Monthly Archives: December 2008

Reaction to the Alamo Bowl

   My Missouri Tigers squeaked out a win last night against the Northwestern Wildcats in the Alamo Bowl. The Wildcats dominated the majority of this game, they led or was tied until the 3rd quarter. Looking at the statistics, Northwestern dominated those too. They had more passing yards then Missouri (believe it or not) and more total yards in the game. Northwestern even had a +2 ratio in turnovers during the game! After being dominated for 60 minutes by Northwestern, Missouri got a clean slate in overtime.

   Northwestern won the toss and deferred, so Missouri started with the ball. After three run plays, QB Chase Daniel stood in shotgun, bobble the snap, then gunned the ball to his man, Jeremy Maclin for a 9-yard touchdown. 30-23 Missouri. Now it was Northwestern’s turn. Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher bullied Missouri’s 117th ranked pass defense all game with 3 touchdowns and 304 yards. However, Mizzou’s defense stepped up forcing a 4th and goal for Northwestern from their 31 yard line. In a desperation attempt, Bacher’s pass into the end zone fell short and Missouri won.

   This game was played and won by the star players of each team. Northwestern was led by C.J. Bacher who just out-played Chase Daniel. Tyrell Sutton of Northwestern ran hard all game for 114 yards, despite not having played in last 4 games. The Player that impressed me the most on the Northwestern side was628651DE Corey Wootton who pressured Chase Daniel all game and intercepted one of his passes. Unfortunatly, Wootton’s went down with a non-contact knee injury in the 4th quarter, my prayers go out to him and his career.

   Missouri won this game with tough lay from their star players. No thanks to Chase Daniel, WR Jeremy Maclin (2 touchdowns) and TE Chase Coffman carried the offense. On defense, linebackers Sean Weatherspoon and Brock Christopher held a good Northwestern team to only 23 points. Weatherspoon was credited with the play of the game, where he sacked and forced a Bacher fumble in overtime.

   Needless to say, Missouri escaped with a win in the Alamo Bowl. After being just man-handled for 60 minutes by a very good Northwestern team, they fought hard and stayed in the game. But, that’s what good teams do. Good job, good season Mizzou. Mizzou should be proud of the season they had as well as what they are building toward. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald over at Northwestern is building a good program, look out for them in the years to come.

NFL Playoff Predictions – Wild Card – AFC

Baltimore Ravens @ Miami Dolphins

   How about these teams?! Both the Ravens and Dolphins finished in the bottom of their divisions last year61261956-c496-4d2f-849b-10357e08d392_thumbnail and now are making some noise. I’m a bit of a bandwagon fan of the Dolphins and their wildcat offense. Fins QB Chad Pennington is breathing new life in Miami and their dual running back threat Ronnie Brown/Ricky Williams is exciting. However, it’s the Ravens who I think will win this game. Joe Flacco, for the Ravens, is the second best rookie quarterback (behind Matt Ryan) and is playing with intelligence and a cannon for an arm. The Ravens are built from their defense up. Future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis leads the talented and experience team with names like Ed Reed, Samari Rolle, and Haloti Ngata on their roster. It’s going to be very hard for these young Dolphins to score on this team. Ravens will rattle Pennington early and get to their backs often. Expect the Ravens to win this relatively easily.

Baltimore: 31 Miami: 13

 

Indianapolis Colts @ San Diego Chargers

   The red hot Indianapolis Colts go to San Diego to play the underachieving Chargers. While I’m noteaa829ce-6dda-4a33-b7c0-0c3d9323836c_thumbnailbuying the Colts just yet to make another Super Bowl run, I think that the Chargers haven’t proven they can beat a team like the Colts. The best quarterback in the NFL, Peyton Manning, will pick apart the Chargers defense that was ranked 25th in overall defense in the league. The Chargers have the talent to beat the Colts, but I don’t think they have the confidence to beat a team that is on a 9 game win streak. One of those teams they beat on that 9 game win streak was in week 12 against the Chargers in San Diego.

Indianapolis: 31 San Diego: 14

NFL Playoff Predictions – Wild Card – NFC

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings

   Philadelphia may be the hottest team coming in to the playoffs. The Eagles have won 4 of their last 5, 7423857d-4444-4b95-ab51-06eafb517436h2including wins over playoff teams Arizona and the Giants. The Eagles also embarressed the Cowboys 44-6 in week 17. The Vikings also come in hot, winning 7 of their last 9. The problem with the Viks is they still don’t have a quarterback. Tavaris Jackson does not win playoff games. Adrian Peterson is the best back in the NFL and the Vikings defense is pretty gnarly, those factors will keep Minnesota close in this game. As for the Eagles, they have a quarterback. A pretty good quarterback actually, played in a Super Bowl, been to a couple Pro Bowls, Donovan McNabb, ever heard of him? Well, with McNabb’s experience, RB Brian Westbrook’s versatility, and that surprising defense of the Eagles, I expect Philadelphia to win a close, low scoring game in this wild card game.

Philadelphia: 17 Minnesota: 10

Atlanta Falcons @ Arizona Cardinals

   How ’bout these two teams. The Falcons went 4-12 last year and now are 11-5 thanks to rookie savior Matt Ryan. The Cardinals have been the NFL’s bottom feeders of the NFL for years and haven’t won a division title since the Nixon/Ford administration. I like the Falcons in this game. After wrapping up theryanqd4 division title (a weak division, by the way), the Cards have gotten owned by the Vikings and the Patriots in week 15 and 16. The Falcons, however, have won their last three. Atlanta rookie quarterback Matt Ryan will win this game with smart throws and an awesome running attack from Michael Turner “The Burner”. DE John Abraham (16.5 sacks) will put consistent pressure on Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner so he won’t be able to get the ball downfield. The Cardinals defense is okay, but nothing spectacular. If Warner can’t get the ball to his play making receivers, there is no way the Cards win this game.

Atlanta: 28 Arizona: 17

-Pierce

How to Fix the Lions

   detroit-lions-logo0-16. Wow. Congratulations Detroit Lions on being the worst team in the history of the NFL. Yes, you lost more games in one season then anyone else. Yes, many college teams could beat you. Yes, you can be fixed. They just need what every football team needs: leadership and talent.

   Let’s start with leadership. I don’t think Rod Marinelli is to blame here (see the next paragraph of thisAPTOPIX Lions Packers Footballarticle for that reason.) In fact, I think Marinelli has is a pretty bright guy and a good coach. The real problem with the Lions in leadership was their team management. In my opinion, the Lions are 1-16 because they won one game. That game was against former Lions CEO/President, Matt Millen, who was fired mid-season. A tip to the next Lions CEO/President: listen to your staff. Even in the business side of sports franchises, it’s a team effort. Don’t go on some ego trip like Millen did and do whatever the hell you want (of course, I’m making dramatic assumptions.) Class is a trait that is inherited. If your owner is respectful and classy, the CEO will be, if the CEO is then the GM will be, if the GM is then the coaches will be, if they the coaches are then the players will be, if the players are then the fans will be. If their is a bad egg somewhere in this chain it can be poison to a team (also see: the Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Terrell Owens.) First the Lions need leadership in the office, then they need some leadership on the field. Which brings me to my second need to fix the Lions: talent.

   Simply put, the Lions have not built a talented team. It shouldn’t be that hard, considering they have top-15 draft picks year in and year out. In 2008, not surprisingly, the Lions rank neer the bottom in just about every statistical category. Well, the Lions have two first round draft picks this year and many more in the rest of the draft. So first: clean house. Get rid of those guys that aren’t pulling their weight that are already on the team. Now, I’m not in the locker room but two guys I am not big on are QB Dan Orlovsky and center Dominic Raiola. Orlovsky, bless his heart for trying, but he is a caretaker quarterback built for a team that has a great defense and can run the ball. Sit him or replace him. As for Raiola, this guy is poison. First he flicked of the fans for booing him. Then after the team went 0-16 he said to ESPN, “I’ve got to live with this. I have been here eight years and this is on my resume.” BOO HOO RAIOLA. YOU AREN’T THE ONLY ONE THAT HAS TO “LIVE” WITH THIS. QUIT ACTING LIKE A VICTIM. Next step is keep all the talented guys on the team, because the Lions do have some talent. Rookie running back Kevin Smith, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, and linebacker Ernie Sims are all players that the Lions need to lock up. Next, start building your team through the draft, not free agency or trades. Use that number one overall pick on a

Calvin Johnson

The Lion's bright spot: Calvin Johnson

quarterback (NOT A WIDE RECEIVER!), Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford looks like that guy so far. Trade that later first round pick that you got from the Cowboys for as many picks as you can get. And then pick safe bets. Players with high talent, high class, and high experience guys. STOP TAKING RISKS, THEY NEVER WORK FOR YOU, DETROIT. Pick offensive lineman, defensive lineman, linebackers, and another quarterback in the late rounds to keep that first rounder looking over his shoulder. You won’t win a Super Bowl in 2009, but you can start building a strong foundation for the future.

