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Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

NFL Lawyers Run Amok

January 30th, 2009 Comments off

I just don’t get what the NFL is doing with putting time restrictions on television stations showing highlights and interviews from games and not allowing the words “Super Bowl” or “Super Sunday” to be used in marketing.  It seems to me they are hurting their own product by limiting exposure in areas that might reach fringe or even non-fans.  I know they want to have control of their products and try to generate more revenues from these decisions, but I think they are hurting themselves in the long run by making the sport less relevant to people that are not already fans.

With the Super Bowl (I’m not marketing anything with it, so I can use it) coming this weekend, I just don’t get why they don’t want to allow a pizza company to advertise that you should call ahead to get your pizza for the Super Bowl.  It’s a free advertisement that also suggests that you should be watching the game this weekend because everybody else is.  How can that not be good for the NFL?  The tickets are already too expensive for most families, especially with the down economy.  You would think that they would love trying to draw new viewers to watch the games, and the Super Bowl is probably the best way to hook new fans.  I just think it’s silly.

Sources:
Station Web Sites Miss NFL Highlights
Off the Team: NFL’s infringement suit contends Coors is not a player.

Originally posted on my personal blog:  Odd Thoughts and Rants

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Ranking the NFL: Finale

July 17th, 2008 Comments off

I’ve compiled the final rankings. When I set out to do this, I was hoping it was going to show that the Falcons weren’t as bad as the experts think. But unfortunately, that didn’t prove to be the case. And frankly, I feel like a jackass since they finished only 2 points (out of 500) out of last place, just barely ahead of the Miami Dolphins.

I started this to break the doldrums of summer, and now that I’ve finished, like most things I don’t know if there is anything important here. I wouldn’t sit here and propose that the team that finished at the top (the Chargers) will have the best record in football. The top four teams: Chargers, Patriots, Cowboys, and Colts all finished so closely, that I wouldn’t contest an argument of anyone to claim either of those teams as the league’s best.

I guess at the end of the day all this shows is who is the best team on paper according to me. And I guess the Chargers win that honor by a hair. And I guess the Dolphins win the dishonor of being the league’s worst team, but again by only a marginal degree. My guess would be that the eventual Super Bowl winner is probably going to be one of the top four teams, and probably the team picking first in the draft next year is probably going to be one of the bottom four teams.

I’d like to believe that the rankings will be somewhat accurate. If all twelve playoff teams are represented in the Top 18 or so teams by the end of the year, then I’ll be happy.

Let’s just get to the final rankings. I also factored in special teams which counted for up to 36 points. I also factored in the schedule as well, with the teams with the easier schedules getting more points. That was worth up to 80 points, which made the absolute maximum for allowable points 500. No team got close to that. But here they are:


RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Chargers 359 A-
2 Patriots 358 A-
3 Cowboys 357 A-
4 Colts 357 A-
5 Jaguars 332 B+
6 Vikings 325 B+
7 Buccaneers 325 B+
8 Steelers 317 B
9 Eagles 313 B
10 Saints 312 B
11 Giants 307 B
12 Packers 298 B
13 Seahawks 296 B
14 Panthers 290 B
15 Rams 288 B
16 Broncos 286 B
17 Redskins 286 B
18 Titans 285 B
19 Bengals 284 B
20 Ravens 283 B
21 Bills 281 B-
22 Jets 281 B-
23 Bears 277 B-
24 Browns 275 B-
25 Cardinals 271 B-
26 Texans 271 B-
27 49ers 268 B-
28 Raiders 255 B-
29 Lions 244 B-
30 Chiefs 241 C+
31 Falcons 230 C+
32 Dolphins 228 C+

Why are the Falcons so low? If you’ve been reading throughout this thing, you’ll know exactly why. It’s because so few of the Falcons are proven playmakers. The team doesn’t lack talent, but in order for it to be good this year it will need contributions from a lot of guys that have been backups here in Atlanta or elsewhere, and improvement in a number of young, talented players. Guys like Chris Redman, Michael Turner, Laurent Robinson, Justin Blalock, Sam Baker, Jamaal Anderson, Chris Houston, Curtis Lofton, Erik Coleman, Jonathan Babineaux, etc. offer a lot of potential, but it remains to be seen if any of them will actually be what many term “good” this season. The potential is certainly there. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if most or all of these guys play up to their potential. But it also wouldn’t surprise me if they flame out. And given that, it’s hard to sit here and say the Falcons players will be better than expected and play up to their potential, while another young team like the Dolphins or 49ers their young players will crash and burn.

Final Thoughts
Now some of you are scoffing at this, and will cite this as evidence that I think the Falcons stink and hate them or whatever and question my fanhood. But whatever. Jamaal Anderson, in my eyes, represents a perfect analogy for this. Starting 16 games in the NFL at defensive end and not recording a single sack is a rare distinction. It happens, but not very often in the NFL. And as such, if asked to rank all 64 defensive ends in the league, Anderson must be near the bottom for that reason alone. Let’s say 60th for the sake of argument. Now, most of us believe Anderson will show improvement this year. If pressed for a prediction, I’d toss out 4.5 sacks for how many Anderson will have this year. And maybe that figure would rank him 36th as far as production goes among starting DEs this season. But even with that in mind, I’m not about to bump his rank up from 60th to 36th based off that projection if you’re still asking me to rank the DEs in the league. Rather, I’d still probably rank Anderson around 60th, but make a distinction that I believe he could show significant improvement by year’s end. I’m basically doing the same with the Falcons.

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Ranking the NFL: LBs and DBs

July 12th, 2008 Comments off

Due to a delay, I’ve decided to post the linebackers, cornerbacks, and safeties under one entry. Both linebackers and safeties are out of 36 points, and cornerbacks out of 48. You may notice that 3-4 teams tend to score well among linebacker rankings. That shouldn’t be too surprising since after all the 3-4 was created because teams had more quality linebackers than they did defensive linemen. Depth was real important for measuring cornerbacks, since due to the success of the Patriots last year with their multi-WR sets, having capable third and fourth corners has taken new importance than perhaps it has been in the past.

LINEBACKERS

RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Cowboys 32 A
2 Chargers 30 A-
3 Packers 26 B+
4 Bears 25 B
5 Panthers 25 B
6 Jaguars 24 B
7 Steelers 24 B
8 Patriots 22 B-
9 Seahawks 22 B-
10 Buccaneers 22 B-
11 49ers 21 B-
12 Ravens 20 B-
13 Redskins 20 B-
14 Bills 20 B-
15 Browns 20 B-
16 Titans 19 C+
17 Vikings 19 C+
18 Colts 18 C+
19 Cardinals 18 C+
20 Giants 18 C+
21 Chiefs 17 C+
22 Raiders 17 C+
23 Saints 17 C+
24 Jets 16 C
25 Falcons 13 C-
26 Rams 13 C-
27 Texans 13 C-
28 Broncos 13 C-
29 Dolphins 13 C-
30 Lions 12 C-
31 Bengals 12 C-
32 Eagles 11 C-

CORNERBACKS

RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Chargers 38 A-
2 Eagles 38 A-
3 Cowboys 36 B+
4 Raiders 34 B+
5 Broncos 32 B
6 Bears 32 B
7 Jaguars 31 B
8 Packers 30 B
9 Seahawks 30 B
10 Ravens 29 B-
11 Steelers 29 B-
12 Giants 28 B-
13 Panthers 28 B-
14 Buccaneers 28 B-
15 49ers 27 B-
16 Colts 26 B-
17 Vikings 25 C+
18 Lions 24 C+
19 Jets 24 C+
20 Redskins 23 C+
21 Rams 23 C+
22 Cardinals 22 C+
23 Titans 22 C+
24 Bills 21 C
25 Bengals 21 C
26 Saints 21 C
27 Patriots 21 C
28 Texans 20 C
29 Dolphins 16 C-
30 Chiefs 14 C-
31 Falcons 14 C-
32 Browns 12 D+

SAFETIES

RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Colts 28 A-
2 Vikings 27 B+
3 Cowboys 23 B
4 Steelers 23 B
5 Jaguars 22 B-
6 Bills 22 B-
7 Cardinals 21 B-
8 Buccaneers 21 B-
9 Patriots 21 B-
10 Seahawks 20 B-
11 Titans 20 B-
12 Eagles 20 B-
13 Broncos 20 B-
14 Saints 19 C+
15 Ravens 18 C+
16 Rams 18 C+
17 Browns 18 C+
18 Lions 18 C+
19 Giants 18 C+
20 Raiders 17 C+
21 Jets 17 C+
22 Packers 17 C+
23 Texans 17 C+
24 Redskins 15 C
25 49ers 15 C
26 Falcons 15 C
27 Panthers 15 C
28 Bears 15 C
29 Chiefs 15 C
30 Dolphins 15 C
31 Chargers 14 C
32 Bengals 13 C-

Why are the Falcons so low? Well in linebackers, it’s because of the lack of depth. Besides Nicholas there is no backup that has experience, and Nicholas is very limited. At cornerback, it’s because Brent Grimes is a projected starter. And although he’s impressed the Falcons coaches, it remains to be seen if he’ll be any good once the season starts. The Falcons essentially have a bunch of corners that are about on par with that of Jason Webster. And as far as safety goes, this is not an area of strength for the Falcons, although in relative terms we’re stronger there than many other parts of the roster.

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Ranking the NFL: Defensive Lines

June 30th, 2008 Comments off

The defensive line grades are up. I tried not to over-emphasize one great player, and tried to give credit to teams a bit more that had multiple impact players along their lines. Depth and the strength of the rotation matters as well. I tried my best not to make too big a bias towards stopping the run or rushing the passer. I think I found a pretty good balance, but if there is any skewing, it’s probably towards pass rush. Total points awarded for defensive lines was 48 points.

RNK TEAM        PTS  GRADE
1 Vikings 40 A-
2 Patriots 33 B+
3 Bears 32 B
4 Ravens 30 B
5 Saints 30 B
6 Colts 29 B
7 Giants 29 B
8 Steelers 29 B
9 Chargers 28 B-
10 Packers 28 B-
11 Bills 27 B-
12 Eagles 27 B-
13 Seahawks 27 B-
14 Buccaneers 26 B-
15 Texans 26 B-
16 Titans 26 B-
17 Browns 24 C+
18 Cowboys 24 C+
19 Jaguars 24 C+
20 Panthers 24 C+
21 Rams 23 C+
22 49ers 22 C+
23 Bengals 22 C+
24 Jets 22 C+
25 Broncos 21 C
26 Cardinals 21 C
27 Redskins 21 C
28 Falcons 20 C
29 Lions 20 C
30 Chiefs 19 C
31 Raiders 17 C-
32 Dolphins 15 C-

Why are the Falcons 28th? Simply put, because outside Abraham, no one has emerged as an impact player. The Falcons have pretty good depth, but they need one of their three other starters to emerge as a playmaker. Personally, I think you’ll see significant improvement from Anderson and Babineaux this year, but I’m not sure it’s going to be enough where the Falcons defensive line is considered good in relative times.

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Ranking the NFL: Offensive Lines

June 26th, 2008 Comments off

Okay, now it’s time to rank the offensive lines around the league. This position gets a full 48 points in value. I must say though that these rankings are less about production, and more about talent level. And it also does skewer towards pass protection more so than run blocking. There are some teams at the bottom that run the ball very well, but are basically at the bottom because they can’t pass block.

RNK TEAM       PTS  GRADE
1 Chargers 38 A-
2 Patriots 37 A-
3 Eagles 32 B
4 Cowboys 32 B
5 Buccaneers 32 B
6 Colts 31 B
7 Packers 30 B
8 Redskins 30 B
9 Titans 29 B-
10 Seahawks 27 B-
11 Vikings 27 B-
12 Giants 25 C+
13 Browns 25 C+
14 BEngals 25 C+
15 Jets 24 C+
16 Saints 23 C+
17 Broncos 23 C+
18 Jaguars 22 C+
19 Bills 22 C+
20 Rams 22 C+
21 Cardinals 20 C
22 Panthers 20 C
23 Bears 19 C
24 Texans 19 C
25 Ravens 19 C
26 Steelers 18 C
27 Dolphins 16 C-
28 Lions 16 C-
29 Falcons 16 C-
30 Chiefs 15 C-
31 49ers 14 C-
32 Raiders 14 C-

Why are the Falcons 29th? Some of you are probably thinking they should be 32nd, but I don’t think the Falcons offensive line is as bad as it often gets accused of being. It’s bad, but not terrible. I think injuries really hurt us last year. But the main reason we aren’t at the very bottom is I believe our depth is superior to most of the other teams near the bottom of the list. Frankly, as far as our depth goes, we should probably be in the top half of teams. Unfortunately, our starters (i.e. the guys that matter) just aren’t that good.

