Tuesday, September 14, 2010

19 comments MMQB Review: Bulletproof and Mad-On Edition

I'm back now. Hopefully I won't be posting sporadically this week while I try to catch up on everything, though I can't guarantee it.

It is professional football season, which means Peter King delivers on his MMQB about actual football games and Peter King has not let us down with his latest MMQB. There are tons of things to chew and stew over, as well as many other food-related descriptions to be used to describe Week 1. Our faithful football-loving, baseball-loving (yet he seems slightly ignorant about the sport at times), and travel-hating Peter King tells us all about the conversations he had with the players about this week's games.

Isn't traveling so annoying though? Peter wishes he had a bus to take him everywhere (Peter keeps dropping this hint in his MMQB in the hopes his passive-aggressive whining will get him one), so he wouldn't have to deal with the general public. Regardless, here are some story lines (food-related description alert) he wants us to chew on and wash down with the Coors Light our generation just loves.

As far as opening weekends go, the NFL's 91st was boffo.

(Peter takes us back to 1960's London)

It was a rousing good time! Cheerio!

We found out Wes Welker is bulletproof,

No really, a Jets fan who just found out his team DIDN'T win the AFC East last year tried to shoot Welker out of anger and Welker just deflected the bullet and then caught 110 bullets that were thrown at him, while Peter King cheered for him on the sidelines and brought him a smoothie at halftime and asked to wear his letter jacket.

Apparently coming back from an injury now means you are bulletproof in the eyes of Peter King.

(Ok I know, Welker came back very quickly from his severe knee injury, but this doesn't mean he is bulletproof, it just means he had a good surgeon and worked hard to come back.)

(Also, I rarely agree with Ray Lewis, but he is so right that the Jets didn't even win their division last year. Let them get past the Patriots in the AFC East and then we can talk Super Bowl for them this year.)

Randy Moss has a mad-on,

A mad hard-on? Wait, no, that's not it. Nevermind.

At NBC on Sunday night, Tony Dungy made a terrific point, asking how can the Lance Moore Super Bowl two-point conversion pass be a good catch -- he barely had control of it before breaking the plane of the goal line, then losing control of the ball -- when a much surer Calvin Johnson catch Sunday in Chicago is ruled no good? Dungy's right. The disparity in the two calls is striking and makes fans and the public look at Sunday's ruling and say it's nonsense.

It's the rules and I think if the rules say it wasn't a touchdown, then it isn't a touchdown. It's not really an interpretation of the rule that was wrong. I thought it should have been a touchdown so the rule needs to be changed...and changed very soon. It just looked like a good catch to me.

But his coach, Jim Schwartz, didn't complain because he knows the rule from the NFL digest of 2010 rules: If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass he must maintain control of the ball after he touches the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control, and the ball touches the ground, the pass is incomplete.

It is the rule and it is not a bad rule. Unfortunately this specific situation is an example of the application of the rule not seeming very fair. I can see how in some situations, if this rule is tweaked, it may cause some catches that aren't touchdowns to be called touchdowns. A player has to maintain control of the ball, but I think this rule can be fixed to where in a situation like was had on Sunday, it could be applied fairly.

I can only imagine the uproar that Bill Polian would have caused if this had happened to the Colts. He would be picketing the league office and Peyton Manning would be on the phone with Peter King talking about the unfairness of the rule. You don't do this to the Colts or there will be blood.

I'm taking a bow for my only good fantasy football advice. Ever. I did tell the world to pick Arian Foster no later than the third round and was roundly Tweet-jeered for it. Turns out I vastly underrated him. Maybe Foster shouldn't have gone in the third round; maybe he should have gone in the top three picks.

One week. There has been one week in the NFL season that has gone by so far. Arian Foster may turn out to be a great fantasy pick, but there has been one week gone by in the NFL season. Let's wait until Week 5 or 6 to say Arian Foster should have gone in the top three picks. The fantasy road is littered with Week 1 wonders that didn't do much after that.

Wes Welker's just fine. In January, Welker shredded his ACL and damaged his MCL in a game at Houston. Thirty-one weeks ago, the NFL's receptions leader since 2007 had the ACL repaired. And Sunday, he caught two touchdown passes from Tom Brady in the Pats' decisive win over Cincinnati. "It's not heroic,'' he told me. "Rod Woodson once had an ACL early in the season and came back to play in the Super Bowl.''

It's not heroic, it's bulletproof.

