Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

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Witnessing the good , the bad and the ugly ….

Twelve weeks into the NFL season and in reality there is not a great deal to rejoice about , as several teams have simply failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say at the end of the regular season or perhaps the postseason, a number of head coaches are likely to be dismissed along with their coaching staffs. Topping that list is likely to be the New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan who has led his team to a 2-9 season, with the Jets firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East .

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To realize how bad the New York Jets have been , you simply have to look at their performance against their divisional rivals the Buffalo Bills. The fans were subjected this monstrous perversion as being great football in the NFL. Laughable to say the very least when you consider the team’s two quarterbacks combined for a performance that would make an NFL fan cringe in revulsion, as to what they had just witnessed. Geno Smith and Michael Vick together went for seventeen of thirty-one in their completions , with 165 passing yards and one interception . If this is what the Jets insist upon selling to their fans and the rest of the NFL in what turned out to be a 38-3 blowout and travesty of a game . Then we need not lament the loss of Rex Ryan , Geno Smith or Michael Vick at the end of this season. As to the idiots, who believe Smith can still become a serviceable quarterback in the NFL , then my answer to you all , bring back Mark Sanchez . Even at his worst , Sanchez was never as incompetent as we have witnessed with Smith this season and last year in particular .

From a defensive and offensive standpoint the New York Jets have been woefully inept and the very fact Rex Ryan and his coaching staff have failed to address those issues have led to their present predicament.

In week thirteen the New York Jets will play hosts to the Miami Dolphins in a home game played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey. I am not so sure that the Jets’ fans will be there to cheer on their home team or simply boo them , while welcoming the Dolphins with open arms ! In all honesty , all this team has provided their fans all season long , has been nothing but never-ending heartache and little else beyond that . Ryan and the Jets will look to seek their third win of the season, while seeking to make up for a disastrous three-quarters of the schedule having pass the Jets’ fans by .

A five-game losing streak can tell you a great deal about a team and the direction they are said to be heading in. Perhaps no other franchise epitomizes that fact than the Carolina Panthers . They may not be rooted at the bottom of the worse division in the NFL at present . Yet there is little to suggest last season’s NFC South divisional champions can now equal that feat in what has been a disastrous season for the team . Head coach Ron Rivera has to be at a loss in explaining how things could have gone so ” far south” for a team where a great deal had been expected from them in 2014. Were it not for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-9) and their mediocre showing , we might be discussing which of the quartet of teams within the division might just be the worst. All four teams within the NFC South bear a sub. 500 record a and it seems a travesty, the likely winner of the division will have the privilege of being a part of the postseason at the expense of a team likely to better record overall within the conference (NFC). Such are the vagaries of the system and rules put in place by the NFL.

A bye in week twelve gave the Panthers a chance to recuperate while injured players could regain their active status but their their loss in week eleven to the Atlanta Falcons provided us with litany of reasons why the Carolina Panthers’ season has been so woefully inept. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton seems to be off his game for a variety of reasons . Without a passing game to assist the team and a running game barely consistent there seems to be nothing left in the tank for this team.

Carolina will be on the road in week thirteen when they face conference rivals the Minnesota Vikings in a “must win game ” if they are to have any chance of making inroads on the divisional lead of the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons for their part will be taking on the best team in the NFC this season, when they host the Arizona Cardinals (9-2) , the surprise of the NFL this year. A win for Bruce Arians’ Cardinals guarantees them a playoff berth and leaves the three remaining teams beneath them within the NFC West scrambling to make good on the remainder of their season. As to what might this suggest, specifically for the San Francisco 49ers (7-4) and the Seattle Seahawks (7-4) with their being so much at stake , will likely lead to one, if not both of these teams quite possibly missing a postseason berth.

When Lovie Smith succeeded Greg Schiano as the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , it was thought he would bring a great deal of discipline to the franchise , something lacking in his predecessor. Granted, for the one season Schiano was in charge of the team , they played hard , but unfortunately , playing hard does not equate to wins or success for that matter . This season Smith has failed to instill discipline into this team , a fact borne out by their record , fumbles and penalties accumulated throughout their entire schedule. The one bright spot one might care to acknowledge, has been the play or their rookie wide receiver and best player this year , Mike Evans . Anything else can simply be viewed as being downright mediocre .

Coming off a ham-fisted loss (21-13) to the Chicago Bears, it easy to understand why the Buccaneers have been so inconsistent this season. At no time during this game , were you ever given the impression they had the chance to win the contest . Certainly not in the second half of the game , where they could only muster three points and that was solely through a field goal attempt. It certainly does not paint a pretty picture of this team from an offensive standpoint , let alone delving into the fact their defense has been mind-bogglingly absurd and inefficient. We are likely to see more of that ineptitude when the Buccaneers entertain the Cincinnati Bengals (7-3) at Raymond Stadium in Tampa , Florida this upcoming Sunday. A game which is likely to be used as a springboard for the Bengals as they seek to maintain their slender lead in the AFC North .

As a precursor to Sunday’s games , as is usual at this time of the year, the traditional Thanksgiving Day rollout , has the customary participants the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) and Detroit Lions (7-4) vying for the privilege of making the fans’ festivities on the day seem that little bit more special . Yes, the Cowboys might be in the midst of a competitive battle with the Philadelphia Eagles (8-3) for divisional supremacy in the NFC East. A division to my mind which has been brought back down to earth by the ineptitude shown of the New York Giants (3-8) and Washington Redskins (3-8) or whatever they are likely to call themselves at some point in the future, pending their litigation in US Federal Court . The fact of the matter remains Tony Romo is one hit away from having his season come to a debilitating end. Equally as important to his team , Matt Stafford has to know his game has to be played at more rational pace rather than helter-skelter, as has often been the case.

When the Dallas Cowboys take aim at knocking off the Philadelphia Eagles at Cowboys Stadium on Thursday afternoon, it will be part of a three-game trilogy on the day. The Detroit Lions will host the Chicago Bears at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan , with the final game on the Thanksgiving Day schedule being a match-up between the Seattle Seahawks playing the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara , California , . All three games promise to be highly competitive divisional contests and likely to add a great deal more intrigue to the season with so much being at stake for all six teams involved.

Sunday’s games will also also likely to provide the fans with their fair share of suspense, but we can also count on several of those contests to be bone chillingly lopsided affairs or worse . One game likely to have the fans on the edge of their seats will pit Tom Brady and the New England Patriots (9-2) as they go on the road to face Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers (8-3) at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin,. This game will pit two of the NFL’s best quarterbacks over the past five seasons as these two titans of the game square off for the for only second time in their careers . Hard to believe, given the legacies both Brady and Rodgers have established for their respective franchises. In that first meeting in 2006 , where the Packers were on the wrong end of a 35-0 humiliation at Lambeau Field, something ideally the Packers’ quarterback and his teammates are not likely to forget . This contest I believe, will be a great deal closer and it is my opinion , the visiting team will come away with the victory , purely from the standpoint they are a more well-balanced team and their defense has been very consistent over the course of this season , and specifically over their last five games where they have managed to shut down their opponents with consummate ease.

Perennially bad teams in the NFL are not uncommon, and this season the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-10) and Oakland Raiders(1-10) seem intent on making it a reality of upholding that longstanding tradition which embodies ineptitude. These two teams are a combined 2-20 , and 1-4 in their last five games. The fact they possess the two worst records in the NFL should not be looked upon with deference at all.

It is clear what ails the Jaguars and Raiders goes far beyond ineptitude and has everything to do with bad coaching and some whimsical and often asinine notion by fans and analysts alike , that teams can simply create their success by spending big , acquiring talent via free agency , often overrated and they will be well on their way to success. It has not worked for the Raiders over the past six seasons and it definitely has not worked for Jacksonville since Shahid Khan assumed control of the Jaguars’ franchise. From a draft standpoint , both teams have failed miserably bolster their respective rosters to be competitive enough this season , let alone last season. Yet, he we are once again watching both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders swoon while both franchises have seen a precipitous drop in their attendance levels in comparison to 2013. With both teams now subject to relocation rumors it begs the question, which municipality would really try to endear themselves to a losing NFL franchise solely on the basis of the perception of it all making sound economic sense ?

As popular as the league( NFL) is said to be on the North American landscape and with the NFL now having global tentacles .The he fact of the matter remains , the greater Los Angeles area has no wish for an NFL franchise , where the city itself will be on the ” financial hook” for a venue to house that team. No matter how anyone tries to spin it , the NFL is now being ran by a by a bunch snake oil salesmen . Roger Goodell , is simply leading the charge , while pulling the wool over the eyes of everyone . with a diluted and mediocre product, where he can simply point to the increased revenues of the NFL and not much else.

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Picture gallery .

The popularity of the league’s marquee players will remain popular , until their retirement, but what then happens when the cupboard is bare and there is no one yet deemed ready to step into the shoes of a Tom Brady , Peyton Manning , Drew Brees , Aaron Rodgers , Larry Fitzgerald or Reggie Wayne for that matter ? Care to have take on it all ?

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Picture and slideshow details below.

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(1) Scott Chandler(84) of the Buffalo Bills scores on a nineteen yard second quarter touchdown as Jaiquawn Jarrett (37) of the New York Jets defends during the game at Ford Field on November 24 , 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. The Bills would go on to defeat the Jets 38-3 in a lopsided contest. . Getty Images North America / Leon Halip …

(2) Quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets throws against the Buffalo Bills in the fourth quarter at Ford Field on November 24, 2014 in Detroit, Michigan. Buffalo defeated New York 38-3. Getty Images/ Jamie Sabau …

(3) New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith (7) and New York Jets quarterback Michael Vick (1) on the sideline in the first quarter of their NFL preseason football game in East Rutherford, New Jersey, August , 22, 2014. Reeling at 2-9 this season the Jets are firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East with the duo quite possibly the worst tandem in the AFC and the league this season, with no signs the Jets’ passing game is likely to improve over the remainder of the season. AP Photo/ Ray Stubblebine …

(4) New York Jets’ head coach Rex Ryan is seen here on the sidelines during a regular season game. The beleaguered Ryan is seeking to save his job as well as the team’s season , but it is beginning to look as if he is in the last throes of coaching this franchise , along with a roster of players who have greatly underperformed this season. No formal statement has been made by anyone from within the front office , as the belief seems to be the coach will be fired at the end of this season. AP Photo / Paul Hobbs …

(5) Cam Newton (1) quarterback of the Carolina Panthers is seen here during a game played against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania. The Eagles would defeat the Panthers in the contest and prolong their losing streak . AP Photo / Amy Hughes …

(6) May 9, 2014 – Tampa, Florida, U.S. – DANIEL WALLACE | Times.Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith , left, listens to wide receiver Mike Evans as he answers questions after being introduced to local media at One Buc Place on Friday, May 9, 2014. Evans was named the Buccaneers 2014 NFL Draft first-round pick on Thursday night. . Evans has been a revelation for the Buccaneers this season and one of their most productive players on a consistent basis all season long. Credit Image: © Daniel Wallace/Tampa Bay Times/ ZUMAPRESS.com copyrighted material all rights reserved ..

(7) Matt Stafford (9) ,left, of the Detroit Lions and Tony Romo of the Detroit Dallas Cowboys will lead their respective teams into this season’s Thanksgiving Day games against divisional rivals . Both players are hoping to be as productive for their teams as they were last season at the same point of the 2013 schedule. Getty Images / Adam Holmes ..

(8) Tom Brady of the New England is seen here with his Green Bay Packers’ counterpart Aaron Rodgers , basking in the revelry of the Kentucky Derby . The two players will be on opposite sides of the field when their two teams meet on Sunday afternoon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin ,. This will be only the second professional meeting between these two much heralded quarterbacks , with Brady coming out the winner in that first contest and a Patriots’ 35-0 victory over the Packers. Sunday’s contest is unlikely to be that lopsided a game between the two franchises. AP Photo / Matt Holcomb …

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Tophatal …. 11/26/2014 02:45 AM EST

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You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects

You are only as good as your record reflects or that of the acumen shown by the coaching staff , And this season , it would be pretty safe to say that the NFL and its teams have shown us , all that glistens is not necessarily gold . The Seattle Seahawks having started off its season with four consecutive wins and were quickly brought down back to earth by Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts . And while I have read a number articles within this forum by a number of knowledgeable sports’ fans simply looking to put their own spin on the season , with what they deem to be their interpretation of the season , by way of the league standing . I would suggest that while it all seems to be feasible, what is exactly achieved by such an article if nothing else, than to elicit a comment ? Standing atop of the respective conferences are the Denver Broncos (5-0) and Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) within the AFC , while in the NFC , Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints , loom larger than life , overlooking all that they can possibly survey.

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At the start of the season , I felt that the AFC would prove to be the dominant conference by way of the caliber of the teams. Yet, at this juncture, nothing could be further from the truth. In the AFC East , a New England Patriots’ team sits at 4-1 , but in reality at best, they are no better than a 2-2 franchise. The division itself has a budding divisional triumvirate of teams looking to show their dominance , led by the Miami Dolphins , New York Jets and Patriots , with the Buffalo Bills (2-3) holding down the bottom position within the division. . Those three teams could very well be on their way to reminding the fans that the AFC East is likely to be very competitive. As an avowed New England Patriots’ fan , I must admit that while I am happy to see them riding high within the AFC East , leading the division with a 4-1 mark. It has been the inconsistency shown of late, on the offense and injuries that has me wondering, is this team is as good as advertised?

To further emphasize my dismay with the Patriots , it was bewildering to see that this team could only must six points in total , in their 13-6 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals . Even more exacerbating, were the post-game comments by Tom Brady , as to the reasons behind the team’s defeat. The Patriots’ quarterback had his worst performance of the season in this game and he certainly was not helped by the poor protection from his offensive line was a complete embarrassment. Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick seemed to gloss over that fact by simply addressing the matter with his customary aplomb, with scant regard for the questions being posed by the convened journalists wishing to discuss the matter in-depth .

With Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski not due to return until possibly by week six or eight , the offense will be totally reliant on Stevan Ridley , Julian Edelman and Brandon Bolden . Beyond the injury issues of Gronkowski , the loss of defensive end Vince Wilfork , who over the past six seasons has been the bedrock of the defensive line, as well as providing a great deal of leadership to the younger players. His loss for the season , to a torn Achilles’ tendon was a big blow. He cannot be replaced, in terms of what he has able to contribute to the team from the intangibles provided. Yet, if there is a coach who get more out of a team with less , then it would have to be Bill Belichick . Fans, with their prognostications, had the New England Patriots with a 14-2 or 13-3 record for the season . Realistically , based on what I have seen this season at this point , a mark of 11-5 or 12-4 seems more likely, along with the divisional title and a postseason berth in tow.

Rancor and sheer dismay can only describe the continued anger I still possess concerning the Patriots’ mishandling of the Wes Welker ” debacle” . In spite of the public statements made by team owner Robert ‘Bob’ Kraft, GM Nick Caserio and Bill Belichick , it has been their pride that has dictated the fact that they are unwilling to admit to making a major blunder , which allowed Welker’s departure to the Denver Broncos. The wide receiver’s successor, was none other than Danny Amendola , whose initial success had many asking Wes who? Well , now the question being asked has to be, is Danny Amendola made of Paper Mache’ ? Injuries have followed the player throughout his entire career and his performances have been sketchy at best. Now on the sidelines with another injury, I can’t help but wonder how long his tenure will be with the Patriots at this juncture. New England went from an all Pro wide receiver, in Wes Welker to an injury plagued , all too inconsistent player, whose best attributes, one could describe whimsically, as someone who knows his way around a team doctor’s office.

In week six the New England Patriots will face a tough task when they host the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what should prove to be one of the highlight match-ups on the day. The Saints’ aerial attack, is also supported by a very good rushing offense led by Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles . New England’s defense is likely to be tested throughout much of the game.

As Peyton Manning looks to be marching on towards his fifth League MVP award , his younger sibling Eli Manning , the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback with the New York Giants (0-5) is now having a horrendous season , with the team now lacking confidence and head coach Tom Coughlin willingly taking all of the shots, by stating that the team’s woes are his alone . Admirable, as that may well be, Coughlin is trying to deflect what even the most none observant already have come to realize. This season , the New York Giants are not a very good team on both sides of the ball. Eli Manning’s performances are a far cry from the player who in 2011 excelled in his red zone play and who now seems to be a shell of the player who led the team to those Superbowl victories over the New England Patriots in 2008 and 2012 .

I am not about to suggest that Tom Coughlin is likely to be fired , but if he continues to come to the support of his players without seeking to hold them accountable , then in all likelihood GM Jerry Reese and owner John K Mara will be left no other alternative, than to relieve the head coach of his duties , should they fail to end up with a winning record . As things now stand , at worst , an 8-8 or 9-7 season could be all that is needed to win NFC East division that for years has been vastly overrated and in truth greatly bereft of depth in great talent . On Thursday night , with the Giants still seeking their first win of the season they will be the guests of the Chicago Bears (3-2) and Jay Cutler , with a team whose early start to the season indicates that , they too , are not as good as advertised , in spite of a very good defense with great take away capabilities .

With Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) still win-less and in the aftermath of the Josh Freeman fiasco, with the player being waived by the NFC South franchise. Freeman has now found his way onto the Minnesota Vikings’ (1-3) roster , a team that this season has simply been wasting the talents of Adrian Peterson . With incumbent starting quarterback Christian Ponder sidelined by an injury , the team’s options at the quarterback position have become extremely acute . The other candidates are Matt Cassel , McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Freeman, himself. In all likelihood, Cassel will get the start when the Vikings play host to the Carolina Panthers (1-3) this Sunday in an NFC game that pits two teams with multiple issues that need to be addressed .

When the Denver Broncos play host to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars (0-5) in a contest I truly believe that the odds-makers in Las Vegas will either be salivating over or quite possibly be unwilling to touch . In terms of a spread and the over/under , there too I believe, that we could be on pace to see something of an NFL record being set ! The Jaguars are a team that has spiraled downwards into the depths of an abyss of mediocrity , with Gus Bradley and his coaching staff without the answers to provide an explanation for the team’s woes . Denver may well be able to pull off a double-digit margin of victory , while piling up the points, in what I believe could very well be the largest margin of victory that we are likely to see in the NFL this season !

Far too many individuals, are subscribing to this idiocy, that there is parity in the NFL. In reality, what we are currently seeing in the league is some very bad coaching with a diluted down product and a number of vastly overrated players. As exciting as many might believe the NFL to be at present , unless the talent level, that we seeing coming up through the ranks by way of the players at the collegiate level , who then declare their eligibility for the via the NFL Draft. We are likely to see something of a cyclical occurrence, wherein from season to season there will be a rise and then deep drought in the play and with the player entering the NFL .

If character is said to mean something in the NFL , then the troubles now facing San Francisco 49ers’ defensive player Aldon Smith should give Jed York , Trent Baalke , Jim Harbaugh and the rest of the Niners’ front office a great to worry about and be concerned with . In light of the franchise still choosing to pay Smith’s salary while he takes a leave of absence and undergoes treatment for alcoholism , it is rather disturbing to find out the real reason behind the player seeking treatment came by way of an altercation at a private party he hosted , where he was stabbed twice , but two victims were shot . Though the event took place back 2012 , a year later , and after several incidents concerning law enforcement for DUI (twice) and resisting arrest , it seems inconceivable that neither the NFL or the Forty Niners took the player to task, by either suspending him or seeking his being placed in a substance abuse program. This asinine notion by the fans, that the NFL cares , is simply hokum and hogwash , as the only thing that Roger Goodell , the league hierarchy and owners simply care about , is making a great deal of money ! Anyone, who can now make a claim to the contrary , is simply lacking a great deal of intelligence .

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Week six of the NFL regular season schedule will bring about a number of results, some surprising , while others will not . Chances are however, both the Buccaneers and Jaguars will remain win-less , as the rest of the league sets about on its merry way . What if anything, are you hoping to see this upcoming weekend or starting off as of tomorrow night ? By all means, do leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site and its content !

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Picture and slideshow gallery .

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(1) Broncos’ head coach John Fox ,left and his Kansas City Chiefs’ counterpart Andy Reid have both led their teams 5-0 starts this season in the NFL . The two teams will clash twice in their AFC West divisional contests this season and there is a likelihood that one of the two franchises will still be unbeaten at the time of the first of those two contests. Getty Images / Paul Kruger …..

(2) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots hands the ball to Stevan Ridley (22) in the first half of a game played at Gillette Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Jim Rogash / Getty Images North America ….

(3) Quarterback Eli Manning (10) of the New York Giants and quarterback Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos talk to former Giants player Y.A. Tittle and Frank Gifford during the coin toss before the game at MetLife Stadium on September 15, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Getty Images North America / Rob Antonelli ….

(4) Vikings’ quarterbacks Josh Freeman left , is seen here with Matt Cassel at the team’s training facility at Winter Park , Eden Prairie , Minnesota . With Christian Ponder sidelined , Cassel is likely to be the starter for Sunday’s game with Josh Freeman as his backup . AP Photo / Anne Heisenfelt …..

(5) Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 6, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams would go on to defeat the Jaguars 34-20 to inflict the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fifth consecutive loss of the season in 2013 , leaving the team firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC South . Getty Images North America / Dilip Vishwanath …..

(6) Aldon Smith is seen here alongside NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Draft Day, having been taken as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft by the San Francisco $49ers . Entering his third year with the franchise Smith has faced a litany of legal issues since becoming a player in the NFL . What is even more troubling during this whole period has been the reluctance of the 49ers’ organization to address the matter publicly , with head coach Jim Harbaugh simply deflecting questions on the matter . Roger Goodell , we are told , is said to be monitoring the situation closely ., and as we all know the commissioner dealing with an issue of this magnitude, is somewhat like a child playing with his own pacifier. He will chew and suck on it , before spitting it out , because there is something else that he chooses to deal with elsewhere . AP Photo / Mark Smith …..

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Shake ’em like you mean it baby !

She’s acting like she’s got a “pair” and we love her for that .

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake , keep the f##king door shut !

As one door closes , another one opens . For Christ’s sake keep the f##king door shut !

Well the idiocy of the NFL Draft has come and gone , in spite of this high-profiled event , nothing will really be learned until many of these rookies get their first taste of the NFL , during week one of the upcoming season . And to hear many of these draft geeks and on air personalities speculate and prognosticate , you would’ve thought that all thirty-two teams in the NFL were in sheer dire straits . In reality this draft had more to do with personalities , lack of real talent in a vast array of areas , in spite of the recommendations being made by members of the media .

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Now Tim Tebow having been cut from the organization at the behest of GM John Idzik , speculation still remains as to the future of the team’s beleaguered quarterback , Mark Sanchez whose performances in 2012 , were amongst the worst in the AFC and NFL throughout much of last season .

Courtesy of Pro Footballtalk.com

Testaverde disappointed Tebow didn’t get a chance

By Darin Gantt

While just-released quarterback Tim Tebow hasn’t had much support today, at least one former Jet is disappointed he didn’t get a chance to stay.

Former quarterback Vinny Testaverde had worked with Tebow recently in Florida, and he said he saw significant mechanical improvement.

“I was kind of disappointed because I was hoping he’d get a chance to show the coaches what we worked on,” Testaverde told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “I think they would’ve been impressed if they had compared this year to last year ” .

Testaverde spent a week with Tebow, concentrating on his footwork. In layman’s terms, Testaverde said Tebow “was stepping in the wrong direction when he was throwing the football.”

Testaverde also consulted with IMG instructor Chris Weinke, saying they “speak the same quarterback language” because they both played under Dan Henning.

“Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed,” Testaverde said. “Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up. Chris and I looked at each other after about four or five throws, and we saw the same thing. We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue.

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Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 ,

It seems that fans , agents and analysts alike were simply surprised that a quarterback was not taken in the top ten of the first round of this NFL Draft . The fact that it was the Buffalo Bills , with the sixteenth pick in the first round taking EJ Manuel , made that whole premise all the more surprising . That being said , now consider the franchise’s options at the position , when you consider that Kevin Kolb is meant to be the Bills’ starter for the upcoming season . Shit , I’d rather walk on hot coals , rather than seeing Kolb quarterback any franchise within the NFL , as he simply does not possess the talent needed to be a starter in the NFL . Yet somehow, Bills’ head coach Doug Marrone and the front office believe the veteran to be their man . It is my belief , that sooner , rather than later , Manuel will be a starter in the league , quite possibly this season , if Kolb’s recent performances are anything to go by.

The AFC East , if nothing else , should prove to be a great deal fun , considering the antics of the teams from within the division and their performances from last season . Among the teams seeking redemption from last season’s nightmare , just happens to be the New York Jets , whose head coach , Rex Ryan barely escaped from the franchise’s purge of a mediocre coaching staff from 2012 . Out went , offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano , whose ides of team offense bordered on being absurd . And the very fact , that he has now joined the coaching staff of the Oakland Raiders , further enhances the notion , that coaching in the NFL , is no longer about creativity in terms of coaching talent but simply the “ rehashing” of “ mediocre coaches” “ , whose ideas are in essence , from a bygone age “ ! How else can one simply explain the fact that Sparano and Ryan were simply so how out of touch reality , while being allowed to ruin the franchise , and with asinine belief that Tim Tebow would be able to contribute to a team that was lacking in talent and creativity , never-mind poor coaching from every layer , within a considerably inept organization. Yet boneheaded individuals swayed by their emotions, continued to call for Tebow’s inclusion either as a starter or in some other capacity for the franchise . Fantasy geeks were either that blasé or simply that goddamn stupid, throughout much of 2012.

Sanchez is owed in excess of $12.8 million for the upcoming season , but it seems that in all probability , John Idzik will seek a trade of the player, rather than retain him for the entire season while still having to make the financial outlay . He is due a roster bonus of $4.1 million due on the 1st June , and a possible trade partner , if anything would rather seek to only pay a nominal sum with regard to the player’s salary , and then assuming the remainder of Mark Sanchez’s contract from 2014 through to 2016 . This upcoming season for the Jets will be very interesting to see how they fare in their season opener against Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the 8th September 2013 .

With this draft I expected the New England Patriots to do a great deal more than they did , but once again I believe they have failed miserably with this particular draft class . To try and suggest that Jamie Collin s , Aaron Dobson , Logan Ryan , Duron Harmon , Josh Boyce , Michael Buchanan and Steve Beauharnais . These are the players drafted by the organization with view redeeming itself after a monstrous postseason foray , which was best summed up in the team’s embarrassing loss to the eventual Superbowl champions , the Baltimore Ravens , in the AFC championship game . Given the team’s malaise during the game itself and the very fact that Bill Belichick was out-smarted and outmatched by his opposite number John Harbaugh .

I firmly believe that Belichick failed to address the concerns of this team on defense , albeit , that they made a few off-season deals that would suggest that he , GM Nick Caserio and the coaching staff have addressed the team’s failings over the past three seasons. ( 2012 , 2011 & 2010 ). This season if this team in its present guise is unable to address those woes , then the Patriots’ 2013 regular season foray is likely to be an extremely tough one . While fans and analysts alike will point to the potency of the team’s offense over the past few seasons . One should also remember , defense wins championships , and the offense is simply there , as the mainstay of the regular season .

With the NBA postseason now in full swing with the opening round series in some instances , all but established . It seems somewhat unbelievable to believe that the league’s two most renowned franchises are about to be or have been eliminated the first round of the NBA Playoffs . The Boston Celtics have fought back from the cusp of being eliminated in game four , but still find themselves with an almost insurmountable issue in having to still erase a 3-1 deficit in their first round series against the highly regarded New York Knicks .

Having watched this series unfold , to say that I am disappointed in the lack of commitment being shown by the Celtics , would be a tremendous understatement . The core of this roster simply is not good enough , nor has there been any leadership shown by seasoned veterans such as, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett . Granted , while Doc Rivers does not have the privilege of having the team’s best player on the court , It must be said , that as surely as Rajon Rondo is missed, it should not be made or seen as the primary excuse for the team’s poor play in this series . Knicks’ head coach Mike Woodson has simply instilled into this team a real “killer instinct” , not often witnessed with the Knicks’ teams from the franchise’s recent past .

It would be fair to suggest that the Boston Celtics and the franchise’s front office will have to reassess the makeup of this roster and look to build around either Rondo or seek to bring in a marquee free agent during the off-season . Certainly , GM Danny Ainge and senior managing partner Wyc Grousbeck will have to come to a decision , sooner , rather than later as it relates to the immediate and long-term future of this renowned franchise .

This series may well be far from over in the eyes of the Celtics’ fans and players, and it does seem highly unlikely that the team will be derail what now appears to be a focused Knicks’ team obviously looking towards that perceived showdown with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals . Alas , it is my belief that after all of the in-fighting within the Boston Celtics’ locker room and the animosity that allegedly lingered between Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen wasn’t quashed by the coaching staff , head coach or by the Kevin Garnett , the perceived leader of this roster . Instead , Garnett chose to show his immaturity , by berating his former teammate , haranguing him , after his departure , but even more so , when it was announced that Allen had signed with the reigning NBA champions , the Miami Heat.

These are certainly the twilight years in the careers of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce , certainly , two players that are likely to be enshrined in the Naismith (Basketball) Hall of Fame , having met the eligibility requirements upon their retirement .

Despite their value and profitability , it would be fair to say that the Los Angeles Lakers are the most storied franchise in NBA history alongside their most heated rivals the Boston Celtics . With the two franchises accounting for over thirty of the NBA Finals competed for in NBA history .

In what wasn’t seen as a strange turn of events, when the Bryant-less Lakers met the San Antonio Spurs in their opening round series , expectation were high. Instead lackluster … performances , an injury riddled roster and the growing immaturity of Dwight Howard shone through , in what can be best described as piss poor performances all-round from every participant on this Los Angeles Lakers roster during the series. And you simply know things are bad for the franchise when one of the Lakers’ most celebrated fans , actor , Jack Nicholson offers his congratulations to Gregg Popovich and the entire Spurs’ roster , while ignoring several members of the Los Angeles Lakers’ playing staff.

With the Lakers being swept 4-0 in the series , it was the franchise’s earliest exit in the postseason , where the Lakers has a lost series , in such an embarrassing fashion , with that coming in the 1967 Western Conference Semi-Finals to the San Francisco Warriors (Golden State Warriors) .

Mitch Kupchak and SVP Jim Buss now have the unenviable task of assessing the roster and making a number of far-reaching decisions as it relates to the makeup of this team . In my m honest opinion , the general manager and team owner have erred in so many decisions as it relates to this franchise in recent years , that it has been a constant comedy of errors , watching the Lakers as their season came to an abrupt end. Suffice to say , with Dwight Howard showing a real lack of commitment and his getting into foul trouble in the third quarter of game four (103-82) , the fate of this team was sealed as the Spurs came away with a rather lopsided victory , as they now await the victor of the series between the Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies .

The Los Angeles Lakers, are now left on the outside looking in , as their season has simply gone up in flames . In all likelihood, with the Lakers’ bloated payroll ($100.1 million) , and no semblance of financial rationale for the never-ending stupidity to simply overpay for marginal talent , much as it would appear to be for a number teams around the NBA , while David Stern inexcusably tries to make the claim that the franchises of the NBA are financially responsible . Perhaps the NBA Commissioner could indicate the transparency of the claims he continually makes ? Once a boneheaded asshole , always a boneheaded asshole ! Nothing more , nothing less as it relates to David Stern !

ESPN’s David Aldridge is reporting that there will be a stay of execution as it relates to the sale of Sacramento Kings by the Maloof family to a consortium led by billionaire venture capitalist , Chris Hansen and Microsoft Chairman Steve Ballmer . In what is said to be a last-ditch attempt by the city of Sacramento mayor , Kevin Johnson , it appears that the NBA hierarchy and its Board of Governors have vetoed the sale of the franchise , and the consortium’s bid of almost $600 million is now likely to be overruled ,with the commissioner having been left with egg on his face , as initially he welcomed the pursuant bid of Hansen and Ballmer .

Courtesy of ESPN

In shocking twist, the Kings will likely stay in Sacramento

By David Aldridge

The NBA has all but officially decided to keep the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento.

In a unanimous vote of the league’s combined Relocation and Finance committees Monday afternoon, 12 NBA owners recommended that the league’s Board of Governors vote to deny the relocation of the Kings to Seattle — and, in doing so, deny the sale of the team from the Maloof Family to a Seattle-based group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The recommendation will be taken up by the full Board for a formal vote the week of May 13. But it is almost certain that the full Board will go along with the recommendation and vote to keep the Kings in Sacramento, at least for another year.

Relocating a team requires a majority, or 16 of the league’s 30 teams to vote yes. As 12 teams have already voted no, that means the Seattle group would have to get 16 of the league’s remaining 18 teams to vote yes, a near-impossibility. And once relocation is voted down, the sale of the team to Hansen’s group would follow, for Hansen has consistently said he was only interested in buying the Kings if he could move them to Seattle.

“I’ve never been prouder of this city,” Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Tweeted Monday afternoon. “I thank the ownership group, city leaders, but most of all the BEST FANS IN THE NBA!!!”

While the Maloofs are not obligated to sell the Kings, they will now be under incredible pressure to do so, after Sacramento put together a group led by software magnate Vivek Ranadive, who would be the first majority NBA owner of Indian descent. Ranadive’s group submitted a formal bid to the NBA earlier this month that NBA Commissioner David Stern said was comparable to the Seattle bid, and which the league considered binding.

It is not clear what steps the league could take if the Maloofs opt not to negotiate with the Ranadive group or sell to it. Stern reiterated earlier this month that the league does generally allow owners to sell to whomever they want, provided the new owners’ finances are in place, even though the league decides whether teams will be allowed to move.

The league also knew that its owners’ decision would rip the heart out of one city or the other. There was no solution that could make both happy.

“It’s not exactly comparing two cities,” a source with knowledge of the discussions said Monday. “It’s been hard to leave a place that’s been good to the NBA. Leaving a team, leaving a city, leaving a bunch of fans when they stepped up. That’s what it is.”

The decision caps an incredible comeback by the city of Sacramento, which looked doomed to lose its team after Hansen and the Maloofs announced in January they had reached a binding deal for the Maloofs to sell 65 percent of the team to Hansen, or $341 million, on a franchise valuation of $525 million. Hansen gave the Maloofs a non-refundable $30 million deposit as part of the agreement.

Ranadive’s group, according to an April 17 letter from the Maloof Family to the league that was leaked to the media, agreed to match the $525 million valuation for the team, but wanted to give the Maloofs a $15 million non-refundable deposit instead of $30 million. The Maloofs claimed that entering into an agreement with the Sacramento group would constitute a breach of contract with the Hansen group and would reduce the family’s leverage to negotiate in case the league vetoed the sale to the Hansen group.

Hansen had meticulously put together a plan over two years, purchasing land near Major League Baseball’s Safeco Field on which he wanted to build a new arena for an NBA and National Hockey League team. He reached an agreement with the city of Seattle for construction of a $491 building with up to $200 million in public funds.

But Sacramento, led by Johnson, came roaring back, putting together its own arena deal and ownership group, first led by supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov. But Burkle had to drop out of the team and arena plans after a conflict of interest with one of his businesses, which represents NBA players, was discovered.

Burkle was replaced by Ranadive, a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, who quickly became the face of the Sacramento group. The city and the Ranadive Group reached agreement on construction of a $447 million arena, with Sacramento contributing $258 million toward the costs.

The Board of Governors postponed a final vote on whether to accept the Seattle or Sacramento plans when it met earlier this month, with NBA Commissioner David Stern citing the incredibly complex issues the league faced. Could it vote to leave a city whose fans had been incredibly loyal over the years, and who had reached agreement with the Maloofs last year on a new arena deal, only to see the family walk away?

On the other hand, Seattle had famously lost its team, which became the Oklahoma City Thunder, in 2008, and the NBA had lost a potentially dynamic market. The Hansen bid for the Kings wildly inflated the value of all other NBA teams, and the potential revenues from a regional sports network and other corporate dollars made Seattle an enticing city. In addition, Hansen’s group went about its business quietly, as the NBA prefers.

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For the last eight years the Sacramento Kings have been one of the least supported franchises in the NBA , along with being one of the least profitable of the NBA’s thirty teams . Why in the world Johnson would seek retain a loss making concern that is barely supported with anemic attendance level seems somewhat idiotic , but for the life of me I cannot understand the reasoning behind the mayor’s madness when his city has its very own budgetary woes to deal with . As with any asinine politician, who ill-serves his electorate, and the citizens who have entrusted him to lead. It does beg the question , will he now seek to use public resources to aid millionaire software magnate Vivek Ranadive and his last-minute bid for the Western Conference franchise ? Ranadive stepped into the fray , the moment this consortium hastily put together by Kevin Johnson , when billionaire real estate magnate , Ron Burkle dropped out the syndicate citing personal and professional reasons . In reality, Burkle’s concerns lay elsewhere , as he is one of the lead developers of the downtown Los Angeles area, seeking build a commercial and private real estate development , that will potentially house a 85,000 to 100,000 seat stadium with the view of luring a relocating or a new NFL franchise into the nation’s second largest ad market and its second most populated city. Be that as it may , my question for commissioner , if he is now prepared be mindful of the Board of Governors’ wish in such an instance . Then what in essence is now so different here from the same situation that arose when the Seattle Supersonics’ sale to Clay Bennett , when that franchise was then relocated to Oklahoma City ? Clearly , the league hierarchy , in this instance, has never acted with any real transparency , as it relates to their decision-making .

Many of you will know by now, that there were allegations made that the NBA acted with a great deal of subterfuge as they simply sought to relocate the Sonics’ franchise because of the advantage tax breaks that would be received by the Oklahoma City Thunder , from the municipality of Oklahoma City . Over the first five years of the residency within their new home (Chesapeake Energy Center) , the franchise was able to receive in excess of $65 million in tax breaks and other lucrative benefits for the state of Oklahoma’s only professional NBA franchise , much less its only professional sport’s franchise. It now begs the question what benefits will the city of Sacramento offer to the new ownership group of the Kings and their wish to remain in the California state capitol ? Is this really how Kevin Johnson and his fellow city commissioners wish to spend the goodwill and the resources of the city, while the NBA once again profits from this all. Most of all, the biggest benefactors from this all will remain the Maloof Family , and the lead siblings, Joe and Gavin Maloof , who preside over the sports’ interests of the familial holdings .

If Vivek Ranadive’s bid is now approved , and the Maloofs walk away with their newfound cash haul of $600 million to aid them in now ailing business interests as it relates to the family’s beverage , hospitality and transportation interests , their departure from the ranks of owners within the NBA fraternity , cannot come around quick enough in some circles . Joe and Gavin Maloof’s alleged business acumen as it relates to the Kings , has been at best , mediocre and a complete farce . The very fact that GM Geoff Petrie has also presided in and over this fu#king mess , makes it all the more asinine , that David Stern continues to make these dubious claims as to the league’s continued financial health and well-being. Meanwhile, anally retentive fans, continue to buy into the commissioner’s continued bull$hit ! The sooner the commissioner departs from his post , the better off NBA will be ! Unfortunately, Stern’s heir-apparent , Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will assume his role in February 2014 and will follow in the same vein, as his predecessor. What else could the NBA ask for, at this juncture ? Simply one more reason to see the NBA for what it has simply become , a brand and business template completely devoid of character , integrity but above all , real leadership from anyone with a position of authority. Does anyone actually believe that David Stern has always acted in the best interest of the league?

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? By all means do leave a comment as you deem fit , concerning the subject matter and anything else that you believe to be pertinent .

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Tophatal ……….. 2013/04/29

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Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) In this Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012 photo, New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow (15) warms up before an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N.Y. The New York Jets say, Monday, April 29, 2013, they have waived Tebow. AP Photo/Gary Wiepert ….

(2) Tim Tebow (15) is seen here alongside his now former teammate, Mark Sanchez(6) , after the former Heisman Trophy winner was waived by the franchise . The New York Jets still have 5 quarterbacks remaining on the roster . There now seems to be mounting speculation that Sanchez is likely to be traded by the Jets , should they be able to find a suitable trade partner willing to undertake the remainder of the player’s sizable contract . GM John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan have refused to speculate on Mark Sanchez’s immediate future at this juncture . AP Photo / Richard Carter ….

(3) Jets’ front office executive John Idzik, left, sits next to New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan while waiting to be introduced as the Jets new general manager on the Jan 24th, 2013 . AP Photo / Mark Ruffo …..

(4) West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith is seen here making his first public appearance as a member of the New York Jets . The quarterback was drafted as in the second round by the AFC East franchise . Smith hopes to make an immediate impact and contribution for the Jets this upcoming season . Yet it appears unlikely that he will be the starter in week one , as the common belief is , that veteran quarterback David Garrard will be the starting quarterback in that game , their season opener , against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . Getty Images North America / Paul Windham …..

(5) Veteran quarterback David Garrard, pictured inset , is likely to be the team’s starting quarterback during the regular season , but he is likely to face stiff competition from newly drafted rookie Geno Smith , as well as the other passers on the roster seeking to become the primary quarterback in the team’s depth chart . AFP / Ricardo Marchiallo ….

(6) New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton (2) gets a high-five from a teammate as Boston Celtics’ Doc River s walks onto the court after calling a time out during the second quarter of Game 3 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Friday, April 26, 2013. AP Photo/Winslow Townson ….

(7) New York Knicks’ Iman Shumpert (21) tries to control the ball as Boston Celtics’ Paul Pierce (34) struggles with Knicks’ Kenyon Martin , far right, during the second half in Game 4 of a first round NBA basketball playoff series in Boston, Sunday, April 28, 2013. The Celtics won 97-90 in overtime. AP Photo/Elise Amendola …..

(8) Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol (16) , of Spain, knocks the ball out of the hands of San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan during the second half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series , Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. The Spurs won 103-82 and swept the Lakers in four games to bring the Los Angeles’ franchise’s season to an abrupt end . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(9) Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard , right, looks on along with San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal , left, after receiving a technical foul during the first half in Game 4 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Sunday, April 28, 2013, in Los Angeles. Howard scored seven points before getting ejected early in the third quarter for arguing . The Spurs won 103-82 . What we have seen from Dwight Howard in recent years has been the player’s growing immaturity and complete lack of leadership skills , but there are those who stand by the claim that he remains the best center in the NBA , and that may well be the case from a defensive and offensive standpoint , but it has to be said that he lacks the leadership qualities as such revered centers as Shaquille O’Neal , David Robinson , Hakeem Olajuwon , Kareem Abdul-Jabbar , Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain . AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill ….

(10) Indian-American software mogul Vivek Ranadive who is now showing an interest in purchasing the beleaguered Sacramento Kings . In the aftermath of 12 of the NBA’s thirty owners voting against the sale and relocation of the franchise , it now leaves the road clear for Ranadive’s bid to be accepted by the league hierarchy and Board of Governors . Getty Images North America / Bill Parker ……….

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Hot chic pic of the day Jordan Carver .

More of Carver on the move , just as you may well like it , or not .

Take it from me , those puppies of Carvers’ need to be sucked and played with a great deal , if only in fun !

Rumors of my early demise were vastly exaggerated …..

Rumors of my early demise were vastly exaggerated …..

By Tophatal

Well there now remains only one unbeaten team left in the NFL, after the Houston Texans’ (5-0) start to the NFL season came undone in the team’s surprisingly lopsided 42-24 loss to the Green Bay Packers at home , at Reliant Field ,in Houston , Texas. In what was a highly entertaining and exhilarating game , Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rogers , simply put on a scintillating display that shredded the Texans’ defense and leaving Gary Kubiak and his coaching staff looking for answers as to his team’s poor defensive play .

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The win now brings a sense of respectability to the Green Bay Packers’ (3-3) season and places them in a good position to make a run at the NFC North divisional title. At present , the division is led by the Chicago Bears (4-1) , followed by the Minnesota Vikings (4-2) , the Packers and the surprisingly stagnant Detroit Lions ( 2-3). For Packers’ head coach, Mike McCarthy , this now gives the franchise some respite, as they seek to assess the issues that have befallen the team over the course of this season. The defense, still remains a work in progress, and unless there is more attention given to the Packers’ secondary , they will remain amongst the “also rans” of the NFL and looked upon as one of the poorer defenses in the league. Next up for McCarthy and the Packers will be a > road game against conference rivals the St Louis Rams (3-3) at the Edward Jones Stadium , in St Louis , Missouri,.

At the start of this season , it was my firm belief that we would be seeing some semblance of really entertaining and meaningful football being played within the AFC East ! Boy was I wrong! Nothing could be further from the truth, as the sheer ineptitude being shown by all four teams within the division is a cause of real concern. All four teams within the division currently bear the same record (3-3) , albeit, that from a statistical standpoint the New England Patriots , because of their offensive prowess maintains a lead over their divisional Miami Dolphins , New York Jets and Buffalo Bills . The divisional games between the quartet of teams will now have a greater bearing upon how the division could very well be decided .

On Sunday , the New York Jets seemed to have re-found their footing, as they dismantled and then trampled upon the luckless Indianapolis Colts , as Rex Ryan’s players had their biggest win of the season , in defeating the Colts 35-9. Jets’ quarterback , Mark Sanchez had one of his best games of the season , as the team’s offense was efficient in their execution , while the defense simply offered Andrew Luck no real opportunity to really get his game going.

The Seattle Seahawks entertained the New England Patriots at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington. Suffice to say , that what should have been seen as an easy win for the Patriots, ended up in a one point defeat . With the Seahawks’ playing some stifling defense in the latter stages of the game, and though a ten-point lead should not be seen as insurmountable , who knew that the Patriots would be so complacent in allowing first rookie quarterback Russell Westbrook to lead his team back , in erasing that deficit and on to a 24-23 victory over the New England Patriots ?

If there are now two teams that’s said to be in urgent need of attention , given the fact that each barely seems to be alive . Then the teams in question would have to be the Dallas Cowboys (2-3) and the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) . Both franchises are now having to play catch up within the NFC East to their most erstwhile rival the New York Giants (4-2) , the defending Superbowl champions. Embattled head coaches , Jason Garrett of the Cowboys and Andy Reid of the Eagles , have summarily seen their teams perform poorly throughout much of this season . A great deal of this incredulity has to come from the fact that the quarterbacks in question of both teams have not shown the resilience or leadership skills needed to place either franchise in a position to be seen as a credible Superbowl contender. Never mind, the asinine analysis being provided by the on-air personalities who would have a hard time explaining why it is that they view Tony Romo and Michael Vick, as quarterbacks within the NFL , who can lead their teams deep into the playoffs . Neither has had much success as a player in the postseason , but the prognostication that has been repeatedly been provided would have you think that these NFL analysts are actually salivating over a Playboy centerfold pictorial of a rather buxom female , rather than two quarterbacks who are simply overrated ! Romo’s and Vick’s stats in the postseason are not exactly eye-popping , while one could allude to the fact that the talent they have been surrounded by , has not exactly been outstanding . To my mind, both players , while being talented , neither has the leadership skills needed to really take a team deep into the postseason , much less win a Superbowl. Both are handsomely rewarded , in terms of the salaries paid to them ( Michael Vick & Tony Romo ) by their respective franchises, but beyond that , there is little there to suggest that they are actually worth the compensation bestowed upon them.

The Dallas Cowboys were the guests of the Baltimore Ravens this past Sunday , and right off the bat, the smack-talk that came from both sets of players assured of an eventful game. What became clear throughout this game , is that DeMarcus Ware cannot be the lone individual amongst the Cowboys’ secondary who turns up to play every god-damn game. Beyond that, the inconsistency of Dallas’ offense from week to week has to be another disturbing factor for the coaching staff. Rob Ryan and his offensive counterpart, Bill Callahan are simply doing such a poor job , that it is my belief that should the franchise fail to make the postseason, then any presumed shakeup within the organization that is liable to take place at the behest of team owner and de-facto general manager , Jerry Jones , may well lead to both assistants being relieved of their duties within this NFL franchise. Jones, may well not suffer fools gladly, but at present he has a number of fools, as subordinates, at all levels of this franchise now serving him. However, the biggest fool of all , may well be the owner , himself !

And though the Ravens may well have come away with a narrow margin of victory , in defeating the Dallas Cowboys 31-29, that victory was never truly in doubt.

