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Sunday, Sunday

Playoff football. Nothing like it.

Needless to say, I loved the morning game. I was rooting for the Ravens to win, but I won't pretend I ever expected anything like the whuppin' they put on the Patriots. It's always nice to see Evil Little Bill get elimimated, so we can be treated to another one of his mumbling monotone press briefings, where he says nothing at all. (Win or lose, I much prefer Rex, who shows signs of being an actual human being, with emotions and a sense of humor and everything). It would have been a much closer game if Welker had not been injured, doubtless (I actually kind of like Welker, though he killed the Jets the last time we played the Pats. It still baffles me why the Dolphins traded him to New England for a bag of old socks, just as it puzzles me why the Raiders would give Randy Moss to New England for one of EVil Bill's old sweatshirts. Must be some sort of evil power) -- but the way the Ravens were playing, they would still have won. Brady looked... dare one say it... mediocre.

The afternoon game was... ah... exciting. And unexpected. I really expected the Pack to handle the Cardinals easily. This is same stuff Arizona pulled last year : winning a sub-par division with such erratic and uninspired play that no one took them seriously, only to come alive suddenly in the post-season. Anyway, Warner played an amazing game. Rodgers was very good too, once he settled down, but those passing stats of Kurt's are mind-boggling. I have to give the Packers credit for an amazing comeback. They looked dead half a dozen times, but just kept kicking dirt off their faces and clawing back out of the grave. And the ending had as much irony as it did drama.

All in all, great football entertainment, though somewhere in the distance I can hear the wails of weeping cheeseheads. An all-time record for scoring in the post-season, I hear. From my point of view, the wrong team won. I guess the Pottsville Maroons will have to wait another week for their curse to kick in.

That being said, I have to take issue with the commentators who are called the Arizona/ Green Bay shootout a "great game." That it wasn't. Exciting, yes. Entertaining, definitely. Good football? No. Neither team brought a defense. Up and down the field, up and down, up and down, pitch and catch. On the rare occasion where a defender actually defended against a pass, he'd get flagged for illegal contact or pass interference. It was a basketball game, is what it was. The sad result for decades of fiddling with rules to give the offense every advantage. Myself, I think they've gone too far, and wish they'd go back, if not to the rules of 50s, at least to those of the 70s. Let the cornerbacks defend, goddamn it.

These rules changes make it almost impossible to compare players from different eras, at least by using stats. The stats for modern players are grossly inflated.

Anyway, the Cardinals go on, the Pack goes home, the Patriots are done... and now the Jets have to face the Chargers, while the Ravens get the Colts. On paper, the Jets don't have much chance against San Diego, but as this weekend's games have proved, anything can happen.

What would be really cool would be if the Jets and Ravens both won. Long odds, I know... but if it happened, Giants Stadium would host one more NFL game before being demolished. The AFC Championship. And wouldn't THAT be cool?

Hey, a boy can dream.



( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
And what is life without our dreams?
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
I agree with you about all the rules changes. Pretty soon they're all going to be wearing flags instead of tackling. If you breathe wrong near a QB, it's a 15yd penalty. QB's and Kickers are acting like NBA players do when they flop to draw a charge. I've seen Illegal Contact fouls called when the receivers were either within 5 yards or even behind the line of scrimmage. Offensive Holding is called whenever the referee feels like getting TV time rather than when it actually happens. Especially in the Super Bowl. It's just gotten ridiculous.
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Sunday's Amazing Football
All season long, it did seem that this was the year of the passing game - you even cited the favoritism that is shown to WRs by not letting CBs play physically - the era of ground and pound and playing hard-nosed defense seemed to prevail in the first 3 games no doubt, but that last one...WOW! I was blown away by the game that Rodgers and Warner played. Aaron Rodgers is the third best quarterback in the game today (behind Rivers and Manning) and will probably have a few rings on his hand before his career is all said and done. And Warner, what else can be said about the guy, he does nothing but create franchises; first he brings us the greatest show on turf, now the hottest thing in the desert. That game was the stuff of legend (Most passing yards in a playoff game by a Green Bay QB stat is owned by Rodgers, not the Wrangler wearing old man who needs to retire who wears that silly purple uniform...ok, he can throw it still...).
Next week George, you and I will be on opposite sides of the field. For yes, there are five things that I love in this world: my fiance, my family, peanut butter candy, your books, and my Chargers! San Di-e-go, Super Chargers!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=whNOfvyPpaM. Get your 'green' ready, I'll be sporting some blue. Good luck!
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:15 am (UTC)
Aw, what's wrong with Arizona? The game definitely lack any sort of defensive plays, minus the interception and fumble at the very beginning of the game.

