Monday, December 15, 2008

Week 15 Postmortem

Things were going so well!

The Patriots needed either the Jets or Dolphins to lose yesterday. The Bills – who are either the biggest over achievers of the first half or the lamest under achievers of the last half – are up three with around two minutes to play.

Up to this point they have been running all over the Jets defense. They just ran for a first down, then ran up the gut for another few yards. The Jets, getting desperate, started calling timeouts in an effort to 1: rest their defense who were getting knocked on their ass and 2: save some time so that if the Bills had to punt Brett Favre would have some time to work his magic.

So the stage is set. All the Bills have to do is rush up the middle one or two more times, kill the clock and hopefully grind out enough yards for another first down. One more and this game is over.

What do the Bills do? Yeah, the exact thing you don’t do in this situation: They pass. Only instead of a ‘pass’ it’s more of a scramble while I’m screaming at the television set ‘What are you doing!!???’

Sack, fumble, fumble picked up by the Jets and run in for the winning touchdown.

You gotta be fucking kidding me. I sat, speechless and stunned, for a solid five minutes. Watching the futile Bill’s offense try to come back from one of the most demoralizing and inexplicable losses this season. It was right there. All you had to do was run the ball.

Now the Jets, Dolphins and Patriots are all 9-5. It’s conceivable the Patriots could win 11 games and not make the playoffs. 11 games! If Miami or New York win out, they win the AFC East. The Colts have the first wild card nearly locked up with their 8-2 conference record and if Baltimore wins out, they’ll take the second spot.

That would leave the 11-5 Patriots on the outside. Ouch!

Now, thanks to the Buffaloser Bills, the Pats best chance is to have New York lose to Seattle next week then beat Miami in the season finale. Or have Miami lose to Kansas City…ahahahahahaahaha…oh, man. Almost got that out with a straight face. Yeah, so the Patriots look screwed. Unless Baltimore loses one more game and the Pats steal that last wild card spot.

That’s the problem with relying on other teams. Too much to keep track of. I can’t do it. Let’s just see how things play out. If you want, here’s a prediction for your entertainment: The Jets feel the effect of flying to Seattle and lay a big, stinking, rotten egg in losing to Seattle. Maybe that’s more wishful thinking, but considering the Jets have lost to Oakland, San Francisco, and Denver and needed a miracle to beat the Bills in the last few weeks I think I might be on to something.

The key will be how mean the Jets are playing in their final game. They play at 1pm, the same time the Pats and Bills finish up their regular season. Technically the Jets will be playing for the AFC East crown, so they better be fucking motivated and take down the Dolphins.

They better.

Onto other thoughts.

- I know it’s only two games, but the Giants have looked exceedingly beatable and mediocre the last two weeks. First Westbrook runs all over them, then the Dallas defense runs all over them. Eight sacks! Any other QB and that’s just a random event, but Eli still strikes me as skittish and anxious at times. Getting sacked eight times can not be good for his psyche. Let’s see if he develops Manning Happy Feet Syndrome next week.

- Any chance Baltimore had of winning their division was wiped out by a questionable call. If you missed it, Santonio Holmes (or, as I refer to him, Fantasy Killer) caught a pass while he was in the end zone. Only it didn’t look like the ball crossed the plane. It was originally ruled no TD and placed on the one centimeter line. They reviewed and it was reversed to a TD. Now, I saw the play and it didn’t look like the ball crossed the line. But whatever. The Steelers would have gone for it on the zero yard line and probably punched it in anyway.

Or maybe not. That Ravens defense is solid.

- I can’t figure out if this score - Minnesota 34 Arizona 14 - means the Vikings are that good or the Cardinals are not as good as initially thought. We’ll find out for sure when the Cardinals come to play in New England next weekend.

- Tennessee Titans’ owner, Bud Adams, has told reporters that Vince Young is still the quarterback of the future for this Titans team. Huh. Considering his on field play, off field behavior and strange comments about not really wanting to play football that’s quite a leap of faith. People make me laugh sometimes.

- If you missed it (and I nearly did by falling asleep watching it), the Falcons beat the Buccaneers in OT. This puts Tampa Bay in a tough spot now. They’ve lost two in a row and now the Falcons and Cowboys have the same record as the Bucs. In fact, Dallas is now in the driver's seat. If they win their last two games, they are in (oh great, more TO interviews and speculation). Tampa Bay better find their mojo soon or they’ll be going home earlier than expected.

- While noticing that Antonio Bryant had another big game, my buddy and I got into a conversation about next year’s fantasy draft. Simply put, who would you take in next year’s draft knowing what we know now.

For receivers we came up with these ten:

1: Steve Smith (argued about this as my buddy says he can’t stay on the field enough to qualify as a good pick. I argued that when he does play there is nobody better.)

