Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Tale of The City's Two Teams

Living in New York, I can't help but become somewhat absorbed by the constant soap operas that surround the two NFL teams that bear the city's name. Watching Jersey/A and Jersey/B fight each other, not only for headlines, but sometimes even on the field for actual playoff spots, is truly entertaining in a place like New York.

Aside: I must apologize to the Jersey/A squad (Giants). I believe I suggested they lay down and let the Jets have a shot at reaching the playoffs, not realizing that a win would've put the Gints in control of their own destiny. Especially when that control involves beating the Cowpokes. Especially when the Jets are so obviously in a complete mess and can't be trusted with control of...anything. But in my defense, my only mistake was that I didn't credit the Cowpokes with enough ineptitude to lose to the Eagles -- and lose in utterly convincing fashion no less -- with the division on the line. My bad. I will never not doubt the Romo-ans again.

In any case, I naturally don't watch Jersey/B play all that often, but when I do, I can see the reason for Jet fan consternation over their "franchise" QB. You're never too far from -- or, if you're a receiver, never too far for -- the next wildly overthrown pass. Aside from that, he just seems to have a penchant for trying to do way too much. Staying too long in the pocket. Not getting rid of the ball in time. Forcing passes to covered receivers. Knowing this, I don't know why the Jets continue to let the guy face situations where he has shown time and time again that he will do the wrong thing. (Yes, we know, cut him, trade him, put him on a spaceship and send him to live on Mars -- the guy's there in NY at the present moment, so work with me here. And him) Long ago they should've installed a count in his mind. 3 seconds -- either pass the ball, throw it away, or run for your life. Quick drops. Short ball-control passes. Put a chain and a leash around the guy to protect him from himself. Make him the dreaded "game manager". That's clearly all he can handle at the moment. And if he can't handle that -- hell, forget that; lesser quarterbacks have been able to. Don't know why the Jets staff doesn't see this.

Of course, that would assume they're a well-coached team, something that doesn't appear to be the case. I read an interesting article that outlined some of the ridiculous follies of Jersey/B's coach Ryan. Things like passing the buck and declining to take responsibility for the offense's playcalling. Either claiming or feigning ignorance of the reasons a star receiver (Holmes) was benched. This guy is a head coach? Really? A head coach is supposed to know about, and guide (without micromanaging) if necessary, every decision and step the team makes. A head coach takes responsibility for all facets of the team. Shields his assistant coaches from criticism -- yet this guy sees fit to throw them under the bus! "Why does our playcalling suck? Mmm I dunno, ask that guy." I'm sorry, but this is not the behavior of any competent group leader. I'm not sure Rex Ryan even understands -- much less performs -- the duties of leadership that his job entails. People focus on his hubris, bold predictions, and so on, when criticizing him, when apparently there are bigger issues of concern.

* The 49ers once again played a game that was much closer than it needed to be. For once though, it wasn't their aversion to the endzone that kept their opponent in the game. Rather, it was some fourth-quarter, let-up-on-the-gas, both-sides-of-the-ball miscuing (yes, that is a word), the kind of play that allowed them to snatch defeat from the paws of victory against the Cowgirls early in the season. The game turned from a 34-13 laugher to a 34-27 nailbiter in what seemed like seconds. I can only hope they were looking towards the impending first-round bye a little early. That it was the kind of let up where you get tired of repeatedly smacking your younger sibling around, but he just won't give up until you lock him in the closet.

Anyways, by all appearances, the 49ers will be hosting the Saints in two weekends, unless the Lions can summon some kind of magic and mount what seems would be an incredible upset. Guess there's plenty of time to mull over how the Niners will slow down the big Breesy later on.

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