Archive for the ‘New York Yankees’ category

the real problem with the chicago bears offense

October 3, 2007

Yeah, it turns out it wasn’t Rex after all. Who would have thunk it? (Oh, yeah, me).

But I wasn’t the only one that saw past Rex’s horrible passes and into deeper reasons for the Bears offensive ineptitude. The receivers drop passes and outside of Bernard Berrian, don’t get open frequently. The offensive line seems half as effective as they were in 2006, both in the passing game and in the running game.

But the real issue is Cedric Benson. The guy is not an every down, load-bearing back.

Sure, like I said earlier, the offensive line isn’t opening the same holes. But it can’t be doing that much worse than in 2006. And I’m not buying into the idea that many meathead Bears fans believe, that with Thomas Jones the offense would be cruising along. Check Jones’ stats with the Jets. He’s not exactly tearing it up.

But if a guy is going to be a focal point of an offense, a 300-carry, 1200-yard plus running back, shouldn’t he be the a top ten or top fifteen back? I think so. And yet, if the Bears had their choice, I bet there are a ton of running backs in the league they would start ahead of Benson for the remainder of this season.

In fact, lets go with that premise: How many active running backs would I, hardawayhatesyou, rather have as the Bears’ premier back for the remaining twelve games on the schedule?

  • Dallas: 2; Marion Barber is a definite and Julius Jones is a strong back who has proven he can be a number one back.
  • Philadelphia: 1; Brian Westbrook is an absolute yes–sure he might break down on his first carry, but if he’s healthy he is a beast.
  • NY Giants: None; You could make an argument for both Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward, but neither have proven to me that they can be an every-down NFL back.
  • Washington: 2; While Clinton Portis has not shown the same burst in DC as he did in Denver, he’s definitely better than Benson. Ladell Betts went over 1000 yards last year and is a strong runner.
  • Minnesota: 2; Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor are both better than Benson.
  • Detroit: None; Like the Giants, Detroit has two backs–Tatum Bell and Kevin Jones–who one could argue are better than Benson, but I’m not ready to go there. Jones would be a definite yes if I thought he could last more than six games.
  • Green Bay: None; Maybe in a year or two Brandon Jackson will be a stud, but I’d take my chances with Benson at this moment. I’ll take their quarterback, though.
  • Seattle: 1; Shaun Alexander is a definite yes.
  • San Francisco: 1; Frank Gore, despite his recent struggles, is clearly a better option.
  • St. Louis: 1; Steven Jackson, see the Gore comments.
  • Arizona: 2; Here is where I might lose some people. Edgerrin James is easily better, but I’m also gonna throw Marcel Shipp as a better option than Benson. Shipp had over 800 yards on 188 and 224 carries, respectively, in 2002 and 2003. He also had 103 receptions in his first three seasons. So yes, I’d rather have Marcel Shipp than Cedric Benson. Wow.
  • Tampa Bay: 1; And its not Carnell Williams. I’m going to go with Earnest Graham, a guy who is just recently getting a chance. He runs hard and finishes his runs with a fervor I have never seen out of Benson.
  • Carolina: None; DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams are the two backs in Carolina, and while both might be better, I wouldn’t necessarily want both ahead of Benson. Foster can impress, but he is really injury-prone.
  • New Orleans: 1; Reggie Bush isn’t an every down NFL runner, but I’d take him ahead of Benson. And this number would be 2 if Deuce McAlister hadn’t just blown out his knee.
  • Atlanta: 1; Warrick Dunn has proven he can carry the load successfully. Jerious Norwood might pass Benson by the end of the season, as well.
  • Indianapolis: 1; Joseph Addai is a monster.
  • Tennessee: None; Although Vince Young might be a better running back than anyone on the Bears roster.
  • Jacksonville: 2; Maurice Jones-Drew has not played well in 2007, but I saw enough out of him last year to know that he’s better than Benson. And yes, I’m going to say I’d rather go to bat with Fred Taylor. Taylor is about as injury-prone as it gets, but when healthy, he might be one of the ten most talented and hard-working backs in the NFL.
  • Houston: None; No, Ahman Green is not better than Cedric Benson. Its close, though.
  • Cincinnati: 1; Rudi Johnson, no question, and Kenny Watson–if ever given an opportunity–could prove to be an adequate dual threat out of the backfield.
  • Cleveland: None; I am not a Jamal Lewis fan. Unless I can get the 2003 version.
  • Baltimore: 1; Willis McGahee is not a picture of health, but he’s clearly a better player than Cedric.
  • Pittsburgh: 1; Willie Parker, absolutely. And I’m tempted to add Najeh Davenport here, partly because he is a tough runner and partly because he once took a dump in a girl’s laundry basket.
  • New England: 1; I love Laurence Maroney, although he seems pretty injury-prone. Sammy Morris may be a solid back, but I’m not ready to say he’s a better option than Benson.
  • Miami: 1; Ronnie Brown’s resurgence this year has me flabbergasted.
  • NY Jets: None; This is interesting. I have to divulge that I agreed with the decision the Bears made in trading Jones and allowing Benson to be the number one guy. Jones, while hard-working and a leader, isn’t fast and doesn’t break enough tackles to be considered a better option than Benson.
  • Buffalo: 1; Marshawn Lynch has already proven to be what Benson should be, and he’s only been in the league for a month. Damn.
  • San Diego: 2; I’m not even going to argue about one of these; and yes, I think Michael Turner, while having never had more than 25 carries in an NFL game, has shown enough that I would want him to be the Bears running back in the last twelve games of the season.
  • Denver: 1; Travis Henry is better, although its hard to tell how good Bronco backs are because almost everyone can rush for 1200 yards there.
  • Kansas City: 1; LJ is better, no question.
  • Oakland: None; I’ll believe the Lamont Jordan renassiance when he carries the load for a full season with either sucking or blowing out a knee. Although I like the idea of Justin Fargas, Huggy Bear’s son, being an NFL star.

So there you have it. A total of 28 running backs in the league are better options than Cedric Benson. Six teams have two backs on their current roster who I would rather see taking the bulk of Bear carries for the remainder of 2007. And only nine squads have the same issues at running back as Chicago does. Of those nine teams, only Detroit, Green Bay, and Tennessee have winning records. Detroit won’t have one by the end of the year; the Packers and Titans have superhuman quarterbacks to even things out.

So there ya go. The answer is not actually Brian Griese, or someone else behind center; its the guy behind the guy.

hhy’s 2007 baseball postseason outlook

October 2, 2007

Oh, what excitement. The 2007 postseason is upon us, and for the White Sox and Cardinal fans who write this site, it really couldn’t be better than to see the Cubs in the postseason. Outside of watching our teams battle for (another) title, the next best thing is to see how in the world the Cubs will choke this year.

Ah, I’m just playing, Cub fans. I won’t be cheering against you; in fact, I would love to actually see what would happen in this city if the Cubs won. Would the city implode? Mass orgies on Waveland? Dogs and cats living together? Who knows.

But will it happen? Can the Cubs overcome the hilariously exciting and ridiculous National League playoffs? Here’s a breakdown of the four first round series, complete with predictions that are sure to…….be not right. (Ha! I’m original!):

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks: It seems to me that this series could be decided by the end of Game 1. If the Cubbies can find a way to beat Brandon Webb, the D-Backs don’t have much of a chance to get back to Arizona for a chance to win the series in 5. They surely won’t win three in a row if they lose Game 1. After Webb, Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez and Micah Owings figure to face Ted Lilly, Rich Hill and Zambrano on the turn around. Those are ugly matchups for the D-Backs. I see Webb pulling off a close win in Game 1 over Zambrano, maybe a 2-1 type score. I then see the Cubs rattling off three straight, clinching the series in 4 with a weekend win at Wrigley, even if Arizona brings Webb back to start an elimination game. Cubs 3 games to 1.

Phillies vs. Rockies: Did you guys watch the Rockies-Padres game last night? Did you see the fat douchebag who had his little rat dog sitting on his lap behind home plate? How do you get a dog in the park? Why bring a dog? How does anyone who would bring a dog to a baseball game get seats in the first row behind the plate? It totally flabbergasted me throughout the game. Anyway, all signs point to the Phillies dominating this series. They can match the Rockies’ offensive output, and they have far superior starting pitching. The Rockies are the hottest team in baseball, but the Phils might be a close second. There is really nothing that shows me that the Phillies should lose more than one game in this series. That’s why I’m picking Colorado. What I saw last night was something I haven’t seen out of any other team in these playoffs, at least to this point: baseball magic. Down 2 runs in the 13th against Trevor Hoffman? Double, double, triple, walk, sac fly, we win. Wow. Look for Matt Holliday to show all casual fans that he is rightful winner of the 2007 NL MVP in a close race over the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins. Rockies 3 games to 2.

Red Sox vs. Angels: As much as I like the idea that the Angels are playing ‘National League baseball’ in the American League, I just don’t see how they match up in any way with Boston. Unless John Lackey can beat Josh Beckett twice in this series, the Halos don’t stand a chance. Vlad Guerrero’s October collapses will continue, and the Red Sox will cruise to an easy sweep of Anaheim (not LA Angels of Anaheim, that shits dumb). Red Sox 3 games to none.

New York vs. Cleveland: As an AL Central guy, I thought in March that the Indians were the team to beat in the division, and they proved me right. But they did it a bit differently than I thought. While Travis Hafner didn’t have his usual scary offensive season, Fausto Carmona came out of nowhere and gave the Tribe an awesome 1-2 punch in the rotation. Meanwhile, while everyone decided the Yankees were done in June, I warned fellow fans that the Yankees do this shit every year: they suck for like 2 or 3 months, then Torre and the boys make the necessary roster adjustments, their lineup gets hot and they make the playoffs. Since I’ve been right about these teams all year, believe me when I say that the Indians will beat the Yankees. The Yankees are the sexier pick, and the media will hope and plead for a Red Sox-Yanks ALCS. But even the New York lineup won’t beat Carmona and Sabathia 3 times in 4 starts. Indians 3 games to 1.

So there it is. Cubs-Rockies and Red Sox-Indians. So be sure to look for Diamondbacks-Phillies and Angels-Yankees.