Most intriguing games of the upcoming NFL season

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Published on : August 12, 2017

 

The NFL season is so close I can practically taste it. It’s early August and we are just beginning to get some preseason football action. This is an exciting time of year when football (and Burning Man) is pretty much all I can think about. This is the time when I have an uneasy optimism about my beloved Detroit Lions as I allow myself to believe that maybe, just maybe, this will be the year we overcome the god damned Packers and win the division.

 

Aside from the Lions, I’m excited about the season in general and I’m starting to form opinions (based on nothing other than my own analysis and guess work) about who is going to be worth watching this year. With that in mind, I’ve started to take a look at the schedule and pick out games that I think will be exceptionally entertaining. Here are the most intriguing games of the upcoming NFL season.

 

Chargers at Broncos. Week 1.

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Bruno thought I was crazy for this one but hear me out. The Chargers still have Phillip Rivers and Melvin Gordon, and if the rest of the team can stay healthy they should have a solid squad. The Broncos should have a good defense with Von Miller leading the way and if they can find any semblance of a competent passing game then they should be in the running for the AFC West. This game, though early in the season, should go a long way to sorting out what that division will look like all year.

 

Cowboys at Cardinals. Week 3 MNF: League’s top young running backs (removed).

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Before the Cowboys electrifying young running back, Ezekiel Elliot, got suspended for being an asshole this was one of my favorite early matchups of the season. The Cardinals have my favorite running back and the MVP of my championship fantasy football team last year, David Johnson. This was going to be an epic battle on the ground, but now I just hope David Johnson rushes for 250 yards, has 200 receiving yards and scores 5 touchdowns.

 

Atlanta at New England. Week 7: Super Bowl rematch.

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Remember that one time the Atlanta Falcons had a Super Bowl Victory firmly in their grasp only to choke away a 25 point lead in the second half to Tom Brady and the Patriots? Well this is their chance to get some sort of payback.

 

Dallas at Atlanta. Week 10.

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This is the first of my potential conference championship game previews on the list. Atlanta represented the NFC in the Super Bowl last year and the Cowboys were favorites to make it to the conference final before running into the Green Bay Packers. Theses two teams will be in the running for it again this year and this first matchup should be a good one.

 

New England at Oakland. Week 11: Mexico City.

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In the next potential conference championship game preview, we have the Patriots facing off against the Raiders. I would bet money that the Patriots will be heading back to the AFC Championship game and the Raiders seem poised to build on a successful 2016 campaign that was derailed by an injury to their young QB, Derek Carr. Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will surely be rocking as the greatest quarterback of all time faces off against one of the best young gunslingers in the league.

 

New England at Pittsburgh. Week 15.

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This is a rematch of last years AFC Championship game and if us football fans are lucky, it will be a preview of this year’s. Give me Tom Brady vs Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown any day of the damn week. This is deep enough in the season to have serious playoff implications but not so late that Bill Belichick is resting half his team. Get ready for a barn burner in this one.

 

Green Bay at Detroit. Week 17.

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Normally no one is getting all that excited about any Detroit Lions game, but for the second year in a row the Lions will host the rival Green Bay Packers at home to end the season. Last year this game decided the NFC North and the hope is that it will be the same scenario. And hopefully my Lions will win the NFC North for the first time since the division was created back in 2001.

 

Well there you have it. The most interesting matchups of the upcoming NFL season as I see them. Are there any games that you think shouldn’t have made the list or any marquee games that you think I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 


I’d rather be the underdog

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Published on : July 28, 2017

 

 

As football season approaches there is a pretty wide range of thoughts and feelings that approach with it. There’s the excitement of finally being able to watch my favorite sport every season. There’s also the uncertainty that comes along with not being a fan of the New England Patriots or the Alabama Crimson Tide. It’s an uncertainty rooted in the volatility of the sport from season to season. Aside from a privileged few who produce top notch teams every single year, there’s no telling for sure who will be any good. For everyone who doesn’t have Bill Belichick or Nick Saban at the helm, it’s a crap shoot on any given year. A few thing go wrong and poof! Season is over.

 

Before any games are played, preseason or otherwise, it’s impossible to predict a team’s performance, but that doesn’t stop the legions of sports media from trying to figure out which teams will rule and which will drool. This leads to endless preseason rankings and in-depth analysis of where every team is thought to stand by people who have no real idea of what will transpire over the course of a football season. No one should put any stock in these preseason lies and conjecture, but alas, they do. And inevitably someone’s favorite team will be picked to be among the worst.

 

 Harbaugh at the helm and still no preseason love.

 

This brings me to my two favorite football teams, the Detroit Lions and the University of Michigan Wolverines. Neither of them are getting a ton of love this summer leading up to the 2017 season. Michigan lost almost all of their starters so there’s reason to temper expectations and the Lions are the punching bag of the NFL, so there’s that. It’s not like everyone is saying that both these teams will suck this year, but most of what I’ve heard about their prospects has been negative. And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

I’m not saying that I want the Lions or Wolverines to be a laughingstock, but I would rather have them coming into the year with a chip on their shoulder than have people calling for them to win the Super Bowl or the College Football Playoff. I enjoy being the underdog and without the overblown expectations I like to believe my team is free to just go out there and play the game. Not to mention that every time one of my teams is picked by the talking heads to do big things they inevitably trip over their own feet and do something stupid, like lose to Appalachian State in the season opener.

 

 Give me some Matthew Stafford with something to prove, please.

 

No, no. Better to be overlooked out of the gate and shock the world. There’s no better feeling than be discounted only to come back and shut up all of the naysayers. Because when everyone thinks you ain’t shit, the only way to go is up. It’s so much sweeter that way. Maybe it’s just my Detroit roots, who knows. But I’d rather be the underdog any day. This season and for every season to come.

 

The Patriots can have their next championship handed to them before any games have been played, but as for my Lions, I’d rather have them earn it. Alabama or Ohio State can get crowned before the school year even begins, but I’d rather have the Wolverines ruin someone else’s perfect season out of nowhere. Like a cobra laying in wait for it’s prey, I like my teams to surprise the opposition and the spectators alike. I identify with the little guy and the life of an underdog is the one for me.

 

 


Calvin Johnson has the right to speak his mind

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Published on : July 16, 2017

 

 

The Detroit Lions world is once again in an uproar over comments made by Calvin Johnson. The best receiver to ever don a Lions uniform is getting a ton of flak from fans and pundits after a recent trip to Italy. When prodded by the Italian media about his early retirement, he stated that in addition to the well-noted breakdown of his body and its declining ability to recover from the rigors of playing in the NFL, he didn’t see a shot at a Super Bowl with the Lions. This has fans all over the internet hating on Megatron and complaining that he is dragging the organization, the same one that made him a very rich man, through the mud.

