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End of the Season

The NFL wrapped up its regular season over the weekend, with victories for both of my teams.

The Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills 30-10. Last year, when facing the Bills on the final weekend, Gang Green could have clinched a playoff spot with a win... so, of course, they choked and played the worst game of the reason. This year, when the game meant absolutely nothing, they romped. The Bills fired Rex Ryan after last week's loss, so you couldn't even pitch the contest as "Hot Seat Bowl," with Buffalo playing under an interim coach.

The highlight of the game came after the Jets kicked a field goal and kicked off to Buffalo. The ball bounced into the endzone, while a Bills player stood over it looking at it curiously, as if to say, "What is that? Is that the ball? Was I supposed to catch it? I forget. Maybe I should pick it up?" While he was pondering, one of the Jets rushed past him and fell on the ball for a touchdown. Maybe it was good Rex was not on the sideline, his head might have exploded.

FWIW, I think Buffalo made a mistake in letting go of Rex. They did not even give him two years, and they are not likely to find anyone better. The Bills are a deeply dysfunctional franchise; they keep hiring new coaches, but never give them time to build a winner. No wonder they have been out of the playoffs longer than any other team in the NFL.

The Jets are not much better, however. The win left them with a record of 5-11 on the season, and the sixth overall draft slot. But they still have no quarterback. Christian Hackenberg, their second round draft pick last year, finally dressed for a game, but still did not play. Ryan Fitzpatrick started and finished and played... well, okay, but everyone seems certain that he will not be back next year. Neither will Geno. Which leaves Gang Green with the broken Bryce Petty and the totally untested Hackenberg and that draft pick. Do they use that on yet another young qb? So they try to address one of their many other needs? Do they pick up a quarterback in free agency or trade for one? If so, who? I hear talk of Romo, Cutler, and Kaepernick, which seems to me just a choice of poison. Arsenic, cyanide, or strychnine, what would you like?

Meanwhile, the Jets did keep their head coach... but fired a whole bunch of assistant coaches. So I don't know if they really have much more continuity than the Bills, when you get down to it. Sigh. Sometimes it's hard to be green...

So let's go blue, and talk about the Giants. They won too, and much more impressively, defeating the Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous People 19-10. (Would have been 13-10, except for a freak defensive touchdown on Washington's last desperation play). The game was not really as close as the score, since Big Blue's defense dominated throughout, pretty well shutting down one of the league's highest scoring offenses. What made the win even more impressive was that the Giants were already locked into the #5 seed in the playoffs, win or lose, and had nothing to play for, while the Redskins had everything to play for. I was glad to see that Ben McAdoo and Eli Manning played to win regardless; I hate it when teams lie down on the last day of the season. (I am looking at you, Cowboys).

The Giants ended up with an 11-5 record on the season, and their first playoff appearance since they won the SuperBowl in 2011. Can they do it again? Odds are against them, but you never know. The G-Men do have a great defense, and it is often said that defense wins championships. We'll see. The road starts at Green Bay. That should be a great game. In Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have the best QB in the game, but their potent offense will be facing the Giants' tough defense. On the other side of the ball, however, a weak Green Bay defense with a porous secondary and no pass rush will be matched against a New York offense that has no running game, an offensive line that gives Eli no protection, and only one downfield threat in Odell Beckham. So it will be strength against strength, and weakness against weakness.

The Packers are favored, and rightly so. Mr. Discount Doublecheck is red hot. On the other hand, in the past Eli Manning has played his best ball in the playoffs, the O-line has gotten a little better since Justin Pugh returned, and even the running game showed some signs of life, at least when Perkins has the ball in place of Jennings. We shall see.

Go G-MEN!

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( 62 comments )
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tandis5
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:39 pm (UTC)
Steelers vs Cowboys
Who wouldn't love to see a rematch of this classic battle?!?! With the Steelers winning this time! Although I'd love to see my Steelers take on the Giants too! Would be fun to see the Steelers offense go against that defense!
Dan Mcreedeez
Jan. 4th, 2017 04:42 pm (UTC)
Hey! The Cowboys didn't lay down, my Iggles are just that good!! Ugh, what a miserable season for me, but glad to see your Giants in the playoffs, I REALLY need them to take out the 'Boys, so good luck to them this weekend against Green Bay. Eli remains a mystery to me, during the middle of the Regular Season, there is always a stretch where he looks like maybe the worst player in the league, it might be a couple of plays, it might be a couple of games, but it always happens. And then, right when it seems like maybe they should just get rid of him, Eli, Hero of the Republic emerges. Hoping he can channel good Eli during this Post Season run, I can't handle a Cowboys or Patriots Superbowl.
justanidea123
Jan. 4th, 2017 05:27 pm (UTC)
New Years
Hi Mr.Martin,

I'm a huge fan of your books(though not of your NFL fandom. Go Eagles!) and I enjoy your take on most things, even if I don't agree with them sometimes.

