Sunday, January 18, 2009

InClement Weather: Super Bowl XLIII Approaches...

While I admittedly was in and out of much of the Steelers/Ravens game (it's not like they pay me to do this), I did decide to collect a few thoughts on the two championship games. Luck you, right???

Arizona defeated 32-25 to win the NFC Championship

Darnell Dockett and the Cardinals have to plant Big Ben every time they get the slightest of grips on him. Otherwise, he will make them pay.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

1) If anyone had Arizona in the Super Bowl at the following points, you are either crazy or a mad genius. Funny how the two intersect so easily.
A) Pre-season
B) After their Thanksgiving meltdown out east in the Linc

C) After the "snow-bowl" BEATDOWN (even with nothing to play for) against the Patsies

D) Before the Atlanta game

E) Before the Carolina game
F) When Philly took the lead 25-24 on that insane TD pass to DeSean Jackson.

2) Kurt Warner proved that even though Peyton Manning won the NFL, there is no more important quarterback to his team than Warner is to his Cardinals. 21-28, 279 yards, and 4 TDs in the franchise's biggest game (and then some) in Arizona. Not to mention the poise on that last drive. Wow.

3) Tim Hightower, a 5th round pick, couldn't handle being "the man" in Arizona down the stretch. Nevertheless, thanks to guys like Edgerrin James (more on him later), he's a rookie making major contributions on a Super Bowl team.

4) Edgerrin James had to leave Peyton Manning and Indianapolis and go out west - to the desert of Arizona - to get his Super Bowl trip. Funny, eh?

5) Larry Fitzgerald is worth the price of admission. I hope Anquan prays he's both healthy and Todd Haley wants him heavily involved in two weeks.

6) Donovan F. McNabb showed a lot of class, poise, and even a smile or two Sunday afternoon. Philly fans still don't deserve him.

7) Andy Reid is 1-4 in NFC Title games. Question is: how many of those "should" his teams have won?

8) DeSean Jackson is electric. I hope he's not a flash-in-the-pan wideout/returner.

9) Assante Samuel wasn't himself Sunday afternoon. Neither was Brian Dawkins.

10) That was a pass interference call the refs missed. You know the play. However, Curtis knows he had to somehow still catch that ball and the Eagles know they left that game on the field. They didn't lose because of the refs.

Pittsburgh defeated Baltimore 24-13 to win the AFC Championship

Joe Flacco didn't lay the biggest turd on the field Sunday. Instead, this guy was the biggest turd. And it wasn't even close. Nice job faking an injury.
Credit: Yahoo! Sports

1) Two Super Bowls in five years for Big Ben. Not too shabby.

2) Troy Polamalu doesn't care who anyone considers the best safety in the NFL, he just delivers when it matters most.

3) Hines Ward's health will be a major factor come two weeks.

4) Don't automatically assume Pittsburgh will cakewalk their way to Super Bowl XLIII. They won't.

5) LaMarr Woodley looked a lot more today like the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year.

6) Props to Terrell Suggs on a gritty effort.

7) Ray Lewis deserves better quarterbacks. Plain and simple.

8) Joe Flacco was exposed for what he truly is: a nice kid who is not going to be a very productive NFL quarterback in crunch time.

9) Prayers out to Willis McGahee.

10) Ryan Clark led with his helmet and may have broken a man's neck. Of course, he didn't mean to hurt someone. Nevertheless, that was helmet to helmet and a devastating illegal hit. He's lucky his own neck didn't break. The only realistic, sensible, and fair punishment is a suspension for the Super Bowl. However, the NFL is gutless - especially when dealing with top-tier organizations - and won't lift a finger to even fine Clark. Roger Goodell is a sham and probably a crook for not dealing with situations just like these. It makes his organization cower to the owners and the franchises. Pathetic. Speaking of which, Walt Coleman's crew should be ashamed of themselves for allowing such a hit to go unpenalized. Ashamed.

Congrats to both teams. Except Limas Sweed. Who clearly faked an injury after dropping a crucial potential touchdown pass. I hurt too when I blow easy touchdowns. Everyone in the room (in houses across the nation) knew he was gonna fake an injury too. Even Nantz (an idiot altogether) knew his pride was hurt and nothing more. He will forever be a yellow-bellied coward. And a faker. And butterfingers. Loser.

By the way, please don't be that Steelers fan who thinks his team is 100% class and Sweed was genuinley hurt. Don't be so naieve.

Think I'm angry? Not at all. But seriously, how did this movie make over $30-million on opening weekend? Aren't we in a recession???


Sum said...

I'm not so sure that was a PI on Kevin "White Lightning" Curtis. Yes, there was some contact, but it was minimal from what I saw. There's a line between making the call and letting them play ... and I think the ref made the right call in letting them play. ESPECIALLY since (as you pointed out) Curtis should've STILL had the catch.

And the Steelers are classless ... PFT makes a solid point about this with regard to them still blasting music while Willis was down on the ground. Seriously ... what douchebaggery. You'd think Daniel Snyder was there or something.

Paymon said...

I disagree vehemently with #10.

Two calls stood out for me in the 4th quarter.

1) On Hightower's go-ahead TD, there was a block in the back. It was evident at full speed. It was obvious when slowed down. Saw it again. Same result.

2) Rod Hood was on an island when he made CONTACT with Kevin Curtis prior to the pass. By rule AND the way that Walt Anderson's mickey mouse, crack addict crew was calling the game, that was PI. Your statement is a full-blown cop-out and you know it. Of course, Curtis knew he had to somehow catch the ball. Based on that thinking, a WR must always catch the ball, and thus, let's just not call PI ever again.

You cannot suddenly decide to let them play in the last 5 minutes. Then again, Ralph Brown was draped all over an Eagle WR on a 3rd down inside the red zone.

Did anyone notice how many offensive holding/block in the back calls Arizona got? Zero.

If they don't get the same amount of luck and not jump to an amazing start in the Super Bowl (i.e. great playcalling and never being penalized in passing downs), they will get throttled by Pittsburgh.

That said, I would have loved it if McNabb passed the ball to Baskett in stride in the 1st half. Outside of that, I have no qualms with his performance and agree that Philly fans don't deserve him.

Anonymous said...

I also disagree with #10. It was a legal hit. Clark led with his shoulders. McGahee lowered his head and it led to the head+shoulder to head hit. It's football and it sometimes happens -- it does not make it an illegal hit.

As for 8, I disagree even more. Despite the horrible game, I came out even more impressed of Flacco. He was a rookie playing against the best defense in the league and got exposed. It happens. He's only going to get better in the years to come, read the defenses better, and not make mistakes. Looking at him I see a better Eli Manning (and that's not meant to be faint praise -- I consider Eli a top 10 QB). He has amazing composure, doesn't get down on himself, he's accurate and probably has the second best arm in the league (Cutler). Put some quality receivers around him and give him a couple of years to mature (and bulk up) and this guy will be lighting up the league for years to come.


Paymon said...

I agree with Bill on Clark's hit. He led with his shoulders.

Unlike the no-call block in the back on Hightower's TD and the PI on Rod Hood, it was legal.

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