Monday, December 14, 2009

NFL Week 14 Thoughts

To Sit or Not to Sit?

The main topic of debate right now amongst NFL analysts is whether or not the Colts and Saints should go for 16-0 or sit their starters and try and get healthy for the playoffs. People seem to be split 50-50 on the decision as some would argue that a chance at 16-0 cannot be passed up while other maintain that the ultimate goal is to win the SuperBowl not go 16-0.

I personally believe that both the Saints need to go for 16-0 while the Colts should try and stay healthy.

The reason I say this is because New Orleans is a team and a city that is only 4 years removed from Hurricane Katrina and is rebuilding. They haven't been as successful as the Colts this decade and I think they need to play hard the rest of the season to build as much momentum as possible going into the playoffs.

Sean Peyton is a young coach and I think he wants to cement his name in the NFL record books as one of the best coaches of all-time and what better way to do that than going 16-0. The same can be said of Drew Brees as he has never tasted success like this before and you can just tell that he wants to be amongst the elite in the league.

The Saints also have a lot more offensive weapons than the Colts and would be able to withstand an injury or two where as the Colts season would be lost if say Reggie Wayne or Dallas Clarke went down. The Saints could survive without Colston or even Reggie Bush/Pierre Thomas. They have lots of depth and I just think they need a perfect season more than the Colts do.

As for the Colts they need to rest their starters. Peyton Manning knows that the NFL season isn't what is important. What is important is getting that 1st round bye and securing home field advantage to ensure your team has all the benefits while trying to win the SuperBowl. Does this mean they should start benching guys now like some people are suggesting, of course not. They need to play out the season the way they would every other year. Let the starters play until a sizable lead is gained and then play the backups. In Week 16 have Manning and the starters only play 1 or 2 series and then get the back ups in there.

Manning has been in this situation before. He knows what it's like to be undefeated this late in the season and he also knows that 16-0 isn't worth it if it costs you the SuperBowl.

Two different ideologies for two different teams. Saints should go for it while the Colts should play it a bit more conservative.

I think Michael Irvin's take on 16-0 was really interesting and baffled me somewhat. He said that he would give up his SuperBowl rings and his spot in the Hall of Fame for a 16-0 season. I don't know if he was just trying to stress the importance of going undefeated but that is a bold statement.

Whatever happens fans of both teams need to realize that the end goal should always be winning the SuperBowl. Records need to put on the backburner because the only thing players should be focusing on is raising the Lombardi Trophy over their heads in January.

The Whole Randy Moss Situation

After Sundays game against Carolina it was reported that Panthers defensive backs Chris Harris and Chris Gamble had said that Randy Moss quit on his team.

Moss had one of his worst games as a pro as he caught only 1 pass for 16 yards with no touchdowns. But to really understand how poorly he played you needed to watch the game. He was jogging during his routes and dropped a number of passes he should have caught. He fumbled once and then caused an interception due to his lack of effort and not running full speed on a route. Safe to say he looked disinterested.

All of this came after he was sent home from team meetings earlier in the week because he had showed up late.

The performance has people talking and has a lot of former players ripping into Moss for his poor play and attitude. Jerry Rice said to ProFootball Talk, "we know that he takes a few plays off, but just watching him during that game, he didn't have any effort at all. You want your best play maker to be playing his best around this time and it was unfortunate to see what he did yesterday"

I personally think Rice is just ripping him because Moss is going to break everyone one of his records but that's just me. My whole take on the situation is a little different from everyone else's.

I personally think it isn't a big deal and here is why:

- The game was against the Carolina Panthers. The Patriots could beat the Panthers with me playing quarterback. If Moss was going to take a game off then he picked the perfect time.

- Its not as if this has never happened before. When he was in Oakland and for a couple years in Minnesota Moss never tried. He likes to be on winning teams and likes to feel important. This only happened because he was sent home from meetings and felt betrayed by the team.

- The Patriots won. They won the game so who cares. The only reason this is a story is because people are making it one. You watch next game he will have 100 yards receiving and 2 TDs and this whole thing will blow over.

- Moss is currently playing with a nagging back injury. If he chose to take a few snaps off it may have been to keep himself healthy for the playoffs.

Randy Moss is an amazing receiver and has had 0 problems since arriving in New England. If the Patriots hadn't sent him home from meetings this wouldn't have happened. You could say they brought this on themselves.

As for Jerry Rice talking trash about Moss maybe he should look back at his own career before he says anything. This is the same man that played for the Broncos and Seahawks because his ego was too big that he couldn't understand he was washed up. He is also the same man that asked to wear Steve Largent's retired number when he signed with Seattle. Go back to Dancing With the Stars and leave the football to the players.

