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Hopes and Fears

Both of my football teams won this weekend.

New York Jets 24
Miami Dolphins 6

New York Giants 27
Buffalo Bills 24

A victory is a victory, and two victories is nice... but these two did not leave me wanting to post "life is magical and full of joy." I still have hopes, but I have fears as well.

The final score of the Jets game on Monday Night Football looks convincing, but that's misleading. It was a pretty shaky win over an awful opponent, a winless team starting a backup quarterback. And even so, it was far from convincing. The Jets O began the game with four three-and-outs and did not get a first down until midway through the second quarter. The only Jet who truly impressed was Darrell Revis. Revis is the best cornerback in the NFL, almost everyone agrees, and yet the Dolphins came out throwing at him and kept it up all game. Miami squandered at least three TD chances in the first half, and their star receiver dropped balls, ran out of bounds on what might have been a long TD, and gave up a pick-six. I really don't know if the Jets won the game so much as the Dolphins lost it.

(FWIW, I think Miami may be a top contender in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. I just hope they don't win it. I suffered through a couple decades as a Jets fan, having to face Dan Marino twice a year. I don't want to go through that again, should the Fish get this kid who is supposed to be the best QB prospect since Elway. So please, win a few games, Miami. Just so long as one of them is not against the Giants two weeks from now, or the Jets in the rematch. You can beat anyone else you please. Starting with the Pats and Bills).

The real test for the Jets will be next week, when they face the Chargers. San Diego is not Miami. If Gang Green can take them down, maybe they are for real. If not... well, it could be a long season. The schedule from here on is a meatgrinder.

As for the Giants... they defeated a much stronger team in the up and coming Buffalo Bills. Corey Webster had a Revis-like afternoon, the pass rush looked fierce (and will get fiercer when Justin Tuck returns), Ahmed Bradshaw came alive and ran the ball well, and Eli was sharp. Even so, it was a near thing. With the score tied, the Bills were driving deep in Giants territory and were already in range for a go-ahead field goal when Ryan Fitzpatrick threw his second INT to Webster. Great play, Corey. The G-Men are now 4-2 and leading the NFC East, which is pretty good for a team that many people said would finish at the bottom of the division. So they're in it. But I'd be lying if I said I was confident in their prospects going forward. That lost to Seattle leaves lingering doubts, and they have some tough tough games coming up.



( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for beating the Bills. Even with Carson Palmer, every loss to an AFC team will help our bid to make a playoff run!
Oct. 18th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't be too worried about the loss to the Seahawks, it was a fluke to lose the game in that fashion.

I'd be more worried about the Jets if I were you.

Assuming the Patriots take the division, the Jets will be competing with the following teams for one of the two wildcard spots:

-Bengals (it's weird to consider them a contender)

That means that Jets have to be better than 4 out of 5 of those teams. That's a pretty tall order.

I shouldn't talk too much trash though, it doesn't look that promising for my Eagles.
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC)
The Jets-Dolphins game was awful. Both teams should be flogged and the wounds salted. At least one person on the boards speculated that the Dolphins deliberately sandbagged the game for the Suck For Luck sweepstakes. I don't necessarily believe that they'd stoop that low, but it sure as hell looked like they were gunning for the gutter.

I'm still shocked that the Niners don't suck. It's been so long since we had a decent team, I'm feeling a bit of fan whiplash and paranoia at the positive results. O_o
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:35 pm (UTC)
At least one person on the boards speculated that the Dolphins deliberately sandbagged the game for the Suck For Luck sweepstakes.

I don't think it takes any extra effort on our part to suck...
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:39 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry that this year is going to be so bad for you guys. I hope that at least your Aussie-rules football team shows some spark.

Edited at 2011-10-19 03:39 pm (UTC)
Oct. 21st, 2011 12:15 am (UTC)
Footy season is already over and although we made it to the playoffs, we sucked in the first round. American football is a disaster: Dolphins are winless and the UF Gators lost their first-string quarterback and their season is effectively over. And the SF Giants, last year's WS champs, didn't even make it into the playoffs. Australian cricket is looking good, though :->
Oct. 19th, 2011 12:06 am (UTC)
It isn't even that they don't suck this year, they're actually pretty impressive. I've been watching every SF game expecting it to all fall apart and yet here we are with great standing and (probably) weeks away from facing a serious challenge.

