By now we all know that the New Orleans Saints were behaving nothing close to what their name portrays. The New Orleans players and coaching staff were being the exact opposite of saints. The consequences were great for their actions as the Saints head coach Sean Payton is suspended for a year. Going into this season, New Orleans had no plans to look for another head coach.
Now the Saints have to make the decision to find the best candidate to continue winning games for the upcoming season. Rumor is that Bill Parcells could come out of retirement to take over the coaching reins for a season. Parcells has even said that he would take the position if Sean Payton asked him to do it. The real question is should Parcells consider the job even if asked?
The easy and right answer to this question is yes; Bill Parcells should come in and coach for a year. The situation that Bill Parcells would walk into could not be much better than the New Orleans Saints Situation. Parcells would inherit a team with one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Drew Brees. In addition, New Orleans features one of the best tight ends in the league in Jimmy Graham, along with the all purpose yards record holder Darren Sproles. The defense may suffer major hits when the suspensions for players who participated in the Bounty scandal are handed out. However, I believe the Saints will still have enough offensive firepower to compensate for their defensive woes and still be very competitive.
The best part of the whole situation that Bill Parcells would experience is that Sean Payton is doing everything within his power to prepare everything for the Interim Head Coach before he is suspended. This means that the transition will be much smoother than if a coach was fired and Bill Parcells had to come in, restarting from scratch. I am not saying that all the work will be done for Parcells but the situation is a more comfortable one than majority of other coaching changes.
I have to admit personally I would love to see Bill Parcells come back and coach the New Orleans Saints. The story would be a true “comeback story”, Bill Parcells as a comeback coach and then the New Orleans Saints as a team that is overcoming the odds. The story would be one that people would talk about for years to come if the New Orleans Saints can manage to win the Super Bowl. Matter of fact, I can already imagine the movie they would make with Al Pacino starring as Parcells.
Maybe that last part is a bit much but if the events mentioned above do take place; I am confident I would not be far off from the reality of it all. The point is I believe that Parcells has at least one more run left in him. Parcells may not need to add to his legacy but since the opportunity has a chance to arise, Parcells would not have a better opportunity to accomplish that feat.
We will again have to play the waiting game to see how everything plays out. Fortunately for everyone involved and the fans the resolution will not drag out as long as the Peyton Manning situation. We only have to wait a few weeks or maybe even a few days to know the outcome. The waiting game has begun
The NFL is officially upon us and we have already seen a big move be made by the New York Jets deciding to keep Santonio Holmes. The Jets decided to keep Holmes, even though he was due $15.25 million dollars in guaranteed money. Holmes signed a 45 million dollar contract last year and I was not sure the New York Jets would keep Santonio Holmes this season after putting up sub-par numbers last season. Santonio Holmes only caught 51 balls for 654 yards and 8 touchdowns. Santonio Holmes is nowhere near an elite NFL wide receiver but he is getting paid like one.
Let us put things in perspective and look at elite reciever Larry Fitzgerald, who makes 15 million a year. Larry Fitzgerald had 1411 receiving yards and 8 touchdowns last season. Santonio Holmes is not even in the same league as Fitzgerald talent wise yet the Jets seem to want to over pay for his services. In addition, Santonio Holmes has caused quite a bit of conflict in the New York Jets locker room. Not only is Holmes being over paid but he is also a disruption on the team. I do not get the logic of the New York Jets leadership by keeping Santonio Holmes. If I was in a similar situation I would trade Holmes for some draft picks and find some receivers in the NFL draft. Moreover, I would spend over 50% less what the New York Jets are paying Santonio Holmes for putting up some very average wide reciever numbers.
While the New York Jets were busy making mistakes in keep players, the Indianapolis Colts are about to make an even bigger mistake in releasing one. The Indianapolis Colts are setting themselves up to release Peyton Manning. We may not know what the status of Peyton Manning’s health is at this point but if Manning is any form healthy I would not release him. Peyton Manning is an elite quarterback and even if he is only 75% healthy, Manning is better than probably 50% of the quarterbacks in the NFL. I can name quite a few teams who would dump their current quarterback for Peyton Manning in a heartbeat. These teams would not even blink an eye as they sent their current quarterback packing to make room for their new NFL franchise savior, Peyton Manning.