I know you're most likely sick of getting questions about ASOIAF if they relate to production/release.

This will be my first and only question.

Would you be open to a kind of "tell-all"?

For example you could state how long you would like The Winds Of Winter(or maybe the series) to be, how much you currently have(though obviously not what POVs or the content of the chapters), and a general outlook, but no time-line. You won't have to put your name on any sort of "release date expectancy".

This would also trigger a moratorium from your fans on asking about it, as you could just simply state "read this link" or just ignore them.


Either way.

Thanks,

Jake
grrm
Jan. 7th, 2017 11:46 pm (UTC)
Re: New Years
If you think a "tell all" or update on WINDS OF WINTER would stop fans from asking about it... well, I love your optimism, but my own decades of experience suggest otherwise.

There are only two things that will stop people asking me about WOW:
(1) my finishing and delivering the book, or (2) a giant asteroid hitting the Earth and destroying human civilization.

As I have no control over (2), I am working on (1).

However, I know perfectly well that the moment I announce the completion and delivery of THE WINDS OF WINTER, I will start to get emails demanding to know how A DREAM OF SPRING is coming.

So it goes...
WilliamCastro
Jan. 4th, 2017 06:41 pm (UTC)
Fansite - Characters of Ice And Fire
Hello GRRM, I created a fansite with all characters of A song of ice and Fire up to A FEAST FOR CROWS.

It would be a great honor if you like this.

The link is: http://coiaf.com.


Thank you!
Dan Mcreedeez
Jan. 5th, 2017 09:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Fansite - Characters of Ice And Fire
So I know I'm not GRRM, but dude, this is impressive! Good site!
gman109
Jan. 4th, 2017 07:04 pm (UTC)
Gmen receivers partying with Justin Bieber this week
Odell Beckham and Victor Cruz were allowed to skip the charter flight in order to party with Justin Bieber. Where are the coaches, and wtf are they doing? This is NOT the week to let the guys off the chain to go party with the likes of Justin Bieber et al, not with Green Bay this week.

Insane.

Oh well, if my Gmen win, it'll look like not a big deal, but should these receivers play like crap, them partying all night out on boats and not being with their time when they should be all week, isn't going to look good on anyone.
Sean Hall
Jan. 4th, 2017 08:58 pm (UTC)
Coach firings
Owners need to give coaches 3 years to see whether they're making the team better or not. The Chip Kelly and Rex Ryan firings after only one year are both ridiculous. NFL systems are complicated and you can't expect players to completely learn a new system in one year. It also takes time to get the right players for your system. Though, I know in at least Kelly's case he's likely to be receiving paychecks from THREE different NFL teams next year (Eagles, 49ers and whatever team he ends up being an assistant or head coach for) so I'm sure he's not too mad to be leaving the toxic ownership of the 49ers (who already made the incredibly dumb move of firing Jim Harbaugh 2 years ago).

On another note, I hope the Giants beat the Packers. As a Cowboys fan I really want to prove that we can beat you guys after losing twice to you this season.
starkdad
Jan. 4th, 2017 09:08 pm (UTC)
Falcons Await
The Falcons are awaiting the undercard to clear out so we will know our next opponent.

A steady starting QB, like Matt Ryan, can keep a franchise relevant for years -- but still not get the big prize.

Tom Brady is the Jamie Lannister of the NFL (except that he still has two hands).
And he's a health freak and wants to play till 50. Patriots are coming (like Winter).

TomT
Ariel Silberman
Jan. 4th, 2017 11:34 pm (UTC)
I'd suggest putting Wun Wun on the field. Him and Tomund would be fun to watch. Gods, I really hope Wun Wun gets a better end in the books than he does on the show. He deserved better. Bolton bastard better get hiss just desserts too. The way the show handled it was good considering what Ramsay's dogs mean to him, but I think you can do better yourself.

