Friday, November 7, 2008
I don't know what the National Football Post is, but the name Michael Lombardi sounds familiar, and he explained the genius of Tom Coughlin as well as anyone in an article he wrote last week.
Yes, I know he has one of the best teams, but what has impressed me about the job Tom is doing is his ability to handle Plaxico Burress and not let it affect the team. He is using a very simple leadership strategy called the “Law of Threes”. On each team there are three types of players. The first are the ones that will do anything that is asked, willing to help the program. The second group are the undecided players, the players that are not sure what to do. And the third are the malcontents. These are the players that want to buck the system all the time, and try to breakdown the team. As a leader, there is a tendency to try and win over the players in group three, by trying to make them happy. But all that does is move the players from group two into group three, and cause you to start to lose the players in group one. What Coughlin has done is focus on group one. He pays no attention to group three and what has resulted is that Plaxico is on an island and no one wants to join him. The team is bigger than Plaxico. Mike Singletary needs to follow this advice.
And if you want to be a dick about it, I first heard it from Simmons' article today.
The Jets are coming off a big win against division rival the Buffalo Bills last week. But there are still questions about Favre’s consistency that remains a big concern for New York. As a fan you love a quarterback who takes chances. But being a Jet fan, you’re pessimistic and pissed when they don’t work, and lately, they haven’t been working for #4. Last week he was ok with the exception of that costly interception. Obviously the velocity is not there either as he is definitely playing hurt. Last week the defense bailed him out and secured the victory but can they do it again this week?
Jim Haslett has the Rams playing at a much higher level then there were under Scott Linehan. If Steven Jackson is healthy and can play the full game then I think the Rams could have a chance of upsetting the Jets. The offensive line has been horrendous this year. Marc Bulger has barely anytime to step back and throw the ball and the receivers can’t get any separation from their defenders.
Jets should keep the momentum going in their favor. Hopefully last week’s win is another step in trying to find an identity for this team. They haven’t played their best ball yet but with 2 big road games coming up in New England and Tennessee lets hope it shines its face then.
Jets 27, Rams 16
ATLANTA FALCONS (-1) vs. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
I think it’s safe to say that the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins are the biggest surprise teams so far this season. Both are playing over .500 and have a good shot at being playoff potentials considering this was to be rebuilding seasons for both. Matt Ryan is clearly hands down rookie of the year. Mike Smith has this team playing superbly and should be noted for coach of the year. John Abraham is having another pro-bowl season and is only playing 60% of the defensive snaps.
New Orleans is my Superbowl pick to come out of the NFC. Drew Brees will break Dan Marino’s passing record this season and is almost a sure thing to win NFL MVP. They have a few key players on offense with injuries though. Reggie Bush is sidelined after getting his knee scalped, Marques Colstons’ thumb and Jeremy Shockey, sports hernia. Still Brees is playing at an MVP level. Colston and Shockey will be back this week after their much needed bye.
Although Atlanta is playing well at home, I’m going to go with New Orleans coming off the bye. Even without Reggie Bush Deuce McAllister was a beast last week and until further notice from the NFL he is still scheduled to dress for this contest.
Saints 33, Falcons 27
Indianapolis Colts (+3) @ Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are now in everyone’s radar again after dismantling the Foreskins. Now an even tougher opponent (WHAT?!) comes to Steel town. The Colts scare me despite their averagedom this season. Their offensive line is playing better and they are healthy again finally. Peyton Manning has gotten the offense out of its funk and the receivers are getting it going. Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai are back in the saddle.
Traditionally this offense has typically struggled against the 3-4 defenses that was until they defecated all over Baltimore. The Steeler defense is playing at a highlevel this season. The pass rush is getting to most teams and when they aren’t the secondary has adequately helped out.
The real concern here is the health of QB Ben Roethlisberger. Roeth can make it all happen but has played like Derek Anderson for stretches. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the Steelers employ an offensive coordinator who picks his plays out of a hat. Take this game for instance. The Colts are horrendous against the run so the Steelers will likely come out in 5 wide receivers! It’s brilliant! Also Byron Sandwich might be quarterbacking the Steelers. Sandwich looked decisive on Monday but was still the guy who hasn’t learned to throw with touch. Moreover, he knows only 20% of the playbook. Shouldn’t a seasoned pro know that shit by know. I mean really it’s only been 2.5 months. Also Fast Willie Parker is now out. YAY.
