The experience of writing this NFL blog over the past 24 days was a surprising success. My expectations for this blog were low at best to start, however I feel that I have managed to put together a respectable blog over the past few weeks. I had never written any sort of blog or online post that was similar to this before this project. So naturally I was a bit stuck on how i should start the whole blogging process. Creating the blog was easy enough, the first challenge was picking a topic to discuss. The fact that I was going to have to write about something everyday made choosing a topic difficult. I thought, “what could I possibly enjoy writing about for almost a whole month?” Then I thought about things that I follow on a daily basis, and the only realistic idea for a topic I could think of was sports. After that, deciding on football was a no-brainer for me. The NFL season had just started and I was still caught up in the weekly action. There was so much information to write about and plenty of ways to gather information. Not to mention the hundreds of other blogs already out there that I could use as an example for my blog. I decided that the main focus of my blog was going to be on the current events of the league on a weekly basis. Every week there was plenty of new stories to choose from. As I progressed further into my blog, i began to create some stories of my own. I managed to do this by looking at teams that don’t get as much media attention as some of the other big city teams. At that point was when I realized how much thought went into my blog topics. Without the blog, I already managed to spend a good deal of time thinking about the NFL due to the fact that I am a diehard Indianapolis Colts fan as well as the fact that I play fantasy football. Fantasy football was a great source of information about individual players. There were already hundreds of blogs that are solely devoted to fantasy football. Most of the information that was used in my blog related to individual players, such as statistics or injury reports, came from the fantasy football websites. Another thing that made my blogging experience more enjoyable was that there are thousands of people out there who are just as passionate about the NFL as I am, and each of those people have their own opinions. This was a good realization because it helped me to understand that the purpose of blogging is to give your opinion to a larger group of people, instead of simply writing about something for my own benefit. In addition to that it also improved the quality of my blog posts because my posts became something that could be discussed and debated by many people. In the end I believe my blog surpassed expectations because every single one of my posts was well over 100 words and some of them had to be shortened to more reasonable lengths. The blogging experience increased my knowledge of the NFL as well as the blogging community, so I am glad to have had this experience.
As this will be my final normal post to my NFL blog, I decided that I can’t give my opinions about the NFL without offering my super bowl prediction. So without further ado, my prediction is the Indianapolis Colts beating the New York Giants in Dallas. It is understandable for others to think that my opinion is a little bit biased, however I have reasons behind my belief. I’ll start with the NFC representative, the New York Giants. This far into the season, the giants have showed their dominance in running the football. Although they did start off a little shaky, losing a game they shouldn’t have and being blown out by the Colts, in recent weeks they have showed their true colors. The Giants defense has improved dramatically over the past few weeks and with Eli Manning leading their offense they have had no problem scoring points. The AFC champion Indianapolis Colts have always been strong on offense as long as Peyton Manning has been at quarterback. This season has proven no different despite key injuries on offense. The loss of Dallas Clark was a strong blow against the Colts because he is very difficult to replace as a player. The defense has always been hit or miss, but when it comes to playoff time the Colt defense always seems to step up. I know most people would disagree with my choice of super bowl teams, however i feel that for the reasons i have mentioned, both the Giants and the Colts have good shots at making the super bowl. Most importantly, who doesn’t want to see an all Manning super bowl?
This past week in the NFL there were multiple games that were single handedly decided by the performances of one player. The Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt led his team to victory against Philadelphia with his 7 catches for 225 yards and a whopping 3 touchdowns. This is an example of a ridiculous individual performance coming from a unsuspected source. Another clutch performance came from Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White. White had 11 catches for 201 yards and two touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals. White’s performance was clearly the difference maker in Atlanta’s win. The last great individual performance was by Oakland running back Darren Mcfadden. Against the Broncos, Mcfadden ran for 165 yards and three touchdowns as well as catching another touchdown in Oakland’s massacre of the Broncos. His performance made the difference in their win. These performances show how one player can affect a game.
The Colts beat the Washington Redskins in a 4 quarter thriller on Sunday night football in week 6 by three. However, during the last few game winning drives for the colts, a string of devastating injuries went relatively unnoticed. The Colts lost their 3 main playmakers so far this year in tight end Dallas Clark, running back Joseph Addai, and wide receiver Austin Collie. Dallas Clark was lost for the season due to a injury to his wrist that required surgery. Collie was lost for an unknown number of weeks due to a unreported injury to his hand that required surgery. Addai aggravated a neck injury that he suffered a week before. With all these offensive injuries, in addition to the losses on defense at safety and linebacker, the Colts may be having some rough times in the next few weeks. Personally I believe that they will be able to overcome these challenges, but nonetheless things may be a bit tricky in the coming weeks. A few other teams have similar injury situations, which makes deciding which teams are the best very difficult right now.
