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Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Do So Many People Hate This Guy?

Statistically, this man will go down as one of the greatest wide receivers of all time.  1,078 catches for 15,934 yards and 153 yards, second only to the great Jerry Rice.  These are statistics that should make him a first ballot hall of famer right?  I'm sure I'm going to create some controversy here because this player has way too many haters in my opinion. 

The man I'm talking about is Terrel Owens.

Let me ask a serious question?  What really has T.O. done that's been so bad for the media and people to hate him so bad, other than doing sit-ups shirtless in his driveway?  Sure, the man plays with his heart on his sleeve and possesses a great deal of passion, and always wants to win.  They say he's created drama everywhere he's been and made teams worse by becoming a "distraction" in the locker room.  Let's look at what he did with the 49ers with an average Jeff Garcia.  Over 7,500 yards and 71 TD's in seven seasons.  The team hasn't been back to the playoffs since he left.  Yeah, he made that team so much worse.  In 21 games with the Eagles he put up nearly 2,000 yards and 20 TD's but was kicked off the team for causing "problems" with Donovan McNabb.  In an interview Owen's was asked if Brett Favre was their QB would they win more games and he said "probably."  Was he lying at that point in Favre's career?  McNabb came out and called it racial (which makes no sense to me because T.O. is black the last time I checked).  Look at McNabb's career and where he is and where he's been since T.O. left.  Absolutely no where.  T.O came back from a horrific injury to nearly defeat the New England Patriots by himself, but McNabb ran out of gas and couldn't get it done at the end of the game.  T.O commented on this and was criticized.  Mike Shanahan said this same thing of the QB last year and now looks like a genius.

He did nothing but produce in Dallas, Buffalo, and Cincinnati, and still is considered a bad guy.  Yeah, he does reality shows on his spare time, but you cannot question his work ethic.  The guy always shows up to play, is in great shape, knows the playbook inside and out, and doesn't let the outside extracurricular activities effect his play like Ocho Cinco does.  

Still at the age of 37, if you've seen this guy's latest youtube video of his recent workouts, this guy is still in amazing shape and there's not a doubt in my mind that he cannot compete at a high level still.  So why does he have so few suiters?  This is a question I'd like to know.  Yeah he's emotional and will get in players faces if they're not producing but isn't that what you want from a leader and for them to show that passion? 

I'd like to hear your thoughts (good or bad) on what you think of the player and prove to me why this guy shouldn't or should be a first ballot hall of famer>

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Raiders Owner Al Davis Dead at 82

It is a sad day for Raider Nation as Al Davis has passed away at the age of 82 today.  He was a football pioneer in his hay day, but times caught up with him and the game eventually passed him by.

I really wish he would have stepped aside years ago and let someone else take over the team.  I think you'll see this Raider team be ran much differently now.  Don't take this the wrong way, but I think the Raiders will be better off moving forward.  It's always sad to see someone go out that way though, and he will be missed around the NFL.

Friday, October 7, 2011

NFC Division Rankings A Quarter of the Way Through the Season

Earlier in the week we looked at the AFC and what changes were made since the preseason power rankings I put out.  Today we're going to take a look at the NFC and see where all the teams stack up after seeing them play for four weeks.  Let's get started!


St Louis Rams - I had this team winning the division before the year started, but I knew Jackson would not be able to stay healthy.  I did not expect Sam Bradford to look like Charlie Frye.  This offense has been awful, averaging about 11 points per game, and their defense is giving up about 25 a game.  Their schedule outside of the division is not an easy one, and I see them finishing 5-11.

Seattle Seahawks - I know this team beat Arizona earlier this year, but their defense isn't good.  They've given up over 30 points twice and were shutout 24-0 in one of the other games.  I like Pete Carroll's enthusiasm, but they will win 5 games this year as well.

Arizona Cardinals -  This will be interesting because this team will get better as the year progresses.  Kevin Kolb will continue to become acclimated to the system and with a healthy Beanie Wells, he looks like an angry runner that can hit the hole quickly.  As they progress, they will win 8 games and fail to make the playoffs.

San Francisco 49ers - Harbaugh has these boys playing well and they will finally get into the playoffs again, however, they won't do much.  9-7 will get them a divisional title and a 4th seed, meaning they will play the number 5 which will be the Lions or Falcons at this point.


Carolina Panthers - This team is obviously much improved under Cam Newton, but a tough schedule gets them 5 wins this year.  Bolster that defensive line next year in the draft Rivera.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - I'm not sold on this team yet.  I think they lose their next five games to the 49ers, Saints, Bears, Saints again, Texans, and Packers.  They will then win the next five of seven to go 8-8 and eventually miss the playoffs again. 

Atlanta Falcons - Don't give up on the Falcons.  This team will win 10 or 11 games and make it into the playoffs.  I think they beat the Packers this weekend and that will tell us a lot about who they are and what they can do this year.

New Orleans Saints - This team has a tough stretch in a few weeks but end on a lighter note to finish 12-4 with a 1 or 2 spot in the playoffs.  They will struggle against the Giants, Lions, and Falcons here the next few weeks.


Minnesota Vikings -  One word - AWFUL!!!  Donovan McNabb should be released, not just benched, and move forward with your future QB Ponder.  I've never been a fan of this guy and I though T.O took a lot of the heat for issues that McNabb started in Philly.  There's a few games on the schedule that they can win if those teams play poorly, like this week at Arizona.  Looks like they will be trading some draft picks to move down and maybe get a receiver that can spread the field.  Prediction: 3-13

Chicago Bears - This team could win five other divisions in the league, but they will find themselves in third here and missing the playoffs.  They will finish 10-6 and could still beat out Atlanta with a tie since they hold the tie breaker for that wild card spot.

Detroit Lions - I love to see the Lions here, and they will finish 11-5 with an decent schedule outside of the division.  This week will prove whether or not they belong here, because in my opinion, they haven't really played anyone yet.

Green Bay Packers - It was nice to see Rodgers win the big one and step out of Favre's shadow, but Brett, shut up and quit making yourself look even worse than what you did when you were carted off the field in Minnesota.  The Packers are very good, although I'm tired of hearing about them, they do look to be the team to beat.  They have given up some points and I think they will struggle in some games this year.  They will finish 12-4 and win the division.


Dallas Cowboys - If you remember correctly, I had them at the bottom with the Redskins, which I still do.  I've never been impressed and I think the fans, media, and organization is putting too much pressure on Romo and he will continue to struggle.  This team wins 7 games this year.

Washington Redskins - A good start, but this team will only finish 8-8.  The only team they've beaten this year are the Giants, who were marred with injuries and still trying to figure out how to play with the replacement players.  A good effort and an improvement from last year, but not quite there yet.

Philadelphia Eagles - This team will eventually turn it around and figure out how to win some games.  Not enough to get into the playoffs, so this team will not be together next year, so they will be a different looking team next year.  I see them finishing 9-7 and they may not be able to resign DeSean Jackson if they don't finish better than this.

New York Giants - I love Tom Coughlin and he's backed up Eli Manning who's taken a lot of scrutiny from the media and New York.  Eli has a 105 QB rating by the way and has led his team to a 3-1 record, despite numerous injuries.  This team will go 11-5 this year and be a number 3 seed. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Division Rankings After Week 4 For AFC

We are now a fourth of the way through the season and we have a pretty good idea of what teams are made out of this season, and where they are headed.  You can check my preseason rankings blogs from division to division to see where I had everyone.  After 4 games and a lot of parody around the league, some things have changed.  Let's take a look at the Predicted standings for the end of the year.


4. Miami Dolphins - The bad thing is when you pull up the Dolphins website there is a picture of Dan Marino.  You have to move on and get new talent that can play today.  There will be a new coach next year and a new quarterback.  They finish 3-13.

3.  Buffalo Bills - I love this team, but this schedule is brutal.  They have the play the NFC East, Patriots, Jets twice, the Titans, and the Chargers.  They may play spoiler for some teams, but they will finish 9-7

2.  New York Jets - I'm not impressed with this team this year, and if they get this spot it will be because they beat the Bills in the regular season, which I think they will.  Jets finish 10-6

1.  New England Patriots - This team has the easiest schedule of all the teams in the East, so they will win the division hands down.  I see them ending up 13-3 with a first round bye in the playoffs.


