Taylor Blitz Times 2012 in Review – Over 52,000 Reads By Day’s End

Try 51,986 views as of 3:43 am on New Year’s Eve. Not bad…Well the first thing I would like to do would be to thank those from around the world who have looked up football information on my blog.   Once today concludes, we will have more than 52,000 views on something that was just an idea spun just over 2 years ago on Facebook. At the time I was writing abstract stories on Super Bowl teams with their rings to offset a business writing class I had while attending American River College up in Sacramento. There were numerous responses from former players and other friends as we waxed nostalgia while firing ourselves up for the upcoming season ahead. Don’t worry, the first idea has been spun into a Super Bowl book I plan to publish sometime this year.

It has been a fun ride…

However with a nod to the past it’s time to look at the future. Not once was this blog ever Fresh Pressed. This is the Word Press front page that showcases an article / blog entry and publicizes it for all bloggers to see and gravitate toward. It’s forced me to look outside the confines that are Word Press and to hit the mass market world-wide. Through some research, it has come to my attention that moving to a complete website with SEO is the key. It has to be built directly into the overall website and encompass all that has been written here. What isn’t in this report are the thousands of queries from Google, Yahoo, or even Bing.  Think about it for a second, I write about American Football and have searches from over 90 countries find this blog?? These aren’t just Facebook friends, or those who know Taylor Blitz Times through just my talking about it.

However there is one thing that is clear… While having this site read that many times in that many places, The Chancellor of Football knows what he’s talking about. It would have been nice to have more banter and comments make it to the site than have been stuck to Facebook and the social media which relegates to just those who knows me. Yet it’s time for bigger goals and accomplishments. The march to prominence for the little guy is a tedious one but one I’m willing to make. Two hundred and fifty-six articles are testament to that. I thank those of you who have accompanied me on this journey thus far, yet I expect to raise this number 10-15 fold in 2013. Website to be announced later.

Thanks again… Ciao

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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NFL Week 14 Recap: Adrian Peterson Chasing Eric Dickerson’s Record & Sports Medicine Evolution

Adrian Peterson striding into the endzone.

Adrian Peterson striding into the endzone.

 

When we think of certain NFL records there are some that are held with mythic quality. We see them as moments we’re not sure we will see broken. After today’s 212 yard performance against the St Louis Rams, Peterson is within 294 yards of the all time record. In 1984, Eric Dickerson gained 2,105 yards in his second season and his record has only had 1 other rusher seriously approach it. That was in 2003 when Jamal Lewis gained 2,066 with the Baltimore Ravens. In that year he set the NFL single game rushing record at 295 yards rushing which came against the Cleveland Browns. It stood until 2007, when Adrian Peterson burst for 296 against the San Diego Chargers, and now he needs to average 147 over the last two weeks for the all time single season distinction.

It’s quite amazing when you think about it. On December 24, 2011, Peterson tore both his MCL and ACL and his career was in jeopardy. The first thought was will he come back as the same back?? A legitimate question since the position of running back has had it’s history with players careers cut short or backs not bouncing back with the same physical abilities once a knee injury hits. However think about it for a second… he’s on the precipice of becoming the second running back in history to run for 2,000 yards in a season after reconstructive knee surgery. Remember Jamal Lewis in 2003 for the Baltimore Ravens when he ran for 2,066??

sayers40Let’s take this back to “The Kansas Comet” Gale Sayers. In 1968, his 3rd year he shredded his knee after Kermit Alexander of the 49ers undercut him. They used cat intestines to replace his ligaments and he was never the same player when he came back from injury. Sure he fought his way to a 1,000 yard season in 1969 but he was never the same player. His longest run was 28 yards that season. Gone was the sweet moves and burst that made Sayers a wonder to behold. Sports medecine in the 1960’s was in it’s infancy.

Fast forward to 1987 when Thurman Thomas injured his knee at Oklahoma St. He had his knee reconstructed but his draft status suffered because of it. He was drafted in the 2nd round and had to play his entire career with a knee brace on it per Buffalo doctors. He was able to maintain the speed and crisp moves he had as he powered the Bills to 4 Super Bowls. He finished with 8, 1,000 yard seasons and was one of history’s finest all around backs and a Hall of Fame member. He was once MVP of the league and ran for 12,074 yards in his career and had over 16,000 total. Yet he had that bulky brace to help him maintain his physical abilities. Sports medecine was making some progress.

p1_lewis_jamal_brutyWe move to 2001 and the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens had a bull of a back named Jamal Lewis. He was a big physical runner who ran with thunder. Yet he didn’t break really big runs. He did have several where he chugged it 30-40 yards for a touchdown after breaking a linebacker’s tackle. He had run for 1,364 yards as a rookie in 2000. He missed the entire season of 2001 after his knee was reconstructed. In 2002 he came back and started building momentum as he gained strength and confidence in the knee.

