He is no longer. Like my counterpart, HHY, I too feel for quarterbacks like young Eli Manning and Rex Grossman for the scrutiny and criticism they go through trying to lead there teams through an NFL season. Both Eli and Rex exhibited similar traits – huge games one week with people comparing them to Hall of Famers, then horrendous games the next with people wishing they never uttered the word “Hall of Fame” in the same sentence.
Eli just shook that monkey off his back last night. And, as with all stories that feature monkeys, you liked every damn minute of it. Superbowl XLII, not to be confused with what some people call my massive head , was one of the greatest football games I have ever seen in my life. I’ll admit – I went into the game wanting to see the Patriots pull it off. I wanted to see the perfect season and not just to shut the Dolphin’s up. It felt like basketball in Chicago during 90’s all over again. The Bulls were the most dominant team I’ve ever watched and I can remember how exciting it was to experience that. That is a sports story that I can relive with my kids, just like how my dad shares his Bears stories with me each year. And to say that I watched the Patriots win all 18 games and then take Superbowl XLII into the records books would have been fun.
But then the Giants win. And honestly, I’m not a Patriots fan. Now I can tell my kids how the New York Giants beat the unbeatable team during their “perfect” season (which will now forever be put in quotes on this blog). Underdogs, going into the playoffs as a wild card team. First NFC wild card team to win the Superbowl. With the line being 12 points against them. Rolling off two TD’s in the second half and rattling Brady so much with their D-line attack that even he’s still trying to figure it out.
So I guess what I’m trying to get to is this: Why the hell are the Giants so lucky with their “Rex of the East Coast” and we lost so badly last year with the Real Rex? And if he actually comes back as our starter next year then he better have been taking notes last night. That and he needs an O-line. And a defense that played like the G-Men did.
I know. Wishful thinking. At least I have a great underdog story to tell to my kids.
Archive for the ‘football’ category
The 2007 Chicago Bears season, whether it finished 6-10 or 7-9, will be remembered as a colossal failure. Maybe the most colossal in the team’s history. Coming off a runner-up finish in 2006, the Bears were–at the very least–supposed to make the playoffs and have a chance to defend its 2006 conference title. Instead, by Thanksgiving, it was apparent that this team was not only not making the playoffs, but it was just plain bad.
In previous pieces I’ve written about the Bears I feel are culpable in this lost season. While the national media focuses on Rex Grossman, the smart Bears fan realizes that the Bears’ running game and offensive line were the key to this season’s offensive failures. Cedric Benson didn’t have many holes to run through, but when he did, he looked as if he was just waiting to get tackled. The offensive line went from a team strength to its biggest weakness, as many as four of the five slots may have to be replaced next year. While recently Bernard Berrian has made some big plays, lets not forget that he couldn’t catch a fucking cold in the first half of the season. And if Muhsin Muhammed is on this team next year, I’m going to set myself on fire. Defensively, Brian Urlacher suffered though a bad back and didn’t really play well until late in the year. On the flip side, Lance Briggs started out on fire but has vanished recently. Perhaps Lance is taking it easy, knowing he is just weeks away from free agency. And then there’s the secondary.
Wow. I mean, even the Redskins have to be amazed at how bad Adam Archuleta was. When the Bears signed him, I wasn’t a huge fan of the deal, but I had no idea the guy couldn’t cover or tackle anyone. And thats not a fan’s overstatement……he simply does not belong in the NFL anymore. Daneal Manning went from a talented rookie to one of the worst tacklers on the team. And finally, injuries to key personnel ruined any limited chance of the Bears making a playoff run.
But, like the title here infers, it wasn’t all bad. Here are some bright spots from the 2007 season:
Charles Tillman: In his fifth year, Peanut has proven to be the big, physical corner the Bears need in the cover two defense. He has 72 tackles and two interceptions, and has forced four fumbles and blocked two punts. While others get the recognition and Pro Bowl nominations, Tillman has consistently been the best player on the defense (and perhaps the special teams) all year. Hopefully, with the return of a healthy Nathan Vasher in 2008, the Bears defense will be closer to itself.
Tommie Harris: Harris is basically playing on one leg. Also, he’s been playing alongside 5 or 6 different defensive tackles this year, and has been constantly double-teamed. Other players might have packed it in this year, especially when it became obvious that this team sucked ass. But Harris has 7 sacks and 32 tackles, and is constantly in the opposing team’s backfield. If 100 percent in 2008, the Bears defensive line will be much improved.
