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Each team’s biggest question mark heading into the 2013 season: AFC Edition

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It’s that time of year again in the NFL.

Almost all of the 32 teams have now returned for training camp and with preseason games right around the corner, it won’t be long until the new season kicks off.

Let’s see how the things are shaping up in 2013.

*AFC only

East

Buffalo Bills

Who will win the quarterback battle in Buffalo?

The Bills haven’t had the best of luck recently when it comes to quarterbacks. From the mediocre Trent Edwards to the just about average Ryan Fitzpatrick, there hasn’t been much to cheer for lately in upstate New York. After releasing Fitzpatrick in March, the team now are undergoing a fresh start at quarterback.

They signed Kevin Kolb this offseason to a two-year deal. Kolb was released after spending two years with the Arizona Cardinals and although he has the potential to be a starting quarterback, he has yet to stay healthy and complete a full season.

The other option is rookie E.J. Manuel. After impressing at Florida State, Manuel was picked with the sixteenth overall selection in this year’s draft and he is expected to compete with Kolb for the starting role.

Expect the Bills to give the starting job to Kevin Kolb over rookie Manuel.

Miami Dolphins

How will Mike Wallace perform in Miami?

Who are the fastest players in the NFL? Chances are Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace would see his name close to the top of that list.

The former Pittsburgh Steeler signed a $60 million deal with the Dolphins this offseason and he is expected to make a big impact in South Beach. Wallace is a former Pro Bowler who has averaged over 17 yards per reception in his career.

The 26-year-old should form a solid combination with quarterback Ryan Tannehill who will be looking to improve after an inconsistent rookie season. will prove to be a huge success for head coach Joe Philbin and the Dolphins.

Tannehill will certainly have plenty of opportunities to throw the ball downfield this season with Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline on the outside.

New England Patriots

Can Tom Brady and the Pats solve their tight end issues?

Now this isn’t going to come as a surprise to NFL fans or anybody who has been watching the ongoing murder case involving Aaron Hernandez, but the Patriots have serious problems at tight end. With Aaron Hernandez gone and Rob Gronkowski still recovering from back surgery, the team is struggling at the position.

Former New York Giant Jake Ballard currently appears to be best option with veteran Daniel Fells providing backup. Although they aren’t admitting it to the media, the team must surely be concerned about Rob Gronkowski and his long-term health following yet another surgery.

Could all this uncertainty pave the way for a position switch from quarterback to tight end for Tim Tebow?

If there’s a coach out there that can make this work, it’s got to be Bill Belichick.

New York Jets

What kind of impact will new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg have in the big apple?

January 11th, 2012. That’s the date when the Jets hired Tony Sparano as their new offensive coordinator. Safe to say, that experiment didn’t work out too well.

Now with Sparano gone on former Eagles coach Marty Mornhinwg installed as the new offensive coordinator, the team is entering another make or break season.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez now faces competition for the starting job from rookie Geno Smith. Regardless of who is chosen as the starter, Mornhinweg will need to do a better job than Sparano did if he is going to keep his job and improve the Jets offense.

If the Jets fail to make the Playoffs this season, it could force owner Woody Johnson to make a change with both quarterback Mark Sanchez and head coach Rex Ryan running out of chances.

Aaron Hernandez

Aaron Hernandez in court

North

Baltimore Ravens

What will the Ravens defense look like without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed?

Just think about this for a second, Ray Lewis was the first draft choice in the history of the Ravens back in 1996. Ed Reed was a first round draft pick in 2002. Both these players are now gone and the team must move on without them.

The defending Super Bowl champions will need to adapt quickly to the loss of these two leaders. It came as no surprise when the team used their first two draft picks to find their replacements.

Florida safety Matt Elam was selected in the first round with Kansas State linebacker Arthur Brown taken in the second round. Both rookies will be expected to contribute early on and replace the gap left by the departed duo of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

General Manager Ozzie Newsome proved once again why he is one of the best in the business when it comes to picking talent and Ravens fans should be excited to see these rookies compete.

Cincinnati Bengals

Is Andy Dalton ever going to step up for the Bengals in the playoffs?

After two seasons in the league, Andy Dalton has an impressive quarterback rating of 83.9 in the regular season. His performances in the playoffs have not been so impressive.

In the postseason, Dalton’s quarterback rating is 48.6 and he has an equally unimpressive touchdown to interception ratio of 0-4. The former TCU star seems to shy away from the spotlight and that must now the biggest question mark for the team.

The Bengals are never going to reach their potential if things don’t change and it’s about time their quarterback started showing more composure in the playoffs.

This could be the year that head coach Marvin Lewis leads his team to a playoff victory for the first time but it will all come down to the performance of Dalton.

Cleveland Browns

Can rookie head coach Rob Chudzinski succeed in Cleveland?

Rob Chudzinski may not be as well-known to NFL fans as other rookie head coaches this year, but the 45-year-old has an impressive coaching background. Chudzinski played on a national championship winning Miami Hurricanes team in 1987 and he also won a national championship with the school as offensive coordinator in 2001.

As a coach in the NFL, he has worked with the Cleveland Browns, San Diego Chargers and most recently with the Carolina Panthers where he played a major role in improving their offense and developing quarterback Cam Newton. During his time as offensive coordinator with the Browns back in 2007, he helped them to win ten games and also sent four offensive players to the Pro Bowl including Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow II.

If there’s one thing he brings to the table, “Chud” will add some much needed explosiveness to the Browns offense which already has a future Pro Bowler at running back with Trent Richardson.

It doesn’t help Chudzinski that the Browns are playing in one of the toughest divisions in football but they have a roster capable of winning plenty of games this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers

How will first-round rookie Jarvis Jones perform in Pittsburgh?

The Steelers are coming off worst ever season under head coach Mike Tomlin. After going 8-8 last year and with their usually dominant defense struggling, it was time to rebuild.

They have made many changes to personnel this offeseason with James Harrison, Keenan Lewis, Ryan Mundy and Will Allen all gone. The team re-signed veterans Larry Foote and William Gay before the draft and then made an impressive first-round selection in April. Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones was selected with the seventeenth overall pick and the rookie is expected to fill the starting role left by James Harrison.

The Steelers are looking to bounce back this season and they will be counting on Jones to help them do so on defense.

Expect the 23-year-old to make a big impact in his rookie year playing alongside LaMarr Woodley at outside linebacker.

Ray Lewis and Ed Reed

Ray Lewis and Ed Reed

South

Houston Texans

Can J.J. Watt set a new record for single-season sacks in Houston?

Michael Strahan set the record for sacks in a season back in 2001 when he registered 22.5 sacks. Twelve years later and that record is under threat.

J.J. Watt is a special football player. At 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighing almost 290 pounds, he posses a unique mix of size, speed and strength that causes nightmares for anybody attempting to block him. If there was ever going to be a football player who could double act as a transformer, Watt is it.

The former Wisconsin standout is coming off a season in which he had 20.5 sacks, was named to the All-Pro team and also won the Defensive Player of the Year award. Even more frightening for opposing teams and quarterbacks is that at 24-years-old and entering his third season, he is going to get even better.

Watt is without doubt the most dominant defensive player in the league right now and look for him to break the NFL’s single-season sack record this year.

Indianapolis Colts

Is it going to be a sophomore slump for Andrew Luck and the Colts?

Andrew Luck was just a rookie last season and every year the NFL takes a poll of the top 100 players in the league, Luck was ranked 23rd in that poll. As in the 23rd best player in the NFL, after only one season in the league. That’s how good he is.

The 1st overall pick in the 2012 draft didn’t disappoint in his first year in the league and he set seven NFL records along the way. Putting all those credentials aside for now and it’s time to do it all over again. Unfortunately for Luck and the Colts, the sophomore slump is bound to kick in.

It will be interesting to see how #12 handles the pressure this time around.

The departure of offensive coordinator Bruce Arenas will likely cause a drop in Luck’s production this year and it will be hard for him to repeat the magic of his rookie season.

Jacksonville Jaguars

What will Denard Robinson really do for the Jags?

The Jaguars used their fifth round pick in April’s draft to select former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson. Robinson set many records during his time at Ann Arbor and he was a terrific offensive player for the wolverines. Notice how I referred to him as an offensive player and not a quarterback in the last sentence and that’s because of the elephant in the room.

Denard Robinson cannot play quarterback in the NFL. He just doesn’t posses the type of arm strength, accuracy or overall awareness when it comes to passing the football that are all critical to playing the position in this league. However, that doesn’t mean he cannot succeed as an impact player on offense and that’s exactly what the Jags will use him as.

Robinson is listed as an offensive weapon on the depth chart and he is expected to play running back, wide receiver and return specialist for the team. Their plan is to give him 10-15 snaps per game but that is unlikely.

Whether they want to admit or not, there is no way that “Shoelace” will see that many touches for one simple reason and that is because this is no longer College football.

Newsflash in Jacksonville: This is the NFL and not the Big Ten.

Tennessee Titans

Will Jake Locker stay healthy and remain the starter in Tennessee?

Jake Locker hasn’t yet managed to silence the critics who doubted his ability to take a hit in the NFL. Since being drafted with the eighth overall pick by the Titans in the 2011 draft, he has played in exactly half of the team’s 32 regular season games.

After beating out veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and winning the starting job last year, Locker’s 2012 season was cut short by shoulder problems and he still faces those same concerns heading into this season. With Hasselbeck now gone, Tennessee is counting on their former first round pick to step up and put his injury issues in the past.

