Tag Archives: Mike Shanahan

Final NFL Regular Season Power Rankings: It’s Playoff Time

Photo courtesy of sports.gearlive.com. The Packers have been number one in the power rankings all season long. Can they hold up their end of the bargain and repeat as Super Bowl champions?

By Wesley Kaminsky

In the final edition of power rankings before postseason play starts next weekend, I’m ranking teams on their entire body of work for the 2011 season. It was a crazy season, just as it always is, and one of the most exciting regular seasons we have seen in quite some time.

Some of the wild events just to name a few were “Tebow Mania,” the Packers near run of perfection, and Dan Marino’s single season passing record getting broken (twice). We truly have seen the gamut this season.

Now, it’s the best time of the year, the playoffs. Who will be this years Packers? Or will the Packers win back to back Super Bowls? Continue reading

Week 16 NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs End Packers Run of Perfection

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. In his debut as Head Coach of the Kansas City Chiefs, Romeo Crennel (pictured above) shocked the world and took down the formerly undefeated Green Bay Packers.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Just when you thought you had everything figured out, right? In Week 15, the games were highlighted by streaks being broken. The Texans saw a seven game losing streak come to an end, while the Packers run of perfection got halted by the Chiefs in Arrowhead. Meanwhile, in Indianapolis, the Colts finally won a game without Peyton Manning, as they took down the Titans 27-13. That’s a relief.

Also, the Broncos six game winning streak was spoiled by the Patriots, as Tim Tebow couldn’t quite keep up with Tom Brady in a 41-23 loss. There was no “Tebow Time” on Sunday for the first time in quite a while.

Even though the Packers lost, they retain the top spot with the Saints holding on to the number two spot right behind them. Beyond those two teams, a plethora of changes took place in this weeks power rankings. Continue reading

Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Photo courtesy of playqb.com. Tom Brady (pictured above) stole the show in the opening weekend by topping the 500 yard passing mark.

By Wesley Kaminsky

24-37, 422 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. You know who’s stat line that was in week one? Not Aaron Rodgers, not Drew Brees, and not Tom Brady’s. It was Cam Newton’s, who started his career off with a bang.

Would Newton steal the show in week one? Think again. Tom Brady had different plans on Monday Night Football as he threw for an astounding 517 yards in Miami. Yeah, you read that correctly.

That’s just the kind of week it was in week one, full of surprises. Playoff teams such as the Steelers, Chiefs, and Falcons got rocked opening weekend, while the Bills and Lions won on the road. It was a weird week in the NFL, and here is the good news, we are just getting started. Continue reading

McNabb: Best grab thus far

Photo courtesy of sports.popcrunch.com.

By Josh Kramer

Today was easily the wildest day in sports all year.  Or at least it ranks right up there with the first couple of days of this year’s March Madness.  A call that may become as remembered in Pittsburgh as the unforgettable Franco Harris “Immaculate Reception” occurred during the wee hours of the night.  A no-hitter happened early this afternoon.  Major trade action has been going on all day in the MLB.  Butch Davis received the axe from UNC.  And of course, non stop football action as the craziest free agency period of all time trudges on.

Sure the Panthers re-signing of an overpriced DeAngelo Williams was nice for Carolina.  Tennessee adding Seattle’s best QB of all time in Matt Hasselbeck to their team was big.  The Jets bringing back Santonio Holmes was a major move.  And of course Sidney Rice heading to Seattle was very headline worthy.  Granted he will be running routes for the very up and down Tavaris Jackson who he is somewhat familiar with from his Minnesota days.  But one transaction caught my eye more than all of the others today.  And if you have not been living under a box, you are already more than aware of what move I am talking about.

Donovan McNabb to the Vikings. Continue reading

Five NFL Coaches on the Hot Seat in 2011

Photo courtesy of franklinstripfanatics.com. According to our very own Wesley Kaminsky, Marvin Lewis (pictured above) is one of five coaches on the hot seat as we get ready for the NFL season.

By Wesley Kaminsky

It’s almost that time of the year again, and yes I’m talking about the NFL season. With the lockout nearly over, it is time to start thinking about the 2011 NFL season, and forget about all the nonsense that went on this off-season.

Every year, at some point, there are head coaches fired during the season. It simply is something that always happens every season, and this season I expect nothing less.

There will be teams that exceed expectations, and teams that disappoint. If a team is struggling badly, the scrutiny is put right to the head coach. Here we go. Continue reading

“NFL Week 1 Fun”

Arian Foster stole the show in Week 1 rushing for 233 yards and helping the Texans shock the Colts (Foster is now number 23).