Anyway, the Steelers have a 13-1 record against the Colts at home all time. When in doubt go with history.
Pittsburgh – 27
Indianapolis - 21
Tennessee Titans (-3) @ Chicago Bears
Titans don’t do anything for me. They are boring, unspectacular and likely smell like shit. But everyone loves them. Why? Because they win? Now they have a great defense, great running game and great game manager. You guys are aware that this team was in the playoffs last year too right?
Anyway, Titans run well. Bears run well. Titans play great defense. Bears play great defense. Bears have Sexy Rexy while the Titans have Hairy Kerry (?). The similarities are endless.
So who wins this battle? You know what someone needs to come out of the NFC North and it might as well be the Bears. Rex 'Nasty' Grossman will appease the fans of Chicago by not turning the ball over 4 times and the BEARS win!
Chicago - 24
Tennessee - 14
Good lord I'm bad at this.
NEW ENGLAND (-4) over Buffalo
I'm pretty sure I've said this before, but I'm still on record as being afraid of the Patriots. Are they as good as they've been? Definitely not. Is anyone in the AFC clearly better? Absolutely not. Pipe down, Titans fans. Can they get on a hot streak where Cassel "manages" the games and gets them 3 wins and a Super Bowl birth? Yes. And if they get there, do you want to bet against Belichek winning on the big stage? Sure, we can look back to this past February, but do you really think lightning is going to strike twice?
So all of that means that I'm rooting hard for Buffalo in this game. But is Buffalo going to come to Foxboro and show the Patriots what's up? I hope so. But I doubt it.
New England 23
As I was forced to come to a pointless workshop to learn how to administer some intelligence test I will never give to any kid I work with, I figured I'd write my picks now. So my picking success has not quite matched the great success of my favorite politician and sports team. I have gone 2-4 in the last 6 weeks bringing my record to a mediocre 10-8. Despite the deep pain this has caused me, I will press on. Without further adieu
Herm's neophytes (+15) vs. Norv's underachievers - The Chargers have, by far, been the most disappointing team in the league this year. Despite having the league's best offensive player, best TE, and an excellent defense, they are 3-5. The Chargers are the anti-Giants. They get the absolute least out of a talented team that appears to be fractured from within. The good news is it gets a free W this week against the horrid Chiefs. Seriously, playing KC is like a bye for every team except the Jets and Broncos. However I love any team getting more than 2 touchdowns unless it is playing against the '07 Pats. KC has almost no chance to win but I can see it getting 2 late and meaningless TD's against a prevent defense making it a 14 point game. THE PICK: CHIEFS (Chargers win 35-21)
Good (+2.5) vs. Evil - I have to admit, I hate Dallas so much, that my hatred for the Iggles has greatly subsided. I was absolutely living and dying with Philly when it played Dallas in that crazy ass Monday Night Football game. However any love affair I had with Donovan and his boys is over. It is on like Donkey Kong, or Diddy Kong if you like that game better. I loathe the Eagles again. However, my hatred of the city of Philly has also subsided since it largely helped get the ball rolling on Tuesday night for my man B. Philly has a solid defense and offense not unlike its big brother over in the Meadowlands. It is an even matchup between the best two teams in a great division. Therefore I expect this game to be incredibly close almost "too close to call" so to speak. I fully expect this game to be within 2 points either way. However, Philly needs it more so I give them the nod. THE PICK: GIANTS (Eagles win 21-19)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Helping a president elect get elected has been indeed a trying time for this big time advertising executive so the recent entries of TMM have been limited. Actually, I've just been lazy.
No matter, due to popular demand, your favorite football column is back and better than ever. Actually, no. It’s still going to be the same blowhard-filled, grammatically incorrect, fairly obvious rants about this past week of football but it's the thought that counts.
Let’s start off with the Lucky 13 power rankings.
1. New York Giants (7-1). The only worry you have to have as a Gint fan is that they are playing this well in early November.
2. Tennessee (8-0). The win over Green Bay further emphasizes that this team’s “try to win it in the 4th Quarter” is a recipe for eventual disaster.
3. Carolina (6-2). The quietest 6-2 team of all time?
4. Pittsburgh (6-2). For a 6-2 team, they look really shitty sometimes.
5. Washington (6-3). Jason Campbell got owned.
6. Tampa Bay (6-3). Are they really good to overcome a 21 point deficit on the road or is Kansas City really that awful?
7. Philadelphia (5-3). A very quiet 5-3 and still in the thick of things.
8. Baltimore (5-3). I’ve blasted this team many times and will continue to do so but coming back down 14 with a rookie QB and running back is indeed impressive. Derek Anderson not so much.
