Monday, January 08, 2007

Monday 01/08 A.M. Quickie:
NFL Playoffs, BCS Title Game, More

Tracking this morning:

*Chargers-Pats: De facto SBXLI?
*Eagles-Saints: Who to root against?
*Giants: What next? (Fire/Hire)
*Is Petrino the new Saban?
*BCS Title Game: Gameday ramp-up

Remember when the NFC title game used to be the de facto Super Bowl? Who else suspects that the same will apply to next week's Pats-Chargers winner?

If any team can derail the Chargers – even in San Diego – it's New England. Watch for Belichick to pull some of his classic Jedi Mind Trick stuff and use the Chargers' strength – LT – against them. What could be more motivating for the Genius than the challenge of stopping the player who just had arguably the greatest single individual season in NFL history?

As for the other AFC semifinal, I have zero faith in the Ravens. I also have zero faith in the Colts. However, I think this is the year that the teams who had zero expectations (like Indy and Philly) will ultimately succeed where they have previously failed with far stronger teams and greater expectations. It's just the ironic way this shit inevitably works out sometimes.

Eagles bounce out the Giants: Tony Romo could take a lesson from Koy Detmer about how to field (and hold onto) a snap on a game-winning playoff field goal. The Eagles' surreal season, mercifully, continues. The Giants surreal season, mercifully, ends.

I'm baffled by the Eagles-Saints matchup next week. Obviously, this season's Saints are the NFL Feel-Good Story of the Year (if not of all time). No one with a soul wants to see the ride end next week in New Orleans (improbable as this entire game set-up seemed four months ago). But these Eagles are riding some serious mojo. No one with a soul doesn't want to see the city implode when Jeff Garcia (and, notably, NOT Donovan McNabb) leads the team to a Super Bowl.

As for the other NFC semifinal, the Bears are going to cram some ugly down the throat of the defending NFC champs, clubbing the crown from the Seahawks' head (no matter how bad Rex Grossman might look while doing it).

Meanwhile, what about this past weekend's playoff losers?
What next for the Giants?
Let's start with this: They have GOT to dump Tom Coughlin as coach, and their best move would be to make a strong play to lure Charlie Weis away from Notre Dame. (And, based on last week's bowl result and the prospects of NEVER truly being a national-title contender at ND, he should be amenable.)

And good riddance to retiring GM Ernie Accorsi, who was so blinded by his lifelong man-crush on Johnny Unitas that, in his final act, he ruined the franchise by developing a myopia for Eli Manning that has turned his team into a Super Bowl contender. (Too bad I'm talking about the team that originally drafted him – San Diego.)

What next for the Jets? I'd like to buy stock in Eric Mangini, if his rookie season resulted in a playoff run. The Jets are on the rise, the Pats are static (at best) and the rest of the division is a disaster. Not a bad position for Mangini to be in.

Falcons hire Bobby Petrino from Louisville: Wow, I didn't see this coming at all. Here's my intrigue. Based on the way Nick Saban was vilified last week, what kind of treatment will Petrino get?

After all, he's bolting from Louisville just one year after signing a 10-year, $25 million contract, which strikes me as at least as skeevy as what Saban did (whether Petrino ever made any claims or not).

I honestly wonder if there's a perception difference between bolting from the NFL to college (Saban) and bolting from college to the NFL (Petrino), with the Petrino spin being "Can you blame him? The NFL jobs are SO much rarer than the college jobs" rather than "He made a prominent commitment for 10 years but only stuck it out for one, the rat bastard."

Anyway, if the Falcons wanted an innovative offensive mind to re-invent Michael Vick's career, they found it. Petrino is the top offensive mind in college football (and, perhaps, all of football). I presume that during the interview, he blew owner Blank and GM McKay away with the ways he'd innovatively use Vick.

(As for Louisville's future? In hindsight, this year's BCS appearance and Big East title might look like the high-water mark for a program that, as recently as a week ago, figured it was on the way to a permanent spot among college football's elite. What a reversal. And compare Petrino bolting to Louisville's two main Big East Rivals:

Rich Rodriguez spurned Alabama to stay at West Virginia (for now), and Greg Schiano turned down Miami to stay at Rutgers. Both of those programs seem to be where Louisville was a year ago: Seemingly on the rise with a firm grasp on their sizzling hot head coaches. See how quickly things can change?

College Hoops: Who's No. 1? Who cares? UNC beat FSU last night, which should lift them directly up from No. 2 to the No. 1 spot. I'm still not convinced that UNC is better than Florida, given the evidence of their head-to-head games versus Ohio State: UNC barely survived (at home, with the Buckeyes playing without Greg Oden), and the Gators won by 26 (at home, with the Buckeyes playing with Oden). Doesn't anyone else think that UNC is a little young to be No. 1? But in this wacky season of more parity (certainly earlier) than I can ever remember, No. 1 doesn't mean much. (Latest Parity Watch: Syracuse beats Marquette.)

Congrats to Cal Tech, which snapped an 11-year, 207-game losing streak in Division 3 hoops by absolutely destroying Bard (NY) College, 81-52. Where the hell did THAT rout come from, and how bad must Bard be?

