By: Bob George/BosSports.net
January 06, 2009

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The best kicker nobody knows. Let's hear it for Neil Rackers, the Cardinal kicker who is in his first NFL postseason. He spent the first three seasons of his career as a Cincinnati Bengal, then came to the desert in 2003. In 2005 he was the All-Pro kicker and made the Pro Bowl with a whopping 40 of 42 field goals made. In that season he was 6 of 7 from 50 yards or further. He is currently sixteenth among active kickers with 189 made field goals, and he is still only 32 years old. Rackers booms one out of the end zone for a touchback.

Think complaining about the Patriots not in the playoffs is sour grapes? Perhaps.

Just one thing. How is it that the team which is ranked sixth in the power rankings in Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column has to stay home in January? Take it for what it's worth, but it is more to chew on.

Suddenly Joseph Addai is a goat in Indianapolis. Wow.

Did anyone analyze how much the health of Colt center Jeff Saturday might have contributed to the decline in the Colt rushing attack? How many games did he miss this year?

Say what you want about the Herald's Ron Borges bashing the Patriots for letting Asante Samuel go. It hurt to watch that pick-six he pulled off against the Vikings on Sunday.

Which of course begs the question: Why can't we get...aw, skip it.

Geek of the week: Sorry, fellow Pats Fans. Scott Pioli or Bill Belichick. Whoever had the final say in letting Samuel go.

Never mind this column predicting the Colts winning last weekend. Seeing them lose in the playoffs is a laugh and a half. Seeing them go out in the first round is a definite ROTF moment.

Joe Flacco versus Matt Ryan. The Blue Hen topped the Eagle, big time.

It's still hard to fathom how Ryan could have played so subpar. It's harder for Patriot fans to think about the Cardinal team that stunk out the joint the week before Christmas and compare them with the team that beat Atlanta.

Maybe Colt fans saw the game and said "Why can't we get players like Edgerrin James?"

Meanwhile, Flacco put out Your Division Champs in a pretty fair manner. It was the other guy who threw four picks, not Flacco.

Oh, and by the way, Tony Sparano, the league has figured out the Wildcat. But it's still a cute play to run, if you have the right people and come up with more variations off of it.

Look at it this way: In a league where running the option offense is suicide, the fact that it worked as well as it did for as long as it did is a credit to the Dolphin coaching staff.

Not too happy with how DeSean Jackson got in Brad Childress' face after a long punt return. Not too happy that the Vikings did next to nothing about it, either.

When will Brian Westbrook get the admiration and the props he so richly deserves? He remains the most underrated running back in the NFL.

Back to school: Could it be that BC merely wants Jeff Jagodzinski to stay away from the Jets, and not the NFL in general? Maybe the BC athletic department and Belichick have the same mindset when their sucklings head for Exit 16-W.

Back to school II: Bank on this: Every living, breathing USC student/alum/fan will be screaming for a meeting with the winner of Thursday's Florida-Oklahoma game. And every Texas student/alum/fan will want a piece of the winner of that one. Get a playoff system like the lower divisions have, else don't call anyone a "national champion".

That said, watch Tim Tebow go nuts Thursday night, facing the team whose quarterback cost him the chance to be the next Archie Griffin.

Tag Matt Cassel? It may come down to "hafta" versus "wanna".

Unless you got the smarts or the connections to find out what really is up with Tom Brady's knee.

Why do you hate Joey Porter? He has a lot in common with Terrell Owens. He runs his mouth off too much, backs it up some of the time, and then when his team loses a playoff game he thinks they should have won, he bawls his head off. Didn't it sound a little like the famous "That's my quarterback!" soliloquy when Porter was asked about losing to Baltimore on Sunday?

Like it or not for them winning the division, give the Dolphins credit for going this far after a 1-15 season in 2007. The last thing you like to see is Entitlement City, USA (read: they still think it's 1972 down in south Florida) making good, but you have to admire what the Dolphins were able to do in 2008.

And this hurts to say this more than you think. Nice job, Tuna. Stay put and don't jerk Fish Nation's chain.

Now, if Larry Fitzgerald could only re-do his hair-do to look like his proud pappy, he'd really be fun to watch.

Remember him: The last great Cardinal team which lasted more than one season was the 1974-75 back-to-back division champs. The featured player on both teams had to be running back Terry Metcalf, though he had a cast of characters around him who weren't too shabby either. Metcalf's forte was total yards from scrimmage, and he had 2,058 all-purpose yards in 1974 and a league-leading 2439 in 1975. Granted, he had quarterback Jim Hart, 1,000-yard rusher Jim Otis, wideout Mel Gray, tight end Jackie Smith and an offensive line which featured Dan Dierdorf and Tom Banks. But Metcalf was all the talk of St. Louis back then, and was one of the most exciting NFL players of his day. His career only lasted six seasons, but he gave the NFL a son, Eric, who enjoyed a 13-year NFL career in which he was a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro.

We were 2-2 last week in our rhyming playoff predictions. Time to get back above .500.

Remember the Titans! So says coach Bill Yoast;

The Ravens remember the pros, and long will they boast.

Okay, Arizona, you woke up at home;

But Carolina will forbid you in the playoffs to further roam.

Asante and Donovan make the Eagles fly;

But Eli and Justin make Eagles go bye.

Super Chargers, they sing, after dispatching the Colts;

Big Ben steps up and makes the visitors look like dolts.


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