Tag Archives: Steve Smith

NFC Divisional 2009: Cardinals put a cheese grater to the Panthers

The Arizona Cardinals rushed eastward to arm-wrestle the Carolina Panthers for the NFC Divisional title.   Televised by Fox, the first quarter blazed off with a Panthers touchdown courtesy of running back Jonathan Stewart.  Carolina 7 and Arizona 0.  Towards the bottom of the quarter, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner threw fifty yards to wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald–an awesome, gravity-defying catch as he was betwixt two Panthers.  A couple of plays later, Cardinals running back Tim Hightower made a TD.   Both teams tied 7.   Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme was sacked when his team went on offense again.  The ball was momentarily master-less.  Cardinals defensive end Antonio Smith claimed the ball.  Shortly thereafter, running back Edgerrin James broke the tie with a TD.  Arizona 14 and Carolina 7.

The second quarter started with Jake Delhomme throwing an interception–Cardinals cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie took that pigskin baby away from its destination.  The result? A forty-nine field goal by Neil Rackers.  Another field goal around five minutes gave Arizona another numerical boost.  Arizona 20 and Carolina 7.  The Pantherse gave the ball back to the Cardinals much sooner than intended on account of another interception (made by linebacker Gerald Hayes).   Not long afterwards, Larry Fitzgerald got his left hand across the front, right corner of the end zone.  It was ruled a TD.  Cardinals 27 and Panthers 7.  Seconds before the first half ended, Neil Rackers missed a fifty-three yard field goal.

The third quarter gurgled forth about seven minutes with Panthers linebacker Jon Beason intercepting a Kurt Warner pass meant for Larry Fitzgerald.  Cardinals cornerback Antrel Rolle flipped the switch back by recovering Delhomme’s pass aimed towards wide receiver Steve Smith.   And then there was another Cardinals field goal.  Arizona 30 and Carolina 7.  Well Holly Lou Yah.  Steve Smith made his first reception of the game with roughly forty-five seconds left on the clock.

The fourth quarter beat out what was surely supposed to be a Panthers TD.  Instead, it was Jake Delhomme’s fourth interception of the evening.  Cardinals cornerback Ralph Brown got his torso to the ball in the end zone.  Minutes later…cornerback Roderick Hood intercepted Delhomme a fifth time.   The Cardinals hopped up three more points when Neil Rackers kicked in a twenty-yard field goal on the three minute mark.  Arizona 33 and Carolina 7.   Final score? Not yet.  Steve Smith made it into the end zone with under ninety seconds left.  Arizona 33 and Carolina 14.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston provided commentary.  Johnston was not enthusiastic about the second field goal for Arizona in the second quarter.  “I do not like this,” he remarked more than once.  He would’ve wanted the Cardinals to go for another touchdown (from the Carolina 13).

2.  After throwing his second interception in the second quarter, replay footage showed Jake Delhomme grunting “spammit” and “phuck.”

3.  One of the cameras cut to a medium shot of Jake Delhomme sitting on the bench.  He was in the middle of the screen, looking towards screen-right.  He looked dazed, befuddled, and as though he would let the tear ducts go into gear if he were by himself.  O, mon pauvre hommeC’est aujourd’hui son anniversaire.   My poor man.   Today is his birthday.  Aish.

4.  During some sidelines footage near the halfway mark of the fourth quarter (before Tim Hightower got to the Carolina 31), in a medium shot, Larry Fitzgerald went up to an elderly gentleman (assigned to hold the down marker) and asked if he was all right.  The old man nodded.  I wonder if it was because he was nearly taken to the ground on the previous play.  It was so precious.

5.  After returning to the game from the two-minute warning commercial break, one of the cameras showed Mark Dalton, the Cardinals’ Director of Media Relations, with Kurt Warner on the sidelines.  Dalton was chewing gum.  I wonder what brand and flavor.  Is he a Stride kind of man? Orbit? Trident? Big Red? Juicy Fruit?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 08: the Giants gobstop the Eagles

The New York Giants stomped and stammered with the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football.  The first quarter started with Giants quarterback Eli Manning throwing the ball towards wide receiver Steve Smith only for Eagles defensive tackle Mike Patterson to make an interception , which soon thereafter resulted in a touchdown by wide receiver DeSean Jackson.  Philadelphia 7 and New York 0.  The Giants answered it with a TD as well, courtesy of wide receiver Plaxico Burress.  Not long after that move, the Giants increased their score with a field goal (Eagles erred on receiving the ball from the Giants).  New York 10 and Philadelphia 7.

