Weekend Update: #NFL Week 9 Edition

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1. It was Supposed To Be Different:

You said this year would be different after starting 2015 the same way you started 2014 – the only thing different is you beat Atlanta and not sure how that happened.  Sure, one particular play or tip did not cost the Saints the game – it’s everything.  Even history is stacked against this team – Does anyone remember the last time the Saints beat a rookie QB?  Tim Couch, first year back for the Browns – hail mary – I remember that one the most because it cost me a 15 team $50 parlay in Vegas, and that was the only way I could have lost!!! I did and so did the Saints.  The Saints lost to RG3 and his 1st game at home.  Lost to Jameis Winston already, at home – and now Marcus Mariota!  How do you still have a job Rob Ryan?  When does it end?  Brandon Browner can you go more than one series without a penalty?  You made Mariota look like he’s ready for Canton and he just lost his coach!!!  I hope we do not play the 49ers, because I’m not sure I could handle losing to Blaine Gabbert.


Mariota stakes his claim to looming NFL stardom

Marcus Mariota passed for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including a 5-yard toss to Anthony Fasano in overtime, to give the Titans a 34-28 win at New Orleans. But the most impressive number on Mariota’s record on Sunday was a zero in the interceptions column. It was the second game this season in which Mariota threw four TDs and no INTs, matching the total of all other rookie quarterbacks since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. The only other rookie QBs with even one such game during that time were Trent Edwards of Buffalo (2007) and Robert Griffin III of Washington (2012).

Incidentally, both of Mariota’s tours de force were accomplished on the road. His first game with four TDs and no interceptions was Tennessee’s season opener at Tampa Bay. The only other rookies to do so in a road game were Ray Buivid of the Bears (1937), Mickey Slaughter of the Broncos (1963), and Greg Cook of the Bengals (1969).


Another signature game for Newton in Panthers’ win

The Panthers improved to 8-0 with a 37-29 victory over the Packers, as Cam Newton ran for one touchdown and passed for three others. It was the fifth time that Newton threw at least three TD passes in the same game in which he himself scored a touchdown. That’s one short of the highest such total in NFL history, a record set by Tobin Rote and matched by Billy Wade, Jack Kemp, and Steve Young.  Can we also stop with the Cam Newton MVP talk – he has the same numbers as Xerxes, look it up – he is not any better than before this year – he’s just on a team that is undefeated.


Packers’ own perfect record succumbs to a pair of other undefeated teams

Green Bay’s record now stands at 6-2 following a pair of losses to undefeated teams: Denver last week and Carolina this week. Only three other teams in NFL history faced consecutive unbeaten and untied opponents with at least six wins each: Detroit in 1934, Pittsburgh in 2004, and Indianapolis this week and last, same as Green Bay.AltX.Logo.white

Against all odds, the Steelers won both of those games, against New England and Philadelphia, and they did it with a rookie quarterback. Those were Ben Roethlisberger’s fifth and sixth starts in the NFL.

The 1934 Lions won their first 10 games by a combined score of 215-27. But Detroit ended the season with three straight three-point losses: 3-0 to the Packers, and then 19-16 and 10-7 to the Bears, who finished the season with a 13-0 record (but lost the title game).


Brown & Williams post gaudy numbers in Steelers’ win

Antonio Brown caught 17 passes for 284 yards-both team-record totals for one game-and DeAngelo Williams gained a total of 225 yards (170 on 27 carries and 55 on two pass receptions) in the Steelers’ 38-35 win over the Raiders. It was only the third game in NFL history in which teammates both gained at least 200 yards from scrimmage. Clem Daniels and Art Powell did it for the Raiders in 1963; Brian Westbrook and Kevin Curtis did it for the Eagles in 2007.


Blount is key to Patriots’ victory

LeGarrette Blount was the star of the Patriots’ 27-10 win over the Redskins, gaining 129 yards on 29 carries. Over the last 10 seasons, only one other New England player rushed the ball that many times in a regular-season game: Jonas Gray, who gained 201 yards on 37 carries against the Colts last November. Of course Blount set a team postseason record with 30 carries in the AFC Championship Game last January, gaining 148 yards and scoring three touchdowns.


Patriots tie NFL record for quarter-by-quarter scoring

By scoring in all four quarters of its victory, New England tied an NFL record of scoring in 31 consecutive quarters. That mark was set by the Colts in 2005 and previously equaled by the Rams, who did it spanning the 1999 and 2000 seasons.


Veterans help Colts spoil Broncos’ perfect record

Peyton Manning still has not won a game and in his return to Indianapolis needed 284 passing yards and one victory to surpass Brett Favre’s all-time record totals in those categories. Manning fell three yards and one win short, as the Colts denied him both marks-at least for the moment-and handed Denver its first loss of the season, 27-24. Some notes on the game:AltX.Logo.white

This was the fifth time that the Colts faced a team that was undefeated and untied with at least seven wins, and it was their first victory in such a game.

Frank Gore carried the ball 28 times, his highest total in one game since 2011. Gore was the oldest player in Colts history with that many carries in one game, and he was the oldest to do so for any team since Ricky Williams in 2009.

Adam Vinatieri kicked a tie-breaking 55-yard field goal with 6:13 to play. At age 42, Vinatieri was by far the oldest NFL player to kick a game-winning FG that long in the fourth quarter or overtime. Matt Bryant previously held that distinction, having kicked a 55-yard game-winner for the Falcons in 2012 at age 37.


Jacksonville extends a very specific losing streak

Blake Bortles fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter as Jacksonville drove for a potential go-ahead touchdown, and the Jaguars lost to the Jets, 28-23. That was the Jags’ 21st consecutive loss in a road game against a team with a winning record. Dating back to the 2008 season, that is now the second-longest such streak in NFL history. But get this: The Jaguars are only halfway to the record. Over a span of 15 seasons from 1990 to 2004, Cincinnati lost 42 straight road games in which its opponent had a winning record at the time of kickoff.


Bills score from distance in win over Dolphins

The Bills defeated the Dolphins, 33-17, in a game that featured three long touchdowns by Buffalo: a 44-yard pass from Tyrod Taylor to Sammy Watkins and runs of 48 yards by LeSean McCoy and 38 yards by Karlos Williams. It was only the second game in team history in which two different players scored rushing TDs of 30 yards or longer. The first was played 51 years ago, and the touchdowns were scored by Cookie Gilchrist (60 yards) and Bobby Smith (37) in a victory over the Houston Oilers (Nov. 1, 1964). Gilchrist was the AFL rushing champion that season, and that was his only 100-yard game of the year (139 yards).


Gabbert a winner in first start for NinersAltX.Logo.white

Blaine Gabbert started in place of Colin Kaepernick and threw two touchdown passes in the 49ers’ 17-16 win over the Falcons. Gabbert hadn’t started a game since 2013, hadn’t won since 2012, and had lost his last 10 starts for Jacksonville. During the NFL’s expansion era, dating back to 1960, only two other quarterbacks snapped a personal losing streak of 10 or more starts with a victory in their first start for a new club: Steve Bartkowski for the L.A. Rams in 1986, and Charlie Batch for the Steelers in 2005.


Zuerlein kicks a second field goal of 60-plus yards

In a game billed as a matchup of great breakaway runners old and new, Adrian Peterson ran for 125 yards and Todd Gurley for 89 yards as the Vikings defeated the Rams, 21-18, in overtime. But it was a kicker-in fact, the kicker for the losing team-that made headlines, as Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals, including a 61-yarder.

Zuerlein, who kicked a 60-yard field goal against Seattle three seasons ago, became only the second player in NFL history with two FGs of 60 yards or longer. The other is Sebastian Janikowski.

Getting Smart With the Tuesday Morning Quarterback

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Panthers-Colts

1. Now There Are 4 – But There Only Can Be 1:

Last night escalated quickly in Charlotte.  Cam Newton tossed two TD passes and ran for 41 yards in the Panthers’ overtime win over the Colts on Monday. Newton has thrown at least one touchdown pass and run for 20 or more yards in every game this year. He’s the first player in NFL history to lead his team to a 7-0 start while passing for a TD and rushing for 20 yards in every game. No other player has done this in five straight wins to start a season.

Colts’ fourth-quarter comeback falls short

Down 23-6 in the fourth quarter, the Colts stormed back to tie the game on a pair of Andrew Luck touchdown passes and a game-tying field goal by Adam Vinatieri as time expired in regulation. However, the Panthers ultimately won the game in OT, as Graham Gano made two extra-time field goals. Carolina is the ninth team to win a game in overtime after leading by at least 17 points in the fourth quarter. The only other team with such a win over the last 10 years is the Cardinals, who defeated the Titans in OT, 37-34, in a December 2013 game after also leading by 17 points in the fourth.

