Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

NFL Week 1 Observations. The Better Late Than Never Edition.

Overreactions.

That basic sums up week 1 in the NFL. The teams that lost Sunday looked inept and hope, to quote the great Jim Mora “that they can even win a game.” The teams that won meanwhile, are on top of their divisions and are very much going to win the Super Bowl. That’s how it feels anyway. That’s because with just 16 games in a season and a media that has 24 hours to fill, hyperbole is necessity. The media needs it like Miley Cyrus and attention, and boy does she need attention. But I digress.

Peyton Manning? I Heard He’s Really Good.

It appears that you heard correctly bold subtitle thing. It also appears as though you haven’t been living under a rock. Last Thursday, in the season opener that featured Manning’s Broncos and the defending champion Ravens, Peyton Manning gave a master class in quarterbacking. He got out to a bit of a shaky start and then proceeded to toss an NFL record 7 touchdown passes, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since Joe Kapp with the Vikings back in 1969. The last time someone did without throwing an interception, like Manning did that night, was Y.A. Tittle in 1962. I think the interesting thing here is that Manning appeared to know this off the top of his head. That’s some real student of the game stuff right there.

Also The Ravens Are Full Of Holes, And It Shows.

The defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens start the season on the ropes. I promise you, this is not an overreaction. Joe Flacco seemed to have chemistry with exactly none of his receivers, except maybe Dallas Clark but his hands appeared to be made of bricks, and Joe never found his rhythm. Jacoby Jones who is not only an important part of the offense but special teams as well, was taken out by one of his own players in what can only be described as sheer ineptitude. Jacoby sprained his knee and will be out 2-3 weeks. Baltimore could really use Anquan Boldin at receiver right now but, unfortunately he’s too busy being awesome in San Francisco. Where the Ravens traded him for reasons no one can begin to fathom. Add to that a nonsensical limit to Ray Rice’s touches (adequately screwing over my fantasy team) and I’ll be the first person to tell you I haven’t the foggiest idea what the Ravens are doing.

The defense has holes. They’ve got more holes than swiss cheese, a sieve and Miley Cyrus’s personality put together (zing!). They don’t look bad so much as they looked lost and inept. They made a star out of Julius Thomas who no one had ever heard of, even I presume, Julius Thomas. The NBC analysts Chris Collinsworth and Al Michaels were at a  loss with anything to actually say about the guy, except that he played basketball. Which, to be fair, is more than any of us knew. Especially the Raven’s defense.

The Bills, Cardinals And Raiders Will Be Better Than Everyone Thought.

Everyone believed that the Patriots beat the Bills simply by arriving in Buffalo. Instead Tom Brady & co. won but with way more effort than anyone imagined. It was a nail biter that ended with Tom Brady driving his team down the field to set up the go ahead field goal. But the Bills gave their fans something to be optimistic about this decade. Rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel looked sharp throwing for 150 yards and 2 touchdowns. Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller both looked shifty and hard to hit, both of them using their combined 30 carries to pick up 108 yards.

The Cardinals look like a for real NFL offense for the first time in years. Literally years. Larry Fitzgerald proves that he can be a dynamic player if there is a halfway competent quarterback passing him the ball. Enter Carson Palmer, our friendly neighborhood halfway decent quarterback. He looked impressive throwing for 327 yards and 2 touchdowns, hitting 8 different receivers along the way. Rashard Mendenhall added a bit of a running game and all of a sudden the Cardinals look like they can give any team in the league a run for their money.

Terrelle Pryor a.k.a. Al Davis’ last draft pick proved that the old man could still smell talent. Pryor had a decent outing Sunday. He threw a couple of interceptions but, he passed for 217 yards and a touchdown. Pryor made plays with his feet, specifically he made 112 yards worth of plays with his feet. He kept the Raiders offense on track and gave them a chance to win late. Unfortunately, Andrew Luck is Captain Clutch and stole a victory late for the Colts. Apparently Pryor cried after the game, but honestly, he’s got nothing to cry about he gave the Raiders a chance to win. The Raiders. I would’ve have been shocked if they won more than two games this season. Now, I’d be shocked if they didn’t.

The Philadelphia Eagles Look Fast On Field, Chip Kelly Says They’re “Too Slow.”

