SportsNet - September 2012
It seems everyone has an opinion on the replacement referees now after the Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks ended in farce as Golden Tate was awarded a touchdown for what appeared to be a Green Bay interception on the final play of the game, a Russell Wilson hail-Mary to the end zone as time expired.
The incident itself was undoubtedly a bad call – while simultaneous possession is judged in favour of the passing team; Tate only appeared to have two hands on the ball after Green Bay’s defensive back Jennings plucked the ball from the air. If there was any grey area surrounding this, then at least there should have been none about the blatant push off by Tate to get in position just seconds before, but this was missed completely by the officials.
The following four mtchups represent must-have starts for Fantasy football owners in Week 4 of the 2012 NFL season:
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans vs. Tennessee Titans Defense
A case could be made for starting Arian Foster every week, no matter the opposition. However, Week 4 can be better than most for the talented Houston Texans' running back.
Going against the Tennessee Titans' defense is a dream matchup for Foster. The Titans currently rank 29th in the league against run, alllowing an average of 150.3 yards per game.
Last week, the Music City outift somehow contrived to allow the Detroit Lions to amass 123 yards on the ground, including 100 yards for Mikel Leshoure on his first start. That's not good news as they prepare to face a Texans rush attack that is one of the best in the NFL.
Expect Foster to dominate early and often against the Titans, behind Houston's expert zone-blocking.
Dallas Cowboys Defense vs. Jay Cutler, QB, Chicago Bears
According to reports from NFL.com, the Washington Redskins are adding veteran free-agent running back Ryan Grant.
A former 1,000-yard rusher for the Green Bay Packers, Grant gives Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III another weapon to rely on and an experienced option in the backfield. The 29-year-old put together back-to-back 1200-yard rushing seasons for the Packers in 2008 and 2009.
He was denied the chance to take part part in Green Bay's march to the Super Bowl in 2010, due to a knee injury which robbed him of 15 games. Grant returned to the fold last season and tallied 559 yards on 134 carries, for a respectable 4.2 yards per carry average.
He is a versatile runner who can pound a defense between the tackles and also possesses a knack for the big play. In 2011, Grant scored on a 47-yard touchdown run and an 80-yard reception. He will provide experienced cover behind rookie Alfred Morris.
Before we get all hyperventilated and whatnot over the replacement officials turning the NFL on its ear, maybe we ought to sit back and process the big picture here.
Atlanta, thus far, has proven to be the best team in the NFC; Houston likewise in the AFC. Arizona arguably has the game’s best defense, and Baltimore has its best offense.
Huh? If you think the mistakes, legit or overblown, by the boys in black stripes are causing havoc, just let those realities sink into the synapses.
There is little argument that some shady business went down Monday night in Seattle. Even the most staunch Seahawks fans would have a hard time keeping a straight face while saying his or her squad “earned” the victory. But the irony is, the real blown call was not the end-game TD, it was the pass interference that wasn’t called on Golden Tate. Amazingly, Mr. Tangent himself, MNF announcer Jon Gruden was the most cogent of all while offering that up as Exhibit A for what just wasn’t right.
After three games, the Ravens perennially imposing defense is ranked 27th in the league and lacks the dominant look opponents and fans have come to expect from the purple and black. What began as preseason whispers has turned into an open lament: the defense is going to have to rely on the offense to win games. Panic button. Identity crisis. Baltimore's defense is on the decline. This premature hysteria is understandable, especially considering the predictions leading into the season.