|11-12-2006, 12:04 PM||#1|
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Styxx, D.C.
Jason Whitlock going full tilt...
This was the first thing I saw across my screen when I went online. I wasn't sure where he was going when I saw the title, but it's actually a pretty good article. Agree with some points, disagree with others. There's a hot rumor that Leftwich may end up with the Skins, which will make the situation in DC even crazier considering they traded picks for Campbell.
P. Manning's Play Bordering on Wilt Territory
Still, Patriots Blew an Opportunity to Rein In Colts
By JASON WHITLOCK
OK, I’m ready to admit that Peyton Manning might be the best quarterback ever to wear an Indianapolis Colts uniform – even better than Jeff George.
Here is your NFL Real Talk for Week 10:
10. Halfway through the season, Peyton Manning has a damn good shot at further distinguishing himself as the Wilt Chamberlain of football, the single greatest force to ever hit a football field.
Comparing the championship-less Manning to Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Dan Marino doesn’t do Manning justice. Not with the way he’s playing now. He’s Chamberlain, a freak of nature, someone whose individual dominance completely overshadows what transpires with his team in the playoffs.
I have not always been a Peyton disciple. His happy feet bothered me. His unwillingness to stand in the pocket and deliver the ball accurately in the face of a pass rush irritated me.
He has completely overcome those weaknesses this year, and he’s putting together what I believe has a chance to be regarded as the greatest quarterback season ever. Oh, I know Manning threw for an NFL record 49 TDs two seasons ago. Big whoop. That’s like the year Wilt averaged 50 points a game.
What was more impressive was the year Wilt averaged 24 points, 24 rebounds, shot 68 percent from the field and was one of the league leaders in assists. That was Wilt’s eighth season. He was in full control of his magnificent talent, and, not surprisingly, he won his first NBA title that year.
Peyton is in his ninth season and is chasing a feat accomplished by just one other NFL QB. He’s on pace to throw for 30-plus touchdowns and fewer than 10 interceptions. Donovan McNabb tossed 31-8 during his first season with Terrell Owens.
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After eight games, Manning has 17 and 3. He could shatter McNabb’s standard. Trust me, 34-6 would be far more impressive than the 49-10 Manning put up in 2004.
He’s not protected by a consistent running game this year. He’s using the passing game to control the clock and protect a leaky defense. In 2004, the Colts were the Phoenix Suns. Manning, Edgerrin James, Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Brandon Stokely ran up and down the field in an effort to knock out an opponent with a flurry of quick-strike touchdowns.
Manning is more deliberate and methodical this year. He’s thrown 281 passes and just three interceptions. Do you realize what that says about his preparation? It’s unbelievable -- given all the different, complex, zone-blitz defensive schemes he sees every week -- that defensive coordinators rarely fool Manning.
Play after pass play, he’s smarter than the defense. When McNabb threw 31-8, he tossed 469 passes. When Steve DeBerg tossed 23-4 in 1990, he threw 444 passes and had Barry Word and Christian Okoye in the backfield.
Manning is on pace to throw more than 560 passes. In 2001, Rich Gannon passed 549 times and threw 27-9.
If Manning gets anywhere close to 34-6, it’s equivalent to O.J. Simpson rushing for 2003 yards in 14 games. Manning is now clearly better than Tom Brady. When Manning gets his title, we can start comparing him to Michael Jordan, John Elway and Tiger Woods.
9. Having said all of that about Manning, had the New England Patriots employed the proper offensive strategy in the second half, they would’ve beaten the Colts.
The Pats threw too much after halftime – 18 passes and 11 runs. Bill Belichick should’ve been more patient with his running game. Running the ball with Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney was the best way to keep Manning parked on the sideline.
The Pats blew the game late in the third quarter when they had first and 10 at the Indy 31 and threw from the shotgun on three consecutive plays. They settled for a field goal when they were trailing 27-17.
The Colts can be beaten by a physical ground attack. Belichick and Brady might’ve bought into the pregame Brady-Manning hype.
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8. It’s time to kill the old cliché that football players can’t lose their starting positions because of injury. It’s a lie. They can and they should.
Drew Bledsoe lost his job to Tom Brady because of injury. That worked out quite well. Trent Green lost his job to Kurt Warner because of injury. That worked out well for three years.
Football players are compensated pretty well now, so there’s no reason to promise them injury-proof starting assignments. The Chiefs have given Green close to $50 million over the past six years. No one should feel bad that Herm Edwards might stick with backup Damon Huard now that the Chiefs and Huard are hot.
I’m sure Ben Roethlisberger’s struggles in Pittsburgh influenced Edwards’ decision. Given Roethlisberger’s preseason health issues it was stupid for Cowher to return Big Ben to the starting lineup so quickly.
Green has been sitting for two months. No one knows how he’ll react physically and mentally to playing again. As long as Huard is playing well, the Chiefs should wait to find out if Green can still get it done.
