Before we get to "the stack" today, just want to wish a belated happy Veteran's Day to all of the men and women who have served and currently are serving our country. Thank you for your dedication, your bravery and for keeping our nation safe both here and abroad. Meant to get this out yesterday, but it never happened, so thank you, and we should not just celebrate what you've done for us yesterday, but each and every day.
Now let's get right to "the stack" for today, Tuesday, November 12:
Bucs earn first win of the year on MNF
Who knows what impact the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin saga had on the Miami Dolphins, but they came out flat in the first half against winless Buccaneers. They came back to take the lead, but Bobby Rainey led a rushing attack and scored a touchdown to give the Bucs the lead. They came out and played inspired. Their defense was great for most of the game, but they almost squandered a golden opportunity to win their first game with dumb penalties. Story of their season so far. They lost running back Mike James on the first drive of the game with an ankle injury. That could have devestated the Bucs. Give them credit for winning their first game of the year. The heat is only going to get more intense in Miami. Winning would help.
Myers, Fernandez win rookie of the year
Baseball is starting to announce their award winners and Rookie of the Year players were named yesterday. Somewhat unexpectedly (or perhaps not) the NL Rookie of the Year went to Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Ferandez. Fernandez finished with a 12-6 record, 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts. Didn't he also hit a homerun and have a no-hitter? Either way, he was a bright spot on a Marlins team was the second worst team in baseball. Build around him Miami. Kind of surprising that Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig didn't win the award given what he did to a Dodgers team that seemed destined for failure this year. His numbers were great at the plate, but some of his antics and outfield play lost him votes I feel. I'd take either on my team...or both.
The AL Rookie of the Year award went to Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Wil Myers. Myers, called up in June, hit 13 homeruns and drove in 53 runs. He was the prized acquisition in the James Shields trade with the Kansas City Royals. He's another guy I wouldn't mind having on my team for the next ten years or so.
Seems like every week there are some big injuries in the NFL. Week 10 was no exception. Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler's injury will force him to miss this week's game against the Baltimore Ravens. Given how he played Sunday and how well Josh McCown played against Green Bay, McCown is probably the better option.
Denver Broncos fans can exhale. Peyton Manning's ankle is just sprained, not broken. Granted the spraing is a high ankle sprain, but at least there is no structural damage. The Chiefs will be applying plenty of pressure on Manning to try and get him to scramble which could at some point take Manning out of the game. One more reason to watch Chiefs-Broncos Sunday night.
The Tennessee Titans really liked what they were seeing from quarterback Jake Locker. That is, until he went down with a foot injury against Jacksonville Sunday in what was later diagnosed as the dreaded Lisfranc injury. Huge blow to the Titans playoff hopes and division hopes. With the Colts inexplicable blowout loss to the Rams, even more inexplicable was the Titans loss to the winless Jaguars. Winless no more. Now the Titans are in trouble.
The Green Bay Packers lost backup quarterback Seneca Wallace to a groin injury in Sunday's game against Philadelphia. Third string quarterback Scott Tolzien came in and played admirably, throwing for 280 yards. Perhaps he will start this week. As an insurance move, the Packers signed Matt Flynn Monday. He knows this offense though his game hasn't been great since he cashed in on that phenominal last regular season game against Detroit a couple of years ago. Green Bay's season is finished if Aaron Rodgers can't get back on the field the soon.
No team got hit by injuries more than Dallas or so it would seem after Sunday night. DeMarcus Ware did not look like himself. Sean Lee, one of the best young linebackers in the game, is likely to miss 3-4 weeks with a hamstring injury. Once he suffered that against the Saints, Drew Brees took off. That's how much Lee means to this defense. To make matters worse, Lee's backup Justin Durant left Sunday's game with a hamstring injury and he is likely to miss 3-4 weeks. Ouch. Dallas' defense isn't that good to begin with. Losing your best playmakers hurts even more.
The NFL isn't the only sport with some bad injuries. In the NHL, Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos is out for an extended period of time after he broke his right tibia crashing into the net in the team's 3-0 loss to the Boston Bruins. Stamkos is tied for the league lead in goals with 14. He is a fantastic player to watch and one the NHL should try and market more and more. Big blow to the Lightning, their fans and the NHL in general.
NFL Week 10 Power Rankings
1. Kansas City Chiefs 9-0
Seahawks or Broncos are deserving as well, but until you lose your first game of the year, the Chiefs deserve to hold the top spot.
2. Seattle Seahawks 8-1
That defense is great. The offense needs to be more consistent. Then they will be Super Bowl favorites.
3. Denver Broncos 8-1
If Peyton Manning's ankle gets worse, the Broncos season is not going to end up in MetLife Stadium. That defense isn't good enough. Nor would the offense.
4. New Orleans Saints 7-2
If the Saints get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, they will not be beat. Drew Brees is in way too much of a groove right now and that dome gets loud.
5. New England Patriots 7-2
Tom Brady was outstanding against the Steelers last week. The Panthers will be much more difficult to score 55 points against. It's pretty much impossible.
6. Carolina Panthers 6-3
What an impressive, dominant performance by the Panthers defense against San Fran. More consistency on offense will make the Panthers a playoff team for sure.
7. Detroit Lions 6-3
Wasn't the best game offensively by Matthew Stafford, but that was an awesome show by the defense. The Lions are in the driver seat in the NFC North.
8. San Francisco 49ers 6-3
Perhaps the 49ers should have dropped a little more. Perhaps Colin Kaepernick should start playing like the quarterback we all saw last year.
9. Philadelphia Eagles 5-5
Based on how they've played the last two games with Nick Foles under center, the Eagles are looking good in the NFC East. Foles is playing great right now. Don't go back to Vick.
10. Indianpolis Colts 6-3
Um ok Indiainapolis...what was that? One pass is all you get this season. Find a running game.
11. Cincinnati Bengals 6-4
Andy Dalton needs to play better if the Bengals want to be taken seriously.
12. Arizona Cardinals 5-4
That pass rush is tenacious. Andre Ellington is good. The Cardinals will be in the playoff hunt for a little while longer.
13. Chicago Bears 5-4
The Bears defense hasn't played up to par this year and now they lose Charles Tilman for the year. And Jay Cutler is out this week. Bears season is sinking fast.
14. Green Bay Packers 5-4
Like the Bears, the Packers have quarterback issues that could derail their playoff hopes.
15. New York Jets 5-4
An even week and the Jets didn't lose!! Oh yeah, that's because they didn't play this week. Which means they'll win this week.
16. Dallas Cowboys 5-5
Let's see, two defensive starters leave the game with injury. Give up 40 first downs and over 600 yards of offense. Yeah, I'd say that Rex Ryan was the reason why the Cowboys defense was so bad last year.
17. Cleveland Browns 4-5
The Browns are still in the playoff race...in the middle of November. No it's not a joke. Don't think it will happen, but it's still great they have a chance.
18. San Diego Chargers 4-5
The Chargers were close against Denver, but couldn't quite pull out the win. That's been an all too familiar outcome this season for the team.
19. St. Louis Rams 4-6
There is the Tavon Austin the Rams traded up to get. That pass rush is pretty good too.
20. Baltimore Ravens 4-5
The Ravens had to win Sunday to stay alive in the AFC North race...and they barely won. Zero ground game. The Ravens may have stayed alive for a little bit, but not for long.
21. New York Giants 3-6
Very quietly, the Giants are on a three game winning streak and now sit two gams back of the NFC East lead. They are gaining momentum.
22. Tennessee Titans 4-5
How do you lose to the Jaguars Tennessee? How?! And then you lose your starting quarterback for the year? Ouch.
23. Miami Dolphins 4-5
After the last ten days, the Dolphins would either play lights out or come out flat. They played flat in the first half and couldn't hang on. It's not going to get any easier.
24. Oakland Raiders 3-6
Terrelle Pryor needs to play more consistent for the Raiders to take that next step. Like the way he leads though. They played tough against the Giants.
25. Washington Redskins 3-6
What happened to the Redskins in the second half against the Vikings? They played great in the first half and then went away from the ground game and the whole team went to crap. Then again, they were 3-6 at this time last year and won the division.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers 3-6
Much better performance by the Steelers defense. Too little too late for this season though.
27. Buffalo Bills 3-7
Not the sort of performance I thought we'd see from the Bills. Should have been able to run more. This is a young team still looking to grow.
28. Houston Texans 2-7
Seven straight losses for a team that had Super Bowl aspirations at the beginning of the season. Ouch! Good news is that head coach Gary Kubiak comes back this week.
29. Minnesota Vikings 2-7
That win has to feel good for the Vikings. Great come-from-behind victory. Terrible third down defense though. And they may have played their way out of a great chance to get the number one overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
30. Atlanta Falcons 2-7
It has all gone terribly wrong for the Falcons this year. Injuries are a big reason, but this team doesn't look even close to the team of last year.
31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1-8
The Buccaneers were the last winless team in the NFL...for only 32 hours. Then they beat the dysfunctional Dolphins. A lot of talent on this team. They should be better than their record shows. Good win to end the 0-8 start.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars 1-8
The Jaguars found themselves during the bye week and played a great game against the Titans. Congrats to the entire Jaguars organization for not giving up.