(Peter blows the smoke away from the tip of an imaginary gun and then pretends to holster it)

Barron had three holding penalties in the game's last 31 minutes, including one that nullified the winning touchdown pass by Romo to Roy Williams. According to footballoutsiders.com, Barron's 78 penalties since the start of the 2005 season are the most in the NFL. Amazingly, Barron started his last two holding calls by corralling Brian Orakpo around the neck ... not even a semblance of trying to block him properly.

The reason Barron did not try to block him properly is because Orakpo had Barron beat on both plays and he was trying to save Tony Romo from getting sacked. So it was either hold and get caught or hope Romo could get away from Orakpo. Barron chose to hold, like he usually chooses to do.

On a different note, I had the luxury of watching the Cowboys-Redskins game at an airport bar waiting for a flight to Dallas-Fort Worth, so there were a ton of Cowboys fans (meaning everyone but me) watching the game. It brought up a problem I have in public. The hardest thing I have to do ever is not correct people publicly about sports and look like a sports know-it-all or an asshole. I hear people saying things incorrect in public all the time and I just want to correct them. It's a disease I have. After Barron committed the penalty to end the game, the Cowboys fan beside me told another fan that he thought the Cowboys should have cut Barron in the offseason because he couldn't stand another year of him on the offensive line for the Cowboys. I wanted so bad to tell him that Barron got traded to the Cowboys in this offseason, but somehow refrained.

I also somehow refrained from punching a guy in the face who said at a bar in Hawaii (while wearing an Arizona Cardinals shirt) who wondered where Anquan Boldin was and why he wasn't on the field for the Cardinals. He then asked if Boldin was hurt and if that is why he isn't on the field for the Cardinals. Keep up people.

The return of Vick the Quick. It's not possible the Kevin Kolb Era opened and closed on the same day, is it? With trusting coach Andy Reid in charge, no chance. But the last time Michael Vick both threw and ran for 100 yards in one game was Oct. 1, 2006, against Arizona; he did it Sunday in two-plus quarters, running for 103 and throwing for 173 in the 27-20 loss to Green Bay. "Michael was magnificent,'' Reid said. With Kolb knocked out of the game with a concussion, Philly's starter for next week at Detroit isn't certain, though Reid said it'd be Kolb if he's able to go.

Vick the Quick?

Kevin Kolb wasn't great for the Eagles, there's no doubt about that, but the Packers did not game plan for Mike Vick and that's a lot of the reason he was so successful. They had a game plan that was supposed to stop Kevin Kolb and Vick throws an entire different look at the defense they weren't prepared to see for 30+ snaps. I don't think Vick is the answer for the Eagles over the entire season. We saw at the end of the game that Vick still isn't a great passer and I think with an offense that has Jeremy Maclin, Desean Jackson, and Brent Celek that Vick isn't the answer to be throwing them the ball. He brings a completely different dimension to the game with his legs, but I still think there is a ceiling on where he could take the Eagles. I could be wrong, but long-term I don't see Vick having the same success. Of course anything he did in that game would have been an improvement on Kolb's performance.

Mike Williams (the Seattle one) grows up. "I'm 26 now,'' Williams said after his first NFL start in three years Sunday, Seattle's rout of the 49ers. "The game's a little more important to me now than it was when I first came in the league.''

I am cheering for Mike Williams to do well in the NFL, but I am getting a little tired of Peter King championing and trying to treat Williams' story as a "feel-good" story every week in his MMQB when he mentions Williams. I can't feel good about a guy who wasted the Detroit Lions money and overall didn't give a shit the first couple of years in the league. I'm glad he is getting it now, but I don't feel good for him quite yet because he doesn't get credit from me for finally getting it at this point. I don't care the game is more important to him now because it was important to Lions fans and coaches when they drafted him and he didn't give a shit then. So while I am glad he is now succeeding, I wish he had seen the importance of the NFL to him when Lions fans could have benefited from this epiphany.

Williams being self-aware that he was a wasted pick probably doesn't make Lions fans feel any better.

1. New Orleans (1-0). There wasn't a flawless team in Week 1 and I don't think one was close. So the Saints take the top spot because of a very good defensive performance and because we all know Drew Brees is going to play like Drew Brees for the next four months.