The second quarter lit up the score board with a touchdown catch by Giants tight end Kevin Boss.  New York 17 and Philadelphia 7.  The Eagles picked up their numerical pace when wide receiver Jason Avant broke the plane for a TD.  New York 17 and Philadelphia 14.  Donovan McNabb, Eagles quarterback, threw an interception in the bottom of the second quarter.  Giants cornerback Sam Madison leaped into the air and enveloped the ball.  His team put a field goal on the board before halftime.  The Eagles did too.  Giants 20 and Eagles 17.

The third quarter began with an Eagles touchdown, thanks to wide receiver Hank Baskett.  Philadelphia took the lead, 24 to 20.  Giants running back Brandon Jacobs broke the plane and put his team back in the lead.  New York 27 and Philadelphia 24.  The fourth quarter gave the Giants a field goal.  30 to 24.  Jacobs did it again a few minutes later.  Or did he? Eagles challenged it but lost (after losing another challenge).  The Giants were not successful in a two-point conversion.  New York 36 and Philadelphia 24.  After a helluva Philadelphia drive, wide receiver Kevin Curtis made a remarkable TD catch.  Giants 36 and Eagles 31.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Rebel xsi by Cannon. Pretty neat commercial.

2. After Eli Manning had to throw the ball into the turf near the bottom of the second quarter, the camera went to a medium shot of VP-elect Joe Biden, who was at the game.  He was smiling and wearing a storm blue heather sweater.

3. Al Michaels informed John Madden after Brandon Jacobs of the Giants broke the plane in the third quarter that New York head coach Tom Coughlin has the best record with successfully challenging calls.

4. Fred Robbins, defensive tackle for the Giants, played with broken hands.

5. John Madden remarked that he believes the Giants are currently the best team in the NFC south and in the NFL overall.  Al Michaels commented that the Titans and Carolina would or might “argue with that.”  John Madden replied, “Well, I’ll argue with them.”

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

NFL 08: Panthers encircle the Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons up at the Carolina Panthers (broadcast on Fox).

Literally, the second play of the game, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception; Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall ran into the end zone.  Luckily for Atlanta, a personal foul (roughing the passer) penalty on Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers nullified that TD.  Halfway through the first quarter, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart helped his team take the lead with a TD.  By the bottom of the first quarter, the Falcons narrowed that lead with a field goal.  The top of the second quarter decreased that lead even more with another Falcons field goal.   Towards the bottom of the second quarter, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith runs fifty-six yards into the end zone for a TD.  14 to 6.  At the very bottom of the second quarter, Falcons kicker Jason Elam got a do-over with a field goal kick because the Panthers had too many players on the field.  Elam got it the second time.  14 to 9.  Carolina might be ahead in terms of score going into halftime, but both teams made enough mistakes that the numbers could’ve been flip-flopped.  In other words, if neither team made the personal fouls, false starts, and holdings, perhaps the Falcons would be the one with fourteen points and the Panthers with nine.

The third quarter ended with a Carolina field goal and the fourth quarter progressed with a touchdown (executed by wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad).  24 to 9.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. On the matter of defensive tackles in the red zone.  Due to laws of physics concerning momentum and velocity and what happens when two moving objects collide not from opposite directions, would it be fair or scientifically correct to suggest that a defensive linebacker could inadvertently aid the other team’s runner in crossing over the goal line?  Of course, if the runner’s knees touch the ground before the ball breaks the plane, it’s not a touchdown.  But, is it so improbable that the knees don’t go down first?  What happens when a thigh goes down first?

2. There are so many conditions and variables when it comes to taking and keeping the lead on the scoreboard.  Does Team A’s offense have to be equally good if not better than Team B’s offense?  Couldn’t Team A have a comparable if not slightly worse offense than Team B but have a stellar defense?  I suppose what I’m ultimately wondering is if Team’s A’s offense has to be as good if not better than Team B’s defense. The skill and talent of the special teams rounds out the conditions.  If Team A’s offense is only comparable to or a smidgen worse than Team B’s defense (or Team A’s defense is only a tad better than Team B’s offense), then Team A’s special teams would have to effectively kick arse-bottoms.  Eh?

Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

Super Bowl XLII 2008: Giants Sautee the Patriots!

The New England Patriots and the the New York Giants ascended to the top of their respective AFC and NFC conferences at the close of the 2007 season. Today in Glendale, Arizona at the University of Phoenix Stadium, they touched helmets in a test of ultimate gridiron skill and talent.

