Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday Thoughts

So the divisional round of the playoffs is over after a really, really great weekend of football. I'd like to take the time now to bring up a quote once given by a famous person: "I personally am going to go with Indianapolis, New England, Chicago, and New Orleans." And what do you know, Indianapolis, New England, Chicago, and New Orleans shall all be headed to a Conference Championship Game next Sunday. I'd also like to take this time to bring up a quote once given by a not-so-famous person: " Baltimore, San Diego, Chicago, Philadelphia. Book it." The only things Baltimore, SD, and Philly players are booking right now are their plane tickets home.

Well, enough with the unsportsmanlike conduct, and on to Sunday Thoughts, the follow-up to Saturday Thoughts.

1. S. Alexander is a tad overweight... I came upon this conclusion after watching him rumble through a few of his first carries. If he was about 15 pounds lighter, I think he'd be a lot more explosive.
2. M. Hasselbeck flat out sucks. He makes awful decisions, and makes even more awful throws on the chance occasion that he does make a good decision. Last year, he just hid behind the "At least I win" excuse. Not any more.
3. Chicago is a lot worse than I thought. Especially defensively.
4. I honestly expected the SEA-CHI game to be a blowout, but Seattle didn't look half bad.
5. B. Berrian is pretty fast.
6. M. Morris is like a M. Turner-lite.
7. New Orleans has got to be pretty unhappy... they were so, so close to getting to play the Seattle Seahawks At Home. Oh, what a combination.
8. It must really suck to end a 14-2 season with a divisional round loss at home.
9. The SD-NE game was really one of intense mediocrity with turnovers all over the place.
10. R. Caldwell should have stayed inbounds.
11. L. Tomlinson looked really mad after the game, refusing to congratulate NE players. Interesting.
12. The Patriots head to their 4th AFC Championship game in 6 years, and T. Brady has suffered just one loss in his entire playoff career.
13. Next Sunday will see the 1st AFC Championship to be held in a domed stadium at the RCA Dome.
14. And finally, the state of Illinois will be the place to be next weekend, as it serves as the home to both the AFC and NFC Championship games.

Not quite ready to make my championship game picks... but let's just say over the last three years, I'm 0-6. And 11-1 in the divisional round.


Laser Stream said...

There was a reason I put "Book it" at the end of some picks. They're supposed to suck.

Laser Stream said...

As for the games, I'm still in shock that New England won. Now we'll be stuck listening to that "found ways to win" rubbish. More like San Diego found ways to lose; those fumbles were horrible.

Enter Sandman said...

Exactly! I knew the Patriots would "find a way to win"!

Enter Sandman said...

The real reasons I picked New England were (1) I thought they had the D-line and linebackers to prevent LT from being too much of a factor, and (2) I thought Belichick would throw enough different looks on D to confuse P. Rivers. For all of San Diego's offensive achievements this season, their passing game is not at a really high level; their passing game is too fueled by their running game and LT, so limiting the run effectively limits the pass... and that's exactly what happened.

Laser Stream said...

Limiting the run!?! What game were you watching? LT was absolutely dominating.

I do agree that Rivers was definitely confused, but it wasn't because their running game was limited.

Laser Stream said...

L. Tomlinson:

23 rush, 123 yards (5.3 yds/carry)
2 catches, 64 yards

Enter Sandman said...

My rebuttal:
I would definitely consider a 123 yard game a success (for NE) because while it may be great to achieve the 100 yard mark, the Patriots didn't allow Tomlinson to beat them single handedly (ie a monster 200 yard game like he's done this year). For the Chargers to win, LT needed to put up a huge performance; the Patriots basically limited LT to an above average game. You can't expect to hold him under 100 or 90 or anything like that as that's unrealistic. The thing I liked best was the fact that though LT had a number of 10+ yard runs (topping out at 15), none of the Chargers' series had continuity of the running game. What I mean by that is as soon as LT broke off a run for a first down, the Patriots would regroup and stop him for a short yardage play, and force Rivers to put it in play. Therefore, the success wasn't so much in "stopping" LT altogether, but in not allowing him to get into any sort of running rhythm. To prove this, here's a list of his "big" runs, followed by the following run:
Rushes for 11 yards, Rushes for 3 yards
Rushes for 14 yards, Rushes for 0 yards
Rushes for 11 yards, Rushes for 2 yards
Rushes for 9 yards, Rushes for 2 yards
Rushes for 13 yards, Rushes for 1 yard
And to conclude, his second half (9 carries, 43 yards) was far from dominating.

Laser Stream said...

Total number of 200-yard games for LT: 0

Total number of 0-100 yard games: 6

I will admit that 5 of these games were early in the season when Turner was being featured more and the 6th was basically a rest week. Even so, getting 200 from LT is just as unrealistic as getting less than 100.

Also, LT didn't even need to put up a monster performance. All SD needed to do was not turn the ball over 4 times (at least two of which were absolutely avoidable - I'm looking at you, E. Parker).

An unrelated comment: I really hope that Adam Vinatieri misses a potential game-winning kick next week. Though, I'm sure that the media will find some way to blame it on Manning.

Enter Sandman said...

Fine, but my point is just that there was no rhythm to the running game.

Anyways... Golden Boy 1? Or Golden Boy 2? What a tough decision...