This wasn’t the way it was meant to be , but I’ll take it

This wasn’t the way it was meant to be , but I’ll take it

By Tophatal ….. 01/08/2013

There’s something to be said for teams playing themselves into contention as the postseason approaches , and one could also attest to the fact that a team without a veteran presence on it , will tend to come up short in the initial round of the NFL playoffs . Clearly, that was the case, when the Baltimore Ravens played hosts to the Indianapolis Colts , led by their rookie sensation , Andrew Luck . And against the backdrop of the stories that surrounded the franchise over the course of the season , it seemed that nothing was about to go right for the team.

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it was revealed before the Sunday afternoon kickoff, that Colts’ assistant head coach, Bruce Arians had suddenly taken ill , having collapsed in his hotel room , suffering from dizziness and nausea . Considering, the health issues that befell Chuck Pagano earlier on , with his recovery from Hodgkin’s Lymphoma , having undergone several rounds of debilitating chemotherapy .One has to wonder, if this was simply a rather unjust way of getting back at the Colts after their on-field success this season?

From 2-14 in 2011 , to double-digit wins and a postseason berth in 2012 , to alongside the exhilarating play of Andrew Luck and his teammates . What no one would be in doubt with , was that Ravens’ veteran linebacker , Ray Lewis was not about to let this game be his final swan song with the Baltimore Ravens . Over his illustrious career, Lewis has racked up accolades, the way, Warren Buffett has seen his wealth grow immensely . Lewis has the respect of his peers, past and present , as well a great many number of fans across the NFL landscape. And while he made the formal announcement stating that this would be his last season in the NFL , I seriously doubt that Ray Lewis’ wish was to ride off into the sunset, with a postseason loss to the upstart Indianapolis Colts .

The Colts did their leveled best to keep this game close , but errant plays , missed opportunities , and as I alluded to , the lack postseason experience , with only a few such veterans on the roster who could provide a minutiae of what was sought , Indianapolis would in the end come up short , on the wrong side of a 24-9 loss to their AFC counterparts .

As a New England Patriots’ (12-4) fan, simply knowing that they had garnered a top two seeding in the AFC was enough of respite knowing that the team’s defense still remains a work in progress, this late into the season . Now, far be it, for me to suggest, that Bill Belichick , a defensive “guru” , simply does know what he is doing , but at times there does seem to be a reason to his madness and that of his coaching staff . As to what that might be , only the venerable head coach and his staff would clearly know what that might be .

All season long , the deficiencies in the Patriots’ defense were highlighted , with their inconsistent play , albeit that came away victorious in many of those games . Charged with making the defense a great deal stealthier , well that has been placed in the hands of Matt Patricia , while the offense is left in the hands of Josh McDaniels. While the defense has its ongoing woes, the offense of the Patriot has simply been clicking on all cylinders . Leading the way for the Patriots is the franchise’s three-time winning Superbowl quarterback and league MVP , Tom Brady , who simply goes through the motions during the regular season, but once the postseason comes around , he simply becomes a cold-hearted assassin .

The Patriots will host the Houston Texans . This will be the second successive season, in which the Texans have made the postseason . For Texans’ quarterback, Matt Schaub , he will be given the chance to redeem himself after the team’s lopsided 42-14 defeat in week fourteen to their venerable AFC East counterparts. And much of the hype that surrounded the Texans during the early part of the season wasn’t at all justified , as the team came into the final five games of the regular season , going 2-3 in those scheduled match-ups . Hardly, what one consider to be noteworthy for a franchise with Superbowl aspirations. And though one can’t really put much store in one game , I do feel however, if you gauge that by looking at the series between the two combatants , it can at times provide us with something of an indicator , as to how these games can go !

The Houston Texans have proven to be a formidable force this season , and as one of the three best teams </u in the AFC from a record and offensive standpoint , it is easy to understand why the team was seen and remains as such, one of the favorites within the conference for the Superbowl. Running backs , Arian Foster , Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead , should be able to provide the fans in attendance at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts with a great spectacle in terms of a running game . A stern test of both defenses will be part of the recipe , in what is hoped to be a scintillating game . If there is a victor to come out of this match-up , then it will be all predicated upon time of possession , and whomever controls the ball in that specific category will come away the winner , in this divisional round duel.

