Posted on: January 23, 2010 12:00 am
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Colts-Jets Analysis

I've sat quietly and listened to all te "prognostication" in regard to the AFC Championship Game this week and a lot of ridiculous garbage is going around. I've decided I'm going to speak my peace on a few subjects before the game:
1. The Jets beat the Chargers so they should beat the Colts... The Jets beat the Chargers for two reasons. Number one was that the Chargers thought they were so good in the passing game that they didn't need to make any adjustments to their game-plan to account for the Jets ferocious blitz. No team, I don't care who you are, can consistently take 7 and 9 step drops against a team with a blitz as effective as the Jets has been this season. By doing this, these plays took long develop which gave rushers ample time to pressure Rivers and force incompletions, sacks, and Revis' (since Revis has been elected God of the Cornerbacks I'd like to change the name of Interceptions to'). Norv Turner is obviously not smart enough to see this coming and I was dumbfounded when the Chargers didn't attempt more short throws in that game. I'd like to give all the credit in the world to the Jets defensively for doing what they had to do, but you have to admit the Chargers played to your strengths. 
The other reason the Jets beat the Chargers is because the Chargers are immature group of children with a bad kicker to boot. Nate Kaeding really only missed two FG's because marching him out onto the field for the 57-yarder was suicidal. Revis, had he been provided with a block or two, could have easily returned that miss for a TD which would have tied the game at halftime. That's flat out stupidity. They also had several very stupid penalties, most notably the Vincent Jackson Pele' impression. What a moronic move by a guy who was lobbying to get into the Pro Bowl.
2. The Jets are going to prove they would have beaten the Colts in Week 15... The real question is who cares who actually would've won this game? The Colts were minus 5 starters in key positions including Clint Session and Robert Mathis, two of their biggest defensive contributors. The Jets offense scored exactly 3 points against the Colts already banged up defense and only 15 points total. That wasn't a sign of how this game will go however because I truly believe in mojo and momentum and the Jets have both on their side at this point. For all I'm concerned you can throw the Week 15 game out completely.
I see this game following a very distinct pattern. The Colts offense will move the ball in small chunks against an aggressive Jets D, often punting and settling for FG's. This will put them in good field position for the majority of the game. I imagine they will score a TD in each half. Manning will audible to runs when a pass isn't a high percentage play, and throw underneath to open receivers when the pressure is coming. If the Jets do sack Manning, it will be because of a missed block, not good coverage. Manning will get the ball out when nobody is open.
The Jets will run the ball efficiently but often have drives stall out in the red zone, settling for FG's. They will probably have a big special teams play, but nothing that will alter the outcome. Sanchez will continue to play smart because he understands the levity of the situation. Their defense will perform admirably. With all this being said, short of major plays on defense, winning the turnover battle, and big plays from their special teams the Jets are outclassed in this matchup.
 HOWEVER...
I will be in attendance (Row 21 Section 115 30 yard line behind the Jets bench) and I was at the Steelers game in 2005 when the Colts were huge favorites against a team that was clearly not as talented as the Colts. The Steelers benefitted from great defense, spectacular coaching and preparation, and mistakes by the Indy offense from start to finish. ANYTHING can happen and I'm not naive enough to believe otherwise. I'd say good luck to both teams, let's pray no team suffers any injuries and that the game is fun to watch.
Category: NFL
Posted on: September 22, 2009 2:21 am
 

Power Rankings After Week 2

Of my Top 5 from last week, 3 won. That's not bad considering how wild Week 2 was. The Steelers, Patriots, Eagles, Titans, Chargers Packers and Cowboys all lost making this weeks rankings pretty tough. Here it goes...


1. NEW YORK Giants - The Giants didn't play perfectly last week, but neither did anybody else. They also benefitted from 3 Tony Romo interceptions, but that's a credit to the defensive scheme. All in all I think the Giants have got to be considered the front-runner in the NFC this year. This is an experienced team with a good QB and a great defense. They typical come up big in clutch moments as they did last week. Huge week 2 divisional win.

