Puppet On A String …..

Puppet On A String

It’s a year-long three hundred and sixty-five day multi-billion dollar business , but for all the vagaries , the NFL remains a league entity still bereft of leadership, albeit , NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is still being praises for his leadership since assuming his role from the previous occupant Paul Tagliabue . If nothing else, Goodell has proven himself to be an imbecile at every turn , with his ham-fisted decisions and lack of communicative skills. Not content with the league’s mishandling of several legal issues as well the Deflate-Gate Affair , Roger Goodell is now intent in seeking recourse after an earlier Federal Judge’s ruling in Tom Brady’s favor. Using what appears to be a backdoor means in having the earlier decision overturned, the Commissioner is now seeking to use his authority as laid out in the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement to suggest his authority is absolute, in rendering any punishment deemed proper when a player is known to have violated the NFL rules through misconduct or his on-field behavior.

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Roger Goodell continues to cherry-pick the skirmishes he seeks to wage, while the league continues to lose the most important battles of all. Football will continue to remain popular among its hardcore fans , but I seriously doubt they have a great deal of confidence in the hierarchy led by Goodell! The NFLPA (Players’ Union) under the leadership of DeMaurice Smith , continues to be adversarial , rather than seeking a bilateral partnership with the league to discuss the numerous problems of the league. What appears to be the primary concern of the league and union , is how much money they can continue to make , while the product being served up to the consumer remains as bland as ever. Now there are many who will suggest this past season in the NFL was among the best in recent years and the fairy-tale ending which provided the right send off to the ending of Peyton Manning’s career was the right one. Manning and the Denver Broncos won the Superbowl over the highly favored Carolina Panthers , but only one team turned up to play in the game. The Panthers offered nothing by way of offense or defense, in a game which was error filled. Manning had one of his most undistinguished games of his postseason career , but it was enough for the Broncos to come out ahead as the victors. With it came the adulation , Vonn Miller being named Superbowl MVP for his heroics , while Peyton Manning stepped down in style.

With the off-season in full swing and the NFL Combines having taken place , teams will be seeking reassess their needs while also look at their cap positions and then seeking to restructure their rosters accordingly. Already we have seen a number of unexpected moves , with several players being cut by their teams and a number of trades being made. Brock Osweiler , the backup to Peyton Manning last season with the Broncos has now moved on as a free agent joining the Houston Texans where he will now become the new starting quarterback for the franchise. With his acquisition comes a lucrative contract for Osweiler , while he is expected to live up the expectations of the head office and the Texans’ coaching staff .

Replacing Peyton Manning was never going to be easy, but Denver Broncos’ Head of Football Operations ‘ John Elway believes Mark Sanchez is the right player to fill the role. While I believe Sanchez to be a good player, I am not so sure he is capable of keeping the Broncos ahead of the pack within the AFC ! The Broncos remain a very good team on paper and undoubtedly Elway will be seeking to bolster the roster during the off-season by way of trades, the re-signing of free agents and then off-course, there is the upcoming NFL Draft where the Broncos where the Broncos have their customary number of picks. ‘

In what might be considered either an audacious move or one sheer stupidity , the Los Angeles Rams (St Louis Rams) have traded up to take the number one over all pick for this upcoming Draft. Rams’ head coach Jeff Fisher along with GM Les Snead made the decision to offer up picks from the 2016 NFL Draft as well as future picks for 2017. Fisher is the eyeing the team’s urgency in seeking a top-flight quarterback among the eligible quarterbacks in this class. Les Snead has already met with Jared Goff , quarterback of the Cal State Bears as well as Carson Wentz of North Dakota State . Both players are thought to be the two best quarterbacks among this current crop passers available. And as audacious as this perceived move might be for the Rams , it is not really all that surprising the entire organization is seeking to make as big a splash possible after relocating back to the greater Los Angeles area , with their almost two decade absence from the state of California.

Will Trading Up Be Rams’ Downfall?

By Jason Keidel

When the Los Angeles Rams — the back-to-the-future franchise — shoved their draft coin to the middle of the table to get the top pick from the Tennessee Titans, most football fans wondered if this is 2016 or 1994, the last year the Rams were in Los Angeles.

So many similar trades have bombed. Further, the Rams are banking on a big variable — a rookie quarterback. And we can’t even agree on which one they will take in 10 days. All we know is either Jared Goff or Carson Wentz will lead the Rams back to Hollywood, and into the future.

Jerry Jones, the loquacious owner of the Dallas Cowboys, chimed in on the matter, sardonically saying he didn’t know Herschel Walker was still around. The reference, of course, is to the trade between the Vikings and Jones’s fledgling Cowboys, who were getting smacked around the NFL, with Troy Aikman and little else.

The Vikings surrendered a king’s ransom in 1989 for Walker, a good player who didn’t make the Vikings great. Meanwhile, the Cowboys used those draft picks, along with Jimmy Johnson’s keen eye for college talent, to build a dynasty.

History is on the side of the team that stockpiles draft picks, or at least against the team that gives them away. The Vikings never reached the Super Bowl with Walker. The Saints hemorrhaged an entire draft 10 years later for Ricky Williams, who wound up in Miami. The Redskins bet the farm 13 years later for Robert Griffin III, who’s now in Cleveland.

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The Los Angeles Rams’ reemergence in Los Angeles might well be deemed to be a positive thing for the city , the fans of the franchise as well as the NFL in general, but the real test for the NFC West based Rams might well be how successful they are in the upcoming season . There was no denying the team fell way short of expectations last season as they were barely competitive within their division , conference and the league. Nick Foles was the starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams in 2015 and the team failed miserably on all fronts , with the Rams posting 7-9 record , good enough for third within their division , missing the postseason and barely being competitive to be seen as a contender within the NFL. St Louis Rams’ owner Stanley Kroenke will make a great deal of money from the franchise’s move from St Louis , Missouri to Los Angeles , California . The land on which the Rams stadium is to be built is owned by the real estate mogul and the venture which will see a mix of commercial enterprises as well as some residential properties , will bring about a large economic impact for the area. Kroenke has worked with Los Angeles County and the cities of Industry as well as Los Angeles , to make sure the venture met with the requirements sought by both municipalities, while in the background the league hierarchy was pulling all the strings to make sure Roger Goodell’s dream came to fruition.

Moves are likely to be made by the St Louis Rams to bolster their roster , with Jeff Fisher embarking on a whole new chapter for a franchise whose last appearance in the postseason came back in 2004 when the team made it to the divisional round of the postseason before finally falling to the Atlanta Falcons in a lopsided loss . In the later years , with coaching and player personnel changes the franchise has squandered every opportunity available . The best finish during the season which the St Louis Rams have been able achieve since 2004 , were second place finishes in 2005, 2006 , 2010 and on each occasion they failed to make the postseason.

The Los Angles Rams will begin their 2016 schedule with a game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara , California on September 12th 2016, week one of the regular season schedule. Their preseason schedule will offer the fans the chance to see their team face the Dallas Cowboys , Kansas City Chiefs , Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Vikings as part of their quartet of games during the exhibition games being encompassed by the league’s thirty-two teams . The St Louis Rams in seeking to have the overall number one pick and the clear indication Les Snead and Jeff Fisher they’re in need of a quarterback , may well stem from the belief Nick Foles was unable to give the team the insurance needed at the position . St Louis’ offense last season was not only anemic , but the defense also left a great deal to be desired . There are issues which need to be addressed across the depth of the team’s roster at a number of positions. Decisions likely to be made will have a long-term impact on the franchise’s future and in particular for this upcoming season.

Through their first six games of last season the St Louis Rams were not as competitive a team as Jeff Fisher might have hoped. Other than the play of their rookie running back Todd Gurley , there was not much to suggest the team was ever in with a chance of challenging anyone within their division or the league over the course of last season. The challenge for Gurley this upcoming season will be to prove to his detractors last season was not an aberration .


Adam Gase
has become the new head coach of the Miami Dolphins and Gase has seen fit to assemble a coaching staff he believes will be able get the best out of a roster which has failed miserably over the past five seasons . Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross in spite of his wealth has presided over a franchise bereft of genuine leadership and proven managerial acumen. The front office led by general manager Chris Grier and EVP Mike Tannenbaum , in part , are now expected to resurrect the fortunes of this franchise. Yet in the midst of this all, the continued belief remains , this team lacks leadership and the players ready to be held accountable for their actions. Ryan Tannehill , the Dolphins’ quarterback has yet to show the skill-set needed to get the job done and Ndamukong Suh , acquired as a free agent to bolster the defense , has not <a href=http://pr shown the ability that made him a Pro Bowl caliber player. One should bear in mind both Tannehill and Suh are being rewarded handsomely for their services. This season the Miami Dolphins’ cap figure will exceed $160 million dollars , though it will not be the highest among the NFL’s teams.

Coming off a rather disappointing season where during the course of their schedule the Miami Dolphins went through two head coaches , with Joe Philbin being fired , then to be replaced by Dan Campbell and it is easy to understand why there was no consistency to the team over the course of 2015. Finishing with 6-10 record within the AFC East , good enough for a fourth place (last place) place finish within the division and their failing to make the postseason after a poor finish in the AFC , simply dashed the hopes of the fans and the franchise last season. There very few positive signs of improvement in the team and I believe the Miami Dolphins will once again struggle during this upcoming season ! Adam Gase, Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum will undoubtedly look at the makeup of the team’s roster assessing the strengths and weaknesses they believe will need to be addressed. Moves will be made to improve the lineup and I can see that the front office and coaching staff will look to make prudent choices concerning the upcoming NFL Draft.

The NFL preseason tends to offer up nothing but meaningless entertainment and games which the fans are expected to pay full ticket prices merely to see second and third-string players still seeking to make their way unto the full roster of the teams. The standings at that point of the season have no bearing on the final regular season standings at all. Adam Gase and the Miami Dolphins will play a three-game preseason schedule against the New York Giants , Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons , before embarking on their regular season schedule. In week one their opponents will be the Seattle Seahawks , who will they will be playing at Century Link Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday 11th September , 2016. If the Miami Dolphins are to be successful this upcoming season , then a great deal will be expected of not only Ryan Tannehill , but from the entire coaching staff and roster.

In the lead-up to the NFL Draft it will be interesting to see if there will be any other bold moves being made by other teams as they seek to improve their draft order position. As they say, “ nothing ventured , nothing gained “ .

Tophatal ……. 2014/04/18

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Out with the old , in with the new …

Out with the old, in with the new …

In a none too surprising and rather climactic weekend in the NFL in the divisional round of the postseason, we may well have seen a changing of the guard. Losses were suffered by teams thought to be favored to make it to their respective conference championships games . The Denver Broncos inexplicably fell to the Indianapolis Colts , where Andrew Luck has not only has eradicated the name ” Manning” from the lips of the fans in Indianapolis, but he may well have now placed himself above his predecessor in terms of the fans’ appreciation of his craft and the fact he has now had more initial success with the franchise in his first three years than Peyton Manning actually achieved. The 2012 number one overall draft pick has led the Colts to the postseason in each of his first three season whereas , Manning had to wait until his fourth season in 2002 , before he would have his first taste of postseason play that year .

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The disappointment of this postseason for the Denver Broncos will not be lost on John Fox , his coaching staff and John Elway , Head of Football Operations for the franchise. Having spent millions of dollars to load up on a defense which included a slew of Pro-Bowl caliber players such as Vonn Miller , DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib , the wheels on the Broncos’ bus completely fell off with Peyton Manning having what some might deem to be a disastrous outing against his former team. As to what this loss might suggest about the Denver Broncos , may well be seen from differing points of view , with claims Manning actually played injured or as suggested the four-time League MVP had over the last six games of the regular season had seen a decline in his play leading into the postseason. Make of it what you will , but there are now growing signs that the Peyton Manning of old is no longer here. Signs were clearly seen in last season’s Superbowl and the complete annihilation suffered by the Broncos in their lopsided loss (43-8) to the Seattle Seahawks .

John Elway will now be left with several decisions to be made concerning the makeup of the roster during the off-season and which of the players are or should be retained . Peyton Manning has already stated he would like to play at least one more season with the Broncos, looking to fulfill his quest for a second Superbowl title. Yet it is now my belief, the window of opportunity for this esteemed veteran is now firmly closed ! This year should have been the best opportunity for Manning to make his way to a second successive Superbowl but it was not to be , as the Indianapolis Colts waylaid the best laid plants of the Broncos by clinically besting the home team in-front of their highly raucous fans. Mile-High Stadium became something of a burial ground as the death knell was sounded on Denver’s postseason aspirations.

As the Denver Broncos’ season fell apart , the growing stature of Andrew Luck cannot be denied, as he has now placed himself among the elite quarterbacks now playing in the NFL. Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay in a recent interview stated the timing was right for the departure of Peyton Manning, and that it was time for a change, for the franchise. Many felt it impudent and a rash decision to send Manning into the wilderness, but the choice has proven to be fortuitous for the franchise, with it, the success of Luck and several of the younger players on the roster. Who would have guessed that T. Y . Hilton would now be considered one of the best offensive threats on the team which still has Reggie Wayne active and productive for the Colts ?

If there is said to be a flaw on the Indianapolis Colts , then it would certainly have to the defense of the team and the inconsistency shown over the course of the season . If they are to prevail further then they most certainly will have to raise level of the play within the secondary. Andrew Luck and his teammates may not view it as a gathering storm, but their meeting in the AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium , Foxboro’, Massachusetts, on Sunday evening in prime-time should prove to be a thoroughly entertaining match-up . Luck has yet to have a win in the regular or postseason against the Patriots, having gone 0-3 in their meetings during in his career.

Bill Belichick and his coaching staff will certainly have to prepare for this contest against an Indianapolis Colts’ team looking to upend their hosts on Sunday afternoon. New England’s quarterback Tom Brady after his now legendary contests against Peyton Manning and the Colts has a new adversary in Andrew Luck who will not be looking to take any prisoners in what will be the most important game of the young quarterback’s career to date. Though I do not believe a Colts’ win would come as a shock, because I believe the Patriots have proven to be very complacent at the most inopportune of moments, but as long as Tom Brady can work his miracles during the postseason , then I am entirely happy that he and his teammates will come away with a victory and make their third Superbowl appearance in the last decade and the franchise’s sixth consecutive playoff appearance since 2009.

America’s Team the amiable and affable Dallas Cowboys, having made the postseason for the first time since 2009 brushed aside the Detroit Lions in the wildcard round with the utmost ease and it was felt, that finally , Tony Romo was in fact surrounded with a team capable of making a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, Jason Garrett as a head coach, has proven to something of an incompetent oaf in many of his game-time and playing strategies, so often the Cowboys’ downfall during the regular season . Now granted, while the Cowboys were t 8-0 on the road and 8-4 within conference, they were simply mediocre at best at home (4-4) , with a defense which was far from compelling or convincing. DeMarco Murrray and Dez Bryant may well have had career years, but beyond that, there was nothing to suggest the Dallas Cowboys would indeed pose a serious threat to either the Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks , long considered the two best teams in the NFC , in spite of the surprising season by the Arizona Cardinals .

Dallas came into their divisional round contest at the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field in Green Bay , Wisconsin, looking to derail Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers’ well-rounded season . Rodgers for his part, has been playing at an extraordinary level and might just be considered the consensus favorite for this season’s League MVP alongside Andrew Luck and that is with due respect to the play of JJ Watt this season for the Houston Texans , but to my mind Watt is more deserving of the Defensive Player of the Year Award , than he is of the league’s most prestigious individual regular season award !

The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead but you simply had the impression the Packers were not about to let their guests off the hook lightly . While there may well have been a great deal of controversy surrounding Dez Bryant’s catch and his possession of the ball in the end-zone , you simply cannot fault the officials concerning the call and the legality of the play. Jason Garrett’s players had several other chances to put this game away beyond the reach of the Packers , but they simply forsook the opportunities that came their away , allowing Green Bay back into the contest, closing out the match-up with the win and their appearance in the NFC championship game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Jerry Jones will now spend the off-season mulling over what might have been, the makeup of the roster and what possible changes are likely to be made. From my own standpoint , I simply do not believe Tony Romo possesses the mindset to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a Superbowl victory, neither does he show any signs of leadership on the field of play. If there is said to be no vocal leader leader on the team to actually lead by example, how hell does anyone expect that team to win ?The Cowboys’ failure will be looked upon with some reservations , but let us not overlook the fact this team while great during the regular season, they simply showed that during the playoffs, there were simply ordinary with no real appetite to play hard or any real competitiveness during the postseason.

Mediocrity took on a new face during the regular season as teams within the NFC South offered up little to get the fans truly vested in the division. Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints were made to look extremely mundane and it would be fair to suggest the quartet of teams had defenses which ranked among the lower rungs of the NFC and the league as a whole. Division winners the Carolina Panthers got by the Arizona Cardinals with considerable ease, with their being never truly challenged by their conference rivals in their wildcard round contest .

Panthers’ head coach Ron Rivera may well have prepared his team for the Cardinals, but in their divisional round game , neither Cam Newton and his teammates seem prepared to take on the Seattle Seahawks at QWest Field in Seattle , Washington this past weekend. Seattle’s 31-17 dismantling of the Panthers was a clear indication as to what happens when you have an overwhelmed team simply being in a contest where they have no right to be , much less showing the wherewithal to be competitive in the game. The margin of victory for the Seahawks could have been far greater than the two-touchdown differential might have suggested.

If there were any doubts as to how good Russell Wilson just happens to be, you simply have to look at the players’ playoff record (5-1) , the impressive statistics gathered by the three-year quarterback from the now highly impressive 2012 NFL Quarterback Draft Class from that year . Wilson and the Seahawks will play host to the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship gameon Saturday 18th January, 2015, with the winner going on to be the conference representative in 29orperbuoer Superbowl 49 (SB XLIX) to be staged on 1st February , 2015 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona ,. This contest will likely provide us with the favorite for the Superbowl in the match-up against the winner of the AFC title game between the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots .

Quarterbacks may well come and go , and the life-span of an elite quarterback in the NFL averages at least eight to ten-years. So it might suggest, that the likes of Tom Brady , Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger have proven to be, not necessarily exceptions to the rule, but one undoubtedly one has to take into account the level of consistency maintained by the players in question and the success attained within this league. The brave new face of the NFL , with the torch being passed to the next generation, I believe has began in earnest with the likes of Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson coming to the fore and into their own, as the next chapter of quarterbacks taking centerstage. Your thoughts if any, on that premise ?

Before Superbowl 49 takes to the stage , once again the idiocy of the Pro Bowl will have its day in the sun. After the nonsense of last season , I have to question the NFL’s insistence on staging this annual and uncompetitve farce ? The players are simply there not to compete , with many of them simply turning up, because of the incentives likely laid out in their contracts . Other than that, this season’s spectacle which pits Team Irvin against Team Carter , will have Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter selecting their rosters for this annual game which remains meaningless and simply idiotic on so many levels

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With the NFL postseason now entering the closing stages, which teams or players have you been most impressed by ? Also with the likelihood of the passing of the torch, now evidently taking place among the league’s top passers, do you believe any of the quarterbacks drafted from classes of 2012, 2013 or 2014 can emulate the success of the likes of Brady , Brees , Manning or Rodgers in the upcoming years ? By all means simply leave a comment as you see fit on this and anything else you believe relevant to the subject matter .

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(1) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts leaves the field after defeating the Denver Broncos 24-13 in a 2015 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 11, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. Getty Images/ Ezra Shaw ….

(2) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts meets Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos following a 2015 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 11, 2015 in Denver, Colorado.The Colts defeated the Broncos 24-13. . Getty Images /Doug Pensinger ..

(3) Andrew Luck (12) and Dan Herron (36) of the Indianapolis Colts have a word before a play against the Denver Broncos during a 2015 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 11, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. Getty Images / Ezra Shaw …

(4) Aug 29 s, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos head coach John Fox and vice president of football operations John Elway (left) in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Cardinals won 32-24. There now seems to be mounting speculation as to whether or not Fox will be returning to the Broncos for the 2015 season , but it seems more than certain , several players currently on the roster will likely be cut during this off-season . Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

(5) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots jogs off the field following the 2015 AFC Divisional Playoffs game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. …

(6) Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots directs at the line of scrimmage during the first quarter of the 2014 AFC Divisional Playoffs game against the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2015 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images/ Jared Wickerham …

(7) Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers shakes the hand of the Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett after the Packers win the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game 26-21 at Lambeau Field on January 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. . Getty Images Mike McGinnis ….

(8) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys congratulates Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers after the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field on January 11, 2015 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Cowboys 26-21 . Rob Carr /Getty Images …

(9) Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers throws a pass in the second half against the Seattle Seahawks during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images / Johnathan Ferrey ….

(10) Russell Wilson (3) of the Seattle Seahawks looks to throw a pass in the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers during the 2015 NFC Divisional Playoff game at CenturyLink Field on January 10, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. Getty Images / Otto Gruel Jr …

(11) Former Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cris Carter , left, talks with Thursday Night Football analyst Michael Irvin , right, before an NFL football game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in Minneapolis. The two players former players and current Hall of Fame inductees will be the opposing team captains for 2015 NFL Probowl . AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

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From left to right , Andrew Luck , Robert Griffin III, Brandon Weeden , Ryan Tannehill and Russell Wilson . All five were members of the 2012 NFL Draft class , now considered one of the best groups of quarterbacks’ classes to have been drafted over the past twenty years , thought I do have my doubts as to where this particular class would measure up against to the class of 1983 !

Clash of the Titans and then, we’re left with absolute crap as the case maybe …

Clash of the Titans and then, we’re left with absolute crap as the case maybe

Well, now that we have found out the Dallas Cowboys (6-2) remain what we always knew them to be, an absolute fraud. Let’s see how their docile fans will seek to explain a home loss against the woefully inept Washington Redskins who had third-stringquarterback Colt McCoy starting for the Redskins in this inexplicable loss for the Cowboys. All this from a team, who prior to week eight had been on a six-game winning streak before their Monday Night home defeat to their divisional rivals .

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Dallas remains the leader of the NFC East, but barelyahead of their closest rivals the Philadelphia Eagles (5-2) who they will meet in weeks’ thirteen and fifteen with the first contest taking place at AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium) in Arlington, Texas on the 27th November , 2014. Chip Kelly’s Eagles did themselves no favors in week eight , falling to the Arizona Cardinals. This division is likely to come down to which team shows the most consistency during the final six weeks of the regular season schedule. Last season, it was the Philadelphia Eagles running away with the division, winning it with remarkable ease and on their way to the postseason . Their short and abrupt fall came in the wildcard round as they were felled by the New Orleans Saints in a 26-24 loss in a tightly contested game.

The Dallas Cowboys’ fate still remains in their own hands , or should I say in the hands of Tony Romo ? As he goes, then so does this team , in spite of the remarkable season being put together by the team’s running back De Marco Murray who appears to be on his way to breaking the franchise’s single season rushing record and possibly passing the league’s single season record for yards from scrimmage and the single season rushing mark if he can remain healthy. In week nine Dallas will play host to the Arizona Cardinals in a clash of the top two teams in the NFC , with the winner likely to be viewed as a prohibitive favorite to make the postseason .

If this is to be the year where Jason Garrett can lead the Dallas Cowboys to the postseason, then it will have been a long time coming for a coach, thrust into his position by the Cowboys’ larger than life owner , Jerry Jones , whose ego and largess knows no boundaries. As to what Jones makes of the loss to the Washington Redskins can only be assessed by the statement likely to made be made by the publicity seeking executive and franchise owner. Favorable or not , Jones will seek to put a ” positive spin ” on the result.

With the NFL season having reached the halfway mark , there is no reason to not believe the fates of John Idzik and Rex Ryan remain intertwined with the general manager of the New York Jets and the team’s head coach now on a precipice , where team owner Woody Johnson will have to make a decision about whether or not to retain both individuals. Idzik was a proponent in the drafting of Geno Smith and then promoting him to become the starting quarterback starter in his rookie season. That experiment has come to epitomize the absurdity and incompetence seen both on and off the field concerning the New York Jets this season.

John Idzik’s resume’ is quite impressive when you consider he was integral part and one of the architects who built the Seattle Seahawks’ Superbowl winning roster. He left the front office of the Seahawks to pursue the general manager vacancy with the New York Jets. I guess things haven’t worked out for either Idzik or the Jets at this juncture .

A 1-7 record and it is not difficult to understand the reasons why the Jets are in such a position, bereft of big game play-makers or leadership, without having to listen to the rather imbecilic post-game interviews which are mandatory for the head coaches. In having to listen to Rex Ryan explain away why his team lost seven straight games with neither Smith or any of his teammates being able to show any signs of competitiveness. And that lack of competitivity was on view in the Jets’ disastrous play and the team’s 43-23 loss to the Buffalo Bills. Now firmly rooted at the bottom of the AFC East this season for the New York Jets has now become a forlorn and an ongoing recipe of prolonged disaster. Self-inflicted wounds, the coaching staff and the team remain at a loss to explain their current situation with Woody Johnson yet to issue a public statement on his franchise’s misfortunes.

Rex Ryan and the New York Jets will get the chance to seek the team’s second win of the season when they travel to Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City Missouri, to face the Kansas City Chiefs an all AFC contest this upcoming Sunday.

Save the best until last ? Looking at the NFC South and this season ,it might just be the worst division in the entire NFL , given the play of the teams within the division . Not one team , including the NFC South division leaders the Carolina Panthers (3-4) has a winning record this season and it seems likely a sub.500 or just above .500 mark will be enough to secure the divisional crown. As to what this might suggest about the Panthers, New Orleans Saints (3-4), Atlanta Falcons (2-6) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-6) does not leave a great deal to the imagination, other than to suggest , all four teams are extremely bad .

The picture of ineptitude currently being painted in the NFC South, has been on display with the masterpiece put on canvass by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,coached by Lovie Smith , where he and his coaching staff along with GM Jason Licht have shown that they and the team are simply bereft of creativity and intellect both on and off the field of play. Smith has no idea as to who his starting quarterback ought to be from week to week . And he certainly has no idea who he can turn to , to provide leadership among his playing staff. Yet, all of the nonsensical debate by fans as to the real issues bedeviling the team and no one ever seems to talk about the role of veteran leadership. Reverence and stupidity among Buccaneers’ fans, who can and still point back to their championship winning season and the fact Jon Gruden coached the team to the victory in question. Truth be known, a blind man with the insight as to the tendencies of the Oakland Raiders could have coached the Buccaneers to the win . Yet , that seems to show the lack of real intelligence with the fan-base of the franchise and the fact they still rejoice in that year and not the very fact in its aftermath , neither Gruden or then general manager Bruce Allen sought to build for the future.

The front office of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , now under the guidance of the family of the late patriarch Malcom Glazer, seem non too concerned over the team’s travails and the fact the Buccaneers’ sole victory victory this season came in their week four triumph over a less than impressive Pittsburgh Steelers,who at the time ,were an injury riddled team . The Steelers since then, have taken an opposite trajectory to the Bucs and now find themselves in the thick of thingsin a very competitive AFC North division.

A home loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Minnesota Vikings in an overtime defeat, suggested even when putting up a gallant effort, this team is simply not good enough to deal with real adversity . I doubt things are likely to get any better for the Buccaneers in their next scheduled game when they face the Cleveland Browns (4-3) at Paul Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio,.

Give Drew Brees the tools to get the job done and he can pick apart just about any team in the NFL. With that being said, this season the New Orleans Saints have been far from being their explosive and overpowering self when meeting their opponents . If nothing else , Brees and his teammates are struggling to gain some traction within the NFC, much less the division . Sean Payton , meanwhile , remains the offense minded guru, playing to the strengths of his renowned quarterback .

The Saints still possess a reliable running game but if you can “stunt that”,then force Brees out of the pocket and hasten his decision making and he can become vulnerable, but he still possesses the mindset to carry his team when it is necessary. Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson have provided the ground game for the Saints with their receiving corps being equally adept , led by Brandin Cooks . Jimmy Graham and Marques Colston. From a defensive standpoint , this is where I believe the Saints have their Achilles’ Heel in not always being able to slow down an opponent . We are likely to see the Saints face such a dilemma, when they take on the Carolina Panthers in a Thursday night game we can only hope meet the expectations of the fans in attendance as well as the television audience watching as the events unfold at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte,North Carolina, as the week nine schedule begins.

It doesn’t seem that long ago Matt Ryan was being hailed as a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback and the face of the Atlanta Falcons’ franchise. Having signed a multi-year , multi-million dollar deal , making the player among the highest paid players in the NFL and among the highest paid quarterbacks , it has to be said Ryan has failed to deliver the goods while showing a lack of leadership for the Falcons. Now the cacophony of criticism being raised and aimed at the quarterback and head coach Mike Smith have reached unnerving proportions. Not only are there now cries for the dismissal Smith, but also for the jettisoning of Matt Ryan . I guess when the fans believe your ” number is up”, then they feel you have to go ?

Failure at all levels in terms of the Falcons’ play beyond the injury issues should not be seen as an excuse and understandably teams will tend to use such a premise . Yet the Atlanta Falcons came into this season with high hopes of winning their division and making a serious push for a postseason berth . Now this team is scrambling to save not only the season, but quite possibly not jepoardizing the future of Mike Smith and his job security. GM Thomas Dimitroff also has to be looking over his shoulder as team owner, Arthur Blank looks on at the continued mess his franchise is now engulfed in. It is pretty much safe to say, the noose is now tightening around the necks of several members of the playing staff as well as among the coaches . Blank has been known to show a great deal of patience and trust as exhibited with Michael Vick . Those days are now long gone and with a new stadium in the offing , there is no way in hell the owner wants an inept on field product with a coaching staff simply bereft of ideas. With millions of dollars at stake , this is the last scenario an NFL franchise owner would desire.

With a bye week , the Falcons can lick their wounds and prepare for their next opponent in week ten, when they look to inflict more pain pain into the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season in a divisional clash at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa , Florida, against their divisional rivals. A loss fot the Falcons and the cries are likely to get louder and angrier from the fans of the franchise.

Their careers have been intertwined for over a decade and their meetings in the NFL regular and postseason have become legendary. As future Hall of Fame players, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have reached the pinnacle of their respective careers. Brady with threeSuperbowl victories would like nothing better than to add a fourth to his already distinguised resume’ . Manning for his part is a four-time League MVP, with one Superbowl win to his name and the now infamous loss loss to the Seattle Seahawks’ in last season’s rather lopsided postseason finale . That defeat not only surprised a lot of NFL fans but certainly jolted the Denver Broncos (6-1) and their quarterback.

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will meet again in what is likely to be the game of the day , as these two titans of the NFL suit up for another great contest, when the New England Patriots (6-2) play host to the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough , Massachusetts,. The Patriots have shown their flaws this season as too have the Broncos and it would take a foolhardy individual to pick against either of these two dominant quarterbacks . The game itself could go a long way in telling us which of these two teams will be in the driver’s seat within the AFC , with the winner, surely being looked upon as the prohibitive favorite within the conference for the Superbowl .

As Tom Brady and Peyton Manning continue to rewrite the record books with Manning recently surpassing Brett Favre for the all-time career mark in touchdown passes , with the Patriots’ and Broncos’ quarterbacks among the active leaders with career passing touchdowns . The question now becomes which two young quarterbacks currently playing in the NFL will be the next to step up to the plate and provide the league with a player rivalry not seen in this league in a very long time ? Peyton Manning entered the NFL as the number one overall pick in the 998 NFL Draft and Tom Brady was overlooked by several teams in the first round and dropped to the sixth round before he was taken by the New England Patriots in the 2000 NFL Draft . As to what this might suggest about the front office executives , scouts and coaching staff that year, can be best left for another time and a very lengthy debate.

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A winning season clearly aids a franchise as well as their star players and it should be noted, both the Patriots and Broncos have stood firmly by habits which have served the two franchises very well. It will be very interesting to see where these two teams are , a year or two from now . I believe we are now seeing to of the greatest careers ever witnessed in the NFL over the past eighteen years and the accomplishments of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are unlikely to be surpassed, as the level of commitment and excellence is rarely seen among today’s NFL quarterbacks. Your thoughts if any, concerning the points raised within this article and anything else you believe worthy of a mention .

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(1) Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys is sacked by Brandon Meriweather (31) of the Washington Redskins during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. A late comeback led by the Redskins’ third string quarterback Colt McCoy gave the visiting team the victory in overtime . Getty Images / Tom Pennington. …

(2) Brandon Meriweather (31) of the Washington Redskins reacts after sacking quarterback Tony Romo (9) of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images / Tom Pennington …

(3) Colt McCoy (16) of the Washington Redskins is chased from the pocket by Rolando McClain (55) of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half at AT&T Stadium on October 27, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images/ Tom Pennington …

(4) GM John Idzik of the New York Jets who has seen the team off to a 1-7 start to end the first half of the NFL season, placing the Jets at the bottom of the AFC East with only the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7) and Oakland Raiders (0-7) with worst records within the conference and league. Idzik has taken the brunt of the blame for the team’s woes but the belief appears to be head coach Rex Ryan is likely to be fired at the end of the season with the general manager also , abruptly , being shown the door . AP Photo / Rachel Davis ..

(5) Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints against the Green Bay Packers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 26, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images / Chris Graythen …

(6) Peyton Manning (18) and Tom Brady (12) share a few words after a game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots during week twelve of last season . The two quarterbacks have met thirteen times over the course of their respective careers in the regular and postseason . AP Photo / Lindsay Archer ….

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Things you don’t do when trying to be taken seriously ….

Things you don’t do when trying to be taken seriously

In the past few days a great deal has happened in the world sports and in the NFL , the biggest story might be Pat Bowlem’s decision to relinquish control of the Denver Broncos , as he battles Alzheimer’s disease. The tragedy here , is the fact Bowlem might not see his team battle through the season , as they seek to put last year’s debacle behind them. On the wrong side of one of the worst defeats in Superbowl history, the Denver Broncos as led by the coaching staff of Jon Fox and play-making leadership of Peyton Manning . The team will this upcoming season be playing for a great deal more than pride as they seek to avenge a dismal postseason and a Superbowl loss.

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After being dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks so clinically in last season’s Superbowl, I am not so sure the Broncos still remain the best team in the AFC , in spite of last season’s record. They are likely to be seen as a prohibitive favorite to return to the postseason along with the always competitive New England Patriots as led by Tom Brady . For both Manning and Brady, the opportunities for them to add to their legacy, in terms of the postseason are quickly diminishing. The two quarterbacks over the last decade have been the face of the NFL, and as their careers approach the twilight years , it is hard to question their respective legacies and where they stand in the annals of NFL history .

With Joe Ellis now taking over the role as the Chief Executive Officer of the Denver Broncos with John Elway remaining the Head of Football Operations, it remains to be seen how focused this organization will remain , while the drama unfolds over the course of the season. The first four games of the Denver Broncos of their regular season schedule should tell us a great deal about the mindset of the team and the franchise in general. Week one will see the Broncos play host to the Indianapolis Colts in all AFC clash , where Peyton Manning will take another shot at his former team. Once again the Colts’ Andrew Luck will get to renew an old rivalry against his idol. Luck will also be looking to show that the faith placed in him by the front office of the Indianapolis Colts was more than justified when he was made the number one pick in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft .

Now don’t get me wrong, I am for athletes getting their due rewards when they are productive and have led by example but far too often we see hear and see at the professional level a player wanting to “opt out of a contract” or fail to turn up for a mandatory team activity. This is being done to force a point with management that they believe they deserve a raise. In the real world, this sort of behavior would not be tolerated by an employer let alone a branch of military service but yet sports’ analysts and fans alike continue to come up with this idiocy of, if they deserve it then they should be paid what the market can bear. What can the market really bear as according the NFL much less baseball, especially in the case of the latter where MLB’s finances and pay scales are so out of whack as it relates to the teams ? I have read several pieces by individuals who claim to have knowledge of finance, but if they were asked to explain succinctly a pro-forma invoice or balance sheet they would fall flat on their ass, in giving you exact details how either of the principles work concerning either of the financial documents in question.

