The Dwarf’s Musings Version 2.0

The new place to be

Musings on the NFL and more…

Hey all!…

 

So it’s been a couple of weeks since my very first post on this new site, and I have a lot on my mind today.  So let’s get to it…

Let’s start with the National Football League.  I’ve been fortunate enough to see quite a lot of football this year, and it has been quite the interesting season.  For starters, I think one of the most interesting teams to see this year has been the New England Patriots.  Last year, they were simply an unstoppable force, up until the Super Bowl, of course.  But in 2008, with the loss of QB Tom Brady, they became a totally different team.  At first, it seemed like the sky had fallen for the Patriots.  They won their first two games, despite backup QB Matt Cassel’s struggles.  But then, they got clobbered by the Dolphins at home, and lost again by more than 20 points two weeks later against the Chargers in San Diego.  At that point, the Pats were sitting at 3-2 and the future looked bleak at best.  

But great teams are not built around only one player.  Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels started to implement a lot more short throws and screens into the game plan, putting the ball in the hands of his playmakers and allowing them to make plays, all the while relieving a whole lot of pressure from Cassel.  In turn, the man who had never started a game since high school got more and more comfortable and the offense started clicking.  In 6 of the following 9 games, the New England offense would put up 23 or more points, topping the 30-point mark 4 times.  This is nothing compared to the offensive juggernaut that were the 2007 edition of the team, but still well above NFL standards.    

Stuck in a 3-way tie atop the AFC East with the Jets and Dolphins, the Patriots are fighting for their playoff lives right now.  But they have proven that they are not a one-man team.  Tom Brady will go down as one of the great quarterbacks of his generation, but the Pats have proven that they can win without him, albeit with a lot more difficulty.  Whether the team of the decade will make the playoffs without their star QB has been an interesting storyline all year long, and that’s definitely something I’ll be looking at for the next two weeks.

The other big story this year has been the Brett Favre saga.  Last year, Favre led the Packers to the NFC Championship game, where they came one interception (Favre-thrown) away from the Super Bowl.  This year, under new QB Aaron Rodgers, the Packers are 5-9.  Last year, without Favre, the Jets were a dismal 4-12.  This year, they’re 9-5 and looking like a playoff team.  So, were the Packers wrong in letting Favre go?  I think so… Now, I know that there are a lot more factors in play than just Favre here.  The Jets also acquired defensive tackle Kris Jenkins, who has been a rock for them on defense.  And the Packers defense, which was so good last year, has been mediocre at best in 2008.  But the answer to the question can be found, in my opinion, in Miami, of all places.  When Favre was traded to New York, that meant that Chad Pennington became free, and he was quickly signed by the Dolphins.  And while Pennington has played really well in Miami, it is perhaps his leadership qualities that have most helped the Dolphins improve so much in one year.  The 2007 Green Bay Packers were Brett Favre’s team.  He was the unquestioned leader of that group of 53 men, who were all willing to lay it all out for him.  And just like Pennington took control of a young Miami team, Brett Favre has become the leader in New York, the guy all the other players turn to when the pressure mounts.  And no matter how well Aaron Rodgers has played for Green Bay this year, he is no Brett Favre when it comes to leading his men to the field of battle.  So, while the future looks bright for Rodgers and the Packers, I’m pretty sure fans in Green Bay wish number 4 was still around.

I also want to talk a bit more about my beloved Dolphins, the late-season push of Donovan McNabb and the Eagles and more, but that will come in my next post, probably next week.  

Before I go, I would like to mention that life is very good on top.  On top of what?  On top of my hockey pool, that is.  Yes, The Dwarf is sitting comfortably on top of the standings.  Now, I was helped by Le Maitre’s loss of Brodeur, Sweet LP’s loss of Luongo, Veillotron’s loss of half his team (I mean, come on, 7 players injured right now… are you kidding me?  my sympathies, Veillotron)  and Rocket Paquette’s inability to pick a good team.  Still, while it’s nice to be the best, it doesn’t take away from the pain of not having seen one single minute of live NHL hockey this year.  I miss my hockey, I really do…

I will see most of you in about 10 days or so, and will be talking to most of you before then… but to the others, I wish you a Merry Christmas…

Get the comments going guys… let’s make this site a community again!

 

Dwarf out.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment