First, I need a favor.
The NFL is considering releasing coaches tape (for a fee of course) on all 22 players, online for anyone who would be willing to pay.
So, I figure that doesn't apply to a huge segment of the readership of thesite. This is where the favor comes in.
Fill out the survey anyway. Have your significant other, infant son, pet hamster and the newspaper boy (they still have those?) fill it out and say 'YES, I would pay to see this!'.
Lying is only wrong if I don't need you to do it.
With that out of the way, let's talk some football.
OH-LINE (see what I did there?)
I know I mention this in some way, shape or form almost every week but watching the Jets struggle against the Ravens and the Eagles struggle against anyone with a pulse and a mediocre pass rush just makes me shake my head.
The Jets have allowed 11 sacks and 25 quarterback hits according to NFL.com. The Steelers, another team which has had Oline issues for a long time, have allowed Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked 14 times and hit 22.
The Steelers and the Eagles are an interesting case in that both of their QBs will run the ball which ups the QB hits quite a bit. A quarterback hit when he runs with the ball is not the same as a hit when the same Qb is looking to pass.
It gets interesting (and reminds you that stats lie) when you look at the above link and see the Eagles have given up few sacks (just seven) but 23 QB hits.
The fine folks at Pro Football Focus will argue that Vick does that to himself—that the hits he takes often happen when he runs. I'm not going to argue that point as I haven't watched enough (boy would coaches film help!) of the Eagles to say definitively one way or the other, but I will say that when I watch Vick, he appears to get hit a lot, even in the pocket.
Putting aside the unique Eagles issue, take a look at where the Jets, Steelers and Falcons (all Super Bowl hopefuls) sit on the linked NFL.com page and who they are next to.
The Seahawks. The Niners. The Rams. The Dolphins. All teams who are rebuilding (or should be).
Not where Super Bowl hopefuls should be. Nagler and I talked about this as far back as mid-summer. The Falcons turned over too many linemen. The Jets had no depth. The Steelers just can't seem to get their line to play. The Eagles are too young and unproven at the line. Hell, throw in the Bears who can't seem to protect a QB since the Paleozoic era.
You're not winning a Super Bowl like that.
At least the Jets brought in a blocking tight end. *sigh*
I find myself over at Kissing Suzy Kolber, usually to read a Peter King takedown or to laugh at their LOLNFL pics. Today I found them perusing some NFL players turned into puppets and plush dolls.
The Drew Brees and Peyton Manning ones are priceless. The Eli comment is perfect.
Dallas Could be 4-0, They Could be 0-4 but They're 2-2
I normally lay off the announcers, color guys, studio folk and sideline reporters in this column because 1) everybody screws up and 2) I find it more rewarding to tear them apart on twitter.
I can't remain silent here anymore. I can't sit here and pretend I don't want to pull my ears off at inanity like the above.
Like I said, mistakes get made, especially in the heat of the moment. I gave Al Michaels a ration of crap for completely confusing and botching the kickoff of the Ravens/Jets game Sunday night, mentioning Joe McKnight as if he was carrying the ball just basically making the play sound far more complicated than it was.
Heat of the moment though, and honestly he does something incredibly tough to do and does it well. So, momentary humor aside, you comment and move on.
Bob Costas saying the above (and Peter King parroting it almost verbatim in his own column) is just lazy.
As lazy as being the 45th man into a Romo beating? Yes. Worse, it wasn't some off the cuff comment like Michaels'. It was a scripted segment.
Let me try this:
The Packers could be 0-4. They could be 2-2. But they're 4-0.
The Jets could be 0-4. They could be 4-0. But they're 2-2.
The 49ers could be 4-0. They could be 0-4. But they're 3-1.
Zebras could be black with white stripes. They could be white with black stripes. But they're freaks of nature.
Wow. I can do Bob Costas' job!
Listen, I don't care if you say something I agree with or not. Just make a statement and take a stand. The above nonsense by Costas is ridiculous and insulting to anyone who has tuned in to hear, I don't know, ACTUAL analysis.
Tony Dungy may drive me nuts with some of his morality crap but he at least takes a stand!
This isn't just about Costas because it has become all to common in media. Say a lot but nothing. Say it loudly, proudly and quickly before someone else is vapid first.
These people get paid a ton of cash to comment and inform on the day's events. I find it unprofessional to provide us with yet another Tony Romo! OMG! He is SO inconsistent! Am I right? And hurt! Is he good? WHO KNOWS? diatribe and then cap it with a run down of all the possible permutations the Cowboys could have in some alternate universe like we're too stupid to count to four.
Fans are smarter than that. I expect my analysts to be as well.
Tebow or Not Tebow, Does Anyone Give a Damn About the Question?
Tebow has special plays just for him, but then it turned out the Broncos were really bad and the Packers were really good and poor Timmy didn't get to do anything.
The bigger question continues to be: What do the Broncos do at quarterback? As we all knew pre-season, Kyle Orton isn't the answer (unless the question is 'Who can't function effectively in the red zone?).
Not being able to move him, the Broncos have since been stuck in a morass of mediocre QB play, whining Tebow fans and tailspinning seasons.
I hate to side with the Tebow fans here*, but at this point you have nothing to lose. You need to know what you have in Tebow. He needs to be in there.
Toss aside your fantasies that you are winning the divisions. Embrace the reality that you may be able to draft a top quarterback in the 2012 NFL Draft. Know that if that's the case, you'd better damned know if Tebow negates that requirement or not.
We don't know if Tebow is a good NFL quarterback. We don't know what he is.
We know what he's not, though. He's not Kyle Orton.
At this point, that's more than enough.
*By Tebow fans, I mean the insane billboard buying ones who, even if he sucks, will find a way to blame Fox, the oline, Satan or me for his failure. Not the normal ones who admit they have no clue if he's good, but only know he's not Kyle Orton.