Something old, something new, something borrowed though not necessarily blue ….

Something old, something new, something borrowed though not necessarily blue

By Tophatal 2012/11/04 4:45:52 PM (EST)

Today, in an NFC conference game , the Carolina Panthers are the guests of the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The match-up pits the top two picks from the 2011 and 2012 NFL Draft , in Cam Newton , and Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III. Newton this season has been inexplicably poor in his play , whereas, his Redskins’ counterpart , Griffin has been excelling in the environment of the NFL .

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Slideshow.

The two players are seen as part of the NFL’s rich future , as seasoned veterans such as , Eli Manning , his brother Peyton, Drew Brees , Tom Brady , Aaron Rodgers , Matt Scab , Joe Falco and Matt Ryan have established, or are seeking to establish themselves in the upper echelons of the game , in the positions they currently play. And during this decade we might just be witnessing some of the best play possible of this or any other era during which the NFL has become known as the Superbowl ”era”

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Cam Newton, if he is to be seen as a leader of this Panthers’ team , then beyond his poor play , he will undoubtedly have to show a great deal more maturity than he has been currently showing. Granted, when you are playing on a 1-6 team , as Newton has been , there is not a great deal of positives that can be taken away from those experiences . And for head coach , Ron Rivera , the most exacerbating situation facing him , has been the fact that his quarterback become so inconsistent , while his game has regressed to such a level, that there is a feeling that without some real guidance , Cam Newton’s career in the NFL could very well be short-lived.

Robert Griffin III, for his part, has brought back the excitement long sought by the Redskins’ franchise. Thankfully, the team’s offensive coordinator, Kyle Shanahan , has not found a way to mess a good thing up , as Griffin has excelled while leading this Redskins’ team . Head coach, Mike Shanahan, might well be coaching the “ best pure talent”, he has coached over the course tenure of his career , with the exception of Hall of Fame quarterback , John Elway. High praise indeed, for a young quarterback who has exhibited all of the prerequisite abilities that Shanahan and GM Bruce Allen sought , when they made him their number one pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft. If the previous meetings of the Panthers and Redskins are anything to go by , then Sunday afternoon’s game should prove to be an explosive and offensive laden treat .

There are two games played during week nine , which I firmly believe will determine the seasons of the quartet of teams involved ! The New Orleans Saints play host to the Philadelphia Eagles at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana, in Monday night’s game. There are constant excuses being made by fans and analysts alike concerning the inconsistent and poor play of not only Michael Vick , but also the team as a whole . Foreseen as what was said to be a legitimate contender within the NFC , the Eagles have been anything but that, over the course of the season , as they have seemingly struggled to find a footing and some semblance and consistency to their game. While everyone, may well feel compassionate towards head coach Andy Reid, after the death of his son, Garrett Reid, there can be no denying that the coach has done an exceptionally poor job in his capacity as the head coach , in the preparation of his team this season.

In the case of the New Orleans Saints, it has been the team’s off the field issues that still remain in the spotlight. And just when you thought that things could not possibly get any worse for the franchise , it has been made public that Commissioner Roger Goodell, has voided the contract of head coach Sean Payton , making the beleaguered and suspended Saints’ employee a free agent at the end of this season . It would appear in the way the coach’s contract was worded , made it ambiguous and most certainly in the view of many , by no way a legally binding contract given the stipulations in the contract’s details. What might be more asinine concerning this all, is the very fact, that all NFL employee contracts as it relates to NFL personnel , has to be approved by the commissioner’s office. In light of this , one might ask who within Roger Goodell’s office gave this deal , their “final seal of approval” , if not the commissioner himself ? It has been bad enough to witness Goodell’s handling of the Saints’ bounty scandal , and the now laughable assertion and notion that by the commissioner recusing himself from presiding over the appeals’ process of the four players embroiled in and at the center of the ongoing controversy , by inserting Paul Tagliabue into the mix , this now makes things better. It is clear that Roger Goodell’s comprehension of the “rule of law” has nothing to do with the law itself , but more to do with his hanging on to his considerable power and influence within the NFL. The idiocy however, is the very fact that the team owners have continued to back Goodell’s play. And the last time I looked , the commissioner was not holding a good hand in terms of his risky stake of poker here or determinedly sheer lunacy , as he seeks another PR win , after some highly debatable and embarrassing losses suffered by the league hierarchy.

