Tag:playoffs
Posted on: January 10, 2009 10:42 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2009 12:36 am
 

Big Blue Gearing Up at the Meadowlands

Is "overconfidence" a requirement to be a fan?

   Coach preps his men for battle, Friday 1/9.

If there was one game on the NFL playoff schedule for this weekend that most of us would have put in the books, it was the Cardinals and Panthers. The Panthers are the more balanced offensive team. They have the secondary to keep up with the Arizona receivers that Altlanta didn't. Arizona's defense is small and weak against the run. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower won't be able to run... blah blah, blah bla blah.

I'm sitting here watching the closing seconds tick away in Charlotte. It's 33-13. Soon the players & coaches will be shaking hands, giving interviews or heading toward the locker rooms. Except for Jake Delhomme, who'll be heading directly for the parking lot, car keys in hand. He'll probably drive home with his helmet still on. I don't think of the Ravens beating the Titans earlier as an upset. It's an upset as far as seedings go, but in reality you could see that one coming; you might have almost expected it.

But Arizona? Wow...

I can honestly say - with a straight face - that I've never, ever had a feeling of overconfidence about the Giants prior to a playoff game. I've been confident in their ability, readiness and determination. It's a confidence that is born from trust, and if you're a Giants fan right now you're lucky enough to be able to trust these coaches and players when looking at ability, readiness and determination. But I'm never confident they'll win the game - in my way of thinking, that's overconfidence. There's enough evidence in the trash talking you'll find in threads, sports bars, at work, or just about anywhere opposing team jerseys meet up that support the notion - beyond a shadow of a doubt - that the sentiments expressed by many fans are simply an expectation of complete and utter dominance of the enemy.

Overconfidence and expectation. If you're a fan of an NFL team you can live without it, and will be better off for doing so. If you have it, you must have both - you can't have one without the other. And as a fan of an NFL team myself,  I'll never understand how another fan of any NFL team can have it.

I'm certainly not a paranoid or pessimistic fan. You know those folks, don't you? The one's that always prepare for the worst possible scenario. In fact, I'm pretty laid back about the whole thing... until I hear the pregame scene set from the announcing team. That's when the butterflies wake up and I lose my hearing when the wife and kids come in and ask me if I want to join them for a board game. I say "GIANTS!" and they get the hint. Once the game begins though, I'm fine. The kickoff is a shot of sedative. I strap in and enjoy the ride. By the way, the announcers for tomorrow are Joe Buck and Troy Aikman - the booth will just be glowing with personality, insight and entertainment...

I wonder what was going through Tom Coughlin's mind as he walked on the grass in an empty stadium as his players stretched, warmed up and ran light drills yesterday afternoon? I wonder about what's going on in his head as he gears his team up for this event? Whatever he's thinking, I'm sure he - and his players - are ready. When I give in and resign myself to the fact that the team is confident, it makes it easier for me to sleep tonight. Not because I "know" they'll win (because I don't), but because they'll give it everything they've got. And what they've got is a real team - in the truest sense of the word.

I expect defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo to go with a lot of nickel and dime packages, so that a safety or corner can shadow RB Brian Westbrook instead of Antonio Pierce. Pierce is not quick enough, and the secondary will provide the necessary speed and open field tackling ability you need to contain Westbrook. I expect Brandon Jacobs will be healthier than we've seen him over the last month, and running with more determination and power. I expect Eli Manning to manage the game well and make a few big plays when necessary. That's all I expect.

But I'll never expect to win the game. And I'm confident that it will be a good one, because they always are between these two teams.  

 

Posted on: January 9, 2009 4:23 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2009 8:35 pm
 

UPDATED: MADDEN '09 Divisional Round Sim RESULTS!

BigBluGeekazoid: The Results are in!

 "Great football is - is - is about great football *players* playin..' ya see... you need good football players in - in a big game and then ya -ya get great football, and - and - and that's what *that's* all about."

Semi-sim #1: BALTIMORE @ TENNESSEE - Saturday 4:30pm ET

*Prediction: Section_725: "It doesn't appear so cut and dry. (Titans) on a coin flip - How is that for a scientific method?"

*Prediction: BigBluMasochist: "Kerry Collins has to win this one for Tennessee, which doesn't bode well for them."

                                                                             31                   34 

1st QUARTER:

2nd QUARTER:

  • TEN: McCareins 437yard TD Pass from Kerry Collins; Bironas PAT (BAL 14 - TEN 10)
  • TEN: Chris Johnson 1-yard TD Run; Bironas PAT (TEN 17 - BAL 14)
  • BAL: Matt Stover 40-yard Field Goal (TEN 17 - BAL 17)
  • TEN: Rob Bironas 52-yard Field Goal (TEN 20 - BAL 17)

3rd QUARTER:

  • BAL: Willis McGahee 64-yard TD Run; Stover PAT (BAL 24 - TEN 20)
  • TEN: Bo Scaife 3-yard TD Pass from Kerry Collins; Bironas PAT (TEN 27 - BAL 24)

4th QUARTER:

  • TEN: Chris Johnson 1-yard TD Run; Bironas PAT (TEN 34 - BAL 24)
  • BAL: Willis McGahee 2-yard TD Run; Stover PAT (BAL 34 - TEN 31)

TEAM STATS:

  • SACKS ALLOWED:     BAL - 1           TEN - 4
  • TURNOVERS:              BAL - 2           TEN - 0
  • TIME OF POSS (X3):   BAL - 27:06   TEN - 32:54

PLAYER STATS:

  • PASSING:      BAL - Flacco 11 of 20, 180 yds, 0TD, 1 INT... 
  • PASSING:     TEN - Collins 16 of 24, 231 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT
  • RUSHING:     BAL - McGahee 19 for 128 (2 TD)... McClain 10 for 36 (TD)... Flacco 3 for 19... Neal 2 for 5 
  • RUSHING:    TEN - C. Johnson 17 for 106 yards (2 TD)... L. White 8 for 53... Collins 2 for (minus) 2
  • RECEIVING:  BAL - Fitzgerald 7 for 91.. Breaston 4 for 67 (TD).. Urban 4 for 19.. Doucet 3 for 15.. Pope 1 for 6
  • RECEIVING: TEN - M. Clayton 5 for 141... D. Mason 3 for 22... Heap 3 for 17

  


 

Semi - sim #2: ARIZONA @ CAROLINA - Saturday 8:15pm ET 

*PredictionImJustLazy03: "My head tells me to take the Panthers, but I think the Cardinals will eek this one out..."

*Prediction: Section_725: "...ultimately, the more balanced Carolina offense will win the game for them."

                                                                             15               24

1st QUARTER:

  • NOTE: Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin removed from starting linups due to his Hamstring injury.
  • CAR: John Kasay 51-yard Field Goal (CAR 3 - ARI 0)

2nd QUARTER:

  • ARI: Neil Rackers 42-yard Field Goal (CAR 3 - ARI 3)
  • ARI: Neil Rackers 27-yard Field Goal (ARI 6 - CAR 3)

3rd QUARTER:

  • CAR: Jonathan Stewart 77-yard Run TD; Kasay PAT (CAR 10 - ARI 6)  
  • ARI: Neil Rackers 37-yard Field Goal (CAR 10 - ARI 9)

4th QUARTER:

  • CAR: Jonathan Stewart 29-yard TD Run; Kasay PAT (CAR 17 - ARI 9)
  •  ARI: Steve Breaston 43-yard TD Pass from Kurt Warner; 2-point conversion failed (CAR 17 - ARI 15)
  • CAR: DeAngelo Williams 3-yard TD Run; Kasay PAT (CAR 24 - ARI 15)

TEAM STATS:

  • SACKS ALLOWED:     ARI - 4            CAR - 1
  • TURNOVERS:              ARI - 3            CAR - 0
  • TIME OF POSS (X3):   ARI - 27:57    CAR - 32:03

PLAYER STATS:

  • PASSING:       ARI - Warner 19 of 27, 198 yds, 1 TD, 3 INT... 
  • PASSING:     CAR - Delhomme 8 of 20, 65 yds, 0 TD, 1 INT
  • RUSHING:      ARI - E. James 13 for 33... Hightower 8 for 9
  • RUSHING:    CAR - J. Stewart 12 for 110 yards (2 TD)... D. Williams 19 for 114 yards (TD)... Hoover 3 for 1
  • RECEIVING:   ARI - Fitzgerald 7 for 91.. Breaston 4 for 67 (TD).. Urban 4 for 19.. Doucet 3 for 15.. Pope 1 for 6
  • RECEIVING: CAR - S. Smith 2 for 24... D. Hackett 2 for 13... Muhammad 2 for 11... D. Williams 2 for 14 

 


 

Semi - sim #3: PHILADELPHIA @ NEW YORK - Sunday 1:00pm ET

 

*PredictionThe Muffin Man: "I have to go with the Giants, as I am angry at the Eagles for beating the Vikings."

*Prediction: BigBluMasochist: "I don't predict Giants games."

*Prediction: Section_725: "Ah, the matchup everybody is looking forward to, well... except for fans of those other teams."

*PredictionImJustLazy03: "Not sure home field helps much in this one, but that extra week off (for NY) sure will."

                                                                            37             3

1st QUARTER:

  • None

2nd QUARTER:

  • PHI: David Akers 22-yard Field Goal (PHI 3 - NYG 0)
  • PHI: L.J. Smith 18-yard TD Pass from McNabb; Akers PAT (PHI 10 - NYG 0)
  • Note: Giants OL Shaun O'Hara left the game with a knee injury
  • PHI: David Akers 35-yard Field Goal (PHI 13 - NYG 0)

3rd QUARTER:

4th QUARTER:

  • PHI: Brian Westbrook 4-yard TD Run; Akers PAT (PHI 27 - NYG 3)
  • PHI: Correll Buckhalter 3-yard TD Run; Akers PAT (PHI 34 - NYG 3)
  • PHI: David Akers 44-yard Field Goal (PHI 37 - NYG 3)

TEAM STATS:

  • SACKS ALLOWED:    PHI - 5           NYG - 3
  • TURNOVERS:             PHI - 1           NYG - 4
  • TIME OF POSS (X3):  PHI - 40:54   NYG - 19:06

PLAYER STATS:

  • PASSING:      PHI - McNabb 20 of 30, 294 yds, 2 TD, 0 INT... 
  • PASSING:    NYG - Manning 15 of 26, 128 yds, 0 TD, 4 INT
  • RUSHING:    PHI - Westbrook 22 for 97 (TD)... Buckhalter 4 for 19 (TD)... McNabb  3 for 16
  • RUSHING:   NYG - B. Jacobs 9 for 38... D. Ward 4 for 14... Bradshaw 6 for 26
  • RECEIVING:  PHI - D. Jackson 6 for 96 (TD)... Baskett 4 for 83... Curtis 3 for 21... R. Brown 2 for 26...
  •                                    L.J. Smith 2 for 29 (TD)  Avant 2 for 21... Westbrook 1 for 18
  • RECEIVING: NYG - Boss 2 for 42.. Hixon 2 for 38.. Jacobs 1 for 19.. Manningham 1 for 18.. Smith 1 for 11 

 


 

Semi - sim #4: SAN DIEGO @ PITTSBURGH - Sunday 4:45pm ET

 

*PredictionImJustLazy03: "Big Ben in for a Big Game here, probably a pass heavy 'O' for the Steelers."

*Prediction: NFL_Solomon: "Eli Manning sucks."

                                                                            14                19                                                                     

1st QUARTER

  • NOTE: Chargers RB LaDanian Tomlinson removed from starting lineups due to groin injury.
  • PIT: Willie Parker 13-yard TD Run; Reed PAT (PIT 7 - SD 0) 
  • Note: Steelers WR Nate Washington missed the remainder of the half with a head injury

2nd QUARTER:

  • PIT: Santonio Homes 62-yard TD Pass from Roethlisberger; Reed PAT (PIT 14 - SD 0)
  • PIT: Jeff Reed 37-yard Field Goal (PIT 17 - SD 0)
  •  SD: Nate Kaeding 45-yard Field Goal (PIT 17 - SD 3)

3rd QUARTER:

  • SD: Nate Kaeding 55-yard Field Goal (PIT 17 - SD 6)

4th QUARTER:

  •  SD: Chris Chambers 19-yard TD Pass from Philip Rivers; Darren Sproles 2-pt conversion (PIT 17 - SD 14)
  • PIT: Safety - Philip Rivers sacked in SD end zone (PIT 19 - SD 14)

TEAM STATS:

  • SACKS ALLOWED:    SD - 3          PIT - 3
  • TURNOVERS:             SD - 2          PIT - 1
  • TIME OF POSS (X3):  SD - 33:12   PIT - 26:48

PLAYER STATS:

  • PASSING:       SD - Rivers 18 of 29, 209 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT... 
  • PASSING:       PIT - Roethlisberger 16 of 19, 248 yds, 1 TD, 1 INT
  • RUSHING:      SD - Sproleses 18 for 119... Hester 6 for 21... Rivers  2 for 9
  • RUSHING:      PIT - Parker 19 for 76 (TD)... M. Moore 4 for 8... C. Davis 1 for 3
  • RECEIVING:   SD - A. Gates 8 for 100.. V. Jackson 5 for 46.. Chambers 2 for 23 (TD).. Sproles 2 for 15..
  •                                    Manumaleuna 1 for 25
  • RECEIVING:   PIT - H. Ward 9 for 107.. Holmes 3 for 85 (TD).. Washington 2 for 34.. H. Miller 2 for 22 

 

Thanks for the input, everyone! I'm looking forward to next week's Conference Championship matchups! Enjoy the games this weekend.

 

 

 

Posted on: January 5, 2009 6:28 pm
 

BigBlu... Favre?

"And as I was flying up here today I thought about so many different things and how I wanted to say some of the things that I felt like I need to say, but he gave me an opportunity to use my abilities, and I seized that opportunity ... I've given everything I possibly can give to this organization, to the game of football, and I don't think I've got anything left to give, and that's it. I know I can play, but I don't think I want to. And that's really what it comes down to. Fishing for different answers and what ifs and will he come back and things like that, what matters is it's been a great career for me, and it's over. As hard as that is for me to say, it's over..."                                                                                                Brett Favre retiring from the NFL - March 6th, 2008

"To a certain degree, I don't know what I'm getting into... Am I ready to face it, handle it, deal with it? I think so. I think it’s a great opportunity. It can be as good as you want to make it.”'  BRETT FAVRE unretiring and joining the Jets - August  8th, 2008

 


 

Maybe it was the hectic nature of  the holidays, or maybe it was simply the understanding that time with my family is more important than time on the computer; whatever the reason, my intentions were good but perhaps not well thought out.

And there's one thing I've learned: extremes are my downfall.

The "all or nothing" approach can work if used under the right circumstances - in fact it's absolutely necessary in some cases. When someone diets they don't  stop eating all together; But someone with another form of addiction may need to stop completely and immediately. After giving it some though for a few days, this site is not that kind of addiction.

I'll take a page out of the books of some that post blogs here. Short, simple and to the point will be my revised resolution.  My BigBluGeekazoid Madden NFL '09 playoff community simulations got a better response than I expected. The Giants are still playing and I had already promised to ride the season out as it was. And the sentiments from many of you who responded got me a little choked up, I have to admit.

So I'll still be serving, but in much smaller doses. 

 

Posted on: December 31, 2008 6:19 pm
 

BigBluGeekazoid's MADDEN '09 PLAYOFF SIMULATIONS

Hey folks, just a reminder: Post your picks and opinions for my Madden NFL '09 2008 playoffs simulation by Thursday at 6pm. If you'd like to join me, ImJustLazy03, Section_725 & Hoosier Mick... add a comment with your winners for this weekend and any thoughts on specific game planning or other elements you think are important. Simulations will run tomorrow night, winners posted Friday!


Our own 'virtual' predictions for the NFL Playoffs, courtesy of EA SPORTS

... and the "Madden Curse" lives on.                    

For those unfamiliar with the "Madden Curse", it's akin to the Sports Illustrated curse; JM used to be on the cover of every edition up until 1999. EA Sports decided to go with players that year - the first was Garrison Hearst. He made it throught the regular season, but broke his ankle in the divisional round of the playoffs; the injury sidelined him for two years and he was never the same. Favre - despite having already announced his retirement - was inexplicably featured for the first time on the 2009 edition... for a more in-depth look at the curse, visit http://fantom1979.homeip.net/madden
.html

Now that the NFL playoff picture is set and the seedings are locked in, I will put the time I normally spend wasting time to some good use - and all for the selfish sake of justifying my late night escapades with my mistress... a Nintendo Wii. 

I'll be offering up my own version of a crystal ball in the form of some predictions for each round of the the playoffs. This will be for entertainment purposes only (my entertainment) and weekly results will be posted on Fridays. I want to make this an "interactive" endeavor by getting you involved, running through the game simulations and seeing how close we get to the actual outcome of the game.

My reason for doing this quite simple; first, when my wife wakes up at 2:15 am and asks "What the hell are you doing playing that thing? You're working tomorrow and it's two-thirty in the morning!", I will be able to provide a valid response by saying "First of all, It's two-fifteen... Arghh - I wasn't throwing to that guy...  and it's for the blog, honey... go to bed, you look tired".

