By: Monte Perez
The NFL is the most popular sport in America. They are on three nights a week… Sunday, Monday and Thursday and fans can’t seem to get enough. With fantasy sports and websites, even the casual fan is watching games from start to finish. I know the NFL is King of the mountain but I have to speak the truth… Most fans CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
In my Charles Barkley voice, “The NFL is terrible.” I live Tweet during games and one of my followers and friends ( Lori) is a diehard Packers fans, but like me, she watches all the games. At least 6 times during the football season one of us has tweeted to the other… “I am done watching this terrible, boring game.” The NFL, from its teams, to the referees are incompetent. The Titans lost to Oakland this week because of a phantom defensive holding call. The NFL came out with a statement saying there was no penalty and it should have never been called! The Titans should have won the game. This has happened at least three or 4 times during the season. By the way, does anyone know what a catch is anymore? The definition changes week to week.
There are only three teams from each conference that have a legitimate chance to go to the Super Bowl. The rest of the NFL Stinks! There are 9 teams in the NFC that are under.500. There are 8 teams in the AFC that are under .500.
The Pretenders in the NFC
Washington Redskins: Washington is 5-6 and leading the division that is now known as the NFC Least. They are led by Kirk Cousins who seems to be playing better. He has 16 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. They are 13th in the league, giving up 24.3 points per game. Does anyone think Cousins can score 24 points in the playoffs against a good team? That is what it is going to take for them to win. Cousins will have to be the best player on the field in the post-season… That is not happening.
New York Giants: One of my favorite 80s music videos is Mötley Crüe, “Same Ole Situation.” This is really the story under Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. New York wins games they are supposed to lose and lose games they are supposed to win. They are now 5-6 and if they don’t make the playoffs it will be the 6th time in 7 years. How many times am I going to see a roughing the passer call on New York’s defense? They keep shooting themselves in the foot despite heroic efforts by Odell Beckham Jr.
Atlanta Falcons: I want you to picture your favorite pillow. It could have been from your childhood, college or as an adult. It is soft, comfortable and contorts to your desire. This is the Atlanta Falcons. They started the season 5-0 and have now lost 4 in a row and 4 out of their last 5. 1st year coach Dan Quinn will turn them around but when you dress up a pig, it is still a pig. They need playmakers on defense.
Minnesota Vikings: They are definitely the best team out of all the pretenders. Teddy Bridgewater has regressed a little bit from his rookie campaign (8 touchdowns 7 interceptions). The Vikings are 8-3 and are led by Running Back Adrian Peterson. After sitting out last year for abusing his child, Peterson has 1164 yards and 8 touchdowns. I had the Vikings going 10-6 in my pre-season article. But they are still a year or two away from being a legitimate contender.
Contenders in the NFC
Carolina Panthers: I want you to picture a baseball game… Bases loaded the best hitter is at the plate and he strikes out swinging. He swings so hard you can almost s feel the wind through the television. That was me this year with the Panthers, (I had them going 9-7) they are 11-0. I didn’t think they had enough offense around Cam Newton. The Former Heisman Trophy winner is now an MVP candidate and his team appears to be the class of the NFC (for now). Newton has 27 total touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He still struggles with accuracy (57%) but he is a dual threat. Inside the 10 yard line he can either throw it or run it in. It will be interesting to see if his accuracy comes back to haunt him in the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers: There is something not right with Green Bay. I know the Packers lost their best Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson in pre-season but they are out of sync offensively. It is almost as if the Packers have a hangover from last season’s brutal collapse in the NFC Championship Game. I thought they got things back on track when they went into Minnesota and defeated the Vikings 30-13, two weeks ago. But a sluggish loss to the Bears at home… has left them with a 7-4 record. Aaron Rodgers needs to carry this team on his back. He has looked lost at times and beyond frustrated. In 2011 the Packers were 8-6 and went on to win the Super Bowl. If they don’t get things together, maybe it will be time to change their head coach. Right now they are playing uninspired football so maybe he has lost the locker room. Food for thought.
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals are 9-2 and have won 5 in a row. Carson Palmer is having a great season. He has 27 touchdowns and only 9 interceptions. But this team doesn’t scare me at all. I compare them to the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA. Sure they will win a lot of games during the regular season but can they take it to the next gear in the playoffs. It is very rare that a quarterback wins his first Super Bowl after being in the league for more than 10 years. I would rather take the Seattle Seahawks in a big game.
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals are 9-2 and probably have one of the most talented rosters on both sides of the ball. But until they prove they can win a big game late in the season I don’t believe in them. Quarterback Andy Dalton is 4-12 in playoff or night games. This means when the spotlight is brightest he becomes the smallest. Dalton is 0-4 in the Playoffs with 1 touchdown 6 interceptions and 2 fumbles. As long as he is quarterback, Cincy will never go to a Super Bowl.
New York Jets: The Jets have had the same formula for decades. Hire a defensive minded coach and have a quarterback whose job is to manage, not win games. The problem with this philosophy it that we aren’t in the 1980s anymore. You need a quarterback who can WIN Games. Ryan Fitzpatrick is 12-52 when he has to throw the ball 30 times or more. He can’t win games. Same old Jets
Buffalo Bills: Besides the Bengals, the Bills are probably the most loaded team offensively and defensively. There is a scene in the movie Se7en, starting Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, where a police officer looks at a victim and says under his breath, “You got what you deserved.”
This is for all the Buffalo Bills fans who thought I was crazy when I said the Bills will have a worse record under Rex Ryan than they had last year (9-7). You got what you deserved for believing in a used car salesman masquerading as a coach. Ryan is now 51-56 as a head coach and his teams constantly beat themselves with stupid penalties, poor clock management and mental errors. Ryan said everything right in all his press conferences leading up to the season. But… You can’t hide on the field Rex. The Bills have the talent to be 7-2 or 6-3 and they are 1 game under .500. No surprise here, he is a below average coach. You got what you deserved Bills fans.
Pittsburgh Steelers: This team has been decimated by crucial injuries. Running Back Le’Veon Bell is out for the season and Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had been injured on and off all year. Antonio Brown is the best Wide Receiver in the NFL and if they can get Big Ben healthy they can do some damage even without their star running back.
Denver Broncos: Brock Osweiler is 2-0 as the Broncos Starter. Denver is now 9-2 after beating the Patriots in overtime on Sunday Night. They seem to have found their running game as well. This is not a surprise, with Peyton Manning on the bench, teams can’t crowd the line of scrimmage anymore. There is no turning back now. Osweiler should be the quarterback for the rest of the year. If they can somehow find a way to get home field advantage in the playoffs they can get to the Super Bowl.
New England Patriots: It is almost as if the NFL did the Patriots a favor by accusing them of Deflate-Gate. I have never seen a defending Super Bowl Champion play with such hunger and desire to prove the rest of the league wrong. Tight End Rob Gronkowski should be back in a few weeks from his knee injury and the Patriots are primed to make another run. Tom Brady should get to his 10th AFC Championship.
The State of the Cleveland Browns- The Browns are 2-9, but this is not a shocker. There is a reason this organization hasn’t won a Championship since 1964… They are terrible from top to bottom. Johnny Manziel has been benched but because of injuries,he will start again. You know who doesn’t get benched on bad teams? Good quarterbacks. Derek Carr, Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck all started on bad teams, Manziel couldn’t. He is a cancer off the field and the most overrated quarterback in the history of the NFL. Since 1999 the Browns have drafted 4 quarterbacks in the first round (Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden and Manziel.) They have all been busts. Why should anyone think that the Browns know what they are doing? They are beyond incompetent and Manziel is a “frat boy” not an elite quarterback.
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