NFL Top 5 Bottom 5 — Week 2

It’s the return of the NFL Top 5 Bottom 5. After two weeks it’s pretty clear there are two teams above the rest. And while both may stumble here and there during the season, if they can avoid major injuries, I wouldn’t be surprised if these two meet in the Super Bowl in San Francisco.

And as always we pay tribute to those heroes that give their all on the sidelines jumping and shaking those pom pom’s. The NFL cheerleaders of course!

TOP 5:
1. New England Patriots (2-0): The defending Super Bowl Champs show Rex Ryan that his Bills are far from ready to knock them off their perch at the top of the AFC East.

2. Green Bay Packers (2-0): The Packers are getting hit with injuries but as long as Aaron Rodgers remains healthy the Packers appear to be the best team in the NFC.

3. Arizona Cardinals (2-0): The defense is good. The offense has been solid as well. But the big question always looms…can Carson Palmer stay healthy?

4. Denver Broncos (2-0): The Donkey’s have scrapped their way to 2-0 despite the fact it takes 10 minutes for a ball to float from Peyton Manning to his receivers.

5. Cincinnati Bengals (2-0): Andy Dalton is playing well–for now.

Bottom 5:
1. Chicago Bears (0-2): Da Bears da bad.

2. New Orleans Saints (0-2): Team is struggling again and it doesn’t help Drew Brees shoulder is ailing.

3. New York Giants (0-2): G-men can’t close blowing two fourth quarter leads.

4. Detroit Lions (0-2): Lie-downs lose first two on the road. Returning home could help but easily could start 0-3 hosting the Broncos.

5. Philadelphia Eagles (0-2): Never thought the Iggles would be here but their poor early play definitely puts them on the list.

Spanish Play-By-Play Call Of Cam Newton’s Flipping Touchdown

Obviously Cam Newton’s “flipping touchdown” in the Carolina Panthers win over the Houston Texans was very impressive. But it’s even more exciting when you hear the play-by-play call in Spanish. Man I wish I remembered some of my two years of Spanish from high school. I did make out Superman, touchdown and the ESPN theme song though!

Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota? Who will have a more successful NFL Career

This year’s 2015 NFL Draft condundrum–Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota?

Winston–Heisman trophy winner. Strong arm. Said to be a good leader on the field. Questionable decision maker on (interceptions) and off the field (alleged sexual assault, crab legs stealer).

Mariota–Heisman trophy winner. Smart. Solid arm and good scrambling ability. Humble leader. Can he translate his talents though from running the Oregon spread system to the NFL?

And that last question on Mariota is why the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select Winston as the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NFL Draft in Chicago. And if you believe the latest rumors, Mariota will follow at No. 2 if the Browns give up two first round picks to Tennessee to move up. A few years from now however, Browns management may be needing to “duck” out-of-town for mortgaging the future on a system QB.

If it came down to selecting on character there is no doubt Mariota would be the pick. I met and interviewed him two years ago at Pac-12 Football Media Day. Not a great interview, but you could tell he was a good kid. Smart yet confidently quiet. The type of guy you would have no problem allowing your daughter to date.  Running a quick passing, limited decision-making, scrambling, spread offensive system he was a winner.  But that was in college.

Unfortunately history dictates spread quarterbacks don’t fare as well at the NFL level. This goes back to some of the first to emerge and become highly drafted spread QB’s such as Andre Ware and David Klingler. Both failed miserably. In recent years the most successful spread QB’s include Cam Newton (Panthers), Colin Kaepernick (49ers) and Alex Smith (Chiefs). You can say they are solid but not QB’s that you would expect to lead their franchises to regular Super Bowl titles. Those that have been underwhelming or failed of late include the likes Robert Griffin III (Redskins), Blaine Gabbert (Niners, formerly Jaguars) and Brandon Weeden (Cowboys, formerly Browns).

Quarterbacks coming from colleges that run more conventional offensive systems clearly have shown greater success over the years. Andrew Luck (Colts), Russell Wison (Seahawks), Matt Ryan (Falcons), Joe Flacco (Ravens), Matthew Stafford (Lions) and Nick Foles (Rams, formerly Eagles) have all outshined their spread counterparts.

So who will have a more successful NFL career? History dictates it will be Winston. If, and it’s a big if, he can stay out of trouble off the field.  He is the best trained to become a franchise quarterback. Doesn’t mean Mariota won’t have success–just means he has a steeper uphill climb.

If it was up to me, I would choose neither. Too many questions for both to put the future of one’s franchise upon their shoulders.

BYU and Houston Wearing Patriotic Helmets In Honor of 9/11 Game Thursday

When BYU and Houston meet up this Thursday night on ESPN both will be sporting a patriotic look in honor and remembrance of 9/11. A fitting tribute as a reminder of those impacted and gave their lives 13 years ago and those in the armed forces serving for us across the world.

Houston-BYUHelmets

Utah Ute Players Loving The New White Helmet

It’s a common video that surfaces from college football programs these days. Team meets. Coach unveils a new uniform. Players freak out. It happened with the Utah Utes program as head coach Kyle Whittingham showed off their latest uniform featuring a new white helmet. Like many programs these days the Utes have a variety of uniforms they have shown off in recent years. I will say in my opinion that the white helmet is very sharp and perhaps better thank the red and special black one they’ve worn in the past.

Here’s the video with a variety of angles showing the players getting excited.

Pittsburgh Steelers Wide Receiver Antonio Brown IS the Karate Kid!

Sep 7, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs over Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning (5) during the first half at Heinz Field. Brown was flagged on the play. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

On so many levels Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown’s karate kick on Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning was hilarious and the play of the day on the first NFL Sunday.

Brown, a proud Central Michigan Chippewa alum (like your’s truly–Fire up Chips!), went to leap over Lanning but sometime in mid-flight determined he wasn’t going to be able to clear the punter. At that point he just decided to go with the Karate Kid Daniel LaRusso crane kick. A tremendous shot that resulted in a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Well worth the yellow flag and the fact it happened to a punter who I don’t consider a football player to begin with–even better.

Of course a clever YouTuber out there put together a hilarious Mashup to the Karate Kid. Antonio-san!

This Mortal Kombat version wasn’t bad either.

LeBron James Cramping Is The Way Of Today’s Superstar

LeBron James is the new age superstar. More talent than maybe anybody that has ever played in the NBA or in all of sports for that matter. Who can do things that seem magical. Who can lead his franchise to multiple championships. Yet one who can also cramp up in big moments costing his team an NBA Finals victory.

Some say this just makes him human. How do we know how much pain he was suffering from with those cramps that forced him to leave Thursday night’s 2014 NBA Finals Game 1 loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the fourth quarter? Some justify that heat and humidity is LeBron’s kryptonite since he suffered the same issue in Game 4 of the 2012 Finals versus Oklahoma City.

Considering this has been an issue for James in the past with the modern training and medical methods he has at his disposal today, it’s really hard to believe he couldn’t have conducted the necesary preventative measures to keep this from happening again. And don’t tell me the broken air conditioning inside the Spurs arena is to blame. Seems to me the other players persevered. Hard to think LeBron hasn’t play outdoor hoops in the summer heat before.

Call me old school but I can’t see past superstars letting cramps prevent them from performing in the clutch moments in a World Championship game. I was in Salt Lake City covering the 1998 NBA Finals witnessing first hand Michael Jordan, sick as a dog with food poisoning, leading the Chicago Bulls over the Utah Jazz with the game winning shot to give him his sixth NBA title.

James is not Jordan. He is today’s superstar–unbelievable talent and ability, yet lacking the mental makeup to persevere through physical discomfort for the betterment of his team. And with all that said, he still has a strong chance of hoisting another championship trophy. Well, that’s of course if the Spurs are able to fix their AC.