Archive for January, 2011


Season Review: As a Redskins fan, this gives me great pleasure to write: The Cowboys bombed. After a season started with widespread expectations of the first home-team Super Bowl, it quickly became apparent that even a playoff berth was questionable.  A dismal start to the season lead to Wade Phillips mid-season firing, and he was replaced by Jason Garrett.  My question is, why has no one questioned the fact that a Jason Garrett coordinated offense was inept, but when he made the move to head coach, it was suddenly dynamic?  MY money is on Garrett sabotaging the team badly enough to get Phillips canned, safe in the knowledge that he could run it effectively once he was promoted.  God, I hate the Cowboys.

Continue reading

The Green Bay Packers came into the season with lofty expectations- A potent offense, a ball-hawking defense, and a young quarterback coming into his own was expected to carry this team to the Super Bowl.  And here they are, but certainly not by the road most expected them to take.

Continue reading

I never watch the Pro Bowl, which is good, because no one really plays in it anyway.  This year was even worse, when the majority of the players who were actually voted into it managed to get out of it.  In addition, players from the two Super Bowl teams- the teams you expect to have the best players, right?- are excused.  How is this any good?  It’s not a representation of the best players in the NFL, it’s not a good game, it’s not worth anything.  At least Senior Bowl means something to the players involved.  The Pro Bowl doesn’t mean anything to the fans, the players or the coaches.  Just release the names of the players who made it, give them 20 grand and a week in Hawaii.  That’s basically what they get anyway.  Or make it a punt, pass and kick competition.  I might watch that.

Please stop pretending it means anything to anyone.  Just cut your losses and move on.

With a huge amount of underclassmen entering the NFL Draft this year, the Senior Bowl is of paramount importance for these seniors.  They need to answer questions, and show why they should be taken ahead of their junior counterparts.  Some did just that, making a name for themselves.  A few raised questions, and a few shot themselves in the foot.  Here’s what I noticed, and why. Continue reading

Season Review: Competing in the AFC South is a tall order in any season, and perhaps even more so given the parity in it this past season.  The Colts fell back to Earth in a lot of ways, and still ended up with the division crown.  The Jags had an unexpected strong season, and the Texans were expected to finally get over the hump and into the playoffs, but the worst pass defense in the NFL (there is a thank-you card from the Seahawks secondary) doomed them.  So where did that leave the Titans?  Nowhere, as it turned out.  off-field turbulence as much as on-field performance- or lack thereof- torpedoed this team.  Things finally came to a head with perpetual question mark Vince Young towards the end of the season, resulting in an ultimatum for owner Bud Adams- Coach or Quarterback?  He chose wisely, in my opinion, keeping Fisher, but even more than when he drafted Young, cutting him loose wil determine what happens to this team in years to come.  They brought in Randy Moss towards the end of last season to compliment rising star Kenny Britt, because, you know, Cortland Finnegan and Vince Young weren’t trouble enough.  Oh, and they played some football, too.  They didn’t do very good.

Continue reading

Over the next two weeks, every possible story line will be exploited, every aspect over-analyzed.  I am contributing by breaking down every aspect of both teams.

Continue reading

Season Review: They, like their NFC West bretheren picking directly ahead of them, chewed through quarterbacks and had a disappointing season.  Worse yet, it was a season that began with expectations of winning the division, and making a deep playoff run.  Instead, after opening the season getting blown out by eventual division champ Seattle, they lost the next six games- including providing one half of #1 overall Carolina’s win total for the year.  It was ugly.  Somehow, they were alive in the playoff race until St Louis dropped them in week 16.  Singaltary was fired, and Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh replaced him.

Continue reading

Conference Championship Thoughts

  • Bizarre finishes to both games.  The eventual losers were down and nearly out at halftime; both staged rallies that fell just short.  Thankfully for the viewers, it made the second half of games interesting, because the first halves were not.
  • There is reason for optimism in the offseason for both teams.  I have long held that it’s better to lose in the Conference Championship than the Super Bowl.  The Bears uncovered a gem in Caleb Hanie, and now face an interesting choice in the offseason (although, if both Cutler and Hanie are under contract in 2011, expect them to keep both, a la the Eagles this year), while the Jets get a little closer each year.
  • The Jets need to win the division to get to the Super Bowl.  This is a strong team, but they need to beat New England in the standings AND in the playoffs.  Road trips to New England, Pittsburgh and/or Baltimore are the road the AFC playoffs go- and that’s not a gauntlet any team can run.  They need at least one home game in there to get over the hump.
  • Rodgers had a small meltdown in the second half.  He will need to turn in a strong 60 minutes in the Super Bowl for them to win.
  • Pittsburgh got away with mistakes it won’t against Green Bay.  They need to play cleaner if they’re going to win.
  • Defense still wins championships.

Caleb Hanie- Unexpected hero of the Chicago Bears

I have never seen a Championship loser as happy as the Chicago Bears.  As Caleb Hanie came off the field after being picked off by Sam Shields, teammates swarmed around him, hugging him and commending him.  His teammates responded to him on the field, as he did more for their chances of winning in a quarter of play then the two guys ahead of him on the depth chart had done all day.

He made great throws when he needed to, including great ones to Knox and Bennett.  He made mistakes- a pick six to BJ Raji, and the game clincher at the end.  But he gave the Bears a lot more hope than Cutler did, who went out at the half with a knee injury that caused twitter to blow up and demoralized his teammates.  After an ineffective Todd Collins came out, Hanie came in and injected some fire into the entire Bears team.

The Bears lost the game.  But they found something that will get them back to the NFC Championship- a quarterback with the strength, accuracy, smarts and heart to lead a team.  Color me impressed.

Season Review: After closing out 2009 with a winning streak, new president Mike Holmgren decided to keep Eric Mangini for one more year.  2010 was an improvement, but the single additional win was not enough.  There were positives from the season though: Peyton Hillis, an afterthought in the offseason trade that sent hometown boy Brady Quinn to Denver, was a monster at running back.  Joe Haden, last years top pick, is a premier corner, and Colt McCoy looks a lot more NFL ready than most people thought at this time last year.  If new head coach Pat Shurmur is any good, he will be able to do a lot with this talented roster.

Continue reading