Let’s Pray To Assure Us All That The NFL Pumps Up The Kicks …………..
By tophatal ……
So the NFL season has now ended under somewhat inauspicious circumstances , with the Denver Broncos backing in to the playoffs despite a 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs . Now in spite of the Broncos’ fans being pleased with themselves at this juncture they must now know that if their team is to stand a chance in the wildcard round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers then Tim Tebow and his teammates will most certainly have to raise the level of their play . If anything Tebow will have to play with more efficiency rather than at the level we have seen from the player in his last three outings . If nothing else this scenario is now beginning to play itself where we may well see GM Brian Xanders and President of Football Operations John Elway make the decision to draft a quarterback in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft . The Broncos’ incumbent may well be saying all of the right things but it’s becoming abundantly clear that although the Broncos have made their first entry into the postseason since 2005 .
Slide show details below .
With both the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders failing miserably in obtaining a playoff berth we will see the Cincinnati Bengals joining the Steelers as the wildcard entrants in the AFC . This season I truly believe that the conference as a whole has been particularly bad in terms of the play of the teams there ! No one team has truly stood out from the rest in spite the records of teams such as the New England Patriots (13-3) , Baltimore Ravens (12-4 ) and the Houston Texans (10-6) . God knows I’ve always felt that the AFC West was terrible but little did think that I would be able to suggest that the AFC itself now seems to be mired in mediocrity !
Perhaps the only thing to come out of this by way of productivity has been to see the likes of Maurice Jones-Drew , Ray Rice and Tom Brady have stellar years at their respective positions . Jones-Drew ended up with the league’s rushing title having amassed 1606yds from scrimmage , while in the latter half of the season Rice proved to be the main catalyst behind the Ravens gaining the #2 seed within the AFC .
Tom Brady for his part has been his customary self although this season in terms of quarterback performances it has been all about the performances of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers over the course of the season . The duo may well be fighting quite possibly not only for the NFC championship game as it is being envisaged amongst the vast majority of fans as well as the odds-makers in Las Vegas . The other award that that the duo quarterbacks may well have us wondering over is who may well end up being the league MVP for 2011 . Fans have been appreciative of the season had by Rodgers . Brees broke the 27 year old single season passing record for yardage amassed , which was held by Dan Marino .
Now no one can deny that this season the NFC simply hasn’t offered up one or two surprises . Both the Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are making impromptu returns to the postseason . For the Lions it will be the first time since 1999 , whilst for the Niners it was the welcome return of one of the franchises most associated with the Superbowl and its history . For those teams’ respective coaches John Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz we might just be seeing two of the nominees for the NFL Coach of The Year .
It goes without saying that the Green Bay Packers have had their way with the rest of the league over the course of the season . Rolling off thirteen straight wins to start their season . Though the defense has been that has had its hiccups no one can deny that this team’s offense cannot simply put up the numbers when it matters most . And that is clearly what the Packers has been able to do over the course of the year.
What to make of the Ryan brothers and their tenure within the NFL ? Rex Ryan as coach of the New York Jets the NFL now sits on the sidelines as their season season has crumbled , with there now being internal dissension and criticism amongst the players and now a great deal of name calling . Team captain Santonio Holmes now seems to have ” talked ” and walked his way off this team The head coach himself now seems to be at a loss for words as he and his coaching staff haven’t been too quick to accept the blame for the meltdown and catastrophes that have befallen the Jets over the course of the season . Mark Sanchez has most certainly regressed as a player this season and the team’s defense isn’t all it’s cracked to be . As for Ryan’s boast that his steam is the best in the city of New York then based on this season’s performances that clearly is not the case .
Ryan and his coaching staff certainly have some off-season decisions to make as it relates to this team . And most certainly there are a number of players who are bound to be superfluous to the needs of the New York Jets. And as of now it’s hard to say how things will pan out as it relates to the organization never mind how Rex Ryan may or may not seek to apportion blame elsewhere for his own failings .
