week's game plan
by CK Rairden
NFL stadiums sat empty on Sunday. But with
the turn of a new week, work resumes in the NFL.
The Chiefs are scheduled to practice today as are most
teams. The NFL once again moves forward as will our coverage.
With no game yesterdayMMQB has turned into this
weeks game plan.
Paul Tagliabue had his hand forced last week by the players
union. As debate and consideration for the week two schedule
raged between the owners and the league office, the players
union held a conference call.
27 player reps voted in that call and the tally of the
vote was 17-10 to not play the games. Three teams reps
abstained and the San Diego rep didnt vote as they
already had a bye scheduled for week two.
The last PR the league needed with pundits arguing back
and forth on whether to let the games be played was a
petty fight between ownership and the union. Tagliabue
had little choice at that moment and the games were cancelled.
Now another tough decision loomswhat does the NFL
do about making up these games?
Choice # 1Cancel the week two games completely,
and keep the playoffs intact as scheduled.
Choice #2Play week twos schedule during
the slot where the wild-card weekend would have been played,
January 5-6, 2002.
Choice # 1
Revenue would be lost for all teams and players. San
Diego would wind up playing 16 games and Arizona would
wind up playing only 14 games. Completely unbalanced schedule
with playoff teams determined by winning percentage.
Full playoff schedule of 12 teams. Three division champs
and three wild card teams from each conference.
Only eight playoff teams. Many games for many teams played
late will be meaningless.
Full sixteen game schedule.
*MMQB prediction: Choice # 2. It will be a short
playoff season, but the NFL is unlikely to dump a full
weeks slate of games for only 2 wild card contests.
*Wild cardthe networks. If they balk, it could
all change, but the league will likely appease them.
It doesnt get any easier for the Chiefs as the NFC
champs come into Arrowhead. The Giants are happy to have
their second straight road game after last weeks
horror played out right outside and in view of many of
the players homes.
Giants QB Kerry Collins played well in game one throwing
for 3 TDs and no interceptions. He had no run support.
Chiefs QB Trent Green struggled during his KC debut,
but did hook up for a 30-yard TD pass to tie the game
at 24 late in the fourth quarter. His only interception
was on a last second desperation heave. As Collins, he
had no run support.
Contrary to their performance on Monday night in week
one the G-men have a superb run defense.
The Chiefs defense played superb early, forcing turnovers
and field goals. They finally folded after being on the
field for over 40-minutes of game time.
Two booming punters.
The Chiefs Dan Stryzinski nailed a 76-yarder against the
Raiders. The Giants rookie punter Rodney Williams upstaged
that with a 90-yard mile high punt.
Its gotta be the shoes-
WR Derrick Alexander will reportedly try a different shoe
style to combat his nagging Achilles injury. He had no
catches in week one, and the Chiefs desperately need a
healthy Alexander for any offensive success.
One important part of the offensive line has a shot at
returning this week. C Casey Wiegmann underwent surgery
before week one and vowed to be back for week three.
This would be a welcome change for QB Trent Green given
the struggles that he and back-up C Brian Waters had with
their snaps during the Raiders game that resulted in two
Las Vegas also resumed its NFL schedule Sunday night.
The Chiefs wont be a home underdog for the second
straight home game. They are a 1 1/2-point favorite.