Tagged with "Green Bay"
Deep Thoughts 1-14-15
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Ohio State Buckeye Champions Kurt Busch dated a killer?; Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packer Dez Bryant catch Carlos Delgado worthy of vote?

 

Hello and welcome to another Wednesday of deep thoughts. Okay, I have had enough of winter. Where is that darn groundhog? Well, the college football playoffs are over and Ohio State is the winner. If you saw this coming, you are either clairvoyant or lying through your teeth. The Big 10 was a league that has struggled for several years with credibility. It was thought that a team from this conference was just not capable of playing with the big boys. We should have seen the signs. The rout of Wisconsin in the championship game was a huge clue that I know that I missed. It was a game that was written off as an anomaly or simply a matter of Wisconsin not showing up to play. But, I think that there is more at work here. With the loss of QB Barrett at the end of the Michigan game, most of college football wrote off the Buckeye’s season. But, a funny thing happened…they flourished. I heard a commentary about the Ohio State season that made a ton of sense to me. When Barrett went down, the Buckeye coaches leaned on the running game and nobody could stop them. This was obvious against Wisconsin, but most of us simply overlooked the obvious.

 

My main complaint about college football in years past is that I was never convinced that the team anointed “champion” was the best team. Carl Spackler and I always have this conversation about good teams getting better. For me, this is a beautiful thing about team sports. The best team does not always have the best talent, but is the group of players that discovers the best way to play as a team. After watching Ohio State win the first playoff in college football, I am convinced that the best team won. Seriously, is there any question that OSU is the best team in the country? They beat the #1 team In Alabama and put a beat down on Oregon. When you consider that the Buckeyes had four turnovers, the game was really not as close as the score might suggest…so I think that beat down is appropriate. While the talking heads will talk about the performance by Zeke Elliot and the consistency of Cardale Jones, I will remember the defensive stands by the Buckeye defense as the turning point of this game. Congratulations to the Buckeyes for a great win!

 

 

 

I have never been a fan of Ohio State football. The reason was pretty simple…many years ago; I played in a fantasy football league with a guy that was a huge Ohio State fan. To say that he was obnoxious would be an understatement. The second Ohio State fan that I met was over the phone. My daughter was involved in a small fender bender with his wife. I spend hours on the phone each day and I am normally pretty good at working through problems. This guy was a prick…plain and simple. He made a huge deal about the accident and when he began to degrade my daughter, the conversation was over. I went by to look at the damage to his car and the first thing I saw was an Ohio State bumper sticker. It turns out that insurance took care of the damage to his precious vehicle…$63 for a scratch to his license plate cover…I am not kidding. So, whenever I watched a game involving the Buckeyes, you know I was pulling against them. That is until recently. I have another friend that I have discovered was a Buckeye fan. Suddenly, the Buckeyes were not a team that I detested…it was as simple as knowing a friend had a rooting interest. One of the things that I found very comforting in going through my dad’s ordeal was seeing what great friends he had. I have begun to realize that as much as I enjoy sports, there are more important things in life for me. That does not mean that I enjoy sports any less, only that I do not carry the results with me as I might have in the past. I also realize that friendships are more important that any football game.

 


 

 

 

 

 


This past weekend was a tough game for my Cowboys. As I sat watching Dallas play Green Bay at Lambeau field, I could not help but think back to the last time I watched these two teams play in Green Bay. It was the Ice Bowl played in 1967. I was 9 years old and I watched the game with my dad and brother. If you have seen the game, it was crazy cold and was what football in the 60s was…a test of the fittest. As I kid, I did not realize that Dallas had the better team…I only knew that I wanted my Cowboys to finally win a championship. I remember watching Bob Lilly try to scratch traction on the icy field attempting to thwart a last minute score by the Packers. When Starr plunged over the goal line, my heart sank. As the seconds ticked down on that Cowboy loss, I found myself crying with frustration. Angry days followed that loss and I had a difficult time understanding why my team had to lose. As much as a 9 year old could feel hurt, I did. But time passed and I later was able to appreciate what was so special about that game. Losing was bad, but playing the Green Bay Packers in such a memorable game was special, as was the memory shared with my father and brother.

Last Sunday, I watched the game unfold and really liked what I saw. Dallas controlled the ball and had Rodgers chilling on the sideline…until that damn fumble by Murray. I can’t blame Murray as much as acknowledge the great strip by Julius Peppers. It was pretty frustrating to watch the replay and see the huge hole that Murray was almost able to exploit. I will remember this play as I suspect that this game would have ended much differently had Dallas scored that TD. For many other fans, it is the great catch by Dez Bryant that almost was that will what they take from this game. I knew when I saw the ball move when Bryant hit the ground that the play would not stand. I don’t like the NFL rule, but know what it is from having seen others robbed of catches. I also knew that many would have fun with pointing to the irony of how Dallas lost. For me, it is a game that Dallas should have won. The Cowboys had their chances to win last Sunday, but they simply did not make the plays needed to win. Green Bay was very beatable to my eyes. With Rodgers less than 100%, it was a golden opportunity for the Cowboys to finally make it back to the Super Bowl. Oh well…maybe next year. There is one thing that I will take away from this game. It is finding out who your friends are. One of the things that I have enjoyed about the Gab is the chance to learn about other parts of the country. Even though my teams have not recently won a championship, I have been able to enjoy the success of the teams of my friends. Heck...I even will sometimes pull for the 49ers now, because BOB is a fan. I completely get celebrating a big win for your team, but I am puzzled at the pleasure that some take over another team losing. For me, life is too damn short to find joy in the misfortune of others…I guess it was just how I was raised.

