Wednesday, December 30, 2009

7 comments TMQ: Gregg Is All Favred Out And Doesn't Care If We Know It

I wasn't going to write about Gregg Easterbrook this week (as I have said pretty much every week this NFL season) but I spoke with my fellow members in the Kingdom of the Idiots and they made it clear I was obligated to cover TMQ when I found parts of it I disagreed with. So here I am today, doing TMQ again. It appears Gregg Easterbrook has had enough of this Brett Favre fellow (I know you are saying to yourself, "Who is this guy? I haven't ever heard of him"), and today he explains exactly why. Time to do a little nitpicking (and definite non-nitpicking) of TMQ. As always, tell me if I missed anything.

So the Minnesota Vikings have lost three of four, and Monday night managed to make Jay Cutler look like a star quarterback. Brett Favre and Brad Childress are at each other's throats. The Vikes, once 10-1, might go into meltdown.

I want to take this opportunity to say that Gregg has started to incorporate cartoons into his TMQ and I liked the cartoon that accompanied this column of Brad Childress as the court jester to Favre's king. Usually I don't enjoy Gregg's cartoons, but this was the exception.

This should hardly come as a surprise, since Favre's past two teams melted down late in the season.

Actually it does come as a surprise since usually Favre's teams melt down if not specifically because of him, but because his performance does usually decline at the end of past seasons. That hasn't been the case over the last two games. Essentially the defense (or lack thereof) has been the cause for the Vikings losses. When the offense scores 30 points against the Bears, that should be good enough to win the game.

I have also heard rumblings the Vikings defense is struggling because of the loss of EJ Henderson, which may be true. It doesn't matter, every team has injuries they have to deal with and that's why you have backups. Chicago was missing nearly their entire starting secondary last night (as well as Brian Urlacher) and Carolina had two of their starting linebackers injured who weren't playing in the game against the Vikings the week before. If your team can't withstand one injury to a defensive player, that's not very good personnel management.

Now things have started well at Minnesota and are declining late. This is not a surprise, this is Brett Favre's recent pattern. Don't marry Zsa Zsa Gabor and think she really cares about you. Don't hire Favre and think he cares about anything but Favre.

Those who read this blog know I can't help but agree with this statement. Living in the world of Favre does have its drawbacks. What's going to be interesting is when the Vikings and Favre play well in a playoff game, the media is going to go stir crazy for Favre talking about how he doesn't stink at the end of the year like everyone says he does. Then he will be a hero because he was able to keep consistency in his play for an entire NFL season and not fade towards the end of the year (which is what he gets paid for by the way). As if one game is going to be able to override several straight years of declining performance in December/January.

Childress wants to be the one in charge, calling the plays. Favre wants to be the one in charge, calling the plays. Favre refers to Childress as "Brad" in public, not because they are close pals but in order to make him sound like some minor factotum, perhaps a courtier -- and don't think Favre does not realize that he's doing this.

Other than agreeing that nobody in the world likes Joakim Noah, we can all probably agree that Brett Favre calls Brad Childress, "Brad," because he thinks he is on the same level as Childress or lacks some sort of respect for him. No matter how much I disagree with Gregg Easterbrook on other issues, I can agree with him that Brett Favre probably tries to undermine Brad Childress publicly and privately.

Favre is trying to broadcast the message, "I am the reason the Vikings are winning. Not the other players, not this guy on the sideline with the headset. I am the reason. The guy with the headset is just standing around. Admire me." Childress wants to broadcast the message, "The Vikings are winning because of me, not Favre. It's my plan you see unfolding." Like two ponderous federal agencies fighting for jurisdiction, Favre and Childress are fighting for the credit. Except the fight is turning credit into blame.

Both parties should perhaps shut the hell up when trying to put blame on each other and blame the defense for giving up 25+ points for two straight weeks on the road. Favre didn't play poorly last night and other than getting sacked a lot, he didn't play terribly the week before either against Carolina.

