Yesterday I posted the first half of my top 10 storylines so far in the NFL and now here comes the rest, #'s 5-1.. Enjoy!
#5) Bradys Ridiculous Numbers.
Okay, we all thought that Tom was going to have a good season this year with the total overhaul that was done to the 'Pats receiving core, with the additions of Moss, Stallworth and Welker, but could anyone predict how ridiculous those numbers would get?? So far, through 9 games, Brady has thrown for 2682 Yards, 33 TD's, only 4!! Interceptions and a crazy 131.8 passer rating. It's like he is playing against a JV squad every Sunday, calmly standing in the pocket, scanning the field and throwing to pretty much anyone he wants, whenever he wants. His projections for this year are now 5412 yds, 61 TD's and a passer rating of 130.2. Think about it for a second...If he continues at anywhere near this pace for the rest of the year, he is going to be the proud new owner of multiple NFL records, and his 1st MVP trophy, the capper to an already HOF caliber career. Oh yeah, he's also dating a super model, what more could this guy want?
#4) Would the real Shaun Alexander, please stand up.
Where the h*ll has the MVP of two years ago been lately? It's like he is in a witness protection program or something. Living in Canada, we usually get a seahawks game on Sunday, so I've had a chance to watch Alexander play a little in the past 5 years and he was a DAMN good back. His instincts were 2nd to none, he wasn't afraid to hit the hole with conviction and he had a nose for the end zone. Then came that massive contract Seattle signed him to after his record setting year, and since then, its like night and day. Watching him these past few weeks, he just doesn't have that conviction anymore, the attitude he ran with is gone, he lacks enthusiasm while carrying the rock, the passion isn't there. Sure, he's wearing a cast, but is that REALLY what's behind his dramatic downfall? I think he got his cash and now just wants to jog into retirement, 3.0 yards at a time.
The scandal that shook the foundation of the NFL, calling into question the validity of the 3 Super Bowl titles won in the past 5 years, all the accomplishment they achieved, are they tainted? Did he really cheat his way to those titles? 3 SB wins by a FG, led by a QB drafted in the 6th round comes out of nowhere to become one of the greatest of all time. Coincidences or was something really going on behind the scenes. It's rather funny that it was Bill's longtime friend and assistant, Eric Mangini, now coach of the Jets, who turned him in. Obviously he knew it was happening, having probably witnessed it over the course of his tenure, but how much did it really affect games? Personally, I don't think it helped them at all, because the players have to execute on the field and make plays in order too win. But this is a debate that will rage on for years, and you won't be able to talk about the 'Pats dynasty without hearing about spygate. On the plus side, it's damn good motivation for Bill and his patriots, another US vs. the world situation, and you know they love having doubters.
#2) The Pack is Back.
8-1. Did anyone see that coming? B.S you did. Everyone, myself included, thought this was going to be a tough year for Favre and the pack, struggling to get to .500, most experts had them last in the NFC north. Brett was too old, had lost some of his zip, didn't have enough talent on the offence, too young on defense, a rebuilding year. HAH. Look at him now, 2757 yrd's 16 TD's to only 8 Picks, a rating of 96.2 and a TON of bombs down field have left the naysayers in the dust. #4 seems rejuvenated out there, having been given another shot at glory, one last hurrah before he says au revoir (although he'll probably play another year after this). The defense is playing amazing, making big plays every game, Favre is being a little more conservative (by his standards) with the ball, taking what he can get, not trying to force it into places it shant be and it seems like they've found a runner in Ryan Grant, a ND alum (boy they suck this year) who can carry the load once that formidable winter weather rolls around at Lambeau. Lets not forget the coach, Mike McCarthy, who has done a wonderful job getting his players to buy into what he was selling, especially Favre who loves his new coach and what he is doing for this team, its fans, and the NFL in general, because isn't football just a little better when the Men of Lambeau are at the forefront?
#1) 0-16 vs. 16-0
Everyone, from high profile sports programs, to dudes bloggin on-line, are wondering what is more likely, the Patriots going undefeated or the Dolphins going winless this season. This is a rare situation the NFL hasn't seen in a long time, if ever, where there is a good chance that a team goes winless and undefeated in the same year. The 'Fins stink right now, injuries, bad drafting, mediocre talent are all factors as to why they can't win a game. I thought last week, at home vs. Buffalo was their best shot at getting of the schnied, but they just couldn't make a play when they needed one, and now they have a pretty tough schedule the rest of the way, featuring teams in the playoff hunt who won't take it easy on Miami, because every win will count. On the flip side, New England is just steam rolling their opponents, with the exception of the Colts, pounding them into submission. Indy was the one team, save Pittsburgh, that had the talent to take on the Patriots' juggernaut and derail there quest for a perfect season. New England has a very safe schedule the rest of the way, with game's VS the Steelers and the Giants on the last day of the season, the only real obstacles standing in their way. With Bellichicks reputation being questioned, I have a feeling he is a man on a mission, out to prove his supremacy is no joke, and the only way to make it be known is to destroy everyone and everything in his path, all the way to Arizona. My opinion, the 'fins will manage to scrape out a W or 2 by time the seasons over, but NOBODY can stop an angry Patriots team out to prove something. Sorry coach Shula, no more poppin the champagne as the only perfect team, you'll have company in a few months time.