Randy Moss Prepares To Return To The NFL In 2012

Where will Randy Moss end up in 2012? (Photo Credit: MLive.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Monday happens to be Randy Moss’s birthday, and according to sources, the former New England Patriots wide receiver is interested in returning to the gridiron in September.

However, don’t expect the birthday boy’s wish to open the gates at Gillette Stadium, especially because Bill Belichick or Tom Brady have moved on since his departure in October of 2010.

Moss played three seasons in New England before being traded to Minnesota. He played four games with the Vikings, and then was released and acquired by Tennessee.

In 2011, the highly touted wide out sat out due to family reasons, but now is determined to make a comeback, and play professional football, again.

So, with all this in mind, here are a few thoughts on what teams should acquire Moss for the upcoming season.

Buffalo BillsThe Bills have roughly $36 million to spend, so acquiring Moss could certainly help their passing attack, as well as open up running lanes for running back Fred Jackson.

New England Patriots Moss left a sour taste in the mouth of owner Robert Kraft, as well as many Patriot fans because of his postgame rant about his contract in September of 2010. So, I highly doubt that he returns, but knowing Belichick, anything is possible.

Kansas City ChiefsAfter the way things ended in December and January of this past season, I strongly believe that Kansas City is on the rebound, and adding Moss could help quarterback Kyle Orton. It’s been a while since the Chiefs had a top-notched receiver, and certainly he’s someone, despite being 35-years-old, who could help Kansas City compete in a rather weak AFC West division.

Chicago BearsHe’s played a majority of his career against this particular squad, and clearly, the Bears need someone to help quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears receiving core isn’t exactly the greatest in the NFL, so again, adding Moss could definitely help Johnny Knox and Devin Hester, as well as the running game.

The NFC West Division All four teams, (Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and St. Louis Rams) have money to spend, and could use a receiver like Moss. The 49ers would probably be ideal for him, but so would the Cardinals. If he lands a job with Arizona, it would most likely help their quarterback find more options.

Noonan: NFL Divisional Playoff Predictions

Can Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos keep their playoff magic going on Saturday against New England? (Photo Credit: Zimbio.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Here are my predictions for the NFC Divisional Round.

New Orleans 30, San Francisco 21: The Saints cashed in on five offensive series in the second half against the Detroit Lions last weekend, and are expected to keep their high-flying offensive attack going against the 49ers on Saturday. Drew Brees clearly is on a mission, which is why I believe they’ll defeat San Francisco, and advance to the NFC Championship game for the second time in three seasons.

New England 28 – Denver 16: The story of Tim Tebow has been fascinating, but against the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, I’m expecting him to struggle, and possibly throw two or three interceptions.

Baltimore 28 – Houston 21: Earlier this season, the Ravens defeated the Texans, 29-14. Joe Flacco completed 20-of-33 passes for 305 yards and one touchdown, while Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals. Can Baltimore duplicate their week five performance against Houston on Sunday? My answer… YES!

New York 24 – Green Bay 21: This is a total shot in the dark, but the Giants have gained a great deal of momentum over the past few weeks, and might have what it takes to knock out the defending NFC and Super Bowl champions. I like New York’s front seven on defense, especially since they could provide a great deal of chaos toward quarterback Aaron Rodgers. If the Giants pressure the Packers, and force a few turnovers, then expect Big Blue to walk away winners on Sunday.

NFL News: Raheem Morris Fired, Rams and Colts Make Changes

Raheem Morris and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the season with 10 consecutive losses! (Photo Credit: BucStop.com)

By Brian Willwerth 

On Monday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers began a much-needed housecleaning. They fired head coach Raheem Morris. All of his assistants were canned, too.

It was pretty clear to, well, everyone that Morris had lost this team. A promising 4-2 season ended up as a 4-12 disappointment. Ten consecutive losses – many of them of the blowout variety, including Sunday’s hilarious, (and I mean that sarcastically) 45-24 drubbing at the hands of the Falcons. The score was 42-0 before halftime.

The 10-game losing streak matches the team’s longest ever in a single season, back in 1977. Over the final ten games, the Bucs gave up 31 or more points seven times.

Morris went 17-31 in his three seasons, and that includes last year’s surprising 10-6 campaign.

The defense allowed 494 points this season. Yes, that’s dead-last in the NFL. No other Tampa Bay team has allowed as much.  They gave up an average of 156 yards per game on the ground. Yes, that’s dead-last in the NFL. They were third from the bottom in total yards allowed per game, (394.) Only New England and Green Bay ranked lower in that category – no joking.

