NFL Review Week 9

Sorry about only posting one thing since I have come back. I am still trying to get back onto it with my busy schedule, but thank you very much for the large response in views at the beginning of last week. That spike in views as nice to see. Anyway, down to business.

Week nine was a big week for the NFL. It was the start of the separation of the best in both leagues from the rest. I think that there are a few huge points that were shown about this NFL season so far.

  1. There is a clear cut favorite in both the AFC & NFC
    1. The tough AFC North has brought the Baltimore Ravens to rise as the cream of the crop.
    2. The Greenbay Packers have shown that they are not only the NFC favorite, but they are the clear cut favorite to win the Superbowl as defending champions and as the only undefeated (8-0) team left in the league.
  2. All AFC division’s are slugfests right now.
    1. The AFC East has three 5-3 teams all vying for a division championship and/or a wildcard spot.
    2. The AFC North has three teams with six wins, and even though the Ravens look like the favorite, they are certainly the toughest division in the AFC
    3. The AFC West is an even bigger cluster**** with Kansas City, Denver, and Oakland all at 4-4. Then you have Denver still in the mix only a game back. (This Reminds me of the NFC West last year, which has not got much better.)
    4. The AFC South is a bit different, but even the Houston Texans (6-3) will have to battle off the (4-4) Tennessee Titans for
  3. Peyton Manning is way more important to the Colts that I ever thought.
    1. Most people would have thought that the Colts with such a good roster would have at least been able to win a game or two by now without Mr. Manning, but such would be wrong as the Colts stand at 0-9 as the only winless team in the league.
    2. The loss of Gary Brackett also cannot be forgot. That leaves a huge hole in a defense that has been led by Brackett almost as long as Manning has led the offense.
  4. The Dream Team is what the name says it is: A Dream
    1. The Eagles have started 3-5 and are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
    2. They would have to finish at least 7-1 to get a playoff spot, and even then that might not get it done.
      1. Did I Mention they still have games remaining @NYG, @Dallas, and home games against New England and the Jets?
  5. Sam Bradford has lived up to MY expectations in his second season. Not everyone else’s greatness that people see in him
    1. Three touchdowns in six games is not going to get it done, and neither is his 54% completion rate or 73.3 QB rating.
    2. Notable QB’s with a better rating: Tavaris Jackson (now benched), Kyle Orton (Now Benched), Colt McCoy, and the illustrious Matt Moore.
    3. Rex Grossman of all people has a better completion rate than Sam Bradford
    4. Bradford went back to his college days of staring down receivers, and that is what has hurt him. Even his decision making ha been good with only three interceptions.
  6. Eli Manning my finally be breaking out from under his brother’s shadow now that Peyton is on the sidelines
    1. The younger Manning has the fifth best passer rating in the league this season, and he is at least top ten in most passing categories.
    2. He has looked a lot more poised and harder to be rattled than ever. He looks like the Manning that led the Giants to their historic upset of the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl a few years back.
  7. Detroit is for REAL, and they are only going to get better with their young core of talent.
    1. The longer Stafford is healthy, the more he looks like the franchise Quarterback that we thought he would be.
  8. Last Season should have been notice for the Bills breakout year.
    1. The first half of last season, the Bills were 0-8. They finished 4-4 and should have been 5-3 if it was not for a dropped pass by Stevie Johnson against Pittsburgh.
    2. People tried to tell Ryan Fitzpatrick he could not play Quarterback in the NFL, because he is from Harvard.
      1. You may now find the Rams and Bengals kicking themselves for the decision to give up on Fitzpatrick.
    3. Chan Gailey is proving that he can coach in the NFL.
  9. Cam Newton is the best Rookie Quarterback in the history of the NFL.
    1. 2,712 yards of total offense, 20 total touchdowns, and only 9 turnovers. He also has more rushing first downs than Mike Vick.
    2. His willingness to sit and the pocket and read a defense has made the difference. It is astonishing how well he pump fakes and looks off a defense.
    3. The wins are the only thing that is not there, but his defense has let up the fifth most points in the league.
      1. The wins will come.
  10. I am so tired of listening to people talk about Tim Tebow that it makes me want to puke.
    1. Note to ESPN: I am not a Tebow fan. I am not a Bronco Fan. And I really do not need an update on half of football that Tim Tebow plays. That is what a box score is for. I did not subscribe to these updates and would really like them to stop.
      1. Please & Thank you

What is wrong with Chris Johnson?

