Here are my thoughts on selections from my column, Monday Morning Quarterback, on SI.com for Week 11 of the NFL season:
Week XI, with V topics:
See what I did there?
1. No one except maybe the ’27 Yankees could beat the Patriots right now.
And I meant in anything. Even baseball. I figure, you play the game in a neutral ballpark, in 1967 to be fair. That just happens to be at the tail end of the pitching boom of the late 60’s. I see Brady throwing 8 strong innings (you don’t think he could? Watch the tape from Sunday night again), with Matt Cassell coming in for the save, naturally. You can chalk up an inside-the-park job to right for Wes Welker, thanks to a misplay by the great Babe Ruth. And, in a shocker, I’m picking Randy Moss to go 0-for-4 with a sac fly. Patriots 7, Yankees 3.
2. Phil Dawson saves Cleveland from eternal damnation.
3. Tony Dungy made one of the most controversial and interesting calls a coach has made all season … and Peyton Manning made him look like a genius.
I keep a list of most controversial and interesting calls. Really. I keep a lot of lists. That’s how I keep all of my seemingly random and trivial statements straight.
4. I have underrated Brian Westbrook for the last time.
5. I try to illuminate the Big Cable/NFL network dispute.
The Big Cable/NFL Network dispute is a cavernous abyss. I will attempt to act as a giant yellow sun. If I am successful, vegetation will being to grow in the Big Cable/NFL network dispute. The will attract various fauna – insect, mollusks, caterpillars, etc. Larger animals will follow. A community will form in the Big Cable/NFL Network dispute. And I will be its Sun King.
The question is not who can beat the Patriots. It’s who can give them a game.
I mean, aside from the Colts, of course, who led them with 10 minutes remaining. THAT was a game. In fact, I wrote a whole MMQB about it – here. And I’ll reference it later in the column. Look out for it.
Well, if you watched it, you came away more awed by the Patriots than during any of their previous nine slaughters (all except the four-point nipping of the Colts two weeks ago). ( King Note: HERE!) And you watched Randy Moss look like some schoolgirl drooling over Paul McCartney 40 years ago as he talked to Andrea Kremer afterward on NBC. “I’m still in awe,” he said. “It’s still a dream. I’m playing for the Patriots.”
What do you think, guys? The Paul McCartney reference. Good reference? Good analogy? I liked it at the time, but now that I see it up on SI.com, I’m not sure. Here were my other ideas:
1. And you watched Randy Moss look like some innate drooling after being poisoned by bad product as he talked to Andrea Kremer…
2. And you watched Randy Moss drooling like some retard as talked to Andrea Kremer…
3. And you watched Randy Moss look like some other GMs drooling over Randy Moss as he talked to Andrea Kremer… (I like this one…)
I did some quick math on the Patriots’ first-team offense over the past nine possessions, going back to the fourth quarter of the Colts’ game, and not including their final possession in Indy, when they were trying to run out the clock and not trying to score. (New England had its bye last week.) The incredible numbers:
Quarters played: 4
Tom Brady touchdown passes: 7
Tom Brady passing yards: 504
Yards per drive: 65.9
Time per drive: 3:21
I also calculated the following ‘fun’ stats:
Times Tom Brady has been called the best quarterback ever: 180
Times Tom Brady has been called the best quaterback ever by me: 0
Still Favre. Sorry, guys, the bandwagon has left without me. Brady’s second best ever, though. Then Otto Graham.
The Browns get their first break since Bernie Kosar landed in their laps in the Supplemental Draft.
Unless you count Kellen Winslow’s leg after the motorcycle accident! Just kidding. Seriously. Motorcycling is horribly dangerous and Winslow should have known better than that. I know it was two years ago, and Winslow has developed into a reliable, and healthy, tight end, but you can never talk about the dangers of motorcycling enough. Winslow should know better. Seriously.
I detailed the strangest field goal of all time (and I mean it; this one was weirder than Tom Dempsey‘s 63-yarder, or Adam Vinatieri‘s through the Foxboro blizzard) at the end of regulation on NBC.
I challenge you, all of you, to email me with a weirder one. I don’t care if Dempsey had a fist for a foot. I don’t care if Vinatieri couldn’t plant or see his target. This one was the David Lynch weirdest! And I know weird.
Weirdo Stat of the Week: The Browns picked up their second 33-30 overtime win in history — and second in the last 15 days. Remember the 33-30, Dawson-won dogfight over Seattle a couple of weeks ago?
It’s okay to say dogfight again, right? If I get 10 emails or more saying it’s too soon, I’ll take it out. 8-9 emails? I’ll think about it. 7 or less, it stays.
I kept wondering how a 51-yard kick could doink, with momentum, off the left upright and onto a spot two feet beyond the crossbar on the curved portion of the pole going down to the ground — and then bounce back through the uprights back onto the field. Dawson had an idea. “When I kicked it, I really kicked it well, but there was some wind,” he said. “And when you kick a long field goal into the wind, right near the end it starts to slow up, like it’s hitting a wall, and comes almost straight down. You see it with a lot of punters on pooch punts. The punts come almost straight down and sometimes the punters can get the ball to bounce back. I think that’s what happened with my kick.”
I buy this explanation completely. You’ve gotta meet Phil Dawson in person to really understand the passion he emits. Three most impressive people I’ve met in real life: Ted Williams, John McCain and Phil Dawson.
And how about this delicious possible matchup: If the season ended this morning, the Browns would make the playoffs. And they’d play a wild-card game the first weekend of January at the third-seeded team … the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Aspiring columnists, that’s called building suspense. I use the ellipses to build suspense and then hit you with the whammy. It’s a fairly simple, but highly effective columnistic technique.
Tony Dungy gets it right … even though most of us in the NBC viewing room thought he was out of his mind late Sunday afternoon.
Great line from the viewing room: Costas turned to Collinsworth and said, “Doesn’t Dungy consult God on all his decisions?” Collinsworth: “God must be out back taking a leak.” Even The Bus, a devout Christian, couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Indianapolis 10, Kansas City 10. Fourth quarter, 2:00 left. Not a good day for the Colts offense. Again. Fourth-and-1, Chiefs’ 3-yard line.
The play, obviously, was to kick the field goal. But here was Manning and the first-unit offense on the field, with two timeouts left. Kansas City had one. Kick it, Tony. Kick it! What are you doing?
I’m not going to say what I was really thinking. Ever. I could lose my job.
Brian Westbrook kept the Eagles in the NFC playoff race by himself.
If you saw the game, that’s the only logical thought a logical person could logically have.
When I thought about where to put Westbrook on a list of the Top 500 players in football before the season began, I struggled with it for some time, moving him up and down as I juggled the list. What to do with one of the game’s most dangerous backs? Two factors made me drop him to 96, the eighth-rated back on my list: He’d never carried the ball more than 240 times in his five NFL seasons, and I wondered if the wear and tear of him being a marked man in the Philly offense would really start to show this year, at age 28.
As you can see, I put a lot of thought into that list, supplemented by a lot of wonder.
Assuming the Eagles drop to 5-6 next week in Foxboro, they’d have to win either four or five down the stretch to make the playoffs, against a pretty tough schedule: Seattle, New York Giants, at Dallas, at New Orleans, Buffalo. With McNabb playing so up-and-down, Westbrook’s going to have to be the guy to get them to January. I don’t like the Eagles a lot these days, but my money’s on them to sneak in if Westbrook can hold up and touch it 30 times a Sunday from here on out.
You got that, right? They’re going to be 5-6 after they get thrashed by the Pats. They have a tough schedule that includes 5 teams playing for playoff spots. Their quarterback has been erratic this year, and now is hurt. Not to mention that they have no shot of winning their division and will likely have to leapfrog 3 or 4 teams to get that last wild card spot. But, if they get Brian Westbrook the ball 30 times a game, my MONEY is on them to sneak into the playoffs.
Can’t we all just get along? Isn’t the pie big enough for everyone to have a piece?
Is it your inalienable right to have the NFL Network on your basic cable subscription? The NFL thinks so. Big Cable — Time Warner Cable (Time Warner is the parent company of Time Warner Cable and Sports Illustrated ) and Comcast, most notably — think not.
