Alright…. this has gone too far. It’s gone too far, and we’re not even to the NBC Sunday night game. But this Matt Dodge kid is getting thrown under the bus pretty hard today. At some point during both Jets-Steelers and Raiders-Broncos, the CBS coverage crews were dumping on him pretty hard. Now, ESPN Sportsnation is getting a few kicks in with their latest poll. Who do you blame more, the Giants defense or MATT DODGE? Do we really believe he was told deliberately not to punt to Desean Jackson, and he just munsoned it? I’ve got to give him more credit than that. This one’s on the coaches if you ask me. In every operation, you’ve got people in charge of making decisions, and it’s their job to put certain people in the right situations. If you’re getting paid to run the show, then you should probably make a point to make sure your punter knows to not punt to Jackson. It’s just a simple lack of preparation. We all do it, but damn, they’re really letting this kid take the fall for it this time. Just because he’s the league leader in blocked punts doesn’t mean he’s an idiot. Not sure why I’m defending this guy – I’d never even heard of him before today. The Legend of Michael Vick just grew a whole nother chapter though…..
Which makes me want to weigh in, for the first time really, on Michael Vick. Chris Berman said (overdramatically) that players didn’t want to let Vick down. This is true because a lot of players could have been dragged down with him, but he basically took the fall for the whole league. He didn’t run a dogfighting ring; he bred dogs. He bred them and sold them to his colleagues. Naturally they wanted badass dogs that could fight and his business evolved. He made some costly decisions, but in the end, he took the fall for a lot of other people’s actions – and never threw anyone under the bus in the process. As a result, the majority of the NFL is going out their way to have his back in return for him having theirs. If there is a way for the Eagles to play in Atlanta against the Falcons in the playoffs, sign me up. That’s looking like the likely NFC Championship game right now.
In West Coast news, Tim Tebow made his first NFL start – in Oakland. The most Christian player in the league has to make his debut in the Black Hole, with demons and skeletons everywhere. It brought a smile to my face last night when I heard the news he was getting the start. Much to my delight, the Raiders pulled away in the second half and came away with a 39-23 win. That’s a total of 98 points on the Broncos this year in two games. Shanahan would’ve never stood for this, but he’s got his own share of problems right now. As for the Raiders, they’ll host the Colts next week, in a game that’s unfortunately important for Indianapolis. Oakland is now 2 games back with two to play. The upside is that they’re really only one game back from a winner-take-all showdown in Kansas City. The possibility of the Chiefs losing to Tennessee just got a little more promising today with the Titans showing signs of life and beating Houston. The Colts game is one the Raiders really have no business winning, but it makes the game worth watching, and those are two words I haven’t used to describe a Week 16 Raiders game in a long time.