Friday, January 06, 2006

More NFL Ranting

I'm drinking the Kool Aid. Washington 42, Tampa Bay 10. I take everything good I said about the Bucs back. Over. Rated. The thought of the Redskins dominating that Bucs team in Tampa Bay is enough to bring tingles down my spine. Is it Saturday yet?

AFC Rankings

I don't have the time or energy to really get too in depth about the AFC, but I'll throw a couple things out there.

I rank them like this:

1. Indianapolis
2. Denver
3. New England
4. Cincy
5. Pittsburgh
6. Jacksonville

Not that this ranking really matters. I don't think the difference between the teams is that vast. Jacksonville had a cupcake schedule and I don't think they're going anywhere, but it's not out of reason. They play pretty good defense and New England isn't exactly a dominant power this year (last victory against a tough opponent...September 25).

I like Denver, but I don't think they can beat the Colts in Indy, although I do think they would beat the Patriots. If the Steelers were playing at home, I'd take them over Cincy. But they're not, so I'm taking the Bengals.

Indy is obviously the favorite, but I don't think they're as awe inspiring as the ESPN hype machine wants them to be. In fact, I was thoroughly unimpressed with their play in the San Diego game. Three things stood out:

1. It didn't look like the Colts were having any fun - In fact, it really looked like the offensive players (Manning, James, and Harrison) pretty much hated each other. I don't have any real evidence to back this up, but I think they have (or had before Dungy's son committed suicide) real chemistry problems. That doesn't bode well for Super Bowl aspirations.

2. The Colts offense is, well, gimmicky - Manning pretty much gets up to the line of scrimmage, calls plays, and then spends 5-10 seconds trying to draw the defense offsides. Every. Single. Time. Not only is that completely unappealing aesthetically, but it just seems sort of petty. I understand trying to draw the defense offsides as a strategy. But when you try it every down, the defense will get used to it.

3. The Colts are still a finesse team - San Diego had the blueprint for beating the Colts. Smack them in the mouth, repeatedly, and they'll fall behind. The Colts don't like to get too physical. They don't have a Jon Runyan type or a Joe Jacoby or even a Mike Sellars who is going to beat up on the opposing D. And Manning in particular isn't a guts and glory kind of guy. The Chargers repeatedly hit him, sacked him, and got in his face and that was the difference. The first team that smacks the Colts around is going to beat this team.

That being said, the Colts are still the favorites. They've got a great offense and a good defense and they have home field advantage. But I don't think they're invincible or any nonsense like that. In fact, if the Redskins and Colts make the Super Bowl, I'll take the Skins. But realistically, that's not going to happen. Realistically, we'll have two finesse teams (Seattle-Indy) duking it out in a gentlemanly sort of way with the Colts winning 52-37.


I watched some of the Texas-USC game the other night. Very exciting, very entertaining. But if I ever hear a single person say, "college football is better than the NFL" I'll be laying a titanic sized smackdown. There's no argument for college football. Everything is better about the pro game and anyone who thinks differently is truly not paying attention. Just go ask Steve Spurrier which is the tougher game. (Since my university did not have football, I am untainted by college affiliation.)


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