The NFL never fails to disappoint in surprising me, and this year is no different. The NFL is probably the fastest changing league in regards to the power rankings of its teams. Big changes have happened right around my favorite team in the AFC South, a division traditionally dominated by the Indianapolis Colts. This year it is arguably the most competitive and strong division in football. Some of the many other surprises include Cincinatti’s disappointing start, the turnaround of bad teams, the questionable strength of the defending champs, and of course the newfound parity in the NFL. This ever changing atmosphere is part of why the NFL is the most successful sports league in the United States now. Even now, in the midst of a thrilling baseball postseason, more fans are watching football than baseball. This is definitely proof of a change in the times.
ESPN covers the daily news and events that go on in the NFL. I, being an avid football fan, have followed ESPN’s news coverage of the NFL for as long as i’ve followed sports. I have noticed that ESPN covers certain teams way more than other teams. Being a Colts fan, i’ve had the privilege of watching, and continuing to watch, the greatest era of Colts football in their short history in Indianapolis. Despite all that, ESPN continues to cover teams such as the Cowboys, Jets, Giants, and Steelers just to name a few way more than most of the rest of the league combined. What really made me notice this was the dramatic increase of news being reported on the New York Jets in the past two years. The Jets had been a mediocre team for years and then they barely make the playoffs a year ago and now the Jets alone are in the news more than half the rest of the league combined by themselves. I know this is somewhat of an issue with all fans of smaller market teams. It is even more of an issue for me because I live in Ohio, so I don’t have the local coverage of my team that most fans do. This forces me to rely on ESPN for news of my favorite team, the Colts. It is a difficult situation that I think plenty of NFL fans can identify with.
Every year there are a few teams that make me, as a fan, wonder why they continue to not win games year after year. In the past 2 or 3 seasons, a few of these teams have included the Detroit Lions, The Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, and the Buffalo Bills. Three of the teams I mentioned have made strong turnarounds this year, or at least compared to what they had done in previous years. The Buffalo Bills are now the only team without a win this season, and it doesn’t look to be improving any time soon. Buffalo has long been a team that has been ridiculed for its lack of success. Even during their glory days in the 70s and 80s the highlight was losing 4 super bowls in their 4 appearances. The Bills were close to their first win on Sunday, taking Baltimore into overtime and losing on a controversial turnover call. The Bills woes look to continue throughout the season as they have yet to find any sort of continuity in coaching or players.
Monday Night’s game was a NFC East showdown between the Giants and the Cowboys. The Cowboys desperately needed to win to even have a small hope of making the playoffs. The game started off in their favor with a 20 point lead. However, in the second half, the Giants came back due to 4 touchdown passes from Eli Manning. In addition to that, cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo was taken out of the game with a broken collarbone. This game showed that the Giants are still legit contenders in the NFC because it showed their ability to overcome adversity. In my opinion, the Giants are in the top three teams of the NFC. The Giants are on their way to the playoffs and a shot at the super bowl. The Cowboys have proven themselves to be the complete opposite. Starting the season with super bowl dreams, the Cowboys only managed to scrape 1 win out of their first 6 games. They continue to show that they are not ready to truly contend for a title. This game, in my opinion was the nail in the coffin for the cowboys super bowl hopes this year.
Thus far into the season it is still very hard to name an overall favorite to win the super bowl. However there are other ways to narrow down the search. So far into the season, according to ESPN, the dominant AFC teams have gone undefeated in games against the better NFC teams. In recent seasons, this trend has stayed true. The AFC has had more teams with better records since the end of the 90s. These trends have been common throughout the history of the NFL. The NFC was dominant through the 80s and the early 90s. This is odd considering that the Saints, an NFC team was the super bowl champion last year, even though they were not favored to win. In my opinion these dominant conferences mean little once it comes to the super bowl.
As I looked over the overall results for Sunday’s week 7 action, one thing jumped out at me. Almost every single game played on Sunday had ridiculously high scoring. One game that absolutely blew my mind was the score of the Oakland and Denver game. Oakland has been a sad example of a team for the last decade, but yet this week they apparently decided to show up and play dropping 59 points on the Denver Bronco’s unsuspecting heads. The Raiders ended up winning 59 to 14 which is a huge blow out win for them. The NFL could go a couple of seasons without seeing a team score 59 points in a game. Denver and Oakland were not alone in these strangely high scoring games. There were only 2 or 3 games that didn’t have a total of 40 points scored between the two teams. Also there of the 26 teams that played on sunday, 8 of them scored 30 or more points. All of this scoring made me wonder if the NFL’s new rule on hitting could have had something to do with the increase in scoring, or maybe defenses in the NFL just had a really rough day. Who can tell?