Pick Your Poison …… With Manning ….. Without Manning ?

Pick Your Poison …… With Manning ….. Without Manning ?

It seems strange that the Indianapolis Colts could go into the preseason without their four time winning league MVP and Superbowl winning player Peyton Manning . The player having had off-season neck surgery is now committed to a full recovery in time to make the regular season for the Colts’ roster . With the team having Austin Collie now their injury list along with Manning the trials and travails of coach Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff could come undone before it has even started .

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Clearly the Indianapolis Colts’ fans would like nothing better than to see Manning taking the first snap of the regular season rather than Curtis Painter , Mike Hartline , or Dan Orlovsky for that matter . I am not so sure that the Colts’ front office led by Bill Polian has really thought ahead about the day ahead when Peyton Manning is no longer available to this organization . And given the success that the that the Colts have had over the years with Manning at the helm of this team , it has to be said that the loss would be seen as seismic to say the very least . Over the course of his outstanding career Peyton Manning has led this organization with class and distinction and there is not a doubt in anyone’s mind that once his career has come to an end he will be Canton bound to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame .

This organization during the off-season made some moves to bolster the roster as well making the customary draft choices one would deem to be prudent . It certainly gives the fans the impression that the organization is once again set to be dominant not just within the AFC South but also the conference as a whole . Certainly there’s a lot to suggest the Colts are once again the team to beat within the division as I simply don not believe that either Houston Texans , Jacksonville Jaguars or Tennessee Titans will be a match for this organization over the course of this season . The indications are were that the Texans were making great strides but that simply wasn’t borne out over the course of the 2010 regular season as they simply petered out when it mattered most . For the Houston Texans’ Gary Kubiak this may well be his last chance to prove himself worthy as the coach of this team .

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 19: Mike Hartline (9), Dan Orlovsky (6) and Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts look at play sheets during the game against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ………

In the preseason for the Indianapolis Colts we have seen the frailties of this team without Manning at the helm quarter-backing the team . And it could very well be that if the player hasn’t fully recovered enough in time for their regular season opener against the Houston Texans on September 11th we could see Manning’s longevity in terms of consecutive games’ record will come to an end . From my own perspective I feel that the player will have recuperated enough to don his number 18 jersey and be his customary and efficient self ! There are few players amongst the elite within the NFL who perform with the prowess of Manning at the quarterback position .

I certainly do believe that the Indianapolis Colts will very much have the AFC South to themselves and that is in spite of the offseason moves made by the teams within the division . What may well detract from the possibility of the team repeating as divisional champions could very well be the health of Manning and his ability to last through the rigors of a regular season .

The rookies drafted by the staff will almost certainly be looking to have a productive season having had their initial baptism of fire in the preseason games . Anthony Castonzo, Ben Ijalana , Drake Nevis , Delone Carter and Chris Rucker are sure to prove that the faith shown in them by Jim Caldwell and his coaching staff is justified .

If anything however , it will be imperative for the seasoned veterans on this roster to lead by example should Peyton Manning not be available to them for the first couple of games of the regular season . That has to be the caveat here with regard to the fortunes of this team and how they could very well fare over the course of this year . Certainly last season we saw what the team was capable of in terms of adversity when they were faced with the possibility of failing to make the postseason . The fact that they were able to do so having fought tooth and nail to win the division (AFC South) in spite of the injuries and other obstacles showed the true mettle of this team .

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Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, left, and running back Joseph Addai talk during the NFL team’s football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Conroy ………

Amongst the seasoned veterans that I believe will step up to the plate for this team are Reggie Wayne , Dallas Clarke , Joseph Addai , Dwight Freeney , Gary Brackett and Robert Mathis . But in reality the Indianapolis Colts’ way has been there to be a collective effort from all the members of this team. Most certainly that was something instilled into them by Jim Caldwell’s predecessor Tony Dungy , a coach who simply communicated with his players and made them fully aware as to what was expected from each, on game day .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

By your own estimation do you feel that Peyton Manning could miss the first two or three games of the regular season given his ongoing health concerns ? It hasn’t been confirmed that he will miss the entire preseason but all estimations that seems the likelihood with neither Caldwell , Bill Polian or for that matter Jim Irsay will to make an emphatic statement on the matter . How do you see the Indianapolis Colts faring over the course of the regular season ? And do you feel that without their league MVP quarterback their chances to win the division will be less likely ? Simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this subject matter and any other thoughts you believe to pertinent . Thanks as always 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 below .

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(1) FILE – This July 31, 2011, file photo shows Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning speaking during a news conference with the NFL football team’s owner Jim Irsay, right front, at the teams training camp, in Anderson, Ind. Manning says he won’t play the last two preseason games and Colts owner Jim Irsay says his team must be prepared to open the season without Manning behind center. AP Photo/Alan Petersime …..

(2) Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan, left, talks with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning following an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Washington won 16-3 . AP Photo/Michael Conroy …….

(3) Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell, right, greets Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan following an NFL preseason football game in Indianapolis, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2011. Washington won 16-3. AP Photo/Michael Conroy ……..

(4) INDIANAPOLIS, IN – AUGUST 19: Mike Hartline (9), Dan Orlovsky (6) and Curtis Painter (7) of the Indianapolis Colts look at play sheets during the game against the Washington Redskins at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images ………

(5) Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne, left, and running back Joseph Addai talk during the NFL team’s football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011. AP Photo/Michael Conroy ………

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NFL news

NFL results preseason week 2

NFL Preseason schedule 2011

Indianapolis Colts news

Indianapolis Colts’ team roster

Indianapolis Colts’ team statistics preseason 2011

Indianapolis Colts regular season schedule 2011

Colts’ head coach Jim Caldwell

Indianapolis Colts’ coaching staff

Colts’ history timeline

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

NFL Season At A Glance ……………….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alan aka tophatal ………………………………..

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Laura-XXL Magazine

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

Just Like Rodney Dangerfield Over The Course of His Career The Indianapolis Colts Still Can’t Get No Love Or Respect …………

Just Like Rodney Dangerfield Over The Course of His Career The Indianapolis Colts Still Can’t Get No Love Or Respect …………

Did I miss something here ? A 14-0 team in the Indianapolis Colts, isn’t viewed as the best team in the AFC ? But the pundits view the San Diego Chargers at 11-3, are viewed as the better team ? But now that’s the pundits, as we all know they’re always enamored with style over substance. Pardon me for saying this but shouldn’t one’s body of work over the course of the season matter ? Granted, should these two teams meet in the AFC championship game, then the Chargers might just have the slight edge in the match-up.

