Tuesday, December 18, 2007

NFL Thoughts:Week 15

---I'm happy for the Dolphins. I really am. With the way they were celebrating you would have thought they won the Super Bowl. But the smashing potential of a winless season does tend to make you giddy.

---San Diego is loaded at RB. When Tomlinson goes out of the game (rarely) Turner and Sproles are not a significant drop off.

---Seattle is in the playoffs and New Orleans might not get there. Yet I would definitely say the Saints are the better team. That's how it works though when you have a division as weak as the NFC West.

----If the Jets had any kind of an offense they could have won that game against New England.

---I thought the Colts might have been taking the Raiders for granted. Oakland played them pretty tough.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 14

--- I hope those teams with a solid QB really count their blessings. My Rams started Brock Berlin on Sunday. There is no way to appropriately discuss how I feel about that.

----Won't it be weird to have one team go undefeated in the same year a team goes winless? I wish I'd put money down on that one.

---It's good to see Drew Brees have another good game. But if the Saints miss the playoffs by one game they will kick themselves for blowing the first month of the season. Also, I would really like to see Reggie Bush return to his amazing self someday but there is a good chance he is just not good enough to be a feature back in the NFL. Obviously he has elusiveness, good hands, speed, and some toughness (despite being out for the rest of the season with injury). But I think he lacks a key element that a RB needs. That is: great vision between the tackles. Time and time again he makes the wrong decision about which hole to take, which block to stay behind and when to accelerate or slow down. Adrian Peterson on the other tends to do all these things right.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 13

---After the way David Garrard diced up the Indy secondary today I'm not too hopeful of the Colts chances of stopping the Pats in the playoffs if they meet.


---Just when you think Vince Young might turn into Michael Vick (all legs, no accuracy) he goes and has himself a nice couple of weekends in a row. We need to remember he is only a second year guy. If 2 years from now he is still as inconsistent as...oh say... Eli Manning...well, then he will deserve significant criticism....like Eli Manning .


---And yeah Eli engineered a good drive to win the game for the Giants today but his mistakes earlier in the game would have sealed New York's fate had they not been playing a punchless Chicago team.


---The Rams won at home this year for the first time! I'm microwaving popcorn tonight to celebrate. Yeah, I go all out.



---If Marvin Lewis keeps his job after this year then somebody ought to arrest the Bengals owner (in keeping with Cincy tradition).




---Cleveland was robbed at the end of their game against Arizona. If Winslow isn't pushed out then he comes down in bounds with a TD to win the game. Having said that, I don't blame the ref for not calling it the Browns way. It's one of the hardest judgement calls to make in real time and besides isn't everyone whining about Refs making iffy calls that decide the game. Maybe they ought to add that to the replay rules.





---Speaking of the Cardinals, they are only .500 this year but they seem a lot tougher under Whisenhunt. He brings a bit of the Steeler grit and guts to a team that was in desperate need of some testicular fortitude.


---I'm tempted to bash Sean Payton for a stupid called reverse that went bad and cost the Saints the game. But you know, on second thought, I've been ripping him all year for times when he gets conservative at the end of games or in 4th and short situations. I mean what if the reverse had gone great and they would have picked up the first down? Then he's be a gutsy coach who had the nuts to do something the other team would never expect. It went bad for the Saints but really what hasn't gone wrong for them this year? I look for them to rebound in 08 and become a contender again.




---The Cowboys looked good again. It would have been nice to see Favre healthy for the whole game but even had he played the whole game I'm not sure the result would have been different. Dallas might just be the second best team in the NFL. If Tony Romo wasn't so damn likable I would be horrified at that thought.


--- You know, I was a Cowboy fan from age 8 to age 25. So that partly explains my ability to get off the Dallas hate-wagon for a little while. When you have roots that go back that many years it's tough to completely shed them. I mean during the 1980s, Tony Dorsett was only topped by Daisy Dukes in my mind. I've really only been anti-Cowboy for the past ten years. The distastefulness of Jerry Jones and the attraction of a wide open St. Louis passing offense were mostly to blame for my traitorous turn away from Big D. Bringing Terrell Owens was like the cherry on top. But come to think of it, Terrell Owens hasn't made much noise this year at all. That in turn may also be affecting my willingness to let go of the hate. After being a major drama queen for 3 solid years (and a minor one for years prior to his Eagles stint) suddenly he has become a good teammate. I've listened to post-game interviews and he actually says all the right kind of cliches. Whats up with that? Maybe the winning is a big part of it. If things were to go bad for the Cowboys then we might see the old T.O. again. At any rate, I don't think I'm ready to return to my former loyalties, but lets just say if they were to play the Pats (a team that will always be on my crapola list) in the Super Bowl I'd break out the Dorsett jersey again. Although it might be a little tight considering I wore it in the 5th grade.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 12

---The Rams/Seahawks game just perfectly captures the theme for St. Louis the past couple of years. Down on the goal line they fumbled a perfectly winnable game away just like they've squandered an opportunity to dominate a weak division the past two years. It's pathetic.

----I've got to agree with Don Banks for Si.com about Eli Manning. He's mediocre and likely will never rise above that label. This a guy who every once in a while can put together a great game and make people think, "oh yeah that's why we drafted him....that and because his last name is Manning". The Vikings ought to send Eli a busload of roses for handing them this week's game.

----I'm pretty sure the Broncos Mike Shannahan should never have the word genius attached to his name again. Devin Hester's two TDs prove that. Didn't you get the memo Mike that nobody is kicking to this guy anymore?

---In the past Brett Favre passing too much has led to disaster. Not this year. His running game isn't as atrocious as rumored but it's still up to him to win games and this year it's happening. I like it.

---I like the three games on Thanksgiving. My wife is like, "what ? football again? You've been watching it all day" . I'm like, "yeah, so? It's Thanksgiving". End of discussion.


--damn the Patriots. Eagles almost had them.
---

Sunday, November 18, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 11

This being Thanksgiving week and all, I should be thankful for a few things.

---I'm thankful for the Patriots. Seriously. I mean I hate them and all but at least they have helped me define true evil.

---I'm thankful the Rams beat the 49ers. We still get to count it as victory right?

---I'm thankful for the Packers. At least there is one team in the NFC I can be happy about.

---This isn't NFL related, but I'm thankful for the season Alabama is having. Looked good in the beginning but now the wheels are falling off. Couldn't happen to a bigger dork---unless it was Belichick---Congrats on really bringing your pizazz to the SEC this year Nick Saban. Here's hoping you destroy that program like you destroyed the Dolphins.

---I'm thankful for Tony Romo. Being the hater I am, usually the Cowboys rate pretty high on my "wishing for all bad things to happen to them" scale. Romo actually has me watching him play sometimes and currently the Cowboys are only at "slightly dislike".

---I'm thankful for Willie Parker. Draft picks can be overrated.

--I'm thankful for pie. Whoever invented pie should automatically make it to Heaven no questions asked. Oh and whoever made pie a Thanksgiving staple should also be given serious consideration at the pearly gates. I love Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 12, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 10

---I'm not even going to try to make sense of the Colt's debacle. I will say that I agree with Charger running backLadainian Tomlinson's assessment of his team from a couple of weeks back. He said, "we're not an elite team". Uh ..no kidding. The Colts miss two field goals (one a gimmee) and Manning throws 5 meaningful picks (6 total) and you barely escape with a win after Vinatieri misses the above mentioned gimme 26 yarder? You are anything but elite San Diego. But stay classy anyway.

---The Rams won. And holy crap-- they actually looked like the team I thought they were. They are who I thought they were! .....sorry about that Dennis Green moment there. But seriously, Bulger looked somewhat decent. Now if he would get serious and start earning his money maybe the Rams could hope for a light at the end of the tunnel.

---Anyone read the Bill Simmons article where he whines about the Colts-Pats game. I usually like his stuff but I'm so sick of Patriot fans and their sense of "injustice". Shut up you freaking cheaters!

---I hope Adrian Peterson's injury heals fast. I like him.

---I'm not buying the Steelers yet.

---I like the Packers and considering how weak the NFC is I definitely think they have at a shot at going to the Superbowl. But does anyone see the NFC pulling an upset of the Patriots (or if there is any justice in this world, the Colts)? I don't.

