“…if the Cowboys played better football, Romo would win playoff games, even at 32.”
But that goes back to my point about Romo not winning when the Cowboys had better players and better teams.
“Stabler was the starter virtually all of the seasons he played after his first three in the league…”
And he also went to three straight conference championships before winning a Superbowl.
“Williams was the starter for five years in Tampa Bay…”
And he turned a terrible team around before it was gutted.
And he also had the great Joe Gibbs (The only coach, I believe, that won all of his Superbowls with different quarterbacks) coaching him in Washington.
“…even Plunkett had starting runs in NE and SF before landing in Oakland.”
Plunkett is the real aberration here. And Romo can’t depend on Morris Claiborne getting 13 interceptions, like Lester Hayes did in 1980.
^My point there is great players (not quarterbacks, players) step up when something is missing in their team. They may not win, but they get their teams in position. Romo doesn’t. That’s my problem with him.
True . . . although again I think this is a spot where the general memory of Romo’s career thus far is overemphasizing the failures and underemphasizing the successes. Going back to 2006, Romo has been in the top ten among QB is game winning drives in 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2011. Among active players, he’s 17th on the list, with only Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Jay Cutler higher on the list and Romo’s age or younger. Yeah, he’s going to have to put together some signature games late in the season and in the post-season to rise above Danny White status in Dallas, but it’s too soon to rule out the possibility of this happening.
No I agree. I’m not sold on Manning (mainly because the Giants have lost pieces on offense, and other than 2007 and 2011, Eli’s hardly ruled wild card spots, let alone his own division). Nor do I think the other teams in the division are all that more solid than Dallas. It’s more a competitive division because of how much is missing on each team, as opposed to the NFC North or NFC South (which are competitive because teams seem stacked, at least on one side of the ball).
I just don’t think Romo does enough late in the season to get teams over the hump, and more often than not gives up games and divisional leads.
The Giants went 1-5, outside of playing Dallas, in the final games of last season. That makes me sick to my stomach when I think about it.
“It’s more a competitive division because of how much is missing on each team, as opposed to the NFC North or NFC South (which are competitive because teams seem stacked, at least on one side of the ball).”
“^My point there is great players (not quarterbacks, players) step up when something is missing in their team. They may not win, but they get their teams in position. Romo doesn’t. That’s my problem with him.”
Agree, and my point too.
Disagree. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Washington is better than Minnesota and Tampa Bay. Though the NFC South is turning the corner fast. Brees, Matty Ice, Cam, Freeman. That’s a bumper crop of talent that hasn’t even hit its prime yet (Brees excluded, but he’s right in the middle of his prime). The NFC East is always the most competitive division, because of talent and true rivalries. The NFC South is always the most unpredictable. Actually, predictable, because the worst team usually goes on to win it the next year. That could easily happen this year too.
“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Washington is better than Minnesota and Tampa Bay.”
First of all, that’s not true.
No one’s going to care about Minnesota or Tampa Bay if the top three teams are all within reach of a division title on the last game of the season (which could easily happen in both divisions).
Second, The NFC North don’t have historic rivalries?
Plus, even I concede that Washington is a better team than either Minnesota or Tampa Bay (which I don’t), they still have major, major questions in the running game, offensive line (so RGIII won’t have any sort of safety net), at Strong Safety, and have a pretty weak d-line, as well. So my point about the division being competitive because of the holes on team’s rosters is still justified, in my mind.
And lastly, I never claimed any division to be the “most competitive,” in fact, I specifically said all of these divisions will be competitive.
The Bears and Packers have the single longest rivalry in the game, having been playing each other every year since 1921 with the exception of the strike year in ’82.
The OLDEST TEAM in the NFC East, the Giants, didn’t exist until 1925.
The Bears and Lions have been playing since 1930 (the Lions were the Portsmouth Spartans back then).
The SECOND OLDEST TEAM in the NFC East, the Redskins, didn’t even exist until that year. The third oldest team, the Eagles, didn’t come along until the year AFTER that, 1933.
I never said the North doesn’t have historical rivalries, or that the rivalries in the East are older. Maybe “true” was the wrong adjective to use. The rivalries in the East are more passionate and relevant, in my opinion. That’s probably because the teams have been more successful, at least within the last 30-40 years. But we can talk about the pre-war era in football if we want to. They didn’t wear helmets back then, right? Kidding.
