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

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


By tophatal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ………………

https://tophatal.wordpress.com

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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AFC West final standings for the past 5 years

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

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

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

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

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

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Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

Can Cam Newton Step Up To The Plate This Season ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(12) Jason Campbell (8) of the Oakland Raiders drops back to pass against the New Orleans Saints in the first quarter during an NFL pre-season football game at the O.co Coliseum August 28, 2011 in Oakland, California. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images ………
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