2. NEW ORLEANS Saints - I'm a little hesitant to put the Saints this high after beating the Lions and the Eagles without McNabb, but come on, they are DOMINATING their opponents. Sure the defense has given up some points, but who really cares when you are averaging 47! I think teams will eventually figure out this offense and will be able to hold them under 30, but Brees and the whole offense are in great position to break a few NFL records this year. I can't wait for them to play Atlanta.

3. INDIANAPOLIS Colts - Yes they were dominated on the ground by the Dolphins. Yes they have eeked out 2 wins. Yes they badly miss Bob Sanders very, very badly. BUT, is their QB still a guy by the name of Peyton? Yes. This is exactly how I justified this position in the rankings last week and it still applies. When you have Peyton Manning as your QB, you always have a chance. I can say with confidence, that if Manning wasn't playing against the Dolphins, the Colts lose by 20 minimum. Part of the reason is that 2 starters, specifically Bob Sanders (who would have made a huge difference) weren't in the lineup. I think people will quickly forget the rush defense as the Colts play Arizona next week. I doubt there will be much of a ground game to speak of for either team.

4. MINNESOTA Vikings - The thing that made the bigest impression watching the Vikings last week, is that they were inside the 10 yard line twice last week while Adrian Peterson watched from the sidelines. They scored TD's on both occasions. That is a huge improvement from last season and Brett Favre makes this team a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Of course, any win against the Lions is not that eye-popping, but the Vikings have a lot of weapons on offense now and can win in different ways. Percy Harvin is looking like a pretty good choice so far.

5. PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Sure they lost, but Jeff Reed also missed 2 FG's that could have been the difference. The Steelers were without Polomalu who would've helped out in a big way. I still think they are among the elite teams in the league. This loss won't hurt that bad either because it was against a non-conference opponent. I am concerned about the running game however. Rashard Mendenhall had one big run, but that was about it. I think in order for this team to win in the playoffs (and they will be in the playoffs) they are going to have to figure out the run game.

6. NEW YORK Jets - As I looked at all the performances from last week, I really thought I'd be able to put the Jets a little higher. They definitely were very impressive holding the Patriots to only 9 points. Mark Sanchez is starting to look an awful lot like this years Matt Ryan. Rex Ryan is starting to look an awful lot like the Terrell Owens of the coaching profession, which I LOVE. But the most important thing to note here is that they beat the Patriots early in the season on their home turf. That's a huge confidence boost moving forward and could be the difference in the division championship.

7. BALTIMORE Ravens - What a tackle by Ray Lewis to seal the victory. This defense didn't look as good as it usually does, but it was good enough to pull out the win. Joe Flacco is the real story, and he is the real deal. The Ravens were beat up by a few draft analysts last year about how high they took Flacco, and it looks like the Ravens assessed the situation correctly. This team is similar to the Vikings in the sense that, now that they have a passing offense to go along with great defenses they are twice as dangerous. How weird would it be if the Ravens and the Jets both won their divisions? They're off to a good start.

8. ATLANTA Falcons - They beat the Carolina Panthers who seemed to play a lot better than they did in week one against the Eagles. Their battle with the Saints for the NFC South may be one of the best battles of this NFL season. Matt Ryan isn't slumping as a sophmore, Michael Turner isn't a one-hit wonder, and the defense has definitely improved. I think the Saints will ultimately win the division, but the Falcons are definitely a playoff team.

9. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Some will think this is too low, others will think this is too high. The bottom line about the Patriots is they have Brady and Belichick, and as much as I ahte them both, I respect them just as much. Rex Ryan has obviously made the Jets D much, much better so I'm not in the "Brady is losing his edge" camp. This was a huge loss because it was a divisional opponent, and questions will be raised when you have an offense this good and it only scores 9 points, but the Patriots will be fine.

10. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - They didn't look great in week one. They didn't look bad in week two. I think Norv Turner kills this team sometimes. They have a ton of talent and a ton of potential, but they haven't gotten over the hump yet. They had an excellent chance to beat the Ravens, but made some really questionable play calls on that last drive. I think they will win the AFC West with ease, but then they have to play teams the Ravens in the playoffs and I'm not sure they have the total package to make it to Miami in Feburary.

11. Chicago Bears - They are now 1-1 coming off that huge win against the Steelers and Cutler certainly calmed the fans a little bit with a decent performance. I don't like the bears chances in the NFC North, but they have the talent to be competitive.

12. Tennessee Titans - They are now 0-2 looking up at the Texans and the Colts in the AFC South. This is not a good place to be and there's no way to get a good read on this team. The defense played well in week one and go thrashed in week two. They had little offense to speak of in week one, and Chris Johnson destroyed the Texans in week two. The bottom line is they have a long uphill climb to get back in the conversation.

13. Philidelphia Eagles - They lost to a good team without McNabb, but I wasn't crazy about them after last week either. They are in a tough division and a conference that has really elevated itself this season. Where was the defense from week one? The Michael Vick Experience may be right around the corner.

14. Dallas Cowboys - They lost a tough game to a great team, but Romo looked bad. If he can keep from turning the ball over, the Cowboys can do well as a team. The problem is, whenever Romo is in a big situation, he plays badly. Simple as that.

15. San Fransisco 49ers - They are now 2-0 and have beaten two division opponents. They couldn't have started the season any better. Wait... Frank Gore just ran another 80 yard Touchdown.

16. Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals look good when Kurt Warner is breaking records. When he is getting sacked and facing pressure they lose. Next week's game with the Colts is going to be a shootout.

17. Seattle Seahawks - They lost to a good 49ers team. That run D didn't look real good, and Hasselback is out. A whole lot more of the same in the rainy city.

18. Buffalo Bills - The Bills bounced back from that heartbreaking loss to the Pats. I like this team, but I'm apprehensive to get excited about them because they started the season 4-0 and then completely disappeared. Terrell Owens was a great pickup and even though he dropped a big pass, he made up for it with a clutch TD.

19. Green Bay Packers - I'd like to drop the Packers to 30th for losing to the Cincinatti Bengals, but that would be a bit reactionary. Greg Jennings had 0 catches, Rodgers now sleeps with his mother because he's afraid Antwaan Odom is going to sack him again, and the defense gave up 31 points. TO THE BENGALS.

20. Houston Texans - They beat the Titans, but could have easily lost. The offense is obviously talented. The defense obviously has potential. This team has been well constructed, but I still think they are a year away. As a side note, can you believe that Andre Johnson already has 500 career receptions?

21. Denver Broncos - I am definitely in the "Broncos are only beating bad teams" camp. I think the played well against the Browns, but the Browns aren't good. Stokley is having a bit of a revival in Denver though, which si a good story.

22. Carolina Panthers - I think they're season is already over. Steve Smith is a monster, but he can't win games alone. They will probably win 8 games.

23. Washington Redskins - I have a feeling the Skins will slide down this list. They beat the Rams, but it was 9-7. That,s not good. Snyder needs to learn how to draft. Do you think there is one owner in the league that is praying for an uncapped year more than Snyder?

24. Oakland Raiders - This team will not be good as long as JaMarcus Russell is the QB. End of story. So much talent is being wasted in Oakland.

25. Miami Doplhins - Tough loss when they dominated the game against the Colts for so long. Peyton Manning just found a whole bunch of new people who will hate him eternally.

26. Cincinatti Bengals - They aren't good, the Packers played awful. I am not going to buy into the Bengals until they build a winning streak of 3 or more.

27. Kansas City Chiefs - They were a little bit better than last week with Cassel in the lineup. but not much. This team needs a lot to be a contender.

