Learn Something New Every Week In The NFL
January 9, 2011 13 Comments
I’m not sure that exciting is the word that does this 2011 wild card weekend justice. 3 out of the 4 games went down to the wire and in the 1 game that wasn’t decided in last 2 minutes we have a very tragic but heart-warming story coming from the life of Ed Reed.
There is just so much that we found out this week that I couldn’t narrow my post down to just one single topic. I think that we learned a lot from only a couple of days and a few games, so without further ado here is my post as we’re going to school a little early this morning and giving you 5 lessons that you should take with you from this past weekend.
1. Don’t bet on sports. If you truly believe that you can predict the winners on any given week then maybe you should join the guys from ‘21’ and head down to Vegas. Much to my chagrin the New Orleans Saints were upset as 11 point favourites away from home against the Seattle Seahawks. I guess I might have been a little wrong about the Saints ability to make a serious run this post-season because the first team to enter the playoffs with a losing record obviously becomes the first team with a losing record to win a playoff game.
Analysts can spew out all the reasons why a certain outcome will occur, but when the game starts all those numbers and whatever else you hear is thrown out the window. Don’t bet on sports, really, it is not a good idea.
2. Rex Ryan can talk all he wants. Rex Ryan is a one man circus. His vast collection of sound bites is unprecedented and his arrogance, whether real or not, seemingly matches that of the late Napoleon Bonaparte. People have been starting to get tired of his antics but when he wins it really doesn’t matter.
Of course, Rex Ryan thinks his team is Super Bowl worthy and prior to his teams matchup with the Colts this weekend he said that it was “personal” with regards to Peyton Manning.
Stupid? Probably, but his team held Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts to 16 points. I’m all in favour of his antics because it provides greater entertainment for us all. Moreover, in reality the media blows most these types of inconsequential things out of proportion, especially when the team is losing. Rex Ryan’s team has struggled at times this year and the way he deals with the media suddenly becomes an issue when the task at hand goes off course. As long as Rex Ryan keeps winning he can say whatever the hell he wants to say.
3. The Chiefs are not ready. As much as Matt Cassel has improved this year, the last couple weeks he played much like he did at the beginning of the year. Once the Ravens came out of the second half and adjusted to stop the run, the Chiefs weren’t able to muster anything offensively. The defence actually did a pretty solid job considering the field position the Ravens were awarded off of turnovers on a number of occasions.
However, too many mistakes such as being offside on a punt are just part of the growing pains that come along with a young team. The Chiefs were blessed with an easy schedule and a Chargers team that didn’t live up to the expectations. I do think the Chiefs time is going to come eventually, with a big reason for that being their rock solid front office, but it might not be for a couple more years.
4. Michael Vick is not durable enough to be a long-term option. Good luck, bad luck who knows, because when the Eagles were given another opportunity at their 2 point conversion in the 4th quarter Vick ended up rolling his left ankle while failing the conversion attempt. There is no doubt that Vick is soon to be the recipient of some sort of extended contract with what should be a fair bit of guaranteed money.
However, this season we have seen Vick beaten, battered and bruised. He missed 4 games because of injuries and with his constant scrambling he has put himself into situations that spell disaster. Vick became more of a pocket-passer than most of us could have ever imagined this season, but that didn’t mean that he stopped doing what makes him the most electrifying player in football.
Too often Michael Vick is in positions where he is going to get hurt. With him being over the age of 30 I can’t imagine him lasting multiple season’s injury free, much less one full injury free season. As a fan of the game I hope that Michael Vick can play a good 5 more years of football, but it looks like the team that signs him better have an adequate backup waiting in the wings.
5. Running Backs are a dime a dozen. What has to be the position where we hear the most stories of players leaving the depths of obscurity for the bright lights of the NFL? Running backs. In my humble opinion, teams spend too much effort on find and subsequently drafting supposed franchise running backs. There are just a whole lot of them out there and you can take your pick because most of them aren’t much different from one another.
Your Adrian Peterson’s, Chris Johnson’s, and Maurice Jones-Drew’s may not be a dime a dozen but given the right offensive line there are so many guys that can fit the bill of NFL running back.
James Starks of the Green Bay Packers became the latest member of the unknown running backs who make an impact club. Fresh out of the very prestigious University of Buffalo, Starks, a 6th round pick, ran for 123 yards on only 23 carries against the Eagles on Sunday. He didn’t just rack up the yards on one big run either as his long on the day was only 27 yards. James Starks was a major factor in the Packers victory but as I said this is nothing new for the NFL.
From this year exclusively, Starks joins the likes of Fred Jackson, Christopher Ivory, Peyton Hiillis, Mike Tolbert, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Woodhead, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Arian Foster (2009 doesn’t quite qualify as a breakout season) who have made a significant impact for their respective teams. Quite an extensive list there eh?
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