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Ranking the NFL: Tight Ends

June 19th, 2008 Comments off

I probably should have just lumped this in with receivers, but I wanted to sort of factor in the run blocking aspect of this position. And instead of strictly grading teams on how good a group of receivers they havee, I tried to factor in guys that can push the pile as well. Although I must say, it is still biased towards receivers, since I counted more in favor of a guy who is a top-tier pass catcher than a guy that is one of the better run blockers for this position group. Maximum points is 24.

RNK TEAM       PTS GRADE
1 Chargers 19 A-
2 Cowboys 17 B+
3 Giants 16 B
4 Titans 15 B
5 Browns 15 B
6 Steelers 15 B
7 Chiefs 15 B
8 Colts 15 B
9 Rams 14 B-
10 Texans 14 B-
11 Ravens 14 B-
12 Redskins 14 B-
13 Jaguars 13 B-
14 Bears 13 B-
15 Jets 13 B-
16 Broncos 13 B-
17 Buccaneers 13 B-
18 Saints 12 C+
19 Bengals 12 C+
20 Vikings 11 C+
21 Patriots 11 C+
22 Eagles 11 C+
23 49ers 11 C+
24 Cardinals 9 C
25 Dolphins 8 C
26 Lions 8 C
27 Seahawks 7 C-
28 Packers 7 C-
29 Bills 7 C-
30 Raiders 7 C-
31 Falcons 6 D+
32 Panthers 4 D

Why are the Falcons so low? While Hartsock, Milner, and whoever should fill in ably as far as the Falcons are concerned in the ground game, they still leave a lot to be desired as receivers. And at some point in the year, you are going to have use for a tight end that can open up the middle of the field in the passing game. And that’s something the Falcons clearly lack, unless either of those players can come out of their shell and blossom.

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Ranking the NFL: Wide Receivers

June 16th, 2008 Comments off

Here are my rankings of the wide receivers. I just factored in each team’s projected top four wideouts, since those are typically the only guys that get extensive playing time in a given year. Maximum points for this position is 36.

RNK TEAM      PTS  GRADE
1 Colts 30 A-
2 Patriots 28 B+
3 Cardinals 27 B+
4 Cowboys 24 B
5 Packers 24 B
6 Lions 24 B
7 Browns 23 B
8 Chargers 23 B
9 Steelers 21 B-
10 Texans 21 B-
11 Bengals 20 B-
12 Giants 20 B-
13 Seahawks 20 B-
14 Buccaneers 19 C+
15 Panthers 19 C+
16 Saints 19 C+
17 Broncos 19 C+
18 Jaguars 18 C+
19 Vikings 18 C+
20 Jets 17 C+
21 Eagles 17 C+
22 Falcons 17 C+
23 Rams 16 C
24 Ravens 16 C
25 49ers 15 C
26 Raiders 14 C
27 Bills 14 C
28 Redskins 13 C-
29 Bears 12 C-
30 Dolphins 11 C-
31 Titans 11 C-
32 Chiefs 8 D+

Why are the Falcons so low? Despite my feelings that wide receiver is one of our stronger positions, that is mostly relative to the rest of the team. Roddy White is solid as they come, but it remains to be seen if Robinson, Jenkins, and/or Douglas can step up and fill the mantle as a true blue No. 2 NFL receiver. And while I think each have that potential, I need to see it before I start indicating it in rankings.

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Ranking the NFL: Running Backs

June 12th, 2008 Comments off

Okay, now that the rankings for the quarterbacks have sunk in, it’s time to move on to the running backs. Depth is a bit more important at this position than it is at the quarterback position, since we’re seemingly now in an era of football where most teams can’t go through a season without being 2-deep at this position. This also factors in a team’s fullback as well. The maximum points for this position is 48.


RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Jaguars 39 A-
2 Vikings 36 B+
3 Steelers 32 B
4 Chargers 31 B
5 49ers 31 B
6 Ravens 30 B
7 Redskins 30 B
8 Eagles 27 B-
9 Cowboys 27 B-
10 Giants 27 B-
11 Bengals 27 B-
12 Colts 26 B-
13 Rams 24 C+
14 Chiefs 24 C+
15 Jets 24 C+
16 Titans 24 C+
17 Buccaneers 24 C+
18 Falcons 24 C+
19 Bills 23 C+
20 Raiders 23 C+
21 Saints 23 C+
22 Panthers 22 C+
23 Dolphins 21 C
24 Browns 21 C
25 Patriots 20 C
26 Packers 20 C
27 Bears 19 C
28 Cardinals 18 C
29 Seahawks 18 C
30 Texans 16 C-
31 Broncos 14 C-
32 Lions 12 D+

Why are the Falcons so average? You might be wondering. Simply because Michael Turner is a far less proven feature back than most of the other teams ranked ahead of the Falcons have, and Jerious Norwood while an excellent complementary runner is not a guy that can handle a bulk of carries. A while both players have enormous potential to catapult this position into one of the better units in the league, it simply remains to be seen if this coaching staff will be able to take advantage of that potential.

