January 17, 2007
NFL News And Notes: Divisional
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Steve Myhra won't make anyone's lists of all time great kickers. But he has one major claim to fame, and that he was the kicker who helped kick the Baltimore Colts to victory in the famed 1958 NFL Championship Game. In the Colts' 23-17 overtime victory at Yankee Stadium, Myhra kicked the game-tying field goal which sent the game into the extra session. He kicked for five seasons, all with Baltimore, and connected on only 44 of 91 field goals in his career. That's only 48 percent for his entire NFL career. But his field goal which tied that title game up endears him to Colt fans forever. He steps into one which travels to about the seven-yard line.
It's too bad that LaDainian Tomlinson had to go off like he did regarding the Patriots "disrespecting" his team. LT needs to take our new course here at the University of PatsFans.com, called "Disrespect 101", a sample of which follows.
It's okay to be angry, LT. How could you think for a second that your team shouldn't be the ones playing the Colts next week? Look at what you did on your own: 123 yards rushing, 64 yards receiving, two touchdowns. Your 14-2 team induced three picks out of Tom Brady. And your gang still lost. Yeah, you should be angry.
And you did give credit where credit was due in your postgame rant, saying that you "got beat by a better team". That was all well said. That was true LT, through and through.
But you did not need to complain about the Patriots imitating Shawne Merriman in their moment of victory, and call out Bill Belichick in the process. Of course you didn't like it. But your anger is misdirected.
You see, it's Merriman that is the poster child of disrespect, not Ellis Hobbs, not Rosevelt Colvin, not Vince Wilfork, or Belichick or anyone Patriot. It is Merriman who engenders disrespect with that stupid dance of his. It is Merriman who engenders disrespect when he goes on national television and predicts a Jet win last week and guarantees a Charger win in the press later in the week.
Most important of all, it is Merriman who engenders disrespect when he got suspended for four games for steroid usage. Merriman disrespected you, your teammates, and the entire NFL for that suspension. It is because of him that the Patriots did what they did, and it had nothing to do with you.
So, LT, take the Patriot players advice: You're better than this. Don't sink to Merriman's level. You're the best there is at your position. Suck it up and get after it next year. The Patriots consider it a high honor to compete against you.
Geek of the week: Who else? The Patriots knew full well how to shut up that loudmouthed steroid user in the Charger linebacker corps. Matt Light played one of the best games of his career on Sunday, and Nick Kaczur wasn't too shabby either.
That Chicago-Seattle game was pretty strange. The two worst quarterbacks in the elite eight faced off against each other.
And somehow, the worst of them all, Rex Grossman, is still playing.
Meanwhile, Deion Branch becomes the latest ex-Patriot to be excused for the season, and who gets to watch his former team still playing next week.
It's still a bigger deal to see the Saints play in the Superdome at all as opposed to them actually winning. The biggest feel-good story in the NFL continues.
Bob Sanders can't be that good. First Larry Johnson, and now Jamal Lewis. Shut down completely. It had to be lousy offensive gameplanning. The Colt run defense cannot possibly be that good one month removed from 375 yards rushing against Jacksonville.
It might be time to see if Marty Schottenheimer can make it in television.
Reggie Bush will have a great career. But in New Orleans, Da Man is Da Deuce.
Nobody should ever compare Stephen Gostkowski with Adam Vinatieri ever again.
Unfortunately, all this week, that is all you will hear about.
One week, Peyton Manning throws three picks. The next weekend, he is held out of the end zone completely. Does that bode well for New England on Sunday?
Back to school: It is clear that Ohio State peaked with its epic win over Michigan. Like its bitter rival in the Rose Bowl, the Buckeyes had nothing left for their BCS Championship tilt with Florida. That is why such an obvious dog like the Gators win going away.
Tom Brady will wind up in Canton. Troy Brown should also. He won't. But he should. That fumble strip on Marlon McCree goes down as one of the all-time greats in club history.
With Tiki Barber now retired, the offensive star of the NFC East is now Brian Westbrook.
The Colts come to Baltimore for a playoff game, and the old feelings are still there. They still haven't forgotten those evil moving vans. How even more strange it is that the Colts come back home to play a team that should still be the Cleveland Browns.
It doesn't seem right. Thirty years ago this would have been Bert Jones versus Greg Pruitt. Forty years ago, you got Leroy Kelly against Bubba Smith. Fifty years ago? Not much, just Johnny Unitas versus Jim Brown.
There are two Patriot plays the rest of the league should be ready for but never seem to be. A Brady quarterback sneak. A run by Kevin Faulk off a direct snap.
Steve McNair hardly looked like an upgrade over Kyle Boller. The Ravens could have brought back Trent Dilfer for Saturday and that would have been an upgrade over McNair.
What more could the Raven defense have done? When you keep Manning out of the end zone, you should win.
News item: After the season is over, the Giants will make another run at Scott Pioli, who would try and bring Belichick with him to Gotham. If Bob Kraft ever allows this to happen, or if Belichick ever leaves town because Myra didn't care for his extra-marital revelations, you might want to call one of the surviving Sullivans up and see if they'd consider buying the team back from Kraft.
Remember him: There is a tiny college near Winchester Square in downtown Springfield called American International College. The Yellow Jackets play a nice brand of basketball (you're a rabid basketball fan if you remember Major Jennings), and they even dabble a bit in football as well. One of their alumni made it all the way to the NFL, a defensive back named Bruce Laird. Of the seven players in AIC history to make it to the NFL, Laird is the most famous and the only one to play more than five years. The Lowell native who grew up in Scituate played in the NFL for 12 seasons, the first ten with the Baltimore Colts, and was a starting strong safety his whole career. Laird was an integral part of the Colt defense during its great run in the 1970s. But most of all, he made those folks in western Massachusetts stand up with pride and proclaim that Laird went to AIC.
Here are our predictions for next weekend, in rhyme:
Da Windy City will soon play host
To a city where winds have blown the most
Like Katrina, Brees, Bush and Deuce
Will blow into Chicago and put Da Bears in a noose.
Goober finally gets the Pats in his place
With dreams of South Beach written all over his face
He's had his way lately with Brady and Bill
But alas it's the playoffs, so lose again he surely will.
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