Tag Archive: Eli Manning


     Smell that, yes it smells like mock drafts and arguments about who is going when and where.  Typically at this point of the season I’m talking nothing but fantasy football, and giving who I think will be successful or who is overrated.  So to start this off I’m looking at QB’s.  Now this list is only talking about:

1.  Someone outside of the top 10 (according to ESPN rankings) that I think will be top 10ish

2.  Someone I think is very stash able on your bench for trade or play value later.

So here is my list of QB’s I think can crack top 10 status this year

1.  Tom “Fucking Terrific” Brady:  He had a tough year last year, inconsistent run game and WR.  No All-Pro TE to start his season and then an injured All-Pro TE by the end of the season.  Just think all that yelling at his rookie WR from last year, now these guys have a solid year of working with the Golden Boy.  Also Gronk is playing week one, Brady looks o me like a guy you can get a little later (5-7th rd), but will give you top 10 production.

2.  Tony “How Bout Dem Cowboys” Romo:  I was stuck between either Matty Ice Ryan or Tony “Don’t do it, and he did it” Romo at this spot.  Yet I will go with value and say that Romo is a guy that will crack the top 10 QB or be very close.  This is for a number of reasons, (1) All the offensive weapons. (2) that defense is still bad, which means a lot of shoot outs. (3) the divisions Defense is bad so at least 4-6 games he will be playing a sub par defense (Redskins, Eagles, and an improving Giants defense), and (4) You will probably be able to get Romo in the way later rounds 9th-11th what a freaking steal.  FYI Romo finished 10th last year and missed a game.

3.  Phillip “Bo Lo”  Rivers:  Look at what he did last year, now add to that another weapon at TE (Green), another weapon on the ground in Donald Brown.  Also the Chargers were hit with the injury bug and they should be getting Malcolm Floyd back and even if he has lost a step 6’5 is 6’5 no matter how slow.  You can probably get Rivers in the 8th-10th range.

So if these guys are taking a top ten spot who do I see taking a step back?

1.  Russell “Last Name” Wilson-  A run heavy attack and honestly who is he going to throw the ball to?  Harvin will probably be in and out of the line up.  Also in the division he plays in, not the easiest defenses.  He will give you the bonus yards on the ground, but I see more 10-15 ranking for him. 

2.  Cam “SuperMan” Newton-  Now I know this is a stretch, because Cam has never finished outside the top 7 his whole career.  A none existent run game, and all young and new WR.  All Newton has is Olsen, but I don’t think that is enough and as fandom we underrated the Steve Smith impact.  After this year we will not. 

3.Robert “RGThriller” Griffin III and Nick “Chip Kelly made me” Foles-  I ranked them together, but I don’t trust this annointment of Jay Gruden as solving the Skins problems.  The O line was terrible and RGIII was blitzed almost twice as much as any other QB.  My friend Cool Reece said that RGIII had a Mike Vick feel and the heavy blitz strategy is what they used on Vick.  Until RGIII shows more pocket maturity I don;t trust him.  Foles is only ranked here because of the question marks in his game.  Def Coordinators have tape now and will try and adjust.  Also Foles was hit or sacked every once every 11 drop backs.  If that stat stays true, I don’t think he will hold up.  Without Desean Jackson we have to see if Maclin and co can run those speed routes and pop the top of the Defense. 

Guys with worth a late grab that can be stars, or sleepers

1.  Jay “Diebetis” Cutler-  All I have to say is Brandon Marshall, and Alshon Jefferies!!!  Enough said, but if you need more.  Imagine now Cutler is in the Trestman scheme for another year, and lets not think for one second he didn’t learn from how McCown ran the offense.  (8th-12th rounds)

2.  Brian “Stop Talking about Manziel” Hoyer-  I know crazy right, everyone is predicting that he will be benched after the bye week for Johnny Football.  I’m here to say I’m a believer in Hoyer.  Before he went down he was playing very well.  Also this guy was tutored by none other than Tom Brady himself (means nothing just look at Matt Cassell), but all jokes aside, Hoyer had one of the better 3rd% efficiency rating before going down.  Add in Ben Tate, some veteran WR (Austin, Burleson) and a prayer for the return of Josh Gordon.  Only problem is when he plays sub par in the first 3 games will the Head Coach have enough Balls to let Hoyer continue to play.  (12th- to waiver wire)

3.  Eli “Remember I have more rings” Manning-  Now here I was stuck between Manning or Sam “I’m injured again” Bradford.  I chose Eli because of the terrible NFC EAST defenses he will face.  (Skins, Cowboys, and Eagles twice).  Also this year they are switching to a west coast offense which I hope will get the ball out of Eli’s hands quick and getting Jennings to run the ball along side Wilson, Hillis, and etc should give him a stable ground game.  I think Cruz, Beckham, and Randle are going to look good in the West coast system, especially Cruz. 

