Sunday, November 27, 2011

Return of the MAC

Actually, don't call it a comeback, they been here for years. There are rarely, if ever, any bluechippers going to Mid American Conference programs out of high school and its schools don't often get more than a couple of guys drafted in the first couple rounds of the draft each year. However, if you look around the league, there is an rather high number (relatively) of MAC grads (or non-grads) considered elite at their positions.

This is just off the top of my head because I couldn't find a recently updated list of MAC Alums in the NFL. VanDelay Sports has the best one, but it appears to be at least five years old.

QB- Ben Roetherlisberger, Steelers (Miami)
RB- Michael Turner, Falcons (Northern Illinois)
WR- Greg Jennings, Packers (Western Michigan)
DE- James Harrison, Steelers (Kent State)
TE- Antonio Gates, Chargers (Kent State)
PR- Josh Cribbs, Browns (Kent State)

There are also a few guys in recent memory who were among the top at their position such as:

DE- Jason Taylor, Dolphins (Akron)
WR- Randy Moss, Patriots/Vikings/etc. (Marshall)
CB- Asante Samuel, Patriots/Eagles (Central Florida)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why are so Many Quarterbacks Getting Injured this Year?

Out for the season:
Chad Henne, torn shoulder muscle
Matt Schaub, broken foot
Matt Cassel, broken hand
Jay Cutler, broken thumb
Jason Campbell, broken collarbone
Peyton Manning, neck

Missed one or more games:
Michael Vick, broken ribs
Sam Bradford, sprained ankle
Kevin Kolb, turf toe

Expected to miss one or more games:
Matt Hasselbeck, sprained elbow

Playing hurt:
Matt Stafford, broken index finger

Benched for poor play:
Donovan McNabb
Rex Grossman/John Beck
Kyle Orton
Luke McCown
Kerry Collins

Six guys are out for the season and four have missed more than one game (or are expected to). Add that to the five scrubs who lost their jobs and almost half the teams in the NFL have trotted out a back-up QB for some or most of the season.

I don't have an answer to the title of this post, but I wanted to point out this seems like a high percentage of leading men missing a significant amount of time. Especially interesting is the ever-increasing number of rules the NFL makes to protect the QBs, and here we are with almost one-third of them missing games this year due to injury.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Luckstakes, Pt. III

The legend of Luck continues to grow after  Here's round three of the rankings, through Week 8.

1. Dolphins, 0-7 (Last rank: 1)
You can't knock Miami's competitiveness. They dominated the Broncos for 55 minutes only to blow it and Matt Moore looked like a good NFL player for a half against the Giants in Jersey before sucking in the second half. Everyone in the lockerroom keeps saying how pissed they are about the Suck for Luck talk, but being pissed and being good at football aren't the same thing. This team finds ways to lose games and their owner is 100% invested in getting the #1 be it by 'earning it' or making a trade.

2. Colts, 0-8 (2)
Absolutely murdered by the Saints, who then went out and got pounded by the Rams. They're terrible, but it's looking like 18 may come back for a few games late to see what he's got left. Peyton will win one or two of the last three games of the year (TEN, HOU @JAX) if he comes back around then.

3. Cardinals, 1-6 (4)
Kolb is terrible, and now he's hurt. Larry Fitzgerald needs a good QB to be as great as he can be. This team sucks and would be all over Luck.

4. Broncos, 2-5 (6)

Tebow has looked unfortunately terrible for most of his two games as starter. I drink the Tebow kool-aid 24/7 and expect him to win enough games to stay out of the top 5 picks in the draft. Watch for Elway to make a trade for #1 to get a stud Stanford QB like himself.

5. Rams, 1-6 (9)
Bradford misses a game, St. Louis wins against one of the best teams it's played all year. Maybe the Rams QB of the future is AJ FEELEY. Really though, Bradford hasn't played well this year, but if they get Luck and trad Bradford, there won't be much of a market for an injury prone (remember his time at Oklahoma) regressing QB. Good news is they have four games left vs. Seattle and Arizona.

6. Seahawks, 2-5 (NR)

TJax looks decent then awful. However they get to play St. Louis twice and Arizona once more so they'll be able to finish with enough wins to preclude them from getting Lucky, but watch out for Landry Jones or Matt Barkley.

7. Jaguars 2-6, (7)
Blaine Gabbert looks more like a hockey player with that hair. He probably would pronounce his name Gay-Bear or Gah-Bear if he was an NHL center instead of a QB.

8. Washington, 3-4 (NR)
Beck and Grossman are awful. So have been most of their QBs this decade besides Jason Campbell. Not just this decade... Maybe since Mark I forgetting a good Washington signal caller?

9. Vikings, 2-6 (3)

Christian Ponder is looking pretty decent in hanging with the Packers in his first start, then beating the Panthers in his second. They'll win a few games this year and not draft (or need to draft) Luck.

10. Panthers, 2-6 (8)
Newton is killing it. No shot they draft the kid from Stanford.

Dropped out
Eagles 3-4 (10)
Browns, 3-4 (5)