- Follow @TheAndrewBlog
- Better Call Saul: The Winding Road between Jimmy McGill and Saul Goodman in “Lantern”
- Better Call Saul: the Inevitable Hard Landings in “Fall”
- Better Call Saul: Everyone Takes an Extra Step in “Slip”
- Wonder Woman Is a Big Step Forward for the DCEU and Superhero Movies
- Better Call Saul: The Small Interactions that Cause Big Ripples in “Expenses”
- Alexandra on The Walking Dead: Finding Fault and Absolution on “The Other Side”
- Andrew Bloom on Better Call Saul: The Winding Road between Jimmy McGill and Saul Goodman in “Lantern”
- Gabriel on Better Call Saul: The Winding Road between Jimmy McGill and Saul Goodman in “Lantern”
- PCarv on 7 Big Questions About Battlestar Galactica’s Finale
- Gabriel on Better Call Saul: Whether Chuck McGill Loves his Brother in “Sunk Costs”
Tag Archives: Giants
In 2008, I wrote an article describing why I was pleased to see the 2007 New England Patriots lose Superbowl XLII to the New York Giants. The article not only described my joy at seeing the Pats denied, but traced much of the path of how I became a football fan. With the Patriots and the Giants meeting in the Superbowl again last night, I planned to write a follow up, analyzing the match up, the sentiments of a Pats-hater after another New England Superbowl loss, and the evolution of the game four years later. But I thought it would be interesting to revisit this article first and to take a look back at what it was like to see a team that almost had a perfect season fall just short.
Your Top Stories
1. Rex Ryan might be giving the term “football” new meaning this week. Deadspin uncovered four videos of a woman who appears to be Ryan’s wife, Michelle, showing off her clod-hoppers in a series of foot-fetish videos. The videos were uploaded to youtube by a user named “ihaveprettyfeet” who shares several biographical details in common with Michelle. In one video, the camera man who sounds strikingly like Ryan converses with the woman about her feet. The fine folks at Deadspin guess that this video was made a few years ago while Ryan was an assistant coach in Baltimore. When asked about the videos, Ryan said it was a “personal matter” and refused to comment. The NFL agreed, saying it would not be investigating. So did Jets management, with New York GM Mike Tannenbaum and owner Woody Johnson indicating that Ryan has their “full support.” You can be sure our crack news team will be keeping their toes in the water on this one.
2. Indianapolis receiver Austin Collie is out for the season after suffering a concussion in the Colts’ game against the Jaguars last week. It was his second concussion of the year, and enough for Indy to put him on IR, ending his season. Collie has been banged up all year, missing five games completely and missing significant parts of three others after he was knocked out of the game. Despite this, Collie managed to lead the Colts in touchdown receptions with eight, and the loss will deprive Manning of one of his favorite targets over the past two years. Coach Jim Caldwell said, “From a medical standpoint, we are concerned more so about his health than anything else.” Collie’s injury comes in the wake of a number of other significant personnel losses suffered by the Colts, including Dallas Clark, Anthony Gonzales, Joseph Addai, and Bob Sanders.
3. Some quarterback quick-hits for you in our third news item of the week. The Broncos indicated that Tim Tebow will be starting the team’s remaining games against Houston and San Diego. Kyle Orton, the team’s starting quarterback for the majority of the year, expressed his displeasure, saying, “I don’t know if I’ll be here next year. We’ll just have to wait and see what shakes out with the organization.” The 49ers are remaining quiet as to which Smith will be starting for them this week – Troy or Alex. An NFL Network report indicated that Troy would start. Alex has gone 1-8 this year, while Troy has won three of five games in relief. Mark Sanchez has been limited in practice due to a sore shoulder, but said he expects to play in the Jets’ game against Chicago this week. Brett Favre might still play despite his concussion last week against the Bears, but the Vikings, and Joe Webb, are preparing as though he will miss the game. Finally, Aaron Rodgers returned to practice with the Packers this week, and he is expected to start against the Giants on Sunday despite having suffered his second concussion this year.