I have been holding this thought since the game Thursday, but is it possible the Saints didn't have a good defensive performance and the Vikings just aren't a good offensive team right now? I am not saying it is true, but it's possible since the Vikings didn't have Sidney Rice, Favre didn't look great and Percy Harvin has his migraines. Yes, this is season two of "Bengoodfella not believing the Saints defense is that good."

3. Green Bay (1-0). One thing I worry about -- that line might get Aaron Rodgers hurt. Where'd all those leaks come from?

They came from the year 2009 when the Packers had the exact same problem and didn't seem to do too much to take care of them this offseason. Where is Peter's long-term memory at? Can't he recall the offensive line problems the Packers had last year? Why would the offensive line problems for the Packers just go away when they didn't really upgrade any of the starting positions?

8. Indianapolis (0-1). They lost, and they may have lost Bob Sanders, who, as I said on NBC Sunday night, has now played 48 games in his career and missed 49. It's sad. When I talked to him in training camp, he was happy and healthy and anticipating this season with excitement because he finally felt good. If he'd got a serious arm or elbow injury because of a fluky injury in the first quarter of the first game, I'd feel sorry for him.

How can Peter call any injury to Bob Sanders "fluky?" The guy is injured all the time. What's fluky is when Bob Sanders is actually healthy.

11. San Diego (0-0). I just never thought it would come to Marcus McNeill sitting out. Vincent Jackson, yes, because the Chargers have decided internally to move on without him. But a top-eight left tackle? Mind-boggling.

This would be a much more major story if the Chargers played on the East Coast. This is an example of how there isn't an East Coast Bias necessarily, but some stories aren't covered the same when they happen on the East and West coast in the NFL. If McNeill played for an East Coast team this story would have gotten way more publicity. He's the left tackle that protects the blind side of one of the NFL's best quarterbacks. If he were holding out on the East Coast I think we would hear more about it and would better be able to recognize the importance of his absence.

Offensive Player of the Week

Arian Foster, RB, Houston

The former philosophy major at Tennessee didn't do a lot of thinking Sunday -- just running.

Get it? He was a philosophy major and he didn't think? See, it makes sense and is clever because philosophy majors do a lot of thinking about life while sitting on a rock with their hand on their chin. That's what they do, think. Get it? It's clever!

There's no question the Texans have the free-agent find of the last several years in Foster, who could have left Tennessee early in 2008 and been a high draft choice, but chose to stay in school

The free-agent find of the last several years? There is a huge question about this. He had 257 rushing yards last year and has played one game this year. How the hell can Peter say RIGHT NOW he is the free-agent find of the last several years? I hope he doesn't mean the free-agent find over the entire NFL.

With the news that Brady signed a four-year, $72-million contract extension with the Patriots (he'll play out the final year of his existing contract this year, and the new one runs from 2011 through 2014), a few thoughts occurred to me. One: This is the first time in Brady's career he's earned more than Manning in average pay.

So you thought Peter wouldn't start the NFL season out with a chart describing and comparing something about a New England Patriot player? It's a tradition that he always puts a chart about how a Patriots player stacks up in his "Stat of the Week" portion of MMQB. If it isn't how Brady stacks up to Cassel, how Brady in 2009 stacks up to Brady in previous years, how the Patriots have selected their picks in the NFL Draft, then it is how much money Tom Brady makes compared to Peyton Manning (for now). Either way we look at it, there's going to be a chart about something involving the Patriots in MMQB.

Big-Money Quarterbacks
Years2004-09Earnings/Per-Year Average2010 Earnings

Note: Brady's new money in 2010 will push this figure up significantly. As soon as I find out exactly what the contract is, I'll let you know.

I am sure you will Peter...and I trust you will have a chart to accompany this information.

On Thursday, Sept. 23, I'll be joined by NBC's Bob Neumeier, Ron Borges and Ian Rapoport of TheBoston Herald, and Albert Breer of The Boston Globe at the Harpoon Brewery in South Boston at 7 p.m. We'll take your questions, and the superb folks at Harpoon will be serving of their fine products -- gratis.

So make your donation today if you're anywhere in the reach of this column. And if you're a New Englander and want your Patriots dissected, or you want any of the other 31 teams in the league put under the microscope, pony up $50 and we'll have a great night together.

Why do I get the feeling Peter will find it easier to dissect certain teams for their fans as compared to other teams? I would love for a group of Packers fans to show up and have Peter dissect how good this team is offensively compared to Favre-era Packers teams. I am not sure he could do this, especially since the offensive line problems they had in Philadelphia are new to him. Let's face it, Peter will be able to dissect some teams better than others.

But Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew hosts a Fantasy Football show (Friday, 7-9 p.m. EDT, Sirius Radio), is in a Sirius league, writes a fantasy column for SI.com on Fridays and has his own drafted players on his show to tell them they better play well. "I'm a cutthroat owner,'' Jones-Drew said the other day. "I'll call you out on my show.''

Jones-Drew had the first pick in his draft recently -- and took himself. His lineup: Himself, Matt Forte and C.J. Spiller in the backfield ("I'm trying to trade for Arian Foster,'' he said), Eli Manning and David Garrard (had to take the guy handing him the ball in Jacksonville) at quarterback,

I wouldn't exactly call drafting his team's own quarterback, who is an average fantasy quarterback at best, being a "cutthroat owner." Did Jones-Drew draft a quarterback before the 9th round?

i. What a tackle, Kenny Phillips, on DeAngelo Williams. Saved a touchdown.

That was a great play but it wasn't a tackle, he got Williams ankle just enough to trip him up. It counts statistically as a tackle, just like on the depth chart for Carolina it says Matt Moore is an NFL starting quarterback, when that isn't really true either.

In regard to Matt Moore, who threw three interceptions in the end zone against the Giants, Carolina ownership isn't unhappy at all with him. They cut players and saved money all offseason (for what? Who the fuck knows, other than to prepare for a lockout) and now they have a quarterback who is cheaper than Jake Delhomme who can do the exact same things Delhomme could do at a third of the price. Delhomme threw interceptions, looked clueless and fumbled the ball, well Matt Moore can do all of that and he is cheaper. That's success in their eyes!

Seriously, throw the ball away. Out of the back of the end zone. Throw the ball with your arm. Towards the back of the end zone. Don't fuck over the entire team because you want to be a hero.

j. Good line by Phil Simms as the Patriots throttled the Cincinnati D early: "Somebody better say to the Bengals, 'Hey, guys, the season's started.' ''

Good line? No, great line. Way to say a great line Phil Simms.

s. Hakeem Nicks. Last year, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham entered the season as the wideouts with the best chemistry with Eli Manning. But Nicks has became a vital part of Manning's progressions. Eli found him for three touchdowns Sunday, leading the Giants over Carolina.

I like how Peter leaves off that Nicks did something Manningham and Smith did not do, and that's have a football thrown by Manning bounce off his hands. By my count, Nicks missed three catches that hit his hands and I am pretty sure one of them led to an interception. Smith and Manningham are still the better receivers in my mind and may have better chemistry with Eli Manning...at least it looked that way on Sunday. It's just Hicks was open so he got the ball.

a. Brett Favre's accuracy. Is he rusty or too far gone? "There were three or four throws I just missed,'' he said after the 14-9 loss to New Orleans. Give him four or five weeks to get back in shape; if he has two or three more like that one the other night, we'll think it's because he's a 40-year-old man with an 80-year-old left ankle.

Peter King's excuses for Brett Favre because of his ankle have officially begun. Enjoy the entire year of hearing about how injuries are hurting Favre's performance. Of course they aren't hurting his performance enough for him to miss a start, but that's because Favre is so tough. It's not Favre's fault he didn't play well, it was his ankle's fault. I can't believe someone held a gun to Favre's head and made him play in the NFL this year with an injured ankle.

d. Warm up in the bullpen, Max Hall. Derek Anderson attempted 15 passes to one of the biggest targets in the game, Larry Fitzgerald. Completed three of them.

But he almost threw for 300 yards and he is much better than that bum Matt Leinart, that's what I hear. Derek Anderson is the future in Arizona!

4. I think Joe Buck said what a lot of us were thinking after seeing a highlight in the first half of Seattle-San Francisco, a shot of wide receiver Mike Williams -- the failed Lions draftee -- catching a key pass on a Seahawk drive. Said Buck: "Somewhere, Matt Millen is saying, 'Oh, now you want to play.' ''

Earlier in this exact same MMQB, Peter was writing about Mike Williams in a "feel-good" fashion. Now he is not feeling so good about Williams.

5. I think you want to play 18 games, NFL? I'm watching this Eagles game Sunday, and two of Philly's 10 most important players (Kolb, Stewart Bradley) go out with concussions, and the starting center, Jamaal Jackson, is lost for the season with a torn biceps. Bob Sanders, Matthew Stafford, Kevin Boss, Matt Moore ... and I'm sure I'm missing 20 more. Adding regular-season games is an idea whose time should never come.

