Posts Tagged ‘Patriots’

darth

Now this is something to get angry about.

After getting sent packing by the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had some strong, yet cowardly words for one of his former receivers. Regarding a hit by Broncos receiver Wes Welker on Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib, Belichick said, “It was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib. No attempt to get open. I’ll let the league handle the discipline on that play, whatever they decide. It’s one of the worst plays I’ve seen. That’s all I’ll say about that.”

These comments were not only incorrect, but also classless.

Lets start with the actual play. With fellow Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas running a slant route, Welker tried to help him, while running his route, by setting a pick on Aqib Talib. The pass was incomplete, but Talib was hurt on the play. Talib was diagnosed with a knee injury and did not return to the game.

Should Welker have drawn an offensive pass interference on the play, absolutely. He set an illegal pick on the Patriots cornerback and should have been flagged for it. With that being said, the play was not malicious. Welker started off running his route, saw an opportunity to help his team and took it.

Now lets get to Belichick. The notorious bad sport didn’t disappoint. Calling out your ex player for something he clearly didn’t do is just embarrassing. The head coach’s antics got even more laughable when not one of his teammates took his side. Patriots defensive backs Steven Gregory put it perfectly saying, “He matches up against what we consider the top receiver week in and week out. He’s a leader, he’s a competitive guy, a guy that’s going to go out and give you everything he’s got, so you never want to lose a guy like that. But at the same time, other guys have to step up like we’ve done all year.”

Why couldn’t Belichick say that? Its one thing if you’re a player and your caught in the heat of the moment, but a coach, on the next day should not make those remarks. When your players are being more mature than you, its time to take a look in the mirror.

Lastly, lets review the logic (or lack there of) involved in Belichicks accusations. Wes Welker clocks in at about 5’8 180lbs. Aqib Talib is roughly 6’1 215 lbs. Why would Denver send one of their best receivers to attempt to hurt another player? If they really wanted to injure Talib, they would have sent someone like Joel Dreessen, the 6’4 240 lbs tight end out to deliver the hit. Furthermore, Welker missed a few games toward the end of the season due to a concussion. Why would he or the team place the small receiver in harms way? Additionally, the former Patriots took the brunt of the hit. The slot receiver was knocked hard to the ground after the collision with the Pats corner. Logically, there would be no reason to send Welker at Talib.

With all of this being said, the worst part of this whole allegation was the fact that the Patriots ran the exact same play. In the first quarter, Patriots tight end Michael Hoomanawanui set an illegal pick against a Denver defensive back for a receiver running a slant route. New England drew a 10-yard offensive pass interference on the play, but does that really matter? Belichick seemed to have selective amnesia regarding this play. The only difference between the two plays was that Hoomanawanui is 265lbs, while Welker is 180 lbs.

Everyone knows why these comments were made. Belichick didn’t like Welker in New England. After signing with Denver, Bradys former favorite target said, “It was just kind of hard, one of those deals where you have to endure him, put up with him.” Its one thing for a player to make comments like these, but a coach needs to take the high road. After the game, Welker called the victory “bittersweet”, since he had to defeat his former team to get there. Clearly the words of a cold-blooded killer.

Robert Kraft, Tom Brady, and the rest of the New England Patriots organization deserved better.

sherma

While the game was a classic in its own right, this years NFC championship game will be remembered for its postgame antics. After assisting in the game winning interception, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman had some words for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. In the now infamous postgame interview with Fox Erin Andrews, Sherman called San Francisco’s top receiver “a sorry receiver” and exclaimed “Don’t you ever talk about me!”

Sherman has been attacked with criticism for this and other interviews. The Pro Bowl corner has been labeled a “classes” as well as a “thug”. These are absolutely ridiculous labels to place on a player who just made the game clinching play.

Lets start off with the fact that the Seahawks and 49ers hate each other. This isn’t a mutual respect, but we want to win type of hatred. This is a “I want to see you suffer” type of hatred. Everyone knows this. In the week building up to this game, multiple players (on both teams) made comments above their dislike for one another. 49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis said, “ There’s no question there’s a lot of hostility between us.”

Even the Head Coaches dislike each other. After the then Jim Harbaugh led Stanford Cardinals beat Pete Carrols USC Trojans in 2009, the coaches had words for each other during the postgame handshake. With hostility floating, Harbaugh mocked Carrol by saying, “what’s your deal?”

Lets not forget that this game was personal for the former Stanford Cardinal.

