NFL Football

DeAndre Hopkins thinks he can be better than Andre Johnson

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Texans’ wide receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, comes up with a huge touchdown for the Texans in overtime, as they go on to win on Sunday by a score of 30-24 over the visiting Titans.

Here’s a clip of the athletic grab by Hopkins:

After the game, Hopkins, perhaps still hyped from his big TD grab, said that he feels like he can be better than Texans great, Andre Johnson.

“I feel like I can be better than Andre,” Hopkins said. “That’s my mindset. And that’s what Andre tells me. (He says) Don’t try to shadow yourself when you know you can be better.”

I’m all about self confidence, and Andre Johnson is clearly a standup guy, and a great mentor to this young receiver, but becoming a better player than Andre might be like filling the shoes of Shaquille O’Neal. While the skill of Hopkins is there, Andre Johnson has a model of what an elite NFL receiver is over the past 11 seasons.

Johnson left Sunday’s game with a possible concussion. His status is unknown at this time.

Seahawks fans set noise record in win over 49ers

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The Seattle Seahawks, and their ravenous fan base have set the decibel record for crowd noise at a sporting event in their win over the rival San Fransisco 49ers on Sunday in Seattle.

Per the NFL.com:

The group, called Volume 12, announced that it set the mark late in the first quarter. The decibel reading — taken during a sack of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick by Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett in the first quarter — was 131.9 decibels.

The previous record for “loudest crowd roar at a sports stadium,” was 131.76 decibels, set in 2011 in Turkey at the Ali Sami Yen Sport Complex Turk Telekom Arena during a soccer match between Galatasaray SC and Fenerbahce.

The reading was confirmed by Phil Robertson, a judge for Guinness, the Seattle Times reported. The newspaper said the stadium’s crowd noise got even louder during a third-quarter goal-line stand by Seattle defense reaching 136.6 decibels, according to Bill Stewart, the sound engineer and partner at SSA Acoustics in Seattle who did the measuring.

Volume 12 footed the bill for the Guinness World Records official to come to Seattle and wasn’t affiliated with the team.

The Seattle Seahawks have long been said to have some of the loudest crowd noise in sports. This reading that was taken on Sunday proves that their level of dedication is currently unmatched. Way to show your team some support in a huge game!

The Seahawks rolled to victory, defeating the 49ers in their first match up of the season, by a score of 29-3.

Jets QB issues continue to be team’s focus

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Heading into training camp prior to the 2012 season, Jet fans, team management, and of course the media, became almost obsesed at times over the prospect of Tim Tebow coming to New York. Rumors of Tebow-specific, never seen before, wild cat formations that were designed to utilise the former Gators rushing ability filled the headlines on a daily basis. Everyone from Joe Namath to Fat Joe, were asked to give their valued opinion on the matter. When training camp actually began, the masses descended upon the Jets training camp in Cortland, New York, as if Jesus himself had been reincarnated and immediately signed by the Jets to play quarterback. Craving a run deep into the playoffs, Head Coach Rex Ryan was cleary confident in the fact that Gang Green would be extending their upcoming season well beyond week 17.

It was assumed by many close to the team that incumbent starting quarterback Mark Sanchez would either be splitting time at the pivot with Tebow, or, upon Tebow’s inevitable success, graciously step aside. Not a completely insane line of thinking at the time, all that was left for the former Heisman Trophy winner to do was to perform at the level of an NFL starting quarterback. Just as the media had begun to settle in to witness ”Tebow Mania”, reality came calling.

Early reports from training camp indicated that the Jets had been unimpressed with Tebow’s performance after only a few days in camp. Phrases such as ”Thought he was better” and ”Disappointing”, quickly became some of the most commonly used in camp. Both players and coaches alike were constantly asked, and when unresponsive, provoked by the sports media into giving their opinion on the matter. When training camp came to an end however, the Jets soon realized that they had acquired a fairly expensive project at best.

Here we are, nearly one full year and the Jets can’t give Tebow away. Despite numerous rumors throughout last year’s regular season in which Gang Green finished with a [6-10] record, the world’s most popular backup remains a Jet. The franchise’s official starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, is also coming off a subpar year in which he threw 18 interceptions compared with just 15 touchdowns. Hardly the season that Sanchez needed in order to secure his job and quiet the legions of fans who feel that Tebow should be the teams starting quarterback, the future of the franchise continues to depend largely on the pivot. Besides Sanchez and Tebow, the team also has career backup Greg Mcelroy on the roster. With the 2013 NFL Draft just around the corner, the Jets are also likely to add a quarterback with their first-round pick, #8 overall, despite what many have called a weak draft class at the position. Recently the team also signed former Jacksonville Jaguar David Garrard, who is expected to compete for a backup position despite not having been under center for the past two years.

After a season that saw the Jets finish in a tie for last place in the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills, the franchise decided that it needed to make some changes to their coaching staff that included bringing in new Offensive Coordinator Marty Morningweig. Along with Morningweig’s plans to install the west coast offence, it’s expected that the Jets will also have at least some new players at a few of the team’s key offensive positions. Regardless, it seems at this point that anything beyond an [8-8] season would have to be considered a success.

