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NFL Trending Topics

Surprised the Giants are struggling in the second half? Don't be.

Who doesn’t enjoy a good trend?

I mean we as a society thrive on finding and wearing out trends. From fashion to music to movies, trends are what intrigue us, befuddle us and make us shake our heads.

The NFL is no different.

Trends in the NFL make us laugh and cry, heck even a little bit of both. After this weekend you saw some of the most entertaining, if not confusing,  trends emerge once again.

Trend 1: The New York Giants are a poor second half team.

It’s always funny when every year the Giants get off to great starts and all of my friends and outsiders say the exact same thing, “Boy those Giants look real good. They might be the beat team in the league.” See, I know better.

I know that the proper way to gauge the New York Giants is after week 9. Once the second half hits then you can tell me how great the Giants are… which never happens because the Giants are as good a second half team as the Miami Heat are a complete team.

Under Tom Coughlin the Giants are 18 games over .500 in the first half of their season and 10 games under in the second half. Last year they went 2-6, in 08 they were 4-4, the year before 1-7. For some reason the Giants start hibernating once November rolls around and it’s been going on four six years. If you watched the last two games there’s no reason to think that it won’t continue.

After an atrocious game against Dallas, the Giants played the sloppiest football I’ve seen in a long time (and yes I factored in the Kerry Collins and Tiki Barber years). The five turnovers against the Eagles prevented them from winning a game that their defense kept them in for the most part.

You would think that with his team leading the league in turnovers that Tom Coughlin would make his team run laps or fine them OR SOMETHING!! Then again it is the second half and maybe he’s encouraging the Giants sloppy play to make me look like a genius in this post.

Thanks Tom. P.S. Your grace period from winning the Super Bowl is up. Go fix the turnover problem and your second half record or get gone.

Trend no. 2: The San Diego Chargers always finish strong no matter how poor they start.

Just when Chargers fans thought that this might finally be the demise of Norv Turner they forgot that his team for some reason can’t lose in the last six weeks of the season. Even with guys named Seyi Ajirotutu as their number one receiver and a fullback named Mike Tolbert as their most effective running back.

Philip Rivers is leading another second half push by the Chargers.

It frustrates you an fascinates as well that a team has so much talent and starts so poorly every year then some how just goes bonkers once their staring at their playoff doom.

Where were games like Monday nights thrashing of the Denver Broncos against the Oakland Raiders? Where was Philip Rivers precision and poise versus Seattle earlier in the year? Why do they only play with a purpose with their backs against the wall?

Who knows. What we do know is that Kansas City’s hold of the AFC West is on dialysis with the Chargers surging.

(side note: there’s been talk about Rivers for MVP because of his Madden-like stats. While some say Peyton Mannin has done better with less I beg to differ. Rivers has always had less talent on the outside as compared to Manning. Manning has had Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison and Dallas Clark in his arsenal while you could say the Rivers only viable weapon has been Antonio Gates. Rivers made Vincent Jackson a number one receiver when no one heard of him and has made Malcolm Floyd a valuable two and works Tolbert and Seyi into the fold very well. I would say if you’re voting right now for MVP I would place Rivers ahead of Manning for those reasons and because his team is surging whole the Colts are fading. There I just gave Phil some love. Now watch him scream at his linemen, act immature and curse out the opposing QB next week. Gotta love it.)

Trend no. 3: The battle for Tennessee starring Vince Young and Jeff Fisher.

Before we begin… WHY THE HELL DOES JEFF FISHER LOVE KERRY COLLINS?!?!?! THE GUY IS A MEDIOCRE QUARTERBACK THAT KILLED THE GIANTS IN SUPER BOWL 35!!!! HE’S TURNOVER PRONE AND CAN’T BE TRUSTED LATE IN GAMES AT ALL!!!

Who wrote that last paragraph, a. me or b. Vince Young? I wouldn’t be shocked if Vince thought it at one point.

This is the longest running drama in the NFL. Fisher never wanted Young, owner Bud Adams loves him, Young can’t ever grow up but wins games, Kerry Collins always finds his way back into Fisher’s life, and Chris Johnson is the misused kid stuck in his parents bad relationship… ok I made that part up… maybe.

