When the 2011 NFL season started, many pundits wondered aloud if the quality of competition would be effected by the fact training camp time was greatly reduced because of a players strike. While there have been many examples of this being true, the show must go forward.
This was seen with running back Jerome Harrison, who has been in the league since 2006. He was set to go to the Philadelphia Eagles in a trade this week, his fourth different team, but the move was halted by a physical detecting a brain tumor.
The trade attempt may have saved his life and career, thanks to the early detection. Harrison is known as the man who broke the immortal Jim Brown's franchise record by running for 286 yards in one game for the Cleveland Browns in 2009. It is the third most rushing yards in a single game in NFL history.
A few other realities have also shone forth. The Green Bay Packers are healthy and are on their way to being a serious contender in defense of their title. The duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick passed Hall of Famers Dan Marino and Don Shula for the most regular season victories one quarterback has ever had under one head coach.
While the Packers and New England Patriots are set at quarterback, other teams are not. The Washington Redskins benched Rex Grossman in favor of John Beck. The Minnesota Vikings appear ready to bench Donovan McNabb, who Grossman replaced in 2010.
Injuries caused the Miami Dolphins to go with Matt Moore, while the Saint Louis Rams will play A.J. Feeley this week. The Oakland Raiders, however, have been stealing the headlines recently.
After the death of gridiron giant Al Davis two weeks ago, the franchise made a move that was one the maverick owner would have liked. Oakland may have possibly given up two first round draft picks to the Cincinnati Bengals for disgruntled quarterback Carson Palmer, but it represents an upgrade at the position.
The Raiders has just gotten news that starter Jason Campbell with be out at least a month with a broken collarbone, and reserve Kyle Boller was not playing well. Palmer, who refused to play in 2011 unless he was traded, returns home to California. After having grown up in Orange County, he became a Heisman Trophy winner with the University of Southern California.
After leaving USC, he was the first pick of the 2003 draft by Cincinnati. Palmer battled with injuries to his knee and arm, making the Pro Bowl twice, but he grew weary of the Bengals losing ways. With the Raiders on the cusp of sitting on top of the AFC West, a revival of Palmer's career is there for the taking.
Another ghost of the NFL's past may soon reappear. The bombastic Terrell Owens is working out for teams in hopes of playing. While 37-years old, his age is not the issue with Owens. He is a clubhouse cancer who often lets everyone know it all about T.O.
Antonio Gates seems a viable candidate for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day, but the seven-time Pro Bowler has been showing signs of breaking down recently. He missed a career high six games for the San Diego Chargers in 2010 with foot issues, the same problems that have caused him to play just two games and catch only eight balls so far this season.
He is set to return this week, something the Bolts need if they want to stay in first play in their division. Gates is only 31-years old, but he is in his ninth season. If his foot problems continue, this could be his last year in the NFL.
Olin Kreutz decided not to finish the 2011 before exiting the game. A six-time Pro Bowl center, he spent 14 years with the Chicago Bears and was known for his leadership and fiery passion for the game. He rejected an offer to stay with the Bears, which turned out to be an unwise move.
Kruetz joined the New Orleans Saints for one million less dollars this season, and even started in a few games. Realizing his skill set was not what it once was, he walked away from the game instead of stealing a paycheck. While a member of the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team, his only real chance at Canton will come from the fact he played with the Bears.
While worthy of induction, players tend to get overrated by the media in cities like Chicago and New York. Yahoo Sports even went as far as to call Kruetz one of the greatest centers ever, which shows how much extra love someone gets playing in those towns.
While a very good player, there are better centers who are still awaiting their call into Canton for decades. Still, you have to respect a man who played football for the love of the game and not the money.
While guys like McNabb and others may follow Kruetz to retirement, it is likely they will do so after the season. With the loss of so many legends on the horizon, which may even include Peyton Manning if his neck injury never starts to heal., the "Not For Long" league will have to once again readjust as the show goes on.
Yo! Whut it iz? Dis iz 7thStone again. OK, I rebounded sum to 9-4 las weak, makin my overall record now 55-35
. Now lets get too it.
Denver Broncos @ Miami Dolphins
To of da crappiest teems in football battle for supremancee at da top of da toilet. Tim Tebow cums home to Florida and wins again.
10 Dolphins 9
Houston Texans @ Tennessee Titans
The Titans looked bad las weak, sumthin da Texans have been doin four three weaks. Dis iz a game dat decides who wins da AFC South, in my opinion.
24 Titans 20
Chicago Bears @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Da Bears playoff chances could dim cunsiderablee if that Bucs play up to dere abilitees.
23 Bears 21
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions
OK, dis iz a big game four both teems. Da Lions are cummin off dere furst loss, causin dem to tumble into secund place in da NFC North. Da Falcons are a game behind too teems in da NFC South, so dey knead to keep pace.
Detroit's passing game should bee da key hear, cuz da Atlanta secundairy has just been mediocre so far dis seesun and quarterback Matt Ryan has been erratic a lot.
27 Falcons 21
Seattle Seahawks @ Cleveland Browns
I supposeda storeeline hear iz dat Mike Holmgren's former teem battles his new teem. Flip a coin, but da Browns just ain't movin da ball as well as Seattle.
30 Browns 17
San Diego Chargers @ New York Jets
Game of the Week
Jets head coach Rex Ryan recentlee ran his toesucker again, dis time by statin da obvious. Norv Turner sucks as a head coach and blew it with sum loaded Chargers teems over da yeers. As far as Rex sayin he would've won it all as a head coach of da Bolts? Dat iz sour grapes cuz San Diego had hired Turner over Ryan in 2007.
Chargers like Phlip Rivers play with fire, so I sea dem tryin to show Ryan he should shut up. Star tight end Antonio Gates is back, sumthin da mediocre Jets safeties are not happy about. Da teem kneads too win two stay ahead of da Raiders in da AFC West to.
Da Jets iz overrated. Mark Sanchez is a less den mediocre system quarterback, and da rest of dis teem just ain't pickin up da slack. A loss hear could kill dere playoff dreems two.
27 Jets 13
Washington Redskins @ Carolina Panthers
OK, da Redskins FINALLY flushed dat hunk of shit Rex Grossman. But dere offensive line, witch was average to begin with, is now realing with injurees. At least dey is facin a Panthers defense missin star linebacker Jon Beason a whole lot.
Da problem with da 1-5 Panthers iz dat dey don't run da ball. Dey got too good running backs, and even paid one a whole lotta cash a few months ago. Dey just seam to ask rookie quarterback Cam Newton two due to much, even if da kid has been grate doin it.
I tink dey run da ball finally, facing a Washington defense that can bee gashed on da ground. Newton mite get da press, but dat iz OK if dey win. A Redskins loss hear could be catestrophic to dere seesun.
23 Redskins 17
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders
You know what sucks about dis game? Al Davis and Lemar Hunt, two of da gratest football men ever, are now dead. Yet dis rivalree still lives on, thanks too them.
28 Chiefs 24
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Arizona Cardinals
A rematch of Super Bowl XLIII. But da big difference is da Steelers are still pretty good and da Cardinals ain't. If Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb doesn't play well dis weak, da Big Redfans will be unhappy da Cards gave up soo much two get him.
31 Cardinals 20
Saint Louis Rams @ Dallas Cowboys
So da Rams secundairee stinks and iz missin dere starting quarterback. Chalk dis up two da Cowboys.
37 Rams 10
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings
Donovan McNabb's daze as a starter end after dis weak.
38 Vikings 13
Indianapolis Colts @ New Orleans Saints
Is dere reely any debate hear?
41 Colts 20
Baltimore Ravens @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Too weaks in a row of aweful Monday Night Football games. Too weaks in a row of heerin dat idiot Jon Gruden babble not stop about nuthin to fill dead air during a dead game.
30 Jaguars 10
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Baltimore Ravens
3. San Francisco 49ers
4. Detroit Lions
5. San Diego Chargers
6. New England Patriots
7. Pittsburgh Steelers
8. Buffalo Bills
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
10. New Orlean Saints
11. Oakland Raiders
12. Atlanta Falcons
13. New York Giants
14. Houston Texans
15. Philadelphia Eagles
16. Chicago Bears
17. Tennessee Titans
18. New York Jets
19. Dallas Cowboys
20. Washington Redskins
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Minnesota Vikings
24. Arizona Cardinals
25. Carolina Panthers
26. Jacksonville Jaguars
27. Cleveland Browns
28. Miami Dolphins
29. Saint Louis Rams
30. Denver Broncos
31. Kansas City Chiefs
32. Indianapolis Colts
OK, I iz outta hear! Time two make da donuts wif dis hunny I met at da race track da other day.
As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.