Archive for October, 2008

Packers and the Presidential Election

October 24, 2008

Interesting article here from the GB Press Gazette. Ryan Grant, Poppinga voting for Obama. Some of the others, not so sure. Brother Steve, stop doing all that work on the election etc and start writing pieces like this. I think it would be fascinating to know which candidate players from throughout the NFL will be voting for.

But it was the end of this article, the last sentence, that seemed like an odd inclusion. Read below:

The Packers, as an organization, do not take a political position and Murphy said players are free to express their own political preferences.

It seems as though the article’s author (Tony Walter) must have asked Murphy if Murphy was letting the players make their own decisions or if the team would only allow players to vote for a certain candidate. This isn’t Russia Danny, is it?

Is Kyle Orton…not bad?

October 24, 2008

I started writing this post about a month ago. Then I thought twice about it and decided to give it another month to see if Orton was still…not bad. Well, as my father would say, so far this year, Orton has been really not bad. At the beginning of the year, I was one of the many saying the Bears had no clue re their QB situation. I knew for sure the Grossman shouldn’t start (we all knew that), and despite not knowing for sure about Orton, I insisted that the Bears would have been better off cutting all of their QBs and starting over with the 2008 draft (and picking up a veteran free agent or two). In fact, at one point, I wrote a lengthy post re the Bears personnel decisions here, and in this post I ripped the QB decisions in particular. My argument at the time (I believe anyway) was compelling and backed by stats. But I don’t think it’s a stretch to say at this point at least in 2008, Orton is proving me wrong. He looks quite good this year. Here are his stats for 2008:

  • 62% pass completion rate (about average)
  • 10 TDs 4 Ints
  • 91.2 QB rating
  • 1669 yards (6th in the NFL)
  • 4-3 record

Now, these aren’t exceptional numbers, leaving us all hope for a meltdown yet. And his career QB rating, despite his 91 rating so far this year, is still just 72 – so there’s plenty of room for him to screw up and we’re only half-way through a season. But so far this year, for the sake of accountability, I just want to put out an alert to folks that I may be having to eat some crow a little later this year if Orton continues to even be decent.

The Bears, however, still suck.

