Saturday, January 21, 2006

Back with My Broncos Bandwagon

So it seems as though all the 'experts' are picking Pittsburgh to go into Denver and beat the Broncos. Given they all said New England would do the same thing, I'm pretty amused. The biggest thing I keep hearing is, "Well, look what the Steelers' blitz did to Peyton Manning, imagine what they'll do to Jake Plummer!" And they're right, Peyton had a less than great game; 22/38, 290 yards, 1 TD, no picks (well, there should have been one, but stupid refs, etc.), and most of the good numbers came in the 4th quarter, when the Steelers started playing the prevent defense (ugh) for awhile. Anyway, I have three responses to this:

1. The Broncos offense is different from the Colts. The Colts pass to set up the run. They spread the field with many receivers, and get the defense spread out and stepping back to open holes for James. The Broncos run to set up the pass. The use more two-receiver, max protection sets. They try and get in 3rd and 4 or 5, to improve Plummer's chances. It's an entirely different style.

2. Of course Peyton Manning was pressured by the blitz. He's as mobile as a cement block. Plummer on the other hand, is a good runner, and plays in an offense that tries to take advantage of that, with bootlegs and rollouts. I'm not saying Jake can outrun Polamalu or Porter, but he can make it harder for them than Manning did, plus he's better throwing on the run than Manning.

3. Yeah, Peyton Manning didn't play well in a big game. Are we sure the Steelers can claim credit for that? Peyton always crashes and burns when his team needs him most. If the Steelers try to force Jake to win the game, well Jake's used to it being all on him, that's pretty much how it was his six years in Arizona, playing for godawful teams. He didn't always succeed in carrying his teams, but he won't shirk from the challenge.

And then there's one set of numbers no one has brought up; 20/36, 341 yards, 1 TD, and 2 INTs. Those are Tom Brady's numbers from last week. The Broncos pressured him, and forced two bad passes from a guy who for all the crap I give him, has generally performed very well in the playoffs, and has been a big part of why his team won. Let me ask you what's more impressive to you, beating a QB who was 10-0 in the playoffs, or beating one who was 3-5?

Honestly I think the real question should be "After what the Broncos did to Brady, what will they do to Big Ben?" So I'm picking the Broncos, 20-17, as the Broncos continue to follow the New England style of victory, by winning at the end of regulation on a 36-yard Jason Elam field goal.

Postscript, Sunday, 5:30 p.m. - Well, I was wrong. Steelers 34-17 over Denver. I guess - to steal from Bill Simmons - the moral of the story is, that I'm a dumbass when it comes to predictions.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Will All Sportswriters Please Calm Down?

So as you may know, New England was beaten by Denver over the weekend. The Broncos got help from a bad pass interference call, but they were in position to do that because they forced Kevin Faulk to fumble. Their punter forced a fumble on the next kickoff, actually demonstrating good technique, squaring up and putting his helmet on the football. And the Broncos pressured Tom Brady, making him rush some throws, which helped lead to two INTs. Basically Denver did to the Patriots what New England has been doing to teams the last couple of years. Force mistakes, take advantage of those mistakes, take advantage of any calls that go your way, don't make any mistakes yourself.

As for me, I'm pretty happy. I've gotten real sick of hearing about how New England is a 'real team', as if none of the other teams in the playoffs are 'teams'. And Tom Brady is the greatest QB since Montana, except when he gets picked off by the Chiefs sorry ass defense four times in one game. And of course they keep trying to tell us Bill Belicheck is the greatest coach in the history of football, which is something I'm sure Browns fans would dispute pretty seriously. So yeah, I'm glad New England lost, and that they lost by 2 TDs? Even better. That they lost to the Broncos, quarterbacked by the only player left in the playoffs I root for (except maybe Rickey Proehl), Jake Plummer? Fan-frickin'-tastic!

Still, as I've cruised the sports websites (Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Sportsline, etc.) I keep seeing people saying the Patriots Dynasty is dead. Huh? So they didn't win a SuperBowl this year. In 2002, they didn't even make the playoffs. But when people talk about a 'Patriots Dynasty' they still include that first Super Bowl, which should really be called the "Mike Martz is too stupid to hand the ball off to Marshall Faulk 25 times when the Patriots are basically giving it to him" Game. And if the Patriots come back next year and win the Super Bowl, probably embarrassing Peyton Manning in the process, everyone will count that as part of the Dynasty as well. And you know what? Four Super Bowls in six years would be a dynasty.

So will the writers please relax? The Steelers didn't win three Super Bowls in a row in the '70s. Neither did the 49ers in the '80s, or the Cowboys in the '90s (thank God). Just because a team can't manage that, doesn't mean they're going to fade back to the middle of the pack, although if that happened, I'd probably be quite pleased.

