Oh how wonderful it is to start writing about the NFL again!
There are some grudge matches on television you don’t want to miss out on tonight, as veterans and rookies both eagerly take the field and showcase what they’ve been working on all offseason. I’m looking forward to seeing Peyton Manning perform in a Broncos uniform. Is he rusty or does he still have it? Will Aaron Rodgers even set feet on the gridiron to manage an offensive drive or will Mike McCarthy save the team’s most valuable asset for future use? Are the Eagles going to come out and score on their first possession? AH the questions that bounce around in my mind ….
3 things I’ll look for: Steve Johnson and Ryan Fitz connection. RG3 and offense. Both defenses, impact of Mario Williams with the Bills and the Redskins’ communication.
2 things that must happen: RG3′s leadership shows today. Nick Barnett’s statement as a LB.
1 lasting impression: Bills’ starters all have to be on the same page.
3 things that should happen: Falcons win at home. Ray Rice averages 5 yards per carry. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan end up with similar stats.
2 things I’ve noticed: The mercurial safety, Ed Reed said he wants to finish his last season strong. Julio Jones might outshine Roddy White this year.
1 thing that’s most important: Matt Ryan’s career with the Falcons might be over if this season doesn’t go right.
3 things that we’ll admire tonight: A short preview of Drew Brees pinpoint accuracy, Tom Brady’s elegant throwing motion, and there won’t be any head-blowing injuries.
2 things that we’ll miss: Sean Payton won’t be on the sidelines coaching. Solid WR Robert Meachem was traded.
1 thing why 2012 matters: If Tom Brady and Brees don’t make for a playoff run, they’ll be labeled as the old great hags of football. Sorry.
3 things to pay attention to: All the Eagles’ runningbacks. They’re scary fast. Michael Vick’s new ‘do. A Steeler team without Mike Wallace.
2 things to listen for: Vince Young better not say something silly on the sidelines. Antonio C. and Nnamdi A. communicating on the field.
1 thing under the microscope: Andy Reid’s tenure as Eagles’ coach is on the edge…no joke.
3 things to witness: Kendall Reyes, rookie defensive end for the Chargers’ is pumped. Phillip River’s throwing arm (said it hurt last year). The swag on the Super Bowl contending Green Bay Packers.
2 things sure to happen: Both starting offenses should score. Eddie Royal and Robert Meachem should help with the absence of Vincent Jackson.
1 thing on the line: Norv Turner’s job.
3 things we look forward to seeing: Peyton Manning, duh, for all the reasons. Life without Tim Tebow, the fans will get over it, if they haven’t already. The Broncos could push for a playoff run, they have the quarterback and the defense to do so.
2 things we need: Johnny Knox, Brandon Marshall, and Jay Cutler to blow up. Look for 1990 Aaron Brewer to put in some work tonight at left safety.
1 thing we hope doesn’t happen: Peyton Manning gets hurt.
enjoy the preseason games tonight! <3
The facts are:
I predicted a 21-17 “whoever wins” result and I was dead on.
I also didn’t pre-analyze this game on paper, because I wanted to thoroughly enjoy watching it without reading all my mistakes on-line. That would have stressed me out more.
Prior to the game I thought of many questions to process a deeper understanding in which direction this game could possibly go.
I asked myself question 1, “Since turf means speed, how many times will each quarterback be pressured or sacked by the d-linemen chasing them?”
Answer: NYG: J. Tuck 2 sacks, forced a safety. NE: M. Anderson 1.5, R. Nikovich .5 and B. Deaderick 1.
The pressure, although the Patriots finished on top with one sack more, the Giants received 2 points for one of them.
Question 2: Won’t the Giants receivers thrive if the turf helps these speedy receivers?
Answer: H. Nicks 10-109, M. Manningham 5-73, V. Cruz 4-25. Total: 217 yards. That’s about 2/3 of Eli Manning’s passing total.
Question 3: Will the game come down on a final possession?
Answer: The Giants definitely could’ve sealed the deal with a field goal in the waning minute of the game, but Ahmad Bradshaw’s momentum caused him to slip into the endzone and gave Tom Brady 57 seconds to drive down the field. That wasn’t enough, considering he had to throw a Hail Mary with about 10 ticks left.
Question 4: Will the team that makes more mistakes win?
