Football, New England Patriots, NFL, Sports

What’s A Guy Supposed To Do …………. Do Not Pass Go Do Not Collect $200 ……….. Afterall The NFL Is Definitely A Business


To say I was surprised when I first heard and then read that the New England Patriots had indeed traded their defensive stalwart , Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders. Well, let’s just say that as a die-hard Patriots’ fan , it left me feeling somewhat devastated. As, he’s one of my favorite players on the Patriots’ roster.

Patriots'  coach  Bill  Belichick   listens  to  reporter's  questions  at  the  team's   training  facility  in  Foxborough,  Mass.   The  coach  was   reluctant  to  discuss  the  Richard  Seymour   situation.   Choosing  to   deflect  questions   rather  than  answering  them  directly.     The  player   was   traded  to the  Oakland  Raiders  in  exchange   for  a  first  round  draft  pick  in  2011.   Seymour,  however,  has  yet  to   report   to  the  Raiders   facility . Nor  has  he  been  in  touch  to  communicate with  anyone  within  either  organization.         picture  appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/ Stephan  Savoia   ............
Patriots' coach Bill Belichick listens to reporter's questions at the team's training facility in Foxborough, Mass. The coach was reluctant to discuss the Richard Seymour situation. Choosing to deflect questions rather than answering them directly. The player was traded to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a first round draft pick in 2011. Seymour, however, has yet to report to the Raiders facility . Nor has he been in touch to communicate with anyone within either organization. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stephan Savoia ............

And while I don’t deny that the Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick is a genius . OK , stop it , those of you who still see him as a cheat ! In the words of Rodney King ‘…..why just can’t we all just get along ?’ It’s over and done with !

Patriots'  quarterback  Tom  Brady  at  the  team's   practice   facility  in  Foxborough,  Mass  ,  on  Wednesday  afternoon.    picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Stephan  Savoia   ...........................
Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady at the team's practice facility in Foxborough, Mass , on Wednesday afternoon. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Stephan Savoia ...........................

This move , I may well have to question as to the sanity of it all ! There’s no denying that the Patriots are still something of a formidable team. But in terms of sheer leadership on the defensive side of the ball. It was to the likes of Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel , Rodney Harrison and indeed Seymour, who formed the linch-pin for the team , as far as that was concerned. That I for one would’ve thought that the team would be in need of Seymour, his presence but above all his leadership qualities. With Bruschi and Rodney Harrison , now retired . And Vrabel being sent into oblivion to ply his wares with the Kansas City Chiefs. The thought of this team being without Seymour there to helm the defensive line sends shudders down my spine. It was bad enough seeing Tom Brady not being adequately protected by his offensive line in Superbowl XLII . Especially after the injury sustained by then , guard, Stephen Neal . Thereafter, the New York Giants were simply allowed to have their way with the team. Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan must’ve felt that Christmas had come early for them.

ESPN’s annoucement that Seymour had been traded to the Oakland Raiders.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and AP :

Belichick remains mum on Seymour trade

Foxborough-MASS,.(AP) Bill Belichick says he’ll deal with any developments in the Richard Seymour trade when they happen.

The five-time Pro Bowl defensive end hasn’t reported to the Oakland Raiders after being traded by the New England Patriots for a first round draft pick in 2011 .

Asked Wednesday if he was monitoring the situation closely , Belichick said the Patriots are monitoring the Buffalo Bills closely. They play the Bills on Monday night in a season opener.

And when told that Seymour could end up back with the Patriots , the coach said he’ll deal with whatever happens when it happens.

On Monday, Belichick said he wouldn’t answer questions about Seymour because the team doesn’t have the rights to him.

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Patriots'  defensive  lineman   Richard  Seymour   reacts  after   sacking   the  New  York  Jets'   Brett  Favre   in  an  NFL   game  from  last   season  played in  East  Rutherford  ,  New  Jersey  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/   Julie  Jacobson   ............................
Patriots' defensive lineman Richard Seymour reacts after sacking the New York Jets' Brett Favre in an NFL game from last season played in East Rutherford , New Jersey . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Julie Jacobson ............................

