The Hardy They Come –
There’s a fine line between passion and implosion but that line must be a bit thicker in Dallas than it is in most places. Dez Bryant’s display of passion has been a lightning rod of discussion but his sideline antics pale in comparison to first-year Cowboy Greg Hardy. Hardy, apparently upset with the lack of effort displayed by the Cowboys special teams, decided to vent his frustration on the squad while special teams coach Rich Bisaccia was addressing his players. Hardy violently slapped the clip board out of the coach’s hand and proceeded to get into a physical altercation before being restrained by teammates.
While those outside of the organization saw a vulgar display of selfishness and an example of someone losing complete control of his emotions, the team’s owner chose to see the embarrassing display as an example of someone pumping up his teammates with a strong desire to win. Jason Garret, the head coach, also saw no issue dismissing the episode as an act of passion. General Manager Stephen Jones quickly doubled-down and revealed that he wished to sign Hardy to a long-term contract after this year. The more things change in Dallas, the more they stay the same.
Mallett Has a Quick Release –
The quarterback that was hand-picked by Bill Belichick to perhaps one day be the heir apparent to Tom Brady, then was a potential starter in Houston and ended up a backup to Brian Hoyer to start this season. Ryan Mallett took that news about as bad as one could and decided to sleep through his alarm the next day and miss practice. After Hoyer didn’t play up to expectations, head coach Bill O’Brien gave him the quick hook and it was Mallett’s time in Houston. Mallett, of course, didn’t play much better and after taking himself out after a big hit, he watched Hoyer take the reigns and not look back.
Mallett took the news about as worse as one could and decided to pout on the sidelines in front of a national audience. Things came to a head this past week when Mallett missed the team plane to Miami after being stuck in traffic which oddly enough prevented no other team or staff member from suffering the same fate. Mallett’s time in Houston was up and in an effort to not tip their hand and allow some other team from swooping in and signing T.J. Yates, the Texans wisely waited a day to make Mallett’s cut official because they were seriously worried about that for some reason.
Ravens Crowing –
The Baltimore Ravens are having a tough year. After getting tricked out of the playoffs after the Patriots bamboozled their way around a loophole in the eligible man rule, the Ravens decided to use a similar tactic on Monday Night football. The Ravens alerted the official that their offensive lineman was declaring as a receiver. Once the play netted 6 yards, the Ravens were flagged for the formation. John Harbaugh was not pleased
After Chris Johnson was taken down to the ground and had visibly stopped making an effort to gain yards, he popped up and sprinted 65 yards down the field before getting tackled. With no whistle being blown, Johnson wisely got up and ran toward the end zone which after being witnessed by my six year old daughter, turned to me and said “hey, that’s cheating.” John Harbaugh was not pleased. To compound both of those issues, the Ravens head sets went out on their final drive as they attempted to tie the game. If it wasn’t for bad luck it seems the Ravens would have none.
Breaker One, Breaker One, Might Be Crazy But I’m Not Dumb –
After a dismal start to the season at 1-6, the Lions were faced with the decision of dumping their offensive coordinator and starting anew. Joe Lombardi is out in Detroit, along with the offensive line coaches, and Jim Bob Cooter is now calling the shots and will take a look under the hood and see what he can do to fix the engine of the offense. Besides one small blip two weeks ago, the Lions have failed to generate much scoring or keep Matthew Stafford upright this season. Cooter was on the Broncos offensive staff when Peyton Manning had his resurgence and will hope to jump-start the offense against the Chiefs this week. With a bye week coming up after that, the Lions still have an outside of chance of getting on a bit of a run to salvage the season.
The Honeymoon is Over –
Rex Ryan wore out his welcome with the Jets after five years. It’s taken five weeks in Buffalo. The defensive players have loudly lamented on their misuse in a defense that was a top-5 unit under previous defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz. This season, Rex Ryan’s defense has wallowed in the bottom half of the league in the defensive rankings. Adding fuel to the fire slowly burning in Buffalo is the ever present lit match that is Percy Harvin. Reports of Harvin contemplating retirement have run rampant and the company line is that Harvin is out for an unspecified reason as they list him as a “non-football injury” on practice and game reports. Percy has shot back that he is simply injured and frustrated with his recovery time. The divorce is all but inevitable and as is the case with most divorces, the fight for money will most likely be coming next.
1. New England Patriots (6-0), last week 1: The Patriots almost dropped their chance to stay undefeated but ended up passing a tough test at home
2. Green Bay Packers (6-0), last week 2: After the bye week the Packers are set to host the Broncos at home
3. Cincinnati Bengals (6-0), last week 3: Cincy gets back to it and takes on the Steelers in a tough division matchup
4. Denver Broncos (6-0), last week 4: Peyton is set to quiet his critics in a bid to stay undefeated
5. Arizona Cardinals (5-2), last week 5: The Cardinals outplayed the Ravens despite the referees helping out
6. Carolina Panthers (6-0), last week 6: Carolina easily dispatched of the Eagles on Sunday night and now get to host Luck this week
7. Atlanta Falcons (6-1), last week 7: It hasn’t been pretty the past couple weeks
8. New York Jets (4-2), last week 8: They hung tough but in the end, the Patriots pulled away
9. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3), last week 9: Counting the days until Big Ben strikes back
10. Seattle Seahawks (3-4), last week 11: Seattle saved their season by winning a must-win game in San Fran last week
11. Minnesota Vikings (4-2), last week 13: The Vikings are doing just enough to win games and are a very quiet 4-2
12. Indianapolis Colts (3-4), last week 10: Well, they’re in first place so there’s that
13. Buffalo Bills (3-4), last week 12: After losing back-to-back games with Manuel, the Bills are praying Tyrod is ready after the bye
14. St. Louis Rams (3-3), last week 16: The Rams go as Gurley goes
15. New York Giants (4-3), last week 17: Someone has to win this division, why not them
16. Miami Dolphins (3-3), last week 18: The Dolphins demolished two inferior teams in a row but now get a real test with the Patriots
17. Oakland Raiders (3-3), last week 19: Oakland demolishes their intra-state rival and now host an emotionally drained Jets team
18. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4), last week 14: This team needs a bye, bad. Maybe a couple.
19. Dallas Cowboys (2-4), last week 15: By the time Romo returns it might not matter much
20. San Diego Chargers (2-5), last week 20: Well that was embarrassing
21. Chicago Bears (2-4), last week 24: The last three games have been decided by a total of 6 points
22. Washington (3-4), last week 27: The Skins were way down and fought back to beat the Bucs
23. New Orleans Saints (3-4), last week 28: For one day, the Saints played like the team they once had
24. Baltimore Ravens (1-6), last week 23: The Ravens didn’t stop fighting but still ended up with yet another loss
25. Cleveland Browns (2-5), last week 21: Start the Manziel watch now
26. Kansas City Chiefs (2-5), last week 25: No Charles, no Maclin, no problem. As long as the other team is down to their third quarterback
29. San Francisco 49ers (2-5), last week 29: Kaepernick had zero rushing attempts or yards last week. Why?
30. Jacksonville Jaguars (2-5), last week 32: The Jags win in their home away from home
27. Tennessee Titans (1-5), last week 26: The Titans won their first game of the season. That was nice.
28. Houston Texans (2-5), last week 22: Foster is gone (bad) and so is Mallett (good)
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-4), last week 30: The Bucs ran up the score before blowing the game in the end in a heartbreaker
32. Detroit Lions (1-6), last week 31: The Lions fired their offensive coordinator and offensive line coaching staff. Probably a good idea