No praise can be gained from being this bad

No praise can be gained from being this bad

Of the slew of games played on Sunday afternoon , perhaps none could have been more disturbing to watch from a fan standpoint , than to see the Oakland Raiders in their divisional match-up against the surprise team of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs . With a new coaching staff and quarterback Alex Smith in tow , the Chiefs are off to a 6-0 start and are seriously challenging the Denver Broncos as not only the best team in the AFC West , but also the conference , as well the league (NFL) in its entirety. For the woefully inept Raiders, this appears to be just another season, where they are about to be another tremendous disappointment for their long-suffering fans. Incumbent starting quarterback, Terrelle Pryor just does not seem to have what it takes to lead this team , and with the recent decision to render Matt Flynn disposable by the front office , it leaves the franchise with very few options at the position , other than to use their backup , or once again bring in an unsigned a free agent or to trade for a player .

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In what should have been a competitive game , the Oakland Raiders simply proved that the continued troubles that have befallen the franchise have yet to be clearly addressed on both sides of the ball , as well as from a coaching standpoint , with Dennis Allen , being in charge as the team’s head coach . As to whether or not he survives the remainder of the season, will be dependent upon whether or not he can turn around the fortunes of this team. GM Reggie McKenzie and team owner Mark Davis must be extremely troubled by what they both witnessed on Sunday afternoon , with another anemic display in the Raiders’ 24-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs . Raiders’ quarterback Terrelle Pryor was sacked ten times , threw three interceptions , harried all afternoon and gave one of the most uninspiring performances of his NFL career . It begs the question, how much longer will the fans have to be forced to bear this sort of ineptitude?

For Andy Reid of the Kansas City Chiefs , the start to this season has been more than expected , with the leadership skills of Alex Smith coming to the fore alongside his play , as well as that of both the defense and offense . Both of which are highly ranked within the NFL, with the Chiefs’ secondary being seen as one of the most efficient and stymieing in the league. The first of the two divisional contests between the Kansas City Chiefs and Denver Broncos could prove to be one of the highlights of the regular season as well as providing a broadcast for the television broadcast outlets. Both teams are unbeaten and are atop of the AFC West division , albeit , that Broncos are getting all of the major headlines , because of Peyton Manning’s extraordinary season in 2013 .

There are no positives to be taken away in this defeat for the Oakland Raiders , and I cannot help but wonder where this organization now goes from here ! It would appear that they can either start to think about next season now , or simply carry on with , and offer the fans a paltry return for money not well spent to witness a very poor on-field product , by of the team’s continued play and the extremely poor coaching by Dennis Allen and his coaching staff . I have to believe that Allen will be given every chance to ride out the storm and try to turn things around , rather than being fired , something that Mark Davis’ predecessor , Al Davis , was not averse to doing, if he felt that his head coach was not making the grade . The firing of Dennis Allen , were it to happen now or at the end of the season , would undoubtedly bring about a great deal of angst and turmoil , yet this has become the norm for this particular franchise over the past few seasons , with so many nonsensical moves being made by the front office in terms of coaching and personnel turnovers. I am not sure that the Oakland Raiders would be the ideal destination for any first time head coach in the NFL , let alone for an experienced coach with an established record of excellence , who has already seen his fair share of turmoil . There just seems to be no consistency to the Raiders either on or off the field of play , and it has been mirrored in a number of decisions concerning this franchise and many of the most recent business decisions made, that has the organization going from being amongst one of the most profitable in the NFL, to one of the league’s more beleaguered teams from an economic standpoint .

This may well prove to be the season where the Houston Texans (2-4) will either sink or swim by way of their on-field trials and tribulations . Matt Schaub through much of his NFL career year has proven to be be one the league’s more durable quarterbacks, but in 2013 , he has proven to be anything but , hampering his team with his all too errant plays and with the Texans’ defense proving to be decidedly shoddy , it is difficult to see how the ball club will make it into the postseason , in what is now proving to be an extremely competitive AFC South division. The Texans did themselves no favors on Sunday, as they lost their fourth consecutive game , thereby dropping their record to an anemic 2-4 within the division , falling further behind the divisional leaders the Indianapolis Colts (4-1) . Texas’ opponents on Sunday were the St Louis Rams (3-3) , who themselves are looking to make some sort of impact within their division and on the season as a whole . Houston’s 38-13 loss at Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas, in front of a packed home crowd , with millions more , by way of a national television audience , was just as inexplicable as the play of Matt Schaub and his replacement during the game T J Yates . The incumbent starting quarterback’s departure, due to an injury, was met with a raucous chorus of boos and cat-calls from the home crowd , with the player having playing with a great deal of indecision . Yates, as Schaub’s replacement, did not fare any better, impeding whatever chance the Texans may well have had in getting back into this contest on Sunday afternoon . Houston’s 38-13 defeat , might well have been of a wider margin , had Sam Bradford and the Rams executed more stoutly on offense .

For Texans’ owner Robert McNair and general manager Rick Smith , a decision is likely to be made concerning not only the future of head coach Gary Kubiak , his coaching assistants and Matt Schaub, but also a number of players thought to be superfluous to the team .

In an earlier post entitled “You are only as good as your record reflects “ , I suggested that teams in the NFL by way of their record are what they appeared to be in spite of their head coaches . In week five , the Pittsburgh Steelers remained win-less and you simply knew that it would be only matter of time before Mike Tomlin had his team playing at a level , expected of not only himself but also the ever loyal Steelers’ fans . Well on Sunday , the ever perplexing New York Jets granted their AFC North visitor’s wish by giving them a gift that is likely to keep on giving . Not only did the Jets lay down , but their performance went a long way in reflecting what is so wrong with this team beyond the alleged improvement in the play of the team’s rookie quarterback Geno Smith . The rookie may well have his issues , but so does the rest of this roster and the entire coaching staff , who simply had the roster ill-prepared for this contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers .

The 19-6 victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers pushes their record to 1-4 and drops the New York Jets to 3-3 within the AFC East .

A marquee match-up between two of the league’s best quarterbacks and leave it all, to a bone headed decision by a head coach , that led to his team’s defeat (30-27) on Sunday afternoon. In this contest between Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints . A brain seizure on the part of Saints’ head coach Sean Payton , would be his undoing and the last-minute heroics we have come to witness from Brady all too often ,when he has been asked to lead his team from the brink of defeat in the dying moments of a game, was once again evident for all to see .

Instead joining a group of teams at 6-0 in the NFL , the New Orleans Saints having fallen from the ranks of the unbeaten , now find themselves at 5-1 , and with questions being asked of the normally aggressive coaching style of Sean Payton , who for once , that it prudent to be conservative in his game calling . I believe that the New Orleans Saints can rebound from this loss but that air of invincibility that the team was said to have had , is now non-existent and so too has the NFC’s last unbeaten team . With the league now left with two unbeaten teams , with the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs and their respective records at 6-0 , it remain to see what will be in store for the fans week seven . Kansas City will play host to the Houston Texans next Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium , in Kansas City , Missouri, whereas the Denver Broncos will be the guests of the Indianapolis Colts , as Peyton Manning will face his former team , and where he laid the foundation for his now record breaking career .

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Your thoughts on the week six results in the NFL , and which of the three remaining win-less teams will at season’s end be the league’s worst performing franchise? By all means, chime with your thoughts on the subject matter .

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(1) Linebacker Tamba Hali (91) of the Kansas City Chiefs sacks quarterback Terrelle Pryor (2) of the Oakland Raiders during the first half on October 13, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. This was one of ten sacks inflicted upon Pryor during the game of which Hali ended up with two sacks for the game as the Chiefs’ defense simply manhandled the Raiders’ offensive line almost at will . Getty Images North America / Peter Aiken ….

(2) Jamaal Charles (25) of the Kansas City Chiefs attempt to avoid the outstretched arms of D.J. Hayden (25) of the Oakland Raiders in the second quarter October 13, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. . Kyle Rivas / Getty Images …

(3) Running back Jamaal Charles (25) of the Kansas City Chiefs dives into the end zone for a touchdown against defensive end Jack Crawford (91) of the Oakland Raiders during the second half on October 13, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City won 24-7. Getty Images / Peter Aiken …..

(4) New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (C) and team owner Mark Davis during a press conference on January 30, 2012 in Alameda, California. Dennis Allen was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing Hue Jackson who was fired after one season. Getty Images / Justin Sullivan ….

(5) Texans’ fans show their disgust with the team by donning paper bags during the game against the St Louis Rams on Sunday afternoon at Reliant Stadium in Houston Texas . The Rams would go on to defeat Houston 38-13 , with the Texans losing their fourth consecutive game of the season and dropping their record to 2-4 within the AFC South . AP Photo / Eric Gray ….

(6) Houston Texans’ quarterback Matt Schaub (8) leaves the game , during the fourth quarter played against the St Louis Rams . Schaub was injured in the fourth quarter and left the field to a round of boos and cat-calls from the home fans . His replacement T J Yates fared no better in the contest, throwing in an interception that was returned for a touchdown . adding to the team’s burden , with five games , where a Texans’ quarterback has thrown for an INT this season . Getty Images / Patrick Schneider ….

(7) New Orleans Saints’ wide receiver Kenny Stills makes a catch in the end-zone during the fourth quarter of a game played at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts . The Patriots would come back to win the contest in the waning the moments of the match-up , after an earlier coaching blunder made by Sean Payton of the Saints , allowing Tom Brady enough time on the clock to engineer a fabulous come from behind win for the New England Patriots . Getty Images / Rob Carr …..

(8) Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady (12) manages to evade Tom Johnson (96) of the New Orleans Saints during a game played on Sunday afternoon in Foxborough , Massachusetts . New England would defeat the Saints 30-27. Getty Images / Elsa Martinez …..

(9) Saints’ head coach Sean Payton shakes hands with the Patriots’ Tom Brady after the game , in which the New Orleans Saints relinquished a three-point lead in the dying moments of the contest between the two teams. Getty Images / Rob Carr ….

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😉

tophatal ……………….

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NFL news

NFL schedule week six & results

NFL schedule week seven

NFL standings (division)

NFL injuries week six

NFL transactions

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SI model Kate Upton being a real sport .

Into The West But For God’s Sake Not The AFC West Or The NL West For That Matter …….. !

Into The West But For God’s Sake Not The AFC West Or The NL West For That Matter …….. !


By tophatal

Week nine of the NFL schedule will be upon us and there’ s a great deal to suggest that there are now a number of teams that are simply playing for respect and pride . I can’t say that I am completely surprised by the lack of real competitiveness of the teams that are now simply struggling to stay relevant within their respective divisions and conferences . Now while we can all attest to the fact that the NFL has been resounding success upon their return from the league induced stoppage I do feel that the lockout has dealt the fans something of a blow because I firmly believe that it has played a large part in some rather atrocious football that has been on display through much of the season . I can only hope that the second half of the season sees a raise in the level of play from all of the teams !

