Category Archives: NFL-NFC

NFC Blog Profiles

The first player profile I chose was on the colorful Carolina Panther defensive tackle Greg Hardy.  I liked it because it seems like nowadays the talented NFL defensive tackles have mean streaks, but Hardy shows you can still show respect for the opposition.  The writer also does a good job using some solid quotes from Hardy, which I was interested in hearing.

The next one is on New Orleans’ kicker Garrett Hartley and the struggles he’s had this year.  I like it because you can tell Hartley knows he’s struggled but remains confident, at least that’s the type of attitude I felt through the author’s quotes and commentary.  Also, you kinda feel for Hartley and all kickers, they’re easily replaceable…

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NFL- NFC Profiles

Even though the opening is a bit sacrilegious, it really captures the reader’s attention. Brendan Vaughan compares RGIII’s return to the second coming of Jesus. Vaughan creates imagery that takes you through RGIII’s injury and recovery.

Adrian Peterson has had a tough life, and reading about it always gets me. In this profile, Jim Corbett dove into Peterson’s early childhood to discuss how he became the player he is today.

NFC Profiles

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9956212/arizona-cardinals-safety-tyrann-mathieu-turning-point

I really enjoyed John Weinfuss’ long-from article on Tyrann Mathieu because everybody likes a comeback story. Weinfuss does a great job of taking the reader back to a time when Mathieu was literally the king of his playground, and then contrasting that with his mindset in jail. I like the way the way Weinfuss jumped around from idea to idea, while keeping great organization.

http://www.gq.com/entertainment/sports/201309/colin-kaepernick-cover-september-2013?currentPage=2

I appreciated GQ’s Andrew Corsello’s article on Colin Kaepernick because he implemented a very fun style of writing. The story flows with ease and he touches on various facets of the quarterback’s life. I like that he started the article off with the fact that his high school coaches wouldn’t let him run because I think that sets a good tone for the rest of the story.

Bradford’s knee bender looks to be a Season-ender for the Rams

This season is over for Sam Bradford and it might be over for the St. Louis Rams too.

Bradford will undergo surgery in two to three weeks on the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will be out for the remainder of the season. The injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 30-15 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

This is a heartbreaking end to Bradford’s best offensive season to date (he had a 90.9 passer rating in his seven starts) and the Rams’ first legitimate chance at a winning season since 2005.

“We’re going to see a lot of people step up,” defensive end Chris Long said. “And we’re going to see a lot of people step up that you might not expect.”

One of these people is backup Kellen Clemens, the only other quarterback on the Rams’ 53-man roster and practice squad.

“Somebody’s got to play,” Clemens said. “So I’ll go out there and do the best job I can and try to help this team win some games.”

At the time of the injury, Bradford was 21-for-30 for 255 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Clemens replaced him and was 2-of-4 for 19 yards.

With Bradford on injured reserve, a spot was left open on the roster to fill with a backup quarterback to replace the now-starting Clemens.

The team confirmed Tuesday afternoon it will bring back Austin Davis, who Clemens beat out for the backup job in training camp and the preseason after Davis spent the 2012 season with the team.

The Rams will also bring aboard Brady Quinn, replacing offensive lineman Brandon Washington on the active roster. For the next two moths, Clemens and likely Quinn will attempt to lead one of the NFL’s youngest rosters and revitalize their diminishing chances at a successful season.

With Clemens under center, it will be hard for the Rams to stay competitive week in and week out. It seems that the loss of Bradford ends the Rams’ playoff hopes as Wild Card contenders.

They may not even win another game over the course of the final nine games of the season. And from this point forward, their schedule doesn’t get any easier as over half of their remaining opponents have a winning record. This team could easily lose its next five games to  The Seahawks, The Tennessee Titans, The Indianapolis Colts, The Chicago Bears, and the San Francisco 49ers.  

While it will be interesting to see how Clemens and Quinn perform, neither player is a long-term solution to St. Louis’ quarterback woes. Even Bradford’s injury and return might soon be insignificant as St. Louis holds two picks in the upcoming 2014 NFL draft. With this coming year’s quarterback class regarded as one of the best in recent years, there’s no question the Rams will be monitoring prospects like Teddy Bridgewater, Marcus Mariota, Johnny Manziel and Tajh Boyd.

Vikings confident in Freeman despite struggles

It hasn’t been an easy road for Vikings’ starting quarterback Josh Freeman.

Freeman started the year as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ starting quarterback before getting dropped on Oct. 3 after leading his team to a 0-3 start.

Three days later Freeman signed a one-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, and stepped into the starting role two weeks later.