And now with that debacle seemingly behind the team. We now go into the 2009-10 season , with a fresh set of goals to pursue. And with the AFC East now afresh with new blood and the likes of the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins seemingly resurgent. That’s not to say that I’m writing off the Buffalo Bills. But as we all know ‘absolutely no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills.’ The division is there, and with more than a great deal to play for. We can if anything , still view the New England Patriots as the prohibitive favorites to win the division outright. But to my mind the task of winning the Superbowl itself , just became somewhat more difficult with the loss of Seymour.

Eagles'  quarterback   Donovan McNabb  is  sacked  by  the  Patriots'  Richard  Seymour  (93) and   teammate  Willie McGinest   during  an  NFL   game  .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   boston globe/photo/  Jim  Davis  ........................
Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb is sacked by the Patriots' Richard Seymour (93) and teammate Willie McGinest during an NFL game . picture appears courtesy of boston globe/photo/ Jim Davis ........................

The maneuver by the team may well be viewed as once again them being financially frugal. The player however, was closing in on the end of his current contract. And if anything, was looking for a long term renewal -perhaps raising the ante as to its financial value. It’s certainly not clear as to whether or not there was an impasse as to the negotiations surrounding Seymour’s contract. As neither side had made a public statement. But as we all know with the Patriots, they’ve always remained secretive when it comes to such things. But yet again there’s the feeling that a player is always in the unenviable position of not knowing whether or not he’s of value to franchise. Especially when it comes to the renegotiating of a contract of a seasoned veteran. Loyalty, much like pendulum swings both ways. But with the NFL there is no loyalty beyond the efforts of the player on the field of play. As long he’s performing then he’s bound to get paid. But there are in-fact times when a player is looked upon as being no longer a valuable asset. And then he’s discarded much like a well worn old pair of shoes. They’ll still no doubt fit but they’re no longer desirable to its particular owner. Once discarded there’s always someone there to take a liking to an old pair shoes. In this case it happened to be the Oakland Raiders. Of whom it can be said …..they’ve always been willing to accept everyone else’s cast-offs’.

However, I do believe that this particular maneuver could indeed come back to haunt the New England Patriots. They may well be viewed as a team where there’s always a familial atmosphere , where there’s said to be no voice of dissent. But in actuality this could set off a tumult of discord within the franchise. Belichick may well have that Svengali like approach when it comes to the running of the franchise. And granted , he alongside then GM, Scott Pioli , were the architects behind the renaissance of the franchise and their success. I do believe however, that this time around, Belichick has made a profound mistake with this trade. I don’t even think that the team’s signing of former Raiders’ player, Derrick Burgess – a player, who shall we say, is of limited ability when measured against that of Seymour. But yet within the mindset of Belichick , this seemingly makes things alright , as he views it.

In the case of Seymour despite an injury he was still very passionate about the game. And unquestionably one couldn’t deny the leadership qualities he brought to the franchise. He led by example and his teammates willingly followed. Now with the trade , Seymour has yet to report to the Raiders. And both organizations it’d appear , are at a loss for words. As to what the outcome of this may well be . One can only but take the approach of wait and see. As it now stands there’s a distinct feeling that as things are now playing out. There isn’t liable to be a happy ending for either party.

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AFC East, Buffalo Bills, Dick Jauron, Football, NFL, Ralph Wilson, Sports, Terrell Owens, Trent Edwards

There Are Things That One Tends To Question ………………


 
 

There   Are   Things  That  One   Tends  To   Question  ………….

 

 

 

When  informed  that   Terrell  Owens   was  now  a  free   agent  one   has  to  wonder   what   was   going  on  within  the  minds  of  Buffalo  Bills’ owner  Ralph  Wilson  and   the  team’s   coach  Dick  Jauron.      Whatever  the   conversation   that  took   place   I’m   inclined  to  believe  that  there   can’t   have   been  much   sense   made  of  it  .  Especially   as  far  as  Wilson  is   concerned.  The   octogenarian    either   thought   that   he  may   have   been   told   that   there   was   a   prized   piece   of   art  coming  on  the  market   or   infact   that    there   was  a    erectile   dysfunctional   product   that  was better  than   anything  else   out   there. 