Panthers take another early lead

Graham Gano opened the scoring for the Panthers on Monday, converting a 39-yard field goal attempt. Carolina has scored first in each of its seven games this season. Over the last 10 years, only two other teams began a season in this manner: the 2007 Patriots and 2012 Seahawks, who each scored first in their first eight games of their respective seasons.

Luck intercepted 12 times in six games

Andrew Luck was picked off three times on Monday, increasing his season total to 12 interceptions in six games. That’s the most interceptions through the first six games of a season for the reigning TD pass leader since Ken Stabler was picked off 13 times to start the 1977 season.

Vinatieri sets NFL record with OT field goal

Adam Vinatieri connected on a 50-yard field goal to open the scoring in overtime on Monday. That was Vinatieri’s 10th overtime field goal of his NFL career, passing Jim Breech, Steve Christie, Jason Elam, and Jason Hanson for the most such field goals for any kicker.

2. Side Bar

In case you were wondering about that “fourth-quarterap_599972857381 fumble recovery” that Trumaine McBride of the Giants returned for a 63-yard touchdown on Sunday; it was changed to an interception on Monday. Aside from the implications for fantasy players, this means that Drew Brees became only the second player in NFL history to throw a pick-6 after having thrown at least six TD passes in the game. The first was Len Dawson of the Chiefs on Nov. 1, 1964; Tom Janik of Denver intercepted a Dawson pass and returned it 22 yards for a score.

In case you’re thinking, “C’mon, how many players even threw six touchdown passes in one game?” The answer is 42 – the answer is always 42.


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3. Those Dirty Lil’Nugget Nabbers

First we get the news that the Denver Broncos are serious about trying to win now.  They traded for Vernon Davis to upgrade their turr-able inside-slot passing game by getting a player that can still stretch the field, (for 2, 6th round draft picks) – opening it up for guys like Emmanuel Sanders and Demaryius Thomas.  Denver got Davis for a sack of coal – the kind Charlie Brown gets for Halloween.  Is there anyone left in SF that can/wants/should play football?!  Reggie Bush is out with a knee injury, Mike Davis, who the ‘9ers promoted to RB after releasing Jarrod Hayne, is out with a broken hand and the bigger news is Kaep’N’1read is being benched for…….wait for it……Blaine Gabbert.  Are you kidding me?!  Blaine Gabbert?!  It’s so bad in San Francisco their are rumors that Oakland is actually gonna stay and play in Santa Clara and the 49ers are the ones moving to LA.  To quote Socrates: “I drank what?!” – Jim Tomsula


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Here are the perfect lineups for week 8 in the #NFL

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Tuesday DiRT

Only a mother could love this face.  This is the face of $96 million dollars – $45m of it guaranteed.  Sure, Tannehill had his best season last year throwing for 4,045yds and 27 TD’s, but what has he done to deserve this kind of love?  According to his contract, he’s the 5th best QB by average salary: Brees ($20m), Peyton ($19.2), Rodgers ($18.7), and Romo ($17.1).

Tannehill has a career record of 23-25 with 70 turnovers in 3 years, and this should make Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck very happy!  In a league that seems to find new ways to overpay for generic brands, just imagine the monopoly numbers that will be coming for Luck.  The Seahawks just called the Dolphins to say ‘thanks for that’!  Luck and Wilson are looking at $120-$150m contracts with 2/3 guaranteed.  Nobody is saying that Tannehill is Blaine Gabbert – he just hasn’t done enough to justify the same level of contract as Luck, Brees, Manning, Rodgers, Wilson, etc…He’s more Blake Bortles and Derek Carr, without the potential – like Uncle Rico (Kyle Orton).