I'm only a Cardinals' fan because of Larry Fitzgerald. What I saw today, Cardinals probably won't win against the Saints, especially not with that defense. But as you say, stranger things could happen! And honestly... I would be happy if the Cardinals somehow made it to the Super Bowl.
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
and now the Jets have to face the Chargers, while the Ravens get the Colts. On paper, the Jets don't have much chance against San Diego, but as this weekend's games have proved, anything can happen.

You might not look like you have much chance against San Diego, but you'd probably have even less chance against the Colts :->
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:57 am (UTC)
actually, no, it WOULDN'T be cool. ;)

in all honesty, I would have much rather my Chargers faced the Pats, as I believe New England presented a better (i.e. easier) matchup for San Diego than your Jets and their defense/running game. Still, I'd love to see what Rivers can do against Revis and company. Good luck to you, and may the better team win.
Jan. 11th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
But there is always the playoff curse when the Pats meet the Chargers, and so I'll take the matchup we got anyday.
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:08 am (UTC)
RE: the Maroons, you do know that the real villains here were not the Cardinals (then the Chicago Cardinals), but rather the Frankfort Yellow Jackets. They scheduled the ill-fated exhibition game against Notre Dame to be played against the winner of the upcoming Maroons-Yellow Jackets rivalry game (at the time, a rather heated affair). When the Maroons clobbered the Yellow Jackets 49-0, the vindictive owner of the Yellow Jackets hastily scheduled ANOTHER game, this time against the Cleveland Browns. He then brazenly protested to the league that the Notre Dame-Maroons game (to be played in Philadelphia, Sharks...I mean Yellow Jacekts turf) violated his exclusive franchise rights. Remember, this is the same Notre Dame-Maroons game that HE HIMSELF ARRANGED. The league agreed, for some reason, and warned the Maroons, in writing, not to play the game or risk suspension. The Maroons thumbed their noses at the league and played anyway. The league called their bluff, and the Maroons lost the championship. The Cardinals, as the second place team in the league, were the beneficiaries, though through no machinations on their part.

So George, the next time you blame the Cardinals for all this, think about the real culprits: the Frankfort Yellow Jackets, and the arrogance of the Maroons.
Jan. 11th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Playoffs! PLAYOFFS?
I'm gonna say it now so everyone hears me: the hated Dallas Cowboys are gonna take the whole thing. That D is simply monstrous right now, and Romo only makes mistakes when he's pressured, and no one is even getting close enough to breathe on him.

Vikings / 'Boys: I have a feeling Favre (who has NEVER beaten Dallas in a playoff game) is going to get pounded. Dallas wins handily.

The Cardiac Cards will go in and outgun the exposed Saints--with their running game. Cards win.

The NFC Championship Game will rekindle visions of Staubach vs. Hart, but once the ball is kicked off Kurt Warner is going to wish he had Jim Hart's thick body and stumpy legs, because Ware is going to pretzel my ex-Ram. Cowboys to the Super Bowl.

AFC... This is even easier. The Ravens can't beat the Colts, period. The Colts stop the run, and I don't see the Delaware Fighting Hen who quarterbacks the Baltimore team stepping up and winning it with his arm in a shootout. Look for some second-half fireworks from Peyton Manning. A Manning-to-Timberlake touchdown might even happen, it'll be so ugly.