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Can someone please remind me why it is that I should think that the San Diego Charges under Norv Turner’s charge should be deemed worthy as a legitimate contenders within the AFC West . The Chargers were guests of the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City , Missouri . Monday Night Football on ESPN over the past two consecutive weeks has served up some diatribe that can be best described as sheer and utter garbage . And the broadcast outlet’s serving on Monday night proved to be no different as the national audience was simply put to sleep with another snooze-fest between these two AFC teams.

Todd Haley may well have coached this Chiefs’ team last season into the playoffs but there has been little to suggest that this current roster are in a position to now repeat that feat until last night’s come from behind victory (23-20) in overtime over the beleaguered Chargers The hero for the Kansas City Chiefs was their kicker Ryan Succop who kicked the game winning field goal .

With that victory the Chiefs now find themselves jointly atop (3-3) of the rather inept AFC West . That division over the years has been a complete blight on the NFL over the last few seasons but somehow the league feels that the fans need to be subjected to this garbage . But then again when was the last time that the division actually produce a contender for the AFC championship game ? It’s hard to be encouraged viewing anything that takes place within the division as it regards the Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers .

For all of the offensive weapons at Philip Rivers’ disposal this Chargers team simply squandered the chances that came its way . And this can’t have been lost on the fans of the organization of for that matter the front office led by general manager AJ Smith . The San Diego Chargers for their part even with the advent of their draft choices and the intent of the franchise which has simply struggled
merely to be competitive . And while Rivers’ stats have been have been impressive there’s no hiding the fact the Chargers have struggled over the course of this season .

From my own standpoint I do believe that the loss of Darren Sproles and LaDanian Tomlinson has adversely affected the Chargers but it would be remiss to think that the loss of two of the team’s most productive players over the past five seasons would be the sole reason for their errant play. Defensively this team has produced its own share of nightmare performances but it remains to be seen what Norv Turner and his coaching staff will be able to achieve with this roster over the remainder of the season .

Give credit where it’s due and thankfully somehow in the midst of all of the stupidity that we’ve seen from what turned out to be an awe inspiring MLB season . Now comes the news that I believe that the vast majority of the game’s fans had hoped for ! The Los Angeles Dodgers will be put of for sale and auctioned off to the highest bidder . Not a moment too soon, as far as I am concerned because the gullibility shown by the MLB hierarchy , the dubious maneuvers of the team’s soon to be former owner Frank McCourt and the front office executives who literally ran the team into the ground could not be tolerated any longer !

Courtesy of MLB.com

Dodgers owner McCourt agrees to sell team

By Ken Gurnick of MLB.com

LOS ANGELES — Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the team, the club and Major League Baseball announced Tuesday night.

“The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball announced that they have agreed today to a court-supervised process to sell the team and its attendant media rights in a manner designed to realize maximum value for the Dodgers and their owner, Frank McCourt,” read a joint statement. The Blackstone Group LLP” will manage the sale process.”

There is no timeline for the sale to be completed. It’s not known if the decision might impact the club’s ability to sign free agents, but a baseball source said the Dodgers are still prepared to pursue a big bat, with first baseman Prince Fielder the apparent No. 1 target.

The agreement culminates a two-year period that started with the breakup of McCourt’s 29-year marriage with former club president Jamie McCourt and led to a bankruptcy and an eventual court showdown between McCourt and MLB to determine ownership.

McCourt was attempting to take the Dodgers out of bankruptcy by selling future media rights over the objections of MLB and FOX, which holds current rights. MLB had asked the court to order a sale of the club, accusing McCourt of violating MLB rules by taking $190 million of team funds for personal use.

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As we all know the organization had been placed into bankruptcy proceedings within the US Bankruptcy Court within the state of Delaware . McCourt sought to place the organization into Chapter 11 proceedings , looking to for a stay of execution while his attorneys deemed fit to have a federal court judge preside over the hearings , during which an equitable settlement could be worked with the team’s litany of creditors . Though unconfirmed figures placed the Dodgers’ debt at somewhere between $700 million to $1.1 billion , of which neither Frank McCourt or his attorneys were prepared to publicly divulge those figures . And one could understand the reason why , given the fact there’s a great deal of suspicion that many of the alleged acts by McCourt , his ex wife Jamie McCourt and several of the team’s executives may well have been unlawful and larcenous . In the end , baseball and in particular Bud Selig gets exactly what it wanted all along and that was to divest themselves from an idiot owner , in Frank McCourt . I have long held the contention that baseball’s hierarchy and team owners are a bunch of fu_king idiots who are anally retentive and who have about as much business acumen as a a mentally retarded individual ! . There are those purists , out there , who cover the game or who believe themselves to be knowledgeable on the sport and in particular the business side of the game who simply wouldn’t know the difference between a balance sheet and the piece of paper they would use to wipe their ass with !

The actual sale of the team will be handled by investment advisory and venture capital firm The Blackstone Group LLP one of the nation’s largest private equity firms with offices across the globe . The whole process once it gets underway could take as long as three to four months if not longer but I would think that the league would no doubt like to see a quick sale of the ballclub , in an effort for any potential owner to quite possibly bring in their own executives and quite possibly management personnel.

As to Frank McCourt’s own future the fact that he walks away from this all , escaping ut any form of punishment can only be seen as being unbelievable , given the extent of many of his dealing as it relates to the team and the fact he willfully used the ball club repeatedly as collateral for a number of private and public business deals , all of which contravened the rules of Major League Baseball. The fact that Bud Selig seemed to oblivious to this all , only further heightens the stupidity that we now there happens to be within the game . I can only surmise that whomever within the Blackstone Group is given the task of handling the sale will use all the due diligence possible in seeking out a potential suitor for this team who tenders a bid that they can actually afford . Hindsight they say is 50/50 but it clearly wasn’t used by the MLB hierarchy when they allowed McCourt the privilege of purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2004. Since the purchase the organization has become one of the laughing stocks within the game while its attendance has fluctuated up and down of the beleaguered owner’s tenure. In 2011 the Los Angeles Dodgers saw its lowest attendance (2,935,139) at Dodgers Stadium since 1994 . Those are the sort of financial impediments that no professional sports franchise can actually withstand while its executives continue egregiously to misuse funds meant to be for the betterment of the organization and the team as a whole .

As to any potential bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers it will be very interesting to see if Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban chooses to make another attempt at purchasing a baseball franchise , given the fact on his previous pursuit , his bid ($680 million ) for the Texas Rangers was not favorably looked upon even though it was for a higher offer than that of the Nolan Ryan , Chuck Greenberg syndicate that purchased the team for $593 million . One should remember also that the Rangers had themselves been placed into bankruptcy proceeding by then owner Tom Hicks because of his unwillingness to deal with his numerous creditors relating to his sporting interests (Hicks Sports Group Holdings LLC [which has since filed for bankruptcy]) which at the time in included the baseball team and the NHL’s Dallas Stars .

The biggest caveat to this all is that even dependent upon a suitor being found for the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers , the final approval would still have to come from the board of governors which is an amalgamation of the team owners within baseball and the game’s hierarchy . And given the fact that those idiots have not been all that bright , I’d hate to think they could make a similar mistake by approving the sale of the team to a potential owner who could very well be not too dissimilar from Frank McCourt !

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Picture and slide show details .

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(1) KANSAS CITY, MO – OCTOBER 31: of the Kansas City Chiefs of the San Diego Chargers on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 23-20 in overtime. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images ….

(2) Wide receiver Steve Breaston (15) of the Kansas City Chiefs rushes for a first down past defensive back Marcus Gilchrist (38) of the San Diego Chargers for a first down, during overtime on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 23-20 in overtime. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images ……

(3) Running back Curtis Brinkley (44) of the San Diego Chargers dives over the Kansas City Chiefs defense from two-yards out for a touchdown during the fourth quarter on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Chiefs defeated the Chargers 23-20 in overtime. Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images ……

(4) Quarterback Philip Rivers (17) of the San Diego Chargers audibles during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 31, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images ….

(5) Beleaguered owner Frank McCourt who has reluctantly agreed to the sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers having not been able to come to an amenable compromise with the team’s creditors . AP Photo / Phillip Mason ….

(6) “Frank always look on the bright side of life you’ve been fu_cked and punk’d ….. bitch ” ! FILE – In this Feb. 28, 2006, file photo, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig, left, and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt wait for the Urban Youth Academy opening ceremony to begin in Compton, Calif. Major League Baseball is taking over the Dodgers, a team financially paralyzed by the divorce of its owners, Frank and Jamie McCourt. Selig says in a release Wednesday, April 20, 2011, that he will appoint a representative to oversee the “business and the day-to-day operations of the Club.” AP Photo/Ric Francis …..
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NFL news

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs news

San Diego Chargers news

MLB news

MLB Final standings @ 29th September 2011 (divisional)

MLB wildcard standings @ 29th September 2011

Los Angeles Dodgers news

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Hot chic pic of the day actress Daniela Ruah cast member of the hit CBS drama ” NCIS Los Angeles “ . Who wouldn’t mind having Daniela put them in handcuffs ?

It Is What It Is …. ! It’s The AFC West For God’s Sake Damn It !

It Is What It Is …. ! It’s The AFC West For God’s Sake Damn It !


By tophatal

OK so the fans of the Oakland Raiders were in awe with the organization’s acquistion of noted former USC quarterback and former Cincinnati Bengal’s starter Carson Palmer . Sunday was meant to be Palmer’s coming out party against the Raiders’ divisional rivals , the Kansas City Chiefs . And never let it be said that we should expect any thrilling displays of football from within the AFC West because this might just be the worst division in all of football .

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The four occupants of the AFC South , namely the Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs , Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers are four teams that have become mind numbingly inconsistent over the years . And this season it has been no different for the four teams , as their results have been borne out this year . The collective records of the quartet is a combined 13-12 . In conference the teams have struggled to show a modicum of consistency this season.

With Hue Jackson making it a game time decision as to who the starter would be against Todd Haley’s Chiefs . This game was seen as view of what the fans were hoping to see from the renowned Carson Palmer . The former Heisman Trophy winner had a stellar collegiate career at USC before before being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals . The player’s career with the organization has seen its highs and lows but over the past two seasons the Palmer has become disgruntled with the organization , coaches and former teammates . Having joined the Oakland Raiders , Palmer finds himself surrounded with a plethora of offensive weapons and a running attack that is amongst the best in the NFL .

Unfortunately for the Raiders’ fans seated at the Oakland Coliseum and a national television audience watching they witnessed an offense that was so out of sync and a collective performance from starting quarterback Kyle Boller and then his replacement Carson Palmer that left a great deal to be desired . Each quarterback threw three interceptions apiece and to make things so comical in the team’s overall performance . The end result with a 28-0 blanking of the Raiders , brought about an inauspicious start for Palmer and his tenure with the Oakland Raiders.