If you want to read about me sticking it to my employer, Time Warner, read about it on SI.com . I’m not going to bore you with it here. Truthfully, it’s an interesting and important issue that my readers will probably skip. And that’s the problem with America.
The Fine Fifteen
1. New England (10-0). How is it possible that any team in the 88-year history of the NFL has ever played better over 10 weeks?
I sent this sentenced to Dr. Benjamin Gorrdon Hendricks, Department of Classics and Letters, University of Oklahoma. He certified this sentence as grammatically sound. Call him if you don’t believe me: 405-325-0323
2. Indianapolis (8-2). Peyton Manning’s 100th career victory wasn’t pretty, but consider this: Brett Favre broke John Elway‘s record of 148 career victories by a quarterback back in September. Manning, barring the Colts falling apart, could well have 148 by age 35.
Had this victory been pretty, you wouldn’t have to consider anything. I figured that went without saying.
3. Dallas (9-1). Tony Romo throws for four touchdowns, and we yawn. This guy is consistently very good.
You know who he reminds me of a lot? The guy who quarterbacks…
4. Green Bay (9-1). Ryan Grant‘s last two weeks: 45 carries, 207 yards, 4.6 yards per rush. Who says the Packers don’t have offensive balance?
I’d like to take credit for Ryan Grant’s emergence, but I highly doubt that the text message conversation I had with Coach Mike McCarthey back in late September – where I told him Grant reminded me of a speedy Dorsey Levens crossed with a Goldman Sachs investment banker – had anything to do with it.
5. Pittsburgh (7-3). Everyone who says the Steelers have the best shot to knock the Patriots from Unbeatenville on Dec. 9 take note: The Steelers are 2-3 on the road, with losses at Arizona, Denver and the Jets, none of whom are playoff locks. How does that offensive line let the Jets sack Ben Roethlisberger seven times?
Here’s a sneak preview of my headline should the Patriots lose this year. “Welcome to Unbeatenville. Population: 0.”
6. New York Giants (7-3). “It’s not always pretty,” says Eli Manning, “but that’s how you have to do it in this league.” The loss of Mathias Kiwanuka (broken leg) means the Giants’ front-seven depth is compromised, but the great play of Michael Strahan, who turns 36 this week, should be enough to overcome that down the stretch.
This is one of those sentences I just wrote to get done with the column on time. An old DE, playing at his absolute peak as it is, making up for the loss a starting OLB doesn’t make a lot of sense in retrospect. Oh well, even Scorcese makes a “Kundun” every now and then.
7. Jacksonville (7-3). On a list of the 10 most valuable players in the league, David Garrard would be nine or 10. Why? I watched most of the Jags-Chargers, and the difference Garrard made in returning from his ankle injury was palpable. His first three drives of the day: 12 plays for a field goal, 11 plays for a touchdown, nine plays for a touchdown.
I give you the top five later (Brady, Favre, Manning, Moss, Romo). Want 6-10? Brett Favre, Bob Sanders, Mike Tomlin, David Garrard, Phil Dawson.
8. Tennessee (6-3). Vince Young‘s the 29th-rated passer in the NFL. Only Alex Smith is worse among those who qualify. The most alarming thing is what Jags middle linebacker Mike Peterson told me about Young when I asked what Jacksonville’s defensive plan was against the Titans QB. “Make him be a quarterback,” he said. Yikes. Isn’t that what the Titans drafted him to be? A quarterback? Well, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and Young has four touchdown passes in 192 attempts.
I also dropped Young from of my fantasy team. That’s right. Dropped him. How can I start a guy at quarterback who’s, according to Mike Peterson, not even a quarterback. Colt Brennan is my new quarterback.
9. Cleveland (6-4). “After all these years,” kicker/civic hero Phil Dawson said after the 33-30 heart-stopping win in Baltimore, “finally something went right for this franchise.”
Civic hero is not going overboard. I walked through Warzawa, Cleveland’s Slavic Village, with Dawson in the offseason. You should see the way they line the streets for him. You’d think he was handing out bread or something. If Phil Dawson isn’t the mayor of Cleveland by 2040, I’ll be shocked.
