Week 7: What Did We Learn?


Week 7 is over with and we’ve seen quite a bit. We saw Tom Brady play an incredible game against a resentful Jets defense. We witnessed Matt Ryan to become the 5th fastest quarterback to reach 30,000 passing yards in NFL history. Also, I’m still trying to figure out which is the worst team in the NFL between Houston, Baltimore, and Detroit. But… what else did we learn?

The Real Miami Dolphins?
Ever since the Miami Dolphins fired their coach Joe Philbin and was replaced with interim head coach Dan Campbell, they have played like the team that quite a few people thought they could play like, including myself. Lamar Miller is running the ball with authority, Ryan Tannehill looks like the leader that the organization has invested in, and the defense has finally come to life. The Dolphins scored 41 points before halftime against the Houston Texans this past Sunday. We are really going to see how legitimate they are when they travel to New England on Thursday. If they somehow sneak away with a victory, this turnaround shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Ravens Aren’t Good Enough
Besides winning an improbable game against Pittsburgh, the Baltimore Ravens have looked helpless even though their efforts weren’t subpar. The fact of the matter is that the Ravens just aren’t talented enough. Their defense pedigree is a thing of the past. Even though their offense line has been struggling, Justin Forsett is a 2nd tier running back at best. Outside of Steve Smith Sr., Joe Flacco’s weapons are as real as the Easter Bunny. It’s about that time to officially rebuild while they still have movable pieces. Steve Smith Sr. has said he’ll quit if he gets traded, but I seriously believe that in the Carolina Panthers start making phone calls, he’ll be okay with returning to his home away from home. Baltimore is nowhere the same team as it was when the won the Super Bowl a few years ago. It’s time to start from scratch.

Open Season in the AFC South
Never really thought I would even have to mention open season and the AFC South in the same sentence. This division is usually the Indianapolis Colts to lose and lose hard. Shockingly, that’s what’s happening. I picked this team to go to the Super Bowl, and they have looked anything but super. It’s inexcusable that their record is below 500 after 7 games. Fortunately for them, Tennessee has a rookie quarterback who’s going through the motions, Jacksonville is still figuring out their potential, and Houston is looking like an NFL Europe team (Throwback!). They still have time to turn it around but c’mon man!

Is Arian Foster Done?
The most unfortunate news of the weekend was Arian Foster’s leg injury. The doctors have confirmed that he has torn his Achilles and will miss the remaining of the 2015 season. Arian Foster has missed a number of games due to injury over the past 5 seasons including a herniated disc in 2013 and chronic hamstring injuries. Along with J.J. Watt, Foster is the centerpiece of the franchise and the engine on offense. Without him, the team struggles and struggles significantly. With that being said, Will Arian ever be the same explosive player again? I pray he has a speedy and successful recovering and can play like the Arian Foster that we know, but it’s unknown if he can return to that stature.

NFL Week 3: What Did We Learn?


Another week down in the NFL and things are starting to shape out. The richer getting richer (New England, Green Bay, Denver), the poorer getting poorer (Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit) and well..there’s Roger Goodell escalating his appeal. Besides that, what else did we learn?

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Julio Jones For MVP
Usually, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Aaron Rodgers would be the leading candidates on this award. Brady and Rodgers have started this season flawless… but have you seen Julio Jones this year? When was the last time a wide receiver won MVP? Jones was able to get a contract extension done before the season began and has earned every dollar thus far. He has 34 receptions through 3 games (most in NFL history) for 440 yards and 4 touchdowns, including 12 catches for 164 yards and 2 touchdowns against Dallas. What makes his numbers matter most is the fact that he has made spectacular plays in the clutch to keep the Atlanta Falcons from losing.

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The Return Of Michael Vick
Michael Vick being a starting quarterback in the NFL again has come at a price for the Pittsburgh Steelers. With Big Ben out 4 to 6 weeks with a knee injury, Vick will be back in the limelight. Vick, who has played for Atlanta, Philadelphia, and the New York Jets, will have more to work with now than any other time throughout his career. The Steelers are made to win now. Hopefully, their fans will have a better response to Vick now than earlier this year (Click here for details).

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Palmer Or Bust
So last season, the Arizona Cardinals were 8-1 until Carson Palmer was done with a torn ACL. The wheels came off quickly for the Cardinals as they went from a dark horse contender to the piñata of the postseason. With that being said, the Cardinals are off to a 3-0 start this year. Larry Fitzgerald looks like a top-tier receiver again, and their defense has been a turnover machine. Without an adequate backup QB again, the season rest of Palmer’s shoulders… again.

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Fantasy Overload
Devonta Freeman and AJ Green won and lost people some fantasy football league games on Sunday (depending on what side you was on). In one league me, I went against both (tear). Freeman had 193 total yards with touchdowns against Atlanta. Green provided 227 yards with 2 touchdowns from 10 receptions versus their division rival Baltimore. If Arian Foster plays this Sunday, he should have fun against the Falcons.

