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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

o_O

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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tophatal ………………. 01/14/2014

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Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son ?

Who says you can’t go home and be welcomed back like a prodigal son ?

By Tophatal

As an ardent and passionate New England Patriots’ fan, nothing gives me greater pleasure than to see the team playing at their very best ! Granted , while the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders , the defense remains a work in progress , leaving a great deal to be desired . For all of the audaciousness and brilliance of head coach, Bill Belichick , he can at times be ever so , conceited . Perhaps , that is the reason behind his brilliance after-all ? The Patriots’ defense is now giving up an astonishing 380 yards per game , ranking the franchise well below the bottom-half of the franchises within the NFL . This lone issue of a porous defense , has remained a sore point , not just with myself , but with the vast majority of Patriots’ fans up and down the country .

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Slideshow.

Now while the defense remains an eyesore each week , the offense of the Patriots seems to be as explosive as ever , with veteran quarterback Tom Brady leading the way for the team. However, without that arsenal of receivers and backs , Brady in terms of his performances would be somewhat pedestrian , by comparison to a number of his peers within the league and AFC , this season. Brady , has been joined by his one-time nemesis , Peyton Manning , who himself , has been having an exceptional season , even by his own lofty standards, in putting together a string of superlative performances. And if you doubt my word , simply look at Manning’s escapades this season for the Denver Broncos , as they now seem to be marching towards a successful defense of their AFC West divisional title with consummate ease . . Kind of makes you wonder , if Tim Tebow had remained in Denver , rather than being traded , and now being ridiculed en-mass for his lack play , and the messiness of the going drama with the Jets . One now has to wonder what predicament might the Denver Broncos now find themselves in , had the player remained with the franchise ? Care to answer that very question , at this juncture ?

With injuries now plaguing teams at this point of the season, as they seek to set themselves for the final stretch run of the schedule , franchises around the league are now seeking out unrestricted free agents , or assessing their needs by looking at their practice squads to see if they can find themselves “ a diamond in the rough” . Bill Belichick , and his coaching staff , having seen Wes Welker , Rob Gronkowski , Stevan Ridley and Aaron Hernandez, amongst the Patriots’ frontline players to have gone down injured over the course of the season , the head coach sought out former player , Donte` Stallworth , and signed the wide receiver for the remainder of the New England’s perceived schedule . Having overcome his own personal issues and professional struggles in recent years , and laboring with several teams during that time-span, since he was last in a Patriots’ uniform . It has to be said that this decision by Belichick should not have come as a surprise , given his past propensity in dealing with reclamations projects , such as Corey Dillon ,Randy Moss, and Chad Johnson (Ochocinco) . The most least successful of the triumvirate being , Johnson, whose one season in New England , proved to be counterproductive , rather than being enlightening and to the franchise’s benefit . What might have been more hideous was Chad Johnson’s lack of effort during the postseason and in particular during last season’s Superbowl (SBXLVI) and the New England’ Patriots’ defeat , suffered at the hands of the New York Giants , in their second such meeting , in the NFL’s showcase event .

With the acquisition of Donte` Stallworth , it doesn’t bode well for Justin Edelman , who is at present the Patriots’ injured reserve list having suffered a right foot injury. It is hoped that Edelman will be able to make a speedy recovery in time for the Patriots anticipated push for the playoffs. The team (9-3) has a comfortable lead within the AFC East over their closest rivals , the New York Jets( 5-7), Buffalo Bills (5-7) and the Miami Dolphins (5-7), all of whom share the same record.

New England, coming off what was a hard-fought 23-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins in week thirteen .. The Patriots will face the Houston Texans (11-1) in a highly anticipated game in week fourteen, on Monday night , in a conference match-up between a pair of teams with the best records in the AFC . With that being said, it is quite clear that the Texans will end up with the number one seed within the conference and thereby foregoing the wildcard round of the postseason , in gaining a bye in the opening round. For Gary Kubiak , as the head coach of the Texans , this might well be a blessing in disguise , for his team , as they prepare themselves for their second successive appearance in the NFL postseason in two years. As to whether or not this Texans’ franchise can make a deep playoff run this postseason, will be predicated upon the play of the team’s quarterback , Matt Schaub , and their explosive offense led by wide receiver , Andre Johnson , and running back, Arian Foster . And what has been markedly noticeable concerning the Texans , has been the improvement in the team’s defense in 2012 , in comparison to last season , and in all likelihood one of the primary reasons behind the Houston Texans’ results this season.