The Playoff Picture
If the playoffs were held today…
1. New England Patriots (12-2)+
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-4)+
3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-5)
4. Indianapolis Colts (8-6)
5. Baltimore Ravens (10-4)
6. New York Jets at (10-4)
With the San Diego Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars knocking on the door at 8-6.
Despite the lack of teams clinching by this point relative to prior seasons, the AFC playoff picture has remained remarkably stable, with only the Colts’ do-si-do with the Jags changing the order from last week. With two weeks to go, the only big questions are: Can the Steelers hold off the Ravens? Can the Chiefs hold off the Chargers? And who will come out on top in the fight between Indy and Jacksonville for the AFC South?
1. Atlanta Falcons (12-2)+
2. Chicago Bears (10-4)*
3. Philadelphia Eagles (10-4)
4. St. Louis Rams (6-8)
5. New Orleans Saints (10-4)
6. New York Giants (9-5)
With the Green Bay Packers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers knocking on the door at 8-6, and the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers still holding onto a chance to win the NFC West at 6-8 and 5-9 respectively.
Again, the NFC playoff picture has been pretty solid consistent despite a lack of mathematical certainty, and it looks to stay that way over the last two weeks of the season. The big questions are: Can the Eagles hold onto their lead in the East over the Giants? Will one of the Bays, be it Green or Tampa, be able to sneak into a Wildcard spot? And what miserable team will back its way into winning the NFC West?
+ = Clinched Playoff Berth
* = Clinched Division
Head of the Pack
Your statistical leaders in:
1. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) – 4257 yards
2. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –4141 yards
3. Drew Brees (New Orleans) – 4122 yards
With Manning jumping to number one.
1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 1345 yards
2. Maurice Jones-Drew – 1324 yards
3. Jamal Charles (Kansas City) – 1303 yards
With no changes for the second week in a row.
1. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 1284 yards
2. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 1264 yards
3. Reggie Wayne (Indianapolis) – 1247 yards
With Lloyd and Wayne switching places from last week.
1. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 14.0
2. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 13.0
T-3. John Abraham (Atlanta) – 12.0
T-3. Jason Babin (Tennessee) – 12.0
T-3. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas) – 12.0
With Shaun Phillips and Tamba Hali falling out of the top three.
Three Big Match Ups
1. NY Jets at Chicago, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – What makes this game intriguing is that the Jets have a lot more to play for than Chicago. With last week’s win, the Bears clinched the NFC North. If Chicago can win out, or if they can get a little help from the Eagles, they can also secure a first round bye. But thanks to the woeful NFC West, even if the Bears don’t win another game this season, the worst that happens is a home playoff game against the sixth seed. The heavy lifting is pretty much over for Jay Cutler & Co. until the postseason. What makes this interesting is the fact that this is a group who haven’t been to the playoffs, let alone clinched a berth before the end of the season, in four years. Whether Mike Martz can get his crew fired up and ready to play or whether his team will come out flat with so much locked up will say a lot about these Bears. The Jets, on the other hand, are still fighting for their playoff lives after having previously held the best record in the league. How the mighty have fallen. New York still controls their own destiny, and if they can win this game, they’re in the playoffs. Even if they lose, they still have their chances with the underachieving Bills on the schedule for their regular season finale, but the AFC Wildcard race is coming to a head and the Jets need to build momentum as they head toward the playoffs. Last week’s win against the likely second-seeded Steelers should help give the Jets their swagger back, but Rex Ryan’s group still needs to firmly erase the memories of their beat down in New England and their close loss to Miami. What kind of game Chicago plays and what kind of team New York puts on the field will give us a good view of what to expect from both sides in the postseason.
2. NY Giants at Green Bay, 4:15 P.M. EST on FOX – This is essentially a playoff game between the presumptive second place finishers in the NFC East and the NFC North. The stakes are the highest for Green Bay. The Packers control their own destiny, and if they can win out, they will go to the playoff thanks to the head-to-head tiebreaker with New York and the strength of victory tiebreaker with Tampa Bay. If, however, the Pack loses this game, they’re officially eliminated from playoff contention and a promising season will go down the drain. With Aaron Rodgers returning after his second concussion of the year, it’s do or die in Green Bay. The Giants are suffering a bit themselves. After giving up a 31-10 lead over Philadelphia Eagles last week, a disastrous fourth quarter and a special teams bungle to end all bungles for New York all but dashed their hopes for winning the NFC East. A win for the Giants would give them a playoff berth thanks to a strength of victory tiebreaker over the Bucs, but the big question going into this game is – how much of a hangover will the G-men be nursing as they walk into Lambeau? This game could lock down a major part of the rough and tumble wildcard race in the NFC. The Packers need the win to get to the big dance, but the Giants need the win to prove to themselves that the Philly game was a fluke and that they won’t fade in the heat. Expect a playoff atmosphere and a great game.
3. New Orleans at Atlanta, Monday, 8:30 P.M. EST on ESPN – It’s rare for two teams this good to be playing in the same division. The Falcons look nigh unstoppable, having not lost a game since the middle of October and stringing together eight wins in a row in the mean time. A victory would be huge for Atlanta, giving them not only the NFC South, but home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Falcons are flying high, and nothing would cap their regular season better than defeating their division rivals to ensure that the road to the Superbowl goes through Atlanta in front of the home crowd. The defending Superbowl champion Saints, however, are no slouches themselves. While New Orleans, at two games back, would need a great deal of help to unseat the Falcons at the top of the NFC South, they would be at least tied for first in six of the seven other divisions in the league. New Orleans is still smarting from last week’s loss to Baltimore, but they have won six of their last seven games, and a win here would clinch them a playoff berth. These are two of the best teams not just in the NFC South, or the NFC, but the league. Expect them both to shine in front of a national audience on Monday Night.
Your Top Stories
1. In what seems to be the season for drunk driving, yet another NFL Player is facing a DUI charge. Tampa Bay rookie wide receiver Michael Williams is being charged with driving under the influence after police in Florida observed his black escalade weaving in and out of traffic. Williams’ blood alcohol level was 0.065, which is below the legal limit in Florida of 0.08. Nevertheless, sheriff’s deputies in Hillsborough County said that Williams’ eyes were glassy and that he smelled like alcohol when they pulled him over at two-thirty in the morning. Williams also submitted to a urine test, though the results will not come back for four-to-six weeks. Williams currently leads all rookies in receiving yards, and it’s presently unclear whether this charge will affect his playing status.
2. Cleveland Browns’ linebacker Marcus Bernard blamed stress as the cause of his fainting spell in the Browns’ locker room last Thursday. Bernard passed out in front of his locker prior to practice and was briefly hospitalized. Bernard made a full recovery, saying that “I’ve got a lot going on personally. I’ve just got to take care of my body better with the things that are going on.” After numerous tests by doctors ruling out heart problems or other major medical conditions, Bernard was cleared to play in Cleveland’s overtime loss to the New York Jets. Bernard was missing from the locker room after the loss, though this time he left for the hospital to witness the birth of his son. Bernard said the stress of the impending birth contributed to his anxiety, but said, “that’s life.”
3. Mum’s the word from Indianapolis Colts’ receiver Austin Collie after the controversial hit he received in Indy’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Collie was quoted as saying, “I understand everyone’s concern, but I prefer not to discuss the specifics of the play in Philadelphia. I hope that can be respected.” After receiving a pass in the middle of the field, Collie turned around and was immediately sandwiched between two Eagles tacklers. Kurt Coleman delivered an inadvertent helmet-to-helmet hit that sent Collie out of the game on a stretcher. Collie is just now returning to practice, and has declined to discuss the incident, saying that he just wants to work to get back onto the field.
2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams
It took ten weeks, but the lowly Buffalo Bills managed their first win over fellow perennial cellar dwellers, the Detroit Lions. The Bills managed to stave off a fourth quarter comeback from the Lions to get their first victory of the season, beating Detroit by a score of 14-12. For those of you keeping score at home, last season’s final winless team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got their first win in Week Nine, one week earlier than the Bills. Here’s to the ’08 Lions popping the champagne.
Head of the Pack
Your statistical leaders in:
1. Phillip Rivers (San Diego) –2944 yards.
2. Kyle Orton (Denver) –2806 yards.
3. Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) – 2663 yards
With Drew Brees falling out of the top three.
1. Arian Foster (Houston) – 920 yards
2. Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) – 908 yards
3. Chris Johnson (Tennessee) –838 yards
With Ahmad Bradshaw falling out of the top three.
1. Brandon Lloyd (Denver) – 968 yards
2. Roddy White (Atlanta) – 934 yards
3. Terrell Owens (Cincinnati) – 834 yards
With no one falling out of the top three.
1. Clay Matthews (Green Bay) – 11.0
2. Cameron Wake (Miami) – 10.0
3. Osi Umenyiora (NY Giants) – 9.0
With Umenyiora breaking last week’s four-way tie for third place.
Three Big Match Ups
1. Oakland at Pittsburgh, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – If you had told me last year that it would happen, I wouldn’t have believed it. We’re nearly two thirds of the way through the season, and the Oakland Raiders are in first place in their division. Between an impressive running game featuring Darren McFadden and a punishing defense, the Raiders have climbed atop the AFC West and look to be as competitive as they have been since the halcyon days of Rich Gannon. Oakland has won three straight, four of their last five, and this streak included routs of Denver and Seattle plus a victory over Kansas City that gave the Raiders the tiebreaker edge in the division. Now, Oakland will go up against what may the best team they’ve faced all season. That said the Pittsburgh Steelers did not look like one of the best teams in the NFL last week. They were whooped by the New England Patriots, 39-26, in a game that was not even as close as the score indicated. The Steelers looked beat as they labored to keep up with the Pats in a game that was supposed to be a showcase of the best of the AFC. Though the Steelers are still at a very respectable 6-3, tied for first in the division with the Baltimore Ravens, the team has struggled a bit over the last month, with losses to both the Patriots and the Saints, and a close win over the Dolphins that required a little help from the replay booth. Both squads will look to stake out some territory in the AFC and gain some breathing room in tight divisional races. With Oakland seeming to have found its footing right when Pittsburgh seems to be stumbling, could this game be a story of two teams moving in opposite directions?
2. Indianapolis at New England, 4:15 P.M. EST on CBS – Despite not playing in the same division, we inevitably see the Colts take on the Pats, year after year, and the game rarely disappoints. Still, both teams will have to pull out all the stops to outshine “The Call” from last season that resulted in the narrowest of comeback victories for Indianapolis. The Patriots will be out for revenge, and they look like world-beaters after their decisive victory over the Steelers. At 7-2, New England is tied for the best record in the NFL, and they have won six of their last seven games. However, the solid victories over other great teams like Pittsburgh and Baltimore only make their Week Nine trouncing by the Cleveland Browns all the more puzzling. Which Patriots team will show up in Foxboro – the one that made the Steelers look like the Bills, or the one that made the Browns look like the Jets, who hold a tiebreaker win over the Patriots. That tiebreaker win is just enough to keep New England out of first place in the AFC East. The Colts, for their part, are in a tough divisional fight of their own. Their win over division rival Houston and Tennessee’s loss to Miami did make things a little easier for Indianapolis, but both the Titans and the Jaguars are only a game out of first, and the Texans still have the talent to make a run for the division crown as well. What’s more, this is a Colts team missing many of its most talented players. The team has seen injuries to big time contributors like Austin Collie, Dallas Clark, Bob Sanders, Joseph Addai, and Anthony Gonzales, among many more less-heralded players. Indy has made the best of it though, winning four of the last five games despite missing a few stars from their usual cast. Expect both teams to bring their best into what has become one of the biggest rivalries in NFL history.
3. NY Giants at Philadelphia, 8:20 P.M. EST on NBC – A look at the Giants and the Eagles, both taking on division rivals in Week Ten, is a study in contrasts. The Giants, having decimated the Seahawks to the tune of 41-7 in Seattle, came back to the Meadowlands and promptly laid an egg at home. The Giants soundly lost to the woeful Dallas Cowboys, at team that appeared to have all but quit in recent weeks and hadn’t managed a win since Week Three . The New York O-line looked old, the defense looked porous, and the G-men put in one of their worst performances of the season. The Eagles, meanwhile, put on a clinic, setting a record for first-half points as they destroyed the Washington Redskins on Monday Night. When all was said and done, Philly won by a score of 59-28 against a much tougher Washington team that seemed wholly unprepared for the Eagles’ offensive assault. Michael Vick scored six touchdowns, further fueling the talk that this man who was in jail just two years ago may very well become the league’s next MVP. The Eagles looked like one of the best teams in the NFC, while the Giants looked like one of the worst. Despite this, both teams are tied atop the NFC East at the moment, and this game will not only decide which team can claim sole possession of first place, but may establish the pecking order for the rest of the season. With a win, the Eagles could cement their position as the best team in the division, if not the conference. On the other hand, a big victory over Philly would allow New York to show that Week Ten was just a hiccup, and the Giants are still the top team in the division. Both teams will pull out all the stops in this big divisional rivalry game.
Better late than never. Again, my apologies for the delays and the brevity, it’s been a hectic week.
Your Top Stories
1. Sainz of the times in the Jets locker room. A foreign language correspondent complained of sexual harassment by members of the Jets while in the New York locker room. Clinton Portis was widely condemned for his comments defending the Jets’ behavior. Additionally, Roger Goodell criticized the Jets and their staff for allowing this and has instituted mandatory sensitivity training on the subject.
2. Quarterback injuries strike again. Michael Vick will make his first start since 2006 due to the injury to Kevin Kolb. Also, Seneca Wallace will start in Cleveland due to the Injury to Jake Delhomme. Finally, Matt Stafford is out for Detroit ushering in the exciting Shaun Hill era. Last year saw a rash of quarterback injuries; with three starting QB’s out in just the first week, will the 2010-2011 season follow suit?
3. The looming lockout. A group of four teams, consisting of Indianapolis, Dallas, New Orleans, and Philadelphia, voted to decertify the union this week. Decertification would strip the union of its collective bargaining rights, which would allow individual players to sue the NFL in the event of a lockout. The move has been widely characterized as a means for the players to gain leverage in negotiations.
Half of the league.
2008 Detroit Lions Memorial Winless Teams
The other half of the league.
Three Big Match Ups
1. Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 1 P.M. EST on CBS – This is one of the very few matchups this week between two teams who walked away with a win in week one. Pittsburgh managed to succeed despite the absence of Ben Roethlisberger and young quarterback Dennis Dixon will attempt to carry that momentum against one of the early favorites to lead the pack in the AFC. The Titans, meanwhile, are riding the amazing running skills of RB Chris Johnson who has openly declared his intention to continue at a record setting pace this year. It’s a bit too early to tell, but this may be one of the matchups that gives us a view of what to expect in the playoffs on the AFC’s side of the bracket.
2. New England at NY Jets, 4:15 P.M, EST on CBS – Wes Welker came back in force in week one, scoring two touchdowns and looking in fine form after his injury. The Patriots may be back on a roll and are looking to get a win to bolster their AFC East credentials. The Jets, meanwhile, struggled against Baltimore in their first game of the season, and will look to right the ship and justify their Superbowl hopes. Of particular interest is the matchup between Randy Moss who has expressed dissatisfaction with his contract and standing in New England, and Darelle Revis who is shaking off the rust from an extended holdout and having to overcome a tight hamstring.
3. NY Giants at Indianapolis 8:30 P.M. EST on NBC – Oh yes, it’s the Manning bowl. The Giants came away with a dominant win over the Panthers in Week one, with Hakeem Nicks emerging as a true deep threat and favored target for Eli. The Colts, meanwhile, lost to division rival Houston, the first time that they’ve fallen to the Texans in a meaningful game. The G-Men will look to continue their winning ways while the Colts will attempt to show that last week was an aberration and they can return their dominating success of last season. Of course, Peyton vs. Eli will be a major focus of the broadcast, so expect numerous shots of Archie in the stands looking stoic.