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Not So Fast
Just when you thought the New York Jets was going to take off… and just when you thought the Philadelphia Eagles were going to sink like the Titanic… the opposite happened for both teams as they faced each other. Not saying that the Jets can’t be elite or the Eagles can’t drown, but this game just left quite a few people scratching their heads. The Eagles, who were the underdogs and was missing DeMarco Murray, shredded the Jets prominent defense led by Darren Sproles. The same Jets team that gave Andrew Luck problems a week ago had a few miscues of their own. Hopefully, both teams can right the ship.

JGOOD

What Did We Learn? NFL Week 2


Tom Brady

Another exciting week of the NFL has wrapped up. My several fantasy teams done fairly well this week (I’m either 2-0 or 1-1). I also made a profit on FanDuel for the second straight week. Besides all of that, they were some exciting moments like the Julio Jones catch, the Cam Newton touchdown flip, and the endings to the Raiders/Ravens and the Broncos/Chiefs games. But first, I have to give credit when credit is due:

Tom Brady On Another Level

New England took on a Buffalo Bills defense that stomped the elite offense of the Indianapolis Colts in week 1. Tom Brady simply didn’t care if they went against the 85′ Chicago Bears team. Brady passed for 466 yards and threw 3 touchdowns with 0 interceptions. New England was up 37 to 19 before Buffalo started to make a game out of. The Patriots defense actually looked incredible, forcing 3 turnovers. Brady has played like a man possessed this season (754 passing yards, 7 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, 119.9 passer rating). I made prediction on Twitter that Buffalo would win that game because of their elite defense. Brady shredded my thought along with Buffalo’s secondary. I’m going to go a limb and say he’s still angry over that suspension thing.

Darrelle Revis

The Jets Defense Is Legit

The New York Jets has been known for their defense when current Bills head coach Rex Ryan was their coach for the past several years. The Jets defense was elite a few years ago but was not as good the last 2. Bringing back Darrelle Revis and Antonio Cromartie has complemented their aggressive pass rushing ability perfectly. They forced 5 turnovers against an Indianapolis Colts team that is known for having a top rated offense. The efficient play of Ryan Fitzpatrick has given the team a wonderful balance.

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel Making Plays

Johnny Manziel, previous known as “Johnny Football” has made the most out of his recent opportunities. Manziel still has A LOT of room for improvement as far as his mechanics, decision-making, and ball security, but when the plays were breaking down, he has made the opposing teams pay, and pay dearly. He’s connected on big time bombs to Travis Benjamin for a couple of touchdowns. He’s been able to extend plays and find his wide open targets. I’m not sure if Cleveland will continue to start him when Josh McCown is fully healthy, but these are good signs from a quarterback that had a few red flags on him.

Tony Romo

The NFC East Is Up For Grabs

In my NFL Preview Post (Note: that post was made way before all the injuries and Tom Brady suspension was reversed), I have hinted that this particular division will be a 3 team race between Philadelphia, Dallas, and New York (Giants). Well… that is certainly true and you can throw Washington into that equation. Tony Romo and Dez Bryant are out for an extended period of time for the Cowboys. The high-flying offense of the Eagles has been a total disaster. Spending all that money on DeMarco Murray and almost half of the quarterbacks around the league, if not more, has more rushing yards on the season. The Giants simply cannot find a way to win close games. The Redskins came in as the weakest link to the division has been noticed as the most stable team. I’m not sure how long that’s going to happen, but with all these question marks will make the division race exciting.

Cam Newton

Cam Newton Is Superman

Did you all see that flip into the endzone!?!? (CLICK ME to check it out) Besides the acrobatics, Cam Newton has found ways to win games despite his lack of resources. Newton easily has the least amount of offensive fire power on offense, with a depleted wide receiver core (Ted Ginn Jr is starting… let that sink in), an underrated running back who is as fragile as a box of wine glasses, and an offensive line that can barely stop a running nose. His team is tied on top of the NFC South and will host and maybe Drew Brees-less New Orleans Saints team.

Derek Carr (right)

How About Them Raiders!?

The Oakland Raiders won a game that in the past decade that 10 times out of 10 that they would probably lose. Derek Carr torched the Baltimore Ravens secondary for yards, including the game winning touchdown to Seth Roberts with under 30 seconds left. Carr, who initially wasn’t supposed to play, looked comfortable the whole game. Amari Cooper showed why he was the first wide receiver off the draft board in May. Michael Crabtree looked like a reliable number one target, something the Raiders haven’t had in several years. Latavius Murray was relentless the whole game. Most importantly, Khalil Mack was constantly pressuring Joe Flacco the whole game. If this core can stay healthy, they can turn some heads.

JGood

Is Roger Goodell “Good” For The League?


Ever since Roger Goodell has become commissioner of the NFL back in September of 2006, he has left his stamp on multiple incidents. He has handed out hard suspensions (Adam “Pac-Man” Jones, Plaxico Burress, Michael Vick), and some were controversial (Tom Brady, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice). He has given out monetary fines, and once again, some were controversial (Robert Kraft, Jim Ersay). Goodell, now and days, has been labeled for someone who abuses their authority. It has gotten to the point that the 32 NFL owners, his bosses, are rethinking how much power he is able to use.

