Matt Flynn Should Become A Cleveland Brown

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After yesterday’s record setting performance, Matt Flynn has definitely become an NFL hot commodity for this upcoming offseason. His 480 yard, 6 touchdown passing performance was one for the ages. One where it made you ask yourself midway through the game: Is it Aaron Rodgers or is it the system??

While others are left to ponder that question, the 20 teams that missed the 2011 playoffs are going too work. A natural fit for Matt Flynn would be Cleveland. The General Manger is none other than Mike Holmgren. The same man who led the Packers back to NFL prominence in the 90’s. Remember he did so by taking a pro quarterback from another team in Brett Favre.

Further reaches into the Green Bay Packer front office is head coach Pat Schurmer, who’s uncle was the late Fritz Schurmer. He was Holmgren’s defensive co-ordinator on the ’96 & ’97 Super Bowl teams. Right now the Browns are in desperate need of a quarterback and have come up snake eyes drafting Tim Couch, Colt McCoy and trying to anoint Kelly Holcumb since returning to the league in’99.

Don’t be surprised if the Browns lead the brigade of teams vying for Matt Flynn’s services. The Cleveland Browns have not stabilized themselves as a franchise, mainly due to quarterback ineptitude. Here is a chance to end that.

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Indianapolis Colts Fire Bill Polian

Bill Polian

In a move that will have the Colts transition into a rebuilding stage, they fired Bill Polian and the entire front office. This move seriously casts a shadow of doubt that Peyton Manning will ever be under center again in Indianapolis. A stunning development to say the least yet head coach Jim Caldwell will be retained.

Polian is the personnel director who made the decision to draft Peyton Manning instead of Ryan Leaf in 1998. This set the course for the Colts to join the league’s elite for more than a decade. He also was the impetus for the Colts to draft Edgerrin James in 1999 over Heisman winner Ricky Williams. James ran for more nearly 12,000 yards and helped 2 teams reach the Super Bowl.

His astute player personnel skills built the Colts to a contender with 115 wins in the 2000s. He did this after building the Buffalo Bills into a 4 time Super Bowl participant who won over 100 games in the 1990s. In fact he maybe the only man to be a part of two teams achieving this feat.

We know the Colts will have to rebuild yet why move forward without the man who drafted 4 hall of famers, acquired another, and another 4 who will see consideration. Manning, Marvin Harrison, Andre Reed, Reggie Wayne will validate his picks. Don’t forget he drafted Marshall Faulk in 1994.

Nevertheless, the history of the Indianapolis Colts was secured through his moves. Doubtful Lucas Oil Stadium would exist without his personnel decisions and Peyton Manning’s onfield success.

We believe a clean sweep will be made and Peyton Manning, if he doesn’t retire, will be a free agent this offseason. Why send such a clear message to rebuild with a pillar of the outgoing regime still in house? They will draft Andrew Luck and move into a new era of Colts football.

When Tracy Porter returned that Manning interception to clinch Super Bowl XLIV for New Orleans, I knew it was the end of an era. It’s certainly official now.

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NFL Week 17: Picks

Welcome to 2012 and the final week of the NFL regular season. This has been the oddest season ever with teams looking like world beaters for 4 weeks, then bottom feeders for 4. We have watched one major record fall and plenty of team offensive records being shattered around the league. However all this offense will eventually beget someone playing some good defense as we head to the final playoff 12. So without further adieu…lets look at this last slate of games for 2011.

Detroit Lions @ Green Bay Packers With homefield advantage locked up for the NFC side of the ledger, we don’t see the Packers playing Rodgers into the second half. Matter of fact it was just reported that Matt Flynn will start in Rodgers place. Detroit wants to win this game and keep the momentum going as they head to their first postseason since 1999. So we pick the Lions!! Do you know who was the starting quarterback for Detroit in 1999?? Charlie Batch

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns We say that about Charlie Batch because he might be in for Roethlisberger in the second half so Ben can get healthy for the playoffs. The Browns defense keeps it close..but like their season, not enough offense to capitalize. Steelers win.