First there was the fact that he had this ongoing rivalry with Michael Crabtree. The two had words for each other during Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game last year. According to Sherman, “Crabtree said something to me, and I told him I’d make him pay for it on the field.” I don’t know about everyone else, but that sure does sound professional to me. Instead of going back at Crabtree over Twitter or Facebook, he went out and used it as fuel to win football games.

The rivalry doesn’t end there. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh used to coach Sherman at Stanford.  Since then, Harbaugh and Sherman have thrown shots at each other threw the media. Notably, responding to a question about Harbaughs complaints about the lack of flags thrown against the Seattle secondary, Sherman noted “Sometimes, man, when the bully gets bullied, that’s how that happens.”

Now lets get to the incident at hand. You just made the play of the game to clinch the NFC championship game against your bitter rivals. You just realized your going to the Super Bowl. You wouldn’t be excited? Richard Sherman took all of his energy, all of his excitement, and just let it out. He didn’t curse, he didn’t say anything inappropriate, he let the reporter ask her question in its entirety and responded.

As far as his claims that he is the best corner in the game, he is. This season, Sherman recorded 8 interceptions (league high) and 16 pass defended. Furthermore, in 18 games, Sherman only allowed two receivers to go for over 100 yards against him. In this game, the all-pro corner held Crabtree to four catches for 52 yards. With numbers like these, he has the right to boast.

What did you expect? Richard Sherman, in just his 4th year in the NFL, is going to his 1st Super Bowl. Forgive him if he was a little excited that all his hard work paid off.

 

By: Gary Younger

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints offense ended the year on a strong note. They went into the Superdome in a “win and your in” game and obliterated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 42-17. The game was highlighted by Drew Brees masterful performance against a fairly formidable Tampa secondary. Brees threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, while adding another one threw the ground. This was just another day at the office for Brees. The Saints captain threw for over 5,000 yards this season with 39 touchdowns. On a national scale, New Orleans was only second to Denver with 307.4 yards per game. This bodes very well for the Saints as the Eagles have allowed the single most passing yards to opposing teams in the NFL. 

            With all that being stated, New Orleans will have a ton of problems on Saturday night in Philadelphia. For starters, the Eagles are 7-1 ever since Nick Foles officially took over the starting role for Chip Kellys offense. Foles numbers have been scary good. Foles has thrown for almost 3,000 yards this year, but that’s not where he has shined the most. This year, the former Arizona Wildcat threw 27 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions. With a mix of speed and possession reivers expect the Saints pass defense to have their hands full. 

            The problems only get worse for New Orleans. The Saints come into this game with the 19th ranked rush defense in the league. That’s not a terrifyingly bad number, but it does leave them towards the bottom of the NFL in that category. The real problem is the fact that the Eagles have the number one rushing offense in the league. Lesean McCoy led the NFL in rushing this year with a career high 1,609 yards from scrimmage with nine touchdowns. He also added 539 yards in reception yards with another two scores.  McCoy has been an absolute monster this year. With his ability to use his feet and turn on the speed in any weather, he has the ability to change the entire game in one play. His best game came in week 14 against the Detroit Lions. Despite beyond terrible conditions due to snow, McCoy put up 217 yards on the ground and added two scores.

            Speaking of snow, that will be bigger than any challenge the Eagles will be able to bring. With a blizzard hitting the east coast, the conditions will be less then ideal for a dome team like New Orleans. The Saints have struggled mightily away from the Superdome recently, losing for out of their last five on the road. In a week 15 game in Edward James Dome, against a middle of the road St Louis Rams defense, New Orleans came up completely flat. While Brees did throw for 392 yards, he committed three costly turnovers, including two red zone interceptions. The fact is this team is just not as good on the road.

            No matter who wins this game should be a shootout. With that being said, the Eagles should win this game.  With the expected temperature for the game forecasted to be about 18 degrees Fahrenheit, the Saints aren’t going to know what him them. New Orleans may keep it close, but at the end of the day, Philadelphia should end up in Seattle next week.

Final Score- Philadelphia 28 New Orleans 17

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After a season filled with excitement, the NFL playoffs are upon us. In the NFC, the race is wide open. All six teams have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. With that being said, lets preview this weekends game in Green Bay.

 

Green Bay Packers Vs. San Francisco 49ers: This is going to be a battle of two hot teams. Green Bay comes into Lambau Field on Sunday having won three of their last four games. To make matters even better, Aaron Rodgers is back under center for the Packers. Despite a rough start, Rodgers showed he is back to his old self with his game winning drive against Chicago.

            A weak spot for this Green Bay team is their defense. The Packers finished the year ranked  25th overall in both rushing yards allowed (125.0) and passing yards allowed (247.2). To make matters worse, Green Bay will be without their best defensive player, Linebacker Clay Matthews.  However, this may not be a big issue in reality.  Recently, teams who make deep playoff runs have had mediocre defenses. When the New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI they did so with a 27th ranked defense. This isn’t an isolated incident. During their 2007 playoff run, the New England Patriots had the 31st ranked defense in the NFL. That team went 18-1, losing in the Super Bowl to the Giants.

            The bigger issue for the Packers will be the fact that San Francisco is on fire. Winners of six in a row, the 49ers are back to full health now with the return of Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. With these two receivers back in the fold, Colin Kaepernicks play has improved dramatically. Over the win streak, the 49ers signal caller is averaging almost 250 yards per game and additional 40 on the ground. In addition, Kaepernick has looked a lot more confident in both aspects of his games, leading to a better flowing offense.

Possibly more important than that, is the fact that San Francisco has had a top three running game this year. In his first full year in quite some time, Frank Gore had one of his best years as a pro. Gore rushed for 1,128 yards and scored 9 touchdowns. He did suffer a knee injury on Sunday against the Cardinals, but he has practiced so far this week an should be all systems go for the game.

            San Francisco and Green Bay met in week 1 and put on one of the most entertaining games of the year. 

The same should be expected in this game. With the dynamic offenses that these teams possess, look for a copy of the week one matchup. This includes a 49ers win.

Final Score 49ers 31 Packers 27

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With another regular season in the books, the infamous Black Monday is upon us. Coaches will be on pins and needles to see if they will be returning or on the unemployment line. With a bevy of head coaches on the hot seat, lets look at the presumed outlooks of these nervous head coaches.

Leslie Frazier-Fire. One year removed from a playoff bid, the Minnesota Vikings tremendously underperformed this year with a final record of 5-10-1. Despite having mostly the same personnel, this team could just not put it together. Expect the Vikings to start from scratch in hopes of returning to the playoffs next year.

Jim Schwartz-Fire. Reports surfaced before Sundays game that the Lions are leaning towards having Schwartz return. With that being said, Schwartz needs to go. Detroit has way to much talent to have gone 7-9 this year. They have the best Receiver in the NFL, a fantastic defensive line, and a potential franchise Quarterback in Matthew Stafford. The Lions collapsed down the stretch and it had a lot to due with the questionable and sometimes flat out odd play calling of Schwartz. The players are there, it’s the coach who needs to be upgraded.

Greg Schiano-Keep. Who would have thought that these words would have been uttered two months ago? However, there is credit due here. Schiano has taken a team on the heals of mutiny and has reinvigorated them. For that, he deserves to come back for another year.

Joe Philbin- Keep. Yes the Dolphins collapsed. They endured a horrific last two weeks, suffering embarrassing losses to the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets. Despite all that Philbin deserves to stay. If for no other reason, Philbin deserves to keep his job for putting the Dolphins in a position to make the playoffs. After the Richie Incognito scandal, most people wrote off the Miami. However, Philbin was able to right the ship and keep the players focused on football. He deserves one more year to come in, with better personnel, and attempt to lead this Dolphins team one more time.

Jason Garrett- Fire. Everyone’s seen enough. America’s team has not made the playoffs in Garretts tenure. In similar fashion to his Quarterback, Garrett has choked when it matters most with ridiculous play calls that have cost Dallas full games.  He is just not an NFL Head Coach. He was a fine OC, but that’s it. Jones needs to clean out the entire coaching staff if he hopes to have a chance at getting to the promise land.

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With Robert Griffin III being shut down for the remainder of the season, Kirk Cousins has gotten a chance to put on an audition for other teams. With a franchise quarterback like RG3 and a lack of draft picks, there is no reason for the Redskins to hold on to the former Michigan State leader. In his first two games, Cousins has thrown for 578 yards with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He has avoided pressure well and made some very impressive throws. With all that being said, he are three potential suitors for Cousins

Cleveland Browns- It is no secret that Rod Chudzinski and Norv Turner like to throw the ball. They shipped Trent Richardson out of town so they can focus entirely on the pass game. However, in order to have an effective passing game you need to have a good quarterback. Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden don’t scream efficiency. While Brian Hoyer played well in his limited time, the sample size is too small to make any realistic judgments about his skill. With potential superstar receivers in Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron, along with an already impressive defense, Cousins could be the last piece before Cleveland can seriously envision going back to the playoffs.

