Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bushie on Iran and on a Mortgage Rate Freeze

So this week it turns out that U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that Iran gave up its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Bushie knew this months ago, but he has been trumpeting his foolish claim that Iran wants to start WWIII. He is an idiot and as I have been saying for months there is no way that we are going to attack Iran. They are the number 2 producer of oil in OPEC and they have many business deals with countries such as Russia, Germany, China, and India. All of his saber rattling now looks ever more idiotic and has further damaged American credibility on the world stage.

The newest blunder is his administration's negiotiations with mortgage lenders to freeze rates for 5 years on certain sub-prime loans. This is a horrible idea. I don't want people to lose their homes, but the way the mortgage industry works is by securing investors. If you are going to fix rates to bail folks out then you are essentially saying that the market cannot resolve itself. You will push away many investors and threaten the future cash flow of investors that will be needed to finance future mortgages. We are better off allowing the market to shed all of the bad loans quickly rather than try to artificially protect weak folks who cannot afford their homes.

Ultimately, here is what is going to happen - a whole lot of people are going to lose their homes anyway (it will just take longer), future qualified would-be homeowners won't get financing or will get them at higher rates, and the end result will be extend the mortgage crunch which will further slow the economy.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bears are Just About Done

The Bears D was bad yesterday, particularly in the 4th quarter when they again surrendered the lead with 2 late TDs. The D caused turnovers in the first three quarters, but that only covered up their inability to stop the run all game. When it really mattered they could stop the run or a horribly inconsistent Eli Manning from playing the part of a hero late in the game. You cannot win consistently in the NFL if you give up 175 yards rushing. That is 8 straight games the D has allowed the opponent to rush for more than 100 yards.

The O-line for the Bears also is just plain terrible. Giving up 6 sacks and only rushing for 68 yards won't cut it. When Rex wasn't getting sacked he was throwing it away to avoid sacks or getting beat up after throwing. Add to that the 5-6 drops (including Devin Hester's drop on a perfect pass that would have gone for a long TD) and the Bears were doomed.

It is all of the same problems they have had all year. The Bears don't need a QB or a running back - they need offensive and defensive linemen to re-establish themselves on the line of scrimmage. Football starts up front and that is why they lost yet again.

The Bears play the Redskins on Thursday night. It is unlikely that either team will make the playoffs, but certainly the team that loses is out. Aside from bragging rights I don't think the game will amount to much.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Bears and Redskins Thoughts

12-10 on the year.

Bears - I love the Bears but I am so disappointed in the Bears D this year. At 5-6, they have to go 4-1 if they are going to make the playoffs, and may very well have to go 5-0 given the NFC teams they are playing (Giants, Redskins, Vikings, Packers, Saints). They play the Giants in Chicago this week and have to win. I think the D will start to rise up for the stretch run and Rex will play a good game with Benson out for the year. Bears 28 - Giants 13.

Redskins - Tough, tough game after the emotional loss of Sean Taylor. I think FedEx Field will be a very special place on Sunday. The emotion and love will be tangible and even though I am not a fan, I will probably feel a tingle of emotion as I watch the beginning of the game. The Redskins are likely to play a great game, but this is a flawed Redskin team and the emotions may lead some players to press. The result will be a couple of mistakes that will be their undoing. Buffalo 17 - Redskins 14.

I could see the Redskins ripping into Buffalo 35-0, and I can see them falling flat. I really don't have any feel for how the game will go. Good luck Redskin fans, it would be a nice story if the Redskins win one for Sean. But to me, just playing hard will be a victory after such a shocking loss.

It's So True.

With the current Bears D as weak as it is and the inconsistency on offense, there is no reason in the world to ever, EVER, kick to Devin Hester. But, I love it when teams do.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Couple of Bears Notes

Nathan Vasher may be back in the lineup. That would really, really help their D if he can get on the field. Their secondary has been short-handed all year.

Devin Hester was out of practice yesterday as he coped with the death of Sean Taylor - they were teammates at the U.

The Bears have told the NFL that they are agreeable to moving the Thursday night game against the Redskins to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to accomodate the Redskins. With the game on Sunday, the funeral on Monday, and then the game on Thursday there may not be enough time to prepare. No matter what it will be tough for the Redskins to get prepared, but I think everyone wants it to be as fair as possible.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Power Rankings

It's been two weeks, and there are some changes - but basically both teams are in the muddled middle of the rankings.

ESPN has the Bears at #16 and the Redskins at #20.

Yahoo! rankings: Jason Cole has the Bears #20, Redskins are #15. Charles Robinson has the Bears at #22, Redskins are at #16.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #23 and the Redskins #18.

Dr. Z - Bears #14, Redskins #15

Thoughts About Sean Taylor's Death

Michael Wilbon's column in today's Post really struck a chord with me. It is a time of mourning and it is not surprising that we are hearing all of the great things about Sean Taylor and how he had turned his life around. No one wants to stomp on his grave, but the reality is that we don't really know that much about him. All we really know is that he was a truly gifted football player and that he lived a troubled life.

It is is a tragedy that he got cut down as he was emerging as an NFL star, but until the circumstances of his death are truly known we won't know what type of tragedy this was. If it was just a random act of violence then it will be the worst kind of tragedy, if this was delayed retaliation from his incident a couple of years ago it will be a different type of tragedy, and if we learn that he was involved in something violent himself recently then it will still be a tragedy but on a different level.

I read the column and hear Wilbon on the radio today and in both he evoked the memory of Len Bias. After Bias died there were a lot of folks who did not want to hear or believe that Len Bias died as a result of cocaine use. They were uncomfortable with the notion and felt that people were tarnishing him in death. I loved Len Bias and to this day feel that he is the greatest college player that I have ever seen play. But, I felt then as I feel now that it is important to know the truth so that something can be learned and done to help others not repeat the same mistakes. The fallout of the truth about Len Bias changed Maryland basketball, college basketball, and even society by opening up a discussion about the risks of cocaine and drug use. It did not eliminate drug use, but I like to think that there were some folks who were saved. The same should happen with Sean Taylor's death. To glorify him and whitewash reality would be a disservice to his memory in my opinion. I still love Len Bias, but recognize him as a flawed human being.

I have heard Taylor's lawyer/friend of the family, Richard Sharpstein, come out with three different statements, each more glorious than the last. His story has constantly changed. This was a random burglary, no wait he may have been targeted. The phone lines were cut, then they weren't, the phone just didn't work. The murderers targeted him but then they couldn't have known he was home. Sean was there checking on his house after the earlier break in. No wait, he was in Miami getting a second opinion on the knee. The baby slept through the incident in her crib in the bedroom, no wait, Taylor told his girlfriend to grab the baby and get under the covers while he checked things out. He is now quoted as saying, ''My instincts tell me this was not a murder or a hit." How the Hell does he know? He seems to be trying to shape public opinion with his speculation. It is irresponsible and may be an effort to shield the memory of Taylor from being tarnished by the truth about the way he lived his life. He should just shut up, let the police do their job, let the truth take us where it takes us, let us understand the tragedy for what it truly is, and then maybe we can learn from it.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Weekly Stats

Bears won and Redskins lost and now they find themselves both at 5-6 and in the playoff hunt. The NFC truly does stink. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie retakes the lead at 115-60
JKD is just below at 115-61
I am 106-70

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 14-8
I am 12-10
JKD is 11-11

DEFENSE:

Bears - #20 scoring defense (22.8 pts/game, down 3 slots), #26 defense in terms of yardage/game (356 yds/game, down 4 slots). Ranked #27 in rushing defense (127 yards/game, down 1 slot).

Redskins - #14 scoring defense (21.8 pts/game, up 5 slots), #9 defense in terms of yardage/game (311 yds/game, up 7 slots). Ranked #11 in rushing defense (98 yds/game, down 1 slot).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #19 scoring 0ffense (20.1 pts/game, up 3 slots), #23 offense in terms of yardage/game (300 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #30 in rushing offense (85 yards/game, down 1 slot).

Redskins - #21 scoring offense (19.4 pts/game, down 4 slots), #13 offense in terms of yardage/game (334 yds/game, up 3 slots). Ranked #6 in rushing offense (125 yds/game, up 2 slots).

Monday, November 26, 2007

Benson Out for the Year

Lovie confirmed that Cedric Benson will miss the remainder of the season. Tough break that ends a disappointing season for Benson.

Chicago Bears Still Alive

The Bears scored 2 TDs in the final 6 minutes to tie Denver and then won it in overtime. Here are a couple of thoughts:

1. Why does anyone EVER kick to Devin Hester - he had 2 return TDs to keep the Bears in.

2. The Bears D was still porous giving up more than 400 yards and 34 points, including far too many big runs and passes. They have got to tighten up if the Bears are going to really make a move.

3. Rex had a subpar game, but when it counted he and the offense delivered. He fumbled twice and threw an interception on a long bomb. He was harassed all day and the Bears receivers had at least 6 drops. But on the final drive he made the big throws including the 4th down TD pass with less than 30 seconds. In overtime he delivered a 40-yard strike to Desmond Clark to get them into field goal range. The Bears don't need a new QB, they need offensive linemen.