18 regular season games is a bad idea. I can't think of how this is a good idea that doesn't involve money for the owners. Cut the preseason games down (which will never happen for obvious reasons...namely the owners won't give up revenue for ANY potential home game), but I don't think 18 games in a season is the answer.

f. Eric Dungy, son of Tony, is a frosh Oregon receiver. Ducks played at Tennessee on Saturday night. Eric texted Peyton Manning before the game and said, in effect, if you want the Vols to win, you'd better come back and play quarterback. Like the kid's moxie.

It's easy to have moxie and talk shit when you can't be found anywhere on the Oregon Ducks depth chart and know you aren't going to probably have to make an impact in the game.

I looked on ESPN.com and saw that Bill Simmons has a retro-diary up from the FIBA World Championships. Not a running diary, but a retro-diary. Who told him a retro-diary was a better thing than a running diary? What else does he have to do that stops him from doing a running diary?


Matt said...

Nothing to do w/ this MMQB, but...

Simmons is back w/ a non-Friday article today. What's it about? MLB playoff races? Awards? The US Open? This weekend's football action? Nope - the USA vs. Turkey Gold Medal game for whatever world basketball tournament that is going on.

I had no idea who we were playing, or even what the hell this event is. Did anyone watch this? Maybe the "bored" baseball fans who've switched to watching soccer.

On another note - Joe Morgan said today in his chat that it is "stupid" to debate that CC Sabathia should not win the AL Cy Young Award. I find the notion that JM can call anyone else stupid as an afront on the word stupid.

Ben, how can I lobby for you to get a job at ESPN?

Dylan Murphy said...


I actually approve of JM calling people stupid, because it makes him look even worse. Any way to bash him is a plus in my book.

Regarding Bill Simmons, I hate the retro-diaries. It's his excuse for, "I have nothing to write about so I'm going to do something that's really easy. He's a very good writer when he takes the time and puts himself %100 behind his writing, but his fame has allowed him to do whatever he wants, and get away with it.

Martin said...

I also think that he's learned that he can get out what he used to say in his columns in two podcasts a week that take up about 3 hours of total time.

Also, he is a basketball honk. He's talked about the Worlkd Championships pretty frequently on his podcasts, and thinks they are an important piece to young NBA players maturing and finding an edge to their game they didn't have.

Bengoodfella said...

Matt, I saw that column. I agree with Dylan on that. I hate retro-diaries and they waste the talent that Bill Simmons has. He has a ton of talent and he wastes it on shit like a retro-diary. It should be a crime.

I was going to watch the game, but mostly for the coach, but I did not watch it. I would watch it to avoid talking about the Braves choke job.

Stupid is as stupid does...and Joe Morgan does stupid very well. Maybe he is such an expert on stupid he can recognize it in other people? I don't think debating that award going to Sabathia is stupid. He's had a good year but there are a few pitchers who could have case against Sabathia.

I am nowhere original enough to work at ESPN. I couldn't think of cute catchphrases or anything. Plus there is a 90% chance none of my columns would get printed because it would affect their pursuit of Brett Favre as an NFL commentator after he retires...assuming he ever does.

Dylan, Bill has a lot of Keith Hernandez moments where he thinks he can do whatever he wants, and sadly he can. You are right. Him writing retro-diaries is like Joe Posnanski writing for Sports Illustrated for Kids.

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, I almost watched that game because I also like the idea our 2nd best group of players can beat the World's players. I would like to think the "edge" Simmons is talking about is Coach K teaching these players how to play good defense.

Insert your own Duke joke regarding NBA players here.

Martin said...

They played hard all the time, they played smart and good D. I think you must attribute some of it to Coach K, who I think is a hell of a coach, but a man also with a large ego and a bit of wanker in him. So in other words, just like most highly successful coaches in the college or pro ranks.

Also, they won because Kevin Durant is the most skilled player in the world right now. He has a better overall talent pool then LeBron, is younger then Kobe, and only needs a couple more years to put it together and become unstoppable on both ends of the floor.

Anonymous said...

Invisible text again?

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I fixed it. I think it has something to do with me switching computers on which I write this. I tend to write on a couple of computers and when I save the document the text disappears for some reason. Sorry for that.

