Sunday at the Post

QUOTE/STORY OF THE WEEK...

“We are stunned and saddened to learn of Vikki’s passing. She was a warm and popular person in the Bengals family, and our immense respect and affection for Mike makes this especially hard. Our hearts go out to Mike and his family.” -- Mike Brown, owner, Cincinnati Bengals

Vikki Zimmer, the wife of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, died suddenly Thursday at the age of 50. No details of her death have been released. The Zimmers were married for 27 years, having met at Weber State in Utah. They have two daughters and a son, Adam, who is a member of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff.

All of us at the National Football Post extend our condolences to Mike and his family.

“Mike is part of our Bengals family, and we’ll support him in every way we can. We will dearly miss Vikki. She was a friend to all of us, and a big supporter of Mike’s players. Her thoughtfulness to them in so many ways will also be greatly missed.” -- Marvin Lewis, Bengals head coach

Vikki used to bake cookies for the players during the season and was always a part of the team.

“Those kids work so hard and so long. They really like it when you make them that stuff. They’re worried about putting on weight, so I want to make it a little bit healthy, but (Mike) tells me they destroy whatever it is, no matter what they say.” -- Vikki Zimmer

“We are heartbroken to hear of this loss, and our hearts go out to Mike, Adam, Corri and Marki. We remember Vikki for her vibrant love of life and her loving devotion to her family.”-- Jerry Jones, owner, Dallas Cowboys

“A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak.” -- Michael Garrett Marino

1. Did you see Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason’s comments this week about Julius Peppers? He was very diplomatic in his approach, but he made it clear that everyone needs to step up their game, including Julius. Peppers is on cruise control, and based on his play so far in three games, there’s no way the Panthers can franchise him again next year.

2. Many people I talked to in the NFL were happy that the ‘Skins decided they needed more scheme advice than personnel advice. Bringing in Sherm Lewis to assist coach Jim Zorn was a hot topic. Lewis was working at a bingo parlor and had not been involved with pro football for five years. As one executive said to me, “As long as they keep blaming the coaches, we have a chance to keep beating them”.

3. Speaking of the Redskins, my evaluation of Clinton Portis (look at his stats the past nine games in the game matchup below) is not very impressive right now. He lacks the lower body strength and power to run through arm tackles, and one Redskins insider told me Portis spends more time in the GM offices than he does on the field.

4. The consensus of the NFL executives I spoke to last week on who got the better of the Braylon Edwards trade from the Browns to the Jets was that there was no consensus. With the uncertainty of Edwards on and off the field and the uncertainty of Eric Mangini in selecting players, there were votes for both sides. There was agreement that the players the Browns acquired are not going to impact the deal.

5. The trading deadline is nine days away and some teams will be very active. The Raiders are shopping most of their players (not JaMarcus Russell), and there are other teams that will be active. Could linebacker Derrick Johnson of the Chiefs be gone next week? Or running back Larry Johnson? Do you think the Browns will trade Brady Quinn if Derek Anderson plays well today?

6. Dick Jauron is on a very hot seat in Buffalo. Although the players came out in support of him, their actions on the field are not supporting him. Jauron refused to make changes this offseason to his staff, and that alone placed him on the hot seat.

7. Anquan Boldin had a few comments on his contract situation: “Yeah I’m doing good. I let the whole contract talk, you know, to the side. If they get me done, fine. If not, I guess I have to find a home somewhere else. But as long as I’m playing football, I’m doing good.” Wonder if he’ll be traded in nine days.

MY VIEW OF THE GAMES, PLUS NOTES AND WEATHER…

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens

Partly cloudy and cool, highs in the low 50s with winds reaching 12 mph. There's a 20-percent chance of rain.

Carson Palmer is 6-3 career vs. the Ravens with 12 TDs, 8 INTs and 2,235 passing yards (his most against any opponent and an average of 248.3 yards per game). He must throw the ball well to beat the Ravens.

The other player who must play big for the Bengals is WR Chris Henry, who has the talent to give the Ravens some real problems.

Palmer’s last game against the Ravens was the season opener last year when he was 9 of 24, 94 yards, INT, 32.3 passer rating (career low in passer rating and his fewest completions in any game in which he played the entire game).

Chat Ochocinco has gone 17 consecutive contests without a 100-yard game, his longest drought since going without 100-plus receiving yards in his first 20 career games from 2001-02.