Cedric Benson may be out for the year which hurts, the D is playing poorly, the O-line is a disaster, and Rex has to hold on to the ball, but the Bears are still alive for now. The team has major flaws, and because of all of their NFC and divisional losses they pretty much have to win out to get in. That will only happen if they get better defensive play and at least improved O-line play. We'll see.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Bears (and some Redskins) Thoughts

If you look at the weekly stats - they tell the story. The Bears and Redskins are mediocre teams and their statistics clearly point to that very basic fact. The Redskins are one game better and when you look at the stats they are a bit better than the Bears.

I was greatly disappointed in the Bears this past weekend. So much so, that I am still recovering. Rex played very well, but again the offensive play calling was suspect and the offensive line was horrible. Benson was having his best day of the season in the 20 minutes and then the Bears just simply stopped giving it to him. It was bizarre. They were ahead 10-0 and then just started winging it in the air most of the the rest of the game. It was 17-17 at halftime and was close throughout - there was just no need to abandon the run. On top of that, the Bears D needed to stay off the field.

The D has just been bad this year - nothing new on Sunday.

At 4-6, the division is clearly out. But they are only 2 games out of the Wild Card race (really 2.5 because the Lions hold the head-to-head tiebreaker). I don't believe this Bears team will make the playoffs - certainly they have shown no consistency to make me believe they will go 5-1 down the stretch and make it in. But, I will hold out hope and take it one week at a time. We have to beat Denver this week and get on a roll.

For the Redskins, I think their D is wearing down. I think the loss of Taylor is a major, major problem. At 5-5 they are in fairly good shape because they hold tie-breakers against the Lions and the Cardinals, but I think their D will worsen as they get banged up. The thing about the Redskins is that they don't have good coaching. Gibbsy used to be a master of half-time adjustments. Now, it seems that opponents are the ones who make adjustments and then blow out the Redskins in the second halves of games.

Depending on how things go, the December 6 Bears-Redskins game may be very important for one or both teams - especially for to get the tiebreaker. We'll see.

All that said, right now, even if the Bears and/or the Redskins make the playoffs, they look to be slaughtered by the better teams in the NFL. But, I'd rather find a way to get in and have a chance than otherwise.

Weekly Stats

Bears and Redskins both lost, but remarkably they both have a shot at the playoffs. It looks like 9-7 will get in and perhaps an 8-8 team will make it with tiebreakers. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie retakes the lead at 105-54
JKD is just below at 105-55
I am 97-63

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 13-7
JKD is 11-9
I am 10-10

DEFENSE:

Bears - #17 scoring defense (21.7 pts/game, down 1 slot), #22 defense in terms of yardage/game (349 yds/game, down 2 slots). Ranked #26 in rushing defense (126 yards/game, down 1 slot).

Redskins - #19 scoring defense (22.1 pts/game, no change), #16 defense in terms of yardage/game (322 yds/game, down 5 slots). Ranked #10 in rushing defense (97 yds/game, up 1 slot).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #22 scoring 0ffense (18.4 pts/game, down 1 slot), #25 offense in terms of yardage/game (301 yds/game, down 2 slots). Ranked #29 in rushing offense (82 yards/game, up 1 slot).

Redskins -#17 scoring offense (20 pts/game, no change), #16 offense in terms of yardage/game (327 yds/game, up 3 slots). Ranked #8 in rushing offense (125 yds/game, no change).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Rex Will Start

We now have a shot. We need Rex to get hot and use his arm to stretch the field. Hopefully it will loosen up defenses to allow the running game to get going. I love it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Universal Health Care

I was having a discussion with some friends about the concept of universal health care, and I recognized that they had no idea how serious the problem is and how much all of the uninsured are costing them.

There are almost 50 million Americans who don't have health care. Some make the choice not to get it because they are healthy and are willing to pay out of pocket, but for most, they don't have an affordable option.

The problem for those with health care is that we have to pay higher and higher premiums to "cover" the expenses of the uninsured. Think about it - when an uninsured person has an accident or gets sick they go to the hospital emergency room. By law, they cannot be denied care. When they get sent the bill and cannot pay it, the hospital does not absorb the cost, they just charge those with health insurance more. This drives up our rates.

There is no legitimate proposal on the table for a mandatory government health care system that would make all doctors government employees. That is non-sensical scare talk. An optional, single-payer plan to cover the uninsured is long overdue. It is not just a government giveaway, it is becoming an increasingly more important need for those of us who already have health coverage.

Updated Weekly Stats

Bears and Redskins look to be going in different directions. We'll see if the Bears have their mojo back and if the Redskins can get their mojo back in coming weeks. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
JKD is now the leader at 93-51
Deepie is a half game back at 92-51
I am at 86-58

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 11-7
JKD is 9-9
I am 9-9

DEFENSE:

Bears - #16 scoring defense (20.8 pts/game, up 6 slots), #20 defense in terms of yardage/game (340 yds/game, up 7 slots). Ranked #25 in rushing defense (129 yards/game, up 1 slot).

Redskins - #19 scoring defense (21.4 pts/game, down 4 slots), #11 defense in terms of yardage/game (318 yds/game, down 1 slot). Ranked #11 in rushing defense (100 yds/game, down 2 slots).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #21 scoring 0ffense (18 pts/game, up 2 slots), #23 offense in terms of yardage/game (296 yds/game, up 3 slots). Ranked #30 in rushing offense (79 yards/game, up 1 slot).

Redskins -#17 scoring offense (20 pts/game, up 3 slots), #19 offense in terms of yardage/game (316 yds/game, up 1 slot). Ranked #8 in rushing offense (132 yds/game, up 1 slot).

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bears Huge Win

OK, OK, it was against the lowly Raiders and the Bears still could not get their rushing game going, but there are a couple of great things that happened that give me some hope. First, the D played well and created turnovers. But perhaps more important is that Rex is back. His 60-yard TD with three minutes to go is exactly why he needs to be playing over Griese. Brian cannot throw it that far, especially with a guy in his face.

I think sitting Rex down may have helped him. He was under so much pressure and faced so much criticism that it had to wear on the guy. Now, the fans have had a taste of Griese and his limitations and can see that Rex gives them a dimension that they don't have with Brian. If Rex can get on a roll like he did at the start of last year, it should get interesting.

I'm not willing to say that the Bears are going to the playoffs, but at least their season isn't over. Every one of their last 7 games is going to be a playoff game. The Packers are going to win the NFC North, and the Bears have to make up 2 games against the Giants and 3 games against the Lions (the Lions are two games up, but they swept the Bears so they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker). But, they play a lot of NFC teams in the last 7 weeks including the Giants.

It will all be for naught if the Bears go to Seattle and lose this week. But, I have regained a new energy and excitement for my team.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

UVA Explodes

Man, what a shock. UVA scored early and often en route to a rout of Miami playing in their final game in the Orange Bowl. Given all of the close games this year, it came as quite a shock. Hopefully that offensive production and momentum will carry over to the VT game.

VT beat Florida State and no matter what they do against Miami next week, the Virginia-VT game in two weeks will decide who gets to play for the ACC title against either BC or Clemson.

UVA is now 9-2 and could still have a very special season if they can win out.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

U.S. Economy

We are in a precarious situation. The debt-explosion that Bushie has overseen has been paid for by borrowing from foreign investors. Because foreigners have been willing to take on over $2.2 trillion is U.S. debt (the U.S. national debt has more than doubled under Bushie) we have been able to maintain low interest rates which has allowed U.S. consumers to finance their purchases with lower-interest debt. The problem is that the dollar is crashing. With the U.S. government awash in debt and the dollar at an all-time low against the major other currencies, it is only a matter of time before foreigners decide not to buy U.S. investments and debt. We won't have a source of funding to fuel our economy.

The only way to keep them coming is by raising rates. But this will make it more expensive for Americans to fund their purchases and puts all of the variable rate home mortgages at further risk.

There is a looming disaster and we are nowhere near the bottom as I see it. Now, I have been predicting a major crash for some time and have to admit that I have been surprised that it has not happened yet, but I am quite confident that it is coming.

Friday, November 09, 2007

1 Year from the Election

We are about a year from the presidential election. Here are a couple of thoughts. The Democratic congress has been a disaster and has accomplished nothing major. Some of that has to do with Republican obstructionism (which they should do as the opposition party), but in my opinion the Democratic leadership has been abyssmal. That said, there is plenty of time for Congress to get things done. Looking forward, it looks to me like the Republicans will lose seats in both the Senate and the House, and the Democratic presidential nominiee will win. There may very well be a governing majority that can end Republican filibusters in the Senate.

The single biggest thing that will help the Democrats is George W. Bush. He will grow even more unpopular. The Iraq war is bad enough, but there is no good news on the economic front. We are looking at record oil prices that should continue to rise next summer. We have a crashing dollar because of all of the debt THE DECIDER added to our country. The credit woes are killing investment banks, and the housing market will be worse next year than it is this year. All of this will put voters in a decidedly sour mood and the easiest target will be Bush.

On the Republican side, the fiscal conservatives are moving away from the Republican party. And, the social conservatives are splintering among the various candidates. There isn't a single candidate for a unified Christian coalition. All of these factors make me believe that there will be a Democratic tidal wave next year.

Weekend Picks

7-9 on the year.

Bears - it has been a disappointing year so far. They are coming off of a bye and hopefully they will show more than they showed in the first half of the season. I fully expect them to go to Oakland and win. I also expect them to try to work on their running game. Pro Bowl guard Ruben Brown is out, but to be honest he has not been the same this year. He is older and I think injuries have really slowed him down. Terrance Metcalf takes over and I think it will actually help the team. End result Bears 24 - Oakland 13.

Redskins - this is one of those games that the Redskins should win but won't. Philly still has some pride and will put up a good fight. The Redskins won't be able to run like they did against the Jets and JC has regressed. McNabb will make just enough plays to win. Eagles 17 - Redskins 13.

UVA thoughts - They play a largely meaningless game in Miami. No matter what happens they will likely be playing for a berth in the ACC title game against Virginia Tech on Thanksgiving weekend. The only way that doesn't happen is if VT loses to both Florida State and Miami over the next two weeks - then UVA clinches (assuming they beat Miami this weekend). UVA has not been a great road team, but I think they have been playing well overall. I think they get their ninth win in another nail biter. UVA 21 - Miami 20.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

New Attorney General on the Way

So Gonzo finally resigned under pressure, but now we are getting a guy who cannot really say if waterboarding is torture. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved Michael Mukasey for a full vote in the Senate. His nomination is likely to be confirmed. I understand the politics of it, but cannot believe that the incoming Attorney General of the United States of America refuses to comment on whether or not waterboarding is torture.

On top of that, I cannot believe how weak the Senate is in confirming such a person.

Democrats in Congress were elected to bring an end to the war in Iraq - there are more troops than ever there.

Democrats were supposed to end warrantless wiretapping - it is still going on and they are going to extend blanket immunity to telecom companies that participated in the illegal activity.

Democrats were supposed to re-institute habeas corpus and end torture - nope.

They have been complete failures when it comes to leading on the big issues of the day. It is both frustrating and sad.

Keith's Special Comment on Waterboarding

Football Thoughts

It is now the mid-point of the NFL season and here are a couple of thoughts.

Bears - injuries, poor play, and poor coaching have all resulted in their 3-5 record. The most alarming thing is how far the D has fallen off. I don't believe the Bears will make the playoffs, but still hope they can get things turned around. The way they are playing it doesn't look good. I think the team needs to really commit to the run and let Benson get 25+ carries. Griese is not a QB who should be throwing more than 18-22 times a game. he doesn't have the arm or the decision-making to justify that. (If they are going to throw that much, then play Rex.) Re-establishing themselves as a running team will help the D and give them some of their mojo back. The D should be healthier coming out of the bye, and the coaches should stop trying to fake blitz and have guys moving all over the place - just play straight up, sound football. My view is that Babich has too many guys running all over the place faking like they are blitzing and then running back into coverage. It isn't working.

Bottom line, if the Bears don't win their next three in a row (at Oakland, at Seattle, and then against Denver) and get themselves to 6-5 they are out. I'm not saying they should win those games, or that they will win those games, I am simply stating that one loss in their next three ends their playoff hopes for this year. The Bears may already have too many divisional and NFC losses to get in because of tie breakers. However, if they win the next three, the last five against the Giants, Green Bay, and New Orleans, as well as on the road against Washington and Minnesota give them a chance to get some tie breakers against teams that will be in the mix. Realistically, going 5-3 to finish 8-8 would be a good finish for this team.

Redskins - This team is not going anywhere. My view is that it should give JC some chances down the field to make his mistakes and learn this year. The second half of the season includes games against Dallas twice, at the Giants and Tampa. Those will be tough, as will their games against Buffalo and at Minnesota. The other two games are against Philly this week and against Chicago. These last two are probably the most winnable games, but both Philly and Chicago will pose challenges for the Skins. I predicted they would finish the year 7-9. Given that they are 5-3, they should beat that, but I don't see anything better than 9-7 for them. I don't believe they will go 4-4 to get there, I think they will end up 8-8.

It looks like that Bears-Redskins game could be a big one if things work out.

At least the UVA Cavaliers are 8-2. This week they play at Miami in a largely meaningless game. Whether they win or lose they are at least assured of playing for an ACC title game berth when they meet Virginia Tech in Charlottesville on Thanksgiving weekend. If they beat Miami and VT loses this week to Florida State and next week to Miami then Virginia would clinch anyway. But, it looks like it will all come down to Virginia-VT on November 24. Exciting times for UVA football.

Weekly Stats after 8 Weeks

Bears off and the Redskins beat the Jets. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
JKD won the week, but Deepie remains in the lead. Deepie is 87-42
JKD is second at 85-45
I am at 78-52

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 10-6
JKD is 8-8
I am 7-9

DEFENSE:

Bears - #22 scoring defense (23 pts/game, no change), #27 defense in terms of yardage/game (358 yds/game, down 1 slot). Ranked #26 in rushing defense (131 yards/game, no change).

Redskins - #15 scoring defense (20 pts/game, up 1 slot), #10 defense in terms of yardage/game (311 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (95 yds/game, no change).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #23 scoring 0ffense (18 pts/game, up 1 slot), #26 offense in terms of yardage/game (296 yds/game, no change). Ranked #31 in rushing offense (79 yards/game, no change).

Redskins -#20 scoring offense (19 pts/game, up 3 slots), #20 offense in terms of yardage/game (310 yds/game, up 8 slots). Ranked #9 in rushing offense (129 yds/game, up 9 slots).

Friday, November 02, 2007

Football Picks

7-8 on the year.

Bears on a bye - hopefully they can get their collective heads on straight and make a run.

Redskins head to the Meadowlands to play the Jets. Coming off the big loss I could see them really get things back on track against the lowly Jets. But you know what? I really think three things are going to happen that will end in the Redskins taking a loss. First, I think Manginious will figure out some odd defenses to confuse JC. He will continue his recent struggles. Second, with Clemens getting the start, there will be a renewed emphasis on TJ and the running game. Third, Clemens has a bigger arm and can take some shots down the field. Jets will make a couple of plays and the Redskins won't. End result - Jets 13 - Redskins 10.

As for the Cavs, they have a tough game against streaking Wake Forest (6 wins in a row). But the Cavs are at home and will want to get back on track after the disappointing loss to NC State. I expect a tough game, but the Cavs are a different team at home and will win.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

NFL Power Rankings

ESPN has the Bears at #23 and the Redskins at #15.

Yahoo! rankings: Jason Cole has the Bears #20, Redskins are #14. Charles Robinson has the Bears at #22, Redskins are at #12.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #22 and the Redskins #17.

Dr. Z - Bears #22, Redskins #12

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Disasterous weeks for both the Bears and Redskins. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
JKD won the week, but Deeps maintains the lead.
Deepie is 78-37
JKD is second at 73-43
I am at 70-46

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 9-6
JKD and I are 7-8

DEFENSE:

Bears - #22 scoring defense (23 pts/game, up 1 slot), #26 defense in terms of yardage/game (358 yds/game, down 1 slot). Ranked #26 in rushing defense (131 yards/game, no change).

Redskins - #16 scoring defense (20 pts/game, down 13 slots), #12 defense in terms of yardage/game (307 yds/game, down 7 slots). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (91 yds/game, down 4 slots).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #24 scoring 0ffense (18 pts/game, down 5 slots), #26 offense in terms of yardage/game (296 yds/game, no change). Ranked #31 in rushing offense (79 yards/game, down 1 slot).

Redskins -#23 scoring offense (18 pts/game, down 6 slots), #28 offense in terms of yardage/game (293 yds/game, down 3 slots). Ranked #18 in rushing offense (105 yds/game, down 2 slots).

Monday, October 29, 2007

Disasterous Football Weekend

UVA lost a game they should have won. Bears lost a game they needed to win. Both teams gave poor performances that were disappointing to say the least.

Bears - All those folks who called for Brian Griese can now see why he is a journeyman who is on his fourth team. His 4 interception performance against the Lions may have sealed the Bears' fate. I mean really - who throws 3 interceptions in the opponents end zone? He has a penchant for it. So in his 5 games, Griese is 2-3 and has 9 TDs and 10 Ints. His numbers are certainly no better than Rex. In fact, he is throwing interceptions at a much higher pace.

Brian Griese is a nice backup QB to have. The Bears have a bye week that comes at a good time for them. They need to think about how to turn things around. For my money, I say they need to fire QB coach Pep Hamilton, who hasn't done anything for them. Then they need to go back to Rex to see if he is going to be the Bears' long term QB. The playoffs are out of the question right now, but Bears fans have to hope that Rex catches fire and has some of his 100 rating games.

UVA got hit by a team that had a QB that caught fire. I thought the D played well at times but clearly made too many mistakes. UVA took the leade 24-23 in the fourth quarter on a well executed drive by Jameel Sewell. But the D couldn't hold the lead and gave up another long TD pass. I still expected UVA to pull it out in the end, but with 7 minutes to go Sewell got severe leg cramps and could not play. That pretty much sealed it. It's too bad, but it happens. They play streaking Wake this week in Charlottesville. UVA always plays well at home and will need to overcome a lot of their injuries to beat a Wake team that has won 6 in a row.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Great VT Loss!

I loved it. For 58 minutes last night Virginia Tech dominated Boston College, but then Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes in the final 2:00 to beat VT 14-10. Ryan was having a dismal night in the rain at Lane Stadium before pulling it out. To make matters worse for VT, BC recovered an onside kick before the final decisive score with just seconds remaining.

Virginia-Virginia Tech closes out the regular season for both teams. Assuming that Virginia doesn't lose more than 1 other ACC game (NC State, Wake, and Miami) and VT doesn't lose another ACC game (Georgia Tech, Florida State, and Miami), it will come down to the UVA-VT game for the Coastal Division. Right now, you have to say that Virginia has the inside track to get to the ACC title game.

