Two Minute Warning: PK + PM = 4EVA
Two Minute Warning: PK + PM = LOVE
Let me preface what I’m about to write with the following. I’ve read Peter King’s stuff since I was in middle school and have the utmost respect for him. However, I lost my mind after reading this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback.
In the aforementioned article, King delivered his MVP watch section, chronicling the top five candidates. His top choice? Peyton Manning. The logic proved to be patently absurd coming off a game where the Colts failed to score an offensive touchdown, despite winning 10-6 over Cleveland. Since everyone else went belly up that weekend, it’s only fair to catapult Manning back to the top of the list, King reasoned.
Manning’s stat line on Sunday lacked oomph. He threw for 125 yards and two interceptions. Under no circumstance should his play be extolled for its greatness after a game where by his own admission he was not up to snuff.
What about Albert Haynesworth or Kurt Warner as MVP? My bad. One is a defensive player and the other plays for a team that might not win more than one playoff game. Too boring and, most importantly for King, they aren’t a sacred cow.
For the uninitiated, NFL writers/talking heads seemingly have a list of sacred cows who under no circumstance will they say remotely anything too negative about. Otherwise, they risk banishment and being tarred in mid-town Manhattan near the NFL office. Here are a few examples:
The ’70s Steelers
The 1958 NFL Championship Game
Depending on which television network you’re watching, add Andy Reid to this list.
Anyways, the shilling for Manning is erroneous. Granted, he pulled a game or two out of the fire for them this season. However, his play has been just as empty and lackluster as some of his teammates at points this season.
Amazingly, Manning isn’t even the most valuable player on his team. That distinction goes to Texan QB Sage Rosenfels, whose hapless fourth quarter earlier this season against Indy may very well keep Miami and New England out of the playoffs, while the Colts hang around.
King’s pining for Manning is another example of why it takes forever for certain players in this league to be discovered despite how great their numbers might seem. Unless they win, they’re left in the media’s dust not to be discovered unless there is a possibility of their team winning 10 games. Instead, we just get the same stories, same articles, and same concepts from writers continuously. Pardon me while I hit the snooze button and fall back to sleep.
Peter, I dig your stuff but the bromance (that’s right, it’s a new term catching on, roll with it) needs to slow down a bit. It’s time you and Peyton took a break from each other.
Ten Things We Learned in Week 13
1. Don’t shoot yourself in the leg: In one of the leagues I participate in, owners can get an injury signing for players that are going to be out for an extended period of time. One owner asked if he could get a free signing for Plaxico Burress’s “injury.” My response was a curt “no.” Any NFL player who fumbles with his own gun in a club and shoots himself in the process doesn’t deserve the slightest bit of sympathy. By the way, in case you were wondering, he’ll never play for the Giants again.
2. The NFL needs to get its scheduling act together: Sending two west coast teams to Dallas and Philadelphia on short weeks was insanity. Seattle played Washington in Week 12, while Arizona played the World Champs. Having those two teams travel for Thanksgiving games after those games and expecting anything other than what you saw last Thursday was wishful thinking. That’s a poor job by the league.
3. I think Detroit is the worst team I’ve ever seen: The first 10 minutes of the Tennessee/Detroit last game last Thursday ranged from comical to horrifyingly bad. I think most of the ’87 strike teams put forth a better effort than Detroit did last week. This disgusting display forced me to watch Fear starring Mark Wahlberg and Reese Witherspoon. On the plus side, the Lions found something they could actually win — they were scarier than this flick.
4. Well, the weather is here: One of the most difficult parts of this time of year is figuring which players will be affected by the weather and how. Quarterbacks draw the biggest debate. The most deadly weather condition for quarterbacks is obviously wind because deep passes are held to a minimum, while other forms of precipitation can have mixed results. Prior to last Sunday’s game between the Jets and Broncos, the forecast predicted “lots of rain” for the Meadowlands. Instead, Jay Cutler threw for over 350 yards. Proceed with caution.
5. Norv Turner is killing the San Diego Chargers: While LT is not the same because of age and the toe injury, and Shawne Merriman is out, under no circumstance should this team be 4-8. Turner’s game mismanagement is damning and his preparation is suspect at best. Coming into the season, they had one of the league’s easiest schedules and should have prospered. Thanks, Norv.
6. Pittsburgh’s defense is a monster: Beware, Tony Romo owners (this means you, too, Jessica). After stonewalling another hot offense, the Steelers will aim to slow down the Cowboys. That pass rush and hard-hitting secondary are a load to deal with.
7. Tom Brady is your quarterback, New Englanders — wake up: Patriot fans called sports talk radio stations suggesting that maybe the team ought to trade Brady and keep Matt Cassel. Umm, no and no.
8. Cross your fingers in Week 15, Drew Brees’ owners: Brees’ biggest flaw this season is his play on the road, which was on display in its harmful capacity in Tampa Bay last Sunday. He’ll face the Bears in Chicago right in prime-time of the fantasy playoffs. Hopefully, the New Orleans’ passing game survives the Windy City.
9. Thomas Jones is going to give fantasy owners a gigantic headache next year: He’s on pace to finish with 1,450 yards and 14 touchdowns. Next season, he’ll be 30 years old, coming off a career year. I can’t wait to laugh at the owners who take him in the second round next season.
10. Don’t be fearful of your players going into enemy territory during the fantasy playoffs: Apparently, home field advantage isn’t as menacing as it once was. Last week, road teams went 11-5.
Fantasy Power Poll
Last week’s rankings are in parentheses
1. Drew Brees (2) – He gets the slight nod over Warner because at least Brees had a chance to win his game and nearly posted 300 yards passing. However, his three picks were deadly.
2. Kurt Warner (1) – Warner circa ’02-’06 returned last Thursday night. Turnovers and passes tipped at the line were staples during his career downturn towards the middle of the decade.
3. Adrian Peterson (5) – Peterson is probably going to be the number one pick in ’09, but monitor his carries this season. He’s going to finish awfully close to the 370 mark, which is bad news for the following season.
4. Thomas Jones (10) – Eat it up, Jones owners, you’re not likely to get this performance next season.
5. DeAngelo Williams (NR) – Remember Jonathan Stewart?
6. Michael Turner (7) – Even his old teammates couldn’t slow down Turner. By the way, is it wise for head coach Mike Smith to run his prized off-season acquisition into ground? Turner leads the league in carries.
7. Tony Romo (NR) – His next four games: Steelers, Giants, Ravens and Eagles. Good luck with that, Tony.
8. Larry Fitzgerald (8) – Fitz offered the lone statistical bright spot for Arizona in the Thanksgiving night drubbing by Philly.
9. Anquan Boldin (4) – An uncharacteristic off game for ‘Quan. Expect him to bounce back quickly.
10. Marion Barber (9) – Facing teams that have powerful pass rushes, Barber better have a strong finish to the season or the Cowboys will watch the playoffs from home. However, a dislocated toe will make that difficult.
Link of the Week
I’m not going to assume that FOX Sports will do its job when televising Sunday’s big game from Heinz Field by explaining simple things like franchise history. In honour of the Steelers playing the Cowboys, it’s time to step into the time machine and visit Super Bowl X in 1976. Speed ahead to the 4:25 mark of the video. Before he became a clown on FOX NFL Sunday, Terry Bradshaw could play a little quarterback. On a third and five late in the fourth quarter with the game on the line, Bradshaw handles his business the way a real quarterback should.
Keep in mind after watching the play that he was knocked out of the game and suffered a concussion because of the hit. Under the circumstances, it’s one of the greatest throws in NFL history.