On another note, I must admit that my only preseason prediction failed to come to pass. Arizona did not finish with a better record than St. Louis, both teams ending up with 5-11 records. Arizona had a chance to beat Indy, but in typical Cardinals fashion, Josh McCown was ruled to not have crossed the goal line on fourth down, and they lost. Stupid replay. Of course Arizona didn't lose to San Francisco this year, while the Rams got swept, so I guess that's something.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Redskins win Dirty


What an UGLY ass game. If you did not have a rooting interest in either of these teams, then Im sure this was hard to watch. The Redskins just beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-10 @ Raymond James Stadium in Tampa to advance to the second round of the playoffs. Over the Redskins 6 game winning streak this is the second game the Redskins had to win ugly. Earlier in the season the Redskins played Arizona and committed 3 turnovers in the first half. They won on a kick off return for a touchdown. Today the Redskins won off a fumble recovery for a touchdown. But guess what, my standards are low, and Ill take a win no matter how ugly she is.

This game featured fumbles, interceptions, attempted 4th down conversions, dropped touchdown passese, and even an ejection. Sean Taylor, who returned what turned out to be the game winning fumble for a touchdown, allegedly spit in Michael Pittmans face on third down. The Bucs got 15 yards on the play and Taylor was ejected. After that play it seemed like the Bucs opened up their full playbook and they started to challenge the Redskins secondary with deep balls. However the Redskins defense held up as the Bucs scored only once after halftime.

The Redskins offense looked terrible. How terrible? Well they set the record for the fewest yards gained in a playoff game by a winning team. They gained 120 total yards, 98 of those yards came on the ground. However the offense only made one major mistake, Brunell's fourth quarter interception, and did not mess up the gem of a game the defense was playing. The player of the game was Sean Taylor, despite his (alleged) stupidity.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Macq Weighs in on Black QB's Who Run

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First I would like to start by saying that the comments made about Donovan Mcnabb in November by J. Whyatt Mondesire were stupid. Calling Mcnabb an Uncle Tom because he did not scramble any more is beyond idiotic. However I think Mondesire's overall point was lost in the controversy. I believe his overall point was that black quarterbacks are still seen as athletes first and Quarterbacks second. Back in the day the reason blakcs were not allowed to play the position was because we were thought to be intelectually inferior. So when an accomplished quarterback is described by only his athleticism and not his decision making then we as a society are back to square one.

I began thinking about this last week. ESPN was running promos for Saturdays Wild Card matchup between the Jaguars and the Patriots. And as usual they were showing highlights of the two stars in the game who, in this instance, both happened to be quarterbacks. They showed Tom Brady throwing passes, and then when they got to Byron Leftwitch they showed him throw one pass and then showed a highlight of him scrambling. I then started thinking in my head that Leftwitch, by his own admission is not a scrambler by any stretch of the imagination. In fact Tom Brady averages more yards per run (3.3) than Leftwitch does (2.2). So why are the highlights of Leftwitch are tapes of him "scrambling".

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Then the final inspiration for this post came with yesterdays Rose Bowl. Vince Young was amazing yesterday. Not only with his running, but I was especially amazed with his passing ability. Many times he scrambled to give his recievers more time to get open. He ended the night completing 75% of his passes (30-40) for 267 yards. He also rushed 19 times for 200 yards. However on ESPN's highlights this morning I counted 3 highlights of Vince Young passing the ball. The rest of the highlights, maybe 15 in all, were of Young running. Somehow again ESPN forgot that Young was a QUARTERBACK who also RUNS.

Back to Mcnabb. I believe that Mcnabb has curtailed his running because he did not want to be pigeonholed into the classification of a running quarterback. However I do not blame him. Just listen to the wording used to describe Peyton Manning. He is "cerebral", "high football IQ", and "intelligent". Tom brady is described as being a "field general", meanwhile Daunte Culpepper is a "load to bring down" or "fast for a man his size". Next time you are watching a game notice how many times the announcer compliments a white quarterback on something having to do with his decision making or something dealing with intelligence, and then notice how many times a black quarterback is complimented on his athleticism. Mcnabb simply did not want to fall into that trap. Racism at the quarterback position is alive and well, it has just changed forms.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Clinton Portis = dumbest 1500 yard rusher in the league

"Btw I have no problem with Clinton Portis, but he might be the dumbest person intellectualy in the league."
thats funny. i'd never heard that. he did used to wear that wcw belt though

Jerome from South East D.C.

Dolla Bill

and Dr. I Dont Know

Amazing player though. Go 'Skins