When he hit full stride in 2003, he didn’t even look like the man from a few years before…he was better! Stronger, faster, and his burst looked like what folks envision when they think of Bo Jackson. In fact the most frightening display of power and speed happened in the 2nd game of the season. The Browns looked helpless as he ran for 295 yards to break Corey Dillon’s NFL single game rushing record. He had 5 runs of 50 or more and they just couldn’t tackle him. He powered for that aforementioned 2,066 yards and Eric Dickerson was sweating bullets in that last Monday night game. No knee brace just an offensive terrorist leaving defenses in ruin.

Which brings us back to Adrian Peterson. By the way, none of this has come to the surprise of Taylor Blitz readers because we alluded to this happening already.

http://www.nfl.com/videos/auto/0ap2000000112061/Vikings-vs-Rams-highlights

It’s common to compare Peterson to Jamal Lewis, for it was his NFL record he broke when he ran for 296 in a game v. the Chargers in 2008. However with his injury, Peterson didn’t need a full year off like Lewis and is hitting full stride less than 8 months after the injury. So will he make it?? For the season he is averaging 129 yards per game. Yet a closer look shows you in his last four he is averaging 171 yards per game. In one of those he gouged the Packers for 214 in Lambeau Field. What do you think he’ll do with a wild card playoff on the line in a finale at home against them?? He’s had two 200 yard games in the last three weeks and now he only needs 294 to pass Dickerson??

Adrian Peterson without a knee brace after reconstructive surgery is tearing the NFL apart.

Adrian Peterson without a knee brace after reconstructive surgery is tearing the NFL apart.

What you are witnessing is a transcendent talent leaving his contemporaries behind. Adrian Peterson is that rare back that comes along once every 20 years or so. He’s a future Hall of Famer and his recovery from reconstructive knee surgery is to be marveled at. Although a nod has to go to sports medical advancement on knee surgery improvements over the last 40 years. Peterson almost looks bionic with his knee, he looks like he has more burst than he did before, now that the season has gone on. What will he do next year?? The Chancellor knows one thing…. somewhere else in Southern California, Eric Dickerson is sweating profusely.

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LaDainian Tomlinson Sets Record

Now this record won’t come down anytime soon. I still think the NFL misses LaDainian Tomlinson. He was a superstar of the highest magnitude and along with Adrian Peterson, are the links back to all time great running backs. His 31 touchdowns in a single season and 186 points are records that won’t be approached within the next 30-40 years.

They Call It Pro Football - Official Blog of NFL Films

On this date in football – December 17, 2006 – LaDainian Tomlinson set a new NFL record for the most individual points in a season.  The San Diego Chargers running back eclipsed Paul Hornung’s 46-year-old point total record of 176 when he rushed for a 14-yard touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs.  By the end of the season, L.T. reached a staggering 186 total points, which still remains the record to this day. 

Here’s a look back at Tomlinson’s astonishing feat six years ago, as originally presented on “Inside the NFL.”

[nfl-video id=”0ap2000000112958″ contentid=”0ap2000000112958″ ads=”1″ related=”home” size=”large” playername=”blog_large_embedded”]

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NFL Week 14: NFC West – Not The Sole Province of the 49ers

Lynch and the Seahawks have been coming on as the season has progressed.

Lynch and the Seahawks have been coming on as the season has progressed.

Back in week 3, we tried to warn you of this, and now it’s coming close to the end of the season and this division looks like it is about to turnover. Have the Seattle Seahawks ever played with more force and purpose than they have this year?? With all due respect to their Super Bowl XL team, this group has grown and come forward to challenge a San Francisco team that thought they had this division all to themselves. The verve and spirit they have displayed all year has been infectious. Yet with a win against Buffalo and a loss by the 49ers, who travel to New England, they will be within half a game of the NFC West lead. Then guess who a Seahawk team that is undefeated hosts the following week??

