Flava’ in your ear
If there was one thing that week twelve in the NFL taught us , it is to at times expect the unexpected and then , not to. Not one to be truly surprised , I witnessed the New England Patriots simply destroy their divisional rivals the New York Jets , with consummate ease . If Rex Ryan truly wishes to secure his long-term future with the franchise , then the continued use of Mark Sanchez at the quarterback position , is clearly not the answer . Granted , the team’s issues go way beyond the inconsistency of the three-year starter, as the entire roster just happens to be a mess !
Either , the Jets’ head coach has become delusional , or his implicit faith shown in Mark Sanchez continues to cloud his judgment . That being said, the alternatives to Sanchez are not that much better , as neither Tim Tebow or Greg McElroy have shown that they possess the mindset to lead this team with any degree of competency or certainty . Week thirteen , and the Jets will play host to the equally abysmal Arizona Cardinals, in a game to be played at MetLife Stadium , in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Suffice to say , that with both teams now seeing their respective seasons descend into an abyss of mediocrity , it should prove to be a godsend for the odds-makers in Vegas and the erstwhile fantasy geeks out there looking for an under-appreciated fantasy stud to put up some numbers.
Having railed of four consecutive victories before hosting the Atlanta Falcons at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa, Florida, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had been one of the “hottest teams “ in the NFL . In a game that was filled with errors from both ball-clubs, it would be the Falcons who prevailed , maintaining their record (10-1) as the “ best team “ in the NFL . Missed opportunities by Greg Schiano’s players once again simply summed up the Buccaneers , and their season , thus far . And the very fact that they still remain a wildcard berth contender for the playoffs , is just as bewildering , but that has summed up the NFL season in 2012.
Now if there is a Buccaneers’ fan who can explain to me succinctly, why it is that the fans are not willing to come out in droves, to support this team , when they are vying for contention within the division . Then, I would like to hear their explanation , as to why this premise remains a constant for this organization . The Buccaneers’ home venue was not filled to capacity for this game , and that speaks volumes as to one of the many impediments that the franchise faces . Schiano has built a “ competent “ and competitive team , but yet the voices to be heard in a crowd at the stadium, are like that of silence , within a church vestibule .
Is it worthwhile continuing to lambast the Oakland Raiders ? Off-season changes , asides , there seems to be no improvement in this team from their woeful — experiences of 2011 . And from an NFL Draft standpoint , this organization has not had a major triumph at that level in several years. This year has been no different , and it would appear that general manager Reggie McKenzie and team owner , Mark Davis , are seemingly out of their depth in the day-to-day-running of this franchise .
At 3-8 within the AFC West , with only the pitiful Kansas City Chiefs (1-10) , beneath them , it is hard to see things getting any better for the Raiders over the remainder of their season schedule. I firmly believe that head coach , Dennis Allen is imperiled in his current position , and that by season’s end , he could very well be shown the door ! As to this idiocy that the front office promoted Allen , rather than see him go elsewhere . Well that scenario speaks volumes Davis’ and McKenzie’s understanding of the issues at the time . It was not Hu Jackson’s fault that the team failed in the way that they had done. And as Allen’s predecessor, Jackson actually had the Raiders playing as a team. Can such a case be made for any of the games during 2012 , in which the Raiders are said to have turned up to play ? This team lacks conviction , has lost focus , and they simply do not possess a vocal leader of any sort on the entire roster .
Carson Palmer , the team’s quarterback , acquired to bring some semblance of consistent play to the Raiders’ offensive unit , has been anything but that during the season. If nothing else, it has simply magnified the franchise’s willingness to undertake any sorry-assed image makeover , even when it involves a player that if anything , can be best described as overrated ! Sunday afternoon, Palmer faced his old team , the Cincinnati Bengals , in an AFC conference game . I believe that we can all agree that the end result , a rather lopsided 34-10 victory for Andy Dalton and the Bengals, summed up where the Raiders presently are, in their aspirations, and where they desire to be . As to how the Raiders’ fans might now view this loss, that perhaps could be best explained , if there was one to found who’d be willing to speak publicly about the woes of the team and franchise as a whole . They tend to congregate en-masse at the O. Coliseum (Oakland-Alameda County Stadium) for home games , only to disappear , like a bear in hibernation , during winter , when things have not gone right for the organization .
