Just How It Should Be

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think this is what I liked about the playoff weekend:

a. Jim Zorn raising the 12th Man flag. Excellent choice.

b. The Saints’ defensive front coming to play early. Very strong play by Cameron Jordan and Brodrick Bunkley, and a great stop of Marshawn Lynch by linebacker David Hawthorne too.

c. Khiry Robinson. The guy’s a revelation. The undrafted quick back from West Texas A&M got the ball in the open field and was face-to-face with 2012 first-round rush linebacker Bruce Irvin. Robinson deked Irvin, made him miss and added eight yards to the play.

d. Perfect defensive play by safety Earl Thomas, hitting Jimmy Graham at precisely the right moment, dislodging a potential first-down conversion pass from Graham with seven minutes left in the game.

e. Sounds crazy to praise a field goal as a smart play, but Steven Hauschka’s 48-yarder late in the first quarter was just that. Knowing a high kick would have a better chance to float off-course (being in the wind longer), Hauschka line-drived the ball low, right down the middle.

f. Best defensive play of the first game of the weekend: Seattle middle linebacker Bobby Wagner fighting through Saints guard Ben Grubbs on what appeared to be a perfectly orchestrated screen to Darren Sproles and destroying it.

g. Saints corner Keenan Lewis with a perfectly timed pass deflection, something the Saints are getting used to with this excellent free-agent signing.

h. The Saints need to teach a class in the art of the onside kick.

i. Tremendous stat by Pro Football Focus’ Peter Damilatis: Marshawn Lynch forced 13 missed tackles against the Saints Saturday. Ray Rice forced nine all season.

j. Take a bow, New England personnel czar Nick Caserio and scouts. The Jamie Collins picked finally paid off in the biggest game of the year, with the second-round rookie linebacker the best player on the defensive side for the Pats Saturday night.

k. Adam Schefter’s nugget about Washington naming Jay Gruden head coach—and never telling 49ers coordinators Greg Roman and Vic Fangio, who were preparing to interview with Washington GM Bruce Allen for the job, that the interviews were cancelled.

l. NFL scheduling dudes: Washington at San Francisco next fall. Let’s say the Niners have the game in hand in the fourth quarter. Bet you five bucks Fangio is blitzing until the last snap, and Roman has Colin Kaepernick throwing deep to Michael Crabtree in the final minutes.

m. Luke Kuechly’s instincts. Seemed to get a quarter-step quick start on his first-quarter sack of Colin Kaepernick.

n. Beautiful touchdown throw from Cam Newton to Steve Smith. You can’t make a better throw than that.

o. Last three games for Anquan Boldin: 20 catches, 323 yards. This is his time of year.

p. Malik Jackson and Shaun Phillips, for their three sacks and four pressures of Philip Rivers.

q. The two late third-down conversions by Peyton Manning.

cardinals-ad
(St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

r. The Arizona Cardinals placing an ad in Dan Dierdorf’s adopted hometown newspaper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, congratulating Dierdorf on his 43-year NFL career as he retired Saturday. “Thanks for always holding the line, Dan,” the ad said, with a nice photo of Dierdorf in pass-pro in front of Jim Hart. The Cards, of course, moved to Arizona from St. Louis, where Dierdorf built a Hall of Fame playing career. Dierdorf’s final CBS telecast was Saturday in Foxboro.

s. Indy coach Chuck Pagano admitting he was wrong to punt on 4th-and-1, down 21, in the fourth quarter at New England.

2. I think this is what I didn’t like about the playoff weekend:

a. Indy coach Chuck Pagano punting on 4th-and-1, down 21, in the fourth quarter at New England.

b. Saints safety Rafael Bush smashing a defenseless Percy Harvin high on the third play of the game in Seattle—and the third play of Harvin’s return. That’s going to cost Bush a lot of money.

c. You’ve got to make that interception, Kam Chancellor.

d. You’ve got to catch that onside kick, Golden Tate. That’s why it’s called the “hands team.”

e. You’ve got to catch that onside kick, Eric Decker.

f. The junk on Twitter ripping the living tar out of Marques Colston. Real brave. Criticize him for a dumb play, fine. The stuff after that … just not right.

