Monday Morning Quarterback (Tuesday Edition)


The Giants are so good its scary. And when I say scary, I mean if they lose in the playoffs, it would be scary. Because it doesn’t matter what you do in the regular season. All that matters is that you win when the second season starts and the format changes to one and done. But as far as the regular season goes, aside from one terrible Monday in October, the Giants have been as good as you can be in the National Football League.

Brandon Jacobs returned to the field on Sunday and couldn’t get much going, so the Giants went to the passing game, which was simply unstoppable. Eli Manning did more than enough in a game where the Giants couldn’t break open a monster run until late in the game.  It really is hard to beat the Giants. If you stop the run, they’ll beat you in the air. If your strategy is to not let Eli throw it, then Earth, Wind, and Fire will run you into the ground. If you think you can beat them offensively, their defense will stop you. The Giants are arguably the best at all three in the league and that is pretty crazy to think.

I don’t think you will hear too many Washington fans saying that they lost to the Giants in Week 1 and that they are better than the Giants and that they weren’t accustomed to Jim Zorn’s system yet. And I am sure you will hear the Cowboys fans say the same things about the Giants and how they didn’t have Tony Romo when they beat them. A lot of teams have said a lot of things, but only one team was able to pull off a W against the G-Men. And really, the G-Men just pulled off a W against themselves on that horrible night in Cleveland. They are just lucky that the whole team played poorly on one nght instead of having the offense bad one game, then the defense, and so on.

A 4-0 finish would give the Giants their best record in franchise history. A 3-1 finish would tie them for their best record ever. But just finishing out the schedule guarantees them the NFC East. Right now they are three games ahead of the Cowboys with four to play and I don’t see the Giants getting swept or the Cowboys sweeping. So even though we penciled in the Beast champions years ago, a win, or Cowboy loss next week will clinch the division and I am sure the merchandise is already printed up. As for the Redskins, they are in trouble. When you think about the the fact that the Cowboys (8-4) are a game better than the Redskins, and they aren’t even in the playoffs right now, the Redskins need some help. Had they won today, they would have still been in for a wild card spot as of now, but because of the loss, Carolina and Atlanta have the wild card berths. Do you remember when three of the four NFC East teams were going to make the playoffs? And the fourth team would probably miss it by one game or a tie-breaker? Now only the Giants are representing the Beast and there is a good chance that no other East team will make it to January. Don’t get me wrong, the East is still the best division, but if someone told you in September that only one East team would make the playoffs, you would have laughed at them. So now it’s back home to take on the Eagles who are looking to run the table and get some help to make it into the playoffs and save the Eagle careers of Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb. At 6-5-1, the Eagles are as close to being mathematically eliminated and still having a chance to make the playoffs as you can possibly be and they are going to come out flying on Sunday. But I am not sure if even their best football can beat the Giants on an average night, especially at home. The Giants have yet to least in East Rutherford and given the fact that they can ruin the Redskins, Eagles, and Cowboys playoff dreams on back-to-back-to-back weeks, I am sure they are looking forward to the chance to send the Eagles packing and making it another long, depressing off-season in the City of Brotherly Love.

THAT OTHER NEW YORK TEAM
I better not hear that the Jets are the best of the AFC again this season. Good for you, you beat Tennessee. The Browns beat the Giants, but I don’t hear anyone talking up the sorry Cleveland team. The Jets suck. Sure, teams like Detroit and Cincinnati suck, but the Jets suck more. Not because they have a bad record, but because people think they are good. A lot of people think they are good. So many people think they are good that writers everywhere have been dreaming up an all-New York Super Bowl. Now, maybe the Giants will get to the Super Bowl, but the Jets aren’t, and that is guaranteed. Good teams don’t lose to bad teams consistently. Good teams don’t get blown out at home. And good teams don’t turnover the ball several times a game. Therefore the Jets are anything but a good team. The Jets lost by 17 to the Broncos at home. The same Broncos team who lost by 21 to the Raiders. The same 3-9 Raiders team that went on the road and beat the Jets. The same Raiders team that went three straight games this season without a touchdown. Therefore the Broncos aren’t a good team either. But who calls the offensive plays for the Jets? The offensive coordinator? Brett Favre? Eric Mangini? The other team’s defense? The Jets might have the worst play calling in the league. I have never in my life seen such a terribly run offense given the personnel on a team. It is inexcusable and someone is doing their job poorly, and it is going to lead to a first round exit from the playoffs for the overrated Jets.

MATT AND THE PATS
Matt Cassel still good? People were actually saying that the Patriots should think about maybe trading Tom Brady and letting Cassel start. But after Matt Cassel had great games against New York and Miami and looked like Tom Brady, he finally went back to being Matt Cassel, a college backup, whose last start in a football game came in a third grade flag football league. It’s funny how much television football talk is about fantasy football. And in those fantasy football discussion, there is a lot of talk about how great of a  On Sunday, Matt Cassel threw for 147 yards, was picked off twice, and lost two fumbles. Maybe all those teams that were thinking that they would sign him as a free agent this summer realized who they were thinking of making their quarterback of the future. So on the same day that Matt Cassel showed up to the field as Matt Cassel, the New England Patriots season was ended by the Pittsburgh Steelers. The long playoff run has come to an end and Bill Belichick’s last game this season will come in December.

COLTS ROLLING ALONG
The Colts played one of their worst games of the day today. Peyton Manning threw two interceptions, Joseph Addai fumbled to start the game for the Colts and the offense put up six points on the Cleveland Browns. But the Colts have pulled out wins in every possible way this season and Sunday was no different as a fumble recovery for a touchdown led to their 10-6 win over the Browns. The Colts are going to the Super Bowl. That is a fact. Well, I guess it’s not a fact yet, but my all-Manning Super Bowl is looking more and more like a reality with each week. There is no other team in the AFC as dangerous as the Colts when they are on and even when they aren’t, they find a way to win.

MINNESOTA MIRACLE
The Vikings winning the North wouldn’t really be a miracle, but thinking of Minnesota, the only thing that came to mind was the Mighty Ducks moving and Gordon Bombay as the “Minnesota Miracle Man,” so I thought I would incorporate that into the title. After watching the Vikings manhandle the Bears on SNF, it looks like Minnesota will win the North. The Bears offense isn’t any good and the Packers, well they have become a joke at 5-7. The Vikings have a relentless running game and their defense is pretty solid. They don’t appear to be a Super Bowl team, given the fact that Gus Frerotte is their quarterback and at one time he was backing up Tavaris Jackson, but the Vikings are going to go the postseason. Winning a postseason game though is a different story.

RANDOM THOUGHTS
There might be no worse way to end the football week than with the Jaguars playing the Texans. I understand that before the season the ESPN execs try to incorporate every team at some point while also plugging in meaningful games to attract an audience. So, if you want to make sure you have the Texans on the MNF schedule (which I’mt not sure why you would), how is having them play in Week 13 logical? Did anyone think the Texans were going to the playoffs this year, or even be remotely close to being playoff contenders? And what team has underchieved more than the Jacksonville Jaguars the past few seasons?  And how much does Jack Del Rio regret making David Garrard the quarterback? Either way it was a boring game with a sloppy interview with Drew Rosenhaus regarding Plaxico Burress at halftime. A poor choice of a game and a poor performance by the MNF network once again.

This week out of the 16 games going to be played, there are only four games that have two playoff contenders in them.

Giants @ Eagles
Cowboys @ Steelers
Washington @ Baltimore
Tampa Bay @ Carolina

Aside from those games there are a lot of lopsided matchups and the chance for many blowouts. Now, obviously the other games have an impact as well because playoff teams are still playing in them, it’s just disappointing.