Tuesday, November 17, 2009

NFL Week 10 Thoughts

The 4th Down That Will Live In Infamy

If you didn't see the game or didn't watch/listen to sports television/radio then here is all you need to know. The Patriots were up by 13 in the 4th quarter and watched their lead dwindle down to 6 points with just over 2 minutes left to go. Facing a 3rd and 2 Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots offense opted to throw the ball hoping to gain the yards they needed. That didn't work so now it was 4th and 2.

Common sense says punt. Belichick decides to go for it and of course they come up short and turn the ball over on their own 30 yard line giving the Colts and Manning 2 minutes to go 30 yards and score the game winning touchdown which of course did happen. 35-34. Amazing game.

Back to the 4th down decision.

Now obviously people are split here on what to do in this situation. If the Pats had gotten the 1st down they would have been able to run out the clock and win the game. If they had punted they would have had to rely on their defense, which had been torched in the 4th quarter for over 125 yards, to win the game.

For me it all comes down to 1 thing: who do you trust more your defense or your offense? If you have Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker on your team you have to believe you can gain 2 yards. So in this aspect I understand what Belichick was thinking. Still his decision speaks volumes about the Patriots as a team.

Their lack of a running game is a real concern as on 3rd and 2 with just over 2 minutes left they lack the confidence in either Laurence Maroney or Kevin Faulk to pick up 2 yards. That is a major problem. Running the ball is vital to success in the NFL and come those cold games in December they are going to need to be able to run the ball to win games.

The decision also sheds light on another problem area for the Patriots: defense. Coming into the season there was lots of concern about the Pats defense as many thought they were too old and had lost too many people. Clearly that sentiment was echoed by Belichick last night as he decided to keep them on the sidelines instead of putting his faith in them.

Finally I would just like to say that Cousin Sal of the Jimmy Kimmel Show got this exactly right when he said, "he deserves it." For everything Belichick has done in the past it's nice to see something blow up in his face like this. Now people will stop calling him a genius for awhile and instead call him a moron and second guess his decision.

Sweet justice.

Heads Up or Heedless

With just under 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter the Jets were leading the Jaguars 22-21. The Jags had the ball and were marching down the field with relative ease. The Jets had no timeouts left and so they decided to let the Jags score so they could have a chance to march down the field themselves.

Enter Jaguars running backs coach Kennedy Pola who told Maurice Jones-Drew that if the Jets let him score that he should take a knee at the one yard line. MJD did just that and since the Jets didn't have any timeouts they sat back and watched the Jags bleed out the clock and kick the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock.

Now was this a smart play by MJD or a dangerous one?

Obviously it all worked out great but there are a multitude of things that could have gone wrong on the field goal attempt: bad snap, bad hold, bad kick or even a blocked kick. In my opinion you want to score points whenever possible and not leave things to chance.

Some people might think this is stupid and that MJD did the right, and unselfish, thing here but if you want proof that this is a dangerous play go talk to Tony Romo. In the 2007 Wildcard game against the Seattle Seahawks Romo botched the hold on a 19 yard field goal that cost the Cowboys the game and their season. Something can always go wrong. Take the points.

Now it all worked out for Mojo but you just never know. Now he just has to explain to his fantasy owners why he passed up on a touchdown and maybe cost them a win.

A Better Attitude

I don't know if this is just me or not but I feel like the attitude around the NFL is a lot more positive than in recent years. Of course I have no actual evidence of this but it just seems to me that players are generally more team spirited and are getting more excited about touchdowns and win. Is anyone else noticing that?

Usually there are a bunch of wide receivers who are crying about not getting touches but that doesn't seem to be a major problem this year. Hell even Terrell Owens is keeping his mouth shut. This could all be in my imagination but I just sense that guys are more into the whole team mentality and therefore have a more positive outlook during the games.

If anything this can be attributed to all the new superstars in the league at play maker positions. For example guys like Miles Austin and Vincent Jackson are top 10 receivers now and they are dealing with their new fame well as they are still humble. Conversely some aging superstars like Owens and Ochcocinco seem to be handling a lesser role with the utmost of class (well maybe not TO but I am impressed with Ochco).

Could it be that guys in the NFL have matured and realized that the name on the front o the jersey is more important than the name on the back? I think so. Once again this might just be me. If you feel otherwise let me know.

How Bout Them Bengals

Talk about an impressive performance. The Bengals were all over the Steelers on Sunday and now are one win over the Cleveland Browns away from sweeping the AFC North.

In the past the Bengals have been a purely offensive team but now they have a solid physical defense that can shut teams down. The young corners of Jonhathan Joseph and Leon Hall are among the best in the league and on Sunday Brandon Johnson was a BEAST. He was everywhere on the field and was constantly pressuring Ben Roethlisberger up until, and inlcuding, the final play.

