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Burress, the Forecast and Portis

We're following the ongoing saga of Plaxico Burress. Keep an eye on Mark Maske's news feed on The League for the latest out of New York. (You'll also learn there that Mr. Irrelevant 2008, David Vobora, is scheduled to start for the Rams!)

In other developments, the weather forecast for 1 p.m. has worsened significantly. On the upside, this presents an excellent opportunity to trot out the official Washington Post Snow Cam.

A crummy forecast would seem to point to a run-heavy attack. (Wait a minute, it's already run-heavy...) If you want to know what it really feels like to be Clinton Portis this season, Sally Jenkins' column will give you a good idea.

Every player in the NFL, at every position, suffers physical trials. But it's fair to say that an NFL rusher with as many carries as Portis absorbs an especially intense battering. Zorn calls Portis one of the most physical players on the field, even when he doesn't carry the ball, a contact seeker who throws blocks even though he's well away from the play.
"If he's here and the pass is over there, your head better be on a swivel," Zorn says. "Somebody is gonna get knocked down. He tries to play the game violently."
Portis is a perfect example of the violence of applied physics in action on a football field. In a fascinating small book called "The Physics of Football," Timothy Gay conducts a series of basic equations to help us quantify how Newtonian laws work on the body of a running back. Example: Newton's Second Law says that force is the product of an object's mass and acceleration. Let's say Portis sprints through a hole opened up by his offensive line, at a speed of 30 feet per second. Now Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce enters the picture. Pierce hits him; Portis's speed immediately after the hit is zero. It takes two-tenths of a second to complete the tackle, from the initial contact of the pads to the moment when Portis's forward motion is completely stopped.
Dividing Portis's speed change by the time interval over which it occurred tells us what Portis's rate of deceleration was -- about 150 feet per second squared. Now multiply it by his mass, to find out how much force acted on him. Gay's equation works out to negative 1,150 pounds of force. In other words, about three-fifths of a ton slammed him in the backward direction. As Gay points out, "That's the weight of a small adult killer whale."
Says Portis, "That makes sense to me."

By Cindy Boren  |  November 29, 2008; 3:18 PM ET
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Posted by: bigmurf08 | November 29, 2008 3:49 PM | Report abuse

First, I want to say Georgia Tech 45, Georgia 42.

Where is that sorry sack of pus, Truth11, who's been talking smack all year about the Georgia Bulldogs? Come up here and take your whoopin' like a man, little boy.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 29, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I know I haven't been on here in a while as I just moved and took a new job that doesn't allow me time in the middle of the day like it used to, but I wanted to take the opportunity to second TE. Hey truth, UGA sux!! HAIL!!!

Posted by: scampbell1975 | November 29, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse


Man, I can't believe you're being so nice today..... Too bad GT won't be in Tampa next week..... :-)

Could it rain any harder in Florida?


Posted by: michael_b_clegg | November 29, 2008 3:55 PM | Report abuse


Tampa's irrelevant to Tech. Their season was made today. They've lost to Georgia seven years straight. No one gave them a chance this year. They've been on probation with only 65 scholarships (next year they'll have 85). Sports Illustrated had them going 3-9, but today they finished at 9-3 and with a beat-down of Georgia in Athens.

And, Truth11 has to push a peanut from Athens to Atlanta with his nose.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 29, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I am back from the family thing. Rain eh? I like the sound of that.

Posted by: alex35332 | November 29, 2008 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Dawgs are over-overated-- that's not even debatable. But raise your hand if you'd take Mossaquoi over Devin Thomas and draft Knoshown Moreno to eventually replace Portis.

BTW: if the Gints added by subtracting Jeremy Schockey, do you think they'll find a way to let Plaxico "I Can't Shoot Straight" Burress in the offseason?

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 29, 2008 4:35 PM | Report abuse

How do you spell Mr. Burress' first name?


Particularly ironic in keeping with who will be honored in DC tomorrow.

Posted by: TheCork | November 29, 2008 4:59 PM | Report abuse


Good questions. I'm inclined to agree on Mossaquoi and Moreno, but then we've only seen them against college defenses. I'm sure Devin Thomas looked just as good last year as Mossaquoi does this year. Hard to know how that translates to the next level.

I'm sure the Giants would love to be rid of Plexico. What a headache and needless. But didn't they just give him a big contract extension? They may be married to him next year because they can't afford the cap hit.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 29, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

GT over UGA classic beyond belief.....3 losses...still bragging about that pre season #1 ranking?

power rankings = the truth = pre seaon polls

Posted by: chrislarry | November 29, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey talent-evalutor: all college athletes are evaluated against college defenses/offenses. But Moreno and Mossaquoi excelled in the SEC, which is like an NFL triple 'A' affiliate. Which is why I think Percy Harvin from the Florida Gators would look good in burgundy and gold. Imagine going 4 wide with Kelly-Moss-Harvin-Cooley? Plus, the Skins don't have a speed guy, a Brian Westbrook/Devin Hester/Reggie Bush guy who can 'take it to the house' three to five times a season and flip the field with punt returns. The off-season needs (and yes-- I'm there already) aren't much. We'll be much better offensively with some speed/versitility guys at the skill position. But this is off-season chatter.

Maybe Manning will start hanging out in clubs with Burress...I'm just saying...


Posted by: MistaMoe | November 29, 2008 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Hey Mistamoe, you're forgetting the biggest needs. We need lineman!!!! LINEMAN! Screw Morono and Masterquououo, get some lineman.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | November 29, 2008 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Manning will start hanging out in clubs with Burress...I'm just saying...

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 29, 2008 5:38 PM

Apparently Burress was at the club with Antonio Pierce.

Posted by: talent_evaluator | November 29, 2008 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Just checked the listings and as i suspected, I'm getting GInts Redskins here in Hawaii tomorrow. Already got the DVR set to record.

Buress.... criminey. Wonder if Wilbon will write some column about how he had it coming for livin the thug life???? Assbag.

Posted by: SkinsfaninKaneohe | November 29, 2008 9:31 PM | Report abuse

While I totally agree that the Skins need help on both lines, I want to go on record saying they need to find Portis's replacement.
Not for next year, or hopefully even the year after that, but it's time to find a good back.
2nd round, 3rd round.
Definitely not in the first round.
Just sayin'....

Posted by: RedskinWillie | November 30, 2008 1:06 AM | Report abuse

Not that there's anything wrong with this, but I don't think Portis is subject to Gay's Equation.

Posted by: dcsween | November 30, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

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