Tag Archives: Sidney Rice

Food for Thought 8-7-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Terrell Owens (pictured above) last played in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010. It appears he will be suiting up for the Seattle Seahawks in 2012.

By Josh Kramer

The three-headed quarterback controversy in Seattle is just a minor story compared to yesterday’s news.  It appears the “TO Show” will have another season after all. This time in Seattle.  Yes, the Seahawks have rolled the dice on the 38-year-old locker room killer that is Terrell Owens.

Owens last played in the NFL in 2010 with the Cincinnati Bengals.  Despite putting up solid numbers in Cincinnati, a torn ACL, a riddled past, and old age made him unappealing to NFL teams.  Not to mention Cincinnati went a pitiful 4 and 12 after making the playoffs the year before.  After playing in the Indoor Fooball League, Owens is ready for one final hoorah in the NFL.  The real question is why?

No, I am not asking why Owens is motivated to return to the NFL.  Those reasons are obvious (money).  I am asking why the Seattle Seahawks, a team coming off of a 7 and 9 season, a wild offseason that has included “Beast Mode” going into “DUI Mode,” and a major quarterback competition, is willing to put Owens on a roster with an inexperienced quarterback (all three competitors are fairly inexperienced in the NFL).

I am aware that Seattle finished 22nd in the NFL in passing yards during the 2011 season.  So there is definite room for improvement.  Also, do not forget that Seattle already brought in another troubled wide-receiver this off-season, in Braylon Edwards.  The star power is definitely lacking at the position.  But sometimes that is the best way to go with a young quarterback (See Andy Dalton and A.J. Green in Cincinnati).  A chemistry can form that has lasting power.  Pete Carroll was always a mastermind at managing big egos and star power while at USC.  He still has not proven the ability to do this since coming to Seattle in 2010.

The way I see it, fans in Seattle should be praying for three things in terms of their wide receivers:  Continued improvement from Doug Baldwin.  A healthy Sidney Rice.  Plus, Golden Tate finally living up to the hype he demonstrated in South Bend.  Also they should wish for a fourth thing:  A very low-key and subdued Owens (if that is possible).

There is a reason why the “T.O. Show” has already been cancelled by five NFL teams. Continue reading

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Week 4 NFL Power Rankings

Photo courtesy of PigskinBuzz.com. Heavy expectations were placed on the shoulders of second-year starter Sam Bradford (pictured above) and the St. Louis Rams. The first three weeks have not gone as planned for Bradford and the boys.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Week three of the NFL season has come and gone, and football fans were in for a treat. It was a week in which streaks were broken, and games went down to the wire.

Both the Bills and Lions, two of the seasons biggest surprises, have not made the playoffs since 1999. Sunday was another step in that direction as they both improved to 3-0. The Lions won in Minnesota, 26-23, a place where they hadn’t won in 13 years, while the Bills snapped a 15 game losing streak against the Patriots. What makes both of these teams so fun to watch is the fact they play with no fear and think they can beat anybody in the league. Both of them overcame 20 point deficits on Sunday to remain undefeated, and the bandwagon for both of these teams is growing.

Jump on now while you have the chance. 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

“Return of the Moss”

Randy Moss (pictured above), is heading back to Minnesota. The Vikings are once again a Super Bowl contender.

Have you ever heard the song “Return of the Mack” by Mark Morrison?  If you have, you know it is one of those jams that is an instant classic.  If you haven’t, Youtube it.  I promise you will not regret it.  ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter is reporting that New England Patriot’s Wide Receiver, Randy Moss, is heading back to the team where he began his NFL career, the Minnesota Vikings.  All for the cost of a simple 3rd round pick?  Talk about an instant classic of a trade for Minnesota!

When I first heard this rumor, I thought there was no way it could be true.  Robert Kraft and the Patriots organization is one of the most committed franchises to winning in all of sports.  Apparently this is not the case today.  Because without Moss, the Patriots are no longer a contender.  They are most likely not even a playoff contender.  The Patriots live and die on their vaunted aerial attack.  And sure their special teams have been exceptional, but do you really think Pat Chung can repeat is recent Monday Night Performance on the reg, much less ever again?  Sure the Patriots still have Wes Welker.  But they have now lost their big play threat.  Their guy that really made defenses have to stay honest on the deep ball at all times.  Now Wes Welker’s effectiveness will be diminished a little.  Do you really think teams are going to double up on the young rookie tight end Aaron Hernandez out of Florida?  Think again.  Sorry Wes, but your days of roaming free are all but over.

