Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Under Review: Week 5

NFL Questions...

1) A common theme this year as seen last night in the Bills/Cowboys game is the coach calling a timeout on the sideline when the play is about to start. What do you think of this rule where coaches can call a timeout out right before the snap to ice a kicker?

Q- I have absolutely no problem with this practice. It's a legal move and at this point, the opposing team should be anticipating the timeout. If you have a game winning FG lined up, plan on making the kick and having the points taken off the board because the head coach is in the official's ear hole barking for a TO. It's going to happen. Deal with it, line up again, and drill it again (just like that Folk kid did last night). Game over.

Fuzz- I’m with Q on this one. I don’t see any problem with it. It’s all part of the strategy of the game. Basketball coaches call timeouts all the time after they see a defensive set-up from the other team. Baseball managers will send up a certain pinch hitter as a decoy then put in the real hitter they want once the other manager selects his relief pitcher. If a NFL coach wants to call a T.O. to ice a kicker, so be it.

Dogg- First off, I think that is the worst rule ever but don't know how you would ever stop it from happening. If it's a normal play in the 4th quarter and the defense is confused, they obviously will have to call a timeout close to when the play is starting so why should it be different for a FG attempt? Secondly, it should've not happened last night. My fellow blogger, Q, and I noticed that Dick Jauron was yelling at the ref for about 5 seconds "now", "now", "now". The ref decides to not blow his whistle the first 6 times Jauron asked for a timeout but finally did on Jauron's 7th try. I hate it but don't know how to effectively avoid it.

2) Two part question. First part: Was the hit Trent Green gave to the defensive lineman legal? What did you think of the whole situation? Second part: Should Trent retire after what happened?

Dogg- It's tough to blame Trent Green on that play because how else is he supposed to block a 300 pound defensive lineman? Can't really try to flatten him otherwise he would be derailed and who knows what he injures then. We're talking broken arms, broken ankles and whatever else. I also don't blame Travis Johnson for getting upset immediately because when a guy dives at your knees like that, it feels like it was done intentionally and that can end careers. If Trent Green doesn't get a concussion, I believe that this wouldn't as big of a deal as what some are making it out to be. Trent Green would be making a huge mistake if he doesn't retire.

Fuzz- I don’t know how to answer the first one. He’s a 56-year-old white dude, how else is he supposed to knock him down? It seemed fine to me. He’s done some of those draft preview shows in the off-season and I think he’s really good. He’s got a talent for TV. If he wants any hope for a life after football, including a TV gig, he needs to get out ASAP. It’s not worth it anymore.

Q- Ok, so as far as I know, that was technically a legal move by Trent. Does that make it ok or something a player should do? In my mind, no. You don't take a head frist dive at a guy's knees, especially when he's not looking. You just don't. That's why I understand Johnson's initial reaction when he flipped out on TG (though he should have taken a second to realize that the guy was unconscious and not moving, so maybe talking trash wasn't the best route). Knees are fragile things and they are a lineman's lifeblood. Going after someone's knees is like trying to end their career. It's not worth the extra 5 yards your offense is going to gain. That said, it's time for Mr. Green to be done with the sport of football. I've watched his head bounce off turf, knees, etc. long enough. I don't want to see this guy's head turn to mush. Plus, he seems like a pretty articulate guy frome the few times I've seen him interviewed. So he should have a chance to be an analyst or commentator in the future. That's assuming, of course, that he can still form a sentence...

3) Through five weeks, what's the worst division in football? Why?

Q- I have a feeling that my co-writers are going to disagree with me on this, but in my mind it's the NFC South. And it's not even close. Yeah, Tampa Bay had a nice little start to the season where they surprised a few teams. But that's in the process of crashing to a halt. Their D was playing over their heads to begin with, and as old as they are, you'll see a very severe decline in the coming weeks. Plus, now Caddy is done for the year and his backup, Michael Pittman, is hurt too. That's left them with something named Earnest Graham (and yes, I just had to ask Fuzz his name a second ago) running the ball. Oh, and they are talking to the Vikes about acquiring Mewelde Moore. Yeah, this is not going to end well for them. And that's the best team in the division. After the Bucs, you have David Carr and the Fighting Panthers, the two-headed crapfest of Harrington-Leftwich leading a terrible Atlanta squad, and the suddenly brutal New Orleans Saints. Yuck.

Dogg- The AFC East is the worst. I know you have New England who might be the best team in the NFL but after that you might have 3 of the 5 worst teams in the entire league. You have Chad Pennington who has been playing how he looks, like a woman. The other two starting QB's are Trent Edwards for Buffalo and Cleo Lemon for Miami....Who?

Fuzz- I really want to say the NFC North, but I’m going to say the AFC West. Not one team over .500. Are you kidding me? Because of a bye week, the 1st pick overall Oakland Raiders lead the division with a 2-2 record. Wow is a good word for this. San Diego clearly is in trouble, Denver is lost and Kansas City is just bad.

4) A redundant question, but still needs to be brought up again. Are San Diego and Chicago back after their wins this week? Just one of them back? Neither?

