Ramble On Sports

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Posts Tagged ‘Peyton Manning’

Let’s give this another shot…

Posted by bdowd625 on August 28, 2011

It’s that time once again – fantasy football season! There’s no denying that my team sucked last year – and I mean reaaaaaally sucked – but with the second pick overall, I’m hoping to grab a few more studs this time around. So without further ado, here’s a running diary of my picks as they were taken in our league’s draft.

* Arian Foster – Will he play Week 1 after suffering a hamstring injury? Who knows. But I had Jonathan Stewart and Laurence Maroney starting together in the backfield at one point last season, so I don’t give a shit.

* Steven Jackson – Holy crap. Is that two quality running backs on my roster? I can’t believe it.

* Peyton Manning – I deliberated over this pick for a while, simply because of his neck issues. But the bottom line is Manning is still an excellent quarterback. He’s also very cognizant of NFL history, which makes me think there is no chance he sits out in Week 1 and has his consecutive starts streak snapped.

* Brandon Lloyd – He certainly wasn’t my first choice at wide receiver, but Kyle Orton always seems to rack up a good amount of touchdown passes, and Lloyd will be one of his primary targets.

* Kenny Britt – I hope all his legal problems get cleaned up in a hurry.

* Fred Jackson – I feel bad that this guy is still stuck up in western New York. He’s a good player who doesn’t get enough love because he’s on a shitty team.

* Pierre Garcon – A total panic pick. I was looking for a tight end and then the timer started buzzing so I freaked out and took Garcon. With Austin Collie one big hit away from retirement, though, Garcon might have another big year hooking up with Manning.

* Lance Moore – I’m not pleased with my wide receivers.

* Joe Flacco – I’m not even going to get into how I ended up with this guy, but he’s not a bad backup quarterback.

* Rob Gronkowski – Gronkowski’s not going to rack up a million catches, I know that. Let’s just see how many touchdowns he has at the end of the season, though.

* Eagles defense – The Jets were the top defense on the board, but I took those clowns last year and I hated rooting for them every week. Thus the Eagles.

* Steve Breaston – I needed another wide receiver, and the thought of Mark Sanchez consistently slinging the ball over Derrick Mason’s head was enough for me to take Breaston here.

* Jacoby Jones – I’m simply filling out my wide receiver core at this point.

* Mason Crosby – I had him last year, so why not?

* Todd Heap – Is anyone still paying attention at this point?

* Derrick Ward – Great.

* Kevin Walter – Goodnight, everyone.


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Ramble On delivers its Week 1 NFL wrap-up

Posted by Bill Koch on September 14, 2010

Since this was a special week of NFL action – Week 1, of course – we’re not quite ready to turn the page just yet. For your reading pleasure, if you missed any of the action from any of the games, we’ll give you a few words on each of them here. Of course, these recaps will be done Ramble On-style. That means that no prisoners will be taken, much like how the Patriots behaved against the Bengals on Sunday. (Sorry to jump the gun, but we couldn’t resist.)

— New Orleans 14, Minnesota 9
Brett Favre looked like a 41-year-old quarterback who decided to skip training camp, who was receiving lubricant injections in his ankle before and after the game and who was missing his top receiver from last season. Oh wait – the answer is D, all of the above. Favre isn’t getting any younger anytime soon, his ankle won’t heal and Sidney Rice is out for at least half the year. The Vikings are in trouble.

— Tennessee 38, Oakland 13
Another year, same old Raiders. It could be the same young Raiders as well – they suck no matter what. Chris Johnson picked up right where he left off for the Titans during his 2,000-yard season in 2009. We can’t wait to see if he has a realistic chance to do it again or if Oakland is just that bad as usual. We’ll go with a little from Column A and a little from Column B.

— New York Giants 31, Carolina 16
For some reason we can never trust Eli Manning. On Sunday, we had reasons – turnovers against a lousy Panthers defense. Fortunately for our gambling interests, Matt Moore was even worse under center for Carolina. That sound you just heard is that little douche Jimmy Clausen getting ready to lose games, get hammered in a bar in Charlotte and try to defend his honor at some bar just like he did during his Notre Dame career.

