Sunday, November 30, 2014

Vikings Block Punt Their Way To Victory Over Carolina Panthers

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings 2014 NFL Action PhotoFor a team that hadn't returned a blocked punt for a TD in nearly 30 years, the Minnesota Vikings blocked two punts in the first half for touchdowns (TDs) on their way to a 31-13 rout of the visiting Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers came into the game with a 3-7-1 record and they couldn't get much going on Sunday. If they've been cold this season they froze in the Tundra of TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The temperature was around 12 degrees at game time but it felt more like 5 below zero.

The Vikings took advantage of the lowly Panthers and their mistake oriented game and while Carolina mounted an attack early in the second half, the Vikings shut them down for most of the game, especially when it counted.

Improved Teddy Bridgewater and Offense

Teddy had a much better game. Due to the two blocked punts, Teddy didn't have the ball as much as he would normally have had in the first half but he did play well when he had the ball.

Teddy didn't make many mistakes on Sunday and his throws were more accurate. Teddy finished the game with 138 yards passing and two TDs. He also threw 15 completions on 21 attempts. The good news is that Teddy didn't throw any interceptions.

The offensive line still has work to do but the Vikes only gave up three sacks. All in all the offense looked better this week and hopefully we'll see continued improvement from Bridgewater and company.

Defense Yields Only 13 Points

The Vikings defense has been the strong part of the team this season and things didn't charge much on Sunday. While the Vikings gave up a few big plays they held their own for the most part yielding only two field goals and a TD.

I was really impressed with Everson Griffen today. Griffen had two sacks as well as recovering one of the blocked punts for a TD. Everson is having a good year and is a big surprise to me.

Before the season started I criticized the Vikings for signing Griffen to an extension that I thought was obscene. Everson is proving me wrong this season.

Xavier Rhodes is another player that made a couple of big plays and he's becoming Mr. Reliable on the defense.

Blocked Punts Ruled the Day

As well as I thought that both the offense and defense played today, I thought that the two blocked punts that were returned for TDs were the game changers. They ignited the Vikings in the first half and they set the tone for the remainder of the game.

It was nice to see the Vikings make some huge plays on special teams and they finally broke through with some blocked punts and TDs!

The Vikings won't make the playoffs this season but I'm looking for them to make improvements in their remaining games. If they can finish 8-8 I will be happy.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Ray Rice Wins Appeal - Goodell Should be Punished by Owners

Autographed Roger Goodell Photo - Commissioner 8x10 W coaFormer Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice has won his appeal on an indefinite suspension levied by Roger Goodell and the NFL. Barbara Jones a former U.S. District judge heard Rice's appeal and made her ruling which was reported by ESPN today.

For Ray Rice and the NFL Players Association this ruling affirms their belief that Roger Goodell's suspension of Ray Rice was excessive and did not follow protocol. Obviously Brown agreed with them.

Judge Brown also believed that Ray Rice had been truthful with Roger Goodell regarding the events that transpired he punched and knocked out his then fiancé Janay in an elevator (prior to elevator video surfacing). Brown obviously did not believe that the video should have shed any light on what transpired in Ray Rice's beating of Janay.

This ruling proves to me that Roger Goodell should be punished by NFL owners. That should include the possibility of being fired or at the very least a neutral third party should make rulings regarding player suspensions.

Roger Goodell is Not Capable of Being Fair

Roger Goodell has bungled the suspension process from when the news first broke of Ray Rice beating his fiancé Janay (now his wife). Goodell took his time in dealing with Rice and then handed him a two game suspension that most people thought was too lenient.

When Roger Goodell faced the backlash from the public, Goodell came up with a new a policy for dealing with domestic abuse by NFL players. The public and sponsors still weren't happy and when the elevator video surfaced, Goodell had egg on his face.

So he decided to double down and suspend Ray Rice again. While I would have agreed with the indefinite suspension had it been made from the beginning, suspending a guy twice makes no sense and shows that the commissioner is a maverick and a loose cannon. 

Can he be trusted?

Can Goodell be trusted? In my humble opinion, I don't think he can. Roger Goodell's reason for handing out a second suspension was that he said Rice had misled him about the incident. Judge Brown didn't agree with Goodell's account of the events that led up to his dealing Rice another suspension.

While the judge didn't say that Goodell lied, I believe that's exactly what he did. How can fans, players and sponsors trust Goodell to do the right thing and run the NFL properly? How can NFL owners trust Goodell and his ability to be both the judge and jury?

I don't think that they can trust him. Then why do they still retain Goodell? That's an easy one for me. He makes the league big money. That's why I believe that they continue to employ the commissioner.