They say “age is nothing but a number” , but to my mind when “Father Time” catches up with you physically , then it’s time to sit your ass down ! It may well have been the only option available to Mike Tomlin at the time , to have Methuselah , himself, in the “guise “ of Charlie Batch , start for the injured Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich . Granted, Batch is a serviceable veteran whose presence in the NFL has been well established , since 1998 , when he was drafted in the second round by the Detroit Lions. Batch’s career has been filled with some highlights and career lows , but in recent years , apart from being a backup to Roethlisberger and Leftwich on the Steelers’ roster , the player has been primarily known as an executive committee member of the NFLPA (Players’ Union).
Batch was entrusted on Sunday , to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers when they faced divisional rivals , the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium , in Cleveland , Ohio. Unfortunately, for the veteran quarterback , his performance and that of his teammates , left a great deal to be desired , as the Steelers succumbed to their nemesis, 20-14.
I’ll say this for the New Orleans Saints , were it not for the charade of the “Bounty Scandal”, and the half-assed way it has been haphazardly handled by the NFL hierarchy , led by Roger Goodell. Then I sincerely doubt , that the ongoing subterfuge and plotline would have been sustained this long ! Take it from me , Goodell , simply is not intelligent enough to have dealt with this episode , where it could have been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction . Yet there are those who would suggest that the commissioner’s handling has been appropriate . How so , when Goodell preaches “ the rule of law” , but simply does not follow the laws of jurisprudence . So I ask once again, is there an ounce of goddamn intelligence to be found within the NFL hierarchy, while Roger Goodell presides over the NFL ?
With regard to the Saints’ , the team of late , had been playing with a great deal of resolve , after a horrendous start to the season. Coming into Sunday’s game , the team stood at 5-5 , and looking to become a part of the playoff picture within the NFC . Playing at home , in the cavernous Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans, Louisiana , the Drew Brees’ led team entertained the San Francisco 49ers , who had Colin Kaepernick , replacing the injured Alex Smith at the quarterback position. Advantage Saints ? You might well have thought so , given that this was Kaepernick’s first regular season — start in the NFL .
What the nation was “ privileged “ to witness was a rookie quarterback , in Colin Kaepernick , after a few errant blunders , settle down , to lead the Forty Niners , to what in the end , was a comfortable victory (31-21) for the NFC West leading , San Francisco 49ers. Truth be told, another loss for the Saints over the remainder of their schedule and the team is likely to miss out on the postseason . Given what is at stake, in the aftermath of the ongoing idiocy , much of it of the Saints’ own making and I believe that , this would the most welcomed outcome amongst the vast majority of football fans around the NFL !
In what, on paper should have been a highly entertaining game turned out to be an event for Eli Manning to further exhibit why he now might just be most efficient manager of a game when a team is need of a score . The New York Giants hosted Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers . Tom Coughlin’s players had made recent slip-ups , and the thinking was that this match-up against the Packers could very well be the defining moment of the Giants’ schedule. Indeed , it was , as Rodgers and his teammates fell apart in this game , as somehow they allowed the Giants to get back into this conference match-up. The 31-10 defeat inflicted upon the Green Bay Packers , was the team’s worst loss of the season . Now it , has many scurrying around for reasons behind the defeat , and how things could have gone so horribly wrong .
The loss pushes the Green Bay Packers’ mark to 7-4, a game behind the NFC North leading Chicago Bears (8-3) . Eli Manning and the New York Giants (7-4) have a handy two-game lead over their closest rivals , the Washington Redskins (5-6) and Dallas Cowboys(5-6) , who share the same mark within the NFC East. As to what this now says, about the quite dire situation now facing the Redskins and Cowboys , as they each chase a wildcard berth within the NFC , now remains to be seen.
Say it isn’t so ? Are the Kansas City Chiefs intent on “tanking their season” , in order to afford themselves the top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft ? That is either is case , or Romeo Crennel , his coaching staff and the front office are putting on a vain attempt , in trying to create the perception that this team just happens to be — competitive .