Players have a lot more to do with victories than coaches, and Favre clearly knows what he's doing on the field, so it might be better for Minnesota's chances if Childress simply let Favre call his own plays.

I am so torn by this comment. I want to rip Easterbrook for suggesting that Favre knows what he is doing on the field since he does have the NFL record for interceptions. But I also realize that Brad Childress makes the play calls, and if Brett Favre decides he wants to audible out of it and "suggest" plays the team could run then he has the freedom to do so and Childress doesn't always like this. So I can either side with the quarterback with the ego or the coach who I think could be Amelia Bedelia-ing his way to the playoffs again. We know there has been disagreement over Favre audibles and who has control over the offense, so there is a chance Favre could call his own plays. Since I am so torn, I think the Vikings should let Favre call his own plays for one game...next week's game. That may help settle it.

But if a player directly challenges the authority of the head coach, trying to make him look bad, he tears up the cohesion of the team. The only thing a player can accomplish by challenging the authority of the head coach is drawing attention to himself. That's been Favre's No. 1 concern for years.

People ripping Brett Favre for selfishness have a special place in my heart. It is TMQ saying this though so I can't love him too much because of the other things he says that I disagree with upon. Therefore Gregg Easterbrook has a special place in my heart for exactly 30 seconds.

(Waits 30 seconds to rip Easterbrook again)

There was a case for the Indianapolis Colts' deliberately losing -- to get rid of the distraction of an undefeated finish, to focus the team on the Super Bowl, to rest starters and avoid injuries. Trying to go 19-0 is a "minkey on your back," as Inspector Clouseau would say.

I hate it when a team being undefeated is a "distraction" on the season or is a "minkey on your back." That's so horrible. What a better way to get the distractions away by having the home crowd boo and replace the focus of the media from the perfect record of the Colts onto how the Colts do in the playoffs after resting their starters. Now instead of the media focusing solely on the perfect record, the media will be solely focused on whether resting the starters paid off in the playoffs or not. So basically Jim Caldwell and Bill Polian have taken the focus off the team and whether they can stay perfect and put it on them as to whether they made the correct call by sitting their starters for part of the game against the Jets.

They have replaced one distraction with another essentially. So instead of the team and management being unified in their attempt to win a Super Bowl and stay perfect, the team and management are unified because they have to defend (especially if they lose in the playoffs) the decision to rest Manning and the other starters in the game against the Jets and probably this week as well.

The Colts do realize they have to win every game starting with their first game of the playoffs don't they? There is still going to be a monkey on the back of the Colts to win since they are going to be the #1 seed, so they may as well get used to it, which I think they are. Again, it was the head coach's call, but I don't see how being undefeated in the postseason is any more pressure than a normal playoff run for a #1 seed that is expected to play well. Either way the team has to be focused and not distracted.

The Super Bowl crown means far more.


This may shock Gregg Easterbrook, but the Colts can win the Super Bowl AND have a perfect record. The New England Patriots came within one quarter of doing this two seasons ago. Winning a Super Bowl and being perfect in the regular season are not two mutually exclusive things.

But everything about the karma of rookie head coach Jim Caldwell's decision to surrender the game by pulling starters, when Indianapolis led in the third quarter, was screwy. Indianapolis was playing at home, before its supporters -- and customers.

So Gregg thinks it was smart decision to rest the starters, he just thinks the Colts should have rested the starters when they were 15-0 and that much closer to a perfect season? I completely buy (and agree with) the idea that those fans in Indianapolis deserve better than they got, but I don't think it would have been a better move to remove the starters next week when the team is only one game away from regular season perfection.

Win at home before the faithful, then don't even dress Peyton Manning and other starters the following week at Buffalo,

At least the Colts made an effort to win the game against the Jets. Not even dressing Manning and some other starters next week would have probably caused a full-fledged riot. Especially if NBC flexed the game to be their Sunday Night Football Game. Imagine the hysteria that would follow if NBC got Curtis Painter v. the Bills when they thought they were getting Manning and regular season perfection v. the Bills.