Adewale Ogunleye: Ogunleye had not played up to his reputation prior to this season. After putting up a league high 15 sacks in 2003 for Miami and getting traded to Chicago, Ogunleye has had a grand total of 21 sacks in three seasons. However, in 2007, Ogunleye has been the team’s most consistent playmaker on either side of the ball. 56 tackles, 9 sacks, 6 forced fumbles and 4 fumbles recovered later, and Ogunleye has almost been able to make up for the other defensive end’s–Mark Anderson–horrid season.
Devin Hester: I’ve written a few love letters to the guy on this page before, and we all know how good he is. I’ve been able to be present for two of his touchdowns, and for another two that were called back. There hasn’t been anything in Chicago sports, since Michael retired, more exciting to see in person than Hester. I just hope the geniuses on the coaching staff and in management don’t get too cute in the offseason and decide to keep running these little reverses and bubble screens for number 23. Every time they run one of these piece of shit plays I expect some 290-pound lineman to pursue down the line and shred Hester’s knee.
So, yeah, thats about it. Brendon Ayanbadejo had another great year on special teams. I like the work of Greg Olsen and think he will be a really dangerous weapon in 2008. And unlike many others, I think Ron Turner has done an adequate job of calling plays considering he has no offensive line, quarterback, receivers, or running game. Other than that…….when does baseball start?
I’m putting these up a day early since I’ll be away from a computer for most of the remainder of the week. However, Friday’s hot chick will be put up tomorrow.
After two straight sub-.500 weeks, I’m looking to make mad moves this week. Nothing less than 10 covers.
Arizona (+3) over Cincinnati
Green Bay (-9.5) over Carolina
Cleveland (-2.5) over Baltimore
Indianapolis (-14.5) over Kansas City
Philadelphia (-10) over Miami
New Orleans (pk) over Houston
Oakland (+5.5) over Minnesota
San Diego (+3) over Jacksonville
Tampa Bay (-3) over Atlanta
Detroit (+3) over NY Giants
Pittsburgh (-9.5) over NY Jets
Washington (+11.5) over Dallas
St. Louis (-2.5) over San Francisco
Seattle (-6) over Chicago
New England (-15.5) over Buffalo
Tennessee (+2.5) over Denver
Season: 58-49-9, Last Week: 9-4
Kansas City (-1) over Green Bay
Denver (+3.5) over Detroit
Atlanta (-3) over San Francisco
Washington (-3.5) over NY Jets
Carolina (+4) over Tennessee
Jacksonville (+3.5) over New Orleans
San Diego (-7) over Minnesota
Buffalo (-1) over Cincinnati
Tampa Bay (-4) over Arizona
Oakland (-3) over Houston
New England (-5) over Indianapolis
Cleveland (-1) over Seattle
Dallas (-3) over Philadelphia
Baltimore (+9.5) over Pittsburgh
Thats a lot of favorites……ugh. Look out for a 3-11 week.
Minnesota 34, Chicago 31–Best performance by an opposing player I’ve ever seen. Purple Jesus went off. 224 yards rushing and 3 scores, and he added a 55 yard kick return to set up Ryan Longwell’s game winning 55 yard field goal at the gun. The time when us Bears fans could rely on the defense to make plays and keep us in games no matter what is over, and the tackling of the secondary–especially Daneal Manning and Brandon McGowan–was absolutely dreadful for the second straight week. On the bright side, Devin Hester continued his dominance with an 89-yard punt return and a 81-yard touchdown reception with just over two minutes left. There have been better Bears, but Hester is by far the most exciting player to wear the uniform in my lifetime. People talk about the great Gale Sayers, and while Sayers was a better overall football player, I can’t imagine that he’s more exciting that Hester.
Cleveland 41, Miami 31–Derek Anderson is the truth, son! This situation reminds me of the Bengals a few years ago. Remember, they drafted Carson Palmer but decided to let Jon Kitna start that first year? And Kitna responded with a huge season? Well, Anderson is Jon Kitna and Brady Quinn is Carson Palmer. Anyway, the Browns seem to really have something on the offensive side of the ball, with Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow becoming Pro Bowl-level targets in the passing game. For the Fish, Cleo Lemon threw for 256 yards and 2 scores but it wasn’t enough as Miami fell to 0-6.