The first Sunday of the NFL season is always unpredictable, wacky, fun all in one.  It is always a weekend filled with excitement.  Full of mysteriousness.  And most of all, full of people sitting on their couches all day.  Following this enigmatic day, the scoreboard reads: 

TheSportsKraze:  8               CV3:  8 

There were few storylines that really caught my eye on the weekend.  

-Who is Arian Foster?  

First of all the Houston Texans monumental upset of the Indianapolis Colts.  Going into the 17th matchup of these franchises, Houston was 1 and 15 all time against the defending AFC Champion Colts.  When was the last time you can remember Peyton and the Indianapolis offensive juggernaut losing in Week 1?  And how about the pass happy Texans getting the job done on the ground.  When looking at some initial statistics you would be astonished.  Matt Schaub, who threw for over 4700 yards last season threw for 107 today, not to mention he threw an interception.  Peyton Manning threw for 433 yards and 3 TDs.  But the real story of this game.  How about Mr. Arian Foster?  The guy just blew up rushing for 233 yards (2nd most all time in an opener behind OJ Simpson) and 3 TDs.  Foster is a 2nd year running back out of Rocky Top (Tennessee) that rushed for 257 yards and 3 TDs all year in his rookie campaign.  Well he just ripped the heart out of the defending AFC Champs on Day 1.  Could the Texans be on the verge of breaking the Colts stranglehold on the AFC South this year? 

-The Steelers take care of business without Big Ben. 

Pittsburgh won their first of four games without their starting quarterback today over a very tough Falcons team.  Rashard Mendenhall and Hines Ward came up big for the Terrible Towels and took care of Week 1.  I will admit that I thought that the Steelers would lose this one without Roethlisberger.  But with inspired play from Ward and Mendenhall on the offensive side of the ball, and Bryant McFadden leading the charge on the defensive side of the ball (15 tackles today, 12 solo), this team could survive this month-long stretch in decent shape. 

-Welcome back Michael Vick? 

This was the best Michael Vick has looked in years.  The guy played inspired football and almost brought the Eagles back against a very tough Packers team.  Starter Kevin Kolb went down with a concussion in the 2nd quarter, and the electric Michael Vick came to the rescue for the fighting city of Philadelphia.  He rushed for over 100 yards and threw for 175.  Should Vick start over a healthy Kolb next week?  Coach Reid definitely has some thinking to do.  It was nice to see the playmaker back in action bringing back some of the memories of the old glory days (in a weekend where his alma mater took their worst loss in school history). 

-Are the 49ers a pretender? 

Many, including myself picked the 49ers to win the ultra weak NFC West.  Well today, they took a good old-fashioned butt whooping from a divisional rival.  San Francisco came out smoking but then had a rough end to the first half and continued to get worse as the game progressed.  Frank Gore’s rushing attack was non-existent.  Alex Smith threw 2 interceptions.  And I could go on.  Vernon Davis was the only bright spot on the day for the 49ers.  Where is that amazing defense we have been hearing about all off-season and theat newly improved offense?  Are the 49ers contenders or pretenders? 

-Blinded by the hype? 

Another team that thoroughly disappointed was the Cincinnati Bengals.  This team looked to still be playing a preseason game until the 3rd quarter of this one.  And a Patriots team, that definitely has a chip on their shoulder due to the talk of the Jets being the favorite in the AFC East, steamrolled Cincinnati.  The only bright spot for the Bengals on this day was Chad OchoCinco and glimpses of a big time aerial attack.  Sure Carson threw for 345 yards.  But what happened to the smash mouth, run first Bengals (now I realize they were behind so they needed to throw).  Palmer threw the ball 50 times today.  Cedric Benson only had 15 carries.  The real show in this game was the reunited amazing connection of Wes Welker and Tom Brady.  These guys picked up right where they left off following Welker’s knee injury.  The best slot receiver in football had 8 catches and 2 TDs.  Are the Patriots a Super Bowl contender? 

-Is Chris Johnson Superman? 

Chris Johnson picked up right where he left off at the end of last year.  On this day, he led his Titans to an easy victory over an overmatched Raiders team.  Johnson compiled 142 rushing yards and 2 TDs.  And once again broke loose for a big time run of 70+ yards.  The guy is outstanding and looks to only be getting better.  The rest of the League needs to beware of Chris Johnson. 

-Can Roy Williams catch a break in Dallas? 

