They’ve got ninety-nine problems and it’s all about their quarterback …
It tells you a great deal about a franchise, when it just happens to be the team owner making many of the personnel decisions , rather than the coaching or front office staff of a team. We have all witnessed the machinations of Al Davis , former owner of the Oakland Raiders and how he continued to ruin the franchise during the latter years of his tenure. Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones has still not seen his beloved team win a Superbowl in over a decade . Now, while having the customary setback after their loss to the Arizona Cardinals in week nine , with Tony Romo now on the team’s injury reserve list and their being mounting speculation as to if he will be suited up for the Cowboys’ game in London against the Jacksonville Jaguars . If Romo is unable to play , a game time decision is likely to be made by head coach Jason Garrett but with a great deal of input coming from Jerry Jones. It remains to be seen whether the incumbent starter will be replaced by his backup Brandon Weeden.
With their defeat the Dallas Cowboys lost their grip on the NFC East , with the Philadelphia Eagles now leading the division over their arch rival . For the Eagles their worries have now manifested with the loss of starting quarterback Nick Foles for as many as three weeks. Foles’ loss will likely provide the opportunity for Mark Sanchez to resurrect his career in the NFL . Sanchez will get the start when the Philadelphia Eagles play host to the Carolina Panthers at Lincoln Financial Field , in Philadelphia, Pennyslvania, in the Monday night game on the 10th November ,2014.
Mark Sanchez will be asked to be conservative in his play, with the likely propensity for Chip Kelly to use the ground game against the Panthers in this all NFC contest . There is no denying the Eagles will need this win, if only maintain their lead over the Dallas Cowboys. These two NFC East adversaries still have to meet in their seasonal match-ups, which will take place during week twelve at AT&Stadium in Arlington, Texas and with the second of the two contests reverting to Philadelphia in week fifteen.
If Jerry Jones is said to have a high opinion of his own managerial acumen, then his peer, Daniel Snyder , owner of the Washington Redskins , who it is believed insisted Robert Griffin III , be given the start in week nine against the Minnesota Vikings. Griffin returning from an injury was less than stellar in the game where the Vikings came away with the victory. Ill-timed pass attempts and failure to connect with a number of his receivers played a part in the Redskins’ defeat and Robert Griffin’s poor play.
With their depth chart simply thin on experienced quarterbacks, Jay Gruden and his coaching staff have brought in Terrell Pryor with a view to assessing the player’s attributes and whether or not he would be a good fit for the Washington Redskins’ team. Pryor’s career in the NFL can be best described as lackluster and very much understated. This could be considered the desperate act of a head coach at his wit’s end , whose faith in the quarterbacks now on the roster, is are less than he expected to see , given the experience of Kirk Cousins, Colt McCoy and Robert Griffin III .
The Redskins are now in a dire position and great deal of the blame for their situation can be placed firmly on the shoulders of GM Bruce Allen, Gruden’s predecessor , Mike Shanahan , his former assistant , the team’s former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan . Shanahan and his son, were simply bereft of creativity and the relationship with Daniel Snyder was less then commendable , during the latter part of their tenure with the Washington Redskins.
Ben Roethlisbeger seems to be back at his very best, with the Pittsburgh Steelers now riding high within the AFC North and the two-time winning Superbowl quarterback now showing the poise and play with the performances, likely to put the Steelers back in the postseason for the first time in three years , when their last appearance came in 2011 as a wildcard entrant , where they fell to the Denver Broncos in a narrow six-point loss. The Steelers are winners of four of their last five regular season games, with their last defeat coming in a 31-10 loss to the Cleveland Browns in week six. Roehtlisberger in those five contests, has simply been unbelievable , passing for over 1664 yards , fourteen touchdowns , one interception , with a 112.55 quarterback rating. Rarefied air , but nothing, coach Mike Tomlin hasn’t seen from the player since becoming the head coach.
