Delenda Est Carthago

Why not delve into a twisted mind? Thoughts on the world, history, politics, entertainment, comics, and why all shall call me master!

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

I plan on being the supreme dictator of the country, if not the world. Therefore, you might want to stay on my good side. Just a hint: ABBA rules!


What have we learned - Week 11

The first thing we learned is that whoever is calling plays for Penn State needs to be fired. FIRED!!!!! I'll explain below.

The nice thing about next week in the NFL is that I have pretty much zero hope that the Eagles can go to Massachusetts and beat the Cheaters. So I can watch the game without getting upset at all. I'll probably still get upset, but I'm figuring if they hold the Cheaters below 35 points, it will be a win! But that's for next week. Let's review this week!

I had to go out for a while early in the afternoon, so I paused the Eagles' game (I love DVR!) and watched it when I got back. This meant I watched very little of the early games, plus I got to watch a lot of the Philly game in fast motion. Basically, when the Eagles had the ball I watched in regular motion, but the rest I watched in fast motion. This is a cool way to watch a game, because you don't have to listen to the yammering of the announcers. Anyway, the Dolphins are the only team that can win the turnover battle and lose the game, because their offense is awful, especially with a rookie quarterback. Donovan McNabb sprained his ankle and left the game in the second quarter and did not return. Brian Westbrook simply ran 32 times for 148 yards, and A. J. Feeley settled down after throwing an early interception. The big debate in the Philadelphia newspapers today is why Andy Reid doesn't call more running plays with McNabb in even when it's obvious he's not as good as he used to be. It begs the question whether the Eagles are better off without McNabb in the lineup. It's strange, because Reid should be able to see that McNabb isn't as good as he was 5 years ago, and their receivers aren't great. Westbrook dominated yesterday, and Feeley was able to "manage" the game, which is a bad word around the NFL but works when you have a good running game and a pretty good defense. I think the Eagles are going to get pounded in New England on Sunday, but it's weird that their only chance might be if McNabb doesn't play. That way, Reid will run the ball more, keep the ball away from Brady, and maybe cause them to become impatient. If McNabb plays, Reid will throw the ball all over the place and try to outscore the Cheaters. That won't work! Why doesn't Andy Reid see this? He's not stupid!
Turnovers: Eagles 3, Dolphins 0. Final score: Philadelphia 17, Miami 7. Turnovers = loss? It's the Dolphins, so no. The Dolphins are really bad. 0-1.

Atlanta had won two games in a row with Joey Harrington at quarterback. So Bobby Petrino, naturally, replaces him with Byron Leftwich. What? WHAT? Hey, the only touchdown drive by the Falcons, when they were trailing 31-0 was led by ... Joey Harrington. Coaches make my head hurt sometimes.
Turnovers: Falcons 4, Buccaneers 2. Final score: Tampa 31, Atlanta 7. Turnovers = loss? Indubitably. 1-1.

Antrel Rolle got ripped off yesterday, as he should have gotten three touchdowns on interception returns. The final one was wiped out by a penalty when a teammate blocked Carson Palmer. Now, if you haven't seen the play, you might wonder what the problem is. He didn't hit him in the back or anything. The reason he got a penalty was because the rules say that you can't hit the quarterback when he's "defenseless." The play was going right past Palmer at the time, and he was looking at Rolle and, presumably, thinking of chasing him. He didn't see the blocker, but it's one of those calls where I can understand the reasoning behind it (quarterbacks are the movie stars of the NFL, so we must protect them!), but it makes me wonder why they just don't put a flag on the quarterbacks and take the pads off of them. Aren't they football players? Other players get popped without seeing it coming. Shouldn't the coaches tell the quarterbacks to just fall down if they don't want them trying to make a tackle? Sheesh. Anyway, the Bengals are spiralling down the toilet, and I don't want to freak you out, but the Cardinals are a game out of first place with 4 of their last 6 at home, where they've played pretty well. Arizona in the playoffs? Could happen!
Turnovers: Bengals 5, Cardinals 0. Final score: Arizona 35, Cincinnati 27. Turnovers = loss? Absolutely. 2-1.

