Sunday, January 11, 2009

That Was Painful

[This column brought to you by the 8% of me that doesn't want to try to punch a hole through a brick wall right now]

Nothing like a home playoff loss against a divisional rival by your favorite team to ruin an otherwise unbelievably awesome weekend.

This is one of those times when you are reminded that loving a sports team can be a steaming pile of baby diapers just like all other aspects of life. It was nice to watch the GMen when they were a red giant with an 11-1 record, mowing down six teams with a winning record in a row. It was not as nice to watch them dwindle into a white dwarf in a game against a team who benched their starting QB during the season and had to hit a hot streak and got fairly lucky just to sneak into the playoffs.

I'm not going to get into the officiating because that's something that fans of losing teams like to cling to, instead of acknowledging that their team wasn't good enough for that not to matter. I'm not going to get into the play calling because Kevin Gilbride knows way fucking more about football than I ever will.

Maybe it was the wind, but Eli Manning was tossing up wounded ducks the likes of which have not been seen in quite some time. The once sanctified offensive line wasn't pancaking would-be tacklers at anywhere near the rate they were when the Giants were universally considered of the best team in, as Mark Schlereth might say, THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Derrick Ward probably gave back some of the money he made himself when he violated the Panthers to the tune of 215 yards on 15 carries.

The playoff flame-out doesn't completely take away from the awesomeness of that Panthers game, the undressing of the Ravens, or the victories IN Arizona and IN Pittsburgh. It's just that now we are left with horrific hypothetical ponderance that is... "What If".

I fucking hate "What If". "What If" sucks a bag of dicks.

Tomorrow is going to be one of the rare days where work will be a welcome break from sports. I don't want to listen to Mike & Mike state the obvious, apply some hindpsychology, and talk about Plaxico Burress. I'm sure Max Kellerman will spin his take around, so he won't be eating any humble pie after proclaiming Eli Manning as the best QB in the NFL. I'd guess what Michael Kay's take is going to be, but trying to predict what such a nimble mind would say is a rabbit hole I don't want to go down.

Maybe when I wake up tomorrow I'll forget that the one team that links me to my childhood and that I truly take pride in (sorry, Yanks), just laid an egg that next Sunday will hatch into the 8-8 Arizona Cardinals, who were 3-7 outside of their historically shitty division, hosting the all-faggy-bird-team-name NFC Championship. I hate the anticlimactic nature of the BCS, but this just goes to show that even a single elimination playoff system isn't going to tie up all the loose ends either. I'm the type of person who will watch the pretty much all of the playoffs in any sport because of the inherent do-or-die drama, but I just might have to take this one off.

In the words of Bob Seger: "No matter what you dream, or feel, or say, it ends in dust and disarray"



(Photo skills provided by Kevy Kev)

Hey Jared Allen, Nice Mullet!

No color necessary for this one...

Giants Upcoming Matchup

Hello All,

Is everyone else as excited as I am for their first week of work in 2009er (Did I catch a niner in there)? As you may know i haven't really worked for the past 2 weeks so this is especially awesome for me.)

On to my point, with the exciting games on Saturday and the shitty, unbearably boring games Sunday we have learned that our beloved Defending Champion New York Football Giants of New Jersey will be playing the Eagles of Philadelphia. Going into this past weekend, I really didn't care who won because I figured the GMen will skull fuck whoever they play anyway. After this weeks games I feel the same way. However, all we are going to hear this week is how the Eagles are going to win, the Eagles are last years Giants, the Eagles beat he Giants in the Meadowlands 4 weeks ago, etc., etc.


And here is why.

First of all, what from that abortion of a game would lead anyone to think that the Eagles could beat the Giants? Was it the one 71 yard screen pass to Westbrook, the inability of T. Jackson to thrown the ball, the ineptitude of Brad Childress (and everyone on Minnesota except Purple Jesus and C. Taylor)? The Eagles played like shit and beat a team that barely beat the Giants 2nd string.

The key to beating the Eagles is running the ball. This is why the Giants lost last time they played: Brandon Jacobs was out. Now, I believe that Derrick Ward can carry the load without Jacobs, but there is no denying that Jacobs is the premier playmaker on this offense. Also, that last game four weeks ago was Week 1 LAB (Life After Burress). So, not only is your best RB out, but your best WR is out too. The Giants are still a very dangerous team without Burress, but they obviously will need some adjustment time to revamp the offensive to work with their personnel.

So the Eagles will now have to come into a very hostile stadium and play a team that is has been resting for pretty much three weeks and has their brusier of a RB back and a passing attack that will be brand new to them.

The only thing that startles me a little is Antonio Pierce. He has been getting torched all season by various TE and RB, including Westbrook (Note: middle LB needs to be addressed in the first round of this years draft). I think that he will probably give up a few plays, but I fully expect the Giants offense to be too much for the Eagles to handle.

Will's Prediction:
GMen 27
Eagles 17

Other Writers' Average Prediction:
Gmen 10
Eagles 198

San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers

This should be the 2nd best game of the weekend.

This is a rematch of the Week game that produced the only 11-10 game in NFL history

The hot Chargers have won 5 in a row, including last week's OT win over The Colts in San Diego. The Chargers now have to travel to Pittsburgh where I'm sure it will be cold and windy.

Pittsburgh, looking for its first playoff win since its Super Bowl XL victory over the Seattle Seahawks is led by their #1 ranked defense--#1 against the pass and #2 against the run.

Key for San Diego: With LaDainian Tomlinson likely out with a groin injury, Darren Sproles needs to come close to matching his 328 all-purpose yards, including 105 rushing yards, that he had against the Colts. I don't see him replicating those numbers against the Steeler's stout D.

Key for Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh's ability to protect Roethlisberger, who had been sacked 40 something times this year and given up many interceptions/fumbles as a result of being blitzed. Protection will give Big Ben the ability to exploit San Diego's horrible secondary. I am not too confident in the ability of Willie Parker and Melwelde Moore to beat the 11th ranked San Diego Run D. They would then need to score a lot of points off of turnovers.


Pittsburgh: 17
San Diego: 10