December 14, 2009
Football was played, observations were recorded. Here we go.
You live in a dream world if you truly believe Moss has been playing at full throttle in recent weeks. He's been taking plays off. He doesn't like to fight for the ball when it's not thrown on target. He's prone to jogging out routes when he's not the primary receiver. I'm not breaking any news with these comments, the tape doesn't lie.
Alas, one of my key fantasy teams has Moss and I've got no choice in next week's semifinals (where my team is a significant underdog). I can't bench him, the alternatives are a joke. I can't yell at him, I can't fine him, I can't bench him, I can't get through to him. All I can do is hope the best coach of our generation finds a way to motivate Moss in time for Week 15's game against Buffalo.
The mistake I regret is not trading Moss earlier in the season. He'll always have his apologists in any league. I'm sure there was a market. I didn't take advantage when I could have, and now all I can do is sit and hope.
• The "30 for 30" series on ESPN has been hit or miss (the Len Bias piece was basically a rehash and unnecessary), but the hits have been worth it. The three home runs so far: The USFL piece, the Jimmy the Greek piece and Saturday's two-hour take on The U. Must-see TV, amigos.
• Nothing gets my ire up quite like the tight jumbo package at the goal line. Think about what you get on offense – you take key playmakers off the field, you limit your play-calling options and you invite more defenders to the point of attack. Why do so many teams insist on playing it this way? Don't blame Marion Barber(notes) for the failures at the goal against San Diego, he was ambushed by his coaching staff.
• Chris Johnson got a ridiculous amount of touches against the Rams considering how quickly the game got out of control. There's a clear takeaway from this – the Titans seem to want Johnson to get over 2,000 yards rushing (and maybe take a shot at Eric Dickerson's rushing record). Good news for CJ owners, and bad news for the rest of us who have to get lucky against Johnson-led teams in the fantasy playoffs the next two weeks.
• It's a shame the Bengals can't pass block and threaten the field vertically – they're going nowhere in the playoffs despite a solid running game and arguably the best tandem of cornerbacks in the league.
• How did anyone cover DeSean Jackson(notes) in college, or high school? That guy is unfair. And speaking of unfair, how about the Tennessee defense up against a quarterback named Null, a crazed offensive lineman named Incognito and a battered and bruised Steven Jackson? That was the defensive slam-dunk of the season.
• A pretty funky year from Willis McGahee(notes) – make it 11 touchdowns on just 99 touches and yet he's almost unusable from a fantasy perspective. As for Ray Rice(notes), what's left to be said? You'll need a first-round pick for him, maybe a Top 5 pick.
• The Jets were wise to declaw the offense and keep it simple at Tampa Bay, but I'm surprised Shonn Greene(notes) only got six carries given how the flow of the game went. Forget the New York passing game, you can't trust any of those guys for the balance of the year, no matter who the quarterback is.
• Say this for the Steelers, they're doing all they can to end suicide pools from coast to coast. Only five double-digit underdogs have won outright this year, and three of those upsets came against Pittsburgh (Chiefs, Raiders, Browns).
• The NFL needs to accept that the Jacksonville market isn't working and this is a team that needs to be moved. Los Angeles Jaguars?
• I didn't watch enough college football this year to have a worthwhile opinion on the Heisman Trophy, but I watched the award show anyway . Two observations: Mike Rozier's garb was fantastic, and I loved Mark Ingram's acceptance speech, honest, authentic, humble, real. I wish more athletes would react that way.
• All of my playoff games were decided in advance of the Monday nighter between Arizona and San Francisco. I prefer it that way.
• Are teams more likely to play sloppy football on a Thursday night with less preparation time? It sure seems that way to me.
• It was interesting to see the Colts a mere 7-point favorite over Denver yesterday, a nod to how underwhelming their undefeated run has been to this point. Would it really shock anyone if the Colts or Saints fall short of the Super Bowl? I certainly don't think so.
• So that's it for Alex Rodriguez and Kate Hudson? I thought this one would last for a while.
• If the Redskins and Jaguars played on a neutral field tomorrow, I'd pick Washington.
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