I don’t know that there will be a more highly anticipated game this upcoming weekend , than the prospective match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the Atlanta Falcons ! For a seventh round draft pick (2012 NFL Draft) , Russell Wilson might just prove to be the invaluable and prophetic player taken that late in the NFL Draft over the past decade , since Tom Brady as was drafted by the Patriots a sixth rounder in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots . As we know Brady’s career has been illuminated by his on-field accomplishments , his career earnings , estimated wealth , conservatively said to be between $75 million to $120 million , and the fact that he and Peyton Manning might just be the most marketable players in the NFL, and that is with the idiocy that surrounds the “marketing” of Tim Tebow , as one of the “up and coming faces “ within the NFL ! Affability as a sales’ tool when it comes to consumer branding and marketing amongst heterosexual males , might just rank up there alongside using Clay Aiken as the next spokesperson for Louis Vuitton. It just doesn’t work .

In a game that will see Matt Ryan , of the Atlanta Falcons , once again try to get off the “Schneid” in terms of garnering his first postseason victory in what will be his fourth attempt indicates the struggles the player has in terms of his postseason performances . Ryan , forever the consummate professional is a great regular season performer , yet all of his troubles tend to arise in the postseason. As to whether or not he will be able to lead the Atlanta Falcons past a self-confident and driven Seahawks’ team , well that remains to be seen .

Russell Wilson’s accomplishments this season have simply been extraordinary, and the very fact that he joined Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin as the only rookies to have taken their respective franchises into the playoffs in their very first season, speaks volumes as their play. What cannot be denied in 2012 , and it is that we may well have seen the best year amongst NFL rookie quarterbacks in well over a decade .

Whether or not he wins Comeback Player of the Year or adds to his tally of four League MVP’s , there is no denying that Peyton Manning had an astonishing season in 2012 . He led the Denver Broncos to a conference best 13-3 record , and the fact that they steamrolled their way to the AFC West divisional title , simply indicates to me that the , Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders , and San Diego Chargers , are in all likelihood , going to be playing catch-up to the Broncos for quite a few years to come !

And for the Broncos they now have a home date with the Baltimore Ravens , to be played at Sports Authority Field , in Denver , Colorado ,. The two teams met earlier in the season , in week fifteen , with the Colts coming away with a 34-17 victory over their conference rivals . It was very much a game , that pivoted around the proficiency of both offenses and defenses during a great deal of the scheduled match-up between these two teams. For quarterbacks Peyton Manning and the Ravens’ Joe Flacco , this should be an event , that will provide us with an aerial assault , as well as , a great deal of productivity on the ground , by way of a running game from both the Colts and the Ravens.

Getting beyond the travails of Alex Smith , for whom consistency has been worrisome , considering over the course of his career, it wasn’t until 2011 that we saw some growth , maturity and leadership from the seven-year veteran quarterback, drafted out of Utah State as the # overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft. With Smith’s regression in 2012 , it has been his backup Colin Kaepernick , who has stepped to the fore to take this Niners’ team into the postseason. Head coach Jim Harbaugh , had shown all the faith he had in Smith , but once the player became injured , he was left with the backup , Colin Kaepernick. He has grasped that opportunity and relished being the incumbent starting quarterback . On Saturday , we will get the chance to see Kaepernick make his first postseason start and assuage his progress as player within the ranks ranks of the NFL .

The prospective match-up between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers , in a game to be played at Candlestick Park , in San Francisco , California, should prove to be eventful , with an all too weary Packers’ team seeking not to be duped into that false sense of security . And with Packers’ quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, looking to further cement his legacy , after another exemplary season . This game has all the makings of becoming an instantaneous classic, in more ways than one .

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Picture gallery.

What , if anything , has been the most surprising to you , in terms of the playoff games that have taken place ? And in the divisional round of the postseason , what do you hope to see from the teams participating at that juncture? Chime in, on this, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Baltimore Ravens inside linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Baltimore. Lewis has said he will retire at the end of the season, and the Ravens won 24-9 . AP Photo/Gail Burton …

(2) Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs with the ball and gets away from Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) , for a 47 yard gain , during the first half of an NFL wild card playoff football game Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, in Baltimore. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …

(3) New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski faces reporters in the team’s locker room at Gillette Stadium following NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013. The Patriots host the Houston Texans on Sunday in an AFC divisional playoff game . AP Photo/Steven Senne …

(4) Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub (8) reacts to throwing an interception to Cincinnati Bengals’ Leon Hall during the second quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Houston. Left is Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins . AP Photo/Dave Einsel …

(5) Denver Broncos coach John Fox , left, and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) watch from the sidelines against the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Denver. Denver won 38-3 . AP Photo/Joe Mahoney ….

(6) Head coach Jim Harbaugh talks to Colin Kaepernick (7) of the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter against the Chicago Bears at Candlestick Park on November 19, 2012 in San Francisco, California. Getty Images North America / Thomas W Henderson …

(7) Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson waves as he leaves the field after an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. The Seahawks defeated the Redskins 24-14 . AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(8) Five quarterbacks who failed to deliver in 2012 by way of a playoff berth for their respective teams . From left to right , Eli Manning , Tony Romo , Ben Roethlisberger , Philip Rivers , and Jay Cutler . All are hoping to rebound in 2013 . …. @ copyrighted material all rights reserved …

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Wale & … Gucci Mane “Pretty Girls”

Flava’ in your ear

Flava’ in your ear

By Tophatal

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 !

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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.
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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 !

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Picture gallery.

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 .

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(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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The Roots …. “ Don’t Say Nuthin’ ”

Talk is cheap, put up or shut up

Talk is cheap, put up or shut up

By Tophatal

There are certainties in life that we know that it is our duty to uphold , love of one’s family , country and a belief system, that acts as a moral beacon in our lives. In the world of sports and specifically the NFL , then that might have to be Tom Brady is guaranteed to give the New England Patriots at a minimum , a ten win season and that Jay Cutler for all of the praised heaped upon him by none other than ESPN’s own Ron Jaworski , he still remains something of an anathema as a quarterback . The fact of the matter is, the player keeps on coming up short in the games that matters the most . I have had one patron try to suggest to me that Cutler’s performance in the NFC Championship game for the 2010-11 post season would be something of the past .Well lo and behold the stage was set for Cutler and the Chicago Bears to prove me wrong in a game that represents the longest running series and rivalry in the NFL , which are the games between the Bears and their conference and divisional rivals the Green Bay Packers (1-1) . This was meant to be a test of two versatile quarterbacks on the opposing teams. On the one you had Cutler, who with his teammates sought to increase their lead within the NFC North but alas, as the events unfolded at Lambeau Field , in Wisconsin, this game would not be one , where the Chicago Bears would hold true to form. Instead , missed assignments , the ill-effectiveness of the Bears’ offensive line and erratic Cutler performance doomed the away team , as the Packers ran away with the game , distancing themselves from an inept Chicago Bears’ team.

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In the aftermath of this 23-10 victory for the Green Bay Packers , this win gives Aaron Rodgers , Mike McCarthy and the Packers’ team something of a respite after their week one loss to the San Francisco 49ers in somewhat of a thrilling 30-22 defeat. The Niners’ defense simply stymied the Packers’ much vaunted offense , leading many to believe that the rookies drafted by Green Bay to bolster the defense would remain a work in progress as their season would unfold. Lessons learned in that loss were quickly absorbed and put to the test against the Bears.

For the rather infantile and immature Jay Cutler , what this simply signifies to me , is that as talented as he is , his mindset becomes one , where , when adversity stares him in the face , in no way is he up to the task! Cutler has yet to win a meaningful game over the course of his career , and as I have repeatedly said , he abandoned his teammates in their hour of need in that rather telling NFC championship game which resulted in 24-14 loss to the eventual Superbowl champions of that 2010 season , the Green Bay Packers. Prior to the game Cutler and his teammates belittled their opponents by suggesting that the Packers and their defense would not be able to deal with the Bears’ offense. If only the Bears’ quarterback knew what Clay Matthews and the rest of the Packers had in store for him , I seriously doubt that the quarterback would have been so bold in his comments . Sacked seven times during the game , harried , harassed and in throw in several forced fumbles , and it one might suggest that Cutler’s day at the office , would be one that he would rather forget. Talk, is cheap, you either up or shut up! Cutler cannot do both and that has now become a bona-fide fact.

Well the New England Patriot started off their 2012 schedule with a rather lopsided 34-12 victory over the Tennessee Titans , a team now finding its footing under second-year coach , Mike Munchak . With the victory comes the expectation that Bill Belichick now has the prerequisite pieces in place to make another deep run into the postseason. After last season’s epic and seismic loss to the New York Giants for the second time in five years the NFL postseason finale , of the Superbowl . You simply get the feeling that a hex has been placed on the franchise and the very fact that they cannot overcome their latest nemesis. I am not usually one to concern myself with superstitions of black cats , a rabbit’s foot , or even a lucky coin for that matter. In games of chance , and sporting events , you either make your own luck by playing to your potential , or failure comes about ,merely from the fact that you did not put in the effort and preparedness to be ready on the day. With both losses to the Giants , each time , complacency set with a team that had victory within their grasp.

The off-season in many ways was beneficial for coach Belichick and his coaching staff as they set about revamping the roster through the NFL Draft and free agency acquisitions . GM Nick Caserio, in consultation with Bill Belichick has seen fit to be judicious with the choices made, as Chandler Jones, Dont’a Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Jake Bequette, Nate Ebner, Dennard Alfonzo, and Jeremy Ebert. These players have made contributions in the preseason but their baptism of fire came in the first regular season game of the Patriots’ schedule . The 34-13 victory over the Tennessee Titans , as decisive as it might have appeared , in no way should anyone read in to the result , that all of the issues that befell the New England Patriots in 2011 have been addressed in this one game.