I will be rooting hard for the Jets; not because they are my favorite author's team (by my calculations GRRM's significant shadow only buys them a +2.6% interest increase on my part)... but they don't need the extra motivation on my part when playing any team quarterbacked by Cry Me A Rivers, the worst sore loser (and the worst sore winner) I think I've ever seen in professional sports. Well, in football. I HATE me some San Diego. The hate got so bad this season we rooted for the Raiders over them.

Anyway, doesn't matter. The Jets are toast. You can only go so far with a rookie Q.B. "Go get 'em next year, kid."

(I loved in the press conference following the game how Sanchez gave Pete Carrol hell for jumping off the University of Spoiled Children ship and swimming to Seahawk shores. Hey, playing in New York, you need a sense of humor.)

San Diego will again go into Indy and win. Because that's what they do.

Dallas beats San Diego in the Super Bowl. If you want me to actually watch that game, you'll find me in the pantry with a gun in my freaking mouth.

Kill me now.
Jan. 12th, 2010 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs! PLAYOFFS?
Why do you give the Ravens no chance? They lost to the Colts 17-15 after missing a potential winning field goal in November. And that was with an injured Terrell Suggs AND Ed Reed. I believe this one will be a lot closer than you're predicting.
Jan. 12th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs! PLAYOFFS?
Ok...back to earth now.

Dallas at Minnesota: On offense, the Vikings just have too many weapons for the Cowboys over-achieving defense to contain. Ware is a great pass-rusher, but can be exploited in the run game. Adrian Peterson will run over, around and through the Cowboys all day long. Once A.P. gets revved up, Favre can use play action passing and screens to further slow the pass rush. Watch for quick passes and short crossing routes to Rice, Shiancoe and Berrian. By the 2nd Quarter, Percy Harvin will be wide open on the slot post, since the Safeties will collapse on the short routes. Yes, the Cowboys offense is potent, but they will not be able to run on the Vikings. Barber is usually only good for 3 yards and a cloud of dust anyway, so cut that in half. Felix Jones doesn't get enough carries to be a big factor. Basically, Romo will have to try to win with his arm against the best pass rush in the NFC. Sorry, Dallas, your playoff run is likely over. Vikings 31, Cowboys 17.

Arizona at New Orleans: Part of me wants to say that this will be a repeat of AZ/GB with a ton of points on both sides. Problem is, the Saints have a defense. I like Warner, but the Saints secondary may be the best in the NFL, and they have a very sporadic running game. If the Saints play anything like they did the first 13 weeks of the season, this should be a relatively easy win. If the team that lost their last three shows up, it's going to be time to bring out the sacks again in Aints land. Saints 34, Cardinals 28.

Baltimore at Indianapolis: This game comes down to one player: Ray Rice. If he blows up Indy's suspect run defense, it's going to be a long day for Peyton & Co. The Ravens are a ball control team, and if they can keep Manning from picking them apart, they have a good shot to pull an upset. Indianapolis is the worst 14-2 team I've ever seen, having pulled out several wins in the waning minutes before giving away their final two games to "rest" the starters. Yes, I'm picking an upset. Ravens 27, Colts 21.

New York Jets at San Diego: Man, who would have seen this game a few weeks back? If the Jets defense plays well, this could be a really close, low-scoring game. If not, the Chargers get another bye week (sorry George). The Jets need a big game from their running backs to have a shot. My fear is that Sanchez will make too many rookie mistakes. Chargers 21, Jets 10

Jan. 13th, 2010 07:53 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs! PLAYOFFS?
Why all the hate on Rivers? From all reports he's no problem in the locker room, no problem in society, nice married family man with a few cute little kids. He's personable in every interview, willing to talk about the game he plays with passion and gives intelligent answers.

The only thing I can think about is that somehow you think his on field persona fits your "crybaby" comment. My question is when. The most famous incident was in the game against Cutler. I think history has shown Cutler is actually the bigger whiner (and by far the bigger loser) in that exchange. Cutler whined his way out of Denver and sits moping on the Bears (who used to be my favorite NFC team) postseason failure.

