Me Lova Some Footballa
It’s Tuesday, and about time I commented on this past week’s football games.
First off, Dorf and I attended the 49ers-Saints game, and having been to a LOT of NFL games in person, and watched a probably embarrassing amount of games on television, I can honestly say (and Dorf echoed) that it was at LEAST one of the five worst NFL games I’ve ever seen. I want to call it THE worst, but I’m afraid of the claim being taken less seriously because of potential hyperbole.
Seriously, it was awful. The 49ers were obviously outclassed by the Saints on the field – one could argue that the Saints have finally regained their stride from last season, and perhaps that’s the case. But with a terrible set of wide receivers (and an injured core at that), and a banged up Frank Gore and recovering Alex Smith, it wasn’t hard to anticipate the team struggling. What was shocking was how totally uninspired the team played.
Last season, the tough running of Gore and the obviously improving Smith made the team exciting – regardless of their record, which probably was a win or two ahead of the talent level – because when you watched them, you could see the future. What’s more, the games were fun because they had a vertical offense.
On Sunday, the team did noticeably feature the passing game more than they’d done with Trent Dilfer, but Smith wasn’t up to the task. Oddly, I have to hope that Smith’s shoulder still hurts, because he floated at least ten passes way past his receivers. Vernon Davis showed some good hands finally, but the 49ers couldn’t move the ball when it mattered and certainly couldn’t stop the Saints offense. The defensive performance really stood out, as the team looked utterly uncompetitive. What's more, they barely looked like they cared.
I hated this game. I’m done talking about it.
The Patriots are perhaps the polar opposite – in EVERY aspect of the game, they are frighteningly competent, almost ruthless in their efficiency. Okay, scratch that “almost” – there’s no getting around this, Bill Belichick is playing like a dickhead. Going for it on fourth down when you are up by more than 40 points? There’s simply no way to come up with an excuse for that, even if you are a diehard Pats fan. Does it diminish their record? Not a whit. But it doesn’t feel so great – it’s worse because Belichick clearly got caught doing something illegal. There’s no grey area in whether or not he broke the rules; how egregious it was is up for discussion, but not the facts. But clearly Belichick feels like he got jobbed by the league, and is sticking it to every team he plays. He can do whatever he wants, but at some level it feels like a bully picking on the shortest kids in the class.
Is it possible to not write about Brett Favre after last night’s game? My man JKC wrote me an email today stating that Favre had to be considered for the MVP, and this from a guy not inclined to praise #4. I have to agree – the Packers defense has made them more competitive, but Favre is really playing at a crazy high level. As a Donald Driver fantasy owner, it’s sad to report that he’s doing this while ignoring the supposedly best receiver on the team, and no real running game despite Ryan Grants performance. Favre IS a Mount Rushmore quarterback (with, at the least, Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, and NOT Dan Fouts), and playing as good as he ever has. Impressive stuff.