Archive for October, 2007

The hype builds

October 31, 2007
  • Jeff Chadia places this rivalry in the top five all time.
  • John D sends us a great link to an article about clashes of the all time great QBs. The best QB matchup that I remember from my youth was the Elway/Montana Monday Night Classic. It was easily one of the top 5 games I’ve ever seen. It was so thrilling to watch those two heavy weights (and #s 1 and 2 on my personal all time QB list which reads: Elway, Montana, Unitas, Manning, Marino).
  • Mike Tanier of FO likes the Pats, but cautions that this game doesn’t really matter that much.
  • Clark Judge says the game means more to the Colts than the Pats. I whole heartedly disagree. New England will have trouble in the wind, cold and snow. They have built a passing offense that won’t work nearly as well in windy Foxborough as it did in Sunny Miami. I don’t think they’ll be able to run the ball effectively in a game in which they can’t pass because of the elements. I’m not scared at all of playing in New England in January. The Colts have already won their last two up there as well.
  • Jeremy Green thinks we need to rename this blog. We love Reggie Wayne, man, but we will never forget all the great years by 88.
  • Yahoo Sports says that the Colts are the gold standard for offenses for nearly a decade.

It was fun and a little eye opening to go back over that 2004 season. Manning is way better than anyone realizes. That team really wasn’t that good. They won a lot of games, but Manning had to completely carry them. We tend to only remember the Houston-Chicago-Detroit-Tennessee run, and forget what a rough go the early part of the year was.

Meanwhile, I’m doing my best to be excited and not nervous for this game. I think that as long as the game is close and competitive, it won’t mean a whole lot to either team in the end. That doesn’t mean it won’t be fun.

History lesson

October 30, 2007

I’ve been going back over the 2004 play by play to see if Manning was guilty of throwing garbage time TDs to pad his stats as the Pats are being accused of doing. What I found was interesting. The 2004 Colts had a terrible defense and more often than not they were trailing or in close games. The first real blowout of the season was Texas at Indy in mid November. The Colts had a huge lead but Manning stayed in the game and was throwing, but did not throw for a score.

As I remember, there was no shortage of criticism for that, but it was only the first time that season that the situation had arisen. That was the start of the run of insane blowouts that the Colts had. Manning would subsequently not play at all in the fourth quarter of the next two games (even sitting out part of the 3rd quarter against Detroit). Against Tennessee, the Colts had a 17 point lead early in the fourth when Manning threw a TD pass. He then sat out the rest of the fourth quarter. Later in the year, up 20-3 against Baltimore with little time remaining, Manning took a knee despite being in prime scoring position with a chance to tie Marino’s record. He later sat out the Denver game (excepting a quick 3 and out to start the game). In all, Manning missed 6 and a half quarters of game time during his record season.

It seems that the throwing late against Houston was a function of not having been in the position to blow out a team often that season. It did occur, however, but seems to have been immediately corrected.

Perhaps we should give the benefit of the doubt to the Patriots. Perhaps they simply were unused to blowing out teams, and throwing wildly around the field was a function of that. Should they return to a more appropriate style of football, all should be forgiven. What is strange is the impassioned defense of this insane practice by the Pats fans. It really doesn’t make any sense. Dungy was killed by the local media and Colts fans for letting Manning play while sporting a huge lead, even though no points were scored. The practice immediately ceased. Why do Pats fans insist on defending this nonsense?

Evolving links

October 30, 2007

Today’s list of links will morph as they day goes along, but I thought I’d start with Kravitz’s piece in the Star today. If he keeps making me laugh out loud, I’ll have to take him off our list of people we don’t like. I think he and Prisco have swapped places. Seriously, it was a good and funny effort by him today. I’ll add to this post as stuff comes along today.

  • TMQ deals heavily with the Sunday Ticket issue, but also deals with the Colts/Pats game some as well.
  • Prisco moves the Colts back ahead of the Pats. . . Petey I take it all back!
  • Pat Kirwan says we are looking at mirror images.
  • CHFF says it’s a Colts/Pats world and the rest of us are just living in it.
  • Michael Silver isn’t sold on Randy Moss the person. Seriously, how does this season do anything but show what a gutless loser this guy is? I think his amazing numbers should exclude him from the Hall of Fame because it means he quit on his previous teams. Don’t give that bull about, “Well now he is in a winning environment with competent people! It’s ok that he was a lazy quitter; his team stank!” If he was a competent winner, he would have pushed the Raiders to be better. He has no pride and no self respect. He’s a quitter who gave up on his previous team. I give him no credit for playing well. If he wants respect, he should apologize fully to the Raiders for giving up on his teammates the past two seasons. Last year’s team had a great D, they might have been able to challenge for some more wins if he had given a crap. He sold out his coach, his teammates and his fans.
  • The computers can’t agree. AccuScore loves the Pats 31-27. WhatifSports.com likes the Colts 30-27. I think the idea is…it’s gonna be a great game.
  • The DVOA rankings are up. Basically, the Colts and Pats have the best teams in recorded history (which only goes back to 1996). It’s not just a clash of the titans, it’s a clash of the holy-frick-these-teams-are-impossibly-good titans.