Over the past 18 months, Roger Goodell and The League has been a part of 3 controversial suspensions that went from the court of Roger Goodell to the court of law. Let’s start with Ray Rice. Ray Rice knocked his fiancé, at the time, out cold in an elevator and dragged her across the ground in March of 2014.

Ray Rice

Goodell initially suspended Ray Rice for 4 games until the video footage was released. Once the whole world saw the catastrophic incident, Rice was suspended for the entire season. The only problem with that is he was punished for the same crime twice, which is known as Double Jeopardy. The League and Rice went to court and Ray Rice’s suspension was ultimately uplifted. Even though Ray Rice still hasn’t played a signal down in the NFL since the altercation, he is free to sign with whatever team if they choose to.

The next situation involved Adrian Peterson and his disciplinary actions with his son. In fall of 2014, Peterson pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor as was suspended indefinitely, only playing one game that season. When he didn’t cooperative with The League by not going to their disciplinary hearing, that’s when Peterson was hit with the season-long suspension.

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Adrian Peterson

In December, Adrian Peterson appealed the suspension to an arbitrator appointed by Roger Goodell (not surprising), and I bet you know what happened next (that’s right, access denied)! The NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit on Peterson’s behalf. He was able to win the case in February, but (of course) the NFL appealed. The League ended up losing the appeal, and Adrian was able to be officially reinstated.

The latest dispute that took legal action involved Tom Brady, the reigning Superbowl champion, and the infamous “Deflategate”. The Deflategate incident occurred during this past year’s AFC Championship Game. The New England Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7, but some of the Patriots weighed less than league standards. Personally, I believe the footballs being undersized wasn’t going to stop LeGarrette Blount from destroying Indy’s run defense, but rules are rules.

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Tom Brady

Tom Brady was never found guilty of having any affiliation with the situation, but he was suspended for not cooperating with the league (sounds familiar) with the investigation. Brady felt like he did nothing and appealed the suspension. Roger Goodell upheld the suspension. Both Brady and Goodell went to court (that Goodell picked the location) where the judge urged them to reach a settlement. A settlement was never close to getting done. In September of 2015, the judge “deflated” the suspension. The League is currently appealing.

ESPN’s NFL insider Adam Schefter and former New England Patriots and ESPN analyst sounded off on Roger Goodell after Tom Brady’s suspension was overturned. It’s gotten to that point that you start to wonder if Roger Goodell is doing the NFL justice anymore. His “never backing down” approach cost him popularity with the fans and the players. Now, his 32 bosses are starting to question his authority.

JGood

Tom Brady’s Legacy


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The first time I saw Tom Brady was when he used to play for Michigan on Saturday mornings after the cartoons went off. I wasn’t really into college football at the time, but I watched just because his name reminded me of “The Brady Bunch”. He was decent then; nowhere near the player he is today. I would’ve never thought that I would be watching arguably the greatest quarterback of all time… just for the sole reason that his last name caught my attention (crazy right?).

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As we all know Tom Brady rise to fame started at the expense of Drew Bledsoe’s injury in 2000. Ever since then, the Tom Brady that we know of today was born. The Patriots went onto win 3 Superbowls in 4 seasons, and being labeled as a dynasty. He went on to put up elite numbers for consecutive years, including that infamous recording breaking season in 2007. The Patriots were undefeated that whole year until losing to the New York Giants in the Superbowl. He also lost another Superbowl to the GMEN a few years later before winning a 4th ring this past February. The game featured probably thee most controversial play call in Superbowl history.

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Tom Brady has 3 Superbowl MVP trophies, 2 time league MVP, 10 tone Pro Bowl selections, along with 53,258 passing yards and 392 touchdowns. At this point what more could you want out of a quarterback?

Well…. there was “Spygate” in 2007, that impressive season which was later clouded by allegations of using cameras to look at the opposing team’s sidelines during games. There was also “PEDs-Gate” that same year where various players on New England were using performance enhancing drugs. And then the more recent “Deflate-gate”. The New England Patriots’ footballs used in this past year’s AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts had less air that NFL regulations. The team said that had no idea why it was like that, but Tom Brady’s demeanor in his Press Conference said otherwise.

Roger Goodell and the NFL have investigated the situation. Tom Brady eventually ended up suspended, not for his involvement in the scandal but for not cooperating (i.e. refusing to give the league his cell phone and later on destroying it). Brady ended up appealing, like expected, him and the league are still fighting this issue in court.

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I’m not saying he’s guilty (they have enough guilty people associated with that franchise like Aaron Hernandez). I’m also not saying all of the allegations over the years are his fault as well (Bill Belichick definitely deserve most of the blame). What is noteworthy is the fact that if he’s innocent like he claimed to be, why wouldn’t you cooperate to get this moving along? Most importantly, not matter what statistical numbers he accumulates, the cheating aura that New England has been accustomed to over the years will forever stain his legacy. He’s definitely in the conversation with Joe Montana, Dan Marino, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Peyton Manning, and so on but… how much of this cloud will hold him back from the ultimate crown when the storm leaves?