4. Cincinnati Bengals - This team has beaten the good teams and lost to the bad teams, so who are they?  The defense looks good, but they are young and play a tough schedule.  They finish 5-11 this year in last place in the North.

3.  Cleveland Browns - This team is one year away from surpassing the Steelers for second place in this division,  They will get swept by Baltimore and could split with Pittsburgh.  They have a lighter schedule, so I see them winning 9 games and finishing with a winning record.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers - The Steelers schedule isn't too bad, but this team isn't great anymore.  They are getting older, and they will miss Harrison on defense.  By beating the Browns and Bengals, they will finish 10-6 but I don't think they make the playoffs.

1.  Baltimore Ravens -  Defense is getting old?  Not quite yet!  This team looks really good.  And with a pretty easy schedule, this team will win 13 games but they will have to travel to Foxborough in the playoffs if it comes to that.  What an interesting match that would be.


4. Kansas City Chiefs - There isn't much to say about this team.  They miss Charlie Weiss and they have way too many injuries on both sides of the ball.  They will lose to the Colts this weekend and they will finish 3-13 overall.

3.  Denver Broncos - I never thought I would see a John Fox team with a fan base controlling the team chemistry.  Everyone seems to want Tebow for some reason, but it they get their wish, I don't see them doing much better.  This team finishes 5-11 this year.

2.  San Diego Chargers - So I've waffled back and forth but with an extremely tough schedule and Antonio Gates banged up, I'm not a fan of this team.  Rivers seems to be making some bone-headed decisions this year as well, so I have them finishing 9-7 this year.

1. Oakland Raiders - I'm sticking my neck out here for the Raiders because I love McFadden.  I see them winning 10 or 11 games this year based on their schedule.  Projection:  10-6 cause they will split with the Chargers this year.


4.  Indianapolis Colts - This breaks my heart to put the Colts down here at number four.  Because of what's playing out, I still think Peyton Manning should win the league MVP this year.  They have played better the last two weeks and I do think they win the next two games then sweep the Jags, so they will finish 4-12.

3  Jacksonville Jaguars - This team is bad, and I think they may be below the Colts if the they are swept by Indy, cause they will finish with the same record.  4-12 for the Jags.

2.  Tennessee Titans - This team is much improved and a lot better than I thought they would be.  They will finish 9-7 this year because they have a difficult schedule, but great job to new coach Muchack for having them playing so well.

1.  Houston Texans - Losing Andre Johnson is a huge blow but the Texans still have Arian Foster and Ben Tate, so don't be too concerned with this team.  They will finish 11-5 and win the division easily.

This is my quarter season AFC breakdown and predictions.  Weigh in on your thoughts and if you agree or disagree and let me know what you think will happen going forward!

Most Surprising Players Thus Far in 2011

After watching some highlights of the Bears Panthers game this weekend, I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the guys that have rejuvenated their careers this year and look better than ever.

The first guy that comes to mind is Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers.  He seemingly fell off the map for the past two seasons not producing very good numbers at all.  This year he already has 24 catches for 530 yards and 2 TD's.  That's over 22 ypc if you're keeping track.  This may be because of the emergence of rookie QB Cam Newton, but Smith looks like a pro bowl player once again.

Matt Forte:  Not that's he's went anywhere, but these numbers are worth showing.  Through four games he has 634 combined yards rushing and receiving and 2 TD's.  He's accounted for nearly 60% of the Bears offensive production, and makes $945,250 this season.  Compare that to Chris Johnson's combined 301 yards and $30 million guaranteed contract.  Doesn't seem to make much sense to me.
Matt Hasselback:  the resurgence of this man is the biggest surprise of the season in my opinion and why the Titans are 3-1.  He's thrown for over over 1,150 yards, 8 TD's, and a QB rating of over 104.  These are amazing numbers for a guy in his mid 30's that Seattle and everyone else thought was washed up.  Way to go Matt!

Now let's go to the obvious pick, rookie Cam Newton.  He's made rookie mistakes, which are to be expected, but he's thrown for a rookie record 1,386 yard, 5 TD's and 5 INT's.  He's also rushed for 4 more TD's so far this season.  He looks mature well beyond his years and has this Panthers team competing in every game each week.

There have been many guys that have stepped up this year, but these are the guys that stick out the most to me.  Let me know if you think someone else should have been on this list!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Week 5 Bold Predictions and Spreads

Well last week was a tough week for picking games across the league, but I still managed to go 9-7 and help some people win some money on key match ups, especially the Monday night game last night.  We're moving into Wednesday, mid-week, and this is when I start looking at the match-ups and breaking them down, giving preliminary spreads and predictions.  Let's jump right into it shall we?

New Orleans Saints at Carolina Panthers - Surprisingly the Saints are only 7 point favorites in this game, but that's largely credited to the emergence of rookie Cam Newton.  He's had Carolina in every game they've played this season, and he appears to get better and better each week.  Being in Carolina, I don't expect the Saints to run away with this one, but they will cover the spread this weekend, 24-14 

The Titans at the Steelers is going to be a great game.  It looks like Roethlisberger may not play in this game, but remember last year when the QB was out the first four games and they started off 4-0.  This isn't the same team as last year.  The Steelers are playing at home and are 4 point favorites, but I don't see them winning this game.  The offensive line is awful, they can't run the ball, and they are playing the top ranked defense in the NFL.  I like the Titans in an upset here 16-13. 

Kansas City Chiefs at the Indianapolis Colts - The Colts have looked competitive the last two weeks and despite Curtis Painter throwing 13-30, he looked pretty consistent and kept the Colts in the game.  But defensively they've now lost Eric Foster, Melvin Bullit, and Gary Brackett for the season.  This game will be the contest for first pick in the draft possibly in April.  The Colts are three point favorites playing at home, but the Chiefs played the Chargers tough last weekend and beat the Vikings two nights ago so this could be a toss up.  I'm going out on a limb here and saying the Colts will win this game 24-19

Philadelphia Eagles at Buffalo Bills -  It looks like Michael Vick is going to play and this team is bound to get things turned around eventually.  The Bills are coming off a heart breaking loss to the Bengals to drop to 3-1.  This is the game of the season for them to see if they are actually for real or not.  The Bills are getting 3 points at home this weekend.  Weather shouldn't be too much of a factor, so the Eagles shouldn't be deterred by unfavorable conditions.  I like the Eagles to get off of the skid here 31-20

Seattle Seahawks at New York Giants - The Seahawks have shown some improvement the last few weeks, but they are traveling to the meadowlands to face the Giants who are looking to find their stride despite all the injuries on defense.  The Giants are 10 point favorites but they are not covering the spread in too many games this year.  I do like the defense to get after Travaris Jackson and shut down the Seattle offense.  Giants will cover this week 27-6

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars - The Bengals are coming off a huge victory over the Bills and Andy Dalton looks like he's progressing each week.  the Jags are in trouble offensively, and I don't see them winning this game.  They are 2.5 point favorites right now at home, but the Bengals will win this one 16-10

Oakland Raiders at Houston Texans - Both of these teams are good this year, but the Texans are playing this one at home and have a healthy Arian Foster.  Andre Johnson may be hurt, so that will give Oakland a slight edge if Johnson can't go.  Houston is 6 point favorites and they can put up points in bunches.  I do expect them to cover in this one 31-21

Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings - The Cards are a very good team but they play down to their competition at times and they make too many mental errors.  Minnesota is awful, and somehow they are 2.5 favorites, mainly cause it's a home game.  Look for Arizona to rebound from two straight tough losses and hand the Vikings their 5th straight.  Cards win 27-24

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers - The 49ers are surprisingly 3 point favorites in this one, so this one will be considered an upset when the Buccaneers win.  Bucs win 18-15

New York Jets at New England Patriots - This will be the game of the week!  Patriots are the best team in the AFC and the Jets defense is struggling.  Mark Sanchez needs to be better at this stage in his career as well, so I think the Jets are losing some ground here.  Patriots cover the 9 point spread and win big 30-13

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos - It's no longer September so look for the Chargers to play much better than they have in previous weeks.  It looks like they'll still be without Gates which hurts there game over the middle.  They only have 4.5 points they're getting, so I think they will cover with a 21-13 victory

Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons -  This is where the Falcons crumbled last year in the post season and still haven't found themselves.  Green Bay is not invincible and are bound to slip up sooner or later and I think that this will be that week.  They are 6.5 point favorites but I think the Falcons win at home outright 27-24

Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions -  This is going to be a good game, but Cutler will find himself on the ground double digit times.  The Lions are 6 point favorites and will cover because that defense will get after Jay Cutler all night.  They will start fast and finish strong, winning 28-20

Monday, October 3, 2011

NFL officially cuts ties with Hank Williams Jr After 20 long seasons of MNF

ESPN announced earlier today that they will be pulling the intro "Are You Ready For Some Football" from the Monday Night Football broadcasts moving forward, after Williams made some derogatory remarks towards President Obama on a radio program earlier today. 

