Formerly an email newsletter about all things NFL, it's now a blog about all things NFL, but mostly all things Dallas Cowboys. Probably with a dose of politics, food, and college football.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hero to Zero: Bledsoe vs. the Washington D

I’ve got a really bad feeling about Monday night’s game. Like, 7 sacks 3 fumbles bad.

Bledsoe played pretty well against San Diego, but he was sacked four times and fumbled twice, losing one on a botched exchange with the center. San Diego doesn’t have a premier pass rusher and had only 33 sacks last year.

Washington may not have a premier pass rusher either, but they put 8 in the box on every play. Unless…

Unless it’s last year’s Monday night game against Dallas. Dallas came out on their first offensive series with in a four WR set. I understood it, but hated it. The Washington defense doesn’t care about leaving their DB’s in one-on-one coverage because they’re gambling that they can get to your QB first.

Testaverde threw a hurried incompletion and took a sack as Dallas went 3 and out. They tried going 4-wide later in the game with about the same result.

Four WR against an aggressive D can work if you have two things, an accurate QB with a quick release and an OL that can give the QB enough time to let at least one of the receivers get open. It’s possible Bledsoe is the former, but the Cowboys certainly don’t have the latter.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Peter King is a big fat idiot: Week 1

Pete starts with an open letter to Saints owner Tom Benson. The "open letter" idea is absurd to begin with, but it suits Pete because it makes his plea more melodramatic.

This region needs the Saints, now more than any other time in the 38-year history of the franchise. And the future of this team -- and I would say even this incredibly needy region -- is in your hands as much as any single person in the United States right now.

Absurd. Melodramatic.

You want to know what the displaced people in Houston and Dallas and all over America want to hear right now?

A) "We swung by your house, it's still there!"

2) "You can go home now, here's a first class airline ticket."

iii) "None of the Saints games will be blacked out this year."

None of the above. Apparently Pete thinks the most important thing is for Benson to tell them there's no way he'll pull the Saints out of New Orleans permanently.

I've said for months the specter of the Los Angeles Saints is a great possibility. And maybe before Hurrican Katrina, it would have been understandable for you to make the best deal you could make in a better market. But not now. Not anymore. Now is the time to do the right thing.

By all means Mr. Benson, the right thing to do is stay in a market that only marginally supported your team. Some of the billions (trillions?) in federal aid should go to a new palace for your team. Go get it Mr. Benson, as long as you plan to charge less than $35 to park there.

The people in the shelters all over America will probably never be able to afford a ticket, but really, there's nothing else to do in New Orleans, so pretty please don't go.

Tie of the week

Defensive Player of the Week


This is a recurring theme -- ties. Pete can't make up his mind. There will always be a tie somewhere in his column.


Saturday morning, at the central Jersey rest area with the real Starbucks just off the parking lot, I got fleeced for a triple grande hazelnut latte to the tune of $5.37.

I'm not sure what's more shocking, Pete's willingness to be exploited, or his continuing to complain about it.

I traveled this weekend too, and had a $4 Americano -- in Oxford, NY. That's a two-stoplight town, and they're charging $4 for four shots of espresso, and water. It was like a speed trap. Same day, I got another one in Endwell at a place called Java Joe's. This was one of those trailer/shack places that probably used to be a Fotomat. There the "Americana" was only $2.95, and was surprisingly good. But they didn't have natural sugar, only the processed white sugar. Really, do I deserve to be treated like that, at any price?

Somethingest Something

b. The funniest commercial in recent NFL history is the Burger King spot with the Burger King guy intercepting Drew Bledsoe, taking it to the house and doing the cocky jig in the end zone.

I have to agree somewhat. My son was in the middle of whining about something and the commercial came on. He stopped and watched and laughed about as hard as I've ever seen him laugh. First Coq Roq and now this. The BK folks do have something going with the absurdity.

7. I think most of us owe Gus Frerotte a big apology. We've all pretty much thought of him as a hanger-on without any real upside to help a team except if the starter (and maybe the second-stringer) got hurt. Well, watching a good chunk of Miami's dismantling of Denver, I came to realize that what is good about Frerotte is what's so good about the NFL: Guys who are given up for done don't have to believe they're really done. They can fight their way out of it and still be good if they believe in themselves.

One decent game, which the Miami defense won for the Dolphins, and suddenly Frerotte isn't still a hanger on with zero upside? Frerotte has never changed, only his surroundings have.

Non-Sequitur of the Week

b. Poor Dave Wannstedt.

Why the pity for Wanny? Because Pitt, who played in a BCS bowl last year, with a QB that Pete hailed as a good one, got beat by Ohio? Not Ohio State, just Ohio. Because Wanny's a terrible coach? What...? Why poor Wanny? What's happened to him is HIS FAULT. I didn't see the game, but I saw the clip of Wanny walking off the field. The look on his face was one of severe self-doubt.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Week 1

Fox: The network of debauchery

As far as I could tell, Fox’s Sunday night lineup, for one night at least, was four shows about about how funny porn is, and at least two of them were animated.

They also had a promo for another show where they show a revolver being fired. No other context, just this scene of someone firing a gun.

Number one – does anyone even use a revolver any more?

And first of all, did hundreds of American viewers go, “whoo! Someone’s going to fire a revolver on that show! I’m going to watch that one!” The only reason I would tune in for that is if it were a reality show and Joe Buck were the one being fired upon. I think I’d rather listen to incompetence that his smarminess.

Rating the Uniforms

Cardinals – Thumbs down. I don’t hate them, but I think just red sleeves on the white jersey would look better. I don’t like the whole red shoulders. The new Cardinal looks like he just woke up.

Bills – Thumbs way up. I really like the color of blue in those “throwback” uniforms, and proof that it’s a quality uniform is that, other than the helmet, the uniform didn’t look like a throwback. It looks as good today as it did in 1965, and is in sharp contrast to the garish, 16-color pallette of their “modern” uniforms.

Lions – Neutral. I’m not sure they’re new, but black is so 1980’s. But they put enough blue and silver in the sleeves and numbers that it doesn’t look so black.

Predictive moment? The goal line stand

In the last two minutes of the game, Dallas dominated SD on 7 of 8 plays. The only successful Chargers play was a Hail Mary type throw when Dallas sent 8 rushers at Drew Brees. They made quality plays when they needed to, a welcome change after last year’s Murphy’s Law defense.

They were solid against the run, but I’m not sure I’d be happy about the playcalling if I were a Chargers fan. They had first and goal and a timeout with over 30 seconds left. They passed all four times. I think one of those downs I would have wanted to see the ball in Tomlinson’s hands.

Offense sputters way to 28 points

Shouldn’t I be happy with 28 points, 96 yards from Julius Jones, 18/24 passing for a bunch of yards from Bledsoe, and the emergence of Patrick Crayton?

Well, I am, with all that.

But, first, somebody erase the screen from the playbook. It will never, ever work. Never.

I would dismiss three straight penalties after getting a first down, but I don’t think it was an aberration.

Bledsoe got hit a lot, and several of his completions came rightbefore he got hit. Another split second and he would have had five fumbles instead of two.

It seemed like Sean Payton forgot about the run for a stretch in the 3rd and 4th quarters, but remembered it just in time on the game winning drive.