Fitz magic wills the Jets pass the Dolphins 38-20:

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Photo credit: Marianne O’Leary

Author: Jon Kuzma

Ryan Fitzpatrick did his part today in the Jets win over the Dolphins throwing for 4 touchdowns and 277 yards on the day. After battling an injury on his non throwing hand which would ultimate lead to surgery. Fitzpatrick was able to bounce back in a big way leading head coach Todd Bowles to his sixth win on the season. The Jets are a completely different team from just a year ago and a legitimate playoff contender. The Dolphins found that out first hand today when the Jets defense were able to sack quarterback Ryan Tannehill 3 times and intercept him once. Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson led that defensive attack upfront each registering a sack apiece. It truly starts with those guys along with Leonard Williams upfront for the Jets defense. By pressuring opposing passers they can shake quarterbacks rhythm and timing. Allowing the Jets to tilt the odds in their favor. Offensively Chris Ivory had a decent day on the ground. Rushing for 87 yards and 1 touchdown in the game, truly giving the Jets offense a dual threat attack both through the ground and the air. Brandon Marshall who the Jets acquired via trade from the Bears this past off-season is justifying the teams decision to bring him on board. Marshall hauled in 2 touchdowns receptions and contributed 131 yards to the Jets offense. Showing he is as good as advertised. Eric Decker was also able to bring in a touchdown reception and 62 yards receiving. Keep an eye on whether or not the Jets can make a wild card spot down the stretch of the second half of the season. For the Dolphins they are facing another season of mediocrity. The Dan Campbell luster has worn off and the Dolphins problems from early on are showing their selves again.

Charity of the day: American Bird Conservancy

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Week 12 Picks

Week 12 Pics

The Cowboys were negligent in rushing Romo back:

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Photo credit: Billy Bain

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Dallas Cowboys hit a new low when Tony Romo’s CT scan showed that he suffered a hairline fracture in his left collar bone after taking a hit in the Cowboys loss against the Carolina Panthers on Thanksgiving day. As much as it’s easy to bash the Cowboys for signing Greg Hardy, this is almost a more serious offense in some ways. The Cowboys showed they have no concern for a players health by rushing Romo back. The players aren’t human to Jerry Jones they are a piece of the puzzle that make up Jerry’s bigger dream, winning a Super Bowl. Whether you are a Cowboys fan or not in some ways there has to be concerns with how the Boys treated this situation. If Romo is getting rushed back, what other players are getting put on the field prematurely? It’s more of an ethical issue more than anything else. Whether guys think they can go or not teams have a responsibility to ensure their players are medical cleared to play. While the Cowboys doctors gave Romo the green light to play one has to ask whether their diagnosis’s were unbiased and impartial? Clearly the Cowboys doctors went along with the master plan and wanted to put Romo back on the field to save the season. A season that was 2-7 at the time and beyond saving. When you are sitting 5 games below .500 there is no point in rushing your best player back to the field. The Cowboys should of understood that due to injuries to Romo and Dez early on, unfortunately this season was out of reach. We get it Jerry Jones is getting old and he desperately wants to see the Cowboys win another Super Bowl before he leaves this earth. That doesn’t give the Cowboys the right to throw all values and morals out the window. Above all that doesn’t give the Cowboys the right to put injured and unhealthy players on the field. The Cowboys should be ashamed for doing so.

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Charity of the day: Air Force Aid Society

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Cutler and Bears edge out Packers 17-13 on Thanksgiving:

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Photo credit: John Martinez

Author: Jon Kuzma

Jay Cutler is doing what he needs right now to win football games for the Chicago Bears. Most notably limiting turnovers and making the big throw when he has to. Cutler has done an outstanding job of coming back from an injury early on this season and winning a few games for this Bears team. Now the Bears are sitting with a 5-6 record with five games left in the year. While the Vikings most likely will win the NFC North division this year. It would go a long way in building for the future if the Bears could pass the Packers and secure that number 2 spot in the division. Remember everything starts with momentum in the National Football League. You win a few games here and there and suddenly you are a serious contender. The Bears established some great momentum beating the Packers today and that should carry over into next week against the 49ers. As far as stats go against the Packers Cutler finished with 1 touchdown and no interceptions. His only touchdown pass went to Zach Miller on a 3 yard pass down near the goal line. Alshon Jeffrey finished the day with 7 receptions for 90 yards. While Jeremy Langford finished with 48 yards rushing and Matt Forte finished with 44. The game was one of the rare situations where the Packers won in total yards and first downs achieved. However the Bears were able to win in the turnover battle and time of possessions. Defensively the Bears were led by Shea McClellin with 10 tackles. Lemarr Houston also recorded 7 tackles, a sack, and 2 tackles for loss. For the Packers Aaron Rodgers was able to throw for 1 touchdown and 1 interception. While Eddie Lacy ran for 105 yards on 17 carries. Defensively Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had 8 tackles for the Pack.