As for the Vikings.  Lately a trend in Professional sports has been the formation of “Super” teams.  Well you have the Heat in the NBA with their trifecta of stars.  And now you have the Vikings with their newly formed trifecta of offensive stars.  The Vikings have gone from a dynamic duo, to a tenacious trio from an offensive standpoint.  Picture Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and Randy Moss lining up together every offensive play.  The results could be utterly scary.  Forget the days of the 29th ranked pass offense in the NFL.  Those days will be a mere memory with the arrival of Moss.  Imagine what is going to happen when Sidney Rice returns to the lineup in a month.  NFC beware.

And the beautiful thing for Minnesota.  They now add the big play receiver that they have so desperately needed after the botch on the Vincent Jackson deal.  A guy who still has a couple of big years in the tank.  A guy who loves Minnesota.  A guy when motivated, is arguably, one of the greatest big play receivers of all time.  I mean look at the guys career numbers.

935 catches, 14,604 yards, 151 TDs.

Since joining New England in 2007, he has had over 1000 receiving yards and 11TD catches a year.  He may be 33, but he is still one of the game’s elite.  And as Moss like to put it, “He is more knowledgable on how to utilize his abilities.”

Well get ready Minnesota to utilize all the abilities that Randy Moss has to offer.  Half of the famous Culpepper/Moss train is back.  It is the “Return of the Moss” in Viking country.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Does 0 and 2 Spell Death?”

Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of star receiver, Sidney Rice (pictured above).

The NFL is already off to an extremely exciting start.  And fans should be prepping for a year that appears to really be wide open (as usual).  And who would want it any other way? There are many major storylines already in my eyes, but one has really stood out to me.

Storyline :  Two Super Bowl favorites, the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings are 0 and 2.  Who would have thought this would be the case?  Both of theses teams were extremely common picks to not only win their respective divisions, but to win the entire NFC.  Which one of them in worse shape?  Do either still have a chance to make the playoffs?

Dallas Cowboys

Situation:

The Cowboys have lost to 2 teams that most did not have making any noise this season.  The Redskins and Bears are not exactly thought of as powerhouse teams (though the Bears sit at 2 and 0).  This Dallas team is as talented as ever.  This team is experienced.  Supposed to be solid on both sides of the ball.  Jerry Jones is not a happy man.  Dallas is 4th in yards in yards gained this year, and 11th in total D.  So they are doing okay both offensively and defensively.  So what is the problem?

Problem:

Well for one, they are not scoring enough points.  In their first two ball games, they have given up 40 total points while they have only scored 27.  This all stems from a continued Red Zone conversion problem in Dallas.  Experts talked about this problem all season last year, especially down the stretch.  And the preseason, nor these first two weeks have looked to ease any of these worries.  In addition, could the pressure be getting to guys like Romo?  The core of this team has been winning for a good few years now.  But they have not gotten over the hump like Emmit Smith and Troy Aikman were able to do in the mid 90s.  Romo has never been known as Mr. Clutch.  And yesterday, he demonstrated his lack of big game ability with 2 crucial INTs.  The other major problem for the Boys, a non-existent rushing attack.  This team ran for 36 yards yesterday.  I know the game is turning into a pass first style, but 36 rushing yards is unacceptable if you are expecting to win a game in the NFL.  Not to mention they only ran for 89 yards in Week 1 (they are 27th in the League in rushing yards).

Solution:

The Cowboys must learn how to convert consistently in the Red Zone with touchdowns.  They must also develop a reliable rushing attack.  If they can do these two things, they will definitely be able to still make a run at the playoffs.

Verdict:

The Cowboys have a very tough first place schedule.  A turnaround will not be easy.  Plus they head to Houston against a very tough Texans team next week.  Though it is possible, do not expect this team to be playing a “Home” Game in this year’s Super Bowl.  I would not count on them even making the playoffs either.  Too many egos.  Too many internal issues.  Expect the Cowboys to finish 8 and 8 or 9 and 7, just missing the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings:

Situation:

The Vikings are currently sitting at 0 and 2, even with their “savior” Brett Favre.  At least they get to take the Lions on at home next week to put a mark in the win column right?

