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Another Win, Another Loss

The Giants won.  The Jets lost.  Both teams have long been eliminated from playoff contention, so it did not truly matter in either case, but still... it was good to see the G-Men win, and it stung to see Gang Green lose again, especially to the hated Patriots.

The Giants pretty well dominated the St. Louis Rams from start to finish, though there were a few spots in the middle where the score got closer and I worried that Big Blue might be letting this one slip away.  But no, though the defense was shaky at times, the offense looked great.  It has become more than apparent that the Giants have a new star in Odell Beckham Jr.  Barring injury, he may turn out to be the best wideout the team has ever had in its long and storied history.  He already seems to be in a class with Megatron and Dez Bryant as one of the very best in the NFL, and he should be a cinch for Rookie of the Year.  Next year, with Victor Cruz back to play beside him, the Giants' offense should be truly dangerous.  But we need to do something in the draft and free agency to shore up the defense before Big Blue can hope to contend.

And yes, I think Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese should both be back.

One last comment on the game.  I have never hated the Rams, the way I hate the Cowboys and the Patriots (though I certainly feared to play them when they were the Greatest Show on Turf), but under their present coaching staff, they have become the dirtiest team in the NFL.  The late hits and general nastiness today were so flagrant even the commentators had to take note of it.  I hope the NFL does as well.  Big fines, please.

As for Jets v. Patriots... sigh... well, they blew another one.  Or, to be more precise, Geno Smith blew another one.  Some people were calling this a blowout, but Gang Green actually outplayed Evil Little Bill and his minions for most of the game, and held a slim lead late into the second half.  Rex Ryan's defense played lights out, harassing Tom Brady all morning, sacking him several times, and Geno was playing decently on the other side of the ball.  Until the fourth quarter, that is.  Until it really counted.  Then he served up an INT to set up the Patriots go-ahead touchdown.  Still, New England was only ahead by one point, all the Jets needed was a field goal, and they drove down into field goal range, and things were looking good... until Geno took a sack on a crucial third-down play, and the game-winning 40-odd-yard field goal attempt became a 52-yarder.  Which got blocked, of course.  Game over.

One more game on the schedule, then the house cleaning begins.  Win or lose next week, I think Rex Ryan should be retained as Jets coach.  THe team still plays hard for him, he's a great defensive mind, and ... most crucially... I don't see where the Jets are going to find anyone better.  Evil Little Bill is not leaving his Evil Empire to coach the NYJ.  Bill Parcells is not coming out of retirement.  Vince Lombardi is not returning from the dead.  I would rather have Rex than the latest phenom from the college ranks, or the hot coordinator from some playoff team.

I do, however, hope that John Idzik gets his walking papers next Monday.  And they need to get rid of Geno Smith and Michael Vick as well.  The Jets will never contend with either of them at quarterback.



Dec. 22nd, 2014 07:51 am (UTC)
With the playoff teams pretty much set, who do you think you're going to be rooting for to make it to the Super Bowl out of both conferences? Clearly a Cowboys/Patriots match up would be a nightmare for you.
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:05 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
Given the likely playoff contenders, well... I'll be rooting against New England and Dallas, for sure.

I have mostly positive feelings toward the Broncos. After all, Peyton is Eli's big brother.

The Seahawks have been worthy champs, and have my respect.

And I do have an innate sympathy for the underdog, which will incline me toward the teams that have never won a SuperBowl, like Arizona and Detroit.

But really, it depends on the match-ups.

Mostly, I'd just like Dallas and New England to lose.
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:20 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
A Super Bowl rematch would certainly be interesting. Perhaps a chance for Peyton to get some payback.