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Charity of the day: Veterans Assistance Foundation

Go donate! www.vafets.org

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Stafford and Johnson shine for Lions in Thanksgiving day match up:

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Photo credit: Mike Morbeck

Author: Jon Kuzma

Matthew Stafford saved his best game of the year for the people of Detroit on Thanksgiving. As most football fans are probably aware, the Detroit Lions play every Thanksgiving. So if you’re from the Detroit area watching the Lions is a year in and year out thing on turkey day. Lions fans must of rejoiced yesterday watching Stafford throw for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions on the day. Showing when he has time to operate he is still one of the most dangerous passers in the league. Whether Lions fans would like to admit it or not. Stafford is the best option the Detroit Lions have had at quarterback in a very long time. Now paired with the new Jim Bob Cooter led offense, the Lions are finally making some noise in the NFL winning their last 3 straight games. With five games left in the season will the Lions do enough to save Jim Caldwell’s job? If the Lions keep playing like this there is no doubt about it. The team seems to have ironed out all their wrinkles and are playing much better football these days. Calvin Johnson was finally able to get in a rhythm catching 3 touchdowns against the Eagles defense. If this team wants to have the success they had yesterday beating the Eagles 45-14. Johnson will have to be involved and be targeted early and often by Stafford. Rex Ryan said in press conference this week they are going to be forcing the ball to Sammy Watkins. That is exactly what the Lions should be doing with Johnson. While not the athlete he was in his earlier NFL days, Johnson can still be a dominant force when his confidence is up and he gets in the zone mentally. It all starts with Matthew Stafford getting the protection he needs from the offensive line and making it happen with Johnson in the aerial attack.

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Charity of the day: Veterans Assistance Foundation

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Whats happening around the league Week 12:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

Honey Badger has high praise for Blaine Gabbert

Tyrann Mathieu had high praise for Blaine Gabbert heading into their week 12 match up with the San Francisco 49ers. Stating that he felt “Gabbert was a better option for the 49ers”. After reviewing film on Gabbert and comparing him to former 49ers starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Mathieu believes Gabbert is a better decision maker and turns the ball over less. Additionally he added “ we knew Kaepernick tendencies” meaning that Kaepernick was much more predictable than Gabbert. What truly stands out the most is Gabbert is a traditional pocket passer and a better fit for Tomsula’s offense. He can make the throws much easier than Kaepernick could. Meaning a more well rounded Niners offense.

Brady and Palmer headline M.V.P candidates

It’s no secret that Carson Palmer and Tom Brady have done an outstanding job of elevating their respective teams this year. Brady who after having his name drug through the mud in the Deflategate scandal, came out the other side clean. Playing his best football ever when everyone in the world was questioning his integrity. Brady has thrown for 25 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions. Proving he can persevere through times of adversity and he is the clear front runner for the MVP award. Carson Palmer the Arizona Cardinals quarterback is also having a phenomenal year. He has led the Cardinals to an 8-2 record which is largely due to Palmer’s performance on the field. Palmer has thrown for 27 touchdowns and 9 interceptions on the year. So while his numbers are not on par with Brady’s, he is still having an outstanding year. When the Cardinals lost Palmer last year they were no longer a Super Bowl contender. As long as they have him on the field they will have a shot to play in Super Bowl 50 at Levi Stadium.

Injuries pilling up all across the league

Peyton Manning is sidelined for at least two more weeks with a plantar fascia tear. At this point one has to wonder if this is it for Manning who just recently became the most prolific passer ever in terms of total yards thrown for. Now the Broncos will be turning to Brock Osweiler for his second straight start. Manning isn’t the only veteran facing a tough injury in his later age, Marshawn Lynch also had surgery on a sports hernia that is expected to keep him sidelined for at least a month. Beast mode has been pretty banged up this year and never really got it going. Thomas Rawls has done a phenomenal job limiting the loss of Lynch. Filling the void nicely for the Seahawks. Still its tough to see two of the NFL’s biggest stars have their careers come winding down.

Charity of the day: American Diabetes Association

Go donate! www.diabetes.org

Stedman Bailey shot: gun violence a very scary issue in the world

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Photo credit: Shea Huening

Author: Jon Kuzma

With rumors breaking out of St. Louis Rams camp that Stedman Bailey has been shot in the head. We are still awaiting word on how the event unfolded, apparently Bailey was in the Miami area when the incident took place. The Rams released a statement confirming that the rumor of Bailey being shot was indeed true. Although word has just broke that the injury appears to be non life threatening, Bailey will still require extensive surgery which he will go into tomorrow. The shooting took place when Bailey and three relatives were in a car in South Florida. The driver apparently was Bailey’s cousin who took most of the shots and is in critical condition. The driver shielded Bailey and the two younger relatives in the car from taking more shots. As a result the drivers wounds do appear to be life threatening. The event signifies another case of gun violence crossing paths with an NFL player. Fortunately for this case it doesn’t appear that Bailey had any wrong doing in the event. Still tough to understand and a devastating blow for a young player who was seen as a key piece of the Rams receiving core. Keep Bailey and his family in your prayers when you go to sleep tonight.

