Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Monday, December 11, 2006
Well, after 1 week in my fantasy NBA league (Ballin' In The 317) the Club Rio All-$tars went a respectable 6-3 against Bruce's Boys, good enough to finish third in the standings of the 10-team head to head league. Here's the scoring and roster breakdowns:
Roster (13 players): PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, C, UTIL, UTIL, 3 bench spots
Scoring: FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, ST, BLK, TO
All in all I would say it was a successful week. Didn't have to do a whole bunch of wheeling and dealing to shape the roster after the autodraft. Here was the initial lineup:
1/4 Dwayne Wade
2/17 Amare Stoudemire
3/24 Chauncey Billups
4/37 Brad Miller
5/44 Kirk Hinrich
6/57 David West
7/64 Manu Ginobli
8/77 Al Harrington
9/84 Drew Gooden
10/97 Shareef Abdur-Rahim
11/104 Andre Miller
12/117 Bruce Bowen
13/124 Luther Head
I waived Abdur-Rahim and added Chris Wilcox from Seattle as my first move. Now that Brad Miller is back and looking strong for the Kings, SAR's number's will most likely take a hit as he heads back to the bench/part time starter role. I also sent Bowen packing (lousy fantasy line overall...plus the guy is a cheap shotting douchebag) and added Luke Walton, who is having a great season shooting so far and averaging in the neighborhood of 13 points, 5 boards and 3 dimes a game.
As I said before, I won 6-3 last week, taking the duke in 3PTM (34-30), PTS (593-323), REB (206-79), AST (166-53), ST (38-21) and BLK (21-11). We didnt shoot very well from the field (.495-.521), but were pretty even from the charity stripe (.774-.783). Way too many turnovers, though (90-43). Biggest culprits there were DWade, Andre Milller, Billups and Amare, who all were in the double digit range. Other than that, I can't complain.
MVP for the week is Amare Stoudamire. True, he lost the ball a few too many times for my liking, but he lead the team in FG% and REB while being second in FT%, and BLK and third in FT%. Great week as he continues the road to recovery.
This week the CRAS face off with the last place team in the league, My Balls Your Dome. I feel pretty confident we will do well, though he has Paul Pierce and Kobe as well as the possibility of T-Mac being healthy to play. Scoring-wise they could give us a run for the money, but the CRAS hold the edge in rebounding (they are light on low post players) and assists (too many gunners).
Well, no Bears liveblog tonight as I've decided that I need to focus on the game. More stuff coming later this week...stay tuned!
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I would first like to start off by thanking Krildog for his recent post. I especially like the Missing in Action poster!
I don't think the Colts showed up today...
*Brandon Stokley's drop was awful
*There's no running game
*It doesn't matter if you pin the other team in bad field position if you're incapable of stopping the run
*Maurice Jones-Drew had an easy TD run
*The Colts' tackling has been absolutely atrocious, whether it's against Fred Taylor and his 76-yard run or Jones-Drew on his easy TD run
(1:24 p.m.) They got the new ESPN The Magazine! There was an article about how NFL coaches don't have the cajones to go for it on fourth down. Obviously, Crazy Jack read the article, and took it to heart.
(1:26 p.m.) Gotta know when to hold 'em. Easy pass interference call against Brandon Stokley. He's been pretty active today, although the dropped TD pass was inexcusable, along with drops by Dominic Rhodes and Ben Utecht.
(1:28 p.m.) No stretchy! Addai stretch attempt goes absolutely nowhere. Six-yard loss.
(1:29 p.m.) No dice. Manning passes to Wayne on third down, reception doesn't come remotely close to a first down. Guess we'll have to settle for the field goal.
(1:30 p.m.) Nailed it. Adam Vinatieri nails a field goal, Colts get on the board.
(1:32 p.m.) Nice grab. Jags' Lewis makes nice grab for the first down.
(1:33 p.m.) Dodging the bullet. Long ball goes a little too long from Garrard.
(1:35 p.m.) Oh, so that's why they went for it last time. Scobee misses a long field goal, giving the Colts a short field to work with. Will they capitalize?
(1:36 p.m.) Not quite. Peyton misses Marvin on the sideline, but a penalty gives the Colts a first down.
(1:38 p.m.) WHY???? The Colts use the halfback option pass on third and inches! What the hell!?
(1:39 p.m.) Block party. And the Jaguars block Hunter Smith's punt after the silly "razzle dazzle" call on third down. What in the world are the Colts doing today?
(1:41 p.m.) Bad formation. Penalty rescues Colts from giving up a nice Fred Taylor run. Defense actually stuffs Jacksonville on first down. End of quarter.
(1:45 p.m.) Stuffed! Nice tackle by Robert Mathis. See what happens when you don't overrun the play?
(1:45 p.m.) It's not delivery, it's Giordano! Matt Giordano makes a big-time play by intercepting a Garrard pass in the endzone. Now, let's do something with it, offense!!
(1:48 p.m.) REGGIE! Nice 21-yard catch by Reggie Wayne for a first down.
(1:49 p.m.) Live by the run, Addai by the run. A couple of nice runs from Joseph Addai get the Colts another first down.
(1:50 p.m.) REGGIE! REGGIE! Beautiful throw, great catch for a first down. Now the Colts are really starting to get into a rhythm. And look at that...Dominic Rhodes with a nice run. And imagine that...a Jacksonville Jaguars player is down. There's no better way to break the Colts' rhythm and give your defense a rest than to "pull a hamstring." The New England Patriots have perfected this particular method. Now, it's true...maybe there's a real injury here, but the timing certainly fits with the pattern.
(1:54 p.m.) Ah...Xbox 360 commercial. I just bought an Xbox 360, and it's pretty cool. Definitely glad I made that purchase!!!!
(1:55 p.m.) Third and short...let's not get fancy. The Colts just let Addai run straight ahead this time to pick up the first down. First and goal, Indy.
(1:56 p.m.) Touchdown Rhodes Show. Dom gets a nice run to set up a short and goal situation. Then, he hits paydirt with the TD run. This was all set up by Matt Giordano's interception. Amazingly, the Colts now have the lead. I have no idea how this happened.
(2:03 p.m.) Having a great run. Maurice Jones-Drew shreds the Colts for a couple of big gainers. Now it's Fred Taylor's turn. I was wondering why the Jags were going to the pass earlier. Another big run nets a touchdown by Fred Taylor. This is disgusting, again, and a lot of it has to do with bad tackling. It's just awful. Now, Jacksonville leads 14-10.
(2:11 p.m.) Teamwork rules. Nice block by Reggie Wayne helps Addai pick up the first down on third and long. He's such a shifty runner. Then, Peyton Manning throws an interception on a pass intended for Reggie Wayne. His sixth interception in the last four games. To make things even better, we've got what appears to be a personal foul against the Colts. Another turnover. The Colts will have to make a stop. By the way, Fred Taylor: 9 rushes, 131 yards so far.
(2:19 p.m.) Runaway. Missed tackle by Cato June helps Maurice Jones-Drew bite off a major touchdown run. Here, with the division on the line, the Colts have not shown up. All the credit in the world goes to Jacksonville. The Jaguars have committed to the run, and the Colts are powerless to stop it. They can't do anything to stop it. I know it's been the team's Achilles heel all season long, but this is just absurd. You can't turn the ball over on offense. Every possession is critical. 285 total yards for Jacksonville right now.
(2:22 p.m.) The Sack of Manning. The Colts, desperate to score before halftime, give up a sack. So now with 38 seconds left, Indy faces third and 15. This can't end well. Well, it could've ended well, except Harrison dropped the pass. That's the Colts' fourth drop of the game.
(2:28 p.m.) Scobee's Revenge. Kicker nails 48-yard field goal at the end of the half. The Colts are in major trouble.
(break for halftime)
(2:40 p.m.) Adjust this! NFL teams use halftime to make adjustments. I have done the same thing, fiddling with my wireless connection until it started to work. So I'm officially off the hardline now. I can't help but think the Colts are finished here, especially if they let Jacksonville score here on the first possession of the second half. That's going to be a tough hole to dig out of.
(2:41 p.m.) I need to vomit. The Colts are giving up 14.8 yds/carry. And Maurice Jones-Drew is going to return the kickoff for a touchdown. I actually typed "I need to vomit" BEFORE Jones-Drew scored; I was actually referring to the yards per carry. Now it's official: Maurice Jones-Drew: COLTS KILLER.
(2:47 p.m.) Drops all around. Bryan Fletcher drops an easy catch. After that, Brandon "Mr. Glass" Stokley finds himself on his back. My friend Kevin sends me a text message, commenting how awful this game is. It's Dominic Rhodes' turn to drop a pass! Punt time. If I could pick up Jumbotron C, and thrust it into a wall right now, I think I'd try it. I knew this game was going to be tough, but dear Lord, the Colts decided not to show up. It is 31-10.
(2:52 p.m.) How can I do that? I think I can make life easier by making some sort of macro so that I can just plug in Fred Jones or Maurice Jones-Drew before the phrase "makes another big run." This is like watching a competitive high school senior play basketball against a mentally challenged sixth-grader.
(2:54 p.m.) More Scobee. It's now 34-10. Our good friend Panic has already settled in; he's actually sitting right next to me on the couch. I start to think: hmm...I have an unopened bottle of champagne in the fridge. Plus some Bacardi. Hmmm...I wonder if Panic would like a shot?
(2:58 p.m.) Running nowhere. After a Harrison drop, Addai goes nowhere. Why are the Colts even trying. Dare I say it? Put in Sorgi! I forgot to mention earlier: the ageless Ricky Proehl is seeing action for Indy today. Think he'd like a drink?
(3:05 p.m.) Stop the presses! The Colts force a punt! It's the Jags' first of the day, and it comes with 7:20 left in the third quarter. I don't see much around the house to mix a drink with. I guess I'll chug the Jameson Irish Whiskey straight out of the bottle. Manning throws his ninth straight incomplete pass. Another drop, and another near interception.
(3:07 p.m.) First down, cold burning piss. The Colts get a first down. But the real story thing here is that the Irish Whiskey tastes like cold urine, yet still manages to burn the throat. Why do I know what cold urine tastes like? Well, it's sterile, and I like the taste.
(3:10 p.m.) Completely off. Peyton can't complete anything. Is he playing on Madden level with the vision cone on? Reggie Wayne, surprise, just dropped a pass.
(3:11 p.m.) Fourth and desperation. Colts go for it on fourth down and ten, decide to go deep. Of course the play had no chance. Oh...look...there's some ginger ale in the fridge. I wonder how that tastes with Irish whiskey! Wow! You can't tell there's alcohol in the ginger ale. It's like cold piss...with Splenda!
(3:15 p.m.) Ineffective. Just before the half, the Colts replaced Gilbert Gardner with Rocky Boiman. I think it's also time to pull Gary Brackett and see if Rob Morris has anything left in the tank. Brackett can't get off a block at all because he's so small.
(3:21 p.m.) Through the uprights. Scobee hits his third FG of the game, Jags now lead 37-10. Panic just drank all the Bacardi, and is now passed out on the couch. I'd offer him some food...but I don't think he's breathing. I'm sure he'll snap out of it.
(3:24 p.m.) HD Difference, my ass! Boomer Esiason just pitched HH Gregg and how great football is in HD. Well...um...could someone pick up the white courtesy phone and let Booms know this week's Indy-Jax game is not in HD? Of course, it would be a big waste of resources, since there hasn't been a mismatch like this since Stephen Hawking challenged Jesse Owens to a footrace.
(3:27 p.m.) Marv catches #1,000. But no one cares, because we're on the road and the score is 37-10.
(3:31 p.m.) Sneak attack. Ben Utecht catches a ball just short of the endzone, but Manning picks up the TD with a really quick QB sneak. Colts trail by 20, 37-17. Panic rolls over and asks for more Bacardi. I hand him some Smirnoff Vodka instead. I guess it's a good thing he's breathing again.
(3:40 p.m.) A stop! The Colts stop Jacksonville from picking up a yard on a run. This defense is really starting to get it. Hey...my glass is empty, and I still have some Irish whiskey left. I'd better fill it back up.
(3:43 p.m.) Record breakers. Hey, we always talk about the Colts and their record-breaking offense. We never talk about their futile and awful defense, which allows opponents to churn out yards at a record pace. Panic drained the entire bottle of vodka! That's a lot of alcohol. Now he's coughing...wait...that's not coughing...that sounds like vomitting. Obviously, he's either 1) had too much to drink or 2) watched the Colts defense for too long. I think it's probably the latter. 4:38 left in the game, we know the Colts aren't coming back.
(3:47 p.m.) All too easy. Jacksonville just scored another rushing touchdown. Indy isn't giving up though. It looks like there was a fumble on the play. We'll see, because the Colts are challenging. Not that it would matter, but that was certainly not a touchdown. I guess we'll chalk that one up to the fact that, well, it wouldn't matter anyway.
(3:55 p.m.) Still out there. I wonder why Peyton Manning is still out on the field in ultra-garbage time. Seems kinda stupid. Especially since he's forcing every throw, which is getting dropped or nearly intercepted. Some days you've got it; some days you don't. The Colts definitely don't have it today.
(4:00 p.m.) Just end it already. Colts turn the ball over on downs after a late game drive. Now we're at the two-minute warning. Mercifully, the clock just ran out, and the game is over. Final score: 44-17. It's time to fire the whole team, losers of three out of their last four games.
I have to hand it to Jacksonville: after years of running their mouths and talking about how they were the class of the AFC South, they finally actually showed something. Emphatically showed something, by the way. The Colts have to be shocked by this loss, and the way they couldn't do anything to stop the Jaguars. I'm disgusted. By the way...where did Panic go? I guess he slipped out the back door.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Yeah, I've been extremely negligent in my duties here at TFT. I'm lucky Studicus can't fire my lazy ass. Last time I made a post was October 20! To be fair, I have had a lot going on at work and have also done quite a bit of traveling, including trips to South Bend (for ND/UCLA) and 2 trips back to my beloved Chicago (1 for a wedding and 1 for Thanksgiving). There have been many a days where I'll get an idea for something while I'm at work and then by the time I get home, I'm too tired/hungry/unmotivated to sit at my computer and hammer one out. Many a time I fall victim to the siren call of the Xbox. I'll be out of town again this weekend, but here are some thoughts I've been wanting to express:
- Monday night is make or break for Grossman, if he has another bad game on the road, then it is time to make a QB switch.
- It's gonna really suck for the Bears' D if Tommie Harris is done for the year. This is a bigger blow to us than losing Mike Brown in the secondary. Harris was the centerpiece of the front 4. This puts more pressure on Tank Johnson to step up and most likely pushes Alfonso Boone into the other starting spot. I would also expect more frequent rotations of personel, meaning increased snaps for Antonio Garay and Ian Scott in order to keep Tank and Boone fresh. If I'm Lovie Smith, I'm going to be doing a lot blitzing of the edge with my OLB's to pass rush Marc Bulger and dropping Urlacher into coverage to shore up the middle against Stephen Jackson.
- I'm considering liveblogging Bears/Rams Monday night game this week, though I fear it may just be long strings of profanity and insults should the game not go well. We shall see how the weekend and workday Monday go.
- I do plan on posting m0re in the future. I have a good list of Failed Celebrity Endorsements that I want to write. Some of them may be dated and obscure, but like that's stopped me from writing things before.
- Another new feature I'm going to make a regular is my Fantasy NBA update. The league I'm in just drafted last weekend and started play last Monday. I figure at the very least I can do a post every week going over the past week's results and such. I'll give it a trial run Monday or Tuesday to recap the draft and first week of action. My teams name? Why, its the Club Rio All-$tars. Pretty catchy, huh?
- Big ups to the Notre Dame basketball team, as they upset #5 Alabama in South Bend. Go Irish!!! Wins like that (and the Maryland win last week) really help the tournament resume, even this early in the season.
- Don't be surprised if the Colts fall to the Jaguars this weekend. Lousy weather in Jacksonville means plenty of touches for Fred Taylor and Maurice jones-Drew. Not a favorable matchup for the Colts' D. Plus, as Vince Young showed last week, running QB's (like David Garrard) can give the Indy front seven fits. I'm not saying it's gonna happen, but I'm saying there's a significant chance it could.
- Studicus has an Xbox 360. Lucky bastard. Coupling that with Jumbotron C should provide him with endless hours of entertainment.
- NFL is being way overprotective of the quarterback. Here should be the rule: no hits to the head, no hits below the knee , no deliberate bodyslams, no leading with the helmet and if the QB throws the ball and you are in the process of making the tackle (meaning 2 steps or less) there's no flag as long as the hit is legal. Time to quit babying the golden boys and let the players play, NFL!
That's it for me. Have a good weekend!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
(1:00 p.m.) The Eraser. Oh boy. Dan Dierdort watched the Colts-Pats game from a few weeks ago. Now, he's calling Bob Sanders the Eraser. Gee...I bet we WON'T hear that nine times today.
(1:15 p.m.) Rhodes Warrior. Hey...did the Colts forget Joseph Addai? Look at that! Dominic Rhodes can still play!
(1:20 p.m.) Darn it, Marvin! Dierdorf just remarked that you'll hardly ever see Marvin Harrison drop a pass. Ah...but #88 just hasn't been himself over the past few weeks. I shuddered when, on 3rd and 1, the Colts lined up with a five-receiver set. Why not just go ahead and run it? This is what happens...interceptions.
(1:22 p.m.) Mighty Mite! Jason David, the Colts' resident "short corner" made a fantastic pick. I understand the sentiment on challenging the play from Jeff Fisher, but it wasn't even close.
(1:31 p.m.) I call dropsies! Harrison drops a pass again, Dierdorf remains captivated.
(1:32 p.m.) Marvelous Again! Manning-to-Harrison make their 100th TD connection, all the world is right again, and Dierdorf remains basically says, "Now that's what I'm talkin' about, bitches!" Colts take a 7-0 lead on a long completion. Great defensive call, Titans!
(1:36 p.m.) Simply Sanders. Great tackle by Bob Sanders on a draw play for a one-yard loss. You've been erased.
(1:38 p.m.) Scrambled legs. Vince Young makes a nice scramble, turning 3rd and 4 into a nice first down.
(1:39 p.m.) Go eat the fruit. Pac-Man Jones enters Titans offense. Draw play gets stuffed by the Colts. Five yard loss.
(1:41 p.m.) Driving with Sanders. Hey, you can't drive quarterbacks into the ground. But if you're Bob Sanders, you can slam Brandon Jones to the turf. Ouch.