All the comments thus far from Locker and Titans camp is that the shoulder injury is fully healed and he is back to 100%. How long that will last however is still a question mark.

If Locker does get hurt again this year it could force team owner Bud Adams to move on from the 25-year-old.

Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck

West

Denver Broncos

Are they heading towards a decline in Denver?

The short answer to this question is yes. If you are a Broncos fan, look away now.

Last year’s second ranked defense has gone through an awful offseason. With defensive leader Elvis Dumervil being cut by the team back in March, things got even worse for the team this week.

Linebacker Von Miller faces a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s drug policy. Miller has claimed innocence in the case and he is appealing the suspension. It would usually be around this time that the team’s front office would step in but after two Broncos executives got arrested for separate drink driving offences, they appear to be dealing with problems of their own.

With all this ongoing uncertainty, the Broncos look as though they are heading backwards in 2013.

Kansas City Chiefs

How will Andy Reid perform in Kansas City?

Well it didn’t take long for Andy Reid to find another job. After being fired by the Philadelphia Eagles immediately after last season, the 55-year-old head coach is back at work.

The Chiefs hired Reid as their new head coach less than a week after his firing and signed him to a five-year deal. Putting aside a disastrous final year in Philadelphia, Andy Reid is a great football coach. You don’t take your team to the Playoffs nine times in 14 years by accident.

Now in his new chapter in Kansas City, the Chiefs look likely to make progress under Reid and challenge for the AFC West title.

Obviously much will depend on the play of new quarterback Alex Smith but if he can deliver and Reid makes the right coaching decisions, the Chiefs can be a Playoff team for years to come.

Oakland Raiders

What has changed in Oakland?

Often considered to be the worst team in the division, that certainly won’t be the case this season. The Raiders look to be undergoing a turnaround under head coach Dennis Allen.

On offense, not much has changed with their annual quarterback turnover and the ongoing questions surrounding the health of running back Darren McFadden. But on the opposite side of the ball, the defense are making moves.

The Raiders have signed some impressive free agents at cornerback with Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins both joining the team. Add to that their first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden along with returning veteran Charles Woodson and the Raiders are looking strong in the secondary.

If they can find a decent quarterback from the four options that they currently have on the roster, the Raiders could content for a postseason spot this year.

San Diego Chargers

Is this the end for Philip Rivers in San Diego?

The Chargers have a new head coach with Mike McCoy taking over the hot seat. The first thing on his to do list should be to address the recent problems with quarterback Philip Rivers.

Statistics don’t lie and they do not read well for Rivers. In his last three seasons he has thrown 48 interceptions and has had 63 total turnovers.

However, many fans will argue that he isn’t to blame for this decline and it is instead down to poor play from the offensive line. The team hasn’t wasted time in fixing this issue. They drafted Alabama offesnive tackle D.J. Fluker with their first round pick and also added free agents Max Starks and King Dunlap. With no more excuses, it’s now up to Rivers to deliver.

If it turns out that Rivers struggles again, head coach Mike McCoy will have an important decision on his hands regarding the future of the franchise at quarterback.

Andy Reid

Andy Reid

That was my breakdown of the AFC and my NFC breakdown will be released next week.

For more NFL updates, follow me on twitter.

Follow @PodgeOH

Super Bowl XLVII-13 Biggest Storylines to Watch in the Big Game

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This is for all the marbles!

Two teams, two brothers and four quarters of football to decide who will be crowned Super Bowl Champions.

In the blue corner representing the AFC are the Baltimore Ravens led by their star quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive leader Ray Lewis.

The Ravens have had to overcome plenty of adversity on their way too New Orleans and eliminated two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks from the Playoffs along the way.

With the passing of their former owner Art Modell at the beginning of the season and with Ray Lewis playing in his final game as a Raven, Baltimore won’t be short of motivation for this one as the go in search of their second Super Bowl win.

In the red corner representing the NFC are the San Francisco 49ers who are back after the golden years of stars like Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice to try and win their first Super Bowl since 1994.

The 49ers have had a truly incredible season and after making a quarterback switch in Week 11 from Alex Smith to Colin Kapernick and they now find themselves just one win away from being crowned Super Bowl champions for a sixth time.

So with the world watching and the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans awaiting, it all comes down to Super Bowl XLVII next Sunday night.

With one week to go, here are my 13 biggest storylines to watch in the big game.

Harbaugh vs Harbaugh

Judging by recent season storylines, one would be forgiven for thinking that Hollywood writers have been hired by the NFL to write scripts for the blockbuster movie that is: an NFL season.

After last year’s dramatics involving quarterback Tim Tebow and the cultural phenomenon that was ‘Tebowing,’ we now have an even more Hollywoodesque storyline involving two brothers.

Older brother John Harbaugh (Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens) will go head to head with his younger brother Jim (Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers) on the biggest stage of all, the Super Bowl.

The Harbaugh Bowl features two of the best coaches in football right now and is almost worthy of its own film.

The Harbaugh Bowl: Two Brothers Collide

Tom Cruise uses his football knowledge gained from Jerry Maguire to take on the role of older brother John and Brad Pitt trades baseball strategy from Moneyball for blitz packages to play as Jim.

Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis summed up the moment perfectly after the AFC Championship Game and said “this is our time.”

#52 is looking for one final victory before he leaves the game for good and retires.

Can Lewis complete his Hall of Fame career by bowing out on top and winning the Super Bowl?

Randy Moss

Lining up on offense across from Ray Lewis will be another one of the game’s all-time greats in Randy Moss.

Unlike Lewis, Moss is playing for his fifth NFL team and is looking to pick up his first Super Bowl ring.

Will the veteran who began playing all the way back in 1998 step up and be the x-factor for the 49ers offense?

Michael Oher

Michael Oher’s story really is a Hollywood one after the successful book and film The Blind Side.

The once homeless teenager makes his way to the Super Bowl as “Big Mike” gets ready to protect Joe Flacco.

Is there a Hollywood ending in store for Oher?

Patrick Willis

Just like Michael Oher, Patrick Willis is a fellow Ole Miss Rebel with another heartwarming story to tell.

He had personal troubles of his own and was adopted at the age of 17 after difficulties with his father.

Will Willis lead the 49ers to a victory over Michael Oher and the Ravens?

Quarterback Battle

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been brilliant in the Playoffs and is playing the best football of his career.

49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick faces the toughest test of his career in just his 11th NFL start.

Who will come out on top in this crucial battle for quarterback supremacy?

Ravens Wide Receivers vs 49ers Secondary

Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are one of the best duos in the NFL.

The 49ers secondary is struggling and they face a tough test to contain these two.

Can Torrey Smith put on a Julio Jones like performance vs the 49ers secondary?

49ers Running Game vs Ravens Run Defense

The 49ers running game will be crucial for their offense as they look to exploit their clear speed advantage.

Starter Frank Gore is helped out by backup LaMichael James along with the running threat of Kaepernick.

How will Haloti Ngata and co. deal with the 49ers rushing ability?

Kickers

The battle of the kickers has the potential to be the biggest storyline of them all.

Ravens rookie Justin Tucker is in terrific form whilst 49ers veteran David Akers looks highly inconsistent.

Does experience or youth prevail if the game comes down to a last second field goal?

National Anthem

So now we get to the Super Bowl traditions with the National Anthem first on the list.

Alicia Keys will be performing this year’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Will her performance bring Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to tears?

TV Ads

Super Bowl ads are a pretty big deal which is why companies pay up to $3 million for a 30 second commercial.

Popular commercials to watch out for include Coca-Cola and Doritos.

Will any of this year’s crop join this illustrious list of greatest commercials in Super Bowl history?

Halftime Show

After a mixed performance from Madonna last year, this year’s Halftime show looks a lot more promising.

Beyonce is set to perform fresh off her performance at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration.

Will Destiny’s Child re-unite on stage or will husband Jay-Z join her for an encore?

Verdict

Sorry 49ers fans but when it comes down to the final outcome of the Harbaugh Bowl, I’m picking the Ravens to get the win with an MVP performance from Joe Flacco to give Ray Lewis the perfect ending to his legendary career.

49ers 19 Ravens 30

So there is my preview and prediction for Super Bowl XLVII.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the game!

Follow @PodgeOH

Monday Night Football- Jets vs Titans Preview

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Jake Locker

After last night’s action, Week 15 comes to a close tonight with an AFC matchup as the 6-7 New York Jets travel to Tennessee to take on the 4-9 Titans.

The game will be live on ESPN in America and on the BBC Red Button in Ireland.

Now without further ado, here is my preview of Monday Night Football Week 15.

New York Jets at Tennessee Titans

Mark Sanchez

Stadium- LP Field

Kickoff- 7:30 p.m. in Tennessee Titans/1:30 p.m. Irish Time

Prediction

Jake Locker

The Jets defense is in for a long night vs Chris Johnson and the rest of Titans offense and they should have a tough time containing the Titans running game.

In this battle of polarizing quarterbacks, it’s Jake Locker who comes out on top against Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, and co. to lead the Titans to victory.

Jets 30 Titans 33

So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys the game.

Follow @PodgeOH

Written by podgeoh92

December 17, 2012 at 8:18 am

Monday Night Football- Texans vs Jets Preview

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Mark Sanchez

After some fantastic games yesterday, Week 5 comes to a close tonight with an exciting AFC clash between the Houston Texans and the New York Jets.