9. Atlanta (5-3). They aren’t a playoff team are they?
10. New England (5-3). Still hanging around despite loss to Colts.
11. Arizona (5-3). Already won the NFC West by default.
12. Chicago (5-3). Impressive comeback of the week Part III.
13. New York Jets (5-3). Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve. Farve.
Random Thoughts on Week 9:
Good to see Joey Porter continuing to woof. Joey is entering the twilight of his career. WHAT? He has 11.5 sacks to lead the league so how can he be nearing an end? Well like all of these 30+ year old stars always have a sort of last hoorah (see – Jamal Lewis last year) before they revert back to old man form. Porter for the past two seasons has been the guy getting solo blocked by 215 lb running backs. When he returns to his 7.5 sack form don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Good to see Antonio Bryant turn his career around. Bryant was a special player at Pitt but never seemed to have a worthy enough QB. In the pros, It’s been Bryant who hasn’t been worthy enough but at least he gets it now unlike WVU ‘s own Piss Henry.
Good to see QBs being used as receivers in back to back weeks. I wonder why teams than complain that they have no QBs. Perhaps there are fewer receivers?
The Brady Quinn fiasco is one of the more amusing things to happen in some time. Over the past couple of weeks, Derek Anderson has come back to playing somewhat respectable football. The problem for him is that he is purely the epitome of the Browns struggles. Winslow has been a problem, their star receiver leads the leagues in drops, their number 2 receiver hasn't played in 5 games, their number 3 is on IR, their running back was old two years ago. Anderson may not have been playing great, but it's not like he's been the only problem. If Braylon Edwards doesn't drop that long bomb, then Derek Anderson's numbers against Baltimore would have been: 18-for-33, 300 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, 27 points on the scoreboard. Is it really that bad against the Baltimore Ravens?
My other issue with this is why have Brady Quinn start now on a short week. Quinn is the QB of the future and all but wouldn’t say next week probably be better for all of this? Although, with the way the Broncos defense has played, you might assume that maybe starting against a shitty defense won’t be all bad after all.
It’s good to see Daunte Culpepper back in the league but signing with Detroit might be one of the dumber ideas one to have.
In the Titans beating the Packers, there is one thing to remain optimistic about for teams playing that defense. Ryan Grant, who has blown horse chunks stats wise this season, had a fairly respectable day rushing the football avg. 4.3 yards per carry. That’s not bad especially against that monster flaming thumbtack defense.
The NFC West continues to be the joke of the league. When oh when will the teams in it be somewhat talented. Every year one is average and the other three are HORRIBLE.
Lastly, I was thinking about this the other day. We can definitely say that this league is a defensive league. Often times, teams only score points because their defense is (see- Titans, Ravens, Steelers, etc.) Teams are moving away from the risk taking and now relying on ball control. What gives? Dominant offenses were fairly common even a few years ago but are there any dominant offense around now? Talent wise you could say Dallas, Giants, Colts can make it happen but right now there isn't an offense out there that can beat these far more dominant defenses now. Should teams, instead of trying to be all Colts like, maybe take a page of some of the 3 yards and a cloud of dust teams from the past. What would Bill Cowhard say in a time like this? Oh right, It’s a fine line.
Weekly Complaint From the Media of the Week:
“The Ravens (5-3) creeped to within half a game of AFC South-leading Pittsburgh (pending Monday night’s game at Washington) by running off 24 consecutive points in the final 16 minutes of a 37-27 comeback triumph over the Browns,”
Doesn’t this guy have an editor? Let alone a compass or global atlas? Pittsburgh/Baltimore aren’t in the South there Mujumbo.
Enjoy that top 10 pick of the week:
Adios to the Jacksonville Jagoffs. You figure losing to Cleveland was/is an aberration but then to turn that around and to lose to Cincinnati with Ryan Fitzpatrick? The one dimensional nature of that offense is rearing its ugly head and David Garrard is proving not able to handle the task. Fred Taylor is also officially done. The Jags allowed three sacks to the Bungs that couldn’t even sack the Steelers two weeks ago. Moreover, they only sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick once as he continues evade their pass rush. You also made Cedric Benson look good again. Injuries are only part of the story and can’t be a valid excuse when you have teams less healthy than you are beating teams they are supposed to be.
