Wednesday, January 9, 2008

8 In the Box

1. We have a national college football champion, and it is the Louisana State University Tigers.

After falling behind 10-0 early in the BCS Championship game against Ohio State, LSU rattled off 31 unanswered points, highlighted by 3 Matt Flynn TD passes, and cruised to a 38-24 win. Beanie Wells rushed for 146 yards for the losing Buckeyes.

Georgia and USC are the remaining teams with anything left to bitch about. I refute their arguments by saying that Georgia had every opportunity to be in LSU's position if they would have won the SEC. They didn't. LSU did. Better luck next year. As for USC, what, I'm supposed to feel sorry for USC? That's like feeling sorry for Goldman Sachs. Sorry, no can do.

2. While college football crowned its national champion this week, the NFL began its playoffs. The Jaguars and Steelers managed to give us a classic. A 10 yard TD run by Maurice Jones-Drew late in the 3rd quarter put the Jags up 28-10 and seemingly salted the game away. Of course, if you thought the game was over, you weren't taking into account Jacksonville's penchant for blowing huge leads to the Steelers, and you missed a great finish.

Pittsburgh scored 3 4th quarter touchdowns to take a 29-28 lead. A crucial holding penalty on a 2 point conversion following the last TD meant they had a 12 yard conversion try, which failed. That meant a field goal would win the game for Jacksonville. On 4th and 2 with 1:56 left and no Jaguar timeouts remaining, Dave Garrard ran a QB draw, and found that after he found a hole to get thru, there was nobody behind the line to keep him from continuing to run. He rumbled 32 yards, setting up a 25 yard field goal by Josh Scobee, giving the Jaguars the win and the right to face 16-0 New England this coming weekend.

3. Joe Gibbs has coached his final final game in the NFL, as the Redskins were drummed out of the playoffs 35-14 in Seattle. The Redskins actually led this game in the 4th quarter after trailing 13-0. Todd Collins threw a TD pass to Antwaan Randle El, then 2 plays later the Skins had the ball back after an interception by Laron Landry. Collins then hit Santana Moss for a 30 yard TD pass to put the Redskins ahead.

Things looked like they were really falling apart for the Seahawks on the ensuing kickoff, which was fielded by nobody, and recovered by the Redskins at the Seattle 13 yard line. Shawn Suisham missed a 30 yard field goal after the Redskins failed to move the ball on the ensuing series though, killing all the Redskins momentum, and from there it was the super sad ending to Wayne's World the rest of the way for Washington. The Seahawks go to Green Bay for this weekend's divisional playoff game. They want the ball, and they're going to score.

4. While Saturday's playoff games were pretty damn entertaining, the Sunday games were both snoozefests. In the early game, the Giants choked the life out of the Bucs, using a ball control offense and a stifling defense to win in Tampa, 24-14.

The Bucs opened the scoring on a 1 yard TD run by Earnest Graham to cap off a 10 play drive, but after that it was all Giants. Eli Manning did well in his first career playoff victory. He completed 20 of 27 pass attempts with 2 TDs and no INTs, and Brandon Jacobs found the end zone twice. The Giants now go on to Dallas to face a team that has beaten them twice this year, and averaged 38 points a game in their 2 meetings.

5. Rounding out wildcard weekend was a shnorer between the Chargers and Titans. This game definitely reminded me of the Sunday afternoons of my youth, when the Raiders were seemingly being broadcast from the LA Coliseum every Sunday at 3 o clock. It was like eating a nice big peanut butter and Lunesta sandwich every Sunday. This game was kind of like that.

The Chargers trailed 6-0 at the half, and Antonio Gates was out for the game with an injury. LaDanian Tomlinson was struggling. That meant it was up to Philip Rivers and the Chargers wide receivers to win the game. That should have meant they were screwed, but it didn't. Rivers had what might have been his best game of the season, completing 63.3% of his pass attempts for 292 yards, and Vincent Jackson and Chris Chambers stepped up to combine for 11 catches and 235 yards. The Chargers controlled the second half and won 17-6. Now they go to Indy, hoping that Peyton Manning throws six interceptions against them again.

6. The Cowboys have a lot of background drama going on as they prepare to meet the Giants this weekend. OC Jason Garrett is a guy a lot of teams with coaching vacancies want to bring in as their head coach. Dallas doesn't want to lose him though. So the theory goes that maybe Wade Phillips might be gone after this season, and Jason Garrett promoted to head coach. Jerry Jones has even had to issue a denial of rumor that the Cowboys would fire Phillips if they lose to the Giants this weekend.

Meanwhile, Tony Romo spent last weekend in Cabo with Jessica Simpson, and TO is going to be playing on a gimpy ankle. That and the Cowboys were a mediocre 2-2 in the month of December, and look like they peaked a month and a half ago when they beat the Packers. The Giants' Michael Strahan even stirred the pot by saying he would date Jessica Simpson. According to his divorce hearings though, that's probably not true, because Jessica Simpson, to my knowledge, is not a man.

7. The Indianapolis Star is speculating that Tony Dungy will consider retiring from coaching after this season, so he can go focus on touching lives or something. I think he might be planning on wandering the Earth with a bearded guy in an Oakland A's hat. Like Michael Landon used to do.

8. And here's the latest on the NFL Coaching Carousel..of DOOM

Atlanta- Arthur Blank is reportedly going after USC's Pete Carroll. If that doesn't work he's going after Joe Paterno. Or Bear Bryant. Or Craig T. Nelson.

Washington- With Joe Gibbs gone, it's been speculated that Creepy Dan Snyder will try and lure Bill Cowher into his lair. I'm not sure if part of the interview process involves Tom Cruise measuring his thetan levels.

Cleveland- Romeo Crennel is going to be given an extension, as apparently, will QB Derek Anderson. Does this mean that Brady Quinn is going to become available? Mmmmm?

Miami- It's looking like their guy is going to be Cowboys' assistant Tony Sparano. Bada bing!

Carolina- Their GM said that John Fox is safe, for now. Mooo hooo hooo...ha ha ha.

Baltimore- Marvin Lewis has 3 years left on his contract with the Bengals, but it's heavily speculated he wants to leave and take over the vacant Ravens job. If that happens, the Ravens would have to give the Bengals some compensation. Probably hookers.

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