Big Lead Sports Bar


NFL Take 5: Moss, McNabb, Patriots, NFL Stats, Steelers

Five NFL opinions you may or may not be on board with:

1.  As you all know, another NFL team pulled the plug on Randy Moss for the second time in a month. After mailing it in with New England, Moss headed back to Minnesota, sure to "prove the Patriots wrong" and "earn a new contract". After four games, 13 catches, and one embarrassing incident at a team meal, Moss finds himself on the street. The natural response? "Maybe 30 head coaches" are having discussions about Moss, according to Jeff Fisher. Lousy effort, lousy human being, high salary...sounds like a coach's dream to me.

At what point does the NFL collectively wake up and realize that Randy Moss is not worth the trouble? Oh, I know, now he's going to prove the Patriots AND the Vikings wrong, right? And earn that new contract, I'm sure. Please.

People will point to stats to justify Moss' relevance, so I'll use stats as well. In his last year in Minnesota  the first time around (2004), Moss had only 49 catches and 767 yards. And during his final year in Oakland, those numbers dipped to 42 catches and 553 yards. The combined record of those teams? 10-22. Simply put, he quit.

Moss is the front-runner of front-runners, he plays when he wants to, and he treats people like crap. Every egomaniacal NFL coach thinks they're the one that can fix him, but that ball is strictly in Moss' court. If he feels like giving an effort, he will. If not, you're out of luck. He's an expensive crapshoot, and in the world of pro sports, he'll continue to get chance after chance until eventually he winds up in Turkey after burning all his bridges.

Some dummies will call Pittsburgh talk shows and write on message boards that the Steelers should sign Moss. These are the same people that thought the Steelers should sign Michael Vick and T.O. I guess they haven't been paying attention during the 77 years the Rooneys have owned the team, but the Steelers don't sign other teams' problems. They may draft potential problems (Santonio, Plaxico, etc.), but those players eventually flush away all their chances in Pittsburgh anyway. I might be critical of their valuation of fourth-round picks, but on the whole I'm 99.9% on board with the personnel moves of the Black and Gold.

2. While we're talking about controversies, I'm fascinated about what's going on in Washington, where Donovan McNabb has found himself in the Shanahan Family Doghouse due to some combination of a lack of two-minute offense knowledge and insufficient conditioning. 

Apparently, the NFL's big secret was that the Shanahans have been displeased with McNabb's work ethic since the summer, a similar complaint of Andy Reid's in Philadelphia. Maybe it should've been a red flag to Washington that the Eagles were willing to trade McNabb within the division in the first place, but we all know Dan Snyder's attraction to big names. He just can't say no. 

At this point, I'd have to imagine that the Redskin locker room, always in a state of flux, has to be divided about the direction in which this team is going. Now, Shanahan can choose between a disgruntled McNabb and whatever unkind adjective you choose to use in describing Rex Grossman. Sounds like a lose-lose proposition to me, which is par for the Redskins course.

3. After nine weeks of play, the New England Patriots sit atop the NFL in fictitious, meaningless rankings. And as John Clayton points out, their second-half schedule sets up with at least six games the Pats should win, putting them at 12 for the season. 

A quick scan of New England's offensive leaders gives us names like "Benjarvus Green-Ellis", "Danny Woodhead", and "Aaron Hernandez". Huh?

And they're not eeking out all these wins, either. Sure, they've had some close calls, like the OT win against Baltimore, but they're winning games by an average of nearly 11 points this season. The scariest part? Look at how many draft picks Bill Belichick has stockpiled for 2011, with two picks in each of the first three rounds New England's window for winning may be re-opening in a big way in the coming years.

1st Round
1st Round (from OAK – Richard Seymour)
2nd Round (from CAR – 2010 3rd Round)
2nd Round
3rd Round (from MIN – Randy Moss)
3rd Round
4th Round (from DEN – Laurence Maroney)
5th Round
6th Round (from NO – David Thomas)

They value chemistry enough to give away two players (Seymour and Moss) who supposedly could have helped them win in the present in exchange for draft picks down the road. It's a unique philosophy, and only time will tell us if Belichick has chosen the right path. But right now, things are looking very good in Foxborough, and I couldn't be less happier for them. By the way, they get the Steelers on November 14.

4. You've gotta love the unpredictability of the NFL. The Minnesota Vikings, very nearly the NFC Super Bowl representative last season, are 2-5. The Dallas Cowboys, thought by their owner to represent their city at the Super Bowl they're hosting this season, are 1-6. 2009 AFC North Champion Cincinnati is 2-5. Tampa Bay (3-13 in 2009) and Kansas City (4-12) are both 5-2 and leading their divisions. St. Louis, a one-win club last season, is 1/2 game out of first place in a very winnable NFC West. My head is spinning.

And on an individual level, some of the statistical leaders at the halfway point blow my mind. The NFL's leader in passer rating is...Vince Young? And the league's most productive receiver (by far) is Brandon Lloyd of Denver, on pace for more than 1700 yards receiving with a previous career high of 733 in his seven-year NFL career.

Arian Foster, who played in six career games coming into 2010, is on Adrian Peterson's heels for NFL rushing supremacy, and not far behind is Ahmad Bradshaw, who is just 70 yards short of his career-high. DeAngelo Hall, released ago almost two years to the day by Oakland, leads the league in interceptions. As we've seen throughout the fall, football is clearly the preferred sport of America, and facts like this are the reason why. You never know what's going to happen next.

5. Since I don't know if I properly made my point earlier on Tuesday, let me bring it up one more time: the Steelers letting go of Thad Gibson is not the end of the world. I was merely trying to make the point that they shouldn't have taken the guy in the first place. They had just drafted a linebacker in Jason Worilds, and they're well-stocked at the position anyway. And let's not forget that linebacker has not traditionally been a place where the Steelers have been thin over the years. That organization could drive a pickup truck through the South Side and turn four guys off the street into a solid unit. But back to my original point, I just wish they could've chosen a player with that pick that could have filled a need somewhere else on the roster. That's all. I'll put the soapbox away for another time.

Mondesi's House: The Director's Cut (more links, commentary, etc):


Anonymous said...

Losing Gibson is not the end of the world, but you have to wonder regarding the overall thought process. Mr. Vocabulary (Tomlin) at times amazes me with his game day decisions and is capable of losing a game or two to inferior teams.

Our schedule is back loaded, I still really think this team has a great run defense but is still suspect regarding the pass. The playing calling on the offensive side of the ball is sometimes very inconsistent.

If this team plays like it did Sunday, look for them to lose to Baltimore, New England and New York. Cincinnati is horrible but Monday night is no gimme because the Bungals will make their season if they beat us!

Look for a very competitive game from Oakland. If this team falls asleep a 9-7 season is possible.

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

New England also has had one of the worst strengths of schedule in the NFL. I believe they're 3rd from the bottom at .420 How does that seem to happen every year btw??

The Steelers are top 5 in that category at .608, and are only one win behind the mighty pats.

I know it sounds crazy to say this about Brady and Bellichick, but I don't think they're for real.

HomeRunFromBehindTheMeatballs said...

1. Some desparate team will always 'take a chance' on the Randy Mosses and Terrel Owenses of the world. I don't see how ANY team could possibly want Moss on their team right now, but i also can't see how he gets past Carolina on the waiver wire! If he does manage to get past a few teams on the waiver wire, someone will claim him just to block New England. That's decent job security, but i'm sure Moss will pout and not suit up for the team that claims him.

2. How is a 'lack of 2 mintue drill knowledge' not DIRECTLY Shanahan's fault? It was week 9 and, correct me if i'm wrong but, Grossman was with the team just as long as McNabb. The other option, "McNabb was out of shape" (while also DIRECTLY Shanahan's fault) leads to some pretty funny actions by the Washington Savages (for another arguement, what's less offensive? Savages? or Redskins?). Problem - out of shape qb... Solution - Tryouts for Purple Drank Russel (290 lbs on a good day) and J. P. Losman (not nicknamed J. Lo because of his petite behind). Thank God for the Rooneys!!!

3. The scariest part is that the Pats are a team that uses their draft picks EXTREMELY well lately. And they can make talented players out of the B-G J-Es and Woodheads of the world. Oh well, at least they can't cheat anymore?

4. Do you think the Cowboys will raise the scoreboard for the Super Bowl?!?

5. I only think Gibson was expendable because of the surprisingly awesome play of Stevenson Sylvester (Drafted in the 5th round). Also at a position of limited need with Farrior, Timmons, Foote, and Fox ahead of him. At the very least, after the draft you could argue that Gibson filled more of a 'need' than Sylvester did.

@ LLimHb ... that IS, in fact, crazy. I could possibly see the arguement that Belichick is only good when he has Tom Brady. However, what possible argument could you have to back up a "Tom Brady isn't 'for real'" statement?

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

By "not for real" I don't mean they aren't a good team/QB/coach.

But they're not the best team in the NFL, as their record would indicate, despite having Brady and Bellichick.

I don't think they'll win the Super Bowl.

People see the good record and think it's 2001-2004 again. It's not. Trust me.