Televised on Fox, the forty-second Super Bowl game started with the Giants receiving the kick-off. New York ended their first drive with a field goal. The first quarter ended with only two possessions (a Super Bowl record for fewest number), one per team. The second quarter started with a touchdown by Patriots running back Laurence Maroney. New England 7 and New York 3.

On the Giants’ next drive, their quarterback Eli Manning threw a brilliant thirty-eight-yard pass to wide receiver Amani Toomer at the nineteen yard line. A touchdown didn’t seem too out of reach (despite a five yard penalty for a delay of game). Unfortunately, Giants wide receiver Steve Smith couldn’t keep onto the ball and Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs snatched it. Going into halftime, Patriots still 7 and Giants still 3.

The third quarter included a sack of Tom Brady by Michael Strahan at about the seven-minute mark. There was no scoring. Sweet Fancy Moses!! The fourth quarter began with a touchdown by Giants wide receiver David Tyree. It was so pretty and culminated a drive that partly consisted of an awesome forty-five yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss. New York 10 and New England 7. Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss put another TD on the board in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Patriots 14 and Giants 10. And that’s how the game ended. Yes? NO!!!!

With just about forty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress made a touchdown. New York 17 and New England 14. And that would be the final score. The subterranean dog has won Super Bowl XLII.

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin must be one of the happiest persons in the world tonight.

Tom Brady will not be the third quarterback to have gone to and won four Super Bowls. The other two are Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. I didn’t watch the majority of the pre-game montage, vignettes, and Ryan Seacrested “red carpet” banter.

2. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman provided commentary.

3. Tom Brady wasn’t wearing his helmet when he and his Patriots were walking out from the tunnel, but it was on his head by the time they ran on the field.

4. Jordin Sparks sang the National Anthem. Holy Mary in a Manger. Jordin’s father was an NFL player, Phillippi Sparks. She did a pretty good job. She didn’t sound nervous and didn’t try to impress anyone with high notes or long-held notes, nor was her performance underwhelming. Is it my imagination or does the “Star Spangled Banner” seem shorter and shorter every time it’s sung?

5. Mike Carey was the referee today. He’s been officiating in the NFL for eighteen years but hasn’t been to the Super Bowl prior to this one.

6. Nearly halfway through the first quarter, after returning from a commercial break, the camera cut to a glimpse of Peyton Manning in one of the VIP boxes. He looked amazing, very polished, tres beau.

7. After returning from commercial break (featuring a Tide stain remover), the camera caught glimpses of Giselle Bundchen (wearing a black long-sleeve shirt, a greenish (?) scarf, and gold hoop earrings), Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, and Pamela Anderson in various VIP booths. Jenny and Jim were sitting next to each other.

8. Giants linebacker Kawika Mitchell and defensive end Michael Strahan brought down Tom Brady, which was followed by another collective hit by defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck just past the halfway point in the second quarter.

9. At the very bottom of the second quarter, the camera cut to Robert Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Patriots, sitting in his box. Kurt Russell and Kate Hudson were sitting behind him.

10. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers performed during the halftime show. Hmm. It started off all dark except for a lit guitar-shapped arrow going into a lit heart (on which Tom Petty and his band were performing). They performed “American Girl,” “I Won’t Back Down,” “Free Falling,” and a third song that was mostly instrumental. I was satisfied with this year’s halftime show because I rather like Tom Petty’s music.

11. Bill Belichick, Patriots head coach, was wearing a red hoodie today instead of the usual grey.

12. At the top of the fourth quarter, the camera cut to a shot of LL Cool J at the stadium. Jeremy Shockey, Giants tight end, also received a medium close-up. He broke left leg during a game against the Washington Redskins near the end of the season.

13. Giants rookie defensive tackle Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady with fewer than twenty-five seconds left in the fourth quarter, helping to ensure that the Patriots wouldn’t score again.

14. No offense to any Patriots fans who might be reading this post, but I don’t think I’ve been as happy in months as I was when Plaxico Burress made that TD and Jay Alford sacked Tom Brady in the bottom of the fourth quarter. My mouth hurt from smiling so much.

Memorable commercials for me:

Audi R8 (reference to the first Godfather film)

Diet Pepsi Max (reference to the Chris Kattan and Will Ferrell SNL skit–you won’t get it unless you’ve seen the SNL skit)

Budweiser (featuring Clydesdale horses and a Dalmation dog and incorporating the sports inspirational narrative)

Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.

Be sure to tune in to Fox next Sunday for the 2008 Pro-Bowl game.