|WEEI NFL Power Rankings: Pre-training camp edition||07.09.15 at 9:45 pm ET|
The defending champion New England Patriots enter the pre-pre-season third in the WEEI Power Rankings. Much of the offense remains intact, but the departures of Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Vince Wilfork, and Kyle Arrington can’t be overlooked. The Seahawks lost Byron Maxwell, but upgraded the offense with the addition of Jimmy Graham, giving them the No. 1 spot. With Aaron Rodgers at the helm, the Packers will continue to keep defensive coordinators up at night.
The Cowboys creep into the Top 5, despite the loss of workhorse running back DeMarco Murray. The Broncos will remain out of the Top 10 until Peyton Manning proves he can throw a ball farther than 20 yards. Chip Kelly and the Eagles are the hardest team to gauge, since they were successful last year, and decided to turn their roster over at most of their skill positions.
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1. Seattle Seahawks — The defending NFC Champions were 1 yard away from back-to-back Super Bowl Championships, but Pete Carroll out-thought himself and the rest is history. With the addition of Jimmy Graham, expect Marshawn Lynch to have more room to work.
3. New England Patriots – The defending Super Bowl Champs lost six key contributors to free agency. Bill Belichick will have to use smoke and mirrors in the secondary, to get another AFC East title.
4. Dallas Cowboys — The loss of Murray (2,261 yard/scrimmage and 449 touches) will hurt, but the offense is still bursting with talent (and a great O-Line.) Also, Tony Romo got the monkey off his back won a playoff game.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers — The Steelers went 8-2 down the stretch last season, and saw Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown emerge as true playmakers. However, all eyes will be on new defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, who replaces the legendary Dick LeBeau.
6. Baltimore Ravens — The Ravens have been consistently tough to play against since John Harbaugh took over. Steve Smith showed he has plenty left in the tank, and Justin Forsett will likely build on last season’s momentum. Joe Flacco is good enough. Not great. But good enough.
7. Indianapolis Colts — The third-best offense in the league added Andre Johnson and Frank Gore to the mix. Vegas overlooked a porous defense and installed them as the third-most likely team to win Super Bowl 50, at 8/1.
|Detroit will serve as host for Jets-Bills contest||11.21.14 at 12:38 am ET|
The NFL announced Thursday night that this weekend’s Jets-Bills game will be played in Detroit Monday night because of the massive storm that has paralyzed parts of upstate New York.
The storm has forced the Bills to cancel practices for the last two days. More than 5 feet of snow has fallen in the Buffalo area since Monday, and another 1 to 3 feet was projected to fall by Friday.
This is the second time in four years Ford Field has served as a host for a neutral site game. Following the collapse of the roof of Minnesota’s Metrodome in 2010, the Vikings and Giants played in Detroit.
|League looking at alternate sites for Bills-Jets game because of massive snowfall||11.20.14 at 4:57 pm ET|
The league announced Thursday that Sunday’s game between the Bills and Jets won’t be played in Buffalo this weekend because of the massive snowstorm that has blanketed parts of upstate New York.
According to the NFL, the league is in the process of finding a suitable alternate venue for the game.
“Due to public safety concerns in light of the ongoing weather emergency in Western New York, Sunday’s Jets-Bills game will not be played in Buffalo,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said in a statement. “We are in the process of rescheduling and relocating the game as part of Week 12. We will provide additional information as soon as possible.
“We have been in contact with the public authorities and we realize the importance of all available public safety resources being available for the community at this difficult time. We are also in discussions with the team and the Red Cross on ways the NFL can support the community through this weather disaster.”
Detroit and Washington reportedly loom as possible replacement sites.
|WEEI NFL Power Rankings, Week 11: Patriots climb into top 5||11.12.13 at 11:28 am ET|
The Seahawks continue to soar high above the rest in the WEEI NFL Power Rankings. As fellow NFC teams suffer injuries and decline, Seattle seems to be getting stronger, and its big offseason acquisition, Percy Harvin, is set to debut in Seahawk green. The Broncos stand pat at No. 2 as they survived a health scare to their franchise QB. The Chiefs are proud owners of a perfect record and jump the their highest spot all year at No. 3. They sat back and enjoyed their bye week as the Colts (6) and Niners (8) suffered losses and fell in the rankings.
The difference a year makes continues to be the story across the league. Playoff teams in 2012 like the Texans (28), Vikings (27), Redskins (26) and Falcons (25) continue to plummet in 2013. It seems highly unlikely any of those teams will make a return to the postseason. On the other hand, the Chiefs, Panthers (7) and Jets (11) all have exceeded expectations and are in the thick of the playoff race after being completely out of it at this time last year.
Week 11 will deliver one of the most anticipated matchups of the year as the league’s best offense clashes against one of the league’s best defenses in an AFC West battle. The Broncos and Chiefs will duke it out to maintain their position in the NFL’s elite. It should be an exciting week of football.
1. (1) Seahawks (8-1) — Last year Seattle owned a 3-5 record on the road; this year the Seahawks boast a 5-1 record away from CenturyLink Field. As Harvin nears a return to the field following hip surgery, the Seahawks’ lead in the NFC continues to grow.
2. (2) Broncos (8-1) — Peyton Manning re-aggravated an ankle injury, but that won’t sideline him when the Broncos take on the first-place Chiefs. Denver needs to be extra cautious with Manning. It may be even worth considering shutting him down for a week or two. Their chance for a Super Bowl title could be on the line.
3. (5) Chiefs (9-0) — The time finally has arrived for the Chiefs to prove to the rest of the league they are as good as their record indicates. It’s quite simple why Kansas City is at the top of the standings. The defense has been ferocious. The Chiefs have forced a league-high 23 turnovers.
4. (6) Patriots (7-2) — The Patriots are an astonishing 87-24 coming off their bye week since 2001. They’re 26-4 over the last three years alone. There’s no reason to believe Bill Belichick and Tom Brady won’t lead the Patriots to another impressive post-bye week performance when they take on the Panthers on Monday night.
|Rex Ryan: Sunday ‘a horrible day for the Ryan family’||10.15.13 at 9:50 am ET|
While the Patriots’ shocking comeback victory over New Orleans on Sunday left many on the Saints, including defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, speechless at the end of the game, the same can’t be said for Jets coach Rex Ryan, Rob’s twin brother.
Now in his fifth season with the Jets, Rex has witnessed firsthand Tom Brady and Co. mount incredible comebacks time and time again over the years. Sunday’s game was no different, as Brady orchestrated a 70-yard drive with 1:13 remaining, eventually firing a perfect pass to Kenbrell Thompkins in the end zone with five seconds left, giving New England the 30-27 win.
“It was a horrible day for the Ryan family,” Ryan said on Monday. “Good thing’s my dad’s out of coaching. … Until it hits zero, Brady’s done that time and time again.”
While Ryan said that his brother’s defensive game plan against Brady was effective for most of Sunday’s contest, he admitted that sometimes it can be nearly impossible to stop the three-time Super Bowl champion in the closing moments of a game.
“You want to make calls for your brother if you think you can help, but they’d been doing a pretty good job of their own anyway,” Rex said. “And I know what he went to, he went to a four-across, he had four guys on top, and that’s a tough situation right there. Because you can’t double them all. He got what he wanted, and so did they. They got a jump ball out there, and you know what’s coming. Everybody in the park knows it’s coming. You just don’t know which receiver it’s going to.”
The Saints’ loss, while obviously painful for Rob Ryan and the rest of the New Orleans organization, also had a large impact on Rex Ryan and the Jets. Had the Saints sealed the victory and the Jets defeated the Steelers at the Meadowlands on Sunday, New England and New York would have been tied for first in the AFC East, setting up a pivotal showdown at MetLife Stadium this weekend.
In his last two games in East Rutherford, Brady has dominated the Jets with a stat line of 44-for-66 passing for six touchdowns with no interceptions. In those two games, both Patriots victories, New England put up a combined 86 points.
Despite now being two games out of first place, Ryan said he hopes the Jets fan base will be loud and ready to go Sunday.
“I’m just telling our fans, ‘Come ready,’ ” Ryan said on ESPN Radio.
|Willie Colon on his fight with Patriots: ‘I was tired of losing’||09.13.13 at 2:28 am ET|
FOXBORO — It wouldn’t be a Patriots-Jets game if there wasn’t a little tension between the two teams.
While it was a relatively uneventful week, which carried over into a very sloppy, poorly played game, tempers did flare in the closing minute of the Patriots’ 13-10 win.
With 48 seconds left in the game and the Jets attempting to drive down the field, Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib intercepted Jets quarterback Geno Smith at the New York 46-yard line, for his second interception of the game, sealing the win for the Patriots. Following the interception, Jets lineman Nick Mangold dove at the cornerback’s legs when Talib didn’t just take a knee and was dancing up the sideline. The Patriots sideline took exception, and the two teams came together, exchanging words and, in the case of two Jets players, more than words.
“I didn’t do anything, I made the tackle,” Mangold said. “He was along the sideline. I obviously could not play defense in this league because I thought he was still in bounds, so I tried to make a tackle.’
Fellow offensive linemen D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Willie Colon were ejected for throwing punches and in the case of Colon, striking an official in the melee. Following the game both players could not recall the particulars of what took place.
‘I don’t really remember the details of what happened,’ said Ferguson, the fourth overall pick in the 2006 draft, said. ‘At the end of the day I was ejected and like I said, just a lot of frustration today and we didn’t have the result we were looking for.’
Like Ferguson, Colon, in his eighth season in the league, couldn’t recall the details of the scrum, just that he was stepping in to protect one of his players.
‘I was tired of losing, and we just can’t have it,’ he said. ‘I saw [Nick Bellore] in there and a lot of guys running. I was trying to get in there and help my brother, and that is why I reacted the way I reacted.’
|Tim Tebow will be disaster for Jets||03.26.12 at 11:32 am ET|
There’s a line in “All the President’s Men” that captures the Jets perfectly. Bob Woodward is running dry on sources. It looks like he and Carl Bernstein aren’t going to crack the Watergate story after all. He’s worn out, pissed off and finally ready to give up, surrender to Mitchell and Nixon and Hunt and Haldeman and Erlichman.
Woodward meets up with Deep Throat — the source, not the film Tim Tebow would never watch — and tells him exactly that. It’s basically over.
Deep Throat — we now know is Mark Felt, who comes to think of it looked a hell of a lot like Hal Holbrook — gives the closest version of a pep talk you’ll ever get from a CIA operative in the basement of a garage. And it ends with this:
“Look, forget the myths the media’s created about the White House- the truth is, these are not very bright guys, and things got out of hand. ”
Change “White House” to “NFL” and you’ve got the Jets and the addition of Tim Tebow.
I thought Tebow to the Patriots made sense. I didn’t think it was going to happen but I thought it made sound football sense. Terrific athlete, a head coach willing to look at a player and see something else, all that stuff. Almost as important, the Patriots were one of three or four franchises in the NFL where Tebow would be zero distraction to the day-to-day operations of a football team.
Put it another way: For the Tim Tebow experiment to really succeed, he needed to go to a place where the quarterback was an untouchable, the coach had unimpeachable job security and the motivation to bring Tebow in was as football player only, not some ploy to steal headlines or sell tickets.
And that’s why the Jets and Tim Tebow will be an absolute disaster, a train wreck that will end with Tebow either a) being released or b) traded to Jacksonville for even less value in a year or two.
This is how a clueless organization does things. They botch any real shot at Peyton Manning and scramble to save face. Instead of taking a step back, just pause for minute and look at things from a big picture perspective, the Jets dive in and make a deal for a quarterback that isn’t as good as the guy they have. And that guy — Mark Sanchez — isn’t good enough in their eyes, or else there is no way they deal for Tebow. Desperation meets stupidity meets a desire to monopolize the front page of the New York Post for a couple of weeks in March.
(Helps when you have a Hall of Fame QB, but you would never see the Patriots do this the way the Jets are. The courtship, the huge press conference, putting his jersey on the front of the team web page. It’s just reeks of minor leagues. The Patriots would have had a conference call the day after the trade and that’s it.)
This is a pissed off little brother, plain and simple. The Jets have watched the Giants win two Super Bowls the last five years — against the team that was supposed to be their rival — and this was the best answer they could come up with. And when you start making organizational decisions based on desire to be relevant off the field you are basically screwed. There’s a reason why they don’t hand out rings or raise banners in March.
Mark Sanchez isn’t a franchise quarterback, not by the longest shot. Is there a chance he could develop into a top 10-15 guy over the next couple of years? It’s possible, sure, this is a QB with four road playoff wins, including one that saw him outplay Tom Brady. Point is, you could do worse.