An Unsung Hero

San Diego Chargers punter Mike Scifers might be the most under appreciated player in the NFL. I watched every minute of the game against the Cowboys and Scifers was easily the biggest factor in the outcome of that game. He only had 3 punts in the game but 2 were downed inside the 3 yard line and the other could have been had the gunners actually tried.

My favorite thing about Scifers is how intense he is. On that punt that went for a touchback he was clearly pissed off and was screaming at his teammates. On the next 2 punts the gunners got down the field and downed the ball inside the 5 and then held it up in the air for Scifers to see.

A great punter can make a huge difference for a team as they can help control field position and force the other team to go on long drives that decrease their chance of scoring. Against Dallas Scifers was awesome and really took the wind out of the Cowboys sails with his great punts.

Punters never get enough credit but they can be the most important player on the field if they are good. Scifers is good and I just wanted to give him the credit he deserves.

Fantasy Goat of the Week

This week I am going to change it up. Instead of ripping on someone for having a crap week I am going to praise Brandon Marshall who is on both of my fantasy teams and had the best week of fantasy football I can remember.

21 catches for 200 yards and 2 TDs works out to 33 fantasy points. He basically beat my opponents by himself and gave me my first stress free Sunday in a long time because I didn't have to nervously check to see if my team was playing well.

Quick Thoughts

- The Colts broke an NFL record on Sunday with their 22nd straight regular season win.

- Speaking of breaking records Ladanian Tomlinson broke an NFL record by having 9 straight 10+ TD seasons. Even though LDT hasn't been racking up the yardage over the past 2 years he has still been getting into the endzone. Great accomplishment.

- What was Tory Smith doing dancing when his team was up 48-3? He is a back up and has no business showboating like that. I used to be a Smith fan but stuff like this doesn't fly with me.

- Why are people trying to diminish Brandon Marshall's record for 21 catches in a single game. Yes the Broncos were behind by 21 and needed to throw all game but does that make it any less impressive? Props to Marshall for his great game and for singlehandidly winning me my matchup this week in fantasy.

- The most explosive offense in the NFL isn't the New Orleans Saints. I would go with the Eagles who have 18 plays of 50 yards or more thanks mostly to DeSean Jackson who is the best big play receiver in the league.

- Glad to see that the Texans decided to start winning games once they meant nothing. Another 8-8 season seems to be right on schedule.

- Hard to believe that Andre Johnson had 11 catches for 193 yards and 2 TDs and wasn't the best wide receiver on Sunday.

- Chris Johnson is unreal. His speed is unmatched and he seems to have become more patient as well allowing more time for blocks to develop. Right now he has 1626 yards but needs some big games going forward if he wants to break Dickerson's record.

- Gutsy play by Derrick Mason on Sunday not going down after getting absolutely killed by 2 players of the Lions secondary. Have to love effort like that.

- Great to see Chad Ochocinco and Cedric Griffin shake hands after that brutal head shot in the Vikings-Bengals game. Griffin obviously didn't mean to go for Chad's head and Chad even went on his twitter page after the game and explained how he wasn't mad and it was a clean play.

- Scary moment in Dallas when DeMarcus Ware went down. Although all the tension was relieved when he started throwing up the 'Westside' gesture as he was being carted off the field.

- Jason Campbell is going to be a great NFL quarterback. It won't be for the Redskins but whichever team signs him in the off-season is going to be very happy.

- Even though the Bengals got killed on Sunday I was impressed with the play of Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph. They are two of the best young corners in football and not only can they cover but they can also tackle.

- Joe Theismann called out Antwan Randel El this week saying, "He averages 3.9 yards a punt return. I will say this in all humility: I could do that. Okay? As a matter of fact, I have done it. And I've done it better. I catch the football. This isn't an I thing, this is an I don't know what going on in management when it comes to putting Antwaan Randle El back returning punts."

- Its about time the Eagles started using Michael Vick more. He has been wasting away on the sidelines for 12 weeks but over the past 2 weeks they have finally started to use him like they should have all along.

- Staying with the Eagles I think my favorite moment on Sunday was watching Andy Reid and DeSean Jackson do the 'rump bump.' Here is the video if you didn't see it:

- Even though the final score was 13-6 that Steelers-Browns game was one of the best games I have seen in a long time. Lover everything about it. The atmosphere at the game was unreal and watching Ben Roethlisberger lose never gets old.

Random YouTube Video

1 comment:

rakeback said...

Brandon broke the single came catches record on Sunday against a tough Colts D. When his mind is in the game, he is the best receiver in the league.