Monday, November 9, 2009

Week 9 Postmortem

A few notes before we get to the games.

As noted in the comment section of last week’s Postmortem, there is heated debate as to whether the Vikings should be taken seriously as a contending team or not. The debate stems mainly from everyone from Minnesota believing this team is for real while everyone outside Brett Favre’s gravitation pull maintaining a healthy skepticism.

I need to point out a few things.

I put the Vikings in the Contenders section, which (by definition) means I believe they have what it takes to make a run to the Super Bowl. I merely wanted to point out my personal suspicions that this is a team that hasn’t truly been tested yet. I made the same point about the Colts, if you’ll notice.

Considering the Packers lost to the Buccaneers yesterday, the Bears looked horrible against the Cardinals, and the Ravens are now 4-4 (albeit a tough 4-4), there is solid reason to believe the Vikings have played two decent teams all year. The first being the Ravens who they barely beat at home, the second being the Steelers who forced two killer turnovers.

I would also like to remind everyone of Brett Favre’s past two seasons. His last with the Packers where he threw that devastating over time interception which led to the Giants winning which led to them going to the Super Bowl which led to the Helmet Catch which led to my drinking problem. OK, that’s not entirely true. My drinking problem began in high school.

Last season Favre had everyone in New York ready for the Super Bowl, as well and we all saw how that turned out. No playoffs, Mangini exiled to Cleveland, too many interceptions to count, offseason surgery, another summer of ‘Will he or won’t he’.

I’m not saying the Vikings aren’t a good team. They may be a very good team. We simply don’t know for sure. Besides, Favre has shown a unique ability to get a fan base riled up and excited only to single handedly destroy those same expectations. It’s happened two years in a row and the only difference I see this year is Adrian Peterson (which, granted, is a HUGE difference).

Just don’t be fooled, Viking fans. Favre has been getting away with questionable throws all year. The last game he threw three passes into triple coverage that were caught by Viking receivers. One to Percy Harvin for 45 yards or so. Yes, it was a big gain, but Harvin was also surrounded by three defenders, had to jump above them all to get the pass and was sandwiched on his way to the ground. This was against the Packers who quite possibly suck worse than we had any idea.

Here’s the problem: While Favre gets away with this against lower teams, it makes him think he can always get away with it. Sports nuts love calling Favre a ‘gun slinger’ as if it’s somehow a compliment, but gun slingers tend to be people who don’t always think things through. They have a ‘shoot first’ mentality that will KILL your team in the long run. We’ve seen what happens when Favre tries to force the issue against good defenses. Good defenses are what he will face in the playoffs.

I have nothing against Minnesota. I like the people I’ve met from there. I like the Metrodome. The Twins are my second favorite baseball team. I just don’t want to see you hurt. And there is no surer way to get hurt then believing Brett Favre will lead you to the promised land. If you need support there are groups all over Wisconsin and New York that can prepare you and give you tools to cope.

Let’s hope you won’t need them.

On to a fantasy note.

I’m playing the only guy in our league who is undefeated. As it stands now we are tied at 100 points. I have the Denver defense going tonight. He has Hines Ward. Considering who he plays the rest of the season, this might be his only chance at losing all season long. As incredible as it seems, this guy could go undefeated unless there is some catastrophic injury to Peyton Manning or Chris Johnson.

Go Denver!! I need you to put this guy down.

On a related note, I’d like to ask everyone’s opinion. The guy above (8-0 with no signs of slowing down) has just offered a trade to another team that will result in him giving up Tim Hightower and Santana Moss and receiving Stephen Jackson and Dallas Clark. Now, usually I’m a live and live kind of guy and would never object to any trade involving other teams, but this seems a bit extreme to me. He’s getting the best receiving tight end as well as a running back that could surpass 1800 total yards. Have I pointed out that he’s undefeated?

This means his team will look like this: QBs: Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer. RBs: Stephen Jackson, Chris Johnson, Ronnie Brown, Julius Jones. TEs: Dallas Clark, Jeremy Shockey. WRs: DeSean Jackson, Hines Ward, Roddy White, Percy Harvin.

Can you see why I have a problem with this? The question is, do I go against my long standing belief that teams can do what they want or do I object to this trade on the basis of it being a steal and handing the season title to Team Undefeated? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

Onto the games.

- Once again the Saints continue to impress me. I thought for sure the Panthers had them on the ropes, but New Orleans didn’t panic, did their thing on offense, tweaked their defense to stop the run and pulled out another win. I should point out two things:

1: Colston dropped more passes than he has all season. Is he hurt? Or was he just hungover?

2: Next week they play the Rams. Just thought I’d mention that.

- What in holy hell has happened to the Giants? At least we know they won’t lose next week. (Punchline: they’re off)

- Nice to see Michael Turner decided to start playing this year. I’d like to personally thank him for waiting until he was opposing me in fantasy to show up. Way to fuck me over, Turner. Last week was in my pay league, this week my other league. Thanks a ton.

- It’s official. The Bengals are for real. Scary.

- Who is the biggest fantasy killer this year? Matt Forte (5 total rushes for 33 yards) or Steve Slaton who didn’t even start his team’s game after being benched last week? What’s scary is I had pick 10 in my 12 man draft. I had my eye on Slaton from the get go, but dude #9 picked him right in front of me so I decided to get Brees while I could. If Slaton came to me there is no doubt I would have grabbed him. Luck has more to do with fantasy success than anything else.

