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Who will meet in Super Bowl 51?

nfl wiki, nfl playoffs
Green Bay takes on Atlanta, Pittsburgh faces New England.  Who do you think will win?

 

Green Bay Packer vs Atlanta Falcons

There is all this talk of Matt Ryan being the MVP this year but the Dirty Birds better not sleep on Aaron Rodgers.  Hollywood is digging into Rodgers personal life, nevertheless that will not distract one the finest quarterbacks around.  The family may air their dirty laundry to reporters but I would expect Rodgers and the Pack to be prepared for the Falcons.

The Falcons have all the pieces in place this year.  The Falcons have home field, a good running game, good defense and the play calling of Kyle Shanahan for “Matty Ice”,  going against the worst passing defense in the league.  There is no way they can lose.  Right?

 

Pittsburgh Steelers vs New England Patriots

 

Someone pulled the Steelers team hotel alarm at 3AM this morning. This is not the first time a rival of the Patriots has been the target of a false alarm.  What now, ALARMGATE?  Seems suspicious because it happened in Boston but I am sure Belichick had nothing to do with it…WINK!  Steelers fans better hope that their offense can put up some points this week.  Field goals are not going to get the job done.  Tom Brady is mad.  Deflategate just pissed him off and he wants vengeance.  He is about to take it out on Ben Roethlisberger’s team.  Even with the best running back and receiver in the league, I don’t see Pittsburgh beating the Patriots in Foxborough.   I expect to see the Patriots win their 9th Lamar Hunt Trophy.

 

 

#BillyManziel has gone viral

According to ESPN, Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was seen wearing a unique disguise at a Las Vegas nightclub.

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Sources saw Manziel sporting an odd outfit — a blond wig, a fake mustache, glasses and a hoodie. And he introduced himself as “Billy.”

After being placed in the NFL Concussion Protocol last Wednesday, it was reported by multiple outlets throughout the weekend that Manziel was seen at a Las Vegas casino rather than being at home resting and rehabilitating from the concussion he reportedly suffered in a 17-13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 27.

You can’t make this stuff up! I can only imagine the shit he is going to get from his teammates if and when he returns to the Cleveland Browns locker room. The Browns recently fired Mike Pettine, what does it take to fire Johnny Football? I mean #BillyManziel!

Johnny Manziel lied to team about video that surfaced last weekend, asked friend to lie

CLEVELAND – Johnny Manziel lied to the Browns after a video surfaced of him partying at a club, FOXSports NFL Insider Jay Glazer reports.

The warning signs were there from the beginning.  A lot of NFL experts believed that while Johnny Manziel had enough talent to succeed as a pro, there were plenty of red flags to insist he lacked the maturity.  He was too young, too impulsive and too in love with the college party life to take on the responsibility of leading men to battle on Sundays.  Never has that been more clear than with the most recent incident.

A video surfaced of the second-year quarterback partying during the Cleveland Browns bye week.  This apparently after the team expressed the desire that he hang around the team facility and lay low for once.  The fact alone that he ignored them was a bad sign, but more information has come to light that really puts his benching and his likely dismissal from the team down the road into perspective.

“As if Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel hadn’t already given the team more than enough reasons to never trust him again, here’s another. According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Manziel lied to the Browns about the circumstances surrounding the photos that surfaced following his bye-week excursion to Texas.

Per Glazer, Manziel not only told the team that the photos weren’t taken over the weekend but also recruited others to vouch for the falsehood.”

That doesn’t just signal the fact that Manziel has his priorities in the wrong place, it shows he lacks a degree of honesty that great quarterbacks need to get teammates and coaches to trust him.  For all the good things he did in college, it’s apparent he probably left before he learned the final ingredient to being a winner:  responsibility.

Hard as it is to admit, NFL teams don’t like players that show intent to deceiver for their own selfish gains.  Johnny Manziel already had enough doubts before he even took a snap in Cleveland.  With the growing list of problems he’s caused since making the jump last year, he’ll have a stigma around him that is almost impossible to erase.

Thing is, it’s his own fault.

From NFLMocks.com

 

Can Ford family be trusted to fix Lions?

As endings go, it was a start.

martha ford, detroit lions

The Detroit Lions gave a crew cut to their front office Thursday, firing president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew during the bye week. In doing so, they cut the last real ties to the Matt Millen era and the 0-16 debacle of 2008. They also left a lot of fans wondering who’s in charge, what’s next and why now?

“We are very disappointed with the results of this season so far and believe a change in leadership was necessary,” Martha Ford read from a statement at a news conference.

Well, no one would argue with that. The Lions have the worst record in the NFL, and, at 1-7, have been a major bust in nearly every phase.

On the other hand, the fact that 90-year-old Martha Ford, who only recently took the reins herself, is making this decision after half a season has Lions fans spinning familiar questions: 1) Who’s really in charge of this franchise and 2) What, if anything, do they know about football?

“Martha Ford, who is the boss here, is listening to certain people more than she’s listening to other people,” ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who broke the initial story, told me. “There are certain voices within the Ford family that spoke louder than others that prevailed in the end. They got what they wanted.”

Which, apparently, was losing Mayhew and Lewand.

Not that many fans disagree.

Bad choices

Let’s face it, neither man could make a strong argument for job security this season — Mayhew, in particular. Despite a plethora of high draft picks, you’d be hard pressed to find a lot of sterling successes in Mayhew’s tenure. He’s been involved with Detroit’s player personnel this entire century, elevating to GM after Millen left. During that time, the Lions have consistently misjudged talent, made foolish picks and had to re-select the same position multiple times. Mayhew is the man who selected Riley Reiff and Eric Ebron as No. 1 picks.

If you watched Sunday’s game, we need say no more.

Mayhew and Lewand also oversaw the fizzle with Ndamukong Suh, losing him to the Dolphins, as much a financial boondoggle as a football one. True, they brought in Matthew Stafford with the No. 1 pick, but ever since then, he has been struggling to establish greatness and they have been struggling to protect him. The Lions have no run game, despite all kinds of attempts, and their defense has gone backward. In the end, it’s the players who play, and Mayhew is the guy who picked the Detroit players. I don’t think you’ll see a lot of teams rushing to hire him soon.

Lewand had been a staple with the Lions organization and I knew him to be a good man who did some good things. But in the end, it’s hard to get rid of one piece of management and not the other.

Which leads us back to two questions: 1) What does this mean for Jim Caldwell? And 2) As long as the Fords are running this team, is anything really going to change?

Is Caldwell next?

Let’s deal with Caldwell first. The Lions coach saw his offensive coordinator and offensive line assistants get the ax last week, a move he claimed was his doing but some suspect was pressured from upstairs.

Now Caldwell sees the two guys who championed him — Lewand and Mayhew — gone as well.

When the Lions return from the bye in a few days, Caldwell may look around Allen Park and wonder, “Where did everybody go?”

Followed by, “Am I going next?”

For now, the answer is no, if only because somebody has to be in charge of something. But Caldwell is like a one-legged table at this point and tumbling over may be unavoidable, even though he’s not two years into his Lions tenure and his first season was 11-5.

Meanwhile, the bigger question is this: If Caldwell is fired, who’s going to interview his replacement? Who’s going to interview the person who’s going to interview his replacement?

Who’s running the store?

Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford reads a statement to the media about the firings of team president Tom Lewand and general manager Martin Mayhew on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015. Video by Eric Seals / DFP

Game of Fords?

The word is that Martha Ford would be relying more on her daughter Sheila Ford Hamp to steer the ship. The reaction by many Lions fans was “Who?” Then, realizing she was another of William Clay Ford’s children, promptly slapped their foreheads and fainted.

Now, I don’t know Hamp. She may be fabulous. But the odds are, somebody who never formally worked in football is not going to reassure stability.

Meanwhile, Bill Ford Jr., who showed some promise during the years he paid more attention to the team, is apparently on the outs right now. He apparently will not have an active role.

If all of this sounds like chairs shifting in “Game of Thrones,” no surprise. This is what happens when a team is a car company asset. It has been run like a subsidiary, and has been managed like a subsidiary, and now the Fords are, according to Schefter, planning on hiring a search firm to locate the best candidate to next run the team.

This may be how you do things in corporate America. It may be how find your next chief operating officer. But it is not how teams win in the NFL. “It’s very strange that Bill Ford all of a sudden is staying away, isn’t it?” Schefter said.

The best NFL teams already know the people they want. In fact, the best NFL teams have people like that throughout the front office. They have football people. They know football people. They make football their main event.

Football is not now and has never been the main event for the Ford family. And while it is certainly their team — since they own it — and their prerogative — since they own it — Detroiters get only one entry in the NFL. They don’t have a choice. For years, their team was run by the father, who deferred in his later years to his son, and now they have the mother, who seems to be deferring to a daughter. None of them were or are full-time football people.

So why would anyone expect great football decisions?

The best thing the Lions could do is hire one person with fantastic NFL credentials to run the whole operation — and then get out of the way. But it won’t happen. They don’t operate like that. In fairness, most people don’t own billion-dollar assets and just get out of the way.

So as endings go, it was a start. Whoever is running the Lions got rid of a front office that had not done enough to stay. And it might be nice to have no one at the top of the team who remembers 2008.

But the next play is always what determines your success in sports. And the next play is very cloudy right now. When fans have to look up which child is now in charge, it doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.

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