The late great Rodney Dangerfield, seen here giving a performance on ‘The Tonight Show’ hosted by Johnny Carson. The performance was from the show on 3rd February 1981.

The Chargers are riding high at present with the team sitting atop of the AFC West and there’s nothing else for them at all to fear within their own division and over the remainder of their schedule. This Norv Turner team has hit their stride and they’re playing with a great deal of confidence. Phillip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Darren Sproles and Shawne Merriman are all playing with a great deal of zeal. And the defense of the Chargers has literally come into their own. And the offense is as potent as ever, both on the ground and through the air. It may well be, that finally the players are buying into and believing what it is that their coach is selling them. Mind you, at the start of the season , I’m sure that their the fans may well have felt somewhat differently. But that’s how fickle the fans can be, when it comes to the inconsistent play of their team.

San Diego Chargers NFL football coach Norv Turner gestures while talking about calling a timeout during a news conference Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 in San Diego. The San Diego Chargers clinched a playoff spot while still playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, then secured the AFC West title with a 27-24 victory. picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/Lenny Ignelzi.....
San Diego Chargers NFL football coach Norv Turner gestures while talking about calling a timeout during a news conference Monday, Dec. 21, 2009 in San Diego. The San Diego Chargers clinched a playoff spot while still playing the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, then secured the AFC West title with a 27-24 victory. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Lenny Ignelzi.....

For the Colts, only the second time in their career have they reached the pinnacle of being 14-0. And now having surpassed the feat of the New England Patriots in having won 21 consecutive regular season games. They now seek to add ‘perfection’ and the raising of the Lombardi trophy, as the culmination to their prolific season under their quarterback, Peyton Manning. But what might be even more surprising is that this being done with first year coach, Jim Caldwell. The footsteps that Caldwell stepped into, are those of Tony Dungy, the former beloved coach of the team and well respected throughout the NFL. Now the Colts’ fans and fans around the NFL wait to see if the team’s march towards perfection will be a historic one, or will they end up falling short at that last obstacle placed in their way. These are things that await the fans of the Colts and the fans of the NFL in general.

Jacksonville , Fl - December 17th 2009. Maurice Jones-Drew (#32) of the Jacksonville Jaguars is stopped by the Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/  Sam Greenwood  .........
Jacksonville , Fl - December 17th 2009. Maurice Jones-Drew (#32) of the Jacksonville Jaguars is stopped by the Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium in Jacksonville, Florida. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood .........

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Colts dilemma : Go 16-0 ?

By Barry Wilner , AP Football Writer

As the NFL’s lone unbeaten team, the Indianapolis Colts will have even more of a spotlight on how they approach their final two games of the regular season. They recognize that, but their mantra won’t change: winning the Super Bowl is the goal.

The Colts returned to practice Monday after a long weekend of rest and relaxation. Their 35-31 victory over Jacksonville on Thursday night earned them that reward, and when New Orleans lost to Dallas on Saturday night, the Colts became the NFL’s only spotless team.

How much does that mean to them?

“Obviously, it’s an honor for our team to have an opportunity to stand alone at this point,” coach Jim Caldwell said Monday, “but the fact of the matter is that it is a real task to maintain this position, as well. I think our guys are certainly up to that challenge.”

And they want to meet that challenge.

“Obviously, we’ve been here before. It helps in dealing with the media and helps us in how we should feel,” linebacker Gary Brackett(notes) said. “Everything is measured by the end of the season. But we welcome (the spotlight). We’re not under the radar anymore.

“I think we’ve got a pretty good team. What we’ve done is nothing to take lightly. We’re definitely proud of where we’re at right now. And it’s a good problem to have, deciding whether you’re going to play or whether you’re going to sit.”

So, will they get the chance to prove it? Or will the Colts back off in their final two games, against the Jets at home on Sunday, and then at Buffalo?

Judging by how they performed at Jacksonville, and how Peyton Manning(notes) and Reggie Wayne(notes) have been vocal about wanting to be on the field, it would seem matching the Patriots’ 16-0 mark of 2007 is a priority. Just not the main priority.

“Right now I could not tell you exactly what it’s going to be, whether or not a guy plays one series or the entire game,” Caldwell said. “The other thing is the health also includes, obviously, looking at them from a standpoint at what they’re going to be able to do in the future as well. That’s also included.”

Only two other franchises have reached 14-0 in the regular season: the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who went on to 17-0 and won the Super Bowl, and the ’07 Patriots, who were 16-0, won two playoff games, then fell in the Super Bowl to the Giants.

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Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood  .........
Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts throws a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood .........

In 2007,we witnessed the New England Patriots’ march to perfection in the NFL, during the regular season, only for the team to fail in their bid to win the Superbowl. Unfortunately the team would fail in their quest for perfection and equal the feat of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots were upended by the New York Giants in a memorable game that was highlighted by David Tyree’s phenomenal catch and then we saw the Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress reception that would eventually win the Superbowl for the Giants.

Joseph Addai (#29) of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Colts would go on to  defeat the  Jaguars 35-31 to keep their  unbeaten  record  in tact.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam  Greenwood .......
Joseph Addai (#29) of the Indianapolis Colts runs the ball against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. The Colts would go on to defeat the Jaguars 35-31 to keep their unbeaten record in tact. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood .......

Well, much like the famed comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, the Indianapolis Colts can’t seem to get the respect they so richly deserve. And that’s even with the team having won a Superbowl with Manning and Dungy in tow. Will a second win, give validation and respectability to this team ? Or will they be continually disrespected by others, who simply value style over substance ? They were comedians during Dangerfield’s era who many felt were far funnier but none could elicit a laugh the way that Rodney Dangerfield could from an audience. And in many ways this is the same problem that the Indianapolis Colts now face with the purists at heart. What many of them seem to forget, is that apart from Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday, Joseph Addai and Dwight Freeney. This is a roster that has been revamped with a plethora of young players. And perhaps this may well be the reason why many aren’t so enamored with the Colts and so vapidly in awe of the San Diego Chargers.

Head coach Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts coaches against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ..........
Head coach Jim Caldwell of the Indianapolis Colts coaches against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium on December 17, 2009 in Jacksonville, Florida. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Sam Greenwood ..........

It is quite possible that these two titans could very well meet in the AFC championship game. And that’s where it’ll be for all the marbles for what’s at stake. The winner of that matchup may well be viewed as the presumptive favorites to raise the Lombardi trophy. But that’d be predicated upon these two teams being able to steer their way through the obstacles that will be placed in their path throughout the postseason. So as of now, just watch the displays of the Colts and their quest towards perfection. One way or another, the journey could be just as exhilarating a joy ride as you could ever wish for. Along the way there might a smile placed on your face as you watch this great team’s chase at glory and history.

