January 09, 2008
As The Ball Bounces: Wild Card
BY: Bob George/BosSports.net
Mike Hollis remembers the 1996 playoff loss at Foxborough. He must have cringed when his punter, Brian Barker, got tackled for a loss by Larry Whigham early in the contest which set up the touchdown by Curtis Martin. Hollis did boot two short field goals in the 20-6 loss to the Patriots. He would go on to kick for the Jaguars for the first seven years of their existence before yielding to a committee of four kickers for the 2002 season. He was 200 out of 250 in field goals for his career, and missed only three out of 282 extra points. He blasts one all the way to the goal line.
Thank you, Paul Spicer.
That was really a crummy game up in Seattle. Green Bay is only favored by eight?
No matter. The Seahawks have Matt Hasselbeck. We'll take the ball and we're going to score. Remember? Don's son sure does.
The real winner of that game was Joe Gibbs, who resigned his job as Redskin head coach and president on Tuesday. Given the Sean Taylor tragedy, his handling of all that and still making the playoffs was a true coaching masterpiece.
But even if they had beaten Seattle, they would have gone no farther than Dallas, much to the further chagrin of Michael Wilbon of the Washington Post ("The Redskins will go farther than the Patriots!")
Pittsburgh should make home playoff games illegal. Draft some city ordinance. Do something. Remember that when Pittsburgh got their ring two years ago, they were the six seed and played zero home games.
Hey, I know. Dan Rooney, call Bob Kraft and get the number of his stadium turf guy.
Geek of the week: Meet Frank Cooney, the one guy who voted for Brett Favre for MVP over Tom Brady. Give him credit for at least coming out and explaining himself. He still joins LaVelle Neal and George King (the two baseball writers who did not vote for Pedro Martinez for MVP in 1999) in the "What Were You Thinking?" wing of our Sports Hall Of Shame.
The Patriots will dare Jacksonville to beat them with David Garrard throwing the ball. Good strategy.
Can it work? It did two years ago. 28-3. Only this time Garrard won't throw at Asante Samuel.
Ben Roethlisberger does have a ring. One of these days he'll get another one.
But the Steelers misused Najeh Davenport. He was their real key to a win. He's actually a better inside runner than the injured Willie Parker.
Well, well. So the Giants did it. Played the Patriots tough and had plenty the following week to knock off Tampa Bay on the road.
I'd like to give the Giants more credit, but unfortunately it looked more like a Tampa Bay team totally unready to play football.
That said, Eli Manning is finally looking like the quarterback he should be looking like. Peyton he ain't, but he's getting there.
And that Giant front seven is one formidable bunch. Never mind Michael Strahan and Osi Umeniyora. Those Giant linebackers can play.
Now, will Ronde join Tiki in the broadcast booth after this loss?
Back to school: Georgia gets my vote as the number one team in the land.
Back to school II: June Jones should never, but never, be enticed to leave Hawaii for Death Penalty Gulch (SMU). Build the guy an Iolani Palace replica along the beach if you have to.
Vince Young won't get you to the NFL summit. Yet.
Neither will Philip Rivers. Hold off on the "yet" on this guy for now.
San Diego had better have some semblance of Antonio Gates if they harbor any chance of beating Indianapolis.
Nice to know that Keith Bulluck still has that lovely big mouth of his.
Anyone in San Diego still miss Marty Schottenheimer? By the way, that was the first Charger playoff win since winning the 1994 AFC Championship Game at Pittsburgh.
And if you care, that was Tennessee's first playoff appearance since the freezing cold Divisional Playoff game at Gillette Stadium back in January of 2004.
What Vince Young desperately needs right now is a quarterback coach who will teach him proper mechanics. He can't get by on outrunning defenders in this league, many of whom are simply faster than him.
Because if Young can get a good passing game going, with himself, LenDale White and Chris Brown as rushing threats, the Titans offense would be incredibly formidable.
Offensive players of the year: Third place: Wes Welker. Second place: Randy Moss. First place: Tom Brady. Not too shabby.
Remember him: It's just not the Jaguars without Jimmy Smith. The last of the original Jaguars to finally leave the nest (Carolina still has one left, kicker Jon Kasay), Smith finally left the team after the 2005 season. He played one season in Dallas, took two seasons off, then came to the Jags in the expansion draft of 1995. In his second year with the team, he found himself one game away from the Super Bowl. Iconic upset wins over Buffalo and Denver couldn't avert a loss to the Patriots in the 1996 AFC Championship Game at Foxborough Stadium. But Smith had a great career as a Jaguar. His 116 catches in 1999 led the NFL, and he would catch 112 passes two seasons later. He is far and away the all-time leader in team history in all receiving categories, miles ahead of Keenan McCardell. He was a classy guy, and this upcoming playoff game with the Patriots will mark the first time in Jaguar history they won't have Smith on the sidelines when they play the P-Men. He was there for all the others, including the one game the Jags won, the 25-10 win in Jacksonville in 1998.
Here's our poetic breakdown of this week's Divisional Playoff round.
Tony loves Jessica, Eli loves who?
You don't know, that's why Romo may say "Boo-hoo!"
Hasselbeck may get the ball and score;
The results' the same, the Packers play one game more.
Chargers would win a tiebreaker with the Colts,
But Manning will make Rivers' team look like dolts.
Spicer says to probation the Patriots must go;
Thanks to his big mouth, can you say "17 and oh"?
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