Archive for March, 2010

Playoff O/T field goals like this will no longer settle games

I applaud the NFL for taking the bold decision to shake up the playoff overtime ruling, meaning games will no longer be decided by the first team to get a field goal (on possibly the only drive in the extra time period).

I do however think the NFL execs have stopped short of making this ruling really fair for both teams.

You will still be able to win a playoff contest on the first (and maybe only) overtime possession if you score a touchdown.

I know there are people who say it is the responsibility of the defense to stop a team from getting that first possession touchdown, but ultimately if you do not give BOTH teams the opportunity to field their defense AND their offense then it is still not fair on the team that loses the coin toss (if their opponents then elect to receive and then get a td).

If the NFL adopted the college overtime rules that would give both teams a fair crack of the whip.

There are indeed some crazy crazy college Bowl games that follow a pattern such as – team a drives in O/T – gets TD, team b then drives next in O/T – gets TD, team a then drives and gets a FG, team b then drives and gets a FG…. you get the idea.

It may turn into survival of the fittest, but if you want to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy you should be able to handle up to say four possessions in overtime.

This new NFL rule did make me think of some alternatives…..

  • Each team gets two possessions starting at the 50 yard line and if scores are tied ( either 0-0, 3-3, 7-7 if you kick exps, 10-10 if you kick exps) you then add up the total yards that each team accumulated before a drive went to a field goal, turnover or if a 4th down conversion was unsuccessful. If both teams scored two tds in their two O/T possessions then you both get another possession each until one team gets a higher score at the end of a drive (td beats fg, fg beats turnover).
  • Each team gets 5 plays from the 10 yard line – the play cannot be a field goal. If the scores are tied at the end of the 5 plays it goes to sudden death.
  • Each team gets 5 plays from the 15 yard line – the play can include field goals. If the scores are tied at the end of the 5 plays it goes to sudden death
  • Each team starts at their own 20 yard and they have 10 plays to score as many points as possible. You score a td or fg in 3 plays you then start at your own 20 and have 7 plays left to score. The 4 plays to get 10 yards rule still applies so if you fail on 4th down or turn the ball over the team on offense starts back on their own 20 with however many of the 10 plays they have left. If the defensive team score a defensive touchdown this gets included.

I could go on but I hope the suggestions above spark a debate – either that or the men in the white coats will come and pick me up tonight.

What do you think is the best way to manage NFL overtime in the playoffs?

Happy as Larry? - I'm not so sure

Fascinating to see that Larry Johnson has signed a deal with the Washington Redskins, a team where the backfield is in dire need of some healthy and strong legs.

Having dumped stalwarts Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright Redskins Coach Shanahan needed some RB depth, but I’m not overly convinced that hiring a seven year vet with a history of misbehaviour is the answer.

LJ had two incredible seasons as a Chief (2005-06) when he rushed for 3,539 yards and 37 ground touchdowns.

Since then he has had three sub 1,000 yard seasons, and he suited up for two teams in 2009 after the Chiefs dumped him just before he re-wrote the KC all-time rushing records.

Larry is not that special at catching the ball, his talent lies in running up the gut and wearing teams down. Problem in Washington is that Clinton Portis (coming back from injury) is a similar type of back.

The Redskins will still be sensible to go after an electric back in the 2010 NFL draft as Larry and Clinton are not change of pace backs, they are both 3rd gear grinders.

Washington needs a 5th gear highlight type back. Obviously they wont go after C.J. Spiller in round 1 as they have much bigger needs at offensive line and quarterback, but they should get pretty excited if they get into round 2 and Cal’s Jahvid Best is available.

Good luck to Larry – it’s March 2010 and I’m not convinced this is the best move – let’s hope I am proved wrong.

Saying that, fate will probably dictate Portis gets injured early and LJ goes on to get 250 carries and 1,300 yards.

What do you think of LJ becoming a Redskin?

Salty sea dog Peppers has been the first big move in 2010

It’s not exactly been the most enthralling start to the Free Agency period for 31 of the 32 NFL teams.

That is unless you are the a fan of the Chicago Bears, who have snapped up two of the top free agents available in the form of DE Julius Peppers and multi talented RB Chester Taylor.

They also grabbed TE Brandon ‘longest most misspelt surname’ Manumaleuna to help shore up the blocking.

Elsewhere the Steelers bought back Super Bowl hero Antwan Randle El from the Redskins. Randle El was so painstakingly average in Washington that he probably thinks it is Christmas Day 9 months early.

Talking of the Redskins, they have finally showed signs that real free agency is not the same as doing it on Madden. They have made the rather sensible signing of veteran OG Artis Hicks from the Vikings. I applaud that move.

I was sad to see that the Chargers signed Redskins backup RB Marcus Mason, he had big potential. Mason has a great opportunity to play a bigger role in California so good luck to him.

The QB free agent pool looks pitiful, and there is no-one to get excited about. Seneca Wallace moving to the Mike Holmegren led Cleveland Browns could prove to be a wise move but even that has not exactly got me a woody in my sweats.

Its pretty slow going if I am forced to talk about Jim Sorgi moving from clipboard holder in Indianapolis to clipboard holder in New York. Oh crap I actually typed it !

A few teams have made sensible moves by re-signing players that have performed well in 2009, including the Bengals DT Tank Johnson, Chiefs WR Chris Chambers and Steelers S Ryan Clark.

Its now time to see of the combined ego’s of Chad Ocho Cinco and  TO can work in harmony in Cincy – now that is one fantasy treat that could come true.