Considering the non explosion that was supposed to happen for the 49ers when they switched quarterbacks, a win in New England doesn’t seem likely. San Francisco brings a defense but they have to travel cross country and take on a Patriot offense that is averaging 42 points per game in the last 5 weeks. They are going to slow a Tom Brady who has completed 64.4% of his passes while throwing for 29TDs to only 4 interceptions?? They’re mission should they choose to accept it…

Let’s take a look at the standings…

West Division

W

L

T

PCT

PF

PA

HOME

ROAD

DIV

CONF

STRK

LAST5

San Francisco 49ers 49ers 9 3 1 .731 316 184 5-1 4-2 2-1 6-3 W1 3-1
Seattle Seahawks Seahawks 8 5 0 .615 300 202 6-0 2-5 1-3 6-4 W2 4-1
St. Louis Rams Rams 6 6 1 .500 236 279 4-3 2-3 4-0 5-3 W3 3-1
Arizona Cardinals Cardinals 4 9 0 .308 186 292 3-3 1-6 1-4 2-7 L9 0-5

Now our CEO has been very opinionated about the 49ers turning the quarterbacking duty to Colin Kaepernick and think they sabotaged a possible Super Bowl run. Coach Harbaugh should take a look at the teams Alex Smith had to take on right before he got injured. Do you realize that in defensive rankings the Seahawks are 3rd, the Rams are 10th, and the Cardinals rank 12th. Who would have sustained offense against that many top flight defenses?? Consequently, facing the Saints (32nd) and the Dolphins (19th) haven’t really improved Kaepernick’s numbers. He is still completing a smaller percent of his passes (70%-67.4%), in four games he has only thrown 3 touchdowns. Smith’s touchdown percentage per pass was even higher.

Now you send a quarterback starting his 5th game to face the defending AFC Champions and the master of situation defense in Bill Belichick. The last time we saw Kaepernick on the road it was his huge miscue (safety) that turned a game San Fran was winning, into a loss to the Rams. The Patriots have a faster defense and will keep him tracked. In this game he’s going to have to sustain real technical offense even if the 49er defense starts off well. Relying on scrambles or gimmick plays won’t get it done. Eventually, the Patriots will score. This isn’t the team that Arizona beat in week 3 and Seattle beat in week 6. Right now the Patriots are averaging 36.3 points per game. If they can sustain that pace they will score 582 points or 7 short of the NFL all time record of 589 scored by the 2007 Patriots. Kaepernick is going to keep pace?? No way… a rout could be looming. All it takes is a few miscues on the road, let momentum get away from you and…

Isn’t that what happened last week in Seattle?? Goodness that game was over with before the Cardinals knew what hit them. FIFTY EIGHT to nothing?? That is a 1980’s college football score when a big school would clobber a smaller one. Once they jumped on the Cardinals 17-0 and the 12th man got into it, the turnovers came in bunches. If you haven’t seen this team play they swarm like bees on defense and special teams. This week their Pro Bowl bound running back Marshawn Lynch gets a crack at the Buffalo Bills, which is the team that drafted him. The Seahawks get a break in the fact that they will play the Bills up in Toronto and not in an outdoor Ralph Wilson Stadium. They will need Lynch (1266 yards /9TDs) to keep the Bills offense on the sideline by running it 30 times or more. They need to ease Russell Wilson into this game. The Bills are 5th against the pass and the Seahawks have to minimize turnovers. Let their defense force the action.

Speaking of which, in 2 of their last 4 games, they have given up less than 200 yards of offense and are currently ranked #3 in total defense. Linebackers Bobby Wagner (108 tackles), KJ Wright (77 tackles) have 8 passes and 2 sacks between them but only have 1 fumble forced. This team is just a few turnovers forced from being one of the best in the business. In fact their lack of forcing turnovers on the road has been there achille’s heel as they have gone 2-5 on the road. However they did beat Chicago in overtime a few weeks ago   to wrest wild card tie break benefits from the Bears. They also beat the Vikings 6 weeks ago for further wildcard tie breakers there. However this team is looking further ahead.

russellwilsonWith a San Francisco loss and a Seattle win this week, the 49ers will have to travel to Seattle with the division lead on the line. Our CEO has the Seahawks winning that game and taking the NFC West championship away from Jim Harbaugh’s boys in a head knocker. They are 6-0 at home and play with reckless abandon in Qwest Field. You remember how loud it was when they knocked off the defending Super Bowl champion Saints in the playoffs 2 years ago. It will be the first match-up between Colin Kaepernick and Russell Wilson, who quietly has to be considered for NFL Rookie of The Year. His 208 of 330 for 2,492 yards and 20 touchdowns isn’t that spectacular, but his 9 interceptions is low enough to keep them in games. In fact he’s only thrown 1 interception at home all season.

Seattle will be in the playoffs this year and they should make the NFC Championship with what The Chancellor has seen. Think about their run this year against playoff hopefuls. They hold tie breaker advantages over Green Bay, Dallas, Minnesota, Chicago, and with a win by more than 7 next week, San Francisco. The 49ers will regret giving that game up in St Louis… sure we’re getting ahead of ourselves but this is what we do.

