November 28, 2007
As The Ball Bounces: Week 12
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
He's still there. The last real Cleveland Brown. The last guy to have played in the real dawg pound for the home team. The last guy who is a direct link to the Bill Belichick Era in Cleveland, and who kicked for the Browns in the 20-13 1994 playoff win over Bill Parcells and the Patriots. Matt Stover has been a Brown all his career, including the last 12 as a Baltimore Raven. No matter what the record books say and how the good people of Cleveland perceive it, the real Cleveland Browns reside in Baltimore, and part of that Super Bowl XXXV trophy belongs in Cleveland. Stover booms one into the end zone for a touchback.
Shocking news out of Washington, to say the least. Sean Taylor could have gone down as one of the best free safeties in league history. He is gone now, and the big question is not "What do we do now?", but rather, "Why?"
Here's hoping some great being somewhere is looking after the Taylor family right now, and the Redskins, for that matter.
Silver lining? With Rosevelt Colvin now gone for the year, now the Patriots will "have to" play Adalius Thomas at outside backer, his more natural position. Thomas's first target? His old quarterback, Kyle Boller. As Jed Clampett used to say, "Waaaaay dawgies!"
Give Eli the week off, send him down to Louisiana and spend the weekend with his pappy. Maybe Archie can knock some sense into his son.
Aaaah. One can only wonder what it would be like if Archie Manning had a good team to play on.
Just when you thought things were better in Rams Nation, they go and lose a game on a botched center-QB exchange. Yeesh.
Now the next thing the Lions need is a quarterback. Jon Kitna simply isn't the real deal.
The food was good on Thanksgiving Day, but the football was downright boring. The Jets and Falcons simply stink, and Detroit just played a poor game.
On the Super Bowl XXXVI video, some camerman catches Bill Belichick screaming at his troops during the regular season loss to the Rams in 2001. He's screaming "In cuts!!! That's the GAME!!! Slants and in cuts!!! That's the GAME!!!" Where was that speech Sunday night against the Eagles?
Eddie Jackson, you're no Earthwind Moreland.
Geek of the week: Kick the stupid field goal, Herman Edwards. Madre de Dios.
Darned Raiders won't ever get any more of a gift win than Sunday.
Darned Bills for losing, forcing the Patriots to "back into" the division title and ruin the "caps and shirts" deal after the game.
If the Patriots don't get a top five draft pick, they have Tully Banta-Cain to blame, the former Patriot linebacker who fell on a Kurt Warner fumble to seal a win for the 49ers against the Cardinals.
Three names you never heard on Sunday night's telecast: Ty Warren. Vince Wilfork. Richard Seymour.
If Ricky Williams is your savior, no wonder the Dolphins are where they are.
You'll learn a lot about the 2007 Green Bay Packers on Thursday night at Dallas.
Topic A: Should Brett Favre be MVP and not Tom Brady?
Sidebar: The NFL Network does HDTV great. Too bad too many of you out there don't have firsthand knowledge of that fact.
Or how bad Bryant Gumbel is.
That said, for a league which usually does everything the right way, this NFL Network brouhaha is quite ridiculous. The league needs to stop pimping and start making their propaganda arm more cable TV friendly.
Back to school: LSU-Arkansas and Kentucky-Tennessee gave further proof that, if college football refuses to do postseason the right way, they at least have overtime nailed. Excitement? To say the least. It would be nice if the NFL would at least consider it.
If we could make one suggestion, you should never kick a one-point conversion in overtime. Force teams to go for two right at the outset. Why bother to wait?
The old XFL had a more funky version: Not only do you match/beat the score, but you have to do it in as many plays or fewer than the opponent. Now that was radical.
You take Pink. I'll take Mrs. Tim McGraw.
Randy Moss, you rock. Wes Welker, you rock harder.
Some astute fan out there pointed this out: By virtue of Denver losing (in OT to Chicago) and the Patriots winning, the Patriots have clinched at least the three seed in addition to the division title (they win the tiebreaker with San Diego). The two seed will have to wait about two more weeks at the earliest.
By the way, Mike Shanahan, did your game preparation not include some guy named Devin?
Getting rid of Texas Stadium is more shameful proof that nothing is more important than the almighty dollar. In its relatively short life (36 years), Texas Stadium has had its share of great games and memories. Wonder how Roger Staubach feels about the new stadium.
Best game next weekend other than Dallas-Green Bay? Try Indianapolis and Jacksonville.
Remember him: They'd take him back in a second, though they probably wouldn't be man (or woman) enough to admit it. Before yielding the head coaching job to Ted Marchibroda following the impending move to Baltimore, Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick put his unique stamp on the program, and was building a solid program in Cleveland before the regrettable move to Baltimore. Belichick's playoff record in Cleveland was 1-1, the one win coming against the Patriots in the 1994 Divisional round. Belichick knew back then how to defense Drew Bledsoe (four picks) as he does today (if Bledsoe were still playing). His decision to get rid of Bernie Kosar in favor of Vinny Testaverde should have showed Cleveland what a smart guy they had, but that move, plus the bad move-tainted last season turned Belichick into a pariah in Cleveland. Cleveland's loss was eventually Foxborough's gain, and though Cleveland ultimately did get a football team back, the departure of both Belichick and the real Browns inflicted a wound on that city which still hasn't healed.
They need to put the same turf on Heinz Field like they did in Gillette Stadium.
Go back and watch the 2001 and 2004 AFC Championship games. It was like the Patriots playing on sand.
The Fish are still perfect. In the wrong sense, of course. What Patriot fans wouldn't give to have Miami finish 0-16 in a year the Patriots could likely go 16-0.
The Patriots pay their first visit to M&T Bank Stadium on Monday, and their first visit to Baltimore since 1996. It's quite a place, a very imposing stadium with a vocal home crowd.
Thank goodness that this is 2007 and not 2000.
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