Monday Morning QB (cont.)
Posted: Monday November 26, 2007 3:31AM; Updated: Monday November 26, 2007 10:53AM
6. I think while the Cowboys-Packers is the U2 show of Week 13, the Jags-Colts, in Indianapolis, is not exactly the Goo Goo Dolls. "This is our championship game,'' Jags running back Fred Taylor told me on Sunday night. "The opportunity is right in front of us.'' Indy leads Jacksonville by a game with five to play; an Indy win would all but clinch the division for the Colts. Jacksonville lost David Garrard after 18 minutes of the first game this year with a high ankle sprain, and a seven-point game at the time ended up a 29-7 Colts victory.
7. I think this is what I liked about Week 12:
a. Hank, with the Baskett catch on the onside kick for the Eagles.
b. Carson Palmer, 32-of-38, sweet redemption after his awful day last week.
c. The Redskins' effort. Joe Gibbs has that team playing hard. Three late interceptions the last two weeks have doomed their playoff chances, but this is not a bad 5-6 team.
d. One play told me there is hope for Minnesota quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. With eight Giants in the box on the Vikes' first offensive series, Jackson, after a play-action fake to Chester Taylor, stared down the receiver to his left, forcing Giants safety Gibril Wilson to that side of the field and giving the receiver flanked right, Sidney Rice, the benefit of single-coverage with rookie Aaron Ross. Jackson fired deep and found Rice on a 60-yard touchdown. Perfect execution.
e. Aaron Schobel catching Maurice Jones-Drew from behind. Too often overlooked, the Buffalo defensive end is a great football player.
f. As is Aaron Kampman of the Packers.
g. Oakland was smart to move Robert Gallery inside to guard. He created a few good holes for Justin Fargas (and does this man have to go through life with every mention of his name automatically noting he's the son of Starsky and Hutch's Huggy Bear character?). Fargas tightened his grip on the running back job in the process.
h. LaDainian Tomlinson, who reached 10,000 rushing yards in six-plus years. He could have been yours, Atlanta.
8. I think this is what I didn't like about Week 12:
a. Detroit's home field advantage. That defense is going to drive Rod Marinelli nuts.
b. Jets. Frauds. So much for the Steeler-related momentum.
c. I don't know how the Ravens' season can be salvaged.
d. Browns' throwbacks. Weirdest, most inconsequential throwback outfits ever. The only way you could tell was the numbers on the helmets.
e. David Carr: 2-for-10 for 14 yards and a pick in the first half against New Orleans. Rating: 0.0. He's got about a month left as a Panther. If that long.
f. The schedule. I don't like Indy coming off a bye to play Jacksonville for their first meeting, and I don't like Indy having nine days between games before their second meeting.
g. How can you be any good, Tennessee, when you're held hostage by the absence of one player who isn't even your quarterback?
9. I think it's hard to over-emphasize how feeble the Baltimore and Carolina offenses are right now. I'd feel better, if I were in both cities, if I trusted the offensive braintrust in either place. I do not.
10. I think these are my non-NFL thoughts of the week:
a. On Bill Callahan getting fired at Nebraska ... One: What numbskull gave him a contract at the beginning of this year that forced Nebraska to pay Callahan $3.1 million now that he's been let go? Idiocy. Pure idiocy. College contracts are such one-way streets, with the coach holding all the power. Why guarantee the coach that much money, when he can basically leave any time he wants to anyway? Two: On Oct. 23, Callahan said, "I have done an excellent job in every area.'' In the four Nebraska games since, this excellent coach oversaw a team that allowed an average of 50 points per game. Three: Can you believe Callahan coached a team to the Super Bowl five years ago?
b. Let me get this straight about the Alex Rodriguez deal. He was making $25 million a year with three years left that he could opt out of. The Yankees told him if he opted out, they would have no interest in talking to him. He opted out. They held firm -- for about 10 minutes. He called the Yankees. They re-signed him ... FOR A RAISE. Now he'll make $27.5 million a year, and if he breaks the home run record, which appears quite likely, they'll pay him $30 million more in bonuses. Assuming he breaks the record, the Yankees will be paying $30.5 million a year over the life of the contract. Boy, those Yankees sure do hold a hard line.
c. The national championship game has to be the Missouri-Oklahoma winner against West Virginia.
d. And no, there shouldn't be a playoff. Enough of this "amateur'' sport. I've railed against this before, but it's patently absurd that college students be asked to practice football for who-knows-how-long in the spring, return at the beginning of August and practice through the last game in January -- the same as an NFL team does -- without asking them to continue games into their second semesters.
e. I strongly recommend the bison filet, done medium rare, at Ted's Montana Grill, the Ted Turner meathouse. Lean, delicious, and better for you than beef, from what the buffalophiles say.
f. I love 98 percent of the plotline of House. But this competition among mildly interesting medical students to be the new House aides is, well, mildly interesting. Enough. The medical plots and stories and House's cantankerousness are why we watch the show.
g. Glad to hear from those who think The Office one-ups Seinfeld. Nothing against Seinfeld. But Dwight Schrute and Kramer cancel each other out for comedic brilliance. Michael is funnier than Jerry, Pam a nip better than Elaine, and ... well, there's no one in Scranton who equals Costanza or Newman or Uncle Leo. But Jim, Creed and Angela are pretty perfect characters.
h. Coffeenerdness: You want a good, strong, not overly oppressive cup of coffee? I mean, borderline French Roast, with about 75 percent of the bite? Colgate Blend, from The Barge in Hamilton, N.Y. Drank it most of the weekend, and I'm going to have order some more.
i. Caroline Kennedy. We should have guessed.
j. The kicker for Missouri is number 99, the holder 84. That has to be the highest number, combined (183), of a holder and kicker in football history.
Who I Like Tonight, and I Mean Tony Kornheiser
This is the game that will tell something about the Steelers. When they're a little beat up mentally and physically, they have a horrid next three weeks ahead (Cincinnati, at New England, Jacksonville), and they have a winless team on the agenda tonight -- but a winless team that plays four quarters ... this is when you tell if a team has that something inside they'll need to make something other than a cameo appearance in January. Pittsburgh, 27-17.
6 of 6