I think that it ought to be abundantly clear and plain for all to see that the NFL’s two western divisions might just be the worst that there is, in all of football. If you can categorically state to me what other divisions in the NFL are worst than that of the AFC West and NFC West. Then I’d be quite happy to listen to the arguments that you’re prepared to put forth to justify your claim or claims, as the case maybe.
While on the face of it, one can allude to the fact that within those divisions the standout teams are perhaps , the Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) and the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos (AFC West). One could perhaps attest to the fact also that the other teams that make up those respective divisions are essentially at best, no more than average , given the lack of quality and inconsistency of their play.
Broncos’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall seen here playing against the Indianapolis Colts , on his way to an NFL career record. The player would complete 21 receptions during the game , while attaining 200 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a losing effort against the Colts. The single game reception record had been previously held by Terrell Owens, as a San Francisco 49er. Indianapolis remained unbeaten with their 28-16 defeat of the Denver Broncos. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ……
The same ‘old mantra’ is still being used that there’s ‘parity within the NFL’ and that on any given day, an extremely good team can be beaten by a bad team. That may well be the case, but based on the evidence of this season . It has been something of a rarity , albeit that we’ve also seen the likes of Pittsburgh Steelers get upended by the woefully inept Cleveland Browns. That being said , I’m of the opinion that much of the malaise we’re now seeing within the AFC West and NFC West, comes from the utterly poor coaching from within those divisions. The long suffering Oakland Raiders and their fans have had to put up with the continued ridicule of the franchise. Never mind that this time around one can’t really solely apportion blame upon their owner, Al Davis. This time around the brunt of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Raiders’ coach Tom Cable and that of his entire coaching staff. One could also argue that the team’s quarterback, JaMarcus Russell has led to a great many of the team’s woes from the outset. Whoever , was behind the scouting of Russell and the final decision to draft the player, clearly needs to have their head examined. And it appears that might come back down to Al Davis, again intervening and make a decision that has set the franchise back at least two three years. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Well , here the Raiders have gained one monumental headache in Russell, whose football IQ might just be slightly lower than that of Paris Hilton’s actual intelligence quotient.
The troubling thing for the Oakland Raiders now , is that with an injury to the newly installed starter at quarterback,Bruce Gradkowski. The team and Cable will now have to reinstall Russell back into the starter’s role. Gradkowski , has done everything asked of him in leading this team with due diligence and not making the mistakes that came with Russell’s nondescript and haphazard game. Cable for his part, seems to be at a loss for words in describing the franchise’s malaise. But therein, he was thrust into the position that he was ill equipped to handle from the very beginning.
The Kansas City Chiefs under coach, Todd Haley continues to struggle and much that comes down to sheer youth and inexperience on this team. And with former Patriots’ GM, Scott Pioli, now overseeing the personnel and development of recruitment for the franchise. It’d be safe to say that their future appears to be in safe hands. But for now, it is the immediacy of winning, learning how to acquire those traits and put them into practice in a competitive form. And for a team that is now 3-10 within the AFC West. Every win that they attain, is something to pin their hopes on and to the very fact that they’re learning something along the way.
In the NFC West where the Arizona Cardinals seemingly now have the division to themselves. The likes of the San Francisco 49ers , Seattle Seahawks and St Louis Rams, while eager to put up something of a challenge. They have either been all too inconsistent in their overall play or just exceptionally mediocre to begin with.
Last year’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , has played with a great sense of urgency. But more often than not, there have been slip ups made by Ken Whisenhunt’s Arizona Cardinals’ team. Monday night’s 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, leads us to believe that the margin between the top team within the division and that of its other domiciled teams might not be as large, as first thought. Somehow, the Cardinals were inexplicably outplayed by a resurgent and resilient team, coached by Mike Singletary. You’d have been hard pressed to guess which was the team had an 8-5 record and a 6-7 record. Such may have been the disparity in terms of their overall play on the night.
