Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Week 12: Thankful for Botched Snaps

Seattle 24, St. Louis 19 - I am very thankful for friends, family, food, and football. But I this holiday weekend, I was especially thankful for the above botched snap. Eleven months after Tony Romo's fumble cost the Cowboys a playoff win and sent the Seahawks to the next round, the Blue Man Group was about to lose again before yet another botched snap, this time on 4th and goal in St. Louis. It was yet another crazy divisional game between the Seahawks and Rams, filled with interceptions, fumbles, returns, injuries, and huge plays. Somehow these two rivals always give us a great game that goes down to the final minute.

New England 31, Philadelphia 28 - After New England survived what could have been the NFL’s upset of the century last Sunday Night against A.J. Feely and the Philadelphia Eagles, there are two completely different ways this could turn out. One, as John Madden pointed out, is that suddenly the blueprint to beat the suddenly mortal Patriots is out. Perhaps the Patriots have been exposed and are indeed beatable. On the other hand, Bill Billichick will definitely use this to add to the enormous pile of motivation that the Pats already have been burning off of, and they can resume torching teams on their way to the perfect season.

Thanksgiving weekend was filled with great sports, highlighted by the NFL of course. The Monday Night game in Pittsburgh was ruined by the rain and a terrible field, and what could have been a scoreless tie was broken late in the fourth as the Steelers snuck away with a disgusting yet entertaining 3-0 win. Elsewhere, Peyton finally got to watch Eli in person, but the Vikings picked him off four times, including three picksixes in a 41-17 beatdown. Denver decided to kick to Devin Hester, who scored two touchdowns after fumbling his first return as the Bears topped the Bronocs in overtime, 37-34. San Diego finally got the passing game going, 32-14 over Baltimore. Finally, Kurt Warner threw for a career high 484 yards in a wacky game against the lowly 49ers. The Cardinals made the game-winner in overtime, but a delay of game penalty forced a retry that missed. Then Warner got sacked and fumbled in his own endzone, and San Francisco recovered to end the game, 37-31.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What in the (bleep) did I tell y'all

Kevin Durant hit his first ever game winning shot at the buzzer in Atlanta last night to give the Sonics their second win of the season in a 126-123 double overtime thriller. While Damien Wilkens also shined in his homecoming, dropping a career high 41 points as his father and uncle watched, it was Durant who has now proved himself worthy of the hype. While the Sonics are going nowhere this season (except for maybe Oklahoma) they have gotten their first winning streak going. Most importantly, last night showed that KD is coming on fast as the NBA's next superstar.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Adande: Save our Sonics

My man J.A. Adande checks in with an informative piece about what the NBA should do regarding the arena situation in Seattle, pointing to the Hornets' lack of attendence in New Orleans. While the Sonics are seemingly destined to move to Oklahoma at some point, Adande points out that the economics of the situation are not necessarily in agreement. I love learning about the business of sports, and this is a good read.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh Phil, you so funny

The Spurs made 13 3-pointers in their 107-92 victory, and Jackson was asked if too much penetration was leading to open outside shooters.

"We call this a 'Brokeback Mountain' game, because there's so much penetration and kickouts," Jackson said. "It was one of those games."

Suspended...with Henrys

This is an absolutely hilarious link for those who have been following these three Henrys, all of whom are great talents in the NFL.

A little background information before you click:

  • Runnin' Chris Henry is the Titans’ running back who is in trouble for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
  • Catchin' Chris Henry is the Bengals receiver who has been busted for: speeding without a license nor insurance (but with marijuana); aggravated assault with a firearm...while wearing his own jersey; "sex crimes" (enough said there); two DUIs; assault of a 16-year old boy; providing alcohol to minors; When he finally got back from his eight game suspension last week, he got hit with a lawsuit after assaulting valet parking attendant after he refused to pay while shouting "Do you know who I am!?"
  • Travis Henry is the Denver Broncos running back who has shattered records by fathering NINE children with NINE different women and is in the process of contesting a possible suspension after testing positive for marijuana.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

