So I’m watching the games yesterday and there was a moment where I was sitting and watching football from like three in the afternoon until like 10:45pm at night. That’s seven hours and forty-five minutes of football! So the media and fans like to rank quarterbacks without any consideration of who they are playing with, who they are playing against or the responsibility that coaches put on their shoulders. There was a moment in the San Francisco/New York game – very late in the game, that said it all folks! 49’er’s are about to get the ball, Alex Smith is on the sidelines. He overcomes his star receiver Michael Crabtree – first round pick, 4.38 in the 40, he’s long, and fast…everybody in this league would die for a kid like that. In a monsoon in the bay area and what did I see? Michael Crabtree’s jersey…the cleanest on the field.
I mean, I’ve seen mob bosses targeted more on one afternoon than Michael Crabtree was yesterday. On the other side, you’ve got Eli Manning – who they never babysit, playing with division two Victor Cruz, on the road, in a wind storm, is under constant duress. They put the entire playbook on him as a rookie, he plays in New York, and he’s booed at home. Has made a division two nobody a star in this league and Alex Smith, who they babysit, can’t even target his star receiver. They’ve got one guy that they throw to. Eli got hit 20 times, his shoulder pads broke, he’s in a windstorm, his other receiver (Nicks) is hurt and there is Eli. The difference between Eli and Alex Smith wasn’t three points; it might as well have been 300 pages of a playbook. You can go ahead and cling to second tier quarterbacks, but once again we’ve got a Superbowl with both Manning and Brady and there is a reason. To be fair, Brady wasn’t great, but why did he have home field advantage? Which against the Ravens was the difference in the game….why? Because consistent greatness allows for occasional mediocrity! With no deep threat and a horrible defense, he had 39 TD’s and 12 picks and they went 13-3.
Brady and Aaron Rodgers go 28-4 with crappy defenses and most wins by a blowout! Alex Smith with the best defense in the league, home field advantage, can’t even get the ball to Crabtree. It is absolutely amazing! Again, you can cling to all these second tier guys; there is a reason why we keep ending up with Manning and Brady in Superbowl’s. You’re allowed to be occasionally average like Brady was – although, let’s be honest here; he was going against the Ravens’ defense. Flacco had to go up against the Patriots’ defense where Julian Eddleman was their star closer at corner by the end of the game…big difference there. But it is amazing what Eli Manning has forced upon himself. Relentless media, crappy weather, on the road, booed at home…this kid is incredible! Brady and Eli Manning have made guys like Victor Cruz, Wes Welker, and Dion Branch….just ordinary guys into great players and win rings. Alex Smith has Michael Crabtree; he had a clean jersey after a 4 hour tsunami in the bay. Go and cling to these guys that you have to build perfect football teams around! You sit and watch what the great ones can do in this game.
Switching gears though, I have never been more surprised in my life with what I saw this morning. I generally – and I would consider myself to be okay at this, having read a lot about odds makers and occasionally asking questions on forums and emailing Las Vegas Sports Consultants directly, try to come up with my own betting lines. I think I’m pretty good at it and I think a lot of you are as well, it’s not like a special gift or anything like that. I honestly think that if you watch Football or any other sport and take the emotion out of it; a lot of you guys out there can make your own lines. I’ve followed this business for the past 4 years and in my short time have never seen a stranger line than this. The New England Patriots are favoured over the New York Giants….what??? And they are favoured by 3 points!
Excuse me?? Ask yourself this: what don’t the Giants do well and what do the Patriots do well? I mean, here is how bad the AFC was this year: Tebow and T.J. Yates both won playoff games. Here’s how good the NFC was this year: Aaron Rodgers couldn’t! The NFC was Brees, Eli, Matt Ryan, Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and the two best pass rushes. The AFC was just won by a team with no pass rush, no deep threat, whose quarterback didn’t play well in the AFC championship who uses Julian Eddleman as a lockdown corner. I tried guessing the line on the Superbowl, I had the Giants at about 6 ½ – 7 and Vegas has got the Patriots as a favourite? Wowww!!! I certainly do not encourage gambling, but if I lose my house in 2 weeks, you’ll know why!
New York – and the best part if you’re a Giants fan, New York is better as a dog. If they were favoured by 8, I would certainly worry about it. Nobody plays better as a dog than the Giants. That line to me is absolutely shocking! So I researched this morning – and remember, New England has got no pass rush. I looked up this morning the last 5 games that Eli Manning has played against teams with no pass rush: Green Bay, Atlanta, Dallas, Green Bay and New Orleans. His quarterback ratings have been: 102, 101, 138, 130 and 115. You think Eli was impressive yesterday? When you can’t even get to him… like Green Bay couldn’t, New Orleans couldn’t, Atlanta couldn’t…he’s unbelievable! I’m just absolutely shocked! I woke up this morning and saw the line on Twitter and I just went “what??” Who set that? My 8 year old cousin? Who set that line?