MLB Hot Stove: Randy Johnson agrees to 2Y/$26M deal with the D'backs. Let's get to the trade already, so we can start the feverish speculation of when the Yankees will sign Roger Clemens.

From today's USA Today Sports Media column: ESPNU is going to use my former ESPN.com colleague Bill Simmons as a guest-commentator on two college hoops games in the next two weeks. Very interesting!

I'm curious about the depth of his role in the broadcast. And is this a signal that BSG will become the Tony Kornheiser of ESPNU college hoops broadcasts?

Maybe they will add him to the College GameDay mix (though I can't imagine that Bilas, Digger or Rece would appreciate that Bill would be a bigger on-campus star than any of them)?

And will they ever let Bill crash an NBA telecast on ESPN, where he would REALLY add some value?

BCS Title Game Preview: Game Day! Full post coming around midday, where we can have it out over our pre-game analysis for the rest of the day. Here's a great recap of the improbability of Florida's place in this title game from the NYT's Pete Thamel (for my money, the best college football newspaper writer in the country)

Consider the way the Gators defy conventional wisdom about what makes a CFB champ contender: (1) No reliable true RB, (2) atrocious kicking game, (3) second-to-last in yards penalized, (4) top NFL prospect kicked off the team mid-season.

-- D.S.

84 comments:

CMFost said...

Dan, I think you are going a little far by saying the Pats/Chargers is the defacto Super Bowl. If the chargers win you still have the schotteinheimer factor for the AFC Championship game and let us not forget that the Raven are one of 2 teams to have beaten the Chargers this year.

As for Petrino I am not sure there is going to be mush outrage against what you heard from the Saban signing. Petrino is taking the oppportunity to coach at the highest level of the game where as Saban is taking a step back. And as for Vick he will be an Oakland Raider next year and Matt Schaub who better fits Petrino's offence will be the starter. Watch for the Flacons to take on of there picks and Vick and trade it to the Raiders for the #1 overall pick.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

Petrino will go 8-8 next year, if that and will force management to trade Vick so that a true Petrino-style QB (Matt Schaub) can play. In the words of Walter Sobchak..."Mark it 8 dude."

I have been praying to God every night that Charlie Weis leave Notre Dame. And as all of you know, I hate Notre Dame. I can't think of any other thing that can happen that would make all of my friends cry like women.

Mikepcfl said...

I was 14 when the Colts left Baltimore, there are many fans who see Sunday's game as the ultimate grudge match. The only thing that will satisfy me is a decapitated Peyton Manning. That should make things equal.

CMFost said...

Just a review of the weekend in my eyes through studs and duds:

Studs
Patriots - Probably the most impressive victory of the 4 teams
Colts - Offense looked a little shaky at times but the Defense played out of this world for them and will need to do it again to beat Baltimore
Ty Law - Does he give Peyton Manning nightmares???
Vince Wilfork - Helps the patriots stuff the run and make a heads of gaming changing play on the fumble
David Akers - Kicks gaming winning kick
Kansas City Defense - Considering how many time the colst had the ball they should given up 50 points

Duds -
Kansas City Offense and Coaching - not sure if it is that there offense was that bad or there game plan that too was predictible
Tony Romo - do I have to say it.
Chad Pennington - 300 yards but he was the cause of 2 costly Turnovers that turn in to 10 patriots points.
Peyton Manning - 3 int's good thing his defense bailed him out for once.
KC Kicker - How do you miss that short of a field goal???

Mikepcfl said...

My main point is that Manning will face a crowd more hostile than any he faced in his losses at New England. The noise will be unmatched and hopefully the Ravens D will feed off that crowd emotion to pound Manning into the ground.

mattie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mattie said...

Pats/Chargers = de facto Super Bowl? Glad to see no one's learned anything from St. Louis' World Series win. The idea that the AFC's dominance during the season means the best NFC team can't beat the best AFC in one game is fairly ridiculous. As is the idea that the winner of the Chargers/Pats game is definitely going to the Superbowl anyway.

Eagles/Saints While it would be funny to see Philly deal with the McNabb-Garcia fallout, I don't quite think that's worth losing the best story of the year (and frankly, in quite some time) in the Saints.

The Jets I'll take that Mangini stock. What a year!

Simmons I'm a big, long-time fan of his stuff, and totally agreed with your 2007 prediction that he's primed to bounce from the WWL. So maybe this is ESPN's way of throwing him some bones to keep him happy. BUT...come on, ANYONE who's EVER listened to him on radio or TV knows he just doesn't have the voice for it. It's like saying that people have a "face for radio" -- he's got a voice for writing. No matter how good he may or may not be content-wise (and even that's something of a crap shoot if he's working live since he doesn't have this kind of game experience), the people who were driven crazy by Bryant Gumble's nasal tones on the NFL Network may have seizures listening to Simmons. This ought to be interesting, at least.

Todd said...

What's the point of coaching contracts if they mean exactly nothing? Why don't teams put huge buyout clauses in, e.g. sure you can leave 1 year into a 10 year contract but you (or your new team) are going to have to pay us $20 mil to do it? I also don't buy the NFL being that much more prestigious than college, given that the top college coaches are earning more than some NFL coaches, and apparently $ = prestige nowadays.