If Virginia gets there without a loss, I am going to pray that BC gets there without a loss. Then you would have BC at #2 (perhaps #1 if Ohio State loses) against Virginia, who would likely be ranked in the top 10 - perhaps around #7 in the BCS. Depending how things go - and there is a lot that would have to happen - UVA could end up in the national title game.

I can dream. But for now, all that matters is beating NC State this week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Dropped Passes

Deeps wants to change NFL stats so that drops don't count against JC.

But they are part of the game. It turns out that Chicago has more drops than Washington. It happens.

NFL Power Rankings

ESPN has the Bears at #18 and the Redskins at #10.

Yahoo! rankings: Jason Cole has the Bears #20, Redskins are #8. Charles Robinson has the Bears at #19, Redskins are at #10.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #19 and the Redskins #13.

Dr. Z - Bears #21, Redskins #10

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Weekly Stats After 7 Weeks

Bears and Redskins both won (barely). Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie won the week and increased his lead.
He is 68-34
JKD is second at 62-41
I have been gaining and am just one behind at 61-42

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 8-5
JKD is 6-7
I am 6-7

DEFENSE:

Bears - #23 scoring defense (24 pts/game, no change), #25 defense in terms of yardage/game (357 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #26 in rushing defense (133 yards/game, no change).

Redskins - #3 scoring defense (15 pts/game, no change), #5 defense in terms of yardage/game (277 yds/game, down 2 slots). Ranked #5 in rushing defense (81 yds/game, up 1 slot).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #19 scoring 0ffense (20 pts/game, up 1 slot), #26 offense in terms of yardage/game (302 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #30 in rushing offense (81 yards/game, down 3 slots).

Redskins -#17 scoring offense (20 pts/game, down 1 slot), #25 offense in terms of yardage/game (305 yds/game, down 9 slots). Ranked #16 in rushing offense (115 yds/game, down 2 slots).

Monday, October 22, 2007

JC's Inconsistency

Looking over his games JC has an average QB rating of 78.5. Rex finished last year at 73.9. Here are JC's ratings for his first 6 games - 54, 75, 74, 125, 72, 57. Last year, Rex had a 99, 148, 65, 101, 101, and 10.

The Redskins D is actually playing better than the Bears D did last year. Right now they have a better scoring D and are giving up fewer yards per game. They are even getting turnovers and sacks.

Moss and Randle El are comparable to Berrian and Moose. Cooley is better than Clark. Portis and Betts are certainly better than TJ and Benson.

I know the line is beat up, but they haven't been horrible. Why isn't JC performing?

Bears and Redskins QBs

Well, Rex got pulled after 3 games with 1 TD and 6 interceptions and a 45.2 QB rating. He did not get much of a shot to turn the season around. I have no problem with the move to Brian Griese and support Lovie, but it will be interesting to see what happens to Rex. I think he will remain with the Bears, but if he does leave, I think he will do great things in the NFL.

Griese has been good, but not great. His final minute drive yesterday was awesome and his 2 TDs in the closing minutes against Minnesota last week were good, but he hasn't really been on fire for the most part. In 4 games he has provided solid play with an 86 QB rating. He has a completion percentage over 62 percent, has thrown for more than 1200 yards and has 8 TDs and 6 interceptions. Five interceptions came in the two losses to Detroit and Minnesota. Basically, what I can say is that Griese is doing a lot of what Rex did last year. He needs to do better (especially cutting down on the mistakes) if the Bears are going to make some noise this year.

JC is doing about what I would expect for a young guy. He has almost 1200 yards and almost an 80 QB rating. He has 5 TDs and 5 interceptions. What we can say is that he has been a solid performer, but nothing really special. His numbers are Kyle Boller-ish and Damon Huard-ish. He had the one great game against Detroit with his 125 rating and 2 TDs and 0 interceptions. But then he has had 2 games in the 50s against Miami and Arizona. In those games he had 0 TDs and 3 interceptions. Pretty inconsistent in fact. A few more ups and downs and perhaps we can start asking the question - when do we start talking about "Good JC" and "Bad JC?"

Cavaliers' Strength of Schedule

For all of your nonsense about UVA building a 7-1 record against weaker teams, JKD and Deeps, you should look at the strength of schedules for the nation's top teams:

UVA's schedule ranks #22.

BC and Virginia Tech's schedules are in the 50s
In the Big East you have South Florida (6-1) at #8 and West Virginia (6-1) at #55
In the Big 10 you have Ohio State (8-0) at #71 and Michigan (6-2) at #34
In the Big 12 you have Kansas (7-0) at #117 and Oklahoma (7-1) at #83
In the Pac-10 you have Arizona State (7-0) at #61 and USC (6-1) at #92
In the SEC you have LSU (7-1) at #10 and Florida (5-2) at #6.

UVA's record is just fine and it has come with one of the more competitive schedules in the country to date. So, don't pull out anymore B.S. about playing a soft schedule. That is just patently false.

Just for fun, JMU's 6-1 record comes on the basis of playing the #163 ranked schedule in the country. Nice.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Bears Thriller

The Bears D gave up the go-ahead Eagles TD with about 5 minutes to go, and it was journeyman Brian Griese and the Bears offense that pulled it out. Griese led the Bears on an 11-play, 97 yard drive that culminated with a 15-yard TD pass to Moose. The Bears pulled it out and saved their season. If they can beat the Lions and get to 4-4, they have a bye and can get healthy for the stretch run.

What I liked was the Bears D responded with a solid effort and the Bears offense took advantage of Devin Hester and Greg Olsen. It was a classic Bears win. Hopefully they can keep it up next week.

Great football weekend with the Bears and Cavaliers winning. UVA is now #15 in the BCS rankings. The big ACC game this week is BC vs. Virginia Tech. I'd like to see BC win.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

UVA Wins Again!

Beautiful win. UVA pulled a huge road win against a very good Maryland team. Jameel Sewell led UVA on a 90 yard drive which ended with a UVA TD with 16 seconds remaining. True freshman Mikell Simpson came out of nowhere to rush for 119 yards and 2 TDs (including the game winner) and to catch 13 passes for 152 yards. The UVA D was solid as always and Chris Long dominated play again. He had 2 sacks including a safety.

Huge win. UVA goes to 7-1 and in sole possession of the ACC Coastal Division (4-0). Next up, UVA heads to North Carolina to play the the 2-5 N.C. State Wolfpack.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bears and Redskins Picks

4-7 on the year.

Bears - Another must win after their embarrassing defensive performance last week at home to the Vikings. They cannot lose another NFC game and will win this week in Philadelphia. Lovie stepped in and took a more hands on approach to the defense this week. I hope we will see a different team that is more like last year's early season bunch than this year's listless group. Bears 20-17.

Redskins - Should have no trouble with Arizona at FedEx. Arizona will likely end up with Tim Rattay at QB. Enough said. Redskins 24 - Cardinals 6.

UVA plays on the road here in Maryland. They have not been a good road team under Al Groh, but this is a game that they should win. I'd be more comfortable is Cedric Peerman was back, but the D is still great and I like the way Jameel Sewell is playing. When they need him to perform he has been coming through. UVA will get to 7-1.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

College Football - All About Money

You want to win a national championship? You need financial resources.

Here is Forbes list of the biggest revenue-generating college football programs. They are generating between $50 million and $100 million in revenues. That is why they are perennial national champion contenders.

UVA generates less than $20 million. It is foolish to expect UVA to be a national power unless one commits the resources year after year that the big boys commit. That is why I am quite pleased with this season and I am comfortable with Al Groh's record as head coach.

Read what the University of Texas does for its athletes and you can see what it takes to be a team with national title aspirations every year. You can see that it is a whole different level of athlete worship at play.

I tried to find expense reports, but there is too much variation in what gets counted as expenses. For example, some schools put in stadium improvements/expansion expenses, but others do not. They just account for it in the University's overall capital improvements budget. So, using revenues is a better barometer of where a program stands. It counts in ticket sales, TV contract revenues, bowl appearance fees, booster money, etc. It has less variation in what gets counted.

Sure, there are always teams that rise up out of the blue for a year or two - South Florida and Rutgers come to mind. But they are just "flavors-of-the-month."

If UVA boosters really want to become a national championship contender then kick in another $5 million to $10 million per year and show the financial commitment to build a national contender. With more resources maybe the stadium can be made larger, we could have football facilities improvements, better market the program, increase coaches salaries, and make the university more attractive to top recruits.

NFL Power Rankings

ESPN has the Bears at #23 and the Redskins at #11.

Yahoo! rankings: Jason Cole has the Bears #25, Redskins are #10. Charles Robinson has the Bears at #19, Redskins are at #12.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #22 and the Redskins #15.

Dr. Z - Bears #22, Redskins #12.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weekly Stats After 6 Weeks

Bears and Redskins stumbled, although the Bears' stumble is far worse. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
This is the first week that I won outright, but Deepie still leads at 58-30
JKD is second at 54-35
I gained, but am third at 52-37

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 7-4
JKD is 5-6
I am at 4-7

DEFENSE:

Bears - #23 scoring defense (25 pts/game, down 2 slots), #27 defense in terms of yardage/game (361 yds/game, down 4 slots). Ranked #26 in rushing defense (134 yards/game, down 14 slots).

Redskins - #3 scoring defense (14 pts/game, up 1 slot), #3 defense in terms of yardage/game (259 yds/game, no change). Ranked #6 in rushing defense (80 yds/game, up 2 slots).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #20 scoring 0ffense (20 pts/game, up 2 slots), #28 offense in terms of yardage/game (288 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #27 in rushing offense (83 yards/game, no change).

Redskins -#16 scoring offense (20 pts/game, down 2 slots), #16 offense in terms of yardage/game (333 yds/game, down 4 slots). Ranked #14 in rushing offense (123 yds/game, down 4 slots).

Monday, October 15, 2007

Bears Lose

It doesn't matter who plays QB for the Bears if you give up 200 plus yards to a rookie running back. The gameplan must have been to stop the running game and let Tavaris Jackson beat them. Didn't work out.

The offense needs to pick it up - they made plays in the final three minutes to score 2 TDs, and then Lovie actually kicked off to Adrian Peterson who returned it to the Chicago 38 and set up the final game-winning 55-yard field goal. Peterson killed them all game and then they kicked it off to him. Crazy!

The Bears season is again on the brink. They have to win in Philly this week. If the Bears don't win their next 2 going into the bye at 4-4, their season is likely over.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

UVA is 6-1

Great game against UConn. Great defense and the offense made plays when they had to.

With LSU and Cal losing, it looks like Ohio State and BC will be 1 and 2. UVA will be moving up into the Top 25. If they can keep it going against Maryland next week, things could really get interesting. There is a scenario that has UVA playing for the national title. Obviously there is a long way to go, but I think it is safe to say that Al Groh has proven some of you wrong already (you know who you are).

Friday, October 12, 2007

Walter Payton - What could he do besides run? Everything.

The greatest football player of all time - no question in my mind.

Bears and Redskins Picks

Bears - Play at home against Minnesota. They have a chance to build some momentum following their inspired second half effort against Green Bay. The D is getting healthier and I think the running game will start to emerge in coming weeks. I expect the Bears t have a solid victory and get themselves to 3-3. Bears 24 - Vikings 9.

Redskins - Go to Green Bay to take on the Pack. I'd love to see the Redskins win. That would put the Pack up only 1 game (assuming the Bears win). But, I think the Redskins are a mediocre team and will lose. Green Bay's D is much improved over last year and Favre seems to be playing much better. Green Bay 28 - Redskins 13.

UVA - take on 5-0 UConn at home. Cedric Peerman may be out, which would really hurt, but the Cavs play well at home. If the game was on the road, I'd probably pick UConn, but I think Groh and the boys will get their sixth win of the season at home. That will set them up for a nice run down the stretch against the better teams in the ACC.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NFL Power Rankings after 5 Weeks

Bears and Redskins are both up following last weeks wins.

ESPN has the Bears at #15 and the Redskins at #8.

Yahoo! rankings:
Jason Cole has the Bears #16, Redskins are #9.
Charles Robinson has the Bears at #15, Redskins are at #9.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #18 and the Redskins #11.

Dr. Z - Bears #16, Redskins #13.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Weekly NFL Stats Through Week 5

Bears and Redskins had huge wins this week. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie increased his lead again this week and stands at 50-25
JKD is second at 47-29
I'm still pulling in at third at 42-33

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 6-3
JKD is 5-4
I am at 3-6

DEFENSE:

Bears - #21 scoring defense (23 pts/game, no change), #23 defense in terms of yardage/game (344 yds/game, down 8 slots). Ranked #12 in rushing defense (99 yards/game, down 3 slots).

Redskins - #4 scoring defense (13 pts/game, up 4 slots), #3 defense in terms of yardage/game (268 yds/game, up 10 slots). Ranked #8 in rushing defense (86 yds/game, up 1 slot).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #22 scoring 0ffense (17 pts/game, up 4 slots), #30 offense in terms of yardage/game (254 yds/game, no change). Ranked #27 in rushing offense (83 yards/game, no change).

Redskins -#14 scoring offense (21.8 pts/game, up 8 slots), #12 offense in terms of yardage/game (341 yds/game, up 3 slots). Ranked #10 in rushing offense (130 yds/game, no change).

Sunday, October 07, 2007

HUGE, HUGE, HUGE BEARS WIN!

As much as there can be a must-win game in early October, the Bears had it tonight. In what was like a playoff atmosphere (again, as much as you can have it in October), the Bears went on the road to Green Bay and got a GI-NORMOUS win. A loss would have effectively ended any chance at the division and would have likely required them to go 9-2 to make the playoffs.

After a shaky first half, the Bears had a huge second half by outscoring the Pack 20-3 and winning 27-20. The game really seemed to turn when Favre threw the bone-headed interception to Urlacher deep in Pack territory with the Packers up 20-10. The three prior Packer drives had ended in a TD and two field goals, and they were moving the ball at will against the Bears D up to that point. The Pack seemingly had things under control until Favre blew it and allowed the Bears D to make a play.

I have to give a shout out to the 'Skins and thank them for knocking off the Lions. If the 'Skins can go to Lambeau and beat the Packers next week and the Bears can beat Minnesota at home, they will be within one game of the division lead. Today and next week, I will be having a flashback to my pre-Danny Snyder, Redskin loving days.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

UVA Survives

Unexpectedly tough game for the Cavs. Cedric Peerman - the ACC's leading rusher - got hurt and it changed the complexion of the game. A missed extra point for UVA in the 4th quarter kept the score 20-14 UVA. Then a late interception for Middle Tennessee that gave them a TD and put them ahead 21-20, made it look bad for UVA.

But, Jameel Sewell led them on a huge final minute drive and Chris Gould kicked the game winner with just seconds left.

Bottom line - UVA is now 5-1. Just win baby!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Weekly Football Picks

2-5 on the year.

Bears - I just don't know about this team anymore. I do know that the Sunday night game against the Packers is absolutely critical. It is a rivalry game and I doubt the Packers will overlook the Bears. I am going with my heart and going to say that the Bears D rises up to the task and handles the Pack's passing attack. The offense settles in under Griese and the play calling improves. I think Benson will get his yardage and you will see a couple of more touches by Devin Hester. The Bears save their season with a 17-13 win in an ugly display.

Redskins - I hope they beat the Lions (it is obviously better for the Bears), but I think the Lions offensive strengths play to the Redskins defensive liabilities. Kitna was sacked 9 times against the Eagles and threw for more than 400 yards. He was sacked 6 times against the Bears and still had a big day. Now both the Eagles and Bears had banged up secondaries, but I do not think the Redskins D line or secondary pose that much of a threat. I also do not believe the Redskins O line is very good. The Lions will win for the first time in history in Washington. Final score 27-14.

UVA will defeat Middle Tennessee State and move to 5-1. Al Groh will be more than halfway to the 9 wins I predicted.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

NFL Power Rankings after 4 Weeks

A remarkable turn of events has the Bears wallowing ever closer to the depths of the NFL and the Redskins firmly ranked ahead of them. You are your record.

ESPN has the Bears at #20 and the Redskins at #13.

Yahoo! rankings:

Jason Cole has the Bears #26, Redskins are #14.

Charles Robinson has the Bears at #16, Redskins are at #12.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #20 and the Redskins #15.

Dr. Z has the Bears at #20 and the Redskins at #18.

Rush Limbaugh Tries to Squirm Out of his Cowardice

"Real" - VoteVets.org TV Ad Responding to Rush Limbaugh

Major General (Ret.) John Batiste on Rush Limbaugh

Couple of Thoughts on Rush, Petraeus, and Iraq

First, the death count for American soldiers now stands above 3800 and there is no end in sight as the Senate has authorized another $150 billion to fund the mess (House still has to vote and then both houses of Congress have to agree to a unified bill). The Democratic congressional leaders are feckless and weak, which is exactly why Congress' approval ratings are lower than Bush's horribly low numbers.

This week, Rush Limbaugh called any soldiers who don't support Bush's Iraq war policy "phony soldiers." He has been hemming and hawing and has claimed that he was taken out of context. If you just listen to the full transcript it is clear what he said, and what he meant. Soldiers who have bled for this country and who have come to their own conclusion about Iraq are "phony soldiers" according to Rush. I posted a couple of "phony soldiers' " who decided to respond above.

Of course, you have to look at the messenger. Rush got out of military service in Vietnam because he claimed he had an anal cyst.

On a related note, this week's American Conservative magazine calls General Petraeus a "Syncophant Savior" and basically makes the case that he is now nothing more than Bush's political lapdog. Petraeus' immediate boss, Admiral William Fallon, Commander of CENTCOM has told the good general that he:

considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit" and added, "I hate people like that", the sources say. That remark reportedly came after Petraeus began the meeting by making remarks that Fallon interpreted as trying to ingratiate himself with a superior.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Weekly NFL Stats Through Week 4

Bears fell apart in the 4th quarter and gave up a historic 34 points in the final period to lose. Season is on the line this week. Redskins were off. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie increased his lead this week and stands at 38-23
JKD is second at 36-26
I'm still pulling in at third at 33-29

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is 5-2
JKD is 4-3
I am at 2-5

DEFENSE:

Bears - #21 scoring defense (23.8 pts/game, down down 6 slots), #15 defense in terms of yardage/game (321 yds/game, up 1 slot). Ranked #10 in rushing defense (93 yards/game, up 2 slots).

Redskins - #8 scoring defense (16.3 pts/game, down 1 slot), #13 defense in terms of yardage/game (309 yds/game, down 3 slots). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (92 yds/game, up 2 slots).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #26 scoring 0ffense (15 pts/game, up 2 slots), #30 offense in terms of yardage/game (246 yds/game, no change). Ranked #27 in rushing offense (83 yards/game, down 1 slot).

Redskins -#22 scoring offense (17.7 pts/game, down 1 slot), #15 offense in terms of yardage/game (332 yds/game, up 2 slots). Ranked #10 in rushing offense (134 yds/game, down 3 slots).

Monday, October 01, 2007

First Quarter of NFL Season

Four weeks into the season and the Bears have been disappointing. The Redskins have perked up. Here are my first quarter grades and thoughts.

Bears - D-. I'd give them a failing grade, but the injuries are signficant and I give them some leeway because of that. The Bears coaching has been bad, and the injuries and the failure to control the turnovers are killing them. I was not really for benching Grossman, but I do think it was good for him to not have to hear all the boos and read all the criticism. I think he was being crushed by all the hating. Being on the bench should allow him to get his head on straight and hopefully be better able to play if he is called on again. That said, now that Griese is the starter, you have to allow him to play for at least 1-2 more games to show what he can do. But, all those Chicago Bears fans who were booing Rex got to see exactly why Griese was the backup and why he is playing for his fourth team. He cannot throw the long ball and did not even attempt a pass over 20 yards, yet the coaches had him throw 52 times. If they play him, they need to call a different game where he tries to manage the game - not win hit with his weak arm. Bad coaching against the Lions, no question in my mind. Right now, the Bears are playing poorly, but they certainly are not out of it. Looking ahead at the next quarter, they play at Green Bay, at home against Minnesota, at Philly, and then at home against the Lions. They can get right back into it with some wins. The question is - will they? I think some of their defensive starters will be back for the Sunday night game against the Pack this week. So that should help. If they change their play calling, that would really, really help.

Redskins - B-. The collapse against the Giants at home hurt and it is hard to really say how good the team really is. 2-1 is a good start, but they beat two teams with a combined 1-7 record. They have a tough stretch coming up. They play next week at home against the Lions and then on the road at Green Bay (I certainly hope the Redskins win those two games, but I am not holding my breath). Then they come home against Arizona, before going on the road against New England and the N.Y. Jets.

A lot of football left to play. I would not be surprised if both teams are tied at 3-5 or 4-4 after 8 games. The December 6 game in Washington may prove to be an important game, but a lot has to happen between now and then.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bears Collapse

First, let me say that the season is on the line in Green Bay on Sunday night. The season is not over, but if they lose that game they will be 4 games back in the division and 1-4, so the playoffs are likely out of reach - too many teams would be too far ahead of them to realistically believe they have a shot.

The Lions went to town on the Bear in the 4th quarter with 34 points. New QB, same results. The Bears have played poorly, particularly on D in all four games so far. They had a 10 point lead going into the fourth quarter and could not keep it together. Too many mistakes, poor play calling, and too many injuries all contributed to the debacle.

I could go into a lot of detail, but will focus on the play calling. The problem I have with the Bears is that they go from Grossman to Griese, presumably to get away from gunslinging and taking chances to game management. Then what do they do? They throw the ball 52 times! On 1st and goal from the Lions 6, with 30 seconds left and a couple of timeouts, the Bears called a pass play and Griese threw an interception. So the Bears went into halftime ahead 7-3, instead of up 10-3 or 14-3.

The Bears D forced a turnover on the Lions first drive of the second half and gave the Bears a 1st and 10 on the Lions 12 yard line. After a run and an incomplete pass, on 3rd and 8 from the 10, Griese threw another interception. Those 6 points, plus a blocked field goal cost the Bears 9 points.

To make matters worse, on 3rd and 3 from the Lions 44 with the Bears up 13-10 in the fourth quarter, the Bears called a pass play. Griese threw an interception that went back 64 yards for a Lions TD. That's 7 more the offense gave away.

If you are going to play Griese, you have got to make the gameplan and play calls more conservative. Run the ball, win the field position game, and don't put him in a position to make so many mistakes by throwing the ball 52 times! Just feed Benson the ball, especially with the lead, and let the offense try to build an identity around the run. He rushed 5 times for 3 yards in the first half. Then, in the third quarter, he had 9 rushes for 45 yards and really looked to be getting it going. But, in the fourth quarter he had 1 carry. That is just bad play calling.

I have faith that Lovie and the team will get things straightened out. If they win the next two divisional games they will be back in the thick of it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

UVA Rolls Over Pitt

Another very solid win for UVA, 44-14. It was good to see Groh stick with Sewell the full game. He was extremely efficient in leading the Cavs to a 30-0 start (30-7 at the half).

They are now 4-1 and head on the road to play Middle Tennessee State next week. Middle Tennessee is 1-4, but they did roll today 47-6 over Florida International. Should be a win and then they have a big game against high scoring 5-0 UConn in Charlottesville.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Football Picks (No Redskins this Week)

2-4 on the year.

Bears head into what looks to be a tough game on the road at Detroit. Normally, I wouldn't worry much about it, but with all the injuries and the change at QB there is a lot of uncertainty. In the end, I think the defensive ends and Urlacher put pressure on Kitna and the Bears offense doesn't turn the ball over. The defense will do just enough and the Bears offense focuses more on the running game. Bears in a close one 20-17.

UVA host Pitt tomorrow evening. They should end up 4-1 after the win.

How I Feel About Rex

You know the Brittany Spears fan who had the weird meltdown after her horrible VMA performance? Here is a Bears/Rex fan doing the same thing. Funny.

Actually, I think the demotion is good for Rex. It gives him a chance to have a week without getting bashed. Who knows, he may be called on again. I wouldn't be surprised. That said, Brian Griese is the Bears starter, and as a die-hard Bears fan, he has my full support.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cubs Lose Again, But Magic Number is Now 2

The Cubs are stumbling to the finish line, but so are the Brewers. The magic number is now 2. They hold a 2 game lead on the Brewers with 3 to play.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cubs Magic Number Down to 3

Cubs lose, but so do the Brewers. Cubs remain 2 games up with 4 to play. Bottom line result - their magic number fell to 3.

Why 'Skins Couldn't Get 1 Yard

If you want to really know why, just watch where Pete Kendall ends up on both the third down and the fourth down plays.

NFL Power Rankings after 3 Weeks

ESPN has the Bears at #13 and the Redskins at #14.

Yahoo! rankings:

Jason Cole has the Bears #11, Redskins are #23.

Charles Robinson has the Bears at #6 (crazy if you ask me), Redskins are at #14.

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #13 and the Redskins #16.

Dr. Z has the Bears at #14 and the Redskins at #16.

Bears Injuries Mounting

The Bears lost Mike Brown and Dusty Dvoracek for the season in week 1. Tommie Harris is out from 1-5 weeks. Briggs has a groin problem and may sit. Arch broke his hand, but will play. And, now it looks like both starting corners, Vasher and Tillman, are out. Tough injuries, especially given that they are playing the Lions, Packers, and Vikings over the next couple of weeks. We'll see how good their depth is on D. I do like a lot of their young guys, but they will make mistakes. The one good thing is that the Bears defensive ends have been able to put good pressure on the QB, and we still have Urlacher.

With Brian Griese we'll likely see a QB who is more of a game manager. The idea will be to win games 20-14, 17-13, etc. I'd be surprised if all of a sudden the team was putting up 25+ points a game. Rex showed that kind of promise last year, and that is what I expected on a consistent basis this year. Clearly that did not happen the first three weeks. The Bears may very well need big points to win, and I am not convinced Griese can do that. On the other hand, with the injuries, the Bears D is not likely to be able to contain the damage done by turnovers. If Griese does not turn the ball over like Rex did the first couple of games, it should take some pressure off of the depleted Bears D.

It will be an interesting couple of weeks.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Rex Out, Griese In

The Trib, Sun-Times, and NFL Network are all reporting that Griese will start this week. Official word will come tomorrow from Lovie. If that is the decision, I support Lovie and believe he has the pulse of the team. It is probably good for Rex to not be a punching bag and the excuse for all things wrong with the Bears.

NFC North vs. NFC East

The record now stands at 2-2.

The Cowboys and Eagles beat up on the Bears and Lions.

Weekly NFL Stats Through Week 3

Bears sucked all around and Rex may be out as the starting QB. Redskins played a solid first half, but seemed to fall apart in the second half in most aspects of the game. Tough week for fans of both teams this week. Here are the stats:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
Deepie is now leading by mere percentage points at 30-17
JKD is second at 30-18
I made up ground, but am still pulling in at third at 27-21

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
Deepie and JKD are at 4-2
I am at 2-4

DEFENSE:
Bears - #15 scoring defense (19.3 pts/game, down 11 slots), #16 defense in terms of yardage/game (325 yds/game, down 11 slots). Ranked #12 in rushing defense (93 yards/game, down 8 slots).

Redskins - #7 scoring defense (16.3 pts/game, down 1 slot), #10 defense in terms of yardage/game (309 yds/game, up 6 slots). Ranked #11 in rushing defense (92 yds/game, down 3 slots).

OFFENSE:
Bears - #28 scoring 0ffense (11 pts/game, up 1 slot), #30 offense in terms of yardage/game (227 yds/game, no change). Ranked #26 in rushing offense (87 yards/game, down 4 slots).