 


Everyone needs dial back the talk of Calvin Johnson bashing the organization and remember that he is entitled to his opinion and he is no longer an employee of the team. Not only can he say whatever he wants but he was the only bright spot in a horribly mis-managed operation for years. He suffered through so much as a Lion and always did it with class. He showed up to work, did his job and did it well. And through all the losing, and the coaching blunders, and awful rosters, he never once complained. Or demanded a trade. He was a Lion for his entire career, and when his body couldn’t take the abuse anymore he walked away from the game. That he didn’t see a Super Bowl in the immediate future for the team factored into the decision, big deal.

 

Megatron also added that he was “stuck” in his contract and had approached the team about possibly being released, which the Lions were never going to do. The only thing I really take issue with is him saying he was stuck when he chose to sign the contract in the first place. He could have entered free agency and went to any number of teams but he signed a 7 year/ $132 million extension in 2012 to be sure he would retire a Lion. If he was stuck it was his own doing.

 

Other than that I don’t really see a reason to be mad at Calvin. Can a man who is retired and not on the team not answer a question candidly? He no longer owes anything to the team and should be able to say what’s on his mind. Everyone already knew this was the case. Fans need to stop getting their feelings hurt by what was plain to see.

 

With all that said, the ongoing Calvin Johnson post-career drama is getting old. Sadly, we as fans are going to have to get used to it. Unless Calvin Johnson becomes a hermit and is never seen in public again, the conversation will eventually always come back to a career that was far too short. And most people will place the blame for that on the Lions and try to bait him into admitting that the team is the reason the world was robbed of Megatron too soon.

 

 


The Lions get it wrong again

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Published on : June 11, 2017

 

 

There’s probably nothing to it.

 

I hope there’s nothing to it.

 

Dear God, this can’t be happening again.

 

In a situation that is sadly familiar to fans of the NFL’s Detroit Lions, it seems that their most recent mega-star has walked into early retirement holding onto some hard feelings against the team. With shades of Barry Sanders, who retired in his prime via a fax on the eve of training camp, the Lions have bid farewell to Megatron, who was still one of the league’s top receivers when he walked away. Calvin Johnson didn’t screw the team over like Sanders; the team knew he had been contemplating retirement because his body was breaking down from the beating it took over the years. Sanders actions had made it clear that he was displeased with the team, but as far as regular Lions fans were concerned, the team and Calvin Johnson were all good when he retired. But we all may have been wrong.

 

A couple weeks ago, Calvin was asked about the possibility of having his jersey number retired in Detroit, to which he responded “I don’t even like to talk Lions too much just because of the way our relationship ended.” For Lions fans, it was hard to hear that the team may have soured another relationship with a player that means so much to the city. Calvin insists that there’s no hard feelings but it sure doesn’t seem like things are cool between him and the team. So what could it be that has caused this possible rift between the two sides?

 

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Well, it turns out that the team asked him to repay a portion of the $3.2 million signing bonus from his $100 million contract. The team’s logic would seem to be that since the contract was not yet completed, and in cap terms, the signing bonus split evenly over the years of a contract, that the team was still owed a portion of the bonus. Player’s on the other hand, see a signing bonus as money already earned because it’s a bonus given at time the contract is signed.

 

Now technically speaking, I would have to agree that the team is entitled to ask for a portion of that money back, but it also seems like kind of a dick move. At first it was reported that Johnson had repaid $320,ooo but a more recent report claims that the amount may have been as high as one million. Either is a paltry amount to Johnson to be sure, but also a truly insignificant amount to any NFL franchise. Especially when you consider that neither the Seahawks or Cowboys, two successful franchises with Lombardi hardware, asked for any amount of money back from Marshawn Lynch or Tony Romo when they retired before fulfilling their contracts.

 

The Lions would have been much better off letting Calvin Johnson, a guy who destroyed his own body in the name of the team, keep that money. The Seahawks and the Cowboys did it with their superstars because it was the right thing to do. When you think about the kind of money that a player of Calvin Johnson’s caliber can bring to an organization in the way of ticket and jersey sales, it just seems petty and cheap. We fans can only hope that they haven’t permanently destroyed the relationship.

 

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After Barry Sanders retired, the team filed a grievance in order to recoup part of his signing bonus and it led to the team and Sanders being disassociated from each other for years. Now, as the second season since Calvin walked away rolls around, he is attending Oakland Raiders OTAs as a guest. When coupled with the fact that he seems to be lukewarm at best to the idea of the Lions as an entity in general, fans should be sad and maybe even outraged.

 

With Barry Sanders it was maybe just a case of him screwing the team and the team screwing him back. But when it happens with another football icon, maybe the team needs to look in the mirror and reevaluate. The Lions might be incapable to having anything but a toxic relationship. Maybe they should talk to someone, and quick. Because Calvin Johnson must have his jersey hanging in the rafters at Ford Field and he must be part of the Detroit Lions family. He needs to be attending Lions OTAs and be seen as a prominent figure in Detroit football and Detroit the city. If he isn’t, then I can’t see any reason that the team’s next phenom would want to be part of the family for the long haul.

 

 


Putting the fun back in the NFL, one rule change at a time

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Published on : May 25, 2017

 

In an about-face from the way the league has been operating in recent years, the NFL has voted to give its players a chance to express themselves. The league has spent years stifling their players’ creative instincts by penalizing them for end zone celebrations. Instead of embracing something that fans and players both enjoy, the No Fun League has been throwing flags and even fining players for putting a little soul in the game, but it appears that Roger Goodell and the powers that be have seen the error of their ways.

 

At the spring league meeting, the owners voted to ease restrictions on touchdown celebrations and proponents of common sense everywhere rejoiced. What was it about dancing in the end zone or celebrating a touchdown that irked all these owners so bad in the first place? Maybe they were jealous of the dance moves, or maybe they are so far removed from our meager plebeian society that they forgot how normal, non-billionaires have fun and express joy. Either way, they are starting to get their heads out of their asses and come around on this one. I, for one, can’t wait to see some of the pent up celebrations that people have been sitting on during these dark days of prohibition.

