Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Oops Upside Your Head I Said Oops Upside Your Head !

Well week one of the NFL season came about with a bang and in some cases something of a whimper given the rather morbid performances of some noted players. Anyone who witnessed the performance of Donovan McNabb in the Minnesota Vikings loss 24-17 to the San Diego Chargers . And though Chargers’ fans may well feel that they can take a great deal out this victory , in truth the team’s performance wasn’t really something to be desired . A seven point win but it was simply the woefully inept performance by Donovan McNabb that surely indicates that the player’s best years are behind him . Anyone who simply felt that McNabb would be the answer to the team’s woes has to be now rethinking that premise .

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Slide show for your perusal.

From my own perspective , Zygi Wilf and the entire front office of Vikings clearly were sold a “bill of goods” in terms of the McNabb acquisition . As for Minnesota Vikings’ coach Leslie Frazier if he has pinned his hopes on the veteran quarterback leading this team to unprecedented heights then he clearly hasn’t learned anything in the aftermath of the Brett Favre fiasco under his predecessor Brad Childress and then last season with himself at the helm as coach of the team. And with the team’s quarterback Adrian Peterson having signed a multi year multi million contract this looks as if it could be a season of discontent for the Minnesota Vikings . McNabb’s stats from this season opener might just be the most anemic a performance of any quarterback in the league over the past five seasons . 7/15 , for 35 yards 0 TD’s and 0 INT’s and you have to wonder what happens next for the now beleaguered player. .

For those of you out there who are intrigued as to who Leslie Frazier may well choose to step into McNabb’s shoes . If not Joe Webb or Christian Ponder then you might as well say that the Vikings’ goose has been cooked . Without an adept quarterback to lead this team then there’s not a cat in hell’s chance of the Minnesota Vikings having a legitimate chance doing anything meaningful within the NFL this season .

From winning the AFC West last season and then garnering a postseason berth the Kansas City Chiefs had sought to improve on their showing last season . Todd Haley and his coaching staff along with quarterback Matt Cassel were looking to bolster their claims that they could be viewed as a legitimate contender within the AFC . Offseason acquisitions and a draft class thought to be the best amongst the teams within the conference and there might have been every reason to believe the claims made by the staff. Well if you have ever seen an anvil being dropped from a great height then the Chiefs’ 41-7 bludgeoning by the Buffalo Bills . If anything we can all attest to the fact that the Bills might well have been one of the worse performing teams in the NFL last season.

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Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

In this game the Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick had the type of performance that cast him as the second coming of Jim Kelly the Buffalo Bills’ Hall of Fame signal caller . There’s nothing to suggest that this Chiefs’ team possessed anything that was the equal of their conference opponents this past Sunday .

Care to suggest how the Kansas City Chiefs are likely to fare over the course the remainder of the season ? But simply base that thought upon the team’s woefully inept play against the Buffalo Bills . If you believe that the Chiefs are liable to improve then simply say “yes” , if not then obviously you’ll say ” no ” .

Mike Smith as coach of the Atlanta Falcons if he’s improve the goal of this organization . Smith over the past two seasons has seen gradual improvement not only in team’s play but also in the leadership qualities of his quarterback Matt Ryan . The player for his part is seen one of the bright young players at the position within the NFL . The Falcons for their part often regarded as a very good regular season team but come the postseason they simply floundered under the weight of great expectations .

In the Atlanta Falcons’ season opener against the Chicago Bears , wherein we saw an onslaught that the Falcons simply had no answer in a completely lopsided loss that not even most NFL fans would could have envisaged . Jay Cutler and his Bears’ teammates mauled the Atlanta Falcons 30-12 leaving the team in a complete daze. I have to admit that of all the games that took place this past weekend the result that I found to be the most surprising happened to be the lopsided defeat of the Atlanta Falcons .

One could surmise that the entrenched battle . between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers and the absolute bloodbath in terms of the adversarial demeanor between these two heated NFC North foes had to be seen to be believed . Seven turnovers and a slew of mistakes by Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger amongst others on what is usually well disciplined Steelers’ team coached by Mike Tomlinson .

To suggest that anyone could have foreseen the Baltimore Ravens laying waste to the Pittsburgh Steelers 35-7 would simply be a complete lie . The margin of victory was one thing but for the Steelers to be so thoroughly outplayed had to have come as a complete surprise . Joe Flacco , Ray Rice , Terrell Suggs , Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin simply had a day at the office that they could all be pleased with . And for Ravens’ coach John Harbaugh this might be just the evidence needed to suggest that gutting of the roster from last season and the subsequent offseason moves that coincided with the draft picks was a vindication for the Ravens’ front office and coaching staff that the decisions made were simply the right ones at the time.

It is pretty much safe to say that the NFC West might just be the least competitive of all the divisions in the NFL . Anyone of the belief who simply belief that a team that wins its division with a sub .500 record should be viewed as a team with a legitimate chance of winning the Superbowl must be either satisfied with that type of mediocrity or they simply view those teams as viable within the NFL .

Each season the more I simply take in the events of the NFC West it is the more I feel that the appropriate action to take would be get a paper bag and simply begin to regurgitate the food I may well have ate earlier ! To describe the football being played within the division as mediocre would be to describe a painting by Van Gogh as average . Simply put , it’s diatribe being served up on a silver platter for the fans’ edification , not that the NFL fans should be subjected to this over the complete NFL regular season schedule by the teams within that division. But that’s ….. c’est la vie !

The Seattle Seahawks’ Pete Carroll is amongst the highest paid NFL coaches in the league earning in excess of $7 million a year . Granted , team owner Paul Allen is amongst the wealthiest individuals on the planet but I’m sure that even he and GM John Schneider could have imagined wherein the team would simply have regressed rather than taking a step forward . I have never really thought Pete Carroll to be a very good NFL coach as his previous tenures has proven that coaching in the NFL isn’t within his wheelhouse . But this where the front office executives and team owners simply become at times too enamored with a college coach who’s said to have attained unprecedented success. Nick Saban and Steve Spurrier should have been a clear indication that ………. all that glitters isn’t clearly gold .

The Seahawks were hosted by the San Francisco 49ers this past weekend and the effort put forth by Pete Carroll’s team can be best described as being anemic and completely devoid of any aggression . Funny how a team who made the playoffs last season can now be looked upon as quite possibly one of the worst performing franchises in the NFL , on both sides of the ball. The Niners came away with the bragging rights in the divisional game clearly laying waste to their opponent 33-17 . With the loss of Matt Hasselbeck to the Tennessee Titans as a free agent somehow the coach felt that former Vikings’ quarterback Tarvaris Jackson could be seen as an adequate successor to the seasoned veteran . Given Jackson’s performance in that game I somehow think that Pete Carroll’s problems have now increased immeasurably ! The coach’s options at the position are not that great beyond Charlie Whitehurst and Josh Portis , so it is hard to view this team as a viable contender within the NFC much less the league as a whole .

It has to be said that there would be no doubt that the Indianapolis Colts would suffer this season with the long term loss of their celebrated quarterback Peyton Manning . You simply knew that this team wouldn’t be the same with his loss. GM Bill Polian and the front office may well have felt that acquiring seasoned veteran Kerry Collins would indeed make a difference but in reality the Colts are not a team that play on par with a nemesis when they simply haven’t got their best offensive weapon at the helm as the signal caller and in truth you cannot expect them to be .

Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell and the coaching staff may well now have to keep the playbook simple for Collins and the team to have any semblance of success this season . Given the experience and the shock to the system of their season opener I am inclined to believe that the Indianapolis Colts are likely to struggle over the course of this year . The humiliating defeat the Colts suffered at the hands of the Houston Texans was enough to suggest that we might well be seeing the decline of a team who having the lost its leader has now become a rudderless vessel about to be capsized at sea. That 34-7 loss more than suggested how devoid of leadership this team becomes , without Peyton Manning but even more so , when you realize that there was no one willing to step up to the plate and assume the role as a leader . Say what you will , but if they are to fare well this season then someone has to be seen as the new leader on thus team .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

The NFL lockout may well have played its part in the rust we have seen from the teams in their performances in this first regular season scheduled game . But if anything it has to be said the coaches and their staffs had more than enough time to prepare their squads for expectations of what is always expected to be an arduous season . Simply put some of the teams in question may well have performed badly , much of it from their own doing and complete lack of preparation . If nothing else this could well be what we could very well expect over the next few games . But from my perspective these teams on the wrong side of these lopsided losses must have felt that they had been hit upside their heads ! What thoughts if any do you have from this first week of the NFL schedule ? Do you expect to see more of the same or could it be that this was merely a minor blip on the screen for many of the franchises in question ? Simply chime in with a comment as you deem fit .

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

Picture and slide show details below .

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(1) SAN DIEGO, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: Donovan McNabb #5 of the Minnesota Vikings in the huddle with his teammates against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ….

(2) Donovan McNabb (5) of the Minnesota Vikings in action against the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images …….

(3) Adrian Peterson (28) of the Minnesota Vikings is tackled by Donald Butler (56) and Takeo Spikes (51) of the San Diego Chargers during their NFL Game on September 11, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San DIego, California. Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images ……….

(4) Quarterback Matt Cassel (7) of the Kansas City Chiefs reacts after a turnover during the game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …….

(5) Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) of the Buffalo Bills in action during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images …..

(6) Matt Ryan (46) of the Atlanta Falcons fumbles the ball against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12 . Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(7) John Abraham (55) #55 of the Atlanta Falcons sacks Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……

(8) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers scrambles while being pressured by defender Arthur Jones (97) of the Baltimore Ravens during second half of the season opener at M&T Bank Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images …….

(9) Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll walks the sidelines during their season opener against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images …….

(10) Tarvaris Jackson (7) of the Seattle Seahawks drops back to pass against the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game at Candlestick Park on September 11, 2011 in San Francisco, California. the 49ers won the game 33-17 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(11) Quarterback Kerry Collins (5) of the Indianapolis Colts is blind sighted by linebacker Mario Williams (90) of the Houston Texans on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34-7 . Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images …

(12) Head coach Gary Kubiak talks with quarterback Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans during a time out against the Indianapolis Colts on September 11, 2011 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. Texans won 34 -7 .(Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images ……..

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Unresolved Issues Do You Want Me Or Not ?……Is This What Anquan Boldin Ought To Be Asking ?

Unresolved Issues Do You Want Me Or Not ? Is This What Anquan Boldin Ought To Be Asking ?

As much as he may well have bitched and whined last year, as a member of the Arizona Cardinals and their improbable run to last season’s Superbowl. You can’t but help but now wonder, if the Cardinals’ organization is doing the right thing in the stance that they’re taking with regard to Anquan Boldin and his contract negotiations.

From left to right , Arizona Cardinals' owner, Bill Bidwill, the team's coach, Ken Whisenhunt and  the General Manager,  Rod Graves.    picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Paul Talbot ................
From left to right , Arizona Cardinals' owner, Bill Bidwill, the team's coach, Ken Whisenhunt and the General Manager, Rod Graves. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Paul Talbot ................

This situation has dragged on over from last year and while there were cries that the team should’ve traded the player. Calmer heads and common sense prevailed in the end. One would like to think that coach, Ken Whisenhunt and team GM, Rod Graves, may well have thought long and hard mulling the situation over. But in essence, this team without Boldin isn’t near as good, as it could be ! With he , Larry Fitzgerald , Early Doucet , Sean Morey and Steve Breaston. The Arizona Cardinals may well have the best receiving corps in the entire NFL. You’d be hard pressed to find a better duo in all of the NFL , than Bolden and Fitzgerald, at present. And if you can name a team with a better receiving corp , then I’ll stack what the Cardinals have at present against your choice !

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Cards’ Boldin worthy of a pay rise

By Michael Silver, Yahoo Sports

Glendale , Arizona,. – Five minutes into Sunday night’s showdown between NFC contenders on the road to repeating as division champions, the Arizona Cardinals were in trouble.

The formidable Minnesota Vikings had already forced a fumble and taken a seven-point lead on a Brett Favre(notes) touchdown pass, and the 64,121 fans at University of Phoenix Stadium braced themselves for a replay of the Vikes’ blowout victory here a year ago. Having missed the previous game while recovering from a concussion, Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner(notes) seemed a vulnerable target for All-Pro defensive end Jared Allen(notes) and the rest of Minnesota’s physical defense.

And then, with an inimitable mixture of blunt force and sublime skill, Anquan Boldin(notes) put the Cards on his back and carried them to their most impressive victory since last January’s NFC championship game.

After that historic triumph, which put Arizona in its first Super Bowl, Boldin threw a bizarrely timed tantrum over his lack of involvement in the offense and left the stadium as if he were auditioning for a role in “Gone in 60 Seconds.”

On Sunday, following the Cardinals’ 30-17 thumping of the Vikings, a far happier Boldin stuck around to talk about the message he and his team had just sent to the rest of the league: While most people have been fixated on the undefeated New Orleans Saints and the Vikings, who’d lost just once before Sunday, as the teams to beat in the NFC, the defending conference champs remain a force to be reckoned with as the stretch run commences.

“I definitely wanted to set a tone,” Boldin said. “When one of us starts out big like that, it puts pressure on a defense and opens it up for everybody, and people feed off each other.”

In this case, “us” was a reference to Boldin and fellow Pro Bowl wideout Larry Fitzgerald(notes), the NFL’s most dangerous receiving tandem.

Fitzgerald, 26, is in the second year of a four-year, $40 million contract befitting of his status as perhaps the NFL’s best receiver.

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In order to read the rest of Michael Silver’s article just click unto the link provided to read
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As we all know, the 2010-11 NFL season will be an uncapped one and teams will either have to lavish their unrestricted and impending free agents with large sums of money as an incentive to remain with their teams. Or they’ll just have to turn them loose on the ‘open market’. And as to whether or not teams are willing to pay what no doubt will be escalating prices for those players. Well, it remains to be seen. One thing for sure however, is that the deep pocketed franchises, such as the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins will do their damned to secure the services of such players. The impending ‘free market frenzy’ that’s liable to take place could well have some serious ramifications, as to the future of the NFL and a number of its franchises.

