Wednesday was a tough day for veterans in the NFL as A.J. Hawk, Jacoby Jones, and Reggie Bush were both released by their high profiled teams.
Linebacker, A.J. Hawk, is the leading tackler in Green Bay history with 1,118 in nine seasons. After the season was over he had surgery to remove bone spurs from his ankle.
“A.J. is a consummate Packer and we are grateful for all that he has given and how he represented the organization over the past nine seasons,” “He was a durable and consistent contributor to our success, but more importantly, he is a great person and teammate. The Packers are grateful for all that he has done on the field and in the community. We wish A.J., his wife Laura, and the rest of their family all the best.” Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson said.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported via Twitter reported that Reggie Bush, Lions running back, was shown the door after two seasons. This will save the team over $3 million in 2015. In the 2014-2015 season he only played in eleven games. Detroit has two stud backs, however. Joique Bell and Theo Riddick have the capabilities of being a great combo back duo.
I would think that both players will be highly sought after as second tier players who are still capable of being great.
Photo by: Joe Robbins / Getty Images North America
The 2015 NFL Wild Card round is will begin this weekend and there will be four great contests. All of the “few notes” are from ESPN Stats and Information.
Arizona vs. Carolina
I would not want to face the Panthers in the post season. This team is smoking hot. They’re riding a four game win streak and the defense is firing on all cylinders. They beat Atlanta 34-3 last week to get into the playoffs. Just because they are 7-8-1 DO NOT take this team lightly. Since Cam Newton’s wreck they have seemed to be invincible.
For the banged up Cards, they must be feeling like they are the most underrated team remaining. Injuries have mounted at nearly every skill position, but they have been able to implement the next man up philosophy. Ryan Lindley is a third string quarterback who will have to lead this team to possibly four victories. Is it possible?
Over the last 10 seasons, the Panthers are the 5th team to make the playoffs with a record of .500 or worse…each of the previous 3 teams went on to win in the Wild Card round.
Teams that finished .500 or worse in the regular season have won 5 of their last 6 Wild Card games. No team that finished .500 or worse has made it past the Divisional Playoffs, however.
From Elias: If Ryan Lindleystarts for the Cardinals, he will be the 7th QB since the 1970 merger to start a playoff game after having 1-or-fewer regular-season wins as a starter. Those QBs are a combined 2-4 and haven’t won since Gifford Nielsen won in 1979 for the Oilers.
I believe that this game will not be close. Bruce Arians has done a phenomenal job at motivating his team and preparing his troops for the next battle. However, Carolina is clicking and it will be tough for Arizona to stay in it.
Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh
This is the only divisional contest this weekend and it is fueled by hatred and that alone. The squads split the regular season contests by both winning on their home turf. Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 17-14.
Baltimore clinched the final playoff spot by defeating the Browns in there finale 20-10. They have a balanced offense that is being fueled by the strong running of Justin Forsett. He shockingly ran for over 1200 yards.
It’s still no secret that I have had it in for the Steelers all season. The Philadelphia 76ers have been more consistent than the Steelers. Remember this is the same team that lost to both the Bucs and Jets. They have won four games straight so they will be looking to keep their spark lit. The biggest question mark for Pitt is the health of arguably the best running back in the NFL, Le’Veon Bell. He has a right knee injury and he did not practice on Thursday.
Bell said, “I feel really good. I didn’t expect to be feeling this well this early. But I am, so I’m just going to take it day by day and see where it goes.”
Pittsburgh leads the all-time series 17-14
The Steelers were an NFL-best 6-1 against teams that finished over .500 this season.
The Ravens are 6-1 in the Wild Card Playoffs in team history, the best record in the NFL among the 29 teams to play at least 4 Wild Card games.
Well if I have not been that excited the Steelers through the regular season, do you really think I pick them now. Baltimore wins by a field goal.
Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis
I have no idea what to expect in this contest. Both teams have the ability to put up points, but they can also stink up the joint. On paper we can expect a high scoring game, but if it is low scoring I would not be surprised.
The only way Cincinnati can win is if AJ Green plays. He did not practice on Friday due to the NFL concussion protocol. Can Andy Dalton lead this team to victory win it counts? Will the Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard run for at least 150 to take some pressure off of Dalton? There are way too many questions and I have no answers.
I have the same doubts about Indy. They can’t run the ball. The defense is more off pitch than Idina Menzel singing at a New Year’s Eve performance. Click here for the performance.
Marvin Lewis has lost his 1st 5 postseason games as head coach. Lewis has won 100 games in the regular season and joins Jim Mora as the only coaches with at least 100 wins and 0 postseason wins in NFL history.
The Colts defense allowed just 7 pass TD and a 27.1 Total QBR at home this season, both best in the NFL.
The Bengals had 135 yards of offense and went 1-of-13 on 3rd down in the Week 7 shutout loss to the Colts. It was the Bengals worst offensive performance since getting shutout in Week 17 against the Jets in 2009, when the starters didn’t play the full game.
Andrew Luck has thrown 8 interceptions in 3 career playoff games. Luck is the 1st QB to throw 8+ interceptions in his 1st 3 playoff games since Dan Fouts (1979-80 seasons).
By default I have to give the win to the Colts.
Detroit vs. Dallas
This will be the best matchup over the course of the weekend. This will be a battle of the lines. Can the Cowboys o-line stop the Detroit d-line? The Lions have been the best team against the run this season only allowing 69 yards per outing.
Matthew Stafford will have to have a perfect game if he wants to beat the ‘Boys. I’m sure Joique Bell and Reggie Bush will some pressure off of Stafford, but he cannot have another playoff letdown.
Dallas very well may be the best team in the league. They can pass, run, and defend. Murray and Romo have both made claims for the MVP award. They finished 6-1 to polish a very good regular season.
If history tells us anything, the Cowboys should go ahead and pack their bags for Green Bay. Matthew Staffordis 0-16 in road games against teams that finished the season with a winning record, the 3rd-most losses without a win in such games for any quarterback since the 1970 merger.
The Lions allowed an NFL-low 3.3 yards per rush on first down during the regular season. Only three teams have allowed fewer yards per rush on first down in a season in the last five years.
With Nick Fairleyreturning to practice, the Lions run defense could get another boost after Ndamukong Suh’s suspension was overturned earlier in the week. The Lions allowed 2.48 yards per rush against 86 carries with that duo on the field together this season. Those numbers dropped off significantly when 1, or both were out of the game.
Normally, I give a huge spill about what’s huge storylines, but this week there is only one storyline. It’s either win or go home.
If you had asked me a few weeks if these two teams would make the playoffs I would have laughed in your face. Jeremy Hill seems to be a great compliment to Gio Bernard. With both in the backfield Andy Dalton should have more time to throw the rock. It is no secret that I have been a little mean to the Steeler Nation. I still don’t believe them however to go deep into the playoffs.
There will be a huge game on the “Frozen Tundra” known as Lambeau Field. Green Bay has been unstoppable at home this season. They are 7-0 and averaging 41.1 points per game. Detroit is hot on offense. The question is will the front line be able to put some kind of pressure on Rodgers.
Both the Falcons and Panthers deserve a playoff spot by the way they have both ended the season. Both teams are on hot and they have apparently saved both of their head coach’s jobs. I have no problem with a team under .500 making the playoffs as long as they have some type of positive momentum ending the regular season.
Teams are still jockeying for the final AFC Wildcard spot. San Diego has the opportunity to serve out for the position. They will travel to Kansas City for a chance to do that. Baltimore, Houston, Kansas City are all still alive.
Earlier this week he was suspended by the Browns for the regular season finale against the Ravens.
Josh Gordon's one-game suspension today could cost him millions. By being suspended for last game of season,… http://t.co/hMtBOP6iWG
There is a big bear in the room and we need to address it. I like Jay Cutler there I said it. (See week 11 post and week 8) Should he have been the highest paid offensive player in the league? No, but who else could Chicago have gotten to be their starter. This has been a let down season for Cutler, but this is not completely his fault. I blame coaching and defense. When the defense allows so many points, the quarterback must take more risks to catch back up. Matt Forte is one of the best backs in the league, why is he not touching the ball? It’s a shame Jay played better under Lovie Smith, a defensive minded coach, than Marc Trestman. The entire front office should be cleared out.
Jimmy Clausen will get the start this Sunday.
Crazy Stat of Day: Jay Cutler is making $22.5 million this year, more than Wilson, Luck, Rodgers, Newton and Sanchez COMBINED.
The Marcus Mariota Bowl will be on Thursday, as the Titans will face the Jags. Is that a reason to watch? Uh no.
Really, who wants to win the NFC South?
Can RG3 save his Washington roster spot?
Will DeMarco Murray play just days after having hand surgery?
Is Phillip Rivers healthy enough to lead his team to a possible playoff spot?
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Odell Beckham Jr.
I don’t understand the argument against JJ Watt winning the MVP. The Texans would still be a contender for the number one pick without Watt. According to ESPN Watt has 16.5 sacks, 64 combined tackles, 5 fumble recoveries, and 5 total touchdowns. I think of JJ the way I think of a pitcher in baseball A pitcher has a specialty but they can affect the scoreboard and momentum and the same applies to Watt. Clayton Kershaw (in the regular season) = JJ Watt.
The former Oakland and Tampa Bay coach announced Monday night that he signed an extension to remain in the Monday Night Football booth through 2021. Hopefully, this puts an end to all of the rumors about him heading back to the sidelines. This is a huge announcement for the Gruden family. His brother Jay, coach of Washington, may need a new gig in the next couple of years.
Head Coaching Vacancies
These are the jobs that are certain to be open on Black Monday:
New York (N)
New York (A)
Possibly Tennessee & Jacksonville
Last Week: 12-4
JACKSONVILLE over Tennessee
Philadelphia over WASHINGTON
San Diego over SAN FRANCISCO
Baltimore over HOUSTON
Detroit over CHICAGO
Kansas City over PITTSBURGH
New England over NEW YORK (A)
CAROLINA over Cleveland
Green Bay over TAMPA BAY
MIAMI over Minnesota
Atlanta over NEW ORLEANS
Buffalo over OAKLAND
ST. LOUIS over New York (N)
Indianapolis over DALLAS
Seattle over ARIZONA
CINCINNATI over Denver
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Remember the phrase, “Any given Sunday”? Any team did win in week 14, Who would have believed that Carolina would go ahead and steamroll New Orleans in New Orleans? Oh, wait I did. Seattle only allowed fourteen points to the highflying Eagles. The Raiders yes the Raiders won the Battle of the Bay 24-13. Finally, Pittsburgh went into Cincy and doubled em’ up. The last three weeks of the season is sure to be exciting and action packed.
Is the Legion of Boom really back?
Is Jay Gruden really on the hot seat after one season?
Can St. Louis continue its hot streak?
Will the Green Bay winning streak continue?
Can Derek Anderson lead the Panthers to another win without Cam Newton?