Here is a pretty entertaining read by Andrew Sharp:

http://grantland.com/the-triangle/a-guide-to-getting-past-the-dez-bryant-catch/

Andrew makes some good points and I really enjoy how he finishes his article:

Beyond that, the best way to get over the Dez debacle is to just stop pretending this league will ever make sense.

Maybe all sports are better off as a sideshow that we don’t take seriously, but the new NFL is definitely better off as the sideshow nobody takes seriously. This is comedy, not drama.

Now I’m free — not invested, don’t have to pretend to care about any of this anymore. The Cowboys lost in the worst way possible, and now I’m free to enjoy the NFL in the best way possible.”

 

People will be arguing about this call forever more. But after watching what happened to Detroit, it is impossible for me not recognize the irony. So much for Jerry buying the refs…

 

 

                                   By the letter of the rules, it was the right call...should these be the rules for a catch?

 

 


 

 

 

 

In checking out the HOF vote last week, I ran across a story about Carlos Delgado. Because Delgado received less than 5% of the vote, he has been removed from future HOF ballots. In looking at the numbers I could not understand how Delgado received so few votes. Lifetime average of.280, 473 HRs, 483 doubles, 1512 RBIs and 1241 Runs scored. He “only” had 2038 hits, but from 1997 to 2008 Delgado basically hit 30 plus HRs and almost 100 RBIs each year.  When I see that Tony Perez is in the HOF with a .279 average and 379 HRs…it sort of makes me wonder. And…for you sabre metric guys out there…I do not think that Adam Dunn deserves a spot in the HOF. I am sorry, but batting average still matters to me. I know that Dunn hit a lot of HRs, but a .237 batting average does not belong in the HOF. Dunn was very good at what he did, but as a DH…you have to do more than just hit HRs. That is my two cents anyway. But, I digress…it turns out that the reason that so many left Delgado off their ballot is due to the stupid rule regarding limiting voters to 10 players. I will say again…it is time to take a close look at the rules regarding the selection process and do the right thing. Let’s keep the pressure on these clowns…

 

 

 

 

                                                           Here is one writer that at least admitted to voting...

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

NASCAR is normally not in my arena, but I realized that I had forgotten to touch on a story that I found fascinating. You probably have heard that Kurt Busch was charged by his ex (Patricia Driscoll) with slamming her head into a wall. During a court appearance concerning a restraining order against Busch...he indicated that his ex-girlfriend is a hired assassin that does work for the government. Busch talked about the time that the couple were in El Paso and Driscoll left in camo only to return wearing a trench coat covering a blood stained evening dress. Although I am sure that Qwazier will touch on this story...it was something that I had to at least to mention. So, if you found out that your girlfriend killed people for money is this a deal killer or does it add intrique to the relationship. I don't know about you, but it sure would limit the arguments. Nothing stops a heated discussion like her saying, it is okay honey...just go to sleep. Uh...no thanks. I think I will read for awhile. This is so crazy that it can't help but have some truth to it. From looking at her job resume...Driscoll does have the history to make this possible. Take a look:

Driscoll, 37, lives in Ellicott City, Md. She heads two organizations, both of them based in Washington, D.C. One is the Armed Forces Foundation, a veterans advocacy group that partners with NASCAR. The other is Frontline Defense Systems, whose website says Driscoll "spent the majority of her career in the narcotics and intelligence world." Hmmm...

Of course...as Busch's nickname is the "Outlaw"...I suppose a hired assassin for a girl friend is only natural.

This brings to mind one of my favorite movies: Red and Red 2. LOVE these movies and especially enjoyed the character played by Helen Mirren. If you have not seen it..do so and be prepared to laugh...a lot.

 

 

 

 


 

 

That is all I have today, but I will leave you with a bit of Jack Handey…

 

You know what would make a good story? Something about a clown who makes people happy, but inside he's real sad. Also, he has severe diarrhea.

 

If you're a circus clown, and you have a dog that you use in your act, I don't think it's a good idea to also dress the dog up like a clown, because people see that and they think, "Forgive me, but that's just too much."

 

 

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a few deep thoughts of your own…

 

 

 

A White Christmas?
Category: Humor
Tags: Minnesota Vikings Green Bay Packers

Thoughts from an Island Girl

What you are seeing is the demarcation line of a changing weather pattern.   Cold air will move in waves and ultimately change our viewing habits as pictures of snow and snow drifts will prevail for at least, a few weeks.

 

This is the time of the year that weather takes it’s most decided turn toward wintry-like conditions.  And for all the consternation towards Forecasters,  we actually do quite well.   A snow forecast or one that includes icy conditions is by far the hardest.  It is largely easier to forecast for Hurricanes than where it is going to snow and where it might be freezing rain or just rain.

KGSO   GFSX MOS GUIDANCE  12/19/2012  0000 UTC                       
 FHR  24| 36  48| 60  72| 84  96|108 120|132 144|156 168|180 192      
 WED  19| THU 20| FRI 21| SAT 22| SUN 23| MON 24| TUE 25| WED 26 CLIMO
 X/N  65| 41  54| 38  47| 28  49| 29  55| 33  54| 38  59| 43  57 30 49
 TMP  54| 43  51| 38  38| 30  42| 31  46| 36  46| 40  51| 45  49      
 DPT  34| 35  47| 30  19| 18  19| 18  21| 25  29| 33  39| 40  39      
 CLD  CL| CL  OV| OV  PC| CL  CL| CL  CL| PC  OV| OV  OV| OV  OV      
 WND   7|  4   9| 15  25| 16  19|  8   8|  5   8|  5   9|  6  11      
 P12   2| 10  69| 81  11|  3   0|  5   9| 12  20| 41  42| 41  41 22 23
 P24    |     77|     87|      3|      9|     25|     56|     63    33
 Q12   0|  0   2|  3   0|  0   0|  0   0|  0   0|  2    |             
 Q24    |      2|      2|      0|      0|      0|       |             
 T12   0|  0   6|  9   1|  0   0|  0   0|  0   1|  2   3|  4   3      
 T24    |  0    | 13    |  3    |  0    |  0    |  2    |  5          
 PZP   5|  7   6|  7   9| 10  13| 22  15| 12  10| 11  11| 11  12      
 PSN   3|  0   0|  7  44| 52  40|  7   1|  6   0|  0   0|  0   0      
 PRS   4|  1   0| 24  29| 24   2|  6   4|  5   3|  2   3|  3   4      
 TYP   R|  R   R|  R   S|  S   S|  Z   R|  R   R|  R   R|  R   R      
 SNW    |      0|      0|      0|      0|      0|       |         

For the initated this forecast is significant.  First of all,  the more long range,  the more suspect temperatures are and the hints of much colder air would indicate a downward trend overall, in our temperatures.   This computer model is for Greensboro,  North Carolina.

 

THIS TIME VERY COLD ARCTIC AIR WILL BE IN
PLAY... BUT THE EXTENT OF THE COLD AIR DOWN THE EASTERN SEABOAR IS
PROBLEMATIC. THE MAIN QUESTIONS FOR OUR REGION WILL BE THE EXTENT OF
CAD THAT CAN DEVELOP BEFORE THE PRECIPITATION ARRIVES... AND TO WHAT
EXTENT THIS CAD WILL HAVE ON THE EVOLUTION OF THE STORM. THE LATEST
MODEL SUITE CONTINUES TO INDICATE EVEN STRONGER AND "CUT OFF" MID
LEVEL CYCLONES... SUGGESTING A MILLER B TYPE WINTER STORM.

I want you to note this part of the forecast discussion.  This indicates that the actual temperatures are in question.  More cold air than expected could be the difference between snow and rain.   So if things get squirrely here,  then you will know why.

 

And the impact of even winter storms can hit in so many ways.   Emergency planning includes the availability of de-icing agents like salt for the roads and Urea for runways.  Delays caused by snowfall and aircraft icing can virtually shut down an airport.

With this in mind,  comes the refrain of Christmas Carols heralding long snowy days with snow drifts and the sounds of snow blowers.  It marks a time where football fields can be covered in snow and yard markings are revealed by snow shovels and the aforementioned snow clearing equipment.

For the kids it brings the potential snow days.   Kids will secretly pray for a big snow and the resultant school cancellations.   Green Bay and Minnesota Vikings fans will go to games and take their shirts off, just baiting Jack Frost and Mother Nature with potential hypothermia.  The usual talk of frozen tundra and the surreal site of snow falling like in a snow globe.

A bit of wintry fare for everyone.   By late morning and early afternoon parents are getting on edge,  as their children trudge ice and snow into the house and where Frosty was a pristine white,  he becomes sullied by dogs and slush.

So where is all this going and certainly,  how does it pertain to sports?

Well,  there is a shifting from Spring-like weather to the caustic and unrelenting cooler air that marks this time of year.   And that change is nigh at hand.   We will see a major change by the end of this week and after.   And while temps may rebound upwards for awhile,  even parts of the Southeastern USA,  will see some potential wintry like conditions and maybe even,  significant snowfall.

And should I be wrong about that,  wind chill factors will give you a winter wonderland sans snow and a dark gray overcast and cold biting days.   

So,  if we are fortunate,  we will see those Thomas Kincaid pictures reproduced in our own backyards and city blocks.   We will experience the ice skating and the sounds of happy children packing snow balls and seeing if the stories of Frosty’s coming to life.

As I mentioned the change is now imminent and the snows will no longer be relegated to Mt Olympus but the valleys around us as well.

Monday Moaning 10-1-12
Category: FEATURED
Tags: NFL NCAA The Beeze Little Beeze Birthday Cold Gard Football Facts Green Bay Packers Cleveland Browns Refs Kids Food Stuffed Peppers

 


Well this weekend, was my birthday weekend...My birthday fell on Sunday, so I consider the whole weekend as my birthday...And it was a good time...Saturday afternoon Mrs. Beeze and I went to Cleveland's historic, West Side Market for lunch, and to load up on some food...You can get anything there...Great butchers, bakers, and pasta makers...Great local produce, at great prices...And after a few beers, I was ready to find some hipsters to punch...Oh how the hipsters love the Ohio City area...

We got 5 red peppers, and 6 green peppers for $3...You can't beat that...And those, along with some meat we got, lead to my Sunday birthday dinner...My fucking awesome (if I do say so myself) Stuffed Peppers...


 


The rest of Saturday I spent catching up on COLLEGE_FOOTBALL...That and Mrs. Beeze giving me my favorite birthday present...No, not the 1976 Fender Starcaster I wanted...
 


Sunday I took the kids to the park, while the wife did some shopping for the Little Beeze's B-day, which is Tuesday...Then she baked a cake for us to have after my awesome Stuffed Peppers...Then I got my gift from the kids...They got me a swear jar...These little smart-ass, shits! Couple of ball-busters! The boy better watch it, or I'm taking his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back to Toys-R-Us...

So in sports, the big story was the replacement refs screwing the pooch during the Monday Night Football game between Green Bay and Seattle...Now I was rooting for Seattle, if for no other reason than to screw with my buddy Ryan...But there were some really bad calls in this game, along with some bad no calls...But then came the Hail Mary at the end...And holy shit balls, the sports world went crazy...I thought the call was wrong, but it was made, and the replay officials stood by it...But then our buddy Mo posted this LINK on Facebook and I'm willing to buy into it possibly, if for no other reason then I was pissed about all the people who were shitting on Golden Tate and company for celebrating the win...A win is a win, and you're happy when you get one, especially after a hard-fought game, like that one...

And Packers fans, who were so upset, and felt they had a win stolen from them...Watch the game again...The Seahawks defense kicked your Packers ass all over the field...Green Bay's defense showed up, but the offense was crap...They got owned by Seattle...No one is entitled to wins...They're earned, and if you really watched that game, you didn't earn it Green Bay! Yeah, my Packer Backer friends are gonna have something to say about that!

The replacement refs sucked through their brief stint in the NFL...And I was just about ready to stop tuning into the NFL...Then the league came out and backed up the refs TD call from Monday night, which at that point I was firmly planted in the they got it wrong camp...And hours later they were trying their best to hammer out a deal with the real refs, to get them out on the field for Thursday nights game...I'm sorry, but right then, what little credibility the league had, was lost in my eyes...

So Thursday night, I didn't watch one second of the Browns and Ravens game...And let me tell you this...It was wonderful...It's amazing what not watching the Browns will do for your mental well-being...The wife and I popped on a few episodes of "Arrested Development" on Netflix, bumped uglies, and she went to bed...Then I watched my fellow Browns fans be miserable once again on Twitter and Facebook...And there I sat, grinning from ear to ear...No stress...No frustration...I mean you go into a Browns game expecting them to blow, but if you don't watch it, you haven't invested/wasted any time into it...I may have to stick to this strategy, because at this point, it wouldn't surprise me if the Browns end up with that perfect 0-16 record...

In other NFL news, the Patriots got their shit together and beat the Bills Sunday 52-28 with two backs gaining 100 yards each on the ground, and Tom Brady, looking like Tom Brady...

The 49ers shutout the Jets 34-0 as Sanchez looked like crap again...And yes, the cries and chants for the savior, Tebow have started...

The Arizona Cardinals are undefeated...That just doesn't sound right...But I mean they did play the Dolphins Sunday...The Cards should be worried that it took OT to beat the 'Phins...

And in what had to be a heart-breaker for B-Dub, the Falcons squeaked out a 30-28 comeback win against the Panthers...Sorry pal, I know that one hurt...

And, am I the only one shocked to see the Vikings are 3-1, while the Lions are 1-3, after their conference match up Sunday, which the Vikings won 20-13...Before the season started I expected those records to be flipped...I gotta figure the Packers and Bears are starting to take notice of the Vikings now...

That's it for now people...Have a week...

The Beeze.

 

Only the Super Bowl Counts...
Category: Daily Blog 2.0
Tags: NFL Detroit Lions Green Bay Packers Chicago Bears Washington Redskins Super Bowl XLVI Don Ameche Sammy Baugh

 

 

On the seventh day, God rested...

 

And on the eighth day...

 

He created the Super Bowl...

 

You see...

 

There was absolutely no life prior to the Super Bowl...

 

At least...

 

That’s what the NFL would like you believe...

 

The Patriots and Giants meet Sunday in Super Bowl XLVI...

 

Apparently...

 

There were no prior championships prior to the Super Bowl...

 

This is all we have, isn’t it???

 

Oh yeah...