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Charity of the day: Good Will Industries International

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Johnny Manziel got the short end of the stick in Cleveland:

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Photo credit: Erik Drost

Author: Jon Kuzma

When the Cleveland Browns announced today that they were benching Johnny Manziel for Josh McCown I think everyone in the Cleveland area was frustrated with the Browns decision. Even if you don’t like Manziel it would be nice to see what the guy is capable of as the full time starter. Now however it seems like we will never get that chance, the Browns decided Manziel would be dropped down to 3rd on their depth chart a big demotion. Meaning Money Manziel most likely won’t be back in a Browns uniform next season. The move has to be a disturbing one for Manziel supporters who no doubt feel like Cleveland ruined his career. While most first round picks start from day one, Manziel has almost completed his second whole season without the Browns ever fully giving him the reins. While Johnny opposers will say that his latest “club video” is the reason for his demotion. One has to ask who are we to tell Johnny Manziel how to live his life? Just because Manziel doesn’t choose to be overly professional or politically correctly doesn’t mean that he can’t be a tremendous leader on the football field. Joe Namath was a former quarterback who was known for his frequent partying and outlandish lifestyle. He went on to become a Super Bowl champion and one the NFL’s biggest icons. The point is just because someone doesn’t fit the mold of what an ideal person is doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have any place in football. Manziel committed no crimes in the video and while it may be troubling he is over 21 and allowed to drink in America legally. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t there an old saying among football coaches when drafting a player. “Would you rather have a guy that you would want to marry your daughter or a guy that can win football games”. Clearly the Cleveland Browns wanted a guy that could marry their daughter. Now next year during this time they will be the big losers when they watch that guy who can win football games do it for some other team. While they try to make do with Josh McCown.

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Charity of the day: Good Will Industries International

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Patriots are able to escape MNF showdown against the Bills:

New England Patriots at Washington Redskins 08/28/09

Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Jon Kuzma

The New England Patriots had their hands full against the Buffalo Bills barely winning 20-13. Rex Ryan did a great job of game planning for the Patriots and mixed up his defensive fronts early on effectively giving Tom Brady trouble. The strategy worked so well that the Bill were able to hold Brady to season lows in touchdown passes with one, and passer rating with a 72.3. In the end though the Patriots like always overcame the odds and were able to pull out the win. This is despite the fact that the team is facing significant losses in personnel which include Julian Edelman, Nate Solder, and Dion Lewis. To make matters even worse the Patriots Danny Amendola left the game as well due to a knee injury. Still the Patriots always seem to plug in the next guy in line and continue to have success. That was James White at running back tonight who contributed 2 touchdowns one rushing and one receiving. Without that effort from White it would of been hard for the Patriots to beat the Bills tonight. Ryan really had this team amped up and ready to play, and the Bills have played the Patriots tough in two defeats this year. While Bills fans can’t be happy about those two losses to the Patriots, there is a chance to make adjustments and come closer to beating New England next time these two teams meet. While on the opposite end of the spectrum New England just has to get healthy. Brady is putting together an M.V.P type season but his teammates around him are starting to wear down. Amendola who contributed 117 receiving yards before getting injured was the 4th major player to get hurt for this New England team. Not to mention a number of other minor injuries that role players have sustained. The instability that has caused the Patriots offense have left New England a shell of the team that started off the season. It will be interesting to see if they can overcome all of the setbacks and make it back to the Super Bowl. It will be very tough for them to do if they keep amassing injuries.

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Charity of the day: Veterans Support Foundation

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Cardinals notch a huge win over the Bengals 34-31:

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Photo credit: Tod Jones

Author: Jon Kuzma

In a match up that pitted the 7-2 Cardinals vs the 8-1 Bengals it was the Cardinals offense that stole the show. Carson Palmer who started the game sluggish with two interceptions early on. Really turned it around and showed why he is one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He would go on to finish the night with 4 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions. Showing that he can handle adversity and persevere through the tough times. Surprisingly every receiver besides Larry Fitzgerald caught touchdown passes. No one had a bigger day than rookie JJ Nelson who finished the evening with 1 touchdown catch and 144 receiving yards on the night. The fifth round draft pick out of the University of Alabama Birmingham made up for the loss of Michael Floyd who was sidelined after missing practice. The Bengals didn’t make it easy for the Cardinals in this match however. Andy Dalton led the Bengals to 17 points in the fourth quarter and surged Cincinnati back in the contest tying the game up at 31 apiece. That is when Palmer was able to put on another great game winning performance moving the Cardinals into field goal range. On that drive Palmer hit Larry Fitzgerald on two big pass plays and JJ Nelson on a big play as well. Allowing Chandler Cantanzaro a great chance to bring home the win for the Cardinals. Which he did connecting on a 32 yard field goal. Dalton would finish the match with 315 yards passing and 2 touchdowns on the evening. Showing he is an elite football player. However Carson Palmer is the reason why the Cardinals were able to walk away with a victory in this game. The guy is piecing together an outstanding season and could be an MVP candidate later on in the year. If Palmer can stay healthy the Cardinals are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Don’t be surprised to see them there against the Patriots or even the Bengals. Both teams showed they were phenomenal teams in this contest and its very possible.

Charity of the day: Proliteracy Worldwide

Go donate: www.proliteracy.org

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