I don't think teasing the fans with the team possibly having a perfect regular season and then not even playing some starters would a smart move either.

Instead the Indianapolis home crowd was tormented by its heroes taking a third quarter lead, then the coach pulling starters.

I agree. I found it wrong to treat paying customers like this for the last game of the season. If I were a Colts fan I think I would be greatly disappointed.

It's one thing to deliberately stop trying to be undefeated -- Bill Belichick went all-out for 19-0, and look what happened --

His team made the Super Bowl and was one quarter away from going 19-0 and winning the Super Bowl? How come people remember the Patriots undefeated attempt as a bad thing? They almost won the Super Bowl, it's not like they got beat in the first game they played in the playoffs. It isn't a bad thing the Patriots failed. That doesn't mean all teams who don't rest their players and try to go 19-0 are not going to win the Super Bowl.

If a group of people tried to climb to the top of Mount Everest, but failed and were stranded near the peak for a period of time, does that mean another group of people should not even attempt to make it to the top?

Ok, maybe that's a bad example, but you hopefully get my point.

Plus think about this -- when the regular-season finale kicks off, Cincinnati at Jersey/B on Sunday night, from earlier results the Bengals will know whether the game matters to the standings from their perspective (if they can win the third seed) or is meaningless. If the game is meaningless to Cincinnati, Marvin Lewis may rest his starters. Should that happen, the Jets will have faced two consecutive strong teams that didn't try to win the game -- and essentially been issued a free pass to the playoffs, while two of three of the Steelers, Ravens and Broncos are denied.

Let's jump topics here for a second because this passage reminds me that an 18 game schedule is a bad idea. Imagine in an 18 game schedule if most of the divisional positions were wrapped up with three weeks to go. How bad would it stink to have teams basically tanking or resting their starters for three weeks? Don't say I am being alarmist, this could happen. The Saints and Colts already have their divisions wrapped up and would even with an 18 game schedule. I have come to greatly dislike the potential 18 game schedule.

At the moment the stadium clock hits all-naughts for the vanquishing of the season's last undefeated team, the 1972 Dolphins pull the corks, secure in the knowledge that they will reign as the sole perfect team for at least one more year. Gentlemen of 1972, enjoy your annual draught.

Yes, they did go undefeated during the 1972 season, but they also had to play two less games than modern teams do. If it were 1972, the Colts wouldn't have to worry about resting their starters because their next game would be a playoff game. The Dolphins went perfect but it's obviously harder for a team to go perfect in 2009 because they have to play two more games. It's similar to how the UCLA Bruins controlled college basketball for a period of time when recruits didn't mind sitting for a season or two on the bench and the NCAA Tournament required 4 wins to achieve the National Championship because there were fewer teams participating.

Stats of the Week No. 1: Indianapolis has won 23 of its last 25 games, with the sole losses an overtime game in which the Colts never had a possession and a game when the starters were pulled with the Colts leading.

I get this is an impressive stat and I could handle it for the past (way too many) weeks when Gregg mentioned the only game the Colts lost was in overtime when they didn't get the ball, because that was out of their control, but I am not going to be impressed at them only losing because they pulled their starters. That's in the Colts control, so this loss should be noted without an excuse or a caveat in my mind. These stats get more and more arbitrary as Gregg thinks of different and random cut off points to try and prove a point...like when a couple of weeks ago he just ignored the first 6 games of the Titans 2009 season (that they lost) when comparing them with the Colts. Again, he took the Titans record, ignored the first 6 games of this season, and then compared them to the Colts while using the first 6 games of this season.

Stats of the Week No. 8: The Kansas City Chiefs do not have a first quarter touchdown this season.

Really? Even with Todd "The Freaking Offensive Genius" Haley as their head coach? Where's Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin when you need them?