2: Roddy White

3: Wes Welker (note, I drafted both Welker and White this year and they have played for me nearly every week. Never spectacular, but they are consistent and good for double digits every week)

4: Andre Johnson (most under appreciated receiver in the game)

5: Randy Moss (took a few weeks off, but still will go high especially with Brady coming back)

6 – 8: Any of the Cardinal receivers. I’m partial to Larry Fitzgerald, but Anquan Boldin and Breaston are also top possibilities.

9: Brandon Marshall (some up and down games, but he’s quickly approaching Randy Moss status)

10: either Greg Jennings or Calvin Johnson.

You’ll notice that Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens are not on this list. After this season full of 3, 4, 5, and zero points I’m staying far, far away from both of them.


1: Tom Brady (argued that there is no guarantee he will be fully healed by next season, but my buddy thinks he’ll go in the first round regardless. I agree, but it won’t be by me)

2: Drew Brees

3: Tony Romo

4: Jay Cutler (great strides this year)

5: Aaron Rodgers

6: Kurt Warner (another one I wouldn’t take next year unless I had no choice)

7: Phillip Rivers (we decided he was on the list after seeing what he did in the fourth quarter yesterday)

8: Matt Ryan (tailing off a bit, but figure he'll be even better next season)

9: Matt Cassel (a lot of this depends on where he lands next season. If he winds up with a team with horrible receivers, then I wouldn’t go near him)

10: Peyton Manning. (we decided he had to be included as it looks like the first half of this season was him still recovering from his knee surgeries. He’s looked like the Peyton of old the last half of the season).

By the way, I’m mentioning four others to keep an eye on for the rest of the season to see how they fare: Tyler Thigpen (solid numbers for a crappy team), Kyle Orton, Shaun Hill (10 TDs to 4 INTs this year), and Seneca Wallace who looked fantastic against the Patriots last week.

Two dark horses for the later rounds: Chad Pennington (over looked again) and Dan Orlovsky (who’s doing a decent job for one of the worst teams in history).

Running Backs:

1: Adrian Peterson (you know which one)

2: Michael Turner

3: DeAngelo Williams

4: Matt Forte

5: Thomas Jones

6: Brian Westbrook (although he is banged up nearly ever week, so make sure you draft his backup later on)

7: Steve Slaton

8: Chris Johnson

9: Clinton Portis (although the miles are piling up quickly)

10: Marion Barber

You’ll notice a bunch of guys missing. Frank Gore, Marshawn Lynch, Maurice Jones-Drew, Tomlinson, Stephen Jackson, Jonathan Stewart (who I would try to get along with Williams just to fuck with people), Ryan Grant, Reggie Bush, Kevin Smith, Le’Ron McClain, Ray Rice, Ronnie Brown, you get the idea.

My point is it might be a wise idea to use your first round pick on a quarterback instead of a running back. Figure a solid RB gives you 20 points a week. A quality QB can give you 25 -40 points a week. Just look what Brees, second half Manning, last year’s Brady and even Cassel has done this year. My buddy and I both decided the there are more quality running backs in the league than there are quality quarterbacks.

As anyone who had Brady this year can tell you, it’s tough replacing an elite quarterback.

Neither one of us asked the other whether it was sad we were already planning for next year’s draft. That answer is obvious.

Today’s distraction: Here’s what things would look like if the playoffs started today. I don’t get the Colts having to go to Denver just because the Broncos play in a shitty division. Shouldn’t that be changed?


Anonymous said...

Yeah, how does the Titans' owner even have the gall to say that? What on Earth would make him think that Vince is the right choice? I guess a quarterback who goes for 9 TDs and 20 INTs is how he wants to roll next season.

Anonymous said...

He's gotta say that, for multiple reasons:

Kerry Collins is not the long term answer. He's starting to not look like the short term answer either the last few weeks. Owner's gotta keep VY's confidence up in case he does indeed become starter again.

He's gotta keep VY's trade value up as well, if and when they do decide to move him. They'd have to be able to get something for him instead of just cutting him.

There's no point in announcing that he's not the long term solution and causing a big hubbub right before the playoffs start.

I'm just playing devil's advocate, Vince Young sucks.

Anonymous said...

Haha, that was actually Hammen on Alex's computer. You were scared there for a second, weren't you?

BeachBum said...

'Scared' wasn't the term I was thinking. More like 'potential soul mate'.

Anonymous said...

I knew it was Hammen as soon as I read the sentence "Kerry Collins is not the long term answer." I know he's not, and neither is Vince Young. I say fuck Vince's confidence, that is shot and we both know it. They need to hope to land a good free agent or hit the draft (or both) for a decent quarterback that can contribute for the foreseeable future.

BeachBum said...

If you haven't heard, Matt Cassel is a free agent after the season. He might be just what the Titans need. Only 26!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Beach, but I'd rather not have next year's Derek Anderson.

BeachBum said...

C'mon! You'll only be on the hook for $40 million over 5 years or something. So what if he's been a career backup since high school.