Tit for tat …

With the weekend results now in within the NFL the constant there appears to be with regard to the postseason , has been the fact any showdown between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will draw the nation to their television sets.

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Granted, when the New England Patriots play as the guests of the Denver Broncos , this game will be the marquee match-up of the conference championship games being played next weekend. Regular season and postseason meeting between these two prolific quarterbacks have become drama and a thrill ride ever since these two players entered the league. It would not be remiss to suggest the NFC championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers will be taking a backseat to the AFC championship game. There Carson Palmer will seeking to create an upset with the elimination of the Panthers, but I believe with the season had by Cam Newton we are likely to see Newton and the Panthers make their first appearance in the Superbowl !

Back to the AFC contest and the expectations for Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak , his coaching staff and in particular Peyton Manning. Kubiak succeeded John Fox and now having taken the team to the brink of another Superbowl appearance , the thought has to be ,can Manning guide the team to another Superbowl victory, which would be the second of his illustrious career ? As the Denver Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlem seeks to overcome his medical issues the debilitating illness of early onsets of dementia , it has to be said beyond the drama off the field , there will be a great deal of drama on the field when this game kicks off.

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(1) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots has another postseason meeting with Peyton Manning (18) when the two teams meet in the AFC championship game this upcoming weekend. Brady has met Manning on several occasions during the postseason and regular season with a favorable record overall. AP Photo/ Matt Wilson

 

An exceptional season for the Carolina Panthers coming within earshot of only the second unbeaten season in NFL history , since the inception of the sixteen-game regular season schedule. The Panthers’ lone defeat came at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons , where Panther’ head coach Ron Rivera rested several of his starters during the waning during the second half of the game , leading to their 15-1 record . It was perhaps in the Panthers’ best interest to have lost the game and concentrate on the ultimate goal of the postseason and a Superbowl victory. Getting past the Arizona Cardinals will prove to be a tough task, but not an impossible one for the best team in the NFL. It is a game where the two opposing head coaches Bruce Arians and Ron River a will have show all of their acumen , once this contest gets a full head of steam.

With the recent announcement by wide receiver Reggie Wayne , it is intent to retire from the NFL , this Hall of Fame bound player steps away from the game and he has to be recognized as one of the best players of his era at the wide receivers’ position. His career stats place him in the upper echelons of his contemporaries, as well as his peers . His relationship with former teammate Peyton Manning is well-respected by both players and among their contemporaries. Wayne was unable to find a permanent team during this past season and now with his career having wound down , there is no need for him to assess where he ranks among his peers.

If one of Reggie Wayne’s contemporaries Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions has seriously mulled retirement , then one has to consider his position and the fact his talents have been wasted with the Lions over the past five years. The struggles of the franchise have been well-chronicled and the brunt of this malaise has to borne out by Ford family as the owners of the Lions and the clear ineptitude shown by the front office as well as the list of head coaches to have held the position over the last decade. Who can forget their 0-16 season, where the team at the time , from week to week sank to new levels of ineptitude. .

I have long been a admirer of Calvin Johnson and his retiring from the game I would have to say , would come as a complete surprise ! Johnson’s angst is understandable , where another season of incompetence was there for everyone to see with the team’s failure this season in the NFC North and the lack of real progress seen with Matt Stafford. I believe Stafford to be overrated , with his continued failings there for everyone to see ! Calvin Johnson is not due to become a free agent until 2020 , but with the continued disillusion of the wide receiver there might well be a chance the front office might well relent and possibly trade the player , knowing they would be able to obtain a slew of players in return. It remains to be seen if GM Bob Quinn would believe such a deal to be in the Lions’ best interests. For the moment Jim Caldwell’s job appears to be safe as the head coach of the team and there is no apprehension on my part in believing another year of this team failing to make the postseason and Caldwell would be relieved of his position. For the moment Jim Caldwell’s job appears to be safe as the head coach of the team and there is no apprehension on my part in believing another year of this team failing to make the postseason and Caldwell would be relieved of his position !