Tennessee Titans @ Houston Texans Texans are moving in the right direction and T.J. Yates out of North Carolina looks better than most people thought  he would. The Titans want to play spoiler but they may just want to go home as the second half commences and the Texans are up. Texans in this one.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars The Colts are trying their hardest to blow the Andrew Luck sweepstakes with their back to back wins. However if you have been watching the Jacksonville team all year, they bring a defense and the NFL’s leading rusher in Maurice Jones Drew. With a chance at a rushing title the Jags will feed him the ball and Blaine Gabbert is growing as a young quarterback. Back to the losing ways for the Colts…Jags win

New York Jets @ Miami Dolphins After all the Rex Ryan talk and bravado, the Jets season is on life support. They make the playoffs if the building with the Bengals playing in it collapses, the Broncos charter plane goes down, and every single Oakland Raider develops small pox. Not going to happen. The defense has been porous this year and if you have watched the Miami Dolphins they play with fire. No team outside of New England wants to spoil the Jets season worse than the Dolphins. Look for Matt Moore to lead an efficient offense in Jason Taylor’s last game. The Dolphins will play with emotion, as will Taylor who played the last two years with the Jets. Dolphins win big!

Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings Looks like two teams headed in similar directions until you remind yourself that Adrian Peterson tore ligaments in his leg and is out. The Bears offense played well last week with McCown at quarterback and showcased several tough runners in the loss to the Packers. Without their big gun in Peterson the Bears defense will swallow Christian Ponder. Like the Bears in this one big!

Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots Man September was a long time ago when Buffalo ended the streak of 16 losses to New England. However injuries to Fred Jackson and some inconsistent receiver play has led to a promising season coming undone. Tom Brady will be fired up to get to 5,000 yards and possibly catch Drew Brees who may be rested. Buffalo’s achile’s heal has been their pass defense and this is the wrong time to go to New England. Gronkowski and Brady should have a good day. Despite our CEO in the other room yelling, we pick the Patriots in a tune up for the playoffs.

Carolina Panthers @ New Orleans Something is in the air. Just have a strange feeling that Cam Newton is going to get hot in this one… The Saints really went after the Falcons, the division and the record all in one night for Drew Brees. Depending on the 49ers game, it may not even be worth it for Brees to continue playing. That withstanding we think they come out flat and Cam Newton gives the NFL a going away present with an upset down on the Bayou. Panthers for Coach Ron Rivera

Washington Redskins @ Philadelphia Eagles In the last “I can’t believe it’s not butter” bowl of the year, Michael Vick and the “Dream team” host the Redskins who have lost their way after a good start. The injury to RB Ron Hightower turned the season on the Redskins yet they field one of the stronger defensive fronts. NFL leading tackler London Fletcher will be after LeSean “Shady” McCoy along with Rocky McIntosh (The [[_]]) but the secondary can’t stay with Vick’s fleet of receivers. Remember last year’s 58-29 win by Philly?? Eagles

San Francisco 49ers @ St Louis Rams Dude…seriously?? Niners in Steve Spagnuolo’s last game as Rams head coach.

Baltimore Ravens @ Cincinnati Bengals Something in the air about this game also. The Ravens seem to be missing fire when they play away from home. This team lost to the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars and the tentative Tennessee Titans (try saying that 3 times) and Cincinnati fields a top 10 defense. Steeler fans may get their wish in this one and we’re choosing the Bengals in a mild upset here.

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals Who really cares??? Both teams are playing better as of late… we’re taking the Cardinals

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons We hope this game can live up to last year’s late season classic. Fights, personal fouls, lots of hitting. Falcons need to win to go into the playoffs and clear their mind of the loss last week to the Saints. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are the difference. What happened to the Bucs this year?? Falcons win it

Kansas City Chiefs @ Denver Broncos Tebow magic went up in smoke in Buffalo last week and they may still have a hangover. More than that Kyle Orton had to be up all night just waiting to kick his former team’ s ass and will be ready to go. In a game with playoff implications there is a chance at an upset here and we think Kansas City will pull it off.

San Diego Chargers @ Oakland Raiders: Hate to be the bearer of bad news but the Chargers hard play of the last few weeks will disappear this afternoon in Oakland. Carson Palmer in the first game nearly set the record for fewest passes and have a perfect efficiency rating. That game came after the one where Rex Ryan called out Norv Turner and the Jets came back to win it. We know they surprised the Ravens but they will be bludgeoned on the ground again. Norv should be gone after this game. Raiders son!!

Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants Alright first things first…Romo’s throwing hand is still giving him problems and he has to go out in the cold and face New York?? That’s almost game over until you realize the Cowboys have failed to win meaningful games in December dating back to 2007. In the head of most Cowboy fans was the last time they faced a division opponent on the road with a chance to make the playoffs. What happened there?? A 41-6 beatdown from the Philadelphia Eagles who showed that when push came to shove, the Cowboys have little fight. Couple that with a “possibly” hot up and down Eli Manning and the Cowboys should be down big by the end of three quarters. Giants in a loud Meadowlands…

There you have it…. The first picks of the New Year come on the last Sunday of the regular season. Happy New Year everyone and enjoy the games….

