Monday, November 24, 2008

Any Given Sunday

I pick on my Raiduhs when they screw up, which is frequent, so I oughta give props to them for their performance yesterday. They finally got that donkey off their backs, to the point where Denver was out of it barely into the fourth quarter, defeat and frustration written all over their faces. There were a couple bonehead mistakes, and the refs apparently decided that Jay Cutler was exempt from being tackled, but for a change Oakland didn't let it get to them, didn't false-start their way out of every third-down conversion. Nicely done, ladies. If interim coach Tom the Cable Guy can pull them together for a respectable homestretch run, something to build on, he will probably be the only coach in the AFC Worst not to get fired at the end of the season.

Oakland was about the easiest one left on Denver's schedule; if the Donkeys manage to win the division it'll only be because the rest of it is so miserable. San Diego has to be the most overrated team in the league. LaDainian Tomlinson seems to be hurting more than he lets on, and once they fire Norv Turner in the off-season, the Chargers will be in disarray, possibly heading back to their original, long-forgotten stomping grounds in Los Angeles. Their brief window of dominating their division and contending their conference is already closing. They probably realize they shouldn't have dealt Michael Turner. And the rebuilding 1-10 Chefs aren't even on the radar, though I like Herm Edwards and figure he'll probably land somewhere else after this season.

Probably yesterday's single biggest game in term of setting the tone for the rest of the season involved the New Jersey Bretts heading to Nashville and exposing the league's last undefeated team as paper Titans. Tennessee has gotten this far with an easy schedule, solid defense, and careful game management with a strong running game; they are not equipped to play catch-up, and the Jets just whipped on them.

So of course people are already buzzing about an all-Jersey Super Bowl, since the Giants are dominating the NFC. It would make a pretty good storyline, if it happens, but Pittsburgh is quietly thumping its opponents, and seems unbeatable in that frozen bog they call home. And the Ravens, with a rookie QB and rookie head coach no less, have really found their stride, but may get bitten for playoff seeding by all those AFC East teams.

Much as been made of two solid veteran QBs reviving their careers, Kerry Collins with the Titans and Kurt Warner with the Arizona Cardinals, the latter having a career year with WR phenoms Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. (If only the Cards had a running game and a defensive secondary.) Both players have taken over from highly-touted top-10 draft picks, Vince Young and Matt Leinart respectively. I'll be damned if I've encountered even a mention of either Young or Leinart since being replaced, which is just weird. If nothing else, their respective teams have to be going nuts trying to figure out if or when they'll ever recoup the enormous amounts of money dumped into those two pockets. All the more reason for a rookie salary cap.


Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

It was only a amatter of time before Jamarcus Russel and that kid from Arkansas, McFadden, were gonna catch fire. People that good raise the quality of the people with whom they play. I am an LSU alum (mj/phd), so my sec sympathies are pretty firm, but still....
Did iever tellyou about when I lived in Hayward and accidentally found the bar the Raiders took over whenever they wanted to? '77 or '78? Stabler was qb, always threw to his big tightend--Casper.
Alzado, the Tooz Big, big, big guys! and none too gentle...I sold beer that season at the games in the was amazing...

william said...
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