Or perhaps you didn't like him talking back to the Indy fans who cheered when he was knocked out of the playoff game 2 years ago. (And I thought Indy fans were nice unlike Philly or Giant fans.) So what if he talks to opposing defenses, so did Steve young and Dan Marino and John Elway and so does Brett Favre and gee what do you know Peyton Manning. Hell, even young Sanchez showed up the Raiders by eating a hot dog on the bench (which is actually very funny.)

Rivers is a passinate player who is really coming into his own. He's shown a ton of heart playing on two damaged knees in the AFC championship 2 years ago and I, for one, am truly glad he's a San Diego Charger.

Jan. 11th, 2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
Interesting Point
I was listening to WFAN this morning on the way to the train and they brought up that this week is going to be full of debate about what really wins games in the NFL and then this weekend will tell the tale. Quaterbacks (Peyton Manning & Philip Rivers) or Defense (I believe they said that the Ravens and the Jets had the #1 & 2 defenses in the AFC). I am looking forward to next weekend.

J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:37 pm (UTC)
Whoa, I'm from Pottsville
Everyone is always about them Maroons, I never got it personally.
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:43 pm (UTC)
The best thing, from my perspective, about the chance of one final Conference Championship game at Giants Stadium is that it will be the Jets' game, not the Giants'. I've always wanted the Jets to have their own stadium, preferably back in New York.
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:53 pm (UTC)
I'd say the new force out rule is a step in the right direction, or in bounds with no pun intended.
Jan. 11th, 2010 02:58 pm (UTC)
Brady wasn't just mediocre, he was downright awful for large parts of the game. Along with the pats defense. It's like Belicheck thought "Lets spot them 21 points and see if we can still win..."

Gotta give it to Ravens though, they came and they conquered. Good game by them, disappointing for me.
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:00 pm (UTC)
I agree with george
I would like to go back to the rules of the 1980s actually. Scoring will be up because offensive game planning is just better than in the 1970s and defensive game planning and talent have not kept up. Plus offensive coordinators woke up in the mid-late 1980s and realized "hey a quarterback who can avoid the rush is a good thing and we should not send Doug Flutie to Canada because he scrambles)". So it is just harder to get pressure on the quarterback since he actually moves around in the pocket. Pre-1985 quarterbacks literally stood there like statues and were COACHED to not move.

I don't like the rules now. It also puts too much emphasis on the Quarterback. This is a team game. This is not basketball where 1 guy should be able to change a franchise by himself and that 1 guy can only be a quarterback. Quarterbacks have always been the most important players on a team now it is too much. This is in large part due to the rule changes.

That being said most fans like scoring and don't want to see a punt fest (see the complaints about the BCS championship) so it won't happen. Same thing with baseball. Fans generally would rather see a 12-11 game than 2-1 game with a nice hit and run in the middle of it.
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:10 pm (UTC)
As one of the aforementioned Cheeseheads, I am of course suffering a bit of postseason depression today. Someone forgot to tell the defense that there was a game. The only one who showed up was Matthews,a nd he may be the current wunderkind but he can't do it all by himself.

On the upside, I hope this means we get a new coach soonish.
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
I almost didn't come by here today. I knew that you would be happy about the Pats loss.

I must admit that you are right on a lot of points. We still would have lost if Welker had been on the field, it might have been closer, but we just didn't show up with a playoff caliber team yesterday.

Brady did look mediocre. He is still an incredible QB and if our O line could give him a few seconds, he would look incredible again. I think that he just didn't know where to go for a quick look. 81 is always in double coverage, and 83 was drinking beer with Bob Kraft. Edelmann has some great potential though.

It also would be nice to have a defense.

I'll be rooting against the Jets next weekend. If you kill a Stark for that, can it be Sansa?

Jan. 11th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Pats
LOL - I vote Sansa too. :)
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC)
Cardinals vs. Packers
I agree about that not being good football. They better find better defense if they want to beat the Saints.
Jan. 11th, 2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
They looked dead half a dozen times, but just kept kicking dirt off their faces...