The Cards were able to hold off the Kansas City Chiefs last week to capture they’re tenth victory of the season. I believe it was the teams last win. There are just too many holes in this boat and not enough gum. Carson Palmer and Andre Ellington are gone for the season. Tyrann Mathieu will not play this week. On the bright side it does look like Larry Fitzgerald will be on the field.
To finish the season, the Arizona must go to St. Louis, play Seattle at home, and then travel to San Francisco. That schedule should seem impossible for a team that is fourteenth in the league in passing and thirtieth in rushing.
The Chiefs safety was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma earlier this week. The fifth year player only played in six games this season where he had thirty- seven combined tackles. According to the Chiefs website, Hodgkin Lymphoma is treatable and potentially curable. Get well, Eric!
Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had twenty starting quarterbacks. Let me reiterate that. Since 1999, the Cleveland Browns have had twenty quarterbacks. Some how this sorry excuse of a team finds themselves in a quarterback controversy. Brian Hoyer has led the team to a 7-5 record. 7-5 is outstanding for the Browns and it’s all because of Brian Hoyer.
Because the team was down by 17 in the fourth quarter last week head coach, Mike Pettine, decided to put in Johnny Manziel who led the team down field and scored a touchdown. Oh, happy day.
This organization has been looked down upon more than any other team in the NFL since the team resurfaced. They have an opportunity to go to the playoffs, but they will eventually cater to what people want instead of what works.
Last time I checked Johnny Manziel is not Aaron Rodgers, Steve Young or Doug Flutie. Hell, he’s no Earl Morrall. Those players just waited. Their Hall of Fame head coaches knew when the right time was to put them in and not a second sooner.
Cleveland may never experience success like this again. Ride the horse that brought you to the dance. If Manziel is the guy for next year play him then. Until then, stifle yourselves!
Is the beginning of another miserable December for the Cowboys?
Will someone actually step in front of the NFC South?
Will the Cardinals get a much-needed win against the Chiefs?
Can the Bengals extend their AFC North lead?
Can the Giants ever play like a NFL quality team?
Last week, Rice was reinstated back into the NFL like he should have been. Calm down please. This guy did the time he was originally awarded and then some. No one cares about public opinion. He has the right to make a living just like everyone else. Any team in the league can pick him up. If a team does not want to be surrounded with his baggage they have the option to not sign him.
I don’t believe Ray Rice will be signed this season because it’s just too late. However, he will be signed right after the draft next year. Expect him to be a vengeful player.
Which team in the NFL lost to New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and the Jets this season? Yep, that would be Pittsburgh. Well, I said it in week 11, but no one believed me. The Steelers are worse than the Philadelphia 76ers. Good thing the team remains dedicated to their coaches because Mike Tomlin would have been fired with any other team.
The team that may be trending at the right time has to be the Lions. If Matthew Stafford can place the ball in the receiver’s hands this team may be unbeatable in January. I like the way Joique Bell is running and that defensive line is nasty. Be on the lookout.
The Seahawks seem to be playing like the Seahawks again. Their defense shut down San Fran on Thanksgiving and it seems is though the running game is what’s moving the ball. It’s never been mentioned, but is Russell Wilson a MVP contender? Without him Seattle may be 4-12.
Why would the Niners consider trading Jim Harbaugh? Yes, he may be a pain in the behind, but he wins every place he goes. He even brought this team to the Super Bowl and they are not appreciative. At some point in time we all have to step outside of our comfort zone. Apparently, Frisco is not wiling to do that.
The Pro Bowler will miss the last four games of the season because of the use of Adderall. The defensive leader will be missed. We will see how the team reacts in a must win game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Hot Seat part 2
It appears as though Rex Ryan is a lame duck, so he is excused from this conversation.
Mike Smith- The head coach of the Falcons on their way to another disappointing season. Though Atlanta is still tied for the NFC South lead, they are still an awful team. The defense is dismal and the high-powered offense is weaker than Dodge Charger with a Ford Pinto motor. I believe the writing is on the wall for Smith.
Marc Trestman- Da Bears are possibly a bigger disappointment than the Falcons. Jay Cutler has underperformed and their defense has allowed over 149 points since week 8. I don’t believe his position is savable under any circumstance.
For other Hot Seat candidates please see my post from week 9.
RIP Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
On Thursday, December 4, the world lost one of the best sports journalists of our time. Maybe you have read his column in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch or you could have possibly seen him on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters. Burwell was 59.
This is a sports blog, but we can not ignore what has been happening in Ferguson, MO. Only two people will truly ever know the complete truth of what happened the evening that Michael Brown was killed. I may not be the smartest person but even I know that violence plus violence does not equal peace.
Let’s get back to football.
Will the loser of the Seattle/San Fran game not make the playoffs?
Who’s really the exceptional team in the NFC East?
Will we get a SB preview when NE goes against GB?
Can San Diego make a comeback and win the AFC West?
This division is arguably the most competitive group of four teams. Each team is still mathematically alive to win the division even though there is a possibility that no one will finish with a winning record. I still have Atlanta winning the NFC South. Cam Newton can’t stay on his feet and Tampa Bay is worth less than a $2 steak. Frankly, New Orleans never had a chance!
Jive Turkeys of the Year
This honor was fairly simple to award this year. Ray and Janay Rice truly deserve this prestigious distinction more than other couple on the planet. You know the story so I don’t need to go there again. He’s an ignorant imbecile while she is a dummy. They belong together.
Congrats on the award!
Presidential Turkey Pardon
If you are a weekly reader of Down the Line Sports you know that do not believe in the hardship that the NFL has put Adrian Peterson through. He should be reinstated into the NFL ASAP. There is no reason as why he is being put through hell.
