The season rolls along here as we arrive at the close of week 6 tonight with the Indianapolis Colts and San Diego Chargers on Monday Night Football. This afternoon will explore some popular football myths vs. the reality that we can relate to the season thus far.
The 12th Man
Sports fans are some of the most loyal customers that any business could have. Year after year, regardless of whether the team is good or bad, thousands fill the stands, watch on TV, listen on the radio, purchase merchandise and talk about their teams socially.
A hot topic today is the fan reaction to the Matt Schaub injury in Houston. The fans at Reliant Stadium cheered while their QB writhed on the turf with an apparent ankle injury. Fans will turn on you on the drop of a dime. The fact is that fans come to the games and spend a lot of money to watch their team. Now, if you’re a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, you’re probably coming to watch the other team. If you’re a Houston Texans fan or an Atlanta Falcons fan, you are expecting a performance by a team that is in the conversation with the elite teams in their respective conferences. Anything less feels like they are getting screwed out of their money and time. No one likes that. The fact is, is that no one is safe. Look at all the morons in New York that are asking for the Giants to bench a 2x Superbowl MVP and start looking towards the draft. Are you kidding me? Yes, football players are in fact, human. They go through the same ups and downs in their careers that everyone does. A true fan rides or dies with their teams AND its players, and never, ever cheers for an injury. Matt Schaub, after he takes off the pads, is a man with a family. How would you feel if someone cheered you getting mowed down by a taxi, while your family watched in horror? I think the Texans players and all of the players that are tweeting out about the fans in Houston, are just saying something that needs to be said.
The pro style offenses in the NCAA are prep enough for a rookie QB to immediately start in the NFL.
Yes, the offenses are similar. But the defensive side of the ball is where most rookies are made or broken. The defenses in college are much less complex than the defenses we see in the NFL. A perfect example this season is Geno Smith with the Jets. He is having an up and down season, and it is without surprise to me that teams with excellent defensive coordinators will give him trouble and where the defense is lax, he will excel. There are exceptions to this, such as Andrew Luck. No offense to Geno, but these are guys that are probably smarter in the game of Football in particular, reading defenses. I have every faith that Geno will learn and be a good quarterback in this league (great? Maybe), but don’t expect dividends right away and don’t call for Matt Simms every time Geno throws a pick.
Dink and Dunk
Short throws to the middle of the field doesn’t work in the 2 minute offense
Defenses in the NFL today employ a prevent defense in the final two minutes that is designed to protect the sidelines and the deep pass. We saw the New Orleans Saints’ D Coordinator, Rob Ryan, employ this strategy in yesterday’s game vs. The New England Patriots. With a minute and a half left in the game and the Patriots down 6, no timeouts and backed up at their own 30, many fans left the stadium, assuming that the inept receiving corps of the Patriots would not be able to get the job done. However, Tom Brady was masterful, hitting 4 of 6 middle passes and eating up chunks of yards before finding Kenbrell Thompkins in the smallest of spaces in the corner of the end zone for the game winning TD with 5 seconds remaining. What a luxury it is to have a guy like Tom Brady that can do things like this. You also have to give some props to the Patriots D, who was able to get the ball back for Tom Brady with one timeout and little over 2 minutes remaining. The moral of the story, which points back to myth #1: Ride with your team until the end.