 

The obvious winners in this decision are the fans. If football fans wanted to see a bunch of soulless robots they would watch baseball. Pigskin aficionados like the unpredictable nature of the game and want their favorite players to surprise them in new and exciting ways, and with the game being damn near a century old, it’s time to get creative. That’s where celebrations on big plays come in. The players still aren’t allowed to do anything that might be seen as taunting (throat slash), or anything sexually suggestive, but they are allowed to do group celebrations and to use the ball as a prop.

 

 

The players who will no longer have to risk being fined for getting excited are winners in this too. By extension the teams also win because they won’t have to endure ridiculous penalties when players inevitably celebrate regardless of the rules. Guys like Antonio Brown are excited to get the whole team in on the fun and we should be too. I imagine Odell Beckham Jr has a few things up his sleeve and I’m sure Cam Newton will hop on whatever dance trend is happening and then beat it to death.  

 

While the rule change is definitely a step in the right direction, I’m not sure that the NFL went far enough. There’s still a few annoying things, like that you reportedly still can’t dunk the ball through the uprights like Calvin Johnson used to (despite what the below video says). Also, the 40 second play clock starts immediately after a touchdown, meaning that teams could risk a delay of game if the TD scoring player isn’t quick about his celebration. Think of the wonderfully choreographed masterpieces that we will miss out on. For a little more explanation on what is, and what isn’t allowed, check out this informative video featuring former Detroit Lions TE and TD celebrations pro, Joe Fauria.  

 


I say let these guys go to town. Maybe they could even work on dance numbers with predetermined music. The crowd would love it and so would the players. These guys got soul and they need to share it with the world.

 

Let them dance.

 

 


Who will be the next NFL player to head to the broadcast booth?

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Published on : May 16, 2017

 

 

As you’ve all heard by now, Tony Romo and Jay Cutler have decided that since no team wants them as their signal caller, they will head to the broadcast booth. The decision by these two long time NFL QBs has caused a bit of a stir in the pro football world. Many people, myself included, think that it’s a great fit for Romo since he is a pretty likable guy who seems to get along with everyone. Cutler, on the other hand, is a bit more controversial considering most people, myself included, can’t stand the guy. Where Romo seems like the kind of guy your parents would love, Cutler seems like the guy who would come into your parents house reeking like cigarette smoke and refuse to look your father in the eye or say hi to your mother.

 

While Jay Cutler as a color commentator is outright ridiculous for a guy who seemingly has one of the worst personalities in all of football, the pick of Tony Romo seems as safe as white bread. I think the broadcast community can do a lot better than both of those guys. Here are a few current NFL players who I think would be much better choices to head up to the booth once their careers are over.

 

Marshawn Lynch

When you think of Marshawn Lynch you might think about ridiculous broken tackles, long TD runs or even his hatred of the media, but hear me out for a second. Despite his late-career antics with the press, he has always been pretty funny in front of the cameras. He may have shunned the spotlight in recent years but for enough money I think that the right crew could get the most out of him as a commentator. Beast Mode has never lacked in the personality department and if you don’t believe me just watch this video of him visiting Scotland. It’s clear that in the right setting he thrives and is pretty damn entertaining. With the right team around him (more on that later), it could be ratings gold.

 

 

Michael Bennett

This one makes the most sense. Michael Bennett is everything that you could ever want in a television personality. He is intelligent, witty, funny, charismatic and a total weirdo. He always has something to say and when he opens his mouth, it’s usually something that people talk about. Michael Bennett is like the Hunter S. Thompson of pro athletes; he’s socially conscious with a flair for the unorthodox. Bennett would be a better color guy than Jay Cutler could ever hope to be and he wouldn’t be afraid to take the NFL or society at-large to task if he saw something he perceived as wrong. Bennett has opinions for days and the broadcast media would be wise to try to get him on camera once his playing days are done.

 

 

Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski represents the big, dumb, wide-eyed kid in all of us. For that reason, one has to believe that he has a future in television once he can no longer weather the constant storm of injuries that has plagued him for most of his career. I can’t speak to his analytical abilities but much like the rest of these guys, he has got personality in buckets. Gronk is the type of person that seems like he can have a good time no matter where he is and I’m sure that would translate to the broadcast booth. I envision him as a Charles Barkley type; he might not always know what he’s talking about but he will definitely make it entertaining. Maybe we can hook Gronk up with Marshawn who can be the Shaq to his Charles. Take a look at the two on camera together and tell me it’s not a match made in heaven.

 

 

The NFL media juggernaut would do well to try to bring any of these guys into the fold once their playing days are over. If they’re lucky they will lock down all three. Who would you like to see in the booth after they walk off the field for the final time? Leave your ideas in the comments below and see if you can think of anyone better than these guys.

 

 


Greg Hardy, you seem like a ‘f*cking psychopath’

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Published on : May 5, 2017

 

 

“I’m not a f*cking psychopath”

 

 

That’s a recent quote from former standout NFL defensive linemen, Greg Hardy. If you know anything about his story then you know that in 2014, he allegedly (and almost certainly) assaulted his then girlfriend, Nicole Holder. The details of the assault are pretty gruesome and it is said that he choked her, threw her onto a pile of assault guns (because why wouldn’t he have a literal pile of weapons?) and threatened to kill her. Hardy was convicted in a bench trial but the charges were later dropped on appeal for a jury trial after Holder failed to appear in court. The prosecutor’s office cited their inability to locate the victim and “reliable information” that the two parties had reached a civil settlement, and the charges were later expunged from Hardy’s record. The next day Deadspin released pictures that had surfaced of Nicole Holder’s injuries, which Hardy later refuted, claiming that they could have been doctored after the fact.

 

I call bullshit.

 

Hardy’s arrest happened only months after the now-infamous Ray Rice domestic violence incident so the NFL was in the midst of a major PR struggle in which they were trying desperately to appear like they were guided by some kind of moral compass and not just the almighty dollar. Hardy was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list while the court case played out and he appeared in only 1 game in 2014. In the end, he missed about a year of football and the next offseason the Panthers decided not to re-sign him, a move which was likely motivated by the team’s desire to rid their team of a violent person of questionable morals and mental stability.

 

Cue America’s team, the Dallas Cowboys.

 

Despite the fact that Greg Hardy was shunned by almost all NFL teams, Jerry Jones and ‘Dem Boyz’ signed Greg Hardy to a 1-year, $11.3 million contract during the 2015 offseason in hopes that he could be a difference maker. While most people wouldn’t touch a guy who had just beat his girlfriend and threatened to kill her, the Cowboys proved once again that winning comes before everything. The league suspended Hardy for the first 10 games of the season but an arbitrator reduced it to 4 games, and after that he was back on the field making millions. Luckily for believers in some form of karma (though not nearly fitting to the crime), Greg Hardy’s tenure with the Cowboys was a complete disaster. He had one of his worst statistical seasons (6 sacks, 35 tackles in 12 starts) and he proved to be as shitty of a teammate as he is a person. After doing things like getting into arguments with his teammates on the sidelines and missing team meetings even the Cowboys decided they had enough and decided against bring him back the following season. He went into the 2016 season without a team and was arrested for cocaine possession shortly thereafter. Hardy hasn’t been back to the NFL since.

 

 

Now he is trying to make some sort of comeback and it’s for that reason that I saw the headline where he proclaimed that he’s “not a f*cking psychopath.” Naturally, I assumed that he was referring to the domestic violence incident and that the context would dictate that he was remorseful for what had come to pass with his ex-girlfriend. When I read further I was appalled to learn that Hardy has no remorse for what happened with Nicole Holder. His “psychopath” comment was in reference to his ill-fated stint with the Cowboys.

 

Being a shitty teammate and a locker room distraction doesn’t mean he is psychopath but the fact that he doesn’t show any type of regret for the domestic violent incident that marked the beginning of the end of his career might mean that. At this point it seems unlikely that any team will take a chance on someone like him. There’s too much talent out there and he’s been out of the game for too long. Oh yea, there’s also the fact that he CHOKED AND THREATENED TO KILL HIS GIRLFRIEND. The NFL doesn’t always do a great job of presenting itself as an organization with a conscience but by keeping this psycho out of the league it could do it this time. Greg Hardy is loose cannon and is not the type of guy I would want on my team.

 

Anytime someone has to tell you that they aren’t something there’s probably a good chance they are whatever it is they’re denying. It’s not a good look. Suuuuuuure, he’s not a psychopath. And neither was Roy Munson at the beginning of Kingpin. 

 

 

 


Lions must focus on defense in the draft

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Published on : April 2, 2017

 

 

The Detroit Lions have spent the better part of the last 50 years as the laughing stock of football. From pee wee to the pros, the Lions like the Browns and other oft-maligned franchises, were synonymous with ineptitude. The team that squandered the careers of Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson, two legends of the gridiron. Lions and losing went together like peanut butter and jelly, but in the last few years something crazy has happened. The team has been pretty damn good at times, and mediocre at worst. For the last three seasons the team has been a legitimate contender for the division and they have made the playoffs twice in that period.

 

Gone are the days of planning for the next year’s draft in October and November. Fans in the Motor City expect to be in the running late in the season. The new goal isn’t just having a winning record or even making the playoffs, it’s winning a playoff game; something that hasn’t happened since 1991. If that goal is going to be achieved this season then there is still quite a bit of offseason work to be done. Especially on the defense.

 

 

There is an almost complete consensus that the Detroit Lions are one of the early winners of this year’s free agency. After losing Riley Reiff and Larry Warford, two long time starters on the offensive line, there was concern that an already somewhat porous unit was going to take a big step backward in 2017. Then general manager Bob Quinn surprised many people by spending big money to acquire two of the best offensive linemen available. On the opening day of free agency, right tackle, Rick Wagner, was signed away from the Baltimore Ravens. Days later local boy and longtime Packers guard, TJ Lang, was signed after it seemed like a certainty that he was headed for Seattle. These two are immediate and significant upgrades over their predecessors on the line, especially when it comes to pass blocking, where they rank as two of the best at their positions in the league. Quinn had a goal to upgrade protection for Matt Stafford and he executed his plan swiftly.

 

Those upgrades on the offensive line did not come cheap, however, and depending on who you ask, the Lions now only have about $8 million in cap space. That cap space doesn’t preclude them from making more moves in free agency but it does most likely take them out of the running for the big names like Zach Brown that are still on the market. That could be of concern because the Lions have yet to improve their defense whatsoever this offseason, and if anything the talent pool on that side of the ball has gotten more shallow.

 

Linebacker Paul Worrilow was signed from the Falcons and cornerback DJ Hayden was signed from the Raiders. Worrilow has value as a special teamer but if the Lions are forced to start him then that’s a bad sign. Hayden has the potential to start at the nickel position if he can stay healthy and replicate his performance from last season. Both of the guys are nice depth pieces but they aren’t difference makers. That is troubling on a Lions defense that is in dire need of guys who can make big plays, especially after the team chose to part ways with the once electric but now injury plagued DeAndre Levy.

 

 None of the defensive signing so far are game changers, including Paul Worrilow.

 

A few more depth pieces with some potential have been signed along the defensive line. Akeem Spence, Cornelius Washington and Jordan Hill will all contribute but the team must generate a better pass rush this year. Ever since Ndamukong Suh took his talents to South Beach there has been no pressure up the middle. Last year, that weakness really came back to bite them as opposing quarterbacks were allowed record setting completion percentages against the defense. If there’s no pass rush then the defense will surely flounder again.

 

The cap constraints and a free agency class that is short on defensive playmakers at this point means that the Detroit Lions are going to need a defensive haul of epic proportions in this year’s NFL Draft. There are huge holes on the defensive line and at linebacker and the way that the team sits right now, the offense will need to score 40 points a game for them to be successful. In the NFL, you can’t expect to have sustained success if you’re forced to rely solely on the offense. This team must dedicate the lion’s share of their draft picks to the defense because the guys they have right now simply can’t get the job done.

 

 


Bears to sign Mike Glennon, NFC North rivals rejoice

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Published on : March 9, 2017

 

The NFL’s new league year is beginning and with it we are seeing a flurry of new signings. This is one of my favorite times of year as teams begin to retool and build their rosters for the new season. It’s an exciting time for fans, who get to play amateur GM and imagine how they would best build their favorite team. And when teams don’t go along with the fan’s ideas of what’s best, they get to light the torches and get out the pitchforks, only to realize once games start that they had no idea what they were talking about. Aside from being excited about what your team might be doing, fans get to revel in the mistakes of their rivals. That’s why I am so excited for what the Chicago Bears are rumored to be working on.

 

 Get this man in a Bears jersey!

