The GeeksverseThe Long Bomb: 2012 Week 8

The Long Bomb: 2012 Week 8
Published on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 by

This week showed that a couple of contenders might really be pretenders well some other contenders bounced back.

This week was the (now) annual game in London. The Patriots took on the Rams in the 84,000+ seat Wembley Stadium. Next year there will be two games across the pond. All this is in hopes of raising awareness and popularity of American football in London with a team relocating there eventually. And at the same time a new relocating to Los Angeles. A team would have to relocate because there are 32 teams now, 2 conferences and 4 divisions of 4 teams each. That’s too perfect a number to mess with.

But does London really want an NFL team? There was NFL Europe that folded a couple of years ago. But does that count since it was really just a developmental league for the NFL itself (which is something the League could use)? I’m not sure how well American football does in Europe, there was an awful lot of seats covered by tarps along the edge of the stadium. But the rest of it was packed and with the covered seats it was probably around 60,000+ (if not more) fans. That’s equal to an American stadium.

Next year will show how popular it would be. If two games can sell out, that would go a long ways towards proving that it is popular. But is it worth it? Which team would want to relocate? Would players really want to spend so much of the year out of the country and away from their families?

The money might be there, but will the dedication of the players? The first year or two might be cool, but the novelty aspect of it would wear off pretty quick I’d imagine.

Time will tell, but I don’t think having a team permenantly in London for 8 games out of the year would be worth it in the long run.

1- Let me tell you a story about a wide receiver from Rutgers named Tiquan Underwood, he of the Kid ‘n Play hair (will anyone get that reference?). Last year he played for the New England Patriots. He played in the preseason, went on the practice squad, got called up a couple of times, got sent down a couple of times making space for players that were needed more due to injury. This happened throughout the year and during the post-season he was on the increased active roster. I can’t remember how often he played, but it wasn’t much. Just before the Super Bowl he was cut so they could bring up a defensive player.

Cut to this year and he’s on the roster in the preseason and cut before the season. He winds up in Tampa Bay and has gotten some playing time. He’s made a couple catches and scored a touchdown or two.

Why do I bring this up? Just to let all the other players out there that find themselves in Tiquan’s place to not give up as they could get their shot at any moment.

Just ask Andre Brown, running back for the Giants.

And oh yeah, Tiquan did end up getting an AFC Championship ring from the Patriots.

2- When you attend a football game (or any sport) live you wear your team’s gear. You’re either for the home team (majority) or for the away team. Wearing the gear helps identify you with your fellow fans as well as shows support for your team. On tv, you’ll hear announcers say a team has a good “traveling fanbase”, this means they look in the stands and see a ton of jersey’s for the visitor’s team.

Watching the Buccaneers/Vikings game and I saw a Denver Bronco’s jersey in the stands. The only place I’d think it would be okay to wear the jersey of neither team that is playing would be in Wembley Stadium during the London game.

3- The Vikings were one of the surprise teams this year, starting out great. What happened? Much like the Cardinals, the Vikings fast start is looking like just that, a fast start. They’re looking like frauds and don’t look to be contenders at the end of the year if this keeps up.

4- Whoever thought it would be a good idea to wear those Steelers throwback uniforms? They should be fired.

I like throwbacks, for the most part. The Patriots red with Pat Patriot, the Chargers powder blue… Those are good throwbacks. The Green Bay, Jet’s old Titans colors, and Buc’s Creamsicle uniforms? Not good. Add the Steelers to the not good list.

5- I always find the starting line-ups announced to be funny. This comes at the start of every football game. The funny part is not the players trying to be humorous by changing what they say. It’s supposed to be the highest level school you graduated from (yeah, notice how many players didn’t graduate from the college they went to?), which is why you get so many high schools, but some players try to change it up.

No, the funny part is that they starting line-up usually only lasts for the first play. If that.

Alot of the time, because of time-outs, quick 3 and outs, etc.. the line-up isn’t even shown until that line-up has come and gone.

Why not change it to the top 13 or so players that get the most snaps? Or just the rookies that are playing, or guys that just came off injury.

The starting line-up is useless in football.

6- So how can both Fox and Monday Night Football have America’s Game of the Week? The Fox game is whichever one Joe Buck and Troy Aikman are covering. But how can there be two? Is one North America’s Game of the Week? I’m confused.

7- Heard a lot about the Bounty scandal and the appeals during the Saints game, obviously. Jonathan Vilma is appealing his suspension still, as are a couple of other players. Should he have the right to cross examine Gregg Williams and other witnesses? Yes he should, but this is what sticks out the most to be: Sean Payton, Gregg Williams and Mickey Loomis (Saint’s GM) are not appealing their suspensions.

Why is that? If they’re innocent, like Vilma says he is, then wouldn’t they want to appeal? Especially Gregg Williams, who has been banned for life (at this point anyways, watch him do some NFL community service and be reinstated).

It’s too Sean Payton’s benefit to not appeal. The worse the Saints look without him, the better he looks as a coach.

Now Vilma could be innocent, but just the fact that Payton, Williams, Loomis and Joe Vitt (whose suspension was finished this week) haven’t appealed makes me wonder. You’d think if they were innocent they would appeal.

So does it support Vilma’s innocence?

8- I think we can add Ken Whisenhunt to the list of coaches that might be let go after this season. If I’m an owner, I’d want a coach with an aggressive attitude, especially when losing.

The Cardinals, late in the 3rd and down by a lot, went for it on a 4th and 2 play. They needed to go for it. They had no choice. They were out of field goal range and needed to get some points on the board.

They made it and got a fresh set of downs. Now, still done a ton of points, they got into a 4th and long situation in the red zone.

You started off strong but have lost 3 straight. Your team and your season are going down the drain. You have one of the best receivers in football. You just went for it on 4th and converted. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU KICKING A FIELD GOAL!?!?!?

Three points does nothing except let the coach say “we weren’t shut out”. Going for it, and failing, tells your team that you are putting the game on them. You are telling them to pick themselves up and get a touchdown because you don’t want to go down without a fight.

I think most players, in that situation, would want to go for it.

The elite QBs; Brady, Brees, Manning xs, Rodgers; watch them in similar situations. They want the ball. They argue for the ball. They want to go for it. They want the game in their hands. They get mad when they don’t get the chance.

Arizona did the equivalent of rolling over and playing dead.

9- So apparently Juan Castillo wasn’t the problem in Philly. So much for Andy Reid’s vaunted after-the bye record. The Eagles are in trouble and the solution isn’t starting Nick Foles, which will be next year’s solution if the new coach wants it to be.

Reid can’t start Foles. He has to win to save his job. Foles might have a shot, but Vick still gives Reid the best shot at winning, as slim as it might be. The best thing for the future of the Eagles is to start Foles and really see what they have with him. But Reid isn’t in the Eagles future plans, so he’s just concerned with what he can do now to win.

The Eagles will finish in the middle of the pack, not in a good spot to draft a first round QB (which the Chiefs and Jets will be working at snagging). The new coach will get a chance to start Foles next season.

10- Let’s look at the rankings a bit, this week will be the AFC and next week will be the NFC.

AFC East – Patriots, Dolphins, Bills and Jets: Jets are where figured they would be at the start of the season. The Bills and Dolphins are flipped, wasn’t expecting the Dolphins to play this good and the Bills were a “team on the rise” pick from lots of sportswriters in the preseason. This is still the Pats division to lose.

AFC West – Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, Chiefs: Raise your hands if you thought the division would be this way after 8 weeks. Yep, didn’t think I’d see too many hands raised. I really didn’t think Manning would be playing as good as he is, but the Broncos are really benefiting from the rest of the division being really bad. The Broncos will make the playoffs because the rest of the teams are bad.

AFC North – Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, Browns: The last couple of years this has been the Steelers and Ravens division with the Bengals a surprise every third year. This year will play out the same. I think it’ll be the Ravens on top because the Steelers D just looks tired.

AFC South – Texans, Colts, Titans, Jaguars: The Colts have been really surprising this year. They do benefit from a weaker division (the Titans and Jaguars) but can’t discount the play of rookie Andrew Luck. The Texans are just dominant. That D down in Texas is stellar. For two years in a row the Texans will win the division, but unless they become a dynasty, it’ll be tainted because they weren’t able to do it until Manning was out of the division. Win the Super Bowl and that will be a moot point.

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