Daily Archives: December 21, 2009

“Far From Bigger than the Game Favre”

The Minnesota Vikings put on their worst performance of the season yesterday and were defeated handily by the Carolina Panthers 26 to 7.  So the Vikings fall to 11 and 3 and are still in great position for a deep playoff run.  They even clinched the division title yesterday due to the Steelers thrilling victory over the Packers.

So the real story of the game yesterday.  Coach Childress tried to protect his QB Favre and rest him during the 4th quarter.  Favre was getting hit early and often by the Panthers D-Line.  Julius Peppers got a good piece of the veteran on numerous occasions.  The Vikings had clinched the division going into the game due to the Packers losing to the Steelers.  Favre referred to the sideline discussion with Childress as a “heated discussion” in press conferences following the game while Childress really downplayed the situation.  So who is wearing the pants in this relationship?

Generally you would think the Coach would be in charge.  But in this case, Favre is running the show.  ESPN today has brought up reports of an instance earlier in the season against the Packers where Favre changed the play at the line of scrimmage.  This audible was deliberately going against what Childress and the Vikings offensive coordinator wanted Favre to do in the situation. Childress wanted to sit Favre again in this situation and Favre won out in the argument.  Most, including myself were unaware of this earlier encounter.  In both instances, Favre won the battle against Childress and showed who was the boss.  Favre loves doing commercials for Wrangler Jeans and apparently loves wearing the pants in relationships with his coaches.  Childress should take some pointers from Mike Holmgren on how to handle Mr. Favre.

Childress really needs to man up and take control of “his” team.  Favre always falls off at the end of the year.  This year is proving no different.  In each of the last 5 years, Favre has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in the last 5 games of the season.  This year is shaping up the same way.  Childress probably believes the solution is getting Favre a little rest before the playoffs in that the team has already clinched.  The Vikings have done so well that they have the luxury to rest their superstar quarterback.  I completely agree with Childress.  Favre is far from a young gun these days and needs some rest.  If he does not get any rest, the Viking’s chances of making the Super Bowl will be severely minimized.

Now Favre is having a great season on the whole.  The Vikings are an outstanding team that has the potential to go to the Super Bowl this year.  So is Favre bigger than the team?  Will this encounter have any affect on how the Vikings perform down the stretch?  And do you think Childress needs to man up and take control?

The past couple of years Favre has received more media attention than any player in the League.  Maybe he is bigger than the game.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze

“A Tough Week in Who Dey Nation”

Nate Kaeding’s long distance field goal this evening brought to the close a very tough week for the Cincinnati Bengals.  The field goal secured the victory and the division for the now 11-3 and Chargers.  The Chargers are a team that continues to play outstanding and is unbeatable in December.  Today was their 17th straight December victory. The Bengals unfortunately, after a valiant effort, are now 9 and 5, and still need a one more win to secure their place in the playoffs.  This should not be a problem for the Bengals, but their chances of clinching a first round bye are gone.

In a week where Bengal’s receiver Chris Henry died in traumatic fashion, the Bengals showed signs of life and put on their best performance in weeks.  The players really put forth their best efforts for their fallen teammate, and came up just short against a very talented Chargers squad.  Some highlights from the game.  Palmer had his first 300 yard passing game since September of 2007.  Chad OchoCinco had a beautiful 49 yard TD catch.  This play was reminiscent of the offensive juggernaut that was in 2005. The Bengals rushing attack continued to demonstrate its ability to run the ball against any opponent amounting for over 100 rush yards in a game where they were forced to predominantly pass due to being behind.  And the Bengals defense held another team under 100 yards rushing.

In my eyes the Bengals lost the game for one main reason.  Other than the Chargers being a great team, Leon Hall seemed to really be off his game today.  The Bengals arguably have the best tandem of cornerbacks in the League with Joseph and Hall, but today was an off day for Leon.  Hall consistently was beaten by Chargers star receiver Vincent Jackson.  Now I will not put the sole blame on Hall.  Hall and Bengals safety Tom Nelson seemed to be confused on the coverages and it is hard to say whose fault it was on some of Jackson’s big receptions.  Hall looked to be expecting help over the top, but the help came too late.  So I will leave that up to you all to decide on who blew the coverage.  Either way, the Bengals secondary has been very strong all year, but today unfortunately was definitely not its finest performance.

Lastly, I am proud of Chad OchoCinco for keeping his composure and playing a solid game.  He made a couple of big time plays and I am sure his beloved friend “Slim” would have been proud of him and the entire team’s performance.  The Bengals did the best they could and unfortunately were beaten on this particular day.  Though the Bengals have lost the past two weeks, I feel these games have shown them that they need to continue to get better to have any prayer of going deep into the playoffs.  It is very tough in the NFL to beat playoff bound teams on the road in December.

I just have a request that Bengal’s offensive coordinator Bob Bratkowski lets Carson and the offense have a little more free rein down the stretch.  Open up the playbook for the playoffs.  Carson has a phenomenal arm and our offense has great playmakers in OchoCinco, Caldwell, and Cedric Benson.  The Bengals offense looked pretty strong when they were forced to throw today.  Why don’t we start throwing more often?  I love that we have a solid run game, but the NFL has become a passing league.  The Bengals run the ball percentage wise the second most in the League.  This is not Big Ten football Bob.  Welcome to the NFL.

Hopefully the Who Deys can come back and beat the Chiefs next week and clinch their spot in the postseason.  A tough week for the team, but hats off for putting on a great effort under adversity.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Sportskraze.

-Kraze