Dec 30, 2007


Congratulations to the New England Patriots on completing a perfect regular season, 16-0. I, for one, have been rooting for the Pats to lose all season long, but I have to give credit to them for this amazing feat.

I was not necessarily rooting against New England, but was rooting against ESPN's coverage of the Pats season. ESPN has turned the Patriots into the Yankees and USC football. Two teams that get so much hype and coverage that the public gets tired of seeing them. ESPN has been hyping the perfect season almost all year long. The anchors seemed upset when the American public showed that a majority wanted New England to lose. ESPN, you created this monster.

With that being said, in today's NFL, 16-0 is an unthinkable accomplishment. The league wanted parity and tried to do away with dynasties. But New England has found a way to be a dynasty in the modern NFL. Coach Billichick, Tom Brady, and Randy Moss may not be everyone's favorites, but right now, they are the best. Now let's just hope they lose in the playoffs.

Dec 18, 2007

Aaron Stecker > Reggie Bush?

With word coming out today that Reggie Bush may attempt to play this weekend against the Eagles, Saints fans are forced to ask why?

Why would the Saints be in such a hurry to bring back Reggie? Aaron Stecker has been solid as a fill-in RB with 195 yards and 2 TDs in the Saints victories over the Falcons and Cardinals.

I think the issue comes more with the pressure on Reggie Bush to perform. He hadn't missed any time before this year due to injury. He has a ton of endorsements and now Mario Williams is living up to the hype of being the #1 overall pick. In the meantime, national and local media outlets are questioning whether or not Bush will ever have an impact in the NFL. Sure he is an exciting, specialty player, but he can't consistently find holes or make big plays. Pretty soon, defenses will stop keying on him, and he'll even lose his luster as a decoy.

Coach Sean Payton is forced to keep Bush involved in his weekly gameplans. He must determine the best ways to get him 20+ touches (receiving and rushing), and this ties the coach's hands with playcalling. With Stecker in the game at RB, the Saints know they are a pass-first offense and don't shy away from it. There are less gimmick plays and the offense seems simpler.

So the question remains, with the Saints in the midst of a playoff push, does having Reggis Bush help them or hurt them?

I think that Bush is a weapon and if used correctly, he will help them make the playoffs. The team now has confidence in Stecker and Bush can go back to being the complementary piece he was last year. Since he's coming off an injury, his expectations should be lowered. He won't get as many touches and can provide a spark here and there, but Stecker should still get the bulk of the carries, while also getting Pierre Thomas 5-10 touches as well.

Dec 4, 2007

Placing Blame

There are two people who are to blame for the Saints latest debacle, a fumble on a reverse pitch that gave last Sunday's game to Tampa Bay: Coach Sean Payton and Reggie Bush.

First of all, football is a team sport and you win and lose as a team. One player usually doesn't cost you a game, but in this case, the game came down to one bad play call. With a little more than three minutes left in the game and Saints holding onto a three point lead, New Orleans was looking to milk the clock. The defense had come up big on the previous two series -- first with an interception return for a TD, then a safety by Will Smith. The momentum was in the Saints favor. All they had to do was run some clock, then punt the ball to Tampa with little time left. With the Bucs having no time outs, the victory was definately there for the Saints.

On second down, the team lines up for the play. Drew Brees takes the snap and gives it off to Bush who is running toward the left side. Tampa pursues Reggie and defenders are there in full force. Bush then pitches the ball to a crossing Devery Henderson, but the pitch is a bad on and Henderson can't handle it. The ball hits the turf and the Bucs jump on it. Momentum is back in Tampa's favor. They drive down and score the go-ahead touchdown with only 14 seconds left on the clock. Game over, division championship out of reach and wildcard berth becomes a long-shot.

With Coach Payton, fans love his aggressive style, but sometimes the basics are what win football games. Bill Parcels has said that he would sometimes have to pull back the reigns on Payton, as he would get too cute in situations that didn't warrant it. In this situation, a couple of runs up the middle would have killed some clock, then a punt inside the 20-yard line would have backed up Tampa enough that it would have been a difficult task just to get in field goal range. Payton even admitted that it wasn't the right call.

With Bush, it was poor execution. The timing seemed off and the pitch was terrible. Henderson had no shot of grabbing a ball thrown behind him while running full speed from defenders. Bush should have realized that the play was shot and just fell to the ground. Reggie's has taken plenty of heat this year for his play. He hasn't lived up to expectations after his solid rookie year. He isn't finding running room and hasn't broken the big play this year. Mental errors and poor play execution shouldn't be happening at this stage of his professional career. After Sunday's game, he showed that he's not quite the professional yet, as he started to head to the locker room before the game ended and then refused to speak to reporters afterwards. Reggie needs to be a man and own up to the play. Sure one player didn't lose the game Sunday, but one player acted like he did.

Dec 3, 2007

Week 14 Top 25

West Virginia and Missouri were playing for the right to meet each other in the BCS Championship game...all they had to do was win and they were in. But like every other weekend this college football season, crazy things started happening. Pat White went down for WV and Pittsburgh, a 28 point underdog, shocked the Mountaineers at home to eliminate them from the picture. Oklahoma rolled Missouri in the Big 12 championship game, sending the Sooners to a BCS game and dropping Missouri all the way to the Cotton Bowl. Ouch.

Controversy and debates began and after the politicking was over and ballots turned in, Ohio State and LSU rose to the top. They will meet in the BCS title game in New Orleans on January 7. Now the debate begins on whether the system put the most deserving teams in the game. People are clamoring that USC and Georgia are the hottest teams or that Oklahoma just beat the #1 team and should be in the game, but they seem to be a minority. Most are in agreement that LSU and Ohio State are the most deserving and should make for a great championship game.

Here's my final regular season Top 25 rankings:
  1. Ohio State (11-1)
  2. LSU (11-2)
  3. Oklahoma (11-2)
  4. Virgina Tech (11-2)
  5. USC (10-2)
  6. Missouri (11-2)
  7. Georgia (10-2)
  8. Kansas (11-1)
  9. West Virginia (10-2)
  10. Hawaii (12-0)
  11. Florida (9-3)
  12. Arizona St. (10-2)
  13. Illinois (9-3)
  14. Boston College (10-3)
  15. Clemson (9-3)
  16. BYU (10-2)
  17. Tennessee (9-4)
  18. Texas (9-3)
  19. Virginia (9-3)
  20. Arkansas (8-4)
  21. Texas Tech (8-4)
  22. Wisconsin (9-3)
  23. Boise State (10-2)
  24. Auburn (8-4)
  25. Cincinnati (9-3)
*Dropped from rankings: Oregon (previously #21)