Belfast American Football Writing

I write a column on American Football for a local paper - here you can read the reports a couple of days before they go in print; and my confused waffles...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Go Bears, Go Bears!

Chi is looking up - less than a week after the White Sox lifted the World Series the Chicago Bears now head up their division! Hooray!

Okay, it took then overtime to beat a crap Lions team, and yes the rest of the division is crap, but hey! We're on top.

But what about the rest of the week: Giants shutting out the Skins, Denver mauling the Eagles, the Raiders trouncing Tennessee...well what about it, the Bears are topping their division :)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Youth versus experience

WITH the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts on their bye week tomorrow (Sunday) attention turns to the NFC East battle between youth and experience when the Washington Redskins take on the New York Giants.

In other words, it’s 35-year-old Redskins QB Mark Brunell against 24-year-old Giants QB Eli Manning. Both teams proved last week that either approach to quarterbacking can work wonders.

Brunell directed the Redskins’ biggest point outburst in 14 years with a 52-17 victory over San Francisco (56 points against Atlanta on 11/10/91).

Manning engineered two touchdown drives in the final 4:11 to wipe out a 13-point deficit in topping Denver 24-23.

Both teams, along with Philadelphia, are tied for first in the NFC East. The Giants will have to contend with a balanced attack.

Only Washington and Seattle have offenses with top-10 NFL rankings in overall, rush and pass offense.

The Redskins will have to tightly protect the ball because the Giants have picked up on their head coach Tom Coughlin’s mantra of forcing turnovers by tallying the NFL’s second-most takeaways (19 to Cincinnati’s 23), off which they have scored the third-most points (57; Cincinnati, 77; Indianapolis, 63).

A key could be Redskins WR Santana Moss, with four 100-yard receiving games in the past five weeks. This is a “home” game for him, having spent 2001-04 with the Giants Stadium co-tenant New York Jets.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New Orleans Saints no more

Despite the pleading it appears that the New Orleans Saints will move to San Fuck Nowhere to become yet another team for Texas. The excuse? Not the hurricane. No that would be callous. Instead it appears the reason is that everyone in New Orleans is poor and Texans aren't. Ya see, it's all about money not sport. Shit no, we just pretend it's that for the dumb fucks round the world who pay the dollars. Like me and every other working Joe!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Pats on slide?

Another loss for the Patriots - downhill from here? Too early me thinks, but I reckon the Falcons aer well out of it, and the Eagles are down and all but out. Birdy culling time!

At least my Bears one - but only over the Vikings, so no big deal there then!

Keeping it real

AS the NFL season moves into its fifth week, coaches are trying to emphasise to teams that the season has a long way to go.

The Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins all have unbeaten records, but it's still no guarantee of post-season play.

Those teams still struggling after four games could do well to remember eight teams in the past five years have become at least divisional champions after a 1-3 start.

For Bengals wide receiver T.J Houshmandzadeh it's enough to have their noses in front. “Hey, we’re winning,” he said “I’m happy about that, just to be 4-0.”

But what of last year's Super Bowl winners, the New England Patriots? The team that looked almost invincible in the play offs has had a stuttering 2-2 start. This week they play the Atlanta Falcons.

“We are going to get it on,” said Atlanta QB Michael Vick. “Two great coaching staffs, two great quarterbacks, two great teams - that’s the way it should be.”

For the Super Bowl-champ Patriots, things are not quite as they should be or have been. They are wrestling with injuries, and just surrendered 40 points (41 to San Diego) for the first time since 1998 against – guess who? –

But these are, after all, the resourceful Patriots, whose leader, QB Tom Brady, is not ready to panic. “We have to go back to work,” he said. “We have a tough challenge against Atlanta. We have to improve in a short amount of time.”

The Falcons, led by defensive tackle Rod Coleman, will be coming after Brady. They’re hot off an NFL season-high nine-sack game against Minnesota and top the NFL in sacks (17). Their defence has allowed only one second-half TD this year.