Sunday, August 30, 2009

Preseason is B.S.

Preseason is like a horrible tasting appetizer that you only eat because you're starving and it's still a bit of a wait for the main course(regular season) I mean how else do you sit through the Colts losing to the Lions and the Cowboys dropping one at home in their new stadium to the Niners? Or the Giants losing to the Jets? I know it's dumb to be sitting here all mad just because your team lost a meaningless scrimmage. Except that you know that it's just something dumb that we have to sit through every year at this time. I guess if you hate it so bad, and I do, that we should just skip it all together and not even talk about it. Romo looked fine for a half again and the team was winning rather easily at the half. Roy Williams sat out with a jammed shoulder. He should be ready to go on Sept. 13 though. It may have only been 10-3 but Romo threw an interception, costing the team at least another 3 points if not 7. And another time they settled for a FG when it should have been seven for sure. Come on no excuse for not punching it in after having first and goal at the five! PK Nick Folk kicked his two gimme field goal attempts although both times those drives should have been TDs (come on, the two kicks were from 19 yards out and 26 yards out respectively) Jon Kitna, Romo's backup, lost the game for his team in the second half. He got off to a cold start and then he fumbled in the late going, with the Cowboys still ahead. It was scrubs on scrubs in the second half when the "scrubboys" got outscored by the "scrubbyniners" 17-3. So it was 20-13 the final score. The Niners starters were shut down by the Cowboys starters in the first half. Dallas totally dominated and should have been up 17-3 or even 21-3 possibly instead of 10-3. And now the preseason finale next week will be scrubs on scrubs for probably the entire game. So one more week of BS before the real season starts. But once the real season starts, Romo has NO MORE excuses. He is Mr. "Hasn't Won the Big One Yet" But if he fails to get the team a playoff win at least this year he will be Mr. "Can't win the Big One' I know it's unfair to come down on Romo, he's still only going to be starting his third full season in the NFL. He is, afterall 4-1 as a starter against Eli Manning. (the one loss being that playoff botch) and Eli Manning, is 0-3 for his career in playoff games if you take away that unheralded run he and the Giants had two seasons ago. But the fact is, Manning could and and even MAY never win another playoff game EVER and everyone will still remember that one playoff run that he DID have. Was it a fluke? More than likely, but he'll still take it. And Wade Phillips, god bless him, but if he might not still be the Head Man in some of the other organizations. I mean Marty Shottenheimer guided the Chargers to a 14-2 record in 2006 and was shown the door after the team choked their divisional playoff game at home to the Patriots. A year later Coach Phillips lost a game in Dallas in the same situation as Shottenheimer did. The Cowboys of 2oo7 were not a lot different than the Chargers of the year before. They had a great regular season, a gaudy record, and the lost a game they should have won at home to send that great season up in smoke. And Guess who was on BOTH of those staffs? Wade Phillips. He was the defensive coordinator on that Charger team in 06 and the head coach on Dallas a year later. And then the Cowboys suffered a dissappointing year where they didn't even get in in 08. It was similiar to the Chargers of 05 when the went 8-8 and missed after a good season the year before. This is it for Wade Phillips this year. God Bless him but he's history after this upcoming season if the team misfires again. And he will probably never be a head coach again either if that's the case. I mean Shottenheimer, who HAD won some playoff games, just never reached the Super Bowl, may not be coaching in the NFL ranks again. I mean this will be his third year without being a head coach. That's the longest that he's been out of the coaching ranks since he first started as Cleveland's head man in the mid 1980s. The old Cleveland Browns, who became the Baltimore Ravens in 1996. Wade Phillips has won NO playoff games as a head coach. Sadly, he should have at least two wins. He was on the losing end of the "music city miracle" as the Buffalo Bills head coach. He and the Bills were robbed in that one. I don't consider that to be one of the greatest plays or NFL "moments" ever mind you. There was an illegal forward lateral in it. EVERYONE saw it and can point it out whether you want to admit that or not. He lost that aforementioned game to their division rival Giants, after having done them TWICE during the regular season. He lost the one playoff game he was in with Denver in 1993 to the Raiders when they were still in LA. The Raiders haven't won many playoff games since their last Super Bowl triumph a quarter of a century ago. And were it not for the Gannon years and Jon Gruden, the Raiders would be in an even more serious, long suffering drought. One thing is for certain: the cowboys haven't won any playoff games in what now is 13 years. So being a Cowboys fan, I might have to say that I'm used to it, if they fail again this time around. But right now, until the season finally gets started on Sept. 13 (actually except for the one game on Thurs night Sept. 10) we're stuck in this BS preseason crap.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Halfway thru the preseason-is NIck Folk looking over his shoulder?

