Tuesday, January 16, 2007

NFL Rumble

Basking in the glow of the Pats win over the Chargers. Although, basking might be a bit strong. That game was brutal. The hardest fought win I have ever seen in all my years of watching the NFL. And I go way back to Plunkett. Yeah, Jim Plunkett. Pre-Raiders Jim Plunkett, when the Pats were the laughing stock of the league. I know, that covers a lot of years.

Much to the dismay of my wife and kids, I watched all 4 games this past weekend and for the first time ever there is no clear cut favorite to win it all. Bears? Not with Grossman. Saints? They’re the Saints, so that’s a tough sell. Indy? Peyton’s stats in the 2 games so far: 1 TD, 5 INT. Not really putting his reputation behind him. Hearing the phrase “That coverage really confused Peyton Manning” is my favorite annual tradition. And I’m still not convinced their defense has turned it around. They just lucked into two inept offenses.

That leaves the Pats. They’ve been here before. Brady had a bad game and always rebounds from those. They’re playing the Colts again and I know it’s in Indy, but it’s still the Colts. Careful what you wish for, Peyton. Still, after the Chargers you wonder how much they have left in the tank. I was exhausted just watching. And it bothers me that Indy now has Vinatieri. He’s never missed in Indy. Did you know that? If not, tune in. The announcers will recite that about 543 times during the course of the game. Also, the Pats don’t seem to be the pissed off, chip on their shoulders bunch they used to be. It took a brain dead head butt from a Charger to get their blood flowing. Hopefully, just seeing the Colts will get them in the proper mood.

So, I’m going with the one proven team left. Saints beat Bears. Pats beat Colts. Manning finally breaks down and sobs like a baby in press conference. Then makes 42 new commercials in the off-season. Pats over Saints in Super Bowl followed by Coach Bill hanging it up. Just a hunch.

As for the games themselves, I’ve learned that either Daryl Johnson is good friends with Steve McNair or McNair is the new Favre. Nothing bad can be said about him. McNair was the worst QB in the four games over the weekend and the only commentator to say so was Boomer Esiason (sp?). At one point McNair made a throw that was 5 yards short and BEHIND his receiver leading to an easy interception. Johnson says “You have to fight for that ball”. Sorry, Daryl, but you only fight for throws you have a chance to catch. It was a horrible pass and even worse announcing.

In case nobody noticed, Grossman sucks. Blame his receivers if it makes you feel better (yeah, I’m talking to you, Bears’ fans), but if you are running full speed in one direction and a ball is thrown behind you, you are not catching it. I don’t care how good you are. I saw him make that throw at least 4 times on Saturday.

Tomlinson is a stud and Marty is an idiot. He should not be coaching that team next year. Wasting a time out on an obvious fumble challenge killed them at the end. Rivers impressed me, too. Not a nerve in that kid. Still can’t believe the Pats won. Another player I like: Thomas-Jones, the RB for Chicago. Saved his team when he broke up that sure interception. Right in the guy’s hands and he leaps up and over him to knock it away. Undervalued, great play!

Side note to Tomlinson: You are a great, gracious player and should be for many years to come. Drop the “Pats are classless” routine. To you it’s ok for Merriman to even invent a stupid dance, name it, then use it every time he makes a tackle on the field, but the Patriots mocking that same ridiculous dance to celebrate a hard fought victory is a problem? My guess is Merriman was talking some major trash during the game and the Pats singled him out for a reason. Remember T.O. in the Super Bowl? Pats started doing his Wing Flapping Dance in the second half after he started jawing at them, too. I’m not excusing the Pats, I wasn't proud of them, but you can’t separate the two. Just drop it and enjoy your off-season. I like you and hope to keep doing so.

Today’s distraction: One of my favorite writers breaks down the games from the weekend. Among other things.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/070116

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