Even if you limit it to just the last 10 years, the difference isn’t all that significant. The Giants have won two Super Bowls and the Eagles have appeared in one. The Packers have won one and the Bears have appeared in one. Even the historically-challenged NFC South has had the Bucs win, the Saints win, and the Panthers get there. From the West, the Seahawks, Rams and Cardinals have all managed to get themselves there. It’s not like any of the NFC divisions is the AFC West or anything.
Well, I guess it’s time to get this thing started…
2012 Preseason Week 1 thoughts:
Looking forward to seeing RGIII debut against Buffalo. Though I don’t necessarily believe he will be more amazing than a young Mike Vick or Cam Newton.
The Saints play the Pats tomorrow? Didn’t the Saints just play on Sunday??
Rams at Colts. I’m curious to see Luck. I never really analyzed him in college and I want to see if he’s all he’s cracked up to be.
Jets versus the Bengals. Everyone can’t wait to see who has the better offensive series. Is it Sanchez or Tebow? I love the drama in NYC and would have no problem watching the Jets implode again. Not that I hate them, it’s just great tv!
But who are we kidding. The most important and anticipated week 1 pre-season game? Denver versus Chicago. Finally! Let’s see what Peyton has left in the tank. For me, maybe the most interesting sub-plot this year is whether Peyton can take the Broncos deep into the playoffs, because they got rid of a Tebow who got them one round in. Things may get catastrophic in Denver if he doesn’t match that. Peyton ain’t Elway. Broncos fans don’t owe him anything and they’ll toss him out on his ear if he’s not up to par.
New QBs are always interesting. Curious to see how the Rams look under Fisher, how the Bears offense looks under Tice.
I’m a little worried for RGIII and Luck—maybe Luck a little more. I don’t think any two QBs have had as high expectations as those two. My sense is that if they don’t put up numbers close to Cam Newton’s last year, they’re going to be criticized. Those expectations seem ridiculous to me. And I think psychology is a crucial part of being a QB, something that can be messed up if not handled properly.
…and would have no problem watching the Jets implode again. Not that I hate them, it’s just great tv!
It would suck to be a die-hard Jets fan.
Things may get catastrophic in Denver if he doesn’t match that. Peyton ain’t Elway. Broncos fans don’t owe him anything and they’ll toss him out on his ear if he’s not up to par.
I tend to think this won’t happen—unless Peyton and the rest of the team are relatively healthy. And they would have to look pretty bad for the fans to really turn ugly, I think. Then again, maybe not.
Curious to see how the Rams look under Fisher, …
. . . and Caleb Hanie is Manning’s back-up—no one wants to see that happen. I think Manning will be OK, McGahee was just short of 1200 rushing yards last season, and Thomas and Decker are good solid young receivers. The offensive line is a bit of a worry, though.
Hanie might be serviceable in a run-oriented offense…but I’m sure that would be a nightmare scenario for the Broncos. Did they lose and/or not replace players on the O-line? I think if they have the same unit AND their committed to run, they should be fine. Imo, it’s the second part that concerns me: will Peyton be content to throw the ball a lot less and if not, how will the running game, pass protection, defense and Peyton’s health fare? (As run-guy, I’d like to see the former. It helps the defense and creates a formidable style in the post-season. Plus, Peyton can make the big throws when they would need it. Less pass attempts means less risky situations for him, too. But is he willing to do this? If his arm and abilities force him to do this, that might be a blessing in disguise.)
Same line, I think, but they gave up somewhere in the neighborhood of 49 sacks last season. Apparently the Broncos are going to run a lot of the no huddle stuff that Manning ran in Indy, so that will be interesting.
I think rookie QBs are hyped up more and more each year. Honestly, they talked about RGIII and Luck as if they were the best prospects in the history of the game. But it seems like they say that every year. Last year they talked about Cam as if he would change the world. I imagine they’ll say the same thing about whoever comes out number 1 this year. Now in this sense, this is where I agree about NFL Network (and maybe ESPN too) hyping and marketing their own product too much.
Yeah . . . although a lot of people really thought that Luck was a once-in-a-generation prospect, though. Kiper, I think it was, had him graded higher than any QB he’d ever graded except for Elway.
Green Bay @ San Diego on ESPN tonight. Not much needs to be sorted out in the preseason for the Packers. I’m interested to see how Robert Meachum meshes with the Chargers offense.
I believe that to be hyperbole from Kiper. Maybe he just has a short memory. Did he have him rated higher than Peyton Manning? The problem with the “once in a generation” tag is that people don’t know where to break between generations. Luck may be considered a once-in-a-generation prospect if we limit that generation to four years of college!