Fuzz- I’m not sold yet. Both did have convincing wins on the road this week, but I’m not biting. I think both are going to miss the playoffs. San Diego has one of the oldest and worst coaching staff in the league and the Bears have tons of injuries and have Brian Griese as their starting quarterback. I see them both hanging around mediocrity all season never reaching their potential.

Q- I'd like to say that neither one of them is, but here's the problem: they both play in such mediocre divisions that they definitely have a chance. The Chargers looked good enough on Sunday to have some commentators wondering what was wrong with Denver and could they fix it. You know you're having a poor season when any win you get causes major questions being brought up about the team that you actually beat. Oh, and in case you didn't already know, the Broncos are one of the "formidable" challengers in the AFC West. So are the Chiefs (hey, you got 11 yards rushing on Sunday; congrats!) and the Raiders (hey, Daunte, way to go on the 75 yards passing two weeks ago. You sure proved the naysayers wrong!). Yikes. On the other hand, Chicago looked all but buried at the half on Sunday night. They were well on their way to being 1-4 and d-o-n-e. Then Favre lets them back into the game with some ill-advised throws, McCarthy decides to run the ball for the first time all year, and the Bears sneak out a win. Now they've gained some confidence and proved to the Pack that they are beatable (and that Favre can still give away games at the drop of a hat). Oh and the other two teams in the NFC Norris are the Lions and the Vikings. Enough said.

Dogg- They will both be in the playoffs and YES that's a call.

5) Assuming New England, Indy, Dallas and Pittsburgh are your top four teams in the league, who is #5?

Dogg- I take San Diego. They have a whole new coaching staff, which takes time to get use to all the new schemes. Gates might be the best offensive player in the game today and Rivers will only play better. LT is LT and he will always do his thing. Their defense will definitely pick it up and start containing teams which is all they'll need to do with their potent offensive attack. Mike Turner is now 100% healthy and he will help them. A change of pace back that is fresh with huge upside can only help.

Q- Wow, good question. Can I just say anyone except the Vikings? Seriously though, there's probably four contenders for this crown. Let's dismiss three of them. First, the 4-1 Packers. It's a nice story that all the old, curmudgeon writers are fawning over, but I'm going out on a limb and saying they're done. The Bears will overtake them within 5 weeks (or less) after the ball stops bouncing their way and their lack of a running game cripples them. Next on the chopping block are the 3-1 Titans. An above average, no-name D is a nice thing to have. The tailback tandem of Chris Brown and LenDale White, on the other hand, is not. Their lack of offense will be their demise; plain and simple. Third team off the list, the 3-1 Redskins. It hurts to cross them off of my list. I like the way Jason Campbell is maturing as a quarterback. Their running game is decent.

They have some nice defensive players. The problem is consistency. One week they look like they're coasting to a wild card spot, the next week they look like they could finish 5-11. That leaves us with my choice--the 3-1 Jacksonville Jaguars. Amid all of the quarterback controversy early in the year, and with the surprising Patriots, disappointing Chargers, and consistent Colts, they've gotten lost in the shuffle. But this is a good team. Garrard isn't the long term answer, but he's not going to kill you either. The running game has been very solid as well. And, of course, their D is ridiculous. After 4 games, they've given up only 41 points. 41!! If David and the receivers can do anything, this team will be able to advance to the second round of the playoffs (where they will get throttled by either New England or Indianapolis).

Fuzz- First off, I would like to say to Q that you seem confused on the Bears right now. Last week you reiterated your call on 5-11 for them and now you say they are going to beat the Packers for the division? That win must have swayed you young man. Anyways, I’m going with the Tennessee Titans. I love them. I especially love their head coach. Jeff Fischer has to be one of the top three coaches in the league in my opinion. You can’t talk too much about the Titans without mentioning Vince Young. To use a cliché, he’s a winner.

It’s so true. He finds ways every week to get in the win column. I think I would trade draft picks 1-7 next year to attain him. I’m not even kidding. Funny thing is, I don’t know if Tennessee would even take it...


Anonymous said...

An NFL team would never give up draft picks 1-7. Picks are way too valuable in the NFL draft these days to give up even a 1st rounder for a player already in the league. Randy Moss got traded for a 4th round pick straight up this year.

Chosman said...

Moss got traded for a 4th rounder because he played like a 4th round pick. Of course in hind sight it's 20/20 now that he's finally playing with a real quarterback for the first time since Randall Cunningham. Plus there is only one premier, top-notch stud in college football by the name of DeSean Jackson

Fuzz said...

In response to anonymous-

It was more to drive home a point that our QB situation is that dreadful here in Minnesota. You’re right no NFL team would ever do this. If you were looking at that comment in a literal sense, you’re right on. However, if you threw all “what actually happens” out the window, I stand by this comment. Picks from rounds 4-7 rarely ever pan out to be stars. So, it’s a first, second and third rounder for a budding superstar in the most important position in all of football. A proven winner so far in his young career. It might not take 1-7 to get him, but I would give them from a first to how many they want for Vince Young or any other accomplished QB. You’re telling me with this same team we have, Wilf’s decent willingness to spend money on free agents AND Vince Young we wouldn’t be a playoff team next year? I think we would, even without next years draft picks...