Category Archives: NFL

Team I Thought…..Week 3


Team I thought would be lucky to win three games but is now 3-0?

Arizona Cardinals

Of 3-0 teams Atlanta, Houston, and Arizona, the Cardinals were the last franchise anyone thought would be undefeated at this point.

Chew on these two team rankings for a bit: 29 & 27.

29th in the league in passing yards (181 yards p/g) and 27th in the league in rushing yards (82.3 p/g).

Offenses scores points. Defenses win ball games.

Fluke? I think not.

Since Week 9 of last year, the Cardinal are 10-2 and riding a four game winning streak.

Arizona Cardinals flying high


Team I thought would lose three games by midseason but is now 0-3?

New Orleans Saints

Call it whatever ‘Gate’ you want, but the off-season disaster to the New Orleans defense is worse than we could have imagined.

Chew on these two team rankings for a bit: 25 & 32.

25th in the league defending the pass (262 yards p/g) and 32nd in the league in rushing yards allowed (215 p/g).

During the Saints Superbowl run in 2009, New Orleans defense averaged 235 yards against the pass & 122 yards defending the run, but opponents were dealing with the #1 ranked offense in the world  then.

Now teams playing against New Orleans are dealing with just an average offense and terribly bad defense. Hence, an 0-3 start.

Jamaal Charles added to New Orleans defensive woes with 233 yards.


Team I thought could muster up more yards than a JV football team but haven’t yet?

Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay is averaging, averaging, just 243 yards per game. Averaging.

Not passing yards. Total yards.

It was so bad in Dallas Sunday, it took the Buccaneers offense three quarters to hit the 100 yard mark.

A big chunk of the blame goes to the coaches and their play calling.

Late in the fourth quarter on 2nd & 3rd and long with Tampa Bay trailing 16-7, offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan stubbornly called back-to-back running play up the middle.

I guess head coach Greg Schiano will have plenty of opportunities to work on his ‘anti-victory formation’ formation.

Tampa Bay’s offensive woes continue


Team I thought the defense was old and slow but are playing like they’re in their prime?

Da Bears.

The Monsters of the Midway have collected (now get this): 14 sacks, 6 interceptions, forced 4 fumbles, and scored 1 defensive touchdown, in just three games.

Chicago is also ranked 6th in total defense while surrendering just 76 yards per game on the ground.

Granted they’ve played a rookie quarterback on a bad team (Andrew Luck) and a veteran quarterback on a very bad team (Sam Bradford), but even against Green Bay, Chicago battered Aaron Rodgers for 5 sacks and an interception.

Welcome back Black n’ Blue!

Midway Mashers are back!

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Team I Thought…..


Team I thought was not that good but turned out better than I thought?

Washington Redskins

Boy what a difference having a real quarterback makes.

RGIII is the NFL’s version of the military field ration M.R.E. (Meals-Ready-to-Eat). He came to the NFL prepared, packaged, and fully cooked, completing 19-26 passes for 320 yards and 2 TD’s while running for another 42 yards against a discombobulated New Orleans Saints team.

Griffith has the psyche, field vision, arm strength, and speed offensive coordinators drool about and defensive coordinators lose sleep over.

Shanahan & Son designed a game plan not of their own volition, but one that would help RGIII win, and win now.

RGIII


Team I thought was really really good but turned out worse than I thought?

Green Bay Packers

For a team that won fifteen games last season and destined to get back to the Superbowl, they’re in trouble.

They didn’t lose to SF, but beat themselves as Green Bay players suggested. Riiight!  That’s like saying “I wasn’t driving drunk occifer, I was just drinking and driving”.

Put your hands behind your back sir.

San Francisco is a good team and deserve more praise than they’re getting, so don’t get it twisted. But the Packers defense gave up nearly 400 yards to an offense that has no true #1 receiver.

A team that has high expectations playing in a division hungry for vengeance, the Pack must re-evaluate their game plan with the quickness.

Green Bay’s Rodgers getting sacked by San Francisco’s Rogers


Team I was waiting for to perform their standard second-half meltdown?