Despite all of the relentless uncertainty that surrounds the Jets, both Tebow and cornerback Darelle Revis reported to the first day of off-season workouts.Both Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow have hired private quarterback coaches. Sanchez has been working out with former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia in order to learn the west coast offence while Tebow has consulted private quarterbacks coach Steve Clarkson. Clarkson who has also worked with Matt Leinart and Ben Rothlesberger, has apparently ”fixed” Tebow’s throwing motion and has been vocal regarding Tebow’s lack of playing time in New York.

With the start of training camp just a few short months away, the Jets will more than likely release Tebow if they are unable to orchestrate a trade. Whether or not the team does in fact draft a quarterback next week, remains to be seen. Significant changes to the coaching staff coupled with the fact that Darrelle Revis is still a Jet, should make for another eventful year ahead. For a franchise that was mentioned as a Super Bowl favorite just a few short years ago, the upcoming season looks to be entertaining for all the wrong reasons.

Calvin Johnson does not believe in the Madden Curse

The Madden fan voting is down to Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton, and Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson. Lions fans know all about bad luck and many have been skeptical to vote for “Megatron”, in fear that they’ll lose their standout wide receiver to the Madden Curse.

One guy out there still isn’t buying the mighty Madden Curse. That is “Megatron” himself.

“You’ve been hearing about the curse forever,” Johnson said. “I’m not a big guy for curses; I don’t even think about it. “I’m looking forward to it and it would be very cool to have it. It would be good for the city, good for this organization and especially good for my foundation.”

Tread lightly. This curse really seems to have some footing. I’m not one to be superstitious, but the Madden Curse has seemingly held it’s own against some talented NFL players over the past decade and some change.

So maybe the Detroit fans have a good reason of being so skeptical?

Only time will tell.

Aaron Rodgers vs. Tom Brady: How Quick We Forget Greatness

Often times in sports (and life), there is a natural human tendency to get caught up in the moment and lose perspective. We crown athletes way before they deserve to be crowned, as Dennis Green once calmly explained. It is hard for me to think of a time that we have been more guilty of this crime than the current NFL season, when I have had to put up with statements like this:

Aaron Rodgers is the greatest quarterback of our generation (I have even seen all-time, which I don’t feel the need to address. I wish I was lying, but I’m not). Not only is Aaron Rodgers not the greatest quarterback of our generation, he isn’t even the best quarterback in the league. That title has, does, and will until further notice belong to Tom Brady Continue reading

Top 5 Non-Active or Non-Hall-of-Fame NFL Running Backs

The shelf life for NFL running backs nowadays is short. As such, their body of work is usually confined to eight to ten years, while a quarterback can seemingly be effective for 15 years. General managers are picking up on this trend and not offering running backs long-term contracts (Matt Forte comes to mind) because their bodies wear down from the increased pounding they take throughout the years.

This list introduces five players who peaked for a three-year period and then faded afterwards. Inclusion on this list requires that the running not be active or in the Hall of Fame. So, O.J. Simpson, Barry Sanders, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson and Emmitt Smith need not apply. Without further adieu, let’s get to the list:

*Bold notes player has having the highest statistical total on the list*

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5. Shaun Alexander

Photo courtesy of rotorob.com

After playing second fiddle to Ricky Watters during his first year with Seattle, Alexander took over in his second year in the NFL when Watters went down with an injury. But, during the 2003 season he proved to the NFL that his two prior 1,000-yard seasons weren’t a fluke when he carried the ball 326 times for 1,455 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also recorded 295 yards on 42 receptions for a total of 1,730 total yards and 16 TDs from scrimmage.

During his peak seasons (2003-2005), Alexander helped lead the Seahawks to a 32-16 record, as well as a Super Bowl appearance in 2005, which they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. That season, Alexander accumulated 1,953 total yards (1,880 on the ground) and 28 total touchdowns (27 rushing touchdowns) earning him the NFL MVP award. His 28 total touchdowns during the 2005 set a new NFL record, which was then passed in 2006 by LaDainian Tomlinson. Seattle had the first ranked scoring offense and second ranked offense in terms of yardage.

The 2005 season would prove to be his last productive season as he would never rush for more than 900 yards in the three subsequent seasons and was out of football after the 2008 season.

Three-Year Peak (2003-2005)
Carries – 1,049
Rushing Yards – 5,011
Yards per rush – 4.7
Total Touchdowns – 64
Receptions – 80
Receiving Yards – 543
Total Yards – 5,549

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4. Ahman Green

Photo courtesy of espn1005.com

After being traded by the Seattle Seahawks in 2000 to the Green Bay Packers (I’ll give you one guess as to why he was traded. Hint: he appears on this list), Ahman Green came into his own. Coupled with Brett Favre, he was an absolute force for the Packers from 2001-2003, where they were in the top 10 in scoring offense during each of those years and made the playoffs annually.