Heh, I'd like so actually see that.

Jan. 11th, 2010 04:09 pm (UTC)
I’d like to see the Jets play Baltimore this year, although I’m not sure if it will happen. San Diego has really blossomed the past few months and Indianapolis knows the Ravens very well.

Like you said though anything cold happen and if Baltimore plays like they did this past weekend. There’s going to be some great football going on.
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:31 pm (UTC)
I agree completely about the Cardinals-Packers game not being good football. It was a game of Madden played on FOX, albeit entertaining. The defense wasnt just bad, it was atrocious. The Packers had the second rated defense in the NFC and they looked like a 3rd string preseason unit. I worry that this is where the NFL is heading - quarterbacks and wide recievers are essentially untouchable so teams are locked into dome-style shootouts. There'll be no pass rush, no running game aside from the occasional draw, and quarterbacks throwing it up 50/55 times a game. It's like baseball and the home run - it becomes dominant -and the game becomes tailored to it- because this is what "the fans want." Urgh.
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
The Meadowlands
If the Ravens run like they did this week and Indy is rusty...?

...but Chargers look really strong.
Jan. 11th, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
I have to respectfully disagree about the wrong team winning the Cardinals game, George. The Packers did not come to play at all in the first half. Had they decided to play a full game of football I would have agreed with you. Even though the Cardinals defense took the 2nd half off at least their offense never went to sleep (they only went 3 and out 1 time and scored on almost every possession).

Good luck with the Chargers next week. Hopefully the extra rest they got made them rusty.
Jan. 11th, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC)
As much as I enjoy the fact of the Patriots not going to be in the Superbowl this year, that game was about as one sided a playoff since well...the night before! Have to say even watching how amazing the Ravens were playing I got a little bored with it in the second half. And how ironic was it that the Cardinals pulled the win out of overtime with a sac/defensive touchdown off the recovery? Those defenses were gassed is the only excuse I can think of for that second half...even with the officiating guys were getting wide open all over, both qarterbacks very well protected and neither could stop the other. Gotta hand it to Green Bay for getting back in the game there in the second half and taking some chances to do it. An entertaining game for sure.
Jan. 11th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
I think the big loser this weekend was Arizona, because now they have one week to go out and find a defense before they have to play one of the most potent offenses in the league.
Jan. 11th, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC)
I can easily see the Jets winning their game. They are playing pretty good ball right now. Guess that interview with Rex when he apologized for not making the playoffs a few weeks back gave his team the kick it needed, eh? If the defense comes up big, they can win.

And Indy needs to watch out, too. Their defense has some of the same holes that Rice ran all over yesterday. This game is one the Ravens could potentially win.

I know how you feel about Evil Bill, but did anyone see that coming yesterday? The Pats just didn't come to play. It was shocking to see that out of one of his teams. I can take it when my teams lose, but to end the season like that was a disgrace.

And as much as it pains me that the last game in Giants Stadium wouldn't feature the Giants, I can't disagree that would be a pretty awesome send-off if it came to pass.
Jan. 11th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Jets vs. Ravens
It IS possible. There's a reason why they play the games, and no, it's not to refine statistics. On paper, a bumblebee can't fly. On paper, there was no way the U.S. hockey team was going to beat the USSR. On paper, Romo is a decent QB (couldn't resist!).
Jan. 11th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
I apologize in advance for cheering on my Chargers at the expense of your Jets. As a friend of mine who is also a Jets fan said, we can trade insults until the day of, then one of us can offer a shoulder to the other.

(and yes I know that Seau is no longer with the Chargers. You're lucky it's not a Fouts icon. ;))
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
actually, I think that's a Merriman icon. ;)
Jan. 11th, 2010 08:59 pm (UTC)
Oh my dear gods, I think you might be right.
Jan. 11th, 2010 07:49 pm (UTC)
Welker for a bag of old socks?
Since when is a second and seventh round pick a bag of old socks. It never fails to amaze me how people look through a lens of three years and say a trade was giving up nothing for something . . .

