Wednesday, January 9, 2013



After watching the Redskins roll up 14 points on their first two drives against Seattle, I immediately was struck with the idea to forget giving ROTY or MVP to either RGIII or Alfred Morris but instead apply some sort of award to their offensive line.  If RGIII doesn't hurt himself there's a good chance Seattle is DOA.  Credit the Seahawks for not panicking and for staying within their game.  Credit Pete Carroll, well, I don't know what to credit Pete Carroll for -- maybe for not wrecking the Seattle program like he did USC's.  Giving Pete Carroll credit for anything is like giving your parents credit.  Sure they deserve it, but when someone says you're hot you don't turn to them and say it's my mom's genes.

Have we learned yet that you can't just patch together a bunch of talented players and necessarily win.  See the Miami Heat, the Los Angeles, Dodgers, The Philadelphia Eagles, and now the Los Angeles Lakers for examples.  In some ways, this gives credence as to why there are coaches.  At the same time, it also gives credence to Herb Brooks' comment in the movie MIRACLE when he tells Craig Patrick he's not looking for the best players, he's looking for the right ones.  See, occasionally even movies contribute some wisdom to the world.

Back to the NFL, it's been said by everyone, but could I actually post a blog about this season without reiterating how fricking unreal Adrian Peterson was and is?  Redundancy in this case is not only necessary, it's profound.

What the heck do we do with Brian Hartline? The arrival of Ryan Tannehill garnered him his first 1,000-yard season, and yet he scored just once.  Out of 74 catches, 73 of the others didn't garner a score.  He's only missed four games in four seasons, but he's scored just six times.  That's right, he's scored less times than Gary Coleman did.  He's like the anti-Cris Carter.

I think Bruce Arians just lost the Coach of the Year vote.  He didn't feel well and went to the hospital and missed their first round playoff game due to an inner ear infection?  Seriously?  I've had ear infections and they suck but Chuck Pagano made it to the sideline and he's got Leukemia dude. 

Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Chris Johnson, Michael Turner, Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden all finished outside the top 10 fantasy RBs in ESPN standard scoring leagues.  And besides maybe McFadden and Turner, all will likely be drafted by the second round next year.

Someone's going to have to explain to me how Vincent Jackson left the fold of one of the best offensive minds in football in Norv Turner, in a gunslinging offense led by Philip Rivers, so he could go to Tampa Bay's offense led by Josh Freeman and first time O.C. Mike Sullivan to have his best football season ever.  How the heck does that happen?  Does that mean Shonn Greene could join the Dallas Cowboys under Jason Garrett and Bill Callahan and suddenly average more than four yards per carry while becoming a perennial 1000-yard rusher?

Where the heck do you rank a Steelers running back going into 2013?  There's an assumption that Rashard Mendenhall has seen his last day in the black and gold, but I'm not certain you can hold Jonathan Dwyer or Isaac Redman to the kind of standard Mendenhall could provide.  Mendenhall's delicate for certain, but he also has outside speed, edge speed, the kind of speed Chris Rainey has except he had the power not to go down upon first hit.  However, come to think of it, Mendenhall always went down after the first hit.
In the last five games of the season, Rod Streater caught 18 of his 39 total catches for 351 of his 584 yards and one of his three TDs.  Normally this would hint at a strong sleeper candidate next year, especially among this group of receivers.  However, this is the Raiders, and just how much anyone is willing to put behind this annual disappointment of a football program won't be known until we get to training camp.  He has the size and speed to move into a better position on the depth chart.  Let's hope this offense can actually grow to a point where all their yardage doesn't come after they're down 20-plus points and opposing defenses go into a prevent nothing defense.

PART III will follow shortly.