Care To Take A Bite Out of This Apple ?
No time to linger on week 5 of the NFL with week 6 comes teams positioning themselves for the long haul. With only two unbeaten teams both residing in the NFC North the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers could very well be the lone teams vying for the postseason from within the division. Matt Stafford and Aaron Rodgers are showing their mettle for the Lions and Packers respectively , in proving to be amongst the best quarterbacks not solely within the NFC but also the NFL as a whole.
Slide show for your perusal .
When a team has aspirations to be better than they claim to I’d like to feel that the coach or manager can actually back up that claim. Last season (10-6) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming off a great year , albeit that they narrowly failed to make the playoffs . Head coach Raheem Morris bitterly disappointed by the team’s free-fall made it his sole purpose to see an improvement from his team this year. He has seen his players flourish but I doubt that he could have envisaged this Bucs’ team would prove to such disappointment in their last regular schedule outing against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park , in San Francisco , California . Jim Harbaugh’s — team simply laid waste to the Buccaneers’ defense on their way a lopsided 48-3 win .
Raheem Morris and his coaching staff now have to get this team amped up and prepared to meet — divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints as they play hosts to Sean Payton’s — team at Raymond James Stadium , Tampa , in front of what is sure to to be a raucous and vociferous home crowd . No slip ups here for the Buccaneers and in particular from their young quarterback Josh Freeman . His play if anything has to be clear and indicative of the team’s aspirations .
Forty Niners’ quarterback Alex Smith and the offense looked like the Niners’ offenses of old that simply were as efficient and as devastating as one could imagine. The San Francisco 49ers at 4-1 lead the NFC West and given their performances this season it would be fair to presume that they are now to be viewed as the presumptive favorites for the division and a playoff berth.
The Forty Niners are guests of the high flying Detroit Lions (5-0) at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan this upcoming Sunday. Matt Stafford , Calvin Johnson , Jahvid Best and Ndamokung Suh are the talk of the town at present as the rest of the NFL are now taking notice of Jim Schwartz’s young and confident team .
I am not so sure that if I were Steve Spagnuolo’s footsteps , that I would relish the thought of playing the Green Bay Packers in front of a raucous home crowd at Lambeau Field , Green Bay , Wisconsin. The St Louis Rams’ coach has a winless team , lacking in confidence and playing without any real passion . And season given the strengths of this Packers’ team I view this match-up as a train wreck waiting to happen because the Rams are on a collision course with a locomotive traveling at a very high rate of speed.
Two teams with supposedly taking diverging paths but somehow within the AFC East the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets at present seem to be having a multitude of problems . Both Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan are coaches desperately seeking solutions to the malaise of their teams. At 0-4 Sparano must now realize that his very future is on the line if he cannot begin to turn things around and the coach has a Dolphins’ team that simply hasn’t a competent quarterback on their roster. Chad Henne in what universe can this player be viewed as a leader , much less a competent enough starter at the position ?
The New York Jets for their part seem to have a problem with their offense most notably running the ball . And it hasn’t helped that there now seems to be off the field problems concerning one of their more experienced players on the roster with Derek Mason . Clearly things are not all a bed of roses within that Jets’ locker room and now Rex Ryan has to show that for all of the false bravado and sound bytes , he will now have to once again prove that he can become the toast of the ‘Big Apple’ along with his team . Monday night when these two teams collide at the New Meadowlands/ Met Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey .
This contest between two teams within the AFC East with stark contrast as to the apparent directions that their respective seasons could be heading in , may well determine the fate of one coach and most certainly a number of players on his team. Rex Ryan , himself, is definitely not out of the woods , as he and this Jets’ team can ill afford to lose a conference and divisional game , only to fall further behind the Buffalo Bills (4-1) and New England Patriots (4-1) within the division.
Either Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Wayne Weaver loves to endure constant pain or he’s simply enamored with Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff . There has to be a reason why Weaver and the entire front office seem adamant on retaining their coach ? Personally , after the record of the team over the past five years , I cannot think of one ! Del Rio has been an absolute bust and the malaise of the team’s woes can be firmly laid to rest upon his shoulders . He’s simply wasting the talents of Maurice Jones-Drew and even with the organization jettisoning — David Garrard they now have to thrust Blaine Gabbert —- given him his baptism of fire within the league .
The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) are the guests of the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-0) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , this upcoming Sunday. And while Mike Tomlinson’s — team have had their issues this season this game could very well be viewed as a “gimme ” if they play up to their full potential . Overall — defensively the Jaguars are struggling as a cohesive unit and it has been one of the telling signs as to why they have continued to struggle . As an effective offensive unit with Garrard as the signal caller you simply never knew what to expect of the team or the player and that may well have been the primary reason why the decision was made to jettison the veteran and his $9 million salary .
Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts should be the scene of some real fun and games this Sunday , as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots entertain the Dallas Cowboys . And for those aspirants who continue to make their continued claims as to the “greatness ” of Tony Romo can they please take him down off that damn pedestal ? The player has yet to lead or win a meaningful game in the postseason for the team but yet he’s being placed amongst the throng of great quarterbacks in Cowboys’ history . Isn’t that like saying the “hot chick” in high school gave ” good head “ even though her lips and mouth were covered in blisters ? Ouch ! You’ll either get momentary flashes of brilliance from the player but he simply cannot string together consecutive games where he has played at a consistently high level .
Now I would contend that for Jerry Jones and the entire front office of the Dallas Cowboys this has to be a make or break season for the organization and team . A number of players on this roster are playing for their very livelihood this season . Anyone who believes that to be the contrary had better wake up and smell the coffee at this juncture ! Jerry Jones has been known to tolerate a great deal and through his own sheer ignorance and stupidity the franchise has been something of a laughing stock over the last decade. The organization may well be one of the most profitable sports franchises in North America but when it comes to recent success , well let’s just say for the Dallas Cowboys there has been little to actually rejoice about much less hang one’s hat unto in terms tangible on-field success .
Tony Romo knows that the jury is now in session as to his abilities and leadership skills . He may well be statisically be one of the franchise’s most successful quarterbacks in terms of regular season wins but that simply counts for absolutely nothing if you can’t lead the team to the “Promised Land” . It’s a Superbowl win or bust because that’s how Romo’s legacy will be adjudged amongst his more successful predecessors within the Dallas Cowboys’ fraternity of quarterbacks . Nothing less will be acceptable for the fans or for that matter for those within the front office of the franchise . They may well not voice that opinion openly in public but there’s a reason they tied the player long term , to a very generous and lucrative contract .
As to the game itself between the Cowboys and Patriots it should be an event of contrasting styles . The New England Patriots’ defense ought to be able to contain and contend with whatever Jason Garrett and his coaching staff have prepared for Bill Belichick’s players . With that being said nothing can be taken for granted by the Patriots’ coach . Brady and the plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal should be able to show why it is that they are a high octane offense and amongst the very best in the NFL at present .
Picture gallery for your perusal .
The the NFL season is not yet at its halfway point what thoughts if any do you have on the schedule so far ? And which teams if any have been a major disappointment to you in general as a fan ? Of the coaches at present whose future appears to be in the greatest jeopardy and which one if any could very well be the first managerial casualty of the season ? Chime in with a comment as you deem fit on this and anything else you feel pertinent to the subject matter .
Alan aka tophatal ……….
E-mail …. email@example.com
Picture and slide show details .
(1) Mike Williams (19) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gets separated from the ball by Dashon Goldson(38) of the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter during an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on October 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 48-3 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……
(2) Tim Hightower (25) of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the St. Louis Rams October 2, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins defeated the Rams 17-10 . Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images …….
(3) Quarterback Chad Henne (7) of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16 . (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ………
(4) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to teammate BenJarvius Green-Ellis (42) in the first half against the New York Jets on October 9, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images …….
(5) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys calls a play in the huddle against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……
NFL statistics :
Michelle McCurry …….. she definitely makes me feel like plucking her strings !
Worth plucking her strings don’t you think ?