While sponsors were concerned with Goodell's ability to deal with domestic abuse issues committed by NFL players, their doesn't seem to be any indication that the NFL should be concerned that sponsors will abandon the NFL ship.

That's because NFL fans still are loyal to the league. They might have been upset with Goodell but they still pack NFL stadiums. The NFL didn't suffer monetarily. The Sponsors didn't suffer monetarily. Until that happens, the NFL can do almost anything it wants.

Roger won't be fired and unless the owners step in and strip him of his ability to levy suspensions and fines (at least upon appeal) players will have to wait until the next collective bargaining agreement The current collective bargaining agreement runs through 2021.

Goodell reminds me of an emperor who has run wild. Right now no one seems to be reigning in Goodell and that poses concerns for this NFL fan. The fact that Goodell has come out of the summer and fall player scandals unscathed proves to me that Goodell is like Teflon Don.

Ray Rice Wins Appeal

Should Roger Goodell be fired?

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The NFL Needs to Change their Playoff Structure

Drew Brees Signed Picture - 8x10 Breaking YardsThe NFC South is becoming a huge embarrassment to the NFL. All the teams in the division have a losing record and the 2-9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are still in the hunt to win the division and make the playoffs.

The two leading teams in the NFC South are the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, both with records of 4-7. The best record either team could muster would be 9-7 but that seems highly unlikely.

I believe that winner of this division will finish with a losing record, probably 7-9 or 6-10. For a team with a record of 6-10 to potentially make the playoffs and host a playoff game is ridiculous and embarrassing for the NFL.

When teams like Seattle, San Francisco, Detroit, Dallas or Philadelphia risk missing the playoffs due to teams like Atlanta and New Orleans making the playoffs makes this fan angry.

Playoff Structure Needs a Tweak

I know the NFL loves divisional rivalries and wants to reward the division winner for making it through the grind in their divisions. I'm not going to say that the structure needs to change greatly. A little tweak could solve the issue of a pathetic team making the playoffs.

So what do I propose? Keep the structure basically the same but change the rules so that if a team in the Wild Card hunt finishes with a better record than a division winner, that team takes the place of the division winner in the playoffs.

Then the next two teams in the Wild Card hunt get playoff berths, while the division leader gets to see the game from their living rooms.

There is one caveat here. The potential Wild Card teams would have to finish the regular season with a winning record to be considered for replacing the divisional leader.

You might not think that this makes sense but there is a possibility of a team finishing 6-10 or 7-9 and having three teams at 9-7 being in the playoff hunt. In my scenario the 6-10 team would still make the playoffs and host a home game.

I believe that this system would require minimal changes to the existing structure and it would be rare for a division leader to miss the playoffs. It would take a season like this one for that to happen.

Giving a Poor Team a Second Chance

I'm all for second chances...usually and not necessarily when it comes to teams making the playoffs. What the NFL is doing with its current structure is rewarding a team that failed in the regular season a chance at running the tables in the playoffs.

Arizona did that in the 2008 NFL regular season. They finished 8-8 and marched their way to the Super Bowl. All they needed to do was to play a few good games.

I think the New Orleans Saints are a team that could take advantage of making the playoffs after a terrible regular season. Sure they've played some bad games and have lost 3 straight at home but when you have a quarterback in Drew Brees, you don't want to give him too many chances to right the ship.

I think that any outcome that allows any NFC South team to make the playoffs is flawed and one that could potentially yield a Super Bowl champion is pathetic.

It's time for the NFL to male some tweaks to its current NFL playoff structure.

NFL Playoff Structure

Do you think that the NFL needs to make changes to its playoff structure?

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Adrian Peterson Plays His Cards Poorly - The Hammer Strikes

Roger Goodell Autographed Photo - 8x10 COMMISSIONER RARE PSA DNAThe NFL acted swiftly and harshly today and Adrian Peterson (AP) was dealt a severe blow and will not be playing football this season (unless he wins an appeal). I can't stop laughing. Adrian Peterson isn't the brightest bulb in the room but he is a brutal one and he was dealt a severe and harsh punishment.

Soon I will get to his punishment (laid out below on how he played his cards poorly) but I am happy that he was punished for his brutal beating of one of his sons that left the boy with bruises.

This story isn't about due process and all the other BS that some people are talking about. This is not about the inconsistency in Roger Goodell handing out punishments. It's about a pompous man who thought that he was more powerful and smarter than everyone else.

The legal system did nothing to punish AP. What he thought was left was for the NFL to be forced to doing nothing more to him as far as discipline is concerned, That is why today's events put a smile on my face. One way or another, fair or not fair Adrian Peterson received justice. Yes Sir!

