Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Championship Sunday

SEATTLE / GREEN BAY: Flipped on the game and was surprised to see the Packers finish the first half up 16-0. During halftime I went out and carefully finished trimming the hedges without further incident. I knew it would be hard for the Packers to finish off the Seahawks, and sure enough the momentum swung Seattle’s way. I wasn’t surprised with the first Russell Wilson touchdown. With 2:09 remaining and only one Seattle time out left, Green Bay was in decent shape. But the Packers’ failure to cover the onside kick was horrendous. After Wilson’s scramble down to the 30 and out of bounds with 2:01 remaining I thought the Packers might adopt the Paul Johnson strategy of letting Seattle score quick to give themselves more time to score. The two point conversion was key. What looked like a broken play and desperation heave was actually a planned play. The only thing that would’ve made the game better would’ve been had the Packers intercepted the pass and ran it back for two points of their own.
PATRIOTS / COLTS: The Patriots blowout in the rain was anticlimactic. It was the first time since Tuesday I was able to get on the computer, and I had a lot of catching up to do. Couldn’t believe Brady stayed in the game taking hits as long as he did. Aside from a few less than cerebral defenders like Ray Lewis, Brady might be the most competitive player in the NFL. He also carefully handles the press, artfully handling the postgame interview with Jim Nantz with a wide smile on his face. When Lewis said Brady was only known for the tuck rule play, the former Super Bowl winner / MVP did not respond. Supposedly Brady is on Facebook, but his post right when the game ended (before the postgame on-field interview) was obviously not from him.

Good call by the NFL to admit that the Calvin Johnson catch/no-catch rule was too complicated – that if fifty drunks in a bar can see an obvious catch then it’s probably a catch. The officials have a tough job and have to be careful and judicious.

Many said that in the Dallas / Detroit game Dez Bryant should have been penalized for illegally (1) coming off the bench (2) without a helmet (3) to argue. Not sure how often that penalty is called, like it is in the NBA playoffs. Is Bryant even a team captain? The NFL usually doesn’t allow such anarchy. Will be interesting to see if Bryant is fined for his actions. Still thought the NFL should’ve upheld Suh’s one game suspension for twice stepping on Aaron Rodgers.

I do like the Lions (Stafford and Calvin Johnson – NOT Suh. Over the years I have liked the Cowboys but not this incarnation. Not a huge fan of Jerry Jones and Tony Romo and especially Dez Bryant. They are a hot team, so you have to give them that. The Lions had a tough task beating Dallas. They did well in the first half but couldn’t hang on.

Interesting the debate over the Lions Cowboys game. Even the venerable Tony Dungy took offense with the Dez Bryant non-call.

Golfer/Cowboy fan Jason Dufner pointed out that in golf the rules are rules. A penalty is a penalty and flags aren’t picked up. You may not always go for it – sometimes you lay up. Even so it is sad to see Dufner use such street lingo in his tweets.  

What I hate are fourth down plays taken from the shotgun, where the running back has to run 5 yards to get back to the line of scrimmage. Those plays develop too slowly. Better to have a quick hitting handoff so the defense doesn’t have time to penetrate. I suppose offensive coordinators want the RB to look for a hole but on a short yardage play the defense is going to fill all the gaps.

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