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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Three 2010 division winners facing must win games this weekend.


Three 2010 division winners facing must win games this weekend.

Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles

Already going into game four of the 2011 NFL season, we have three division winners from last season facing must win situations. I mean no disrespect at all to division winners Seattle, Indianapolis, or Kansa City who for difference reasons going into 2011 season, had no one picking them to be relevant in this season's playoff picture let alone winning their divisions. However the three teams above two of which were on a lot of lists to make the super bowl, could be one loss away at this early stage of the season of falling out of the playoff picture all together.

I know it might be harsh to write teams off after only four games, but let's take a look at how the divisions races might look with a loss by any of theses three teams this weekend. With the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions already two games ahead in the loss column, and both playing very winnable games this weekend the Bears may have no chance of getting back in the race with a loss to Carolina at home.
And with Jay Cutler looking like....well like Jay Cutler the Bears have the look of a team that could very well be on the outside looking in if they can't find some way right their ship.

The Atlanta Falcons who last season had the best record in the NFC going 13 & 3 and getting what every team plays for, a chance of knowing the road to the super bowl would have to go thru the Georgia dome. Not only did the Falcons failed to get out of the second round of the NFC playoff's after a first round bye. They were totally outclassed and manhandled by the super bowl champ's Green Bay Packers on their home field. Playing in the same division as the one year removed super bowl champ's New Orleans Saints and last season 10 win Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Atlanta can ill afford leaving Seattle with a loss knowing what lay's ahead of them on their schedule. ( two games with New Orleans, a rematch with the super bowl champion Green Bay Packers, a trip to the motor city to play the now potent Detroit Lions, not to mention a return game with the Buccaneers ) A loss this weekend and the Falcons and their fans might have to start thinking about next season after only four games.

The Philadelphia Eagles the self anointed dream team, are now living the nightmare of high expectations. After only three games the Eagles may be one loss away from having no chance at seeing the playoff's let alone a trip to Indianapolis for this year's super bowl. Andy Reid and the Eagles are finding out what you think you have is not actually what you have. With all the chatter that surrounded the team with it's offseason free agents pickups, the Eagles are now seeing what a lockout can do to very good players who have little or no time to work together with no mini camps or offseason OTA's. Where as I do see the Eagles having the easier road of the three teams at getting back into there divisional race. ( because I don't believe the other teams in their division has what it take to give that knock out punch ) I can see the heart and soul of their team quarterback Mike Vick who has already been concussed and now with a badly bruised hand not making it through this football season. No way this dream team can win without Vick so this weekend the Eagles must find a way to keep the 49ers stout defense off their star quarterback, or the Eagles and their fans may find out karma has a not so funny way of showing itself when you least want it.

Even knowing four games does not a season make, I see theses three 2010 division winners going into game four knowing it very well may be the defining game of their whole season.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Three NFL Teams that grew up Sunday?





Three NFL Teams that grew up Sunday?

Three teams took big boy steps in the NFL Sunday to show the rest of the league they will not be over looked this season. The Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, and the Oakland Raiders won games after spotting their opponents double digits leads. Without any recent history of winning anyone's of theses teams could have roll over and just laid a giant egg and no one would have been surprised at all. But this is a difference season and theses three teams have a difference look to them.

How easy could it have been for the Lions knowing their history in Minnesota ( 13 years of losing in the dome ) falling behind 20 to 0 at halftime to say to themselves here won go again And call it a day. But this Detroit Lions team has a stud at quarterback ( Matthew Stafford ) and weapons to come back on any team in the NFL.

Facing the best QB in football ( Tom Brady ) and spotting him a 21-0 lead who would have blame the Bills if they packed it in and started thinking to their next game knowing nobody expected them to be in the game anyway. However the Buffalo Bills have proved already in this young season they can score a lot of points, and let's face it New England's defense is not very good. The Bill's took advantage of 4 Brady int's and manhandled the Pat's secondary with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing darts all over the field to snap a 15 game losing steak to the New England Patriots.

After losing a heart breaking shootout in week 2 to the above Buffalo Bills and falling behind by 10 to the New York Jets and their supposedly great defense, the old Oakland Raiders might have seen this as a sign of bad things to come and just gave up. But this is a new Raider team with a new head coach ( Huge Jackson ) and a running attack that open holes in that vaulted Jet's D my grandmother could have run thought. The Raiders showed sign last season they might be turning a corner and heading in the right direction ( by beating every team in their division in all six meetings )
but with no change at quarterback and a coaching move in the after going 8 & 8 it's hard to know how this team might react to a game like Sunday's'

I wrote in an earlier post that I didn't see any surprise teams coming out of this 2011 season, but I can now say I am happy to be wrong. I thought the lockout would put young teams behind the eight ball with little or no time to prepare for the coming season. But theses three young teams with no recent history of winning, pasted a huge test Sunday by coming back to win games that in their recent pasted would have been unthinkable.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Friday, September 23, 2011

The NFL needs to remember quarterback are football players too!!






The NFL needs to remember quarterbacks are football players too!!

The National Football League has taken the rough and tough game of football to something just short of flag football. When did the NFL quarterback position become not a part of football? How can any and all football players in the NFL except the quarterback be expected to play tackle football. The power to be in the NFL seem as if their trying to turn quarterbacks into pansy's who after taking legal hit by defenders turn to the refs to see if a flag might be thrown in their favor.

I know the quarterback is one of the most important player on the team, however the guy is still suppose to be a football player. I believe the NFL is over protecting the QB's around the league and making it harder and harder for a defender to know what a legal hit really is. How can you tell a player on the defensive side of the ball who has been taught to react to the ball, that he now has to think in that spit second before he reaches the quarterback on how he must now ease him down gently not to incur a penalty flag or a fine from the home office.

It's hard as a fan to watch what seem to be two difference set of rules being played on the same football field. There a set of rules that says you need to protect the quarterback at all cost no matter how bad the call looks. ( the guys are football players ) Than there's that other sets of rules that says you can hit running backs and receivers as hard as you want as long as you don't lead helmet to helmet. The time has come for the NFL to take a step back and rethink the protection rules for NFL quarterback and realize theses guys are also a part of the national football league.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Freak Of Nature



Freak Of Nature

Cam Newton is not the norm in the world of NFL football, he is a freak of nature. This rookie QB has come in and taken the football league by storm and there is no football expert who saw this coming. How could anyone have predicted over 800 yards of passing in his first two starts as a NFL quarterback. Yes I know he was the first player taken in this year's NFL draft, but he's still a rookie who had a lot of questions coming into this season. And let us not forget no offseason time with his coaches so how could anyone see this kind of play coming.

One can see this young quarterback didn't just sit back during the lockout taking pats on the back for being the number overall draft pick in this year's draft, thinking look at me I made it. He spent all that off time working on the things people saw as shortcoming in his game. It's only been two games but Cam Newton has proven his na-sayer wrong about his ability to play quarterback in the NFL. There is no doubt this rookie QB will have his peaks and valley this season, however one thing that can't be question at this time is the Carolina Panthers decision to take Newton as their guy to lead their team.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Week two bring more injuries. ( Lockout? )



Week two bring more injuries. ( Lockout? )

After the first two weeks of this NFL season, team after team in the league has had to deal with season ending injuries to a lot of it key players. Injuries have and will always be a part of NFL football, however the list of injuries are compiling at a record pace. There's aways a few teams each season that has to deal with a rash of unexpected injuries, ( that's football ) but this problem has spread league wide this season. I believe we are now seeing the biggest impact the NFL lockout is going to have on the 2011 season.

We need to remember with no mini camps or OTA's and no ability for coaches to oversee players conditioning in the offseason. There was no way to monitor team progress, so it not a big surprise to see so many players going down with theses multitude of injuries. The NFL gave players little or no time to get in playing shape, so get prepared for more injuries that are sure to impact the outcome of the already crazy 2011 season.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 17, 2011

ESPN Needs To Tell Skip Bayless To Just Go Away.

ESPN Needs To Tell Skip Bayless To Just Go Away.


As I write this post I write it knowing Skip Bayless may never get a chance to read it. I don't know if the power to be at ESPN sit in a room and then decide let's ask Skip if he minds looking like a fool on national tv. I find it very hard to believe that a guy who is suppose to have an insight into sports, come across like he has no clue at all. Skip's stance on the Tim Tebow situation has made a joke out of Tebow and has myself and other NFL fans questioning his competence to even speak for ESPN on any subject when it come to sports.

I know there a chance Bayless is just taking the obvious hard line on a lot of bad debate points, however Skip seem to have taken silly to an all time low. It's not just the Tebow debate I'm taking about, it's the way he's going after players and coaches without giving fans any information to back up his point. He gives us no inside information of having talk to anybody that might add creditability to what he is saying.

There is nothing wrong with healthy debate on any sports issues, however when it's take a personal turn to name calling to make your point, it become tiresome and old. Shouting at the top of your lungs to try and get your point across makes a person look ill inform and dumb. Skip Bayless in my opinion is niter informative or entertaining on ESPN's first take, he has become very annoying and predictable. I'm not writing this posts to give any credence to Skip Baylees even knowing it will. I am writing this hoping the power to be at ESPN take a closer look at tape of one their flagship programs and see this guy has no place on it.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 15, 2011

NFL fans are the most forgiving fans in all of sports.



NFL fans are the most forgiving fans in all of sports.

With week one in the books for NFL fans around the league, I couldn't help sitting back and marveling at how not one beat was missing from how rabbit fans showed love for their respective teams around the NFL. I found it hard to believe that there was not any sign of fan discontent with how the hold lockout situation was handle by the NFL owners or it's players union.

If you didn't know better you would never think just how close the NFL owners and players came to imploding in my opinion the most popular sport played bar none. There were no tv cameras showing fans holding up signs calling owners or players greedy and self-serving. I don't know if it was the fact that no regular season games were missed due to the lockout or that we as a nation were paying tribute to what happen to our country ten years ago on 9-11.

As we sit back and watch the NBA go though it's lockout knowing major league baseball may not be far behind, I'm left with the feeling if both of these sports go though the same contentious lockout the NFL went though there will be fan retribution. The last time we saw major league baseball go thought a work stoppage it took two guys pump up on steroids hitting mammoth home runs to bring back any interest to a game that many consider the number game in sport. Not even the iron man steak Cal Ripken Jr. had going at that time couldn't get fans onboard with baseball.

The NBA Is about to come face to face with the harsh reality they may go thought a lockout no one cares about. NFL fans were glued to their TV's everyday during the lockout taking in every bit on information they could on how it was going and when it might end. ESPN and other sports outlets have given very little coverage to this lockout, which tells me the power brokers in sports have no use for the NBA at all. Let us not forget that if Larry Bird and Magic Johnson hadn't come into the NBA when they did to help save a sport that was all but dead, Michael Jordan may never have become the greatest player ever to play the game and D wade and LeBron James might be playing NFL football.

While I do believe we have seen an impact of the lockout on the field this first week of play in the NFL ( a lot of bad play by secondary's around the league, tons of season ending injuries though out the preseason and week one of the season ) fans loyalty has not waiver one bit.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Thank you # 4









Thank you # 4


I would like to personally thank Brett Favre for helping to change the face of a somewhat dead NFL franchise in Green Bay Wis. I have been a die hard Packer fan for almost fifty years, I've seen my team at the top of the football world in the 60's ( winning the first two super bowls played ) to being one of the biggest jokes in the NFL in the 70's & 80's. Then Green Bay decided it was time to rejoin the NFL, so they went outside the box and hired a football man in Ron Wolf.
Wolf's first point of business was to find a head coach with a winning background, so in walks Mike Holmgrem an unproven head coach but off a San Francisco 49ers staff that dominated the NFL in the 80's.

The only piece missing that might restore the Packers back to greatness was a franchise quarterback. When Ron Wolf decided to give up a first round draft pick to go the end of the Atlanta Falcons bench to acquire a QB who's name couldn't be pronounce properly; it had all Packer nation believing here we go again. ( That was the beginning of the in Ron we trust era ) From the first minuet # 4 hit the field in 1992 against the Cincinnati Bengals to his last game against the New York Giants in the 2007 NFC championship, # 4 bought pride and relevance's back to the State of Wisconsin and a tiny NFL city of Green Bay.

Thank you # 4 for two super bowl appearances, a super bowl win and the fact of knowing every time you took the field we had a chance to win. You were the true meaning of what an elite quarterback is.
So on behalf of myself and hopefully millions Packers fans everywhere I say thank you # 4 for putting our team on your back and giving us some of the greatest football played in NFL history. Without you coming to Green Bay and helping to bring back championship caliber football to our franchise, we would not be the team we are today. # 4 you will always and forever be a Green Bay Packer in my heart and mind.

Thank you Brett Favre for 16 wonderful season.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

The Pittsburg Steelers seem to be the class of AFC.



The Pittsburg Steelers seem to be the class of AFC.

Let's see great QB check, great coach check, very very good offense check, great defense check, the Pittsburg Steelers have the look of a team that will be very hard to dethrone as AFC champion's. There isn't another team in the AFC that can match the Steelers in all phases of the game. I am a die hard Packer fan and I'm here to tell you the Steelers have been the best team in the NFL in the super bowl era. And before Dallas Cowboys fans get up in arms over their team getting no respect in the super bowl era, remember Dallas hasn't seen a super bowl in 15 seasons.

Again this season the Steelers will be fielding a super bowl caliber team that will have to be reckon with in the AFC. While there are a few teams in the AFC that I believe will give the Steelers a run for their money, ( New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and just maybe the San Diego Chargers ) however not one of theses teams are as well rounded as the Steelers. The Steelers have become the standard by which other teams in the AFC measure themselves and again this season it will be no deference.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Will there be a surprise team in the NFL in the 2011 season?





Will there be a surprise team in the NFL in the 2011 season?


Every season in the NFL there's a team or two that steps up to have that dream season that no one saw coming, which teams will make their mark on the 2011 season. In the 2009 season it was the New York Jets with their rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez going to the AFC championship game that caught everyone by surprise. In 2010 the Kansas City Chiefs had that season no one saw coming, winning ten games taking the AFC west division before bowing out in the first round round of the playoffs.

The Jets used a stifling defense and a great running attack, some timely passing and their cocky coach ( Rex Ryan ) to take heat off his young team to as they made their run. Kansas City had the great fortune Of playing in a division with the San Diego Chargers, hands down the best team in the division ( the number one team in the NFL on both sides of the ball ) but found ways with bad special team's play to lose game after game last season. It's not that the Chiefs didn't play well, they ran they ball extremely well. And with veteran QB Matt Cassel managing the offense, the Chiefs took advantage of the Chargers shote play.

With the lack of offseason praperatetion I'm finding it hard coming with any surprise teams coming into the 2011 season. So I have two 6 & 10 teams from last season that no one would be surprise if they made noise this season and made the playoff. The Detroit Lions and The Houston Texans had surprising season's in 2010. One ( the Lions ) serve notice they were doormats no more, the other ( the Texans ) fell flat on their faces after a dominating win in their opening game with the division champ's Indianapolis Colts.

Both the Lions and the Texans are in prime positions to take one of the six playoff spots this season in their perspective conferences, however with a history of losing in their background, taking that next step will take more than just wishful thinking. The Texans may never get a better chance at winning their division, with the Colts hall of fame quarterback Payton Manning career in limbo with a neck injury that will prohibit him from starting the season. And as Tennessee and Jacksonville go thought a rebuilding mode, anything other than a division title will be a felled season for the Texans.

The Detroit Lions on the other hand will be sneaking up on no-one this coming season, which mean's if there is a playoff spot in their future they will have to go out and earn it. The Lions unlike the Texans don't have a division for taking, with the division champ's ( Chicago Bears) and the super bowl champ's ( Green Bay Packers ) in the mix, a wild card spot seem to be their only way into the playoff's. While I do see the Bear's taking a few steps backward, I feel the Packers are just to high a mountain for them to climb.