2008 Week 8 picks

October 23, 2008
  • TB @ Dal (-3.5) – Tampa is a legit team with their vaunted defense now vaunting, if you will. Dal though, knows it is win or face a massive media blitz of negativity. Funny, even if they lose, they’ll still be 4-4 and will soon get their star QB and a future star RB back. Look for Roy Williams to make his present known and Barber will go nuts. Dallas won’t lose here.
  • SD @ NO (in London +3.5) – Why is it that everyone is picking SD here. I know the loss of Reggie Bush hurts, but NO’s main weapon is Brees and if there is one thing Brees has proven this year, it’s that he can get the ball to anyone and anyone can make plays for this team. NO in an exciting game.
  • Atl @ Phil (-8.5) – I was tempted to pick Atl to win here, but every time I pick Phil to lose, they win. I will pick Atl to cover because I still think they are a sound team. Matt Ryan apparently grew up in Philly, admiring McNabb. Funny, I can’t see him as a bruiser/fighter, but he must be.
  • Ariz @ Car (-4.5) – Not sure why few are picking the Cards here. Sure, Caro put it together for a trouncing of a good team last week (NO), but they were incredibly bad just the week before. Ariz brings an interesting offense and a capable defense. Should be a really good game.
  • Oak @ Balt (-6.5) – Al Davis just called Ray Lewis a “drip” saying he acts just like that “Lane kid”. Al Davis then said “my shoe hurt the elephant when I tooted” and asked for his meds. Al needs to go. Oak, inspired by last week, hangs in there against Balt.
  • St L @ NE (-6.5) – who knows? Is the totally clueless, no game Cassel going to show up or the dominating Tom Brady protege going to show up. My guess is that at home, the Tom Brady one will show up. But so will St. Louis and their revived pass rush (Leonard Little is back and Chris Long is starting to become good). It is possible though, that Steven Jackson won’t play. Either way, I think NE will overwhelm here and Vince Wilfork will have 6 late hits/questionable plays.
  • Wash @ Det (+7.5) – Temptation here is to pick Wash in a route. They are good and there is no way they would look past a weak team after overlooking St. Louis (who may actually not be a weak team) snatch one away a couple weeks ago. But Detroit showed something by not getting blown out by a steadily improving Houston team last week. Houston could have blown them out in the first half, but Det hung in there and almost made a game of it.
  • KC @ NYJ (-12.5) – Not even worth watching. While Favre does tend to play down to his opponents (like I thought he would last week against Oak), this game is really important, it’s at home and KC may be the worst football team in the country…pro, college, maybe high school. Carl Peterson just told one of my “sources” that he thinks Tyler Thigpen is the next Brett Favre, so he thinks this should be a great game.
  • Buff @ Mia (+1.5) – I was very surprised Miami didn’t beat Balt last week. Another solid team rolls in this week in Buff, and another good defense at that. This should be a good game. It may come down to a great duel between the steady and still very good Chad Pennington and the rising, new Chad Pennington…Trent Edwards.
  • Cleve @ Jax (-7.5) – I picked Jax to go to the Super Bowl for some reason so I feel like I need to pick them all the time even against the spread, to do my part. And the Winslow suspension (suspended for telling the truth about a poor management decision of not letting Winslow share info re his illness), does hurt Cleve. But Cleve still has some other talent and I feel like they might keep it a game. In the end, Maurice Jones-Drew will be too much and Jax will win and cover. Wait, no, even worse for Cleve, Jax to blow them out.
  • Cincy @ Hou (-9.5) – Cincy has had a tough schedule this year, but contrary to popular NFL-speak presently, they are not the best 0-3, 0-4, 0-5, 0-6, team in the NFL. They just suck. At first, the players sort of believed that they were good, but just losing. Now, they know they suck. One nice TD by Slaton or Andre Johnson (yes, both on my fantasy team) and Cincy will mail it in. I’d wager that Dunta Robinson (on the All-Name team for sure) has a pick in his 2nd game back. Before his injury last year, he was a phenomenal CB. Houston keeps getting better (though they’re playing high school competition).
  • NYG @ Pitt (-2.5) – This will be a good game. I kind see this being a late fall, grind-it-out, muddy-bloody game. Pitt is good at those kinds of games. I think they win here because despite the bye, Eli will show he hasn’t shaken the turnover bug quite yet.
  • Sea @ SF (-4.5) – Interesting, forgot that by SF hiring Mike Singletary as the coach, they overlooked a coach who’s been a head coach in Mike Martz. Martz is apparently just fine with it. I still don’t think SF is that bad, but I do think Sea is terrible. While Seneca Wallace is good at handing the ball off (he doesn’t telegraph the hand-off like so many QBs, A-Rodg, Favre, Manning, etc do), he can’t do much else. He’s injured too so I don’t think he can even run well. Watching Seattle tank so quickly this year makes me remember not to take for granted the fact the the Packers have been mostly competitive for the last 16 or so years. We’re lucky folks.
  • Indy @ Tenn (-3.5) – I’m taking Indy here. Not a smart pick I’m sure according to most and in fact, I heard a few prognosticators today on the radio declaring that Indy is done for the year – no playoffs. It is possible that they miss the playoffs and start to fade here soon and a part of me does have a vision of a team mutiny of sorts by those who are so tired of Manning’s pissing and moaning. Still, I’m not ready to declare they’re done just yet and I don’t think a slide starts this week. Many people are trying to make sense out of their pounding of Balt followed by their huge blowout loss to the Pack. No need to think further because here’s what happened: Balt is a very inconsistent team that gets it going and then just isn’t that good. Not strange with a rookie QB. 2 weeks ago, Balt just didn’t show up. Last Sunday against the Packers, every team in the NFL would have lost to the Packers. Indy’s still good – and will win in Tenn.

Did you know…

October 23, 2008

that the Detroit Lions have sold out 51 consecutive home games! They’ve sold out every game at Ford Field since it opened in 2002. I can’t believe this. Anyway, PFT points that out in an article here, which also says that they won’t sell out this week – thus ending a surprising streak.