Douchebag of the week:
Jabar Gaffney – quite the Gaff indeed.
You just got to feel bad for…:
Raider fans. You know things are bad when your fans cheer after you make your first, first down – in the third quarter.
Grasping at straws of the week:
"We still have seven games left. We can still end up at 8-8," Palmer said. "You never know what can happen in this league. I've only been in it for six years, but strange things happen. You can't say right now that one team can or can't make the playoffs. You could find a way to slip into a wild-card spot at 8-8. I'm not going to say it's going to happen, but I'm not going to say it's not going to happen. So all I can do is to continue to rehab and get as healthy as possible."
Ah nothing like the monthly moronic Palmer statement.
College Football games that I'm interested in:
Thursday has TCU vs. Utah but really that’s not a sexy matchup in the least. Both teams are ranked but this is more an audition for the insight.com bowl rather than a BCS bowl ...still Utah might get in there.
Alabama @ LSU could be interesting but LSU doesn’t have a good QB and the Tide are beasts.
Texas Tech hosts Oklahoma State on Saturday night which could be very interesting to see how the Raiders do when they are the hunted. I think they’ll hang on.
Cal goes to USC to face the Trojans also on Saturday night. The condoms need to get some help if they want a national title but they should still win the Pac-10.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Level 1- Huh?
You're confused. Why did they do that? It didnt make any sense, yet they did it. You scratch your head, look bewildered and blow it off as just a brainfart everyone is prone too. Or at least you hope it is...
Example- basically everyone in pro sports
Level 2- WTF?
They did it again. For the third time. This game (or off season should it be a GM or owner). It didnt make sense the first time, failed worse the second, yet you try it again? You're hopes of it being a brainfart are quickly disappearing.
Example- Brian Cashman sending Joba Chamberlain back to the bullpen or signing Giambi and/or Pavano.
Level 3- Booooo! Hissssss!
You've now realized that person does indeed suck. You've given up any hope of them getting better, at least with your team. The site of them angers you and credit giving is out the window. Even if they make a nice play you just wont say anything rather than acknowledging it. Instead of cheering vehemently like normal you begrudgingly celebrate your team's momentary victory.
Example- Eli Manning during the Vikings/Giants game 2007 (Giants fan who deny this are liars)
Level 4- The Scapegoat
It doesnt matter if they're that bad, it is all their fault and you will go out of your way to prove it. To you they do nothing commendable, their play/management is a comedy of errors. You've got their face on a dart board and they are quickly becoming your mortal enemy. You'd rather play a man down than have them on the field (see Singletary, Mike below), or let a monkey run the front office because at least once in a while his shit will stick to the wall.
Example- Chad Pennington (This though should not be confused with with people who should be blamed like Brent Sutter and Michel Therrien, who should be blamed for the Devils and Penguins shitty play respectively, but get a free pass from idiotic sports writers)
Level 5- Ugh...
You're tired of talking about them. Every move they make is wrong. You're so disgusted with what they do all you can do anymore is groan because they have done enough to actually reduce you to your basic, evolutionary instinct of pre-language grunts and gestures. It's about this time you start wondering if this person is really more effective than the piece of crap you keep claiming he is. You're considering giving Tanya Harding a call about now.
Example- Charles Wang, Joe Torre looking at the bullpen phone
When you've just had enough. The mere mention of this person's name drives you into a fit of rage because of their incompetence. You're George Costanza screaming at your co-worker for unjustly stealing your nickname "T-Bone." Saying their name is like bile in your mouth; they're that bad beer your cheap ass friend keeps bringing to the tailgate because it's $2.00 cheaper a case. You want to show them the door, and promptly kick them in the ass on the way out so they can be gone quicker.
Example- Doug O'Brien, Herm Edwards, Stephon Marbury
Level 7- Euthanize
Said person has gotten to the point where everything they do is a liability. It's all been said to the point talking about it is useless, yet the unexplained phenomena remains of how they are still active on the team. But, as the compassionate human beings we are, we are going to do what is best for everyone: euthanize them. Much like a dying pet it's obvious they are never going to get better, they're constantly embarrassing themselves is painful for you and them. The best thing to do, for both of you, is put them down and just end their, and subsequently your, suffering.
