Monday, December 29, 2008

3 comments MMQB Review: Peter Finally Lets Guard Down, Asks Matt Cassel To the Prom, So Is Double Dating With ESPN and The Cowboys

I think it is going to be about 3 more hours before Bill Simmons posts a whining column about how the Patriots went 11-5 and did not make the playoffs and I was planning on reviewing J.S. and my preseason NFL picks today, so I was not planning on doing a MMQB Review today...then I read the column and thought I had to. I want to do both of the others though this week, so if I ever get the time I may do two in a day...maybe. I can already write Simmons' article for him.

"Patriots are good, should be in the playoffs, not fair, Chargers 8-8 should not be allowed, Sports Czar rule, goes through list of games Patriots lost that were not their fault, goes through games lost because of cheating referees, mentions he is in a daze, talks about his children, Dad depressed more than he was in (named Celtic/Patriot event), everyone wandering around in a daze compared to (named cultural event), Patriots deserve playoffs, followed by some new playoff system that would benefit Pats this year, and solemn closing overestimating the importance of sports followed by him never mentioning the NFL for the rest of the year."

I remember in 1993 the San Francisco Giants won 103 games and did not make the playoffs. That is worse in my opinion. I am not going to say the NFL playoff system is not bullshit, because it can be, but this is also the way it is unfortunately.

Let's do some MMQB.

But this was a week for the ages. And lucky me -- I got to see it all in NBC's fifth-floor viewing room at 30 Rock, with nine high-def TVs enthralling the cast of our Football Night in America show.

If you didn't hate Peter King already, that was for you.

If they don't, blame Jason Baker, Carolina's punter, for ruining Brees' shot at the record. Baker shanked a 21-yard punt to set up the Saints' measly 45-yard TD drive. If it'd been a 37-yard punt, Brees would have been throwing for the record.

Fucking asshole, I am sure that was his intention, to get a really short punt and allow the Saints to score a shorter touchdown, thereby potentially losing the game and a first round bye, but dammit Drew Brees was not getting that record. He has no respect for the game.

In Orchard Park, Matt Cassel sprints off the field after doing his CBS postgame interview. Pats 13, Bills 0. How is this kid 11-5? How is this team looking for massive 4 o'clock help instead of beginning scouting reports on its playoff foe next week?

He is 11-5 because he has won 11 games and only lost 5, but unfortunately according to the NFL playoffs rules the Dolphins have to lose for the Patriots to make the playoffs. I personally think the Patriots should be grandfathered into the playoffs for all they have endured this year. Let's make it happen. They have endured so much, never before has a team lost its starting quarterback for the season.

Jake Delhomme says, "Not on my watch.'' He rainbows a 39-yard go route to Steve Smith

"Rainbows" is being polite, more like throws up a Hail Mary. What are the Panthers going to do when Steve Smith no longer plays for them? I don't think Hail Marys to Dwayne Jarrett is going to get them in the playoffs.

Kasay lines up for the winning field goal. But no! False start, Jordan Gross. Now it'll be a 42-yard attempt, not 37-.


There's one second left in New Orleans. Kasay squibs ... It goes out of bounds!

And it's not even the Super Bowl! He has really stepped it up this year. Is John Kasay really the guy to do squib kicks?

There are few things in this job I take more seriously than my National Football League MVP vote for the Associated Press.

Here is his actual list:

1. Coffee
2. Brett Favre
3. Annoying travel notes
4. Deanna Favre
5. Lattes
6. Doughnuts
111. Matt Ryan
117. Figuring out why hotels don't use better shampoo that make him not smell like a girl
118. MVP vote

Dallas has acquired the most famous talent in all of football since 1997 and not won a playoff game. Twelve years, and counting.

My face hurts from smiling so much at being able to add another year to the playoff game drought the Cowboys have.

Let's fix this team.

Peter King, personnel guy.

One: Jerry's got to stop taking draft picks and throwing them at stars.

It would also help out if the stars they acquired were any good at playing football. Then the losing the draft picks would be worth losing.

Two: Cut the 34-year-old baby, Terrell Owens.

Don't try to trade him and get value for him. Just cut him. Smart move. Peter King for Bucks GM!

Three: Order the players to please, please stop saying they're the most talented team in football. Terence Newman, who played like a Bowling Green walk-on trying to cover LeBron James in Philadelphia, said it again Sunday.

Very good idea. Do not empower your employees, just tell them how much they suck. You hear tons of quotes after a game from players who have bragged about little they believe in themselves and the team is so good because its not playing with any confidence.

Four: Jones is simply being stubborn in not firing Wade Phillips, or at least not hiring someone else and making Phillips the defensive coordinator.