---There were so many unwatchable games this past week that I am seriously considering not renewing my NFL DirectTV ticket next year. With the quality of games (or lack of) lately in the NFL, it's just not worth the money. I mean really, I could be spending this money on therapy bills, Anne of Green Gables Box DVD sets, Star Wars action figures, or other meaningful pursuits.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 9

---Mercifully, the Rams were off this week. This season is killing me. The NFC West division was ripe for the picking and yet Scott Linehan can't get this team on track. I'm ready for a new coach.

---This isn't exactly news but guess what? Randy Moss is the biggest reason the Patriots are dominating this year. Brady never used to heave balls up the way he does now. He knows his big receiver is going to come down with it. I think maybe he thought Stallworth was Moss on that bomb play he was intercepted on against the Colts. Moss changes everything. Also, did you see Dungy get dissed by Belichick ...I mean Belidick....at the end of the game? What an ass this guy is. I seriously want to see this guy go down. The level of hate is reaching epic proportions.

---Adrian Peterson is blowing my mind. Think about the hype of Reggie Bush and what he has accomplished as a runner and then think about Adrian Peterson. Peterson certainly had many admirers and going 7th in the draft does not really qualify as coming out of nowhere, but my goodness he has turned out to be awesome and exceeded all expectations. Bush seemed to take every other carry to the endzone in college and yet in the pros his longest run is 22 yards. Peterson now has multiple TD runs over 50 yards. I like Reggie Bush so I'm really not ripping on him as much as I am in awe of what Peterson is doing as a rookie. Almost 300 yards rushing against the Chargers, a defense that a year ago was being discussed as one of the best in the NFL. That incredible.


---It's time to start John Beck in Miami. Let's see what the BYU product can do.

---I'm having trouble believing that was the Baltimore defense last night. I guess having no offense year in and year out can wear on you.


---The Packers continue to surprise. I think 3 things are responsible. They have drafted well in terms of defensive players. Their defense is solid. Second, their offensive line is playing better. Favre has more time than he has had in the past few years. Third, Favre is playing better. It all equals a team that is surprising a few people, including Favre himself.

---Speaking of surprises, how about Derek Anderson of the Browns? Nice job of keeping Brady Quinn on the bench.

--The Chargers Philip Rivers is regressing instead of progressing. Even though Drew Brees had early season troubles I am still of the opinion that San Diego bet on the wrong guy. I know Rivers is young and still learning but when I watch him I just don't get the feeling that he will ever be an elite QB. And if the Colts and Pats have taught us anything the last few years it is that you need an elite QB to compete for the championship year in and year out. You might be able to squeeze into a Super Bowl on an occasional year (like the Bears, Ravens, Seahawks, etc., etc.) but if you want to be a threat consistently you have got to have a star QB. It's that simple. Ladainian Tomlinson is learning that the hard way.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 8

---During the offseason I had high hopes for the Rams. I thought this might be the year to take a weak division. At worst I thought they might be a .500 team. Not in my wildest dreams did I think they would be worse than the Raiders and Browns. So do I start looking to the draft yet? Somebody shoot me please. Actually don't shoot me. That's just a figure of speech you know. But seriously somebody shoot me please.

----How sick am I? It's Sunday, a fairly religious day in the Christian world and yet I'm watching part of the Patriots game (I don't know why I torture myself) and I'm praying for Brady to suffer a broken leg and Belichick to be taken out hard on some play going out of bounds. I'm mean I really want them both physically hurt. I'm not well. My Rams are 0-8. Did I mention that?

---My prediction for the big game next week: I think the Colts will make it competitive but it will still be a 14 to 21 point victory for the Pats. Think back to the playoffs last year. The Patriots almost beat them with crappy receivers. A few bounces went the Colts way and a few bounces went against New England. It could very easily have ended differently. Now the Pats have the weapons and I just can't see enough breaks going the Colts way. Believe me I wish I could see it differently but the Colts are playing great football and the Pats are playing superhero type football. It's like they are Batman and the Colts are Robin. Unless the injury bug hits New England (new voodoo dolls are being worked on--trust me) and/or they sit their starters for the last game of the season, they will smash through the regular and post-season undefeated. Bastards.

---What a crappy game in London. But what the hell, I mean the Brits are used to seeing boring games. They get low scoring snore-fests on a regular basis with their own version of "football".

---I can't believe how uninteresting the teams are in the NFL season are this season. The Chargers and Saints are starting to show some life which is encouraging but there are so many uninspiring teams out there that my NFL Sunday ticket on Direct TV is really being wasted. I just don't care about many of the teams or players. This is the season that will finally drive me to playing fantasy football. I've resisted for years but I can tell that with my Rams abysmally bad for the foreseeable future I'm going to need something to get me more excited about my favorite sport.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 7

This post is negative enough to cause my wife to ask me if I'm in need of some Prosac. She might have a point. On to my whining:



--I'm starting to think like Greg Easterbrook (Tuesday Morning Quarterback--ESPN). I'm noticing coaches who get gutless on 4th down. The Saints punted today in the first half when they had a 4th and 3 at the Atlanta 34 yard line! You read that right. They were only 14 yards away from where the Falcons would get the ball if the punt goes into the end zone! To quote Vince Lombardi, "what the hell is going on out here?!" ---This makes me want to end every sentence in exclamation marks!! How does a coach ever make a decision like that? I mean doesn't another coach or even the QB himself shake the coach and say, "dude what are you thinking? That's nuts!". I can understand not going for a 51 yard field goal but when you have less than 5 yards for a first down why the hell don't you go for it? I mean even if you fail you leave the Falcons with 65+ yards to go for a Touchdown. It's not like you are giving them great field position.


---Moving on.......is it too late to take back that contract extension for Mark Bulger?

---Speaking of which, Seattle is probably wondering why they decided to hang on to Alexander now that he seems headed in the direction of becoming a 30 year old running back cliche .

---Holy meltdown. What a pile of doo-doo the Jets laid on the field for their second half. The Bengals deserve credit for taking advantage of it but how do you sleep after losing that game if you're NY?

---I'm required to say something nasty about the Patriots right about here. After their performance today I don't know what to say. Wait....yes I do. I hope every single one of them burns in hell. There-- that works for me.

---Oh crap..... I guess I'm not through talking about the Pats. I have to say that each week it's like their evil mastery of the game of football seems to render every other game meaningless. Everybody else is just playing for paychecks this year. At least it seems that way so far. The only thing that gives me a sliver of hope is the fact that the past couple of years the Super Bowl champion is a team that in mid-November I said, "well there is no way in hell that team will be playing past Christmas". I mean seriously, two years ago the Steelers were lucky to even get in the playoffs. Then they rolled through them. Last year the Colts (who had been many people's favorites two straight years prior to that) were good as always on offense but their defense was so bad that you would have been crazy to predict a strong playoff run. Then somebody on their team (I'm guessing not Dungy--but quite possibly Manning) sold their soul to the devil and their defense transformed into the "Steel Curtain" of the 70's.
Anyway my point is that things have been pretty weird the past couple of years. So I'm hoping things continue in that vein. The bucket of urine for this ray of hope that I'm spouting is the depressingly annoying Patriots themselves. They seem to be unstoppable. I don't remember a team being talked about this way since the 1985 Bears. And I was in Middle School at the time so my memory is admittedly suspect. Still, I remember people talking about them being the one of the greatest teams of all time. And this was even before Halloween that year. This Patriots team has that same feel to it.


--Also, anyone watch those poker tourneys on ESPN or other cable channels? Don't the Pats remind you of Poker star, Phil Helmuth? So good--and he knows it, but everyone in the room would love to see somebody knock him out. And I'm not talking about out of the tourney. I'm seeing many parallels here.








---I can't stop bitching about this team. I just can't. I have to say one more thing about these minions of Satan and their fan base. In fact it pertains to one of their most well know fans, Bill Simmons. I'm getting pretty annoyed with the whole martyr act he, other Pats fans, and the team itself is putting on. Because they got caught cheating, and a few people wondered if they may have been cheating during their Super Bowl years ( a perfectly valid question) they are acting like victims of some cruel conspiracy. The "We'll show you" attitude is childish, and aggravating. It's like they somehow they feel they've been wronged instead of admitting the fact that it was their team and specifically their coach that did something wrong. Just one more reason to hate these weenies.


