Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Football Drives Me Crazy!

I am still hung up how teams can get fired up and play well against good teams, then lose to bad teams. Do bad teams like Detroit and Cleveland only rise up and play well against average teams, but not the excellent teams? Or is what separates excellent teams from average teams the fact that excellent teams usually beat who they’re supposed to beat…the bad teams and average teams…even though most everyone is fired up to give them a good game?

Coaching has something to do with it. The players have to have it inside as well. Some say it’s hard to get up for every game. Maybe not MLB or NBA, but in football, why not? If you only play 16 games in 365 days, seems like you ought to be ready. Sure, everyone has an off day, but with all the coaches in press boxes, etc, adjustments ought to be made. I like what the Showtime Lakers used to do. Before the season started, they took out the schedule and marked down which games they had to win…against bad teams, the first games of back to back games, etc. Their plan was to win the games they were supposed to. They’d be naturally fired up against the better opponents and play hard, and they’d win their share.

The Colts and Patriots win most of their games. It’s hard to win them all, but rarely do they lose to bottom-feeders. They win despite the fact everyone is fired up to play them. Same with Ohio State, USC, and Michigan. The Bears are flawed…not a good offense. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady most often overcome dropped passes to win games…and rarely fumble when the game’s on the line. Once yesterday Vick scrambled left for a first down. On the replay I noticed an open receiver that Vick should’ve been able to see…a completion would’ve resulted in about 5 more yards. But perhaps Vick was tired of receivers dropping balls, and he wanted to make sure they got the first down. If so, good for him.

When you judge an NFL season, how much do you factor injuries? Every team has them, just some more than others.

Louisville beats WVa in an emotional home game, then a week later loses an emotional road game to Rutgers. Clemson beats GT, then loses to VT and Maryland. Good teams…someone must lose. I hate the stupid mistakes…jumping offsides as the kicker misses the FG. At least they were gunning to block to kick.

GT wins a squeaker over UNC. The defense played well, but unless Tech gets the offense going, they’ll have a tough time against UGA and Wake…two teams that looked are good Saturday. Lose those two and they can’t expect a good bowl game (though doesn’t the ACC loser go the Chick-fil-A Bowl?). Wake looks ready…I think they’ll beat out Maryland and BC. Tech would have a hard time with all three. Maryland has improved since GT beat them.

Nice win by UGA…good pressure by the defense, take the lead, then run clock and not make mistakes. The GT/UGA game could turn out similarly. Stafford ran down the field and didn’t take care of the ball…fumble. But next time he covered the ball. At least someone learned.

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