The fact that Sunday’s occurrence took place is shocking and upsetting. For Young I don’t care how much Fisher ticks you off you cannot throw tour pads in a crowd, curse out your coach and storm off without speaking to reporters. Vince’s public showings of immaturity have been one too many and this latest one should have him walking the plank seeing as how his contract is up at seasons end. He’s had far too many chances to be continuously screwing up on or off the field.

Meanwhile how much longer can Fisher stay employed with his constant lack of trust in Young which belittles not only the quarterback but team chemistry. Young is 30-17 as a starter and saved Fisher’s job last season after an abysmal start to the season. If you need anymore reason to keep Young in as your QB then I can’t help you.

Fisher never talked to Young about the injury at all even though we saw Young trying out a glove so he could get back in the game Fisher inserted rookie Rusty Smith at QB Young’s day was done. With Young’s season also over and the Titans season fading at 5-5 this might be the complete end of the saga with Young gone as well as Fisher.

(side note 2: do you think Randy Moss wishes he kept his mouth shut in New England? He went from a stable situation in Boston to dysfunction in Minnesota and Tennessee. He could be on an 8-2 team vying to get back to the Super Bowl instead of twirling in the wind in Nashville. Oh wait thats trend number 4, Randy Moss ruining what’s been good for Randy Moss. Fail.)

Trend no. 5: Tom Brady owning Peyton Manning.

NFL.com had it’s top 100 players of all time released a while ago, Peyton Manning was ranked 8th while Brady was 21st… um… huh?

Tom Brady has more rings than Manning (3-1) and owns their rivalry 6-3. Brady and the Pats dominance of Manning and the Colts spawned a dynasty and made Brady the QB of the 2000’s. Take yesterday for example.

Brady played mistake free football incorporating Deion Branch back into the pass game like he never left, mixed the run with the pass and didn’t give his defense a reason to press.

Manning on the other hand through three horrible picks including one to end the game when the Colts were in field goal range to send the game into OT. He put his defense behind the 8-ball early, didn’t hand off to Donald Brown, who at time shredded the Pats D and didn’t make smart throws.

It showed the disparity on both quarterbacks and teams as Brady should now be considered the favorite for MVP and the Pats as Super Bowl favorites while the Colts will most certainly have issues holding off a suddenly hot Jacksonville team.

However none of this should shock you, it’s been happening for years. These trends have been tested and proven to be true. It’s easy as 1-2-3. Or easy as knowing the Jets love playing close games against teams they should destroy.

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Full Exposure

The Overrated dont last long at number one coach.

Congratulations Ohio State, thanks to Wisconsin you have been exposed as a fraud. The soft schedule and lack of a true early season road test all came to head this weekend in Madison as the Buckeyes got beaten up by the Badgers 31-18 in their first and only week as the nation’s number one team in the country.

The game was over before it truly began. The Badgers jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to a kickoff return by David Gilreath and two John Clay scores. In fact the Badgers running attack is what really did Ohio State in. James White, John Clay and the Badgers offensive line completely controlled the line of scrimmage and pushed back the now overrated defensive line of the Buckeyes  for 184 yards on the ground and Clay become the first runner in 30 games to gain 100 yards on the Buckeyes.

So once again the Buckeyes fail in a game of great importance for their program, OSU should be used to it by now. However Buckeye faithful keep those chins up, because you have plenty of company in the house of frauds this week in both the NCAA and NFL. This weekend was the weekend of the exposed as many teams that we thought we really good were really overrated and their performance showed it.

OHIO STATE

Not to beat a dead horse but Jim Tressel your play calling is quite suspect. Look at the second quarter drive with the Buckeyes inside of the Badgers 10 yard line down 21-0.  Three runs, one up the middle, one QB option and a wildcat formation with Dan Herron at the QB position. Three plays, no points. I guess Tressel forgot about that 6’3 receiver named Devier Posey that he has on the outside and forgot that throwing the ball in that area is a neat option.

However, what really irks me about Ohio State is the lack of fixing the problems that they already knew existed. The special teams was horrible versus Miami and coach said that he would take a big look at it. Guess it wasn’t too good a look after the Gilreath touchdown that put the Buckeyes from behind from the beginning of the contest.

Personnel isn’t the problem it’s the way they play the game and that falls on the coaching staff. The fact that the Buckeyes don’t have a reliable short yardage runner or an intermediate passing game falls on Tressel. You can only live so long with Terrelle Pryor running options and chucking the ball downfield all game.

NEBRASKA

So much for that revenge against Texas.

Well, there goes the Taylor Martinez for Heisman talk and the talk of Nebraska looking to avenge that loss to Texas last year. Texas came in and punched the Huskers in the mouth and sent them off to the Big Ten with a not so lovely parting gift.

As talented as Martinez is the Huskers relied on him a little too much during their first few games and their lack of offensive depth showed as Texas slowed them to a standstill and built up an insurmountable 20-3 advantage.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Gee, thanks Steve Spurrier. After I give you all of those props for closing out the defending national champs at home. You go on the road and can’t hold a 28-17 fourth quarter lead against the SEC’s perennial underachiever in Kentucky.

How does a defense that kept Alabama in check let Kentucky rack up 401 total yards? How does Stephen Garcia go from looking like he turned the corner to throwing two costly picks and the offense struggling with 4 turnovers after running over the Crimson Tide? Take back what I said last week.

NEVADA

I mean I didn’t expect them to get to the Fiesta Bowl, but I did expect them to set up a good undefeated matchup with Boise State in Reno in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Colin Kaepernick and company couldn’t get that dominant run game going and now we get to not talk about Nevada again for awhile.

THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

I mean it’s not their fault that the entire team seems as though its injured, but to lose a ten point lead in Washington after dominating most of the game and then to come home and lay an egg like they did?

This isn’t the work of a Super Bowl contender. The Packers should have done a better job looking for a backup to Ryan Grant so their running game wouldn’t be abysmal. Also Mike McCarthy’s game management right now is starting to rival Les Miles in Baton Rouge. Maybe they exchanged notes or something.

THE CHICAGO BEARS

I guess that Giants game wasn’t an aberration, that offensive line is poor. Matt Forte is back to being that unproductive running back that teased us with an awesome rookie season. I can’t blame Jay Cutler for being a burden to this team, its every area but the quarterback position this year. He’s probably wishing that he didn’t hurry back from that concussion.

THE ATLANTA FALCONS

Funny story; after watching the Philadelphia Eagles jump to a 21-0 lead with Kevin Kolb slinging the ball all over the Falcons I sent my buddy Scully a text that said that Atlanta was trash, he responded by saying that, you’re only saying that because we’re (the Eagles) are winning. After further review this is not so.

Who do I have to yell at to get us going?

The Falcons can’t defend the pass. Kolb and company turned the game into a track meet and ran all over the field against these guys. They don’t seem like they have the personnel to keep up with speedy playmakers.

Also, this is a horrible road team. Forget the Saints win for a minute, the Falcons in the Matt Ryan era are two games under .500 and routinely come out flat. If they want to win the NFC (which they won’t) then they have to get more focused on the road.

THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Ugh. It doesn’t get any uglier than this team. Contract disputes, lack of a running game, an immature and volatile quarterback and a defense that underachieves like no other.  Watching the Chargers on Sunday made me realize how truly dysfunctional this team is. They seem to lack leadership and direction.  They were constantly out of position on defense and the offense couldn’t get a continuous flow going.

With all of that said they still may win the AFC West because the Chiefs may have finally come back down to earth and no one in that division really has any consistent game plan week in and out to make that next step. Still the Chargers are no threat to go anywhere this year, well except Norv Turner. He might be fired in three weeks.

See Buckeyes you weren’t the only contender that laid an egg this week. So cheer up as you and the rest of these teams watch your game film and wonder what went wrong. Also watch as you get passed by every other team in the standings and miss out on another title shot. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a Buckeye in the last four years it’s that no one gives an underachiever a shot, especially when they get it wrong by overrating you to begin with.