by TOM WEPPEL
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Going into this weekend, we see three teams in the AFC with winning streaks of six games or more, then we see two other teams in the NFC with LOSING streaks of eight games or more! Does that sound crazy, or what!
And, to get even crazier, two of the three winning teams in the AFC will be playing each other on Monday night! Go figure…
Meanwhile, does this not seem like simply a mess of a season for a lot of teams and their starting Quarterbacks? No less than ten different teams have started at least two different QB’s this season, and some teams are STILL struggling mightily to figure out exactly who they should have in the saddle to lead their respective offenses.
And that scenario is no less evident than in places like New York, with the Jets, and San Francisco, with the 49ers! Of course, you can consider both those teams differently. With the Jets, the talk all season long has been about Mark Sanchez and his lack of outstanding performances, then the wonderment of how Tim Tebow might’ve done, especially when we saw Greg McElroy, the third stringer, come in after Sanchez had thrown three picks last week, and help guide the Jets to a win. That has certainly been an unsettling deal, especially for HC Rex Ryan and Owner Woody Johnson.
Then in Frisco, it seemed QB Alex Smith had things going pretty well for a while there. Then he got banged up, and in came backup Colin Kaepernick, who has since done a pretty good job. Since then, it has been a debate as to which one should be considered the bona fide starter. Both seem worthy of that duty. Jim Harbaugh has had to do a good balancing act within that situation…
And so it goes. Even in places like Arizona, where we have seen either John Skelton or Ryan Lindley lead a dreadful Cardinals group through a 4-8 season, which includes an eight-game losing streak, the QB play has not been worthy of praise and accolades.
What all three of those teams I just mentioned, and few others around the League, are showing us is that it is almost vital to have a solid Quarterback doing the job for your respective team! If that is not the case, then you can prepare for essentially the worst, depending on the quality of the back up, as well as the rest of the roster.
It can make all the difference in the world…
For those of you who had previously felt, or suggested, that the game of college basketball was getting to wild, especially in the high scoring, I present to you the following examples from one single night of games (Dec. 5th)…
1. There were two games played on Wednesday night between ACC teams and SEC teams. These two conferences certainly have had their share of rivalry build-up, in all sports.
In one contest, the Tennessee Volunteers traveled to Virginia to face the Cavaliers. In the 1st Half, the Vols scored a TOTAL of 16 points! They were down by 25-16. They outscored the Cavs in the 2nd Half, 22-21, and so ended up losing, 46-38! UT is now 4-3 on the season.
In the other game with these two Conferences, the undefeated Florida Gators traveled to Tallahassee to face the Florida St. Seminoles. Gator HC Billy Donovan has put together a good program at UF, and his boys showed it against the Noles. FSU only scored 15 points in the 1st Half and were down by 20 at halftime! They ended up losing to the Gators, 72-47.
2.Want another example?! At Michigan State, the Spartans were hosting Arkansas Pine-Bluff, who scored a grand total of TWELVE points in their 1st Half! They went on to get pummeled by Michigan State, 76-44.
My point is this…for a game where the idea is to score baskets, which makes games that much more entertaining, these teams, who we all thought had a decent amount of talent, don’t seem to be making too much happen, at least in one half, if not an entire contest!
And sure…you can bring up some disparities! On that same night, out West, Cal-State Northridge scored 120 points in their 51-point victory over Vanguard! Sounds like UNLV from the past!
Anyway, I certainly hope some of these teams, playing in major conferences with decent players, will be able to come through and put more than, say, 20 points on the board in any one half of play! Nobody would complain, and maybe they STILL wouldn’t win their game!