Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday Night Football recap

Just to start off I want to draw your attention to an article from the Associated Press that was posted on NFL.com. It's about female reporter Ines Sainz, who during a visit to the Jets facility - including their locker room - alleges that she was the recipient of various whistles and cat calls, and that when she was out observing practice on the field both coaches and players made an undue effort to throw the ball so that it would be caught near to where she was standing. Overall she is said to have felt "uncomfortable". Apparently the NFL is looking into it, but I really think someone should be looking into the Associated Press. As I read the article I encountered numerous instances of what I would consider to be selective reporting, designed to make Sainz appear as the type of lady who would encourage inappropriate attention. References are made to photos posted of her in swim wear on her Networks website and they make a point of ignoring any good/well known work she may have done with regards to football journalism in favour of mentioning the time she measured Steve Breastons bicep at the Super Bowl and the fact that she once mistakenly referred to the Giants as the Jets. If mistaking a teams name innocently - just a slip of the tongue/mind etc - is a sin, then every reporter who has ever worked in sports and every writer who has ever written about football is in the same boat. In my opinion - for what it's worth - the article was written in such a way as to portray Sainz in a bad light. And I'd expect much better from the Associated Press. And the NFL. Now, time to recap Monday nights games and see if I've recovered a morsel of hope in my picks: Ravens 10 @ Jets 9 -- Hmm, high scorer this one. And so much for the Jets Super Bowl bid. One loss doesn't preclude a team from winning the big one, but that offense sure does look shaky. In fact shaky is not the right word. Terrible would be the right word. They made the Browns look productive. Sanchez finished 10/21 for 74 yards. Jerricho Cotchery was their leading receiver with 18 yards from 2 catches. On the ground it was slightly more impressive. LaDanian Tomlinson carried 11 times for 62 yards, which is more than Ray Rice achieved for the Ravens with 21 carries (for 43 yards). Flacco in the end proved the difference, bouncing back from early mishaps to register 20/38 for 248 yards and an INT. Willis McGahee finally punched in the games only TD. Defense seemed to rule, mainly the Jets, as they struggled to keep "Air Flacco" grounded (Anquan Boldin finished with 7 catches for 110 yards). Leading the Jets was LB Bryan Thomas with 7 tackles, 2 assists and 1.5 sacks. DE Shaun Ellis came up with 5 tackles, 2 assists, a half sack and a forced fumble. Bart Scott (6 tackles, 3 assists, 1 forced fumble), Eric Smith (6 tackles, 3 assists) and Jim Leonhard (6 tackles) also did well.
For the Ravens the stats are low, but in a sense that's a good thing. It means they did the job effectively and didn't allow the Jets to put on many sustained drives. Terrell Suggs (4 tackles, 2 assists, a half sack and a forced fumble) and Haloti Ngata (3 tackles, 1 assist and a sack) are notable.
Chargers 14 @ Chiefs 21 -- I had some faith in the Chiefs. But after beating the Chargers, I now have less faith in them. This is caused by watching their defense play and realising that at times the Chargers receivers could have stood downfield swinging a ball and chain around their heads without any fear of ever hitting a Chiefs defender. Couple that with the Chiefs meagre tackling and it's nothing short of a miracle that they came away from this one with a win. Well, a miracle plus the longest punt return for a TD in team history. Plus triple covering Antonio Gates on the final play of the game. And that's the trouble with the Chargers. At times they breezed through the Chiefs defense like... me going through coffee. But then they got to the moment when it really counts with just 20 yards between them and a score and they bottled it. Philip Rivers ended the game with 22/39 for 298 yards and 2 TDs. Rookie running back Ryan Matthews (watch list) carried the ball 19 times for 75 yards, but it would appear the Chargers are still not prepared to let go of their passing game, even in the red zone. Legedu Naanee led all receivers with 5 catches for 110 yards and a TD. Chiefs QB Matt Cassel had a relatively dismal outing, ending 10/22 for 68 yards and a TD. Jamaal Charles demonstrated his burst in the open field, rushing for 92 yards and a TD off 11 carries, including a 56 yard scoot for the score. Defensively Chargers Safety Steve Gregory led his team in tackles with 7 and LB Shaun Phillips pitched in well with 5 tackles and a sack. For the Chiefs it was LB Derrick Johnson who stood out, with 11 tackles, an assist and a forced fumble. That then wraps up week 1 in the NFL, leaving me a craptacular 6/10 for my picks. Never fear, the season is young. And we've learnt... stuff. And this is the big problem with week 1. Do we really believe the Texans are going to spend the rest of the season as a rush first offense? Actually they probably will, just to spite me. I hate the Texans. Have a great day everyone.

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