Unlike simulations posted on "other" sports websites (that's right, Bristol Connecticut - I'm talking to you) there will be a human element to these contests - which means I'll be playing the game. I will have to in order to incorporate the input I'll be asking for from each of you (which I'll explain in detail below). Here are the rules, options and protocol I'll follow for each game I play:

1. I will control the team we as a majority feel will win each game.

2. The difficulty level will be set to "All-Pro" for each game ("All-Madden" would destroy me).

3. Games will consist of four, 7-minute quarters; sudden death overtime if necessary (with no time limit, obviously)

4. Rosters WILL be updated for inactives or players projected to miss the game due to injury (IR, OUT, DOUBTFUL).

5. Technical problems excluded, each matchup will be played ONE time, regardless of the outcome. No "do overs".

6. Wii "All-Play" feature will be turned off.

Here's where YOU come in: Post comments to this blog with your picks; straight up winners only (not against the spread) and no final score predictions. Just the teams you think win that weekend - whichever team gets the most votes is the team I will control for the game. To make this more of an interactive experience for everyone, I invite you to post suggestions as to how teams might approach their opponent on a given week - a heavier rushing game, specific passing attacks, blitzing & defensive alignments etc.  - again, post it all right here and I'll take the most sensible and realistic suggestions into consideration and apply them to the gameplay.

You can post until 5pm Thursday - I'll "collect the data" at that point and simulate the matchups on Thursday night. Results will be posted on Friday - I'll also include individual stats and a short summary of game highlights. Then we'll see how close our results are to the real games over the weekend. 

So start posting - I'll see you on Friday with the WILD CARD results!

 

Posted on: December 29, 2008 8:21 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2008 9:07 pm
 

BigBluGeekazoid's MADDEN '09 PLAYOFF SIMULATIONS

Our own 'virtual' predictions for the NFL Playoffs, courtesy of EA SPORTS

... and the "Madden Curse" lives on.                    

For those unfamiliar with the "Madden Curse", it's akin to the Sports Illustrated curse; JM used to be on the cover of every edition up until 1999. EA Sports decided to go with players that year - the first was Garrison Hearst. He made it throught the regular season, but broke his ankle in the divisional round of the playoffs; the injury sidelined him for two years and he was never the same. Favre - despite having already announced his retirement - was inexplicably featured for the first time on the 2009 edition... for a more in-depth look at the curse, visit http://fantom1979.homeip.net/madden
.html

Now that the NFL playoff picture is set and the seedings are locked in, I will put the time I normally spend wasting time to some good use - and all for the selfish sake of justifying my late night escapades with my mistress... a Nintendo Wii. 

I'll be offering up my own version of a crystal ball in the form of some predictions for each round of the the playoffs. This will be for entertainment purposes only (my entertainment) and weekly results will be posted on Fridays. I want to make this an "interactive" endeavor by getting you involved, running through the game simulations and seeing how close we get to the actual outcome of the game.

My reason for doing this quite simple; first, when my wife wakes up at 2:15 am and asks "What the hell are you doing playing that thing? You're working tomorrow and it's two-thirty in the morning!", I will be able to provide a valid response by saying "First of all, It's two-fifteen... Arghh - I wasn't throwing to that guy...  and it's for the blog, honey... go to bed, you look tired".

Unlike simulations posted on "other" sports websites (that's right, Bristol Connecticut - I'm talking to you) there will be a human element to these contests - which means I'll be playing the game. I will have to in order to incorporate the input I'll be asking for from each of you (which I'll explain in detail below). Here are the rules, options and protocol I'll follow for each game I play:

1. I will control the team we as a majority feel will win each game.

2. The difficulty level will be set to "All-Pro" for each game ("All-Madden" would destroy me).

3. Games will consist of four, 7-minute quarters; sudden death overtime if necessary (with no time limit, obviously)

4. Rosters WILL be updated for inactives or players projected to miss the game due to injury (IR, OUT, DOUBTFUL).

5. Technical problems excluded, each matchup will be played ONE time, regardless of the outcome. No "do overs".

6. Wii "All-Play" feature will be turned off.

Here's where YOU come in: Post comments to this blog with your picks; straight up winners only (not against the spread) and no final score predictions. Just the teams you think win that weekend - whichever team gets the most votes is the team I will control for the game. To make this more of an interactive experience for everyone, I invite you to post suggestions as to how teams might approach their opponent on a given week - a heavier rushing game, specific passing attacks, blitzing & defensive alignments etc.  - again, post it all right here and I'll take the most sensible and realistic suggestions into consideration and apply them to the gameplay.

You can post until 5pm Thursday - I'll "collect the data" at that point and simulate the matchups on Thursday night. Results will be posted on Friday - I'll also include individual stats and a short summary of game highlights. Then we'll see how close our results are to the real games over the weekend. 

So start posting - I'll see you on Friday with the WILD CARD results!

 

Posted on: December 28, 2008 9:56 am
Edited on: December 28, 2008 9:01 pm
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com