Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Six Downs of Doom

Throwing 50 touchdowns isn't as easy as it looks. Just ask Tom Brady whose dream season has stalled of late. Don't misunderstand me, the record is not a big deal. As we've said all season, if Brady breaks it then he deserves congratulations. But it wasn't a big deal when Manning broke it (except to ESPN) and it won't be a big deal if Brady does it (except to ESPN). That said, it won't mean quite as much if Brady needs the 16th game to do it. Stay tuned.

I'm not going to comment or whine much about last night's Patriots - Ravens tilt. Improbable ending. You can't give any team six downs to get 10 yards. I also thought the flag on fourth and five was a questionable call at best. The last two weeks proved that the Pats are as beatable as any of the contending teams, especially outdoors. The D looked iffy. At one point, McGahee had Junior Seau turned completely around, facing the end zone. Seau looked like an elderly person lost in the mall. It was precious. Their day is coming. The potential for comedy just keeps going up.

I want to take a moment to point out that DZ and I were both shut out of our Fantasy Football playoffs thanks to the Ravens mammoth choke job in the fourth quarter. I had Kyle Boller and he had Willis McGahee. The Ravens got ultra-conservative and it cost them the game and us the playoffs. I ended up about 10 points short of the total points tiebreaker, while DZ needed less than 1 point more last night from McGahee. Unreal. On some level, though, I don't feel sorry for him. He was rooting for the Patriots to score that last touchdown so McGahee could get some garbage yards on the ensuing desperation drive. Just shameful.

DZ comments: Dr. Z had a good breakdown of this game. It pretty much mirrors exactly what I was writing Demond last night:

DZ (11:41:44 PM): it was weird on that drive
DZ (11:41:50 PM): EVERY TIME they blitzed
DZ (11:41:52 PM): it was inc
DZ (11:41:59 PM): every time they rushed 3 it was a completion
DZ (11:42:11 PM): it made no sense why they insisted on rushing 3

Last night's game was entertaining, but didn't tell us anything we didn't already know. Again, style points don't count, only wins. It'll be interesting to see if the Ravens get up for two straight games, or come out flat on Sunday night. Should be a great game.


colts girl said...

Sorry about your fantasy teams, guys.

It was an interesting game. Some of the calls were a little strange, for certain, but I can't say I can clearly remember many games where I haven't said, "that's a bad call," at least once or twice. It's just unfortunate when those calls cost the game for a team.

We had friends over (we ladies went shopping, and the guys put the kids to bed and then watched the first half of the game only to be joined by the gals for the second half), and none of us could tear ourselves from the screen. At least it was interesting.

In many ways, I kind of hope that the F-Pats continue thier winning streak until we knock them off the pedestal in January. Then again, I've never rooted so hard AGAINST a team in all my life...

Bob M. said...

Ditto. I enjoyed seeing Balt challenge the Pats, but really want them to be 18-0 in cold, snowy Foxborough when the Colts beat them.
I now think Addai should not run more than ten times a game until the playoffs, just to keep him injury-free and fresh. Because it may well take a running game like last night and some inclement weather to defeat NE. We can't count on 100+ penalty yards again.

Besides, there's something special about football in the snow.

Bob M. said...

Arrrgh, I meant 17-0, as the #1 seed would only have one game before the AFCCG.

Does this season have the potential to be more top heavy than ever, with POTENTIALLY a 16-0 team (never), a 15-1 team (a handful of times) and two 14-2 teams (never two in the same year that I am aware of) taking the top 4 seeds? Wow. So easy to be dazzled by all the Ws, it makes me wonder if a sleeper 6th seed is destined to ruin it all.... Cleveland? Minnesota? Okay, just kidding.

colts girl said...


Anonymous said...

Dr. Z is right, when you look at the highlights with Jaws gushing over how great Brady is, you see him on most throws stand back there forever without pressure and throw easy passes.

Tom Brady -- he can usually read a defense and throw it close to a receiver if you give him all day.


JC said...

A little objectivity would allow you to acknowledge that Brady is one of the best of all time eluding pocket pressure, i.e. the Madden Agility Drill that he did on drive #1 right before Watson dropped a sure fire TD. About 22 other starting QB's get sacked right there.

Plus...he made a living of throwing in traffic back in 2003 and 2004.

Bob M. said...

I agree with JC and would extend that to Manning as well. It's funny that two guys who are known to not be "mobile" QBs simply because they do not run a lot, are phenomenally mobile in moving around within the pocket.

They don't have to be Bob Hayes out there, just have a sense of where the pressure is and be able to take 2-5 steps in the right direction, keep their feet ready to get set, then have a quick release when needed. That's one of the biggest hurdles for the super athlete QBs--when they COULD be moving in the pocket to save their rumps and set up a pass, they tuck and run instead. They always have and it has always worked at lower levels. While it converts a few third downs (Mr. Young, I am looking at you), long term and globally, it makes them a less effective QB.

Brains first, arm second, feet third.

JC said...

I hate the Steelers.

Hate them.

I don't hate the Colts. I don't even dislike the Colts. I respect them as a worthy adversary a former division punching bag.

But I HATE the Steelers. I hope we knock some auto glass and motorcycle parts out of Big Ben's hair this Sunday.