What do you think?  Let me know at @UnsportsmenbigJ

Written By:  Big J

 

By: Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas

Follow Me @CR_Unsportsmen

How can the NFC East be one of the most talented divisions, but also be one of the most inconsistent divisions in the NFL? The way these teams play reminds me of some girls I’ve tried to date or sleep with, but always ended up a tragedy.  I know your thinking football and dating don’t mix right?  You’re absolutely right!

Its not like I sit around thinking about girls while watching football.  But let me explain why I compare the two.  BTW No-Homo.  Season after season your never know what team is going to win the division, its always a crap shoot.  They either tease you into thinking they can have a good chance at winning a Superbowl.  In fact a certain team won a Superbowl then the next few years have been completely horrible.  Or they hype you up thinking you’ve found, “THE ONE”, the player that will get you to the promise land, but all you find is a disappointing season.  The NFC East is hard to predict just like a WOMAN!

Fellas, have you ever dated a women that was fine as hell and you think you can get with her?  She throwing that Miley Cyrus at you, but once the opportunity presents its self she ends up being a teaser.  Kinda like the way the EAGLES play.  They excite fans with their speed and fast pace offense, but its a tease.  Because they will find a way to lose, either they are going to turn the ball over, play bad defense, or just not score enough points.


How about a girl you’ve slept with but, in the back of your mind you know she isn’t marriage material.  She has potential, but lacking in other areas.  The GIANTS of course.  They have a proven 2 time Superbowl winning Quarterback and a possible Hall Of Fame coach but this season they start 0-4.

Or a chick that the first few times you see her she was fine ass hell, but the next few times you see her she is suspect. On Seinfield they called this the “Two-Face”.  This is the REDSKINS.  You saw her at the club looking amazing and then you see her later with no make-up, without her wig, or weave and looks like a Dumpster Fire.  Also she forgot to use Dove in certain areas. 

What about that “All-American Girl” (blonde of course).  She is the one you’ve tried to date in High School, but never could get it because you were in the “friend zone”.  These are the COWBOYS. On paper the relationship would be great.  You get along as friends, but can never figure out why you can’t take it to the next level with her, or “Unfriend Zone” yourself.  Then when you get close she starts to have meltdowns and has problems upstairs (yea I’m talking about Jerry Jones).  Just another tease. (Video is Explicit)

Bottom line is its all about expectations. These NFC East teams just like some women are expected to be a winner. These teams have strong potential, but they don’t bring it every Sunday.  The NFC East has a total of 4 wins. Really!?  I guess just like in life you have to go through the bad to hopefully get to the good.

Maurice "Cool Reece" Thomas @CR_UnSportsMen

Maurice “Cool Reece” Thomas
@CR_UnSportsMen

What type of Woman is your team?  Twitter me or leave a comment

By:  Raymond “Big Play” Miller

Follow Me @bprunsportsmenm

So while I was watching Peyton Manning, on Monday night, carve up Oakland’s D as if they were Florida International.  I took a look at his numbers so far this season 12tds, 0ints, almost 1,200 yds and a crazy QB rating and thought to myself “man how will Peyton blow it this time”.  If you think it sounds harsh tell me why?  Peyton has made defenses look softer than Charmin and made coverage look weaker than a Chad Pennington hail mary; yet, his playoff record leaves much to be desired at 9-11.  Big Ben and Eli have combined for 4 SB but yet are currently a combined 0-6, and both never seem to perform great in the regular season, which has to make Peyton just throw up sometimes.  So let’s see…  the Broncos go 13-3 or 14-2 and will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs right!  We already know that no starting QB has won a SB with two different teams.  So which scenario that we have seen before dooms Peyton this time:

1.  Weather: Peyton just can’t get a good grip on the ball, which makes him inaccurate, see the Ravens playoff game last year.

2.  Raheem Moore/Defensive Letdown: does what Raheem Moore does and reads a play, or reads a pass as well as Stevie Wonder reads books.

3.  Peyton blames someone: the O-Line on some communication issues (sorry Jeff Saturday), WR running poor or sloppy routes (sorry Reggie Wayne), Game plan was too conservative (Dungy, and Fox).

4.  Bad refereeing:  A few bad calls or no calls disrupt the offense or cost the team the victory (They won’t call holding every play, right Belichick).

Look Peyton is one of the best QB’s I’ve ever seen play the game, and will go down as the Greatest Regular Season QB f All-time.  Peyton is way to good to be so average in the playoffs, so we will sit back and enjoy this great regular season, because we know doom and gloom awaits in the Postseason.

Raymond "Big Play" Miller @bprunsportsmenm

Raymond “Big Play” Miller
@bprunsportsmenm

By: Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnsportsmenBigJ

“He is a thief. They need to bring him up on federal charges. If a man robs you with no ski mask on, he’s gonna kill you. Exactly what he’s doing — he’s killing the franchise.”- Travis Johnson comments on Tony Romo. 

     This Travis Johnson outburst is just another example of the criticism, excuse me I mean HATE that Tony Romo receives.  Ladies and Gentleman Tony Romo is not a bad Quarterback.  He is actually a good Quarterback and a top 10 Quarterback.  Romo has just been placed in a bad situation which is called the “Star on the Helmet Frenzy”.  Let’s look at Romo and tell me what you think.

“Tony Romo is not that guy”- Travis Johnson

     Being a Cowboy QB is a lot of pressure.  You have to follow the shadows of Staubach, Aikman, and even Danny White was great for the moment (he did lead the Cowboys to 3 NFC Championships), but everyone seems to forget the QB’s that “Donned the Star” between Aikman to Romo.  Well let me remind you Quincy Carter, Anthony Wright, Ryan Leaf, Clint Steorner, Chad Hutchinson, Vinny Testerverde, Drew Hensen, and Drew Bledsoe.  I know this list is full of great Qbs.  Yet people think Romo is killing the Franchise.  This list shows the inept the Cowboys have been showing at the Qb position.  We would be calling Romo the savior of this Franchise if he played in Tampa Bay, or Jacksonville, but he has that darn Star on his helmet so the criticism abounds, but Tony Romo is that guy.

“Tony Romo has not earned a dollar he has been given in this league.”- Travis Johnson

     We need to look at what our expectations of Romo.  Are we forgetting that Tony Romo was an undrafted player out of Eastern Illinois.  What are/were we expecting out of him?  Here is a list of Undrafted Qb’s that were worth a damn.  Out of that list only Moon and Warner were show stoppers, I know you will say that Delhomme played in a Super Bowl, but let’s not forget the terrible life with Delhomme after that Super Bowl.  So basically undrafted Qb’s don’t do well and you kind of have to exclude Moon from the list because he was undrafted because of race issues not because he couldn’t play.  Again I ask what did you want or expect.  From where he started until now I think Romo has done a great job for himself and has earned way more than his fair share of money in this league.

“Tony Romo was given everything he has gotten.”- Travis Johnson

     Look around the league at the best QB’s in the game and you will notice a great correlation, good/great coaches.  Brady/Belicheck, Brees/Payton, Eli/Coughlin, Ryan/Smith, Peyton Manning is his own coach according to everyone, but even Fox has had a Super Bowl appearance with Delhomme as his QB.  Also outside of the Saints, all these QBs have had stable organizations.  Romo had Parcells for a year and half, then the “Stay Puff Marshmellow” Wade Phillips, and “I Have No Control” Jason Garrett.  Romo has never had a stable organization or a dominate coach during his time in Dallas.