Pittsburgh, with their lead in a very competitive AFC North, now down to a one-game margin, there remains a great deal to play for, with each of the four teams all in with a shot of claiming the divisional crown , barring any mishaps or major injuries . The Steelers’ passing game has always been based on the efficiency of their quarterbacks. Ben Roethlisberger has been resplendent in showing his prowess during the season , where he has been among the most successful quarterbacks in the the league up to this point of the NFL schedule. A week ten match-up against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford , New Jersey, will see the Pittsburgh Steelers take on their AFC East conference rivals . To describe the Jets’ seasonas dire would be an understatement , where there has been a convergence of ineptitude witnessed in the poor play of Geno Smith as well as the entire team under head coach Rex Ryan. Many are now wondering, if the head coach can survive the rest of the season or will he simply be allowed to coach the team until the end of their regular season schedule. Jets’ GM John Idzik has not been candid about the coach’s position , with criticism also being leveled at the front office executive for his decision making and handling of the organization.
An eight-game losing streak has seen the New York Jets’ pratfalls take on comical implications for the team and their fans in attendance for their home games. If there was decision to be made about “eating crow” or eating dog crap by the fans of the New York Jets, I get the feeling they would take delight in eating both , and then take aim at Geno Smith and Rex Ryan , showing their displeasure at the duo. If Smith’s backup Michael Vick is made the starter for the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers , I am not so sure the veteran quarterback can lead the team to a victory. Vick still believes he can be productive for an NFL franchise at this stage of his career, but those grandiose ideas should now be placed on a back-burner for a player who has failed to live up to expectations. Geno Smith , Michael Vick and Rex Ryan’s career have now become intertwined and it is extremely difficult to see how the Jets as a franchise, can move forward, with all three still being a part of this organization.
Five straight games of passing for three-hundred yards or more , have placed the credentials of Andrew Luck under even more scrutiny as the top pick from the 2012 NFL Draft has seen his stature rise since he entered the NFL. There were doubts , as to whether or not he could succeed Peyton Manning and then lead the Indianapolis Colts to any semblance of success. Two consecutive postseason appearances have a way of bolstering a young player’s credentials and clearly that has been achieved by Andrew Luck. Now the question becomes, can he lead the franchise to a Superbowl victory ?
Though the Colts have not fallen short short in their last two games . In week eight they were on the wrong side of an entertaining and high-scoring contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers, during which Andrew Luck and Ben Roethlisberger combined for over eight-hundred yards of passing offense , nine touchdowns and a single interception . Chuck Pagano must like what he is now seeing from his young quarterback , with his only concern being the number of interceptions thrown by the player. Indiana’s victory over to the New York Giants was a timely booster , wasn’t perplexing , a great deal of which can be put down to the fact the Giants’ defense has performed inconsistently over the course of the season, rather than suggesting Eli Manning is now back at his very best . Manning , his teammates and the coaching staff are still trying figure out the conundrum that has become their season .
A bye-week in week ten, will Chuck Pagano’s players the chance to recuperate , study the playbook and then prepare for their week eleven contest agains the New England Patriots , their quarterback Tom Brady who once again is having an exceptional season.
Confounding critics, who may well have written them off , after their embarrassing loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Patriots are back on track and raring to go. The second half of the team’s schedule is a daunting one , with several difficult games on their agenda. Their week nine annihilation of the Denver Broncos was clinical , where the highlight , was meant to be the chance to witness another Tom Brady Peyton Manning match-up, didn’t quite live up to expectation, with the Broncos’ defense simply being in tatters after being shredded by Brady. If John Fox is said to have a concern , then it has to be the fact the Denver Broncos’ secondary even with the acquisitions made are no better than their lineup of last season. Struggled as they have, if the Denver Broncos are to rekindle their hopes of making the postseason and and completely eradicate the memories of the loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the Superbowl, then their defense will have to be far more efficient , than we have seen this season.
Peyton Manning remains one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history having broken several of league’s most revered records as he certainly goes on to become future inductee to the Hall of Fame. There is no denying the Denver Broncos are only as good as their quarterback is said to be on game-day , and granted, there are likely to be times where Manning will have an exceptional game , but the team will end up losing the contest , but more than not , it tends to be something of a rarity with this high-caliber player
Johnny Manziel might not have been the first quarterback taken in this most recent NFL Draft, even with their being proponents of the player to be taken higher, with many believing him to be a consensus top-five pick , if not the number one overall pick. The Cleveland Browns drafted the former Texas AM quarterback and he has become an integral part of the team , while being offered a number of opportunities to show his skill-set.
