The NFL season as usual, began with a bang in Week 1. Peyton Manning throws for 7 TDs, Reggie Bush puts on his best Marshall Faulk impersonation, the Eagles play their first game of the season like their fast forward button was stuck, Colin Kaepernick found another way to stick it to the Packers, the Steelers & the Jaguars forget how to score, and the San Diego Chargers find yet another way to choke a late game lead. Throughout the season, I’ll be given you a rundown of the week’s games in question form. For this session, it’ll be less of a recap and more of the questions that I had before the season started that I still feel needed to be answered even after week one was done. Let’s start first with the biggest star from Week 1…..
Is Peyton Manning the best regular season QB ever?
I had this debate with my friend during last week’s game vs. Baltimore, but I do believe Peyton is the best QB in NFL history…..during the regular season. Think about it for a second: He’s won 68% of his games for his career; his stats per season over his career, 4000 yds/30 TDs/13 INTs; 4 MVPs which is the most in NFL history (almost won 5 if not for Adrian Peterson last year); 12-time Pro Bowler, 6-time All-Pro. Plus having him under center is a guaranteed 11 wins, a spot in the playoffs, & in most cases, a Super Bowl contender. He dominates teams during the season like some sort of android. I’ll never say the best ever because, well, he is 9-11 in the playoffs, so even though he won a Super Bowl, you can make the argument that his teams sometimes plays playoff games with two hands around their necks. Also, I’m biased because I’m a 49er fan since I was little so I’ll always say Joe Montana is the greatest ever. Dominated the 80s, won 4 Super Bowls, never lost a Super Bowl game he played in, & unlike another 4x Super Bowl winner Terry Bradshaw, he was THE MAN for all four of those championships teams. Basing this strictly off regular seasons, it’s hard to argue against Manning who’s been playing at this elite lever for 14 of 16 seasons (omitting his rookie year and the 2011 season he missed from his four neck surgeries). On the other side of the spectrum…
Will Tim Tebow Play in the NFL Again???
God I hope not. As much as the NFL want to hitch their star to this wagon, the dude simply can’t throw. He can’t make accurate passes, which is kind of important for a QB in the NFL. It’s absolutely astounding that he’s lasted this long. What makes me laugh is hearing everyone pushing him towards the CFL. Yes, the league is a minor league in comparison the NFL, but the CFL is a passing league too. Have they seen the size of the field? The end zone itself is like 30 yards long, and it’s a 3-down league. If he has problems with accuracy, Tebow’s not going to survive there either. He should probably take a year off and just work on his mechanics. He can start by throwing the ball in the ocean at first, then get down to smaller targets; like throwing the ball between two trees; then hitting only one of the trees; then through a hula hoop; then an archery board, while backing up the distances to throw from. Then, and only then, should he get a shot at the NFL again, and not a moment sooner.
Will AP Run for 2000 Yards in back-to-back seasons?
Can’t say that will happen. He had possibly the most amazing season a running back can ever have considering the injury he had just 9 months before last season started. Once he got his groove going, it was nothing to watch him break off 70-yard runs, while receiving a text from one of your friends saying, “Are you watching AP??? He’s got 160 yards & the 3rd Q just started!!!” By the time the season ended — he had 2,097 yards, just 8 yards shy of breaking Dickerson’s all time record – and all the awards and accolades were won, you can almost understand in this day & age why you heard rumblings of testing for HGH when his name was mentioned (which I’ll mention I don’t think he’s on by the way…or hope). But out of all the RB’s that ran for more than 2,000 yards in a season, no one has even come close the following season to that number. Only Barry Sanders came the closest & he finished just shy of 1,500 yards (1,497) the next year in 1998, before abruptly retiring after that season. Think about this, we’ve been calling Chris Johnson CJ2K since 2009 when he ran for 2,006 yards, & he’s never been the same since. I almost feel like it takes something out of you physically, like it’s the ultimate sacrifice an RB can make in his career. Only Dickerson still had enough tread on his tires to kick out 1,821 in 1986 with the L.A. Rams & 1,659 in 1988, his first full season with the Indianapolis Colts. Look at the list of the 5 RB’s here who ran for 2,000 yards, followed by their stats the next season:
