Monday, September 12, 2005

Post Mortem, Week 1

How many people play in those office pools where you pick games and rank them in order of confidence, with 16 being the highest? You would have to feel mighty low today if you had selected the St. Louis football team as your No. 16 (most confident) pick.

You would have to be a bigger idiot if you wrote, just days ago, that the only consistent thing about St. Louis was its inconsistency and yet still picked the St. Louis football team. But it happened and we have only ourselves to blame.

St. Louis again was out-coached and over-matched by an inferior opponent, falling to the 49ers, 28-25, on Sunday afternoon. San Francisco was the worst team in 2004 and figured to be on hard times again this season, but leave it to St. Louis to change that perspective.

St. Louis did put together a furious rally at the end of the game, but fell short when Marc Bulger threw a game-ending interception. The play illustrated the St. Louis struggles during the Mike Martz era--the challenge of the team to always over compensate for its inferior coaching. It is a battle the team can win only half of the time.

"That interception was a play I wish I could take back," Martz said. "It's just a bad play call that cost us the game. That's my responsibility. It's hard to look those guys in the eye in the locker room, knowing full well that I could make a better call there. I was proud of the way they fought back.

"That's coaching. That's just poor play selection on my part. Pure and simple. You get down there and don't score touchdowns. The old coach didn't do a good job in this one."

We could not have said it better ourselves. The most interesting part of the season will be to watch how Martz changes his tactic from blaming the coaching to blaming the refs, his team, the terrorists, etc. Do not worry, the Hater Nation will be here to document it each week as the team closes in on an 8-8 finish.

One bright spot for fans of the St. Louis football team is that the players are always magnanimous in defeat.

"It goes to show that the best team doesn't always win," receiver Torry Holt said, oblivious to the score board. "I think that we were the better team at times today, and the stats showed that we were the better team."

Stay classy St. Louis! It is too bad points and not statistics decide games. Otherwise Peyton Manning might have a Super Bowl trophy by now.

CHARGERS LOSE

The Chargers had the ball first-and-goal from the eight-yard line with a chance to win the game. But why did the team not go to Antonio Gates in that situation?

Oh yeah, he was suspended during the preseason. At least that decision did not come back to cost the Chargers. But fans should not be critical of the Chargers coaching staff. They did do the next best thing and gave the ball to the best football player on the field, LaDianian Tomlinson.

Damn, they did not do that either.

Marty Schottenheimer showed that he was in playoff form the way the Chargers folded down the stretch at the end of the game. Thank goodness the Broncos looked like one of the worst teams in the NFL on Sunday (outside of the St. Louis football team, of course) so the Chargers can hopefully improve to 1-1.

BALTIMORE GAMBLES WITH TIMEOUTS

The Indianapolis Colts were rightfully upset at the end of their drubbing of Baltimore as Ravens head coach Brian Billick called useless timeouts with the Colts leading 24-0. Indianapolis was trying to wrap up the victory by taking a knee, but Billick kept calling timeout in the final minutes. Was Billick playing fantasy football or something? The Ravens did score one final touchdown, ruining the shutout, and costing fantasy owners who had the Colts defense.

"Man, I don't even do that in Madden," Colts safety Dexter Reid said.


Does this mean the Colts actually have a defense this season? Nah. Give Billick credit, the ploy has fans talking about the timeouts and the lost shutout instead of the Ravens inept offense. Remember that the Colts shut out Kyle Boller and Anthony Wright looked pretty impressive in relief. Matt Stover also missed three field goals in a game for the first time since 1998, so we will wait and see before we start comparing the Colts defense to the 1986 Bears.

QUICK OUTS

* Still think the Jets are a playoff team after scoring seven points against the Chiefs defense?

* Joey Harrington is still the only thing holding back the Lions. The former Oregon quarterback passed for 167 yards in the Lions victory, but the Packers are not a good football team on defense. And Marcus Pollard with five receptions and a touchdown? There goes a wasted Roy Williams fantasy draft pick.

* The Bills Super Bowl prediction does not seem so bad now, eh? The Bills defense is dominant and Willis McGahee really did not get a chance to showcase his skills. But so much for picking Houston as a sleeper team. Look for the Texans to get well at home against Pittsburgh this week.

* How bad is the Chargers secondary? Keyshawn Johnson scored two touchdowns. This is a guy that could not find the end zone with a Thomas Guide.

* Maybe Jake Plummer will never be a good NFL quarterback.

AND FINALLY

Why is Scott Stapp making terrorist threats against the cities of Los Angeles and Melbourne? Stapp has done enough damage with his horrible music.

2 comments:

bucky said...

Actually, contrary to your claim (which has been continuously echoed by the national media), the Packers' defense will not be their Achille's heel. Their offense will. Even before they lost Javon Walker, the Packers' O was struggling, and will struggle the remainder of the season with an O-line that rivals Temple University's for worst in the nation.

The defense, on the other hand, is a lot younger and less experienced than it has been, but is also faster and better coached. By the end of the season, it will be the defense that will keep them in competition for a playoff spot in the absolutely terrible NFC, where 6-10 might get someone into the postseason.

Thank god for the Bears, who still suck.

bucky said...

Actually, contrary to your claim (which has been continuously echoed by the national media), the Packers' defense will not be their Achille's heel. Their offense will. Even before they lost Javon Walker, the Packers' O was struggling, and will struggle the remainder of the season with an O-line that rivals Temple University's for worst in the nation.

The defense, on the other hand, is a lot younger and less experienced than it has been, but is also faster and better coached. By the end of the season, it will be the defense that will keep them in competition for a playoff spot in the absolutely terrible NFC, where 6-10 might get someone into the postseason.

Thank god for the Bears, who still suck.