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NFL Week 17 Update

Those of you who have been reading my work since the T-Mof Sports days, might remember a weekly feature I used to run called Ben’s Jumbilia. Essentially, it was a team-by-team breakdown of significant happenings in the NFL and the correlation to fantasy teams. It was a little like Drew Magary’s Jamboroo, only without the cursing and dick and fart jokes and about fantasy.

Seeing as I’ve written very little about the NFL this year and it being Week 17 and all (aka the least inspiring week of the season), I thought it would be fun to recap some of what we’ve seen this year. It’s never dull going over the state of franchises, well, unless the focus is on the Browns or Raiders.

Speaking of which…

Mike Holmgren Spurns the Seahawks for the Browns, Leaving Seattle Questioning Life.

The Holmgren/Seattle/Cleveland lover’s quarrel doesn’t make since to me for two major reasons.

A.) If Holmgren really had his pick of the litter, why choose a hapless Browns franchise? You know, other than the fact that the almighty Bill Parcells genius-angel did it first with Miami. One 1-15 franchise wins eleven games the following year and suddenly, every sucker thinks they can fix a franchise.

It’s kinda like that girl who is constantly drawn to rogue, “misinterpreted” guys. She yearns to change them. Only most of them aren’t changing. Most of them will continue doing drugs with hookers, while spray painting stick-figure pornography on suburban garages. Just like most awful franchises will continue losing games, make bad decisions and being drawn to quarterbacks like Brady Quinn.

Sweeeeeeet.

B.) Do Seattle fans REALLY have short-term memories this flawed? Or maybe even more aptly put; has the Tim Ruskell era tainted fans so much, they yearn for the return of a guy they were ready to run out-of-town two years ago, except that he offered to take a sabbatical first?

Not to mention, only four and a half years prior (2005), Seattle felt Holmgren wasn’t fit to run the football operations side of the franchise and coach at the same time. The Hawks chose to take away the duties they felt Holmgren was least fit for; ie: running the front office.

But after only one year away they clamored for his return the front office… in an ultimate position of power? Pass that hooch this direction please!

And what about the Browns? They honestly believe their new czar can redirect their franchise? The only thing Holmgren has really been known for since he broke into the NFL in 1986, has been fine-tuning high quality quarterbacks, working with Joe Montana, Steve Young, Brett Favre and (ehh…) Matt Hasselbeck.

But this time, Holmgren won’t have on-the-field contact with his players, unless he cans current “coach” Eric Mangini. If he does that and takes over head coaching duties as well, he’d have even MORE power than what he couldn’t handle in Seattle just a handful of years ago, in younger days.

Something tells me this isn’t going to end well for Cleveland.

Chris Johnson is King of the Johnsons. And That’s Saying Something.

Andre, Calvin, Larry, Chad (Ochocinco), Josh, Bryant and so many, many more, simply can’t compete with Chris.  Honestly most of the Johnsons in the NFL aren’t really worth anything, but I just said Chris and his gold teeth are better than Andre (who desperately needs a good nickname) and Megatron, and you just nodded in agreement.

Chris Johnson is a maniac, with WHEELS. I don’t need to school you on his fastest at the combine speed, though it does slightly break me that Boston Celtics point guard, Rajon Rondo thinks a race between the two would even be close. Hilarious.

But the Titans running back is so fast and so good, he’s making people forget about that one guy in Minnesota.

Adrian WHO?

LenDale White’s better (and much smaller) half, has been so good this year he has reached Albert Pujols status for most fantasy owners. Sure you might be willing to trade him, but then again you might be willing to digest a mall Santa’s bowel movements too. For the right price, of course.

Then again, maybe not.

To Win or Lose, THAT’s the Question.

Look there’s a reason why Jim Caldwell coaches the Indianapolis Colts and we do not. Was he right or wrong to sit Peyton and company with such a small lead this past week against the Jets?

Will Peyton Manning look back on his career and regret Jim Caldwell pulling him against the Jets with perfection on the line? Probably not much if it leads to a second Super Bowl title.

Hell if I know.

There are obvious arguments for both sides.

Either way, all that matters is whether or not the Colts players believe in his methods. Ultimately, a few agitated secondary guys, who would have loved 16-0, will get over it if Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Dwight Freeny, Jeff Saturday and Joeseph Addai do. And since all of those guys have already won one Super Bowl together (2006), I’m betting they will be willing to sacrifice a little extra glory, should it help lead to another title.