 

Terrell  Owens   makes  the  announcement  to  the  convened  press  that  he's  now  Buffalo  Bills'  player.  Owens  signed  a  one  year  $6.5m contract  with the  team .    picture  appears  courtesy  of  buffalonews.com/ James  P  McCoy ........................
Terrell Owens makes the announcement to the convened press that he's now a Buffalo Bills' player . Owens signed a one year $6.5m contract with incentives. picture appears courtesy of buffalonews.com/ James P McCoy ..................

 

 

 

 

Now  the  Bills  have   landed  the  erstwhile   player  and  the   baggage  that  he   brings   with   him.    The   question   one   has  to   ask   is    what   are  the  Bills   thinking  ?   It’s   not  as   if  they   hadn’t   witnessed  what’d  taken   place   at  the   player’s    previous   stops.   Much   like   Hurricane    Katrina    the   devastation   left   by  Owens     at  his  previous   professional   domiciles   were  about  as  welcoming   as    a  case   of  the  bubonic  plague.   That   being   said   if   a  pandemic     were   to  set   foot   within  the  Bills’  organization.  It’s   hard  to    see  how   they  can   recover    from   something  as   acute   as   what   can   all  envisage  may  well  happen.    Owens   is   most  definitely   like    a  cancer  that   tends  to  be  malignant  and  then  metastasizes  to  say   the   very   least.  

 

 

 

 

 

Far   be  it   for  me   to  wish   anyone   the   worst   but   at  this   juncture  I  can  offer   no   sympathy    to  the  Bills .   This   is  very   much  an  ill   conceived   idea.   And   if  it   should  all   implode   within  their   midst    then  they’ll  only   have   themselves   to    blame.    The  offer   to   Owens  is  believed  to  be  a  one  year   contract    that’s   said  to  be  in  the  region  of   $6.5m   with   incentives.    It’s   indeed  to   now   believe   Drew  Rosenhaus,  Owens’   agent  when  he  stated  that  there   were   a   number  of   teams  that  were   said  to  be  interested  in   his  client.   I   think  that  it  had  to  have   been  more   chutzpah  than   anything  else.  Rosenhaus  much  like   counterpart  Scott  Boras  within  Major  League  Baseball  certainly    knows  the  art  of  the   deal.    He’s  able  to   lure   a   potential   bidder   in   much    like  a  snake   charmer   or   black   widow   spider  that   tends  to   lure  its  mate  and  then   devours  it.      However  the  only  thing  here  that’ll  be   devoured   will   be  that  of   Ralph  Wilson’s   money  at  the   end  of the   day.  

 

 

Bills'  quarterback  Trent  Edwards  attempts  a  pass   during  an  NFL   game .    picture  appears  courtesy  of   ap/photo/  Todd  Shaughnessy ..................
Bills' quarterback Trent Edwards attempts a pass during an NFL game . picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Todd Shaugnessy ..............

 

 

 

The  Bills (7-9)  as  dwellers  within  the  AFC  East   started   out   last   season   well.   But their   season   fell  about   their   feet    once    quarterback   Trent  Edwards   was   lost  to   injury    for  an  indeterminable  period.   That  being   said   they’ve   a  young   nucleus  in  place.  And   in  coach   Dick   Jauron   they’ve  a  person   who  though    not     always   open   to  discipline   will   now  have    to  change    that   structure   wholeheartedly  with  a  player    like  Owens   within  his  midst.  He’ll   have   to   rein  in  the   antics   of  the  player   who   basically  marches  to  beat  of  his  own   drum  and   no  one   else’s .  So   anyone   who’s  of  the   opinion  that   this   is   basically  a  can’t   lose   situation   for  the  Bills .  They’ll   have    to  seriously    reconsider  that    thought   process   altogether.   The   upside to   this   while   on  paper   looks.   The  downside  to   it  all   far   outweighs   the   positives.    The  carnage   that  could   be  caused    could   set  the  franchise   back    at   least    two   years   if  not  more.  It’s   not  as   if  the   Bills   has     a  lot   going   for  it   at   present.    They’re    having  to   play   catch   up  with  the  likes  of   the  Miami  Dolphins  (11-5), New York  Jets (9-7), and  New  England  Patriots (11-5)  within  their    division.   And  in   light  of  the  progress  made   by   both.  It   could   well  be   the  distance   between  the    Dolphins  , Pats  and Bills has   become   even    greater.

 

Owens  pictured  left  and  Lee  Evans wide  receiver  of  the  Buffalo Bills.   It's hoped  that  the  tandem  will  prove  to  be  potent   for  the   team.   picture  appears   courtesy  of  uspresswire/getty images ..................
Owens pictured left and Lee Evans wide receiver of the Buffalo Bills. It's hoped that the two will make a potent and formidable receiving tandem for the franchise. picture appears courtesy of uspresswire/getty images ........................

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As  for  the   intangibles  that  Owens   brings  to  this   team while   immense.  With   him  also   comes  the    soap   opera  drama  and   the  player’s  own   desire  to  be   front  and   center    in  the  midst  of  it all .    Much   like  the   narcissist   one     believes   him  to  be.  Hell  if  it  weren’t   for  the   fact  that he’s   derided  his   teammates  wherever  he’s  been.   I’d   be  of  the   opinion  that   he’s   looking   at   this   stop   in  Buffalo  as  a  way  of   refining   his   technique.   I  can   only   hope  that   Edwards   and   others   on  the  Bills’   roster   can   stomach  it  all.  Because  if  not   then   it   could  all  make   for  a   real  harrowing   experience   for  the  players   who’ll   now  be   Owens’   new  teammates.   So   at   this   juncture   let    the   festivities  begin.   It’ll  all   be   well   worth  watching  to  say  the  very  least.

 

Andy Reid, Brian Westbrook, Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFC East, NFL, Sports, Tom Coughlin

Make No Bones About It ………….


 Make no bones about it the divisional playoffs  now upcoming within the NFL  is more about the fate  of  the teams than one can really imagine.  We’ve seen  the rise of the Philadelphia Eagles who were left for dead by  many.  We’d seen the demise of  the Dallas Cowboys  long  seen as the presumptive  favorites  to win  it all.

 

 

 

Manning  tires to evade  Eagles' defensive players  and in  doing so throws  an incomplete pass .........
Manning attempts to evade the Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard ………………

 

Manning tires to evade two Philadelphia Eagles’ defensive players Trent Cole(58) and Darren Howard. And in doing so he throws an incomplete pass. The Philadelphia Eagles would go on to prevail and  win the regular season game 20-14. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Bill Kostroun ……….

 

 

For  the  Cowboys however their  season  ended rather  abruptly with a thud as they  succumbed  to a rather  embarrassing  loss  to their  divisional rivals  the Philadelphia Eagles 44-6 at season’s end.  And  now the  Eagles will  face  the reigning Superbowl  champions the New York Giants . In  what it is  sure to  be a  game  played  with  a great deal of  enthusiasm  and passion. Both  teams  have been  playing  at  a high  standard and  it’s  hard to say who’ll come put  on top.  Both  are  equally voracious  in attitude  when it comes to defense.  But  if  anything  the  Giants may  well have  the  edge  when it comes  to  the  offensive  capabilities. Albeit  that as of late  the Eagles with the play of their  veteran  quarterback  Donovan McNabb and  their  wily  running back  Brian Westbrook have shown  that  they’re  back to their old selves and  are  equally as  dangerous  as anything  that  the  Giants have to  offer.   

 

Eagles' defensive end  tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...........
Eagles' defensive end Chris Clemons tackles the Vikings' wide receiver Bernard Berrian ...............

 

Eagles’ defensive end Chris Clemons tackles  the Vikings’ Bernard Berrian during the wildcard playoff  game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Minnesota Vikings. The Eagles would prevail winning the  game 26-14 in a game played  in the Metrodome in Minneapolis. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom Olmscheid ……………..

 

 

Well  with this  upcoming  game  and  their  reputations on the  line as  well  as  berth  in the conference championship. This game offers up  a great  deal  for the fans  of  both  teams as  well as  the  viewing audience. The  New York  Giants under the  guidance  of Eli Manning will be  looking  to successfully defend  the  Lombardi Trophy and  at the  same  time become first team  to successfully defend the  title  since  the New  England Patriots. And as we all know  the Patriots’ unbeaten season  ended  at  the  hands of the  Giants in Superbowl XLII last season. Of which no doubt tears  are  still being  spilt  over  that  bitter  loss at  the  hands  of the New Yorkers  by way of  New Jersey.

 

Brian Westbrook is  off to the races ashe scampers on a 71yd touchdown run against the Vikings  .........
Brian Westbrook is off to the races as he scampers off on a 71 yd touchdown run against the Vikings .........

Brian Westbrook is off to the races  as he scampers for a 71 yard touchdown run against the Minnesota Vikings in their playoff game. picture appears courtesy of getty images/Elsa Martinez  …………………..

 

While I’ve no horse  to  ride in this particular matchup it is  one  of the games  that I  for one  am really looking  forward to. As to the other games they’re all intriguing  in their own particular way. If  there’s one thing however  that I’m  pleased with  thus  far in terms  of the  games played. It’s the  mere  fact that they’ve  all been entertaining  and  played with a great deal  of  sportsmanship and  without any  officiating  controversy.  That’s not to say  that  this won’t  happen as the  postseason continues to  unfold.

 

Tavaris Jackson of the  Minnesota Vikings attempts a pass under pressure  from the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins  ........
Vkings' quarterback Tavaris Jackson attempts a pass whilst being presured by the Giants' defensive player Fred Robbins ..........

Vikings’ quarterback Tavaris Jackson attempts a pass under pressure from Giants’ defensive player Fred  Robbins. picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/Elsa Martinez ……………

 

Andy Reid and his counterpart  Tom Coughlin are two  coaches  with the  credentials and  acclaim that’s widely acknowledged as being amongst the  best  that the game has  to offer. Though earlier in the  season Eagles’ fans  were all but  decrying  Reid  and  McNabb as  being  complete idiots.  Things  have changed  to such an extent that  they may well be thought of as being  deities within the city of Philadelphia. And off course we  all know how  fickle  the  fans  in the  city of Philadelphia  can be about  their professional sport’s franchises. If  they  can boo Mike  Schmidt , Santa Claus,  then  why  not  the likes of  McNabb or  Reid ? Such are the  machinations  of the fans  in  Philadelphia.

 

 

I’ll preface this  by saying  that  once this  game  starts  I’ll  be  glued  to  my  television set  watching  with  baited  breathe as  things  unfold  over the  course  of the  game. Chances  are  that  the game  may  well be  too close to call and  as I  don’t  consider  myself  a prognosticator  just an  ardent  sport’s  fan.  I’ll  just watch  with  glee  and  hope  that the  game itself  will  be  thoroughly  entertaining. Not  just  for the  sake  of  the fan but for  the  sake  of  the  game itself. At this juncture  we  want the game  to  filled  with excitement and  intrigue if  nothing  else. What are your  thoughts on the  game ?

 

 

 

 

 

tophatal ………………….

AFC East, Bill Parcells, Brett Favre, Buffalo Bills, Chad Pennington, Ed Reed, John Harbaugh, Matt Cassell, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, NFL, Playoffs, Ray Lewis, Ricky Williams, Ronnie Brown, Sports, Tom Brady, Tony Sparano

From Worse To First That’s The Miami Way …………….


