Showing posts with label joe namath. Show all posts
Showing posts with label joe namath. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

10 comments MMQB Review: Counting to Five Be Hard for Peter Edition

I have noticed there seemed to be a difference of opinion among sportswriters on how the replacement officials are doing. That was prior to last night of course, when the officiating in the Denver-Atlanta game was seen by millions. Some sportswriters had thought there wasn't a big difference in the regular officials and the replacement officials (Pete Prisco) and others thought the officiating had been pretty bad so far (Bomani Jones) and it won't get any better. Peter King has always leaned towards saying the officiating hasn't been great, yet hasn't been overly critical.

It seems Peter is now completely on the side of the NFL (or is it the officials?) by saying the officiating was shoddy this weekend. That was Monday morning when Peter wrote this MMQB and now after the Denver-Atlanta "MNF" game he thinks the officiating truly does stink and everything is broken. All it took for Peter to change his mind was a matchup of some of Peter's favorite players being affected by bad officiating and Peter has now become mad as hell and he isn't taking it anymore. The officials can screw with the Cardinals, but Peter will be damned if you mess with an Eagles-Ravens game or Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan.

Last week I thought the replacement officials were adequate. Watching football Sunday, I felt like a passenger in a car going 20 miles an hour too fast on a mountain road with hairpin turns; we weren't going to die, but it was going to be a dicey ride.

Decent example by Peter, but he probably really felt like how he does when he wakes up at a hotel that doesn't provide free coffee which tastes delicious and to his standards. I mean, Peter knows he is getting coffee at some point, but how much will it be and at what price? Will Peter's day just sort-of be inconvenienced or will there be a huge line at Starbucks because this shitty hotel doesn't provide decent free coffee?

With two minutes left in the game and the ball at the Baltimore 1-yard line, Michael Vick went back to pass, with replacement referee Robert Frazier standing five yards behind him, looking directly at Vick. Haloti Ngata rushed, and just as Ngata wrapped up Vick, the quarterback threw a pass about five yards, incomplete, as he fell to the ground.

Three minutes and three seconds later, Frazier emerged from under the hood to say the play was reversed, and it was an incomplete pass.
Frazier was staring at Vick as he was contacted by Ngata, began to fall, and clearly threw the ball five yards down the field. Maybe it's intentional grounding. Maybe it's a simple incompletion. But to miss that call, or, worse, to be too indecisive to not make the call and simply hope someone else had a better view of it and could rescue you from making a game-turning call, illustrates how ill-suited this crew was for a game of this intensity, this magnitude.

It's one thing to miss a call or two in a game between the Cardinals and Seahawks. Does it really matter if the officials give Seattle an additional timeout or not at the end of the game and this could affect the outcome of the game? Not really because these are two teams Peter doesn't care as much about? It's a different thing to miss a call during a Philadelphia-Baltimore game or to have poor officiating when Peyton Manning and Matty Iccccccccccce are squaring off. This is a very, very, very, very important game. So despite the fact there was a call last week which gave the Seahawks an additional timeout and a better chance at scoring a touchdown to win the game, the officiating wasn't so bad until this bad officiating made it's way back to a game between two East Coast teams.

At the NBC studios, where I watched the games Sunday, I sat for much of the day with former NFL official Jim Daopoulos, hired by the network as an officiating consultant. Daopoulos thought the replacements did a passable job in Week 1, as most impartial observers would have.

Well of course, those more partial observers who don't enjoy seeing visible mistakes the replacement officials made could disagree. Again, these people who thought the replacements did a passable job during Week 1 aren't impartial because they prefer to see NFL games without visible officiating errors.

Whatever, Joe Flacco said the thing that made the most sense Sunday, and the only thing that's regrettable is he was the losing quarterback in Philadelphia, so what he says can be seen as sour grapes. Flacco said of the NFL: "They talk about the integrity of the game, and I think this is along those lines. The fact that we don't have the normal guys out there is pretty crazy.''

I know. It's crazy like an NFL quarterback who talks about how he is one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and then tells Peter King he will play great consistently in a hurry-up offense and then he ends up being as inconsistent as he was prior to that team running a hurry-up offense through two games of the season. It's all just so crazy.

For the record, I agree with Peter. I don't know if it is completely the replacement officials fault, but I feel like there are more bad calls or non-calls then with the regular officials. Of course, some of these officiating errors are becoming more noticeable because of the increased focus on the replacement officials.

Five takeaways from Sunday:

Let's review these five takeaways and you tell me what is wrong with his five takeaways:

1. Handshake, shmandshake.
2. Coughlin's right. Schiano's wrong.
3. Kudos, Reggie Bush.
4. And kudos to you, Andrew Luck.
5. Nice run by Tebow.
6. A bad, bad injury for Washington.

Wow, those five takeaways sure are interesting. What is even more interesting is how these five takeaways are really six takeaways. Math be hard peoples, don't get angered up at Peter or his non-existent editor that math be so hard to comprehend. Peter is here to talk about football, not count to six accurately.

2. Coughlin's right. Schiano's wrong. I agree with playing to the final gun. No problem. But when one team is holding up the white flag, with a quarterback in full kneel-down mode, it's a mistake to pig-pile on him.

That's what irritates me the most in this situation, that the Giants were not running a normal play and Schiano started talking bullshit about how his guys "play to the final whistle." Eli gladly would have tried to throw for 550 yards against the Giants, but he was trying to be respectful and run the clock out.

No question in my mind that if Schiano keeps trying to wreck victory formations, his own players will pay for it -- and maybe in the form of retribution from vengeful players in the future.

And remember it is perfectly legal to try to intentionally hurt another player while hitting him hard during the course of the game, but just offer a player $10,000 to do this.

5. Nice run by Tebow. So far the Timmycat has yielded 11 snaps at quarterback and one run -- for 23 yards Sunday at Pittsburgh. We're still waiting for the fun, Rex.

Any self-respecting sportswriter who is discussing the NFL has to shoehorn an ex-backup QB punt protector Jets reference into their column. It's Sports Journalism 101.

And in Atlanta tonight, Dunta Robinson steps in for Brent Grimes, one of the best young corners in the league, and he'll bring experience to the Georgia Dome with him. Grimes is gone for the year with an Achilles tear, and if the Falcons are going to have a chance to be great this year, Robinson will be better than adequate in his place. The fact that Robinson didn't play great over the past two years was one of the reasons Atlanta went out and spent $7 million a year on Asante Samuel.

Yes, it's the old throw more money at a position which already contains a player who is making a lot of money trick. I'm not necessarily criticizing this strategy, but I find it funny the Falcons had to bring in another expensive cornerback to replace the expensive cornerback on the roster who was underachieving.

The NFC West went 4-0 Sunday. The San Francisco win over Detroit was expected, but the other three outcomes -- Arizona 20, New England 18; St. Louis 31, Washington 28; Seattle 27, Dallas 7 -- were not. Add San Diego's 38-10 annihilation of Tennessee and the possible ascension of Denver with Peyton Manning, and you see how the rise of good teams in the two western divisions could turn out to be one of the story lines of the season.

Other than the two main issues I have with this, namely we are still only two games into the season and the "rise" of good teams in the western two divisions is a completely contrived storyline, that's a great point. It's almost like Arizona wasn't in the Super Bowl three years ago, the 49ers weren't in the NFC Championship Game last year, and Denver did win a playoff game last year. This storyline seems pretty contrived to me.

If it's a California Super Bowl rematch from the Niners-Chargers of 18 years ago, I doubt it will be the same kind of game as it was then, when Steve Young set the Super Bowl record with six touchdown passes.

No Peter, this will in fact be the exact same game as 18 years ago. In fact, when (not IF, but WHEN) these two teams meet in the Super Bowl this year, they won't even bother playing the Super Bowl, they will just show a replay of the Super Bowl 18 years ago. It's all the same really.