 

   Yes, this season was shitty. But, there is a silver lining. At least you will be in the Hall of Fame. And there is no where to go but up… right?

-Pierce

Fox Sports: GROW UP!

  I was spending my sunday watching the Packers, as usual, and I realized something I really hate about c1130watching sports on FOX. Those damn robots after commercials. We’ve all seen them. They look ridiculous! They look like a Transformers knock off toy. Then they run around and play “future” football and make amazing plays. The FOX Robots are, frankly, embarrassing. It feels like FOX thinks that all of their viewers are so stupid that they think these dumbass Robots are just the coolest thing in the world. WRONG. Sure most of your viewers are middle class and drink beer, but they are still intelligent! No, Robots are not cool anymore. They were cool when we were 8, not when we are 28. Maybe the reason why these robots are still around is because FOX themselves are so dumb. Here’s my solution, FOX: GROW UP AND HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR YOUR VIEWERS. GET RID OF THE DAMN ROBOTS.

 

-Pierce

The Greatest Play That Never Happened

   Merry Christmas, readers! I’m coming at you on this,the 25th of December, to talk about an amazing play that never happened in the Hawaii Bowl last night. Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate awaited a punt from Hawaii at mid-field in the 3rd quarter when Notre Dame had a sizable lead already. Tate fielded the punt at about mid-field and was immediatly surrounded by Hawaii defenders. Instead of taking the hit or being tackled, Tate ran – backwards. Tate dodged Hawaii defenders as he ran 20 yards backwards while head coach Charlie Weiss and the rest of the Notre Dame sideline pulled their hair out and begged for him to go down. Tate knew what he was doing: he eventually toward the sideline, where caught a great block and began running up the field. With a sharp cut back into the middle of the field and a shimmy for the kicker, Tate ran the ball back for a touchdown. This Devin Hester-esque play was was called back however for a roughing the kicker penalty. Notre Dame would score on the drive anyway, but it’s a shame that the play really never should have even 300hhappened. Hats off to Golden Tate who never gave up on the play and for breaking a Notre Dame bowl records for receiving yards in a bowl game (177), longest reception (69 yards), and receiving touchdowns (3).

   Congrats to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for breaking 9 school bowl game records, particularly quarterback Jimmy Clausen who finshed the game with 5 touchdowns, 401 yards passing, and a 84.6 completion percentage – all Notre Dame bowl game records. More Importantly, congratulations to Notre Dame for actually winning the bowl game over Hawaii 49-21. This was the Fighting Irish’s first bowl win since 1994, going winless in their last 9 bowl games.

-Pierce

 

statistics found at espn.com

Reaction to the Poinsettia Bowl

   The expression “Defense wins championships” should be changed to “Defense wins Poinsettia Bowls” ‘cuz that’s exactly what Texas Christian University did on Monday night to beat Boise State. Boise State’s fans were in an uproar when their team was snubbed from a BCS bowl despite going undefeated. TCU finished the regular season 10-2 with losses only to Oklahoma and undefeated Utah. The beginning of the game looked like it was going to be a blow out by Boise State, but TCU limited two red zone appearances by the Broncos to field goals. After a quick touchdown at the end of the half, TCU climbeph2008122303127d back in the game, trailing 7-13 as they marched into the locker room. TCU played nasty defense from the second quarter until the end of the game, stuffing any running attempt by Boise State and pressure freshman quarterback Kellen Moore constantly. The Broncos finished with 28 rush yards as a team at the end of the game and a 1.4 rush per attempt. The Horned Frogs, however, finished the game with 275 yards rushing. A mix of blitz packages and very good tackling kept Boise State from scoring anything more than a field goal. Boise State got two more chances to beat the Frogs with time running out in the game and both times TCU forced a turnover. Hats off to Boise State, who still finished the season 12-1 in a “rebuilding year.” However, it shows even more that the WAC conference should stand for Weak Ass Conference. TCU outplayed and outlasted the Broncos and looked better doing it (look at those uniforms! They look good!) Also congratulations to Boise State running back Ian Johnson, who broke the WAC’s all time rushing touchdown record with 58 touchdowns. Johnson passed both Marshall Faulk and LaDanian Tomlinson to get that record. Look out for TCU next year! Those Horned Frogs could make some noise

 

-Pierce