Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Wednesday Morning Thoughts: NFL Week Six

Ben There, Done That
As much potential as the Pittsburgh Steelers have,
they can never quite reach the capable levels of legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Whether it be defense, suspensions, injuries, or even all the above, the Steelers as of recent seasons have came nowhere close to satisfying expectations. Even with the year long suspension of Martavis Bryant, the Ben/Brown/Bell trio was thought to be capable of bringing back a Lombardi Trophy to the steel city. Instead, the above players have yet to peak together as a unit, something the organization has/will be pouring many millions of dollars into. Old habits never die, and this saying came full circle on Sunday afternoon, where Ben Roethlisberger tore his meniscus in a 30-15 shocking upset to Miami. The injury has no set timetable, and while people within the organization are optimistic about recovery time, Steelers faithful can't help but feel this is just the same old song and dance. It's nobody's fault, nothing can truly prevent an injury from happening. Yet the broken record of a Steelers team not having it's best players on the field for a consistent amount of time is starting to get real old, real quick. By no means push the panic button, with a 4-2 record and a division lead there's no reason to. We'll see what Landry Jones can do as the knight in worn-out armor, yet with a red-hot Patriots team rolling into Pittsburgh and a divisional game against Baltimore after the bye, 4-4 is staring Mike Tomlin and company right in the eyes.

Fitzmagic's Dissapearing Act 
Come one! Come All! Come watch the AMAZING Ryan Fitzpatrick make 12 MILLION DOLLARS disappear, before New York's very eyes! Once viewed as a solid building block for a win now Super Bowl run in New York, Ryan Fitzpatrick has turned into, well, Geno Smith. See the problem with that, is the "J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!" already have one of those. Alongside Fitzpatrick and Smith are Christian Hackenberg/Bryce Petty, both yet to audition for the starting job. With a full ten games left in the season, New York's season is very much so up in the air at this point, as well as the present/future responsibilities at quarterback. So which direction should Todd Bowles and New York take? Do you force Fitzpatrick to play since he's the $12 million man? Does Geno Smith get a shot at redemption, or do you open the door for a guy like Hackenberg/Petty to make some noise? Thankfully, you and I are not in charge to make that decision, only to critique and/or criticize it down the road. However, this is the Big Apple we're dealing with, so any decision will reflect badly in regards to the media. Us as outsiders aren't too emotionally invested into this decision, we just NEVER want to watch another poor product of football like that, especially on prime-time television.

Las Vegas Still a Gamble for Raiders, NFL
The Oakland Raiders are one step closer to ditching California for Sin City, after securing funds that would give the Raiders $750 million from raised hotel tax in Las Vegas, Nevada. This was a crucial step in the process of relocation for Raiders owner Mark Davis, who will give updates on his stadium at the fall owner's meetings this week. Davis, who inherited powers from father/legend Al Davis after his passing a few years back, apparently does have his eyes set on a Las Vegas franchise after losing the race to Los Angeles with the Rams/Chargers. Although preliminary talks are only taking place now, the new stadium that would break ground is estimated to cost around $1.9 billion, and would realistically be moved into in two-three years. Sure enough there won't be a hard time filing the stadium, considering Las Vegas' hockey team, which still is not fully formed, has sold out season tickets already for the 2017-2018 season. Although nothing is official yet, it's a disappointment to watch a loyal fan base in Oakland lose their beloved Raiders, even if it isn't happening in the immediate future.

Shady's Back
Oh, what the miracles of a change of scenery can do. 2015 was a fluke season marred by injuries for LeSean McCoy, who to this point in 2016, has regained his "Shady McCoy" form from his old Philadelphia days, gashing defenses and leaving defenders in dust clouds. McCoy is second in the league in rushing yards (587), 5.6 yards per carry and six scores. Buffalo, a product of Rex Ryan's heavy rushing mindset, has given LeSean the much needed rejuvenation sought after the still-eye opening trade that sent him packing for Buffalo in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso (who's no longer with the team). Why Chip Kelly even entertained the thought of dealing one of the league's best backs is beyond comprehension, yet McCoy has been reaping the benefits of Kelly's mistake. With Buffalo sitting at 4-2, it's no coincidence the early season success can be attributed to the league's number one rushing attack.

Number of the Week: 15
This is the number of 400 yard passing games thrown by Drew Brees in his career. Brees, who threw for number 15 on Sunday, passes Peyton Manning's all-time record for 400 yard passing games.

Quote of the Week*: 
*We actually have a tie between two!

"We want to bring a Super Bowl championship back to the Bay Area" - Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, who oddly enough is trying to move the Raiders out of the Bay Area.

"As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures, which several of our other coaches do, as well, because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets. I just can’t take it anymore."  - New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who is fed up with technology as he describes in a 700 word, 5 minute and 22 second rant about Microsoft Surface Tablets. 

Tweet of the Week: 

"Greg Hardy is going to pursue an MMA career. It will be a very difficult career transition. It'll mark the first time he has to fight men." -@TheFakeESPN

Donnie Druin is an award-winning writer from the Arizona Newspaper Association. Follow him on twitter @DonnieDruin to keep updated on everything in the world of sports, or just to remind him that Microsoft Surface tablets may still be great for personal use, despite Coach Belichick's thoughts.

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