Look, I would have loved to have watched Peyton and the Colts dismantle Mark Sanchez’s playoff hopes, while on their way to wiping the Dolphins and Patriots from the record books with a perfect 19-0 season, as much as the next guy. But I can see it from Caldwell’s perspective too. The Colts have the No. 1 seed locked up. They just placed their second best wide receiver on IR, ending his season, before it ever really got started. Bob Sanders is out (like usual). Backup QB Jim Sorgi is out too. Newly minted backup Curtis Painter, a rookie out of Purdue, just yacked all over the field once Manning was yanked on Sunday.

What if he hadn’t though? What if it was Manning getting hit and fumbling in the end zone? What if Manning had ruptured something?

Now many would counter with: “Football is a dangerous game, a player could get hurt at any time, you can’t be cautious and play scared.” They would have a point too, except for the whole, goal being a Super Bowl thing and having their playoff home field cushion all wrapped up, win or lose, thing. If the Colts want to win a Super Bowl, they need a healthy Manning to do so.

Playing Manning and others starting with nothing to gain but a little history, at this stage in the game would have been a gamble. That doesn’t mean it’s not one worth taking, but it also doesn’t mean it is.

It means I have the right to root for a perfect season and Coach Caldwell has the right to prevent me from seeing one.

In Alex We Trust. I Think.

So it’s Alex Smith. We’re sure right? Are we not sure? First he was a bust, now he’s possibly not a bust? I’m so confused.

Believe it or not, SF is probably in a decent place with their QB situation. Contrary to what many casual fans believe, the quickest way to revamp your franchise isn’t by drafting a signal caller in the first round. Usually anyway. Historically speaking, teams have been better off strengthening the defense or offensive line. Smith’s “success” pretty much ensures that the 49ers won’t waste their mid-round pick on Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy or Tim Tebow.

I’m not saying I love the idea of Alex Smith dropping back in the fourth quarter with a game on the line, but they do have some decent weapons on offense in Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, and Frank Gore. Heck even wideout Josh Morgan and rookie running back, Glenn Coffee, have upside.

The Niners have an aggressive, tough-minded, defensive identity. But while defense defines their mantra, the secondary could use a LOT of work. And for that matter, so could their pass rush. Their linebackers, led by Patrick Willis are great. Safety Dashon Goldston and cornerback Nate Clements are long-term fixtures as well, but other than those two and at times Dre Bly, their pass coverage needs help.

So what’s the point? The point is Alex Smith has proven that more often than not, he won’t kill the team and at times can become, dare I say it… a playmaker. And besides, Nate Davis still might be the answer we’ve been looking for all along, with a little seasoning of course, and he’s right here on the roster.

That’s what this season has come to for me. I’m spending valuable space in my Week 17 NFL blog, defending Alex Smith.

Would someone please hand me a tire iron so I can go prank myself for hours in a basement?

(Gosh, I wish SNL still existed.)

Is Alex Smith THE guy in SF? Grab your bottle of choice and let's find out together.

Brett Favre Really Sucks in Cold Weather

I’m adding this because he currently is 5-for-9 with 36 yards passing, in the first half, against the Bears. If he lights it up in the second half, you won’t be reading this section because I’ll have Britton take it out when he edits the piece.

But I’m pretty confident you will be reading this.

Favre’s arm wrinkles must get really tight when the temperature turns Jack Frost on him, because he starts throwing like Jack Handy.

Good times.

Darren McFadden Makes Me Really, Really Sad.

Because I stupidly own him in two fantasy keeper leagues and one auction dynasty league. And I just KNOW that after two years of nothing, I’m going to give up on him, by dropping, cutting or trading the former pride of Arkansas.

Saying he has done nothing for me would be like saying TMZ will forget about Tiger Woods and his never-ending line of mistresses.

An understatment.

Once I dump the guy, I just KNOW that he will go off. This is DeAngello Williams all over again. In fact I presented this case almost word for word, to my partner in crime in all those leagues (Britton Dennis). Then he reminded me of reasons why that situation is unlikely to play out. Not the kicking Faddy to the curb part, but the Run DMC going off next season part.

A.) He is a Raider.

B.) His quarterback is JaMarcus Russell.