For the moment, Brian Hoyer has the starting role for the Browns and with the team being in contention for the AFC North , there can be no justification to have Manzel inserted into the lineup, as the starting quarterback , in spite of the clamor for him to be on the field. Mike Pettine knows there may well come a time at some point in the season where Johnny Manziel will be called on to take the reins , but for the time being I am inclined to believe he will will continue to ride on the ” hot hand ” of his current starting quarterback.
Cleveland’s defeat of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers added to the Buccaneers’ woes and has sparked the belief with the Cleveland Browns’ fans , this could be the season, where they challenge the Pittsburgh Steelers , Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals for divisional supremacy and a postseason berth. The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals will meet in a Thursday night contest at Paul Brown Stadium, in Cincinnati , Ohio,.
A case could be made where the Jacksonville Jaguars’ faith in Blake Bortles might well have been over-reaching with the belief if made a starter , the rookie quarterback could ignite this fading franchise. Hard to believe the last quarterback of note for the organization was Mark Brunell. Considering Brunell’s last game for the Jaguars was during the 2003 NFL season and that his last professional game as a quarterback came in week fourteen of the regular season schedule in 2011 , when he played for the New York Jets as a veteran forty-one year old. The fact that the Jets were on the wrong side of a demoralizing loss suffered at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles, should not come as a big surprise.
Gus Bradley and his coaching staff will now seek to guide Bortles through the landmines and trappings of being a rookie quarterback , the front office sought to be the future of the franchise. A 1-8 record is not at all inspiring and though Blake Bortles cannot be blamed for the team’s mediocre statistics , yet it does beg the question , if his baptism of fire can be so bad, what are the alternatives if any for the organization to take at this juncture ?
Jacksonsville will have the Dallas Cowboys as their guests this upcoming Sunday at Wembley Stadium in London, England , where the Cowboys will be hoping for Tony Romo to make his return after being sidelined in week nine due to an injury. Both teams are in need of a victory , but the signs point to a road win for the visiting team , in what is likely to turn out to be a lopsided contest.
In the age of the quarterback , where NFL has now become systematically about the passing game and defenses being asked to slow down and actually negate that facet of the game. There is no denying the passers in today’s game are seen as the on field generals, with their salaries and contracts being among the highest offered in the league. How do you see the NFL manifesting itself in terms of how the game is perceived and the appreciation of the quarterbacks ? By all means do leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe relevant to this article .
Picture and slideshow details below .
(1) From left to right , Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett , defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and the team’s quarterback Tony Romo. The trio arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport in preparation for Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a game to be played at Wembley Stadium . AP Photo / Eric Barton …
(2) Brandon Weeden (3) of the Dallas Cowboys passes against the San Diego Chargers during a preseason game at Qualcomm Stadium on August 7, 2014 in San Diego, California. If Tony Romo is declared unfit for the Cowboys’ game against the Jaguars then Weeden is likely to get the start. Getty Images / Stephen Dunn ….
(3) Mark Sanchez (3) of the Philadelphia Eagles is seen here during a game played against the St Louis Rams . With the unavailability of starting quarterback Nick Foles , Sanchez as the backup, will now be inserted into the starting role by head coach Chip Kelly. AP Photo / Howard Jones ..
(4) Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers is congratulated by Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts after Pittsburgh’s 51-34 win at Heinz Field on October 26, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The duo of AFC quarterbacks put on an exhilarating display in providing the fans of the NFL with the highest scoring game of the day during week eight . Getty Images / Stephen Dunn …
(5) Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III (10) looks to make an offensive play on the ground in a game against the Minnesota Vikings . The Redskins lost the game and pretty much any chance of making a legitimate run to win their division or gain a postseason berth. AP Photo/ Michael Parsons …
(6) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots and Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos exchange post-game salutations . Brady and the Patriots defeated the Broncos in their AFC clash , which was somewhat , a lopsided affair , ending with New England’s victory over their arch rivals. Getty Images / Andreas Matsos ..
(7) Blake Bortles left , of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns , are two of this season’s NFL rookie quarterbacks looking to gain some playing experience in the NFL this year. The Cleveland Browns are looking to make a serious push to win the AFC North, where they currently sit in a Isecond place tie with the Cincinnati Bengals , one game behind division leaders the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3) . AP Photo/ Tracey Atwater …..
Tophatal’s Blog on Facebook.com
If at all interested do take time to participate in the above poll.