“At one time, he had five Pro Bowlers on the offensive line”- Travis Johnson

     We all talk about the talent he has/had around him, I dare you to really look outside the paper of that talent and look that the real footage of it.  What running backs has he ever had that were outstanding?  Marian Barber? Felix Jones? Julius Jones? Come on, really…  and Murray can’t stay healthy to save Romo’s life.  The Wide Receivers have been a bit better, but not great, T.O.? Miles Austin (had some good years)?, Patrick Crayton? Terry Glenn (past his prime)?, Sam Hurd?, Roy E. Williams?, and Dez Bryant (who is becoming a stud but is a knucklehead)?  Romo’s best weapon has and will always be Jason Witten.  Minus Brady, and maybe Brees (but don’t forget the talent he had in San Diego and then Brees didn’t put up great numbers) all the “Elite QB” have had “Elite” type WR, and decent run games.  Also look at the offensive line Romo has had to play under, we give a lot of love to Flozell Adams, but he was a walking Offsides, and holding penalty don’t believe look it up (2008 14 penalties, 2009 13 penalties, 2010 8 penalties, but his season was cut short because of injury).  Adams damn near lead the league every year in those categories.  The last 2-3 years the O-line has been horrible.  In 2012 and 2011 Romo was the 6th most sacked QB, in 2010 43rd most sacked QB 2009 9th most sacked QB, so I wouldn’t say those “five Pro Bowlers” were doing great protecting Romo.  Lets not forget Romo’s ability to avoid being hit and sacked.

“Matt Schaub will get the job done,” …“I believe in him. I played with him [Schaub] and I’ve played against him. He [Schaub] can take this team to a Super Bowl”- Travis Johnson

     That’s funny because Schaub has the same amount of playoff wins as Romo does 1.  Now I know your asking “how is he going to defend the bonehead plays and playoff misfires.”  Honestly I can’t really totally defend it all, but a good chunk of it I can defend by saying BRET FAVRE!  That was his idol growing up, and let’s be honest Favre has had plenty of choke worthy games in his career.  Romo didn’t get blessed with the rocket arm of Favre but he might have gotten cursed with the gunslinger mentality of Favre.  Also we harbor on his 1-3 playoff record, well if you take away one great play run from a lot of “Elite” QB’s they are just normal.  Take away Aaron Rodgers 3 playoff wins in his Super Bowl year and he is dreadful.  How about Rodgers going 15-1 and getting knocked out of the playoffs.  We are not even going to mention Peyton’s below .500 playoff record.  Even as we stand Matt Ryan is 1-4 in the playoffs, with playoff blow outs on his resume.  All I’m saying is if Romo makes one Super Bowl run, then his record would become 4-3 and he is a different QB.

“When Tony Romo got to Dallas he had everything around him and is a loser,”- Travis Johnson

     I’m glad a guy with a 55-38 record is a loser.  Still we focus on the terrible with Romo on his “lack of Clutch” people don’t realize that Romo engineered 18 fourth quarter comebacks since 2006, five of which came last season.  He has the 5th most 4th quarter comebacks among active players.  Also among active players Tony Romo has the highest passer rating in the 4th quarter (102.1).  In this whole argument I have never uttered a word about the numbers Romo puts up every year.  Look at Super Bowl Champion QB Joe Flacco, we give him a lot of credit, but he has won playoff games throwing for 36 yds.  He also has had dreadful regular seasons, but all is forgotten because of his playoff run.  Eli Manning went through a stretch of 5 games without a touchdown thrown.  Even everyone’s new darling Matt Ryan last year had two games of 3 ints and 5 ints, but we forget because the Falcons won the game.  Yes Romo will self destruct sometimes, but so does every QB.  The better question to all the haters is find a better QB out there right now that can do a better job?  Not a starter, but a back up or free agent.  I doubt you can, but with Romo you know you are getting between 4100-4900 yards, 25-31 touchdowns, and 13 ints a season.  So we are looking at a 25 to 13 td to int ratio, so here is a list of other Qb’s in that range Matt Ryan, Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Flaco, Matt Schaub, and Philip Rivers.  Again the expectation of the “Star on the Helmet” and playing in “The House that Jerry Built” changes our image.

“it’s frustrating that the average fan doesn’t recognize how good a quarterback the Cowboys have in Romo”.- Troy Aikman

“I think Tony Romo is a championship quarterback… He can take a team to a championship. He can’t do it by himself, but I really believe he can do it.”

– Roger Staubach

“Do the Cowboys have a Super Bowl quarterback? Yes. Do they have a Super Bowl team?  No.” -Danny White

     Hopefully I have convinced you to lay off Romo, he is a good QB, and deserves better.  If he ever gets one ring on his finger the whole media will once again be saying “How Bout Dem Cowboys! and Romo”

P.S. I’m a Niners fan so this defense is in all sincerity, so I must really mean what I’m writing.