Playing 96 snaps -- all 82 on defense, 12 on special teams and two on offense -- Peterson and the Cardinals showed remarkable staying power, and obviously got lucky at the end when Stephen Gostkowski shanked what would have been the winning field goal.

Right, and the Patriots were in no way lucky that Ryan Williams fumbled the football with just a little bit over a minute left in the game and the Patriots were out of timeouts. The Patriots shouldn't even had the ball back at that spot on the field.

San Francisco. The 49ers and Houston have distanced themselves from the pack in the first two weeks. They're the best teams in football. Sunday night against Detroit, Alex Smith continued to show he's more than just a complementary piece to the puzzle. He makes winning plays, winning throws,

He's pretty much the Derek Jeter of the NFL. He's a winner who wins games in a winning fashion.

1. San Francisco (2-0). Alex Smith, year eight. And aren't you Niner fans very happy this morning he wasn't thrown out with the trash on any of about 68 autumn Monday mornings in the previous seven years?

Does not throwing Smith out with the trash include this past offseason when the 49ers had interest in Peyton Manning and were considered to be a finalist for his services and weren't going to re-sign Smith because of this? Oh I forgot that the 49ers had no interest in Manning, they were just recruiting him and making him believe they had interest in him.

8. Atlanta (1-0). Brent Grimes missing the final 15 games will ultimately doom this team, unless Matt Ryan channels his inner Peyton. Weekly.

Does Matt Ryan have an inner Peyton Manning? Our maybe Peter just misspelled "Peyton" and he was talking about Sean Payton, saying Matt Ryan needs to pay his defenders to injure the opposing team. I have a ton of respect for Brent Grimes, but I can't buy the excuse the loss of a cornerback will ultimately doom a team. That's why you have backups. Injuries happen and teams bounce back from them...or at least really good teams do. The Falcons were able to bounce from this injury last night. Plus, didn't the Falcons pay Dunta Robinson as their #1 corner?

10. New England (1-1). Waaaaaay too much leakage from the offensive line, and now it looks like half of the tight end luxury package (Aaron Hernandez) is gone for at least a month. I don't know how Tom Brady lasts 16 games if he's under the kind of pressure he was on Sunday, and if he's without Hernandez until Halloween.

Again, that's why the Patriots have backups. Losing Hernandez is not good, but the Patriots collect tight ends like Jon Gruden collects quarterbacks. I have a feeling in a couple of weeks Peter will be talking about how the Patriots and Tom Brady managed to get good play from the tight end position with Hernandez out of the lineup. I know the initial thought is to freak out over some of these injuries, but the Patriots have worked around injuries before and can do so again.

Reggie Bush, RB, Miami. I remember chortling in the preseason when Bush said his goal was to lead the league in rushing.

Chortling? Does anybody truly chortle anymore?

Norv Turner, head coach, San Diego. This is Turner's 15th season as a head coach. It is also his first 2-0 start. Anyone else find that amazing?

Considering Norv Turner's record before coaching the San Diego Chargers was 58-82, I do not find it odd he has never had an 2-0 start. I do find it odd that Turner got another shot at an NFL head coaching job after his first two coaching stints at Washington and Oakland.

"I don't know if that's not something that's done in the National Football League, but what I do with our football team is we fight until they tell us the game is over. There's nothing dirty about it. There's nothing illegal about it. We crowd the ball. It's like a sneak defense and we try to knock it loose. If they watch Rutgers, they would know, that's what we do at the end of the game. We're not going to quit. That's just the way I coach and teach our players. Some people were upset about it. I don't have any hesitation. That's the way we play: clean, hard football until they tell us the game is over."

-- Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano, on coaching his player to smash into the Giants' victory formation at the end of the game Sunday. Giants coach Tom Coughlin was enraged by it.

I'm not entirely sure this qualifies as "clean football." I'm all about a team doing everything within the rules to win a game, but smashing into the victory formation seems like something that shouldn't go on at the end of a game and then have it excused as "clean, hard football" rings false to me. Just as a general note, the victory formation is "them" telling you the game is over.

It's fine to do anything to win a game, but when a team is in the victory formation they are essentially kneeling the ball down to ensure they don't fumble and will run the clock out in lieu of running another play. It is the offense protecting the ball and promising they won't try to score anymore. If the defensive players want to slam into the victory formation, that's fine, but don't try to pass it off as clean football.

Will Brinson shows here what a liar Greg Schiano is with his "play hard" excuse. He was just frustrated he lost this game.

"Namath says that Tebow can't play QB for the Jets. With 220 career picks, and a 65.5 career QB rating, there were times Joe couldn't either."

-- @JetsWhispers, 16-year-vet Jets beat man Dan Leberfeld, on Joe Namath's view that Tim Tebow should not be groomed as the team's quarterback.

For the sake of perspective, Blaine Gabbert's QB rating last year was 65.4. There has been discussions in the comments on this issue in the comments before. Times have changed but Namath's numbers were very pedestrian compared to today's quarterbacks and I feel a little bit like Namath talks a lot for a quarterback who may have been good in his time, but doesn't have statistics that look good compared to modern players. Don't get me wrong, I understand the difference in the NFL in the 60's and the NFL in 2012, but the worst quarterback in 2011 had a passer rating 0.01 less than Namath's career passer rating.

2. I think the Chicago offensive line -- and the Bears trotting out many of the same characters on it week after week, year after year -- defines the great Albert Einstein quote: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Football fans who watched the Bears the other night had to wonder, "When are these idiots going to do major surgery on that offensive line?"

It's funny because no one was asking this question about the offensive line after the first game of the year when the Bears offense looked unstoppable. The offensive line held up well in that game. I don't excuse Jay Cutler for his hissy fit on J'Marcus Webb, but he needs to have his blockers block for him. There is a right and a wrong way to express this sentiment that the offensive line needs to do a better job of blocking of course.

h. Jacoby Jones, with a perfect move on Nnamdi Asomugha, and a well-lofted throw by Flacco. That's the way to throw a touchdown pass right there.

In two years Asomugha has gone from the best 1-2 corners in the NFL to getting beat by Jacoby Jones and Joe Flacco. I haven't had a chance to watch an Eagles game, but I hope this was an outlying play and not the norm for Asomugha in Philly.

j. Doug Martin is a big-league running back. What a great move on his touchdown end sweep against the Giants.

I know I keep raining on the Doug Martin parade, but so far he reminds me of Eddie George. He is a good running back who gets a lot of carries and accumulates a lot of yards. He doesn't lose a ton of yardage, but so far he has 161 yards on 44 carries. That's a 3.6 per carry average. So while I'm not saying he can't raise that total, I don't know if that is sufficient evidence he is a big-league running back at this point.

o. A good comeback day for Brandon Weeden, the worst of the rookie QB starters last week. In Cincinnati, he was an efficient 26 of 37 for 322 yards, with no turnovers. Pat Shurmur will take that game every week.

Well obviously. If Brandon Weeden could do that every week he would make the Pro Bowl. I think any NFL coach would take a 70% completion percentage and 300+ yards from his quarterback in game.

c. Awful pick by Drew Brees early at Carolina. That's something you never see, a pressured Brees taking way too big of a chance. Whatever he had with Sean Payton, it's missing now.

So does this mean Drew Brees isn't the same quarterback he is without Sean Payton coaching him? If so, what does that say about the greatness of Drew Brees? If Sean Payton can't win games without Drew Brees, wouldn't that make him less of a coach?

d. You're not going to get many more chances to catch touchdown passes when you miss one like that, Will Beatty.

Considering Beatty is an offensive tackle, the Giants probably don't want him to get too many more opportunities to catch touchdown passes.

h. The phantom pass interference call late in Jets-Steelers on Ike Taylor. I mean, there were so many shaky calls Sunday. This one was one of the worst.

