Monday, January 11, 2010

The Post Mortem: Rise of the Machine

Who did not see this post coming?

If Sunday's game did not put Kurt Warner in the Hall of Fame, nothing will. Warner is a Hall of Fame quarterback. Warner also showed why he was one of the best postseason quarterbacks of all-time.

The playoffs have the league's best teams. The league's best defense. The Packers entered Sunday's game as one of the league's hottest teams, and owners of the NFL's top ball-hawking defenses.

Warner shredded them like he was back in the Arena League.

The postseason has humbled some of the league's so-called best, be it Gomer or Donovan McManning.

That is when the Kurt Warner Machine is at his best.

The KWM trails only legendary Bart Starr by mere percentage points for the best playoff passer rating of all-time. He also has resurrected two dog (expletive) franchises and made them matter.

And look what happened to St. Louis FC when he left. Imagine what Arizona will be when Matt Leinart takes over? (If he ever does.)

One of the league's greats is playing right now, and it is great watching him. There are reports that Warner could retire at the end of the season. And he could. But Warner signed a two-year deal and he intends to honor it.

For right now, I am content to enjoy the ride.

I WOULD have raised holy hell if the Cardinals had been on the receiving end of those questionable non-calls at the end of the Cardinals/Packers wild-card game. Let's be fair right there. I might even still make references to the Steelers being on the receiving end of some good calls in last year’s Super Bowl all of the flipping time.

So for the record, the Cardinals should have been flagged for helmet-to-helmet contact on second down after Aaron Rodgers blew his chance to win the game. And that facemask penalty was pretty flagrant. How does that go unnoticed? So the Cardinals were on the right side of some poor officiating. For a change.

And I will be honest, too. Being on the right side of bad officiating is awesome for a change. Normally, I only get to enjoy this during a Lakers playoff run. Have to think back to the 'tuck rule' to remember when this happened. And then, it was only fun because the Raiders were getting screwed.

But a classic playoff game was still marred by poor officiating. Stuff that should not happen. You like to see the referees let the players, play. That might have been a little too much.

Rodgers, to his credit, was pretty classy in his response.

"I get paid to play. There's always going to be one or two plays in the game where you wonder should there be a call, shouldn't there be a call, but those are out of my control. The things I worry about are the things I can control. I made some mistakes in the game. Those are the ones I'm thinking about. Not a potential facemask on that.

"The one play I was thinking about laying in bed was the first play of overtime. Unfortunately, just missed Greg on that one that could have ended the game. But they made a play in overtime, you have to give them credit for that."

And if you notice, all of the comments were about what the Packers should do in the future, not the incessant whining you normally see. Compare that to Raiders fans who are still pissed about the 'tuck rule,' which -- again for the 498th time –- was called correctly.

TIME TO say goodbye to the Patriots’ dynasty. As Raven ended it in emphatic fashion. Did anybody think that the Patriots would pie after Wes Welker’s injury? You would have to think that Welker is the most valuable player on that team because nobody on the Patriots looked like they wanted to be on the field on Sunday.

Thankfully for them, Raven scored so quick, the defense was not out there very long. And would have been out there even less had Tom Brady not turned the ball over so much.

TIME TO say goodbye to Carson Palmer as an elite NFL quarterback. Palmer looks like Tommy Maddox after he had his paralysis scare. Palmer looks like he wants to be on the field as much as the Patriots defense. Palmer looks skittish out on the field. His throws often sail.

Palmer look about as comfortable as the guy who was the No. 2 quarterback ahead of Helen Hunt in the Quarterback Princess.

How much longer is Palmer’s contract? Because it is hard to imagine him playing much longer. Palmer would probably best be served to be Gomer’s backup. He would never have to play again.

Anybody feeling that Quarterback Princess reference?


The Pete Carroll era is over. And college football can rejoice again. The Pac-10’s dominance over college football started to crumble this year, culminating with Ohio State’s impressive win over Oregon in the Rose Bowl. So what happens now?

USC will make a bad hire. There is no Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson or Jim Harbaugh walking through that door. Mike Garrett got lucky to get Carroll – whom everybody thought was a bad hire. Garrett will not get lucky again. Especially when Carroll made it clear during his press conference that he was leaving because of Garrett.

Oregon will likely take over the top spot in the conference. The Ducks are a legit 5-star quarterback away from competing.

Ken Whisenhunt has to be pretty happy with this development. Now he only has to beat one team (San Francisco) to win the NFC West. And the 49ers are no great organization. Plus, he now has a sucker who could take Matt Leinart off his hands. So it could be a double-bonus.

We should remember the USC era fondly, and get ready for a post-Robinson like version of the Trojans. Complete with probation. That is if Garrett does not give the football program a self-imposed death penalty.


buckyor said...

The league's explanation for missing that facemask on the last play: "Facemask? What facemask? There was no facemask there."

The ass-covering is positively Sternian, matched only by the ridiculous claim that Warner's fumble at the end of last year's Super Bowl was actually confirmed by a review in the booth. Yeah, they reviewed that play in 8 seconds. . . .

Rodgers has the right attitude though; had he put a little air under the throw to Jennings two plays previous, he'd have been deep into his second margarita instead of facing a jailbreak rush on third and long. Of course, what he didn't say was, "had our defense actually gotten off the plane at Sky Harbor, we'd never had needed an overtime."

Rodgers is pretty good, and the Packers' fortunes are looking up. Good luck to the Cards; I'd like to see them get one this season.

Bain said...

Rogers played out of his mind last night, as he has all season. The real story is the defense disappearing.

Did they sack Warner once? Shit, Ken Whisenhunt came out after halftime and flat-out told Pam Oliver something like, "We've found a mutherfucking hole in their coverage--right about fifteen yards out there smack dab in the middle--that's bigger than Ass Night on a Greek submarine," but GB appeared to make no adjustments. I'd like to hear Dom Caper's assessment of his game plan, but nothing yet. Though I remember a shot of Dom pounding himself in the face with his clipboard, he's been strangely mum today.

On the O-side, Chad Clifton needs to go now. Great tackle, but too prone to tractor rides.

Diane said...

C'mon THN, don't take all the fun out of football. Everyone here bending over backwards to be magnanimous is disappointing. NFL football is already getting hard to watch with the constant Cialis commercials (really? bathtubs in a meadow?), and the Favre cams following him even during games he's not playing in.

My only hope is that Brenda will buff up her flat top and pull out her blue sweater trimmed in maribou feathers.

WCT said...

Admit it, you're happy by the development of this Pete Carroll saga. Hell, I live all the way on the other side of the country and obnoxious, annoying, entitled, U$C fans irritate me. I can't imagine how they must make you feel out there.

Now we can see more palatable pac-10 programs like Oregon and Stanford prosper and all those johnny-come-lately U$C "fans" can go back to not caring about college football...

THN said...

Trust me, there is plenty to loathe coming up, Diane. The Colts are still alive. Tony Romo is still alive. Brett Favre. There will be plenty of angst.

The problem is, I rode Aaron Rodgers on my fantasy team this year. And I love the guy. I dreaded this game because I thought the two best teams in the NFC were playing in this game. So I have nothing bad to say about Green Bay. Love Rodgers.

This week kind of sucks, too, because I really like Drew Brees. But I had to be honest. Because, like I said, if those non-calls went against the Cardinals, I would have pointed it out.

Here, too, is the thing about Pete Carroll, WCT. I really like the guy personally. I've met him. Worked with him. I am a Pete guy. I don't like the Seattle move. I am not sure if he is going to work out in the NFL.

But yeah, if I can hitch my West Coast Wagon to any other team, that is a good thing. I mean, any other team in the Pac-10 would be great. So I will give that to you. Oregon seems like the team that will be able to draw in the firepower that USC cranked out.

Man, I should have just made this a post. But I am so happy to be back at blogger, this is so stinking easy.