Jon Kitna made some stupid decisions, but did anyone see his last interception? He's driving the Lions to a possible game-winning touchdown, and he throws a nice pass to a wide-open Shaun McDonald for a first down. The ball hits McDonald right in both hands, and he doesn't catch it. The ball pops over his head and the Giants intercept it. How are you a receiver in the NFL and not catch that? The Lions, by the way, have lost 2 in a row and look like the Detroit we all know and love. I doubt they'll even make the playoffs.
Turnovers: Lions 4, Giants 2. Final score: New Jersey 16, Detroit 10. Turnovers = loss? It looks that way, doesn't it? 3-1.

I just can't talk about R. C. Favre. It just upsets me too much.
Turnovers: Panthers 3, Packers 0. Final score: Green Bay 31, Carolina 17. Turnovers = loss? Yes, but I have a feeling Jesus wants Green Bay to win anyway, so it won't matter. 4-1.

Hey, if you put some pressure on Peyton Manning, he looks ordinary! I wonder why nobody thought of that before now? And if you take away one of his great receivers, he looks ordinary! What a shock! Now, if only they could play someone who could play some offense, they would get stomped. I don't hate the Colts, but I always like when a team that has had it easy has to play through some adversity. The Eagles had their back-up quarterback in for most of the game and won. Can Indy say that Jim Sorgi would lead them to victory? I'm not sure why Tony Dungy is a "genius" for going for it on fourth down with 2 minutes left at the KC 2-yard line with the score tied. It's a nice call, I guess, but I don't know if it's a "genius" call.
Turnovers: Chiefs 2, Colts 1. Final score: Indianapolis 13, Kansas City 10. Turnovers = loss? I suppose. 5-1.

I wonder if Adrian Peterson's success has anything to do with Minnesota's very good offensive line and especially Steve Hutchinson? Peterson didn't play, and Chester Taylor gained 164 yards. Offensive lines don't get enough credit. Surprisingly enough, Oakland sucks. That's a shock.
Turnovers: Vikings 5, Raiders 2. Final score: Minnesota 29, Oakland 22. Turnovers = loss? No. I guess the Raiders are also so bad that teams can turn the ball over more than they do and not lose. 5-2.

If you get a chance to see Maurice Jones-Drew block Shawne Merriman, check it out. The Jaguars were down at the goal line, and David Garrard went back to pass. Jones-Drew, who's about 4'6", went right and blasted Merriman so hard that the steroid-user was lifted off his feet and fell hard, not getting back up for the rest of the play. It is, quite possibly, the greatest block ever. Garrard threw the game-winning touchdown on the play. Jacksonville isn't great, but they play mean, and you have to love that. San Diego, meanwhile, stinks. The only thing they changed from last years 14-2 team was their coach. Norv Turner sucks. Bad.
Turnovers: Chargers 2, Jaguars 0. Final score: Jacksonville 24, San Diego 17. Turnovers = loss? You bet. 6-2.
Speaking of which, I just found the block on YouTube It's not very good quality, but it gets the point across:

Cleveland won its second 33-30 overtime game in three weeks. That's weird. If you haven't seen the game-tying field goal, it's a doozy. Phil Dawson's kick hit the left upright, then hit the curved support pole before bouncing back through the goalposts. By rule it's a field goal, but the officials said it was no good. Field goals, inexplicably, are not reviewable (they probably will be after this year!), but the officials got together and talked about it. They claimed they didn't see a replay, but that's unlikely, as the stadium was playing it on the big screen. They finally decided the field goal was good, well after many of the Ravens had left the field and some even started taking showers. Very weird. Then, the Ravens couldn't cover the kickoff in overtime, and the Browns won the game on a field goal. The ref got it right, but why didn't the officials at the uprights see the ball originally? It's pretty obvious it hit the pole and not the crossbar. I don't want to freak you out, but the Browns are 6-4 and in the playoff hunt. Go, Derek Anderson!
Turnovers: Ravens 4, Browns 2. Final score: Cleveland 33, Baltimore 30. Turnovers = loss? The Browns returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, so sure. 7-2.