Tonight we have a large compliment of games.  Furthermore, it is also interesting to some of us seamheads, how well the game is doing on TV.  In the 1st month of the season, Fox Sports 1 and MLB Network have seen their viewership double as have a handful of teams so far:  The Cubs, Royals, Astros (since the worked out their cable deal, finally), Arizona (largest in a decade), Cleveland, Detroit, St.Louis and San Diego.  In fact, baseball games have eclipsed NBA and NHL Playoff games, including first run shows on network TV.  Baseball is making money, largely due to the cable companies, and with people increasingly choosing to disconnect, it will be interesting to see how far that model actually works.  Unplugging your cable package currently means you’ll miss your local team due to blackout restrictions by said cable companies – but, the biggest change to the entire model could occur when the Chicago Cubs’ deal expires in 2019.  The Diamondbacks just secured a deal worth more than $1 Billion dollars and much like Tannehill – the Cubs are excited.  How do the Cubs change the game?  Simple, if they work out a way to limit the cable company and their grip on the market and instead choose a format that allows us, the consumer, to unplug and stream the games at a certain price point – it will change TV forever.  Allowing the consumer to finally pay for what they want and not for all the other stuff they don’t, like the Lifetime channel.

However while we watch tonight, along with our Draftkings lineup – keep some guys in mind, that are having the kind of year that might get them recognized for their first all-star game, guys like:

  • Stephen Vogt
    • Would you believe this 30yr old has a higher WAR than Mike Trout?  He has the same number of HR’s right now (9) than he did all of 2014.
  • Freddy Galvis
    • now that Jimmy Rollins is gone, he has his chance and is currently hitting .341 with a .360wOBA.  He’s cut down his strikes and increased his walk rate and at 25 continually sprays the ball all over the field.
  • Mike Moustakas
    • He might have figured it out, finally.  He has cut down his strikeout rate by 7%, creating 40% more runs than the league average – generating a .380 OBP to go with his great defense.
  • Jake Odorizzi
    • After his first full year as a starter and entering his prime years, at 25, all he has done is pitch like an ace.   Currently has the 6th highest WAR at 1.6 and an ERA and FIP below 2.50 – wlaking less than 4% and striking out over 20%.
  • Jake Arrieta
    • As a Dark Horse candidate for the NL Cy Young at the start of the year, all he has done is put him at the table.  4th in WAR and has a 2.77 ERA with a FIP and xFIP of 2.23 and 2.69.

Tonight, play Swing for the Fences with us! It’s only $3 to play, $300,000 is up for grabs (1st place will win $100,000), and the top 25,930 finishers will win a cash prize!!  We all can guess at guys like Bryce Harper, Michael Brantley, Mike Trout, etc…So here are some of those value guys you might need to plug in to afford all that talent – keep a lookout to see if some of these guys actually start:

Pitchers:  Carlos Frias(LAD) $5,500 – Erasmo Ramirez(TB) $5,100 – Tim Hudson(SF) $6,200 – Tim Koehler(MIA) $5,900

Catchers:  Bobby Wilson(TB) $2,000 – Roberto Perez(CLE) $2,400

First Base:  Chirs Colabello(TOR+OF) $2,900 – Mark Reynolds(STL) $2,800 – Justin Bour(MIA) $2,600

Second Base:  P.Ciriaco(ATL+3B) $2,100

Third Base:  Brock Holt(BOS+OF) $3,100 – Logan Forsythe(TB+2B) $3,200 – Eric Campbell(NYM) $2,700

Shortstop:  R.Ynoa(COL+3B) $2,300 – T.Field(TEX+2B) $2,600

Outfield:  Kyle Blanks(TEX+1B) $3,600 – K.Kiermaier(TB) $3,800 – T.Cunningham(ATL) $2,800 – Adam Eaton(CHW) $3,600 – Grichuck(STL) $3,100 – Ichiro(MIA) $2,900.

So good luck tonight – I will be rolling with Liriano and Gray as my pitchers in most of my lineups – yours may vary.

 

DiRT Poor

Never noticed how much Ryan Leaf looks like Matt Ryan

It has been said that the NFL stands for (N)ot (F)or (L)ong – so I thought we could look at the biggest (NFL)’s by each team, list is compiled by Charlie Campbell.  Be careful, these busts could bring up past feelings of hurt and woe…Let me know if I missed anyone – what are your thoughts?

AFC NORTH

Baltimore Ravens: Kyle Boller (Cal) – 19th-Overall Pick, 2003
This pick didn’t hurt as bad because the Ravens took Terrell Suggs a few picks earlier. But as good as Suggs has been, it doesn’t change the fact that Boller was a bust. The Ravens gave him every opportunity to be the starter, but he couldn’t get the job done and was only a backup-caliber player. The painful part of the Boller pick was it wasted some great years from a Baltimore defense that had Hall of Famers in their prime and may have won more championships with a quality quarterback.

