|Posted by TheBEEZER 11 Hours Ago
Alright...We've done 2B, 3B, SS, C, P, and HR hitter...Today we ask, who do you think is the all-time best MLB 1B?
It’s Thursday once again and I have recovered from the Patriots pitiful second half performance on Sunday. A few days of being consoled and a little counseling helped get me through. Seriously, I have listened all week to people trying to figure out what the Patriots did wrong. Nobody around ever looks at what the opponent did right. I’m really not a huge Ravens fan I could do without Ray Lewis and I think Terrell Suggs is the biggest punk on that team. But I have to give credit to them because they plain and simply beat the Patriots.
John Harbaugh out coached Belichek and it was pretty simple his guys his Defensive lineman took away Brady’s passing lanes by simply putting their hands up high. They also took away over the middle. It was a well thought out game plan and it was executed well. I have a thought on Joe Flacco the more I watch him the more I like him. He is a little old school it’s not always pretty but he seems to get the job done. Congrats to the Ravens and the Niners as well.
Before the game on Sunday Terrell Suggs blew kisses to our section and I have never seen so many Birds Flew in unison as I did then. I think the Niners are the most balanced of the teams standing in the Tournament.
It was another good year for the Patriots finishing once again in the top tier of teams. I guess were spoiled in Boston and Beeze hit it on the head people here have to relax. The one good thing about going to the game got to hook up with a child hood friend who moved about 3 hours up into Maine from Boston. We stay in contact and hook up on occasion but not for a few years so that was fun.
Terry Franconia’s book came out Tuesday, other than all the stories about ownership. I thought one story was kind of funny in a game against the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series Yadier Molina accused Manny Ramirez of stealing signs when Francona came out to talk to the umpire. He says he can’t be he doesn’t even know our signs. He then asks Manny if he knew the Red Sox signs, he shook his head no.
How would you like to be Mike Napoli he thought he was getting 3 years at 39 million from the Red Sox? A degenerative hip problem same type thing that ended Bo Jackson’s career showed up in his physical. Instead he gets 1 year 5 million.
Manti Te'o Girlfriend Bobble head Night a minor league team in Kentucky plans to have a bobble head Night honoring the fictional girlfriend. Each fan will receive a fictional bobble head of Teo’s girl.
Pucks dropped Saturday goals were scored and saves were made.
Dumbass of the Week
Goes to ex Raider Tim Brown for actually thinking Bill Callahan would throw the Super Bowl on purpose is he out of his mind?
Lil Warrior update
The boys played a league game on Sunday and finally lost in another good battle against their arch Rival Red Raiders. They have played four times and it has been a battle. The boys had this game won. They lost 3-2. They had an early goal taken away do to a player in the crease before the puck. Then a last minute goal wasn’t counted the Red Raiders goalie swept it out Ref had a bad angle on it. You can’t win them all. Lil Lanz had a couple of scoring bids just couldn’t put it home.
On Monday they played in a USA Hockey Tourney. Ole Lanz had a lil grief the secretary in our association omitted me and put the 4th guy who hasn’t been through USA Hockey Coaches Certification and training. I received an apology but the person who made the mistake did get in touch with the USA Hockey rep and the changed the coaching staff and added me in. It was a helluva game against our neighbors to the west the Spartans. We were up 3-1 with 5 minutes to go. The Spartans made it 3-2. They pulled the goalie and our guys couldn’t get it out of the zone. Our goalie Jake handled a bunch of pucks before letting the one by to tie the game. ^ minutes of overtime and the boys ended up get eliminated in a shoot out. Tough way to loose.
There was one cool thing . When the boys entered the locker room they had Red Shirts instead of there normal black ones. Hanging up with numbers facing out. So you get a picture the shirts are very close to both the Chicago Blackhawks Red Jersey and their Black one as well. The Red Jersey the association sent down for the tournament. It messed a few late arriving parents up seeing the boys in Red. It also messed them up because the kids wore different numbers Lil Lanz is usually #44 for this game he was #17. It was just cool to see how excited the kids were to be wearing a different shirt.
That’s all for this week.
The conference championships sure produced some eye-opening results. Brothers will face each other as head coaches in the Super Bowl. Each game featured a team that trailed at halftime winning by virtue of shutting their rival out 21-0 in the second half. There was no doubt that both losing teams failed to put the pedal to the metal while they were in control in the first half though, because in each case it could have been over by then. In one case, the running game freed up a stuck passing game. In the other, it was the opposite. In each game, the winner scored 28 points. The league's top offensive machine (by over 100 points), New England, scored by far the least at 13.
BAL 28 NE 13: Even in the first half, with the Patriots controlling field position and the line of scrimmage, Pats fans had a bad feeling as the team squandered chances to pile up points. As if to highlight the problem, the Patriots drove downfield smartly as the half ended, but due to an unfathomable time error by Tom Brady found themselves with 4 seconds instead of around 13 on the clock, and were forced to kick a field goal, losing at least two close shots at the end zone. That made it 13-7 instead of the anticipated 17-7.
Then the Ravens kicked off. New England again moved the ball smartly downfield, but again failed to sustain the drive on a dropped pass by Wes Welker, who was brilliant otherwise. Joe Flacco, meanwhile, had spent most of the first half directing the running game and throwing short passes, to little avail. But Aqib Talib, New England's elixer for Anquan Boldin, hopped off the field after batting down a pass, never to return. In the second half, the Ravens returned to what had bailed them out in Denver, the passing game. Despite the wind, Flacco's strong arm was able to push the issue, and with Talib watching Boldin scored twice. Tom Brady, not having a good day, failed to spot open receivers and misfired unusually often. Flacco's success opened up the Ravens' heretofore missing running game. By the fourth quarter they were in full attack mode, Pollard snuffing a drive by knocking Ridley unconscious with a vicious helmet hit, and nearly doing the same to Welker. That was the 4th Patriot starter on his dubious checklist, spanning three teams. New England continued to have a chance until the end, but Brady kept throwing picks, either from desperation or from tipped balls. The anticipated onside kick never came.
Flacco in the second half was magnificent. Perhaps the least respected of the league's winning quarterbacks, he has now outdueled Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on successive weekends. Next week he faces the league's most inexperienced wily veteran, Colin Kaepernick. For the Ravens it was revenge for last year. For the Patriots, entering the game without Gronkowski, Edelman and, effectively, Chandler Jones, the end saw them also without Ridley, Talib and Ninkovich. There wouldn't have been much left for the Super Bowl. The depleted Pats needed a perfect game from Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels. They didn't get one. The Patriot scoring machine went dead in the red zone. The Ravens go into the Super Bowl pretty healthy and playing hot.
SF 28 ATL 24: If the Patriots felt they blew a lead, imagine the Falcons. Up 17-0 and looking as if they hadn't broken a sweat, they entered the break ahead 24-14. They wouldn't score again, largely their own fault despite San Francisco's strong defense. Like last week, they threatened to steal the game late. Whether there was pass interference or not on the final 4th-down pass in the shadow of the San Francisco goal posts is a question left for debate, but they didn't score this time.
The Falcons showed the same grit they showed last week, but unfortunately also showed the same tendency to disappear for large portions of the game once compiling a big lead. Still, the game was a stark reminder of the past week, and perhaps of the Falcons' season. Considering their past, most fans probably felt the winning score with a minute left in the game was a lock, but it didn't happen.
It didn't have to, really. Atlanta actually lost the game on a couple of second-half turnovers, one a pick on a pass intended for Roddy White, who appeared to slip, the other an unforced fumble by Matt Ryan, who took his eyes off a slightly errant shotgun snap. The anticipated magic ending didn't happen, as Ryan threw two incompletions deep in the red zone.
For San Francisco, it was a vindication of their running game. Kaepernick was unable or unwilling to run early (in fact his running was never a factor), but couldn't move the Niners in any way. Once down 17-0 and in need of a desperate kick-start, the Niners declined to push the panic button and turned to Frank Gore. Their running game got them back in the flow of things, and opened things up for Kaepernick who began to throw effectively. It was the opposite of the Ravens' offensive turnaround. But ultimately, it was mistakes by the Falcons that doomed them.
Well folks, it's that time of year again... the men have been separated from the boys, the cream has risen to the top, and a number of other cliches could also be used to describe the majesty that is the AFC and NFC Championship weekend. The final four include some old standbys in the AFC, the Patriots and Ravens, and a band of underachievers and overachievers in the NFC with the Giants and 49ers.