 

The Bears are being connected to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Mike Glennon. As a Lions fan, I would love to see the Bears sign Mike Glennon. They will have gone from Jay Cutler, a sub-par, but proven and somewhat talented quarterback to a guy that hasn’t seen the field in two years and has one mediocre rookie season as his body of work. Regardless of what the delusional fans in the Windy City want to believe, the Bears have been the gutter trash of the NFC North for a few years now and this move would make sure that trend continues. With the Packers always awesome (even when they suck) and the Vikings riding their defense, I feel like the Bears being respectable again would be too much for my Lions to handle. Better that they sign a garbage quarterback and leave the competitive football to the big boys.

 

This might be unfair to Mike Glennon. The Buccaneers did offer to make him the highest paid back up QB in the league, after all, so he has to at least have some talent. The Bears are reported to be offering him $14.5 million per year. When you say that out loud it seems like a ton but when you’re talking about a starting quarterback it isn’t really that crazy an amount of money. In fact, it puts him right around 21st when you rank starting QB yearly salary in the league. The Bears are betting big on Glennon’s potential and the fact that tons of people in the Buccaneers organization love the guy, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has only ever won five football games in his career.

 

 John Fox might not survive the Mike Glennon experiment.

 

This move reeks of desperation and that should have the the Lions, Vikings, and Packers licking their chops at the prospect of playing Chicago twice a year. Glennon might have the size (6’6″, 225 lbs), potential, starting experience (albeit limited) and knowledge of the game (he has been watching from the sidelines since Jameis Winston was drafted), but he is definitely unproven. He is also going to a team that just decided to let their best receiving option walk in free agency. When this move inevitably blows up in their face and they win five or six games, they will probably be looking for a new head coach. It seems unlikely John Fox will survive another bad season in a city that so loves football. All of that adds up to another three to four years of mediocrity in Chicago. And that most likely has the rest of the NFC North praying for Mike Glennon in a Bears uniform.

 

 


NFL free agents bound to be overpaid and underwhelming

Written by :
Published on : March 3, 2017

 

 

The NFL’s free agency period begins Thursday March 9th at 4 p.m. ET. Two days before that, is what is known as the legal tampering period, a time when teams and free agents are free to begin negotiating. It is around this time that players and teams can agree, in principle, to contracts and when the offseason news cycle really begins to go wild. On March 7th we will all begin to hear about the ridiculous money being handed out to NFL free agents and naturally, we will hear about guys who are being overpaid. The great players will break the bank and even the good to mediocre players will fetch a huge ransom. There will be older players who bank off of storied careers and there will be guys who had good seasons last year that will prove to be one-hit wonders. Let’s take a look at some guys who will be giving their new teams buyer’s remorse before long.

 

Adrian Peterson

For years, Adrian Peterson has been among the best running backs in the league. He has frustrated opposing defenses and he topped 2,000 yards rushing in 2012. Peterson has also had at least 10 touchdowns in 8 of his 10 seasons in the NFL, and those two other seasons were drastically shortened due to an injury and a domestic violence suspension. Due to his impressive production throughout his career, there will almost certainly be a large market for his services but the smartest teams will stay away.

 

AP will turn 32 this month and for a running back, especially one with as many miles on the tires as him, that is ancient. He has carried the 2,418 times in his career and it seems unlikely that he will be able to return to league-leading form after suffering knee and groin injuries last season. Someone is going to pay him big money (Cleveland Browns?) but they will be kicking themselves in the butt sooner rather than later.

 

 

AJ Bouye

Prior to week 3 of the 2016 NFL season, AJ Bouye was the number-four cornerback on the Houston Texans’ roster. Then the Texans secondary was hit with a rash of injuries that propelled Bouye into the starting lineup. Luckily for the Texans, and Bouye’s bank account, he thrived once he started to see more playing time. The four year veteran went on to start 11 games for the Texans after starting only 8 games in his first 3 years in the league. While he certainly proved that he has the ability to be a starter in the NFL, the lack of sustained high level play over the course of his career should be concerning.

 

Bouye is widely considered the best cornerback in the free agent market and a year ago, no one had heard of him. Ideally, you would like to give top cornerback money to someone who has proved themselves over the course of more than one single NFL season. He wouldn’t be the first NFL player who played out of their mind in a contract year and then disappeared back into the shadows from whence they came once they signed a mega deal.

 

 

Alshon Jeffrey

Alshon Jeffrey has all the talent in the world and the tools to be a top wide receiver in the NFL. He also has a ton of baggage, including a PED suspension and some injury concerns. Despite that baggage, there is a good chance that Jeffrey could soon be the highest paid receiver in the league, eclipsing Antonio Brown’s four-year, $68 million deal that he signed with the Steelers earlier this week. When you’re handing that kind of contract to a guy like Jeffrey, who has had a rocky career, there’s a good chance that you could come to regret that decision.

 

Jeffrey has only gained 1,000 or more yards receiving in 2 out of his 4 seasons and has only caught 10 touchdowns once. For a guy who has shown such great flashes of talent, he can be very frustrating. Regardless, some poor sucker of a team is going to make this guy very, very rich. And there’s a good chance that contract will make whatever team very, very sad. If you don’t believe me just ask the Bears why they didn’t apply the franchise tag to their best pass catcher.

 

 

Russell Okung

This guy is something else. He was a free agent last offseason after a pretty solid first 6 years to his career in Seattle. He was successful in his time with the Seahawks and was primed to sign a big-money contract. Then he proved that he is far from the sharpest tool in the shed by deciding to forgo the normal process of having a professional agent and negotiated his own contract. He saved himself a few dollars of commission and signed himself to one of the dumbest contracts ever. On the surface it was a five-year deal worth $10.6 million a year with the Broncos but upon realizing that the team had the option to void the contract after the first year and release themselves from the remaining $20.5 million in guaranteed money, you have to wonder what is wrong with this guy?

 

Okung’s performance last year was far from his best showing but luckily for him, the offensive tackle class in free agency and the draft is rather thin. That means that the 29-year-old will likely find pay that he should be happy with. The problem is that he has proven to be a real idiot who is bound to continue to show his lack of awareness. The only saving grace for potential suitors would be if he is stupid enough to try to act as his own agent once again. He can’t be that dense, but if he is, would you really want to risk signing someone like that?

 

 

There are always some players who get signed in free agency and fizzle out and are the guys that I think will come to look like bad signings a year or two down the line. They may have done enough up to this point to get themselves giant contracts but this will probably be the last big money deal they see. Head on down to the comments section and tell us which players you think your favorite team should avoid.