O. Simpson – 1973, 14G, 332/2,003/12 TDS; next season: 14G, 270/1125/3
E. Dickerson – 1984, 16G, 379/2,105/14; next season: 14G, 292/1,234/12
B. Sanders – 1997, 16G, 335/2,053/11; next season: 16G, 343/1,491/4
T. Davis – 1998, 16G, 392/2,008/21; next season: 4G, 67/211/2
C. Johnson – 2009, 16G, 358/2,006/14; next season: 16G, 316/1,364/11
A. Peterson – 2012, 16G, 348/2,097/12: next season: ???
I think Peterson is a freak of nature, but between the wear and tear, defences loading up 8 in a box every time until J.P. Losman Rob Johnson Casey Printers Christian Ponder proves he can be a consistent threat in the pocket or to at least keep defences honest enough, I can see him surpassing Barry’s total & coming closest to 2,000 on that list above this season: 16G, 302/1650/12. Still a successful season, but still not close enough. Judging from Week 1, he only had 15 yards on 17 carries after breaking that 78 yard TD run on his 1st carry, I’m thinking teams will contain him better than they did last year. Now, if he runs for 200+ this weekend vs. the Bears… we may have to revisit this section.
Will Buffalo make the playoffs this season?
Lol… come on now. Stop it. I will say this: they do have some good pieces in place. Between C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson, rookie QB, E.J. Manuel, a solid O-Line, and guys like Leonis McKelvin, Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus, Stephon Gilmore, Jarius Byrd (if he ends his contract holdout) on defence, they’re about a year away from sniffing a playoff spot. They should finish the season as the 2nd best team in the AFC East, which may mean nothing as this is THE worst division in the NFL, but still, you gotta strive for something Bills fans!
How bad will the Raiders be?
Terrell Pyror’s admission that up until this season, he didn’t know how to throw a football, I mean….what more is there to say? The funny thing is, he actually gives them the best chance to win. Mind you, he didn’t have a bad game vs. the Colts last week (19-29, 217 yards, 112 yards rushing, 70.6 QBR) & will have to depend on his legs as much as his arm to move the chains down the field, but he is pretty raw. This isn’t even Cam Newton-lite, this is a extremely poor man’s Cam. Even if Darren McFadden can stay healthy for 16 games (unlikely, but still), teams will ultimately stick 8 & 9 guys in the box & force them to depend on Pryor. And with no weapons to speak of on both sides of the ball, I just can’t see this team winning more than two games. They will stink so bad they’ll be eligible for both the JaDaveon Clowney sweepstakes and the Andrew Wiggins lottery. Yes, their stench will cross into other sports. Speaking of stinking….
Should Matt Flynn have just stayed in Green Bay as a backup QB?
Since he left Green Bay to try to run his own team, he lost his starting spot in training camp to a 3rd rounder in last year’s draft that may very well be one of the top 5 QBs in the next 2 years (Russell Wilson), to then get traded to a new situation in Oakland where he couldn’t beat out a guy who was drafted in the 3rd round….of the 2011 Supplemental draft. When given a chance to legitimately run your own team as a QB, you have to take it if you have any competitive spirit as an athlete, but considering that he no longer has a shot at the starting QB spot for the Raiders (at least right now), maybe holding a clipboard for Aaron Rodgers might be a better situation at this point. At least you’re holding it for a superstar, at least there’s some pride in that….right???
Will the Saints reincarnate the spirit of the 2007 Patriots?
