Some People's Kids: It Was a Nice Ride While It Lasted

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It Was a Nice Ride While It Lasted

Rumors of the Patriots demise weren't greatly exaggerated. Or so it seems to this guy anyways. I know that people shouldn't take too much out of one week in the long NFL season. This is not just one week. This will be the entire season.

Some thought that this juggernaut would just run on unleaded rather than the premium it did under Mr. Jissele. People thought Matt Cassel would be able to handle the reigns because he had been the backup for 3 years and, by god, he better have the offense pretty well down pat. Those people failed to see that there was an outstanding, young, hungry Miami Dolphin team coming to town to take down the Belicheck's. Nothing says "on the cusp of greatness" like 0-2 this year fresh off a 1-15 season a year ago. Okay, that "young, outstanding, and hungry" part was a gross exaggeration. The Dolphins are a brutally bad football team, but you could never tell it from the lambasting that they gave the Patriots this past Sunday, making it look easy in a 38-13 road domination. What? How did that happen? Even bad/mediocre teams drill the Dolphins from week to week. Hell, perennial doormat Arizona over matched them just last week, cruising to a 31-7 victory. The Patriots will kill the Miami Dolphins and won't even break a sweat doing it. They hadn't lost a regular season game since 2006, against the Dolphins.(total coincidence) And NOBODY wins in Foxboro!

These things didn't mean shit this weekend and the Patriots were officially exposed. Exposed as old, slow, and unable to adjust. They were even out-coached, which seems like blasphemy to people who have seen "Hey, who's the Dirtball in the Sweatshirt?" coach before. Now, I know that these players haven't seen the option since college, but almost everyone should have seen that form of offense by now. The Dolphins did this throughout the game, and the Patriots simply failed to adjust whatsoever at any point in the game, getting embarrassed in the process. You just let a guy score 5 touchdowns on you, mostly lining up at Quarterback where he proceeded to throw a touchdown pass left handed. You just got pummeled by a team who's best player is playing with a freshly reconstructed knee and you got flat outsmarted by one of the Soprano's, errr.. Sparano's. That ship sunk the minute Tom Brady crumbled to the ground in agony. This collection of extremely aging veterans needed to do it this year, if not last year. Now I know that any team with a healthy Tom Brady is a contender but no longer with they be the class of the NFL like we have come to know the Patriots as. Mark my words, until they get younger, we have seen the end of a dynasty. No more straight Class, homey

So, who will take they reigns from the Patriots. It could just be America's Team. Dallas is scary good. This week, the Cowboys toyed with the Green Bay Packers en route to starting 3-0 on the young season. I say "toyed" because Terrell Owens had a whopping 17 yards receiving and their second best receiver, Patrick Crayton was shut out completely and they still found a way to win by 11 points in Lambeau. Something called Miles Austin picked up the slack by hauling in 2 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

In the past, many people have had their issues with how the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, runs his teams, engaging in almost everything and being a constant presence on the sidelines, but you have to take your hate off to the man. He has assembled an amazing squad. If you look up and down the roster, the 'Boys have possible all-pros at every position, both offensively and defensively. Everybody knows about Me-O, Romo, Witten, and Roy Williams, but what people might not realize is just how incredibly well Dallas has drafted over the past 4-5 years. Its staggering. Getting Demarcus Ware, Marcus Spears, and Marion Barber in the same year in 2005. Getting Felix Jones and, who some say was the best DB in the draft this past year, Michael Jenkins from South Florida. They are just stock piling players at every position. Its not only been via the draft either, as Free Agency has played a great role in the revival of this team. Even though they drafted Michael Jenkins, they still felt the need to go out and get strip club aficionado, Pacman Jones to shore up an already strong secondary consisting of Anthony Henry and Terrance Newman. The rich get richer, I guess. This is an embarrassment of riches. Its a shame that none of this talent means squat until they get to the playoffs and actually win a game. They could go 16-0 and people would still not care if they get knocked out early like they have done every playoffs since 1996.

I think this is the year. They are just too good and I can only see them getting better when the newcomers get more accustomed to the system. I'm officially on the bandwagon, as I'm always a sucker for great offenses.

Speaking of great offenses... Anyone not notice the transformation that Denver has made this year? They have seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the 1 or 2 most explosive offenses in the NFL this year. It's that offense thats has them at 3-0 so far this season, albeit with the help of a painstakingly bad gaff by Ed Holculi in the San Diego game. They have all the right pieces in place, excluding only maybe a stud running back. But when you have that great of a passing game, you can run the ball just from the respect they other team has to afford to the aerial attack. They have averaged the most points in the entire league through 3 games and although they are probably near the bottom in points allowed, they do just enough to scrape by for the win.

This is just another glaring example of how the NFL draft is so flawed and basically a crap shoot. Jay Cutler is quickly becoming the best quarterback from the 2006 draft class which included much more highly touted Vince Young and Matt Leinart. How the Vikings didn't trade up with St. Louis (with Scott Linehan!) to get this guy which would have filled to most glaring need on the ball club, I will never know. Instead they, like the 31 other teams, watched as Denver made the trade to get Cutler and proceeded to rebuild an entire offense in just the first three picks of the 2006 Draft. After Cutler, the Broncos next two picks that year were their current tight end Tony Scheffler and a guy who has become probably the second best receiver in the league, Brandon Marshall... in the 4th Round. (Talk about good drafts!) While the unpredictability of the NFL draft can drive fans crazy, it also gives us examples of what one good, calculated draft can do for a franchise. And while Denver won't do much in the playoffs(and they WILL get there) because of their awful defense, the early returns are....Impressive. Hats off to the Orange Crush.

No comments: