Friday, September 26, 2008

Week 3

Miami 38, New England 13. Miami 38, New England 13. Miami 38, New England 13. Swirl that around for a while. It doesn't sink in. If the scoreboard had read "game postponed due to alien ship landing on the 50 yard line" I would consider that less surprising than Miami 38, New England 13. This result thumbs its nose at my sense of the identities "Miami Dolphins" and "New England Pastriots". This is one I need to have seen for myself, and I didn't, because why would CBS show an expected lame blowout nationally? They were right, hehe. Here's an FO article on the game.

Within 20 years, the majority of punters will be international. A major aspect of return defense will be location and movement on the kick. Punting will be more like pitching, basically. I watched Sav Rocca(AU) of the Eagles this week. He is good. His Wikipedia page says he is "known to kick accurately from great distances". Indeed he does.

It gets annoying for me to constantly point out the same thing about fourth down decisions. So I'll just say that Green Bay's head coach is horrible...okay you have to see this one-it was 4th and 2 around midfield with 11 minutes left, score was 9-24, and Dallas's offense looked really good. TMQ said "this HAS to be a fake" and then saw that it wasn't and wrote "game over" in his notebook. If I am Dallas, I prepare for that play as if GB is going for it(so a fake) because a punt makes no sense.

Can anybody think of an example of an aging superstar QB who changes teams being great for the new team? I will address each of Favre's interceptions now. The first one was not his fault-Laveranues Coles(of Dillard's discount scandal fame) made an exceedingly poor play on the ball. Some analyst thought it was interference, but I thought that Cromartie reached over him cleanly(if you let this happen to you, you got Pwned with a capital P) to make the play. Second one-Cromartie dropped it. He was already thinking about his easy walk to the end zone and got butterfingers. Third one-the announcers were speculating that it was Coles' fault for running the wrong route, but even if he had run the right route(mouthful), the safety was there, meaning he would not have been open. I put it on Favre. Fourth-Favre throws into end zone double coverage. It looks like the safety is about to catch it, but the corner, Cromartie, knocks it away. That's an instinctive play by Cromartie, and I don't blame him for playing it safe, especially in the end zone. Still, interception on Favre. By the way, the next play Favre threw for a first down and one of the analysts said "Favre is really getting in a rhythm out there!". Media have an unhealthy obsession with Brett Favre(and Farv loves attention, so it's a good marriage). Fifth-garbage time, receiver is running outside, Favre throws it inside, right to Cromartie. If I want to be consistent, I should not count actual interceptions that I blame on another player. So Farve threw 4 interceptions. I am mostly unimpressed so far. However, he is obviously a massive upgrade over Chad.

Antonio Cromartie is an unbelievable player. He is a very good kick returner and starting cornerback for San Diego. He has sick speed and great instincts. His instincts were on display on Favre's second interception(see above). The receiver is running up the field, Cromartie following him, and suddenly, the receiver keeps running, but Cromartie stops running with him and runs the opposite way towards a spot, which turns out to be exactly where Favre is throwing the ball. (This has me thinking that the play might have been the receiver's fault.) His instincts were likely based on film study and reading the play-I suspect that Mr. Cromartie might be very smart. He read the quarterback better than the receiver did! The receiver knows the play! I bet there was a condition in the play that would cause the receiver(Coles, I'm pretty sure, but not enough) to change his route, Favre saw it and receiver didn't. Cromartie's job on that play was probably to defend the short route and let the safety handle the deep is so complicated!

People are wrong to criticize Mike Tomlin's endgame decision against Phila. They're just annoyed that his decision, which gave Pit a chance to win, resulted in them losing by more. Down 9 with less than a minute left, 4th and 10 on the 22, offense getting pwned all day, you have to go for it. You don't have time for a touchdown drive from your own 40(assuming successful onside-kick), which you'd need if you were down by 6. You are on the 22-your realistic hope is to score a touchdown right now, recover the onside kick, gain 30+ yards, make a field goal. Realistic is a stretch, but it's your best shot. You need both a touchdown and a field goal, and you have time for maybe 5 plays-4 after this 4th down. You have 6 points the whole game-you're not marching down the field with sideline routes(have to stop the clock to get these plays) and scoring a touchdown. However, if you take a shot and score a touchdown here, it definitely is possible to recover the kick, complete one long pass play, spike the ball, kick the winning field goal. Tomlin recognized this and made the correct decision, despite knowing that in the highly likely event of failure, he would be heavily criticized. I applaud you, Mike Tomlin, for having the balls to try to win. That sounds weird...such is the state of football conventional wisdom.

BET Buffalo(-8.5)@St. Louis. Buffalo is a decent and mostly healthy team. The Rams are a total disaster and I suspect that the home advantage is much smaller for hopelessly awful teams. Desperation is a smelly cologne, and the benching of Marc Bulger reeks. The team's star, RB Stephen Jackson, publicly criticized the move. The wheels are coming off! Bet Buffalo!

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