Sunday, December 28, 2008

Thoughts on Week 17 in the NFL

- 5 games come on in NY locally (1 being the Sunday night game), and all of them were terrible games. Unbelievable.

- Aaron Rodgers completed an impressive first season starting in the NFL today throwing for 4,038 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions and leading the fifth ranked scoring offense, and the eighth ranked passing offense in the league. He has a bright future ahead of him, and the Packers found themselves a nice gem to build their franchise around.

- Drew Brees leads the comeback against the Panthers, then watches his defense give the lead back, and falls short of the passing record by 24 yards. I have a feeling Drew Brees will forever be a stat monger in New Orleans, as they seem committed to putting him opposite a crap defense.

-Congratulations to the Atlanta Falcons. Long overdue, and well late but congratulations to them on their significant turnaround and the success they have had this season. 11-5, who would've thought? They deserve this success, after the whole Vick/Petrino sagas.

- Dallas...Dallas...Dallas. I don't even know what to say. That team has a lot of issues, and that performance on Sunday was one of the worst I've ever seen in a game that mattered as much as it did. It was an unbelievably bad performance all the way around.

- As much as it burns my behind to say this, congratulations to the Miami Dolphins on their record turnaround, and their AFC East division crown. They've had a memorable season, and Sparano has done an incredible job. If they had an 'Offensive Coordinator of the Year' award Dan Henning would win that one easily. He has done a great job with the wildcat, the motion and the creative playcalling used as a masking device for Pennington. Watching the game though I must say about Pennington, he is still the same quarterback he always was, and while Favre didn't work out, I am glad the Jets took the chance and I am glad Chad is no longer the QB of the team as he was a dead end proposition.

- The Denver Broncos looked lost Sunday night. Can someone answer me this? Do the Broncos practice tackling? All year they have looked like a junior varsity high school team trying to tackle, and Darren Sproles exploited that in a big way Sunday night. The Broncos have serious issues on the defensive end and will never win until they fix them.

- Andre Johnson is absolutely ridiculous. It's too bad he plays for the Texans and isn't in the public eye more often, as he arguably the most complete WR the game has to offer. When will the Texans take the next step in being a playoff team? It was thought by many they'd take that step this season and they started off too slowly to make a run. They have the offensive pieces to do so, and they have a young nucleus of players on the defense (Super Mario Williams, DeMeco Ryans, Amobi Okoye). Houston needs to take that next step, and Andre Johnson will be pivotal in that journey.

- The Lions. I was glad to see them make history today as it is something I have never seen, but I feel bad for their fans. They have had to sit through years of Matt Millen's stupid and incompetent management, and now this? Don't worry Lions fans, it will get better soon. After all, it can't get worse, can it?

-There were many complete fold jobs by teams vying for playoff spots late. Denver, Tampa and the Jets all completed late season collapses with losses. Hopefully, for my sanity sake, the Jets collapse costs Mangini his job

Being a fan of the Jets is just painful

I'm a passionate fan. I love the Jets. I watch every game, root my heart out for them. I root for them with all my energy every week. When they lose a gut wrenching game, I take it hard. When they win, it puts me on a high for the week. No matter who's on the team, no matter how good or bad they have been I have been there right in front of my TV watching every minute of every game. From watching Kliff Kingsbury start at QB, to watching Brooks Bollinger run for his life, to watching Chad Pennington with half a shoulder I've watched as much Jets football as I can since Age 8 (Im now 21). 1998 the Jets make a magical run to the AFC title game, where they lose to a John Elway led Broncos team. The pain comes in because the Falcons were in the SB, and they didn't belong there. The Jets destroyed them earlier in the season, and the Broncos then proceeded to destroy them in the Superbowl. I have little doubt in my mind that the Jets would have walloped the Falcons had they made the Superbowl. That was the one game that actually brought me to tears. I was a young pup back then (11) but realized the importance of the game. And the manner which they lost was painful.

1999, SB expectations following Elway's retirement and the run to the AFC title game the year before, the energy surrounding the Jets is great. The kickoff before the first game, the crowd was going crazy. Before the first play, I go answer my door as the pizza had just gotten there, right in time. I come back, and there it is. Vinny Testaverde writhing in pain on the ground. I'm just like "..........." I had no words. He was holding his achillies and during the game the news came out. Torn achillies, out for the season. Just..........unreal. 2004, we make the postseason at 10-6, with a top 5 defense. We win an absolute roller coaster game against SD that featured a roughing the passer on Eric Barton that essentially tied the game for them after they missed a fourth down, and then a missed Nate Kaeding FG in overtime that gave the Jets new life. They promptly scored on the next drive to seal the deal and send themselves to the AFC divisional round.

Then this game against the Steelers, which Pittsburgh tried to gift wrap in every way imaginable. The Jets scored a defensive touchdown and a special teams touchdown, while Chad Pennington led us to a whopping three points. With all of that, after one of Ben Roethlisberger's 3 INTs on the game, Doug Brien had a chance to put the Jets in the lead with a little over a minute remaining. The FG hit the crossbar and bounced back, no good. Roethlisberger then threw another INT, and promptly we found ourselves in FG range. We then run the ball twice in an effort to run clock, then we take a knee to run more clock, which made little sense as we were going backwards. Doug Brien promptly missed the field goal by about 25 yards, then the Jets promptly lost the game in OT, in typical gut wrenching, excruciating 'Same Ol Jets' fashion. 2005-2007 were fairly nondescript seasons. Then this season, the Brett Favre trade happened before the season and nearly 200 million dollars were spent in free agency and expectations were at a reasonably high level for this Jets team to go out and prove something this season.

The Jets then sputtered to begin the season, sputtered through the first quarter of the season to a 2-2 season, including a pathetic loss to a Matt Cassel led Patriots team. Then the Jets went on a run after a close win over the inept Chiefs, winning five straight including wins over the rival Patriots and the previously undefeated Titans, where the Jets impressed in an absolute blowout. This then had people talking Superbowl, an all New York Superbowl. Over the last 5 games the Jets have lost games to the 49ers, Broncos, Seahawks and now completed the collapse with the loss to the Dolphins, and then watched the Dolphins celebrate the AFC East title on their homefield. Between Favre throwing stupid INTs like it was going out of style, and Eric Mangini standing there with that usual stupid look on his face, while chewing his gum and watching the defense get no pressure while getting shredded in the process the end of this season was a disaster. Same Old Jets? You bet. Oh the pain.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Oh how stupid I was to believe in the Jets...

The New York Jets, where to begin... I can begin with the disaster that was the last two weeks of horrid. I can begin with the sickening mentality of this football team or better yet the coaching staff. I can begin with the Jets reverting to Same Old Jets form. I can begin with the Jets apparently believing the season ended once they kicked the life out of Tennessee 2 Sundays ago.

I can begin with a lot of things, but mainly why did I take the bait? Why did I believe this team had turned the corner, and could overcome a completely inept coaching staff en route to a deep playoff run? In a conversation with my buddy Steve the other day, I asked him, "Is it bad I am thinking of the S word with this team?''. The 'S word' represents the Superbowl. Up until the last two weeks, I thought this was the best team I have seen since the '98 Jets which made the AFC Title game only to bring me to tears (literally) with a gut wrenching loss to the Broncos. But in the last two weeks, problems which have been a problem and I thought would hold this team back have resurfaced after the two big wins against Tennessee and New England.

-The quarterbacks have far too much time in the pocket. Between the coaching and the actual players, it's a joke to see QBs have enough time to get facials, manicures, go outside and pick up the paper before actually having to unload the football. Right now we have no one who can beat offensive linemen one on one consistently. Then you add the fact that for some reason, Mangini loves to send three at the QB, living in constant fear of getting beat over the top and the fact that the Jets are as vanilla as you can be with blitz schemes, and you get a horrific pass defense. It's amazing watching the other 3-4 teams, how different they are run compared to the Jets. The other 3-4 teams (Cowboys, Steelers, Patriots in particular), move around pre- snap, and give many different looks, while the Jets line up straight up, with no deception or anything as if they are going to bully the oppoonent apparently? I could go on all day but I'll end my frustrations with the defensive playcalling there.

-The offensive playcalling makes no sense either. Earlier in the season, the Jets played the Chiefs who were dead last in run defense and decided to go out all guns ablaze throwing the ball all over the place. Thomas Jones has been very good(wow how things change) for several weeks now, and you run the ball 11 times today? Why? Then again, making Shaun Hill look like Montana, and keeping their offense on the field couldn't have helped the cause.

-Laveranues Coles and his big mouth. The team is in the middle of a playoff race and Coles makes comments blasting Brett Favre. This guy has been consistently running his mouth, and where is the production ? 1 catch for 5 yards today. Good game Laveranues, keep running your mouth. You're definitely good enough to do so.

Look, this is definitely a post out of frustration as watching this team my entire life has been frustrating. I still think the team CAN make the postseason, and I am not giving up on them, but at this point, what's the use? The Ravens or Colts would both beat the snot out of the Jets. A Wildcard berth and a first round exit, what a surprise. I would almost rather the team go 8-8, and Mangini and company go bye bye. That is the only way this team will go anywhere. Then again, Woody Johnson, the Jets owner is clueless as well so he'd probably still keep Mangini here. Well hopefully the Jets can wake up. If not it will be a long offseason, especially if Miami with Ol Noodle manages to steal the division. Oy vey.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My thoughts on the Plaxico Burress saga

As most people know, Plaxico Burress was involved in an incident last Saturday in the deep night, where he allegedly shot himself accidentally. Since it happened, the coverage of the incident and all the parameters surrounding it has been nonstop.

My thoughts on the situation go like this:

- As a New Yorker and Giant supporter I am disappointed to see Plaxico, after what he did for the team last season from both a motivational and on field standpoint, go out like this. Most likely, his tenure as a Giant is over and that is sad. I realize he did it to himself, and he hasn't exactly been the quintessential teammate but he did go out there last season and bust his hump to help this team win.

- I let out a hearty laugh when I read that upon checking into the hospital, Plaxico told them his name was Harris Smith and he was shot at Applebee's. How does that work? 'Excuse me, may I have some BBQ ri......NO!!!!!!!!!'

-His blunder is going to end up costing him a lot of money. He was fined by the Giants, an undisclosed amount, he doesn't see the 400,000 in roster bonuses, and probably won't see the last 6 years of his deal, especially given the fact that the Giants actually SAVE 4.4 million if they cut him next season.

- I feel bad for Antonio Pierce. Now the guy is getting hounded with questions, when essentially he was in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. It's not like Plaxico has a history of breaking the law, but on that night he did and now Pierce is in the middle of the mess.

- As far as Plaxico, he'll always have a place in my heart for his role in bringing NY a title last year. It was one of the more gutty performances I've seen over the course of a season, with the ankle problems he played through last year. Unfortunately for him, he made a mistake and it will probably prove to be a costly one.