Well, well, well – Johnny Football is in the news. Again.
This time Johnny Manziel allegedly struck his ex-girlfriend several times during an incident at the Hotel ZaZa in downtown Dallas early Saturday morning. That news bit came out after an initial report of a simple dispute between the two.
(And now there is a report that Manziel threatened to kill her and himself!)
Now the Cleveland Browns are planning to release Manziel in March, when his cap figure will be lower. Given what he has done during his tenure with the Browns, I guess they’ve FINALLY had enough.
Why is it that everything this dude does is considered breaking news? Hell, why are we STILL paying attention to this guy? Have we all forgotten that Manziel is a backup quarterback for the Browns?
Not only should the Browns have cut Manziel’s ass a long time ago, I don’t think he has a future in the NFL. His priority should be getting the help he needs, not getting back onto the field.
Look, I’m not going to belabor the subject matter in this rant. Until he gets the help he needs, let’s stop with the Manziel madness. NOW!
Carolina Panthers vs. Denver Broncos
Two teams. Two great defensive teams.
While the second sentence would seemingly dictate a low-scoring game, Super Bowl 50 has the potential to be a high-scoring affair.
The Panthers’ secondary is the weak link on their top-5 defense. It has been the main culprit in blown leads this season (see the Giants game and the playoff game vs. the Seahawks for reference). The Broncos’ offense is not built to score a lot of points, and if they do not take care of the football vs. the Panthers’ opportunistic defense, look the hell out.
I think this game will be won in the trenches. If Carolina successfully stop Denver’s running game and make its offense one-dimensional, this game will be a blowout. It’s hard to believe that any team would dare Peyton Manning to beat it, but the Broncos do not want Peyton attempting more than 30 passes against THAT defense.
Similarly, the Broncos need to slow down the Panthers’ running game. It will be easier said than done with running back Jonathan Stewart and MVP candidate Cam Newton leading the way.
Newton feeds off of the running game in the forms of play-action and his own running abilities. The running game allows the passing lanes to open for Newton, giving him time to connect with a top-2 tight end in Greg Olsen, and an unheralded wide receiving core led by Ted Ginn, Jr.
And here is another element that will make Broncos fans cringe: Carolina’s defense is SO similar to Seattle’s in Super Bowl XLVIII. Both teams were strong in the trenches, had athletic linebackers, and could force turnovers and score off of them. And we all remembered what Seattle’s D did to Peyton and co. that night.
While I do not think it will be as bad as the “ass-whupping heard around the world” that night, I do think the Broncos will handled by the Panthers. That’s right America, Peyton Manning will not go out on top as we all would like… Panthers 27, Broncos 17.
Postseason record to date
Last week: 2-0
Right now, it doesn’t hurt to be Cameron Newton.
He led his Carolina Panthers to the best record in football during the regular season (15-1). He lit up two reputable defenses in the playoffs (Seattle and Arizona). And now he has his team on the doorstep of a Super Bowl championship.
You wouldn’t know it by all the hate Newton received from some fans and “experts” in the media.
Remember that open letter written by some chick in Tennessee after Cam and the Panthers dabbed on the Titans? How about that was followed up by ANOTHER open letter written by ANOTHER stupid fan (this time from Seattle) bitching about Newton tearing down a a “12th Man” flag at the end of the Panthers’ playoff win over the Seahawks – AT HOME.
That’s right, my man Newton got criticized by an opposing fan for tearing down her”12th Man” rag – that again, was flying at Newton’s HOME STADIUM – and tossing it aside. And I loved how much she wanted to guilt-trip Cam by saying how much it affected her cancer-stricken daughter.
And, I know this is a few years old now, but check out what former Bleacher Report writer Jim Folsom opined on Newton’s chances as a pro shortly after he was drafted. Here is a snippet of Folsom’s infinite wisdom at the time:
“Cam Newton is a sure-fire bust. I am so certain of this that if he is the Panthers’ starting quarterback in 2016, I will buy a Cam Newton jersey and stand in the stadium parking lot in my underwear when the Panthers come to Tampa Bay and hold a sign proclaiming that Auburn rules over Florida and Carolina rules over Tampa Bay.”
Look, even though Folsom later offered a mea culpa of sorts, it’s clear that Newton still has a legion of haters. Whether it’s for a perceived braggadocios attitude, the fact that he may be TOO handsome (lmao), or that good ‘ol racial element that those offending folks love to deny, it’s clear that Newton just can’t win.
But unfortunately for those haters, Newton might just cash this thing in. His team is 17-1 (counting the playoffs), he is spearheading the highest scoring team in the NFL. His Panthers are favored (and rightfully so) to win the Super Bowl. And get this, he may be the MVP of the Super Bowl and announce that he is going to Disneyland.
So sorry haters, can’t hate on Cam any more. Dude is here to stay, and he is only getting better.
Oh, and in case if you all are wondering if my man Folsom will live up to his promise, he has something for y’all:
Ah, seeing funny crap like this makes it such a great day to be a football fan…
New England Patriots at Denver Broncos. This is awesome. Tom Brady vs. Peyton Manning, Part 17. Sure, I know Brady has essentially owned Manning, especially in the playoffs. And yes, I know Manning’s arm is essentially a glorified noodle, while Brady is STILL going strong. And yes, the Patriots are favored by many to win this game.
So why should we still watch?
The Broncos have the best defense in football. It’s always fascinating to watch the best D in the NFL go against one of the most efficient offenses, especially with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Brady essentially uses the short passing games as runs, with Julian Edelman at times turning 4 yard slants into 12-yard gains. And of course there is the “Gronk factor”. Rob Gronkowski cannot be stopped, he can only be contained. Just how the Broncos’ D can contain him is a huge key.
As much as I would love to see Manning pull out a win that would make the ultimate redemption story, many people do not think it will happen.
But I do.
The Pats had key personnel on defense leave last week’s game and not return. If they do not have the horses to stop Denver’s running game and Demaryius Thomas, it’s going to be a long day for the Pats.
Look for the Broncos do enough on offense and defense to help send Manning to the Super Bowl in what may be his last season. It will be a beauty to watch… Broncos 20, Patriots 17.
Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers. This may be considered the undercard of the two conference championship matchups, but this is still intriguing to me. This is another classic “great offense (Cardinals) vs. great defense (Panthers)” matchup.
The biggest question to me is how Arizona’s high-octane offense will perform in the harsh cold environment in Charlotte. Lots of snow fell in Charlotte from the blizzard that is smacking the hell out of the east coast, and the temperature of the game will be in the 30s.
We all know the Panthers’ D will come out to play, but will they be able to hold a lead THIS time with a Super Bowl berth on the line? Will Cam Newton put on a show that validates his MVP award?
I think the Panthers will win this game, on the strength of them playing at home. It will be a good one, but man home-field advantage is something else… Panthers 24, Cardinals 20.
Postseason record to date
Last week: 4-0
I never expected Chip Kelly to coach in the NFL again. Not after that debacle he was responsible for in Philadelphia.
During his tenure as head coach of the Eagles, Kelly managed to alienate everyone: the fans, players, front office, and ultimately ownership.
It’s not like Kelly forgot how to coach. He won 20 games his first two years with the Eagles.
Two things did Kelly in: his poor job as a general manager and his inability to get along with others.
He couldn’t get along with star WR Desean Jackson and star RB LeSean McCoy. So what did Kelly do? Cut Jackson and traded McCoy for a tomato can.
He also back-stabbed personnel dude Howie Roseman in the back in order to attain more power in personnel decisions. Kelly also managed to piss off owner Jeff Lurie for asking the owner to reschedule the annual organization’s Xmas party, all because he “had to work”.
So the obvious question is now this. Since Kelly managed to jack up the scene in Philly, how in the hell would he co-exist with San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke?
As surprised as I was when I found out Kelly WOULD be coaching in the NFL again, I was doubly surprised that it was the Niners. Weren’t the aforementioned Niners’ owner and GM the same cats who ran off another polarizing coach in Jim Harbaugh, mainly because Harbaugh could not play nice with others?
While I am eagerly awaiting for the ultimate crap show to begin in San Francisco, I will give Kelly this: incumbent QB Colin Kaepernick may be a better fit for Kelly’s offensive scheme. Kaep gives Kelly the dual run-pass threat needed for his system to succeed.
Now if Kelly turns Kaep’s career around, it may well be worth it for Niners fans. It’s just the other egotistical part of the Kelly equation that I am the most concerned about.
Color me shocked.
That was I felt upon learning that the Indianapolis Colts decided to retain and signed head coach Chuck Pagano to a four-year extension yesterday. I was even more shocked after I learned that the team did the same for general manager Ryan Grigson.
So let’s see, the Colts decided to keep two dudes who not only were considered lame ducks before yesterday. They decided to keep two dudes who absolutely, positively do not like each other.
However, as I pondered the absurdity of the moves, it all made sense after I traced it back to the source: Jim Irsay.
The Colts’ owner fancies himself as the center of the football universe, and craves being the star of his own show. Kinda like a frustrated rock star, if you will.
And what does an owner like Irsay do when he wants to create some buzz? Do something crazy like retain two lame ducks in Pagano and Grigson who cannot stand each other.
Those two guys who were on the verge of losing their jobs – rightfully so in Grigson’s case. Grigson brought in some old dudes and refused to draft offensive and defensive linemen that would have helped Indianapolis immensely – the former would have helped Andrew Luck’s health.
While I am happy for Pagano (who by all accounts is a great guy) being retained, I hate this pairing with Grigson.
And I really hate that Pagano was left twisting in the wind by Irsay himself. I mean, what owner lets his coach go through the season in the last year of his contract? Given how often lame ducks fail, Pagano was not set up to succeed at all this season.
But Pagano toughed it out through the various injuries his team suffered. After all, they call him #Chuckstrong for a reason.
Again, good for Pagano. I just think that he deserves a better owner than Irsay.
My FINAL NFL top 10 teams heading into the postseason:
1) Carolina Panthers
2) Denver Broncos
3) Cincinnati Bengals
4) Arizona Cardinals
5) New England Patriots
6) Kansas City Chiefs
7) Minnesota Vikings
8) Seattle Seahawks
9) Pittsburgh Steelers
10) Washington Redskins
Yeah, that’s right: no Green Bay Packers in my top 10. Not after last night’s game. AND they are underdogs in Washington. Deal with it…
In the meantime, it’s been one hell an NFL season y’all!!!