(though some of that may have to do with the o-line) The biggest disappointment, however, has been the man at the helm. Rodgers has a prodigious problem of holding the ball too long, exacerbating their protection issues. He’s been ineffective in getting the ball to his weapons Greg Jennings and Donald Driver and is completely unable to get the ball down field. Their members don’t look bad, but as they’re record shows they simply can’t stay in games. They still have to play Pitsburgh and Baltimore, both of which should just add to their problems. Brett Farve will be a detriment. So far, he’s proven this wrong. Quite possibly the best signal caller ever, Farve continues to do it with his patented youthful enthusiasm. The Panthers are bad. Just watch this team (if you can). They’re in the bottom third in every offensive category other than rushing yards and they’re scoring less than 20 points a game. Steve Smith is openly unhappy about his use (what happened to the screen pass) and has been virtually nonexistent. Jake Delhomme has been horrid. The only bright spot to this team, and the only way they’ve won any games is their tenacious running game. Johnathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams are putting up nearly 160 yards per game, good for 3rd in the NFL. Julius Peppers has been a beast, as always, but he’s the extent of the talent on that side of the ball. They’re giving up 130 yards per game on the ground and are in the bottom third in the league in defensive points per game As I said at the beginning of the year they’re playmakers will make plays (you know, other than Steve Smith) but the rest of the team sucks. The Saints can score. This was pretty obvious. Drew Breese is having his name thrown around in the MVP conversation (and rightly so). Marques Colston is finally turning into the number one receiver he was suppose to be. Jeremy Shockey is having a bounce back year after failing to score a touchdown last year. It’s hard to tell if Breese has tons of weapons or if he has created some of those weapons. Mike Bell and Pierre Thomas are having a better year than expected, getting 150 yards per game, good for 5th in the league. They’re first in yards and scoring and pretty much the most dominate offense we’ve seen since the fall of the Patriots Dynasty. The Bucs are a mess. They’re on their third starting quarterback of the year with rookie Josh Freeman now at the helm. Derrick Ward left New York to be a starting running back, and has failed again losing his job to Cadillac Williams. They’re near the bottom in all offensive categories. They’re defense is even worse. They’re second to last in points and rushing yards surrendered and 29th in total yards given up. It’s hard to find many bright spots on this team. Raheem Morris took it upon himself to purge the franchise of aging veterans in favor of youth, especially on defense. That’s backfired so far and given his lack of coaching experience Morris may not have much time to turn this franchise back around (some may argue he actually set the team back). What I Thought I KnewThe Falcons offense would be epic. They’ve been good, but not as explosive as I thought. They’re middle of the pack in every offensive category despite the apparent weapons they have. (Keep in mid this team was 10th in points and 6th in yards last year and ADDED arguably the best tight end ever) Michael Turner’s injury doesn’t help. He hadn’t fallen off as much as expected after his 376 touches last year, but the injury could create some questions about his long term durability (even though the injury may not have to do with his number of carries). They’re playmakers are making plays (Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are top 10 in most receiving categories for their given position) but the overall offense just can’t seem to break out. Given the way their defense has played they’re going to need that to change if they want a shot at the playoffs. The Saints defense would be terrible. They’re not great, but they’re not as bad as expected. In fact, their one of the top scoring defenses in the league with 7 touchdowns. They’re not losing the game, which given their offense is all that this team needs. They’re schedule hasn’t turned out to be all that tough (Philly and Atlanta are the only teams .500 or better) and that doesn’t change the rest of the year. The Patriots week 12 will be the only real test with winnable games at Atlanta and home against Dallas. If they’re D can keep doing what they’re doing (even without the defensive scores) they should be in really good shape. What I Still Don’t Know/Playoff BoundIf the Falcons are real contenders. This team has been spastic all year long. They’ve yet to beat a good team (losses at NO and NE).
They lost to a bad Panthers team and a Cowboys squad that I still have major doubts about. After their miracle run last year they’ve come back down to earth. Still they’re 5-4 with a shot down the stretch to make the playoffs. Week 11 at the Giants may answer this question once and for all. The Saints may be the best team in the NFC. They’ll have the advantage of avoiding bad weather by locking up home field for the divisional playoffs (after their first round bye). Given the makeup of this team that is huge. Offensive talent can be neutralized in bad weather, it’s nurtured inside. Add to the fact that the other prohibitive favorite in the NFC (Minny) plays inside the Saints have a real shot at getting to the Super Bowl in Miami. The Falcons will be there down the stretch. They still have the Eagles and Saints at home and the aforementioned Giant’s game making it difficult for them. Last year’s NFC south champs probably won’t return to the playoffs. . Rumors ran wild this past week about the potential of the Cubs trading for Roy Halladay or Curtis Granderson.What is sad is that the Cubs have the highest payroll in the league, and both of these players are going to be considered too expensive.What's worse Both of these players would fulfill enormous needs for the Cubs. In fact, they are the two biggest needs of the current Cub team.Despite the Milton Bradley experiment, the Cubs lineup is still extremely right handed and more lefties should be targeted Granderson would be a perfect fit. Although he does not have great OBP numbers, he does have experience at the top of the lineup and fills a need in CF.He is also the "anti-Bradley", in the sense that he is a great clubhouse guy, Chicago native, and only 28-years old.While I would categorize the likelihood of Granderson becoming a Cub as unlikely, Halladay coming to the Northside falls somewhere between pigs flying and Sammy Sosa turning into a white guy (wait, maybe that is a bad example) Regardless it is very unlikely.Timing is everything. The Cubs were big spenders when they needed SP depth and corner outfielders. Two expensive dissapointments and Ted Lilly later, the Cubs are locked into expensive, long term contracts with players on the wrong side of 30.What are their needs now A frontline starter and CF/leadoff man.
There are two for the taking, but the Cubs cannot afford to be spenders after swinging and missing on Bradley, Fukudome, and Soriano.It isdisappointing. It is, however, what happens when you make mistakes on free agents. The Yankees did it, and it took getting Jason Giambi, Carl Pavano, etc. off the books before they could make another run.The Cubs are in the same boat It is time for fans to be patient. This team is seriously flawed in places, but it is going to take clearing some bad contracts before the team is able to seriously address their needs.Maybe when Halladay and Granderson are even older and on the free-agent market, the Cubs can overspend for multiple years for them then. Halladay and Granderson will help other ballclubs.The 2010 Cubs will look an awful lot like the 2009 Cubs..
Please disregard the alert headline on Moody's cutting its rating of Bancof America and raising Merrill Lynch, as the item was covered in full in anearlier press release. See nWLA4634 Stocks Bonds Funds News ETFs News Stocks Bonds Funds News ETFs News. I’m jumping the gun, but this time they can’t call me back to the starting blocks.You heard it here first, then.When the Tigers gather for spring training in about three months it can’t get here fast enough, by the way it will be 2010 and you can say it.It’ll be 20 years since Cecil Fielder knocked 51 homers out of the confines of American League ballparks on behalf of the Tigers.Yep 1990. Even the most mathematically challenged can figure out that 2010 minus 20 equals 1990.Go ahead and use a calculator anyway, if you wish. But you’ll get 20 years since Cecil clubbed his way into the history books.Fifty dingers might not seem like much nowadays, but no Tiger had hit that many since Hank Greenberg was thrilling the folks at Briggs Stadium in the 1930s and ’40s.