Monday, September 21, 2009

The 'You Can Probably Make Other Plans for February 7, 2010' Edition: Week Two.

Should we talk about it? We should probably talk about it. I mean, avoiding the topic isn't going to do anyone any good. As Mike McC would say: "We need to confront our fears, and address the problems, and so forth." (Coach really likes to end his sentences with "...and so forth." He did it three times in the post-game presser yesterday. Have you noticed that? Now that I've pointed out, you'll catch it every time he does. You're welcome.)

At this point, the change to the 3-4 probably can be filed under 'lipstick on a pig': When Ced Benson (her?) goes for 140-plus, and you're only able to muster two sacks against an opposing line that is as nondescript as they come and the opposing quarterback is coming off an ankle injury and never moved that well to begin with, you might not be very good defensively.

And I don't buy this talk that the Bengals are a potential surprise team this year. They're not good, especially on offense, and they have the worst coach this side of Brad Childress. They suck. If you fancy yourself a play-off contender, you can't lose to that team, at home, ever.

And yes, I know it's early, and yes, I know that every team -- even the really good ones -- is going to have a clunker at least once a year. Problem is: the Packers haven't looked good yet, so I don't know if we can chalk this up as the exception rather than the rule. You'd like to be sitting at 9-4 before you get that clunker out of your system.

Yes, the title of this post is probably an overreaction, but so was the Super Bowl talk following three stellar pre-season games and a 6-point win over the Bears -- in a game where Cutlerfucker handed over the ball four times. There's ample reason for concern here, aside from the general shittiness of the line and the fact that Bigby and Collins can't seem to play more than one game without getting nicked up.

No. 1 in my mind is the penalties. Even though Machine Guns Ed and the boys got a littttttle flag happy yesterday, the number of false starts, holds, illegal contact after five yards ... it's jarring, and it doesn't seem like anything is being done during the week to address it. I mean, for Christ's sake: with the number of flags thrown on the Pack yesterday, we made the Cincinnati Bengals look like a disciplined football team. That is no mean feat.

Nick Barnett, living confirmation of the old adage: "'Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt." In case you missed it, here was Barnett's Twitter reaction to his preposterous Daniel-San celebration, which came one play after he whiffed pathetically on a tackle:
"Oh yea for everyone that had something to say after I celebrated for making a takle (sic) for lost (sic) KISS MY ASS ... I was trying to get the defense fired up. . . And so what if I missed the takle (sic) before am I suppose (sic) to stay in a funk about it!?? Get a life"
Nick, my man, this is why you have representation, be it an agent or a lawyer or whoever: so you don't go addressing the public on your own and come out looking like a complete and total fuckhead, and an idiot, to boot.

Sadly, though predictably, Barnett claims he's done with Twitter for the rest of the season. First we lose Michael Crichton, now Nick Barnett. Frankly, I don't see how the world comes back from this.

World keeps spinnin', officials keep fuckin' up: I know I'm a broken record, but good God -- every week I don't think it's possible for the officiating to get any worse, and then it does. First, you had the "touchdown" on the quarterback sneak by Carson Palmer, where there was no way in hell the linesman could see whether Palmer got in. The replay didn't show him getting in, that's for sure; if anything, the only time the ball broke the plane was when Palmer was fumbling the ball after the initial surge.

This points up my main beef with replay, the whole "you can't overturn the call on the field unless there's indisputable visual evidence." Why are we putting the thumb on the scale of the call on the field? Take the TD call on the sneak -- if the official had ruled he hadn't scored, there wouldn't have been indisputable visual evidence to overturn that call, either. Don't we want to make sure we're getting the call right, regardless of what the call on the field was? Why are we letting games rise and fall with the gut reactions of people who are really, really shitty at their jobs?

Here's another example: in the Cowboys game yesterday, Romo threw a ball that bounced off of Witten's heel and was intercepted, and the DB looked like he had a decent return set up ... except the official blew the play dead, ruling that the ball hit the ground. I've said this for years: on a play like that, you have to make the call that results in the play being allowed to continue. But for years, the officials haven't made that call, and they've been forced to say: "Whoops, missed that one. Sorry -- here's the ball at the spot of the interception." Something's gotta change. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but something's gotta change.

And we'll end with where the game ended: The dubious "false start" penalty on Jennings, which caused the 10-second run-off and the end of the game. I mean, does anybody believe Machine Guns Ed's post hoc rationalization for that one? First, dude says that the ball didn't get off before the snap, which was patently, demonstrably false. So, then, in fine Keystone Cops fashion, the officials get together and decide: "Somebody must have false started. Let's go with ... 85. Everybody good with 85? OK, 85."

And that's from one of the best officiating crews in the game. Shudder.


Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

the game was lost for 2 reasons:

-3rd and 34 from the bengal 7 yard line. There's no way in hell you let them convert on that. If anything its a throw away play so they have room to punt which means delayed hand-off or screen. what did they call...tight end screen and he doesn't get touched for 15 of those 34 yards. drive leads to ochocinco's td (kudos to the packer fan giving the finger...double kudos to the director of CBS who decided to use the slow-mo replay heading into the commerical i'm sure the FCC enjoyed that

-Offensive line play-last week it was #78, now its #73. man i wish we didn't have to face all of these pro-bowl DE's in the first 2 weeks of the season...its just not fair. o-line play causes running game to suck, can provide any protection for Rodgers and combine that with shitty play calling and he's stuck forcing the ball downfield or scrambling for his life to make a play.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

oh yeah and I agree 100% on the officiating stuff. the goal line crap is bs. maybe its time to put gps dots on the balls so that they can be used in instant replays involving goal lines...hell tennis uses instant replay and can pin point where a ball lands. and the end of the game cluster f*ck was horrible. we had 12 seconds to get everybody lined up and we couldn't. finley, rather than just getting on the line tried to get into his 1 foot from the tackle stance but the left tackle hadn't gotten to the line yet. good ol' #78 right tackle was the last to the line. i mean seriously, don't we practice these things. those fat asses should have been running the second driver caught the ball. oh and i think they should have stopped to review whether drive even caught that ball because it came out as he hit the turf which would have allowed us to get lined up and snap as soon as they wound the clock. just horrible officiating to end a horribly sloppy game.

Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

son of a i'm all fired up again.

Devil's Threesome said...

Why doesn't the NFL adopt the college rule of stopping the clock on a first down in the last 2 minutes until the chains can be reset? That adds soooo much excitement to the game. You're basically fucked in the NFL if you don't have TOs. Is there a reason for the running clock? All it leads to is "gamesmanship" with some defensive players laying on the downed ball carrier. It causes many high-drama games to end with a thud.

Rubie Q said...

The NFL will tell YOU what makes the game exciting, thankyouverymuch. This isn't a two-way street. You don't get to make suggestions to the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.

EMoney said...

I won a gun saturday night, got shit-canned on Wild Turkey's "American Honey" Bourbon, was deathly hung over, and missed the entire game. Sounds like it was a good game to miss. Thanks for the recap guys.

Master Reid said...

Ooh, that American Honey Wild Turkey is good shit. I had a sample of it, and I liked. It's a far cry from Barenjager.