New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady a league and Superbowl MVP , has created a legacy that has seen him rewrite the history books while looking to cement his legacy as one of the all-time greats to have played the quarterback position. He now has running game that is supplemented by the play of Stevan Ridley and arsenal of receivers led by Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Julian Edelman, Wes Welker , Brandon Lloyd and Brandon Bolden .

Week two, will see the New England Patriots host the Arizona Cardinals (1-0) in a game that pits two unbeaten teams looking to secure an extended lead of their respective divisions . And for head coach, Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals, the decision which awaits him , the choice between Kevin Kolb and John Skelton , as to which these two inconsistent quarterbacks will be Sunday’s starter for the team.

Clearly for the Cardinals, they would have preferred going into the season with some semblance of consistency being shown by their pair of quarterbacks but that has not been the case . Kolb ,signed to a lucrative deal by the front office , has as barely lived up to the expectations in meeting that contract , and the starting position was granted to John Skelton on merit , as deemed by the head coach. In the team’s opening season game —- against the Seattle Seahawks , Skelton performed admirably before suffering an injury , that would see Kolb replacing the incumbent to end the game , which resulted in a narrow 20-16 victory for the Cardinals over their NFC West divisional rivals. This upcoming game against the Patriots should prove to be interesting , as the Cardinals’ defense now get the chance to gauge themselves against one of the league’s more hyped offenses. It will become a test of wills when the two teams meet at Gillette Stadium, in Foxborough, Massachusetts , this Sunday.

Now in light of the league hierarchy (NFL) , yet to resolve the situation between NFL and the NFLRA (referees’ union) , with the replacement officials still adjudicating the regular season games thus far. It must be said there have been far too many inconsistent calls by the replacement referees , who normally adjudicate the games at the D2 and D3 levels of Collegiate Football. It is my firm belief that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has erred in his judgment , in thinking that the union would be ready to resolve their issues amicably , when it has been the league who has been completely intransigent ! It was this sort of behavior by the commissioner that led to a protracted lockout of the players (NFLPA [union]) . That subsequent agreement as we now see leaves a great deal to be desired which has led to even greater distrust between the league and the union. In light of it all , we are now at week two of a sixteen game regular season schedule which is arduous and testing. These replacement referees have tested the will of the fans and the media at large. Roger Goodell for his part, has been graceful in describing the officials’ performances as being great but I would suggest that the replacement officials have been average at best, if not barely competent ! Your thoughts on that premise ?

Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times in conjunction with the Associated Press

NFL has temporary five-week schedule for replacement officials

A person familiar with the schedule says the league has it set up to use replacement officials through at least Week 5. The regular officials have been locked out since early June in a labor dispute.

Associated Press

September 11, 2012

The NFL has devised a temporary five-week schedule for using replacement officials.

A person familiar with the schedule told the Associated Press on Monday that the setup is done through Week 5 of the regular season. The regular officials are locked out and replacements worked the preseason and the first week of the regular season.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not made public officiating schedules.

In early June, the league locked out the officials, who are part-time NFL employees, after their collective bargaining agreement expired. The NFL Referees Assn. and the league met for three days at the beginning of September before talks collapsed.

The NFL and the union, which covers more than 120 on-field officials, are at odds over salary, retirement benefits and operational issues. The NFL has said its offer includes annual pay increases that could earn an experienced official more than $200,000 annually by 2018. The NFLRA has disputed the value of the proposal, insisting it would ultimately reduce their compensation.

Replacements were used in 2001 , but only for one week of the regular season before a deal was reached. This year’s replacements have had some errors, particularly late in Arizona’s 20-16 victory over Seattle when the Seahawks were awarded an extra timeout . The officiating crew admitted its mistake after the game.

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I certainly do not believe the NFL, under Roger Goodell’s guidance has been working steadfastly enough to resolve the issue , and their impasse with the union. None of the statements that can be directly attributed to him would suggest otherwise, as he seeks to paint the NFLRA as “the villains” of the piece. The league enforced lockout was initiated by Goodell , and as initially inferred by the commissioner that this was brought about by Mark Baltz and his members .The commissioner countenances the use of the replacement officials and believes that they continue to do an excellent job , even under the current conditions . As the season progresses and naturally mistakes made by the referees are highlighted , it will become clear to the fans that the league is at risk of being further ridiculed , if it is not already being ridiculed by the fans and media alike. In stating that by week 5 he envisages some form of an agreement , clearly indicates that it was Goodell’s intent for a protracted dispute with the officials, and as what this might suggest by the commissioner and the hierarchy . Well, that would have to be open to a great deal conjecture and speculation.

