NFL 2014-15 End Of Regular Season Review

January 01, 2015 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

The 2014-15 NFL Season is over. What a crazy season it was. Off the field issues just dominated the news. Every time NFL fans turned on a sports channel, they hear about domestic violence, child abuse, and the like. NFL fans heard about investigations, debates over conduct policies. There were lively debates among pundits and fans on social media as to whether Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson should play. I thought ESPN turned into CNN .

Of course , there was some great playing on the field also. Let’s not forget that. There was also a bit of drama, much of it manufactured. The New England Patriots shook off a rocky start to the season, and wound up the #1 seed in the AFC. If my readers remember, after that Kansas City Chiefs game on Monday Night Football, ESPN’s Trent Dilfer said, “The New England Patriots are not good anymore.” “They’re weak.” All the pundits (NFL Network , all the ESPN shows, the Boston media) wanted Tom Brady benched. They said Brady was declining, and he should be traded. Again, the Patriots are the #1 seed.

Even the defending Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks got off to a somewhat rocky start. However, for the last five or six weeks, they’ve looked just as good as they ever had. QB Russ Wilson is awesome, and even HE had to deal with some manufactured drama. When WR Percy Harvin was traded to the Jets, there were some Seahawks players who were not happy with the move, namely Marshawn Lynch. Well, according to a Bleacher Report by Mike Freeman, there was fear that Harvin (who already was getting into fist fights with teammates) would start an anti-Wilson faction. The reason was because some of the black players thought Wilson was not “black enough.” ( I thought that it was ridiculous. Their defense wasn’t healthy at that point (they were 3-3), and they weren’t playing well. Now, they are, and look very formidable

The Cleveland Browns still manage to mess things up. They were fighting for their playoffs lives in week 15, and then they start Johnnie Manziel? I am stunned. From listening to Manziel’s remarks, and hearing Browns Owner reaction, it sounds like the Browns have a case of “buyer’s remorse.” Well, Manziel has a past as far as being a partier. Manziel partied hard in college, and had a penchant for being somewhat irresponsible. He got suspended in college for 1/2 a game because of signing autographs. He had character issues. Why does everyone think that Jameis Winston is likely going to fall on Draft Day? Why the Browns drafted Manziel, I don’t know.

Congratulations to the Dallas Cowboys on winning the NFC East. I’m glad to see that the team got the December monkey of their backs. I have always liked QB Tony Romo. I always felt that he was the scapegoat for the Cowboys going 8-8 or not doing well in the playoffs. Hey, he’s thrown bone headed INTs. However, all QBs have, but Romo can’t play defense. It’s very hard to blame all of the past failures on Romo when his team has had terrible defenses, offensive lines, and a meddling owner in Jerry Jones. However, with RB Demarco Murray’s incredible year, and the defense under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli coming together, less pressure was put on Romo. The team is much more balanced. We’ll see what happens in the playoffs this weekend.

Not all is bad in the AFC North, asthe division sent not one, not two, but three of its teams to the playoffs (sorry LeBron James ). The embattled Baltimore Ravens got the #6 seed as they beat the Cleveland Browns on Week 17, and got the needed help when the San Diego Chargers lost. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on Week 17 to win the AFC North Title. The two teams had secured playoff spots in the previous week (Steelers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Bengals upset the Denver Broncos.). All three teams play this week, but I find the accomplishment in and of itself awesome.

The AFC West was a one team division. The Denver Broncos showed their dominance. Yes, the Chargers started out great, but when they ran into tough teams (Patriots, Broncos), they fell apart. The Oakland Raiders were a mess, and Kansas City and their inconsistant play caused them to miss the playoffs altogether.

I want to discuss Denver and how they have been looking lately. When they played against the Rams, something didn’t look right. Peyton Manning didn’t appear to be the Peyton Manning I have come to know. I saw the Rams were hitting him and knocking him around, but something seems wrong. It was not just him. It was the entire team. They had a hard time with the hapless Raiders
The Broncos nearly lost to the Miami Dolphins at home. They lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football. I know they’re more physical on defense, and they are more of a complete team with C.J. Anderson as the bell cow RB. Peyton Manning is still the one driving the car, so to speak.

Of course, the day after the season ended was “Black Monday.” I dread this day. I may not like the team or the coaches, but I take no joy in seeing folks losing their jobs. Families are affected, and have to move. These coaches are human beings, after all. As a blogger, it is fascinating to see what the fired person and what the team do next, nonetheless.

The ax has fallen fast and furious. The New York Jets fired GM John Idzik and Head Coach Rex Ryan. The Jets owner should fire himself. What a joke of a press conference. Mr. Idzik should have been fired. Coach Ryan was hamstrung by decisions made by Idzik. The San Francisco 49ers and Head Coach Jim Harbaugh have mutually parted ways, and Harbaugh is now the Head Coach of the University of Michigan.

The Atlanta Falcons fired Head Coach Mike Smith. I think Smith’s clock mismanagement against the Cleveland Browns sealed his fate. The Chicago Bears fired Head Coach Mark Trestman and GM Phil Emory. The Bears also fired both the offensive and defensive coordinators. QB Jay Cutler may or may not be traded. Why he was given that contract, I don’t know. Jay Cutler is Jay Cutler. He will always attract folks with his physical skills and his huge arm. However, he doesn’t have the brain to be a great QB like Brady or Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers. Cutler never will. Anyway, the Bears are cleaning house. Doug Morrone of the Buffalo Bills just opted out of his contract, so the Bills need a new head coach.

I want to end this by saying that I hope that everyone at and all of you readers had a great holiday season. I want to wish everyone, especially my editor, Eric Gargiulo, a Happy New Year. If you are going out to celebrate, don’t drink and drive. That being said, I hope that 2015 will be a great year for everyone. Thank you for reading my blogs and I hope to have more in the new year.

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NFL 2014-15 Q2 Report and Review

October 30, 2014 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

It is that point in the 2014-15 NFL season, where the first eight weeks of the season are gone. It seems like September is a distant memory. We’re at the point where teams are starting to show what kind of teams they are. Fans and media types get a better picture of how teams will be, as far as a playoff run, and will also get to re-evaluate their earlier evaluation of teams and players, as perhaps some teams were not as good or as bad as first thought. So much has gone on this season on different teams, that it’s amazing that half the 2014-15 NFL Season is gone. As the band Bon Jovi would sing, “Whoooaaaaa. We’re halfway there, and there are some teams that are already, as the song continues, “living on a prayer.” (

During the first half of the 2014-15 NFL season, we saw teams being buried and resurrected (New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers) by the experts. Teams are being crowned Super Bowl Champion(s) prematurely (defending champion Seattle Seahawks, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos ). Some teams have their seasons by a thread, and will need a prayer (New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints). The 32 teams are at the half mile pole, and there are teams in big trouble already. The NFL is still working through the issues of domestic violence and child abuse. The so-called “independent” report has yet to come out. This season is just crazy.

In this blog, I will discuss the events of the first half of the 2014-15 NFL Season. In my previous blog, I did discuss the first quarter of the season. What I aim to do is to talk about more recent events, but I will discuss the entire first half. Again, I will discuss both the on and off the field activities, and the media coverage. I also will use the “Thumbs Up ” and ” Thumbs Down” literary device, like I used the last time. I hope my readers will enjoy the blog.



Before the season began, all the prognosticators were slamming the AFC North. I heard it from both ESPN and the NFL Network on how the Pittsburgh Steelers were going to be terrible. The experts said the Cincinnati Bengals were the only good team. I also heard about a guy named Johnny Manziel. I am sure my readers have also.

I hate to go Oprah Winfrey on my readers, but the Cincinnati Bengals have a winning record. The Baltimore Ravens have a winning record. The “old and slow” Pittsburgh Steelers have a winning record. The Cleveland Browns have a winning record. Everyone in the AFC North has a winning record.

Each team is within a game of one another. I have always loved this division. It’s the hardest hitting division in the NFL. Each team has had their troubles, but it looks like they’re starting to come to form.

Great performance by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger against the Indianapolis Colts. He threw for 6 TDs and 522 yards. He won AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 8. The Steelers were pretty shaky in the beginning. How do you lose to the hapless Tampa Bay Bucanners? However, despite all the attacks from the media, it looks like the team has righted the ship.

Browns QB Brian Hoyer has been doing a very good job. The team is 4-3. So far, there’s no need for Manziel. The Ravens started out a little shaky, and even though they just lost a heartbreaker to the Bengals, they’ve looked better. The Bengals concern me a little. They looked like world beaters for the first three weeks, and got killed by New England, and have been Jekyll and Hyde since. That’s a concern.

Tom Brady and The New England Patriots:

I said in my blog, “Defending Tom Brady,” that I had faith that he and the Patriots would get the team going in the right direction. I didn’t buy all the nonsense that was being said about him (washed up, no longer elite, put in Jimmy Garropolo (the backup), trade Brady) after that horrible loss at Arrowhead Stadium against the Kansas City Chiefs. I didn’t buy it from the experts at either networks. I didn’t buy it from fans, both non-fans and Patriot fans.

Well, I hate to say that I told you so, but I told you so. Brady has been playing out of his mind. It started with the Sunday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he threw 2 touchdowns. He hasn’t stopped since. What has also been helping Brady and the Patriots is star TE Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski is finally becoming healthy. He is becoming the red zone threat. TE Tim Wright is becoming a good target. He arrived very late into training camp as part of the trade for guard Logan Mankins. WR Brandon LaFell is becoming a viable target for Brady. On the other side of the ball, the defense has taken some hits. They lost LB Jerod Mayo for the season with a knee injury, and now DE Chandler Jones for 6 weeks, maybe longer, with a hip injury. However, CB Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner are doing well, as is Vince Wilfork. The team is 6-2.

Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers having MVP-like seasons.

I don’t have to say it, but everyone knows that Denver Broncos Peyton Manning is always in the running for the NFL MVP. Manning’s always had fantastic numbers, with the exception of his rookie season in 1998. He’s had great players during his illustrious career. He’s playing with amazing players now. Manning is playing at an awesome level, worthy of an MVP. He broke Brett Favre’s previous touchdown record of 509 on October 19, 2014 at home in Denver. Every touchdown Manning throws will just add to his total.

While I am not a huge fan of his, San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers is having an amazing year. For the first half of the season, Rivers is having an MVP type of season. He has 20 TDs to 5 interceptions. He has a 68.3 completion percentage. The team has virtually no running game, as several of their running backs are injured. Rivers is pretty much carrying the team on his shoulders.


The NFC SOUTH : Anyone want it?

The pundits, including me, thought the AFC EAST, was going to be horrible. Well, it’s looking like the NFC South will be walking away with the prize. Does anyone want the division? No one in that division has a winning record. No one looks like they’re even competitive.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a hodgepodge of players. They try hard, but have only been victorious once. That sole victory came against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who were asleep at the switch. The Atlanta Falcons can’t protect their QB. They can’t hold a lead, not even in London. The New Orleans Saints can’t bring their dome with them on the road. The Carolina Panthers have turned into Kitties lately. What a mess.

Dallas Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones:

This is more of a plea. I wish that Jerry Jones would not meddle so much. I understand that he would do anything to help his team win the Super Bowl. He just needs to chill. He needs to hire a GM. Now that QB Tony Romo is hurt, Jones had to jump in and be Superman. The Cowboys would be better off if their owner would let the people he hired do their jobs. I mean, he’s paying these people to coach and all.

The New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders :

Where do I begin with the hapless New York Jets? They’re 1-7. That’s not a typo. How does a team get this bad? They should have beaten the Green Bay Packers and the New England. I know that there is the belief that head coach Rex Ryan eventually will be fired. I don’t blame him so much as I blame GM John Idzik. I mean, drafting Geno Smith as QB, and signing the overrated Eric Decker? The secondary is a mess as well. The team has a money left as far as the salary cap, but it is hard to blame the team’s failure all on Rex Ryan, when the GM hasn’t given the man much to work with.

I also don’t know what to do about the Oakland Raiders. What on earth happened to the team that would give the Pittsburgh Steelers fits? Their motto is “Commitment to Excellence.” From watching this team play, I am wondering if these players should be committed. I am seriously wondering if this season’s Raiders will be a 0-16 team.

The Media:

Sometimes, I wish I would not watch either ESPN or NFL Network, even after my teams win. Some of what these prognosticators say just stun me. Before the game, they’ll say one thing, and after, they’ll say another. Sometimes, they’ll ignore a team, because the team is not one of the teams that is popular.

Why aren’t the Arizona Cardinals getting any attention? They’re leading the NFC West. I realize that QB Carson Palmer isn’t the man he used to be, but does it matter? They’re banged up defensively, and all, but they’ve been a good team, and they still have WR Larry Fitzgerald. I hardly ever hear a peep about this team.

