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.

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