After a long awaited return, here I am, back again to fuel your sports world with my own witty thoughts. I would like to thank all of you have been following me on twitter, and those of you who have even sent me e-mails of support. After a long hiatus, I am returning to Pinto’s Sports with sports writing that only I can lay down (Don’t think that I am arrogant, you all know that it is true). But seriously, thank you all for the support. I have been checking in on the blog during my absence, and I have still had daily views almost every day, and for that, I commend all of you who have stuck by my side.

Thank you for your support.

Now down to business. I wanted to start out with a softie column to get my self back into the game, but look forward for more to come.

So, what is wrong with Chris Johnson? To be honest, I do not think that anything is wrong. He is still the impact player that he has always been, but it is hard to see.

He has certainly had a rough time running the ball through the first half of the season, and I think that there are a few big reasons for that.

Who was the head coach of the Tennessee Titans last season? It was not Mike Munchak. Who was the QB of the Titans last year? It was not Matt Hasselbeck. These are two huge changes that have effected Johnson’s game. Even their offensive coordinator has changed.

Why has coaching effected him this much? The key is the lockout. Yes, they have mainly a very similar system under Munchak as it was under Fisher, however, every coach has a different strategy. During the shortened training camp, and subsequently, Johnson’s holdout, the new Titans staff had to work in an offensive plan for the season.

They have been running the ball a little bit differently than we have seen them run the ball in the past. With Javon Ringer being the back around for training camp, you see that they had the idea that they would be running the ball in between the tackles more. Of course, Johnson certainly has the ability to run the ball between the tackles, but he is a lot more dangerous on a sweep, pitch, or even catching the ball out of the back field in the flat (which is something that they had been doing less of at the beginning of the season.)

I think the quick change in scheme when Johnson came back at the beginning of the season definitely had an effect on the offensive line. They have not been nearly as effective run blocking and setting up screens as they did last year.

The quarterback situation is also different. Any team in the NFL is going to run a different defense against a team with Vince Young at Quarterback than Matt Hasselbeck under center.

Also, let us not forget the new big contract. It would hard to run as hard when you just got a new contract, and one of your best friends (Vince Young) was sent packing. Do not forget that Young and Johnson were very close friends.

I do not think it would be a good idea for Munchak to bench Johnson. At this point, if they bench Johnson, they will not only be waisting that huge contract, but they will also be putting into the head of a player like Johnson (who has already held out) that he is not needed. I doubt that will make him run harder. He already has the money. at that point he will probably just ask for a trade.

Trust me Johnson still has passion for this game. He still plays with a smile on his face, and I have not seen him give up on a run yet, even though I have often seen him being met two or three yards in the backfield.

You almost have to stick with him. At 4-3 in the AFC South, the Titans are still in the hunt, why in the world would you take your most dangerous player off the field?

Do not even tell me, ‘because Javon Ringer is averaging 3.5 YPC compared to Johnson’s 2.8’. Look throughout the NFL. Ben Tate is averaging 5.2 and Arian Foster is only averaging 3.9. Ricky Williams is averaging 4.7 over Ray Rice’s 4.3. Lots of change of pace backs get more yards per carry, because they have less carries, and more chances on third and long where they will gouge a defense for eight or ten yards without even getting a first down. That is just how it goes.

I am not saying that Chris Johnson will even return to form this year (especially if they bench him), but trust me, he will be back. He is still the most talented player on the offense by far.

You cannot bench him

248 and the last for now

From this point forward, I will no longer be writing on Pinto’s Sports any longer. To all of my followers, I apologize for this abrupt end. Maybe one day I will go back into the line of sports writing on a blog or website, but for now, I do not have the time or ambition to continue on writing about sports.

If you enjoy reading my writing, I suggest that you follow me on twitter, fo then you will be able to stay updated with any recent work I am putting out. I have some ideas about a website of my own, where I will surely talk some sports in parts, but it will be a much more complex and thought provoking website.