Martin, Coach K has a huge ego and he is a good coach as well. I don't always agree with how he uses his talent at Duke, but he's done a good job with what he has on the US team...as if that would be hard to do anyway. I attribute the defense to Coach K (its defense without flopping? Is that possible?), but you are right about Durant. He's better than nearly all of the US Olympic team.

I think this team of players should get to play at the next Olympics personally. I know LeBron, Wade, and others are going to try to join in again, and will probably succeed, but this team I think stuck it out in the FIBA tournament so they should get a fair shot to go to London in 2012.

Anonymous said...

It's more fun that way like a decoder ring

Bengoodfella said...

I am sure it is a lot of fun to not only have to read my long posts, but to have to highlight the parts that are erased. It's better than when I started using Google Chrome and my entire post would disappear.

I wish I could make the MMQB less like a decoder ring and more like a scratch-and-sniff post where it smells like the grit and hustle from David Eckstein's socks.

rich said...

Hooray, I finally have internet at my new apartment. Fuck you Comcast and your "losing" my original appointment last fucking week, you dicks.

Anyway, hope everything went well BGF.

Barron started his last two holding calls by corralling Brian Orakpo around the neck ... not even a semblance of trying to block him properly.

If this is a surprise to anyone, then they haven't watched football the past few years. Barron is awful, actually not awful; he's the worst offensive lineman in the NFL.

It's not possible the Kevin Kolb Era opened and closed on the same day, is it?

Kevin Kolb age: 26
Mike Vick age: 30

There's no question the Texans have the free-agent find of the last several years in Foster

Cedric Benson?

Hakeem Nicks. Last year, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham entered the season as the wideouts with the best chemistry with Eli Manning.

BECAUSE HE WAS A FUCKING ROOKIE! Manningham and Smith were both in their third years last year. No shit they have better chemistry with Eli than Nicks. Also, Nicks was the fourth WR last year so he didn't get a ton of snaps with Manning until he started playing more. Jesus Peter, you suck at your job.

Peter also dropped this gem in there:

Hang time, Matt Dodge. Come on. Giants hired you to be a professional punter.

For someone whose fucking job it is to follow football you'd think he'd know:

a. Dodge is a rookie who had a couple punts blocked due to shitty protection in the preseason.


b. The Giants completely changed his kicking motion, so he's still getting used to that. Dude shanked a ton of punts in the pre-season, it's not exactly like this was surprising.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich thanks, it was a lot of fun to not have to be at work for an entire week.

Barron may actually be the worst lineman statistically in the NFL since he got into the NFL. At least other teams take try to cover up guys like Barron at guard, but he has been at tackle.

Cedric Benson is a good pick, especially considering he has played more than 1 game at a high level.

Good call on Nicks being a rookie last year, but I still think Manningham and Smith probably have more of Manning's trust at this point. It is tough for a rookie WR to immediately have his QB's trust.

I did not know those things about Matt Dodge. Of course I don't cover the NFL for a living nor did I visit their training camp.

rich said...

I did not know those things about Matt Dodge. Of course I don't cover the NFL for a living nor did I visit their training camp.

This isn't something I'd expect non-Giants fans to know, but Peter's job is to cover the NFL and the Giants are one of the more marquee franchises, so staying up to date on them is probably a pre-req for the job.

Basically, you'd think he'd have spent 30 seconds watching the Giants in the pre-season (they talked about it every game) or even scanned the headlines at giants.com (they wrote two articles on it). Even better is that he's replacing Jeff Feagles, a possible HOFer, so the information is there if you spend 15 seconds looking for it. Considering some of the really obscure shit that PK finds out about, finding out about Dodge would be a cake walk.

I still think Manningham and Smith probably have more of Manning's trust at this point.

Smith has a lot of Manning's trust, especially with the season-ending injury to Hixon. However, Smith's skillset is more conducive to short to medium passes (and he's not getting a ton of YAC) and zone defenses. Manningham has a much stronger skillset, but has a serious case of the dropsies (what is it with Michigan WRs dropping passes in the NFL?). He'll have his good games, but then again he'll also have games where he drops 3 passes.

I have to say I'm completely shocked by Nicks. When Maclin was available in the late-mid 1st I was praying for them to move up, but even then, with Britt available I had no idea the Giants liked Nicks.

Even so, if you look back to last year, Nicks' best games came in losses: NO, Arizona and Philly. His best game in a Giants win was 4 catches for 49 yards in week 5 against Oakland. This year, Nicks is getting a chance to start and had a full training camp with Manning (instead of practicing with the second team offense).

So basically, you're right in that Manning (IMO) has better chemistry with Manningham and Smith, but the way Nicks is capable of playing, I wouldn't be surprised in Nicks becomes Manning's favorite 1st and 2nd down target (No one is supplanting Smith's 3rd down ability).

Glad to hear everything went well and to top it off you missed TMQ's haiku article (which I avoided like the plague).

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I am pretty up on each team, except for the punter situation. I didn't expect to know that, but I did expect Peter may know some of those things.

I liked Nicks at UNC and thought he was a good pick for the Giants (I think I said so after the draft), but you are exactly right it is tough to get good chemistry with Manning while working with the 2nd team. Nicks has the higher ceiling, but it should shock no one the more veteran receivers have better chemistry with Manning...except Peter of course. Based on his ability, this is a temporary thing and Nicks seems to be getting more of Manning's trust as they play together longer.

your favourite sun said...

(Also, I rarely agree with Ray Lewis, but he is so right that the Jets didn't even win their division last year. Let them get past the Patriots in the AFC East and then we can talk Super Bowl for them this year.)

The Packers didn't win their division or a playoff game last year, and a lot of people--including you, apparently?--are picking them for the Super Bowl.

your favourite sun said...

Also I don't buy that it's a given that LeBron, Wade et al. want to go to the next Olympics. Most great players only do the Olympics once, and several of those guys have already done it twice. Plus they'll be playing together some 100 games a year now, what's their motivation to dedicate another offseason to playing together? Contrary to popular belief, Nike doesn't need them to, and the Miami Heat(and the other teams who just paid for guys from the '08 team) would stop them if they could. There's just not the incentive there like people seem to believe.

My prediction is that the 2012 team will be built around Durant and Rose, and the Lopez twins if they stay healthy. Eric Gordon probably left an impression, and Love and Westbrook will get more than a fair consideration. There will definitely be more guys from this year's worlds than the last Olympics on the final roster.

Bengoodfella said...

Sun, I am not talking about people predicting the Jets to win the Super Bowl in saying let's talk about them winning their division first. I have no problem with people predicting them to play or win the Super Bowl. I am talking about the attitude the Jets seem to have that they are a better team than any other team in the AFC and they are the team to beat as well.

It would ridiculous for me to say you can't predict a team would make the Super Bowl until they actually make it or win their division. It's the perceived attitude among the press and mostly the Jets that they are the favorites. The Jets have a hugely cocky attitude, or at least seem to, that goes over the line of confidence. That's what I am referring to. The Jets are believing their own press basically.

It is entirely possible that LeBron and Wade won't play in London in 2012. I think if LeBron and Wade want to play again they will probably have the pull to do it. I won't argue with you that there may not be as much incentive for them to do it in 2012 though. I think I enjoy this American team more than the Redeem Team personally, but maybe I am forgetting how I felt about the Redeem Team in 2008.

your favourite sun said...

Ah, okay, that makes more sense. I was confused by the statement but I didn't read Lewis's comments in context or anything so that could be why.

I agree that the big guns from '08 could walk in and make the team if they wanted. Coach K and Colangelo made a big to-do about how the last Olympics required a "three-year commitment," but then waived the rule for Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd to walk-on in '07, and Carlos Boozer to get the last spot in '08. I just don't see those players themselves caring so much this time around, since they got their gold.

This year's team was fun because there was no sense of entitlement or inevitability. They had to become world champions by wanting it and working for it, which they did. We could enjoy them simply for what they were, and not for the mythological heroes the '08 team were expected to be.

Bengoodfella said...

Sun, I shouldn't have assumed everyone knew what I was talking about.

Here's the link: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nfl/news/story?id=5550547

Some player on the Jets referred to themselves as the Heat and that is part of the response. Though if Lewis had thought about it, the Heat do have one NBA title, so theoretically they are looking for multiple rings...just not with the same players.

I figured they would either lose players or not get a three year commitment out of them. That's not happening and any ideas it would happen are pure fantasy. I can see them not caring, but I can also see them playing. I'm just confused as to what will happen.

I do agree this team was much more fun. I love watching these younger guys go up against international teams. I think if you held a gun to Coach K's head and set him up with a lie detector, he would say he enjoyed it more because they are younger players who may actually listen to him. Not that LeBron and company didn't listen to him, but this team didn't have as many outside voices and agendas.