Monday, January 08, 2007

Back and blue

The Monk and Monkette have returned from the notsofrozen notquitetundra of their New Year's trip to Poland and I'm nearly over my jet lag. Good to see at least two nice results over our break: Penn State won its bowl game (that's 3-for-3 against Tennessee) and Boise State shocked Oklahoma. Too bad I missed the latter.

This weekend we had a true rarity in professional sports: all the NFL home teams won. This means the Cowpatties and my sorry Giants are able to set up tee times. Some quick thoughts from the weekend's NFL games:

(1) Herm Edwards ultimately does not have a clue. The Monk does not think he's a good game coach. The Chiefs ran LJ only 13 times, their interior line was dominated by a notoriously small and questionable Indy defense and Trent Green (a 4000-yard passer last year) was ineffective. Of all performances this weekend, the Chiefs had the worst: sub 200 yards against a poor defense, 44 rushing yards against a team that hadn't held any opponent under 100 all year, 430+ yards of offense for the Colts, etc. That game was worse than the 23-8 scoreline and the Chiefs supposedly had the best matchup of all the wild card teams.

(2) The Giants have to be rated among the disappointments of the season. The defense played well for about 1/3 the season, the revamped secondary was subpar even when healthy, Osi Umenyiora never approached his rookie season production (never mind last season's Pro Bowl quality work), Manning looked clueless for much of the year, the team never developed a WR to help Burress when Toomer went out. The team visibly wilted in some games and didn't show up against New Orleans. Ultimately, the coach is wrong for the players. Coughlin should go, and so should Tim Lewis the subpar defensive coordinator.

(3) Credit the Jets, who played the Pats closer than 37-16. Then again, credit Bill Belichick and his staff for drafting up a gameplan that enabled the Pats to carve up a team they'd already seen twice this year.

(4) The key play for the Cowboys in their loss to Seattle was the horrendous receiver screen near their own goal line that resulted in the S'Hawks' safety and reignited that team. Ever since Joe Thiesman threw the interception on a near-own-goal-line screen that paved the way for the Raiders to stomp the Redskins in SB XVIII, the play has been out of fashion at the least. With a battering-ram runner like Marion Barber, the Cowmanures should just have pounded their way out of their bad field position.

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