The game will be live on ESPN in America and on the BBC Red Button in Ireland.

So without further ado, here is a full preview of Week 5 Monday Night Football.

Houston Texans at New York Jets

Matt Schaub

StadiumMetLife Stadium

Kickoff- 8:30 p.m. in New Jersey/ 1:30 a.m. Irish Time

What to Watch

Tim Tebow

Jets Passing Game vs Texans Defense

  • The Jets passing game is yet to show any promise on offense so far this season with Santonio Holmes being the only wideout with over 200 receiving yards through four games. Some have blamed the infamous Tim Tebow but whatever the reason is, the Jets passing game must turn things around and fast.
  • As for the improving Texans defense, they are currently the second best in the NFL in passing yards allowed. J.J. Watt will definitely be a key factor for the Texans tonight.

Texans Running Game vs Jets Front Seven

  • The Texans running game boasts arguably the best tandem in football with Arian Foster and Ben Tate. Both have made fast starts to the new season and will look to continue that against the Jets defense.
  • If the Jets are going to stand any chance of pulling off the upset, their front seven must step up. They are giving up over 170 yards per game on the ground this year and that simply cannot happen if they are to win tonight.

Texans Wide Receivers vs Jets Cornerbacks

  • Now in his eleventh season, Andre Johnson is still putting up All-Pro numbers and will cause matchup problems for the Jets secondary. With Darrelle Revis on injuried reserve, Antonio Cromartie will likely be given the task of stopping the former Miami Hurricane.
  • Away from Johnson, the Texans will count on veteran Kevin Walter to support Matt Schaub. Also keep an eye on tight end Owen Daniels and running back Arian Foster in the Texans passing game.

Who to Watch

Andre Johnson (#80) and Arian Foster (#23)

Arian Foster- Running Back- Texans

  • Arian Foster has 39 total touchdowns in his last 33 regular season games and is every fantasy football owners favorite player. A dangerous weapon on the ground and through the air, look for Foster to be a threat carrying the load and making plays in the passing game tonight.
  • So who do the Jets have on defense that can stop Foster? Well the player given this task will likely be middle linebacker David Harris whose production could prove vital tonight.

Andre Johnson- Wide Receiver- Texans

  • As I mentioned earlier, Andre Johnson is still one of the best in the business when it comes to elite wide receivers. On pace for another 1,000 yard season, Johnson will be a key contributor for the Texans offense tonight.
  • Antonio Cromartie should see plenty of snaps lined up opposite Johnson tonight. It’s time for Cromartie to stop talking about replacing Darrelle Revis and prove himself again as a number 1 cornerback.

Tim Tebow- Quarterback- Jets

  • How can a backup quarterback be a key player to watch? When your name is Tim Tebow and you can play quarterback/h-back/receiver and punt protector then your always going to be a potential key factor to watch.
  • After completing his first pass in a Jets uniform last week, look for Tebow’s role to be increased again. Whether passing or running, I expect Tebow to be a key player tonight.

Prediction

Mark Sanchez (#6) and Tim Tebow (#15)

This game should be a high scoring battle as both defenses are prone to the occasional large margin of points allowed.

Although some my recent picks haven’t gone according to plan, I’m still going to go out on a limb and pick a Jets upset win.

Texans 28 Jets 31

So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys tonight’s game.

Follow @PodgeOH

Written by podgeoh92

October 8, 2012 at 8:15 am

Ranking all 32 Starting Quarterbacks heading into the 2012 Season

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Tom Brady

With the regular season now just a little over a week away from the season opener, I thought I would stir up a bit of controversy by ranking all 32 starting quarterbacks.

Whilst it’s almost impossible for every single NFL fan to agree on who the best quarterbacks in the league are, this is my list…

*Please Note

This has not been officially recognised by the NFL and is my own personal view.

Bottom of the pile

32. Blaine Gabbert- Jacksonville Jaguars

Based off what Gabbert showed in his rookie season, he is surely the worst staring quarterback in the league.

2011 Stats: 2,214 Yards, 12 Tds, 11 Ints and 65.4 RTG.

31. Christian Ponder- Minessota Vikings

Ponder outperformed Gabbert in his rookie year but he is still a poor starting quarterback by NFL standards.

2011 Stats: 1,853 Yards, 13 Tds, 13 Ints and 70.1 RTG.

Rookie uncertainties

30. Ryan Tannehill- Miami Dolphins

Given the Dolphins current receiving corp, Tannehill could be in for a Blaine Gabbert type rookie campaign.

2011 Stats: Rookie

29. Russell Wilson- Seattle Seahawks

Just like Tannehill, Wilson could also be in for a tough time as a rookie with another poor receiving group.