10. Tampa Bay (6-4). Jeff Garcia undressed the Atlanta corners, who, from what I read, seem to think they’re an awful lot better than they really are.
Let me be straight with you (pun intended), I am in no way perpetuating the ‘Jeff Garcia is gay’ rumors. Undress is the proper term for what he did to the Atlanta secondary.
11. Seattle (6-4). I don’t want to be too much of a back-patter for a tremendous coach, but a week ago Mike Holmgren said he was going to the passing game more because his team did that so much better than running the ball. And in the last two weeks, Matt Hasselbeck has justified Holmgren’s faith in him. He’s completed 57 of 84 passes (68 percent), for 615 yards, four touchdowns and one interception.
I just got a great idea for an ABC sitcom, “Shaun Who?” It’s about a running back who used to be great and now his coach doesn’t remember him. It would be a huge hit, if I was willing to be a scab. Which I’m not.
12. San Diego (5-5). Frauds.
Just don’t hold me to it when I’m calling them the second best team in the NFL after going 5-1 over their next six games against Baltimore, KC, Tennessee, Detroit, Denver and the Raiders. Deal?
13. Arizona (5-5). I kind of like this team. I love Kurt Warner. His guts and guile lead all quarterbacks, especially because he’s playing with a left elbow that will ache ’til March.
If I were to give him a stat for his guts, I’d give them a 98. No other quarterback has a 94 in my mind. His guile? That’s a 140.3 (my guile rating is a little like quarterback rating). Michael Vick, for comparison’s sake, was a 11.4.
14. Detroit (6-4). If the Lions don’t take the Jon Kitna protection more seriously — Detroit quarterbacks have been sacked 43 times in 10 games, with the dangerous Packers coming to town on Thursday — he won’t last ’til January.
You might wonder how I know the Lions aren’t taken their pass blocking seriously, and that’s why they’ve given up so many sacks, as opposed to, say, a lack of talent. Well, let me just say, I’ve been told the offensive line’s favorite workout machine is XBox 306. I’m just saying.
15. Philadelphia (5-5). Brian Westbrook. Rocky Balboa. Both lifted a city when the odds were against it.
Now this is an analogy I’ll stand behind ’till the death.
Quote of the Week II
“Brett’s continuing journey is our reward.”
— Sign held aloft at Lambeau Field on Sunday after Favre’s second touchdown pass of the day, to tight end Donald Lee, gave the Packers a 21-3 lead.
I’m supposed to refrain from editorial comments, but let me say here: You and me both, brother.
Quote of the Week IV
“The intent of the flex schedule was to make sure that, in the second half of the season, the primetime network package didn’t get stuck with a bad game. It was never intended to cherry-pick the best game on Sunday and move it to prime time … I think the Patriots versus Cornell would probably be a game [NBC] would put in prime time right now.”
— CBS Sports and CBS News president Sean McManus, at the Fantasy Sports Association Sports Media and Technology Conference last week.
Hmmm. The NFL seems to like the way the Sunday night deal is working, from the TV people I speak with. And didn’t I read CBS’ ratings are up? Seems to be a good deal all around.
I know what you’re thinking – “Doesn’t NBC PAY you, Peter?” Well, save it!
The Awards Section
Offensive Players of the Week
Dallas WR Terrell Owens, whose eight catches for 173 yards and four touchdowns drove a stake through the Redskins’ hearts in Dallas.
His impact goes far beyond scoring all the TDs in the Cowboys’ 28-23 victory. He’s become a beacon and a leader in a locker room full of young players, and in 26 games in Dallas over the last two years, he’s scored 25 touchdowns.
Does it kill me to write this? Yes! More than you’ll ever know.
New England WR Randy Moss . One half: Eight catches, 112 yards, four touchdowns … and one pass defensed. That’s right, all in the first half of New England’s rout of the Bills. Bill Belichick put him in to play deep safety on the final play of the first half, with New England up 35-7, and he batted down the Hail Mary from J.P. Losman. Dude’s living a charmed life.
