Monday, December 22, 2008

Yo, Meathead!

It sure has been a busy holiday season! Hope everyone out there is having good holidays!

So here we are right before the last week of the NFL regular season. Before their stunning overtime win against Carolina yesterday, the Giants had dropped two straight games to division rivals, and both offense and defense looked punchless against the Eagles and Cowboys. Yes, the whole Plaxico Burress situation brought Big Blue’s confidence and offensive ability down a notch, but I think too many people discount the injuries to the team that have held them in check a little for the last couple of games. Regarding the defensive line—yes, Matthias Kiwanuka and Justin Tuck are great pass rushers, but in my opinion, the two defensive tackles, Fred Robbins and Barry Cofield do not get their due, and when Robbins was out two of the last three games with a shoulder injury, the defense definitely suffered.

But the injury that might have cost the Giants the most (and kept their attitude in check) was running back Brandon Jacobs. Without Jacobs or Burress against Dallas, the Cowboys defense took it to the Giants. This week, Jacobs’s return paved the way for 301 rushing yards—the most in 49 years for the Jints—215 by Derrick Ward. The fact is that in order for the Giants’ rushing attack to be at its best, they need the use of all three members of the “Earth, Wind, and Fire” backfield. Though Jacobs had only 80 yards compared to Ward, it is his presence that softens up the defense and lets Ward and Ahmad Bradshaw do their damage.

Now the Giants have the top seed in the NFC and home-field advantage throughout the postseason, and the Cowboys are barely clinging to playoff life after losing to Baltimore on Saturday. Even though the ’Boys have a chance, is there really anyone who thinks they can win the Super Bowl? After giving up two touchdown runs of 77 or more yards in the final 3:50 of the game against the Ravens? I think not! Even though Dallas beat the Giants last week, I’d bet the Jints could handle them easily in the cold at Giants Stadium if the two teams actually met up in the postseason.

The G-men just need to stick to the ground game in the cold weather and let Eli Manning carry them when he has to, and they should be ready to make another run. Also, the defeat of Carolina may play on the Panthers’ minds if they meet the Giants in the playoffs. Of course, anything can happen on any given Sunday (or Saturday), so you never know what could happen, but I feel pretty confident that the Giants will be right there in the conference game, challenging to make their second straight appearance in the Big Dance.

SEASONINGS: I just have to comment on the Mets’ hot-stove league signings of J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez. After all the Mets’ meltdowns in the late innings last year, these two guys could go a long way toward finishing games for the bullpen. But I read that K-Rod is actually looking forward to the boos that might find him at Citi Field if he falters, and he plans on using them for any needed motivation. Yeah, right! I’ve seen better men than K-Rod felled by the fans’ antagonism at Shea—it will be no different at the new park. And while I hate the fact that Mets fans boo their own players during tough times, I can’t see that playing in a new park will keep fans quiet if the Mets stumble. Good luck, J.J. and Frankie!

Something else I just have to mention—does anyone remember how I bashed the Chargers for signing Norv Turner as coach and the Cowboys for signing Wade Phillips in the same capacity? These two teams are coming up far short of expectations this year, and both coaches are rumored to have the ax hanging overhead. No surprise! Turner has taken his very talented team nowhere—he does not have the strength of personality to ever succeed as anything more than an offensive coordinator—and no way can Cream-Puff Phillips handle all the massive egos the Cowboys have gathered together and called a team. Could anyone have seen it coming? “Yo, Meathead!”

Lastly, in response to Ed’s Super Bowl prediction, below, what else can I say after singing the Giants’ praises all season? Even though I am always reluctant to make predictions, Ed, ya talked me into it! I think it will be Giants–Steelers, and of course, Big Blue will win!

My Super Bowl Predictions

In this year's Super Bowl, I like Carolina in the NFC and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC. I know they both lost this past weekend, but I just feel like they are the two teams that stand out to me right now. The NY Giants, the Patriots and the Titans will all be tough, but in the end, I believe it will be a Panther-Steelers Super Bowl!

What do you think, Meat?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yo, Meathead!

Holy guacamole! Is there a bigger jerk in the NFL right now than Plaxico Burress? From Super Bowl to Super Bust!

Good ol’ Plax found a way to get me off writing article after article praising the New York Giants. Now I can rip him up.

I mean, what was this guy thinking? It’s pretty hard to fall so low from heights so high after catching the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl last year. How stupid do you have to be, not only to break New York gun laws by bringing a loaded but unregistered firearm into a crowded nightclub, but then to shoot yourself in the leg with the gun? Even if the weapon was registered, Burress has shown the world that he’s way too dumb to own a gun. Why wasn’t the weapon’s safety on? He could be considered a worse ass than Terrell Owens or Chad Ocho Cinco (Johnson), because at least those two prima donnas never brought guns into their selfish little worlds (that we know of).

Now Burress has possibly cost himself as much as $27 million, which he could lose out on if the Giants franchise decides it’s had enough. While General Manager Jerry Reese left the door slightly open on a Plaxico redux, my guess here is that Burress will not play another down in a Giants uniform, even if he avoids jail time. The Giants were probably just covering themselves in case the players’ union starts crying that the team terminated him unfairly, or without due process, or whatever sad excuse they can come up with. But this franchise has a history of class, and I’d bet that this new generation of Giants owners will do the right thing, just like their dads. Sayonara, Plax! Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out!

I’ve seen a lot of sportswriters this past week say the Giants are toast, and with all the distractions, including linebacker Antonio Pierce’s involvement the night of the shooting, there’s no way they can repeat as champions. I say, let’s see what happens against the Eagles on Sunday. If the Giants can win decisively, or even come back from a deficit in the final minutes (and clinch the NFC East and a playoff spot in the process), I’d say the team is going to be fine, and they will be just as dangerous come the playoffs. If the Giants falter this week, then anything goes—they could still win it all, or another team (Dallas, Pittsburgh, Tennessee) could find a way to halt the juggernaut. Let’s face it—Big Blue has never made the playoffs the year after a Super Bowl appearance, so just doing that would be a victory of a sort for the franchise. But I doubt highly that staff, players, and fans would be too satisfied with a one-and done-performance, or even a loss in the NFC Championship Game. With an 11–1 record at this point, I think anything less than a Super Bowl appearance would be considered something of a flop.

As for Burress, the question now is whether or not he goes to prison, and if so, will it end a promising career far short of where it could have gone? Is Plaxico Burress done in the NFL, or will he get another shot—this year, or some other time, down the line?