(1:45 p.m.) Power Pellet shortage. Dear Lord, no! Pac-Man is down!! Inky, Blinky, & Co. got to him!
(1:48 p.m.) Carted off. Author feels tinge of guilt as Power Pellet-less Pac-Man gets carted off. Phase passes quickly.
(1:49 p.m.) Fake beginning. Also known as a false start...again. It's the Colts' third of the day. 3rd and 1 is now 3rd and 6. But it looks like Manning and Harrison saved the day...getting the first down.
(1:53 p.m.) Fancy Footwork. Falling Manning gets first down screen pass to Addai. Wowedy wow wow wow.
(1:57 p.m.) Head Stompin' Good Time. Offsides, Albert Haynesworth. Look out in the red zone, Colts. That's where Albert leaves people in stitches.
(1:58 p.m.) Rhodes Reversal. Dominic looks absolutely like a Pro Bowler today, showing some power as he works his way into the endzone. 14-0 Colts.
(2:09 p.m.) Pac-Man returneth. Beautiful play by Pac-Man as the Titans push deeper into Colts territory. A couple of nice scrambles by Vince Young have set up this drive. All guilt about Pac-Man's injury is now gone.
(2:15 p.m.) Boot it, baby. Rob Bironas nails a short field goal as the Titans score their first points of the ballgame. Score is now 14-3. Papa John's Superman Pan Pizza commercial runs again. I have a feeling I'll be mentioning that again.
(2:18 p.m.) Who the hell is that? Close up of Dierdorf and Gumbel reveals creepy looking guy with binoculars. Is he their security? Spotter? Diabolical dealer of death? The world may never know.
(2:20 p.m.) Hustle! Hustle! Colts try to strike again before halftime. 40 seconds left, one timeout remaining, ball on Colts 36.
(2:22 p.m.) And we're spent. Keith Bullock interception ends Colts' drive. This one was Peyton's fault, and a great play by the Titans linebacker. Now, it's the Titans' turn to score some points at the end of the half. This team has to do a better job of taking care of the ball.
(2:26 p.m.) The other white Drew. Not Drew Bledsoe, but Drew Bennett comes up with a big-time TD grab. Or does he? Play will be reviewed. Will someone please tell Dierdorf they're reviewing spot of the ball, and not possession? Thanks, Greg Gumbel. Oh...now Dierdorf is on top of it. Glad he's so quick on his feet. Bottomline: DON'T TURN THE BALL OVER, INDY!
(2:29 p.m.) And the call stands. Titans cut deficit to 14-10. Uneasy feeling seeps into the collective consciousness of Colts fans. Dierdorf orally pleasures Vince Young from the booth, which I thought was physically impossible.
(2:33 p.m.) Wiiiiiiiide Right! 53-yard field goal attempt sails right from Adam Vinatieri. Somewhere, obnoxious drunken Colts fan reminds everyone that Mike Vanderjagt is now available on the open market before being unceremoniously beaten to a pulp. Colts enter halftime with 14-10 lead. Colts fans everywhere start to get a little uneasy.
(2:35 p.m.) A new sitcom? Holy Lord, Shannon Sharpe is doing the highlights. It's like watching (or listening) to a bunch of retards trying to hump a doorknob. PLEASE STOP.
(pause for halftime)
(2:51 p.m.) Grudge Match! Pass is intended for Ben Hartsock, the former Colts tight end. Vince Young makes a major scramble. I've only got one thing to say to the defense: SWEEP THE LEG.
(2:54 p.m.) Action Jackson. Marlin Jackson gets endzone pick, right on cue, after praising Vince Young, Dierdorf comments, "And that's why Vince Young is still a rookie."
(2:58 p.m.) Incredible. What a catch by Marvin Harrison. He's had a great day, and looks like he's done with last week's moping performance. By the way, I have a big urge for a blue raspberry Mr. Freeze. Wait...I think it's because of the Titans' all-blue uniforms.
(3:03 p.m.) Rusty? Brandon Stokley drops the ball, Colts are forced to punt. Brandon hasn't been out on the field much lately, so I guess he's just not used to playing and catching the ball with contact. Like that's an excuse.
(3:06 p.m.) Absolutely awful. Terrible overpursuit by Colts defense (as usual) allows Titans to get out of field position hell with a huge run from Travis Henry.
(3:10 p.m.) Running gag. Young runs again. And again. And again. I suggest another time: sweep the leg (if you can catch him).
(3:12 p.m.) Apocalypto. Hey...a Mel Gibson film! Man, I could use a drink...
(3:21 p.m.) Too easy. Third and goal, Colts give up an easy touchdown pass from Vince Young to Brandon Jones. My uneasiness as a Colts fan grows...but at least Peyton Manning is on the TV for a MasterCard commercial. Hey...look...another VW Jetta commercial. I don't see the logic of scaring people to death with these stupid "crash out of nowhere" commercials that try to prove the point that the Jetta is safe. To me, it says, "Be a careless driver if you're in a Jetta, because our car is safe and you won't get hurt!"
(3:25 p.m.) Complete dejection. Colts' answering drive goes nowhere despite great catch and throw from Bryan Fletcher and Peyton Manning. Colts have to have a stop or a turnover. NOW.
(3:32 p.m.) Stop the run already. Huge run by Travis Henry puts Titans at 200 yards on the ground. This is brutal. I don't care if a lot of these yards are from Vince Young scrambles, the lack of run D will bite the Colts in the end.
(3:38 p.m.) Oh thank the Maker! Peyton hits Marvin for a huge gain, giving the Colts great field position, and a chance to win or tie. Let's hope Indy takes care of the ball, which is now at the Titans' four-yard line. Great run by Addai makes it first and goal on the two. Poorly designed, long developing run goes nowhere.
(3:41 p.m.) Are you kidding me? Ben Utecht gets called for offensive pass interference. Touchdown nullified. Now, Manning misses Reggie Wayne on second down, and the Colts face a third-and-goal situation. Oh boy.
(3:43 p.m.) Scrambling Peyton. A questionable lateral ends the Colts' chance for a touchdown, Indy blows a golden chance and has to settle for a game-tying field goal. Now the defense must come up with a stop, or we're in for a whole week of SportsCenter Vince Young puff pieces.
(3:57 p.m.) It all comes down to this...Rob Bironas will try a 60-yard field goal to win the game. He nailed it.
So...cancel the Vince Young puff pieces. We'll be hearing about Rob Bironas instead. Final score, Titans 20, Colts 17. Colts stand 10-2 on the year as their defense and offense both let them down in critical situations. Of course, that kick from Bironas was a bit of a miracle, but a loss is still a loss.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I think a rematch is silly; we've really already seen this game played out. Ohio State beat Michigan, and although the score was close, was there ever any doubt Ohio State was going to lose that game? I watched it in its entirety, and came away impressed with Michigan's resilience. But never once did I actually think the Wolverines were going to win it, no matter how hard they fought. So, it's time to give another team a shot at OSU. Whether it's USC, Arkansas, Florida, or even (improbably) Notre Dame, there's no reason to see OSU and Michigan tussle for a second go-round, as long as we've got a worthy team in there. And, thanks to Cincinnati, we won't have to argue whether Rutgers belongs in the national championship game (like the Scarlet Knights ever had a prayer, anyway!).
Okay, with that off my chest, let's reconstruct (and deconstruct) this week's Colts game.
Undefeated undone. So, the Colts lost a game, and should immediately go into a panic since they're 9-1. That's a terrible, terrible record to have for a team, so obviously there's a lot that needs to be changed. Sarcasm aside, the Colts 9-0 mark was a little deceptive, with some really close games in there. The team ended up pulling those games out, though, and (this really does hurt) that's kind of how the team from Foxboro did it during its fantastic run.
Are you sure? Tony Dungy and Bill Polian insist the Colts don't have trouble with a 3-4 defense. However, remember the problems the same basic offensive line had with teams like San Diego and Pittsburgh? Now Dallas steps into the fray with its 3-4 scheme, and basically does the same thing. So, yeah, I think the Colts have a problem with the 3-4, especially since it's seldom seen these days.
So, um, who like watches the replays before the Colts challenge something? Man...the Colts don't haggle with the interception return (which the guy was clearly down by contact) but they do challenge whether Fasano fumbled later in the game. I understand that was desperation, but it really wasn't questionable. Someone fell asleep at the replay in the first case, and didn't watch the replay at all in the second.
So is the glass three-quarters full, or one-quarter empty? The defense actually played incredibly well during the first three quarters of the game. However, the D broke down in the fourth with some penalties, bad tackling, soft coverage, etc. I think the defensive unit is on the right track. I think the players got tired in the fourth, too, because the offense wasn't exactly doing a stellar job of staying on the field and giving them a rest.
Formation of change. Hey, the Colts gave some different looks on offense. The three-wide set is nothing new, but sticking Reggie Wayne in the slot was interesting. However, putting Aaron Moorehead in the game proved tragic. That goofy looking bastard couldn't catch anything. I hope it was nerves, and not maximum suckocity. I also saw a two tight end, twin formation as well.
And to which TO are you referring? This was supposed to be the TO Show. And it was, but I'm not talking about the Cowboys' volcanic wide receiver. No, no, no. This was TO City, baby, with the TO standing for "turnover." It started right at the beginning of the game, and pretty much continued throughout.