— Houston 34, Indianapolis 24
Welcome to the NFL, Arian Foster. You’re going to love playing the Colts and their gutless rush defense twice a year in the AFC South after you steamrolled them for 231 yards and three touchdowns on Sunday. Peyton Manning and his bunch of frauds looked like they were on the 16th hole in this one, their divisional dominance about ready to crumble.

— Jacksonville 24, Denver 17
Where was your Lord and Savior this Sunday, Tim Tebow? Two rushing yards? TWO?! NO PASS ATTEMPTS?! That’s pathetic. Josh McDaniels must be throwing up in his mouth right now after wasting a first round pick on a guy who can’t play the position that he was drafted to play.

— Pittsburgh 15, Atlanta 9 (OT)
This win is a bonus for the Steelers with Ben Rapelisberger sidelined and serving his four-game suspension for getting away with sexual assault for the second time in his professional career. Just nine points for Matt Ryan and the Falcons? You all should have known better than to bet on a Boston College guy to get a man’s job done.

— Miami 15, Buffalo 10
It wasn’t pretty, but the Dolphins can’t afford to be dropping games against the Bills if they want to live up to their sleeper status in the AFC East. These guys – not the Jets – are the true challengers to the Patriots in the division.

— New England 38, Cincinnati 24
Forget about what happened in the second half. The Patriots were dominant in this one, slapping the Bengals around from the opening whistle. They scored on offense, defense and special teams. They looked fast and physical. They looked like the Patriots look. Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens? Just like they’ve always been – all sizzle and no steak. Nobody wins with those two clowns on the team, especially not their quarterback. You’ve been warned, Carson Palmer.

— Chicago 19, Detroit 14
The Bears won this game, but just like Mr. Ducksworth in The Mighty Ducks they didn’t earn it. Only a ridiculous interpretation of an equally ridiculous NFL rule denied Calvin Johnson the winning touchdown inside the final minute. Look for the league to quietly adjust this between the 2010 and 2011 seasons – if we even have football next year.

— Tampa Bay 17, Cleveland 14
The Buccaneers just screwed themselves. This was an early battle for a top-5 pick in the 2011 Draft, and Tampa made the mistake of going to 1-0. For once, Cleveland has the right idea.

— Seattle 28, San Francisco 6
This is a win that Pete Carroll won’t have to give back, unlike most of his fraudulent tenure as the head coach at USC. Alex Smith and the 49ers were horrendous and are no doubt in for a week of hell after Mike Singletary gets a hold of them. That guy’s like the scary high school coach who will haunt your dreams for the rest of your life.

— Green Bay 27, Philadelphia 20
That sound you’ve been hearing since about 6 p.m. on Sunday is Philly fan screaming about how Michael Vick should replace Kevin Kolb at quarterback. A quick note, Eagles’ fans – you just traded a quarterback who wasn’t accurate enough for your high standards, and now you want Vick and his career 50-something percent completion rate? Good luck with that.

— Arizona 17, St. Louis 13
Store it away folks – rookie quarterbacks hardly ever win in the NFL. They NEVER win on the road. Adjust your betting lines against Sam Bradford accordingly. He just lost his debut against Derek Anderson. Yes, the Derek Anderson who stole all that money from the Browns.

— Washington 13, Dallas 7
We demand that a camera be placed on Jerry Jones at all times when the Cowboys are playing from now on. We wanted to see his reaction when his idiot, puppet coach (Wade Phillips) and his overpaid offensive coordinator (Jason Garrett)ended up calling the play that turned into the leader in the clubhouse for the NFL Blooper of the Year. We hope Tashard Choice and Alex Barron are renting and not buying in the Dallas-Fort Worth area after their respective mistakes allowed Donovan McNabb to go 15-for-32 in his Redskins’ debut and actually win the game.

