Sunday, December 14, 2014

Idle NFL rants

It was probably the worst game of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers' pro career. And his teammates weren't much help either. On the road against the Buffalo Bills, Rodgers fumbled into his own end zone, resulting in a safety. He threw two interceptions, and likely should have had at least two more picked off. Normally ultra-reliable receiver Jordy Nelson dropped a gimme touchdown pass. The Packers had a field goal attempt blocked, and allowed a Bills' player to return a kick the length of the field for a touchdown. The Cheesers would lose 21-13. They likely should have lost by 30. How can they be so dominant at home and stink it up so bad on the road? Of course, this played right into the hands of....

The Detroit Lions. Against the not-so-good Minnesota Vikings, still without the services of All-World running back Adrian Petersen, the Lions were expected to cruise at home. But they struggled, falling behind 14-0. Yet Vikes QB Teddy Bridgewater was kind enough to throw a couple of ridiculous interceptions, Minnesota had a field goal blocked as well, missed a long one at the end of game and -- presto -- the Lions lucked-up and squeaked out another win. Everything seems to be going their way this year. Next up, they have a game in Chicago, and the Bears are in free-fall.

Dallas played at Philly and raced out to a 21-0 lead. There was Jerry Jones in the visitor's luxury box clacking his dentures with glee. How 'bout dem Cowboys? Yippee-ki-ay. The the Eagles came roaring back to take the lead. No TV shots of JJ and his minions. Strangely enough, no shots of the Eagles' owner's suite either. Was anybody even THERE? While Jones is owner, CEO, Prez, GM, and head pitch-man, for the Cowboys, Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie is rarely seen.

Nevertheless, the Cowboys would re-rally to win the game. It was almost predictable for a couple reasons. First, strangely enough, the Cowboys seem to play much better on the road than they do at home. They're the only NFL that is undefeated in road games, having gone 7-0 so far. Yet they've lost 4 at home. Go figure. Secondly, despite new Eagle head coach Chip Kelly's high-paced offense, somehow he wound up with Mark Sanchez as his quarterback. You know, the same guy that wasn't good enough for the Keystone Kop NY Jets? The very same QB that made his claim to shame with the infamous "butt fumble" a while back? Give Sanchez enough time, and he'll find a way to screw up a game. And he did. Again.

While the Lions are likely headed for the playoffs, the San Fran 49ers have been eliminated with 2 games still to play. Who would have thought that combination possible at the beginning of the year?

After head coach Jim Harbaugh quickly resurrected the 49ers from nowhere to conference championship games and even a Super Bowl appearance, it appears he and his team have become demoralized. They can't beat the Seattle Seahawks in their own division. And they just went down to Pete Carroll's bunch again. The Seahawks are rounding back into playoff form, while the 49ers are back in nowhereville. The former was almost to be expected, but latter imploding is quite the surprise.

Given the last two regular season games constitute no more than Harbaugh and the 49ers "going through the motions", maybe this would be a good time for Harbaugh to consider his coaching future.

Things likely aren't going to get any better in San Fran any year soon, and might well get worse.

He could opt out, and the head coaching job at Michigan is still open -- where he once starred as a player. Look at it this way. While the Niners may or may not bottom out -- Michigan already has. A full 76 college teams will be going to bowl games this year -- and another 6 that were "eligible" won't be. That means the once proud Michigan program isn't even in the Top 82 in the country. There's nowhere to go but up.

Money wouldn't be a problem. In fact, he'd likely get a hefty raise. His current San Fran base salary is $5 million a year. Good grief, Michigan was paying the inept Brady Hoke $8 million to lead them into oblivion.

If Harbaugh wants a chance for people to "hail him as a conquering hero" at his alma mater by bringing them back to glory, his agent needs to make a discreet phone call -- and quickly -- before the dunderheads in Ann Arbor hire somebody else. Don't put it past them.

Johnny "football" Manziel finally got his chance to start for the Cleveland Browns. And he was a rousing -- failure. Zero points, 107 total yards of offense in the entire game and a QB rating of 1.0 out of a possible 100? Sure, he's a rookie and many future greats had rough starts. He could wind up anywhere from busting out of the league in a year or two, to becoming a Hall of Famer. Time will tell. But for now, here's hoping we've seen the last of his "money" hotdog routine. It was bad enough on draft night, and he's got a long ways to go before he earns the respect of competing pros.

Like Dorothy once said in the Wizard of Oz -- "We're not at Texas A&M anymore, Toto".

Or something like that. Close enough.

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