Eight wins in two seasons and Lovie Smith’s coaching career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ tenure with the franchise came to an abrupt end, after the decision was made to fire the head coach. Needless to say, the finger-pointing began with blames being apportioned right across the board. Idiotic praised, was heaped upon the shoulders of the team’s top , draft choice and the number one overall pick from this past season’s draft as Jameis Winston’s rookie season was an inauspicious one . A 6-10 season summed up the incompetence seen , even if Winston threw for over 3,000 yards and had a five-touchdown performance game for the Buccaneers . The only player on the team to have truly made an impact was running back Doug Martin who amassed over 1.200 rushing yards to finish among the top-ten rushers in the league for this past season..

Lovie Smith’s firing has led to the promotion of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter , who in his formal acceptance of the position stated , he would seek to improve the Buccaneers’ performance of the franchise . I believe it will be a tough task for a rookie head coach whose head could be on the chopping block.. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers seem to have a revolving door with regard to the head coaches of the franchise over the eight seasons . Needless to say, GM Jason Licht’s position could come under a great deal of scrutiny during the upcoming season should the Buccaneers fail to contend. The only way is up for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as this franchise seeks to reinvent themselves once again . Can it get any worse for this NFC South based franchise, whose only lasting moment of glory was their Superbowl victory over the Oakland Raiders ? This has been the only thing the Buccaneers’ fans have been able to cling unto for just over a decade. There is likely to be a big reassessment of the Buccaneers’ roster by the front office with several players likely to be jettisoned this off-season.

Other than the NBA , MLB and the NFL there are few sports in North America where a $20 million a year salary seems to be the norm. Within baseball , this stat is very much the norm , as too with basketball as well as football . Leading the way among the players with this classification are those with their guaranteed contracts , salaries and the fact a number of them have failed to live up to perceived expectations . With millions being paid out annually in salary commitments , it begs the question how can the NFL continue with their antitrust tax exempt status while teams at the drop of a hat, pending league approval , leaves a municipality in something of a rut ? Stadiums have been built for these professional franchises , whose owners are among some of the richest individuals in America.

With the recent announcement that the league hierarchy had granted their approval for the relocation of the St Louis Rams whose billionaire owner , Stanley Kroenke is the sixty-fourth richest individual listed on Forbes’ 400 list. Kroenke’s estimated $7.4 billion dwarfs many of his contemporaries within the league and the fact his franchise and the San Diego Chargers have been granted their relocation wish to move to the greater Los Angeles area.

Stanley Kroenke purchased a large tract of land in the city of Industry , California hoping to develop the acreage , with a stadium as well as commercial development, covering retail and entertainment concerns . The proposed stadium however is unlikely to be private-financed , with the belief , Kroenke and the league seeking the financing of the venture, coming by way of public funding (bond issue) jointly by the cities of Industry and Los Angeles . This proposal may well sit well with fans of the Rams, who would have yearned to see the NFL brought back to the greater Los Angeles area , but beyond that, their concerns on the impact to the infrastructure of the cities in question as well as the ongoing budgetary woes for both municipalities, isn’t within their sphere of thinking.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will continue to wax on lyrically concerning how competitive the league has become , its growing impact from an economic standpoint , which seems to be the only issue the commissioner can point to as a sign of positive growth. . Elsewhere, under his leadership, he remains an abysmal failure on a litany of issues encompassing the NFL . .Issues which the league has failed to address with any degree of their outcomes being long last ing much less being morally correct. .

As the NFL postseason comes into view what if anything are you hoping to see from the games being played this upcoming weekend ?

Tophatal …..

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13 thoughts on “Tit for tat …

  1. The Carolina Panthers were whupping some Seattle Seahawks’ @ss , going up 31-7 before the third quarter and some idiots believe the game was close ? What the #@ck were these idiots watching ?

    Well now that the St Louis Rams’ fans have filed a civil suit in US Federal District Court against the franchise and team owner , Stanley Kroenke seeking unspecified damages , claiming fraud by the owner. It should be very interesting to see if a court case actually takes place and how the league hierarchy will seek to assist the Rams in presenting their case.

    NFL stats for this postseason among the players and teams when measured against last postseason in the same categories and the results of the 2014 postseason.

    NFL news

    Tophatal …………

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  2. Calvin Johnson is now the single season and career-franchise leader for the Detroit Lions in the receiving categories for the team . Granted, all of this has taken place while having Matt Stafford as his teammate , but what cannot be denied has been the inherent failure to surround Calvin Johnson with a team complimentary to his skill-set. Johnson has been in the league since being drafted by the Lions in 2007 .

