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2003Contenders

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  1. I recall many years ago Hines Ward once admitted that when he received a head injury in a game, he clutched his ankle and feigned a leg injury because he knew there was a strong likelihood that if anyone realized it was a head injury that he would be pulled from the game and maybe additional games as well. These players are warriors -- who often do not have their own physical best interests at heart. These protocols, in fact, exist to protect them from themselves. In Tua's case, in particular, he knows that Miami was wooing Brady and taking a long look at acquiring Watson -- he was also coming off a career-defining game, and desperately wanted to build off that. So, it makes sense that he would want to claim that he received an injury to his back (which may have also been the case) rather than a head injury. An independent neurologist should have observed his staggering after the shove and head bouncing off the turf -- and deemed that was evidence of potential head trauma. In that case, against whatever protests Tua may have, he should have been ruled out for the remainder of the game on Sunday for his own good. If he was able to clear concussion protocol after the game, great. But better to err on the side of caution. For their part, Miami was mortified when Teddy B. came in and looked like a fish-out-of-water against the rival Bills -- so they did not feel like asking questions when Tua claimed the injury was to his back and not his head. Someone who cares about the young man should have stepped up and insisted that he sit out. The coaches, management, training staff, and medical team for the Dolphins failed him.
  2. Yep, with so many worries about the missing players on defense, it was Morse's absence that played the biggest role in the loss in Miami.
  3. Vegas likes to look at team rankings. The Bills right now rank #1 in team defense and #2 in team offense. The Ravens offense is good too (#4) but their defense ranks dead last in the NFL.
  4. If we want to blame the coaching in this game, I put it on Dorsey for 2 poor sequences: -- 2nd possession of the 1st half, from the 12-yard line run Moss on two consecutive plays for no gain, followed by the strip sack. -- Next-to-last possession in the 2nd half. 2nd and goal (about a foot to go): Allen in shotgun for 3 straight plays, beginning with RPO that loses almost 2 yards.
  5. I remember him well. Some of his troll posts were hilarious. "Don't you guys hate how Dan Marino always kicks our ass" was one of my favorites. His claiming to have seen Thurman out in a bar smoking weed the night before a game was pretty funny too.
  6. Given the Bills' pass rush win rate and the fact that Tua's strength is in the short-intermediate pass game, I am expecting the Dolphins' game plan to be quick passes (screens, slants, soft-zone passes to Gesicki, etc.). They will want to rely on the run game and get the ball out of Tua's hand ASAP to negate the pass rush and hope their speedy WRs can get plenty of YAC. Need a big game from Edmunds/Milano/Johnson. Also, the secondary MUST punish Hill/Waddle on those short routes and make solid tackles to minimize YAC. The DL must also be disciplined and not bite on Play Action
  7. There was a show on a couple of years ago (around the same time as the Mini Series and the ESPN documentary) on one of the cable channels that spent a considerable amount of time investigating the popular theory that Jason Simpson committed the crime. The show more or less disproved the theory.
  8. The Colts were locked in on Nelson. Beane had a deal in the works with both the Browns (at #4) and the Broncos -- both agreeing on the compensation (including multiple first round picks). Elway was at least up-front that he would ONLY make the deal on draft day if the player he coveted at #5 was not there. The Browns reneged on the deal (which infuriated Beane) and took the CB Denzel Ward at #4, leaving the DE (Bradley Chubb) that Elway wanted at #5. Both of those deals would have included MUCH more compensation than the two 2nd rounders that Beane gave to Tampa Bay to move up to 7. So everything really did work out for the best for the Bills.
  9. OK, I will play along. Yes, it is true that the winning percentage of teams that turn the ball over 4 times is not very high. That said, I think it is the fact they were a bit sloppy -- and STILL managed to blow out the Rams in their own crib that has me so excited. As happy as I am about the level domination in the game -- I am even more impressed with the way they handled adversity. Let's be honest, the 1st half did not end well with the 3 turnovers and blowing a 10-point lead. In fact, beginning with the out-of-bounds kickoff, the 4th down conversion with the linemen shoving Kupp across the 1st down marker, the insane TD reception in the back of the endzone -- and ending the half with a 57 yard FG, it seemed like the Rams had acquired all of the momentum. Plus, they got the ball first in the 2nd half. McVey and his staff are good coaches, and I was worried that they would make 2nd half adjustments and that the Bills would regret all of those misfires in the 1st half that kept them from putting the game away when they had a chance. Remember, this is a team that failed to win a single close game last season. But the Bills dug deep -- and stepped up. They put what happened in the 2nq quarter behind them. They started the 2nd half on defense, forced a 3-and-out -- and then went on to score TDs on each of their next 3 possessions. That is how ELITE teams operate.
