Archive for NFL

Ryan vs. Schaub

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2010 by nathanelwell

I was driving to work yesterday and was listening to Atlanta sports radio.  The question at hand was if the Falcons would’ve been in a better position if they kept Matt Schaub instead of trading him away for a 2nd round pick back in 2007, thus leading the way for Matt Ryan to be drafted in 2008.  There are so many different alter-realities that would’ve been caused if Schaub stayed with the Falcons, but for the sake of simplicity, lets take each QB head to head based on statistics:

Matt Ryan

08            09          08-09

Matt Schaub

08            09           08-09

CMP/ATT

PCT

265/434

61.1

263/434

58.3

528/885

59.7

251/380

66.1

396/583

67.9

647/963

67.1

YDS

3440

2916

6356

3043

4770

7813

AVG

7.9

6.5

7.2

8.0

8.2

8.1

TD

16

22

38

15

29

44

INT

11

14

25

10

15

25

FUM

2

5

7

6

1

7

RAT

87.7

80.9

84.3

92.7

98.6

95.6

RUSH YDS/TD

104/1

49/1

113/2

68/2

57/0

125/2

Matt Ryan 08 Matt Ryan 09 Matt Ryan 08-9 Matt Schaub 08 Matt Schaub 09 Matt Schaub 08-9
CMP/ATT

PCT

265/434

61.1

263/434

58.3

528/885

59.7

251/380

66.1

396/583

67.9

647/963

67.1

YDS 3440 2916 6356 3043 4770 7813
AVG 7.9 6.5 7.2 8.0 8.2 8.1
TD 16 22 38 15 29 44
INT 11 14 25 10 15 25
FUM 2 5 7 6 1 7
RAT 87.7 80.9 84.3 92.7 98.6 95.6
RUSH YDS/TD 104/1 49/1 153/2 68/2 57/0 125/2

I’m starting to think choosing Schaub or Ryan is like choosing a Big Mac or a Whopper.  You could choose either and still be happy.  But what else does each bring to the table?  (not the sandwiches, the QBs).

Matt Schaub came into the NFL with a successful college career at UVA.  He broke 22 school records including yards passing (7502), touchdown passes (56), completions (716), attempts (1069), completion percentage (.670), 300 yard games (8), and 200 yard games (20).  Schaub had two top notch campaigns in the ’08 and ’09 NFL seasons for the Houston Texans.  He set the franchise record for passing yards at 379 yards.  In 2009, Schaub led the league in passing yards (4,770), completions (396), yards per game (298), and passing attempts (583).  Matt Schaub is part of arguably the best QB/WR tandem in the NFL, the other half being Andre Johnson.  In the 2008 season, Johnson led the league in receptions and receiving yards, only to duplicate the feat in 2009 with 1569 yards.  Only one other WR in the history of the NFL went two consecutive seasons leading receiving yards – none other than the great Jerry Rice.  On top of receiving yards, Johnson went 7 games with 10 receptions, only further solidifying one of the most successful QB/WR tandems in the NFL.

Matt Ryan shined at Boston College, where he led his team to 3 bowl victories, and an overall record of 25-7.  He threw for 200 yards 15 times and is 5th all time in school history for both passing yards and completions.  Matt Ryan was picked 3rd overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 2008 NFL draft.  Ryan beat out Chris Redman for the starting QB position, becoming the first QB in Atlanta since 1975 to start the season opener.  He threw a touchdown on his very first past completion.  Ryan became the first rookie QB in Falcon history to throw over 3,000 passing yards in one season.  Along with Joe Flacco, Ryan was the first rookie QB to start all 16 regular season games and lead his team to the playoffs.  He was also named AP Rookie of the Year.  In 2009, Ryan fought turf toe for a significant part of the season, but still led the Falcons to a 9-7 record, which was the first time in franchise history that the team had consecutive winning seasons.    Matt Ryan fired many of his shots to WR Roddy White.  White was 4th in the league for receiving yards in 2008, finished the season with career and franchise highs in receiving yards.  This is receiving from a rookie QB.  In 2009, White was able to break the franchise record for most receiving yards in a game, with 210.  Under Matt Ryan, Roddy White gained the 2nd and 3rd years where he had more than 1,000 receiving yards for the season.