While Hue Jackson had to have been disappointed with his team’s performance he has to know this loss though did nothing to enhance the Raiders’ aspirations with regard to divisional honors. Though still atop of the AFC West with a 4-2 record the had some consolation in knowing that the San Diego Chargers somehow managed to lose to the New York Jets 27-21 . Not one , really wanting to lambast Norv Turner at present but when is Chargers’ general manager A J. Smith going to realize that the coach hasn’t got the wherewithal to get this team going when they face real adversity ? When you have a quarterback the caliber of Philip Rivers and . On a day when wide receiver Plaxico Burress made the announcement that he’s back in the NFL , he seemingly made the Chargers defense seem so damn awful that it simply doesn’t bear thinking about . The player’s reception yards might not have been all that impressive but his three touchdown catches were , as Rex Ryan’s team got themselves back on track .

Two of the worse teams in the AFC got together for a conference match-up that left little to desired unless you just happen to be a Tim Tebow and a Denver Broncos’ fan. John Fox and his coaching staff are still assessing the qualities of their now incumbent quarterback while at the same time we can now state categorically that Kyle Orton by no means gives this team the best opportunity to win ! If that were the case , then the Broncos’ record not be a pedantic 2-4 . I sometimes have to wonder what it is that these moronic NFL tv analysts on ABC/ESPN , CBS Sports , Fox and NBC might just be watching when they make their rather asinine prognostication ! If Orton is an NFL caliber quarterback then quite possibly we ought to have Richard Simmons playing in the NFL !

Tim Tebow played his part in guiding the Denver Broncos to a win over the Miami Dolphins but in reality it wasn’t that the team played that great . Simply put , the Dolphins as the opponents of the Broncos are a mediocre team at best . Tony Sparano’s season and that of his entire coaching staff might now be hanging on by a single thread . Billionaire team owner Stephen Ross and GM Jeff Ireland might as well place a call to all to each of the other 31 teams within the NFL seeking permission to interview their respective assistant coaches . If they are not successful there , then quite possibly they may week a prospective replacement from amongst the collegiate ranks .

And now that the former Gators’ quarterback has firmly placed himself amongst the current conversation as a water cooler topic water cooler for a vast array of NFL fans and fantasy geeks out there . John Fox and the team’s Head of Football Operations John Elway for the present may well be happy with the fact that they have a quarterback who can actually make the Broncos competitive for the present. But it remains to be seen how capable this team might well be as the rest of their schedule will ultimately determine that factor and their season’s end record. In eking out their 18-15 victory the Denver Broncos have placed the Miami Dolphins in another precarious position with a 0-6 record firmly now placing them alongside the Indianapolis Colts (0-6) and St Louis Rams (0-6) for the privilege in taking Stanford Cardinals’ quarterback Andrew Luck as the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft .

Now while we can bemoan the quality of the football being played in the NFL . I think that we can agree that the criticism of the AFC South is justified but at the same it’s scary to think that the NFC West , another division that struggles with some semblance of consistency and the combined records of the quartet of teams are 8-16 . Not exactly something that on paper looks at all that impressive but one could either surmise that this is cyclical within the NFL . That may well be the case but in reality this seems to be how the league tends to ebb and flow in terms of the consistency of the teams.

For now the fans will have to endure this morass of mediocre play from the teams within the division mentioned while taking solace that this hasn’t become widespread across the NFL . Well at least I’d like to think so ! But who knows as of now ?

Alas , just when I thought that Jack Del Rio couldn’t pull off another “Houdini Act” , somehow his Jacksonville Jaguars managed to derail the ambitions of John Harbaugh’s —- Baltimore Ravens . Disturbing as this might seem this was a game by its result ( 12-7) alone explain should be able explain how monstrously mediocre this Monday night match-up was . If only ESPN could have put us all out of our misery by having a technical issue during this game rather than having the tv audience endure this mess ! Then perhaps we could have forgiven the network and the two teams involved but somehow I think that’s now impossible to do .

Del Rio to my mind is merely treading water as he fights for his professional life ! GM Gene Smith and team owner Wayne Weaver by season’s end will have to make a decision concerning his beleaguered coach. My own thinking would be for Weaver to jettison not only his coach but the entire coaching staff as well as his general manager ! Smith and Del Rio combined have somehow managed to make this team something of a laughing stock , one way or another . Other than the drafting of Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert , the latter who appears to be a work in progress , I cannot think of one reason to retain the duo !

Though last night’s game was something of a mediocre effort offered up by both teams in no way was it the ” worst” NFL result to have taken place this past weekend . Anyone who had the dubious privilege of witnessing that monstrosity that took place between the Seattle Seahawks and Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio , must’ve felt that they were being held prisoner and being tortured in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba ! What the fu_k is going on with these two teams ? I’ve been told repeatedly that there’s no offense in soccer and that may well be the case with the MLS ! But I can guarantee you this , with the leagues in Europe ( EPL , Serie` A, La Liga ) and Latin America , at least the effort put fort there is far more exciting than the bulls_it exhibited by Pete Caroll’s and Pat Shurmur’s players . Good God almighty, the fans have to dole out their hard earned cash to watch this fecal matter but somehow Roger Goodell feels he can take pride in the NFL brand and product as a whole ? Well if a score of 6-3 is something that you can take pride in , no wonder the fans of the NFL are continued to be pissed and shat upon by the league hierarchy , franchise owners and NFLPA ! This is simply what the NFL has now become , owners , players and the league itself bilking the public , meanwhile they are laughing all the way to the bank and then some !

I am not one to normally disavow the NFL but please don’t insist that a number of the games we tend to witness repeatedly week in and week out can actually be described as the best that the NFL has to offer . That’s utter bullsh_t on the part of the apologists out there especially amongst the ranks of the NFL analysts and commentators , never mind some of the more anally retentive fans who might well subscribe to the analysis and give it credit !

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What thoughts if any do you have about the points raised within this piece ? Simply offer up a comment as you deem fit and thanks as always for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

Alan aka tophatal ………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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(1) Oakland Raiders line up to defend against center Casey Wiegmann (62) of the Kansas City Chiefs in the third quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0 . Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images …

(2) Starting quarterback Kyle Boller(7) of the Oakland Raiders stands on the sidelines after being pulled out of the game in the third quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won 28-0. Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images ….

(3) Carson Palmer(3) of the Oakland Raiders talks with Kyle Boller (7) against the Kansas City Chiefs at O.co Coliseum on October 23, 2011 in Oakland, California. The Chiefs won the game 28-0. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images…

(4) Fullback Leonard Pope (44) of the Kansas City Chiefs scores a touchdown as the ball pops loose against linebacker Aaron Curry (51) of the Oakland Raiders in the first quarter on October 23, 2011 at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Chiefs lead 14-0 in the first half. However , they would end up blanking the Raiders 28-0 . Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images …..

(5) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos carries the ball against Cameron Wake (91) of the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ……

(6) Wide receiver Golden Tate (81) of the Seattle Seahawks is tackled by defensive back Buster Skrine (22) of the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images …….

(7) Ray Lewis (52) and Terrell Suggs (55) of the Baltimore Ravens tackle Maurice Jones-Drew (32) of the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on October 24, 2011 in Jacksonville Florida. The Jaguars would defeat the Ravens 12-7 . Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …..

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AFC West final standings for the past 5 years

AFC West ( 2010 ) Champions : Kansas City Chiefs (10-6)

AFC West (2009) Champions : San Diego Chargers (13-3)

AFC West ( 2008) Champions : San Diego Chargers ( 8-8 )

AF West (2007) Champions : San Diego Chargers ( 11-5)

AFC West ( 2006) Champions : San Diego Chargers (14-2 )

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Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

Week 3 of the NFL preseason and one doubts that there’s anymore that can be learned from the teams within the league . Certainly from a statistical standpoint as impressive as some teams appear to be there’s a great deal to be said for the fact that your starters will get their accustomed workouts but it will be the rookies who will look to acclimatize themselves with the rigors of the NFL.

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And perhaps nowhere will the spotlight be than upon more , than , the Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton as he looks justify the faith shown in him by the Panthers’ front office , and the team’s coaching staff led by Ron Rivera . And though Newton has showed his guile and athleticism there has been nothing yet to suggest that he may well be the answer to the team’s needs at the position . The player and his presumed backup Jimmy Claussen now have one more game to prove to the fans and staff in particular that they are ready to embark upon the regular season in with the right frame of mind and the ability sought , in order for the Carolina Panthers to be successful.

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CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Cam Newton (1) and Jordan Gross (69) of the Carolina Panthers celebrate after Newton’s 16-yard touchdown run during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …….

After a rather lackluster and disappointing 2010 season where the Carolina Panthers finished with a 2-14 record much to the disdain of their fans , it was felt the organization would embark upon a major personnel upheaval on both front within the playing and coaching staff. Jon Fox was seemingly allowed to depart along with several members of the coaching staff and this offseason the purge began amongst the playing personnel along with the players acquired through the NFL Draft .

As with any number one player taken in the draft a great deal is placed upon the shoulders of that athlete . They’re often seen as the presumed savior and future face of a franchise and for Cam Newton it will undoubtedly be no different. If the player can have half the success during his final year at Auburn then one could deem it a success for Cam Newton and his new teammates . Now it would be true to surmise that for any rookie quarterback starting in the NFL success isn’t expected to immediate but for the Panthers who have so much riding on the player , that anything short of an 8 win season would as such be deemed a failure for the organization . Granted , as with any team said to be going through this type of transition there will always be growing pains and a great deal of uncertainty not only about the team as a whole but also upon the expectations of the coaching staff , as well. Ron Rivera , it has to be said a rookie coach in the NFL will have his work cut out for him but with his credentials and insight into the game , one would expect the coach to fare well this upcoming season.

Unfortunately , for the Carolina Panthers they find themselves in a tough NFC South division where three of last year’s most promising teams within the conference reside . The Atlanta Falcons , New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cannot be overlooked as teams that are not capable of holding their own and being competitive in what can be best described as one of the better divisions within the NFL.

It might be at this juncture however that one now begins to question whether or not this team might be capable of usurping the dominance of their neighbors within the NFC South. I do believe that with that even with the changes on the roster , the team will be in for an arduous season ! The six games played within the division will be tough enough without considering the typical conference schedule overall for the Carolina Panthers. And ccertainly the team’s celebrated wide receiver Steve Smith will be looking to regain the form that made one of the more prolific players at the position .

It would be remiss to think that an offense led by Newton and Smith alone will be enough or for the Carolina Panthers to garner any semblance of success if this team is to show any semblance of progress beyond the mediocrity shown last season , then the team will have put forth a collective effort that is of their very best . There’s no denying that last season injuries had beset the 2010 team and as with any organization the coaching staff underestimated those losses to the roster as a whole . And it’s clear as a result of that the franchise ation believes it best to have players complemental and befitting a team that seeks the game’s ultimate prize _______ the Superbowl .

Noted veterans on this Carolina Panthers’ roster such as Steve Smith , Jeremy Shockey , Chris Gamble , DeAngelo Williams , Jordan Gross , Chris Massey and Jason Baker will have to step up if this team is to have any semblance of success over the course of this season.

