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17 Oct 2006
You asked for a link to this, you got it. "If you want to crown 'em, then crown their ass!"
Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 17 Oct 2006
66 comments, Last at
18 Oct 2006, 2:02pm by
You know when you're playing a real person in Madden, and you lose on some fluky, weird, inconceivable way, and you throw the controller and storm around the room and yell and curse at everything? I'm guessing it's that feeling times 10,000 for an NFL coach.
I can't believe he tried to run twice their with Edge on that last drive. Awful play calling against the Bears D in that situation.
Normally I don't like stupid theatrics, but I can't say I'd act any differently in that situation.
All I can say is...I am SO glad I am not Neil Rackers today.
#4: And I bet Neil Rackers is glad he's not Edgerrin James.
Where does this rate in relation to Jim Mora's speech?
I would totally lose it too.
What's making it worse is that the media is still praising the Bears after what was a horrible performance with some fluky plays. That's what really grinds my gears.
I dunno. If they cover that punt I'd be much happier with the game in Grossman's hands as opposed to Leinart's if I were Green.
It would suck so much to have to give a losing press conference.
From now on, when I play people in Madden, before the game we will agree that the loser has to give a mock press conference. Everybody in the room gets to ask questions about the loss. We might even film it.
LOL what a great/horrible idea!
#7 - The media should be all over the bear's offense for their game. But the Bear's D in the second half was unbelievable. Urlacher was a monster.
I can't say I blame Denny, either. That said, the basic problem (aside from Neil Rackers) is structural and can't be avoided. It's no coincidence that the Jets nearly blew double-digit leads in all three of their wins. When you absolutely can't run the ball and you have a lead, you're really stuck in a bad place. You have to mix in the run from time to time, just to keep the clock running, but then you put your offense in 2nd and 9 or 3rd and 8 and either forfeit the possession with a third down run or (worse), have to make a low percentage throw that stops the clock.
It is what it is.
#12: Not really. They stopped a lot of running against an inexplicably bad back and his inept line. When Lienart had a change to throw, he did extremely well. The fumbles were nice and all, but even the Bears can't rely on things like that from week to week (and the James fumble, though idiotic on his part, really shouldn't've been because of forward progress).
Urlacher was marvelous, no doubt about it. But the reality is that the Bears got exposed for what they are- a great defense that can still get gashed through the air, a good special teams, and an offense that has been playing way over its head (and with a streaky quarterback who has gotten every break in the world). I was saying it last week and I'll say it again- I wouldn't like them against any top NFC team that came into their building in January.
#1. I can only imagine...Last year's version of Madden, I was killing the CPU until the 4th quarter, where I fumbled on 5 consecutive series until the CPU won. That really pissed me off.
What Denny Green went through was simply traumatic.
I feel bad for those poor souls born into Cardinal fandom (nobody would actually choose to support that debacle of a franchise).
But on the upside, the Eagles no longer win the trophy for "Biggest Chokejob of 2006."
Then again if they were the Tokyo Cardinals, Dennis would have had to disembowel himself last night. For me, when I opened my eyes this morning my first thought was how glad I was that I wasn't an Arizona Cardinals fan. A few other observations for whatever they're worth:
1. Leinart's the real deal.
2. The Bears are not.
3. And the new Monday Night trio has already hit their all time low. They're lucky the Cardinals fulfilled their nonstop, inane doomsaying. If I believed in such things, I'd say the negativity spilling out of that booth last night is what killed the Cardinals. All that crap about "team culture" and not a word about the how's and why's of what was actually transpiring down on the field in the most amazing game of the year. A Grossman-like performance.
#10, that's classic. I'd rank this behind "PLAYOFFS?!", but ahead of "you play to WIN THE GAME" and "Practice, we're talking 'bout practice" in the pantheon of great press conferences/rants of recent history. #17, I totally agree. Matt Leinart should ask Paris Hilton to buy out his contract with the Cardinals.
Now, if Coors Light had a commercial out on Sunday with their goofs asking Dennis Green questions... THAT would be good TV.
"Can we officially name Coors Light the new King of Beers?"
Leinart's most definitely the real deal. Why did the Titans, Jets, Raiders, and Lions pass on the guy again? Insane. It still boggles me that no one traded up for the #1 overall pick and took him; did they not see the Rose Bowl?
Of all the debacles for the Cardinals last night, I'd still have to rate James' fumble #1, given there is simply no excuse for him to not have two arms on the ball in that situation; it really is Pop Warner 101.
Having said that, and not for the first time, last night's disaster made me think about how far the punting game has lagged other elements of football, both in terms of athletic performance and strategy. Given players are so much bigger and stronger and more athletic than in days past, why is it not yet common for punters to be able to kick a ball forty yards downfield, and out of bounds? The kickoff has been changed through the years to keep kick returns a viable part of the game, yet punters don't seem any better now than forty years ago, and the punting game has changed very little.
If the punting game had kept up, absent any rule changes, it seems to me that a punt returner like Hester would never get a chance to make a big play in a situation like last night's. Punting out of bounds would be as common as the kneel-down, and failing to do so would be viewed in the same manner as the infamous fumble in the Eagles/Giants game, lo those many years ago.
As a Jets fan, it was painful watching Leinart out there knowing how much he wanted to play in New York. That said, at least we've got a quality quarterback. The Lions and Raiders picks looked bad at the time, and they're only going to look worse as the years go along.
Well, PK answered my question from last night:
James -- who had a historically bad night, with 36 carries for 55 yards, the most futile rushing night in the NFL's 86-year history -- burrowed into the line and had the ball stripped by Brian Urlacher.
"We played them the third week of preseason..."
Wow, I didn't even notice this was a rematch game: and the preseason even predicted that Arizona would do well, up 10-6 at the half. Not that I would've taken that bet.
Not sure what to make of that game for the Bears. But for as much as I've been praising them early in the year, my gut is telling me that offense finally got exposed, and that their win was more a byproduct of dumb luck (two fumble recoveries for a TD--Edge's especially silly--and a punt return for a TD), and the Cardinal's penchant for torturing their fans.
Grossman looked inferior to Leinart, and a rookie quarterback had a pretty easy time with that Bears secondary (even late in the game). It leads me back to a game the Bears played against the Steelers last year where they were soundly beaten. If that game were to happen today, I think we'd get the same result.
Those last two run plays were inexplicable. Leinhart (who is the Cardinals answer to Carson Palmer evidently) was moving the ball w/ crisp short passes.
One more first down would have made for a chip shot.
Who really expected Robo-Kicker to miss that one though?
I actually think this hurts the Bears in the long run.
Lovie Smith probably already had a gruelling week and bye week of practice scheduled, with their attention guaranteed on how they can't take anyone lightly, can't get too full of themselves and walk away from it.
And now. They're not gonna buy it. When they can get away with this, it will cost them down the road.
"If the punting game had kept up, absent any rule changes, it seems to me that a punt returner like Hester would never get a chance to make a big play in a situation like last nightâ€™s. Punting out of bounds would be as common as the kneel-down, and failing to do so would be viewed in the same manner as the infamous fumble in the Eagles/Giants game, lo those many years ago."
Last year, my son's football team made it to the championship game. Every single time the other team punted, they punted the ball out of bounds, intentionally.
This was youth football. 10 and 11 year olds.
The other team's coach, btw, played in the NFL. So it is not as if the concept is foreign to the pro game.
It just may be foreign to Denny Green and a host of other coaches.
This is Grossman's second absolute horse feces performance out of six outings; a percentage like that in baseball doesn't exactly make a pitcher ideal for the opening game in the World Series. If he doesn't get better, I don't like his odds in the playoffs.
So much to say....
I've almost resolved to never watch MNF because during the first half there was a tv timeout for each and every change of possession, not to mention the commentators spending more time talking about famous quarterback-starlet couples than perhaps why the hell Rex Grossman is trying to throw a touchdown on every pass. Maybe I'll just get a good book for next week.
As a third generation Bears/Cubs fan, I'll take any win. It seemed like they had a little too much strut and not enough swagger and maybe this'll be a good wakeup call. Maybe the bandwagon just fell apart under the weight.....
And lastly, I think Denny Green losing his mind on national TV is pretty awesome. In an era of reality television and general phoniness it's kind of reassuring to see a man genuinely incensed.
As a Vikings fan, I kind of smiled when I heard the radio announcers talk about how the play-calling at the end of the first half potentially cost the Cardinals 4 points. I always 'loved' Dennis Green's game management at the end of halves; in most situations, it was atrocious, but often an opponent's mistake or unbelievable play by a Viking would allow him to take credit for his fantastic coaching ability. As evidence, I present the ends of both halves of the 1998 NFC championship vs Atlanta (unfortunately, he didn't get to run off his victory speech he practiced so diligently that time), and the end of the Wildcard victory over NYG in 1997. While everyone knows about the NFC championship game debacle, the Vikings REALLY should have lost that WC game, but some amazingly bad plays by NY allowed us to come back from 9 down to win it. The Vikings radio announcers were even reaming Dennis Green's play calling during the game; yet once they won, he praised himself for about 15 minutes in the press conference. It's nice to see him eating crow for a change. BTW, is Richard Solomon still on his staff? Does anyone know?
I feel that the rules emphasis on not blowing the play dead too soon is really getting overblown this year. That play in particular was atrocious. There were three guys holding James and his forward progress had been stopped for a whole second and the whistle should have been blown.
Then, on top of it all, Tillman struck James in the head while Urlacher stripped the ball. The referrees totally missed that as well.
James had not fumbled in over a year of carries. The circumstances of that play were just downright freaky and poorly officiated.
Overall, weird night for a defense that absolutely dominated CHI and gave up 3 points, 168 total yards, and forced 6 TO's. They lose a game where the offense and ST's contributed 21 points to the loss Directly. Any given Monday I guess.
I wonder where this ranks on the "Worst QB Performance, But Still Won The Game" List.
I am extremely concerned about Grossman. That said, I think it's a little early to be crowning Leinart king - has he completed a pass more than ~12 yards down the field yet?
Re 35: No, but that's because the team can't physically hold their blocks long enough to let him throw downfield. That's why the Cardinals really didn't have anywhere to go once the Bears adjusted to the short pass-heavy gameplan.
Edge had a horrible night (which was to be expected given the Chicago D and Arizona O-Line), but this is what's amazing to me. After 31 yards on 7 carries on the first drive, Edge had 29 carries for 24 yards. The yardage total obviously sucks, but they gave him 29 more carries! And if you take out on 12 yard run midway through the fourth quarter, it's 28 rushes for 12 yards. The Cards kept calling runs even though they repeatedly failed. They called runs all the time and it killed every drive they had. They got 6 turnovers and didn't score many points on them because they would just call runs and give up. When something fails this miserable this repeatedly, why do they keep going back to it? Not just the last drive where they gave up at the end, but pretty much every drive of the game after the first one. Every damn drive!!
Didn't someone famous once say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?
Denny Green is therefore clearly insane.
inexplicable might be a little harsh to label play calling which takes a sack out of the equation. Nothing to do with Leinhart, but in the scenario where the bears need a sack to push az back out of fg range, any doubt they get one? any at all?
This game was lost because AZ couldn't find a way to run 3 plays, punt and get the Bears O on the field again. If I'm on that AZ Defense, I'm way more pissed than Green right now.
You know what they say about definition of insanity...
I doubt the Bears get a sack that late in the game. The Cards were throwing short passes in part to avoid the sacks. And I think the only sack the Bears got was when nobody blocked the DE. Avoiding the only productive offensive call in the book because of a unlikely sack seems way too conservative.
I stopped watching the game around midway through the 3rd, right after the Cards went up 23-3. I was all ready to come in this morning and read about how people would want an AGS about this game. I guess I didn't count on the Cardinals being the Cardinals.
Seriously, when your defense is playing that well, it boggles the mind as to how a team blows a 20 point lead in less than 1 and a half quarters!
I'm at work right now so I can't really get on youtube (damn internet filters) so let me ask this question:
Is this a Jim Mora "PLAYOFFS?!?!" or Mike Ditka "Did I drop the ball? Did I miss the kick" type of rant?
re: 41, conservative, sure, too conservative...I think there's a case to be made either way. I'm just saying that given the Cards O-Line struggles and the Bears D penchant for imposing their will in that 2nd half, I don't think you can pin this one on those last few play calls.
Remember, Rackers had plenty of leg. An extra 10 yards might not have been worth the risk.
At any rate, I have this one on tape from the 2nd quarter on, I think I'll chart it to try and see if there are any insights other than the obvious to be made about the game. cheers.
Re Forward Progress calls:
The league really needs to add this to the long list of officiating problems to be addressed. It is so inconsistent. Some refs blow the whistle the instant the back stops moving forward in the arms of one defender (or sometimes even before), and others wait until six guys have hurled the ballcarrier back five yards and pile drived him into the ground.
I remember a New England-Miami game last year (or maybe the year before?) when all four starting backs and backups had to come out of the game at various points for minor injuries because the refs were letting the defense maul them for about five seconds or more each time they were wrapped up. And Dillon, Faulk, Brown, and Williams are not exactly wussy players.
Denny Green is now my favorite coach not coaching for "my team". The explosion was perfect, to the point, didn't get clouded with anger into blaming people who weren't at fault, and said exactly what everyone else was thinking - the Bears are who we thought they were. Strong defense, shaky vulnerable quarterback, etc.
Didnâ€™t someone famous once say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result?
Einstein. (Albert, not Norman.)
It's funny how Rackers blows the kick and everyone's response is, "How can they just run the ball those last two plays."
Racker's record inside 50 is one of the BEST EVER.
If they take a sack in that situation, everyone would have said, "How can they chance a sack like that?!? Just run the ball a couple of time and kick the 40 yarder. Rackers is nuts from that distance!"
With second and 2 with Rackers on your side, I thought two running plays was a decent call. If Edge just gets his average yards per carry for the game here you get another first down. What would another completion have gotten? Five more yards?
Questioning the last two plays is silly. Rackers blew a 80%+ kick for him. I thought it was a good call at the time and still do.
While the Bears D didn't have a superior game, and Leinart showed poise and skill, the Cards game plan was mostly throws underneath. Some poor Bear tackling early contributed to the two TDs. That being said, when Leinart did drop back, he had decent protection most of the time. But I wouldn't hang too much on the Bears secondary, as the Cards didn't rip off more than one or two decent catches downfield.
As for the other side of the ball -- the Cards D deserves some credit -- they planned to take the long and intermediate pass away and did a good job. They also were flying to the ball. Grossman (and Ron Turner's) failure to adjust to the Cards' tactic is a mystery. They have to learn that once the team chokes off the 20+ yard routes, you have to go underneath and run more. Grossman is capable of playing that type of game, but someone needs to drill that into his head.
As far as forward progress goes -- it's so vague -- if James hasn't hit down yet, I suppose he could still squirm a few inches further ahead. Still, I initially thought that progress had been stopped.
"I wonder where this ranks on the â€œWorst QB Performance, But Still Won The Gameâ€? List. "
Right below Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl.
Leinart Fumble: 6 points
Coverage blown: 6 points
James Fumble: 6 points
Missing a game winning field goal any kicker in the NFL should make in their sleep and making all those responsible for the above cry:
Neil Rackers, we salute you.
I wasn't watching for it, but I think Edge is going to have to accept doing what he's good at (pass blocking) rather than what he wants to do (run the ball) if the Cards are going to win. If the Leinart-Bouldin-Fitzgerald pass offense is feared, then even with the duds they've got on the line, Edge might be able to run sometime.
I don't "blame" Denny Green for his outburst either, but I think it's partially a blame-defecting mechanism too. As in, I'm going to go off on a general and non-specific rant, as opposed to addressing the mistakes that both my team and I made in blowing this game.
All night the commentators (including Charles Barkley, noted football strategist) were warning the Cardinals of the dangers of conservatism, when in this situation some more conservative calls were precisely in order. The only way the Bears were going to win this game was if the Cardinals got a little crazy and made some terrible mistakes, and that's exactly what happened, starting with the horrible sack/fumble for TD near their own goalline. Just atrocious.
For once I agree with TMQ (linked):
"Yet it's not enough to say that mere Cardinal-ness cost Arizona this game. Blowing a late 20-point lead is not easy: Dennis Green and his coaching staff worked hard to blow the lead. Consider the situation at the start of the fourth quarter. Arizona led 23-10 and had a first-and-10 on its 23. At this point, the clock -- not the Bears -- is the opponent; just keep those numerals on the scoreboard declining and victory is likely. Yet after the first play of the fourth quarter, Arizona called timeout. On the possession, Matt Leinart threw incomplete twice, stopping the clock twice more. On its next possession, still leading 23-10 and now with 10:53 remaining, Arizona went run, incompletion, incompletion, stopping the clock two more times before punting. TMQ's Immutable Law of Doing the Obvious holds: Sometimes all a team needs to do is run the ball up the middle for no gain, and everything will be fine. Had Arizona not called a timeout in a clock-killer situation, and had the team simply run up the middle for no gain on these four plays Leinart threw incomplete, probably there never would have been a winning 83-yard Chicago punt return with 2:58 to play. The clock would have expired and the contest would have ended with Arizona leading."
Re. Edgerrin James "forward progress"-- that was the proper call (non-call). James was NOT definitively wrapped up with no further chance at advancement, so the whistle should not yet have been blown. If you're going to blow that play dead, then you're also going to have to do so on many other great second-effort runs which result in further positive yardage, particularly at the goalline or in other short-yardage situations. As long as I've been watching football, such a play has not been stopped as the norm, and in fact much more severe muggings are routinely allowed. A more precise definition of forward progress might indeed be necessary, but as a football fan this is not the kind of play I want to see stopped, as that would cause more problems than it solves. I much prefer to place the onus on the ballcarrier to wrap up and protect the ball. Otherwise the Jerome Bettis type might as well be legislated out of the sport.
My older brother constantly tells me stories about the Bart Starr coached Packers running the ball constantly with a lead in the 80's only to watch lead after lead vanish. I think the presumption that all other play calling by the opposition would remain the same while the clock ticks down is foolish.
A football game, like many things, is a dynamic setting. The reaction to a particular action is going to change depending upon context.
TMQ claims to be of a scientific bent. But this linear logic fails me.
Now if you want to state that by "killing the clock" you will force the opposition to take more chances to compensate for the lack of time I will listen. But to simply declare that if team A had run the ball team B would never have accomplished what eventually happened is questionable logic.
Actually, I think it's dumb. But I am working at being diplomatic.
The Cardinals are a losing organization. What happened last night is the signature trademark of losers. The Bears used to be this type of team when "Wanny" and Co. would do their best to hand GB win after win.
Now after overhauling from top to bottom the Bears have a new mindset.
Understood that this is a huge generalization. But I do believe that in the case of a team like the Cards with a legacy of negative results the energy required to overcome that institutional inertia will be HUGE.
Dennis Green has a huge EGO. But he ain't the guy to move them in a new direction.
Though I am pleased that if a team had to lose like this Dennis Green was the coach of that team. He was an insufferable, smug twerp in Minnesota who routinely declared his team "knew what it took" to kick the Packers *ss and then won sh*t with some real talent on that team. His Vikes could the Pack in Minny. Whoopee. Beyond that they were all talk and no walk.
That isn't very diplomatic is it?
Stupid Dennis Green. Forcing me to break my personal pledge..........
Beyond the bizzare nature of the loss, I'm guessing Green had a lot more personally invested in this game than normal. Green (rightly)figured his team had a good shot at whipping an overconfident Bears squad. I'm sure he preached this all week to his team. He undoubtedly believed that a victory had a very good chance to turn the Cards season around. Players would start believing it was possible. Losing it like this had to hurt. Bad. At least he didn't pull a Cheney and threaten to kill anybody.
I have to say, I thought Green's press conference was fine... like he said, the Bears were a team with flaws (we've been talking about Grossman's luck all season), and AZ effectively capitalized on them to build a big lead... and then, with some extremely poor rushing, conservative playcalling, some bad kick coverage, and a shank, as he said they "let 'em off the hook".
But on the upside, the Eagles no longer win the trophy for â€œBiggest Chokejob of 2006.â€?
I was just thinking that exact same thing.
Well Green fired his OC today. The QB coach is now the OC.
As a Cardinals fan I knew this loss was coming in the second quarter when they had like 4 "drives" start around the Bears 30 and got 10 points. That's the hallmark of a team that has no killer instinct.
This is the price we pay for 1925.
I agree with TMQ as well.
Does anyone know who actually called the time out at the beginning of the 4th? I saw "timeout Cardinals" and thought "What in the name of God are they thinking?"...
Seriously, they have everything they need to be a winning organization. They just need to get the fullback and TEs in on pass blocking, start running more outside for Edge, which isn't "What he's for", but will be more effective because the success of Arizona offensive skill players is directly proportional to their distance from Arizona Offensive Linemen. Edge is one of the best clock killing backs in the -league- seriously, he's top 3 (I'd probably count LJ above him, and maybe Rudi Johnson). But he can't get a first down when -three- guys hit him before he gets to the line of scrimmage.
At least on outside runs he doesn't have to wait for the O line to get out of the way (of both him and the defense).
"Well Green fired his OC today. The QB coach is now the OC."
Oakland, are you watching? This guy would be an upgrade on Mr B&B
I heard this about 20 times on the radio today, GREAT!
I love hearing it because he starts out rationally calm, and then his anger rises right about the third time he says "The Bears who are we THOUGHT they were!".
Probably annoyed the asked him about the Bears.
I keep hearing people say that the mistake made by the Cardinals was being too conservative. I disagree. Their mistake was the type of conservative plan they put into action. Instead of attempting short, high percentage passes (which were working)the Cardinals elected to run the ball into the line for zero yards repeatedly. That's not "conservative," it's stupid.
One sure needs to be able to get 2 hard first downs while leading late in the game - running the ball. Get the last 4 minutes off the clock. AZ cant do it.
Many things in play: AZ OL sucks. "No Gain" James probly in process of jumping the chark. Not enough OC imagination in play calling. Too much Green loyalty to lieutenants who arent getting the job done. AZ expecting to find ways to lose. Bears arent bad.
If AZ loses up in Oakland (and, as PFT says of them... Committed to Excrement!)
I had AZ until saturday then circumstances changed my mind. Too bad for that wager...
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Offensive line problems highlight the needs in the NFC North ... except in Chicago, which is kind of unsettling to think about.
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