It also sounds like certain members of the media have it out for certain players. I also feel that certain people in the media are going to say the predictable stuff they always say. On ESPN’ s PTI, this past week, Michael Wilbon was denouncing the Week 8 numbers that Saints QB Drew Brees, Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, and Patriot QB Tom Brady as “fake” and ” artificial,” because of the new rules (can’t his the QB and the WRs).

On the Monday after Peyton Manning broke Favre’s record, Mr. Wilbon spoke about how great Peyton Manning was, etc. Wilbon didn’t comment on how Manning’s numbers were “fake.” Manning is playing under the same rules as the aforementioned Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger. While Wilbon said that Brady, Brees and Roethlisberger were Hall of Famers, I didn’t see it necessary to call their numbers fake, and not Manning’s. Wilbon must have forgotten that it was his now ESPN colleague, Bill Pollian, who is responsible for these rules. Polian, while he was on the Competition Committee and was the GM of the Indianapolis Colts (Peyton Manning was the QB) , called for tightening rules on contact with wide receivers.

There’s also been some petty nonsense from ESPN ‘s Stephen A Smith, Jemele Hill, and a few others. These people have been trying to act as if the Patriots’ recent wins at home don’t count. Well, these same folks go bonkers over the Seattle Seahawks’ home field wins. Denver wins at home.

I mean, the Bengals came into Foxborough as the big favorites. The Bengals turned into the Bungles. The New York Jets gave the Patriots fits, but crashed. Chicago Bears came into Foxborough and had 3-1 road record, and were sent into hibernation. I mean, what’s their point? Should the Patriots have all their games on the road to please these people?

What is going on with the “independent ” investigation into the Ray Rice case, anyway? I have a feeling that this is going to dragged out till after the Super Bowl. I mean, the NFL can’t possibly have any kind of controversy during the season. After all, the NFL’S image must come first.

I know that Ray Rice has appealed his suspension and filed a grievance against the Baltimore Ravens, his former team. The NFL is trying to prevent NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell from testifying. It’s my understanding that it is highly likely that Rice will be reinstated. Again, I find this very disappointing. This whole situation was bungled from the get go. If TMZ was able to get the tape, the NFL should have been able to get it. Whether a team will take a chance on Rice, that’s up to them.

That’s my wrap up for the first eight weeks of the 2014-15 NFL Season. I hope that my readers enjoyed it. I hope that the next four games will be just as much fun. That is when you will be hearing from me again. Comments and feedback are welcome.

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NFL Week 17 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 31, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 17 in the National Football League!

– Tampa Bay closes out the 2012 regular season with a nice win against a not-so-competitive Atlanta Falcons team in Week 17. I’ve said it all season long and it’s only fitting that I say it again, Tampa is a good team and one that people should look out for in 2013. Really like what they accomplished this season, would’ve loved to seen them compete for a playoff spot in the final weeks.

– Not the way Atlanta wanted to end the regular season I’m sure but now they can look towards the playoffs and hope that the defensive injuries they suffered on Sunday aren’t that bad. Not sure what to think of this Falcons team heading into the playoffs but I’ll tell you this much, they don’t look like a #1 seed team.

– Buffalo has the right pieces as we saw in their win against the Jets in Week 17 but they need to fix some of their weaknesses (quarterback & head coach) before they can be competitive in the AFC East next season. Tough year for a team many people liked as a “sneaky pick” in the AFC.

– Perfect way to end the Jets regular season and if you thought their regular season was a circus act, wait till the offseason takes place. I believe it was Terrell Owens who once said: “get your popcorn ready.” I know I will.

– Sure Baltimore “mailed it in” during the Week 17 game but I really liked what I saw from the Bengals. Cincinnati kept their momentum going for the playoffs and I hope it helps them in postseason play this season. Amazing that a 6th seed could be the favorite over the 3rd seed in the playoffs but it may be possible for the Bengals.

– While I understand you want to rest your starters and save them for the playoffs, not sure if I agree with treating it like a preseason game in Week 17 especially for the Ravens. Baltimore has been so inconsistent lately that they needed to keep that good momentum going from their big win against the Giants in Week 16 and they didn’t, could hurt them versus Indianapolis next week.

– All season long I said the Bears were the best “smoke and mirrors” team in the NFL. Their record showed they were an “elite” team but when they played against “elite” teams they would be outclassed. Sure they got 10 wins and sure they won games when it counted at the end but they won’t be seeing any games past Week 17. I really wonder how this team will look in 2013.

– The Detroit Lions should’ve never been a 4 win team this season and a top 5 draft pick franchise going into the 2013 NFL Draft. Detroit is a better caliber team then they possessed all season long and if Jim Schwartz can’t get it done with this talent then it’s time to let him go. It will be a very interesting offseason for this franchise heading into 2013.

– Tennessee beat Jacksonville in Week 17 and there defense scored 4 times on Sunday. Good way to end this horrible season for the Titans and I wonder what there direction will be heading into 2013. Will CJ2K be back? I think he should.

– Congrats Jacksonville, prepare yourselves for “TebowMania!”

– The best story of the 2012 NFL season was Chuck Pagano beating cancer and the Indianapolis Colts making it into the playoffs. This team clearly got motivated by their cancer battling head coach and rallied behind his spirit to play another game past Week 17. Indianapolis can be that “very dangerous Football team” starting next week.

– This is not the way you should be entering the playoffs. Houston entered Week 17 with the #1 seed and walked out as the #3 seed. Instead of having home-field advantage and having a week off, they now will be stumbling against the Bengals in the Wild Card round (again). I wonder if this team will ever be able to put it together when it matters the most.

– Extremely strong way for the Panthers to finish their season as they won 5 of their last 6 games, including 4 straight games and finished the season 7-9. It appeared that Cam Newton was a “late bloomer” this season as it took him some time to get back to the way he played his rookie season. Carolina is once again a team to look out for in 2013.

– Overall this is a very disappointing season for the New Orleans Saints. They entered the year with a ton of controversy due in-part to “bountygate,” but were still considered by many as a NFC “elite” team. Instead New Orleans struggled all season long, finished 7-9 and missed the playoffs. It was a very tough season for the NOLA.

– The most disappointing team in the 2012 NFL season may be the defending Super Bowl Champion, New York Football Giants. New York gets huge victories over San Francisco & Green Bay, was at one point 6-2 on the season and then finished the year 3-5 to miss the playoffs. The Giants looked like an “elite” team at multiple points in the season even to the extent that they were considered the best team in the NFL and now they will be watching the playoffs from home. They should be very thankful they share the same city with the New York Jets!

– What is there to say about the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles season that hasn’t already been said before? Tough year and it’s time to move on from this current era. How this franchise handles this offseason could be very telling for seasons to come in Philadelphia. Since the “dream team” moniker was self-given to them, the Eagles have gone 12-20 in both seasons, pretty sure that’s a nightmare Vince Young.

– Steelers get the win in Week 17 and mercifully end their 2012 regular season. This isn’t what Pittsburgh was hoping for and now there will be many offseason questions to deal with. Similar to their in-state rival Philadelphia Eagles, there will be a lot of changes this offseason that will dictate the future of this franchise for years to come.

– Cleveland has a lot to work on for sometime and I hope the next person to run this franchise can get them onto some winning ways. There is definitely talent to build on in Cleveland; it just comes down to what this franchise does to put around some potentially young franchise players.

– If you’ve read this blog throughout the season then you know I’ve been very leery of the Denver Broncos. Their lack of schedule strength bothered me when it comes to them playing in the playoffs but I’m starting to turn the corner on it not affecting them after all. The Broncos could very well be the AFC representation in Super Bowl 47 right now. A lot is “clicking” at the right time for Denver.

– Congrats to Kansas City on winning the #1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Now the real question is whether or not they draft Geno Smith to be their quarterback. Personally I think that could be a huge mistake but they have plenty of time to think that over now.

– At one point it looked like the Patriots would have to play in the Wild Card round as the three seed but now they can sit at home next week and rest up for the Divisional Round. A well rested Patriots team is of course, a very dangerous playoff team. It almost seems like it’s too good to be true that we could get Denver (Peyton) vs. New England (Brady) in the AFC Championship Game again.

– I’m sure this isn’t the way Miami wanted to end their season but I do think this team is headed into the right direction right now. A couple moves in the offseason could have them competing for Wild Card playoff spots next year.

– Thanks for the memories Norv Turner. I will miss writing about you and wondering if you will be fired…every…regular…season. I have been doing these blogs for Camel Clutch Blog now for (I believe to be) 4 seasons, so that tells you how I long I’ve speculated Norv would be let go.

– The Raiders have taken steps forward the last couple years and now they have taken, yet again, dramatic steps back. I don’t know when this franchise can be turned around because right now it really looks bleak.

– Congrats to the San Francisco 49ers on winning the NFC West and getting the #2 seed in the NFC. In my opinion this team is the #1 seed in the NFC and I really like their chances to make Super Bowl 47 this season. When you have a really good defense and an offense that keeps getting better, good things will happen.

– Dear Arizona Cardinals, you know what to do during the offseason. Go get yourself a quarterback, you know, a real quarterback or you will have a very upset franchise wide receiver named Larry Fitzgerald. Sincerely yours, common sense.

– The Seahawks get the victory but I’m not sure it’s the way they wanted to head into the playoffs. Seattle struggled for most of this game and didn’t look as dominant as they have been in recent weeks. The Seahawks will still be a tough team to beat come playoff time but I wonder if they are losing their “luster” a bit, it’s something to definitely keep an eye on next week versus Washington in the Wild Card round.

– The St. Louis Rams really ended this 2012 regular season very strong. They were competitive against really good teams in their division, San Francisco & Seattle (even getting a big win against the 49ers this year) and they are improving heading into 2013. The defense is young and very talented but their offense seems to be lacking at the moment. I really hope Sam Bradford can be “the guy” for this St. Louis team in 2013 because I really like what I am seeing from the Rams right now.

– What a miracle season for the Minnesota Vikings in 2012. Nobody and I mean NOBODY saw this team as a playoff team, let alone a playoff contender this year. If you were like me you probably saw them as the last-place team in the NFC North. Well now they take on Green Bay in the Wild Card round and have nothing to lose because they weren’t “supposed to be there.” Oh and dear NFL, don’t forget to give Adrian Peterson the NFL MVP award this season!

– I’m sure this isn’t the way Green Bay wanted to end their season but not getting a first-round bye may be what this team needs. In 2010 they had no first-round bye and won the Super Bowl. In 2011 they had a first-round bye and got crushed in the divisional round. The Packers will be healthy against the Vikings, know what they need to do to stop Minnesota and will thankfully be home in a playoff game. I still like the Packers as a “quiet” pick right now in the NFC.

– Add Washington to the list of Indianapolis and Minnesota as surprise teams making the playoffs in 2012. Weeks ago this team was “left for dead” by their own head coach and now they are the 2012 NFC East division champions. No telling what this team can do come playoff time because like the Vikings, they “weren’t supposed to be here.” It’s the playoffs and as we have learned the last two seasons, anyone can win the Super Bowl.

– It almost seems fitting that Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys end their season like this. I really wonder how this team will look on Week 1 in 2013. A lot of major changes could be coming the way of this Dallas Cowboys franchise.

– Many thanks to you the reader and of course Eric Gargiulo for allowing me to blog after every week throughout the 2012 NFL regular season. It’s a job I have enjoyed here since 2009 and am glad to have another regular season under my belt. Stay tuned for my Wild Card predictions blog later this week and my Wild Card round thoughts blog a week from today!

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

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NFL Week 16 Thoughts & Recap – Inside The Wheelhouse

December 24, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Let’s take a look back at some of the things that stood out from Week 16 in the National Football League!

– Congrats to the Falcons on clinching the #1 seed in the NFC and having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Personally, I believe while it’s a tremendous feat, they may be the weakest #1 seed in the NFL playoffs in some time. Their passing offense is great but their run game and defense can be shaky depending on the week. Let’s see if the ATL can make me eat my words yet again this season.

– Congrats to Calvin Johnson on breaking Jerry Rice’s single-season receiving record! Can we now say that the “Madden Curse” is done?

– Quietly, the Green Bay Packers are continuing to emerge in the NFC. While it is the Titans, they kept the momentum going throughout this one. Things are getting interesting for the Pack…

– At least the Titans put 7 points on the board and weren’t shut out…right?

– New Orleans gets to play spoiler against Dallas and can at least have a .500 record should they win next week. Nice to see the Saints giving it a shot and being competitive with nothing left to play for.

– What are the Cowboys doing!? They need to win these games and they are going through the same problem they always have this time of the year. Next week will be very interesting as the Cowboys will play for the NFC East division crown in Week 17 for the 2nd straight season.

– Congrats to the Indianapolis Colts on clinching a playoff berth this week. Better yet, Chuck Pagano will be returning to this playoff team very soon. Great story this year in the National Football League, I love that Chuck Pagano and the Colts are proving anyone can beat the odds.