MNF: Seattle 24, San Francisco 0

What is it about Seattle and being on national television? Either they get destroyed or they do the destroying. Two years ago, they ran the Texans out of town 42-10 on Sunday Night Football and walked into Philadelphia and shut out the Eagles in the snow 42-0 on Monday Night Football. Last year they were embarrassed by eventual the eventual NFC champions in Chicago, 37-6 on SNF, then shut out the woeful Raiders with Seneca Wallace running the show on MNF. Last night, they shut out the San Francisco 49ers, 24-0 on Monday Night Football.
  • During the telecast Tony asked Jaws if the score was more a result of the Seahawks being that good or the 49ers being that bad. Jaws quickly answered, it was the 49ers. I have to admit I agree. The 49ers are simply terrible, as the banged up Alex Smith cannot throw an accurate pass and Frank Gore is no longer the threat he was last year. SF handed the Seahawks multiple opportunities to trounce them. However, Seattle had two turnovers and a couple of costly penalties that took points off the board. If they were hosting a good team, the Seahawks could have easily lost.
  • Mike Holmgren unveiled a new look Seattle offense that featured the pass far more than the run. Matt Hasselbeck opened up the game in the shotgun and quickly stormed down the field. Matt is quietly having a great year, and it should only get better when Deion Branch returns. However, it remains to be seen how this different offense fares against better teams.
  • Mo Morris filled in for Shaun Alexander and did a decent job. What happens when Shaun returns?
  • The Seahawks are going to win a lousy NFC West, host a first round playoff game. They will be favored at home, and should they win, will likely have to travel to a Green Bay or Dallas. My prediction is similar to last year's end result: A thrilling first round close win followed by a heart-breaking close road loss.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Week 10: Bolts Shock Colts

With the Patriots on a bye (something tells me Brady was still scoring plenty...off the field), our attention finally turns to a great slate of good games in the NFL.

  • Philadelphia 33, Washington 25 - McNabb and Reid got a much needed win in Washington thanks to Westbrook.
  • Jacksonville 28, Tennessee 13 - I give some credit to these two physical teams for beating up on their divisional rival Colts so bad that they did not have all their starters the past two weeks.
  • St. Louis 37, New Orleans 29 - Just when we thought the Saints were marching again, the ghost of Jim Haslett returns. They are still dangerous though, and will find a way to win their lousy division and host a playoff game though.
  • Buffalo 13, Miami 0 - The Heat and Dolphins have lost a combined 25 games in a row. Meanwhile, the Bills are hot, winners of four in a row and five of the last six. Yes, the Bills folks. Can they hang with the Pats next week on SNF?
  • Denver 27, Kansas City 11 - CSI: Mile High: Travis Henry is taking lie detector tests and turning over hair samples.
  • Green Bay 34, Minnesota 0 - Did you see that last Favre touchdown pass? Only his throws somehow make it there. Adrain Peterson went down early; what the hell is an LCL anyway?
  • Pittsburgh 31, Cleveland 28 - Ah, now this was a game. I like to shy away from moral victories, but the Browns have come a long way and have shown that they are capable of beating the Steelers. On the other side, Big Ben's comeback was phenomenal. You have to put him up there with the best quarterbacks in the league. Everyone hop on the bandwagon now, the Steelers are the prime candidate to upset the Patriots run at perfection in a few weeks.
  • Atlanta 20, Carolina 13 - Remember when this would have normally been a divisional showdown between a Super Bowl contender that had Michael Vick's number?
  • Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 7 - Seven field goals. Disgusting.
  • Chicago 17, Oakland 6 - Did Rex Grossman just win a game for the Bears!?
  • Arizona 31, Detroit 21 - Did Tim Rattay just win a game for the Cardinals!?
  • San Diego 23, Indianapolis 21 - Now THIS was the best game of the week. Peyton Manning threw SIX interceptions, Adam Vinitieri missed TWO field goals, and the Chargers offense was terrible. In a completely unrelated story, hell froze over.
  • Neither team deserved to win this game. The Chargers should have blown open the game in the first half with all the picks and good field position; instead they got two scores off special teams. The Chargers are supposed to have a powerhouse offense, but it was unable to put the game away. If the Colts won this game, we would all be talking about how great Manning is, managing to win despite missing so many starters, including two offensive linemen and two wide receivers and their stud tight end. Of course, he struggled without so many key elements of his team, and still was in a position to win the game at the end. Shame on you, Chargers.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Oh Matt, you so funny 5

From the Seattle Times:

Defensive end Patrick Kerney strained an oblique muscle in Sunday's game against Cleveland, the second Seahawk with that injury in the past two games.

"That's two obliques in two weeks," Holmgren said incredulously. "After 21 years I've had two in two weeks."

Kerney's injury gave Hasselbeck the chance to do what he does well, crack a joke about having the same injury as a teammate. Hasselbeck hurt his oblique against St. Louis on Oct. 21.

"Yeah, I think Patrick and I have been doing too many sit-ups," Hasselbeck said. "We're both big weight-room guys. It happens to guys like us, me and Patrick. People confuse us on the street as well. They have to kick us out of the weight room, turn the lights off on us."

Matt Hasselbeck is second in Seahawks history with 20,245 passing yards, trailing Dave Krieg by almost 6,000 yards. It's a milestone Hasselbeck wasn't aware of until Monday, the day after his 318 passing yards vaulted him past his quarterbacks coach, Jim Zorn.

"There are some records that you break that are kind of cool," Hasselbeck said. "Then others, they're a product of being fortunate enough to be with one team and getting to start and getting to play a bunch of games."

And surpassing Zorn?