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- They tried to make a game out of it, but Raheem Morris came into a bad situation. Top draft pick contender.

29. Cleveland Browns - Well, the Browns aren't good. I think they just got crushed by one of the worst teams in the league. Ouch.

30. Jacksonville Jaguars - Kurt Warner destroyed this defense last week. I bet the Jags want to face a QB who hasn't been league MVP before.

31. St. Louis Rams - At least they narrowed the margin of defeat and scored. They have 7 points in 2 games.

32. Florida Gators - Could beat the Lions

33. Texas Longhorns - Could beat the Lions

34. I've decided this week that not only are the Florida Gators better than the Lions, but now the Texas Longhorns have passed them as well. If they're not careful the Miami Hurricanes may catch them before too long.

Posted on: September 15, 2009 11:54 pm
 

Week 2 Predicitions

WEEK 2 PREDICTIONS

Carolina @ Atlanta - I think Atlanta will go to 2-0 while Carolina tries to figure out their QB issues

Minnesota @ Detoit - Minnesota, no further comment necessary.

Cincinatti @ Green Bay - Grenn Bay will run away with this one

Houston @ Tennesse - Although I think Houston will play better than they did in the opener, Tennesse will win.

Oakland @ Kansas City - This one will be tight, but with Cassell's status uncertain I'll take Oakland.

New England @ NY Jets - I hate doing this, New England wins big.

New Orleans @ Philidelphia - If McNabb doesn't play I like the Saints.

St. Louis @ Washington - Washington rebounds from their week 1 loss as the Rams start their race for the #1 pick.

Arizona @ Jacksonville - Arizona gets the win here, Jack Del Rio's days are numbered.

Tampa Bay @ Buffalo - The Bills will win, but they won't forget "The Fumble" for a long time.

Seattle @ San Fransisco - I like San Fran to start 2-0, and you can't learn much about Seattle based on a win over STL.

Pittsburgh @ Chicago - I like Pitt to win despite Willie Parker being nothing more than a massive hole on my fantasy roster.

Baltimore @ San Diego - SD didn't look great in week one and the Ravens have a much better D than Oakland. I like the Ravens.

Cleveland @ Denver - First of all, who cares. Second of all, it's a coin flip... Heads! I'll take the Browns.

NY Giants @ Dallas - I like the Giants over the Boys. Giants D steals the show with lots of sacks.

Indianapolis @ Miami - I hope the Fins are actually as bad as the looked against ATL. Either way I like the Colts.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 15, 2009 11:20 pm
 

Power Rankings After Week 1

I'd like to start off by saying this, I don't see any team that stands above the rest that you could ultimately delcare is the best team in the NFL. I think some of the favorites left a little to be desired and the NFL looks more wide open this season than it has in a while. With that, here are my thoughts.

1. PITTSBURGH Steelers - They are the defending champs which warrants them this spot, although I have questions about their running game and their secondary minus Polamalu. On the other hand, Roethlisberger looked fantastic in the 4th quarter and overtime, and the defense really stifled Tennessee's rushing attack.

2. NEW YORK Giants - The defense is good enough to carry them to the playoffs. As long as Eli Manning plays smart and they pound the ball with Jacobs, this is a 12 win team. I'm not as keen on the NFC East as maybe some others, and I expect the Giants to win this division with a game to spare.

3. tie NEW ENGLAND Patriots - I think New England's defense will struggle a bit against high-caliber offenses, especially now that LB Jerod Mayo may be out for a while, but Randy Moss and Tom Brady still play on this offense. They looked good last night even though Brady started off a little rusty, but what did you expect? He hasn't played in a year. They squeaked by sure, but much like the next team on my list that's how things usually go for this team.

3 tie INDIANAPOLIS Colts - Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy are gone. I know. The reason I know is because that's all any analyst had to say about this team before the opening kickoff in 2009. They get paid a lot of money to be that blunt. Payton Manning is the QB, you can't get any better than that. Reggie Wayne is due for a HUGE season, and the Colts defense finally has coordinator that understand how to maximize it's talent. I expect another 12 win season.