 

 


The Next Step: Detroit Lions offseason needs on offense

Written by :
Published on : February 15, 2017

 

 

In the previous installment of The Next Step we talked about the Detroit Lions and how desperately they need to improve their defense if they want to get to the next level. Defense wins championships and the lack of one can get you bounced from the first round of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion, as was the case when the Lions faced the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card round. While improving the defense is paramount to establishing a consistently good team, all parts of the team should be examined every offseason and that brings us to the offense.

 

The Lions offense has carried the team for years now and Matthew Stafford, before his late season finger injury, seemed to prove that he has finally put all the pieces together. He carried the team in 2016 and was the only consistent bright spot. And even that went to hell after the finger injury. It’s time for the team to take some pressure off of Stafford and build a complete offense. Here’s what they should do if they want to accomplish that goal.

 

Offensive Line

The starting offensive line that the Detroit Lion rolled out last season is full of young talent. Rookie first round pick Taylor Decker proved that he is the left tackle of the future and Travis Swanson surprised everyone by becoming one of the better centers in the league, after an extremely rocky first two years in the NFL. Former first round left guard Laken Tomlinson on the other hand proved that he is quickly headed for bust status, but never fear! Rookie Graham Glasgow took over and did a good job. He also showed some versatility by moving to center when Swanson went down with a concussion that would cause him to miss the final five games of the year. All these players will most likely be on the Lions roster in 2017 (unless Tomlinson gets him self cut from the team, which is possible) so the left side of the line is set. But the right side could be a little tricky.

 

 The Lions must re-sign Riley Reiff.

 

At right guard is former third round pick Larry Warford, who has been very good at times but hasn’t lived up to a stellar rookie season four years ago. At right tackle is former first rounder Riley Reiff who moved to the right side after the team drafted Taylor Decker. Both are above average-to-good players but both will be unrestricted free agents this offseason. It will be very hard to keep both so that means a choice must be made. While Larry Warford is probably higher rated at his position compared to other guards around the league than Reiff would be against his peers, good tackles are just too hard to come by. If the price is right, the team should re-sign Reiff, let Warford walk, and move Laken Tomlinson back to his more natural position at right guard. They should also draft some developmental players in the mid/late rounds of the draft, but by no means should they be giving big money to any free agents. If Reiff decides he wants left tackle money then you let him walk and hope Corey Robinson can step up and fill in.

 

The team is also in desperate need of a blocking tight end. Eric Ebron is great for catching passes (when he doesn’t drop the ball) and he gives the offense an explosiveness that it has been missing but having him block has not worked out. The Lions haven’t had a tight end who can block since Brandon Pettigrew so expect them to draft someone to fill this role. If they don’t address this need they will surely regret it.

 

Deep Threat

Let’s face it, with Calvin Johnson gone from the offense the Detroit Lions had no true deep threat. Sure, there were some plays when Golden Tate, Marvin Jones, or even TJ Jones would get behind the defense. But they were few and far between throughout the 2016 season. For the most part, the offense was predicated on getting their shifty receivers the ball near the line of scrimmage and letting them breaks plays after the catch. There were long stretches when receivers could not get separation from opposing defensive backs. This has to change and the way to do that is by finding a speedy guy who can take the top off of the defense and open up the field underneath.

 

 In your dreams, Lions fans.

 

I think the answer here, like with the offensive line, should come from the draft. With as much work as the defense needs, spending big in free agency seems like the wrong move. I’m in favor of re-signing Anquan Boldin (should he choose not to retire) but he isn’t a giant threat to beat anyone deep. DeSean Jackson would be an amazing addition but with all the holes on defense, it seems unlikely that Bob Quinn will pay what it takes to get him on the team. The Lions should spend a mid round pick to find the fastest receiver available who can catch the ball well.

 

Power Runner

The Lions say that Ameer Abdullah is still slated to be the top dog in the backfield in 2017. And there’s no reason he shouldn’t be. He may be considered in an injury concern by some after missing most of last season and part of his rookie season with various injuries but that doesn’t seem fair. In the 18 games he has appeared in he has been absolutely electric and the offense is a totally different machine with him on the field. He should be the top back on the depth chart, but that doesn’t mean the team shouldn’t have other options. Fans love Zach Zenner but the Lions’ offense needs a real powerback.

 

The smartest thing to do would be to draft someone in a late round and hope that they can show enough to become the third option behind Abdullah and pass-catching extraordinaire Theo Riddick. Dwayne Washington, a sixth round pick last year, could blossom into the role but he had a very hard time seeing his holes last year and the team should have other options going into training camp. Should the team look to free agency Eddie Lacy could be an option. If he comes cheap it would be hilarious to see him run over some Green Bay Packers next season. Either way the team needs someone who can punish the defense between the tackles. Something they do not have right now.

 

 Eddie Lacy as a Lion?

 

That does it for the roster needs on offense but I have one more thing to add and it many Lions fans might think that I’m crazy. It’s the idea that maybe, just maybe, the Lions need someone new calling plays for the offense. After a great start to his career as offensive coordinator of the Lions, Jim Bob Cooter seems to have regressed. The play calling was awful at times last year and he has shown an inability to adjust as games wear on. I have no doubt that he will start the season calling plays in Detroit and hopefully he can continue to learn in second full offseason as offensive coordinator but keep an eye on how he performs in the early part of next season. If the offense leaves something to be desired he could be relieved of his duties mid season.

 

What do you think the Detroit Lions need to do on offense? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

 

 


Friendly Reminder That The Greatest Trophy In Sports Isn’t Awarded Until June

Written by :
Published on : February 8, 2017

 

For those of you that live under a rock, this past Sunday was the Super Bowl. Now, obviously the Super Bowl is the biggest sports game of the year. Millions of people across the country get together, drink beer, eat wings and enjoy the game with friends. It’s just unfortunate that the winners of biggest sports game of the year are rewarded with such a mediocre trophy.

 

I’m not going to sit here and take anything away from Sunday night’s game (except that the commercials were TRASH). In all honesty, it might have been one of the greatest football games I’ve ever watched. Between the insane comeback, the Julio catch immediately followed by that Edelman catch, even that Gaga performance, Super Bowl LI was everything any of us could’ve asked for. Now, with that being said, the lack of a proper hardware to reward such a great game is a travesty.

 

 The 1964 Maple Leafs sip victory from the greatest trophy in sports.

 

I like to think that the first Lombardi Trophy was a last minute thing. They probably forgot to buy a decent trophy and someone just decided to take a football, glue it on top of traffic cone and then spray paint the whole thing chrome. If that was the true story I might even be okay with it, but its not. Aside from holding it, touching it and kissing it there’s literally nothing you can do with it. Maybe use it as a paper weight when you have as many as the Pats do but that’s about it. You can’t drink a beer out of it, you can’t eat your morning cereal out of it, you can’t put a baby inside of it. There’s a new one every year so you don’t get your name etched into it for all of eternity, There is no Keeper of the Lombardi Trophy, whose sole job is to transport and protect the trophy. Guys on the winning team have no interest in spending a day with the Lombardi Trophy once they’ve won it. It’s just a lame football (fully inflated, mind you) perched up on a traffic cone and spray painted chrome. Nothing more, nothing less.

 

Lucky for us, the greatest trophy in all of sports isn’t awarded until June so we still have something to look forward to this summer.

 

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @C_brown22

 


The Next Step: Detroit Lions offseason needs on defense

Written by :
Published on : February 1, 2017

 

 

Some people see the Detroit Lions 2016 campaign as a failure. Some people see it as a success. Regardless of whether you think the team needed to win the division or that Wild Card game in Seattle in order to say that the season was a success, you have to admit that they surpassed most everyone’s preseason expectations. Nine wins and a trip to the playoffs is nothing to scoff at, but the 26-6 thrashing that the Lions took at the hands of the Seahawks proved that there is still a way to go before this team is contending for titles.

 

The team has a few very solid pieces in place and has the luxury of some nice depth on the roster, but there are some big holes still. With a few good moves this team could be a dangerous. General Manager Bob Quinn and head coach Jim Caldwell have a chance to solidify this roster and make the Lions legit. Defense wins championships so we will focus on that unit for this first installment about the Lions offseason.

 

The Detroit Lions defense was historically bad in 2016, especially against the pass. Though opposing quarterbacks carved them up through the air, I actually believe that the Lions’ secondary is the most solid unit on the defense. Darius Slay will be a solid number one cornerback for years. Glover Quin is in his prime and has a year left on his contract. Guys like Nevin Lawson, Quandre Diggs, Tavon Wilson, and Miles Killebrew have a ton of potential and provide solid depth. They could certainly use a solid number two cornerback who can turn and run with faster receivers (Logan Ryan from New England?), but I place most of the blame for the unit’s pass defense woes on the front end, especially the defensive line.

 

Defensive Line

 JPP has proven he can still rush the passer. Will the Lions be willing to pay him?

 

The team gambled on returning Haloti Ngata, Tyrunn Walker, and Devin Taylor back to start at defensive tackle and defensive end along rising star DE, Ziggy Ansah. And they lost big time. With Ziggy battling injury for most of the year, the defensive line was not able to get consistent pressure. Kerry Hyder, a guy I had never heard of before 2016, lead the team in sacks (8) and the team only had 26 overall. They must upgrade here if they want to turn this defense around, and though Hyder certainly earned a spot in the rotation with his efforts this year, everyone except Ansah should be on the chopping block.

 

The team may be interested in a guy like Jason Pierre Paul to start at defensive end across from Ziggy, but he may come at a price tag that is far beyond what GM Bob Quinn is willing to pay. JPP would make the Lions’ starting DEs absolutely terrifying but it seems like a pipe dream at this point. There are too many holes to be filled to spend the likely $11-13 million/year that JPP will command. Other guys like Andre Branch out of Miami or William Gholston from Tampa Bay could be more cost effective options in free agency. Defensive ends Taco Charlton out of Michigan or Daeshon Hall out of Texas A&M could be available when the Lions pick in the draft and they have the size and skills to develop into the type of player they like.

 

As far as defensive tackle, it seems likely that the team will release Haloti Ngata unless he takes a pay cut and Tyrunn Walker should allowed to walk out the door. The Lions already have one replacement starter in A’Shawn Robinson, who was drafted in the second round last year and led the line in passes defended with seven. Robinson needs to develop into a force in the interior if the Lions defense is going to get back on track because I don’t see the team spending big money on a free agent stud, if that even exists this year. I think the focus will be on defensive end and they will allow Robinson to develop while finding a band-aid type player in free agency and a more developmental prospect in the draft.

 

Linebackers

 The Lions could certainly use a linebacker who can generate a turnover or two.

 

Linebacker needs some major help too. When he signed a lucrative contract two offseasons ago, DeAndre Levy looked like the future stud playmaker on the Lions defense. Injuries have derailed his career since then and he has played in only 6 of 32 possible games. He may be healthy, but then again he could get injured again. Or he could retire after showing obvious displeasure with the league and the way it conducts business regarding its players and their health. Hopefully he will still be able to contribute and make plays but the team can’t count on it and even if he does, there are other major holes.

 

Tahir Whitehead has been the starting middle linebacker for two years now and it’s clear that it isn’t working. Three years ago, when he was the third best linebacker on the team and was playing on the strong side, he thrived. The team needs to do everything in their power to make that happen again because when he is the best option at LB, the team is in trouble. That makes finding a new starting middle linebacker priority one. In free agency, the two names that are being floated around are Zach Brown from Buffalo or Dont’a Hightower from New England. The two will definitely come at a high price, but if the team wants to spend the money then Zach Brown is the guy for this team. With Reggie Ragland returning from injury, it seems likely that the Bills will let him walk following his 147 tackle effort in 2016. If the Lions can put him in alongside Tahir Whitehead and (hopefully) DeAndre Levy then this unit can be very solid, but it’s going to cost them. I think it would be money well spent.

 

Should the Lions choose to address the need at linebacker in the draft the big name that has been floated is Zach Cunningham out of Vanderbilt. Reuben Foster from Alabama would be amazing but there is very little chance he drops low enough in the first round for the Lions to snag him. Cunningham has the athleticism, size and speed to step into the role in the middle immediately but is a bit of a problem in the missed tackle department. He would definitely have some learning to do and if the Lions are really in win now mode with head coach Jim Caldwell potentially on the hot seat, then they may opt for a more expensive solution in free agency.

 

 Cunningham could be the MLB of the future if he can clean up his tackling.

 

These are just some of the moves that the team needs to make this offseason. In the NFL you can never rest easy and you always need to be looking for upgrades at all positions. Expect the team to make some moves that don’t correspond to anything I’ve listed here. Stay tuned for the list of offensive needs for the coming offseason.

 

 


Roger Goodell has got to be pissed

Written by :
Published on : January 24, 2017

 

 

The New England Patriots are heading back to yet another Super Bowl. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and their band of misfits will play the Matt Ryan-led Atlant Falcons on Sunday, February 5th in Super Bowl LI. By now, everyone outside of New England and the extended fanbase has to be tired of seeing this team play for the Lombardi trophy. I know I am. But there’s one person out there who has to be more sickened by this than anyone else. And that person is NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell.

