Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Random NFL thoughts:

-ESPN’s resident jabber mouth Michael Irvin said the Colts’ loss was a “good loss”. Why must this be the token answer every time a contender loses late in the season? There is some truth to this thought, but it’s a tired response. Ask Peyton Manning if it was a good loss.  How about noticing how overwhelmed the Colts’ offensive line was instead?


-The other end of the spectrum will notice the way the Chargers blitzed Peyton Manning and got him rattled. This is not a new surprise, every team tries to pressure Manning, but very few teams have a fast pass rusher as good as Shawne Merriman. The only other teams capable are New England and the New York Giants.


-Rex Grossman is now the Bears starting QB. He should be more comfortable throwing downfield than Kyle Orton, but don’t expect the Bears to suddenly scare defenses in the playoffs. It's an upgarde from an Escort to a Taurus.


- Among the Giants, Panthers, Seahawks, and Bears, Seattle is the favorite to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. The Seahawks have the NFC’s best record and the most balanced offense. A large key to the offense is their line, especially G Steve Hutchinson and T Walter Jones. While other teams rely on their defenses, the Seahawks are the one team with enough consistency on offense to stand out.


-It is December and Reggie Bush is universally considered the best player available in the ’06 draft. This is important to remember because come April, scouts and draft experts will suddenly create reasons why he shouldn’t be the number one pick. Just because he doesn’t play any games in the spring does not mean his talents erode or his muscles atrophy.


-People are comparing Bush to Gale Sayers and someone impossible to pass on in the draft. The situation reminds me of Barry Sanders in the 1989 draft. Sanders became a star immediately, but the Lions never could assemble enough talent (Gems include Andre Ware, Robert Porcher, Scott Mitchell) around him to do anything, ultimately ending with Sanders retiring early. The Texans and 49ers both have lots of holes to fill, and while Bush will sell tickets and probably be a very good player, running back is a position that does not require elite talent to win.