Redskins -#21 scoring offense (18 pts/game, down 1 slot), #17 offense in terms of yardage/game (332 yds/game, down 7 slots). Ranked #7 in rushing offense (134 yds/game, down 3 slots).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Couple of Thoughts on JC

I was reading La Canfora's blog a few minutes ago and you can see that there are already some fans who are down on JC. That is what fans do. If the Redskins lose their next two and JC has similar stats as his first three games, my guess is that he will start to face the unyielding and often ridiculous levels of criticism that now befall young QBs.

Look up the career stats of any of the best QBs in the history of the NFL and you will find a fair number had mighty struggles early in their career. Through 26 games in his first two seasons, Troy Aikman had a QB rating of about 60. He had 20 TDs and 38 INTs.

Through 26 games in two seasons, John Elway's rating was around 65. He had 25 TDs and 29 INTs.

People want to suspend the normal maturation process for Rex and have virtually destroyed him with their constant bashing. I want to be clear - Rex needs to pick it up - but all of the B.S. about "Bad Rex, Good Rex" is just nonsense and has hurt the confidence of a guy who really was emerging as a solid QB last year.

JKD and Deepie, I have said all of this in the past, but you have claimed that he just is not a leader and that the Bears had a good defense and needed a QB to just manage games. The Bears D was not very good in the second half of last year, and certainly was not a championship D in the Super Bowl. Last I checked, the defense behind Rex gave up 431 yards to the Cowboys including 6.8 yards per rush to Marion Barber. This year, it looks like the Redskins D is much improved. I expect that you will be just as hard on JC as you have been on Rex. This is his third season in the NFL. He had a good number of starts last year and had the full off-season to prepare himself to be the starter. As for me, I expect JC to struggle because that is what young QBs do. But, I can see the fans turning on his very promising talent if he does not win now.

Romo vs. Rex Thoughts

Tony Romo and Rex Grossman are similar in many ways. Both are 27 and in contract years. Rex is 6-1, 220. Romo is 6-2, 225. They both started a significant number of games for the first time in their career last year. Romo took over last year and started the last 10 games of the season for the Cowboys. Here are his stats in those games:

204-310 (66%), 2641 yards, 16 TDs, 10 Ints, 19 sacks, 9 fumbles, 3 lost.

During that stretch, Rex had the following:

155-291 (53%), 1806 yards, 13 TDs, 13 Ints, 15 sacks, 5 fumbles, 3 lost.

In the Wild Card loss to Seattle, Romo went 17-29 for 189 yards, and 1 TD. He also had 2 fumbles (neither was lost), and botched the field goal snap which ultimately cost them the game.

Rex was 21-38 for 282 yards, a TD, Int, and a fumble against Seattle. He put them in position to kick the game winner in OT. Against New Orleans he played mistake free football and threw the big TD pass to Berrian in the 4th quarter with the game close (Bears led 18-14). He certainly was a big reason the Bears made the Super Bowl. People just dismiss his play in those two playoff games, but just imagine what Rex would have faced if he had botched the snap that Romo botched.

All through the last 10 games of last year, in the playoffs, and all off-season, all we heard about was how bad Rex was and how Romo was so unbelievable. The numbers favor Romo - but not nearly enough to warrant the different treatment. Seeing how Rex has started this year, and in particular, watching last night, it seems clear to me that his confidence is shattered. The weight of all of that criticism seems to have taken its toll on a player that seemed to be emerging as the franchise QB for the Bears. Now, things are up in the air. I still have faith in Rex, but I am not sure if he has faith in himself, and I am not sure if the Bears players have faith in him. They read the paper and hear all of the talking heads also. With the team 1-2, it is easy to jump on the Bash-Rex Express. Lovie has his work cut out for him.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bears Got Thumped

The Cowboys whipped up on the Bears in every aspect of the game. They had their way with the Bears and are the best team in the NFC in my opinion.

Right now, the Bears are not a good football team. They deserve to be 1-2. Clearly they have their problems offensively. Rex is off and is making too many mistakes, but the problems go far beyond Rex. Their blocking is terrible, their rushing game is weak, and they have too many receivers running poor routes and dropping the ball. Even the offensive play calling is poor. The one time they ran a pump and go, Berrian was wide open and dropped a TD pass. Why they did not call it again is beyond me. The Bears just do not take shots down the field and the Cowboy corners simply jumped every route. In my opinion, changing QBs won't do much to solve their issues.

Defensively, they were downright bad against the Cowboys. In the first half they played fairly well, but it was the Cowboy penalties that really prevented them from really getting it going. In the second half the Cowboys stopped shooting themselves in the foot and they recognized the soft middle the Bears were exposing. They exploited it with crossing patterns and easy pitch and catch shots between the hash marks. I am sure the D was tired by the end, but they were playing too soft in their zones, missing too many tackles, and allowing far too many completions well before the D should have been worn down.

Even Hester played a weak game with his fumbles.

Here is the bottom line, the Bears need to get back to fundamentally sound football - blocking, tackling, rushing the ball, completing passes, coaching, and not turning it over. How they get to that will be the job for Lovie this week. If that means changing QBs - fine. They may need to do that just to pump some life into the team. The Bears certainly did not lose tonight because of Rex, and for anyone who watched the game it is clear the problems go well beyond Rex. That said, Rex has thrown 1 TD and 6 Ints this season. That is just not good enough. He may need to sit just to get his head straight and to have a break from the unyielding criticism.

Lovie is going to have to earn the money he is now making starting this week. He has some decisions to make and coaching to do.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

UVA Baby!

Huge 28-23 win at home against Georgia Tech -. The Cavs are now 3-1, but more importantly they are 3-0 in the ACC and in first in the ACC Coastal Division.

They have three non-ACC games coming up against Pitt, Middle Tennessee, and Connecticut. Those are all winnable games before they close out with their final 5 games against ACC opponents.

Things are looking good. Heh, heh, heh.

Magic Number Down to 6

Cubs win again, Brewers lose. Cubs now lead the Brewers by 2.5 games with 6 to go.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Cubs Win! Cubs Win!

The Cubbies won this afternoon and are now 2 games up on the Brew Crew. The good thing is that they are 3 games up in the win column and 1 up in the loss column with just 9 games to go. They reduced their Magic Number down to 8.

Looking ahead, the Cubs have to play Pittsburgh (2 games), Florida (3 games), and Cincy (3 games). The Brewers have to play Atlanta (3 games), St. Louis (3 games), and San Diego (4 games). Right now, you'd have to say the Cubs are in good shape.

Some Thoughts on Rex

Good piece by Mike Mulligan in the Sun-Times today. It makes the point that if Rex is booed off the field and is replaced, he should basically be run out of Chicago. It will be an indicator that he is not the QB of the future and that Orton should essentially get a shot. Fans should realize the consequences and I think people make the mistake of just thinking that Rex could go to the bench and then come back in a week or two without any trouble. That kind of uncertainty can easily destry a locker room and a team.

Let me just say that I firmly believe in Rex and am confident that this week he gets it going. Let the man play and show what he can do. He performed will in a lot of big games for the Bears last year. Frankly, too many people forget how many times it was his play that carried the Bears when the D was not playing particularly well.

That doesn't mean he doesn't need to perform, but the level of criticism is simply ridiculous. I know this is pollyannish, but instead of booing every single mistake, I'd love to see the fans support the guy and encourage him. But, I recognize this is the NFL and for guys who don't win, that stands for "Not For Long."

Football Picks

1-3 on the year.

Bears - Rex gets it going, the D knocks the smirk off of Romo's face, and Benson rushes for 110 yards and 2 TDs. It will be a convincing win on Sunday night for the Bears. Rex will throw 2 TDs and he won't turn the ball over, and then on Monday you'll see Mariotti say "Rex was lucky." Bears 31 - Cowboys 17.

Redskins - after a great division win on the road in Philly, the Redskins blow it against the hapless N.Y. Giants D. The O-line makes a couple of errors, Campbell turns it over three times, and the Giants D shows some pride. Giants 20 - Redskins 17.

UVA rolls against a strong Georgia Tech squad in Charlottesville 27-13. Their D is solid, their kicking game is good, and their QBs are both starting to play better. With a win, they will start 3-0 in the ACC and things will be looking good with the way the schedule is laid out.

Olbermann's Special Comment

Loved his piece last night on Bushie's hypocrisy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day 2200!

Today marks 2200 days since the September 11 attacks. I'm glad we have Osama bin Laden right where we want him (yeah, right!). Great job by Bushie bringing him to justice. Bin Laden is now calling for Pakistanis to revolt.

Bushie has also done a masterful job of destroying Iraq, creating a civil war, killing tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians and nearly 3800 American soldiers, and burning through a half trillion dollars doing it. Nice work Bushie!

If all goes well in Iraq (which is a contradiction in and of itself), by next summer we will be back at about 130,000 American soldiers in Iraq (same as pre-SURGE level), and we will "only" be spending $2.5 billion per week.

Rex and the Bears Offense this Week

I think the Bears are going to open it up a bit more. Good piece in the Sun-Times today to that effec.

They have been far too conservative in their first two games. They seem to be tentative with their play calling and they have not taken their normal shots down the field. That should change this week.

I am confident that Rex will have a great, break out game. I have him starting for my fantasy team for the first time this season. Sunday night is another opportunity for him to silence his critics. Let's see what happens.

