R-E-L-A-X #AaronRodgers is just good not great

aaron rodgers and brett favreFor nearly five years Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been hailed as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. The same dude who couldn’t beat out the legend who threw the most interceptions in NFL history in three failed attempts is now thought of as an eventual inductee into the NFL Hall of Fame.

However, the Rodgers hype does not match the resume. After only one Lombardi trophy it seems that all rational and reason has gone out the window. With each Packers win the Rodgers love affair has gotten moreaaron rodgers and mike mccarthy and more out of hand. The early round playoff exits and the poor decision making in clutch moments have been ignored by the masses year in and year out. The criticisms are deflected onto others not named Rodgers on a regular basis.

However, if things do not improve and I mean quick Rodgers may be demoted from great to a very good player and eventually to average which may mean no Hall of Fame. Like a lot of past players, Rodgers has had some good years however greatness is defined by consistent dominance in spite of age, systems, injuries and weapons. True greatness does not rely on the play of others but instead raises the level of play of those around them. That’s how Tom Brady and Drew Brees stamped their tickets to Canton, by winning in spite of their team’s glaring deficiencies.

This season Rodgers has gotten exposed, without wideout Jordy Nelson, the highest paid quarterback in the league has looked rather pedestrian. In spite of the poor play recognition, errand throws, and poor decision making no one has dared to consider that Rodgers may not be all that rodgers sackedgreat. The Lambeau faithful have blamed everyone but ’12’. After each loss the  fans and pundits blamed a different position group. One week it was a poor o-line; another week it was wideouts; and so on and so on. Since Coach McCarthy has now taken over the play calling, there is no one else to blame but ’12’. If Rodgers truly needs Nelson to be great maybe he is not great after all. Maybe Rodgers is just a product of great system. Maybe Nelson or Coach McCarthy should get the bust in Canton instead of him.

aaron rodgers relaxRodgers legacy will be on the line when the Packers travel to D.C.  for the first round of the playoffs. If Rodgers makes another early first round exit then his days of being a bad man are all but over and the chants of him being overrated will grow louder.  Have we seen the last of that bad man? Or is there still fight in him yet? R-E-L-A-X Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

 

 

 

Upset Sunday

Typically upsets are reserved for college sports but clearly Week 16 of the NFL season was the exception. The Pros and Joes in Vegas clearly had no idea about the mayhem that ensued on Football Sunday. The Atlanta Falcons who have been the epitome of bi-polar both excited and infuriated dirty-bird nation after their win over once undefeated Carolina Panthers. Falcons led by a tenacious no name defense made Cam Newton looking anything but Super. The Panthers potent offense was stifled one drive after the next. On offense, Julio Jones outmuscled Panthers corner Josh Norman and Devonta Freeman had Luke Kuechly grasping for air. Although the Falcons still have a glimmer of playoff hope their fan base is again left wondering for the umteenth year what could have been.

In the midwest the Saint Louis Rams continued to be a tough out for their bitter division rival the Seattle Seahawks. The Rams continue to be good enough to win games but not bad enough to finally solve their quarterback needs. Led by the best defensive line a squad can draft the Seahawks running game was so putrid that Beast Mode would not have stood a chance. Since the Rams have been eliminated from the playoffs contention for weeks, they are simply playing for pride.

The heart that the Baltimore Ravens showed in out hustling the high octane Steelers was truly a thing of beauty. Led by a roster full of journeymen the Ravens fought on when most would have folded. The savviness of Ozzie Newsome’s eye for talent was on full display. No Joe Flacco. No Justin Forsett. No Terrell Suggs. In spite of these losses Coach Harbaugh should be commended for his efforts, due injuries the Ravens have built depth that will yield them a high draft pick and huge dividends in 2016.

The only team decimated more by injuries than the Ravens are the New England Patriots. So the fact that the Patriots lost was not much of a surprise and the fact two more Pats went down with serious injuries has unfortunately become expected. But with a depth chart decimated by injuries the Patriots have an excuse, the same can not be said about the Panthers, Steelers, and Seahawks. Clearly, these teams left their hard hats at home and though they would get a ‘W’ by just showing up. Proverbs 6:18 says pride comes before the fall, next week we will find out how far each team has fallen. A Playoff spot? Home field advantage? Stay tuned… I know I will – A.Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

#DezBryant has led, will the Dallas #Cowboys continue to follow?

cowboys miss playoffsToo the joy of the many who detest the Dallas Cowboys the most, America’s team has been all but irrelevant for ten consecutive postseasons. In fact, Cowboy fans have grown accustomed to witnessing great starts fizzle into disappointing finishes.