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

By: Jason “Big J” Allen, Follow Me @UnsportsmenBigJ

“Charges don’t stick to dude, he’s Teflon” Jay-Z “The Ruler’s Back” This is the NFL, John “Teflon Don” Gotti, nothing seems to effect the NFL image, EVER!  I have felt this way for a while but recently reading Joseph Haas (great follow too @JerseyHaas) Dings & Dents: The NFL Image Problem it made me think “Why can’t the NFL go the way of the MLB, and NBA image wise?”  What makes the NFL so untouchable?  At one time or another both the NBA, and MLB was considered untouchable, but boy how the mighty have fallen.  So what sets the NFL apart?  Why does the bad image never hurt the NFL?  One huge reason is the NFL is marketed as the “Ultimate TEAM SPORT!”

Let’s start with the NBA, during its heyday the talent was great and the technical part of the game was amazing.  Less athletes but you had more skill on the floor.  The first hurdle the NBA hit was a drug problem in the 60’s, 70’s, and early 80’s.   Say what you want about the David Stern, but he spent a whole career as a Commish cleaning up that image.  Luckily with emerge of Magic/Bird, and later MJ he had the great thought to promote “SuperStars”.  Yes, come one come all and see these extraordinary men play basketball.  The NBA is the most “Star studded” league out of the majors three, and that was by design.  Stern basically said look at how my league just produces stars you can follow from college up to the big leagues.  Well eventually that backfired with straight from high school jumps, which lowered the skill on the court, and the adding of more franchises (less is sometimes more).  Also the drug image got replaced eventually over time with the “Thug persona”.  Who could forgot players coming to the arena looking like rappers?  So you marketed a league around individual SuperStars and when the SuperStars were not as talented, or represented a certain aspect of the society that the masses couldn’t relate to, the league, got a bad rap (no pun).  Now the NBA is making every player go Justin Timberlake “Suit and Tie” and we are starting to see the NBA fashion atmosphere come straight from the runway to the Press Conference.  I’m not to keen on the 1 year rule the league has mandated I think it should be closer to the NFL with 3 years so we can see these players grow overseas, or in college.  Also with the Stars actually being talented, and LBJ taking the spotlight to lead the league we are seeing a revamped image similar to the dare I say MJ years.

MLB is the perfect example of duality in image.  The MLB loved its status of “America’s Pasttime”, it had stars, excitement, and history.  The thing that hurt the MLB saved it all at the same time.  It’s history and reliance on numbers.  The MLB is probably the slowest evolving sport, look at its stance on replay.  Look how it refuses to put a better product on TV.  You have officially divided your fans MLB, the younger generation looks at you like a dinosaur because of your lack of technology and advancements, while the older generation looks at your PED issue as the destruction of the beloved stats.  When you have a drug problem that enhances performance, which enhances stats, it hurts the history of a sport that is so numbers and history orientated to a mockery.  Right now as I write your Home Run King was a PED user, and the league lacks the guts to do anything about it, because that would be change and we know the MLB is slow to do that.  So for the foreseeable future whenever we see a player jump in stats we will ask questions of how legit it is (Please let Puig be the real thing).  The MLB is directly responsible for its image of cheaters and old geezers, because it turned its head during the early reports of PED use.  The MLB turns its nose up at tech that can make the game better, or at least help get the call right (Angel Hernandez anyone).  Now because of the image you have made part of your culture you have a generation of kids growing up in the “Steroid era/PED era” and we are starting to see an apathy when it comes to cheaters.  Now the MLB is cleaning house and trying to slowly introduce technology, but it maybe a little to late to reclaim the #1 spot in America’s heart.

Now I know the NFL has had 30 arrest since the end of the Super Bowl, and right now one of the NFL’s stars is going through a trial that is revealing more horrendous acts every day.  Yet the Shield takes a bump, and like a good blacksmith the league continues to smooth it out.  Because the NFL is promoted as a team sport, and a next man up mentality its hard to associate the league with the acts of individuals.  Yes, the NFL promotes stars, you have your Peyton Manning who had a million commercials and SNL appearances, but did we forget that just 2 years ago we had a league with no Peyton Manning in it, and we still watched.  Imagine if the NBA lost LBJ for a year, would YOU watch?  Probably not.  In the NFL numbers don’t matter only wins Ben Roethlisberger and Eli Manning have some of the worse regular season stats of QB’s but yet they sit with 2 rings each.  We don’t call them a bum, because they win.  MLB you can have nasty numbers but turn up in the postseason and all everyone will point to is your average regular season’s when it’s HOF time (Curt Schilling is still not in HOF yet he helped revive and lead two snake bitten franchises to a World Series Championship).  Hell the NFL touted out Replacement players in 1987 and even Replacement Refs in two separate occasions (Fail Mary, the Nation will never forget) and we still watched.  This is all because the NFL never rests its head on one gimmick to be marketable.  The NFL never forgets its past, but always tries to push the envelope into the future, all while reminding America this is a team sport and one player will never destroy that image, even if its been 30 so far.  The NFL has Stars, the NFL has Stats, and the NFL has a image that everyone can get behind “Teamwork”.  So when it comes to an image to quote Lebron James and Lil’ Wayne the NFL “Ain’t got no worries!”