Taylor Blitz Times 2011 Report: Published by WordPress

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 22,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Let me say thanks on behalf of the Taylor Blitz Times and we have more in store for 2012. We have our video archives being digitized as we speak and have a ton of articles coming up. We’re about to heat up with the NFL playoffs. Get your friends to sign up as we will be picking all the games in the race to Super Bowl XLVI, and hope to expand to Blog Talk Radio and broadcast from Super Bowl XLVII. Yet we need your help in sharing the stories and articles with those you know who love football. Of course we have a few campaigns underway to spread the word but think about it for a second… The total number is over 23,895 as of this morning and we didn’t really start this in earnest until May. So in actuality these are totals for just over 7 months.

We will make it to 100,000 views by next football season and I thought I would share this with everyone that has viewed my blog and wish to extend a thank you.  It’s at this point we hope you understand our mission statement is to cover the game as it is played today with a nod to great players, teams, and forgotten stories of yesteryear to keep fans excited about football. Cover it in a positive way. In one place talk about the games and players with a museum off to the side to check out historical pieces. Coming up for those that are football coaches and fans of playbooks we will introduce Coaches Corner where we will look and have tutorials on plays and formations. Many of which were of my own design based off work by Sid Gillman, Bill Walsh, Fritz Schurmur, Buddy Ryan and John Madden.

Again, I thank you for reading the Taylor Blitz Times and feel free to comment. The feedback is what we would like to see more from those of you reading. It fuels us to do more and give you more. Get ready, because a lot will happen in 2012 including liberating this blog from WordPress and turning it into a full website.

Jef A Taylor

 

Chancellor of Football

NFL Week 17: Assault On the Record Book With an Asterisk

Now that Christmas break is over it’s time to get down to the end of the NFL season and the all out assault on the record books. Last Monday night,  Drew Brees became the all time single season passing yardage leader, breaking the mark of Dan Marino with 5,087 yards. A tremendous feat until one reminds you that Tom Brady can actually surpass him with 191 yards against Buffalo, if the Saints rest Brees. A deeper look and if Matthew Stafford throws for 482 (a longshot), Eli Manning throws for 413, and Aaron Rodgers throws for 357 in the final week, we will have FIVE passers with over 5,000 yards in one season. Seriously?? When there have only been two 5,000 yard passers in the 92 year history of the NFL?? Something is definitely wrong.

In fact, for the 2011 NFL season, we have a legitimate chance of having TEN 4,000 yard passers in one season. The problem is the league is legislating defense out of football. Head to head shots on defenseless receivers is an important step to player safety which we are all for, but hitting still has to be a part of the game, right?? In fact, the next time you watch an NFL game, notice how many wide receivers wear NO leg pads as they sprint upfield. Of course this is a byproduct of receivers trying to get downfield faster but they truly don’t expect to get hit. Not even bumped within the first 5 yards off of the scrimmage line. This is the Mel Blount rule… yes the famous former Pittsburgh Steeler. Before 1978, defenders were able to beat receivers up all the way down the field. A defender could pop a receiver running a route as long as the pass hadn’t left the quarterback’s hand. So being “checked” by a linebacker and sometimes a safety wasn’t uncommon. Yet there was a point where re-emphasis to receivers running without interruption took place.

It came in the aftermath of the 2003 AFC Championship Game when the Colts lost 20-7 to New England. NFL and media darling Peyton Manning and the Colts, accused the Patriots of abusing the 5 yard chuck rule. This led to talks throughout Super Bowl week as the Patriots prepared to play the Carolina Panthers that the league would crack down on defensive holding / illegal chucks. Don’t know if it had an affect but Super Bowl XXXVIII was the first league championship game in history with both teams scoring 3 times in the 4th quarter. Fireworks galore. As the 2004 season approached the league was still talking about re-emphasizing the 5 yard chuck rule and yardage and points rang up in the ensuing years.

In 2003, only Peyton Manning and Trent Green crossed the 4,000 yard threshold. Then 5 quarterbacks crossed the mark in 2004. Now we’re up to possibly 10?? Couple this with the league cracking down with new penalties upon hitting a defenseless receivers downfield and monstrously large pass interference penalties, defensive players are scared to touch receivers now. Now as we watch the game, a defender that is rushing the passer, in an attempt to knock down the pass will get a 15 yard penalty if his hand grazes the quarterbacks head. This is all complete nonsense and the NFL is turning itself into basketball on grass with the intimidation factor taken away from defenses. The only rule adjusted to help defenses in the last 15 years is when they removed the “force out” rule in 2010. There need to be a few more.