Last week, I really shit the bed, going 2-2 on my picks, bringing my playoff record to 5-3. This week I can save a little face... or get them both wrong and sit at .500 going into the Super Bowl. If that happens, my days as an amateur prognosticator are OVER!
We'll start with the early game, the AFC Title contest between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. As much as I hate to say it, the Ravens have a real chance here. This should be a tight ballgame... the real question being which strength will win, the Patriots offense or the Ravens defense. The clear formula for the Ravens, run the ball, control the clock, and keep Tom Brady in check. The clear formula for the Pats... score more points than your defense allows! Look, I'm not saying the Patriots defense is BAD... but they're not what you'd call great, either. Honestly, in a game like this, I say it comes down to the play of your quarterback... and the Patriots have a clear edge there.
Patriots 31- Ravens 23
In the NFC, a championship game between the Giants and 49ers would have drawn a few odd looks in your direction had you predicted it going into this season. Mostly people wondering if you realized this was 2011, not 1991. The Giants seemed a safe bet for the playoffs, and the 49ers a sexy pick in the NFC West... but honestly no real expectations for either club. This one comes down to the running game, pure and simple. Alex Smith was good last week, and this week is his chance prove that was no fluke. Eli Manning has always been a bit streaky in my eyes... this is his chance to have a third consecutive solid-to-great playoff performance... something he didn't put together the entire regular season. But at the end of the day, the winner will be the team that runs the ball effectively, and you're looking at a 49ers defense that didn't allow a rushing touchdown until week 16.
49ers 28- Giants 24
There's the picks... hopefully I'll be coming to you in two weeks at 7-3, giving you a Patriots-49ers Super Bowl preview! Thanks for reading and for any comments you leave on the way out.
The Chicago Bears had one of their best second round draft picks ever in 2008, which is quite a statement for a franchise with the illustrious history the Bears have. The team has selected Pro Bowl players like Rich Petitbon and Rick Casares in that round, as well as Pro Football Hall of Fame middle linebackers Bill George and Mike Singletary. Future Hall of Fame candidate Devin Hester was also a second round selection by Chicago.
Matt Forte` was selected that year. Chicago took the halfback, despite the fact he had suffered a knee injury in his junior season at Tulane University. He exploded onto the scene as a senior, rushing for over 2,100 yards and scoring 23 times.
He was put to work right away, leading the team in rushing and receiving with career best marks of 1,231 rushing yards and 63 receptions. He also led the team with a career high mark of 12 touchdowns and 1,715 total yards.
He had broken Hall of Famer Gale Sayers team record for all purpose yards by a rookie, and the 123 yards he ran for in his first game is also a team record. Despite leading all NFL rookies in total yards and receptions, he somehow received just one for NFL Rookie of the Year.
Forte` did suffer a sophomore slump of sorts in 2009, scoring a career low four times. Despite handling the ball 64 less times, he fumbled six times as opposed to the one fumble he had as a rookie. Forte` still led the team in yards rushing and from scrimmage, as well as being just three catches away from leading the team in receiving.
He rebounded last year to run for 1,069 yards and score nine times. Though he handled the ball 27 times less than the year before, Forte` still tied for the team lead in receptions and led the team with 1,616 yards from scrimmage. It helped the Bears reach the NFC Championship Game before their season ended.
Forte` had gained 160 total yards in that game, leading all players. He led all players with 10 receptions as well. In the three years he had spent with the team, Forte` has shown remarkable durability by not missing a contest yet in his career.
His importance to the Bears franchise has been on display once again in 2011. He currently leads the league with 1,071 yards from scrimmage, and he is also averaging a career best 5.4 catches per game and 11 yards per reception. Forte' is also averaging a career best 5.4 yards per carry on 124 attempts, which has enabled him to average a career high 96 yards rushing per game after seven contests.
Yet the running back is frustrated with the way the team is treating him. Forte` makes just $600,000 annually, a far cry from what the highest paid running backs make in the league. Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings, is currently making over $13.7 million annually.
The Bears typically like to hash out contract issues during the off-season, but a backlash on how they have dragged their heels on the Forte` situation grows daily as the running back continues to stand out. Forte` has seen his teammates tell the media he deserves a raise in pay, and Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher, considered the leader of the team, recently said Forte` in the leagues most valuable player right now.
