Monday, November 23, 2009

The Redskins aren't as bad as you think

Washington D.C isn't normally recognized as a championship-starved city like Cleveland or Detroit.  But the reality is, it has been one of the the worst major sports cities for awhile now.  The last championship to come through DC was in the early 90's.  Even Cleveland got to the NBA finals 5 years ago.  The fact is, people in DC could care less how the other teams do as long as the Redskins do well.

Redskins fans are some of the most die hard and loyal following out there.  Their loyalty is truly being put to the test with all the terrible front office decisions made by Darth Snyder.  Still they keep coming out to support their team.  People can make fun of the Redskins all they want, but I really don't think they are that bad.

The Redskins have four major problems.  They have an inexperienced, below average coach in Jim Zorn.    They have an owner that cares about dollar signs more than the product on the field.  Their offensive line is terrible, both because of injuries and because they refuse to draft anyone or pick up anyone in free agency.  Finally, they have a quarterback that isn't bad but isn't good either. Jason Campbell is the defintion of average, and in today's game average won't cut it.

This may seem insurmountable, but I don't think it is.  Look, even with all these problems the Redskins almost beat the NFC East division leaders yesterday without both their running backs. Not to mention the two interceptions they missed,  and the two field goals missed by Suisham.  Cowboys fans really shouldn't gloat after that win.  I really think any game that ends with that low a score shouldn't even be counted. 

The Redskins defense is one of the top 10 in the league, if not better.  They made a mistake dumping all of their money on a player who barely sees the field, but I really like the D as a whole. Don't get me started on Jim Zorn's decision to kick a field goal at the end of the first half.  Losing teams kick field goals in that situation.  You can say what you want about Belicheck's call on 4th and 2 last week, but at least he has the balls to try to win games.

The saddest part about this Redskins season is that the NFC East is so mediocre.  This was the year the Redskins could've made some noise.  When will they realize that you can bring in all the high price free agents you want, but if you don't have a good coach, quarterback, and offensive line it is all for not.  This Redskins team is good enough to be 8-8 this year, but they will probably finish 5-11.  Redskins fans are used to the saying wait till next year, and unfortuantely they will have to again.

In other news, the Patriots beat the hated Jets. Now Rex Ryan is complaining that the Patriots "disrespected them" by throwing a deep ball late in the game.  I'm sorry Rex, but weren't you the person that talked smack about the Patriots early in the season.  This is the NFL, you get paid to beat people up. Brett Favre continues to defy the odds.  I still dislike him  for all he has done the past few years, but the guy can still play.  He fell into an ideal situation and has made the best of it.  It's weird to me that Jacksonville is 6-4.  You can't always judge a team by their record, because I'm pretty sure the Redskins could beat the Jags if they were both healthy.  Thanks for listening to me ramble.  Keep your head up Skins fans.  Zorn is only coach for 6 more games!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Belichick made the right call

As Patriots fans we live by the phrase, "In Belichick we trust." Why wouldn't we? He has three Super Bowl wins in four appearances, and has been the leader of the most dominant team of the decade. Everyone is calling his decision to go for it on 4th and 2 idiotic, and that is understandable. But, would those same people be calling it gutsy if they had converted that 4th down?  That is what I always get so frustrated about with both the media and the fans. Their opinions often change based on the result.

My first reaction was the same as many of yours. Are they really going for it? Or, well they must just be trying to get them to jump offsides. I was crushed. We had dominated the Colts for most of the game and now our chance at home field was gone. This morning on my drive to work, I realized that this was really the only call he could have made. Does anyone think Manning wouldn't have driven 60 yards for a touchdown? He had two drives that quarter of equal or more yards, one which took less than 2 minutes. Sure, one of those drives was aided by a suspect pass interference call, but I think Belichick knows his defense well enough to know when they are out of gas.

Also, they had one timeout plus the two minute warning to work with. The Patriots were down  two defensive linemen and their best rushing linebacker Tully Banta-Cain. If you add that to the fact that Manning has gotten to the point where he always scores touchdowns in these situations, you can see why Belichick might have made the decision he did.  Would it have been more difficult than going the 30 yards? Of course. But I still think it was the right call for that situation.

Though I defend Belichick's decision to go for it on 4th and 2, he made plenty of other mistakes in the game.  His first mistake was using up all of his timeouts too early. Even though I think Faulk did come up short, it would've been a play to challenge, and without the timeouts he did not have that luxury.  Also, I don't understand why they called a timeout on first down after the kick off.  Lastly, though Kevin Faulk is probably my favorite player in the league, why not go to Wes Welker on that 4th and 2? He was doing basically anything he wanted the entire game and is the best slot receiver in the league.  Sometimes I  think Belichick is over confident and just expects the chips to fall in his favor every time.

What makes Belichick so great is that he is willing to take chances, but sometimes these risks backfire. I understand both sides of the debate, but at the end of the day it is easy to make opinions after the fact. The Patriots are still going to win the division and be a 2 or 3 seed in the playoffs. They aren't scared of the Colts at all, but I will admit Manning is in Belichick's head. Belichick showed the ultimate respect to Manning by going for it on 4th and 2. Peyton showed how great of a quarterback he is by virtually winning the game by himself, with the absence of a running game. I think he has developed into the equal of Brady in terms of being clutch, at least in the regular season.

The bottom line is this; Belichick made the call and has to live with the consequences.  The game is over so there is no use in mulling over what could have been. If you can't make 2 yards, maybe you don't deserve to win the game.  These two teams will most likely meet again in the playoffs on the same field, and I fully expect the Patriots to win that game. Remember hate him or love him, Belichick always will get your attention.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Down with the haters

I've always been amazed how intelligent people become ignorant when their sports teams come up in conversation.  Sure, some of these people are just dumb in general, but a vast majority are hard working, decent individuals in every other aspect of life. However, as soon as their rival team comes up in discussion it's,”I hate this team" or " I hope this guy gets injured." Whatever happened to just rooting for your team and enjoying the game?

Yesterday I was at a bar watching the Patriots game. The bar also happened to be hosting the Miami Dolphins DC game watch event. By the way, Dolphins fans are really obnoxious. When they weren't celebrating a 4 yard gain, they were cursing at the Patriots players, and even clapping when a Patriots player would go down injured. Look, you can dislike a team all you want, but celebrating or wishing injury on someone else is out of line. Also, what does yelling and screaming at the refs on TV do anyway? It just makes you look like an idiot.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Don't blame the Yankees, Blame Baseball!

I can't hear you Royals fans!

As a Red Sox fan, seeing the Yankees hold up their 27th World Series title last night was not the most pleasant experience of my life. However, they need to be congratulated for a great season and a great postseason. Let's stop with all the, "well the Yankees bought the championship" complaints. You know what, maybe they did, but so would your team if they could. I hate when people claim that their team would never do what the Yankees did, or that the Yankees have no soul. The truth is they would love their team to do the same thing if given the opportunity. This is not the Yankees fault, but baseball's fault for not having a salary cap.

If you are a Red Sox fan you have nothing to complain about. First off, you have the second biggest payroll in the league, and assembled a team full of corporate robots similar to Yankees teams of the past. You have the opportunity to win a championship every year and have won two in the last five years. Yet you complain that the Yankees are bad for baseball. No, the system baseball has in place is bad. When you have the Marlins with a $36 million payroll and the Yankees with a $200 million dollar payroll, it just doesn't add up. The argument could be made that some owners have the money but choose not to spend it, and that is a valid point. But the fact remains if there was a salary cap, teams like the Reds, Pirates, and Royals would feel like they have a chance.