Houston Texans- Despite one of the most disappointing years for a team in NFL history, the Texans still have a strong core. Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, and JJ Watt are all top 10 players at their respective positions. The main issue has been under center this year. Matt Schaub has completely imploded and Case Keenum has shown he’s not a starter in this league. To make matters worse, it looks as if both Teddy Bridgewater and Marcus Mariota will be staying for there senior seasons. With a new head coach set to come in, a new quarterback would be very beneficial the new regime. With a mix of veteran leadership and young talent, Cousins could be the perfect guy to shoot the Texans back to their initial projections.

Denver Broncos- Now I know what everyone is thinking. Why does Denver need a quarterback when they have the legendary Peyton Manning having one of the greatest seasons ever? With all that being true, Peyton is going to be 38 next season. He has also been fighting through two bad ankles for a good portion of this year. At the height of those injuries, Manning was playing fine, but noticeably worse than at the beginning of the year. If Denver wins the Super Bowl this year, it may not be crazy for Peyton to consider going out on top. Bringing in Cousins creates an insurance plan for when Manning finally hangs it up. The drop wont be as bad and Denver can remain a top team in the AFC with this pick up.

What do you guys think? Should the Redskins trade Cousins? If so, where? Leave a comment below with your reactions/suggestions

As we hit the half way mark of the NFL season, its time to start giving out progress reports. Were going to give grades to teams based on their performance on offense, defense, and overall play.

Chicago Bears

Offense:
B
The Bears offense has been surprisingly effective under new coach Marc Tressman. Before tearing his groin muscle, Jay Cutler was having one of the better seasons of his career. Cutler has so far thrown 12 TD, 7 INT, and has thrown for over 1600 yards. Matt Forte has come back from an awful year last year and has been one of the most productive backs in the NFL. Brandon Marshall is on pace for another 1000 yard receiving year. In addition, Alshon Jeffrey has been having a break out year and Martellus Bennet has proven to be a very good signing for this team. Look for this team to keep up the solid production under an offensive minded coach.

Defense
C-
Mixtures of injuries and disappointing seasons have plagued the typically feared Chicago defense this year. They lost two of their top defensive lineman in Henry Melton and Nate Collins. Julius Peppers, DJ Anderson, and James Anderson have been non existent this year. The retirement of Brian Urlacher has clearly hurt this team on and of the field. LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman have been bright spots, but the rest of this team (particularly the safeties) has looked atrocious.

Overall
C
While the offense has looked impressive, the defense has looked the exact opposite. Poor play and disappointing special teams have plagued this team this year. Look for the Monsters of the Midway to disappear in the second half of the season.

Top 10!
10 I got 3 teams from the AFC West in the top 10, and the first one is the Chargers. Right in the thick of things if they didn’t have two teams with 6+ wins in their division
9 The Bengals: BEWARE, get ready for a playoff underdog
8 Packers: short a few weapons but still a great overall team
7 Saints: with just 1 loss all year you are a good team when that loss comes with 5 seconds left against tom brady
6 Patriots: Well its Brady himself. The Pats are getting right back on track injured players are slowly coming back. Gronk was needed for a while. Brady finally got a target now.
5 49ers: This defense is what is keeping them alive. Look for Kaepernick to get back on track ASAP.
4 Seahawks: Seattle is arguably the Superbowl favorite right now in the NFC. Best defense, amazing run game, and a young mature QB.
3 Chiefs: Well when you are 7-0 you don’t lose. When you don’t lose you are a good team. When your defense is playing lights out and your run game is becoming unstoppable you are a good team. You are playing with love for the game after a 2-14 season get it going!
2 Broncos. Yup they aren’t #1. They are an amazing team, but as of now they aren’t the best team in the league and not because they were just beat, but because that team has an edge.
1 Colts: So the last 3 teams have a better record and the next few have just as many wins. So why are they #1? LOOK WHO THEY BEAT! The Broncos, Seahawks, and 49ers. They caused TWO 6 win teams to have their only loss. Look out next week KC, if u beat the Broncos twice you still have to face the show stopping colts. Give them their moment to shine because next week they wont be here if they don’t solve the Wayne issue ASAP, maybe out of the top 10 in 2 weeks. You have the talent just put it to use. Lets hope a bye week helps them.