Many probably thought history was repeating itself after the Cowboys took a 21-0 and somehow surrendered 24 unanswered points to division rival Philadelphia Eagles. Too the surprise of many, the Cowboys fought back going on a run of their own led by an overachieving defense that finally showed up.

Despite the impressive win, Cowboy fans and even team owner Jerry Jones remain dez bryant heartcautious and are reluctant because they refuse to be heartbroken again. However, led by emotional lighting rod Dez Bryant there appears to be hope. Bryant’s passion and love for the game has fueled the Cowboys during its darkest hours. Although his antics on the sideline have been misconstrued by the media, his rallying cries haven not fallen on death ears.

Bryant has single handedly willed his team to victory, and there is no reason to think that his season of dominance against double and triple coverage won’t continue. Bryant may not be they guy you would want your daughter today, but he is certainly the guy that you can count on delivering in the clutch.

dez bryantIf these winning ways continue remember it was not due to the modicum of inconsistency, Tony Romo or even the NFL’s leading rusher Demarco Murray but that unstoppable force that gives defenders nightmares, Dez Bryant. Although missing and unaccounted for in the league MVP discussion, there is no question he’s the Cowboy’s most important player.Bryant has rescued the Cowboys from the brink of mediocrity, the only question is will they continue to follow? Stay tuned…I know I will.

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

GMs Beware Prospects May not Appear as Good as they Seem

nfl draft bustEach year in the NFL Draft there are three constants: (1) Prospects declare and go undrafted; (2) Can’t Miss prospects plummet down draft boards; and (3) and a darkhorse prospect will emerge . And this year is no different with a record 102 underclassmen declaring for the 2014 NFL Draft Round 1 – 7 will be mired in uncertainty. Gone are the days of sure fire locks, the pool of can’t miss prospects grows smaller and smaller each year with very little separating a first round pick from a second day pick.  And this year is apparently do different after linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive end Jedeveon Clowney, wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and offensive tackle Jake Matthews, there is a considerable drop off.

Despite these gaps separating the elite from the rest occurs every year, diamonds must be uncovered, future Hall of Famers, perennial Pro Bowlers must be found. 252 players will hear their name called on draft day, and the fortunes and fate of 32 NFL teams will hang in the balance. If rebuildyour favorite franchise screws up, there is always next year. Which prospect will have their future general manager in the unemployment line? Which prospect will outshine all those picked before him and get a over worked  and underpaid scout a much needed well deserved promotion to the front office?

Since Men Lie, Women Lie, and Numbers Don’t I believe any team that selects Michigan Offensive Tackle Taylor Lewan would be making a grave mistake. Although his combine numbers were amazing 2 arrests one for sexual assault and a DUI conjures up thoughts of Richie Incognito whose character concerns cost him his job.

And anyone who told you size don’t matter, then they were lying or just trying to be nice. Because the razzle and dazzle of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel will certainly shock and vick rodgers and manzielamaze but will he survive an NFL season. RGIII, Mike Vick, and Aaron Rodgers struggles with staying healthy during their careers and none have finished a NFL season unscathed as of yet. If Ben Roethlisberger whose 6’5 250 can’t seem to stay healthy, does the Manziel mighty-mite who thinks run first really stand a chance?

With all due respect to the might Trojans of USC, history would suggest avoiding their wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs at all cost. They never live up to expectations and always disappoint, Marqise Lee may be the exception but history would suggest otherwise.

GM far too often find themselves so love struck with potential that they overlook that patients is notusc curse a virtue in the NFL, especially on defense. Although UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr and Notre Dame DL duo Louis Nix and Stephen Tuitt may actually one day get it, GMs must ask themselves if it will be under their watch or after they have been fired.

Terms like game manager, NFL ready, and rotation player may not be flashy titles bestowed upon premiere playmakers and game changers. But they could be the one to make that shoe string tackle, decisive deflection, or special teams play. At the end of the day these are the guys beer goggleswho make the difference between winning and losing. Screw what they ran in the forty and screw what school they came from! The players mentioned may prove me wrong, but history suggests otherwise, so LIKE BEER GOGGLES buyers beware prospects may not appear as good as they seem.

