Have you ever worked on a project with someone and you end up doing most of the work, you talk to your partner and tell them to do more work, and they say that they will but no progress is made and you guys end up getting a D because you did your half of the work but your partner was lazy and did not. That is basically what happened with the Detroit Lions. Matt Millen, a former linebacker and TV analyst for the Lions was hired to bring the audacity of hope where there was no optimism; he was expected to make a subpar less than .500 team into a playoff team and possible contender for the Super Bowl. Instead as the president/CEO and General Manager of the team he led the team to a 31-84 record since 2001 going all the way to the present. It’s not like the Ford family, owners of the team, were stingy like a famous lawyer who owns a baseball team in town is, they offered to pay the players with as much money as it took to bring in free agents to turn the Lions from a pretender to a contender, but as the old saying goes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and Matt Millen was the old dog. He reminded many Detroit football fans of Sarah Palin with barely any experience at the job he was hired for, and he brought misery to the city of Detroit where there was already sadness, desolation and despair due to the fact that the economy in the city was and still is low, the car plants were shutting down, the mayor was a liar and lied to his city under oath and the professional basketball and hockey teams were winding down their glory years in the spotlight of their respective leagues. "We've been pretty much stuck on dead center for quite a few years; Matt offers us an opportunity to move ahead.", that’s what William Clay Ford said when he hired Mr. Millen back in 2001, I guess you could say that they are once again “stuck on dead center….”, with a one-hit wonder quarterback in Jon Kitna, a so-far rookie bust in Calvin Johnson and mediocre running backs that average only 78.3 yards per game which is 29th in the league, it does’nt look like they are coming out of that circle anytime soon. At least they are better than the Rams.
The St. Louis Rams who are 31st in average points scored and yards per game, 32nd in rush yards per game, 27th in passing yards per game, winless so far this season and arguably the worst team in football, I mean so bad that probably Dickinson Red Devils of Division 3 football could beat (OK, maybe an overstatement but I know at least USC could beat them), have decided to bench starting quarterback Marc Bulger and put in injury-friendly Trent Green, the funny thing about this is that the Rams had Trent Green back in 1999, but he was replaced due to guess what AN INJURY! Kurt Warner replaced him in what sounds so similar to the Bledsoe-Brady story, Warner led the Rams to a championship on what was known as the Greatest Show on the Turf, but was later replaced by Marc Bulger, but now the circle of life has completed its journey and now returned to Trent Green and the Worst show on turf.
Ever since Tom Brady announced that he has a season-ending injury, the AFC has been collapsing piece by piece by piece. As soon as Brady was confirmed out, everyone thought that this was Peyton’s season to shine, but so far the new Lucas Oil Stadium is not doing anything for the Colts, they are winless at home, I guess oil is basically destroying everyone including Peyton Manning, who would’ve ever thought that would happen. After that we decided to look to the San Diego Chargers for some anticipation, since they were the team that is expected to win the Super Bowl this season, but LT and gang have been filled with injuries including Mr. 28 TD’s himself. We go up to the Meadowlands and look for Brett and the Jets to step up but it seems that the Madden curse is starting to kick in for Mr. Un-retire. (You see what happens when you don’t finish school you make up words like misremembered and unretire) The AFC may be struggling with injuries and having mediocre teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos leading the conference by example but they are moving on up in the ratings. In a piece this week by Peter King of Sports Illustrated it was shown that the Patriots have higher ratings when Brady is out than when he is in the game. I guess parity is good after all, who would’ve ever thought that the Broncos and Ravens would be atop the AFC right now, you know what I mean, although it is still to early to determine playoff spots at this time. I think Bud Selig needs to learn a thing or two about parity and a salary cap, maybe the O’s might actually have a chance then to win at least 80 games in a season.
This past weekend in an AFC North division rivalry match at M&T Bank Stadium, the Baltimore Ravens took on the Cleveland Browns in a match that was supposed to be one-sided but in a state that actually matters in the 2008 Election. In the first half, the Ravens were very limited on offense grabbing very few first downs due to the feirceful vengeance of the Browns defense, but Derek and company did not capitalize on advantages that the defense gave to them on the field. The Browns led at halftime 10-7 but Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the veterans on defense were out there to prove a message, that they may be a little old but they were’nt ready for wheelchairs yet. Ray Lewis made up where the defense forgot to clean up when he came in with some hard-hitting tackles and almost caused two forced interceptions. Ed Reed came up with the play of the day with an interception that led to a touchdown. The Ravens, who look very Hardball seemed like they enjoyed not getting “Billicked” on offense and won by the final score of 28-10. On the losing side of the lop-sided win was a hurt, struggling team with injuries that hurt them like cats and dogs raining outside. The football gods seem to not be letting Juliet marry Romeo for some dogon reason, or in other words Romeo Cornell does’nt seem to be able to coach the Browns to the playoffs (Juliet). I guess this proves my history teacher right when he said history repeats itself. For the past 6 seasons, since the NFL has returned to Cleveland, Juliet has only visited the Forest city of progress and prosperity once. All of the other times either Juliet has missed her flight by only a couple of minutes like last year when they were the sleeper in the league and posted a 10-6 record, or she just does’nt feel like coming because of the consecutive losing seasons that have occurred in the home of King James. This season looked bright with the re-signing of surprise quarterback Derek Anderson as well as top free agent signings and trades to bolster the offensive and defensive line, but different woes have brought the team down in the injury report from a sure bet in the playoffs, to probable, to questionable, to maybe even doubtful, although it is too early to call, there were questions of whether the luck of the Irish would take over for the Browns as the starter but that seems unlikely. The Browns don’t want to end up like the Ravens and not have faith in DA.
Cleveland at Cincinnati 1:00 PM CBS WINNER: CLEVELAND
Minnesota at Tennessee 1:00 PM FOX WINNER: TENNESSEE
Denver at Kansas City 1:00 PM CBS WINNER: DENVER
San Francisco at New Orleans 1:00 PM FOX WINNER: NO
Arizona at NY Jets 1:00 PM FOX WINNER: NY JETS
Green Bay at Tampa Bay 1:00 PM FOX WINNER: GREEN BAY
Atlanta at Carolina 1:00 PM FOX WINNER: ATL
Houston at Jacksonville 1:00 PM CBS WINNER: JACKSONVILLE
San Diego at Oakland 4:05 PM CBS WINNER: SAN DIEGO
Buffalo at St. Louis 4:05 PM CBS UPSET SPECIAL: STL
Washington at Dallas 4:15 PM FOX WINNER: DALLAS
Philadelphia at Chicago 8:15 PM NBC WINNER: PHILLY
Baltimore at Pittsburgh 9/29 8:30PM ESPN WINNER: B’MORE
Fantasy Keeper: Marion Barber, Aaron Rodgers
Fantasy Sleeper: Kurt Warner, Joe Flacco
Fantasy Dropper: Brian Westbrook, Plaxico Burress (suspended)
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