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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pats top Jets and Week 2 Notes


Boy-gini Can't Stop Man-genius
The talk all week surrounding the Pats/Jets game was less about the actual players and mostly about the relationship between the two head coaches. A lot of outsiders speculated as to whether new Jets head coach Eric Mangini (aka Boygini; aka Little Bill) and his former boss with the Patriot's, Bill Belichick (aka pimp daddy; aka Super Bowl Ring collector; aka Mangini's daddy) were even still on speaking terms. After all, Mangini bolted New England after only one season as defensive co-ordinator, leaving Bill to scramble for a replacement when he thought he was grooming for the future. But as usual, the story that was covered all throughout the week took a back seat to the action on the field. While the 24-17 score would indicate a pretty close game, this one was in doubt for only a few minutes late in the 4th. New England dominated the line of scrimmage, rushing for 147 yards and allowing only 1 sack, and on defense only allowing 51 yards rushing on 24 carries while picking up 4 sacks on Jets QB Chad Pennington. I will give the Jets credit for putting together a nice 2nd half comeback in which they did out score the Pats 17-7, and also for those amazing catches and runs by both Laverneus Coles and Jericho Cotchery. But it still seems to me that the Jet's are missing something. I can't quite put my finger on it, but, oh wait yes I can. A running game, a QB that can throw deep patterns and the proper personnel to run the 3-4 defense. That's where Mangini comes in. Basically because he "felt like it" he decided to install a 3-4 in NY despite not having the right players for it. The guy the Jets traded up to get a few years ago, DT DeWayne Robertson, is too small to play nose tackle in the 3-4 and their LB's aren't experienced in the system. As for Pennington, I'm glad for his sake he is healthy, but the guy still can't throw the ball more than 30 yards. Once a defense realizes that, it basically holds the running game hostage. And we all saw this week how bad their running game and O-line are, so that's not going to be pretty. It's nice to see the Jets at least competing again after the past few seasons, but if coach Mangina doesn't start using what he has, as opposed to trying to force what he wants to do, he could add "youngest coach to be fired" to his resume as well. They may be 1-1, but even after just 2 weeks, it's looking like that one win was over possibly the worst team in the league as Tennessee got blown out in week two 40-7 by the Chargers. J-E-T-S!....eh forget it I've already dumped on them enough.


Patriots Update

Last Week: New England 24 New York Jetropolitans 17
Record: 2-0

Next Week vs Denver Broncos (1-1)

NFL News and Notes
*Last week I told people not to panic just because their team may have lost on opening weekend. Well, for some of you, your team won this week, while for others it may be time to panic. But just because your team is 0-2 doesn't mean that all is lost. Unless of course your team is Cleveland, Oakland, Houston, Tennessee, Detroit, or Green Bay. But then again, you're team never really had a shot to begin with so you were just kidding yourself. Then there are the Dolphins, Chiefs and Redskins, three teams that many thought would make the playoffs. (Personally I had them both out and actually had the Redskins finishing last in the NFC East "toot toot") These teams may have started 0-2, but they appear to have the ability to turn things around as long as they begin doing it next week. An 0-3 start by either of them and they will be in full on scramble mode just to grab a Wild Card berth.

*So we all knew that eventually things wouldn't be all good in Big D for TO, but who knew an injury would take him down. Not me, and I don't think it is. Allow me to do my best Oliver Stone impersonation and submit to you my "Magic Finger Theory". I mean if actual doctors performed surgery on him, then I guess I will have to admit there was something physically wrong with him. But doesn't it seem a little odd that the game after he dropped at least 3 very catchable balls he claims to have a broken finger? Seems a little fishy to me. I think it's more a case of broken pride than any broken bones. And seeing as we all have seen how Bill Parcells treats players that don't have grit and guts, there should be some big time fireworks in Big D any week now. Good thing I have Thanksgiving in the "When will TO explode and challenge to fight Drew Bledsoe and Bill Parcells in a steel cage death match" pool.

*Whoever said kickers were wimps obviously didn't say it in the presence of Eagles K David Akers. Did you see that fool at the start of the Eagles/Giants game tangling on the sideline with some Giants players? Well I'm not about to change my view on Philly or kickers, but I def don't want to mess with that guy. Just think about it, what is their strongest body part and where can that body part do the most damage? Ouch.

*I'm not sure this qualifies as NFL News, but it has to go somewhere. Remember when the cops had to chase down Maurice Clarett and they found him boozed up with 6 guns and wearing a bullett proof vest? Well apparently that's only good enough to get you 3 1/2 years in the slammer. Hmmm. So you're telling me I can go stalk a witness in my robbery case while carrying more ammo than Hezbollah and more booze than Joe Namath and Rick Sutcliffe, and all I will get is 3 1/2 years? Anyone not busy this Friday?


My NFL Picks
Last Week: 4-2-0

Overall: 7-5-1

*This week in college football saw a lot of things. An amazing comeback by Oregon, only to be marred by horrendous officiating. We saw Michigan dismantle Notre Dame and of course we all saw Steve Slaton and WVU run rough shot all over the Maryland Terripans. Not to mention all of those "Separation Saturday" games where teams were supposed to distinguish themselves and pull ahead of the pack. Well some teams certainly did that, but it still looks pretty crowded at the top if you ask me...


College Football Top 10
1. Ohio St. (3-0) 2
2. West Virginia (3-0) 3
3. Auburn (3-0) 4
4. Florida (3-0) 5
5. USC (2-0) 6
6. Georgia (3-0) NR
7. Virginia Tech (3-0) NR
8. Michigan (3-0) NR
9. Notre Dame (2-1) 1
10. LSU (2-1) 7

just missed: Oregon, BC, Louisville, Texas
dropped: (8) Florida St, (9) Oklahoma, (10) Tennessee

Games to Watch This Week
Penn St. @ Ohio St.
*Well Penn St. has already been blown out by Notre Dame this season, and we have all seen how good the Irish really are. But in a conference rivalry like this, OSU better not let their guard down or they could be out of the National Championship picture faster than you can say Joe-Pa.

Wisconsin @ Michigan
*Classic scenario for a let down game. After bullying the Irish in South Bend, the Wolverines are going to return to the Big House with a lot of confidence. They better be prepared though because the 3-0 Badgers are not a team they can take lightly and expect to win, at home or not. If Michigan posts another blowout in this one though, get ready for the title talk to heat up in Ann Arbor.

Notre Dame @ Michigan St.
* Revenge? Not only will Charlie Weis and crew be looking to bounce back from their embarrassment last week, they will be looking to get revenge on a Spartan squad that helped spoil their season last year.

Arizona St. @ Cal
* Ok, so nobody is actually going to watch this game, but it should be a thriller. Cal is looking to bounce back from their opening defeat to Tennessee, while the Sun Devils look to continue undefeated and gain some more momentum for their next two games at home vs Oregon and on the road against the USC Trojans.

Louisville @ Kansas St.
* Another possible let down game here for the Cardinals. After destroying Miami last week, they better be ready for Kansas St. Yeah, it might have been against Illinois St, FAU and Marshall, but the Wildcats have out scored their opponents 92-30 so far this season so they should not be taken lightly. Not to mention Louisville is now also without QB Brian Brohm after he tore ligaments in his hand. They started the season with two Heisman trophy hopefuls, and combine with Michael Bush's injury in week 1, now they have none.

Easy Ryder?
You may not like Indy League racing, but you probably watch the Indy 500. And just because you don't watch tennis on a regular basis doesn't stop a lot of you from watching the Wimbledon final. And sure, nobody follows the Competitive Eating circuit, but plenty of us watch the 4th of July hot dog eating contest. OK, so maybe that last one is just me, but man nothin' says American Independence like watching a tiny Asian dynamo shimmy down 50+ sticks of hot beef. But to my point, another one of those events is upon us, the 2006 Ryder Cup. What a great event. The US gets to talk on Europe, the match play and best ball format is entertaining and each time the site rotates between Europe and the US. You can't really beat that. Except, the US can never win the damn thing! Team Europe has actually won 4 of the last 5 Ryder Cups including the last one in 2004 in Michigan. It baffles my mind. I mean we have the best pro basketball league in the world, but we can't beat other countries when it counts, we have the best hockey league in the world, and we always get trounced in international play, same with baseball and now golf! It didn't used to be this way though. Between 1927 when the Ryder Cup started and 1983 the US was 21-3-1 in Ryder Cup play. Now that's what I'm talkin' about! What happened to the good ole days where the came across the pond, made fun of their accents and kicked their asses? Well hopefully the US can take a step toward restoring that dominance this week in Ireland, led by the two top ranked players in the world. Mr. Elderick "Tiger" Woods (aka my main man) and "Slim" Jim Furyk. Nothing was more exciting than when Justin Leonard holed out from 30 feet to give the US a one point win and remarkable comeback in Brookline, MA ,in 1999, and I want to see that excitement repeated this year. When the Ryder Cup is good, nothing beats it. So make sure to watch this weekend, because you never know what you might miss. The US may actually win this year!

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 5-2
Overall: 81-69
Standings: 2nd place 10 games back; Wild Card 3rd place 7.5 games back

*How bout them Sox taking 3 out of 4 against the Yankees huh? Oh, wait. Time to bust out every Sox fans' favorite saying whether they like to admit it or not. NEXT YEAR.

Diamonds Are Forever
*I'll be the first person to tell you that I have lost a lot of interest in the 2006 MLB season since the Yankees came in and crushed my boys hopes and dreams, but that doesn't mean there still aren't some good stories out there. It just means I don't like talking or writing about them because it makes me a little upset! But here is my best attempt at swallowing this bitter pill...

*Thanks to MVP like play from both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, not to mention another Cy Young season by Johan Santana, the Twins are not only 4 games up in the American League Wild Card race, but they find themselves only 1 game behind the Detroit Tigers. Terry Ryan has got to be one of the best GM's in baseball the way he constantly finds young talent along with top notch pitching. Sure he may have blown it with David Ortiz, but the way this team plays, he appears to have made more right decisions than wrong ones.

*As for the National League Wild Card race, the Phillies appear to be making it interesting. Better yet, should they catch the Dodgers, I will have predicted all four teams correctly in the National League playoffs! Hopefully that will make up for the fact that I will have only one team (the NY Yankees how sad is that) correctly picked from the American League. Thanks a lot Boston, Chicago and Anaheim.

*And I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge the return of Peter Gammons to ESPN this Wednesday. The man suffered a brain aneurysm about 4 months ago and he is already back to work, and you you really have to commend him for that. That's real dedication. Although if that happened to me, I probably would have been on a laptop working on my blog and talking smack in my fantasy league the next day. But we can't all be me....not yet anyway.

*One thing that has been pushed to the back burner since the Yanks did away with the Sox a while ago was the myriad of choke jobs A-Rod was continuing to put on in the clutch. That's why I'm actually interested in watching the Yankees this postseason. Prediction: A-Rod bats less than .225 with runners in scoring position this post season and the Yankee faithful try to run him out of town faster than Steve Bartman.

Fantasy Update
Week 2: Open Back Door 55 Jack Bauer +1 47
Record: 1-1, 8th place

Week 3 vs Lord Shirtless Inc (1-1)

*Well the good news is I won. The bad news is, my team still can't score any freaking touchdowns! Despite rushing for 455 yards in week 2, my team managed only 1 touchdown on the ground, and that was scored by Michael Vick! But, I have confidence my boys will start getting in the end zone sooner rather than later and with Jericho Cotchery stepping up big for me, maybe my WR corps will even be able to contribute. Next up, Lord Shirtless, but he's not the real Lord Shirtless so I shouldn't have any issues.