It's the preseason ofcourse where it's meaningless technically. Except some jobs being tried and won. The Cowboys have split their first two games, losing at Oakland (we'll get them on Turkey Day!) where starters that DID play only played a series. They played their starters more like a half at home against Tennessee, which produced a 14-10 lead at halftime and the backups went on to pitch a 16-0 shutout in the second half for a 30-10 win. Okay, big deal. Preseason. And yes, it was at the new stadium this time. The concern I have right now isn't the production of the Cowboys offense. They look rather sharp. Romo is rather sharp, like hitting seven diffeent targets on Friday night. But PK Nick Folk looks a bit shaky. The Cowboys drafted PK David Bueller from USC to do kickoffs. Folk is still the FG man. But he missed a gimmie 36 yarder against the Raiders and a 49 yarder against the Titans, his only attempt. So he's only 1-3 in the preseason. Just a small concern since it's only the preseason. But we need Folk. He's been pretty automatic since we got him two years ago out of Arizona. I REALLY wish we'd had him back in 2005, when the Cowboys lost 4 games because of kicking woes which could have stretched what was a 9-7 record to, say, 12-4 or 13-3. We need both of these kickers. For some reason Nick Folk has been mediocre when it comes to kicking off but not Field goals. He's 46-53 in two years when it's actually counted. You can't do much better than that. That's about 88 percent. So hopefully he'll get untracked by the time the real season starts.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Now I'm starting to get excited

Well, we're into August now and NFL training camps are underway and in full swing. I am going to go out on a limb and make my own NFC Forecast. Ofcourse I am biased towards my Cowboys. Gotta b. They're my team. And right now, they have the most talent. Talent told in 2007 when they ran off with the conference's number one seed. Then they choked ofcourse, kind of self-inflicted. Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson were a thing about midway or so thru the 2007 season, and the Cowboys were playing Super Bowl calibre football. But once everyone caught wind of it and started tagging it so to speak, it seemed as though his performance dipped some in the last month as the Cowboys went 2-2 but still held on to the number one seed and ofcourse easily won their division. In 2008, high expectations and key injuries, injuries that noone else in the NFL could afford either, turned the season into a bickering fest and a very underachieving 9-7 record and no playoffs. In fact, they still would've been in the playoffs had the won their last game, but didn't even bother showing up, as we all know. Now, T.O. is gone and the team is thinking team. And YOKO ROMO (Jessica Simpson) is also off the radar. Tony Romo is now the unquestioned leader of this team and he has taken steps this off season to show it by dumping the bimbo, a year late, but better than never, and pretty much not saying much this offseason. One thing he hasn't EVER done is make excuses. And he won't make any. And he knows there won't BE any if the team doesn't bounce back and win, I don't know, a playoff game or two or so on perhaps. This team has weapons on offense, and defense, and special teams. The only question marks are Roy Williams playing up to his capabilities to fill in the void left by T.O., the depth of the offensive line, and the head coach. It's now or never for Wade Phillips. Mike Shanahan will be in Big D a year from now, if the team doesn't finally cash something in. So now I start with the NFC East.