In addition, Peyton Manning would get a huge payday to go to his new team. Manning would not have to worry about proving himself to receive what he is worth. Manning has done enough to prove that he is worth the risk. I am already envisioning a Drew Brees situation all over again where the Colts let Peyton Manning go and Manning brings another franchise back to relevance. Peyton Manning might even win another Super Bowl with the right team and the Colts will still be rebuilding. This will be similar to the San Diego Chargers situation a few years ago when they decided to release Drew Brees after the team drafted Philip Rivers. Drew Brees signed with the New Orleans Saints and the rest is history. Since that decision, how many Super Bowls have the Chargers won? Recently, the San Diego Chargers cannot even make the playoffs. However, each year the New Orleans Saints, with the former San Diego Chargers quarterback, are competing for a Super Bowl every year.
Peyton Manning, if healthy, could legitimately be the franchise quarterback for another team for three to four years. Give a good NFL team a player that can boost their franchise to the next level for three to four years and they will be happy on two levels. First, the NFL franchise can compete in the playoffs for that time every year and have a chance at making the Super Bowl. Second, the move would buy the NFL franchise time to draft and build for the future. This would be especially true at the quarterback position for that NFL team because the quarterback the team decides to draft can sit and learn behind Peyton Manning. A good NFL prospect that can learn behind an Elite NFL quarterback like Peyton Manning will automatically increase their potential development ceiling. Aaron Rodgers learned behind Brett Favre for a time and now Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. If a team can do something similar with Manning being a mentor to a younger quarterback, the sky is the limit.
In a perfect world, Peyton Manning would stay inIndianapolisand Santonio Holmes would have been released as well. However, we know that we do not live in a perfect world and the both situations will end up in the opposite of those outcomes. The jet that is Santonio Holmes has already landed to complete one half of this equation. Peyton Manning airlines is still circling deciding where to land. Where will the final destination of Peyton Manning be? No one knows but it is definitely a story worth watching to see how it all plays out. As the drama ensues the immortal words of Terrell Owens comes to mind “ Get your popcorn ready!”
This past weekend I made the mistake in my judgment of some NFL teams playing. I know that to make it to the NFL Super Bowl game and win the game, a team has to have heart. The team has to be able to overcome adversity and push through to make the clutch plays needed to win games. A team has to be able to overcome the odds and come out on top.
Due to my error in trying to find the teams with heart, I went 0-4 in all of my predictions this past weekend. I know that I cannot be perfect in my predictions but to get all of them wrong was very unusual. Then I realized I was putting too much confidence in teams that I thought would dig down deep inside to claim the victory in this past weekend’s playoff games.
The first game I will talk about is the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots. I thought that the Denver Broncos would be able to run the ball on the Patriots last ranked NFL defense. I believed that the Denver Broncos could limit the amount of time Tom Brady was on the field. I even considered that the Denver Broncos might be able to slow down the New England Patriots passing game. Everything was in place for some Tebow Time revenge. Then it all fell apart as Tom Brady dismantled the Denver Broncos defense like a bad Lego imitation. The Denver Broncos who played inspired football most of the season, led by Tim Tebow, delivered a truly lackluster performance this weekend. Tom Brady passed for 363 yards and 6 touchdown passes, tying an NFL playoff record. Rob Gronkowski looked unstoppable as he caught 10 passes for 145 yard and three touchdowns. The game resembled what would take place if a top ten ranked college team took on a high school team. The Denver Broncos tried to put up a fight but were clearly outmatched. At one point the game was so out of hand Tom Brady even took over punting duties. The game ended with the New England Patriots winning 45-10 over the Denver Broncos.
