Monday, January 22, 2007

OBSERVATIONS FROM NFL CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND


Watching the conference championship games yesterday was hardly as difficult as I thought it might be. Sure, I thought of how exciting, how incredibly electrifying it might have been down at The Vault last night. When the Colts won I had visions of purple and silver confetti tumbling from a snowy Baltimore sky. I had flashbacks to Super Bowl XXXV when that same confetti fell from a Tampa sky at Raymond James Stadium.

It wasn’t meant to be this year.

I must admit, I enjoyed the games particularly the AFC Championship. And while the outcome wasn’t necessarily comforting I accepted it and justified it by concluding that Peyton Manning earned it. He works extremely hard to achieve what he has and such efforts are deserving of the spoils. Besides, I’m tired of the Patriots winning.

Having said that, GO BEARS!

Some of my observations from yesterday….

* Rex Grossman is clueless. Back to back timeouts? It’s very hard to believe that he is the quarterback of a Super Bowl team. The Bears defense isn’t as good as the Ravens…not even that close in my opinion. Arguably Grossman isn’t as good as Kyle Boller. If the Ravens were in the NFC, could they represent that conference in Super Bowl XLI with Boller behind center?

* I’ll take Troy Aikman as an analyst over Phil Simms any day. Hey Phil, it’s now ok to remove your lips from Tom Brady’s butt. Boomer Esiason, you are now free to do the same and Jim Nantz, you can stop batting your eyes at Peyton Manning. What’s up with all of these man crushes?

* I didn’t think that was a fumble by the Saints return man Michael Lewis.

* Reggie Bush cheapened his touchdown by pointing at Brian Urlacher. I’m sure Urlacher will get his turn one day Reggie when you are attempting to catch a pass crossing the middle of the field.

* Thomas Jones was drafted in the same draft as Jamal Lewis and looks so much fresher and spry. He certainly sees the field better than Jamal. Interestingly that freshness has to do with workload. Jones has 1,349 career carries. Lewis has 1,822. That’s close to two full seasons of work.

* Chicago’s WR Bernard Berrian was chosen four picks ahead of Devard Darling. Darling has 2 career catches for 5 yards and 0 TD’s. Berrian had 5 catches for 85 yards and a score yesterday.

* Did you know that Robbie Gould was with the Ravens during Summer Camp 2005? He was signed to the practice squad after final cuts and eventually waived by the Ravens on September 27, 2005.

* I think all four teams yesterday ran a draw and a screen pass at some point. Are they illegal in Baltimore?

* Do you think every offensive line coach in the league will now teach their players to stand up and point at a defensive player every time they cross the line of scrimmage? The Colts’ linemen certainly are good at picking up a free 5 yards a couple of times a game. What a bogus rule!

* If the refs don’t call holding on the Colts O-Line when they play the Patriots, will they ever call it again during these playoffs? Richard Seymour was tackled from behind by Ryan Lilja and nothing was called.

* Assante Samuel is really, really good.

* What happened to the Patriots front 7 in the second half yesterday? 32 points the Pats allowed in the second half.

* When the Patriots cut Reche Caldwell next year, he certainly has a future in the next Star Trek or Star Wars movie. Tom Brady sure could use a stud wide out.

* Did you notice that Jim Plunkett during the presentation of the Lamar Hunt trophy to Jimmy Irsay almost said Baltimore Colts? How great would that have been? Nope, not over it I guess...

* Hey Shannon Sharpe, ease up!

* Hey, what do they do with all the pre-made Championship hats for the losing team?

It was a very good year for the Ravens and in that we can take solace. Yet we all know from observing those games yesterday, it could have been so much better.

3 comments :

Anonymous said...

Not only did the Pats show how to exploit the Colts D and confuse them by running draws and screens and mixing up the pass and run, but Bellichek showed how to coach when he went for it on 4th and 6 in Indy territory. There is no doubt in my mind that Billick would have punted there. That play led them to a scoring drive to go up 14-3 which led to the Manning pick. You also saw what an NFL team can do before halftime in the Saints game in a drive that put them back in the game. Had Billick been more agressive last week (I can remember him punting on 4th down once in Indy territory and the ball landing in the endzone for a touchback), I believe the Ravens would have won the game. But instead of coaching to win, he coached not to lose.

Anonymous said...

i read in SI a while back that they donate the losing team's championship clothing to causes in Africa, and such.

Tony Lombardi said...

That is nice to hear about the losing teams' swag. I'll try and find a link to that and post it...