There were shaky calls the week before that as well. Peter just chose to ignore those shaky calls last week for some reason. All this complaining about the officials really doesn't matter. The NFL isn't going to budge until they are given an excellent reason to do so. Public perception the officiating sucks is not that excellent reason. As long as people keep watching the games, the NFL doesn't care what the viewers think of the officiating while they watch the games.

g. Derek Jeter, 38, has more hits than Willie Mays, more singles than Honus Wagner, more doubles than Babe Ruth, more triples than Kirby Puckett, more home runs than Joe Torre.

And more leadership, grit and "love of the game to the point he plays the game like a little boy" than any other athlete not named "Brett Favre."

h. Saddest thing about the baseball playoffs, however: Say Oakland wins 95 games and wins the first Wild Card spot in the American League. Say the A's beat out the Angels by six games. So the one-game AL Wild Card playoff would be in Oakland. By my very imprecise calculations, Jered Weaver could be in line to start that one game. This year, Weaver has allowed one run and 14 hits in 29.2 innings against Oakland, probably the best individual performance by a pitcher against one team in three or more starts this year.

I do agree with Peter on this issue. I simply don't like the idea of a one-game playoff because it is too dependent on which team has the better ace pitcher. Of course, the pitching staff has to shake out to where each team can pitch their ace, but if it works out that way a one-game playoff depends too much on one game after 162 games have been played. I like the idea of a three-game playoff between the Wild Card teams much more.

j. Buster Posey, in two months since the All-Star Break, is batting .390 with 50 RBI. How's he not the MVP?

Probably because the MVP is a year-long award and not based solely on which player had the best last two months of the season.

m. Did Erin Andrews really say, at 8:15 Pacific Time on a Saturday night, after Stanford stunned USC at Stanford, that the overjoyed and partying-hard Cardinal students wouldn't be attending classes tomorrow?

Remember back when Erin Andrews was a really good sideline reporter? It is nice when people know they have limits and work within those limits.

Denver 33, Atlanta 24. I think back to the 2008 NFL Scouting Combine, in Indianapolis, on a Saturday night around 11, and Matt Ryan shows up for an interview with me in a gray suit, light blue Oxford shirt and dress shoes, and I think: Never seen anyone who reminded me so much of Peyton Manning.

Other than Peyton's brother, Eli Manning, of course. Perhaps Eli didn't have the "Southern gentleman preppy wear" look down at that point.

That'll help tonight, but unless he can cover too, and defend against Peyton Manning, I don't think he can do enough, even at home, to beat the great Manning.

Yes, the great Manning who played well in one game after coming off major neck surgery and was pronounced back and fully healthy for the upcoming NFL season, then struggled last night. As I said last week in my weekend review of the Week 1 games, I don't doubt Manning can play well, but I wonder how the grind of practice and games is going to affect Manning's arm strength. I don't know if last night was a product of him struggling to recover from playing last week, but I think we will see some decline in arm strength and performance as the season moves along. I know Peter King is very optimistic that Manning can be MVP, but I'm not sure I see it.

The Adieu Haiku

It's gone far enough,
games with replacement zebras.
Please: Don't make us beg.

Oh dear God. Why does Peter King insist on ending MMQB with a haiku? It's bad enough Gregg Easterbrook does haikus, why would Peter write a haiku? When is a haiku in a football column ever a good idea?

Monday, November 8, 2010

10 comments MMQB Review: Let's Talk About Peyton Hillis' Hands

I thank God for the Cowboys for possibly the first time in my life. If it weren't for their weekly terrible performances then everyone would notice the Panthers are the worst team in the NFL, even worse than the Bills. Fortunately, the Cowboys are currently hogging the spotlight in that respect. Of course in Peter King's world this takes a backseat to Peyton Hillis' hands, some thoughts on Grace Kelly and any new updates on the Vikings quarterback/coach situation.

This is one of those weeks, covering the NFL, when you could write about 10 or 12 things in depth. Pick something. Anything.

Instead Peter talks about coffee, spends space doling out advice and comments to people when an email will work and discussing Tom Brady switching from Nike to Under Armour. You know, he focuses on the important NFL stuff.

The last two weeks -- with wins of 30-17 over New Orleans and 34-14 over New England -- have convinced me of a few things. One: It would be a mistake to fire the imaginative Mangini and his hungry staff unless the bottom falls out on this team in the next two months. Holmgren, if he really is interested in going back to the sidelines, should tell the owner of the team, Randy Lerner, that he's had a change of heart, and wants out to coach (pick one) San Francisco or Dallas or whoever.

Given the Cowboys' struggles and Jerry Jones wanting a good coach in there, I have to say the odds are incredibly good that Holmgren will be in Dallas next year. It's just a gut feeling I have. I would like to see him go to the Cowboys too...not really "like" it actually, but I think he will have success there which will make me not like the Cowboys, so I wouldn't actually like it.

Two: The Browns aren't far away from competing every week in their division. Three: Colt McCoy is afraid of nothing, and I think it's unlikely the Browns will have to spend their first-round draft choice on a quarterback in 2011.

Four: I think it is unlikely if the Browns keep winning like they are that the Browns will draft high enough to get one of the top quarterbacks.

Then Peter goes into a looooooong story about a trick play the Browns ran that lost my attention at about the third paragraph.

That's what a team with less talent than other teams has to do. Be smart. Draw things up in the dirt and say, "Why can't this work?'' Daboll, Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan have shown the ability to do that.

It always annoys me when journalists talk about teams "drawing plays in the dirt" like they aren't plays the team has practiced on occasion or just designed a few minutes before they actually run the play. Even trick plays get practiced and the plays are designed and utilized in the right spot of a game to work...unless you are the Panthers. They like to run a flea flicker on the first play of the game before they have established the run, even though it usually makes sense to establish some of sort of running game first in order to get the safeties to move in rather than stay back. The Panthers like to buck convention that way. Some may say they don't need an offense full of rookies at skill positions and to use their tight ends more, but that wouldn't fit "the plan" to go 2-14 this year.

I quit watching the Panthers game yesterday in the middle of the 3rd quarter, but my favorite part of the day was when Jim Mora Jr. referred to his one year stint at the Seahawks as his "internship" seeming to say that he was just there to learn how to coach. Obviously he was being sarcastic and just doesn't like how he was treated in Seattle, but when Dick Stockton gave him a chance to take it back, he did, sort of. He gave the least heartfelt comment about how he enjoyed coaching the Seahawks and it was pretty clear he was angry with how he felt he was treated. Bitter coaches are awesome.

"The interesting thing about Colt is he had a much more difficult time not being the man than being the man,'' said Mangini. "That's not the case with many rookies. When he wasn't playing, he was dying.

That's not really interesting at all in fact. One of the biggest adjustments college quarterbacks have to make at the NFL level is sitting on the bench and watching another quarterback play. Most college quarterbacks are used to being "the man" and want to be the man. These same quarterbacks are usually dying to get on the field in the NFL, so Colt McCoy isn't the only guy who experiences this.

And then there's the Hillis deal. The Browns dealt backup quarterback Brady Quinn to Denver for Hillis in the spring, and if that's not a big-enough piece of highway robbery, consider this: Denver has to give Cleveland a sixth-round pick in the 2011 draft, and I'm told the Browns will also get a conditional pick in the 2012 draft -- a sixth-rounder or better, depending on Quinn's playing time. I mean, should Cleveland be giving Denver draft choices the way this thing is working out?

I think really the only fair thing would be to give every NFL team a chance to trade with Josh McDaniels. If it is not trading a 1st round pick to get Alphonso Smith in the draft and then a year later trading Smith for a tight end with seven receptions in his career, then it is trading Hillis and draft picks for Brady Quinn. Every team should have to complete one trade every three years with McDaniels.