Peterson is a terrific runner but already has fumbled 20 times in 988 touches in his three years; over 15 years, Emmitt Smith fumbled 54 times on 4,924 touches. Peterson's fumbling at about twice the rate Smith did. Okay, Smith is a pretty high standard of comparison.

I disagree. I think Emmitt Smith is a great comparison. Adrian Peterson is considered (rightly or wrongly) as the best running back in the NFL currently, while Emmitt Smith was considered one of the best running backs in the NFL several years ago. Comparing two top running backs in two time periods in regards to fumbles is a good metric in my mind. It doesn't matter that Emmitt Smith is in the Hall of Fame, if Peterson wants to be the greatest runner of this generation (like some claim he may be), he has to stop laying the ball on the ground.

So I disagree with Gregg because I think he is right to make this comparison.

Of course whenever a game goes to overtime, teams were evenly matched. Had the result been different, Favre's fourth-and-goal touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 22 seconds remaining in regulation would be entered into his personal highlight-reel collection.

As it was with the Greg Lewis catch this year against San Francisco, it was a good throw but an even better catch. Yet, Favre gets the massive amount of credit while Rice just gets kudos among the Favre-love.

When Minnesota scored, I expected the Vikings to go for a deuce and the win. At that point it was 17 degrees with a breeze, and Favre is 40 years old -- declining Minnesota performance in overtime, exactly what happened, was not hard to predict.

Except for the fact the Vikings had scored 30 points in the 2nd half of the game. There was no declining performance by the Vikings at all, so there is no way it could have been predicted...except after the fact of course. Overall, based on how the Vikings were playing on offense, it wasn't a given they would lose in overtime, so going for the two-point conversion probably wasn't the best move. It would have been gutsy though.

Brett Favre was also a lot better in the 2nd half of the game, prompting his fan club, I mean the MNF announcing crew, to ask whether the temperature got warmer in the 2nd half (since Favre can't play in the cold according to some people).

If I were Cincinnati, I'd rather play the Jets in the first round. Jersey/B is first in the league in overall defense and first in rushing offense, which sounds like an unbeatable combination for an outdoor game in January. But the Jets are just a terrible team -- they seem very vulnerable.

That's an interesting way to look at the Jets...calling them "vulnerable." What is the formula supposed to be for success in the playoffs? Good defense, the ability to run the ball and ability to throw the ball well when necessary? The Jets are the best in the NFL at those two things, so that has to count for something, right? Maybe even if they aren't considered the best team in the playoffs, is a team that runs the ball well and plays good defense a team too many other teams want to face? I personally would want to play the Broncos in the 1st round, but that's just me.

I am glad they seem "vulnerable" though. I think Gregg just hates blitzing and the Jets do a lot of that, so his hatred of blitzing makes him say the Jets seem vulnerable. Granted, they do have a rookie quarterback, but I don't know if I would want to play the Jets in the 1st round.

Yet they lost to the defending champion Steelers by only 3 points. You wouldn't think Pittsburgh could be outrushed 175 yards to 48 at home in December and still win.

You wouldn't think the Steelers could not rush the ball well and still win the Super Bowl either, but it happened.

Trailing 27-0 and facing fourth-and-goal on the Houston 9 on the final snap of the first half, Sparano ordered a field goal. Gotta keep a shutout of the resume! Miami was doomed without a touchdown at that point, and as the field goal boomed, TMQ wrote the words "season over" in his notebook.

Most of Gregg's fourth down criticisms weren't incredibly bad for this column. This is the exception. The Dolphins had to win the game to stay in the playoff race and they were down 27-0 at halftime. Regardless of whether they went for it on fourth down or kicked a field goal they were probably not winning this game at the point they didn't go for it on fourth down and settled for the field goal. Maybe it was chicken shit of Tony Sparano but the season wasn't over because the Dolphins didn't go for it. They were doomed because of the 27-0 lead, not because they didn't go for a touchdown at this point and the football gods were angry over this.

