Monday, September 24, 2007

This was an eventful week in the NFL to say the least. I must say that I am forced to recant all the mean, hurtful things I said about Donovan McNabb in the wake of the single most impressive performance by a quarterback in the history of professional football. Throwing for 381 yards and 4 touchdowns in a regular season game in week three just shut me right the hell up, right?

I realize the Detroit Lions were 2-0 going into the game against the Eagles. But I'm not going to let that bother me too much. As I keep saying, this early in the season funky things will happen. Look at the Packers beating the Chargers even though they can't run the ball. So even though Donovan McNabb did everything but cure polio again this Sunday, it might be a little early to reverse field on his play.

I might be more impressed with McNabb if he shows a capacity to produce like this consistently against good teams and goes on to win the Super Bowl, but before that I won't be making any apologies to him. He put up big numbers against a team that has been horrible for several years now. Only this and nothing more. Let's not forget that the Lions were probably distracted by the dreadful throwback uniforms that must have been worse in person.

What is far more vexing is the continuing problem besetting the Monsters of the Midway. I am inclined to blame Ron Turner more than Rex Grossman, even though Rex simply sucks right now. The Bears look like they have no sense of continuity on offense. It looks like the offensive staff comes into each individual drive with an attitude that says "Let's hope this works," rather than the attitude that this series of plays will work and will showcase their strengths and the defense's weaknesses.

Last night was difficult for me as a fan. I had to watch a game featuring a team I have championed for more than a year now facing a player that I have defended against all reason for quite some time. To the point, in as much as I have a favorite NFL team, at the moment it's the Bears and in as much as I have a favorite player, it's TO.

And to add into the mix, there is the problem of fantasy football. I have TO, Tony Romo and Cedric Benson. And I have a problem with following conventional wisdom. I benched Romo against Chicago to play Big Ben against the 49ers, thinking that the Bears would play a bit better. It's hard to say that cost me the game, though since LJ and Santonio Holmes didn't score. But it didn't help.

I think the Bears need to take this week to reevaluate what works in their system and what isn't working right now. They have the talent to run the ball well. Benson, I think, is a great back in waiting with his size and speed. They need to use him more consistently to keep his focus and his confidence in his abilities from going north and south. That's the real issue this week, not this quarterback controversy.

I think Rex sucks, but I have no faith in Griese. In a way, I'm glad Rex sucks right now. Wasting a season isn't a very good idea, but it's better to let him play himself out of Chicago than to let him play himself into a big deal and then turn back into a pumpkin. It is far more important to get the running game together so that they can extend drives, work the clock and rest a defense that is on the verge of mutiny.

Also, improving the running game will only help an offensive line that is all but complicit in Rex Grossman's poor play. Perhaps I'm an incurable optimist, but I think that better pass protection might reduce Grossman's interceptions by 25%. It would probably cut down on his fumbles, too. But then, as a Catholic, I'm obligated to believe in miracles.

It was unfortunate to see the Yankees lose to increase the lead of the hated Red Sox to 2 games. I'm not too worried. With the way the Red Sox have gone on winning streaks after every time I've enjoyed a sweep or stumble too much, I have been prepared for them to win the division. What I like most about this team is the way they have thrived on weaker competition. That won't help them in the postseason. But I'm not going to talk much about it until the possibility of the reverse jinx looms less large.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you regarding Rex. One question though... Are the players trying to get Griese in the lineup? Rex is awful, but he did throw a number of passes that should have been caught.