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Myles Garrett and the NFL

I love the NFL. I think that it is better entertainment product than college football. I think it is better than the NBA or MLB. I love the physicality of the sport. I love the fact that you have to be smart. Where are the holes in the defense? Did you pick up the blitz? Did your running stone that blitzing linebacker or did he get run over? I love it all.

It is also important to mention that football is a violent game. Big men are running very fast and hitting other big men. Yet, I really, really don’t want to see violence outside of the framework of the game. Albert Haynesworth (video here) is an excellent example. He ripped a player’s helmet off and while the player was on the ground, he stomped on the player’s head with his cleated shoe. There was no excuse for that. None. (Here’s an article on many of the over the top violent acts in the NFL over the last decade or so.)

The Myles Garrett situation is different. Mason Rudolph was tackled by Myles Garrett. Rudolph did something to Myles as Myles was getting up. It appears that Mason tired to rip Garrett’s helmet off. Then all hell breaks lose. Punches are thrown. More guys enter the fight. Myles rips off Rudolph’s helmet then, with a huge wind up, nails Rudolph in the head with his helmet. Many other folks get sucked into the fight.

The NFL is violent enough. It does not need to be any more violent. Everyone involve should be suspended. Garrett should never, ever play in the NFL again. Playing in the NFL is a privilege. These players get to play a game for lots of money. There is nothing else in the world that Myles Garrett can do and be paid over $24 million. (He has made just over $24 million in his 3 years in the NFL.) Because you are playing a game that millions of Americans watch you must be held to a higher standard. When you break that standard you must pay the consequences.  Everyone else who was involved in the fight needs to be fined and suspended. The NFL must send a clear signal that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

By |2019-11-18T11:29:55-04:00November 16th, 2019|NFL|Comments Off on Myles Garrett and the NFL

NFL: Super Bowl Sunday

Eli Manning

Over the last several years, we’ve seen football teams get “hot” at the end of the year. As a matter fact, the New York Giants are the best example of a team that was wallowing in mediocrity and somehow got it together four years ago. They did that same thing this year. They were 6-6. People were laughing at Eli Manning and his characterization of himself as an elite quarterback. Many in New York were calling for Tom Coughlin to be fired.

The defensive coordinator and the offensive coordinator were under fire all year long. Yet, somehow, they put together a string of wins and now sit as champions of the NFC.

Tom Brady

The New England Patriots had different struggles. Their offense was simply okay. Their defense was abysmal. They got rid of Albert Haynesworth and slowly began to play better team defense. Their offense still struggles at times but, midway through the season, they started to play more consistent football. There were glimpses of the old, super successful New England Patriots. When New England went to Denver and gave Tim Tebow and his Broncos beat down, that harkened back to the New England Patriots a few years ago. Early in the season, New England played Buffalo and had an uncharacteristic day. Tom Brady threw four interceptions. The New England Patriots lost. This was a theme that we would see throughout the season. If they took care of the ball then New England had an excellent opportunity to win. If they didn’t take of the ball, New England would have a difficult time winning. When New England played the New York Giants in week nine, we saw the same pattern. Tom Brady had a sack fumble. He also had a couple of interceptions. The New England Patriots lost that game.

Unlike in years past, there’s not a defensive juggernaut at the Super Bowl. Both of these defenses can be extremely vulnerable to either the pass or the run. The question for this Super Bowl is which offensive line will dominate. The offensive line that dominates will lead their team to victory. Both quarterbacks can hit wide-open receivers. Both quarterbacks can read defenses extremely well. The key to this game, in my opinion, is the offensive line. I believe that the offensive line of the New York Giants will hold up better and give Eli Manning just a fraction more time. That’s all you need in the NFL, just a fraction more time. The key to a possible Giants victory is the play of the tremendous defensive front four. If they dominate… Tom Brady will become frustrated. He needs a clean pocket. They need to consistently apply pressure and alleviate some of the stress on their subpar secondary.

My predictions over the last several weeks have been awful. There’s no other way to categorize them. Yet, like a punchdrunk fighter, I keep predicting anyway. I give a slight edge in this game to New York Giants.

By |2012-02-04T13:58:03-04:00February 4th, 2012|NFL|Comments Off on NFL: Super Bowl Sunday

NFL week one: Hits and Misses

I’m not sure that I had many expectations for week one. The NFL suffered a strike with the subsequent lockout. Both sides looked like they had dug in for the long haul. Suddenly, somebody came to their senses and an agreement was made and there was a shortened training camp season. Therefore, I wasn’t expecting much. Pre-season looked like bad college football at times. I was pleasantly surprised that week one was much better than I thought it would be. So, here are my thoughts at the end of week one.