I am actually starting to be hopeful for the first time in years and it is a welcome change.
Oct. 19th, 2011 03:41 pm (UTC)
Due to living on the East Coast, I've only seen a few snaps from the Niners this year, much to my chagrin. I'm hoping that I'll be able to catch a few games before the season ends, especially when I'm out West visiting the family for the holidays.
Oct. 19th, 2011 09:34 pm (UTC)
Are you saying the Lions weren't a real challenge? I watched that game, it came down to the final minutes. Yes they won, but it wasn't easy.
Oct. 20th, 2011 05:43 am (UTC)
I meant going forward we're probably a few weeks away from another serious challenge. The Browns and Redskins don't exactly inspire fear this year but November looks a little tougher with the Giants and Ravens and if they're going to implode, I'd bet that is when it'll happen.
Oct. 18th, 2011 07:58 pm (UTC)
I think, for all the Giants' faults, they're in the best position to take the division this year.
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:09 pm (UTC)
You and me both! I'm your resident SD fan... it's funny because your sentiments about the Jets are pretty much the same way most SD fans feel. Our wins are wins yes, but all were dubious. I know that a horrible team in the NFL has a chance on any given Sunday because match-ups can cause problems (see Tampa last week against SF against how they played this week against NO). It's a weird league, so yes, this next match-up will be a good barometer. I think both teams are talented but I have to like SDs chances now that they can RUN and the Jets are having a problem stopping the run (see Raiders game). Good luck none-the-less!
PS. Yes, I'm still sick to my stomach from the Kaeding playoff blunders in years past.
PPS. Did you pick up a little tension between Gruden and Jaws last night?
Oct. 18th, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
After this appallingly awful season, at least we should get some reward out of it. *sigh*
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC)
Hey George, I am a Raider fan. What do you think of the Carson Palmer acquisition?
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:11 pm (UTC)
Re: Raiders
Well, you paid an awful lot for him. That makes me wonder.

Still, if he can lead you to the playoffs, it will be worth it. Carson Palmer at the top of his form is an upgrade over Jason Campbell... although I am not sure Palmer can still play at the level he once did. His last year in Cincinnati was underwhelming.
Michael Hglund
Oct. 20th, 2011 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: Raiders
Being a Bengals fan I am thrilled. Mike Brown just became a genius/wizard/ninja, which was as far fetched in my mind as the Colts ever being 0-6 ever, when he somehow got us this building block for the future.

And the Raiders, what did they get?

Carson has a good enough arm and the experience to continue the positive Raider trend, I believe. The running game and good D, will carry them to the playoffs (think Jets last couple of year). Although, thinking of CP as long-term solution for the Raider Nation, highly flattering to him of course, would be an absolutely epic fantasy, no pun intended.

He is going to make some plays, I rank him in the same category as McNabb, ie looks pretty good on paper but going to make Raider Nation cringe at times out on the field. On the flip-side, what was the alternative move? Pretty slim pickings out there.

How about the difference a Mangold makes.

Oct. 20th, 2011 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Raiders
Pretty much my sentiment. I think the Raiders offer a lot of luxuries for a veteran QB. Great O-line, fierce running game. Should make his transition cozier than most. I hoping for a Favre-like first season for the Vikings, rather than a McNabb.
Oct. 18th, 2011 09:22 pm (UTC)
Dolphins Fans' Take
Sorry, George, but I think the Phins have the inside track on the young Mr. Luck. I wouldn't have thought it until last night, but they looked absolutely dreadful. I've never seen so many talented players look so inept in the same game. That game last night has me feeling that Miami is about to come apart at the seams, and if it does, they'll be lucky to win 2 games against their tough remaining schedule. As a Dolphins fan, I can't root against my team, but Andrew Luck would certainly cure a ton of decade-long ills.

