Tag Archives: Peyton Manning

Four Down Journey: Super Bowl Questions

Welcome to the Four Down Journey where Peyton Manning attempts to win the Lombardi trophy in his brother’s backyard; where Russell Wilson looks to become the second black QB to win a Super Bowl; where we don’t overanalyze the Richard Sherman topic; and where we support Marshawn Lynch because…well, he’s just ’bout that action.

Today we look to answer the Super Bowl questions from a different perspective.

File:Super Bowl XLVIII logo.png

What is the most important matchup for Super Bowl XLVIII?

I know you might be expecting me to say Peyton Manning versus Richard Sherman and the Seahawks secondary, & while I do think that it’s a very important factor of the game, it’s not the most important factor. This game, much like a lot of football games will come down to who will win in the trenches. In this case, it will be Seattle’s Defensive line led by Cliff Avril & Michael Bennett vs. Denver’s Offensive line led by Scarborough’s own Orlando Franklin. Seattle’s defensive levels has been flirting with some of the legendary defences that we’ve ever seen in the NFL, which we haven’t seen since the Ray Lewis led Baltimore Ravens team from 2000. However, the Broncos’ O-Line has kept Peyton Manning upright & clean all season. Peyton’s the best at picking teams apart, it doesn’t matter what kind of secondary is across the line from him…..as long as he has the time to throw. Much like Brady in this regard, you have to create a pass rush from the line in order to speed up his clock. If you blitz him, he will kill you. Send a secondary to blitz, he’ll find the open receiver before you’ll have the chance to hit him. Bennett & Avril did a great job in the NFC championship collapsing the pocket & getting Colin Kaepernick to turn the ball over 3 times in the 4th quarter. They will have to win that matchup in order to get real pressure on Manning. If not, it could be a long day for Seattle overall.

One rumor I’ve been hearing about is that they have signed DE Steve Lattimer to help them deal with Manning last week, but found out that it may not be a good idea to keep him after they told him he would be starting in New York…..

…..okay, maybe this didn’t happen. I’ll try to lay off the PED jokes. I won’t promise though.

Will there be a scandal that overshadows the Super Bowl?

In other words, will there be anything like the Eugene Robinson story or someone mentally snapping like Barrett Robbins on Saturday night? Hard to say. If you remember, Robinson (the starting free safety for the Atlanta Falcons) the night before Super Bowl 33, was arrested for picking up a prostitute who was posing as an undercover cop…..with his wife sleeping at the hotel. To make matters worse, he picked up the Bart Starr Award that same evening from the Athletes in Action Christian group for his community work & his high moral character. You couldn’t make this up. Of course John Elway picked on him immediately resulting in an 80-yard TD to Rod Smith that went sailing right over Robinson’s head, attributing to a 34-17 loss for the Falcons.

With Robbins (who was the Pro Bowl starting Center for the Oakland Raiders), he had a mental breakdown after not taking his depression medication and was so far gone that he reportedly told his wife he was in Tijuana partying & drinking, thinking the Raiders already won the Super Bowl. Losing your Pro-Bowl player hours before the game? Well, I think you know what happened next.

Being that we live in the social media culture right now, it would be extremely dumb to act foolish the night before the big game, but as we all know, athletes will do the dumbest things regardless on who has a smartphone around them. Although both teams are stationed in New Jersey for the week, Manhattan & Brooklyn and the whole “City That Never Sleeps” elements are literally across the Hudson. While I don’t think a scandal will happen this weekend, these crazy type of situations happen much more than you think. Don’t think these are the only two situations where drama unfolded behind the scenes during Super Bowl week, most teams just do a great job at keeping it under wraps. If something does happen though, it’s guaranteed to shut down Twitter.

Why does Marshawn Lynch have the problem?

Think about it. You are a person that doesn’t like to really speak to the media or grant much interviews; yet because of the NFL’s rules, you have to get microphones shoved in your face Super Bowl Tuesday & Wednesday to answer questions like, “Have you ever made it rain at a strip club?” & “What colored skittles taste the best?”. I understand part of an athletes job is to speak with the media, especially during the biggest event of the year, but to force someone to the tune of $100K for not speaking with reporters? Doesn’t he have the right to not speak if he doesn’t want to? He showed you all season that he doesn’t want to speak to the media, even taking the $50K fine at the end of the season. So now as a reporter, you’re mad that he doesn’t say much to you guys during a media scrum? He even said he’s only there so he doesn’t get fined.

There are so, so many players that you can interview with interesting stories on both teams, just pick one. Knowshon Moreno has a very good story about his life & upbringing. So does Demaryius Thomas whose mother & grandmother were running the streets like Avon Barksdale & Stringer Bell growing up, & are watching Sunday’s Super Bowl from prison. But the biggest story so far this week is about trying to interview a person that doesn’t want to be spoken with. Seems like a complete waste of time to me, & I don’t blame Lynch for it either. With that said, his interview with Deion Sanders on Media Day was one of the greatest third-person/hood talk moments I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll at least thank him for that.

Craziest player background story this week?

Doesn’t Demaryuis Thomas have to win this in a landslide? His Mother AND Grandmother are serving prison sentences for moving cocaine like Tony Montana! His grandmother is serving double life in jail. Double LIFE!!! If he ever says that he wasn’t supposed to be in this position in his life right now, you need to believe it.

Who’s the most underrated players playing on Sunday?

Denver RB Knowshon Moreno. He’s had an unexpected great season (I’m sure all of his fantasy owners can attest to this) as the lead back for the Broncos. The one weak part of Seattle’s defence — IF you want to call any part of their defence weak — is that with the right RB & scheme, you can run the football on them. The Rams, Saints, even the Bucanneers had some success running the ball against them this season. With all the offensive weapons that the Broncos have (which includes Montee Ball sharing the rock in the second half of games lately), it could possibly leave some lanes open for him to get to. I’ll go as far as to say he could be my dark horse for the Super Bowl MVP if the Broncos win.

Seattle WR Percy Harvin. Seattle’s secret weapon. No one on Denver knows what he’s going to do. Neither does Seattle. Neither does Harvin. He only played 39 snaps all season in between getting concussed & rehabbing from hip surgery. Now he’ll be unleashed in the Super Bowl. With that said, in the Divisional playoff game against the Saints, you can see the impact he had on the few plays that he did touch the ball, & the fact that the Saints defence keyed in on him whenever he did get on the field. He is a big-play guy that you have to account for. Most likely, he won’t be on the field for the majority of the snaps, but having him in their offense adds a new wrinkle that could cause problems for the Broncos…..if he doesn’t get decapitated by an injury before the Super Bowl intros are over.

Is everyone okay with Richard Sherman now?

While I won’t rehash the whole Sherman narrative (as it’s been beaten to death in the last two weeks), it is kinda shameful that social media raked him through the coals for loudly saying that he was the best at his position. I disagreed more with him running up to Michael Crabtree, and slapping his butt right after the game-ending INT to say, “Nice game.” That was more of an asshole-ish move than anything he said to Erin Andrews. Also, I don’t like the fact that he didn’t cream his ankles in that Nike commercial. Everything else I’m pretty much okay with. They’re two rival teams that hate each other, you’re not going to get the most complimentary things said out of a player’s mouth about the other team minutes after the game is over. Let’s move on!

Why is there a Super Bowl in the Tri-State Area?

There’s a term for this reason, it’s called “Get money“. Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL deciding to host one of the world’s biggest sporting event in such a major market. I mean, I get it. It’s a smart move, outside of Hollywood, all of the biggest talk shows & major TV networks have their offices in New York which leads to endless free promotion for the brand to the non-football public. Times Square has been turned into Super Bowl Blvd, and the overall intrigue of having a game in the New York area will have even more people than ever before watching it, specifically those who may not normally watch. However, the Super Bowl should never be played in a cold weather city unless it’s in a dome. You never want winter elements affecting the biggest game of the year. If it happens to be a blizzard, what then? Unlike the CFL, you have warm weather climate cities to avoid this. This game could have been played in Miami, San Diego, Houston, or in domed NFL cities such as Atlanta or Indianapolis. Shit, this game could have even been played in Pasedena, CA where the Rose Bowl resides, or Los Angeles (we’ll get to that one in a bit). With the amount of pressure on the players’ shoulders, trying to stay warm should not be another factor to be added to it. I’m hoping the game isn’t affected by the weather & thus far, the reports are the weather shouldn’t be too cold or windy. Having the Super Bowl in the Tri-State area may have benefitted the NFL in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t benefit the players who actually have to play on the field in the Meadowlands.

Who’s winning the Super Bowl?

As a 49ers fan — & I will try to say this without my stomach bubbling — I have to give respect to the Seahawks. The last two years they have shown themselves as a true force in the NFL, they have great players on both sides of the ball, they have a great coaching staff, & most importantly, I hate the fact that they are in the same division as my 49ers. It bothers me because they pretty much mirror each other in talent & depth, with their youth they’ll be around for a long time. And because of this rivalry, I can’t enjoy watching them play as much as I would like because their success directly impacts us. They had a phenomenal year, they were consistently the best team in the NFC, & they deserve to be at the Super Bowl this year……just so they can see Peyton Manning hoist his second Super Bowl trophy.

I’m not saying this with bias either, I really do feel like it is Manning’s time. After the season he’s had, all the accolades, the records broken, the 5th MVP trophy he’ll collect tonight, the stars are all set up for him to get it done. He hasn’t faced anything like the defence he will see across the line, but he is faced with some of the best weapons around him on offense that you can possibly have. The Broncos defense has been playing a lot better these last few weeks as well, led by Terrence “Pot Roast” Knighton, and I’m not confident that Seattle will be able to keep up with the Broncos is they score more than 20 points. Denver has enough to get the job done in what I hope will be a great game. They have to, for my sanity. Please.

Final Score: Broncos 31, Seattle 23

Sideline Notes

Back to Los Angeles for a minute. Someone in Los Angeles bought 60 acres of land. 60 acres! Should that be a big deal? I think so, and here’s why. The person who bought that plot of land is, Stan Kroenke. He owns multiple teams, like the Denver Nuggets and the Colorado Avalanche for starters.  One of the other teams he owns is the St. Louis Rams. Guess what? The lease they have with Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis expires after next season. Could they be returning home? Hmmm….. The more the NFL revs up its hype-marketing machine so the whole world can know about the Super Bowl & leaking some of the Super Bowl commercials to drive up the anticipation, just know it’s hoping to also drive you away from stories like Dwight Harrison. A great read about his fight for his NFL pension. Sad really…….. Macklemore feels bad apparently that he beat out Kendrick Lamar for best hip hop album. Not bad enough to give it to Kendrick or to even unclaim it and channel his inner Garth Brooks. With that said, I won’t knock Macklemore & Ryan Lewis because I did not listen to all but one song off of their album The Heist, so I can’t judge. But seeing them in every major category including a performance where they were going to perform their song “Same Love” on same sex marriages and relationships (which included marrying 33 couples at the same time during their performance), I knew no one in those hip hop categories stood a chance that night. Not Kendrick, not Drake, not Hov, not anyone. Biggie & Tupac would have lost last Sunday too. History was going to be made that night, not that there’s anything wrong with that…… “Lay back, kick back……mind my bidness, stay in my own lane….. Game time though, I’ll be thurr”…….. Looks like Andrew Wiggins is slowly starting to pick it. It will be interesting to see if he can raise his level of play as it gets closer to the tournament. If so, he may still be the #1 pick overall in June that everyone expected him to grab coming into the season…… I don’t even know what to say about Kevin Durant, other than the fact that he’s the MVP of the NBA. So far. It’s really between him and LeBron who’s trying to become the 1st player in history to win 5 MVPs in 6 years. The problem for LeBron: No one has won three straight MVPs since Larry Bird did it in 1986. Either because of voter fatigue or another playing simply rising to the cream of the crop, it doesn’t happen anymore. With Durant keeping Oklahoma City atop the standings of the Western Conference without Westbrook, it doesn’t look good right now for LeBron to achieve this goal…… “That’s huge……Beast Mode…..loves…….and appreciate that. Yes Lord.”