Cleveland Browns: Brady Quinn (ND) – 22nd-Overall Pick, 2007
There were a lot of options to pick from like Courtney Brown and Tim Couch, but Brown had his career ruined by injuries while Couch had a bad team around him. Honestly, Couch’s career numbers aren’t that bad. Quinn on the other hand, started only 12 games in three years. He was inaccurate in college, but that was ignored by Cleveland, and he completed less than 54 percent of his passes as a pro. Quinn threw 10 touchdowns as a Brown and was overmatched in the NFL. Considering the Browns gave up a lot to move up for him, Quinn is the worst draft pick in Cleveland’s history.

Cincinnati Bengals: Akili Smith (Oregon) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1999
The Bengals took a 1-year wonder in Smith, and he went on to have a 3-14 record as a starter for Cincinnati. Smith completed only 47 percent of his passes with five touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Across four years, he appeared in 22 games before the Bengals cut him and he never got a shot with another teams. Cincinnati passed on some great players like Edgerrin James, Torry Holt, Champ Bailey and Jevon Kearse when it took Smith. Smith was taken instead of Daunte Culpepper, so the Bengals had a mistake in their quarterback evaluation as well.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Tim Worley (UGA) – 7th-Overall Pick, 1989
Worley was billed to be a great back out of Georgia ready to be a Herschel Walker-type player in the NFL. However, Worley only lasted four years with the Steelers and never could average four yards per carry in any season where he had a significant amount of carries. Worley also had a huge fumble in the 1989 playoffs. He was a painful top-10 pick who was a huge bust for the Steelers.

AFC SOUTH

Houston Texans: Travis Johnson (FSU) – 16th-Overall Pick, 2005
This was a tough call between Johnson and Okoye, but Okoye has managed to stick in the league even though he became a journeyman. Johnson started 38 games in four years and had only two sacks for the Texans. He ended being given away to the Chargers and didn’t turn his career around in San Diego. The Texans don’t have a long draft history, but Johnson stands out as their worse pick.

Indianapolis Colts: Jeff George (Illinois) – 1st-Overall Pick, 1990
You could argue that John Elway should be this pick. He refused to play for the Colts and forced a trade to Denver, but Elway was still a great choice considering the kind of player he became. George (the first Jay Cutler) was also a first-overall pick, but he had a terrible run with the Colts. It also hurt that Indianapolis traded away Andre Rison and Chris Hinton, two Pro Bowlers, to move up for George. The Colts lost a lot of games with George at quarterback. This deal set the franchise back a few years.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert (Mizzou) – 10th-Overall Pick, 2011
The Jaguars don’t have a great draft history, but Gabbert was a painful draft pick who will impact Jacksonville for a 10-year stretch. The reason is J.J. Watt went one pick later to the Texans. Gabbert was an awful quarterback. As one source said coaching Gabbert, “I don’t know how to coach a player to have physical courage.” Gabbert was afraid of being hit and that led to terrible quarterback play. He also blamed his teammates for his own shortcomings and was dubbed ‘Blame’ Gabbert in the Jacksonville locker room. To make matters even worse, the Jaguars traded from No. 16 to No. 10 and dealt a second-day pick to take Gabbert.  He now plays for San Francisco and will probably start for ol-what’s-his-name.

Tennessee Titans: Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones (WV) – 6th-Overall Pick, 2005
The Titans ignored the character concerns that were apparent with Jones before the draft and took the troubled cornerback anyway. He played well early in his career with the Titans before his off-the-field issues destroyed the promise he once had in his career. Jones earned a year-long suspension from the NFL and lasted only two seasons in Tennessee before the organization cut its losses and sent him packing.  He has become decent for Cincinnati, with no issues that we know of.

AFC EAST

Buffalo Bills: Mike Williams (Texas) – 4th-Overall Pick, 2002
Williams was a mega bust in Buffalo in large part because of a poor work ethic. He was moved around from right tackle to left tackle to guard and defensive tackle. Williams had the starting left tackle job taken from him by an undrafted player in Jason Peters. To make matters worse, 2002 was a strong draft in which the Bills passed on the likes of Bryant McKinnie, Quinton Jammer, Dwight Freeney, John Henderson and Albert Haynesworth for Williams. Taking Williams instead of Mount McKinnie was a huge error in player evaluation.