Mario Williams had a much better game than Reggie Bush. That's kind of funny, as everyone rushed to judgment on the draft picks last year. Houston, by the way, is 5-5. New Orleans is 4-6. Where are the mea culpae from the "experts"?
Turnovers: Saints 3, Texans 2. Final score: Houston 23, New Orleans 10. Turnovers = loss? Why not? 8-2.

I like how last week people were ready to put Ben Roethlisberger third on the "best quarterback in the NFL" list, and this week he's a bum. Yes, he had a bad game. Everyone has a bad game now and then. He'll be fine. What should worry the Steelers is their pathetic running attack, which got 112 yards. That's not good enough. Plus, there's not that huge a difference in talent between the better teams in the league and the crappy ones. The Cheaters and probably Colts, of course, are far more talented, but other than that, the margin is pretty thin. Usually it comes down to stupid plays and bad coaching, and in this game, it came down to Leon Washington returning a punt deep into Steeler territory in overtime. I'm not going to say the Steelers can beat the Cheaters, but they're better than this game indicated.
Turnovers: Steelers 2, Jets 1. Final score: New Jersey 19, Pittsburgh 16. Turnovers = loss? Yes. 9-2.

I'm certainly not going to cry over spilled milk, but why has Terrell Owens suddenly become super-teammate? Is it because he realized that people were sick of his act? Couldn't he have wised up before so that he could have helped the Eagles? Or is this just a function of Jerry Jones caving and throwing money at him? It certainly can't be just because he has a man-crush on Tony Romo, because when he played with McNabb, they had a pretty good relationship as long as they were winning. I'm still dying to see what happens when the Cowboys hit a rough patch. Not when they lose one game, but if they lose two or three in a row. Then we'll see if Owens really has reformed. The interesting thing about Owens' performance, as well as Randy Moss': no one covered them. NO ONE COVERED THEM!!!!! It's pretty easy to catch four touchdown passes when you're simply standing in the end zone with no one near you. I hope the Eagles decide to, I don't know, cover Randy Moss! That would be nice.
Turnovers: Washington 2, Cowboys 1. Final score: Dallas 28, Washington 23. Turnovers = loss? Pretty much, as Campbell's last interception came with less than two minutes left on a 3rd-down play where he had plenty of room to run and either get the first down or make it a very short 4th down. Run, Jason, run! 10-2.

God, the less said about the St. Louis-San Francisco "game," the better. I will say that I watched Torry Holt catch a pass for a first down in the middle of the field, turn upfield briefly, and then slide like a quarterback when confronted by three tacklers. The defenders weren't even about to tackle him, although if he had kept running, they would have. Holt could have easily gained three or four more yards, and maybe, if he tried, he could have eluded them. Instead he slid. He's a football player! I have never heard anyone call him on this (another reason why I should have a show on ESPN) except my friend Mike, who has a man-crush on Marc Bulger. Then, this morning, a radio sports talk guy said that Holt is tough to get a good hit on. He implied it was because he was soft, but didn't come out and say it. That's the closest I've ever heard anyone make an issue of it. Last week, Larry Fitzgerald of the Cardinals dragged about six Detroit Lions from about the 5-yard line into the end zone. I can't even conceive of Holt doing that. What a loser.
Turnovers: 49ers 2, Rams 0. Final score: St. Louis 13, San Francisco 9. Turnovers = loss? The last interception came in the end zone at the end of the game, so sure. 11-2.

I watched very little of the Chicago-Seattle game, but whenever I turned it on, I was amazed, again, by how much better the Seahawks look with Maurice Morris in there rather than Shaun Alexander. Sorry, Shaun - you're going to be looking for work next year.
Turnovers: Chicago 1, Seattle 1. Final score: Seattle 30, Chicago 23. Turnovers = loss? It's a wash.

The Cheaters ran up the score again, and although I do agree that it's the job of the defense to stop them, Bill Belicheat is really courting trouble with the way he runs up the score. It was 42-10 in the fourth quarter and Brady was still in the ball game. Belicheat went for it on fourth down and scored a touchdown, which, again, I'm not that bent out of shape about, but I can't believe he's willing to sacrifice a Super Bowl victory just to rub the NFL's nose in it. All it takes is one really pissed-off defender to not care what kind of fine he has to pay for breaking Brady's leg in a game that's well out of reach and Belicheat can kiss that ring goodbye. When it went to 42-7 with 9 minutes left in the third, did anyone really think the Bills were coming back? Give Brady the rest of the night off. Let Matt Cassel go for it on fourth down if you want. I hate myself for thinking this, but I hope Trent Cole breaks Brady's leg in the first quarter of next week's game. Not only is it the Eagles' only chance to win, but I bet the rest of the league would pony up the money to pay his fine.
Turnovers: Bills 2, Cheaters 0. Final score: New England 56, Buffalo 10. Turnovers = loss? Probably not, but the numbers say they do! 12-2.

Colin Cowherd, who's entertaining because he says so many idiotic things, said today that Vince Young will never win a Super Bowl because of the way he plays, but that's okay because he's entertaining and will win 60% of his games and win some playoff games. This is the same Colin Cowherd who loves what the Cheaters are doing because they play to win the game. So it's okay for the Cheaters to pile it on because they're paid to score, but it's not okay for the Titans to either change the way Vince Young plays or get rid of him because they'll never win a Super Bowl with him? What an idiot. Anyway, I watched hardly any of this game, but I did see a play early on where Young threw a deep ball to a receiver and put it right on his hands. The receiver dropped it. I don't know if Young will ever be a good quarterback, but lousy receivers aren't helping him!
Turnovers: Titans 3, Broncos 1. Final score: Denver 34, Tennessee 20. Turnovers = loss? Sure! 13-2.

That makes teams a pretty good 111-15 when they turn the ball over fewer times than their opponents. Someone on ESPN was bitching this week about boring offenses built "not to lose." I think it was Mortensen, and he went on to say that teams don't take chances, don't turn the ball over, and win 3-0. This is "boring," according to Mort. Well, sure, it's boring to Mort, but I wonder if the fans in Baltimore will give up that Super Bowl victory because their team was "boring." Not every team can have a rock-solid offensive line and Randy Moss running 50 yards downfield uncovered, you know!

So, back to Penn State, who blew a 24-7 lead, a chance to win 10 games in the season, and a New Year's Day bowl because their defense decided to start sucking at the wrong time and because whoever was calling plays for them needs to be fired. Here's the situation (I know you don't care, but indulge me): they're losing 35-31 but have two timeouts with about 1.50 left. They're at about the Michigan State 20, having gotten the ball with about 4 minutes left and driven down the field, mainly using their powerful running game, which the Spartans haven't been able to stop. So on first down, Anthony Morelli throws incomplete into the end zone. Okay. Not a great call, because if they score, MSU gets the ball back with three timeouts and plenty of time, with a Penn State defense that is phoning it in. Then they throw an idiotic screen pass in the center of field, which is incomplete. Even if they had completed it, the receiver had a guy draped all over him and wouldn't have gone far. Third down: another deep route, another incompletion. Fourth down (with still 1.20 left or so): another deep route, another incompletion. What the hell happened to the running game? Not only have you been ripping off huge chunks of yardage, you'll probably force the Spartans into taking timeouts and you'll probably score with very little time left. But no, the Lions had to go pass-happy. Why should the person who called those plays keep his job?

In other college football news, some team from Ohio beat some team from Michigan, prompting Lloyd Carr's resignation. The pundits have been talking about how he was a mediocre coach (Cowherd again) or, on the other end, a great coach (Kirk Herbstreit mostly, but his opinion seems to be the prevailing one). One thing they agree on is that Carr cared more about graduating players and making sure they were well-rounded individuals and less about beating the Buckeyes. But who makes winning such a huge priority? The same people on the network that is now praising him for caring about things other than football. Nice one, ESPN. Oregon lost last week as well, opening the door for a bunch of other schools to jump up, including Arizona State (if they can beat USC on Thanksgiving - watch the game on ESPN!). Some "experts" - Corso, I think - were talking about how great Oregon was and how they were the best team in the country. Can you really be a great team when you're so dependent on your quarterback? I love the Ducks, but like a lot of teams, if you're that dependent on one player, you're probably not that good. It's a lot more obvious in college football, where one great player (Vince Young, for instance) can take a team to #1, but a lot of NFL teams are too dependent on their quarterback. I hate bringing this back to the Eagles, but the Eagles often win without their back-up quarterback in there, because they play a game that isn't too reliant on McNabb. Take Brady off the Cheaters and see what happens. Anyway, the last two weeks of college football ought to be fun. I hope that Missouri beats Kansas, then loses to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game. I hope that West Virginia loses one of its last two. I hope LSU loses to Arkansas or to Tennessee/Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. I hope Arizona State beats USC and Arizona, because then they'll play for a National Championship. If Penn State and Oregon can't win the thing, I'd rather see ASU do it!

I hope everyone enjoyed their football weekend. And remember: skipping the NFL games, which feature one of the most loathsome teams in the league and the most overhyped quarterback ever, is your patriotic duty! Eat some bird, then watch the Sun Devils!

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Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

I don't understand your view on Brady, Greg. NE may be cheats, but they're also playing better than any team I've seen for a long time. If any NFL player deliberately injures Brady they should be kicked out of the sport.

If you want to stop the Patriots, stop them in the usual way. Why should they ease up in the fourth quarter? You play to win. I'd prefer the Browns to be smacked 70-0 by the Steelers than have them reach 50 and then start feeling sorry for us.

21/11/07 6:36 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

I'm rooting for someone to break Brady's legs, but not necessarily deliberately. I wouldn't be surprised if someone did, but when I say I want someone to break his leg, I hope it happens on a clean play. If someone does break his leg, however, the NFL would probably fine him, just on principle. I also wouldn't cry if someone did it on purpose.

My point is not that New England is running up the score, because everyone is professional, and I'm not going to cry if millionaire athletes get their butts kicked. My problem is that Belichick isn't playing to win, he's playing to humiliate. They should ease up because it's good sportsmanship, and he is going to push someone too far and ruin his team's chance to win the Super Bowl. Again, if he wants to call passing plays when he's winning 42-10, that's fine, but do it with your back-up quarterback. There's simply no reason for Brady and the starters to be in there in the fourth quarter when they're winning by 30 points. The other team isn't coming back, and if you push one of them, they will hurt Tom Brady. How great will the Cheaters look if they don't have the Golden Boy?

I think New England is quite fun to watch, actually. But only in the first half. I've turned on a couple of games in the second half when they've been up big and it's just kind of sad. A few weeks back Brady was getting all pissed off because his linemen jumped offsides down at the goal line. They were winning by five touchdowns or so. The Cheaters don't look like they're taking any joy from these blowouts; it just seems like they're scared of their coach getting mad at them if they don't win by 40 points.

I don't think anyone who breaks Brady's leg should be thrown out of the league, but I wouldn't mind a suspension for a while. Again, I know I'm acting bloodthirsty, but it's more anger at how stupidly Belichick is jeopardizing what could be a 19-0 season. All it takes is one hit. I do hope that Brady gets hurt, which is kind of a jerky move on my part, I admit, but that's just the hater in me speaking.

I understand your opinion about losing 70-0 or 50-0 and having the Steelers ease up. I'll have a chance to test that this Saturday, and the way the Browns are playing, your guys might be in that position in the playoffs. Boy, wouldn't that be cool if a 9-7 Browns team knocked of the Cheaters?

21/11/07 7:14 AM  
Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

There seems to be loads of Brady animosity around at the moment, which puzzles me as he seems like a true professional. I mean, he's not executing dogs or anything.

Belichick's arrogant, sure, but that's sport. If not humiliating the other team is important, why even kick the fieldgoal? It's still more points. Brady could just spike the ball and turn it over to the opposition.

I don't know if you saw the Rugby World Cup, but New Zealand came in as hot favourites. As a result, they walked their first few games. Scotland, disgracefully, put up their second team against them, and got hammered. Then, the first time NZ came across real opposition, they went out. Once France started coming back at them, the NZ players were oozing fear. Not fear of the French players, but the fear you get when you think you're going to walk something and then discover you're in a dogfight. Fear of looking ridiculous when you lose. I think Belichick, the best coach of his era, is keeping his best players on the pitch because these games are too easy and he knows at some point, the Patriots are going to be 4th and 1 with a minute left and need a touchdown. The more you practise, the better you get. Belichick is offsetting the risk to Brady against complacency.

I'd love to think the Browns could take the Patriots, but I can't see it just yet. There's something special going on in Cleveland - apart from Charlie Frye's swansong, every game has been a thriller - but we need another year or two. But if anyone can beats NE, I think it will be a team with a big offence that does it. Maybe Indy or Green Bay. Wouldn't you love to see Favre back in the superbowl?

Imagine Philadelphia are 45-0 up against Washington or Dallas with a minute left. Would you be content with a fieldgoal? We've had enough drubbings by Pittsburgh and Baltimore over the last decade I know I'd be crying if we didn't try for the touchdown.

21/11/07 8:43 AM  
Blogger Roger Green said...

I'm rooting for Philly to beat NE, or ANYONE to beat NE (Pittsburgh? The Giants?) but I'm not holding my breath.

Greg- Green Bay vs. Patriots in the Super Bowl. Who do you root for? If NE is undefeated, Don Shula and I will be rooting for GB.

DC- People hate Brady for all sorts of reasons, some because of talent, smugness, a child out of wedlock. Me? I can't explain it, but he just irritates me.

21/11/07 11:08 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

DC - well, if the Eagles are ahead 45-0 against a rival, I probably want them to destroy them. But, I will say when they went ahead 49-21 against the Lions earlier this year, I was ranting because Andy Reid kept McNabb in the game for a little while longer. That's the biggest thing that pisses me off about the Patriots - that Belichick leaves Brady and the first team in the game. If you want to throw deep with Matt Cassel, be my guest. I don't buy your contention that going for it on fourth-and-one when you're up by 30 is going to help you when you go for it on fourth-and-one in a tight ball game. The situation is far more nerve-wracking in a tight game. If they didn't get it against the Bills, no big deal and everyone is still relaxed.

My only point remains that I think Brady is going to get hurt, and that's on Belichick. Of course, Brady came out today and said the Cheaters want to "kill" teams, which is fine. I wish every team had that attitude. My issue with this is that teams don't seem to care that they're getting humiliated. This is part of the problem in sports these days - the players are all friends with each other, because of movement among the teams and the money they make that separates them from the "common people," so they don't hate players on the other teams. Back in the day, the Patriots wouldn't be able to do this because someone from another team would have beat up one of their players already. Maybe not Brady, but definitely Moss, who has shown a prediliction in the past to wuss out when he gets knocked around a bit. These days players just pick up their paycheck and don't care about being humiliated. That's a shame. That's probably why Belichick keeps Brady in all the time. He knows that the other players aren't angry enough to care. So yes, that's on the other teams, but as I mentioned, all it takes is one pissed-off player to end New England's Super Bowl chances.

God, that's a good question, Roger. Who do I root for? I wish some team would shut up the 1972 Dolphins, who probably aren't even one of the top 5 teams in NFL history, but that's still a tough choice. Let's hope it doesn't come to that! Let's get a Cleveland-Arizona Super Bowl! That would be awesome.

21/11/07 5:58 PM  
Blogger Disintegrating Clone said...

A Cleveland - Arizona superbowl. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Just dreaming...

22/11/07 3:24 AM  

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