– One more loss and the Chiefs clinch the #1 overall pick!

– Well at least Miami has a chance at a .500 season next week; they could be a sneaky pick in the NFC East next season.

– Buffalo needs to fire Chan Gailey at the end of the season.

– San Diego beats the New York Jets in Week 16; this is monumental because it could be Norv Turner’s last win as the Chargers head coach.

– So Tim Tebow gets flack for telling the coaching staff to not put him in the “Wildcat formation” after he was passed over for the 3rd string quarterback and people are complaining? Tebow has been a good solider for this Jets team all season long and when we look back on his tenure with this team the Jets could’ve really affected his NFL playing career based off of the way they handled him. He gets brought along basically to sell seats and not play, yet people have a problem with him removing himself from the “wildcat!?” C’mon man.

– Big win for the Redskins and they keep on rolling. It’s all on the line in Week 17 for them as they take on Dallas for the NFC East crown. The playoffs begin (and could end) next week for the ‘Skins.

– Fitting way for Andy Reid’s potentially last home game as the head coach of the Eagles to end like that.

– How about the Cincinnati Bengals this season? They force Roethlisberger to make a crucial interception in the final minute of the game, make a huge offensive play to set up the field goal and win it. That was a franchise achieving moment for the Bengals and their fans to knock out their rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

– I wonder if we could see any changes in the offseason to this Steelers team. They are getting older, the window is getting smaller and the coaches may not be gelling. Interesting times for this Steelers franchise and it could’ve been prevented had they won today.

– St. Louis is quietly ending their season very strong right now. This is another team that could enter 2013 as a surprise team in the NFC West. With the exception of Sam Bradford (the jury is still out on him), I like what is going in St. Louis.

– Tough to see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to end their season like this. Really had high hopes for them at the midway point of the season.

– Carolina beats Oakland and this Panthers team continues to play well at the wrong point in the season. At least someone is probably keeping their job in Carolina, for now.

– Want to know how bad the Raiders are? Matt Leinart was the backup after Carson Palmer got hurt. How come they just didn’t bring Terrelle Pryor in to see what they got?

– A win-is-a-win but New England cannot be playing like this with less then two weeks to go until the playoffs. They played shaky against San Francisco last week and lost. They played shaky this week and almost lost. Hopefully it’s just a bad stretch for the Patriots so they can get it out of their system now and not in the Playoffs.

– If Jacksonville beat New England with Chad Henne as the Quarterback in Week 16 would that have saved him from the (rumored) incoming “TebowMania” next season?

– Minnesota needed this win and they got it. The Vikings are stepping up at the right time and didn’t need Adrian Peterson to pile on the rushing yards to do it. They win next week and they are in, it’s that simple.

– Houston is playing extremely sloppy at the wrong point in the season. It amazes me that they still have a chance at a First-Round bye next week.

– Denver is the only consistent team in the AFC right now and it’s coming at the right time with the playoffs nearing. I just hope that the Broncos weak schedule doesn’t come back to haunt them like it did for New England last season.

– Who saw the Cleveland Browns having 5 wins this season? They have a chance at 6 next week and amongst Browns fans that would be overachieving.

– Well they may have been struggling lately but they got a crucial win in Week 16 against Arizona. Lovie’s job as head coach is safe for at least this week; if they fail to beat Detroit in Week 17 or make the playoffs then it could be franchise-changing times in Chicago.

– Arizona really needs a quarterback and I don’t think Alex Smith or Mark Sanchez is the answer.

– All of us left the Ravens for “dead” and got proven wrong in Week 16. This is the type of win a team needs at this point in the season when they have been struggling and the Ravens got it. I still am not a huge believer in their playoffs chances but the win was really encouraging.

– I cannot believe there is a large probability that the Giants don’t make the playoffs this season. At times they have played like the best team in the league and in recent weeks they have been extremely inconsistent. The defending Super Bowl Champions need A LOT of things to happen next week, including for them to defeat Philadelphia of course, for them to make the playoffs.

– The Seattle Seahawks are proving to the NFL that they may just be the team to beat come January. What a huge win for the Seahawks against one of the best teams in the league, the San Francisco 49ers. This team is gaining momentum at the right time and we all know what that means come playoff time…

– Injuries and inconsistency in the last 6 quarters could be coming to haunt the Niners at the wrong time in the season. The fact that they may not have a first-round bye in the playoffs is extremely surprising and it’s possible that this team could be underachieving. Hopefully that changes once January hits.

For more NFL talk join Bower, Chris Johnson and myself Monday – Friday throughout the Football season on 97.9 ESPN in Hartford, ESPN 1300 in New Haven and online at!

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Fantasy Football Start Em Sit Em Week 10

November 08, 2012 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Welcome back owners. Here we are back for Week 10 of the NFL season, and wow, what a wild week we had for Week 9. Explosive days by many stars like Doug Martin, Adrian Peterson, Brandon Marshall and yes that Bears defense made some owners numbers boom! However some of us had to be on the losing end of those numbers. How about the days turned in by the Eli Mannings or Jamaal Charles? Well I fell prey to some of it, where in one league my whopping 166 points was still not enough to out do my opponent who posted a cool 173, topped by DeSean Jackson and only his second TD of the year! Hey, it happens.

Well back to the really good news where your good friend, The Shark had a really nice week. I am 3-1 in my 4 leagues and a cool season overall record of 22-14. Now while I am not perfect I am playing strong ball, and am in the top 3 in points in all 4 of those leagues. Yes, you can ignore my information, or you can read it and gain some success. I am here to hand out some recommendations, help you on your journey and try and help you towards a playoff position. It is a dog eat dog world out there friends, so you can’t expect to ask your friends who are in the same league for help now can you?

As Election Day came and went we saw our president re-elected and the country can now go back to normal. All the hype and argument over government can now take a back seat. We are back to Fantasy Football, the time is here as we are into the double digit weeks and the playoffs are coming really soon! I will keep up with the new format and give you 5 recommendations, which is more than my usual 3. Many of my picks had big weeks last week, so let’s see what I got for Week 10. As always good luck, the season is closing in to its end.



Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: In a game that may light up the skies like July 4th, you can expect Ryan to do plenty. He does great indoors and has plenty of weapons. His 17 TDs are 4th best in the league. Big money week expected here.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars: Although being compared to Peyton Manning is hardly fair for anyone, Luck has been shining of late. In his last 3 weeks he has passed for close to 1,000 yards and has accounted for 5 total TD’s. The Jaguars post a very appealing match up.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The Steelers are finding a groove at the right time and this Monday Night match should favor them plenty. The Chiefs 17 TD passes allowed are the 4th most generous in the NFL, so get Ben out there, and watch offensive coordinator Todd Haley roast his former team.

Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: Until further notice I am going to recommend Freeman. Last 4 weeks? Oh just 11 TDs to just 1 INT. The Chargers allow 238 yards per week and have surrendered 12 TDs. They also play the run decent, so we may not see another Doug Martin super show.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: I know I hate to go obvious, but this one is too good. After roasting them in Buffalo a few weeks back he now gets them at home. Brady is a constant starter, but you don’t ignore starts this good to print.


Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens: Despite a real nice week by Palmer last week, this is not the place to try him again. The Ravens give up the fewest pass TDs and also have been tough in yards allowed. Also with Darren McFadden out, they lose a top decoy. Scary match here.

Mark Sanchez, New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks: The Hawks are 4-0 at home, and flat out hard to beat there. Head coach Pete Carroll must be extra excited to see his former college QB turned NFL enigma this week. The Jets offense is horrid right now. Aaron Rodgers is a better start and he is on a bye.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: Marcus Vick will be busy again on Twitter this week as he watches a decent Cowboy pass rush face the terrible Eagles offensive line. The Cowboys have done well against the pass allowing just 7 TDs, including holding Matt Ryan to 1 in Atlanta. Get ready Philly boo-birds, you will be busy again this week.

Eli Manning, New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals: I hate to say it, but Manning has thrown just 2 TDs in 4 weeks! The man who they call the most clutch QB in the league is in trouble, then again find me a November when he isn’t. I know the Bengals aren’t great, but Eli is making me quiver right now.

Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers allow just 174 yards per game against the pass, so why trust one of the worst offenses here? You will be better served with guys like Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Alex Smith, all of which are most likely available.

Running Back


Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: The defense that allowed Doug Martin to scamper for 251 yards last week will now have to face an even better back in Ray Rice. Get your ice packs ready, it could be a long day. The pass offense has been cold lately for the Ravens, so Rice should be real active.

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: Yes the Lions are improved, but not as much as Peterson is. He usually runs well against them and is coming off of a stellar game last week in which he ran for 182 yards and 2 TDs against a very good Seahawks defense. His nickname is All Day, and you will see that this week.

Reggie Bush, Miami Dolphins vs. Tennessee Titans: The Titans are allowing 4.4 yards per carry, one of the highest totals in the league, and Reggie looked like the Bush of old last week with ankle breaking moves and a nice TD. Come on Dolphins, this guy is your most talented player, use him and stop making me look foolish.

Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers vs. St. Louis Rams: He usually handles them well, and is at home. Gore has had a better year than many expected and is in the top 10 in rushing, and has a whopping 5.5 yards per carry, against a Rams defense that allows 4.6 per. The Rams pass defense is actually decent, so expect some serious ground work here.

Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills: The numbers are terrifying. The Bills are dead last in yards allowed at a crazy 5.7 yards per carry. While Tom Brady should do a lot, expect Ridley to also get his share. The Bills probably couldn’t stop a kicker if he ran the ball right now.


Ryan Matthews, San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs remain stingy against the run, and Matthews is watching a bunch of wants was backs steal his carries. He is not near what many of us hoped when grabbing him within the first 3 rounds this year. Tough match up that you should avoid here.

Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins: No, I am not living under a rock, and I saw that Johnson’s has improved greatly over the last 4 weeks. My problem here is 2 things: A) The Dolphins are second best in the NFL with just 3.6 yards per carry allowed and B) For some unknown reason the Titans are going back to Jake Locker at QB. Locker is not Hasselback, so defenses can focus more on the run. Johnson will have a tough road this week.

Matt Forte, Chicago Bears vs. Houston Texans: A bit of a stretch here but numbers say it all. The Texans have not allowed a rushing TD all year and just 84 yards per game. While Forte runs hard and can wear teams down, the Bears may look to throw more, and also share the load with Michael Bush to try and soften this tough defense. It could be a long day for both backs, and many of you may need Forte, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I can’t see starting any Chief, even the best Chief. The Steelers defense has improved, and Peyton Hillis is stealing more and more time from Charles. Just not worth it here.

Fred Jackson, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Despite 14 touches he could only get 36 yards last week, and the Patriots run defense has been tough. This Bills team will need to get more familiar with CJ Spiller if they hope to move forward. Jackson is always a decent option to catch some passes, but he looks to be slowing down of late.

Wide Receiver


Vincent Jackson, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. San Diego Chargers: You know he is begging for this game here. After years of turmoil and contract nonsense in San Diego, Jackson now gets a crack at his old mates. 4 TDs in the last 4 weeks is not bad either. He will need to be busier than his 4 catches in the last 2 weeks however, but I like his chances.

Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints: Jones is the Atlanta Falcons WR luggage because he travels so very well. While Roddy White owns home, Jones does the road. 5 TDs this year, all on the road, and can easily make that number 7 with a pair this week. Next home game however, well that’s Roddy’s turn to shine.

A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals vs. New York Giants: Some teams have that guy you play no matter what, and Green is one of them. Over his last 4 games he has 5 TDs on 24 catches, and is becoming one of the best WR in all the league. Bank on a good game here from him.

Andre Johnson, Houston Texans at Chicago Bears: Rumor has it that Charles Tillman may not play due to the birth of his child, and that means Johnson will face a lesser CB. He has come back, quietly over the last 3 weeks in which we saw him grab 26 passes. He needs to find the end zone more to pay dividends for fantasy, and this may be his week. Running will be tough, so QB Matt Schaub will have to prove he can be a Super Bowl caliper QB here.

Eric Decker, Denver Broncos at Carolina Panthers: Once Peyton Manning starts to love a WR, you go with him. He’s got 6 TDs in the last 4 weeks with 22 catches for 261 yards. Decker is now the go to guy for TDs here, and he should be for you too.


Michael Crabtree, San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams: Many think he is a guy you roll with now, but this defense plays tough against WRs. Crabtree has never been real consistent and he has too many people to try and compete with for the ball here.

Percy Harvin, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions: An ankle injury may force Harvin out of the week 10 game against the Lions, and even if it doesn’t he will be hard to trust.

Danny Amendola, St Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers: Yes he will be back, and he is a guy to go to down the stretch, but not here against a very tough 49ers defense. I know that someone will have to score here, but let Amendola get his legs back before you jump on his bandwagon.

Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Although the Eagles have been had of late, Bryant and his bad hip are scary here. He still only has 2 TDs this year and they came in one game. His iffy hands also make him a tough bet here.

Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I just figured I would finish the Chiefs hat trick here, go about your business.

Tight End


Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles: Becoming more and more involved and Jimmy Graham roasted this defense last week.

Scott Chandler, Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots: Well the Bills will get some points at least, and Chandler got them for 2 TDs the last meeting.

Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos: If Cam Newton can remember how to complete some big time passes, this can be his go to guy. The Broncos defense has been decent but struggles against TEs of late. It’s a roll of the dice, but may pay off.


Dennis Pitta, Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders: Remember when Pitta was good, and the Ravens passed a lot? Me either.

Brent Celek, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys: He looks slow and isn’t making big catches right now. Keep him on the bench.

Defenses I like this week:

Baltimore Ravens vs. Oakland Raiders

Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

New England Patriots vs. Buffalo Bills

San Francisco 49ers vs. St Louis Rams

Defenses I don’t like this week:

San Diego Chargers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers

Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons

Waiver Wire: With some tough injuries and new faces coming in, here is your chance to grab a nice late season gem. Oh and cheers to the end of the bye week!

Marcel Reece, RB, Oakland Raiders: Although he has not carried the ball this year, he is very active in the passing game, and with Darren McFadden and Mike Goodsen expected to miss this week he is a nice flex play.

Taiwan Jones, RB, Oakland Raiders: Tough call as to who carries the load here, but Jones is the speed to Reece’s bull. He has barely played this season, but this guy may be in line for some playing time soon. What he does with it is any one’s guess.

Chris Ivory, RB, New Orleans Saints: A busy backfield but it lacks super talent. With Darren Sproles out with injury, Ivory finally got his shot and carried 10 times for 48 yards and a TD. He is a back with the best mix of speed, hands and power the Saints have.

Danario Alexander, WR, San Diego Chargers: Any option is needed here. He has more speed than Malcolm Floyd, and showed nice flashes in his first action last week.

Dallas Cowboys Defense: Not sure if they are free in your league, but if they are grab them against a generous Eagles offense.

Well here is Week 10 folks, go out there and make me proud!

I have now joined Twitter, so if you would like to ask any questions or need any advice feel free to reach out to my personal account, @JPshark71.

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NFL 2012-13 Season Quarter Report

October 05, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

harrison smithThe run for the Lombardi Trophy is underway. The proverbial starting gate has been sprung open, and the 32 NFL teams are fighting for position. As it is said in the NFL, the season is a marathon and not a sprint. A team can not win the Super Bowl in four games, but an early loss can come back to haunt the team later when it comes down the stretch for playoff positioning.

There are 12 more games to go, and the NFL is at the quarter pole. Of course, my being a horse racing fan, I am going to use a little horse racing jargon. I can’t help myself.

The race to the Super Bowl to me is like the Kentucky Derby. After all, there is all the pomp and circumstance with both events, etc. As the Derby is 1 1/4 miles and starts at the top of the stretch, I would say at this juncture, the 32 NFL teams would be “passing the stands for the first time,” as many racing announcers have said about the bum rush of horses going for the first turn to try to get position.

In this blog, I will not be discussing all 32 teams and their situations. What will be discussed are several general observations that I have made over the course of the first four games. I will talk about specific players and teams, but I won’t cover every one. I will even talk about how the press, especially ESPN, has handled certain matters.

I hope you will enjoy this.

1. The Labor conflict between the referees and the NFL

I am one who believes the refs (in all sports) should be seen and not heard. In other words, if there is a penalty, just call it and go away. I never could stand it when refs, especially MLB Umpires made themselves more important than the players fans paid good money to see.

What I thought was disappointing was that the deal that was eventually signed possibly could have been done months ago. Why did the OWNERS (who Roger Goodell works for) dig into their positions like they did? Why did Cowboys owner Jerry Jones play, “See No Evil. Speak No Evil. Hear No Evil?” when it came to the substitute referees? It didn’t take a genius to figure out those people were in over their heads.

Sadly, each week, ESPN and NFL Network talked more about the referees than the games. Of course, it took the Green Bay Packers to get screwed out of a win on Monday Night Football, and ESPN to go nuts for the NFL to negotiate the deal.

2. The constant love affair with “America’s Team” has to end.

I am going to be honest. I have always hated the Dallas Cowboys. I never liked them. My dislike for them stems for my dislike of just about any sports team that emanates from the state of Texas, particularly Dallas. The main reason is because of the events of November 22, 1963 when then President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and then Governor John Connally was wounded.

The other major reasons for my hating the Cowboys are the media’s constant fawning over them, and people calling them, “America’s Team.” Since when did everyone in the United States pick this team to represent the NFL? I hate the big star on the helmet. I could not stand Roger Staubach and his perfect teeth. I could not stand Staubach’s perfect little image. The Triplets of the 90’s, especially wide receiver Michael Irvin, made me sick.

Now I have to put up with ESPN being in love with Tony Romo who tries to play QB. At least Troy Aikman and Staubach had talent, and won some hardware.

ESPN is going bonkers over the years over a franchise that has won ONE playoff game since 1996. I mean, let’s get real. In Week One of this year, when the Cowboys beat the defending Super Bowl Champions New York Giants, everyone on ESPN were ready to hand the Lombardi to Jerry Jones and his gang. Of course, the Cowboys came back to earth when they got their butts beat by the Seahawks.

Now that the Chicago Bears mauled Romo and the Cowboys, people are jumping on Romo, and blaming him for the loss. While his 5 interceptions did not help, Romo is not the sole problem.

I am not going to go into the details of the game. I just want to say that every time the Cowboys run into trouble, ESPN and other outlets come to the same conclusion that I do. The team has talent, but the head coach is not allowed to be the head coach. There is someone else who is backseat driving so to speak. He is the owner and GM of the team, and that person is Jerry Jones.

My point is that people should stop going nuts when it comes to the Cowboys. Year after year, the song remains the same. Until Jerry Jones decides to relinquish some of the control, it is not going to be any different.

3. New York Jets fans deserve better than what they are getting.

When I lived in New Jersey for the first 29 years of my life, I followed two teams. Those teams were the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Giants. I started following the New England Patriots way later.

Anyway, I absolutely did NOT like the Jets. I thought the team and a lot of their coaches were a bunch of loudmouths. That head coach Rich Kotite got on my nerves. I couldn’t stand this one particular Jets player, Mark Gastineau. Oh man. He was such a loud mouth. He was so annoying.

Fast forward to today, and I still can’t stand the Jets. The same reasons apply, and their current head coach Rex Ryan is always good for a quote. He loves to antagonize Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Ryan’s obsession with the Patriots is a bit over the top.

I am going to defend their fan base. They are vocal, rowdy, but are very loyal. The last time the New York Jets were in the winner’s circle with the proverbial blanket of roses and holding up that Lombardi Trophy was at Super Bowl 3 in 1969 with Joe Namath at QB.

They have been to playoffs under Bill Parcells, and recently Rex Ryan. However, the team has yet to be in the Super Bowl, no less win it.

During the first four weeks of this season, I cannot help but feel bad for Jets fans. During the preseason, there was always some sort of distraction. Owner Woody Johnson said that he did not want his team described as a “circus.” Well, unfortunately for him, this is what the first four weeks are shaping up to be for his team.

In the first week, the Jets blew out their AFC East rival, the Buffalo Bills. In the second week, the Steelers destroyed them. The Jets just squeaked by AFC East rival Miami Dolphins in Week three and this past week, they were pulverized by the San Fransisco 49ers. In the process, they lost star WR Santonio Holmes to a LisFranc injury and star DB Darrelle Revis to a torn ACL for the year.

The problem with the team is that their once good defense has been compromised due to Revis’ injury. The team, as shown in the pre-season, has barely any offense. With Holmes’ injury, the offense is even worse. Sanchez has not progressed from last year to this year. At this point, he should be improving.

I am not a fan of Tebow as a player, but perhaps he should get a shot.

My point is that Jets fans deserve way better than this. Fans saw some of their players being very rude to reporters after last season. Bart Scott this year had some media ban. Mr. Scott’s production has not been all that since coming to the Jets. Scott had that first year with the Jets that was good, but has declined since. I guess that one hit to Ben Roethlisberger is the only thing he will be known for.

Woody Johnson said he didn’t want a circus? Well why did he give Mark Sanchez a new contract only then to trade for Tim Tebow? He could not have been that naive. Was Johnson under a rock last season when for 8 weeks all the media could talk about was Tebow? When Tebow went shirtless, why was he surprised at all the media?

If Johnson didn’t want his team to be a circus, he should not have said he would rather have a Mitt Romney presidency than a winning Jets season. If I were a Jets fan, I would have been annoyed. I don’t want to hear his politics. I want him to run the team so it is a winning team. That is his job.

Jets fans deserve way better. They deserve a team that has mentally functioning players who can play. They deserve responsible ownership and leadership of the team. They are not getting either.

4. Some rather unexpected things in the NFL.

This blog will end with some unexpected things in the NFL thus far.

How about the Vikings being 3-1? I did not see this coming. I know it is any given Sunday, but wow. It is also great to see Adrian Peterson back so soon after the torn ACL as well.

Elite QBs such as Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, and Aaron Rodgers are leading teams that are .500 or worse. It is a bit shocking to say the least. I am still a little stunned that Drew Brees is leading a Saints team that is 0-4. It’s a little upside down at the moment. However, I expect all these great QBs to turn everything right side up. With the exception of possibly Drew Brees, I suspect all of them will be in the playoffs as well.

Well, that is the end of my blog. As of this writing, the Arizona Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams are about to kick off Week 5 which starts the next quarter of the season.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Ranking The Top 30 NFL Quarterbacks – 2012 Preseason Edition

July 17, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Peyton ManningSince it is the off-season for the NFL, the “experts,” and bloggers like myself are coming up with items like lists, and power rankings. Even former NFL players who one would think would know something about the game make somewhat questionable statements, like former Giant receiver Amani Toomer did when he said that Dallas QB Tony Romo is a better quarterback than Giants QB Eli Manning.

I am guessing Mr.Toomer wants to be like former Giants teammate, the disgruntled RB Tiki Barber, and make controversial statements just to hear himself talk. Then again, I don’t remember Toomer getting a Super Bowl ring being on the same team as Tony Romo. I thought it was Eli Manning who led that magnificent 4th Quarter comeback in Super Bowl 42, and threw the winning touch down to Plaxico Burress. That team was the Giants, which Toomer was on, not the Cowboys. It is not nice to bit the hand that feeds you, Mr. Toomer.

In speaking of quarterbacks, and rankings and such, ESPN’s Ron Jaworski, or “Jaws,” as he is call, has been doing his “Top 30 QB Rankings.” He picked 30 QBs in the NFL, and ranked according to skill, talent, past performance, and how they perform, and future performance, etc. I don’t agree with some of his slotting, let’s say that. On NFL Network, they showed their “100 Top Players 2012,” as voted by the players. I realize other positions were involved, but some QBs were slotted in some odd positions, and I will leave it at that as that could be a blog in, and of itself.

Well, what I will be doing in this blog is do my own ranking of the current QBs in the NFL. I will pretty much do what Mr. Jarworski did, and take 30 QBs in the league and rank them. The criteria I will be using is pretty simple: performance from last season, their overall career performance, how I see their performance in the future, and my eyeball test. What I mean by the “eyeball test,” is that I will be judging them for how well they work the QB position, for example things such as manipulating the pocket, and the QB’s mechanics, etc.

What I will be doing in this blog is that I will mention the ranking number, the name of QB, the team, and a line or two about why I ranked the QB the way I did. I hope that sounds easy enough.

Ready for yet, ANOTHER list to fight over? Here we go:

Unranked Players:

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts: The reason should be obvious, as Luck is a rookie. He was great at Stanford, but he is going to be playing in the pros.

Robert Griffith III, Washington Redskins: Griffith is in the same category as Luck.

My Top 30 NFL Quarterbacks Rankings are as follows:

30. Blaine Gabbert, Jacksonville Jaguars:

I understood he played for Jacksonville, and he was a rookie, but he was a total mess. I watched him on several occasions, and he looked like someone who didn’t know how to play football. He fumbled 14 times, which was the most in the league by a QB. He had the second worse completion percentage for a QB throwing 200 passes. This guy better get on the ball.

29. Tim Tebow, New York Jets:

If Tim Tebow’s biggest mark, ESPN First Take’s Skip Bayless reads this, I am sure he will have a cow, but I could care less. I nearly ranked Tebow last. Tebow just can not throw the football. He has terrible mechanics for the professional level. He got away with them in Florida, but this is the big time. He can’t read a defense to save his life. If things break down, he runs off. Anyway, he is now with the New York Jets. I don’t know what he is going to do in that circus, but perhaps he should sit, and learn from Sanchez. I do see him being used in some capacity, however. If he gets to play, and is patient, he can be a decent player.

28. Colt McCoy, Cleveland Browns: The Cleveland Browns QB was a mess. McCoy did not have all that much of a season, as the team had no offense. I mean, Josh Cribbs was really all they had. To beef up the QB position, the team drafted that 28 year old Brandon Weedon who will likely be the starter. I don’t think McCoy is going to be a top guy in the NFL anyway. He always seemed lost out on the field.

27. Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins:

Matt Moore was just passable in his play with the Dolphins. I didn’t see anything all that great with him when he took over for Chad Henne. The Dolphins brought in veteran QB David Garrad , formerly with the Jaguars, and drafted Ryan Tannehill in this year’s NFL Draft, so I don’t see how much of a future he has as a starter in the NFL.

26. Matt Cassel, Kansas City Chiefs

Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs had a horrendous year. He had an awful year as a player, and wound up on the IR due to injury also. Honestly, I was never really sold on Cassel as a top level QB. He had the one good year in New England when Tom Brady got hurt, but that may have been due to the fact that he was handed the keys to the proverbial Mercedes, and was told not to wreck it. However, he did make a Pro Bowl, and the Chiefs did make the playoffs, so maybe last year was just a bad year. Just about all the heavy hitters on the Chiefs were on IR, so let’s see if Cassel can bounce back.

25. Kevin Kolb, Arizona Cardinals:

Well, this is the guy who was supposed to replace McNabb when he was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2007, right? Well, from his play last year as starter for the Arizona Cardinals, I bet Eagle fans are kind of glad they are happy with Michael Vick. I know Kolb was out with concussions, and such, but when he got on the field, he was a mess. Even when he played for the Eagles as a starter, I didn’t see what was so great about him. He had a lot of fumbles, and was sacked quite a bit both in Arizona, and in Philadelphia. I hope that the coaches in Arizona work with him to eliminate that. I mean, he has one of the best wide receivers in the NFL on his team. He has to find some way to get that ball to Larry Fitzgerald.

24. Matt Flynn, Seattle Seahawks:

Yes, it is unusual to rank a QB who did play last year, but only played one game. I know that. However, Matt Flynn, who was then Green Bay Packers’ QB Aaron Rodgers’ backup was sensational. The Packers had everything wrapped up, and rested Rodgers so they decided to let Flynn play against the Detroit Lions. Well, Flynn just beat the Lions like there was no tomorrow. Again, it was just one game, and it is going to be hard to tell if Flynn is gold, or “fool’s gold,” but I think Mike McCarthy, the Packers’ head coach had Flynn prepared, and Flynn should be capable to be a very good QB.

23. Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams:

Sam Bradford had an injury filled season last year, mainly to his ankle. It looked like he had the “sophomore slump,” as his stats were down from his rookie year in 2010. I think that he is going to bounce back, as I think he is going to be an awesome QB. I liked him in Oklahoma, and I liked what I saw of him in his rookie year. I see a lot of potential for growth, and I think new head coach, Jeff Fisher will do a great job with him.

22. Josh Freeman, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

In 2010, Josh Freeman had a very productive year with the Buccaneers, leading them to a 10-6 record, and just missing the playoffs. However, last season, his production was off, and he didn’t show the promise he showed the previous year. He had mechanical issues, and his timing was off. I think with the new coach, Greg Schiano, he should be able to bounce back. I like Freeman as a QB. He has a strong arm, and is mobile, and physical, much like Steeler QB Ben Roethlisberger. I think Freeman can be a major player in this league.

21. Carson Palmer, Oakland Raiders:

Well, after playing the “I’ll take my ball home.” game with Mike Brown, owner of the Cincinnati Bengals, Palmer got his way, and was traded to the Oakland Raiders, when their starting QB, Jason Campbell suffered a broken clavicle. Oakland, in my opinion, gave up too much, but as for Palmer, he showed flashes of the Palmer of old. I know Palmer has had some serious injuries, but I think he can still be an excellent QB.

20. Alex Smith, San Fransico 49ers:

Alex Smith is a bit of an enigma. After the 49ers drafted him in 2005, there was a lot of pressure on the guy. There were times, where Smith looked lost on the field. I was wondering if the guy knew how to play at one point. Smith went through several offensive coordinators also, which I don’t think helps a QB’s development. However, I think the light came on last year when new coach Jim Harbaugh came in, and he had not only Smith, but the whole team turned around. Smith became a smart, and very efficient passer, and showed a lot of promise of being a #1 overall pick in that 2005 draft. How he will do this year will be interesting. Harbaugh has to patch things up with Alex over the wooing of a one Peyton Manning, who Harbaugh said never happened. Sure, Coach Harbaugh.

19. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Buffalo Bills:

Harvard graduate Ryan Fitzpatrick is a very interesting QB to me. There are times he shows he belongs with the top guys, but he also shows signs of ineptness. He is great in the beginning of the season, in particular, but as the season goes on, he gets worse. Last season, everyone from ESPN on down were putting the Bills in the Super Bowl because of their excellent start, and one of their wins was against the New England Patriots. A lot of it was due to Fitzpatrick, who got a 69 million dollar contract. I knew the Bills would crash and burn sooner or later, and they did. Well, now that the Bills have beefed up their defense, and worked on their offense, I am interested in seeing what Fitzpatrick does. He has potential, but potential only goes so far.

18. Matt Hasselbeck, Tennessee Titans:

After a few injury filled seasons in his last years as a Seattle Seahawk, Hasselbeck left Seattle as a free agent, and joined the Tennessee Titans. Hasselbeck wanted to stay in Seattle, but he did not like the contract being offered. Anyway, he had a very good season, and played well. He led the Titans to a 9-7 season, just missing the playoffs. I am not a huge fan of his, but he always showed good mechanics, and has lead the Seahawks to the playoffs, and a Super Bowl in the past. I will give him that. He is at the tail end of his career, as he will be 37 in September. He will likely have maybe one or two good years left as a starter.

17. Mark Sanchez, New York Jets:

Sanchez befuddles me at times. There were times last year, and even throughout his NFL career when he can throw the ball “on a rope,” as the NFL experts say, and I am thinking he may be the second coming of Joe Namath. However, there are times he just looks lost out there, throwing interceptions, and fumbling, and I am just puzzled. I am thinking, “This is the guy who ESPN constantly touts as defeating Peyton Manning and Tom Brady back to back?” Sanchez has to get on the ball, and work his butt off. He has playoff wins, and has the talent to get to the next level. Many of those wins, including the playoff wins, were more due to the defense, in my opinion. However, Sanchez needs to step it up, or we will be hearing those sickening chants, and I am not talking about that goofball “Fireman” Ed either.

16. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans:

Matt Schaub is another QB I can’t figure out. He is a very good QB. I am not sure though that he is on the elite level, but he has pretty good mechanics, and plays on a team with elite players such as wide receiver Andre Johnson, and running back Arian Foster. However, it is his fragility that bothers me. He was on IR last year after playing 10 games, due to a foot injury. The team made the playoffs, and even won a playoff game without him. He has injuries throughout his career. If Schaub can stay healthy this year, and for years to come, I believe he can be one of the top guys.

15. Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals:

Andy Dalton did a very good job with the Cincinnati Bengals. He has great accuracy, and a great ability to throw on the run. He lead the Bengals to the playoffs. Even though they lost to the Texans, it was obvious to me that Dalton is the franchise’s future.

14. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers:

As being the number one overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, I was one of the very few people who was a believer in Cam Newton. Many of the supposed “experts,” and snarky fans immediately thought Newton was going to be a bust. I find it interesting that this year, the same experts, and snarky fans are in love with Andrew Luck. I wonder why.

Anyway, I also saw that Mike Greenberg of ESPN’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” also was a backer of Newton. I was thinking, “Oh dear, Newton is going to fall to the “Greeny curse.” Well, guess what? Greeny was right for a change. Not only did Newton, at least statistically have a great year, but he had statistically the best year by a rookie QB ever. He won Offensive Rookie of the year. Yes, the Panthers won only 6 games, but Newton was a sensation to watch. He had, for a rookie QB with a shortened off season due to the lockout, very good presence in the pocket, and had very, VERY good accuracy. He did not automatically run when things broke down. I see great things for Newton, as long as he keeps working, and keeps his focus.

13. Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles:

As the QB of last year’s “Dream Team, ” as former backup Vince Young called them, Philadelphia Eagles’ Michael Vince had a bit of a roller coaster type of years. He suffered several injuries, and cried about how the referees weren’t making the calls to protect him. Vick missed several games as well. Overall, he has been an exciting athlete to watch, even though he has only played one, or two full 16 seasons due to his penchant for running. However, Andy Reid has done a good job with getting Vick to be more of a pocket passer, especially in his renaissance year of 2010. What will be interesting for Vick in the future will be to see if he can keep improving, and stay healthy.

12. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons:

Ever since Matt “Matty Ice” Ryan has come into the league, he has shown himself to be a very good QB. He threw a TD in his very first NFL game against the Detroit Lions on his very first pass. He has had his Atlanta Falcons in the playoffs three of the four years that he has been their QB. The guy has excellent mechanics, accuracy, and knows where to go with the football. He and top receiver Roddy White have great chemistry. He has excellent chemistry with tight end Tony Gonzalez.

I feel that Ryan needs to step up his game to not just make the playoffs, but win a playoff game, and go deep into the playoffs. Yes, it is a “team sport,” but the most important team member is the QB, and where he goes, the rest of the team goes. Ryan is awesome in the regular season, but when the playoffs come around, he just does not produce as well.

11. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

Joe Flacco is just out of the top ten. As a QB, he does nothing for me. I mean, he has a very strong arm I admit that. However, so did Jeff George. I really don’t see what the fuss is about when the “experts” just go bonkers about him. He can be a very good QB at times, as he showed last year, in the AFC Championship game. However, there are times when he showed quite a bit of ineptness against teams he, and his Ravens should have beaten like a drum, like the Seattle Seahawks, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Even in the playoffs against the Texans, Flacco looked like a rookie at times. Of course, when most of the offense is done by running back, Ray Rice, and the aging defense is doing a lot of the work, of course that will help Flacco win in the regular season, and in the playoffs. I would like to see more of the Raven’s offense put on Flacco’s shoulders, and less on Rice’s shoulders. That way, fans can see if Flacco is all that.

Enjoying this so far, my readers? I am sure that I have sparked some debate already. On to the start of the Top Ten:

10. Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears:

Well, Cutler is definitely tough to judge. He has had an up, and down career. He’s on his second team since being drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 2006 Draft. I think he has a pretty strong arm. However, at first, he had some bad mechanics, and also had health issues where he discovered he had Type I Diabetes. I wondered if he would do much with his raw talent. I do think though that last year, he finally started to put everything together. He was starting to improve his mechanics, and make efforts to avoid sacks. The Chicago Bears were looking like a team to be reckoned with as Cutler was becoming a very good QB. However, it was that fateful game against San Diego where while attempting to stop a Pick Six, Cutler broke his thumb, and was put on IR, and the team pretty much went down the tubes. Back up Caleb Hanie was not very good. Cutler proved to be very valuable. I look forward to seeing him improve, as I think he has a lot of talent, even though his attitude is not everyone’s cup of tea.

9. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers:

Rivers is a very talented QB. He is pretty mechanically sound, with the exception of that somewhat sidearm delivery he has. He is a bit too mouthy for my taste as a QB, but he certainly does not lack confidence. He has gotten the Chargers into the playoffs, but the last couple of years, the team has started slow, and missed the playoffs. However, I put that more on Norv Turner, their head coach, than Rivers, but Rivers has to back up all the big talk that comes out of his mouth. When Rivers is on his game, he can play with the best of them. His accuracy, and such are awesome. However, I do question his leadership on the field when something goes wrong, as he tends to whine. I hope to see Rivers cut the complaining, and become more of a leader. He no longer has Vincent Jackson as his top target, so it is up to Rivers to make something of the new team members, and regain his 2006-2007 form.

8. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys:

To paraphrase the nuns in “The Sounds of Music,” the famous musical by Rogers and Hammerstein, “How do you solve a problem like Tony Romo?” I mean, whenever this guy’s name comes up, conversations become huge debates. Well, here is what I say about Mr. Romo. He is an excellent QB in spurts. What I mean is that there are games where it appears he is the second coming of Brett Farve, as many people compare him to, but there are those games where he plays well, but he will make that mistake where you just want to somehow jump through the television, and bang him on the head. I am talking about those boneheaded interceptions.

