Posted on: January 11, 2009 3:22 pm
Edited on: January 11, 2009 3:25 pm

Toxic Stew For the Week of January 4-10

This past week in the sports world was dominated by football talk as the BCS Title Game was played and the NFL playoffs got underway. Here is my take on the past week in sports:

1. Disputedly Undisputed. The Florida Gators captured the BCS Title with a win over Oklahoma and was also named the AP Champion. Undisputed champions? Don't tell people in Austin, Provo or Southern California that. Utah is the only unbeaten FBS school in the country and, since the regular season is "like a playoff", then that means the Utes went undefeated in "like a playoff" games. Texas beat OU by 10, the exact margin Florida beat them by. The Trojans one loss at Oregon State is equal in footing to Florida's home loss to Ole Miss. The only undisputed thing in this whole mess is that we all know they current system is flawed. As long as computer programs and voting booths determine how good a team is, the championship will be forever known as the mythical national championship. It will never be a true championship until it is decided by on the basis of on the field play alone! That being said, under the current system, the Florida Gators did what they had to do to become BCS Champions. And OU didn't. Bottom line for the Sooners: Two first and goal situations resulted in zero points. In a game decided by 10 points, you can only look back and those two missed opportunities and kick yourself for failing to capitalize. One of the most overused phrases in sports is "making plays". There are some players out there that think that catching a 6-yard out pass for a touchdown in a 31-10 game is "making plays". No. "Making plays" is throwing a running back for a loss on 4th and goal in a 7-7 ballgame in the BCS Title Game. And Florida made plays all game. The plays that determined who won.

2. The Toxic One is about to brag! When  it was determined that the Titans and Giants were the #1 seeds in the NFL playoffs, the Toxic One guaranteed that there would not be a Giants-Titans Super Bowl. The Toxic One even started a thread stating as much: http://www.sportsline.com/mcc/messa
ges/chrono/12446537 The replies to the thread were insulting as the Toxic One was called the Village Idiot and, even worse, a Cowboys' fan. The replies are right there for you to read. Well, guess what! The Titans have been eliminated. Meaning there won't be a Titans-Giants Super Bowl. The Village Idiot was right! For all you out there who posted on that thread, allow me to pour you a nice big cup of I TOLD YOU SO!

3. Speaking of the NFL Playoffs: The Toxic One has been a huge supporter of the salary cap and parity in the NFL. Until now. The Toxic One is now beginning to believe that parity is killing the product on the field. What has changed my mind? The Arizona Cardinals are one win away from the Super Bowl. Normally, I would not think this is a bad thing. But these particular Cardinals are 9-7 with losses by the scores of 56-35, 48-20, 35-14 and 47-7. That's pretty bad. And for them to be one win from the Super Bowl does not bode well for the quality of football being played in today's National Football League. And so much for the notion that the NFC is overtaking the AFC as the superior conference. Not when this Cardinal team is playing for the NFC Championship. Not when two of  these listed blowout losses were at the hands of AFC teams that missed the playoffs. I would sure hate to see the NFL become MLB, where wins and losses are in direct proportion to amount spent on players' salaries, but something needs to change to put a better product on the field. Mediocrity....and worse....is starting to win in the playoffs. And that is never a good sign.

That's all for today. Next week, we'll look at the conference championship games and dig deeper into the NBA and college basketball.
Category: NFL
Posted on: November 6, 2008 5:55 am

Slaton Will Face Toughest Rookie Test

With Ahman Green hobbled, rookie Steve Slaton looks to carry the bulk of the load against the best rushing defense in the NFL Sunday when the Houston Texans host the Baltimore Ravens in the Ike Bowl. The Ravens are allowing just 64.2 yards rushing per game, fewest of any team in the NFL.

“You just have to take what they give you,” Slaton said. “They don’t really give up to much, but you have to keep pressing and rely on the run game."

Slaton knows, of course, that the main man in Ravens' defense is Ray Lewis. “He’s a man. He’s definitely a man, I think. He’s a leader of their defense and he has been for so long. He’s going to be one of the guys I’m going to have to look out for.”

Slaton also stressed that the Texans have to protect the football. “It shows in all our losses. Whenever we turn the ball over it’s not in our favor. So, we just have to keep the ball under control.” 

The Ravens extended some high praise to Slaton as well.

“He’s a homerun threat,” Ravens' Head Coach John Harbough said of Slaton. “Every time he touches the ball, you worry about taking it the distances. Whether it’s one of those zone runs they run where he’s a one-cut guy and he hits it, or it’s a screen or a swing pass out of the backfield. He’s kind of the total package and he’s scary.”

Harbough also offered praise to Texans' backup quarterback Sage Rosenfels. “We think Sage Rosenfels is a starting quarterback in the NFL,” Harbaugh said. “He’s proven that. We think people in Houston feel that way. We think people all around the league feel that way. So, we don’t think there’s any drop-off at all.” 

Rosenfels will start for injured starter Matt Schaub. But Texans' center Chris Myers doesn't really view Sage as a backup either. “You consider him a starter that comes in behind another starter. We look at it as if we have two starters on our team. We’re pretty lucky for that. Not many team can say that, that they have two great starting quarterbacks to be able to get the win anytime.”

Still, Rosenfels knows he is the backup and feels he has something to prove. “I've been a backup for eight years,” Rosenfels said. “So if there are 32 teams, for eight years that's 256 times that teams have said, ‘This guy's not our starter.' I think there’s some (naysayers) out there.”

“I feel I've played pretty well 95 percent of the time this year and in that (Colts) game and last week. But a winning quarterback plays good for the entire game and that's what I have to do this week," Rosenfels said.

Controversy surrounds the play that Schaub was injured on. “Well, I think it was (a chep play). The ball was already gone and a player went for my leg, which isn’t what they are supposed to be doing. So, that’s all I can say.”

Jared Allen, the Viking whose hit injured Schaub, apologized after the game.

“It’s hard to tell what a guys intentions are. Playing against him the whole game, I can’t that I think it was intentional. When you going after a guy, you can’t really help where you fall at, but then again, you never know. Some guys want to get that guy out of the game just to make it that much harder for us. So, I don’t think he meant to do it on purpose though,” Texans' left tackle Duane Brown said.

Starting strongside linebacker Zac Diles, who leads the Texans with 66 tackles this year, broke his left tibia in practice yesterday.

"He'll be gone for the year," Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak said. "He's going to have to have a rod inserted. They're going to try to get that done tonight. We lost a kid that was becoming a great player. It's difficult on the football team to watch that today. We just wish him the best."

"He was having a tremendous year. He was playing great for us, and we’re losing a good player. We’re going to have to have someone step up and fill his shoes," Texans' linebacker DeMeco Ryans said. 

“We were just in a drill working on; I think we were either on punt or punt return. Actually it was a half speed drill. Somehow he claims he kicked himself. I’ll have to go back and look at it. I haven’t seen the film yet. But, just a freak accident, but we all heard it. It was obvious that something bad had happened when he hit the ground,” Kubiak said.

(source houstontexans.com)

Category: NFL
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com