By way of production shown in the preseason by the team’s young rookies the fans can expect something of note . Cam Newton , much like the players drafted alongside him by the Carolina Panthers have something to prove Albeit , that the quarterback’s own baptism of fire has been somewhat unspectacular . His rookie classmates Terrell McClain , Sione Fua , Brandon Hogan , Kealoha Pilares , Lawrence Wilson , Zachary Williams and Lee Ziemba are hoping that they too can offer something to this beleaguered franchise. If nothing else , it certainly will be interesting to see what transpires for this team as to their overall play.

For this season’s rookies in their first within the NFL this could very well prove to be an interesting year. Undoubtedly, even for the the players taken in the supplemental draft they too have something to prove . Terrelle Pryor in spite of his off field problems will have to justify the faith shown in him by the Oakland Raiders’ front office . I’d dare say that this is one gamble Al Davis might truly believe in, given his past forays with regard to over-hyped talent that simply didn’t measure up to much . With Pryor at this juncture who knows what he may well be able to offer the team ? Their travails of last season were well documented.

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Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left, listens to instruction from head coach Hue Jackson, right, during their NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

Certainly with the moves made by the organization and through the draft it has to be said the Oakland Raiders are positioning themselves to have a successful run within the AFC West and conference as a whole this season . The team certainly has the offensive capabilities to be amongst the best within the NFL and certainly within the AFC . If the team is able to reproduce that sort of form over the course the season then the Raiders’ fans could very well be for not only a wild ride but perhaps a shot of making the postseason .

Hue Jackson and his coaching staff must be hoping to get the very best out of this team . There’s enough veteran experience on the roster to suggest that Jason Campbell and his contemporaries are capable of providing enough leadership for the rookies on this team . But if there’s said to be a problem for the Raiders it has the consistent lapses by the defense in particular that of the pass defense that has let them down repeatedly over the course of last season . These are the things that John Marshall as the defensive coordinator will be lookin g to tweak over the preseason while Al Saunders will be looking to fine tune the skill-set of the team’s quarterbacks and that of the offense .

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What traits do you believe Cam Newton has that may well convince you that he is capable of being a success in the NFL ? Or do you believe that he will essentially be a work in progress over the next couple of years ? And are you of the opinion that the Oakland Raiders can be a legitimate contender within the AFC West and conference this upcoming season ? Simply leave a comment on the points raised within this piece and as usual thanks for the continued support as it is greatly appreciated !

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

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(1) New York Jets’ David Harris intercepts a pass by New York Giants’ Eli Manning during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game, Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets won 17-3 . AP Photo/Julio Cortez …..

(2) Brandon Jacobs (27) of the New York Giants greets Plaxico Burress (17) of the New York Jets after their pre season game on August 29, 2011 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images ……..

(3) CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Gibril Wilson (27) of the Cincinnati Bengals makes a tackle against DeAngelo Williams (34) of the Carolina Panthers during an NFL preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13 . Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……

(4) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera looks on during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ………

(5) Jimmy Clausen (2) of the Carolina Panthers runs away from pressure while trying to pass during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13 . Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images ……

(6) CINCINNATI, OH – AUGUST 25: Cam Newton (1) and Jordan Gross (69) of the Carolina Panthers celebrate after Newton’s 16-yard touchdown run during an NFL preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on August 25, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 24-13. Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images …….

(7) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) meet after the Bengals defeated the Panthers 24-13 in an NFL football game, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 in Cincinnati. AP Photo/Tony Tribble ……

(8) Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson walks off the field after the Raiders lost to the New Orleans Saints 40-20 in a preseason NFL football game in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ) …….

(9) OAKLAND, CA – AUGUST 28: Taiwan Jones (36) of the Oakland Raiders runs twenty two yards for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the third quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the O.co Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ….

(10) Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (6) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011, in Oakland, Calif. AP Photo/Paul Sakuma ……

(11) Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor, left, listens to instruction from head coach Hue Jackson, right, during their NFL football training camp in Napa, Calif., Friday, Aug. 26, 2011. AP Photo/Eric Risberg …..

(12) Jason Campbell (8) of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the O.co Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ………
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Let ESPN Report To You A Story And I Can Smell The Bullshit Coming From A Mile !

Let ESPN Report To You A Story And I Can Smell The Bullshit Coming From A Mile !

So it’s now much ado about nothing but it would seem that not only is ESPN intent on reporting the news if at all possible they would rather create the news. Amongst the channel’s litany of analysts you have cabal of analysts that purport to provide the viewer with some semblance of analysis on the NFL game . It would appear that Merrill Hoge rather than providing some insight on the events would rather elicit the sort of response often observed from the ignorance and bigotry shown on the political news channels one can view.

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Hoge’s somewhat taciturn dislike of the Denver Broncos’ young quarterback Tim Tebow seems to have taken on an almost venal tone . Rather than scrutinize the apparent flaws what he believes to be the player’s game it’s as if Merrill Hoge is out to lambast the player and if anything place a noose around the kid’s neck . Granted, there have always been questions about Tim Tebow’s game stemming from his years at Florida . But what one simply cannot deny is that the former Gator had a stellar career and his resume’ speaks for itself. Hoge for his part much like his peers at the Bristol , Connecticut based sports’ programmer has become more akin to making themselves the story rather than actually reporting the story . Or I could suggest that they’d rather create some controversy and bilk that event for all that it’s worth !

In the midst of this fomenting story we have the incumbent quarterback Kyle Orton who it would appear that the Denver Broncos had sought to trade in the off-season. With there being no takers for the player the front office led by the Head of Football Operations John Elway will now see how both Orton and Tebow acquit themselves during the preseason training camp and no doubt during the team’s preseason games . There’s no doubt that John Fox and his coaching staff will also be looking to assess the roster in terms of the rookie players . The team’s biggest offensive threat Brandon Lloyd knows that in order for this team to improve on last year’s disappointing season they will have to play at a much higher level . And it is here that John Fox will look to impart his experience and knowledge unto the team.

The fans in Denver are yearning to see Tim Tebow take the helm of this team as they’ve simply been accustomed to mediocrity during the ensuing seasons after retirement of John Elway and the subsequent departure of Mike Shanahan . The former coach’s successor was Josh McDaniels whose tenure with the Broncos was an unmitigated disaster . There’s not much that can be said about a former protege’ of Bill Belichick who in essence brought about as much experience to the Denver Broncos as a young virgin about to give up her virginity for the very first time. McDaniel’s biggest strength was said to be his ability to communicate and steadily improve the talents of a quarterback under his tutelage . And his biggest success to date would have to be Tom Brady . That being said when one assess the quarterbacks on this Broncos’ team you can clearly see that there’s not a player there in the mold or caliber of Brady. Much of the indifference and malaise behind the failures of the Denver Broncos simply has been the poor play and inconsistency of the team that has been their biggest downfall.

In the AFC West where the Denver Broncos reside they will find themselves up against the likes of the San Diego Chargers , Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs . The division itself is not viewed as one of the mainstays or powerhouses of the NFL but if anything it’s simply known as one of those divisions where if anything you have to be perplexed by the overall lack of real consistency and play of the teams residing there.

In what should be a very interesting season for Tim Tebow we should be able to assess the talents of the player. What Merrill Hoge has failed to disseminate in his criticism of the player was the very fact that the NFL lockout will have hindered the player’s progress. And as determined as Tebow is said to be there’s no denying that this lockout has been more of a setback than some will care to willingly admit. Instead of being productive in his assessment of the player he was simply has harangued him, set about a maelstrom of intrigue that in essence is unwarranted . It has been this sort of stupidity that we now tend see more frequently from former NFL players turned analysts who simply choose to spew whatever diatribe they believe will actually create the biggest sound byte possible . Much of the time I simply mute the sound when a number of these so called analysts that are front and center on the television screen. It is unfortunate that a broadcaster of ESPN’s undoubted pedigree would now choose to sink to such a low but then again their biggest strength has now become also its greatest weakness. The sports’ broadcast outlet now lacks credibility , journalist integrity and if one could imagine tabloid reporting at the level we’ve become accustomed to then ESPN would simply be representative of that ! The outlet now has become a three ringed circus of epic proportions in terms of its reporting and alleged journalism that they feel is meant to be informative.

Away from the idiocy now raging within Bristol , Connecticut , what beckons now for the NFL is a preseason that will somehow give us something of an indication as how the franchises are liable to perform with the rookies looking to make an impression on their respective teams . And for teams such as the Carolina Panthers last season’s cellar dweller within the league having posted a 2-14 record . And it will be interesting to see how the Panthers perform with Ron Rivera the organization’s newly installed coach and his respective coaching staff . For the NFL’s number one overall draft pick of this past season Cam Newton will be under the microscope as he looks to prove his doubters wrong in showing that his game can translate favorably to the professional ranks. If Newton can lead this Carolina Panthers’ team to any semblance of success in terms of a winning record then it would matriculate well with the fans. Given the failings of the team this past season I think that they will either sink or swim with the talent of Cam Newton .

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Do you feel that Merrill Hoge has been justified in his open criticism of Tim Tebow ? And what any if anything do you feel will be the bright signs for the Denver Broncos this upcoming season ? Any thoughts you may well have with regard to the points raised within this piece simply chime in with a comment .

Alan aka tophatal ……………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

Contact tophatal ………… rapptu@gmail.com

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ESPN on air NFL analyst Merrill Hoge seen here in studio . The former NFL player often outspoken seems to have taken his verbiage to a new level in his criticism of Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow. Bearing in mind that he’s failed to explain succinctly why it is he feels that Broncos’ starter Kyle Orton to his mind really gives the team a better opportunity to win . Courtesy of telepresenceoptics.com ……

(2) Hoge sartorially dressed serves up his vitriolic fecal matter for the fans’ consumption, as to whether or not it’s to their delight I’ll leave it for you all be the judge of that ! AP Photo /Rich Perry …. ……..

(3) Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow laughs as he signs autographs for fans after a scrimmage at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski …..

(4) Denver Broncos head coach John Fox watches as his team works out at a scrimmage at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski …………

(5) Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton (8) throws a pass as quarterback Tim Tebow (15) and rookie quarterback Adam Weber , right, watch at Invesco Field in Denver during NFL football training camp on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Ed Andrieski ……

(6) Head coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos and Brian Xanders , General Manager, watch the team during training camp at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre at Dove Valley on July 28, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images ….

(7) Denver Broncos vice president of football operations John Elway (L), owner Pat Bowlen and new head coach John Fox share a laugh before Fox addressed the media at Dove Valley on January 14, 2011 in Englewood, Colorado. Fox was named the 14th head coach in Broncos history yesterday after spending the last nine seasons as head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Getty Images North America / Justin Edmonds ……….
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Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Be Scared, Be Very Scared …. We’re Not Alone …….The NFL Is Now Very Much Alive And Kicking

Well now that the idiocy of the NFL labor dispute has ended not unlike the actions of the sitting Congress and Senate I am beginning to wonder what’s next on the agenda . As we have seen the moves made by the teams have left a number of fans with feeling bewildered and at the same time surprised . With Randy Moss not being picked up by a franchise the erstwhile veteran wide receiver announced his retirement from the NFL . The thirteen year pro now rides off into the sunset as one of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game . A bona fide certainty for the Hall of Fame will be adjudged by those who deem it fitting to have the player enshrined in Canton , Ohio.

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If anything Randy Moss will now devote most of his time to business ventures outside the game , from his charitable foundation to other entrepreneurial deals. The player an avid NASCAR fan has a truck operation running in the lower tiered NASCAR Truck Series under his Randy Moss Racing motif . Unlike his contemporary Brett Favre I do believe that the player has walked away from the game for good , albeit there are a number of analysts who believe that a team will somehow call the player to gauge his interest in returning to the game.

Now there’s no denying that the upcoming season will be an intriguing one in more ways than we can all imagine. League wise and certainly from a standpoint there are number of teams that will be looking to acquit themselves well . Perhaps none more so than the Carolina Panthers after their disastrous sojourn during 2010 and coming off a 2-14 record . With the departure of John Fox who’s now the coach of the Denver Broncos the organization hired Ron Rivera as Fox’s successor .

The Carolina Panthers come into the season having drafted Cam Newton as the overall number one pick in the 2011 NFL Draft . The Panthers for their part have tried to retain the core of last year’s team but they have made moves in light of pursuing free agents and meeting their obligations to signing their draft picks . As to whether or not Cam Newton’s college game transfers itself well to the NFL remains to be seen . The knock against him may well be his maturity but there’s no denying that he has the athletic ability to make it in the professional ranks . But the caveat to my mind as an example will be the missteps of JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young . All the athletic ability in the world but their football IQ ranks alongside that of a mentally challenged individual .

If ever there was a organization whose window of opportunity over the last few years has diminished greatly then it would certainly have to be that of the San Diego Chargers . This team has lived solely on the shoulders of Philip Rivers alone and as good as he has been I certainly now believe that the team now has to step up to the plate and really make some noise . And for coach Norv Turner and his staff this may well be the last chance he has because I firmly believe that should the Chargers once again fall short then GM AJ Smith and team owner Dean Spanos will not have a choice but fire Turner and the entire coaching staff . For far too long Turner has simply been riding and living by achievements of Jimmy Johnson for whom he served as a coordinator during during the glory years of the Dallas Cowboys under Johnson’s tenure as the team’s coach. I have still yet to understand when a vacant position was up for grabs in the NFL somehow Norv Turner’s name would be mentioned as a viable candidate. Turner’s greatest strengths to my mind are that he has always been a very good offensive coordinator. As an NFL head coach I think that the praise heaped upon him has been needlessly exaggerated ! He’s good but not that good !

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San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

The loss of LaDanian Tomlinson though thought not to be profound may well have been the one thing shaped the persona of the team but its free fall I firmly believe affected this organization far more than some are readily willing to admit . Last season Phillip Rivers put some stellar numbers that placed amongst the “> upper echelons of the NFL quarterbacks playing in the league. Last season’s top performing offense was exemplary and it simply showed why they were so prolific . In all facets of the offense the Chargers were up to the task but their passing and game was really in essence the thing that set them apart from their peers .

Now it goes without saying that a team that cannot overcome injuries and the very fact that its roster then the their failings will be manifested greatly . The Chargers suffered with these issues and many more during this past season and it’s thought with the draft picks made they should be able to overcome those worries . AJ Smith along with the coaching staff have been fortunate over the years that they have had their successes in the draft but also along with that have come some failures .

Inasmuch as this will be a make or break season for the San Diego Chargers it will be interesting to see how productive their young rookies and sophomore players will be interesting to see what contributions will be made by Corey Liguet , Marcus Gilchrist , Jonas Mouton and Vincent Brown amongst the players in this past NFL Draft.

The AFC West as a division should be very interesting with the likes of the Oakland Raiders , Denver Broncos , Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers all vying for supremacy within that particular standing. And for each of the coaches Hu Jackson , John Fox and Todd Haley along with Norv Turner , all looking to prove their worth amongst their peers as well as the fans. It may well be that the determining factor will be down to experience and the bravado shown by the coaches in question.

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The past two seasons for the San Diego Chargers we’ve seen the team invariably come up short . And with there now being concerns to their impending future this has to be a make or break season for the organization. Anything short of playoff berth and at least the conference championship will have to be deemed a failure. To those who would suggest to the contrary obviously are not really aware of the mindset the real issues that Dean Spanos and the organization now faces off the field apart from the frailties shown by the team competitively on it . It’s now or never for the Chargers as it will be for the other 31 teams in the NFL . And interestingly enough I can’t help but wonder what is now going on inside the minds of the coaches and the respective general managers around the league as they embark on this season

What thoughts if any do you have on the various points raised within the piece ? Simply leave a comment as to your opinions and as always thanks for the continued support !

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

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(1) EDEN PRAIRIE, MN – OCTOBER 7: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss answers questions from the media during a press conference at Winter Park on October 7, 2010 in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images…

(2) Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera smiles during practice at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ….

(3) Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) talks to receivers Brandon LaFell (11) and Gary Barnidge (82) during practice at NFL football training camp in Spartanburg, S.C., Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2011. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(4) In this July 30, 2011 photo Carolina Panthers’ Cam Newton (1) walks to the field with teammate DeAngelo Williams (34) at the NFL football team’s training camp in Spartanburg, S.C. Williams saw something changing at Carolina that made him want to be part of the Panthers. “‘It is what it is,’ is n more,” said Williams, mimicking one of ex-coach John Fox’s favorite sayings. AP Photo/Chuck Burton ……

(5) San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner talks to the team during NFL football training camp in San Diego, Monday, Aug. 1, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson …..

(6) San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner, left, smiles as he talks with quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during practice at their NFL football training camp, Saturday, July 30, 2011, in San Diego, Calif. AP Photo/Alex Gallardo …..

(7) San Diego Chargers running back Isaac Odim (41) runs a play during the second day of the NFL football team’s training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(8) San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky runs a drill during the second day of their NFL training camp in San Diego, Friday, July 29, 2011. AP Photo/Denis Poroy ……

(9) San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates, foreground, works out during the first day of NFL football training camp in San Diego, Thursday, July 28, 2011. AP Photo/Chris Carlson ……

(10) From left, San Diego Chargers general manager A.J. Smith, president Dean Spanos, Liuget, first round draft choice Corey Liuget, from the University of Illinois, and coach Norv Turner. pose at a news conference Friday, April 29, 2011 in San Diego. AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi ……
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It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !

It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………….. Triumph Or Go Home !

The wildcard rounds of the playoffs begin this weekend and with a number of games set to get the fans salivating at their outcome . No game might be more intriguing than the NFC match-up that pits the Philadelphia Eagles against the Green Bay Packers . To my mind these are two evenly matched teams that are well coached by Andy Reid and Mike McCarthy respectively. Furthermore even with the advent of the play of Michael Vick I for one don’t believe this is by any means a foregone conclusion ! There’s enough here to suggest even with their records and play late in the season this game could go either way just like the flip of a coin.

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As good as Michael Vick has been playing, his counterpart Aaron Rodgers in spite of his injuries appears to be as tough as they come and willing to do battle in order for the Packers to win. And not only that it’d appear that the Lambeau faithful have taken Rodgers to their heart while onetime hero Brett Favre now remains a distant memory. He may well be still beloved in certain parts of Green Bay but I’m not so sure that holds through for the entire state of Wisconsin much less the rest of the country. This Packers’ team has shown a great deal of resiliency in spite of repeated adversity and when many may well have felt all was lost , they’ve risen to the challenge and this may well be one of the reasons why they could upset the apple cart as far as this match-up is concerned .

Defensively at times both teams have struggled but the Packers might well have the edge in that department . Where the advantage lies is in the fact that McCarthy’s coaching staff will have to deal with the mercurial and enigmatic play of Michael Vick . And as we know given his play this season a game can be turned at the drop of a hat. And I’ve no doubt that both defenses will be rigorously tested by the respective offenses at game time. This may well also become a game of attrition if neither side can find an opening but if it isn’t, then look for it to be something of a one sided affair with the winner showing the tenacity needed to seek out a win.

While many of us will have no doubt question the merits of a 7-9 team making the playoffs the Seattle Seahaws as winners of the NFC West are now there by right. And given what we’ve come to expect from that division within recent years I’m not entirely surprised. Sadly this is now what the league and to an essence the competitiveness of that division has now become where mediocrity is immediately rewarded rather than substance. How else can you explain when teams such as the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with better records but failed to make the playoffs ?

The Seahawks will have the privilege of hosting Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints this weekend and it remains to be seen whether or not the reigning Superbowl champions have overcome their recent slump of late. Both teams come into the postseason with a great deal to prove …….. the Saints in proving that they’re worthy champions and looking to make a successful defense of their title . Whereas Pete Carrolls’ team is simply looking for respect and a chance to upset the apple cart .

This game will certainly down to as the stealth of the Saints’ potent offense and how good this Seahawks’ defense is presumed to be. And given what we’ve seen from that defense this season they will have to be at the very top of their game . Having been ranked in the lower echelons of all of the defensive categories this season it remains to be seen whether not they will be able to counter act whatever the New Orleans Saints will be able to throw at them . What the Seahawks will have to their distinct advantage will be a home crowd of raucous fans at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington who will essence become the team’s twelfth man. If Matt Hasselbeck can rise to the occasion and lead this Seahawks’ team with any semblance of competitive instinct then this game could be a great deal closer than most would expect it to be . Discerning a victor from the midst of this all will come down to who has the greater appetite for the win.

With all of the off the field antics and some might say the overbearing personality of the New York Jets’ coach Rex Ryan one can’t help but wonder what the coach will do next. Apart from one time proclaiming the Jets the best team in the league this season Ryan has repeatedly put his foot in his mouth with some of his rather outrageous statements. Needless to say fans far and wide have either ridiculed the coach or supported his claims in part. Now comes crunch time for the team as they meet the Indianapolis Colts in a highly anticipated game that’s a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game .

Ryan and his team are certainly looking for redemption and the same can be said too for the Peyton Manning led Colts after their immense letdown in last season’s Superbowl against the New Orleans Saints . Many believed that the Indianapolis Colts would have the better of that Saints’ team on the day but that was clearly not the case as the defense of the Colts was exposed as flawed and extremely slow. Brees simply shredded that team almost at will and nothing could hide the disappointment from Manning’s face at the end of the day. To top it all off we then had the rather asinine claim by Colts’ GM Bill Polian that the reason for the team’s loss was the fact that the offensive line didn’t play well. This was a collective loss on all parts as the Colts were simply outplayed in every facet of the game and nothing can hide that fact not even the infantile rants of the team’s general manager.

It will be interesting to see how this Jets’ defense measures up against the Colts’ offense and how in fact they’re able to deal with Peyton Manning . One thing is sure this game won’t be short on drama whichever way you look at it and if Mark Sanchez is keen to prove that last season’s form was no fluke then now will be the time for him to prove that fact. As he goes so does this team and if he’s not performing at the highest caliber then the Jets’ postseason ambitions could come to an abrupt end once again at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.

In this season of surprises within the NFL perhaps none could have been more of a surprise than the turnaround initiated by Todd Haley and the coaching staff of the Kansas City Chiefs . Having handily won the AFC West where many had expected to make the San Diego Chargers to make their normal late season charge the Chiefs simply held on whereas the Chargers fell by the wayside . Can someone please remind the Chargers that the NFL season is one played of sixteen games and not eight or nine as they and their fans have now come to expect ? Sooner or later it had to catch up with them and it’s safe to say that even with the exploits of Philip Rivers this season way too much was being asked of the player to lead this team into the postseason.

The Chiefs will have the privilege of hosting the Baltimore Ravens and somehow I get the feeling that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed of this Ravens’ team will be baying for blood as they look to seperate Matt Cassel’s head from his shoulders . I’m not suggesting that this won’t be a baptism of fire for this Chiefs’ team but I just hope that there are several fire engines and marshals in attendance at Arrowhead Stadium once this game begins. There’s liable to so much heat brought to this party by the Ravens that I’m not too sure that the Chiefs might be able to withstand the onslaught.

On the flip side of this , the Chiefs offense led by Cassel has a number of offensive weapons that could waylay the ambitions of John Harbaugh’s team. Thomas Jones , Jamaal Charles and Dwayne Bowe are liable to give the Ravens’ defense all that they can handle if they’re left to their own devices as they’ve become the main threats on offense this season for the Kansas City Chiefs. And the trio are one the main reasons behind the success of the franchise this season in convergence with the team acquiring both Charlie Weis and Romeo Crennel to take over the coaching responsibilities of the offense and defense respectively. If the Chiefs are to endure then it will come down to the coaching strategies put into place by Haley and his staff and how his team goes about executing that plan.

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Picture gallery by clicking on each individual frame you can a picture in its originally
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What thoughts if any do have with regard to the wildcard round of the playoffs and which game do you anticipate will be the most entertaining to watch ? Simply chime in with a comment and as always thanks for the continued support as it’s gratefully appreciated !

NB : Click on the link shown to view the latest news in the NFL .

NFL News

Teams receiving a bye are the New England Patriots , Pittsburgh Steelers , Atlanta Falcons and Chicago Bears .

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………………….

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Continue reading “It’s Fair Game This Weekend …………………… Triumph Or Go Home !”

Failure Is Not An Option ………………….

Failure Is Not An Option ………………..

Well it was all about the San Diego Chargers supposedly marching to an AFC West title but alas it wasn’t to be . Repeatedly the Chargers and their fans seem to believe that for them the season is one of simply playing 8 meaningful games out of sixteen and then they’re assured a place in the postseason . Well for the prognosticators out there who felt that way it goes to show that for all of your bravura you simply have no respect for what’s happening within the division as a whole. What gave you the impression that this Chargers’ team was simply good enough to begin with ? Being in awe of the season of Philip Chargers and what he’s been able to achieve is simply meaningless when the rest of the team can’t respond to pressure when it really counts ? Excuses may well be made that that they’ve had injuries and then the off the field problems concerning Vincent Jackson but at the end of the day it all comes down to the preparation of the coaching staff and that of the players .

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Chargers’ GM A J Smith and Norv Turner’s coaching staff really now have to assess the needs of this team as clearly they’re not where they need to be . And with the team being summarily being dispatched by the lowly Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday would suggest that the AFC West is no longer the Chargers’ personal domain. With the loss (34-20)the team was eliminated from the playoffs and with the now resurgent Kansas City Chiefs now winning the division, a playoff berth ____ Turner and the Chargers now have to look at their season as one of , what might have been.

Courtesy of Associated Press & Yahoo Sports

Bengals knockout Chargers ….

By Joe Kay , AP Sports Writer

CINCINNATI (AP)—This big chill isn’t going to ease anytime soon.

The NFL’s best team in December couldn’t handle its first snowy afternoon. The Chargers dressed for warmups like it was a day at the beach, then froze up the first time they touched the ball. With everything at stake, they went slip-sliding right out of contention.

Carson Palmer was nearly perfect in the swirling snow—four touchdowns, no interceptions—in the Cincinnati Bengals’ 34-20 win on Sunday that ended the Chargers’ streak of four straight years in the playoffs as AFC West champs.

“It’s tough anytime you’re eliminated from a chance of playing for the postseason,” said quarterback Philip Rivers , who had an ordinary game in his usually superlative month. “It’s something I haven’t dealt with since I’ve been playing here. This was the final straw.”

The Chargers (8-7) knew they had to win to stay a game behind Kansas City (10-5), which beat Tennessee earlier Sunday. A loss would knock them out of contention and give the Chiefs the title.

San Diego had won 20 of its last 21 games in December, though most of those came in favorable climates or domed stadiums. Playing their coldest game in nearly three years, the Chargers froze and cracked.

“Words can’t really explain how we feel right now,” safety Eric Weddle said. “Our season is done. It’s probably the worst feeling you can have.”

The Bengals (4-11) are ending one of their worst seasons with telling satisfying moments.

Palmer, a Southern California kid, led them to their second straight win with a cast of reserve receivers. His 59-yard touchdown to Jerome Simpson — playing in place of the injured Chad Ochocinco —highlighted a 21-point fourth quarter against the league’s top-ranked defense.

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Questions will be have to be asked and answered as what needs to done in order to make this team more resilient and consistent. It’s hard to see also how Turner can be retained as the team’s coach if even he can’t explain the team’s failings . As I alluded to earlier it makes no sense simply being in awe of a team that simply plays half the season and then the feeling is that they are the “team” to be feared .That’s complete idiocy and naivete to begin with and furthermore it lends credence as to how god-damn awful the division actually is when a team barely squeaks into the playoffs with mediocre play and not much else that’s actually substantive .

Hopefully team Presdient & CEO Dean Spanos and the infusion now made financially made by billionaire Philip Anschutz will make some sort of difference as to the direction to be taken by the organization . Qualcomm Stadium at present remains the home of the Chargers but with there being ever growing frustration between the city (San Diego) and the team now seems to be awry but the rumblings of a possible relocation to the greater Los Angeles area could very well be pushed to the foreground. The clamor for a team in LA s now reaching seismic proportions but given the city’s financial quagmire and the fact that Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s intent of bringing the NFL back to the city is one of his top priorities I’d like to ask this question ….. since when does the NFL trump the needs of the city in terms of the city cutting programs when it’s running a large budget deficit and at the same time laying off and furloughing staff , then looking to spend money to refurbish a venue that would meet the needs of the NFL and that of the relocated franchise to the city ? Sorry but clearly the city of Los Angeles is showing its naivete’ and sheer stupidity at this juncture ! And it certainly doesn’t augur well for Villaraigosa if he does see this as his best bet of winning over the city’s populace not when he has more acute issues to deal within the “City of Angels”.

From my own perspective what has taken place this year with the Chargers is one of their own making but looking to apportion blame elsewhere would be plainly stupid. How else can one explain it when you’ve a coach who simply lacks passion and a team that is overly reliant one their quarterback repeatedly week in week out to pull them from the precipice of a cliff ? Defensively the Chargers have had their fair share of woes but it’s also clear that in spite of the injuries on offense this team I believe sorely misses LaDainian Tomlinson ! Releasing the player when they could clearly have retained him for one more season could have been the spur needed. Instead their fall from grace will show that the decision made by A J Smith and Dean Spanos would prove to be ever so costly. In the NFL failure isn’t really an option but clearly competitively it hurts an organization but from a financial standpoint it has also placed the Chargers in something of a conundrum as to what their next move should be and that of their long term future . At this juncture those failings are far more than the Chargers’ organization is willing to admit .

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What thoughts if any do you have on the Chargers’ fall from grace this season and what choices do you feel that they have as it relates to their immediate future ? By all means leave a comment as to your own thoughts on this topic and anything else as it relates to the NFL this season ?

NB By clicking on the link s provided below you can view details on the San Diego Chargers

AFC West Standings ……………………………… AFC divisional standings

Conference Standings …

San Diego Chargers profile. —————– Chargers news

San Diego Chargers roster & depth chart

San Diego Chargers coach Norv Turner and the coaching staff

Chargers front office staff .

Alan aka tophatal ……………………..

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Casci-XXL  Magazine

Eye candy ………… Courtesy of XXL Magazine Casci as usual looking delicious !

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NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

The NFL —– season has been one of surprises and a great deal of disappointment and if anything the off the field stories have been just as suspenseful as the intrigue on the field. Brett Favre’s downward spiral into mediocrity has been one big hoop-lah after the other. And it would appear that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would rather suborn the player’s behavior and hide behind the fact that quite possibly Favre’s imminent retirement will circumvent him having to suspend the player if his verdict is in fact a positive one that finds the player guilty any wrongdoing in his alleged sexual misconduct concerning a former New York Jets’ employee.

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On the field we’ve seen the fall from grace of the Minnesota Vikings and Dallas Cowboys the presumptive favorites to make it to this season’s NFC championship game. And as much as I’d like to say that it all came as a surprise to me but in reality nothing pleased me more than seeing both of these over hyped and underachieving teams fall like a lead balloon. Foolhardy management, inadequate coaching and players who simply were complacent essentially played a part in the soap opera that has encapsulated both teams’ season. For owners Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf they’ve seen their year fall apart and that of any ambition they had professionally as well as from a financial standpoint. In Wilf’s case it was also the prospect of having the upper hand in terms of persuading the state legislature in their upcoming vote for a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. Jerry Jones’ ambition of not only hosting the Superbowl as the NFC representative has been shot to hell .

Coaching changes are abound with two firings have taken place Wade Philips , Brad Childress and it’s clear that with the Cincinnati Bengals —– Marvin Lewis choosing not to return to the team next season we may well be in for a slew of coaching upheavals with there being speculation as to whether or not the likes of Jon Gruden , Bill Cowher and Tony Dungy will be making a return to the NFL. They are viewed as the top three desirable coaching free agents on the market and it’d be asinine to think that a number of teams around the NFL won’t offer the trio an interview for any vacancy that may well arise.

Now while a number of teams are now in the mix for a playoff spot as well as those divisional titles that have yet to be settled . It goes without saying that for those teams who could end up playing spoiler and put an end of those postseason desirables. In the AFC West where I’ve always maintained that the football being played there borders on being mediocre, I’m still at a loss to understand the explanation and excitement that’s foisted upon the San Diego Chargers because they go on late regular season run as they strive to make the playoffs. For me if you simply can’t be consistent throughout the season then it simply doesn’t augur well for any ambition that they might have as the month of December and January approaches . As it is Norv Turner’s —- team is now in the fight of their life just to win their division and perhaps gain a postseason berth in the playoffs as a wild-card entrant. The division is now simply the Kansas City Chiefs to lose and as I alluded to earlier with the ineptitude being shown as to the form within the division just about anything can happen and actually has happened during the course of the season.

The NFC West has been no different as there we could well see a division winner with a sub .500 record make the playoffs. Clearly there are many fans in general, as well several team executives who feel that this is something that shows why many feel that they’re ought to be a change in the playoff format as it relates to the postseason seedings. But with there being no outwardly directly calls vocally as of yet other than the murmured rumblings for the moment the format is unlikely to change.

Steve Spagnuolo’s —- St Louis Rams appear to be in the driver’s seat with regard to the NFC West and their game against the San Francisco 49ers being a titanic matchup of two teams looking to make their bid. Guided by Sam Bradford , the Rams could be the surprise team of the playoffs as no one could’ve foreseen the strides taken not only by the team but also by Bradford in his rookie season . In terms of the 49ers this has been something of a tumultuous season as from one moment to the next Mike Singletary seems to have lost control of this team . And it would appear that he can’t make up his mind as which quarterback is his best option to lead this team. Alex Smith still remains an enigma despite his five years in the league and with Troy Smith this season has simply seen him placed into his cauldron for his baptism of fire with the 49ers .

The AFC and for all of the drama that has taken place there it seems that Bill Belichick has the New England Patriots riding high and Tom Brady would appear to be now the odds on favorite this season for league MVP. Brady’s year has been an exceptional one with this high scoring offense and a plethora of offensive weapons . But if there’s a cause for concern then it has to be this young defense that has been somewhat inconsistent but then at times they give you a snap as to what they might be potentially by showing their athleticism .

The AFC South now seems to be up for grabs and it appears that the Jacksonville Jaguars may well have played themselves out of contention for the division. A week ago you’d have been hard pressed to have bet against the Jaguars but it now appears that Jim Caldwell and the Indianapolis Colts led by Peyton Manning are is in a fight to make this division theirs once again. The Houston Texans who came out of the starting gates like a stallion seems to have fallen off the track and it now looks as if Gary Kubiak’s tenure as the team’s coach could very well be coming to an abrupt end. With that type of high powered offense it’s easy to see the appetite that the analysts may well have had for the team . But offense alone simply doesn’t win games the Texans’ defense this season has been as porous as a sponge giving up points like a child gives up his or her lunch money having been bullied by an elder child. Let’s just say that the Texans have been extremely philanthropic when it comes to losing.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should they fall at this obstacle it’s hard to see how these players and in particular Jack Del Rio can look the the fans in the eye and state they tried their best. Their best has never and was never good enough , enough it was marginally above average , if that at all !

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Now while many have made the comment that the Cleveland Browns have finally began to show some signs of life playing with a great deal of bravura it has to be said their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals have been an immense disappointment . And despite the outward looking optimism shown by some team members Chad Ochocinco and Carson Palmer have shown little to suggest that they have what it takes to lead this team. The only positive to come out of this all may well have been the play of Terrell Owens who seems to have had a year that shows that he’s got a great deal to play for. Beyond that trying to salvage anything from this mess would be like shoveling manure and then suggesting that some real use can be made of it when you know that the flowers in a garden that have already blossomed.

As to what the remainder of the season portends for the NFL and these teams it remains to be seen what will transpire. But this much is certain with all of the drama that has taken place both on and off the field we do still have the intensity and the thrill of the postseason yet to avail itself to us. Make of it what you will . What thoughts if any do you have as to what you’ve witnessed this season within the NFL and what thoughts if any do you have with regard to the playoffs ?

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..

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Laura-XXL Magazine

Eye candy …………….. Laura looking chivalrous, something to get your appetite up and running.

Worlds Apart, Then There’s The AFC West And The NFC West ……..

I think that it ought to be abundantly clear and plain for all to see that the NFL’s two western divisions might just be the worst that there is, in all of football. If you can categorically state to me what other divisions in the NFL are worst than that of the AFC West and NFC West. Then I’d be quite happy to listen to the arguments that you’re prepared to put forth to justify your claim or claims, as the case maybe.

Arlington, Tx,. December  13th, 2009.Chargers' offensive lineman Larry English (#52) gives  chase to Cowboys'  quarterback, Tony Romo (#9) in a  game played at   Texas Stadium  in  Arlington  , Texas.  The  San  Diego  Chargers  would  go on to  defeat  the   Dallas Cowboys  20-17 .picture appears   courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald  Martinez .....
Arlington, Tx,. December 13th, 2009.Chargers' offensive lineman Larry English (#52) gives chase to Cowboys' quarterback, Tony Romo (#9) in a game played at Texas Stadium in Arlington , Texas. The San Diego Chargers would go on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 .picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ronald Martinez .....

While on the face of it, one can allude to the fact that within those divisions the standout teams are perhaps , the Arizona Cardinals (NFC West) and the San Diego Chargers and the Denver Broncos (AFC West). One could perhaps attest to the fact also that the other teams that make up those respective divisions are essentially at best, no more than average , given the lack of quality and inconsistency of their play.

Broncos’ wide receiver Brandon Marshall seen here playing against the Indianapolis Colts , on his way to an NFL career record. The player would complete 21 receptions during the game , while attaining 200 yards and scoring two touchdowns in a losing effort against the Colts. The single game reception record had been previously held by Terrell Owens, as a San Francisco 49er. Indianapolis remained unbeaten with their 28-16 defeat of the Denver Broncos. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andy Lyons ……

The same ‘old mantra’ is still being used that there’s ‘parity within the NFL’ and that on any given day, an extremely good team can be beaten by a bad team. That may well be the case, but based on the evidence of this season . It has been something of a rarity , albeit that we’ve also seen the likes of Pittsburgh Steelers get upended by the woefully inept Cleveland Browns. That being said , I’m of the opinion that much of the malaise we’re now seeing within the AFC West and NFC West, comes from the utterly poor coaching from within those divisions. The long suffering Oakland Raiders and their fans have had to put up with the continued ridicule of the franchise. Never mind that this time around one can’t really solely apportion blame upon their owner, Al Davis. This time around the brunt of the blame rests squarely on the shoulders of Raiders’ coach Tom Cable and that of his entire coaching staff. One could also argue that the team’s quarterback, JaMarcus Russell has led to a great many of the team’s woes from the outset. Whoever , was behind the scouting of Russell and the final decision to draft the player, clearly needs to have their head examined. And it appears that might come back down to Al Davis, again intervening and make a decision that has set the franchise back at least two three years. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Well , here the Raiders have gained one monumental headache in Russell, whose football IQ might just be slightly lower than that of Paris Hilton’s actual intelligence quotient.

The troubling thing for the Oakland Raiders now , is that with an injury to the newly installed starter at quarterback,Bruce Gradkowski. The team and Cable will now have to reinstall Russell back into the starter’s role. Gradkowski , has done everything asked of him in leading this team with due diligence and not making the mistakes that came with Russell’s nondescript and haphazard game. Cable for his part, seems to be at a loss for words in describing the franchise’s malaise. But therein, he was thrust into the position that he was ill equipped to handle from the very beginning.

The Kansas City Chiefs under coach, Todd Haley continues to struggle and much that comes down to sheer youth and inexperience on this team. And with former Patriots’ GM, Scott Pioli, now overseeing the personnel and development of recruitment for the franchise. It’d be safe to say that their future appears to be in safe hands. But for now, it is the immediacy of winning, learning how to acquire those traits and put them into practice in a competitive form. And for a team that is now 3-10 within the AFC West. Every win that they attain, is something to pin their hopes on and to the very fact that they’re learning something along the way.

San Francisco, December 14th, 2009. Running back Frank Gore (#21) of the San Francisco 49ers rushes with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.   picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/  Ezra  Shaw  ................
San Francisco, December 14th, 2009. Running back Frank Gore (#21) of the San Francisco 49ers rushes with the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Ezra Shaw ................

In the NFC West where the Arizona Cardinals seemingly now have the division to themselves. The likes of the San Francisco 49ers , Seattle Seahawks and St Louis Rams, while eager to put up something of a challenge. They have either been all too inconsistent in their overall play or just exceptionally mediocre to begin with.

Last year’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , has played with a great sense of urgency. But more often than not, there have been slip ups made by Ken Whisenhunt’s Arizona Cardinals’ team. Monday night’s 24-9 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, leads us to believe that the margin between the top team within the division and that of its other domiciled teams might not be as large, as first thought. Somehow, the Cardinals were inexplicably outplayed by a resurgent and resilient team, coached by Mike Singletary. You’d have been hard pressed to guess which was the team had an 8-5 record and a 6-7 record. Such may have been the disparity in terms of their overall play on the night.

Houston , December 13th, 2009.  Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (#8) of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by linebacker Brian Cushing (#56) of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 34-7.   picture appears  courtesy  of  Getty Images/ Bob Levey .......
Houston , December 13th, 2009. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck (#8) of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by linebacker Brian Cushing (#56) of the Houston Texans in the third quarter at Reliant Stadium on December 13, 2009 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 34-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Bob Levey .......

Make of it what you will but I’m of the opinion that Mike Holmgren should not have been allowed to name his successor in waiting while he was the coach of the Seattle Seahawks. As great as a coach, as he has been over the years. Over the latter part his career with the Seahawks , the game essentially had begun to pass him by and personnel choices with regard to the Seahawks’ roster hadn’t paid any real dividends. Upon his retirement from the team, the reins were handed over to Jim Mora Jr.. To my mind they might as well have handed the reins over to Attila The Hun , for all of the good that it has done. Jim Mora Jr, is no more an NFL coach than Britney Spears can be considered to be a great singer. But yet somehow Mora has been entrusted with coaching this team ? Far be it for me to suggest but in Mora’s foray as an NFL coach , once he met with real adversity there in Atlanta with the Michael Vick saga. His apportioned blame elsewhere faster than a typhoon hits land. And when it was all said and done he still saw fit to denigrate the organization for the apparent way that he’d been treated. But then again, this was the same individual who when asked by Falcons’ owner , Arthur Blank, whether or not he’d been looking elsewhere for another coaching vacancy, he had the temerity to lie to the owner’s face.

Seattle Seahawks' coach, Jim Mora reacts to a play during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in Houston. picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/  David J. Phillip .........
Seattle Seahawks' coach, Jim Mora reacts to a play during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2009, in Houston. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David J. Phillip .........

Mora , now in position as the Seahawk’s coach. He has shown about as much perception and keenness for the position as a blind man being requested to play hop-scotch in a minefield. He has brought absolutely nothing at all to the table. And the Seahawks have fallen faster from grace than a meteor falling from the sky. No excuses ought to be made about the team being replete with injuries and the apparent loss of Pro Bowl quarterback , Matt Hasselbeck , due to prolonged injuries. Had Holmgren to begin with and then Mora seen fit to attain a backup for the aging quarterback. Then in some ways their problems would not be as acute as they now are.