Anquan Boldin (left) seen here with  teammate, Larry  Fitzgerald at the  Arizona Cardinals'  practice facility in  Tempe, Arizona.  The  two players  are  part  of the  'dynamic duo'  that has  been  often  described as  the  best  receiving  tandem in  the entire  NFL.  It certainly makes  life a great deal  easier  for  Cardinals' quarterback  Kurt Warner having  to  throw  to  either  of the  two  players.      picture  appears  courtesy of ap/photo/  Rob  Pearcey   ...................
Anquan Boldin (left) seen here with teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, at the Arizona Cardinals' practice facility in Tempe, Arizona. The two players are part of the 'dynamic duo' that has been often described as the best receiving tandem in the entire NFL. It certainly makes life a great deal easier for Cardinals' quarterback , Kurt Warner, having to throw to either of the two players. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Rob Pearcey ...................

In terms of ‘elite receivers’ in the NFL at present , Boldin would most certainly stand up there alongside his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, as well as the Houston Texans’, Andre’ Johnson , Randy Moss of the New England Patriots,his teammate, Wes Welker , Terrell Owens and the Indianapolis Colts’, Reggie Wayne.Each of whom, I view as consistent performers within the NFL on a week in, week out basis. And their body of work would suggest over that over the last five years, to say the very least. Currently one could add several players to that list merely by looking at their statistics for this year alone but it wouldn’t in any way justify the premise behind my claim.

Clearly, if Rod Graves is prepared to ‘roll the dice’ and gamble on the fact, that he can still work something out with Anquan Boldin. Then he may well have something up his sleeve or he’s prepared to call the player’s bluff. He could well be setting himself and the Cardinals’ organization up for a great fall should they not be able to negotiate an agreeable contract amenable to both parties.

While a great many people viewed Boldin as something of a malcontent, given the fact that he wanted his contract to be reconstructed so that he could be paid in line with that of premiere players at the position around the league. He’d seen his teammate, Larry Fitzgerald, resigned to a hefty contract and the team’s quarterback, Kurt Warner receive a two year, $ 24 million deal. Meanwhile , he (Boldin) was being left out in the cold, while management took care of others who they felt it was of an urgency to get something done. If that wasn’t met to be a slight by owner, Bill Bidwill. Then clearly the impression they wanted to create wasn’t met with any great conciliatory response by Anquan Boldin. If it wasn’t a slap in the face, then it may well have felt like a kick to the groin ?

Though the two sides still appear to be at an impasse and it’d be fair to say ,that the Cardinals would not be a better team without Boldin on the field of play. To suggest otherwise , would be to show sheer stupidity by anyone thinking along those lines. Can you hear me Mike Ditka ? At least have the temerity to make a case when putting forth your argument. Instead of just giving ridiculous sound bytes, merely because you’ve got nothing better to say. It just never ceases to amaze me as to the absolute lengths taken by the ‘on air personalities’ on many of the sports magazines and news’ programs. For guys, who are said to have been immersed in the game. They’ll repeatedly come up with something more asinine in the form of a statement, from one moment to the next. All the while, you as a viewer or listener begin to ask yourself ….’did he really just say that’ ?

Arizona Cardinals' Anquan Boldin (81) dives for a touchdown as Minnesota Vikings' E.J. Henderson runs in late to defend in the second quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, in Glendale, Ariz. picture appears courtesy  of ap/photo/ Ross D. Franklin .....
Arizona Cardinals' Anquan Boldin (81) dives for a touchdown as Minnesota Vikings' E.J. Henderson runs in late to defend in the second quarter during an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 6, 2009, in Glendale, Ariz. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross D. Franklin .....

As the Arizona Cardinals (8-4) embark on garnering a postseason berth in the NFL playoffs. They’re comfortably leading the NFC West division with some ease. In all likelihood the chances are the team will give a good account of themselves in the playoffs. With them having defeated the high flying Minnesota Vikings with a great deal of ease , end result, 30-17 ,that clearly reflects this. I for one hope, that the team can show the same sort of resolve and attitude shown as last year.
Who’d have guessed that the long suffering fans of the Arizona Cardinals would live to see them make the Superbowl (SBXXXXIII)? Albeit, that they lost in the end, putting up a gallant effort against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The team needs Anquan Boldin, just as much as he needs them. He may well be allowed to leave for pastures green but I sincerely doubt that he’ll be to find the type of environment where his teammates and fans made him feel, all the more welcomed ! Money they say … ‘speaks all languages’ but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee you the success or happiness you’re said to be looking for. All it really does, is to provide you with the mere luxuries of life. It may well be something that has crossed the player’s mind. But in the end this will all come down to the desire of the parties concerned. As to what that final outcome might be, one can only speculate at this juncture.