Simple as that. Just make Phillips the defensive coordinator. There won't be any hard feelings on his part about being fired and he will be glad to work for the organization in a lesser capacity. What could be wrong with this idea? Peter has such a firm hold on personnel decisions, I am shocked he does not run a team.

4. Carolina (12-4). One of the best stories of this season: how DeAngelo Williams went to bed one day in the offseason as Blair Thomas and woke up as Adrian Peterson.

Simple as that. He went to bed as a no name 1st round draft pick that holds the NCAA record for all purpose yards and 100 yard rushing games and woke up as a great running back. It had nothing to do with this was his first full year getting the majority of carries in the NFL, nope he just woke up one morning and remembered how to run.

14. Arizona (9-7). I'd be surprised, bordering on stunned, if the Cards beat Atlanta.

I am not saying Arizona will win but the Cardinals are playing at home and to write them off this early seems a bit premature. This negativity from the same guy who was touting how great Anquan Boldin was earlier this year and how Kurt Warner deserves the MVP award. I don't get it.

15. Houston (8-8). Andre Johnson caught 115 balls for 1,575 yards and eight touchdowns this year. I have a feeling we're going to be talking about Johnson for a long, long time.

I love these little predictions after the fact where Peter states the absolute obvious.

"I have a feeling we are going to be hearing from this Adrian Peterson kid more and more. I don't want to go on a limb but I think Matt Ryan is going to be a good NFL QB."

What is this feeling he gets? Is it a result of looking at actual statistics he has seen for Johnson and the feeling is known as "the truth?" I hate it when he does this.

"I had a blast working with these guys. It was a lot of fun.''
Brett Favre, sounding like he'd played his last game in a storied NFL career Sunday.

Man the tanks and hide the children, we are going to be in for a whole winter/spring/summer of the Favre Watch. Is it coincidence that Eric Mangini was fired today and Favre was quoted as saying he did not enjoy playing for him? Probably not.

I will go ahead and announce Favre's intentions right now.

Brett Favre is not retiring, he may go to a different team next year or play for the Jets again but he will be back. He just wants attention. I would be surprised, bordering on stunned, if Brett Favre retires. That being said, I hope to God he retires because I am beyond tired of him.

Stat of the Week

This week is another chance to see how awesome the Patriots are at personnel decision making. It would be fair to just not talk about the Patriots and the Cowboys anymore, I mean they are not in the playoffs, so shut up. Unfortunately, Peter King is from Massachusetts, he is clearly a diehard Red Sox fan which means he probably favors the Patriots as well, I respect the Patriots, they are a great team and should have made the playoffs, but the weekly tributes to Belichick and the Patriots ability to make smart personnel decisions has to end. Anyone who follows football knows how smart they, let's focus on other things.

When the Patriots let the best kicker of his day -- Adam Vinatieri -- leave via free agency in 2006 after 10 stellar seasons, they were widely derided for allowing a few bucks to get in the way of keeping one of the best clutch players of the Super Bowl era.

I think "derided" is a bit of an overstatement for this. When Vinatieri signed with the Colts he was offered a $3.5 million signing bonus and a huge contract for a kicker, it was pretty clear to everyone the Patriots could not/would not match this. I think it was more disappointment the Super Bowl hero was leaving the team and several were upset, but no one derided them. Quit taking drama classes.

As usual, the Patriots are having the last laugh on the fourth estate -- and the rest of the NFL too.

(Peter King thinking) If I could just get my tongue inside Belichick's butt one more time this year...there we go. That should do it.

In the last three years, Gostkowski, kicking outside most often, has been more efficient in field goals, with more touchbacks on kickoffs, for a quarter of the cost of Vinatieri, who's been kicking inside most often. Gostkowski was named to his first Pro Bowl this year. And Gostkowski is 24 years old. Vinatieri is 36.

Good teams make good personnel decisions. The Patriots are a good team. This was a good personnel decision to not re-sign Vinatieri and it looked like a smart one then and still does.

Rather, it's a tribute to Gostkowski being able to kick in high-pressure and weather-affected situations so early in his career, and to the Patriots for recognizing that change is essential in pro football for teams to stay on top.

We all know kickers take a few years to develop much like a quarterback and learn how the long snapper snaps the ball and how the holder holds it. Sometimes it takes up to two weeks to perfect this. I am shocked Gostkowski has been able to do so much at such a young age. Good for him, he is a marvel. We should clone his DNA so we could have generations of kickers who can adjust to their jobs in such a small amount of time.

d. Larry Fitzgerald's hands cannot be matched.