In my opinion, the NFL was the big winner. The quality of football was very good. There were too many kickoffs, run back and punts returned for touchdowns. Still, there was plenty of excitement.

New England Patriots – I thought there were as many questions surrounding this team as any other in the NFL. They made multiple adjustments. They brought in new talent, including Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco, both of whom are excellent football players with checkered pasts. The Patriots came out and simply dominated a vastly inferior Miami Dolphins team. It is clear to me that Tom Brady and the Patriots sent a message to the NFL that they plan on winning the Super Bowl – this season.

Baltimore Ravens – To me, the Baltimore Ravens have seemed just a little too old the last couple seasons. They seem to start off the season very well and they seem to peter out toward the end. On Sunday they faced their rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers. They dominated the Pittsburgh Steelers like I haven’t seen in five to eight years. The feared rushing attack of the Steelers ran or tumbled for less than 70 yards. At the same time the Baltimore Ravens were able to run over the Pittsburgh Steelers for more than 170 yards on the ground. The Baltimore Ravens made a statement.

Chicago Bears – I wasn’t sure what to think of the Chicago Bears this year. I’m not sure that I have bought into Jay Cutler. It is clear that he has the tools to be a great NFL quarterback. It just appears that sometimes his mind is not in the game. On Sunday, Jay Cutler, the offense of the Chicago Bears and the rest of the team simply manhandled the Atlanta Falcons. The game wasn’t even as close as a 30-12 score would indicate. The defense of the Monsters of the Midway was the story. They crushed the offensive line of the Falcons. Matt Ryan was running and ducking and being tackled most of the day. Even the greatest quarterbacks need time to throw. He had none. I don’t think that the Bears could have drawn up the script any better.

What is with the new kickoff rule? If they don’t want high-intensity collisions then eliminate the kickoff altogether. Everybody gets the ball on the 20- or the 30-yard line. This exercise where the ball is routinely kicked out of the back of the end zone is a waste of time.

Dallas Cowboys – At the end of last season, the Dallas Cowboys had a laundry list of things that needed to be corrected. Their special teams were suspect. Their defense was porous, to say the least. Teams routinely decided that it was much easier to throw against Dallas then to run against them. Last year, Vince Young looked like a potential Hall of Famer riddling the Dallas Cowboys defense. So, one would figure that Jerry Jones and company would fix the problems in the defense. The secondary looked exactly the same as last year. Sure, Terence Newman was hurt. Michael Jenkins got hurt. Orlando Scandrick was also missing in action. Where is the new talent? Oh, yeah, Jerry Jones drafted Josh Thomas in the fifth round and he didn’t make the team? Did Jerry Jones believe that new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan could make chicken soup out of (oh, I shouldn’t go there). Yet it wasn’t the ineptitude of the Dallas defense that killed the Cowboys on Sunday night. I don’t understand how you get a punt blocked at a critical time in the game. This is the NFL, where certain things that simply cannot happen if you want to be thought of as an elite, playoff team. Don’t get me started on the failures of Tony Romo. How do you spend a week preparing for a team and with a game on the line, roll out and throw into clear double coverage? If you’re a Dallas fan, it was infuriating.

Donovan McNabb – How do you end a game 7 for 15 for a total of 39 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the whole game?

Indianapolis Colts – How do you put all of your marbles in one basket? I know that Peyton Manning is going to go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. He should go down as one of the most durable quarterbacks of all time, sure, but how do you not have a viable backup? This isn’t badminton. It is football. Players get hurt all of the time. How do you call somebody off of their Barcalounger to play quarterback for you? The problem in Indianapolis is they’ve developed an offensive system that is tailor-made for Peyton Manning. Nobody else can run that system. Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers or Drew Brees can’t run that system. It isn’t just the offense that is tailor-made for Peyton Manning. It is the whole team. Their defense is built to slow down opposing offenses (that’s all that they needed because Peyton would deliver 30 points), not crush them in their wake.  So now that Peyton Manning has had his third neck operation in 19 months, what do the Indianapolis Colts do? If they are honest, they will refund the money of all their season-ticket holders.

By |2011-09-14T01:28:59-04:00September 14th, 2011|Sports|Comments Off on NFL week one: Hits and Misses
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