In a political discussion, Williams voluntarily brought up President Barack Obama's golf game with Speaker of the House John Boehner during this summer's debt ceiling negotiations, calling it "one of the biggest political mistakes ever" and invoking Adolf Hitler.  Williams said it would be like Hitler playing golf with the Prime Minister of Israel.  He also called the president and vice president Biden "the enemy".

Williams apparently plans to run for republican Senate of Tennessee in 2012.

His music has graced the intro of every Monday night football game for the past 20 years.  It's going to be a lot different without him.  This is an unfortunate turn of events for the NFL.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Week 4 Around the League

There were some interesting games around the league today with the Bills finally getting their first loss of the season and the Packers and Lions staying undefeated.  As far as my picks against the spread, it was a rough week, sitting at 7-7 right now.  50% is still pretty good odds for a bad week.  We'll improve on it next week.  Let's look at today's action.

Surprise Team of the Year Through Week 4

I know the Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 but I really expected them to be.  My surprise team so far this season is the Tennessee Titans.  They boast the number one defense in the NFL, man-handling the Browns today 31-13, just like they did the Baltimore Ravens two weeks ago.  They are 3-1 and sitting atop the AFC South with the Houston Texans.  Matt Hasselback looks like he's having fun again at quarterback and I commend the decision that new head coach Mike Munchak made to bring him in.  As for Chris Johnson, he still doesn't have his legs under him yet so he's looking like an overpaid decoy.  He needs to get in shape and get it together, as this is the only thing I see holding this team back moving forward.

The Lions overcame a 24 point deficit to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 34-30, marking the largest blown lead in franchise history for the Boys.  This is the second week in a row the Lions had to come from 20 behind.  This is going to wear them thin and catch up with them eventually.  They need to do a better job of scripting their first 20 plays and getting off to a fast start.  They have shown me a lot to come from behind like this, so I see them as a very dangerous team in the NFC. 

How can a team that shouldn't have made the playoffs last year go on to win the Super Bowl and now look invincible in every aspect of the game?  Of course I'm talking about the Green Bay Packers, who won big 49-23 over the Broncos, with Aaron Rodgers scoring 6 touchdowns; four through the air and 2 on the ground.  This guy is on a different planet right now, and it doesn't seem like he's going to slow down anytime soon. 

As for the team that lost last years Super Bowl, they will not be making it back to the playoffs this year.  I initially had them winning the division, but right now we have a 4 way tie depending on what Baltimore does tonight (who is my new pick to win the division).  Houston's defense dominated the Steelers and won the game 17-10.  Arian Foster seems to be back to rare form, rushing for over 150 yards against the Steeler defense, which never happens.  The league has so much parody this year and it seems like the Steelers are being left behind.  To top it off, Roethlisberger left the stadium in a walking boot.  Could be a long season for the black and yellow.

The Bears got a big day from Matt Forte in a 34-29 victory over Cam Newton and the Panthers.  Who said the Bears can't run the ball.  Forte had 25 carries for over 250 yards.  This guy accounts for 60% of the Bears offense.  Tell me why they haven't given him a contract yet?

The "Dream Team" drops another one this week to the 49ers 24-23, and now sit at the bottom of the NFC East at 1-3.  I knew this team wasn't going to go very far from the start because they have too many type A guys that can't coexist.  Nnamdi Asomugha seems to be the most overrated free agent acquisition in recent history.  He's now been targeted for 5 TD's, and has made very few big plays for his team this year.  But let's not take anything away from Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers,  They have a 3-1 record and sit atop the West all alone.  Arizona played toughed today against the Giants, but the 49ers appear to be in the driver seat right now.

Speaking of the Giants, my preseason pick to win the East, got a huge win today in Arizona 31-27 on a controversial call toward the end of the game.  They are now 3-1 with the Redskins in the East and look to be one of the premier teams in the NFC despite all the injuries they have endured.  Eli hasn't turned the ball over the last two games either!

Now let's put all else aside and hand out some records a quarter of the way through the season.

Best 1-3 Team:  Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton is the real deal and he's helped rejuvenate Steve Smith's career.  The running game is decent, but needs to be better with the talent they have there in Williams and Stewart.

Worst Team in the AFC:  Miami Dolphins -  This team has talent, but they need a new coach.  Sparano isn't getting the most out of his players.  He brought in Reggie Bush to be the featured back and limits his carries.  Doesn't make much sense to me.  Now Henne is hurt, and until we find out the severity, they take the crown for worst in conference.

Worst Team in the NFC:  Minnesota Vikings -  Losing to the Chiefs is really all I need to say.  It's time to end the Donovan McNabb experience and let Ponder get some game experience and see if he's capable of being the guy of the future, because this year is already lost in that division.

Best Team in the AFC:  New England Patriots As long as BelichickWelker is averaging double digit catches and 120+ yards a game, Tom Brady's job is easy.  This team is built to win and they have a proven system that is successful.  I know they choked against Buffalo two weeks ago, but they got back on track against the Raiders this week and when they are clicking on offense, no one can stop them.

Best Team in the NFC:  Green Bay Packers - I don't know if it's because they're that good, or if it's an intimidation factor, but these guys seem to be untouchable.  Aaron Rodgers has a red cape under his uniform and an S on his chest.  Until they get beat, they are the best in the league!

League MVP - Aaron Rodgers is the obvious choice here, especially after a 6 touchdown performance today.  Wes Welker is my runner up right now.

Offensive Rookie of the Year - Cam Newton.  He's put up an average of 345 yards a game through the air, not to mention rushing for two TD's in a loss against Chicago today.  He's going to be a special player.

Defensive Rookie of the Year - Patrick Peterson.  Not only is this guy a threat on special teams to return it every time he touches the ball, he plays in the secondary with awareness and knowledge well beyond his years.  He's going to be a great player. 

1st Half of the Browns Not a Good One

So far this season, the Browns defense has been pretty stout, but not today.  They are doing a great job of stopping the run, but Matt Hasselback has thrown 3 touchdown passes.  Sheldon Brown has looked awful this year.  He's getting older and it shows, as he cannot keep up with receivers in coverage, and the secondary has displayed some spotty tackling. 

Offensively the line needs to play better and give McCoy time to throw the football.  Schurmur also needs to get Peyton Hillis more involved in the game.

The just need to make a few key adjustments and they can get back into this game.  There are opportunities there if they can capitalize on them.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Who's the Greatest QB of All Time?

The long debated topic around the league and NFL fans for years.  Who's the best signal caller of all time?  My answer?  It's impossible to say for certain.  There are way too many variables involved.  Some of the names that have been mentioned are Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, Dan Marino, John Elway, and many others.  Each quarterback has his own unique skill set and many times they flourish because of the system they are in.  Let's look at an example.

Kurt Warner came from bagging groceries to lead the St Louis Rams to two Super Bowls, one of which he was successful in winning.  They ran a spread offense with a hybrid running back and fast receivers, and were dubbed the "Fastest Show on Turf".  Warner then took his talents to New York, where he was an average QB at best with the Giants.  He then went to the Cardinals, where they implemented the same spread type offense he ran with the Rams and he was able to take them to the Super Bowl for the first time in Franchise history.  Kurt Warner is now retired and will most likely be a first ballot hall of famer.  Do you think he would get this recognition if he played in the Giants scheme his entire career?  Probably not.  

I've discussed Tom Brady numerous times about being a system quarterback that would've never been in this conversation if he was drafted anywhere else in the league.  Belichick is a genius and knows how to get the most out of his players, and has made Brady one of the best ever.  Being drafted late to a good team isn't always a bad thing, you just have to wait for your opportunity.  Look at Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith.  I'm not saying Smith is anywhere near as good as Rodgers, but if Rodgers were drafted first overall instead of Smith, he would not have a Super Bowl ring right now. 