Fans have also started a campaign, hoping to get the attention of Bears general manager Jerry Angelo. Angelo reportedly offered Forte` a contract with about $14 million guaranteed before the 2011 season started, but it is a far cry from the $36 million Peterson has guaranteed. Chris Johnson, of the Tennessee Titans, has $30 million in guarantees, and the Carolina Panthers DeAngelo Williams has over $21 million in guarantees.
Not only is Forte` having a better season than any of those backs so far, he is arguably more important to the success of his team than Johnson or Williams are to theirs. Johnson has been struggling horribly so far in 2011, and Williams hardly touches the football on the Panthers pass-happy offense.
Forte` recently was found lamenting his situation to the Chicago media. He realizes the Bears can place a franchise tag on him in 2012, which would bump his salary up to possibly $8 million that year. The running believes that is no solution to the problem, and would not remain silent in his mission if the Bears decided to go that route. All he seeks is fairness, because the average career of an NFL running back is so fleeting.
‘‘The running back position is the most physically demanding on the field,’’ Forte told reporters. ‘‘Everyone acknowledges that. So to continue to give me the touches I’ve had since my rookie year but not award me a long-term contract sends the message that you’re OK grinding me into a pulp.’’
Another reason the Bears should resolve this issue quickly is because they are so reliant upon him. Their quarterback, Jay Cutler, is wildly inconsistent and extremely prone to tossing a bundle of interceptions. The Bears blocking and receiving corps are far from special as well, so the team often rides Forte's back down the field to get scoring opportunities.
Very few backs have shown they can stand up to this type of pressure over a long stretch of time. Many great running backs have succumbed to injuries after taking a tremendous beating over a few seasons. The Bears have seen this in their own ranks after watching men like Sayers, Casares, and Neal Anderson.
Few backs have lasted long carrying an entire team on their backs. Hall of Famers Walter Payton and O.J. Simpson come to mind immediately, but even Canton is full of backs whose careers were cut short due to a mountain of touches in a short span. Earl Campbell, Eric Dickerson and Steve Van Buren are other examples.
The NFC North is called the "Black and Blue Division" because most contests have been decided in the trenches. Great running backs in that division have come and gone after battling those wars. The list of great running backs, whose careers were shortened, is long.
Men like Chuck Foreman, Billy Sims, John Brockington, and many more have torn up the NFL before their bodies broke down due to the wear and tear at the position. Forte` seems to understand this, as well as the fact his NFL career can end on any given play.
The Bears are run by the daughter of Hall of Famer, and founding member of the NFL, George Halas. Halas, nicknamed "Papa Bear", was known for his stinginess during his lifetime. Hall of Famer George Blanda once said Halas would make Blanda buy his own kicking shoes and even took back his signing bonus after Chicago had drafted him.
There is no proof Virginia Halas McCaskey runs the team the same way, but it certainly can be assumed she learned how to run the franchise from her dad. While her own children are also involved in the running of the team, the 88-year old McCaskey has recently been engaged in discussions about selling the team.
Angelo reports to team president Ted Phillips. Phillips, named to his position in 1999, has been with the team 27 years after previously working as an accountant. It may be the good old bottom line of dollars and cents that has kept the team from bumping up Forte's salary. But if McCaskey is set to sell the team, Phillips may want to enable the increase before new ownership takes over.
The counterpoint that Forte` has handled the ball less each season is no longer a discussion. The running back is averaging 23.1 touches per game, slightly less than the career best 23.7 touches per game he averaged as a rookie.
Forte` has averaged 20.8 touches per game, which is better than the 18.8 touches Williams has averaged in his career. The Panthers running back is averaging barely 10 touches per game this season despite having signed a huge contract during the off-season.
Johnson has averaged 22.1 touches per game, but it has been curtailed to 19 this year as his struggles continue following a hold out to get his new contract. Peterson averages 21.8 touches per game in his career, but the four-time Pro Bowler came into 2011 with 12 more fumbles than Forte`. Peterson's career high of 24 touches per game was back in 2008.
The onus is on the Bears management right now, and it would make sense for them to make their best player happy immediately. They may choose to continue the stingy ways of the deceased Papa Bear, but that would just show the game has passed them by much like it did Halas while he was alive.
Chicago currently has a 4-3 record in the 2011 season, which is only good enough for third place in their division. The Green Bay Packers are undefeated, and the Detroit Lions are 6-2. The Bears are about to face a Philadelphia Eagles team that is starting to play well.
If the Bears want to win ans stay within reach of the Packers and Lions, they must win this game Monday night. The best plan of attack is the same plan the Bears have used all season, which is give the ball to Forte` frequently. The weakness of the Eagles defense is stopping the run, so again Chicago will have to ride Forte's back for any hope of victory.
But these hopes are being placed on a unhappy man tired of being used at such a reduced rate, his salary is on par with reserves who hardly get on the field at all. The perfect strategy would be to pay Forte` now before Monday, so his happiness has a chance to shine on the gridiron.
This example was seen last week with the Buffalo Bills, who had just extended the contract of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick a few days earlier. Fitzpatrick, who has not achieved nearly as much as Forte`, then went on the field and carved up the Washington Redskins to a 23-0 victory.
If McCaskey, Phillips, and Angelo continue to ignore the obvious fact they are basically using Forte` as a piece of cheap meat, dreams of even repeating the successes of 2010 will be more unlikely with each snap of the football the rest of the way in 2011.
Yoooooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun wunce again. Man, I iz struggling and I don't care. Capeesh? I like da big upset, just wish I called dem. I went 10-3 las weak, so I iz now 72-44 overall.
Letz get two it.
Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys
Dallas ain't all dat good, but Seattle iz one teem dey can beet.
Cowboys 27 Seahawks 20
Miami Dolphins @ Kansas City Chiefs
Quietly, da Chiefs iz one da hottest teems in football rite now.
Chiefs 30 Dolphins 14
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
Dis game is HUGE yo! Da winner goes too furst place in da NFC South. I know da Saints stumbled to da Rams las weak, and da Bucs running backs are hurting. If Tampa Bay can gouge dat week Saints run defense, Drew Brees mite hafta be extra special to give his teem a win.
Saints 31 Buccaneers 24
Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts
Umm, you got doubts? I dont.
Falcons 34 Colts 20
San Francisco 49ers @ Washington Redskins
Washington's injured offense is no match for dat mean Niners defense.
49ers 24 Redskins 13
Cleveland Browns @ Houston Texans
Andre Johnson returns two Houston, sorry Brownies.
Texans 27 Browns 14
New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills
Buffalo is in first place in da AFC East, and da Jets iz a game back. Big game hear yo! I just tink da Bills are da better teem, got da better quarterback, rushing attack, and Orchard Park will be goin nutso Sunday.
Bills 26 Jets 24
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders
Da best rushing attack wins, cuz I dont sea much production from either quarterback.
Raiders 28 Broncos 20
Cincinnati Bengals @ Tennessee Titans
Both defenses iz pretty good hear, but I'm liking da Bengals rushing attack better.
Bengals 24 Titans 21
Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers
Norv Turner's back iz too da wall hear. Da Pack are ripe four a loss, but I tink da reason why da Bolts should have fired Turner befour dis yeer will rear its ugly head.
Packers 31 Chargers 30
Saint Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals
Da Big Red iz reeling rite now, while da Rams got a lil' mo' after winning dere furst game a weak ago.
Rams 27 Cardinals 24
New York Giants @ New England Patriots
Da Jints mite throw for 400 yards hear, cuz da Pats secundairy sucks. But Tom Brady aint happy over losin las weak, and he knows a loss could hurt his teem pretty good.
Patriots 37 Giants 34
Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Game of the Week
Look, da Steelers owe da Ravens bad in what iz da best rivalry da NFL has to offer twoday. Baltimore crushed Pittsburgh 35-7 in weak one of dis seasun.
Da Steelers sit on top of da AFC North after four strait wins. Da Ravens are one game behind dem, but dey have been struggling lately. If Baltimore loses hear, dey could tumble in third place.
Da Steel City will be going crazy, as the taste four revenge curdles in dere blood. With Baltimore's recent struggles, especially on offense, I see da Steelers pulling this out.