Answer: Hmm. Well, when a receiver comes empty handed on an could-be-better throw, I don’t consider that a mistake. There are legends who drop the ball in crucial moments, so no right-minded football fan could completely point the finger at Wes Welker for dropping that ball. I mean, other than the fact that it IS an easy ball for him to catch and come down with, maybe he was thinking about pepperoni pizza right before he turned around. Who knows. A good example of a mistake would be Tom Brady, slipping out of the pocket, running to the right sideline and then chucking up a bomb to Gronkowski that resulted into an interception. Who is at fault there? Gronkowski was. Anyone who plays football knows that when a quarterback is rolling out to a side, a receiver should guide and read the QB’s eyes, right? So in retrospect, Rob Gronkowski did NOT follow that COMMON rule, raised his hands, and jogged across the field, instead of “with” Brady, to the right side. As a quarterback, we know NOT to throw the ball across the body, nevertheless across the field, and that’s what Tom Brady did wrong. He trusted his 34-year-old arm to place the ball over short LB Blackburn’s helmet, but little did he know that there wasn’t enough air on the ball. Gronk deserves full blame for even running to that side, and he didn’t redeem himself well at all on the final play of the game, being no where near the ball’s landing. SERIOUSLY. My friend Danny Chang would’ve been there.
It’s interesting that the Patriots forced two Giant fumbles but recovered none of them. Have to admit the Giants did have a little bit of luck with that. If those were turnovers, who knows how crazy this game would’ve gotten. So basically, to answer that QUESTION of MISTAKES, the New England Patriots had more - therefore they lost.
Question 5: Are the Patriots even equipped to stop the Giants?
Answer: I don’t think so. The Patriots, yes rank 31st in total defense. We all learned that they rank 15th in scoring defense, meaning they keep opponents from obtaining the 6. But looking at the match-ups, double teaming V. Cruz only left an array of the other weapons that the Giants have. Nobody can sleep on Mario Manningham (3rd round 95th overall 25-years-old) or Hakeem Nicks (1st round 29th overall, 24-years-old). These dudes are nasty. Ahmad Bradshaw? 17 rushes for 72 yards with B. Jacobs contributing 37 yards on 9 carries? The Patriots had to be overwhelmed…
Super Bowl Sunday is near. (That’s a great thing.) Here are a few Super Bowlistic headlines:
RAVENS VS 49ERS
With the help of detestable officiating, the Ravens won this game with ease in the regular season. The referees missed Lardarius Webb’s pass interference on an Alex Smith interception. Both Harbaugh brothers are one game away from facing each other. Which brother’s knees will buckle first? Who’ll outlast the pressure? Will the great story this year be of Alex Smith’s redemption or will Ed Reed finally retire with a fat ring on his finger?!
RAVENS VS GIANTS
Ah, the memories. 2001 “rings” a large bell. Ray Lewis played on this Super Bowl-winning team and led his troops. Defensive dominance. The Ravens shut down the “Thunder and Lightning” duo, Tiki Barber and 1999 Heisman trophy winner, Ron Dayne. Could Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw steal the show? The Giants defensive line is ridiculously good. (Watch how they pressured a mobile quarterback in Aaron Rodgers.)
PATRIOTS VS 49ERS
Honestly, this isn’t the match that I want to watch. Do I really want to sit on the couch and nibble on my wings while Tom Brady throws all over the 49ers defense?
PATRIOTS VS GIANTS
Crossed fingers and crossed toes. I will shuffle-dance outside in my boxers if this game plays on February 5th. This is to be the rematch of the decade. The Giants defied much, if not all, laws of physics when it spearheaded a great white shark in the waning minutes of the 2008 Super Bowl. Remember David Tyree’s super glued helmet catch? Eli Manning squirmed his way out of the pocket and heaved probably one of the luckiest throws in his football career. He was probably flustered watching the apogee of the ball. Remember the Patriots’ record coming into that game? 18-0.
The Giants tattooed the and-1 mark on the Patriots, ouch.
How sweet will it be for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, this year, to hand Tom Coughlin’s head on a silver platter. That vengeance. Considering that I cheer for the Eagles all year I should root against the Giants, anyway.
Giants gobble up the 49ers.
Patriots shut down the Ravens.
SUPERBOWL SUNDAY: PATRIOTS VS GIANTS
"We’ll probably see you again"
-Tom Brady @Tim Tebow
Will there be another huge upset in Foxboro tonight? This game intrigues me the most, because I’m not “expecting” the 49ers, the Giants, and the Texans to “win.” On the other hand, this demented scene of Josh McDaniels hopping onto the bandwagon and coaching the offense of…the PATRIOTS…(CONSPIRACY ALERT), against his old squad just…like I said, INTRIGUES me.
The Patriots have much to prove, as they’ve fallen out of the playoffs in the last 3 years. Tom Brady’s legacy falls at the speed of a sloth, so losing tonight won’t affect his or Belichick’s reputation. In fact, the world wants Denver to win and won’t criticize too harshly if New England politely excuses themselves from the dinner table. But like I’ve seen and studied in the years past, every victory is earned - by valiant efforts as a whole unit, a team.