For some time now, I've been very conflicted about SI's Peter King. His Monday morning recaps of the NFL landscape are must-read material for me during the season, but I end up thinking he's a fatuous buffoon ("Don't be fatuous, Jeffrey.") on at least half the points he makes. Much of it is that he's too much of insider to be able to take a step back and see the big picture. But there are a couple of other reasons as well.
First of all, Peter King should be banned from ever voicing his opinion on all matters baseball because he's absolutely clueless on the topic. I still haven't recovered from the comparison a couple years ago of Rob Mackowiak to Travis Hafner just because Mackowiak had gone through a week-long string of game winning hits. It was mind-blowingly inaccurate and short-sighted at the time, and it's even worse now with Mackowiak a bad season from being out of baseball while Hafner remains a yearly MVP candidate.
Then there's the sweeping pretentiousness on the back end of each column with name dropping, coffee talk, travel aggravations, politics, and army stuff to the point that I end up telling myself every Monday that this is the week I'm going to stop reading that halfwit poser. On the other hand, it's his column and he should feel free to write about whatever he wants. I can always ignore the affectations and concentrate on the football scoop. Can a guy who writes about baseball, Northern Exposure, music, and literature on a fantasy football blog shamelessly bash another guy who writes about his own peccadillos? Not shamelessly, no.
So I'll continued to be conflicted about Peter King, but that won't stop me from pointing out that this week's column was his most noteworthy effort for football acumen in some time. It's anomalous when Peter King and I come down on the same side of the fence on multiple issues, but here are the quotes to prove it:
Ronde Barber says Eli Manning is "inconsistent,'' and he says Plaxico Burress is not as athletic as Randy Moss. STOP THE PRESSES! Two true statements, two non-inflammatory statements, and they create three days of headlines. I must live on the wrong planet.
Randy Moss is the best athlete to ever have played the position of wide receiver. And if you called Manning consistent, you'd be a liar. Here are six of his consecutive game completion percentages, starting in game six: 69, 58, 36, 68, 72, 43. As host Curt Menefee said on the FOX pregame show Sunday, before Giants-Bucs: "Will we see the bad Eli, who led the NFL in interceptions with 20, or will we see the good Eli, who went toe to toe with Tom Brady last week?'' Eli Manning in 2007 was the definition of inconsistent. These little controversies appeal to the Page Six crowd, but they have no real meaning whatsoever.
Guttiest big-game player this weekend? Hines Ward. Hands down. Reminds me of Michael Irvin, with the chip on his shoulder, the jabbering to try to get into the heads of defenders, and the borderline offensive interference he gets away with. I love watching him play.
What a gorgeous throw by Philip Rivers, 34 yards up the right sideline to Vincent Jackson in the third quarter. You can't throw a football better.
Encouraging sign of the week: LaDainian Tomlinson got stonewalled by the Titans, but Philip Rivers made four or five terrific throws when he had to. It's a Rivers-Peyton Manning duel Sunday in Indy, and Rivers will need to play equally as good against a better secondary for the Bolts to have a chance.