What do I conclude from all of these statistics and accomplishments? (1) Matt Schaub is a seasoned veteran who has reached the pinnacle of his career.  The Falcons may have gotten one more season out of him, but he probably is over the hill.  (2) In Ryan, you have a young QB that played like a veteran in his first NFL season.  (3) If I wanted a franchise QB who I knew would take the Falcons to the Superbowl, then I choose Matt Ryan.  If I want a QB to help with my fantasy league, then I’d probably pick Matt Schaub.  (4)  If I’m choosing between the Big Mac and the Whopper, I would choose neither.  I always go with Taco Bell!

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Michael Vick: Redemption or Repulsion?

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , on August 14, 2009 by nathanelwell

Eagles Vick Signs Football

Two NFL seasons prior, I took advantage of an opportunity to see the Falcons play in a preseason game at the Georgia Dome.  For the life of me, I cannot remember who they were playing.  I can’t remember who was playing quarterback for the Falcons, either.  One thing is for sure – it wasn’t Michael Vick.  Vick was busy “sleeping in the bed that he had made for himself”.  Vick was convicted of many things, all surrounding the dog fighting ring that he was involved in.  Vick pleaded guilty, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL, and was eventually put in prison.

Back to the preseason game… Interestingly enough, there was a major polarization in the Dome that day, all caused by Vick.  I saw several fans wearing Michael Vick jerseys, with signs defending and supporting him as an athlete and person.  I saw other fans with large signs, picking their favorite four letter word along with Vick’s name attached.  There were animal rights activists outside discouraging fans from going to the game (I’m putting it politely).  You could almost cut the tension in the Dome with a knife.  Fast forward 2 years later, and Michael Vick has been released from prison.  Beyond that, the headlines on all the major sports websites today showed that Vick has just signed a new deal to play for the Philadelphia Eagles.  And this is where the volcano explodes!  Time to bring out a cheesy cliche…

Right now, in the palm of my hand, I am holding a shiny quarter.  As I’m in the mood to use a cliche, I’d like to bust out the “two sides to every coin” line that people love to use (or hate to use, depending on who you ask).  I’d like to try this cliche on Vick, and the latest publicity spike that comes with him.  The question at hand is….are you ready???  Do you feel that Vicks reinstatement in the NFL is redemptive, or do you feel it is repulsive?  Time to flip the coin – Heads is redemption, tails is repulsion.

quarter_heads

Heads it is!…  Vick busted on to the national football scene back in 1999, when as a quarterback, he scored 3 rushing touchdowns in one quarter.  Then came the 2000 season when he led the Virginia Tech Hokies to an 11-0 record and a berth in the title game at the Nokia Sugar Bowl.  Then came the 2001 NFL draft, where he was drafted first overall.  With the Falcons, some of his achievements were: most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season, 100-yard career rushing games as a quarterback, rushing yards in a single game by a quarterback, highest average per carry in a single season….  The list goes on and on.  Some of you may remember when Michael Vick got injured, and had to be pushed around on a wheel chair.  Vick was such a superstar, that even Falcons owner Arthur Blank was willing to push him around on it.  I’m sure that many of you who just read the last paragraph are thinking “I could care less about his football accomplishments”, or “this guy is a creep”, or “Is he part of that family who created the vapor rub?”.  Whatever it is you’re thinking, no doubt many of you have one association in your mind of Michael Vick – the abuse of probably 100’s if not 1,000’s of animals.  But after serving 2 years in prison, has Michael Vick atoned for his mistakes?  Does he deserve to get another chance?  The first individual who, by example, has tried to show redemption to Michael Vick is Tony Dungy, former Super Bowl winning coach of the Colts.  Dungy has spend time talking with Vick, and mentoring him.  This is what he had to say today: “I really got the sense that he wanted to do great things…he wanted to be a positive role model for young people.  he wanted to get back to his family. ”  The Atlanta Falcons released a statement that “Michael has been given a good opportunity to restart his career in the NFL, and we wish him well.”  Some would say that Vick deserves a second chance.  I would guess, Manny Ramirez, Ron Artest, Josh Hamilton, and John Daly would all say that.  America is the country of second chances, right?    And after that, I now need to flip the coin again.