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

Follow me on Twitter or email me at southshoreave@gmail.com

Safe and happy times for all at your Super Bowl parties and events tomorrow night. Just remember, if you’re drinking, no driving.

Four Down Journey: NFL Divisional Playoffs

Welcome to another edition of the Four Down Journey where we look forward to seeing the Luck-Brady matchup, where Peyton Manning tries to prove that he can win as much rings as his younger brother, where three of the best linebackers in the NFL meet up in Charlotte, and where New Orleans hopes that something like this doesn’t happen to them again in Seattle.

As we get closer to the Super Bowl in New York, you have to wonder just how good the actual Super Bowl will be if there’s a blizzard. If the weather on Feb 2nd is as disasterous as it has been across the East coast the last two weeks, the NFL might regret playing this game outdoors in a place that isn’t 85 degrees and balmy. You also have to ask will the skill & talent be affected by trying to adjust to the elements. How good will a receiver run his route when he’s trucking through a foot of snow? I can’t imagine playing in weather this cold, especially after reading an excerpt from Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback post about the effects that former Chargers QB Dan Fouts has gone through since playing in the coldest game in NFL History 32 years ago….

“When it gets cold, Fouts feels pain in both feet and both hands from the middle of the hand to the fingertips—and has since Jan. 10, 1982, the day of the AFC Championship Game in Cincinnati between the Chargers and Bengals that was played in wind-chill that reached minus-59 degrees. The San Diego Union-Tribune wrote about this the other day, and Chris Mortensen reported on it Saturday morning. I spoke to Fouts Friday. “Nothing you can do about it,” he said on the phone. “It’s history. You just had to play in the game, and you had no idea this would come of it. The biggest problem, really, was there were no gloves for quarterbacks in those days. Kenny Anderson and I didn’t have the luxury that day that the guys today have.”

Wow. I guess it’s worth the sacrifice….but is it???? It may look great & I may enjoy it as much as I enjoyed watching the Lions – Eagles game back in Week 15, but having a blizzard for example affecting the Super Bowl is much different than having it affect a regular season game with so much at stake. Anyway, continue to bundle up people (for those that are still freezing through this ridiculous cold snap) & let’s get into it….

FIRST DOWN: New Orleans vs. Seattle

To say that the last two times New Orleans had to play in Seattle did not go so well is an understatement. Three years ago, an 11-5 Saints wild card team had to go up to Seattle to face a 7-9 Seahawk team who had the right to host a playoff game as the winner of the shittiest division in league history at the time. With the 12th man in full swing, they ended up losing the game after Marshawn Lynch beasted through the whole team on his legendary drive that might still have Tracy Porter quivering every time he hears the words “Stiff Arm”. The next time they came to Seattle was in Week 13, when they got smashed 34 -7 & was dominated in all facets of the game, making Drew Brees look like J.P. Losman. Can the third time be the time they finally get over the hump?

This is not as crazy as you may think. New Orleans in the Payton/Brees era has proven that they are a reputable team & organization (as long as you ignore “Bountygate”) & will come to Seattle with a different game plan. Last week vs. Philadelphia, they showed off a running game gaining 186 yards. Mark Ingram, who until last week, was playing like his name was James Ingram had 97 yards rushing! If there’s one area where you can have some success against the Seahawks defence this season, it’s against the run. It will help Brees a lot as he will have a difficult time throwing against Richard Sherman and the best secondary unit in the NFL, so if they can open up some running lanes, it gives them a great chance to beat them. The key to this game will be Russell Wilson vs the Saints Defence. They may have looked like garbage their last time in Seattle, but New Orleans has the 4th rated D in the league, & they held Marshawn Lynch to only 45 yards rushing. The last few weeks, Wilson & their offense hasn’t been playing as good since that Week 13 game, & with 2 weeks of rest, they better hope rust doesn’t set into their game. They will be getting Percy Harvin back which is another weapon but I’m not entirely sure how much of a factor that will have considering he’s basically missed all season recovering with hip surgery.