7. It’s official now: Byron Leftwich and Jack Del Rio hate each other.
The QB controversy in Jacksonville is personal. Leftwich and Del Rio don’t trust each other. Del Rio believes Leftwich was dishonest about his ankle injury before the Jags played Houston in October. Leftwich probably exaggerated his good health because he feared that Del Rio was looking for an excuse to play backup David Garrard.
Leftwich is in a contract year and needed to have a monster year. Del Rio already received his contract extension and believes he can win a power struggle with a quarterback who isn’t popular in Jacksonville.
The question Jags fans need to be asking Del Rio is: Which quarterback playing at his peak gives the Jags a chance to win the Super Bowl?
Leftwich. Del Rio has mishandled this QB situation.
6. Have I mentioned that NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio show is an embarrassment?
They remind me of the Lakers when Phil Jackson tried to get Shaq, Kobe, The Mailman and The Glove to play together.
Oh, there’s talent on NBC’s studio team. Chris Collinsworth and Sterling Sharpe are fearless. Bob Costas is as polished as a TV broadcaster can be. Peter King has a great rep. And Jerome Bettis should be likeable.
But this thing absolutely doesn’t work. I was embarrassed for them at halftime of the Colts-Patriots game. Sharpe shouted about wanting all the Cowboys to apologize. Bettis babbled, said nothing and then tried to crack a joke. Collinsworth was so stunned by Sharpe’s shouting that he raised his voice just to fit in. Costas looked like he’d just walked in on Michael Irvin’s pre-Thanksgiving-dinner crack-pipe pat-down.
Peter King polished the circus off by informing viewers that his just-completed phone conversation with Jason Taylor revealed that the New York Giants should pressure Bears quarterback Rex Grossman.
Luckily, the circus ended before King could advise the Giants to wear helmets this Sunday, too.
This show has no chemistry, no purpose and no chance. Put down the cute cards and try talking football, guys.
5. Pete Carroll should leave USC and take over the Arizona Cardinals next season.
If Carroll stays at SC, eventually he’s going to get blamed when the USC program starts resembling the Miami program. Coaching a college football team in a major city is a recipe for trouble.
Carroll can’t get anymore out of the USC program and the college game. It’s time to cash in on his relationship with Matt Leinart and steal some of Bill Bidwill’s retirement money.
4. During Monday’s Raiders-Seahawks game much was made of Brian Bosworth’s goal-line collision with Bo Jackson many Mondays ago. That’s the most overhyped non-event in the history of the league.
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Jackson in no way embarrassed Bosworth on the play. The play wasn’t much different than what happened to Ray Lewis on the goal line last week against Cincinnati’s Rudi Johnson. Lewis tried to tackle Johnson too high and Johnson bulled his way into the end zone.
But no one believes Lewis got embarrassed.
People talk about the Bosworth-Jackson collision like it was the second coming of Earl Campbell-Isiah Robertson. Not even close.
3. The Cincinnati Bengals are paying the price for Marvin Lewis’ coddling of Chad Johnson.
The Bengals are 4-4 and headed toward being the league’s biggest disappointment (the Steelers can use Roethlisberger’s health as an excuse).
Cincy’s bad-boy receivers are leading the train wreck. Against the Ravens, T.J. Houshmandzadeh melted down at the end of the game, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for slamming his helmet to the ground. Chris Henry then failed to try and catch a Hail Mary pass. And, of course, Johnson whined after the game about not catching enough passes.
Because of Johnson, the Bengals are a low character team. That doesn’t mean they’re bad guys. It means that when things get tough they whine rather than rally. It all starts with Chad Johnson.
Everybody loves to talk about how “fun” Johnson is. Wake me when people start talking about Johnson being a “winner.”
2. If Louisville beats Rutgers, I’ll put the Cardinals in my AP top 4.
I’m catching a lot of heat in the ‘Ville because I was completely unimpressed with the Cardinals victory over West Virginia. The defense in that game was atrocious. Those defenses wouldn’t survive playing an SEC schedule. And yes, I’m aware the Mountaineers beat Georgia in a bowl game last year.
I just want to see more from Louisville before I rank them ahead of Auburn, Florida, LSU and Arkansas. If the Cards beat West Virginia and Rutgers in back-to-back games, I’ll have no problem voting them in my top 4.
Right now I have them at No. 9.
Update: Rutgers stunned Louisville 28-25.
1. Don’t be too quick to jump off the Bears bandwagon just because they played poorly against the Miami Dolphins. The Bears really missed big-play receiver Bernard Berrian.
Chicago needs Berrian’s speed to stretch defenses. I still see the Bears and the Giants as the two best teams in the NFC and as teams that can beat an AFC team in the Super Bowl.
Turnovers and Berrian's absence cost the Bears last weekend. That’s it.
Last edited by Circle Orange; 11-12-2006 at 12:07 PM..
|11-12-2006, 01:27 PM||#2|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Dec 2002
Whitlock's a gasbag, but he's on the money sometimes. This being one of those times.
These guys don't understand the media is not their friend. All that exposure they crave separates them from their teammates. They also use the media as a crutch when things are going wrong. Little do they realize how quickly their friends from the fourth estate will turn on them when things get really rocky.