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  1. What if Dalton has a near 2015 level season?

    Dalton's had issues in the postseason dating back to his first playoff game, when he lost his composure against the Texans, I believe. Now while I don't think he's become some kind of nervous wreck before those other playoff loses, it's reasonable to assume the pressure is building. At the end of the day, you just have to find a way to win, even if it means a 10-20-180 stat line. Cincinnati may have an opportunity this year, so now's the time for action and results in key regular season games, and the postseason. Big Ben's stats from the 2015 playoff win weren't great, but that's irrelevant in the postseason. Carted off the field with a significant passing shoulder injury, # 7 returned late to complete key passes on the winning drive before the Cincy defensive penalties.
  2. But Osweiler faded towards the end of that season, and the idea he would have magically fixed himself for a tight playoff game versus the Steelers, and a rematch with the Patriots would have been unrealistic. Manning's huge advantage in experience was on full display during the fourth quarter against the Steelers, and he did lead Denver to an early lead over New England. Denver made the right choice in going with Manning, and it paid off.
  3. No, it wasn't the Broncos defense which won the SB, Manning deserves the appropriate credit for two Super Bowl wins, which added value to his overall career. A great player doesn't have to be in his prime to deliver a key performance in a crucial game, just like Jerome Bettis versus the Bears in 2005. It was Manning who led the Broncos to a 9-0 early lead on New England, and starred in the fourth quarter against Pittsburgh, when that game was seriously in doubt.
  4. Will we ever see another 2007 Patriots team (16-0) again?

    The '07 Pats would have been one of the most dominant had they been able to seal the deal. You still have to win the championship, stats aren't the final say on who is the best. It's about winning, and who knows, maybe that team would have been better off with a loss or two during the regular season.
  5. Will we ever see another 2007 Patriots team (16-0) again?

    Where was that point differential against the Giants when it counted most? Tom Brady and Randy Moss are among the top five at their respective positions, but struggled that day. The 2007 Pats just didn't earn the right other teams did on the field in this narrow category.
  6. Will we ever see another 2007 Patriots team (16-0) again?

    The 2007 Patriots were a special team, and did have a fantastic season. And yes, they deserve to be recognized for a memorable year. But when we're talking about the exclusive category of best ever teams, we can only go with what happens on the field. And on the field, that team disappointed in the biggest game of 2007. Of course, upsets happen, but in this tiny category of best of the best, I can only go with teams that finished the job. And I'll go back to the fact at least several members of the 1973 Dolphins think that team was stronger than the 1972 version. And others who were around back then agree.
  7. Will we ever see another 2007 Patriots team (16-0) again?

    A team cannot be considered one of the best in the history of their sport if they can't even win the league title that year. Ditto for the 2001 Seattle Mariners, and others. The toughest part isn't going 16-0, it's closing the deal, and the Giants wouldn't let that happen. It's not about what you do on paper, or what the numbers say, it's all about the field of play.
  8. Is Cam Newton on a HOF pace?

    Newton has a shot, but has a long way to go. He's 29 already, and had a terrible SB against Denver when he could have really helped himself. The visual of Newton being reluctant to dive on a live football resonates today. And for fans bringing up Dan Marino versus the 1984 Niners, that's not a valid comparison. The 2015 Broncos weren't a complete, dominant football team. Assuming he doesn't have a chance to reach another SB, Newton has plenty of work on the bulk stats end of things, especially TDs. He's also taken a beating, and I can easily see him retiring early to pursue other interests.
  9. Pittsburgh/Bell Situation

    Bell has more blame than the Steelers in this situation, and the team has no idea where his conditioning or timing is whenever he decides to report. The Steelers have every right to wonder if Bell is going to give 100% when he returns, since his focus seems to be on market worth and 2019. Bell also has a history of poor judgement, whether it was the marijuana incident, or disparaging the Pittsburgh fans on twitter. We also have to understand the motivation of Bell's agent, and nearly all of the people around him is purely financial. It's a short term approach, and not really the smart one. There's not enough room to list the NFL free agents who left their teams for financial reasons and saw their careers fade. With the Steelers, Bell can still make an incredible amount of money, including more outside the game if the team wins a SB. And health permitting, even build a case for the HOF, which can lead to even more financial opportunity long after his playing days are over. But that's long term thinking, and we live in an instant gratification society. Of course, the other option is to go for the money only. That possibility will likely involve playing for an inferior offensive line, and no future HOF QB or WR., and a team of lesser quality. If Bell and his agent were concerned about the number of touches with the Steelers, they're not thinking about the added punishment playing with an inferior offense. One reason why Bell's unorthodox running style works is Pittsburgh's offensive line. He's had the luxury of time after the handoff, to stop and start again. It's probably going to be an issue in 2019+, with the inevitable complaining likely to follow.
  10. Week 2 | Other Games Thread

    The Pitt-Penn State game is intriguing, it's been a great rivalry which needed to be continued, just like Oklahoma-Nebraska. The list of great players who have played in the Pitt-Penn State series is staggering.
  11. It's quitter season

    The big difference that normal students aren't part of any teams, and aside from tutoring, are pretty much on their own. NFL prospects needed help, not just from their supporting cast, but the coaching staff as well. Quitting is so counter-intuitive to the nature of football, and a 100% healthy player needs to be out there.
  12. It's quitter season

    Statistically, you'll still find the chances of a first round draft pick getting hurt in a bowl game is microscopic. A scholarship athlete who is 100% healthy, has a responsibility to play in a bowl game.
  13. It's quitter season

    But it's not the responsibility of the college football program to put the needs of one or two players on their team above everyone else. Especially if that player is 100%, and the chances of injury are microscopic. The function of CFB programs are to accrue as many wins as possible, and many bowl games outside the ones with national title implications have real value. One of the funniest things I saw last bowl season was a healthy Royce Freeman in street clothes trying to motivate his Oregon teammates before their bowl game versus Boise State. Paraphrasing the ESPN analyst(and former player), you can't expect to motivate your teammates when your actions speak louder than words. As expected, Freeman failed miserably in his pregame talk, and Oregon fell into a hole too large to overcome.
  14. The big difference is the significant numbers of business majors either operate or work for a business after college. The microscopic number of college football players who actually make the pros makes this an easy difference. The primary goal of any college sport should never be to cater to the professional level, it's about being successful at their level. And if a college player is unhappy about a change in offensive or defensive scheme, they can transfer to another school.
  15. NFL historical oddities, weird facts, stats and trivia

    Yes, the weird Bettis statline was in a 24-21 win over the Raiders in 2004. After Bettis had injury issues in 2002, and 2003, the Steelers signed Deuce Staley. Staley won the starting job, so Bettis was relegated to a backup role, especially, around the goal line. Of course, for a back like Jerome, that was a horrible fit, since his forte was wearing down defenses with numerous carries. Staley was great in his first several games as a Steeler, but was lost for the season around the midway point. Ironically, the tiny number of carries for Bettis in the first half of the season turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Bettis proceeded to rip off six 100 yard games in eight as the starter, proving he wasn't finished as a player.