Jon said...

Simmons doing college basketball? Obviously the ESPN brains don't read his articles that closely. Fortunately for me I don't get ESPNU.

Do you think Petrino will take Brohm if he's available when the Falcons are picking in the 2nd round? Then the Falcons could trade Schaub for another decent draft pick and have another mediocre finish so that they can trade Vick next season.

Anonymous said...

So are the Patriots Dan's NFL team? afterall 4 of our 6 WRs went to Florida.

I do have to agree though, the winner of the Patriots/Chargers game will probably win the Super Bowl thus making the game the defacto Super Bowl.

As for the schottenheimer factor? Wont matter because New England will eat Rivers alive just as BElichick usually does with young QBs.

New England 27 San Diego 17

Jon said...

SD-NE de facto Super Bowl? After this round of the games will we have a new de facto Super Bowl: Baltimore vs. SD/NE winner?

isbtown said...

Wow, i can't believe that you didn't just rip into the Chiefs for their incredibly inept performance on Saturday.

CMFost said...

isb - Chiefs offense and coaching was pathetic there defense considering how much they were on the filed played a very good game.

Anonymous said...

The difference between Saban and Petrino, is that although 7 months ago Petrino said he was at Louisville for the long haul, Petrino didn't deny that he was going to the Falcons for the two weeks leading up to the contract's being signed.
This mainly has to do with the fact that Petrino was not hounded about this issue as Saban was. The Falcons were able to keep their pursuit of him on the down low whereas the Alabama boosters would run to reporters like junior high school girls everytime Saban's name was mentioned, thus putting Saban in a position where he really had no choice but to lie.
People really weren't that upset with Saban's leaving--it was the way he left and the fact that he lied through his teeth for two weeks and lectured the media about irresponsibility while doing so.

Anonymous said...

How about Bill's shove of the cameraman so he could give Mangini a half hearted hug. That was comedy right there.

I love the Falcons hire of Petrino. They actually have a round peg round hole now instead of a square peg (Vick) round hole (Knapp's offense)

Big D said...

Was at the Pats game yesterday (picked a good day to go to Gillette for the first time)

Let me say that there was no point at which the game felt like it was that close. Even midway through the third, when it was still a 1-score game, it just felt like the Pats could stop anything the Jets through at them.

As for next week, I'm happy that the Pats get the first crack at Philip Rivers, before he can get the playoff jitters out of the way and find a groove. Should be a helluva game.


And my $0.02 on Simmons... ESPN is prepping him to put him on MNF to replace Kornheiser. That's the only way they re-sign BS to a new contract. Otherwise, he either goes independant (unlikely) or shifts to SI.com / FoxSports.com.

WeJamEcono said...

Simmons is not big enough for MNF. Kimmel maybe, but not Simmons. He needs a little more exposure.

Shanoff - you need to do some college basketball. Can we get a "GREATEST! SHOT! EVER!" from you? in a good way of couse.

Daddy Rosee said...

Big D, even when the Jets took a 10-7 lead you didn't feel it was close?

I hate all you fucking massholes

Big D said...

Nope.

Of course, I was in the can and missed the play, but by the time I got back from the ridiculous lines, it was 10-10 and all was right with the world.


By the way, This might be the most accurate representation of the Tony Romo incident I've seen yet.

paul.j.stevens said...

DAN: Get over your UF infatuation. Didn't UNC just BEAT FSU which had BEAT UF by 4? Carolina won at home by *26*. Carolina is young but still have good Sophs, and the token scatter brained Senior (Terry) to give any team nightmares. They can run a full 2 teams with all the talent they have and the only player you look at and say "Why is he out there?" Is Wes Miller who is still a solid player... if not out matched against bigger quicker guards. Get off the jock of UF's team.

CMFost said...

BIG D- I somewhat agree with you the point of the game when I felt it was over and the Jets had no chance was that long time consuming TD drive the Patriots had to end the half.

After that it was just like a typical Patriots game, they let you move the ball a little bit then once you get close to scoring they shut you down.

Anonymous said...

The Patriots won't be static at best, they have 2 first round picks and will be active in the free agent market. They are head and shoulders above the Jets, Bills and Fins and will be for a few more seasons.
The Patriots under Belichick are
7-2 against MVP's.They will contain LT and beat the Chargers 27-17 and then take on Peyton or Ray-Ray on the 21st.

Brian in Oxford said...

Please, no Simmons voice....I think it would be better to utilize him to type stuff in a crawl along the bottom of the screen while the game's going on.

How will Marty deal with the pressure of being 14-2 and having to match up with Belichick. You'd have to think it'll be in his head....if he can somehow just say "fuck it" as he has all season and just turn them loose, his team could actually prevail on talent.

Gotta feel good for Donte Stallworth....gets sent out of NO, misses out on their rising...thinks he's going to a contender that looked close to in the tank with a month left, only to come back from the dead themselves.

And why don't these "contracts" coaches sign contain lock-in clauses? It sounds like there are coaches' "options" from year-to-year that let them break the contracts and go elsewhere.

CMFost said...

I am just thankful I do not get ESPNU that way I do not have to listen to him. It is bad enough when he makes an appreance on ESPN890 in boston.

