Schon: Rumors, Rants & Raves 10/5/05

The intelligence level of the Green Bay Packers, the weakness of the NFC North and guess who's the most penalized team in the NFL?

According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal, the Green Bay Packers are the least intelligent team in the National Football League.

The Journal based its findings on results obtained from the standardized Wonderlic Test, a twelve-minute 50-question problem-solving exam used by the league to evaluate its' players. The final consensus ranked the Packers dead-last among the thirty-two NFL teams.

Evidently, players on the Green Bay roster have an average Wonderlic score of 19.1 which, according to the Journal, is the typical score for "hospital orderlies."

On a side note, the "orderlies" are 0-4 at this point in the season.

AT A GLANCE -
…Through the first four games of the 2005 season Eli Manning has thrown nine touchdown passes - Peyton Manning has thrown only six.

…Sunday night's Arizona Cardinals – San Francisco match up in Mexico City drew 103,467 in paid attendance. That's roughly 80,000 more tickets than would have sold had the game been played in the Cardinals hometown of Tempe.

… Sunday marked the first time since the 2005 season opened that the Saints did not fumble the kickoff on their opening possession. Running back Fred McAfee returned the kickoff twenty-yards to the Saints' 30.

Denver Broncos lineman Dwayne Carswell set a franchise record on Sunday as the first offensive lineman in team history to catch two touchdown passes. The guard reported twice as an eligible receiver when the Broncos were in goal line situations.

… The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-0 for the first time since 1988, the Indianapolis Colts are 4-0 for the first time since 2003, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 4-0 for the first time since 1997 and the Washington Redskins 3-0 for the first time since 1991. Of the 95 teams to ever start a season with a 4-0 record, seventy-nine of those have made the playoffs.

…The NFC North is undoubtedly the weakest division in the NFL. Of the four teams that comprise the North, not one has reached .500. Combined they hold a 3-11 mark through Week 4. On the flip side, the NFC East can lay claim to the best, with a combined 11-4 record. The fourth place Dallas Cowboys hold a 2-2 mark, which would actually put them in first place if they played in the NFC North.

BRING OUT THE FLAGS -
Not that it comes as a shock, but guess who leads the league in penalties at this point?

You guessed it – the Oakland Raiders. The perpetually penalized Raiders have accumulated forty-nine penalties for a total of 412-yards. That averages out to over 100-yards in penalties per game so far this season.

"We're never gonna get calls," safety Derrick Gibson told the San Francisco Chronicle. "We go in thinking that every week."

Evidentially so, the Raiders have led the league in penalties in fourteen different seasons.

P.O.W. –
The NFL is scheduled to announce their Players of the Week this afternoon –

Drew Brees - AFC Offensive Player of the Week
Brees connected on 19-of-24 passes for two touchdowns in the Chargers 41-17 victory over the New England Patriots.

Plaxico BurressNFC Offensive Player of the Week
The six-year veteran grabbed a career-high ten receptions for 204-yards and two touchdowns in Pittsburgh's 44-24 win over St. Louis.

Al WilsonAFC Defensive Player of the Week
The Broncos strongman racked up six tackles, including one sack, two forced fumbles and a pass defensed in Denver's 20-7 win at Jacksonville.

Darren Howard - NFC Defensive Player of the Week
The 6'3 defensive end collected two sacks, one forced fumble and one pass deflection, in the New Orleans Saints 19-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Special Teams honors went to Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski (AFC) and Arizona Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers (NFC).

Rackers connected on a career-high six field goals, one shy of the NFL record, as the Cardinals knocked off the San Francisco 49ers in Mexico City.

Janikowski was perfect on all four field goals, including one from 43-yards as the Raiders notched their first win of the season, a 19-13 decision over Dallas.

I REALLY DON'T HATE THE RAIDERS -
For those of you who filled my mailbag last week complaining that I am too critical of the Oakland Raiders I would like to point out the following:

This week's column does not even mention the fact that during Sunday's win over the Dallas Cowboys, an actual sell out I might add, one fan was stabbed, one was arrested for shooting off fireworks and more than thirty fans were arrested for public intoxication.

Some columnists may have had a field day with that one, but not me - I didn't even mention it.

See.... I'm not such a bad guy after all.



Michael John Schon has covered the National Football League and the Denver Broncos for the past nine years. As a member of the Pro Football Writers Association he has published and syndicated columns to both newspapers and magazines throughout the United States and Canada. His syndicated radio broadcast: "Schon Live" airs weekly on various radio stations around the country.

Schon can be reached at Schon@prostarmediagroup.net
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