Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 13: The week of the rookie quarterback

Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III

If 2012 is The Year of the Rookie Quarterback in the NFL, then week 13 is the Week of the Rookie Quarterback.

Robert Griffin III can’t fumble without scoring a touchdown. Literally. During his Monday Night Football debut, RGIII led the Washington Redskins to a comeback victory over their divisional rivals and the current Superbowl champions, the New York Giants. The Redskins sit one game behind the Giants in the ultra competitive NFC East. Griffin ran for 72 yards, which puts him at 714 for the season, breaking Cam Newton’s record for a rookie quarterback. And he did it with a “C” on his jersey. The Redskins voted RGIII in as captain of the offense following their bye week.

‘If he stays healthy, he’s going to be a havoc on defenses for a long time.”

-Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck on RGIII

In Manningesque style, Andrew Luck rallies the Indianapolis Colts to a fourth quarter comeback drive against the Detroit Lions and is racking up records faster than Peyton Manning is churning out pizzas. Luck is the first rookie quarterback (drafted number one overall) to win eight games, replacing Sam Bradford’s record of seven wins in 2010. Luck also owns the record for passing yards by a rookie quarterback in a game…and he still has four games to go for passing yards by a rookie for the season (watch out, Cam). Luck has the Colts firmly in place for an AFC wild card playoff spot.

And Russell Wilson continues his campaign of shock and awe in Seattle, leading the Seahawks to a comeback win of their own. In overtime. At Soldier Field. Wilson launched a throwing and running attack on the Chicago Bears, which culminated in a 23-17 victory and their first road win of the season. The Seahawks, at 7-5, sit atop the stack for the NFC wild card draw.

“He just has a tremendous level of awareness and poise and it’s just surprising that anybody could be like that, not just a rookie or a young guy in his first shot playing in Chicago or what not…he just continues to be impressive in all of those ways.”

-Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll on Russell Wilson

These aren’t rookies anymore, people. These aren’t kids. These are players. And they have become men right before our eyes. They are the future of their teams and the future of their sport. These are the players we will be talking about for a decade or more. They will lead, inspire, and leave their names on trophies, record books, and maybe some buildings along the way.

Get used to the Andrew Luck…RGIII talk. It’s not going away anytime soon. Step aside, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady…

The future is now.

XO

Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 10: Livin On A Prayer…

Colts Quarterback Andrew Luck and Offensive Tackle Anthony Castonzo

Whooah…we’re half way there…

Give or take a week.  Or two.

Yes, I was inspired by the music coming from Soldier Field during Sunday Night Football.  And, it just happens to be my personal anthem.  Lucas Oil Stadium (or whoever controls the music at our pad)…take note.

We gotta hold on to what we got…

The Atlanta Falcons that it is.  Trying to hold on to their unbeaten record, the only one left in the NFL this season.  The Falcons played the Saints, who Falcons Head Coach Mike Smith is 2-7 against.  The Falcons fall to 8-1.  The 1972 Dolphins pop the champagne.  And then there were none…

It doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not…

Or so it would seem between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.  Or…does it?  Tony Romo is living up to his nickname, Mr. November (no he was not in Playgirl), as he rallies his team to beat the Michael Vick-less Eagles (who left with a concussion in the second quarter).  And there doesn’t look to be a looming quarterback controversy with rookie Nick Foles at the helm.

Also helping the Cowboys, the Giants lost to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.  If Eli Manning’s arm was tired, it’s rested now.  He’s had two games in a row with no touchdowns.  You know what does look tired?  The Giants offensive line, which allowed four sacks on Manning.  And the Giants defense, which was holier than Tim Tebow.

We’ve got each other and that’s a lot…
For love…we’ll give it a shot…

That would be the Indianapolis Colts.  United by love for their sick coach, Chuck Pagano, the players shaved their heads for him this week.  Then went down to defeat their division rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars.  The Colts, at 6-3, have a two game lead over the other AFC teams in the hunt for a wildcard playoff spot.  Yes, the Colts are the darlings of the NFL…and were also the darlings of the refs on Thursday night.  Still…the Colts are quickly becoming the team that no one wants to play.  Because, they are just that…a team.  And my team, so I may be a little biased.

We’ve got to hold on ready or not…

And the San Diego Chargers were not.  Ready.  At.  All.  For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  But, they were cleared of any wrong doing in the Stickygate scandal.  So there’s that…

You live for the fight when that’s all that you’ve got…

Only the New York Jets don’t appear to have any fight left in them.  Or if they do, it is on the bench…praying.  The Jets were beat by the Seattle Seahawks 28-7.  Even Seahawks Wide Receiver Golden Tate had a chance to throw…and he did.  For a touchdown to Sidney Rice.