NB: Click here to view the Indianapolis Colts’ 2009-10 NFL roster.

Coach: Jim Caldwell
Jim Caldwell became the Colts coach following the retirement of Tony Dungy on January 12, 2009. Caldwell has served with Indianapolis since 2002. He spent the first three seasons as quarterbacks coach before earning the expanded title of assistant head coach prior to the 2005 season.

Caldwell’s leadership has helped the Colts continue to have one of the league’s most prolific offenses. In 2007, Indianapolis ranked fifth in NFL offense, the club’s fifth straight top five league finish. The club amassed 450 points to rank third in points per game, the fifth straight year the club was among the league’s top three scoring units. The Colts set an NFL record with a fifth consecutive season with at least 12 victories. The club’s victory totals of 50 from 2003-06 and 75 from 2003-08 rank among the best in NFL history over any four- and five-year spans. The club earned an NFL-best ninth playoff appearance in the last ten seasons, and Indianapolis extended its franchise record with a fifth consecutive AFC South championship. Additionally, Indianapolis became the first team in 76 years (Green Bay 1929-31) to open three consecutive seasons with 7-0 starts. cont’d…………

Assistant Coaches :

Clyde Christensen

Offensive coordinator; born January 28, 1956, Covina, Calif. Quarterback Fresno (Calif.) J.C. 1975, North Carolina 1976-78. No pro playing experience. College coach: Mississippi 1979, East Tennessee State 1980-82, Temple 1983-85, East Carolina 1986-88, Holy Cross 1989-1990, South Carolina 1991, Maryland 1992-93, Clemson 1994-95. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1996-2001, joined Colts in 2002.

Larry Coyer

Defensive coordinator; born April 19, 1943, Huntington, W. Va. Linebacker Marshall 1962-64. No pro playing experience. College coach: Marshall 1965-67, Iowa 1974-77, Oklahoma State 1978, Iowa State 1979-1983, 1995-96, UCLA 1987-89, Houston 1990, Ohio State 1991-92, East Carolina 1993, Pittsburgh 1997-99. Pro coach: Michigan Panthers (USFL) 1984-85, New York Jets 1994, Denver Broncos 2000-06, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2007-08, joined Colts in 2009.

Richard Howell

Asst. Strength And Conditioning; born February 19, 1972, Bladenboro, N.C. Quarterback Davidson 1990-93. No pro playing experience. College coach: Davidson 1994-98, North Carolina 1998-99. Pro coach: Barcelona Dragons (NFLE) 1999, joined Colts in 2000.

Gene Huey

Running Backs; born July 20, 1947, Uniontown, Pa. Defensive backwide receiver Wyoming 1965-68. Pro running back San Diego Chargers 1969. College coach: Wyoming 1970-73, New Mexico 1974-76, Nebraska 1977-1986, Arizona State 1987, Ohio State 1988-1991. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 1992.

Pete Metzelaars

Offensive quality control/Asst. offensive line; born May 24, 1960, Three Rivers, Mich. Tight end Wabash College 1978-1981. Pro tight end Seattle Seahawks 1982-84, Buffalo Bills 1985-1994, Carolina Panthers 1995, Detroit Lions 1996-97. College coach: Wingate 2003. Pro coach: Barcelona Dragons (NFLE) 2003, joined Colts in 2004.

Tom Moore

Sr. Offensive Coordinator; born November 7, 1938, Owatanna, Minn. Quarterback Iowa 1957-1960. No pro playing experience. College coach: Iowa 1961-62, Dayton 1965-68, Wake Forest 1969, Georgia Tech 1970-71, Minnesota 1972-73, 1975-76. Pro coach: New York Stars (WFL) 1974, Pittsburgh Steelers 1977-1989, Minnesota Vikings 1990-93, Detroit Lions 1994-96, New Orleans Saints 1997, joined Colts in 1998.

Howard Mudd

Sr. Offensive Line; born February 10, 1942, Midland, Mich. Guard Hillsdale (Mich.) College 1960-63. Pro offensive lineman San Francisco 49ers 1964-69, Chicago Bears 1969-1971. College coach: California 1972-73. Pro coach: San Diego Chargers 1974-76, San Francisco 49ers 1977, Seattle Seahawks 1978-1982, 1993-97, Cleveland Browns 1983-88, Kansas City Chiefs 1989-1992, joined Colts in 1998.

Mike Murphy

Linebackers; born September 25, 1944, New York, N.Y. Guard-linebacker Huron (S.D.) 1963-66. No pro playing experience. College coach: Vermont 1970-73, Idaho State 1974-76, Western Illinois 1977-78. Pro coach: Saskatchewan Rough Riders (CFL) 1979-1983, Chicago Blitz (USFL) 1984, Detroit Lions 1985-89, Arizona Cardinals 1990-93, Seattle Seahawks 1995-97, joined Colts in 1998.

Rod Perry

Special assistant to the defense; born September 11, 1953, Fresno, Calif. Defensive back Colorado 1972-74. Pro cornerback Los Angeles Rams 1975-82, Cleveland Browns 1983-84. College coach: Columbia 1985, Fresno City College 1986, Fresno State 1987-88. Pro coach: Seattle Seahawks 1989-1991, Los Angeles Rams 1992-94, Houston Oilers 1995-96, San Diego Chargers 1997-2001, Carolina Panthers 2002-06, joined Colts in 2007.

Frank Reich

Quarterbacks; born December 4, 1961, Freeport, N.Y. Quarterback Maryland 1981-84. Pro quarterback Buffalo Bills 1985-1994, Carolina Panthers 1995, New York Jets 1996, Detroit Lions 1997-98. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2008.

Ray Rychleski

Special Teams; born September 27, 1957, Old Forge, Pa. Attended Millersville (Pa.) State College. No college or pro playing experience. College coach: Temple 1981-88, Northeastern 1989-1990, Penn State 1991, East Stroudsburg 1992, Wake Forest 1993- 2000, Maryland 2001-07, South Carolina 2008. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2009.

Bill Teerlinck

Defensive assistant; born July 23, 1978, Champaign, Ill. Defensive end Chadron State 2000-02. No pro playing experience. College coach: Indiana 2003-04, Illinois State 2005-06. Pro coach: Joined Colts in 2007.