At this point , it would be realistic to suggest that Sean Payton will remain with the New Orleans Saints , because of the extremely amicable relationship that he has with the team owner , Tom Benson , but specifically with the team’s quarterback, Drew Brees. The duo of Payton and Brees are the primary reasons why the Saints were victorious in their 31-17 Superbowl victory over the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 , after an entirely exciting 2008 season , in which we witnessed the franchise reach unprecedented heights , as the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana sought to recover from the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina . In 2012, and we are witnessing an entirely different set of circumstances concerning the Saints , as they have simply labored along while becoming one of the league’s more erratic teams, as evidenced by their results . A loss on Monday for the Saints , would do a great deal more than simply stall their season’s ambitions , as I do not believe they can be taken as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl this season. There has been far too much off the field drama , and it certainly hasn’t helped with the high-wire circus act, concerning Joe Vitt and Aaron Kromer sharing the head coaching responsibilities , while Sean Payton serves his year-long mandated suspension.

Atlanta Falcons’ head coach, Mike Smith has got his team off to an unbelievable start as they remain undefeated at 7-0 , which just happens to be the franchise’s best start in their history. When the Falcons host the beleaguered Dallas Cowboys in NBC’s Sunday night coverage , we should get to see whether or not Matt Ryan can lead the team to a league leading eighth victory .

Jerry Jones , the ever colorful owner of the Dallas Cowboys has done more to hype up the Cowboys than anything than is said to have taken place on the field of play from the team this season . At 3-4, a mark which they currently share with the Philadelphia Eagles , the franchise currently sits in second place , behind the NFC East leading New York Giants (6-2) . There is no denying that the team has under-achieved , while the knock remains , can Tony Romo lead a Cowboys’ team deep into the postseason, much less win a meaningful game during the NFL’s postseason fare ? While that conversation remains a “water cooler” topic and a continued point of many heated debates , and the Cowboys quarterback’s career will continue to be defined by that one premise alone. In my honest opinion, the judgment of many has simply been clouded by the fact that Romo plays for this renowned franchise. The giant shadow, cast by the careers of Troy Aikman and Roger Staubach have pretty much shown us that Romo still two giant pair of shoes to fill. The pressure is being brought to bear upon the shoulders of not only Tony Romo, but also the team’s head coach Jason Garrett. And you can bet , the speculation will arise concerning whether or not Jerry Jones would be bold enough to seek out Sean Payton, to gauge his interest in returning to the Dallas Cowboys. Prior to being hired as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints , it should be remembered that Payton served as the quarterbacks’ coach and offensive coordinator , while serving under , then coach Bill Parcells . It would not be remiss to suggest that in the ensuing years since the departure of Parcells , there have been some extremely lean years for the Dallas Cowboys .

You can fool some of the people some of the time you can’t fool all of the people all of the time . They may well have started fast out of the gates this season , but there’s now a reason why the Arizona Cardinals have fallen down back to earth with an emphatic thud . Now losers of three straight, Ken Whisenhunt now has to deal with a team that is bereft of an identity, and the lack of real presence at the quarterback position. John Skelton and Kevin Kolb , have proven to be not exactly the pick of the litter, in terms of the options at Whisenhunt’s disposal. Neither player has commanded the position with any great authority and it has been inconsistency or injuries to both , that has pretty much summed the team’s woefully inept season. Somehow , Kolb was able to parlay several makeshift games whilst on the Eagles’ roster to avail himself with an audacious and preposterous 6 year $63.5 million deal , of which $12 million was guaranteed money . Whatever was going on inside of the Cardinals’ front office at the time to suborn this idiotic offer , simply explains another reason why this franchise has been in the wilderness over the past few seasons. GM , Rod Graves , must now feel that the contract offer to Kevin Kolb has been a monumental waste , not that Skelton has been a considerable success for the Arizona Cardinals this season .

Today, like any other day, that has the Cardinals on the field of play and somehow they once again failed miserably , in a giving a rather lackluster display against the Green Bay Packers , when the two met at Lambeau Field , in Green Bay , Wisconsin . Don’t let the Packers’ 31-17 victory fool you , as the margin of victory could have far greater , than is reflected on paper , as a matter of record. It is my belief that Ken Whisenhunt’s position as the head coach of this franchise will be in jeopardy , should he not be able to turn things around in a timely manner. Guess what, nine weeks in , and Cardinals’ record of 4-5 simply reflects what this team just happens to be. Sub .500 , and it is not exactly going to get any better at this juncture .

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Picture gallery.

Week nine , what if anything has been of the biggest surprise you in the games played and about to be played on this schedule ? And which of the current head coaches do you believe will be in jeopardy to take the fall at season’s end? Chime on this, and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter.

Picture, and slideshow details below.
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(1) Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy , left, hits Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and is charged with a roughing the passer penalty during the first half of an NFL football game , Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Landover, Md. AP Photo/Nick Wass ….

(2) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, left, greets Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III after an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012, in Landover, Md. The Panthers won 21-13. AP Photo/Richard Lipski …

(3) Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid speaks to the media after NFL football practice at the team’s training facility, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(4) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throws a pass during NFL football practice at the team’s practice complex, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Slocum …

(5) New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is hit as he throws by Denver Broncos defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson (99) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Denver. AP Photo/David Zalubowski ….

(6) In a moment of levity Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett is seen here with team owner Jerry Jones . Team owner , Jones, knows that should the team fail this season , to make the NFL postseason , then questions will arise concerning not only the future of the franchise but also the long-term future the head coach , and the team’s Probowl quarterback Tony Romo . A great deal is riding on tonight’s game against the Atlanta Falcons . AP Photo /Mark Hall …. ….

(7) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is seen here with his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . The commissioner has recused himself presiding over the appeal’s process for the four NFL players embroiled in the Saints’ bounty scandal . Tagliabue has been requested by the NFL to preside over the hearing , but the NFLPA (Players’ Union) seeks an injunction stopping this procedural hearing , questioning Tagliabue’s impartiality in this whole process. When asked why the league had not sought to utilize the services of a Federal Court judge concerning this matter , Goodell was essentially non-committal and non-responsive . AFP/REUTERS / Max Averill …

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NFL news & news from around the league

NFL schedule week nine

NFL transactions

NFL free agents

NFL results week 9

NFL standings by division

NFL team injuries

NFL player stats week 9

NFL team stats week 9

NFL schedule week 10

Round Up Of The NFL Sports Weekend & Other Pieces Of Triviality

Well, the NFL weekend is all but through, with the exception of Monday night’s scheduled game between the Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) and Denver Broncos (6-1) from Invesco Field , Denver , Colorado.

Buccaneers quarterback  Josh   Freeman  hands the ball  off  during the   game  played  against  the  Green Bay  Packers at  Raymond  James Stadium  in  Tampa Florida .  The  Buccaneers   would   go  on to  defeat  Green  Bay  38-28  and  being  ensured    of  their   first  win  of the  season.   picture  apears  courtesy  of  getty  images/ J Meric .............

Buccaneers’ quarterback Josh Freeman hands the ball off during the game played against the Green Bay Packers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers would go on to defeat Green Bay 38-28 , being ensured of their first win of the NFL season. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J.Meric ..
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And as evidenced from Sunday’s slate of games for Week 9 , we now know more than ever, that the NFL is still in something of a diabolical state when it comes to several teams. There’s the good, the bad and the downright ugly ! Based on what took place between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-7) and the Green Bay Packers (4-4) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida. It was hard to extrapolate which was indeed the winless team and which team was indeed the one with ambitions of quite possibly making the postseason. Suffice to say that the game was filled with a litany of errors from either side. And the quarterback play of both teams left a great deal to be desired.