Adrian Peterson, you have been officially pardoned.
Last Week: 12-3
Week 13 Picks
DETROIT over Chicago
DALLAS over Philadelphia
SAN FRANCISCO over Seattle
BUFFALO over Cleveland
BALTIMORE over San Diego
Carolina over MINNESOTA
Cincinnati over TAMPA BAY
HOUSTON over Tennessee
INDIANAPOLIS over Washington
JACKSONVILLE over New York (N)
PITTSBURGH over New Orleans
ST. LOUIS over Oakland If you watch this game you seriously need a life!
It is no secret that I am not a New Orleans Saints fan even though I live forty miles out of city limits. I can’t explain how disgusted I was last week when I seen one of their fans snatch a ball out of the hands of a Bengals fan. I was sick, seriously. I was embarrassed to be the stereotypical southern gentleman. I was embarrassed to be from southeastern Louisiana. OJ and Dennis Rodman did not make me this embarrassed to be African-American! He said that the ball will be for his grandson, but why would you want to give him a ball from the opposing team? The lady is an underpaid principal for Christ sake. Hasn’t she suffered enough? The New Orleans PR department did give the lady a football, but it did lack a touchdown flare. I do apologize to the Bengals franchise and everyone else for the lack of respect displayed to the world.
Can Josh Gordon return to glory? (Please my fantasy teams need it!)
Is RG3 worth the headache?
Can the best NFL team go into Seattle and get a win?
Are both Tom Coughlin and Eli performing for their jobs?
You know, I feel heartbroken. I have gone far out of my way to support a few teams this season and I have absolutely nothing to show for it. The only other person who knows who knows about this degree of heartbreak is Taylor Swift. Her most recent classic “Blank Space” has inspired me to fill in the blank space that a few teams have created.
The Steelers are overrated beyond belief. So this team dominated both the Colts and Ravens, but the couldn’t beat the sorry Jets. Quarterbacks like Kyle Orton, Alex Smith, and Phillip Rivers have all lit up the Jets, but Mr. twelve-touchdown passer, Ben Roethlisberger couldn’t pass gas against the New York. I have no faith in Pittsburgh. Actually, no one should have faith in Steelers. Earlier, in the season the Tampa Bay beat Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. I sincerely like Mike Tomlin, but I believe he is ready to take over a new position with a team that worth his talents.
By the way, who was the genius that decided to invite Justin Beiber to bible study? His music career has been hit by a steel curtain for gosh sake. Why keep losers around your team? He screws up everything he is involved with.
Fans of Da Bears should feel extremely disgusted by the lack of production the extremely talented team has put on the field. Jay Cutler is making Brian Hoyer look like Tom Brady. A few weeks ago I said that Jay was not the only reason for the mournful play of the Chicago team. Since week seven the defense has allowed 133 points. Marc Trestman should be shown the door. The team has gotten significantly worse since he has taken over leadership over the franchise.
Cam Newton should apply for Affordable Healthcare. Apparently, Cam Newton is still not 100%. It also doesn’t help that his offensive line is worse than the secret service. Below is the list of quarterback hits in the past four seasons:
Cam Newton 531
Ryan Fitzpatrick 272
Alex Smith 257
Joe Flacco 254
No one can make a great play when they are lying on the ground. Ron Rivera has done a fantastic job as head coach, but if I were he I would be checking out prices for U-Haul rentals.
Week 11 Storylines
Is it possible for the Cards to remain at the top of the league without Carson Palmer?
Can the Seahawks beat a quality Chiefs team?
Will the Giants show they are worth something as they face the 9ers?
Can the Chip Kelly system defeat GB? The winner may be the Ayatollah of the NFC.
Which team is actually 2nd best in the AFC? Is it Indy or NE?
Is Cincy worth anything?
Can Teddy lead his team to a win at Soldier Field?
Hopefully, AP gets reinstated this week. He should be allowed back into the league immediately because what he did is questionable. What do I mean by questionable? He is this harsh violent football player, but he was not charged with any crime. I know people who were not whipped who turned out to be good people and I also know some who are now the scum of the earth. I ended up fine. Every time I did something wrong I was whipped. It’s how I learned right from wrong. Peterson thought he did the right thing for his child and the NFL should not be able to punish him for that.
Last Week: 9-4
New York (A), Baltimore, Dallas, Jacksonville
FYI: 1st time this season I have been confused on more than one game.
As we head into the second half of the NFL season the quarterback position becomes even more important. Several teams have backups in at the most important position in all of sports. Which one is the best? Frankly. who knows. Mark Sanchez is leading the 1st place Eagles. Can the butt-fumble guy lead his team into the playoffs? Some say that Sanchez was the best Philly QB during the preseason.
Because no one knows what will happen with Tony Romo. The only way Dallas will make the postseason will be if he plays. Brandon Weeden may play if the Cowboys up early. Romo will get the start in England against the Jags. Hopefully, he will not re-aggravate his injury.
Week 10 Storylines
Why play Tony Romo against the Jags?
Will Oakland pull of an upset?
Can the Big Ben hot streak continue?
Which team will survive the NFC East?
Can San Fran get a much-needed win in the Big Easy?
Are the Bears still worth watching?
Coach of the Year Race
Mike Pettine- Cleveland, yes Cleveland is having a great and surprising year. The Browns are 6-3 and are tied for first place in the AFC North. They are having a great season and their best player has not played a down yet this season. Wide receiver, Josh Gordon will return to action in a couple of weeks. It seems as if he made the right decision by starting Brian Hoyer over Johnny Manziel.
Bruce Ariens- The Arizona Cardinals has the best record in the NFL, which automatically qualifies him for the award. Expect his team to be competitive against the remaining squads on their schedule, which includes Seattle, San Francisco, and St. Louis.
Bill Belichick- Just a few weeks ago, his team was ruled out. Now, New England is on fire. Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are clicking on all cylinders. Mind you they are doing this with a weak offensive line and average receivers.
The Washington football team once again could not get a victory. They had an opportunity to get a late win in Minnesota but fell short in the final minutes. Prior to the game beginning, rumors surfaced about the support for RG3. Reports surfaced saying that players felt as though the team should have started Colt McCoy, who had won the past two games for the team. Other reports claim that upper management, Dan Snyder, decided to play Griffin.
I would start the player who is winning me games. Washington is 3-6 with no chance of possibly making the playoffs. The franchise quarterback may be Griffin, but he has not earned the title on the field in the past two seasons. The job should be up for grabs. Kirk Cousins has proven to be good enough to be the quarterback for the Raiders or the Jets. He sucks he really really sucks. Griffin and McCoy should compete for the rest of the season to determine who should be the leader in the nation’s capital.
The starting QB job is should be the least of their concerns. The team was welcomed at TCF Bank Stadium by a group of protestors. Over 5,000 people showed up for the meaningful event. This will end will when the team eventually changes the name. There is a such thing as a right and wrong side of history and apparently this organization is hell bent on taking the iniquitous approach.
Normally, I write a positive lead, but for week 9 that task seems impossible. Last week, I seen some of the worst play I have ever seen in any sport. Jets quarterback, Geno Smith, played worse than Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez combined. Do you know how bad you have to play to do that? Before he was pulled for Michael Vick, Smith had already thrown three picks en route to a QBR less that 0.1. Watching this team seriously made my eyes hurt.
Two weeks ago the entire city of Chicago wanted to kill Jay Cutler, but he was not the reason they lost last week. Da Bears were trumped 51-23 in Boston. Their defense had no answers for Brady, Gronkowski, or LaFell. I really don’t understand this team. Chicago is way too good to be so bad.
I remember when the Oakland Raiders was a respected sports franchise. Now, they are possibly worse than President Obama’s approval rating on foxnews.com. I like Derek Carr and the receivers that he has, but that’s about it. The coaching is awful and the defense is miserable. Al Davis is rolling over in his grave and the people in the faithful black hole should consider giving up their season tickets for the foreseeable future.
Week 9 Storylines
Who really is better Peyton or Brady?
Can Tony Romo stay healthy for the duration of the season? We’ve talked so much about DeMarco Murray playing in all sixteen games, but no one has mentioned Romo. They cannot win without him, but they can lose with him.
Who are the Houston Texans? This week against Philly they will have an opportunity to play like the playoff team they should be.
What is Washington thinking? Do they ever think? Colt McCoy has won back-to-back games and they bench him. RG3 has garbage when he was healthy and Kirk Cousins played like a Jets quarterback. In the NFC East it is never too late for a team to make a come back and win the division. Expect Robert Griffin to come back to the trainer’s room within the next three weeks. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Can Ben Roethlisberger repeat his record-breaking performance last week? Heinz Field is still on fire as Big Ben had his way with the Colts.
For the life of me I cant understand why the NFL wants to take over the London market and put a team there. This week we will have the Seattle Seahawks go against the London Monarchs. Who will want to travel all that way? How about putting an NFL team in LA, Portland (OR), Toronto, Mexico City, Maui, Vegas, or San Antonio. Remember NFL Europe, how did that end? The Beijing Communists, Australian Kangaroos, Egypt Pyramids, and the Rome Chicken Parmesans will be on the docket ten years from now.
Coaches on the Hot Seat
Rex Ryan- I like him, but he knows that he has been set up to fail this season. The Jets have way too much cap room not to bring in quality players. Last week, the Jets had a receiver playing cornerback. With all of that money they can’t get a mediocre cornerback or quarterback. Something seems off. I hope he get another head coaching job.
Marvin Lewis- This Bengals coach has had a great team since he’s been in Cincy, but he has not made a significant push in the post season. Nothing will change this year. The AFC will run through New England and Denver. Cincinnati will have no say so.
Tom Coughlin- This two-time SB champion has run out of luck. I predict that the G-Men will go 7-9 and miss the playoffs. Since Coughlin joined the team in 2004 they have missed the playoffs in five of his ten seasons.s
The team I am beginning to LOVE:
Arizona- This was the best team last season to not make the playoffs and they are now showing teams that they are for real. Carson Palmer is possibly playing the best ball that he has ever played and he is doing it by not passing to Larry Fitzgerald on every down. They are also +9 on turnovers. I do not, however, like the way Patrick Peterson is playing. He is a shadow of what he was last season. Quarterbacks are no longer afraid to go after him.
The team I am beginning to HATE:
San Diego- The Chargers started the off hot, but they are starting to simmer off. Phillip Rivers is a great QB, but there is only so much he can do on the offensive side of the ball. Brandon Oliver has done an okay job in starting in the place of Ryan Matthews, but they need more. Especially since Denver is starting to pull away in the AFC West.
Dummy of the Week:
This award was made for Lamar Houston. His Bears were being blown out. Houston got a sack on the Patriots backup QB before he decided to celebrate. In which this happened.
Last Week: 9-6
Byes: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Tennessee
Wait for it. Wait for it. How ‘bout dem Cowboys? That is only the second time that phrase has been used here on Down the Line Sports and possibly not the last. The team is on fire and my pick for MVP, DeMarco Murray, is playing like is possessed. The entire offense is clicking on all cylinders and the defense is containing the opposing offenses. I expect the ‘Boys to get their next loss on November 23. They would be 9-1 going into that week 11 matchup with the New York Football Giants. By the way it has been a long time since I’ve heard a good Tony Romo joke.
Enough kissing up to Dallas! Congrats to Peyton Manning on overtaking Brett Favre as the all-time touchdown passer. Have a look at how many people he has thrown TD passes to.
By the way, that’s Peyton Manning not Gary Payton. Payton played in the NBA for the Seattle SuperSonics.
Week 8 Storylines
Who are the Bengals and Bears? These two teams are pit-i-ful. Cincy has a great excuse A.J. Green has been injured and there really is no one that can take his place. The Bears need Jesus or whomever they collectively believe in.
Will the real Atlanta Falcons please stand-up?
Can Aaron Rodgers continue his hot streak against a pathetic New Orleans secondary?
To the Cleveland Browns, please please please know that you are the Cleveland Browns. Why go for a first down last in the first half when you have the lead against the sorry Jags. Oh, and don’t be stupid. Brian Hoyer has been phenomenal quarterback for this team. Normally, the Brown would be 0-6, but because of him they are 3-3. Johnny Manziel has a comfortable seat on the bench don’t move him.
Then, there are the Raiders.. Who cares??
Last week, Percy Harvin was traded from the Seattle Seahawks to the New York J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. Reports are still coming out as to why he was traded. Some are saying that he was disagreeable and he did not get along with Russell Wilson. Harvin will now pay for his sins. Would I rather Russell Wilson pass me the ball or Geno Smith? Whatever idiot just said Geno please excuse yourself from this conversation.
The Jets got the better of the deal. They only gave up a mid-round pick to rent Harvin for the rest of the season. If you are gonna miss the playoffs at least do it with a Pro Bowl receiver.
Cutler may now be the most hated guy in Chicago. Earlier in the week teammates and the media have talked about Cutler. Brandon Marshall, star wide out, said that the way Da Bears is playing is “unacceptable”. He’s right. I don’t know if it’s the QB’s fault, but he is the maestro of the offense and they are not performing as well as they should, especially at home. Chicago is 0-3 at Soldier Field including losses to Buffalo, Green Bay, and Miami. However, if they don’t think Cutler is the guy, please name someone else who could be better.
The Dallas Cowboys released Sam earlier this week. He had been on the practice squad since the season started. The team picked him up because they had a lack of health on the defensive line. Now that the defenders are healthy it really makes no sense to keep him around. Before the season started we knew it would be hard for him to make a team. I’m sure it really wasn’t from a lack of skill and I’m also sure it wasn’t because he gay. Let’s be real. There is a reason this story has not made a lot of noise. Simply put, he’s not that good, but I hope he gets another chance.
What a return to great we had last week! Nobody expected the Rams or the Dolphins to win last week, so we didn’t lose that much ground. I really can’t complain. Considering now that I have a .700 winning percentage. Any who to the picks…
Last Week: 11-4
Byes: San Francisco & New York (N)
DENVER over San Diego
ATLANTA over Detroit Game in London. Kickoff is at 8:30 AM Eastern.
Buffalo over NEW YORK (A)
Baltimore over CINCINNATI
NEW ENGLAND over Chicago
Miami over JACKSONVILLE
Minnesota over TAMPA BAY
Seattle over CAROLINA
TENNESSEE over Houston
KANSAS CITY over St. Louis
ARIZONA over Philadelphia
CLEVELAND over Oakland If you watch this game you should be committed!
Indianapolis over PITTSBURGH
Green Bay over NEW ORLEANS
DALLAS over Washington
Please comment, as I value all opinions.
Make sure you follow the blog and also follow me on twitter @regisjwelch.
This NFL season has been exciting and do not expect it to stop this weekend. The folks in Dallas actually have the right to be optimistic about their favorite team. When was the last time that happened? The Ravens have fought adversity this entire season. Some things have gone along as expected. Peyton is God, the Bucs suck, and Pats are on their way to the playoffs. These are some things that you should be looking forward to as we move on into week 7.
Week 7 Storylines
Will Rex Ryan be fired before the end of the season?
Is Kirk Cousins a professional back up QB? He’s had chances to take the starting job.
Who are the Steelers and Giants?
Did you know the Browns should be 5-0?
Will Atlanta finally get a win on the road?
Can the Lions make a kick?
Which NY Giants will standup in the absence of Victor Cruz?
Can the Eagles running game stay hot?
Are the 9ers for real? We’ll say as they face the Broncos.
Is Dallas for real?
Will Jacksonville or Oakland win this season?
This is the preview of the 2015 NFL draft. The only player we will focus on is afore mentioned Florida State Seminole, Jameis Winston. He is arguably the best player in college football. He battles adversity better than anyone else. The media attacks him on a daily basis, but who does Winston have to blame but himself. Apparently, there is no proof that he has accepted money for over 950 autographed items. It also seems as if he will not face any penalties for the alleged rape investigation.
Winston needs to grow up. I find it hard to believe anything he says. His draft stock has fallen considerably. Because of his problems off of the field, I would not draft him.
(1/3 of the season) Power Rankings
San Diego Chargers
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
New England Patriots
New York Giants
New Orleans Saints
Kansas City Chiefs
New York Jets
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL 1/3 season awards
MVP: DeMarco Murray
Pick your jaws up. Murray has been spectacular thus far. He has rushed for 785 for six scores through six games. His offensive line is opening up some serious running gaps for him to rush within. Also, he is taking a lot of pressure off of Tony Romo by providing a balanced attack. He I hope he will be able to hold up.
Defensive Player of the Year: JJ Watt
Expect anything different He is the Houston Texans. He has two fumble recoveries and a pick six.
Dummy of the Year: Joseph Randle
This Cowboys backup stole underwear and cologne valued at a combined $123.50. It was a Class B misdemeanor. He was fined $29,117 by the team
Well, even the greats have a bad day. Babe Ruth struck out, Wayne Gretzky missed shots, and Wilt Chamberlin didn’t sleep with every woman he wanted to. Am I on their level? When it come to picking teams, yes I am. I had two more wins that were erased in the final moments of games. Cincinnati had an overtime win, but Mike Nugent couldn’t help but miss a game ending kick. Miami fell for the good ole okie-doke and allowed Aaron Rodgers to take a W away from them with :02 left on the clock. Both of those games cost me my winning week.
Last Week: 6-8-1
Week 7 Bye: Tampa Bay & Philadelphia
NEW ENGLAND over New York (A)
BUFFALO over Minnesota
Cleveland over JACKSONVILLE
CHICAGO over Miami
DETROIT over New Orleans
WASHINGTON over Tennessee Only God knows and cares
BALTIMORE over Atlanta
GREEN BAY over Carolina
INDIANAPOLIS over Cincinnati
Seattle over ST. LOUIS
SAN DIEGO over Kansas City
Arizona over OAKLAND
DALLAS over New York (N)
DENVER over San Francisco
PITTSBURGH over Houston
Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Performer is…
Katy Perry will be the halftime performer at the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on February 1, 2015. I believe it was a great selection. She is one of the best acts on the planet and she is relevant. She was a finalist along with Rhianna. I believe that picked Perry because Rhianna is a victim of domestic abuse and it would have been another PR problem. However, the NFL missed a golden opportunity by not picking Rhianna. They could have shown that what life can be like after domestic violence. She has exhibited strength and courage while at the same time forgiving her abuser (She also doesn’t have to hesitate to call me at any given time.)
Welcome back to Down the Line Sports. In case you are wondering last week we were minutes away from having a PERFECT week 5. We said it would be a week for home field advantage, but no one listened. Apparently, Cleveland, Chicago and Buffalo didn’t care about a 15-0 week because the teams combined scored a joint 27-10 in the fourth quarter to be carried of the field for a W. We’ll get back to picks in a minute.
On a positive note cheers to the New England Patriots for what they did for Devon Still. The Patriots cheerleaders wore jerseys to show support for Still’s daughter who is battling pediatric cancer.
Things to know going into Week 6:
Indy has won nine straight against the AFC South, can that continue in Houston?
Tom Brady showed he is very much alive, but will he show up in Buffalo?
Will someone be bored enough to watch the Jags vs Titans game?
How will Tony Romo screw up in Seattle this week?
Can Eli keep rolling?
Will Vick be “prepared” to come into a game the Jets will be down big in?
Did Tony Sparano bury his Raiders with that ball, if not can he?
Last week was another great week for Down the Line Sports Blog. It amazes me that how the wins can keep coming. We’ll get back to that later.
Since last week we found out that C.J. Spillman is connected to a sexual assault investigation. He remains on the Dallas roster. The Oakland Raiders became the first team to fire their head coach, Dennis Allen. The team was 0-4. Allen was fired over the phone after the team returned home after an embarrassing loss to the Miami Dolphins. He is rumored to become the new GM for the Oakland Athletics. The Raiders have had nine head coaches since Jon Gruden left in 2003.
I am tired of hearing about New England. The Patriots will win their division. Any questions, I didn’t think so. If Rex Ryan wants to keep his job he will make a decision at quarterback. Geno Smith sucks! Is Michael Vick better? Well he can’t be worse.
Questions for the week?
Can we have a Thursday night game worth watching?
Who are the Pittsburgh Steelers and how could they lose to Tampa? AT HOME nonetheless?
Will Washington be drafting a QB in the next draft?
Will LeSean McCoy finally break free?
Are the Cowboys for real?
How will Alex Smith fair in his return to the bay area?
What is Cam Newton’s health situation?
Why did the Bills bench E.J Manuel? Who is Kyle Orton?
Any way to the Picks
Last Week 10-3
Week 5 Byes: Oakland & Miami
Have you heard of Home Field Advantage?
GREEN BAY over Minnesota
DETROIT over Buffalo
TENNESSEE over Cleveland
NEW ORLEANS over Tampa Bay
PHILADELPHIA over St. Louis
DALLAS over Houston How ‘bout ‘dem Cowboys??
INDIANAPOLIS over Baltimore
CAROLINA over Chicago
Pittsburgh over JACKSONVILLE I really have no clue!
Can it be true? Oh, can it be true? No conflicts have occurred this week. That shocks me and I know you are shocked too.
This week has a host of storylines starting with the Thursday night game. The New York Football Giants will travel to Washington. Both teams come into the contest with a 1-2 record. The loser of this game will most likely fall to 1-5. That record still may be good enough to win the NFC East.
Other storylines from around the league:
Can the Chargers winning streak continue without a running game?
How will Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles fair in their 1st NFL starts?
Will the Patriots a Play well against a “good” team?
Can Da Bears or 49ers play a complete game?
Will Geno Smith or Ryan Tannehill get benched?