The San Francisco 49ers’ tight end Vernon Davis has decided to sit out the Niners’ organized team activities (OTA’s) in the lead-up to the preseason , regular season and thereby costing himself in excess of $750,000 in fines and salary.. A small price to pay for the player who believes he is worth a great deal more than the Niners are willing to pay him now and where Davis believes he should be at or near the top of the pay scale for someone who plays the position .

Davis has been one of the more productive players for the San Francisco 49ers’ offense over the past two seasons and a primary reason why Colin Kaepernick has also been a success for the franchise since his ascent to the quarterback position for this team. As potent as the Niners’ offense is said to be, there remains, a question concerning the team’s secondary. While I believe Vernon Davis to be a very solid tight end it would be hard to suggest the player deserves to be rewarded as the highest paid player at the position within the NFL.GM Trent Baalke fully understands what has to take place concerning this matter, while Davis has seen his teammate Colin Kapernick being well rewarded for his productivity as a member of the franchise. Not really a perplexing dilemma, but certainly one worth observing over the upcoming months as we enter the preseason.

It will be interesting to see how the San Francisco 49ers maneuver through this season especially in terms of their divisional contests with the Seattle Seahawks over the course of the year. The rivalry between these two NFC West franchises might just be the best thing the NFL now has to offer their fans. For opposing quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, we will also get to see the furthering of the maturation process of both of these young players, as each takes the next step in the furthering of their young careers. Weeks’ thirteen and fifteen will signify what we could very well expect during this season as the contests between the two teams take place.

As LeBron James once again seeks to reinvent himself, I cannot help but wonder what the thought process might be inside the front office of the Miami Heat and James’ now former teammates. Team President Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison had to be been banking on retaining the services of the team’s best player during 2013. As to this idiocy that James was admirably aided by Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade can be best summed up by looking at the individual game stats for the two players in question and their performances during the postseason. The decision by the four-time League MVP to make a return to Cleveland and rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers was a blow to the fans of the Miami Heat and a boost for the fans of the Cavaliers, while there will be a boost in season ticket and memorabilia sales. Either way, James will profit, as will the Cavaliers as a franchise, while Miami can only imagine what is likely to be next. From my own perspective , I believe both teams will contest within the conference, but neither I believe , will be the conference representative for the NBA Finals during the 2014-15 season.

Pat Riley, in seeking to undo the damage done, with James’ departure, sought to revamp the roster by bringing in seasoned veterans Danny Granger and Luol Deng without addressing their obtaining Shabazz Napier during the NBA Draft. Clearly, Riley and the coaching staff misjudged LeBron James’ feelings and the very fact he was dissatisfied with his teammates and the lack of real ambition by the front office in general. In reality, this was the monster created by the executive, which James , Bosh and Wade gladly sold to the fans and public alike without looking at the future . LeBron James’ little ditty, in wanting to win multiple championships fell short of the five or six, he sought and two does something of a meager return after four straight appearances in the NBA Finals. Last season’s lopsided and totally embarrassing loss to the San Antonio Spurs spelled out not only the complacency of the Heat but also the franchise .

For the second time in five years, LeBron James has thrust his now tired shtick into the spotlight , while the NBA becomes enraptured with the player, most notably, the analyst provocateurs with nothing better to do, than pile their slop on now what has become a tiresome chapter in James’ legacy. History may well go on to suggest that he was the best of his generation, but about where he might lie among the all-time greats remains to be seen. I believe him to be an incredible talent , but as with so many of today’s athletes , he has been packaged and sold like any consumer product that after time becomes of no use to anyone whatsoever.

As baseball meanders through the second half of its season we can already see which teams are unlikely to make a divisional run or obtain a wildcard berth for the two spots available within each league. One contributor within the blogging world in trying to shed light on the travails of the New York Mets opined on the issue of the baseball franchise building for the future and the likelihood of being credible contenders next season. Over the past six seasons the New Yorks Mets have simply an aberration barely worth talking about. The front office of the franchise is simply bereft of creativity and the team is managed by someone who is completely out of his depth . Yet, we are meant to think the Mets can amount to something with Terry Collins and his staff leading this baseball club when they are clearly struggling in just about every aspect of their game . The results and their record have borne this out over the course of this season, but shortsightedness comes along with the idiotic ranting of an alleged baseball fan, who clearly has no idea about what the hell he has watched concerning the New York Mets.

As of the 23rd July the New York Mets’ record of 48-53 (.475) had the team playing sub 500 baseball, which simply tells what the club has been about for much of this season. In 2013, it was pitcher Matt Harvey, who the fans seem to a think would bring the Mets out of their continued rut, but things were not to be as they fell by the wayside once again. Sitting in third place , within the NL East behind the Washington National and Atlanta Braves the Mets are out of the running for the divisional crown and granted their fans are likely to be looking to next season for the team to make credible challenge because of the talent gathered within their farm system over the past few seasons . It is my belief, if the team is still struggling now as they have been over the past four seasons , when there was said to be treasure trove of players being developed among their AA and AAA affiliates , without their being any major contributions having been promoted up to the Major League Level. Why would anyone now believe the New York Mets are ready to make a serious challenge within the NL?

Winners of six of their last ten games, where the New York Mets now go from here is solely dependent upon the leadership shown by the more experienced players on the roster. David Wright , while being an All Star , is merely the poor man’s version of Derek Jeter within the NL and with teammates such as Bartolo Colon , Curtis Granderson , Chris Young , Lucas Duda , Daniel Murphy and Bobby Abreu , it is hard to imagine how the team in its present guise could be seen as a credible challenger within their division, much less at some point in the future.

Front office executives Sandy Alderson and J P Ricciardi have yet to pull a rabbit from beyond their sleeves much less out of a hat , yet there was this continued thought, both executives would have a strategy in place to turn things around effectively for this franchise. The fans continue to wait , much like the rest of baseball as the New York Mets simply continue to swoon.

The Mets’ last postseason appearance came in 2006 , where they made it to the NLCS , only to fall to the St Louis Cardinals in seven games . Since then the years have not at all been kind to the poorer of the two New York based baseball franchises. Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon are still looked upon as pariahs and parasites around Major League Baseball and with very good reason , except in the eyes of a clown such as Bud Selig .

Amed Rosario, Noah Syndergaard , Brandon Nimmo , Kevin Plawecki and Cesar Puello may well make their mark within the game of baseball, but I seriously doubt that it will be for the New York Mets, not while this current management structure is in place. And where repeatedly, over the past six seasons the transactions of the organization have become something of a joke all-round. , along with a number of dubious draft choices during the time-frame in question.

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Of the points raised within this article , specifically, what do you believe might be the most pertinent? Of the unfolding stories now happening in the world of sports , which tidbit has your undivided attention ? Chime with your thoughts as you see fit and thanks as always for the continued support of this site !

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(1) Joe Ellis of the Denver Broncos, who will now become the CEO for the NFL franchise with the departure of Pat Bowlem due to health issues . AP Photo / Garrett Holmes ….

(2) From left to right, Pat Bowlem , Peyton Manning and John Elway are seen here at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado , home to the AFC West based Denver Broncos. Getty Images North America / Harry Howe …

(3) Andrew Luck (12) if the Indianapolis Colts is proving to just as good as first thought, by many of the NFL analysts and prognosticators who analyzed the 2012 NFL Draft . AP Photo/ James Mackie ….

(4) San Francisco 49ers’ tight end , Vernon Davis who has chosen to miss a number of the team’s mandatory OTA’s as he seeks to negotiate a new contract that would make him among the highest paid players at the position within the NFL . Davis has already incurred several thousand dollars in fines , because of his stance and it remains to be seen what other actions might be taken by the franchise against their versatile player. AP Photo /Barry Hines …

(5) Cleveland Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert call now afford to smile having negotiated the return of LeBron James to once again play for the Eastern Conference based franchise. Cavaliers’ fans are hoping James can regain the form seen at the start of his career with the team. AP Photo/ Gayle Cunningham …

(6) Curtis Granderson left is seen here with teammate David Wright of the New York Mets . AP Photo / Chris Jones ……..

(7) New York Mets’ minor league pitcher Noah Syndergaard , who was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays . AP Photo / Marc Harper …..

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It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

It could well be a contest for the ages , if everything goes to plan

The sporting weekend within the NFL brought us the divisional games within both conferences with the prize at stake being the four berths available in the AFC and NFC championship contests that will take place on Sunday the 19th January , 2014. For quarterbacks Tom Brady and Peyton Manning their meeting in the AFC contest will be the fifteenth meeting regular season or otherwise , between these two highly regarded and future Hall of Fame players . On each occasion, where the two have met on the field of play, the margin of victory has been fewer than seven points. Which sets up this contest as being one of the more intriguing, with now a Superbowl berth . being at stake?

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Manning will be seeking to his third Superbowl appearance, whereas his opposing number , Tom Brady will be seeking to make his sixth appearance , in the hope of winning a fourth Superbowl victory and ring. Other than Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw , as quarterbacks , have been the only two players to have led the same franchise to respective titles in the Superbowl era.

Throughout much of the 2013 regular season , both the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots have proven by far that they were the two best teams within the AFC . Granted, the Kansas City Chiefs could have laid claim to that very fact , had the latter part of their season not span out of control and then to fall by the wayside in their wildcard round loss to the Indianapolis Colts , whom the New England Patriots handily disposed of in their divisional round contest this past Sunday. . If there was said to be a hero in that game between Indianapolis and New England, then by rights, the Patriots’ running back LeGarrette Blount would have to be regarded in that light. A cast off, by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Blount was acquired , primarily as a backup to Stevan Ridley and for short yardage use as and when determined by head coach Bill Belichick . However, in 2013, Blount has proven himself to be not only to be productive and worthy backup for Ridley. Yet, it has now created something of a dilemma for the Patriots’ head coach , as to whether not the running back should now supplant Ridley as the featured back on the team for the postseason . Personally, I believe that things should be left just as they are , with both players being utilized to their best of their abilities as the coach sees fit .

As an avid New England Patriots’ fan, my singular issue all season long has been the inconsistency of the team’s defense and the very fact that Bill Belichick and the coaching staff, have never truly felt comfortable with the makeup of the secondary as a whole . The postseason has done little to dissuade of me of that , even in spite of the ease of the victory over the Indianapolis Colts , as I know that team will be in for a much sterner test when they face the Denver Broncos led by Peyton Manning and that high-octane offense .

While, the most recent meeting between the two teams was an instantaneous classic , with Tom Brady and the Patriots getting the better (34-31) of Manning and his teammates . You somehow, get the feeling that this contest is unlikely to be like their previous meetings , especially with so much now being at stake with regard to this particular game. It would be fair to surmise, that both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have been by far the most successful quarterbacks in the NFL since 1998 , the year Manning was drafted , then to be followed by Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft as a sixth round pick by the New England Patriots . In terms of their longevity and the unprecedented success achieved by both Tom Brady and Peyton Manning , wherein , both are now viewed as the positive and preeminent faces of the NFL .

The NFC championship contest , between the San Francisco 49ers as the guests of the Seattle Seahawks at Q West Field in Seattle, Washington on Sunday afternoon, in what is likely to be a highly competitive game. For the respective teams’ young quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson , this will be a chance to renew not just a divisional rivalry , but something of budding competition between of the league’s up and coming players in the league at the quarterback position, who entered the NFL less than a year apart .

Seattle’s head coach Pete Carroll and his opposite number Jim Harbaugh this opportunity affords both head coaches the change to gauge the progress of their respective teams over the past three seasons , since each assumed control in their positions. Harbaugh will seek to reverse this season’s regular season away loss to the Seattle Seahawks. . The two teams have evened their divisional meetings in 2013, with both sides coming away with rather convincing victories. .Both the Forty Niners and Seahawks are viewed as well-balanced teams, capable of play making on both sides of the ball . Opposing running backs Frank Gore of San Francisco and Marshawn Lynch of Seattle, are seasoned and wily veterans, who still remain productive at this stage of their respective careers. For Colin Kapernick and Russell Wilson , it will be interesting to see how both of these young quarterbacks acquit themselves in what is likely to be the most important game that either has played at this stage of their young careers. . This contest between these two divisional rivals, could prove to be something big, or simply a one-off , by way of the lack of a truly dominant team within the NFC over the past two seasons. I believe we shall see, as this encounter unfolds on Sunday afternoon whether or not my assumptions come to fruition !

Away from the postseason schedule , fans might not have been completely taken aback by the coaching dismissals that took place within the NFL . Greg Schiano’s firing by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with GM Mark Dominik’s contract not being renewed was not that much of a surprise . Schiano, brought absolutely no discipline whatsoever to a team , that was lacking creativity and guile , in spite of idiotic analysis and claims being made by observers . A three-game win streak , was the best, that the Buccaneers achieved all season long . The team’s defense , was an abject failure and a sign what not to strive to achieve, if you happen to be a defensive coordinator in the NFL .

The Buccaneers have yet to find a successor, albeit, that the organization is rumored to be showing an interest in getting re-acquainted with former GM Rich McKay , who now happens to be the team President of the Atlanta Falcons and oversaw the successful attempt by that particular franchise in their obtaining the financing and soon to be finished billion dollar edifice that will house the NFC South based franchise. It may well take a great deal more than reminiscing about old times to lure McKay back to Tampa , after the way he was treated by the Glazer family during the Jon Gruden tenure , in which the former head coach and his sidekick Bruce Allen won a Superbowl , only to then hamstring the Buccaneers financially for the next several years, during which the team’s fortunes, fell with alarming speed . Yet, the moronic fans and the idiot on air personalities, simply lacking the intelligence to realize what the hell was going on or the very fact that during Gruden’s tenure, few players were developed that have become mainstays with the franchise. Idiocy begets idiocy and nowhere, is this more prevalent than with the fans within Central Florida and as it relates to all things concerning the Buccaneers , Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Lightning .

Former Chicago Bears’ head coach Lovie Smith has been brought in to resurrect the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ fortunes and make this franchise competitive enough within the NFC South , where the two dominant teams at present would appear to be the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers , who are likely to become considerably better next season , with the not so stunning maturation process shown by Cam Newton this past season , and where Ron Rivera has brought about a resilience to the franchise not seen in several years. I believe that Smith can be a success, but that will be predicated upon the latitude provided him by what remains a clueless ownership group . Anyone who believes that Joel and Avram Glazer have any idea how to run a professional sports’ franchise, need only to look at their handling of the family’s other sporting interest , the now declining …. fortunes of Manchester United and the fact that the board of directors and that team’s manager David Moyes are besieged by the fans and press alike for the club’s rapidly falling fortunes and the absolute inept hire of Moyes to succeed Alex Ferguson , soccer’s most successful club coach.

The NFL Draft is a little more than two months away and a number of decisions are likely to be made by Lovie Smith and the coaching staff that he will have assembled, as they seek to gauge makeup of the current roster and then judge which players they believe superfluous to the franchise.

For a team coming off a 4-12 season , there was little that anyone could feel pleased about concerning the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and yes , that includes the play of rookie quarterback Mike Glennon . Granted, he has to be considered a major upgrade over a failing Josh Freeman , a player with issues both on and off the field , and whose complete lack of maturity was continually on display along with the asinine behavior of his agent Erik Burkhardt , whose claims about his client’s medical condition were leaked to the press in order that the Buccaneers could jettison the player. Burkhardt has been known to make outlandish statements, simply to garner the press’ attention , but when finally pressed to answer who else had information concerning Freeman’s mental health issues , the agent could not give a succinct answer. Begs the question , was Erik Burkhardt seeking sympathy for a player who over the past three seasons has failed to live up to the hype . Freeman was not that great a player at the collegiate level and he certainly showed no real signs of progress once he made it into the NFL .

The future of the Buccaneers may well seem to be bright with Lovie Smith at the helm, as the franchise’s head coach , but as I alluded to earlier , unless the ownership group takes more of an interest in the franchise , and has an experienced front office executive working in conjunction with the head coach. Then, we are likely to see a repeat of the same missteps being made, as witnessed with Bruce Allen and Mark Dominik.

Mike Munchak’s dismissal as head coach of the Tennessee Titans was more out of a rush to judgment by a franchise, that has completely lost its way. The late CEO & owner , Bud Adams remained clueless, and he much like fellow NFL franchise owners , Jerry Jones , Dan Snyder , Mark Davis , Woody Johnson and Steven Ross are individuals who treat those franchise as mere baubles while wanting also display their ostentatious-ness and considerable wealth . I have become sick and tired of hearing idiots such as Chris Mortensen , Adam Schefter , Tm Hasselbeck , Stephen A Smith , Skip Bayless and John Clayton describe these owners as highly intelligent individuals , simply because they made their fortunes elsewhere, outside the realms of the NFL . With as great a business acumen as the individuals mentioned are said to possess , consider the fact that the Titans , Dallas Cowboys , Washington Redskins , Oakland Raiders , New York Jets and Miami Dolphins as franchises, have only three playoff appearances between them over the past six years . A meager return, when one considers the esteem in which a number of those franchises are said to be held.

Munchak’s firing , simply came by way of the lack of success of the team during this past season . Moreover, the loss of quarterback, Jake Locker to an injury , early into the Titans’ season after the player’s great start , simply sent the franchise spiraling downwards , unable to regain that early momentum. With that decline, came the mounting losses , the questionable decision-making during games and the lack of a real competitive fight from the Titans’ players. Yet, the responsibility for the franchise’s woes should not be placed solely on the shoulders of the dismissed head coach, because he was never given any real help by way of a general manager Ruston Webster , whose experience in the position since 2012 , was something of a clear indicator, as to what the fans and franchise should have expected. Fractured decision-making, by way of assessing and the drafting of personnel , never-mind some rather off-kilter acquisitions , simply summed up the franchise. Bud Adams’ relinquishing of his role as the Chief Executive, with his children, Suzie Adams Smith , Amy Adams Hunt and son-in-law Thomas Smith now assuming control , taking the franchise in a new direction. As to the course, now being traveled , that destination has yet to be determined

Ruston Webster hired former Arizona Cardinal’s head coach, Ken Whisenhunt to succeed Mike Munchak. It will be very interesting to see how the new coach proceeds, as he seeks some semblance of success with a team that lacks veteran presence and a real vocal leader on the field of play.