2011 Stats: Rookie

Risk/Reward Qbs

28. Brandon Weeden- Cleveland Browns

Weeden knows time is against him and so will be hoping to make an early impact in his rookie season.

2011 Stats: Rookie

27. Kevin Kolb- Arizona Cardinals

Kolb had a disappointing first year in Arizona and his health issues remain a concern for Cardinals fans.

2011 Stats: 1,955 Yards, 9 Tds, 8 Ints and 81.1 RTG.

Best days behind them

26. Matt Cassel- Kansas City Chiefs

Cassel could be facing a make or break type year with the Chiefs as his best days look to be long over.

2011 Stats: 1,713Yards, 10 Tds, 9 Ints and 76.6 RTG.

25. Carson Palmer- Oakland Raiders

Palmer looked out of shape last season and doesn’t seem to have the same arm strength that he once had.

2011 Stats: 2,753 Yards, 13 Tds, 16 Ints and 80.5 RTG.

Inconsistent passers

24. Jake Locker- Tennessee Titans

Consistency remains an issue for Locker judging by his college career completion rate of just 53.9%.

2011 Stats: 542 Yards, 4 Tds, 0 Ints and 99.4 RTG.

23. Josh Freeman- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Freeman has already had a staggering 73 turnovers in his short career and he’s highly overrated in my books.

2011 Stats: 3,592 Yards, 16 Tds, 22 Ints and 74.6 RTG.

Game-managers

22. Ryan Fitzpatrick- Buffalo Bills

Sorry Bills fans, but Fitzpatrick isn’t much more than a game-manager in my eyes.

2011 Stats: 3,832 Yards, 24 Tds, 23 Ints and 79.1 RTG.

21. Alex Smith- San Francisco 49ers

Smith will have to show he is capable of playing well in consecutive seasons before he can move up this list.

2011 Stats: 3,144 Yards, 17 Tds, 5 Ints and 90.7 RTG.

Still not playing like franchise QBs

20. Mark Sanchez- New York Jets

With Tim Tebow in town, Sanchez must have a career year if he wants to keep his starting job.

2011 Stats: 3,474 Yards, 26 Tds, 18 Ints and 78.2 RTG.

19. Jay Cutler- Chicago Bears

Cutler is yet to fulfil the potential he once showed during his early seasons with the Broncos.

2011 Stats: 2,319 Yards, 13 Tds, 7 Ints and 85.7 RTG.

Potential franchise Qbs

18. Andy Dalton- Cincinatti Bengals

Dalton had a terrific rookie year and would have got much more headlines if not for a certain Cam Newton.

2011 Stats: 3,398 Yards, 20 Tds, 13 Ints and 80.4 RTG.

17. Sam Bradford- St. Louis Rams

Bradford struggled with injuries last season but he still looks capable of turning into a franchise quarterback.

2011 Stats: 2,164 Yards, 6 Tds, 6 Ints and 70.5 RTG.

Already showing signs of greatness

16. Robert Griffin III- Washington Redskins

16th position seems right for RG3 right now and his talent level should see him move up this list in a hurry.

2011 Stats: Rookie

15. Andrew Luck- Indianapolis Colts

It only seems right that Luck is ranked one place higher than RG3 and he should be in for a big rookie season.

2011 Stats: Rookie

Battle of Texas

14. Matt Schaub- Houston Texans

Schaub missed the Texans playoff run last year after injury and he’ll be looking to bounce back in 2012.

2011 Stats: 2,479 Yards, 15 Tds, 6 Ints and 96.8 RTG.

13. Tony Romo- Dallas Cowboys

Romo isn’t a top 10 quarterback, but he is a reliable passer who’ll put up impressive stats.

2011 Stats: 4,184 Yards, 31 Tds, 10 Ints and 102.5 RTG.

Showing why they were 1st overall picks

12. Matthew Stafford- Detroit Lions

Stafford will have to show that last season wasn’t just a fluke before he makes his way into the top 10.

2011 Stats: 5,038 Yards, 41 Tds, 16 Ints and 97.2 RTG.

11. Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers

Just like Stafford, Newton needs to follow up his incredible rookie performance with another solid year.

2011 Stats: 4,051Yards, 21 Tds, 17 Ints and 84.5 RTG.

Must take the next step

10. Joe Flacco- Baltimore Ravens

The buzz around Baltimore is that Flacco needs to step up if he wants a long-term deal with the Ravens.

2011 Stats: 3,610 Yards, 20 Tds, 12 Ints and 80.9 RTG

9. Matt Ryan- Atlanta Falcons

At some point, Ryan needs to step up and translate his regular season performances into playoff wins.

2011 Stats: 4,177 Yards, 29 Tds, 12 Ints and 92.2 RTG.

Must stay healthy

8. Michael Vick- Philadelphia Eagles

Vick has struggled with injuries throughout his entire career but is still a top 10 quarterback when healthy.

2011 Stats: 3,303 Yards, 18 Tds, 14 Ints and 84.9 RTG.

7. Ben Roethlisberger- Pittsburgh Steelers

Despite having the same number of Super Bowl rings as Eli Manning, ‘Big Ben’ still isn’t a top 5 quarterback.

2011 Stats: 4,077 Yards, 21 Tds, 14 Ints and 90.1 RTG.

Just misses out on top 5

6. Philip Rivers- San Diego Chargers

Speaking of Super Bowl rings, Rivers needs to get a ring of his own before he can be considered elite.

2011 Stats: 4,624 Yards, 27 Tds, 20 Ints and 88.7 RTG.

Manning brothers

5. Eli Manning-New York Giants

Even after leading his team to another Super Bowl win, Eli is ranked below his big brother Peyton.

2011 Stats: 4,933 Yards, 29 Tds, 16 Ints and 92.9 RTG.

4. Peyton Manning- Denver Broncos

Peyton may be 36 years old, but the four time time MVP is still one of the best in the business.

2011 Stats: Missed last season (Neck Injury)

Recent Super Bowl MVPs

3. Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints

With his new contract, Bress is now set for the toughest season of his career without head coach Sean Payton.

2011 Stats: 5,476 Yards, 46 Tds, 14 Ints and 110.6 RTG.

2. Aaron Rodgers- Green Bay Packers

Rodgers may be be the reigning MVP, but he just misses out on my number 1 spot.

2011  Stats: 4,643 Yards, 45 Tds, 6 Ints and 122.5 RTG.

The best quarterback in the NFL is…

1. Tom Brady- New England Patriots

The 3 time Super Bowl Champion is still the best in the business and he’ll be aiming to get back to the Super Bowl once again in 2012.

2011 Stats: 5,235 Yards, 39 Tds, 12 Ints and 105.6 RTG.

So those are my starting quarterbacks rankings. The list wasn’t easy to put together but all the close close calls that had to be made were worth it in the end.

Did Eli not get the respect he deserves? Feel like your team’s quarterback get overrated/underrated?

Be sure to have your say in the comments section.

Follow @PodgeOH

Written by podgeoh92

August 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

Chad Johnson gets cut: Timeline of events and what’s next for #85?

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Chad Johnson Mugshot

It’s certainly been a wild couple of days in the life of Chad Johnson. Last Wednesday, I posted a Press Conference with Chad where he spoke in depth about the upcoming season was and how much he was looking forward to playing with the Dolphins. (https://mrnfl.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/chad-johnson-interview-nsfw/)

But just five days later, Johnson finds himself searching for a new team after he was cut for the second time in three months. (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000049035/article/chad-johnson-released-by-miami-dolphins-after-arrest?module=HP11_headline_stack)

Busy Summer

Chad Johnson

After being cut by the New England Patriots on June 7, it didn’t take Johnson long to find a new team. The Miami Dolphins signed him to a one-year deal on June 11th.

On July 24th, he changed his name back to Chad Johnson after going under the name Chad Ochocinco since August 2008. On July 4th, he married reality television star Evelyn Lozada. So after getting a fresh start with the Dolphins, his new marriage and his old name back you would think Chad was set for a big year right? Wrong.

  • Friday

Johnson played in his first preseason game with the Dolphins vs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His performance was highly underwhelming with 0 receptions in the game and he was targeted only once.

  • Saturday

One day after this game, he was arrested on a charge of domestic violence. Johnson reportedly headbutted his wife during a heated argument in their car. The argument is reported to have begun over a receipt for a box of condoms.

  • Sunday

He was released yesterday afternoon on $2,500 bond. The Dolphins were reportedly gathering evidence of the incident.

  • Today

The Dolphins decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to keep Chad and made the swift decision to cut him. Head coach Joe Philbin defended the move and also denied that it was a reactive decision to the arrest. (http://www.nfl.com/news/around-the-league?id=0ap2000000049173&module=HP11_headline_stack)

So what now?

Joe Philbin

Let’s look at what happened last season. As a member of the Patriots, Johnson posted career lows in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. All of this came on a team that featured the best quarterback in football in Tom Brady, as well as the best head coach in the NFL in Bill Belichick. Things couldn’t have went much worse for him in New England.

However, it was looking promising for Johnson and the Dolphins going into this season. With a projected starting wide receiver depth chart of: Davone Bess, Brian Hartline and Legudo Naanee; Johnson looked to be in prime position take over as their number 1 receiver. After an impressive training camp in which Johnson was reportedly showing flashes of returning to his best, everything was set for his revival with the Dolphins.

