Friday, January 4, 2008

Endangered Species

No, this post has nothing to do with the Colts or the Pats (and everyone just clicked away...). Instead, it's a commentary on why I'm rooting for Pittsburgh tomorrow. I realize that the Jags in theory could beat New England, or at least beat them up some. I don't care. I've said all along that I don't fear the Pats, and I really think this season needs to be about the Colts and Pats. I can't foresee Tennessee winning on Sunday, and I can't see Norv Turner winning consecutive playoff games. This leaves the Pats to take on the Jags/Steelers. Sure, I think Jacksonville might be a better game (though I doubt it because of the stiffs the Jholes play in their secondary). Even so, I'm rooting for the Steelers. Why?

One simple reason: a loss would destroy the Jags as a franchise. They've started to pick up some momentum with their fan base, and actually managed to sell out a game or two late in the year. The Jhole fans (both of them) believe. The Jags finally have their long sought love from ESPN. And now? A win would validate much of that. If they were to give NE any kind of a game at all, the franchise would start to gain credibility. I don't want that to happen. A loss and all the goodwill the Jags have banked would go flying out the window. A loss means more blackouts next year and an impending move to L.A. Then the Colts can finally get my dream division of Indy, Tennessee, St. Louis and Houston.

The Jags have to win tomorrow, or they kill their franchise.

Oh, and there's one more reason. I hate the Jaguars. I'm not sure who I would even root for if they were playing New England. That's how bad I hate the Jaguars.

Links:

WAY TO GO LENNY P! He not only put Reggie Wayne and Bob Sanders on his All-Pro team, but put GARY BRACKETT on as well. Now, that's great to see. We love Gary Brackett here at 18to88.com, and that just makes our day.

FO's Playoff Index takes a look at the statistical categories most relevant to playoff success.

Michael David Smith ranks the playoff quarterbacks. David Garrard at #4? This sad reality helps explains why this is a two-team league.

John Clayton says that Manning and Moore have changed football.

CHFF thinks the Colts have about a 20% chance of winning in NE. That seems very low to me. But since they have no reason to say that, I suppose their opinion is worth the same as any other in the din.

Demond Sanders: Well said. You really loathe the Jaguars. I'm so proud.

9 comments:

John said...

Dude, seriously, how can you hate a team who doesn't beat you very often? Fine, hate the insufferably smug Pats, but the Jags? Really?

Besides, what if the Jags lose badly enough to cost Del Rio his job, but not badly enough to move? Then we're stuck with a good team with a sane (and presumably more competent) coach in our division.

We've been lucky that Fisher has had such an awful team to work with for so long. If you're going to hope for something, hope that Fisher jumps ship to Miami.

Deshawn Zombie said...

Wow, Fisher to Miami would be sweet indeed. A team winning a lot isn't a good reason to hate them. I rooted against the Bulls in the 90s, but never really hated them. A team has to have something else to really annoy me. The Jags are irritating. I hate hearing how tough they play the Colts even though Indy is 5-1 in the last six against them and Jax has only ever won 3 games. I hate Vic's stupid smugness. I have grown to just totally dislike them in every way.

colts girl said...

I don't know that they would suffer so badly as to move the franchise. Yeah, it would descrease their fan base quite a bit, but probably not to the point of the team having to move.

I'd rather see them go to NE, beat the bejeebers out of the F-Pats and still lose. Like John said above, we don't want it to be a situation where they realize what a dufus Del Rio is, fire him, and get a competent (or even marginally competent) coach.

It is interesting that you have such a deep despise for them...

Deshawn Zombie said...

That franchise is hanging by a thread, and I want to see it cut.

jc said...

DZ:

I actually agree with something you wrote. It's pretty logical to assume that the Jags inability to cover in the secondary put them at a significant disadvantage against us.

It's too bad the National Media is so obsessed with picking "sleepers" that they neglect to mention it.

The Jags don't match up with us, period. Neither does Pitt if you ask me.

Now that the playoffs are here, I will concede that I'm petrified of the Colts. I remember before the AFC Championship in '03 when I puked in the parking lot out of nerves. I couldn't even hold a beer down for the first quarter.

We all know how that turned out, but I'm starting to feel the same way. The difference between that Patriot team and this one was one player.

Ty Law.

Ty Law - and this is addressed in 88 Reasons - was totally sick. Even your boy Marvin said after the '04 loss, something to the tune of "I had one hall of famer on me during one snap, then another waiting for me at safety". He changed games, and seasons, on his own. A shutdown corner is the second most important position in football outside of QB.

Now, Ellis Hobbs is a GLARING WEAKNESS. He got burned by Anthony Gonzalez a couple times if I recall correctly. Sant is solid, but our secondary lacks the big-play talent that it once had, like when Sant was a nickel corner and not the featured guy.

With that said, and I'm glad you mentioned this, the edge pressure could mean the difference in the game. The game back in November was pretty much dominated by your ends in the first half.

Once we went to max protect, Tom had time to throw, but not the same arsenal down field into routes.

I don't think Addai will have the same kind of day. I'm sure he'll be efficient, but we're gonna make Peyton beat us (as ridiculous as that sounds).

Anyhow, it's looking like the coolest championship game ever.

Enjoy the bye.

- J

Bob M. said...

DZ, you sound like Dean Wormer: Somebody has to put their foot down. And that foot is me.

Wow, a lot of hate going Jax's way. Ridicule, I can see. Scorn, sure. Laughter, sometimes. Even pity. But they just don't merit hatred in my book. That could change, someday. Your dream scenario could happen, or not, and I wouldn't even notice.

To paraphrase another movie (Lion in Winter, 1968) when the middle prince complains to his parents about being passed over in discussions about who gets to be king.
Geoffrey: Nobody mentions Geoff when they mention the crown. Why is that?
King Henry: Mention? I don't think of you at all.

That's about how I feel about Jax and Hou, really. Not worth the effort.

DZ said...

Kitten lovers! All of you! The truth is I have overstated my Jags loathing a tad for effect. My main point is that the future of the franchise really does hang in the balance in this game. The Jags failed to get the blackout lifted 3 times. Their fan support is tenuous at best. I think it would be best for the Colts in the long run to have a real division rival to go with the Titans. Rivalrys make football interesting, and while geography isn't always key, it certainly helps. STL would be a great addition to the AFC South.

JC-I'm glad you finally agree with something we said, but we've been saying this same stuff for weeks. The reason why we don't sweat the loss to the Pats earlier in the year is because of the coverage problems you describe. In the second half of that game, the Colts were running a one reciever set. Not really, but Morehead was freaking useless and the Pats knew it. They could double Wayne and not sweat it. Meanwhile, Clark was playing with a concussion which would force him to miss the next two games. It's true Harrison played him well, but who knows if Clark even knew what city he was in at the time. The question is will getting Ugoh, Harrison, Gonzalez and two LBs offset the loss of Freeney. It's going to be close, which should make for an epic game.

Joel said...

Wow, it's kind of amazing, but both my coworker Tim (another rabid Colts fan) and I said this week that we are very close to hating the Jags more than the Pats. Now you say it too. Nice.

Bob M. said...

I understand that Jack Del Rio just announced he is leaving the Jags and moving out of the City of Jacksonville.

This is expected to have two affects: (1) It increases the average IQ in Jax by about 10 points and (2) it halves the average game attendance.

Kidding. Borrowed punchlines from two old jokes for that.

Okay, just a thought on Jags going west and ending up in the NFCW. They would shred the division as it is currently composed and eat them alive. Also, Paul Allen, a neighbor of mine (if a mile away and across the street on the waterfront constitutes "neighbor") spent about $10 million to get a public funding issue on the statewide ballot so he wouldn't have to pay for Qwest Field all by himself (after the local three counties all rejected it--statewide voters approved it in the election by the narrowest of margins). Smart guy spent $10M to save about $250M. What will he spend to keep the Jags out of his division? I can see Goodell looking good at the bridge of his new 400 ft yacht--Allen has two of the ten biggest private yachts in the world--why not share the wealth to keep your team in the weakest div around? He'll spend enough to make Dan Snyder (whose team would also be negatively affected, at least this year) look like Ebeneezer Scrooge.