Two thumbs up to the NFL at this point, and an index finger to the commissioner for his lackluster efforts ……

Two thumbs up to the NFL at this point, and an index finger to the commissioner for his lackluster efforts

By Tophatal …….

While Roger Goodell continues to make a complete ass of himself, as he looks to clip the wings of the four players, he believes to be central to the New Orleans Saints’ scandal. It is indeed good to know, that the NFL itself, is back up and running, with the NFL certified officials are now back on the sidelines officiating the regular season games. The thought that this idiocy could have carried on , because of the sheer stupidity shown by the league hierarchy ,led by the NFL commissioner , still has fans wondering whether or not the owners themselves, will seek to rein in the autocratic powers of the league’s highest-ranking official. It is about time , that individuals such as Jerry Jones , Robert Kraft, Steve Bisciotti and Jeff Lurie stood up and be counted , rather than cowering in the corner , simply too afraid to step out into the light and let their voices be heard. Instead , this farce with regard to the NFL itself is simply built upon the premise, that the league goes out and coerce their broadcast partners to up the ante in terms of the bloated television contracts that makes up the annual $ 7.5 billion revenues that graces the league’s coffers . Roger Goodell’s whole foundation as it relates to the NFL is built around that proxy and not much else beyond that and anyone who believes to the contrary , simply has no goddamn idea as to what the NFL continues to do , while creating a façade that it cares about the retired veterans and their needs.

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Week six brings us a slew of games and a litany of issues for a number of teams seeking not to have themselves out of the divisional races at this point of the season. Thursday night’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans in a conference match-up , that saw the home based Titans overcome the beleaguered Steelers, with a last-minute field goal by Rob Bironas , which secured a 26-23 victory for the AFC South franchise.

At 2-3 within the AFC North , it now looks as if Steelers’ head coach , Mike Tomlin has a multitude of problems on his hands . Another lackluster effort by the team, and you have to wonder whether or not the aging corps of veterans on the roster can still contribute to this franchise’s efforts .For Mike Munchak and his coaching staff , he can take comfort in the fact , that his players fought back , and really showed a great deal of resolve in defeating the Steelers . Next up for the team will be a week seven match-up against the Buffalo Bills .

Say what you will, but the continued idiocy concerning the New York Jets makes for good scripted fodder and a topic of conversation for fans, as the team falls apart under the weight of continued expectation. Fantasy geeks, are opining on how best to use Tim Tebow in a game. Here’s a suggestion for you all, if offensive coordinator , Tony Sparano can’t figure this shit out , concerning the use of the player , much less the fact that quarterback, Mark Sanchez is struggling to have a barely decent season , much to the chagrin of the print media in the tri state area. Then why, oh why, would you all be so concerned with this idiocy? Has Tebow actually done anything, to have you believe that at some point in the season he is liable to be a “fantasy stud” or sleeper ?

The New York Jets will play host to Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts , as the AFC South franchise seeks to build upon their Week five victory over the Green Bay Packers . One simply gets the feeling that another loss, at this point of the Jets’ season , and there might well be a great deal more at stake and on the line, beyond the immediate future of Mark Sanchez , Tim Tebow and the rest of this roster. How about the entire coaching staff stepping up to the plate and being held accountable for this mess ? Needless to say , head coach Rex Ryan and his ever declining girth will try to make light of the situation by pointing to the fact that the team has had a number of injury issues.