The other game between two AFC teams was a closer a game as expected. The Baltimore Ravens and the Houston Texans took the field to battle it out. I considered that the Texans might be able to out play the Ravens. I figured Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels and a great Texans Defense would be enough to take down Ray Lewis and company. However, I did not anticipate that the rookie T.J. Yates would not be able to muster even one touchdown against a Ravens defensive unit comprised of older veterans past their prime. I should have known that Ray Lewis would inspire the Ravens defensive unit to play some of their best ball of their careers.The Ravens gave up 132 yards on the ground to Arian Foster but the passing game of the Houston Texans was limited to 184 yards. Ed Reed and Ladarius Webb both grabbed interceptions in the 4th Quarter to dash all hope of a Texans comeback. On the other side of the field, Joe Flacco managed to throw two touchdowns and those two touchdowns plus two field goals sealed the fate of the Houston Texans with a score of 20-13 in favor of the Baltimore Ravens.
Switching to the NFC action, the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants met on Lambeau Field. The Green Bay Packers came into the game with a record of 15-1 during the regular season. Aaron Rodgers had one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in NFL history. The Green Bay Packers had everything in place to make it to another Super Bowl. The only problem was that the New York Giants were in the way, looking to deny the Green Bay Packers a chance at a repeat. The Giants accomplished their goal through making all the plays on offense and playing great defense. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers looked completely out of sync. Aaron Rodgers who had been averaging over 350 yards a game was reduced to less than 300 yards. The Giants defense sacked Aaron Rodgers 4 times and intercepted him once. On the other hand, Eli Manning had one of the best games of his season throwing for 330 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The New York Giants outplayed the Green Bay Packers in every facet of the game. The final score ended up being 37-20 in favor of the New York Giants.
The last game and the most exciting game of the weekend was the New Orleans Saints versus the San Francisco 49ers. I figured that the San Francisco 49ers defense would come to play and be able to hold the Saints to a lower scoring affair than normal. I believed that the 49ers would be able to hold the Saints for a few quarters but New Orleans would eventually pull away from the San Francisco scoring wise. I had no idea that the San Francisco 49ers would unleash their secret weapon, Alex Smith. All season long we never saw the 49ers allow Alex Smith the open up the passing game like this past weekend. Smith proved that he can make all the throws this weekend throwing for 299 passing yards and three touchdowns. Alex Smith also ran for one touchdown on the day. We knew that Drew Brees would come out throwing the ball and he did not disappoint either throwing for 462 yards and 4 touchdowns for the New Orleans Saints. The difference in the game was the amount of turnovers. The Saints had a total of 5 turnovers, including 2 interceptions by Drew Brees. The San Francisco 49ers played virtually mistake free football with only one turnover and Alex Smith threw no interceptions. The New Orleans Saints were still almost able to win the game but a last second touchdown from Alex Smith to Vernon Davis sealed the victory with a final score of 36-32 in favor of the 49ers.
We now have two NFL Division Championship games this weekend and the predictions and analysis will come later in the week. However, I am truly excited to see both games. The Baltimore Ravens versus the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers versus the New York Giants should both provide us great football action. I only have one thing to say to all my readers, “Are you ready for some Division Championship football?”
The second week of the NFL playoffs are upon us and football mania continues. This means, yep you have guessed it, more projections for this weekend. I went three of four last week on projections for the playoffs. Let’s see how I do this weekend.
The first game of the weekend is the New Orleans Saints versus theSan Francisco49ers. I love this matchup actually because the 49ers defense has been one of the best all year long. On the flip side, the New Orleans Saints have one of the best, if not the best, offense in football. I am not expecting a blowout in this game, like I have, in the last few New Orleans Saints game. However, I do believe that the New Orleans Saints will win. Drew Brees is just playing on a completely different level than any other quarterback in the league right now. Brees is picking teams apart week in and week out and this week will be no different. Drew Brees will expose the holes in the 49ers defense and show why he holds the record for most passing yards in a season. The final score will be 38-24 in favor of the New Orleans Saints.