So what has happened is teams are realizing opponents can’t play defense and are lining up in 4 and 5 receivers like never before. The advent of the bubble screen is an effective ploy that has led to inflated passing numbers but not like the rules downfield.

So why an asterisk?? It’s as though the league pushed for this to happen instead of it taking place naturally. When Dan Marino broke the all time mark with 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was head and shoulders above everyone else, he didn’t have 4 other quarterbacks poised to break it with him. He obliterated the old touchdown mark of 36 that had stood from 1963 until 1984. It was the mark of a great quarterback at the zenith of his game and it made the moment he broke those records special. What happened last Monday night was just Drew Brees got to Marino’s record against watered down defenses first before Brady did. Forgive us but the sense of accomplishment just wasn’t there. With the rules in place now, a young Marino would hit 6,000 and 60 TDs easily.

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Week 15 Monday Night Football: Pittsburgh Steelers @ San Francisco 49ers

"Did you hear?? Baltimore lost to San Diego last night!"

Well doesn’t this have a good ring to it?? These teams are coming in with a ton of NFL playoff implications tied to this football game. The first is the San Francisco 49ers are trying to catch the Green Bay Packers, for homefield advantage on the NFC side of the ledger. Although they have won their division, they have been caught by the New Orleans Saints who are 1/2 a game up on the 49ers for the #2 seed. In other words, the 49ers need this game in more ways than one. They need it for playoff positioning and also to prove they can stand up to the best AFC teams. They were handled in Balitmore Thanksgiving Night 16-6, and being new to the league’s elite they need to prove to themselves they can beat an established team. The Niners come into this game 10-3 and face the 10-3 Steelers.

The Steelers come into this game without their enforcer in linebacker James Harrison who is serving a one game suspension. However this team had to deal with his missing four games from an orbital bone fracture earlier in the year. With Lawrence Timmons & Larry Foote, the Steelers are able to rotate linebackers to continue playing the same defense and rush the passer along with stopping the run. This year’s edition hasn’t forced the turnovers of previous editions yet comes in with the #1 defense. Thanks to early injuries to this defense, which is one of the eldest in all of football, they are healthy on defense at the right time and they’re rested.

Unsung versatile linebacker Larry Foote

They also have to rally around an injured Ben Roethlisberger who has a high ankle sprain but this is the type of rock ’em sock ’em game the  Steelers thrive in. It may be hard for Roethlisberger to move around and make plays but he plays with grit and has to will his offense down the field. For the season he’s completed 64.5% of his passes for 3,526 yards 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He’s on pace for another 4,000 yard season and people have to get over the illusion that the Steelers are a running team. Sure they are a running team first, but Ben is what makes this offense go. They say it’s a game time decision but Big Ben, sitting out this game?? Stop, he’ll be under center tonight bank on it. Especially with Baltimore stumbling last night in San Diego, now the Steelers are in control of the AFC North, the second seed in the AFC playoffs or possibly home field throughout.

Yet coming in with the league’s #4 defense is the San Francisco 49ers. Did you know they haven’t given up a rushing touchdown all year?? They are trying to become the first team in league history not to give up a rushing touchdown for the season. Now that is a record. Furthermore did you know that in the Super Bowl era, for every team that didn’t give up a rushing touchdown in the first 10 games, all of which made it to at least the conference championship?? So take a guess who is #1 against the run in the NFL?? Getting the picture??

Underappreciated as the #1 rushing defense in football. Folks will learn of Justin Smith and the rest of the defense. It's more than Patrick Willis.

Frank Gore and Rashard Mendenhall better have on their big boy pads tonight.  Frank Gore “Didn’t he ask to be traded?? Oh that was pre-season!” has 1,054 yards and 6 touchdowns and has to be at his best for San Francisco to win. He currently ranks 6th but should end tonight as the league’s #3 rusher.  Suprisingly Rashard Mendenhall is 24th in the league in rushing with 710 yards yet he has 8 touchdowns. Can Mendenhall and company break the rushing touchdown drought of the Niners?? Well they better get their pad lower than they did on the goal line at home versus Cleveland.

In the end, Big Ben is going to win this game with a few plays out of the pocket. Alex Smith is enjoying a good season but will see ghosts of that Thanksgiving Game as Lamarr Woodley will come off the corner as Terrell Suggs did in that one. The difference is going to be the quarterback… Big Ben will win it where Alex Smith will try to manage it.  You don’t manage against Blitzburgh. Yet the 49ers aren’t battle tested enough to knock off Pittsburgh.

OUR PICK: STEELERS 20-13 OVER 49ERS