In his first start with the Vikings on Monday night, Freeman could not shake the struggles that haunted him in Tampa Bay against the Giants.

Freeman went 20-for-53 passing for 190 yards and an interception, making him the second quarterback in league history to throw for fewer than 200 yards on more than 50 attempts.

The former Buccaneer finished the game with a 40.6 quarterback ranking and overthrew receivers on 16 off his 33 incompletions, according to ESPN Stats and Info.

But despite his struggles Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier is sticking with Freeman for the team’s next game against the Green Bay Packers this Sunday.

According to Frazier Freeman’s struggles had more to do with mechanics than preparation, but believes that these mistakes will be easy to fix.

“The ball kind of sailed on him a few different times, but I don’t think it was a lack of preparation,” Frazier said to reporters on Tuesday.

The Vikings have chosen Freeman to start over Christian Ponder and Matt Cassel, but Frazier has not committed to keeping him the starting signal caller for the season.

Ponder began the season as the starting quarterback before falling to a rib injury, which propelled Cassel into the starting role. Ponder went 0-3 as a starter while Cassel has a 1-1 record. Both are clear to play, but for the time being Leslie is sticking with Freeman who has not made the playoffs in his five years in the league.

It’s not all Eli

For just one night, the youngest Manning gets to go home a winner.

Eli Manning has long been regarded as one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, leading his New York Giants to two Super Bowl victories in his nine-year career. However, he has looked anything but good as his Giants ship is slowly sinking.

At 1-6, his chances at the playoffs are almost zero, even in a paltry NFC East. What’s worse is that he has been much of the problem.

Through six games, Manning had thrown 15 interceptions, which was equal to his 16-game total in 2012 and more than his 16-game total in two other seasons. It was even more than his nine-game total in his 2004 rookie campaign.

At his current pace, Manning would throw 23 touchdowns, which would be the second fewest in his career, and 34 interceptions, which would be the most by nine interceptions. Manning has never thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in his career.

After all of this, a Monday Night victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the first for the Giants, seems like a step in the right direction, particularly for Manning, who threw no interceptions for the first time this season.

In all reality, however, a victory against a 1-5 Vikings team isn’t a very big step, particularly when noting that Manning came close to throwing two interceptions, as Ralph Vacchiano pointed out in the New York Daily News article.

Some surprising revelations from the statistics could, in part, explain why Manning and the Giants have struggled so mightily.

At his current pace, Manning would also throw the ball 613 times for 4,391 yards. In his career, Manning has never thrown more than 589 passes in his career and has thrown for more than 4,400 yards just once. Moreover, the Giants’ 20.7 rush attempts per game is the third fewest in the league.

Although Manning’s career highs in yards and attempts came in 2011 when the Giants won the Super Bowl, the Giants averaged 28 rushes per game in the playoffs, ranking fourth among all playoff teams. The 2008 Super Bowl campaign saw much of the same with the Giants running 32 rushing plays per game, the second most in the playoffs that season.

With injuries to the Giants’ running back position, Peyton Hillis was the Giants leading rusher–he had 36 yards.

Maybe all Manning needs is a little bit of help.

Hope with the Giants

Don’t count the New York Giants out just yet.  The team that started 0-6 (and I’ll admit, looked quite terrible) picked up win number one this past Monday night defeating the Minnesota Vikings 23-7. Now I know starting 1-6 is not ideal by any means, but if there was an NFL team out there that could mount a mid-season turnaround and by the slimmest chance make the playoffs, it’s the New York Giants.

Heck, their 2007 and 2011 Lombardi trophies came as a surprise to many, as those teams were playoff wannabe’s with minimal weeks left in the regular season, but somehow found a way to reach the playoffs.  In 2007, the Giants lost the final game of the regular season to the team they’d eventually meet in the Super Bowl, the New England Patriots.  They managed to snag the fifth seed as a wild card team in the playoffs and won win three road playoff games before accomplishing revenge on Tom Brady and company.  In 2011, it came down to a week 17 matchup with the rival Dallas Cowboys for who would take the NFC East, and New York won.  Of course, we all know they went on to beat poor Tom again.

In both those seasons, the Giants had some really promising times but also some pretty dismal games.  The two constants that remained through it all, Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.

The coach always seems to have a grasp of his teams and where they stand at each point during the season.

And with Peyton having the type of historic season he’s having, it’s easy for us to write off the little brother, Eli.  But let’s not forget, the two-time Super Bowl champion has risen from the ashes before to lead his team back.  The guy has some serious mojo that always seems to glow in the biggest moments.

Like, I said before, 1-6 is not where you want to be.  But if you have Coughlin and Manning together, the New York Giants will always be a contender in my mind.