Archive for September, 2009

Observations from the Pregame Shows for Sept. 13

September 13, 2009

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ESPN – NFL Sunday Countdown

New segment of show – “IBM Insight Center” hosted by Merrill Hoge from the Edge  NFL Matchup show, goes very in-depth statistically, good stuff. Unfortunately it’s like 1 minute long.

Mike Ditka – Does he look like a lot like Alf?

Cris Carter – Talking about the Seahawks turning it around because of Matt Hasselback. The Seahawks could make the playoffs this year but the top reason won’t be because of Hasselback playing this year. Seneca Wallace is just as good as Hasselback at this point in both their careers and showed it last season. Good job, Carter.

There’s a segment on new KC head coach, Todd Haley and how he’s taken away all the good parking spots from players from last year and given them to guys that earned it in preseason. I might have to take back my KC pick at #2 back. Ditka says after the segment, stupid is as stupid does. I turn the channel as fast as I can.

CBS – The NFL Today

Bill Cowher says both teams should get ball in OT because the way it is now favors the offensive side of teams. Uh, the team that receives the ball still has to go at least 40 or 50 yards on average to score. You don’t like that? Don’t have your team go to OT. It’s not even regulation at that point! All best are off!! This ain’t college ball!

Boomer Esiason no longer has a chin. His head basically looks like a giant pillow with eyes, nose, hair and a mouth.

Shannon Sharpe says something funny and everyone laughs. They must have a translator on the set because I couldn’t understand a word. I look at the clock and pray the games start right now. Oh dear God now Sharpe has put his legs up on the desk and he’s wearing shorts. Alright, this might be the worst pregame show.

Cowher brings up a good point regarding Eli Manning’s crazy new contract. Esiason says that with that new contract he’ll be expect to throw for 4,000 yards and over 30 TD’s (Yeah, that’s not happening!), Cowher replies that they are a running team. Exactly! So why was he given a 100 million dollar contract!? Crazy.

Cowher might unseast Esiason for smartest man on set. But that’s like saying MSNBC is a little less biased than FOX News, in the end we all lose.

FOX – NFL on FOX

Terry Bradshaw picks the Saints every year to win their divison. Makes sense.

Bradshaw is taking the Dolphins to win the division (??!!). I’m willing to bet that Bradshaw has not seen Miami play in probably 3 or 4 years.

Michael Strahan says Steelers didn’t look like the same team last year after ONE game against a tough Titans game and is taking the Ravens to win the division. I’m willing to bet that Strahan has seen Pittsburgh play…maybe never.

I’m beginning to realize that Jimmy “Devil’s Haircut” Johnson might be the only semi-intelligent person on this show.

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Who Has the Worst Pregame Show – ESPN, CBS or FOX?

September 8, 2009

Alright, it’s pretty apparent that over the past few years, ESPN, CBS and FOX have entered into a battle to see who has the worst NFL Pregame show. Let’s take a closer look.

ESPN – Sunday NFL Countdown

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Chris Berman does his best to move along this 2 hour  (2 HOURS? Seriously?!) snooze-fest. I feel for the guy, I really do. Let’s look at who he has to work with.

Mike Ditka – Former Bears coach and rasta-wig wearing knucklehead, this guy normally talks about TE’s a lot and that’s about it, you’ll forget what he’s said about 2 minutes after he’s said it. I like the guy I just don’t want to hear him tell me why Jason Whitten is such a good TE for the 10th time.

Tom Jackson – Long-time partner with Berman, Jackson loves to hear himself talk, you can just tell by his long-winded ramblings into nothingness. Informative? No. Always a sure bet to pick the Broncos? Yes.

Keyshawn Johnson – This guy is always laughing, smiling at Ditka, I honestly don’t know what the hell he’s doing on TV. I think he’s on there to mix it up with Jackson, whatever that means.

Emmitt Smith – Is Smith actually still with ESPN? I’m pretty sure they let him go, he wasn’t good enough for this show and THAT’S saying something.

Steve Young – Occasionally Young will something that’s opinionated and not cliched but most of the time he’ll look at the camera like he’s had too many concussions (which he has).

Cris Carter – You can just tell that Carter thinks he has more football knowledge  than the rest of the crew and maybe he does but it’s kind of hard to tell with his inane observations and opinions.
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Chris Mortensen – Really the only reason to watch this show, he’s probably on camera for about 10 or 15 minutes total, but amazingly in that amount of time he has more real information on the day’s games and players than the rest of the crew combined. Still not worth turning on ESPN, though.

CBS –  The NFL Today
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Like Berman, CBS’ host James Brown does the best to move along this trainwreck of a show. I can only imagine what Brown is thinking while the rest of these clowns are talking. Let’s take a closer look.

Dan Marino – You can just tell that Marino loves just showing up on the set, saying a few words and collecting a nice paycheck. I like Marino but on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how informative he is I’d have to give him a 3.

Bill Cowher – The newest member to this crew, Cowher sits smack in the middle of the show but it’s almost like he’s not even present. Most of the time he’ll say stuff like “I really like this player” and he’ll be talking about Tavaris Jackson! Holy shit. At least he’s opinionated on the rare times he talks.

Shannon Sharpe – Can anyone understand what Sharpe is saying? I call him “Mr. Marblemouth” because it really sounds like he’s put as many marbles in his mouth as possible before talking. I don’t know what he’s saying so therefore he gets an incomplete.

Boomer Esiason – Is Esiason annoying? Yes. Does he have the best opinions and most information of anyone on this show? Yes, but that’s not exactly something to be proud of.

Charlie Casserly – This guy scares me. Where did he come from? I’m assuming he used to do hits for the mafia, but I can’t prove it. He’s NFL Today’s version of Chris Mortensen but probably not as reliable. He supposedly has inside sources, info, etc.

FOX – The NFL on Fox
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Aw, yes, the NFL on Fox, the original dummy pregame show. Thanks to the high ratings of this show (America, you’re really not that stupid are you?) CBS and ESPN have followed suit and copied Fox’s format. I don’t know who the host is of this show now that Brown has left but I’m assuming he’s doing the best he can. Let’s look at Fox’s “analysts”.

Terry Bradshaw – Bradshaw obviously gets off on acting like a hillbilly and saying stupid shit and people LOVE it. It’s a win win situation. I like Bradshaw but watching him for his opinions on the day’s games just isn’t a good idea.

howieturtleneckHowie Long – I call Long “The Professor”, not because he says informative stuff (sometimes he does) but because he looks very intensely into the camera while wearing glasses and using big words that you may have to look up in a dictionary. It’s almost as if he’s trying really hard to make you think he might be the world’s smartest man when it comes to football knowledge. Nice try, Howie, but I’m not buying it!!

Jimmy Johnson – Johnson is just another in a long line of NFL TV “analysts” that will say something and you’ll totally forget 2 minutes later he ever said it because it’ll be something like “Brady and this offense looks really good right now”. No shit?

Michael Strahan – I’m just assuming Strahan is missing his playing days already and wants some of that attention that he used to get as a Giant. I think it’s a pretty safe assumption.

Jay Glazer –  Fox’s version of Chris Mortensen. His sources seem reliable enough but he comes off as a total douchebag.

Conclusion – Three way tie, they’re all the SAME show. Each filled with the same cliches and stupid one-liners, give or take a few honest observations. If you already watch football and spend 10 or 15 minutes on the internet looking at NFL.com for stats and highlights there is absolutely no reason to watch any of these shows. The only decent pregame show on TV is the Edge NFL Matchup show, but ESPN, being the joke of a network it is these days, has the show on at like 2 AM, so good luck with that.

NFL Preview – Let’s Get It On!!

September 7, 2009

Hello  all, the name is Bobby Myers and I’ll be updating this blog throughout the season with analysis and observations. Let’s kick it off with a preview of the upcoming season!

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AFC East

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1  New England Patriots – The Pats pretty much win this division by default. Belichick is a great coach, Brady is a great QB, but don’t listen to the dummies in the sports media, the Pats still have a TON of question marks. How good is their aging defense going to be? There’s definitely holes there. How good is the O-line (one thing that has been continually overlooked by all the sports “experts”)?. Will Roger Goodell cry if the Pats don’t win the SB this year? So many questions.

2 Miami Dolphins – I was watching the Dolphins-Bucs preseason game a couple weeks back and was thinking “what the hell is this doing on TV and why the hell am I watching it?”. Dolphins might have the worst offense in the league going into this season (their starting offense had 1 first down and no points against the Bucs). Pennington is a good, underrated QB but the lack of weapons and a questionable offensive scheme puts a ton of pressure on their D. They’ll have to play mistake free football and hope for some breaks to repeat what they did last year.

3 New York Jets – I’m surprised, Sanchez looks pretty good (so far). Unfortunately for Jets fans, the rest of the team looks pretty average across the board. Is Kenny Roger’s son the answer at Head Coach? Time will tell, but the Jets will have a tough time just getting 7 or 8 wins this year.

4 Buffalo Bills – I don’t know what the hell is going on up in Buffalo, but I feel for you Bills fans, I’m afraid you’re in for another long season. You know things aren’t going your way when the Offensive Coordinator is fired just weeks before the regular season start and the entire O-line has new starters from last year. Blame Ralph Wilson, the guy obviously doesn’t give two shits whether Buffalo wins or not.

AFC North

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1. Pittsburgh Steelers – The defending champs return 20 or 22 starters and look to make another serious run at the SB. The defense could actually be better with the super athletic Lawrence Timmons replacing MLB Larry Foote and 1st round pick Ziggy Hood filling in at the DL. The team is loaded with depth. The only thing standing in their way is a mediocre O-line and a retard for an OC, Bruce Arians.

2. Baltimore Ravens – How much longer is Ray Lewis going to play? I mean, shit, the guy is like 50 years old. Flacco had a very good year as a rookie last year, but the wheels started to come off towards the end of the season. It got to point where he was basically throwing short outs and dump offs and deep sideline patterns, and that was about it. Is he in for a sophomore slump? That could determine how far the Ravens go this year. John Harbaugh might already be one of the best HC’s in the league right now, which should make Ravens fans feel pretty good about the future.

3. Cincinnati Bengals – Here’s a little shocking secret for you – the Bengals (yes, the CINCINNATI BENGALS) are actually putting together a pretty good defense. In fact, don’t be completely shocked if the Bengals edge out the Ravens for the #2 spot in the division this year. If only they could get rid of sissy boy Palmer and get some decent draft picks for him, they could be sitting pretty good for the future. Marvin Lewis talks a good game but it’s time for him to put up or shut up or he’ll be looking for a new job…Continually signing troubled hoodlums definitely doesn’t help his cause.

4. Cleveland Browns– Is it time for the Browns to leave Cleveland again for another city? Remember when all the “experts” were picking these jokers to get to the AFC Championship or even the Super Bowl a couple years ago? Yeah, that was pretty funny. Sorry, Browns fans, but it’s not looking good this year.

AFC West

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1. San Diego Chargers – Another team that should win the division by default. This team is good, but don’t believe the “THIS MIGHT BE THE MOST TALENTED TEAM IN THE LEAGUE!” crap that the sports media has been spouting for the last 2 or 3 years. Rivers is great, Tomlinson is great (but definitely not in his prime anymore), but the defense has some holes and the WR corps is questionable, but the biggest problem the Chargers is it might have one of the worst HC’s this league has ever seen in Norv Turner. I actually feel bad for Rivers and San Diego fans everywhere. This team would still have to overcome some hurdles to get to the Super Bowl but with Turner at HC, it’s almost Mission Impossible. I mean, can you picture that guy ever holding the Lombardi Trophy? even if they did somehow win it with him as HC, the NFL shouldn’t allow that sort of thing.

2. Kansas City Chiefs – Is it shocking to pick this team at #2? I’m looking at who else is in this division and I don’t think so. This is a team that virtually no one knows about, it’s almost like they don’t even exist, but there is some talent on this team. You just have to believe… Uh oh, another team that fired their OC, but I think in this case it’s a difference in philosophy due to the new HC, Todd Haley, who was the OC at Arizona last season. Just a hunch. A little fun fact, RB Larry Johnson (you know the guy that former HC, Dick Vermeil, said had to “take the diapers off”) averaged a cool 4.5 yards a carry last year. IF they get improved QB play, the Chiefs could surprised some people, you just have to believe.

3. Denver Broncos – This team ain’t looking so hot, and it’s not because Jay Cutler no longer plays here. I have a bad feeling about the new HC, Josh McDaniels, combine inexperience, youth, cockiness and maybe a good dose of arrogance and that spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E….Plus the team just doesn’t look that good. Everyone knows about the problems with Brandon Marshall, but take that away and there is still a good bit of question marks with this team. Defense could be improved, but probably not enough, the team gave up the 3rd most points a game last year(28!). Sorry, Broncos fans.

4. Oakland Raiders – I see a good bit of media pundits taking the Raiders to finish 2nd in this division, even though Al Davis is still the owner, and the new HC punched someone, and the team just had one of the worst drafts in recent memory and the offense and defense were both ranked near the bottom in almost every category last year and Jamarcus Russell is still the starting QB… I could keep going. There is no doubt SOME talent on this team, Nnamdi Asomugha is probably the best CB in the league right now and RB Darren McFadden is great, but weren’t these guys on the team last year? Just not enough.

AFC South

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1. Tennessee Titans – This division is really up for grabs, but I think from top to bottom the Titans, like last year, are the deepest team. The defense should be one of the top 4 or 5 in the league, even without Haynesworth. The key is for the offense to continue to improve, however they can. That unit cost them in the playoffs last year and has always been a weak spot during Jeff Fisher’s stellar coaching tenure. At the very least, Vince Young is not the starting QB and Titans fans that’s gotta make you feel pretty good. Plus, the running game should be pretty damn good.

2. Houston Texans – The Texans finally get over the hump, beat the Colts at least once and MAKE THE PLAYOFFS!!! Or do they? I might end up eating my words if the Texans defense can’t improve from last year, but if they do it might be enough to get this young promising team into the playoffs for the first time in their history. Look for Andre Johnson, a top 3 WR and young RB Steve Slaton to have big numbers this season. Remember Texans fans, the key is the D but you probably already know that.

3. Indianapolis Colts – I don’t believe that the Colts defense is as good as it was statistically ranked last year, but it might have to be for the team to do some serious damage this year. I’m a little concerned that the new HC always looks like he doesn’t know where he is. Is he aware that he’s the HC of the team? Is Peyton Manning the real Head Coach? I wonder… The Colts offense under Manning should be efficient as always, but maybe not as good as some think, there’s some question marks at WR and RB. Should be interesting.

4. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jags could surprise some people, but nothing really stands out to make me think they will. Garrard is a solid QB but he’s not going to carry a team, the offense just doesn’t have enough weapons. The defense took a real nosedive last year and I don’t think there’s going to be a big turnaround from last year. This division is too tough this season for this team to make a big turnaround.

NFC East

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1. New York Giants – Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a luckier QB than Eli Manning. Last year he threw up about 20 passes that looked like short punts and hardly any of them were intercepted and the Giants rewarded him with a GIGANTIC contract! Not only that but he’s on one of the only teams in the NFL right now that can actually run the ball over and over again with success. What’s that saying, “Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good?” I guess so! Some are picking the Giants to fall this season, but that punishing run attack should be back along with one of the best D-lines around. That should be enough to win a somewhat overrated NFL East.

2. Dallas Cowboys – Alright, Tony Romo is kind of a question mark, does he have the drive and heart of a champion? That aspect is so overlooked in sports but it’s a huge determining factor in how well someone does at the pro level. He’s talented and has some talent around him. Add to that DeMarcus Ware and a pretty good D and that SHOULD be enough for this squad to finish 2nd in the division and a possible playoff appearance. Wade Phillips has to scare the hell out of Cowboys fans, though. Along with that huge monstrosity that is the Cowboys Stadium scoreboard.

3. Philadelphia Eagles – A lot of folks are taking this team to win the division and maybe even get to the Super Bowl, not so fast. Losing MLB Stewart Bradley for the year hurts their defense more than most realize. Another huge red flag is Andy Reid looking overly giddy when reporters asked him about Vick’s 7/11 for 26 yards and 1 INT preseason performance against the Jets…That’s like 2 yards a completion. Eagles fans, watch out!

4. Washington Redskins – Someone has to finish last. The Skins could surprise some folks. Campbell has looked pretty good in preseason but that offense isn’t going to be lighting up the scoreboard, although maybe it won’t have to if the Skins defense finishes in the top 5 in yards allowed like last season.

NFC North

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1. Green Bay Packers – Are the Packers one of the NFL’s little secrets? It seems like the most attention they’ve gotten recently is when drama boy Favre left town, even though they’re putting together a pretty damn good team (they had a good draft this year) and Aaron Rodgers had a great year last season (4,000 yards, 28 TD’s, 13 INT’s). The defense struggled at times last year but it looks like definite improvements are on the way in the development of younger players and a new 3-4 D thanks to new DC Dom Capers. This division is up for grabs but I’m liking what I see in the Packers.