Enter: Foxboro Playoff Peyton! The arch-nemesis twin brother of efficiency and high pass rating reared his ugly head at Texas Stadium. Foxboro Playoff Peyton, who looked clueless against New England in the playoffs, actually suited up for the Colts. He was unfortunately accompanied by Dome Playoff Offensive Line, which couldn't keep pressure off the quarterback.
Cash-Money goes bankrupt. Anyone feel sympathy for Mike Vanderjagt? I didn't think so. But you have to admit that playoff loss to Pittsburgh last year and the "wide right" heard 'round the world killed the World's Most Accurate Kicker's psyche. He's a shell of the brilliant Canadian Buckeye and I went to see during our freshman year of college.
Drop, drop, drop...The Colts receivers again showed a propensity to drop the ball when tasked with a hard-hitting secondary. Marvin's fumble was inexcusable.
Set 'em up Joe. Addai, again, had a nice game. Keep the kid chugging, although Dominic Rhodes actually had a nice run or two. Okay...one nice run, and a decent reception.
Just run the darn play already!!! The Colts' longest play of the day from scrimmage was Marvin Harrison's 38-yard grab. The team couldn't capitalize on it, but I thought the play was a little questionable when I first saw it. While Peyton was making his line calls and such on the next play, I was screaming at the TV for him to get the play off before Dallas challenged. As the play clock rattled down to five, four, three, two, and one...the Colts snapped the ball, but not before the Cowboys challenged the play. It stood as a catch, but I can't help but think this was an absolute momentum killer.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Cincinnati wasted a great start, a career day for Chad Johnson, and my afternoon as well. The whole time, I was watching the scoreboard for the Colts game. Of course, once I saw the score, I kept wondering 1) how many turnovers the Colts had, 2) if a major player got hurt, and 3) how many rushing yards the Bills had. Thankfully, there were no big injuries, and really, the run defense did a decent job.
Live and Let Addai. The rook showed who the man is in Indy, and his name ain't Dominic. Rhodes may be the "starter," but more importantly, Joseph Addai is the "closer," as evidenced by his clock-eating runs at the end of the game.
Patience, you must learn patience. Okay, so the Colts don't need to learn patience all that much, but it's good to know they can pull back the throttle when they need to. They made a few mistakes, yes, but overall, they took what the defense gave them. And it wasn't as nearly as close as the scoreboard indicated.
Did I watch the same game? ESPN runs in the scroll that Lindell missed a "GW field goal" with some six minutes left in the game. Is it just me, or is that misleading? The way the Colts moved the ball (especially on that last drive) tells me that Buffalo needed a little more than a field goal to win the game. C'mon. Oh...and SportsCenter teased the game as if it were a down-to-the-wire thing. It was close, and it does qualify mildly as a scare, but it wasn't that close. I hate ESPN. Even if it's usually the best thing in the world.
Off the schneid. Congratulations, Dwight Freeney. You finally got your first full sack of the season. I know it was hard, and it seemed to take forever, but you got it. Now the rest of the league needs to look out.
Your leading receiver was WHO? Not Marvin, not Reggie, not Dallas, not Addai, nor hobbled Stokley...but Ben Utecht? Did I read that correctly? Good game overall for #86...other than that...well...you know what I'm talking about.
And the turnovers poureth from the heavens, making the Bills thinketh the game may actually be theirs. So Ben Utecht fumbles the ball to give Buffalo its only touchdown of the game. It was the sole reason the score was remotely close. And then Dominic "the starter" Rhodes fumbles the ball late in the fourth. The inept Bills couldn't capitalize with any type of score. They failed to follow a cardinal rule all underdogs must follow: when the favorite makes a mistake, you must cash in on it. And that's why the Bills didn't win.
Good till the last drop. Hmm....several typically-reliable receivers showed off some dubious hands. I saw drops/bobbles from nearly everyone, including Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, and Ben Utecht (who, as previously mentioned, also fumbled).
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Friday, November 10, 2006
Monday, November 06, 2006
Who's in your head now, bitch? Bill Belichick is said to be so firmly ingrained in Peyton Manning's head that #18 can't perform well on the field. But take Peyton's 326 yard, 2 TD performance last night, and it shows he's gotten over the mental block. Belichick, on the other hand, is in trouble. He's so convinced that his impenetrable defense can be sliced up that he's going for it on fourth down against the Colts. There's nothing wrong with it, but it shows how good the Colts are on offense. Of course, it also shows how little stock Billy Boy puts in the Horseshoe D.
Wake me up, before you block girl. The WHAM! BLOCK. John Madden usually gets locked into a few key phrases during the night that he won't stop repeating. And he usually acts like he's making some revolutionary discovery each time he says them. The WHAM! BLOCK was one of his stock phrases for the night, and wow, he made sure everyone understood the WHAM! BLOCK, and how the Patriots were using it.
You've been erased. Another John Madden favorite last night was telling us how Tony Dungy calls Bob Sanders his "eraser." Effectively, this means Sanders is able to make up for a bad play or a missed coverage by "erasing" it. Yeah, it sounds an awful lot like an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but there's no doubt Sanders' return was much needed and well received. While the defense was still rough in spots, there's no arguing with five takeaways, and the amount of energy the defensive players showed on the field. I think Sanders was definitely the big reason for that. As Krildog can verify, in my broadcasting days, I had a few stock phrases I liked to use. I would never call Sanders an "eraser;" instead, I'd probably call him a sparkplug.
John, they do it every week, every game. Madden made a big deal about the "route tree" Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, & Co. run through prior to the game. The Colts have been doing this for years, and it is definitely a big reason "Manning-to-Harrison" is such a common phrase. But I swear, every time Marv made a catch, Madden referred to their pregame workout. Give it up already!
Starvin' Marvin's Revenge. Marvin Harrison made a jaw-dropping catch in the third quarter. You know the one I'm talking about. I've seen the replay at least ten times now, and I still can't believe what my eyes are telling me I see. It was, without a doubt, one of the best catches I've ever seen in my lifetime. The Patriots players on the scene couldn't believe what they saw, either. Then, #88 did something I've hardly ever witnessed: instead of handing the ball to the ref, he spiked it emphatically. It ended up bouncing off the ground, and hitting Mike Vrabel's facemask. That's the kind of intensity sometimes missing from Marvin's game. You can definitely tell he takes playing the Patriots personally.
Prancing Peyton. Okay, that's the most un-heterosexual line I've come up with in a long time. But Peyton has been brilliant inside and outside the pocket. He must've worked on his footwork a ton, because he's moving around terrifically. He showed incredible mobility to avoid the rush, and made some big-time plays throughout the game. He knows his limits, though. Instead of wildly chucking the ball during a broken play (which sometimes he was prone to do), when the rush leaves him with no chance of making a play, he eats the ball. Very, very smart.
Um, just run the ball! The Patriots, with two awesome running backs, sure tried to use some gimmicks against the Colts D, which is often too quick to bite on them. Why the Pats didn't just line up and shove the ball down the Colts' throat, I don't know. Some strange calls (like a fake reverse screen) played right into the defense's hands. I think the Patriots overthought their game plan a bit.
Fourth & 1. I'm not going to complain too much, after all, the Colts did win, but Tom Brady wasn't even close to getting the first down on that one particular QB sneak. The referee should've taken a measurement, instead of sending the chain gang forward. This probably cost the Colts some points.
Officiate that! And the officiating was terrible last night for both teams. The Pats had a few phantom calls whistled against them, and so did the Colts. I just can't believe the refereeing has gotten as bad as it has. We had some obvious holding calls overlooked, and some not-so-obvious defensive penalties called (illegal contact, defensive holding, etc.). It's really disgusting, and takes away from the game. Especially since, for the most part, the Colts and Patriots both avoid penalties.
And then Mellencamp was flattened. I'd like to buy a Chevy Silverado, and run John Mellencamp over with it. I got soooooo sick of the "this is our country" song. Did they have to run it every commercial break?
Please Lord, don't let him pick us. Cris Collinsworth had the audacity to make a point by picking Tom Brady as his player of the week, despite the fact the Patriots hadn't played yet. And how did His Holiness respond? 201 yards, 4 interceptions. In fact, Brady looked clueless for much of the game. Sadly, he resembled "Foxborough Playoff Peyton," which is about the saddest and most severe criticism I can give anyone.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Thursday, October 26, 2006
She's cheating on me with two gay cowboys named Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.
You see, I woke up last night to find that Mrs. Studicus had rented some DVDs. She tried to please me with "The Fox and the Hound" (excellent Disney fare), "Over the Hedge" (one of the summer's best!), and "Thank You for Smoking" (an intriguing film, to be sure). Yet, there was something wrong. I could sense it. And then I noticed she was clinging onto a fourth DVD, and she wouldn't let me see what it was.
I begged, I pleaded. I tried to forcibly remove it. After several seconds of scrambling, she finally let go of the offending material.
Onto the floor splashed "Brokeback Mountain."
My wife and I made a solemn vow years ago (okay, months ago) that we'd never watch that movie together. It was a sacred promise I felt would last forever. However, "Brokeback Mountain" sits on the floor of my apartment, nestled between such family-friendly fare as "Over the Hedge" and "The Fox and the Hound." In fact, I'm pretty sure the "Brokeback" DVD tried to mount both the fox and the hound while I was at work.
To the letter of the law, our pledge remains solid: we will not watch the movie together. Yet, my poor DVD player, my surround sound system, and JumboTron C must surrender to the passion and the drama of Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. Oh, I've heard "Brokeback" isn't that bad. The film is probably a great poetic argument for all types of love, or something like that. Yet, I'm not going to watch it. Unless I'm absolutely loaded, or someone puts a gun to my head.
The last thing I want is for two cowboys to jump into my living room, blindfolded like some goddamn magic show ready to double team my wife. Then again, I forget, these are gay cowboys. So I shouldn't worry so much.
For more insidious broken attempts at "Brokeback" humor, please check out the following links from previous TFT posts...
Star Wars, Episode III: Brokeback Lightsaber
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
These rankings are ordered in groups of the top ten and the bottom ten teams in the league. Many factors come into play in these rankings, that is, strength of schedule, margin of wins or losses, etc, but mostly it's whatever I think because I have the power and you don't. Teams not shown are middle of the road teams, who are medicore enough not to care about.
*(x) previous ranking
1. (1) Bears: Bye week.
2. (2) Colts: Looked for real against a very confused Redskins team.
3. (3) Broncos: Easy last few weeks. Will stay third at least until next week's big game.
4. (5) Saints: Bye week. I'm curious to see what happens coming off the bye for this team.
5. (10) Giants: On a roll right now; coming off three very good outings.
6. (8) Patriots: What can I say, they looked like the NE of old.
7: (9) Rams: Bye.
8: (NR) Bengals: Sure it was a win at home, but I think they've gotten back to winning.
9: (6) Chargers: A step up, a step back. Can they only win against weaker teams?
10: (7) Panthers: Looked in control and then blew it.
The Bottom Ten
1. (4) Bucs: A 62-yarder extends a plundering run of two of the better teams in the league. Completely different team since the QB change.
2. (NR) Redskins: I don't even think Joe Gibbs can right the ship that he's helping sink.
3. (8) Texans: Looks like the Word is making statements and teams are listening. Though too wishy washy to ever be out of the Bottom Ten.
4. (2) Bills: A lot of questions as to what this team really is.
5. (NR) Browns: Played a tough D in Denver, but should have been more respectible at home.
6. (6) Lions: You have heeded my advice Detroit! May not get your GM fired, but at least this way, we'll see Mike Martz in a year or so.
7. (5) Cardinals: Denny Green has single handedly taken this team back to what it was before he got there. If you fire coordinators, make sure they are replaced by competent coaches.
8. (7) Dolphins: The best thing about this team is the all orange jerseys, and they don't even wear them.
9. (9) SF: Bye.
10. Raiders: Win another. I don't believe you. Maybe then I'll start to talk about your good qualities.
*Honorable Mentions: Titans, Packers, Steelers.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The wedding went off without a hitch, and I had a very good time. There wasn't too much that went wrong during the wedding/honeymoon/vacation, which I definitely am thankful for. I headed out to Arizona with Mrs. Studicus, where there was much merriment and traveling. By the way, the Grand Canyon is spectacular. If I remember, I'll try to post some pics.
But really, my wedding isn't what you want to read about in my dramatic return. You want to know what I thought of the Colts game, don't you?
To live and Addai in Indy. I've been saying it all season long: Joe Addai is the guy for the Colts. He's the back who's explosive, and ready to take his game to the next level. And the Colts should revert back to my R.E.A.D Principle, except, well, instead of "Run Edge All Day," it should be "Run Excellent Addai Decisively" (or something equally as stupid).
If that's a penalty, then that's a penalty, too. Okay, I got it: Dwight Freeney grabs Mark Brunell's facemask, the refs throw a flag. While I don't think it was a 15-yarder, I can live with it. If you're not supposed to hit the quarterback in the head, then yeah, that's a penalty. However, the Skins tried to take off Peyton Manning's head (the only purpose I can think of is so they can make their own bobble head doll), ripping off his helmet, yet there's no flag. Not to mention Manning was being turned into a pretzel. Later in the game, Marcus Washington got flagged for a 15-yard "point of emphasis" penalty for going low on Peyton (it looked more like natural momentum than anything to me); however, when the Colts (I think it was Robert Mathis) went low on Brunell, there was no flag. I'm dumbstruck as to how this all worked out.
Punters are "emotional," too. So, um, Derrick Frost gets mad after the refs (apparently) tell him his excellent boot didn't count because they hadn't given him the signal. Then Frost gets steaming hot, pulls off his helmet, and as a result, his team kicks off from the five-yard line. Has anyone ever seen another team kick off from the five-yard line?
Change your promos, mentally-challenged Fox people. Hmmm...Montae Reagor gets in car accident (apparently not sparked by making a harassing call on his cell phone while driving). Montae Reagor misses game, and goes to hospital. Moronic WXIN continues running promos saying, "Montae Reagor joins us live in studio after the game on Sunday Night Sports." Shouldn't maybe someone have pulled the promo that ran 900 times? Or can the Fox 59 studios accommodate a gurney?
One enormous Booger. The stat column credits Anthony McFarland with two tackles, but let me tell you something: he appeared to play a really nice game for the Colts. I think his addition will help, and I'm surprised the Skins didn't try to run the ball more with Clinton Portis. Actually, I'm stunned.
Mike Doss, ballbuster. Ouch. They always say the key to forcing a fumble is getting your helmet on the ball. But holy crap, Doss, ball is singular! You can't help but cringe when you "hear" the crack of the balls on that play. I actually felt bad for Portis.
And the gods shall have their revenge. Poor Doss got his just desserts for his ballhawking, tearing his ACL later in the game. That's a major blow to the Colts...who'd better hope 1) Bob Sanders gets healthy and stays that way; 2) Matt Giordano can fill in effectively against a starting defense; or 3) Marlin Jackson thrives in a potential transition from corner to safety (which the Colts have been considering for a while).
Wrong kind of football. When Santana Moss felt like Jason David delivered a bit of a cheap shot, he went bonkers, and sort of gave him a "header" a la futbol. That was a great 15-yard penalty.
You threw the flag for that!? Celebration penalties are pretty stupid. Antwaan Randle El's post-punt return TD celebration was pretty stupid. Flagging Antwaan Randle El for his stupid celebration was pretty stupid. However, it did provide high comedy from Derrick Frost just moments later. I guess it's all in the set up.
Friday, October 20, 2006
These past couple weeks of multiple logs and contingency plans at work (thanks to the MLB playoffs) coupled with dog-sitting (where I had no internet access) and the Bears/Cardinals game have really killed my desire to write. However, I did manage to contribute to The Ex-Burgher's weekly Tecmo Super Bowl simulation of this week's games. I had the pleasure of covering Jacksonville @ Houston. Click here to check out this week's simulations. I'll be in South Bend tomorrow for Notre Dame/UCLA. Last I heard, The Word was working on another set of rankings, but he might lose his desire for that after the Colts rape his beloved Redskins this weekend. Rumors also say that Studicus is back in town, but he still might be too busy consumating the marriage to write anything, which is fine by me. Have a good weekend, ya'll!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
*(x) denotes previous ranking
1. (1) Bears: We all know what happened on Monday night. Even Rex can't seem to derail this team.
2. (2) Colts: Bye in week 6, still only other unbeaten.
3. (3) Broncos: They played Oakland, and maybe should move down because they didn't dominate the final score.
4. (5) Saints: They beat up an overrated Eagles team, but it's still a great win.
5. (7) Seahawks: Took a page from LL Cool J's NFC West philosophy; "Don't call it a comeback I've been here for years."
6.(9) Chargers: It was the 49ers. Not ready to crown them SB Champs yet.
7: (NR) Panthers: Finally looking like that Super Bowl team everyone wanted them to be, 4-0 with a healthy Steve Smith. Tough schedule.
8: (10) Patriots: On a bye.
9: (NR) St. Louis: Too explosive, deserve to be here even after tough loss at home.
10: (NR) Giants: On a roll right now; coming off two very good outings.
The Bottom Ten
1. (8) Titans: Better with Young. Somehow his whole team can run when he starts. Ranked this high because of potential.
2. (NR) Bills: After a good start, it looks like they're being Buffalo all over again.
3. (6) Packers: Bye week helps this week.
4. (7) Bucs: Played the Bengals tough, but won from a bad call.
5. (4) Cardinals: Leinart IS the key. Tough loss.
6. (9) Lions: Fire your GM and stop winning games to make him look better.
7. (5) Dolphins: I'll say it again: missing: O-Line; D; running game; coaching.
8. (3) Texans: Defense guys. Defense.
9. (1) SF: Everything's there, but not working up to potential.
10. Raiders: Their own team can't even get out of the black hole.
*Honorable Mentions: Redksins, Chiefs, Browns.
Friday, October 13, 2006
In the Pantheon of teams who get more praise that then should, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the mix for the top spot. Oh, but they won 'The Ring' last year Word. The NFL is a league where parity reigns and dynasties are few and far between; about one every ten years. In the '70s it was the Steelers, in the '80s the 49ers were kings, winning 4 Super Bowls from 1980 - 1990, the '90s had the Cowboys, and the Patriots are the 2000s dynasty darlings.
