NFL Recap: Jets Have The Final Say, Bears Briskly Go Through, Falcons Are One And Down, Rogers Impresses Again, Steelers Advance Due To Ravens Implosion

Posted: January 18, 2011 in NFL

It’s amazing how people overreact – and I say this all the time. Fans care more about their teams than players do. I mean, fans go crazy, they go nuts, teams lose and yet I can assure you that Brady will be in the south of France within 48 hours with his supermodel wife. Fans go nuts and they overreact and I get it – it’s part of being a fan because you’re all very emotional and everybody sees the world through the eyes of their team.

But if you look at all 4 games this past weekend, it’s not hard to figure out what they all had in common. The QB who had more time to throw, won each game. Take the Seattle/Chicago game for example. In the 2nd half, Hasselback couldn’t do anything. Then in the final 6 minutes – when Chicago is playing miserable defence, suddenly Hasselback – same guy who couldn’t do anything, “oh he’s great now!” He was going up and down the field.

Ask yourself what you do for a living. Are you a fork lift operator? What if your boss said “I’m going to give you 60% time, and I want the exact same efficiency” You couldn’t do it! If I said to you – and you’re a dentist “you don’t get 26 minutes with his teeth, you get 16 minutes” you would be sloppier!  Do you really believe tomorrow – if I could take Brady or Sanchez, I’d take Sanchez over Brady? Of course not!!! Yet that was 90% of the bbm/texting I was getting Monday morning.

Brady was pressured; Sanchez was never sacked and rarely pressured. Brady 5 sacks and often pressured, facing a Jets defence. Sanchez had to face a Patriots defence, no sacks, rarely pressured. That’s why he looked like the better QB. What do you bet next week, when Mark Sanchez faces the Steelers – windy, on the road, facing the best 4 linebackers in the league who lead the NFL in sacks. What do you bet next week; Mark Sanchez doesn’t look as comfortable as he did against New England’s defence?  Want to make a bet? Money to charity?

It’s amazing how many people overreact “Oh Sanchez is…”First off; I’m the biggest Sanchez fan in the world. I’ve been defending him for 16 weeks. He’s got an “it” quality that’s hard to explain to people who don’t have an “it” quality, he’s got “it”, whatever it is. So I’m the biggest Sanchez believer in the world. That said, I’d still take Big Ben and Brady over him, I’d take Aaron Rogers over him, I’d even take Matt Ryan over him!

But when you give Sanchez 5 ½ seconds to throw, with no pass rush – and let’s be honest, athletically a pretty average New England defence that is pretty young in the back end, “Sanchez looks great, he looks unbelievable!” What do you bet next week, when Aaron Rogers has to play in Chicago and its 7 degrees, against his chief rivals and faces up against Lance, Briggs, Urlacher and Julius Peppers, and he doesn’t look as good as he did on Saturday in a dome, with hours to throw? Now, I still think that Green Bay is better than Chicago and I think Aaron had the best game of his life. What do you bet next weekend, he’s not as good as he was Saturday?  It’s amazing how people overreact!

You are going to be better if you have more time to do something. If you’re a newspaper reporter and you get an hour to write a story or you’re on deadline and you got 19 minutes. You’re going to write a better story when you have an hour than 19 minutes. So this past weekend – so why did Flacco and Big Ben, why did neither one of them look great? Because they were being chased for their lives all day Saturday!

You know Big Ben, made one great play in that game – it was an unbelievable throw down the field, I mean that’s just classic Big Ben, that’s who he is. I guess it’s why – in big games, I’d take him over anybody except Brady. Some would argue – and I said this Friday, some would argue that Big Ben is better in big games than Brady. But why were Flacco and Big Ben largely ineffective? They were running for their lives!

So everybody on Monday morning is claiming “Rogers is the greatest ever, Brady is terrible, how about Sanchize…” Slow down, take a deep breath, I’m going to make a prediction on this rant. That Rogers and Sanchez, though they may win, won’t be quite as effective next week as they both face elite pass rushes in cold windy weather and they face much better defences. The Jets are @ Pittsburgh, Packers @ Chicago, I think Green Bay is better than Chicago and I’d probably lean Pittsburgh. But what do you bet that Sanchez and Aaron Rogers don’t put up the same numbers? I seriously try not to overreact.

But seriously though, is there any fan in US/Canada that doesn’t overreact? Have we literally become a nation – it’s like in politics, when you watch political television and listen to political radio, don’t you always make fun of it? I mean, I do because you’ve got the wackado’s to the left on MSNBC and the pit bulls to the right on Fox. Can’t anybody have a reasonable opinion about that guy in Arizona who shot people and admit he’s a wacko? It’s not a conservative thing, it’s not a liberal thing, he’s not conservative or liberal…he’s a wacko!

Can’t anybody be in the middle? Can’t anybody be centrist on anything? This is preciously what has happened in sports radio! “Brady is terrible, Rogers is great” or “Sanchez is better than Brady” Again people, slow down. What if Rogers goes out next weekend and just gets beat up – because let’s be honest, other than Clifton (the tackle) Green Bay’s offensive line is average, it’s an average offensive line. So what if Rogers goes out next weekend, under constant duress and loses? What does this past Saturday mean? Nothing!!! It means nothing at all, in a year we probably won’t even remember it.

So, take a deep breath, it’s the playoffs, I thought all 4 teams that won did so because they got more pressure on the opposing QB than they allowed on their own QB. That was the one constant thread the whole weekend. The teams that won put a ton of pressure on the other QB and gave their QB, in most instances, really nice protection. Although I wouldn’t say that Big Ben had nice protection because it’s the Ravens.

  1. Mike Crack says:

    I agree. The NFL, where overreaction happens. I guess it’s a product of it being a league with only 16 games in a season, and one game for every seven days. It’s not like baseball where you don’t have much time to discuss between games, or even hockey or basketball. Plus, football is a start and stop game by nature, so there’s a lot of time for dialogue between viewers when the game is on.

    Anyway, what this weekend has shown is that people put too much stock in QBs who win games. Football is the most interdependent of the team sports. Mark Sanchez has a better playoff winning percentage than Tom Brady. If the Jets win on Sunday, and I think they will, the Sanchez led Jets will have won the most road playoff games in NFL history. Is Sanchez that good? No. But the Jets as a team have been very good under Rex Ryan.

    Another thing. It’s interesting how people overreacted this year with the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady debate, IMO. A lot of people felt that this year “settled” the debate because Brady was playing much better than Manning. Last year, Manning had the much better year while Brady and the Pats struggled, particularly on the road, where they went 2-6 (beating the Bucs, which wasn’t exactly a road game as it was played in England, where the Patriots definitely have more brand recognition, and my Bills..scoring only 17 points in the process). Manning was on the verge of people really crowning him as one of the all-time greats and the best of this generation until he threw that pick six to Tracy Porter en route to a loss in SB XLIV…Flashforward to this year, and it was sort of a role reversal. Brady’s nadir occurred in the divisional playoffs, where he played poorly, and now people have reverted from crowning him as the best of the generation/all-time. I think it’s cool if people have their opinions about who’s better, but I think flip-flopping back and forth over short periods of time that are such small sample sizes is wrong. I think it was a 3-week stretch where Manning played poorly, and people were saying that that was confirmation that Brady is better. Not true. I also heard talk that because the Colts put up only 16 points on the Jets D, Manning choked…Well, the Pats put up 21 (and more like 14, because the Jets weren’t playing a ‘real’ game throughout, unlike the Colts game which literally came down to the wire)…So I’d say Brady didn’t fare much better.

    Also, Big Ben is definitely more clutch than Brady has been as of late.

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