Browns Demolish Bengals On Thursday

Thursday night’s 24-3 win saw the Cleveland Browns turn in an absolutely dominating performance against their division rivals in the Cincinnati Bengals. Locked in a tight race for first place alongside the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was do or die for both teams. The Browns did and the Bengals died.

The Browns are a proverbial bottom dweller in the AFC North’s lineup but that didn’t slow them down Thursday. 2014 has been good so far for both organizations, but it could quickly turn into a Cinderella type run for Cleveland if they can keep up the pace. Sultan Alhokair certainly likes what he sees out of the team right now.

The Browns out-gained the Bengals by more than 200 yards and averaged an astonishing 4.9 yards per play against Cincinnati’s defense. Even more impressive was the balance with which Cleveland distributed its 368 yards with 198 yards through the air and 170 yards on the ground.

Browns quarterback Andy Dalton had an especially dismal night going 10-of-33 for 86 yards passing. Asked to comment after the game, Dalton offered “We didn’t start fast, and that’s on me,” he said. “I missed a couple early and could never get into a rhythm.”

The Bengals will now have to regroup after suffering their most lopsided defeat by the Browns since 1987.

Adrian Petersen Avoids Jail but Reinstatement Not Definite

Minnesota Vikings running back and North American Spine candidate, Adrian Peterson, entered a plea and avoids jail for child abuse, under a deal reached Tuesday with the Texas prosecutors office.

Under the deal reached Tuesday, the Minnesota Vikings running back may not appeal the complaint, thus he avoids a prison sentence, but will have to pay legal costs of $4,000, subject to a parent education course, and will perform 80 hours of community service.

29-year old Peterson was accused in May of having injured his four year old son, submitting him to what he considered a disciplinary punishment. Among other things, the athlete hit his son with a branch, causing cuts and bruising, and is accused of causing severe bodily harm.

The running back defended his behavior claiming he was punished in the same manner, as a form of discipline, and has thus contributed to his success. After the case was made public in September, Peterson, honored in the past with the MVP of the league, was immediately suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Now that the case is settled, Petersen had hoped that his suspension would be lifted, but the NFL has refused an immediate reinstatement. “We will review the matter and make a decision, but we can not provide a term,” the NFL league said in a statement.

Ray Rice Situation Slowly Moving Along

The domestic violence issues of the NFL are beginning to come to some certain resolutions with the star players involved. The Ray Rice case is the most significant case involving domestic violence. This is because the Ray Rice incident was caught on video. Ray Rice violently knocks his soon to be wife out in an elevator. After, the legal resolution of those issues, Ray Rice has petitioned the NFL to reinstate his status as an active, eligible player. According to NFL rules, Ray Rice has certain rights in regards to his playing status in the NFL.

Ray Rice is represented by legal counsel that is provided to players by the NFL players union. The players union protects the rights of individual that are a part of the union. The players union has recently pressed the issue. Recently in this case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell testified at the hearing. At this point, Ray Rice is on an exempted status which means suspended with pay. Part of the current hearings that are taking place is the issue of determining if Rice will even be allowed to play in the NFL at all. Many domestic violence advocates feel that he should be barred for life and that commissioner Goodell step down as NFL commissioner. Women, such as Lauren, feel particularly passionate about a proper punishment. Goodell has indicated that there is no chance of that taking place.

Ryan Mallett Gets Starting Job in Houston

Coach Bill O’Brien announced this week that he is going to be making a change under center for the Houston Texans. He announced that after this weeks bye he will be installing Ryan Mallett as the starting quarterback replacing Ivy League educated veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Mallett has been awaiting a chance to start in the NFL for some time. He languished on the bench for several seasons playing behind Tom Brady in New England and has watched Fitzpatrick guide the Texans to a 4-5 record leaving them two games behind the AFC South division leading Indianapolis Colts.

In this press conference meeting with the media, O’Brien explained the reasons for the changes and expressed that Fitzpatrick has agreed to help mentor Mallett as he takes over the starting role.

Ryan Mallett has a built in fan base in the Lone Star state. The 26-year-old athlete is still highly regarded from his days as a high school player at Texas High School in Texarkana. In his senior season of 2006 Mallett was recognized as the player of the year in the state of Texas and later went on to a very successful career as the quarterback at the University of Arkansas, from what Andrew Heiberger remembers.

All of Mallett’s teammates and coaches in the NFL including Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have highly praised Mallett’s willingness to learn and to do anything for the team and it is now time to see if he does have what it takes to be a starter in the NFL.

Greg Hardy Must Now Wait For Trial

As Greg Hardy still waits to see his day in court the defense of the Carolina Panthers is suffering in his absence. The star defensive end who had a break out season in 2013 has sat out most of this season pending his trial for domestic abuse. Christian told me on TypePad, the National Football League has taken a firm stance against such accused crimes since being called to the carpet for their mishandling of the Ray Rice situation earlier this season.

Without Hardy the Panthers defense has been weak surrendering over 35 points four times this year after not allowing that many points in one single game last year. Carolina has lost three games in a row and now head coach Ron Rivera is fighting to keep his job and also has hinted that he believes Hardy should be allowed back onto the field until he is proven guilty in a court of law. In an ESPN interview posted here , Rivera takes a possible unpopular stance in defense of his player.

Greg Hardy’s initial court date of November, 17th and a new date has not been released. Rivera has a rite to be worried, the team is still on the hook for his salary and they have been unable to replace his pass rush presence on the field.