g. The first-quarter unnecessary roughness flag thrown by back judge Steve Freeman in Carolina. No helmet contact there. Mike Mitchell didn’t deserve it.

h. All the yapping in Carolina. Lord, it looked so bush league.

i. Quintin Mikell dropping the pick-6 deep in 49ers territory. That’s the kind of play that haunts a team in the offseason.

j. One thing about officiating crews I really dislike is their inability to cut the chippiness out of big games. The Carolina-Niners game was a perfect example. Waaaay too much taunting and a missed obvious head-butting from an emotional Anquan Boldin. Those things have to be called.

k. And Jim Harbaugh. A meltdown at a crucial time of a road playoff game, costing your team 15 yards? And not knowing the rules that the play you’re tantruming about is going to be reviewed anyway?

l. But see, I blame the officials partly for Harbaugh’s freakathon. If they’d have kept control of the game, there’s a chance that idiocy wouldn’t have happened.

3. I think it’s too early to get too excited about the 2014 opener, but say Seattle wins it all. My vote for Sept. 4 at CenturyLink Field: Denver (with Chris Mortensen confirming that Peyton Manning, assuming he passes his March physical, which is as sure as the Rockies being beautiful, is going to play next season) at Seattle.

4. I think if the NFL does decide to go to a seventh playoff team per conference (the league will look hard this offseason at two things—the cutdown of preseason games from four to three or two per team, and then the playoff makeover), I could see a Monday night game being considered for Wild Card weekend. Wait, you say: That’s unfair, because the winner would have a short week before the divisional round. Well, the Broncos in the 2011 postseason played a Wild Card game on Sunday and a divisional game the next Saturday. Same thing with Baltimore last year, traveling on a short week to play the divisional game at Denver. Didn’t seem to hogtie Baltimore, which went on to win the Super Bowl. I could see two Wild Card games on Saturday, three on Sunday (with a Sunday night game), and then the Monday nighter. It’s all speculation for now, of course. But if the league can find a way to ensure that the Monday winning team wouldn’t play until the following Sunday, I could see a Monday night game gaining steam.

5. I think the Browns are going to find a coach, someday. But a year after Chip Kelly said no, it’s clear that this is the job that’s scaring away the most candidates. And it’s clear the Browns want an offensive coach to develop the quarterback of the future. Thus the Josh McDaniels/Adam Gase/Ben McAdoo fascination.

6. I think GM Mickey Loomis has had a terrific run, overall, for the Saints, ably assisted by underrated director of college scouting Rick Reiprish. But the Mark Ingram pick in 2011 is the pick that keeps on betraying the franchise. New Orleans traded a second-round pick in 2011 and a first-rounder in 2012 to acquire the 28th overall pick from New England in ’11 and take Ingram. And Saturday it was clear for all to see that an undrafted rookie from West Texas A&M, Khiry Robinson, is a better option for the Saints—and more sure-handed. The Saints surrendered the 56th pick in 2011 (New England used it on Shane Vereen) and the 27th pick in 2012 (the Pats traded that pick to Cincinnati, which used it on guard Kevin Zeitler) for Ingram.

7. I think I am so pleased to see Mike Zimmer, finally, being a serious candidate for two coaching jobs, and being interviewed a second time in Minnesota.

8. I think I don’t view Dan Le Batard the way some in the public do—as the freedom-fighting Edward Snowden of sports media for surrendering his baseball Hall of Fame vote to Deadspin. I don’t like what he did. When you become a Hall of Fame voter, you agree to abide by the rules of the game. If you don’t like the rules, whatever they are, don’t vote. But to assign the vote to whomever you choose is wrong. And how exactly does it help the process, which everyone decries as broken? In turning over his vote to Deadspin, which then had a fan vote to determine who would be included on his ballot, Le Batard protested the process of voting for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Did it change anyone’s mind about how the process should proceed in the future? The fact is, baseball writers have a far more difficult job that the voters for any other Hall of Fame, because they have to factor in how to treat players from the Steroid Era, and I don’t know how you do that. As for the vitriol sent their way over the past few days, I’ve found this over the years about being a Pro Football Hall of Fame voter: Very few people are going to say, “You guys did a great job.” Most often, the Denver fan is going to say, “You’re an idiot for not putting Terrell Davis in the Hall of Fame,” and the Packers fan is going to scream about Jerry Kramer. It grinds on you after a while; it certainly has on me. But it’s a privilege to try to do the best you can under the circumstances and the rules of the vote to try to put the right people in the Hall of Fame, and that’s what I try to remember as I go through the winnowing process each year.

9. I think, and I have been wrong on this before (like, most years, as one of the 46 voters), that this would be my best guess as to the five finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame most likely to be elected Feb. 1: Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks, Marvin Harrison, Charles Haley, Michael Strahan. And I would list these three as the closest contenders to them: Will Shields, Tony Dungy, Aeneas Williams. Now, I didn’t say those first five would be my picks. I don’t know my picks yet, and won’t until we get inside the room.

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

Talk Back

Have a question or comment for Peter? Email him at talkback@themmqb.com and it might be included in Tuesday’s mailbag.

a. For those who think Chris Christie cannot win the presidency now, I chuckle. It’s 34 months until election day, people. Lots of scandals can, and will, happen between now and then.

b. Such a loyal guy, that Robert Gates.

c. … he said, dripping with sarcasm.

d. The best color on any uniform in all of sports: Toronto Maple Leafs blue.

e. Aren’t we done with A-Rod yet? Can we be? Please? Can he just please go away?

f. Americans will look back on life on the planet in the 25 years from 1990 to 2015 years after I am gone and (I hope) wonder: “Why did people pay so much attention to that idiot Dennis Rodman?”

g. A kids’ literacy group I support, Write on Sports, is auctioning off a lunch for four with me on Wednesday of Super Bowl week. You can bid (or laugh at me) on Charity Buzz. And you can read about the good work of Write on Sports.

h. Coffeenerdness: So I ventured into the original Starbucks, the one by Pike Place Market, and had a macchiato on Friday. Absolutely delicious espresso. Perfect. And the barista told me, “We’re one of the few Starbucks that pulls our own shots manually, and some people say they can taste the difference.” Count me as one. I noticed—she twisted the handle on the espresso pod, dumped the used espresso, rinsed it, then manually added the espresso. Takes longer, but the taste is richer … Thanks for your advice last week about how to clean a coffeemaker. Turns out a couple cups of white vinegar and water, cycled through the process with a pause in the middle to let the vinegar mix work, and then two cycles of water running through the machine, did the trick just as you said. (You too, Nancy Gay.) So thanks for the good old virtual community advice.

i. Beernerdness: You know why I made the trip to the Pacific Northwest, right? Okay, yes, my daughter Mary Beth is up here, so that’s always a good reason. But Manny’s Pale Ale, from the little but influential Georgetown Brewing Company here, is my go-to ale up here, and it didn’t disappoint. Hoppy and smooth and slightly less carbonated than the usual pale ale, at least to my taste. Nice place, the 520 Grill in Old Bellevue, to sample the Manny’s too.

j. Tina Fey is ridiculously funny.

The Adieu Haiku

Tom-Peyton 15.
There are no new angles. So …
Can they play today?

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648 comments
ESe
ESe

Wish the hype over Brady would stop.  The reason they've gone to the run is that they realize Brady's arm, first, has no long passing capability.  He has seriously air-balled at least two long passes this year.  Second, his red zone passing is suspect.  Used to be he had great "seeing-eye" passes down there.  This year he's thrown passes that have actually fell short for no apparent reason (Gronkowski - Carolina, Edelman - New Orleans).  Appears that a shoulder separation that went untreated for an entire season (2003) is finally wearing him down.  Brady (age 36) this year has thrown poorly at times, while Manning (age 37) is still in top form.  Appears the Brady replacement game will replace the Brady vs Manning game.    By the way, the answer to that game is Manning, every time.  It's Belichick that beat Manning, not Brady.  Belichick will probably be rated as one of the best coaches, but he's made his mistakes; but that's another discussion.

Peter Parker1
Peter Parker1

"e. Sounds crazy to praise a field goal as a smart play, but Steven Hauschka’s 48-yarder late in the first quarter was just that. Knowing a high kick would have a better chance to float off-course (being in the wind longer), Hauschka line-drived the ball low, right down the middle."


yeah, a good play because blocked field goals at the line from low trajectory kicks just don't happen anymore!  I think Hauschka got lucky, just like Phil Dawson when his game winning field goal the week before went exactly between the Packer player's arms. 

Sick Dr Joe
Sick Dr Joe

Peter King's haikus

Now let me phrase this gently

They suck with two hands

nostereagle
nostereagle

I think people are getting upset about the politics because of what it represents. I've been reading MMQB since it's inception, and PK has changed. There used to not be any politics in the blog. Now there is. No other writer on here writing for MMQB has one iota of political commentary. Why is that? Because they are journalist. PK is now a celebrity. The arrogance and ego that title produces makes Mr. King believe his political opinions are much more valuable than they really are. (see most celebrities). He may disagree, but he would be wrong. I'll give you an example. The overwhelming majority of people that read his column are here for the football. There might be a small part here for his beernerdness section, and maybe even a handful of people here for his travel notes section. Do you think one person clicks to read this column to get there political information? NO, but he still feels the need to tell us how it is. Again...this stuff NEVER used to be in his columns. He has gotten bigger and more popular because of his football writing, but like many who are ill prepared for their fame, he thinks it is just because he is so darn great. Not just his football writing, but all around he just must be the bees knees. Surely the masses want to hear what this genius has to say about politics. 

The guy is a good football writer with a ego that has gotten away from him. Nothing more, nothing less. It happens so much now in this country with fame that most people don't even realize it. While in a Dentist's office a few years ago I watching the TV in the waiting room and saw an interview where Snooki from Jersey Shore was being interviewed and asked about her political opinions. No difference between that and what PK does. He's an entertainer now, not a journalist.  

  And this is coming from an independent who leans left. 

Frotoon
Frotoon

Peter King, your haikus are atrocious. You seriously need to learn there's more to them than just syllable count.

Frotoon
Frotoon

Bruce Irvin's a pass rusher, not much of a run stopper.

"Khiry Robinson. The guy’s a revelation. The undrafted quick back from West Texas A&M got the ball in the open field and was face-to-face with 2012 first-round rush linebacker Bruce Irvin. Robinson deked Irvin, made him miss and added eight yards to the play"

shaner021
shaner021

Big fan here Peter, but how you do not literally take Drew Brees and Sean Payton to task for their historically bad clock management last weekend is beyond me. The lack of play clock awareness by Drew Brees is astounding for a veteran quarterback in such a critical game. Someone on the Twitter-verse said that Drew Brees had the most timeouts called this season to avoid delay of game penalties. Based on last week's performance, it's easy to see why.

BWYATT
BWYATT

Peter...just a quick comment to correct your note about Harbaugh's antics costing them 15yards...he lost it because the refs failed to stop the clock on the "incomplete" call on V Davis...the clock kept going for like 5 seconds...either way, his emotions and fire set the tone for that team, hard to criticize 3 straight NFC Championship Games...the red zone play calling is the real concern...in other news, has this year's officiating been as bad as I think it has? $9B+ in Revenues annually should warrant full time officials...too many games were impacted by bad officiating...the game is too fast for these guys, give them the help and support they need to be successful...allow teams to challenge flags is a good start

SteveTrumbull
SteveTrumbull

Regarding "Then Things I Think" #8:

“You’re an idiot for not putting Andre Reed in the Hall of Fame” - Just kidding but I believe that he deserves to be there before Marvin Harrison.  Reed was part of the core of that Buffalo Bills team of which much of the rest of that core is already there, he had great personal stats for the time period, and he has no off field issues that I'm aware of.

x72
x72

Conservatives are just upset that their guns are going to be taken away.

kingwhat
kingwhat

Hey, Peter, did you read Dan Shaughnesy's rant on Indianapolis radio last week, calling the Patriots "the worst 12-4 team ever assembled"? And encouraging the Colts to come in a destroy the Patriots in Foxboro. Is that the kind of objective reporting you were defending Shag for a few weeks ago. Is it Peter? Or are all of you journanlists like doctors, when one of their own is sued for malpractice.