Lion's fans must also remember if you give into the fact that ( the Packers will win the NFC north, the Eagles in the east, the Rams or Cards in the west, and the Saints or Falcons in the south ) they will need to compete with 4 maybe 5 teams for two wild card spots. ( the New York Giants, the Dallas Cowboys, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the loser of the south, and maybe the Chicago Bears in their own division ) I believe the Lions in my opinion can be as good if not better than any of theses teams, but it all come down to the quarterback position. If Matthew Stafford can stay on the field for a whole season with the talent they have on both sides of the ball, the Lions may roar into the playoff's.


The fact that the NFL season is starting on time will be the only surprise fans can look forward to this coming season.

Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

" Embrace the Greatness " Trying to repeat

Embrace the Greatness " Trying to repeat

As another NFL season approaches and the short list of teams are talk about as being favorite to win the super bowl, it leave's me wondering why some coaches, players, and fans in the NFL shy away from the through of being consider one of the favorite to win it all. I'm not asking them to walk around pounding their chest telling everyone who will listen how great they are. What I am saying why not embrace the fact that your team is very good and people are talking about it.

bring this up because last season as the Green Bay Packers were marching toward their forth super bowl win, some fans I talk too had a very hard time with all the praise being given to the Packers as they were making their run. They saw it as bulletin board material for the other team. I've been an NFL football fan for over forty years and I'm here to tell fans there is no secret in the NFL as to who the best teams are.

I go back to the the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburg Steelers of the 70's, the San Francisco 49er of the 80's, the Dallas Cowboys of the 90's, and the New England Patriots of the 2000's, all great teams with targets on their backs year in and year out. Instead of shying away from the limelight of greatness, they embrace it and said we pretty good, if you think your better come and get us. I would take being the hunted over being the hunter any day of the week, it mean's people want what you have.


So Packers fans as Green Bay go's into the 2011 season trying to repeat at the top of everyone's the short list of teams who will win this year's super bowl, don't fear it embrace it, because super bowl championships are hard to come by. Would you want it any other way?


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Can the NFC west really be this bad?


Can the NFC west really be this bad?
( yes it can )

With the NFC west already eliminated from super bowl contention, the only question that need's to be answer is which team will be the sacrificial lamb in this year's playoff. As hard as I find it to believe the NFL west division may be worst than is was last season. The only thing NFC west fans can be assured of is that by NFL rules one of their teams has to go to the playoff. Last season's preseason favorite San Francisco 49ers has a new coach ( Jim Harbaugh, ) no quarterback and no chance at all winning this bad division.

The Seattle Seahawks last season division winner with a 7&9 record, ( first time in NFL history that a team made the playoff with a losing record ) let their leader of ten seasons quarterback Matt Hasselback go to the Tennessee Titans to help tutor Titans first round draft pick Jake Locker. Than to make matters worst the Seahawks acquire Tarvaris Jackson of the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings through so much of this quarterback that they sent three players to kil Mississippi to talk Brett Favre off his tractor out of retirement with a bad ankle. The Seahawks will need a lot of luck to win three games.

The Arizona Cardinals made a big move in the division by signing Kevin Kolb the displaced quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles to a free agent contract. But with only a hand full of starts on his resume, the Cardinals are taking a huge leap of faith that all this hype of Kolb is real and not just fool goal. The Cardinals will be better than they were last season, however they won't see a 500 record or the playoff.

That leave's the ST Louis Rams the best team in a pretty bad division. With second year quarterback Sam Bradford looking to take another step forward after a very good rookies season. The Rams clearly have the best team in the NFC west, however they may be the next team in the west to win the division with a sub 500 record. The Rams have a nice young team, with a young quarterback you can built around, but the key word is young. The Rams will need to feed on their own division to have any chance of reaching 8&8 this season.

If there's a silver lining the NFC west can look forward to, is the fact of knowing the sweepstakes winner for Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be coming out of it's division.


Brought to by: AJ Jones from Cambridge
"Let's Talk Football" Visit- www.ajstakeontheNFL.blogspot.com