Monday, February 8, 2010

Ending On A Winning Note

Peyton Manning is only one of seven quarterbacks to play in at least 18 playoff games. The other six are Montana, Brady, Bradshaw, Elway, Favre, and Marino. Only four of those six have more than one Superbowl ring, and those 4 guys (for the most part), played on teams whose defenses were smothering, and whose running games complimented their quarterback play.

Manning’s Colts, in their Superbowl winning season of 2006, were only ranked 21st in total defense, and had the league’s 18th best running game. This year’s team was 11th in total defense- which is ok, but not great, and their running game was a dismal 31st.

Pittsburgh’s Steel Curtain in the seventies, or some of the no-name running attacks that Mike Shanahan put together behind John Elway, would put this Colts team to shame, and certainly took a big burden off their ‘field general’.

Bottom line to the Manning haters: the Colts were a 6-10 or 7-9 football team if Peyton Manning is not at the helm. The chatter in sports talk radio land today is that of disdain for Manning, and wonderment of if he really is as good as once thought. We’ll answer that question for you real quick; YES, he is.
You want to start talking about where Manning ranks? I’ll put it to you this way. If “Quarterback 101” becomes a college course in campuses across this country, its game film of Peyton Manning they’re showing to the students.

The dude is the epitome of a field general, and he’s exactly the type of quarterback every owner in the NFL would want leading their teams. With all due respect to Montana and Elway who came before him, and Tom Brady who is still playing (sort of), Peyton Manning is the guy you mold your future quarterback son after.

Having said that, we were on the right side of the line here, and we do appreciate Mr. Manning’s "pick six" late in the fourth to secure our point spread and straight up winner. But the dude is still up there as one of the all time best.

Isn’t it funny how Bill Belichek gets crucified for going for it on 4th and 2 from his own 28 because of his fear of Peyton Manning’s abilities, yet today Sean Payton is a fricken genius? What’s the saying, winning cures everything?

You take the points when you’re down 10-3 late in the first half- especially when you’re kicking off to start the second half. 4th and goal from pretty much the 2-yardline is roll out the kicker time, not roll out the dice time. Granted, his defense bailed him out, and the Saints scored the 3 prior to halftime, but that was an awful decision.

Secondly, what is he doing an onsides kick for to open the second half? It was totally unnecessary. His offense and defense played very well up to that point, and if you don’t recover that kick, Peyton Manning has the ball on your own 40, and you’re staring 17-6 in the face.

Honestly, those two play calls were two of the dumbest calls by any coach all year. And unlike what Jay Marrioti said today on Around the Horn, had the Saints not recovered that kick, and the Colts had gone on to win, Payton would have been killed by the sports media. And deservedly so.

The Who left little to be desired as the game's halftime act. No one is disputing the quality of their music catalog, or the fact that they are iconic rock’n’rollers, but there is a time and a place for everything, and watching two British guys who haven’t had a solid bowel movement in 10 years “rock out”, is not our cup of tea for the ‘big game’.
Note to Pete Townshend: stick to “wind milling” your wheel chair, and questionable Internet sites. Note to the NFL: Next year, don't consider any bands who played the original Woodstock Festival. Thank you.

Dan Snyder sent an e-mail to Mother Nature late last night, asking her if she could wallop the D.C. Metro area this September with a category 5 hurricane.

NBC and Dick Ebersol were happy campers yesterday as the Penguins/Capitals match up lived up to the hype of a game featuring the league’s two biggest stars.

After falling behind 4-1, which included two goals by Sid the Kid, the Capitals came roaring back behind a hat trick from one of the top 5 athletes on the planet, Alex Ovechkin.

The Capitals eventually won 5-4 in overtime, and secured NBC’s highest NHL rating of the season. This comes on the heals (locally) of huge Comcast ratings for the past month for Capitals' telecasts.

Hopefully as Ovi and the Caps continue their pursuit of Lord Stanley’s Cup, the Comcast folks will respond to ‘the numbers’ by flip flopping already scheduled Bullets games, and putting the Caps on the High Def channel instead. The Bullets season is shot, and the Caps and their fans deserve the luxury of the High Def signal.

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