What happens in Vegas they say , usually “stays in Vegas “ . In terms of the Minnesota Vikings’ season. Well, , that is something, that reads like a badly written comedic piece. Suffice to say, with all of the assembled talent , in terms of the roster. The coaching mindset of Leslie Frazier was simply nowhere to be seen, along with this long considered belief that either Christian Ponder or Josh Freeman would be placed to lead this franchise to a divisional title , much less a postseason berth . To top it all, Zygi Wilf, the team’s owner, during the season was found guilty , in a civil suit of defrauding several former business partners of monies due from a commercial real estate deal. Somehow, these problems, are overlooked by the league hierarchy and in particular by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , whose continued idiocy , simply knows no boundaries . Adding insult to injury , was the fact that the commissioner thought nothing of the actions of Cleveland Browns’ owner , Jimmy Haslam in seeking to settle out of court in a monetary payout of several millions, sought to avoid federal prosecution for grand larceny , fraud and theft , all resulting from his company , Pilot J Flying Inc’s business practices, in defrauding clients of monies rightfully due them. Ah , the joy of being a team owner in the NFL , where there is no damn leadership and where Roger Goodell, is more concerned with player misconduct , their sullying of the league’s image , rather than his being worried by the illegal and reckless activities of a number of team owners. Could I have put it any more succinctly than that?

Frazier was relieved of his duties as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings , having posted a record of 21-32 (.396) in four seasons with the franchise. The vacancy remains unfilled , with GM Rick Spielman , now seeking a suitable replacement for the deposed former head coach. From my own perspective, a team that has the league’s best running back , but fails to utilize him properly , has to pay the price for that type of stupidity . One which, we have seen repeatedly, with this Vikings’ franchise over the past three seasons, and are likely to see in the future, with their atypical approach and lack of what is needed in terms of success within the NFL. Adrian Peterson, may well be racking up the yards , on his way to a Hall of Fame career, but at the end of the day , his enshrinement may well mean a great deal to the player in terms of his accomplishments. In essence , the fans tend to only remember the players who have won a Superbowl , because it is the ultimate sign of team success , rather than just looking at the player’s singular achievements , as a way of assessing their greatness.

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Picture gallery.

This off-season, will see a great many changes not just amongst the Minnesota Vikings and its staff, but there is likely to be a preponderance of changes around the entire NFL , as the coaching merry-go-round begins , as teams seek fill the voids within their coaching and playing staffs. What thoughts, if any, do you have with regard to this NFL postseason? Also, which of the four remaining participants, do you believe to be the favorite and victorious during this playoff season?

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Picture and slideshow details below .
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(1) Tom Brady (left) and Peyton Manning (18), seen here , after the duo’s most recent meeting , during which the Patriots’ quarterback prevailed in the encounter , the pair’s fifteenth overall over the course of their respective careers. Manning entered the NFL in 1998 as the number one overall pick by the Indianapolis Colts , with Brady taken in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft . Tom Brady and Peyton Manning lead the NFL in certain offensive passing categories amongst active quarterbacks now playing in in the NFL . Getty Images North America / Philip Miller ….

(2) 18 Apr 1998: Quarterback Peyton Manning displays an Indianapolis Colts jersey during the 1998 NFL Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Alongside Manning is NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue . Mandatory Credit: Ezra O. Shaw /Allsport ….

(3) Tom Brady(12) and England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick are seen here on the sidelines during a game. The combination of head coach and player are amongst the most successful in NFL history . Belichick and Brady have combined for five Superbowl appearances and six AFC championship games during their thirteen years together. Brady, this postseason hopes to join a select number of quarterbacks with at least five six Superbowl appearances, while seeking to win his fourth Superbowl ring. Already a two-time Superbowl MVP and NFL MVP . All that now awaits the Patriots’ quarterback upon his retirement, will be the call formally announcing his induction into the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio,. AP Photo / Chris Woodson ….

(4) NFC quarterbacks , Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers is seen here with Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks . The two players will meet on Sunday afternoon in the NFC championship game when the Seahawks play host to the 49ers at Q West Field in Seattle , Washington . The winner of the contest will be the NFC representative in the Superbowl , where they will face the winner of the AFC game between the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots . Getty Images / Mark Fisher ….

(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Chairman Joel Glazer is seen here speaking to Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano . After a 4-12 season the franchise and coach parted ways . Also leaving the Buccaneers, GM Mark Dominik whose contract was not renewed after 5 years as the franchise’s front office executive in charge of player personnel decisions. The team has yet to hire a successor to Dominik , but the hiring of Lovie Smith is seen as a positive step in the right direction. All rights reserved copyrighted material @ Tampa Bay Tribune ….

(6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head coach Lovie Smith is seen here with members of the Glazer family , owners of the NFL franchise. Seen here from left to right are Ed Glazer, Bryan Glazer, Smith and Joel Glazer . Will Vragovic / The Tampa Bay Times ….

(7) Minnesota Vikings GM Rick Spielman is seen here addressing the convened press at Vikings’ headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The franchise fired head coach Leslie Frazier , but have yet to hire a successor to the departed Frazier. There now seems to be a great deal of speculation concerning Spielman’s own future with the team , with several of the partners with the Vikings questioning the general manager’s handling of the franchise this past season and many of the personnel decisions made . AP Photo / Hunter Matthews …..

(8) Cleveland Browns’ owner, Jimmy Haslam , whose tenure as the team’s Chief Executive has come under a great deal of criticism after it was revealed that Haslam’s company Pilot J Flying Inc and the executive himself , faced charges of grand larceny , theft and fraud . The NFL franchise owner and the Justice Department reached an out of court arrangement but with a fine having been paid by the company . However. several other clients of Pilot J have lodged a civil suit in US Federal Court seeking unspecified damages against the company and its executives . Further embarrassing the NFL as this episode unfurled , were the claims that the monies used in Haslam’s purchase of the Browns were derived from the fraud perpetrated. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s failure , in having the league’s investigators carry out what was said to be an in-depth investigation of Jimmy Haslam’s finances , would have uncovered the ongoing action of the Justice Department at the time the sale of the franchise, actually took place. UPI/ REUTERS/ Keith Thompson …..

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tophatal ………………. 01/14/2014

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Why are you bringing a knife to a gunfight?

Why are you bringing a knife to a gunfight?

If there has been one thing that I have learned about this NFL season as it begins to wind down , with but one game to go on the sixteen week schedule . It has been that a number of teams came into the year, with a great deal of high aspirations, as well as being ill-prepared. That was clearly the case, with teams such as the Atlanta Falcons , Buffalo Bills , Dallas Cowboys , New York Jets , Houston Texans , the ‘ always putrid’ Oakland Raiders , Washington Redskins , Tampa Bay Buccaneers , Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings . A great deal of what fans have witnessed this season , has been extremely poor coaching , highly overrated players, but above all, a watering down of an NFL product that has become so bland .

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In a season that has provided few memorable highlights , Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning remains on a quest to rewrite the history books. This year was no exception with the player, as he surpassed the mark for touchdown passes in a season and could very well come within close proximity for breaking the single season yardage mark for passing yards. Such as been the play of the four-time league MVP , that it seems asinine to suggest that there has been another player in the league in 2013, who is even remotely close to be seen as a legitimate challenger in stopping Manning from winning what would be an unprecedented fifth league MVP award.

The Denver Broncos, having secured their postseason berth, in winning the AFC West with considerable ease , as the challenge from Kansas City Chiefs , simply petered out , after the Chiefs’ loss to the Indianapolis Colts . Peyton Manning and the Broncos, simply wrapped up the division, with their 37-13 rout of the now determinedly incompetent Houston Texans. Mindful of that must now be expected of what now must be expected of the team, as they are likely to be viewed as the AFC’s top ranked contender for the Superbowl . Anything short of an appearance in the league’s showcase event will undoubtedly be seen as a tremendous disappointment not only for the players but also for the organization , led by owner Pat Bowlen and Head of Football Operations John Elway . The former Broncos’ great has a fashioned a team in his own guise, that was simply reminiscent of his playing days and his having led this particular franchise to back to back Superbowl appearances and victories .

The Broncos’ final game of the season , will be against the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Alameda County Stadium ( O Coliseum) , in Oakland , California . Having gained 5211 passing yards for the season, along with fifty-one touchdown passes , Peyton Manning needs only 266 yards to erase Drew Brees’ mark of 5476 yards from 2011 . I believe that Manning will be able to break that mark with ease , against a Raiders’ secondary that simply has been ineffective all season long !

Disappointment of the fans, cannot be made up for, by the blatant stupidity of a coach , general manager or an NFL team owner . Nowhere has this been more well-chronicled and demonstrated than with the respective seasons of the Atlanta Falcons , Dallas Cowboys And Washington Redskins . As to this idiocy , façade that has been rationalized and far too often subscribed to by analysts and fans alike, that shrewd businessmen make for great professional sports’ owners . Well , it has been abundantly clear that this season Arthur Blank , Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder are and have been about as dumb as they come , in terms of their collective custodianship of the franchises they own. Collectively, these three individuals have a combined wealth exceeding $8.5 billion , but the collective and singular IQ of a comatose and neurologically challenged traffic accident victim. . The three teams combined, are 17-30 over the course of this season and one could surmise that the respective records of all three , is a true reflection of where each franchise ought to be . Mike Smith , head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and his staff , have a team that seemingly does not possess the heart or will to succeed , much less eke out a win of any sort . All of this from a franchise that last season was seen as a legitimate contender within the NFC for the Superbowl, only for the Falcons to once again fall short of their target , while an overpaid and over-hyped quarterback in Matt Ryan continues to flounder and disappoint .

A 4-10 season sums up the trials and tribulations of the Atlanta Falcons’ year and their task will not get any easier when they are the guests of the San Francisco 49ers , tonight in an NFC game of utmost importance for both teams . The Forty Niners , who will be seeking secure themselves a high seeding within the NFC, for the postseason, having failed to make a successful defense of their 2012 NFC West divisional title . It is highly unlikely that the Falcons will be able to stop the Forty Niners at any point during this game , given Atlanta’s own predilection to just self-implode at the most inopportune of moments , with a defense that simply is bereft of talent along with a less than potent offense .

I guess, if there were several words, that could be used the describe the Washington Redskins’ season . Then the adjectives. one would be looking for would be an unmitigated disaster , wherein Mike Shanahan and his coaching staff have simply become lost in the idiocy , whereby there seems to be rhyme or reasoning behind many of the in game decisions being made by the head coach. With what, now appears to be a simmering and soured relationship between Shanahan and last season’s number two overall pick from the 2012 NFL Draft . It has to be said, that Robert Griffin III and his head coach have now reached “the point of no return” , as to their relationship and the cordiality between the two. Dan Snyder, the franchise’s flamboyant and outgoing owner, has presided over a decade of under-achievement, coaching and managerial stupidity. Never mind, the fact , that GM Bruce Allen continues to remain silent on the ever-widening chasm within the organization and the very fact this season has become one of the worst in recent franchise history, beyond the excuses being made concerning Griffin’s form and health in 2013.

As if to further emphasize, how inept the Redskins have now become . In a contest between two struggling divisional teams , Washington faltered against divisional rivals the Dallas Cowboys in a rather uninspiring game , where the Cowboys themselves showed , that , were they to make the postseason , they are likely to be summarily dismissed by their wildcard round opponent . It would not be outrageous to suggest that this season in particular the NFC East is simply devoid of inspirational play , much less a team that could be thought as a threat to anyone within the NFL. As to the bloviate morons, calling the coaching mindset of Philadelphia Eagles’ head coach Chip Kelly as being outstanding , clearly, those who have fallen into that trap, are just as devoid of intelligence as the members of the US House and Senate !

The more I continue to hear Jerry Jones try to sing the praises of the Dallas Cowboys each season , the more I believe him , devoid of reality and anything he purports to be his knowledge of late, in assembling a championship caliber team . That clearly, has not been the case, with the franchise in close to a decade, in spite of the numerous coaching changes made during that time-span. The fait-accompli, now appears to be Jones’ unbridled passion for head coach Jason Garrett , who in many respects has been as clueless as the Cowboys’ owner on a wide variety of issues as it relates to the coaching of the team and his actually being able to communicate with his players on a competitive level . The Dallas Cowboys lack leadership both on and off the field of play. With no one willing to challenge the authority of Jerry Jones , and his never-ending micromanaging every facet of the franchise , from their personnel decisions even the play calling in some instances . It easy to understand why, in recent seasons, the franchise has become more known as a theater of comedic errors , than for being a competitive NFL team. I could continue to lambast Tony Romo , who from season to season , simply shows us that at best , he is nothing more than a good regular season quarterback. A championship caliber quarterback, he clearly is not , and only an idiot would countenance anything along those lines .

It’s no use having a highly explosive offense in today’s NFL , when your defense is simply unable to keep you in a tightly contested game or where the coaching acumen of the staff in recent weeks has continually come into question . Over the past five weeks to see the Detroit Lions’ fall from grace , where the team itself seemed on the verge of perhaps tying up the NFC North . Head coach Jim Schwartz is now trying to suggest that he doesn’t see the team’s failing in that time-frame a failure , but merely the players losing direction and focus. My question, is there a damn difference between failure , losing focus, losing three straight and four of your last five games ? Schwartz is either an idiot, seeking to blow smoke up everyone’s ass or the very same coach who in having succeeded Rod Marinelli’s hapless 0-16 , 2008 roster , then proceeded to chalk up a 2-14 record , in his first full season as head coach in 2009.

With the makeup of this team on offense in particular , with quarterback Matt Stafford , wide receivers Calvin Johnson , Nate Burleson , running backs Joique Bell and Reggie Bush . It is hard to comprehend how this roster can simply fall apart in the way that it has done , until you realize that the defense remains susceptible and as inept as any other in the NFL that seems insistent in not exhibiting that trait of being a competent secondary. Schwartz, often a rambunctious individual, likes not to be pointed out of his flaws and that of his coaching staff , concerning the Lions’ play. Yet somehow, his demeanor during these post-game interviews and all too abrupt behavior , beyond being a sign of weakness has never been met with a fine of any sort , when he has sought to respond to the convened press with a flurry of expletives .

The Chicago Bears now appear to be in the driver’s seat within the NFC North as they lead the division with an 8-7 , followed by the Green Bay Packers (7-7-1) , Lions (7-8) , and lastly the anemic Minnesota Vikings (4-10-1). Detroit’s three-point loss to the New York Giants this past Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit , Michigan , may well have sealed the team’s fate and their now minute chance of making the postseason . Their final game of the season, against the Minnesota Vikings will go a long in way in quite possibly determining the fate of Jim Schwartz and his coaching staff. . Team EVP Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew beyond having to gauge this roster and making the decisions as to how they enter next season , will have to address what now appears to be the fans’ growing discontent with the team, the head coach , and Schwartz’s long-term future with the franchise.

I do not know if you can describe the bravado now being shown by Rex Ryan as “true grit” , or someone who now realizes that the writing is now on the wall , in terms of his tenure as the head coach of the New York Jets . An indifferent season , a rookie quarterback in Geno Smith who was thrown in at the deep end, and whose performances , while admirable in some cases , underscores the fact that the player was simply not ready for the NFL. The options for the Jets at the position were indeed limited , with the coaching staff and front office having very little faith in former incumbent starter , Mark Sanchez. Needless to say, with Sanchez surprisingly, remaining on the roster , you kind of get the feeling that the franchise is likely to return to something old, while something new gets placed on the sidelines , while he learns the nuances of the game and the position as a whole. Throughout much of this season , Smith’s weaknesses were exhibited repeatedly in several games , and a great deal of that responsibility has to be borne by Rex Ryan and quarterbacks’ coach David Lee .

Rex Ryan’s fate and future, does not now lie in his own hands, but in the hands of GM John Idzik , who is likely to deliberate in great depth, with team owner Woody Johnson , as to the beleaguered head coach’s tenure and whether or not he remains the Jets’ most viable option moving forward .

If the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins were meant to be seen as serious challengers to the New England Patriots , as Bill Belichick and his players sought to make a successful defense of their AFC East title. Then this season, has to be seen as a profound disappointment for the Jets as well as the Dolphins. Neither team seemed to be able to sustain a worthwhile challenge throughout the year and questions are likely to be asked about Joe Philbin and the staff, albeit , that there were growing signs in the maturity and in the play of Ryan Tannehill . Unfortunately, the season for Miami will be more renowned for the fact that Richie Incognito’s infamous off-field antics , the franchise’s handling of the situation and the blatant apathy and stupidity of the fans who somehow feel that racially sensitive and sexually derogatory remarks somehow belong in the workplace and can be easily excused by hiding behind the idiom of “freedom of expression” . How fucking pathetic do you have to be, to countenance such behavior ?

The Miami Dolphins will play host to the New York Jets in their final games of the season, when the two teams meet at Landshark Stadium , in Miami this upcoming Sunday , in what is sure to be a competitive divisional contest. New England meanwhile, having secured the AFC East , will now seek to close out their season on a competitive high when they face the Buffalo Bills at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro , Massachusetts, while also seeking to reinforce their status as a legitimate contender within the AFC as the number two seed and a contender for the Superbowl .

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Picture gallery .

With but a week to go, in the NFL regular season , I believe that this has simply reiterated, that while the league remains extremely popular , the coaching and the play of the teams have now tedious and monstrously boring for a wide variety of reasons , that while too numerous to mention , can essentially be summed up by stating that the league hierarchy has made the game far too generic and without creativity . What if anything do you believe to be has been the most exciting event to take place during the year within the NFL ? By all means, leave a comment on this and anything else you believe pertinent to the subject matter.

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Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Peyton Manning (18) of the Denver Broncos drops back to pass during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Getty Images North America / Scott Halleran …

(2) Eric Decker (87) of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against the Houston Texans during the first half of the game against the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on December 22, 2013 in Houston, Texas. Getty Images / Scott Halleran …

(3) New Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning holds up his Broncos jersey as team owner Pat Bowlen , left, and John Elway, vice president of football operations, look on during an NFL football news conference at the Broncos headquarters in Englewood, Colo., on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. The player was acquired by the Broncos in March of 2012 , having spent the majority of his career with the Indianapolis Colts. AP Photo/David Zalubowski ….