- I saw Ray Rice at a press conference for the first time yesterday. He looks like he’s 16 years old! He’s also a much better receiver than I thought and should be a top 10 pick next year.

- Hammen made a good point about me praising the Patriots offense even though they had beat up on Tampa and Tennessee. I must be excused as I’m looking for any positive sign from this Pat’s team. Case in point: I really liked how the defense played against the Dolphins. Even though I know it’s the Dolphins and they were facing a rookie quarterback. I'll take what I can get.

- My man crush on Vincent Jackson just got a bit more intense after his game against the Giants. I might be in love. Just a little bit.

- Hey, Vincent Young is now 2-0 this season. I watched some of this on Red Zone and I’ll confess that Young looked good. Like real good. Like Texas against USC good. Color me impressed. He only passed 19 times, but there was a touchdown scamper that reminded me why everyone was so high on him. It might help that he actually looks to be in shape, but I dare say Young looked (gulp!) comfortable as an NFL quarterback.

- On the flip side, Alex Smith and Michael Crabtree are 0 – 2 together and the 49ers seem to be coming apart. Here is Singletary’s first real challenge. How he and his team respond to this will tell us a lot about how good a coach he can be.

- Battle of the Bays resulted in only one sure thing: We won’t have a winless team this year. Pity. I was rooting for 2 or more. Wait, let’s make this two sure things: Aaron Rogers takes way too many unnecessary sacks. There are times he seems scared to throw the ball.

- After watching some of the Seattle – Detroit game I am approaching a sad realization: Kevin Smith might stink. To be fair, it’s hard to tell with his atrocious offensive line, but Stephen Jackson seems to be faring well with his sordid crew.

- After watching some of the Dallas – Philly game and how far the Giants have fallen, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the possibility of something: The NFC East might…just might be…the worst division in football. Eagles and Cowboys were playing for first place and neither team played what I would call focused or inspired football. Even with two running backs going in the game (Barber and McCoy) I could have cared less with what I was watching.

- Closest game of the week: Colts 20 – Texans 17. Check this out:

Total yards: Colts 378 - Texans 382
Total first downs: Colts 27 – Texans 22
Total number of plays run: Tied at 72
Passing yards: Colts 306 – Texans 301
Rushing yards: Colts 72 - Texans 81

Is it any wonder this game was decided by a last second field goal?

Holy Shit Stat of the Week #1: For the first time since December 28th, 2008 one of two things did NOT happen: Jake Delhomme did not throw an interception and the Oakland Raiders did not lose a game.

Holy Shit Stat of the Week #2: Next Sunday New Orleans, who have outscored their opponents by 129 points, travel to St Louis to play the Rams, who have been outscored by their opponents by 144 points. The spread on this game could be over 20 points. And I would still take the Saints.

Random Monday Night Prediction: I’m skipping it for fear I’ll jinx my chances at toppling Team Undefeated. Can’t risk it. Ah, fuck it. Denver returns two interceptions for touchdowns in the first 18 minutes of the game. Let the blow out commence.

Today’s distraction: Some hilarious GIFs for your viewing pleasure. Love the very last one, which took multiple viewings to fully appreciate.


Clayton Bigsby said...

I wasn't trying to say Favre is the answer. I was merely saying that a competent QB was the answer. I still think they're the best team in the NFC. The Saints have shown they like to turn the ball over the last two weeks and they have yet to play a D as good as the Vikings' is. I still think your Pats are winning the SB too.

Hammen said...

I agree with what Bigsby is saying above, and what you were saying in this post. Yes, Favre has killed some teams the last couple years, but he's never had a running back/defense combination like he has this year (not to mention Harvin, who is turning out to be a hell of an all-around weapon.) On top of that, all the Vikings have needed the last couple years is a competent QB, and now they have one, so in my mind they're legit. I don't know, so many times there are misunderstandings on the internet because you aren't speaking face to face, really we're not too far off in our opinions here.

As for the Titans, I am trying (and failing) not to get excited about the resurgence of VY. My hope is that they're gonna pull a Spurs in '97 move, where they're a solid team, they suck for one year, get a great draft pick (Duncan) and then bounce back the next year and are even better thanks to said draft pick.

A Tribute: deer a train and basketball said...

Slaton has consistently killed me all year. I think I benched him when he had his best game. I am going to agree with bigsby also.

How did you fair with Hines Ward getting 2 TD's? I was down by 14 and had Ward so I ended up winning.

BeachBum said...

Ward's touchdown made me lose by 3 fucking points! I don't think this guy will lose. Fuckin' A.

btw, the league rejected that trade. I didn't even get a chance to vote on it as it was shot down by a majority before I decided.

Clayton Bigsby said...

Ward killed me too, but in a different way. I had Mendenhall and was down 3 points before the final TD. Instead of pounding the ball on 3rd down they throw it.

Anonymous said...

We, as Viking fans, are used to getting hurt, all I have to say is "1998 NFC Championship Game", and any Viking fan will cringe. I just did.

thepowerof10 said...

The best team in the NFC, Clayton? Really? They were a botched 40 yard field goal away from losing to Baltimore, and they lost to Pittsburgh. Other than that, they have beaten the Browns, Lions, Rams, Packers, and Bears. The Saints would beat them by 20. I say the Vikes finish 13-3 and lose their first playoff game.

And by the way, the Colts are undefeated and 10 times better than the Pats, but no one is talking about them because the Saints are a better story.