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mesaSteeler
01-19-2009, 12:28 AM
Championship Sunday's five most valuable people
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/shutdown_corner/post/Championship-Sunday-s-five-most-valuable-people?urn=nfl,135206
By MJD

Honorable mention: Limas Sweed. After the inexcusable drop and the child-like reaction afterward, Sweed rebounded, found his backbone and contributed to the Steeler cause. He laid a crushing block downfield for Heath Miller, and if anything will get him back into the good graces of Steelers fans, it's that. He also made a great play to break up an interception in the end zone. Sweed could have easily turtled and turned into a giant Todd Pinkston for the rest of the game, but he didn't. He fought back, focused on the next play and did his job.

5. Ken Whisenhunt. I just love the gameplan that Whisenhunt and Todd Haley came up with to go after the Eagles' blitz. It seems so simple to just say, "We're going to get the ball out early and not give your pass rushers a chance to get there," but few teams have been able to pull it off like the Cardinals did. Then again, very few teams have quarterbacks like Kurt Warner and unstoppable weapons like Larry Fitzgerald. (This is what worries me about the Turdnials. - mesa)

4. Brent Celek. Celek made himself Donovan McNabb's security blanket and improved his fantasy draft position in '09 by about five rounds. He came up with a boatload of big catches in the second half during the Eagles' comeback, including two touchdown receptions. I'm going to have to ask that he shares this spot with Kevin Curtis, though, as Curtis was the other big playmaker for the Eagles in their comeback bid.

3. Ben Roethlisberger. To quote myself from the least valuable post, "Both Ben Roethlisberger and [Joe] Flacco played against great defenses, and one guy looked like a veteran who would take what he could get and make a play here or there, and the other guy looked like a rookie in a championship game against a fierce defense." Roethlisberger, of course, was the guy making plays.

His numbers don't wow you -- actually, I take that back. You know what? There is some "wow" involved in throwing for 255 yards against the Ravens. Throwing 33 times against the vicious Ravens defense and not being intercepted deserves a "wow." Completion percentage under 50 percent? I don't care. He didn't make any huge mistakes, and he did make some big throws that helped the Steelers beat the Ravens for a third time this season.

2. Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had a bananas first half, hauling in six balls for 113 yards before halftime. And then he disappeared for a while, right up until the Cardinals offense needed him again. And then he sprung into action like Batman when he sees the big bat light, and he added three more catches for 39 yards on the deciding drive. Oh, and he also set a playoff record for most receiving yards in a single season's playoffs, and he's still got one game to go. A legend is being born.

1. Troy Polamalu. Polamalu vs. Ed Reed got a lot of attention this week, but it was Polamalu who came out and made play after play after play for the Steelers, while Ed Reed remained relatively silent. Polamalu was responsible for the game-clinching interception-into-touchdown off a Joe Flacco pass, stopped an early fourth-and-inches effort by the Ravens, and was making plays all game long, all over the field.

Championship Sunday's five least valuable people

By MJD

Honorable mention: Limas Sweed. My favorite image from the day will be the close-up CBS had of Limas' terrified face as the ball got nearer and nearer to him on the bomb Ben Roethlisberger threw. The Hines Ward injury thrust him into the spotlight, and on the first chance he had to make a play, you could almost see him thinking, "Oh sweet Lord, Ben threw it to me, and I'm wide open, and if I don't catch this, Hines is going to kill me, and ... oh, man. I could not have responded worse in this situation. I think I'm just going to lay here for a while and hope no one notices that I've soiled myself."

5. NFL officials. Despite the tragic events of Week 2 in Denver, I've been content to sit back and let everyone else complain about how it's been a terrible season for officiating. I don't necessarily believe it's been any worse than any other season, I just think more camera angles and hi-def television have put more of a spotlight on it, and I also think that we, as a people, are whinier than we've ever been.

But for a Championship Sunday, when we're supposed to be seeing some of the best officials the NFL has to offer, it seemed like there were an awful lot of iffy calls crammed into just two games. I'm glad it didn't work out that way, but I'd have had a real problem with it if a team advanced to the Super Bowl after 100 percent of the points it generated in the championship game were the result of debatable pass interference calls in the end zone.

4. Donovan McNabb. Can we call that the worst 375-yard, three-touchdown performance ever? I hate to list McNabb here, as he was the one individual player I most wanted to see win a championship, but he missed an awful lot of throws against the Cardinals. He made some very good throws, too, as his numbers attest, but he wasn't near as sharp as he can be. He left a lot of completions and a lot of yards out there, and was a big part of the reason the Eagles were in a huge early hole. In a game that big, a superstar quarterback is not allowed to have a half that bad. He just isn't.

3. The truck owners of America. You made the list last week, too, and I hate to repeat myself, but since the American auto industry has no problem repeating itself 85 billion times, I'm going to allow myself this one. I almost feel bad for you, American truck owners. It's like the industry won't stop with its advertisements until everyone else in the world believes that you're a knuckle-dragging, troglodyte meathead whose self-esteem is entirely dependent on Howie Long's opinion of your method of getting in and out of the bed of your truck.