Buccaners'  defensive players  Torrie  Cox (27)  , Geno Hayes (54) and  Tanard Jackson (36)  set  about   tackling  Packers'  wide  receiver  James  Jones (89)   during  the  game .    picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/  J  Meric ..........

Buccaneers’ defensive players Torrie Cox (27), Geno Hayes (54) and Tanard Jackson (36) set about tackling Packers’ wide receiver James Jones (89) during the game.
picture appears courtesy of getty images/ J Meric ….

Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback, Josh Freeman did just enough to garner his first professional win in an NFL uniform. Which was much to the delight of the home fans there in Tampa. As to what this may well mean down the lines for the Buccaneers and their coach , Raheem Morris. Well, for now let’s just say with that first win of the season in defeating the Packers 38-28 . It leaves the Buccaneers with something to smile about. As to what this means for the Mike McCarthy coached Packers’ team ? Suffice to say , it’s back to the drawing board for McCarthy and his coaching staff. Their offensive line couldn’t protect quarterback, Aaron Rogers from the Buccaneers’ defensive play , much less from the H1N1 strain of the swine flu. That’s how awful the Packers’ offensive line were on Sunday !

Eagles' head  coach  Andy  Reid  and  his  opposing   number   Wade Phillips of  the   Dallas Cowboys   meet  centerfield  after  the  game to  congratulate one another .

Andy Reid ,coach of the Philadelphia Eagles and his opposite number Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys meet centerfield at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia after the game. The Cowboys had just defeated the Eagles in an NFC East divisional match up 20-16, to sit atop of the division with a one game lead over their rival. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Craig Gentry ……

Image is everything , hype means nothing ! If that were really true then how can one explain the seemingly endless media frenzy concerning the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) and everything that this team is said to represent ? Unlike any other team in the NFL the attention paid to this team in the print format as well as on television and radio borders on the insane. Granted , that $1.5 billion monstrosity built in Arlington, creates the desired facade that this is an NFL franchise that has a great deal going for it both on and off the field. Truth be known, the Cowboys are simply nothing more than a well ran cash cow. Making money for the organization is the sole existence for Jerry Jones. And anything beyond that is considered to be a bye product of it all. The franchise seeks to get back to winning ways in terms of a postseason berth with the ultimate goal of landing a sixth Superbowl title. But that would be predicated upon them placing a winning team on the field of play. Something of which they’ve failed to do in almost a decade.

Cowboys'  wide  receiver  Miles  Austin (19)  takes  it to  the  house  with a  49 yd  touchdown  reception  run  against the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in  the  fourth quarter  of the   game.  Eagles' defensive  player   Quintin  Mikell (27)  missed  his   coverage  assignment   of the  receiver  in  allowing  the  score  .   picture  appears courtesy  of  getty images/ Al Bello  ............

Cowboys’ wide receiver Miles Austin (19) takes it to the house , with a 49 yd touchdown reception run against the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth quarter of the game played at Lincoln Financial Field , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Eagles’ defensive player Quintin Mikell (27) missed his coverage assignment of Austin in allowing the score. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Al Bello ……..

Today the Cowboys faced their arch rivals the Philadelphia Eagles (5-3) in an NFC East divisional match up, that sought supremacy within the division. And while there’s no doubt that the winner of the division has an outside shot to garner one of the top two seeds in the NFC pecking order ,come the postseason. Whether or not that team from the division can acquit themselves well enough in the playoffs, is clearly open to a great deal of speculation. Of late ,these two teams have played some great football but at the same there’s been a great deal of inconsistency to their play. Hence the reason for the statement made concerning their post-season ambitions.

Whenever the Eagles and Cowboys tend to meet. It is either under the best or worse of circumstances as to the scenario placed within that specific environment. For both coaches it has come to be the norm for gauging their teams and the coaches , themselves. At the start of the season the speculation had already began as to whether or Wade Phillips would still be in a job, were the Cowboys to have an unsuccessful season. From week to week , even during the preseason that talk was being fomented in all avenues of the press. And for the Eagles’ coach , Andy Reid , the talk there was whether or not he and veteran quarterback , Donovan McNabb were still an asset to the team and the franchise in general. Well , considering their legacy with the franchise and the success that they’ve brought during their tenure. Those who were trying to make a claim that both ought to be released clearly don’t remember the years when this team was in the doldrums.