CMFost said...

I have a question for everyone since I have not heard but does anyone know how badly Shawn Alexander was hurt at the end of the game Saturday. Looked to me as he was limping off the field after the run that basically sealed the game that he hurt the foot he broke earlier in the season.

ndyanksfan05 said...

You are an idiot - you still have not explained why Weis will NEVER contend for a NC? Because he has two top ten recruiting classes in a row? Because he took his team to two consecutive BCS games? Here is a break down of the previous ND coaches and their performances after two years compared to the previouse two years:

Ara

First two: 16-3-1, + 407
Prior two: 7-12, -85
Change: +9 games, +492 points

Devine

First two: 17-6, + 236
Prior two: 21-2, + 464
Change: -4 games, -228 points

Faust

First two: 11-10-1, +104 points
Prior two: 16-6-1, + 166 points
Change: -5 games, -62 points

Holtz

First two: 13-10, + 201
Prior two: 12-11, +66
Change: +1 games, +135 points

Davie

First two: 16-9, +97
Prior two: 17-6, +371
Change: -2 games, -274 points

Willingham

First two: 15-10, +1
Prior two: 14-9, +85
Change: 0 games, -84 points

Weis

First two: 19-6, +239 points
Prior two: 11-13, -72 points
Change: +7.5 games, +311 points


So the guys who could contend had equal or less imrpovement. So again, provide a logical argument why Weis can't contend? He had inferior talent (due to poor recruiting prior to his arrival) and took those teams beyond where they should have been. Now he has recruited extremely well, has proven he can coach, and gets the benefit of the doubt in the polls (justly or unjustly, but its still there). So, what are you talking about? And there is pretty much a zero percent chance Weis leaves to go to the Giants - look for Cower to go there before Weis.

ndyanksfan05 said...

You are an idiot - you still have not explained why Weis will NEVER contend for a NC? Because he has two top ten recruiting classes in a row? Because he took his team to two consecutive BCS games? Here is a break down of the previous ND coaches and their performances after two years compared to the previouse two years:

Ara

First two: 16-3-1, + 407
Prior two: 7-12, -85
Change: +9 games, +492 points

Devine

First two: 17-6, + 236
Prior two: 21-2, + 464
Change: -4 games, -228 points

Faust

First two: 11-10-1, +104 points
Prior two: 16-6-1, + 166 points
Change: -5 games, -62 points

Holtz

First two: 13-10, + 201
Prior two: 12-11, +66
Change: +1 games, +135 points

Davie

First two: 16-9, +97
Prior two: 17-6, +371
Change: -2 games, -274 points

Willingham

First two: 15-10, +1
Prior two: 14-9, +85
Change: 0 games, -84 points

Weis

First two: 19-6, +239 points
Prior two: 11-13, -72 points
Change: +7.5 games, +311 points


So the guys who could contend had equal or less imrpovement. So again, provide a logical argument why Weis can't contend? He had inferior talent (due to poor recruiting prior to his arrival) and took those teams beyond where they should have been. Now he has recruited extremely well, has proven he can coach, and gets the benefit of the doubt in the polls (justly or unjustly, but its still there). So, what are you talking about? And there is pretty much a zero percent chance Weis leaves to go to the Giants - look for Cower to go there before Weis.

CMFost said...

NDYANKFAN - let's be realistic Notre Dame made the BCS Bowls the last 2 years more based on there name then how good the teams is and it was proven out by the final score of the games. So well Weis may be better then the previous coaches it still is the same Notre Dame - OVERRATED.

Now can we move on to relevant sports topics like the NFL Playoffs and The NC Game tonight.

Cycledan said...

CFB Quickie Reader's group

I am currently 14th but if Ohio State wins, then I move up to 6th due to having more points on the game tonight than others. I went with a Big East heavy selection which of course panned out. Only one guy with more max points had picked Florida tonight.

Big D said...

ndyanksfan, first of all, you're throwing too many big stats at me. Okay, now because I don't understand them, I'm gonna take them as disrespect...


And Brian, that's a good question on the coaches' contracts... I know Weis would have to pay back a big chunk of his salary/bonus if he breaks the contract, but it seems like other people can just leave if they feel like it.

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

I just noticed Dan's post from yesterday were he asked what position does OSU have a considerable advantage and he mentioned QB. Dan you do realize that Troy Smith may be one of the best big game QBs in college football history and that the Leak/Teabow combination is not going to cut it. If all things are equal in this game then it comes down to the QBs and that is were tOSU has a huge advantage over the Gators.

rafael said...

UNC is too young to #1? Last year, weren't you slobbering over the fact that youth beats experience? (or was that just because it was Florida's youth?)

I think the Petrino hire is a bust if he sticks with Vick. And there won't be as much outrage over Petrino because he is already a documented douchebag.

Belichick will scheme and plot and plan .... and ultimately watch LDT destroy his defense.

rafael said...

PET PEEVE TIME

I know women's basketball doesn't really exist. But I can't help but get seriously annoyed when a women's basketball player "dunks" and is turned into national news.
ie: Tennessee win highlighted by dunk, etc.
Cmon, we know they aren't dunks.
and even if they were...so what!? the dunk is the easiest 2 pts in basketball.

