Dan TM's Blog
Views
1454
Comments
0

I just looked over the gallery of "Best Regular-Season Games Since 1990" and I have to say, it kind of upset me.  Sure, at the moment of the opening kickoff, those were the best games - they had the best teams playing for the highest stakes.  But some of them weren't even close!  And none of the games were of make-or-break significance - they were all two good teams, usually vying for home-field advantage should they meet in the conference championship.  Sometimes, winner-makes-the-playoffs games are far more exciting.  All but one of the games featured mini-dynasty teams, too, feeding the hype machine even more and ignoring the achievements of the one-year wonders. 

To me, a great game needs to have:

1) a close finish, where a play within the final minute determines the outcome.

2) two teams playing very good football throughout (no slopfests)

3) significance - either playoff implications, a rivalry, or a turnaround game.

4) memorable plays or events.

With that being said, I'm going to say something that the NFL world might consider sacreligious.  Sunday's Pats-Colts game was NOT the Game of the Century.  It wasn't even the Game Of 2007. 

1) The finish wasn't any more exciting than any other 4-point victory.  It's not like the Colts made it to the 1-yard line and stalled.  The game-sealing plays happened with 2:25 and 2:13 left to play.  After that, it was over.  Grade: B.

2) They definitely do fine in this category - both teams played very well.  The turnovers were because of superb defensive plays, not sloppy offense.  Though the Patriots' heavy number of penalties knocks it down 1/3 of a grade.  A.

3) We all know about the significance of this one.  Rivalry, check.  Playoff implications, check.  Plus, it's the biggest hurdle on New England's path to undefeatedville.  A+.

4) There were two plays that will stick in my memory for a while: Joseph Addai's masterful running (and the perfect blocking downfield) on his 73-yard touchdown, and the strip-sack of Peyton Manning at the end of the game when the ball fell into Rosevelt Colvin's arms.  Yeah, Randy Moss caught a 55-yard bomb.  It wasn't even one of his six best plays of the season.  B.

So that's a darn good game, and ranks in the top ten for the year, certainly.  But I think we've seen better.  For example:

Cleveland vs. Cincinnati, week 2:

1) An interception with 21 seconds left sealed the game for the Browns.  After a offensive scorefest, a defensive play won the game.  A.

2) Yeah, the defenses were awful, but the offenses were SO GOOD that they still get a solid grade here.  B+.

3) Yes, it's a rivalry, and this game signified the changing of the guard in Ohio, which has proved to not be a fluke.  It was also the coming-out party for Derek Anderson, who is turning out to be a Pro Bowl candidate. We're just missing playoff implications.  A.

4) How about 11 combined touchdown passes for memorable plays, 8 of which were 10 yards or longer?  Plus the midfiend interception, Jamal Lewis' 66-yard run, and kick returns of 85 and 65 yards by Josh Cribbs and Glenn Holt, respectively? A+.

Oakland at Denver, week 2.

1) A missed field goal with no time left caused overtime, and overtime was won by a field goal.  Dre Bly threw in a final-minute interception to boot.  A+.

2) There were a number of interceptions, but both teams have very talented secondaries, so I won't deduct too many points.  The defenses get the credit for this grade.  A-.

3) Long-standing rivalry, could end up having playoff implications in a weak division.  B.

4) A safety, a 44-yard interception return TD, a 46-yard TD pass to nearly-forgotten Jerry Porter - yeah, they're all good, but this game will be remembered ultimately for starting the trend of calling last-millisecond timeouts to make kickers try the field goal twice.  A+.

Chicago at Green Bay, week 6

1) An end-zone interception by Brandon McGowan clinched the victory, after a TD right before the 2-minute warning got the Bears a 7-point lead. A+.

2) This was another game marked by darn good defense, with a few turnovers, and fairly low yardage.  The Bears played the best they have all year, though the Pack didn't quite have their act together.  B-.

3) Huge rivalry, thus far it's Green Bay's only loss, and could cost them home-field in the playoffs.  Time will tell.  A.

4) Lance Briggs picked up 16 tackles, the final-second interception was a record-tier, entering Favre into the record books with George Blanda, a 41-yard TD to Greg Jennings, and a 34-yd go-ahead TD to Desmond Clark to affirm that Brian Griese is not Rex Grossman.  A+.

I'm sure I could think of more, but there are only so many hours in a day.  So what I'm saying is, let's let go of the hype.  The Game is over, it was great, but it wasn't anywhere near the greatest. 

 

Comment

Remember to keep your posts clean. Profanity will get filtered, and offensive comments will be removed.


Start Your Own Blog

Start Now

Truth & Rumors

MOST POPULAR

  1. 1
    D'Antoni's newest 'blunder'
    Views
    2496
    Comments
    866
  2. 2
    Baseball's top 2015 free agent
    Views
    2243
    Comments
    527
  3. 3
    Bryant headed back to Germany
    Views
    2385
    Comments
    506
  4. 4
    Shakeup looms for White Sox
    Views
    3766
    Comments
    257
  5. 5
    The NHL's model franchise?
    Views
    2148
    Comments
    139

SI.com

SI Photos