John Teerlinck

Defensive Line; born April 9, 1951, Rochester, N.Y. Defensive lineman Western Illinois 1970-73. Pro defensive tackle San Diego Chargers 1974-77. College coach: Iowa Lakes J.C. 1977, Eastern Illinois 1978-79, Illinois 1980-82. Pro coach: Chicago Blitz (USFL) 1983-84, Arizona Wranglers/Outlaws (USFL) 1985-86, Cleveland Browns 1989-1990, Los Angeles Rams 1991, Minnesota Vikings 1992-94, Detroit Lions 1995-96, Denver Broncos 1997-2001, joined Colts in 2002.

Ricky Thomas

Tight Ends; born March 29, 1965, London, England. Safety Alabama 1983-86. College coach: Kentucky 1996, Gardner-Webb 1997. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1997-2001, joined Colts in 2002.

Jon Torine

Strength And Conditioning; born November 16, 1973, Livingston, N.J. Linebacker Springfield (Mass.) College 1991. No pro playing experience. Pro coach: Buffalo Bills 1995-97, joined Colts in 1998.

Alan Williams

Defensive Backs; born November 4, 1969, Norfolk, Va. Running back William & Mary 1988-1991. No pro playing experience. College coach: William & Mary 1996-2000. Pro coach: Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2001, joined Colts in 2002.

Colts’ Front Office: Jim Irsay , Owner & CEO

Bill Polian , President & General Manager

Carlie Irsay-Gordon , Vice President

Casey Irsay-Foyt, Vice President

Peter Ward, Senior Executive President

Tom Zupancic, Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing

There Are Games , Then There Are Games And Then There Are Real Games …………….

This weekend’s NFL match-up between the Indianapolis Colts (11-0) and their AFC South divisional rivals , Tennessee Titans (5-6), is in essence, a game filled with a great deal of intrigue. And the scene is being set whereby, we may well be on the cusp seeing history made by coach, Jim Caldwell’s Colts. Should they defeat the Titans , then they would join the 2007 New England Patriots in tying the NFL record for the most consecutive regular season wins. That mark presently stand at 21 straight victories.

Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts looks to avoid the Houston Texans’ Connor Barwin in an NFL game played between the two teams at Reliant Stadium , Houston , Texas,. The Colts would go on to defeat their AFC South divisional rivals 35-27 in a highly entertaining game. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Bob Levey ……

For the Titans and their long tenured coach,Jeff Fisher, the season has undergone something of an inspirational transformation for the franchise and its fans.Having benched the incumbent starter at quarterback,Kerry Collins, at the behest of team owner, ‘Bud’ Adams. Fisher installed fifth year pro and former Longhorn,Vince Young. And what has transpired , is the resurgence of not only the Tennessee Titans as a team but also the self assuredness and leadership skills showed by Vince Young as a determined quarterback. It was long thought that Young was essentially on the scrap heap and no longer wanted by the organization.

And while no doubt the other games around the NFL that are being staged have their own scenarios and implications. None might better encapsulate what the NFL season is about, than this match-up. A great deal is at stake for both teams. Having captured the divisional crown the Colts are looking to add that extra layer of success that seems to have epitomized the franchise over the last decade. But became even more resplendent under the tenure of Caldwell’s predecessor , Tony Dungy. The latter of whom, became the first African American coach to lead his him to a Superbowl victory. This was done when the Colts defeated the Chicago Bears in SB XLI, 29-17 in the resulting victory for the AFC team. On the opposing side leading the Chicago Bears as their coach, was Lovie Smith. He also happens to be an African American. In many ways it was a historical moment for not only both coaches at the time but also for the NFL and sports in general.

Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17) can't pull in a pass as Houston Texans cornerback Glover Quin (29) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Houston. Quin was called for pass interference. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/Waco Tribune Herald/ Jose Yau  ..........
Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Austin Collie (17) can't pull in a pass as Houston Texans cornerback Glover Quin (29) defends during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, in Houston. Quin was called for pass interference. picture appears courtesy of AP/Photo/Waco Tribune Herald/ Jose Yau ..........

As I alluded to earlier, this game and its stage, Lucas Oil Stadium,in Indianapolis, will bring with it a groundswell of support by not only the Colts’ fans but also for the Titans’ fans, who’ll be traveling there in support of their team. And in front of a packed,sold out crowd and with millions watching via national broadcast, as well as with the NFL’s own, NFL Network. The game promises to be one filled with hopefully, a great many highlights.

These two well coached teams will be looking to keep the momentum going with regard to their respective seasons. The Indianapolis Colts, no doubt are fully aware as what now awaits them in terms of a legacy. A regular unbeaten season schedule,while nice on appearance ,counts for nothing , if at at the end of the day ‘the brass ring’ of not winning the Superbowl isn’t attached to it all. In joining the New England Patriots and the ’72 Miami Dolphins, who achieved the feat. The Colts would be one of only three teams to have done this within the NFL, in the modern era. Albeit, that the Dolphins have been the only team to go and win the Superbowl. Whereas, the New England Patriots failed at the last hurdle in their quest , in losing to the New York Giants, in SBXLII, 17-14, in 2008. The Colts and their fans, can only hope that fate will be kind to them in their quest.

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Colts, Titans focus on rematch rather than records

By Michael Marot, AP Sports Writer

Indianapolis (AP)—Jeff Fisher looks at the Colts and sees all the old angles.

Peyton Manning(notes) runs things with meticulous precision and is among the MVP favorites. Indy is undefeated, in charge of the AFC South and chasing the AFC’s top seed. The Titans need a win to keep their playoff hopes going.

Sound familiar? This is how things looked eight weeks ago when Tennessee and Indy last met in Nashville, except that now the Colts are on the brink of tying the NFL record for most consecutive regular-season victories (21).

“The only difference is they’ve won six more games since we played them last time,” Fisher said. “They still had a consecutive regular-season win streak going and they pushed it further. They are a very, very good football team.”

The numbers demonstrate how good the Colts have been.

A victory Sunday would allow Indy (11-0) to equal New England’s record streak, set from 2006-08, a stretch that included two Patriots postseason losses, including one to the Colts. It would also allow Indy to extend its own record of consecutive 12-win seasons to seven, extend Jim Caldwell’s record for consecutive wins to start a coaching career to 12, and move the Colts a step closer to their next goal, earning a first-round playoff bye.

But there’s one fact that shows the Colts could be susceptible to an old rival that has given them problems in the past: Indy’s last five wins have all come with fourth-quarter comebacks.

“That’s something we’d like to do a better job of, scoring early,” Manning said. “You always want to try and get the lead and keep the lead, and that’s something we need to improve upon. This would be a good week to do it.”

Nobody, not even Fisher, can quibble with the results.

Indianapolis’ good fortune seems to have rubbed off on the Titans coach. After donning Manning’s No. 18 jersey at an October fundraiser, Fisher said he did it to “feel like a winner.” Tennessee (5-6) hasn’t lost since, becoming the first NFL team to follow a six-game skid with a five-game winning streak. Another win Sunday, in Indy, would make Tennessee the fifth team since 1970 to post a six-game winning streak and a six-game losing streak in the same season.

Clearly, these are two of the hottest teams—and quarterbacks—in the league.
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In order to read Michael Marot’s article in its entirety just click on the link to view
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The NFC’s New Orleans Saints (11-0) with a similar record as the Indianapolis Colts, will also look to achieve a similar fate. Though it has to be said, with two unbeaten teams still vying for that record. It can only add to the suspense of it all, as the regular season schedule slowly winds down.

Nashville, Tn,. November 29th 2009.  Kenny Britt (18) of the Tennessee Titans celebrates with head coach Jeff Fisher after catching the game-winning touchdown to give the Titans a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka  ......
Nashville, Tn,. November 29th 2009. Kenny Britt (18) of the Tennessee Titans celebrates with head coach Jeff Fisher after catching the game-winning touchdown to give the Titans a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka ......

For Jeff Fisher and this Titans’ team and what they’ve now achieved thus far in the season. Simply put, it has been nothing short of amazing in what they’ve been able to accomplish. Left for dead, it was felt that not only was ‘Fisher done in the city of Tennessee’ but also too, Vince Young. Both of these two individuals have fought back and stared adversity in such a way. That one can only but admire what they’ve now both been able to achieve. And this shouldn’t at all be down to play of Vince Young alone. But this has been a collective effort by the whole organization and in particular Jeff Fisher’s coaching staff. And though it is the players who enact the instructions given as to the schemes and strategic play on the field. Without the contributions of the coaches, one would seriously doubt that the Tennessee Titans would be where they are now, at this juncture. And this hasn’t at all been lost on the Titans’ fans. Now their fervor for the team is now at an all-time high and their support of Vince Young has hit stratospheric heights.

I’ve no doubt in my mind that this will be one of the better games served up for the fans this NFL weekend. And though there are some other very good games on the schedule. None might meet the passion that will be exhibited by both teams when they hit the field at Lucas Oil Stadium , on Sunday afternoon. The Colts’ highly
explosive offense and disciplined defense, will match wits with the Titans’ tenacious defense. And it’d be remiss to overlook Titans’ running back,Chris Johnson, who has been on ‘something of a tear’ throughout the regular season. He’s on pace to attain 2,000 all purpose yards. And that is quite an accomplishment for this outstanding young player.

Is it me, or has Schlereth’s ‘undeniable man lust’ for Favre all of a sudden gone askew ? I mean the guy probably gets more of an erection by merely uttering his name , rather than seeing his wife naked.

And as exemplary as the Tennessee Titans’ defense has been. This match-up will test their wit and resolve when they face Peyton Manning and the array of offensive weaponry at his disposal. Manning, himself, has been having an ‘MVP caliber’ type of season. And his stats have been off the charts. Though it has to be said, that it appears to be more than just a ‘two horse race’ for the regular season award. I’m sure that the fans of Brees and the ageless wonder’, Brett Favre will have something to say about it all. And no doubt ESPN’s Mark Schlereth and his minions are at this moment in time, praying to the footballing gods and are prepared to sacrifice a fatted calf in homage to the gods, in order to make sure that Favre wins his fourth MVP award.

Vince Young (10) of the Tennessee Titans calls a play against the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka   ..............
Vince Young (10) of the Tennessee Titans calls a play against the Arizona Cardinals during their game at LP Field on November 29, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Streeter Lecka ..............

As a fervent NFL fan, I’m really looking forward to the scheduled games within the NFL. One or two of them will no doubt be surprising in terms of their results. While others will just simply follow the script.

The scenario for the Colts’ Titans’ match-up isn’t as clear cut as some might think. But one thing for sure , is that as an NFL fan we won’t be at all be disappointed in terms of the play on the field. At this juncture I see this game as a pick ’em ! It’s too close to call in terms of an outright result. What do you think ?

NFL Week 13 Schedule, Dec 3rd-7th

Thu, Dec 03 Time (ET) Top Passer Top Rusher Top Receiver
NYJ @ BUF Final 19-13 NYJ Mark Sanchez: 104 Yds NYJ Thomas Jones: 109 Yds NYJ Jerricho Cotchery: 68 Yds

Sun, Dec 06 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
PHI @ ATL Georgia Dome 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 708 129 (PHI) 126 (ATL)
TB @ CAR Bank of America Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 709 158 (TB) 130 (CAR)
STL @ CHI Soldier Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 710 151 (STL) 127 (CHI)
DET @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 711 155 (DET) 91 (CIN)
NE @ MIA Land Shark Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 126 (NE) 127 (MIA)
TEN @ IND Lucas Oil Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 704 123 (IND)
HOU @ JAC Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 705 125 (HOU) 153 (JAC)
DEN @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 706 121 (DEN) 154 (KC)
OAK @ PIT Heinz Field 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 707 157 (OAK) 122 (PIT)
NO @ WAS FedEx Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 712 123 (NO) 152 (WAS)
SD @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium 4:05 PM Tickets CBS 713 121 (SD) 91 (CLE)
DAL @ NYG Giants Stadium 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 715 123 (DAL) 125 (NYG)
SF @ SEA Qwest Field 4:15 PM Tickets FOX 716 126 (SF) 130 (SEA)
MIN @ ARI University of Phoenix Stadium 8:20 PM Tickets NBC 714 122 (MIN) 127 (ARI) Radio
Mon, Dec 07 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
BAL @ GB Lambeau Field 8:30 PM Tickets ESPN 206 126 (BAL) 125 (GB) Radio

Ooh’s and Ah’s , Picks and Pans of The NFL

Well it looks as if this weekend we’ll begin to see some of the top teams in the NFL , look to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. Granted, the two remaining unbeaten teams, in Jim Caldwell‘s Indianapolis Colts (9-0) and Sean Payton‘s New Orleans Saints (9-0) seem to have already done that.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with head coach Jim Caldwell during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Indianapolis won 35-34. picture appears courtesy  of  ap/photo/A. J.  Mast  .........
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with head coach Jim Caldwell during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots in Indianapolis, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009. Indianapolis won 35-34. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/A. J. Mast .........