Steelers 23 Ravens 21
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles
Da Igglez has shot out of da gates after the bye weak, so they are looking to build momentum. Da Bears knead Matt Forte to play like Walter Payton hear ifdey want a chance two win.
Eagles 27 Bears 17
1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Buffalo Bills
5. Detroit Lions
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. New England Patriots
8. Baltimore Ravens
9. New York Giants
10. Philadelphia Eagles
11. Houston Texans
12. New Orleans Saints
13. New York Jets
14. Kansas City Chiefs
15. Chicago Bears
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Cincinnati Bengals
18. San Diego Chargers
19. Oakland Raiders
20. Tennessee Titans
21. Dallas Cowboys
22. Seattle Seahawks
23. Carolina Panthers
24. Jacksonville Jaguars
25. Washington Redskins
26. Saint Louis Rams
27. Minnesota Vikings
28. Arizona Cardinals
29. Cleveland Browns
30. Denver Broncos
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Indianapolis Colts
I love da hunnies, capeesh? I knead a set spot dat iz full of dem, so I can get a smorgazborg of pie two eat. Aint nun in bikinis here in da city I iz in cuz its two cold too ware one, so maybe I knead to relocate. I'll lets yous mugs know, capeesh?As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.
Tim Tebow has owned a great deal of attention from the media, football fans, and religious zealots long before the Denver Broncos drafted him last year. A former Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow became a legend at the University of Florida by leading the Gators to a pair of national championships.
While setting several Southeastern Conference records, Tebow also became the first collegiate player to ever score at least 20 touchdowns in both throwing and rushing in a single season. He was a consensus All-America choice once and has been called one of the NCAA's best players in the 2000s decade.
Undeserved or not, the hype of his collegiate achievements have followed him to the NFL. huge part of this reason has nothing to do with the gridiron. It has to do with his personal life, which some follow at every turn.
Tebow's mother was told to abort her son during her pregnancy, as doctors expected a stillborn delivery due to an infection. His mother, a devout follower of the Christianity religion, refused and both mother and son beat the odds. After spending his life being home, he became the Florida Player of the Year twice in high school after being allowed to join a team at a school he did not attend.
The religious beliefs of his family has drawn a legion of fans, several who are unconcerned about his gridiron exploits and more concerned about his following of the same gospel they believe in. This was seen when he joined the NFL in 2010.
There have been many more Heisman winners to have played poorly in the professional ranks than there have been players who have been excellent. Since the award started in 1935, just seven players eventually were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
This fact has followed Tebow, as has the fact many think of him to be more of a fullback than quarterback. While he has an immense desire to win, the mechanics he possesses is quirky and not considered good enough to succeed in the NFL by many.
While he hasn't completed even 50 percent of the passes he has tossed in his career, Tebow is 2-2 in his career starts. Whatever circumstanced led to those victories, most pundits agree is has been accomplished with a Broncos franchise that has more questions than talent on their squads the past few years.
When Denver came back to defeat a horrid Miami Dolphins team last week, the Tebow hype has been full blown. Even as the game was being played, the NFL's own website didn't even keep track of the match up like they typically do with all contests. Unless you were a Broncos and Dolphins fan actually watching the game, or you bought an NFL package that allowed you to view, the game remained largely shrouded in mystery.
With Brett Favre now retired, the media has been craving a replacement to dote over constantly. Tebow has come along to take this mantle, whether it is viewed as a good thing or not. Unless an injury ends his career, expect the camera to follow every move he makes for at least a decade.
Not every fan wants to follow this hype train, as many have never boarded it or had gotten off long ago. Those fans can concentrate on much more interesting and important stories that are going on during the 2011 season. Stories that could carry on to Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
The Green Bay Packers are looking like a team that could be the first to repeat as Super Bowl champions for just the eighth time since the game was first played in 1967. They won last year despite having a plethora of key players injured, and now they are pretty much at full strength and the leagues only undefeated team this year.
Not only is quarterback Aaron Rodgers considered one of the very best at his position today, the Packers are one of the leagues top teams in scoring, passing, rushing defense, and yards allowed per game. Rodgers already has tossed the ball to 13 different players, seven players have caught at least 11 balls and scored a touchdown.
While they are a long way away from having a chance to repeat, the road traveled so far has been impressive. Even with all of this, Green Bay isn't even the only story in their division.
The Detroit Lions, one of the NFL's worst teams for the last decade, shot out of the gates at 5-0. While they have lost their last two games by 14 total points, this young team has shown an exceptional balance that belies their experience. They rank 13Th in scoring and 10Th in points allowed, a stat that could help the franchise reach the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
The tight end position is seeing a boom in production as well. Since most of the defenses in the NFL play a zone, the success of the tight end splitting the seam has become even more important. This has allowed quite a few become stars this year.
Only eight tight ends are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, though there should be more. Men like Jerry Smith and Fred Arbanus belong, but most feel the first tight end ever selected, John Mackey, is still the best ever at the position.
While youngsters like Jimmy Graham, of the New Orleans Saints, and Fred Davis, of the Washington Redskins, have stood out this year, there are a ton of excellent players at this position at the game today. Many are good blockers, but they have enough speed to get downfield at break a zone scheme with their deep threat abilities.
Men like Vernon Davis, Antonio Gates, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Witten, Ron Gronkowski, Kellen Winslow Jr., Tony Gonzales, Aaron Hernandez, Owen Daniels, Jermaine Gresham, Jermichael Finley, Dustin Keller, Heath Miller, Greg Olsen, Jeremy Shockey, and Ed Dickson are just a few who are important players on their teams as well. Pettigrew, Gresham, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and Dickson are youngsters learning their positions as they accumulate impressive statistics.
Established veterans like Dallas Clark, Kevin Boss, Mercedes Lewis, and others, have yet to truly break out in 2011 due to injuries and quarterback struggles their teams are having. Wide receiver may get a lot of attention, mainly due to the diva-like behavior of a few head cases at the position, but the tight end in the NFL today has quietly become the consistent star a team needs to win often.
All eyes will be on Carson Palmer for a few weeks, monitoring his progress as he learns the Oakland Raiders playbook after having joined the team barely a week ago. He had sat out all year, refusing to play for the Cincinnati Bengals, who also spent that time refusing to trade him.
After gridiron giant, and Raiders owner, Al Davis died, the team made the type of risky move Davis spent his career making by dealing away possibly two first round draft picks for the quarterback.
Palmer was thrust into action last Sunday, the first time he had ever come off the bench, and completed just eight of 21 passes. Three attempts were picked off, as the Raiders were dismantled 28-0 by the lowly Kansas City Chiefs.
The race for the services of Andrew Luck, a quarterback at Stanford University, has started to thin out some. Luck, who many think the 2011 Heisman is his to lose, is considered to be the best quarterback prospect in a very long time.
Two horrid teams this year, the Saint Louis Rams and Minnesota Vikings, are probably not interested in Luck. The Rams used the first pick of the 2010 draft on quarterback Sam Bradford, and the Vikings used their 2011 first round pick on Christian Ponder.
The main two teams in the "Battle for Luck" are the Miami Dolphins and Indianapolis Colts. The Dolphins would love to draft him, especially now that it seems the injured Chad Henne's days are done in South Florida. Not only has Miami failed to win a game yet this year, it almost appears they are laying down in each contest in order to procure defeat.
Peyton Manning's neck is still not healing, even despite a radical stem cell surgery that had hoped to help. While heading to Canton as a first-year inductee, the Colts did not foresee this when they gave Manning a five-year contract worth $50 million before the 2011 season started.
Manning has led the franchise to two Super Bowls, winning once in a game was named MVP in. He has been to 11 Pro Bowls and has broken many Colts passing records that were once held by Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, considered by most experts the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
Yet he will be 36 years old if he even is able to play next year. Luck would benefit sitting and learning from Manning in 2011, and there are similarities between the two. Both have fathers who played quarterback in the NFL, and both are students of the game who are known for being detail oriented.
While Miami would want to see Luck follow in the footsteps of Bob Griese and Dan Marino, the Colts would love to see Luck give them at least the same greatness as Unitas, Manning, Earl Morrall, and Bert Jones once did for the team.
Miami is battling the Colts for misery in 2011, since the Colts have failed to win a game as well so far. This epic battle of futility and Luck could see Indianapolis get an edge in two games, as the Dolphins host the struggling Chiefs. The rest of Miami's schedule appears difficult for them to win much.
The Colts, who have already lost to Kansas City, might have a harder time getting Luck. They have been trying to win and have been competitive in a few contests. Indianapolis will also face mediocre teams like the Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars twice, as well as an encounter with the struggling Carolina Panthers in a month.
No matter who is the winner of this battle, the prize of being the worst of 2011 is a banner not to really be proud of nor promote in their quest to get a franchise quarterback of an unknown future. If Luck plays as many expect, maybe a ton of losses will look a little less uglier in a decade from now.
So there really is no reason to follow the evolving Tebow story faithfully, even if you are a fan of the game or a Bible thumping fanatic. With a lousy team that just traded their best receiver, it is doubtful many victories will follow. Especially if he plays like he did most of the game last week.
But he must win because he does not want Denver to be in a position to get Luck. If that happens, these could be your final weeks to get Tebow souvenirs and bask in the bizarre hype unless another franchise wants to take a shot at seeing how far they can go with the kid that has cameras following him everywhere.
Yoooooooooooo! Dis iz 7thStoneFromTheSun once again. My cuzin 3rd covered dis entry so I iz gunna make it short and sweet. Capeesh?
I went 7-6 las weak, so I iz now 62-41 overall. Letz get too it.
Indianapolis Colts @ Tennessee Titans
OK, da Titans have been losing lately. Dat getz solved now.
Titans 24 Colts 20
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans
Da Jags showed me sumfin las weak. I tink dey are more confident now and will defeet a injured Texans.
Jaguars 23 Texans 21
Miami Dolphins @ New York Giants
You iz kidding, rite?
Giants 38 Dolphins 13
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens
I bet da Ravens iz mad over las weaks crappy showing, so dey is out four blood.
Ravens 27 Cardinals 17
New Orleans Saints @ Saint Louis Rams
Da Rams secundairy can't stop da Saints passing attack.
Saints 35 Rams 20
Minnesota Vikings @ Carolina Panthers
Both teems is improving behind dere rookie quarterbacks, but I tink AP makes da difference hear.
Vikings 30 Panthers 27
Denver Broncos @ Detroit Lions
Tim Teblow wont get away wif da crappy way he played las weak, so da Lions will crush dis glorified fullback cuz dey ain't chumps like da Dolphins.
Lions 27 Broncos 13
Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills
Sorry 3rd, but Fred Jackson will kill da Skins. Plus Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick iz happy after just signing a huge contract da other day.
Bills 34 Redskins 24
Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks
I just tink da Bengals defense is two much for da Seahawks.
Bengals 23 Seahawks 14
New England Patriots @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Game of the Week
OK, da Steelers are aging but proud. Da Pats are aging and proud. Both got rosters wif champions on dem, and coaches wif rings to. Da run game will be da important factor, cuz I expect both quarterbacks two play well.
You almost hafta flip a coin hear, four reel. I'm taking Mike Wallace and da gang over dat suspect Pats secundairy.
Steelers 30 Patriots 28
Cleveland Browns @ San Francisco 49ers
OK, da Brownies stink no matter who iz da coach.
49ers 23 Browns 13
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles
I am tinkin da Igglez got dis, cuz dey always seem too win after a bye week.
Eagles 34 Cowboys 24
San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
I laugh at ESPN, cuz Monday Night Football has SUCKED this yeer. Wasn't what dey had hoped.
Chargers 27 Chiefs 17
1. Green Bay Packers
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New England Patriots
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. New Orleans Saints
6. Atlanta Falcons
7. Buffalo Bills
8. Detroit Lions
9. Baltimore Ravens
10. New York Giants
11. Philadelphia Eagles
12. San Diego Chargers
13. New York Jets
14. Houston Texans
15. Chicago Bears
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
17. Dallas Cowboys
18. Oakland Raiders
19. Cincinnati Bengals
20. Tennessee Titans
21. Carolina Panthers
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
23. Washington Redskins
24. Minnesota Vikings
25. Arizona Cardinals
26. Cleveland Browns
27. Seattle Seahawks
28. Kansas City Chiefs
29. Denver Broncos
30. Saint Louis Rams
31. Miami Dolphins
32. Indianapolis Colts
OK, I met at dis hunny da other day. I iz gonna go show her how too eat a stromboli, capeesh?
As dey say in Ol' Messico = A.M.F.