Does it kill me to write this? Yes! But at least I got in the “dude’s living a charmed life” jab. That’s right, Randy. You’re just a product of a charmed life, dude.
Minnesota G Steve Hutchinson.
You didn’t think that I’d only have two record-breaking (not to mention rule-breaking, ball-breaking, back-breaking, team-breaking and eardrum-breaking) wide receivers as my offensive players of the week, did you?
Defensive Players of the Week
New York Giants DE Michael Strahan. Taking advantage of a mismatch against backup right tackle Brent Saipaia, Strahan had all three of the Giants’ sacks and tormented Jon Kitna into hurrying his throws several other times during the game. Despite missing training camp, Strahan looks like he’s reprising the years when he was in the teens in sacks all the time.
It got me thinking, we really should make training camp optional for players of 10 years of service. Obviously, they don’t need it, as Strahan has clearly evidenced.
Arizona CB Antrel Rolle, for his three-interception denuding of Carson Palmer, running back two of them for touchdowns. A third TD on a return was taken away because of a hit on Palmer away from the play that the officials deemed over-the-top. “Carson’s a great quarterback,” Rolle told me Sunday night. “He knows how to look off a corner.” Well, if Palmer’s really good, then what is Rolle? He showed excellent hands and nifty return ability. Strange thing is, he’d had but two interceptions in 30 previous pro games.
I wonder if the dearth of interceptions why Palmer tried to exploit Rolle all game? Seems like a strange coincidence.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Miami WR/PR Ted Ginn Jr. Nice weekend for current and former Buckeyes. After Ohio State’s annual win over Michigan on Saturday, Ginn was Miami’s total offense in the Dolphins’ 17-7 loss in Philadelphia, weaving and dashing through the Eagles for an 87-yard touchdown on a punt return.
Just kidding, obviously. It’s Civic Hero Phil Dawson.
Coach of the Week
Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy. No Packer coach has had a better first 26 games than McCarthy, who, after the rout of Carolina, is 17-9 at the start of his Green Bay career. Vince Lombardi was 16-10 after 26 games.
I’ve decided not to give Coach of the Week to a guy who coached a particularly good game this week (like, for instance, the genius Tony Dungy). Instead, I’m going to give it to a coach who reaches some peculiar, cherry-picked, media-manufactured pseudo-milestone.
1. Tom Brady, QB, New England. Did you hear what John Madden said Sunday night during the NBC telecast? At the moment, Brady is playing better than anyone he’s seen play the quarterback position. Heck of a statement, considering Madden was a collegian and then a coach during the Unitas years, and Dan Marino, Elway, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana have come since then. Pretty rare air.
What I am trying to say is Madden is old and demented.
2. Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay. Week by week, throwing to the likes of Donald Lee and Greg Jennings, Favre looks the way he used to look with Mark Chmura and Sterling Sharpe.
I’d say that he’s probably taking some kind of pill to stay young, but you can’t really make that joke anymore.
3. Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis. This will be one of his great quarterbacking jobs if he continues to make do without his decade-long security blanket, Marvin Harrison, and can keep winning.
Full disclosure: I’m ghostwriting Peyton’s autobiography: “My Greatest Quarterbacking Jobs” by Peyton Manning with Peter King.
4. Randy Moss, WR, New England. Is there any doubt that, barring injury, Moss will have the best year of a borderline Canton career? This is his 10th season. He has 16 touchdown catches through 10 games. He’s had two 17-TD years.
Yup, BORDERLINE Canton career! If the Hall of Fame were St. Louis, Missouri and Not-in-the-Hall were East St. Louis, Illinois, Moss is sitting on a dinghy in the Mississippi River.
5. Tony Romo, QB, Dallas. In another year, he’d be a legitimate MVP pick.
This year, however? Illegitimate. Simply put. You pick Romo, you might as well hand in your laptop.
Ten Things I Think I Think
1. I think these are my quick-hit thoughts of Week 11:
NOTE: I just THINK I think these things. I commit to NOTHING in this section. Don’t even bother emailing me about them, ’cause even I don’t know if I think them. That’s why they make good copy.
a. The Tony Dungy and Deanna Favre‘s books are numbers 11 and 13, respectively, on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list this week. Another SRO crowd Saturday at a Favre book-signing in Madison; she couldn’t sign them all.