He did have him higher than Manning, yeah. Remember that coming out of Tenn, there were a lot of people in the league who were giving serious consideration to Leaf being a better pro prospect than Manning, so there was a not total agreement about Manning until after he had established himself in the league, so it’s nowhere near an exact science.
Here’s Kiper’s all-time top 10 prior to this class:
7 Andre Ware
10 Steve Young
Doubt that Luck is going to have the pro career of Elway, Kelly, Manning, Aikman, or Young, but I can see him possibly being Bledsoe, Testaverde, or Esiason.
Yeah, I remember the Leaf/Manning debate. Who knows how it will turn out for Luck. At this stage of the game, big brother Manning isn’t even guaranteed to go down in history more favorably than little bro Manning. I mean, he’s a first-ballot HOF’er, true. But there can always be a debate about who is the best QB, regardless of stats.
Yeah, it’s far from a sure thing that Peyton is going to get to, much less win, another Super Bowl at this point in his career.
“Doubt that Luck is going to have the pro career of Elway, Kelly, Manning, Aikman, or Young, but I can see him possibly being Bledsoe, Testaverde, or Esiason.”
Hopefully Luck is closer to the area between Bledsoe and Kelly, rather than Bledsoe and Testaverde…
“At this stage of the game, big brother Manning isn’t even guaranteed to go down in history more favorably than little bro Manning.”
Absolutely he is. Absolutely. His little brother could win another championship and still not match up with Peyton. First of all, Peyton had never had the defensive backing that Eli has had his entire career (and even their overall mediocre showing last year was better than almost every Colts defense, while Peyton was there). Plus Eli played with a bonafide hall of fame running back in his prime (and their lack of success caused him to retire early), and two borderline hall of fame wide receivers (both of whom are borderline at least partly because their careers began a downward spin as soon as Eli became their quarterback), as well as a multitude of superb o-lineman (some of whom could, again, be argued to deserve induction).
All of those great offensive players played as well, or better without Eli. Which is not something you can say about a single great Colt without Peyton.
Let’s not forget, the Giants did have a mediocre defense last year and lost parts on offense in the offseason. They may not even get to the playoffs this year (after Manning won his first title, he missed the playoffs two of the next three years).
If little brother is going to make his career in the postseason, he at least has to be on a good enough team to get him there.
“between Bledsoe and Kelly, rather than Bledsoe and Testaverde…”
Yeah . . . there are so many factors outside of a QBs potential that can slide one up and down on that spectrum, though. The Colts are going to be running a two tight end base, which is more like what Luck is accustomed to, but now Wayne is the #1 receiver and Collie, who I always thought was better suited to the slot, is going to be asked to be the #2 receiver.
. . . Also interested to see how the Colts adapt to the switch from a 4-3 Tampa 2 derivative to the 3-4 that Pagano brought over with him from the Ravens, with Freeney and Mathis moving from defensive ends to OLBs.
Matt said, Apparently the Broncos are going to run a lot of the no huddle stuff that Manning ran in Indy, so that will be interesting.
(Groan) OK, I know Manning is effective with this, and I guess it’s inevitable, but, ugh. I see this hurting the run game.
Last year they talked about Cam as if he would change the world.
My sense was that there were a lot of naysayers, and I don’t think there was anyone that anticipated the production he had. He shocked a lot of people. If Luck and/or RGIII can put up similar numbers, with the expectations to do so, that’ll be impressive.
Green Bay @ San Diego
I’d hate to be a SD fan. (Well, it’s not worse than be a Raider fan.) This has got to be Norv’s last chance, I think, and I like Turner.
Did GB’s defense get better? That’s scary. I heard John Clayton say the Eagles looked good. We’ll see how the Niners’ receivers pan out, but if they do and Smith improves, wow. Eagles, Niners, Packers and Giants, if they maintain the same level (somehow I don’t think so)—that sounds really good.
But there can always be a debate about who is the best QB, regardless of stats.
Where do you guys stand on this? It’s not even close for me. Imo, little brother’s only got last year—that’s his strongest argument, imo. I don’t think that overcomes big brother.
" I see this hurting the run game."
It puts a lot of pressure on execution and conditioning (particularly at Denver elevations), so it certainly has the potential to.
“Where do you guys stand on this? It’s not even close for me.”
Peyton is greater. But if Eli were to win a third Super Bowl, people would talk,
(Shaking my head.) Not my kind of football, man.