Well the Miami Dolphins having come off a 1-15 record from last season have played themselves into the playoffs as divisional champions of  AFC East.  Much to the surprise of those within and outside of the game.  Falling by the wayside in all of this are  the  New England Patriots .

 

 

 

Pennington hands  the ball off  to teammate  running back  Ronnie Brown during a game played  against  the New York Jets  in  East Rutherford  New Jersey ,............
Quarterback Chad Pennington hands the ball off to teammate running back Ronnie Brown.............

Quarterback Chad Pennington hands the ball off  to teammate  Ronnie Brown during a league game against the New York Jets game played in East Rutherford, New Jersey. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/  Matthew Bostick …………….

 

 

 

And while much of this has  gone on  the  New  York Jets  now find  themselves  in the  midst  of  another  meltdown  having  their coach Eric  Mangini fired  and the internal rift  now  building between Hall of  Fame  bound  quarterback Brett  Favre  and a number of  his  teammates.  If  ever  a season  was steeped  and  doomed  for  failure  then  the season  undergone  by  the  Jets  was it. With  much of  went  on  within the  division being  entertaining  to say the least it  was  felt that  the  division  was  wide  open.  The expectations  that Favre would be  asked  to meet  were  far too  great  for  a player on  the downside  of  an  all illustrious  career.  

 

Coach Tony Sparano of the Dolphins  is seen here  on the sidelines  during a game played  against  the Arizona  Cardinals  in Glendale , Az , .................
Coach Tony Sparano of the Miami Dolphins seen here on the sidelines during a game played against the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale , Az , .....................

Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano seen here on the  sidelines of a game played  against  the  Arizona  Cardinals  in  Glendale , Arizona.  picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross D Brown ………………….

 

 

Buffalo  got  off  to a  fast  start  but  that  would  soon peter  out  as  they   fell  by  the  wayside  all too quickly.  With Tom  Brady  of  the New England  Patriots  suffering  a  season ending  injury  in the first  game of  the season against  the  Kansas City Chiefs. Many  felt that  the  Patriots’ season would too  fall  off  as  well.  With  rookie  quarterback  Matt  Cassel  being  asked  to  take over the  reins  from  Brady.  No one was quite  sure  what  to  expect  from  a  player  who  hadn’t  played  the  position  since  his  days  in high school  and whose  college  career  was  basically  playing  second fiddle  to  Heisman  Trophy winners  Carson  Palmer  and  Matt  Leinart  while  at the University of  Southern California. 

 

 

 

Dolphins' offensive lines coach  Mike Maser works with  his  players  at their  practice facility in Davie, Fl ......................
Offensive lines' coach Mike Maser works with his players at the team's practice facility in Davie, Fl ..........

Dolphins’ offensive line coach works with his  players at their practice facility  in  Davie , Florida.  picture appears  courtesy of ap/photo/ Matthew Glassman  ………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cassel  would  excel  in the  position  and guide  the team  to  an 11-5 season  narrowly  missing  the  playoffs by  finishing second in the  division behind  the  Miami  Dolphins. That  being  said  this  season was all about  the  Miami  Dolphins  and  their  triumphant  return  to  respectability  under  the  coaching  of  Tony  Sparano  under the  ever  watchful  eye  of   Bill  Parcells   the  behind  the scenes  architect of  the  franchise’s  resurgence. With their  wildcat offense  simply  catching  a number  of  teams by surprise  it can be  said  was  a  season  of  firsts  for  this  team  and  their  quarterback Chad Pennington  who was  cast  aside by  the  New  York  Jets.  That bitter  taste  now  on the  palates  of  the  Jets  and  their  fans  has  got  to be  now all the  more  unbearable for  the  franchise  as  a whole. 

 

 

 

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NFL, Sports

All Is Not Lost It’s Still Business As Usual For The Pats ……….