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

By: Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow me @UnSportsMenBigJ

Super Bowl champs to the toilet bowl champs.  This is the sentiment from a lot of Raven’s fans and NFL Fandom as a whole.  Well not so fast, trust in Ozzie!  Yes, TRUST IN OZZIE NEWSOME.  He is one of the best Football minds in the league, especially when it comes to building a team.  Remember the Ravens we an expansion team…  Well sorta.  Since 1996 he has typically put together a competitive team.  Everyone jumping off the cliff about the Ravens is forgetting some key things like, time, the New NFL, and the division.

            Now Ozzie Newsome has been the VP/Football Operations, and GM since 1996.  In that time frame he has 2 Super Bowl rings.  So every 8.5 years he delivers on a Super Bowl, which means the organization trust him and will give him nothing but TIME to build a contender.  If you are not making moves to save your job every year you can take a chance on players and take your time developing talent.  Most coaches, players, and GM’s don’t have that luxury, so every decision Ozzie makes is with a Sniper Rifle, not a hand gun, or should I say he has the bird eye view of his team and future.

            Secondly we are forgetting that we are in a “New NFL”, what does that mean?  Dominate defense out the window.  The league is about bend but don’t break mentality now.  Look at the Super Bowl, everyone knew the Niners were a better team, arguably better defense and offense.  Yet the Niners lost, why? The Ravens got touchdowns while the Niners had turnovers or field goals.  The most critical point of the game the Ravens Defense bent, but didn’t break.  Or rather held and didn’t fall (I’m with Jim that was a hold on Crabtree), so why have high paid defensive players?  Pollard, Kruger, Reed, Lewis, and etc, with those players the Ravens ranked 17th in total defense and lets not forget the Giants won a Super Bowl with a terrible defense and faced a Patriots team that was in the bottom two of defense that year.

            In this New NFL, its all about offense and more importantly the Quarterback.  Now you hav looked up your QB for the future, and I know everyone thought that Flacco deal was no good or he didn’t earn that money, but just think for a second, who out there is better that the Ravens could get?  NO-BODY!  So you look him up for your future and let’s be honest Flacco numbers are comparable to Eli Manning’s, and Ben Roethlisberger’s numbers and we hold them in higher status, why, because of Super Bowl rings.  Now Flacco has one so now he is worth the money.  Also with this new NFL, the CBA has made it that if you sign a 1st round pick, they can’t, repeat CAN’T renegotiate until the end of their third year.  This means you get younger players that you can develop on a rookie pay scale for 3 years.  Even worse for 2nd round picks where you have to wait 4 years before you can talk contract, sorry Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick.  This all means that you have time to build a team for the future because everyone you drafted now can’t sniff new money until 2016.  Add that on top of Ozzie having time and now locking up his most important offensive weapon, we are starting to equal a smart move to dump the older junk this year.

            Lastly if I haven’t sold you on everything else, the most important thing is the AFC North.  There is no real contender, so this was the best time to rebuild.  You have the same old Browns that have an offensive core the Richardson, Gordon, but questions surrounding Weeden.  So the Browns may not be a contender, then you look at the Steelers that are basically doing the same thing the Ravens are doing.  The Steelers are trying to get young in a hurry to compete.  Just like Ozzie, Tomlin (Steelers have only had 3 Head Coaches in their franchise history) has time and an organization that stands behind their people.  So basically your greatest rival is occupying the same space you are, you went and grabbed a ring while they were rebuilding and now your rebuilding so when they are back you will be back.  Then you have the Bengals, who have a young core, have playoff experience and are looking to take the next step next year.  You may have to concede the division to them this year, because they are a young team that has taken bumps and now are ready to go, basically what you are looking to be 2 seasons from now.  So let them win the division for the next year or two, and then the Ravens can return to contend.