us_quarter_tails

Now its tails.  Vick has surrounded himself with problems all his life.  This persistence would make one wonder if Vick can ever learn from his mistakes.  A truck registered in Vicks name  driven by two other men was pulled over and busted for marijuana distribution.  The stolen watch incident in Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport.  The civil lawsuit filed by a woman who claims Vick gave him genital herpes.  Flicking off fans after a loss.  The “secret compartment” in his water bottle.  And of course, the dog fighting mess.  The persistent abuse, torture, murder, electrocution, etc etc etc of hundreds of pit bulls, among other dogs.  As a dog owner, I can’t even go into the gruesome details without wanting to run to the bathroom and hurl.  Some people would say that for a person to torture an animal is almost worse than torturing a human, because animals love unconditionally (unlike humans, which is sad).  I can see why people would say that.  There are definitely days when I’d rather interact with my dogs than with people.  Especially if the people are White Sox fans.  But seriously, with Vick being an athletic superstar, and a champion that children were supposed to look up to, it angers many people to see Vick back into the spotlight.  Bill Smith, who is the founder of Main Line Animal Rescue said the following today: “I’m really shocked that he’s coming to Philadelphia.  He kept talking about second chances. His dogs didn’t get a second chance.  There are alot of people out there who deserve second chances more than Michael Vick.”  Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said of Vick that, “I needed to see alot of self hatred in order to approve this”.  A member of the governor’s Dog Law Advisory Board said the following: “Over the last three years, Pennsylvania has made historic strides in bringing attention to the abuse and neglect that so many dogs suffer in this state and throughout the country…For the Philadelphia Eagles, knowing the heinous crimes committed by this man, to sign him is unconscionable.”  There are many, many angry fans who would love to give Vick a cheap shot.

So we’ve seen both sides of the coin, and I think its fair to say that each individual will have varying opinions on the matter.  Should we feel like Vick’s comeback is a story of redemption?  Should we feel like Vick even crawling his way back to the NFL is repulsive?  In my opinion, only time will tell.  But the hurdles will far outweigh the straight-aways.

Decision Day for Top Dawgs

Posted in NCAA Football, NFL with tags , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2009 by nathanjzacharias

Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno will be announcing their plans for the 2009 football season, and all sources seem to indicate right now that they will be turning pro.  I can’t say I blame them, but as a loyal Dawg fan, it still hurts.  It’s not a huge surprise by any means, as both are the top ranked players at their position, with Stafford possibly being the number one pick overall.  But with some key players returning from injury next year, it would have been nice to have those two in uniform to make one more run at a championship.

I’ve tried to put myself in their shoes and figure out what I would do in the same situation.  And I have to say,  I can see why it’s a tough decision.  There are good reasons to choose either side.

As far as Stafford is concerned, if he’s a possible number one pick now, it’s kind of tough to improve his draft status in 2010.  Some say that he doesn’t have the “big” game in his resume.  While I kind of see their point, he has still led Georgia to some key victories (remember the ‘Bama game in ’07).  And in his defense, their losses and narrow wins this year were more a result of shaky defense than poor offense.  Sure they had some struggles, but for the most part they were putting up more than enough points to win each week.  He also showed a lot in the Capital One Bowl last week.  No, Michigan State isn’t Florida, but he showed a lot of resolve when he came back from a terrible first half to put up huge numbers.

