Heart is a term we use loosely sometimes when it comes to professional sports. Players either have it or they donï¿½t and it is what keeps them in our hearts regardless of what team they play for. Not withstanding the cheesy ï¿½Replacementsï¿½ reference, every team needs this to continue to be successful. Sunday warriors such as Brett Favre and Steve McNair play with pain every week and still stand in to lead their teams to victory or defeat. Todd Pinkston is surely setting himself apart from the league, and becoming notorious for his lack of this important trait. Last week, when he pulled up on the deep ball against the Redskins to avoid an obvious hit that had his name on it, he could have had a momentary lapse of judgment. However, he did the same thing going across the middle against the Cowboys this week. Just so I understand, your quarterback stays in the pocket risking himself getting killed by a 300+ lb DL and you canï¿½t layout for a ball against a DB? Last time I checked, football was a contact sport, and if you play you are going to get hit. You should be ashamed you are actually being paid to play football. I hope the Eagles cut him before they go deep into the playoffs. If by some miracle they get to the Super Bowl and beat the AFC contender, there is no way he deserves a ring.
Jerry Rice once said, If you are going to get hit, you might as well catch the ball. Well, Pinkston canï¿½t (or wonï¿½t) do either, so why put on the uniform?
There will be a great deal of talk this week about the Steelers and how they almost lost to a 5-9 Giants team, about how they overlooked them with Baltimore coming next week, and how they didnï¿½t come to play. But, there will be much more to discuss as the Dolphins found a way to beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Patriots. The Dolphins hung around the entire game, a little too long as it turns out. They scored the go ahead TD with 1:23 left, and picked off Tom Brady for the fourth time with just under a minute remaining. This game was the epitome of a trap game. I donï¿½t think this makes New England any less of a team, and certainly doesnï¿½t make them less scary. Just the opposite. It just shows that Tom Brady is not as bulletproof as the media would have you believe. What a game.
If this wasnï¿½t bad enough, the Eagles lost their number one playmaker (and decoy I might add, ala Randy Moss) in Terrell Owens to an ankle injury. Now that it looks like this injury will be longer then they had hoped, the best case scenario for the Eagles is to have him back for the divisional playoffs on Dec 16th or 17th. That is unlikely; itï¿½s more likely that he is done for the rest of the season. They have locked the #1 seed, and there is no need to rush him back into the lineup. The Eagles are most definitely a different team without him, however. In the past three seasons, they have been able to rely on defense to create opportunities for a slow and predictable offense, but their defense is not a suffocating unit like it was in years past. Without Owens, McNabb looked very average again, completing 57% and throwing two picks (a third was called back on a defensive penalty) against the 25th ranked defense and a team they torched only a few weeks ago. The Eagles cannot do the two things that typically win championships: run the ball and stop the run.
Season of Despair
There were three plays in the NFL that didnï¿½t necessarily decide games, but were indicative of the respective teamsï¿½ season up to this point. Tatum Bell of the Broncos, after a great run fumbles the ball out of the endzone. Shaun Alexander fumbles on going in and the ball is recovered by the Jets. The Lions worked their way back one point down with 8 seconds to go and botch the extra point. They say that a season is not defined by one play, but I disagree. All three teams will be haunted by these throughout the entire off season.
While we are talking about bad seasons, Mike Martz actually said this week that his team is being held hostage by the quarterback. Oh really? I thought they were held hostage by bad coaching, but thatï¿½s just me.
Just Plain Lousy Game of the Week: SD vs. CLE ï¿½ Even though there was a division title at stake and there was a long TD pass to Antonio Gates, nothing else actually happened. The warm weather Bolts looked more prepared to play in the snow than the hometown Browns. I guess Terry Robiske is now the interim interim coach. The team simply put on an ugly display.
I have to give Kudos to Tony Dungy for not calling a play with less than a minute when the Colts were down in the red zone up ten points. I have a feeling if this were the last game of the season, with Peyton sitting with one TD short, he would have done the same thing. Total class act by not cheapening a record or running the score on a very good team. Despite the fans booing him and Manning, he made the right call.
Hopefully these are the last words on Ricky. He smoked some dope, and he was too much of a puss to stand up and take the consequences. Donï¿½t give me all this garbage that your heart wasnï¿½t in it. However, did it really take a twenty-something minute interview to tell us that? Good riddens.
The fantasy playoffs are in full swing, and crunch time is upon us. My best advice is to not over-think your matchups. Go with your gut and put your best foot forward.
It is absolutely incredible that the Cardinals, at 5-9, still have a shot to win the division. If they do, they will host a playoff game at 7-9 in the regular season. That about sums up the NFC this year.
Donovan Darius should be suspended for that brutal hit on Robert Ferguson. People say it wasnï¿½t intentional, but when you lead with a clothesline at someoneï¿½s head, I have to believe differently.
On to next week, and may you and your family have a safe and happy holiday season.