Holding calls tell the story

October, 16, 2008
An interesting thing to watch this week will be how officials call holding penalties. During the first five weeks of the season, officials were calling only 1.6 holding penalties per game. The officials didn't call a lot of holding penalties last season. When holding penalties are down, scoring goes up. The combined 45 points a game for both teams through five weeks is the second best scoring average since 1979. In the 14 games last week, 39 holding penalties were called, and scoring went down. The 2.78 holding penalties per game was the highest by far this season. In times when the number of holding penalties is low, games are played faster, completion percentages increase for quarterbacks and defensive ends struggle to get sacks. How it will be called this weekend should be interesting.

Edwards sets example: Chiefs coach Herman Edwards deactivated halfback Larry Johnson for two reasons: One, he wanted to get Johnson's attention for apparently being late or missing a meeting. Edwards insists this has nothing to do with the assault charge on Johnson from last February, the third assault charge against him in the past few years. The other reason Edwards deactivated Johnson is to make sure he isn't setting a bad example to the Chiefs' young players. Kansas City has one of the league's youngest rosters and Edwards wants to hold players accountable for bad actions.

McCargo's days numbered: The Bills accepted defensive tackle John McCargo back after his trade to the Indianapolis Colts was voided because of a bulging disk but it will be interesting to see how long he remains in Buffalo. The trading deadline is over, so he can't go anywhere. Coaches took a few public shots at McCargo so it's pretty clear they don't want him back. Expect him to be released pretty quickly.

Johnson should play: It would be stunning if the Cowboys let Tony Romo play with a broken pinky. First, he risks making the injury worse and eventually forcing surgery. Second, he's among the league leaders in fumbles with six. Taking snaps from center and being hit on the hand would surely lead to more fumbles in the next couple of weeks. Brad Johnson handled all the first-team snaps Thursday in practice. It would be a major upset if he doesn't start.


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