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
Let’s talk about ethics today. In a time when Disney has decided that using their only African-American princess character to sell watermelon candy, which is more than questionable ethical action, the current major NFL news tops this easily. I really though my ears were deceiving me when the announcement was made of what kind of ethics some people have in the NFL. I had to do a double-take when I heard a NFL team had actually installed a bounty program as a normal every day business practice.
I have watched enough movies and television programs to know how bounty hunting works. I know it is a job and a dangerous one at that. The person who has a bounty on them is a fugitive from justice and the person hunting them is trying to bring them back to justice. If the bounty hunter succeeds then they will get a sizeable paycheck for helping the government for capturing the fugitive.
The New Orleans Saints are neither a government and no matter the moniker their name carries, the Saints are not hunting down fugitives at any time. Just then how do the New Orleans Saints justify having a bounty program in place. The players on the New Orleans Saints this past year implemented an illegal bounty program which was in essence a hit list. If you are familiar with a hit list, it is more of what an assassin or a mob hit man has. This is where someone is paid a fee to rough someone up or even worse kill a person.
The New Orleans Saints defensive players were paid extra money to injure certain players on the opposing team. The Saints defensive players were told to knock key players out of the game. The proof this type of program has been going on for a while, such a command was given to the New Orleans Saints defensive players concerning Brett Favre when he was playing. The amazing thing is the defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints Gregg Williams knew all about the program and supported it.
I can understand wanting to lay a good hit on someone if you are defensive player, but your coach sending the message to actually do your best to injure someone is just mind boggling. Maybe Gregg Williams has watched too many Godfather movies. Did Gregg Williams really think he was a Don in a mafia organization ordering players to perform “a hit” (in a completely different sense of the word than a normal football hit) on unsuspecting players?
Gregg Williams actually involved 27 of the players on the New Orleans Saints roster in his bounty scheme. This number of players is for all intensive purposes half of the New Orleans Saints roster. While it would be good to think that Gregg Williams acted alone in implementing this system, there is a high probability some of the other coaching staff knew what was going on. Before it is all over I am sure we will see some additional people suffer some heavy consequences.
I realize that football may be a violent game and injuries are sure to happen. An injury should be an accident though and not because another player is receiving a special bonus for intentionally causing harm to a person. I know that professional football or professional sports for that matter is a business where it pays to be the best. However, at the heart of it all, we have to decide where to draw the line. In the end if we take things too far is it truly worth it? Ultimately we have to see that football is still just a game.
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.
Well I was going to write on the College National Championship Football game today, that was played between LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide last night. Unfortunately, the game was extremely boring as LSU decided they were still on a holiday and never got out of bed. Alabama made LSU look like a NCAA Division II team had actually taken the field as the Tigers never scored. With a final score of 21-0, not much more to say about the game other than if Les Miles is the “Mad Hatter”, Nick Saban is the “Mad Genius.” Saban is the only coach since the inception of the BCS to win three National Championship titles. All indications point to Nick Saban being far from done with his winning ways. We know Saban will win again, we just do not know how long until he is hoisting the Championship trophy up again.
In NFL Football Playoff news, an update to my predictions from last week, I did pretty well. I correctly predictied the winners of three out of four games on the NFL Playoff Wild Card Weekend. In addition, two of my predicted scores were almost the exact scores of the game. The game between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints ended up being a final score of 45-28 in favor of the Saints. I had predicted that the score would be 42-28 in favor of the Saints. The score between the Houston Texans and the Cincinnati Bengals was 31-10 in favor of the Texans. I had predicted that score to be 31-14 in favor of the Texans. In addition, I predicted that the New York Giants would win over the Atlanta Falcons but thought the score would be much closer than the 24-2 final score in favor of the Giants. I truly had no idea the Falcons would not show up to play at all. The Falcons could not even convert a 4th and inches at all the whole game and they had multiple chances.
The only game that I completely missed on was the Denver Broncos and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was not the only one that was completely wrong about this game. The majority of experts and analysts also picked the Pittsburgh Steelers to win. After three bad weeks to end the season, my faith in “Tebow Time” had definitely diminished. I did not believe that Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos could pull of a victory to continue their dream season.