When a franchise is 1-10, is there really an upside as to the prospects for that team over the remainder of the season ? And try as one might to take away some positives as to the ineptitude shown by the Chiefs , there is simply nothing that one could rest one’s laurels on ! GM Scott Pioli , and Romeo Crennell , are likely to be shown the door , that is unless team President & COO Clark Hunt believes that there is a chance that the franchise could indeed benefit by having that number one overall pick from the 2013 NFL Draft. There are, a compendium of issues that need to be addressed by the organization , and most of all , it starts with a quarterback that is certainly capable of getting the job done. That clearly not the case , given the abject failure and performances of both Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn, over the course of this season.
On Sunday the Kansas City Chiefs did themselves no favors in their cause, to avert the wrath of their long-suffering fans , as they fell to their eighth consecutive loss , in a 17-9 home defeat at the hands of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
Week thirteen, and the Chiefs will entertain the Carolina Panthers at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City, Missouri , in what will be seen as , a do-or-die game for both teams. The Panther , this season , have their own struggles , with a moribund defense , and a less than enthusiastic quarterback , in Cam Newton , who has seen fit to throw his teammates repeatedly under the bus , at every opportunity available , over the course of the season , as the losses have mounted up for the team. And Newton has done himself no favors with his petulant and immature behavior during the Panthers’ post-game conferences and the conducted interviews with the convened press. It begs the question , will the organization continue to ride on the coattails of an individual , in who, they have invested millions of dollars , if he continues to disrespect the franchise , its fans and the public in general ?
The NFL season now enters , its final four games of the regular season schedule , and for a number of teams , there is said to be a “ great deal on the line” . Post season aspirations being what they are , it would now be fair to say , that we know whom amongst the franchises are “ pretenders” and which are definitely “credible contenders” . With records being what they are however, I must admit , that I don’t believe that there has been one truly dominant franchise over the course of 2012 !
What to your mind has been the biggest disappointment this NFL season , beyond the initial lockout of the referees , and the ongoing saga concerning the New Orleans Saints ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit , on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1)New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan reacts after quarterback Mark Sanchez fumbled and New England Patriots’ Steve Gregory returned it for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Patriots would go on to defeat the Jets 49-19 in their divisional match-up this season . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …
(2) New England Patriots strong safety Steve Gregory (28) is tackled by New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) after intercepting a pass during the first half of an NFL football game on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun … (3) Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman (5) throws a pass as he is pressured by Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Corey Peters (91) during the first quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. AP Photo/Reinhold Matay …..
(4) Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen , right, greets Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis after the Bengals’ 34-10 win in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tom Uhlman ….
(5) Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes as guard Clint Boling (65) blocks Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (93) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. AP Photo/David Kohl ….
(6) Oakland Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer (3) hugs Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) after the Bengals defeated the Raiders 34-10 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. Palmer’s tenure with the Raiders so far can be best described as sporadic , for a team and organization that seems to have lost its identity and direction . AP Photo/David Kohl …..
(7) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch (16) congratulates running back Chris Rainey after Rainey’s ——- 1-yard touchdown run against the Cleveland Browns in the second quarter of an NFL football game on Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012, in Cleveland. AP Photo/Ron Schwane …..
(8) San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) celebrates his rushing touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012.The 49ers won 31-21 . In what appears to be something of a budding quarterback controversy , it now looks as if Niners’ head coach Jim Harbaugh , will insert Kaepernick into the starting quarterback’s position role , thereby replacing Alex Smith . As to how this will be viewed by the Niners’ number one overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft , and the subsequent fact, that during the off-season the Niners’ front office pursued , then, free agent , Peyton Manning , might not sit well , with the now under-appreciated Smith. Kaepernick has started , a mere two games professionally in the NFL , but he is now seen as the Niners’ best option offensively, in terms of winning the subsequent games remaining on the team’s schedule . AP Photo/Bill Feig ….
(9) Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) talks with Kansas City Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel following an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. The Broncos defeated the Chiefs 17-9 . Clark Hunt , team owner ,President & COO , may well seek to replace his beleaguered head coach and general manager , Scott Pioli , in light of the Chiefs’ disastrous 2012 season , which sees the franchise with the worst record in the NFL . AP Photo/Ed Zurga…
(10) Kansas City Chiefs running back Shaun Draughn (20) is tackled by Denver Broncos strong safety Mike Adams , right, during the first half of an NFL football game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel …..
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