Your other option is to follow me on facebook. If I do not know you, but you would like to be my friend on facebook, just send me a message with your friend invitation telling me that you are a fan, and I will gladly except. However, to be honest with you, twitter is the better option, because I rarely seem to care about facebook anymore.

For now, my writing is going to be focused on my novels, essay book, and a screenplay that I am working on. They hold more of a future than this blogging thing does.

To be honest, I think this is a decision I made a long time ago, but I have been dragging my feet on it for so long, that it is now starting to effect my motivation in all of my other writing projects. In fact, even though this is being written at 11:02 PM, I had actually mad this decision earlier this morning.

Let that be a lesson to you all, never drag your feet on your goals, because then they just become dreams. Dreams are what you do when you sleep. Goals are what you achieve when you live life to its fullest.

I would also like to thank my friends and family, who have been fantastic supporters of my blog from day one.

If you follow me on twitter, you will also get anymore future posts from this blog, because I will not be closing it down for the simple fact that if I do open up another site, I would like to let all of my followers know. Plus, there is always a chance I come back here if I miss it as much as I fear that I will.

With all of that being said, it has been fun. Good bye blogosphere, and do not forget to tweet at me.

I am back in time for THE Open

First , sorry for my recent absence. Second of all, I hate working and going to school at the same time. Thirdly, I am super excited for The Open Championship.

Not because it is going to be great golf, for the winds are going to be ferocious. This will be bad for most american players. Many American players like Phil Mickelson hit high arcing shots that will beat down and thrown into the rough, if not a worse situation.

Over there at Sandwich (Not a typo, actual name of place), Royal St. Georges is one of the most prestigious golf courses in the world, and it will make for a great place to hold The Open Championship for the 14th time.

This is probably going to a rough major for a lot of the PGA players. The PGA style of play does not match up with the conditions. Even Rory McIlroy will have trouble on this course this weekend. Sorry Northern Ireland, but your rockstar is not going to do well this weekend if the winds catch up. That High arcing draw will be turned into a nasty slice real quick.

The wildcard with Rory is that he grew up playing on links courses, which means he may have the ability to adjust to these conditions.

I am have three players to watch this weekend that some people may find surprising..

First is the wily veteran Tom Watson. Old Tom is certainly getting up there in years, but Tom has played well here before and always plays well at The Open Championship. Watson’s southwest style of play works well in these kind of winds.

You may remember when Tom was in contention on sunday for The Open Championship, but lost his lead on sunday. Do not be surprised to see another priceless Tom Watson memory, and this could be his last one, so treasure it.

I am also really feeling Frederick “don’t call me Jacobson” Jacobson (pronounced Yawcobson for those keeping score at home). He played very well the last time The Open was at Royal St. Georges, and I would not be surprised to see an even better performance by a man who has been playing some quietly good golf this season.

The third, I am going to get some jeers on this one, and I have always been one of this guys biggest critics. I just have a feeling that Sergio Garcia is going to pull this out. Yes, I am just as surprised that I typed it as you are. He is another one of those players that can play a low, line drive, kind of game that will do well this weekend.

Do not be surprise if you see all three of these golfers within striking distance for the championship on sunday, and by “within striking distance” I mean between +2 and -1. This will not be one of the lowest scoring majors ever.

Who would I take?

There has been a big question floating around the last couple days: If you were to pick up a a big free agent wide out who would you take? T.O.? Randy Moss? Or Plaxico Burress?
I am going with Plax if I take any of these.
Randy is easily the most overall talented and best of this group, but I really question how much juice and competition he has left in the tank. We have seen this before from Randy, but I am not sure if there is another Belichick that will be willing to bring him into the fold and then put in the ample amount of time to get his focus back, because it is there deep down in there somewhere. You just have to beat it out of him again. I would not even be worried about Moss’ age, because he has a couple less years on his tires than how many years he has been in the league. Last year, he certainly didn’t stress his bone much, and then there was a year and a half or two in Oakland where the effort and stress level was not 100%
This means that he probably still has a couple good years left in him physically, but does he have it mentally?
As for T.O., I think it is the exact opposite. It seems like mentally T.O. has calmed down enough to play for a team, but now he has this knee injury at the age of 37. I do not doubt Terrell Eldorado Owens’ work ethic to get back to playing shape, but he has been one of the hardest working athletes in the NFL for the past decade or so, which means that he his body is even more worked that most 37 year olds. Every body breaks down eventually, and the fact that he now has this mysterious (his agent Drew Rosenhous said that they are not going to share how it happened) injury, it make me think that the process of his body breaking down has started.
Plax on the other hand has had a few years off, his body is fresh, and he still has his two best assets that probably are not going anywhere: his height & his hands. Even if he looses a step or even some hops, he still will be able to outjump any corner back down in the Redzone. He has a 4 or 5 inch head start on almost any corner in the game, and I feel like he probably did not develop stone hands while locked up.
I will take Plax’s fly route in the redzone over T.O.’s now questionable explosivness and Randys questionable ambition right now.

The Unopen Open

In the game of golf, The Masters is the one everyone wants to win, The British Open has the most history, but The US Open has given us some of the best and most memorable fights for any major championship. Usually it is wide open going into Sunday, and sometimes there are five, six, or even more players in legitimate contention for the championship.

Not this year. At Congressional CC yesterday, the only person that was going to beat Rory McIlroy was himself.

What Rory McIlroy did at the US Open was one of the best Golf performances I have ever seen. For me, it is not only that he was able to score a US Open record 268 16 under, but more importantly that he was able to rebound from a horrific Masters finish that was fresh in everyone’s memory.

So the question on everyone’s mind seems to be, is he the next Tiger? Well, he could be. He has that potential, but just like when Tiger broke onto the scene with his first major win in 1997 at the Masters, it was too soon to compare Tiger to Jack.

Now, I remember that 1997 Masters. In fact, it is one of my earliest sports memories. I remember watching that with my grandfather and father, and I remember my grandfather saying about Tiger “That kid is one of the best young Golfers I have ever seen. I hope he can keep that kind of play up”. Now my grandfather is one heck of a Golfer in his own right. I feel like if he wasn’t a minor league baseball player back in the day, and there had been a chance for him to go on tour, he probably would have been able to hold his own.

So, He knows Golf.

Two thirds of my life have past since I watched the great Nick Faldo put the Green Jacket on Tiger, and now I find myself saying something similar to what my grandfather said when I was seven years old.

Rory is THE best young golfer I have seen since Tiger Woods, and I HOPE that he keeps this play up. Mainly, because I am tired of the media claiming that the sport that I have been playing since I was seven is not the same without Tiger. This sport that I love so much doesn’t NEED Tiger. In fact, as of right now, Eldrick Tont Woods needs golf more than golf needs him.

So, no I am not going to compare Tiger and Rory. I really like Rory, but I would not want to put the pressure of a comparison to the second greatest (and the most dominant) golfer of all time.

That just is not fair to anyone.

What I will do is compare Rory’s tournament to Tiger’s records that were just broken. First off, Tiger played at Pebble Beach, which is one of the most challenging golf courses known to man. Rory played at Congressional country club, and 22 players were at even or better (unprecedented for a US Open) for the weekend. How many players were at even or better back in 2000 when Tiger shot a -12 272? One, Including Tiger.

I think it was Jason Day who said that Rory “lapped the field” on sunday. Well, if Rory lapped the field winning by 8 strokes, Tiger almost lapped the field twice beating Ernie Els (Who ironically won the last US Open at Congressional and missed the cut this year with a +6) by 15 strokes.

So, Tiger had the better performance, hands down. Few would argue it, and if they did, they would say it was the pressure on Rory that made the perfromance more impressive.

Personally, I think Rory’s bounce back from The Masters blow up is what puts it in a similar category as Wood’s 2000 Open, not McIlroy’s score.

New Friend

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a new link on my blogroll. The website is Sports Memorabilia.com. If you are a sports memorabilia collector of any kind, they are a great place to go. They have a little bit of anything. There are a lot of great deals on some pretty incredible stuff like game used gloves, signed jerseys, and even paintings of Muhammad Ali.

If you are looking to get dad something for Father’s day, you might want to check out his favorite team’s page at SportMemorabilia.com, you are sure to find something that he would like no matter what sport he is into.