Hillis is 11th in the NFL in rushing with 644 yards, and he's averaging a gaudy 4.8 yards per rush. Who'd have thought that could ever happen?

No one thought Hillis would be this good, but if the Broncos had taken a look at the 12 games he played in 2008 they could have at least noticed he had a 5.0 ypc average on 68 carries and had 14 receptions. His numbers weren't gaudy, but the Broncos had to see him everyday in practice and notice he wasn't terrible.

If it had ended 24-10 with a wounded Favre limping off the field and Randy Moss smiling as he exited a private plane in Nashville, I think Vikings owner Zygi Wilf would have listened to the boos of the home crowd and seen the CAN CHILLI T-shirts and swallowed $9 million or so and dumped Childress, and given the job to Leslie Frazier for a nice half-season trial run.

I wonder if every other NFL quarterback gets tired of the media talking about how hurt Brett Favre is? There are other NFL quarterbacks who have minor/major injuries during the course of a season and cover it up so it doesn't become a distraction. Favre embraces his injuries and wants everyone to know just how hurt he truly is.

Moss had been a disruptive influence (my words, not Childress'), and loudly told Wilf that Childress should be fired after a loss at New England last week, and Childress wasn't going to have it.

Honestly, if I am a head coach and one of my players is disrupting the locker room and telling the owner I should be fired then I possibly would have thought about waiving Moss as well. Of course I would have handled the situation much better, but Childress is the head coach and trying to get Childress fired isn't admirable. Maybe Childress does deserved to be fired, but it isn't the place of a player to tell the owner that unless directly asked.

At the end of the game, Favre embraced Harvin and said, "I appreciate what you did out there today.''

"Have you seen how injured my ankle is? Do you mind mentioning that to the media a few times while you are being interviewed. I need them to know my ankle hurts."

The MVP race should be interesting, especially if Rivers continues on pace to break Dan Marino's passing-yards record for a season, and especially if the Chargers get some receivers healthy and make a run at the division title in the second half of the season. Rivers hasn't won one yet, and there's a reason: His competition is outstanding, as it will be this year.

Is it just me or are the postseason awards in the NFL the least most exciting postseason awards in any major sport? I don't care really about any of the awards like I do in other sports. Brees, Rivers, Chris Johnson, Peyton Manning...I don't care who wins the MVP award. I only get excited when they try to take an award away from a player, like they did with Brian Cushing last year.

Calm down. He's simply moving to Under Armour, the upstart outfitter. From Nike, the behemoth. Brady's apparel contract expired last summer and he decided to become the first superstar quarterback to sign with Under Armour, the 14-year-old Maryland outfitter that is one-20th the size of Nike. It's not a huge story in the football world, but it'll raise eyebrows in the business world because Brady's a big cheese, and Nike usually gets all the big cheeses it wants.

In a week full of interesting NFL stories, this story on Tom Brady changing from Nike to Under Armour makes Peter's second page in MMQB. Apparently Ray Lewis being the first major NFL endorser doesn't matter to Peter, because only when a white quarterback joins up does it become news that Nike doesn't have a stranglehold on the sports apparel industry.

Brady is not only joining Under Armour as a contracted endorser, but also he's getting a financial stake in the company. "Tom is a shareholder in Under Armour,'' said 38-year-old company founder and CEO Kevin Plank. "Equity was a part of our deal. That was important to Tom, that [a stake in the company] was a part of the deal.''

THAT's why Brady joined Under Armour. He's now a shareholder in a fast-growing company. It's really a no-brainer for Brady in that aspect.

He knows the future is with the kids, and he knows if he's going to invest in an apparel company, he's going to invest with a company he thinks has a chance to be the Next Big Thing. "At this point in my career,'' he said, "it's got to be about a product I believe in. I felt there wasn't anything better out there. This is such a young company to be where they are. This kind of tells you where the market's at.''

I love Under Armour gear. My favorite athletic gear (what I own, it's not like I have a ton) is Under Armour and you can pry my Under Armour hoodie off my cold, dead body and that's the only way you are getting it off me when it is cold out...so I may be a little biased against Nike.

I mean, really. "I don't think Wade [Phillips] survives this night,'' Cris Collinsworth said as the clock wound down on Green Bay 45, Dallas 7. I don't see how Phillips can. But then again, we're not Jerral Wayne Jones.

Corralled by the media after the game, Jones said he didn't know what he was going to do to address what ails the team, and was asked if he could put a finger on what's wrong. "I don't have enough fingers,'' he said. Well, the defensive coordinator is presiding over a unit that's allowed 121 points in the last 12 quarters.

I think the Cowboys should do what Peter suggested last week and hire a person from the current Cowboys coaching staff. It seems like it would be a great idea. Didn't the special teams coordinator get angry when his unit screwed up last week? THAT'S the guy, Joe DeCamillis, who should be running the team the rest of the year because he got angry with his players. This is the strict criteria Peter has for the next Cowboys head coach.

At least the Cowboys have an owner that wants to win football games and speaks to the media about accountability on this issue. I can think of other teams that have an owner which speaks to the media once a year (maybe), cut the veteran leadership on his football team in order to take a hard line in labor negotiations, kept a lame-duck coach that everyone knows is not going to be re-signed after this year, refuses to publicly comment on his decisions, raised ticket prices this year, and generally seems intent on alienating his fan base.

I envy the Cowboys have an owner that seems to give a shit about the fans and wants to put a good product on the field. There are certain other owners who don't care about that and he is getting a pass right now. If you are asking how long it will be before I start a "Fire Jerry Richardson" web site, it isn't going to be long at all. If a restaurant keeps making shitty food, it won't be long before patrons quit going to that restaurant. When he has empty seats at games the rest of the year, maybe he will buy a mirror and find the problem. So no matter how bad things get Cowboys fans, at least your owner still cares. You may not think he does by sending Wade Phillips out there to coach, but he will change that soon.

The most debate seemed to stir around the rating of the quarterbacks of the past 30 years, with six of them bunched together between 4 and 25. (I'd debate heavily about the rankings of the quarterbacks overall, namely that Otto Graham, at 16, was too low because all he did was win at a position where winning is the most important thing, but let's stick to today's players.) See if your position on the passers hardens, or if you get more exercised about them, after you look at how they were ranked, and how they performed, in a few important categories:

Rank/QBReg-seasonPlayoffAllPct.SB winsTD-Int differential
4. Montana117-4716-7133-54.7114+158
8. P.Manning131-629-9140-71.6641+206
20. Favre184-10913-11197-120.6211+190
21. Brady103-3214-4117-36.7653+149
23. Elway148-82-114-7162-89-1.6452+80
25. Marino147-938-10155-103.5780+176

All Otto Graham did was win? That's a statement that is dependent on the other players around a quarterback too. I hope Peter knows this.

I'm surprised that Favre has such a large TD-INT differential. I haven't checked on that in a while, but it is much larger than I imagined (insert penis joke here). If this were me, and I was ranking these 6 quarterbacks I'm not sure how I would go about doing it. Maybe go Montana, Manning, Elway, Brady, Favre, Marino? That may be wrong though. It is tough to rank these QB's but I feel like I should rank Brady higher than I did.

One final note on the injustice of Elway ranked beneath Brady, thinking Elway took the Broncos to five Super Bowls without much help: Brady's gone to four and won one more that Elway, and he may have done so with a lesser cast. Elway, on his first Super Bowl-winning team, had Hall of Fame tackle Gary Zimmerman, a strong Hall of Fame candidate at tight end, Shannon Sharpe, and a Pro Bowl runner, Terrell Davis; Sharpe and Davis were on the second Super Bowl championship team with Elway as well.

Part of the issue and why I would rank Elway over Brady is that Elway went to three other Super Bowls (that he lost) without much help. It's very debatable of course, but I don't know if we can focus on the greatness of Elway just through the Super Bowls he won and ignore the ones he appeared in, but lost, possibly because of his supporting cast.

8. Oakland (5-4).
9. Philadelphia (5-3).
11. Indianapolis (5-3).

I don't know about this at all. I had the Raiders with a pretty good record this year, but I'm not sure they are a better team than the Eagles or the Colts right now.

"I don't think he's the type quarterback at this stage that Shanahan wants to move forward with. Shanahan wants someone that is a little more accurate passer as well as not carrying as many injuries from over the years, the extra baggage. You get beaten up over a period of time and McNabb today certainly doesn't move around as well as he used to and his accuracy hasn't improved as a passer.''

-- Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath, on Donovan McNabb and coach Mike Shanahan's controversial week-old benching of the player thought to be his franchise quarterback.


I'm not going to pick on Joe Namath again this week except to say that Donovan McNabb has never had a completion percentage for a full season lower than Joe Namath's career high completion percentage. I know the times are different, but I get tired sometimes of the old-timers chiming in on modern players. Fran Tarkenton is all about commenting on what the Vikings should do. I know these are respected ex-football players, but Namath is chiming in on a quarterback that doesn't even play for the team he played on when he was in the NFL. McNabb still moves better than Namath ever did as a player, and he moves better than most NFL quarterbacks, so that's not a hugely important point. As I said last week, I am not sure whether McNabb ever was really the franchise quarterback in Washington, but instead was a guy who had the job for a while until Mike Shanahan could develop another quarterback. So those who are criticizing Shanahan for believing McNabb was the franchise quarterback of the future may have this a bit wrong.

Peyton Hillis, RB, Cleveland.


The Browns beat the Patriots the way the Patriots have been beating teams for years -- by pounding them and physically dominating them. Hillis, who has surprisingly soft hands for a big man, accounted for 220 yards from scrimmage.

"His hands are incredibly soft. You can almost not feel them when they touch your body. I thought I like the rough hands of an everyday man like Brett Favre, but I also like the soft hands of any man named Peyton. If Favre's hands are like being touched by an old work glove, Hillis' hands are like the hands of an angel gliding on ice over your body."

MVP Watch


1. Philip Rivers, QB, San Diego. I'm stunned to have moved him to first overall, jumping over Brady and Manning.

Peter does realize he is in charge of selecting the players in his MVP Watch? I am not sure exactly how Peter's own conscious selection of a player as #1 in his MVP Watch can stun him.

3. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis. Pretty soon, Dan Patrick and I will be running routes for Manning. In games.

Peter ran a marathon. You know, he's an athlete.

Flew the Delta Shuttle from Boston to New York Saturday afternoon for a weekend of work at NBC. I had a window seat and the woman next to me, maybe 22, fell asleep as soon as we boarded. She slept through the takeoff and didn't wake up until we were descending into LaGuardia Airport.

I didn't know quite how to handle a peculiar problem.

Peter fondled her while she was sleeping didn't he? Dammit Peter, hands to yourself on short flights!

This woman slept with her mouth wide open.

What did you do to her Peter? WHAT DID YOU DO TO HER?

and for much of the trip, her face was pointed in my direction. She'd apparently had a very long night the previous evening, or a morning with a few belts, because she smelled, well, all liquored-up. And for about 42 minutes, I had booze breath coming at me. I didn't do anything about it. For 42 minutes, you can stare out the window and read the paper and just hope your neck doesn't melt.

Or you could do what I would do and pop a breath mint or piece of gum in her mouth, which should would have to chew as she would woke up choking on it. Problem fixed. If she gets angry, at least you don't have her bad breath in your face.

a. Terrific nugget from Sunday morning's "NFL Matchup'' show: When Michael Vick was sandwiched five weeks ago and suffered a rib injury against Washington, a review of the coaches video found Vick should never have taken off to run. He had a crosser, from right to left, totally uncovered in the middle of the field and just never saw him. Great example of how Vick still doesn't see the whole field when he goes back to throw. For him to have a long career, he has to learn to scan the field better so he doesn't endure the kind of hits a quarterback is bound to receive if he takes off six or eight times a game, every week.

"For him to have a long career..." Vick is going to be 31 years old at the beginning of next season. If he isn't scanning the field better right now then I don't know if he is ever going to pick this up or not.

If you are wondering what games Peter watched this week (and he didn't watch all of them, which is fine, but that won't stop him from commenting in other parts of MMQB like he did watch them), let's look at what he did and didn't like this week:

What Peter liked (they go from C to K in his outline for what he liked from individual games):

c. Cleveland defensive tackle Ahtyba Rubin (bet you didn't know Ahtyba) beating a Pro Bowl-caliber guard, Stephen Neal, for a sack of Tom Brady.

d. What a catch by Aaron Hernandez, getting both feet down at the end line of the end zone to finish an acrobatic grab.

j. Wes Welker hit his PAT. His versatility knows no bounds.

From the New England-Cleveland game.

f. Not a bad set of hands on Raiders tackle Khalif Barnes, who caught a two-yard touchdown pass against the Chiefs for his first NFL catch.

k. Darren McFadden continues to dominate. He had 114 total yards Sunday. Where would the Raiders be without him?

From the Raiders-Chiefs game.

g. Santonio Holmes. Anyone else think he looked a little like Larry Fitzgerald in Super Bowl XLIII on that catch-and-run down the middle of the field in overtime?

h. Darrelle Revis held Calvin Johnson to one catch for 13 yards. Welcome to Revis Island, Megatron.

i. Nice try on the PAT, Ndamukong Suh. And not bad form, either.

From the Jets-Lions game.

So only one observation from the "like" category didn't come from one of three games on Sunday.

From the dislikes (they run A through E on dislikes from the individual game):

a. Cheap shot by Detroit corner Chris Houston, blindsiding Jets wideout Jerricho Cotchery way away from the ball at the end of a play -- with an official staring right at him.

c. Where is Santonio Holmes, Brian Schottenheimer? Call his number more often.

From the Jets-Lions game.

So of the 14 things Peter liked or disliked this week, 10 of them came from three games. This is an NFL expert who can really only speak to what he liked or disliked in 3 games in an admittedly busy week in the NFL...because he probably only watched enough of those games to comment.

7. I think I don't blame the Titans for picking up Moss. Not at all. This is the last-chance diner for Moss. There are already 20 to 25 teams that would never sign him to a multi-year deal in 2011 (his stated goal), and a few more teetering on the verge of never doing so. But it's worth the $3.3 million gamble for the Titans, whose coach has a chance (and I mean a chance -- there's no sure thing in the study of Mossology) to get a receiver who clearly will take some of the heat off an inexperienced receiver corps, and a group that will be without budding star Kenny Britt while he recovers from his hamstring injury.

I think it was a good move to sign Moss as well, but will Vince Young be able to throw the deep passes to Moss that he likes? The Titans offense is built around Chris Johnson, is Moss going to want to block for Johnson? More importantly, if Moss has a bad attitude, I don't know why the Titans are letting him potentially poison a guy like Kenny Britt. I know Britt is injured right now, but he's young and bringing Moss in takes away touches from Britt. It is a worthwhile gamble, but a gamble nonetheless.

9. I think Tom Brady has never forgotten where he's come from. I saw him the day after the World Series ended, which was also the day after Indianapolis and Houston played in the Monday night game. He said, "You see the game last night?'' I thought he meant the football game. I said I did see it. And he said: "How about those Giants!" Then I knew what he meant -- the San Mateo, Calif, native watched his Giants win the World Series for the first time in his life.

I'm a little confused as to why Tom Brady would give up on the San Francisco Giants because he plays for the Patriots? He's not a prince of a guy for still cheering for the team he grew up loving, that's what fans do. Peter has stated on repeated occasions that Brady goes back to California to be with his son and train in the offseason, so is it really that shocking and impressive he would be happy his favorite California-based MLB team won the World Series?

e. There simply is no actress alive with the skills, presence, beauty and grace of Grace Kelly. Saw Dial M For Murder' the other night for the first time. (Shame on me, after seeing Rear Window at least five times.)

What about Meryl Streep? Has Peter's love for Meryl Streep ended here? What has this world done to Peter's love for the versatile and wonderful Streep?

i. Ninety-four days 'til pitchers and catchers report.

Which means ninety-four days until we get more observations about baseball from Peter King. I can wait for this happen, no really I can. There's no need to rush it.

One side note: Roger Goodell will be at the stadium tonight, and if you have a hankering to see the commish or to ask him what magic bullet he has to bridge the labor gap, come on down to the parking lot outside Paul Brown Stadium. He'll be meeting fans around 5 p.m.

I'm sure that won't be a crowded scene at all. I'll just wander up to Goodell and ask him a question...like why is Jerry Richardson the only owner who values preparing for the lockout more than having a team worth watching on the field.

Monday, November 1, 2010

9 comments MMQB Review: Let's Fire Someone Edition

After taking last week off from covering Peter King's MMQB I am back this week and so is Peter of course. He's giving some advice this week, and no it is not about what a great and comfortable ride the Acela is, but it is actually about football. Peter is not a Wade Phillips fan.

About as boring a football Sunday as there could be for the first couple of hours, Denver and San Francisco exporting horrible football to London; the Redskins stinking it up at Detroit; the Cowboys looking as pathetic as the '62 Mets; Kansas City and Buffalo playing offensive football like it was 1930 and not 2010; the Jets throwing a slumber party for their offense.

Who wants to watch football without storylines that overshadow the games? Boring! Does anyone watch sports for the actual competition? No way. It's all about the soap opera that surrounds each game. That's really all that interests Peter. If it can't help him write a story, it sucks.

Then some interesting things happened. Lots of them.

Brett Favre AND the Patriots played. Together. In the same game. Peter had to wash the couch cushions and the clothes he was wearing immediately after this game.

The benching of The Solution by Mike Shanahan;

How about we don't call Donovan McNabb this?

Jerry's got heartburn, and he needs to act on it.

To: Jerry Jones.
From: Me, representing everyone in the football world.
Re: Your team.

Please do not call yourself "America's Team" anymore. It's annoying. Otherwise your football issues are your football issues and I won't stick my nose in them.

Sincerely,
Bengoodfella

But everyone can see your Cowboys are not playing hard. We saw it in the NBC viewing room Sunday, and Garrard saw it, too. He told me: "It just looked like they weren't into the game like an NFL team should be.''

That's tough criticism because if anyone knows what it is like for an NFL team to quit on their head coach it is David Garrard. Jack Del Rio got fired two seasons ago, it's just the Jaguars can't find anyone else better than him to coach the team so he is currently the interim head coach.

You don't see that with a Baltimore or Pittsburgh. Andy Reid's teams don't do that.

Dallas, you are not an East Coast NFL team, the standard upon which Peter compares anything.

We all know Wade's a prince of a guy. But he's the exact wrong man for this job right now. This team has abused Phillips' decency. It's time to put a guy in the job for the rest of the year who won't take the same crap Phillips is taking right now. I'd choose offensive coordinator Jason Garrett or special-teams coach Joe DeCamillis.

The important thing to do is hire someone from THIS coaching staff. The team will immediately respect this person, I am 100% sure of this.

Garrett will be uber-organized, and he'd show you whether he should or shouldn't be a candidate for the full-time job when you interview John Fox, Leslie Frazier, Bill Cowher and maybe Jon Gruden after the season.

Because Bill Cowher has shown he can be a successful coach outside of the Steelers organization? No offense to Cowher, but he is a good guy who want a ton of money and a lot of power when he has only been successful in the most well-run organization in the NFL. I'm not saying he isn't a good head coach, but Mike Tomlin has as many Super Bowls as he does and it didn't take him over 10 years to get one. The Steelers are just a successful organization, so I have to put some of Cowher's success in Pittsburgh on that. Just food for thought.

Also, please hire John Fox. Now. End my misery of having a lame duck head coach.

There's only one thing to do. You've never shied away from the tough calls, Jerry. This isn't even one of them, honestly. But it's got to be done. You've got to fire your coach.

Don't fire the players who aren't playing well, running roughshod over the head coach, and aren't listening to him anymore. Don't fire the guy whose idea it was to trade for Roy Williams and then sign him to a big contract (who was that again? Not Jerry Jones I am sure) and don't fire the person whose idea it was to not upgrade the offensive line after last year...fire the head coach.

When Washington coach Mike Shanahan made the move he made Sunday with 1:45 left in the fourth quarter and Washington trailing by six at Detroit, removing a healthy Donovan McNabb for Rex Grossman to run the two-minute offense, he said it was because of Grossman's familiarity with the two-minute offense from working with offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan at Houston in 2009. But the move tells me three things:

1. What the fuck?
2. What the fuck?
3. Rex Grossman? That's like being removed in the 7th inning for Brooks Conrad as your defensive replacement.

To say you're more comfortable with Rex Grossman than Donovan McNabb with the game on the line is something that should strike McNabb to the core.

It strikes me to the core too. I'm insulted for McNabb.

3. McNabb turns 34 this month. His contract is up at the end of the year. All along, we viewed the long-term deal of McNabb in Washington as a formality, to provide the fitting coronation to the Easter-night trade from the Eagles to the Redskins. Not so fast.

"We?" Whose "we?" Does Peter have a squirrel in his pocket? If I remember correctly I asked why the Redskins traded draft picks for an older quarterback who is learning a somewhat new offense. I thought it was a good trade for the Eagles and a good short-term trade for the Redskins. This long-term contract thing was always bullshit to me. I am sure others thought this way too. I like McNabb, much more than others do, but I didn't see this long-term deal as such a great idea. He's on the downside of his career.

I tend to think McNabb should be the more worried party after Sunday. Is he really that desirable a quarterback? The Eagles dangled him for two months last spring, and the only team to give a market offer for him was Washington.

(coughs) "Release him and then Carolina should sign him."

I don't really want McNabb on the Panthers, but I would love to see what the Panthers offense could do with a competent quarterback.

If the Eagles didn't want him with three or four prime years left,

HE DOESN'T HAVE THREE OR FOUR PRIME YEARS LEFT! That's my entire point that Peter King has seemed to miss. McNabb is 33 years old and he's had injury problems in the past. I don't know if he has three or four prime years left.

Can't you just imagine Al Davis this morning? Told you I was right to trade the one for Richard Seymour. Told you Darren McFadden was a franchise back. Told you this pass-rush would work. Told you Darrius Heyward-Bey had some Cliff Branch in him.

Al Davis is probably actually drooling in a bed somewhere, but I am sure if he were conscious he would feel very proud these moves worked out a couple of weeks in a row.

Watching chunks of Sunday's game, I found one thing evident: The Raiders are playing harder than they have been, flying to the ball like the Steelers and Ravens do on defense especially. Quarterback Jason Campbell points to a speech coach Tom Cable gave the team the night before the Denver game, when he implored them to stop worrying about making mistakes and to just play with abandon.

I'm not saying the Cowboys should not fire Wade Phillips, but the Raiders playing well this year reminds me of why coaching continuity is so important. The Raiders could have been impatient and started all over again this year by firing Tom Cable. They did not. Granted, he had not lost the team, maybe they are all afraid he'll punch them, and the team was still playing hard for him. The Cowboys just lost their franchise quarterback and now have Jon Kitna starting for them. That's a bit of a disappointment. I think coaching continuity is very important and teams shouldn't overreact to good or bad years because in the NFL teams can be good one year and very bad the next.

Suh on fire.

Sacks by Ndamukong Suh at midseason: 6.5.

Sacks, combined, by Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, Albert Haynesworth: 5.0

You wouldn't think a guy who dominated every team in college last year would do the same in the NFL, would you?

I would love to hear from some Bears fans about Peppers? Do you love him or are you ready to give up on him yet? I haven't been able to watch every game the Bears play, but I notice Peppers has two sacks this year and seems to have done his usual disappearing act in quite a few Bears games. Do you understand why some Panthers fans weren't exactly sad to see him go this past offseason? He is the absolute best at disappearing in the middle of a football field.

6. New York Giants (5-2). "In my mind, the Giants are the best team in the NFC,'' Sean Payton said Friday.

Well, if Sean Payton says it is true, then it must be true.

Quote of the Week III

"To mentally understand the game the way he does is just remarkable.''
-- Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh, after Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck completed 19 of 26 with a touchdown and no interceptions Saturday night in Seattle in a 41-0 rout of Washington. The ballyhooed matchup of Luck versus Washington quarterback Jake Locker (7 of 14, 64 yards, no touchdowns, two interceptions) was a dud.

Locker is a senior. Luck is a third-year sophomore. It's now looking like Luck, should he decide to enter the draft, likely will be the highest-rated player in it, with Locker floating somewhere around the middle of the first round.

I can't help but wonder if Jake Locker isn't the most overrated quarterback prospect in the NFL draft this year. I know he doesn't have a whole lot to work with in Washington and much of his running ability has been taken away by injury, but he has put up some really bad numbers when he has faced good defensive competition. Part of Locker's charms as a quarterback is his running ability, but there are times he just doesn't look good at all even when he can't run.

Granted, he isn't terrible, but I am starting to wonder if he is really a 1st round pick.

MVP Watch


2. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis. As usual, think of the two-loss Colts with Curtis Painter playing. I rest my case.

I understand this little fact makes Manning more valuable to the Colts, but if the Colts had more competent backup quarterback then that would make Manning less valuable to the Colts? Based on this reasoning any team with a crappy backup quarterback would have a quality MVP candidate by also having a great starting quarterback. Manning should be in the MVP race, but not just because he has a shitty backup.

Mr. Starwood Preferred Member Travel Note of the Week

So my Montclair buddy Jack Bowers and California daughter, Laura, took a busman's holiday Thursday to see World Series Game 2 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. A great trip. The highlights:

Oh yes, please. Give me the highlights of a trip that you heard someone else took. There's nothing better than hearing traveling highlights third-hand. I would love to know what the Bowers friends down the block did for their summer vacations as well. Could you please ask Jack to ask them so he can tell you so you can tell us?

• Smelled marijuana near Fisherman's Wharf.

America's drug culture is ruining the smell of fish for them!

• Smelled marijuana near Lefty O'Doul's, the quaint only-in-San Francisco bar-cafeteria downtown.

How are they supposed to get drunk with all these drugs around them?

Saw lots of "TIMMY SMOKE'' T-shirt with marijuana leaves on them, in honor of Tim Lincecum getting pinched on a marijuana charge last year. Think that doesn't make him a favorite of the locals?

Oh I do think it makes him a favorite of the locals. Did Jack Bowers travel back into 1960's San Francisco and not tell anyone? What's with the constant mentions of the drug culture?

• Learned I might be able to manage better than Ron Washington. Giants led 2-0 in the bottom of the eighth. Two out. No one on. Buster Posey singles. Pitching change. In comes lefty setup guy Derek Holland. Four straight balls to Nate Schierholtz. Men on first and second. Up comes Cody Ross, hottest bat in the Giant postseason. Ball one. Ball two. Ball three. "He's got to warm up Feliz,'' I say. [Neftali Feliz, the trusted closer.] Nope. Ball four. Bases loaded. Eight balls, no strikes. NO ONE WARMING UP. NOT FELIZ, NOT ANYONE.

Why are managers fascinated with only using their closers in save situations? If Washington doesn't put Feliz in the game to keep it close then the Rangers will lose...and that's what happened. I don't get it. Closers don't have to just pitch in save situations. There are more high leverage situations when the closer should be pitching. This was one of them. What was he being saved for?

• Smelled marijuana walking out of the park, then a block later on Second Avenue, walking from the stadium.

Ok, we get it. There's marijuana in San Francisco. Move on.

Postscript: Ten hours after walking out of the stadium, I'm sitting in New York Jets special teams coach Mike Westhoff's office in suburban New Jersey, interviewing him for a story. Isn't it a wonderful travel world?

Where in the introduction did Peter say that he went on this trip as well? I finally get the sense that he went on this little trip as well, but he didn't say that. He said just two people went on the trip:

So my Montclair buddy Jack Bowers and California daughter, Laura, took a busman's holiday Thursday to see World Series Game 2 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. A great trip. The highlights:

Nowhere in there does Peter mention he went on the trip as well. CNNSI.com does employ editors right? Peter talks like he was on this trip to San Francisco, but he doesn't mention he was. I'm confused.

d. Favre played. He was glad he did. Played well too. "I was shocked I was able to play and move around the way I was,'' he said. No reason he won't play again next week too.

Favre was shocked he was able to move around as well as he did. Hey everyone come here Brett Favre talk about how well he played considering how injured he is. He's a real hero. Just ask him, he will tell you. I can't believe his team pulled out the vict---wait, they didn't win? That doesn't matter to Favre. He played well and that's all he gives a shit about.

At the snap, Adrian Peterson took the ball and ran right behind Loadholt. One problem: Brace was pushing Loadholt back. Peterson couldn't find a hole, and he was enveloped by the Patriot defense. Never would have happened if Brace hadn't win the man-to-man battle with Loadholt.

"Never would have happened if Brace hadn't win the man-to-man battle with Loadholt."

It's a good thing he win that battle, otherwise the Patriots don't wouldn't had won the game.

I notice these mistakes first time I read through this column. They are so small, but I still think they should be corrected before MMQB gets published.

(I read this post VERY carefully since I have criticized the editing. Which naturally means there is a huge editing error I missed)

h. Carson Palmer. I don't care what the stats say, he throws too many Rick Ankiel balls. In other words, the football equivalent of a ball ending up on the backstop.

Uh-oh, the media may be starting to notice that Carson Palmer isn't a good quarterback.

j. Max Hall. Looks like he's playing with zero confidence now, totally unlike the guy I saw in training camp.

This was the same Max Hall who is a rookie and the same Max Hall that Peter anointed the future for the Cardinals after he had one good game? Peter loves to over react to 1-2 good/bad games by a player.

The final show, with the top 10 players, will air Thursday night on NFL Network, followed by a one-hour wrap show with four or the voters (me, veteran NFL executives Ernie Accorsi and Mike Lombardi, and Jarrett Bell of USA Today)

"Four or the voters." I actually am beginning to think this gets edited after it gets published on the Internet, which of course, I think is terrible. I wouldn't dream of publishing something before I edited it.

Seems the biggest controversy so far has been the ranking of the modern quarterbacks (surprise) who've played since 1970. They've fallen in this order: Brett Favre 20, Tom Brady 21, John Elway 23, Dan Marino 25, Roger Staubach 46, Terry Bradshaw 50, Troy Aikman 80, Steve Young 81, Kurt Warner 90, Joe Namath 100.

Wow. Really? Favre over Brady, Elway, and Marino?

Joe Namath shouldn't be in the discussion for the Top 50 quarterbacks of all-time, much less in the discussion of the Top 100 players. Look at his numbers. I don't care that teams didn't pass as much back then.

A career completion percentage of 50.1%?

A TD to INT ratio of 173:220?

We can't even say he was a winner because he has a career losing record of 62-63.

