I happen to be watching the NFC Championship game on NFL Network and a couple things came to mind. First, those morons at 18to88 embarrass themselves and their family with their "analysis". They throw out useless stats that mean shit. DVOA? and look how accurate the DVOA was here. If you recall the game came down to a bad playcall by the 49ers and a massive stop by the defense. The 29-24 score may not look like a lot of difference between 31-17 but in reality there was a ton. I guess one great thing about DVOA is that if you screw it up one week you can continue to change it the next and eventually you will get a result that fits. This just in, nobody would guess that the Lions will lose to the Steelers, but the DVOA is sure of it. Without DVOA I would have told people they were crazy. Of course the damn stat is right part of the time.
They also throw out that Manning has more wins in cold temperatures than Warner. No shit sherlock. Manning is in the AFC North Antarctic Division while Warner has spent his career in a dome and Arizona in the NFC West. You know those stats. In Baseball people throw out OBSCR, WHIPSMCKR, and other crap. Yeah, show me record, ERA and K's and I am good. In football Completion percentage, yards, TD's Int's and more importantly wins. Here is a stat for you: Warner has been to three Superbowls and has had the lead or tied in the last minute in all 3 even though he is 1-2. He holds the top three passing yard performances in Super Bowl history.
Second, Warner QB'd the best half of Football in Playoff history. With 3 minutes to go in the half, Warner was 10-11 3 TD's 170yds?. Larry Fitzgerald was playing out of his mind. I haven't seen a WR that dominated games like that since Rice. Oh yeah and he broke Rice's post season Yards mark. Warner's rating was perfect. He still ended up 21-28 278 4 TD's no picks and a rating of 145.7. One cannot over estimate the importnace of that first half. Regardless of the Eagles comeback, that game would have been over for the. His rating was 112 in the Super Bowl by the way He had 11 Td's and 3 picks, almost a 4-1 ratio. What really made the difference was Warner's ground game in the playoffs. He had 8 rushes for 1 yard. You read that right, he dominated with his legs.
Here is a third FYI, No NFL team has won a playoff game with the worst running game in the league, the cards won 3 and damn near pulled off a 4th.
Call me a Warner homer if you like. He took the Cardinals, the Cardinals for Christ sake to the superbowl. The Cardinals!
Everyone wants to know whether the Cardinals will be able to repeat this year. Fitzgerald has been working out like a mad man and now he has ridiculous confidence. Boldin and Breaston are still there as well. All went over 1000 yds last year. At the TE spot, Leonard Pope is in his 4th year, along with a host of others. That's where the Cardinals shine is the production they get from all of their role players. The Cards drafted B Wells out of Ohio St. and would expect them to feature Hightower, Doucett III, and Wells early in the season to see what they can do.
The defense is young but grew up during the playoffs. Rolle and Rodger Cromartie are just a year better with a ton of playoff experience. The big question is up the middle on both offense and defense. There is a new Defensive Coordinator this year as well. The draft was almost all defense.
Overall, if Warner stays healthy, the Cards will probably win the West. No guarantees for the playoffs. The first 4 games of the season will tell the story though. SF, jacksonville, Indy and Houston, if the Cards come out of that 2-2 or 3-1 they will be fine. Expect loses in 3, 7, 9, 12, 13, and 17. 8-8 or 9-7 is what I expect unless the defense goes ape shit. That's always possible.