Miami Dolphins: Ted Ginn Jr. (OhioSt) – 9th-Overall Pick, 2007
The Dolphins were wise to pass on Brady Quinn, but taking a poor receiver and only a returner with a top-10 pick was terrible decision-making. It was a painful pick as Ginn was taken instead of some studs like Patrick Willis, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis. Ginn didn’t last long in Miami before becoming a journeyman. The drafting of Ginn did lead to one of the most hilarious quotes in recent draft history when then Dolphins coach Cam Cameron said the team was not only getting Ginn, but they were getting his family as well. Ginn and his family didn’t prevent the Dolphins from landing the No. 1 overall pick in 2008 and almost going winless in 2007.

New England Patriots: Ken Sims (Texas) – 1st-Overall Pick, 1982
Sims never lived up to the hype and was known as a player who wouldn’t practice. That earned him the nickname of “Game Day” because he said that is when he would show up. However, Sims collected only 17 sacks in his career and missed a lot of games. He was taken a few picks ahead of Jim McMahon, who beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years later. TNew England also passed on Marcus Allen and Mike Munchak in the top 10 for Sims.

New York Jets: Kyle Brady (PaSt) – 9th-Overall Pick, 1995
The Jets provide the problem of a lot of options to choose from including Vernon Gholston, Roger Vick(RB-TexAM) and Mike Nugent. However, Brady is the worst pick in franchise history. With the fans in New York chanting for Warren Sapp to be the pick, the Jets passed on the future Hall of Famer for a blocking tight end with the ninth pick. New York already had a good tight end on the roster in Johnny Mitchell, so this pick was stupid in so many different ways.

AFC WEST

Denver Broncos: Tommy Maddox (UCLA) – 25th-Overall Pick, 1992
This pick made zero sense. The Broncos had John Elway in the prime of his great Hall of Fame career, yet spent a first-round pick on a backup quarterback. Maddox was a bust in the NFL before rehabbing a year in the XFL and then having some success as the quarterback for the Steelers. Maddox wasn’t a bad player, but this has to be one of the most questionable first-rounders in NFL draft history.  This was more about the arrogance of Dan Reeves telling Elway who runs this team by not drafting the WR Elway wanted.

Kansas City Chiefs: Todd Blackledge (PaSt) – 7th-Overall Pick, 1983
Blackledge was the dud of the 1983 NFL Draft’s famed quarterback class. The Chiefs took him instead of Jim Kelly or Dan Marino, who went later to the Bills and Dolphins respectively. Even lesser quarterbacks like Tony Eason and Ken O’Brien had some success for their teams. Blackledge never put together success for the Chiefs, and the quarterbacks they passed on for him made it even more painful. Taking Blackledge was the worst pick in franchise history.  But has become the best announcer in the QB class of ’83 – which is nice.

Oakland Raiders: JaMarcus Russell (LSU) – 1st-Overall Pick, 2007
This was an easy choice. Russell was viewed to be a future superstar with his huge size and one of the strongest arms to come into the NFL this century – except for those that saw him play regularly in college, calling him peanut-head. He was a disaster from the get-go as he had a rookie holdout that started the quick tailspin of his career. Russell got overweight and out of shape, plus demonstrated a poor work ethic. He also had a problem with codeine-infused cough syrup. In 31 starts, Russell completed 52 percent of his passes with 18 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He didn’t take his NFL career seriously and was unable to get another shot with another team after the Raiders conceded he was a lost cause. Considering a couple potential Hall of Famers went right after Russell in Calvin Johnson and Joe Thomas, Russell is easily the worst pick in franchise history. The Raiders also passed on Darrelle Revis, Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and Patrick Willis with that pick.

San Diego Chargers: Ryan Leaf (Wazzu) – 2nd-Overall Pick, 1998
After playing well in his first two games, Leaf became perhaps the most epic bust in NFL history. He threw interceptions consistently and was unable to handle being a professional athlete. Leaf went through screaming matches with general manager Bobby Beathard and blew up at a reporter to such a degree that the clip is, to this day, shown regularly on NFL Network. Leaf threw 36 interceptions with only 14 touchdown passes over 21 starts while completing only 48 percent of his passes. The pick of Leaf is easily the biggest bust in San Diego’s draft history.  It also wouldn’t be the only time Ryan Leaf and bust would be written in the same sentence.

