Monday, November 15, 2010

4 comments MMQB Review: Let's Overreact To Everything Edition

Peter King doesn't think there are any super teams in the NFL this year. He says this based on his usual overreacting to what happens during one given week in the NFL. Many of the best NFL teams lost this weekend, so there are no great teams now. Next week, when the best teams blow out who they play, there will be a clear pecking order for which teams are Super Bowl favorites. Either way, Peter is very confused as to which team is currently the best in the NFL. If only there were a playoff system that will ultimately help reveal the answer...maybe one that takes place in January between the top six teams in each division.

Week 10 headlines:

Brett Favre tells us how he badly his ankle hurts but it doesn't stop him from jumping all over the field and chest bumping his teammates when he throws for a touchdown pass? Brett Favre reveals his rib "injury" after the game even though he wasn't on the injury report for the game for this particular injury? Are these the headlines for this week?

1. Mark Sanchez takes his place with the big quarterbacking boys.

Haven't we heard this before? Mark Sanchez has a good game and the football media talks about how he has turned a corner and will be an elite quarterback...and then he has a few mediocre games in a row. Quit overreacting to what happens from week-to-week like you don't have any type of short term memory.

4. Bill Belichick does something better than Vince Lombardi did, and I'm not talking about playing lacrosse.

I wonder if Peter realizes this sounds completely sexual? I am sure he doesn't realize this, because as we know from reading this drivel every week, Peter King may be the least self-aware person currently residing on Earth.

I don't know how you measure such a thing, but I've got to think this has a chance -- a chance, nothing more, nothing less -- to be the most interesting last month we've ever seen in the NFL.

There are no super teams.

Thank you Joe Morgan.

The Falcons, Packers, Giants, Saints and Eagles are the best in the NFC, and there are things to like about each one, but are you taking any of them to the bank? Admit it: You wouldn't be surprised to see Oakland or San Diego (combined record: 9-9) play deep into January.

This is such a tiring storyline. The NFC's representative in the last three Super Bowls have been the Giants, the Cardinals and the Saints. Even during the month of December in each of those seasons it would have been surprising to see the Giants and the Cardinals in the Super Bowl. Every year in the NFL is somewhat unpredictable. It's nothing new or exclusive to this particular NFL season.

A quarterback's job, above all, is to win, no matter how the game is won. Sanchez, in the past two weeks, has played two games the Jets should have won -- at Detroit, at Cleveland. Though each was excruciating -- both games were tied at 20 after four quarters -- Sanchez made enough plays when he had to for the Jets to win. His numbers over the two games are individually pedestrian (59-percent accuracy, three touchdowns, two picks), but think how much he played: 138 minutes, 161 snaps, with his offense generating 893 yards.

Sure Mark Sanchez may have average numbers over the last few games, but he has been given a ton of opportunities to be on the field with his offense...which doesn't really explain at all why Mark Sanchez has average numbers or how he has taken his place with the big quarterbacking boys.

Before going out for the last series, beginning at the Cleveland 37 with 24 seconds left in overtime, the assignment was clear: get the Jets into close range for another shot for Nick Folk to win the game. (God knows why. Folk had already missed three makeable field goals, any of which would have given the Jets the win long before this.)

The smart thing to do at this point would be to risk committing a turnover by showing no faith in your field goal kicker in an overtime game that AT WORST would end up tied if the field goal was missed?

Warts and all, Holmes was acquired to make game-winning plays like this, and you get the feeling Sanchez-to-Holmes has a chance to be a New York institution if both stay healthy and on the field.

A New York institution? This based on the 64.2 yards per game Sanchez and Holmes are averaging together. They will be just like Jeter, Rivera, and Posada in New York at that rate. An institution in New York. Together. Forever.

Wasn't it just a couple of weeks ago Peter King was wondering why Santonio Holmes wasn't getting the ball more?

Some holes you just don't dig out of. Phillips might be the guy you want running your defense, but he's the good cop, and Dallas needed a bad cop.

I'm stunned to say they might have found him in one of the nicest guys I've covered in my years in this job.

It was one game. It was a good win for the Cowboys, but it was also just one game. I don't want to take anything away from Jason Garrett and the Cowboys may rebound to make the playoffs, but he won one game. Let's not say he is the guy to take the Cowboys job quite yet.

The Vikings can't bench Favre. Yet. The Vikings are 3-6, and logic says after the most tumultuous year in their history, they ought to be playing for 2011, because they can't run the table. Probably not. But you didn't go get Brett Favre out of the Mississippi retirement home to raise the white flag when you're three games out of first with seven to play.

