December 29, 2009

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 20 comments

Why, Peterson, why? That was soooo close to being an unbelievable comeback.

posted by fabulon7 at 07:57 AM on December 29, 2009

Yeah, you have to feel for Peterson. The Vikings chances are starting to slip away, it seems. Could another Favre retirement be too far in the future?

As for the Bears, last night was the first time this season I was impressed with Cutler. His line is suspect and his receivers are young and inexperienced, and I truly think he's tried to do too much himself many times this year. I still think if T.O. is looking to get another year out of his career, the Bears should give him a chance. He has actually run some very good routes in Buffalo this season and beaten a lot of defensive backs, but the Bills have three of the worst quarterbacks to ever play the game on currently on their roster. Cutler's arm is tremendous, and even though I still hate his arrogant attitude, the right coaching and a few decent roster moves could allow him to have a huge bounce-back year next season.

And what are the odds any of the Packers or Cardinals starters play this coming weekend when the teams meet, knowing they will meet the following week, again in Arizona, for the playoffs?

And on a totally non-sports related note, I just saw a commercial with Jennifer Lopez on it. I've never been able to figure it out: Is she a singer trying to be an actor, or an actor trying to be a singer? Or, as I suspect, is she neither?

posted by dyams at 09:32 AM on December 29, 2009

Why do we have to feel for Peterson? Hunter Hillenmeyer made an incredible play to punch the ball out. Do we feel for Hillenmeyer when Peterson makes a great run?

posted by rcade at 10:15 AM on December 29, 2009

Agreed on Cutler. Don't like him at all, but he's still young yet; he still has a shot at growing up. And last night, those were some of the most dynamic throws by a Bears QB in a long time. Even though Cutler did force an ugly pick late in the game.

Kudos to the Chicago OC for calling a typical run play to start the Bears' second possession of OT, then making the bold call for the walkoff bomb.

Don't know if the game saved Lovie's job or not, though.

It was reported last night that Coach Fox will be back at Carolina next year, however.

I hope they made him sign a prenuptial agreement stating that Jake de Man would not start a Panthers game under any circumstances other than a national emergency.

posted by beaverboard at 10:40 AM on December 29, 2009

Man, that blocked extra point turned out to be huge.

While Peterson takes the heat for the fumble at the end of the game, it's our defense and special teams that need to wake up. Neither unit has looked good of late, and it will be a quick, one-and-out in the playoffs if they don't figure out what's wrong.

Favre looked good enough to win, and he does have a two year deal. I think he's more likely to come back next year if they don't win the Super Bowl. At this point, that may be more hope than anything else.

posted by dviking at 11:49 AM on December 29, 2009

The entire Vikings team mailed in the first half last night. Like the week before, they played like they are happy to be in the playoffs and don't care what seed they are. Obviously they don't like the cold and would rather be home in bed sleeping. Just wake them up for the first playoff game.

The offense decided to be motivated in the second half and it was almost enough. One fumble does not make or break a game. They played too much unmotivated football and got the result they deserved. I honestly thought that they learned their lesson last week and that they would care enough this week to try to lock up the bye week, but I was wrong. There isn't a single team in the NFL that is good enough to get by on talent alone. If you don't show up wanting to win, you will lose regardless of how good you are or how bad your opponent is.

Their position in the playoffs is now out of their control. The valuable bye week is no longer theirs to take. Although I expect them to beat the Giants handily in the comfy confines of the Metrodome, they need the Cowboys to hand them the second seed back again. I think the Cowboys will do just that.

Just a thought: The conspiracy theorist in me says that Brett wants to play the Packers again. He figures if they tank enough games at the end, they will get the Packers at home and he can complete the sweep. Unfortunately, the Packers are a different team now than what they were 2 months ago and if the Vikings do manage to play the Packers in the first round, Brett will find out what it feels like to fail at getting revenge.

posted by jjohn24680 at 01:06 PM on December 29, 2009

I don't feel for Peterson. He runs well, but he fumbles a lot. And this was a really inopportune time to fumble. If this had ben his first fumble in 10 games or something, maybe I'd feel sorry for him.

posted by fabulon7 at 02:12 PM on December 29, 2009

Yeah, you have to feel for Peterson.

He would be the best running back in the NFL if he could stop fumbling so much. It was just a matter of time before one of those fumbles costs the team at an important time.

posted by dfleming at 02:14 PM on December 29, 2009

And what are the odds any of the Packers or Cardinals starters play this coming weekend when the teams meet, knowing they will meet the following week, again in Arizona, for the playoffs?

That isn't necessarily true, Arizona still has a shot to be the number two seed in the NFC.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:07 PM on December 29, 2009

I don't feel for Peterson. He runs well, but he fumbles a lot.

