Extra Points

News and commentary from around the Web

MMQB: The Rush Is On

Peter King extols the virtues of the Atlanta defense in his report on "The Game That Set Offensive Football Back Three Centuries." Seriously, what is the difference between last year's Atlanta defense and this year's Atlanta defense? It's mostly the same personnel, are they really that much better? Or did they get to play three games against the three NFC West teams that will spend the entire season sniffing Seattle's exhaust fumes? Or is it the switch to 4-3 and the arrival of defensive coordinator Ed Donatell? Gee, where did Ed Donatell coach last year? (looks down)

Curious Strategy Exposes Defensive Backfield

So why exactly did Bob Slowik, the new Packers defensive coordinator, decide to use his base defense against a Colts team that was dead set on throwing the football all day long -- especially considering that the starting and backup cornerbacks were injured? "Good question," Michael Hawthorne, a Packers defensive back said. "You're asking me? I don't know. I really don't know. You're basically expecting a linebacker to cover a receiver." Hmmm. Either way, neither team can be happy with how their defenses played.

B. Duane Cross: Week 3 Pickoff

Gregg Easterbrook doesn't have the New York Times to kick around anymore, now that the Times has ceased its practice of picking the exact final score for each game. Here's hoping Gregg turns his eye on our old buddy B. Duane Cross, who tells us that the Packers will beat the Colts 24-21 in overtime on Sunday, as well as his projected final score for each NFL game. He also tells us that he has a 6-year-old daughter named Peyton. It kind of makes me feel sad to think of B. Duane as an actual human being with a daughter and everything. Almost like I shouldn't make fun of him anymore. Almost.

My Cup Runneth Away

Nothing like an article about testicles to start your day. ESPN.com's David Fleming examines the phenomenon that is a cup-less NFL. Apparently, protecting your manhood goes a long way towards disproving it. Filled with phrases like "high-velocity impact to the groin," this article is good for at least a wince or two. Go Nads!

Rice Deserved Better

As much as I detested Shannon Sharpe the player (primarily because he was so good), I really can't complain about Shannon Sharpe the television personality. In his weekly column, he argues a strong case for why Jerry Rice should have gotten at least one catch last week to extend his streak. He's also not yet sold on the Indianapolis Colts (because of their defense) or the Atlanta Falcons (because of their opponents) -- and despite my best efforts, I can't disagree with him on any accounts. Ugh!

The Ultimate Offensive Line

It is so rare to see this much written about the offensive line. It started out with the Jeff Reynolds picking his "ultimate offensive line," which is unfortunately an ESPN.com premium link, but now they've put up a separate story picking the top five offensive lines overall, and it is a free story. This kind of attention to the offensive line instead of skill players is refreshing. ESPN picks Green Bay as the league's best line, and once again Reynolds' "ultimate line" consists of:

1 comment, Last at 19 Sep 2006, 10:50am by Klassenreisus

Bledsoe Refuses to Buckle to Critics

Why oh why do sportswriters ask such stupid, stupid questions? Apparently -- and this is a shock -- Drew Bledsoe refuses to say "yes" when Buffalo writers ask him if he should be replaced by Shane Matthews. First of all, I know Bledsoe has been bad, but Shane Matthews? And what do the writers expect him to say? "Yes, I have no idea why they are running me out there every week. I am truly pathetic." Asking questions with obvious answers is one of the things that makes fans lose respect for the local media, and one of the local media's worst habits.

Can Roethlisberger Do the Job?

Some people gave the Steelers a legitimate chance of making the playoffs before Tommy Maddox was injured last week. Now their fate lies in the hands of rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger. The last rookie QB to start a game for the Steelers was Bubby Brister back in 1986 (ouch) replacing an injured Mark Malone (double ouch). The last rookie to start a playoff game in the NFL was Shaun King (he was 4-1 in the regular season) in 2000. Of course Roethlisberger doesn't have the same defense that King had, so who knows how successful he'll be.

Football Commentary: Week 2 Strategy Review

According to our friend William Krasker, Mike Shanahan made the right call by having Quentin Griffin run one last play. He also feels Mike Tice made a mistake by kicking a field goal on 4th-and-goal from the one-yard line, trailing 7-3 (I could not agree more). Those situations and more discussed in his lately weekly review of play calling strategy. By the way, William will be summarizing the best of his strategy commentaries every few weeks in a Football Outsiders guest column.

2 comments, Last at 11 Feb 2007, 7:01am by Web SlotsMachinesmachines

TMQ: Calling Dr. Watson

The latest from our man TMQ questions curious tactics and predicts the end of the Patriots' winning streak. Plus, cheerbabes!

3 comments, Last at 31 Jan 2007, 9:15am by bontril