 

There was football before the Super Bowl...

 

But no championships, right???

 

Just the regular season, right???

 

Then they just stopped playing, right???

 

Until next year, right???

 

Nothing mattered back then, did it???

 

Did they even keep stats back then, did they???

 

I heard they had some pretty swell players...

 

 

But they really don’t count, do they???

 

It was just a rehearsal, right???

 

After all...

 

Even if they did have championship games back then...

 

Since they weren’t SUPER BOWL titles...

 

They don’t count in the overall total...

 

At least that is what the NFL would like you to believe...

 

And what the media would like you to believe...

 

I never hear them talk about the good ole days...

 

The only things that are count are...

 

Super Bowl titles...

 

And Super Bowl appearances...

 

So and so has the most Super Bowl titles...

 

Such and such has the most Super Bowl appearances...

 

Detroit has never been to a Super Bowl...

 

And I guess that means they have zero titles, right???

 

Those games in ‘35, ‘52, ‘53, and ‘57...

 

They were just post season scrimmages, right???

 

Practice games, right???

 

 

We talkin’ ‘bout practice...

 

Not a game...

 

Not a game...

 

Not a game...

 

We talkin’ ‘bout practice...

 

Okay...

 

‘Nuffa dat...

 

And in one of those practices...

 

Way back before Pearl Harbor...

 

In ‘40...

 

The Chicago Bears bombed the Washington Redskins, 73-0...

 

But that didn’t count...

 

‘Cus it wasn’t in the Super Bowl...

 

And they were just messin’ around, weren’t they???

 

They even had a scrimmage go into overtime...

 

That was back in ‘57...

 

 

I think it was some actor named Don Ameche...

 

He scored the “so-called” winning touchdown...

 

And they stopped playing just like that...

 

But it didn’t matter, did it???

 

Because the game wasn’t named the Super Bowl...

 

Nobody cares about that stuff back then any more...

 

‘Cus sacking the quarterback was legal back then...

 

Now you can only pull the flag attached to his belt...

 

So just like the old AAFC and AFL...

 

Those games are pigments of our imaginations...

 

Yes, I said pigments...

 

As in pigskin...

 

But I guess if you count those scrimmages...

 

Or practice games...

 

The Packers have...

 

Thirteen championships...

 

But nobody really counts that high, do they???

 

And da Bears have nine...

 

But the first eight were insignifcant...

 

I guess we can’t give credit where credit is due...

 

Cus’ they weren’t in “The Big Game”...

 

 

That’s right...

 

I don’t think I can legally say...

 

S-p-r B-wl...

 

Cus I didn’t pay the NFL to say it...

 

I guess I don’t count either...

 

 

dvt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://censorshipinamerica.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/super-bowl-i-patch.jpg

http://www.fanfestsports.com/store/images/sammy%20baugh%20(Small).jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGDBR2L5kzI

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-iVEu23_Azxk/Tt5Xtj9Q5MI/AAAAAAAAAlg/rBxbdv5Zgw8/s1600/ameche.jpg

http://www.813area.com/images/content_featured/medium/the-big-game-xlvi.jpg

2012 NFL Draft May See Colts Gamble On Robert Griffin III Over Andrew Luck
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Robert Griffin III NFL New Oleans Saints New England Patriots Green Bay Packers Tim Tebow

 

 




Change is once again a headline in the NFL. General managers and head coaches have been coming and going for decades, so the year 2012 isn't any different.

The Indianapolis Colts have a new general manager in Ryan Grigson, a former NFL and CFL tight end who rose quickly through the ranks of the Philadelphia Eagles front office the past few years. His hiring now has some wondering if he will fire incumbent head coach Jim Caldwell and which player the Colts will use the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft on.

With the surprise firing of Bill Polian as general manager, out went the assumption the Colts would select quarterback Andrew Luck. Grigson, who also worked for the Arena Football League and Canadian Football League, will be bringing a new philosophy to Indianapolis.

Some pundits wonder if quarterback Peyton Manning, who has given the franchise a championship and 11 Pro Bowls since he joined the team in 1998, will be back next season. It seems like a ridiculous question to many, considering Manning has led the team to two Super Bowl appearances and has won four NFL MVP awards. Yet his 2011 season was lost due to a lingering neck injury that still has some observers concerned to whether or not it will ever fully heal.

The bottom line of the Colts financial situation is often brought up as a reason the team may part ways with Manning, who had just signed a contract worth $90 million over five years before the 2011 season began. If the Colts were to draft a quarterback with their first pick, they might have to pay over $20 million to sign the player. Cam Newton, the first pick of the 2011 draft, received $22 million for four years.

But there are now no guarantees if the Colts stay with the soon-to-be 36 year old Manning and not even draft a quarterback on a team with many holes that were seen as the team finished this year with a 2-14 record. There is no guarantee now that Luck, who is similar to Manning in many ways, will not be passed up on favor of Robert Griffin III.

Assuming Indianapolis drafts one of these quarterbacks, the remaining player will not wait too long to find a suitor. Many are thinking the Cleveland Browns will look to replace second-year pro Colt McCoy by using the fourth overall pick. The Washington Redskins, who sit sixth in the draft order, desperately need a quarterback and could possibly try to work a trade with either the Minnesota Vikings or Saint Louis Rams to grab Griffin or Luck.

Griffin, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, is as hot a commodity as Luck. While Luck is fairly mobile, Griffin has world class speed. Both quarterbacks possess excellent arm strength, but Griffin throws one of the most beautiful deep balls in all of football right now.

Grigson is knowledgeable to a game where the field is wide open to constant scoring opportunities, as his AFL and CFL experience show. Defense has become a thing of the past in the NFL today, so the electric Griffin might light up the scoreboard with the help of rules heavily slanted to that side of the football.

Passing is king now in the NFL, and Newton showed a running quarterback with a big arm can set records while exploiting rules where a quarterback is not allowed to be hit too high, too low or too hard. Rules Griffin can easily excel in as long as he stays healthy.



Indianapolis isn't the only team in flux this year. The Jacksonville Jaguars have already hired their new head coach after tabbing Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey for the job.

Mularkey had played nine seasons with the Minnesota Vikings and Pittsburgh Steelers as a tight end known for his blocking abilities. He got into coaching soon after and worked his way up to becoming head coach of the Buffalo Bills in 2004.

Buffalo went to the playoffs in his first year, the last time the franchise has accomplished that feat since. After is disappointing second season, the Bills brought back Hall of Famer Marv Levy as general manager. Mularkey resigned after he and Levy failed to agree in the direction of the team, so he took a job with the Miami Dolphins for two seasons before being hired by Atlanta in 2008.

His offenses tend to work best when well balanced. This was true in Atlanta, where he helped quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Michael Turner, tight end Tony Gonzales and wide receiver Roddy White get to the Pro Bowl. He had balance in his first year with the Bills, led by quarterback Drew Bledsoe, running back Willis McGahee along with wide receivers Lee Evans and Eric Moulds.

Mularkey is certainly isn't perfect. A big reason for his failure in Buffalo was because he chose to release Bledsoe and go with J.P. Losman at quarterback. His struggles during his first year in Miami saw him demoted to coaching the tight ends the following season. For all of the success Mularkey has attained thus far, his teams are just 2-5 in the playoffs with him serving as head coach or offensive coordinator.



It was a given Jack Del Rio wasn't going into 2012 as head coach of the Jaguars, especially after he cut his starting quarterback to play a rookie who obviously would have been better off learning on the sidelines a year or more. Del Rio went 68-71 in his nine seasons, but his time was tarnished by former owner Wayne Weaver telling reporters he regretted firing Tom Coughlin as head coach in 2002.

Jacksonville has a new owner now, but it remains to see if he is loyal as Weaver was to Del Rio. The Jaguars need improvement in many areas, so rebuilding may take time.

Gene Smith remains general manager of the team, taking over for NFL legend James Harris in 2009. Harris, the first black player to start a NFL season at quarterback and the first black quarterback to go to the Pro Bowl or be named Pro Bowl MVP, joined the Detroit Lions.

With Maurice Jones-Drew, Mularkey has a All-Pro halfback in the prime of his career. The defense is underrated and still young. It may not take as long as expected, given a few fortunate breaks, but the Jaguars fans are hoping more from a franchise that has had seven winning seasons since it joined the league in 1995.


While the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking for a head coach and the Saint Louis Rams need a general manager, the Oakland Raiders have recently filled one of their open positions by hiring Reggie McKenzie as general manager.

With gridiron icon Al Davis having died back in October of last year, the team had to suddenly replace a man who had been running the team since 1962. Davis has more than a legacy that won three Super Bowls, he had a wealth of knowledge, insight and experience that is irreplaceable. His son, who now owns the team, knew he had a lot work cut out for him the day he took the reins of the Silver and Black.

This is not the Reggie McKenzie who was a Pro Bowl guard that blocked for Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson and was a part of the "Electric Company". This McKenzie played linebacker for four seasons with the Raiders in the late 1980's. After sitting out of the league for four seasons, he suited up for two games with the San Francisco 49ers in 1992.

He spent the last 18 seasons as the Director of Football Operations for the Green Bay Packers. His twin brother, Raleigh, was a guard on the famous offensive line of the Washington Redskins called the "Hogs". He won two Super Bowls and is one of the 70 Greatest Redskins.

McKenzie's first move was to rebuild a team that lost four of their final five games in 2011 and hasn't been to the playoffs since 2002. Hue Jackson, the head coach who was recently fired despite just one season on the job, told reporters that McKenzie “basically wants to gut the place.”

The Raiders are not only now looking for a head coach, they may leave Oakland again for Los Angeles. They did this back in 1982 and stayed there until 1994 before returning to Oakland.


The person many are starting to think will be head coach of the Raiders next year is Winston Moss. Moss is a former linebacker who played for the Raiders in the early 1990's. He has been a linebackers coach of the Packers since 2006, so McKenzie is very familiar with him.

It will be strange and interesting to see how the Raiders do without Al Davis, just as it was when he was there. Whether or not they will achieve any semblance of the excellence Davis did remains to be seen.






OK, 7thStoneFromTheSun is still missing. I got another blank postcard, this time from Kazakhstan, so I guess he is still on the run from owing markers to people you don't want to know. I went 2-2 in his place last week, acing Saturday's games and failing the next day.


New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers

Two teams that are the polar opposites of each other. While the Saints are a dome team who lights up a scoreboard like a video game, the 49ers resemble an old school team who grinds opponents into submission with a sound running game and suffocating defense.

If this game were in New Orleans, I'd pick the Saints all the way. While the weather is expected to be mild in San Francisco on Sunday, it will be played outdoors and possibly benefit the Niners with more than just the home field advantage of having nearly 70,000 screaming fans cheering for them. The Saints have never won a playoff game on the road.

The Saints rolled up 626 yards last week, led by quarterback Drew Brees throwing for 466 yards and three touchdowns. While the Detroit Lions got repeatedly gashed in the air, New Orleans kept them off balance by averaging almost five yards on 36 carries.

San Francisco's defense was the second best in points allowed this year, as well as fourth best in total yards given up. Five players from this unit were named to either a Pro Bowl or selected First Team All-Pro. Middle linebacker Patrick Willis is possibly the best in the NFL at his position.

Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore is the 49ers best offensive weapon, but they have also gotten a solid season from quarterback Alex Smith. Much maligned since being the first overall selection of the 2005 draft, Smith has had the best season of his career in 2011.

Tight end Vernon Davis and wide receiver Michael Crabtree are his main targets, but Smith has been so efficient that he threw just five interceptions all year. The 49ers ranked first in the NFL this season in the all important giveaway/ takeaway ratio.

Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers and defensive end Ray McDonald gave San Francisco the best seasons of their career this season. While Rogers had a career high six interceptions this year, McDonald set career best marks with 5.5 sacks and 38 tackles.

Rookie Aldon Smith led the team with 14 sacks, but Pro Bowl defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Ahmad Brooks pitched in with a combined 14.5 sacks as well. Pro Bowl free safety Dashon Golden also gave the Niners the best year of his career this season.

Golden and strong safety Donte` Whitner may hold the key to a 49ers victory. Both were very important to the team this year, finishing third and fourth in tackles respectively. Brees loves to throw to Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, so the duo will be tested often.

Willis and Navarro Bowman are tackling machines who piled up 234 tackles this year, so New Orleans may find it difficult to run the ball effectively. Brees will have to be sharp this weekend and find an extra target to help win the game.

With Rogers most likely shadowing Marques Colston, Brees will have to pick on cornerback Tarell Brown by going to Devery Henderson or Robert Meachum. Lance Moore is expecting to play despite a tender hamstring, so San Francisco defensive backs like Tramaine Brock, Chris Culliver, Madieu Williams and Shawntae Spencer will need to be sharp.

It will be a challenge to stop the Saints electric offense, especially since inclement weather will not be there to help. Gore needs to be special against a run defense than ranked 12th in yards allowed this season.

But Smith also needs to play excellent. The Saints pass defense ranked 30th in yards allowed, but try to cover up this area by frequent blitzes. Roman Harper, an excellent strong safety, will need to shut Davis down so Smith gets uncomfortable by having less options.

I am not convinced yet that there is a team in the NFL who can keep the Saints from scoring. The rules of the game today totally help this unit blow up the gridiron with insane statistics weekly. They have lit up defenses all year, which includes stout units like the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans.

San Francisco has the superior special teams unit, thanks to Pro Bowl kicker David Akers and Pro Bowl punter Andy Lee. If they can control field position, this area could make the difference in the end.

San Francisco has not given up more than 27 points this season and 11 or less points seven times. The Saints have scored over 40 points seven times in 2011, an area the 49ers have reached just once.

This is Roger Goodell's NFL, so offense is king and the quarterback is the golden child. The old adage that defense wins championships will be put to the test, but the cards are stacked against it.

Saints 27    49ers 20








Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots

The NFL is clearly now on board with Tim Tebow. The Broncos quarterback silenced a ton of critics by recently winning his eighth of 12 starts this year, which included an upset overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last week.

He isn't going to complete even half of his passes, but his legs and savvy seem to be enough to get the job done. The Denver defense has been the overlooked hero of this magical run, producing the only three Pro Bowl players on the team this year, as they seem to always stop the opponent at the most crucial moments.

Denver shouldn't be here. They went 8-8 and were minus 12 in the giveaway/ takeaway ratio this season, while giving up 81 more points than they scored.

The Patriots are the opposite. Even though their defense is somehow sending two members to the Pro Bowl, it is one of the worst units in the league in yards allowed.

These two teams met a month ago, where Tebow ran for 93 yards and two scores while actually completing half of his passing attempts. New England won 41-23, but the 393 Denver gained that week was just 19 yards short of their season high mark.

Tom Brady is the difference in this game. The Patriots quarterback, who will finish his career inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just had possibly the best season of his illustrious career by throwing for a career best 5,235 yards.

He is one of four Pro Bowlers on offense, which includes tight end Ron Gronkowski and wide receiver Wes Welker. Brady also throws the ball to a plethora of weapons, which also includes tight end Aaron Hernandez and wide receiver Deion Branch.

The Patriots use five different players to run the football, but the passing game is what got them a 13-3 record this season. Denver ranked 18th in passing yards allowed this season, as well as 24th in points given up.

While Tebow has showed magic this year, Brady has done so most of his 12 seasons. Denver should be very proud of their team because no one expected anything that happened this year to transpire, but all dreams must end eventually.

Patriots 45     Denver 16







Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens

If you like defense, then watch every play of this battle. Baltimore finished the 2011 season with the third best defense in both points and yards allowed. Houston was second in yards allowed and fourth in points given up.

These two teams met earlier in the season in Baltimore, where the Ravens walked away with a 29-14 win behind five field goals and solid games by quarterback Joe Flacco and halfback Ray Rice. Despite having two turnovers to none by Houston, the Ravens gained 109 more yards that contest.

It is well documented how the Texans continued to win this year despite several key injuries. But the replacements fill in well and the defense has been special all season.

Houston beat a Cincinnati Bengals team last week, another team with a good defense, 31-10 despite gaining just 40 more yards and garnering two less first downs. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates did not hurt the team and played decently, which was helped greatly by the return of wide receiver Andre Johnson.

Halfback Arian Foster gashed the Bengals for 153 yards and two touchdowns, but the Pro Bowler has been accomplishing feats like this all season. Foster and backup Ben Tate piled up a combined 2,166 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground this year.

When Baltimore beat Houston earlier this season, the duo was limited to 90 on 24 carries because quarterback Matt Schaub hoisted the football 37 times that game. Yates won't be asked to do this, so the Texans running backs will get a lot more work this weekend.

The Ravens ranked second in run defense this season. Three of the four Pro Bowlers on this until play along the front seven of a smothering defense that gave up 14 or less points eight times in 2011. Houston has accomplished that feat 10 times so far this year.

While Houston's defense unbelievably produced just one Pro Bowlers this year in cornerback Johnathan Joseph, it is a young team with just one starter 30 years old. They have somehow gone this year without the press they deserve, but the turnaround from their miserable 2010 season is nothing short of spectacular.

Baltimore will need all of their offensive weapons clicking against this unit, yet tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson could be the key as they go up against Texans safeties Danieal Manning and Glover Quinn. The young tight ends combined for 94 receptions this season.

Rice is the backbone of the offense, having led the team in both rushing and receiving this year. His reserve, Ricky Williams, needs to be effective when called upon because Baltimore relies so heavily on Rice's abilities.

Baltimore obviously has the advantage in postseason experience here, since it will be just the second playoff game ever in Texans history. I picked the Ravens to go to the Super Bowl before the season began, so there is no reason to recant now.

Ravens 21   Texans 13









New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers

Few expected the Giants to get this far after their roster was destroyed by injuries before the season got started, but they have won the big games when called upon. Some are trying to compare this team to the 2007 squad that won a Super Bowl, but they couldn't be more wrong in this comparison.

Not only is quarterback Eli Manning a lot better now, the defense and running game carried the team to a title in 2007 and are nowhere near as good this year. New York finished ninth in scoring and eighth in yards gained this season, something they ranked 14th and 16th respectively in 2007.

The running game ranked fourth best in 2007, but it is now the worst in the league. The defense, which ranked eighth in rushing yards allowed and 11th in passing yards given up in 2007, now ranks 19th and 29th respectively. There is no comparison between the two squads

Green Bay, the defending champions, dominated the NFL with a 15-1 record this year. They had the top scoring offense and ranked third in yards gained. The defense ranked last in both passing and total yards given away, but that stems from opponents chucking the ball all game while desperately trying to attempt a comeback.

Pro Bowl quarterback Aaron Rodgers had 10 teammates end the season with receptions in double figures. Rogers also found 10 different players in the end zone. Halfbacks Ryan Grant and James Starks followed Pro Bowl fullback John Kuhn to gain 1,137 combined yards, but the Packers leaned on the 4,643 yards and 45 touchdowns via Rodgers arm.

Seven Packers are going to the Pro Bowl this year and their plus 28 in the giveaway/ takeaway ratio was the second best in the NFL this year. Not are they a veteran team that knows how to win it all, Green Bay is a lot healthier this season compared to 2010.

It will be a high scoring affair Sunday, a game where a lot of yards are rolled up. Green Bay has the better defense, running game and quarterback, but their huge advantage at tight end and special teams could make the difference.

These two teams met just over a month ago in New York, where the Packers won 38-35 on a late field goal. Both offenses rolled up 896 total yards, as Green Bay totaled just two yards than the Giants. Rodgers and Manning had similar games, but the Packers defense made the difference thanks to a touchdown off an interception by Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews.

This game could very well follow that pattern, but the home field advantage for Green Bay could provide the difference. The tundra of Lambeau Field will be frozen, as temperatures are expected to not go higher than 27 degrees Sunday.

Packers 38    Giants 28
 
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