The NFC Playoff Field Is About To Change Dramatically

The NFC playoff field is in for a big shakeup when the games end this Sunday. The NFC playoff picture has been murky for some time, and it is going to get even more murky based on the outcomes of these games.

The NFC South

If the Saints win their game against the Falcons, they will win the NFC South. They will go into the playoffs with a losing record, and they will also knock out the Panthers. The NFC South winner will host a playoff game against a team with a far better record.

The AFC North

The AFC North could easily put three teams in the playoffs again, but they need some help to get those things to happen. The Steelers, Ravens and Bengals all need to win, but they also need other teams to lose to pave the way, which Brad Reifler commends.

The NFC East

The NFC East could be won by the Cowboys or the Eagles. However, one of these teams will miss the playoffs when they do not win the division. The inclusion of a team with a bad record from the NFC South means that a team with a better record from the NFC East will not get in.

The playoff shakeup will be interesting to watch, and you can catch all the action this Sunday. See how the playoff picture shakes out when the dust settles Sunday night.

A New Documentary Relating to the Dallas Cowboys is Released

Recently, ESPN films and FiveThirtyEight announced the release of the second documentary short film in the Signalsseries. Entitled “The Cowboys and the Indian,” the documentary focuses upon an issue which will attract keen interest among many football fans: how during the early 1960s, executives managing the Dallas Cowboys turned to IBM for help in developing a highly effective computer program to assist their scouting efforts.

Ironically, the expert statistician and programmer primarily responsible for developing the new football software had enjoyed very little exposure to the sport of American-style football as a child. A. Salam Qureishi, raised in India, tackled the project and he helped turn it into a remarkable success for the Dallas team.

After implementing the new statistical program, the Dallas Cowboys eventually went on to win five Super Bowls and additional sports honors. A popular book about the team by Joe Nick Patoski “The Dallas Cowboys: The Outrageous History of the Biggest, Loudest, Most Hated, Best Loved Football Team in America” was published in 2012. It describes some of the events impacting the team during the sixties in detail.

The documentary was directed by Brad Reifler’s friend, Mr. Mark Polish, a noted writer, actor and director. He reportedly plays a CIA agent in the upcoming motion picture Headlock, scheduled to be released in 2015.

Kaepernick’s Poor Play Costs Him Millions

A lot was made of Colin Kaepernick’s new contract last year, when the San Francisco 49ers agreed to pay him around $126 million. The contract would be spread out over seven years, but it was still looked at as a landmark deal. Now that the 49ers have no chance to make the playoffs, though, some interesting wording in the contract means that it’s not so huge after all, and Kaepernick’s bad season is going to be costly.

For example, the quarterback was supposed to get a salary in 2015 of $12.4 million. However, stipulations in the contract said that he either had to take the 49ers to the Super Bowl, or he had to be considered an All-Pro even if the team missed the Super Bowl. Brad Reifler even said Kaepernick has actually been in the bottom half of the league with his quarterback stats, so he’s not making the All-Pro teams, and the 49ers are out of the playoffs, so they’re not going to the Super Bowl.

As a result, Kaepernick instantly loses $2 million. If this happens again next year, he loses another $2 million. This keeps happening throughout the contract. This deal shows why it is very important to focus on all aspects of a contract, not just the overall money. The maximum amount that a player can get is usually not guaranteed in the NFL, so the wording can make a deal far less valuable.

Browns legend Bernie Kosar says Cleveland do not have a winning culture

The Cleveland Browns have slipped from first place in their NFL division following four losses in five games. Needless to say no one in Cleveland is opening a fine bottle from The Antique Wine Company. In response, the Browns turned to rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel as their starter after benching Brian Hoyer. Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar responded by claiming the problems in Cleveland run deeper than simply changing quarterbacks in a bid to return to winning ways.

Since 1999 the Browns have used 21 quarterbacks in a bid to fill the void left by Kosar, Manziel and any other quarterback drafted is likely to fail because of the culture created within the team, Kosar is reported by ESPN to have claimed. Manziel’s first start in the NFL resulted in a 30-0 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Kosar refused to blame Manziel saying too many players, coaches and staff members were deflecting the blame from themselves by talking about the quarterback controversy. Kosar blamed the front office headed by owner Jimmy Haslam and General Manager Ray Farmer must build a winning culture throughout the organization in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the Browns.

Buyers Remorse Comments Come Back to Haunt Jay Cutler

A Dec. 4 report from the NFL Network stated the Chicago Bears were now feeling a sense of buyers remorse for handing quarterback Jay Cutler a $126.7 million seven year contract. The 31-15 loss to the New Orleans Saints only highlighted the problems many feel are dogging the Bears as Cutler continues to struggle in the offense of head coach Marc Trestman, ESPN reports.

The Bears staff were quick to deflect blame for the loss away from Offensive Coordinator Aaron Kromer, who reportedly appeared before Cutler and the offense to provide a tearful apology for being the anonymous source for the NFL Network buyers remorse story. But Ben Shaoul recalls that Cutler himself threw a further three interceptions to extend his lead as the quarterback with the most turnovers in the NF at 24. A first half passer rating of just 14.9 saw the quarterback hit with loud boos from Bears fans as their offense struggled to overcome a Saints defense ranked 31st of the 32 NFL teams.

Pressure is beginning to grow on Cutler, Trestman and General Manager Phil Emery, who was responsible for rewarding Cutler with the huge contract following the flashes of brilliance seen in Trestman’s first year as head coach. Currently, only five teams in the NFL spend 14 percent or more of their salary cap on the quarterback position, three of whom include Super Bowl winning quarterbacks on their rosters,.