In Moreno’s case, he’s proved all he has to at the college level. The guy is just a machine.  He ran well over 1,000 yards in both of his seasons, and he’s a weekly highlight reel.  He seemed to constantly turn what was a sure 5-yard loss play into a gain of some sort.  His play energizes the team and annoys the heck out of the opposition.

On the one hand, I like to think I would stay if I were them.  Does it get much better than playing for a huge program in a great college town with an awesome fan base?  In a way, no.  And the money would have been there next year too, as the NFL rookie payscale won’t be changing until 2011.

But they’re playing for their future, and all the circumstances seem to indicate that now is the best time for them to take that step.  Their arguably the top picks at their positions and their healthy.  Why not go now?

It’s disappointing to know we won’t be seeing them in the Georgia red anymore, but when Stafford hit Moreno for the final touchdown in last week’s bowl game, it almost seemed too picture perfect to mean anything other than that it was the last time we’d see that happen.

They represented the program well, and I wish them all the best.  Go Dawgs!

NFL Playoffs features birds of all kinds

Posted in 1, NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2009 by nathanelwell

falconsvs.   cardinals coltsvs.  chargers

ravensvs. dolphins eagles vs. vikings

In the words of our pot smoking friend Dave Matthews, “This is the Last Stop” in our NFL season. On Saturday, the first two games of this year’s playoffs will begin  by showcasing the Falcons vs. Cardinals, and Colts vs. Chargers.  On Sunday it’ll be the Eagles vs. Vikings and Ravens vs. Dolphins. There is a lot of irony in the first round of match-ups. Let’s start by the fact that the combined win-loss record of all  of this weekend’s 8 playoff teams last year was an unimpressive 58-70.  Two teams (Falcons and Dolphins) won a combined 5 games.  Only 2 of the 8 teams actually had a winning record in 2007.  This year, things have changed for the better.  The combined win-loss record of the 8 teams is 81-46 (and 1 tie by the Eagles).  The Falcons and Dolphins combined for 23 wins, which is more than 4x greater than last season (with 2 new head coaches and starting QBs, this is not surprising).  Another startling fact is that 2 of the 8 Quarterbacks are rookies (Matt Ryan of the Falcons and Joe Flacco of the Ravens).  Now lets look at the individual match-ups, and I’ll make predictions on the outcome (disclaimer: If you should bet on any game based on my predictions and lose, too bad.)

Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals

We are looking at two teams that haven’t been in the playoffs for quite some time (3 years for the Falcons, 9 years for the Cardinals).  They have never faced each other in the playoffs, and the Cardinals have a 14-10 record against the Falcons in regular season history.  This past season, the Cardinals had a 6-2 record at home while the Falcons had a 4-4 record away.  In the postseason, the Cardinals have a 2-5 record with 1 championship, and the Falcons have a 6-8 record with a Super Bowl appearance but no ring.   The Cardinals have 2 powerhouse receivers in Boldin and Fitzgerald, plus a Super Bowl winning quarterback in Kurt Warner.  The Falcons have arguably one of the best rushers in the NFL in Michael Turner, and the Offensive Rookie of the Year quarterback Matt Ryan.

In my opinion, the offensive power of the Cardinals plus the home crowd starving for a playoff game will be too much to handle for the Falcons.

The final score: Cardinals 30 – Falcons 24 (sorry other Nate!)

Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers

We go from 2 inexperienced playoff teams to 2 veteran playoff teams in the Colts-Chargers.  Look for an exciting game full of offensive explosiveness, with two of the weakest defenses out of the 12 playoff teams.  The Colts have a 9 game winning streak, Peyton Manning won his 3rd league MVP, and lets not even talk about all the options Manning has to pass to (Wayne, Harrison, Gonzalez, Clark).  Manning will undoubtedly use Dallas Clark, who was the #1 tight end receiver in the NFL this year (up for debate, but not really).  This will keep the Charger’s secondary on their heels, with too many options for Manning to choose from.  The Colts have a 17-17 record in the playoffs with 4 championships/super bowls under their belt.  They have faced the Chargers twice in the playoffs with a 1-1 record (they lost last year at home).  Their regular season record against the Chargers is 9-14.  The Chargers have Philip Rivers, LT, Antonio Gates, and Vincent Jackson.  Their playoff record is 9-14, and they have 1 championship/superbowl to be proud of.  The Chargers ended the regular season with a 4 game winning streak, and beat incredible odds after being behind by 3 games in their division with 3 games to go.  (ahem….cough….choke….BRONCOS).  So needless to say, both teams have the momentum going into the playoffs.  The Chargers have home field advantage, and the Colts probably have the playoff experience.

In my opinion, the Colts will end up victorious in this classic playoff match-up

The final score: Colts 38 – Chargers 23

Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins

First of all, let me say to pretty boy Jason Taylor: Sucks to be you!  I wish you were still a Dolphin.  Whoever predicted these two teams to face each other in the playoffs this year are crazy.  “Why?” You should ask?  Both teams had losing records last year (combined 6 wins between both teams), both teams fired their head coaches, and now have 2 different starting quarterbacks, one of which is a rookie (Joe Flacco).  Last year, the Dolphins defeated the Ravens in the last regular season game for the Dolphins 1st win of 2007.  So all that to say, the Dolphins could repeat this feat, but only to advance to the next round of the playoffs.  For the Ravens we have one of the best defenses of the league (#3 in the league in opponents points, #2 for total yards, and #1 for opponent first downs).  My guess would be that the game could be low scoring.  Joe Flacco passed for just under 3000 yards in 2008, with 17 touchdowns.  Le’Ron McClain was their top rusher at 902 yards for the season, and Derrick Mason their top receiver with just over 1000 yards receiving.  Bottom line is the Ravens had one of the better rush offenses in the league, but one of the worst passing offenses in the league.  They’ll probably win the game if they succeed on the rushing attack (ahem, are you paying attention, Dolphins?).  And what about Chad Pennington, QB for the Dolphins?  Ironic that he should beat the team that gave him the boot for the AFC East crown AND a playoff spot (sorry Favre, you should have retired).  With a better than average rush and pass offense, the Dolphins should put up a pretty good fight.  Cracking the Raven defense will be the key.  And patience for Pennington will be important, as the Ravens lead the league in interceptions.  Look for Pennington to choose a wide variety of receivers (Cobbs, Ginn Jr., Camarillo, Bess), and to hand the ball off to both Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams.  The Dolphins have 20 playoff victories and 2 Super Bowl rings, while the Ravens have 5 playoff victories and 1 Super Bowl ring.

I’m going for the Dolphins, as they have a much more consistent offense than the Ravens.  If the Ravens had a more consistent passing game I may change my mind.

The final score: Dolphins 24 – Ravens 13

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings

This will be an exciting game for two teams whose playoff hopes went down to the last regular season game.  There will be a single deciding factor in this entire game: Adrian Peterson.  Will he show up with steady hands or butterfingers?  Peterson fumbled the ball 9 times this year.  This will be the key for a Vikings offense that ranked #25 in the league (the Lions were even better than the Vikings).  Look for Tarvaris Jackson to throw to Berrian, Wade, and Shiancoe.  Look for Donovan McNabb to come through in the clutch as he has in so many playoff games past.  With Brian Westbrook, DeSean Jackson, and nearly 7 other eligible receivers, McNabb will use a variety of offensive plays for sure.     With the #6 offense and the #4 defense in the league, look for the Eagles to stop Peterson dead in his tracks.

The final score: Eagles 26 – Vikings 20

So in summary:

The winners: Cardinals, Colts, Dolphins, Eagles

The losers: Falcons, Chargers, Ravens, Vikings

Enjoy watching the game, for those few souls who survived my torturous post.

Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, and…Sports!

Posted in 1 with tags , , , , on November 27, 2008 by twonateshow

As the clock quickly approaches midnight here in Atlanta and the first minutes of Thanksgiving day approach, I look over the last year and think about all of the things that I am thankful for when it comes to sports:  I am thankful for teams like the Tampa Bay Rays, who show that a baseball team doesn’t have to have a giant payroll to make it to the World Series.  I am thankful for coaches like Mike Krzyzewski, who led Team USA to a gold medal in Beijing, bringing USA basketball back in business.  And lets not forget the New York Giants, who came in and stole the Super Bowl from the New England Patriots.  The month of February is another thing I am thankful for.  Many see it as the middle of winter, but I see it as the beginning of spring training when pitchers and catchers report for the first breath of America’s past-time.  Michael Phelps.  How many of you who watched his performances can honestly say that you didn’t pump your fists in the air and scream when he helped Team USA win the 4×100 freestyle relay?  And his other 7 golds.  Jon Lester.  A champion for cancer survivors around the world, after coming back to baseball and pitching a no-hitter in front of a Fenway crowd.

I am thankful for Lou Piniella, Brett Favre leaving the Packers, Derrick Rose, and Joe Gibbs.  And Joey Chestnut, who defended his title of the Nathan’s hotdog eating contest (yes, that is a sport).  Matt Forte, Matt Ryan, Tiger Wood’s pain tolerance, and Bruce Weber’s ’09-’10 recruits.  I am thankful for MLB.tv for when I was in Amman, Jordan.  I watched the Cubs win and listened to the call of prayer all at the same time.  And what about all the food items that are sold at the stadium?  Maxwell Street Polish, Funnel Cakes with powdered sugar, churros, nachos with jalepenos and beer (and mountain dew).

Before I go any further, let me warn you that what you will read below may come across to you as corny, cheesy, and cliche.  You will say “Elwell, I think you’ve gone off your rocker and are a major softy”.  But lets not forget how we got here today.  Many will criticize our country and say we do so many things wrong.  But I believe that we have so much to be thankful for that we take for granted.  Food, a car, an internet connection (without it you wouldn’t be reading this), a hot shower, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a job, a spouse, being single, etc etc.  As you sit down today and watch the NFL matchups, remember to be thankful for what you own, and consider going out and sharing it with someone in need.  In the midst of all of life’s stresses, frustrations, anger, pain, and bitterness, remember that an act of kindness, especially on Thanksgiving day, will give someone a day that they’ll never forget.  Instead of sitting on your couch alone like a lazy bumb, Invite over your annoying next door neighbor who maybe smells a little and doesn’t brush his teeth.  After all, two beers opened are better than one.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving feast, and be careful with your Turkey fryers.

The Turkey & The Pigskin

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by nathanjzacharias

They just seem to go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Ketchup and mustard.  Brangelina and adoption papers.

Yes, the combination of Thanksgiving day and football seems to be one of the greatest pairings on earth.  There’s just something about eating turkey and watching athletes run at full speed into one another that makes it one of the greatest holiday traditions.

No matter who is playing and no matter what the score, the NFL just has a way of helping us kick off the Christmas season.  No pun intended.  Well…maybe a little.  It’s a grand tradition, and I’m looking forward to continuing it this year.

This year’s Thanksgiving day schedule has no shortage of interesting story-lines.  The Titans are coming off their first loss of the season, the Cowboys are in the hunt for a wild card spot, the Cardinals continue to be one of the year’s biggest surprises, and Eagles fans will be keeping a close eye on Donovan McNabb after his second half benching on Sunday.

As for the games themselves, my picks are the Titans, the Cowboys, and the Cardinals.  It’s a prediction shared by many, I’m sure.  But the NFL seems to pull off more upsets than any other sport.  So what do you all think?  Do you think there is any upset potential?

