Friday, March 23, 2012

NFL news commentary

As I've said before, I am a huge Tim Tebow fan. That said, I can understand why the Denver Broncos wanted to get Peyton Manning. After all, we're talking about a player who is without a doubt among the top 10 ever at his position, perhaps the top 5. I probably would have pursued him as well if I were in charge but I question whether or not he is worth the $96 million over 5 years at this stage of his career. No matter what happens in Denver, Manning will be an all time great. Now, is he among the greatest in the game today at age 36? I'm not so sure. Brady, Brees and Rodgers are clearly better and you could make the case that several others are in his class as well.

Let's revisit a similar situation almost 20 years ago. Joe Montana was an icon in San Francisco after winning 4 Super Bowls but missed almost 2 years due to injuries and lost his job to Steve Young. At age 37, Montana was traded to Kansas City, where he went on to have moderate success for 2 years before retiring. Montana played in only 25 of the team's 32 games and had a passer rating of 85.0, which is good but not elite level. He went 17-8 as a starter in the regular season and 2-2 in the playoffs. I predict similar results for Manning and the Broncos. He'll miss several games due to injury. He won't match the numbers he put up in Indy but he'll win more than he loses. Will he make it to another Super Bowl? My bet is no. I predict 2 or 3 more solid years followed by 1 more with a sharp drop off and retirement before his contract is up. I predict the Broncos' record next year will be 10-6 and will lose in the Divisional round.

As for Tebow, I am puzzled as to why Jacksonville did not push harder for him. Supposedly, the owner wanted him but the front office was divided. To me, Jacksonville made perfect sense being his hometown and the fact that they are weak at QB and don't draw many fans. Gabbert was awful as a rookie and their only other option is Chad Henne, who is also pretty much a scrub. Supposedly, NY called him personally to let him know he was wanted. I'd give Tebow a chance to compete for the starting job. Sanchez's QB rating is about the same as Tebow's but does not present much of a threat on the ground. I believe Tebow will ultimately improve his accuracy but will never put up gaudy passing numbers. He will be good for 800-1,000 yards on the ground, produce a lot more touchdowns than turnovers and win more than he loses.

The NFL came down hard on the Saints for bounties to knock out star opposing players. I applaud Roger Goodell for taking a hard line but it should have been directed at the players involved, not the coaches. I believe Payton knew about and probably did cover it up but the 1 year suspension was too harsh. Have any of the players been disciplined at all? If not, they certainly should be and the punishment should be severe. There is no place in pro sports for that kind of crap. Final thought, if Brett Favre had not been weakend by the dirty hits, he may have led the Vikings to the Super Bowl title and retired on top. His legacy would be much less clouded that it is now. Oh, so many what ifs in sports.

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