Monday, December 10, 2007

Browns struggle by Jets,Seahawks clinch West.

The Cleveland Browns might have shown yesterday that they are a playoff team despite a less than glamorous effort in a 24-18 win over the New York Jets.
Playoff teams win when they are not at their best and are able to win "ugly" games and the Browns showed that in the victory.
Jamal Lewis was able to rush for over 100 yards in the mush that passed for turf in New Jersey and with the exception of the always deficient "prevent defense",the defense kept the Jets under control.
I never understand why teams go to the prevent so early and it always results in teams getting back into a game that they have no business being in.
Something works successfully for the entire game and when you near the finish line,you start changing things?
I am not just hammering the Browns for doing this,just about every team does the same style of tactic.
A few more Browns notes that struck me as odd.
Have you ever seen a team kick three on-side kicks in the final few minutes and recover two as the Jets did yesterday??
I might have,but don't recall any off hand.
You can never get too mad about touchdowns,especially when you figure in the boom of fantasy football,but the irony of Jamal Lewis and his late romp for a TD is that the Browns would have had a better chance of winning if he grabbed the first down and fell to the ground.
The Jets had just 1 timeout and then it would have been kneeldown time.
Instead after the touchdown run,the Jets were able to get a quick field goal from Mike Nugent and had they recovered the resulting on-side kick could have won with a touchdown.
I understand that players don't and can't think that way,but in this case it was true.
Cleveland returns home for a battle against fellow Lake Erie border town Buffalo in a game that could either almost clinch a playoff berth or make things very difficult.
The Browns lead the Bills by one game for the final playoff spot in the AFC.

The Seattle Seahawks clinched their 4th NFC West title in a row with a 42-21 win over the Arizona Cardinals in the emerald city that was not a close as the lopsided score indicates.
I have'nt watched the tape yet,but the box score shows a game that was never in doubt.
Matt Hasselbeck tossed four touchdown passes to four different pass catchers and Patrick Kerney dumped Kurt Warner three times for sacks in the game that proved the Cardinals are still not ready to challenge the Seahawks for division supremacy.
Seattle improves to 9-4 on the season and looks to be locked in on the 3rd seed in the NFC unless Green Bay would have a total collapse in the last three weeks.
Seattle visits the lowly Carolina Panthers in Charlotte next week.

The New Jersey Devils traveled to the big cesspool for a battle vs the Rangers and fans of great goaltending were not disappointed as the Rangers Henrik Lunquist and the Devils Marty Brodeur matched zeros for regulation.
Then the winning streak ended as Brendan Shanahan ripped a one timer laser by Brodeur that ended the game in overtime to give the Rangers the 1-0 win.
Still not bad for the Devils as they at least were able to pick up one point for the visit.
Not much offensively to talk about as the Devils really didn't force Lundquist to make the amount of saves or the amount of quality saves as Marty had to all evening.
Not a great effort but still a point and Brodeur was awesome.
New Jersey battles Washington tonight in DC.Yuck

Bullpen notes

Why is it always bad when the Devils play Washington?
Because I move from having the best play by play man in the business with the Devils Doc Emrick to a poor one in Washington's Joe Beninati and THE worst color analyst in the game in Craig Laughlin.
These two make me just reach for the mute button.
I feel for the Washington fans that are forced to listen to them every night.

Finally have time to note a few players that signed for us in the past that were moved in the Triple A phase of the Rule 5 draft.
Most notable was former Hagerstown second baseman/shortstop Marcos Cabral,who was selected from the Nationals organization by the Blue Jays.
Pitcher Ryan Rodriguez (Winston Salem) moved from the White Sox to the Orioles,while his Winston-Salem teammate Garry Bakker was selected by the Mets and yet another Warthog was involved as outfielder Daron Roberts joined the Marlins organization.
Lefty hurler Victor Garate (Lexington) was a Dodger pick and Scott Mitchinson (Lakewood) travels to the left coast as a member of the Oakland system.

If any of you out there have read Moneyball (and what seamhead hasn't) two notable names were taken from the Athletics.
Pitcher Ben Fritz was a Tiger draft pick while first sacker Brant Colamarino moved to the Blue Jays.
If you have read the book,you are likely getting a chuckle out of these.

Until tomorrow

Photo Credits
McDonald-Bill Koustroun-AP
Hasselbeck-Otto Greule Jr-Getty Images
Brodeur-Bruce Bennett-Getty Images

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