Quarterback Josh Freeman threw only six interceptions last year. This year? 22.

On the subject of turnovers, guess where the Bucs rank in that category? Yes, dead-last.

Other NFL News: 

* The St. Louis Rams fired their head coach Steve Spagnuolo, and general manager Bill Devaney. The Rams went 2-14 this season, as well as tied for the worst record in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.

* Speaking of the Colts, they’re shaking things up as well. They’ve fired vice chairman Bill Polian and general manager Chris Polian. Indy, like St. Louis, won only two games this season, and will have the first pick in the NFL draft.

Andy Reid’s Post-Game Thoughts On New England

Andy Reid explained that the Patriots were the better team on Sunday against his Philadelphia Eagles!

By Matt Noonan 

Against the New England Patriots on Sunday, Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid admitted after his team’s seventh loss off the season that his opponent was clearly the better team.

“Obviously the Patriots were the better team [on Sunday],” said Reid via the team’s website.

The head coach continued by saying, “You obviously can’t have that many penalties and turnovers when you’re playing a good football team, so that’s my responsibility and I’ve got to make sure that I take care of that [going forward].”

The Eagles recorded 10 penalties, one interception, and yielded 457 net yards, which didn’t seem to make the head coach or the players too happy. Although, Philadelphia’s offense registered 466 yards in a span of 60-minutes, and 400 yards through the air, which was certainly a goal the Eagles wanted to accomplish.

New England has allowed opposing offenses to record a plethora of yards this season, especially against Buffalo, New York, Pittsburgh, and San Diego.

“Well the teams that we saw that had success against them obviously threw the football, and did a good job with it. And they’re stout against the run. You’re playing into their strength with that, [so] again, I’ll take responsibility for that,” said Reid.

However, despite beating New England in net and passing yards, Reid certainly believed the Patriots were the better team on Sunday.

“You’ve got to give credit to the other team, they did a good job against us,” said Reid.

Noonan: The Pack Continue To Impress

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers picked up an impress victory on Monday against the Minnesota Vikings!

By Matt Noonan 

It’s official, Week 10 of the NFL season is in the books, and now, we’re left with seven significant weeks to go. It’s been a topsy-turvy season, but once it’s over, I’m expecting a few more surprises, as well as a title game that should certainly live up to its hype.

Of course, the front-runner at the moment is the Green Bay Packers, a team that has flattened their opponents, and made it look too darn easy. They have a quarterback by the name of Aaron Rodgers, who’s technically on pace to shatter Tom Brady’s record of 50 touchdowns, along with a group of “cheese-heads” that posses speed, endurance, quickness, as well as a defensive linebacker that needs a haircut, (sorry, Clay Matthews, but it’s the absolute truth).

The Packers are destined to win their remaining seven matchups, but against the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions, anything’s possible, right?

America won’t be too happy if this season’s Thanksgiving clash between Green Bay and Detroit doesn’t live up to its hype, especially since many thought both squads would enter Ford Field with undefeated records.

However, if the Packers finish the season undefeated, what’s their chances of winning the Super Bowl?

Well, again, they’re the number one squad in the NFC, and I doubt any team could truly challenge or beat them, but again, that’s just an educated guess. I’d presume New Orleans or San Francisco might have the best shot of dethroning the former NFC champs, but again, that’s just a thought.

I’d consider mentioning Chicago, Detroit, Dallas or New York as contenders, but I’m not entirely sure if any of those squads could play consistent football against Green Bay. Sure, they might pressure Rodgers or force the Packers to make a few mistakes, but in the end, Green Bay would most likely prevail.

No one probably assumed that the Packers, excluding themselves, would experience this much success. Green Bay has outscored their opponents this year by a score of 320-186, and leads the conference with 39 touchdowns. They’ve won seven conference matchups, two AFC meetings, three divisional contest, and five road games.

They’re also on pace to shatter Bill Belichick’s ’07 records, and become the second NFL team to cap off a season with no losses, (the Miami Dolphins in ’72 finished their season, 17-0, as well as beat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII), but again, nothing is certain, especially in the NFL.

The Packers have been a great story, but what would make their magical season even more memorable would be winning Super Bowl XLVI, and stretching their current winning streak, which started on December 5, 2010 to 28 games.

Eli Manning on the New England Patriots

Eli Manning and the New York Giants invade Gillette Stadium Sunday, but can he keep his undefeated streak against the Patriots going? We'll see!