By the way, your lack of confidence in the Jets is well-founded. Against any other opponent, they would have been pile-driven into the turf last night.
Oct. 19th, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
San Diego may not be Miami, but they're still San Diego. I think we'll be fine. Right Mark Sanchez, right????
Carl Terwilliger
Oct. 19th, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
QB change?
Are you satisfied with M. Sanchez? I just don't see him taking you to the promised land. Its hard for me to watch the Jets offensively...Only reason I watch them is because I have their D in fantasy football lol.
Oct. 19th, 2011 02:56 am (UTC)
It's so weird being a Buffalonian this year. Jokes about the awfulness of the Bills are older than I am, but apparently we've got a really strong team this year. Seems like the city's been going crazy after every game this year.
Oct. 19th, 2011 05:47 am (UTC)
I was just a wee lad when Marino was around. Just two or three years of Dolphins' competence wouldn't be too much to ask for! I'm not for throwing games but I hope the cards fall right and we get a little Luck-y. Maybe then we can sweep the Jets every year!
Joseph Romel
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:30 am (UTC)
So bummed about the Bills game. The Giants' pass rush was excellent, but receivers the corners beat on both of those interceptions, and had Fitzy not underthrown both balls we'd be having a very different conversation today. He's been underthrowing receivers all season, and it has finally come back to bite him--and us. He's as good as anyone in the underneath game, but going deep is an entirely different story.
Oct. 19th, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
Unrelated, but I wanted to make sure you knew that a Jeopardy! question yesterday asked for the name of the television series based on the Song of Fire and Ice by George R. R. Martin. The contestant got the answer correct.
Oct. 19th, 2011 01:53 pm (UTC)
I was just wondering - you really really hate Belichick - but didn't he work over at the jets some years back? did you hate him then, also, or is it just a "us against them" kind of thing. he's the same person - with the same values, and the same talent - so what changed other than his affiliation?
Oct. 19th, 2011 01:58 pm (UTC)
oops - giants/patriots
My bad - i meant giants - and sure, it was a long time ago, but still...
Oct. 19th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC)
We (my husband and I) started listening to your books in April when the HBO show came out. Yesterday we finished. LOVE LOVE LOVE the show and the books!!! We even had you sign our books when you came to Denver in July - YAY!! So, I finish the book and look at your "unblog" and you are talking about football? WHAT?? You can't have any free fun time - I need the 6th book - yesterday!! sheesh!! I'm very excited about season two (and book 6) Congrats on the Scream award and the Emmy. We were shocked Mr Dinklage didn't thank you for the wonderful character you created. We figure you have killed him off in the first paragraph of book 6!! When I met you and told you I was on book three you told me to buy kleenex - well you should have said to keep on buying them - book 5 was devastating!!! So, now that I have said my thing - get back to that book!!! No more fun for you!! BTW thanks for the wonderful books - jamie
(Suspicious comment)
Oct. 21st, 2011 12:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the article link - it makes sense. I love that author too - the Graveyard book was lovely!! I was just being funny though. It's ok that you didn't get that, I just hope GRRM does.....
Oct. 19th, 2011 09:30 pm (UTC)
My good sirs, I believe you are all overlooking how bad the Colts are without Peyton Manning taking snaps. When we finish at the bottom of the barrel, we will draft Mr. Luck and retain divisional dominance and conference relevance for another fifteen years.

Although I would be just fine if they didn't do that because they won some damn games. Watching my team lose constantly hurts. Not sure how the Lions fans suffered through it for fifty years. I would go crazy.
Oct. 20th, 2011 05:48 am (UTC)
Suck for Luck
Dolphins fan here. Though I hope and wish for Andrew Luck to end up in Miami, the scary part is that he can choose to stay at Stanford for his senior year...and then who the heck are we gonna get?
Oct. 20th, 2011 07:40 am (UTC)
I can't figure these guys out. They lose to the lowly Seagulls at home, and then beat one of the better teams in the NFL in the Bills. It seems like another team comes to play every week.

Oct. 20th, 2011 09:54 pm (UTC)
I fear for the Giants too.

I am so happy with the progress the Giants have made. I too am a bit fearful of their chances progressing because of their tough schedule. My husband thinks that they are the most frustrating team to watch,especially last game. They don't capitalize on the breaks, and they make bad judgments calls, they get penalized for doing stupid things ( like false starts). I agree with his thoughts, because I saw it as well. If we can clean these silly mistakes and be consistent ( consistency is something Giants lacked ,in my opinion), then we should be fine. But, you never know what can happen on any given Sunday.
Oct. 29th, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
are my redskins still just a joke? :(
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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