TruthSeeker12
TruthSeeker12

Peter in all your team analysis you forgot to mention the contributions of some vey important players that also make the difference but always go unheralded - the Offensive Line.  Yes, you need a good defense to keep the other team from scouring but you also need a good offensive line to allow your QB to put points on the board for your own team.  Would really like to see some articles on the Offensive Line and how critical they are to winning the game.

robbosing
robbosing

Peter: I share your love of Manny's Pale Ale, and I believe Manny Chao is the finest beer man I have been around in my 20+ years in the business. But on the matter of Dan Le Batard, this illustrates the "pen is mightier than the sword" - this man gave up his status as a voting member to make a point in public that may be the impetus for change that many of us believe should happen. It is similar to your Snowden reference in that he has risked a great deal (not as much as Snowden, certainly) to make a bold statement. The only reason it is relevent (the ONLY reason) is that his statement resonates with so many of us in the sporting public (as is also the case with Snowden / American public).


Keep doing the good work and being brave in your reporting. You were very very good in your preseason predictions, but I am now pulling for a Seahawks 23 - Broncos 21 Super Bowl. Go Hawks!!!!

tom.aikins
tom.aikins

Dierdorf finally gone. Hallalujah. Now if someone would just hire Gruden to coach somewhere and if Simms would get fired we'd be a long way towards getting some decent announcing for more than just one or two games a week.

John52
John52

Peter, have you read Gates' book?

MK_Nashvegas
MK_Nashvegas

I have to say that I am done reading this article or ever clicking to the website.  I (like several other people have stated previously) used to read this article for football and not political views of sports writers. Also I didn't see similar remarks about "wink-wink" when the IRS scandal broke or the fact that The President did not know about the website failure.    

Scramble
Scramble

The NFL got what it wanted, it took a couple non calls to get the ball out of the Colts hands and back to the Patriots. Even the Browns could win if you keep giving the ball back to them.

Rexal Parshapswich
Rexal Parshapswich

I couldn't care less about his politics, but his homerism of the Pats is bordering on pathetic.

Knowitall
Knowitall

And what Peter King column would be complete it out the cheap shot at the despicable ARod?

Not enough to chortle at the blatant head shot BoSox' Ryan Dempster threw at ARod when he returned to play last year.

Peter - your beloved Red Sox tried to sign ARod, but were too cheap to make it happen. Your beloved Red Sox won titles with juicers like Manny and Big Papi. Not a critical word for the home team, however.

How long do you expect to foist this hypocrisy on us?

davidhd
davidhd

@ESe  A lot of the issues you attribute to Brady might come from his WRs, considering he doesn't have one receiver that would start on the Broncos.

AlainLapointe
AlainLapointe

Totally agree , also in regular season games at Carolina and N E

Gandoffthewise
Gandoffthewise

Please leave Big Lib Peter alone. He would NEVER actually research something or someone he criticizes. That would take work and an open mind.

drudown
drudown

@MK_Nashvegas  

Oh, stop crying already. It's his blog. You don't like it, don't read it. 


As for the alleged IRS "scandal"…you conspicuously omit any reference to the FACT these sham GOP "charities" were VIOLATING federal law by engaging in overt political activities. So there is no "scandal" other than the GOP "faux" media trying to make hay over the IRS trying to collect taxes LAWFULLY due to the People. 


Which, given the FACT the GOP seems hall bent on BANKRUPTING the State via its suicidal "no new taxes, ever" policy, maybe we should be applauding the IRS for trying to SUBSIDIZE our government instead of uncritically adopting the GOP "government is the problem" groupthink. 


Tell me, how can you purport to be "more offended" by PK sharing the FACTS surrounding Christie's abuse of power than the incident itself, to say nothing of the GOP's refusal to even COLLECT federal income tax from US Corporations (see, "We're Not Broke" documentary) in a manner that comports with the Equal Protection Clause? It gets so tiresome listening to you "paid for" PR puppets proffer conclusory drivel with no FACTS or LOGIC to support it. 


