By Josh Kramer
It is safe to say that the sporting world is booming right now. Most of the major players are in play, and even the ones that aren’t (the NBA), are still making headlines.
Here are the main items that have caught my attention.
Super Bowl or Bust?
It is no secret that both the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles were two teams expected to not only make the playoffs, but also to possibly play in the big game. Lately though, things have gone on a downward spiral in a hurry for both heavily hyped teams.
First of all let’s look at the “Dream Team.” At 1 and 4, the self-proclaimed “Dream Team” is not dreamy by any means. They are a nightmare. And despite huge numbers week in and week out by their superstar (Michael Vick), they are not adding to the win column tally. Andy Reid came into the year on the hot seat. With arguably one of the greatest off-seasons of all time, the expectations which were already high reached new unprecedented levels. Now it appears this team will struggle to even make it to 500. Have you ever heard the statement defense wins championships? Well in the case of the Eagles, they should probably take note and start stopping the run.
Then there is Rex Ryan’s team which he guaranteed would win the Super Bowl for a change. Ryan typifies the term confidence and even borders on arrogance. He is the perfect coach for the New York market, and has had great success the past couple of seasons. But this year, at 2 and 3, and in the midst of a three game losing streak, the Big Apple is falling out of love with the “Big Man.” What is going on with a team that started the year looking like a squad that had played in two consecutive AFC Championship Games? Something similar that is going on in Philly. An inability to stop the run. I know the NFL has become a pass first League, but an old-fashioned defense that can still stop the run is mandatory to being successful in the NFL.
How about those Tigers?
Now the statement above could mean a couple of things. I could be talking about the amazing run by the Detroit Tigers. Or I could be talking about the surprising Clemson Tigers. But this time, I am talking about none other than the number one ranked College Football team in America, the LSU Tigers. How about the Les Miles’ squad out of Baton Rouge? Now I realize that the Tigers are currently ranked number one, but many have proclaimed Alabama as the heavy favorite to win the SEC and the National Championship. No team has looked better than LSU through the first six weeks of the season.
Not only has LSU defeated four ranked opponents thus far, but they have manhandled them. No team has come within 13 points of the Tigers. Plus, this team is ranked very highly in many key statistical categories, such as points against (8th), points for (20th), and rushing yards per game (38th), despite playing the hardest schedule in the country. This team is old-school in the respect that they rely on an outstanding defensive unit and a steady ground attack. Weather conditions will not hurt this team late in the year. Passing in the snow can be tough, but the rushing attack led by Cincinnati-native Spencer Ware is not going anywhere. After the show that LSU put on against a tough Florida team on Saturday, circle the date of November 5th on your calendar. The game in Tuscaloosa between the Crimson Tide and the Tigers will be a war in every sense of the word.
Say it ain’t so Mario
The Houston Texans not only lost to an inspired Raiders team (RIP Al Davis) on Sunday in terms of points scored, they also lost the leader of their defensive unit for the rest of the season. Mario Williams has officially been declared done for the season after tearing a pectoral muscle on Sunday.
Houston currently sits at 3 and 2. This young franchise is the only NFL team that has yet to make a playoff appearance. Many thought last year was the year the Texans would finally take the next step. Many were wrong. After a fast 2-0 start and the lack of Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, all directions pointed to this being the year of the Texans in the AFC South. Well in two consecutive weeks, the best offensive player and the best defensive player on the team have gone down injured. Though Andre Johnson will return this year, the loss of Mario Williams will really hit Gary Kubiak and Co. where it hurts. The Houston defense has been outstanding all year long, and the loss of a player with 53 career sacks in a little over 5 seasons will really decimate a solid Texans pass rush.
This is a make or break year for Gary Kubiak. Will he make it or break it? He had to have felt a lot more comfortable two weeks ago with a healthy Andre Johnson and Mario Williams.
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at email@example.com.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.