McNabb's Comments This Week

People are making a big deal about Donovan McNabb's comments about how black QBs face different treatment than white QBs. I don't believe that to be the case in today's NFL and I think he really made a mistake by complaining about an issue that many folks do not see as a problem.

Today's NFL is all about winning. Coaches and GMs don't care about the race of their QB as long as they put up good numbers and win. I do believe that McNabb has not received the respect he deserves in Philly. They booed him when he was drafted and throughout his career he has not received the love that he probably deserved. But Rex has received a lot of undue criticism in Chicago. Eli and Pennington in New York get hammered on a regular basis. I think in many cities the starting QB takes a lot of hits. That is the nature of being a QB.

There were plenty of non-believers in Peyton before he won the Super Bowl. People still say Marino never won the big one. When you win all is well, when you don't you are open to criticism.

It seems to me the guy is playing a race card that he shouldn't be playing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jay Mariotti is Truly an Idiot

It is unbelievable how much the guy hates Rex. He has declared Rex a flop after 2 games and his solution - Donovan McNabb.

Jeez, anyone who watched McNabb play in the first 2 weeks can see that he has lost it. He may get it back, but why in the world would anyone go for the oft-injured McNabb and his huge contract and likely huge ego. I think the guy gets unfairly criticized in Philly, but I don't see too many of his players defending him. That tells me something about his leadership.

If Rex has a great game this week and the Bears carve up the Cowgirls, Mariotti will just say Rex was lucky. As a final note, his pet name for Lovie Smith, "Lovey Dovey," is just another example of how disrespectful and idiotic his columns have become.

NFL Rankings After 2 Weeks

ESPN has the Bears at #6 (they play the #3 ranked Cowgirls this week) and the Redskins at #14.

Yahoo! rankings:

Jason Cole has the Bears #6, Redskins are #13

Charles Robinson has the Bears at #4 (odd given that the Chargers are ranked #5), Redskins are at #10 (Robinson must be on dope).

CBS Sportsline and Pete Prisco have the Bears #7 and the Redskins #11.

Dr. Z has just totally flipped out. He has the Bears at #10 and the Redskins at #7!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekly NFL Stats and Picks

Bears survived and need to get it going offensively. They still turned the ball over way too much. Redskins played a solid overall game. Got a good divisional win on the road which is like winning 1.5 games. More offensive line damage done which may hurt in the long run.

Here are the stats after 2 weeks:

OVERALL NFL PREDICTIONS:
JKD is leading at 22-10.
Deepie is second at 18-13.
I pulled myself up to .500 and am in third at 16-16.

BEARS/REDSKINS PREDICTIONS:
JKD is perfect at 4-0
Deepie is 3-1
I am at 1-3

DEFENSE:

Bears - #4 scoring defense (12 pts/game, up 8 slots from last week), #5 defense in terms of yardage/game (272 yds/game, up 6 slots from last week). Ranked #4 in rushing defense (74 yards/game, up 5 slots).

Redskins - #6 scoring defense (12.5 pts/game, up 2 slots), 16th-ranked defense in terms of yardage/game (307 yds/game, down 2 slots from last week). Ranked #9 in rushing defense (90 yds/game, down 4 slots).

OFFENSE:

Bears - #29-ranked scoring 0ffense (11.5 pts/game, up 2 slots), 30th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (221 yds/game, no change). Ranked #22 in rushing offense (94 yards/game, up one slot).

Redskins - #20 scoring offense (18 pts/game, down 4 slots), 10th-ranked offense in terms of yardage/game (369 yds/game, down 4 slots). Ranked #4 in rushing offense (161 yds/game, down 1 slot).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NFC North vs. NFC East

With Green Bay winning again, the NFC North leads the series 2-0.

We'll see which division is tougher.

Bears Win

Not pretty, but they got it done. Their D was awesome, their special teams were great. The offense was better, but Rex has got to protect the ball still. Benson got his 100 yard game - good effort overall.

I have no problem with Rex as long as he cuts down the errors. Next week Dallas comes to town and it is a huge NFC game - perhaps the biggest of the young season. Rex will have another opportunity to prove himself.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

UVA is 2-1

Good 22-20 win on the road against North Carolina. The offense played much better than their first two games and seemed to move the ball at will. But UVA kept getting bogged down in the Red Zone and had to settle for 5 field goals.

Next week they play a very tough Georgia Tech team in Charlottesville. Field goals won't cut it against the Yellow Jackets - they need to punch it in. The D looked pretty good, but a couple of big plays by North Carolina kept them in the game.

Cavs are 2-1 and 2-0 in the ACC. If they can pull something off next week, they will be set to really challenge for the ACC title.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Weekend Football Predictions

0-2 on my Bears/Redskins picks - gotta make that back up.

Bears - No problem with KC this weekend. Rex will play a solid game, Benson will play a solid game, the Bears D will control LJ and the Bears O will take some shots down the field (the play calling was too conservative against San Diego last week). Bears 27 - KC - 6.

Redskins - Game will get out of hand early. It will be a Monday Night debacle for the 'Skins. A desperate and angry Donovan McNabb and Eagle squad will shake off the rust from last week and win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. People will start to wonder why Heyer isn't starting in place of Wade (even though I don't think Heyer is much of an improvement). CP and Betts will end up with a combined 100 yards and at least 1 fumble (probably Betts). JC will struggle because he will be harassed all night. He'll have a fumble and 2 more interceptions. Iggles 31 - Redskins 9.

One final note. The Al Groh express will beat Butch Davis' North Carolina squad to put UVA at 2-0 in ACC play (2-1 overall). I'm sure JKD will throw in something about how JMU will be beating up on South Nobody State in Division 1-AA "action." (Note: Any college picks don't count toward our pick records, unless we agree. Any such picks should only be counted for HUGE national games).

Enjoy the games.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bushie's B.S.

Nothing really new in his speech to the nation. More of the same B.S. Frankly, he was better off not talking. Republican members of Congress who were wavering were probably convinced enough by the testimony of General Petraeus to stick with the President. But after listening to the ridiculous comments of the President, are probably wavering again. Here is just one completely perplexing quote from THE DECIDER:

"We thank the 36 nations who have troops on the ground in Iraq and the many others who are helping that young democracy." Who the F is he talking about?

He spoke about all the "progress" that is being made in Iraq. Sound familiar?

Just a couple of weeks ago, seven soldiers currently serving in Iraq gave their views that progress was NOT BEING MADE.

One comment about Petraeus. Admiral Fallon, who is the head of U.S. Central Command AND is the boss of General Petraeus. He apparently does not hold the good general in high regard. He called him a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, and told Petraeus that he considered him to be "an ass-kissing little chickenshit." Nice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

NFL Rankings

ESPN has the Bears at #4 (although they take shots at Rex and Cedric) and the Redskins at #19.

Yahoo! writers, Jason Cole and Charles Robinson, have the Bears #7 and #6 and the Redskins #21 and #18.

Pete Prisco at CBS Sportsline has the Bears at #7 and the Redskins at #17.

Dr. Z at SI has the Bears at #10 and the Redskins at #14. AMAZING! The guy must really be losing it in his old age.

"Progress" in Iraq

General Petraeus is done giving his Bushie-approved propaganda and pep talk to Congress, but let's put the supposed "progress" into some real perspective.

This year has seen the worst casualties of the 4 1/2 year war. At 32 American soldiers killed so far this month, September is shaping up to be the worst September in terms of American casualties in the war. Just look at the last couple of months:

August 2007 - second worst August of the war.
July was the worst.
June worst.
May was the worst.
April second worst.
March worst.
February worst.
January second worst.

So far, we have spent about a half trillion dollars on this ridiculous war. Congress has already appropriated $600 billion. Bushie is basically requesting another $200 billion. It is quite likely that in the end we will spend in excess of $1 trillion. And, for all of that money that we will have borrowed (because we don't have the money ourselves), we will end up with a disaster in Iraq where the people don't have water, sanitation, electricity, etc.

Republican Senator's Prostitute Problem

Looks like there is another prostitute who is claiming that the "honorable" Senator David Vitter was a regular client of hers. If true, then it would make Vitter a liar as well as a cheat. In his July statement, following the revelation that he had called the infamous Washington Madam, he claimed that he never visited any Louisiana prostitutes.

Great News about Kevin Everett

Apparently he was able to move his arms and legs on command. The injured Buffalo Bill tight end still has a long way to go, but that is great news. At this point, at least it looks like he won't be fully paralyzed.

Ade Jimoh is a Bear

With the injury to Mike Brown, the Bears picked up Jimoh. Hopefully he won't get on the field as a safety - that would mean at least two guys get injured. But, I do like the pickup from a special teams standpoint. Jimoh was a pretty good special teamer.

Doom-and-Gloom David Haugh . . .

at it again. After 1 game as the starter, he is advocating benching Benson for at least one game and putting Adrian Peterson in.

It is way too premature for something like that. Just wait a couple of games before we decide. Benson is a back who needs to get into the flow and build up some carries to wear a team down. In my opinion, the reason Lovie has been so successful in the NFL is because he is patient. It seems to me that he has his core beliefs and sticks with his plan. When teams are constantly changing and tinkering with their QBs, RBs, and other lineup changes it is impossible to build up any consistency and momentum.

Let the man play a couple of games. As Haugh points out, he did outgain LT. There are going to be tough games where yards are hard to come by.