Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Conference Championships

  • The weekend was pretty boring without the Green Bay Packers. There are going to have to be a lot of superfluous Jordy pictures in this post to keep my interest.
I couldn't be bothered to come up with a real title for this post.

  • Both of the championship games were rather surprising. I definitely would not have picked the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning’s lifeless, noodle arm against the reigning champion New England Patriots. That said, I’m ECSTATIC the Pats lost!

  • The dominant Denver defense made it a long and rough day for Tom Brady. The New England quarterback was sacked four times and hit 20 times!! Brady had 310 yards, but completed fewer than half is throws, and threw two interceptions. (Goodbye, offensive line coach.)

  • The Broncos weren’t any easier on the run game. Tom Brady is not exactly known for his mobility but he led the entire Patriots team in rushing!

  • The Denver offense was exactly lights out -- with only 244 TOTAL yards -- but they didn’t need to be. The defense carried them all the way to the Super Bowl.
dancing nfl up storm denver broncos

  • Poor New England kicker Stephen Gostkowski bore a lot of the blame for the two-point loss. He missed an extra point after New England scored in the first quarter, a miss that would force the Pats to go for two after their fourth-quarter touchdown, which they failed to convert. And there are your two points. Gostkowski has been one of the league’s best kickers in the league, and the miss ended a streak of 523 straight extra points made. Poor guy.

  • You want to know what makes it even more painful for the Patriots? This screenschot that shows Rob Gronkowski open on the failed two-point conversion.

  • Awww, look how cute Peyton Manning’s son is! He came with his dad to the post-game press conference, but got a little shy.

  • I had to get off Twitter after the game to avoid the schmaltzy Brady-Manning tributes. They play football; let’s stop pretending that they’re Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant or something.
These two stout-hearted men haveth set upon the iron o' grid
in many a great engagement. Whither these great souls shall
meet again henceforth, we trust only the Almighty knoweth.

  • Last week, New England Patriots backup linebacker (and Notre Dame grad!) Darius Fleming played with 22 stitches in his leg, which he got while rescuing a woman trapped in her car. There was a car accident that left the woman’s car without power, and she was unable to escape her car. Fleming kicked out the window and helped her out of the car. What a good guy! Way to go, Darius!

Rescuing a woman in distress is just the kind of thing Jordy would do!

  • The Carolina Panthers-Arizona Cardinals game was painful to watch, so I’ll cut to the chase: Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer had six turnovers on the way to a 49-15 soul-crushing defeat.

  • I have, have, have to think that Palmer’s injured index finger on his throwing hand played a part. He injured the finger in Week 15 against Green Bay, after which he had a terrible game against the Seattle Seahawks (lost 36-6), a not-very-good-until-the-freaking-fourth-quarter game against Green Bay last week, then the stinker this week. The guy had 11 interceptions and four fumbles through 16 games in the regular season, and four interceptions and two fumbles on Sunday alone! It just has to be the finger injury. I can’t fathom another reason why the number one offense in the league and the quarterback with the third highest passer rating in the regular season suddenly looked so terrible.

  • Although I really wanted the Cardinals to win, it was hard not to be impressed by the Panthers. Look, for example, at Carolina receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. on this Cam Newton interception. The guy absolutely flies down the field to stop the pick from becoming a pick-six. (In fact, the Cardinals didn’t gain any points off the turnover because on the next possession, Carson Palmer -- you’ll never guess -- threw an interception.) Keep in mind as Ginn is streaking down almost the entire length of the field that his team was up 17 points at the time.

  • With five-and-a-half minutes left in the game, up 34-15, Carolina scored another touchdown …. and decided to go for two. Perhaps it was because Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians had reportedly called Carolina the worse second-half team in the league at halftime, but I don’t really care what anyone said --  if you go for two when you’re up 25 points, your kicker’s foot better be broken, otherwise you guys are being @$%holes. Poor show.

  • The Panthers suffered a couple of tough injuries. Safety Roman Harper left the game with an eye injury after a hit to the head. The safety has had Lasik eye surgery, and the hit caused the corneal flap over his eye to shift, temporarily obscuring his vision. Harper says the injury won’t keep him out of the Super Bowl, but still.

  • Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis also says his injury won’t keep him out of the Super Bowl, except, I’m not totally sure about that because his injury is a broken arm. I totally understand wanting to play in the Super Bowl -- it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- and I admire his toughness,  but, uh, buddy, a broken arm is a really, really good reason to sit out a game that includes a lot of violent contact. I’m no doctor, but I would really strongly suggest cheering your team on from the safety of the sidelines.