Isn't Favre injured? We hear about this every single week after every single football game. Favre's injured. If he is injured and not winning games, which is what Peter said above on how a quarterback is judged (in reference to Mark Sanchez), why should he still be the Vikings quarterback? Is an injured and ineffective quarterback really that much better than Tarvaris Jackson? It's entirely possible Jackson presents the best chance to win games now. Of course if Jackson was named the starter then Favre would absolutely poison the locker room and make an incredible that's probably really why Childress doesn't bench Favre.

What we learned last night won't be good news for Steeler Nation. Jonathan Scott, subbing for Max Starks at left tackle, and Ramon Foster, playing for right guard Chris Kemoeatu, were porous against the Patriots, and caused Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked five times and hit hard at least four more times. Along with the loss of defensive end Aaron Smith, Pittsburgh might have taken too many hits to be super this year.

Injuries happen. I even have a tag that says something like this. There's a reason a team has backups. Good teams try to get through injuries to key players and don't use them as an excuse. This is the third or fourth time Peter has mentioned Aaron Smith is injured as if other contenders don't have injuries themselves.

Nearly lost in the Broncos' 49-29 rout of the Chiefs: the emergence of Tim Tebow as a passer and runner.

Tebow completed a pass. He attempted and completed that one pass. He's usual.

Tebow's not going to replace Kyle Orton anytime soon, and he probably doesn't have a chance to do so, rightfully, until 2012; that's how good Orton has been.

Can Peter please send a memo to Woody Paige about this please? He doesn't seem to grasp this concept very well...or doesn't want to grasp the concept very well.

The Fine Fifteen

1. VACANT. Sorry. I watched every good team in football last Thursday and over the weekend, and there isn't a number one. I guess if there were one, I'd take the team that beat Detroit and Cleveland, both in overtime, over the last eight days.

It's your list. You can put whoever you want in spot #1.

2. New York Jets (7-2). Mark Sanchez one day will draft a line of demarcation on his career, and the line will come before Sunday's game in Cleveland. That was a powerfully strong performance against many odds and one very bad calf.

It may be the line of demarcation. We have heard this before though.

5. Green Bay (6-3). Now we find out if the Pack's for real: Starting Sunday, three of their games within the next month are at Minnesota (in their last meeting, presumably, with Brett Favre),

I want to stab a pillow repeatedly. It doesn't matter if it is the last meeting between the Packers and Brett Favre. Really, no one cares.

Quote of the Week IV

"You share a very intimate relationship with Brett Favre.''
-- NFL Network host Stacey Dales, to Steve Mariucci, beginning an interview Saturday on-air.

Mariucci was Favre's quarterback coach at the Packers, and they are good friends. But perhaps slightly different wording would have been in order here.

Says the guy who wrote earlier in the column,

4. Bill Belichick does something better than Vince Lombardi did, and I'm not talking about playing lacrosse.

Let's throw two different words in there. Let's say a guy used to date a girl named "Andrea" and he now dates a girl named "Erin" and this guy says the following sentence only substituting out the names Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi for the names Andrea and Erin.

"Erin does something better than Andrea did, and I'm not talking about playing lacrosse."

Slightly different wording being necessary pertains to sentences even when talking about two males.

Quote of the Week V

"No ... No.''
-- Favre, to Mariucci, when Mariucci asked if he would play football in 2011.

I'm not kidding. This Favre retirement talk has to end. Let's wait until the end of the season. I beg the sports media to let this happen.

Factoid of the Week That May Interest Only Me

I set out to look into how Bill Belichick's teams performed after a loss, which, since 2003, has been fairly remarkable. After the bad loss at Cleveland last week, I thought it merited a look, particularly since a treacherous road game lay ahead last night at Pittsburgh. So I decided to look at two-game losing streaks by the great coaches of our time. I picked out five: Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi, Don Shula, Bill Walsh and Belichick. And I compared their greatest eight-year runs as NFL coaches with Belichick's current eight-year run.

Did we really expect Peter to have a statistic or fact for the week that didn't involve the Patriots in some way? Why go against tradition?

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

and when I heard Aiello was Tweeting with the Skyliners, I told him they just had to eat at Skyline. "Food of the gods!'' I said.

Glomming along with the crew, I suggested we stop at the Skyline at Seventh and Vine (which was my home-turf Skyline as a local reporter) and have a nice lunch. I had my standard -- the four-way with cheese, and coney with onion, no mustard -- washed down with a diet cola. A four-way is a bed of spaghetti with a few onions on top, and a crown of shredded cheese. I must have eaten three of those a week as a young reporter. Goodell had a three-way bean -- bed of spaghetti, chili, and onions on top.

This is what I mean about Peter having no self-awareness. It was two months ago he railed on the Cowboys for being pigs and spending a ton of money at a restaurant and gorging on food, while making the rookies pay for it. Most weeks Peter goes into great detail about what kind of wonderful food he has gorged on during the week with the celebrity or important football-related person he hung out with that week. There's a difference in gorging on food at a restaurant and telling everyone which famous person you ate with that week, but it's not a huge difference.

g. Chad Pennington's big comeback lasted two plays.