(Peter King thinking as he types) "Well, except by Brett...Why won't Belichick call me back dammit!"

Unfortunately these hands don't seem to much help against the Falcons, or at least that is what Peter thinks, because he would be surprised, if not stunned, if Fitzgerald catches a pass against the Falcons.

e. Now that Phil Savage has been fired, and examining the Browns' GM job in the light of day, it might not be the great job everyone thinks it is. Cleveland is without third-, fifth- and seventh-round picks in 2009, has to find a trading partner for the flawed Derek Anderson, has some major divas in Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow, and has about 19 people who seem to act as spokesmen for the team when the mood hits them.

Sometimes when Peter writes things it makes me throw my hands up and look around the room as if I were trying to find someone who thinks what Peter just said everyone thinks. Who ever said the Browns job was a good one? They had one good year where they did not even make the playoffs (at 10-6 by the way), and that was last year. This team traded a lot of draft picks to compete this year and it all went up in smoke, the players get staph infections constantly, and the whole organization looks in chaos. I am not sure there is anyone who thinks it is a great situation. It does have some potential.

j. It's true: Bill Parcells can walk for 30 days, starting Tuesday, and still get paid the $12 million he's owed by new majority owner Steve Ross of the Dolphins. But don't think it's a done deal, or that he's decided to do it. I've heard Parcells isn't Ross' cup of tea, and if he isn't, then yes, Parcells will leave and take the money.

Bill Parcells and Brett Favre are in a duel to see who can waffle and take the longest time to make a decision on where they will end up next year. ESPN is already planning a 30 minute lead in on SportsCenter to cover all of the angles on this issue. I would actually be shocked if they show any more bowl games, Parcells situation, Favre's non-retirement, and the Cowboys choking takes precedent over everything right now. Fuck it, cancel SportsCenter, we need a report from Ed Werder describing the Cowboys state of mind right now!

The other problem is Mangini's not a beloved figure in his locker room.

I am sure Brett Favre has nothing to do with this situation.

4. I think if Joe Flacco completes 65 percent of his throws with two interceptions in January, the Ravens are going to the Super Bowl.

I would take that bet. If you are going to take completion percentage as the only measure of success and also give me two turnovers, I say the Ravens are not going to the Super Bowl.

f. I credit Matt Cassel for managing a game with wind gusts up to 55 mph -- and for a very big Sammy Baugh-esque 57-yard quick-kick punt in the third quarter, pinning the Bills at their 2. How about this stat line for the man who played 15 and three-quarters NFL games after not starting a game since high school: 11-5 record, .634 completion rate, 3,693 yards passing, 21 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 89.4 rating. He may have played his last game as a Patriot, but he will have a long -- and I predict, glorious -- future in the NFL.

Peter would also like to credit Matty Iccccccccccccce 2 for being so damn good looking.

I am not betting against the Matt Cassel but I am going to say most Patriots do not have as much success after they leave the team. So predicting a glorious future for Cassel does share a bit of risk. What does Peter care though? Cassel is dreamy and plays for his favorite team, so let's throw caution to the wind. He had a great year but the Patriots are a very good team around him as well, so maybe that helped him put up his numbers a little.

How often in this space have we heard how great Matt Cassel is? We get it, he is awesome. No one is arguing. Let's focus on playoff teams now.

h. Speaking of really good players you don't know yet, here's one you'll get to know next week in the wild card game at Arizona: Atlanta rookie middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who is playing with as much confidence on defense as Matt Ryan has on offense.

Actually back when Peter was touting Jerod Mayo as the defensive rookie of the year, I mentioned Lofton. Right here. Seems to me like you were the one who was late on that one King Peter.

5. I think if Brandon Jacobs plays eight healthy quarters in January, the Giants are going back to the Super Bowl.

Peter must be picking the Giants to make the Super Bowl.

b. The Giants seem remarkably unconcerned about January for a team that had a 1-3 December -- and they had to go to overtime for earn the one.

Um...Peter must not be picking the Giants to go the Super Bowl? Is he bi-polar or have multiple personalities?

d. The Patriots are one of the best eight teams in football right now, but they shouldn't be in the playoffs. Fair is fair. No violins because they went 11-5 and didn't get in.

I 100% agree with this statement. So why are we talking about them again if we don't want to discuss this? Oh yeah, you love them.

If they hadn't allowed Miami to use a high school formation to knock them senseless in September, if they hadn't gotten a silly David Thomas unnecessary-roughness penalty or a Matt Cassel interception two games later at Indianapolis in November, if they'd stopped Brett Favre on a third-and-15 overtime pass play in November ... any of those things go the other way, and the Pats go 12-4, are the third seed in the AFC this morning, and face Baltimore this weekend.

Peter King probably favors the Patriots being from Massachusetts and liking the Red Sox and all. He is not a blatant homer or anything, but reading this paragraph from a non-homer only gets me more excited for the Bill Simmons whining article. I can't wait.

Remember, I set the format for it up earlier in this post at the top, I really want to predict his column before it comes out.

I have been told by those close to the story that Brady is actually ahead of schedule. We'll find out which it is when the Patriots have to put the franchise tag on Matt Cassel come free-agency time in late February.

The tag would mean only that Cassel would be guaranteed at least $14.3 million on a one-year contract, and then the Patriots could either chose to keep Cassel as Brady insurance or try to make the best deal they could for the most compensation they could get for Cassel. If they hang onto Cassel -- which I don't expect to happen -- then it's a sign they don't trust Brady's rehab.

Shut the hell up about Matt Cassel and the stupid franchise tag. Everyone gets it right now. Everyone understands. Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up about this issue. Even Patriots fans have to be tired of hearing about this because it reminds them Brady may not be back on time. Peter has gone over the issue of the franchise tag at least three times in his column and I think everyone gets it by now.

Can we please talk about other teams? Please?

g. More fans should feel about their team the way Jeff Miller feels about his Giants "Superfan'' blog. There's something endearing about a blog that's so devotional to a team.

Somewhere in bed with a hooker (because the Sports Gal has left him I believe) Bill Simmons flips on his computer and smiles knowing his weekly column on ESPN has at least one fan.

i. Here's my movie pet peeve: I saw the ads for "Milk'' for six weeks before I could actually go see it in my town in Jersey. I still can't see Frost/Nixon, which frosts me. Used to be you'd see signs for a movie that opened Dec. 25, and you'd plan to go. Now you have no idea. The ad may say it opens Dec. 25, but you may not have it at your Cineplex 'til Jan. 20.

This is a national fucking disaster, throw that in with people not coming to a full and complete stop at a stop sign, and I think we have anarchy on our hands. Why would a movie advertise and try to get people to want to go see the film long before it comes out? That makes no business sense. They should just put a movie out and not tell anyone about it, lower expectations and don't build up the film as any good...just a really smart move. You know what don't even let critics review the movie. It works for horror movies doesn't it? Why not potential Oscar nominated films?

Peter really, really wants to see these movies and is now probably going to go see them the night they come to his town. He must be a real fun guy to hang out with at a party, all he would talk about his what irritates him and how much he loves his job and hanging around in sweaty locker rooms with naked men. He would be a treat.

I may double post today, it depends on how I feel and if I find anything else.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe you left this part out:

One: Jerry's got to stop taking draft picks and throwing them at stars. First- and third-round picks seemed a bargain to get Williams, but now Dallas has a massive need at left tackle (Flozell Adams looks 53, not 33), guard, safety (Roy Williams was utterly invisible in 2008) and wide receiver.

Ummm...Roy Williams missed 13 games this season from injury, and one of the games he didn't miss was the game he broke his arm in the first half. Of course he was invisible! I guess he should have still been on the field despite being on injured reserve. Surely the NFL doesn't have any rules preventing that...

Martin said...

Roy Williams is a puss. Ronnie Lott would have amputated the arm and played the next week.

Who is worse, Peter King as a suppossedly national journalist trying to report on the NFL, or Simmons, as a biased, national columnist who isn't expected to be objective? It's damn close right now. I'm leaning toward King being a larger disappointment because I expect Simmons to be pretty much what he is, but I expect better from King. Or at least from someone in Kings position, because I don't think I can say I ever expect good things from him anymore. He's in some ways even more reprehensibly prejudiced then Simmons....sheesh.

Bengoodfella said...

Thanks anon, I scanned over that and thought he was talking about the wide receiver. That is probably one of the most blatantly wrong parts of the column and I missed it. It is funny but I remember an article in the preseason SI about how great the offensive line for the Cowboys is and I think, I don't know, but I think it was written by one Mr. Peter King. Either way, it was supposed to be a strength and now it is a weakness I guess. I can't believe he missed Roy Williams being on IR and called him invisible. I wish I had read closer, that is great.

You know Martin, I actually think Simmons is worse, but just barely, just simply because Peter King does do some actual reporting every once in a while. They are similar in that they have their favorites, it just so happens Peter covers the entire NFL so his favorites are on a wider scale. I don't think he is quite the apologist that Simmons is, but then Simmons is not quite the total ass kisser that King is. It's a tough call.