Green Bay 17, Washington 14–So I click on ESPN.com to read the box score for this game, and the Web site provides a link with one line which summarizes the game. For example, the Bears-Vikings game was something along the lines of ‘Peterson explodes as Vikings upset Bears.’ Well, the link for this game is ‘Favre leads Green Bay to 5-1.’ So what did Brett Favre do, you ask? 19-for-37, 188 yards, 0 touchdowns, 2 interceptions. The winning touchdown was scored by the Packer defense, a 57 yard fumble return by Charles Woodson. This is a perfect example of why non-Packer fans are fucking sick of the Favre love. He played a shitty game, the defense made a huge play to win an important game, and the media lazily puts up ‘Favre leads Green Bay to 5-1.’ Give me a fucking break.
Kansas City 27, Cincinnati 20–Apparently the Cheifs aren’t that shitty. Either that, or the Bengals are really bad. It could be both. The 2007 Heartless Pig Award might go to the Bengals defense, which week after week gets torched. Larry Johnson, previously left for dead after 5 horrid weeks, had 119 yards and a score and ensured that his fantasy owners will now keep him in the lineup for the rest of the year, thinking he is back. Marvin Lewis should go ahead and sell his home and scour for defensive coordinator positions, cuz this ship has sailed.
Philadelphia 16, NY Jets 9–Hey, Mangenious…..any time you want to get Chad Pennington the fuck out of there, Jets fans will appreciate it. The New Yorkers got 130 yards from Thomas Jones and still couldn’t score a touchdown. Meanwhile, Kevin Curtis and Wes Welker are battling for the title of Best White Receiver of the Year. Previous winners include Steve Largent, Don Beebe, and Tom Waddle.
Tampa Bay 13, Tennessee 10–I’ll tell you kids something–look at Jeff Garcia’s numbers for this season. 1188 yards passing with a 66.7 completion percentage. % touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 103.6 passer rating. Tony Romo is getting all the publicity, but Garcia is the best quarterback in the NFC right now. He might not be a fantasy superstar, but he’s getting the job done very effectively for a team which will probably win its division. If you’re Dallas or Green Bay, do you want to play the Bucs in the divisional round of the playoffs, with Garcia running around like a jackass, throwing off balance and that defense playing like it is? I wouldn’t. Meanwhile, the Titans truly suck, and if Vince Young is ever injured seriously, they’ll lose about 75 percent of their games.
Jacksonville 37, Houston 17–Wasn’t it cool at the beginning of the year, when the Texans were 2-0 and everyone was talking about them being the sleeper of 2007? Yeah, not so much. The Texans can’t stop the run, and when you’re playing Jacksonville, that’s not good. 244 yards rushing, not good. David Garrard is doing in the AFC what Jeff Garcia is in the NFC: quietly putting together a stellar, if unspectacular, season. 1069 yards passing, 66.2 completions percentage, 6 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 104.7 rating. Meanwhile, Byron Leftwich really likes the new chicken fries from Burger King.
Baltimore 22, St. Louis 3–Lordy, are the Rams horrid. Every week, I write something small about the Ram game because I want to leave the true dissection of the team to our resident Rams fan, everyones on steroids. But it doesn’t seem as if he’s very interested in this garbage. So I’m gonna lay something out for the kids in the Lou: sit Bulger and Jackson for the rest of the season. Why bring them back now? So they can play hurt and the Rams can finish 5-11, 4-12? Please. Sit em, play some kids, finish one or two games worse than that, and get a top 5 pick. As for the Ravens, they are really boring and I hate writing about them. They had 5 interceptions on defense, and I’m guessing Willis McGahee did something.
Carolina 25, Arizona 10–Elway. Montana. Unitas. Marino. Favre. Manning. Brady. Make room, gentlemen. Vinny’s back. Testaverde blew the fuck up against the Cardinals, throwing for 206 yards and a score to lead the Panthers to a big victory on the road. It would be really awesome if Vinny was the starter for the rest of the year. Why not? What, Carolina should be anxious to throw David Carr back in there? Please, he blows. On the other side, Tim Rattay rallied the Cardinals after Kurt Warner hyperextended his elbow. Rallied them to 159 yards and 3 interceptions. After the game, Rattay looked at the stat sheet, saw he got monster-fucked by a 44 year old dude who wasn’t even in the league last week, and hung himself.