NFC NORTH

Chicago Bears: Curtis Enis (PaSt) – 5th-Overall Pick, 1998
Ryan Leaf wasn’t the only mega bust of 1998. Andre Wadsworth and Grant Wistrom were also major disappointments. The Bears took Enis in the top 10, and he was a massive miss for Chicago. It was a terrible evaluation as Fred Taylor was taken a few picks later by the Jaguars. Enis didn’t have the speed to be an effective back in the NFL, and injuries put him on the sideline a lot as well. He only lasted three seasons with Chicago and was a mega bust for the Bears.

Detroit Lions: Joey Harrington (Oregon) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 2002
There are a lot to pick from here including Mike Williams(usc), Charles Rogers(MichSt), Andre Ware(Houston) and Reggie Rogers(UW), but Harrington stands out because he was a huge bust and a mega reach at the time. The Lions forced the pick of Harrington, who was completely overmatched in the NFL. Not only was he ineffective on the field, sources say that Harrington was a terrible teammate and hated in the Detroit locker room. Harrington ended the coaching career of Steve Mariucci as the Detroit brass forced Harrington on Mariucci.  It could also be said that the hiring of Mariucci is included, #overrated.

Green Bay Packers: Tony Mandarich (MichSt) – 2nd-Overall Pick, 1989
This was an easy choice. Mandarich was a mega bust for the Packers as the steroid freak never lived up to his billing. He was an ineffective blocker after being labelled as one of the best offensive line prospects ever. To make matters even more painful, Green Bay took Mandarich instead of Barry Sanders, Derrick Thomas or Deion Sanders. This is one of the biggest draft busts, and one of the worst picks, in the history of the NFL when you consider the Packers passed on three Hall of Famers.

Minnesota Vikings: Troy Williamson (SCar) – 7th-Overall Pick, 2005
The Vikings traded away Randy Moss in his prime and replaced him with Williamson. He was massive disappointment as he only played three seasons for Minnesota. Williamson notched only three touchdowns with the Vikings and didn’t have a single season of 40 receptions or 500 yards. He barely played in two seasons with the Jaguars before he was out of the NFL. The Vikings compounded the Moss mistake by trading a second-day pick for him when he was clearly on the decline. Having Williamson go bust helped lead to that second mistake.

NFC SOUTH

Atlanta Falcons: Jamaal Anderson (Arkansas) – 8th-Overall Pick, 2007
Falcons then general manager Rich McKay made an awful selection of Anderson, and that helped lead to McKay being “demoted” to just team president and losing control of shaping the Atlanta roster. Anderson was terrible in his time as a Falcon and completely ineffective. A few picks after Anderson was picked, Atlanta saw Patrick Willias, Marshawn Lynch and Darrelle Revis get snatched up. This was an epic failure for the Falcons, but the silver lining was it led to Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith taking over, and Matt Ryan to come with them.

Carolina Panthers: Rae Carruth (CU) – 27th-Overall Pick, 1997
This was a tough pick with Jason Peter (Neb) and Tim Biakabutuka (Mich). The latter dealt with injuries that robbed him of his career, but the Panthers passed on Eddie George for him. Peter just flat out stunk. Carruth though is the worst pick in franchise history because character concerns were ignored in his selection. A few years later, Carruth had his pregnant girlfriend murdered.

New Orleans Saints: Jonathan Sullivan (UGA) – 6th-Overall Pick, 2003
The Saints had two first-round picks in the 2003 NFL Draft and traded both of them to move up and select Sullivan. He was an epic bust as he had only 1.5 sacks in three seasons with New Orleans. He was given away to the Patriots, but they didn’t tolerate Sullivan long before cutting him, and he was out of the NFL within four years of being drafted. To make matters worse, the Saints passed on Vikings/Seahawks great defensive tackle Kevin Williams when they took Sullivan.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman (KState)- 17th-Overall Pick, 2009
This was a tough call as Eric Curry, Keith McCants, and Reidel Anthony were all huge disappointments. However, the Josh Freeman pick from 2009 unceremoniously ended a successful stretch for Tampa Bay. Since the Bucs busted on Freeman, they have gone 30-66 with zero playoff appearances. The only team worse in that stretch is the Jaguars at 29-67. Freeman had one good season in 2010 from smoke and mirrors used by offensive coordinator Greg Olson, but Freeman had accuracy issues in college that were completely ignored by general manager Mark Dominik. Those problems persisted and led to Freeman completely falling apart while throwing lots of interceptions. He also developed off-the-field problems and lost his focus on football. The pick of Freeman set the franchise back.

NFC EAST

Dallas Cowboys: Kevin Brooks (Mich) – 17th-Overall Pick, 1985
Dallas wanted to take Jerry Rice with the pick used on Brooks, but the 49ers traded up and beat them to the punch. That made the Brooks pick especially painful as Rice is one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL while Brooks had 12.5 sacks in four seasons with the Cowboys. They dropped him, and he didn’t do much with the Lions in two seasons.

New York Giants: Dave Brown (Duke) – 1991 Supplemental Draft 1st-Round Pick
This was a tough choice with Cedric Jones, Ron Dayne and William Joseph all being contenders. However, the Giants used a first-round pick on Brown to replace Phil Simms and Jeff Hostetler. Brown started for a few years, but he couldn’t complete 60 percent of his passes and threw more interceptions than touchdowns. The Giants moved on from him, and Brown was ineffective for the Cardinals. He is perhaps the biggest bust in the history of the New York Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles: Leroy Keyes (Purdue) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1969
Keyes was a very painful pick. The Steelers took Joe Greene one pick later and he went on to dominate the NFL. Keyes ran for only 369 yards and three touchdowns in his NFL career. Another Hall of Famer and a half-dozen pro bowlers were selected after Keyes went off the board to the Eagles. It was a very regrettable draft for the Eagles.  Tebow will help them forget.

Washington Redskins: Desmond Howard (Mich) – 4th-Overall Pick, 1992
Howard was supposed to follow the great trio of Art Monk, Gary Clark and Ricky Sanders as the next great Redskins receiver. However, Howard was terrible as a wideout and was only useful on special teams. In three seasons with the Redskins, Howard caught just 10 passes. Washington also traded up giving away two first-rounders and a third-round pick to move from No. 6 to No. 4 and leap frog Green Bay. Howard ended up helping the Packers to win a Super Bowl after the Redskins dumped him.

NFC WEST

Arizona Cardinals: Andre Wadsworth (FSU) – 3rd-Overall Pick, 1998
Wadsworth was a great college player, but he didn’t even last four years in the NFL. To make matters worse, Charles Woodson went one pick later along with some other good players like Fred Taylor, Takeo Spikes and Tra Thomas. Wadsworth had only eight sacks in three years for the Cardinals. He isn’t remembered as much because Ryan Leaf went one pick ahead of him, but he was still a huge bust for Arizona.

San Francisco 49ers: Jim Druckenmiller (VaTech) – 26th-Overall Pick, 1997
You could consider Lance Alworth (HOF) since he signed with the Oakland Raiders of the AFL instead of San Francisco. Druckenmiller though marked the downturn of the 49ers’ dynasty. This was a pathetic first-round pick as Miller only started one game for the team and was dumped after two seasons. He was with Miami in 1999 before falling out of the NFL. Druckenmiller was supposed to replace Steve Young, but San Francisco was lucky that it signed Jeff Garcia. While Garcia didn’t win a championship, he got the 49ers to the postseason a few times and wasn’t inept like Druckenmiller.  Moral of the Story, the downturn begins again and this time it’s for real.

Seattle Seahawks: Dan McGwire (SDSU) – 16th-Overall Pick, 1991
This was a tough call between McGwire and Aaron Curry, but quarterback busts are always more painful. Those epic missteps also can lead to series of losing seasons and other desperate moves at the quarterback position. That was the case with McGwire. After he went bust, the Seahawks had another one in Rick Mirer while trying to replace McGwire. McGwire only threw two touchdowns, six interceptions and 745 yards in his NFL career. He only lasted four seasons in Seattle with only five starts.

St. Louis Rams: Lawrence Phillips (Neb) – 6th-Overall Pick, 1996
Phillips was supposed to be the feature player for Dick Vermeil’s St. Louis resurgence, but Phillips was a mega bust on and off the field. He ran for just over 630 yards in back-to-back seasons before the Rams admitted that he was a sunk cost and got rid of him. Phillips flamed out in Miami and San Francisco before his off-the-field problems landed him in prison. Phillips’ horrible character was evident at Nebraska but the Rams drafted him anyway. There was no excuse to take him, and the organization should have known better.  He is the yardstick that all red-flags are measured, or at least should be.