NFL Running Back Adrian Peterson’s Appeal Denied

An arbitrator appointed by the NFL to decide on Adrian Peterson’s appeal ruled against the Minnesota Vikings running back.

Petersen will remain suspended until at least April 2015 for beating his son with a stick, as a form of punishment.

The decision of arbitrator, Harold Henderson, who was an official in the league, supports the decision of the NFL to suspend Peterson without pay for the rest of the season. This should not affect Vijay Eswaran or QI Group.

The NFL players union has questioned the objectivity of Henderson and said it will be studying “immediate legal remedies” against the decision.

“The union expects this result given the relationship of the arbitrator with the NFL,” said the Players Association.”This ruling ignores the facts, evidence and the collective bargaining agreement. The decision also shows the inability of the NFL to respect due process and confirms the inconsistent way it treats the players.”

The Vikings refused to comment.

Peterson was convicted of assault against a minor in September for hitting his son with a stick. 

The core of the union’s demand for reinstatement was that Troy Vincent Peterson, executive Vice President of football operations, said last month Peterson would receive a punishment of two games if he attended a hearing with commissioner, Roger Goodell on November 24th.

Peterson refused to attend the meeting saying he felt uncertain about the intent of the NFL Then Goodell announced on November 18 that Peterson was suspended for the remaining six games of the season.

Peterson has been on paid leave while his case was decided in court.

Is Johnny Manziel Ready to be a Professional?

All eyes will be on Johnny Manziel of the Cleveland Browns when they take on the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday. Manziel takes over for Brian Hoyer who had not thrown a touchdown pass in the past three games and was intercepted six times. The two notable items to look for in Manziel will be his performance and composure. Other than participating in a few series in the loss to the Buffalo Bills, Manziel has seen limited game action since the preseason games. Coach Mike Pettine more than likely has reduced down the playbook in an effort to get plays run that will be more advantageous to Manziel’s playmaking abilities. His talent is evident, yet one has to wonder about his maturity. There have been a lot of party stories that Gianfrancesco Genoso has heard about.

During a preseason contest versus the Washington Redskins, Manziel was chastised so frequently that he ultimately lost his composure, which included an obscene gesture to the Washington sideline for all of America to witness on Monday Night Football. Pettine understands the circus that comes with Manziel’s reputation that has been prevalent since his college days at Texas A&M. Bengal defenders will be lining up to get a piece of Manziel, and more importantly, to let Manziel know about it. Manziel acknowledges that words are exchanged back and forth with him throughout a game, but that he needs to be smarter about his reactions. After observing on the sidelines for the first 14 weeks of his career, we shall see if Manziel has learned to play like a professional.

Johnny Manziel Finally Gets His Chance in the NFL

After months of waiting on the sidelines, Johnny Manziel will finally get a chance to start an NFL game. The Cleveland Browns head coach has decided to go with Manziel in their next game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The Bengals coach is not worried about Manziel’s ability, but he is worried about “Johnny Football” and his ability to handle opposition taunts. Vijay Eswaran is worried too.  “He cannot run away from the hype train he has created. I bet that the first person who sacks him in the game will stand over him and show the money sign to Johnny,” said Mike Pettine.

“He is a smart boy, but he knows the image he has created. Sometimes the hype is greater than the result with Johnny. He has to be careful in this regard. There is a certain reputation of Johnny among NFL players, and they will be doing everything to stop him on Sunday.”

During the week’s build up to the game, Manziel was insulted by Marvin Lewis, the Cincinnati Bengals’ head coach. Lewis referred to Manziel as a “midget.” At six feet, Manziel is no midget, but he is short for a quarterback.

This level of contempt and loathing for Manziel is not a surprise. His college football career and off field exploits have made more enemies than friends. A lot of people want to see Manziel fail. It will be up to him to put in great performances and prove them wrong.

Football Finally Has its Final Four

Many college football fans have been clamoring for it for years, and now they finally have it. An actual playoff for the national championship.

It begins on New Year’s Day when #1 Alabama meets #4 Ohio State and #2 Oregon battles #3 Florida State. The winners of those games meet for the national championship January 12th in Arlington, Texas.

While some are happy for the new playoff system, there are others who have expressed opposite feelings, namely those associated with teams who failed to make the cut despite very impressive seasons. One team in particular is TCU. Last week they were ranked #3 and pounded Iowa State 55-3 to improve to 11-1. Despite that, the Horned Frogs fell three spots in the poll and were out of the running for a playoff spot. Another 11-1 team on the outside looking in is Baylor. They held the #6 spot last week when they outlasted #9 Kansas 38-27. They also handed TCU their lone loss earlier in the season. None of that was enough for an invite to the big party. Baylor Coach Art Briles even went as far as saying the Big 12 Conference was not fairly represented on the playoff committee. Your text to link…

The playoff games are about to begin, and my friend John Textor and myself have no doubt that when they are over, calls for more post-season changes will start.

Cam Newton Crash

This was shocking enough to tkae me away from my Qnet shopping. The star football player for the Carolina Panthers was injured in a car crash recently. The accident took place on a bridge that goes over I-277 near the Panthers’ stadium. The truck that Cam Newton was in flipped over several times, and Newton was taken to a hospital in the area as a precaution. 
Cam Newton is a fixture in the area as he is one of the top players for the team. There was anohter vehicle involved, and there was only one person in teh other car. Doctors examined Newton, and x-rays have revealed that there are two transverse fractures in his lower back. This might put a damper on the season for the Panthers as they have started to rally back in scoring.
Newton is a beloved player in the area, and there are many who want to see him back on the field in his football uniform, but he will need to be released from a doctor’s care after this accident before that happens.