NFL Schedule

April 15, 2008

The NFL Schedule just came out at 2:00 and my first reaction is that the Cleveland Browns are on ESPN, NBC and NFL Network a combined FIVE times. The NFL Schedule makers are really putting a lot of faith in the Browns on being a playoff contender for the second straight season.

Look at some of these games Sunday Night Football has

Week 3 – Dallas @ Green Bay

Week 5 – Pittsburgh @ Jacksonville

Week 6 – New England @ San Diego

Week 9 – New England @ Indianapolis

Week 12 – Indianapolis @ San Diego

Week 15 – New York Giants @ Dallas

The big winner to me is Sunday Night Football here. They always have great games because of Flex Scheduling, but to have these six games locked up are huge. The big game they locked up is week 9 with New England @ Indianapolis. That is the marquee match up every year and to have that game on the schedule for NBC is huge.

Two teams that really have tough schedules are Pittsburgh and Dallas. Dallas does play in the NFC East, so their schedule should be tough. Pittsburgh on the other hand plays in the same division as Cincinnati and Baltimore, so how did they get the toughest schedule in the league? Well, let’s take a look at it.

Week 1 – vs. Houston

Week 2 – @ Cleveland

Week 3 – @ Philadelphia

Week 4 – vs. Baltimore

Week 5 – @ Jacksonville

Week 6 – BYE

Week 7 – @ Cincinnati

Week 8 – vs. NYG

Week 9 – @ Washington

Week 10 – vs. Indianapolis

Week 11 – vs. San Diego

Week 12 – vs. Cincinnati

Week 13 – @ New England

Week 14 – vs. Dallas

Week 15 – @ Baltimore

Week 16 – @ Tennessee

Week 17 – vs. Cleveland

Look at that schedule. Other than the games inside of the division against Cincinnati and Baltimore, there are NO easy games on the schedule. But to have the easiest games of your season inside the division is no cupcake either because division games are brutal and anything can happen. The Steelers will have a dogfight week in and week out and at this point, if the Steelers don’t make the playoffs, it will not surprise me one bit.


Perfectville… Population 1

February 6, 2008

random-dude-18-1.jpgWell here we are, after the finale of Super Bowl 42 and there only remains one perfect team. The 1972 Miami Dolphins. Shows how difficult it is to finish a season start to finish undefeated. I thought there was no way once the Patriots went 16-0 that they would lose at any point. They looked invincible. However, the bottom line is the New York Giants outplayed these big bad Patriots. They really hit em in the mouth. Tom Brady took an absolute beating. That vaunted offensive line that was praised all season long took a beating. Simple as that. The Giants did all of these great things… but yet… they were down 4 with less then three minutes to go. And then Eli Manning put his name into NFL lure. It is official folks, he is worth all that the Giants gave up. One of the best drives in Super Bowl History no question about it. The catch by David Tyree will most likely go down as the best catch in Super Bowl history and the best play in Super Bowl history. There was nothing sweeter to see Plaxico Burress catch the ball over Ellis Hobbs to win it. The Giants are Super Bowl Champions. How about that.

coachshula.jpgI don’t want to hear about the Patriots this season. The season to me is a failure. Since they lost in Indianapolis to Peyton Manning the goal for the Patriots was championship. Randy Moss and Wes Welker and the others were brought in to win a championship. NOT to go 18-1. Close but no cigar….

Hats off to the only perfect team ever in the Super Bowl Era… the 72 FINOS… Pop that champagne one more time fellas!

Be Good Folks

JJ


18 wins, 1 Giant loss, what now?

February 5, 2008

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The Patriots won 18 straight games then lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl. Wow. It’s still really hard to realize that the Super Bowl turned out the way it did. The unbeatable, invincible Patriots lost a game…. to the Giants? To the same team that started out 0-2 and gave up 80 points in the process. The same team that was down 14-0 to Buffalo in the first quarter and got absolutely annihilated by the Redskins at home in December. The same team that had the once questioned number 1 overall pick, Eli Manning, leading the way. It was fate. It was destiny. It was whatever you want it to be, but it was meant to happen. Come on, the Patriots had the best offense anybody has ever seen and only put up a season low 14 points in a game. Their offensive line had protected Brady all year, but failed to do so in the biggest spot. Bill Belichick made more coaching mistakes than he ever has in his tenure with the Patriots. Asante Samuels had an interception he catches 99% of the time, go right through his hands. Adalius Thomas and two other Patriots had Manning in their hands for a sack to force a fourth down, but Manning escaped his grasp. David Tyree who had only 5 catches for 39 yards coming into the big game, came up with the most miraculous catch we have ever seen. Tom Brady seemed to have thrown a perfect ball in the closing seconds that fell two yards short. Destiny. Not the Patriots destined to go unbeaten, but the Giants destined to be that team. That team that spoiled the party.

Maybe we should have all seen it coming. But how many people really had the guts to go against an unbeaten team? The Patriots had the edge at every position on the field except maybe defensive line. Near the end of the season, the Patriots looked more beatable than ever while the Giants were getting better with every game.

fan-andy-lyons.jpgThe legacy of this Patriots team that was going to be the best of all time is in my mind, tarnished. The only other teams that won 18 games, the ’84 49ers and the ’85 Bears, also won the championship. This Patriots team didn’t. They bent down the stretch, but broke in the biggest game of their lives. Now, they’ll have to live with the consequences. Their dynasty and season will be remember by this one game. The one game they failed to win all season. The one Super Bowl they were out coached and out played by their, not so perfect, opponent. They’ll have all those lovely records, but this team and even most of its players will be remembered by failure.

So what about next year? The only way this team can heal their pain is by winning the championship next season. Forget going undefeated. Just worry about winning the championship. If it means throwing the last game of the season to rest your players and avoid the enormous pressure, then so be it. Even the greatest pressure of winning the last game to stay unbeaten will force even the strongest to crumble. It’ll force a team loaded with potential hall of fame talent to crack when the game is on the line. Just take a look at that fourth quarter drive that broke a defense when it bent all season. It forced a coach to call a desperate all out blitz only to see Eli Manning play catch with Plaxico in their backyard. It made the Patriots feel as if they had to go for it on fourth down and 13 from the 31 yard line instead of kicking a field goal. The only time the Patriots didn’t feel the pressure is when they marched 80 yards down the field for a touchdown. In those 6-7 minutes, the Patriots didn’t think, they just played. That drive was natural to them. During the rest of the game, the Patriots didn’t seem like themselves. And trust me, they’ll never be themselves ever again.

Aneesh


A Victory for the Ages

February 4, 2008

Where do I start? How do I start? First, me and JJ were really wrong. We weren’t the only ones, but we were very wrong and we admit it. Erik, well, you might not find a happier man. He’s not in the best of conditions, but he was talking smack the whole time and rightfully so. The Giants played a great game and deserved to win. He rightfully had complete faith in his team for a good reason. I can not be happier for Erik. JJ by the way needs to shut up about this Dolphins crap. This is the GIANTS time. I don’t want to hear from Mercury Morris and these loser Dolphins that live their life in the past. This is the GIANTS time. Nobody else.

This game left a lot of people speeches especially New England fans. It was the greatest game that I have ever watched. We all ended up watching the game with 5 or 6 Patriots fans and let me tell you, there is nothing better than silence from New England fans. But how do you sum up history? How do you put history in words? You can’t. There is no way anybody can explain to me what the Giants just accomplished. They beat an UNDEFEATED football that everybody, even some Giants fans, thought was invincible. Super Bowl XLII was simply remarkable.

manning.jpgThe real MVP and our MVP was obviously Eli Manning. Before the season, who would have thought that Eli would be the Super Bowl hero instead of Peyton? Well, he was. He shut up all of his criticism with that fourth quarter he put together. And I hope people realize that he is farther along in his progression than Peyton Manning was at his time. Now, he’s not Peyton and it’s not fair to compare them, but Eli Manning deserves a lot of credit. JJ put it best after the game; I will never criticize him ever again. I mean come on this man was dead in the water about to go down for a sack, but he somehow escaped and gave David Tyree the chance to make that unbelievable, circus catch that will go down as one of the greatest plays in NFL history. A little run on sentence, but how else do you describe that play and this win. David Tyree is from Da ‘Cuse by the way.

I really have nothing else to say right now. This was an unbelievable win for the Giants. Congratulations to them and enjoy it. After tonight, I can not wait for one of my teams to win a championship. But I know that it will never be as special as what the Giants did tonight. You’ll certainly hear from Erik and even JJ later.

Aneesh


J-O-H-A-N!

January 30, 2008

ynnbe4mq.jpgSo this week is in the making of one of the best sports week I have had in a LONG time. First off, the most obvious being we are now five days away from Super Bowl Sunday and my favorite team, the New York Football Giants, are preparing to attempt to put an exclamation mark on the end of their fairy tale finish. Then comes the interesting part…I walk back into my room after a full, long, tiring day of classes only to see a rather unusual look on JJ’s face. He seemed rather upset so I asked him why. That is when and how I found out that the New York Mets had acquired JOHAN SANTANA!

The first thing I obviously did was celebrate. The Mets finally made the move and landed the best pitcher in Major League Baseball. Even better, I don’t have to watch him go to the Red Sox (which wouldn’t have bothered me too much) but thankfully, I didn’t have to watch him go to the Bronx…thank God.