AP gambled and lost and I love it.

Adrian Peterson Pleaded Guilty

Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in regards to his child abuse case. Allegedly AP's lawyers did not want him to plead but AP wanted to get back on the field. He thought he would be right back in his purple uniform and on the field with his Minnesota Vikings teammates.

When AP's legal case was completed, Roger Goodell and the NFL refused to take him off the commissioner's exempt list. AP and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) quickly objected and said they were appealing the case (that ended up being heard by an arbitrator on Monday).

Adrian Peterson was flexing his muscles and he thought that his maneuvering alongside his union would yield positive results.

You'll see later that this strategy didn't work and that AP would have been better off going to trial.

AP Refused to Show Up to NFL Disciplinary Meeting

Last Friday Adrian Peterson refused to show up to a meeting with Roger Goodell in regards to a disciplinary hearing. AP released a statement that he did not agree to the meeting because it was unfair and that the NFL was not following rules agreed to by the NFL and the NFLPA.

I didn't think that this was a good move at the time. I probably was the only one. I thought at the time that it was too big a gamble. I knew that the NFL would hand out a punishment (with or without his participation) and if he lost his appeal hearing in regards to fighting not being taken off the commissioner's exempt list that he would be dealt a severe blow.

So the gambler went all in and as you know by now he lost but we will get to that in a bit.

NFL Suspends Adrian Peterson

On Tuesday Adrian Peterson was suspended without pay for the remainder of the season. AP will not be allowed to file for reinstatement until April of 2015 and even then he isn't guaranteed be allowed back at that time.

While a suspension was likely, few people thought that the NFL would issue such a harsh penalty. I believe that Roger Goodell gave AP a severe punishment due to AP snubbing him and refusing to show up to his disciplinary meeting.

I believe that Roger Goodell thinks that he is a king that is immune to being accountable to his superiors and the NFL's fan base. I think Roger has the ego the size of the universe.

So, on Tuesday Roger flexed his muscles and they proved to be mightier than AP's.

This was the second way that AP played his cards (hand) poorly but AP still had the hope and I'm sure the belief that NFL Arbitrator Shyam Das would rule in his favor and that the NFL would be forced to remove him from the NFL's exemption list.

Adrian will appeal the decision and the NFLPA wants an independent party to handle the appeal. Good luck with that.

Shyam Das Rules in Favor of the NFL

Not long after Roger Goodell handed out his punishment to Adrian Peterson, NFL Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that the NFL could keep Adrian Peterson on the commissioner's exempt list. That decision dealt a huge blow to Adrian Peterson and the NFLPA.

This means that AP will remain on the list and will be barred from playing while his appeal is heard. Ha ha ha ha. Talk about losing big time. He pleadrd to a misdemeanor hoping to play this season. Then he missed a disciplinary hearing and put all his eggs in the arbitrator's basket.

Adrian is a big loser today. Adrian Peterson probably won't reflect on his situation. If he was smart he would take the time to everything that Goodell laid out for him so he could return to the field as soon as possible.

AP must be fuming and his hatred for Roger Goodell must be huge but that hatred will get him nowhere quickly.

The events of today might not seem fair to players and fans. Many people will say that Roger Goodell has been inconsistent and made things up as he's gone along. I think that's true but I also think that players should realize that they are gambling with their futures when they take on the mighty NFL, especially when they've done heinous things that could damage the NFL.

Adrian was powerless in taking on the NFL. He bought into his union's claim that the NFL was not upholding their part of the bargain when it came to the commissioner's exempt list but an NFL arbitrator didn't see it that way.

The NFLPA thought that it knew everything and led the public to believe they had a slam dunk case. They didn't and their handling of Adrian Peterson's case was terrible. They counseled AP to refuse to show up to his disciplinary hearing. Now AP is suspended without pay for the remainder of the season.

AP played his cards (hand) poorly and got obliterated!

Adrian Peterson

Do you agree with the NFL's handling of Adrian Peterson

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Monday, November 17, 2014

NFL Recap - Week #11- 2014 Season

Autographed Aaron Rodgers Photo - 8x10How is it that Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati Bengals can be so terrible one week and then rebound to demolish the New Orleans Saints the next week in New Orleans? If I had the answer to that question I could make a boat load in Vegas.

Cincinnati isn't the only team that shows NFL fans that anything can happen from week to week in this league. A team might look atrocious one week and then look like a Super Bowl contender the next week.

The same is true about a team that looks great one week and then looks like a Pop Warner one the following week.

This is what makes the NFL exciting. It's hard to predict which team will win and most fans are looking for a few teams to separate themselves from the pack and emerge as contenders.

Besides the New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals and the Green Bay Packers, it's a complete grab bag when it comes to nailing down a playoff berth. For NFL fans that uncertainty is sure to make for some great football down the stretch.

Buffalo Bills 9 at Miami Dolphins 22
Buffalo - Our man Orton didn't hear a who but he did feel the brutality of the Dolphins defense.
Miami - Our slogan for this season is...Yes we can.

San Francisco 49ers 16 at New York Giants 10
San Francisco - So we intercept Eli five times and we only score 16 points? Where's Alex when we need him?
New York - You want a win? Then we should be on your team's schedule. You want a good QB? Then go get my brother.

Denver Broncos 7 at St. Louis Rams 22
Denver - This is a minor setback. Now I'm ticked off and I wouldn't want to be the next team that plays against me.
St. Louis - We are the spoilers. We are the spoilers. Have fun playing is you chumps.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27 at the Washington Football Team 7
Tampa Bay - Washington is a terrible team and we should know it because we are the definition of a terrible team.
Washington - If my teammates did their job maybe we could win games. There's only one superstar on this team and it's me, RG3. There's no friction in the locker room. Didn't you see how great a leader I am?

Cincinnati Bengals 27 at New Orleans Saints 10
Cincinnati - Can we play against Rob Ryan's defense every week? They sure make me look good.
New Orleans - Can we play against our defense every week? Maybe we would have a winning record if we did.

Atlanta Falcons 19 at Carolina Panthers 17
Atlanta - We're tied for first in our division baby. Here we come!
Carolina - Ha ha ha ha ha. Yes we're laughing at our pathetic selves.

Seattle Seahawks 20 at Kansas City Chiefs 24
Seattle - Where's Golden Tate. Oh yeah. Where's Percy? Oh yeah.
Kansas City Chiefs - And the experts said this would be a bad year for us. That shows how little those guys know.

Houston Texans 23 at Cleveland Browns 7
Houston - We're .500! We're .500!
Cleveland - The real Browns showed up on Sunday. Yes we did!

Minnesota Vikings 13 at Chicago Bears 21
Minnesota - You know how bad we are? We just lost to the Bears.
Chicago - We found a team we can beat. Now Cutler is confident. Ha ha ha ha.

Oakland Raided 6 at San Diego Chargers 13
Oakland - Yes we are playing for the number one pick. At least that's our excuse for being so bad.
San Diego - It doesn't take much to beat those guys does it?

Detroit Lions 6 at Arizona 14
Detroit - Just when the experts were calling us a contender we go and lay an egg.
Arizona - We've got more in the tank and we're going to take it out on you!

Philadelphia Eagles 20 at Green Bay Packers 53
Philadelphia - We're not so good after all.
Green Bay - I don't think there's any way you can stop our guy Aaron Rodgers. You can double check that if you want.

New England Patriots 42 and Indianapolis Colts 20
New England - Let's be honest. Bill is a genius. Brady is still great and we keep getting better and better.
Indianapolis - Don't worry Andrew, you'll get your chance to beat Tom Brady...when he's 50.

Pittsburgh Steelers 27 at Tennessee Titans 24
Pittsburgh - How many quarters does it take to beat the Titans? According to ESPN analyst Steve Young, only a quarter and a half,
Tennessee - You can see why we're 2-8.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Minnesota Vikings Were Pathetic on Sunday

Minnesota Vikings Speed Football HelmetThe Minnesota Vikings came out strong in the first quarter and took a 10-0 lead against one of the worst teams in the NFC on Sunday in Chicago. Then everything fell apart. The Vikings embarrassed themselves by playing one of their worst games this season.

I will not give any credit to the Chicago Bears. Jay Cutler is a terrible quarterback and so is their entire team. The Vikings handed the Bears the game by playing poorly.

No sense of urgency

The Vikings didn't play with any emotion or a sense of urgency. They were lethargic and they had trouble making plays both on offense and defense.

This was a winnable game. The Vikings played a weak opponent that was reeling. Their fans were booing them after the Vikes took a 10-0 lead. So what did the Vikings do in that situation? Did they go for the jugular? Did they take advantage of their opportunity?

No they didn't take advantage of the situation? They looked like they were going through the motions. This is professional football and even bad teams will make you pay if you let-up. That's what Jay "Mr. Interception" Cutler did.

Vikings defense was horrid

When things have been going poorly on offense this season the Vikings defense has stepped up. On Sunday the Vikings defense allowed Jay Cutler and the Chicago offense to run all over them.

The Vikings never adjusted to Chicago's play calling. Chicago was able to run the same plays all game long without much of a push back by the Vikings. It was a frustrating game for this Vikings fan to watch.

