Tim Tebow and the J-E-T-S
This move is going to be a debacle of unforeseen magnitude. The Jets are very talented defensively, but their offense if beyond limited. Santonio Holmes is a good receiver, but nothing close to a true number 1. This wouldn’t matter as much if Plaxico Burress had anything left, the running game was good, or they had a stud quarterback. Mark Sanchez had one good year in college, but has done nothing since he’s been in the NFL. Recent history has shown that success at USC by a quarterback by no means translates to being an accomplished professional player. Despite playing in a league with rules that basically force teams to be unencumbered in the passing game, Sanchez has never completed 57% of his passes in a season, and has only four more touchdowns than interceptions. Tebow isn’t a great quarterback by any means, but how good does he really have to be to beat out a guy with Sanchez’s pedigree. People point to his four playoff wins and two AFC championship game appearances, but I’m pretty sure any of the rookie quarterbacks drafted last year (except for Blaine Gabbert) could have done the same thing with the talent the Jets had on defense those years. It’s only March, and a QB controversy has already begun in NY. What will happen when Sanchez throws his first pick six? The locker room already doesn’t respect him, but they’ll respect Tebow coming in because he works hard, doesn’t do shirtless photo shoots, and is a strong leader. This is going to end badly … but as TO famously said, “Get you popcorn ready!”
I don’t care what anyone in New Orleans says; the Saints deserved the punishment they received. They were instructed by the league to stop their behavior, they then lied about it, and then they tried to cover up the crime. All of that points to a very harsh penalty. Don’t get me wrong, Roger Goodell is only doing this to appear tough and to keep the NFL’s financial house in order. The majority of football fans like to see big hits, relish the violence, and don’t care anything about bounties. The NFL has grown so big that they attract scores of fans who would be completely put off by such atrocities, and never watch or invest in such a macabre institution. This is why he has created rules to protect quarterbacks unfairly, stop the vicious hits, and basically remove kickoff returns. Goodell knows that he has to turn the NFL into a real life version of Tecmo Bowl in order to generate the most revenue. It’s impossible to market the game around the tops stars (quarterbacks) if those guys are frequently injured. He has to give the illusion of extreme player safety because there are dozens of former player lawsuits currently on trial (and certainly more to come). Lastly, he knows that higher scoring brings in the casual fan. This is the same reason the NBA and the NHL changed many of their rules to promote offense several years ago.
Manning surprised many by attending the University of Tennessee instead of his father’s alma mater Ole Miss. He created his own niche there, and went on to have tremendous success for 13 years with the Indianapolis Colts. It seems like he wants to create his own path again by choosing the Denver Broncos over the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers are worlds ahead of the Broncos, and their biggest areas of need are quarterback and wide receiver. With a slight upgrade to those positions they would easily be one of the Super Bowl favorites. Was that pressure too much for Manning? Anything other than a Super Bowl would be considered a disappointment. That’s somewhat unrealistic, but that would have been his situation in SF. Furthermore, did he not want be compared to Joe Montana and Steve Young in 49er QB lore? Was he afraid to lose to his brother’s team in the playoffs? I’m not sure if any of these things crossed his mind, but Denver is not elite, even with the addition of Manning. They only beat one team with a winning record last year (they beat San Diego, Oakland, NY Jets, and Chicago who were all 8-8), and are still not in the same class as New England … who by the way smoked them by 35 points in the playoffs last year. Granted, the AFC West is extremely weak right now, so winning the division and making the playoffs for the next few years is a very realistic expectation even with the current roster. I hope Peyton cherishes the choice he made, but I don’t see him returning to the Super Bowl with this bunch.
Luck seems like a really good guy, but I think he’s going to have some major growing pains next year. Rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton and Andy Dalton looked great last season thanks to the NFL’s rules that make the game look like flag football, and because they had stud wide receivers. Newton had the luxury of throwing to Steve Smith, who we know can do amazing things on the field. Dalton had AJ Green, who despite being a rookie, has the size and skills to be a Pro Bowl player for many years. When Peyton Manning took over the Colts he had a safety valve in Marshall Faulk as he learned the NFL game. Reggie Wayne resigned with the Colts, but its guaranteed that he will be double teamed all game since the Colts have no running game at all, no secondary wide receiver, no tight ends of any value, and they lost their best offensive lineman. I don’t think Luck will suffer like Blaine Gabbert (mainly because Gabbert sucks, and never displayed anything in college that would garner him being a top 10 pick), but he’s not going to be an immediate star like many expect. Speaking of rookie draft picks, Robert Griffin III is nothing like Michael Vick. He has the ability to run, but he thinks pass first all the time. Having the ability to run does not make someone a runner.
Randy Moss and the 49ers
At 35 years old and sitting out basically a year and a half of football, it will be very interesting what Moss can do for the 49ers. Even if he can’t burn past corners and safeties for long touchdowns, he has the size and hands to make a huge difference if he chooses to give the effort. He effectively has only run fly routes his entire career, but the 49ers don’t run much of those under Jim Harbaugh. That may be because he runs the west coast offense, or he doesn’t have the receivers to do it, or he doesn’t have to quarterback to do it. The offense is the same and the QB is the same, so we’ll see if Moss will make things different. Another interesting point is that the 49ers have a legacy of two Super Bowl winning Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Joe Montana and Steve Young. Montana is arguably the greatest QB of all time, and Young falls into the top 10 in most people’s eyes. The 49ers will now sport three of the greatest wide receivers of all time. Jerry Rice is the obvious best of all time, but now they can boast Terrell Owens and Randy Moss. If one ignores their shenanigans and just looks at statistics, it can be argued that Owens and Moss would fall 2nd and 3rd on the list. Somehow the rich always seem to get richer.
|Receiving touchdowns||1st||Tied 2nd||Tied 2nd|
|1000 yard seasons||1st||Tied 3rd||2nd|