By Matt Noonan 

The New England Patriots will host the New York “Football” Giants at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, and you can certainly expect it to be a great one.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning will enter the game with a two-game winning streak against Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick, and certainly, he’d like to pick up his third career victory against the Patriots. However, Brady and Belichick haven’t lost a regular season game at home this season, as well as haven’t dropped back-to-back contests either.

“We’ve got a big game this week, that’s all our focus is on – getting ready for the Patriots,” said Manning. “[We] understand that they’re always good at home and [we’ve] got a great challenge to go in their and play our best.”

Here are some highlights from Manning’s most recent interview with the media via the Giants website in regards to this weekend’s tilt.

On what he, and his offense needs to do to be successful against the Patriots: “I think we know as an offense, we got to do a good job executing. We [have] to keep the ball in our hands, we can’t make mistakes, we can’t turn the ball over, [and] obviously, [we’ve] got to convert on third downs, and try to get positive plays each play, avoid going backwards, avoid penalties – just those type of things. When we get into the red zone, you’ve just got to score touchdowns. You can’t sell for field goals. [Also] our defense has got a great challenge going [against] a high powered offense with the Patriots, so offensively, we know we’ve got to do our part.”

On facing the Patriots secondary: “The safeties do a good job disguising – not tipping their hands [to] exactly what they’re doing … If we can run our offense efficiently, just guys making the right decisions, picking up some of their blitzes, and guys just making plays when they’re given opportunities, [we should have some success].”

On facing a talented Patriots offense that can score at any given second: “They do jump out on teams and with their offense, they score early on until you get a lead, so it forces teams to throw the ball, and the Patriots are kind of sitting back two deep, and playing soft, keeping everything underneath the style of defenses where they’re giving up yards, but a lot of teams aren’t getting in their and scoring a lot of touchdowns always, so it’s a little bit of both, and we’ve just got see what they’re doing early on in games, how they change throughout the situation of games and have a great plan, [so we] can go execute.”

On playing the Patriots at Gillette Stadium: “These games are fun. When you play against good teams, and when you think of the Patriots, you just think of a team that’s always in the playoff picture, always a talented team, and well coached, so these are easy games you get excited for, [and] you just want to go in their and play the style of football that we know we can.”

NFL Week Three – Observations and Thoughts

Vick may have broken his hand on Sunday, but did the Giants also knock out his confidence too?

By Matt Noonan 

Sunday was a busy day across the NFL, as numerous spectators were introduced to the word, “parody.”

Yet, what exactly do I mean? Well, allow me explain, as I breakdown some matchups or moments that truly represent why every Sunday is a toss-up in this league.

Michael Vick vs. the New York Giants: Anytime the Giants and Eagles collide, it’s always “must watch” television. Although, this particular matchup saw Philadelphia’s quarterback, Michael Vick get knocked out for the second week in a row with a broken right hand.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation after such a great play. I felt like I got hit late [and] there was no flag, broke my hand [and] that’s it,” Vick said via the Eagles website.

Luckily for Philadelphia fans, Vick is a slinging lefty, but after sustaining a concussion in week two against Atlanta and a broken hand against New York, one might wonder if it’s time to hand the keys to third string quarterback Mike Kafka?

The Eagles have lost two back-to-back contests, and will certainly want to rebound next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

As for the Giants, well it was a career day for quarterback Eli Manning, who registered four touchdowns against an Eagles defense that struggled to shutdown New York’s receivers.

Buffalo and Detroit are still undefeated:  OK, this wasn’t supposed to happen, right?

The Bills and Lions are both undefeated, as well as rallied to beat the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots to preserve their winning records. Both quarterbacks, Matthew Stafford and Ryan Fitzpatrick have definitely been the major reason for their team’s success, yet, how much longer can this winning trend continue?

The Bills will travel to Cincinnati next Sunday, while the Lions will head to Dallas and certainly both teams could end the fourth week of the season undefeated.

Cam Newton wins his first game: After two weeks of posting ridiculous statistics, Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton finally won his fist career NFL game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“It wasn’t a pretty win, but the last part counts, right? [You’ve] got to win and this is a confidence booster going into Chicago next week and hopefully we can get some momentum rolling [from that game too],” Newton said via his team’s website.

Newton and the Panthers finished the day with 265 total offensive net yards and only one offensive touchdown. Carolina will certainly want to resort back to their explosive ways from weeks one and two, where they complied five offensive touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers.

Yet, despite Sunday’s weather conditions in North Carolina, I think it’s fair to say, a win is a win, so let’s hand the game ball to Mr. Newton.