Example- Bill Cowher, the entire Mets bullpen
Level 8- Take them out back and shoot him A.K.A "Old Yeller"
This is when the person in question cannot possible get worse. Just like Old Yeller they have been rabid, out of control and a detriment to everyone around them. Only in this case you dont feel bad about shooting them. They've screwed up to the point where nothing can be done by anyone, single or collective, to make up for their mistakes. Your (sports) life has been thrown into shambles and you're an emotional wreck from so many painful years of your favorite team being shit on by those who are there to help it. This isnt even a pity kill like the euthanize, this is an outright mafia "take them to the field, shoot them in the head and bury the body" thing. Because frankly, things are just that bad because of them, and they deserve it. You'd prefer jail over dealing with them one more time, only getting through the nights with a guy named Bubba at your side by knowing you are a hero to your fan base.
Example- Isiah Thomas, Matt Millen, Al Davis, Mike Milbury
Disclaimer- we at SUS don't condone killing or any attempt at bodily harm to said sports figures. This list is meant to be a joke. If you are offended by said jokes, stop being an uptight prick and live a little. Getting pissy about things like a sports satire article is probably the reason you're a miserable, antagonistic, constantly complaining SOB anyways.
P.S. - Flyers suck. Bunch of Giant Douches...
There is a simple fact in life: all hard core sports fans are tools when they watch their teams. With that said, it's now time for the writers of your 10th most favorite website to tell about the little and not so little things that they do that qualify them as Sports Tools.
For part 1, Devo edition, click here
For part 2, White Boy South Bronx, click here
On this, the afternoon after the greatest night in modern American history, I just wanted to add 2 things to the great President elect Obama
(1) 100 dollar fine for any use in print or speech of the phrase "Red Sox Nation"
(2) a ban on all sales of Dallas Cowboy paraphenilia in the New York Giants broadcast area. In other words, the area in which all 16 games must legally be broadcast on over the air television.
Thanks B. And for the first time in my adult life, I say with conviction and authenticity, G-d bless America.
Dear President Elect Obama,
First off, congrats on your historic win. We are all very happy and blessed to be here in this historic and amazing time and blah blah blah...
But most importantly, you've managed to win the election by catering to minorities, women, and a bunch of other groups. But if there's one thing that has been proven, it is that Joe Sixpack and Joe Plumber may speak for some groups out there, but only I, DEVO, speak for SUS Nation. And as such, I have a demand. Now, I'm not big on making threats, but as the leader of a sports blogging conglomerate, I have to think that if you want to be celebrating four years from now, you'd be wise to listen to me. After all, as I previously have stated, forget Joe Plumber or Joe Sixpack; as Devo goes, so goes the nation.
We at SUS Nation demand an evil sports tax. What we mean by this is that every piece of Rangers, Flyers, Eagles, Cowboys, Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox, Phillies, (and for the Pitt. delegation) Ravens, and Browns paraphernalia, these items receive a 60% tax. Why tax the $250K+ when you can simply tax the douchebags of the world? It's like being Robin Hood, but with a stronger moral compass. And it is up to you, Senator Obama, to use the evil sports tax to save America. Because even if we can't get rid of the axis of evil, we can certainly piss off the true evil in this world: dumbass sports fans.
Devo and the rest of the SUS Staff
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Winners Go Home and Fuck the Prom Queen
Defense, defense, defense! The D-line wreaked havoc for Trent Edwards all game, led by an outstanding performance from Kris Jenkins. Currently the Jets are 3rd in the league in total sacks this season with 29, only trailing the Steelers and the Giants. An amazing stat considering they had 29 sacks all of 2007 and its only week 10. The additions of Jenkins and Pace have definitely made an impact on the pass rush and the run defense, which they currently rank 4th in allowing only 76yds on the ground/game.
Darelle Revis is quickly progressing into a shutdown corner. He had 4 tackles, one sack, 1 forced fumble and recovery, 1 INT, and held Lee Evans to only 4 catches for the entire game. Most impressive was the interception to seal the win for the Jets in which he out-jumped James Hardy (6’6) in the endzone.
Another remarkable stat came in the 1st half. Bills had the ball for 27 plays consecutively and the only points scored came courtesy of the Jets on a 92 INT return for a touchdown by Abram Elam. I haven’t seen a Jets defense play this well since the Parcells era. If there is ever talk about great defense in New York, it’s a certainty that they’re always discussing about the Giants; it has been this way for years. Hopefully the Jets can build off this defensive achievement and get some consideration at the urinals on Monday morning.
Thankfully the Jets defense made enough plays that Favre’s late game heroics were not needed (he’s only done it once so far this season). But I expected little production from the offense against a very good Bills defense. What I do like about Favre is that when he makes mistakes he comes back on the next drive and puts points on the board. After the interception last week that the Chiefs returned for a TD, he drove the ball 70+yds down the field and threw the game winning TD pass to Coles. Against the Bills, he tried forcing an underthrown ball into coverage and it was picked as well and returned for another touchdown. The following drive he lead the offense 65yds on 14 plays eating up 9 minutes off the clock; the result was a field goal making it a 2 possession game and pretty much sealing another victory for Gang Green.
Other teams underestimate the explosiveness that Leon Washington brings when he’s on the field. He’s just a solid playmaker. If Justin Miller can get healthy again and take some weight off LW in the return game, maybe then Leon can get the ball more on offense. Schottenheimer can go into his massive playbook and maybe work on some splitback or Full House type formations and throw some more screens to my man LW.
The Future Conan?
I don’t know which Jets team we’ll see on Sundays. This game was a huge win for them as they now are tied with the Bills and Patriots for 1st place in the AFC East. Surprisingly Miami is only 1 game behind at 4-4 and playing a lot better than most people thought they would (“I know it, Chad is going to ruin the Jets chances for the playoffs come week 17” SHMUCK). But can they keep this momentum going? Sunday they are home against the revamped St.Louis Rams who, for most of the season, were dead in the water but playing much better under Haslett the last 4 weeks. But what was considered a “mickey” win for the Jets now should be another test as they prepare for their Thursday night showdown in Massholeville.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Pittsburgh Steelers at Washington Redskins(-2.5, 38)
Sorry sports fans, BH had a very busy day in West Virginia saving the world for democracy, so the Monday night preview will be short and sweet.
This is rightly a nationally televised game, as its pitting two of the best in the league in one of the best places to watch a game. The Skins continue to impress, sorta. Ever since the inexplicable loss to the Rams, they have been flailing a bit, barely beating the Browns and the Lions in the last two weeks. Not impressive. But they are still dangerous. Any team with Santana Moss and Clinton Portis is.
I don't particularly feel like dwelling on the Steelers, their massive mistakes that cost the game last week or my sneaking feeling that this offense isn't equipped to play elite Ds. SO, Im going with my nephew Sam's prediction for the game: Ben throws 2 tds; Moore and Parker get 1td; the Steelers pick Campbell off twice; Portis breaks 100yds on the ground; and Pittsburgh wins 27-21.
...because Kevin Weekes is in goal. I was under the assumption that Brent "God...or at least according to Lamoriello" Sutter had a strict policy of riding Martin Brodeur until Brodeur's heart stopped beating, even if it means a first or second round exit. I only hope that Sutter and Lamoriello watch Brodeur closely and play him as soon as possible, godforbid Brodeur do anything stupid, like get some rest.
Thanks a lot Devo for putting pressure on me to write a "substantive recap." Its like I'm supposed to say something interesting, meaningful and/or logical. While that is at times difficult for me, I will try my darnedest to do so.
Its good to be king. For the first time in my non Yankee fan life, I can say that I root for the NFL's best team. I know that Tennessee is 8-0 and is not a team to be taken lightly. But, as many critics pointed out early on in the Giants season, who have they played? Green bay is an average team and some considered that a huge win. It beat a Colts team who is having a down year, so what? The Giants have beaten two teams that are almost assured a playoff birth in Washington and Pittsburgh. I know Dallas didn't have a real QB yesterday, but it didn't have to get totally demolished like it did. Nor does a team have to win 7 of 8 games it is supposed to win. Lord knows San Diego hasn't. Anyway, with that preamble, lets go to the grades shall we.
You almost never see a QB play as poorly as Eli played and his team still win by 21 points. However, such was the case at the Meadowlands yesterday. Eli had a strong first quarter in which he threw 2 TD passes. However, he was fairly horrid the rest of the game as he appeared to be rushing his throws and having tremendous problems holding on to the football. That being said, the rest of the offense was excellent. New York amassed 200 rushing yards, 117 of which were collected by the beast. (why is it that only Black players have animal nicknames? I wonder...). Boss is starting to become a legitimate receiving TE in the league which will only help open up the field for the Steve Smiths and Dominick Hixons of the world. Finally, the offensive line continues to be, by far, the finest unit of its kind in the league. It pass blocks, it run blocks and it keeps its QB's jerseys clean. You guys are G-ds to my people.