--I think I'm done venting about "that team". My Rams are pitiful and I'll admit my frustration with them has led me to direct my anger towards teams, players and coaches that I really dislike. I've got to stop though because I'm not enjoying this season at all. You can probably sense that in these negative posts.
---On a positive note, the wife told me she needs to relieve some stress tonight. She winked at me when she said that. I think that's a good thing. ----And with that I've left some of you in need of some Prosac.

Monday, October 15, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 6

Some brief thoughts on week 6:


---Brady and the Pats are so far above any other QB and team this year that it's downright ridiculous. But their coach is still a dick. Belichick is intent on proving he's not only a cheat but that he's a gutless bastard with absolutely no moral compass as well. His desire to run up the score on Wade Philips shows just how petty of a man he is. What an ass. I know there's not much of a chance of it happening this year, but I hope karma really comes back to bite him in the nutsack.


---My Rams are unwatchable.


---Finally, some vintage stuff from Reggie Bush this year.


---Donovon McNabb needs to keep throwing it to Kevin Curtis. Good things happen when he does.

---The Browns are an offensive juggernaut. How is this not a bigger story?

---Marvin Lewis should probably be fired this season if the Bengals don't start playing better. They have way too much talent for them to be under .500

---I'm liking Adrian Peterson more and more. He reminds me of Eric Dickerson.

Monday, October 08, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 5

Some random thoughts rolling around in my head after this past weekend:



---My Rams are still horrible this year but at least they scored some TDs this week. In fact maybe the outcome of their game with the Cardinals would have been different had the refs not totally screwed the Rams on a replay challenge. I mean how blind do they have to be to not see that Edgerrin James fumbled before he got into the end zone? And if they did believe he fumbled before hitting the goal line then they obviously missed the next call which was that the Rams recovered the ball in the endzone. A Cardinal eventually came up with the ball but not until the Ram player had possession, was down and then lost the ball. Either way the replay was clear on both points. It's not one of those plays where they lacked indisputable proof. It doesn't get any more indisputable! %$#&*! I'm still foaming at the mouth over this. Replay is supposed to fix that kind of crap! It's not the only reason the Rams lost, but how can you say a 7 point swing is not critical to a game. The Cards won by 3. I'm going to shut up now before I hyperventilate.



----The only way the Patriots are being stopped this year is if someone hires a hitman to take out Brady's knees. Sort of like a Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding thing (look it up if these names make no sense). Seriously Brady cannot be stopped without intervention. What?! I'm not advocating it. I'm just saying.



---Who the hell is impersonating Drew Brees this season? That can't be the same guy who was so solid for the Chargers and downright awesome last year for the Saints. I'm baffled with the Saints and Brees especially. I know his receivers dropped some balls yesterday, but let's face it; he looks bad. In fact if we were evaluating who looks better: me in the shower or Brees on a football field, I'd probably edge him out. Considering how I look in the buff that's saying something.




---And speaking of the Saints, it's official now. Reggie Bush is a huge disappointment. When does he hit official "Bust" status? It's looming closer and closer.



--- I can't believe the Packers lost that game. They gave it away! Truly a time when a team doesn't win as much as the other team lost.



----As an ex-kicker I can feel some joy towards Texans kicker Chris Brown. If any kicker ever deserves a game ball he does. 5 field goals with 2 of them 54 yards and a nail in the coffin kick of 57 yards. Wow.


---The Chargers Michael Turner has to be a bit frustrated. Every time he gets in the game he does well. He's obviously a talented runner. But he's 25 years old, and going into his 4th year. Even if he gets a free agent deal after this season, he'll be lucky to get 3-4 years as the number one guy. That's more than many running backs get I know, but if he's as talented as it seems, it's not long enough.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Mooning over Mike Martz

Seth Wikersham has an article today on ESPN.com that I found interesting. He talks about how Mike Martz is doing well in Detroit and St. Louis fans have to be yearning to have Martz back now that the Ram offense is in shambles under head coach Scott Linehan.
He has one thing right. We Ram fans do yearn for the "greatest show on turf". But Martz as a head coach? Never. Martz is a great offensive coordinator as Detroit is finding out. But he sucks as a head coach. He can't handle all the responsibilities. He calls timeouts when he shouldn't, he can't manage the clock or an overall game plan, and he looks like and talks like a pedophile.

Sorry , that last one has no relevance.

Still true though.

Anyway, Detroit (and teams that are head coach hunting) should not forget the lessons we Rams fans have learned. That is that Martz can't multi-task. He's good at one thing. Offense. That's it. If you get sucked into the idea that he's smart at offense so he could be smart in other things too, you'll be in for many frustrating days to come. Not to mention if he gets a head coaching gig he'll start doing press conferences again and you don't want that. On a creepiness scale Martz ranks right up there with Shanahan and Belichick. Trust me on this.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 4

---I hate to say this but I'm not going to Tivo my Rams this coming weekend (first time since I got the NFL Sunday ticket). I'm not abandoning them as a fan but I'm not the type of person who likes to watch train wrecks. I've got plenty of other ways to torture myself so I'm going to watch games that don't inspire me to stick my head in an oven.


---speaking of which, I also refuse to watch Patriot games. I'm mad as hell that Randy Moss is on their team this year. This might go down in history as the greatest team ever. It makes me sick to my stomach.

---On a positive note Green Bay is doing well, which means Favre is doing well and that's always nice. I like Favre but it was pretty annoying to watch the media (who love Favre too) elevate him to God-like status even when he was playing terrible. Everybody was making excuses for him. At least when he is playing well the love sounds more legitimate. Did you read about Terry Bradshaw's man-crush on Favre though? He wrote this week that Favre's the best QB ever. Huh? Hall of famer? Yes. Better than Marino? Yes. Best ever? Not even close. Montana, Brady, Elway, & maybe Manning rank above Favre in my mind. I could see maybe calling him the best QB in the game for a couple of years (96-97) but that's all. Having said that, I'm still a Favre fan and I'm enjoying his resurgence.

---And you know what....people have been comparing Tony Romo to Favre lately. And I get it. I see it too. He's plays with a bit of recklessness and he genuinely looks like he's having fun playing the game. I have been anti-Cowboys for a few years now but even I like Romo. He's fun to watch and if not for the fact that Dalls still has Jerry Jones and Terrell Owens, I might actully like Romo's team.


---I say don't pile on Brian Griese yet. I still think he's an upgrade for Chicago. He's rusty but I believe he'll get better.


----Is Donovan McNabb bi-polar? His line was in shambles but he still looked terrible on so many of his throws.

---Cleveland has morphed into the Colts the past couple of weeks and I'm wondering which member of the organization sold his sould to Satan for that to happen.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 3

Some belated thoughts on this past week's NFL action:



---Lost in all the hoopla about Donovan McNabb's resurgence and "stick it to his critics" performance was the fantastic game of my favorite player (and fellow alum of Snow College and Utah State University) Kevin Curtis. He had 200 freaking yards receiving in the first half! Curtis is fast and pretty sure handed so McNabb would do well to keep slinging it his way. Being a Rams fan, I am obviously a big supporter of Isaac Bruce, but I still think it was a mistake for them to re-sign Isaac instead of making Curtis their number 2 receiver. He wasn't going to stick around forever and remain the 3rd option. The Eagles figured he's a number 1 or 2 receiver and I agree. Naturally I'm biased with him having a similar background to me. I feel like I'm rooting for my brother in some ways. Still you can't ignore the fact that when the ball is thrown his way he produces.


---Speaking of the Rams, I'm thinking of wearing a bag over my head in my living room this week as I watch the game. It's getting pretty pathetic. I don't know what Linehan is doing to this team but I never thought there would be a day I'd actually be recalling the Mike Martz era with fondness. In fact I remember thinking to myself that Hell would have to freeze over first before that day would come. You know what?.... it's chilly but at least I have the minions of Lucifer to keep me company.







---Green Bay's Brett Favre is talking about how he's listening to coaches this season about taking care of the ball. It seems to be working. He's had a great first three games and the Pack are right now in control of the division. My question is why couldn't he buy into the whole "study film hard and play smart" attitude the past 5 years? I'm a big fan of Favre and I feel like he has always given it his all on the field but that his preparation and willingness to listen to coaches has been at times lacking. He's a Hall of Famer and granted he hasn't exactly been playing with fellow Hall members the past few years (sometimes he's tried to do too much to compensate) , but he I think he also has missed a coach like Holmgren who could reign him in a bit and demand a bit more focus. Anyway, I'm hoping Favre and the Packers keep it up. It's nice to see them winning.




---The Bears Lovie Smith is stubborn to a fault. Grossman should have been benched long ago. Griese is no savior but I think if Smith gives him the same loyalty he gave Grossman, he will prove a more steady QB. With the opportunistic defense that Chicago has, steady is what they need.





---The Patriots just might go undefeated this season. The one thing that burns me up though is the fact that they have a creampuff division year in and year out. They have six games with division cupcakes every year that are almost always automatic wins. Sure the Jets, Dolphins, or Bills might occasionally take a game. But it's rare and you know the serial killer (Belichick) just cackles maniacally in his secret room at home (where he stashes all cheating materials and few dead bodies) when he gets out the schedule and sees a division foe coming up.



---I'm not sure what to think of the Steelers or Cowboys. Good teams? Probably. Super Bowl contenders? I'm in wait and see mode.


---I don't think it's panic time yet for the Bengals and Chargers. However, if they lose their next games they ought to hit the red button. The Saints should have been hitting that button at halftime this past weekend.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 2

A few musings about this week's action:


---Right about now folks are getting sick of the Belichick taping scandal. I could care less. It's not like it's a surprise that Belichick is an ass. He's not the only one cheating. Probably just the one that's doing it the most and with the most defiance about it. I had to laugh at the Commissioner's appearance on NBC tonight. He's smoking crack if he thinks Belichick is giving up any of their other cheating tapes. But you know none of it really matters. Cheating or not cheating, the Pats will be obliterating teams this year. The Chargers are the victims this week. But the NFL should be warned. The Patriots are going to own the league this year. Bastards. If they don't win every game by at least two TDs it will be a minor upset. I see them having a shot at an undefeated season and and then throttling their Super Bowl opponent. I hate them. I really hate them.

---It's really too bad that a there are a few teams out there that have championship quality teams but lack a top shelf QB. The Charger's Philip Rivers doesn't look quite ready to take his team to the promised land. I mean he could get there at some point but by the time he does the Chargers window may be closed. And the Bears and Lovie Smith are the only ones in America that believe Rex Grossman = championship. The delusion has to end soon right?

---The Titans impressed me. I've never been a Vince Young fan and I never will be, but I have to admit he has that "it" factor about him. I'm not sure what the hell I mean by that but he definitely has the ability to scare you in a tight game. And there aren't too many QBs out there that can do that. Their defense played Manning pretty tough too. They might just be a Wild Card contender in the AFC.

---I sure wish I had Tivoed the Browns/Bengals game. What does it say about the Bengals Defense that Cleveland hung 51 points on them? Are the Browns that much better with Anderson leading them? Or does the Bengals defense suck that bad? I'm leaning toward the latter. Still a fun game. Maybe the NFL channel will replay it this week.

---My Rams lose to San Fran. Again. They shoot themselves in the foot multiple times. Again. (sigh) ---When a division sucks as bad as the NFC West does, it just seems like such a waste.

---At least the Seahawks lost. Do I have to worry about the Cardinals now?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Week 1

Some very brief thoughts about this past weekend's NFL action:

  • I loved the Cowboys/Giants game. I would have rather seen the Giants win the game and T.O. have zero catches or TDs but I'll take a high scoring game anyday of the week.

  • Why do my Rams lose so many games they should win? Carolina played a decent game but the Rams sure helped them out a lot. Jackson fumbled twice killing key drive and Bulger was uncharacteristically innacurate. The defense is going to be enough of a challenge this year, we don't need the offense to become Bears/Ravens like.

  • The Patriots spying techniques are no surprise. I bet there are many teams, if not all that try to steal coach's signs. That's why offensive coaches put ther play sheets over their mouths when talking to the QB. And by the way isn't that kind of dumb too? I mean what if you have a nice laminated play sheet and someone with a zoomed in lens gets a shot of your plays while you have it held up to your face? And I guess the whole point of holding it up in front of your face is because of the idea that defenses watch how long the coach talks when sending in the play. If it's short, it's a run. A pass play takes longer to signal in because the verbage is more complex. So if that's the case, don't the defenses now just see how long the coach keeps the card in front of his face? Depending on how long he talks behind the card, that will determine the play call right? How exactly does it help? I've watched the coaches and I doubt they are holding the card up longer than necessary just to fool defenses. They have too much else on their mind to get that smart.

  • And by the way, the Patriots were everything I feared they would be. May they burn in hell. You have to wonder if Brady would have a couple more Super Bowl rings if they (meaning Bellichick) hadn't been so damn smug about themselves the past few years, thinking they could win with anybody that threw a uniform on for them. Now Brady has his own personal wet dream for an offense and I couldn't be sicker about it. Exuse me while I vomit.

  • Paging Loving Smith......um....Rex Grossman sucks.......

  • I was disappointed in the Saint's performance. That was not the Drew Brees I know.

  • It's good to have the NFL back for another year in my life. I still have not bowed to the fantasy football addiction. Perhaps next year I'll give it a try. I just know that if I get into it, I'd be a psycho. Not that I'm normal anyway.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

An Armchair NFL Preview

Before the season starts I thought I'd post my thoughts on how the division races will go.

AFC East

Who I think will win: NE Patriots
Who I want to win: Buff. Bills
The Skinny: Brady is still awesome and now he has weapons. Their defense will be tough too. The Jets may make a run which would be nice. The Patriots have had a free ride in this division for too long.

AFC North

Who I think will win:
Cincinnati Bengals
Who I want to win: Bengals
The Skinny: I know Baltimore is the better pick here with a defense that never seems to decline but Billick has never recreated the offensive magic he had in Minnesota. Can you imagine how many games the Ravens would have won if they had the Bengals offense of the past two years. I like the Bengals to score a ton of points this year and hang on.

AFC South

Who I think will win: Ind. Colts
Who I want to win: Ind. Colts
Skinny: As long as Manning is running the ship they should be fine. The rest of this division is an enigma.


AFC West

Who I think will win:
S.D. Chargers
Who I want to win: S. D. Chargers
Skinny: The Chargers may not win as many games as last year, but they should still take this division handily. Denver may chase them but I think Cutler is still a year or two shy of being ready for the big time

NFC East

Who I think will win: Phil. Eagles
Who I want to win: Phil. Eagles
Skinny: If McNabb can stay healthy I think they edge the Cowboys. If he goes down though all bets are off. I know Garcia led them last year to success but Kevin Kolb is a rookie and I wouldn't want to bet my life savings on him doing the same thing.

NFC North

Who I think will win: Chicago Bears
Who I want to win: Green Bay Packers
Skinny: Even if Grossman sucks again, Griese is a decent option for them. They should be good enough to slip by the Lions, Packers & Vikings who all should be better than they were last year.

NFC South

Who I think will win: N.O. Saints
Who I want to win: N.O. Saints
Skinny: How can you not like Drew Brees. He's a stud and if he can replicate last year they should torch some teams. Bush, McCallister & Colston give him options and if their defense can improve slightly they will be tough to beat.

NFC West

Who I think will win: Seattle Seahawks (dammit)
Who I want to win: St. Louis Rams
Skinny: My Rams need some serious improvement on defense and I hope the rookie Carriker can help out with that. Their offense should be fine but I've seen too many games that they should have won the past couple of years to pick them first. Seattle just does enough to handle this division. It's scary for me that the Cardinals and 49ers are getting better as well. Its been nice the past few years to count them out before they even played.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Still Here

Hey there. I've been negligent on my blog here and I apologize. I'm a dork. I have gone through some major career changes this summer. In fact, I'm just like Michael Vick with my career heading south faster than you can say federal penitentiary. Except I'm not going to jail, haven't tortured dogs to death, and I think I might be able to hit a 10 yard out pattern better than he can. Anyway, the blog has taken a backseat to my attempts to put bread (and pop tarts) on the table for my family. As soon as I get my head on straight, wait....check that.....that's not going to happen.....as soon as I get a little more time, I'll be back in force. I mean the football season's here for hell's sake. I've got to have somewhere to rant about stupid coaching decisions and the magnificence of Tory Holt.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Utah Jazz: Just when I thought I was out....


....they pull me back in. I've been a Jazz fan since I was a kid in the days of Adrian Dantley (ouch). But for my own sanity I often keep them at arms length. Still, this season has been a pleasant surprise. Even with their late season meltdown they have kept me entertained with a hard-nosed 7 game series in Houston and now 2 great games against Golden State. I think they'll struggle in Oakland but whatever happens the rest of the post-season, I've got to find a way to enjoy it without going crazy.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A Couple of NFL Draft Thoughts

-Quinn, Quinn, Quinnn.....I wonder if JaMarcus Russell is pissed that even though he was the number one pick, Brady Quinn still managed to steal his thunder on draft day. Russell got his 15 minutes on the clock and then it was the Quinn show the rest of the day. I guess I'll chime in with my two cents and it probably echoes what other people have said. I don't know if Brady Quinn is going to be a bust or a star. I mean he's going to be playing the toughest position in all of sports so how can anyone really know. But what I do know is that Miami, Tampa, Washington, Minnesota, Houston, Buffalo, NY Jets, Green Bay, and Jacksonville, and yes even the Lions, are all going to feel pretty silly if he turns out to be a Pro-Bowler in the next couple of years and they are still searching for somebody that can hit a crossing pattern.

-The Patriots finally figured out they can't rely solely on Tom Brady anymore and subsequently they loaded their team up for next season. Meanwhile with the Colts losing defensive players at the same rate my hairline is receding (hyperspeed), why the hell did they use their first two picks on offensive players and ignore the defense? Maybe they really love the guys they got in the later rounds. Or maybe they have been suckered in by the fact that even though their defense sucked donkeys the entire 2006 season somehow they managed to pull it together for the post-season. I can't help but think they are fooling themselves.



-

Monday, April 09, 2007

Tiger Woods: The Glaring Hole in his Resume

It's tough to criticize Tiger Wood's career. I mean he just might be the greatest golfer that ever lived. And if you don't agree with that statement (Ben Hogan, Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus lovers) then you at least have to admit that it's up for discussion. His record in major tournaments speaks for itself. He's won 12 of them and he's only 31 years old. If he played more tournaments a year (he takes quite a few off) his career tournament wins would be even sicker than it is currently. He's the greatest closer out there. If he's up in a tourney heading into Sunday you can forget about it. It's in the bag. Having said all this, if we wanted to nitpick (which I plan to do) there is one obvious area where Tiger Woods has failed. One place that he has yet to go. One striking statistic on his record that gives the naysayers a little ammunition when discussing the greatest golfer ever.


It's this: --Tiger Woods has never come from behind to win a major tournament. When he is behind going into the final day he has never won the Masters, U.S. Open, the British Open, or the PGA Championship. Look it up. He has always had the lead or a share of the lead.


Doesn't sound so bad does it? Well actually yes it does. When we measure greatness we tend to include that tiny matter of a champion being down and getting back up. Michael Jordan did it. Muhammad Ali did it. Joe Montana did it. It's the classic archetype. We love the story of the a champion who is down but not out. Unfortunately for us, as yesterday's Masters Tournament showed, Tiger Woods has yet to write that ending.


Still, his career is not finished. He has a few more entries to be made. I personally hope he fixes the rather gaping hole in his resume before he's done.

Friday, March 30, 2007

What if Pokey Chatman were a guy?

This LSU women's basketball coach scandal is very interesting. Interesting to me because I think about the idea of "what if it happened in the men's hoop game"? It would be story that is 100 times bigger. For those that aren't aware the former LSU's women's basketball coach, Pokey Chatman resigned under suspicious circumstances, and published reports are that those circumstances dealt with the fact that she was having sexual relations with a former player (while the player was on the team). Now LSU is in the women's Final Four. Think about if this was Florida's Billy Donovan that was accused of the same impropriety. We would be talking about nothing else! As it is, we hear about the LSU story but it's not really front page material. My guess is that has to do with the fact that people accept and even expect a certain amount of "gayness" in women's sports. Because of that we are glossing over the huge fact that Pokey Chatman was getting it on with one of her OWN players! Regardless of your feelings about homosexuality, coach/player intimate relations is a huge taboo and is an absolute outrage. She shouldn't have been able to resign with money still coming her way. She should have the book thrown at her. I don't care if she ever ends up partners or married to this player (who is an adult), it's still something that shouldn't occur in a team setting. If Billy Donovan did this he could never show his face again. Ever! Reports are out there that Pokey Chatman is basically in hiding over this. Sure she's facing some embarrassment and other negative press over this. In my mind she should be facing much worse.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Hoyas and Joe Theismann

-I was ecstatic about the Georgetown/North Carolina game. I've been a Hoya fan as far back as the Pat Ewing days and I absolutely loathe the North Carolina Tar Heels. People ask me how I can possibly like the Duke Blue Devils. I always respond the same way. "Because I hate NC". It's kinda of an either or with those teams. Anyway, I loved the game. I thought Hibbert and Jeff Green were the difference makers. I'm looking forward to the Ohio St. game.

- On a football note, I'm reading the rumors today that Joe Theismann is out at Monday Night Football. What? You mean the t.v. execs actually listened to fans and realized what almost all of us already knew (that Joe T sucked donkeys as a broadcaster). This piece of news makes my day.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cinderella doesn't have to be a 15 seed

I keep hearing about how there are no Cinderella teams left this year in the NCAA tournament. I mean UNLV is the highest seed left and they are a #7. Still even though some mid-majors got respect in the tournament seeding (about time), that doesn't mean if they make it to the final four it won't be a "Cinderella"type story. Butler and Southern Illinois are great teams but a lot of us are still figuring out who they are. UNLV has name recognition but let's face it they haven't been in the national picture since the early 90's. And Vanderbilt, USC, Oregon, & Texas A&M may be from power conferences but they haven't been historically powerful basketball teams in those conferences by any stretch of the imagination. So in reality we have a whole lot of teams that have the opportunity to wear the glass slipper this coming weekend. I like that.

Monday, March 19, 2007

NCAA Tourney Thoughts: First Weekend

March Madness Thoughts:

1. I really whiffed on a few picks but I did get it right on 12 teams for the sweet 16. I had George Washington and Albany as sleeper Sweet 16 picks and both got crushed in the first round (Albany? I know...I know. I was on cold medication that day.... I was impaired) . I also should have seen a Duke exit in the first round. All the signs were there.

2. While the committee seems to have done a decent job on seeding they screwed up on seeding Duke at 6 and letting Stanford in at all, much less an 11 seed.

3. Xavier absolutely should have beaten Ohio St. but I'm still amazed that Gred Oden doesn't get called for a flagrant foul at the end of that game. It was right in front of the official. If it wasn't the final seconds of a game (officials get conservative at that time) it would probably have been a different story. Still, if Xavier makes a free throw we're not even talking about this.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March Madness: Armchair Bracketing

So my Alma mater, Utah State had a decent season this year (23-12) but again not good enough to make the Dance without a conference tourney championship. Oh well. I'll be rooting for two other home-state teams to do well (BYU, & Weber St) but honestly I'm not even picking them to make it out of the first round. My bracket looks like this:

Into the final 32:
Florida, Arizona, Butler, Maryland, Winthrop, Oregon, UNLV, Wisconsin, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, S. Illinois, Duke, Pitt, Indiana, UCLA, N. Carolina, Marquette, USC, Texas, George Washington, Washington St., B.C., Georgetown, Ohio St., Xavier, Tenn, Albany, Louisville, Texas A&M, Creighton, Memphis

Into the Sweet 16:
Florida, Butler, Oregon, Wisconsin, Kansas, S.Illinois, Pitt, Indiana, UCLA, N. Carolina, Texas, George Washington, Georgetown, Ohio St. , Albany, Texas A&M, Memphis

Elite Eight:
Florida, Oregon, Kansas, UCLA, N. Carolina, George Washington, Ohio St., Texas A&M,

Final Four:
Oregon, Kansas, N. Carolina, Texas A&M

Championship:
Kansas, N. Carolina

Champion: Kansas

Monday, March 05, 2007

NFL Free-Agent Thoughts.

The NFL offseason never fails to surprise me. There are always a few eyebrow raising guys that become cap casualties Joey Porter, Joe Horn, etc. Basically what teams are telling these guys is "you're good and we'd love to keep you but you cost too damn much". Essentially they are also telling them they can be replaced otherwise they'd cut somebody else or pay up. You can see why these guys will feel dissed. Nobody is cutting Payton Manning, Ladainian Tomlinson, Merriman, or Champ Bailey. At least not yet. So the only way you can make huge contracts in the NFL and stick around with the team who gave you that contract is to become irreplaceable. Any wonder why guys tend to be loyal to the dollar signs instead of teams these days? They learn from the best. NFL teams. It is what it is.