I can't help but laugh at Pennington having not thrown a pass in over a year during an NFL game and then hurting his arm when he throws one. It is not like he zings the ball in there either.

3. I think I still don't understand why Kansas City coach Todd Haley wagged a finger at Denver coach Josh McDaniels Sunday after Denver's 49-29 rout of the Chiefs. SI colleague Jim Trotter tweeted last night that "Haley was not happy with broncos max protecting, throwing deep & blitzing regularly with a 32-point 4th-Q lead." According to Trotter, last year against the Broncos Jamaal Charles had the chance to break the single-game rushing record but Haley pulled him with 2:43 to play, needing just 38 yards. From my perspective, I see nothing that rises to the level of a team making a big stink about getting their noses rubbed in it.

It's called a rivalry and the Broncos and the Chiefs have one. If Todd Haley was really concerned about his team getting thrown deep on perhaps he could do something about the Broncos being able to do so. Haley was just frustrated with getting his ass kicked by the Broncos. It's fine for the Chiefs to be a little bit angry over this, but it's not a huge deal in my mind either.

a. The Terrell Suggs facemask call with 13:11 left. Atlanta led 13-7 and had a third-and-10 at the Baltimore 33. Matt Ryan completed a seven-yard pass to Jason Snelling to the Raven 26. Suggs was called for a facemask violation. What happened is that Suggs and the offending Falcon grabbed each other's mask; but only Suggs was called. Instead of replaying the down and again trying to convert a third-and-10, Atlanta got a down and continued a touchdown drive.

Along with pass interference calls when both the defender and the offensive player are making legal plays to get the ball, this annoys me as well. A Buccaneers player got called for a facemask yesterday and the Panthers player was stiff-arming him by grabbing his facemask. The penalty was called on the defensive player of course, but the offensive player was grabbing the defensive player's facemask as well. It is much like the perception that offensive players don't lead with their head while running the ball. They do, which is fine but still dangerous.

9. I think, by the way, if you're going to claim Mike Shanahan is a racist over this Donovan McNabb benching issue, you'd better have some proof. Playing the race card here is dangerous, obviously, and pretty cavalier. Play the performance card.

How about playing the Idiot card. Mike Shanahan as I have detailed here a few times is a good coach, not a great coach in my opinion. His personnel moves have become generally very hit-or-miss. He has a history of pissing off his quarterbacks at some point. He did it to Bubby Brister after John Elway retired and he did it to Jake Plummer when he drafted Jay Cutler. Shanahan likes to piss off his quarterbacks and feels he has the right to do so because he won two Super Bowls with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time.

But the same way I'm not going to make a big deal of black men being 1-2-4 (Mike Vick, Vince Young, David Garrard) in the QB-rating standings entering this weekend because I don't think the success or failure of a quarterback has anything to do with what color he is, I'm not going to think Mike Shanahan benched McNabb for racial reasons unless I have some proof other than something incidental.

When there is a race issue present, it should be called out. I don't see that here. Now if you ask me about Tarvaris Jackson or about some of McNabb's time in Philadelphia...that may be different.

c. Glad I don't have a vote for the Heisman. What if Cam Newton wins and he's found to be Reggie Bush II a month from now?

It would be an absolute disaster to award a meaningless award to a football player who was found out to have gotten paid or may be ineligible! How dare college football try to award the Heisman to the best player in college football and not try to predict the future and what will happen with that player! Combine this with Brian Cushing still winning the Defensive Rookie of the Year award last year after the re-vote and I'm not sure I like the direction meaningless postseason awards are headed.

How is giving the Heisman to Cam Newton and finding out he took money to go to Auburn different from giving the award to Jason White, Eric Crouch and finding out he is a terrible quarterback? Does giving the award to the best player who took money taint the award more than giving the award to a player who ends up never being heard from again?

e. Dice-K for Kosuke Fukudome. That rumor surfaced the other day. And let me say on behalf of Red Sox followers everywhere: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.''

f. How do you say, "Worst trade since Larry Anderson for Bagwell'' in Japanese?

g. Not saying Fukudome is useless, but a man who has played in a hitter's ballyard for three years and never hit .265 or driven in 60 runs (despite having 590 and 603 at-bats in two of his three years), and made $33.5 million in the process ... well, I'd call that 80 percent of J.D. Drew, and not exactly a solution for any team except the Toledo Mud Hens. Maybe.