Again, I know that Dallas did not have any slightly respectable player at the QB position yesterday. But you know what? Tampa was not able to take advantage of that. As bad a QB as Brad Johnson is, he still has 2 great receivers and the best TE in football to throw to not to mention an all-pro running back in Marion Barber to hand the ball to. Big Blue totally shut him in addition to shutting down his offensive teammates who were healthy. Justin Tuck continues to be the best DE in the NFC and Fred Robbins continues his bid for what I believe would be his first pro bowl selection. Oh and as Devo said, Corey Webster has become a very solid #1 corner. Spagnuolo continues his mastery of opposing offenses and Antonio Pierce continues to be the best defensive QB in the bidness. This defense is my favorite part of any sports team I have ever rooted for.
Coughlin gets an A. He had the team ready and fired up in spite of the injuries to Tony Romo and Felix Jones. His team continues to have very few meaningful penalties go against them. That personal foul against Tuck, although absurd, did not come at a point in the game where its outcome was really in doubt. Gilbride gets a B-. As Devo pointed out last week, for a team as good as the calender year 2008 Giants, its offensive coordinator makes some odd choices. Kevin Gilbride, heretofor, K Gilb, has a penchant for fist down passes and 2nd down runs. He also runs every single third and short. These two trends in K Gilb's play calling continues to confound me. If you throw on first down and you have an incomplete pass; and then you run on 2nd down and long, you almost assure your team is in an undesirable third down situation. If you run on first down and get say 7-8 yards, you can open up the playbook on 2nd and short and go deep after a play action fake. In addition, running on third and short, whenever that situation presents itself, quite obviously allows the defense to load 8 in the box and commit to the run. A little ingenuity please K Gilb. You are fortunate you have such a talented offense and great defensive unit to make you look good. Finally, Stevey Spags. What else can you say, he's the best coordinator in the league by leaps and bounds. He has transformed the secondary from a huge weakness to a mild strength. He has gotten the Giants to be the best open field tackling team in the NFC. He seems to always call the right play. All praise be unto Spags. Oh, so Spags gets a A++
Yeah, I'm proud to be a New York Giant. I'm also proud to see a Cowboy team go 5-4 and 3 games + tiebreakers behind in the division.
A few irreverent thoughts from Section 327 row 28, as I leave the substantive recap to White Boy:
-I said to my dad before the game:
1. Steve Smith will catch his first professional TD today.
2. Corey Webster (currently engaged in a mean defensive player of the week battle with Justin Tuck) is looking like a pro bowl player this year. Not to be confused with Jacobs, our entire O-Line, Tuck, and Pierce, who also deserve to be pro bowlers. More on this later this week.
And yet, some how I'm 7-11 on my picks this year.
-A bizarre game in the sense that I had asshole Giant fans and pretty chill and logical, if slightly drunk, Cowboy fans sitting around me.
- First the asshole Giant fan. No one rocks the phrase "Tony Homo" more than me. But I generally don't yell "To-ny Ho-mo" when he's on the sideline in street clothes. And I DEFINITELY don't do it for an entire game. This led to the Cowboy fans and I telling her that once Tom Landry let's Staubach, Pearson & Co. air it out, the Giants are going to be in trouble. Later she started yelling "Broke-back Mount-ain." I almost responded by yelling out "Forr-est Gump," because apparently we're at the part of the football game where we yell out Oscar-winning movies. Yeah, I know the gay references, but it's still retarted. And worst of all, she had the audacity to not be hot. For shame, ugly lady.
- Next the Cowboy fans. Nice guys. Almost felt bad for 'em. Almost Loved it when one of the dudes started saying to his buddy "This was supposed to be our year. It wasn't supposed to be like this." Beautiful. And for the record, if they lose to Washington in two weeks, they'll probably have to run the table, MAYBE being able get in with one more loss at 10-6 and very few tiebreakers.
- And the most commonly thing heard was "Cow-boys suck!" Followed by Cowboy fans' retort of "Yes we do!" It was a fun game, but it was so easy that it wasn't anywhere nearly as enjoyable as the NFC Divisional Game last year for obvious reasons. I've never been so sure of a win up 14-7 before. But I digress, enjoy White Boy.