However, Green’s best year came in 2003 when he gained 1,883 yards on the ground and found the pay dirt 20 total times that season. That season the Packers went 10-6 and beat Shaun Alexander’s Seattle Seahawks in overtime 33-27, but then lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round.

Over his career with the Packers, Green was a key cog in the Packers machine that took much of the onus off Favre to make plays. Green had blazing speed, but also could run over defenders en route to the endzone. Perhaps what set Green apart from his peers was his receiving skills. He could be counted on to catch balls out of the backfield, and during his peak years he never had fewer than 50 receptions. For example, in 2001 he recorded 62 receptions for almost 600 yards, making him a threat all over the field.

What ultimately led to his demise was that he couldn’t hold onto the football and became fumble-prone. He was later signed by the Houston Texans in 2007, but never sniffed the same success he had in Green Bay and a few later he was out of the NFL.

Three-Year Peak (2001-2003)
Carries – 945
Rushing Yards – 4,510
Yards per rush – 4.7
Total Touchdowns – 40
Receptions – 162
Receiving Yards – 1,354
Total Yards – 5,864

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3. Tiki Barber

Photo courtesy of rt-now.com

Tiki Barber was drafted out of the University of Virginia by the New York Giants in 1997 in the second round. During his first few seasons he was slated as a third down back behind Charles Way and Tyrone Wheatley. He was also an average kick and punt returner when he first came into the league.

Barber took a backwards approach to success in the NFL and peaked during his last few seasons in the league. From 2004-2006, Barber was one of the most feared running backs in the NFL as he had a combination of speed, power, and a pair of hands that kept defenses honest in coverage.

His most successful season came during 2005 at age 30 when he rushed for 1,860 yards on 359 carries. That season he amassed 2,390 total yards from scrimmage, which at the time was the second highest total in NFL history. He fell 40 yards short of eclipsing Marshall Faulk’s 2,429 yard total recorded in 1999. He later retired after the 2006 season, but has since filed for reinstatement.

Three-Year Peak (2003-2005)
Carries – 1,008
Rushing Yards – 5,040
Yards per rush – 5.0
Total Touchdowns – 31
Receptions – 164
Receiving Yards – 1,573
Total Yards –  6,613

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2. Terrell Davis

Photo courtesy of aeryssports.com

Terrell Davis was selected in the sixth round by the Denver Broncos in 1995, to a Mike Shanahan system that later became known as being able to churn out quality backs year in and year out despite which round they were chosen from. Over the course of his short career, Davis was afflicted with a myriad of lower body injuries that would see his star burn bright and die out just as fast.

At his peak (1996-1998), John Elway was in the twilight of his career and needed a rushing attack to put the Broncos over the top, Davis was just the man for the job. Broncos then-head coach Mike Shanahan relied heavily on Davis during those three years where he carried no fewer than 345 times. Davis rewarded his coach with 1538, 1750, 2008 rushing yard totals during the 1996-1998 seasons, two of which yielded Super Bowl victories.

His best season came in 1998 when he rushed for more than 2,008 yards and 21 rushing touchdowns on 392 carries, earning him MVP honors, his third straight AFC rushing title, first NFL rushing title, and AP Offensive Player of the Year.

He was at his finest during the biggest game of all, the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XXXII, he rushed for 157 yards and scored three rushing touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. He earned the Super Bowl MVP award despite missing the entire second half due to a migraine. In Super Bowl XXXIII against the Atlanta Falcons, he rushed for 102 yards and recorded 50 receiving yards.

Three-Year Peak (1996-1998)
Carries –  1,106
Rushing Yards – 5,296
Yards per rush – 4.7
Total Touchdowns – 51
Receptions – 103
Receiving Yards – 814
Total Yards –  6,110

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1. Priest Holmes

Photo courtesy of usatoday.com

The quintessential definition of a short, but glorious NFL career. Holmes started his career with the Baltimore Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 1997, but really didn’t start hitting his stride until 2001 when he was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs. During his first season with his new team, he accumulated 1,555 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. However, that would pale in comparison to the two years afterwards.

Holmes had a knack for not only running over his opponents, but he could run around and outrun them too. He had an unbelievable two-year stretch where he amassed 51 touchdowns and more than 4,397 total yards from scrimmage. His greatest value, didn’t come from between the tackles, instead he found succeess in the passing game where he caught no fewer than 62 balls from 2001-2003.

He held the single-season TD record of 27 in 2003, before Shaun Alexander scored 28 touchdown in 2005. However, as with many running backs, his career was cut short by a plethora of injuries. Most notably, he suffered a neck injury during 2005 that would also require him to sit out the entire 2006 season. He then retired in 2007 after re-injuring his neck.

Three-Year Peak (2001-2003)
Carries – 960
Rushing Yards – 4,590
Yards per rush – 4.7
Total Touchdowns – 61
Receptions – 206
Receiving Yards – 1,976
Total Yards – 6,566

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Honorable Mentions: Jamal Lewis, Edgerrin James, Curtis Martin

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