Archive for the ‘NFL’ Category

Mid-week thoughts Packers/Seattle

January 14, 2015

As I read more about this game I am noticing that the story lines are mostly about Rodgers, the calf, the Packers passing game, Richard Sherman, the “vaunted” Seattle D, Seattle’s 12th man, Lynch knocking people over, Seattle being at the beginning of a dynasty, Seattle being unbeatable, Seattle essentially already being awarded the Lombardi Trophy. But I have a few thoughts about some other potential post-game story lines:

  • Carolina RB Jonathan Stewart averaged 5.4 yards per carry and ran for 70 yards against Seattle last Saturday night. Seattle’s unstoppable defense struggled to contain the guy. (Actually all 3 Carolina RBs averaged over 5 yards per carry.) Eddie Lacy is a better RB than Stewart – though Stewart has been very good the last 5-6 weeks. While it may seem like Lacy could struggle against a speedy/aggressive defensive style like Seattle’s because he’s not fast, I’m guessing MM and staff are putting quite a bit of time into making sure the O-Line is prepared to open holes and Lacy is ready to give Seattle a taste of its own medicine (won’t just be Lynch knocking guys over). This would be advisable both for time of possession reasons and to open up the passing game. I think there is a real chance Lacy has a career game Sunday. Also worth noting, his asthma shouldn’t be much of an issue. I have asthma too and can attest to how difficult it can be to run in cold weather – really does make it worse. But forecast is for 51 degrees and rain – he should be fine with that. Lacy had 100 yards rushing against Detroit, the NFL’s #1 run defense, in Week 17 – in a meaningful game. And Detroit was only giving up about 60 rushing yards per game at that point. Against Dallas, the #8 rush defense on the year, Lacy had 101 yards. Look for Lacy to assert himself and deliver a quality game. This will be a real test for the O-Line as Seattle has to know the Pack will try to run a fair amount. I’m guessing Chancellor will be playing a condensed field – which should eventually help Rodgers. But if the O-Line can win this battle, there is a good chance Lacy could be a bigger factor than people are talking about now.
  • Seattle gave up 377 yards to Carolina last weekend. Carolina is not an offensive powerhouse so at the least, this kind of defensive performance does not align well with the reputation of Seattle’s D. I watched the game and came away thinking that D is not as flawless as the media makes it out to be.
  • The Packers defense was not great last week. Dallas had their way for much of the game. Romo and company were solid, the playcalling was solid and the clock management was solid. But the defense woke up a bit in the second half. Peppers got in there with a few huge plays and the D seemed to step up some. Still, I would not rate the overall defensive performance very highly. Clay Matthews was just plain absent. Tramon Williams had a poor game (except for some decent man coverage on Dez at times…though Shields I think should get more credit for that). Morgan Burnett was also absent, barely contributed. Yet, this defense has shown over the course of the second half of the season that it can play at a high level. And many of these guys who were absent last week have had some monster games this year. Yes, I am worried Seattle’s quality O-Line will handle our D-Line like the Cowboys line did for a while. Yes, I am worried about Marshawn Lynch being a beast. And of course, I worry about Russell Wilson’s special ability to make the exact right decision on the football field nearly every time. These are scary things. But I think the Packers defense – much maligned for their poor playoff performances in recent years – may be ready to spring a surprise. Seattle’s offense is well-balanced and they play smart but there have been a few games in the last 6-7 weeks when Capers has drawn up exquisite game plans. I’m not going to guarantee anything here, but I think it’s actually quite possible that our defense, a quiet and often not-talked-about piece of this team, makes a statement and rises up to help the offense in a game when the offense will probably need a bit more help than usual. And importantly, there isn’t a whole lot of pressure on the Packers D right now as I think most expect a fairly pedestrian performance. If Peppers is himself, Matthews makes a difference and Tramon and Burnett play like they can play, there may be a few articles about the Packers defense come Monday morning.

Funny letter from a Browns fan

March 28, 2012

Watch video here.

No surprise Eagles fans

December 9, 2011

Read here about Eagles’ fans making Casey Matthews’ (Clay’s brother, special teamer for Philly fiancee cry. Lame. Worst part is that Philly fans probably read this with pride thinking “yeah, that’s how we roll.” Tools.

 

Stunning fact about Ray Rice

November 16, 2011

I was just casually reading some articles on the NFL and I learned from one article in particular, that Ray Rice only makes $600,000 per year. For some reason, I was shocked to read about this. I guess this struck me because of all we hear about the DeSean Jackson saga, the Chris Johnson holdout, Matt’s Forte’s public whining etc… I haven’t heard squat from Ray Rice on this. No, I don’t follow Ray Rice’s contract situation in such depth that I’d necessarily be aware of all he’s said about his contract situation. But I haven’t heard anything noteworthy at all this year about the fact that one of the NFL’s best RBs is playing for $600,000 in the final year of his contract. Statistically, without even looking it up, I’m positive he’s in the top 5 in yards from scrimmage in the last 3 years. The guy is a very good runner but also a great receiver out of the backfield. While it’s refreshing to learn a player is playing out his contract despite the clear fact that he has “outperformed” the contract, if I were Balt, I wouldn’t let this go much longer without getting him signed. He’s a franchise back.

