So what? What have we really learned about the NFL this season ?
With three weeks left to the end of the NFL regular season , we have one post-season qualifier , with the Seattle Seahawks having all but secured the NFC West divisional title . Meanwhile , the Houston Texans have fired head coach Gary Kubiak, after eight seasons of inconsistency and relatively little success. Mind you , if you believe that two playoff appearances where the team simply failed to show anything of a competitive nature is something that the franchise can actually take pride in . Then clearly , your thoughts about the organization might well be clouded on so many levels. The off-season for the Texans, will begin with an in-depth managerial search for a competent successor to Kubiak and I believe that team owner Robert McNair and GM Rick Smith , will take a look at the prospective teams , that are likely to make the post-season, and then seek to gauge the interest of any potential candidate amongst the assistant coaching staffs , of the teams in question .
One early and likely contender for the vacant Houston Texans’ coaching position , would appear to be Lovie Smith , formerly of the Chicago Bears whose firing from that position remains almost inexplicable as the asinine answer given by the front office , that the organization now needed to head in a new direction . The fact of the matter remains , as long as Jay Cutler remains in a Bears’ uniform the franchise is unlikely to win a Superbowl , no matter who head coach happens to be . Marc Trestman succeeded Smith, and has been able to do little of real note . Albeit, that the team, might appear to be on the cusp of gaining a playoff berth by default , after the Green Bay Packers lost Aaron Rodgers for a number of games, is simply one more pointer as to not only the weakness of the division , but also how dire, the play has been within the NFL this season. . On Monday night the Bears will get the chance to try and enhance their status and standing, when they play host to the Dallas Cowboys at Soldier Field in Chicago , Illinois in another of the games the NFL felt will likely entice the fans to watch . Given the unevenness, in the majority of those match-ups this season . This is a game , that I am likely to give a pass to , simply because of a contest between two highly overrated teams is simply one of the many idioms and idiocies of the proponents, who are still trying to suggest that “parity” has now become a part of the NFL. It’s not parity , but simply bad football and the vast majority would rather buy into what the NFL and their broadcast partners are selling, rather than coming to the conclusion that the NFL’s product is no longer an exciting brand .
Speaking of an unexciting brand and specifically the glamor that surrounded the game and a franchise having a one thousand yard rusher for the season . In an era, where a sixteen game schedule , means a running back simply has to average just over sixty yards a game to achieve that mark, that feat no longer seems at all relevant . Never mind the fact that the NFL has now become “a pass first league” , “pass happy league ” , where offense is simply predicated upon the yardage amassed and accuracy of a teams’ quarterback and that players’ propensity to amass the yardage needed in terms of a potent offense . Nothing more and nothing less!
The NFL has become an annual $7.55 billion industry and that business is presided over by perhaps the league’s most incompetent Chief Executive, since the league came me into existence. Don’t get me wrong , there may well be some admirable traits about Roger Goodell , but I have yet to see any of them exhibited during his tenure as the NFL Commissioner . To my mind , Goodell like his predecessor Paul Tagliabue are simply individuals too easily led and who have shown no intelligence whatsoever on a wide variety of issues that have affected the league over the past decade ! The primary concern of Goodell ,that of the team owners and union alike , are that of increased revenues leading to even bigger profits , and offering the fans little in return by way of a tangible on field product .
While the value of the franchises are now at all all-time high , and the owners are now corralling themselves to seek out even bigger revenue streams domestically as well as internationally . One now has to wonder the direction that the league will now seek to take, as it looks to compete on the global front . The North American market has now become saturated and with their being no real urgency by the NFL to have a franchise in the nation’s second largest advertising market , in spite of the continued overtures being made by several noted luminaries in the greater Los Angeles area. Before anything gets done, before an NFL franchise comes to that city, it will have to get its fiscal house in order . God knows , the state of California remains not only a mess from a financial standpoint , but also politically and it has become abundantly clear that its state legislature is simply a microcosm of the nation and the turmoil that still continues within Washington , DC , by way of the lack of political leadership and common sense being shown from either political party .
The Minnesota Vikings (3-8) are in a quagmire and I firmly believe that head coach , Leslie Frazier will be on his way out the door at the end of this season. As to the belief that the team’s quarterback Christian Ponder at any stage of his . NFL career was capable of leading this franchise to any semblance of success , has to be treated with a great deal of question . Ponder had moderate success while a player at Florida State , but even at his very best with that particular program , it was extremely difficult to view him as one of the top college quarterbacks in the nation upon his departure for the NFL. Minnesota has struggled this season and that has been reflected in one of the league’s poorer records this season . At best , all the franchise can simply hope for, is a respectable showing at the end of the season , with a year-end rousing string of positive results. . The first of those remaining five tests , will come when the Vikings are the guests of the defending Superbowl champions the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday afternoon. For the Ravens, this is a last gasp attempt as the team seeks to play itself back into if not divisional contention , well at last a last ditch attempt at a playoff berth within the AFC , at this stage of the season.