Evolving links

October 30, 2007

Today’s list of links will morph as they day goes along, but I thought I’d start with Kravitz’s piece in the Star today. If he keeps making me laugh out loud, I’ll have to take him off our list of people we don’t like. I think he and Prisco have swapped places. Seriously, it was a good and funny effort by him today. I’ll add to this post as stuff comes along today.

  • TMQ deals heavily with the Sunday Ticket issue, but also deals with the Colts/Pats game some as well.
  • Prisco moves the Colts back ahead of the Pats. . . Petey I take it all back!
  • Pat Kirwan says we are looking at mirror images.
  • CHFF says it’s a Colts/Pats world and the rest of us are just living in it.
  • Michael Silver isn’t sold on Randy Moss the person. Seriously, how does this season do anything but show what a gutless loser this guy is? I think his amazing numbers should exclude him from the Hall of Fame because it means he quit on his previous teams. Don’t give that bull about, “Well now he is in a winning environment with competent people! It’s ok that he was a lazy quitter; his team stank!” If he was a competent winner, he would have pushed the Raiders to be better. He has no pride and no self respect. He’s a quitter who gave up on his previous team. I give him no credit for playing well. If he wants respect, he should apologize fully to the Raiders for giving up on his teammates the past two seasons. Last year’s team had a great D, they might have been able to challenge for some more wins if he had given a crap. He sold out his coach, his teammates and his fans.
  • The computers can’t agree. AccuScore loves the Pats 31-27. WhatifSports.com likes the Colts 30-27. I think the idea is…it’s gonna be a great game.
  • The DVOA rankings are up. Basically, the Colts and Pats have the best teams in recorded history (which only goes back to 1996). It’s not just a clash of the titans, it’s a clash of the holy-frick-these-teams-are-impossibly-good titans.

18 Plays Returns

October 30, 2007

After a two week Florida induced layoff, 18 Plays is back to cover the Panthers game. You can download it from our site, or subscribe to it in Itunes.

Not heeding good advice

October 30, 2007

One should never answer a fool according to his folly, but I’ll give it a try anyway. Some moron named Rich tried to argue that the Colts did what the Pats did. Here are his comments:

Demond – you may want to prescribe a bit of valium for your buddy Paul. Up the dose come 7:00pm ET this Sunday.Couple of questions for you lunatic, raving hypocrites:- following Peyton’s 6th TD to “finally” put the game out of reach against the Saints in 2003, 48-13, sounds like you and Paul advocate that Dwight Freeney should’ve ran the other way after recovering an Aaron Brooks fumble and rambled for 19 yards to “lock it up”, 55-13.

Am I correct?- later that year, in the WC, the Colts finally won a playoff game beating the Broncos 41-10. You may recall, but probably not, #18 trying to pass to #88 for a TD on the Broncos 9 yard line when they were up slightly 38-3. But b/c it was incomplete and the Colts settled for 3 that’s not running it up is it?-

or maybe earlier this year, Peyton airing it out for 45 yards to go up 24 points on a hapless Saints team. No big deal right, but Matt Giordano running back an INT 80 yards to cap a 41-10 squeaker. Now that’s just plain mean and piling it on by Ron Meeks calling that play – under your definition – you’ll have to agree that’s running it up I suppose?No one like a hypocrite gentlemen. No one likes a hypocrite.

My response:

Rich, NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT DEFENSIVE SCORES. I, nor anyone I’ve ever heard of, begrudges defenders running scores back. Nobody cares that the Pats ran the fumble back for a score, that has nothing at all to do with the discussion. Can you not even follow what people are talking about? Geeze, compare apples to apples, smart guy. I’m not sure I have a big problem with Cassel throwing either. He needs game work just in case.

You bring up three games. . .

1. Colts/Saints in ’03. Manning didn’t play the 4th quarter.

2. Colts/Broncos Playoffs. Um, MANNING DIDN’T PLAY IN THE FOURTH QUARTER.

3. The Saints game this year. The score, was 27-10 with more than 10 minutes to play. 17 points and 10 minutes is not the same as 38. How is that remotely similar? 17 points against a good offensive team isn’t that much, but then again we actually have a qb who’s won games with touchdown drives, so we know that. (did ya’ know Brady’s never done that?).

Brady should not have thrown a pass in the fourth quarter of that game. That’s been the standard for years. For three quarters, anything is fair game. The fourth quarter is different. The funny thing is, it’s not just bad sportsmanship, IT’S FREAKING STUPID. One of these days, Brady’s going to get popped for doing that, and you’ll all be crying that your coach is a psycho. So next time you call some one a hypocrite, get the facts right or at least understand the points of the discussion.

Demond Sanders: I just wrote a nearly identical response in the comments section. Pretty weak effort by Rich, but thanks for reading.

My buddy’s angry rant

October 29, 2007

My good friend Paul steps in with today’s insane Patriots rant of the day. Honestly, his furor is so intense right now, that I’m just going to print what he says unedited.

The sleeveless-one actually had to fight from showing his shock and dismay that the league was really going to enforce this rule, however weakly. He never apologized, not to anyone. It is standard practice now for anyone in sports to throw out a mea culpa even if they were just pulled over for speeding on the way to the stadium.

He probably admitted that he sent someone up there to film and gave a smug “So what?”. All of this after the commish sent a memo clarifying and highlighting the rule just weeks earlier (which was most likely a preemptive wrist slap directed at their franchise exclusively). There are written rules in sports and their are unwritten rules in sports. Anyone who has played sports knows that. He was pinned for breaking a written one and now he seems bent to break all the unwritten ones as his tantrum, because he knows that there is nothing anyone can do about it. In an attempt to run as far and as fast as possible from the allegations of being a illegitimate dynasty, they have become the biggest jerks of the NFL. Can anyone say Barry Bonds?

Hating this team is now so easy, not because of the cheating allegations, but because they are intentionally breaking all of the unwritten rules of the game. They have become so unsportsmanlike in a misguided effort to save face, that even their fan base has to question their mindset. If you are up by 17+, your offense has to switch to clock management, by 25+, you pull your starters and for goodness sakes on 4th and 3 in the red zone, kick a field goal! How does Bellicheck answer his remaining fans if Tom gets injured in the 4th quarter? Tom wanted to stay in because he was going for a personal record? Brady can have all the records that Bill is willing to let him get, but if they don’t win the SuperBowl after this drunken rampage of a season, it will be very difficult for reputations to recover.

The NFL is a team sport, so the only bragging rights are championship rings. New England now permanently has a cloud of doubt hanging over their wins and they are pissed, but they should be pissed at their coach, not the rest of the league. Just like a good cult follower, it is always the guy from the ATF’s fault that I am wearing a grenade belt and a gas mask.

The Colts are going to have an easy time finding their motivation to play hard and well. They are the underdogs despite what the stats and recent history would teach, but in all honesty, we should be thankful. I lay awake at night dreaming of the Pat’s going for it on 4th and 3 in the redzone with Brady still in the game late with a lead, and on the snap the Zombie finds a seam and makes Brady pay helmet to helmet! Damn the league fines! Sometimes you have to smack a drunk to wake him up enough so he can drive himself home.

This is not a showdown between two teams. It is a showdown between two philosophies of sports and what is really sad is that the Pats team can’t see that they are just Bill’s pawns in a sick tyrade. Win or lose, when you know that you can still beat teams and be respected in the league, why would you choose the other route? If you tarnish the game in the process of winning, that is what everyone will be talking about long after the season is over, even if you win the big one.

Yikes. Paul is mad. And so we all are. There is only one right way for this season to end, and the first step to getting there comes on Sunday afternoon. This is a two game season. Let’s win the first one now.

Demond Sanders: Note to self – Never cross Paul.

I hate the Patriots

October 29, 2007

Seriously. I hate them. This latest run of the Patriots where they just want to screw every team, coach and player in the league has made them the ugliest and most despicable team I can ever remember. Seriously, it’s like Belichick said, “Hey I was a huge A-hole and cheated! I embarrassed a former protegee so badly that he turned me in to the league for it! People questioned my integrity when all I did was lie! SCREW EVERYONE!”. What kind of sick freak does that? This man is so warped, I seriously would believe he was capable of anything at this point. It’s going to end badly for him. If 10 years from now, he isn’t trolling down I-90 in a Silver Bronco with Brady next to him, screaming into his IPhone that the cops should stay back, I’ll shocked.

I’ve hated teams before. I’ve never hated one like this. Friday, we’ll release 88 Reasons why we hate the Patriots. If you want to submit one, email it (DON’T PUT IT IN THE COMMENTS) to us at 18to88@gmail.com.

Here’s the first run of links today:

  • Peter King is smoking a ton of crack. Among other things, he thinks the Colts couldn’t possibly win in Foxborough in January. Actually, I think they have a better chance winning a game against this NE team in bad weather than NE does playing well. I also fail to see why routinely running up the score on teams makes you ‘invincible’. I don’t know what will happen this week, but as long as the game is close, I don’t think it settles anything.
  • Don Banks covers yesterday’s game. But only so he can talk about next week’s.
  • John Clayton says the Skins had more communication problems. Seriously, when is this going to explode in the league office?
  • CHFF had the line of the day: Then there was Tampa Bay, which had scored one for the NFC by beating Tennessee a couple weeks ago, but lost at home yesterday to a Jacksonville team led by Quinn Gray, Medicine Woman.

Ultimate Showdown

October 29, 2007

Of Ultimate Destiny

Worst Series Ever

October 29, 2007

This debacle they call the Fall Classic reminded me of the 1990 series with the Reds and As. Blowout, close game, blowout, close game. Unfortunately, that series had an awesome upset as the red hot underdog destroyed the favorite who had swept too early and was off for a week. This year, the underdog sat down a week and it showed. Blech.