— Kansas City 21, San Diego 14
We should have seen this one coming. There were two major factors at play in soggy Arrowhead Stadium. The Chiefs are currently being put together by Scott Pioli, the man who drafted and traded for the players that turned into the Patriots’ Dynasty from 2000-2004. He knows what he’s doing. Secondly, Norv Turner’s teams always start and finish poorly. They take September off, win for the next three months and then suck again in the postseason. Rinse and repeat.

— Baltimore 10, New York Jets 9
Do we really want to pile on here? Yep, we do. We heard enough from the Jets to last seven lifetimes during the preseason and now karma is coming back with a bite big enough to take a chunk out of even Rex Ryan’s mammoth ass. Kris Jenkins is out for the year. New York’s quarterback, Mark Sanchez, looks like an overhyped product of the Manhattan media machine. Darrelle Revis is a non-factor because Antonio Cromartie is too busy looking for all of his kids and Kyle Wilson is certain to play like a rookie – and that’s not a compliment. Matt Slauson is still on the ground wondering what that was that blocked out the lights in the new Swamps of Jersey Dump as it passed over him. (Pssssssssst……Hey Matt. That was Haloti Ngata.) And the Patriots are just as pissed off as Ray Lewis was when he caved in Dustin Keller’s chest – you just won’t hear them say anything about it this week. Their feelings will be made clear on the field this Sunday during Week 2 of NFL action, and we can’t wait for it. NOW LET’S GO GET A GOD DAMNED SNACK!!

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Crying Colts are at it again

Posted by Bill Koch on August 30, 2010

Much like the rest of the world, we here at Ramble On are stunned to find Peyton Manning and the rest of the Indianapolis Colts crying about NFL rule changes this morning in Peter King’s weekly Monday Morning Quarterback piece for si.com.

And if you think we’re not being completely sarcastic in that first sentence, you clearly don’t know us very well.

Manning, Colts GM Bill Polian and the rest of the holier-than-thou boys from the Midwest are crying foul over what happened Thursday night during IndiaNoPlace’s preseason game with Green Bay. They’re all whining to King about the pair of false start – snap infringement penalties that the Colts were whistled for, part of the enforcement of new NFL rules that go into effect this fall.

When you watch NFL games this season, you’ll notice that there are now two officials in the offensive backfield. One of them, the referee (in the white hat), has always been there. The other official, the umpire, used to risk his life on a weekly basis while operating behind the defensive line. Umpires have been run over, stuck in the center of collisions, used as picks by wide receivers and tight ends cutting across the middle and used as shields by running backs that break through the line and try to avoid linebackers and safeties.

It was a truly dangerous job – King reports that in the approximately 100 collisions last year, umpires sustained three concussions and two required shoulder and knee surgeries. The game is simply too fast and the players are too big to have someone in the middle of the carnage that ensues when the ball is snapped. Those guys become targets who are too often hit.

Manning, Polian and the Colts don’t care about that at all. They’re worried that the full effect of their hurry-up offense is about to be weakened due to the fact that the umpire must be behind the quarterback before the ball is snapped. Umpires used to spot the ball on the line of scrimmage and retreat toward the defensive side. Now, they’ll be spotting the ball and rushing to get behind a quarterback who is usually in the shotgun formation about seven yards from the line of scrimmage.

Yes, this is going to cost Indy a few seconds. That’s a big deal in the National Football League. We won’t dispute that at all. We know that the New England Patriots will be hurt by this at some point while driving for a late field goal or touchdown at the end of a half or game. The one thing we don’t hear out of Foxboro, however, is crying and screaming over the rules. The Patriots will adjust accordingly and move on with their lives.