 

When Goodell handed all-century QB, Tom Brady a four-game suspension for under-inflated footballs it was clear that Goodell had it out for Brady. A ridiculously heavy-handed punishment for such a seemingly minor infraction to be sure. The entire deflategate scandal also cost the Patriots their 2016 first round and 2017 fourth round draft picks, making it clear that Goodell’s witch hunt also extended to the franchise. If it’s true that Goodell had made a point of harming the New England Patriots as an organization – and it seems clear that it was his intention – then he has to be furious at the fact that they are headed for the Super Bowl, despite being without their best player for the first quarter of the season.

 

 

It must make Goodell even more furious to know how badly the Patriots and their fans want to embarrass him. The NFL commissioner made it a point to avoid viewing a Patriots’ game in person during the NFL playoffs, opting instead to attend two games in a row at the Georgia Dome. And the fans in New England took note. Multiple times during the Patriots 36-17 thrashing of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Championship, the crowd in Foxborough called out the NFL commissioner by name with chants of “where’s Roger?” and “Roger,Roger.”

 

Everyone in New England wants to see Roger Goodell suffer through having to hand the Super Bowl trophy over to the Patriots. And rightfully so. After all, he did put that franchise and their fans through months of hell while dealing with such a stupid scandal. Even better, if Goodell does end up having to hand over the championship trophy to the Patriots there’s a good chance that he will have to hand over the MVP trophy to Tom Brady himself. Wouldn’t that be sweet? I can just see the look on his stupid face right now.

 

 

Honestly, I hope that the Atlanta Falcons are able to pull out the victory in Houston. Their offense is down right amazing and as I said before, we’re all tired of seeing New England win all the time. But that high-flying Atlanta offense has yet to see a real test in the playoffs. The Seattle team they played at home is awful when playing on the road and the Packers team that they dismantled in the NFC Championship was deeply flawed on defense. This will be a whole new ball game for the Falcons and it won’t be clear if they are up the task until the big game gets underway.

 

Should the expected come to pass and New England wins Super Bowl LI, we can all take solace in the fact that no one will be more upset about it than Roger Goodell. As much as people dislike Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots, people dislike the commissioner more. So no matter who is rooting for who, we are all rooting to see Goodell squirm. And there’s a good chance that we will get to see it. The Patriots are going to the Super Bowl, and there’s no way Goodell can hide from that.

 

 


Aaron Rodgers is unstoppable

Written by :
Published on : January 17, 2017

 

 

How long can this go on for? Who can make it stop? How is it even possible?

 

 

These are just some of the questions football fans around the world are asking about Aaron Rodgers and his fantastical feats of football magic. Unless you’ve been living on Mars, you know by now that the Green Bay Packers are in the midst of an eight game win streak. After starting the 2016 NFL season off with a 4-6 record and on the brink of irrelevancy, the team has turned it around and is within striking distance of a Super Bowl berth. This is thanks in large part to Aaron Rodgers and the work he has done on the football field.

 

As a Lions fan, this guy has been ripping my metaphorical guts out for years now. There was a long time that I believed that many of the more amazing things he was able to do were flukes. Everyone is bound to have a few unbelievable plays go their way if they are on the field long enough, right? Well, I was very, very wrong. There’s no explanation for what he does week after week, other than that this guy is the best and most clutch player in the NFL. You have no idea how much it hurts me to say that.

 

 

I’ve wanted Aaron Rodgers and his team’s luck to run out for as long as I can remember and no matter how many sacrifices I make to the football gods, it just hasn’t happened. Leading me to the conclusion that it isn’t luck at all, he is just that good. He is the best there is and I just want the nightmare to end. Aaron Rodgers has single handedly carried the Packers this season and some of the miracles he has worked have left people speechless.

 

Take last Sunday’s divisional round matchup against the Dallas Cowboys for example. The Packers jumped out to a lead against the Cowboys. Aaron Rodgers was doing all his normal stuff. Evading pressure, escaping the pocket, buying tons of time with his legs and then rifling some of the craziest throws you’ve ever seen down field for huge completions. You know, run of the mill Rodgers stuff. The kind of stuff that makes you pull your own hair out if he is doing it against your team. But the Cowboys battles back and managed to tie the game up late in the fourth quarter. En route to that game-tying field goal by Dan Bailey, the Cowboys spiked the ball to stop the clock. When they did this I got a very sick feeling in my stomach.

 

 

By spiking the ball, the Cowboys left the Green Bay Packers with 35 seconds on the clock after the aforementioned field goal. Anyone who knows his body of work knows that 35 seconds is an eternity for Aaron Rodgers. At first glance, things looked to be going in the Cowboys favor. A sack on first down and an incompletion on second, had the Packers sitting at third-and-20 with only 18 seconds to play in the game. Surely this thing would be going to overtime and the Cowboys would have one last chance to end Aaron Rodgers’ reign of terror.

 

Then, he went full blown Rodgers mode and did what he always does in the biggest moments. Rodgers scrambled to the left and bought enough time to be able to throw a 36 yard bullet to the very edge of the field of play. He threw one of the prettiest passes you’ll ever see to the exact spot he intended and his tight end, Jared Cook, made a catch that was almost as beautiful as the pass. I challenge you to show me anyone else in the world who can make that pass across his body with as much velocity and accuracy.

 

 

That pass from Rodgers to Jared Cook set up Mason Crosby and he drilled a 51 yard field goal to give the Packers a 34-31 victory and a trip to the NFC Championship game this weekend in Atlanta. He did it again. I’m grateful that Dallas made a game out of it and that final two minutes was some of the most captivating football action I’ve ever seen, but what does it matter if Aaron Rodgers is still going to crush your soul no matter how hard you try to avoid it. He didn’t even need Jordy Nelson to destroy the Cowboys, and at times he made it look maddeningly easy.

 

At 33 years old, this guys has many years of ripping out the hearts of opposing fans ahead. I wish it wasn’t true, but it is. I just want him to go away, and for a few brief weeks at the beginning of this season I thought his empire might be crumbling. But if this amazing run is any indication of the future, the entire league is in trouble. Because as long as Aaron Rodgers is working this kind of magic, he and the Packers can win the Super Bowl in any given year. Especially this one.

 

Go Falcons.

 

 


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