In the end, as much as I’m tempted to take the Saints who I believe will come out playing much differently than they did the last time these teams played, and as much as I believe that some rust can affect the way you start off a football game at times coming off that 1st round bye……. I believe the NFC Championship game will be played in the Northwest. Whatever jitters and rustiness the Seahawks will have, the 12th man will shake that out by pregame warmups. Contrary to what some people may think, this game will be a lot closer than you think it will be.

Final Score: Seahawks 28, Saints 24

SECOND DOWN: Indianapolis vs. New England

First things first, we have to give a hand to the Colts and how they came back to win that game vs. Kansas City. Last week, I wrote that the game between those two teams will be the most boring out of the four games & I largely ignored the game & went to sleep during the 1st quarter. Of course, I woke up & was not only stunned to see the Chiefs score 38 points by the 3rd quarter (w/no Jamaal Charles), but to see them beating the Colts at the time by 24 points. SMH. To watch Luck bring his team back from that major deficit tells me he’s still the best of the new young QBs that’s out there right now. Now mind you, he shouldn’t have been down by so much to make that comeback their last option in the first place (which included Luck’s 3 INTs). However, one thing’s for sure, he is surely comfortable when he’s playing and the pressure is on.

Since the start of his rookie year last season, the man is 18-2 in games decided by a touchdown or less. EIGHTEEN AND TWO!! I had to triple check that stat when I first saw it. This guys doesn’t stop until the whistle is over, & he’s doing this without Reggie Wayne, and with mostly castoffs & underachievers. He’s helped to turn T.Y Hilton into a rising stud, with Donald Brown as his #1 runner out of the backfield, and with an O-Line that got him sacked 32 times this season. Yet, he’s still keeps coming.

Funny enough, across the field, he’s going up against Tom Brady who’s pretty good himself in that category. He & Bill Bellichek have also proven over the course of the last 12 years that they come as consistently as your monthly hydro bill. Both of them probably smirked when watching that game, then spent the next day completely breaking down the tape until they exposed every weak spot the Colts have. Even though the Pats have lost some major weapons on offense this season, they still put together a 12-4 record, got a 1st round bye & made Shane Vereen and Julian Edleman really relevant on this team. I do think that all their losses since last season will come back to haunt them eventually. You can’t lose stars like Gronk, Wes Welker, “Bishop” Hernandez, Steven Ridley’s ability to hold onto any object that are in his hands, take the hits they have on defense and expect to still win a Super Bowl. That time is coming, no question about it. Whichever team knocks them off though, it just won’t be the Colts.

Final Score: Patriots 38, Colts 23

THIRD DOWN: San Francisco vs. Carolina

**Disclaimer: I am a San Francisco 49er fan & have been since the mid 80s. I will try to be as unbiased as possible. Operative word: Try.**

Last week vs. Green Bay, before and during the game I was feeling a lot like French Montana, & in the end I was right. As much as I respect Aaron Rodgers, that’s how much respect I lacked for Green Bay’s defense overall. So I knew the 49ers would find a way to win the game in the Frozen Tundra that is Lambeau Field. Now this game vs. the Panthers in Charlotte? I’m worried ’bout sumthin/***** I’m worried ’bout sumthin’ . Heading to this game, the biggest worries for San Fran will be the Panthers D led by potential defensive POY LB Luke Kuechly, DE Charles Johnson & Greg Hardy. They may not get as much publicity as the Seahawks or the 49ers in terms of their defense, but they are every bit as good as those units. In Week 10, they came down to San Fran & won 10 – 9, holding Colin Kaepernick to 11 of 22 for 91 yards & an INT, sacked him 6 times & specifically confused him with different looks in the second half of the game. At that point, the Panthers officially became a contender in the NFC. The fear as well going into this game is that they don’t have a problem dealing with a strong mobile quarterback in Kaepernick because they play against one every day in practice in Cam Newton.