(4) Kirk Cousins(12) of the Washington Redskins chats with Robert Griffin III after throwing a 4th quarter interception against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome on December 15, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. The continued souring relationship between the head coach and Robert Griffin III now seems that with a growing certainty Mike Shanahan is likely to be relieved of his duties during the off-season . Should that be the case, then the franchise would have to honor the final year of his contract , paying Shanahan the remaining $7 million due in 2014. Getty Images / Scott Cunningham …

(5) Aug 21, 2011; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) with head coach Jason Garrett during a timeout against the San Diego Chargers at Cowboys Stadium. Matthew Emmons US PRESSWIRE …

(6) Head Coach Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions disagrees with a call against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. Arizona won 38-10 . The loss was the Lions’ most lopsided defeat of the season , with fans now questioning the competitiveness and lack of coaching acumen being shown by Schwartz and his staff. In 2013, the Detroit Lions have been losers of four of their last five games , yet it has been the coaching staff looking elsewhere for faults , much to the chagrin of the front office . Jim Schwartz has sought to apportion blame elsewhere questioning the officiating , but never the fact that his teams have either been ill-prepared or simply complacent. Getty Images / Norm Hall …

(7) Head coach Rex Ryan of the New York Jets and quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the New York Jets walk off together at the end of the game against the Cleveland Browns at MetLife Stadium on December 22, 2013 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets would defeat the Browns 24-13 in the AFC contest . Getty Images / Ron Antonelli

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tophatal ………. 2013/12/23

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Squawkers and gawkers …..

Squawkers and gawkers

Just when we all thought to be a great sports’ weekend, across the panacea of that landscape , one or two oddities , idiocies and great moments are witnessed. In the NFL , week twelve provided us with some scintillating play from the players and one or two moments of dubious firsts . Chris Long and his brother Kyle Long appear to get into what was said to be a shoving match on-field , in a game played between the Chicago Bears and St Louis Rams . Brotherly love in the NFL, may well have a new face to it, beyond the typical loves-fest between perhaps the league’s two most active and famous siblings , Peyton Manning and Eli Manning . That asides , Peyton and the Denver Broncos may well have provided us with the best game played on Sunday afternoon , as the team surrendered a twenty point lead to the New England Patriots , as Tom Brady led the Patriots in a rousing come from behind win in overtime .

A minor incident this past weekend in the NFL between Chris and Kyle Long , that in some cases set the NFL world abuzz .

With losses now suffered by the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs , the AFC has now become a wide open race with four games left to the regular season and the top two berths in the conference still up for grabs . It certainly sets the stage, for an interesting race to finish line over the four remaining games of the regular season schedule.

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Somehow, both the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, are now having something of an astonishing turnaround to their respective seasons. Both teams have now sauntered to a one and three-win streak respectively, suddenly lifting themselves both, out of a position of mediocrity within their respective divisions . As to what this might suggest about the quality of the opponents faced on Sunday has to be also tempered by the quality of lack thereof now being witnessed in the NFL . No amount of enthusiasm a by a group of former NFL players , now on air analysts , singing the praises of the league’s teams , can now excuse the fact that the league has now become a rather bland product !

The Buccaneers’ 24-21 victory over a very overrated Detroit Lions’ team, says as much about the two combatants and the very fact that this Greg Schiano coached team along with their three-game win streak have now become the focus of attention , with their being a great deal of speculation as to whether or not the beleaguered head coach would in fact survive the season . As Matt Stafford continues to put up impressive annual stats , one has to now question the fact, that Jim Schwartz seems to have forgotten that defense is also very much a prerequisite in today’s NFL game.

Speaking of teams, who appear to show no desire to actually play with a model of consistency , beyond now losing with alarming regularity . Are there any remaining fantasy geeks out there, still willing to put their trust in Matt Ryan , much less the Atlanta Falcons as a team? The Falcons in their divisional contest with the New Orleans Saints , sank to a new level of mediocrity , with their fifth successive loss of the season , dropping the team to league low 2-9 record and at the bottom of the NFC South and the NFC , respectively . Who would have thought that at the beginning of the season for a team coming off a league-high 13-3 record in 2012 , along with a divisional title and having made it into the postseason ? Injuries asides , beyond the loss of Julio Jones , the Falcons are now indicating why this suggestion of their being ” parity in the NFL ” is simply nothing more than an urban legend . It comes down to coaching , but above all , talent on the field of play . Yet the hyperbole created and the notion of parity , it begs the question is this merely a matter of creating a ” water cooler topic ” to discuss all season long ? I will leave you, to be the judge of all that !

Last season’s NFC champions the San Francisco 49ers , are proving to be human after-all. Colin Kaepernick in particular , no longer impervious, has shown himself susceptible to being inconsistent in terms of his play , and what was said to be one of the league’s most stymieing secondary’s are also proving hype doesn’t necessarily allude to greatness .

. A two-game losing streak has placed the Niners in somewhat of a precarious position as the league enters the final quarter of the regular season schedule . Tonight’s , Monday night contest at Fedex Field against the Washington Redskins could to prove to be a very interesting game between these NFC rivals . A victory, is a necessity, for both teams, as each seeks to add their legitimacy as a playoff contender . To think that the Redskins, with their record of 4-7 , are not completely out of their divisional race , does seem to be mind-boggling . Yet consider the fact, that NFC East joint divisional leaders the Dallas Cowboys (6-5) and Philadelphia Eagles (6-5) are barely above.500 adds even more credibility behind the rationale , that not only has the play this season been abysmal , but the quartet of teams within this particular division are just not that good .

The return of Derrick Rose , this season to the NBA and the Chicago Bulls , was seen as a tremendous positive not only for the franchise , but also for the league itself. Barely a month , into the NBA season and the fans have witnessed the loss of the point guard to what first appeared to have been an innocuous injury. News’ updates, have suggested that Rose has a torn the meniscus cruciate ligament (MCL) in his right knee and is now likely out, for the remainder of the season. Having not appeared at all, in any games during the 2012 season , Derrick Rose , now being sidelined , is as big a blow to the Chicago Bulls as it will be for the rest of the NBA , without fans being able to witness one of the best point guards in the game , as well as one of the best players overall in the entire league. The team’s chances of making the postseason, will have diminished, but not to the extent where they are likely to be written off as a non-contender as an Eastern Conference titlist .

Rose’s loss for the season , came in the team’s lopsided defeat to the Los Angeles Clippers . While fans and analysts alike, continue to gauge that loss , it is the points guard’s injury and the possible long-term effect on his blossoming career that now comes into question . The Bulls as an organization has a large monetary investment in the player and how they now deal with that issue will be now be predicated upon the decisions that are likely to be made jointly by Tom Thibodeau , owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Gar Forman . The team will now have to refocus their efforts and rally behind the play of Luol Deng , Carlos Boozer , Kirk Hinrich , Jimmy Butler , Gibson and Joakim Noah . If the players can exhibit the type of effort and resilience shown during the 2011 postseason , then any doubts that some observers are likely to have , could be overlooked .

Chicago will get their first opportunity to perform without their All Star point guard , when they face the Utah Jazz , as these two teams meet on Monday night in an infra-conference match-up. How the Bulls perform in that contest might not be enough of a guide to indicate how they are likely to fare over the remainder of their season , but might clue us in, as to the temperament of the team as a whole , as they seek to go on without Derrick Rose .

The Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban , self-styled narcissist and publicity seeking hound , the majority of the time, can also be a pompous ass ! Granted , with the Mavericks having won their lone NBA title in 2011 , he may well feel that gives him the luxury of pointing out the woes of NBA Commissioner David Stern as well as criticizing that executive , as to what he still believes to be wrong with the game . Certainly , I cannot question Cuban’s wealth , but the so-called business acumen that many seem to be under the impression that he currently possesses , should be tempered by the fact he recently ran afoul of the SEC (Securities & Exchange Commission) and US Justice Department for ‘ insider trading’. Cuban’s premise, that he was a victim of a political witch-hunt , was about as asinine as his latest comments , attributed to the Mavericks’ owner ” that performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) should now be allowed in the NBA” , with its use being strictly monitored by the league hierarchy . Educated or not , Mark Cuban’s continued stupidity and outlandish persona, is simply another reason why a great deal of the time why he has never been taken seriously by a number of his peers in and outside of the game. As to this latest statement by Cuban , it begs the question, since when was it appropriate to counteract and violate league rules in order to make a diluted product , even less attractive than it already happens to be ? Cuban may well have been acquitted of the charges , and once again , the incompetency of the prosecution (US Attorney’s Office) in the presentation of the government’s case allowed the defendant to walk .

Mark Cuban’s belief that by using performance enhancing drugs to strictly aid with a player’s recovery from an injury , would be of benefit to the league . Perhaps, the Mavericks’ owner has yet to view the pandemic created by the misuse of PED’S in baseball, and the very fact that the MLBPA (union) , much like the NBPA (Players’ Union) , have both been completely disingenuous in dealing with the issue. Cuban’s concerns, if anything, should be about the long-term future of the Dallas Mavericks and where they are likely to be, upon the retirement of Dirk Nowitzki , the franchise’s leading scorer in their history . It is not as if this team , is now likely to get any better , as Nowiztki’s career has now plateaued , and where he is no longer a force to be reckoned with, as he was during his prime.

Currently at 9-5 , fourteen games into the season the Dallas Mavericks sit in second place behind instate rivals the San Antonio Spurs (12-1) within the Southwest Division of the Western Conference . That mark is good enough for fifth place within the conference overall and sixth place within for the NBA as a whole . The Mavericks led by aging veterans , Nowitzki and Shawn Marion , could very well struggle during the latter part of their season , when health and attrition will play a great deal in what this team is likely to achieve . Coming off a two-point loss to the Denver Nuggets , the two teams will meet again on Monday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver , Colorado.

Now losers of five straight and eight of their last ten games , it is becoming extremely difficult to justify the hire of Jason Kidd , to coach the Brooklyn Nets . Furthermore, Kidd now at his worst by way of his coaching record, appears to be is no better than when Avery Johnson coached this franchise, but was summarily dismissed because of a player revolt. Nets’ GM Billy King and team owner, Mikhail Prokhorov , I believe will soon see the error of their ways , with this asinine and ridiculous hire. Take into account the team’s payroll and the rather asinine belief by anal retentive fans, that the Nets can spend their way out of trouble will actually make them a credible force within the NBA, this season . The Nets as a team, have no defensive presence and the contributory efforts of Paul Pierce , Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry , has bordered on being anemic to say he very least.

As if to further emphasize how bad the Brooklyn Nets just happens to be , only the lamentable Milwaukee Bucks (2-10) have a worst record in the entire Eastern Conference . Sunday’s twelve point home loss by Brooklyn to the Detroit Pistons , should be seen as a reverberating wake-up call for entire Nets’ front office , but with the recent announcement that both Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov will continue to back their embattled head coach to the hilt . I guess, it will be only a matter of time , before we will either see Kidd fall on his sword and summarily re-sign or at the behest of the fans, King makes the decision to relieve the coach of his duties . No use , dressing up a pig and trying to suggest that it is a sow , because that in essence , is what the fans were asked to believe when Jason Kidd was hired to coach this team . His playing credentials were never in question , but his lack of coaching acumen has been on full show , a lack of discipline , and his not being able to communicate with his players, effectively shows this to have been an extremely poor hiring choice to begin with .

This baseball off- season, has been, one of a great deal of speculation and some rather surprising moves. The ongoing “dramedy ” of the Alex Rodriguez hearings , have taken on a life of their own and as a fan of the game , I do believe that this whole process, will not change a damn thing , as it pertains to the landscape within baseball ! The league hierarchy remains incompetent , the union simply overpowering , the owners greedy , and the vast majority of the players are simply disingenuous and under the impression that they still uphold a wonderful tradition , and nothing could be further from the truth .

In one of the more surprising moves , the Detroit Tigers sent Prince Fielder and the remainder of his gargantuan contract off to the Texas Rangers , in exchange for Ian Kinsler . Two under-achieving AL teams simply swapping juju beans, while Jack is still climbing to the top of the Beanstalk. From my own perspective, the Tigers have now reached their zenith, and their recent postseason forays under former manager Jim Leyland , suggests that this team, has nothing left to offer beyond, being very good during the regular season. While this move can be simply seen, as GM Dave Dombrowski seeking to get Fielder’s contract off the books , in order for the team’s pursuance of pitcher Max Scherzer and a contract extension , now seems one that might not be that costly , but it is still likely to leave Detroit with one of the highest team payrolls in all of baseball .

With no one being able to explain the financial mindset within the game of baseball, I believe that during this off-season , we are likely to see the game’s first $300 million player by way of long-term contract ! Some might deem this to be ludicrous, but consider the following, Alex Rodriguez is still on track to have career earnings from the game of $ 500 million , having signed two contracts exceeding $250 million apiece . No one has yet faulted the rationale behind any of the deals in question , but now with Robinson Cano and Clayton Kershaw being the two off-season marquee free agents , although the pitcher’s situation comes by way of his arbitration status . It would appear, that the Los Angeles Dodgers are eager to res-sign the pitcher and have all but promised to make him the highest paid pitcher in the game.

For Robinson Cano and his ubiquitous agent, Jay-z , it is his desire to be seen, as a legitimate conduit, able to “seal a deal” for his client. The New York Yankees can ill-afford to lose a player of Cano’s caliber, but at the same time with Hal Steinbrenner seeking to reduce the team’s payroll below his desired $200 million threshold , it will be a daunting task for GM Brian Cashman to re-sign the slugger and not actually “ break the bank “ .

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Picture gallery.

From the outside looking in , this past sporting weekend has been an interesting but strange paradigm as a number of events have played themselves out on a very public scale for the sports’ fans in general . I cannot help but wonder, what now waits at the very next turn! What observations have you witnessed or would hope to see in the coming weeks within the world of sports ?

Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Quarterback Tom Brady (12) hands off to running back Stevan Ridley (22) of the New England Patriots against the Denver Broncos during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Brady would engineer a fourth quarter comeback for the Patriots , with the team defeating the Broncos 34-31 to win the game in overtime . Getty Images North America / Jared Wickerham ….

(2) Running back Montee Ball (28) of the Denver Broncos fumbles the ball in the third quarter against the New England Patriots during a game at Gillette Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Getty Images / Jared Wickerham …..

(3) Quarterback Drew Brees (9) of the New Orleans Saints is pressured by outside linebacker Paul Worrilow (55) of the Atlanta Falcons during a game at the Georgia Dome on November 21, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Getty Images / Kevin C Cox ….

(4) Chicago Bulls’ point guard Derrick Rose , who for the second time in three years has seen his NBA career curtailed by an injury . The player will be lost to the team for the entire season having torn an MCL in his right knee . The diagnosis , as we now know it to be , will be his having to receive arthroscopic surgery and then a long recuperation and rehabilitation process of possibly between twelve to fourteen months . AP Photo / Kerry Anderson ….

(5) Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban seen here on the set of the ABC reality show ” Shark Tank” . Cuban in a recent statement believes that the NBA should allow the use of performance enhancing drugs within the game, to aid a player in the recuperative process after having suffered an injury . Failing to acknowledge the ongoing issues now facing baseball (MLB) , the gregarious owner still stands by his statement. courtesy of ABC/Disney Television …..

(6) Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw seen here in the team’s dugout from a game earlier this season will be seeking a healthy pay increase . All signs are pointing to the fact that the player who is in an arbitration year will see his salary increase considerably , with the front office also offering the player a long-term deal , likely to make him the highest paid player on the team’s roster . AP Photo / Mark Todd …………

(7) Brooklyn Nets’ GM Billy King (left) is seen here alongside the team’s head coach Jason Kidd. With the team off to a horrendous start to the season , the front office has issued a public statement backing the beleaguered rookie head coach. NY Daily News / AP Photo/ Jose Figueroa ……
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It is not always the journey that takes its toll, it is the failure then to cross the finish line ….

It is not always the journey that takes its toll, it is the failure then to cross the finish line ….

Anyone who has ever participated in any type of endurance contest, will know it is always about the preparation before the event and in the lead-up what you as a contestant, have done to prepare yourself for that specific competition. The NFL season is simply no different , with a sixteen-week regular season schedule , that at times can seem like an eternity, not only for the players, but also for the fans themselves who will have to endure the highs and lows , as they go about supporting their respective teams . As the league enters its eleventh week , teams are now beginning to distance themselves from their divisional rivals, gaining the victories needed to assure them a berth in the playoffs . This weekend , when the Kansas City Chiefs (9-0) take on the Denver Broncos (8-1) at Sports Authority Field in Denver , Colorado, a great deal will be on the line for both teams , as a victory for franchise will most certainly assure them of a berth in the postseason . In the case of the Chiefs, as led by head coach Andy Reid , he knows a victory almost assures his team that they are in the driver’s seat in terms of seeking to unseat the Broncos as the AFC West champions for this season.

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Though I was not thoroughly convinced that the dismissal of Andy Reid by the Philadelphia Eagles was the right thing to do at the time. I fully understand the frustrations and reasoning behind the former head coach’s firing. Eagles’ GM Howie Roseman simply felt that Reid’s loyalty to the team’s quarterback Michael Vick was no longer worth the risk as the seasoned veteran had now become more of a liability , rather than an asset to the team. Vick’s stats over the past ten to fifteen games has simply borne this out , along with his inability to stay injury free,

While the Eagles continue their season of inconsistency , albeit that they are now in involved in a tight divisional race with the Dallas Cowboys (5-5) , in what I can best describe as being one of the worst divisional in the NFL simply by the records reflected of all four residents within the NFC East and the fact that all four are no better than .500 within the division . The fact that is quite possible , that the actual winner of NFC East could easily end up with an 8-8 record and make the postseason , not only adds insult to injury , but also once again shows how bad the division just happens to be , in terms of the quality of football being played. Now, the more docile of observers, may well choose to point out that injuries have played a part of what we the fans have observed within the NFC East this season . However, I would put it down to the ineptitude of the coaching on display and also the fact that a number of the players within the division are not as good as advertised.