Funny quote from Fred Jackson

November 1, 2011

Some of you may know that after the Packers, my second favorite team is the Buffalo Bills. Smaller town, small market, cold weather, devoted fans and of course the favorite team of one of the few people I respect in politics: Tim Russert.  Anyway, read here from PFT – funny quote from Jackson re his wife’s fantasy football draft. (For the record, I drafted Fred Jackson in my league and he’s keeping been me competitive almost by himself!)

Few thoughts watching Bears/Lions

October 10, 2011
  • The Lions’ vaunted D-Line is indeed scary – as pass rushers. But the D-Line and the entire defense struggle against the run. Tonight, Forte already has 116 yards rushing. A few weeks ago, at Minnesota, the Detroit D-Line couldn’t stop Adrian Peterson in the first half. (Of course, MN mysteriously abandoned the run in the second half because it was working too well.) Anyway, overall the Lions ranked 17th in the league w/respect to yards rushing given up per game, coming into tonight’s game. This is a defense that struggles with the run. And it’s also not great against the pass (ranked #12 in average yards allowed per game). So while this is a good team to be sure – they are perhaps not as good as hyped.
  • Stafford is really good. His TD pass behind Urlacher to Pettigrew was really good. He realized instantly that Urlacher hesitated for just a moment and that he’d have a small window to chuck the ball in there. He did and it was an easy TD.
  • Sloppy game – lots of penalties (23 so far).
  • Former Badger DeAndre Levy leads Detroit in tackles tonight.
  • LB Stephen Tulloch, who is a good player, looks like he ate a 15 pound cake before the game. He looks fat for a LB.
  • It’s weird to see a seriously charged up home crowd in Detroit. As much as I realize this means that Detroit has perhaps arrived as a new competitor in our division – it’s nice to see anyway.
  • I’ll start saying it now – told ya about the Bears. Just not a good team. They started the year with Cutler throwing constantly. Then they realized it wasn’t working so they started giving it to Forte all the time. But what they haven’t figured out is how to balance the offense. And they continue to have a tremendously bad O-Line. How does Mike Tice still have a job? It’s absolutely stunning.
  • The Bears defenders are aging. Just watched Urlacher miss an open field tackle on Best. Best is an elusive dude and has played a good game tonight. But Urlacher would never have missed that tackle 5-6 years ago. Never. This D is getting old.

Must read – on names in the NFL

September 14, 2011

If you haven’t read Steve Rushin’s column at si.com, start doing it. They are all usually quite good. He’s refreshingly thoughtful and pretty funny too. Having written similar posts about the names of NFL players before, of course I had extra appreciation for this article.

Read here.

Vikes quietly add Aromashodu – possibly McNabb too

July 27, 2011

Read here. This may be an indication that the Vikes are concerned they won’t be able to keep Sidney Rice. But either way, I think this is a good move. Aromashodu spent last year in the doghouse of Mike Martz (this article says Lovie Smith, but if I recall, I believe it was Martz – either way, he was in a doghouse).I know he hasn’t done much in his career, but he flashed some serious potential in 2009. In those last 4 games, he started to look like one of those huge WRs that guys just can’t defend well (like Rice in fact). It’s worth a gamble for the Vikes and my guess is that the gamble will pay off quicker than most imagine (in part because defenses are already scrambling to stop AP and Harvin).

Now, if they add McNabb (which looks likely at the moment), they could suddenly become a decent team again. I don’t like McNabb, I think he’s decent but overrated and his way just annoys me. Unfortunately, that is how I feel about most Vikings – which is why I’m concerned he might just be a good fit there.

On the other hand, if they don’t add McNabb, I think there is a decent chance the Vikes go 5-11.

Mike Freeman on crack re Hasselbeck worship

July 27, 2011

Check out this random, unabashed Matt Hasselbeck-worship post. I don’t get it. Hasselbeck was good a few years back but he’s bordering on awful now. (I must say – this is hard for me to write because I like Hasselbeck as a person..but he’s just not good anymore.) Don’t believe me? Check out his awful stats for the past 3 seasons:

  • was injured for 13 of 50 games
  • had an average QB rating of 68.7
  • had an average pass completion percentage of  of 57%
  • threw 34 TDs to 44 INTs

Sorry Mike Freeman – if Tenn gets to the playoffs it will be because Chris Johnson has 4000 yards, not because of Hasselbeck. If I were Tenn I would have gone after Kyle Orton or even McNabb.

PFT and Teddy Bruschi bored, off the mark picking on the Pack

June 8, 2011

Read here for an article quoting Teddy Bruschi who criticizes the Packers for not having had organized team activities. If he truly means “activities”, then he’s just off the mark. The players have gotten together for multiple activities including the Donald Driver softball game, golf outings, etc. And they will have the ring ceremony next week. Maybe they haven’t had organized team “workouts”, but I’m not too concerned about that. While I am hoping that their individual workouts are gradually increasing in intensity to prepare them for the possible season, I have no problem with the players on this team taking this time to heal and to enjoy life a bit. They worked their tails off from last June to February of this year. They deserve to enjoy this time.

Of course, Bruschi also conveniently left out mention of the lockout. This year is different than any year he played and this team has a very different character from the ones he played on. Yes, players should be keeping themselves fit and preparing for the possibility that the sides come to an agreement. But this Packer team doesn’t need quite the bonding time that all the other non-Super-Bow winning teams may need. The main reason why I have been relatively quiet posting this offseason is because there is just not much happening because of the lockout. I think this is an example of guys like Bruschi and the folks at PFT just running out of things to say. So they try to create something out of nothing.

I say have another beer Donald.


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