Extra points

September 25, 2006|By KEN MURRAY


A lot of blame is falling on quarterback Chris Simms for the Buccaneers' 0-3 start, but running back Cadillac Williams is having a poor first month. Williams rushed for 434 yards in his first three games a year ago; this season, he has 107rushing yards through three weeks, struggling with back spasms.


Wide receiver Deion Branch is going to have a major impact on the Seahawks' offense. He had a modest debut (two catches for 23 yards), but he'll be a force when quarterback Matt Hasselbeck needs him. Branch's tortured departure from New England was the biggest player move of the year.

Terrible Texans

The Texans have won just two of their past 18 games. Against their secondary and negligible pass rush, Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell was able to complete an NFL single-game-record 22 consecutive passes. And it's becoming increasingly obvious the Texans didn't just make a mistake taking Mario Williams with the first pick, but also with quarterback David Carr as well.


Don't want to hear anything about the Giants salvaging their pride with a 27-point comeback in the fourth quarter in Seattle. When you're losing 42-3, you have no pride.


As well as Matt Stover kicked for the Ravens, Carolina kicker John Kasay had an even better day, beating the Bucs with field goals of 51, 50, 49 and 46 yards.


After an awful rookie season, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith (above) has made great strides under new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. In nine games a year ago, he threw only one touchdown pass and 11 interceptions. After three weeks in 2006, he has three touchdown passes and no picks. Yesterday, he threw for 293 yards against the Eagles.


Here's how far Marvin Lewis has brought the once-forlorn Bengals: They have won three of their past four games in Pittsburgh and have won nine of their past 11 road games.


Road teams won 10 of 13 games yesterday. Five teams -- the Bengals, Jets, Packers, Rams and Broncos -- all won as road underdogs.

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