Something tells me that since it's been an up-and-down year for the Flying Elvii, Bill Belichick will play the Houston game to win, hoping to enter the postseason on a rising note.

Of course for the Colts to do the same thing and try to gain momentum is absolute lunacy, right? Just because the Colts haven't had an up-and-down year they apparently have no need to enter the postseason on a rising note. I find it interesting Gregg seems to think it is smart for the Colts to rest their players (and break up the momentum the team has) because they don't need momentum in the playoffs due to their record, but it's smart for the Patriots to risk injuries to key players just to get a little momentum. These are different situations, but they aren't different enough to where neither team would need momentum.

Western Hemisphere Speed Barista Challenge: Objective is to get through the line at a high-end coffee shop and obtain a half-skim double-caramel rapafrapazapachino before your double-parked car is ticketed.

This is a challenge I am 94% sure that Peter King is willing to enter into. Do not dare him to get coffee at a brisk pace in order to avoid a ticket!

'Tis Better to Have Rushed and Lost Than Never to Have Rushed At All: Leading 17-10 with 2:43 remaining in regulation, New Orleans faced fourth-and-inches on its 40, City of Tampa down to one timeout. Saints, you are 13-1, your opponent is 2-12, you have the league's No. 1-ranked offense, just gain one yard, ice the game and win the first seed before your home faithful! ... That can't be the punt team coming on! The punt was returned for a touchdown, and New Orleans lost in overtime. Let this be a warning from the football gods: When you reach what TMQ calls a "go win the game" moment -- a play that causes a win -- be bold.

I think the Saints should have gone for it here as well, but I don't think Gregg is completely thinking through the logic behind why the Saints punted. The Saints were punting to a team (Tampa Bay) that hasn't been widely known for it's special teams returns for touchdowns since it's inception in 1976 and were giving the ball to a rookie quarterback with one timeout on the road. Gregg has said on several occasions (once specifically in regard to a Patriots game earlier this year) that a punt block is more likely than a punt return, so I can't believe Gregg would actually think the Bucs would return the punt for a touchdown.

Granted, the Saints were not very aggressive by not going for it, but they chose the option that was considered "safer" and it didn't work out for them. It doesn't mean it was the wrong move at the time.

Unwanted Player of the Week No. 1 In the gift-giving ceremony at Indianapolis, the Jets' go-ahead touchdown was scored by Marques Douglas off a fumble recovery. Douglas went undrafted out of Division I-AA Howard University, then was cut by Baltimore (three times), New Orleans, City of Tampa and San Francisco. Now he starts for the league's top-rated defense.

Gregg plays loose with some facts here. Douglas was cut by Baltimore twice, that's true, but the 3rd time he was let go so they would have cap room to sign Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs. So yes, he was cut, but it wasn't because of his performance. Before that he wasn't cut by the Bucs, he was traded to the Ravens. Before that he wasn't cut by the 49ers, he played out his entire 3 year deal with the 49ers and signed a free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. See?

So in one sentence Gregg is wrong twice by saying two of these teams cut Douglas. A little research goes a long way.

The Sorry Two: Buffalo and Detroit are the only NFL teams (other than expansion Houston) to fail to reach the playoffs in this decade. The Lions were once dominant, the Bills are the sole NFL club to reach four consecutive Super Bowls -- to see both perennially awful is painful.

The Lions have won only one playoff game since 1963. The last conference championship was in 1957 and that was the last time they won an NFL Championship as well. So to say the Lions were "once dominant" is correct on its face but a little misleading. The Lions haven't been dominant for over 50 years and have never been dominant ever since the NFL Championship was played in what we know now as the Super Bowl. Football has changed so much since that time, there is almost no way to compare the dominance of the Lions 50 years ago to the NFL today. So Gregg's right, but it really has no bearing on the Lions NFL legacy because it happened before the modern NFL. So for an entire generation who aren't Lions fans it's not really that painful to see them struggle, we are used to it.

The Lions legacy unfortunately is only a losing legacy.