Troy Aikman was a "good" quarterback, but look at the talent that surrounded him in Dallas.  John Elway couldn't get the job done until he got a legitimate running game with Terrell Davis.

Let's look at some of the guys that have legitimate arguments to be mentioned in this category.  Peyton Manning is arguably the smartest QB to ever play the game.  He can dissect a defense and change the play at the line of scrimmage better than anyone.  His issue has been winning big games, which he only has one Super Bowl title to his name.

You won't hear me mention guys from the 60's and 70's because the league is totally different now.  The athletes are bigger and faster, the schemes are a lot harder to learn and recognize, and there's more pressure to perform due to endorsements and other outside deals.  Johnny Unitas may have been the his era.  But I really don't think he would have been able to compete against today's athletes.

Dan Marino put up great numbers because he had to throw the ball every down.  Can you name a running back that lined up behind Marino during his career?  Brett Favre holds every record imaginable, because he played for 40 years!  He had his great moments, but he made way too many costly mistakes to be considered the greatest ever.  Terry Bradshaw is a lot like Tom Brady.  Neither of them were very athletic but they were surrounded by a strong cast and great coaching, and made plays when they needed to.  As a result, they've combined for seven Super Bowl titles. 

Joe Montana wasn't real athletic in his own right, but this guy knew how to win.  They had some amazing talent on those 49er teams, but no one was more clutch in big games than Joe Cool.  

After looking at film and reviewing statistics, it's impossible to say who the greatest QB is.  Variables like era played in, supporting cast, coaching staff, system played in, and many other factors need to be weighed in and evaluated.

I believe if you take Peyton Manning's intelligence, Tom Brady's accuracy, Joe Montana's calm demeanor and clutch play, Michael Vick's speed, Drew Brees' deep ball, and Dan Marino's swagger, you will then have the ultimate quarterback.

Take the poll below and comment on your thoughts.

Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Players to Start and 5 Players to Sit in Fantasy Week 4

Week 4 poses some pretty intense match ups around the league.  This is one of the first weeks of the season where good teams start to separate themselves from the average teams.  I've evaluated the fantasy options and have given you 5 players that are must starts this weekend and 5 players you may want to leave on your bench.  Let's get started!

Start Em'

1. Adrian Peterson - Peterson plays against a beat up Kansas City defense who gave up 26 fantasy points last week to Ryan Matthews of the Chargers.  Their offense isn't good enough to stay on the field so expect A.D. to get many carries in this one.  He's a must start!

2.  Drew Brees - Jacksonville defense has been decent this year, but Brees is averaging 22 points a week in fantasy formats, so expect him to continue to throw the ball around a lot and put up big numbers against the Jags.

3.  Santana Moss -  He's been sub-par at best this year, but he's facing a Rams defense that has given up a league leading 6 touchdown receptions to opposing receivers, so expect Moss to have a huge game this Sunday. 

4.  Aaron Rodgers - Over his last 13 home starts Rodgers has gone 12-1, while passing for 3,609 yards and 29 touchdowns. That comes out to 277 passing yards per game and two scores per contest. I like his chances of continuing this against the Broncos this weekend.  He's a must start!

5.  Greg Jennings -  Someone has to catch all of those balls from Rodgers, and after JerMichael Finley's performance last week, I expect John Fox's defense to target the tight end, which will leave some single coverage for Jennings on the outside.  Expect a big week for the Green Bay wide out. 

Sit Em'

1.  Beanie Wells -  We're not sure if Wells is going to play yet or not, but if he does, I would only consider him a third flex option against the Giants.  Osi is back in the lineup and the defensive front is looking better each week.  

2.  Joe Flacco -  Flacco has proven he struggles against solid secondaries, and that is what the Jets are bringing to town against the Ravens.  Look for him to play like he did two weeks ago against the Titans.  Go with your other QB if you have a better match up this week.

3.  Rashard Mendenhall - Mendenhall has not run well to start the season and has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points in Week 2 against the Seahawks.  He only managed to score 4.6 points against the Colts rush defense, so don't look for him to have a huge game this weekend. 

4.  Cam Newton - I know Newton has put up big numbers in the first three weeks of the season, but Chicago has a swarming defense that is very opportunistic and will create some take aways.  Look for the Bears to keep Cam in check this week.

5.  Felix Jones -  The Lions have given up the third fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this year, so don't expect the injury prone Jones to have a pick game this weekend.  I would stay away from Dallas offensive players in general apart from Witten. 

Fantasy Football Review through Week 3

Things have played out fairly similar to what I predicted early on before the season started in my first blog, but there has been a few surprises.  The biggest one:  The Lions!  Davis has orchestrated a 3-0 start putting up a whopping 294.5 points, nearly 100 per game.  He has the second best running back in the NFL right now and inter-changeable quarterbacks that he can swap out each week based on match ups.
Another big surprise is the 3-0 Big Red Machine.  The loss of Kenny Britt is going to hurt him in the receiving corp, but he has Aaron Rodgers and THE best back in the league in Darren McFadden.  Great start to the season Willie!

The usually strong Acehole bandits have failed to reach 170 points through 3 games, mainly because they failed to draft a running back until the 4th round.  Then they took Steven Jackson who is bound to miss most of the season due to injuries.  I like the two quarterbacks and Andre Johnson, but beyond that there isn't much to be desired on this roster.

Even worse are the Punishers, mainly because of all the smack talking they've done all year and have yet to win a game.  On paper, the roster looks decent, but they are cursed by the devils tongue.  Quit talking, get off your "train", and manage the team and win some games.

My squad, the Dawgpound, are a solid 2-1 only because I've lucked out with my opposition not scoring many points.  The Falcons are killing me with Matt Ryan and Michael Turner playing sub-par football, and Mike Wallace is my only legitimate receiver threat.  I'll be the first to say unless I can make some smart free agent acquisitions, I will be in trouble this year.
Despite losing Charles, the Dynamites are still the team I thought they were and they will win that division.  Way to draft all those running backs buddy.

Dawgpound and Big Red Machine are the only two teams that have not had 200+ points scored on them, which explains are solid records.  Despite being 2-1, Chit Luck is much improved and has scored 286 points.  Way to go Mort!

Honorable mention goes to the Gamblers and the Munchers.  The Legion of Doom have outscored both teams in their division, but they've also given up more points, so it's the luck of the draw.

We're getting deep into the season already and this is the week where teams will start creating separation.  Good luck to everyone this week.  My team is not great, but I'm having fun writing about everyone and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Why Haven't the Colts Contacted Garrard?

To say that the Indianapolis Colts quarterback situation is in disarray would be an understatement.  Kerry Collins has been absolutely brutal, and Curtis Painter doesn't show much promise as a replacement.  They went out this week and resigned Dan Orlovsky, and are bringing in Brodie Croyle to try out for the team.  But why haven't they contacted David Garrard?
There seems to be some kind of plague against Garrard, who threw 23 touchdown passes and 15 interceptions last year and made a Pro Bowl yet doesn't seem to have any teams willing to give him a shot.  If you look at the Colts offensive line, they are young, haven't played many games together, and have a rookie left tackle.  With this type of line you need a quarterback that can extend the play and Collins is too old to do that.  Painter and Orlovsky don't have enough experience to do this, and they're both pocket passers.  David Garrard isn't a speedster, but he is able to move around in the pocket and create plays with his legs and buy time for his receivers to get open.

Let's face it, Dallas Clark is the epitome of a pass catching tight end.  He's not going to stay in and block too many defensive ends and outside linebackers successfully. They need a quarterback with a quick release that can extend plays and get the ball out of his hands. 

At this point with the quarterbacks available, David Garrard would be their best option to win some games.  None of the QB's on the roster are going to get the job done for them.  May be they should give McAfee a shot at QB.  The fans seem to be a favorite of this.

