Tuesday, September 14, 2010

09/14 Quickie: Jets, McCluster, Bragnac

Today's Names to Know: Dexter McCluster, Anquan Boldin, Legedu Naanee, Dexter McCluster, Reid Bragnac, CC Sabathia, Rafa Nadal, Denard Robinson, Vince Young, Oprah and More.

In case you missed it,
that was Dexter McCluster flying by, en route to folk hero status in Kansas City and the No. 1 trending search ranking on Google. His sick even-better-than-Dante-Hall-ever-did punt return that proved to be the decisive score for the Chiefs in their unexpected upset over the Chargers.

That the Jets' offense was the albatross in a loss
was not a surprise -- between the endemic mediocrity and the pressure from the terrific Ravens D, 6 first downs and 9 points seems about right.

Still: The Jets will go nowhere this season if the offense can't figure it out. (Remember when they made all those offseason moves to make a great D even better and folks were saying "Well, all they'll have to do is score 10 points and the D will take care of the rest." There you go.

I think it is not too early to see this as a huge problem that needs to be addressed now. The season is too short and the playoff field is too competitive not to panic as early as... today.

(The Ravens, meanwhile, seem to have solved a huge problem from last year with the introduction of Anquan Boldin into their offense.)

Meanwhile, anyone see Chiefs-over-Chargers coming? Speaking of D, it was a late-game four-down goal-line stand by the KC D that gave them what could be a season-defining win. I'm not saying the Chiefs are headed to the playoffs, but beating the division favorites on national TV in front of a frenzied home crowd is big. Besides, the Chiefs are easy for fans across the country to root for, especially because there isn't a ton of love for Phil Rivers and the Chargers.

(BTW: Legedu Naanee is a revelation, although fantasy GMs knew that someone was going to have to catch all those Rivers passes in the absence of Vincent Jackson.)

The Rays are in 1st place in the AL East. You can thank Yankee-killer Reid Brignac, who personifies "I wasn't even supposed to be here today." (It will be interesting how many Cy voters point to Sabathia's gem of a no-decision: A 2-hit shutout over 8 innings with 9 Ks.)

NL West Watch: The Padres held off the Rockies in Colorado to maintain their tenuous grasp on 1st place. I would call it a "must-win" for San Diego, but at this point EVERY game is a must-win for them. The loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for the Rox.

30-year-old baseball journeyman pitcher Bobby Cramer winning his first-ever MLB game is as good of a feel-good story as you'll see in baseball this year, especially if you are in your 30s (or older). Great must-read from King Kaufman about it.

Rafa Nadal won the US Open (finally) and completed his career Grand Slam. We are now in the Nadal Era.

Is Denard Robinson at the top of Heisman straw polls yet? If not, why not?

Good for Vince Young for publicly saying he would absolutely accept the 2005 Heisman Trophy if it was stripped from Reggie Bush. The Heisman Trust should take him up on it. It's not like he isn't worthy.

Unlike Oprah, I will not be giving away a free trip to Australia to all of you. Apologies!

-- D.S.

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