Monday, October 23, 2006

NFL Week 7 Post-Script

With a day to think about it...

Matt Bryant's 62-yard kick was more impressive than previous 63-yarders. First, because he didn't kick with a performance-enhancing plate in his shoe, and second, because there was no way anyone saw TB beating Philly. I recognize those reasons are fairly flimsy. So the real reason I'm a fan is because it happened yesterday and anything that happens today is better than things that happened decades ago, right? Of course.

(Lawrence Tynes and Morten Andersen weren't kicking slouches, either.)

We'll all look back and realize that yesterday represented Michael Vick's biggest breakthrough game.

We'll all look back and realize that Ben Roethlisberger's career never got better than his second season. It just got much worse.

(And what a Super Bowl jinx for Matt Hasselbeck, too.)

So much for my attempt to be ahead of the curve in proclaiming the Panthers as the NFL's No. 2 team. I'm going to have to give this week's title to the Pats, almost by default. (The Colts? Save it.)

Leon Washington and Wali Lundy are just the latest examples of how the NFL Draft is a wildly inexact science.

The Texans might not crack your weekly rankings Top 20 just yet, but if you had to invest in a team's success over the next decade, I'll bet they would.

It wasn't Joey Harrington being Joey Harrington that cost the Dolphins the game; it was Harrington doing his best Favre impression that cost the Dolphins the game.

The Redskins' season is as good as over. Al Saunders was arguably Dan Snyder's biggest bust signing yet. Oh, and bench Mark Brunell.

It's time for the Broncos to start Jay Cutler.

Will critics demand we put an asterisk next to Shawne Merriman's "NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year" award?

Be honest: Who had the Jets at 4 wins... overall, let alone 4 wins by Week 7?

I wasn't one of those knee-jerk critics who thought Dennis Green should be fired after the Cards' MNF debacle. Losing to the lowly Raiders, however, is another story: That's a fireable offense; he's obviously lost this team.

MNF Preview: If Tony K. can't have the game of his season with T.O., Parcells and a huge intradivision matchup, maybe he SHOULD retire after this season.

Comments Question: What are your one-line thoughts about the NFL Week That Was?

-- D.S.


Christian Thoma said...

"it was Harrington doing his best Favre impression that cost the Dolphins the game."

Wow, one day you'll have to explain if Favre killed a favorite pet of yours or something. I know you're a blogger now and no longer have to worry about journalistic credibility, but hating without cause doesn't help people's opinion of you.

Steve said...

It doesn't matter where you put the colts now. They play at Denver and at New England the next 2 weeks. If they win those I'm sure you'll have them #1.

rukrusher said...

I am taking a little joy in the darkness that must be engulfing the Philly sport fan this morning. Have they accepted the fact that their boys have blown a two game lead in the division in two weeks time? The Flyers are so bad Bobby Clarke quit saying he was tired of doing the job and Hitchcock was fired because he is a fraud. Art Howe hired as the manager in waiting for the Phillies, that will reenergize the team, and the Sixers are so lost they failed to move Iverson while he still had value. The only bright spot is the South Jersey fan base is riding the Rutgers bandwagon.

About the only thing worse for Philly would be news that Ryan Howard shares a trainer with Shawn Merriman.

The Eagles will struggle to get to nine wins this year.

john (east lansing, mi) said...

dave - maybe that was the point. Ever think it was funny that one of the two guys to kick that far was swinging a club at the ball? Maybe it's not a disadvantage for kicking field goals.

Big D said...

Two thoughts.

First - No way in hell Jay Cutler should take the reigns in Denver (and I can't stand Jake Plummer). Again, much like Baltimore in '00, with a defense like that, all yu need is a moderately competent QB and you can roll. Denver just keeps winning - why change now?

And for a one-line thought: "Special Teams are Special for a reason".

Unknown said...

Quick thoughts:

Denver definately does not need to start Jay Cutler right now. Shanahan without a doubt knew they would win that game yesterday so he ran a high school offense. Let's wait until Jake Plummer kills the Broncos before we ship him out of Denver.

Second - nice props to the Texans Dan, probably easier to see the bright side of the Texans than to come out and openly admit that you're love affair with the Jaguars seems to have gone down the tubes. I haven't seen many MY JAGUARS posts recently from you - I'm just waiting for the MY VIKINGS, or MY PATRIOTS posts next week in the predictions.

CMFost said...

The Patriots and I am a Patriots fan are not the #2 team in Football. I would rank them:

1 - Chicago
2 - Denver
3 - Indy
4 - Patriots

I can not rate them above a team they lost to at home and an undeafeated team until the colts lose.

Christian Thoma said...

BTW, I think Arizona should wait another week before firing Green. You know, give him some more time, and if things look bad, fire him during the bye week.

Please note that this comment is in no related to the fact that Arizona plays at Green Bay this Sunday. Uh-uh. Not a chance.

Jake C said...

Matt Bryant in high temps, with humidity near 100% (making the air heavier) with the game on the line, from 62 yards = best clutch kick ever!

Tonight = Monday night game of the year

Brien said...

Have they accepted the fact that their boys have blown a two game lead in the division in two weeks time?

I've accepted it ... but I wouldn't say that someone kicking a 62-yard FG (which happens every 20 years or so) is "choking". I mean, if you're coaching any team, and the other team lines up for a 62-yarder ... you're probably feeling pretty good about winning.

Getting beat by a 10,000-to-1 kick is not choking.


Christian Thoma said...

Tonight = Monday night game of the year

Are you high? The only way tonight's game could top last week's is if TO starts playing for the Giants mid-game.

Big D said...

Uh, Aaron...

Broncos lost Week 1. Rams. FG battle...

Don't let facts get in the way of the argument. Even though I agree - the Broncos are a better team right now.

Gary said...

The Pats may in fact be the second best team in the league, but it's hard to rank them second based on the schedule they've played and the loss they've had.

The Patriots get to prove their mettle in the next few weeks, and I think they will, by then, we can start changing these ranking

chipp said...

Not bench Plummer?!?! I'm not a big fan of rookie QBs, but Yahoo! doesn't list Plummer on the QB Rating because it only shows the top 31 - hmmm. As for Denver's D, it's marginal. They haven't given up many points, but they've also played the 9, 20, 10, 22, 32, & 26 P/G offenses. Denver is current 31st in P/G. Write back in 4 weeks after they play 5, 8, 32, & 2.

TBender said...

Dan, are you insinuating that Dempsey's shoe is on the same level as as steroids? The only time "performance enhancing" is used in to describe steroids, HGH, etc. Kind of a low blow to a man born with a clubbed foot, dontcha think?

(And Elam's 63-yarder was with a "normal" shoe.)

MJL said...

"I know you're a blogger now and no longer have to worry about journalistic credibility, but hating without cause doesn't help people's opinion of you."

Um, have you paid attention to Brett Favre's performance since Week One of last year? I'd say his 34 interceptions is pretty good cause for "hating."

Unknown said...

Did someone actually write that the 62 yarder to win the game for the Bucs yesterday was the greatest clutch kick ever?

Really in a regular season game?

How about Adam Vinatieri in a driving snow storm to send the Patriots towards the 1st of three Super Bowls?

How about that same kicker knocking one in to pull off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history?

Let's not overreact to this 62 yard field goal. Was it awesome? Yes, was it the best clutch kick ever? No way.

jhawkjjm said... idea what point you are trying to make, but Roy Williams at Kansas made 4 or 5 final fours in his 15 years. That's pretty darn good. Yes he had some teams that were #1 overall and didn't make it to the sweet sixteen. (Harrick's Rhode Island and Arizona's run of knocking off 3 #1s on the way to the title)

And Dan's not alone in loving Duke losing. MANY people do. Duke is like ND, you either love them or hate them. Which obviously you hate based on your remarks.

Pat's can't be the #2 team this week. Colts and Broncos have to be in front of them. Broncos may not be able to score, but they can stop the other team from scoring and that covers up their pathetic offense under Plummer.

rafael said...

*shakes head*
Too much Big Ben hatin'! This year has been rough, to be sure.
Hardly bad enough to write an epitaph though.
Big Ben will lead the Steelers to #6 within the next 3 years.

I will give props to Vick though...true, he had a very short field 3 times, but his passes were money. Too bad he can only do this once a year.

Dan Shanoff said...

Just a question to clarify: Did Jason Elam's 63-yard kick come at Denver elevation? I don't know, but I figured one of you might know.

Big D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Big D said...

Hasslebeck's out a month. Grade 2 MCL sprain.

Let's play the "win one, lose one" game.

Seattle loses @ KC, wins vs. Oakland, loses vs. Rams, wins @ SF.

Seneca Wallace is not beating the Chiefs in KC or the Rams, period. And if Hasslebeck's not 100% for SF, that game will be close.

Brian in Oxford said...

"Tom Dempsey's 63-yard field goal was equaled in October 1998 by Jason Elam of the Denver Broncos in a victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Mile High Stadium. Kicks generally carry farther in the rarefied Denver air if all other conditions are equal, but a 63-yard field goal is remarkable at any altitude."

Christian Thoma said...

Um, have you paid attention to Brett Favre's performance since Week One of last year? I'd say his 34 interceptions is pretty good cause for "hating."

I've paid closer attention than anyone who's not a coach for the Packers. And to somehow intimate that what Harrington did yesterday was more Favre-esque than Harrington-esque suggests someone who has watched neither QB play.

rukrusher said...

I would still go with the Vinateri Kick, that was just jaw dropping good. The reason the over 60 yard kicks are not clutch per se is the fact that no expects him to make it so their is little down side. Even the Vinateri kick had some built in excuses, thats why Vanderjat's miss last year was so bad, he failed to come through in a pressure situation on a kick he has hit many times in the past, if he hits that kick it is just as clutch as any other big kick.

Anonymous said...

Bengals stop the bleeding and are only getting healthier. (Finally) solid o-line + #3 TD-threat-machine Chris Henry + the long(ish) ball + waitthebengalsplaydefensetoo? = look out NFL...

Big D said...

So Hasslebeck's got a Grade 2 MCL Sprain, and Big Ben has a concussion (talk about an unlucky streak...)

Hasslebeck's out a month (at best). Big Ben is questionable for next week.

Let me be the first to say it - there is NO reason Roethlisberger should play next week. It's the Freakin' Raiders. If they can't beat the Raiders with their defense alone, they have bigger problems than Big Ben.

Charlie Batch will be fine. He'll throw for about 240, 2 TDs and a pick. And he'll cement himself to earn a fat new contact starting somewhere next year.

Like, say, for the Raiders.

Kevin said...

Look at Favre's stats this year. He has thrown fewer inteceptions than half the quarterbacks that have played all season, while throwing more attempts than most. 2 of his 5 interceptions were balls tipped up into the air by his inexperienced receivers - not Favre's fault. Give Favre credit for changing his game from last year and keeping the Packers in competition every game after week 1.

jhawkjjm said...

startvinceyoung- ok I gotchya and understand now.

Also, Simmons wasn't directly attacking Dan. Dan is not the only person who uses the "instant history" schtick. A lot of sports people throw around the "Best ever", "Greatest Ever" labels way too often. Actually I'd argue that Dan is different from everyone else doing this because Dan acknowledge's it completely and uses it as "his style" of things.

Anonymous said...

As far as good kicks go...

Yeah Vinatieri's kicks were clutch but the reality is they were from 45 (in the snow to tie playoff game), 28 (in the snow to win playoff game), 48 (to win superbowl but in a dome), and 41 (to win super bowl in a dome). That's CLUTCH but not the same as back up an extra 15.

Tom Dempsey's 63 yarder was incredible, but the reality is that it's unfair. A rule was passed after that kick making the "steel hammer shoe" illegal. I'm sure kickers could kick longer field goals if they had steel plates in their shoes, that's why the NFL made it ILLEGAL.

The Jason Elam 63 was at altitude so knock it down the general 6 yard difference for kicks in Mile High and it's only 57. And, don't forget, that this was before HALFTIME, not like all the others in discussion, to win a game.

So, I'd say that Matt Bryant's 62 is the best ever here are the reasons in short.

Bryant 62 - career long was 50 at the time, to win game, 100 degrees, crazy humidity maing the ball softer and therefore doesn't go as far

Dempsey 63 - used the currently illegal "steel hammer shoe"

Vinatieri's numerous - not the same distance

Elam 63 - at altitude, not game winning

I hope you have enjoyed my coverage of the great kicks in NFL history.

Christian Thoma said...


I'd say that Dan uses it as a starting point for discussion; say that Event X is Greatest. Event. Ever. and then the masses respond with Well, Event V has to be considered better, and don't forget Event J, etc.

I think Bill's main problem is with columnists who don't have discussions. They just declare something as Greatest Event Ever and the readership is just supposed to nod like sheep. I think the reason Bill wasn't fond of the DQ was because he didn't taken into consideration the MQ, which was pretty much a discussion/response to the DQ. If you look at the DQ in a vacuum, Dan was guilty of the same crime as the columnists. If you look at it as part of the whole Quickie Experience, than Dan shouldn't be offended by Bill's comments because he's not really the target.

Anonymous said...

i think i've read everything sports guys written and i don't know what this is in reference to... "I think the reason Bill wasn't fond of the DQ was...."

when did bill say he wasn't fond of the DQ?

is there a quote?

Christian Thoma said...

Not anymore. It was in a Chat Bill did a few weeks ago, but the comment re: the Quickie (something along the lines of 'wished he worked as hard on that as he did the blog') was eliminated from the Chat Wrap.

If you go through Dan's archives, though, you should be able to find it.

TJ said...

But Adam V kicked his in horrible weather with everything on the line.

Bryant kicked his for a team already out of the playoff race in a situation that was considered a loss already--he really shouldn't have had any stress since there was no reason for anyone to expect him to make it. It was really just a fun surprise that it went in.

Anonymous said...

@ Troy:

yeah, it was a fun surprise...

...unnnnless you're an Eagles fan.

TJ said...

This is true. But then, it was really funny for non-Eagles fans because all the people in green at the stadium looked really obnoxious on TV after that 50-yard touchdown and then had these looks of pure "you have got to be shitting me" after the field goal went in. Just fun times (for non-Eagles fans).

jhawkjjm said...

chrth- Completely agree and you probably said it better than I did. Dan has used "instant history" and "greatest.ever." to generate arguements. IMO, he embraces it to get the conversation started. It's become his style to get the conversation started. I can't speak for Dan, but I believe that Dan's purpose has always been to get people talking and debating everything. That's why the MQ was fantastic.

It's a trend nowadays to say what is happening now is the "greatest ever". The USC football team...uhm..they lost. The NY Yankees 2006 playoff lineup..uhm.. nope. It's become the "cool" way to make what is happening now interesting so people will pay attention and to add hype to something. And Simmons calls them on it in his article, that's it.

Anonymous said...


Yeah, i was in a bar watching the games when it happened. After the touchdown, all the Eagles fans (and man, there were TONS. There are more Eagles and Bears fans than any of the NY teams) started the "E-A-G-L-E-S, EAGLES" cheer. Everyone was jumping around and giving high fives...and then the tension started rising when the Bucs drove, and no one said a word when they lined up to kick. Then it went in. Total quiet. Total shock.

Until some Steelers fan in the back started laughing.

Honestly, great times.

chipp said...

Should a kick being "clutch" require that if you miss you lose? Adam V's kick in the tuck game tied it in regulation - clutch. The OT kick could be considered clutch given the likely ramifications of missing. However all of his Superbowl kicks were with the score tied. At worst they go to OT. Should those be considered clutch?

Marcus T said...

Vick? Breakout game? Yea, keep dreaming moron. 60% completion, decent, but better than his normal. 2 INT's, both completely his fault. What's so special? Doesn't this debate happen once a year, Vick has a stand out game and everyone claims "He's figured it out!" then he resumes being a horrible QB again.

I watched that game, if the Steelers don't cough it up inside their own 30 3 times the Falcons are NEVER in that game. When a drive started in Steeler territory, they were ok, but when they had to go any kind of distance he was his old self.

LT had 4 TD's last week, yes, he is great, but he didn't have a great rushing week. They just decided to give him the ball at the 1yd line 4 times instead of pass to Gates once or twice. TD's as a "stat" are meaningless, it all depends on who is the coaches pet when the ball gets inside the 20.

Kurt said...

Way to go Dan, 3-10 on the week and a good way to end it with you getting the Giants game wrong because you still think they are the 16th best team in the league. It's okay, i'd rather the Patriots succumb to the Shanoff curse.

Spencer said...

i don't know if T.O. knows what the phrase "like I said" means. he must have said it 20 times in his post-game interview, without actually repeating himself at all.

adnteh said...

spencer: I noticed that too. I haven't actually listened to TO for that long before. Does anyone know if that's one of his habits? What a weird guy...