Problem:

This team has no offense so far.  Other than in the rushing category, this team is in the lower half of the League in every offensive statistical category, including 29th in points.  For all the talk of Brett Favre being possibly the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time,” he has looked extremely human through 2 games.  Now I realize this team has some major injuries hurting their receiving corps.  But the way the unit has played, has been unacceptable.  They have mustered up 19 total points against two teams, that do not feature great defenses (Saints and Dolphins).  The major problem for this squad has not been the defense.  In actuality, their defense ranks 8th overall in the League.  And it hasn’t been the rushing attack.  It’s been # 4’s gunslinger mentality.  Brett’s interceptions are a huge reason why this very talented team is sitting at 0 and 2.

Solution:

Run the ball more.  Continue to give Adrian 25 plus carries a game.  Until star receiver Sidney Rice returns, this team will have to live and die on the run.  Brett’s confidence is a bit down.  And if the team can put together a couple of wins, he will get his swagger back.  But the defense overall has been fine.  Adrian Peterson has been awesome.  But Favre must cut down on the turnovers.  Possibly give the man a simpler game plan if possible (just don’t let him know you are babying him).  Give him a lot of plays where he gets to utilize his tight ends.  The problem is, you do not want to mess Brett Favre’s ego.  So it is definitely a touchy area and easier said than done to fix this problem.

Verdict:

I feel this team is perfectly fine.  I still fully expect them to nab at least a Wild Card.  Though they have to play a first place schedule, just like Dallas, I feel like their division is not as deep.  Therefore they will have a few more games that are very winnable, and this will be the difference.  I also hate to say it, but I don’t see Brett missing the playoffs in his “final” season.

So neither of these teams are down and out yet.  I believe both of them will finish at least 8 and 8 due to the fact that they are far too talented not to win as many games as they lose.  But I will admit that I feel Dallas is in big trouble in their pursuance of a playoff spot.

So what are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFC North Preview”

Aaron Rodgers was once Brett Favre's understudy as shown in this picture. Then Aaron took Brett's spot as the Packers quarterback and is now trying to take Brett and the Viking's spot atop the NFC North.

 To finish off my division by division breakdowns, we have the NFC West.  This division has become a  two headed monster.  There are two very good teams at the top, one mediocre squad, and a very weak team at the bottom.  When Brett Favre officially announces his return, which will hopefully be sooner rather than later, the Vikings and Packers will begin duking it out for divisional supremacy.  Lets get ready to rumble in the NFC North.

 NFC North:  Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings (alphabetical order)

 Detroit Lions (4th place):  Detroit’s suffering will continue for at least another year.  This team has only won 2 games over the course of the past two years and has not won more than 7 games in a season since the year 2000.  It has been a brutal last 10 years.  Well expect this year to be pretty typical for the Lion’s faithful.  This team had the worst defense in the League last year and an almost equally as bad offensive attack.  Lots of weight will placed on 2nd year quarterback Matthew Stafford.  Can he live up to the lofty expectations?  Calvin Johnson is one of the best receivers in the game.  It is a shame that the Lions cannot really give him another solid receiver to play alongside.  Guys like Dennis Northcutt and Bryant Johnson have not been able to cut the mustard.  From a rushing standpoint, they still have Kevin Smith, who will hopefully be fully recovered from a devastating Week 14 ACL tear (last season).  They also have rookie Jahvid Best.  Do not expect too much from this duo though due to lack of an offensive line.  Defensively it gets worse.  There is really not one player of note on the entire unit other than recently drafted Ndamukong Suh.  Lions’ fans better pray this guy gets signed, lives up to the hype, and is ready to be an instant leader for this team on the defensive side of the ball.  That is a lot to ask of a rookie.  Do not expect the Lion’s

to win more than 5 games this year.

