Saturday, January 14, 2006Seattle Joins the Party...
...of teams that have realized what it feels like to win in the postseason. The 20-10 victory over Washington was quite impressive considering the Seahawks got an failing effort from its return team and lost Shaun Alexander early in the contest. Matt Hasselbeck is the undisputed leader of the team.
Meanwhile prepare for a week of people questioning Shaun Alexander's heart. I can say that the concussion probably saved him from a bad outing. From the beginning Alexander looked like he wasn't in sync.
But so be it, the NFC Championship will go through the Emerald City.
The Inside Stunt #2
However before we discuss the postseason let's talk about my favorite time -- the coaching replacement.
-- It looks like the Texans will hire Gary Kubiak as soon as the Broncos are eliminated and it's a long time coming for John Elway's former backup. If you are a Texan fan, this is good news for two reasons.
1) He's an excellent quarterback coach and should help David Carr reach his full potential.
2) He's not Dom Capers.
-- Brett Favre was the last person to sign off on Green Bay hiring Mike McCarthy and that's a good thing because if you didn't there's a good chance you got fired [Wire].
As for the fans, they aren't very enamored. Disappointed maybe, but they should realize that Green Bay is a shit town that no one wants to live in and just be thankful the team isn't in L.A. [Appleton Post-Crescent]
And since when did the guy who threw 30 interceptions get a say? Is Aaron Brooks placing input on the Saints job? Favre should be thankful the Packers want him back much like choosing who cocaches a team he'll be gone from after 2006.
-- Good news for me. The Jets will most likely offer their head coaching job to Patriots defensive coordinator Eric Mangini and he will accept. [NYDN]
The bad news: Mike Tice is the backup plan. Good lord. Oh well things could only go downhill after getting a pick for Herman Edwards.
Ok, onto the playoffs.
-- I like Seattle today. That sounds strange because I constantly make fun of them and its well-deserved because it's a rare day when a defending division champion has a WORSE schedule than they did the year before and if this was college basketball their RPI rating would be someone in the upper 300s.
However, I know when a team is tired of being kicked around by the media and...hell by other teams. Seattle seems like the team that has gotten sick of getting beaten up and they probably want to let people know that they can beat a quality team (not sure if I can count that Giants victory anymore) and that their secondary isn't as atrocious as I think.
Overall the NFC has taken a beating this year, winning that conference is the equivalent of winning the Mountain West in college football. However, the abuse probably shouldn't reach the Seahawks because of their schedule. It's not their fault.
BTW, what happens to Shawn Alexander after this playoff run? Will they franchise him again? I understand their apprehension to signing him long term, he's kind of a pain in the ass and the fact that he tanked it in the playoffs last year out of spite for not winning the rushing title means he should never be trusted.
Still he's the NFL's MVP. If the Seahawks don't want him to be so concerned with the stats sheet sign him.
Either way, the Redskins offense sucks and Southeast Jerome's shoulder is about to fall off...Seattle 35-14.
-- If the Broncos don't win today the Patriots will be the first team to three-peat. Either they will face a Steelers team they own or a Colts team that will try too hard and I've already given you my thoughts on the challenge that the NFC poses.
That being said there's something about that Patriots team that Bill Belichick is trying to hide. He didn't want to face Pittsburgh in the first round in hopes that it could put off an eventual matchup with the Colts.
Drawing Jacksonville in the first round was the best matchup for the Patriots' cruddy secondary and the hope is that Peyton Manning's anxeity of playing the Patriots in the AFC championship game will give them a mental edge.
But overall, this Patriots team isn't that good and they can be beaten.
-- Pittsburgh will lose Sunday and that means that Bill Cowher won't get to enjoy his favorite pastime: blowing the AFC championship game and spending three weeks to devise a solid Pro-Bowl gameplan.
No this year the Steelers stop in Round 2, where they face an Indy team that handled them thoroughly without a super performance from their offense.
They one will be over early and the countdown to Detroit begins for the Colts.
Indy 38, Pittsburgh 20.
-- I'm torn on this last game however.
The Bears' defense and home-field advantage is good for 14 points, which could be enough.
However, while I think Rex Grossman is a much better alternative than Kyle Orton, I'm reminded of the first-time playoff starters this year.
Eli Manning? Looked Loss.
Carson Palmer? Loss and seriously injured.
Byron Leftwich? Unpopular Loser.
Chris Simms? Lost, but will get paid.
And Rex Grossman?
Carolina 17, Chicago 14.
Friday, January 13, 2006The Bleeding at USC Continues...
Apparently it could get worse at offensive lineman Fred Matua is expected to declare for the draft and safety Darnell Bing is still leaning towards going pro as well.
Luckily Pete Carroll is a recruiting machine.
Thursday, January 12, 2006Bye Bye Bush...
...I think it was the two multi-carat diamond earrings that gave it away for me but, in the worst kept secret since Brangelina, Reggie Bush has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2006 draft.
Most draft boards have him going at the top spot to the Houston Texans.
Good Luck, it's been a pleasure watching him in college for three years.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006LenDale White Sees $$$
DENVER (AP) -- Southern Cal running back LenDale White declared himself eligible for the NFL draft Wednesday, saying he had accomplished everything he wanted to for the Trojans. White said the decision was difficult.
"I wouldn't say it was a slam dunk'" to leave USC, he said.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound junior leaves USC as the school's career leader with 57 touchdowns. He had 541 carries for 3,159 yards in three seasons, during which the Trojans won two national championships.
He scored three touchdowns in USC's 41-38 Rose Bowl loss to Texas last week.
White, who is from Denver, said he consulted with his cousin, former Colorado point guard Chauncey Billups, now in the NBA. White said Billups told him to "go with your heart."
Fellow Trojans tailback Reggie Bush, who won the Heisman Trophy and will announce his plans Thursday in Los Angeles, offered his teammate the same advice.
And something tells me Bush will offer the same declaration.
Sporting Fools draft projector has White as anywhere from the 2nd to 4th tailback taken, putting him in the mix with Laurence Maroney and DeAngelo Williams.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006My MLB HoF Ballot
Well since I can't officially vote, I've decided to let you in on how I would vote. My criteria is simple, I only have two requirements:
a) Were they a former Met (automatic admission)
and if a) isn't applicable than
b) the best facial hair.
This year's HoF ballot has two winners. First entrant to the MLB HoF (in my opinion) is pitch Bruce Sutter!
No surprise at all with this choice, look at that run on his face. It's very authentic and just a terrible example of grooming. This is the sort of 'stache/beard combination that you rarely see outside of construction or auto mechanics. It's almost Foutsian don'cha think?
When it comes to numbers, Sutter is probably a legitimate Hall of Famer despite not playing for the Mets. However, when based on the quality of his facial hair, Sutter might be a first-ballot unanimous vote. Outside of Rollie Fingers, this guy may be the best ever.
Our second entrant is a bit of a shocker to some, but when you look at this guy's accomplishments on the field so will have to agree that super slugger Andre Dawson is a shoo-in for the second spot in the Hall of Fame.
His mustache is so strong, so powerful. It says that 'After I jack 500 homers, I'm going to maim a tiger for shits and giggles.' I'd make more comments about Dawson that could include drinking a few can of Colt before breaking off a few women, but it's obvious you don't want to fuck with this guy.
Congratulations to both of these stars. They will live forever in Cooperstown.