            So Raven fans and the NFL slow down on counting the Ravens out or not realizing the bigger picture; Ozzie Newsome is setting this team and franchise up with future success.  We also have no guarantee that the Ravens won’t be good, you still have a good Ray Rice, an amazing Torrey Smith, consistent Dennis Pitta, you added Elvis Dumervil to go along with Terrell Suggs.  The Ravens drafted a safety in Matt Elam that everyone was high on to replace Ed Reed, Arthur Brown that might be a 2nd round steal ala Navarro Bowmen for 49ers, Brandon Williams has a great motor just needs to refine his technique, and John Simon is a rare talent that needs to better work against the run.  Also if Ozzie let Anquan Bolden go he must have a lot of trust or saw a ton of potential in Tandon Doss who didn’t play a down last year because of a sports hernia.  So trust in Ozzie Newsome and doubt him “Nevermore!”

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

Ray Lewis is riding into the sunset with a trophy in each hand.  Not a bad way to go.  He was the leader of the Ravens, now Joe “Cool” Flaco, or Smokin’ Joe is taking the reins (don’t doubt that he will be signed).  This will mark a significant change in philosophy for the Ravens from defense to offense.

The Ravens D has gotten old.  You saw it during the Super Bowl, as an older team they couldn’t get themselves back up after the Blackout delay.  Also they got pushed around, but credit due, when their backs were against the goal line they didn’t break.  The Ravens must get younger on defense which means growing pains or aka Joe cools time.  Keeping and developing the D is going to be the challenge, which is funny when you’re talking Ravens.

Joe was brought in when the defense carried the team and asked not to lose the game (Trent Dilfer).  Then told to manage the offense and get in position to win (Brad Johnson).  Now he is asked to be productive and win (see every elite QB and Eli Manning).  Seeing how Smokin Joe Cool is Super Bowl MVP I think he gets it.

Joe may not dance, or eat grass, but as long as he can “Just Win Baby” he should be fine.  People don’t realize that Joe is the winningest QB since 2008.  He is about to enter the elite conversation, yet the story is still to be written. In my view (which is through the windshield not the rear view, shout out to Colin Cowherd) Joe is the best young QB right now (sorry Matty Ice, it is what it is).

Seeing the Ravens as an offensive team will be different but everything evolves and so has Joe’s skill set and ability. They do need to continue the evolution and sure up the offensive line, but with Ray Rice still in his prime, they should be in the best offense talk for the next 5 years.  I’m just hoping to enjoy the ride.

I’m Just Saying.

 JD

FINALLY THE NFL AND THE FIRST FAMILY MIGHT GET WHAT THEY’VE WANTED SINCE THE END OF THE 2007 SEASON.  Peyton vs Eli, The Sheriff vs Mr.Clutch, Intense vs Ah Shucks, with the Super Bowl in there hometown of New Orleans, dam Jason (Expectations of Peyton Manning in Denver) was right it is Super Bowl or bust for Denver.  Roger Goodell probably has pee’d on himself in delight just of the thought of a Manning vs Manning Super Bowl.  As if the league wasn’t popular enough.

Eli has the G-Men at 6-2 and tell him a team they can’t beat and watch them beat the brakes off them (You saw that 49ers game). The front four of Tuck, Osi, JPP, and Canty (I call the “Gangham Gang”) are a terror for opposing quarterbacks and along with Nicks and Cruz (best slot WR in the game, sorry Welker you can’t dance like Cruz); the G-Men will be a tough out in the playoffs.

Peyton’s the story here; coming off 4 neck surgeries.  Come on we thought he’d be successful but this is ridiculous.  The sheriff is on a mission like “YALL MUST’VE FORGOT”(Yes a Roy Jones Jr. reference). Peyton in his last 4 games has completed 75% of his passes with a td-int ratio of 12-1 and look at the remaining schedule: @ Cinn, @ Car, SD, @ KC, TB, @ Oak, @ Balt, Cle, and KC that could easily be a 12-4 finish.  Let’s not forget that Peyton has the young guns on the outside Decker, and Thomas; the wise old hands of McGahee, and Stokley.  For the second time in his career a defense that can stop somebody with rush ends Miller and Dumervil.