5. MINNESOTA Vikings - Adrian Peterson is like United States Government, and the Minnesota Vikings are like a bank, he will bail them out whenever they need him to. Now that opposing defenses can't stack the box 9 deep on every play due to the acquisition of Brett Favre, he's more dangerous than ever. Favre won't need to do much other than be conservative to be successful in this offense. Remember when John Elway had Terrell Davis? I rest my case.

6. TENNESSEE Titans - The Titans didn't look good running the ball, but they are a grind-it-out kind of team that won't turn it over much, and their defense looked great for 90% of the game against the Steelers. A loss in overtime to the defending Super Bowl Champs on opening night on national TV shouldn't drop you that far.

7. PHILIDELPHIA Eagles - The Eagles benefitted from a terrible performance by Jake Delhomme, and I don't care how good your defense is 5 turnovers is inexcusable. That said they played very well. My problem with the Eagles is that Donovan McNabb is always "kind-of" injured and the Michael Vick talk will EXPLODE if that continues. I'm not sure this team can handle another TO like media blitz.

8. SAN DIEGO Chargers - The Chargers pulled off the comeback against the Raiders, but much like the Steelers, Patriots, Colts, and Titans, they didn't really leave their fans brimming with confidence. Rivers looked ok, the defense looked ok, the Raiders just couldn't hold on. I don't have a good read on this team, but as a Colts fan, I've learned the hard way to never count them out.

9. ATLANTA Falcons - Were the Falcons that dominant?or are the Dolphins more like the 07' team than the 08' team? Either way I really like Matt Ryan and Michael Turner. If the defense is improved at all, I think they're a definite playoff team.

10. GREEN BAY Packers - The Pack made the big comeback against a solid Bears defense, and Aaron Rodgers has pretty good receivers to work with. Anyone that watched the game could see that Cutler's int's were almost exclusively his fault, so while the defense made the plays, it was not without help. I think the Pack will finish 2nd in the Norse and be a wildcard team.

11. Baltimore Ravens - Flacco looked really good, the defense allowed a lot of points to a backup QB. Still a solid win though.

12. New Orleans Saints - The Saints beat the Lions, so I don't really care about Brees 6 TD passes. I'd like to see how well the Saints play in a real game though because I think they have really improved from last season.

13. New York Jets - A solid performance against the team everybody predicts will have a breakout year. Sanchez looks pretty damn good for a rook.

14. Dallas Cowboys - The Boys got 3 long TD's because of bad coverage against a bad team. That being said, Romo and the receivers looked good. The Cowboys are fighting an uphill battle in the NFC East.

15. Seattle Seahawks - They destroyed the Rams, the second worst team in the league. I will say this, it's really hard to shutout any NFL team. The Lions scored 28 on the Saints for god sakes.

16. Chicago Bears - Wow Jay Cutler. Wow.

17. San Fransisco 49ers - Who needs Michael Crabtree?

18. Arizona Cardinals - The dreaded Super Bowl losers curse.

19. Carolina Panthers - Steve Smith is really good, and really useless without a QB.

20. Buffalo Bills - F#$%#N Leodis McKelvin!!!

21. Denver Broncos - I love Brandon Stokely, I bet the Bengals don't though.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars - Hung tough with the Colts, but didn't gain one yard on the final drive with a chance to win.

23. Washington Redskins - It was the Giants, try again next week.

24. Miami Dolphins - At least you didn't get shutout.

25. Houston Texans - This team is going to surprise everyone when they go 8-8 for the rest of eternity.

26. Oakland Raiders - The running game and pass rush are good, everything else is average. Asomugha never gets to do anything either, which is sad because he's a monster.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - They are rebuilding, and playing for that #1 draft pick.

28. Cincinatti Bengals - Who cares anymore. Next.

29. Cleveland Browns - Give Brady Quinn some time, he will be good.

30. Kansas City Cheifs - They will be much better with Cassell on the field.

31. St. Louis Rams - 0 points? That's the opposite of the objective...

33. Detroit Lions - They don't get to call themselves an NFL team until they win a game, so they will stay at 33 until then.
Category: NFL
Posted on: February 11, 2009 2:51 am
 

Bill Polian Analysis

I see many of these mock drafts with Harvin down at the bottom of the 1st round, but I just don't believe that to be the case. I'd first like to state that the Detroit Lions have 2 first-rounders, meaning anything is possible. Secondly, I think there are too many teams that want to grab the next Larry Fitzgerald or Marvin Harrison (of old) that can change the entire dynamic of their team.

Also, Percy Harvin would be an excellent addition to any special teams unit in the league. In fact, his value would revolve more around his kick/punt returning abilities than any of his offensive prowess in his rookie year anyway. I just don't see him falling that far. If he does, I'm still not sure I want the Colts to take a chance on him because he spent a large part of his college career injured. His size is an issue, and a direct correlation to his durability.

I believe Polian will do what he always does, and surprise the hell out of us with the first pick, If you are a true Colts fan, and you watch the draft live, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Here is a list of Colts top draft picks that were shocking:

 

1. Dallas Clark

2. Bob Sanders

3. Dwight Freeney

4. Edgerrin James

5. Anthony Gonzalez

6. Tony Ugoh

7. Whoever he drafts this year

 

The reason I metnion this is simple, Polian knows waaaay more than the experts do about the draft and it's talent. Of those 6 players listed, 2 are hall-of-fame locks, one has been defensive MVP, another is the franchise record holder for sacks, and the other two are bright, young, up-and-comers. I trust Polian that he knows what he's doing on draft day. I look forward to hearing the name of a player that Mel Kiper and Todd McShay have projected as a 3rd-4th rounder who ranks 7th overall at their respective position. Then we will watch to see hwo brilliant Polian is over the next few years.

Posted on: February 5, 2009 9:37 pm
 

Poor Larry

My heart goes out to Larry Fitzgerald, it truly does. I feel so bad for him after this Super Bowl because he was brilliant all postseason. He was hyped up every game, and he delivered huge play after huge play. Every Game.

Mark my words, this will be the most overlooked individual postseason performance in NFL history. Why? Because nobody remembers loser. I will make the analogy, although it's not nearly as impressive a performance, to when Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts made the AFC Championship game in 2003. Manning's stats in the two games prior were RIDICULOUS. He had 8 TD's 0 Int's, nearly 800 yards, and had completed close to 80% of his passes. Those are the most unbelievable stats in any two game stretch for a quarterback in postseason history.

HOWEVER, the lasting image of that season had nothing to do with those number. What you remember from that season is Manning standing in the snow, shaking his head and trying to figure out how the hell Ty Law made that one handed pick. Nobody cares about Manning's numbers from that postseason, nor shall they ever. All they care about is that it was the Patriot's second Super Bowl. The Steelers were 15-1 that year. Nobody cares, it's all about Tom Brady.

This year is no different, and it is very sad for such an incredibly talented individual. I will argue with any of you that what L. Fitz did in this postseason was far more impressive than anything Jerry Rice did in ONE postseason. Jerry Rice was catching TD's from Joe Montana (hall of famer, probably best ever) and Steve Young (hall of famer) behind a massive O-line with a tremendous defense. L. Fitz was doing with an old Kurt Warner a patchwork O-line and a very, very, average defense. He came up big in every huge moment of that Super Bowl, and caught what should have been the game winner with a little over 2 minutes to play. The terrible part is that people will only remember Santonio Holmes, and Big (around the waist) Ben Rothlisberger. They won't remember the officials, or the officiating, or the refs, or the godawful, miserable, ridiculously bad officiating, or the fact that the refs screwed them out of the game, or the refs, or even the fact that the refs/officials didn't even review the last INCOMPLETE PASS of the game, or the officials, or the fact that they didn't call the excessive celebration penalty on Santonio Holmes, or the refs, or the Cardinal defender that slipped allowing Holmes to reach the 7 yard line, or the miserable officiating, or the 3 Cardinal defenders that didn't cover Holmes on the TD at the end.

All they will remember is that last play of the Steelers game-winning drive. And none of the rest of that stuff matters. Take it from someone who consistently roots for a team that specializes in shattered dreams, missed opportunites, abject heartbreak, and miserable failure, nobody will care about you or your effort. This league is about winners, not effort, or how hard you tried.

Congrats to the Steelers who know that it doesn't matter what we say, because they won, and all we can do is bitch about it...

Posted on: February 2, 2009 5:46 pm
 

Coach Knight's Possible Return

I think it's safe to say that Bob Knight is a pretty big figure in sports. If you have followed sports at all in the last 30 years, even from a distance, Bob Knight is likely a name you have heard before. Now his name is in the headlines again regarding his possible return to coaching with the Georgia Bulldogs, a story neither Knight, nor the University of Georgia has confirmed. Knight has been out of coaching since he passed the reigns on to his son Pat at Texas Tech at the end of last season.

What I find endlessly fascinating about this story is the direct correlation it has to Bill Parcell's short stint with ESPN in between jobs. Parcells and Knight are very goo friends and talk often. They are very similar in their approach, and it appears that either would be well suited for the others sport, as well as their. The interesting thing about what Parcells did, that has me interested in this story, is that he went to ESPN and seamlessly made the transition into braodcasting for a short period of time. Once he decided he was ready to reenter the NFL he began dropping rumors to ESPN's Chris Mortensen about his likely next move. Mortensen would come on each day with an update about how close Parcells was to signing with a team, narrowing down the likely destinations. He all but ruled out the Dolphins as a possible location. Parcells was completely manipulating the media to get exactly what he wanted. He was also manipulating the Dolphins to get the exact contract he wanted. It was a masterful and impressive display of how to work the system. He used his own employer to up the ante at his new one. Brilliant.

Now Knight is in a similar position, with about the same period of time having passed (a little less, but who's counting) since he joined ESPN to keep his name fresh in the news. He is very entertaining to watch, and now that Hank Iba has passed, there is not one living soul on the planet that knows more about college basketball than Knight. This makes him tremendous for TV and keeps him very relevant in general. Now he has marketing appeal, and he draws attention wherever he goes. There are University's out there, Georgia included, who need to make a strong move to bring some relevance back to their program. What better way to do that in the short term, than bring in the all-time winningest coach in history? Knight is certainly understanding of his appeal, and I suspect he will follow the same path his friend Bill did. He is going to work the media to get exactly the situation he wants. Once he does, he will be a welcomed back with open arms in to college hoops, which needs some of the old guard around.

If it turns out to be Georgia, it would be very interesting to see what Knight could do with that program. He has traditionally done more with less talent than any coach in any sport. He recruits cerebral players who are tough minded and focused. He typically stays away from the modern "T.O." type athlete which makes his teams very cohesive, and there is no question who's in charge. With Georgia being an SEC school that has a large local talent pool to pull from, Knight may be able to do some real damage. The reason why I don't believe it will be Georgia is the simple fact that Georgia is a football school in a football state. It would be difficult to change the culture in 20 years, let alone 5 or 6, which is probably the most Coach Knight would want to stay. Five straight basketball championships would be less important than one football championship, which makes me wonder if Knight wants to coach in that shadow. There is also the matter that Georgia's president is very close friends with Myles Brand, the man who fired Knight at Indiana. That's another red flag in this story, but again, Georgia is a bargaining chip with another school in Knight's mind. Just a means to an end.

I look with forward with much anticipation to see what will happen with this story, and I can't wait to see where he ends up. I expect him to reach the 1,000 wins mark, and potentially reach one more final four. He is too stubborn and too determined not to, and it will surely be fun to watch.

Posted on: January 30, 2009 12:40 am
 

Super Bowl Observations

It's about this time of year when everybody in the civilized world begins making predicitions on what's going to happen in the Super Bowl. I read and listen to all the analysis that's being pumped out by the "experts" and try to draw my own conclusions. I have watched both the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers this season and I have to say that I am not sold on either team as a favorite. I know everybody is telling me that Pittsburgh is the favorite, but I'm not buying it. They have lost 4 games this year and are just as vulnerable the Cardinals. Ben Roethlisberger is a good QB at moments, but he's also very prone to making mistakes.

I think that the Cardinals draw many paralells with the Indianapolis Colts. They both have excellent veteran QB's with a lot of experience. They both have suspect rushing attacks that can be efficient, but are not always great. They both have opportunistic defenses, but are necessarily strong on that side of the ball. It is for that reason, that I think the Cardinals have an excellent chance. When you examine the Colts-Steelers game from this year's regular season, it won't take you long to figure out why the Colts won the game. Roethlisberger made 2 crucial mistakes with big interceptions that led directly to Colts points. The Colts played a very patient style of football and let the game come to them. Manning was magnificent and mistake free, and I say magnificent because of how good the Steelers defense truly is. If you can manage to not turn the ball over when playing the Steelers, then you have done something really good. They feed off of those turnovers, they need them to survive. Their offense is not built to win games on its own, and it's for that reason I think the Cardinals will win the game.

The Cardinals also have some glaring deficiences that concern me. I don't think their defense is going to be much of an issue, and I think talking about the Patriots game is a waste of time. The Cardinals are a warm weather team and play in a dome. They went to wintry New England where it was snowy and cold and their butts whipped by a team that is experienced and talented. New England lives for that kind of weather because very few teams play as efficiently as they do in it. The games the Cardinals have played so far in the playoffs have not been in inclement weather, and the Super Bowl will not be either. These things bode well for the Cardinals. What scares me a little bit about them is that they played very tenative against the Eagles in the second half last week. The play-calling became very sketchy, Kurt Warner wasn't playing for the kill shot. It just seemed that they wanted the game to be over at halftime, until they led the gamewinning drive. I would much rather see the Cardinals from the divisional round, where it seemed like every time you turned around they had scored again. They never played scared, and they never took their foot off the gas pedal. It's the type of football they need to play in order to win because the Steelers are too good. The Eagles made a myriad of mistakes, all game long, and the Cardinals were a little lucky to come out with that victory after the way they played in the second half.

With all this being said, I don't think this game is going to be easy to diagnose. I don't think you can jst say that it's the Steelers defense vs. the Cardinals offense. I think the Steelers special teams are underrated and could play a big role, just as I think the Cardinals defense will force at least 2 turnovers. I think Edgerrin James will be a huge factor, possibly the MVP, and Kurt Warner will have so-so numbers. I think Roethlisberger will throw a few pics and play similar to the way he did in their last Super Bowl. I believe the Steelers defense will do what the Steelers defense does, and that is be awesome. BUT, I think they will give up one or two really huge plays that could alter the course of the game.

All in all, I am just very intrigued by this matchup because I can't tell you what's going to happen, by the way that last paragraph was a sarcastic shot at some of these sportswriters who make a lot of predicitions without saying anything at all. I hate it when they have overlapping predicitons that contradict one another. It's almost as if they don't want to piss anybody off.

I look forward to watching the game, and cannot wait to see the Cardinals hoist the Lombardi trophy. I give you my predicition, but you all know how much it's worth.

ARIZONA 28                                                                                                                                                                                                             PITTSBURGH 25

MVP: EDGERRIN JAMES

 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com