Newton deserves every bit of the success he’s getting this season. At the end of September when they were 1-3, all of the talking heads & analysts were calling for Coach Ron Riviera to be fired and Newton to sit the bench. Since then Carolina has gone 11-1 & have arguably been the best team in the NFL. Newton has played with a confidence in the pocket that we’ve never seen from him since he’s gotten to the NFL. He’s backed by a 3-headed RB monster in DeAngelo Williams, Johnathan Stewart, & Mike Tolbert, a security blanket in TE Greg Olsen & WR Steve Smith, and still has something in the tank even if he may not be in his prime anymore. Here’s the thing going into this game that I will say: Playoff experience counts for something, & San Francisco has that in spades.

Since 2011 (including playoffs), only the New England Patriots have been to the Conference Championship and Super Bowl while still making it to the second round this season. They will have all of their weapons back on offense and defense & most importantly, they have been in many big games having proved they can win on the road to get where they need to go. Even in the Week 10 game, Crabtree was still rehabbing his achilles, Vernon Davis was concussed during the game, starting safety Eric Reid wasn’t available to play due to a concussion, it was Aldon Smith’s 1st game back from rehab, & Justin Smith was on a snap count. Now they will all be unleashed on Sunday. You can think this won’t make a difference if you want to, and that’s fine. Just know that the chances that the 49ers move on to Seattle (unless New Orleans wins & give San Fran one more game at Candlestick Park) are pretty high. It will be a close, great game, but I think that 1) Harbaugh & his staff will confuse Newton enough to be inefficient again, and 2) San Fran have more playmakers on offense to move the chains consistently and eventually get out of Charlotte with another playoff W.

Final Score: 49ers 28, Panthers 20

FOURTH DOWN: San Diego vs. Denver

Here’s what Peyton Manning has accomplished this season:

  • Guided his team to a 13 – 3 record & home field advantage throughout the playoffs;
  • Helped his team become the first 600-point team in league history (606 pts; 37.8 ppg);
  • Set NFL records for most TDs (55) & yards (5,477) by a QB in a season. Was also 2nd in passer rating with 115 QB rating (2nd highest of his career). He even ran for one TD this season too;
  • Clinched his 5th MVP of his career (two more than the 2nd most NFL MVP winner Brett Favre) by Week 8; and
  • Clinched his status as the best regular season QB in NFL history.

Here’s what Peyton Manning has going at stake going into these playoffs: With all the accolades he’s accumulated, if he does not win his 2nd Super Bowl or at least take his team to the Super Bowl in 3 weeks, we may have to start questioning where he’d be ranked alongside the all-time greats. In no way shape or form can he have 5 MVP awards, & only one ring to show for it after it’s all said & done. He doesn’t have to match Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, or even Tom Brady, but he has to have more than one. Has to. If his career was a painting at this moment, it would resemble the Mona Lisa….BUT it would have a faint red hand print across her chest. Still a beautiful portrait but you’re gonna notice the hand print, right? At some point, you’re going to have to ask about that, as great as he is & for everything he’s done for the game.

If he suffers another loss this weekend, his playoff record will go to 9-12 & NINE of those losses will be of the One-and-Done variety (either after a wild card game or after a playoff bye). That’s kinda hard not to look at. I’ll tell you something else, it’s quite possible this weekend that it can happen again. Their division rival San Diego, has played them well this season, with DC John Pagano historically giving Manning fits & Charger Head Coach (via Broncos OC last season) Mike McCoy having a good handle on how to go against him as well. Now last week, I thought the Chargers had no shot of winning whatsoever (Thank you Andy Dalton), but if they can keep Manning & the Broncos D off the field with how Philip Rivers has been playing & how inconsistent the Broncos D has been this year, then they’ll have a shot. Especially if they get an early lead & take the crowd out of the game, then that pressure builds. I’ll be surprised if the Broncos puts up big points vs San Diego, but I do think Manning makes it until next week to face his old Rival (Brady) one more time.

Final Score: Broncos 27, San Diego 17

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

Follow me on Twitter or email me at southshoreave@gmail.com

South Shore Ave’s NFL Week 1 Questions

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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