Dallas Cowboys

I predicted my team to lose the NFL’s season opener in New York last Wednesday.

Sue me.

Half-way through the fourth-quarter, my little man kept whispering in my ear, “Don’t get too excited bro; we saw this last year”

Most Cowboy fans won’t admit this, but I will: Part of me expected Tony Romo to do something ridiculous once Dallas took a 24-10 lead with nine minutes left.

It’s only natural for a Dallas fan to think that way. Trust me, I’m a card-carrying member of that philosophical club.

I still rooted for the man who the NFL world loves to hate. Afterwards, me and my little man were delighted with the end results at Met Life Stadium.

Romo acted out of character by making safe throws and allowing the game to play itself out as it should have; with the hungrier team winning.

Tony Romo leaves New York victorious


Team I had no clue about but now have a pretty good idea they will be good this season?

Denver Broncos

It wasn’t the Peyton we remember…..but it was pretty close.

It took a few plays to recognize Manning in a Denver Bronco uniform, but once I saw those crazy hand gestures and silly audibles at the line of scrimmage, it was clear Big Brother Manning was back.

Take away the 71-yard catch-and-go touchdown pass to Pittsburgh killer Demaryius Thomas, and Peyton had a pedestrian 181 yard and 2 TD’s.

That would have been a horrible day during his tenure in Indy.

In Denver?

Bronco fans began printing Superbowl tickets Monday morning.

It was his poise, leadership, and calmness that rode the Broncos to victory against what now looks like an overrated Steelers defense.

Peyton doing what Peyton does best…win.


Barry Sanders And Robert Smith Proved Their Point

In the wake of Junior Seau’s death, Barry Sanders & Robert Smith got it right.

Although for different reasons, they left the NFL in their prime on their own terms.

Barry Sanders cited ‘exhaustion and frustration’ for his reasons to retire from the NFL.

Exhaustion from putting his body on the line every Sunday. Frustration towards the Detroit Lions front-office for not surrounding him with quality players to take the team to the next level.

Barry Sanders retired on top of the NFL world.

At 31, his retirement shocked the sports world. Sanders was on pace to shatter Walter Payton’s all-time NFL rushing record.

Sanders says in the book,

After all these years, I’d come full circle. It was tough to stay focused and motivated. (“Barry Sanders: Now You See Him … His Story in His Own Words” Mark McCormick of The Wichita Eagle

It is a fact in any walk of life when you become unmotivated and lose focus, bad things tend to happen. For an athlete, that’s code for a career ending injury is looming right around the corner.

Robert Smith’s surprising retirement from the NFL in the spring of 2001 shocked the sports world just as well. Smith was only 28-years old and coming off a career-best season of 1,500+ rushing yards with the Minnesota Vikings. What was more surprising, Smith would become an unrestricted free-agent and was headed for a hefty multi-year payday.

Smith, a philosophical human being, cited many reasons for retiring in his book, ‘The Rest of the Iceberg: An Insider’s View on the World of Sport and Celebrity’. He grew tired of the tedious meetings and practices throughout the week, and felt there was something better than football waiting for him.

Robert Smith retired with no regrets, only satisfaction.

Smith believed the risk-reward of his long-term health was leaning to the risky side if he extended his career any longer.

It just seemed like a good time to get away…..Leaving football was something that was just a part of my life as a whole. (‘The Rest of the Iceberg” by Robert Smith)

There’s nothing to say that if Junior Seau stayed retired after San Diego, then his life would have turned out different. His final years were played out in a melting pot of mediocre football and injury-riddled seasons with various teams. More years meant more hits. More hits meant more pain. More pain meant more strife for any one man to handle.

There will always be more to the story than we’ll know…..and more to the story that is none of our business.

As previous players come out of the woodworks and ink their name to a lawsuit against the NFL claiming, “deliberate omitting or concealing years of evidence linking concussions to long-term neurological problems” (ESPN.com). The Ledger is asking, “Why didn’t you quit?”

Robert Smith and Barry Sanders did.