Right, but would you? Actually, it’s not the SB so much as Eli’s performance—especially in the clutch. I mean, do you give a lot of credit to Eli for the first SB win? That crazy-assed throw and catch—c’mon. I don’t remember the entire game, but I don’t recall him playing that great—not as good as he played in the last SB. If he plays like that for the next three or four years and wins another—maybe plays really great in the post-season—then I might consider him.
If you push stats aside, what Peyton does is sui generis, imo. I don’t know exactly what Peyton does—with his playing calling, etc.—but my impression is that the command that he has on the field is unprecedented. I also get the sense that he made the players around him better—more than they made him better. I can’t say that about Eli.
The one significant black mark is his post-season play—I’m not talking about wins and losses. He seems shaky in the big games, and that’s not a good sign. It’s not the loss to NO in the Superbowl, but the way he lost that matters to me. (Same with Elways early Superbowl losses.)
I remember when Dan Patrick was half-joking about how Peyton should have won the MVP last year. It’s absurd, but not that absurd to me.
“Peyton is greater. But if Eli were to win a third Super Bowl, people would talk”
That’s right. Winning is everything. Peyton’s numbers are already amazing and if he hadn’t gotten hurt they would be downright ridiculous. For a while, I thought he was in reach of Favre (and guess who else is working on a rather impressive iron man streak). But if he sort of flames out this year and basically ends his career soon after, and if Eli wins another Lombardi…I don’t know. It would be awfully hard then to make an argument that you take Peyton over Eli when the latter got a team to three Super Bowls and won all of them. Especially given that Peyton lost a Super Bowl with an interception. Eli has a bright future. I’m curious to see what the kid can do.
However, at the end of the day, I still prefer Brady to Manning when it comes to the best of the recent generation.
Personally? No. But there’s always the “rings is all that matters” contingent that will feel that three rings will trump anything less. People are crazy.
Understand the criticisms of him in the postseason, but I’d still take him (even in the post season) over any QB I’ve seen except Elway, Montana, Marino and possibly Favre.
Bobby, you going to let Matt call you crazy? Actually, I’m calling you crazy, too. ;)
Speaking of crazy, I can think of a lot of QBs that I might prefer—and I don’t care for Elway, Marino and Favre so much in the post-season. (Regular season is another story.) Here’s my thinking (if I haven’t lost most of you): as you have mentioned, you have to see the QB within the context of the team. Me, I want a run-oriented offense in the post-season or a safer pass offense like the one in NE with Brady. I don’t want a super-human QB-type—a guy who can single-handedly win games with his arm (and feet). That makes it too difficult to resist throwing the ball, which leads to throwing the ball a bit too much.
I suspect that Elway, Manning and Marino don’t have great post-seasons (Elway in the early Superbowls) because they have too much dang pressure on them; everything is riding on them—not just to make simple throws, but great throws, time and again. That’s too much pressure, man. You don’t want that.
Successful post-season play comes down to this one principle, imo: managing pressure and putting the pressure on your opponents. That’s often the difference between victors and the losers.
So I rather have a team with a strong defense, good ball-control (power running if possible) offense and a QB that’s not going to make mistakes and has the capacity to make plays when they need—but they wouldn’t have to make great plays often. When you get an Elway or Peyton Manning, you tend to play in a style that depends a lot on QB, which is not a good thing.
Having said that, when you look at these players regular season, it’s terrific. When you look at what they can do, it’s is undeniably great. But as crazy as it may sound, I think their talent can sometimes hurt the team in the post-season. (What’s great about Aikman is that he was OK with throwing the ball under 30 times a game. Heck, he seemed OK throwing the ball in the low twenties.)
The three rings argument regarding greatness is iron clad, at least when it comes to selecting your QB in one fantasy shot at glory. All things considered equal (in this hypothetical situation), how can you justify taking a guy who went twice and only won once versus a guy with a perfect record in the big game? Doesn’t the logic of math state that you take the man batting 1.000 versus the man batting .500? I’m not much of a gambler and far from a numbers whiz…BUT…
But of course it’s not so simple. We like to imagine all types of complicated scenarios to add nuance to the choice and to play armchair head coach, and maybe we should. I would feel highly comfortable taking one of Eli’s Super Bowl Giants teams into battle versus Peyton’s Super Bowl Colts team. Somehow, someway, Eli wins you the game with his arm in the clutch. 50% chance that Peyton loses you the game with his arm in the crucial moment. Said it before, I’ll say it again. I love primetime clutch players and I love championships. The rest is cheap conversation.
“Helloooo?! You play…to WIN…the game!!” — Herm Edwards