The Eagles are like a mild irritant that once scratched , you simply open up a festering wound ! In the game played at Lincoln Financial Field that gaping wound was opened up for the whole nation to see how woefully inept that this team has become . Vick still remains more of a liability, than an asset , as he successfully proved once again , in his throwing another two interceptions , along with being sacked three times and a forced fumble , in the Eagles’ lackluster performance against the equally befuddling —- Detroit Lions . A 26-23 victory for Matt Stafford and the Lions, brings their record to 2-3 ,but at the same time you get the impression that this Jim Schwartz coached team may well struggle to gain a playoff berth , because of the inconsistency shown by his players. Lions’ wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, may well seek to become the first receiver in NFL history to surpass the 2,000 yard threshold in a season , but I seriously doubt that it will be happening in 2012 , not with the Detroit Lions ! As proficient as the offense was in 2011, by comparison this season , Matt Stafford his offensive teammates seem to have regressed , as too have their much vaunted defense.

Team struggles are one thing , but no matter how one relishes the NFL season, it does take prudent judgment to make those erstwhile prognostications as to the merits of a franchise. This year , much like any other, it remains the same as to the ambitions all 32 franchises in the NFL . In the coming weeks it will be interesting see how the likes of the Eagles, Cowboys, Packers , Patriots and Lions will fare . At the same time we might well have our first managerial casualty of the season , if Pat Shurmur is unable to turn around the fortunes around of the Cleveland Browns (1-5).

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We are not yet at the midway point of the season , but to your mind what has been the biggest surprise of the NFL season ? And which team does believe has proven to be the biggest disappointment to date? Do leave a comment as you see fit .

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(1) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) and guard T.J. Lang (70) celebrate a touchdown against the Houston Texans in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game , Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Houston. AP Photo/Dave Einsel ….

(2) Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson (80) and quarterback Matt Schaub (8) watch from the bench in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 in Houston. The Packers won 42-24 . AP Photo/Dave Einsel …

(3) Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones (89) makes a touchdown reception against Houston Texans corner-back Kareem Jackson (25) in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, in Houston. The Packers won 42-24 . AP Photo/Patric Schneider ….

(4) Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) is face masked while being sacked by New York Jets’ Quinton Coples (98) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012 in East Rutherford, N.J. AP Photo/Seth Wenig …

(5) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo walks off the field after an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012. Baltimore won 31-29 . AP Photo/Patrick Semansky …..

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Playboy centerfold Traci Denee`’ . Would you like to butter her “biscuits” ?

A New York State of Mind …………….

A New York State of Mind …………

By tophatal

5th September and the NFL season kicks off its regular season with a slew of games that augurs well for the upcoming season . The defending Superbowl champions the New York Giants will be looking to make a successful defense of their title . Moreover, more likely than not , they will be the prohibitive favorites within the NFC East . Tom Coughlin knows that if the team are to repeat , then their play this season will have to be at a heightened level over the course of their schedule .

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Slide show for your perusal .

The Dallas Cowboys , Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins . Each , will be looking to usurp the dominance of the Giants . Personally , I believe that the Cowboys have far more issues than their fans , coaching staff and the front office are willing to clearly admit . One of the reasons why I believe this to be true , comes from the mere fact that the team’s starting quarterback Tony Romo is not good enough to lead the Cowboys where they need to be ! He has yet to win a , meaningful game over the course of his career. If anything he has been the “model of inconsistency “ . Overrated, but somehow the gullible tv pundits are always in awe of the player. That may well come from the fact that may well be enamored with the Cowboys’ legacy , rather than anything that they have achieved that can be seen as tangible . It would be safe to assume that Romo , along with Eli Manning , Michael Vick and presumably Robert Griffin III will come under close scrutiny this season . Griffin , taken as the second pick overall , taken by the Washington Redskins , may well be under the microscope the most , of all the rookie and sophomore quarterbacks , over the course of the season . The 2012 Heisman Trophy winner has come into the league riding on the waves of expectation . And for Mike Shanahan and the team’s offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan , this could very well be the season during which both coaches will either sink or swim as Robert Griffin has his “baptism” of fire within the NFL.

The Redskins have been an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum , each time failing with ever-increasing signs of ineptitude . Last season was no different and the telling sign was the sheer incompetence shown by the starting quarterbacks who started for the Washington Redskins in 2011 . John Skelton and Rex Grossman could not “cut it “ and now the expectations are that RGIII , can , or will be viewed as the savior of this franchise .

Jeff Lurie as a team owner has to be gullible in simply going along on the premise that Andy Reid is deserving of one more season with the Philadelphia Eagles . He and team President Joe Banner have chosen to allow the head coach, one more season to turn things around , for a team that was a gigantic letdown last season . There were the repeated excuses that a number of injuries simply waylaid the ambitions of the franchise . As productive as LeSean McCoy was said to be in 2011 , the team under the apparent leadership of Michael Vick was nowhere to be seen when it mattered most .

In addition, as crazy as this might seem , even with the Eagles’ off-season transactions and their draft choices . There is the feeling that they are likely to struggle once again this season . The idiocy of the situation that because the Eagles they closed out their season on a winning streak . It meant that in 2012 we should expect that same sort of consistency , should be viewed with a great deal of skepticism . Reid , to my mind has outstayed his welcome in Philadelphia and the Eagles have now become a mundane and ordinary NFL franchise . Now while the team remains a valuable concern , it goes without saying that value alone is not the only thing that drives this franchise alone .

Now while no one is denying the unprecedented years of success , during which Andy Reid and famed quarterback , Donovan McNabb guided the Eagles to divisional titles , NFC championship games , postseason appearances and the franchise’s second Superbowl appearance. That single postseason finale event ended in an emotional loss (24-21) to the New England Patriots . The defeat reverberated not only within the city of Philadelphia but also within it made the fans aware how completely out their depth they happened to be, as an opponent of the Patriots . The infantile behavior of then teammates , Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens left a great deal to be desired , as the two bickered and cast some rather insidious and asinine comments against one another while seeking to apportion blame in so many areas . On that day, the Eagles’ offense was anemic and the play , in particular of the team’s wide receivers , was atrocious . Thankfully , “Fast “ Freddie Mitchell , whose hands of butter and grease , just happens to be no longer in the NFL . Mitchell’s bravado and the fact he is never lost for words , on that day he had nothing to say for himself or his rather mundane performance .

McNabb is no longer in the NFL but he is seeking to make a return to the league with a contender . Whether or not that materializes remains to be seen but it will also dependent upon a team’s needs for a veteran quarterback . It now seems ironic that neither McNabb nor Owens is currently in the NFL . Many fans would prefer that to be by design , rather than it simply being from the fact , neither player has caught on with a franchise at this stage . Given both veterans’ declining skillset and their advancing age , it is extremely difficult to see either of the players in question on an NFL roster by week one or week two in the NFL .

The New York Jets’ ….. LaDanian Tomlinson made it official today having formally announced his retirement from the NFL officially having signed a one-day contract to leave the game officially as a San Diego Charger . The player leaves the game as one of the as the > active rushing leader in the NFL , rushing touchdowns . But Tomlinson’s greatest disappointment may well be having to leave the game without a Superbowl ring . The player’s nine years with the Chargers and then two years of unfulfilled expectations , with the New York Jets . Where in 2010 and 2011 the team simply imploded under head coach Rex Ryan , and his coaching staff .

Inasmuch , as Tomlinson was brought in to provide some much-needed veteran leadership and stability to that roster . The lack of maturity shown by a number of players and the lack of progression in Mark Sanchez’s game eventually played its part LaDanian Tomlinson’s decision to leave the game under his own steam , and perhaps to the dismay of his most loyal fans . Clearly, one may well question where the Jets go from here this upcoming season . All of the bally hoo with the signing of Tim Tebow means absolutely nothing , when you consider the overwhelming evidence on display from both the backup and incumbent quarterbacks , that would suggest that the New York Jets have a number of issues that the organization simply has no wish to address . The sound-bytes from Tebow have now become mundane and rather asinine . Everybody is happy , well for the moment they are . But imagine how Tebow and Sanchez , the perspective for both should Jets’ season implode again ? Care to chime in with a comment at this juncture ?

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I know it is still early days yet but what significant moves do you foresee will take place once the NFL gets underway this season ? And where would you rank LaDanian Tomlinson among the great running backs over <a the last decade and where would you position him among the all-time greats in the NFL ?

Picture and slide show details below for your perusal .
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(1) New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw answers a question as he sits as his locker after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(2) New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin answers a question after NFL football practice in East Rutherford, N.J., Thursday, June 14, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(3) Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones , left, talks with this son Stephen Jones during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) lines up during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium Thursday, June 14, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

> (5) Philadelphia Eagles chief operating officer Don Smolenski , left, and owner Jeffery Lurie , center, listen to team president Joe Banner speak during a news conference at the NFL football team’s training facility, Thursday, June 7, 2012, in Philadelphia. Banner is stepping aside from the team’s day-to-day operations and taking on an advisory role, to be succeeded as president by Smolenski. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(6) Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid walks off the field after practice at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(7) Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick practices at the team’s NFL football training facility, Monday, June 4, 2012, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/Matt Rourke …

(8) New York Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh , right, watches as Mark Sanchez, left, and Tim Tebow throw during NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans

(9) New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan answers a question before NFL football practice in Florham Park, N.J., Tuesday, June 12, 2012. AP Photo/Mel Evans …

(10) FILE – This May 11, 2012 file photo shows former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson gesturing during a public memorial service for the late NFL football player Junior Seau at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Two years after leaving under unhappy circumstances, Tomlinson returns to the Chargers to sign a one-day contract and then announce his retirement after 11 mostly brilliant NFL seasons. AP Photo/ Gregory Bull …
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NFL news

NFL schedule 2012-13

NFL transactions

NFL standings 2011

NFL postseason 2011

NFL free agents

NFL team payrolls

Take Nothing For Granted ……….

Take Nothing For Granted ……

I’m not so sure that Bill Belichick can take away anything positive from the New England Patriots’ loss at Heinz Field on Sunday afternoon against conference rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers . Mike Tomlin’s team simply knew that to have any chance of overcoming the his opponents, was to literally shut down the passing game of Tom Brady and this Patriots’ offense .

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Slide show for your perusal .

With an always stout and aggressive defense you simply knew that this would definitely be a stern test for Brady and his teammates. Dick LeBeau as the Steelers’ defensive coordinator might just be the premiere defensive strategist in the NFL today. This Hall of Fame cornerback made a name for himself in the NFL but his involvement now with the Pittsburgh Steelers speaks volumes as to the faith placed in him by head coach Mike Tomlin and the defensive players of this Steelers’ unit. This game not only became a test of wills between the two teams but also a test of the two celebrated quarterbacks on opposite sides. Between them , Brady and Ben Roethlisberger have won 5 Superbowls over this past decade . The two franchises are two of the most celebrated within the NFL and their legacies speaks volumes as to the respect that they’re given .

There is no denying that the real issue for the Patriots for much of this season has been the inconsistency of the defense and the very fact it seems to be a work in progress. If Bill Belichick and the coaching staff believes that the approach now being taken concerning the defense will be a wholesale remedy as the season progresses then from my point of view he’s sadly underestimated the merits of this defensive corp. They’re amongst the worst in the NFL in pass and run defense never mind the fact that although team has an offense that is clicking on all cylinders there has to be a resolve about the defensive side the Patriots’ game. If not, then there’s no chance in hell that this team can comfortably survive within the environment of the postseason.

Heinz Field proved to be the twelfth man in this duel between two divisional leaders within the AFC . In front of a raucous crowd of some 68,000 fans this game became a battle of two teams seeking to make their presence felt within the NFL in the early part of the season . And clearly after this 25-17 loss it certainly gives credence to the fact that the New England Patriots are not as good as advertized . As an avid fan of the team I think it only worthwhile to be critical of the organization when I firmly believe that they are not playing up to their potential . And that clearly has been the case with Patriots over the course of this season as it has unfolded. The real dagger in the heart for the New England Patriots was Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller who repeatedly got the secondary of the Patriots so rattled that they had no answer for the player. Time and time again Miller got the better of whomever was meant to be covering him. And Roethlisberger repeatedly took advantage of the mismatches as the game unfolded to place the offense in a far competitive position strategically for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With the loss it will be interesting to see how the New England Patriots regroup from the defeat. Clearly Bill Belichick and the coaching staff will have to go back to the drawing board and reassess the flaws on this team . It is one thing to be conceited and arrogant as has always been the case with the Patriots’ coach. But now it is getting to a stage where even I as an ardent fan of the team now have to question the lackadaisical approach and complacency often shown by the coach !

With all of the hyperbole placed upon the NFC East and the teams within its midst , I continue to find it so asinine when I continue to hear the rather idiotic analysis provided by ESPN contributors such as Merill Hoge and Skip Bayless as to what they view to be the superiority of teams such as the New York Giants (5-2) , Dallas Cowboys (3-4), Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) and Washington Redskins (3-4) ! The teams within the division are a combined 14-14 and from a conference and divisional standpoint their respective records can be best described as mediocre . But somehow the ” buffoons “of the four letter network would simply have you believe that the best football to be found within the NFL comes from that division. I can only surmise that both Bayless and Hoge similarly admire the stench of fecal matter when it’s placed within their midst !

The Philadelphia Eagles played host to the Dallas Cowboys at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania on Sunday , in what could be best described as a game that could well determine fate of their respective seasons .

If we were led to believe that it is Andy Reid’s immediate future that was said to be in jeopardy then the play of his team simply didn’t reflect that . Instead the Eagles simply laid waste to a Cowboys’ team that was ill prepared for the Philadelphia Eagles’ onslaught. Reid’s opposite number Jason Garrett may have for the moment the full support of Jerry Jones and the entire front office of the Dallas Cowboys. The complete ineptitude shown by the team under Tony Romo’s presumed leadership abilities left a great deal to be desired . Offensively and defensively , the players lacked composure and their execution in several facets of the game left you wondering whether or not you might well have been watching a varsity high school team. And the continued belief that Romo is one of the better quarterbacks in the league certainly wasn’t reflected in this game. The player had a less than 50 % completion rate and an interception which added to the Cowboys’ woes over the course of the game.

Being as Jerry Jones has always been the consummate businessman I wonder if he will seek out another corporate endorsement ? Perhaps with the vitamin supplement beverage company Red Bull I would surmise ! They can then call the line of assorted drinks in question Bullshit , because that’s all that has been served up by the organization over the last decade ! If you want proof of that seek the evidence of Sunday’s game and the end result 34-7 victory for the Philadelphia Eagles. I wonder what the spread offered up by the guys in Vegas might have been prior to the game ?

For Michael Vick and his Eagles’ teammates , they’re not quite out of the woods yet because anything short of a postseason berth in the playoffs at the end of this season and there’s bound to be a great deal of anger directed not just at the coaching staff but also the entire front office as well as the Philadelphia Eagles’ players themselves. The clock is ticking on this presumed Dream Team and to my mind they’re liable to meet the same fate as another over-hyped and conceited group from the NBA known as the Miami Heat who simply showed that a yellow streak ran down their spine !

So for some reason the St Louis Rams felt it prudent not to be involved in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes which is bound to take place at the 2012 NFL Draft . By defeating the New Orleans Saints 31-21 the Rams left the ranks of the win-less teams within the NFL . And now for some reason the fans are now left to speculate which of the remaining franchises will tank their season in order to gain that prospective number one pick .

If I’m Sean Payton along with that entire Saints’ organization and the playing personnel I would be completely embarrassed by such an inept display ! Never mind the fact that the thought to be always dependable Drew Brees had a game that he would rather forget . Conceitedness, much like complacency has always been a bitch and it has a proverbial way of always coming back to bite you in the ass ! Clearly that was the case for the New Orleans Saints as they took their opponents far too lightly .

Having allowed the St Louis Rams (1-6) to get off the schneid with their first win of the season we’re now left with the Indianapolis Colts (0-8) and Miami Dolphins (0-7) as the only win-less teams left in the NFL . And it would be safe to say that we could be on the cusp of seeing a second team go 0-16 for only the second time since the league went to a 16 game regular season schedule. The last NFL team who gave us that dubious distinction were the Detroit Lions from the 2008 —- season . I’m not quite yet ready to place a bet as to whether or not it will be the Colts or Dolphins who will join that inept Lions’ team from three years ago ! But it will be interesting to see what unfolds over the remainder of the NFL season as it regards both franchises .

For Steve Spagnuolo as coach of the St Louis Rams this victory gives the team a renewed confidence over the remainder of their season and a chance to seek some respectability in terms of their overall record and standing within the always woefully abysmal NFC West .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

What thoughts if any do you have on the NFL schedule with regard to week 8 ? And do you feel this season we could very well see another franchise repeat the feat of the Detroit Lions in 2008 by going win-less ? Simply leave a comment as you deem fit .

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, right, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady meet at mid-field after an NFL football game in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011. Pittsburgh won 25-17 . AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar …

(2) Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers is sacked and stripped by Andre Carter (93) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images …..

(3) Heath Miller (83) of the Pittsburgh Steelers dives over an attempted tackle by Patrick Chung (25) of the New England Patriots during the game on October 30, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images ……

(4) Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (24) reacts after his interception of a pass intended for Dallas Cowboys tight end Martellus Bennett in the first half during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …

(5) Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo is sacked by Philadelphia Eagles’ Cullen Jenkins (97) and Trent Cole (58) during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in Philadelphia. AP Photo/The News Journal, Daniel Sato …

(6) Head coach Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys questions a call with head linesman Wayne Mackie (106) as Laurent Robinson (81) of the Cowboys looks on during a game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeated the Cowboys 34-7 . Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images …..

(7) ST. LOUIS, MO – OCTOBER 30: Lance Kendricks (88) of the St. Louis Rams is tackled by Tracy Porter (22) of the New Orleans Saints at the Edward Jones Dome on October 30, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Saints 31-21 . Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images ….

(8) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints is sacked by James Lariniatis (55) and Gary Gibson (71) of the St. Louis Rams on October 30, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images …

(9) St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson (39) celebrates his touchdown during the third quarter of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2011, in St. Louis. AP Photo/Tom Gannam …..

(9) …

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NFL news

NFL results week 8

NFL standings by division

NFL team stats thru’ week 8

NFL player stats thru’ week 8

NFL injuries

NFL transactions

New England Patriots news

Pittsburgh Pirates news

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Actress Jaime Pressly

Care To Take A Bite Out Of This Apple …. ?

Care To Take A Bite Out of This Apple ?

No time to linger on week 5 of the NFL with week 6 comes teams positioning themselves for the long haul. With only two unbeaten teams both residing in the NFC North the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers could very well be the lone teams vying for the postseason from within the division. Matt Stafford and Aaron Rodgers are showing their mettle for the Lions and Packers respectively , in proving to be amongst the best quarterbacks not solely within the NFC but also the NFL as a whole.

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When a team has aspirations to be better than they claim to I’d like to feel that the coach or manager can actually back up that claim. Last season (10-6) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers coming off a great year , albeit that they narrowly failed to make the playoffs . Head coach Raheem Morris bitterly disappointed by the team’s free-fall made it his sole purpose to see an improvement from his team this year. He has seen his players flourish but I doubt that he could have envisaged this Bucs’ team would prove to such disappointment in their last regular schedule outing against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park , in San Francisco , California . Jim Harbaugh’s team simply laid waste to the Buccaneers’ defense on their way a lopsided 48-3 win .

Raheem Morris and his coaching staff now have to get this team amped up and prepared to meet divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints as they play hosts to Sean Payton’s team at Raymond James Stadium , Tampa , in front of what is sure to to be a raucous and vociferous home crowd . No slip ups here for the Buccaneers and in particular from their young quarterback Josh Freeman . His play if anything has to be clear and indicative of the team’s aspirations .

Forty Niners’ quarterback Alex Smith and the offense looked like the Niners’ offenses of old that simply were as efficient and as devastating as one could imagine. The San Francisco 49ers at 4-1 lead the NFC West and given their performances this season it would be fair to presume that they are now to be viewed as the presumptive favorites for the division and a playoff berth.

The Forty Niners are guests of the high flying Detroit Lions (5-0) at Ford Field , in Detroit , Michigan this upcoming Sunday. Matt Stafford , Calvin Johnson , Jahvid Best and Ndamokung Suh are the talk of the town at present as the rest of the NFL are now taking notice of Jim Schwartz’s young and confident team .

I am not so sure that if I were Steve Spagnuolo’s footsteps , that I would relish the thought of playing the Green Bay Packers in front of a raucous home crowd at Lambeau Field , Green Bay , Wisconsin. The St Louis Rams’ coach has a winless team , lacking in confidence and playing without any real passion . And season given the strengths of this Packers’ team I view this match-up as a train wreck waiting to happen because the Rams are on a collision course with a locomotive traveling at a very high rate of speed.

Two teams with supposedly taking diverging paths but somehow within the AFC East the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets at present seem to be having a multitude of problems . Both Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan are coaches desperately seeking solutions to the malaise of their teams. At 0-4 Sparano must now realize that his very future is on the line if he cannot begin to turn things around and the coach has a Dolphins’ team that simply hasn’t a competent quarterback on their roster. Chad Henne in what universe can this player be viewed as a leader , much less a competent enough starter at the position ?

The New York Jets for their part seem to have a problem with their offense most notably running the ball . And it hasn’t helped that there now seems to be off the field problems concerning one of their more experienced players on the roster with Derek Mason . Clearly things are not all a bed of roses within that Jets’ locker room and now Rex Ryan has to show that for all of the false bravado and sound bytes , he will now have to once again prove that he can become the toast of the ‘Big Apple’ along with his team . Monday night when these two teams collide at the New Meadowlands/ Met Life Stadium , in East Rutherford , New Jersey .

This contest between two teams within the AFC East with stark contrast as to the apparent directions that their respective seasons could be heading in , may well determine the fate of one coach and most certainly a number of players on his team. Rex Ryan , himself, is definitely not out of the woods , as he and this Jets’ team can ill afford to lose a conference and divisional game , only to fall further behind the Buffalo Bills (4-1) and New England Patriots (4-1) within the division.

Either Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Wayne Weaver loves to endure constant pain or he’s simply enamored with Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff . There has to be a reason why Weaver and the entire front office seem adamant on retaining their coach ? Personally , after the record of the team over the past five years , I cannot think of one ! Del Rio has been an absolute bust and the malaise of the team’s woes can be firmly laid to rest upon his shoulders . He’s simply wasting the talents of Maurice Jones-Drew and even with the organization jettisoning David Garrard they now have to thrust Blaine Gabbert —- given him his baptism of fire within the league .

The Jacksonville Jaguars (1-4) are the guests of the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-0) at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , this upcoming Sunday. And while Mike Tomlinson’s team have had their issues this season this game could very well be viewed as a “gimme ” if they play up to their full potential . Overall defensively the Jaguars are struggling as a cohesive unit and it has been one of the telling signs as to why they have continued to struggle . As an effective offensive unit with Garrard as the signal caller you simply never knew what to expect of the team or the player and that may well have been the primary reason why the decision was made to jettison the veteran and his $9 million salary .

Gillette Stadium in Foxboro’ Massachusetts should be the scene of some real fun and games this Sunday , as Tom Brady and the New England Patriots entertain the Dallas Cowboys . And for those aspirants who continue to make their continued claims as to the “greatness ” of Tony Romo can they please take him down off that damn pedestal ? The player has yet to lead or win a meaningful game in the postseason for the team but yet he’s being placed amongst the throng of great quarterbacks in Cowboys’ history . Isn’t that like saying the “hot chick” in high school gave ” good head “ even though her lips and mouth were covered in blisters ? Ouch ! You’ll either get momentary flashes of brilliance from the player but he simply cannot string together consecutive games where he has played at a consistently high level .

Now I would contend that for Jerry Jones and the entire front office of the Dallas Cowboys this has to be a make or break season for the organization and team . A number of players on this roster are playing for their very livelihood this season . Anyone who believes that to be the contrary had better wake up and smell the coffee at this juncture ! Jerry Jones has been known to tolerate a great deal and through his own sheer ignorance and stupidity the franchise has been something of a laughing stock over the last decade. The organization may well be one of the most profitable sports franchises in North America but when it comes to recent success , well let’s just say for the Dallas Cowboys there has been little to actually rejoice about much less hang one’s hat unto in terms tangible on-field success .

Tony Romo knows that the jury is now in session as to his abilities and leadership skills . He may well be statisically be one of the franchise’s most successful quarterbacks in terms of regular season wins but that simply counts for absolutely nothing if you can’t lead the team to the “Promised Land” . It’s a Superbowl win or bust because that’s how Romo’s legacy will be adjudged amongst his more successful predecessors within the Dallas Cowboys’ fraternity of quarterbacks . Nothing less will be acceptable for the fans or for that matter for those within the front office of the franchise . They may well not voice that opinion openly in public but there’s a reason they tied the player long term , to a very generous and lucrative contract .

As to the game itself between the Cowboys and Patriots it should be an event of contrasting styles . The New England Patriots’ defense ought to be able to contain and contend with whatever Jason Garrett and his coaching staff have prepared for Bill Belichick’s players . With that being said nothing can be taken for granted by the Patriots’ coach . Brady and the plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal should be able to show why it is that they are a high octane offense and amongst the very best in the NFL at present .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The the NFL season is not yet at its halfway point what thoughts if any do you have on the schedule so far ? And which teams if any have been a major disappointment to you in general as a fan ? Of the coaches at present whose future appears to be in the greatest jeopardy and which one if any could very well be the first managerial casualty of the season ? Chime in with a comment as you deem fit on this and anything else you feel pertinent to the subject matter .

Alan aka tophatal ……….

http://facebook.com/tophata2

http://facebook.com/tophatal

http://twitter.com/tophatal

E-mail …. rapptu@gmail.com

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) Mike Williams (19) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gets separated from the ball by Dashon Goldson(38) of the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter during an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on October 9, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 48-3 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(2) Tim Hightower (25) of the Washington Redskins runs the ball against the St. Louis Rams October 2, 2011 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri. The Redskins defeated the Rams 17-10 . Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images …….

(3) Quarterback Chad Henne (7) of the Miami Dolphins throws a pass against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on October 2, 2011 in San Diego, California. The Chargers won 26-16 . (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images ………

(4) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots hands the ball off to teammate BenJarvius Green-Ellis (42) in the first half against the New York Jets on October 9, 2011 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images …….

(5) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys calls a play in the huddle against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Cowboys Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images ……

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NFL news

Week 6 schedule

Week 5 results

NFL standings by division

NFL standings by conference

NFL statistics :

NFL player stats thru’ week 5

NFL team stats thru’ week 5

Teams with byes : Arizona Cardinals , Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs , San Diego Chargers , Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans

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Michelle McCurry …….. she definitely makes me feel like plucking her strings !

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Worth plucking her strings don’t you think ?

Come Get Some …………….

Come Get Some …

Try as hard as I can it sometimes come down to complete idiocy when I hear a former player of a team being critical of current players on a franchise ! Ridiculous as it may seem we now have a once great quarterback in Joe Namath being critical of Rex Ryan and in part the team assembled in his guise and that of the front office of the New York Jets . From my own perspective anything that Namath has to say on any subject be it on the subject of the NFL or domestic or foreign policy is simply not worth listening to ! Beyond the fame and accolades the player’s greatest accomplishment in recent years was to embarrass himself in front of the public whilst in a semi drunken stupor by suggesting to ESPN on air reporter Suzy Kolber that he would like to kiss her rather suggestively . . Can someone remind me beyond his achievements in the organization’s lone Superbowl win , is there anything else that Namath has achieved that has been notable in his professional career or beyond that ?

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With the New York Jets off to an inauspicious start to the season at 2-2 within the AFC East the team and its coach now find that they are being questioned as to the competitiveness of the players ans whether or not they lack the will to win. For the past two season the New York Jets made the AFC championship game 2009 and 2010 . Clearly many felt that this team was finally ready to stop the dominance of the New England Patriots and the apparent stranglehold that they have had on the AFC East. And as dominant as the Patriots have been the New York Jets have been the Achilles’ Heel and the irritant in the ointment , that of the fans and their divisional foe . The swagger of Rex Ryan was exemplified by the attitude of several players on this team , most notably Darrelle Revis , Santonio Holmes and to a lesser extent Mark Sanchez .

Like many of the teams during the NFL lockout the New York Jets sought to be competitive through the usual free agent acquisitions one would usually be accustomed to seeing . And most certainly through their draft choices from the 2011 NFL Draft Rex Ryan and his assistant coaches are now looking to make this team a cohesive and competitive unit .

As I alluded to earlier , the Jets’ start to the season was an inauspicious one and the very fact that the team now finds itself sitting above only the Miami Dolphins within the AFC East. Things are not about to get any easier this weekend as the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts. Bill Belichick knows that his team needs to answer more than a few questions especially with regard to the defense . The Patriots rank dead last within the NFL in total defense AND within the AFC overall things simply embodies the real problems that they face altogether. And as combustible and prolific as the offense is , there is no denying unless the New England Patriots can shore up the defense then they will be in for a great deal of trouble once the postseason comes around .

There is an animus between these two teams ___ the Jets and Patriots that I don’t believe is typified by any other current rivalry in the NFL today, with the exception of a meeting between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers ! If there is currently as combative a match-up beyond these two rivalries existing within the league currently , then I have yet to witness it . Sunday afternoon should give us a peek into the mindset of both teams , with Tom Brady , Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Steven Ridley and Benjarvius Ellis-Greene will be looking to stamp their authority on this division as well as sending a signal to the rest of the NFL that they are a team to be reckoned with .

Now while I’m not under the pretense that the New England Patriots will have this game all to themselves I do believe that if they are not complacent then they will prevail over their most hated foe . During the playoffs last season when the two teams met the Jets under Sanchez’ leadership made a mockery this Patriots’ team . In order for the New York Jets to win I think that it will be incumbent upon Mark Sanchez to get his passing game at his optimum level to take advantage of the Patriots’ very suspect secondary . This will become a test of wills between the two teams as well as the respective coaching staffs of the New York Jets and New England Patriots .

I have no doubt that Bill Belichick would like get this game over and done with , placing the Jets in his rear view mirror and take advantage of putting his team at the top of the AFC East with there being some separation between themselves and co-leaders the Buffalo Bills who are off the a surprising start to their season (3-1) under their coach Chan Gailey . The Bills for their part will play host to the surprisingly lax Philadelphia Eagles who at 1-3 clearly are defying all logic in terms of being viewed as the early prohibitive favorites in the NFC for the Superbowl . Clearly Andy Reid , his coaching staff and the team have great deal to worry about . ” Dream Team” or not the Eagles are currently the ” laughing stock” of the NFL . And with the demise of the Philadelphia Phillies in the NLDS at the hands of the St Louis Cardinals do you get the feeling that things could very well erupt within the city of ” Brotherly Love” this weekend should Philadelphia Eagles also meet the same fate as their baseball counterpart ?

While Andy Reid now has to be looking over his shoulder while the Eagles’ front office staff assess not only his performances , that of the coaching staff as well as the team . Clearly in the case of Chan Gailey for now, all appears to be right in the world for he and his players . Well that’s until they face their first sense of real adversity and since the start of their season the team has been playing with the heart and passion not seen from the organization in a number of years. If the Buffalo Bills are truly back as their fans now believe them to be then this will be the season for the team to truly show that they belong amongst the elite within the game. If not , then they will be considered what we have all contended that they are meant to be ………….. an also ran .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Which of the weekend match-ups within the NFL are you most enthralled by ? And which game or games you least interested in ? Leave a comment as to your thoughts and anything else you believe to be pertinent on the subject matter.

Alan aka tophatal …………

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Picture and slide show details below.

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(1) BALTIMORE – OCTOBER 2: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens shakes hands with Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17 . Photo by Larry French/Getty Images ….

(2) Head Coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets hugs head coach John Harbough of the Baltimore Ravens after the game at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …

(3) LaQuan Williams (5) of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against Jim Leonhard (36) of the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …..

(4) Mark Sanchez (6) of the New York Jets hands off against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 2. 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens defeated the Jets 34-17. Photo by Larry French/Getty Images …….

(5) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during an NFL football media availability in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(6) OAKLAND, CA – OCTOBER 02: Wes Welker (83) of the New England Patriots tries to run away from Chimdi Chekwa (35) of the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …..

(7) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots celebrates after the Patriots scored a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images ……..

(8) Kevin Boss (87) of the Oakland Raiders is tackled by Gary Guyton (59) of the New England Patriots at O.co Coliseum on October 2, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(9) Heartfelt commiserations to the Oakland Raiders’ fans and the untimely death of the team’s owner Al Davis at the age of 82 . Davis seen here looks on from the sideline as he watches the Raiders 32-27 pre-season victory over the New England Patriots on August 25, 1995 at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, California. Davis the long time owner of the Oakland Raiders was reported as passed away on the team’s website. Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images …

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Crissy Moran adult entertainer .

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

The Silly Season Has Begun ………. What Else Is There Left To Say ?

Well with the NFL lockout having ended all that was now left is to witness the mayhem as teams summarily jettisoned players superfluous to their needs. One has to wonder whether or not this was the madness envisaged by the fans , team owners , league hierarchy and the general managers ? The $120 million salary cap has somehow got teams envisioning themselves as Imelda Marcos on a shopping spree looking to fill their shoe closet . How much does a pair of Bruno Magli cost nowadays ? And if so did OJ Simpson auction off his infamous pair on E-bay ?

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Slide show for your perusal .

Somehow with all of these cuts made and then with players being acquired by new teams there had to be one or two surprises that would leave the fans in shock . As a New England Patriots’ fan I was completely taken aback with the moves made by Bill Belichick and the front office staff in acquiring both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco . I can only surmise that Robert Kraft , GM Nick Caserio and senior consultant Floyd Reese had to have given this all their blessing ! Unless hell had frozen over in the forty eight hours since the lockout ended this to me was something that not even I had seen coming . Anyone who has witnessed the play of Haynesworth during his tenure with the Washington Redskins will know that like a clock that has stopped chiming he will only be right twice during the day . That has essentially summed up the player’s ability and commitment to being a team player . As for Ochocinco, he like Haynesworth must be viewed as another reclamation project by the coach and his assistants .

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FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

For the life of me I’m beginning to wonder whether or not Bill Belichick really believes that he can turn around the career of any player who just happens to be considered on the downside of their career . First came Randy Moss who would then chose to basically talk his way off the roster in midseason like any other self serving individual . And if that wasn’t enough we then had Adalius Thomas thinking that he could simply act the fool by simply not being part of a team . If there’s one thing that’s made clear when it comes to the Patriots , the egos are simply left at the door as it’s business as usual with a view to acting like a professional. Granted , Bill Belichick belies that at times with something of a rather conceited attitude but with him , it is what it is !

Last season was something of a tremendous disappointment from my own standpoint seeing this team fall flat on its face when it mattered most during the postseason in their loss to the New York Jets . It is at times like this when I wonder whether or not if this team has become completely complacent or is it more down to the lackadaisical approach of Bill Belichick and his coaching staff ? This season however with the acquisitions made and that of the draft picks added to bolster the existing roster has me now believing that the New England Patriots’ window of opportunity is slowly closing but now more than ever before they will have to acquit themselves rather than thinking that they can merely stroll their way into the postseason.

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Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

If the Patriots are to be successful this upcoming season and make inroads not just within the AFC East but across the league as a whole , then the likes of Wes Welker , Deion Branch , Aaron Hernandez , ;Danny Woodhead , Rob Gronkowski , Devin McCourty , and others will have to step up to the plate and be held accountable . The signing of both Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco would suggest that Bill Belichick believes that the duo are indeed the pieces needed to make this team much more formidable but from my own standpoint this is such a gamble that if things don’t work out , then given the mindset of Haynesworth and Ochocinico , that when things simply are not going their way they are both inclined to be truculent and to act infantile . But this all can be allayed if Tom Brady and the senior members of the Patriots make it clear that nothing short of their best efforts on the field will be accepted . If that situation can be broached then there’s no reason to believe why they can’t be successful . But as of now that has to be viewed as a big “if “ given the egos of the two players in question !

Consistency has never been the real issue with the New England Patriots , if anything it has been those momentary lapses at the most inopportune of times that has ultimately led to their demise . Repeatedly we have seen this happen when the team has a game within its grasp only to see them let it slip away. Now comes the hard part for the organization and that’s to prove that as perennial contenders they are justified as being viewed __ as just that !

