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Old 12-29-2008, 07:47 AM    (permalink
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Default Week 17 [last regular season] Breakdown (thoughts)

Thanks to everyone who’s read my stuff week in and out, the discussions have been fun. I’ll likely continue this through the playoffs.

Congratulations to the division champions

NFC North: Minnesota Vikings
NFC South: Carolina Panthers
NFC West: Arizona Cardinals
NFC East: New York Giants

AFC North: Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC South: Tennessee Titans
AFC West: San Diego Chargers
AFC East: Miami Dolphins

First and Final weeks are always crazy:
It seems that there's two weeks that are always impossible to predict in the NFL and they are the first and the last weeks of the regular season. Who would've foreseen the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a team feared as one of the NFL's top 10 as little as two weeks ago losing to one of the worst three teams in the NFL and allowing 31 points?

Who would've foreseen the St Louis Rams giving the Atlanta Falcons a real fight for their wildcard birth? Playing for respect with some passion and fire was nice to see from the Rams who've been pretty much pathetic for the entire season.

Brilliant Players of 09
NFC

Donovan McNabb broke the Eagles franchise record for passing yards against the Cowboys today and did so in a dominating style. After having some bad years through injury and uncertainty surrounding his future after some bad games McNabb has bounced back to become the player I think should be the NFL's comeback player of the year.

McNabb has been a huge part of the Eagles success this year and in his tenth season he doesn't appear to be slowing down. Next week he takes on the Minnesota Vikings who today locked up the NFC North, should be a great one to see.

Adrian Peterson provided the Minnesota Vikings with an offensive metronome of production and was undoubtedly the key cog in their NFC North dominance. Peterson will finish the year as the NFL's leader in rushing yards and did so without a real receiving threat keeping safeties out of the box. The one knock on Peterson is his fumbles, somehow he has to learn to hold on to the ball, in playoff games turnovers are a death sentence for the Vikings sake, let’s hope he fixes at least part of the issue before the playoff game next week.

[homer] Peppers, Smith and DeAngelo Williams all deserve a strong mention here, after Peppers had such a down year in 07 he's had a career season and was a massive part of the Panthers defensive turnaround. Steve Smith finished third in receiving yards after missing the first two games of the season, he is well deserving of his probowl spot. Finally, DeAngelo Williams has been a revelation at running back, leading the NFL with 20 total touchdowns and 1500+ rushing yards he doesn't even look to be wearing down toward the end of the season. Thank you to Vinny Testaverde for giving the running back the motivation and inspiration he needed to become one of the best backs in the NFL.

Drew Brees has been amazing all season long despite losing parts of his offense every week. The final play of the New Orleans season ending game against the Carolina Panthers epitomised Drew Brees as a player. Needing just 16 yards to break Dan Marino's long standing single season passing yardage record the Panthers cleared out deep to prevent the long touchdown. Having an option for a short pick up (easily 16 yards) Brees looked deep hoping for a miraculous catch and run for a game winning TD, only to have the ball and the record bounce of the turf. In a league that at times seems to be filled with criminals, primadonnas and idiots, Brees shines as the ultimate citizen, player and team mate.

DeMarcus Ware has been something special as an outside linebacker and personally I feel he's a step ahead anyone else at the position in the rest of the NFL.

Brandon Jacobs is a force to be reckoned with and Beason's comment “hit him high and pray for the cavalry to arrive” sums up the respect and admiration even the most stout and determined defenders have for the running back. Tiki who?

Aaron Rodgers deserves a mention for his coming out of Favre’s shadow to perform quite well in his own right.

Atlanta's trio of Ryan, Turner and White have the makings of something special. Not many people realise how special an achievement it is to go from winning just 4 games to making the playoffs in just one season. Ryan has tailed off towards the end of the season and has had his rookie ups and downs, but after watching him play quite a few times this season he has that X factor that all defensive coordinators fear and all fans should be ecstatic to see. Turner, now out of Tomlinson's shadow is showing himself to be the perfect complementary force on the ground and reminds me very much of a young Stephen Davis. Roddy White has shown that last season was not an aberration and he should join the ranks of the Nfl's elite receivers with the maturation of his QB within the next two years. After so much mediocrity in their past, the Falcons finally seem to be on the right track.

Apologies to other team's for players I missed, Warner, Fitz, Boldin, Johnson, Allen, the list goes on and on.

AFC
The first mention has to go to James Harrison, Lamarr Woodley and Polamalu who've been astounding in their roles as part of one of the best defensive units of the past decade.

Peyton Manning may have started slowly but he has been amazing the past few weeks. As the adage goes, it’s not who peaks first or even rides that peak the longest, it’s when you peak that counts in the playoffs after a big winning streak and dominating wins in the lead up to the playoffs the Colts are a big dark horse to represent the AFC.

Matt Cassel is remains somewhat of an enigma, while its clear he can play for Belichick and that he’s most definitely made himself a boat load of cash this season it’s difficult to foresee him flourishing in another city. First consider the schedule, while the difficult of an NFL team’s schedule is often difficult to predict before the 2008 season the Patriots had the easiest line up of opponents. Playing both the AFC and NFC West divisions gave the Patriots a number of easily winnable games with the continuing collapse of the west as a power house in the AFC and the further deterioration of any team not named Arizona in the NFC. He also played the Jets, Dolphins and Bills, who though at times competitive were extremely inconsistent in their performances. All this behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and with the AFC’s top receiving corp. While I personally wouldn’t be throwing cash at Cassel with the head coach carousel already in full swing and GMs undoubtedly ready to open the check book, at least one front office will be foolish enough to.

Congratulations to Andre Johnson on finally realising his potential and leading the NFL in receiving yardage. He's been pivotal in the mid season turnaround of the Houston Texans and he's been a bright spark on a very dim offense.

If Jets fans are looking for a reason for their marginal success this year they should be looking at Thomas Jones and Kris Jenkins. Since leaving Carolina the big baby has been playing lights out and he seems to respond to the change of scenery and coaching and it shown on the Jets defense. Jones leads the AFC in rushing and at least in my opinion has been a larger part of the Jet's offensive turn around than Brett Favre.

The best CBs in the AFC this year were Finnegan, Asomoghua and Revis (in no particular order) while none of the three are perfect in all aspects of playing football, they have the amazing knack of covering some of the NFL’s best receivers. For me, Asomoghua’s coverage of Steve Smith was nothing short of perfect and no one in the NFL is capable of doing that. Darrell Revis was just as big a part of the turnaround in New York as Kris Jenkins.

Chad Pennington should probably go down as one of the best offseason pickups in the NFL, the Dolphins play hard, old school, mistake free football and although he didn't light up the stat sheet with touchdown passes, he provided a steady passing threat and came through when the Dolphins needed him. He's a huge part of why they're now preparing for the postseason and holding the AFC East division trophy.

Playing in the NFL is hard, it’s harder when your position is currently held by a former first round pick and high price take acquisition, it’s even harder when you’ve got to change position. This is what makes LeRon McClain emergence all the more impressive. After being drafted with a mid fourth round pick as a fullback out of Alabama the Ravens have successfully transitioned McClain to a tailback, quietly this season he’s amassed 1029 total yards from scrimmage and 11 total touchdowns. He’s become more than just the thunder to McGahee’s lightening as well, after Willis managed just 670 yards this season, it seems just a matter of time before he takes the starting job.

BlindSite’s Awards

First annual awards ceremony:

The fragile award: New Orleans Saints. 8-8 record, some bad coaching and a quarterback who threw for 5000 yards all with 16 players on injured reserve and their big name offensive weapons nursing boo boos most of the year.

Bone head coach award: Wade Philips, it seems like week in or week out the Cowboys find a way to either steal a victory they should’ve dominated or lose. Andy Reid put on a clinic in the final week and it’s been obvious to everyone for a long time that neither Philips nor Garrett are the long term answer at head coach for this team.

Bone head player award: Think all the way back to DeSean Jackson’s thrown away touchdown. It still stands out in my mind as the most bone-headed move by a player this season, its up there with the Kiwanuka super body rub on VY.

Most improved player overall (offense): DeAngelo Williams

Most improved overall (defense): Lamarr Woodley

Playoff Predictions:

Wild Card
Atlanta over Arizona
Philadelphia over Minnesota

Indianapolis over San Diego
Baltimore over Miami

Divisional Round
New York over Philadelphia
Carolina over Atlanta

Tennessee over Baltimore
Indianapolis over Pittsburgh

Championship Games

Indianapolis over Tennessee
Carolina over New York (I honestly can’t split these two, but when all reasoning fails, homer prevails)

Offseason Predictions:
I would expect there to be a number of moves that shake things up similar to most NFL off-season’s this year, but the biggest prediction I have to make has to do with the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

As it stands 2009 is the last year covered under the current agreement, in other words, it’s the NFL’s last year with a salary cap. While the NFL Armageddon predictions are still way off base and in practice there will be a lot less wild spending going on than initially thought, the loss of the CBA presents some bigger issues, like the loss of proper representation outside of the player’s hired management. Committees on injury, support and rules will have problems meeting and likely, some will disband. The loss of Gene Upshaw, and while this sounds awful, couldn’t have come at a worse time for the NFL as he was truly needed in getting an agreement in place.