The Chargers are the sole team to have beaten the Colts' starters in their past 25 outings,

Yeah, but the Colts lost in overtime when they never had a possession. Isn't this something we hear every single week from Gregg? He uses it every week to show how good the Colts have been, but now he is trying to flip it around and show that game proves the Chargers can beat the Colts.

It's funny how statistics and sentences can be used one way for a certain time period to prove one thing and then turned around to mean something else. The loss to the Chargers in overtime is used weekly by Gregg to show that the Colts have been the best team in the AFC, but can also be used to say the Chargers can beat the Colts.

Gregg then adds a picture of the old "Star Trek" (the one with William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy) when talking about science/war and that reminded me that I watched the new "Star Trek" movie this weekend and I couldn't help but think about what Gregg would have (or did) second-guessed during the movie in TMQ. I want to thank him for trying to ruin the movie for me. It failed, but he has at least pervaded my mind to the point I think about him and what he would say when I watch a science-fiction movie.

Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far: Jacksonville came into New England having never won there, but very much alive for the postseason. The Jags showed some courage, going for it on fourth-and-1 from the 35 on their first possession -- though using a bland everybody-straight-ahead play that failed.

See, you can't just go for it on fourth down to please the football gods, you have to go for it with the exact specifications the football gods require. I really think Gregg needs to write down all the rules for pleasing the football gods so NFL teams can make themselves more predictable (yet more successful) by loyally following them. I think I know the rules, but having them written down would definitely help me.

Bland, "straight ahead" plays don't always fail. I have seen plenty of games where teams have gone straight ahead on fourth down and gotten the 1st down. Gregg just never mentions it when it happens this way.

As TMQ has been noting this season, on short-yardage downs, when the defense is cranked to go straight ahead, a little misdirection is essential.

As I have noted this season, NFL players are not drones who are incapable of changing direction very quickly. Plus, if a team uses misdirection a lot, the defense will no longer fall for it after a period of time. Its not a bad idea every once in a while, but if misdirection is used frequently it runs the risk of failing due to the defense being able to predict it. I still believe the quickest and best way to the 1st down is straight ahead or at least with as little complicated running/play calling as possible.

I couldn't help but go to Gregg's official website and read some reviews of his new book, "Sonic Boom," and then I made his way to his blog. I think he is guilty of "Easterbrook Creep!" Let's look at some of his blog entries:

The first major review of Sonic Boom is out http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704905704574623221322234850.html and it’s very favorable.

What? A review in the Wall Street Journal on December 29, 2009 when the book doesn't even come out until that day? You can't tell me the Wall Street Journal read the book and wrote a review the day they got the book. They reviewed the book before it came out, that's "Easterbrook Creep!"

Barnes & Noble just placed a large initial order. Whether bookstores order a title before its release is surprisingly important.

What? On November 19, 2009 Barnes and Noble ordered a book that wasn't even available to be bought yet? This book is creeping up on us, why doesn't Gregg warn us about "Easterbrook Creep?"

Sonic Boom has just sold to a major Chinese publishing house, for translation and publication in China.

You mean on November 18, 2009 the book was getting translated into Chinese when it hasn't even be released in the United States yet? How can you translate a book that isn't even available in English yet? This book is guilty of "creeping" on us!

See how annoying this "creep" thing is? If this book weren't a book he wrote, I bet Gregg would accuse it of "creeping" on us. He already mentioned a few months ago in TMQ how he didn't understand how a Sarah Palin book could be a top seller if it hasn't even be released yet, which isn't too different from a company ordering a large pre-order for his book. I can see Gregg asking, "how do they know how much to order?"

I do agree with Gregg Easterbrook on Brett Favre and I agreed with him on nearly all of his fourth down calls, which is surprising overall. If I missed anything egregious, tell me.

7 comments:

rich said...

I have only one thing to add to the nearly perfect Patriots: their last game was against the Giants. The same team they ended up playing in the SB.

You can argue that the Giants gained the upper hand by the Patriots playing the game "to win," but the end result was the Patriots also got a chance to see how they stacked up against a team they might have later played in the SB.

So besides the obvious perfect season thing, there was also the strategic advantage of playing seeing how the team stacks up against post-season competition. The Colts saw how they stacked up against a potential post-season team for three quarters. As for the game against the Bills, the only reasons the Colts would care about the game would be a. a perfect season or b. to maintain the timing and chemistry of the team heading into the playoffs.

Bengoodfella said...

Good points. I think it did benefit the Giants that the Pats played to win in the last game of the season because they saw they could hang with them. How many times is the last game a team plays going to be against a team they face again in the Super Bowl, but I think it actually was a benefit to the Giants as well.

The Colts did get a chance to see how they would stack up against a playoff team and it looked pretty good. I just think if Colts played to win this past week they would have to do it this upcoming week as well, just to get the perfect season. It's just my opinion I guess, but I don't see how they could almost go 16-0 and pull the starters.

This may have no effect on the Colts at all and it wouldn't shock me, but I don't think a distraction like this is good for the team. The Colts seem to stack up well, we will have to see how they do in the playoffs.

Martin said...

Well, it's only the last team that Brett played for that faded down the stretch. The one before that lost in the NFC Championship Game. Ok, so they lost on a "It's too damn cold, I'm just throwing the ball up for grabs" int by Brett, but still.

Bengoodfella said...

Yeah, you are right, the Packers didn't fade down the stretch in the 2007 season. They actually played pretty well. Favre's numbers went down but it didn't affect the team that much if I recall correctly. I personally think Minnesota is going to be fine.

I think it was ESPN that did show Favre's numbers traditionally decline in late November to December. I wish I could find the link, but you are right his teams don't always fade.

KentAllard said...

If only the Patriots had gone 12-4 that year, they would have crushed the Giants in the Super Bowl. As it was, all the players could think about was how they couldn't go undefeated and win the Super Bowl as well.

Speaking as a know-nothing fan, I always prefer it when the opposing team goes with something other than a straight dive on fourth-and-short. It seems to me other plays fail at a higher rate.

If he wants to get through the line at a coffee shop faster, I suggest, he order a fucking cup of regular coffee.

"The Lions were once dominant" - Gregg Easterbrook is a comedy genius.

ivn said...

well Gregg is absolutely right. while a team that goes 16-0 feels the weight of the world in the postseason, a team that wins 14 or 15 games flies completely under the radar.

re: Favre

Favre killed the 07 Packers with that INT, played like shit when they lost at home to the Vikes in 04 (threw four picks), threw that terrible INT to Dawkins in overtime of the "4th and 26" game, played like shit against the Falcons in 02 (two picks and two fumbles, I believe), and threw six interceptions against St. Louis in 2001. the guy has a habit of playing is absolute worst in big games.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, another good point. Favre has made some tough mistakes in the playoffs, but he is just trying to make a play and is like a child out there, so it's ok right? A 6 Int game...I almost forget about that one from time to time. A 5 Int game pretty much ruined Jake Delhomme's career and Jay Cutler is still recovering from the perception he sucks from a 5 Int game in the regular season, much less the playoffs.

There is very little difference in a 14 win team and a 16 win team in regards to how much pressure is on them to win. Either way when you get to the playoffs you have to win every game, so a team has to do whatever is best for themselves in preparation for those playoffs.

I am a little miffed at the idea a team NEEDS to lose a game during the season to win the Super Bowl. If anything in 2007 the 1st game between the Giants and Patriots showed the Giants they could play with the Patriots. If NE had blown them out, then maybe the Giants would not have had as much confidence in the Super Bowl. What would it have affected? Possibly nothing, but losing a game isn't always a good thing.

The fourth-and-short dive play seems to work fairly well, especially when the quarterback can just sneak it.

The Lions were once dominant, but it wasn't even the NFL then so I don't know if that does count.