The AFC is as strong as ever with the teams we have come to expect who will be vying for dominance within the conference. With franchises such as the Baltimore Ravens , Indianapolis Colts , New York Jets and San Diego Chargers looking to vie for the honor of being the AFC’s representative for the Superbowl it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires as the season unfolds.

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Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

This season is now fraught with danger in so many ways as I do believe that a number of teams could very well stumble out of the gate . Much has been made of the fact that during the offseason the players were unable to practice at their training facilities under the auspices of their respective coaches . And I am sure that with newly installed members Pat Shurmur , John Fox , Jim Harbaugh and Ron Rivera all looking to acquit themselves well with their respective new teams as this season has the makings of one being literally full of surprises in more ways than one !

Curiously enough given the fact the New England Patriots seem to be prudent in their draft assessment and the choices they make . I for one will be looking forward to see what possible contributions can be made by the rookies on the team . Ryan Mallett is no doubt being groomed as the possible successor to Tom Brady down the line and the team’s number one overall pick (17th in the first round). Defensive lineman Nate Solder along with DB Ras I Dowling have to be viewed as the players who are likely to make an immediate impact should they be given the chance to perform. But it’s still early days yet and one simply cannot take it as written in stone that these players will matriculate into something special . We have seen along the way that with highly prized college talent many of them simply have fallen by the wayside failing to fulfill the expectations first thought . Simply look no further than the likes of Vince Young and Matt Leinart for the answer as to the high praise heaped upon two players that failed to live up to the perceived hype !

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Picture gallery for your perusal . By clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture in its original formatted size.

In this off-season what moves as such have simply comes as either a momentous shock or surprise to you ? And how if anything do you feel that the players in question will fare this upcoming season ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

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

Picture and slide show details .

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(1) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick smiles at a news conference during NFL football training camp in Foxborough , Mass., Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Charles Krupa …..

(2) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots chats with teammate Aaron Hernandez (85), who wears the number that new teammate Chad Ochocinco wore as a Cincinnati Bengal, during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images …

(3) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots participates in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(4) Tom Brady (12) and Chad Ochocinco of the New England Patriots chat during training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(5) Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth (92 ) of the Washington Redskins stands on the sidelines during preseason NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 2, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 20-10 . The player was obtained in a trade by the New England Patriots this offseason after the NFL lockout had ended . Getty Images / Christian Petersen ……

(6) FOXBOROUGH, MA – JULY 29: Quarterbacks Jonathan Crompton (7) and Ryan Mallett (15) of the New England Patriots participate in training camp at Gillette Stadium on July 29, 2011 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……

(7) Nate Solder the Patriots’ number one overall pick seen here during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indianapolis Colts’ facility in Indianapolis , Indiana . AP Photo/ Ryan Walters ……..

(8) San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh shakes hands with a well-wisher during an NFL football press conference in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 25, 2011. AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez ….

(9) Cleveland Browns’ President & Head of Football Operations Mike Holmgren is seen here as the formal introductions are made of Pat Shurmur as the new head coach of the team . AP Photo/ Matthew Jennings …..
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The Game ……. The Games

The Game ……… The Games

Week 13 in the NFL and there are two prestigious games on this weekend's schedule . One game pits the Baltimore Ravens against the Pittsburgh Steelers in a match-up that will no doubt have grave consequences for both teams as they seek to attain some traction and postseason aspirations within the AFC . Meanwhile the New England Patriots play hosts to the New York Jets in a titanic AFC East battle for divisional supremacy and be viewed as the best team within the conference.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Now while I’m under no illusion that there are a slew of games that will grab the fans’ attention over the course of this weekend’s schedule and therein lies the dilemma facing fans around the NFL as to what’s on their menu as far as what games will be ultimately of interest to them. But looking beyond these two games I for one don’t really see a match-up that catches my attention . OK within the AFC West the resurgent San Diego Chargers take on their divisional rivals the always befuddling Oakland Raiders . For Tom Cable and this team it’s about a lack of intensity and consistency from game to game . Win one, lose two , win three straight, have the fans believing that they’re back on the right track and now they’re back to the same old routine wherein they are perplexed and somewhat disillusioned with the team’s performances this season . I can only surmise that sooner or later the fans will cotton on to the fact that this team is only willing to beguile their fans rather than delivering the goods. Is there really anything else to be said about the Oakland Raiders at this juncture ?

The San Diego Chargers for their part are looking to shoot down the aspirations of the division leading Kansas City Chiefs and making that division their domain as this season’s champion designate. If the Chargers can pull off this feat and parlay that into a successful postseason then it will augur well for this team and in particular their leader on the field Philip Rivers . The player has had an outstanding season and looks an almost odds on certainty to win the league MVP Award. Other leading candidates such as Tom Brady , Peyton Manning and Atlanta Falcons’ wide receiver Roddy White though having outstanding seasons themselves their stats pale into comparison when measured against that of the Chargers’ quarterback.

The game between the Ravens and Steelers will no doubt be a physical battle of wills and brawn. And given the jawing back and forth between the players on both teams this could well turn out to be something of a bloodbath as well as a highly competitive game. James Harrison the Steelers’ defensive player who has caught the wrath of Roger Goodell’s office with an unprecedented sum of $125,000 in penalized fines may well add to that figure once this game has ended. He’s made it abundantly clear that his game will not change and that he’ll continue in a similar vein in terms of his play. For the Ravens’ Terrell Suggs , Ed Reed and Ray Lewis this is merely seen as a battle they must win and it’s going to take a brave individual to pick the outcome of this game. With the Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suited up ready to play even though he’s carrying an injury , this game will most definitely be one to watch and it could all come down to the decision making of the respective quarterbacks and that of how sucessful both defenses are on the day. This much is certain for Joe Flacco this will be another test of his progression as a quarterback within the NFL.

On the offensive side of the ball the Steelers and Rashard Mendenall will be tested and equally as well so too will Ray Rice and Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens as these two 8-3 teams battle it out at MT& Bank Stadium in Baltimore , Maryland this upcoming Sunday. Make no bones about it there’s a lot more at stake here than simply bragging rights amongst these two teams as there’s a great deal riding on the outcome as to their postseason ambitions.

Gillette Stadium stages what might be deemed the marquee matchup of the weekend as I alluded to earlier between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. As we all know the Jets’ coach Rex Ryan has made it clear that he feels that his team is now the equal of the three time winning Superbowl champions. Be that as it may given the fact that the Jets haven’t raised the Lombardi Trophy in over three decades I can only surmise when that’s all you have stake as your claim then you might as well swing for the fences. Bill Belichick and his team will look to avenge their early season loss (28-14) to their divisional rivals and this ought to dispel once and for all that there’s any love lost between these two teams. Tom Brady has reiterated his dislike for the Jets and I’d dare say that the feeling is mutual from the players on the Jets’ roster ! So the bye product of this all could be one hell of a war within the trenches as these two clash .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Patience and virtue will be of an essence if Brady and the Patriots are to defeat the New York Jets and the defense of the New England Patriots will have to be ready for the onslaught that will no doubt take place as Mark Sanchez , Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller take aim at knocking off their heated foe. The Pats high scoring offense led by Aaron Hernandez , Rob Gronkowski , Deion Branch , Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead this ought to be the chance they seek to put the Jets in what they believe to be is their rightful place and that’s looking up at the Patriots in the divisional standings. With both teams at 9-2 with not only the division up for grabs but also a playoff berth this is a must win game for both teams. And the deciding factor in this all may well come down to who wants the victory more and their unwillingness not to make mistakes in terms of the least amount of turnovers . That to my mind will be the determining factor with this game .

What games amongst this weekend’s schedule as such will have your undivided attention ? And which teams do you think will ultimately prevail in the games being played this weekend ? Simply chime in with a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support .

😛

Alan aka tophatal ……………. 🙂

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Erstwhile video vixen and eye candy Jessica Rabbit

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Kanye West …………. “Power”

No Excuses Here …….. You Play The Game To Win

No Excuses Here …….. You Play The Game To Win !

Well Monday Night Football will pit divisional (AFC East) rivals the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins against each other as the two teams battle for divisional supremacy in week four of the NFL. And based on what we’ve seen thus far I’m inclined to believe that this matchup will go a great deal in telling us about the identities of each team. Each comes in with a 2-1 record but in large part the Dolphins seem to be carrying more of a swagger about them. Tony Sparano’s __ team over the last two seasons has given the Patriots all that they can handle and a great deal more with their ‘wildcat offense’. And tempted as I am to believe that Bill Belichick and his coaching staff will find a way to counter this , I’m still at a loss to explain why it is that the team defense is unable to be more secure in its ‘run or pass defense’.

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We’ve been told that Belichick wanted to go younger and have his defense more athletically tuned but how does that help when they still give up the big play and there’s no leadership forthcoming from that side of the ball ? Never mind the fact that the offense doesn’t appear to have hits its stride completely as of yet. Tom Brady , Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Kevin Faulk are still the ‘go to guys’ on the offensive side of things but there in part still is an identity crisis as far as the Patriots’ defense is concerned and that if anything is somewhat troubling given Belichick’s pedigree as a defense oriented coach.

There’s a great deal at stake in this game as neither side can really afford to let a divisional game slip in terms of a result. I firmly believe that in the AFC at present there isn’t a clear cut dominant team and that is in spite of the 3-0 start by the Pittsburgh Steelers whose rout of the overachieving Tampa Bay Buccaneers firmly put the NFC South team back in its rightful place. And while surveying the AFC one could look at last season’s representatives in the conference’s championship game and say that both the Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets seem to have started where they left off, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Both teams have had shaky starts to their season and each are looking for a telling performance to let the rest of the league know that their lapses were just minor hiccups.

A win is a necessity for the Patriots as a loss and though their season wouldn’t be completely derailed it would make things that more difficult for them to make the postseason as their division will be highly contentious. It’s by no means a certainty that it will be handed to them on a silver platter so a win would be to their benefit rather than an ignominious loss at the hands of the Dolphins.

I’ve always said that this team was never the same having lost to the New York Giants in the Superbowl (SB XLII) and from own impression the straw that broke the camel’s back and led to their demise was the loss of guard/center Stephen Neal early in that game. It allowed the Giants defense line enough space to “tee off” on Tom Brady like Tiger Woods has been known to tee off on one of his many paramours (mistresses). They laied the wood to Brady just as Woods laid his own ‘wood’ to many of his conquests. There was more penetration there of the Pats’ offensive line than Woods had been penetrating those females !

As to Monday night’s scheduled game I hope that there isn’t a repeat of that wherein we’re seeing way too much penetration . As an avowed fan of the Patriots there’s only so punishment one can endure and seeing Brady being knocked to his ass isn’t one of the most enviable sights that the vast majority of Pats’ fans like to see. The name of the game tonight for both teams is to go out and play aggressively, however, in the case of the Patriots it is to go out and defend both the run and the pass. Should they not be able to do so adequately then they’re liable to lose a game in what will be determined by the team that makes the fewest mistakes over the course of 60 minutes.

The AFC East at this juncture is now up for grabs with no clear team of the three having been able to show a clear dominance of the quartet of teams that make up the division. he New York Jets have a lot of people buying into them primarily because of the bravado of their coach Rex Ryan. While the Dolphins and Patriots based on their own play having the need to show that they belong amongst those who ought to be talked about as contenders within the conference. We’ll know by the end of tonight whether or not either team has a valid case to be put forth concerning that particular argument.

On a side note for the hapless Buffalo Bills it’d appear that the team’s season is already over having suffered their fourth successive defeat to start the season. And for coach Chan Gailey and his demoralized coaching staff it has to be said that the team isn’t buying into anything that the coach is selling. One gets the feeling that for the Bills this will be a season where mediocrity will unintentionally become the norm. Let’s just hope that their long discerning and success starved fans will be able to deal with the mess that they’re now witnessing . If not then look for them to show their ever increasing displeasure by simply being vociferous about the team and coaching staff.

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Slide show for your perusal.

What thoughts if any do you have on the AFC East and how things will pan out for the teams there this season ? Chime on in with a comment as you see fit and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

Alan aka 🙂 _ 😦

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Nicole 'Coco' Austin

Nicole ‘Coco’ Austin rapper Ice T’s main squeeze. Who wouldn’t want to bite into her nice juicy melons and lick all of the juce that’d be forthcoming ?