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Two weeks ago Raider Nation could be heard loud and clear, but now, not so much.  After two consecutive losses, their season is getting away from them, and they need to beat the San Diego Chargers to stay in the playoff hunt. Photo by Jeff Lewis


New Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier won the first game his first time out as a head coach.


By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
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Forget Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

Who needs to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight when we can just watch Houston Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson and Tennessee Titans Cortland Finnegan duke it out.  Johnson and Finnegan would have no problem coming to terms for that mega fight, because they pretty much hate each other.

The penalties for their fight this past Sunday were pretty interesting.  Johnson threw three haymakers at Finnegan, connecting with one of them, and he did not receive a suspension from the league.  Only a $25,000 fine.  And Finnegan also received that same fine, even though he did not throw a single punch. 

It appears past reputations came into play.  Johnson is known as a good guy, and Finnegan was listed as one of the dirtiest players in the league a year ago.  He said his goal is to be known as the dirtiest. 

There is no question that Finnegan is a bad guy, and he has been baiting Johnson for some time now, but did he really do anything against the rules?

After Johnson ripped Finnegan’s helmet off on consecutive plays, Finnegan ripped Johnson’s helmet off in retaliation.  Okay, that should have been a personal foul on both of them, but that’s about it.  But then Johnson starts throwing punches, which normally would call for a suspension. 

But the league is all about PR.  Analyst and fans thought that both players should have been suspended, but how could they suspend Finnegan, even though he is the dirtier player of the two, when he did not throw a single punch?  And suspending Johnson without suspending Finnegan would not look good in the eyes of many players, coaches, and fans.

So Johnson was able to avoid suspension.  Oh, and it also helped his case that the Texans are playing on the NFL Network this week.  He is the main draw for the Texans.  No way would the NFL want to showcase the Texans on their network without Johnson playing in the game. 

Funny how those things work. 

As for Finnegan, he’ll have no problem being voted the league’s dirtiest player now, so mission accomplished.

The NFC is on the upswing

Early in the season the AFC appeared to be contending for the Super Bowl title, while the NFC was competing to see who would lose in that game.  But things have changed. 

The New England Patriots, New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens, and Pittsburgh Steelers were tops in the league, but now they’ve been joined by the Chicago Bears, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

Any of those NFC teams could knock off the top AFC teams.

The Falcons have the best record in the NFC at 9-2, but watch out for the Bears.  Their defense is one of the best in the league, and it looks like offensive coordinator Mike Martz has figured out how to overcome a horrible offensive line. 

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has been put in the dirt way too many times this year because of poor blocking, but this past Sunday against the Eagles, Martz’s play calling allowed Cutler to get rid of the ball quickly, which led to a number of big plays. 

Martz is an offensive genius, but it seems like at times his hands are tied by head coach Lovie Smith, who does not want to see interception prone Cutler throw the game away.  But Martz may be getting his way more as the season progresses, which could lead the Bears to lighting up the scoreboard.  With their tough defense, if the offense produces points in bunches, the Bears will be extremely hard to beat. 

Steve Johnson blames dropped pass on God

Yes, on God!

Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson wins the weirdo of the week award.  In a tie game with the Steelers, in over time, Johnson gets behind the defensive backs, is all alone in the end zone, fans start to go nuts because the game is pretty much game over, but then he drops the ball.  Game not over, Steelers get the ball back, march down the field, kick a field goal, and now the game is over. 

Like every athlete, Johnson runs to twitter, and he tweets, “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS? HOW?!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO..."

Somebody talk that boy off the ledge. 

Okay, so you let an entire city down.  Football fans in sports bars around the nation rose out of their bar stools in excitement when they saw the bomb coming your way only to do a collective “Awwww” followed by a face palm when the ball bounced off your chest. 

Don’t worry about it Johnson, go home and count your money and you’ll get over it… well, just avoid turning on Sports Center, who has showed that replay at least 1,000 times. 

Leslie Frazier already a winner!

Minnesota Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has been on the job for a week and he already has his first win. 

It’s interesting how getting rid of a coach that the players do not like leads to a victory.  Frazier took over a very talented team who was just blown out 31-3 against the Packers.  That team quit on former coach Brad Childress, but that talented team decided to play for Frazier, and if he can rack up some wins to close the season, he might be able to keep the job.

The Packers also blew out the Dallas Cowboys, who then fired their coach and are 2-1 since. 

Maybe the Denver Broncos could use a game against the Packers.  Getting blown out by them seems to get the coach fired, and it is time for Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels to go. 

The second year coach has posted a 5-16 record over the past 21 games, which is the worst stretch of losses for the Broncos since 1971, and now he is taking heat for the Broncos film director filming the San Francisco 49ers walk through in London, a game that the Broncos lost.  They can’t even cheat right.  

McDaniels claims that he had nothing to do with it, but that is hard to believe, especially because McDaniels was on the Patriots coaching staff when they were busted for the same thing. 

The Broncos are a mess and have become the laughing stock of the league.  So a blowout loss to the Packers would be welcomed by many Broncos fans right about now.  Too bad the Packers are not on the schedule. 

Raiders season on the brink

The Oakland Raiders were the feel good story two weeks ago.  It was the first time they were above .500 in the second half of the season since 2002. 

Well so much for a good thing, because that did not last long, as the Raiders have lost their last two games and are now a game below .500. 

If they want to stay in the race for the division title, they better win this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.  But that may be a tall order.  As usual, the Chargers get out to a sluggish start, and then around mid season they wake up and make a mad dash to the playoffs. 

Category: Football


 

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