  • My worst free agent nightmare came true with stud linebacker Adalius Thomas signing with the Patriots this week. What are the Patriots doing? I thought we had an understanding. They would continue to ignore needed areas on their team and sputter in the playoffs and I would continue to heave sighs of relief at the end of their seasons. It's worked two years running and now all of the sudden they wise up? Damn it.




  • I've got mixed emotions on my Rams this offseason. Some of you may have read the several biased comments I've previously made towards free-agent wideout Kevin Curtis. I watched him when he was at my Alma maters, Snow College (J.C) & Utah State. He was the local guy who made good. My brother works with his brother so I would get updates and inside stories. I wanted him to do well in the worst way. When he landed with the Rams and had some breakout games in the past couple of years I had high hopes. But the Rams had two great receivers already in Torry Holt and Isacc Bruce. Curtis was always going to be the third guy. Here's what I don't understand: Bruce clearly hasn't lost it yet but he is aging and Curtis is younger. He's extremely fast and has good hands. He's short 5"11 but athletic and can go up and get balls. His brother indicated at the end of the season he had already packed up his house and moved away from St. Louis knowing that the Rams really had no interest in hanging onto him. What! I cannot figure this out. Now the Rams have signed Drew Bennett to play the slot receiver position Curtis had and I just don't get it. Curtis already had a good relationship with Marc Bulger and knew the offense. I know that Bennett is much taller and is a good receiver as well but still I can't help feeling that the Rams are letting a budding star slip through their fingers. Admittedly I am extremely prejudiced in favor of Curtis so I'm probably not thinking rationally about this. Bennett will probably work out just fine. But is he going to be ok with being a 3rd option?400 or 500 yards for the season if he's lucky? I wouldn't be. Curtis wasn't. Thing is now he may end up in Detroit with Mike Martz which isn't much of an improvement in his situation. They have Roy Williams and Mike Furrey (who had a breakout season and just signed a new contract with them) so Curtis could end up being the third wheel again. Depressing.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Paging Mr. Jones. You forgot to turn your brain on.

Some not-so shocking stuff from the newswire about the Tennessee Titan's All-Dumb Cornerback Pac-Man Jones. Apparently Jones during All-Star Weekend in Vegas got in trouble again at a nightclub (whenever he gets in trouble you can count on the words club and strippers being part of the story). He used over $80,000 in cash to shower strippers in what he called a "visual effect". Then the guy who's in charge of the strippers starts bagging all the cash and next thing you know a melee breaks out that ends in a shooting. I guess Pac-Man had no intention of tipping that well. He just wanted people to enjoy the sight of lots of cash. In other words he's staying true to what we have come to expect from "Mr. off-season nightmare". Ahh...you can't make up stuff like this.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Bolt Babies

It's amazing how adults can be so childlike at times. And I'm not talking about the innocence of childhood. The Schottenheimer firing in San Diego is another case of grown men acting like 10 year olds. Schottenheimer is fired because of dysfunctionality in his relationship with the General Manager A.J. Smith? What a couple of babies. Don't get me wrong, I'm not sure firing Mr. "Marty Ball" isn't such a bad thing. I mean the man has trouble winning in the post-season. It's a statistical fact. But come on, that ought to be the reason he is fired if any and not because he and the G.M. are immature dipsticks. It's pathetic. Oh well. I really need to get a grip if I'm thinking that maturity is going to become part of professional sports anytime soon.
So are the Chargers screwed next season with all the coaching changes that are coming? Who knows. This is a team that was capable of winning the Super Bowl the past two seasons. Instead they've failed to make the playoffs in 05 and been one and done this past season. Again, perhaps Marty Schottenheimer is a big part of that and a more game savy coach can take them to the next level. We'll see. At anyrate they still have A.J. Smith. And yeah he may be a good judge of talent. But he sure is an ass.

Friday, February 09, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Post-Super Bowl stuff

-Ever read ESPN.com's Tuesday Morning Quarterback? I've just started reading his stuff the past couple of months and although he can get a bit long winded he also can hit the proverbial nail on the head at times. His criticism of the monopoly that Direct TV has on NFL game viewership is right on. Why should I have to pay $200 every year just so I can watch the Ram's games. The NFL is huge but TMQ is right that it would be even bigger if most fans could actually watch the games they wanted on Sunday.

- The past couple of years have been odd in that the Colts and Steelers were two teams that I would have bet money against winning the Super Bowl 3 quarters of the way through the season. The 2005 Steelers looked like they weren't even going to make the playoffs and the 2006 Colts defense was the laughing-stock of the league. Then both teams go on playoff binges and come out Super Bowl champs. Go figure. That tells me that this has become a league where there are no absolutes.

- One note on the Pats/Colts AFC championship game. I have a friend who's a semi-Patriot fan (and yes we're still friends. Come on I'm not that superficial....yet). Anyway, he was whining about the roughing the passer penalty that helped put the Colts closer to the goal line for their winning score. It was barely shown on replay but clearly shows the Patriot defensive player grazing the head of Manning with his hand/arm. Should it have been a penalty considering he barely touched him. I don't think so. Could you call it a penalty based soley on the interpretation of the rule. Absolutely. It's one of those calls that shouldn't be made based on common sense. However the ironic thing about the crying coming from New England fans concerning this is that they are contradicting themselves and showing themselves to be hypocrites. When the Patriots benefited from the "tuck rule" in the 2002 playoff game against the Raiders (you remember the game where Brady essentially fumbles the ball, the Raiders recover, the game is over---but wait the strict interpretation of the rule says Brady was attempting to tuck it and his hand was moving forward, so Ta-Da--Patriots hang onto the ball and ultimately win the game--yeah that game) many New England fans tried to quell the outrage over what common sense said should have been a fumble by saying, "that's the rule--rules are rules". They jumped on the technicality of that rule so fast it made your head spin. So the next time a Patriot fan tries to whine about the roughing the passer penalty against the Colts, just tell them "rules are rules".

Sunday, February 04, 2007

NFL Thoughts: The Super Bowl

I'm not sure what was more disappointing, the Super Bowl commercials or the rain that messed up what could have been a good game. Not that I'm complaining about the results. I mean I wanted the Colts to win and they obliged. In fact they put a beat down on what was supposed to be a physically dominating Bears team. It's just that the rain caused it too be much more sloppy than it would have been otherwise and helped mute the Colt offense. The Bears played pretty decent against the pass but they were beat up on the ground pretty good. I just think the Bears miss Brown and Harris like the Colts missed Bob Sanders. And Sanders is one bad dude. The effect of Sanders is probably overstated and a bit of an exaggeration but its weird how the Colts turned into the best smash-mouth team of the post-season after he returned. I'm thinking the entire defense strapped Bob Sanders down, extracted some of his blood and then drank it down with a cookie. Hopefully one of those girl scout cookies that have coconut in them. I love those. Other thoughts:

-I hate squib kicks--they usually give the other team great field position and almost always backfire. But in this game I have to admit the Colts were smart to not kick it back to Devin Hester after he burned them for an opening kick TD. He's scary.

-Manning played pretty well considering the situation. After his first quarter interception he didn't try to do too much. With his defense playing well and knowing that the Bears were doing nothing on offense, he didn't get greedy or crazy. He let Addai, Rhodes and his offensive line kick the Bears defense around. And they did. I liked the idea of the two running backs getting the MVP. A case could be made for the offensive line as well. Manning got the MVP trophy but it was a great team effort that dominated the Bears defense.

-Rex Grossman was in effect a first year starter so it's hard to judge him too harshly this season. Still, the Bears have the team in place for multiple Super Bowl runs right now so their fans and his teammates are not going to have much more patience for some of his poor decisions. He had a great start to the season and then somewhere around mid-season he fell apart. Next year he needs to improve significantly or even the loyal (to a fault) Lovie Smith will be forced to yank him.

-I'm depressed already about the end of the season. And don't tell me the Pro-Bowl is still coming up because that only causes me to use four letter words and eat my fingers off.

-I kept picking the Colts to lose in the post-season and the wins kept coming. I think I've disocovered my strategy for St. Louis next season.--Go Rams 2007!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So I think I'll watch the Super Bowl

There's a little game this weekend I might just have to check out. For the first time since the 2000 season I finally have a team to root for. Not that I haven't had an interest in the big game since then but it's only been an interest in rooting against certain teams. Like the New England Patriots. It's just not as fun rooting agaiinst teams as it is rooting for teams. I've been pulling for the Colts in the AFC for several years now so this is a Super Bowl I can get into. Although it is slightly annoying how everyone I know seems to be rooting for the Colts even though they have no idea who the hell Ben Utecht, Cato June, or Rob Morris is. But that's the Super Bowl. It's a day where many Americans reserve the right to enjoy a football game without knowing what 4th down means or the difference between a punt and a field goal. So whatever.

Who wins this game then? I would love to say the Colts. But Isn't it crazy how almost all the "experts" on the networks and websites, newspapers, etc. are all picking the Colts? I mean this is the Super Bowl for hell's sake. Underdogs often come out on top. Besides which, wasn't it the Bears who 5 weeks into the season seemed like the Super Bowl favorite? Sure Rex Grossman had his struggles (as I've pointed out many times) but the Bears won 13 games and have the type of opportunistic defense which can bail out many mistakes. Plus Grossman can suck for 3 quarters but if he manages to connect on a couple of big plays, the Bears are in business. I just see a lot of advantages for Chicago. Special teams seem big. The Colts have given up a lot of big returns this year so I'm particularly worried about Devin Hester running wild on them. It just seems really weird that the Colts are this favored when prior to the playoffs nobody (including me) gave them a chance to even be here. Now they are a Touchdown favorite?! Did I mention I'm worried.
So even though a Colt victory would be nice for me, my gut says the Bears will make enough big plays to win it.

Monday, January 22, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Championship Weekend

Bears 39 / Saints 14
Well I predicted a Bears win but I didn't see a blowout coming. Sort of sad to see for me. I was rooting for the Saints (like a whole lot of other people outside of Chicago) but I wasn't into the whole "team of destiny" crap. That's not a dig at the City of New Orlean's. It just means I think God has more important things to worry about. Still I would liked to have seen a closer game. Unfortunately, the Bear's defense just wasn't going to allow that. Damn them. They were aggressive and did what they do best: take the ball away. Turnovers killed Brees and his team. On the flip side, Grossman did what he needed to, namely hanging onto the ball. True, he pretty much sucked for almost 3 quarters. But then he got hot late in the 3rd quarter and made a few more key throws in the 4th quarter. When your defense was playing as well as Chicago's' was yesterday, that's all you need. So what if the Berrian TD was lucky and should have been intercepted by a better corner. Believe me after watching the Patriots for the last 5 years (and the Colts this year), you tend to understand how important luck is in the post-season. One other thing, what the hell was Reggie Bush doing taunting one of the best defensive players alive? I mean Urlacher is going to be prowling the middle for years to come and certainly Bush will quite literally be running into him again. What a dumb-ass high school type celebration. If I was Sean Payton I would be in his grill helping him understand how he just gave even more motivation to a dangerous defense.



Colts 38 / Patriots 34
First of all I didn't even watch this game until I knew who won. Why you ask? Well even though I'm a Ram fan, the Colts are the team I've been pulling for in the AFC for the past few years. I'm also about the biggest Patriots hater out there. Ever since they beat the Rams in a Super Bowl they had no business being in, let alone winning---and considering the Colts previous habit of coming up small in big playoff games (a couple against the Pats) I just couldn't stomach another 4 hours of agonizing twists, especially if it ended badly. So yeah I wussed out and watched my tivo version after I knew the score. Although the joy would have been much more intense watching it live, I found a certain satisfaction knowing that with a minute left Brady wasn't going to perform a miracle. And yet, a part of me (the non-rational part) thought, "dammit, they gave him too much time--he's going to win this thing". I found it really weird though that late in the game, both teams ran the ball on a third and long play. Really weird. Also strange was the luck factor. When the Patriots got an insanely lucky break with a goal line fumble and recover for a TD everyone had to be thinking, "well here they go again". But then the Colt's get the exact same break later in the game. The Pats also had a couple of other missed interceptions and near fumbles. What's going on? These bounces usually go their way. And maybe had the game been in New England they would have. Home field doesn't always mean victory but in the case of both games yesterday I would say it had a huge impact.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Divisional Playoff Games

Colts 15 / Ravens 6
How does Brian Billick keep his job? I mean Raven fans (and the Ravens defense) have to be fed up with the continuing offensive crapola that this team displays year in and year out. McNair was supposed to change all that but it's pretty obvious after the season he had that Tennessee let him go for a reason. Even though many in the media made a lot noise all year long about the difference McNair's confidence and presence made to the team (based on a couple of early season 4th quarter comebacks), the fact is McNair kinda sucked all year long. The Ravens were a top seed in the playoffs for the same reason they have been competitive for years---their defense. They are freaking awesome. I watch them before the snap, moving around, --after the snap---flying to the ball---and I wonder why the hell other teams don't play the same way. But the point is, on the offensive side of the ball it's "same ol same ole". The 2001 Super Bowl was a great win for the Ravens but in a way it really screwed them for the next few years. Billick and the organization have fooled themselves into thinking that kind of magic can strike again. Well it won't. They need an offense.
Actually the Colts weren't much better on offense either (except for Adam Vinatieri and Dominic Rhodes) . Manning dodged a few bullets. He had at least two interceptions dropped and he looked flustered again. I realize they played the best defense in the league but to beat the Patriots next week he will have to play better than he has so far in the playoffs. The Colts defense has played significantly better but to be honest I really think they lucked out in who they have played so far. They got two offenses that are about as uninspiring and unimaginative as it gets. Next week we really see what they are made of. And I'm nervous as hell about it.


Patriots 24 / Chargers 21
I don't even want to think about this game. I hate-hate-hate-hate-hate-hate the Patriots. I realize they are great in the clutch but why do all the breaks seem to bounce their way? Why do they always get coaches that make dumb moves against them? I can't write about this. I'm going to go throw up.


Saints 27 / Eagles 24
Andy Reid is a great coach. But I was with everyone else saying "what the hell?" when he brought his punt team out with less than 2 minutes. I know it's 4 and 15 but you just went for it on 4th and 10. And made it (although a penalty brought it back). I can see his logic that if he gets a stop then all the Eagles need is a field goal to go to overtime whereas if they had not made the 4th down play and then made a stop they probably would have needed a TD to win it (assuming the Saints make a field goal). Still, I think he should have gone for it. I thought Garcia played well again. I'm still wondering if he made a pact with the devil. This is a different man the the guy who suited up for Cleveland and Detroit. The Saints were just a little better is all. Drew Brees has moved himself into elite QB status. Although there are many reasons why this team is a playoff team this year (coach, tons of new players), Brees is the main one in my eyes. Although Rivers was good for the Chargers this year I wonder how that Patriot game would have gone down with Brees in control? Rivers didn't lose the game for them by any means but still, it's a thought. McAllister was fantastic and it will be interesting to see if he can make the same kind of yardage against the Bears D. I won't mind if the Bears win next week's game but I would much rather see the Saints playing for it all. Just keep the camera shots of Saints Owner (and umbrella waver) Tom Benson to a minimum. He bugs me.



Bears 27 / Seahawks 24
Fellow bloggers the Zoner and Greg from Sportsblah.com are understandably happy about the Bears success this year. And they should be. Had it not been for some offensive hiccups by Rex Grossman, Chicago would have been everybody's flavor of the month all year long (the media were waiting with salivating mouths to heap praise on them--and did until Rex started his run of bad games). Grossman's mistakes and the fact that the Chicago defense was decimated with injuries during the season took a little wind out of the sails for those non-loyalists who were just riding the bandwagon. But still, this team won 13 freaking games! When they are on top of their game they can beat anybody---badly. They weren't their best against the Seahawks but made some key plays (many by Grossman) to win the game. The Patriots win like this all the time so I'm not sure why some national guys like Gene Wojciechowski are ripping the Bears. Can they beat the Saints? Absolutely. Their defense hasn't been as good as it was last season but they are still better than the New Orleans "D". And while I don't think their offense is near as good as the Saints, they do have good receivers and running backs. Additionally, Grossman has played poorly in many games this year but he made some great 3rd down throws against the Seahawks (and that Berrian TD was a thing of beauty) and he does have the potential to play well. We'll see how it goes but you can't dismiss this team based on Grossman. He may be hot and cold this year but at least he has the ability to be hot. You can't say that about every QB.

