:

Winner: "The Wildcat Formation": Listen to how excited the announcers get when teams break this offensive formation out. It's like Christmas every time a running back lines up under center. Jim Nantz almost jumped through the screen when Fred Jackson took a third-down snap in Sunday's Bills-Jets game, and that was the least excited I've heard an announcer be over the formation this season.

Runner-up: Referencing the TV show "Dallas" -- which hasn't been on the air for 20 years -- when discussing the 2008 Cowboys.

Schrager's "Real" Mid-Season Awards

NFL MVP: Jake Delhomme, Carolina
Offensive Player of the Year: Kurt Warner, Arizona
Defensive Player of the Year: Justin Tuck, New York Giants
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Matt Ryan, Atlanta
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Chris Horton, Washington
Comeback Player of the Year: Chad Pennington, Miami
Coach of the Year: Jeff Fisher, Tennessee

NFL Week 9

Week 9 action

    Titans 19, Pack 16 (OT) -- Recap | Box
    Cardinals 34, Rams 13 -- Recap | Box
    Bears 27, Lions 23 -- Recap | Box
    Bucs 30, Chiefs 27 (OT) -- Recap | Box
    Jets 26, Bills 17 -- Recap | Box
    Bengals 21, Jaguars 19 -- Recap | Box
    Ravens 37, Browns 27 -- Recap | Box
    Vikings 28, Texans 21 -- Recap | Box
    Dolphins 26, Broncos 17 -- Recap | Box
    Giants 35, Cowboys 14 -- Recap | Box
    Eagles 26, Seahawks 7 -- Recap | Box
    Falcons 24, Raiders 0 -- Recap | Box
    Colts 18, Patriots 15 -- Recap | Box
    Steelers 23, Redskins 6 -- Recap | Box

Analysis

  • Bradshaw: Titans-Giants Super Bowl?
  • Marvez: Giants are NFL's best team
  • Glazer: Jets rookie Gholston struggling

Video

  • Buck and Aikman on Cowboys-Giants
  • Online OT: Complete NFL coverage

Photos

  • Week 9's best action
  • Most injury-ravaged teams

And now for this week's Cheat Sheet

Denver at Cleveland, 8:15 p.m., Thursday

Believe it or not, this was once the premier rivalry in the AFC. John Elway, Bernie Kosar, Marty Schottenheimer, Dan Reeves . . . the late '80s were all about the Browns and Broncos. Alas, 20 years later, it's just a meeting between two of this season's most disappointing underachievers. The Brady Quinn era begins in Cleveland . . . with a loss. The Pick: Denver 31, Cleveland 22

Buffalo at New England, 1 p.m., Sunday:

In the log-jam atop the AFC East standings, Buffalo, New England and New York all share a hold of first place with 5-3 records. Meanwhile, the Dolphins lurk at 4-4 with wins over both the Bills and the Pats. Banged up New England will gut out a tough one at home on Sunday. The Pick: New England 24, Buffalo 20

New Orleans at Atlanta, 1 p.m.

Though New Orleans and Atlanta are technically in last and second-to-last place in the NFC South, you can make the argument that their quarterbacks are 1-2 in the MVP race. Brees and Co. top Ryan's guys in a shootout on Sunday. The Pick: New Orleans 34, Atlanta 27

Seattle at Miami, 1 p.m.

Dolphins linebacker Joey Porter seemed to have gotten in Broncos wideout Brandon Marshall's head during last Sunday's 26-17 Dolphins victory. The veteran linebacker explained to reporters afterwards, "He went from not talking to me to wanting to talk to me on every play. 'Why you talking to me? I'm not even covering you.' When you're giving me all your attention, I know you're not on your game.'' So, yeah, the old Joey Porter is back. And so is an entertaining pro football team in Miami. The Pick: Miami 30, Seattle 20

Jacksonville at Detroit, 1 p.m.

Though the Cowboys, Browns and Chargers are getting the bulk of the media's scorn this season, there's been arguably no more disappointing team in the league than the Jacksonville Jaguars. Expected to make the "leap" and surpass the Colts and Titans in the AFC South, the Jags are now 3-5 with consecutive losses to the lowly Browns and Bengals. They'll squeak by Detroit on Sunday. The Pick: Jacksonville 28, Detroit 27

Tennessee at Chicago, 1 p.m.

The last time Chris Johnson squared off against Matt Forte, the two players combined for 300 total yards and four touchdowns. Of course, that was in November of 2007, and occurred in a 35-12 East Carolina win over Tulane. Look for Johnson to get the best of Forte again on Sunday, in a battle between two NFL division leaders. The Pick: Tennessee 29, Chicago 16

Baltimore at Houston, 1 p.m.

Like Forte and Johnson, rookies Ray Rice and Steve Slaton went up against each other throughout their college careers, too. Slaton always got the best of Rice (3-0), and should do so again on Sunday. Whether it's Schaub or Sage taking the snaps, look for the Texans to get back on track with a tough win in this one. The Pick: Houston 30, Baltimore 20

Green Bay at Minnesota, 1 p.m.

Aaron Rodgers got the best of Minnesota in Week 1, but that was the T-Jack-led Vikings, not the high-flying Gus Frerotte version of today. Yes, "high-flying" and Gus Frerotte were just used in the same sentence. It's been a weird year, folks. The Pick: Minnesota 28, Green Bay 20

St. Louis at New York Jets, 1 p.m.

The Rams were outscored 27-0 in the second quarter of last Sunday's game vs. Arizona, and yet, no one will dispute that they look head and shoulders better now than they did a month ago. Yes, the Scott Linehan era was a rather forgettable one in St. Louis. The Pick: New York Jets 34, St. Louis 23

Carolina at Oakland, 4:05 p.m.

Good stuff out of Steve Corkran at the Contra Costa Times last Saturday, reporting that former Falcons Ashley Lelie, Justin Griffith and DeAngelo Hall would all overwhelmingly support the Raiders' signing of Michael Vick when he's released from prison. Who can blame all of them for thinking about the future? After all, 2008 is already a lost cause. The Pick: Carolina 26, Oakland 7

Indianapolis at Pittsburgh, 4:15 p.m.

With their season on the line, the Colts gutted out a tough one vs. New England last weekend. Peyton Manning won't go away easily into the night; the Colts are your 2008 second half story. Here's your upset pick for the weekend. The Pick: Indianapolis 27, Pittsburgh 23

Kansas City at San Diego, 4:15 p.m.

Maybe the Tyler Thigpen era won't be so bad, after all. The second-year quarterback out of Coastal Carolina has looked pretty darn good the past two weeks. Alas, the Chiefs aren't beating a rested Chargers team coming off a bye on Sunday.The Pick: San Diego 34, Kansas City 18

New York Giants at Philadelphia, 8:15 p.m.

While in New York last week promoting his new video game, NFL Blitz: The League II, Lawrence Taylor laughed at the notion that the Colts and Patriots were the premier rivalry of the decade. L.T. told me, "They've had a few good games, I guess. But that's not a rivalry. Giants-Eagles -- that's a rivalry. You knew that when we played against Philly, someone was going to get their head knocked in." Twenty years later, things haven't changed all that much. This one should be a classic. The Pick: New York Giants 20, Philadelphia 17 (OT)

San Francisco at Arizona, Monday night

The media was so quick to praise Mike Singletary for his "old school" in his coaching debut two weeks ago. Well, in one game, he publicly embarrassed a player of his, openly spoke about publicly embarrassing the player in a press conference after the game, benched his starting quarterback after a quarter, pulled his pants down at halftime . . . and lost, 34-13. If that's "old school style," I'll take "new school". Thanks. The Pick: Arizona 38, San Francisco 24



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 5, 2008

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Ray Lewis Name: Ray Lewis
#52
Position: LB
Age: 33
Experience: 13 years
College: Miami (FL)
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