Or Charlie Frye.

Or Bruce Gradkowski.

Any way you slice it, the Oakland passing game is nonexistent.

C.) Al Davis is still in charge.

D.) There are two other running backs (Michael Bush and Justin Fargas) somewhat worth something, taking his carries away, in an offense with Russell/Frye/Gradkowski at the helm.

I think I feel pretty good admitting I was wrong about McFadden and leaving him to rot on the side of the fantasy football road.

Remember when the Size and Location of Jerry Jones’ 100-billion-foot HD Broadcast Screen was a Story?

No?

Neither do I.

However…

Shouldn’t the Cowboys Still Fire Wade Phillips Despite His December Success?

Absolutely. Anytime a Bill Cowher is on the market, you do what you have to do to gain his employment.

I actually kind of, sort of mean that.

Dallas fans might disagree with me, but then again, they might not. I’m curious to find out how our resident ‘boys fan (Britton) feels, regarding the matter. Maybe I should ask him.

Look, regardless of Phillips’ win-loss record in December this year, he is clearly no longer in favor with Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. I believe Jones is just waiting for a convenient opportunity to box up Phillips’ belongings. And why not now? When two coaches he actually values (Cowher and Mike Shannahan) are on the market. Better than Jason Garrett later, no?

Think Phillips’ late season success makes him immune to losing his gig? Think again. Jimmy Johnson won his second consecutive Super Bowl for Jones in 1993 and was STILL canned.

(Wade Phillips is squirming in his study.)

Granted the Johnson/Jones working relationship wasn’t the best, but who says Phillips/Jones is any better? Phillips has been on the chopping block for two years now.

I say, get rid of him now and go get your Cowher.

Jake Locker Returning to School is a GREAT Idea.

Not so much for him, but for the entire NFL. For his own financial benefit, Locker should absolutely declare for the draft. At least he should if he is being valued at the potential No. 1 overall pick.

Jake Locker looks like a starting NFL QB to me. (Gag.)

Are you freaking kidding me?

Sadly, NFL draft pundits are not kidding. Or maybe they are. That would make a lot more sense. Or maybe Todd Mcshay is positioning himself as the next Peter King.

We could use another football writing/broadcasting/scouting figure to mercilessly make fun of. McShay actually called Locker a bigger, faster, right-handed version of Steve Young. Gadzooks.

On a related note, I really love getting sports related texts from our very own Ohio rep, Dan Miller. It’s just, great. Dan was the one who gave me the, “North Dakota < Hell” bit I used for my top 50 places to live for sports related reasons, blog.

Well the text wizard recently struck again, with Locker as the topic.

(Paraphrasing.)

“Is it me or does Jake Locker scream, mid-to-late-rounder to you? Am I going nuts here? I think I am.”

No Dan, it’s not just you. MY WORD, JAKE LOCKER HAS A HUGE ARM AND SPEED! STOP THE PRESS, DRAFT HIM NOW!!! NO OTHER QB HAS EVER HAD THE TOOLS JAKE LOCKER HAS!!!!!!!! THERE IS NO WAY HE WON’T BE A STAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Except that he isn’t winning in college.

Locker has a career collegiate record of 8-20. But no, that shouldn’t matter at all because of the lack of talent around him. Great quarterbacks never rise up, leading their less talented teammates, motivating them to over-achieve. That never happens.

Sure Locker has 36 career passing TDs and 23 rushing, but he also has thrown 26 picks.

This is like the Mark Sanchez situation all over again, or JaMarcus Russell, or Brady Quinn, or Kyle Boller.

“DEAR LORD! DID YOU HEAR THAT AT A DRAFT WORKOUT IN FRONT OF NFL SCOUTS, KYLE BOLLER GOT ON ONE KNEE AND THREW A BALL THROUGH THE GOAL POSTS?!?!?!?”

“THAT’S OVER 60 YARDS!!!”

“ON ONE KNEE!!!”

“THROUGH THE GOAL POSTS!!!”

“AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!”

The only difference being those four guys actually won in college. At least a little. At least, more than eight times. And they aren’t dead ringers for John Cena from the WWE.

“No match today Locker.”

“AH, COME ON!!!”

Sheesh, it’s like no one has ever seen a fast guy with a strong arm. He has to be the next Steve Young.

Or not.

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