As for a Peyton Manning return this season, don't count on it. Colts owner Jim Irsay delivered some mixed messages on the topic Monday morning, but it continues to look like even a December return borders on pipe-dream status. NFL Network's Albert Breer reported last week that Manning is dealing with a nine- to 12-month rehabilitation process, which would have him ready for training camp in 2012.  It doesn't look like they will be competing for a Super Bowl at home this season.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week 4 Predictions

If you're like me, you're probably trying to figure out what teams to place your money on this Sunday.  Thursday is a big day for betters because it's the first day of the week you really dive into the rosters, see who's definitely out, who may be out, where the game is being played, who's dog died, and so on.  I went 12-4 last weekend with Buffalo shocking the world and my wallet.  Let's break down each game and I'll give you my expert opinion on the final score and who you should put your loot on. 

Carolina Panthers at Chicago Bears: Vegas currently has the Bears 7 point favorites.  Carolina's defense is playing better than expected, and Cam Newton looks like the real deal.  It's supposed to be sunny and 63 in Chicago, so don't look for the weather to slow down the Panthers.  Key to stopping Chicago, stuff Matt Forte.  Chicago's defense will confuse the young quarterback, but they won't cover the spread.  Bears win 19-17

Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals:  Remember last years thriller when the Bills came from behind to win?  They've been doing that a lot this year, but I don't expect them to be behind much in this one.  The Bills are 3.5 point favorites and should cover that spread.  Andy Dalton has had his moments for the Bengals, but this offense has too many legal issues.  If this was a drug selling contest, Bengals win easy, but in football, the Bills take this one in double digit fashion.  Bills win 27-13

Tennessee Titans at Cleveland Browns:  This is a very intriguing match up.  The Titans have looked better than expected under new coach Mike Munchak.  Matt Hasselback seems to have some fuel left in the tank, but the loss of Kenny Britt is going to hurt them.  Chris Johnson still isn't back to form, so I don't see this offense being very successful against a stout Browns defense.  Peyton Hillis should be back and looks to have a viable backfield mate in Hardesty.  The spread is currently dead even at the money line, so even the odds makers in Vegas aren't sure about this one.  I am!  Browns 18-14

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys:  The usual turkey day match up a few months early.  The Cowboys have dominated this rivalry as of late, but we're talking about a different Lions ball club than the team that was kicked around in the past, losing nearly 30 straight road games.  They are 3-0 tied atop the division with the Packers.  The Cowboys kicked their way to a win against the Skins on Monday night.  They also seem to be the team dealing with injuries this year instead of the Lions.  The spread is currently even, so I'm taking the Lions to improve to 4-0.  Lions win 24-17

Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans:  One of the best match ups of the weekend!  This game will tell us if Houston is for real and if the Steelers are on their way down.  If it goes the other way, then it's the same old AFC as the previous years.  Houston lost a tough one in New Orleans last weekend, but playing at home this Sunday should help.  The Steelers can't run the ball this year, so Wade Phillips should be able to keep an extra defensive back deep to prevent big plays to Mike Wallace.  Houston is actually 4 point favorites in this game, but I don't like them to cover.  Houston wins 30-28

New Orleans Saints and Jacksonville Jaguars:  The thing that strikes me odd is Jacksonville is only being spotted 7 points in this game.  They have a rookie quarterback starting his second game and a coach that's on his way out the door.  This team has nothing to lose so expect them to pull out all the stops.  Drew Brees should throw for over 300 yards and 3 TD's in this one.  Saints win 34-13

Minnesota Vikings at Kansas City Chiefs:  If you live in an area where this is the only game you get on TV and you don't have the Sunday Ticket, I feel for ya.  The Vikings are 2.5 point favorites, but as a betting man, I wouldn't touch this game.  If it was a 30 minute game, the Vikings would win by 20, but unfortunately for them we play 60 minutes.  They've blown a lead every game this season, but the Chiefs have never held a lead.  They almost beat the Gate-less Chargers last weekend who always struggle in September, but they really may be the worst team in football.  Adrian Peterson will have a monster game and the Vikings will cover the spread easily.  Vikings win 24-13
San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles:  Vick says with 100% certainty that he's playing in this Sunday's game.  This Eagles team does not play well together, which was my biggest concern at the start of the season, when I compared them to the Lakers who acquired Gary Payton and Karl Malone to try and buy a championship.  Fact is, Asomugha is NOT THAT GOOD!  They paid this man a lot of money to come in and make plays, and he's done nothing but give up touchdowns.  Look at his "lack of" stats in Oakland.  They say it's cause no one threw to him.  I say it's cause he's not very good.  Jets look smart sticking with Cromartie.  This game is in Philly though, so I do like them to win and cover the 9 point spread.  Eagles win 27-6

Washington Redskins at St Louis Rams:Rams win 16-15

New York Giants at Arizona Cardinals:  The Giants, despite all of their injuries, proved they are still a team to be reckoned with in the NFC East by defeating the Eagles last Sunday.  Manning had the best game of his season, and he should have similar success with Mario Manningham back in the lineup this Sunday.  Arizona was awful losing to the Seahawks and only scoring 10 points, which would have never happened if it weren't for Fitzgerald.  If the Giants can find a way to shut down the receiver, they will win huge in Arizona.  They are only 1.5 point favorites, but I like them to cover easily.  Giants win 31-20

Atlanta Falcons at Seattle Seahawks:  What in the world is wrong with the Falcons this year?  They were supposed to be better right?  Julio Jones is playing well for a rookie, but Roddy White can't catch a cold, and Matt Ryan looks to bipolar.  Seattle is one of the hardest places to play, and it's no secret that Ryan struggles on the road, but look for them to cover the 5.5 point spread this week.  Atlanta wins 30-10

Denver Broncos at Green Bay Packers:  The only thing the Broncos have going for them this week is they're playing on the road, so Orton doesn't have to hear the "Tebow" chants throughout the entire game.  The Packers are marred with injuries, but that didn't seem to stop them from winning the Super Bowl last year.  It's a 13.5 point spread this weekend but I don't think they'll cover.  Green Bay wins 21-10

New England Patriots at Oakland Raiders:  Ah, the dark hole.  The Raider Nation will be out in full force after they demolished the Jets last weekend.  But Tom Brady and the Pats are going to be bitter and focused after blowing a huge lead to the Bills and ultimately losing the game.  The Raiders are getting 5 points in this one, but it may not be enough.  They are one dimensional and Belichick is a genius at bouncing back from a loss and getting his team on track.  The Pats cover easily.  Patriots win 38-17

Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers:  Well, we know the Chargers struggle to win games in September and they may be without Antonio Gates again this week.  The Dolphins struggle to win period this year and they need a new identity.  They have the players in place to be a decent team, but they've struggled against a tough schedule thus far.  The Chargers are 7 point favorites at home, and I don't see any reason they shouldn't cover.  Chargers win 28-13

New York Jets at Baltimore Ravens:  I'm not really sure who either of these teams are yet.  One week they look great, the next week, bleh...This game should be a true test to see what they are made of.  Rex Ryan takes on the defense he created in Baltimore, so it's always an intriguing match up.  Ray Rice should have a big day running the ball on the Jets D after they gave up 200 yards on the ground to Oakland last weekend.  Baltimore is 3.5 point favorites and I expect them to cover at home.  Ravens win 19-12

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Buccaneers:  The Colts finally managed to show a little heart on defense last weekend and took the Steelers all the way to the wire.  Curtis Painter may get the start for the Colts, so let's see if he can provide a spark to that offense.  They were actually able to run the ball a little bit, so that will take some pressure off who ever the QB may be.  The Buc's are up and down, so we're not sure what to expect out of them.  They are playing at home so I do expect them to get the win, but I don't see them covering the 10 point spread.  Buccaneers win 17-13. 

Enjoy the games this weekend and hopefully this helps you regain some of the money you may have lost last week during those upset games.

A Look Ahead at Week 4

Week 4 is going to include some key match ups, including six potential AFC playoff teams facing off.  We're nearly a quarter of the way through the season already, and this is when the teams start to define who they really are and create separation from the rest of the competition.  Let's jump right into it!

One of the biggest early games will be the Detroit Lions traveling to Dallas to take on the Cowboys.  Now I don't see the Cowboys as an elite team in this league, but the Lions need this win to prove they are a force in the NFC.  The Cowboys need the victory more playing in a very competitive NFC East conference, where they currently sit in a three way tie with the Giants and Redskins for first place.  Tony Romo's "injury" should be fairly well behind him at this point and we can start discussing football in Dallas again.  First round pick Nick Fairley still isn't expected to suit up for the Lions with a nagging foot injury, but I don't suspect they will need him.  Lions get it done in a tight one.

Pittsburgh and Houston are both coming off disappointing games last weekend.  Sure, the Steelers won in Indianapolis but they were 15 point favorites going into the game and had to win on a last second field goal.  This team looks older on defense, the line cannot run block like they use to, and it seems they are fading behind Baltimore in the division.  Houston blew a big lead in New Orleans where the game ended up going back and forth in the fourth quarter before Drew Brees finally put them away.  I expect their defense to play better this week against the Steelers in what should be a fairly low scoring game.  I like Houston to win the game and prove their spot in the AFC elite.

The marquee match up in the four o'clock games will be the Patriots at Oakland.  Always a tough place to play, and the Raiders seem like a legitimate team this year.  They should be 3-0 if for not blowing a late lead to the Bills. Same could be said for the Patriots.  I expect Belichick to have his boys chomping at the bit after that embarrassing loss last week and win this game pretty easily.  I do like Darren McFadden as the best back in the league right now though.

Finally we move to the Sunday night game, where the Ravens play host to the Jets.  I still don't know who this Ravens team is.  They man handle the Steelers in week one only to be shut down by the Tennessee Titans the following week, then dismantle the Rams last weekend.  If there is a pattern forming here, the Jets should have their way with them.  As a top ranked defense in the NFL, it had to be discouraging for Rex Ryan to see McFadden and company run all over his Jets last weekend.  They look very vulnerable against the run, so expect Ray Rice to have a big day.  I like the Ravens by 6 in this match up.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dolphins Are Pointing Fingers After 0-3 Start

The Miami Dolphins have now dropped three consecutive games to start the season, all to fairly decent teams.  They managed to hang around with the New England Patriots in week 1 until Brady ripped them for over 500 yards through the air.  They played a tough Houston Texans team that has proven that they are on the verge of becoming a legitimate contender.  They struggled offensively in week 3 against a very good Cleveland Browns defense and couldn't stop Colt McCoy on the final drive to ultimately win the game for the Browns.
This has resulted in some finger pointing, mainly at head coach Tony Sparano.  When asked what was wrong with the team, Davone Bess came out publicly to state: "For the most part, just communication," Bess said. "Whether it's the receivers -- on my behalf, not getting a certain signal, messing up a play that could have potentially been a touchdown, or whether it's the quarterback not giving the signal out and the line not understanding what the protection is. And these are errors that we are causing on ourselves. It's not even the defense. It starts with us.
"A lot of that stems from discipline, a lot of it stems from not putting probably as much time as we should in the meeting rooms ..." Bess also added. 

Reggie Bush offered similar comments.  "The same things that happen during the games are the same things that are happening in practice," Bush said, according to FoxSports. "It carries over. We have to practice better, and I think once we begin to do that you'll start to see a better team.
"Don't walk off the field until you get it right."

Most of the players agree with these remarks, so what does that mean for the Dolphins?  Remember, Sparano was brought here from Dallas with Bill Parcells.  The Tuna is no longer in Miami, so how long can Sparano hold his job in South Florida?  Only time will tell, but it looks like they are the obvious door mat in the division, which could result in six losses right there.  Some early favorites to take the position right now are Bill Cowher, Jeff Gruden, and Jeff Fisher.  We'll see how things unfold and which one of these head coaches are interested in taking over a team that has talent, but lacks discipline.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Manning's Season Over?

It appears that the Colts star quarterback Peyton Manning is out for the season, according to Colts owner Jim Irsay Monday morning.  He stated that December would be a possibility for Manning to come back, but realistically, this team is not going to have a winning record in December and no chance of a playoff birth so why risk bringing Manning back too early? 

It looks like Manning is going to be sidelined until next season at best, so the Colts are moving on with Collins or Painter at QB.  It looks as if they also just brought journeyman Dan Orlovsky back on the roster.  Fantasy owners, if you haven't done so already, drop Manning from your team, even in the deepest of leagues, because he will not be coming back any time soon.  Kerry Collins left Sunday night's game against the Steelers with a mild concussion, so Colts fan got to see a glimpse of Curtis Painter under center.  Painter had a couple decent throws, but didn't show much hope for the struggling offense.  At this point, he may be the best option for the Colts with what they have on the roster.  Collins looks like a retired quarterback.  He's slow, he's not able to move in the pocket, and his release is very slow and he holds the ball to low.  None of these attributes bode well for a struggling young offensive line.  This is why Collins has fumbled and turned the ball over so many times in the first three games.

Watching this game last night, it really showed how much Peyton Manning means to this team, not only as a player, but as a coach.  The Colts lined up in formations that should have been checked out of, or not called at all.  They had Dallas Clark trying to block James Harrison most of the night, and he's never going to win that battle.  The coaching staff needs to step up and create mismatches and put their team in the best position to succeed.

A bright spot Sunday night was the Colts defense, especially the rush defense, stuffing the Steelers running backs nearly every time they touched the ball.  If the defense continues to play this way, the Colts can win a few games.  Looking at their schedule, I see six games that they can compete in.  They face Tampa Bay Monday night, who's defense looks very stout, but their offense is sputtering this year, so if the Colts can keep it close, they can have a chance like they did last night against Pittsburgh.  Then they have the Chiefs and Bengals, which are both winnable games for the Colts.  Week 12 they host the Carolina Panthers, who they have a good shot of beating, and the Jaguars twice on the schedule should be competitive games.  I don't expect them to compete with New England, New Orleans, or the Tennessee Titans this year.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Week 3 Around the League

There was some wild games today in the NFL, let's break down the scores and stats.

The Browns are off to a 2-1 start after defeating the Miami Dolphins on a brilliant two minute drive by Colt McCoy.  The QB has shown maturity and leadership skills so far that can make head coach Pat Schurmur feel very confident going forward.  Peyton Hillis didn't suit up due to strep throat, but second year back Montereo Hardesty filled in nicely, rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries.

The Lions overcame a 20-0 first half deficit to beat the Vikings in overtime 26-23.  Calvin Johnson led the way with 108 yards and 2TD's from Matthew Stafford.  The Lions are now 3-0 tied for the division lead with the Green Bay Packers. 

The game of the week goes to the Buffalo Bills, coming from way behind for the second straight week and beating the New England Patriots 34-31.  Brady was picked off 4 times in the loss, matching his total for last year.  The Bills are now 3-0 and winning the division after beating the Patriots and the Jets losing to the Raiders. 

The "Dream Team" Philadelphia Eagles hosted the New York Giants today, and expected to roll over the banged up Gmen defense.  That did not happen!  The Giants front seven got after Michael Vick the entire game, and ultimately knocked him out of the game with a broken right hand.  Victor Cruz had a huge game, catching two of Eli Manning's four touchdown passes, and Ahmad Bradshaw was effective enough running the ball to give the Giants balance on offense.  The Eagles were preseason Super Bowl favorites, but now sit at the bottom of the NFC East with a 1-2 record.  Vick may not miss any games because he broke his non-throwing hand, but it's bound to cause some issues in handling snaps and running the ball. 

There was a shoot out in New Orleans, where the Saints came from behind to beat the Texans 40-33.  This was the first true test of the Houston defense, and they did not pass, giving up 40 points and well over 400 yards of offense to the Saints.  Matt Schaub also threw for over 370 yards and 3 TD's, but it wasn't enough.  This was a big win for the Saints as they move into first place in the division with the Falcons falling to Tampa Bay.

Speaking of the Falcons, what happened to this team?  They brought everyone back from a 13-3 team, and added some great rookies in the draft.  Roddy White dropped two huge passes on the final drive, one of which could have been a game winning TD.  Dropped balls plagued him his first few years in the league, and it looks like it's haunting him again.  The Buccaneers defense held Michael Turner (my starting fantasy running back) to 20 yards rushing, and forced three Matt Ryan turnovers to win 16-13.

The Titans kept rolling with a 17-14 victory over the Broncos.  Matt Hasselback had a 300 yard passing performance, but lost Kenny Britt to a knee injury, which may be season ending.  That would be a huge blow to the Titans, who seem to have a shot at winning the AFC South this year with Peyton Manning sidelined.  

The Raiders rolled over the Jets 34-24.  Darren McFadden may be the best running back in the NFL, rushing for over 150 yards and 2 TD's in the contest.  This team should be 3-0, but they blew a lead against Buffalo last weekend.  They are 2-1 tied with San Diego for the lead in the division, but they have New England next week, who will be looking to rebound from a big loss today at the hands of the Bills.  But remember, the Raiders did sweep the division last season and I like them to do the same this year.  If they can get four wins out of division match ups, they should be in the playoffs at the end of the year.

Other match ups included the Packers beating the Bears to improve to 3-0.  Cutler needs some help on that team.  JerMichael Finley caught 3 touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers to lead the way.  The 49ers beat the Bengals 13-8.  When I saw the score, I thought the San Francisco Giants were beating the Cincinnati Reds.  It was ugly, but the 49ers will take it, and they sit alone at 2-1 in the NFC West.  The Carolina Panthers came from behind to beat the Jaguars in Blaine Gabbert's debut 16-10.  The Ravens smashed the Rams in St. Louis 37-7 and the Chargers held on to beat the Chiefs 20-17.  Finally, the Seahawks got their first win of the season over division rival Arizona 13-10.

I will be looking forward to watching how the Colts prepared for the Steelers defense tonight.  Kerry Collins needs to get more time in the pocket to throw down field.  At the same time, the coaching staff needs to put Collins in the best situation to succeed, calling short timing patterns early to get the ball out of his hands and build confidence for the offense.  If they do that, this game could be closer than people think.

What Should Have Happened

All 32 teams trimmed their rosters down to 53 before the start of the regular season and are stuck with those guys.  Sure they can sign free agents, propose trades, and put guys on the bench, but they can't get those guys back that signed with other teams.  After two weeks of NFL action, we take a look at what teams should have done in the off season. 

The New York Football Giants made a couple of huge mistakes at the receiver position.  The first one was trusting that Dominick Hixon was going to stay healthy for the entire year.  If they had any chance to bring back Plaxico Burress they shot it down quickly saying "Hixon, Nicks, and Manningham are our guys."  This marks the third straight year that Hixon has went out with season ending injuries, tearing both ACL's along with other constant lingering injuries.  My belief is his career is over, at least in New York.  Then the Gmen decided to let Steve Smith go out and sign with division rival Philadelphia Eagles.  Sure he was coming off an injury, but he was the possession receiver on this team who wasn't scared to go over the middle of the field and grab those third down receptions.  A year and a half ago, the Giants were considered to have one of the best young receiving groups in the league.  Now they are thin with only Nicks in the lineup today, with Manningham out with an injury.  Plax would have been a nice option opposite Hakeem Nicks with Steve Smith in the slot.  Oh, and a guy named Kevin Boss at tight end would have been a great compliment in the passing game, but they got rid of him too.

I realize that the Colts signed Kerry Collins a week before the Jaguars cut David Garrard, but wouldn't he seem to be a better fit in the Colts offense?  The offensive line is brutal, and Collins is too old and not mobile enough to keep plays alive.  He's a sitting duck back there every pass play.  At least Garrard could move around in the pocket and keep plays alive.  Living in Indianapolis, it's tough to see the Colts 0-2.  If Manning can't come back, the players they do have are going to want out.  They will also be looking for a new head coach.  This team will virtually be an expansion team next year if Manning's career is over.

Remember two years ago when the Seahawks gave Charlie Whitehurst more money than any other backup quarterback at the time?  So why did they bring Travaris Jackson in from the Vikings and give him the starting job from day one?  Pete Carroll has to realize he's not in the college ranks any longer.  You can't just throw a quarterback in and expect him to be successful right away.  He's going to make mistakes.  I'm not saying Whitehurst is the guy, but he did win the season finale for the Seahawks last season to give them the division crown.  What has Jackson done in his career?

After two weeks, Matt Forte accounts for 60% of the Bears offense.  Why have they not paid this man?  The Bears have all their money tied up on the defensive side of the ball, while Cutler is getting pounded every week behind a dismal offensive line.  He also has no true receiver to throw to.  This is why Forte gets so many looks, because he's the only play maker they have.  The Bears either need to add some more talent on the offensive side of the ball, or pay Forte the money he has earned.  That division is much better now and if they can't bring Forte back next year, they will find themselves at the bottom.

I'm sure we will see some free agent signings throughout the season because of key injuries.  Maybe the Giants go after T.O.  Curtis Painter may get some action in Indy.  Jackson may stay in at QB so the Seahawks can assure themselves of getting Andrew Luck in the draft.  We will just have to wait and see.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Boomer Esiason on Romo Injury

There's been a lot of hype around Dallas and Tony Romo this week after coming back into the game last weekend against the 49ers with cracked ribs and a punctured lung.  Most of the media has been building up Romo and complementing his toughness for coming back into the game.  But Boomer Esiason sees it much differently.

"What the hell are the Cowboys' doctors doing?" the former Bengals, Jets and Cardinals quarterback said in an interview with USA Today." Are you allowed to play with a punctured lung, a collapsed lung, broken ribs? Is that what the NFL is now? Or do we actually care about the players? Or is it all just lip service? I think (Commissioner) Roger Goodell has got to look at that particular situation very seriously."

Esiason went on to say; "Everybody's got an opinion on Tony Romo. Everybody wants to put pressure on him."  "He's not the big-time QB, he's not Troy Aikman, he's not Roger Staubach, I get all that. But that fueled Tony Romo in my estimation on Sunday. He may deny it. ... I know he probably feels in the back of his mind, 'What are they going to write about me now if I don't show up on the field?' Now, he has a punctured lung and two fractured ribs."

Michael Irvin was on NFL Network today and was asked if Romo should play this weekend against the Redskins.  "Romo should absolutely play", Irvin stated during the interview.  He went on to talk about how he showed toughness and now has the confidence of the locker room.

Most people are aware of my opinion on Michael Irvin.  He's not exactly the best speaker, and he's usually wrong about most topics he discusses.  He's looking at this particular situation one sided.  Yes, Romo did show toughness going out there injured and playing to help his team win.  But like Boomer pointed out; how did these doctors clear him to go back into the game with a punctured lung?  Guys play all the time with bruised or cracked ribs, but a punctured lung?  We're talking serious health issues here if he gets hit. 

Maybe this was a scheme by Jerry Jones and the Cowboys doctors to make the injury sound more severe than what it really was to get the media off of their quarterback.  Maybe Romo really was hurt this severely.  If this is the case, the doctors on the Cowboys staff do need to be investigated, because if you're letting a guy play under these circumstances, you are putting his life at risk.   

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Week 3 Premier Matchup

There are a number of good games this weekend that I'm looking forward to, like the Giants vs. Eagles,the Lions vs. Vikings, and the Bills vs. Patriots, but the game of the week is going to be the Houston Texans and the New Orleans Saints.

These are two of the most explosive offenses in the league and Wade Phillips seems to have that defense playing better, although they haven't been tested yet.  This will be their first true test in a hostile environment.  It's not easy to play in New Orleans so we will see how far along the defense has come.  They haven't missed a beat with Foster out, as Ben Tate has been a prolific runner in the first two weeks, rushing for over a hundred yards in each game.  Drew Brees is always dangerous though, and he has a lot of weapons to throw to.  I am picking the Saints by 6 in what should be a high scoring affair.

I'm also looking forward to seeing the Lions against the Vikings.  If the Lions can start the season off with a W in their division, it would be a great motivating factor before facing Green Bay and Chicago.  Stafford has looked very impressive in the first two games, and the Lions defense looks very good.  The Vikings offense has been pitiful.  McNabb's days appear to be done, as he's just over 300 yards with one TD and one interception on the season.  Mike Shanahan is a pretty smart coach, and for him to recognize that McNabb wasn't a solid option to start any longer, Leslie Frazier should have took note.  He may have a few decent games here and there, but there will be no consistency this season for the Vikings.

The Bills are off to a 2-0 start and Ryan Fitzpatrick looks great, throwing 7 touchdowns in the first two games of the season.  Their offensive line looks great, despite them all playing together for the first time this season.  They gave up a lot of points to the Raiders last week and had to come from behind in the fourth quarter to win.  They won't be able to pull that off this weekend.  They will be playing Belichick's Patriots, who are also 2-0 and are putting up record numbers.  With Green Bay's shaky performance against Carolina, I have the Pats as the top team in my power rankings going into this weekend.  The game is in Buffalo, so the Pats will have a tougher time winning this game, but I do see them winning by double digits.   