Welker's career high prior to coming to the Patriots was 67 receptions for 687 yards. I remember what the consensus opinion was on the trade and the scouting report on Welker:
1. The Patriots were said to be stupid for making the trade and were grossly overpaying for a 3rd receiver.
2. Welker was one of the worst receivers when it came to yards after the catch.

That is what was said, emphasis on the one of the worst receivers on yards after the catch, that is what was said about him. But of course - three years, 346 receptions, and 3688 yards later - it is now the Dolphins gave him up for nothing and it had nothing to do with Evil Bill seeing something in a player which few others saw, particularly in how he confounded the Patriots' secondary. After all, Miami could have simply matched the 3rd year offer sheet.

I'm not trying to be a jerk, and I know this is your forum, but when you are wrong (and hopelessly biased, as all die-hard fans are, and allowing it to color your thinking), you are wrong.
Jan. 11th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)
I was hoping with fingers and toes crossed that you would comment. Thanks. Those games were worth your input. Thanks again.

Welker is only as good as he is when he has a QB to get him the ball. The Dolphins didn't, so I don't think they knew what they had. Moss, well remember he started looking not-so-good those last few seasons with the Vikes and Raiders. Obviously for the same reason as Welker. I'm not a fan-boy but it's all about Brady. I think that guy might make something of himself.

Doesn't Rice remind you of a stockier version of Joe Morris? He does to me. He has excellent quickness to the edges and once he pops through the line, watchout! Were it not for the Ray Lewis knife incident I could easily root for the Ravens. As it was I rooted for the Pats and Junior Seau. Sour-Pus has grown on me. And how about that Edelman kid. Guts!

That second game was one of the most entertaining offensive games I've seen since Jets vs Dolphins twenty-something years ago. When I saw the coin toss I figured Green Bay won. Oh irony of ironies that the game should end on a defensive play.

As far as the rules changes, you are probably right. But, don't you think there have been ebbs and flows in the rules towards both offense and defense over the years. Specifically, I'm thinking of the early eighties and Air Coryell. My memory is faulty so I could be wrong.

Jan. 11th, 2010 10:19 pm (UTC)
I think it's been mostly ebb, with very little flow.
Jan. 12th, 2010 05:57 am (UTC)
I can agree with that.
Jan. 11th, 2010 10:42 pm (UTC)
Pack game
That game was a crock of poop. Sure the Packers couldn't do ANYTHING against the Cardinals offense, but they still came to tie it up into overtime, despite blown calls by the refs. And then, through a completely obvious face mask, the cardinals strip the ball and run it in. That was a kick in the pants.
Jan. 11th, 2010 11:47 pm (UTC)
I think it's a bit unfair to say that it wasn't a great game. Warner and Rodgers were picking apart the defense through skill and excellent reads. Some of the passes, Warner was threading right between 3 guys in zone coverage, each one about half a second too late to close in. One of the best passing displays I've ever seen, and I wouldn't blame the defenses. Now, if it was Mark Sanchez doing this, who is a TERRIBLE quarterback, yes, it would be quite bad defense. When you have two of the top 5 QBs in the league (both are completely underrated, and I'm a Vikings fan complementing Rodgers) and a high-scoring contest, I wouldn't rush to say it's bad defense, but rather, good offense.

Secondly, when you say a game is entertaining and exciting, isn't that pretty much the definition of great? Sure, it wasn't great defense, but that is not required for a game to be great. If so, then the final drive of your Giants' Super Bowl over the Pats wasn't a great one because of some blown plays on defense on that final drive, and the Tyree catch play was a terrible play because the defense didn't sack Manning! No, yesterday was a great game: the sport IS entertainment.
Jan. 12th, 2010 06:41 am (UTC)
I'm a Giants fan so I've watched that SuperBowl several times. Both teams played solid defense. I've not heard any of the analysts who were former players say otherwise. The only "blown" play on that last drive was Asante Samuels not making the interception. But even there he was where he was supposed to be. He just did not make the potential interception. The Manning escape was an exceptional play by him. You can liken it to Jeff Hostetler not getting the ball ripped from his hand while in his own endzone. Or those countless times we've seen Brett Favre get rid of the ball when it looked like he was in the grasp and dead to rights. That wasn't a bad defensive play it was great individual play. Poor defensive play is not maintaining gap discipline or contain. Or being confused in zone coverage and not being where you are supposed to be. We saw a lot of those by both teams in the second half.

