National Football League 2012: Doug Martin Or Andrew Luck For Offensive Rookie Of The Year? Lets Talk About It

Andrew Luck has passed for 2,404 yards and 10 touchdowns

This morning I was watching ESPN’s Sportscenter to come down from the political haze that blanketed the country. Just when I thought the debating was over Adam Schefter said something that immediately made me reach for the old laptop:

“While Doug Martin has been sensational….Offensive Rookie Of The Year has to go to Andrew Luck. He’s been everything we expected from the number one draft pick.” 

Ummm, excuse me? Continue reading “National Football League 2012: Doug Martin Or Andrew Luck For Offensive Rookie Of The Year? Lets Talk About It”

Peyton Manning Situation Proof That Sports All About Business

“Business is a combination of war and sport.” -Andre Maurois

The Colts had a lousy season.

There really is no other way to describe a season that saw the team go (2-14), lose its star quarterback, and go through two back-up quarterbacks; one of which was summoned out of retirement.

Things were tough in Indy, but you never got the sense that something major was going to happen because Peyton Manning would be back. He would come in and save the day and show all that despite this seasons disaster they were a good football team with him behind center. As the weeks went on the recovery process became vaguer. Things got scary in a hurry because no one knew if number 18 would even be able to throw after three neck surgeries. Coupled with the fact that there weren’t many explanations as to why the star was on the sideline looking more coach than Superman it became panic time. 

Something else came with rock bottom. Something that no one else realized could have hurried the franchise and community altering quarterback out of a Colts uniform.

Andrew Luck.

What do you do if you’re Jim Irsay? Next week and you have to call Peyton Manning in for a meeting in a city he rejuvenated, a stadium his arm built, and a franchise he saved and tell him what?  You’re going in a different direction despite the fact he was recently cleared to play? Do you trade the number one pick and miss out on the heir apparent to the Colts quarterback throne? Do you keep the pick and Manning and set your club back by handcuffing them with over $145 million invested in one position?

I don’t envy his position at all. On one side you’re getting the consensus number one overall pick in Luck. A franchise changing right arm (sound familiar?) and an almost sure thing; on the other you’re letting go of a player who has led your team to two Super Bowls (winning one), 141 victories, 8 division titles, and did I mention you will be playing in the stadium that will be forever know as “The Place Peyton Built?” Good luck with thos choices.

At the same time all the public back and forth, the Twitter wars, the statements, and the questions are irrelevant at this point. Eventually, Jim Irsay is going to have to sit down with Manning and decide whether now’s the time to cut ties is or not. 

Manning, too, needs to go the route of Derek Jeter and keep quiet. It isn’t a coincidence those medical reports were released today because that doesn’t happen without the patients consent. Irsay was correct to insinuate some politicking was going on in the Manning camp and frankly it needs to stop until after the Super Bowl. What is being dubbed a spectacular job by the city of Indianapolis hosting the Super Bowl is being overshadowed by the sideshow that is Peyton/Irsay. Not to mention there is a great game that will be played Sunday and Peyton ought to give his brother Eli some respect and lay low.

Both of these men have done too much for the city and the franchise for it to be overshadowed by theatrics. Business is business, and the sooner both get down to it the better it will be for everyone. 

Thoughts On Jim Caldwell Firing And Predictions For Championship Sunday

On Tuesday the Colts fired Jim Caldwell after 3 seasons. Now for some they might look at the present situation and think “why wouldn’t you fire a guy who just went (2-14)?”

I’ll tell you why. Because that same guy led the Colts in the post-Dungy era to two division championships and a Super Bowl appearance. There will be many that say he only has this success because of Peyton Manning and , while Manning has a huge part in the success of this franchise, his ability should not be understated. After that Super Bowl appearance the Colts weathered a rash of injuries that included their best slot receiver (Austin Collie) , their top tight end (Dallas Clark), two of their best on defense (Kelvin Hayden and Bob Sanders) and that doesn’t even include the guy who replaced Collie (Anthony Gonzalez) going down as well.

What this firing also does is raise a serious red flag for African-American coaches in the National Football League and the rate of success they need to win in order to have adequate job security. I give credit to Irsay for staying in-house and choosing Caldwell to succeed Dungy following his retirement. But ultimately, that credit is revoked when you just terminated one of the better coaches in the league as a knee-jerk reaction to a season you entrusted to Curtis Painter, Dan Orlovsky and 79-year old Kerry Collins. For those of you counting at home it would have taken a modern miracle to win with those odds.

The list of replacements for the position was even more confusing.

First names out for the position were two former head coaches with a combined (15-65) record. I did say combined, and yes you read that win column correctly. Steve Spagnuolo and Marty Mornhinweg combined to win 15 games in 5 total seasons in St. Louis and Detroit. This is the direction you want your franchise to go? In the case of Spagnuolo the ink hadn’t even dried on his pink slip before he was mentioned as a candidate in Indy. Hard to understand the thinking on this one.

NFC Championship Prediction

Giants 28, 49ers 21

I’ve learned not to bet against Eli Manning, especially on the road in the playoffs. I’ve also been burned on my predictions against the 49ers all season. I wouldn’t be surprised if this score was flipped and San Francisco makes their first Super Bowl since 1994. It’s all going to depend on how Manning navigates this 49ers secondary and if Alex Smith can sustain a rejuvenated Giants defensive line that is much improved since their week ten matchup.

AFC Championship Prediction

Ravens 21, Patriots 34

I like the Ravens defense. I like coach John Harbaugh. I don’t like Joe Flacco and his ability to go bullet-for-bullet with Tom Brady. Brady was focused last week in his barrage against the Broncos and I think that singular focus will be seen in this game. Ray Lewis will have his troops ready but if their offense doesn’t move the ball efficiently against the Patriots it won’t be pretty for Baltimore.