NFC Obituary/Hierarchy with Week 14 in the books

Graveyard:

Obituaries: None this week

Hierarchy:

8 – Marion Barber isn’t smart

It wasn’t just the current Cowboys that were in full-on choke job mode last night.  A former one was busy taking a hatchet his team’s playoff hopes as well in the early games.  I’m sure you’ve all seen the highlights by now, but in case you haven’t, the Bears had a 3 point lead, the ball, and the Broncos had no timeouts.  On 2nd down with 2 minutes left, the Bears ran left and Marion Barber allowed himself to be pushed out of bounds, stopping the clock.  The Bears ran just 5 seconds off the clock.  When the Broncos got the ball back, they had 0:56 left to try to go down and score.  If  Barber does nothing more than just fall down for a 3 yard loss, the Broncos would have had something closer to about 0:16 seconds left to try to drive down and kick a FG.  In other words, they would have lost.

I partly blame the Bears’ coaching staff here as well.  Some football players are stupid.  I mean… Let’s just get real about that.  You can tell them stuff like “Whatever you do, don’t fumble, and don’t go out of bounds” until you’re blue in the face.  But once the ball is snapped and you get them running, they completely lose their minds and do insanely idiotic things.  I’ve done it too.  Back in the day, I was playing American Legion baseball, and I don’t remember the exact scenario, but we had a man on 1st in a big spot.  I smacked a single to right, and we had 1st and 3rd.  My run at first base was meaningless, and the first base coach even reminded me as such.  So what happens?  The pitcher does that dumb fake to 3rd throw to 1st play that never works.  I didn’t even move.  Tagged out.  Awful.

So why exactly are you running a sweep, Bears?  RUN IT UP THE MIDDLE.  Don’t even give your own dumb players the opportunity to screw up.

He runs his mouth, yells a lot, self promotes, gives great quotes, has a familiar last name, and crazy hair. He MUST be awesome. Just don't... you know... look at his resume.

7 – Terrible defense

Last week it was the brain sharts of Tony Romo and Jason Garrett that soiled the Cowboys’ chances of winning the NFC East.  This week, it was just atrocious defense.  Frankly, Tony Romo had himself a game, statistically speaking:

21 of 31, 321 yards, 10.4 yards per pass, 4 TD, 0 INT, 141.3 passer rating.  Although the one pass everyone will remember will be the overthrow of a WIDE OPEN Miles Austin that would have sealed it.  It was kind of a microcosm of Romo’s career: Big numbers, but didn’t make the big play that counted.

But I don’t want to get bogged down by Romo here, because again, that loss last night isn’t on Romo.  It’s on Rob Ryan and a defense that allowed a staggering 510 yards of total offense to a team that was playing with David Diehl at LT, Mitch Petrus at LG, and Kevin Boothe at C.  It was on the comical busted coverage on Mario Manningham’s long TD.  It was on Terence Newman’s drop of a gift-wrapped pick 6 by Eli early in the game.  It was on a total team effort of the D to make Brandon Jacobs think he’s good again.

When do we start to wonder about DeMarcus Ware, by the way?  Ware got a little bit of pressure at times, but didn’t dominate the way that he SHOULD have dominated.  David Diehl has been perhaps the worst OG in football this season, and with LT Will Beatty out, the Giants were forced to kick Diehl out to LT.  Mitch Petrus then filled in at LG, and Kevin Boothe was replacing the injured David Baas at C.  The stage was set for what should have been one of the most lopsided matchups in the NFL this season,with Diehl trying to block Ware.  It wasn’t. For one, Rob Ryan tried to be cute and move Ware around instead of just exploiting the obvious, but it wasn’t like Ware didn’t have his share of one-on-one opportunities against Diehl.  Back in the day, this was a game that guys like Lawrence Taylor or Reggie White would have gone out and just won on their own.  I don’t see that in DeMarcus Ware.  He’s a great player, but not an “all time great,” if that makes any sense.

6 – AGAIN with the ELIte stuff?

I want to praise Eli.  I really do.  He’s had such an awesome season:

303 of 489, 4105 yards, 25 TD, 12 INT, 8.4 YPA, 95.5 QB rating.

And he’s done it with a bad OL, no running game, and a terrible defense (although the terrible defense has actually inflated his numbers quite a bit).

But even more so, because of the way he and his teammates have won some of their games, most notably coming from behind against the Pats (albeit the 32nd ranked pass D), staying competitive against the Packers (31st ranked pass D), and last night against the Cowboys (24th ranked pass D).  There’s little question the guy is clutch… extremely clutch.

But the overreaction and hyperbole of one game (after 4 consecutive losses) is a little out of control.  I’m reminded of Eddie Murphy’s bit with the Ice Cream Man:

The ice cream man (particularly the “watch how fast I make these little m*****f****** run” part) = Media hyperbole.

The ice cream itself = Eli.

The kids = Giants fans.

The kid with no ice cream = Redskins fans.

5 – Frauds, but they’ll be in the tourney.  I think.  Maybe.

21-0 lead in the first quarter.  Then 28-7 at one point in the second.  31-14 to start the second half.  They got 2 gift defensive TDs.  And they almost lost.  To the Vikings.  With Joe Webb at QB.  And no Adrian Peterson.

4 – Impressive win

Hey, give the Falcons their credit here.  They were down 23-7 at the half against a spry Panthers team, and they came out and won the the 2nd half 24-0.  Completely dominated.

3 – Hiccup

Niners, you should probably know this by now, but Larry Fitzgerald is really good at football.  And when John Skelton is in, Fitzy is all he looks at.  May want to give him a little more attention next time.  Just FYI.

On a side note, don’t look now, but the Cards are 6-7. It wouldn’t be crazy for them to sneak in.

2 – Great… at home.

The Titans are a decent team, but not on the level of the Saints, but it was a game that I thought the Saints could lose in Tennessee.  And they almost did.  New Orleans has to pray for another Niners loss (for that ever-important first-round bye), and for some other team to knock off the Packers in one of the early rounds of the playoffs, because they’re a completely different team away from the Superdome.

On the road, the Saints are 4-3 and score 25.1 points per game.  That’s very good, of course, but not exactly all that scary.  That’s the team that shockingly lost to the Seahawks in the first round last year.

At home the Saints are 6-0 and score 39.8 points per game.  Very scary.  That’s the team they had home field throughout the playoffs in ’09 that won the Super Bowl.

Big difference.

1 – Still the best

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  26. Joe says:

    He’s a great player, but not an “all time great,” if that makes any sense.

    Makes perfect sense, sigh……..

    That T New Pick six that wasnt just kind of is the Cowboys season so far, woulda, shoulda, coulda……

    Still in the mix, but not real confident of our chances, need the Skins to help us out this week

  27. youngwiz says:

    really unfair to look at that game and discount romo’s performance based on one throw that we arent entirely sure was romo’s fault. pretty typical to ignore everything else romo did in the 4th quarter to give them a 12 point lead, and then to drive into fg range from his own 20 with 48ish seconds left and no timeouts. guess thats to be expected though.

    1. Not sure who did that.

  28. Barry says:

    “The kid with no ice cream = Redskins fans.”

    LOL

  29. Number5 says:

    Ware was hampered with injury all game and finally left sometime in the 4th with a shoulder stinger.

    Also, the Eagles lost to a Joe Webb Vikings last year, and overall our D was better.

  30. Will B says:

    It’d be pretty funny if the Eagles got into the playoffs since Jimmy killed them off. Lol, they’d be like zombie eagles. Come back to life for the playoffs haha.

  31. Jay Walker (GIB) says:

    Dont start digging yet….
    …but keep your shovel handy.

    Backing into the playoffs usually means a good team that locked things up early and eases off the gas. The lose a game or 2, and although meaningless, they get scorned for losing anyway.
    But if the Eagles go 3-0, and the Boys and Giants go 1-2…No matter the 4 game win streak the Eagles would have to be on, they would be re-defining the term ‘backing into the playoffs.”

    1. Free Plax says:

      I tried to believe in the Eagles a couple of weeks ago when Jimmy first shoveled dirt on them, I said it’s to early, Jimmy said they were done; Than they went out and got their doors blown off by the Seahawks. Stranger things have happened but I think I got a better chance at winning the lottery than the Eagles making the playoffs.

  32. Anthony says:

    Man, I miss that Eddie Murphy.

    1. Immynimmy says:

      He needs to stop making those Disney movies and go back to his rated R comedies.

      1. packimop says:

        Tower Heist?

      2. Free Plax says:

        I hear Disney pays well though

  33. Immynimmy says:

    Kevin Baas–>David Baas

    1. Oops. Dick Stockton’d. Kevin, David… Potato, potahto.

    2. Free Plax says:

      Kevin Boss is certainly better looking than David

  34. Gary says:

    I don’t even think his overthrow to Austin was totally on Romo. I think Austin with two healthy hamstrings makes that catch and puts the game away.

  35. DerfDiggy says:

    Cowboys are the dumbest team in football….and their castoffs continue to show that. MBIII, Roy Willie….are just examples how dumb football players lose games.

    Cowboys hate prosperity.

    Strange…I wasn’t even all that upset with the latest meltdown. This core of Cowboys are making it easier and easier for fans to tolerate bad football. At this point, it’s expected. Sad, but true.

    1. Free Plax says:

      I have been saying this basically since Parcells left Dallas, Their defense stinks, they absolutly fold like a cheap tent when the game is on the line and you can count on it 9 times out of 10. Romo has his issues but if he ever plaed with a really good D, he is good enough to do damage. Every one laughs at the Giants D, but Dallas has really bad D too, good thing they missed out on playing Brees and Rodgers becasue they would get smoked.

      1. youngwiz says:

        its sad that when the giants got the ball back down 5 you kinda just knew they were going to drive down and score. had that td not been dropped (nicks? cant remember) dallas has enough time to go down and win it in regulation. might as well have just let the giants score, although maybe they did.