"That explains all the draw calls he was calling for in the two-minute drill to try to keep the numbers low," Hasselbeck joked. "No, it's cool. Obviously there's a relationship there with myself and Jim Zorn because he is my position coach, but he's also one of the guys that you looked up to as a kid."

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Week 9: Is it over?

  • The Patriots defeated the Colts in Indianapolis on Sunday, 24-20, immediately placing them in the running to go 19-0 to go along with many other historic records they are on pace for. The commentary and analysis on this instance classic game and its repercussions on the rest of the season are endless, but just remember that the season is only halfway over.
  • The other game that made headlines was San Diego's letdown at Minnesota, 35-17. Adrian Peterson ran all over the supposedly great Chargers run defense, setting an NFL record with 296 rushing yards. San Diego's Antonio Cromartie returned a missed field goal 109 yards for a score at the end of the first half, setting the NFL record for longest play ever.
  • The Green Bay Packers are winning games. The defense is dominant, and Brett Favre is doing it all, grey hair and everything. I am not the only one who would love to see him get to the Super Bowl and hang with Brady or Manning in a shootout.
  • Pittsburgh destroyed Baltimore on Monday Night Football 38-7, and although it was more of the Ravens' mistakes that led to the rout, I have to put the Steelers right up there with Indy and New England. Everyone has the Pats and Colts penciled in for the AFC title game on January 20, but do not be surprised if another division winner (San Diego and Pittsburgh) comes in on a roll with momentum, and stuns one of those teams coming off their bye.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the season is not over folks. Not by a longshot.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Super Bowl 41.5

Patriots fans aside, I think everyone is on the Colts bandwagon this week. No one wants to see the Pats go undefeated, as great as they are. Peyton “funny guy” Manning is America’s darling while Tom “man whore” Brady is terrible role model, knocking up supermodels left and right. Tony Dungy vs Bill Billicheat is a matchup of a good family guy and man of God against a classless bore who runs up the score, shows poor sportsmanship, and is annoyingly mean to everyone. Oh, and he CHEATS. Not only in the NFL, but on his wife(s) too! Folks, this weekend is a battle of good versus evil. And shame on any of you for rooting for those evil Patriots. That being said, New England 41, Colts 31.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Durant Debuts

The beginning of a new era was highlighted on national television this week, and the phenomenal phenom Kevin Durant made his debuts. While the war over keeping the franchise in Seattle continues to rage on, Durant has quickly emerged as everything Sonics fans had hoped for.

  • Although the Sonics lost both games, they were to legitimate title contenders in the Denver Nuggets and Phoenix Suns, neither of which was bound to lose their season openers.
  • In both games, Seattle was not only hanging with the best of the west, but was actually leading for most of the game. That is, until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Without a respected leader and superstar, say a Ray Allen or Rashard Lewis, to make some clutch plays, the young and inexperienced Sonics are vulnerable at the end of games. In the home opener, Durant had 27 points midway through the fourth until the Suns' harassing double teams on him pretty much killed any Sonics offense.
  • My new main main "KD" struggled at times, but showed flashes of brilliance scoring against the likes of good defenders in Carmelo Anthony, Raja Bell, and Shawn Marion.
  • For such a skinny and supposedly weak player, KD was able to get to the basket a lot more than I expected, and will be an even greater threat once he develops the strength to go alongside the likes of the Kobes and Lebrons.
  • Durant has an amazingly smooth shot, and can consistently get it as a 6'9" guard with freakishly long arms.
  • What impressed me the most, however, was Durant's willingness to handle the ball, and his ability to make good passes. Durant is already drawing double teams coming off screens, slashing to the lane, or pushing the fast break, and has made some nice passes. Considering young guys normally take years to learn when and how to effectively pass the ball in the NBA (has Kobe learnt yet?), KD is already well ahead of the game.

other random thoughts...

  • It is November, and yet sports fans in Los Angeles are hyping the Dodgers' hiring of Joe Torre. Since when does a manager or coach carry that much weight that the team suddenly becomes a contender?
  • Oh right, the year Phil Jackson came to town, he immediately started a mini-dynasty.
  • My Houston Rockets are 2-0, and it is an impressive 2-0 considering they are breaking in a new offensive scheme under a completely different coaching style under Rick Adelman. Furthermore, the two wins were convincing ones on the road against western playoff teams.
  • T-Mac went off for 47 points at Utah last night, and Yao Ming is slowly embracing playing a faster game. The guys on Inside the NBA pointed out how Yao was getting the ball in transition and making a quick move in the post, preventing the defense from getting set and sending down double teams.
  • That style is exactly how the Lakers won those three championships, with a quick and agile Shaq running the floor and making quick moves in the post before the double teams could arrive.
  • All eyes on the Boston Celtics. Stay healthy Ray, and you may win a boatload of games (70?) and a ring.