The second game on Saturday will feature none other than the Tebow Train. The Denver Broncos land in Foxboro Stadium to take on the New England Patriots. Common sense tells anyone to pick the Patriots over the Denver Broncos. What to expect from Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos each week just defies common sense altogether. Some weeks Tim Tebow does the impossible, other weeks the Broncos look like they are not even an NFL team. I am going to defy logic this week and pick the Broncos to win. I believe that the Tebow Time will happen and Tom Brady will not be able to explain it in the press conference after. Bill Belichick will be even at a greater loss for words. The final score will be 31-24 with the Denver Broncos advancing for another week.
The first game on Sunday will be the Baltimore Ravens versus the Houston Texans. This should be the closest game of the weekend. We have two great defenses that will clash on the football field, in Houston and Baltimore. The Ravens defense is made up of older veterans, while the Texans defense is much younger but still very tough. The battle of experience versus youth has always been one of the most exciting to watch.
In addition, we have two of the best running backs in football on both teams. The Baltimore Ravens feature Ray Rice who is a phenomenal talent running and catching the ball. The Houston Texans have Arian Foster who after being injured at the beginning of the season has returned to his former dominance in the running game. I do not expect a significant amount of passing yards in this game as the two ground games battle it out for supremacy. I believe the “X” factor will be the play of Joe Flacco though and if Flacco can play mistake free football. Flacco has had some good weeks but on other weeks he has some dismal performances at the quarterback position. Joe Flacco will not have a good game on Sunday due to the pass rush of the Texans defense. Demeco Ryans, Brian Cushing, and company will bring the pressure on Flacco and cause some turnovers. The Ravens will lose to the Texans in a defensive battle to the score of 27-14
The last game of the weekend will be New York Giants versus Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. I love that the New York Giants are playing some inspired football right now. The Giants are one of the hottest teams in the league and are overcoming all of the odds. However, the Green Bay Packers are the NFL elite this season. Aaron Rodgers may have not passed for as many yards as Drew Brees but Rodgers played mistake free football all season throwing 45 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions. I am still not sure how the Green Bay Packers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs after watching them all season long. That being said, I believe the Green Bay Packers will play their best football this weekend and outscore the New York Giants. Victor Cruz will have a great game and make all the catches to make the Sportscenter highlights. Unfortunately, highlights do not always mean you win the game. The Green Bay Packers will end up with more points in the end as Aaron Rodgers throws to multiple receivers and runs one touchdown in himself. Rodgers will be doing his famous Championship Belt end zone celebration as the Packers beat the Giants 45-35.
This NFL season is drawing closer to the time when we will determine who is the best team in the World. The battles are becoming more intense in each week. It is time for teams to dig down deep and play their best football. This is the time that NFL teams have to leave everything on the field or be sent home packing. Let the elimination continue and the champions rise to the top.
The NFL regular season has finally ended and the games are set. The best of the best are going to come together next weekend to start down the playoff road to declare a champion. However, before we get ahead of ourselves let us remember this last week of the NFL for the ups and downs, the good and the bad.
We can start with some of the bad. Stevie Johnson of the Buffalo Bills has done it again and not in a good way. Stevie Johnson after being penalized the first time for writing, “Why so serious?” under his jersey and displaying it after a touchdown earlier in the year, decided Sunday was a good day to revisit the land of NFL penalties. Johnson decided to pull a similar stunt and write “Happy New Year!” for all to see under his jersey and again display it after catching a touchdown. The shocking result of the stunt (not really) was a penalty and a benching by his coach. Johnson should have learned from the last time and started the New Year off right.
The axe came down hard on the under performing teams this year. Raheem Morris and Steve Spagnuolo were let go from their perspective teams, leaving the St Louis Rams and Tampa Bay Buccaneers without a coach. The Chicago Bears fired GM Jerry Angelo, sending some shockwaves throughout their organization. After a full season of hearing how Bill Polian was going to be the one to draft Andrew Luck, Polian was fired from the Indianapolis Colts. The Bill Polian came as the biggest shock because no one could have seen the firing of the Indianapolis Colts Vice President. I have a feeling more heads might roll from the Indianapolis Colts organization as Jim Irsay, stated “Jim Caldwell’s job is still under evaluation.” Whatever Irsay decides to do I am sure that it will not be long until we find out if any more changes will be made by the Colts and othr NFL teams as well.
On to some good news, the team that could very well smash the Green Bay Packers dream from making it to the Super Bowl is none other than the New Orleans Saints. This weekend when I watched the New Orleans Saints play, the realization came that the Saints could very well beat the Green Bay Packers. Drew Brees played an amazing game and is a master at distributing the ball. Darren Sproles gives the New Orleans Saints a mismatch no matter where he lines up. In addition, Jimmy Graham is also a mismatch at the tight end position and one of the best in the league.
On offense, the New Orleans Saints are just as unstoppable as the Green Bay Packers, and proved it by breaking multiple records this year. Drew Brees passed for the most yards in NFL history with 5,476 total passing yards, surpassing the previous total of 5,084 passing yards held by Dan Marino. In addition, the New Orleans Saints broke the NFL team completion percentage record. The New Orleans Saints ended with a team completion percentage of 71.3 and exceeded the previous record of 70.7 NFL team completion percentage held by the 1982 Cincinnati Bengals. Moreover, the New Orleans Saints broke the net passing yards record with a total of 5,347 yards. The previous record of 5,232 passing yards was held by the 2000 St. Louis Rams.
Jimmy Graham broke the previous record for the most receiving yards for a tight end in NFL history formerly held by Kellen Winslow but ultimately ended up second to Rob Gronkowski with 1,310 total receiving yards. Darren Sproles broke the record for the most all purpose yards in NFL history with 2,969 yards in one season. Derrick Mason was the previous record holder with a total of 2,690 total all-purpose yards. Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers may have the better regular season record but no team has looked more impressive than the New Orleans Saints the last few weeks.
The reason that we love the NFL, besides the great games is because each week there is always something happening that is good, bad, and downright ugly. At this point, we will enjoy the NFL playoffs that will undoubtedly give us some of the most exciting football action all year. On the other hand though, for those teams who are sitting home, we are sure to see some more major changes. The shake-ups have officially begun.
Week 16 is now over and done with. Christmas has bought along some great accomplishments as the NFL season winds down. Some players were jumping for joy like Jerome Simpson of the Bengals who did his best Dominique Dawes impression by doing a complete forward flip over a defender that had plans to keep him out of the end zone. Other players like Chad Ochocinco and Donovan McNabb are wishing for yester year when they were relevant.
The greatest accomplishment of the weekend was clearly Drew Brees breaking the passing yards record previously held by Dan Marino. What a historic moment to break record that stood for 27 years. Dan Marino previously had thrown for 5,084 passing yards in a season and as of today Drew Brees has thrown for 5,087 passing yards. A number of experts have already said that the game has changed and the rules now favor quarterbacks. The same experts complain that receivers do not have to worry about getting hit when catching a pass in the middle of the field because of the defensive rule changes. With more catches being made in each game, the passing yards have increased this year.
I do believe the game has changed a significant amount but still have to give credit where credit is due. Drew Brees is one of the most prolific passers in the NFL today and will go down being one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history. I do not believe that this record could have been broken by a more deserving person that Drew Brees. Brees is an inspiring story from start to finish. Drew Brees has overcome people telling him he could never make it in the NFL. In addition, Brees had to go through surgery that could have been career ending and instead has never stopped showing all the critics he is better than ever. Moreover, Drew Brees was traded by San Diego Chargers to New Orleans Saints as San Diego drafted and put their hopes in Philip Rivers. Drew Brees made a home in New Orleans and led the Saints to a Super Bowl win. Brees gave New Orleans hope after Hurricane Katrina bought great devastaion througout the whole city. Now Drew Brees has broken one of the longest NFL records of all time and Brees still has years left to keep adding to his legacy. Any true football fan can be proud of not only that Drew Brees broke the record but also of the person that Drew Brees is.
Drew Brees was not the only person breaking record for passing yards though Cam Newton accomplished the goal for the rookie passing record as well. Newton has currently passed for 3893 passing yards this season and looks to extend the record with one more game to play. Peyton Manning previously held the record with 3,379 passing yards.In addition, Cam Newton currently holds the record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback at 14 touchdowns. To say that Cam Newton has exceeded all expectations for his rookie season would be an understatement.Cam Newton reminds me of Randall Cunningham with all of his passing ability and dazzling runs. We have definitely seen the future of mobile quarterbacks with Cam Newton. Everything definitely happens for a reason because if Andrew Luck had come out last year, Luck would undoubtedly be the one wearing the Carolina Panthers uniform. If Luck had been drafted by the Panthers, Cam Newton may have been drafted by a team that could not utilize his talents to the fullest of his abilities. We would have then missed out on what turned out to be one fo the best rookie seasons for a NFL quarterback in years. Fortunately for us, Andrew Luck stayed in school and the Carolina Panthers have found their quarterback of the future.
This year has definitely given new meaning to the phrase “Records were meant to be broken!” as we have seen players from different positions have some truly great years. In addition to Drew Brees and Cam Newton; Aldon Smith, Rob Gronkowski, and Demarco Murray have all had seasons that we will all remember. I am thankful we did not have to miss such incredible NFL action because of the lockout. Thank you for the owners and player for getting the deal worked out.
The playoffs are right around the corner and for the first time in a few years I am expecting some surprise performances and want to see some dark horse teams rise to the top. I would not mind seeing Green Bay, New Orleans, Pittsburgh or New England win the Super Bowl again. However, I would rather see a team like the Detroit Lions or San Francisco 49ers go on a playoff run and win the whole thing. The time for the big games and big performances is now
The day has finally arrived! The NFL season is here and it starts off with a bang tonight. Not a great deal of matchups better to start the season than Green Bay versus New Orleans. Rodgers versus Brees is one of the NFL battles of elite quarterbacks every fan loves to see. The Super Bowl Champion from two years ago is playing the current Super Bowl champion. Talk about some Prime Time Football, this game is going to be one of the best of the year.
Green Bay may have their lead rusher in Ryan Grant back in the lineup but I expect Aaron Rodgers will throw early and often. Similarly, New Orleans may have Mark Ingram now in the backfield, but I am sure Drew Brees will air it out. The game should be the type of “Air Up There” performances we have come to expect from both quarterbacks. The game will be determined by which defense plays better and is able to disrupt the opposing quarterback’s rhythm. Brees and Rodgers are too good to be shut down completely any opponent. However, a good defense can lessen the damage either signal caller can cause.
Neither defense is a slouch by any means. Both the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers Defenses are among the league’s best defenses. Both teams were ranked in the top five of total defense last season. The trend should continue this season as both defensive squads have most of their key pieces returning. The Packers defense was able to cause more overall turnovers than the Saints defense but the Saints defense held opponents to less total yards. Charles Woodson and Nick Collins will be defending the Green Bay Packers territory. Jabrari Greer and Roman Harper will be on the opposite side of the field shutting down passing windows for the Saints opponents. In addition, watching Jonathan Vilma causing havoc in the middle of the field is a wonderful experience. Similarly, watching Clay Matthews, Fabio hair flying, stopping opposing runners is equally beautiful to watch.
The excitement has to be rising for football fans all over just thinking about this game. In the famous words of the unemployed show stopper named Terrell Owens would say, “I hope you have your popcorn ready!” For myself I got my popcorn, my favorite cold beverage, my NFL jersey and made sure my shouting voice is ready.
Ultimately, I believe the Packers will come out on top. I just cannot bet against a Super Bowl champion that received all of their primary offensive weapons back this season. Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant are both healthy once again, which means the Packer offense will be even more potent. I hate to think what that means for opposing defenses. While I think the game will be close, the Packers will come out with the victory. I predict Green Bay Packers over the New Orleans Saints by the score of 38-28. The talent level of the Packers is just too much for the Saints to deal with. On the other hand fantasy owners should be elated at the performances of both offenses. The game will be one for the ages and I intend to enjoy every minute of it.