Thursday, September 12, 2013

RG Knee

I want to talk about Robert Griffin III. 
What a star right out of the gate.  As a Giants fan, I loved to hate him.  It made me angry that he seemed like a decent guy too. He brought Washington up from the ashes last year and got them into their first playoff game in five years.  That must have made fans happy.
Here’s something that must have had fans scratching their heads:
Griffin was not in shape to play in that January 6th playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks last year.  You knew it, I knew it, and the Seahawks definitely knew it right after kickoff. Did the coaches and team doctors know it?  I mean, he was a shell of himself that game, and inevitably worsened his injury with a nasty twist on the turf.  That knee buckle said a lot about wanting to win in the NFL, I guess.  For what, one playoff victory?  Washington didn’t have the goods to stack up against the Packers and 49ers unless RGIII was 100%.  Even with Griffin at 100% they were at least a year or two away from the Super Bowl, but in the NFL you never know.  I would never expect a team to think it couldn’t win the whole thing, but I would expect a team to take care of its players more than wanting to win. Why start THE number one reason you will win-it-all in the future? 
On January 5th of last year, the day before the Washington-Seattle matchup, the Minnesota Vikings made a bold call.  Their second year QB, their future, Christian Ponder, who had a solid enough season in Minnesota, (I’m especially looking at those four straight wins to get into the playoffs), injured his tricep.  If memory serves me correctly, it was something he might have been able to fight through.  Anyway, the Vikings sat the man, and went with their backup, Joe Webb.  The outcome: a 24-10 Packers victory.  Granted, Ponder is slow out of the gate so far this year, but one game does not make a season.  One thing I know, he’s healthy.  He’s ready to go.  He gives Minnesota a much better chance BEING healthy.  The Vikings ate that playoff loss last year to win in the future.
Robert Griffin III is not healthy.  He’s just not.  He does not look like the phenomenon that stormed through the league last year.  He’s probably better hurt than some healthy QBs, but that’s just not good enough.  Perhaps if Washington stopped for a minute, and really looked at that injury, and thought about the future…
It’s speculative. I hope that Griffin fully heals, I hope that he isn’t ruined.  Because I feel that he could be.  Forever.  I want to love to hate him again, not feel bad for him. In this league one play can destroy your career.  In Griffin’s case it was weeks of plays banging down on that knee, and a mediocre run for Super Bowl glory that delivered the final blow.   I hope RGIII rises up from the ashes that he once saved his team from.  I will never forgive the Washington organization if he doesn’t.

Monday, September 9, 2013

NYG, Holding onto Hope

Don’t take it too hard, New York Giants fans.  All is not lost.

Last night’s game in Dallas was certainly not one to write home about, and starting the season with a division loss will almost certainly sting later, but the one thing that keeps resonating through my head was that the G-Men were still in it the whole game.
Here are a few things to hold onto, and perhaps I’m grasping at straws, but what fan doesn’t like to hold onto positives? So, here we go:
One. Overdue Dallas. The Giants were 4-0 in as many games in “Big D”.  No other team has ever won four straight in Dallas, so that’s a nice record to remember.  I had a feeling that there would be a letdown because the Cowboys were way overdue for a win at home versus New York.  I gave the Giants the loss to start the season here, so I’m not surprised.  It’s disappointing, but not unrealistic.
Two.  The turnovers. After committing 6 turnovers, the Giants somehow managed to stay in the game.  Even down to an onside kick.  Granted, this can never happen again if the Giants expect to be contenders, but what does it say about this team?  The answer: tremendous heart.  Take it however you want but turnovers are gut wrenching for a team. Most teams would crumble and get blown out after 6 turnovers, yet somehow the Giants hung in there.  A stingy defense combined with a nasty passing attack got them back in the game.  Good things to look at for the future of this season.
Three.  Coughlin’s School of Fumble Trouble.  Ugh, running back mishaps.  I know, what can you say?  Those were the ones that stung the most.  The Giants can’t have their top two RBs (until Andre Brown gets back) making big mistakes. Remember when Tiki Barber and Ahmad Bradshaw had fumble troubles?  Last night reminded me of those times.  The same coach who got those guys back on track is still running practices.  Coach Coughlin will fix this problem.  Expect to see David Wilson tightly carrying a ball around wherever he goes this week.
Make no mistake, the Giants got BEAT in Dallas last night, and the players deserve to have coaches down their throats all week long, especially with big brother, 7 touchdown, Peyton Manning riding into town on a Bronco.  But the Giants are better than what they showed last night, and these bright spots, however dim they seem today, will work to their advantage the rest of the way.  Look for the Giants to bounce back and be contenders in 2013.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Ballad of Mark Sanchez

Thursday night’s game was a great start to the season, but it’s time to move on.  (Not you, Broncos fans, you keep enjoying those highlights of Peyton Manning’s 7 touch down passes).
Let’s look at the opposite of what we saw from Peyton and examine the Jets quarterback circus sideshow for a minute.  I mean, isn’t that what it is, a circus sideshow?  Remember when the Tampa Bay & Revis versus the Jets week one match-up looked like a good one?  Pfft.  
This is how I remember the unfolding of the circus tent:
The Jets had a QB, Mark Sanchez, not the best quarterback in the game, but he helped get New York to two championship games in a row.  Those two championship games coming in his first two seasons in the league.  That’s not bad.  I mean, even if Sanchez’ third season is a bust you still have your future QB, right?  Wrong.
The following season the Jets hit a bump in the road, and teammates start to hem and haw.  New York can’t handle not being in a third championship game in a row and Sanchez goes from “Sanchise” to “Goat”.  The whining from The Jets at this point was almost too much to bear.  In comes Tim Tebow.  This is the first major boneheaded move.  New York becomes “Tebow Time”, and even though he did absolutely nothing for the Jets, because he couldn't do anything for the Jets, the city is crazed.  I can’t think of a better way to make Sanchez a head case.  But it all didn’t work out, so Sanchez must be back to being the main guy, right?  Time to circle the wagons around the man and prepare for the future, right?  Wrong again.
In comes Geno Smith.  After seeing him seemingly making a puss-face about not getting drafted in the first round at Radio City made me think, “oh great, another whiner”.  Well, I guess you got to take the pick there, and now a true quarterback controversy emerges.  Geno seems like he might have the goods, and maybe this will get Sanchez to find his potential.   Okay, fine.  Preseason comes and Sanchez starts the first two games, does a meh job, tosses for two TDs and two INTs.  Smith starts the third game and looks even worse.  It doesn’t seem as if he is ready for the big time yet.  Sanchez might have the job in the bag at this point. 
Now here’s the HUGE boneheaded move.   With one quarter left in the third preseason game, the Jets decide not to let their 3rd and 4th string QBs battle for the depth chart.  They put Sanchez in.  Two-time championship game Sanchez.  The only guy you know, at this point, that can best get the job done this season.  They put him in during the garbage time of a preseason game, behind a patchwork offensive line, in front of a group of veteran pass rushers trying to make the Giant's roster.   Sanchez gets knocked around like a rag doll, and eventually injures his shoulder.  Well, I guess you know who your QB is right?  I don’t even know.
McElroy gets cut and the Jets bring in perennial back-up journeyman, Brady Quinn, to add more spice to a quarterback controversy that has now soured the stomachs of Jets fans for two years. The Jets are starting the season with not two, not three, but FOUR quarterbacks on their 53 man roster.  One of whom, (Quinn), has not even learned the system yet. Smith has been named the starter and Sanchez will be in the wings… for now.  Two-time championship game Sanchez.  Injured and tossed to the side Sanchez. Head case Sanchez.  Way to go Jets.