So in one of the most sloppy games I have ever seen in my life, the Redskins began the Mike Shanahan/Donovan McNabb era with a victory over the rival Cowboys.  The Redskins went 0 and 6 in the vaunted NFC East last season and were ecstatic to get that monkey off their shoulders in Week 1.  Since the arrival of Williams in Dallas, things have progressively gotten worse as he went from being a big time pick up to a guy that fans in Dallas booed consistently.  Once again Roy had a modest evening, of 3 catches for 21 yards, but on the last play of the game, he had appeared to come up with the catch that probably would have won the game for the Cowboys (barring an extra point attempt).  Roy’s heart had to be pounding.  Then he and the rest of Cowboy nation saw a yellow flag on the field.  Alex Barron, the Cowboys 6th year (1st with Cowboys) offensive tackle out of Florida State, had done the unthinkable.  Against a weak, 3 man Washington rush, he blatantly held Redskin linebacker Brian Orakpo.  So Roy’s heroics are already all but forgotten.  Sorry Roy.  Mine as well jump on the Miles Austin bandwagon with the rest of America. 

So these are just a few stories from an amazing opening Sunday.  The NFL is back in the flesh baby. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze 

“A Rumble in DC”

Albert Haynesworth has currently not stepped foot on the Redskin's practice field yet and is in the midst of a major conflict with the coaching staff. Can the Redskins recover?

Tensions have been mounting in Washington D.C.  The Mike Shanahan era has barely begun, but trouble is in the air.  Albert Haynesworth and Coach Mike Shanahan are off to the worst of starts in DC.  I am not sure if the big fella will ever step foot on the field.  And I am not sure this would upset Coach Shanahan too much.  Haynesworth skipped out on all workouts leading up to training camp.  He whined to the media about the move to the 3-4 defensive scheme.  He signed a 21 million dollar bonus in April.  And he has been unable to pass the conditioning test in order to practice.  Mike Golic, passed this test for crying out loud!  You think Golic is in playing shape these days? 

So lets take a look at the tale of the tape: 

Albert Haynesworth:  The big fella comes in at 6 foot 6, 350 pounds.  He is large and in charge.  Haynesworth spent 7 years on the Titans after starring at the University of Tennessee.  It was a match made in heaven.  He was consistently solid for the Titans until he had one major breakout season in 2008.  This is what led to the big time pay-day in Washington.  I mean he has made 2 Pro Bowls in 8 seasons in the League.  He also has been involved in 2 major incidents on the field.  For those of you who do not remember the infamous “stomping incident” of Cowboy’s center, Andre Gurode.  This was just straight dirty.  He also had a real bad unnecessary roughness penalty called against him in 2007 for a ridiculous body slam after the whistle on Maurice Jones-Drew.  So these anger management issues could be something that Mike Shanahan needs to be aware of.  But the guy could help the team win some ball games nonetheless. 

Mike Shanahan:   The new Redskin’s coach Mike Shanahan is a little bit smaller than the Redskins star defensive player. And by a little bit, I mean a lot smaller.  He had, a weak and short-lived tenure with the LA Raiders.  Then he had an outstanding tenure in Denver.  But since 2005, he really has not made much noise.  Many people say that he has stunk since the Elway retirement.  This statement is entirely false in that he has made 4 playoff appearances since Elway retired on top of the game.  But, he really has struggled since 2005.  Maybe the hiatus from last year could help him clear his head and get back to his old winning ways?  Coach Shanahan has always been known to produce an outstanding rushing game and a solid defense on his past teams.  Normally his lines on both side of the ball dominate.  He has also been known to show some rage at times and maybe would be able to keep up with the intensity of Albert.  Either way, he needs to have the respect of all of his players in order to build a winner in Washington. 

I just know this is an awful situation in the capital city.  Mike Shanahan is trying to start a new era in Washington and bring back the winning mentality he had in Denver in the late 90s.  His highest paid player is not seeing eye to eye with him.  This will lead to some major issues on any team when the highest paid player and the coach do not get along.  But with Dan Snyder in the owner’s box, anything can happen.  Can this relationship be mended?  Who knows? 

After round 1 in this royal rumble, I would call the fight a draw.  Neither Shanahan nor Haynesworth is getting what they want out of this.  The winner has to be Mike Golic at this point.  It will be interesting to see how this conflict affects the outcome of the Redskin’s inaugural season under Shanahan. 

Generally neither the coach nor player wins out in a situation like this.  The best player has a rough year and the team generally struggles with the turmoil and underperforms.  So neither Shanahan or Haynesworth will end up happy if this plays out the way it appears to be headed. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze