NFL Notes

While the Seattle upset was obviously a bit surprising, what made it especially more so was the fact they found themselves down 10-0 right away. It seemed to me they would be particularly ill equipped to play from behind…I really didn’t know Pete Carroll and Matt Hasselbeck had it in them. Two terrific performances Saturday. It wasn’t fun watching Hasselbeck after I chose Mark Sanchez over him as my second QB in a playoff fantasy league…I’m beginning to question whether Reggie Bush lacks durability…A defending Super Bowl champion hasn’t won a playoff game since 2004…When the Seahawks aren’t blown out, they are the best team in the NFL (8-0 in games decided by 14 points or fewer)…Saturday marked the first time Drew Brees wasn’t intercepted since Week 4, and he was only sacked once…As much as I praised coach Carroll earlier, his decision making at the end of the game was questionable. After calling two straight run plays for Marshawn Lynch (who didn’t pick up a first down), he then just kneeled the ball, and the game was over (New Orleans had only one timeout to begin with). I guess the runs ran a couple more seconds off the clock than a QB kneel, but was that really worth the risk of a fumble at midfield up just five points?...Speaking of Lynch, I’ve heard his 67-yard touchdown run called the best of the season, but come on, it was definitely the best run ever, right? I don’t want to be hyperbolic, and I guess a safer way of me saying it is “in my lifetime,” but I can’t even come up with a No. 2 to compare it to. If you had me name running backs who would produce “the best run ever,” I would have named at least 30 before Lynch in today’s NFL. Considering it happened in a close playoff game late in the fourth quarter, that only enhances such a sick run that produced a whopping eight broken tackles.

I had a vested interest in Oregon winning Monday night, but I’m guessing this guy was even more upset at the outcome.

You know when you go to some restaurants, and the waiter or waitress won’t write down any of your order, kind of just to prove how awesome their memory is? That always drives me nuts and convinces me our order will be messed up. Well, I can’t argue against eliminating the human element.

While it appears most online books have them lower, my friend who lives in Las Vegas alerted me today that “The M” had the Milwaukee Brewers at 40-1 to win the World Series. While future bets like this really aren’t that smart, I couldn’t help myself not to throw $50 on it. In comparison, the Nationals were 35/1, the Marlins 30/1 and the Padres 30/1. In fact, the only NL teams listed as bigger long shots were the Diamondbacks, Astros and Pirates!

I feel like I’ve somehow become something of a Peyton Manning apologist, and I understand some criticism is merited since he’s now just 9-10 during the postseason throughout his career, but he just completed 69.2 percent of his passes while getting 8.7 YPA while taking only one sack and not committing a turnover against a strong Jets’ defense with a depleted receiving corps (I know the great ones make the receivers and not vice-versa, but this statement holds even more true when you consider Reggie Wayne was also non-existent). That’s an awful Colts team, with a bottom-five coach in the league. This is like LeBron James and the Cavs, only playing in a far more team dependent sport (albeit the QB is disproportionately important)…Mark Sanchez was not good Saturday night…Why did Dominic Rhodes get more carries than Joseph Addai?...Adam Vinatieri is the man, no doubt about it…What was up with Rex Ryan’s eye? That must have been some halftime speech. Not sure why he didn’t call a timeout (he had all three remaining) when the Colts had the ball at their own 36-yard line on 1st-and-10 with 1:42 left in the fourth quarter, allowing Indy to run 32 seconds off the clock…Of course, that blunder pales in comparison to Jim Caldwell’s absolutely dumbfounding timeout called about a minute later, but that’s been criticized ad nauseam. But this should come as no surprise to those who have followed Caldwell, who also made one of the dumbest challenges earlier in the game when it was quite clear the punt went right through Santonio Holmes’ legs. Without question, Caldwell is one of the worst coaches in the NFL.

This guy (I feel like Jon Gruden) is 18 years old. Seriously. Meet Thapa Magar, the shortest man in the world.

This feel good story got sad fast.

This video probably deserves an even greater warning than NSFW. And while I acknowledge it’s horrible, and the woman should be locked up, I must admit, I have watched it a few too many times to claim I didn’t find it funny. I mean, the trance music is mesmerizing, and the woman’s expression throughout it all is just so crazy. And she makes it like a fireworks show, with the finale going all out, and why the random stills? There’s little doubt I’m going to hell.

