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NFL Playoffs

January 18, 2011 2 comments

Grateful for the distraction of football after a tough, intense and sad week in America, apparently I was not alone. Initial ratings estimates find 42 million of us tuned in to watch the Jets’ shocking upset of the New England Patriots Sunday afternoon.

As one commentator noted on a local sports show, Jets coach, Rex Ryan has easily supplanted New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg as the King of Gotham. It’s one thing to be profane and full of bluster and another to back it up on the gridiron. And especially after the Pats had demolished the Jets 45-3 in their last meeting at Foxboro stadium.

That’s why the play the games.

Now the Jets come calling on the Steelers in Pittsburgh this weekend and I’m sure the ratings will be astronomical again. This will be a battle of brutal defenses. What the Jets did to Payton Manning and Tom Brady on the road in successive weeks is insanely impressive. I have no doubt they’ll be equally impressive against Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. But then again, the Jets are going up against an equally impressive Steelers defense. Will anybody score? That said, it’ll probably end up 41 to 38.

Meantime, over in the NFC, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers meet up with the Bears in Chicago. Coming off a career performance in which Rodgers sliced and diced the Falcons in Atlanta, it’ll be a hard performance to match. I’m betting he’ll get the job done.

Though the Steelers are on a roll too, it just seems the Jets and Packers have it all together just at the right time. I’m going for a Packers-Jets Super Bowl in Dallas and I confidently predict the ratings will approach a gazillion- give or take a billion or two.

NFL- thanks much for the distraction.

Hail.

September 14, 2010 Leave a comment

They certainly aren’t going to dominate the NFL, but “finding a way to win,” as Coach Shanahan described Sunday night’s victory over the Cowboys- has been a lost art for the Redskins for about 15 years. What they lack in talent they seem to be making up in character.

Takeaways

– The Redskins did not win the game because of luck or a bad call. Tony Romo would have been flat on his back spitting his teeth out like chicklets if Cowboy substitute offensive lineman, Alex Barron hadn’t mugged Skins linebacker Brian Orakpo. That’s why Romo completed the pass.

– It’s nice to see the other team doing stupid things, like the inexplicable Dallas screen pass with 4 seconds left in the 1st half that was supposed to somehow turn into a 64-yard miracle play. Well, ok, it was a miracle when DeAngelo Hall stripped the ball and recovered the fumble he caused and cruised into the end zone. Just not the miracle the Pokes were looking for. Nice front-flip, DeAngelo.

– I like the burgandy and gold uniforms. They were discontinued in 1991 because Skins GM, Bobby Beathard thought after two decades, they had grown rather boring. This was the home uniform under George Allen. The colors Jurgenson wore.

– Amendment to the old rule that you never take points off the board. When the Skins accepted a Cowboy’s offsides penalty after hitting a field goal- it made sense to keep the drive alive. What you’re not supposed to do- is blow a chip-shot field goal by making a bad snap.

– They blew some coverages in the 4th quarter that turned into near disaster, but, overall, the Skins defense is tough and aggressive. See the Baltimore Ravens for teams that won a Superbowl with no offense and a great defense.

– Mike Shanahan is a true leader. My life as a football fan has often revolved as much around the head coach as the players. Only reason I’m a Redskins fan is because I discovered in 1969, that I really wasn’t a Packers fan- I was a Vince Lombardi fan. As soon as Lombardi came to DC- that’s when I started rooting for the Redskins. Mike Shanahan is the kind of no-nonsense, character-first Head Coach that is easy to root for. What the Redskins have lacked for years, is a coach who demands hard work, loyalty and discipline. Vince Lombardi, Joe Gibbs and George Allen had those qualities. Cannot say the same for the parade of losers that have run this team other than those three. Shanahan is right up there in my book.

– I don’t expect the Skins to make the playoffs, but 8-8-0 is a hell of a lot better than 4-12-0. Really- as a long-suffering Skins fan, all I ask is that the team leave us with at least a little dignity. Mondays are always better when you don’t have to come back to work wearing a paper bag over your head.