My thoughts exactly, why feel sorry for Peterson? All that he has to do is look at game film of another RB who suffered from a severe case of fumblitis and that's former Giants RB and current Football Night in America correspondent, Tiki Barber. Tiki used to fumble a hell of a lot until he changed the way that he held the ball while running. When Tiki did that, he no longer became a liability but more of a threat and that former RB IMO, is who Peterson needs to be looking at.

posted by BornIcon at 03:22 PM on December 29, 2009

I read a good article about how Peterson compares to the all-time greats. Apparently, his fumbles per carry or per touchdown stats are not really that high. He just has a lot of carries.

posted by bperk at 03:47 PM on December 29, 2009

No bearing on anything, but I was looking into fumbles myself and stumbled onto this:

Most Touchdowns, Game (Opponents' recovered):
2 Fred (Dippy) Evans, Chi. Bears vs. Washington, Nov. 28, 1948

Man, that's an awesome nickname.

posted by wfrazerjr at 05:31 PM on December 29, 2009

I think last nights game was interesting because it showed everybody that how valuable Bret Favre is, how much the Vikings need him, and why it was a great acquisition for them. Many people and quote the "experts", felt the Vikings were better than they actually were. Saying things like all Favre needs to do is not loose games, manage the game, don't throw int's., and hand off to Peterson, while Minnesota's defense was as it appears a little overrated.

As it turns out Favre has had to win games for the Vikings, and the rest of the team is not all that great, which I have said from early in the season when they were winning close games against teams that were not that good. If it weren't for Favre's gunslinger arm and willingness to make the big throws, this is a 500 team at best. Favre will get way too much blame if this team does not last in post season. They are a much better team with Favre than they are without him. Last night was a perfect justification of why this team could not pass up the opportunity to sign him. Running backs do not last long and Minnesota better not loose the opportunity this year and next.

posted by Atheist at 05:47 PM on December 29, 2009

"If you don't show up wanting to win, you will lose regardless of how good you are or how bad your opponent is."

Jjohn - exactly and a very good point. In the interview Favre made statements that regardless of the Bears record, he has played Chicago twice a year for many years and is always ready and prepared for a tough game. The Bears may have a lousy record but anybody that knows football knows, playing Chicago in Chicago, late December at night, temp 0 and windy, you better be prepared for a tough, physical, and hard fought contest. As Indy, New Orleans, the Vikings and the Giants learned this week, there are no easy games at this point in the season. Regardless of their records, the teams that are not making the post season, have nothing to loose and are playing for pride or their jobs. They always make life tough for those teams trying to stay healthy while maintaining a strong seeded order for the playoffs. The Bears played last night like a team with nothing to loose and everything to gain. The Vikes played offense looked great in the second half. Special teams and defense were not championship caliber.

posted by Atheist at 06:26 PM on December 29, 2009

Mike Florio writes a scathing article on coaches (and players, by association) and their lack of "work." Florio says "No matter how hard they work, it's not work. It's organized play."

Ironic, a journalist telling someone else that their work isn't work.

posted by dfleming at 06:46 PM on December 29, 2009

Florio's a jerk. He mocked Jacksonville for attendance and covered seats for weeks without ever mentioning attendance in prior seasons or the fact that the maximum capacity with covered seats is still bigger than many NFL venues. He also wrote a piece today with this crack, which he removed later because it pissed so many people off: "Sunday was the ugliest day in the Superdome since the days after Katrina." Ridiculing the workload of a college football coach as "organized play" is ludicrous.

posted by rcade at 08:28 PM on December 29, 2009

He also wrote a piece today with this crack, which he removed later because it pissed so many people off: "Sunday was the ugliest day in the Superdome since the days after Katrina."

His non-apology is really pretty wonderful:

Editor's note: Yes, I changed this entry in response to commenter feedback. The prior entry was an accurate observation, but the subject matter was probably too sensitive. Thanks to those who voiced their concerns.

What he says is not even true. Ohio State fans might suggest that January 7, 2008 was uglier. And I am sure that there have been uglier losses in the Superdome than what (in retrospect, after the Vikings loss) was effectively a meaningless regular season game.

posted by holden at 09:40 PM on December 29, 2009

If I may - and as some of you may know from Metafilter, I hate to resort to this - Mike Florio can eat a bowl of frosted assholes.

posted by Joey Michaels at 12:52 AM on December 30, 2009

Yeah, it's awesome that NBC chose to associate themselves with Florio, like the Globe and that douche from Boston Dirt Dogs. Tip for media people who might be considering adopting: just because a child gets a lot of attention doesn't mean they're terrific kids.

posted by yerfatma at 09:29 AM on December 30, 2009

After the Vikings nightmarish last couple of weeks, I'd finally had enough after the first half and turned the game off. My brother called to tell me they'd tied it up, so I turned the game back on to see the Bears return the kickoff 50+ yards and immediately score an easy go-ahead touchdown, and turned it right back off again.

I have mixed feelings about the comeback. I'm glad they showed up to play for the first time in a month, and I'm glad I didn't watch it because it would've been disappointing. At least in the second half they weren't getting their asses kicked. They looked more like the team I've seen all season, a team that could do well in the playoffs. Still, it just feels like false hope.

It's hard to accept that the Bears were kicking their asses, because the Bears have looked terrible all year. I could rationalize the other recent losses. The Cardinals were in the Super Bowl last year. The Panthers were something like 13-3 last season and have had a crappy QB all season, so maybe they're better than their record (and last week's demolition of the Giants adds some credence to that theory).

I cannot understand why, since about a month ago, the Vikings seem completely incapable of things I'd seen them do all season: run the ball, pass block, pressure the opposing QB with the four D linemen. Shit, during one of the Green Bay games, they gave Favre about 8 seconds of pass protection, so long they ran a stopwatch during the replay. Now Peterson can't run because he's constantly getting hit in the backfield.

posted by kirkaracha at 06:24 PM on December 30, 2009

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