Sunday, September 21, 2008

Messenger Sunday Sports Spectacular

Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Pro Football

All NFL teams have slicker than snot running backs. Good defensive schemes stop even the best of modern backs, so when facing a team with an iffy quarterback the deal is to make him beat you, and not the slicker than snot running backs. Defenses stuff the line and since all the truly great backs are retired, bad ass quarterbacking gets exposed for what it is.

Cases in point:

What A QB CAN Do: Tampa Bay Bucs arrive in Chicago with of them iffy QB's. Brian Griese isn't cracking the top-20 of NFL signal callers unless the 25 men ahead of him pull up lame. The Bears know this to be true, and plan to stop Tampa's running game and stop it cold.

The Bucs only manage 46 yards on the ground, but Griese's coaches tell him to sling the damn pigskin and get them back into the game. Griese throws 67, that's sixty-seven, times for 407 yards and Tampa wins in overtime 27-24. The Bears stopped the run, but a traditional, not particularly gifted QB beat them by the being better at the basics.

What A QB Cannot Do: Oakland visits the Bills. Regardless of the ludicrous hype, Buffalo knows full well that no man will ever redefine the QB position so they too decide to stop the run and force the latest Redefining The Game quarterback, JaMarcus Russell, to beat them. As always, the position redefines the player, and while the Raiders can run for 97 yards they can only throw for 156 yards, and that isn't getting it done, not against Buffalo. Despite believing in the Quarterback Fairy, the Raiders still know a little about football, so they try the stuff-the-run-and-force-the-QB-to-beat-you scenario, too. Particularly because he isn't a REDEFINER, just a noodle-armed nobody.

What with so many defenders squaring up close to the line of scrimmage, Buffalo QB Edwards throws for 279 yards, and that opened the running game enough so that Buffalo RB's scooted to 109 yards. In other words, a reasonably well-balanced attack. Buffalo wins, 24-23.

Moral of the story: EVERY NFL team has to have at least a better than average QB if they want to go deep into the post season. Not a REDEFINER, just a pocket passer who can get out of his own way if need be. Teams that fall in love with game plans that worked in college never win in the big leagues, but each and every draft day there's another super-QB just itching to show the pros how its done, because hype can replace performance for a time and there's a sucker born every minute.

Football is a damned simple game and the teams that keep it simple win more often than not.

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