Predictions
I would like to see a Saints/Colts Super Bowl matchup. Do I think it will happen? No. My prediction is the Patriots and the Bears will be getting jiggy with it. I have to rely on history. History tells me that Manning will crumble and Brady will shine. Also in a tight game the Bears will make a key defensive play that will give them the victory.

Monday, January 08, 2007

NFL Thoughts: Last Week's Wild Card Weekend and this Week's Games

Last Week's Games:

Patriots 37 / Jets 16
First of all take a look at what Belichick is wearing. I showed this pic to my wife and she told me he should be a candidate for TLC's Extreme Makeover. That's a nice thought but I'm pretty sure if somebody showed up to Bill's door with cameras and a plan to improve his dress habits he would carve them up with steak-knives and stick them in his freezer. Anyway....turning to thoughts on Belichick's opponent--that being NY---The Jets were plucky this year. Mangini did a nice job of coaching and Pennington and others played pretty well all season long. Granted, they had an easy schedule and the only decent team they beat all year long was the Pats in week 10, but there are other talented teams out there that couldn't beat the guys they were supposed to (see Jacksonville, Atlanta, etc.). So while I thought the Bengals and Broncos were a better team than the Jets (and Chiefs for that matter), the bottom line is that the Jets won enough games to get in. Of course that didn't mean they had a shot at the Patriots. Even though the Jets beat them once this season, I never thought they had a shot on the road in the playoffs against Tom Brady. I've been saying all season long that you can't ignore the Patriots. They lost a couple of games badly and everyone wanted to bury them. Well you can't. Because this is a team led by a coach and a QB that have won 3 Super Bowls. It's that simple. They have some defensive stars, a couple of good running backs and dude that is one of the most clutch quarterbacks in the history of the game. I think they have an excellent shot of knocking off the Chargers next week and eventually ending up in the Super Bowl again. Damn them. Damn them to Hell.


Eagles 23 / Giants 20
This should game should be a wake up call for NY. Jeff Garcia was clearly the best QB on the field and even though he's been playing well this season that's quite an indictment of Eli Manning. He continues to pass the ball poorly. His mechanics are awful and he looks downright gunshy in the pocket. He's anticipating a hit evertime he drops back. The Giants aren't going going to significantly improve next season unless he does (by the way I think bringing Coughlin back is a mistake---His players are clearly so against him that next season is a guaranteed circus again). The Eagles on the other hand should give New Orleans a run for their money this week. Their surprising run after McNabb went down this season re-emphasizes the fact that in the NFL you never count your chickens (or playoff teams) before they hatch.


Colts 23 / Chiefs 8
Herm Edwards was an absolute joke in this game as a coach. He's stubborn to a fault and it cost him a shot at competing for this victory. Trent Green was not coming out of this game even had he thrown 5 interceptions in the first half. There are more than a few coaches out there like this that feel altering plans during a game somehow constitutes a loss of face. It's one of the reasons I think Edwards is not an top coach. Make no mistake, he's a decent organizer and motivator. He gets his teams to play hard. But he's similar to the NBA's Jerry Sloan in that his unwillingness to admit a new approach is needed is ultimately why they will never win a championship.
Turning to the Colts,--despite their inspired play last week, they should not get cocky about their defense (or uppity about people who have questioned them this year---I mean after all they have sucked donkeys and if the Colts defensive players can't admit then they are in need of therapy). I hope the Colts defense can do it again and I hope Manning doesn't choke again (he didn't exactly have a banner game against the the Chiefs) . I really do want to see the Colts in the Super Bowl this year. I just have serious doubts that it will happen.


Seahawks 21 / Cowboys 20
I like that the Cowboys lost but I hate to see Romo get scapegoated for it. He's one guy I actually root for. And I'll say it again---the Seahawks fortunes lay on the arm of Hasselbeck. When he finally started to get it together in last week's game, Seattle looked like a contender. They'll need much more of that to beat Chicago.


Upcoming Games:

Who I want to see win this week and who I think will win depends on the conference.

I want the Bears to beat the Seahawks. I think they will. My cautious guess is that Grossman doesn't meltdown this week.

I want the Saints to beat the Eagles. I'm going to say it happens.

I want the Colts to beat the Ravens. I've been underestimating the Ravens all year so I won't this week. Colts go down.

I want the Chargers to beat the Patriots (in the worst way). But it's a perfect game for New England to show us again why you never count them out. I think they will shut Tomlinson down and Rivers inexperience will doom Marty's boys.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 NFL Surprises

Biggest 2006 surprises (both good and bad) offensively for me in NFL

QUARTERBACKS

Damon Huard- his quality of play saved the Chiefs season. You could still make a credible argument that return of Trent Green brought the level of QB play down in the latter part of the season. Green's probably the right choice but besides Larry Johnson (and a whole lot of luck in the last week of the season), Damon Huard is the reason the Chiefs are in the playoffs.

Philip Rivers - He sure has tailed off to end the season (and that could doom them in the playoffs if he doesn't pull his head out) but 3000+ yards, 22 TDs, and a QB rating of 92 in his first year starting is certainly more than the Chargers could have asked for.

Tony Romo - Overhyped? Absolutely. His last couple of games especially have brought the Romo legend back to earth. I wouldn't be surprised if Carrie Underwood dumps his ass now. But you can't deny he played well for at least 5 games. His performance in those games gave the Cowboys enough victories to make the playoffs. He's a first year starter and we all know Bledsoe wouldn't have done any better.

Vince Young - I don't think he deserved the Offensive Rookie of the Year award (he had a passer rating of 66.7 , threw more interceptions than TDs, and completed just barely over 51% of his passes! How can you call that offensive excellence? Saints receiver, Marques Colston was the man in my opinion) ---but he definitely made a huge and somewhat surprising impact as a rookie QB. He's going to be overhyped just like Mike Vick was his first few years but if he continues to do what he did this year he'll do what Vick hasn't been able to: make significant improvement and win key games.

J.P. Losman, Steve McNair, & Chad Pennington --None of these guys were spectacular, but they had solid seasons and kept their teams in games every week. It's not a surprise that they have the talent (in McNair and Pennington's case they have had decent seasons before) but considering the situation and prior season each guy had coming into this year, their performances were still a bit unexpected for me.

Ben Roethlisberger - Talk about bad karma. First he almost killed himself then he went ahead and killed the Steeler's season. I'm not sure which hurt more, his mortorcycle crash or the Steeler's first 8 games. Both were a wreck.

Matt Hasselbeck - I know he's been hurt this season but when he has played he really hasn't played that well. Damn my Rams for not taking advantage of a down year for the Seahawks.


Other quarterbacks who while not surprising to me but who were most definitely disappointing surprises for their own teams include:
Charlie Frye, Rex Grossman, Brad Johnson, Jake Plummer, Eli Manning, David Carr, Jake Delhomme, & Mark Brunell.

RUNNING BACKS

Frank Gore- Holy crap Gore was a load to bring down this year. He just rambled all season long. I had no idea he was that good.

Travis Henry- Showed us that he wasn't done yet

Ladell Betts - He got over 1000 yards, and averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Clinton Portis has got some competition next year.

Maurice Jones-Drew- I'm not surprised he was good ( I said in the preseason that he would open a lot of eyes) but his 5.7 yards per carry was a bit eye popping.

Jerious Norwood - Another guy who surprised me with his excellent play. He broke a lot of long ones (6.4 yards per carry).

Edgerrin James - Sure he made it to 1159 yards. And it only took him 337 carries to do it (3.7 avg.) Terribly disappointing season for him and the Cards.

Shaun Alexander - After last season's awesomeness, he was pretty uninspiring even when healthy (3.6 yards per carry).

RECEIVERS

Marques Colston - phenomenal season for an unheralded rookie. Give him the three games back that he lost due to injury and he would have made it pretty tough for voters to still give the ORY award to glamour boy Vince Young.

Mike Furrey - 1000 yard receiver. Huh? Great year for a dude that has bounced back and forth between defensive back and receiver.

Kevin Curtis - I thought the Rams would incorporate Curtis a whole lot more this season. Alas, they rarely threw it his way and they squandered a valuable weapon. They may lose him in free agency next year.