Early days yet , but with the ever-growing confidence being shown by Andrew Luck, and the very fact that his teammates have a belief in his abilities , it could lead to the fact that the Colts could pull of a big surprise and actually eke out the semblance of a successful season . The franchise at 2-2 within the AFC South, they sit three games behind the division leading Houston Texans (5-0). It is safe to say that whatever happens over the remainder of this season , Colts’ GM Ryan Grigson and team owner Jim Irsay , will be entirely happy in their decision to make Andrew Luck the number one overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Say it with me , “it is time for Jerry Jones to relinquish the reins of the Dallas Cowboys” . My wish is not to see the owner give up complete control of the franchise, but I no longer believe he serves the best interests of the Cowboys by making all of the player personnel decisions ! The franchise hasn’t hit pay-dirt in terms of a bona-fide successful draft pick in several years and the last such instance might well have been in 2005 when they took DeMarcus Ware as the eleventh overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft. Ware has become a perennialPro Bowl caliber player, and he has been the best player on an ever inconsistent roster this season . On Sunday afternoon , a warm and hearty welcome awaits the Dallas Cowboys when they are the guests of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium , in Baltimore, Maryland,. All of the trash talking that has been taking place between the opposing sets of players will be laid out bare on the turf during the game . It will be interesting to see how Jason Garrett and Rob Ryan prepares this Cowboys’ team, for a vastly improved Ravens’ offense , seeking to show that they are amongst the very best that the NFL has to offer this season.

One more home game and one more blackout as the moribund Tampa Bay Buccaneers can barely muster support for their games at Raymond James Stadium , in Tampa , Florida,. Begrudgingly, fans are now making light of that , fact beyond the situation where this is an extraordinarily bad Buccaneers’ team . Head coach , Greg Schiano and his coaching staff have not been readily available to explain the woeful ineptitude shown by his players , while at the same , he can point to few positives concerning this team. Josh Freeman has simply regressed as a player , while the defense is simply a poor work in progress , that seemingly has become so inconsistent. Sunday afternoon, the Buccaneers will host the Kansas City Chiefs in a inter-conference match-up of two teams with postseason aspirations. As to whether not those aspirations will materialize is simply dependent upon how both franchises will fare over the remainder of the season and upon their final conference and divisional standings .

The NFC East has a long-standing heritage of being looked upon as one of the better divisions within the NFL , and for Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan , his most immediate concern , is the readiness of the team’s rookie quarterback , Robert Griffin III, whose introduction to the NFL has been somewhat exceptional. Griffin, along with teammate and rookie running back , Alfred Morris , are one of the primary reasons to watch the Redskins play over the course of the season. Morris , a sixth round draft pick by the Redskins in 2012 , has proven to be one of the rookie sensations of the season . This Sunday should provide us with something of an indicator as to everything we have either heard or seen concerning the effectiveness of Morris as a running back.

It should come as no surprise that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are struggling as a defensive and offensive unit. A first year coach , whose embodiment is to simply speak boldly about his team playing hard , with their being little evidence of that , as the Buccaneers have simply been erratic, in both aspects of the game. If this team is to have any semblance of success of the course of their season, then wins are of the utmost priority to the coaching staff and organization as a whole. And while the stands have been bare , there seems to be apathy amongst not only the fans, but also with the Glazer family as the owners of this franchise. There can be no more excuses concerning the franchise and the idiocy that the economic environment is the primary reason behind the lack of support for the Buccaneers. This organization has simply struggled to fill its home venue during the growth years and the more successful seasons. Now in the lean years , it is still very much more of the same, while we now have the idiocy of the state legislators seeking to force the NFL to change its criteria concerning the rules and blacking out of televised games in the local market. Even in the advent of changes set into motion , in 2012 , the Buccaneers have simply struggled to fill the stadium. Anyone care to explain why, beyond the team’s poor showing beyond the field of play?

We should be provided with a great deal of excitement this Sunday, as the games get underway. In all likelihood , there will be a number letdowns as well as surprises that will be thrilling for the fans and public in general. Which teams do you believe will be under a great deal of pressure to succeed ? Also , are you entirely satisfied with the commissioner’s handling of the ongoing New Orleans Saints’ drama? And do you believe that Roger Goodell should recuse himself from rendering any verdict concerning the punishment of the players involved in this scandal ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit and thanks as always for your continued support of this site , as it is greatly appreciated !

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(1) FILE – In this Sept. 5, 2012, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell gestures to fans before an NFL football game between the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys in East Rutherford, N.J. Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and the NFL players union left little doubt they remain determined to challenge Commissioner Roger Goodell’s authority to suspend players in connection with the league’s bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints. Goodell ruled Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012, that Vilma, a linebacker, would remain suspended for the season, while Smith, a defensive end, still would face a four-game ban. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(2) Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers training staff tend to running back Isaac Redman (33) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. AP Photo/Wade Payne ….

(3) In this Sept. 23, 2012, photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers corner-back Aqib Talib (25) runs with the ball after intercepting a pass by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo during an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. The NFL suspended Talib four games without pay Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances . The fifth-year pro said in a statement released by the team that he took an Adderall pill without a prescription “around the beginning of training camp.” He will not appeal the ban, which begins Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. AP Photo/LM Otero ……

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Come hard, don’t come soft, better yet, just take your broke ass home !

Come hard, don’t come soft, better yet, just take your broke ass home !

By Tophatal

The NFL kicks off its 93rd season, with the season opener , for which the New York Giants will host their NFC East counterparts, the Dallas Cowboys . As the reigning Superbowl champions (SBXLVI-SB46), the Giants under their esteemed coach Tom Coughlin will be seeking to make another to successful run to the Superbowl . And given the franchise’s recent success in 2007 and 2011 , the franchise in the latter half of this decade might be viewed as having the makings of a dynasty .

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Of late, the series’ match-up between these two venerable franchises , has been something of a mismatch and lopsided affair, that has favored the New York Giants . From 2005, through to 2011-12 seasons, the Giants have won ten of the sixteen times, that the duo have faced each other. And it has been this sort of debacle that seems to seen the growing resentment by Dallas Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones , whose perceived jealousy can be seen as permeating through how he now views the Giants’ franchise. In 2010, Jones viewed it, as the season where his beloved Cowboys would be the first team in NFL history to host and be a participant in the Superbowl. Unfortunately, for the beleaguered Dallas Cowboys and their long-suffering fans it was not to be , as their season “petered out” with a whimper, with the team finishing 6-10 within the NFC East , and once again failing to make the postseason . If anything it has consistently begun to grate on Jerry Jones’ nerves , as to the continued ineptitude shown by the franchise , which if anything has led to the revolving door of coaches that have held the head coaching position for the Dallas Cowboys, over the last decade. There has been more traffic passing through the doors of the Cowboys , than passes through the Holland Tunnel . Granted, we know that Jerry Jones does not suffer fools gladly , however a great many of the Cowboys’ continued problems stems from the issue of his reluctance to relinquish the reins as the team’s general manager . His limited success by way of the NFL Draft in recent years , has been profoundly unsuccessful and seemingly unproductive . With the exception of , 2003 , 2005 and 2007 , one could attest to the fact that the pickings in terms of the personnel drafted has been slim if not , anemic !

In 2012 , Jones , head coach , Jason Garett and the coaching assistants have gone about drafting the players that they believe will be complementary to the existing roster as well as acquiring players through free agency. Morris Clairborne , Tyrone Crawford, Kyle Wilber , Matt Johnson , Danny Coale , James Hanna and Caleb McSurdy , will be the players to whom , Jason Garret , seeks to show that they have what it takes to make it in the NFL . These draftees, apart from being the Cowboys’ platoon of 2012 will have their “baptism of fire” and introduction to the league as the team’s schedule unfolds over the course of this season.

A great deal about this season for the Dallas Cowboys will primarily rest squarely upon the shoulders of the team’s quarterback > Tony Romo . In many ways, as he goes , so does this team and it is in many ways a reflection of the franchise as a whole . In 2011 , the player had the most productive season of his eight-year career , albeit that it simply wasn’t enough to guide the Cowboys to their desired destination. I have felt that Romo is a very good regular season quarterback , however once the postseason comes around , he becomes a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming vehicle ! Suffice to say, this becomes the time of the season where Romo is at his most vulnerable, and it pretty much underscores the fact why he is over-rated !

