December 7, 2009

Classic Favre

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

Just when you thought that Brett Favre was capable of being a game managing, competent signal caller, leading a team full of weapons that could assist him, he simply threw a game away. The Cardinals gave him too much pressure and the 40-year-old couldn’t hang tough and deliver. On the defensive side of the ball, there was simply just no way to contain the three-headed monster of Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Even when the Vikes could get pressure on Kurt Warner, the 38-year-old simply checked down to his hot receivers and ran out the Cards to a safe enough lead; which was more important than people realized. When Minnesota trails, it seems ineffective and non-prudent to stick with the running game, even if Adrian Peterson is in the backfield. So, in the end, it was Warner who won the old man bowl and now has Arizona in great position to lock up the three seed in the NFC West.

Elsewhere, perfection continued on its normal path. The Saints had more trouble than you would have figured against the Redskins and even needed some luck to take the game into OT. Had the Redskins kicker not missed a chip-shot, the field goal equivalent of an extra point, the lead to this post would have been a lot different, stating how the Saints have been exposed. The Patriots should be feeling even worse about this result as well, but they have their own problems to worry about.

The Colts, on the other hand, showed once again that division rivalry games mean nothing to them and went and beat down the red-hot Titans en route to a 12-0 record. Chris Johnson continued his outstanding roar up the yardage charts with 113 yards on the ground, but the Colts stopped him where it mattered and kept him out of the end zone. Indy was also able to make Tennessee do exactly what they don’t want to, rely on Vince Young to beat a good team. A 99-yard drive one week is quite something with VY, but asking him to lead your team for an entire game against the Colts is obviously too much for him.

Two division leaders let games get away from them and now with have some pretty tight logjams atop the standings in the AFC and NFC East. Dallas couldn’t stop two big plays from the Giants and lost because of it, but New England flat out choked, again. Tom Brady had about a minute to do his best Peyton Manning impression and get his team into field goal range and simply fell short. On the critical play of the game, Brady couldn’t even escape the pressure of ex-CFLer Cameron Wake and then threw the ball directly at a Miami Dolphin, Channing Crowder, who made his first ever interception. Maybe this isn’t the same Tom Brady as before, or maybe we’re too busy hoping he is to realize what’s going on in New England.

Michael Vick returned to Atlanta and the Eagles made sure they knew about it. The only thing about seeing Vick scored two TDs (one rushing, one passing) is that Donovan McNabb fantasy owners must be pissed. Seeing two perfectly good red zone possessions be taken away for a novelty act has to be sorely frustrating.

And what the hell is going on with Pittsburgh? They should have beaten an inferior team like Oakland hands down, but instead, choked away a game at the time of year when wins are crucial. Allowing a TD with nine seconds left against Bruce Gradkowski is all we need to see to write off the defending champs.

So, we’re now at the point to write off teams that shouldn’t be asking Santa for a playoff berth this Xmas because, simply they don’t deserve it. The unlucky contenders this week are the Steelers, who have lost to the Chiefs and Raiders so far, the Texans, who have as much heart as the Tin Man, pre-wizard, and the Falcons, who may get Matt Ryan back, but Michael Turner is doing a pretty good job of proving the law of 370.

This week: 8-6 (with Green Bay -3).
This season: 104-78-1.

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