Category Archives: NFL
Team I thought was not that good but turned out better than I thought?
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.
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.
Team I was waiting for to perform their standard second-half meltdown?
I predicted my team to lose the NFL’s season opener in New York last Wednesday.
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.
Team I had no clue about but now have a pretty good idea they will be good this season?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As a Dallas Cowboy fan, every year around this time I peruse the new schedule and guesstimate the team’s win-loss record. I’ve been doing it since I was eight years old.
Every year, sporting my silver and blue glasses, I average their record at no less than 10-6.
Never have I had the ‘Boys going less than 10-6. Never.
I’ve looked for opportunistic holes in the schedule. I’ve read between the lines. I even tried on a different pair of silver and blue glasses. But I can not for the life of me see 10-6 for the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.
My criteria was simple (and extremely speculative):
(1) The opponent, (2) Home or away, (3) Recent late game/season failures
Dallas is set up for complete failure at the behest of NFL ratings by opening up the season against the Giants in the Big Apple. There couldn’t be a bigger stage for Dallas to fall flat on their face. Plus, the game is on a Wednesday, which points to bad juju. (Loss, 0-1) ….. Jason Garrett rallies the troops against Pete Carroll’s Seattle Trojanshawks on the road (Win, 1-1) ….. The momentum continues as Tony Romo looks sharper than ever during their two-game home stand against Chicago (Win, 2-1) ….. and Tampa Bay (Win 3-1)….. Jerry Jones begins printing his own Superbowl tickets heading into the bye week.
This is where it gets ugly. Dallas plays four of their next five games on the road. They begin in Baltimore where Ray Lewis & Co. bring The ‘Boys back to reality in an ugly way (Loss, 3-2) ….. Humiliated and humbled, they head to Carolina and witness Super-über-QB Cam Newton have a career day passing & rushing against a shell-shocked defense (Loss, 3-3) ….. Just as Jerry begins to shred his Superbowl tickets, Dallas shocks the NFL & posts a win with a gutsy performance versus the N.Y. Giants at Jerry World (Win, 4-3) ….. Dallas finishes of the first half of the season against Atlanta. Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and Julio Jones are too much for an undermanned secondary. (Loss, 4-4)
The scheduling Gods have not been nice to the Cowboys at this point. They finish off their fourth road contest in five games at Philly. No brotherly love from Michael Vick though (Loss, 4-5) ….. Like clockwork, Jerry shifts into panic mode and threatens to fire everyone but himself & Romo. The gang responds with a solid win against Cleveland (Win, 5-5) ….. and turn around four days later for a come from behind Thanksgiving Day performance versus RG3 and the Redskins (Win, 6-5) ….. The Cowboys get lucky this time around against Philadelphia, as a predictably banged up Michael Vick is unable to suit up in Dallas, leaving a slight advantage for Dallas (Win, 7-5). All is well in Dallas as Jerry fires up the ticket printing machine once again.
With their head finally above water, quiet thoughts of playoffs and sugar plums are spinning in the locker room.
Except it’s December. If the last three years are any indication, Dallas could be playing a Texas high school football team in December and find a way to lose the game.
A resurgent Cincinnati confirms the ‘December Jinx’ as the Bengals play their worst game of the season, but Dallas gift-wraps the game with a series of late-game miscues (Loss, 7-6) ….. Garrett’s men limp home with hopes of turning the corner against long time nemesis Pittsburgh, but fall flat (Loss, 7-7) ….. There aren’t too many teams out there suffering through a worse season as Dallas, but the train-wreck organization in New Orleans is one of them. In a fun to watch no-defense game, Romo & Brees put on an aerial show never before seen at Cowboys Stadium (Win, 8-7) ….. Last game of the season. Dallas has a slim chance of making the playoffs if: (1) Three NFC teams ahead of Dallas lose, (2) Two other teams manage to tie 2-2, (3) Lightning strikes three times in the same place in a nine-second span, and (4) Jerry Jones steps down as General Manager.
Miraculously, the first three actually happen!
Well, we all know that will never happen. Washington, already eliminated from the playoffs, punks Dallas at FedEx Field (Loss, 8-8) ….. Cowboys get the 18th pick in the draft next year.
And all this coming from a Cowboy fan.
It wasn’t the best of news if you decided to read through this article, but it is as close to reality as we’ll see this season.
The schedule is unforgiving. The opponents are tough.
Three games against teams that played in the past two Super Bowls. Half of the opponents have been to the playoffs the past two years. Six of nine games on the road to begin the season, four of five road games during one stretch. Cold-weather games in Cincinnati and Washington in December.
The Ledger tried for 10-6 folks. Really, it did.