Shhh..the cops are here – party’s over in Kansas City

October 23, 2008

Does anyone care that Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard have both just been put on IR? It’s an incredible thing really when the #1 and #2 QBs for your team go down for the year and you’re QB situation hasn’t taken a hit at all. Tyler Thigpen, the lucky heir will take over and be awful for sure. But the really interesting thing is that the street veteran they just brought in (Quinn Gray) could very well outplay Croyle, Huard and Thigpen. That is really bad coaching and management to keep 3 weak, weak QBs on the roster like that.

If I were a Chiefs’ fan, I would be so ticked off at management, not just because of the QB situation but because of the entire state of affairs there. I’d be wondering about why we wouldn’t have done Tony Gonzalez the favor of letting him hitch up with another team to end a solid career (in exchange for some nice draft picks to rebuild the team). I’d be wondering why we continue to deal with L.J. and his attitude and behavior and why we didn’t trade him when he had value (…and get some nice draft picks to rebuild the team). I’d be wondering about how the GM Carl Peterson keeps his job. I’d be wondering about how the coach can keep his job. I’d be wondering how I ended up in Kansas City in the first place.

Homer interviews Trent Dilfer re Favre – very interesting

October 22, 2008

Go to 540 ESPN Milwaukee’s website here to find this interview. I’d recommend it. Very interesting perspective. HOmer asked (in a leading way) for Dilfer’s thoughts on the Favre comments today and the overall Lions issue. Dilfer did not agree with Homer’s take it seemed (Homer was not supportive of Favre). In fact Dilfer, who is a bright guy, had a strong response. He said that for all the time that is spent assuming Favre is trying to get back at his old team, at least equal time should be spent thinking about the likelihood that there are (and this is a close quote if not exact) “those in the Packer organization who may want to see Favre’s legacy ruined”. He didn’t go so far as to wonder if info was planted by the Packers or distorted to make Favre look bad etc, but it was an interesting defense of Favre. It left me with this immediate thought: does Dilfer know something more re the Favre/Packer divorce that we don’t? weighs in on Favre comments

October 22, 2008

Read here for another take on the Favre situation. Again, I’m tired of disclaiming this all the time, but if it’s true, Favre’s explanation does seem possible. I still don’t think it’s appropriate to give info about your former team to a GM/coaches (especially after a bad divorce). He should have had the presence of mind to not divulge anything to Millen, if for no other reason than he should have been smart enough to realize that if this got back to the press in any way, it would blow up just like it has. But I also think it’s significant, again, if true, that Favre apparently didn’t call the Lions – they called him. At least then, we don’t run off with this impression that he’s just calling teams to give info because he’s pissed (which is what it sounded like initially).

For now, I’m ready to move on from all of this crap. Again, not happy about it though. What I remain most interested in w/re to Favre is what Leroy Butler could possibly be referring to when he says that there is more to come. This is the second time we’ve heard this ominous warning: remember the team hired Ari Fleischer to manage PR months ago for fear of what was to come.

Lost in this Favre drama: why is Favre friends with Matt Millen?

October 22, 2008

Think about this question for a moment. Has it dawned on you yet? Think about it. Now we all have an airtight explanation for why Favre has been acting so strangely over the last 10 months or so – he was getting advice from his friend Matt Millen!

Better news – congrats papa McCarthy

October 22, 2008

From Silvertstein at jsonline.:

It’s a girl

By Tom Silverstein
Wednesday, Oct 22 2008, 11:45 AM

Green Bay — Packers coach Mike McCarthy and his wife, Jessica, welcomed a new addition to the family Wednesday morning.

According to the Packers, Jessica McCarthy gave birth to Gabrielle Kathleen this morning. Mother and daughter are resting at a Green Bay hospital.

McCarthy said on Monday that the birth could happen this week and joked that he had gas in the car and a bag packed in case the time came.

Different interpretation of Favre’s statements today

October 22, 2008

Read here from who took Favre’s comments this morning as another denial. Different from PFT’s take on the comments.

Of note in this update though is that Romo called Favre seeking advice. To me, that changes that whole story quite a bit. If Favre truly had called Romo I could see how some would be bothered by that (though I didn’t think it was a big deal), but if Romo called Favre, this is a non-story. Again though, not sure who to believe on that.