2. Minnesota Vikings – Is it just me or is it extremely weird to see Brett Favre in a Vikings uniform? I don’t blame Packers fans for hating this guy, kind of an asshole move on his part. Any way, the Vikings could win the division, the defense looks good (although they gave up 20 points a game last season), especially the front 7 but the secondary has some question marks (ranked 18 last year), Adrian Peterson leads one of the only grind it out offensive running games you’ll see in the NFL these days. All Favre has to do is limit the mistakes and play smart footba—, oh who am I kidding, thtat’s like asking a fat kid to only buy one double cheeseburger at McDonalds when they’re only $1, it’s not happening!! But if by some miracle, Favre does play smart football the Vikes could be pretty damn good.

3. Chicago Bears – Why are people taking this team to win the division? Because of Jay Cutler?? Who’s he throwing the ball to this season? The defense ranked in the bottom third last year, good run defense but the team gave up 22 points a game and the secondary was a big weak spot. The offense fared even worse finishing the season ranked 26th and while Cutler may help, I see this division as a two team race. Sorry, Bears fans.

4. Detroit Lions – Stafford looks like the real deal and he does have some weapons to throw to (WR Calvin Johnson might be the most talented WR in the NFL right now). Lions fans keep the expectations low, which I’m sure they are, and you might actually enjoy this season for what it is. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Lions finished 3rd in the division, not saying it’s going to happen, but….

NFC West

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1. Arizona Cardinals – I know most aren’t taking this team to win the division, but someone has to! The offense will put up points and the defense has made strides since Whisenhut was made HC. I think it’s enough to win this stinker of a division, although if Warner goes down (which is a distinct possibility) all bets are off. If the Cards can get 9 or 10 wins that should be enough.

2. Seattle Seahawks – Now that “asleep-at-the-wheel” Holmgren is gone will the Seahawks wake up? I’m not so sure. Noodle arm Matt Hasselback won’t be enough to turn around one of the most boring offenses this side of Miami. The defense should improve with rookie Aaron Curry at LB, but I don’t think it’ll be enough. Last year everyone said that the Seahawks had a great LB corps, and maybe on paper they did, but on the field it was a whole other matter. Seahawks fans, keep the expectations in check and you might enjoy this season.

3. San Francisco 49ers – I don’t know what the hell has been going on out in San Francisco lately, but I will say I think Joe Montana can still play. This team has some talent but is still at least a year or two away from playing with the big boys.

4. St. Louis Rams – Oh no. I always forget that the Rams are still part of the NFL, I don’t think I’m the only one. This team has been in turmoil for a while, Rams fans everywhere are hoping a revamped O-line does wonders for the team this year. Steven Jackson is a great RB that has been wasting away his career thus far. The defense has plenty of holes, just hope Steve Spagnuolo does a good job Rams fans.

NFC South

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1. Carolina Panthers – This division is up for grabs, and while it’s tempting to take the Falcons or Saints, neither team has proven they have the defense to get the job done (yet). The Panthers D is questionable as well but has proven to be more consistent than the other two. Look for the Panthers to continue to run the ball very well with the one two punch of Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams and for Delhomme to continue to lead at QB.

2. Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan was impressive as a rookie QB and I don’t see much of a letdown from last year. The defense for the Falcons is the big question mark, they loaded up on defense in the draft but it may not be enough for this season. Finishing 2nd in this division may be good enough to get into the playoffs.

3. New Orleans Saints – The Saints and Falcons could very easily switch positions in this division, but for now I just can’t overlook the Saints softee defense. They also loaded up in the draft on defense but I just don’t see that making a huge impact on the upcoming season. The Saints have one of the most potent offenses in the league, but unfortunately that’s all they have right now. Sorry, Saints fans.

4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Buccaneers have had one of the most consistently boring and unproductive offenses for a while now. Don’t expect that to change this year. Journeyman Byron Leftwich is the starting QB and has looked inconsistent in the preseason, don’t expect him to make a huge difference this year, especially given the offensive weapons on this team. The defense for the Bucs is in a state of transition after longtime DC Monte Kiffin left the team. Expect a down year Bucs fans.

AFC Championship

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Pats vs. Steelers – In the game for team of the decade! Pats have 3 SB wins, the Steelers 2. Fantasy Football nerds everywhere don’t see how the Pats can lose since Brady is their QB. Steelers squeak by the Pats to advance to a second consecutive SB.

NFC Championship

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Vikings vs. Packers – In one of the most hyped games in recent memory, Favre returns for a second time in one year as a Viking. He ends up throwing 3 crazy passes up for grabs in the 2nd half for INT’s, ensuring yet another Favre choke job in the playoffs. Packers advance to their first SB since Favre was their starting QB.

Super Bowl Prediction

Steelers vs. Packers – Steelers win their 7th SB.