Tuesday, November 22, 2005

NFL Thoughts: Week 11

I just want to again say how much I love the technology of Tivo. I can watch four full games in the time it would take to watch one. It's a marriage saver. Some thoughts then on some games I watched and some that I just caught highlights of:

The Rams were lit up by the Cardinals. Their defense is so bad it's painful to watch. I do think the Rams would have hung with the Cards had Bulger not gone down (again). He was having a nice game and when he got hurt every Ram fan watching as well as every Ram player (including backup QB Jamie Martin) thought to themselves, "oh sh--, we're screwed".
Warner had a good day, which must have felt nice against St. Louis. Don't get used to it Arizona fans. I'll always be a fan of his because of what he did as a Ram but the thumb injuries and and some bad habits have made Kurt into one of the most unreliable starters out there.

- Who's brilliant idea was it to sign former Super Bowl loser Neil O'Donnell (Yes Neil was the loser---the Steelers did not lose that game to the Cowboys) on as color commentary dude ? Nobody did a test run with this guy before he was hired? Unbelievable. As I'm watching the Ram game, I listen to the two broadcasters and think to myself, "who's the guy that sounds like he's as intelligent as Anna Nicole Smith? " When I find out it's O'Donnell, I thought, "oh ok, that makes sense". Absolutely no real analysis of anything. Just observations that my 3 year old could make and some flat out stupid and ignorant commentary. Commenting about Ram wide-out Kevin Curtis (9 receptions, 98 yards) after he made a couple of catches, Neil quipped, "he's not the fastest of guys", then made the point that he was much like former Ram "possession" receiver, Ricky Proehl. He made this point a few times in the game, still telling us that Curtis wasn't very fast but had great hands. If O'Donnell had done any homework for this game or watched any Ram games before this, he would know that Curtis is one of the faster guys on the entire Ram team and one of the fastest wideouts in the league. My memo to Neil: Hey dumb ass, just because you're a slow white guy, that doesn't mean Curtis is too. --If O'Donnell does any Jacksonville Jaguar games in the future, he'll be sure to tell us how Byron Leftwich is not a very good pocket passer but he's one of the better running QBs in the league. Pure stupidity and ignorance really bug me.
ok then. moving on.

Being a Ram fan, I could make some kind of comment about Seattle almost losing to San Fran. But then I would have to point out that the 49ers played other teams pretty tough as well and in fact beat the Rams. I don't need to be that honest with myself.

I think Vick is playing pretty well but (and I apologize for sounding like a broken record here) the way he holds the ball (away from his body and many times down near his hip)while in the pocket (and sometimes out of it) leads to a lot of fumbles. Sometimes it doesn't hurt them, but against the Bucs it did.

- Carnell Williams seems to have gotten his legs back this week. It will take a lot of stress off Simms if that continues. They've got a brutal schedule left though with home games against Chicago and Atlanta and road games against New England and Carolina. You'd like to think that the two Saints games they have left would be gimmees but New Orleans has been playing Tampa pretty tough the last few years.

Two things on the Dolphins. 1. Their running backs are pretty decent. 2. Their quarterbacks--not so much. - They were just shut out by the Browns. Pass the Maloxx Nick.

I really like the Jaguars defense. They make the plays when it really counts. Nice game for Leftwich. He's tough, doesn't make a lot of stupid throws, and plays pretty well in the clutch. The Jags look like a lock for a wild card spot.

Harrington wasn't at his worst or his best. Same with Bledsoe. I'm glad I didn't watch this thing.

The Pats may have a few scares like this or even a loss or two before the season ends . But as long as Brady stays healthy, they'll be ready to make some noise once the playoffs start.

Lamont Jordan wanted the ball more. He's getting it (27 carries) but not doing much with it as this game proved (52 yards, 1.9 avg.).
- The Skins bubble is bursting. I think they're done as far as the playoffs go but they could still be a spoiler for someone else's hopes.

I was impressed with the Bengals offense after watching this game. Palmer is looking good but I want to see him have a few more games like this against good teams before I am a total believer. His stats are awesome though. It's not the Bengals fault that their schedule is full of creampuffs. Next year it will be tougher and we'll get a better idea of really how good these guys are.
-the Colts just keep cruising. I never thought I'd endorse anything resembling "Marty" ball but the Colts would have been better off getting a little more conservative at the end of each half. They try to drive with only a minute left and that leads to the interception and score for the Bengals in the first half. They had a two touchdown lead and suddenly it's only a one score game. Then at the end of the game they are again throwing on all 3 downs when it would have been better to at least run on 2nd down and get some time ran off the clock. As well as the Bengals played it shouldn't have been as close as it was.

I wonder if Denver apologized before the game to the Jets for what was about to occur.

-If your car situation at home was like the Jets quarterback situation it would go something like this:
Your (insert favorite kind of car here) that you thought was going to be so great turned out to not be very durable and in fact with all it's engine problems you are going to have to reluctantly junk it. Then your backup car is totaled in a parking lot but your not totally bummed because you were never very excited about driving it anyway. At the salvage yard you see a car that you used to have a few years back. It gave you some good memories and you thought, "what the hell, it still runs and maybe it could get me from work and back." After trying it out again you soon realize that it's breaking down also and really wasn't as good as you remembered. There was a reason it was sitting in the salvage yard.
Your getting a bit desperate now and the little scooter you have in the back of your garage is not going to be too fun in the winter. But what else are you going to do? So you pull it out only to find that it goes about 5 miles per hour, has wobbly steering and can't take the potholes. It's soon out of action as well.
What's left? Well.....Your daughter's bike with training wheels and streamers coming out of the handlebars is going to be awkward and humiliating to ride and you have to hope your fat ass doesn't pop the tires. You use gas money to buy some lottery tickets hoping to hit the big one so you can ride in style again someday. Ladies and Gentlemen: your 2005 NY Jets.

I'm sure Larry Johnson never wanted to see Priest Holmes injured but I'll bet he's not wasting any time worrying about it. LJ is getting all the carries now and his 211 yards against the Texans solidified his tenure as K.C's number 1 from now on.

Drew Brees is making any management decision that might move him out of San Diego after this season very unpopular with the Charger faithful. It will be interesting to see if he can play as well if Gates isn't back from injury soon. If he plays this way the rest of the way, I say they find a way to keep him, and Rivers is the one packing his bags.

Manning and Barber got back on track. The only question is which questionable team, the Giants or the Cowboys will falter down the stretch? Dallas' schedule looks slightly tougher and the law of averages with Drew Bledsoe may catch up to them. On the other hand I don't think the Giants defense is as good as the Cowboys.
-Stick a fork in the Eagles. They're done.

I think the Steelers have proved my point that a QB can be the difference between being a good team and being an average team. In case you were wondering, Tommy Maddox makes the Steelers an average team. -I'm surprised Randle El didn't get the nod at halftime. What I'm really surprised with is that Maddox once had his own cereal named after him. I'm pretty sure if kids in Pittsburgh tried this stuff now, they would be saying, "hey mom, these Tommy Gun Flakes suck."

Seeing this cereal box got me thinking though. What other football players have had their own morning snack named after them? A quick look revealed an odd assortment of players who all have something in common: They aren't the superstars of the league (those guys get the cover of Wheaties) but they are players who have or had a loyal following and are known for being tough and/or scrappy. I guess come morning, you don't want to bite into a spoonful of pansy. Anyway, here's a sampling:

- Mike "Alstott's A-Train Express"- seems like a better name for a laxative than a cereal.

-Doug Flutie's "Flutie Flakes". The name is simple and catchy. Keeping them on the spoon is another matter. (They're slippery little buggers).

-Ed McCafferty's honey nut toasted oats called, "Ed's Endzone". Check inside the box, you may have won dinner with John Elway. Call Ed (not John) for details.

-Wayne Chrebet's "Chrebet Crunch". Odd foreshadowing of things to come. And just a note on Chrebet's career if he is done for good---I thought this guy was one of the best recievers to ever play in the city of NY.

I'm trying to decide which is more frightening, Kyle Orton's beard or the Bears' defense. It's the beard, but not by much. The defensive lineman had 8 sacks in this game. That's unreal. Their defense is so good that they are winning games in spite of their offense. Reminds me of the Ravens a few years back. Can the Rams have Lovie Smith back yet?

How many times have we seen that look on Favre's face this year? You know, the one he has at the end of the game and the Pack are going down in flames. Yeah the same one he had against the Vikings as another field goal sails through the uprights and hands Green Bay another heartbreaking loss. He gives that little shake of his head and blank stare of disbelief. It's hard to watch. I'm a sucker like many, who want Favre to do well. I used to hate the Pack when they were winning in the mid 90's. As I watched Favre a little more and began to appreciate him with his humor, enthusiasm for the game, laid back style, and gunslinger mentality, he began to grow on me until I was transformed from a Packer hater into a casual fan. I know the media and many others (including me) give him a free pass when he should be roasted just like other QBs that have bad games or bad seasons. But it's because he's a good guy and people can relate to him more than they can guys like T.O. and Bill Romanowski (jerks). Most people genuinely like Favre and when you get to a Hall of Fame level and are likeable many are going to be hesitant to look for flaws. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying it's human nature. His praise to criticism ratio is definitely a bit skewed. You know what? I'm not losing sleep over it.


Sports Litter said...

Man I bet you have't seen a Jaguar game all season. Do not trust the highlights you see on ESPN. They are edited. Leftwich makes tons of awful throws. He just doesn't show up till the 3rd quarter ever! We had 0 total offense until about 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

The national media has a lovefest for Lord Byron. If only they actually watched our games.

I didn't finish the game last night. I was way too tired. But nice piece on the Pack.

The Zoner said...

Orton beard--scary. But Jake Delhomme will tell you Bears D is much scarier. Sacked only 12 times before the Bears game, the Bears nailed him 8 times!

Cutthroat Pirates said...

Wow what a weekend for football fans. How about Bears beating the Panthers. Which is great for me. How about my Bucs beating those Dirty Birds. The best game was Colts and Bengals, what a game. I feel for Dolphin fans, what has happened to that team. I think they got a good coach, they just need a QB. Very good Blog Armchair. Have a great Thanksgiving. Go Lions

dolphinfan said...

The Bears defense is nasty! They are going to be a legit contender in the years to come. The Bengals are still over-rated, and could someone please loan my Dolphins a QB?

dolphinfan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
buster said...

Yes, I agree Ricky Williams is good. there qaurterback no so good, and there defense is okay.

buster said...

Yes, that is unreal to have 8 sacks in one game, man.

rf said...

Interesting post. I am an avid online gambler and fantasy sports player and place most of my bets online. I find the internet to be a great tool and even use resources like StatShark to help me make my picks. What a great sports forecastings tool.

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