Monday, December 09, 2013

Football Roundup

Football this weekend was a lot more interesting than politics. It often is. So let's talk football.

  • While readers of this blog know that I am a Packers fan, the Vikings/Ravens game yesterday was something to behold and deserves first mention. I don't know that I've ever seen more exciting plays happen in such a compressed time frame before. I have to say that Cordarrelle Patterson is pretty astonishing; he seems to be a hybrid of Percy Harvin and Randy Moss, but he's bigger and stronger than both of them. The dump pass he caught in the last minute, which should have been the game winning score, was something to see. He's like a runaway antelope when he gets going. It's taken the Vikings all season to figure out how to use Patterson; now that they have, he's going to be an issue for every opponent the Vikings face, likely for a long time.
  • I'm always happy when the Packers win, but I almost wonder if yesterday's 22-21 victory over Atlanta isn't a glittering lump of pyrite. The Packers started out the season well, but following the injury to Aaron Rodgers they've been a train wreck, culminating in the Thanksgiving Day beatdown they suffered in Detroit that was the worst Packers game since 61-7, back in 1980. This is a deeply flawed team that has trouble playing defense. Rodgers solves many, many problems, but it's difficult to see the Packers doing much if they were somehow able to find their way into the playoffs. Still, it's going to be tempting for the Packers to try, especially since Rodgers is itching to get back in there. The opportunity for the Packers remains, because the three remaining games (at Dallas, home to Pittsburgh and at Chicago) are all theoretically winnable, especially if Rodgers it at the helm. Still, you have to think that the Packers might be better served to let Rodgers heal properly, take the lumps that will knock them out of the playoffs and then reload for next season. I'll bet they go for it, though -- the Lions are eternally the Lions and if the Packers win out, there's an excellent chance that the Packers would sneak in as the division champions. While the 2010 season indicates that once you get in, you have a puncher's chance, I don't think this team is nearly as good as the 2010 squad was.
  • Meanwhile, the Badgers and the Gophers are going bowling. Bucky draws South Carolina in the Capitol One Bowl, a tough assignment but not an impossible one, as the Gamecocks aren't the most talented offensive squad around, despite having noted offensive genius (just ask him!) Steve Spurrier calling plays for the Garnet and Black. Meanwhile, the Gophers return to Houston, this time for a game against a pretty ordinary Syracuse team that snuck into the festivities at 6-6. I suspect that the Gophers will be able to dispatch the Orange with little difficulty. Both the Gophers and Badgers open as slight favorites in Vegas, but that might change. The larger question for the Bucky in particular, and the Big Ten generally, is whether or not the league can stand up to the bullies of the SEC. Three teams get a chance: Bucky against South Carolina; Iowa against LSU, and Nebraska against Georgia. On paper, all would be winnable games for the B1G, but all are difficult matchups. While I think the gap is closing a little bit, this could be another disappointing year for the league.


Bike Bubba said...

Now come on; how 'bout them Spartans? Molon Labe, Buckeyes!

(both teams in the Rose Bowl will feature the block S, too....pretty cool!)

Mr. D said...

Congrats, Bubba. Sparty played it tough all the way and didn't blink when the Buckeyes threw their punch. Go get 'em against Stanford!

R.A. Crankbait said...

I said after the draft that Patterson was the Vikings' Randall Cobb (rookie edition) - raw but exciting. I believe someone here disputed that. Both are a very tantalizing package of football mojo.

One thing I wasn't expecting from CP is the strength; on more than one occasion now I've seen him actually move the pile on running plays and screens. He looks so spindly, but he's a force.