Posted on: July 30, 2008 8:04 pm
 

This whole Brett Favre thing

I will preface this by saying I mean no disrespect to Aaron Rogers. I'm sure he has a ton of talent, and I know he'd do a better job than me.

What is the deal here?

Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, coming off an MVP-caliber season (he finished second in the voting), and an icon in the NFL.

Aaron Rogers is a promising young quarterback, who despite his 4 years in the league, is only 24. While he may do well in training camp, and lets not forget the Dallas game last year, he is still an injury-prone, unproven young man.

What, exactly, has Rogers contributed to the Packers and the league? What do the Packers expect from him this year?

This is a team with the talent, skill, and experience to make a serious push for a Superbowl win. At least with Favre behind center. With Rogers, you have a lot of potential, but not much proven experience. So lets forget for a moment who Brett Favre is. Lets put aside all the records, the legacy, etc. Brett Favre is a proven quarterback, and a damn good one at that. Rogers may have promise, but thats all it is right now. At best, Rogers is as good as Favre. At worst, he is Matt Leinert. Is he really the guy the Packers think can take them to the Superbowl?

What about the other players? The years of sacrifice all building toward this season? The aging cornerback core? Do the Packers really think that Rogers will get good enough, fast enough to take these same players to the championship? They can't possibly believe that. Al Harris and Charles Woodson don't have too many good years left, if any. The running game is still suspect, and that offensive line still leaks pretty good. Without a good running game and great O-line, Rogers will not produce like he may be capable of.

The Packers have continually stated that the time is now for Rogers to take over the reigns because of the team around him. But the two most important components to a young quarterbacks health and success are faulty. Wouldn't it serve Rogers better to wait for a solid line and running game? Wouldn't it serve the Packers and their fans better to put the best guy in they can behind center and go for a championship?

It's been 11 years since the Packers have gotten to the Superbowl. Now is the best opportunity they have had since the mid-90's. Ted Thompson has done a good job of rebuilding this team, however his tactics have been suspect. Much like a new male lion taking over a pride, Thompson is going around disposing of any remnants of the previous legacy just to impose his own. That's what this is really about.

If the Packers want to be fair in this, make the quarterback position and open competition at training camp. Let both men prove it on the field, and give the starting job to the best man, not Thompsons best friend.

 

 

Posted on: January 15, 2008 6:30 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2008 2:35 pm
 

Championship weekend preview

Welcome to the first entry of Grapplers Sports Blog. Today I will be evaluating in my own way the matchups for this weekend.

San Diego Chargers at New England Patriots

This one may be closer than most people think. The Bolts are "riding high" as the cliche goes, winners of their last 8 games enroute to a perceived sacrificial appearence against the undefeated Patriots. The status of Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates remains a mystery at this point, but we have to assume that Rivers and Gates will play, at least until they get too battered to continue. Billy Volek did an admirable job of directing the offense against the defending champions, but is not at this point a reliable option. LaDainian Tomlinson looks to be OK for the game. If the Chargers can field their trio of playmakers, they stand to make this one a game.

The Patriots defense is vunerable to either the pass, or the run, but seemingly not both. Teams that have been able to make it close against the Patriots had either good running days or good passing days, but not both. "The Hoodie" breaks out his ninja-master play calling and manages to neutralize one threat enough to give the Patriots offense the opportunity to win games. If the Chargers can get solid play from which ever quarterback steps onto the field, and they use LT as both a runner and a receiver, they could pull this one out.

The key to beating the Patriots, at risk of sounding like some of our favorite sportscasters, is to outscore them. But its when you outscore them that matters. They are incredible at closing games, and the offense always seems to have enough in the tank to finish off the scoring. I think the problem is that most teams go at the Pats hoping to keep the offense off the field. The problem with that is that they stay fresh late in the game, while the opposing teams offense is tired, unable to pull together a winning drive. I think a big key to this game is to limit the big plays of the Patriots and force them into actually having to put together drives for scores.

Antonio Cromardie is going to be a huge factor in this game. He is an exciting, athletic young cornerback who doesn't seem to know any better. His ability and insticts may be enough to limit some of those Tom Brady to Randy Moss airmail TD's.

Beating the Patriots is not an impossible task. They have been limited in their offense recently (as far as their standards go), and their defense is nothing to be afraid of. Their regular season ppg stats are inflated by playing in a weak division, and opponents attempting to run the ball to keep the offense off the field. If the Chargers can slow down that offense, they have the offensive firepower to outscore any team in the league. Remember, they put up 28 points against the leagues top scoring offense last week.

Do I think they'll win? No. I do see a close game though, with the Patriots pulling it out in the end 31-28.

 

New York Giants at Green Bay Packers

This is another matchup where you have a clearly superior team against a team that is playing great at the right time of year. The problem for the Giants is that the Packers are playing pretty well right now as well. The Packers have put up over 30+ppg over their last 5 games, the only exception being the Packers loss to Chicago in Week 16.

Many people have pegged this as a close game, however, at the risk of sounding like a homer, I don't see this happening. The Giants secondary played out-of-this-world last week, but they are banged up, and not that great to begin with. The Giants clear advantage in this game would appear to be their pass rush. However, the only things able to rattle Brett Favre and the passing game this year were the Cowboys in Dallas and the wind in Chicago. The Packers played terribly both games, and did not play their brand of football.

The Giants pass rush will be neutralized by the Packers ability to throw the quick slant and wide reciever screen, as well as a heavy dose of Ryan Grant. They do have a shot though, if Kevin Boss comes to play. The Packers have been susceptable to tight ends all year. If Eli Manning can find Boss, and Boss can manage to haul in some passes, the Giants could be serious trouble for the Packers. If Boss gets going, the linebackers will have to cover him tighter opening up the inside running game for Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs.

Unfortunatly, I don't see this happening. I see the Packers starting out with a heavy dose of Ryan Grant to slow down the pass rush, moving to some intermediate passes to the posts to take advantage of the linebackers reaction to the run, and then settling into their offense, keeping the Giants guessing all day as to whats coming next. The Packers secondary will keep Eli and the passing game in check, and Boss will be his usual presence, but not enough to cause any concern for the Packers. Packers 31-16.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com