2. Anquan Boldin. It's not because of your lackluster 4-for-34 output Sunday. That's going to happen when Kurt Warner only throws 28 times and Larry Fitzgerald catches everything that comes within 20 yards of him. But what possible excuse could you have for screaming at offensive coordinator Todd Haley in the fourth quarter of that game? Everyone gained a ton of respect for Anquan this season, coming back after the injury he sustained, but he owes an explanation and apology for whatever went on with Haley late in that game.

1. Joe Flacco. Dan Dierdorf may have convinced you otherwise last week, but Joe Flacco was indeed still very much a rookie against the Steelers. Both Ben Roethlisberger and Flacco played against great defenses, and one guy looked like a veteran who would take what he could get and make a play here or there, and the other guy looked like a rookie in a championship game against a fierce defense. I don't blame Flacco -- rookies are going to be rookies -- but 13-of-30 for 141 yards and three interceptions gets you the top spot here every time.

MACH1
01-19-2009, 12:30 AM
Dan Dierdorf, what a putz

markymarc
01-19-2009, 06:57 AM
Well the media must be upset since they can't blow Flacco for another week. Also, Troy showed last night why he was the best safety on the field.

HometownGal
01-19-2009, 07:11 AM
Championship Sunday's five most valuable people

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Championship Sunday's five most valuable people
http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/...urn=nfl,135206
By MJD

Honorable mention: Limas Sweed. After the inexcusable drop and the child-like reaction afterward, Sweed rebounded, found his backbone and contributed to the Steeler cause. He laid a crushing block downfield for Heath Miller, and if anything will get him back into the good graces of Steelers fans, it's that. He also made a great play to break up an interception in the end zone. Sweed could have easily turtled and turned into a giant Todd Pinkston for the rest of the game, but he didn't. He fought back, focused on the next play and did his job.

5. Ken Whisenhunt. I just love the gameplan that Whisenhunt and Todd Haley came up with to go after the Eagles' blitz. It seems so simple to just say, "We're going to get the ball out early and not give your pass rushers a chance to get there," but few teams have been able to pull it off like the Cardinals did. Then again, very few teams have quarterbacks like Kurt Warner and unstoppable weapons like Larry Fitzgerald. (This is what worries me about the Turdnials. - mesa)

4. Brent Celek. Celek made himself Donovan McNabb's security blanket and improved his fantasy draft position in '09 by about five rounds. He came up with a boatload of big catches in the second half during the Eagles' comeback, including two touchdown receptions. I'm going to have to ask that he shares this spot with Kevin Curtis, though, as Curtis was the other big playmaker for the Eagles in their comeback bid.

3. Ben Roethlisberger. To quote myself from the least valuable post, "Both Ben Roethlisberger and [Joe] Flacco played against great defenses, and one guy looked like a veteran who would take what he could get and make a play here or there, and the other guy looked like a rookie in a championship game against a fierce defense." Roethlisberger, of course, was the guy making plays.

His numbers don't wow you -- actually, I take that back. You know what? There is some "wow" involved in throwing for 255 yards against the Ravens. Throwing 33 times against the vicious Ravens defense and not being intercepted deserves a "wow." Completion percentage under 50 percent? I don't care. He didn't make any huge mistakes, and he did make some big throws that helped the Steelers beat the Ravens for a third time this season.

2. Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald had a bananas first half, hauling in six balls for 113 yards before halftime. And then he disappeared for a while, right up until the Cardinals offense needed him again. And then he sprung into action like Batman when he sees the big bat light, and he added three more catches for 39 yards on the deciding drive. Oh, and he also set a playoff record for most receiving yards in a single season's playoffs, and he's still got one game to go. A legend is being born.

1. Troy Polamalu. Polamalu vs. Ed Reed got a lot of attention this week, but it was Polamalu who came out and made play after play after play for the Steelers, while Ed Reed remained relatively silent. Polamalu was responsible for the game-clinching interception-into-touchdown off a Joe Flacco pass, stopped an early fourth-and-inches effort by the Ravens, and was making plays all game long, all over the field.


Add to that list:

Stabbit Ray. The Steelers walloped the Rats more than the score indicated and other than one FF and a couple of tackles and assists, Ray Ray was nothing more than a teenie blip on the radar. Thank you Sir Ginsu - we didn't have to listen to Simms slobbin' your knob all night. :drink:

Good to see that someone other than Steelers diehards appreciate the HUGE contributions Troy makes to this team, not only yesterday, but basically since he started wearing the black 'n gold! :applaudit::hatsoff::drink:

markymarc
01-19-2009, 08:28 AM
Add to that list:

Stabbit Ray. The Steelers walloped the Rats more than the score indicated and other than one FF and a couple of tackles and assists, Ray Ray was nothing more than a teenie blip on the radar. Thank you Sir Ginsu - we didn't have to listen to Simms slobbin' your knob all night. :drink:

Good to see that someone other than Steelers diehards appreciate the HUGE contributions Troy makes to this team, not only yesterday, but basically since he started wearing the black 'n gold! :applaudit::hatsoff::drink:

Also we won't have to hear about Ed Reed as well. He didn't do much either. Loved seeing the Rats defense get spanked like they did.