by Terri Bey
The first half of the 2019-20 NFL Season has flown by, and there has been some very interesting things going on in the National Football League. At this writing, the trading deadline is fast approaching and there has been some trading. During the first half of the current season, there has been some great playing, poor playing, and of course drama and controversy, much of it media driven. Who needs Soap Operas, when the NFL will suffice?
In this blog, I will be discussing all the ups and downs of the 2019-20 NFL Season. I will discuss what is awesome and what is not. Trust me. There is plenty of events that have happened in the first eight weeks of the NFL season to put in both categories. So without further ado, here is my blog. Feedback is welcome and encouraged.
An ACTUAL race for the MVP of the league.
Yes, my readers, there is an actual race for the MVP of the NFL. There are several players who have a great chance at this point in the season to walk away with the top prize. Let’s look at them. They are, along with their stats as follows: Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (2,180 yards for 15 TDs against 1 INT), Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey (735 yards for 8 TDs and had 39 receiving yards), Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (2,324 yards for 16 TDs against 2 INTs, Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (2,127 yards for 17 TDs against 1 INT), and Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson (2,233 yards for 16 TDs against 5 INTs.) I realize that in the minds of the experts, the race is in between Aaron Rodgers and the ailing Patrick Mahomes. Before I continue, I want to wish Mahomes a speedy recovery and I am praying for him.
The candidate that I personally like is Deshaun Watson of the Texans. This young man is electrifying to watch. He has the stats to match, and since the offensive line is starting to play together a lot better, Watson is at the point where he can put the team on his shoulders. The team is going to need to depend more on Watson even more, now that DT J.J. Watt is once again out for the season with a pectoral muscle tear. I also pray for Watt to come back healthy.
I do have to add that if a one Dante Scarnecchia, the offensive line coach in New England can get the New England Patriots’ offensive line straightened out, as he admittedly said he needs to do, I think a one Tom Brady, who plays quarterback could make a run in the deep stretch and make a case for himself. I am looking at his stats up to this point where Brady has thrown for 2,251 yards and 13 TDs and 4 INTs, and I think he might have a puncher’s chance at the title as well.
Two Undefeated Teams Left
In speaking of the New England Patriots, they and and the San Francisco 49ers are the two undefeated teams left at this point in the season. Much of the media attention is going to a possible “undefeated season” for the Patriots, as they went 16-0 in 2007. However, I think what should get some attention is the fact that there is a possibility that the 49ers could go undefeated or maybe BOTH could go undefeated. I am on record as saying that I don’t think any team with go undefeated because there are just too many variables like a bad day at the office, and the usual, “any given Sunday or Monday Night or Thursday Night.” I think this is a great accomplishment for both teams to have achieved at this point.
Carolina Panther DE Gerald McCoy got a little help from his friends.
This is one of the most positive stories I have heard all season. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers DE Gerald McCoy, who now plays for the Carolina Panthers, could not make his son Marcellus’ “Senior Night” at Tampa Catholic High School, because the Panthers had already flown to California for their Week 8 matchup against the 49ers. Well, three of McCoy’s friends and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammates QB Jameis Winston, linebacker Lavonte David, wide receiver Mike Evans and offensive lineman Donavan Smith went to the “Senior Night” in support. They sent McCoy a video as well. ( https://www.panthers.com/news/gerald-mccoy-humbled-by-former-buccaneers-teammates-attending-his-son-s-senior-d )
This story nearly moved me to tears. It showed me that sports in general brings people together. Even if teammates move on to other teams, there is a brother and/or sisterhood when you play with someone for a long period of time. Over that time, you can develop a bond with people that in cases like this are never broken. We can all learn from this.
Bill Belichick gets 300th win.
In their Week 8 win against the Cleveland Browns, the New England Patriots reached a new landmark for their famous coach, Bill Belichick. Belichick won his 300th game, including playoffs. There is also something interesting about that win. Belichick’s first victory as a head coach was when he was the head coach of the Cleveland Browns, they beat the New England Patriots. Well, his 300th victory came at the expense of the Cleveland Browns. Seriously, this is a great milestone, and while people either love him or hate him, the man is one of, if not the greatest coach ever. Congratulations Coach Belichick.
BOTH Ohio based NFL teams.
Both NFL teams in the state of Ohio are dumpster fires this year. One has been for years, and continues to be. That would be the Cincinnati Bengals. The other got a little bit of success, and got all these talented players in the off-season, and then many of the so-called “experts” started handing them the AFC North and even started putting them in the Super Bowl. This team also features one of the most arrogant QBs I have seen. That would be the Cleveland Browns.
Let me start with the Cincinnati Bengals. I don’t know if ineptitude is in the motto of the team, but this team is going nowhere fast. The trade deadline is past. WR A.J. Green is gone after the season is over and the Bengals wouldn’t move him and get SOMETHING for him? The team also evidently wanted the moon for TE Tyler Eifert. The Bengals just benched their starting QB Andy Dalton. What is wrong with this team? They are 0-8. This team needs a new owner. Period.
Now, let’s discuss the OTHER Ohio team. Oh brother, what a mess. If you watched their Week 8 match-up against the Patriots, you would have seen their ineptitude in a nutshell. With the exception of periods where the team ran the ball well with RB Nick Chubb, the Cleveland Browns showed a national audience that they surely were not ready for the big time. They were not deserving of all the hype they were getting. Right out of the starting gate, this team was unprepared, and they had a bye week, and they were going up against the Patriots who were coming off of a short week. The first three Browns offensive drives were: Fumble by Chubb returned by Patriots defense for TD, Chubb runs and almost makes it to the endzone when caught by Patriots DB Jonathan Jones who causes Chubb to fumble it again and Patriots recover, and interception to Patriots defender Laurence Guy.
The Browns’ were so undisciplined. Just like the game against the Seahawks, the Browns could not get out of their own way. The Browns made so many penalties in the Patriot game. There were so many false starts and holding penalties. It comes from poor coaching. Head coach Freddie Kitchens was awful. The team ran out of challenges because Kitchens made two bone-headed challenges and lost both of them. The first one was when it was clear to anyone, including Ray Charles, that Patriots WR Mohammed Sanu got the first down and the other was when the Browns were nailed for pass interference on a pick play. Whomever gave Kitchens advice to challenge both of those needs to be fired. Losing the challenges also hurt the team when it came to their timeouts, as when you lose a challenge, you have a timeout taken from you.
The sad thing is that in many of these games, the Browns defense usually plays well enough for the team to win, like against the Patriots. The Browns team has a lot of talent, especially on offense. The team needs a head coach that can soothe all these egos and be able to get them to play together as a well oiled machine. Kitchens may be a good offensive coordinator, but I don’t think he is a good coach.
You all didn’t think I would NOT comment about the refereeing in the NFL, did you? Tampa Bay Buccaneer head coach Bruce Arians and others have been quite vocal about the inconsistent refereeing. I agree with him. One thing I totally agree with him is that incompetent referees need to be held accountable. There is so much riding on these games, such as playoff positions, wins, seasons, and jobs. I know there is the “human element,” but I am tired of the excuses. These referees have jobs. They need to do their jobs correctly. They need to be held accountable for the jobs they do.
Is Sports Media becoming TMZ?
I am not an either/or person. I usually don’t like what society and discussion has become lately, this zero-sum routine. However, I do wonder about sports media and what it is becoming, especially concerning the NFL, and how it reports on certain teams, especially how it reports on one particular team. I know sports is entertainment. I get that. However, do sports fans really need to know about which sports star is in some “Twitter feud” with another sports star? Is that really important? Some time ago, on the ESPN show, “Get Up,” former NFL head coach Rex Ryan and show regular said that Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield was “overrated.” Well, Mayfield, who has an opinion on EVERYTHING, responded and then we had a little back and forth between Mayfield and Ryan. Why is this necessary?
I now will talk about the most recent drama that ESPN, of course, cooked up about, who else, Tom Brady. ESPN’s obsession with trying to discredit Tom Brady and the Patriots for the past 20 years is something I will never understand. On Monday Night Football, during Week 7 when the Patriots just destroyed the New York Jets, ESPN’s Adam Schefter made some claim that Tom Brady might be leaving New England on the basis that he is selling his house and Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero is also selling his house. When the pre-game co-host profootball Hall of Famer Randy Moss pressed Schefter about it, Schefter clammed up.
So, now this “issue” about “Brady’s future” has become a story. We have Schefter and his fellow minions in other media parroting something that has been known since AUGUST. Everyone, including Schefter, already knew that Brady’s contract ends after this season. Everyone, including Schefter, already knew that Brady is selling his house. Everyone, including Schefter, already knew that Brady will be a free agent. Everyone, including Schefter, already knew that Brady could go back to the Patriots, sign with someone else, or retire after this season. Everyone, including Schefter, already knew that Bill Belichick coaches the team and Bob Kraft owns the team, and that would attract Brady. Why is this a story NOW? Even Brady doesn’t even know.
Of course, there is the usual discrediting of the Patriots by the media. The new line is “they haven’t beaten anybody.” These media folks are saying this about the 49ers as well, but not as much as about the Patriots. Well, that expression is one of the dumbest expressions ever. The Patriots don’t make the schedule. No team makes the schedule. People need to stop being lazy and go to a search engine and look up how the NFL schedule is made. Every team plays the teams on the schedule at the time they get that team. I even heard this about 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. “He didn’t beat anybody.” Likewise, American Pharoah beat only the horses who faced him in the three Triple Crown races.
That is my blog. I hope you enjoyed it.