I’m in a fantasy football keeper league. Last year, I had the good fortune of drafting Chris Johnson, Matt Forte and Andre Johnson. As such, my partner and I came to a crossroads this year, and long story short, we ended up with Forte, Andre Johnson and Tom Brady.
With every week that goes by, I realize that we let the wrong guy go, which will haunt me for years. Lost in the uncreative media’s need to embrace one guy – namely Adrian Peterson – as the best running back in the NFL is that Chris Johnson is quite possibly better.
It’s been well-hidden by how horrible the Titans have been this season, but Johnson has been damn near unstoppable, and that’s for a team that’s now 2-6 and has had to play from behind for much of their games. Johnson’s speed is his main attribute – he somehow famously ran a 4.23 40-yard dash at the Combine – but he’s developed shiftiness that will allow him to be a solid goal-line back. He’s also a decent receiver out of the backfield.
Through eight games, Johnson is on pace to run for just under 2,000 yards, and he’s picking up steam, in large part to his propensity to break touchdown runs of up to 89 yards. Granted, his outstanding yards-per-carry, which is nearly 7, is buoyed by his many long touchdowns, but that shouldn’t be held against him.
As long as the NFL can’t process marketing two players – think about how long Ladainian Tomlinson was the only guy you’d see in ads – then CJ won’t get the shine he deserves. It doesn’t help that the Titans are putrid.
But as much as I hate to admit it – given my keeper league follies – Chris Johnson’s going to be around a long time. And he’s going to be a great one!
Welcome back to 1996! Or perhaps more accurately, 2007, when Brett was last seen on top of his game leading the Green Bay Packers to a NFC Championship game. After an ultimately unsuccessful stint with the NY Jets, Brett Favre is back at it again. With some assistance from Adrian Peterson and a friendly schedule, he’s led the Vikings to an undefeated record, including a near-miracle game winning TD this past weekend:
What a throw! (And what a catch!) Hopefully, this will temporarily quell the naysayers that wish Brett a speedy career exit. Most are simply fed up with the annual retirement drama, but I say, let the man play the game he loves. It’s not Favre’s fault that his annual "Do I have one more run left in me?" debate makes for such compelling media drama. Simply put, if the man is still performing at a level worthy of a starting NFL quarterback, consider yourself fortunate to still be watching.
Ignoring the social impact of the recent move, what is the best case scenario here for Vick joining the Eagles on the gridiron? What is Vick going to do in Philadelphia to make it worth taking on the scrutiny of actually having him?
I can understand why Vick would think this is the best situation. You know the drill: strong management team, solid coach in Andy Reid, established quarterback – all of which takes pressure off Vick. In addition, he has one of the most stable men in the history of the NFL in Tony Dungy as a mentor to keep him on the straight and narrow.
I know what Vick gets out of this. But what do the Eagles get?
First off, they get an angry quarterback. Sure, Donovan McNabb said the right things about encouraging the Eagles to sign Vick. What is he supposed to say? Privately, he hates it. McNabb has an enormous ego and a ton of pride. He wants to be The Man.
Remember when the Eagles drafted Kevin Kolb and McNabb called it “shocking” that they’d take a young quarterback to groom? Remember when McNabb was benched this past November and he acted as if Andy Reid had stolen his Chunky Soup? Meanwhile, it only saved their season.
No matter what he says, McNabb does not want Vick there. He dealt with one circus atmosphere with Terrell Owens that turned into a humongous personal embarrassment. Now he has someone even more notorious on his team that plays his position and threatens his alpha male status.
Football-wise, does this even make sense? Vick is going to play quarterback since it’s all he knows. If the Eagles have him on the field in some sort of Wildcat-like formation, that takes McNabb – arguably their best player – off the field. That strikes me as counterproductive.
And who even knows what Vick has left? Sure, he was a dynamic and incredibly talented – albeit very flawed – player during his first go-around, but does that guarantee he’s going to be that good after two years on the shelf? Of course not. In fact, I’d be stunned if he was anything close to what he was before. A month off makes a quarterback rusty. How about two years? In prison? He might be a totally different athlete now, and not in a good way.
You know who else doesn’t know what kind of player Vick is? The Eagles. Oddly, Reid didn’t even work him out. So why go out on this limb without knowing for sure this guy can still play? It’s sort of stupefying.
Also, don’t forget that the West Coast offense requires precision that Vick simply didn’t have during his stay in Atlanta, or that the Eagles were among the favorites to win the NFC even before this disruption.
And then there are the fans, who have completely been overlooked by the Eagles. They’re passionate but very judicious, and they love their stars. As such, they will be very wary of embracing Vick. I’d say virtually all fans would be, to a degree, afraid of what people would think or sticking to their own personal beliefs.
So we know what Vick gets out of this – the perfect environment to try to get his mojo back.
But what do the Eagles get? A whole lot of questions, that’s what.