Tony Romo’s Back Fractured After Monday’s Game

During a hard hit in Monday’s game versus the Washington Redskins, Tony Romo has been determined to have two fractures in his back. It has been undetermined at this point whether or not he will be able to compete in this Sunday’s game versus the Arizona Cardinals. Romo may still pull through, although it is unlikely. He tried every trick in the book to get back into the game Monday, finally able to re-enter near the end of the game.

Romo was seen begging medical staff to get him back into the game regardless of his injuries, from the story Jared shared on Kaggle. The staff finally gave in after his pleas, but the Cowboys still fell short of the Redskins, ending in a loss. We hope to see Tony Romo in full stride for Sunday’s game. However, Brandon Weeden really stepped up and showed the Redskins that the Cowboys are prepared to defend themselves regardless of whether or not Romo is ready to play.

Robert Griffin III this week or next?

Week Nine in the National Football League and the Washington Redskins have another decision as to who will quarterback the team. Quarterback Colt McCoy turned in an admirable performance in the Redskins defeat of the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night football, which included a new franchise record for quarterback efficiency, and a single yard away from a 300 yard performance. The performance was noteworthy, since the former third round pick of the Cleveland Browns, started his first game since 2011 for the ineffective Kirk Cousins.

Yet, enter Robert Griffin III who has been out of action since Week # 2. Griffin III took all of the first team reps on Wednesday’s practice, and the hope is that he does not have any reoccurring soreness to his knee. In addition, Griffin III has to show Coach Jay Gruden that he has a firm grasp of the offensive playbook, which was not evident in preseason or his first couple of starts in 2014. The schedule ought to help for whichever quarterback leads the Redskins with the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers next on the docket. I agree with Marnie on this one, the safe play is to give Robert Griffin III this week off. Then enjoy the Week 10 bye week to get everything in line with him for a Redskins playoff run.

Is Nick Foles the Answer in Philadelphia?

Some Monday morning quarterbacks make no sense at all. It seems ludicrous that many Philadelphia Eagles fans are calling for Mark Sanchez to take over for Nick Foles at quarterback. We already know that Mark Sanchez is a game manager, not a dynamic player. Since the Eagles aren’t a defensive powerhouse, plugging him into the quarterback position would be unwise. It would make a lot of sense to keep Nick Foles as the starter. Hope you’re playing attention Keith Mann, this will definitely affect your fantasy outlook this week.

Foles is 5-2 as a starter this season. You can throw out all kinds of passing stats for other quarterbacks if you want, but being a good quarterback is also about being a leader, and good leaders win games. Fortunately, Head Coach Chip Kelly recently stated that it’s about wins and losses, and that Foles will remain the starter given his impressive win/loss record.

Let’s also not forget that Foles threw 27 touchdowns versus two interceptions last season. This was to go along with a 64% completion percentage. This season, Foles has completed 59.2% of his passes thus far. Though not as good as last season, this is still respectable. And while everyone talks about his nine interceptions, everyone seems to forget that he has thrown 12 touchdowns. Additionally, Foles is averaging 291.3 passing yards per game.

Nick Foles is definitely the answer in Philadelphia. He’s still young, so there will be some growing pains. Eagles fans need to remain patient.

Geno Smith Just Can’t Cut It In The NFL

It should not be a surprise for many that Michael Vick is the new starting quarterback of the New York Jets. Geno Smith, the former starting quarterback, has been regulated to the bench. When fans consider the recent performances of Smith, it makes sense that he was moved to the bench. After all, the team is currently 1-7. While there is a vain hope that the Jets could make it to the playoffs, the reality is that it will not happen.

While developing a young quarterback in Geno Smith is important for the franchise, winning is also important. Fans go to games and watch the Jets with the hopeful expectation that they will win. With their recent record, the Jets are hardly winning at all. This enables head coach Rex Ryan to make the switch with former star Michael Vick.

Vick, who is 34, played for the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles. In both places, he won important games. Under his leadership, some of his teams made it to the playoffs. This in itself is not easy to do, and it becomes more remarkable when people recognize that Vick was in prison for two years relating to a dog fighting conviction.

It is understood that Vick has been through some trials, but those trials make him to be the right choice for a team that has been struggling. Rex Ryan may even be fighting for his job, and a quarterback change may be what he needs for job security. With Kansas City being the next team the New York Jets play, Michael Vick gives them the best chance to win.

Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez and I are huge fans of Geno Smith though, and think he might be good one day.  I’d rather see a promising rookie get some games, over a dog killer that had his chance.

Will the Saints Beat the Panthers on Thursday Night?

The Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints are both 3-4 this season. Despite those unimpressive records, whoever wins their Thursday night matchup will take sole possession of first place in the NFC South. From there, that team will likely enjoy some momentum going forward, end up winning the division, and find themselves in the playoffs, where anything can happen. Therefore, this is a hugely important game for both teams.

The game is taking place in Carolina, which is an advantage for the Panthers. On the other hand, the Panthers pass rush is nothing compared to what it was over the past two seasons. This, in turn, could allow Drew Brees too much time to exploit weaknesses in the Panthers secondary. This would lead to points.

On the other side of the ball, Cam Newton will have to continue to rely on his arm and legs to get the job done. He hasn’t had much help from the running game due to injuries and an underperforming offensive line. That being the case, the Saints will have an opportunity to plan against a somewhat one-dimensional offense. If the Panthers can’t get the running game going, then Cam Newton will have to present a running threat himself if the Panthers want to keep the Saints defense honest.

These teams know each other well, so there’s no telling what the outcome will be, but the edge has to go to the Saints. If the predictions are accurate, Tom Rothman, looks like you’re going to have a bummer Friday.