January 09, 2005

A Few Random Thoughts the Next Day

In rainy Seattle... Torry Holt caught the low pass in the end zone and Bobby Engram didn't. That was fundamentally the difference in the Rams-Seahawks game.

Why wasn't there a roughing penalty when Shaun McDonald was thrown to the ground after he was out of bounds? It wouldn't have changed the outcome of the game, but thank goodness it didn't go to OT because the officials gave up control of the game on that play.

Joe Theisman keeps saying the most inane things. One example will suffice -- He'll lament the Seahawk's receivers dropping lots of passes and then two minutes later admire Matt Hasselback's form and wonder why his completion percentage isn't higher. And I've grown really tired of the juvenile banter between Joe and Paul Maguire. Incidentally, why does Paul Maguire look like he shaves his eyebrows? The sooner this whole broadcasting crew is retired the better.

The Rams are better than most people seem to expect. They have first rate talent on offense. It seems as though a lot of people forgot that Marc Bulger missed a few games and that's when the Rams looked horrible losing to the Cardinals and Panthers. The Rams real Achilles' heel is their offensive line. They were so desperate after pre-season injuries they called Tom Nutten back out of retirement. They only have 5 healthy lineman on their roster right now. The Rams defense isn't good and the special teams have been atrocious, but they have been playing better the last month or so. I don't expect the Rams to make it to the Super Bowl, but I'll be a lot less surprised if they make it than if Green Bay or Minnesota makes it.

Mike Martz must address his game management problems. Some of the grief Martz takes is way overblown, but not when it comes to managing the clock. The use and abuse of timeouts and challenges hasn't even been at a High School level. It has hurt them in the past and it will continue to hurt them in the future and there is no reason for it other than sheer incompetence.

On another Mike Martz manufactured brouhaha, maybe Marc Bulger is better now than Kurt Warner ever was. Kurt achieved more (so far), but when he did so the Rams had a healthy Marshall Faulk in his prime, Isaac Bruce in his prime, a scary third receiver in Hakim, a decent defense, and a first rate O-line. All Marc Bulger has now over Kurt's glory years is an improved Torry Holt. On every other front, including expectations, the Rams are worse off to much worse off now. I'm one of the people that thought the Rams made a mistake in letting Warner go, but I have to admit now that I was probably wrong.

Seattle should resign Shaun Alexander because they aren't going to find anyone better. On the other hand, they need to start over when it comes to the WR corp. It doesn't look to me like Mike Holmgren has the respect of his team.

Meanwhile in sunny San Diego... can't both teams lose, just on principle? They both deserved to lose. An exciting game, but let's face it, that's Marty Schottenheimer on the sideline and we all know Marty can do a fantastic George McClellan imitation and get a team ready, but he can't actually make them perform when crunch time comes, although I doubt Marty is angling for Paul Tagliabue's job. Nice game plan Marty, using Tomlinson as a decoy until the last drive.

Is it to much to ask that the "premier" announcers for ABC have at least a passing familiarity with the rules? The penalty on the punt downed at the 2 late in the game was obvious as was what would happen if San Diego decided to accept the penalty or not. There is no way a touchback could come into play. Yes it's true that it would have been a touchback if the player who went out of bounds hadn't downed the ball at the 2. But that's not a decision the referees get to make. If the officials were allowed to make a decision like this why wouldn't they then be allowed to award touchdowns on plays a player would have scored on except for some penalty? Jeez.

The Jets should have used their timeouts with about a minute left. If the Chargers score then they have time to try and win. If the Chargers don't score then they can run still run the clock out when they get the ball back. Then again, maybe Herm knew his team would do something stupid that would give the Chargers four more downs.

So many penalties.

I guess yesterdays results mean that the Rams and Jets are going to meet in the Super Bowl.

Posted by Charles Austin at January 9, 2005 11:36 AM

On the Shaun McDonald play, I'm going to guess it was for the same reason they let one of the Rams' players (I can't recall exactly who) take two full steps after the pass was thrown before ramming Hasselbeck in the ribs without calling roughing. Just a possibility.

And Holmgren simply is not the coach anyone -- including himself -- thinks he is. No player lives or dies for him. Players just don't give that extra effort for him. In Green Bay they lived or died for Reggie white or Brett Favre, not the coach.

Posted by: fad at 11:52 AM