Saturday, October 2, 2010

4 comments Gene Wojciechowski Must Think the NFL Season Is 6 Weeks Long

Gene Wojciechowski has decided to write a column after the first two weeks of the NFL season and separate all of the teams into three categories: The doomed, the desperate and the dominant teams. He did this after two weeks. You may be saying in his defense, "but Bengoodfella three weeks have been played now and Gene possibly could be showing early signs of dementia." My answers are "you are right" and "I think it is just his writing style."

Much like the very idea of "The Herminator," this idea is dumb, (though "the Herminator" is much, much, much, much, much more dumb. Look at it on YouTube and see if Herm Edwards ever will coach anywhere ever again) the idea of teams being out of it or dominant already after two weeks is useless and any attempt to say otherwise will only fail...like Gene did.

The NFL is so predictable. Seriously, who couldn't have seen the Philadelphia Eagles trading their Pro Bowl quarterback to a division rival, handing the job to his franchise-groomed backup and then ditching the detailed succession plan essentially after the first two quarters of the season opener? I mean, duhhhh.

I get it. Sarcasm. The NFL is not predictable. Regardless of whether this column is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, which I don't think, it is impossible to gauge really so I will assume Gene is being serious. Besides, if any of these predictions came true Gene would take credit for having said it.

Up is down. Snelling is Turner.

Not really. Michael Turner had 30 carries in Sunday's football game. It's too early to really base any solid conclusions off two games being played.

Anyway, it's never too soon to break down the league into three distinct early season categories: The Doomed ... The Desperate ... The Dominant.

Because when a season is 12.5% complete, there is so little room for movement it makes sense to break teams into distinct categories...assuming you are a lazy journalist of course. As proof of how pointless this exercise/column is, only one week has gone by and already Gene's predictions are off-base.

The Doomed


Cowboys -- Deader than Don Draper's secretary.

Current pop culture reference! Watch out Bill Simmons!

Wade Phillips rules with a Jell-O fist, his team had as many rushing first downs as penalties last week (six) and an 0-3 start is a distinct possibility, what with Sunday's road game against unbeaten Houston.

Naturally, the Cowboys beat the Texans who (spoiler alert) are on the "dominant" list that Gene made. Inaccuracy thy name is Gene.

The fact it was a road game didn't mean much since Houston is in the same state as Dallas and the Cowboys are overwhelmingly the more established team so it means there were probably a few Cowboys fans in attendance in Houston. Still, Gene thought they are doomed.

Since 1990, 22 teams have started 0-2 and still reached the playoffs. Three of the 22 won a Super Bowl.

Or maybe the Cowboys aren't doomed? Statistically, every year one team starts 0-2 and makes the playoffs. So I guess the Cowboys aren't doomed.

Rams -- The Rams aren't going to win many games, but at least rookie QB Sam Bradford looks like a keeper.

I don't really understand the difference in a doomed team and a desperate team. I would think doomed teams are also desperate. I also believe the Rams aren't a playoff team, but they play in the wide open NFC West and they beat the Redskins (who are on Gene's dominant list...yet another fail for him) this week. Pretty much anything can happen in the NFC West and I wouldn't rule the Rams out at this point. Here are some of the crappy teams the Rams play this year.

Lions
Panthers
Buccaneers
49ers (twice)
Cardinals

Are they really doomed? Not to sound like Joe Morgan, but it really is too early to tell.

Panthers -- John Fox is respected by his coaching peers, but it looks like he's going to need some cardboard boxes, Styrofoam bubbles and packing tape soon. A team with Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart scored seven points against Tampa Bay last week.

If only football was a three man sport and a quarterback and 2nd receiver wasn't required for a team to be successful...then Gene would have a point. It's hard to run against nine men in the box and hard to throw with bad quarterback play and one good receiver.

Titans -- The AFC South is a two-team race and the Titans aren't one of the two teams.

Even though they do have the same record as the two dominant teams (yet again, Gene fails on this list. It's like he just randomly put teams in each category) that are in their division. The Colts, Texans, and Titans are now 2-1, yet after two weeks Gene was able to know the Titans are doomed while the other two teams are dominant.

The Desperate


49ers -- I'm with Mr. Eyes-Bulging-From-Their-Sockets, Mike Singletary: the Niners are still going to win this division. The turnaround begins Sunday at Kansas City.

If by "turnaround" Gene means "losing by 21 points and in a miserable fashion" then he hit the nail on the head. This is why it is not smart to list teams into distinct categories after only two weeks of games in a 16 game season.

Vikings -- Brett Favre already has four interceptions in two games. Any chance the Vikes could run the same offense he runs in those Wrangler ads? Favre completes passes in those TV games. And, oh: Get well soon, Sidney Rice.

I'm not going to defend the Vikings, but they do get Sidney Rice back at some point and they still have Adrian Peterson.

Giants -- Antrel Rolle, who's been a Giant for about 20 minutes, is already popping off about the stifling, control-freak nature of coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin's no-nonsense rule is a surprise how? Rolle is chirping. Brandon Jacobs is heaving helmets. And the Titans' Chris Johnson comes to town Sunday.

I like how Gene puts the Titans in the doomed category and then when he talks about Giants outlook for the rest of the year he mentions that Chris Johnson (who plays for the Titans and should be taken into account in his ranking of them) is coming to town. So the Titans are doomed, but not really because they have Chris Johnson.

Jets -- I know they beat the Patriots, but they go to Miami without Revis Island, without knucklehead Braylon Edwards in the starting lineup and without a good reason to think they won't be 1-2.

Other than the fact they did beat Miami and are now 2-1 and not 1-2. I wish I was as smart as Gene and could tell how the entire NFL season would play out after 2 games.

Falcons -- There's a lot to like about the Falcons. There will more to like if they beat the New Orleans Saints in the Who Dat Dome.

How can a team that was 1-1 and lost to the Steelers in Pittsburgh 15-9 be a desperate team? They aren't, which is why they beat the Saints this weekend in New Orleans. This column is just a bunch of fail with words.

Seahawks -- Is the Matt Hasselbeck era winding down? He's one of my faves, but those three interceptions against Denver left a bruise mark.

Do we have to ask the question of whether Matt Hasselbeck's era in Seattle is winding down? He's 35 years old and has had back issues. Yes, the era is winding down quite obviously. Seattle, may be desperate in the opinion of Gene, but they also seem to be the best team in the NFC West. Of course there are only three weeks that have gone by in the NFL season so I wouldn't write a column saying this necessarily...because that would be presumptive and stupid.

Last week the Seahawks beat the Chargers, another team Gene put in the dominant category. He's not very good at this.

In fact, of the nine teams Gene has put in the dominant category, six of them lost last week and two of them lost to teams from Gene's "doomed" category, three of them lost to a team from Gene's "desperate" category and only one team lost to another "dominant" team. Somehow Gene has found a group of rankings that are even more pointless and useless than power rankings.

The Dominant


Redskins -- Yeah, I know. They just blew a fourth-quarter lead at home and the running game is on a skim milk carton. So maybe dominant isn't the right word.

If dominant isn't the right word then why did Gene put the Redskins in the dominant category? I hope he understands he has full control of these rankings. They aren't handed down on high from some non-all-knowing God who is too stupid to realize the NFL season was only two weeks old when this was written.

But the more I see of the Cowboys, the Giants and Donovan McNabb, the more I like the Redskins' chances to win the division or get a wild-card spot.

Gene has ranked every NFC East team other than the Redskins in the desperate or doomed category, but thinks the team he ranked in the dominant category could win the Wild Card. Wouldn't it make sense that if they are the only dominant team in the NFC East they would win the NFC East?

Chargers -- Rookie RB Ryan Mathews isn't going to fumble every game, is he? Key stat last week for the Chargers: They forced six turnovers.

Gene has now put a 1-2 team with one loss to a division rival in the dominant category. They have two road losses so far. Dominant teams win on the road.

Packers -- Make your list of the five most dominant defensive players this season. Clay Matthews better be on it.

No person in their right mind would make a list of the five most dominant defensive players in the NFL this season after two games have been played. I guess the key phrase is "in their right mind."

And who said regular-season games don't matter in the NFL? Pack at Soldier Field on Monday night.

I am pretty sure no one said regular season games don't matter in the NFL. There are only 16 games overall so regular season games matter a lot. No one would probably ever say that regular season NFL games don't matter...at least I don't think so.

Ok, now I want to know. Really. Who said regular season games don't matter in the NFL?

Or was this a false premise that Gene put out there to debunk in order to show how important the Packers-Bears game was on Monday night?

"Who said the Colts are never going to win another football game this year?"

"Who said Tom Brady was going to get benched this year?"

"Who said the Bills are a playoff team?"

Dolphins -- I knew I should have picked them to win the division. I wussed out.

The Dolphins lost last week to one of Gene's desperate teams.

Saints -- Niners running back Frank Gore was right: San Francisco whupped the Saints up and down the field. And yet the Saints still found a way to win. In Drew Brees, I always trust.

The Saints are 2-1 with 3-1 staring them straight in the face, but they have been outplayed in two of the three games this year and now Drew Brees seems to have a knee injury. I still count them as a dominant team, but I wouldn't worry about Drew Brees as much as I would worry about the rest of the team. The Saints are still a great team, but Brees has been on the team in past seasons when they haven't been a dominant team.

I think Gene couldn't think of a column idea and so he just wrote this. I am hoping he immediately regretted it being published.

4 comments:

rich said...

then ditching the detailed succession plan essentially after the first two quarters of the season opener?

They didn't ditch it until the third game. It wasn't until Kolb could play and Reid told him to get on the bench that they "ditched" it. So it was week 3, not after the second quarter. In fact this article might have been written before the plan was even officially ditched.

Cowboys -- Deader than Don Draper's secretary.

They still had 5 division games left... How the fuck are they doomed? They play in a division with a team that sucks (Washington), a team that sucks (NY) and a team that should suck (Philly), but somehow wins.

I'm with Mr. Eyes-Bulging-From-Their-Sockets, Mike Singletary: the Niners are still going to win this division.

0-2 Dallas: fucked.
0-2 SF: Winning division.

Antrel Rolle, who's been a Giant for about 20 minutes, is already popping off about the stifling, control-freak nature of coach Tom Coughlin.

Then the moron shouldn't have signed the contract he did. It's not a surprise that Coughlin is a asshole coach.

Jets -- I know they beat the Patriots, but they go to Miami without Revis Island, without knucklehead Braylon Edwards in the starting lineup and without a good reason to think they won't be 1-2.

Oh no! He didn't start? He might miss one series?!?!?!?!

Also missing Revis in a game where you're facing Chad Henne isn't the end of the world.

Redskins -- Yeah, I know. They just blew a fourth-quarter lead at home and the running game is on a skim milk carton.

Anyone who thinks the Redskins will be dominant over the course of a season is a fucking moron or a Redskins fan. McNabb is going to get hurt behind that line.

Packers -- Make your list of the five most dominant defensive players this season. Clay Matthews better be on it.

Well so should Matthias Kiwiaunka. Too bad the Giants are doooooooommmeeedddd.

And who said regular-season games don't matter in the NFL?

Ya, if only the NFL had some type of playoff system. It's too bad the Lombardi trophy gets sent out after a pre-season poll.

Saints -- Niners running back Frank Gore was right: San Francisco whupped the Saints up and down the field. And yet the Saints still found a way to win. In Drew Brees, I always trust.

Win two games because your opponent played terrible, terrible football: Dominant.

Lose two very close games (Dallas): Dooooooomed.

Martin said...

I love how Gene, Peter, and the rest of these guys who make "Power Rankings" somehow have the teams take on a life of their very own, and are apparently only reporting what they are seeing. Is it little team logos fighting it out in a King of the Hill minitaure battle arena in their den? I mean what the hell are these guys doing? They act, as Ben has pointed out many times, as if they have no control over their own power rankings.

"Holy shit! The Bills have taken the top of the hill! They're #1 this week! Who would have thought? Go Buffalo! Man these ranking surprise me every week!"

The only dominate thing about the Redskins this season is the smell they made with their two losses this season.

Arjun Chandrasekhar said...

dude what is the point of even reading wojciechowski i don't know anyone who actually takes his opinions seriously or puts any stock in his expertise. I don't think i've ever read any point by him that i thought had any semblance of cogency in any way - he is just wasted space on ESPN.

by the way how the hell can every team be either doomed desperate or dominant? does he seriously beliuevee that A. the first two categories aere actually any different, or that B. there is absolutely no middle ground? Apparently gene can use a two game sample size to determine that a team's season is either completely in the tank or headed for historical greatness. there is no such thing as a team that is pretty good and has an optimistic outlook but isn' quite elite. wow.

by the way everyone make sure to check out www.arjun-allthingssports.blogspot.com when you're done here

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I don't think Gene watched the game b/c Kolb was hurt and that is part of the reason he left the game.

There was no consistency in this article. I could possibly understand if Gene had based it on anything other than the team's current record, but he doesn't. Some 0-2's are screwed and others are just straight fucked. I don't get it.

Martin, that's what I don't get at all. It is like Gene was handed these power rankings from on high or something. Power rankings are how a person writing thinks each team should be ranked. It should be based on their own criteria, so the writer should agree with where every team is ranked. Sometimes, the writer still gets shocked for some reason.

Arjun, I will check out the blog. I don't know why I read Gene's writing either. I thought it was hilarious he put the teams in three categories, with little middle ground, and then after the 3rd week it was all fucked.