Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Randy Moss Is Coming Home

When Randy Moss was traded away from the Vikings in 2005, I was a little upset. My Purple Pride was hurt and I wished it could have been undone. The next few years there was nothing to be excited about. Troy Williamson? Nate Burleson? No thanks. I wanted Randy back. Then in 2007, Adrian Peterson came along and made me forget about Randy Moss a little bit. But it was always in my head that maybe there was a chance that The Freak would come back to Minnesota and pick up right where he left off. My obsession with this idea became very evident. Every time I played a franchise in Madden, I traded Randy Moss back to the Vikings (including this year). A Randy Moss poster from his rookie year is taking up a big chunk of space on my bedroom wall just like it did 12 years ago. And on top of that, I talked about the scenario of Moss being traded back quite a bit. Last night I heard the rumors. This morning, those rumors became reality. The best part? The genie said that I still have 2 wishes left.

Super Bowl, homeboy.

Patriots Trade Randy Moss

In what is an extremely suprising and saddening move to me, the Patriots have traded Randy Moss. I've been reading websites all day so far trying to figure out the exact reasoning for this trade, what the logic was, and how it's going to "benefit" us. Looking at this trade I just don't see the positive. A third rounder for one of the best WR's in the game? I understand he was disgruntled and not happy about not getting his contract, but it seemed as though he was still playing hard. I know he didn't have a catch last game, but no one outside of Wes Welker was getting a ton of looks. The positives that he brought to the offense are going to be irreplaceable, the deep threat will be all but gone now, unless Brandon Tate has some receiving skills he hasn't shown yet. I would've much rather kept Randy for the rest of the season, and gotten nothing for him when he leaves during free agency, as opposed to trading and getting a 3rd rounder. In my opinion Randy is a much better receiver than Vincent Jackson; what were the Chargers asking for him? The Patriots should have started there and built on top of that offer.

The Patriots love to stockpile draft picks, and it looks like that's what this trade does, but for such prolific receiver! One of these days they're actually have to use the picks and get some players to fill in for the top flight players they're trading. They'll most likely get a top-10 pick from Oakland for Seymour, but I'd put money on BB trading down, possibly out of the 1st round as usual. One of these years I believe the Patriots will control every pick in the draft, at least I hope Belichick has something like that up his sleeve, because Tom Brady isn't going to be one of the top-5 QB's in the league forever!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Boston Red Sox: A Season to Forget

Coming into the 2010 season this season held quite a bit of promise. We had some questions offensively, but bringing in a big free agent pitcher and some very strong defenders, it figured to even out. The season started off slowly, but it started to turn around in May, when Big Papi decided to start hitting again. Then the injury bug hit the team hard. 5 of their 9 opening day starters have spent some time on the DL this year, and now 4 of them are out for the remainder of the season. I applaud Theo Epstein for not going out around the trade deadline and dealing young talent for a rental player. This season was doomed fairly early on, and at some point you need to stand pat and give the kids a try. Suffering the losses of their two best hitters in Youkilis and Pedroia is a huge blow, but hopefully they can fully recover from these injuries and it won't bother them in the coming years.

Next season poses quite a few questions already. Is Big Papi going to be offered another contract? How about Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre? Are Ellsbury and Cameron going to be healthy enough to play a full season? Will their TEAM be healthy next year? Can John Lackey and Josh Beckett live up to their contracts? And many more intriguing aspects. I haven't completely shipped this season in, but sitting 8 games back heading into September, things are very dire. Hats off to the Rays this year, having a good year before their talent is likely broken up. Unfortunate that this type of stuff has to happen in baseball. A team has been putting a lot of resources and gone through many losing seasons building up young talent, only to finally put it together for a few seasons and then watch them all leave via free agency. Hopefully the next commissioner will figure out some sort of salary cap, or maybe a more harsh luxery tax to help even out the playing field.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

So Close, Yet So Far

My heart is still broken over the Vikings loss to the Saints on Sunday. I remember feeling the same way 11 years ago. It's so crazy how much this season felt just like the 98 season. Both teams were so amazing that I thought that there wasn't any way they wouldn't make it to the Super Bowl. Both seasons the Super Bowl is held in Miami. Both years we lose the NFC Championship in overtime. It's almost haunting.