Chicago Bears (3rd place):  Da Bears!  Yes Chris Berman is in the Hall of Fame, but the Bears still do not have the look of a contender sadly.  No matter how excited Chris Berman can get people when talking about the boys out of the windy city, the team is not ready to be a force yet.  The Bears have not been to the postseason since 2006, and do not count on that streak ending this year.  This team suffered without Brian Urlacher last year defensively, and did not do much with the newly acquired Jay Cutler from an offensive standpoint.  Though the Bears finally added a complement to Matt Forte in Chester Taylor, this does not appear to solve the rushing issues.  This team was near the bottom of the League in rushing yards last year, and though Taylor should help a little, these guys do not really compliment each other well in that they each have a very similar style.  I just hope for the Bear’s sake, conflict does not arise between Forte and Taylor.  The receiving corps has not improved either.  This team is still lacking a number 1 threat for Jay Cutler to use his “super” strong-arm to throw too.  So do not expect this team to put up a flurry of points on a weekly basis.  Defensively, the unquestioned leader is still the man with “swag,” Brian Urlacher.  Urlacher along with Lance Briggs make up one of the League’s best linebacker duos.  Also, the addition of Julius Peppers to the defensive line should make an instant impact.  If Urlacher can stay healthy, expect this team to be much better defensively than they were last year.  The secondary did do a solid job against the pass so hopefully with Peppers rushing the opposing quarterback, their jobs can be even easier this year.  The Bears will be a decent team.  But do not expect them to sneak into the playoffs.  I am predicting 7 or 8 wins due to the lack of offensive stability. 

Green Bay Packers (2nd place):  The Cheesheads may be disappointed with another 2nd place appearance, but count on this team to roll deep into the playoffs.  I have them cruising all the way to the Super Bowl.  It will take this team time to gel and it will help when Favre tires down the stretch for the Vikings come playoff time.  This team is led by a lethal offensive attack.  Aaron Rodgers has become one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the League hands down.  They got a great duo at receiver in the up and coming Greg Jennings and the seasoned veteran Donald Driver.  Hopefully Driver is healthy after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery on both of his knees this off-season.  But luckily for the Packers, they have young guns James Jones and Jordy Nelson waiting in the wings.  Not to mention they have a very solid tandem of receiving tight ends in Jermichael Finley and Donald Lee.  I also forgot to mention that though this team lives on the pass, do not sleep on Ryan Grant pounding the rock.  The question is who can complement Grant down the stretch?  Possibly the seasoned veteran Ahmad Brooks or the Florida product DeShawn Wynn.  Offensively, this is the only question mark this team has if any.  Defensively the Packers number 2 defense of a season ago will be led by the linebacking trio of Nick Barnett, AJ Hawk, and Clay Matthews.  This the best linebacking trio in the League in my eyes.  They are young, tough, and very fun to watch.  Lastly, you have 2 very strong veterans in Charles Woodson and Al Harris anchoring the secondary.  Good luck scoring points on these guys.  Neither AJ Hawk nor Clay Matthews has really entered their prime yet.  There is lots of upside.  The Packers have the best combination of offense and defense in the entire NFC. 

Minnesota Vikings (1st place):  This team came up just short of making an appearance in the Super Bowl last season.  They are determined to go one step further this year and bring a Super Bowl title back to the twin cities of Minnesota.  And why shouldn’t they be confident?  They have a great core group of guys returning.  Minnesota also possesses both a great offense and defense.  Last season, the Vikings became a pass first offense.  I think Brett Favre is the only player in the League that could make a team that has the one they call “All Day” (Adrian Peterson) a pass first team.  Brett can still really play and put on quite a show last season.  And I fully expect him to put up great numbers again this year.  Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, and Bernard Berrian are a great trio of targets for Favre.  All 3 are young and have a ton of upside.  Look for Favre to be slinging the ball all over the field again this year.  My question is will Sidney Rice be healthy?  Either way the passing attack will be lethal.  Then of course the Vikings do have the luxury of handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson, who has the ability to turn any play into a big time play.  If AP starts fumbling again though, who is the next guy in? Ryan Moats or the rookie Toby Gerhart?  This team does not really have a sure-fire compliment for Peterson nor do they really need one.  As long as Peterson stays healthy, it will be paradise in the Minnesota backfield.  Then from a defensive standpoint, this team stops the run with the best of them.  Guys like Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams are absolutely outstanding.  They not only stop the run, but they pressure the quarterback early and often.  Then in the secondary, the addition of veteran cornerback Lito Shephard should help turn this unit from average, to pretty good.  Big things will also be expected from the outstanding cornerback Antoine Winfield, and their injury prone safety, Madieu Williams.  All I can say is, watch out, because this Viking’s team will be scary.  Do not be surprised to see this team roll deep into the postseason.

So the NFC North should have a repeat champion in the Minnesota Vikings.  But do not sleep on the Green Bay Packers, who I think could overtake the Vikings come playoff time on their way to making an appearance in the Super Bowl for the first time since 1997.  Both of these teams are very strong in nearly all aspects of the game.  

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze