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Monday, January 23, 2012

We Meet Again

Its the Super Bowl match-up no one saw coming unless you are a die hard Patriots or Giant's fan. Who would have thought out of all 32 NFL teams this season the New York Giants would go up against the New England Patriots for control of the NFL world? It all seems to real to be true, but we have a rematch of the 2007 Super Bowl. The Patriots are favored to win again, but this time the Giants are not considered a big underdog. Instead the Giants have everything going there way and this time around the Patriots know better than to underestimate them again. If anything the Patriot should be afraid of the Giants because the Giants are a more complete team overall. The Giants running game is now unstoppable and their defense is on fire giving every offensive line they played against fits. Plus they have a Manning playing for them and if there is one thing we have learned about the Manning family, it is they do not go down without a fight! Still the Patriots have Tom Brady, who we all know is considered one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. The only thing that bothers me about the Patriots is there horrible defense, which is ranked second to last among the 32 NFL teams. They did good against the Baltimore Ravens holding them to 20 points, but then again this is the Ravens whose offense is always a roller coaster. Eli Manning will be a different story. He has weapons that can burn a team for major yards and can eat the clock up as well. Plus if the Giants's running game is on the mark then the Pat's defense really is in for some trouble.
Credit Brady to Al Bello, Getty Images.
Credit Manning to Ezra Shaw Getty  Images.

The neat part about this game is we as fans get to see a classic rematch from the past. Two teams backed by old school coaches in Belichick and Coughlin, who believe in the fundamentals of the game such as heavy hitting and playing smart when the chips are down. This match up will be more like a chess game and will come down to which coach makes the wrong move. Will Belichick go for the gold to early or will Coughlin play it safe to long and let the game get out of his hands? Only God knows that answer people. Manning and Brady will also decide the winner of this game. If Brady plays the same way he did against the Ravens then forget it, the Giants will dominate him, but if he becomes Tom Terrific then the Giants need to look out because when Tom Brady gets on a roll nothing can stop him. Same with Eli Manning, if Manning keeps the same momentum throughout the game then the Patriot's defense will not survive an onslaught of touchdown after touchdown. So if you cancel out the coaches's chess game and the quarterback battle that leaves only the Giant's running game versus the Patriot's run defense.
Credited to AP.

At first glance the Giant's running game was not impressive at all. Ranking dead last in the NFL while averaging only 89 rushing yards a game, which is awful when you had teams like the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles punishing you left and right with great run plays. In light of all that, the Giant's running game came alive when need against the Atlanta Falcons and the San Francisco 49er's letting both teams know that the offense was a force to be reckoned with. The Patriot's defense has only proven themselves on occasion having the offense bail them out time and time again, but as the old saying goes offense sells tickets and defense wins championships. 
So if your asking me who I am picking to win this years Super Bowl then my answer to you is the New York Giants. Why because balance is the key in the NFL and without both sides of ball being great your team will never make it in the title game. So if your looking for a score then my score is New York Giants 31 to New England Patriots 27. Good luck to both teams and let me just see Victor Cruz do his salsa dance one time.
Tim Farrell, The Star-Ledger 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Time to Purge the Indianapolis Colts

Darron Cummings - AP

This season was considered one of the worst seasons in Indianapolis Colt's history. Peyton Manning had neck surgery that cost him the entire season, leaving a team with no true quarterback to lead them. The Colts finished the season with the record of 2-14, but the only good news about finishing with the worst record in the NFL is securing the Number 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Still this a team needs a lot of work and cannot be fixed just by drafting Stanford quarterback, Andrew Luck. The Colts need an entire new defense and offensive line. Remember if the offensive line is terrible the quarterback will be terrible as well. Just look at Joey Harrington of the Detroit Lions and David Carr of the Houston Texans also know as the most sacked QB in NFL history. So what can the Colts do to start the change and healing process? Well the process has already started. Reported on Monday by ESPN, the Colts fired Vice Chairman Bill Polian and General Manager Chris Polian. A move that shook Peyton Manning and most of the sports world. Bill Polian was the man who drafted Peyton Manning in 1998. I expect the Colts are not done purging the organization and will mostly likely fire Head Coach Jim Caldwell once a new management team has stepped in to clean up a mess that can only be solved by starting at the top of the roster and coaching staff. The best course of action for the Colts would be to fire Caldwell and replace him with a defensive minded coach, such as Bengal's defensive coordinator, Mike Zimmer to revamp a defense that according to the NFL's official website ranked 29th in stopping to run and 15th in halting the pass. Next step may be the hardest decision Colt's owner, Jim Irsay will have to make, which is to either trade Peyton Manning or cut him.

The bad part about this situation is that we all know trading Manning is the best option for the Colts. The trade or release would give Andrew Luck a chance to begin his career with a new coaching staff around him that would support him instead of Manning. If the Colts do decide to trade Manning, then the draft pick they would get for him would give the Colts a chance to rebuild in the right areas. A new and young defensive line would be a good start along with new secondary cornerbacks. If Luck is your starter, you might want to bring in a fresh offensive line to help him adjust to the NFL, instead of old and tired veterans that do not have much gas left in the tank. Another question would be where would you trade Manning? You obviously cannot trade him within the division and probably keeping him in the AFC is bad idea, since he might come back and haunt the Colts when it counts. So send him the NFC, where teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Washington Redskins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and possibly the Dallas Cowboys could trade for Manning and give back a lot for him if they think they can compete now with the team they have in place. So that solves the QB issue, but now you have the rest of the team that could also be traded away and bring salary relief or more top draft picks.
Jaime Squire - Getty Images

The Colts right now do not have the pieces in place to compete at a high level anytime soon, so why trade away players that could bring you high value and let them be happy finishing their careers on a high note with a better team. Players such as DE Dwight Freeney, TE Dallas Clark or WR Reggie Wayne could fetch the Colts high 3rd or 4th round picks in this year draft and high picks for the 2013 draft. Other players could be traded or released, but what is boils down to is Manning. If you keep him around the veterans, they will protect Manning instead of Luck and when the time comes to release Manning down the road, the scene will get ugly because all the veterans will support to keep him over Luck only because they know Manning more over Luck. Like I said before the purge for Indianapolis Colts has begun, but it will not truly begin until they make a decision on Peyton Manning's future with the team.