The Philadelphia Eagles are going to break a lot of records this season, and they’re all going to be for the most plays run. Under rookie head coach Chip Kelly, the Eagles have adopted a frantic playing style. The Washington Redskins thought they were prepared for this. The were in fact, not prepared for this. Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett (the poor guy) was studying college film in an attempt to prepare for Kelly’s blazing offensive production. It seemed for naught. The Redskins hung in there early but once the Eagles got in the end zone, it seemed like they couldn’t stop scoring. Lesean McCoy and Michael Vick worked together like partners in crime. Two really fast partners in crime, shredding the Redskins tired defense for 24 first half points, while running 53 plays (which is a disturbingly high number of plays). After the game Chip Kelly said to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala with a straight face, “I felt like it was slow, to be honest with you.”

Michael Vick said he felt like he played an entire half of football in one quarter. That’s because you did Mike. That’s because you did.

RG3 Looked Like A Rust Bucket For Most Of The Game.

To say Robert Griffin III looked rusty, would be the understatement of the century. He looked like the tin man, if the tin man decided to take frequent baths in the ocean. Griffin was the definition of rust for three quarters of this game. His actions appeared stiff and unsure. His timing with his receivers was off. Passes hilariously overthrown and comically under thrown. He looked like a shell of himself. The only thing about this game that gave Skins any hope for this season was the fourth quarter. Robert was able to find a rhythm and when he did find it, the Eagles seemed unable to stop him. So that’s good.

Packers Try To Stop Kaepernick From Rushing, Ironically Get Picked Apart In The Air.

Well, it’s not like the Packers didn’t succeed in a manner of speaking. Colin Kaepernick only rushed for 22 yards. Unfortunately for the Pack, their defense failed in every other sense of the word. The 49ers quarterback took whatever yardage he wanted from the Packers defense, which turned out to be 412 yards and 3 touchdowns. Clay Matthews got his hit on Colin Kaepernick but may have cost his team the game. There were offsetting penalties, and the officials mistakenly awarded the 49ers another 3rd down instead of the fourth down they were supposed to get. Some people might blame the officials for this. I blame Clay Matthews. His hit on Kaep as he was running out of bounds was stupid, unnecessary and a tad dirty. If he doesn’t to that there isn’t even a mistake for the officials to make.

Anquan Boldin formerly of Ravens fame proved that the Ravens made a mistake in trading him to the 49ers. Joe Flacco’s former favorite target became Colin Kaepernick’s favorite tartget, grabbing 13 passes for a grand total of 208 yards and a touchdown. Boldin had a monstrous difference in the game because when the Packers broke out of their zone a bit to guard him, he still burned them.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense put up a very good fight. Rodgers had 333 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with one interception, but the punch that Eddie Lacy was supposed to add to the running game, never came, and Rodgers was up a creek with Jordy Nelson and no paddle. Amazingly, it was almost good enough as the Packers fell 34-28.

Tony Romo’s Has An Offensive Line?

Why, yes he does. In fact, they were quite good. They looked like a cohesive unit for the first time in about 15 years (I’m exaggerating but only mildly). No longer do opposing defensive linemen look like the Juggernaut running through paper maché. They have to actually work  to get to Tony Romo. This provides Romo with more time to look down field than he’s ever had in his life. If you thought he was good before (Romo haters, not one word) wait until you see him have time. The Giants have a pretty good secondary and they couldn’t stop Tony at all. He was slinging the ball all over the yard as he and the Cowboys staved off a late game comeback by the Giants.

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Too Much Stock In The Preseason?

There’s a saying that goes like this; “America has two favorite sports. Football, and waiting for football to come back.”

So it makes sense that in our football crazed society that as soon as we see anything that looks like professional football we go nuts. It’s easy to forget that; these games don’t have any meaning so far as score is concerned and there are a lot of mismatches. By mismatches I mean starters against second stringers, as well as the typical tradition that coaches have of saving their real schemes for the regular season.

While there are some indicators that we can take from the preseason, it is in no way itself, an indicator of  regular season success. It is important to not fall prey to this misconception after watching your favorite team lead a solid drive into the endzone. It is similarly important not to be chicken little and exclaim that the sky is falling based on exhibition matches.

For instance, the Jets whose offensive woes can simply number as many, cannot simply be written off for struggling in the preseason. The 20 snaps that starters get during the preseason is not nearly enough to determine how a team will perform during the flow of a game. It can’t tell us how good the Jets may be at bouncing back from rough starts. Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow are late game performers (in the case of Tebow, very late).

Another example of preseason overreaction is how we view rookies. The comparisons to Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck seemingly never end. If one of them looks like a rookie at any point, everyone gets worried. Both ESPN and the NFL network talk about both guys scoring their “first NFL touchdowns” as if that were a thing that could happen in the preseason. It can’t. These stats count for nothing. If we all recall Cam Newton had a preseason to forget last year but, took flight during the NFL season. Conversely, Ryan Leaf looked better than Peyton Manning in the preseason and one source even called Peyton Manning “ordinary.” We all know how those careers went.

What does a fan in the preseason look for? We don’t get the view that the coaches and players get when they watch film. Very true but there are things to really look for without firing up the hype machine.

Look for each players skills. By this I mean look for shiftiness in running backs and just general speed. Quarterbacks need to make reads and go through progressions. If you look at where the quarterback is looking you can see him go through his progressions as his head moves from one part of the field to another. Also look at ball location. How much time does the quarterback have to throw? Oppositely, check the pass rush and see where their strong points are.

Try not to look at the score so much. In the preseason it can be misleading and is rarely a good indicator of how the team is actually doing. At this point you’re just better off chilling out. The regular season is only ten days away.

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NFL Story Lines I’m Tired Of Already.

Football, America’s favorite sport is returning and with its return come a number of story lines. Each team has their own contributions to the great web of NFL stories. Due to the existence of 24 hour sports networks and the internet some stories tend to be over covered. A lot of times there isn’t anyway to know what will happen to the players involved so “coverage” becomes a lot of repetitive annoying questions and speculation. Here are some of the stories that have received so much coverage that they’ve become annoying.

Peyton Manning Is A Bronco. 

Peyton Manning proved his value to the NFL the year he didn’t wear a uniform. The Indianapolis Colts without Manning were easily the worst the worst thing to happen to football all year. Manning’s multiple neck surgeries, move to a new team, and association with anybody that ever met and/or talked to Tim Tebow makes him the subject of much speculation. While this is a very intriguing story its been being reported on for months. Furthermore, maddeningly enough ESPN spent the whole week at Broncos camp.

Commonly Asked Questions In This Story Line: How is Peyton’s neck? Can he take a hit? Are the Broncos Superbowl contenders? Will Manning be Better than Tebow?

Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck. 

Griffin is surrounded by hype and hoopla wherever he goes. There’s no hope of escaping any of that. However, that fateful day in February when the Redskins moved up in the draft to take Griffin, has joined RG3 and Andrew Luck together at the hip for the rest of their careers. Quarterbacks drafted first and second in the draft always are. This story is tired and played out. It’s been covered since February. The two quarterbacks have been compared and scrutinized; by their numbers, by their big plays, and even by their catches. I say we just let the guys play and let history write itself.

Commonly Asked Questions In This Story Line: Who will be the better pro? Do the Redskins improve more or the Colts? Will Luck and Griffin have a Magic Johnson and Larry Bird style rivalry? Why is Andrew Luck not in a million commercials? Should we call RG3, Bob Griffin?

Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and the Jets and stuff.

Tim Tebow has the ability to make any thing he touches turn into a media circus. It’s not his fault really but it is bothersome. Now that Tim has brought the circus to New York two things have happened. The already high scrutiny on Mark Sanchez is now through the roof  and there’s an unofficial clock on how long he has his job. I think the silliest thing about wondering how long Sanchez will have his job is that he’d have to lose it to Tebow, who though a winner, is simply not a good quarterback. If Sanchez is inconsistent, Tebow has defined the word. Just in case you’re wondering, no I don’t think Mark will lose his job to Tim Tebow.

Commonly Asked Questions In This Story Line: Which week will Tebow take over the starting QB job from Sanchez? Is a two quarterback system effective? How often will Tebow be used in the wildcat? Tebow in the redzone? Is Rex Ryan out of his mind?

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Ready, Set . . . Peyton!

No sooner after Peyton Manning and Jim Irsay concluded their tearful and heartfelt press conference announcing the release of Manning from the Colts organization; did the speculation of where Peyton could and should be headed shift into overdrive. In that instant the greatest free agent in recent NFL history was released into a market where he is without a doubt the hottest commodity. In a league where an elite triggerman is needed to win a Superbowl, all of the usual quarterback-needy suspects emerged. The Washington Redskins, Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, and the Seattle Seahawks come to mind. Some not so usual suspects arose as well like the New York Jets and San Francisco 49ers. While all of these teams will certainly be able to have some good reason to believe that they can and should acquire Peyton; some of these teams should not and others will not. They should drop out of the race right now because if you win and do get Manning it will be far from cheap and your team will not be set in the long run.