The Chiefs’ second half Sunday was one of the worst two quarters played in the league this year. How can Jamaal Charles receive one single carry during that span, and Dwayne Bowe get zero targets all game? Unbelievable. Charles was .02 YPC away from breaking Jim Brown’s NFL record this season…While visiting some friends in USC back in college, late one night after leaving the bars we ran into Matt Cassel on some fraternity row. Somehow, my friend ended up betting him he’d beat him in a foot race, and after he smoked him twice (the second time he even gave Cassel a head start, just because), Cassel got extremely butt hurt and refused to pay up, so I can’t say I’m exactly shedding tears to see him fail so miserably when it matters most…As someone with rooting interest in the 49ers, I hope Jim Harbaugh is half as good a coach as his brother. This Ravens team is a bit hard to figure out, but they are clearly among the elite in the NFL.

You’ve got to admit “Boats N’ Hoes” was pretty good.

The Falcons deserve credit for taking care of business, and they don’t turn the ball over and have a good special teams, but for those who consider their season a bit lucky, let me flame the fire: opponents made just 15-of-23 field goals against them this season, which is 65.2 percent, nearly 10 percent lower than the next most beneficial team in the league. In comparison, the Chargers didn’t have a single missed field goal against them this year. Breaks.

I understand gas stations keep their refrigerator temperatures high to keep costs down, and maybe 50 percent of their clientele are commuters, but it’s extremely annoying either way. No one is buying a single soda (or juice or water) at such a place not to drink immediately. Seriously, they are all barely consumable. Someone tell the owners I’d be willing to pay higher gas prices for a colder drink on a road trip. That alone I assume would sway them to change their ways.

I’m a huge baseball guy coming off a season in which my Giants became World Champions, and it’s also probably my preferred fantasy sport, but this weekend proved football is the best sport in America. What ridiculously good games. You can’t beat it…DeSean Jackson is an unbelievably talented player and possibly the most explosive in the league, but it’s pretty crazy he finished with just 47 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns this year. He had the season’s most memorable play on special teams, his 22.5 yards-per-catch mark easily led the NFL, and he missed two games, so it’s not a knock. But he ultimately ended the season with just 49 receptions over 15 games…James Starks was impressive, especially when you consider the defense was more likely to key on the run whenever he was on the field…If it wasn’t clear before, Aaron Rodgers’ poor record in close games should 100 percent (or at least something close to it) fall on Mike McCarthy, who is absolutely horrible. Talk about playing not to win down the stretch (and also at halftime, when he allowed Green Bay to run the clock out with 20 seconds left at midfield with a timeout remaining). And what about Troy Aikman telling us that McCarthy told him he doesn’t measure success running the ball by YPC but instead by the number of carries. Huh? That’s like saying you should judge a hitter by RBI more than OPS (and yes, even the latter is rudimentary in this day and age)...Speaking of Rodgers, who I think is pretty safe to call the best player in the NFC by far (yet, he wasn’t even named to the Pro Bowl. And imagine if Jermichael Finley didn’t go down.), now has a 19:2 TD:INT ratio over the past eight games. And those numbers would look even better had James Jones not made such an egregious drop on a perfectly thrown ball on a sure would-be long touchdown Sunday


By: zoso1699
On: 1/12/2011 10:22:00 AM
that jones drop on the rodgers pass was absurd.

yeah, i saw the 2nd half of the chiefs game. i told my buddy, a KC fan, if charles doesn't get 25 carries, they lose. what a joke.
By: million_dollar_sleeper
On: 1/12/2011 11:58:00 AM
it's OK DDD, you can let go. Football is done.
By: matthewthill7
On: 1/12/2011 12:10:00 PM
That baby video was not right...

Why is everybody up in arms about Charles' and Bowe's workload against Baltimore? Cassel threw 3 picks, and the Chiefs' ball-carriers put it on the carpet 2 more times, additionally. Five turnovers in a playoff game against one of the most brutal defenses in the league - that probably has more to do with why the Chiefs lost than anything else. Say Charles gets 10 more touches and Bowe gets a half-dozen looks, do the Chiefs overcome a 30-7 deficit? I doubt it.

Boats n Hoes is magnificent.

By: quails144
On: 1/12/2011 1:38:00 PM
I think DDD's weekly notes have become my favourite blog on the whole internet.
By: tumanic
On: 1/12/2011 2:11:00 PM
The M does have baseball futures up already. I hope I can still get 40-1 on the crew. The baby swing has given me an idea on what to do to Liss next time he nut hugs Cutler out here...except we will play Metallica. :)
By: zoso1699
On: 1/12/2011 4:14:00 PM
charles fumbled in the 1st half and it was 10-7 at the half, so that didn't TO didn't matter, it was still a game. it was 16-7 when cassell threw a int which gave the ball to Balt at the KC 40. they put that in the end zone and it was over, 23-7, to start the 4th. KC had to pass after that.

prior to the pick, charles had 2 carries in 16 plays after the half. they easily could have run more to control the clock like they did in the first half but gave up on him for some reason. 2 carries in 16 plays for one of the best player's in the NFL is hard to understand.

i guess balt has a great defense but they were giving up 9 YPC to charles. not sure how good a defense is when they're giving up almost a first down per cary or maybe that's just how good charles is?

anyway, that's my point, KC shouldn't have given on charles so quickly. it was still a game before cassell's blunder at the end of the 3rd quarter
By: Mark Stopa
On: 1/12/2011 4:28:00 PM
The Chiefs would have lost anyway, but it's egregious that they didn't get touches for their best players.

Rodgers is going to win a SB one of these years with a terrific postseason and elevate himself into the Brady/Manning stratosphere - the only question is whether that will be this year. Part of me thinks it can be, but part of me thinks the Packers are too much like the Saints and Colts, with too many injuries on offense (Grant and Finley). In other words, the script just isn't written for him this year. But if it is, and they win the SB, then geez - how good will he be with those guys? Playing in the NFC every year (where there are less dominant teams with elite QBs), it's not crazy to say he could wind up the best QB of our generation.

I was an undergrad at Wake Forest when Jim Caldwell was the football coach there. He was awful. 26-63. 26-63! We all hated him. Wake football will never be a juggernaut, but the program steadily improved after he left. One could argue he's the worst coach in NFL history. What does he do? He's a potted plant. Manning coaches the offense. Manning calls the plays. Caldwell inherited a great team, and as far as I can tell it's solely because he was friends with Dungy because they have similar demeanors. I predicted long ago that Caldwell will cost them a playoff game - I'll have to find a link.
By: Mark Stopa
On: 1/12/2011 4:35:00 PM
(Note the date on this - during last year's playoffs)
By: Mark Stopa
On: 1/16/2010 8:04:00 PM
I went to Wake Forest when Caldwell was the head coach there.
He was awful.
Beyond awful.
I wouldn't have hired him to coach my kid's pee-wee team.
My college friends and I find it unreal that he's coaching the Colts.
I wouldn't put it past him to blow a playoff game.
By: assman
On: 1/12/2011 5:02:00 PM
Tell us how you really feel Mark!
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/12/2011 7:48:00 PM
matthewthill7 - The point is the score wouldn't become 30-7 if those two other things happened (more looks for Bowe, touches for Charles). That said, Cassel was not good, I agree, and Charles' fumbling continues to be a problem.
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/12/2011 7:49:00 PM
quails144 - That's great to hear. Thanks.
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/12/2011 7:51:00 PM
Mark - Ya, and it's a good thing the 49ers passed on Rodgers, especially since he played college 20 minutes from the team's headquarters...And obviously, I can't say I disagree with your Caldwell assessment.
By: vtadave
On: 1/12/2011 9:31:00 PM
That wasn't a real baby way.

By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/12/2011 9:42:00 PM
Dave - I guarantee it's real. 100%. There have been other videos unearthed by the same lady. That baby yoga thing is a fad. Plus, that would mean this person has the best fake in Hollywood history, which obviously has a lot more money to spend.
By: jnowak2799
On: 1/13/2011 8:54:00 AM
Stopa, Great prediction and analysis on Caldwell, you have to give it up when people make dead on predictions and they come to fruition, great job.
By: vtadave
On: 1/13/2011 10:29:00 AM
I don't know man...I'm not in the medical field, but swinging a baby around like that would seem to me to lead to a separated shoulder at least, not to mention potential (probable?) brain injury.
By: Chris Liss
On: 1/13/2011 12:26:00 PM
DDD would know. His mom did that with him.
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/13/2011 12:39:00 PM
And look at the benefits!
By: assman
On: 1/13/2011 5:44:00 PM
DDD, listened to the podcast for the first time a bit ago.....good work, you and pianoman did a great job. Has this been something that I missed all year?
By: Dalton Del Don
On: 1/13/2011 6:30:00 PM
assman - Thanks. And good to hear. I hadn't done one in about a month b/c of the holiday's and the fantasy season being over and all that, but yes, you missed a lot. I have done a weekly show starting in July I believe.
By: vtadave
On: 1/13/2011 6:55:00 PM
3D - I wish I had your Williams-like silky-smooth voice. Maybe then I'd get the radio invite a bit more often.
By: assman
On: 1/14/2011 5:40:00 PM
I will tune in next season.....thanks!

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