"Waaaah, we don't like the ACA!" Really? Despite the FACT since it was signed into law Health Care costs have SLOWED to the lowest levels in 40 years? My pre-ACA Health Care premiums were $760. Now I get ACTUAL coverage (i.e., I cannot be arbitrarily dropped) under an ACA PPO for $343 a month. So, start with some reason and analysis instead of your lock-step, do-anything-we-are-told mentality that got our Nation enmeshed in a $4 TRILLION quagmire in Iraq (aka war started under false pretenses). 


So, spare us your "oh, the HORRORS of the ACA website" gibberish and write us a brief summary as to how, pray tell, the GOP Congress did not VIOLATE THE LAW- much less follow a "strict construction" of Article I, Section 8 requiring the Congress RAISE REVENUE- to avoid the premeditated "shut down" of the federal government? Let's hear it. 

SammyBuka
SammyBuka

@MK_NashvegasYeah....and don't forget the phony birth certificate.  How did he pull that one off?

ScottHill
ScottHill

@Scramble I just love how the conspiracy theorists come out after a loss.

tom.aikins
tom.aikins

@Scramble Yeah, right. I suppose they somehow got Blount to run for 166 yards too.

ScottHill
ScottHill

@psychsports Thanks for the referral. This is a great website. I will be using it quite a bit in the future.

ScottHill
ScottHill

@Knowitall Manny Ramirez. Yes, he was busted. Big Papi, was only rumored to be on a list. That was the one and only time.

bserious
bserious

@KnowitallWhat about the fact that nobody will be happier to see ARod go away than the Yankees?  This suspension helps them, and therefore hurts the Yankees competition, aka the Red Sox.  Anyone who only cared about what was best for the Sox hates this suspension.  Your comment actually made me think of something, I kinda don't think of ARod as a Yankee, even though he's been there for years now.  He's such a selfish, narcissistic little baby, who separates himself from everyone around him, I just don't really associate him with a team, because he doesn't want to be part of a team, all he cares about is himself.  I'm no Yankee or NY fan, but when I think of Yankees, I think of Jeter, Rivera, Pettitte, Mattingly, Reggie Jackson (though I don't think of him as just a Yankee) Mantle, etc.  If I were to think of great Yankee players, ARod just wouldn't come to mind, no matter what his stats are.

88keys
88keys

@Knowitall

FYI knowitall, the Sox were not too cheap to sign A-Fraud.  They were willing to pony up the dough.  It was the Players' Association that nixed the deal because they felt A-Fraud was sacrificing too much value in his deal while renegotiating his contract.

pickle
pickle

@Knowitall Meh, I am a lifelong Yankees fan and I am just as sick of hearing about A-Rod as Peter is. And I definitely wish he would just "go away"

coachochoa
coachochoa

@drudown@MK_Nashvegas Facts? What facts?  The only fact that matters is how much less take home pay Americans are taking due to ACA.  We are paying more for healthcare, higher premiums, higher copay, higher deductible, and get less coverage thanks to ACA.  The insurance policies that are offered in the website are still worse than my crappy insurance.  What world are you living in?  Because the ACA sucks in the real one!  Just because you state "fact" on your comment doesn't make it one.

AlainLapointe
AlainLapointe

O K Scott but admit that Edelman acting is getting ridiculous .

Scramble
Scramble

@Bostonctychamps1 The Patriots won't last past this weekend. Remember they don't allow filming anymore. It isn't like they have a steroid user like Ortiz to carry the team.

ScottHill
ScottHill

@SammyBuka Scramble has got it all twisted. I compare this Patriots team with the 2001 team. A bunch of no names that just refuse to go down. They get back up and forget about the last play and go on to the next. I would not be surprised to see them go to the Super Bowl and with all. But at the same time, they could lose next week if they don't play their best game, i.e. fumbling the ball.

SammyBuka
SammyBuka

Wow Scramble.....you should really charge Boston rent for living in your cranium.

CUE THE DUCKBOATS!

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