As to this contest between the Chiefs and Broncos this game will be heightened by the health of Peyton Manning and his appearance, given his ongoing health issue by way of a high ankle sprain . Manning, long seen as one of the many faces of the NFL alongside perhaps his most famous peer and adversary , Tom Brady . Off to a tremendous start this season , Peyton Manning has simply set a pace not seen in the league in several years, as the player once again seems to be on a record pace for passing touchdowns in a season . It is my belief however, that the player would rather team success by way of a second Superbowl victory for Manning and a first for the Chiefs’ franchise, as well as, quite possibly adding to his mantelpiece of a fifth League MVP and a second Superbowl MVP award . By any measure, this contest will provide a spectacular ratings’ bonanza for the broadcast network .

It is extremely hard to discern, how the Pittsburgh Steelers’ (3-6) season has continued to spiral out of control. Although winners, of three of their last five games, the team sits at the bottom of the AFC North,where the divisional leader, is a still resurgent Cincinnati Bengals (6-4) . Bengals’ head coach Marvin Lewis , behind a young quarterback, in Andy Dalton and an offense that has proven to be resilient as they are explosive. Pittsburgh will face a stern test when they play host to the Detroit Lions (6-3) on Sunday at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania on Sunday afternoon , in what is sure to be a highly competitive game . The Bengals meanwhile, will have as their guests, in-state and divisional rival the Cleveland Browns (4-5). Needless to say, Andy Dalton and his teammates will seek to further distance themselves from the Browns and Baltimore Ravens (4-5) within the division. Both contests, should prove to be very intriguing, with the outcome likely to predicated upon time of possession, and sound defense. Something that as of late, seems to be something a “lost art form “ , for a number of teams around the NFL, where there now seems to be an abundance childlike mistakes that have become profligate within the game.

To witness a Steelers’ team struggle as they have done on both sides of the ball, does seem to be troubling for a franchise, known to be stymieing on defense and one who has always sought to “pound the rock” and then use an efficient passing game to gain a positive result. This season , the plethora of problems seems to have been omnipresent beyond the team injuries and the complete lack understanding between the offense and defense. Never-mind, the fact, that Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin remains at his wit’s end, as to the lackluster performances of this team .

The Detroit Lions and Jim Schwartz will seek to take advantage of the fact that with the Chicago Bears without Jay Cutler once again, as the Bears’ signal caller seeks to recuperate from an injury . It will also be a similar case, for the Green Bay Packers and their loss of Aaron Rodgers , as these two players have always been the focal points of their respective teams’ offensive strategies . Detroit will hope to make this advantage count , in their contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When the Philadelphia Eagles play host the Washington Redskins (3-6) on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania, in a divisional game . This is likely to be one of those contests , where the game is likely to be extremely enthralling or a monotonous bore . I am inclined to be believed, that it will be the latter! The Redskins for their part, have simply regressed with neither Mike Shanahan or his son, defensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan being able to provide a succinct explanation as to why the team has been so pitiful this season . One could attribute that to the numerous injuries suffered by the team over the course their schedule , or as everyone seems to believe quarterback Robert Griffin III is not yet back to full fitness and playing at the level exhibited last season and during the playoffs . From my own standpoint, I believe that the Redskins and the coaching staff in particular, simply became lazy , complacent , over-confident and choosing to rest on their laurels , after the accomplishments of 2012.

With Robert Griffin III now suggesting that the last placed Redskins within the NFC East and their 3-6 record , are quite capable of still making the playoffs . I am beginning to wonder, if the second year player , is simply displaying a kind of false bravado on his part, to excuse his own poor play over the course of this season or is it, that he truly believes that over the remainder of the team’s seven games the Redskins are quite capable of winning five of the possible seven contests in question to achieve that feat ? Given the team’s play and the lack of commitment shown, I simply do not believe that they can attain that goal ! There has been no evidence, to suggest, that they have it within them collectively, to actually defeat the Eagles this upcoming Sunday.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

Despite Robert Griffin III’s Confidence, Playoffs Are Long Shot for Washington Redskins

By Brian Skinnell , Yahoo Contributor

COMMENTARY | There is a big difference between being 3-6 in 2012 and being 3-6 in 2013. Last season, the Washington Redskins were in much better position to make a playoff run. Due to the current state of the team, they’ve got a lot more work to do to duplicate that magical run.
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This past weekend, star quarterback Robert Griffin III spoke with plenty of confidence to reporters regarding Washington’s playoff chances. He told The Washington Post that the team still believes and that they aren’t giving up. While that’s all fine and well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here. The Redskins have their work cut out for them if they want to return to the playoffs.

The Special Teams Must Improve

All season long, it’s been one special teams headache after another. The coverage units have been poor and a few teams have defeated Washington thanks to the Redskins’ poor effort on special teams. Sav Rocca has had moments of brilliance as a punter, but he’s been somewhat inconsistent, as well.

There are three facets to the game of football: offense, defense and special teams. In order to be successful and win football games, you need to dominant in all three facets. For Washington, they certainly haven’t done that on special teams and that must get better if they want to make a playoff push.

The Defense Needs to Tighten Up

Much like the special teams, we have seen plenty of inconsistent play from the defense. Against the Denver Broncos, we saw them put together one of the best halves of the season only to throw it all away in the second half. The same can be said for their second-half debacle in Minnesota where Washington surrendered 20 unanswered points in their loss to the Vikings.

Statistically, Washington has one of the worst defenses in the NFL. They rank 26th in pass yards allowed (274.8 per game) and are 18th in rush yards allowed (113.8 per game). They give up an average of 388.6 yards per game which ranks them at 27th.

Let’s return to our three facets of football. We’ve established Washington’s inability to take care of the special teams facet of the game, and it’s fair to say they are having trouble getting it done defensively. The offense has played well, but last time I checked, one-out-of-three equals roughly 33-percent, which is a failing grade. In the NFL, that’s nowhere near close enough to win a football game.

The Schedule Isn’t in Their Favor

It’s not a stretch to say that Washington needs to win-out in order to make the postseason, something that will be extremely difficult to do. In the final seven games of the season, the Redskins will have to face the San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons. While the Falcons and 49ers aren’t having great seasons, don’t underestimate their offensive prowess against a lackluster defense.

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The NFL now, no longer having a win-less team , the question now becomes which franchise is likely to have the dubious privilege of ending up with .the worst record in the league ? At present, the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-8) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-8) both share that dubious distinction with a 1-8 record apiece.. Is either team better than their respective records suggests? Well, given the fact that it was not until week ten > before either team was able to notch their very first victory of the season should tell you a great deal about teams and how their schedules have over the course of this year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have as their guests , on Sunday, their divisional rivals the Atlanta Falcons , who themselves are going through a season of missed opportunities and under-achievement . It is pretty much safe to say that this being a contest of utmost importance to both teams, with a great deal being at stake beyond quite possibly the long-term futures head coaches Mike Smith of the Falcons and Greg Schiano of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Suddenly, with the Buccaneers’ defense playing a lot better after the team’s 22-19 victory over the Miami Dolphins , during which they held their woefully inept opponents to minus two yards of rushing offense and a meager two-hundred and thirteen yards of total offense for the AFC East based franchise. I am not so sure that Tampa will be able to repeat that type of performance against a Falcons’ team looking to rebound after being completely manhandled by the Seattle Seahawks in a lopsided 33-10 loss . As to what that says about a team, who last season was seen as one of the prohibitive favorites in the NFC, only to once again fall short with another understated performance by Matt Ryan in the postseason, in an NFC championship game loss to the San Francisco 49ers . Ryan, who alongside Tony Romo , might now be the most ” overrated quarterback “ currently . playing in the NFL and certainly one of the most overpaid given the lack of postseason results from both players .

Needless to say , my own observations concerning the Dallas Cowboys will simply evolve around the continued idiotic statements of the team’s owner Jerry Jones , because in terms of taking the franchise and team seriously , they are about as heartwarming and welcomed as a pandemic outbreak of the Ebola virus. The Cowboys have simply found ways , each week over the past five years to p have killed the meaning of the word ” quality” and talent when it comes to their brand of football , along with a coaching staff that is simply bereft of creativity and talent !

The Jacksonville Jaguars will now seek to win their second consecutive game of the season and push their win total for the year season to two , when they meet the Arizona Cardinals . Personally, I believe that if the Jaguars can keep that figure below five, then in all likelihood, they will be favored to obtain the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft . With a plethora of talented said to be primed and ready amongst those who will undoubted declare their eligibility , I do not believe that there will be a need for Jaguars’ GM David Caldwell to be heeding any advice from either Mel Kiper or Todd McSDhay , as to whom they (Jaguars) should be taking as their first pick overall , much less their entire allotment of picks in 2014 .

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As the season ends enters the final quarter of the .regular season games’ schedule , what are you hoping to witness as the finals games and the scenarios are played out ? Also which teams do you believe will be a making serious surge down the final stretch of the season ? Simply, leave a comment as you see fit and thanks for the continued support of the site !

Picture and slideshow details below .

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(1) Mike Munchak head coach of the Tennessee Titans is seen here walking the sidelines during the fourth quarter of an NFL game played on Thursday night against the Indianapolis Colts in Nashville , Tennessee ,. Indiana would go on to defeat Tennessee 30-27 in what was a highly competitive game between the two AFC South teams. AP Photo / Wade Payne ……

(2) Andrew Luck (12) of the Indianapolis Colts rushes for a touchdown during the game played against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night , 14th November, 2013. The victory strengthened the Colts’ position at the top of the AFC South , with five games remaining in the regular season . AP Photo / Wade Payne …..

(3) Donald Brown (31) of the Indianapolis Colts evades Michael Griffin (33) of the Titans as he makes it into the end-zone after a six-yard touchdown run against the Tennessee Titans in a Thursday night game . AP Photo Wade Payne ….

(4) Kansas City Chiefs’ head coach Andy Reid is seen here on the sidelines talking to the team’s quarterback Alex Smith during a regular season game. Reid and the Chiefs will be taking on divisional rivals the Denver Broncos as the Kansas City Chiefs look to preserve their unbeaten record in a week eleven match-up between the two AFC West teams. Getty Images North America / Eric Patterson ……

(5) Robert Griffin III, quarterback of the Washington Redskins is seen here with head coach Mike Shanahan . Having made the postseason in 2012 , the Redskins are likely to miss the playoffs this season as they currently reside in the lower rung of the NFC East with a 3-6 record . Griffin believes that the team can make a spirited run and gain a playoff berth within the NFC at the climax of the 2013 NFL season . Getty Images / Mark Harris ……

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Chloe Vevrier . More tools in her “tool chest” than even she would care to admit. More of Vevrier below .

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Can she ride side-saddle ? Or does she prefer bareback ? As that is what I would like to know !

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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Picture gallery .

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 .

Picture and slideshow details below .
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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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There`s a reason it’s called the NFL , they play football or at least I was led to believe that they do ….

There`s a reason it’s called the NFL , they play football or at least I was led to believe that they do ….

Week one in the NFL did not really provide us with any overall surprises , as I believe that we all knew who the good teams were said to be in the league . Granted , no one expected the reigning Superbowl champions the Baltimore Ravens to be so lackluster in their opening game against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos . The margin of defeat , twenty-five points, told me a great deal about this Ravens` team and the experience of seasoned veterans such as Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are sorely missed. Yet I do believe that the Baltimore Ravens can rebound from this loss and from the lessons learned , and that the younger players on the roster will have to step up to the plate as required . You simply cannot rest on your laurels, just because you have reached the summit once ,as the secret , is to remain there , once having reached that destination and peak.

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Slideshow .

Monday night`s double-header featuring the Philadelphia Eagles playing the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Washington , DC and the subsequent showing featured the Houston Texans and their high-octane offense taking on the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego , California. Michael Vick and the Eagles , along with head coach Chip Kelly , sent a resounding message that is likely to heard loud and clear across the NFL . That message is , there is a new sheriff in town and he means business . The two NFC East combatants put on a terrific showing of offensive productivity , with Vick and is opposite number Robert Griffin III passing for in excess of a combined 500 yards of passing offense, , with and another 300 plus yards of rushing offense from the two teams combined . The bulk of the rush offense , the advantage laid with the visiting team, the Philadelphia Eagles. .

Philadelphia came away with an invaluable 33-27 victory, placing themselves jointly atop of the NFC East alongside the Dallas Cowboys . Next up for the Eagles will be a home game against the San Diego Chargers this upcoming Sunday . For Mike McCoy and the laboring Chargers , they need to get back to winning ways after Monday night`s debilitating loss to the Houston Texans , in what turned out to be a highly entertaining game . A twenty-one point lead , carried over into the late third quarter , would prove to be not as decisive as the home team`s fans might have felt , as Matt Schaub repeatedly marched the Texans down the field to erase that deficit and to come away victorious from Qualcomm Stadium . The less said about the Chargers` defense at this juncture would be perhaps the most prudent thing to do. .

Say what you will about the Jacksonville Jaguars and its owner Shahid Khan , but any belief that he might well have had in turning things around quickly for the franchise , is unlikely to happen this season. Gus Bradley , and this team entertained the Kansas City Chiefs in their season opener and to put it politely, they laid a goose egg in a lopsided 28-2 loss . I am not saying that the two points were a gift from Andy Reid`s team , but it is the kindest thing that I could perhaps say about the Jaguar` performance this past Sunday. The travails of Blaine Gabbert have been well chronicled as the Jaguars` quarterback has struggle since his entrance into the NFL in 2011 . Not a prodigious quarterback by any stretch of the imagination but he was ill-served by then head coach Jack del Rio and his staff at the time . And not much has actually changed since del Rio`s departure , with Jedd Fisch in as the team`s offensive coordinator and Frank Scelfo as quarterbacks` coach . As witnessed in Sunday`s loss the Chiefs , the Jaguars are struggling in every facet of their game and they are amongst the least productive teams in the NFL from a defensive and offensive standpoint this early in the season .

Two years into his career and we can begin to deduce that Blaine Gabbert is a bust as an NFL quarterback . With the Mizzou Tigers , Gabbert may well have been deemed a college success , but so much hype is placed and around college quarterbacks , that when they fail in the professional ranks , fingers are actually pointed at the players themselves , rather than in a great many cases, where the blame actually lies and that is with the coaches at the collegiate level and the in the professional ranks . Granted , there have been one or two quarterbacks in recent years where the hype simply was not justified , notably in the cases of JaMarcus Russell and Tim Tebow . To my mind, neither had the propensity to learn , in spite of notations stating that both were being tutored in their mechanics by well-respected quarterback coaches prior to their entry into the NFL Draft, in the years that both were drafted . Well , as we can see , their Russell or Tebow have proven to be a success in the NFL . So let us now close the chapter on both and move on . Time demands it , and in reality , does anyone really give a damn ?

Week two may well provide the Jacksonville Jaguars with a chance to put things back on, track when they are the guests of the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum , in Oakland , California , this upcoming Sunday . That conference game, is one of several that will pit a number struggling teams in several intriguing contests . . For the Raiders coming off their narrow four-point loss (21-17) to the Indianapolis Colts , the questions now being asked , is whether or not Terrelle Pryor is the player to be leading this team at quarterback position. Auditions during the preseason proved to be inconclusive and head coach Dennis Allen seems to be unsure what he has in the player , a future star or simply another one of a litany players that the franchised has used at the position over the past five years without any resounding success . And for the Raiders` head coach time may well not be on his side, considering the tenure of his three former predecessors on average, has lasted no much longer than two years.

Well the drama and comedic elements of the New York Jets` off-season continues with all of the idiocy one would come to expect from a franchise completely lacking in leadership both on and off the field of play . Head coach Rex Ryan now seems to be less rambunctious , knowing full well that this could very well be his last season with the organization after last season`s considerable failures . Mark Sanchez in 2012 was woefully inept and then there came all of the drama that surrounded Tim Tebow . Well with the former Broncos` starting quarterback, no longer with the Jets or with any NFL franchise , the issue became who would the front office seek to become the team`s new starting quarterback . That answer would be provided when GM John Idzik and the staff made the decision to draft Geno Smith . player a second round draft pick has shown that he may well have the skill-set but deep questions remain as to the player`s demeanor and his consistency at the position . That became a stark reality in his only meaningful action during the preseason , during the Jets` third preseason game against the New York Giants . That display was very unnerving , yet it proved to be a pointer as what fans could very well expect during the regular season from the rookie quarterback.

In Smith’s first professional regular season game he proved himself adequate but far from convincing as the heir-apparent to Mark Sanchez , but with his predecessor now out injured , the position now becomes Geno Smith` to lose . With the team also having acquired Brady Quinn as a backup , the stage I believe , is being set for the franchise to trade Sanchez at some during the season . The New York Jets have a divisional date , in what will be the first of two divisional meetings this season , when they meet the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts on Thursday night . With the Patriots coming off an opening day victory over another rookie quarterback , when Tom Brady and his teammates came away with a hard-fought victory over the Buffalo Bills and their rookie quarterback E J Manuel. Bill Belichick will look to start of this season with an early unbeaten run, as a way of bringing in a great deal of confidence on this revamped roster . Issues that still remain for the organization will certainly start with the team`s defense and whether or not they will be considerably better than last season . Also with the prevailing injury issues concerning Rob Gronkowski , the question will be , who will provide Tom Brady with the safe pair of hands he needs to get the Patriots’ offensive game going in 2013 ?

There seems to be this continued idiocy by the fans who are under the impression that the NFL cares about the well-being of their players . Nothing could be further from the truth and this was clearly evident in the recent settlement made between the league as defendants in a civil suit brought by 4,500 former NFL players seeking punitive damages from the NFL . NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and his Chief Legal Counsel Jeff Pash may well now seek to create the perception that will see the league provide those players with a settlement figure of $765 million , far less than the $1.3 billion originally sought . In agreeing to settle, the league hierarchy avoids further public embarrassment , while not having to make public, a great deal of its somewhat surreptitious activity concerning research conducted by the league concerning the cause and effect , of blunt force head trauma , concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). For years the NFL suggested that there was no cause and effect , even in spite of their own research findings and that of independent studies carried out by world-renowned academic d institutions . Add in, the apathy of fans, who believe that the NFL has now become soft , and you can easily understand the machismo bullshit, that was sought by the literally uneducated . Veterans such as Bernie Kosar and Superbowl winning quarterback Jim McMahon are now having to live with the early onset of Alzheimer’s’ disease, chronic memory loss and a speech impediment , all due from injuries suffered from their playing careers.

