Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Here and There...

Does anyone know who's good around here anymore? With the NFC East getting beat down by the likes of St. Louis, Arizona, and Cleveland, it's anybody's guess where the power lies in the NFL. All of a sudden the AFC South looks a LOT tougher (3-0 on Sunday), with three of the four teams back to .500 and better, with the Titans the last remaining undefeated team. This season is weird because it doesn't feel like playing on the road in the playoffs would be that scary. Whoever comes out of the AFC East won't be elite, and other than Pittsburgh is there a road destination in the AFC that scares you in January?

I'll be watching the tape today and preparing for 18 Plays (in whatever form it takes), in the meantime, here's some links:

Kuharsky breaks down Manning

Phil B repeated the Ugoh rumors in his chat this week. Everyone says Charlie Johnson played really well this week; I'll judge for myself shortly. It's going to take more than one good game to convince me that he's the answer. Ugoh's play on the field has been solid, but if he doesn't strap it up every week, what good does it do us?

Chris Carter says we can't run, and Shannon Sharpe wants to change his answer, I'm betting.

Big Blue Shoe and I agree to disagree

Scouts Inc is totally nuts. In a list of possible trades, they want Indy to give up a 4th round pick for Justin Fargas. What? If Addai had blown out his knee, maybe. But to give up a 4th round pick for what would be a third string running back for a team that can barely run the ball as it is seems insane. If the Colts were to deal (which they won't becuase that's not how things work in the NFL), it would be for a DT. That may take the cake for stupidest article since a Scouts Inc guy said the Colts were taking a huge risk by cutting Corey Simon.

Doug Farrar of FO looks at 'true value' by rushing title leaders. Hit the 'view image' button to see the graphic. Edge came out as having the two best seasons of any rushing leader in the last 10 years.

Gregg Easterbrook talks a lot with some football related...never mind, I'm bored just writing this.

Don Banks can't figure out who's good any more than I can


Shake'n'bake said...

From my run through watching the OL I didn't really see any difference in the number of mistakes and good plays between any of the linemen. They all had their mistakes and their good moments.

zac said...

BBS has been banging this drum for quite some time now, ever since we lost that first game. There is no evidence to support the notion that Manning's knee cost us that first game or any of them since. If you want to blame a body part on the team, blame the hands of the WRs or the brains of the coaching staff for that particular loss.

Honestly, its making his stuff nearly unreadable. He has made reference to this "controversy" in many articles, including some that had nothing to do with that topic.

Shake you do a lot of good work, anyone can see you put honest time and effort into your posts and articles and I appreciate that. You also are willing to have your point of view challenged and even change your mind if necessary. I wish I could say the same about BBS.

Just one guy's opinion, FWIW.

God help us all if we miss the playoffs (HA!) or a bye by a single game.

Shake'n'bake said...

First of all thanks,

I'm having to change my mind right now with what's going on with Ugoh. I really bought that it was the injury and didn't believe he could have gotten himself benched without off the field trouble. Every week he sits makes it less and less likely that he's sitting because he's hurt.

Even if he moves back into the lineup now we'll never now whether it really was the injury or if they needed to give him a wakeup call to get his head straight.

jc said...


Since when are you qualified to break down game film? Im willing to wager you know nothing about gap assignments, stunt blitzes, MIKE backers or anything else required to give an informed opinion on what happens on any given play.

I think you suck.

Shake'n'bake said...

I think I can understand what an individual player does on a play.

But no, you are right. None of us are even qualified to watch the games. They shouldn't even broadcast them. Just let the experts tell us what happened.

Back to being serious, the Colts D makes it easy. They are as vanilla and unvarying as any team in the league.

Shake'n'bake said...

Oh and I'm sure Merrill Hoge understands all of that stuff. It didn't keep him from being dead wrong about Marvin and Freeney.

Anonymous said...

I was only kiddin man I like reading your stuff.

I think CHFF called Hodge a "coin flipping monkey" last year. That cracked me up.

Tampa is sick.


Westside Rob said...

I'm glad that you aren't letting the dreadful play of your own team keep you from adding spice to our lives here at 18to88.

I can't say that if Manning had gone down for the season and my team was as in bad as shape as the Patriots appear to be that I'd be able to muster the energy to spend as much time on the team. Maybe that makes me a bandwagoner or maybe it means I'm too emotionaly invested in the win/losses of he team, but regardless props to you.

The annual NE/Colts game just won't be the same this year. Anyone know what AFC Division we play next season? Because if it isn't the AFC East we might not be playing NE for the first time in what seems like 100 years.

Shake'n'bake said...

Colts play the whole AFC East next year. We'll still get out Pats-Colts game.


jc said...

No Rob, it just goes to show how blatantly wrong DZ and Demond (wow big news) were about the value of #12.

See when you root for a team that's been run virtually by the Parcellian coaching tree for a decade...you come to appreciate certain things about football more than other.

#1 is the bend don't break defense. The Patriots have historically given up lots of yards between the 20's but not a lot of points. It's frustrating to watch, but wins games and championships.

The only problem is....your D is on the field a long time. Unless of course you have a certain hall of famer banging out first downs and long, morale crushing TD drives against the best teams in the league.

Best defense is a good offense. Keeps ya rested.

#2. Field Position. Even when we had Doug Gabriel, a 50 year old Troy Brown and Jabar Gaffney as our 123...we won games because we moved the ball enough to never give teams a short field.

We moved the ball because Brady is the best player on Earth and makes the clowns around him better, not the other way around.

JC said...

And Shake:

Since you link to all things relevant....can you link me to where Reche Caldwell, Deion Branch and David Givens are?

Thanks bro.

Deshawn Zombie said...

JC, the Pats are still 3-2 and possibly going to make the playoffs without Brady. Let's wait until the end of the year before we judge the Pats. SD was playing at home and fired up. Lots of teams would have lost that game.

Can we live in a world where the Rays are champs? What will Philly fans do if their team loses to Tampa in the World Series? There might be riots. If Beckett was ok, we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Shake'n'bake said...

Caldwell missed the final cut with the Rams and hasn't been signed anywhere else.

Branch came back from his ACL injury and injured his heel. He'll be back to reinjure himself again soon.

Givens was cut by the Titans in the offseason and is unsigned.

no links they aren't fun to put into the comments. Trust me or spend 4 minutes to Google them.

jc said...

Dude we had goal to go at the one inch line and turned over on downs.

5 plays later SD scored.


Demond Sanders said...

Gotta agree. It's way too early to bury the Pats. When they make the playoffs some clown (probably me) will say that Brady isn't as important to his own team as Manning.

Also, I love when the Marlins, D-Backs, and Rockies play well in October. It shows everyone what a stupid idea expansion was, generally speaking.

Bob M. said...

Did you really say the best defense is a good offense? I'll assume that's why the Super Bowl banners for 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005 etc are hanging in Lucas Oil Stadium right about now. And all those SB banners from the 70s/80s in San Diego. And just a few years ago in KC, and even the 2007 one in your neck of the woods.

A more accurate statement might be that the best team has some balance. NE's offense did not beat the Colts in the reg season or playoffs in 2003/2004.

I agree with your point about a solid O giving a D rest.

JC said...

Maybe I didn't emphasize the clutchness necessary to validate that equation.

What were those 6, 8 and 11 minute Brady led drives in the second half in 2004? Or something ridiculous like that?

And the 99 Rams and 00 Ravens were, respectively, the best offensive and defensive teams of their generations. I suppose even cliches have exceptions.


I dont want his fucking sympathy. What I REALLY want is a probation violation for assaulting him. Only an agenda-driven hack with nothing else to write about would write that piece.

Deshawn Zombie said...

It wasn't strong, was it? I used to enjoy Easterbrook, but any more I find him rather droning.

Shake'n'bake said...

I used to like Easterbrook before I found FO and the 18to88/Stampede Blue community. He was writing about football more intelligently than the usual ESPN stuff I watched (that I can't stand now)

Shake'n'bake said...

The PacMan is suspended just to pile on the Cowboys. That's Romo, Felix Jones and PacMan out for the next month.

Westside Rob said...

I guess I'm in the minority that still like Easterbrook, though I have to say that I skim some of the less interesting sections. My background was Engineering/Science so the geek in me likes some of his Science related tangents. I hate the state of our government (BOTH parties) so that appeals to me. He does drone on some but because of the way he organizes the column it's easy to skim past the stuff that doesn't interest. To me his column is more general interest with "Some Football Like Substance" buried within.

I don't think ANYONE on this site has EVER said that Brady isn't important to his team. At most this site and the primary contributors have stated that Manning/Brady are 1A and 1B and the order of those is undeterminable because winning football games is not reliant on a single person. Would the Colts be 3-2 without Manning (if they were playing NE's schedule?) probably not but you don't know so you can't compare. They are both great. Probably the greatest QBs to play in the Live Ball era. Case closed who cares which one is marginally better then the other if at all.

BTW: Shake is also right that balance is generally the key. Your two exceptions in my mind aren't really that exceptional. Everyone forgets that the Rams had a pretty decent Defense that year, and though the Ravens didn't have a great/explosive offense they did control the clock and field position and rarely if EVER turned the ball over which are ALMOST as important as points, but particularly relevant when you have one of the top defenses of all time.

Westside Rob said...

It looks like my concerns about Ugoh are looking more and more likely per the Phil B quote. I'm going to be really pissed if he gives up on this team because he clearly has the physical tools to excel at that position. That would also be the 2 of the top 3 picks from that draft both off the team for "mental" reasons. Could turn out to be one Polians bad draft years (everyone has to have a bad day now and again). Though if Gonzo continues to improve and contribute you still have to give Bill a passing grade. It's much more forgivable to bust out on a 2nd and 3rd round pick then on a 1st rounder.

Shake'n'bake said...

Ugoh basically is the 2008 first rounder.

buzz said...

Per Profootballtalk colts dealt for John McCargo from the Bills. McCargo certainly has some upside but has hardly been a big contributor for the Bills. But I imagine he will step in and play well if Polian believed that much in him.

Bob M. said...

Who can tell me anything about McCargo?
aside from the fact that he has a cool name....

buzz said...

On Brady and the Pats there is certainly a difference going from a pro bowler to a guy who hasnt started a game at a level higher than high school. If the Pats would have had any intelligence in the first place they would have had a replacement level caliber qb ready and would have been an easy playoff team. The fact that the pats defense has gotten old and slow like we predicted, Moss has started to give up on the team, and the pats have the only qb in the league who hadnt even started in college doesnt make brady any more valuable. They would have lost to at least one of miami and san diego with or without him with their defense playing like junk. Brady has a whopping 4-6 career record when his defense gives up 30 points since 2002. Manning has had to fight through 1.5x's and has an 8-7 record.

Westside Rob said...

Yeah Shake your right we did trade our 2008 number one to draft Ugoh in the 2nd so he's nearing that 1st round bust rating if he doesn't pull it together. I still suppose that the groin injury is a situation that doesn't prevent him from practicing but is hurt his strength and mobility, but wouldn't the Colts just say that if it was true (OH nevermind it's an injury they don't give us full dislosure on that...)

Anonymous said...

I, on the other hand, think Brady ranks as almost as good as Kurt Warner.

I thought the FO article on rushing yards vs good defenses was completely clueless. Edge was solid for the Colts, but he picked up a lot of yardage because teams were playing nickel, dime and quarter in a desperate attempt to stop the pass. Even more important is the fact that we all know that a major determinant in rushing yardage is having the lead in the 4th Q. And we won't even bother with the fact that the other 10 guys on the offense have some influence on the yardage gained.