Guess we’ll find out.

All that said, Thanksgiving means much more than tackles and touchdowns. It may not always be an easy day depending on your circumstances, but it’s an important one.  Whatever life has thrown you this year, the TwoNateShow wants to wish everyone out there a very meaningful Thanksgiving holiday.

Enjoy the games, enjoy the food, and enjoy the day.

Matt Cassel May Make Tom Brady Drew Bledsoe

Posted in NFL with tags , , , , , , , on November 24, 2008 by nathanelwell

cassel

Tom Brady may become the next Drew Bledsoe. Yes, it may be confusing for some of you to understand this concept. Sometimes it is hard enough to just tie your shoes, I know. But After the last two weeks of solid play at QB for the Patriots, Matt Cassel is making a huge statement about his abilities in the NFL. In Week 11 we saw Cassel throw for 400 yards, 3 touchdowns, and ran for 68 in a loss to the Jets. For Week 12, Cassel threw for 415 yards, 3 touchdowns, and ran for 1 touchdown. That is 7 touchdowns in two games, and 2 400+ yard throwing games in a row. In the last 7 years combined, Brady has only thrown for 400+ yards once, and that was back in 2002. Cassel has already thrown for 400+ twice this year. I’m not saying that Cassel is better than Brady. But if I’m not mistaken, Drew Bledsoe lost his starting job to Tom Brady back when he got injured. This season, we saw Tom Brady injured before the end of the 1st game and what next?…

In the second game of the 2001 season, Drew Bledsoe was hit by a Jets linebacker and he never started for the Patriots again. Who replaced Bledsoe? None other than Tom Brady, who led the Patriots to win a Super Bowl that year. Bledsoe had one good season with the Bills, and then ended up fading quickly into the sunset by playing for the Cowboys. And he was replaced by Tony Romo after stinking it up in Dallas. The Onion, one of the most accurate newspapers in our world’s history, wrote a hilarious article about Drew Bledsoe that pretty much sums it up for me. Now back to Cassel. Cassel’s rise to fame in the NFL is even more unbelievable than Brady’s. He was the second stringer for USC behind Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. The only collegiate start he made was not even at the Quarterback position, but at tight end. He was drafted in the 7th round as the 230 overall pick by the Patriots. This year, Palmer’s Bengals are a staggering 1-11, Matt Leinart isn’t even playing for the Cardinals, and Matt Cassel’s Patriots are 7-4, behind the New York Jets in the AFC East. Now, I seriously don’t think that Cassel could permanently take over Brady’s job, but since I don’t like Brady I definitely have thought about this scenario several times.

It is hard for me to see if Matt Cassel will stick around with the Patriots after this year’s season. Brady will surely be back as starting QB, and if Cassel keeps up his stats, he should look for a starting job with another team. He is set to be an unrestricted free agent for 2009, as long as the Patriots don’t slap the franchise tag on him. So which team should Cassel go to? In my humble opinion, the OBVIOUS first choice for Cassel would be the Chicago Bears. Why, you should ask? Great question. The main reason is that I am sick of Kyle Orton and Rex Grossman. I think those reasons should stand by themselves. The next team that would deserve a Quarterback like Cassel would be the Tennessee Titans. Cassel could be reunited with Norm Chow, who is part of the Titan’s coaching staff and who happened to be a coach for Cassel while at USC. Kerry Collins is not that special, and Vince Young doesn’t have any confidence. Cassel would be a lethal component along with LenDale White, Chris Johnson, and a powerful Titan’s defense. Could you imaging a Cassel vs. Brady AFC Championship game? Other team options could be the 49ers, Raiders, Lions, and Vikings.

How Cassel performs in the next 5 games is yet to be seen. But you can guarantee that NFL GMs will be licking their chops at the end of this season IF Cassel becomes a free agent. Look for him in a new uniform in 2009.