His career passer rating is 65.5. Jamarcus Russell's is 65.2. Cade McNown's is 67.7. Bruce Gradkowski's is 66.7. You get the point.

Joe Namath should not be on this list and he should not be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I almost believe players should be able to be voted out of the Hall of Fame based on Namath's inclusion.

d. I have heard people complain that the price of newspapers is going up, or that newspaper websites, in starting to charge people for content (which is long overdue), are turning people away from the papers. Well, I guess paying $2 for the Times is prohibitive outside of New York City compared to recent days, when it could be had for less than a dollar. But I paid $2.49 for a Zone bar in Logan Airport the other day and $2 for the newspaper. I was finished with the Zone bar in seven bites -- maybe five minutes. I spent 75 minutes with the Times, then put the crossword in my bag (frustratingly) to work on it later in the week. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

The problem is that you are paying $2 to learn information that happened 12+ hours ago. I don't know if people will pay for newspaper content online. I could be wrong, but I think the days of having to pay for information are gone. This isn't the CIA. I shouldn't have to slip $5 bucks in someone's pocket to hear information on a story about how a player is recovering from surgery in the offseason.

i. Thanks, Celtics, for allowing my buddy Pete Thamel and me to parachute into the Celts-Heat LeBron Bowl opener. Very generous of you. Even got to meet my favorite player of my youth, Hondo Havlicek. That was fun. Except for me asking one too many stupid questions when trying to find out where some of the guys from that team were now. "Where's Larry Siegfried?'' I asked. Said Hondo: "He died two weeks ago.''

Would it be possible for Peter to just stick with football? It seems like the sports he loves as hobbies are sports he isn't well-informed about. After calling Derek Jeter the best player of his generation (which Peter clarified to mean the last 20 years, which doesn't make it any less crazy), now he is asking former NBA players about their teammates who aren't in attendance...mostly because they are dead.

j. And I know less about the NBA than I know about Norwegian politics. But I did leave the basketball game wondering how in the world anyone would think Chris Bosh is on LeBron's and Dwyane Wade's level. It should be the Big Two and Three-Quarters in Miami instead of the Big Three, shouldn't it?

From the mouth of babes...

Chris Bosh was a good player on a bad team. On a good team he is the second best player.

Indianapolis 30, Houston 23. This game can go a lot of ways, because both teams ought to feel pretty good coming off the bye. But if I'm analyzing a football game, and Peyton Manning has had two weeks to prepare, and Bill Walsh has had two weeks to prepare, I'd still probably pick Manning. Thus the prediction.

Not sure I get the comparison between a quarterback having two weeks to prepare and a head coach having two weeks to prepare. Manning is sort of the head coach of the Colts, but I still may not get it because Walsh and Manning have somewhat different responsibilities.

More importantly, logic dictates because Manning is better than Bill Walsh when given two weeks to prepare for a game, this means the Colts will beat the Texans tonight.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2 comments Mark Bradley Hates Brett Favre and Thinks Kittens Deserve to Be Run Over If They Run Into Traffic

I saw this on the Big Lead first and of course had to check out the article. Mark Bradley is not unhappy that Brett Favre has retired. What Mark Bradley has written is the very opposite of a puff piece, but its not a vindictive Jay Mariotti type piece either. It is the anti-puff piece, written without anger, but with a sense of calm only insanity can give you...but it doesn't mean he is wrong.

When last Brett Favre retired, he wept. If he unretires again, I’ll weep. I never want to see him throw another interception. I feel like I’ve seen every one of them — all 310, if you’re counting — and yet I feel utterly alone in my opinion.

You are not alone, I feel like I have seen a lot of Brett Favre interceptions and I want him to stay retired. I don't dislike him but he has overstayed his welcome. Brett Favre has put up some great numbers as a quarterback, but he has left us all emotionally drained from his drama.

Which is this: Brett Favre is the most overrated athlete of our time.

Really? Joe Namath will arm wrestle Favre for that crown. Not only is Namath sporting a career completion percentage hardly over 50% but he also has thrown 47 more interceptions than touchdown passes and a career quarterback rating of 65.5. Oh, and he is in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players of all time to play football.

Look, Namath is probably lucky he got drunk one night at a Jets game and offered to kiss Suzy Kolber...twice, because he is now known as a guy who got drunk at a football game and made an ass of himself, as opposed to the most overrated quarterback of all time, which is really what he should be known as.

Favre isn’t the greatest quarterback ever. He’s not even in the top 10. He’s 20th all-time in passer rating, 17th in completion percentage.

Now he is cherry picking stats, but they are still very true. Anyone who reads this blog knows I am not the biggest Favre fan in the world and some of the numbers that Mark Bradley puts up are the reason. I don't know if I would take him out of the top 10 quarterbacks of all time. It is pretty close in my mind though.

That’s right. Kurt Warner. Who has won just as many titles as Favre, who has been to more Super Bowls, who has a better career completion percentage and a higher passer rating and a lower interception percentage but who had the misfortune of playing most of his career for the wrong Midwestern team in an unfrozen dome.

This Kurt Warner love is kind of overboard at this point. Warner has had 5 good seasons and Brett Favre has had 8 seasons that are comparable to Warner and those were all outstanding seasons. Favre has had other seasons where he put up good numbers, while Warner has been benched several times so he has seasons with bad numbers.

Warner also had the advantage of playing in warm weather or a dome for most of his career, so his numbers were never negatively affected by the weather.

I think Favre is a little overrated but he has been a better quarterback over his career than Kurt Warner.

And please oh please let him stay gone this time. The sport will somehow survive.

There were times when I wasn't reading a Peter King column that I forgot Favre was still playing, so yes, the league will survive.

Although, typically, a headline on ESPN.com Wednesday informed us “the NFL won’t be the same without him.”

That is a Gene W. column about Favre that goes overboard.

No, it won’t. There’ll be fewer interceptions and much less gushing.

Ouch. I feel very similar, just without the idea that Favre was the most overrated of all time.

Let's sample the Gene Wojciechowski column that made Mark Bradley forget to take his meds.

Maybe it was the cowardly teammate who anonymously ripped him in print. Maybe it was the absence of a game-breaking wide receiver or running back.

These excuses for Favre's performance are crappy. He had Jerricho Cotchery, Coles, Thomas Jones, and Dustin Keller. Those were some weapons.

It wasn't the way he wanted to go out -- an 8-3 Jets start, a 1-4 finish -- but his legacy survived just fine. I think he could have played another year.

Gene was clearly not paying attention to the NFL at the end of this year. If Favre's shoulder was directly affecting him, then he had other accuracy problems to deal with as well.

But to blame Favre for the Jets' collapse would be like blaming Aaron Rodgers for the Packers' collapse.

No, the Packers were not good this year around Rodgers while the Jets were good around Favre. Rodgers played well this year and Brett Favre did not. The Jets collapse was partially Favre's fault.

Five years ago he might have been able to do more, but Favre at 39 was still better than a lot of quarterbacks in this league at 28.

I don't know, check out the stats. They aren't bad, but they are not great either.

Favre threw 464 career touchdown passes to 50 different players. If those 50 guys are smart, they saved each of those footballs.

Knowing Brett Favre, he probably actually took those footballs from the receiver who caught it, then gave it back to the receiver, but later requested the player give it back.

It's a good list, but what I'll remember about Favre isn't so much the games, but the way he played the games. His beard was gray, but his attitude was high school pep rally.

No Brett Favre puff piece is complete without a sentence similar to this one.

The NFL isn't going to be the same without Favre -- and how many players can you say that about? More than each of his records, that's the Favre legacy that counts.

I agree and part of his legacy is his interceptions and the problems he caused the fans, the Jets, the Packers and the NFL his last year with his retirement/non-retirement dance.

I can see how Mark Bradley may go insane after reading too many of these type articles. I am little woozy.