  10. And this is why the notion that the Bills made a monumental mistake when they traded Marshawn to the Seahawks for a mere 4th round pick was revisionist. At the time of the trade he had already been in trouble for the hit-and-run, illegal possession of a firearm -- and he had a DUI hanging over his head (among hints of other off-field troubles). Plus, Fred Jackson was out-playing him at the time of the trade.
  11. You will probably get mocked for this, but I won't laugh at you. Even amongst the pantheons of greatness -- we can acknowledge that a player was great and at the same time say that he was somewhat overrated. Regarding Marino, I am reminded of what Jimmy Johnson said nearly 30 years ago when he had very recently stepped down from being the Cowboys' head coach and was working as an analyst. The debate was who was the best RB in the NFL -- Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith. Jimmy said that he thought that Barry was the greatest RUNNER in the NFL, as he could do things rushing that he had never seen anyone else EVER do. However, he thought that Emmitt was the better RUNNING BACK because he was better is many other key areas, including pass protection and receiving. Smith was also more reliable about getting those 1-2 yards to convert on a first down or score a TD than Barry was. I liken this same principle to Marino, who may have been the greatest PURE PASSER that the league has EVER seen. He could make every pass with precision and had that all-time quick release. However... he was lacking in many other areas, in particular his ball-handling. He could NEVER sell the play action and defenders could always tell whether the play was going to be a pass or a hand off because Dan telegraphed it. Marino's supporters always pointed out that he did all he did despite the fact that the Dolphins were never able to get a running game to support him. I would argue that it was Marino's own fault that the team never got the running game going. Anyway, I guess where I am going with this is that while Marino may have truly been one of the top 3 PASSERS in NFL history, he would not make my list of the top 10 QUARTERBACKS.
  12. This is spot-on, and I would also go with Tyrod, Fitz and Flutie (probably in that order). Bledsoe had that great first-half season -- and then was terrible after that. The 2003 team was actually pretty stacked (especially on defense) -- and his limitations more or less single-handedly held the team down (6-10 that season). The team almost made the playoffs in 2004 IN SPITE of Bledsoe, and (like Alpha said), when everything was on the line, he came up short against the Pittsburgh backups. I think Fitz would have had more success if he had anything resembling a decent defense -- but, of course, he probably would have made those terrible back-breaking decisions at the most inopportune times.
  13. Austin appears to have turned some heads in mini camp -- and Josh has been singing his praises talking about his work ethic, leadership, etc. I think he has a very good chance of sticking. Just looking as the numbers, I do not see why not. Assuming that they go with the the same number of WRs as last season... Safe to assume that these guys are back in their 2021 roles: Diggs Davis McKenzie Beasley and Sanders are gone and ostensibly replaced by: Crowder Austin* Shakir was a mid-range draft pick that the front office was very high on. I could see him taking Stevenson's spot on the roster. So that is 6 -- plus Kumerow, who was the #7 WR last year. Kumerow is a big part of special teams but I could see him being pushed by Stevenson, Hodgins and Gentry.
  14. My guess is that as the cases continue to mount and public opinion continues to rage against Watson and the Browns for having traded for him and signed him to such a lucrative contract -- the spin will definitely be that he is an "addict". At a minimum, I would think that the Browns (WITHOUT being forced to by the NFL) would want to put Watson on a leave of absence to get these legal issues squared away -- and then hope that things settle down by 2023. It will be interesting to see if the Browns truly have an "out" here. I would think that some clever attorneys would be able to identify language in the contract that gets the Browns off the hook -- essentially a "termination for cause" type of thing. It would also be interesting to discover whether the Browns jumped the gun on the trade and contract without due diligence in further investigating -- or if they actually did investigations and were willing to go through with the trade knowing to some extent what else would eventually come out. The former is stupidity, and the latter is disgraceful. In some ways it reminds me of what the Ravens did with Ray Rice -- they were willing to go to bat for him KNOWING fully well that he had physically abused his girlfriend. It wasn't until the video was released that the outcry was so great that they had no choice but to cut ties with him. The video did not provide any new information -- just a visual of what everyone knew had transpired. In Watson's case, there may not be video evidence -- but the detailed affidavits of the various victims spells out the horrific things that Watson has been accused of -- which should make it increasingly difficult for the Browns to have any thought of entering the season with him as their QB.
  15. Actually the Brees situation here reminds me a bit like what happened with Kelly. It sounds like NBC has not been impressed with Brees in the studio and don't want him back. Jim also struggled as a broadcaster, and after one year in retirement he started talking about wanting to come back and play for the Baltimore Ravens (which never materialized).
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