The Colts have been getting away with this for years. The league practically rewrote the rulebook while Polian was on the competition committee. The changes under his reign of terror mandated strong enforcement of the 5-yard illegal contact zone and made pass interference calls noose-tight, rendering defensive backs helpless and leading to the pass-happy era that we currently see every Sunday. It’s no coincidence that these changes coincided with Manning’s arrival in Indy, the Colts’ decision to use 10 of the 15 first round picks they had from 1994-2009 on offensive players (Marshall Faulk Marvin Harrison, Tarik Glenn, Manning, Edgerrin James, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez and Donald Brown) and Indy’s rise from doormat to contender. Polian’s scheme to give offenses ridiculous advantages over defenses like those crafted by The Evil Bill Belichick has worked. Polian’s crusade hit full-throttle after the Patriots’ defensive backs beat up Harrison, Wayne and the rest of the Charmin-soft Colts receivers in a series of embarrassing playoff losses by the Colts while New England’s dynasty was in full swing.

Why change philosophy? Why adapt your drafting and developing of players to try to beat your opponents when you can just change the rules? That’s clearly what Polian did and it’s what he and Manning are trying to do all over again by using King as their personal PR crusader. We wish they would STFU and realize how much change they’ve rammed down the throats of the other 31 teams already. Apparently they don’t really care about another human’s well-being as long as they can get their way, win the first 14 games of the regular season, tank games to the Jets and Bills and lose the Super Bowl because of yet another Manning choke job in a big game.

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Colts, Manning are cowards again

Posted by Bill Koch on December 27, 2009

What you saw on Sunday is a perfect example of why the Indianapolis Colts will never win another Super Bowl with the current regime in charge.

The Colts gutlessly and fraudulently laid down for the New York Jets, taking a blowtorch to their own bid for a perfect season and suffering an embarrassing 29-15 loss at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis had its undefeated run halted at 14 games and had its NFL-record 23-game regular season winning streak snapped by a team with a rookie quarterback that was struggling desperately to qualify for the postseason. Mark Sanchez and New York were handed a gift, a chance to play into the second week of January by finishing the season with a win next week against Cincinnati in what should be the last game at the old Giants Stadium. The Colts, meanwhile, will play in Buffalo and battle the Bills in a game where the better loser will lose.

The Peyton Manning Face was on full display in the second half on Sunday, and there was no masking his own displeasure when he was hooked in favor of the immortal Curtis Painter late in the third quarter. Manning’s own bid at finally doing something Tom Brady never accomplished went by the boards, and now all that’s left for Manning and the Colts to do is win the Super Bowl. They’ve clearly sent a message that their season will end in failure if it doesn’t feature a fresh set of championship rings after a trip to Miami in February.

If Bill Belichick pulled the stunt that Jim Caldwell pulled on Sunday, we’d hear screaming and yelling about how Belichick “disrespected the game” and about how he didn’t have any integrity or respect for his opponents. Caldwell called off the dogs in a 21-15 game, pulling Manning, Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark and all of the other Indianapolis stars while practically inviting New York to finish off its upset win. Caldwell is a branch of the Tony Dungy coaching tree, and his treatment in the aftermath of this decision will likely be something similar to what St. Anthony of Indianapolis would have received. Teflon Tony never heard a cross word from any writer or talking head at any point in his career, even after he failed to win a big game as the head coach in Tampa Bay and scraped his way to a lone Super Bowl thanks to a pathetic performance by Chicago quarterback Rex Grossman. Caldwell’s sins will be forgiven because he’ll say he was looking out for the best interests of his team. The Dolphins, Steelers, Ravens, Jaguars and every other team in the AFC Wild Card equation might have a few different things to say.

Manning’s sideline emotions betrayed how he felt on Sunday, and it might be the only time I’ve ever agreed with the modern-day Dan Marino on anything. Manning was wearing his trademark scowl, so familiar to New England Patriots fans after watching all of those horrendous, interception-laced playoff performances in frosty Foxboro. After the game Manning stuck to the party line, insisting that the Colts have greater goals than going undefeated, but you could tell he wasn’t happy with the plan. He wanted to run the table, go 19-0 and end any discussion about his supremacy over Brady in this era.

