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Old 12-15-2008, 12:10 AM    (permalink
BlindSite
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Default Week 15 Breakdown

Though I endeavour to include all top performances and as many great plays and players each and every week, time and space means that there will be a few I miss. This is no reflection on the team or me as a fan or writer, in some cases it’s just unlucky they're not included. Enjoy.


Break out Performer
It’s hard to go past Tavaris Jackson this week who was near perfect in Minnesota’s win away facing a very flat and complacent Cardinals. Jackson’s four touchdowns came in different situations, different ranges and at different targets which indicates a leap forward in his maturation as a passer. While Childress hasn’t named his starter for the remainder of the season and in the playoffs Jackson might well see the a start next week after turning in such a great performance. Though the performance was against an unmotivated team and on the back of yet another AD one hundred yard day his future is definitely still up in the air and he’s shown the NFL, that at least for now, he cannot be labelled a bust.

When he was cut by the Bears and then arrested for assorted scallywag behaviour I didn’t think I’d be writing him name for a while, but Cedric Benson deserves some serious attention for his on field performance. Playing for the inept Cincinnati Convicts Bengals Benson has turned in a relatively decent season, this week totalling 161 all purpose yards and on more than one occasion putting his offense in position to put up points.

Coaching Comments
Is it just me or does it seem like every time the cowboys are backed up near their own goal line instead of following the near golden rules of running the ball, Jason Garrett dials up some pass play that leads to opposition points?

Gary Kubiak dialled up a great game plan against the Tennessee Titans and it paid off in spades. Remarkably still looking for their first winning season in franchise history the 7-7 Texans used a great offensive design to run and pass to great effect. Andre Johnson and Steve Slaton put up a great performance against an unmotivated Titans defence. Credit here really ought to go to the Texans defence however who allowed just two of thirteen third downs to be converted and limited the Titans to just one hundred yards rushing and only 181 yards through the air.

I think it’s fair to say that Bruce Arians is a huge part of why the Steelers only won by four points.

QB Watch
Philip Rivers is quite possibly playing like the best quarterback in the NFL right now. His team was all but finished against Kansas City when they were down 21-3 half way through the third quarter. With less than one and a half minutes remaining in the game Rivers drove his team down field with just four passes to score the game winning points with a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with just thirty seconds remaining on the clock. His season has largely been overshadowed by the re-emergence of Kurt Warner and as whole the dominance of the NFC but Rivers has quietly taken his place amongst the NFL’s best passers and has done so without his running back at full force and what you could call a top flight receiver. If LT is able to come back at full power next year and Shawn Merriman comes back in his former capacity the Chargers will be a terrifying force in the AFC West in the 09 season.

Homer Corner
Another team with playoff aspirations and another team dismantled. Cutler was sacked three times, after the Denver offensive line had allowed none in the last three weeks.

The Carolina running backs totalled 116 rushing yards in the second half alone and Smith had a season high day with 175 yards receiving against the banged up Denver secondary. Carolina never looked out of place or in any kind of trouble during the game and that’s a strong sign for the team.

Its often said that the most teams most likely to win the Superbowl aren’t necessarily the most talented, but peak at the right time. Consider this, in the NFC no team has turned in as dominant performances in the past two weeks as Carolina and the team doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Jerry Richardson is ill, awaiting a heart transplant and is giving the team an incredible level of motivation and if the Panthers win next week, Home field advantage.

If the Panthers have home field advantage their playoffs will be played where they’re undefeated this year, in comfortable weather and under the eye of their owner whom the team is obviously rallying around. Doesn’t the situation just stink of story book?

Anti NFLN Rant (homer related)
Rich Eisen should be able to pronounce the names of Mushin Muhammad since he's been in the NFL forever and Tyler Brayton since it was called a bunch of times on a Fumble recovery and a sack against Denver.

Oh and Deion, you might be the best cornerback ever, but you're also known as one of the least likely to hit someone. So don't say they get "out hit" when its not true and When a defense comes in facing the NFL's 2nd best offense and surrenders 10 points, they're a good defense not one you shouldn't like in the playoffs.


Other Stuff
This year’s MVP should be Adrian Peterson, with respect to Kurt Warner, Drew Brees, Peterson is probably the lone offensive reason the Vikings are leading the NFC North. With a wide receiver corp. barely above inept in their skill set and a journey man quarterback for much of the year Childress has had one thing and one thing only to rely on. All Day. While it’s a little harsh to be so dismissive of Drew Brees when he seems within reach of Marino’s record or Kurt Warner who’s helped Arizona clinch their first division title in any era people still care about, Peterson has done more with less when you get right down to it.

Adrian Peterson has emerged as the NFL’s best running back and he truly seems like a man intent on taking the rushing title and holding it. A runner with his heart and determination on the field hasn’t been seen in a long time and the Vikings wouldn’t have even been in contention for a playoff spot if it wasn’t for his performance this year.

The defensive MVP is a race that is much harder to pick. Does Harrison deserve it after recording so many tackles, sacks and fumbles or is he so good because he plays across from Woodley and behind Casey Hampton? Does it go to DeMarcus Ware who’s nineteen sacks lead the league? Is Troy Polamalu more deserving with his 9 interceptions? Can John Abraham or, Jared Allen get in the door with their impressive statistics and huge roles in their team’s successes?

The winner almost unequivocally has to be Harrison, no player has been as complete as he in all phases of the game and very few have managed to match his ability rushing the passer, let alone in coverage and against the run. With the Steelers defence being one of the best in the last thirty years and the outside linebackers playing such a huge part in the role he deserves the nod over everyone else in contention.
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:21 AM    (permalink
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great stuff as always.
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LaMarr Woodley, Norse God of Thunder/Baby Jesus/Killer of all things QB, set an NFL record by getting multiple sacks in three consecutive playoff games. Don't **** with LaMarr.
Pittsburgh Steelers....6 Time Champs!
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:26 AM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by BlindSite View Post


QB Watch
Philip Rivers is quite possibly playing like the best quarterback in the NFL right now. His team was all but finished against Kansas City when they were down 21-3 half way through the third quarter. With less than one and a half minutes remaining in the game Rivers drove his team down field with just four passes to score the game winning points with a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson with just thirty seconds remaining on the clock. His season has largely been overshadowed by the re-emergence of Kurt Warner and as whole the dominance of the NFC but Rivers has quietly taken his place amongst the NFLís best passers and has done so without his running back at full force and what you could call a top flight receiver. If LT is able to come back at full power next year and Shawn Merriman comes back in his former capacity the Chargers will be a terrifying force in the AFC West in the 09 season.
I support this :]
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:43 AM    (permalink
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Forgot to paste this in, under my homer corner section:

"I want to talk a little bit about Charles Johnson, a guy who was for a while considered the "other" defensive end at Georgia. The Panthers nabbed "the bully" in the third round of what is slowly becoming one of the best Panther drafts ever and for a year or so he seemed like a bit of a stretch to ever develop into a decent contributor. Last year he began to bulk up and he's been slowly picking up elements of the playbook. This year coming off the bench he's been a tremendous force in some games and has recorded 6.5 sacks sharing time as a back up with Hilee Taylor. While I'm not saying he's the next Dwight Freeney, having a 22 year old who's just started to fill out his frame recording sacks against some very good offensive lines is a good sign of the future for the Panthers and for Georgia fans."
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:48 AM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlindSite View Post
Forgot to paste this in, under my homer corner section:

"I want to talk a little bit about Charles Johnson, a guy who was for a while considered the "other" defensive end at Georgia. The Panthers nabbed "the bully" in the third round of what is slowly becoming one of the best Panther drafts ever and for a year or so he seemed like a bit of a stretch to ever develop into a decent contributor. Last year he began to bulk up and he's been slowly picking up elements of the playbook. This year coming off the bench he's been a tremendous force in some games and has recorded 6.5 sacks sharing time as a back up with Hilee Taylor. While I'm not saying he's the next Dwight Freeney, having a 22 year old who's just started to fill out his frame recording sacks against some very good offensive lines is a good sign of the future for the Panthers and for Georgia fans who must be tired for seeing their defensive line stars bust (Jammal Anderson 2 career sacks) or injur out (Pollack)."
Wasn't Anderson out of Arkansas?
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Old 12-15-2008, 12:50 AM    (permalink
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Anderson was out of Arkansas, and Georgia has sent plenty of great defensive lineman to the NFL.
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Old 12-15-2008, 03:10 AM    (permalink
BlindSite
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My bad, I know georgia has some good Dlinemen Stroud comes to mind immediately.

Apologies about the Arkansas mistake though, dunno how I got confuzzled.
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Old 12-15-2008, 04:43 AM    (permalink
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the other Georgia DE Johnson played alongside is Quentin Moses
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Old 12-15-2008, 05:27 AM    (permalink
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Who's pretty much been a bust anyway.
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Old 12-15-2008, 08:56 AM    (permalink
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Ware has 18 sacks and Polamalu has 7 interceptions.

But anyways, I still do believe that Harrison wins it. He should get a sack or two more to keep his name at the top.
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:00 AM    (permalink
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Ware has 18 sacks and Polamalu has 7 interceptions.

But anyways, I still do believe that Harrison wins it. He should get a sack or two more to keep his name at the top.
!fail Pubestache

Ware has 19
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Old 12-15-2008, 09:05 AM    (permalink
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!fail Pubestache

Ware has 19
I know, I just read he had 19 and was going to edit it just now.

My fault.
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Old 12-15-2008, 10:25 AM    (permalink
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To me its either Ware, Harrison, or Polamalu. All 3 have had unreal seasons.

After yesterday, Ware has to be the front runner. His 3 sacks were huge.
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Old 12-15-2008, 02:59 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smooth Criminal View Post
To me its either Ware, Harrison, or Polamalu. All 3 have had unreal seasons.

After yesterday, Ware has to be the front runner. His 3 sacks were huge.
Ware is up there and he is second but Harrison has been more of a complete force. Polamalu doesn't deserve it, he hasn't had the impact guys like Haynesworth or Harrison have had, imo Woodson has been a better DB, as has Courtland Finnegan.
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Old 12-15-2008, 07:52 PM    (permalink
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Calvin Johnson is Andre Johnson on life steroids.
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Old 12-16-2008, 02:34 AM    (permalink
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He'd be an amazing force with Tom Brady or Favre or McNabb or Warner or Manning/s throwing him the ball.
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