Notes from the North

No? No one? No defenses to be found?

In the three Thursday games in the NFL this week, defense was apparently optional. Houston and Detroit combined for 65 points, Washington and Dallas bashed each other to the tune of 68 points and the Patriots and Jests put 68 on the board. Okay, New England put up 49 and the Jests were pathetic.

Does no one know how to play defense any more? Where were the San Frans, the Chicagos, the tough defenses on this Thanksgiving holiday?

And what's with Jason Garrett and the Dallas coaching staff completely abandoning the run in the second half of their loss to Washington? Sure, the Cowboys trailed 28-3 at half time but to attempt only three rushes in the entire second half? That's madness. For the game, Dallas had Tony Romo throw the ball 62 times while only handing it off 11 times in total. No matter how far behind you find yourself, a balanced offense is still your best bet.

Usually at this time of the week, I'm listing the questions I expect to see answered in the coming weekend of football. But I can't shake the image of Mark Sanchez wiping himself out on his own blocker's backside long enough to think straight.

This is the guy Rex Ryan still claims gives him the best shot to win? Wow. I want some of what ol' Rexy's smoking.

And how do you get past the Jests giving up 21 points in 52 seconds in the second quarter? An 83 yard touchdown pass to a running back, Sanchez's clown act and fumble for a touchdown and then a fumble on the kick off return for the third touchdown. Yikes.

Anytime anyone ever questions me again about how I can follow the CFL when the NFL provides a so much higher quality of football, I'm going to be pulling out the highlights of that sequence and tell them what they can go do with themselves.

At this point, Sanchez and Ryan are an embarassment to the game of football itself.

So the only football question I will ask in today's blog is this one:

Will my McMaster Marauders be able to beat the Laval Rouge et Or for the second straight year to win the Canadian University title, the Vanier Cup, once again?

Last year's title game has been dubbed the "best game... ever" and it was a heck of a ball game. McMaster came in as a distinct underdog but pasted Laval in the first half to the tune of 23-0. Then came half time and a reality check. A punt return TD and a pick six in the first 5 minutes of the third quarter got Laval back into the game and the RetO actually led 24-23 after three.

The game eventually went to overtime and, after each team scored a TD on its first OT possession, Mac got an interception and a game winning field goal to earn its first ever national championship.

What will happen this year when the same two teams clash for the title tonight at the Rogers Centre in Toronto?

I think McMaster is a better team this year than last while Laval is not quite as powerful as they were in 2011, thanks to the graduation of several key performers. Does that mean the Marauders are shoo-ins to win? No way. Last year's victory was something of an upset, a David beating Goliath thing. So this year's game should be just as close.

Since I bleed McMaster's maroon and grey, I have to pick the Marauders in this one. But I think it's going to be a battle until the final whistle.


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