This was a game that the Vikings should have won. The problem was that this team looked unprepared for the challenge of winning at Soldier Field.

If the Bears were a good team I could try and stomach this loss but I don't respect the Bears or their quarterback. So I can't stomach this loss.

The whole team played poorly

If I think that the Vikings defense was horrid today, the offense was equally as bad if not worse. The Vikings were unable to mount much of an attack all game long. The offensive line was pathetic again on Sunday.

Teddy Bridgewater was unable to move this team for most of the game and the Vikings do not have a reliable running game.

This loss is not solely on Teddy. It took the whole team to stink up the field. This loss is on the whole team.

When you don't have any part of your team playing well, you can't win. The defense has won us some games this season but they were non-existent against the Bears.

The offense could have taken advantage of terrible Bears team but they were non-existent as well.

If we're honest with ourselves, we know the Vikings played a terrible game when the washed up Jared Allen had a good game!

This was a game that I want to forget about. Right now that is hard to do. I'm mad at the poor effort by my favorite football team.

There's not much more that I can say. This was a terrible game!


Vikings Lose to Bears

What word best describes the Vikings loss to the Bears?

All of the above

Monday, November 3, 2014

NFL Recap - Week #9- 2014 Season

Ben Roethlisberger Autographed Photo - 8x10Like previous weeks in the NFL, week number nine showed us that it's very hard to predict which teams will win from week to week. As WCCO reporter Pat Kessler said it, some call it parody but it could also be mediocrity. Well that's basically what Kessler said and I agree with him.

It doesn't matter what you call it. It makes for exciting football. It also makes for some frustrating football if you're in a pick'em.

Now let's get to the recap.

New Orleans Saints 28 at Carolina Panthers 10
New Orleans - We won the battle of the duds and we did it on the road.
Carolina - We've got some major issues but thankfully we play in the worst division in the NFL.

Washington Football Team 26 at Minnesota Vikings 29
Washington - Can we buy a win? Really, can we?
Minnesota - Matt Asiata baby! Asiata!

San Diego Chargers 0 at Miami Dolphins 37
San Diego - Talk about going downhill quickly.
Miami - We love doughnuts and our opponent put a big fat one up on Sunday.

Jacksonville Jaguars 23 at Cincinnati Bengals 33
Jacksonville - We scored 23 points? Yesss!
Cincinnati - Yes! We can win the easy ones.

New York Jets 10 at Kansas City Chiefs 24
New York - OK, you've figured out our secret. We're trying very hard to get Rex and Idzik fired but our owner is a moron.
Kansas City Chiefs - It's nice to play teams like the Jets.

Philadelphia Eagles 31 at Houston Texans 21
Philadelphia - You see? I can still play this game. What do you have in New York?
Houston - So whose fault is that we suck this year? Who's the scapegoat?

Arizona Cardinals 28 at Dallas Cowboys 17
Arizona - It doesn't matter which quarterback plays for them. We still would have won the game.
Dallas - So you though we were the best team in the NFC? LOL!

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17 at Cleveland Browns 22
Tampa Bay - This is getting old. We can't even beat the Browns.
Cleveland - That's because we're not the old browns and you are the new Cleveland Browns.

St. Louis Rams 13 at San Francisco 10
St. Louis - They tried. They really did but they ran into a wall called the St. Louis defense. It also helped that Kaepernick fumbled but that's another story.
San Francisco - The Rams are who we knew they opportunistic team.

Oakland Raiders 24 at Seattle Seahawks 30
Oakland - Soon we will have the number one pick. At least something good will come from this season.
Seattle - Had we played any other team, including the Jaguars we would have lost. OK. It's a stretch regarding the Jaguars. We would have beaten them.

Denver Broncos 21 at New England Patriots 43
Denver - I think there's enough proof that I can't win in the cold but our defense sucks!
New England - It's going to really suck when they have to come here for the playoffs. You think it was cold on Sunday? Think how cold it will be in January.

Baltimore Ravens 23 at Pittsburgh Steelers 43
Baltimore - We tried to knock Roethlisberger’s head off. Suggs tried to paralyze a guy. Heck we tried to kill them and we still got blown out.
Pittsburgh - Big Ben’s favorite number is six as in six touchdowns two weeks in a row.

Indianapolis Colts 40 at New York Giants 24
Indianapolis - Did you see that Giants defense? They were spectators watching us run all over the field. I sure hope that they like what they were watching. They sure had a good view.
New York - We were exposed for the terrible team that we are.

Worst Team in the NFL

Which team is the worst in the NFL?

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