    If Johnson is said to be really contemplating retirement , I believe this has to come to down to his dissatisfaction with the organization , lack of progress by the Detroit Lions with their having been little opportunity of making the playoffs since his joining this once-proud franchise .

    Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press

    Stafford: Calvin Johnson retirement talk is ‘serious’

    By Dave Birkett , Detroit Free Press

    As Calvin Johnson takes time to heal his body and consider his future, one of his Detroit Lions teammates said talk of the star receiver retiring this off-season should not be taken lightly.

    “I think, anytime Calvin says something, it’s not for show, it’s something serious,” quarterback Matthew Stafford said on “The Mitch Albom Show” on WJR-AM (760) this week. “I think you guys have covered him long enough to know that he’s a pretty measured person, and everything that he says to the public is a thought-out thing. So in that regard, I’m sure it’s thought-out.”

    Two of Johnson’s former teammates told the Free Press last week that Johnson is considering retiring from the NFL after nine seasons because of the toll the game has taken on his body.

    Johnson, who has had knee and finger surgeries and dealt with ankle problems in recent years, later confirmed those sentiments in a statement he released through the team.

    “Like many players at this stage of their career, I am currently evaluating options for my future,” Johnson said. “I would expect to have a decision regarding this matter in the not-too-distant future.”

    Stafford said that he and Johnson have talked since the end of the season, but he declined to share details of their conversation.

    The two also shared a quiet moment before they left the field after the Lions’ season-ending win over the Chicago Bears.

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    Click on link to read in full.
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    Lions’ head coach Jim Caldwell and the team’s wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81).

    The Detroit Lions have been a great disservice to Calvin Johnson and the very fact he’s said to be contemplating retirement rather than seeking a trade (four years left on his current contract) leads me to believe , not only does he feel dissatisfied with his situation, but he knows the franchise would unlikely grant him a request to be traded , because he is the only valuable asset the Lions have at this juncture.

    From left to right Roger Goodell , Ezekiel Ansah and Hall of Fame player Barry Sanders

    There is no real depth to the lineup , other than Johnson and Ezekiel Ansah, there is simply no other player amongst the roster who is worthy of recognition as a Pro Bowl starter for the team.

    Detroit Lions news

    Tophatal ….

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  3. So let me get this straight, after drafting Andrew Luck as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Indianapolis Colts under team owner Jim Irsay , GM Ryan Grigson and the entire front office are not capable enough of putting together a team capable of being competitive ?

    Andrew Luck (12) and Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano.

    Luck was able to achieve more in the first three years of his career than Peyton Manning in his first five , yet somehow, idiot fans were blaming the quarterback for the team’s failures this season ?

    Ryan Grigson (foreground) and Jim Irsay.

    It was not Andrew Luck’s fault , the team failed miserably within their division , conference and the league overall.

    Ryan Grigson for his part has failed miserably in the drafts of 2014 and 2015 as well as with the trades made by the franchise over the past two years.

    The Indianapolis Colts have seen their divisional rivals the Houston Texans end their reign as the AFC South champions as well as making the postseason as an underwhelming seed within the AFC. Houston’s quick exit was simply another reminder why they are not a very good team even without the injuries suffered during the season.

    This off-season for the Colts will have to be focused on the depth of this rosterz, which free agents are actually worth keeping as well as assessing the needs of Chuck Pagano and his coaching staff . There were glaring depths on the Indianapolis’ defense as well as offense and their needs in those areas will have to be paramount for the front office staff during the off-season as well as the lead-up to the 2016 NFL Draft .

    Indianapolis Colts’ news

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  4. You play in one of the most overrated divisions in the entire NFL and your franchise is among the most valuable and profitable in the entire league. This very same franchise has only made two postseason appearances in the last twelve years and your owner is merely known as a self-absorbed billionaire. What else needs to be said concerning the Washington Redskins ? Oh I forgot about the ongoing quarterback controversy which continues to brew and then simmer over who should be kept , as the choices are between Kirk Cousins and Robert Griffin III .

    Redskins’ President Bruce Allen (left) and GM Scott McGloughlan

    Both quarterbacks were drafted by Mike Shanahan and then idiot son, Kyle Shanahan . All of this was effectively done under the watchful eye of former GM Bruce Allen whose sole claim to fame was his penchant for spending Dan Snyder’s money on meaningless talent , squandering the Redskins’ chances of actually achieving anything of note during their joint tenures as head coach and general manager .

    Dan Snyder , owner of the Washington Redskins

    Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder continues to micromanage every aspect of the organization even with having GM Scott McGloughan as the general manager of and able bodied front office staff. During this off-season Washington will have to make a decision concerning the future of Robert Griffin and whether or not he is kept as a backup starter with the franchise still committed to his salary and contract or seek to trade the first round draft pick from the 2012 NFL Draft .

    Tom Coughlin stepped down from his position as the head coach of the New York Giants and he wasn’t aided at all by the lackluster play seen from the players on the roster. All of the hype and sheer idiocy of those waxing on about Odell Beckham Jr and this insidious stupidity of his being a game winner and claims of his playing against the best defenses this season were nothing more than laughable. The Giants faced only two top-ten teams defensively on their schedule and that opponent was the was the lowly Dallas Cowboys who kept teams at bay but couldn’t place victories on the scoreboard where it mattered most and the other being the Seattle Seahawks.

    New York’s front office remains intact , though many felt GM Jerry Reese should have been relieved of his duties. With the NFL Draft on the horizon and having to conduct a head coaching survey and interviews for the vacant position . It simply made no sense , wherein, the front office would still have to deal with contract negotiations concerning their free agents .

    New York Giants’ GM Jerry Reese .

    We all know Jerry Jones as the owner & de-facto GM of the Dallas Cowboys has a disconnect with reality and acknowledging when he’s made a mistake. There is no denying over the past eight seasons he and the front office have managed to bumble their way through repeated bouts of incompetence with the franchise , which has been a reflection of their regular season record during the time frame , lack of postseason appearances.

    Jerry Jones and Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett.

    It should also be noted the Cowboys have committed over $500 million (half-a-billion) in salaries to the players on the team’s roster since 2007 , which if anything, further indicates why the Cowboys need a general manager with a proven track record of success . Jerry Jones has shown little by way of tangible success with the Dallas Cowboys over the last eight seasons. Questions still arise over the fact he has over $96 million invested in his quarterback Tony Romo whose contract has $54 million in guaranteed money. Given Romo’s inability to stay injury free over the past six seasons without delving into his comical postseason record. One could attest to the fact Romo’s incompetency during the postseason has been tied to Jerry Jones’ ongoing incompetence and the team’s inability play at a high level year in and year out.

    Tony Romo.

    The Dallas Cowboys this off-season will once again have to look to the future because Tony Romo’s days of being viewed as one of the NFL’s top quarterbacks is now on a fast decline. Physically , he now possesses the body of a geriatric , lacks the leadership desired and to be deemed a leader of this team.

    Another issue facing the Dallas Cowboys, has to be how long can they continue to have Jason Garrett and his coaching staff lead this current roster ?

    Dallas will enter the off-season looking forward to the 2016 NFL Draft , having a top-five pick and a slew of questions concerning their free agents .

    Washington Redskins news

    Dallas Cowboys news

    New York Giants news

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  5. Today’s games in the NFL have some very good plot-lines , by-lines and unique stories about them. The four quarterbacks who oppose each other in the AFC and NFC contests have been among the best to have performed throughout the regular and postseason . And while the game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots takes center-stage , because of the match-up of League MVP’s and Superbowl winning quarterbacks and current leaders on their respective teams , Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. This will be the nineteenth professional meeting between the two players at any , regular or postseason , with Brady holding a distinct advantage over his contemporary(Peyton Manning).

    The AFC contest seems to be playing out with teams in question giving it their all . New England currently finds itself down 17-12 midway through the third quarter.

    In the NFC contest we have the Arizona Cardinals as the guests of the Carolina Panthers. Opposing quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Cam Newton are Heisman Trophy winners . If you also look at where these quarterbacks were picked within the respective rounds of the NFL Draft, you will find Brady was the only one among the quartet picked outside the fifth round .

    NFL and current news

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  6. Now we know the two participants for Superbowl L (50) with the Carolina Panthers taking on the Denver Broncos in the championship game. The Panthers led by Cam Newton will be viewed as the home team in the contest with the Broncos as the visitors in the match-up to be played on the 7th February ,2016 at Levi’s (Strauss) Stadium in Santa Clara, California , home to the San Francisco 49ers.

    Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers destroyed the Arizona Cardinals by a more than two touchdown margin in a thoroughly lopsided contest .

    Next Sunday we have the meaningless Pro Bowl with the AFC taking on the might of the NFC in what simply amounts to players having a busman’s holiday and being rewarded with their bonuses for making the respective rosters.

    NFL and NFL news

    NFL results

    NFL players’ stats

    NFL teams’ stats

    NFL Pro Bowl game

    Superbowl and the latest update news for Superbowl L (50)

    Tophatal …………….

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  7. The fallout from the New England Patriots’ loss doesn’t appear to have had any serious ramifications as of yet , but I do believe Bill Belichick is as responsible for the Patriots’ defeat in the game as were the the players ! Lack of resilience , complacency and leadership shown , when it mattered most.

    Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos will now make their second Superbowl appearance in the last five seasons , while it will be the first for Broncos’ head coach Gary Kubiak. It remains to be seen whether or not Denver will be able to get the better of the Carolina Panthers when they meet in the championship game .

    New England Patriots news

    Tophatal …………….

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  8. Now comes the most boring part or should I say episode of an NFL season and it is the Annual Prow Bowl . A meaningless game which the fans are disinterested in and where the players are solely there for an noncompetitive contest , which has no bearing on the NFL calendar in anyway whatsoever.

    Granted , the game (Pro Bowl) will be televised as is often the NFL's want and with the blessings of the hierarchy in particular. Yet, with the league being so money-hungry and where revenues and profits are the only concerns of interest . I now find it truly disdainful and undignified, where teams such as the San Diego Chargers and St Louis Rams now feel the fans ought to be obligated and empathized , because of their alleged existing plights to seek relocation. The NFL will not be bearing any real cost to their moves (relocation) and it will ultimately come at the expense of the taxpayers (the public) and consumer. Anyone who believes to the contrary, is simply being naive .

    NFL news from around the league

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  9. One of the inevitable things to come out of this Superbowl will the fact both teams will stand to gain financially from the revenues derived from the event along with the league itself. Ticket prices will run the gamut and likely beyond the price-range of most fans. Both the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will receive a sizable allotment of tickets for their fans , but for the most part the biggest benefactors for the NFL’s showcase event will be the corporate sponsors and their senior executives who will be facilitated in the luxury suites of Levis Stadium in Santa Clara , California on the 7th February for the staging of Superbowl L (SB50) .

    Jerry Richardson , CEO & owner of the Carolina Panthers at long last , will see the franchise founded by himself along with the existing partners finally have arrived on the biggest stage imaginable for the team as they seek to win their first Superbowl. For quarterback Cam Newton after his spectacular season , where he has to be viewed as the consensus favorite for League MVP , should he lead the team to victory , he will likely win the Superbowl MVP .

    Jerry Richardson, owner of the Carolina Panthers.

    Newton’s season by any other definition possible has been amazing , whereby he set several single season and career marks as a player. He might well be considered the Panthers’ best player in franchise history, given the fact he has only been in the league since > 2011 , the year he was drafted by the Carolina Panthers.

    For the Denver Broncos , quarterback Peyton Manning has resurrected a season where many had come to doubt his ability and there calls for Brock Osweiler to permanently succeed Manning in the starter’s role of quarterback for the Broncos. Osweiler for his part , apart from one memorable game against the New England Patriots during this regular season, barely showed the ability to lead the team successfully.

    Pat Bowlem owner of the Denver Broncos will be hoping to see the franchise win their third Superbowl , but this game against the Carolina Panthers will likely prove to be a tough challenge for this Broncos’ team all-round where their offense and defense will be severely tested by the Panthers.

    Pat Bowlem (left) and John Elway

    It is unlikely Pat Bowlem will be fully cognizant of everything taking place , whether or not he is in attendance for the game , giving his ongoing health issues , with his suffering from the early onset stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Bowlem’s family and John Elway , a senior executive and part owner of the franchise will be at the game representing the owner’s interest at the Superbowl.

    Carolina Panthers

    Denver Broncos

    Tophatal ………….

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