Hello Fellow Rumblers,
As we wait for the end of the season next week for our team, I wanted to talk about a few things:
1. For those who speak wrestling, you know the difference between a top tier wrestler who A. Loses in a count out. B Loses in a Disqualification or C gets pinned in the middle of the mat. For those of you who don't speak wrestling, options A and B don't harm the status of the wrestler, while option C might have bad undertones of his future in that company.
What does that have to do with NFL? How teams lose matters. It might not count for those who don't like moral victories, but, losing on the road isn't nearly as bad as losing at home. Most of you know I'm not a Tannehill fan, but, I can't say much about him b/c his team was a no-show. And for those of you old enough, Kelly, Marino, Elway etc have all played in such lopsided losses that nothing can be gained. And not much is said, if the loss is at home. But, the way the Ravens lost, oh boy, that's trouble. Getting beaten that bad by a Pats club that lost to the fish the previous week is what scares me about Brady and Co. That is why I hope they win and retire. Let the new era begin.
2. How bizarre is it that the 6th seeded team for the AFC playoff needs help? There isn't one single favorite. I don't ever remember such an event. Miami could win and be out of the playoffs. Baltimore could win and be sitting home, and the same is true with San Diego. I'm not counting Pitt b/c they need all 3 to lose next week. I have never seen such a crazy scenario. Ever.
3. I know it won't happen, but, Fred Jackson is one of the best players of all time, period. He will be on the Wall of Fame, but, he deserves more. That might seem Homer Simpsonish, but, I don't care. He's a warrior the likes the league very rarely sees. To play with broken ribs yesterday is unheard of. He deserves to at least experience a playoff game before the grim reaper comes knocking on his career….
4. I want to say this b/c I have read far too many comments about Ej being a sissy b/c he couldn't play with a sprain, but, Freddie could play with broken ribs. 2 very different ailments and positions. And I honestly have a feeling that the coach kept EJ out b/c he couldn't practice, not b/c he couldn't play. And if Ej can't get reps, he isn't savvy enough to play. And lastly, it isn't his call. It's the coaching staff and the doctors that make that call. Kudos to Freddie, but, there is no connection to the injuries of any other player and what they can and can't deal with.
5. Wow, that defense. Take out one 50 yard bomb by their backup QB and Miami had 51 plays for 53 yards. That is crazy good. I haven't seen a whipping that good since the 90's.
6. I think Thad is a decent backup QB. He went 2-2. He easily could have been 3-1 (if they beat Cinci in OT). I think that is all you can ask of a backup QB. I think you go forward next year with EJ, Thad and Tuel...
7. I loved the power running game. Again, the dolphins D was pretty good against the run and the Bills controlled the clock after they got the lead. I don't care if a QB has to be a game manager and make a few plays until he builds up enough confidence to take control. Baby steps is fine, and at the very least, we know Thad can do that, and the running game should be a force next year. Especially with (the presumed) 2 OL they should be bringing in...
8. One thing about the new NFL, all the teams are close. MParker said that every team is a few guys away. He's right. Would it shock anyone if Houston gets back to the playoffs next year? Or Tampa rises to their talent level? Or Atlanta? Or Buffalo? There is some serious talent. And the fact that they re-signed Alan Branch is a good showing. I have expected Carrington to leave. And i bet he will. Branch is an important part of the D with his versatility. One good draft or free agency signing and they are pretty much set.
Don't look ,but, the team was mostly healthy this year. I think their effort in looking for guys who aren't injury prone might be starting to pay off. You can never tell if a guy will end up hurt, like Troup, but, is anyone shocked that Gronk is where he is today, sitting on IR and having surgery after surgery. You can't ever predict injuries (especially for OL and DL b/c you can easily have a guy fall on your leg and BAM! there goes your ACL.), but, if a guy has a long history in high school and college, then chances are, he will as a pro. If the guy is elite (like Mario), you roll the dice, if he's not, I see no reason to keep him on the team...
I also want to wish all of you and your loved ones a happy Christmas or whatever holiday you observe. Stay safe and look forward to a good Bills season, I have seen the future, and it starts next year, or was that the medication??