Friday, September 28, 2007

Bring 'Em On

I like the phrase, even though our president used it a bit irresponsibly a few years back (happy to see that he acknowledged this error, but as they say in "The Family Guy", I digest).

Over at ESPN, Chris Mortensen is picking the Cardinals. No one else is. In their Pigskin Pickem game, only two teams are picked less than Arizona (Denver, who plays in Indianapolis and Kansas City, who plays in San Diego). And in their Eliminator Challenge, Pittsburgh is the sixth most popular choice (Arizona is 4th least popular). Few are expecting a Cardinals victory.

I'm expecting one.

But then again, I'm delusional.

Still, this is a team with some of the most potent offensive weapons in the NFL. It's a team that passed at will (while Warner was in there) against Baltimore...not a defensive pushover. This is a team that is well balanced on both offense and defense (just need to lock down those special teams), and I like our chances.

Meanwhile, of course, Pittsburgh has been doing better in every category: scoring, offense, defense, wins.

Yes, we'll win.

Maybe I'll just place my bets on another game.


Anonymous said...

I have a question about the play before Rothlesberger's final play interception. Arizona sacked Rothlesberger, and the Steelers were also called for holding (a Steelers offensive lineman esstentially tackled a Cardinals' pass rusher). Arizona declined the penalty. There were 19 seconds left when the officials stopped the clock to announce the penalty call and announce that Arizona had declined the penalty.

Now ... shouldn't the clock have started once the ball was ready for play? It didn't. It only started when Pittsburgh snapped the ball. I thought I saw the Cardinal coaches and Warner yelling at the officials on the sidelines to start the clock. The clock wasn't started, however, until, as I say, Pittsburgh snapped the ball (I'm certain that this is what occurred and that there were at least five seconds between when the ball was ready for play and when it was snapped).

Am I mistaken about this? What is the rule? It seems to me this sort of thing could encourage a team to take a penalty in order to stop the clock. Any thoughts?

Lloydian said...

A lot of people were questioning that as well, and it is a quirk of the rules.

Within the last two minutes of the 2nd quarter and the last five minutes of the 4th quarter, the clock stops whenever a penalty is called, regardless of who is responsible. To discourage usage of penalties as clock management tools, any time a snap related penalty (false start or offsides) or injury occurs, the affected team has the choice of taking a timeout or accepting a 10 second runoff.

Since holding is not a snap related penalty, the clock stops and there is no runoff.

All's well that ends well, but you could see the litany of players screaming for the clock to start (and if you had been in the stands, you would have heard me screaming as well, but I looked it up when I got home). The distinction appears to be that no one would ever hold just to preserve the clock.