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Ranking the NFL: Quarterbacks

June 9th, 2008 Comments off

Okay, you often see the so-called experts on the big football sites have their rankings of the entire league by position. Well, since it’s June and there’s nothing better to do, I’ll try my hand at this as well.

At the end it should be a good measure of which teams are the best. Although I should say that this will really only be a ranking of talent, and not really a prediction of how well each of these teams will perform this year. There’s always a team that despite having only average talent, manages to outperform that for a variety of reasons. ANd there is always at least one team that is very talented that vastly underachieves those performances.

Each position will be weighted a certain amount of points, at the end the maximum being 500 (although I already know no team will reach that figure). For example, being strong at quarterback will earn you more points than being strong at tight end, based off my zany belief that have a great QB is going to win you more games than having a great TE. At the end, based on these rankings we should be able to say that this team has the most talent or whatever.

And while I welcome your critiques and comments, just remember this is a experiment to curb boredom over the next few weeks, so don’t take it too seriously.

Okay, enough talk, let’s get down to the quarterbacks. The maximum points earned is 60 points for this position. I put a letter grade also to make it easier to understand how much the point values correspond to.


RNK TEAM PTS GRADE
1 Colts 54 A
2 Patriots 52 A-
3 Cowboys 45 B+
4 Steelers 44 B+
5 Saints 41 B
6 Jaguars 40 B
7 Bengals 38 B
8 Giants 37 B-
9 Eagles 36 B-
10 Chargers 35 B-
11 Buccaneers 34 B-
12 Texans 33 B-
13 Broncos 32 C+
14 Panthers 31 C+
15 Seahawks 31 C+
16 Titans 29 C+
17 Browns 28 C+
18 Rams 28 C+
19 Lions 26 C
20 Redskins 26 C
21 Vikings 25 C
22 Cardinals 24 C
23 Bills 22 C-
24 Packers 21 C-
25 Jets 21 C-
26 Bears 18 C-
27 49ers 16 D+
28 Chiefs 15 D+
29 Ravens 14 D+
30 Dolphins 13 D+
31 Raiders 11 D
32 Falcons 10 D

Why are the Falcons last? Frankly, I think it’s a toss-up between Chris Redman, JaMarcus Russell, Josh McCown, and Brodie Croyle will be the league’s worst starter this season. And of course I’ll agree Redman has upside, don’t count me as one of those people that believe he’ll reach it. Not to factor in that unlike the Raiders, Dolphins, and Chiefs, their backup situation is a bit better than ours. WE have Ryan, but he’s not going to do much this year, at least not in my opinion. Those three other teams at least have No. 2s with some experience.

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NFL challenges Vick ruling

February 14th, 2008 Comments off

The AP reports that the National Football League is asking a federal court to vacate the ruling of U.S. District Court Judge David Doty’s ruling in regards to the Falcons attempts to recoup bonus money paid to jailed and currently suspended quarterback Michael Vick. The league also seeks to end Doty’s jurisdiction in the league’s labor matters.

Doty reversed a previous ruling by NFL special master Stephen Burbank that indicated the Falcons could recoup $19.97 million in bonus money from Vick. Doty’s ruling indicated that more than $16 million of that figure was not eligible for the team to regain. Doty first presided over the 1992 antitrust suit, which granted him jurisdiction in these labor matters over than a decade. The league indicated that Doty’s comments from earlier this month about the ruling indicates that he is biased towards them. The league released a statement:

“Michael Vick breached his contract and cannot play because he was convicted of a felony and is sitting in jail. Despite those facts, the judge held that Vick is entitled to keep nearly $20 million in bonus money paid to him for playing football through the 2014 season. No other industry has its labor relations supervised by a federal judge in the way we do, and at this point, after 15 years of labor peace, it is hard to understand why such oversight is necessary or (why it is) an appropriate use of judicial resources.”

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