So once again Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys are the ” joke” of the NFL …….. er’go the NFL’s answer to the Keystone Cops ! Always bound to make you laugh no matter what scenario that simply arises . And over the course of this season the Dallas Cowboys have provided enough melodrama for even the most ardent fans of this team . As for head coach Jason Garrett and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan ……….. are the duo now going to be under even more pressure than ever before ? If the AFC West is said to be one of the worst divisions in the league then quite possibly the NFC East this season cannot be too far behind . Now while one of the few bright spots on this Cowboys’ team has to be the play of defensive player DeMarcus Ware as to the rest of the players on this roster it would not be remiss to suggest that they have underachieved !
If the jury was now said to be ready to give its verdict on Tony Romo then it would have to be ……… that he’s been a bust ! . The idiocy that he ought to be considered amongst the elite within the NFL much less amongst the NFC quarterbacks has to be now looked upon as being a complete joke . But somehow , NFL on air analysts, such as Mark Schlereth , Merrill Hoge and Chris Mortensen tend to salivate over the player as if they are looking act a busty naked female Playboy centerfold . Unless I’m mistaken Romo has none of those actual attributes much less being considered amongst the best at his craft within the NFL . His play at best can be described as being erratic over the course of this season and never let it be said that he ought to be considered a leader amongst his teammates . The luster provided by the Dallas Cowboys’ name and legacy is now becoming something of a myth if not an “urban legend” .
With the Dallas Cowboys’ season on the line in a must win game against their heated divisional rivals the New York Giants Jason Garrett’s players labored against a Giants’ offense and teams that simply wanted the victory more . Instead we simply had the Cowboys going through the motions and at no time during this game could you consider that Jason Garrett or his players for that matter wanting to be part of a truly competitive battle . The Cowboys have and should always be considered a ” soft team” both “on” and ” off the field of play “! At no time in this rather lopsided 31-14 loss to the New York Giants .
At this juncture it’s hard to say how Jerry Jones and the other front office executives will view the season for the Dallas Cowboys . Rob Ryan for his part as the defensive coordinator was often petulant in his chastising the team’s opponents over the course of the season but somehow he was unable to address the issues of his own team. Somehow the traits this particular Ryan sibling is not that much different from his twin brother or for that matter from their patriarch Buddy Ryan . And as we all know the elder Ryan patriarch could be considered a rather rambunctious son of a bitch , even at the most combustive of moments .
Jones has a billion dollar stadium and a team that in the true sense of the word isn’t worth a plug nickel ! Jason Garrett as the head coach has made his own number of blunders over the course of the season that seems to have mirrored what the fans have had to witness over the Cowboys’ schedule but yet as we all know Jerry Jones will stand by his now beleaguered coach , not wanting to be seen as the owner who has now fired another coach for producing what can be best described as another monstrous season . .
For all of the money being paid to Washington Redskins’ coach Mike Shanahan I am not so sure that the five year $37.5 million contract offered to him by Dan Snyder must now be considered something of a joke . It’s not as if Shanahan and his son Kyle Shanahan , the team’s offensive coordinator has been something of a joke in that capacity as well. When nepotism rears its ugly head within professional sports from a coaching or executive capacity , rarely does it get off to a good start . And it is not as if Kyle Shahanahan has served an apprenticeship whereby you would suggest that he’s now become credible in his capacity as an offensive coordinator. The woes of the Redskins this season as an offensive force has been an anathema to most fans observing this team .
Now while Snyder may well have taken a back seat as both Shanahan’s have taken control of all decisions concerning personnel decisions in conjunction with GM Bruce Allen . At this juncture it would be fair to say that the franchise has some significant problems on its hands which quite frankly I am not so sure that Shanahan or Allen have an actual clue to remedy the situation ! The needs of this team are many and it is clear that once again that front office staff of the Redskins will have to be “big players” in the upcoming NFL Draft as they seek to rebuild this roster . Snyder’s patience might not be at a boiling point but is now clear that he cannot tolerate repeated failures of this organization in spite of its apparent history .
The St Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts having each ended the season with a 2-14 record but to my mind neither team should be looked upon as the worst franchise in the NFL ! Having lost ten straight games . I cannot understand the mess that has become the Tampa Bay Buccaneers !
