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DEAR JON LETTERS
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The Week in Review --Meaning the NFL, of course

by Dear Jon
September 15, 2009

All is not right in a world where Roger Federer loses in the US Open to a sixth-seeded contender whose name I do not have time to look up, and where Brett Favre is wearing the uniform of the Minnesota Vikings. However, there were hopeful signs that while we may be on the brink of apocalypse, the gods have not yet gone complete crazy. After all, Tiger Woods DID cruise to the BMW Championship at Cog Hill to re-establish himself for the FedEx Cup, and, Tom Brady DID come back from behind to lead the Patriots to victory.

Now I do not mean to gloat about anything, but those of you who have chosen to enter Fantasy Football have probably been chewing on pillows stuffed with the feathers of regret. ("Feathers of regret?" Look, I'm 15 hours behind deadline. Go read The New Yorker, Mr. High-brow stylist. Readers of ESPN Magazine are probably right on my wave-length.) Basically unless you drafted and played Drew Brees, you got yourself beaten down this week-end.

I'd like to hear from the guy who had both Favre and Adrian Peterson, and chose to bench Peterson because, with Favre, they will be throwing the ball all the time. The only thing more ridiculous than 6 touchdown passes in a single game by Brees, is 180 yards rushing by Peterson.

Meanwhile, most quarterbacks and their receivers had ho-hum days. Guys who were playing Packer receivers must have been kicking themselves all through Sunday night. That Packers-Bears match was terrible. The only reason one team won is that the gods kept the game from going into a five-quarter overtime draw just to keep viewers from killing ourselves.

Welcome to Chicago, Jay Cutler. The only thing goofier than a Bears front-office that thinks they can run an offense with a gun-slinger and half of one receiver, are the Bears fans on talk radio. Even with four picks, the Packers should have lost that game. It was just like last year. The defense plays great the first half, than during half-time they all turn to marshmallows.

Even so, the gods have not gone crazy. Quarterback play in Chicago still has Bears fans in fits, so that is one grip on normalcy that we can cling to.

What is with Special Teams these days? We have seen flashes of brilliance on special teams, such as two years ago with Devin Hester and the Super Bowl bears. But on the whole, guys are making bone-head plays on kicks, punts, and field-goals. Cover units are bad, return units are worse. Am I remembering a golden era that never existed, when the only time Raiders Hall-of-Famer Ray Guy punted less than 50 yeards was to pin the opponents inside the five yard-line? And Seahawks kicker Efraim Herrera mastered both the fake field-goal and the onside kick-off? Remember those days?

If you are a Bears fan, you are calling for heads to roll after the bone-head direct snap to the upback in punt formation on fourth-and-eleven at their own 30 yard-line. The Bears could have and should have locked that game. The only thing more-bone-headed was the Bills kick-returner coming out of the end-zone with 2 minutes left to play, only to fumble the ball back to the Patriots. I don't play fantasy football, but like I said in a previous sort, pick Tom Brady if you can. Thank you very much.

The Detroit Lions were big underdogs against Brees and the Saints, and that is just how it turned out. The only thing the NFC North is proving this season is that we will be lucky to produce a wild-card, and more likely the NFC North's one play-off team will head directly to elimination. So again, the gods have not gone completely crazy.

 




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