All Things NFL Football.. Redskins, Ravens, Panthers.. Fantasy Football etc…

I love the NFL, as a matter of fact some may consider me a junkie of some sorts. While driving home, i decided, hey why not put my thoughts in the form of a blog on all things NFL. In this maiden edition i will review the league at its quarterly juncture (most teams have played 4 games). I will account for those teams that had byes as well, some fantasy and anything NFL related. I will review the teams based on conferences etc….I would like to offer a disclaimer that I don’t support any team, I just love football in general.

Starting off with the AFC East

This is a division that i feel it’s the Pats to lose, even though the Dolphins may have something to say about it. As at 8:10, the Pats are yet to play KC, but i see a win for the Pats. The Dolphins are your Jekyll and Hyde bunch, impressive win first week, and two stinkers, luckily Oakland came to town or should i say London. On the Pats, Tom Brady and his band are yet to play Pats ball, and i feel that Brady is slowly sliding. A commitment to the run or a balanced attack will help Brady in the long run. Often times i feel McDaniels (offensive coordinator) over complicates things. The Bills just benched their starting QB, so that’s that. Their D has played well though. The Jets, i think Geno would be good but being in NY and with a mouthy coach and with expectations through the roof (not sure why) the Jets will tumble. Vick will be taking snaps sooner than he wanted too. As at 11:47, the Pats were diaper dumped by the Chiefs, so much for the Pats taking this division they looked horrid.

AFC North.

By leaps and bounds the most complete team in that division is the Bengals, explosive on offense and resilient on D. This team is really, really good. The offensive play calling by Hue Jackson in the first three games has been outstanding. The Ravens will be nipping at their heels, but at this mark the Bengals look unstoppable. On the note of the Ravens, Flacco looks comfortable under superior play caller Kubiak’s offense, the D is bend but don’t break and they are well coached and disciplined. They will be in the conversation. The Browns may be 1-2, but i think this team is much improved under Pettine. They play hard ball, you better bring it when you play them. The team that i believe has regressed it’s the Steelers, my or my, nobody fears that D anymore. They may be 3rd currently, but i feel that they will be last when it’s all said and done.

AFC South

I can’t put a pulse on this division, but i am writing off the Titans, they are just not good, they can’t compete and their QB is always injured, not that he was playing lights out, with the exception of the first game. The Jags are even in worse shape than the Titans, but hey at least they have a QB in Bortles. I felt that they will make a leap this season, but they just don’t have the talent to match the rest of the NFL. Houston intrigues me, but that ball control offense and when JJ Watt has more TD’s than Foster and Johnson that may be a problem. That slow ball tempo offense will not work when you are in a shootout, besides i don’t trust Fitzpatrick. The Colts are in a league of their own with Luck and his merry men. The Texans may be in the division lead, but they are just clip holders until the Colts hold serve.

AFC West

I think this division is a two team race between the Chargers and the Broncos.. The Chargers are a very good team, and a team that doesn’t fear the Broncos. Since they have beaten the Hawks and the Broncos havent, I tip them ahead of the Broncos at this mark. The Broncos as long as Manning is behind center will be extremely good. Their D, is much improved even though they didn’t come through with a stop against the Hawks. The Chiefs are well coached and will be in the conversation, I don’t see them making the playoffs though this time around (schedule and not playing back ups). The Raiders the least said about them the better. On that note it just came across the wire that Allen has been fired, what will that accomplish anyway. I will preview the NFC tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed my initial blog comment.. view opinions are always welcome

Now moving on to the NFC, i will start off with the most competitive division within that conference which is by far the NFC West.

My oh my, it was just a couple of years ago that this division was the laughing-stock of the NFL where 8-8 got you into the playoffs. Go 8-8 this time around and you will be cellar basement dweller. The cream of the crop is the mouthy Seahawks, I will give it to them, they back it up most of the time, but this team is stout from head to toe. Of course they lost against the Chargers meaning that they are not unbeatable. The Cardinals with their enigmatic coach Arians will nip at the heals of the Seahawks, kudos to their coaching stuff by going 3-0, 2 games without Palmer. The 49ers have been embroiled with ups and downs, much media driven and some self-inflicted, not running Gore enough. As long as Harbaugh is there , and their injured players come back, this team will be in the running. The Rams are good, but not great when compared to the other three. Bradford’s injury was tough, but Austin Davis has proven to be adequate, and their D from time to time plays stout.

NFC East.

Before the season started prognosticators or should i say talking heads, predicted that this will be the worst division in sport. However, at the quarterly mark some of the teams are showing resiliency. The Eagles have compiled a 3-1 record, without much help from their supreme playmaker. Hey, maybe he should tip the Offensive line some more. Injuries and suspensions has robed them off consistency with their O line protection, Mccoy is too talented, and i see them righting that ship soon. The Cowboys have been the surprise of them all, their D has played well, and they have reemphasized a strong commitment to the run. I feel that as Romo runs into form, this team will be good. However, they have a history of fading at the end. The Giants looked lost, and out-of-place the first two games, it seems that Eli is finally picking up McAdoo offense, and the D is playing well. The Washington Redskins (no political correctness around these parts), RG 3 is injured again, they played the Jags, and Cousins is who we thought he was. Can they be explosive, sure.. See Eagles game, but this team is just not good.

NFC South

In my estimation, the worst football division. Boy all the teams are bad. The Panthers can’t generate any offense, Cam is injured, their running backs are injured, their DB’s don’t scare anyone, they are just not good, but someone has to take that division right?? The Who Dat Saints can’t win away from home, and even when they do at home that Rob Ryan D is really bad. The Falcons, Roddy White said it best “we feel we have to put 30 plus anytime”. Great to throw your  Defense under the bus buddy, but hey he aint lying, that D sucks balls. The Bucs showed some life against the Steelers, but that is more on the Steelers dysfunction than it is the Bucs. Its a good thing they switched to Glennon, he gives them a pulse, and where were they going with that perennial backup.

NFC North

This Division i feel will be competitive to the very end. The Lions are playing some good D, i didn’t have hope for them before the season started, but it seems like they got it right with Caldwell at this point. The Packers will always go, as long as A Rog is the QB, this guy is really good, their D not so much. The Bears are so scared of the Packers that I really don’t see them being able to overtake any of the afore mentioned teams. I have been impressed with their rookie safety Fuller though. The kid is really talented. The Vikings have a star in Bridgewater, McKinnon, and a good coach in Zimmerman. I still see them at the bottom of the barrel, but at least their future looks bright.

I will touch on a little fantasy, and some other aspects of NFL football later. Thanks for reading.

10/14/2014

Its been two weeks since I wrote my initial assessment on the different divisions within football. Most i believe were spot on, but as they say the NFL is a week to week bottom line type of business. In this edition i would evaluate teams in general after 6 weeks and touch on injuries, fantasy and all things NFL.

So after 6 games here are a couple of things that we know…

-The Patriots are still the Patriots, demise be darned, these guys will win their division. It’s quite unfortunate with the Jets, they actually played well this Sunday. However, as with bad teams they will find a way to lose.

-Loosing AJ Green, changes the whole dynamic of the Bengals, with the Ravens nipping on their heels and the Browns balling out of their minds, this division will be competitive till the end. Note the Steelers are done.

- The two-way street between the Chargers and the Broncos will make for a compelling finish in that division. The Chiefs will play tough, but they are behind the two.

-As stated in my initial entry, the Texans were just acting as place cup holders for the Colts. This just in that boy Andrew Luck is pretty darn good, as long as he is behind center I am calling ten straight division titles for the Colts. Bold right-yep, but Peyton did likewise… Already they are on their way to two, and yes I am calling this division early.

10/19/2014

Since, i didn’t catch up on the NFC, i will quickly preview todays games and everything related to the NFL.  Trends and habits begin to form almost by week 7, and we are seeing that generally. The Harvin trade caught each and everyone by surprise, but based on information leaking out, this guy was a head case in Seattle. I guess old habits truly die-hard, what a bum. On the note of Seattle, this team is falling down fast, not as dominant as i thought, but as Superbowl Champs expect the best shot from everyone. Kudos to the Rams especially their special teams. And the Cardinals keep trucking along…

Few observations after the afternoon games.. I hate, hate, hate the new illegal contact penalties. Way to many flags and time and time again these are bail out calls. The NFL sucks in that regard. The Cowboys are really a legit team.. strong running game, good not great D.. and Romo can shred you if he chooses.

The Pats are still the Pats and the Dolphins as i stated will be breathing down their necks. Cutler stinks, the Bears stink. The Division is a footrace between the Lions and the Packers.

The NFC South is the worst, most putrid football division in football, all the teams suck. No ifs or buts about it. As a matter of fact all teams are closer to arse than most people realize. The Colts are good, the Bengals are regressing: Clearly they miss AJ, as a matter of fact without AJ this team is average and the Ravens will take that division. The Browns, what can i say given prosperity they turn around and fall face down. Will add more info, later this evening…

10/21/2014

I really need to find a way to consolidate my posts, will figure it all out somewhere along the line. My last post caught on excerpts from around the league, i have observed that parity which used to be the calling card of the NFL is no longer the case. 17 teams either have loosing records or are at .500, not sure what the reasons are, but it makes for a bad product come Sundays. Add the multitude of flags and i am gradually loosing interest in the games on Sunday. There have been a bunch of shut outs and blow outs that i find myself tuning in to something else. Words of Mark Cuban ring loud, maybe perhaps the NFL has gotten to big for itself. One thing i know is that there should be a better product.

I have always said i wanted to touch on fantasy, i am the proud owner of 4 teams… Yes this is a significant reduction from the 36 that i used to have when i first started about a decade ago. I did manage each and everyone by the way, but as time has gone on i have reduced my responsibilities so to speak. Just like how trends and patterns shape up, one gets a feel of their team around this time. Either you will make the playoffs 3 out of my 4, or your team flat-out sucks. At this point in time the only thing i can advice is don’t over think things, go with your gut and don’t be afraid to make trades. I do that every year.  I will have a Top 10 for teams later this week. I feel teams from 11-20 are all interchangeable considering how bad the league is.

10/27/14

Illegal contact penalties also known as throw the ball up, brush your shoulder against a pass catcher and see flags come flying out. It’s truly magical if you ask me. Goodness me this aspect of the NFL has made games unwatchable to those of us fans of the game. It doesn’t give DB’s any chance whatsoever to play the ball. I get so frustrated watching this unfold game over game. Soon enough I will be tuning out of this mess called soft ball. And yes, I went there. At the 8 game mark there are more illegal contact penalties than the whole of last season combined. Horrid.

Playing Sports and Injuries

So, I have always been an active person. I have played sports all my life since it is an extension of my personality. Now, with being active comes with it injuries both ill fortune and false bravado. I wanted to document some injuries that i have had over the past couple of years from playing soccer and basketball. Interesting enough all my injuries have come from playing soccer, my first love and the sport that i play naturally. Now, i am equally as good in basketball, i have played in rec leagues, with co-workers, pick-ups etc. It’s just that with basketball it takes a lot of co-ordination to find a court etc, will people show up what not.
With pick-up soccer, I found a group of guys, I believe it must have been 3 years ago who play wed (when warm), sat, and sunday. Some may say ditch soccer and play basketball, i think after a certain point i will strongly consider that.

Now, i will preface this and state the position that i am very adept and very good at that is a forward/striker. It is a position that i have played my whole life, soccer is one of those sports that i can play any given position, probably due to my natural ability. I enjoy it, its fun, and you get to keep in shape, even though my fitness level has fluctuated, over the past couple of years.

As a general observation, one thing that has become increasingly clear is that the older you get, the more you are prone to picking up these nick knacks. So i will document some of the injuries, recovery period, treatment, frustrations fraught with etc.

Up until i was 30 rarely if ever did i pick up injuries, beyond the occasional shin splints, back spasms, mild sprains, and knee pain from playing a lot of basketball.

With that age, it seems like my fortune turned for the worse. My first major injury happened i believe 3 years ago, it was a nice warm Wednesday and playing ball as usual. I got the ball and was about to shoot in scoring position, the defender just threw himself cavalierly in front of me, and i struck his leg. The pain that shot through my right foot was so intense i limped off. I immediately knew i was hurt really bad. Driving home was a pain, and not to mention climbing up stairs. I immediately felt it may be a bad ankle sprain, but deep down i knew it was something worse.

For months i treated it cautiously. RICE method, however the was no improvement. Now, some of you may say why not go to the Dr. At that point i had insurance, but it was just terrible. So i just kept saying i will exhaust all treatment options and then turn to the Dr. I went online and bought an air cast/boot, and for months i was in it. Still no improvement, i guess it was time to turn to the Dr, 6 months after. I was referred to an Ortho, who ordered an MRI, it turns out that i had a torn peroneal brevis tendon (3cm). Ouch, surgery was recommended. I pondered that thought and scheduled surgery sometime in April, i chickened out and rescheduled in May, all in while in the boot. What i noticed was that my leg had improved, i could walk sans pain, of course a torn tendon is still a torn tendon. A co-worker of mine gave me an ankle support bracelet , i started doing light jogging 8 months after. I still felt pain, and one day i just went out there to play. No issues, could cut, run, do whatever i did pre injury. Of course the is the occasional pain, but nothing too serious. Hey a torn tendon is a torn tendon. I was back playing 3x a week, it felt great.

Fitness came back and i was back in full form, i wont lie between the next couple of months i was in the best shape of my life. People often asked, have you had surgery and the answer was No. It was great, needless to say i cancelled surgery. I personally believe mobilizing the leg in a cast for 8 months helped a lot. Tendon is still torn but i can play.

Next major injury, a thumb injury July 4th 2012. You may just say just a thumb. Now, this injury is one that i could have clearly avoided, sometimes when i play i think i am still 20. So an opposing player kinda gave me the shove and i fell down and i just bounced back by using my hand to cushion my fall and spring myself back up. After the game i felt a sharp pain in my thumb, pain so intense it dawned on me that genius you shouldn’t have done what you did. Days, weeks later the pain just kept on getting worse. I have a nurse friend who right of the bat told me it was not broken, so i did my normal treatment, i was still playing because shoot it was a thumb. It kept on getting worse, i booked an appointment with the Dr, x rays were ordered, nothing broken and i was referred to a thumb specialist. He observed it, said nothing was torn, the pain kept on getting worse and he ordered an MRI, the MRI showed nothing torn. I was referred to an occupational therapist (what a waste of time and $$$). A few pointless appointments, a cast molded, physio etc and no improvement. Dr ordered a cortisone shot, temporary relief as is with the case with shots and pain back. Over the past two years i have some good days and bad days, on the days that it gets worse i take Ibuprofen, and it calms down. It is still painful, but i manage the pain. I also noticed that sometimes when it gets cold it is painful. I don’t think my thumb will ever be the same again, I know there is something wrong but what can you do.

Third injury August 2013, now this injury was more like a foreshadow so to speak. It was a day that i debated should i play or shouldnt i, i decided and i suffered a major injury. I was having a good game, feeling it and then a cross came in i was about to snap it with my left foot and then i heard a pop in my groin area. First time i have ever heard a pop when suffering an injury. My body language just sunk, my face just looked like i had the life sucked out of me, i gingerly walked off the field. And drove home while barely able to walk. Started RICE treatment promptly, for weeks i couldn’t walk but continued treatment slight improvement, but needless to say i was out of commission for months. Slight improvement, i decided to book an appointment with my Dr to rule out a torn groin. A xray was ordered initially, nothing was found. My walking improved slightly, and then i had an MRI since the improvement was marginal. the Dr said groin not torn but a sprain of a muscle around the area. I cant remember what it was. I started running, albeit with pain, and then started playing. Up until this point i still feel pain, but i can play. A case where it may improve over time or i just have to deal with the occasional discomfort.

 

My fourth major injury well depending on if you have suffered a similar type, was a mallet finger. Of course up until that point i never had it before.  Once again, an element of foreshadowing here. I had vowed to play D, this day. I occasionally do that to switch it up. And the moment i join an attack we score, but i slip and jam my finger on the ground. Immediately the tip on my right finger is bent. I tried to straighten it out but it wouldn’t. I peaced out and went to the ER, that is when the Dr said i had a mallet finger, i should splint it for a couple of weeks etc. He referred me to my thumb surgeon, what was the point to get charged again. I just emailed the Dr, he looked at the x-ray and said nothing was broken an i should splint. I did this for about 8 weeks, it was uncomfortable, but i still played. Currently the finger doesnt look normal compared to the left. It is functional, and that is all i care at this point.

Those have been there 4 major injuries i have suffered, currently i have a sprained ankle, just great.  Probably will be out of commision the next couple of weeks. I am treating it with the RICE method, tens unit-that helped me with my groin injury. Lessons learned freak injuries happen, i have to be careful, seriously reconsider switching to basketball-both are equally fun, and slow it down a little. I play more cautiously, but these things happen.

I have picked up hamstring injuries as well, and the key is to rest it for six weeks etc. And occasionally i get intense back spasms, which i have had since i was 18. The occasional knee pain, but that is more of a product of when i gain slight weight and sometimes when i play bball. Why continue some of you may ask, simple i hate going the gym. I would say i mix it up and i have had for some years. Feel free to comment if you have had similar injuries, advice on my stupidity etc. I am always open to offering some treatment modalities since having undergone a couple of therapy sessions i bought some equipments etc.

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