Somehow, someone will someway find a method of either extending the current agreement before the 11th hour or getting a new one in place.

As far as players go, I can see Larry Johnson finding a new home, the Jets making a poor first round pick, the Panthers resigning Peppers to the biggest contract ever to a defensive end and there being another round of boring stories about rookie salaries after the draft.

Coaches who should go: Wade Philips, Eric Mangini (gone), Jack Del Rio, Gruden, Haslett, Arians

Coaches who deserve a promotion: Josh McDaniels, Mike Trgovac, Steve Spagnuolo, Schottenheimer

Coaches who’re better coordinators: Haslett, Crennel, Turner

Interim Coaches:
Jim Haslett is a great Rah-Rah type motivator and a lot of players love that in a coach, but they don’t always respond to it. Haslett clearly cannot control a team of 53 men. He struggled to do so in New Orleans and the franchise fell apart around him and he clearly struggled to do so with the talentless Rams. While there were some bright moments, like the hard fought battle with the Falcons and their victory over the Redskins, Haslett makes a great defensive coordinator and I probably would’ve chosen him to be my interim coach if I running the rams, but he wouldn’t stay in that job.

Mike Singletary, the great linebacker and players coach has retained his job with the 49ers in what is likely the franchise’s best move in a long, long time. Singletary might not always make the right move in terms of wins and losses, but he’ll always have his team fighting to the last man, and that’s more important for a young franchise that is still realistically rebuilding. His treatment of star players and dogged special teams veterans as the same is the best way to run a locker room and its shown in the 49ers improved performances this year. Give the man an offensive line, quarterback and another couple of pieces on defence and he could realistically take a run at the NFC West. Time will tell how well Singletary does in the job, but I feel he’s the best coaching change already this year.

Tom Cable, the turnaround of the Raiders has been pretty impressive. Marred by an insane owner who acts as general manager, and a hissy fit between owner and coach like something out of an all girls high school the Raiders seemed to be on the verge of collapse before Cable took over the top job. As most offensive line coaches are Cable takes a no-nonsense approach to the expensive and underachieving raiders unit and has finally got the turd polished enough to shine ever so slightly. The Raiders turnaround began with their gallant effort against Carolina, where though they were defeated the team fought together as a unit and really began to show some promise. With their season ending on a high note against Tampa and their roster filled at certain positions with some star power, the Raiders should look to keep Cable in the job and for the sake of all that is holy Davis needs to stay out of the GM chair.

Awards:
The NFL MVP
this year should go to Peyton Manning, his team is in the playoffs and got 9 wins in a row all because of number 18, he is the NFL MVP of 08.

The OPOY should go to either Peterson, Williams or Turner, somehow I think the voters will snub all three.

DPOY is a bit of a toss up between Harrison and Ware, but Harrison has been just so phenomenal in all phases of the game its impossible to go to anyone else.

OROY With respect to Flacco and Ryan, Chris Johnson deserves this award more. The Tennessee Titans were a 9 win team heading into the season and for a time there, looked like they might go 16-0. Chris Johnson has been amazing as a rookie and is a huge part of why the Titans are who they are.

DROY I personally think it should go to Brandon Flowers in KC, but I think Jerod Mayo will win it. The media has an almost sickening love for the Pats and although the rookie linebacker is certainly deserving of the award, he wouldn't be my pick.

Comeback Player of the Year: Julius Peppers, for those that don't know, Peppers has been a dominant force for Carolina this year and along with Beason and Gamble is the biggest reason for the Panthers' defensive success. After having just 2 sacks last year Peppers has a career high and all year has been a terror after swtiching positions.
Runner Up: Joey Porter
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Old 12-29-2008, 07:57 AM    (permalink
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dont forget chris johnson, the reason tennessee are where they are
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Old 12-29-2008, 11:28 AM    (permalink
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you didnt even say nothing about the ravens whats up with that??
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Just let it go RWO.
We as Ravens fans are clearly scum of the earth, and should just be happy that these great people, who cheer for nothing than the finest, morally impeccable players, playing on the finest, most morally impeccable teams, will grace us with their presence, and words of wisdom.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4CbQGBbUOw
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Old 12-29-2008, 02:53 PM    (permalink
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dont forget chris johnson, the reason tennessee are where they are
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you didnt even say nothing about the ravens whats up with that??
Wow, just... wow
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:12 PM    (permalink
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Drew Brees has been amazing all season long despite losing parts of his offense every week. The final play of the New Orleans season ending game against the Carolina Panthers epitomised Drew Brees as a player. Needing just 16 yards to break Dan Marino's long standing single season passing yardage record the Panthers cleared out deep to prevent the long touchdown. Having an option for a short pick up (easily 16 yards) Brees looked deep hoping for a miraculous catch and run for a game winning TD, only to have the ball and the record bounce of the turf. In a league that at times seems to be filled with criminals, primadonnas and idiots, Brees shines as the ultimate citizen, player and team mate.
I wouldn't say Drew Brees has been amazing all season. He is my opinion is a great case of empty numbers. Him and Warner. Brees plays in such a QB friendly system and has shown all season that he is totally different on the road away from the friendly dome.
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Old 12-31-2008, 09:38 AM    (permalink
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I wouldn't say Drew Brees has been amazing all season. He is my opinion is a great case of empty numbers. Him and Warner. Brees plays in such a QB friendly system and has shown all season that he is totally different on the road away from the friendly dome.
What is so friendly about it? Is it the banged up receiving core, or the mediocre pass protection?

Despite the high number of attempts and how often he throws downfield, Brees was second in yards per attempt, and still had a 65% completion percentage.

He had 66 passes of 20 plus, the number 2 guy in that regard was Cutler with 55, and he was tied for first in 40 yard completions too.

Our receiving core blew this year, LAnce 5'9 not that fast Moore was our best receiver. Colston has been injured since his first catch of the season against the bucs where he hurt his thumb, and then returned too soon, and he really didn't play well until the last few weeks. Shockey has been up and down with injuries and confidence issues. Bush went down and played a few games injured....

A QB friendly system is one where you have receivers like Boldin and Fitzgerald that can bail you out on jump balls, or catch a 4 yard pass and break 12 tackles.

The Saints is a pass happy system, not a pass friendly system, say what you want about the rest of the team, they all could have been a lot better, but Drew Brees WAS amazing.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:44 AM    (permalink
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What is so friendly about it? Is it the banged up receiving core, or the mediocre pass protection?

Despite the high number of attempts and how often he throws downfield, Brees was second in yards per attempt, and still had a 65% completion percentage.

He had 66 passes of 20 plus, the number 2 guy in that regard was Cutler with 55, and he was tied for first in 40 yard completions too.

Our receiving core blew this year, LAnce 5'9 not that fast Moore was our best receiver. Colston has been injured since his first catch of the season against the bucs where he hurt his thumb, and then returned too soon, and he really didn't play well until the last few weeks. Shockey has been up and down with injuries and confidence issues. Bush went down and played a few games injured....

A QB friendly system is one where you have receivers like Boldin and Fitzgerald that can bail you out on jump balls, or catch a 4 yard pass and break 12 tackles.

The Saints is a pass happy system, not a pass friendly system, say what you want about the rest of the team, they all could have been a lot better, but Drew Brees WAS amazing.
I liked the writeup but agree totally with this post. Without brees at qb (replacing him by an starter-average-quality-qb) we would have been a 4 or 5 win team at best. Our line blew all year Colston was injured all the time. our best receiver was a millionth round pick in lance moore. One of the reasons he is better at home is because playing in a dome is easier for a pass happy team. Also our line performed better at home.
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Old 01-01-2009, 04:19 PM    (permalink
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I liked the writeup but agree totally with this post. Without brees at qb (replacing him by an starter-average-quality-qb) we would have been a 4 or 5 win team at best. Our line blew all year Colston was injured all the time. our best receiver was a millionth round pick in lance moore. One of the reasons he is better at home is because playing in a dome is easier for a pass happy team. Also our line performed better at home.
That and Brees has to play like superman every game just to keep it close. We had no defense or running game this season, just like the past 3 years he's been a Saint, expect for 06 when Deuce ran for over 1,000yds.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:22 PM    (permalink
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Good post, I always enjoy reading your wrap-ups.

And DeAngelo didn't improve this season, he's been that good. :)
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:35 AM    (permalink
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Good post, I always enjoy reading your wrap-ups.

And DeAngelo didn't improve this season, he's been that good. :)
DeAngelo is so much better than he has ever been. Before this year, he was terrible inside tackles, didn't break arm tackles and didn't fall forward enough. This year, he has been breaking tackles in the backfield and in the hole, along with almost being a master at falling forward.

His line got a lot better, but he has still been great at turning a should be negative run into a four yard gain as well as beating the unblocked man for big yards.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:29 PM    (permalink
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But you didn't even talk about the Packers!!!!!!11

(Just kidding, giving you ****...)

Anyways, good write-up and I agreed with a lot of it. I liked your playoff scenario and all of the picks make sense but I have a gut feeling that at least one "underdog team" is going to make it past the Wild Card round. Maybe Miami, who knows.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:03 PM    (permalink
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I almost put Miami over Baltimore. Something about that team. I dunno really. That one was more of a push, so I went with the most complete team.+

Also, Updated
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:11 PM    (permalink
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Nice write up man I have really liked your stuff all year, and I don't think you get enough credit. I would have liked to have seen something about Singletary. What he did this year was really rare. You never see an interim coach have the succcess he had. Come to think of it you never see a interim coach retained even. Good work though.
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I dunno even half of those guys why did we sign them jeez.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:13 PM    (permalink
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Nice write up man I have really liked your stuff all year, and I don't think you get enough credit. I would have liked to have seen something about Singletary. What he did this year was really rare. You never see an interim coach have the succcess he had. Come to think of it you never see a interim coach retained even. Good work though.
Thanks, the kind words are appreciated, I'm about to post my update that has a bit on the interim coaches.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:22 PM    (permalink
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Thanks, the kind words are appreciated, I'm about to post my update that has a bit on the interim coaches.
Awesome man keep up the good work.
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I dunno even half of those guys why did we sign them jeez.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:29 PM    (permalink
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Updated

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Old 12-30-2008, 05:25 PM    (permalink
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Finally update completed.
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Old 12-31-2008, 10:04 AM    (permalink
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Havent commented on many of these, but I have read all them. Thanks a lot man, consistently great stuff.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:27 AM    (permalink
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But you didn't even talk about the Packers!!!!!!11
A certain first year starter with 32 total TDs, 4,000 yards and 93.8 passer rating got a sentence. No worries. *packer boner*
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:48 AM    (permalink
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Honestly, could Aaron Rodgers have played any better? What a first year, I'm not sure any NFL player has played with as much pressure as he faced, no untested non-super high draft choice has ever been so highly scrutinized and dissected before he even touched the field.

Kudos to him.
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fwiw, i amz deunks ofs myt ass. ilo vez drinmoinz befotre i post. wha t a hreat ideas.z.
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Old 12-31-2008, 02:33 PM    (permalink
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Honestly, could Aaron Rodgers have played any better? What a first year, I'm not sure any NFL player has played with as much pressure as he faced, no untested non-super high draft choice has ever been so highly scrutinized and dissected before he even touched the field.

Kudos to him.
Meh, My buddy is a packers fan, I guess favre molested him as a kid or something, and so we watched a lot of packers games and I really didn't feel like Rodgers was ready to lead a team to the playoffs with his fourth quarter performances. That should come with time but right now he isn't a guy I'm confident will at least drive his team down the field and give them a chance to win in the fourth
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:54 PM    (permalink
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Meh, My buddy is a packers fan, I guess favre molested him as a kid or something, and so we watched a lot of packers games and I really didn't feel like Rodgers was ready to lead a team to the playoffs with his fourth quarter performances. That should come with time but right now he isn't a guy I'm confident will at least drive his team down the field and give them a chance to win in the fourth
That's true, but I don't think that most people are too worried about it at this point in time. It was his first year after all and he can't get everything right from the start as there will be some bumps along the way. Throw in a defense and special teams that also enjoyed keeling over in the fourth quarter and it seems like more of a team effort.
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Old 01-01-2009, 08:01 PM    (permalink
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That's true, but I don't think that most people are too worried about it at this point in time. It was his first year after all and he can't get everything right from the start as there will be some bumps along the way. Throw in a defense and special teams that also enjoyed keeling over in the fourth quarter and it seems like more of a team effort.
Also the Packers were unlucky team this year. They will definitely be a playoff team next year.
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Old 01-02-2009, 01:51 AM    (permalink
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D Will is playing like the best RB in football right now. He's an amazing player, I was always a huge fan.

It also seems to me, maybe someone can clarify if this is true or not, that he's put on weight since entering the league. and thats made him into a complete back. he can do it all now, not just bounce it outside.

if the Panthers were more creative on offense, he'd be a major threat in the passing game too. i just love his game, he's really really good.
I wrote this fluff piece for another site not long ago it might explain whats changed

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by Steven Burton (BlindSite)

After the explosion of DeAngelo Williams onto the NFL scene many prognosticators and analysts are baffled as to why first of all Williams spent so long behind DeShaun Foster and secondly why they drafted talented Oregon back Jonathan Stewart in the first round of the 2008 NFL draft.

Initially, coming from a very poor college supporting cast and breaking records at Memphis it was expected that Williams would take over the starting role as the Carolina Panthers’ tailback within his first two years. That was not to be the case as during his rookie and sophomore seasons Williams remained largely a back up to the incumbent, and often ineffective DeShaun Foster.

While obviously the quarterback of the day, whether it be David Carr, Testaverde or even Matt Moore limited the chance of any running back in Davidson’s offense and the offensive line was a mere shadow of what it is today, the crux of the problem lay with Williams.

Williams lacked what all great runners require, determination and stamina. For all his faults and fumbles Foster, while not much of a runner ,always ran with the drive and indefatigable spirit (unfortunately nowhere near the talent) of an Adrian Peterson or Walter Payton and it wasn’t until Williams met Vinny Testaverde that he realized he was wasting both his talent and his career.

During Vinny Testaverde’s first start in his final season as an NFL quarterback Williams showed a lack of drive for the starting role. In an interview with the Charlotte Observer Testaverde detailed the player’s issues “I handed the ball off to him, he'd run 10 or 12 yards and put his hand up to come out of the game,” it showed a clear lack of desire to become the team’s featured back.

“After a few weeks, I said, ‘You have all the ability to be a great running back, but you need to get in shape and you need not to want to come out of the game.'”

The interaction between the veteran and the youngster seemed to motivate Williams who this season began a new tradition, taking it to the house. When breaking a tackle for five or six yards the vast majority of running backs will stop and return the huddle, it’s a given that they’d take the ball into either scoring position or the end zone. Williams on the other hand goes the distance, every time he breaks loose, no matter the temperature or the situation.

The results of this regime have been what can only be described as spectacular. Williams has this season managed 248 carries for 1,337 yards (5.4 ypc) and a team record and NFL leading 18 touchdowns (20 total). Most impressive is his six touchdown runs for 30+ yards, one away from equaling the current NFL record.

The highest praise of all comes from Testaverde who in the interview went on to say “He's just so explosive, he's quick to hit the hole, strong to the hole and nobody is catching him from behind.”

“He reminds me of two great backs, Emmitt Smith and Barry Sanders.”

“Put those two together and I think you have a DeAngelo Williams. In my eyes, he has the potential to be a really good back for a really long time."

With Williams formerly lacking drive and the stamina needed to become a starting tailback it’s no wonder the Panthers front office seemed poised to be done with Williams and the zone blocking system.

Marty Hurney, General manager of the Panthers longed to get back the team’s identity of power running and solid defense and did so by drafting Jeff Otah, the mammoth revelation at right tackle out of Pittsburgh with a traded first round pick, resigning Travelle Wharton to guard and seeking out larger, stronger men in free agency to replace the released Mike Wahle. The final (not in chronological order) piece of the puzzle was Stewart a rock of muscle mass with speed and vision, it seemed the Oregon runner would steal the starting job as a rookie, at least until training camp actually started.

Daily updates from the Panthers training camp and OTAs whether from Journalists or fans detailed marked improvement in Williams and team mates could not stop raving about his impressive turnaround from the previous season.

Stewart has by no means been a slouch in his backup role amassing his own 9 touchdowns and 780 yards. This has left the Panthers in a rather advantageous predicament. Two talented, young, motivated and potentially dominant backs behind a well put together, young and powerful offensive line supported by a very talented defense and possibly the NFL’s best wide receiver. The backs have combined to become the most productive two man team in the NFL and their future is undeniably bright.

The only question remaining, just how far can these two backs take the Panthers this season, and just how can defenses hope stop them?
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:08 PM    (permalink
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I don't see how you have peppers as CPOY over antonio bryant and chad pennington. Bryant was not even in football last year
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