I’ve compiled a short, but verbose list about my favorite (and non-favorite) moments of the 2007 NFL season. While my two favorite teams, the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins, have been hurting my fanhood, I still have more than enough reasons to be enjoying and/or gritting my teeth over the action-packed pro football season. Let’s take a look:
– While I have done my work taking time to bash Tom Brady and Peyton Manning over the years to whine and complain about how much media coverage they have gotten (which was more like jealousy on my part), I’m going to give that a rest and say it here and now: isn’t it just a “privilege” to be a sports fan right now, to have the opportunities to watch these two great QBs who will subsequently follow each other into the heart of the Hall of Fame? They’re a joy to watch perform. That, my friends, can never be embellished by any revelation.
– You, the reader(s), know my thoughts on the St. Louis Rams and Miami Dolphins. Pure disgusting. You have a team that’s more banged up than any other team in the league (Rams; by far) with a head coach that looks like he has no clue on how to compensate for that. Furthermore, a team that was looked upon to be bad, but not this bad (the ‘Phins.) I think if you combined the Rams and the Dolphins together with their current teams you would still have a bigger turd than what they were by their lonesomes.
(An update on the hugely injured Rams: they have another lineman out for the season. No, not offensive lineman this time. Leonard Little is out for the rest of the season, affirmatively, with an injury to his toe. Nice way to vault for the door, Rams.)
– Adrian Peterson has been lights out. Eight (8) games, 1036 yards and 8 TDs. He has the Vikings leading the league in rushing with 183 YPG. Oh, and “All Day” is also averaging 6.6 yards per carry on the ground. I don’t remember Shaun Alexander doing that back in Seattle with Steve Hutchinson AND Walter Jones (Alexander finished the season off, capturing his first MVP award, averaging 5.2 yards per carry.) Sure, that last sentence is really void due to Peterson having only played eight games so far and is only a broken leg away from an imploded season, but there’s no way you can help yourself to ignore the tremendous amount of skill and courage he’s shown this season. This season there has been no other running back, nor anyone besides Randy Moss, to be this explosive and this scary on offense.
– What happened to the San Francisco 49ers? Everyone’s surprise pick from the ’06 AND ’07 season are eroding more and more. Last in total offense, they’re only averaging 132.8 passing yards per game with an offense that includes receivers that are better than some other cores in the league. I predicted the Niners to be bad (or lesser than the consensus’s prediction on them), but not this bad. Having starting off 2-0, and then following up that (which could have been 0-2, since they won those games by uncomfortable margins) with six straight losses, I can’t tell you how unmotivated they are. Is it Mike Nolan’s fault, can you blame this season on injuries? Or is it just inconsistencies? Do they need to prune the playbook and just wing it? Whatever they need to do, they need to either A.) pull off a miracle, or B.) warm up for next season and show the NFL how talented they really are. (And I believe they are.)
– I like how everybody is talking about how the Dallas Cowboys are the NFC’s best team. They have shown that they can be beaten, or “exposed” as you will. Work the clock, take it over the top, work their secondary, tire their bound-to-be tedious defense, and you got them on their heels for 60 minutes. Easier said than done. However, their defensive backs have been more banged up than a five dollar ($5) hooker’s poonanny. Disagree with me or not, but I think the Green Bay Packers are the best team in the NFC. I became convinced yesterday after they went under multiple times to the Kansas City Chiefs. But with three minutes left in the game, when it seemed like Brett Favre couldn’t do anything more than tip-tack a few short passes out to the sidelines, he was pressured and threw a PERFECT pass to second-year wide out Greg Jennings splitting two defenders for a rowdy, game-winning touchdown in Arrowhead.
– The question now and forever (or for the rest of this season) is whether the Patriots can be beaten or not. To decipher this with me, myself, and I, they are beatable. The Colts didn’t expose them on Sunday, but they sure opened up some things for other teams to look at. I mean, Peyton Manning was picking the Pats D apart and if not for the Colts receivers dropping balls worse than the 2004 Seattle Seahawks and not having Marvin Harrison, the consequent result could have been far different. Now we all know that the rest of their schedule is relatively week and the best team remaining are the Pittsburgh Steelers, but I’m a believer that they could lose, someway..somehow. They play the stifled Bills, Jets, and Dolphins over the course of the rest of the season, once again. While the Patriots are far superior compared to the ‘peasants’ that I just listed, the mere fact that they know how each other plays and are use to playing each other twice a season annually while playing in the AFC East together, stranger things have happened — ala the putrid Dolphins coming back on the subsequent Super Bowl 39 champion New England Patriots on December 20, 2004. The NFL is a strange business. As it’s been proven, you can’t take your opponents for granted no matter who you are; and with the Patriots playing the “take it hard in the jail cell” role, teams are bound to be ready to pop ’em in the mouth.