A few side notes…

The NFL may want to look into this concussion thing, *insert sarcasm* as three starting quarterbacks went out with them on Sunday: Jay Cutler (Bears), Alex Smith (49ers), and Michel Vick (Eagles).  Two of which had something to lose…

And for the first time since 2008, we had a tie game in the NFL.  And just like last time…one of the players was not aware of the rules.  *Insert Donovan McNabb joke.*

Do they not cover this at rookie camp?  Brush up on it during training camp?  If I’m an NFL coach (and I don’t aspire to be), the first thing I do when my team goes into overtime is…REMIND THEM OF HOW IT WORKS!  And maybe have a pop quiz on the NFL Rule Book.  Sorry.  Didn’t mean to yell…

So, here we are.  At the turning point of the season.  Some things are becoming more obvious…others, more puzzling.  The one thing we can be sure of…a wild ride from here.

Take my hand…we’ll make it, I swear…

XO

This post brought to you by Bon Jovi.

Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 9: Decisions…decisions…

Happy Election Day, America!  Make sure you vote today.  Or…don’t complain about the result.

I’m sure the exit polls are already coming in.  A winner cannot be predicted in the NFL season thus far…but we’re starting to be able to project the losers.

Week nine kicked off on Thursday night with a must win game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Diego Chargers.  The Chiefs came out on the losing end of that battle 13-31, which puts them at 1-7.  I’ll just let Twitter take it from there…


Sunday night…another primetime game, another must win game.  But this time, only for one team…the Dallas Cowboys.  Tony Romo’s first pass to the end zone was a throw I could have made.  But he missed it, badly.  Amazingly, it wasn’t intercepted.  Romo leads the league with 13 interceptions this season, yet he had none against the Atlanta Falcons.  Still, the Cowboys fell 13-19.  And that makes the Falcons 8-0 and the Cowboys 3-5.

Which raises some questions…what does the future look like for the Dallas Cowboys?  For Head Coach Jason Garrett?  For Tony Romo?  And you think you have decisions to make today?  How would you like to be Cowboys Owner and General Manager Jerry Jones?  Who was, by the way…locked out of the locker room after the game.  The locker room he built and he owns.


Things are getting a little bizarro in Jerryville.  Just goes to show…you can buy a team, you can buy a stadium, you can even buy an election…but you can’t buy respect.

At least he stuck around for the end of the game.  Tennessee Titans Owner Bud Adams was reportedly so disgusted with his team’s performance against the Chicago Bears on Sunday, that he left during the third quarter and flew home.  The Titans lost to the Bears 20-51.

“In my 50 years of owning an NFL franchise, I am at a loss to recall a regular-season home game that was such a disappointment for myself and fans of the Titans.”

-Tennessee Titans Owner Bud Adams to The Tennessean

And that brings us to the Monday Night Football game of Election Eve.  And, you guessed it…a must win game between the struggling Philadelphia Eagles and the New Orleans Saints.  You know a game is boring when Michael Vick’s brother’s tweets are a highlight.


The other highlight…the halftime interviews with the presidential candidates.  For anyone…who after all the ads, debates, phone calls, and mailings…hasn’t yet made up their mind.  What I really wish Chris Berman would have asked is, “Mr. President, how would you fix the Eagles?”  They lost to the Saints 13-28.  Along with the economy, healthcare, and social security, the Philadelphia Eagles may be a problem that will take longer than four years to fix.

Whatever your team, whoever your candidate…last night and today are what America is all about.  In the end, politics may divide us, but football unites us.

So choose wisely, America. Your future depends on it.

And that goes double for the Chiefs.

XO

And a happy Election Day birthday to my sister, Jennifer!  Congratulations are also in order…as she reclaimed her spot atop the Pigskin ‘N Pearls fantasy league with her team, Don’t Play Like Shiht Zus.  She may shiht when she sees who’s right behind her though…with Doug Martin.

Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 8: The one with The Queen, and the bumble bees, and Superman…

Week eight of the NFL season had London calling for the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams.  It was strange to hear our anthem followed by God Save The Queen.  I still can’t decide how I feel about that.  But God save The Queen when she saw how the Patriots head coach was dressed.  Yes, The Hoodie went global.  And it made its debut during a fan rally in Trafalgar Square on Saturday.

Patriots Coach Bill Belichick and Owner Robert Kraft

Will Belichick start a European fashion trend?  Will they be rocking hoodies with dress shirts and headbands on Oxford Street?  In Chelsea?  Probably not.  On behalf of America, I apologize to the Brits and Her Majesty.  I also apologize for the game…the Patriots beat the Rams 45-7.  American football is the greatest sport in the world.  But it is much more entertaining when two teams play.

At least they got to see the Gronk show.  Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski had eight catches and two touchdowns.  After the first, he did an awkward march before spiking the ball.  The crowd went nuts for his Changing of the Gronk.  Asked later who he was imitating, Gronkowski replied, “That little nutcracker dude that’s guarding the house.”  Americans…

Speaking of fashion statements…the Steelers took a lot of grief when they took the field on Sunday in this:

Steelers’ Halloween Costumes/Throwback Uniforms

Yes, the throwback uniforms are hideous.  But I think they were misunderstood.  The Steelers were dressed up for Halloween (as Peyton, Eli and Deion).  They just couldn’t get the wings and tutus to fly (literally) with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.  That’s why they call it the No Fun League.

Seriously though, no one ever wore those as uniforms…right?

Meanwhile, on NFL Halloween Sunday…Indianapolis Colts Running Back Vick Ballard played Superman, though he wasn’t in costume.  It was without a doubt the play of the day (and most likely the play of the week, maybe the month).  In overtime against the Tennessee Titans, Ballard goes in flying, upside down, over the pylon for the game winning touchdown.

Colts Running Back Vick Ballard Flies One In (In Overtime) Against the Titans

It was the Colts’ first road win of the season (and last season) and their first back-to-back win of the season (and last season).  Bet the Titans get their hands on some Kryptonite (or Stickum) before the teams meet again in Indy on December 9th.

And a real life hero, 11-year-old Dante Cano from Marlboro, New Jersey.  He came up with the idea of using pink penalty flags for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and wrote Roger Goodell with his idea.  On Sunday, Cano was invited to Met Life Stadium to present the pink flags to the officials before the game between the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins.

Dante Cano (11) Meets NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell

We hope to see the pink flags used during all the October games next season.  And remember, you can now bid on all the NFL in Pink items used this month.  The money goes to the NFL’s A Crucial Catch.

Just proves you don’t need a cape or a jersey to be a hero.

Or a hoodie.

XO

Coffee Cup Quarterback | Week 7: A new season, a new scandal. Welcome to…Stickygate

San Diego Chargers

A new year, a new “gate” in the National Football League.  First, we had the New England Patriots and Spygate, then we had the New Orleans Saints and Bountygate, the fallout from which is still settling.

And now, it’s the San Diego Chargers who find themselves in a sticky situation.  Literally.  Jay Glazer from Fox Sports reported Sunday that an official spotted a Chargers equipment manager hiding something in a towel he was giving to players during the Monday night game against the Broncos.  The employee refused to turn over the towel, but when officials asked him to empty his pockets, they confiscated a sticky substance.

And just like that, a scandal is born.  Welcome, my friends to…Stickygate.

Stickum has been banned by the NFL for years, but was once used liberally to help players hold on to the football.  The NFL is investigating and the Chargers are on bye week (and likely doing laundry).  Coach Norv Turner says no one on his team used Stickum during the Chargers’ 35-24 loss to the Denver Broncos on October 15th.  With six turnovers, you wouldn’t think anyone would accuse the Chargers of having sticky fingers.

Speaking of gates…Saints Assistant Coach Joe Vitt has returned to the team following his Bountygate suspension.  He will be on the field at Mile High Stadium this week when the Saints play the Broncos on Sunday Night Football.

So that’s what the Baltimore Ravens look like without Pro Bowl Linebacker and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.  The Ravens defense allowed the Houston Texans to score more than 40 points on Sunday, something they haven’t done since 2007.  The team lost both Lewis and Cornerback Lardarius Webb for the season last week.  And no defense is pretty hard to overcome with no offense.  Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco recorded the lowest rating for any quarterback since 2008.  The Ravens lost to the Texans 43-13.

Johns Skelton was back at quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals this week.  His welcome back gift?  He was sacked seven times by the Minnesota Vikings (and is probably still having nightmares about Brian Robison and Jared Allen).  Kevin Kolb was hurt after being sacked more than 20 times in three games.  The two are taking turns taking sacks and trading injuries.  The Cardinals have allowed their quarterbacks to be sacked 35 times this year, the most in the NFL.  Once again, I hope the Cardinals invest in some protection…or have a binder full of backup quarterbacks.  Yes, people…that one was just too easy.

The best news in the NFL for week seven…Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano has been released from the hospital and was able to watch his team beat the Cleveland Browns at home…from home.  Pagano has been hospitalized and undergoing treatment for leukemia since the end of September.

And NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that unless the quality of the game improves, this could be the last year for the NFL Pro Bowl.

*Silence*

XO