The NFL is a show me league in a show me sport. What-have-you-done-for-me-lately should be the motto, and no team should be judged on last year's success or failure's. I could care less if 13 of the last 16 seasons the Steelers have been 1-3 and came back to get into the playoffs. That is a pointless stat that should garner no attention, especially with a surging AFC North in which they play 6 games. In the majority of those seasons, the Bengals have been abysmal, the Ravens ho-hum, and the Browns... the Browns. This season however shows a bright light in Baltimore above Brian Billick's head, having re-tooled the offense in the off-season, a still explosive offense in Cincy where Rudi Johnson looks better than ever, and a Browns team who looks better, if still not good, every week. The AFC North isn't the North of old, and the Steelers have lost too many key components to be considered the Steelers of old. Losing Jerome Bettis was a big blow to this team; he provided leadership, goal line presence, and an actual threat in the run game on 3rd and 4th and short. The ability to keep drives going is what helped so much in turning the tide and coming out with winning records in those 13 seasons. They are lost this year. Ben is no longer the Superman everyone thought he was, and the uncertainty of Cowher's seasons-end departure have been affecting this team in negative ways and no amount of trash-talk or pity-party no-one-gives-us-a-chance speak (yes, I mean you Porter) can help them.
The hype adds a chapter with this story from the Associated Press claiming that the KC/ Pittsburgh game is "The Game of the Week." Are you kidding? What makes this game interesting? I'll wait...
Though, in the meantime, how about Philly and NO? Both are 4-1 and everyone's waiting to see another knock-off of a quality opponent from the Saints. I think they can do it at home again, and I think this is the week where people stop calling New Orleans a feel good story and start calling them NFC South Champions and possible title contenders.
Another game that has me frothing at the mouth is the Giants at Atlanta. Can the Falcons keep up the run on a Giants team who's allowing 87-yards per game? Can the Giants come out and show the league how good they really are and put those poor coaching distractions behind them? The Giants look peachy in the Georgia Dome this Sunday and come out with a win.
I'm unable to think of anything interesting about the Steelers' game. The only interesting thing about it is that if Pittsburgh loses, every sportswriter from here to eternity will be eating their tongues and denouncing them just as I am right now. The scramble will be fantastic. Home or not, the Steelers' best shot at winning this game came on the bye week. For their sake, I hope they have something to show us all; some fuel for the hype machine.
And that's today's Word.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
These rankings are ordered in groups of the top ten and the bottom ten teams in the league. Many factors come into play in these rankings, that is, strength of schedule, margin of wins or losses, etc, but mostly it's whatever I think because I have the power and you don't.
1. Bears: Good on road, better at home. Beat opponents 156-36.
2. Colts: Are the only unbeaten left besides Bears, but struggling to win.
3. Denver: Defense, Tatum Bell, solid receiveing corps.
4. Ravens: A few missteps by McNair lately, even against Browns.
5. New Orleans: A field goal away from turning the tide in Carolina and maybe coming out 5-0.
6.Falcons: Tough divisional schedule to start. Excellent running game and good D.
7: Seahawks: Dominant over everyone but Bears. No Shaun hurts.
8: Eagles: 4-1, sure, but whom have they played? Opponents combine for 6 wins.
9: Chargers: They have talent, just not all on same page. Weak early schedule.
10: Patriots: Flashes of brilliance, but predominately a mediocre tenth.
The Bottom Ten
1. SF: Everything's there, but not working up to potential.
2. Browns: Have played every team relatively tough. A break here or there and they'd be 2-3 or better.
3. Texans: I thought David Carr sucked. Shame on all who denouced him. Still no D.
4. Cardinals: Can Leinart get the most out of his all-star group of recievers? Future's looking bright.
5. Dolphins: Missing: O-Line; D; running game; coaching. The best thing this year has been Joey Harrington. Yuck!
6. Packers: Brett Farve will get to 420TDs, but not to 8-8.
7. Bucs: They have to be better than this, but they aren't.
8. Titans: Life with Young, but will face tougher D against the run starting with Skins.
9. Detroit: Fire your GM.
10. Oakland: The Black Hole Geriatric Center, for washed up vets to live the dream for one more year.
Monday, October 09, 2006
Since Studicus is off to Arizona with the newly crowned Mrs. Studicus (wedding was fun and went off without a hitch, BTW), and the fact that my softball game got cancelled due to the other team forfeiting due to not wanting to have to face the worst right fielder in the league (yours truly), I was afforded the rare opportunity to watch the Colts, and thus submit this week’s Colts Report.
Overall, I wasn’t very impressed.
From the outset of the game, it became painfully obvious that Indy really misses Corey Simon on the d-line. He was quite useful at clogging it up and cutting down on the running lanes between the tackles and allowing the linebackers and ends to handle runs to the outside. Well, lack of beef on the front four made Travis Henry and Lendale White look like Walter Payton and Jim Brown had lined up in the backfield for the ol’ Flaming Thumbtacks. It was another unacceptable outing for the defense. This team won’t go far in the playoffs if they can’t stop the run. Perhaps Bill Polian will address this issue in the offseason by drafting a quality DT as an insurance policy for Simon. Also, I think that the Colts could benefit from blitzing more in run situations (I would assume Dungy has some zone blitzes in that Cover 2 package, no?). With some of the speed they have, it could help to offset the lack of size and strength and generate some sort of push into the backfield. Yes, it does increase the risk of getting burned on playaction, but sometimes you have to gamble to make something happen. Perhaps a switch to a 5 man front on occasion would help as well (hell, you could always have a LB line up and then drop back into coverage or bump and run on a TE if it ends up being a pass play). Also, I think that Freeney needs to be moved to different positions on the line just to mix it up every once in a while. It could open some different rush lanes as the offense has to adjust the blocking scheme to account for him, and doing it would give them another thing they would have to prepare for.
Offensively, Colts didn’t look all that special either. Running game did look decent and Addai continues to improve and show flashes of potential. The team as a whole took a long time to get the ball moving. I do suspect that much of this can be attributed to Jeff Fisher and his defense being quite familiar with their AFC South foe. Marvin Harrison had a quiet game for the most part, but I’m not sure if that is a credit to Pacman Jones playing well or Peyton just not looking his way for some reason.
I thought Vince Young had a solid game, but I was ready to kill someone if I heard the announcers on CBS comment on his Uncle Rico-like throwing style. Yes, we know he short-arms it but still zips the ball. You don’t have to remind us of this fact ever 2 goddamn minutes! I thought VY looked very mobile and comfortable playing QB in his second career start. Time will tell if he can keep it up.
With the bye this week, I would think the Colts are going to try and heal up as well as work on the basics as they begin preparations for the Redskins (whom I feel they will beat, sorry Word). As for me, I’ll be back tomorrow or Wednesday with some sort of content. Later!
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
I will be on hiatus for nearly two weeks as I enter the world of marriage and take a much-needed vacation (and honeymoon) in Arizona.
So, dear friends, it will be up to you to keep the Trapeezius flying high.
I've already been too busy this week to post my weekly Colts review.
Let's just say...if we don't fix the defense...the Colts are in trouble. And really...the special teams have degraded significantly after a great start to the season. I wonder if all these injuries are leaving the special teams ranks thin. Thank goodness Peyton Manning and the offense had not one, but TWO game-winning drives in them!!!
Good luck, godspeed, and I'll see ya on the flipside.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
To the shell of the former dynastic New England Patriots, parity seems to be worse. Among other teams, the NY Jets have a viable shot at taking the whole AFC East division, with a Chad named Pennington and a ex-assistant now purified in the green waters of Lake Minnetonka leading the way. Purple Rain references aside, the 2-1 Patriots are far from the intimidating powerhouse they once were. A shaky secondary and an as of yet untested recieving corps, are the weaknesses of this new look team, but is that the reality? Why blame the players? Analysts to and fro have lent their expertese to the stumbling former ring-stingy franchise and all seem to blame the players. The Word poses this question: What of the coaching?
New England's problems lye in the lap of Bill Belichick. Arguably the most arrogant coach in pro football, Belichick is horrible to his players. Obviously he never listened to his mother or Trent Reznor who speaks out in firm resolution on the topic of not biting the hand that feeds you. A note from The Word: that hand is key defensive and offensive players, most recently Deon Branch. Belichick might have a super-system, a plug-and-play scheme that he can keep winning with, but chances are his Super Bowl consistency will from now on take a drastic skid. As we've seen with other super systems, that is to say Shanahan's Denver system, one player (last call for Elway, Elway; draft class of 83) can make a difference between just winning games and winning Super Bowls, so why should I believe Belichick can rewrite history with the yearly reworking of his team's chemistry? I also wonder how many players can he kick under the bus until the rest of the team sees how ungrateful he is for their services. I worry about the future morale of this team and what the fair-weather, late-adopters will do when NE is not back in another Super Bowl at the end of the year. The fans who don't remember the Paul-Revere-hiking-the-ball days, the Super-Bowl-shuffled-upon days. Where will the team be when they are banished back into the obscurity of their divsion like the teams of old; banished and long forgotten by everyone outside of Foxboro? This just in: Colts' fans could give a shit less.
I don't think I'll have to wait long for my answer though. A coach's arrogance, a division's parity, both enemies of Tom Brady, who'll no longer be able to look at porno and have people think it's cute.
For The New England Patriots, parity means fucked...
And that's today's Word.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Unfortunately, the tape of the shoot has never made it into public view. However, yours truly was given a chance to view it for the purpose of this article. Let's break it down, shall we?
