Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Probable Playoff Team (PPP): Jacksonville Jaguars

If you think that I'm going to spend much time outlining the reasons why the Jaguars are a truly boring team who have a chance to make the postseason largely because they are located in the same division as the Titans and the Texans....

Today, the day after I picked up my copy of Madden 2007......

Well, once again, you're nucking futs.

There's a reason I picked Jacksonville today. I simply don't care about the Jaguars. They were a nice story at the beginning of last year until it became apparent to all involved that they were a step below in quality from the actual top-tier of the AFC. If the Kansas City Chiefs or the San Diego Chargers, for example, had played in the AFC South last year, they would have gone to the postseason. Why? They were both better teams last year, and they are both better teams this year, even with Phillip Rivers slinging it sidearm in San Diego.

The buzz about their offense actually offends me. Byron Leftwich has proved absolutely nothing in his short stay in the NFL besides being able to throw from the shotgun and being injury prone. Don't even get me started on David Garrard, who, for some un-for-Godly-seeable reason, gets praise heaped on him by some writers who even want there to be a quarterback controversy in Jacksonville. Now, I might not be the biggest Leftwich fan, but I do know that Byron is twice the quarterback that Garrard is (not twice the man, since both of them pack the pounds quite effectively) and there should be no debate there.

Fred Taylor hasn't looked effective in about three years, and Jacksonville finally attempted to address this with Maurice Jones-Drew, who might be another Warrick Dunn OR could very easily be another failure in the long line of NFL runners too small to make a difference. The kid is 5'7", ok? He's smaller then my wife.

As for the wide receivers, Jimmy Smith retired, leaving the Jags to work with some combination of Ernest Wilford, Reggie Williams, and Matt Jones. So you have an unproven, a bust, and a quarterback. AWESOME! Hopefully, at the very least, Mercedes Lewis improves the TE position, but that's not a sure thing. I sure know I was scratching my head at that draft pick.

So....... an unspectacular offense with very little in the way of improvement. Excellent. The defense, by and large, also remains unchanged, which, in this case, is a good thing, especially in Stroud and Henderson remain healthy, anchoring that defensive line. Make no mistake. If the Jags return to the playoffs, it will be riding the coattails of their defense.

And Mike Tice is a coach there! Super-Neat!

OK, that's enough about them. Seriously, wow, I just can't generate any more enthusiasm there.

Now, about Madden 2007.

I hadn't ever played a Madden game on the XBox 360, and was stunned to discover the amount of controls necessary to play effectively. I immediately played as the Seahawks against the Arizona Cardinals. "This should be an easy matchup," I thought to myself.

However, I quickly realized that, if you don't know what you're doing, no matchup is an easy matchup. I got intercepted by Karlos Dansby on my first pass, setting up the Cards for a short TD Drive highlighted by me, playing as Grant Wistrom, whiffing TWICE on the same play on Edge James as he scampered for 15 yards (the run was to the side, so he didn't actually have to depend on the offensive line).

Well, it was showtime. Shaun rocks in the game, so I attempted to pound the ball with him, only to discover that when you actually run the ball in Madden, the game actually goes by pretty quickly. I was on my third drive when the 2 minute warning hit in the first half. Sweet Jesus! I'm still down by 7 to Arizona!

I threw a long ball to Burleson and got down to the 15 yard line, when Hasselbeck got hit and fumbled the football away. Cursing ensued from my general direction. Fortunately, I used all my timeouts, got the ball back with 1 minute left, and did a classic Madden drive to score with a few seconds remaining in the half on a sweet pass to Stevens wide open in the endzone. The score, thus, was tied going into the half.

I got the ball to begin the second half, and immediately drove down the field, but the drive stalled and I brought in the field goal unit for a 30 yard try. New discovery: it's hard to kick in Madden 2007 when you don't know what you're doing! Suffice it to say my kick traveled all of 10 yards. That allowed the Cards to drive it to my 30 yard line, where Neil Rackers easily made a 50 yard field goal. I hated life.

A few more failed drives, and it was already the 2 minute warning, the Cards had the ball, and I was still down by 3. Yes, I suck. I admit it. However, there is a God, Madden loves last-second comebacks, and Nate Burleson loves to catch the ball in the back of the end zone with 3 seconds left, allowing me to actually beat the Cardinals and feel satisfied with myself.

Other note: Superstar mode is pretty neat, though it's hard to play quarterback when you are actually at field level. You have to look back and forth to see the receivers, and while you're doing that, big men are coming through to massacre you, especially when you got drafted by the Detroit Lions to back up Jon Kitna.

So far the game is great, though. Still waiting for Gavin to get it so we can beat the Steelers, on easy mode, like 200-0. And blog about it.

posted by colin_hesse @ 3:10 PM  0 comments

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