I think a Rodgers vs. Manning championship game would be entertaining, but as an overly optimistic Cowboys fan, I hope this does not happen. :)
Steven Sidore
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:37 am (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
As a Pats fan, I can only quote something I read in some book somewhere: "I want to live forever in a land where summer lasts a thousand years. I want a castle in the clods where I can look down over the world. I want to be six-and-twenty again. [Ed. note: true dat]. What men want does not matter."
Dec. 22nd, 2014 12:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
If you think the Rams are dirty, you won't like the Lions. Between Suh and Raiola, they're the dirtiest team in the league.
William T Lloyd
Dec. 22nd, 2014 05:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Playoffs

"Mostly, I'd just like Dallas and New England to lose."

I don't give two toots about football, but that's pretty funny.

I do enjoy reading of your agony and ecstasy during the season, even though I'll never watch a single game. Lots of things are better experienced vicariously!
WB Zullo
Dec. 22nd, 2014 06:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
Go Dolphins... next year... forever 7-9, 8-8, 9-7
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:01 pm (UTC)
Re: Playoffs
Sad but true...
Jimmy Potter
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:02 am (UTC)
One Day
One day ser, you the Jets will be good again; hopefully not soon- the Giants will get better too, sooner.

But for now I bask in the glory that is Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and The New England Patriots! I know that this golden era will not last forever, my children will not know it, merely hear tales told by the glow of the whatever-definition-TV as we watch the shell of our franchise get crushed... But in knowing this I am able to appreciate the here and now. All men must retire... but not today!
Thomas Hagstrm
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:03 am (UTC)
What you call "football" is not what I call "fotboll"
Either way I prefer hockey. Got any fav NHL team (they're still 50% swedes right?) :)
Lance Wilson
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:52 am (UTC)
Dirtiest Team in the League
I have to argue that a different team deserves the dirtiest team in the league moniker. I grant you that the Rams are bad...and that stems from their defensive coordinator. However the Lions take more cheap-shots and make more sucker punches than any team I have ever seen. N. Suh is the worst.

I share your disdain for the Pats. As a Dolphins fan I know what it's like sitting out in the AFC East cold. I long for the day that you say that Miami is the team you loathe the most. However, I still think that's going to be a while. It should be a fun game next week. The Jets destroyed Miami on the ground in the last game and I'm interested to see how Miami handles that next week.

Edited at 2014-12-22 08:55 am (UTC)
Mary Ellen Wofford
Dec. 22nd, 2014 01:45 pm (UTC)
I didn't get to see either game, living down here in Florida but I did see the final score of the Jets game and, I gotta tell you, I was impressed. The Patriots beat them by one point! That tells me the Jets put up a heckuva fight OR Tom and his boys had a really bad day. I am choosing to believe in the big fight!
Dec. 22nd, 2014 03:44 pm (UTC)
I don't actually care about the Jets, but I think they should actually go the other way (keeping Idzik and dumping Ryan). Ryan is an excellent defensive mind and may eventually be a great head coach, but it won't be with the Jets; they're going the wrong way and the offense continues to regress every year.

Idzik on the other hand has just spent two years cleaning up the cap mess left by Mike Tannenbaum. The Jets still have a solid defense and are in a good cap position now. Lets see if Idzik and his team can add some talent on the offensive side of the ball (especially at QB) and hire a creative coordinator to get the most out of them.

As for the Giants, they need a better defensive co-ordinator, a stud LB in the draft, and a replacement for Will Beatty and they should be good to go.
Dec. 22nd, 2014 05:12 pm (UTC)
Football class
Just watched the "Football Life" episode (on NFL channel) re Kurt Warner what a class guy who led a truly great Rams team - big contrast with the bunch they now field.

Also covered Warner dragging the woeful Cardinals to the super bowl and damn near beating the Steelers. Reminded me to root for Larry Fitzgerald - great player and apparently pretty cool guy.

Great player who repeatdly got benched for younger QBs (including Eli Manning with the Giants), never whined and played with pure heart when given the intermintent chance. Short career (didn't get a chance till he was 27) but got into three Super Bowls.

The Barristan Selmy of the NFL.

Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:05 pm (UTC)
I know it's probably cold comfort but every headline I saw about the Jets/Pats game used verbs like "survived," "barely escaped," etc.

Woke up yesterday to find that the Dolphins had beaten the Vikings by two points on a safety from a blocked punt with 45 seconds left! You'd think such a bizarre finish would have shown up in an online highlights clip somewhere but I've had to record one of the NFL round-up shows on ESPN that is broadcast in the middle of the night and hope that it's on there.

As for next week, the Dolphins will be happy to contribute to the Jets ability to get a high draft pick by beating them :->
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the bye
Firstly, a thank you to the Jets coaching staff for continuing to allow the most crucial position in the game to baffle them. Should Idzik go? Most likely, but you need to take the green colored glasses off for a second and realize sexy Rexy is never going to be the one that makes the Jets relevant again? This due to the simple fact that he and his system can not develop a QB. "Weekend at Bellichek's" can't identify CB or WR talent, and Rex can't figure out what makes a decent QB. Both positions are vital to a team's success in the current form of the NFL, but you can get a CB in Free Agency (Hello Revis and to a much lesser extent Browner)....You aren't getting an All-Pro QB on the market anytime soon unless he's damn near 40 (looking at you Brett Fav-rah).

Go ahead and bring in some QB guru, but unless you get a guy with the right mentality to handle NY and running a team of professionals, it just wont work. So love Rex and his gregarious ways all you like....We will keep half assing our way to division titles and bye weeks
Dec. 22nd, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
Re: Thank you for the bye
Finding a franchise QB seems like a crap shoot most of the time. Lots of high "can't miss" draft picks have indeed missed. Hell, half the league thought Ryan Leaf was a better prospect than Peyton Manning. And the entire league passed on Tom Brady, not once but five times, until the Pats took him in the sixth round. That was pure luck.

So we don't need a QB "guru." I have never one turn a bad QB into a good one. Jets just need a little luck.
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:31 am (UTC)
The problem of the Jets is deeper than Idzik and Ryan...
... it is Johnson.

Difficult to know what is going on behind the scenes, but Gang Green seems rudderless and bereft of leadership.

Ryan has not been able to nurture a good QB in six years - incidentally, almost destroying Mark Sanchez's career in the process - then betting the farm on Geno Smith which now reveals itself as a desperation move.
Dec. 23rd, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: The problem of the Jets is deeper than Idzik and Ryan...
I don't believe Rex ever wanted Geno Smith. Idzik drafted him, and Idzik forced him to play him. Rex has Sanchez tattooed on his arm, after all.

Idzik also signed Michael Vick.

We should be playing Matt Simms,
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:06 pm (UTC)
I find it ironic that Odell Beckham chose to become an American football player while his father was a legendary European football (soccer) player that retired a couple years ago, not following in his fathers footsteps I see.
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:36 pm (UTC)
Here comes "wait until next year!"
Am I a fool to be excited about next year? If I am, then that's cool because my blood bleeds Big Blue and I'm beyond excited for what the Giants can accomplish next year! I know, I know, I should temper my excitement and see how things play out in the off-season, into the pre-season etc, but I don't want to... I want to bask in the glory of expectation!

Because that's all I have right now.


Grand possibility.
Dec. 23rd, 2014 05:41 pm (UTC)
Jim Harbaugh!
Rex is great and all, but he's pretty clueless on the offensive side of the ball. Harbaugh would be an upgrade for both NY teams, Had it not been for Kyle Williams miscues on special teams, Harbaugh would've lead the 49ers to two super bowls with two slightly above average quarter backs. As much as you hate Bellichick, you have to respect him, and Harbaugh (to me) is up there with Bellichick as an elite coach.
Alexander Pendergrass
Dec. 23rd, 2014 07:29 pm (UTC)
It's the last week of the regular season and somehow, someway the Lions are playing for not only the NFC North but also 1st place in the entire conference. To say that I'm excited would be an understatement!


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

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