Friday, January 22, 2010

The Washington Post: Best Super Bowl Matchup?

The Washington Post recently asked, "What's the best Super Bowl matchup? Colts, Vikings, Saints, Jets -- which storyline do you want to see in XLIV?? Here was my take:

This year, the NFL is lucky enough to be in a win-win scenario in terms of what kind of Super Bowl matchup they will have after this weekend's championship games. Let's examine:

Colts- Saints: Everyone wanted this from the beginning of the year. This would pit the two best teams in football against each other, and would guarantee a lot of excitement and points scored for the casual football fan.

Colts- Vikings: BRETT FAVRE, BRETT FAVRE, BRETT FAVRE....PEYTON MANNING, PEYTON MANNING, PEYTON MANNING. Two Hall-of-Fame quarterbacks, the two most popular quarterbacks in the league, and the winner gets their second Super Bowl ring. Who's not on board with that? Did I mention, Brett Favre might or might not retire after this season?

Jets- Saints: Two punished teams and fan bases, with one finally get over the hump (this also works for a Jets-Vikings match-up). This would also be a rematch of a closer than what the scoreboard indicated regular season matchup, in which the Saints won 24-10.

Jets- Vikings: Favre's old team vs. his new team. Oddly enough, the Green Bay Packers aren't involved in that sentence.

Win-win for everyone!

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Washington Post: Who's Feeling The Heat?

The Washington Post recently asked, "Which team is under the most pressure to win during its divisional playoff game? Here was my take:

Four teams in particular will have some added pressure to an already pressure filled weekend of football. Here they are In reverse order...

4) San Diego Chargers: Not only a Super Bowl favorite, but the window is closing for both LaDainian Tomlinson and Norv Turner. For Tomlinson, his Hall of Fame career is coming to an end in a hurry. He's clearly lost a step or two (or three or four), and this will probably be his last chance of winning a Super Bowl, while still getting meaningful carries. For Norv Turner, this could be it. Let's face it, Turner as a coach, is probably San Diego's biggest weakness. If Turner once again fails to lead this very talented team to the Super Bowl, he could very well be fired (especially with a loss to the Jets).

3) Dallas Cowboys: Even after getting the monkey off their shoulders this month, both Tony Romo and Wade Phillips still have a great deal on the line. This pair has probably the most to gain out of this year's playoffs, but a loss vs. Minnesota would give their critics reason to continue their doubt.

2) Minnesota Vikings: Is this Brett Favre's last year? Are we going to ask this same question every year? Like it or not, if Minnesota loses, the Vikings future would be very much up in the air. Let's face it- Minnesota clearly wouldn't be this good with Tarvaris Jackson as their starter. Also, like Turner in San Diego, Brad Childress is Minnesota's weak link. A playoff loss would make his recent contract extension even more perplexing.

1) Indianapolis Colts: After forfeiting their chance at immortality, all eyes will be on the Colts to see if their "strategy" will pay off with a Super Bowl victory. Personally, I think bad karma will follow the Colts for letting down their fans and the league for essentially giving up a chance to go undefeated. As Michael Irvin said, a team wins the Super Bowl every season, but only one team has gone undefeated and won the Super Bowl.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Washington Post: Beginner's Luck?

The Washington Post recently asked, "With a rookie quarterback under center and a rookie head coach on the sidelines, how far can the Jets really expect to go in these playoffs?. Here was my take:

The Jets have been the most misunderstood team of the playoffs. Experts have noted that other teams may be better than their records dictate, with many suggesting that the Jets never belonged in the playoffs in the first place. As a Jets fan, I would be the first to admit that the Jets did get gift-wrapped a would-be loss to the Colts, in the Colts' Week 16 forfeit. However, as the Jets stand in the final 8, I could easily make an argument that the 9-7 Jets could have easily been 12-4 and considered in the "elite" class in the NFL.

Remember, the Jets lost 5 games on the last possession (Miami twice, Jacksonville, Buffalo in overtime, and Atlanta)! In fact, the Jets only lost one game this entire season handily. If a few bounces went their way, people would see the Jets in a totally different light. On top of that, the Jets also own the #1 defense and running game. They also have a shut-down corner who can erase future playoff opponents such as Vincent Jackson or Reggie Wayne.

