Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The (late) Monday Hangover: 12-9-2008

Law school exams are going to prevent me from getting back to doing intros and outros, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get…

The Hangover…

• Thomas Jones is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, and the game is well within reach. Someone explain to me how the Jets wind up giving up 24 points to Shaun Hill and losing the time of possession battle by almost 20 minutes. 10 carries?!?!? 10 CARRIES?!? Was it Brett Favres three “well, let’s just chuck it up and see what happens” decisions (one of which was a pick) that led us to think this was a good idea? UGH. If we don’t win the division, Mangini should be fired and using that smarmy a-hole sense of humor at some Jersey giggle hut.

• 285 yards and 2 TD for Shaun effing Hill. Oh, and let’s not forget the 12 receptions between Isaac Bruce (isn’t Cadillac Records a biopic about him?) and Bryant Johnson, who tied a season best six receptions. And that’s this week’s reason why Abram Elam is the slowest safety I have ever seen.

• Somebody has to explain why Ryan Fitzpatrick has had such a long leash this season. Seeing as he went to Harvard, I can only assume that he does the team’s taxes or something.

• Everybody needs to chill out on the Colts for a second. Yes, they’re going to make the playoffs barring a meltdown, but that’s because of a baby soft end of the season schedule (in which they face one team with a winning record in seven games). The fact of the matter is that this team STILL hasn’t gotten an effective ground game going (78.1 YPG for the second worst in the league), and come January,when they’re likely to see cold weather opponents on the road (Jets, Ravens, Denver, Pittsburgh...) that WILL catch up with them.

• 43 passes later, maybe turning the keys over to Ken Dorsey ISN’T the best way to win…or compete…or even not get laughably embarrassed on a football field.

• The Titans are still head and shoulders above everyone else in the AFC besides the Steelers, who they are only a head above. I’m totally OK with sweeping the Jets game under the rug as an aberration resulting from them getting behind and Kerry Collins trying to do too much (it’s his highest passes attempted number all season, and they were long misses). The fact of the matter is that each week shows Collins getting more comfortable with a receiving corps that is a wet dream for fans of big receivers (Jones is 6-1, 212 pounds, Gage is 6-4, 212 pounds, and even TiT 2007 scapegoat McCareins is 6-2, 215 pounds). If he sticks to using these big targets on intermediate routes and single coverage deep attacks, there’s no reason to think Collins (who has a very respectable 11 TD to 6 INT, 3 of which came before the bye) can’t beat teams when they dare him to do so.

• I’ll go a step further than anyone else has and say that Tarvaris Jackson’s performance was more than just a great job filling the shoes of the starter; I say that if Frerotte is still in by the fourth quarter, there’s no way that the Vikings avoid losing that game. Frerotte had already thrown two picks against a Lions defense that came gunning for a win, and the go-ahead TD pass by Jackson was a direct result of his ability to move outside the pocket and throw on the run, under pressure no less. At this point, if Frerotte has to miss a game or two, and Jackson shows similar poise and physical ability, wouldn’t you have to go with him against the likes of Tampa Bay or Dallas, both of whom have pass rushes that create problems for stationary QBs? I said before this whole thing started that T-Jax should be the lynchpin of the Vikings’ season, and I still think that’s the case if this team is going to contend for a championship.

• Meanwhile, on the other side of the coin, I’m not prepared to say that I’m not rooting for an 0-16 Detroit season (it’s the lasting mark of failure that the Millen era and Marinelli deserve), but I do feel a little sorry that they couldn’t go out and get Culpepper sooner. The fact is that he’s making better downfield throws, and if the team would open the offense up a little more, (Really, Jim Colletto? Just 24 passes? Hey, you know that shred of dignity you’re protecting by trying to establish a balanced offense? IT DOESN’T F**KING EXIST ANYMORE SO STOP WASTING OUR TIME!) I really think that the Lions have the receiving talent (read: Calvin Johnson and only Calvin Johnson) for at least 2 wins.

• Also, there’s not a doubt in my mind that the Lions would beat the Rams 10 out of 10 times, and the only reasons we’re not talking about the Rams being 0-16 is Tony Romo being injured in week 7 and a brain fart by a Redskins team prone to brain farts in week 6. Say what you will about Detroit, but at least they look like they’re trying. Meanwhile, the Rams, with a much more varied offensive attack, look like they couldn’t care less what’s going on. Marc Bulger looks like he’s making whatever throw will keep him from taking a hit, regardless of coverage, and Steven Jackson is the only offensive weapon worth respecting as a result. My personal favorite evidence that this team has no direction whatsoever? Their first round draft pick, the number two overall selection, has fewer tackles since week 10 than Mr. Irrelevant David Vobora. Forget the Linehan contract being a racist dodging of the Rooney rule; it would be racist to force a minority coach to take this job.

• We’re about a half season away from the Jason Campbell experiment going up in flames thanks to a bizarre reluctance to just trust the receivers the Redskins paid so much to get. I know I’ve harped on this before, but neither Malcom Kelly nor Fred Davis had a reception on the day, and Devin Thomas had as many catches as Clinton Portis (and fewer than Ladell Betts). With the season pretty much over, I don’t think it’s crazy to expect that this team will have him on a much shorter leash next year considering that backup Colt Brennan is Zorn’s project, and the team will have more high end receivers than pretty much any team in football. Tailor the system to the personnel, or this is what happens.

• I mean, on what planet is it intelligent to call your injured Pro Bowl running back “soft”, Jerry Jones? Listen, I get that Felix Jones is your boy, and that because he went to Arkansas you want to make him the future of the backfield, but just because Barber went to a school where he could major in something other than toothlessness doesn’t mean you should forget the fact that he’s been the engine that allows the Cowboys pass attack to work.

• Seneca Wallace deserves a shot somewhere, and if Seattle won’t give it to him, then some team in need of a quarterback should consider trading a low draft pick for him. Check the stat line against a good defense with only one receiver remotely worth mentioning. If Seattle had any sort of defense they win that game and Wallace gets a much deserved notch on his belt. How anyone can look back on this season and say that an aging Matt Hasselbeck is a better plan going forward than Wallace is mind boggling, seeing as Wallace is the only one to get anything out of potentially great TE John Carlson or money pit Deion Branch.

• Yeah…so…I was wrong about that whole J.P. Losman is the future thing. Very wrong. Seriously, I’m less embarrassed about how into Pogs and Magic cards I was than I am about being so in the tank for Losman.

• That doesn’t mean I’m wrong about Trent Edwards not being the guy for Buffalo. At this point, you’ve just got to reboot the machine. That includes ejecting Dick Jauron, whose bony ass has done nothing to deserve yet another “rebuilding” phase.

• Also, when it’s all said and done, will any RB have submarined more fantasy teams than Marshawn Lynch? Between him and Ryan Grant, who could have been drafted by the same team given their preseason projections, you’re probably looking at quite a few fantasy related hara kiris.

• Don’t ask “who the hell is Davone Bess?”. That’s just what Handsome Chad does, and it’s why I’m pissing my pants about ending the season against a Miami team that will probably be playing for the postseason.

• If Jack Del Rio is the Jack Del Rio he’s always been, he’s going to pull the pin on creating a QB controversy behind David Garrard this offseason…and he’ll be wrong, and it will turn a blip in the team’s progress into a downward spiral. The fact of the matter is that these guys lost two starting guards and have always been a run first team. That throws off BOTH aspects of their offense, and gives Garrard an excuse for being unable to open the field up vertically. MJD isn’t performing much better, but gets to use the O-Line as an excuse; I’m just saying that Garrard should be able to do the same.

• Seriously, it’s funny how little defense the bottom half of the NFC South plays.

• The “We Getting Arab Money” dance action between DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart is a late entrant into the “so retarded it’s delightful” competition for the season.

• If the Falcons make the postseason, and they certainly could given the difficulty of the Cowboys schedule and the fact that Atlanta has a chance to knock off the Bucs, Matt Ryan deserves at least a few MVP votes.

• Wait, I almost forgot to mention this: The Carolina Panthers are the best team in the NFC right now. With Brandon Jacobs potentially nursing an injury and Plaxico no longer available to work jump balls and the red zone, the Giants won’t be able to dictate the pace of the game to what showed itself to be a speedy, underrated defense. Furthermore, I’m not sure if the Giants have an answer for Steve Smith, who has had one bad game all season, and six games with over 100 yards receiving. Unless Delhomme melts down (and some would argue he has already and the team is STILL winning), these are the guys to beat.

• Also, I can’t remember the last time I watched a corner get abused like Ronde Barber did last night. Tiki is teaching me delicious recipes on weekday mornings, and HE looks tougher than Ronde at this point.

• I’ve said this a couple of times now, but if the Chiefs can find a replacement for their broken Larry Johnson, and maybe one more good wide receiver, Tyler Thigpen could be kind of good. I know; crazy, right? But look at the numbers: Since taking the helm full time in week eight, Thigpen has thrown 12 TD to 4 INT, and this is when everyone knows exactly where the ball is going (Gonzalez or Bowe) and that LJ has stopped hitting anything hard except unlucky nightclub patrons. Just remember I said this when Herm pushes for year three of Brodie Croyle. Or whatever unit of time Herm uses. Judging by the game management, it’s some sort of alternative galaxy calendar.

• If you’re Aaron Rodgers, don’t you have to throw your defense under the bus at some point to try to save your job? I’m thrilled at how well he’s performed and how he’s kept his head about him despite the fact that Tony Kornheiser Favres himself to orgasm every Monday night, but he has to know that the media is going to come after him this offseason…ESPECIALLY if the Jets make the playoffs. Someone needs to get out there and explain that when your defense can’t get off the field because it can’t stop ANYBODY from running, it’s hard to win.

• Speaking of which Steve Slaton needs a nickname to go with his very cool real life name. Number 20 With A Bullet? Eh…it’s in beta.


J. Hinson said...

Thank you Farve! Thank you "not so" Mangenious! Thank you Tuna! We love "Handsome Chad!

P-Cat said...

I kinda don't think this is Marinelli's fault as much as Millen. Frankly, there is just a lack of talent throughout. There is nobody on the Lion roster that scares anybody.

And yes, Ronde Barber is old. Very, very old.