NFL RECAP: Week 11

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There were some surprising games in week 11. Jared Goff made his NFL debut but it was not enough to beat the Dolphins.  Another surprise was the thrashing the Redskins gave the Packers.  The Packers lost by more points than the 49ers, which is really surprising because the 49ers have the defense worst in the league. Dallas is making it harder and harder for me to keep them in the honorable mention category but I’m standing firm for now.  It is my opinion that the best teams in the league are the Seahawks and the Patriots.  Honorable mention teams are Dallas, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.  I’m adding another group and they are my X-Factor teams.  My X-Factors are: Miami, Washington and Oakland.

Now for the recap:

Saints vs. Panthers: Panthers won 23 to 20. The Panthers defense did a good job of stopping the Saints offense.  The Saints defense wasn’t bad either, which is unusual for them because more often than not the game plan for the Saints is just too out score the other team, which doesn’t work when you’re playing a team that has at a minimum a marginal defense.

Bills vs. Bengals: The Bills won 16 to 12. The loss of the Bengals offensive coordinator is clearly impacting the team this season.  It has nothing to do with Andy Dalton or Marvin Lewis but everything to do with not having the right offensive coordinator in place.  The Bills continue to be a surprise.

Steelers vs. Browns: Steelers won 24 to 9. No surprise there.  The Browns are rebuilding and it will take time.

Ravens vs. Cowboys: Cowboys won 27 to 17.  This was the best game of the day. The Cowboys had not beaten the Ravens in years but the rookie QB with nothing to lose made it happen.

Jaguars vs. Lions: Lions won 26 to 19. The Jaguars have an okay defense which explains why the games they lose are close.  The offense is not bad either because they score points and keep the game close, it’s a matter of learning how to close and that may be attributed to coaching.  Time will tell.

Titans vs. Colts: Colts won 24 to 17. The Titans thrashed the Packers last Sunday but lost to the Colts.  These two teams were evenly match and so were the coaching game plans, which explains why the game was close.

Buccaneers vs. Chiefs: Bucs won 19 to 17. This was the biggest surprise of the day. The Chiefs are definitely the better team but that’s football.

Vikings vs. Cardinals: Vikings won 30 to 24. This game could have gone either way.  Sam Bradford is regaining in confidence after the sudden resignation of Coach Norv Turner, the offensive coordinator.

Bears vs. Giants: Giants won 22 to 16.  Jay Cutler sustained an injury in this game and is out for the remainder of the season.  This sums up the hapless Bears.  This is what happens when you fire the coach that’s winning. Remember Lovie Smith?  I bet the management is wishing they had him back.

Dolphins vs. Rams: Dolphins won 14 to 10.  Seriously did anyone think starting Jared Goff would change the Lambs, oops, I mean the Rams losing ways.

Eagles vs. the Seahawks: Seahawks won 26 to 15. The Seahawks are on a roll right now.  Russell Wilson is healthy and the defense is strong.  If Pete Carroll doesn’t make any stupid play calls they might end up in the Super Bowl again.

Patriots vs. 49ers: Patriots won 30 to 17. The 49ers went into half time 10 to 13 but as usual the defense self-destructed. There has got to be better clock management by the offense and the team needs a new defensive coordinator.  Missing Jim Harbaugh yet?

Packers vs. Redskins: Redskins won 42 to 24.  This was the worst game of the day.  This is what happens when a team depends solely on the quarterback.  The Packers need a good fullback to enhance their running game and to block in the back field.

Texans vs. Raiders: Raiders won 27 to 20. This was a very well-played game and the second best game of the week.  The score went back and forth and the Raiders receivers dropped several good passes throughout the game and still found a way to win.  This is the reason the Raiders are in my X-Factor category.

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NFL Recap: Week 10

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WATCHED SOME GOOD GAMES LAST WEEK!!!

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday by the games that were played, with the exception of the Packers and “Da” Bears.  Last week, I said the Patriots were in a class all by themselves.  I’m revising that after the Seahawks went into Foxborough with the twelfth man and beat them in a thrilling showdown reminiscent of the 2015 Super Bowl but with a different outcome.  The game was a thriller and it wasn’t without Pete Carroll making one of his crazy mishap play calls, fortunately this one didn’t cost the Seahawks the game.  Pete you are a very good coach, but stop it with those “I’m smarter than everybody” play calls because they don’t work.  It didn’t work at USC and it hasn’t worked in the NFL so just stop.  I had to digress for a moment.

Best team in the league: It’s a tie between the Patriots and the Seahawks.  I know there are those of you crying foul at me for not saying Dallas but keep in mind Dak and Zeke are new to the NFL so I’m proceeding with caution until we’re further along in the season.  The Cowboys had their biggest test against the Steelers.  However, I don’t believe Big Ben was 100% so I’m not ready to concede it’s all about “Dem Boys” just yet.  Don’t misunderstand me, the Cowboys are good and a joy to watch but there’s still a whole lot of football to be played. Honorable mention: Dallas, Kansas City, Broncos.

Browns vs. Ravens: Ravens won 28 to 7. Nothing new here, this is a rebuilding period for the Browns and it will take time.  Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Browns football team will not be built in a season.

Chiefs vs. Panthers: Chiefs won 20 to 17.   This was a well-played game but the Panthers defense allowed the Chiefs to rack up 17 unanswered points.  Where art thou, oh where art thou Panthers defense, please reveal yourself?

Texans vs. Jaguars: Texans won 24 to 21. Although the Jaguars have not won a lot of games, most of their losses have been very close.  They need a running game.

Broncos vs. Saints: Broncos won 25 to 23. Defense, Defense, Defense.  Commentators want to tout the offense of the Saints, nobody cares, offense without a good defense, doesn’t win games.  Drew Brees threw two interceptions, which happens in most of his games.  The Saints need a running game, get one!!!

Rams vs. Jets: Rams won 9 to 6. Seriously, the problem is the Jets allowed Fitzpatrick to punk them and now they’re paying for it, “no pun intended.”

Falcons vs. Eagles: Eagles won 24 to 15. The Falcons are crumbling as they always do.  Also, the Eagles running game made the difference.

Buccaneers vs. Bears: Bucs won 36 to 10. Last week was a “mirage” Jay Cutler is not really back.

Packers vs. Titans: Titans won 47 to 25. Rout, Rout, Rout.  This is what happens when you don’t have a good running game and a team is totally dependent on the QB to make passes.  I believe the Packers are the better team but all of the pressure is on Aaron Rodgers to pull magic out of a hat and he’s not able to do that against a young mobile QB like Mariota who can throw the ball, run and has DeMarco Murray for a running back.

Vikings vs. Redskins: The Redskins won 26 to 20. The Vikings should have begged Coach Turner to remain as the offensive coordinator.  The team is completely out of synch now that he’s gone.

Dolphins vs. Chargers: Dolphins won 31 to 24. Philip Rivers threw 4 interceptions in the fourth quarter.  Did anyone run and get stats on this, like they did last year when Kap threw 4 interceptions in the 49ers game against the Cardinals?  Just saying…..  That being said, Miami has surprised everyone by implementing a running game, which has resulted in them winning.

49ers vs. Cardinals: Cardinals won 23 to 20. This was a good game to watch.  Kap is becoming more comfortable each game.  Chemistry is developing between Chip and Kap, which will result in the team starting to win.  All Chip Kelly has to do is allow Kap to use his instincts and run the “Read Option,” he’s one of the best QB’s for this type of offense.  Also, Carlos Hyde has to remain healthy.  The key to the 49ers winning will be getting back to “smash mouth” football.

Cowboys vs. Steelers: Cowboys won 35 to 30. This game was a nail biter and one of the best games of the day.  Big Ben was impressive but so were the best rookies in the league, Prescott and Elliott.  Dallas has the best offensive line in the league and it allows Prescott and Elliott to do just about whatever they want to do.

Seahawks vs. Patriots: Seahawks won 31 to 24. “Lawd have mercy” now this was the game of the day.  The raw genuine emotion displayed by Pete Carroll on the sideline is a joy to watch in comparison to the twisted up face of Bill Belichick.  It was obvious that the Seahawks are a much healthier team than they were in the 2015 Super Bowl.  Gronk took a hit that had him dazed and confused and the Seahawks defense had Brady on the run and so scared that he threw an interception and didn’t throw a touchdown in the game.  If a team is going to beat the Patriots they have to keep Brady on the run and the ball out of Gronk, Edelman and Amendola’s hands.  However, LeGarrette Blount was impressive so if he gets’ going that can be a game changer as well but the Seahawks were determined to deny the Patriots a win and they did.

Bengals vs. Giants: Giants won 21 to 20.    The Bengals made too many mistakes in this game.

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NFL Recap: Week 9

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In honor of Election Day, this is my face regarding the missed/no calls by the refs that we’re seeing across the league.

I’m pondering whether or not to move Dallas from honorable to mention to “bad ass” team ready to take names. Not just yet, Dak is still a rookie and there are still a lot of games to be played.  Well, let’s see what the games looked like this past week.

Falcons vs. Buccaneers: Falcons won 43 to 28. What do you expect when you fire the head coach and hire his offensive coordinator?

Steelers vs. Ravens: Ravens won 21 to 14.  Big Ben returned too early.  The Steelers need a back-up QB.

Cowboys vs. Browns: Cowboys won 35 to 10.  No surprise here.

Jaguars vs. Chiefs: Chiefs won 19 to 14.  No surprise here.

Lions vs. Vikings: Lions won 22 to 16.  This game was amazing.  The Lions came back and won in overtime.  Honestly, I thought the Vikings won the game but their defense faltered and allowed the Lions to get in field goal range to tie up the score and ultimately score a touchdown in sudden death overtime.

Eagles vs. Giants: Giants won 28 to 23.  This was anybody’s game.

Panthers vs. Rams: Panthers won 13 to 10.  The Panthers are showing signs of the team they were last year.  The Rams are the Rams.

Saints vs. 49ers: Saints won 41 to 23.  The 49ers will need an overhaul starting with getting rid of the GM, Trent Baalke.  Kap did a good job and a team should be able to win a game scoring 23 points but you can’t win games without a defense.

Colts vs. Green Bay: Colts won 31 to 26.  This was anybody’s game.  I know some people are crying foul about Aaron Rodgers but the team needs better receivers, an enhanced offensive line and a good fullback.  Get off “A-A-Ron’s” back!!!

Titans vs. Chargers: Chargers won 43 to 35. Seriously, how many more of these games are we going to be subjected to where there is no defense and just mindless touch downs.

Broncos vs. Raiders: Raiders won 30 to 20.  Elway should have gotten a QB.  There I said it.  Siemen is okay but he’s not there yet.

Bills vs. Seahawks: Seahawks won 31 to 25.  This was a very good game.  It could have gone either way but the truth is the refs won this game for the Seahawks.  Richard Sherman should have been called for roughing the kicker.  There were way to many blown and/or no calls in this game.

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NFL RECAP: Week 8

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We’re halfway through the season and the only team that stands out from the rest of the pack is the Patriots.  I removed the Vikings from the standout list because they’re experiencing some problems right now and the offensive coordinator just resigned.  That could spell trouble for a team that looked so good at the beginning of the season.  My honorable mention teams are: Dallas, Denver and the Falcons in that order.

Jaguars vs. Titans: Titans won 36 to 22.  Normally, I would just say “who cares” but this game reflects the one dimensional style of play that’s making the game unwatchable.  No defense, no critical thinking in terms of strategy just QBs throwing the ball.  Don’t get me wrong, Mariota is a good QB and he’s only been in the league for a couple of seasons but if the game plan is to just throw the ball, he will not last long.  Bortles is in a bad system and unless the coaching improves, he won’t be in the league long and it will not be his fault.

Redskins vs. Bengals: Tie 27 to 27. Really?

Chiefs vs. Colts: Chiefs won 30 to 14.  This wasn’t a surprise to me.  Nick Foles is proving to be a good acquisition by the Chiefs.  When the Rams traded him, I knew that was a mistake.  Also, Jeff Fisher is not a very good coach so Foles was the winner in that trade.

Cardinals vs. Panthers: Panthers won 20 to 30.  Don’t let the score fool you the game wasn’t close.  The Panthers won because they went back to what got them to the Super Bowl last year, defense plain and simple.

Raiders vs. Buccaneers: Raiders won 30 to 24 in overtime. The game was back and forth.  The Bucs were ahead originally but the defense allowed the Raiders to catchup and once that happened the Raiders won in overtime.  Also, the Raiders passing secured this win.

Seahawks vs. Saints: The Saints won 20 to 25. The Seahawks are missing Marshawn Lynch, plain and simple. They have got to find a replacement for him in order to get back to a high level of play.  Russel Wilson is a critical thinker, he is not the QB that’s going to throw pass, after pass, after pass and he shouldn’t have to.  Drew Brees is the pass, after pass, after pass QB and it really hasn’t gotten the Saints anywhere in years.  Both of these teams need a running game.

Lions vs. Texans: Texans won 20 to 13. These two teams were pretty evenly match on all levels.  Osweiler had one interception but it didn’t impact the outcome of the game.  It’s my opinion that the Texans running game did the trick for them.

Patriots vs. Bills: The Patriots won 41 to 25.  The only reason the Bills beat the Patriots in game four is because the backup QB’s thumb on his throwing hand was injured.  This game was the joke of the day.

Jets vs. Browns: The Jets won 31 to 28.  The Browns have played really strong all season and I thought they had this one on lock but they found a way to lose.  The Browns need to shore up the defense.  That’s the biggest problem with this team.

Chargers vs. Broncos: Broncos won 27 to 19.  Defense wins game.  The Chargers are still relying on the passing game, really?  Phillip Rivers threw 3 interceptions.  Teams are prone to interceptions when their entire offense rest on passing, enough of these shenanigans.

Packers vs. Falcons: Falcons won 33 to 32.  These two teams were evenly matched and it’s reflected in the stats.  It came down to coaching strategy and the Falcons coach was not about to make the same mistake he made the week before and lost the game.

Eagles vs. Cowboys: Cowboys won 29 to 23.  This was the battle of the rookie QBs.  Prescott won the battle this time and it was due to the magnificent running game the Cowboys have in place.  Elliott is a joy to watch.  The offensive line Dallas has in place provides the openings Elliott needs and he just powers through.  Although Prescott had his first interception, he didn’t get rattled and that’s important.

Vikings vs. Bears: The Bears won.  This was Cutler’s first game back from his injury and clearly being rested gave him clarity and the motivation to win.  The Vikings offensive coordinator resigned on Wednesday, what’s going on?  Sam Bradford has had some struggles the last couple of games but that’s natural in light of the fact that he’s in a new system.

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Bring back the Fullback Position for Continuity and Stability in the League

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BRING THE FULLBACK BACK TO PROMINENCE

The media would have fans believe that people are not watching/attending football games because Kaepernick and other players in the league are kneeling during the National Anthem.  Please, the National Anthem only last a few minutes and most fans are not sitting around their television sets watching the National Anthem being played.  The truth is the games are boring because the coaching is bad, the play calling is awful, the commentators are horrible, tickets, parking and food are too expensive.  Also, DirectTV is the only game in town to see all of the NFL games and it’s becoming too expense as well.

Why are football games so boring?  The game turned into a quarterback one dimensional game with QBs and coaches being changed out every couple of years because teams are not winning with that formula. Two key positions that are critical to the success of a team is the running back and fullback.  These two positions are not valued as much and for some teams no longer part of the offensive strategy.  Thankfully, we’re seeing a resurgence of the running back this season and it’s been a pleasure to watch.  The flip side of that however, is the position of the fullback which has been completely destroyed and has resulted in the game being destroyed.  Those of you reading this blog, please don’t confuse the running back with the fullback.  I know it’s been awhile since the fullback position has been a topic of conversation but it’s time to talk about the importance of this position and the need for it’s return.  The fullback position, although an offensive role, it’s also the second line of defense for the quarterback and the running back.  When a team has a strong fullback, like Daryl Johnston or Tom Rathman, pressure is taken off the QB, the running back and the offensive line.

Having a strong fullback can relieve pressure on the GM to go out and deliver a solid offensive line every season.  Let’s face it, every team in the league can’t have a great offensive line so other viable options must be incorporated into the offensive strategy of the team.  If the team has a good fullback that’s extra protection for the QB and the running back.  Additionally, having a good fullback adds to the stability of the team.

Removing the fullback position has made the game less exciting and it has created instability in the league.  It is my opinion that the fullback position is a critical role that needs to be returned to prominence.  The fullback plays two key roles, one is blocking for the QB and the running back and the fullback can run the ball as well.  If teams have a good running back and fullback the offensive options can be limitless.  Picture this, a mobile QB, a good running back and a good fullback this combination can keep the defense guessing what the next move is.  Commentators talk about the “West Coast Offense” and how great this spread out offense is.  Newsflash, when Joe Montana was running the “West Coast Offense” he had Tom Rathman blocking and running for him which was instrumental in the 49ers championship success.

The NFL didn’t do a smart thing by placing all of the pressure on the QB to throw the ball down field and rack up points. That has become stale and fans are no longer interested in watching games where the game is won by the team that has a lot of touchdowns.  Fans are being subjected to mindless football where there is no strategy being executed.  Instead we’re subjected to mindless commentators yammering on about how it’s the QB’s fault that the team is not winning.  Teams are not winning games because the offensive strategy is too one dimensional.   There was a time when teams had have several weapons to go to and the QB was just one of them.  College games are more interesting because the coaches have the talent to make adjustments.

Case in point, when Jalen Hurts, the freshmen QB for Alabama, ended up at Alabama, Coach Saban told him that he would teach how to be a pocket QB.  Well, guess what, Coach Saban didn’t force Hurts to stay in the pocket, he adjusted his offense to Hurts strengths and developed the team around him.  That’s great coaching!!!!

The NFL has allowed high schools and colleges to dictate the type of players that are being hired in the league.  The fullback position doesn’t exist in high school or college any longer, which is a shame.  NFL teams need to get back to the game of football and stop allowing the media and money to dictate the game. Bring back the fullback position and pound the football down the field.

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