People debate whether Romo is “elite.” Well, I just don’t think so. The man has played in recent years on very talented teams that could have gone to the Super Bowl. I mean, any of the elite QBs, like the Manning brothers, Brady, Brees, etc could have won a Super Bowl with the team (s) Romo had. Romo has great numbers, but he has to do it in the playoffs. He has only won one playoff game. Yes, Romo has the 2nd highest passer rating in NFL history, but passer rating is an overrated stat. It doesn’t do much good, if he is not winning big games, especially in the playoffs. I would like to see Romo cut down on the crippling mistakes, and throw to someone else other than Jason Witten.

7. Matt Stafford, Detroit Lions:

Stafford had a few injury plagued years in his young NFL career. There was a lot of concerned that he would never get through a season due to his apparent fragility. However, he had a lot of promise with his strong arm, and accuracy. This year, he put it together. He had a fantastic season, passing for just over 5000 yards. His mechanics improved, and of course, he has Calvin “Megatron” Johnson as his top wide receiver. Despite what ESPN’s Chris Carter says, “Megatron” is one of the top five wideouts in the NFL, and has awesome chemistry with Stafford. Stafford’s long ball is amazing, and his short to mid range passes are also very good. Stafford has to stay healthy, and he has to keep improving to establish himself as one of the top QBs in the league.

6. Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos:

Now, normally, I would not have ranked Peyton Manning on this list at all. One of the critieria I was using to judge these quarterbacks was their play last year. One of the reasons that I was annoyed by the NFL Players List 2012 was that they put Manning on the list. He did NOT play last year. However, I did have the player’s entire career as part of my criteria, so since Peyton is one of the best quarterbacks to ever strap on a helmet, at least in the REGULAR season, I think he deserves to be on this list. His 9-10 playoff record, including the 1-1 SB record keeps me from calling him the best ever, as so many of the “experts” say. I WILL say, the man is an awesome player.

This year will be very interesting to say the least. Most NFL fans know that Manning is coming off a fourth neck surgery. He had a one level fusion surgery in the Summer of 2011, and missed the entire 2011 Season, which wound up being the last year he would be with the Colts, the team that drafted him in 1998. After a sad, and rather petty public feud with Colts Owner Jim Irsay, Manning was released, and eventually signed with the Denver Broncos. The Broncos kicked Tim Tebow to the curb, and traded him to the Jets. The question is now, “How much does Peyton got left?” I have heard percentages from 65% to 90%. What is going to happen when the bullets fly? Sure, the surgery went well, but it is his fourth, and we are talking about his neck and he is now 36. He still played at a pretty high level in 2010, but showed a bit of decline, but I am not sure if that was his neck bugging him though. He is in this spot because of his awesome career. I really can not go any higher though due to my concerns about how his neck will affect his playing.

5. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers:

Ben Roethlisberger is an exciting QB. He is also an elite QB, and in my opinion, is deserving to be in my top 5. He is particularly awesome at shedding potential tacklers. Defensive players have said Ben is incredibly strong, which makes him hard to bring down when he goes out of the pocket. Ben makes excellent plays in the pocket as well. Yes, there are the dopey stat freaks that complain he “can’t read a defense.” Hmmm. How does ANY QB get to the NFL without the ability to read a defense? I mean, seriously? I could see if we are talking about a rookie, or someone with no talent at all like Tim Tebow who takes off immediately when the play breaks down, but Ben has made more plays in the pocket than on the outside. It is the so called “experts” like Steve Young who complain that Ben doesn’t play “pretty,” who give fans who play Madden all day the impression that Ben is not elite, when Ben sure as heck is. The one big improvement I would like to see from Ben is to not always go for the big play all the time. That is about the only thing. Ben likes to go for the home run everytime, and that is why, in my opinion, he holds the ball “too long,” not because he “can’t read a defense.”

As for the future, he is adjusting to a new offensive coordinator in the hot tempered Todd Haley. I know there was some tension, but once they get to know each other, and Ben learns the system, I do think they will have success. I see Ben as an elite QB for several years, provide that team fixes the offensive line, and Ben can stay healthy.

4. Eli Manning, New York Giants:

Eli Manning is awesome. I really enjoy his work. He has developed into a top 5 QB in my book. He has great touch on the ball. He is willing to take a beating, and keep on working through it, as seen in the NFC Championship game against the San Fransisco 49ers. He continues to improve on his flaws, particularly his interceptions. He is one of the best QBs at 4th Quarter comebacks in the NFL. He is awesome as far as the long ball, and has great command in the huddle. He has a lot of confidence in himself, and in his teammates. He shows great leadership as well. All this has culminated in 2 Super Bowl wins, and 2 SB MVPs.

Over his career, he has befuddled both fans, and the “experts.” There were times where Manning showed glimpses of greatness, and there were times where people wondered if he would be cut. There were constant comparisons to his older brother, Peyton, and people banging on his rather quiet, on the field personality, especially ESPN’s Mark Schlereth who compared him to Eeyore, the donkey from “Winnie the Pooh.” I honestly didn’t understand why Eli necessarily had to be demonstrative. I mean, just because he appeared to be quiet as a church mouse, didn’t mean he is not a good leader. Just because he doesn’t turn into Sammy Davis, Jr like his brother before every snap, and just because he doesn’t jump into his offensive lineman’s arms every time he throws a first down like Brett Farve did, doesn’t mean he has no passion. Eli is just a different kind of leader is all. However, Eli and the Giants kept working with each other despite the criticisms, and Eli developed into the elite QB he is now.

As far as his 2011 statistics went, Manning threw for 4933 yards, and 29 TDs this year.Yeah, it was a little low as far as the TD total, but Eli led the Giants through the latter part of their schedule, and won the games they had to win to get into the playoffs, and wound up with a second Lombardi in four years. I would like to see him lead a Giants team with a better record, against a different AFC team, and see what happens though. I definitely see a lot more from Manning as an elite quarterback.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints:

The newest member of the “100,000,000 Dollar Club,” Drew Brees had a fantastic year by breaking Dan Marino’s record of most passing yards in a season, by throwing 5476 yards. Brees also threw 46 touchdowns also. Drew Brees has great accuracy, and terrific pocket awareness. He moves well enough to avoid the pass rush. Of course, he has great weapons like Marques Colston, and Robert Meacham on his team.

As every NFL fan knows, the Saints have been embroiled in the “Bounty Gate” scandal this offseason, so Brees’ signing this deal is very good news for a team that needs it. Brees is 32, and I definitely think he has a good 4-5 years left as an elite QB in the NFL.

2. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers:

Aaron Rodgers had a heck of a year in 2011, and won the MVP of the NFL, coming off his Super Bowl win in Super Bowl 45 where he was voted SB MVP. I am not a Packer fan, but Aaron Rodgers just excells at the position. He throws one of the tightest spirals in the NFL, and has excellent mechanics. His mobility is awesome, and his ability to throw on the run is just about the best in the league. He has great chemistry with his top flight receivers such as Greg Jennings. He led the team to a nearly perfect regular season of 15-1. He will be giving virtuoso performances for years to come, provided he stays healthy, as he is a very exciting player to watch.

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots:

My pick of Mr. Thomas Edward Brady as the number one QB in the NFL was a no brainer. Yes, Drew Brees broke the great Dan Marino’s seasonal passing record. Yes, Aaron Rodgers was the MVP of 2011. Yes, Eli Manning beat Brady for a second time in the Super Bowl this past February. However, despite some of the commentary about Brady’s legacy made by some sports writers, ESPN commentators, and jealous fans that was basically amateur hour that came after Super Bowl 46, Brady still reigns as the best.

At 34 years ago, in 2011, Tom Brady showed that he still has incredible accuracy, and still has awesome mechanics. Brady’s intangibles, such as heart, and the will to win are amazing. He is the best at manipulating the pocket. It is amazing to see how he still can play at an elite level. The only weakness, if you want to call it that, Tom has is that he is not mobile. To me, that’s a minor flaw. I mean, he can run if needed, but I usually like the QBs who step back and throw. He threw for 5235 yards, and 39 touchdowns in 2011. He is really the one that keeps that team going. Yeah, they lost the last two SBs they were in (#42 and #46). However, I think that fact enhances his legacy. Those teams don’t get there without him, especially this last one where everyone is trying to tear him down.

Aaron Rodgers had a defense that was statistically worst, but the dopey media concentrated on the on Tom had. The Packers’ defense was not that much worst, mind you, but it was worst. I didn’t see the mighty Rodgers, and his Packers in the Super Bowl. The fact that Brady led that team with that horrid defense to the big dance, win OR lose, means to me that he is still in the conversation of “Best QB Ever.” In fact, when Tom led the team to the Super Bowls that the team won, he has much less talent. As for his future in the NFL, Tom said he wants to play till 40. Well, barring injury, I think Tom has about a good 3 years or so as an elite player.

Well, that is my ranking of the best QBs in the NFL. I hope you enjoyed it. I am sure people are ready to debate. I welcome feedback.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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The Top 10 Best NFL Super Bowls

February 02, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Super Bowl XXXIV Kevin DysonIt seems hard to believe that this will be the 46th time that the NFL will be bringing us a Super Bowl. 45 other games have been played and through the years we’ve seen a lot of stuff to make us salivate and wonder, “What can possibly top that?”

In the spirit of the big game coming up this Sunday between the AFC’s New England Patriots and the NFC’s New York Giants, I have decided to take us all down memory lane and look back at my top 10 best Super Bowls and look back at some other stuff that makes Super Sunday great.

Yes friends step right up and bring your Doritos, your buffalo wings, subs, and all the other great foods we like to feast on during the big game to the table. Don’t forget to bring lots of beer, and other beverages. Yes so much makes this event great, and most of America will all have some kind of favorite story. From Aerosmith and Britney Spears rocking to “Walk This Way” to Justin Timberlake exposing Janet Jackson’s breast in the infamous “Wardrobe Malfunction” scandal.

Don’t forget about the best of commercials, with birds forming an army to try and splatter a freshly cleaned car with “bird poo”, all the great beer commercials, and who could forget the gorgeous “Go-Daddy” girl, and the beautiful Ally Landry doing acrobatic stunts while eating puffed Doritos, forcing every man in America to laundro-mats near and far. Not to mention great half-time shows away from the game, like Howard Sterns’ half-time raunchy fest, MTV’s Celebrity Death Match, and the first ever Lingerie Bowl, which has now led to the Lingerie Football League.

Okay enough about all that, it’s time for the best of the best that led us up to here. For all of you who follow me regularly, you will remember my top Thanksgiving day games, which got rave reviews, and for that I thank you. I’m pretty sure this list will spark debates, but hey its “my” personal top 10. This is why we offer a comment section, so you can feel free to express your views. Okay so here we are starting at my number 10:

Super Bowl XIII, January 21, 1979, The Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida – Pittsburgh Steelers 35, Dallas Cowboys 31

Two of the very best teams of the 70’s met in a rematch of the Steelers victory a few years before. The Steelers came into the game having won back to back bowls a few years ago and boasted that amazing “Steel Curtain” defense. Terry Bradshaw was the games MVP throwing for 318 yards and a record 4 touchdowns. Bradshaw’s effort spoiled a good outing by Cowboy QB Roger Staubach who tallied 3 TDs. The Steelers big 2 receivers, Lynn Swann and John Stallworth each went over 100 yards receiving, with Stallworth collecting 2 TDs, and 1 for Swann. After the Steelers scored twice in a 22 second span to start the 4th quarter, Dallas had closed out with 2 scores in the final 2 minutes. However an onside kick attempt failed, locking up the win for the Steelers. It had been the highest scoring game of its time, as Super Bowls past were mostly lower scoring affairs, or lop-sided blow outs. It marked Pittsburgh’s fourth victory in the last 6 Super Bowls.

Super Bowl XXXII, January 25th, 1998, Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, California – Denver Broncos 31, Green Bay Packers 24

Two of the games most heroic, and reckless sharp shooting QB’s, Brett Favre and John Elway met on center stage in a battle of 2 very different teams. The Packers were Super Bowl winners the previous year and boasted a high flying passing attack with a stellar defense, while the Broncos were a smash-mouth, ground game offense with a decent defense. The Broncos were able to control the pace of the game led by game MVP, running back Terrel Davis, who rushed for 157 yards and 3 TDs, which is a record for running backs. They were able to out-do Favres good day of 256 yards and 2TDs. Davis’ final TD was a 2 yard walk with 1:46 left in the game after the Broncos were able to consume most of the clock in the 2nd half. Elway only contributed 125 passing yards and rushed for 1 TD, but it was enough on this day, as he managed a perfect offensive attack.

Super Bowl XXXIX, February 6th, 2005, Alltel Stadium Jacksonville, Florida – New England Patriots 24, Philadelphia Eagles 21

After three straight spoiled attempts in NFC Championship games, Andy Reid finally got his team to the big game where they would face the defending champs from New England. Despite striking first the Eagles could not contain Tom Brady and game MVP Deion Branch enough to pull a win out. The Pats defense collected 4 Eagles turnovers, and spoiled the return of Terrell Owens, who came back from an ankle injury to collect 9 catches for 122 yards. Donovan McNabb did manage 357 yards and 3 TDs for the Eagles, but will more be remembered for an alleged “vomiting” incident during the 4th quarter. Brady finished with 236 yards and 2 TDs, and Branch had 11 catches for 133 yards. The Eagles managed to score with 3 minutes left, then stopped the Pats on the next series, but could only muster 3 plays after that from their own 4 yard line.

Super Bowl III, January 12th, 1969, The Orange Bowl Miami, Florida – New York Jets 16, Baltimore Colts 7

We all know by now that a cocky young QB named Joe Namath came out on the Thursday before the game and boldly predicted that the Jets would upset the Colts. What we did not expect was how well the Jets would control the game. Star QB Johnny Unitas did not start for the Colts do to an injury and the Jets defense was able to intercept QB Earl Morrel 3 times. The Jets also did big things in the running game and controlled the pace throughout. Namath was the MVP, throwing for 208 yards. The Colts coming in had dominated all year losing just once in 16 games. The win was the first for the AFL, now known as the AFC, and a win that put Namath on the map. Meanwhile a weakend Unitas played the 4th quarter and managed a TD pass.

Super Bowl XXXVI, February 3rd, 2002, The Superdome New Orleans, Louisiana – New England Patriots 20, St. Louis Rams 17

The Patriots came into this game riding high behind the arm of a young unproven kid named Tom Brady, who took over earlier in the season for the much famed QB Drew Bledsoe, who was lost to an injury. The Rams brought in their “greatest show on turf” offense,led by Kurt Warner, who came from nowhere to lead them to victory just 2 years earlier. It was the first time we would see the masterful defensive mind of Bill Belichick truly befuddle a high scoring offense. The Rams could muster just 267 total yards and turned the ball over 3 times, while MVP Brady worked his magic and the Pats collected 427 yards of offense while committing no turnovers. The game was capped with Brady leading the Pats down field and placing Adam Vinatieri in position for a 48 yard field goal as time expired,marking the first time in history a Super Bowl was decided on the last play. The win began the great legacy of Brady, who was the MVP, Vinatieri who became known as “Mr Clutch” and Belichick, and ended the reign of the mighty Rams. The vision of a stunned Brady, hands on head and shaking his head as if to say “I can’t believe it” is still an iconic piece shown in many Super Bowl history videos.

Super Bowl XXXVIII, February 1st, 2004, Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas – New England Patriots 32, Carolina Panthers 29

Seen by many as a potential mismatch, Panthers head coach John Fox brought in his unlikely cast of winners led by Jake Delhomme, a former Saints back up and Louisiana guy. Delhomme was very Brady-like in his outing recording 322 yards and 3 TD’s, while game MVP Brady threw for 354 yards and 3 TD’s. The Panthers fought it tooth and nail and gave the now mighty Patriots more then they could handle. Delhomme connected on bombs of 55 and 85 yards to keep his team in the game. However the downfall came after the Panthers last score. Delhomme had thrown a 14 yard TD pass to receiver Ricky Proehl to tie the game up, but kicker John Kasay sent the following kick off out of bounds, giving it to New England at the 40 yard line. Brady just needed 3 plays to set up Adam Vinatieri for his 2nd consecutive Super Bowl winning kick with just 4 seconds left. It would be the 2nd of 3 Super Bowls for the Patriots.

Super Bowl XXV, January 22nd, 1991, Joe Robbie Stadium Miami, Florida – New York Giants 20, Buffalo Bills 19

A fully loaded Bills team with loads of talent came in to face a banged up Giants team who was playing without star QB Phil Simms. What happened was back up Jeff Hostetler playing an excellent game of management and game MVP Ottis Anderson working his battering ram running style into a Super Bowl record 41 minutes of time possession and controlled the game through out. Anderson ended with 102 yards and a TD, and Hostetler also had a TD. Thurman Thomas was the main guy for the Bills as he collected 190 yards of total offense. The Bills did get a last chance to win this game however, despite only seeing the ball for 7 minutes in the second half. After Giants kicker Matt Bahr gave the Giants a 20-19 lead, the Bills marched the ball downfield and got kicker Scott Norwood into position for a game winning 47 yard field goal. The rest, well quite simple, a historic miss known as “wide right” that haunts the fans of Buffalo and Norwood to this day. It was the Giants 2nd Super Bowl win in 5 years, and the beginning of a run that would see the Bills make 4 straight Super Bowls only to lose them all.

Super Bowl XLIII, February 1st, 2009, Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Florida – Pittsburgh Steelers 27, Arizona Cardinals 23

Last years game became an instant classic. Many had felt that the Cardinals, seen as much the lesser team, would be blown out of the building by the mighty Steelers led by coach Mike Tomlin and a very ferocious defense. What they got instead was a great game filled with great plays and lots of offensive fireworks. It marked the coming out party of Cardinals superstar receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who collected 9 catches for 131 yards and 2 TDs. One of those being a long gain in which Fitzgerald was seen infamously watching the jumbo-tron to see the location of Steelers defenders behind him. The second was thought by many as the game winner with a minute remaining. Of course we all remember QB Ben Roethlisberger leading that final drive and game MVP Santonio Holmes becoming a miracle worker as well. Another big highlight was linebacker James Harrison scoring the longest TD in history taking a Cardinals turnover 99 yards right as the first half ended. The game however will always be remembered for Holmes and his skin of his toes 10 yard TD catch in the very back corner of the end zone with just 35 seconds left to play. It was the 2nd straight year a Super Bowl had been decided by a corner end zone catch with 35 seconds left and gave the Steelers the franchises 6th Super Bowl win, most in the league today.

Super Bowl XXIII, January 22, 1989, Joe Robbie Stadium Miami, Florida – San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16

In a rematch of a game played some 7 Super Bowls before, the Bengals were out to stop the legendary Joe Montana and take revenge for a loss years back. The 49ers escaped the previous meeting with a 26-21 win, and many of the experts saw this as a better Niners team. The Bengals managed to stay tight through the whole game and at the half it was just 3-3, the lowest half-time score in Super Bowl history. The Bengals started the 3rd quarter with a 93 yard kick return TD by Stanley Pritchard, only to see Montana strike back and connect with the games MVP Jerry Rice to tie it up. Rice had ended the day with 11 catches for a Super Bowl record 215 yards and a TD. The Bengals were able to get the next 2 scores on field goals and held a 16-13 lead with just under 3 minutes left. 3 minutes? Perhaps they never heard of Mr. Montana. The 49ers got the football back on their own 4 yard line, then Montana went to work. He gently dissected the Bengals secondary, picking it apart and doing brilliant time management as well as a perfect display of field leadership. In what is my rendition of “the drive”, Montana completed the comeback with a 10 yard TD pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds remaining and sealing another Super Bowl for the 49ers, making them the first NFC team to win 3 Super Bowls.

Super Bowl XXXIV, January 30th, 2000, Georgia Dome Atlanta, Georgia – St. Louis Rams 23, Tennessee Titans 16

A new century was upon us and a new era of football had come forth. In the pre-season the Rams had lost starting QB Trent Green, and with tears in his eyes at a press conference soon after, head coach Dick Vermeil had announced that an untested and unknown QB by the name of Kurt Warner would try and get them through this season. Warner had been an Arena football player, cut from several NFL teams and was working at a grocery store before the season. Through some miracle, the Rams had discovered the legendary “Greatest Show On Turf” led by Warner and loaded with talents like Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk. “The Show’ jumped out early and held a 16-0 halftime lead over the Titans, led by QB Steve McNair. The Titans were out gained 280 to 98 in the first half but managed to keep it close. Over the next quarter the Titans managed to climb back in it, and became the first team in Super Bowl history to overcome a 16-0 deficit. McNair’s passing was near flawless as he completed 22 out of 26 passes for 214 yards, and RB Eddie George got the score tied at 16 with a 1 yard TD rush. Warner, not to be denied led the Rams down field on the next series and managed to drive them to a TD and got them on top 23-16. McNair and his team then took their turn on the field. McNair, playing with a fearless demeanor connected on passes of 23 and 16 yards, working his team down the field. After getting inside the 10 yard line, McNair failed on his next 2 attempts. His last effort seemed to be a Super Bowl miracle, as he danced around pass rushers and found receiver Kevin Dyson opened on a slant. Dyson caught the ball at the 7 yard line and broke for pay dirt, only to be met by Rams linebacker Mike Jones. After being hit Dyson stretched with all his might and reached for the goal line, only to have the ball stop 1 yard short and they watched time expire. Clearly the best finish in Super Bowl history, the Rams won their first and only of that era and the Titans can only wonder what may have been, ending just 1 yard short.

So what do we expect this year? Well 2 great QBs with 2 great offenses and good ball hawking defenses. It’s tough to know if we will have a top 10 game on our hands, but one can always dream. Hey if not, can we please have a replay of Ally Landry at the laundro-mat? “Hey, pass the Doritos”

If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at

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Examining The Field Of 12 – The Race To NFL Super Bowl XLVI (& Bonus Feature)

January 05, 2012 By: Category: NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

Drew Brees & Aaron RodgersWell, as Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin said at Tuesday’s press conference, “It feels good to be in the field of twelve.” The “field of twelve” that Coach Tomlin is referring to, is obviously the twelve teams in both the AFC and the NFC who qualified for the post season. As the avid horse racing fan that I am, I call it the race to Super Bowl XLVI.

Being the horse racing fan that I am, I am going to model this blog somewhat like a racing program, and give my readers analysis, and the highlights and the low lights of the teams’ seasons, and give the final odds of the team winding up in the winner’s circle with the proverbial garland of roses on their proverbial backs, and holding up the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis on February 5,2012.

There will also be a bonus. I criticize ESPN quite a bit in my blogs. However, there is one guy I really like, and it is Colin Cowherd. He has a segment called “Colin was right. Colin was wrong.” Every Friday, he makes his Blazing Five football picks, and on Monday, he has the segment where he goes over them and tells listeners where he was right , and wrong. My very first blog was a blog about my NFL picks for the season. Here is the link: Well, I am not going to rehash the entire blog, but I am going to just go through a bunch of the ones that I got “right,” and the ones I got “wrong.”

Let me start with the examination and the odds of the entire Super Bowl XLVI Field:

AFC Entrants of the Field:

AFC North’s Pittsburgh Steelers, Head Coach: Mike Tomlin, Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger

The Steelers are the 5th seed, and will be playing against the 4th Seed Denver Broncos. They ended the year with a 12-4 record, but due to losing to arch rival Baltimore both times, they wound up with the wild card. Highlights of season: Defeated New England, Sweeping the Bengals. Low lights: Coming into post season banged up. RB Mendenhall out for post season with torn ACL suffered in week 17 win against the Browns. Big Ben working through a high ankle sprain. Offensive line injuries. Lost to Baltimore twice.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: Should be able to get past Denver Broncos. After that game, it depends if they get the Patriots or Baltimore in the next round, and maybe even both.. However, they got Ben Roethlisberger, and if anyone can lead that team, hurt or not, it is Big Ben. A healthy Troy Polamalu also helps as well. Odds: 7-2

AFC Norths’s Baltimore Ravens. Head Coach: John Harbaugh. Quarterback: Joe Flacco

The Ravens are the 2nd seed, and have a 1st round bye, and at least one home playoff game. They will wait for the highest remaining seed in the second weekend of the playoffs. Ended year with 12-4 record by virtue of defeating Steelers twice, and having tie breaker. Highlights of season: Swept Steelers. Got a home playoff game. Low lights: Not all that great a road team (4-4). Ravens don’t stick to Ray Rice (RB) all the time.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: As much hype the Ravens get, thanks to the aging Ray Lewis, and their safety, Ed Reed, it is hard to completely buy into this team. Reason is due to their QB, Joe Flacco. The team , at times, has very odd play calling, and tries to turn Joe Flacco into Joe Montana, which he is NOT, and totally ignores Ray Rice, their star RB out of Rutgers. Odds: 9-1

AFC North’s Cincinnati Bengals Head Coach: Marvin Lewis Quarterback: Andy Dalton

The Bengals qualified thanks to losses by Oakland, and the Jets, and finished 9-7. They are the 6th seed, and take on the Houston Texans in Houston. Marvin Lewis got this team playing a lot better with rookie QB Andy Dalton, and fellow rookie WR A.J Green leading the way on offense. Defense is good also. Highlights: Chemistry between the rookies Dalton and Green. Team no longer has to deal with drama. Low lights: Youth and inexperience may hurt in playoffs.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: While it is a positive thing to see a team that has been seen as a joke by many (myself included) get turned around, and make the playoffs, it is highly unlikely they will be the ones crossing the proverbial finish line first, and being lead to the winner’s circle, and having the garland of roses one their backs, so to speak. Would be a nice story, but I do not see it happening. I’ve been wrong before, but not on this one. Odds: 35-1

AFC West’s Denver Broncos. Head Coach John Fox Quarterback: Tim Tebow

The Broncos are the 4th seed by virtue of winning the AFC West. Honestly, I wish NO ONE from that division should be in the playoffs as it is so lousy , but rules are rules. Broncos are 8-8, and won the division because Oakland lost, even though they lost 7-3 to the Chiefs. Highlights of season: Tim Tebow was put in to start and the Broncos won 7 of the 8 games in that magical streak, with the help of the running game, and the defense. Low lights: ESPN went nuts over Tebowmania. Tim Tebow ran into a real team from Foxborough, MA, also known as the Patriots, and Coach Belichick figured out how to beat Tebow, and everyone else has followed suit since.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: It would really take a miracle if the Broncos got by the Steelers and their defense. The Steelers won’t have Ryan Clark due to his sickle cell illness, but Tebow can’t throw the ball anyway. Odds: 75-1.

AFC South’s Houston Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak Quarterback T.J Yates

Texans are the AFC South Champions. They are the 3rd seed, and finished with a 10-6 record. Great coaching job by Kubiak, and the defense is well coached by Defense Coordinator Wade Philips. The team made it to the playoffs despite injuries to top players such as Mario Williams (IR), Matt Schaub (IR), Andre Johnson (hamstrings) , and Arian Foster (hamstrings). Well done. Highlights of season: Texans won division, and go to playoffs for first time. Low lights: Hit with injuries. Down to 4th QB who is also injured.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: This team at one point was flirting with the #1 seed. However, it seems that the injuries plus Philips’ surgery may have hurt their psyche, and they had a slight drop off. This is also their first playoff appearance, so I am not sure how they will handle it. Odds: 35-1

AFC East’s New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick Quarterback Tom Brady

Well, the New England Patriots are once again in the playoffs. The next thing you will tell me is that water is wet. They finished the season with 13-3, and the #1 seed, meaning they have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. It was another brilliant season for QB Tom Brady, who finished second to Saints QB Drew Brees in passing yards in one season. Both men passed Dan Marino’s 27 year old record of 5084 passing yards in a season. Of course, a lot of people are focusing on the Patriots’ lousy defense.
Highlights of the season: Swept the Jets. Records for Brady, Welker, and Gronkowski. Low lights: Team dealt with injuries to defense. Andre Carter, the best sack master, and best pass rusher lost for season.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: ESPN, and even some media in Boston are very sure that once again, the Patriots won’t win a playoff game , as they haven’t since 2007/08 season, thanks to the team’s defense. The weird thing is that this field is very wide open honestly. Every team in this field for the run for the Lombardi has huge flaws. Honestly, the Patriots have just as much chance as any. Odds: 5-2

NFC Entrants of the Field

NFC North’s Green Bay Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy Quarterback Aaron Rodgers

The Packers finished the season 15-1. They have the #1 seed, and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. They are, of course, the defending champions, and Aaron Rodgers is the leading MVP candidate. Highlights of season: Nearly went undefeated. Low lights: Injuries to offensive lines , and Greg Jennings

Odds to Win SB XLVI: From my understanding, the team is getting healthy, and backup QB Matt Flynn put on a show in Week 17, so heaven forbid something happened to Rodgers in the playoffs, Flynn can step right in. The team is not without it’s flaw as they wound up with the 32nd ranked defense in the league. Odds: 3-5

NFC East’s New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin Quarterback Eli Manning

The Giants, after breaking out of the gate well, and then stumbling down the back stretch, but in the stretch, they catch themselves, and win the NFC East with a 9-7 record and are the 4th seed. Of course, they had to endure the calls for Coach Coughlin’s head, and early season injuries, but they made it to the starting gate. Highlights of season: Gave Packers all they could handle before losing 38-35. Gave the Jets a beat down in Week 16. Low lights: Mid season swoon. Injuries.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: The way this team plays, it would not surprise me if they are one and done, or if they win the whole thing. However, from watching them, they are looking very similar to that 2007 team that got on a streak and went to Arizona for Super Bowl 42, and the rest is history. Odds: 10-1

NFC South’s Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith Quarterback Matt Ryan

Finishing with a 10-6 record, the Falcons wound up with a 5th seed. They come into Giants Stadium this weekend, and Giants DE Justin Tuck already has fired the first salvo, calling them “Dirt***s” Highlights of season: Seemed to have found their run game. Low lights: Engulfed in controversy over decision to go for it against the Saints

Odds to Win SB XLVI: While the team is very talented, Matt Ryan has yet to win a playoff game. I am not all in on this team. Odds: 45-1

NFC South’s Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Quarterback Drew Brees

Winner of the NFC South with a 13-3 record, the Saints are the #3 Seed. This team is one team to watch. They are operating on all cylinders, especially QB Drew Brees. Highlights of season: Brees’ breaking Dan Marino’s record. Saints destroying the Colts 62-7 Low lights: None.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: The only concern I would have is what is going to happen if the NFC Championship is Green Bay vs the Saints at Lambeau. As great as the Saints’ offense is, it is not exactly portable, and Rodgers beat Brees head to head. Odds: 9-2

NFC West’s San Fransisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh Quarterback Alex Smith

The 49ers finished with the #2 seed and a bye. They had a great season and wound up with a 13-3 seasonal record. Thanks to new coach Jim Harbaugh’s coaching, and his rebuilding of 2005 first round pick, QB Alex Smith, the 49ers are back in the playoffs, a place they haven’t been since 2002. Highlights of the season: Eight 49ers were selected to go to the Pro Bowl, the most of any team, along with the Patriots. The 49ers becoming a good team again. Low Lights: None

Odds to Win SB XLVI: While Coach Harbaugh has done a great job with this team, I am not ready to crown him the next Bill Walsh (legendary 49ers coach). The team has an outstanding defense, and a very good running game, and some good offensive weapons. However, I am not sure about Alex Smith and the team’s possibly needing him to win the game with his arm. He is no Joe Montana. Odds: 7-1

NFC North’s Detroit Lions Head Coach Jim Schwartz Quarterback Matthew Stafford

Well, as the 6th seed with a 10-6 record, the Detroit Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999. I am sure fans are “losing their minds in Detroit, Rock City.” Anyway, QB Matthew Stafford had a terrific year as did his receiver , “Megatron” Calvin Johnson. That dreadful 2008 season where the team went 0-16 is definitely in the rear view mirror.
Highlights of the season: Stafford throws for over 5,000 yards. Lions start out season with 5-0 record. Low lights: Coach Schwartz and 49ers Coach Harbaugh get into a minor fracas over a handshake that went wrong. Team has reputation for being “dirty” thanks to DT Ndamukong Suh and his illegal , and dirty hits on players such as Andy Dalton. He was suspended two games for stomping an offensive linesman of the Packers on a nationally broadcasted game on Thanksgiving.

Odds to Win SB XLVI: The Lions are facing the red hot Saints on the Saints’ home turf right out of the gate. It is a tall order since the Saints beat them this season in a high scoring game. I am not sure the Lions have the maturity to handle the spotlight either. Odds: 55-1

Well, that is my general overview. Before every playoff weekend, I will write a brief blog about who I predict will win and why..

Bonus Section: Here is the aforementioned bonus. I am not going to go through every team, but I am going to go through just a handful of picks, and say ala Colin Cowherd, “Where Terri was right.” and “Where Terri was wrong.” Enjoy

To refresh your memory, here is the blog with my original picks before the 2011 Season:

Where Terri was RIGHT:

Prediction: New Orleans Saints not only winning the NFC South Division, but finishing with a record of 13-3.

Bragging Rights: I thought a 13-3 record was possible, and I figured they would be the NFC South winners. They looked the best in preseason.

Where Terri was WRONG.

Prediction: The San Francisco 49ers were going to be 5-11.

Eating Humble Pie: I totally did NOT see the 49ers’ resurgence coming. I totally swung and missed on this pick. I had no clue that this team could be transformed from a disappointment last season, to a #2 seed overnight.

Where Terri was RIGHT.

Prediction: The New England Patriots would go 13-3, and win the AFC East.

Bragging Rights: I had this puppy nailed. They had the same team from last year. I thought there would be a little drop off, so I figured they were 14-2 last year, so I just thought they would be 13-3 this year.

Where Terri was WRONG.

Prediction: The Cincinnati Bengals would go 4-12

Bragging Rights: Boy, while they did manage a 9-7 record and just about qualified for the playoffs, they were a lot better than I thought. I really whiffed on this one. To make the Bengal fans reading this happy: “Who Dey!”

Where Terri was RIGHT.

Prediction: The Pittsburgh Steelers would go 12-4

Bragging Rights: Well, I got their record correct. Despite the haters like NFL Network’s Warren Sapp’s calling the Steelers’ defense “old and slow,” the Steelers defense wound up being the #1 defense. The offense has been pretty good as well. Injuries to offensive line, and Big Ben, and now Raschard Mendenhall are troubling, but the team did get to 12-4.

Where Terri was WRONG.

Prediction: The Pittsburgh Steelers would win the AFC North, and the Baltimore Ravens would go 11-5.

Eating Humble Pie: Well, hats off to the Ravens, despite their problems on the road. They swept the Steelers (who made the mistake that the Buffalo Bills did earlier in the season, and play the New England Patriots as if it were the Super Bowl only to let down the following game, and hand the division to Baltimore), and earned a first round bye with a 12-4 record.

Well, that was my blog. I hope my readers enjoyed it.

Terri Bey currently blogs for about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for Terri can be found here at Facebook- and at Twitter-

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Fantasy Football Defense Matters During Championship Week

December 22, 2011 By: Category: Fantasy Football, NFL | NCAA Football, Sports

San Francisco 49ers defense Defense wins Championships is not only true for the NFL, but also for Fantasy Football. I hear all these experts say that whatever defense you play does not matter well I beg to differ. I believe that playing a good defense is another great way to get extra points.

A good Defense with a good Special Teams is great to have on your Fantasy team. The perks to having a good all around Defenses are extra points with return yards, defensive touch downs/special teams touch downs, interceptions, sacks and fumbles.

I feel the best defenses to play this week are the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers. The Texans play the Colts Thursday night. The Texans are the second best defensive team against the run in Fantasy Football, so don’t expect Donald Brown to have the kind of game he had last week. The Colts have given up the third most Fantasy Football points to the other teams Defense. The San Francisco 49ers are also a must start against the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers are the number one team against the run. As good as Marshawn Lynch has been the past few weeks you still need to sit him if you want to win this week and have suitable options.

Here are a few guys everyone should think about starting in your Fantasy Championship game if you need another option. Matt Moore is a guy I really like this week. The Patriots are horrible against the pass and have given up Hugh Fantasy points to lesser Quarter backs then Matt Moore. Look for Matt Moore to put up close to 20 plus points this week.

Malcolm Floyd has emerged as Philip Rivers number two Receiver. Last week versus Baltimore Floyd had 9 points. This week the Chargers play the Detroit Lions. We all saw what the Raiders where able to do to the Lions secondary. Imagine what Philip Rivers will do to the Lions. I expect Malcolm Floyd to have a big game because I feel the Lions will focus more on Antonio Gates, Vincent Jackson and Ryan Matthews so that leaves Malcolm Floyd one on one all day and I for one will take that all day.

Brent Celek is someone else I am high on this week. Brent Celek is finally getting the ball after being wasted last year and mot of this year. Mike Vick is finally looking for Celek so that gives the Eagles another weapon. The Eagles offense has been rolling the past few weeks. If you have a hole at tight end this week the Brent Celek would be a great pick up.

The last guy I am high on this week is Kahlil Bell the former UCLA running back. As I said last week don’t be surprised if Bell gets more playing time then Merion Barber, Well Kahlil Bell did get more playing time then Marion Barber because Bell is a better fit in Mike Martz offensive scheme. Bell had 11 points last week and out preformed Marion Barber. I would not be surprised if Bell got the start this week versus the Green bay Packers. Bell is a great flex start this weekend.

Here are a few guys I would not play this weekend. Big Ben is working with a bum ankle that is limiting his mobility in and out of the pocket. The Steelers offensive line is horrible and will not be able to protect Big Ben at all, plus if been can’t escape the run he will just be a sitting duck out there.

Marshawn Lynch is another guy I will be sitting the week because the match up with the 49ers this weekend is a losing one for Lynch. The 49ers do not allow 100 yard rushers and have allowed the fewest rushing Touch downs to apposing running backs.

I wish all of you the best on this Championship weekend unless your playing me cause I want that Money!

Jerry Siordia
Go Bruins!!!

Fantasy Football Almanac 2011: The Essential Fantasy Football Refererence Guide

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