"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, January 15, 2006

NFL Playoff Observations

I'll do like Rush and mix in a little NFL commentary with the politics.

(However, I'll avoid making a controversy out of the actual non-controversy that is the black quarterback. For the record, I think Donovan McNabb is outrageously good. On the other hand, I'm quite annoyed with Daunte Culpepper, my first round fantasy pick who sunk me completely this year.)

Here we go:

1. Denver running backs are less and less likely to get big free agent dollars to go elsewhere. Shanahan knows how to make RB's look good. He is better at coaching the run than anyone else in the league. That team simply does not need high draft pick RB talent to succeed.

2. Rex Grossman of the Chicago Bears has the palest skin I've ever seen on any player in the National Football League. He is even more pale than "Whitey" Sven Ivory, the former albino third string safety for those great Vikings teams of the 70's. The man borders on being gray. He may actually have the proverbial ice water in his veins which would explain the pallor.

3. Indianapolis deserved to lose their game. This was not the same squad we've watched dominate virtually without effort.

I think this is a case of a team that needed more adversity on the field and less off the field. There is no way Tony Dungy (clearly an NFL supercoach) could have continued in the same vein of stupendous success after his son's death. When Peyton Manning waived off Dungy's punt squad late in the third quarter, you could see a legend just ready to be born as the QB took over for his beleaguered skipper. Unfortunately for the Colts, the transformation was too late in coming. Had Manning taken the reins a bit earlier his team might have had a chance.

By the way, for the record, Troy Polamalu DID intercept that Manning pass late in the fourth quarter. It will be a permanent mystery as to how an experienced NFL referee could botch a call so badly. Luckily for the NFL and everyone involved, the Steelers won anyway which left the mistake moot.

4. The Carolina Panthers are absolutely legit. Anybody that can score that many points and drive the ball so effectively against an unreal Bears defense is destined for the Superbowl. I'm going out on a limb to predict the Panthers beat the Seahawks in a close one to go to Detroit.

5. The Steelers are going to beat the Broncos. Both teams play a similar style, but the Steelers are cresting at just the right time. The pieces are all in place. Roethlisberger gets to be Tom Brady this time. The Steelers defense will pick Jake Plummer off and score points in the victory.

6. I've learned to dislike Tom Brady. He always struck me as a winner, but this year the ugly side of the overcompetitive player came out in the QB. He complained too much about being written off at mid-season and spent too much time whining about not getting calls during the Denver game on Saturday. Hopefully, a spell of not being the champion will be good for him and restore Brady to class-act status.

7. Michael Vick is overrated. He is overrated. He is overrated. The man is the most elusive open field runner in the history of the game this side of Barry Sanders, but he is not a good enough passer. As a Falcons fan, I don't want to see him shoved into a pocket passer mold, but it would at least be nice to see Atlanta become a little more hospitable to free agent wide receivers. Right now the Peach City is the place where WR's go to watch their dreams die.

8. My crystal ball is cracked on Brett Favre. I could see him coming back for a couple of great years to quiet the critics, but I fell in love with his gutsy play years ago and am incapable of being objective.

5 comments:

Jay D. Homnick said...

Fabulous analysis all around.

Why Favre is not more of a winner in big games is a mystery of sorts.

And Carolina owes a lot to Chicago really falling down in the secondary.

tbmbuzz said...

The best team in the playoffs was the Patriots until 1:33 left in the first half against Denver. Then they became the worst team. GRRRRR!

Hunter Baker said...

Just not the Pats year. This may be a comment on the value of Chalie Weiss and Romeo Crennel.

James Elliott said...

Jay, Favre can't win more big games because this year he was the only player worth a darn on the Packers. As King Kaufmann put it, you can't win a game with a QB alone.

I dunno, buzz. The Steelers defense was INCREDIBLE against the Colts. I fear for the Broncos.

Hunter Baker said...

I'm with you on this one, JFE. The Steelers looked really, really good. I think the Broncs go down when they meet.

I also think you're right about Favre. He tried to win by himself and predictably failed miserably. I know the Packers fans would hate it, but I'd like to see him do a Montana and spend his last couple of years making another team work.

I know, how about a return to the Falcons?!!!