Points of View, December 14, 2010

Bears

“Branch explained what was discussed.

“‘It was good conversation.’”

“‘He said he was about to clean me off,’ Branch said of Wright. ‘Guys are always talking. But, like I told him, I’ve been playing a lot of football. I have a lot of football under my belt for me to just run a route and not think that you’re going to be there.

As a general rule, my experience is that its the quiet guys who get the job done.  That certainly appeared to be the case Sunday.

  • Much is being made of Wright’s failure to get over the top and cover Branch deep on the last play of the first half, which resulted in a touchdown.  But as Brad Biggs and Matt Bowen at the Chicago Tribune point out, let’s not forget that Charles Tillman also failed to divert Branch and allowed him to release to the outside, something that simply can’t be allowed in those situations.

“Did (the poor technique by both players) cost the Bears the game? No. They were trailing 26-0 before the touchdown. But it was indicative of how poorly prepared the Bears were and how they suffered major breakdowns in technique for the second week in a row.”

Tillman’s error didn’t really matter because Wright was so late.  But even if he hadn’t been its very possible the Patriots would have scored anyway.  Tillman had a terrible game.

“While Tom Brady had the kind of game that only further cemented his MVP and Hall of Fame credentials, this game magnified an even bigger difference between the Patriots and the rest of the NFL — they block better.”

They certainly do and the difference between the teams was noticeable not just on the offensive line but all over the field.

Elsewhere

Mike Florio at profootballtalk.com comments upon Tarvaris Jackson’s performance at quarterback for the Vikings last night:

The Vikings had rookie Joe Webb at quarterback for part of the fourth quarter Monday night.    They may as well get Webb some practice, because he’s the only Vikings quarterback on the roster that’s likely to be back next year.

Both Jackson and Webb were former head coach and all around genius Brad Childress’s projects.  The Vikings are already reportedly considering moving Webb moved back to wide receiver, the position for which he was drafted.

Brett Favre may well be put on injured reserve and the unsettled quarterback position bodes well for the Bears, who play the Vikings this week.

One Final Thought

Though I sympathize with their plight, I wasn’t too thrilled with Jets defensive end Shaun Ellis’ reaction to Rex Ryan’s comments after they lost to the Dolphins 10-6 (via Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post):

“’According to Rex we played [bleepy].  He said we weren’t good enough. I guess we needed a shutout. I guess that’s what he was talking about.”

Yes, that’s exactly what he was talking about.  You’re supposed to win and lose as a team.  If that means you throw a shutout then you throw a shut out.

Good team members point the finger at themselves first.

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