/rant over

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

Rafael of course Dan neglects to mention UF's youth from last year. Remember he hates all things ACC especially UNC and Duke.

Brian in Oxford said...

Did you see the guy who's in first overall in the Bowlmania has 500 points and an insurmountable lead. He's got an 11 point lead and 2nd place has the opposite team but only 10 points more to earn. 28 and 3?! sheesh!

Best I can do is 2nd place, just in Dan's group. Dan, what are you giving out for the first prize in the group, anyways?

Sheldiz said...

Pat/Chargers defacto super bowl? That's bullshit. Maybe MAYBE the winner of AFC Championship could be considered the de facto super bowl winner... but even that i don't know that i can buy. I mean, i know i'm a Ravens fan so i'm a little biased... but what have the Ravens done this season to give you so little faith in them? Or, more to the point, what have the Patriots done to give you MORE faith? No disrespect to the Pats, Colts, or Chargers -- just saying i think calling the Pats/Chargers game the de facto super bowl jumps the gun a little.

CMFost said...

Does anyone else feel like FOX screwed up the scheduling of the National Chapionship Game? This game should of been played before the NFL Playoffs Started. To me it seems like wow there still a college game to play, I thought the bowl season was over.

nep1293 said...

Speaking as a Pats fan, I am terrified of San Diego. The Pats aren't very good this year. If every team in the NFL wasn't mediocre New England would've been 9-7 this year. San Diego is the only legitimate team in the league. With all that being said, Brady vs Rivers and Belichick vs Marty.... but with those 2 aspects involved New England has a great shot. I do think San Diego wins this game though. I think Tomlinson will be held to fairly modest numbers (at least for him) maybe 100 and a TD, but I think the San Diego pass rush gets to Brady and forces him into some INT's....My rooting interest sucks here, love the Pats but I bet San Diego 30:1 to win the Super Bowl pre-season

Other Quick Picks
Chicago beats up Seattle
Eagles win a nail biter
Ravens make Peyton cry (or bitch out his team)

Brave Sir Robin said...

NDFan,
The only problem is, ND lost a lot of recruits when Willingham was canned (which I still maintain was racist). A good example of this is Lawrence Wilson on OSU. He was committed to ND but switched after the firing. And he's playing regularly on a team that's 10x's better than ND. That's why the recruiting was "bad."

I mean, to really rip on Willingham's recruiting, you'd have to admit that Quinn sucks (which he does BTW. Biggest future NFL bust coming out of college this year) as well as a couple of the other players that get national headlines.

Weis won't ever come close to a national championship. He may get into the game at some point because of ND's BCS bump, but ND will be run off the field by whomever they play.

Also, I really wish that ND would put their newest "NCAA Record" of 9 straight bowl losses on their recruiting material. If they did that, put it on all of their material involving their football team that lists their accomplishments, I would root for ND for an entire season. Not even kidding.

Darth Bubbster said...

Dan -- I was getting ready to rant on your UF homerism -- comparing the UNC and UF Ohio State games, while seemingly forgetting the comparison of the Fla-St games -- but paul.j.stevens beat me to it.

You gotta lose the blinders. You've got no CBB cred if you don't

The heroin sheik said...

I think it is a great hire for ATl getting petrino. I have lots of family and friends up there who have been telling me how psyched they are for the upcoming season. I would love to see them use schaub as the qb and use vick maybe how the chargers use LT. I figure that vick is such a good athlete that he could be a real slash type threat where he can catch a ball on a screen and heave a pass or he could get the ball in the flat and with some space he could really hurt the other team. Granted it would probably be in ATl's best interest to trade vick and get some picks since that team needs a real playmaker for a WR.

The only playoff game I watched in its entirety was the giants game and it just seemed like there was no way the giants could win. Manning looks like shit and other than that one drive in the fourth where he got that td to burress he looks like a complete bust.

Sure UNC beat FSU who beat UF but you have to remember that the gators were playing without noah and horford I think. Plus it was a rivalry game so you know how those play out. I think The gators are better than UNC but at this point in the season I couldn't tell you who is number one. Thank god they have the intelligence to have a playoff in bball.

One thing on tonights game that has been bothering me for the last few days is Jim Tressel. I won't deny that he is a great coach but the fact that his youngstown state teams were hit with severe penalties as well as the fiasco with clarett and all the violations going on at OSU a few yrs back makes me wonder why this guy gets a free pass from the media. If the two teams you have coached have had major violations under your tenure shouldn't you be held at least partly responsible for this. I was kinda hoping one of the michigan fans would be harping about this but maybe no one cares.

Sheldiz said...

oh and i'm with mikepcfl -- do not underestimate the atmosphere that will be created at Ravens stadium this weekend. Its pretty loud there to begin with, but you introduce indy to a stadium full of drunk and still bitter ex-colts fans... i predict a few false starts for the colts O. This game is going to be hyped in the media (b/c who doesn't like a good story) and will definitely permeate through the stands as well. I've been a Peyton Manning fan since he was at Tennessee, but i would love to see the Ravens frustrate the hell out of him on saturday.