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What thoughts if any, do you have concerning the points raised in this article ? And do you believe the NFL can perform competently with the replacement officials continuing to adjudicate the regular season games and quite possibly the postseason based on the evidence shown ?By all means do leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter .

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(1) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell whose latest faux-pas has been to initiate an enforced lockout of the NFL referees , while replacing those official with referees from the collegiate system from within the D2 and D3 levels of FBS (Football Subdivision) . At best their performances can described in the pre and regular season as average to moderate . One would question however , how they might be viewed in the postseason when a great deal more is said to ” be on the line “ for the teams in question. AP Photo/ Mark Thompson …

(2) Green Bay Packers’ Clay Matthews (52) sacks Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler (6) during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. AP Photo/Mike Roemer …..

(3) Green Bay Packers’ Donald Driver catches a touchdown pass in front of Chicago Bears’ Chris Conte (47) during the second half of an NFL football game Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers would go on to defeat the Bears 23-10 given their divisional record at 1-1 within the NFC North . AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps ……

(4) Chicago Bears’ Jay Cutler walks off the field after being sacked during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 23-10 . AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps …..

(5) Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears tries to escape Mike Daniels (76) of the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 13, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 23-10. Getty Images North America /Johnathan Daniels …

(6) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watches from the sideline in the third quarter of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. Brady threw for 236 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots won 34-13 . AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(7) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) scrambles away from Tennessee Titans’ Mike Martin (93) and Karl Klug (97) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. The Patriots won 34-13. AP Photo/Joe Howell ….

(8) Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb (4) celebrates his touchdown pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. Kolb replaced John Skelton, who was injured and left the game. AP Photo/Paul Connors …

(9) Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton (19) is sacked for a six-yard loss by Tennessee Titans defensive end Kamerion Wimbley (95) in the second quarter of an NFL football preseason game on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Joe Howell ….

(10) Arizona Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald, right, pauses as he puts a hand on injured quarterback John Skelton, on ground, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Seahawks 20-16 . Skelton was carted off the field and replaced by Kevin Kolb. AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin ……

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He’s Not In It For The Money Simply For The Glory But With Pete Carroll Which Is It ?

He’s Not In It For The Money Simply For The Glory But With Pete Carroll Which Is It ?

If ever there was a coach the in NFL that truly needs to prove their worth with their salary at $7 million a year then the Seattle Seahawks’ Peter Carroll has to be that candidate. Having left USC under a cloud of suspicion , the coach quickly made that return to the NFL , with that exorbitant contract , much to the delight team owner and billionaire mogul Paul Allen , co-founder of Microsoft .

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With Matt Hasselbeck leaving as a free agent to join the Tennessee Titans the first major task at hand for Carroll was seek a replacement for the player. The individual chosen was former Minnesota Vikings’ backup Tarvaris Jackson . Though not deemed amongst the elite players at the position but he’s deemed capable enough to lead this team . From my own perspective Pete Carroll and his coaching staff will have a tough season ahead of them within the NFC West .

It would be naive to think that based on last season’s standings and results within the division the Seattle Seahawks can be considered the favorites once again to successfully defend their title . All of the teams within the NFC West appear to be better and with the NFL Draft having taken place it goes without saying that each of the teams in question will seek to profit greatly by the choices that they have made. The Arizona Cardinals , St Louis Rams , San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks will seek divisional supremacy over the course of the season. I am not so sure that the division is as competitive as many might claim it to be . But we shall see over the course of schedule how each of the teams acquit themselves on the field of play.

Given Pete Carroll’s successes at the collegiate level and dare one say those are now coming into question ? I am not so sure that given that this will be his second bite of the apple as an NFL coach , I do believe he will be in for a rough ride . Last season with the team having made the postseason once beyond the wildcard round the Seattle Seahawks never seemed to be capable to prove that they belonged in the NFL playoffs . It seems ridiculous to think that with a 7-9 record within the monstrous NFC West that the Seattle Seahawks won the division and made the postseason as a divisional winner . But yet there teams within the conference who had won more games but failed to granted a berth for the right to be part of the NFL’s gala .

I cannot believe that fans are entirely happy with such a scenario where a team having won a division with a sub .500 record can be viewed as worthy of a playoff berth but as such one has to make do with the rules of the game as it stands. From my own standpoint in such a case I do believe seeding system that actually rewards the teams not just solely on the winning of a division as I also believe that a team that has a better record than that of a divisional winner ought be considered for a berth . But such are the rules of the game and at the end of the one simply has to make do with what is offered .

The NFC West I believe is up for the taking and given the performances of Sam Bradford this past season I do believe that the St Louis Rams might just be the team to beat within the division ! Pete Carroll for his part with the players taken in the NFL Draft and the offseason moves by the Seahawks , we will get the chance to see if he can make this team a legitimate contender for the Superbowl . Much of that however will be based on the play of Tavaris Jackson and whether or not he had the leadership skills and the belief of his teammates in leading the Seattle Seahawks. The jury is still out on both Jackson and the Seahawks given their performances during the preseason .

With teams making the mandated cuts of their rosters this Saturday it will be interesting to see the player finally making the team’s roster and those failing to make the grade. The veterans on the Seattle Seahawks will be looking to make the rookies feel welcomed and at the same assist them in being productive . The preseason gives precedence to that fact but it will be the regular season that really matters !

Not exactly overly impressed with the Seahawks from a competitive standpoint , I do believe that the team is simply there merely to make up the numbers within the NFL ! The rookies taken in the NFL Draft , it is hoped that they can be productive for organization . Certainly the coach , his staff and with the ambitions of the front office led by GM John Schneider one could arguably understand why it is that the organization feels there’s an urgence to attain some success for their fans. This is a team that has seen its fair share of highs lows but in reality previously suggested the Seattle Seahawks while vocally being well supported they’re merely viewed as a franchise within the NFL , there to make up the numbers .

James Carpenter , John Moffitt , K J Wright , Kris Durham , Richard Sherman , Mark Legree , Byron Maxwell , Lazarius Levingston and Malcolm Smith will no doubt hope that their baptism of fire within the NFL is a successful one . For these draftees after their collegiate careers the league will prove to be a real eye opener . And I am sure that at team’s season opener (11th August 2011) , that will be when realization for them that their journey has really begun ! The opening game against divisional rivals the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park will prove to be very interesting as it should be an indicator of as to the apparent direction that both teams believe themselves to be heading in.

I certainly don’t prescribe to the fact that the NFC West is said to be that competitive a division within the NFL ! If anything judged by the play of the teams there this might be one of weakest divisions in the NFC if not the entire league . But is plain to see that the teams will try as best as they can to compete , even if it means more often than not they’re viewed as an afterthought within the NFL .

One things that’s sure to be on the minds of the Seahawks’ fans as the team embarks on this season , will be whether or Tarvaris Jackson is the player capable of leading this team ? If not , then his backup Charlie Whitehurst will be entrusted to takeover and prove himself worthy of the starting position . Certainly from an offensive standpoint Pete Carroll has put the weapons in place for a half decent quarterback to lead the team to some semblance of success . But would anyone be of the opinion that either Tarvaris Jackson or Charlie Whitehurst could be described as being moderately decent ? It’d be remiss however to suggest that the team’s frailties are simply only about the effectiveness of the quarterback play as from a defensive standpoint the Seattle Seahawks have had their struggles as well.

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Alan aka tophatal ………. https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by Bani Gbadyu (48) and Jamie Cumbie (73) of the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …..

(2) SEATTLE – SEPTEMBER 02: Head coach Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks calls instruction during the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks would go on to defeat the Raiders 20-3 . Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….

(3) Wide receiver Golden Tate (81) of the Seattle Seahawks is greeted by head coach Pete Carroll during the game against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….. …….

(4) SEATTLE – SEPTEMBER 02: Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks rushes against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ….

(5) Quarterback Kyle Boller (7) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Pep Levingston (93) (R) of the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images ……

(6) Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson , right, is greeted by Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll after a preseason NFL football game, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, in Seattle. The Seahawks won 20-3 . AP Photo/Elaine Thompson …..

(7) Seahawks’ owner Paul Allen (left) talks with coach Pete Carroll after a recent practice at the team’s VMAC facility in Renton, Washington ,. Elaine Thompson/AP photo ……

(8) Running back Thomas Clayton (45) of the Seattle Seahawks scores a touchdown in the second quarter against the Oakland Raiders at CenturyLink Field on September 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …… ……
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Nepotism Can Be A Double Edged Sword ….. That Bitch Can Cut Both Ways And It Hurts !

Nepotism Can Be A Double Edged Sword ….. That Bitch Can Cut Both Ways And It Hurts !

I don’t know about you but as a youngster I had no real interest in following of the footsteps of my father professionally. He worked for almost three decades in factory as a machine operator for a company that made office furniture. Not that there was anything wrong with that as a profession and the relationship between he and myself wasn’t one that was close to begin with. He left the family home recusing himself of all responsibilty of being a father first and then a man. But that asides he had his moments in the lives of myself and my two younger siblings , my brother and sister. Over the remaining years prior to his leaving the UK to return to the Caribbean our paths crossed but not always on the most amicable of terms.

As I grew up I simply knew that I had no intention of following in my father’s footsteps professionally as I sought to make my own way in the world. Having graduated from high school I joined the military and for the nex eight years I saw a great deal of Europe and North Africa serving in the British Royal Marines . Fulfilling my obligations there , I was lucky enough to be hired by large financial concern and over the next decade I spent working in the world of high finance. Along the way I was lucky enough to be the proud beneficiary of my employer’s in house educational program , wherein they paid for my entire college education. I put that education to good use in the world finance which was mutually beneficial for both parties at the time.

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In the NFL rarely has it worked with great success where a father and son have achieved success at the highest order. Especially when it comes to the field of coaching albeit that we’ve seen where the likes of Buddy Ryan and Mike Shanahan have achieved a great deal of notoriety and success. In the case of Ryan he has seen his son Rex follow in his footsteps first becoming a coordinator before being entrusted to take over the helm of the New York Jets as their head coach. Kyle Shanahan eager to follow in his father’s foosteps also is now the offensive coordinator and assistant coach alongside his father Mike Shanahan with the Washington Redskins . Now one can surmise that it’s never easy to try and succeed much less outdo the acvhievements of one’s parents. But there is a case to be made that when that comes about a parent never ceases to be proud of that very moment and the fact of the matter is those moments are a lasting legacy of the very achievement itself.

Ryan in his first season with the Jets he got the team to the AFC championship game where they would fall short in their loss to the Indianapolis Colts with the result being a 30-17 defeat . This season within the AFC East the Jets are off to a 5-2 start and it would appear are comfortably placed to make the postseason . For all of the bravado comming from Ryan and his team and the belief that they’re capable of winning the Superbowl . There is a widespread belief that Rex Ryan is merely amping up the rhetoric and hype in order to deflect any attention and undue pressure upon the New York Jets. At times actions such as this can do more harm than good to his team . And within the cauldron that is New York City where the fans and press can merciless and unflattering , either Ryan will be able to put up or he’ll have to simply shut the hell up. This much we do know if he’s unable to guide this team to the promise land it won’t be long before the fans there in New York start to clamor for his head on a platter and his blood to be spilled all over the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford New Jersey. Granted, while this is a very talented Jets’ team there’s no denying that their humbling 9-0 loss at home to the Green Bay Packers having come off a bye week showed not only how unpredictable the NFL is but also that there’s way too much hype placed on a team that simply hasn’t achieved anything in the past three decades that is of any real note.

Often thought as one of the elite division of the of the NFL the NFC East has been anything but that this season . Mired in mediocrity for much of early half of the season I sincerely doubt that we’ll see a clear cut and dominant team within the conference as a whole. Many of the top tiered teams within the NFC as viewed by the press and tv analysts alike have performed like they’ve been hampered by some unseen obstacle. Based on what I’ve seen of the teams in question namely the Dallas Cowboys , Minnesota Vikings , New York Giants and New Orleans Saints a case can be made that hype , complacency and the mere fact that a number of these teams simply aren’t that good.

Redskins work out ex-Oakland QB JaMarcus Russell

Ashburn , Va. (AP) —Former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell worked out with the Washington Redskins on Tuesday, just three days after Donovan McNabb was benched in the closing minutes of a loss to Detroit.

Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan said Russell was one of many players, including a few other quarterbacks, who were getting a look from the team.

“We’ll evaluate him and everyone else out there,” Shanahan said.

The Redskins routinely invite out-of-work players for workouts on Tuesdays, but the timing of Russell’s visit only added to the team’s quarterback drama of the last few days. McNabb’s benching raised questions about the six-time Pro Bowl player’s future with the team, and coach Mike Shanahan added to the confusion by offering varying explanations for the decision.

Russell, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft, was released in May after three disappointing seasons with the Raiders. He regressed on the field, was fined for being overweight and was criticized by the coaching staff for his work ethic.

Kyle Shanahan praised Russell’s talents, but said the other factors do come into consideration when evaluating a player.

“I don’t think you consider anyone just based off of talent,” Kyle Shanahan said. “Everyone in the NFL’s pretty talented. (It’s) other stuff that really separates you. He is very talented, so I think he can overcome some of the stuff that he struggled with. I don’t really know that personally, but if he looks like he’s in good shape out here and he’s working, and that’s all you can evaluate. Sometimes when guys do get a second opportunity, they can change their stripes.”

