Alright folks, after a brief hiatus the SportsTank is BACK! As you can imagine, some thoughts have accumalated within the Tank that I would like to share.
First, I want to put your mind at ease that I will not be talking about the off field turmoil that has soiled the super power that is the NFL. My passion lies in the action on the field, court, course, and diamond; NOT off it. While the recent turn of events are unfortunate and inexcuseable; I am going to leave it up to those that matter to handle the situation accordingly and put things in place to help prevent these types of things from happening in the future.
As fans, we need sports to help relieve stress, escape from reality, and live vicariously through those that are far better athletes than you or I could ever be. The stories and sports talk shows should be focused and debating the play on the field not the personal lives of those who play the game.
...........And, thats all I have to say about that!
What I would like to talk about is the NFL season which has gotten underway. On the field there are some interesting things happening that I think are worth sharing.
Allow me to toot my own horn, grab my soapbox, and scream from the mountain tops that Russell Wilson has proven to be everything I thought he would be, and more. Further, RGIII has proven to be everything I knew he would be - or in this case - WOULDN'T be.
After two full seasons in the NFL Russell Wilson has accumulated a Pro Bowl along with a Lombardi Trophy; while RGIII has simply accumulated major endorsements and a fat bank account. Ironically enough, his fat wallet truly has nothing to do with his play during his time in the NFL, but rather his play prior to his arrival.
Everyone jumped on his bandwagon early due to the marketing and media storm that surrounded him as Russell Wilson soared under the radar. RGIII came out in his first season looking somewhat like the man the majority thought he was as he took his team to the playoffs in season one. Unfortunately, he ended up with a blown out knee and a loss in his first playoff game as a pro. Injuries continued to follow and now he has dislocated his ankle and will be out at least another 6 weeks.
The lesson here: the kid is not an NFL QB!
His arm is strong and he can sling the ball, but his body cant hold up to the rigors of the NFL. His replacement, however, has proven otherwise and as a Cowboys fan that worries me. I feel that with Kirk Cousins at the helm this team could wind up returning to playoff form. He actually looks like an NFL QB and has a better winning percentage as a starter than the heralded RGIII.
What can we expect in the future? Perhaps a career in commercials with Brian Bosworth, Matt Leinhart, and Heath Shuler..."I wanna go back to college..."
My best guess would be that with the superior marketing and his huge bank account he will be opening up a car dealership, insurance brokerage, or strip club with his fellow over-hyped, superbly marketed, equally colossal letdown - Johnny Manziel.
Notice I didn't refer to him as trademarked Johnny "Football" because, well, simply put, he is not a NFL QB!
Manziel and Griffin are the most hyped and least successful QBs in recent memory. These two will be out of the NFL and looking for other work inside of 3 years. Perhaps they can join Tim Tebow on the SEC network as an analyst. Maybe their college minds are more valuable than their NFL body of work.
Now that I have gone ahead and discussed those in the NFL that don't belong; lets discuss a guy who has been in & out of the NFL with personal issues and has rightfully made it back to the NFL. Not to mention, in the first two weeks of the season has looked absolutely freaking GREAT! His name is Rolondo McClain - ROLL TIDE!
Rolondo was on the JeMarcus Russell "bust" train when he was cut from the Raiders, retired from the NFL, un-retired, retired again, then came out of retirement for a second time only to be picked up by the lowly Dallas Cowboys.
He will prove to be the diamond in the rough that is the inability of Jerry Jones to make wise personnel decisions.
Rolondo, even though he has not worked himself back into football shape (i.e. see his current groin injury) has been a headliner of this seemingly improved defense. He leads the team in tackles, interceptions, and sacks after just two games. Anyone who watches the Cowboys can tell you he is in on almost every defensive play and covers lots of ground as a MLB. Jason Garrett talks incessantly about "next man up" and it is safe to say McClain has gone above and beyond in stepping up for the seemingly irreplaceable, oft hurt linebacker, Sean Lee.
As an Alabama fan, and someone who feels the Cowboys season will turn out worse than it has in the last decade (i.e. under .500), I finally have a small glimmer of optimism with 55 in the middle of our defense.
In addition, I would like to put it on record that I think the Buffalo Bills are the biggest surprise of 2014/15 NFL season. This team is riding the wave of Jim Kelly and has proven to be "Kelly Strong" after starting the season 2-0.
I know winning the first two games of the year doesnt mean much, but they beat a very good Chicago Bears team on the road and followed that up with an early divisional win against the Dolphins. This team lost thier top young linebacker in Kiko Alonso, but the rookie and former Louisville Cardinal, Preston Brown, has stepped up quite nicely in his absence...say that again, Jason Garrett; "NEXT MAN UP!"
Rookie wide receiver, Sammy Watkins, has recorded his first 100 yard game in week two and I think this is something that will become the norm. If, and thats a big IF, EJ Manual can stay healthy; I am a BILLiever!
With that strong run game, mediocre division, and young defense I think this team can surprise a lot of people. I am not putting them in the Super Bowl, but I am making them my darkhorse pick of the season to make the playoffs.
A few other quick thoughts regarding the NFL season - going forward I would like to affectionately refer to these thoughts as the "Nine Astonishing Notions."
1. Anthony Barr will be defensive rookie of the year
2. Sammy Watkins will be the offensive rookie of the year
3. The Saints are going to turnaround thier 0-2 season to win NFC South
4. Tom Couglin and Jason Garrett both have sub .500 seasons and join RGIII and Johnny Manziel in the unemployment line
5. Andy Dalton finally wins a playoff game
6. Jadaveon Clowney joins Tony Mandarich as the biggest bust in NFL history due to inury
7. Rolondo McClain wins comeback player of the year
8. Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson never play in the NFL again.
9. The Seahawks beat the Chargers in the Super Bowl 29-24