The Down the Line Sports Blog has on again had a winning week. Actually going into last week, my picks were better than all of the experts on NFL Sunday Countdown on ESPN.
Last week: 9-7
Bye: Arizona, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Denver, Seattle, St. Louis
Welcome back to the NFL’s season premiere of Domestic Violence Throwdown. This season we have a star-studded cast. Contestants include Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Ray McDonald, Greg Hardy, and Jonathan Dwyer. Roger Goodell will be the host and face of the show that will not be at fault for any mistakes our contestants make.
Seriously, the NFL has a problem that needs to be handled quickly. As a person who has studied public relations I can honestly tell you that this situation could be much better.
The best way of managing a crisis is by preventing a crisis from occurring. This was not the first, second, third, fourth, or fifth time someone has been a victim of domestic violence. Proactive>Reactive
Be honest. If the media asks questions answer them fully in a reasonable amount of time. (The Arizona Cardinals are no fools. They learned from what other teams did not do.)
This happens to be a great time for people all over to know why domestic abuse should not transpire. It is ridiculous that so much information has come out in the past two weeks. I love watching Pardon the Interruption on ESPN, but when the leading topic covers the same subject there is a problem. Maybe problem is a bad word. How about epidemic.
(To the media and other organizations)- Let the fans decide what happens in the NFL. Don’t say that fans are outraged and they want Goodell out of office. Reason being, if fans do not like what is occurring the stadiums will be empty and no one will be watching television on Sundays.
Smoking can cause cancer, however people still smoke.
McDonald’s food is unhealthy, yet people still dine there.
Chris Brown beat Rhianna, however people still buy his music.
Let’s get to the games.
Last week was a good week. I was one of five people in the world to call the San Diego Chargers victory. (Pat on the back) Conversely, I did pick the Raiders. Hey, I don’t judge your mistakes.
For a few National Football League teams Week 15 is there entire season. There has already been an “upset” this week as San Diego Chargers defeated the AFC best, Denver Broncos. Once fans and the media started “predicting” a Denver/Seattle Super Bowl both teams just crumbled. Will Seattle bounce back after being defeated by their rival, the 49ers?
Other storylines that will come out Sunday and Monday.
Brady with no Gronk- The Pats can lock up the AFC East, but they will have to do it without the best TE in the NFL. They will be going against the Dolphins who are still playing for the Wild Card spot.
The Red Tour- What a year for DC! After the way the Redskins ended the 2012 season. People were on the band wagon and ready to see the Skins return to Championship form. In case you didn’t get the memo the Redskins have have played like the Black Plague. RG3 has proven to be a bust for the season. His leg is not an excuse anymore. Then there are the Shanahans. Pops wanted to sit RG3 and his son said not so fast my friend. Also, Mike Shanahan is rumored to not be coming back to the team. Will he come back? Does anyone really care? The person caught in this storm is Kirk Cousins. He has shown the ability to play in the NFL and he will have the opprotunity to show that Sunday at the sorry Atlanta Falcons. This storyline would be a great sequel to Taylor Swift’s Red album.
In the Game of the Week the Cincy Pussy Cats travel to the Pittsburgh Rust. The Bengals never play good with their backs against the wall, but they will have the opprotunity to show that they are not the Chargers of the AFC North. The Steelers must win out if they plan on playing on in January.
As we come down the home stretch of the NFL season, there are a few teams that need to make a move, while others need to move out of the way.
Teams that need W’s this week
Kansas City- Yes, a win over Washington can go a long way. Them having a banged up defense is no longer an excuse. After three straight loses in a tough AFC, we will see how good KC really is.
Dallas- This game is set up to be be a “How ’bout them Cowboys” fail game. They will be going against a Jay Cutlerless Bears team.
Carolina- Are they really a contender? There will be an opprotunity to pickup a W against a divisional tough rival. To stay in the Wild Card race or take the division lead, a win must be put on the board.
Those pretenders that can stop pretending
New York Football Giants- If they want to make history, the time is now. Take a dump or get off the toilet!
Detroit- The NFC North has been their’s to lose, and it appears that they are trying to do so. Minnesota has wasted the great talent, Adrian Peterson, and Chicago and Green Bay are playing with 41st string QB’s. If the want to go to the playoffs the time is now.
San Francisco- After being blown out by Seattle in the first meeting San Fran is bound to make this a game. If the 49ers want to have opposing teams playing at Candlestick Park in the playoffs, they need to win this huge game.
As we have reached the half- way point of the NFL season it is time to give out awards and announce the Power Rankings
MVP– Tom Brady
The Golden Boy has done the most with the talent, or lack thereof, around him thus far.
Most Improved Team- New Orleans Aints, I mean Saints
Okay, it is apparent that I hate this team more than the Tea Party hates poor people, but I must give this team their just do. For people who do not think that coaching is important, Sean Payton and Rob Ryan have worked wonders for the Aints.
Coach of the Year– Andy Reid
The Chiefs have the best record, and no one expected the team to be this good.
Biggest Disappointment (Player)– Larry Fitzgerald
No, he has played great, but the Cardinals franchise has failed Larry. He deserves to be apart of a better team. Maybe a team that would appreciate his efforts on the gridiron.
Biggest Disappointment (Team)– Tampa Bay
The team spent a great deal of money for an 0-8 record.
Rookie of the Year– Geno Smith
The J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS are 5-4 and this team has risen.
Kansas City Chiefs
New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers
San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints***
New York Jets
San Diego Chargers
St. Louis Rams
New York Giants
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
***Personally, the worst team ever, but they are far from #1.