Somehow I get the feeling that the NFL would like for its image and public persona to remain pristine and not vilified , as the tobacco industry was said to be for their own collusive activities concerning their product and how they misled the consumer . Well, the league is simply no different from the cigarette manufacturers. I certainly believe the league and the NFLPA (Players Union) have acted irresponsibly and now look absolve themselves of their responsibilities to their former members . Goodell and is union counterpart DeMaurice Smith would like to have you believe to the contrary . The apathy being shown by the fans on this issue is simply no different from the same fucking ignorance , they continue to show when it comes to the well-being of the members of the military , who far too often are being left to fend for themselves but yet all of the gung-ho patriotism one sees being exhibited is all for nothing in the end because they are no deeds being matched by all of that exuberance , definitely not from the public or the federal government for that matter ! .

As if to further indicate the gullibility and downright stupidity of the commissioner , consider his recent actions concerning Detroit Lions` defensive player Ndamukong Suh . In what now appears the fifth such incident concerning the player`s on field behavior concerning his play, for an illegal tackle , Suh was fined a mere $100,000 rather than face a multi-game a suspension for what appears to be ‘chop block` on Minnesota Vikings’ center John Sullivan . The fact that this is not the first time that Suh has not shown any restraint much less an act of contrition fort what does appear to be a premeditated act . It now is becoming apparently clear that neither the Lions` hierarchy , head coach Jim Schwartz or league is prepared to act prudently . A fine of this nature, is menial and a mere drop in a bucket for a player due to earn in excess of $10.3 million this season . So can someone now explain to me how this is meant to corral a player whose on-field actions and character have repeatedly come into question ever since he entered the NFL ?

Detroit came off their season opener, with a 34-24 win over the Minnesota Vikings, fellow NFC North rivals . The game itself , eventful, was filled with some exhilarating play and last season`s MVP , Vikings’ running back Adrian Peterson looking to carry on where he left off from last season . This Sunday the Lions will be the guests of the Arizona Cardinals in Tempe, Arizona , in what should prove to be a highly entertaining game between these two teams . Cardinals’ head coach Bruce Arians will seek to gain his first victory as an NFL coach , while getting his team back on a winning track, as they seek to make inroads as a legitimate challenger within the NFC West this season . A remote possibility, should either the San Francisco 49ers or Seattle Seahawks slip up over the course of their respective schedules .

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Picture gallery .

This NFL season while still in its infancy, but already controversies are amidst within the game . Consider also , that three years in and the league has yet to instigate , an in and out of season testing for human growth hormones and this is all being done under the subterfuge of the league and union reneging on a statement made to Congress on the matter, to have that policy in place by no later than the 2011 season . So for all of this excitement of what fans hope to be an exciting year in the NFL , the league still remains an archaic and outmoded bastion of incompetence and where there is absolutely no leadership to be found . Chime in, with your comments as you see fit .

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Picture and slideshow details below . .

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(1) Broncos` quarterback Peyton Manning warms up prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens in the team’s regular season opener . The quarterback would go on to throw for a career-high seven touchdowns on the team’s 49-25 runaway victory over the reigning Superbowl champions . AP/Photo/Jack Dempsey ….

(2) Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks to make a pass before Broncos defensive end Robert Ayers (91) makes an attempt at a tackle . AP Photo / Jack Dempsey …

(3) Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles scores a rushing touchdown in the game against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field on Monday night . Philadelphia came away with a well-earned victory over their divisional rivals . AP Photo / Nick Wass …..

(4) (4) Jamaal Charles of the Kansas City Chiefs leaves the Jaguars’ Geno Hayes (55) in his wake after Hayes’ vain attempt to make a tackle . The Chiefs beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 28-2 . AP Photo / Phelen Ehlenback …

Blaine Gabbert (11) of the Jacksonville Jaguars is sacked by Dontari Poe (92) of the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at EverBank Field on September 8, 2013 in Jacksonville, Florida. Getty Images North America / Sam Greenwood ….

(6) Geno Smith , background , looks on as teammate Mark Sanchez takes a couple of pass attempts at the Jets` training facility . With Sanchez’s injury in the New York Jets’ last preseason game , Geno Smith was the starter in the team’s season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers . AP Photo / Anthony Knowles …

(7) Pensive , but are they realists ? NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell , left , and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith are seen here listening to a committee member from the House Government & Oversight Committee . That committee was convened to pose questions to both executives as to when the NFL would bring in a comprehensive testing policy for anabolic steroids and human growth hormones ., An agreement was reached . voted upon and ratified by the player representatives in 2010 . Three years later and the policy has yet to be initiated by the NFL , much to the annoyance of the committee in question , who may well seek to rescind parts of the NFL`s antitrust exemption status . Something which is said to be under serious consideration by several members of the aforementioned House Committee . Getty Images / Doug Pensinger …..

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Meet Kenya

And On The Eighth Day God Said To Peyton Manning I Just Don’t Like Ugly !

And On The Eighth Day God Said To Peyton Manning I Just Don’t Like Ugly !

By tophatal ……………

And it came to past that on the eighth day God looked down upon the city of Denver and he like Peyton Manning came to a decision . That decision was I don’t like ugly ! The big news in the NFL is that the four-time league MVP joins the Denver Broncos and this now leaves the incumbent starter at the position in something of a limbo . Tim Tebow’s heroics for the team in the latter part of the season was something to behold but it now appears to be the former Florida Gator quite possibly could be on the way out . John Elway , GM Brian Xander and team owner Pat Bowlen have to be extremely happy with their coup-de-gras. ========================================================================================================================

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Slide show for your perusal .

There’s no denying that while the Tim Tebow had his detractors and his fair share of supporters . The reality is that the player is still very much a work in progress as a quarterback . His flaws are numerous but the thing that the player has going for him is heart which undoubtedly is large . However , what the coaching staff and front office sought from Tebow was simply accuracy and efficiency . Neither of which was on display throughout the course of the player’s schedule in 2011.

Undoubtedly , Manning will be a tremendous draw for the Broncos’ fans at Invesco Field in Denver , Colorado , and for the teams within the ; AFC West who will get the chance to face this newly constructed Denver Broncos’ team , they will see this as an added fortune . At the same in all likelihood the Oakland Raiders , San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs they have to now also raise the level of their respective game , especially from a defensive standpoint .

All that now remains are for the contract details to be worked out by the mutual parties involved . John Elway will no doubt seek to indemnify the organization from any issues should Manning have a recurrence of his neck injury . At the same time Tom Condon acting on the player’s behalf will no doubt seek a contract that will reward his client and make him one of the highest paid players at the position within the NFL . Figures being bandied about would suggest a 5 year deal that pays Peyton Manning $19 million a year as a base salary (cumulative figure of $95 million over the life of the contract) .

It’d be remiss to ask what Peyton Manning brings to the table but simply look at his career stats and it’s all there for everyone to see . This to my mind makes the Broncos an early prohibitive favorite within the AFC to be that conference’s representative in the Superbowl . Now comes the hard part where does this leave the Broncos’ offensive coordinator and how will he work in conjunction with Peyton Manning ? Now for Adam Gase , quarterbacks’ coach , his task now has to be tutor Tebow , should he remain as the team’s backup , or as is being widely speculated upon the player will be traded .

Manning will have a credible offensive line to protect him and it is now being widely speculated upon , the Broncos may not stop with making the quarterback the only Colt on their roster . Free agent center Jeff Saturday could very well be joining his former teammate should a contract be negotiated that is amenable to all of the parties concerned . Certainly, for running back Willis McGahee this gives the player perfect opportunity to showcase his skills .

For the other two teams who missed out on obtaining Manning , now it’s now back to the drawing board for Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke of the San Francisco 49ers . I dare say that Alex Smith might well feel somewhat peeved that his coach sought to bring in Peyton Manning , after his having taken the Niners to the postseason where they fell to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game . From thereon-in , it was the Giants all the way, as they triumphed over the New England Patriots for the second time in five years .

For John Fox , with what appears to be a newly constructed team a great deal will be expected of the coach and his coaching staff . Should he fail to deliver, r then there are liable to be so many questions asked as , to why the failure ? It’s my firm belief that Peyton Manning is looking to play perhaps no more than another four years . At which time upon the culmination of his career he will have surpassed every statistic that matters most with regard to being a quarterback in the NFL . Already a league MVP , Superbowl MVP and multiple Pro Bowl appearance by the now former Colts’ player.

Now there may well be those who will question the following statement but it is my firm belief that the AFC West and the NFC West are by far the two worst divisions in the NFL . Simply look at the performances of the teams in question within those divisions over the course of 2011 ? I’m not saying they were bad but it gives credence as to why both divisions are the bane of the NFL ! Please, in all honesty who in hell gets excited in watching the actual Broncos play much less the Seattle Seahawks , St Louis Rams , Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers. I mean before the Niners’ exploits of last season who in all honesty saw that team coming out of nowhere to become the surprise franchise within the conference ? The Niners if they can replicate the success of 2011 has to viewed as one of the presumptive favorites within the NFC . With eleven defensive starters returning from last season Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff have to be extremely happy with the future. And even though the franchise lost out on acquiring Peyton Manning , they can rest assured that the team is still in safe hands with Alex Smith at the quarterback position . Of the quarterbacks on display within the NFC West within the division it has to be said that the veteran stood head and shoulders above his contemporaries over the course of 2011.

Having one of the most efficient defenses within the NFL as well as the NFC , the Forty Niners I don’t believe can be counted out of the equation this upcoming season and their schedule does seem favorable during the 2012-2013 NFL calendar looks to be rather appealing and favoring the franchise . .

Now in returning the Denver Broncos it seems inevitable that the franchise may well seek to trade Tim Tebow , the player , drafted 25th overall (first round) in the 2010 NFL Draft . Other players taken at the position that year have had some semblance of success in some capacity but none having reached the level of praise and at the same time , ridicule by the fans and NFL analysts alike . From my own perspective , the player’s issues stems from so many areas , much of that due to the lack of the insight shown by Broncos’ quarterback coach , Adam Gase but also from the player’s college coach Urban Meyer , who simply rode the coat-tails of Tim Tebow . In large part however , we saw the frailties and lack of real progression from the player and that was on evidence for all to see in the team’s defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots during the postseason . If that loss wasn’t enough to suggest how far Tim Tebow has to go in order to progress as a top flight quarterback in the NFL , then I certainly don’t know what is ! Being completely apathetic as to what is self-evident , then it clearly shows how out of touch the vast majority of fans just happen to be in allowing their emotions to steer them …… rather than reality .

Personally , I wish Tim Tebow all the best in his future endeavors wherever it may well be ! . But at the end of the day in the current NFL it has become win today , and do whatever it takes within reason . For the Denver Broncos it meant John Elway , doing , what he felt was best for the future of the franchise , . even if it now means Tebow has become expendable . Chances are , if the young quarterback is traded he will end up with a team that fully fits his needs and theirs his . As to where that may well be , who knows at this juncture ? Your thoughts ?

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In your view mind if anyone is said to be at fault in this whole saga concerning Tim Tebow , where do believe that apportioned mea-culpa should lay ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on this and anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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Well the decision was made Indianaplolis Colts to cut Peyton Manning . and a slew of other players that have been part of the organization’s run to a Superbowl . Along with Manning in the past 24 hours , out goes Gary Brackett and Joseph Addai . Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson , head coach Chuck Pagano and team owner Jim Irsay now embark upon rebuilding this team . Now the consensus seem to be that front office will seek to draft Andrew Luck but there also seems to be a growing belief that Grigson might hedge his options and gauge the interest in Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III . Is there really a safe bet concerning the intangibles between the two quarterbacks who finished first and second in the 2011 Heisman Trophy voting .

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In the aftermath of this all with the public statement coming from both the player and owner the end of a chapter closes and beginning seems apparent for Peyton Manning. In the past 24 hours Manning and his agent Tom Condon have met with Washington Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder , GM Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan , which was all to no avail . The agent and player have also met with Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross and GM Jeff Ireland and it now seems the meeting was just a cursory measure by Condon and Manning.

Do you now get the feeling that with Peyton Manning being the most visible and high profile of all the restricted and unrestricted free agents , a crap-shoot now begins amongst the teams now vying for the player’s services ? Certainly the franchise that now acquires the player and signs him to a long term contract basically guarantees that just about every offensive player who’s currently on the market will be looking to join Manning at whatever destination he will currently end up . Needless to say that a number of fans will be hoping that their team will be the ultimate destination of the four-time league MVP .

Now as surprising as this may seem it would appear that John Elway the Head of Operations for the Denver Broncos and the team’s general manager Brian Xanders flew Peyton Manning via Broncos’ private plane from Miami along with Manning’s agent Tom Condon to Denver , Colorado . Now comes the hard part where does this now leave the incumbent starting quarterback for the Broncos ? At the end of last season for the Denver Broncos it was Tim Tebow and his heroics that led the team into the postseason . And given what has been on evidence not just from the player but also from his counterparts within the AFC West it is understandable that Elway and Xanders might seek to acquire the renowned quarterback .

Certainly , Manning would be deemed a considerable upgrade over Tim Tebow in spite of the player’s perceived injury issues. . Peyton Manning at even 50% has to be a far better option than Tim Tebow at 100% of his somewhat limited abilities , and yes I did say of limited ability ! If the Broncos’ coaching staff led by John Fox and quarterback’s coach Adam Gase don't even seem to be remotely interested in getting the player to hone his craft . Then what you see is indeed what you get ! I’ve always maintained that the real lack of progress in terms of Tebow’s style of play stems from his four years at the University of Florida during the tenure of Urban Meyer . The coach just seemed to be intent on riding on the coat-tails of a player whose style was much more suited to the college game. Meyer may well have won two national titles with the Gators’ program but beyond that has he really developed any players who have had a major impact within the NFL ? Think about it before you answer ?

In the off-season after the Broncos’ lopsided defeat in the divisional round of the playoffs to the New England Patriots . John Elway made the statement that Tim Tebow would be the player upon which Broncos’ future would be aligned . Well , that now seems like light years ago , as it now appears that the franchise seems intent on a hard push to acquire Peyton Manning . This now means that the two year starter will now move back to being number two on the team’s depth chart alongside former Notre Dame starter Brady Quinn . Get the feeling that Quinn after his statements about his teammate getting being unwarranted praise for his heroics might now be biting his tongue after those remarks ? The Denver Broncos for their part will look to bolster the roster this off-season through attrition as well as building through the upcoming draft and seeking to acquire free agents , if it appears that they cannot re-sign their own restricted free agents .

Elway , the consummate professional as a player and an enshrinee in the Hall of Fame . Having been the victor in two consecutive Superbowls with the franchise he now oversees on behalf of team owner Pat Bowlen . It is clear that this NFL great is intent on resurrecting this once proud franchise . The former player made a considerable fortune outside of the game in building a car dealership chain across the state of Colorado , which he would later sell for an astonishing $475 million . Away from the game and being an executive and business owner may well have not been enough for the player , who was eager to return to the game in some capacity . That call came from Pat Bowlen after the disastrous season that the Denver Broncos had with Josh McDaniel’s as the team’s head coach in 2010 .

Hired in 2009, McDaniel’s tenure became mired in controversy and there many who questioned the coach’s then choice to draft Tim Tebow and make the player their pick in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft . All the bravado in the world could not hide the fact that the Broncos were a poorly coached team during McDaniel’s tenure . And all of that was heightened in light of the franchise’s own chapter of “Spyate Part-deux” , coming courtesy of Josh McDaniels and a team video technician who saw fit to videotape the training sessions of a number Broncos’ opponents during the 2010 season. And there were those who felt at the time that this was merely an isolated incident ? Well I guess not !

To think that the NFL is now further embroiled in another controversy , coming courtesy of the New Orleans Saints initiated by former team defensive coordinator Gregg Williams , Saints’ head coach Sean Payton and general manager Mickey Loomis . The “Saints’ Bounty Scandal” , not only has it taken on a life of its own but it has drawn the ire of current and former players as well as team owners around the NFL . And if now retired former New Orleans Saints’ defensive player Darren Sharper insists that he and his former teammates were never part of any alleged financial reward incentive for inflicting game ending hits on opposing players , then I’d now suggest that he consults with a criminal attorney before he makes his next public statement ! Sharper should be aware that both the head coach , general manager and the team’s former defensive coordinator have each issued a formal apology to the Saints’ organization , to the NFL and public at large . So unless Darren Sharper has suddenly become anally retentive and only open to selective memory , I can only surmise that the player is in complete denial of his actions and that of his coaches in question !

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell now has to show his authority as the league’s highest ranking executive ! . He’s going to be called upon by the hierarchy to mete out some sort of punishment with impunity that is befitting of the alleged actions of the New Orleans Saints’ organization . Certainly Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft , Mike Brown , Stephen Ross , Stanley Kroenke and Pat Bowlen are expecting some form of punishment that is commensurate with what they believe to be an egregious course of action by the Saints. Each of the owners in question were vocal supporters of Roger Goodell , who succeeded his predecessor Paul Tagliabue . Let’s say , that there now has to be some form of reciprocity by way of their support . Can you blame them in light of this unsavory episode ? There are many who believe that the punishment meted out to Bill Belichick in the aftermath of Spygate” was too lenient . Myself included , and I am a die-hard New England Patriots fan !

DeMaurice Smith and the executive committee members are now intent on conducting their own investigation concerning these recent improprieties . If you ask me it is far too little , too late ! This being the very same union who in conjunction with the league hierarchy have been complicit in their complete denial as to any connection between blunt head force trauma that have caused concussions in varying forms in regular and postseason games . The utter audacity now , by the union (NFLPA) can only be seen as a PR gimmick and image saving exercise strictly to allay the fears of the public , who have been severely critical of the New Orleans Saints’ organization. Many might now see this as simply fitting for the franchise , whose owner Tom Benson prior to 2005 was intent on fleeing the Crescent City (New Orleans) like a thief in the night , seeking to relocate the franchise , when he simply couldn’t get either the city of New Orleans or the state legislature to refurbish the Superdome , in New Orleans , Louisiana . Hurricane Katrina proved to be fortuitous for Tom Benson and the Saints as an organization and it clear that they profited greatly from that disaster in more ways than one could have initially imagined . In light of that natural disaster the NFL in conjunction with FEMA and the state legislature assisted in a make-over of the severely damaged venue that was home to the New Orleans Saints . And somehow in the midst of all much needed aid to the citizens of that state was simply botched because of the mountain of bureaucracy at all levels of government , municipal , statewide and at the federal level .