Now I realize that the AFC is a touch conference and there are lots of good teams that can win but the Bengals are a team that should be feared heading into the playoffs.

They have a great quarterback, solid wide receivers with great speed, a punishing running game, a strong secondary and a defensive front that can get pressure on the quarterback. They did have some big injuries to Antwan Odom and Chris Henry but they are proving each week that they have depth and a desire to win.

The only person I know who is a Bengals fan is my buddy Hamilton who is a firm believer and has been saying they were SuperBowl bound since 1st year when he first bought the Bengals hat. Maybe this will be the year they finally reward him with some playoff wins. It won't be easy but they definitely have the right formula in Cincinnati.

Fantasy Goat of the Week - Joe Flacco

How you only put up 155 yards against the Cleveland Browns is beyond me. I miss Aaron Rodgers already. Having said that I traded Rodgers away for Flacco, Steven Jackson, Dallas Clark and Greg Jennings so I really can't be upset. Jackson is the most important asset I got back as Michael Turner went down this week with a high ankle sprain which is a medical term for my season just got Jodi Foster'ed in the Accused.

I will now use this space to rip in Wycherley for losing to me this week by a final score of 114.50 - 81.94. Suck it Wych. Suck it long and suck it hard. (refer now to comments section for Wych's reply of "you only won because Vincent Jackson, Colston and Vernon Davis combined for 43 yards" and other such whiny excuses.)

Quick Thoughts

- The furthest the Cleveland Browns offense moved the ball all night was to the Ravens 45. Brady Quinn is not the answer.

- Charles Woodson: 8 tackles, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles and 1 INT. He is the leader of the Packers defense and at 33 as good as ever.

- Can't believe I forgot to mention Mike Zimmer in my paragraph on the Bengals. He is an underrated coordinator and is the big difference for the Bengals this year.

- What is with the New Orleans Saints? They come out and look awful and then turn it on in the second half. I guess they want to make things more challenging for themselves.

- How does Donovan Mcnabb throw for 450 yards and still wind up with a loss? Oh wait that's right he has no clue what he is doing inside the 10 yard line. Blame must also be shared with Head Coach Andy Reid who decide to eat Brian Westbrook instead of utilizing him before he suffered a potential career ending concussion.

- Are the Falcons bad? Is Matt Ryan overrated? Is the Michael Turner injury the end of their season? Are all of these question marks really annoying?

- Vince Young is 3-0 since becoming the starter in Tennessee and has the Titans only 3 games out of a wild card spot.

- Peter King is back to giving Brett Favre weekly verbal filatio. "Is the old man ever going to play a bad game?" Was it not just 2 weeks ago that Favre threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown and also had a fumble resulting in a defensive touchdown costing the Vikings their perfect season? I guess throwing 1 touchdown against the Detroit Lions does merit some MVP mention though.

- Chris Johnson looking like Barry Sanders out there minus the stupid braids Johnson rocks. Past 3 games: 495 yards, 6 TDs, and 6.6 yards per carry.

- Could these Thursday night match ups be any worse? First its Bears-49ers and this week we get to watch Dolphins-Panthers. Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact? Show me Morgan Fairchild in Deep Something. Huh Huh ahh you don't care.

- Joe Buck might blow as the host of his own television show but he has his moments. "3rd false start for the Packers, who I believe are at home." Too bad his favorite website is TMZ.

- Michael Crabtree: 4 games, 18 receptions for 215 yards. Darrius Heyward-Bey: 9 games, 6 receptions for 96 yards. Al Davis at least Ice Cube thinks you are a smart guy.

- Props to Titans owner Bud Adams for giving Bills fans the finger on Sunday afternoon. He got fined $250,000 for the gesture but the unintentional comedy factor is through the roof and well worth it for him. I mean how often do you get to see a rich old man flip off 80,000 people. While I am on the subject how can you even think about fining this man? He is the co-founder of the AFL I think he deserves a free pass. (video below)

- Jeff Reed is the biggest slang term for vagina in the entire NFL. Twice this year he has made the most feeble attempts to stop returners and twice he has looked like a total asshat. Either get this man a tampon or teach him how to tackle. Piss poor effort.

- I know Josh McDaniels is supposed to be this quarterback guru but not even he can help Chris Simms. I don't think Simms could start for my alma mater of Wifrid Laurier University.

- The only bright spot for the Cleveland Browns this year: Joe Thomas. The man is worth every penny.

- Not sports related but needs to be mentioned. If you don't already watch it start watching Curb Your Enthusiasm. It is the funniest show on television by far. Imagine Seinfeld but with swearing and celebrities.

Random YouTube Video

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ochocinco is having one of his better years. he doesn't have a lesser role. and he has always handled himself pretty well. i think the media makes a lot of things sound worse than they are.