Rex Ryan has instilled a definitive swagger to the organization, and Sanchez has shown signs of greatness (despite what the stats show) sporadically throughout the season.

So why not the Jets?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

End of Regular Season Report Card

Based on my Fourcade formula, here's the quarterback report card (minimum 5 starts).

A: Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, Matt Moore, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Donovan McNabb

A: Vince Young, Kurt Warner, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub

B+: Matt Ryan

B: Carson Palmer, Joe Flacco, Kyle Orton

C+: Eli Manning

C: Alex Smith, Chad Henne

D+: David Garrard, Shaun Hill

D: Jay Cutler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Mark Sanchez,

F: Matt Hasselbeck, Jason Campbell, Jake Delhomme, Josh Freeman, Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel, Trent Edwards, Matthew Stafford, Brady Quinn, Marc Bulger, JaMarcus Russell, Kerry Collins, Daunte Culpepper

Saturday, January 2, 2010

QB Shuffle: Week 17 Notes...

The regular season is in the books. Here are my post-weekend notes:


THE CLUTCH:


Up 27-24 with 6:10 remaining, an injured Ben Roethlisberger led Pittsburgh on a time-consuming 83 yard drive, which led to a field goal to go up six points with under a minute to go, to essentially put the game away.


Down 13-10 with 6:59 remaining. Vince Young took advantage of good field position, leading a 28 yard touchdown drive to go up 17-13 with under 5 minutes to go, for the eventual win.


Down 20-16 with 4:33 remaining, Billy Volek led the Chargers on a 58 yard touchdown drive, capped off by a two yard touchdown pass by Volek, to go up 23-20 with less than a minute to go for the victory.


THE non-CLUTCH:


Down 27-24 with just under 7 minutes remaining at the Steelers 16 yard line, back-up Tyler Thigpen threw an awful interception, which cost the Dolphins the tie or possible lead.   Thigpen got another shot with a minute left, down 30-24, but threw another interception to end the game.


Tied at 27 with 4:43 left, Tom Brady threw an interception in their own territory after a rough hit which injured Brady, which led to a Houston touchdown to go up 34-27. Brady did not get a chance to redeem himself because...


Down 34-27 with 1:54 left, back-up Brian Hoyer drove the Patriots 32 yards before throwing two consecutive incompletions for a loss of downs and loss of game.


Down 17-13 with 4:33, Matt Hasselbeck drove the Seahawks 53 yards before throwing two straight incompletions and then the game-losing interception.


Down 21-13 with 3:43 left, JaMarcus Russell threw two bad incompletions, which forced the punt back to Baltimore with 2:54 left. Oakland never got the ball back.


Did You Know:

Tony Romo's career record is 38-17

Philip Rivers is 46-18 as a starter
Jason Campbell is 6-18 in his last 24 games.
Matt Moore has a 6-1 career record.
Charlie Frye is a career 7-16 record
Matt Hasselbeck is 6-15 in the last two seasons.
HOMER REPORT
Really feel great about how the season played out.   Snuck into playoffs despite five losses on last possession, and now Sanchez has a great opportunity to get some playoff experience in only his rookie season.   The Jets have the playoff formula (#1 defense, #1 running game, strong end of season), so it should be a fun month of football.
Confidence Scale (out of 10): 9.0- Snuck into the playoffs, and now are playing the weakest playoff team by far (Bengals), whom they just demolished.   Feeling very good about Saturday.
FOURCADE FORMULA
Based on my Fourcade formula, here are the top 5 and bottom 5 quarterback performances from week 17.
BEST:
1) Brett Favre: 316 yards, 4 touchdowns
2) Jay Cutler: 276 yards, 4 touchdowns
3) Ben Roethlisberger: 220 yards, 3 touchdowns + clutch performance
4) Tony Romo: 311 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
5) Matt Schaub: 303 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception
WORST:
28) Peyton Manning: 95 yards, 1 interception
29) Kurt Warner: 31 yards
30) Keith Null: 57 yards
31) Mark Brunell: 102 yards, 1 interception
32) Carson Palmer: 0 yards, 1 interception