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Will the Chiefs Go 0-16?

After a 41-7 thumping by the Buffalo Bills, the Chiefs follow it up with a 48-3 loss to the Detroit Lions.  This brings us to the question; Will the Chiefs win a game this year?  After looking through their schedule, weeks four and five give them the best opportunity to win a game this year.  They play at home against the Vikings and at Indianapolis against the Colts.  After these two games, they have teams like the Steelers and Patriots on the docket along with the Raiders, Chargers, Jets, and Packers.  It doesn't look good for the Chiefs.

Jamaal Charles is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, and Matt Cassel may as well be.  He has been awful at best.  He's put up only one touchdown with four interceptions and he's been sacked four times.  I said at the beginning of the season that this team would miss Charlie Weiss, but I had no idea it would be this badly.  I'm sure they'll get a fluke win at some point during the season, but on paper it doesn't look promising for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Week 2 Preview of the NFL

As week two of the NFL approaches, there are a few things that I'd like to cover around the league.  We learned from week 1 that Shonn Greene is never going to be "the guy" in New York.  LaDanian Tomlinson is still the featured back that adds more excitement when he's on the field than Greene.  If you have Greene on your fantasy roster, try and trade him or put him on the bench this week.

Tony Sparano said this week that he needs to do a better job of managing the plays and the opportunities that Reggie Bush gets during a game.  He's afraid that with the workload he received in week one, he won't make it past week five of the regular season.  Are you kidding me Sparano?  Why did you go out and get this guy and give him a contract if you didn't think he could play?  He's asking you to keep him on the field!  Reggie Bush looked explosive in the first half of the game Monday night, but then the Dolphins went away from him.  Sparano has his job because of Bill Parcels.  Parcels is no longer there, so Sparano needs to win in order to stay in Miami.  I believe Bush can give him the balance the offense needs to win some games.  Bush has put on about 20 pounds of muscle and is over 200lbs.  He can handle taking some hits.  Play the man!  

Michael Vick will be heading back to Atlanta where it all began this weekend.  I believe he will receive a warm welcoming, because he is still loved and respected by fans in Atlanta.  But I think Vick has said and done all the right things going into the game and said "That's not my house, that's Matt Ryan's house."  Now I don't know what Michael Irvin is talking about comparing Vick to "MJ", but Vick did put the Falcons back on the map.  I usually never know what Irvin is talking about these days anyway, but this should be a great game.  Expect the Falcons to play better at home than they did last week on the road in Chicago.  I still like the Eagles in this one, but it will be a close game. 

Finally, the Colts are hearing the Andrew Luck chants from the media as Manning's career is in question after a third neck surgery.  The players still on the roster are not happy hearing they can't win without Peyton.  My advice to them;  Prove that you can win without him and quit crying to the media!  As for the media, I  know this sells papers, but these guys are out there playing and competing without their general.  It will take some time to get this team playing together under Collins, but they will win some games, if they can shore up that O' line to give the QB some time to throw.  I will be at the game this weekend to watch the Browns and Colts, which should be a good game as these two teams find out who they are.

Enjoy week 2 of the NFL, and good luck to all of you fantasy football coaches.  I'm hoping for big games out of Jones Drew and Michael Turner this weekend.

Monday, September 12, 2011

What We Learned From Week 1

Many of the games this weekend didn't go my way personally, but we did learn a lot from the the first full Sunday of NFL football.  Here's a few of the things that stick out in my mind from yesterday's games.

Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears proved all the critics wrong and destroyed the Atlanta Falcons.  Cutler threw for over 300 yards and a pair of TD's, and proved he doesn't care what the media has to say about him.  The Bears are the real deal.

Speaking of the real deal; the Detroit Lions are good.  This game was not as close as the score showed.  The Lions dominated the field in yards and time of possession.  Stafford looked every bit as good as he did in the preseason, and if he stays healthy, the Lions may be due for a playoff spot in 2011.

The shocker of the weekend was the Buffalo Bills.  I knew the Chiefs offense wasn't going to be as good as they were last year, but there defense was awful.  The Bills put up 41 points with Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing 4 touchdowns.  They are in an extremely tough division, but look for them to spoil some other teams season as we progress through the year.

The Dallas Cowboys aren't going to the Super Bowl.  I don't know why so many people think they are every year, but they are the Notre Dame of professional football.  They play well, but when they see they have a victory in their grasp, they throw it away...literally.  Two bone-headed plays by Romo cost the Cowboys the game late last night.  Dez Bryant looked like Larry Fitzgerald in the first quarter, but then fell apart...literally.  As for the rest of this division, the Giants have too many injuries to be competitive.  The receivers drop too many passes from Eli, and they have to play a tough schedule in the East.  The Redskins seem to be playing much better than anyone expected.  The Eagles will be good until Vick gets hurt, then Vince Young will be forced to play and may need a psychiatrist on the field with him. 

We also learned that the Cleveland Browns are same old Browns they've been the last five years.  There's a new offense but the same check down five yard passes that go no where.  It's embarrassing to get beat at home by a team that has more turmoil than any other team in the league.  Looks like another five win season for my beloved Browns.

As for the Colts.  There defense is built to play with a lead and rush the quarterback.  No Peyton Manning means no lead.  No lead means no defense.  As many pro bowl players as this team has, without Manning, they are in a rebuilding stage.  They are going to have to redesign that defense, get some size on the front four, and get better corners.  The offensive line is horrendous and they cannot run the football.  This means everything has to fall on Kerry Collin's shoulders, and this is not a good thing.  A long, long season is ahead of the Indianapolis Colts.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NFL Season Begins This Sunday!

We already watched two of the most explosive offenses in the NFL shoot it out Thursday night for the NFL opener, but tomorrow marks the first full Sunday of the NFL season.  Teams around the league have been working hard over the last couple of days to sign key players to contract extensions, such as Chris Johnson, Troy Palamalu, Larry Fitzgerald, and today Adrian Peterson became the richest running back in the NFL.

Now that we have all the money and contract disputes set aside, we can focus on football.  There are some huge rivalry games to begin the season.  The Steelers are traveling to Baltimore to take on the Ravens, which has became one of the great rivalries in football.  Both teams are always tough and play great defense, so expect this to be a fast, hard hitting game. 

The Bengals travel up state to take on the Cleveland Browns.  These two teams always put on an exciting performance.  Neither team has a real explosive offense this year, but it should still be an exciting game in the battle of Ohio.

The New York football Giants will be at FedEx field in Washington to take on the Redskins, in what will be an emotional game on 9/11 with both communities being effected by the attacks a decade ago.  The Redskins offense will look totally different from a year ago, so it will be interesting to see how this team fairs.  Many "experts" are predicting the Redskins will win the East.  I'm not sold on this until I see Rex Grossman string together some complete games against first team defenses.  I like the Giants in this one.

We wrap up the day in New Meadowlands Stadium with the Cowboys taking on the Jets on Sunday Night Football.  Rex Ryan has again predicted a Super Bowl for his Jets, and the Cowboys who have virtually the same roster as the past few seasons seem to think they are Super Bowl least the media does.  I don't understand all the hype around this team every year.  I like the Jets winning this game by two touchdowns. 

What to watch for:  The Seahawks take on the 49ers in a key game early in the NFC West.  The team that loses this game could be on the fast track for Andrew Luck and the first pick in the draft next season.  I love Jim Harbaugh but he has his hands full this year with his new team.  If they can keep a coordinator for longer than a year, I think Alex Smith can progress into a decent starting quarterback.  The Seahawks put there chips in Travaris Jackson's basket and they will go down with his ship.  This team has nothing to get excited about this year.  I like the 49ers in this game, 13-6.  

Shocker of the Week: Most people, including myself, have written the Colts off after Manning was ruled out this Sunday, but I think they are going to play better than people think.  Kerry Collins is a proven winner and from what I'm told he's picked up the elaborate Colts offense fairly quickly.  Even Reggie Wayne is on the Collins band wagon now.  Look for Collins to manage the game and spread the ball around to the talented receivers he has at his disposal.  The defense of the Texans should be better than a year ago, but I still think there are some spots that the Colts can exploit.  With Arian Foster questionable coming into the game, I like the Colts to win this one without Manning.