Monday, November 16, 2009

Week 10 Hangover - Love/Hate


- I thoroughly enjoyed Wisconsin thrashing Michigan on Saturday (read the caption on the photo). They dominated the Wolverines in all phases of the game, showing that Michigan’s 4-0 start was a complete fluke. Rich Rodriguez, those fast, undersized guys running a gimmick offense might have worked at West Virginia, but you need some size in the Big Ten. Ask Northwestern, who has not been able to string together consecutive winning seasons using the same offense and undersized theory that Richie prefers. The oversized Wisconsin linemen and huge John Clay wore down the Michigan defense. In addition, Wisconsin has uncovered a future (and current) receiving star in Nick Toon. Big, fast, and catches the ball with his hands. Very impressive.

- Not only was it fun to watch Stanford eat USC’s lunch, dinner and desert, it was also fun to watch Jim Harbaugh rub it in by going for 2 after their 7th TD and the game was already well out of hand. It’s the type of move that Pete Carroll and USC have been doing to the Pac-10 for the past 7 years, so it was satisfying to watch Pete and his dopey turtleneck-under-his-polo-shirt get peeved at getting the score run up on him. Good luck in the Sun Bowl, Pete. Looks like your dream freshman QB resembles Ron Pawlus more than Joe Montana at this point. He still has plenty of time to develop into a good quarterback, but he is not there right now.

- I give up trying to figure out the Packers. You knew they had their backs against the wall and would come out fighting, and they did, keeping the Cowboys shut out until the final minutes. But the real story of the game – Charles Woodson. Could he have had a better game? He forced a fumble by Roy Williams, had the strip sack of Romo, and then picked off a pass at the goalline. He absolutely dominated the game and proved that he is still among the best cornerbacks in the league. After 8 years in Oakland, he had 17 career INTs, taking 2 of them back for TDs. In his three and a half seasons in Green Bay, he has 24 INTs, and has taken 5 back to the house. The guy is playing incredible and this game could be the turning point of the Packers’ season.

- You might have missed it since it was the NBA, it was the Bucks, and it was a Friday night. But rookie PG Brandon Jennings went off like Christian Bale on the production crew. He dropped 55 on Golden State, including 29 in the 3rd quarter alone. And he didn’t even score in the first quarter. He set the Bucks rookie record for points in a game, passing Lew Alcindor’s 51, and scores the most points by a rookie since Earl Monroe in 1968. Jennings is taking the league by storm and making Scott Skiles’ job extremely easy “pick and roll & let Brandon do whatever he wants.”

- There’s a new bully in the NFC North, and no one would have ever believed it’s the Bengals. They’re 5-0 in the division and swept the Ravens and Steelers. And they did it by being more physical and dominating the Steelers with their defense. Pittsburgh could be in trouble if Polamalu is out for an extended time again, and why would they only call 16 runs and 40 passes? That doesn’t seem like Steelers football, but I think it speaks to the respect that the Bengals defense has earned.


- Think the evil dictator Belichick’s ego got the best of him last night? What in the world could he have possibly been thinking to go for it on 4th and 2 from his own 27 yard line, up 6 with 2 minutes left in the game? Not only did he make a huge blunder in going for it, but he left himself with no time outs so he couldn’t even challenge the spot. An epic screw up by the king of the hoodie that spoiled a tremendous game by Brady, Moss and Faulk. Belichick’s ego is bigger than John Daly after another weekend in Vegas. I get that the defense had allowed Manning to slice through them for 2 TD drives in less than 2 minutes, and he was subscribing to the Herm Lewis “You play to win the game.” Philosophy, but you have to play the numbers and it is less likely that Manning drives 70 yards than it is for him to drive 29 yards. You can make an argument for it, but at the end of the day, it’s a bad decision. Yet, Captain Ego Hoodie will refuse to admit that and just said that he liked his chances. No need to overreact, as Belichick is still a good coach adn the Pats are going to win the division. He just let his ego win the battle last night. Somehow, Manning and the Colts continue to win games that it seems like are out of their grasp. Can they run the table and go 16-0? It sure looks a lot more likely after passing this test.

- Begrudging congratulations to Ohio State for winning the Big Ten and securing at least a Rose Bowl berth. It was an extremely competitive and tense game as the Buckeyes beat Iowa in overtime. Unfortunately, the fact that it was intense and close masked how poor the football was. Both teams run the most boring and conservative offenses, with runs and dump off passes dominating the play calls. You can compliment Iowa for hanging in the game despite missing their emotional leader in Ricky Stanzi at quarterback or you can loath the Buckeyes for needing overtime to beat a team without their best player. Either way, it was a continual stream of 3 yards and a cloud of dust, incomplete passes and sacks. Not exactly a recruiting video for the Big Ten. It was about as entertaining as watching Ashlee Simpson trying to act.

- At this point, who is falling apart faster, the Jets or the Broncos? The Jets continue to talk the talk, but are tripping all over themselves trying to walk the walk. The Broncos lost their 3rd straight game, this time against the pathetic Redskins. In addition to losing Kyle Orton and Chris Simms looking extremely uncomfortable in the game, they allowed a fake field goal/fake punt/touchdown pass. That’s unacceptable if you expect to be a playoff team – especially against a Redskins team that is in complete and total disarray. They’re now tied with the improving Chargers, and the Broncos welcome the Chargers to Mile High Stadium next Sunday.

- Why the hell is there a Monday night game in Cleveland? They won 4 games last year. They stunk. They have 2 bad quarterbacks. Yet somehow the NFL thought it might be a good idea to drop a Monday night game in Cleveland? Pretty sure there are 25 more interesting things on television tonight……including Leighton Meester on Gossip Girl……………or Golden Girls……….or House Hunters………..or WWE Monday Night Raw…………or Two & A Half Men…………or Leave it to Lamas. I think it’s a reality show for Shayne Lamas, the hot bimbo daughter of Lorenzo Lamas – the dude from Renegade. And she was a bimbo on The Bachelor a while back, and I guess that's now enough to warrant your own television show.

- The NFC East is vastly overrated. The Eagles lost another game on the West Coast and proved that they are nowhere near the juggernaut they were made out to be. And they are definitely not an intimidating or tough team – neither physically nor mentally. The Round Mound of Coaching forgot that he had running plays on the back of his play sheet, and called almost exclusively passing plays. 56 pass plays and 13 running plays in their loss to the Chargers – not exactly a playoff-ready formula. The Cowboys looked to be the class of the division after beating the Giants and Eagles, but then got crushed by the Packers. And the Giants, after that 5-0 start, have lost 4 straight against better competition and suddenly look like they will be lucky to stay in the playoff hunt.

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