Coming into this opening game on the Cowboys’ schedule , beyond Romo’s issues , the team has to deal with the health of tight-end , Jason Witten, who suffered a lacerated spleen during the preseason . It will be a game-time decision as to whether not the player will be suited up to play against the New York Giants . Without Witten, it simply makes the Cowboys’ offense that much weaker , as the tight-end happens to be one of Romo’s favorite targets as well as being a reliable security blanket , when all else fails concerning the team’s offensive options.

Defensively, the Cowboys have been known to have their good and bad day , and it with Rob Ryan installed as the defensive coordinator , it was felt that he would bring the discipline needed to a secondary that ranked fourteenth overall in the NFL and fifth within the NFC during 2011. And clearly, if the Cowboys are to have any semblance of success this season , the defense , just as much of the offense will have to be clicking on all cylinders . To my mind, the Dallas Cowboys’ best player, would be linebacker , DeMarcus Ware . Drafted in the first round as the eleventh overall pick in 2005 NFL Draft , the player has proven to be one of most productive players at the position in the past seven years . If he Ware maintains his current pace , in terms of his own productivity , then there is no reason to think that he won’t be enshrined in Canton , having met the criteria upon his retirement for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame . Given the venerable list of linebackers who played the position, and who are now enshrined within that esteemed body , Ware’s future home in joining the likes of Chuck Bednarik , Dick Butkus , Chris Doleman , Ray Nitschke , Mike Singletary , Derrick Thomas , Lawrence Taylor and the other fifteen enshrined that make up the twenty-three luminaries would be a worthy distinction and accolade .

I do not believe that there is much else that needs to be said concerning the achievements of the New York Giants over the past six years , beyond suggesting that both Tom Coughlin and his young quarterback , Eli Manning , are more likely than not , writing their own chapters to add to their legacies , as it relates to future enshrinement in Canton, Ohio. A two-time Superbowl winner, Manning has already surpassed his elder sibling , Peyton Manning , in having raised the Lombardi Trophy on more than one occasion . The possibility of him winning a third Superbowl title, within eight years of having been drafted by the San Diego Chargers in 2004 , only to be traded by the franchise to the New York Giants . The thought of that premise , does not now seem out of the realms of reality . As to what this might suggest about the Chargers’ position in acquiescing to the player’s demands at the time , it would suggest that GM A.J. Smith and the Spanos’ family as owners of the San Diego Chargers , do not possess a great deal of acumen. Albeit , that the fans have now labored under the belief that Philip Rivers will be able to lead the team to the “ Promised Land “ , under the guidance of Norv Turner . Son of a bitch , Turner still has a job in the NFL ? OK , so I guess that it is alright, for Rep Henry Waxman (D-CA,.) to hold on to his congressional seat in perpetuity ? Unless I’m mistaken it would appear that Dean Spanos does have the propensity to fire his general manager or head coach , then again , I should not at all be surprised by the sheer stupidity that has been shown by the Chargers’ front office during Norv Turner’s reign of ineptitude !

From 2004 until now , we have seen the Giants reach the highest of highs and lowest of lows , as the diverging paths of these two quarterbacks have taken different paths . One wonders what might have happened , had Eli Manning remained in San Diego and Philip Rivers , remained a member of the New York Giants . Would the chapters that have unfolded , could they have been so different ? Your thoughts on this are more than welcomed , so by all means chime in with a comment ! To see how both have fared within the NFL since 2004 , is to view how both of these quarterbacks , and to witness what can go right and indeed what can go horrendously wrong, when the environment is not to that players’ skill-set . Manning has been surrounded with a plethora of offensive weapons over the years , which has seen his gradual improvement into one the game’s best quarterbacks . Certainly, this should not necessarily negate from Rivers’ accomplishments in the NFL but it has become it is abundantly clear , that he has been ill-served by the coaching ability of Norv Turner and the lack of genuine talent made available to him through the NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers .

As the Giants embark upon their regular season schedule , I have no doubt that much of the success that they will undoubtedly attain , will be predicated upon the play of Eli Manning and his offensive unit , led by Victor Cruz , Martellus Bennett , Ahmed Bradshaw, Da’Rell Scott , Ramses Barden and David Wilson . That being said , we should not forget one of the other things that simply makes the Giants a formidable adversary , and that it a defensive unit that is anchored by Jason Pierre-Paul, Rocky Bernard , Mathias Kiwanuka , Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck . Just bring your bucket and pail to work , because that unit will be coming , and they are prepared to “ lay the smack down” . You have been forewarned .

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Now given the proclivity of the Dallas Cowboys in recent seasons to simply fold their tents and then for the players, coaches and management to offer up those ever-growing and immature excuses as to why they buckled under pressure . Well, that can easily be put down to the fact that the team has never been as good as advertised . Yet , repeatedly each season they are viewed as a legitimate contender for the Superbowl. As to what that tells you about the myopic views of the NFL analysts and odds-makers within Las Vegas. I will simply let you be the judge of that ! Needless to say , at some point during the season the Dallas Cowboys will become snake bitten, and once again the excuses will arise . Would you anything less , from “ America’s Overrated Team” ? By all means chime with a comment on this topic and anything else that you may well feel is pertinent to the NFL season that is about to unfold . Thanks as always for the continued support , as it is greatly appreciated !

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Picture and slide show details .
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(1) This Aug. 29, 2012 photo, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the New England Patriots in East Rutherford, N.J. Manning is no longer living in the shadow of his big brother. The New York Giants quarterback enters the kickoff to the NFL season against the Dallas Cowboys on Wednesday night as a two-time Super Bowl MVP. He’s now unquestionably among the league’s elite after leading Tom Coughlin’s team to two titles in five seasons, and a third title is a distinct possibility with the 31-year-old seemingly getting better coming off a career season . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(2) FILE – In this Aug. 24, 2012, file photo, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) hands the ball to running back David Wilson (34) during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Chicago Bears in East Rutherford, N.J. The running game, which was the worst in the NFL in 2011, has a chance to run over people if first-round draft choice Wilson lives up to the hype. The Giants are scheduled to begin their season on Sept. 5 at home against the Dallas Cowboys. AP Photo/Bill Kostroun ….

(3) In this Aug. 24, 2012, file photo, New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin claps in front of quarterback Eli Manning as his team warms up before a preseason NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in East Rutherford, N.J. Coughlin knows the Giants can’t afford another 9-7 regular season if they want to become the ninth team _ the Steelers did it twice _ to win consecutive titles. The Giants are scheduled to begin their season on Sept. 5 at home against the Dallas Cowboys . AP Photo/Bill Kostroun …..

(4) Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo hands the ball off against the St. Louis Rams during the first half of a preseason NFL football game, Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ….

(5) Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant (88) sits out a workout with Miles Austin (19) during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium , Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. AP Photo/LM Otero ……

(6) Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) sits out on the sidelines during NFL football practice at Cowboys Stadium, Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, in Arlington, Texas. It remains doubtful whether or not Witten will be a willing participant in tonight’s game , having suffered a lacerated spleen in a preseason friendly for the Cowboys , in a precursor to their opening day scheduled season opener . AP Photo/LM Otero …….

(7) Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware, left, and defensive end Jason Hatcher look down from their room before the start of a news conference with owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett at NFL football training camp, Sunday, July 29, 2012, in Oxnard, Calif. AP Photo/Gus Ruelas ……

(8) Stephen Jones , Dallas Cowboys V.P. of Player Personal, his father, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie ( left-right) talk before the start of their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 30, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles would go on to defeat the Cowboys 34-7 . Getty Images North America / Rich Schultz ….

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Young Jeezy , featuring… Ne-Yo …. “ Leave You Alone “