But after just one preseason game and the first arrest in his 11-year career, Chad won’t get his chance of revival in Miami and will now have to find a new team for 2012.

Possible Teams

Tim Tebow

The Jets are one of the first teams reported to be interested in signing Johnson (http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/08/13/remote-chance-jets-pursue-chad-johnson/). Although the Jets are lacking talent at wide receiver, this move appears highly unlikely as they have enough on their plate already with the Tim Tebow vs Mark Sanchez quarterback controversy that’s going on and don’t need anymore media distractions.

Whilst some have already been quick to debate whether or not Johnson will retire, I am certain he will continue his career and find a new team soon.

My prediction

Jerry Jones

If I had to go on on a limb a predict what team he will be playing for in 2012, I would pick the Dallas Cowboys.

  1. Outside of Miles Austin and Dez Bryant, the Cowboys receivers are highly inexperienced and so signing Chad fills a need at the position.
  2. Dez Bryant has had his fair share of legal trouble lately, (http://www.tmz.com/2012/07/23/dez-bryant-charged-assualt-dallas-cowboys/) and so a suspension could be forthcoming for the former Oklahoma State Cowboy.
  3. Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones is no stranger to controversy and so would be willing to take a risk on Johnson should he feel as though he could still make an impact.
  4. The Cowboys are playing in the NFC East which is perhaps the toughest division in football and so after struggling to a disappointing 8-8 record last season, they need more weapons if they are to make the Playoffs this season.
  5. Lastly, whether he lands with the Cowboys or not, Johnson will find a new team. In my opinion, Chad can still make an impact in the NFL and just like he said during his press conference on August 1st, “I’m fast as s****!”

Without a team and having been ordered by a judge to stay clear of his wife, he now has only his 3 million twitter followers for comfort. Whatever happens, I wish him the best moving forward. Chad Johnson to the Chargers anyone?

Follow @PodgeOH

Written by podgeoh92

August 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Posted in NFL

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Tim Tebow Gets Traded: 5 Roles he’ll play for the Jets

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Tim Tebow

Tebow time is officially over in Denver.

The Broncos have traded the quarterback to the New York Jets by sending a 7th round pick in exchange for a 4th and a 6th round pick in the upcoming draft.

This move is surprising given the fact that starting quarterback Mark Sanchez signed a three-year $20.5 million contract extension just nine days ago.

The most polarizing figure in the NFL will now be playing for the most outspoken and controversial head coach in the NFL. Tim Tebow and Rex Ryan could turn out to be a match made in heaven. (Pardon the religious pun but I couldn’t resist)

But what will his role be? Let’s find out.

Backup Quarterback

First and foremost, Tebow will serve as the Jets backup quarterback. Mark Sanchez is the Jets starting quarterback and the acquisition of Tebow doesn’t change that.

Although he hasn’t improved greatly since he became the starter back in his Rookie season, Sanchez is still growing as a quarterback and will look to improve his passing consistency next season.

Wildcat Quarterback

Similar to how the Jets used Brad Smith in seasons past, expect to see plenty of Tebow in the Jets wildcat formation. He has all the tools to be a success in the wildcat as a duel threat passer and runner.

Behind an offensive line that includes two Pro Bowlers in Nick Mangold and D’Brickashaw Ferguson, Tebow could help the Jets running game return to its best.

3rd Down Ball Carrier

The Jets struggled on third down last season and could look to Tebow to solve their problems. Tebow may be used as a converted running back/full back on third down and short yardage situations.

With a backfield already consisting of lead blocker John Conner and power back Shonn Greene, Tebow may become a type of hybrid H-back in the Jets offense.

Goal Line Option Passer

Despite his questionable passing ability, there is certainly no doubting his ability to run the ball. Tebow has ran for six touchdowns in each of his two seasons in the NFL. He can be effective near the goal line as both a passer and a runner.

Expect to see Tebow used as an option passer which he excelled at doing in college and has had limited success of doing in the NFL.

Spiritual Leader

It’s time to address the christian in the room. Tebow’s religious beliefs are well known and he is clearly a devout christian. Perhaps he could help fix the character issues that seemed to trouble the Jets locker room last season.

Just picture an inspirational pregame speech from Rex Ryan followed by a moment of spiritual prayer from Tim Tebow.

Note to HBO and NFL Films: Last season’s edition of Hard Knocks was cancelled due to the lockout but there can really only be one team in the running for the series this year.

The last time the Jets were on Hard Knocks Rex Ryan became a star and the series won an Emmy.

Throw Tebow into the mix and it could be in the running for an Oscar as a feature film.

HBO and NFL Films, you know what to do.

So those are my possible roles for Tebow with the Jets.

Follow me on twitter for further updates https://twitter.com/PodgeOH92

Thanks for reading.

Written by podgeoh92

March 21, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Posted in NFL

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