And while I’m not about to take anything for granted, the Colts and Saints, do appear to be the cream of crop amongst the top tiered teams within the NFL, this season. And to my mind, Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton are the leading candidates for the NFL’s Coach of The Year award. Though some serious consideration has to be given to Marvin Lewis of the Cincinnati Bengals and the exceptional job that he’s done. Now I know that there are some die-hard Brett Favre fans out there, who’d like to see the Minnesota Vikings mentioned in the upper echelons of the elite teams in the NFL. And there may well be many who’ll also feel that Brad Childress is a worthy nominee for the Coach of the Year, in the NFL. But I’ll say this to you all, take away the Brett Favre hype – and all that you’re left with, is a rather good team and an above average coach, if that. Prior to this season , one would hardly consider Brad Childress to be one of the top coaches in the NFL. His appearance alone, has you thinking that he resembles a high school principal, much less that of a highly respected NFL coach.

 Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Saints beat the Rams 28-23.  picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Dilip Vishwanat ..............
Head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints looks on from the sideline against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on November 15, 2009 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Saints beat the Rams 28-23. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Dilip Vishwanat ..............

Week 11 in the NFL, kicked off with a Thursday night game between the Miami Dolphins (5-5) and the Carolina Panthers (4-6). And once again that ‘Ragin’ Cajun’ or as I’d prefer to call him ‘Bastard Out of Carolina’ presumed to let me down with his inconsistent play. In watching Jake Delhomme play the position of quarterback for the Panthers, is very much like watching a child ride a bike for the very first time. You know that they’ll stumble and take one or two falls but learn something from what they’d done wrong in the first place. In the case of Delhomme, however, he’ll dust himself off after falling but yet continue to repeat same mistakes as before, that cost him to make that apparent fall. His game has become so inconsistent, that it is difficult from one game to the next, to know what to expect from the player. And because of his errant play, it could well end up costing John Fox his job as coach of the Carolina Panthers.

Jake Delhomme (17) of the Carolina Panthers stands on the field with his head down against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.     picture appears courtesy of  getty images/  Streeter  Lekca  ...............
Jake Delhomme (17) of the Carolina Panthers stands on the field with his head down against the Miami Dolphins at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Streeter Lekca ...............

Well, Thursday night’s game, we saw the Dolphins eke out a 24-17 win over the Panthers to even their record to 5-5 and place themselves back into contention within the AFC East. And as I alluded to earlier, concerning Delhomme, he did not disappoint. His game was moribund and his stats bore this out (19/42 att’s, 227 yds, 1TD, 1INT). But it’d be remiss to think that Delhomme was solely to blame for this loss. In large part however, Delhomme as the team captain led the Panthers like a drunk driver trying to evade oncoming traffic while still trying to consume a drink from his bottle.

Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins runs away from Richard Marshall (31) of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.     picture appears  courtesy  of  getty images/  Streeter Lecka ...........
Ricky Williams (34) of the Miami Dolphins runs away from Richard Marshall (31) of the Carolina Panthers during their game at Bank of America Stadium on November 19, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Streeter Lecka ...........

Crash and burn, the Carolina Panthers did just that. As they were unable to contain a hard and fast running Ricky Williams, who torched the Panthers for three touchdowns on the night, in front of the home crowd at Land Shark Stadium,in Miami.And for Miami Dolphins’ coach,Tony Sparano,this was a night to savor. As his team played with a great deal of resolve and commitment. The same for which, cannot be said of the Carolina Panthers. Simply put, the Carolina Panthers are playing themselves out of contention for a playoff berth in the postseason. And this isn’t certainly something that one would come to expect from a John Fox coached team.

I’ve got to admit that over the past few years I’ve tended to overlook the Houston Texans (5-4) as a team. I know that they’re the NFL’s youngest franchise. But if what they’re now doing is anything to go by , given the performances of players such as, Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and four year veteran tight end, Owen Daniels. Then this season, Gary Kubiak‘s team could be a surprise as an AFC playoff entrant in the postseason. It has taken the Texans some time to find some semblance of consistency and competitiveness.Given the days when they had the woefully inept David Carr as the team’s signal caller. Who can but fail to remember the number of times that Carr became the venerable staple of ESPN’s highlight reels of him being teed up on and sacked repeatedly by defensive linemen up and down the league ? Those days now appear to be long gone as the Texans now seek to place themselves amongst the game’s elite. And with an upcoming televised
Monday night game against Tennessee Titans.The nation will get the chance to see whether or not the Houston Texans are for real. The Texans’ potent offense and well disciplined defense will face something of a test against a rejuvenated Vince Young and the Jeff Fisher coached Titans’ team.

Indianapolis -November 8th Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/  Andy Lyons .............
Indianapolis -November 8th Matt Schaub (8) of the Houston Texans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Andy Lyons .............

Could the Houston Texans possibly the NFL’s Cinderella Story this season ? Much as in the same way Ken Whisenhunt’s Arizona Cardinals were last year ? We’ll just have to wait and see,won’t we ?

This is an Oct. 19, 2009, file photo showing an electronic billboard flashing a message directed to Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. regarding his team's performance during NFL football games,  in Buffalo, N.Y.  Wilson tells The Associated Press he's prepared to revamp his entire football operation after the season. Wilson said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009,  he'll make a full review and stresses there's a "lot of work to do."     picture  appears   courtesy of ap/photo/file/  David Duprey .................

It just hadn’t to happen another franchise in distress and in the midst of it all, happens to the NFL’s enfant-terrible’, Terrell Owens. However,TO wasn’t the spark that ignited the flames, leading to the dismissal of Dick Jauron, as the Buffalo Bills’ coach.

Bills’ owner, Ralph Wilson, put an end to the ‘Jauron experiment’, having witnessed the underachieving performances of the team this season. Could it have gotten any worse ? Well, consider this, if the Bills were an express locomotive heading for an oncoming collision with a passenger train. Would you want to be in the midst of the aftermath of the scenes of that particular incident ? Of course not ! The death, mayhem and destruction would be too unfathomable and unthinkable to imagine. And to top it all off,we’ve yet to hear a formal comment from TO,as to what has now transpired. But needless to say, somehow he’ll find a way to put a positive spin on it and other things that have transpired since his arrival there in Buffalo. Funny how far things have fallen for this once prolific player ? Do you think that his agent,Drew Rosenhausis already on the line pursuing a number of teams, whom he feels might show a prospective interest in his client ? Next question ?

