Archive for October, 2013

Eve of Week eight NFL thoughts

Posted: October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

Schiano downward spiral continues

Greg Schiano “hasn’t” lost the locker room, according to Tampa Bay safety Dashon Goldson. Goldson’s smart enough not to throw his own head coach under the bus, with a glorious 0-7 start to the season doing that better than any disgruntled player could. Smart players know not to get involved in the potential drama drummed up by the media to attract readers, as doing so would likely get him labeled as a locker room diva, or cancer. Relatively important players such as former Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd and former Bengals WR Chad Johnson/Ochocinco/Johnson lost roster spots and currently remain unemployed because of their perceived diva status in the locker room.

While Schiano did good work as the coach at the University of Rutgers and displays some potential to one day be a talented head coach (he looks and acts like current mastermind Bill Belichick), today is not that day. Unless Schiano pulls off a miraculous turnaround for the Bucs and goes undefeated for the rest of the season, Schiano can expect to get fired before Christmas.

SF/Jax in London

In an apparent attempt to keep all of Europe thoroughly uninterested in American Football, the NFL will be holding the San Francisco 49ers and Jacksonville Jaguars contest in London this Sunday the 27th. SF/Jax, a game that is likely to end in a thrilling, edge of your seat 27-2 finish should serve as the exclamation point in the thesis as to why England and any other self-respecting country will likely never take an interest in such silly American bollocks. NFL Europe ended up being an enormous time and money sink for the NFL. If Goodell and the people who make decisions like this actually wanted to draw interest in the NFL overseas, they would have games like Green Bay vs. San Francisco or Indianapolis vs. Seattle in London. No one is going to feel like they’re missing out by watching a Chad Henne sackfest. 

The Colts are good

Andrew Luck, Chuck Pagano and the Colts organization stuck it to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos with a 39-33 victory at home, Denver’s first loss of the season. Indianapolis, while saddled with two puzzling losses to Miami and San Diego, have a collection of impressive wins against San Francisco, Seattle, and now Denver.The eager colts fan I spoke to over the internet the other day told me she was hoping for a Denver/Indianapolis AFC championship game, a playoff match up that looks about as probable as any right now.

The Chiefs are good

Andy Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs are now the only undefeated team in the National Football League. Denver and KC play twice in three week’s time this winter. I want to say the Chiefs deserve to be honored as the top team in the NFL, but they haven’t had the honor of playing a team that would now be considered particularly good. It’s not Kansas City’s fault they’ve had a softer opening schedule, that’s probably what happens when you finish dead last the season prior. The Chiefs’ first ‘real’ test (and what a test it will be) will come November 17th at Mile High Stadium against Manning’s Broncos. If Bob Sutton and the league’s 3rd ranked pass defense can find a way to contain Decker, Thomas, Thomas, Welker, and Knowshon Moreno then they deserve to win. Alex Smith isn’t exactly Andrew Luck, or so he hasn’t been in 2013, but the Chiefs’ involvement of Jamaal Charles and superior field positioning will keep the game close. I think.

Some teams are bad but not Carolina

Baltimore and Houston have failed to maintain their status as AFC heavyweights as they’ve combined for a total record of 5-9 in seven weeks of play. Houston can point to their particularly rough slew of injuries and sudden terrible play of Matt Schaub for their sub-par performance, whereas Baltimore is merely satisfied with their super bowl slump excuse.

The NFC East is terrible at the moment. Chip Kelly’s uptempo offense expected to take the world by storm fallen short of expectations, though clearly the defense shoulders more of the blame ranking dead last in yards allowed and 26th in points allowed. Robert Griffin’s performance has taken a step back in his sophomore campaign as he’s scored eight touchdowns and committed eight turnovers. The Giants, a true football enigma, just scored their first win of the season against a Vikings team struggling with an identity crisis at quarterback.  Dallas, the team on top, has gotten three of their four wins against other NFC East teams. To Dallas’s credit, they came awfully close to beating a high-powered Denver Broncos football club this season. 

The Carolina Panthers are quietly playing phenomenal defense. 2nd in the league in points allowed. If they can steal a wild card spot, Cam Newton’s panthers could cause some trouble in the playoffs for some unsuspecting first seeds. A Seattle/Carolina revenge game might be in the works.

Why Atlanta shouldn’t trade Tony Gonzalez

A small number of NFL pundits began opining that Atlanta should trade their future hall of famer tight end Tony Gonzalez, despite his insistence that this season will be his last. Supposedly, because the Falcons already have a poor record seven weeks into the season (2-4, ATL had a bye week), and have lost Julio Jones for the season, the Falcons should just give up on this season and send Gonzalez packing for a future draft pick operating under a ‘better luck next year’ mentality. There are two problems with this mentality:

A. No self respecting head coach, GM, or owner would engage in this type of mentality on a professional level, and,

B. Wins equal Revenue.

A. Falcons head coach Mike Smith is a professional. Professionals build and maintain a winning atmosphere by winning now. If Gonzalez were dead weight, under-performing, or became overtaken by a rookie/free agent (i.e. Fred Davis has lost his job to Jordan Reed this season) then trading him would make sense. The Trent Richardson trade to Indy made sense because Richardson never established himself as an irreplaceable cog on the Browns offensive machine. He can barely crack 3 yards a carry. Gonzalez is among the top five at his position, the essential cog in the offensive machine.

B. Even if the Falcons end up 7-9 or 6-10 this season that’s still one or two wins more than they would have if they gave up Gonzalez. Gonzalez, now the focal point of the offense with both starting receivers out of the picture, would leave Matt Ryan with no premium talent on offense to work with were he to be traded away.

You are reading the title

Posted: October 10, 2013 in Football

Stuff this post is about

Julio Jones’ injury, the future whooping of Jacksonville by Denver, Aldon Smith and guns, Tony Romo isn’t terrible, Matt Flynn is terrible, 2014 QB draft class

Julio Jones suffered a season ending foot injury. Or is going to have season ending surgery on his foot. Or both. Either way the 1-4 Atlanta Falcons just lost the NFL’s receptions and receiving yards leader (among wide receivers) for the season. The Falcons also lost Steven Jackson to injury earlier in the season who has yet to return. The Falcons can also expect to start next game without their other starting receiver Roddy White. Matty Ice will look to thirty-seven year old vegan Dorian Gray to somehow overcome quintuple coverage to help out on offense. The blows to the depth chart should be softened by their next game at home against the Mike Glennon led-Buccaneers. Bucs’ head coach Greg Schiano is doing his best to get fired but hasn’t pulled it off yet. Atlanta could help him get one step closer a week from this Sunday, October 20th at the Georgia dome.

Jacksonville is going to play a football game against Denver. Peyton Manning has scored more than four times as many touchdowns as the Jacksonville offense has. Jacksonville is statistically cringe worthy. They are dead last in offensive scoring (10.2 points per game) and 31st out of 32 in defensive scoring (points allowed) at allowing 32.6 points per game. Denver is of course number one in offense. There are not words to describe how absurd this matchup is. Expect to see backup qb Brock Osweiler in the game for Denver by the third quarter, barring an actual remotely close contest of skill. Manning’s greatest challenge will be trying to feed all of the hungry mouths on offense with Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Julius Thomas, Wes Welker and the running back trio all fighting for the ball. Denver has put decent teams to bed this season with a sound fierceness. If nfl games are allowed to be called, It wouldn’t be surprising for either coach to want to keep the game to three quarters.

Aldon Smith, 49ers ‘stud’ pass rusher has been charged with owning an illegal “assault weapon.” That’s good they clarified it was an assault weapon, and not a cuddling weapon or minor annoyance weapon. The incident related to the charge took place in June of 2012 with former ‘9ers TE Delanie Walker. Walker also discharged his firearm but will not be charged as he didn’t fire off an assault weapon. Remember folks, make sure to drunkenly fire off your murder weapons only if they aren’t legally classified as ‘assault’ weapons. Smith currently resides in rehab for his second DUI arrest in as many years.

Antonio Ramiro Romo threw five touchdowns and for over 500 yards against the Denver Broncos this past weekend, a stellar performance. Yet Romo somehow manages to receive the blame for Dallas’ loss. Quarterbacks do not play defense. If he had thrown for three touchdowns and zero interceptions we would be talking about how underrated he is. Only a handful of passers could have gotten Dallas as close as Romo did to beating Denver. The almighty Broncos scraped by on a field goal. Romo doesn’t always play like a top five quarterback, but this past Sunday he did.

Watching the clock tick to zero in the Dallas/Denver game brought me back to a scene from a movie based around gratuitous violence and “historical events”, Zack Snyder’s 300. Tony Romo (in Sunday’s contest against Denver) was not unlike the spartan King Leonidas. Like Leonidas from the phenomenally exaggerated 300 Romo did not slay the proverbial dragon. Leonidas was slain in battle by the Persian emperor as did the Cowboys fall to the Broncos. Also, like Leonidas from 300, Romo proved that “even a god-king can bleed” as Denver for the first time in 2013 didn’t enter the fourth quarter with the utmost confidence the game would end with a ‘W.’ The Broncos while widely recognized as the top team in the NFL, are now beatable thanks to a valiant effort by Dallas.

Matt Flynn was finally released from Oakland, losing the third string spot to Matt McGloin. You might be wondering who Matt McGloin is. It doesn’t matter who he is. (He’s an unspectacular UFA QB from Penn State). What matters is Flynn has made 14.5 million dollars in his brief time with both Seattle and Oakland. Flynn started one game since his 480 yard, six touchdown performance against a (then) very bad Patriots defense. Some people might think Flynn is a failure for not being able to stay on an NFL roster after being brought in (twice) to be “the guy.” Flynn might actually be a genius, he now has 14.5 million dollars and doesn’t have to put his body or mind at serious risk. A risk that many other NFL players willingly do for a lot less money than Flynn made away with.

People that get paid to talk about football claim the quarterback draft class of 2014 could potentially be very deep if the underclassmen available to declare for the draft do so. According to Yahoo’s own Eric Edholm as many as nine quarterbacks could merit draft status in the first two rounds should they enter the draft. After looking at obvious names such as Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater, other names surface such as Heisman hopeful Clemson QB Tajh Boyd, SEC career passing yardage record holder Aaron Murray, and Alabama’s two time BCS championship winning quarterback A.J. McCarron. A number of NFL teams should be in the market for a new QB as 2013 so far has been a year of disparity at the position. Teams like Oakland, Tampa, Jacksonville, Arizona, Cleveland, and now Minnesota are possibly looking to upgrade at the QB position immediately in the draft. Other teams, mainly New England and Denver would be wise to invest in the future with Brady and Manning turning 37 and 38 respectively before the start of next season. This is also assuming neither heavily seasoned veteran will decide to hang up the cleats at the seasons’ end. The players of the NFL draft seem to to get bigger, stronger, and faster every year. With the passing offense growing more and more important every year, a talented quarterback likewise becomes more important for teams to field in order to keep up.

Tell the people you love that you love them.

Good night and Good luck.