Jo Fer said...

My what short memories we all have. I think with all the "defacto SB" talk, we are setting ourselves up like let's see.......only 3 months ago!. The 2006 ALCS was the "Defacto WS" we all now how that turned out. They play the games out for a reason.

Think I'll put money on the NFC right now.

Mikepcfl said...

Dan is way off with San Diego/NE being the "Defacto" SB. There are still commentators who know alot more than Dan (Collinsworth) who are picking the Ravens to win it all.

Lenny said...

does anyone else notice that Dan never seems to defend himself in here? He posts his original post, we tear it apart, and he does nothing about it. It makes me wonder if he even reads the comments...

Lenny said...

As for the Baltimore fans hating the Colts because the Colts left Baltimore.....isn't that a smidge hypocritical??? Baltimore got their current team the EXACT same way when the Browns left Cleveland and became the Ravens. To hate the Colts for leaving is really low...

adam said...

I echo all the thoughts on Simmons and his voice. The funny thing to me is Bill KNOWS this about himself. I am surprised he agreed to do it. Maybe testing him out on the channel no one has first, then move him into the sports reporters.

jhawkjjm said...

Pats-Jets game was never really close. At no point were the Pats in danger. In the first half the Jets couldn't move the ball and their 10-7 lead was the result of a fumble inside NE's own 20 and a blown coverage TD.

It's fun being out here in KC and listening to all the Chiefs fans complaining at work today. Herm Edwards is getting shredded and its great considering I told everyone it was an AWFUL hire. Anyone who knows anything about football could tell the KC-INdy game was over on the first play of the game when KC didn't run a play-action pass. That was KC announcing they gave up.

So who will be the first late night person to say that Carrie Underwood dumped Romo because he was no good with his hands?

Mikepcfl said...

Someone from Cleveland will need to post to talk about the Browns leaving Cleveland, but I can talk about the Colts leaving Baltimore.

Bob Irsay (who is rotting in hell right now) ran the team into the toilet. Eventually attendence fell off as this was before EVERY NFL game sells out as it does now. Irsay pretty much took a tour looking for places to move the team. One time, he came back drunk at the airport. Reporters asked him if he was moving the team and he denied it (ala Saban).

The mayor of Baltimore at the time (later governor) said publicly the city would do what it had to do to keep the team in Baltimore. Irsay was supposedly negotiating in good faith with the city, then all of a sudden he sneaks moving vans in the middle of the night to clear out the team. He never gave the city a chance to keep the team. He lied and took his greedy ass to a new city.

Even then, we joked that Baltimore would win a Super Bowl before Indianapolis since Irsay was so inept (traded John Elway for a few magic beans). Sure enough Baltimore has already won a SB and maybe another one, while Indianapolis has historically been one of the lowest revenue earning teams in the league.

From what I recall, Modell tried to say he needed a new stadium to stay in Cleveland and the city said no and built the Indians a new stadium and not the Browns. MOdell says if he was built the stadium the new Browns got, he never would have left Cleveland. Supposedly he gave notice, but I will defer to someone from Cleveland on that point.

I do not love Modell at all, but the way the Colts left Baltimore was the lowest of the low. The Irsays deserve everything they get...ultimate losers.

Sheldiz said...

mike, you beat me to it!!

Big D said...

@ sheldiz:

"Pat/Chargers defacto super bowl? That's bullshit."


Couldn't agree more. Unless the Colts upset the Ravens.

If Indy is in the title game, NE/SD is the AFC Super Bowl Representative. Baltimore, however, would give either team a tough game, and probably would beat either team.

@ jhawkjjm:

"So who will be the first late night person to say that Carrie Underwood dumped Romo because he was no good with his hands?"


Brilliant. Maybe you should get a job writing for Jimmy Kimmel Live... :)

jhawkjjm said...

The Ravens are good, but they really don't scare me. They still rely almost totally on their defense as their offense isn't that explosive. Their not much different from Chicago in that respect. Before you all jump on me, McNair is 100x the QB Grossman is, and he's proven it in the past.

SD is the best team, but their coach and a first time playoff QB worries me about how far they can go. NE matches up well with SD because their offense should still be able to score on SD and they have a chance to slow down the Charger's offense.

Right now I'm leaning to a SD vs Seattle SB.

Although my dream scenario of Gastkowski beating the Colts in Indy on a last second field goal is still alive!

Lenny said...

Mike, I am not a Colts fan so I have no bias in this. I just think that Ravens fans bashing the Colts because the team left Baltimore is a little hypocritical being as that's how Baltimore currently has a team.

Sheldiz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
CMFost said...

I am sticking with my prediction from Friday of a Chicago/New England rematch of the Super Bowl from 20 years ago only this time the Patriots win.

Mikepcfl said...

Lenny, yeah the fans are the pawns in all this. Modell and Irsay deserve each other. But a couple points in addendum:

Cleveland was told right away they would get the next expansion team. They only waited like 3 years. Tags told Baltimore to not bother building a stadium to get a team, but to use the money to build a museum. Asshole.

CLeveland at least got to keep the name "Browns." While we have to watch the Colts name be used in a city that had no Colts or horseracing tradition.

And some things never change. Remember just a couple years ago Jimmy Irsay was trying to move the team to LA. But they bought him with a new stadium. His father never gave BAltimore that chance.

Since the Browns move, the NFL has made it more difficult to move teams. So hopefully, this wont happen to a fanbase again.

Mikepcfl said...

And one last point, if Cleveland fans want to hate the Ravens (and they do). I completely understand. I would too if I was in Cleveland. But that doesnt stop me from hating the Colts.

Sheldiz said...

lenny -- its not so much bashing the colts because of the way they left. i don't know, its hard to explain... i hate to use the "its a baltimore thing" excuse, but it kind of is.

all of us realize that the manner in which we got the ravens is somewhat similar (though by no means exactly the same) as the way indy got the colts. i get that and i think we all do.

its just there was so much hatred for so along towards Irsay (and friends) that people still talk about it. its just one of those things that doesn't want to die.

I mean, i was only 3 when the colts left, but the way it was talked about when i grew up, you'd think it was a personal attack on my family.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

Simmons won't last on TV. C'mon. He'll be in his 8th trip down memory lane, reminiscing about how the game reminds him of some scene in "Karate Kid," before the first commercial break... and people will either mute the TV or change the channel.

He has a nice little niche job now. The problem is, he just isn't a national talent. He's barely a regional talent. And seriously, when "writing for Jimmy Kimmel" is your #1 resume filler... uh... great, you know toilet humor. Way to go!

As for all you Simmons fans out there - you're idiots. Or you're from New England and so enamored with your teams that you can't see that Simmons is a worthless pile. To recap, he is:

1) Not funny
2) Stuck in the 80's
3) Unrepentantly biased towards his teams
4) Not funny
5) Not-so-secret man-crush on Tom Brady
6) Has one (ONE) halfway decent article to his credit - the 6/20/01 column on Len Bias - and quite frankly, two dozen Page 2 people could have done it better.
7) Did I mention he's not funny?

I've never been happier to NOT have ESPNU.

Anonymous said...

Also, I really wish that ND would put their newest "NCAA Record" of 9 straight bowl losses on their recruiting material. If they did that, put it on all of their material involving their football team that lists their accomplishments, I would root for ND for an entire season. Not even kidding.

That 9 should be 10. Figure in the one year they went 8-3 and announced they weren't accepting any bowl bids (Holtz's last year). Given the disarray and disconnect, ND wouldn't have been in position to be ready in time for the game.

Steve said...

The NE-Jets game was over in the 1st quarter when Mangini elected to punt from the Patriots 33 freaking yard line. I emailed my dad telling him the game was over and sure enough I was right.

Sheldiz-

Don't hate me cuz I'm a Colts fan but it seems like since Baltimore has won a Super Bowl since the move and Indy has not I would say the karmic scales have pretty much evened out for you.

As far as Saturday's game, if Baltimore blitzes a lot like they have been in recent games the Colts will obliterate them. If the Ravens act like they're going to blitz then back out into zone then Manning will throw interceptions with at least one returned for a td and Baltimore will cruise.

FutureLegendVinceYoung said...

I have been reading Simmons since he moved to espn.com. I used to find his columns funny but now just find them tired. He reminds me of the QB who thinks he still has something in the tank but he is just embarrasing himself (Unitas and Namath come to mind).

ndyanksfan05 said...

I dont understand what your point is robin - we agree the recruiting is weak, regardless of the cause. Weis had inferior talent. Now he is recruiting with the big boys (if you watched the High School All American game you saw Florida, Texas, USC, Michigan, OSU etc. getting a lot of players and ND was in that class). So now he is accumulating talent therefore leading to the ability to play with these elite schools.

We will put that on our recruiting resume as soon as USC and Ohio State start publicizing all the NCAA rules violations regarding paying students and then start putting out their graduation rates.

Sheldiz said...

steve -- i think you're right about the karmic scales... but its still fun to hold a grudge.

and i also think you're right about the blitz, and the defense in general. Indy's offensive line isn't going to win by brute force, and i don't know that they'll be able to compensate for that w/ reading the D.

Given our less than spectacular offense, it could be one of those games that's tied 3 to 3 with 2 minutes left in the game.

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

NDyanksfan05...where were you after Notre Dame got KILLED again. Seriously...Notre Dame is overrated. Get a clue!

ndyanksfan05 said...

If Coughlin gets canned has anyone heard any talk of who could legitimately fill the position (and Charlie Weis is not a legitimate contender for the spot - it's not going to happen).

ndyanksfan05 said...

I get it - in fact I have written it...ND did not have the talent to compete. We were lucky to be in the game at half time. That has nothing to do with the future of the program and the direction it is headed. See above points as I dont want to get repetitive (a. winning is up along with point differential; b. recruiting is way up; c. Weis won with inferior talent)

CMFost said...

NDYANKFAN - Charlie Weis is a legimate contender for that job and if offered he would take it in a second especially if Scott Pioli takes over as the GM.

CMFost said...

NDYANKFAN - Weis won against bad to medicore teams. He has yet to beat a elite team in his 2 years as Head Coach.

Mikepcfl said...

Steve, just so you know I have nothing against Indy fans. You didnt decide how you got your team. My venting is against the team/ownership.

I wanted to say I agree with your game assessment. The Ravens need to lay off more and not blitz every down. They need to pressure Peyton using the down 4 linemen and try to confuse him with different coverages. We'll see if they do that or go blitz-happy.

Anonymous said...

nep1293...

The Pats arent very good this year? So what there defense is overrated? Best New England Defense scoring wise ever? Second best in the NFL this year!

Not taking into account the Miami 21-0 loss. New England lost its other 3 games by a combined 20 points. New England had a better chance of finishing 15-1 then 9-7

Anonymous said...

Regarding Willinghams recruits.

I dont care how good a recruiting class an incoming coach inherits if the players dont fit his game style there not as valuable.

Look at Nebraska, Callaghan had to alter the landscape of incoming players to better recruit those that fit his new game planm style for Nebraska, now Nebraska is ready to take a huge leap forward next season and I wouldnt be surpised to see them as a top 10 preseason pick.

ndyanksfan05 said...

He won all games he should have - he didn't have the talent to win against the elite (USC, Michigan, OSU, LSU)...he coached his way to two very good seasons. He is now getting the talent (two very good recruiting classes in a row). Other than the fact that he only won 19 games in his first two seasons and the team was overrated (as a top ten instead of top twenty team) why can't he contend for a NC in the next three years? He is NOW getting the same talent as USC and Texas - so therefore they can't contend, right?

I still have not heard any logically argument why he can't contend in the future based on his current recruiting and his ability to coach.

Anonymous said...

Pioli isnt going anywhere, and Weis isnt leaving ND.

Sean (Pittsburgh) said...

@paul.j.stevens, rafael, Darth Bubbster

Same here on the comments about UNC being too young...yet babbling about FLA's youth being the key last year.

Dan - you can love on FLA all you want but try, just once, to be a little CONSISTENT with your comments. As the other's have said, you're losing cred...seriously.

lenny - you nailed it! I don't remember the last time I've seen Dan post in the comments section. Begs the question: if somebody blogs their opinion and lets others comment but refuses to read the comments, is it still a blog?

Does anybody know if Dan even READS the comments section?

Dan Mega said...

Everyone keeps rating Philly so high but who did they play? The Giants?

In fact I'd put Philly as the worst of the remaining teams in the NFC if not the NFL.

Go Bears.

Chaddogg said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chaddogg said...

Slightly unrelated, but after this weekend's thumping of the Billups-less Pistons by the Bulls, I heard an interesting rumor, and wanted to see if anyone else had heard it:

Basically, the rumor comes from a source tied to the Cavaliers. According to the source, Ben Wallace had been cheating on his wife, and she found out. In a "Major League"-esque revenge, Mrs. Wallace (Mrs. Dorn?) slept with Big Ben's teammate Chauncey Billups (Rick Vaughn). Ben Wallace found out about it, and slugged Chauncy in the eye (giving Chauncey a mysterious black-eye during the Pistons-Cavs series last year), and announcing "Screw y'all, I'm outta here." Sure enough, come the offseason, he signs with the Piston's biggest rival (the Bulls), and then when they have their matchup, Billups skips out while Wallace has one of his best games of the season (22 points!).

Anyone hear this rumor?

Brian in Oxford said...

If Jabar Gaffney goes out and signs for 4 years, 16 million somewhere (now, I have nooo idea of his free-agency eligibility), will experts say that Brady has again lost his receivers and has nobody to throw to? I'm just saying, I'm not so sure he "missed" David Givens this year.

Didn't Mike Tyson have a line once, back when he was good, that "everyone's got a game plan, until I punch them in the mouth"? That kinda reminds me of Baltimore's defense....we can talk about how Manning'll pick them apart and all that...

Anonymous said...

The Pats hopefully will draft Jeff Samardja - Notre Dame to help with the WR position next season!!

Kevin said...

I like the idea, but what the hell does Simmons know about college hoops? Why can't they let him on an NBA broadcast?

Steve said...

"Didn't Mike Tyson have a line once, back when he was good, that "everyone's got a game plan, until I punch them in the mouth"? That kinda reminds me of Baltimore's defense....we can talk about how Manning'll pick them apart and all that...

Because the last 3 times the Colts played Baltimore they've won and scored 20 points or more:

2005: 24-7
2004: 20-10
2002: 22-20

Just saying, Baltimore hasn't historically gotten into Manning's head all that much, that's why they still need to have a good defensive gameplan. If they go blitz happy Manning will torch them big time because he loves being blitzed. Pittsburgh didn't blitz him last year in the 1st half and shut him down. In the 2nd half they started blitzing and he almost led them all the way back.

Ma4tt (the 4 is silent) said...

It helped in last year's playoff game v. Pittsburgh that the Steelers jumped out to a 14-point first quarter lead, too. That got in Manning's head. If the Colts' D can shut down "Mac 9" (thanks for the gay nickname, Ray Ray) early, there won't be all that much pressure on Manning.

I have no problem seeing the Colts winning at home v. the Ravens... but at Baltimore? It's a tossup.

Anonymous said...

There truly are so many great matchups this year, you gotta love it!






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