To Punt or Not To Punt
Bill Belichick's decision
Bill Belichick made the formerly obvious decision a hot debate this week. I am not going to write much on the subject as there are two clear sides to this; statisticians versus philosophizers. The statisticians will argue the percentages and break out some crazy charts correlating 4th-down attempts in relation to Wins, but those are just numbers. There are liars, damn liars and statistics. Philosophizers will argue that it is not wise to beat yourself; make the other team do it in as difficult of a position as you can put them in. If you take away the 4th quarter, the Patriots' D played some solid football Sunday night; holding the Colts to 14 points in three quarters and forcing them to punt more in the first half than they average punting in a game. I know it is Peyton Manning and I know the Colts were moving the ball in the 4th quarter, I just personally feel that it was too risky in too important of a game. That being said, I will not criticize Belichick for his decision. In some circles, they call me Mr. Vegas. So, I am not going to fault the decision by a coach who has lead his team to 4 Super Bowls in the last 8 years (winning 3, of course). Now, my tune may be more adamant on the Bad Decision side had I put that Moneyline bet down on the Patriots that I planned to all week long. However, I laud a gutsy call. This game is getting too pussified. Pull it out every once in awhile. While Clint Session and Robert Mathis can proclaim disrespect all night, the Patriots offense pretty much had their way with the Colts on Sunday, so trusting one of the league's best offenses to get two yards isn't much of a stretch. Not sure why a 54-inch pass to Kevin Faulk was the call though.
While talking about how watered down (a much less graphic description) football has become, the flags for celebrations and getting too common. My Boilers were flagged for excessive celebration when RB Ralph Bolden ran one in for a late score on Saturday, found our mascot in his path and embraced him instead of knocking him over. He hugged him. He did not chest-bump or do the jumping butt/back bump. A simple manly embrace between a football player and the school's mascot, not like there's anything wrong with that. Since Purdue Pete is far from an animal, the Furries can't even complain about unnecessary roughness. So, WHY issue a celebration penalty? Last I checked, it was a far cry from proposing to a cheerleader. However, this is the state of the game. Soon, you'll be getting flagged for handing the ball to the official with the laces facing in instead of out.
OK, enough for now. Let's move on to the Waiver Wire. Holy crap, week 10 was bad for a lot of fantasy teams. Just as we are entering the home stretch for the playoff push, some of the top players went down during their games. While Ronnie Brown is Out for this week's game (and maybe much longer), I will not list Ricky Williams since he is rightfully owned in all our leagues and started on many of those teams. You will not see me list Chris Simms, even if Kyle Orton is Out for this week or any other. After Sunday's three completion effort (13 passes, 13 yards…spooky) in one half of football that also included an interception and three sacks, Taco Bell called to see if Simms' was available to take Brady Quinn's or Derek Anderson's place since his services are needed much more there than on a football field.
RB: Justin Forsett (SEA) – Forsett has been a tease all year as you knew eventually Seattle would have to put Julius Jones out to pasture and look to the future. Well, Karlos Dansby helped make that decision by sticking Jones and leaving him with a bruised lung and possible fractured rib. Seattle is as run-averse as the Eagles, but Forsett is your man there so get him.
RB: Jason Snelling (ATL) – Michael Turner has a high-ankle sprain, which usually sidelines a RB for 2-4 weeks. While the Falcons are not saying that Turner is Out quite yet, expect him to be. Since Jerious Norwood cannot stay healthy, Snelling is worth taking a flier on, even with a matchup this weekend in NJ against the Giants. They are not the Giants D of old and give up 4.5 ypc.
WR: Brandon Gibson (STL) – Who, you ask? Even though Steven Jackson is, by far, The Man, the Rams have to pass the ball. With Donnie Avery finally rounding into a receiving threat, he'll get double-covered and leave the other WR in single coverage. That other receiver was Keenan Burton, until he left the game last week with a knee injury and is out for the rest of the season. Gibson had 7 catches for 93 yards after he came in last week, so he got in good with Marc Bulger right away.
WR: Chris Chambers (KC) – Yes, the Chargers' cast-away is now the number 1 WR in Kansas City after Derrick Bowe was suspended for 4 games for violating the league's drug policy. Chambers has actually had two nice games since signing with KC so jump on him right away if he is available. Bad teams throw a lot.