Courtesy of NFL.com (New England Patrtiots news’ page)

Donte` Stallworth, New England Patriots to reunite

By Gregg Rosenthal , NFL.com

The New England Patriots are going back to an old friend to help fill a hole on the wide receiver depth chart. And it’s not Deion Branch this time.

NFL.com’s Albert Breer reported the Patriots will sign Donte’ Stallworth on Tuesday, according to a source who spoke with player. Stallworth, 31, has tried out for a few teams since the Patriots cut him in August, but he hasn’t been on a roster this season.

Stallworth’s anticipated signing doesn’t bode well for Julian Edelman, who injured his foot during Sunday’s win over the Miami Dolphins. He was seen on crutches after the game. The Patriots are lacking depth after cutting Branch last month and losing practice-squad player Greg Salas to the Philadelphia Eagles on waivers.

Stallworth was with the Patriots for their 2007 run to the Super Bowl, and this could give him one last chance to be part of a championship team.

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Looking beyond Monday night’s game , the remainder of the Patriots’ regular season schedule does seem amenable for the team to pull off three consecutive victories . With those upcoming games against the San Francisco 49ers (week15), Jacksonville Jaguars and the Miami Dolphins , to close out their season in 2012. Not necessarily a daunting task , but one, which I believe that Belichick and the coaching staff will emphasize to his players ! That feat , has to be utmost on the minds of the fans’ who will be in attendance at two of the three remaining games that will be played at Gillette Stadium , in Foxborough , Massachusetts , home to the New England Patriots. .

For Donte` Stallworth , I would like to believe, that his return to the Patriots will be viewed as the “return of a long lost , prodigal son” . And while his resume` has never been looked upon as one of the more illustrious careers in the NFL , as that of a prolific wide receiver , who was taken in the 2002 NFL Draft as the thirteenth overall pick in the first round by the New Orleans Saints of that season . Stallworth , as a rookie , had 42 receptions , for 542 yards and 8 touchdowns . If the veteran can be even remotely productive in assisting the team and the plethora of wide receivers on the Patriots’ roster , then it could very well lead to Donte` Stallworth achieving his greatest wish, and to bow out with that much cherished Superbowl ring. However, great deal of that will have to be predicated upon the improved play of the Patriots’ defense , which if anything, has been unimpressive and erratic throughout much the regular season, giving up on average 380 yards per game and ranking the team twenty-sixth overall of the NFL’s 32 teams in 2012 . So for the members on the Patriots’ secondary , such as Jerod Mayo , Vince Wilfork , Kyle Arrington , Chandler Jones , Dont’a Hightower , and Brandon Spikes , as they are expected to raise the level of their play over the remainder of the regular and postseason .

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Picture gallery.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the New England Patriots , do believe that the team can be seen as one of the justifiable favorites within the AFC for the Superbowl ? Or are you of the opinion that the sole reason for their perceived dominance , can be put down to the fact that the Patriots possess one of the most productive offense in the NFL , along with leadership qualities of Tom Brady ? And how do you view the acquisition of Donte` Stallworth by the team , do you believe it to be a prudent decision ? Simply leave a comment as you see fit , on the subject matter in question and anything else you believe to pertinent on the subject matter in question.

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Picture and slideshow details below for your perusal.
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(1) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady enters a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(2) New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick listens to a reporter’s question during a media availability at the NFL football team’s facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Belichick is seeking to take the Patriots to their sixth Superbowl appearance during his tenure with the franchise . AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(3) New England Patriots wide receiver Donte` Stallworth catches a ball before a walk through at the team’s NFL football training facility in Foxborough, Mass., Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012. Stallworth was released from the team during preseason and was picked up again this week after wide receiver Julian Edelman was placed on injured reserve . AP Photo/Stephan Savoia …

(4) Houston Texans running back Arian Foster waves to fans as he leaves the field after their 24-10 win over the Tennessee Titans in an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Nashville, Tenn. With the win , the Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth, a franchise-record 11th win this season, and their first season sweep of the Titans. AP Photo/Wade Payne …..

(5) New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) gestures to fans as he leaves the field after their 23-16 win in an NFL football game , Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012, in Miami. Welker tied Jerry Rice’s NFL record by making at least 10 receptions for the 17th time . He had 12 catches for 103 yards and a score . AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee …

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Lauryn Hill ……. “ Lost Ones “