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

Hoops Hardwood & Gridiron Dilemmas 03/11 by eat drink sleep sports | Sports Podcasts

 

G8t Listen: 32 Teams 32 Blueprints for success  Which #NFL team has won #NFLFreeAgency so far?? Wats wrong with the #IndianaPacers? Should #JoelEmbiid miss #MarchMadness? Tune in4 that and more http://tobtr.com/s/6046965

Hoops Hardwood & Gridiron Dilemmas 03/11 by eat drink sleep sports | Sports Podcasts.

Super Bowl XLVIII: Who wins? Defense or League MVP

richard sherman and peyton manningOffense sales tickets, defense wins championships. Although regular seasons are often highlighted by big plays and high scoring affairs, the postseason has proven time and time again to be a totally different animals. Teams with high-powered offenses may have what it take to make it to Super Bowl, but history suggests that it has rarely proven to be enough to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in victory.

Only four Super Bowl winners were led by dynamic offenses (Ram 00′ Colts 07′ Saints 10′ Packers 11′). Although all four of these teams kevin dyson and london fletcherwere led by league MVPs they each had dynamic play makers on the defensive-side of the ball who made THE PLAY to seal the win ( London Fletcher, Rams 00′ Bob Sanders, Colts 07′  Tracy Porter, Saints 10′ & Clay Matthews 11‘).

History appears to be on the Seattle Seahawks side because of their dominant defense. Since the Legion of BoomSeahawks offense has been pedestrian at times their defense led by the Legion of Boom will be relied on heavily to slow down the potent record-setting Broncos offense, a task they are more than capable of doing.

But history also suggests that the Denver Broncos armed with a league MVP certainly possess the essential ingredient of past Super Bowl teams peyton manning aaron rodgers drew breeswho won without the luxury of having a dominant defense. Every team who has won a Super Bowl without a dominant defense were led by a Canton-bound league MVP quarterback, and Peyton Manning certainly fits that criteria to a tee.

When the clocks strikes zero and a champion is crowned history will repeat itself yet again. If the Seahawks win, the moniker defense wins championships will be affirmed. If the Broncos win, the league MVP Tyree catchCanton-bound quarterback exception will rain true as well, for the fifth time in 14 years.

How will Super Bowl XLVIII be remembered?  Birth of a dynasty or the end of an era. Each Super Bowl has highlights that we all remember where we were and what we were doing when we witnessed it. What dynamic play will we witness on Superbowl Sunday that we all will add to our ever growing sports highlight list? Stay tuned… I know I will.

 

 

Andy Dalton – the Next Great NFL Quarterback

Dalton improvementsIf a quarterback leads a franchise to three consecutive NFL Playoff appearance, he is often held in the highest esteem. After an 11-win season, Cincinnati Bengals fans should be showering Andy Dalton with praise and adulation not campaigning for him to exit stage right. Although pundits may appear to be justified in their stance fans from WHO DEY nation should be reminded of how putrid life was before Dalton, no playoff appearances and below .500 finishes.

For those who are calling for another quarterback, what better option do you have? The Washington Redskins Kirk Cousins no longer looks like a viable option after his struggles late in the season. New England Patriots Ryan Mallet is also unavailable considering the Brady era is almost near its end. And unless the Bengals unearth a late round gem, or sign Chicago Bears Josh McCown, the truth is Dalton gives you the best chance to win.

Despite the limited options, Dalton is far from a consolation prize. In his first 38 games nfl top quarterbacksDalton he has went to three consecutive postseasons which is something that NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning cannot even boast. No one is calling for Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford or Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan‘s job, two $100 million dollar quarterbacks who have only been to the playoffs once.

Dalton certainly has room to grow, and this will certainly be a make-or-break season for him, and the time to get better starts now. He has the tools and now he has the time to refine his craft by improving his mechanics and decision making.

Dallas Cowboys Tony Romo has grown accustomed to hearing folks calling for his Giovanni Bernard Fumblesjob, completely overlooking the numerous wins that came before the loss. Dalton has a bright future in the NFL, if Giovanni Bernard does not fumble the ball at the three or drop three balls then Dalton would be receiving the praise Luck and Kaepernick are receiving. Til then,  Andy Dalton is Tony Romo 2.0. What will he do for an encore? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast