Originally written on Extra Pine Tar  |  Last updated 9/28/12

The real refs are much better

Great to see a smooth game played. The product may not have been the best, but at least the refs didn’t add an additional hour and half to the game with constant meetings, reviews and overall ***********. Welcome back, refs. Here’s to hoping Ed Hochuli kept in shape over the lockout.

There was noticeably less Cee Lo last night

Our prayers were all answered. I only saw a few glimpses of that fat martian. Last week it was seemingly every commercial break that revolting blob was screaming about football. I think the NFL realized the horrific mistake they made by hiring that marvel of modern science. And for that, we thank you.

It makes me sick to say, but Joe Flacco is really, really good

I’m not ready to call him “elite” yet, or put him the same breathe as Brady, Rodgers or Brees, but some of those passes he made last night were absolutely beautiful. They weren’t the high arching bombs that we’ve always known Joe Flacco could through. Instead, he would throw this mid range touch passes that would fall right over the corner’s head and in to the receivers arms. Both throws that come to mind (one to Torrey Smith and one to Anquan Boldin), the receiver didn’t even have separation from the corner. Flacco just placed the ball exactly where he wanted it.

Of course, in typical Joe Flacco fashion, as soon as he rushed the ball in and seemed ready to take his place among the best quarterbacks in the game, he spiked the ball like a nerd and then tried to look tough. Give it a rest Flacco, you’re never going to be intimidating. Look at Eli, for example. There isn’t a person in this world who is afraid of Eli, except for when he has the ball in hands. Strive for that, big guy. And do something about your face. I don’t know what it is, but your face just really bothers me.

Greg Little is the most frustrating receiver in the world?

I’m not even a Browns fan and this guy drives me crazy. I’ve owned Greg Little in a few different fantasy teams over his short career and he usually only lasts until I see the Browns actually play. Little is always tops of receivers in targets and is a physical specimen to look at. He’s consistently open and no matter if the quarterback is Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy, the ball is fed his way. The only problem is Greg Little can’t catch the ******* ball to save his life.

After he attempted to make a body contorting, top speed, full extension dive, I finally noticed something. Greg Little makes the easy ones look hard. The announcers, after the attempt diving catch, said that Little had come up with a few tough catches earlier in the night. I began to think to myself about the balls I had seen him pull in. They weren’t anything out of the ordinary. A receiver is supposed to be adjust to a ball that’s not thrown directly at his letters in any level of football. At the NFL level that should be commonplace.

Then it hit me, any catch for Greg Little is a tough catch, because he’s not “good” at catching the ball. All of the physical tools are there. Size, speed, strength; he’s got everything you need to be a game changing receiver. Except for those damn stone hands.

Have you ever put on the really nice receiver gloves before? It’s like wearing those fruit fly tape strips on your hands. Until Little gets more consistent, the Browns and his fantasy owners alike will be in for a frustrating affair.

Josh Cribbs has a hard head

Whenever I see a player go down and their limbs are just kind of suspended in the air, I always expect them to leave on a stretcher. Even if there are no neck injuries or anything like that, the staff’s usually ere on the side of caution. Not only did Cribbs walk off the field, he was smiling for Christ’s sake.

I would be completely amazed if he played next week, but at least he’ll be able to play again. That hit was downright frightening. Legal, but still frightening nonetheless.

The more Torrey Smith continues to get improve, the easier things will  become for Anquan Bolden

Smith is quickly becoming a legitimate fantasy starter, and as he evolves in a complete receiving threat and not just a deep ball receiver, teams will have to game plan more for him. This means that Bolden will be receiving less attention and more one on one match ups, which – even at his age  - he will win more often than not. Both of these players should continue to have good numbers on a weekly basis from here on out.

Also, all my respect to Torrey Smith for the work he put over the past two games in what must have been one of the toughest weeks of his entire life.

Quick Notes

  • The NFL Network wants you to know that Ray Rice is a lot like Marshall Faulk.
  • Where the hell was Dennis Pitta?
  • Trent Richardson is having no trouble adjusting to the NFL. Somewhere Mark Ingram is stuffing his face with Twinkies and inappropriately touching his Heisman.
  • Ben Watson may have gotten the lion share of the targets last night, but the Browns have something in Jordan Cameron.
  • Brandon Weeden isn’t the worst and some of those plays he made last night actually looked pretty good. He just needs a better group of receivers. Jerious Norwood and Travis Benjamin force him to rely on Greg Little and that’s just not how you win games.
  • Quick, who coaches the Browns? If you had to look it up, you’re just like the rest of the country.
  • The Ravens defense is a scary group of guys. They all look like they could be on the cast of The Wire.
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