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We’ve seen the unraveling of the season for the Cowboys and Vikings and there’s a great possibility that one if not both teams will most certainly miss the playoffs . And who’s now prepared to lay odds that Brad Childress and Wade Phillips aren’t on the proverbial “hot seat” as far as their NFL coaching positions are concerned ? This is much is certain with the tumultuous maelstrom and storm said to be surrounding both organizations at present nothing short of divine intervention will actually save either Childress or Phillips by season’s end. Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf are now backed into a corner and as owners, they have to be completely embarrassed by the very circumstances that their respective teams are now in. Unrest amongst the respective coaching staffs and what could amount to be a certain amount of dissention has effectively cacaded out of control. And while this has all been going on we’ve seen some rather asinine displays of immaturity being shown not only by some of the player on these respective team but also by the coaches. Childress has waived wide receiver Randy Moss after a mere four games played having acquired the player via a trade from the New England Patriots. And less we forget he still has to deal with the now injured “primadona” Brett Favre whose play this season has bordered on being mediocre at best. It’s obvious that the $20 million spent this year on Favre won’t be getting this piece of crap anywhere at all !

Jerry Jones has a dilemma on his hands does he jettison Wade Phillips now or at the end of the season ? In doing so, knowing that in hiring a coach and complementary staff there is a good chance that next season will see the possibility of a labor stoppage. Why waste paying upwards of between $8 million to $12 million needlessly when there’s said to be a great deal of uncertainty as to what next season holds ? A slumping team and what appears to be a lame duck coach and owner whose ego knows no boundaries. Could Hollywood have scripted this any better ? All that now awaits is the self combustion of Jones’ brain matter all over the executive suite of his office inside Cowboys Stadium . A fitting end no doubt to the Cowboys’ comical and disastrous season don’t you think ?

While I’m under no illusion as to how average the Washington Redskins are , at best , I do know that this team simply isn’t capable of playing with any degree of consistency throughout the season . Now we have the idiocy of the coach and his son , Mike and Kyle Shanahan trying making contrary statements as to the fitness and play of starting quarterback Donovan McNabb . Furthermore, given the deficiencies of the Washington Redskins at present I’d say that their worries over McNabb are being exaggerated and without basis. Their real concern ought to be how best get this team playing with a great deal more consistency. Now the duo are trying downplay their statements and in doing so they’ve made themselves a complete laughing stock and have no doubt loss the immediate respect of the player. If they now had these concerns then why trade for him in the first place ? Clearly Mike Shanahan and his son are either unsure of what they want or they simply now have misgivings and are too afraid to admit to the fact that they made a monumental mistake in aquiring the player. What might now be even more ludicrous is the fact that the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan has brought in former NFL players JaMarcus Russell and J P Losman for quarterback tryouts. Is there a reclamation project now being put in place as they seek to perhaps replace McNabb ? Never mind the fact that the team has another “washout” in Rex Grossman as its backup . What are the Redskins’ fans to make of this latest turn of events ?

Given the mediocrity of the play now taking place within the NFC and specifically within the NFC East at present. We could very well see an 8-8 or 9-7 team make the playoffs this season from within the conference. How bad on appearance would that be ? No doubt what the fans have been served up within the conference would considered to be mediocre at best. But such are the vagaries of the game and the fact from week to week within the NFL one simply never knows what’s about to be served up next. It would be remiss to think that NFC is the only conference where the fans are getting a drab brand of football on display each week. As within the AFC at the lower rungs of the conference the teams there might be just as bad as those now in the middle and lower end of the NFC.

From my own perspective the mediocrity of the play this season isn’t merely about the teams but also about the apparent lack of real quality coaching and some of the asinine decisions that the fans have witnessed throughout much of the season as it has progressed. The remaining 8 weeks and the postseason has a great deal in store for the NFL fan and one would hope that it’ll be an improvement on what we’ve witnessed so far this season. As to the futures of Rex Ryan and Kyle Shanahan they will be judged by the decisions they make and the success achieved by their respective teams. This much I do know it’s clear at present given what’s going on they can’t really do much worse than many of the other head coaches around the NFL at present.

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What are your own feelings concerning the current situations that have befallen the Redskins, Cowboys and Vikings ? And do you feel that in the cases of Mike and Kyle Shanahan they’ve made themselves something of a laughing stock around the league and in the eyes of the fans ? And what are your thoughts concerning familial ties within the league and how it plays out concerning the individuals mentioned within this piece ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit .

NB List of NFL coaches including their 2010 record .

List of NFL teams’ coaching staffs including assistants .

NFL Week 9 schedule

Team with byes Broncos, Titans , Jaguars , Resdkins , Rams & 49ers

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😦

Alan aka tophatal …… 🙂

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Azzareya-Crystal-Curtis

Eye candy …….. Azzareya Crystal Curtis (left) & friends
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Sly & The Family Stone …… “Family Affair” (Remix)

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