Sunday, December 14, 2008

Braincramp and other things...

Just some quick thoughts on this past weekend's NFL games...

Watched the Bills-Jets game and could only come to the conclusion that the Bills of September were an illusion. Yes, I know that their starting quarterback is out, as is Aaron Schobel, their best defensive player. That doesn't excuse the Bills coaches who called for a pass with two minutes left. The coaches that called for a pass with two minutes left when their running backs were ripping off five to six yards a carry. Perish the thought that they protect the ball and possibly have to put the game in the hands of their defense because they had to punt the ball with about a minute to go. No, call a passing play and turn the ball over.


The Raiders have set a mark for futility that not even the pitiful Lions have been able to achieve. With their loss to the Patriots, Oakland has become the first team in the history of the NFL to lose at least 11 games in six consecutive seasons. Barring a major overhaul of the organization, starting with Uncle Al, this is not a team that looks like they have an opportunity to win more than five games next season.

Speaking of the Lions, with their loss to the Colts, they're only two steps away from immortality. A bowl of gumbo, and a block of cheese, so to speak, with games left against two talented squads where players will be playing desperately for their jobs over the next two weeks. The Lions will be playing solely to avoid becoming the first 16 loss team in the history of the NFL.

With yesterday's win, the Pats can finish no worse than .500. The last time a New England team lost more than eight in a season was in 2000 when the team won only five games.

The offense was firing on all cylinders at the beginning of the game with Matt Cassel throwing for four touchdowns and three other players reaching the endzone as the Patriots rang up 487 yards on offense and a total of 663 (including special teams). Unfortunately, were the Pats playing a better offensive team, this still could have been a close game despite the 47 points scored by the Pats.

The messiness that is the Raiders netted 545 combined yards against the Pats. Part of the reason why I think that if the playoffs are in the cards for New England, they'll be folding early.

As for the Pats playoff chances...

They got some help from the Steelers who dropped the Ravens in Baltimore. Currently the Ravens, Jets, Pats, and Dolphins are all tied at 9-5 with the Ravens holding the tie-breakers for the last wild card slot. Currently the standings look like this -

Jets - AFC East champ

Ravens - Wild Card

To get in the Pats need to win out and get help from any number of places - to win the East, they need Miami to lose to Kansas City, and then win against the Jets, or for the Jets to lose to the Seahawks and then win against Miami. To get the wild card, the team still needs to win out with both the Ravens and one of the in-division foes to drop a game as before. Even though the Ravens have the toughest remaining schedule with the Cowboys and Jaguars still on the docket, I just don't see them losing either game.

If this is the end of the road for the Patriots this season, so be it.

With additional injuries to Gary Guyton and Matt Light this week, their job has become a lot tougher.

As for Cassel - he gave an impressive performance, given his situation, and the weather. I'm sure his dad would have been proud.


David Sullivan said...

Pats will win the wild card cause Balt. will lose to Dallas and the Jets or Miami will drop one when they play each other. The Pats will handily defeat the Cards, but will have a tough time with Lynch in Buffalo. In the end they will have more "O" than BuffalO. Once in the playoffs, who knows, but I see an early exit unless they play Denver.

Suldog said...

Commitment To Excellence? The Raiders have been so bad for so long. Just pitiful. Davis needs to take his carpetbagging old ass to the retirement home.

Kevin Smith said...

Gotta admit, I'm hoping Baltimore drops one - but I'm not convinced that the Dallas O can overcome the Baltimore D. I'm more concerned about the Pats game against the Cards than against Buffalo mostly because the Pats D has made some very mediocre to poor passers look like Joe Montana the last two weeks - and Warner and his receivers are much better than any of the combos that the Pats have faced in about a month.

That said, I like their chances more because the game is in the cold of Gillette, rather than in the desert.

As for the Raiders - I used to hate them. Now I just pity them. One time they were the villains of the league, and they made great villains. They were like the Legion of Doom. Now they're just the Legion of Dumb.