I believe the Redskins should use free agency to acquire wide receivers. While they will undoubtedly give Peyton a look the price will be too steep and they will opt to build a team through free agency in an attempt to give weapons to the rookie quarterback they should draft, whether that be Robert Griffin III or Ryan Tannehill. The Redskins tried the quick fix veteran quarterback before but to no avail.

The 49ers had a good run with Alex Smith and he gave them a good enough season to believe that he could do it again. He’s by far a cheaper option and one that works. Furthermore Smith is younger and at the moment more healthy than is Manning. While one could argue that San Francisco is an elite quarterback away from a Superbowl, the 49ers would greatly benefit from a deep threat to go along with their strong running game and tight end.

All of the other teams mentioned should scramble and do whatever it takes to get Manning. There just aren’t enough quarterbacks to go around.

 

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Tuesday Time Machine: The Douchiest Players in Sports.

Today I learned that all of the NFL players who signed their names on the Brady v. the NFL lawsuit were the last thing holding up lockout talks. However when I became aware that a few players were trying to cut their own deal, I couldn’t help but mirror the sentiments of Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.

What Kluwe is referring to, is the fact that Logan Mankins and Vincent Jackson, two players who have been slapped with the franchise tag, want to become unrestricted free agents. Mankins and Jackson also want $10 million in a court settlement that could delay a new CBA. Peyton Manning and Drew Brees hope to be rid of the franchise tag for the rest of their careers.

#douchebags indeed.

Knowing now about this situation, I’d  like us to ride the time machine to have a look at some other douches in sports history.

There Are No Daleks On This Trip. I Promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Randy Moss

If you’re talking about one of the biggest jerks in sports, you could write a book about how big a jerk Randy Moss is. Easily. It’s no mystery that guys with great talent tend to treat others around them like crap, but Randy found a way to take this to levels so high it’s disgusting.

Randy Moss has  done everything a person could do to be considered a jerk. Randy has stopped trying in games because he’s been unhappy. When Randy played with Raiders in 2006 he would give littler to no effort and blame his “lack of concentration” on the fact that the team was losing. “I might want to look forward to moving somewhere else next year to have another start and really feel good about going out here and playing football,” Moss once said to Fox Sports Radio.

He even left a game with time left on the clock in the 2004 NFL season against the Washington Redskins. There was 2 seconds left on the clock, but the point here is that Moss left his teammates high and dry. He later said selfishly, that he didn’t think his team would recover the onside kick.

Moss has also allegedly openly mocked and thrown away the food of local caterers who served the Minnesota Vikings, saying that he “wouldn’t feed that food to his dogs.” The caterers were a local restaurant and they were excited to have a chance to serve the Vikings.

This would be terrible but, Randy Moss is no match for the mentally unstable . . .

Ron Artest

Or should I say Metta World Peace. Ron Artest has mentioned that he was “wild” as a young player and even drank Hennessy cognac at halftime during his time with the Chicago Bulls early in his career.

Ron of course is well known for the brawl in the 2004-05 NBA season in which Ron Artest ran up into the stands and decked a fan. Artest’s take on the issue in retrospect is this, “It wasn’t my fault. … I don’t see anything I could have done different. The only thing I could have done was have God pause time so I could have said, ‘Oh, look, you’re about to run in some stands, so stop.'”

Other things that Ron has done includes applying for a job at Circuit City so he could get an employee discount, allegedly asking then coach Rick Carlisle for time off because he was tired from promoting an R&B album on his record label, destroying a camera at Madison Square Garden, and an altercation with Pat Riley.

Ron may be cocky, but his head will never get bigger than  . . .

John Rocker

Is the biggest jerk in sports history. I’ll stand by that. John Rocker has said so many homophobic, sexist, and racist things that it’s quite literally not funny. Rocker has been noted on multiple occasions to mock asians.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated Rocker was once asked about playing in New York.

He said, “I’d retire first. It’s the most hectic, nerve-racking city. Imagine having to take the 7 train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

Yep. He went there. Though it would be more accurate to say that Rocker lived “there.” There of course being that imaginary point that pisses everyone off.

The point is that while many athletes can certainly be jerks. Many times because of greed, there is always somebody who is worse. And nobody is worse than John Rocker.

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