Omar MinayaNow to the actual baseball aspect of the deal. Congratulations Omar Minaya, you finally made a move after an unusually quiet winter and got a big name (and no, signing Ryan Church and Brian Schneider are not big offseason moves). Not only that, but Omar and the Mets solidified and filled a huge void in the Met clubhouse, a true ace. I know how great Pedro looked at the end of the season last year, but I am in no means ready to call Pedro our ace until he starts pitching every fifth day on a consistent basis. Now the Mets rotation, at this time, looks like this…

64412.jpg 1. Johan Santana

4875.jpg 2. Pedro Martinez

7386.jpg 3. John Maine

6945.jpg 4. Oliver Perez

6019.jpg 5. Orlando Hernandez

I know Pedro and El Duque raise some health and age concerns, but I feel VERY comfortable with that rotation to start the season. You also get some great youth with that in John Maine and Oliver Perez, who both showed tremendous strides forward last year. Then, of course, that foursome now gets led by Johan, the best pitcher in baseball.

Now to perhaps the best part of the trade – the Mets gave up virtually nothing to get the best pitcher in baseball. In return, the Twins get OF Carlos Gomez, P Phil Humber, P Kevin Mulvey, P Deolis Guerra. I liked what I saw in Carlos Gomez last year, but I’m not an idiot…I LOVE Johan Santana. Humber has always been said to have great potential but the fact of the matter is that he is 25 years old with a losing record in the minor leagues. Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra are also good prospects, but as a Met fan you have to love what you get for what you gave up. In December it sounded like the Mets would’ve had to sacrifice Jose Reyes in order to get Santana…don’t tell me you would feel better having those four guys and Santana sans Reyes. I have been critical of some of the past deals the Mets have made with their prospects (Kazmir for Victor Zambrano) but Johan and Zambrano don’t even belong on the same planet in terms of pitching. Bottom line, I love the deal and Minaya has finally done something to get me especially interested in the new and upcoming season. Before this deal, I did not see a spark that got me really excited about a potential run at the World Series, but now I see it. Congratulations Omar and the New York Mets organization and well done!

Oh yeah and for what it’s worth, Syracuse bball beat Providence on Sunday (part of my good week even though their season isn’t going much of anywhere). That’s all for now and let’s go Mets and Giants!

Erik “The Happy Sports Fan”


Do you believe in this team yet?

January 21, 2008

As many of you have probably heard, I have been praising this Giants team every chance I get the past couple weeks. I have had confidence in this team more than I ever had before. Some believed me they would beat Tampa. Few believed me they would beat Dallas. NO ONE believed me they would beat Green Bay. The New York Giants are the road warriors. I just hope that by this point everyone can accept that this team is legit and deserves to be where it is today and where it is going in two weeks.

I will go ahead and say it again…the Giants are winning on February 3 against the Patriots. I’m not going to break it down now, but I will later. I’m just coming out to say that New York will win. It’s really a clash of two teams of destiny. One team is going for absolute perfection and in search of becoming the greatest team of all time. The other is riding a wave of confidence unimaginable back in week 2. Eli Manning is emerging into a star before our very eyes – do not try to deny that. Question is: Can he do it again in the biggest game of his life?

More to come.

Erik


Defying all Odds

January 21, 2008

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Well, maybe after all this is a team of destiny. After going 0-2 and giving up a combined 80 points in their first two games… And now all of a sudden… Super Bowl Bound!

Take that Tiki Barber….

So where did this game go wrong for the Green Bay Packers? The bottom line here was simply that the Giants outplayed the Packers, on offense and on defense. No question about it. If it wasn’t for Mr. Tynes and R Dub’s the Giants win this game outright, but the Giants offense ever since that week 17 performance against their opponent in Glendale, AZ, has been clicking. That Patriots game got Eli Manning going and guess what? Since the Playoffs have begun, Manning is 53/85 for 600 yards, 4 touchdowns and, most importantly, zero turnovers. Eli Manning is managing the game for this New York Giants team and they have come together¬† at the right time.

It is unfortunate for Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers to have their season coming to a close, but don’t discount the season that team had under Head Coach Mike McCarthy. Going 14-3 and suprising a lot of people should not go unnoticed. But this is a day to praise the Giants. Praise Tom Coughlin. Praise Eli Manning. Praise Michael Strahan and that Giants Defense. They defied the odds and they will be going to play in the Super Bowl XLII

manning.jpgI could go a lot of different ways here for my MVP of this game, but I am going to give it to the field general, Sir Eli Manning. The man didn’t throw any touchdowns but he threw for over 250 yards and did not turn the ball over. He led the Giants down the field time in and time out in the cold weather at Lambeau Field outplaying Mr. Favre. Well done to you sir.

So hats off to the Giants… Going to the Super Bowl… Vindication for Tom Coughlin and the rest of this Giants Team… I wonder what Tiki Barber is thinking right now….

I’ll have plenty thoughts on the match up for Super Bowl XLII, but enjoy this Giants Fans. This is as good as it gets.

Be Good Folks

JJ