Sorry, bad choice of words out there for any of you Green Bay Packer fans. Apparently the end is near for the NFL referee impasse. The Packers are thinking it was a day late and a few dollars short, but someone had to take the fall for the ‘integrity of the game’ angle. Say what you will, and you will, the replacement ref 3 week on-the-job crash-course training session turned out to be one train wreck after another. Losing count of timeouts, calling illegal blocks on kicking teams (did that only happen to the Niners?), being bullied by players, coaches, and fans, on and on it went until the Green Bay debacle everyone was waiting for. A blown call that lost a game. Now that this has happened, the deal was done.
I guess when Kim Kardashian calls your game a joke, the NFL suits take notice. Really, when everyone from Ariana Huffington to Snoopp Dogg (Lion? Kitty?) to Paul (hey! Pro union now!) Ryan to Prez Obama calls out the shitty officiating, the powers that be must knuckle under to the overwhelming evidence that these clowns couldn’t run down the field and blow their whistles at the same time. Every fumble was a near-riot situation as the refs would swallow their whistles and see who came out of the pile with the ball 5 minutes later. And the fans (well, the location of the stadium) certainly dictated the outcome of the call on Monday night, and many many others. But enough of that. We have the New York Tebows hosting the Youngstown 49ers this weekend.
The Jets are coming off a rousing OT win over the lowly Miami Smithless Dolphins, and another win over the lowly Buffalo Bills. They of the billion dollar Ole! defense. The Niners of course are coming off one of their most dispiriting losses in the short but exciting tenure of Jim Harbaugh and company. This of course was preceded by 2 rousing victories over bona fide playoff teams in Detroit and Green Bay. So, which was the anomaly? The loss to the 3-13 team? Or the wins over the 25-7 Pack and Lions?
Really, it shouldn’t matter. The Jets don’t really do anything particluarly well. They are 22nd on offense (19th passing, 17th rushing), and 21st on defense (11th vs the pass, 28th vs the run). The Niners, BTW are 21st in offense (24th passing, 7th rushing), and 11th on defense (13th vs the pass, 8th vs the run). The Niners aren’t exactly lighting it up either, but our opponents have been pretty tough in this early going.
So, the hope here is that the Niners come up with some better strategizing that what they brought to Minnesota. Ponder was ripe for the picking, yet we brought little pressure, and wht blitzes we did bring were easily picked up. Gore was ignored in the 1st half, and the D couldn’t stop Ponder and co. once the Niners got the offense going and closed the gap to 17-13 midway through the 3rd quarter.
This game is a big deal, even if it is a roadie in a hostile environment. Lose, and there are serious questions about the make-up of this team. The pass rush wasn’t nearly as crisp as in the first 2 games. The 3rd down conversion rate of the defense was 50%!! Flat awful. The Jets are a team that will lay down like dogs of you pound them into submission. As the Steelers did pretty handily a couple weeks ago.