PFW news on the Giants, Panthers, Chargers and Raiders, plus the latest Fantasy Buzz.
The Way We Hear It
What Giants head coach Tom Coughlin says to the media on a daily basis often gets construed as coaching rhetoric, and what he says to his team behind closed doors very well might have the same effect. But Coughlin has a purpose to his methods. He knows that with success through the first part of the season comes higher expectations, in and out of the team facility. And although there have been no signs of the Giants getting out-of-control egos, Coughlin wants to make sure that things stay that way. We hear his message to his team has been along that vein, challenging them each week with new things and trying to keep them centered on the task at hand. Although the regular season is well past its midpoint, the season as measured from Week One to the Super Bowl is barely past the halfway mark, and with lots of football left, Coughlin hopes his team will not have peaked too early once the playoffs arrive.
PANTHERS: Sources in Carolina say Panthers head coach John Fox has been unfazed by QB Jake Delhomme’s recent slump. Delhomme drew the ire of fans, who booed him at the team’s last home game, and he seemed to have lost his sense of accuracy, throwing passes that sailed away from open receivers. We hear Fox remains fully committed to him and there will be no on-field sightings of backup Josh McCown, barring an injury.
CHARGERS: Don’t be surprised if the playing time of DE Igor Olshansky is cut back in the season’s final month. Set to become a free agent this offseason, Olshansky already has one foot out the door, as San Diego has no desire to sign him to the big contract he’ll be looking for. Also, his play simply hasn’t been as good as in years past, and the team feels like it can get similar production from its reserves.
RAIDERS: OLT Kwame Harris has been a popular whipping boy for the team’s problems on offense, but we hear interim head coach Tom Cable, who also coaches the offensive line, is unhappy with all three of his tackles. Mario Henderson, who looked like a potential replacement for Harris, hasn’t played well when given the opportunity and Cable is down on ORT Cornell Green as well, but he doesn’t have any other options.
The Fantasy Buzz
If you own Browns RB Jamal Lewis, odds are you’ve been frustrated with his inconsistent production this season. But if you look at his schedule, you’ll see that he’s had very few favorable matchups thus far. He gets one this week in the Texans, who are giving up 133 yards per contest on the ground and have surrendered 15 rushing scores. With QB Brady Quinn nicked up and bad weather expected, look for Lewis to dominate.
Titans RB LenDale White is known for his ability to bust right through the D-line, but he won’t be able to do that against the Jets and star NT Kris Jenkins. Thanks to Jenkins, the Jets have one of the league’s top run defenses, allowing just 81.3 yards per game. RB Chris Johnson will see the bulk of the carries in this one, so the best White could hope for is a short TD plunge.
WR Devery Henderson was a big-play machine back when the Saints were banged up at receiver, but now that the corps has returned to full health, Henderson has been much less effective. He’s scored just once since Week Five and hasn’t topped 34 yards in any of the past three games. With Green Bay sporting one of the league’s best secondaries, Henderson could sputter once again.
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