Owens wakes up in his bedroom with the sun shining through the windows and Sonny and Cher's And the Beat Goes On blaring from the alarm clock. He get out of bed, stretches and then pops 2 Vicodin, which he then washes down with some mineral water. He checks his newly created MySpace page to see that Tom is his only friend. He then checks his cell and e-mail and sees that he has no messages. Glumly, TO heads downstairs.
Owens enters the kitchen to find Rosenhaus cooking breakfast. Today is scrambled egg whites and toast with grape jelly. Owens grinds up 2 Vicodin and sprinkles them on the freshly-cooked eggs. He washes the meal down with a large glass of homestyle orange juice. After checking the cell again, he decides to workout.
The infamous driveway. TO goes through his standard set of exercises, taking time to drink Gatorade in between sets. The Gatorade looks a little cloudier than normal, and when the director investigates he finds that it's spiked with a mysterious white powder than looks very similar to what Owens had with his breakfast. Owens tries to cover by saying he added Creatine for enhanced performance, then laughs nervously and heads for the shower.
Owens is in his rehearshal room. It is a room filled with mirrors that looks very similar to the room from the final battle of Enter the Dragon. Here, Owens practices responses to questions that he may face from the media. Rosenhaus asks the questions and coaches his client on how to properly throw your teammates, fans and city of employment under the bus and come off looking like a prima donna jackass. Every time TO responds correctly, Rosenhaus gives him an M&M for encouragement. However, the M&Ms appear to be oddly shaped. A production assistant examines them after shooting is done and discovers that they are candy-coated Vicodins. It is estimated that TO ingested 15-20 "candies" during the session.
Owens has not been seen for hours. Crews have taken the time to shoot all the necessary filler shots of the residence they will use for transitions during the editing process. Suddenly, sobbing is heard from the master bedroom. Crews rush upstairs to find that TO has used some blankets and pillows to build himself a fort. Several candles dimly illuminate the room as R.E.M.'s classic song Everybody Hurts blares on repeat from the stereo. Owens himself is seated on the floor in the fort, wrapped in a pink blanket with white bunnies on it. He cradles a teddy bear in one arm as he types on his laptop with the other. A pacifier and a bowl of Vicodin sit at the ready nearby. Owens laments the fact that even Tom won't be his friend on MySpace anymore. "I have nobody," he yells to no one in particular. "I'm so alone. I am a solitary black pit of gloom and despair. This is totally going in my LiveJournal." The crews slowly back out of the room and pack up for the day.
The next day, Pfizer summons Rosenhaus to explain his client's actions. The agent tries to blame the incident on Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid then claims TO is persecuted because he's black. The powers that be don't believe it. He claims it was an isolated incident, but when prodded with further inquests all he can say is "Next Question!" Frustrated, Pfizer buys out TO's contract and hands Rosenhaus cash on the spot. With an evil smirk on his face, he tucks the stack of bills in his jacket and promises to deliver it to his client. Upon returning to casa de TO, Rosenhaus laments that the deal is off and they won't see a dime. As Owens retreats to his fort, Drew heads to the bank to make a deposit, whistling Dixie the entire way and confident that everything is going to be ok and this sordid affair will never happen again...
Monday, September 25, 2006
Take this quote from Jaguars linebacker Mike Peterson concerning this week's game, "When they come to our turf, we're going to try to return the favor," he said.
There's a very small but very important word stuck in this sentence. It's "try." You see, in the past, the fiery ex-Colt would simply have said, "We're going to return the favor." And then Byron Leftwich would've probably flipped someone off. So maybe the J-Cats have learned something after all.
That's right, boys, you're still not an elite team. I'm sorry about that. After all this talk of getting respect, the Jaguars showed once again they're pretenders, maybe even phonies. Are they a good football team? Yes. Are they a great football team? Certainly not.
Let's cite a few examples this week why Jacksonville isn't ready for prime time yet:
- Despite outgaining the Colts in the first half, keeping the Colts offense off the field, and physically manhandling the defense (156 rushing yards in the first half), the Jaguars ended up tied at halftime, thanks to a missed field goal (CLANK!) by Josh Scobee, and a complete special teams breakdown that allowed Terrence Wilkins '06 to look more like Terrence Wilkins '01, resulting in an 82-yard touchdown
- A variety of stupid penalties that make you wonder if Jaguars players are taught to stop when the flag flies instead of when the whistle blows
- Another Scobee miss
- Blown coverage on Dallas Clark (how can you not cover a guy that big?)
- Deviation from a winning game plan (11 rushes in the second half? What happened to the smash-mouth philosophy?)
- Talk, talk, talk, talk...and again...no action
- And you let Peyton Manning run for a touchdown; I suppose it's better than letting him beat you with his arm, but Holy Lord...that's not supposed to happen!
I watched this week's game with a friend, and we both agreed the Colts should've been down by three scores after the first half. Instead, miraculously, it was all tied up. I'm still not sure how that happened. The offense never stayed on the field long enough to find a rhythm, and the defense was atrocious (try tackling next time, guys).
That said, here are my observations for Week 3:
A 20-Doss gun salute. Mike Doss played really big for the Colts this weekend. I don't think he's had that much fun since his little gun incident in Akron. I know, I know. That was a cheap shot. I guess I'm starting to take Jacksonville's style of play to heart. Seriously, though, Doss had a huge interception, and showed he was one of the few Colts capable of showing off a good form tackle, especially in the second half.
Who hit the Playmaker button? Was that Peyton Manning with the naked bootleg for a touchdown? No way. It couldn't have been. No one expected that. Great call by Tony Dungy and Tom Moore.
Premature Martin. I got a kick out of it when 97-year-old Martin Gramatica had to re-kick the ball on a kickoff. Apparently, he didn't wait for the referee to signal him to start. As I was watching the game, all I could think of was Gramatica saying, "That's never happened before. I swear. It's the first time."
Tackling Dummies. The Colts, as mentioned previously, did a horrible job of tackling. It was a very poor effort in the first half. How many times can a team run draws out of the shotgun and pick up big yardage with the backup (but very talented) halfback? At least they shored things up in the second half, and thanks to Jacksonville's many mistakes, didn't end up letting the team get behind.
Where's Dwight Freeney? His injury must be worse than anyone's letting on; Freeney's been pretty ineffective so far, and hasn't registered a sack. It's kind of scary for the Colts' main defensive centerpiece to be so quiet.
Simon says questionable means "I ain't playin' cause they ain't feeding me enough." Will Corey Simon ever suit up for a game? He's not the only problem with the defense, but having his big, um, body in the middle would certainly help clog things up a bit. And I think Maurice Jones-Drew (the UCLA running back formerly known simply as Maurice Drew) is probably small enough for Simon to eat, thus eliminating that problem. Maybe in December.
Crazy Jack's got that Crazy Look. I think Jack Del Rio may be crazy. Seriously. When they show him on the sidelines, I'm frightened. There's a difference between crazy and frighteningly homicidal. I'm just not sure which side of the line Del Rio is on.
Wonderful Wilkins. I'll tell you what, I was really skeptical when the Colts even had little Terrence Wilkins on the roster. But he's been pretty good in the return game, and his punt return TD was a gigantic boost for a team desperately in need of a lift. Without that big play, I don't know what would've happened in the game. I don't think it would've been pretty.
Reggie Wayne's non-catch. I think it was a catch. Wayne reeled it in, got both feet down, and then fell to the turf. At that point, since possession was secure, I think he was down by contact. There was no indisputable visual evidence on the replay that the ball came out while Wayne was rolling over, so I don't see how it could've been overturned (and the reverse: if they'd ruled it incomplete, I wouldn't have seen indisputable visual evidence that Wayne caught the ball). This reminded me of the Troy Polamalu interception last year. That was a horrible call to reverse (as much as I'd like to say it was an incomplete pass, it wasn't; the league even admitted a mistake...and actually the referee in both games was Pete Morelli!). The big difference is, though, that no one touched Polamalu while he was down. Perhaps I'm not interpreting the rules correctly, but I thought it was a catch.
Familiar sight. To stop the Colts offense, you must grab and hold the Colts receivers. This strategy was crafted and perfected by the New England Patriots. Both receivers and DBs were playing hand battles, so I have no problem with that. However, I think at least one pass interference call should've gone in the Colts' favor. It was either the one where Marvin Harrison was grabbed from behind, or the one where Marvin was knocked on his butt when the defensive back didn't even bother to make a play on the ball. The latter was especially obvious, in my humble opinion.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
It was none other than America's favorite fast food clown, Ronald McDonald. And he wanted to discuss the current situation with the Burger King with yours truly. It's a little known fact that Ronald and the King played college ball together at Corporate Mascot University back in the day. And boy, did he have some unflattering words to say about the NFL's favorite burger boy. The following is a transcript of our conversation.
"I sure have to say that 'I'm loving it!' It being the fact that the entire world now knows how big an asshole BK really is. When we were freshmen at the U, he threw a shit fit to [Head Coach] Dave Thomas about how he should be playing QB instead of me. He got to summer camp the first day and threatened to transfer. I graciously switched to WR just so we wouldn't have a huge problem and lose one of the cornerstones of our recruiting class. Coach took care of me for my troubles by making sure I still got throwing in during practice and by instilling some trick plays where I'd be the one leading the arial assault. That seemed to make everything cool for a little while, BK and I even ended up rooming together during camp and seemed to hit it off pretty well. And its not like I didn't get my touches (McDonald averaged 70 catches, 1100 yards and 15 touchdowns a season in his first three years of college), but that motherfucker always had to hog the glory and showboat.
I can remember a game against Boston College our sophomore year. On three straight passing plays, he didn't even bother to look my way. I had the fucking Taco Bell dog covering me one-on-one for Christ's sakes! I can outjump the little bastard, not to mention outrun him. What does BK do? Keeps the ball and runs twice and dumps off to [tight end] Mayor McCheese (who was only a Councilman at that point) in the flat. So we get back to the huddle and I calmly tell BK that I'm open. He tells me to shut the fuck up. It took [offensive linemen] Grimace and the Red Fry Guy to keep me from ripping his arms off Chewbacca-style. And then after the game, he nails Coach's daughter Wendy, the head cheerleader, in Coach's office after he left for the night. [defensive back] Hamburglar walked in on them when he was returning some game films. One of Coach's cardnal rules was hands off his daughter. Douchebag didn't care. He considered Coach a father, but that didn't matter. Coach never found out; nobody had the heart to tell him before he passed away.
So after our junior season, ass-doink waits until the last minute and declares for the draft after he told the rest of us he was coming back. How's that for some shit? We're 10-2 and coming off of a Fiesta Bowl win. We're the odds on favorite to take it all next year. He's the favorite to win the goddamn Heisman. But he hears the dollars calling. Coach doesn't freak like I thought he would. He called me after the press conference was over.
'Ronnie,' he said, 'I'm moving you back to quarterback. It's your team to lead now, son. Make me proud.'
Mission accomplished, baby! Undefeated season, National Championship, Heisman Trophy, #1 pick in the draft. Plus unlike BK, I didn't have to be switched to defense because I couldn't 'grasp the offense'. Know what that means? Asshole used the pages in his playbook for rolling and smoking doobies. People wonder why he's always smiling...motherfucker is stoned out of his gourd 24/7. What a waste of talent. Maybe Ray Lewis will stab the son of a bitch the next time they play and put America out of it's misery."
Harsh words from an honest man. I wonder if BK will have a response to these statements...
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
The Arizona Cardinals aren't budging, and say they expect the King's latest outburst to pass like his others.
"It's time to make it clear to the King that he can't always have it his way," team President and Chairman William Bidwill said. "He has to realize his special orders do upset us."
The brazen declaration from the King follows a tumultuous offseason full of controversy. He demanded a Whopper-sized contract as a free agent from Baltimore before settling on terms with Arizona. Baltimore decided not to designate him a franchise player, and even though his contract was signed, the King held out for more money during training camp with the Cardinals. That elicited a strong response from the team, which tried to void his contract. An NFL arbitrator intervened, ordering Arizona and the King to honor the contract. Begrudgingly, the King complied.
But media and team officials criticized BK for becoming too well acquainted with the Phoenix-area party scene. Kyle Orton-esque pictures of the King soon hit the internet, creating a media circus involving ESPN, Fox Sports, and the Burger King's corporate partners.
"Leave it up to our top free agent to land us in King-sized trouble," two-time MVP Kurt Warner quipped. "And we wanted to see him do some double-duty on offense."
Running back Edgerrin James, another key free agent acquisition for Arizona, took a different approach to the situation.
"You know, dawg, you just gotta do what you gotta do. You know, man? We just (unintelligible) (unintelligible) and (unintelligible). Then, dawg, they made me their chief. Screw Peyton," James told TFT in an exclusive interview.
The King, meanwhile, has been elusive throughout the affair. But reporters did manage to catch up with him at his Scottsdale-based resort castle. Out shooting some hoops, the King took a break to grab some chicken fries and answer some burning questions.
"I just feel like I've been deep-fried over this," BK said as he chewed a mouthful of chicken fries, washing them down with a King-sized Coke. "A man's gotta feed his family, you know?"
When a reporter pointed out that the King is a king, heir to the privileged Burger King family fortune of fast food and money, BK struggled to explain himself.
"Well, you know, I've worked hard all my life, from my cushy prep school all the way up to my Ivy League education," the King explained. "So I don't understand why everyone wants to try to take everything away from me."
His Coke empty, the King made a loud slurping sound as agent Drew Rosenhaus pulled up in his sports car.
"Hey, media types, get out of here! Can't you see my client is under duress!?" Rosenhaus exclaimed as he waded through a sea of reporters.
Taking a burger from the King's stack of double cheeseburgers, Rosenhaus loudly unwrapped the sandwich as reporters bombarded him with questions. The scene was familiar for football fans.
"Drew, will the King continue to play for the Cardinals?"
"Next question!" Rosenhaus replied.
"BK, what do you think of Arizona's new stadium?"
"King, do you have any plans to expand your dessert menu?"
"Next question! That's it, no more questions!" Rosenhaus screamed as he pushed photographers out of the way.
The King tried to calm down the reporters, but they continued bombarding him with asinine questions.
"Have it your way, bitch," the King exploded as he extended his right royal middle finger into the crowd before retreating into his castle. With the drawbridge slammed shut, reporters stared down a moat behind the basketball court.
A car door slammed as Rosenhaus revved the engine and sped off.
"Damn, I forget my siege tower," a reporter was heard saying.
The King's press agent released this statement about the encounter:
"The King sincerely apologizes to anyone he may have offended with his recent behavior. He looks forward to getting back onto the practice field soon, if Coach (Dennis) Green will allow it. This isolated incident has shamed his noble family."
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
An important, earth shattering date passed by without notice. Yes, TFT turned a year old last week (here's the very first post from Krildog). We've quasi-consistently updated the blog, with contributions from several different writers. It's funny to look back at some of the old posts; you should check out the archives if you get the chance.
I think Krildog has some sort of TFT Tribute in mind, so I hope I'm not stepping on his toes or going over his helmet by mentioning the anniversary. Just something noteworthy.
Okay, with that out of the way, it's time for my weekly Colts Report.
My observations for the game against Houston:
If at first Rhodes don't succeed, Addai, Addai again. Joseph Addai looked worthy of his first-round status after playing the Texans. The only unfortunate part of this is that he did it against the Texans. Still, Dominic Rhodes has done nothing this season to prove he's the answer at tailback. And since, going into the season, this was "his job to lose," I'd say he's lost it. Check out the numbers: Rhodes (30 carries, 66 yards, 2.2 AVG, 2 TD) and Addai (23 carries, 108 yards, 4.7 AVG). Addai is a patient runner who seems to have a good feel for the stretch play; Rhodes always wants to cut the ball upfield without really letting the play develop. On the other hand, Addai did fumble at the goal line (more on that later), but hey, that was one of Edge's favorite pastimes, so I won't begrudge him for that.
Dylan Gandy: a defense's best friend. Great hit by offensive lineman Dylan Gandy. The second-year guard tried to go all Reggie Bush by helping Addai get into the end zone against a gaggle of Houston defenders. Instead, the big guy managed to jar the ball loose. He put his helmet right on the pigskin, helping the Texans stop the Colts from scoring yet another touchdown.
Adam sits, Hunter kicks. Colts fans spotted an alarming sight when Adam Vinatieri found himself on the sidelines with a pulled groin. Hunter Smith tried to fill in, notching a couple of bad kickoffs and missing an extra point. To be fair, Hunter's not a placekicker any more. I hope the coaching staff just felt it wasn't worth the risk to put Vinatieri into the game since he was sore. I really hope it wasn't because his injury is worse than previously thought.
And where is the Freeney? He's at home, a-washin' his tights! Seriously, though, Dwight Freeney has been a non-factor so far for Indy. He'll get back on it. The worst part of this, however, was the casual mention Sunday that "Freeney is going to the locker room." No follow up on that. Apparently, he's got a "hip flexor or hamstring" injury. An MRI should provide a clearer picture.
With a special cameo appearance by Brandon Stokley! Brandon Stokley, all he does is catch touchdowns. Every reception he's made this year has been for a score! Oh wait...he's only caught one pass in two games. And after he reeled it in, he reinjured his already tender ankle. I'm not ragging on Stokes, I love him. Just unfortunate that he's been so banged up over the last couple seasons.
Ben, how many fingers am I holding up? Poor Ben Utecht got blasted after making a big catch for a first down. His helmet even got knocked off. He wasn't exactly sure which direction he was going, then got a crazy look in his eyes before signaling for the first down. That's tough. I don't think he came back into the game, thus opening up some playing time for Bryan "Fletch" Fletcher (a.k.a "Pollard Lite").
A passing phase. The Colts seem committed to passing the ball. Hey, look, Captain Obvious is in today. Peyton aired it out for 400 yards. He threw the ball 38 times. He had 41 attempts last week. Mark my words: if the Horseshoes don't settle into their running game, it's going to be a long season. And as much as Peyton has been scrambling around in the pocket this season so far, I'm hoping they'll commit more to the run. That actually won them a few games last year.
Sorgi sighting. Sadly, there was no Jim Sorgi sighting. Peyton played the whole game. He even took a knee to run out the clock. Is there a reason for the highest paid quarterback in the league to still be on the field with six minutes left when the game is clearly out of hand? Of course, I guess the counter-argument here is that the game was over after the first snap. That would then mean Sorgi should've come out on the first series.