The Ravens lead the NFL in rush defense (59.5 YPG) and fewest yards per rush (2.6 yards per rush allowed).

The Ravens have given up 15 completions of 20 or more yards this season (tied, third most in NFL). Palmer must make big plays.

The Ravens have allowed 24 or more points in three games this season (they allowed 24-plus points in four games all of last season). They must outscore teams.

The Ravens have 5.0 yards per rush this season (tied, third in NFL) and are second in third-down percentage (50.9 percent, 27 of 53).

The Ravens defense has 6 INTs this season and leads the league with 77 since 2006.

The Ravens defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 39 consecutive games (longest active streak in NFL).

Cleveland Browns at Buffalo Bills

Partly cloudy and cool, highs in the low 50s with winds reaching 12 mph. There's a 20-percent chance of rain.

The Browns are 0-4 for the first time since 1999 when they started 0-7 in their return to the NFL. They’ve lost 10 straight games, one shy of their longest losing streak in franchise history set in 1974-75.

The Browns have been outscored 118-49 this season and have been outscored by their opponents 247-80 during their current 10-game losing streak.

The Browns are 31st in the NFL with a minus-7 turnover differential this season.

The Browns have allowed 13 sacks (tied, third most in NFL).

The Browns are last in total defense, allowing 403.3 YPG.

Derek Anderson i s 13-15 as starter but just 3-7 in his last 10 starts. He tied a career high with 48 pass attempts last week.

In the Braylon Edwards trade, the Browns acquired Chansi Stuckey, who was tied for third on the Jets in receptions with 11 for 120 yards and one TD.

Stuckey is one of 10 players currently on the Browns roster who was with the Jets under Eric Mangini in 2008. He has some trouble getting away from press coverage whether he’s in the slot or not.

The Bills have lost 11 of their last 14 games and have lost their last two by a combined score of 65-17 against Saints and Dolphins.

Trent Edwards has been sacked 16 times (second most in NFL). If the Bills can protect, they can move the ball. They must give Edwards some time.

Fred Jackson is sixth in the NFL with 333 rush yards this season.

Terrell Owens is fifth on the team with eight receptions (Fred Jackson has 18, Josh Reed 11, Lee Evans 10, Derek Schouman 9). Owens’ receptions through four games are his fewest to this point since 1997:

Terrell Owens’ Fewest Receptions

First four games of season, career

Upcoming Games

Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis -7 -110

Houston +7 -110

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -7 -110

Chicago +7 -110

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

NY Giants +2.5 -120

Miami -2.5 -120

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

Minnesota -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

Philadelphia -6.5 -110

NY Jets +6.5 -110

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

LA Chargers +1.5 -110

Cincinnati -1.5 -110

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Dec 5th, 1:00 PM

Tampa Bay -9.5 -110

Atlanta +9.5 -110

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Dec 5th, 4:05 PM

Washington +1.5 -110

Las Vegas -1.5 -110

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Dec 5th, 4:05 PM

Jacksonville +12 -110

LA Rams -12 -110

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Dec 5th, 4:25 PM

Baltimore -3 -120

Pittsburgh +3 -120

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Dec 5th, 4:25 PM

San Francisco -3 -110

Seattle +3 -110

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Dec 5th, 8:20 PM

Denver +9.5 -111

Kansas City -9.5 -111

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Dec 6th, 8:15 PM

New England +3.5 -110

Buffalo -3.5 -110

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Dec 9th, 8:20 PM

Pittsburgh +3.5 -110

Minnesota -3.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Seattle -6.5 -110

Houston +6.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Jacksonville +9.5 -110

Tennessee -9.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Las Vegas +10 -110

Kansas City -10 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Dallas -5 -110

Washington +5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans -6.5 -110

NY Jets +6.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +2.5 -110

Carolina -2.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 1:00 PM

Baltimore -1 -110

Cleveland +1 -110

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Dec 12th, 4:05 PM

NY Giants +7.5 -110

LA Chargers -7.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 4:05 PM

Detroit +8.5 -110

Denver -8.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 4:25 PM

San Francisco +2.5 -110

Cincinnati -2.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 4:25 PM

Buffalo +3.5 -110

Tampa Bay -3.5 -110

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Dec 12th, 8:20 PM

Chicago +11 -110

Green Bay -11 -110

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