There’s been some confusion so let me clear this up. SRO = Standing Room Only. Not Stupid Retards Only, Keith.
b. Told You So Dept.: I’m not right about a lot of things, but I did think the Texans paying Ahman Green, $6 million a year at age 30 was ridiculous. He missed another game on Sunday, hasn’t played a complete game all year and has ceded the rushing job to Ron Dayne. You just don’t pay significant money to 30-year-old backs these days, particularly a 30-year-old back who had missed 13 games due to injury the previous two years.
I think I thought that I’m not right about a lot of things. But right there is something I was right about. I might I need to rethink my stance on me been not right about a lot of things.
c. Calling around this week, I found top-10-in-the-2008-draft support for one of college football’s most talented hard-triers, Virginia defensive end Chris Long. At 280 pounds, with 12 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this year, Long will likely be a defensive end in a 3-4 defense, though he’s been so versatile as a collegian some scouts see him as an outside linebacker. Personally, after seeing a few highlights of his strength and relative quickness, I think he’d be a good defensive tackle, a la Chris Hovan, in a 4-3 front. The kid won’t be denied. Howie, the dad, has to be very proud.
Oh, and Howie, you can make that check out to Peter W. King now that I single-handedly boosted your kid’s draft stock from late first-rounder to top ten pick.
d. I don’t give the Eagles a much better chance in Foxboro than the Bills had in Orchard Park last night. But really, who would match up well against New England right now?
This is a trick question, ’cause I already gave you the answer. The ’27 Yankees, in baseball, would be a pretty good match up for the Pats.
f. Miami might be 0-10, but the Dolphins played a plucky game in Philadelphia. Is plucky the right word for a team playing hard without much of a chance? That’s what I mean.
Dr. Hendricks has confirmed, ‘plucky’ is the right word.
i. I love the Washington Post‘s “NFL Gameday” page on Sundays. Clever, fact-filled, insightful, self-deprecating. On picking the Ravens last week against Cincinnati, Christian Swezey wrote: “Going with the Ravens and Steve McNair was a worse idea than the NHL expanding into Florida and North Carolina.”
What’s the NHL? Just kidding…I think.
4. I think these are my two thoughts on Ricky Williams’ return. One: There’s not a soul in this league who will trade anything, not even a well-used K ball, for a 30-year-old running back who will be 31 on opening day next season and who has tested positive at least four time for illicit substances. So ignore the people who say the Dolphins will try to show he’s rehabbed in the last six weeks of this season, ready to play a prominent role somewhere. He may play somewhere else, but only after the Dolphins release him. Number two: The NFL was right to reinstate him. Addicts who are reformed — or who show every sign of being reformed — should be allowed to resume their life’s work, under direct supervision.
Don’t fool yourself, people. Ricky Williams was an illicit substance addict. I know, people say marijuana isn’t addictive. Well, I could tell you a story of a guy who I know for a fact is addicted to that illicit substance. Ricky Williams. I sincerely hope he’s reformed, or that he tests positive again so I can go on and on about how he’s an illicit substance addict.
5. I think this is what I liked about Week 11:
b. What a thing of beauty Carson Palmer’s lofted 19-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh against Arizona was. Unfortunately for the Bengals, that may have been his last thing of beauty all day in Cincinnati.
d. My lord. The block of Maurice Jones-Drew that leveled Shawne Merriman, on the third-quarter touchdown pass from David Garrard to Marcedes Lewis, is the best block a back has put on a linebacker in the NFL this year. Find a better one. I challenge you. You can’t. “Everyone was telling me, ‘Good job,’ and stuff like that on the sidelines after the block,” Jones-Drew said from Jacksonville last night. “So I guess it was a pretty good block.” Guess no more, kid.
That’s a serious challenge. Kevin Everett serious.
e. Grady Jackson paid the Jags back for their faith in signing him off the street on one third-quarter, short-yardage tackle of Lorenzo Neal.
I know we throw “signed off the street” around in the sports media, but in this case its true. Grady Jackson lost millions in that Bear Stearns mortgage fund that went under. Lost his home and everything. I talked to Grady after the game on the players’ bus. “I’m still going to kill Ace Greenberg,” he said, “but it was nice to help the team.”
g. Don’t throw Mario Williams out with the bath water just yet. He had a good day terrorizing Drew Brees and stunting Reggie Bush‘s growth in Houston.
“Don’t throw Mario Williams out with the bath water” is not a cliche. It is a turn on a cliche. It’s a smart writer’s technique.
6. I think this is what I didn’t like about Week 11:
This is where I point the finger at players I think I think are losers. You could call it the Loser Roll Call. That’s what I call it. .
c. I don’t remember seeing a quarterback throw into double-coverage as much as Philip Rivers is doing this season. Brutal.
But as you’ll see in a few paragraphs, I don’t blame him, or his quarterback miracle worker of a coach for the Chargers’ problems.
d. Elementary rule of football, Chad Johnson : You can’t carry the football like a ham sandwich. If you do, you tend to fumble it.
If you need to ask ‘why ham?’, you’ll never get the joke.
e. McNabb’s passer rating on the day: 0.4. Looks like he’ll play next week in Foxboro, by the way, sprained ankle and all.
Can you have a negative passer rating? I put in a call to Commissioner Goodell, who’s going to get back to me. Let me say, I think that you should be able to have a negative passer rating if, and only if, you’re playing the Patriots.
f. I’m not blaming Norv Turner as much as I’m blaming Ted Cottrell for the San Diego disaster right now. Check the extended highlights of the Jags-Chargers game, and tell me how it’s possible that so many Jacksonville receivers were so wide open, particularly in the second half.
I’m not doing what you think I’m doing. Really. Watch the extended highlights. If you can get them. If not, call my office, I’ll get them to you.
g. Nice catch, Chris Henry. Fourth-and-6, late, down eight, last real chance of the day against Arizona, Carson Palmer throw right in your hands … kerplunk. Drop. Horrible drop. With another one to follow.
Ok. I couldn’t be more proud of this burn. I just FRIED Chris Henry here with my sarcasm. You deserve it, Chris, you addict!
i. Where is JaMarcus Russell?
I hope not dogfighting. But I can’t say I’m positive.
9. I think the Jets have to be thrilled with Kellen Clemens leading the team 76 yards in 13 plays in two minutes for the game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter. The kid doesn’t get flustered. He drew praise from the disappointed Steelers for being cool under pressure. New York will have a high draft choice come April, but won’t need to use it on a passer.
Yup. After one game. You just have to trust me here. This is the way I felt about Kosar.
10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:
a. Rest in peace, Joe Nuxhall. I got to know the ol’ lefthander as a cub baseball reporter for the Cincinnati Enquirer in the early ’80s, once incurring his wrath for transcribing an 86-word-question (all one sentence) that he asked Mario Soto in a postgame interview on the Reds Radio Network. Joe always did ask the darndest questions. But he was a great guy, a classic old baseball man with the ultimate respect for the game and the people in it.
That wasn’t a parting shot at a dead guy that I hated. Not at all. I respected his wrath. I respected his darned questions. The younger generation could learn a thing or two from the way I respected Joe Nuxhall.
d. And while I’m praising writers, we’re lucky to have Damon Hack, Lee Jenkins and Jim Trotter at SI. That’s homerish, but I’m learning things from them every week.
Rick Reilly? He can’t rot in hell for all I care.
g. Congrats to the Oak Knoll (N.J.) School’s field-hockey team, which handed Eastern High its first loss to a New Jersey team in nine years last week. A tremendous achievement, obviously. I’ve seen both teams play, and each school turns out terrific players and people.
I know a lot of people don’t care about my Jersey musings.
h. I can’t get enough of The Office.
Or my TV tastes. But it’s my column, motherfuckers.
Well, that’s that, guys! Hope you found me to be as fun as I have! I’ll be back this week with more Coffeenerdness!