Assorted thoughts on Wildcard Weekend and some others on this opening of the TV season!
Cardinals vs. Falcons
- The Cardinals at home are a way different breed than the Cards on the road. The issue with them is merely consistency and this is evident when they really only show up when their backs are against the wall and everyone is writing them off. Also the Crowd noise clearly was bothering the Falcons and Matt Ryan. The Cardinals picked up on the snap count and jumped it multiple times. Sure there were a few offsides in between but still it completely had a decent Falcon line rattled. The Cards D-line had head starts and completely stuffed Mike Turner and Matt Ryan.
- The goat of the game for the Falcons proved to be an average defense that benefited greatly from being in leads all season. The pass rush is easily the best part of that defense and by getting a lead allowed John Abraham and friends to rush up field. Without said lead and running game, they got exposed. All in all though, it showed how far this team has come but most importantly, how much further they need to go still.
- Ken Cheezenhunt was always good at knowing when to call trick plays and when not to. This changed on the ill-conceived Steve Breaston end-around. Look i'm all for trying trick plays but not when you are driving and need a field goal to put the game out of reach, why risk it? I'm from the school of thought where there are specific times to be conservative and times to go hog wild. The play was stuffed for a massive loss but it got forgotten when Keith Brooking forgot to play linebacker. Horrendous playcalls like that when you need points are really way to vital to go all kamikaze. Lucky for Cheezen he didn't have to face the wrath.
Chargers vs. Colts
- Props to SHMUCK on his colorful use of font in the pregame piece. Truly groundbreaking feats like this are what separates SUS from the rest.
- Scifres is god. When Indy played in SD earlier this year, their average starting field position was the IND 30.9. They started 8 of their 9 drives at the IND 28 or better. Their worst starting FP was the IND 18. Scifres punted only 3 times that night and none of them were particularly that good. Last night on 12 drives the average starting field position was the IND 15.7, nearly twice as bad as the first game's average. 9 of the 12 drives started at the IND 20 or worse, 4 inside the 10 yard line. Only once did they start a drive past the 30 (which was their average 1st game), and that was at the IND 33. The result was a FG.
- Lost in all the Darren Sproles is god talk is the kid made two costly fumbles that would have been the story if not for his last second heroics. After his performance and the hot tub, Sproles needs to practice the high and tight all week. Can he keep going at this pace and the pounding and not let up is the biggest question for SD going forward?
- Big game from the Charger defense. They had one bad play where they got caught with their pants down but as the game wore on, the Chargers took control and eventually got into Manning's face. They held Indy to 34 yards in 17 plays during the fourth quarter.
- Didn't the Colts used to have a run game? The only changes from this year and last is the guard play. Last year's starters, Jake Scott went to the Titans and Ryan Lilja got hurt also add TE Ben Utecht who is more of a receiving threat but clearly not having even a remote threat of the run game helped the Chargers out more.
- Furthermore, I was expecting to see Joseph Addai and Domenic Rhodes to be used way more in the pass game and Rhodes more so in both run and pass. Using those guys the same way the Colts used Sproles would have helped out much more and opened up the game for Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark.
- Marvin Harrison apparently missed the game due to injury...
Ravens vs. Dolphins
- Ol Noodle Arm strikes back. Chad is a guy that can get you to the playoffs but to win a Superbowl with the guy is out of the question. His big lofty throws hang up in the sky too much and with guys like Ed Reed who can race across a field in 2 seconds, only spells doom.
- BTW, Ed Reed is good. Apparently, people missed the last 6 years of his career?
- How good is Haloti Ngata? Everytime i watch this guy play, I'm blown away. This guy unlike his peers (Rogers, Hampton, Jenkins, and to a lesser extent Vilfork) is continuously involved in both run and pass defense and does not take plays off. Ngata's best place might have been the massive block on Dolphin WR, Brandon London on Ed Reed's TAINT.
- Anyone notice Joey Porter? Stuffed all game by Jared Gaither, Todd Heap, Willie Anderson.
- Maybe Miami should use more than 3 receivers against a secondary that is the primary weakness of the Ravens D. Jason "UDFA" London, Davone "UDFA" Bess and Ted "Vertical Route" Ginn doesn't quite scare me.