Arizona played very good defense in the first quarter. The rest of the game there were wide open receivers. When a running back can break it to the outside, that's poor defense. When he can shoot through the middle... that's terrible. It wasn't even a case of great down field blocking.

Because I'm a Giants fan I do know what bad D looks like. I've been watching piss-poor defense the entire year.

I will say that I think it was a great game despite the poor defense. The quarterbacks and receivers play were exceptional. Even the running backs performed well when tasked.
Jan. 12th, 2010 12:05 am (UTC)
AND you'd have the fun "Rex vs. his former defense" story line. Though if I were you as a Jets fan, I'd be awful nervous about seeing the Sanchize up against Ed Reed and his boys. But it would definitely be a fun game.
Jan. 12th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC)
Ravens v. Colts
All of us Baltimorons (current and former) feel this one deeply. The blue and white should, by all that is good and just in the world, still be on our helmets, even if the team left town (may a billion curses by upon Robert Irsay's name for all eternity). The tradition and history of that team was an immense part of city's pride in itself. (At least we also had the Orioles.)

I like the Ravens choice for the team name and all that (for Poe, 'cause they're scary, etc.), but it's still not the same. I'm glad we didn't just take the team name and colors from Cleveland, I think all Ravens fans are happy about that. When the team came to Baltimore, many had very mixed feeling about it. Happy to have a team again, uncomfortable about how similar it all was to what we went through with the Colts. A lot of us didn't really accept the team or feel comfortable rooting for them until Cleveland got their new Browns. I know I didn't even pay attention to them until then; it took away the sour taste.
Jan. 12th, 2010 06:40 am (UTC)
I thought for sure the Jets were going to have to play the Colts this weekend. The Pats are just not the team I remember, but I guess like you said Welker was a big reason. I hope the jets can topple rivers and his chargers. The last thing I want to see is a hot chargers team face off against the colts. Go Colts!

I think you can build a strong D or a strong O, and seldom does a team do both well. Just because there was no D on either side of the Cardinals/Cheesehead matchup, doesn't mean it was a bad game. I think in a game with a high scoring offense, if one of the O lines hadn't shown up the game would have been completely one sided. In some ways I love the fire of a good Offense game vs. a battle of two killer D teams where the final score is 3-0. I think that is why the NFC east is such a huge division. Sure the D is good on those teams, but they tend to have very high scoring divisional games. I also don't agree that the rules favor the WR or QB as much as you are saying. A good CB can play to the rules to draw an offensive penalty just as much as a good WR can. Typically what happens is the QB reads a really good CB coverage and holds onto the ball too long or goes for the short passes. So my personal belief is that it just isn't overly visible in a professional game because most the QB's are able to read the play and decide not to throw against a good CB.
Jan. 13th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
Mixing politics and football...
Did you see the New York Times interview with Harold Ford, Jr.? When asked "Jets or Giants?" he responds:

"I had breakfast about every morning when I am in town, or I should say, several mornings, at the Regency. I see my friends the Tisches. Steve Tisch is my close personal friend. I have been to more Giants games. I spent the holidays, I had lunch over the holidays with Woody Johnson. We met for the first time. I am happy for his team."

What a man of the people!
Jan. 14th, 2010 01:02 am (UTC)
Hi! I just wanted to pop by and say that I just finished reading the four Song of Ice and Fire books for the first time and really enjoyed them. I almost didn't post this after reading that you were rooting against my beloved Patriots, but hey, everyone is free to have their faults. :) (Including Brady, who -- like Carson Palmer who had a similar injury -- is probably never again going to play like he did prior to Sept 2008.)
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George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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