Make of it what you will but I’m of the opinion that Mike Holmgren should not have been allowed to name his successor in waiting while he was the coach of the Seattle Seahawks. As great as a coach, as he has been over the years. Over the latter part his career with the Seahawks , the game essentially had begun to pass him by and personnel choices with regard to the Seahawks’ roster hadn’t paid any real dividends. Upon his retirement from the team, the reins were handed over to Jim Mora Jr.. To my mind they might as well have handed the reins over to Attila The Hun , for all of the good that it has done. Jim Mora Jr, is no more an NFL coach than Britney Spears can be considered to be a great singer. But yet somehow Mora has been entrusted with coaching this team ? Far be it for me to suggest but in Mora’s foray as an NFL coach , once he met with real adversity there in Atlanta with the Michael Vick saga. His apportioned blame elsewhere faster than a typhoon hits land. And when it was all said and done he still saw fit to denigrate the organization for the apparent way that he’d been treated. But then again, this was the same individual who when asked by Falcons’ owner , Arthur Blank, whether or not he’d been looking elsewhere for another coaching vacancy, he had the temerity to lie to the owner’s face.
Mora , now in position as the Seahawk’s coach. He has shown about as much perception and keenness for the position as a blind man being requested to play hop-scotch in a minefield. He has brought absolutely nothing at all to the table. And the Seahawks have fallen faster from grace than a meteor falling from the sky. No excuses ought to be made about the team being replete with injuries and the apparent loss of Pro Bowl quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck , due to prolonged injuries. Had Holmgren to begin with and then Mora seen fit to attain a backup for the aging quarterback. Then in some ways their problems would not be as acute as they now are.
From being anointed ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’, to now being bogged down in quicksand and their own mediocrity. The St Louis Rams have become a team that is about as welcoming to watch as catching a strain of the H1N1 virus. Let’s just say that the scary thought is that, there’s still no cure for the virus or what ails the Rams as an organization. In spite of it all Rams’ coach, Steve Spagnuolo tries his level best to coach this team to some level of competency and competitiveness. He’d better of coaching ‘Pop Warner’ football at this juncture. This is a team that has no real guidance or any semblance of leadership on the field of play. And the talents of the team’s running back , Steven Jackson, are being sadly wasted on a franchise that has no apparent guts for a fight or the will to win.
With each passing effort of an NFL game , one can slowly see how moribund that the Rams’ organization and the team has become. And there appears to be no end in sight as to the malaise that the team is now within. They, alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fighting for the record in futility for this NFL season. Both teams have a record of 1-12 as they both seek to at least attain one more win before the regular season reaches its climax. But that might allude to the fact that both teams don’t want to eschew the fact of missing out on taking the number one overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. The choices are a quarterback or a defensive player ? The Buccaneers have their needs, as do the St Louis Rams. But it’s safe to say that at this juncture none of us really knows what either of the two franchises will do in terms of a choice.
AFC West Divisional Standings
Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
San Diego Chargers 10 3 0 .769 362 259 4-2-0 6-1-0 5-1-0 7-3-0 Won 8
Denver Broncos 8 5 0 .615 256 230 4-2-0 4-3-0 3-1-0 6-4-0 Lost 1
Oakland Raiders 4 9 0 .308 155 316 2-5-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 3-6-0 Lost 1
Kansas City Chiefs 3 10 0 .231 206 342 1-6-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 2-7-0 Lost 3
NFC West Divisional Standings
Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
Arizona Cardinals 8 5 0 .615 306 258 3-3-0 5-2-0 3-2-0 6-3-0 Lost 1
San Francisco 49ers 6 7 0 .462 269 242 5-2-0 1-5-0 4-1-0 5-4-0 Won 1
Seattle Seahawks 5 8 0 .385 250 301 4-2-0 1-6-0 3-3-0 4-6-0 Lost 1
St. Louis Rams 1 12 0 .077 146 361 0-6-0 1-6-0 0-4-0 1-9-0 Lost 5