After last year’s Bountygate fiasco & disappointing 8-8 finish, the Saints got back their head coach Sean Payton, after taking the fall and being suspended for the full season. They may not have protested it publicly (not including Johnathan Vilma of course), but they felt like the punishment was excessive, and it definitely affected their play calling on the field, giving up the most yards for a defence (7,092) in NFL history. I sense a very strong revenge factor this season playing with a massive chip on their shoulders (already beating their rivals Atlanta Falcons in Week 1) and then running up the score every chance they get, especially in their division. Now if Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan can get the defence to be at least the middle of the pack in comparison with the rest of the league, they will win 13 games this season & reclaim their spot not only at the top of the NFC South, but will be right there with San Francisco and Seattle as the elite SB Contenders from this conference. With that in place, it will allow Drew Brees to win his 1st NFL MVP. I’m predicting his 3rd straight 5,000+ yd season, with 49 TDs and 10 INT’s max. Am I saying this because I have him on my fantasy team? Absolutely! But I also think he’s about due for one. Out of the super elite QB group we have in the league right now (Brady, Manning, Rodgers, Brees), only Brees hasn’t won one MVP yet. This year, it’ll be his turn.
Can Larry Fitzgerald have a bounce-back season?
Considering his O-Line has improved a bit, finally getting a competent QB (Carson Palmer) throwing him the ball again, and looking at the stats that he is coming off of from last season, the worst since his rookie year I might add (71/798/4 TDs), he’s going to bounce back in a major way. He’s slowly coming out of the back end of his prime years as a WR, but he will float back into the discussion with the top 3 receivers in this game again. I see him putting up somewhere around 97/1305/11 in 2013. Whoever has him on their fantasy team, rejoice!
Over/Under: Danny Amendola plays 12 games this year.
UNDER!! Not only was he already hurt going into the regular season, but now he’s not even playing tonight. Including Sunday’s game, Amendola has played a combined 13 games in two years and has a combined 7 TD for his entire career. Now he’s just supposed to replace Wes Welker as if that job can be done by just about anyone??? Listen, say what you want about the Patriots Way and their systems, but Welker has been the best slot WR since 2007, and not only that, but he’s been incredibly durable too, missing 3 out of a possible 96 games during that period. I don’t care if Welker’s in Denver, he’s going to put up similar stats on that team. New England took him for granted, and they will miss his steady presence this season. They will still win the division because as I mentioned, it’s the shittiest division in the NFL, but unless Amendola stays healthy and as productive as Welker; and Rob Gronkowski plays like he did in 2011, they don’t win a playoff game.
MVP – QB Drew Brees, New Orleans
Offensive Player of the Year: QB Peyton Manning, Denver
Defensive Player of the Year: CB Richard Sherman, Seattle
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Eddie Lacy, Green Bay
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Manti T’eo LB Barkevious Mingo, Cleveland
Coach of the Year: Sean Payton, New Orleans
Comeback Player of the Year: WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona
AFC Playoff Teams: 1. Denver 2. Houston 3. Cincinnati 4. New England 5. Indianapolis 6. Baltimore
NFC Playoff Teams: 1. New Orleans 2. San Francisco 3. Chicago 4. Washington 5. Seattle 6. Green Bay
Conference Championships – AFC: Denver over Houston; NFC: San Francisco over New Orleans
Super Bowl Prediction: San Francisco over Denver
Game of the Week
San Francisco @ Seattle. Sun 8:15PM
This could turn out to be the game of the year, even this early in the season. Two Super Bowl contending teams out of the NFC West who can’t stand each other, two coaches who have had beef since they were both coaching in college a few years ago, both teams are led by young, franchise changing QB’s, supported by dynamic running games with smash-mouth defences to match. I may be biased, but I think the 49ers take this one in a very, very, VERY close game that goes down to the last two minutes. I’m anticipating lots of hitting, lots of trash talking, lots of skirmishes & possibly one player to be carried off to the locker room. Most importantly, I can’t wait to see the match-up between Colin Kaepernick & Russell Wilson again, who I think will be the two best QB’s in the league by 2015. My runner up game of the week is tonight’s game with the Jets @ Patriots. Ok, I don’t really believe that, but I just wanted an excuse to show these…..
God Bless the Jets.
Cal Cee // South Shore Ave
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