- As a Ratbird hater, I hate Unibrow Flacco out of spite. But the guy can be pretty good. He's got a big arm and looks very accurate throwing the deep ball and deep sideline patterns, which is a great fit for an offense built around the run game and play action.
He's not fast but mobile enough and can make plays with his feet. He also has a great OC that uses players to their strengths and keeps defenses guessing. But jesus christ, going 9/23 135yards doesn't make you "cool and unflappable."
- Ray Lewis is apparently playing like he's 25 according to someone. Now maybe I need my prescription changed but it seems like 32 to me. It's shocking that a player would perform better in a CONTRACT YEAR.
Eagles vs. Vikings
- Would Gus Frerrote have won the game for the Vikings? Good day from the RBs and the O-line but Tarvarius Jackson failed horrendously especially as the game progressed. Tough to blame him on the bad snap fumble though. Problem with him is that he can't read defenses still. Jackson just stares at the defense like he's reading Hindi.
- I not ready to admit TJack is a waste but his coaches really need to help him out a bit more. The playcalling in the 4th quarter was unimaginative and rarely showed anything creative. Jackson was good in the first half but the same routes failed in Q4. Where are the bootlegs, rollouts? Having him sit back there trying to comprehend what was happening was just too easy for Jim Johnson.
- Ditto the use of "All Day" AP. Was he even used in the 4th Q?
- The Eagles are the league's biggest Jekyll and Hyde team in the league. They looked like world beaters against the Cowpokes and than look entirely mortal vs. the Vikings.
- Sorry Gint fans the Eagles have the deepest crew in the league on the DLine.
- Eagles 3rd yr, DT Broderick Bunkley is a stud and may be the NFC's best DT by next season.
The starting points of Indianapolis' 12 drives: 10, 19, 3, 33, 7, 20, 26, 9, 20, 21, 1, 19. I laughed all day Sunday when I kept hearing from the experts about how Peyton Manning didn't look much like an MVP on Saturday night. No crap, Sherlock! Pretty hard to be great when you're on the road in the playoffs and your average starting point all night is the 16-yard line.
Call me crazy but isn't an MVP supposed to do just that? Sure you can't blame him completely but I'm tired of various media types having favorites and giving them a pass when things go awry. King would probably be tearing into another other QB not named Manning, Brady or least we forget Brett Favre who King talked to last night, Wednesday, Monday and texted Thursday, Saturday. The fact of the matter isn't an MVP is supposed to do just that and overcome the bad field position maybe just a couple of times? Manning was entirely too pedestrian in his performance. And please. Hostile San Diego? I'm surprised the crowd didn't go home after the Wayne td.
Random TV Thoughts:
- How on earth are all these rejects from the Hills getting their own TV shows. Does the US of A really care about Brody and Whitney? Yea let's give douche Brody his own show as he tries to get more bros in a show called BROMANCE? I mean it's like the bachelor except guys try to be Brody's best friend. Isn't he supposed to be cool? Why on earth do you have this show and portray hip and cool Brody as a loser who can't get friends. Color that unwatchable in my eyes Thankfully the NYT times agrees: “Bromance,” a comparatively conventional but completely unwatchable reality show also spun from “The Hills."
- And Whitney is fine and all but so f'ning boring. How in earth does she have a show in NYC????? The main question for this week's episode is Whitney a downtown hipster or uptown social? Yes truly riveting stuff. The whole show is her saying ummm or yea and giving this head motion frequently:
- MTV also is unveiling another season of the Real World. The punchline for this season is: The real NY is on the other side of the bridge. Ouch. Maybe they can than spend the $3,000 on 250 sq foot studios than.
- Scrubs is on ABC now. Has it been relevant for the past two seasons? I'll give it a shot but I hope it stays away from more of The Fray moments of the past two seasons.
- It's Armageddon week on the History channel. Armageddon Week? A week of shows that are nothing but theoretical gibberish and insane ramblings from Nostradamus among the others? Apparently the world is ending in 2012.
- Why is this a show?
Happy New Year Folks! Enjoy good health, prosperity and may your sports teams have good luck except if you play against the Penguins or Steelers. (I'll give you the Pirates because I'm a giving person.)