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Monday Afternoon H-Back

Yesterday provided the rarest of opportunities for an NFL scribe - a Sunday not spent at a stadium consumed solely by the game you are assigned to cover. So when I wasn't changing Chloe's diapers, navigating the stroller through a maze of people at the Old Town Art Fair, or begging my toddler to put down a french fry and eat at least one chicky nugget for daddy, I was keeping an eye on some football (or foozeball, as Kathy Bates would say in "The Water Boy" or "Manball" as Chloe and I would say, since, unfortunately, man seems to be her favorite word these days and she utters it literally every time she sees an older person of the opposite sex. Yeah, I'm worried. I'm pushing hard for her to be a nun this Halloween, and every Halloween henceforth, but me fears I'll be overruled).

So what caught my eye? Here goes:

1) The Curse of Todd Collins Is No Joke. The dude is in KC like 8 years, never gets a start, and spends the entire time as a backup 'cause the starter never gets hurt. So Collins follows his mentor Al Saunders to DC this offseason, and Trent Green can't even make it through three quarters back in KC. The poor guy nearly got decapitated yesterday, leaving the field strapped on a stretcher with a concussion.

Of course, the Chiefs were quick to point out how good Green is doing and how it's not that serious - the talking heads of FOX, NBS and CBS were all spouting off about this during the 4 pm games - but they're not the one's with a brain that just collided with its skill, are they? I have to think Green's streak of 5 straight years without missing a regular season game is in big-time trouble. What does all of this mean for Mark Brunell? You'd have to think it bodes well, right, not to jinx it or anything. I'm just saying.

2) The highlight of LaVar Arrington's night was when he uttered the classic "School of Hard Knocks" line during the segment where the starters are introduced. I love that guy. Now, I'll admit I was watching at a bar with a friend and throwing back some pints of Stella, so I may have missed a play or two. But I was watching as closely as you can under the circumstances, and while I saw Antonio Pierce all over the place, I didn't see LaVar stand out. It's his first game with a new team, so there's some natural adjustment there.

Overall, I thought the G-men looked pretty stout. Why they did not feed Tiki the ball more, I'll never know. I thought they did a heck of a job against Big Brother Manning and were by far the better team, but poor coaching decisions and Eli's ridiculous, wrong-sided handoff at midfield gave BBM just the kind of opening he thrives on, and the dagger came. The pass interference call on Carter was one of the worst calls I have ever seen, and killed any chance of a win for New York. Still, I thought they looked legit.

Now, Indy, on the other hand, is heading for a dropoff. That defense was getting gashed and killed at the LOS, and the Colts running game was horrid. Yeah, it's just one game, but I think BBM is the second coming of Marino. Ten fingers and no rings.

3) How 'bout them Cowboys? Ouch. Sure looked good for about 10 minutes, then the same old problems. Crushing turnovers. Inconsistent running game. Defense that seems to bend more as the game goes on. And, best of all for Redskins Nation, another kicking fiasco. Could you imagine the Tuna on the flight home from Jacksonville? He finally goes out and gets a proven kicker, his owner spends big time for Vanderjagt, and he can't go in the opening game. So Parcells is forced to use another kid kicker, and he hits the upright from 36 yards with a chance to sway momentum in the second half. Some things never change

Okay, so that's what I know. Here's what I'm thinking:

1) I was only about 50 percent in my "Guess The Practice Squad" effort. Could redemption come tonight when we play "Guess The Inactives?" Let's see. I'll go with Shawn Springs and Renaldo Wynn as injured guys. Jason Campbell as the No. 3 QB. FB Nemo Broughton (although this spot could be RB Rock Cartwright). S Reed Doughty. DL Anthony Montgomery. OL Jim Molinaro (maybe they dress him over the new T Wade they just signed, since he would know the system better. This could be a toss up). The last one is tough. Since Khary Campbell can play multiple LB positions, do they sit Posey and go with 5 LBs? I could see them go with 4 WR and sit Patten, perhaps. Guess I'll say Posey sits.

2) I have a feeling the offense is going to go after Smooty tonight. I just have a hunch they'll target him a lil bit.

3) These Nike "Briscoe High" commercials are lame. (Not as lame as this new Dunkin Donuts campaign, the horrible one about "public-interest stories." Who green lighted that braincramp?). It's just not working for me. Maybe it looked good on paper, but something's lacking the execution.

4) This will be the best season of "The Wire." I keep reading it. I just have that feeling. But I speak from no experience. Have the first episode of the season on Tivo and will watch it at some point this week. Which reminds me. Got to set the Tivo for tonight's game while I am thinking of it. Okay, that'll bring this MMHB to a close.

I do have one question for you guys, though, of the metrosexual variety: Is it too late in the summer season to rock a light brown suit? I think it's still cool, and I figured I'd get a little more use out of it on the Fox 5 pregame show before the weather changes, but I could be dissuaded. I'm leaving NoVa by 3 pm at the latest to get the FedEx. I'd suggest you leave early and often as well. Cheers.

By Jason La Canfora  |  September 11, 2006; 4:11 PM ET
 
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