As things now stand with the Denver Broncos , should things prove to be fruitful in Elway’s attempt to acquire Peyton Manning it may well prove lucrative for the franchise from an economic standpoint to be competitive within the AFC West , the AFC and league as a whole . Manning’s last complete season in the was in 2010 where his accomplishments are there for the public to scrutinize . And when judged against that of contingent of quarterbacks within the AFC over the past two seasons ( 2009 & 2010 ) it would suggest that the Broncos would be in far safer hands than that of Tebow , or his predecessor Kyle Orton .

If the Broncos should fail in their pursuit of Peyton Manning then there is a remote possibility that the player may well seek to pursue joining a team within the NFC other than the Washington Redskins . As to the possible suitors , well that is now open to a great deal of speculation and conjecture . It will be interesting to see what now transpires over the ensuing weeks and months as the ongoing saga that is now the travails of Peyton Manning ______ in search of a new home . It is going to be hard to envisage see this renowned player not being in a Colts’ uniform for the first time in what will almost fifteen years . His career in the NFL speaks volumes as to the esteem in which he has been held but you get the impression that if this saga is prolonged then it could very well be to the detriment of the player’s image . Personally , I believe that within the next three weeks at best the player will not only find himself a new home but also will have a number of other free agents in tow looking sign with that very same franchise merely to align themselves alongside perhaps the best quarterback the NFL has seen in the past decade and half ! Your thoughts ?

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the salient points raised within this piece ? By all means do take time to leave a comment on anything else you believe to be pertinent to the subject matter .

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NB: It is now being widely reported that the Washington Redskins have trade up to take the second pick overall (forfeited by the St Louis Rams for 4 draft picks [1st rd pick 2012, 1st pick 2013, 1st rd pick 2014 &2nd pick 2015]) starting with the upcoming NFL Draft . Thereby signifying their intent of taking a quarterback . All indications point that choice will Robert Griffin III appears to their choice.

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(1) Denver Broncos general manager John Elway speaks during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Friday, Feb. 24, 2012. AP Photo/Michael Conroy …

(2) Peyton Manning in the company of John Elway and John Fox tour the Denver Broncos Dove Valley training facility. Now the conjecture and speculation begins as to whether or not Manning joins the AFC West team . Also what appears to be unfolding is where this now places Tim Tebow and his own impending future . The Denver Post / John Leyba …….

(3) FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 14: Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Broncos would go on the lose the game in a lopsided defeat 45-10 . Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ….

(4) (4) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos looks on against the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images … …….

(5) Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos runs with the ball against Mark Anderson (95) and Brandon Deaderick (71) of the New England Patriots during their AFC Divisional Playoff Game at Gillette Stadium on January 14, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images ……..

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It’s Not Your Grandfather’s , Father’s Or Even Your Uncle’s Football … But It’s Still The NFL ….

It’s Not Your Grandfather’s Or Uncle’s Football But It’s Still The NFL ….

Well week eight of the NFL has brought about a season where there has been some great games played and a number of horrendous events that we’re led to believe were NFL regular season events. To my mind there are several good teams an abundance of bad teams and several of which are simply mediocre at best . The Green Bay Packers (7-0) are the runaway leaders of the NFC North and by far in a way the best team in the NFL . It would be prudent to suggest that Mike McCarthy has this team playing at a higher level of efficiency than we all witnessed last year during the regular and postseason . As we all know the Packers went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superbowl .

It’s Not Your Grandfather’s , Father’s Or Even Your Uncle’s Football ….But It’s Still The NFL ….

Well week eight of the NFL has brought about a season where there has been some great games played and a number of horrendous events that we’re led to believe were NFL regular season events. To my mind there are several good teams an abundance of bad teams and several of which are simply mediocre at best . The Green Bay Packers (7-0) are the runaway leaders of the NFC North and by far in a way the best team in the NFL . It would be prudent to suggest that Mike McCarthy has this team playing at a higher level of efficiency than we all witnessed last year during the regular and postseason . As we all know the Packers went on to defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Superbowl .

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If there’s a surprise of the season so far then to my mind it would have to be the San Francisco 49ers (6-1) , who apart from the one blemish on their record would be 7-0 and joining the Packers atop of the NFL food chain . The Niners’ quarterback Alex Smith has truly excelled this season under John Harbaugh’s tutelage and the mere fact that teammates Frank Gore , Patrick Willis and Michael Crabtree all seem to have thrown their support behind Smith , makes his job all the much easier. Amongst the NFC quarterbacks Alex Smith has certainly made a name that could very well see him be considered a consensus Pro Bowl team member for the NFC .

Now while the Detroit Lions (5-2) got off to a fast start to their season , I have always felt that the real issues with this team would evolve around the health and play of Matt Stafford . So far this season the player has yet to miss a game due to injury and his play has been very good indeed . Coach Jim Schwartz having gotten the Lions playing with a great deal of confidence and resolve is now simply forget the 2008 season and the team’s 0-16 record .

Unfortunately for the Detroit Lions they are in a division that pits them against the defending Superbowl champions the Green Bay Packers alongside the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings . The NFC North which appears to have three very combative and competitive teams all vying for divisional supremacy. Now let me preface this by saying that from what I’ve seen of the Minnesota Vikings this season it would be prudent to suggest the team under Leslie Frazier’s tutelage won’t be going anywhere , not with Donovan McNabb or dare I say Christian Ponder at the helm ! And thought the team came off an impressive win defeating the Cam Newton led Carolina Panthers we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves concerning the victory . In reality both would be hard pressed to be considered viable contenders for the postseason. But yet this is what the NFL has now come to in terms of the quality of the teams and rather insipid and idiotic analysis provided by so called experts within four major broadcast networks alongside HBO , ESPN and the NFL Network .

After the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 25-17 victory over the New England Patriots I think that it’s pretty safe to assume that the Steelers are now the best team in the AFC . Their record (6-2) alone bears this out and the defeat of the Tom Brady led Patriots gives credence to the fact that Mike Tomlin’s team will be a force to be reckoned not just only the course of the season but should they inevitably make it to the postseason.

If there’s one controversy to the NFL season that will continue to linger on , then it has to be future of Tim Tebow and the success he’s able to attain with the Denver Broncos . The Broncos have been placed in an almost impossible situation because the player simply has been thrust into an environment where he’s going to be doomed for failure . Much of this comes from the complete ineptitude shown by the Broncos’ front office led by John Elway and the team’s head coach John Fox . Now I have a heard a great deal as to how Tim Tebow doesn’t have the prerequisite skills to make it in the NFL and while those claims have a great deal of veracity to them . I would argue that the close claims while valid there are also misnomers to this all, because plainly put , neither the coaching staff of the Broncos or that of the Florida Gators under then coach Urban Meyer simply prepared the player at the collegiate level for the step up to the NFL . Instead the player has been left adrift alone to fend for himself and clearly he’s struggling and things are not looking pretty for Tim Tebow or the Broncos. But it’d be remiss to simply suggest that the quarterback is the sole problem that this organization faces as they’re a poorly coached and certainly one of the worst franchises currently playing in the NFL ! And as a quarterback Tebow isn’t faring any better amongst his peers within the league . Suffice to say , that in spite of his eagerness to succeed at the position he’s simply on his way to becoming a bust ! His stats bore this out in the team’s lopsided loss ( 45-10) to the Detroit Lions .

Can things be turned around for the player ? The more pertinent question might just be , are the Broncos willing to place their faith in Tim Tebow and groom him appropriately for the position as an NFL quarterback ? Clearly no one from within the front office are publicly willing to address the matter ! Certainly not John Fox , Quarterbacks’ coach Adam Gase , John Elway , GM Brian Xanders or for that matter team owner Pat Bowlem .

Now while the league and in particular the league hierarchy , franchise owners and the NFLPA are now said to be happy with their lot. The money still rolls in and the $7 billion a year industry we’re led to believe is still in a very healthy financial state . If there’s one grievance that I had with their deliberations during their so called labor stoppage was indeed the secretive negotiations that took place behind closed doors . Retired NFL veterans were represented but in the end they merely got a small morsel in terms of what they wanted . When you have players dying in squalor and all the league has been prepared to do , has been to issue an impromptu statement stating their sadness over the deaths of Dave Duerson and others, it simply speaks to the egregious behavior of not only the NFL but also the union that’s said to represent the best interests of the players. Psychological , physical and neurological health issues have plagued these retired veterans and the criteria set in order for them to even obtain benefits , were that they had to be in the league and playing for not less than two consecutive years . However , when you hear uttered statements by the union’s former executive director Gene Upshaw prior to his demise ……… ” my concern is not with the players of the past but those who are on the field playing today and making money “ ______ you either have to look at this league and understand what it really stands for . Never mind the fact that the NFL continues to rob the consumer , various municipal and state governmental agencies —- blind with their surreptitious dealings ! But I’ve yet to hear a fan question this but instead they merely act like lambs to the slaughter , completely oblivious to what’s happening within their midst !

Apart from the league’s (NFL) willingness to now have HGH and steroid testing as a protocol , something of which was agreed to by the union (NFLPA) led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith , the union’s executive committee and ratified by both parties as part of their new collective bargaining agreement . We now have the union reneging on the deal , stating they’re not completely satisfied with the testing procedures and protocols that will be in place . Have you ever heard such bullshit from a labor group after having agreed upon an issue , especially when having voting overwhelmingly to adopt that proposal ? Perhaps it’s me but I find the mendacity of the union odious and even more so when the league hierarchy and owners are now caving and not proceeding ahead with the policy ! I’ve always maintained that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was never that bright to begin with ! He cowers like the bitch that he is and he’s not unlike his NBA counterpart David Stern who’d simply do almost anything to save face in the public’s eyes !

Now with the federal government seeking to intervene by way of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee headed by chairman Rep Darrell Issa (R-Ca,.) and his co-chair Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Md,.) we are now bound to hear a number of excuses coming not only from the NFL and union as to why the policy is not in place and being enacted . From my own perspective I would rather see the government dealing with the issues that ail the nation rather than interceding in this matter , then only to fawn over these idiots within the NFL ! Is it not bad enough that we have both legislative chambers , whose schedule over this last calendar year has seen it only seated within the House and Senate for less than 250 days ? And they’re meant to know what’s best for the country ? Never mind the imbecilic attitude of the President’s administration and all it allegedly represents because I am still at a loss to witness where the change we can believe in has actually come from !

The NFL may well have come a long way from its humble beginnings but it is still very much in a way a brand and sport while growing , it still smacks of incredulity and a great deal of conceit and corruption ! Don’t believe me ? Simply look at the case that can be made as to their so called labor negotiations and ask yourself why it is that federal court Judge Arthur Boylan chose to seal the details of a deal that was meant to aid the retired veterans of the NFL ? It certainly wasn’t done in the best interests of the retired veteran players but more so for the league hierarchy and union . There you have it , hook line and sinker .

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What thoughts if any do you have concerning the points raised within this piece ? And how do you now view the NFL as an entity ? Simply leave a comment and as always thanks for the continued support as it is always appreciated !

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(1) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 23: Aaron Rodgers (12) of the Green Bay Packers calls a play at the line of scrimmage against the Minnesota Vikings in the first quarter on October 23, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Packers defeated the Vikings 33-27 . Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….

(2) MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 23: Howard Green (95) and Erik Walden (93) of the Green Bay Packers put pressure on Christian Ponder (7) of the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter on October 23, 2011 at Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Packers defeated the Vikings 33-27. Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images ….

(3) Michael Crabtree (15) of the San Francisco 49ers catches this pass for forty one yards against the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California. The 49ers won the game 20-10 . Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ….

(4) Alex Smith (11) of the San Francisco 49ers gets his pass off over the out-stretched arms of Jayme Mitchell (92) of the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ……

(5) Linebacker Stephen Tulloch (55) of the Detroit Lions reacts by “Tebowing” after making a sack on quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 30th , 2011 . The Lions would defeat the Broncos 45-10 . Getty Images / Justin Edmonds …

(6) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is seen here alongside NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith in Canton, Ohio home to Pro Football Hall of Fame . The union chief is seen holding the document that elicits the league’s and union’s compliance in reaching what was thought to be a peaceful accord as their labor stoppage . Now in light of their having agreed to the protocol of HGH testing the NFLPA are seeking to renege on the deal . That stance by the union has drawn the ire and wrath of the federal government in particular representatives Darrell Issa (R-Ca,.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md,.) who are the chair and leading Democrat chairing the House Oversight & Gov’t Reform Committee . Both Goodell and Smith have been asked to appear before the committee for a second time since their CBA was signed to answer questions why testing has yet to take place within the NFL as agreed upon and ratified by both parties . AP Photo / Martin Thompson …..

(7) Rep Darrell Issa (R-Ca,.) who chairs the House Oversight & Gov’t Reform Committee . The Californian congressman is the senior ranking Republican on that committee . AFP/Photo/ Isaac J Thorne ……..

(8) Rep Elijah Cummings (D-Md,.) the ranking Democrat on the House Gov’t & Oversight Reform Committee . Both Cummings and Issa have formally requested that Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith face the committee in hearings to answer question as to why the league’s drug policy on HGH testing has yet to be enacted . Getty Images North America / Anthony Riordan …..

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Yaris Sanchez ………. hot , but the hotter the better !
Wouldn’t you agree ?

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Bone Thugs – N-Harmony …….. “1st of the Month ”

You Break It Then Buy It …………

You Break It Then You Buy It ……

By tophatal ………

So we’re now told that the Tim Tebow era is about to begin in Denver with the Denver Broncos . The team under coach John Fox has a number of issues to deal with beyond the poor play of the players and in particular Kyle Orton . The AFC West is now up for grabs and if anything the Broncos it can be said , are playing for their very existence and livelihood. The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers appear to be the presumptive favorites for the divisional title and both teams look set to steer themselves further ahead of the lowly Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs .

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Now clearly the Denver Broncos and John Elway the team’s President and Head of Football Operations , this now becomes a situation rife with dangers as well improbable risks . The team has divest itself of perhaps their most potent offensive weapon in Brandon Lloyd , who they traded to the St Louis Rams where he reacquaints himself with Broncos’ former head coach Josh McDaniels who is now the offensive coordinator for the Rams.

From my own standpoint the controversy surrounding Tim Tebow’s play stems squarely from the fact that he was ill prepared by then Florida Gators’ coach Urban Meyer . No one seems to make mention of this rather they choose to harangue the player for what they believe he lacks as the quintessential and prototypical NFL quarterback. The player’s career at the collegiate level says a great deal about him as a leader and his will to win . There are those who would seek to simply apportion blame elsewhere rather than take in a number of factors rather than looking at what is plainly obvious for everyone to see . Meyer is by no means without blame for this but so too are I believe are the Broncos’ coaching staff and front office . Granted, Josh McDaniels drafted the player but isn’t it a fact that is up to the coaching staff to prepare the players for the rigors of the NFL and the overall expectations ? This is an all-round situation where there are a number of parties who ought to be looking themselves in the mirror at present . Personally , I feel that the youthful exuberance of Tebow has been misguided in thinking his sheer will to win would be enough to make him an NFL ready quarterback. But herein lies the caveat , with the ever present belief that win now and win at any costs the teams and the fans feel that fleeting or lack of success simply isn’t enough. And in the case of the Denver Broncos success in recent years has neither been fleeting or for that matter perennial .

The Denver Broncos (1-5) are guests of the lowly and win-less Miami Dolphins (0-5) at Sun Life Stadium , in Miami on Sunday afternoon. The two opposing teams within the AFC who are rudderless and seem to heading in the same direction . For the head coaches in this meeting , John Fox and Tony Sparano are two individuals on the edge and it is quite that a loss for either could have severe repercussions for their respective franchises.

There is little to take comfort in with regard to this Broncos’ team and their woefully inept form over the course of this season . It certainly isn’t as if they have been in with a chance of even playing with any sort of consistent rhythm throughout the course of their schedule. Over the remaining nine games of the season Tim Tebow will have to simply prove himself worthy as the starting quarterback of this Broncos’ team . The viable options beyond Brady Quinn and , Kyle Orton aren’t all that enviable . The issues on the teams are rife and it will be up to Elway and Fox to seek out those remedies and to fix them quickly , if the Denver Broncos are to have any chance of resurrecting their season somehow . If not then we shall see the this team’s fall from grace continue unabated . Never a good thing for an NFL franchise seeking to make its presence felt within the league !

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

Do you feel that there is blame to go around concerning not only the Broncos’ front office but also with regard to Tim Tebow’s career and that of Tebow’s tutelage under Urban Meyer ? By all means do leave a comment as to your thoughts on the points raised within this piece.

Alan aka tophatal ………….

Picture and slide show details below .
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(1) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: 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 ………….

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

(3) Former Head Coach of the University of Florida Gators Urban Meyer speaks during a ceremony honoring the 2008 NCAA Champions at halftime of the game between the Miami Dolphins and the Denver Broncos at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …………….

(4) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Head Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins disputes a call during the game against the Denver Broncos at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) ……

(5) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Matt Prater (5) of the Denver Broncos kicks the game winning field goal in overtime against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Broncos overcame a 15-0 deficit to defeat the Dolphins 18-15 in overtime . Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images ………..

(6) MIAMI GARDENS, FL – OCTOBER 23: Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos heads off the field after the game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images …

(7) Quarterback Tim Tebow (15) of the Denver Broncos dives against the Miami Dolphins to end the game to overtime at Sun Life Stadium on October 23, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Denver defeated Miami 18-15 . Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images …….

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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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Slide show for your perusal .

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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Picture gallery for your perusal .

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

Picture and slide show details below.

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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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NFL news

NFL standings by division

Week 7 results

NFL transactions

NFL injuries

Denver Broncos news

Kansas City Chiefs news

Oakland Raiders news

San Diego Chargers news

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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If at all interested do take time to participate in the above mentioned poll .

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Craig Mack ………………. ” Flava In Ya Ear “