  • When asked what nickname he would give himself if he could, Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly responded, “I don’t need a nickname. My name is Luke.” I think I’m going to go buy the mynameisluke.com domain and put a copyright on that same line for a book title (with a movie option) because that would be the coolest title ever.

My Name Is Luke

  • Kuechly’s pretty cool, right? So you can sorta understand this guy who really, really, really wanted to high-five Luke.

  • I guess Carolina deserves to go to the Super Bowl, but I still feel really bad for Carson Palmer. He seems like such a nice guy. Seriously, watch this commercial of his and try to not like him.

  • I like the above video, but really it was just an excuse to segue into Jordy’s own commercial. He’s so adorable! He’s a great dad, he spends his offseason farming, and he substitute taught with his new-found free time. (Those lucky third-grade bastards!) Isn’t he so awesome and sweet and manly and cool??

  • Let’s just jump back a week and remember how Andy Reid titanicked the Kansas City Chiefs with his clock management late in the game. Remember how the Chiefs had the ball with 6:29 left, down two scores? And remember how, despite the previous sentence, they took 5 minutes and 16 seconds to score and refused to use their timeouts? And didn’t let the time crunch dissuade them from huddling on offense on the drive? And were essentially betting their postseason lives on recovering an onside kick? Well, after having a week to think on it, Andy Reid reiterated that the clock was “handled right” in the game.

  • In Packer news, head coach Mike McCarthy had his season-ending press conference, and he didn’t pull any punches. He said what we were all thinking when he singled out Richard Rodgers and Davante Adams as players who “definitely need to step up.” But it was his comments on running back Eddie Lacy, who had weight issues all season, that caught the most attention: “Eddie Lacy has a lot of work to do. I think I’m stating the obvious. His offseason last season was not good enough. He has to get it done. He cannot play at the weight he did this year.”

  • There are also rumors that McCarthy is “fed up” with Ted Thompson’s extreme reluctance to sign free agents. This has long been a bone of contention for impatient Packers fans who disagree with Thompson’s rigid adherence to a draft-and-develop philosophy. Now, I understand the frustration when Green Bay has a crying need and they do nothing about it. But free agency is crapshoot with low odds. The players worth getting usually require overpaying, and the ones that don’t require overpaying … well, they’re free agents because other teams don’t want them. The Indianapolis Colts are a prime example. They were listed as early “winners” in the offseason, but few, if any, of their signings worked out. Here’s an excerpt from Bill Barnwell’s NFL teams’ Christmas wish lists article:

    • Indianapolis Colts: Store credit or a full refund for Ryan Grigson's veteran shopping spree. Andre Johnson's 418 receiving yards are good for 97th in the league. Trent Cole has just three sacks. Frank Gore is averaging 3.6 yards per rushing attempt, the worst figure he has posted by a full half-yard over a professional season. And Todd Herremans lost his starting job after two games. Kendall Langford's snaps as a decent two-way defensive end might represent the best move Grigson made this offseason.

  • Another example: Vernon Davis. The Packers, completely devoid of a reliable tight end -- Richard Rodgers was our #1, for Pete’s sake -- looked to be a reasonable landing place for Davis after he was released by the 49ers. Many Green Bay fans expressed frustration when Davis was snatched up by the Broncos. However, in 10 regular season games with Denver, Davis had 20 catches, 90 yards, and zero touchdowns. In his last four games, including two playoff games, Davis has zero catches. It’s not fun or exciting, but I do tend to see things Thompson’s way as far as free agency goes.

  • Speaking of free agents, it looks likely that the Packers will let free agent cornerback Casey Hayward leave this summer, which makes me very sad. I love Casey, but the team has too much talent at cornerback, including two impressive rookies in Quinten Rollins and Damarious Randall. In fact, of all rookie corners, Rollins was top in opposing quarterbacks’ ratings. Yay, Q!  Way to go!
applause celebrate yay clap cheering
This gif is from Power Rangers. I didn't have to look that up or anything.
I just recognized them on sight. Pink Ranger, Blue Ranger, Green Ranger. 

  • By the way, did we already talk about how amazing it is that Rollins only ever played one year of football in college?? That’s crazy! He was a basketball star at Miami, played one season of football, was named the MAC defensive player of the year, and then was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft.

  • The most outrageous thing I read this week was Jordy Nelson telling the story of how his future wife dumped him when they were in seventh grade. What could she have been thinking? Did she think she could do better?? Did she not see the future Sideline Ninja in him? Was she so convinced that she could get him back? What! what could have made her do something so foolish? SHE NEVER DESERVED HIM!

No comments:

Post a Comment