I remember how much fun the 1998 team was to watch. Randy Moss was incredible and their offense was just ridiculous. Nobody could keep up with them. They seemed unstoppable until they lost to the Falcons in the NFC Championship. After that season I never really felt as confident about a Vikings team until this year. They put themselves back in contention when they got Brett Favre. People were skeptical and questioned whether or not he could stay healthy. They called him an old man and nothing more than an interception machine. Favre had more than enough gas in the tank and had a career year. He threw 33 touchdown passes and just 7 interceptions in the regular season. He also led the Vikes to a 12-4 record and a division championship. Brett Favre was the perfect fit for the Vikings.

The game on Sunday broke my heart. Not just because the Vikings lost but because I know that Brett Favre may not be back next season. And if that's the case, I'd like to say thank you, Brett. You didn't get us our Super Bowl, but you sure gave us one hell of a season.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Revis Robbed of DPOY

Today, Charles Woodson was announced as the defensive player of the year. This is similar to Malone winning the MVP over Jordan in 1997, although on a lesser stage. I have watched a handful of packers and jets games this year, and although Woodson is probably the second best corner in football he can't hold a candle to Revis's talents. The voters couldn't have been more wrong. It's not even close.
The toughest play for a cornerback to stop is a quick slant and/or pump-n-go. I can't count on two hands how many times I saw Revis break BEFORE the receiver on a quick slant and pick it off or knock it down. So what does the QB to counter that? Pump-n-go of course. But that doesn 't work against him either, and the only explanation I have for that is Revis can either read the quarterback's mind, he has the receiver telling him the play, or he is just that good. A talent at the cornerback position the league has never before seen.

When the Jets played the Falcons this exact point was illustrated. On the first play of the game Roddy White (pro bowl receiver) ran a fade on Revis. Revis had better position than White and would have intercepted it if not for White dragging Revis to the ground for an offensive interference penalty. Next possession: White runs a quick slant on Revis, Revis breaks on it and drops an interception. So the pump-n-go is coming right? In the second half they run the pump-N-go. Revis, waiting for it, drops another interception. When receivers Revis is guarding are open it's only because he wants the quarterback to THINK they are open.
Combine his ridiculous shutdown skills with good open field tackling and you have the best cornerback and best defensive player in the league. Let's compare what STATS, INC calls the burn percentage from Revis to Woodson. How many times a receiver has caught the ball a defender was guarding compared to how many times it was thrown at that defender. Isn't a cornerback stopping throws to a receiver that corner is guarding the most important stat for that position?Although INT's are important they can also be skewed (tipped balls, horrible throws, receiver ran wrong route, etc) and are not as telling of a statistic. The top 6 for the burned percentage look like this:

Darrell Revis, Jets 37.0
Jabari Greer, Saints 37.9
Dwight Lowery, Jets 40.7
Drayton Florence, Bills 45.3
Leon Hall, Bengals 45.5
Lito Sheppard, Jets 45.6
Where does Woodson rank? A respectable 47.6 percent but not even in the top half dozen.
So comparing the two the numbers look like this:
REVIS: Thrown at 108 times, 40 receptions (37 Percent) for 439 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Woodson: Thrown at 84 times, 40 receptions (47.6 percent) for 560 yards and 6 touchdowns.
I know voting is done before the playoffs, but look what Larry Fitzgerald did to Woodson last week: 6 catches, 82 yards, 2 td's. Then look what Revis did to Ochocinco: 2 catches, 28 yards 0 td's. Point proved. In the regular season Revis consistently played against better receivers and quarterbacks than Woodson (if you don't believe me look at their schedules) and none of those receivers had good or even decent games against him. If Woodson is so valuable, how does Brett Favre (twice) and Roethlisberger throw all over the packers? And if it's because they threw away from him (not always), then is he really that valuable in the first place? Roethlisberger threw for 503 yards! Somehow I don't see that happening if Revis is playing instead of Woodson that game.

The only thing he hasn't done better than Woodson is interceptions. Woodson had 9 and Revis had 6. But Revis also dropped a ridiculous amount of INT's (I counted 6 in 3 games I saw). While catching an interception can be part of the position it isn't the most important part. You will hear arguments that Woodson is a better overall player because he had more forced fumbles, sacks, INT's, blah, blah, blah. All of it is just an excuse to vote for the guy with the most INT's while the most important part of the position and defense is not to let the other team score. The Jets did that better than any other team and Revis did that BY FAR better than Woodson making him the defensive player of the year. He took away the team's best receiver week in and week out, and while Woodson was also good he wasn't also deserving. Voters, please don't tell me you voted for Woodson because of a few more INT's and sacks.

Revis got robbed.