Tuesday, October 19, 2010

NFL: Class in session – week 6


NFL: Class in session – week 6

Five things we learnt on NFL Sunday


The Detroit Lions are going to win a few games in 2011.
The Lions have been breaking their fans hearts for a good stretch now. They have suffered through some long, painful streaks of failure. However, hope is on the horizon. How does a 1-5 record thus far this season offer hope? Last night’s 20-28 loss to the Giants should tell you everything you need to know about this young, fresh and talented Lions squads’ moxy. With Mathew Stafford out and Shaun Hill sadly breaking his arm, the Lions were reduced to their third string quarterback (Drew Stanton). On the road. Against the Giants fearsome pass rush. Did they crawl into the fetal position and fold? No, they outscored the Giants 10-7 in the fourth and were a few plays away from causing one of the shocks of the season. Detroit has now kept it close against the Packers, the Eagles and the Giants, and has absolutely annihilated a St Louis team that then went out and beat San Diego. Watch for the Lions to play spoiler against teams in the second half of the season, and watch next year as Stafford/Johnson/Best and Suh form the nucleus of a team that can legitimately challenge for postseason play from next season on. No, seriously!

Suh had 1.5 sacks and hit Manning 3 other times last night

Aint nothin’ wrong with CJ
The last couple of weeks the questions started, asking basically, 'What is wrong with Chris Johnson?' - a question generally posed by fantasy football players who were going on numbers, as opposed to the actual games. Johnson had barely broken the line of scrimmage all season long. You could see exactly why last night, Jacksonville basically stacked nine in ‘the box’ (up tight to the line) and dared the Titans and CJ to run. The latter took the challenge and hammered out a hard earned 100 plus yard day. There is nothing wrong with CJ, teams are just keying on to him, stuffing as many as nine guys in the box and challenging him. If anything, he might be actually running better than last season. Just bear in mind that 35 yard touchdown last night came against a team that was selling out to stop the run. One thing is clear, Fisher and the Titans are going to keep feeding him the rock. The Jaguars were simply daring the Titans to throw, yet they kept handing off to their stud running back. Watch as CJ builds on this confidence boosting showing and breaks off a few 100 yard games in a row.

The NFL front office needs to get its priorities straight
How can you expend so much energy penalising teams on touchdown celebrations, and so little on player safety? A feature of this weekend pasts games was penalties called for fancy dance routines, and for the Cowboys, leapfrogging after scoring. Meanwhile, all around the league, defensive players were dishing out career and indeed life threatening blows at head height. When is the NFL going to get serious and focus on serious issues, instead of fining players for, basically, being entertaining? Rugby has a simple rule, no tackling or contact above the shoulders. The NFL should immediately eject any player that hits another player at head height. This would show they were serious about protecting their most valuable asset, their players.

Might be a bit early to count the Superbowl champions out, just yet.
Sunday, on the road against a feisty Buccaneers team, the Saints (now 4-2) churned out a season-high 475 yards total offense and weren't forced to punt until early in the fourth quarter. This was an impressive 60 minute showing, from a team that will soon get the explosive Reggie Bush back. They are also playing without Pierre Thomas. The Saints have struggled, no doubt, but they are still alive, and would you bet against them coming on strong in the second half of the season? I know I wouldn't.

Tom Brady didn't need Randy Moss as much as Randy Moss needed him
There were many, many football fans in the New England region, a place where second guessing a coach or a front office is almost a constitutional requirement, who thought the trade of Moss to the Vikings would mean Brady would never complete a pass in the NFL again, Well, those folk were pretty incorrect in their assessment. Brady to Branch had a nice old time ring to it, and was a crucial factor in the Patriots stunning come back win over the Ravens. Meanwhile Moss toiled the last couple of weeks with a fourty plus year old Quarterback with tendinits issues, who could go on the injured list at any moment. Think Moss will enjoy having Tavaris Jackson throwing to him? Imagine the chidlish hissy fits in that scenario! Still, at least Moss is getting paid, you know, since he must have been playing for free in New England, he was that 'poorly' treated.

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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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