This just in...
Hell has frozen over. Both the Texans and the 49ers won on Sunday. Yep, on the same day. Any questions?
Freeney draws praise
The Detroit Free Press wrote up their selections for NFL midseason awards. And their pick for MVP is the Colts' Dwight Freeney, saying "Defensive end Dwight Freeney, the league's best pass rusher, has made the Colts a defensive force. We're hoping for the first defender to win MVP since Lawrence Taylor in '86." Click here to see the rest of their selections.
As the fine folks in Jacksonville looked at their schedule for the balance of the year, some began thinking the schedule looked so easy that the Jaguars might just run the table and finish with just two losses. Guess the Jaguars and many other fans learned that a Rams team led by quarterback Jamie Martin isn't as easy to beat as they thought after watching them play the Colts on Monday Night Football a few weeks ago. Although Martin tossed three interceptions, the Jaguars surrendered the ball twice themselves with a fumble and an interception. The Rams even hurt themselves with nine penalties and the Jags still fell short. Jacksonville (4-3) now trails the Colts by three games.
With the Patriots coming back in the fourth quarter to beat the mediocre Buffalo Bills, the first game headline I saw today was "Bruschi's emotional return lifts Patriots." What rubbish. Now don't get me wrong, I think Bruschi's a heckuva football player. But this supposed emotional lift was obviously lacking until the Patriots scored two touchdowns in the last 8 minutes of the game. They were trailing 16-7 up to that point -- at home, to a 3-4 team. Now that's some inspired football. Oh, and by the way, It was actually Rosevelt Colvin, who forced a Kelly Holcomb at the Bills' 23-yard line to set up the winning score who deserves the headlines.
And get this....
While I'm on a Patriots tirade, Tedy Bruschi or not, this Patriots team is not ready for prime-time. Against the Bills' second-worst ranked running defense in the league, they managed just 93 yards rushing. And how's this for championship-caliber play? The Patriots lost two fumbles, converted just one of seven third-downs, gave up three sacks, and had the ball just 20 out of the 60 minutes of the game. They even had a field goal nullified by a delay of game penalty and barely got the win despite the Bills getting flagged a horrific 12 times during the contest. Michael Felger at the Boston Herald assessed Sunday night accurately saying, "If you're a discerning, objective Patriots fan, you realize that the Pats nearly lost to a bad football team when they had everything going for them. They had two weeks to prepare, while Buffalo was coming off a West Coast drubbing in Oakland. They had the emotional uplift of Bruschi's return."
And give him a bonus point for keeping his feet on the ground and being able to see past the point that the Patriots got another win. "It certainly won't be good enough when they host the undefeated Colts next Monday night," he says.
I'm already tired of the media hype that will surround this game as a
supposed clash of the Titans, the supposed monkey on the Colts' back, and the
inevitable "Can Peyton beat the Pats" questions. And it hasn't even
started yet. Super Bowl Champs? How about major has-beens who are a shadow of
their former greatness.
Bring 'em on. (I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet today, can you tell?)
Grab a copy of ESPN the Magazine this week, despite the fact that the cover features a single mutated head joining the faces of the Lakers' Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant with an overlapping eyeball. I'm not making this stuff up, honest. Inside is a wonderful feature on the Colts' Gary Brackett titled "Quiet Riot" that is very fitting for his personality and style of play. You'll learn a lot about this very fine young man and his inner strength that I think most of us could only hope to aspire to if faced with the life circumstances he has dealt with at a very young age. It includes some great quotes like this one from Brackett, "I know what size I am. I just needed someone to look deeper."
And towards the end of the article when you get to share the elation of him
getting the game ball for his two interceptions in the season opener against the
Ravens, your heart will sink when you read that he walked over to his locker as
his teammates started calling friends and family on their cell phones -- and he
stared at his realizing he had no one to call after losing his mom, dad and
brother over a 16-month period.
But perhaps the best quote of the article is by linebacker David Thornton who drills down on what Brackett brings to the Colts defense. "Everything we do (on defense) radiates outward from the light he provides in the middle," he says.