Friday, January 18, 2008

8 In the Box

1. In my preview of last week's Chargers/Colts game, I predicted the Colts would win, and the game would not be close. If I would have known the Chargers would have finished that game with Billy Volek at QB and LaDanian Tomlinson injured, I think I would have predicted something in the neighborhood of the Georgia v. Hawaii Sugar Bowl outcome.

Of course, I would have been wrong. The Chargers rode key plays from luminaries such as Darren Sproles (a 56 yard TD off of a screen pass) and Legedu Nanee (a 27 yard reception to hel setup Volek's game winning 1 yard plunge) to an incomprehensible 28-24 win at the RCA Dome, knocking the defending champs out of the playoffs, and ensuring that the Colts/Pats postseason matchup we've all been waiting for all year is not going to happen. Instead, we'll get Billy Volek vs. Tom Brady, and Norv Turner vs. Bill Belichick. Should be great.

2. Speculation now runs rampant that this steaming turd may be Tony Dungy's last game as Colts' coach, and that he may now retire and be replaced by QB coach Jim Caldwell. I know Dungy has been sainted by the media, and probably is a really good guy. But let's look at this objectively. He's been to only one Super Bowl with a team that probably should have been to a few more than one. Two of the last three years his team has dumped itself at home in its opening playoff game. The defense, his specialty, has been the team's weakness every year he's been there. If I'm grading Dungy's tenure in Indy, I give it a B-, maybe a C+. I think there a lot of coaches who, given the amount of time he had, could have coaxed one Super Bowl win out of Peyton Manning/Marvin Harrison/Reggie Wayne/Edgerrin James/Dwight Freeney/Bob Sanders/Joseph Addai et al.

3. Another team that has a habit of crapping itself in the playoffs is the Dallas Cowboys. This year was no different. America's Team still hasn't won a playoff game since Barry Switzer was their coach in the mid '90s. They fell 21-17 at home to a Giants team they had beaten twice during the regular season.

It's hard to figure out how the Cowboys lost. They ran 69 plays from scrimmage, while the Giants ran only 41. Marion Barber rushed for 129 yards, while Brandon Jacobs led the Giants with only 54. If you looked at everything in the box score except the final score, you would have thought the Cowboys won pretty handily. Except for one thing. The Cowboys got flagged for 11 penalties totalling 84 yards, which is almost as many yards as the Giants had running the ball. When you give the other team a third way to move the ball, it's hard to win.

4. Of course, the blame for this loss is going to fall on Tony Romo. The town fathers are all stroking their beards and clucking their tongues at him spending a vacation in Cabo with Jessica the week before the game. I don't know how much that affected the way Romo played, but those town fathers are right to get on his case about that. That was stupid. Why would you call yourself into question like that? It was just absolutely stupid on Romo's part to not go get his ya ya time with Daisy Duke AFTER the playoffs, and not before. Now they're never going to let this thing die. Stupid.

5. Green Bay shook off an early 14-0 deficit facilitated by a pair of Ryan Grant fumbles, and mauled the Seahawks on a snowy day at Lambeau, 42-20. That's right, the Seahawks D and their 15 Pro Bowlers pissed away a two touchdown lead like it was nothing, and got 42 points hung on them in a playoff game. And they let Ryan Grant run for 201 yards and 3 TDs against them. How's that for overrated? I am so sick of the Seahawks making the playoffs every year because they never lose at home and the NFC West is eternally awful. Weak.

6. Rounding out the field for what is now being dubbed "Championship Weekend" will be the 17-0 Patriots. They played their best game in a while, and cruised past the Jaguars 31-20. Tom Brady completed on obscene 26 of 28 pass attempts, and Laurence Maroney rushed for 122 yards and a TD. They also completely shut down the vaunted Jacksonville running game, rendering Fred Taylor and MJD completely ineffective. This team looked like like it was becoming vulnerable towards the end of the season, but not after this game. They're better than they've ever been. Of course, as Patrick outlines in his post, they've now got a little off the field problem of their own.

7. Time for an update on the Coaching Carousel of DOOM.

- The Ravens have a new coach, and it is John Harbaugh? Harbaugh's qualifications are being the secondary coach for the Eagles this year, and having a last name steeped in pro football mediocrity. On the plus side, this is a great hire if the Ravens have to play USC next year.

- Jim Mora Jr. interviewed for the Redskins job, but has removed his name from consideration.

- Jason Garrett has taken himself out of the prospective head coach hopper, and is staying in Dallas, where he will resume his role of being the boogeyman in Wade Phillips' closet.

- Former Cowboys O line coach Tony Sparano, and his Hitler moustache, will be coaching the Dolphins next year.

8. A man in Pardeeville, WI was cited for disorderly conduct after he restrained his 7 year old son in a chair and taped a Packers jersey to him after the boy refused to wear one. The man's wife has gotten a restraining order against him and photographed the incident on her cell phone for police. He originally faced felony charges of false imprisonment and causing mental harm to a child, but those charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. Way to go all Jack Bauer on your 7 year old, douchebag.

1 comment:

Patrick N said...


Cowboys problem was frontline got tired and giants just raped through giving Romo no time. I mean, literally it was, hike! tackle. I don't blame the vacation, but Romo should have learned from the first media disaster not to draw ANY attention to yourself while the season is still going on and especially the playoffs where there are less teams to cover.

Green Bay vs. New England Super Bowl sounds pretty bad ass actually.