Fukudome is a left handed pull hitter. Peter is telling me he wouldn't like the right field line in Fenway Park? Also, RBI's are a bad way to determine Fukudome's worth. I think Peter may be overrating Daisuke's worth on the market a bit. It's not like he is cheap and outperforming his contract.

h. Coffeenerdness: Not really high on the Starbucks experience in Manhattan. I've tried eight or 10 of them this season, looking for a comfy spot to write on some Saturdays and all Sunday mornings, and I've come up mostly disappointed. The music is too loud, the panhandlers too prevalent at a couple of the midtown ones,


m. Hey, Mary Pat Mercuro and your Montclair High field hockey team! Congrats on winning the sectional field hockey championship. Great to see the Mounties keeping up the Jersey field hockey tradition. I miss those games, coach.

I hope Peter knows he can still attend these games. He would be that creepy guy in the stands who just watches high school girls play sports, but he could still show up.

I hear the new Monclair High field hockey team does something better than the field hockey team Peter's daughter played on, and I am not talking about playing field hockey.


ivn said...

I'll say this about Peter: he addressed that Feinstein column a lot better than Rick Reilly did. I was actually going to send a link to the new Reilly column because it is one of the most offensive pieces of sportswriting I've read in a while. Feinstein was pretty reckless to accuse Shanahan of racism but it wouldn't be all that wrong to wonder if there was some racial element to it. the United States does not exactly have a history of positive race relations.

I had my standard -- the four-way with cheese, and coney with onion, no mustard -- washed down with a diet cola. A four-way is a bed of spaghetti with a few onions on top, and a crown of shredded cheese. I must have eaten three of those a week as a young reporter. Goodell had a three-way bean -- bed of spaghetti, chili, and onions on top.

per wikipedia: Cincinnati chili (or "Cincinnati-style chili") is a regional style of chili characterized by the use of unusual ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice or chocolate, and by the absence of chili peppers or chili powder. It is commonly served over spaghetti or as a hot dog sauce.

guh...that isn't chili. that isn't even close to being chili. hey guys, I have a dish that involves fried eggs, ground sausage, and olives on a bed of rice and baked beans with chicken broth poured over it. it's called "veal parmigiana."

and I love how PK points out that he had a diet soda. he is by no means a glutton.

How is giving the Heisman to Cam Newton and finding out he took money to go to Auburn different from giving the award to Jason White, Eric Crouch and finding out he is a terrible quarterback? Does giving the award to the best player who took money taint the award more than giving the award to a player who ends up never being heard from again?

I think what he means is awarding the Heisman to someone and then having to vacate the award a few years later.

Not really high on the Starbucks experience in Manhattan. I've tried eight or 10 of them this season...

does PK realize that other places serve coffee? Starbucks is awful. there's a reason they come out with some weird sugary drink every other month and it's because their regular coffee sucks. they are to coffee what McDonald's is to cheeseburgers.

his Fine Fifteen is pretty astounding too. he talks about how there "isn't a number one," but then puts the Jets ahead of every other team in the NFL.

Every year in the NFL is somewhat unpredictable. It's nothing new or exclusive to this particular NFL season.

I remember reading somewhere (maybe John Clayton said it?) that it's been about 20 seasons since there were this many teams within a game of .500 at this point in the season, and I personally can't remember the last time every team in the league had at least two losses this early in the season. so he kind of has a point there.

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I had not read the John Feinstein column where he accuses Shanahan of racism. I can't imagine Rick Reilly covered it well at all. He really can't hold Peter King's laptop case when it comes to reporting. I focus so much on Peter, but Reilly is an abomination.

The diet soda means he isn't a glutton! He also drank water later in the day.

That sounds like the most disgusting chili ever. I can eat most things and I don't know if I could eat that.

I knew what he meant by that Heisman remark, I just think it is a poor argument when it comes to whether Newton should win the Heisman or not. I don't believe the award should be voted on based on whether it will be vacated or not. If he is the best college football player then he deserves it. I know it is a prestigious award and no one wants to get embarrassed down the line...

No...Starbucks is the only place that has coffee in Peter's world. What's funny in you mentioning McD's is that McDonald's doesn't have bad coffee anymore.

It is an unpredictable season, but I'm just saying there are unpredictable seasons in the past as well. Yes, this year the teams are bunched closely together, but Peter talks about he doesn't know which teams will make the Super Bowl and that usually goes for at least one conference this time of the year anyway.

KentAllard said...

Tebow completed one pass for three yards and rushed twice for two yards, which means he has finally become a great NFL quarterback. Clausen actually had a more impressive day among rookie QBS, but that isn't the storyline.

Bengoodfella said...

Kent, Tebow was perfection in all things he did yesterday. He didn't throw an incomplete pass the entire game. That's the way to look at it.

Clausen wasn't terrible on Sunday and for the Panthers and him that's not a bad thing anymore. Average would be like winning the Super Bowl. I just hope the new staff in Carolina doesn't give up on Clausen. He has some faults (he throws the ball too hard on short routes, his passes get tipped, he tends to be too conservative), but he can be coached up a bit and be fine I think.