That chance vanished as quickly as Painter trotted onto the field and the Indianapolis stars came to the sidelines, and it sealed the one fundamental difference between two of the decade’s premier franchises. The Patriots, like Herm Edwards famously said, PLAY TO WIN THE GAME – every game. The Colts don’t, and it’s that mindset that will keep Indianapolis from retaining its sharpness into the postseason. Manning has seen this story before, a strong Colts’ start that flames out early in the playoffs, and his face on Sunday bore the worry of a man who sensed that Indianapolis had allowed the momentum it spent 15 weeks building to slip away in 20 minutes. It was shameful and disgusting, and Indianapolis will endure similar feelings when it comes up short in the postseason again very soon.

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Playoffs here we come

Posted by bdowd625 on December 27, 2009

For the second week in a row, I found myself in the car during the Patriots game. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing after all, as the Pats have now won consecutive games while I put more miles on my 2007 Honda Civic. Either way, New England is headed back to the playoffs, thanks to their 35-7 demolishing of the Jacksonville Jaguars today at Gillette Stadium.

Say what you want about the Patriots (and I certainly have during this inconsistent season), but they’re one of only 12 teams headed to the playoffs. No matter how they got there, not every team is lucky enough to be in the same position. Take pleasure in it New England fans, because, as we learned last year, the postseason isn’t always a guarantee.

This game didn’t start off too well. The Pats moved the ball down the field at will on the game’s first drive, only to have Laurence Maroney (Yes, I’m on back his case again.) fumble at the 1-yard line. I nearly swerved off the road and ran over a homeless hitchhiker when I heard that on the radio, but the defense held strong on the ensuing drive and the Patriot offense crushed the Jaguars’ hopes the rest of the way.

We have one week left – with a meaningless game against Houston on the horizon – and the Pats should definitely rest some of their banged-up players – Tom Brady included. No matter what happens, though, New England is back in the playoffs and that’s really what counts.

Some other thoughts from today’s Patriots game and from around the NFL:

*  Brady played like the quarterback we all know and love. It’s about time. I don’t care if he’s hurt or not. With a performance like today’s – even in a flack jacket or whatever the hell he was wearing – there are no excuses going forward. Well done, my man.

*  If Sammy Morris could only stay healthy, the Pats would have a trio of capable running backs. That’s not including Fred Taylor, of course, because I just don’t see how much of an impact he can have down the stretch after missing the majority of the season.

*  There was some speculation as to whether or not Randy Moss quit on his team following that debacle against the Carolina Panthers two weeks ago. With three more touchdown catches today, I think we have our answer.

*  From what I heard, the Patriot defense was everywhere today. They seemed to be in on every play and Maurice Jones-Drew-Johnson-Smith didn’t really do much of anything. Not bad considering Vince Wilfork and 37 other starters were out with myriad injuries. And James Sanders finally resurfaced today. I thought he was taking over for his uncle as the new president of Kentucky Fried Chicken, but apparently I was wrong.

*  It’s hard for me to admit this, but I actually like Peyton Manning – as an actor or in commercials I should add. But when the Colts lost to the Jets today, it made me quite happy. That’s hard for me to concede, by the way, because the New York Jets are one of the only teams I hate more than the Colts. I love that the Jets think they have an actual chance to go all the way now, because God knows they’re either going to lose next week at Cincy or in the first round of the playoffs. Watching Rex Ryan cry after their season-ending loss will be the best Christmas present I could ask for. Next to my authentic Marc Savard jersey, of course.

*  Did the New Orleans Saints really just lose to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Pardon me, for not being overly scared of the Saints now. Losing back-to-back games, especially at this point in the season, doesn’t exactly scream, “We’re going all the way.”

*  That’s certainly OK by me, though, because the Patriots are slowly rounding into the team we all thought they would be at the beginning of the season. Yes, the best they can finish is 11-5, but so what? I’d take my chances with them any day of the week at this point.

Happy holidays, everyone.

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What a choke job

Posted by bdowd625 on November 16, 2009


Wow. In Bill Belichick we trust, huh? That was probably the dumbest coaching decision I’ve ever seen. Let’s go for a fourth-and-2 in the shadow of our own goal posts with the game on the line. Let’s just hand the friggin’ ball back to Peyton Manning with two minutes left, a boatload of timeouts in his back pocket and Reggie Wayne lining up against one of the Pats lame-ass cornerbacks. (Fill in the blank: Jonathan Wilhite, Darius Butler, etc.)

It felt like New England was up by about 30 points a few times in that game, and yet the lead never felt safe. I guess that’s what makes Manning so good. And in all honesty, he was only mediocre tonight. On more than one occasion, he threw some horrible passes to no one in particular. And yet you knew when the Colts got the ball back down the stretch they were definitely going to score the go-ahead touchdown. That’s just what Manning does.

The Pats offense looked great in the early going, but for some reason it lost its rhythm in the second half. Laurence Maroney’s fumble was huge. If he never has another carry again it’ll be too soon. Brady was awesome early on, but he too seemed a little out of sync as the game wore on. Credit Robert Mathis for blowing up an overmatched Nick Kazcur and putting pressure on Brady late in the game.

There’s really not much more I can say, other than the Pats choked this one away. It’s tough to recover from losses like this one.

Some quick things that stood out from tonight’s game before I go gouge my eyes out with No. 2 pencils:

*  I’ve never had a reason to dislike Dwight Freeney until tonight. Way to rock that Yankees hat during the starting lineups big guy, it must have been real tough to support your favorite baseball team less than two weeks after they won the World Series.

*  Speaking of the Yankee-lover, that was the only time I really heard his name called all game. Sebastian Vollmer did a great job protecting Brady’s blind side by fending off Freeney and that all-too-predictable spin move of his. Take your time coming back Matt Light.

*  You’re not in Storrs, Connecticut anymore Darius Butler. Start playing like an NFL defender and not some asshat from the Big East.

*  It was good to see Jonathan Wilhite make a big interception. He ran down the field to catch that ball almost as quickly as he sprinted to Cumberland Farms the night those hooligans showed up in his driveway looking for trouble.

*  Randy Moss and Wes Welker continue to be the two of the best receivers in football. Their performances speak for themselves.

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Pats vs. Colts – Who ya got?

Posted by bdowd625 on November 14, 2009


Well the big Patriots-Colts showdown is only a day away and it should be one hell of a game. On one side you have a New England team that’s really hitting its stride. On the other, you have, well, Peyton Manning, arguably the best quarterback in the game right now. I know it’s been said a million times before, but you CAN NOT count this guy out. He’s scarier during the two-minute drill than Brooke Hundley at an ESPN buffet.

The Colts defense is pretty banged up, especially since Bob Sanders got put on IR, so Tom Brady should be able to carve them up in typical Brady fashion. But the Pats defense is another big question mark with Manning on the other side of the line. I could see the Colts putting 30-something points on the board if the Pats aren’t careful.

I’m predicting a 34-31 Patriots victory in this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if that guess is well off the mark. What I can guarantee are the following:

*  Brandon Meriweather, if he’s in the game, makes at least one horrible play where he tries to light somebody up over the middle with one of those brain-rattling hits, only to have the ballcarrier bounce off him and pick up a 50-yard gain.

*  We see the Peyton Manning face at least once where he sulks and puts his hands up on the sides of his helmet. Come on, you know the look I’m talking about. Maybe on an interception, maybe on a bad call by the officials. Stay tuned.

*  Laurence Maroney picks up 18 yards on 20 carries. After a solid game last week, he’s due for another clunker. Hey I personally like the guy, I’m just saying, he’s no Barry Sanders.

*  We see a shot of Colts head coach Jim Caldwell literally shaking from all the pressure. I read recently (I think it was in Bill Simmons’ weekly picks column) that Caldwell hasn’t blinked all season. Good thing for them Manning is all the head coach they need.

*  NBC will put up a graphic breaking down the success of Brady and Manning and who is the better QB. Brady has the rings, Manning has the stats. Blah, blah, friggin’ blah. Enough already. Somehow, though, Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will turn it into a quarter-long debate.

Anyway, it should be a great game. Enjoy everyone.

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