Steven Jackson (#39) of the St. Louis Rams looks for room while running with the football against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 13, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins  ............
Steven Jackson (#39) of the St. Louis Rams looks for room while running with the football against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field on December 13, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins ............

From being anointed ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’, to now being bogged down in quicksand and their own mediocrity. The St Louis Rams have become a team that is about as welcoming to watch as catching a strain of the H1N1 virus. Let’s just say that the scary thought is that, there’s still no cure for the virus or what ails the Rams as an organization. In spite of it all Rams’ coach, Steve Spagnuolo tries his level best to coach this team to some level of competency and competitiveness. He’d better of coaching ‘Pop Warner’ football at this juncture. This is a team that has no real guidance or any semblance of leadership on the field of play. And the talents of the team’s running back , Steven Jackson, are being sadly wasted on a franchise that has no apparent guts for a fight or the will to win.

Nashville, Tn,  December 13th, 2009.  Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7.   picture  appears courtesy of  Getty Images/  Joe Robbins   ............
Nashville, Tn, December 13th, 2009. Head coach Steve Spagnuolo of the St. Louis Rams looks on against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee. The Titans defeated the Rams 47-7. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Joe Robbins ............

With each passing effort of an NFL game , one can slowly see how moribund that the Rams’ organization and the team has become. And there appears to be no end in sight as to the malaise that the team is now within. They, alongside the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are fighting for the record in futility for this NFL season. Both teams have a record of 1-12 as they both seek to at least attain one more win before the regular season reaches its climax. But that might allude to the fact that both teams don’t want to eschew the fact of missing out on taking the number one overall pick in next year’s NFL draft. The choices are a quarterback or a defensive player ? The Buccaneers have their needs, as do the St Louis Rams. But it’s safe to say that at this juncture none of us really knows what either of the two franchises will do in terms of a choice.

AFC West Divisional Standings

Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
San Diego Chargers 10 3 0 .769 362 259 4-2-0 6-1-0 5-1-0 7-3-0 Won 8
Denver Broncos 8 5 0 .615 256 230 4-2-0 4-3-0 3-1-0 6-4-0 Lost 1
Oakland Raiders 4 9 0 .308 155 316 2-5-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 3-6-0 Lost 1
Kansas City Chiefs 3 10 0 .231 206 342 1-6-0 2-4-0 1-4-0 2-7-0 Lost 3

NFC West Divisional Standings

Team W L T Pct PF PA Home Road Div Conf Streak
Arizona Cardinals 8 5 0 .615 306 258 3-3-0 5-2-0 3-2-0 6-3-0 Lost 1
San Francisco 49ers 6 7 0 .462 269 242 5-2-0 1-5-0 4-1-0 5-4-0 Won 1
Seattle Seahawks 5 8 0 .385 250 301 4-2-0 1-6-0 3-3-0 4-6-0 Lost 1
St. Louis Rams 1 12 0 .077 146 361 0-6-0 1-6-0 0-4-0 1-9-0 Lost 5

I Bitch Slapped Your Mama And She Enjoyed It, So Get Over It ……..

Well last night proved to be something of an eye opener as the two best teams in the AFC West faced off against one another in a divisional match up. The Denver Broncos (6-0) squared off against the San Diego Chargerss (2-3) in a game that would tell us a great deal about both teams and the direction they were heading in. In the NFL this season so far, we’ve seen a great deal to surprise us and a great deal that we’ve all found to be rather disturbing , to say the very least.

Chargers'  quarterback   Philip  Rivers (17)   is  about to  be  sacked  by  Broncos'  line  backer   D J Williams     in  last   night's  game   played   Qualcomm  Stadium  in  San  Diego   ,  California.   The  Chargers   would   go  on  to  lose  the  game  to  the  Broncos  34-23   ,  with  the  Broncos  remaining  unbeaten  within  the  league.       picture  appears  courtesy of   ap/photo/  Denis  Poroy   ..................
Chargers' quarterback Philip Rivers (17) is about to be sacked by Broncos' line backer D J Williams in last night's game played Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California. The Chargers would go on to lose the game to the Broncos 34-23 , with the Broncos remaining unbeaten within the league. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Denis Poroy ..................

Last night in some ways proved to be sobering but if you happened to be Chargers’ fan. Then I’d have to say that you can’t have been too pleased by what you saw from this Norv Turner coached team. The San Diego Chargers while showing some resiliency were never truly in this game. They were outshone by Josh McDaniels’ team and the way they applied themselves to the task at hand. And with the notable play of Broncos’ players Kyle Orton, Brian Dawkins, Brandon Marshall, Elvis Dumervil and Eddie Royal . One could see why this was going to be an extremely torturous night for the San Diego Chargers.

Broncos'  punt  and  kick   returner   Eddie  Royal  on  his  way  to  a  touchdown   against the   San  Diego  Chargers   in  last  night's  game.  It   would   be  one  of  two   touchdowns  scored  by the  player.   He   scored   a   TD   on  a  kick off  return   and  then  another   on  a  punt   return.  Royal   would   join  the   select  few  of  only   11  players  to  have   achieved  a similar    feat  in  an   NFL  game.      picture  appears   courtesy  of    ap/photo/ Richard  Haskill   .................................
Broncos' punt and kick returner Eddie Royal on his way to a touchdown against the San Diego Chargers in last night's game. It would be one of two touchdowns scored by the player. He scored a TD on a kick off return and then another on a punt return. Royal would join the select few of only 11 players to have achieved a similar feat in an NFL game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Richard Haskill .................................

It’s been said that the Broncos’ strength has been its defensive line . But I’d also state that their offense is not something that ought to be overlooked. As they’ve a passing attack that is as good any other elite team within the NFL . And their run offense is not as bereft talent as some might believe. Not when you’ve got a willing young rookie in Knowshon Moreno to play alongside such seasoned veterans as Correll Buckhalter and LaMont Jordan . But this wasn’t solely about the individuals mentioned as it was more to do with a team effort , more than anything else. The Broncos systematically had their way with the Chargers and they were made to pay for their lax play several times over.

Chargers'  players   hang  their   heads   during  the   waning   moments   of  the  game    played  against    the  Denver  Broncos  .      picture  appears   courtesy  of  ap/photo/  Denis  Poroy    ....................
Chargers' players hang their heads during the waning moments of the game played against the Denver Broncos . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Denis Poroy ....................

The San Diego Chargers for their part seemed initially up to the task. But the errant play and missed tackles proved to be costly. But what was even more disturbing was the lack of presence in the play of Chargers’ linebacker Shawne Merriman He’s said to be the glue that holds this defensive line together. Well based on last night’s evidence, I’d say that Merriman and the rest of that defensive line ought to be due for the glue factory. They’ve moved with all the adeptness of a three legged horse that was due to be euthanized. There seemed to be no urgency in their play. And what became more apparent was that once the Broncos attained a lead that they would never relinquish. The more the Chargers’ defense and the rest of the team seemed to give up hope. The more inevitable it became the game was was beyond their reach.

Eddie  Royal (19)  of the   Broncos  seen  here  as  he   evades  the  Chargers   Jacob Hester  (22)    during  the   game   played  at   Qualcomm  Stadium  in   ,  San  Diego  ,  California.   The   Chargers   would   fall   34-23   to their   AFC divisional   rivals   and   fall   further   adrift  of  them  within  the  division.      picture  appears   courtesy  of    getty images  /   Jacob  de  Golish    .........................
Eddie Royal (19) of the Broncos seen here as he evades the Chargers Jacob Hester (22) during the game played at Qualcomm Stadium in , San Diego , California. The Chargers would fall 34-23 to their AFC divisional rivals and fall further adrift of them within the division. picture appears courtesy of getty images / Jacob de Golish .........................

I don’t know whether or not this is a reflection of the coaching of Norv Turner. But most definitely this team has now lost focus and is most definitely bereft of leadership on and off the field. It certainly isn’t now coming from either the team’s quarterback Philip Rivers , nor is it coming from their talented running back LaDainian Tomlinson. The latter of whom, was replaced late in the game because in Turner’s eyes, he wasn’t productive enough. The player showed his displeasure by strolling the sidelines and being vocal about being replaced in the game by teammate, Darren Sproles.

Philip  Rivers  of  the  Chargers  congratulates  the  Broncos'  cornerback     Champ  Bailey   after the  game  .        picture  appears  courtesy  of  getty  images/   Jacob  de  Golish      .......................
Philip Rivers of the Chargers congratulates the Broncos' cornerback Champ Bailey after the game . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jacob de Golish .......................

At (2-3) , the San Diego Chargers now face the daunting task that they have to turn their season around rather quickly , if they’re retain any semblance of respect , to it. They were viewed as the prohibitive and presumptive favorites to win their division. Given the fact, that other teams within the division were in some disarray. But who could’ve foreseen that the Denver Broncos would be the surprise team of the league , within the NFL ? Never mind the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders , still seem to be mired in mediocrity, in terms of their on field presence and play ! But these are the things that makes the NFL so appealing but yet at the same time so appalling . But that would be especially true of the AFC West, which may well be the worst division in all of the NFL ?

Broncos'  running  back  Knowshon  Moreno (27)  goes   up  and  over   for   the   first   down   against  the  San  Diego   Chargers   during  the  game .        picture  appears   courtesy   of  getty  images/ Donald  Miralle   ......................
Broncos' running back Knowshon Moreno (27) goes up and over for the first down against the San Diego Chargers during the game . picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Donald Miralle ......................

Now with the resultant loss to the Broncos 34-23 and the fact that, the Chargers are now left in an untenable position within the division. It has to be said that the team and in particular its manager Norv Turner and GM, A . J. Smith face some very pressing issues concerning the team’s morale and overall the shape of its roster . With 4:00 p.m today being the NFL trade deadline , it remains to be seen whether or not the Chargers will be amongst the movers and shakers making a change in their team’s personnel. One way or another, something needs to be done with regard to the team. It might not be what their fans had hoped to see at this juncture but at the same time they’ve been somewhat presumptuous in thinking that they would have the division all to themselves. Little did they know that they’d be bitch slapped about like a woman of ill repute. And when it’s all said and done it looks as of based upon last night’s evidence. They may well have enjoyed that can of a_s whupping bestowed upon by the Broncos , just a little too much for their fans’ own liking. I mean it was characterized in the players’ demeanor after the game. They merely shrugged it off as if it were just another day at the office. Seemingly, unperturbed as to what it may well have meant to their season.

Norv  Turner  (left), coach  of the   San  Diego  Chargers   shakes  the  hand  of   his   opposing  number   ,  Josh  McDaniels   of  the  Denver   Broncos  after  the   game.    picture   appears  courtesy  of    getty  images/   Donald  Miralle    ...........................
Norv Turner (left), coach of the San Diego Chargers shakes the hand of his opposing number , Josh McDaniels of the Denver Broncos after the game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Donald Miralle ...........................

Suffice to say that’s only to be expected from a Chargers’ team that has been so full of itself over the last few years. They’ve yet to prove to the rest of the league and fans around the NFL that they’re as good as they make themselves out to be. ‘nough said !