My growth hasn’t been stunted  but I’m of  the  opinion  that  the New England  Patriots in their  efforts to  seal  another win  of  the  AFC East division are limping  all  the  way  to  the  finish  line.  Their  overwhelming victory  of a beleaguered Oakland  Raiders’ team  leads me to believe  that  they’ll either  scamper across the  line  or  fall  flat on their  face having  dragged  themselves there. Say nothing of  which  the New York Jets and  the Miami Dolphins have  made the race for the  division all the  more  interesting to say the least.

 

Ellis Hobbs of the Patriots is congratulated by a fan after the  player's TD in Oakland against the Raiders ...........

Ellis Hobbs of  the New England Patriots is hugged by  a fan after  the player’s  95 yd  TD run  in  a game  where  the Pats triumphed 49-26 over the Oakland Raiders in an AFC game  played  in Oakland, Ca. picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/Tom Mangold  ……………

 

We had been left for dead after Pro Bowl quarterback  Tom Brady went down  injured for the  season.  And what  with  last season’s  debacle in the  Superbowl still fresh  in  everyone’s  minds.  It was the belief that  in order to  redeem  themselves this season they’d  either have to  make it  back into the playoffs or  at least try  and  show  everyone  that they were still capable  of showing  their  prowess on the field. Rather than  being the butt of  everybody’s  jokes concerning Spygate.  Obviously with  that  being   ever present  in  a number  of  people’s  minds  and the  stain  therein  still not having  disappeared. I’m  one fan of  the  Pats who’s  hoping that  they can  redeem themselves  this  season.

 

Morris and  Welker  celebrate after  Morris'  TD against  the Raiders ..........

Sammy Morris of the  Patriots celebrates with teammate  Wes Welker after Morris’ touchdown  against the  Oakland Raiders during the game. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Martin Richardson  ……………………

 

Well  on Sunday  with  the  three teams ( Pats, New York and Miami Dolphins) being  in  a tie  atop of  the  division  it  was a  chance for either of the  three to  separate themselves from the  rest of  the division or at  best still  be  in a position whereby  everything would  be  on the  line  quite possibly  at season’s end. Though the advantage  within the division and conference sits squarely  with  the New York Jets.  And though we’ve  seen  all three teams slip up  somewhat  they’ve managed to maintain some semblance  of competitiveness as the  season has progressed.  The Dolphins have proven that last season’s 1-15 record was  just an aberration that’s forgotten.  And  the beating that they handed out to the Pats earlier on in the season  all but  assured their fans that this is now a team to be reckoned with. This isn’t your grandmother’s Dolphins anymore. Coach Tony Sparano along with  President  of  Operations Bill Parcells has  the  team heading in the right direction. The New York Jets for their part have  been rejuvenated  as the  Brett Favre Show has  come to town.  It’s the same old Brett Favre  but in a new style of clothing. The same cavalier attitude that we’ve  come to know of  Favre  is still  here with the player today.

 

Randy Moss  celebrates  his touchdown  against  the Raiders ..

Randy Moss(81) celebrates his touchdown against the  Oakland Raiders in Oakland ,California .  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/George Nitkin ………

 

Much has been said of the ongoing problems of the Raiders and  the fact  that this season  their problems have  manifested themselves to enormous proportions.  And  the team’s principal owner Al Davis seems to be botching  the day to day operations  of  the franchise  by seemingly being too overly involved in the franchise’s operations. With Tom Cable now leading  the franchise for this season and one can only summize  that  at season’s end there may well be  a change  for the franchise  as far its coaching  opportunities are concerned. It wasn’t that long ago  that  the Patriots  were  in a similar position as  that of the Raiders.  And as the team struggled a resolve  was in place  that if the franchise  were  to improve  then  they’d have  to  have  the right people  in place  from the executive  positions  on downwards.  If there’s been one failing of  the  Raiders it’s  been the fact  that  hasn’t  been put in place  by  its hierarchy. And if they’re to fare well in the future then Davis will have  to relinquish control of  the franchise to someone who  has the  knowledge  to place  on the right footing.   The Patriots  have  the template  as  how this can be achieved with owner Robert  Kraft, GM Scott Pioli alongside coach  Bill Belicheck.  As they say the rest is history. 

  

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