Ponder, might not have been the best quarterback taken or available to Minnesota during 2011 NFL Draft as the twelfth overall pick . As to what, the Vikings fans may well have thought about the choice, I firmly believe, that they now regret the fact that the choice was ever made to begin with. Though the issues are not merely about Christian Ponder’s playing ability , there are also numerous other factors that have now brought the franchise to where they currently are . Namely, the team’s defense is poor and beyond Adrian Perterson , the offense remains at best , simply inept and the very fact that Leslie Frazier’s coaching staff have been repeatedly out of their depth during the head coach’s tenure , weigh further into this continued debacle . The longer Peterson remains with the franchise , the less likely , he is to fulfill his ambition of winning a Superbowl , as gauging the franchise on its current pace , they are at least three years away from a competitive enough team to be even remotely thought of as a legitimate contender within the conference, much less the NFL . With neither Jared Allen or Adrian Peterson traded at the trade deadline, I can only assume that it remains GM Rick Spielman’s wish to build a contender around the two seasoned veterans . If that is likely to be the case, then franchise will either seek a quarterback good enough to lead this franchise from the crop of free agents that will become available or from amongst the college quarterbacks likely to declare their eligibility for the 2014 NFL Draft .
One of the more pleasant stories to come out of this NFL season, has been the assured-ness shown by Peyton Manning during this year. The four-time league MVP is still on pace for a record-breaking season , if he continues on his current streak , which has been at a splintering pace . Through twelve games , Manning has thrown for over four thousand yards , an astonishing forty-one touchdowns, with only nine interceptions . Any thoughts, that there are any serious competitors or challengers to Manning for the league MVP this season , would be as asinine as suggesting that Usain Bolt , the men’s 100 meter Olympic champion , two-time world champion and record holder is likely to be challenged by Richard Simmons at the champion’s chosen event, with Simmons being given a thirty meter head start.
Manning and the Denver Broncos remain the clear favorites within the AFC to make a clear and distinctive run towards the franchise’s third Superbowl victory. As to whether or not this team is capable of emulating the teams that won back to back victories with team Executive Vice President John Elway … leading his teammates in both triumphs. Could the same be ever said of Troy Aiken and Tony Romo , were Aiken to leave his current position in the commentators’ booth to take a similar role with the Dallas Cowboys ? I guess not , given Jerry Jones’ reluctance hand over the reins , but to continually micromanage every damn aspect of the Cowboys as an organization and with the franchise having not achieved anything of note in the last ten years .
It may well be deemed unkind, to make comparisons between organizations and what they have achieved over their respective historical legacies . Yet each season, I peruse the Dallas Cowboys and their list of accomplishments for that actual year, all I ever see , is the continued ineptitude of not only the team , but also the coaching staff and front office executives ! I would dare say, that if 2013 , ends with the Cowboys missing the playoffs or even making it for that matter . It is very unlikely that Tony Romo and his teammates will actually possess the mindset to defeat any of the contenders within the conference in spite of what has been a very mediocre season for the team within the NFC East by way of their overall record .
Dallas’ remaining schedule of four games , will begin with their Monday night clash with the Chicago Bears, which I earlier alluded to earlier , as being a contest of two highly overrated teams , looking to make headway this season within the NFL.
This season’s NFL rookies , have not been overly impressive , if measured against their predecessors in 2012 and 2011 . Yet, these observations, are merely my own and not from anyone’s observation on the issue . Your thoughts on this matter, are more than welcomed, as a healthy debate is better than no deb ate at all. The hype over Geno Smith as being one of the better quarterbacks in the college ranks of 2012 that was drafted and deemed good enough to succeed Mark Sanchez has bordered on being an unmitigated disaster beyond what now appears to be an even poorer season for Rex Ryan from a coaching standpoint. . This could very well prove to be the head coach’s last year with the franchise , unless he is able to pull off something extraordinary in terms of the New York Jets’ end of season run as it relates to their schedule . A welcomed triumph over the continually woeful Oakland Raiders , would be something of a genuine start , but not much more beyond than that .
Just when I thought, I could think no less of Bill Belichick and his continued antics as a head coach . He once again, proves me wrong with a coaching performance that defies all logic , as places the New England Patriots in a position to almost lose a game against the Cleveland Browns , that in essence would have killed their chances of gaining the number two seeding within the AFC at the end of the regular season. Belichick remains a self-absorbed individual who may well have the respect of his peers and his players , but he continues to viewed as an obnoxious and abrasive individual by the vast majority of fans , who have no binding allegiance to the Patriots. As a diehard fan of the franchise , I will continue heap praise on the team when necessary and when needed , be the first to also be one of the team’s biggest detractors, when I believe that they are simply not doing good enough , as adjudged by the franchise’s own lofty standards.
As the NFL season now winds down, having not reached its culmination by way of the regular season schedule. What to your mind has been the biggest surprise as well the biggest disappointment during this year? Chime in with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of the site, as it has always been greatly appreciated !
Meet Jordan Carver and just think what she could do for you .
Painstakingly refreshing , wouldn’t you agree ?