Sunday’s game between these two stalwarts reminded us why it is that the NFC East is considered to be the best division with the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles provided us with an allout air assault with a passing game that was replete with some spectacular plays by both sets of receivers on either team. And if anything Cowboys’ quarterback, Tony Romo may well have now overcome the loss of Terrell Owens. Not that anyone is now the slightest bit concerned that he was once a former Cowboy. Now the thought is , when is the proverbial meltdown going to place in his new place of residence ? As of yet, there hasn’t been a seismic shift to indicate that Owens is about explode and unleash a tirade against the Buffalo Bills‘ organization and his Bills’ teammates. But rest assured, if the downward slide in Buffalo continues. Then you’ll definitely be hearing it , loud and clear. It’s just the way TO is !

The Dallas Cowboys managed to get their sixth win of the season in defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 20-16 , outscoring their rivals in the fourth quarter (10-3) of a relatively hard fought game. And Romo had his best game of the season so far. He was able to find 7 different receivers on the way to the team’s victory over the Eagles. And they now hold a one game lead over their closest rival , as they sit atop of the NFC East. For both the New York Giants (5-4) and the pitiful Washington Redskins (2-6). Well, things at present aren’t looking too good for either team. The Redskins are in deep turmoil and the Tom Coughlan coached Giants , now can’t even obtain a win, even if they were spotted 7 point advantage.

As we’ve now reached the midway point of the season. We’ll begin to see a push, where the legitimate contenders for the postseason will try to separate themselves from the pretenders. And the also rans , well they’re now essentially out of it. Though they could very well play ‘spoilers’ for a number of teams who still feel that they’re in with a shot of making the postseason.

Titans'  running  back   Chris Johnson  (28) is  tackled  by the  San  Francisco  49ers'  defensive  player  Patrick   Willis  (52)   during  the   game  played   at   Candlestick  Park  ,  San  Francisco  ,  California.

Titans’ running back Chris Johnson (28) is tackled by the San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Patric Willis (52) during the game played at Candlestick Park , San Francisco , California. The Titans would go on to defeat the 49ers 34-27, to win their second consecutive game of the season , pushing their record in the NFL to 2-6 . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Ezra Shaw …….

And for the claims being made by Titans’ running back Chris Johnson , that his team is quite capable of reeling off 10 straight wins to place the team amongst the thick of things. Well, it’d be a whole lot easier Chris , had you made those predictions earlier . Rather than after the Tennessee Titans (2-6) hadn’t gotten off to an 0-6 start to the season. Now you’re setting yourself and your teammates up for an even greater fall in the event of another loss. And that my friend is no laughing matter.

Whatever happens throughout the ensuing run to the end of the regular season. We will probably all remark as to the ups and downs for many of the teams in the NFL . But even more so , I think that the conversation will be about how bland and bad so many of the teams were. Parity is now being used as a misnomer for the inadequacies that’d been sought within the league. One of the problems is however, the lack of on-field talent but what’s even becoming more so, is the lack of depth in talent amongst the coaching ranks in the NFL at present. Take a look around and scrutinize the rosters of the teams with regard to the coaches and their staffs. Non too impressive to begin with , now is it ?

Click here to see the the NFL divisional standings …………………

Week 9 Results ……..

Washington Redskins 17 Atlanta Falcons 31

Arizona Cardinals 41 Chicago Bears 21

Baltimore Ravens 7 Cincinnati Bengals 17

Houston Texans 17 Indianapolis Colts 20

Kansas City Chiefs 21 Jacksonville Jaguars 24

Carolina Panthers 20 New Orleans Saints 30

Detroit Lions 20 Seattle Seahawks 32

San Diego Chargers 21 New York Giants 20

Tennessee Titans 34 San Francisco 49ers 27