New England 48, Dallas 27–I didn’t even know these two teams were playing this week. You would think that two 5-0 teams matching up would of had more of a build up. Anyway, the Patriots will probably go 16-0 if they stay healthy. Since the Pats and Cowboys will probably represent their conferences in the Super Bowl, we already know that New England will blow out the Cowboys in February. So, on October 15, the season is over. Fuck you, Dreamboat.
San Diego 28, Oakland 14–LT got the ball. He ran for 200 yards and 4 touchdowns. Wow. Look what happens when you give the best player the fucking ball. Thanks Norv; you owe me 500 dollars. (Suicide pool pot that I lost when picking SD a few weeks back).
New Orleans 28, Seattle 17–This was one of the worst coached games I have ever seen. Mike Holmgren should be fired after this season. The Seahawk playcalling was horrible. In the 4th quarter, here are some of the calls Holgren made: 4th and 3, called timeout and then ran a draw–with the fullback–and gained 1 yard; team scored to make it 28-17, kicked an onsides kick with over 7 minutes left in the game–kick failed; with under 2 minutes left, facing a 4th and 9 on the Saints’ 20, decided to go for it instead of kicking the field goal to cut it to 8 and then trying an onsides kick. You need 3 anyway, Mike…..why not get it now instead of trying a 4th and 9? Fucking moron. Go comb your walrus mustache.
Yeah, that’s what the fuck I’m talking about. An absolutely horrible week of boring ass games was capped off with the mighty Bears slapping the Packers around Lambeau. (What, a 7-point win when you force 5 turnovers and the other team commits 12 penalites isn’t a slap? Fuck you.)
The only thing that could of made this weekend any better was if the Cubs got shut down by Livan Hernandez. Oh, that happened? Oops.
Anyway, here’s a roundup of the
stellar rather crappy Week 5 NFL games.
Tennessee 20, Atlanta 13–This would have been a great matchup of running QBs if the dog murderer hadn’t gotten caught. Damn the man. Anyway, the Titans turned the ball over 5 times and that still wasn’t enough for the Falcons to pull out the road win. With the score tied at 13 late in the third quarter, Titan
Pacman Jones Vincent Fuller intercepted a Joey Harrington pass and ran 76 yards for a touchdown. Tennessee would have been my suicide pool pick had that fucking asswipe Norv Turner not shit the bed in week 4. Seriously, I’m thinking of renaming this blog ‘Fuck Norv Turner.’ Dot com. Or org. I don’t know.
Jacksonville 17, Kansas City 7–So week one, Tennessee runs for almost 300 runs on Jacksonville. Now, in week 5, with Larry Johnson, the Chiefs run for 10 yards. 10 fucking yards? How bad is the Chief offensive line. Folks, if you play fantasy football, and you have LJ: trade him for whatever you can get now. Or wait until he has a somewhat decent game. Because that team just sucks. I cannot believe they beat the Chargers last week. THATS how bad of a coach Norv Turner is. Seriously, fuck Norv Turner.
Arizona 34, St. Louis 31–A lot of talk around the blogosphere about the Cardinals being the team to beat in the NFC West. Folks, the Rams offense is absolutely atrocious and it scored 31 on these guys. Brian Leonard went over 100 yards. That dude didn’t even start for Rutgers at halfback last year. Rutgers. The Cardinals will be lucky to win 8 games. But that might be good enough to make the playoffs.
New England 34, Cleveland 17–I know this is going to sound stupid, but after this game I have more respect for the Browns than I did going in. I’m not saying they are going to challenge Pittsburgh in the AFC North, but they almost covered the spread. That’s more than we can say for the other Patriot opponents this year. There must be something wrong with Tom Brady because he had 16 incompletions. What a suckbag. (He also had 3 touchdowns and almost 300 yards passing).
Carolina 16, New Orleans 13–The Saints are really, really bad. Marques Colston is having a really bad sophomore campaign. Reggie Bush is a solid weapon, but without someone to spell him while running between the tackles, he’s just not going to be as effective. Also, Drew Brees is really pressing. He had another 2 picks, including one to ex-Bear Chris Harris. Although they won the game, the Panthers had a rough day as Jake Delhomme is feared out for the season. So, basically, the Bucs won the NFC South because David Carr is just gross.
NY Giants 35, NY Jets 24–This might be one of the most entertaining games of the day, as the Giants came back from a ten-point third quarter deficit to blow out the Jets. Plaxico Burress is an absolute monster, with the talent to really dominate if he would stay interested throughout the season. The Giants also may have found something in the backfield, as the one-two punch of Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward looked great. But what really came across in this game was that Chad Pennington is no longer an NFL quarterback. He’s a solid backup, thats all. Chad had five interceptions in the last two weeks, and each was an absolutely horrible throw. Pennington has bad arm strength, so he has to make concise, smart passes. If he’s not doing so, he’s a weak armed Rex Grossman.
Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 0–The Seahawks avenged their Super Bowl XL loss by thrashing the Steeler defense to the tune of 144 total yards and just over 19 minutes of possession in the shutout loss. Willie Parker and the basket shitter combined for 160 yards rushing and Ben Roethlisberger had a very smart, efficient day (18-for-22, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions).
Washington 34, Detroit 3–Seriously, this Lions team beat the Bears? They scored 34 in the 4th quarter last week? Christ, the Bears suck. Anyway, Mark Sellers put on a damn highlight show by catching a touchdown pass and absolutely obliterating Lions safety Kenoy Kennedy on another reception. Jason Campbell is rounding into a solid quarterback, and with his improved play and a strong defense, the Redskins definitely look like the Cowboys’ only real competition in the division.
Houston 22, Miami 19–Dude, Kris Brown is a fucking beast. He went 5-for-5, including a game-winning 57 yarder to win the game. Tell me who should be player of the week other than Kris? I mean, ECUM’s favorite basket shitter only had 2 touchdowns. I am naming Kris Brown ECUM’s favorite kicker, from this day forward. This motherfucker scored 16 points by himself! Yeah, Kris! Get some!
Indianapolis 33, Tampa Bay 14–This is how good the AFC is. The Colts didn’t have their starting running back or wide receiver. They were playing the best team in the NFC South. And they won by 19. Christ. I think the New England-Indianapolis game in a few weeks might be the best sporting event in the history of the world. Anything less than a 48-45 OT game will be a letdown. Anyway, the dude thats always in those commercials had 253 yards passing and 2 touchdowns, and Kenton Keith came in for my fantasy starter Joseph Addai and put up 158 total yards and 2 scores. Kenton Keith: 27 fantasy points.
San Diego 41, Denver 3–The Broncos are dead, folks. Think about it: Denver has been good or great almost every year since John Elway was playing. Since the mid-80s, I can’t think of a really bad Broncos team. This might be it. Sure, the Chargers were playing for their season. But 41-3 at Invesco? Wow. Norv did manage to hold LT scoreless again, and guys who had the number one pick in their fantasy drafts will continue to convert to voodoo just to stick pins in a miniature Norv in order to get LT some fucking red zone touches.
Baltimore 9, San Francisco 7–No one wants to read about this game. What a shitfest.
Chicago 27, Green Bay 20–Hey, I’ll take it. But I haven’t seen a team just give away a game like the Packers did yesterday. They had five turnovers. 12 penalties. The Packers playcalling was absolutely horrible. The Bears scored to make it 20-17, and on the ensuing possession the Packers run three times in the middle of the line and punt. Also, why didn’t the Packers just run that little slant about 44 times? The Bears couldn’t stop it unless Tillman stripped the ball. And that two-minute drill was really bad. Me thinks Mike McCarthy sucks as a coach. And the Bears still only won by a score. But again, it doesn’t count less than a 45 point win, so fuck it. Lets take on the Vikes next week, get back to .500, and cruise into the Philly game.
Fresh off my best week of the year, I am ready to throw down here in Week 5.
29-27-6 overall, 5-7 best bets
Arizona (-3) over St. Louis
Tennessee (-8.5) over Atlanta
Carolina (+3) over New Orleans
New England (-16.5) over Cleveland
Detroit (+3.5) over Washington
Jacksonville (-1) over Kansas City
Miami (+5.5) over Houston
NY Jets (+3.5) over NY Giants
Pittsburgh (-6) over Seattle
Tampa Bay (+10) over Indianapolis
Baltimore (-3) over San Francisco
San Diego (+1) over Denver
Green Bay (-3.5) over Chicago
Buffalo (+10) over Dallas
Best Bets: 1. Baltimore, 2. Arizona, 3. New England