        1. Free Plax says:

          LOL it’s even more sad that when the Giants go down to take the lead most Giant fans are thinking 50 seconds is way to much time on the clock becasue our D can’t stop anybody

  36. Free Plax says:

    One last comment, I think the fact that Demarcus Ware is very beat up with the stinger issues had a lot to do with Diehl him having no sacks, he is hurt and it’s obvious.

      1. DerfDiggy says:

        Yea I wasn’t even going to comment on the Ware stuff. Strange that he’s even getting flack. He’s literally the true “talent” on Defense. I guess a case can be made for Lee, but he’s a 2nd year player. Ware had an interview about 3 weeks back where he said he’s been the healthiest he’s been in like 5 seasons…Then went out the next game and got himself injured. He’s playing hurt, which isn’t necessarily an excuse…but the whole “Empty sacks”, and “Not a big time player”, knock on him is just kind of ridiculous…and almost nitpicky. Especially on a defense that bad.

      2. youngwiz says:

        i thought ware played well personally. he was in the backfield a lot, and to judge him mainly by the number of sacks he gets in a game is stupid. when wr’s are open immediately after the snap, it doesnt matter what ware is doing.

  37. Tron says:

    What about JPP jimmy, hes starting to look like a real stud.

    Good thing the eagles traded up to take Brandon Graham (injuries blah blah)

    They also might have won the Nicks/Maclin pick… sigh

    at least Ramses Barden hasn’t done anything of note

    1. Free Plax says:

      Book is still out on Graham, JPP was a huge risk coming out of the draft the Eagles were not the only ones who missed him. Nobody saw JPP turning into what he has turned into this fast (well maybe Jerry Reese did). As far as the Nicks Maclin debate, I would take Nicks over Maclin anyday, however, if I had to take Maclin I wouldn’t be complaining he is good.

      1. Tron says:

        Whats your take on Prince from what you’ve seen in the last couple games? I haven’t watched the Giants enough to have an opinion. I only really noticed him on the Robinson TD which I think was on the lack of pressure more than on him, tough to cover a guy that long.

        1. Free Plax says:

          I don’t like to judge any rookie because I think it takes a player 3 to 4 seasons to turn into the player they can be. Some rookies come in like gang busters but others take time to learn the game. I think that’s the case with Prince, he has struggled, but given the amount of time he missed due to a broken foot, and the fact that this is his rookie season, I can’t say I am suprised he is getting toasted out there.

        2. brisulph says:

          he is getting toasted a bit early… if that carries at the same frequency into next year, it would have to be a concern.

          1. Free Plax says:

            So you must have been pulling your hair out with Cory Webster, because he was terrible his first two, make that three seasons as Cory really didn’t improve till an injury forced him into the lineup when we made our SB run.

            Way to early to start worrying about Prince, yesterday was his fourth game in the NFL

            1. brisulph says:

              I said IF he continues to get hit up NEXT YEAR, then I would have to start to be concerned. Don’t misrepresent what I said.

              1. Free Plax says:

                I didn’t I was pointing out to you that a lot of players take at least 3 years to develop like Cory did.

    2. A hit is a hit. And Maclin was a hit. So I wouldn’t get too concerned about the Nicks-Maclin stuff. They’re both really good.

      As for JPP, yeah, clearly he’s going to be tearing up the league for the foreseeable future. And it’s not just that he’s good. He plays so hard. Hard not to like him, even if you’re a fan of the other teams. Loved Collinsworth’s nickname for him last night: The Octopus. It’s perfect. If Cris Collinsworth gives you a nickname on SNF, you’re doing something awesome.

      1. Tron says:

        It does seem like Watkins was a solid pick, whats your take on him? I know the oline wasn’t great yesterday but he seemed to have some nice blocks on both of Shady’s TD runs.

        1. Tracer Bullet says:

          By “solid,” do you mean “not ephemeral?” Because, I agree. He does, in fact, have corporeal form.

      2. Steve D. says:

        “If Cris Collinsworth gives you a nickname on SNF, you’re doing something awesome.”

        -and if Gruden gives you a nickname on MNF, that means you’re probably on a team that is playing that particular monday.

        1. giants fan says:

          lol

      3. giants fan says:

        I like the kraken, because then we can say “release the kraken”!!

  38. brisulph says:

    I agree Eli is not Elite (in that, not on the top tier of QBs), but he is in the top 10 in the NFL. Romo is another one who gets disparaged too often, dude is a really good QB.

    1. No question. And “Top 10” is even underselling it. But I’m reading stuff like Top 3 out there, which is laughable.

      1. Free Plax says:

        I think almost every rational fan has Rodgers, Brady and Brees as the top 3 of QB’s in the NFL, after that it’s fair to say Eli is on the next level. Let’s quit the Eli is not Elite or I would not bring him to Marklar because Eli is fully cabable of winning big games; games he is not supposed to be able to win, and Super Bowls. Clearly Eli has put the Giants on his back and is carrying the team, becasue the D is terrible, the running game is bad and the O-line stinks, hell Eli has had to rally the Giants for every singe win the Giants have.

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