Tuesday, December 27, 2005

God That Lions Win Hurt....

Detroit may have done themselves a big-time favor by beating New Orleans last weekend. Yes, it hurts Detroit's draft position somewhat by winning that game, but in the process, they may have succeeded in keeping Reggie Bush out of the NFC North. Had the Lions won that game, Green Bay would have needed just a loss to Seattle, a Houston victory over San Francisco, and some of the favorites this weekend to win to end up with the #1 pick. As it stands now, Green Bay also needs New Orleans to beat the Bucs in Tampa, with the division on the line for the Buccaneers and that's just more than likely not going to happen.

Faede on Packerchatters put up an exceptional post about the draft scenarios that he's been updating. Basically if most of the favorites win this weekend, the tiebreaker between Green Bay, the Jets, and the 49ers should slide to the Packers' favor. They'll need slightly more to go right in order to beat out the Texans, should the Texans beat SF. As long as the Lions don't upset Pittsburgh, and as long as Kansas City beats Cincinnati the Packers should be in pretty good shape to get at worst a top 3 pick...provided they don't beat Seattle of course.

New Orleans is sitting pretty to get the #1 pick as long as the Texans beat San Fran, which I think they will. Houston has played pretty much everyone tough down the stretch and SF is a pathetic football team. The Saints strength of schedule is so bad, it'd be real difficult for Green Bay to make up that many games (if not impossible). But having the Saints picking 1st and GB picking second may not be that bad. New Orleans' best player is their running back, so they may not take Reggie Bush. They may opt for Leinart instead, being that they don't like Aaron Brooks and it's obvious Boumann isn't the answer. And if they want Leinart, I have a hard time believing that they could feel safe trading down past 2. If Houston wins, it's going to make for a very interesting next few months.

In the meantime, the World Junior Championships are underway, and the Wolverine players are off to good starts. Kevin Porter, who is captain of the USA Team, scored a goal and tallied 3 assists last night as USA won 11-2 over Norway. Chris Bourque was the story with 5 goals. Yikes. Originally I had seen 5-1--6 for Bourque and 1-4--5 for Porter, but I guess things changed. Jack Johnson had 2 assists in the game as well. Cogliano also notched 2 assists for Canada in their opener.

Quick thoughts on the first period of USA's opener (that's all I saw): Jack Skille's goal was just sick. I hope Erik Johnson never makes it to Minnesota (though we're already really lucky that Mueller didn't). I hope Kessel goes pro soon so I can root for him again because I love watching him play. Jack, Erik Johnson, Kessel, and Bourque in a 4 on 4? Not nice USA. Not nice at all.

And not only does the IIHF hate Firefox, but they also have no clue what team Andrew Cogliano plays for. In another link, they said he was playing for MSU, but that appears to have been corrected, unless I'm looking at the wrong link.

The Viking Cup is also going on right now, and future Wolverines Trevor Lewis, Tristin Llewellyn and Steven Kampfer are on the USA team. Lewis had 3 goals in the opener, one in each period. The box score indicates he got ejected for boarding in the second period, but he somehow scored 2 goals after the infraction. Go figure. Maybe this tournament is run by Kush Sports, since in NHL 2k6, you can have a player get seriously injured, but continue playing until the game is over. None of our guys tallied any points in USA's 7-2 win over Germany today. They'll take on the Swiss in 2 days. The USA WJC team takes on the Finns tomorrow. Should be an easy win since I don't think Neil or Tim opted to play.

One last note about our hockey team, yet another recruit for 2007. Aaron Palushaj, a teammate of 06 commit Trevor Lewis, has committed to the Wolverines. Bob Miller indicated that he's a pure goal scorer. Lewis currently leads the team in scoring (ahead of Minnesota uber-recruit Kyle Okposo) with a 19-16--35 line in 26 games. Palushaj has 6-14--20 in 26 games and is 5th on the team.


Anonymous said...

T. Lewis is also well over a year older than Okposo. Okposo is a way better player.

As for the Packers and Reggie Bush, I don't see it happening. Everything I have read makes it sound like the Pack are pretty much a long shot. Too many "what ifs" for them. Not to mention, for as good as Reggie Bush is, the Packers are so full of weaknesses that it would probably take him a few years to do anything if he were on that team.

Packer487 said...

I don't doubt that about Okposo. Just pointing out that Lewis is outscoring him right now.

I don't think it's that much of a longshot to get Bush. Especially if you take into account that the Saints probably wouldn't draft him...Mortenson said today in a chat that they'd take Leinart. Basically they need to lose to Seattle and have Houston beat SF (both I'd say are likely) and then have most of the favorites win this weekend.

The Packers aren't that full of weaknesses. The talent is just on IR. If Longwell makes the kicks he usually makes, they've probably got 6-7 wins right now. And that's still with Green, Davenport, Gado, Franks, Walker, and Murphy on IR. The defense has been capable. The offense has killed them. Get some guys healthy, add a couple players to the defense (which they can because they're going to have close to $30 mill under the cap), sign a guard or two, and they're right back in the mix.

Worse teams have made quick turnarounds. The Packers aren't as bad as their record. They've lost 5 games by a field goal or less (if I'm not mistaken).

Packer487 said...

I don't buy it. You are definitely correct that he's been awful in the second half of this season, but no one was saying he needed to retire after the first 7 games or so of the season when he had only thrown something like 5 picks against 14 touchdowns.

He didn't just forget how to play football all of a sudden and his physical skills didn't erode in between two games. They kept pulling pieces out of the offense and finally the tower collapsed Jenga-style.

He lost all 3 of his safety valves in Walker, Franks and Green. His line has been terrible this year to start with and now he doesn't have his guys back there to pick off the blockers. And he doesn't have his safety valve to dump the ball to.

His big problem is that he's trying to do way too much and he doesn't have the weapons. JWalk bailed him out a bunch last year. Ferguson just alligator arms those balls.

He's just going for the big play too much. He knows they don't have the talent to sustain a legit drive and he's just chucking it all over the field and eventually it gets picked off. When there's no threat of a running game, that'll happen.

He isn't what he used to be, but that guy can still play the game. I refuse to believe that he'd be playing as bad as he has if you put Walker, Green and Franks back in the lineup. Or even gave him one of his guards back. Or made it so his center didn't have like 8 injuries. That adds up to the middle of our line getting blown up on a regular basis.

Packer487 said...

He's stubborn. We've always known that about him. And he has the mindset that he can always make a play. IMO he knew they didn't have the talent--particularly on the OL but at times the RB, WR, and TE positions as well--to sustain a drive, so he was winging it. And it didn't work.

He definitely has degenerated somewhat, but no one was talking about him needing to retire when he had 14 TDs and 5 INTs (or something along those lines) after 7 games. It was only after he lost ALL the talent around him that he went in the tank too....

I just don't think the guy forgot how to play football--or his body wouldn't let him play football--midseason.