Man as long as someone takes out Brady for Peyton in the playoffs they won’t be stopped (still not sold on the Texans). Now Eli beats Brady but he ain’t never beat Peyton.  Stay tuned because Archie Manning may become the king of Bourbon Street and the NFL, move over Goodell, the First Family is here! #CooperManningwefeelyourPain

Raymond

Patriots 10-6 YOU CRAZY

At the beginning of the football season I made an outlandish prediction that was based on a little research and some well earned football common sense. It was not a popular prediction, and it certainly didn’t make me any new friends. What was this dire prediction, you ask?  “The Magnificent Patriots will go 10-6.”

Of course, everyone scoffed at me. I had to endure a good but of ridicule and I don’t even want to describe the looks I got from Patriots fans (Yes, I am talking about you Adam P. Mason). So, I finally decided to elaborate on my thought process and share my research that this prediction was based off of.

I looked at what teams were successful against the Pats last year. I went to the most recent and most popular team at trumping (pun intended, just wait for it) the Patriots: the New York Giants (Get it? New York, Donald Trump…nevermind). What do the Giants have that works to their advantage? A great defensive front line, athletic play making wide receivers, a solid run game, and an elite quarterback…or at least a quarterback that can make plays. With those four elements in mind, I figured I had The Blueprint (I will leave Jay-Z out of it). All that I had to do next was compare these aspects to others teams the Pats lost to last year.

The Bills beat the Pats early in the season, and the Bills do have an athletic wide receiver (S. Johnson) and a solid run game (F. Jackson). If you’ll recall, at the time when the Bills played the Pats Fitzpatrick was making plays. So, the Bills had three out of four pieces of The Blueprint.

The Cowboys were very close to beating the Pats, and they have important aspects of The Blueprint as well: Ware and Ratcliff on the line, Bryant and Austin as wide receivers, and Tony Romo. Say what you want about Romo, the man makes plays. The Cowboys had three out of four elements of The Blueprint.

The Steelers beat the Pats, and once again they fit The Blueprint. Even though I feel the Steelers are a passing team now, they still have the ability to run effectively with Mendenhall, Redman, and Moore.  Add M. Wallace and A. Brown at WR, a menacing defensive front, and you have Big Ben enough said.

There were close games against both the Ravens and the Dolphins. I know you can get the Ravens, so I won’t bother going into detail there.  But why would I mention the Dolphins? Well at the end of the season, Reggie Bush was running great and they had an athletic wide receiver in Brandon Marshal. Also important is that the Dolphins had thirteen sacks in the month of December alone (more than any other month of that season). Four of those sacks were in their game against the Pats. The only thing the Dolphins were missing was the quarterback.

Once I scrutinized over those stats, I looked at this year’s schedule. These are the games I highlighted as loses: Ravens, Seahawks (at the time I thought Flynn was starting), Texans, 49ers, Broncos (Pats beat Broncos), and one upset. As to which team was going to be the upset, I was torn. I thought would be either Dolphins, Cardinals (they pulled this one out so I need another upset), or Jets (Jets dropped the ball…I’m looking at you Stephen Hill).

Now why do these elements of The Blueprint work? What about it gives teams a better chance to win against the Patriots? Well first, the Pats don’t have a dynamic outside wide receiver to beat man to man consistently so play man coverage on the outsides.  The Pats don’t have good corners, so athletes can beat them in man to man situations (and even in some double team situations). This is what makes the athletic wide receiver an important element.

Second, a solid run game keeps the Pats defense honest and takes away their strong point: the Patriots’ Offense. Not to mention the run game exposes their average linebackers for play action.

Third, and almost (but not quite) the most important element is an elite or play making quarterback. Look at both Super Bowls: the Tyree catch and the Manningham throw and catch. Average quarterbacks are not making those throws or plays, but Eli would and did.

The fourth, last, and most important component is the defensive front line. If you have four good defensive front linemen, you can put pressure on Brady without blitzing. Brady and Welker will eat blitzes for late evening snacks. However, the pressure of a solid defensive front line will wear Brady down. This will allow teams to zone up the inside, neutralizing Welker, Gronk, and Hernandez.

Now I’m not saying that its fool proof, but look at the numbers. Look at the games. You can see a trend. Belichick has been trying to improve that defense for how long? Four years? Unless Ryan Mallet is the next Steve Young, enjoy the ride Patriot fans. Five Super Bowl appearances and three wins isn’t too bad, but its time to come to terms with it.

 

Jason

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