However, I was very wrong and the Denver Broncos accomplished what seemed to be the impossible. The Denver Broncos played their best game of the season, led by spectacular play of Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow threw for 316 passing yards and 2 touchdowns. Tim Tebow rushed for another touchdown on the ground. The pass of the night was in overtime when after running on first down all game, the Denver Broncos trusted in Tim Tebow’s arm and threw on first down. Tim Tebow completed an 80 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas for the game-winning score. Thomas was Tim Tebow’s favorite target during the game, totaling 204 receiving yards for the game. The final score of the game ended up being 29-23 in favor of the Denver Broncos. The Tim Tebow Train survives but arrives in Foxboro Stadium this week. The playoff rematch should be interesting as we see if Tebow Time can finally overcome the Brady Factor.
Like every other NFL fan I have enjoyed this NFL season and the NFL playoffs have not disappointed me either. I would have not wanted to miss all the drama, big plays, and great games of this NFL. I am glad that we still have some football action coming up this weekend. I have to say my thank you again to the NFL owners and NFL players for reaching an agreement. Thank you for allowing us to have a football season this year because it has been one of the best.
The first game that we will see this weekend will be between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Houston Texans. I am impressed by Andy Dalton, AJ Green, and the Bengals defense. However, I am more impressed by the Houston Texans number one ranked defense, Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and Andre Johnson. I do not believe the Bengals have enough firepower to overcome the Texans defense and keep up scoring wise with the Texans. I will predict that the Houston Texans win this game 31-14.
The second game that will be played on Saturday will be between Detroit Lions and the New Orleans Saints. If the Detroit Lions were playing some other NFC team, excluding the Green Bay Packers, I would say they have a chance to win the game. Unfortunately, the Lions have drawn the short straw and have to play the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees and company will comfortably and easily outscore the Detroit Lions. The Lions are a good team with a nice high-flying act featuring none other than Calvin Johnson. The problem is the Lions high-flying act pales in comparison to the Drew Brees air show. The Saints silence the Lions roar with a final score of 42-28
On to Sunday’s games and the first game that we will see on Sunday will be the Atlanta Falcons versus the New York Giants. This will be the closest game of the whole weekend. We have two teams that play like an elite NFL team on some days and look dismal on others. This means that which ever team between the Falcons and the Giants brings their “A” game on Sunday, will win the game. The New York Giants have been playing better as of late and so the edge in the game goes to them. That does not mean that we immediately count Atlanta out of the running. The Falcons have an “X” factor in a running back named Michael Turner. If Michael Turner gets going and the Atlanta Falcons can control the tempo of the game, we could see the Falcons advancing to the next week instead of the Giants. In the end, I believe that intangibles of Eli Manning and his ability to play at times like his big brother Peyton Manning, will be the difference. The Giants will win the battle in the 4th quarter with a final score of 28-24
The last game will be one of the most interesting. Interesting because we have no idea what will really happen. The Denver Broncos take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the last game of the weekend. I am not sure which Broncos we will see though. I want to see the 4th quarter come-back, winning Broncos come out and play their hearts out, giving them chance to win the game. I fear we may see the not so productive Broncos and the team will get blown out. No matter which Denver Broncos team shows up, the result should be the same. The Pittsburgh Steelers will come out with the win. The Steelers defense is too good to allow Tim Tebow and company to work any “Tebow Time” magic in the 4th quarter. Even with Big Ben not playing at full strength and Rashard MendenHall out for the playoffs, The Pittsburgh Steelers will score enough points to win. The final score of this game will be 21-7 in the favor of Pittsburgh.
There you have it, a complete preview of the first weekend of NFL playoff football. The regular season may be over but now the real battle starts as NFL teams try to win each week. No mistakes are allowed, any team that loses is done. To the victor goes the spoils and a chance to play another day. Time for each NFL playoff team to prove they belong in the playoffs and the pretenders to be eliminated. Now is the time for teams to go after it all or be sent home to watch television. The stakes are high and the winner will be greatly rewarded.
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.