The rumors now percolating within the area is that head coach Raheem Morris may well be about to be fired by GM Mark Dominik . But before that decision can be made the approval has to come from Bryan or Joel Glazer whose family owns the NFL franchise . The fans have to be disgusted by what they have seen this season from Morris , his coaching staff but in particular from the members of this team . It’s hard to imagine how a franchise that went 10-6 last season missed a playoff berth by a mere whisker could have regressed so badly in the course of one year . But the sentiment has to be that the team overachieved last season and this year they have fallen back to earth with an emphatic thud !
In the NFC South which has always been competitive we have a quartet of quarterbacks that would be the envy of most teams around the NFL . Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints , alongside Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons , Josh Freeman of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and probably the consensus NFL Rookie of the Year Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers . The players’ stats bear this out but if anything the major disappointment here has to be that Josh Freeman and his poor performances this season . Playing injured for much of the year Freeman was far from being efficient when based upon his play for the Buccaneers’ schedule in 2010.
The young Buccaneers’ quarterback has struggled but what cannot be hidden is the mere fact that the seasoned veterans on this team have shown very little leadership if any in leading the young players on the roster by example . Instead the likes of Ronde Barber , Kellen Winslow Jr and Davin Joseph have if anything stood idly by only to give rather inane and rhetorical statements as to the plight of the team this season and the apparent reasons for their woes . From my own standpoint beat writers within the locale and that of the local on air analysts have become mere lap dogs of the organization not wanting to upset the apple cart in terms of the access they often gain from the organization in terms of interviews . But there now seems to be growing unrest amongst the fans who expected so much more from this team . It probably hasn’t sit well that they have seen . Cam Newton simply lead the Panthers with authority and maturity way beyond his years. This coming from a rookie in the NFL who simply shattered the records held by a rookie quarterback in the NFL . Records specifically held by Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning in his first season in the league in 1998 .
With it now being confirmed that Raheem Morris has been fired but this now makes front office look like complete asses , with the beleaguered coach having recently signed a contract extension in 2010, for a further two years beyond the existing contract that he had in place . With the team still owing former head coach $4.5 million for 2012 and now with an additional $5 million due to Morris . I now have to ask myself where is the common sense coming from within this organization ? Certainly if it’s not from Mark Dominik then is actually coming from anyone amongst the ownership group ?
Picture gallery for your perusal .
What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your thought as you deem fit . .
Picture and slide show details below .
(1) DENVER, CO – JANUARY 1: A Denver Broncos fan holds up a Kyle Orton (8) sign during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Chiefs would go on to defeat the Broncos 7-3 . Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images …
(2) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos looks to hand off the ball during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 1, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Garrett W. Ellwood/Getty Images ….
(3) Anthony Dixon (24) of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown against St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 34-27 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ….
(4) ST. LOUIS, MO – JANUARY 1: Alex Smith (11) of the San Francisco 49ers passes against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 1, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers beat the Rams 34-27 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ……
(5) New York Jets coach Rex Ryan speaks during a news conference in Florham Park, N.J., Monday, Jan. 2, 2012. The Jets lost 19-17 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, ending their season. AP Photo/Seth Wenig ….
(6) FILE – This Jan. 1, 2012 file photo shows New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan walking off the field following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, in Miami. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 19-17. Months after Ryan guaranteed a Super Bowl appearance, the Jets (8-8) are going home without a playoff game after a season filled with inconsistent play, some in-fighting and lost opportunities. AP Photo/Lynne Sladky …..
(7) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 01: Head coach Tom Coughlin greets Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys after their game at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images …..
(8) EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – JANUARY 01: Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys walks off of the field after losing against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images ….
(9) Michael Boley (59) of the New York Giants tackles Tony Romo (9 ) of the Dallas Cowboys for a loss of yards on fourth and one in the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images ………
(10) Tampa Bay Buccaneers general manager Mark Dominik speaks to reporters during an NFL news conference announcing that the Buccaneers have relieved head coach Raheem Morris of his duties on Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Brian Blanco ……
(11) Josh Freeman (5) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts after a failed conversion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images …. .
(12) What kind of fool am I ? Head coach Raheem Morris of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on during the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on January 1, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images ….
Foster The People … “Pumped Up Kicks ”