Returning to football though, I bleed blue and silver pretty sure. Go Cowboys! My dad taught me well. Get a lot of crap for that being a Northerner, but a lion does not concern itself with the opinions of the sheep!
ext_1772478
Jan. 5th, 2017 12:45 am (UTC)
Sexy Rex
When the Jets fired Rex a couple years back and you were dismayed with that decision, I wrote a message to you detailing a somewhat tongue in cheek prediction of what would come to pass in Buffalo. While he didn't get as much time as I thought he would when I wrote that, most of what I thought came to pass.

As two of his best players stated to the media, he runs a very disfunctional team.. That laid back style can work in the short term but it will always be a problem long term. He also always makes a mess of the QB spot which severely limits a teams ceiling... QBs need stability and routine to succeed and those are not hallmarks of his teams. His D should have been significantly better than it was ( he inherited a very solid D) and they had enough solid skill players to be better than the dolphins.

Simple fact is other than those 2 years when they had the borderline best D in the league his teams have always underperformed. He also doesn't do himself any favors with his brash he his in his media dealings. He's never been successful enough to justify his BS and it puts undue pressure on him and the team. His schtick gets old quick and I'm sure ownership gets sick of it.

Long story short your love of Rex is just silly.. There are better coaches out there but they aren't going to Buffalo so I'll give you that the bills might have been better served letting him stick around long enough to line up a good coordinator who could step in...In this as they had his idiot brother whom they obviously had to sack as well...

On a bright note the jets might not finish last in the east next year.

I'll save my Pats gloating for next week.

Douglas Carver
Jan. 5th, 2017 04:47 pm (UTC)
Another Jets fan in NM
My son, New Mexico born and raised (so far -- he's a good bit more raising to do) was back East last weekend visiting his grandparents, and his grandfather, a Jets fan, took him to his first football game. My son, his uncle, and his Grandpa were all delighted to see Gang Green come up big. They sent me a great photo of the three of them in the stands, each proudly wearing their brand new Jets winter hats -- and they all got to go down on the field after the game. My son, still figuring out the lingo, keeps telling me that "the Jets crushed the Buffaloes." So you will be glad to know there is a new Jets fan here in the Land of Enchantment.
GypsyDRB
Jan. 5th, 2017 05:13 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I am saying this, being a Redskins fan, but I think I'm rooting for the Giants this weekend.

There's an act of betrayal in there somewhere...
Abimar Raffael Skrubel
Jan. 6th, 2017 12:34 am (UTC)
<3
Sorry, I don't follow football since we don't have it here. But I dunno man, I reckon being able to throw the ball forward is a silly rule :P.

Anyways, bro if you get this. Wanna say your stories and characters are freakin awesome. I love how unexpected it is, I had no idea Stannis would play such a huge role.

But ye, wanted to say, I'm even more fascinated with you as a person more than your stories. Every interview, seem like such a cool dude, your laugh is awesome. You like comics and shit..... maaan.

You're also so badass. Just straight up say what you gotta say. Dissing how they effed up lost. Dude, that really sucked I agree. All those awesome mysterious mysterys fell flat.. What a waste.

You even dissed JK!!.. lol .. DA MAN!

You're an amazing person man... keep thuggin.
Ed Stolleran
Jan. 6th, 2017 03:10 am (UTC)
Romo
Romo isn't poison. This post is.
Stephen Richter
Jan. 6th, 2017 05:08 am (UTC)
Hey did you see the Rose Bowl
If I were the Jets, pick best defensive player available or Offensive line for the next two years, then draft the USC QB in three years.
jrfrenkel
Jan. 6th, 2017 08:10 pm (UTC)
Your analysis of Buffalo and the Jets is pretty spot-on. As you say, both franchises lack continuity in the extreme. I agree only about Rex Ryan. He is a living example of the Peter Principle. As a head coach, he has reached his level of incompetence. He should be a coordinator, a job at which he proved himself to be extremely good. But as a head coach he is an utterly failed leader. Relying on his brags of optimism to pump up his teams, he always loses the players after a year or two, because he simply can't resist over-hyping the level of play of his players, which sooner or later comes back to bite him in the . . . well, you know.

As for the G-men and the paper packers, I predict a beast of a game!
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