1. Dallas (13-3) schedule opens up I think, very favorably for the Cowboys much like 2007. More talent still than the others. If they really DO play as a team, look the hell out
2. Eagles (10-6) If it weren't for McNabb and Westbrook, this team isn't very good. As it is Philly is inconsistent. They got on a hot streak late and got some help too, getting into the playoffs. But somehow you knew that they weren't going to pull off the same feat as the Giants did the year before. McNabb and Westbrook MUST stay healthy for this team to be a factor. If not, no way.
3. Giants(9-7) the honeymoon after their "come from nowhere" Super Bowl run is over. They don't do that without Michael Strahan(retired) Amani Toomer(now with the Chiefs) and Plaxico Burress(released and could be headed for the hole for that loaded unregistered weapon charge) This team will have to rely on defense, getting Osi Umenyiora back will help, and the running game. Manning hasn't shown really that he can adapt with a completely new set of receivers. That is a BIG question mark. And Brandon Jacobs can pound away but he also gets dinged. He receives as much punishment as or more than he dishes out. The loss of defensive coordinator John Spagnolo doesn't help either. The key to the Giants winning will be holding opponents to under 20 a game and trying to play keep away on offense.
4. Redskins (8-8) defense and special teams will keep this team in almost every game. But offensively, the receivers are fast but small and there isn't a genuine triggerman. Another team that will need to hold opponents to under 20 to have a chance to win. They aren't going to outscore you

NFC Central

1. Minnesota-(10-6) they didn't get Favre afterall or else there wouldn't be any questions about who would rule this division. However, defense and the running game will be enough to outpoint the others in this division.
2. Chicago- (8-8) Jay Cutler is only 17-20 so far in his career as a starting QB. And he had more talent on his side of the ball to work with in Denver than in the windy city. The Bears defense isn't what it was a few years ago. They also gave up a lot to get Cutler so the improvements of this team over the next couple of years could be hampered somewhat. It will be a long year in Denver but the draft picks they got from the Cutler trade will benefit them afterwards. In Chicago, different story line maybe, but same ending result. Mediocre.
3. Green Bay(8-8) Aaron Rodgers will have a decent year but this is a mediocre team as well. They played above their heads for the most part in 2007 and still had #4.
4. Detroit (2-14) The Lions won't go 0-16 again but they also aren't going to completely reverse fortunes overnight either.

NFC South-very unpredictable division.

1. Atlanta (10-6) Matt Ryan reminds me perhaps of Troy Aikman, team wins more gaudy than his actual individual stats.
2. Carolina(8-8) The Panthers were a suprise last year, probably the most mediocre 12-4 team of all time. Sneaking up on people not going to be the case this year.
3. New Orleans(7-9) They'll score in bunches and they'll surrender in bunches.
4. Tampa Bay (6-10) I'm picking the Bucs to go last this year in the south. If they stil had Jeff Garcia, I'd probably think a little different. And now new head coach as well.

NFC West

1. Arizona (11-5) can this team do win on the road. They DID the one time they really had to in the playoffs against Carolina. Warner did the right thing in staying. Or I should say the organization did the right thing in keeping Warner. He's 38 now and still has a couple of good years left if he can avoid injury. The offense will put points up. The defense is improving. They will benefit from a weak division again
2. 49ers (8-8) still a ways to go but improving. I think they should stick with Shaun Hill at QB
And the drafting of Michael Crabtree at WR will be quite interesting. The defense still needs a lot of work.

3. Seahawks (6-10) rebuilding. It's amazing how fast a team can decline just a few years after being in the Super Bowl. Such as the case for the NFL of today

4. Rams (4-12) a long ways to go for this team. They are rebuilding from the ground up.

In the playoffs, i will just go on a limb and say that the Cowboys will get their first playoff win since 1996. Once that monkey is off theirs and Romo's back, they will then outlast the Cardinals in a shootout in the new Cowboys Stadium. Like 1971, the year I was born, the Cowboys will hosting and winning the NFC Championship game at a new stadium.


3. Giants-with Toomer and Burress gone, this team will have to run the ball more and the defense will have to hold opponents to under 20. I think last season's late collapse may carry over
4. Redskins-decent defense. Average offense. This could be Jason Campbell's swan song.