Buffalo Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell talks with Bills' Terrell Owens (81) during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Fewell takes over after Dick Jauron was fired as head coach on Tuesday.    picture  appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ David  Duprey .................
Buffalo Bills interim head coach Perry Fewell talks with Bills' Terrell Owens (81) during NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009. Fewell takes over after Dick Jauron was fired as head coach on Tuesday. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ David Duprey .................

And of this weekend’s games that really peek my interest, those concerning AFC West divisional rivals, San Diego Chargers at the Denver Broncos, ought to spark more than enough interest amongst the NFL fans, in general. Both team are now 6-3, however, it appears to be that they’re heading opposite directions. Denver are losers of three straight, while the Chargers are riding high, having recently defeated the frustratingly inconsistent Philadelphia Eagles, 31-23, for their third consecutive win.

Broncos’ coach, Josh McDaniels has to get his team back on track, if their season isn’t to be deemed a failure. Having started out 6-0 and with the division at their mercy. They’ve fallen back to the pack,faster than a three legged horse racing in the Kentucky Derby. And if that wasn’t enough, starting quarterback, Kyle Orton seems to have lost his edge and confidence. And at the same time, that once dominant defense has begun to show some flaws. And that crack in their resilience mirrors what many may now feel, that they were doing it all with smoking mirrors.

Stop me, if you’ve heard this pronunciation before ? Jay Cutler is an elite quarterback in the NFL ? Time and time again , I’ve heard several NFL analysts make this now redundant and asinine remark. I know that they’re paid to proffer up their opinions. But let’s get real here, nothing that Cutler has done so far in his career bears this out. Making the Pro Bowl doesn’t designate you, as being amongst the elite at the position. Can you hear me Mark Schlereth ? Your opinions are about as valuable as Sarah Palin‘s views on the US economy,decisions made in the US Supreme Court and that of, US foreign policy. Sorry Sarah, but I’m sure the questions being asked of you by Katie Couric were far too hard for even a middle student to answer ? But somehow you seemed to be flummoxed by it all ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Just go out there and hawk your book and clamor for that additional 15 minutes of fame that you additionally seek.

Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears walks off the field dejected after their 10-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California.    picture appears courtesy of  getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn   ...............
Jay Cutler (6) of the Chicago Bears walks off the field dejected after their 10-6 loss against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 12, 2009 in San Francisco, California. picture appears courtesy of getty images/ Jed Jacobsohn ...............

With the acquisition of Jay Cutler, it was deemed that this would be the additional piece to the puzzle, that would put the Chicago Bears over the top and make them a potential threat in the NFC. Word of advice for Bears’ coach, Lovie Smith. Remove index finger from rectum and sniff. Culter ain’t cuttin it ! And he’s beginning to stink up the joint, much like the odor that you’re smelling and that’s emanating from your index finger.

Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches as the Bears play the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009.     picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/  Marcio Jose  Sanchez   ....................
Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith watches as the Bears play the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Marcio Jose Sanchez ....................

The Chicago Bears are now said to be sinking faster than The Titanic after it hit an iceberg in the midst of the Atlantic Ocean. And though the finger pointing hasn’t yet begun. The quakes that are now emanating from within the Bears’ organization, point to the fact that Lovie Smith may be in need of polishing up his resume’, just in case he needs to be seeking out a new place employment.

Let’s hear it for the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns. A round of applause please ? You should be grateful that this presumed barnburner isn’t being served up for your edification on the NFL’s traditional Thanksgiving Day schedule. So there is a God afterall ? And whatever form he or she takes , I thank them !

For those of you with the stomach to watch this game. You’ll have the undoubted privilege of watching perhaps two of the worst teams in the NFL at present. OK stop it ! I can hear the sniping already, as they’re many of you questioning the fact that I’ve not mentioned the St Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders or the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But should I really now start to hedge my bets ? I mean, we can all opine as to which team we deem to be the absolute worst of the worst, can’t we ?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gets roughed up by Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen (69) and Brian Robison (96) after throwing an incomplete pass in the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Minneapolis.    picture appears courtesy of  ap/photo/ Star Tribune/  Jeff Wheeler  ....................
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) gets roughed up by Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen (69) and Brian Robison (96) after throwing an incomplete pass in the third quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, in Minneapolis. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Star Tribune/ Jeff Wheeler ....................

Browns versus Lions, isn’t that reminiscent of one those long ass historical epics that Hollywood use to be famous for making in the early fifties ? I hear Cecil B. DeMille won’t be on hand to direct Sunday’s escapade between Eric Mangini’s Cleveland Browns and Jim Schwartz’s Detroit Lions. By the way the reason why DeMille won’t be around to direct, well it’s because he died fifty years ago. But in some way the NFL Network as well as CBS Sports will somehow think it worthy to televise. Screw that, you mean to tell me that CBS Sports couldn’t schedule a few hours of infomercials ? You know the ones featuring the guy and several luscious females discussing erectile dysfunction issues and what they (the females) like about the size of a guy ? Or is it because Sunday afternoons are considered to family entertainment viewing and a large part of the male population having finished their honey to do lists, will be watching the scheduled NFL games ? CBS and the NFL Network will feel it imperative that this game be televised. Please, given the choices that one might have , I’d say that the infomercials might prove to be infinitely better viewing entertainment than watching the Brown and Lions go at it, for four quarters !

Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn recovers his own fumble as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson (95) and safety Dawan Landry (26) converge in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, in Cleveland. The Browns lost 16-0.       picture appears courtesy  ap/photo/ Mark  Duncan  .............
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn recovers his own fumble as Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jarret Johnson (95) and safety Dawan Landry (26) converge in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, in Cleveland. The Browns lost 16-0. picture appears courtesy ap/photo/ Mark Duncan .............

The Cleveland Browns and Detroit Lions possess about as much offensive weaponry as the army of Vanuatu. The fact that the island of Vanuatu has no army to speak of , should indicate to you what you’re liable to see in terms of creativity from both teams on Sunday afternoon. Watch at your peril, as you’re liable to be either bored to sleep, or tears !

Well those have been my picks and pans , as to the NFL and this weekend’s scheduled games. Are there any games that have peeked your interest with regards to this weekend’s schedule ?

NFL Conference Standings

American Football Conference

AFC East

East Team
W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
New England Patriots 6 3 0 .667 259 150 109 29 5-0 1-3 2-1 .667 4-3 .571 2-0 1L 3-2
Miami Dolphins 5 5 0 .500 242 244 -2 28 3-2 2-3 3-1 .750 3-3 .500 2-2 2W 3-2
New York Jets 4 5 0 .444 199 158 41 22 2-3 2-2 1-3 .250 4-4 .500 0-1 2L 1-4
Buffalo Bills 3 6 0 .333 140 210 -70 14 1-3 2-3 1-2 .333 1-5 .167 2-1 2L 2-3

AFC North

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Cincinnati Bengals 7 2 0 .778 198 147 51 24 3-2 4-0 5-0 1.000 5-2 .714 2-0 3W 4-1
Pittsburgh Steelers 6 3 0 .667 207 157 50 24 4-1 2-2 1-2 .333 4-2 .667 2-1 1L 4-1
Baltimore Ravens 5 4 0 .556 222 154 68 28 3-1 2-3 2-2 .500 5-3 .625 0-1 1W 2-3
Cleveland Browns 1 8 0 .111 78 225 -147 7 0-4 1-4 0-4 .000 1-5 .167 0-3 4L 1-4

AFC South

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Indianapolis Colts 9 0 0 1.000 252 142 110 31 5-0 4-0 3-0 1.000 5-0 1.000 4-0 9W 5-0
Jacksonville Jaguars 5 4 0 .556 181 220 -39 22 3-1 2-3 2-2 .500 4-2 .667 1-2 2W 3-2
Houston Texans 5 4 0 .556 215 188 27 26 2-2 3-2 1-2 .333 4-3 .571 1-1 1L 3-2
Tennessee Titans 3 6 0 .333 189 255 -66 21 2-2 1-4 1-3 .250 2-6 .250 1-0 3W 3-2

AFC West

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Denver Broncos 6 3 0 .667 167 151 16 18 3-1 3-2 2-0 1.000 5-2 .714 1-1 3L 2-3
San Diego Chargers 6 3 0 .667 237 202 35 27 3-2 3-1 3-1 .750 4-3 .571 2-0 4W 4-1
Kansas City Chiefs 2 7 0 .222 142 215 -73 14 0-4 2-3 1-2 .333 1-4 .200 1-3 1W 2-3
Oakland Raiders 2 7 0 .222 88 217 -129 7 1-4 1-3 1-4 .200 1-6 .143 1-1 3L 1-4

National Football Conference

NFC East

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Dallas Cowboys 6 3 0 .667 224 169 55 26 3-1 3-2 1-1 .500 5-2 .714 1-1 1L 4-1
Philadelphia Eagles 5 4 0 .556 242 184 58 26 3-2 2-2 2-1 .667 4-2 .667 1-2 2L 2-3
New York Giants 5 4 0 .556 232 204 28 25 2-2 3-2 2-1 .667 3-3 .500 2-1 4L 1-4
Washington Redskins 3 6 0 .333 140 171 -31 15 3-2 0-4 0-2 .000 2-5 .286 1-1 1W 1-4

NFC North

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Minnesota Vikings 8 1 0 .889 271 184 87 32 4-0 4-1 4-0 1.000 6-0 1.000 2-1 2W 4-1
Green Bay Packers 5 4 0 .556 232 179 53 27 3-2 2-2 2-2 .500 4-3 .571 1-1 1W 3-2
Chicago Bears 4 5 0 .444 186 201 -15 21 3-1 1-4 1-1 .500 2-4 .333 2-1 2L 1-4
Detroit Lions 1 8 0 .111 143 264 -121 15 1-3 0-5 0-4 .000 1-7 .125 0-1 6L 0-5

NFC South

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
New Orleans Saints 9 0 0 1.000 331 197 134 43 5-0 4-0 2-0 1.000 6-0 1.000 3-0 9W 5-0
Atlanta Falcons 5 4 0 .556 221 194 27 28 4-0 1-4 1-2 .333 4-3 .571 1-1 1L 2-3
Carolina Panthers 4 6 0 .400 193 239 -46 22 2-3 2-3 2-2 .500 4-4 .500 0-2 1L 2-3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1 8 0 .111 157 256 -99 20 1-4 0-4 0-1 .000 1-5 .167 0-3 1L 1-4

NFC West

Team W L T Pct PF PA Net Pts TD Home Road Div Pct Conf Pct Non-Conf Streak Last 5
Arizona Cardinals 6 3 0 .667 229 184 45 28 2-3 4-0 2-1 .667 4-2 .667 2-1 2W 4-1
San Francisco 49ers 4 5 0 .444 184 180 4 22 3-2 1-3 3-0 1.000 4-2 .667 0-3 1W 1-4
Seattle Seahawks 3 6 0 .333 187 198 -11 20 3-2 0-4 1-3 .250 2-5 .286 1-1 1L 2-3
St. Louis Rams 1 8 0 .111 100 249 -149 11 0-4 1-4 0-2 .000 1-6 .143 0-2 1L 1-4

Week 11 NFL Schedule

Thu, Nov 19 Time (ET) Top Passer Top Rusher Top Receiver
MIA 24 @ CAR 17 Final CAR Jake Delhomme: 227 Yds CAR DeAngelo Williams: 122 Yds CAR Steve Smith: 87 Yds
Sun, Nov 22 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
PIT @ KC Arrowhead Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 707 91 (PIT) 130 (KC)
SF @ GB Lambeau Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 709 156 (SF) 127 (GB)
CLE @ DET Ford Field 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 705 147 (CLE) 155 (DET)
IND @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 704 121 (IND) 129 (BAL)
SEA @ MIN Mall of America Field 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 710 157 (SEA) 125 (MIN)
WAS @ DAL Cowboys Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 708 152 (WAS) 122 (DAL)
BUF @ JAC Jacksonville Municipal Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets CBS 706 144 (BUF) 108 (JAC)
ATL @ NYG Giants Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 711 153 (ATL) 123 (NYG)
NO @ TB Raymond James Stadium 1:00 PM Tickets FOX 712 126 (NO) 158 (TB)
ARI @ STL Edward Jones Dome 4:05 PM Tickets FOX 713 121 (ARI) 91 (STL)
NYJ @ NE Gillette Stadium 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 715 158 (NYJ) 126 (NE)
CIN @ OAK Oakland Coliseum 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 716 127 (CIN) 130 (OAK)
SD @ DEN Invesco Field at Mile High 4:15 PM Tickets CBS 714 125 (SD) 123 (DEN)
PHI @ CHI Soldier Field 8:20 PM Tickets NBC 127 (PHI) 126 (CHI) Radio
Mon, Nov 23 Stadium Time (ET) Tickets Network DIRECTV SIRIUS Westwood One
TEN @ HOU Reliant Stadium 8:30 PM Tickets ESPN 206 126 (TEN) 125 (HOU) Radio