Obituaries: None this week
8 – Ew
The Giants have given up 277 points this year. That’s 5th worst in the NFL. They’ve allowed 382 yards per game. Also 5th worst. They give up 131 rushing yards per game. Somehow, that makes them only the 9th worst in that category. They give up 251 passing yards per game. 7th worst.
Their opponents’ combined record: 55-66.
Their defense can’t stop the run or cover anybody, and their offensive line stinks.
I can go on and on with about the problems with this team… and I will! Later today. 🙂
7 – Jay Cutler’s thumb
This time last week, I thought the Bears could survive without Jay Cutler. Methinks I was wrong.
6 -Lucky indeed
Last year, I attended the NFL Combine. There I got to watch the great Rick Gosselin in action, and he was the busiest human in the room. He had this enormous notebook with very specific questions written down for every player in attendance. We’re talking about over 300 players, mind you. The way the Combine works, if you’re a writer, is they stick you in this huge wide-open suite level room within the stadium, where the players come up a few at a time and you can fire off questions to them. There’d be some guy rated as a 7th round pick that would go up (for fun we’ll call him Moomoo Shabobadoo), and Gosselin would turn to his Moomoo Shabobadoo page and go, “Moomoo, Do you think teams will be concerned about the time you stole Skittles from the local convenience store when you were 8 years old?”
Dallas fans certainly know who Rick Gosselin is. Gosselin has covered the NFL for over 30 years. His mock draft is one of the most sought-after reads every year, because of his impeccable accuracy of predicting how the first round will go. There’s a website that actually rates the folks who put out mock drafts called The Huddle Report. There you’ll see that Gosselin is sort of the Michael Jordan of mock drafts. (Side note – My boy Tommy from Scouts Notebook is tied for 15th, not bad considering that The Huddle Report rates over 120 people. If Gosselin is the Michael Jordan of NFL mock drafts, I guess that would make Tommy sort of the Kevin McHale of mock drafts?) Anyway, not to get off track here, the point is… Rick Gosselin is the balls.
Blogging the Boys, meanwhile, is a team-optimistic Cowboys site. It’s probably the most widely read and popular Cowboys fan blog on the internet. The last 5 months, they’ve amassed just shy of 7 million site hits. It’s updated like 5 or 6 times per day, and the content, more often than not, is excellent. It’s my primary source for Cowboys news.
Alright Jimmy, so get to the freaking point already.
Sorry. OK, so Thursday night, I posted that the Cowboys were lucky to beat a couple of terrible teams the past two weeks (the Redskins and Dolphins). I thought it was a pretty obvious and vanilla proclamation, frankly. I mean, against the Skins, they were at the mercy of the Redskins’ kicker in OT, and against Miami, they were outplayed for the majority of the game, but were gifted 7 points after a flukey botched shotgun snap that was recovered by Dallas inside the Miami 5 yard line. A rather large debate ensued in the comment section over whether or not those two wins were lucky or not. Cowboys fans said no. Fans of everyone else said yes.
Cowboy-hating was the diagnosis, I was even challenged to find a legitimate, unbiased writer that felt the same way. Ask and ye shall receive:
Here’s the aforementioned Gosselin’s take on the Redskins game:
On whether the Cowboys’ win could be called “gutsy”:
Gosselin: Did you say gutsy or lucky? Unbelievable that they came away win a win. Washington comes out here, their best running back’s not playing, their best wide receiver’s not playing, their best tight end’s not playing. Rex Grossman gets benched earlier in the year for ineptness. To come out with the No. 27 ranked offense and a five-game losing streak, they had no business being in this game, and they’re kicking a field goal to win it in overtime. That was shameful, but the Cowboys always seem to play to their level of competition. If the Redskins are bad, they’re going to play bad. If the Patriots are good, they’re going to play good. I’ve never seen a team quite like this where they play to the level of whoever they’re playing against.
That’s pretty straightforward, I’d say.
Here’s Blogging the Boys’ Cowboys-Dolphins game recap. First paragraph:
For the second game in a row, the watchword was “whew!” Again, the Cowboys muddled about against a seemingly inferior team only to put the game on Tony Romo’s back in the final frames, pulling out a victory. Against Washington, the Cowboys appeared to be the better team; on Thursday, the Dolphins were the better squad. If not for a gift touchdown at the end of the first half, after DeMarcus Ware recovered an arrant shotgun snap, Dallas might not have been close enough for Romo’s heroics to matter much.
The word “luck” isn’t specifically used there and I certainly don’t want to put words in anyone’s mouth, so I’ll just let you be the judge if that sounds an awful lot like an acknowledgement of luck.
5 – Stuhpid
I was in the grocery store the other day, and a fly landed on the face of an elderly woman behind me in line. I punched the fly, but in the process my hand also inadvertantly struck the elderly woman, knocking her unconscious, and leaving me with a bloody hand. To stop the bleeding, I reached into her purse, found her wallet, grabbed as many 20 dollar bills as I could find and wrapped up my bloody hand. I then sprinted out of the store to the safe confines of my home.
4 – Best 7-4 team in the conference
Of the 4 NFC teams with 7-4 records, Atlanta clearly looks like the best of the bunch. After a slow start to the season, they’re 6-2 in their last 8, with those losses coming to the Packers, and the Saints in OT. No shame in that. They have virtually no chance of making any serious noise in the playoffs, but for the purposes of this hierarchy, they’re ensconced in the 4 spot.
3 – Tough road loss in Baltimore
Absurd assignment for the Niners last week. The NFL made them fly 6 hours cross country on a short week so that they could have a brother vs brother game on Thanksgiving. The NFL put a storyline ahead of common sense, and that’s ridiculously unfair to San Fran. Then the stripes hosed them out of a long TD on a garbage chop block call. Tough team. They’ll bounce back.
2 – Showtime
I’ve been flip-flopping the Saints and Niners all season in this 2 spot, but i think it’s pretty easy to see which team is truly more likely to make a deep playoff run. Here’s what I wrote in my little weekly NFC East trash talk thing at the Washington Post:
No idea how the Giants are going to cover Colston, Graham, Moore, Henderson, Meachem, Sproles, etc. Sean Payton is a master at exploiting bad matchups, and great as a story as he may be, Mark Herzlich is going to be Payton’s target. To make matters worse, Payton has had 2 weeks to figure out how to exploit the Giants D. It could get ugly.
Every once in a blue moon I get stuff right.
1 – Still the best