Well an NFC West heavyweight fight looms next week… we’re picking Seattle

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NFL Week 14: Atlanta Falcons v. Houston Texans – A Matter Of Perception

Jonathon Stewart and the Panthers took the Falcons  to school on Sunday.

Jonathon Stewart and the Panthers took the Falcons to school on Sunday.

As the NFL playoffs near, we see teams jockeying for playoff positioning,  and pundits making arguments for which teams will do well in the postseason. The Taylor Blitz Times is no different in that regard. The most interesting scenario that has occurred this season is no one believes in the teams with the best records. The Atlanta Falcons along with the Houston Texans were handed big losses and the chant of “over-rated” reverberated throughout the NFL fan-base via twitter &  facebook. Even NFL.com ran a story to this degree, however appearances can be deceiving.

If you look at the two teams and each loss, they’re very dissimilar. The Houston Texans took to a big stage to show the defending AFC Champion Patriots and the rest of the conference that they were to be taken serious. Homefield advantage throughout the playoffs is at stake and everyone watched them get obliterated 42-14, on Monday Night Football in a game where everyone had this date on the calender circled for months. The Falcons /Panthers game was nothing like that. It wasn’t one where Atlanta needed to prove themselves. They have already been to the playoffs four straight years and for the first time may have homefield throughout. They were just caught off guard by a division opponent who knows them and matches up well against them.

houston-texans-v-england-patriots-20121210-192412-399In their earlier match-up this season, Carolina had the chance to run out the clock on the Falcons, but a Cam Newton fumble under 2 minutes to go kept them from a game clinching first down. After a punt that pinned Atlanta to their own 10, Matt Ryan launched a 60 yard bomb to Roddy White on the next play which helped set up the game winning kick by Matt Bryant.  That 30-28 win established two things: The first is the Falcons’ ability to come from behind and win close games as they have all year. Do you realize the Falcons are 8-1 in games decided by 7 or less this season?? That is the mark of a champion.

The second, it established the Panthers as a team that could give Atlanta’s defense fits running right at them. Try to the tune of 199 yards, then 195 last Sunday, which allowed Carolina control of the clock and the line of scrimmage.

As each team gathered in their second loss, the buzzards started to circle. For us the real measure of what took place on Sunday and Monday Night, showed the Texans on the short end of the stick. They lined up against the team that played in last year’s Super Bowl and were beaten soundly. Most of the talk after last year’s playoff run was “Well if we would have had Matt Schaub…” Last week, they had him and he turned in a lackluster 19 of 32 for 232 yards and 1 interception performance. It didn’t seem he was as big as the game they were playing, lacking leadership and fight throughout. Nevermind his earlier Pro Bowl status…this was the proving ground for him and his team. You had Arian Foster, who has led the NFL in rushing and all he could muster was a 15 carry 46 yard performance. Hell teammate Ben Tate ran for that much in garbage time. Once you include Andre Johnson, none of the vital signs for Houston were functioning when the clock struck zero.

In the game with the Patriots, the Texans had their manhood taken and the only way to get it back is to take it back. Coach Kubiak has to use that as motivation to get this team ready for the playoffs. Their confidence has to be shaken…

As for the Falcons, Coach Smith needs to keep the ship steady yet find out what has happened to their offensive rhythm. In the last two weeks they have averaged 322.5 yards per game when in the previous 4 weeks the average was 421.5. That translates into a time of possession difference that may make the Falcons more beatable than in the season’s first 10 weeks. Each has work to do but the psychological fallout from the loss in New England gives the Houston Texans the tougher hill to climb.

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NFL Week 13: AFC West – Both Ends Of The Spectrum

Peyton Manning has had command of the Bronco huddle from the outset.

Peyton Manning has had command of the Bronco huddle from the outset.

At this time last year, the Denver Broncos won the AFC West on the last week of the season, although they staggered to an 8-8 finish. This year with Peyton Manning orchestrating the offense, they have actually scored 349 points in 12 games where last year they scored 309 in 16. Their 9-3 record is good enough to wrap up the AFC West with a month left in the season. Although pundits like Peter King hailed the Broncos from the outset, we here at Taylor Blitz like to see progressive growth during the season. Make no mistake the Broncos are an improved team…but are we witnessing a transcendent team or are they the beneficiary of a weak division??

Before we start…take a look at the standings:

West Division

W

L

T

PCT

PF

PA

Home

Road

DIV

CONF

Strk

Last5

Denver Broncos y-Broncos 9 3 0 .750 349 244 5-1 4-2 4-0 6-2 W7 5-0
San Diego Chargers Chargers 4 8 0 .333 258 257 2-4 2-4 3-2 4-5 L4 1-4
Oakland Raiders Raiders 3 9 0 .250 235 376 2-4 1-5 1-2 3-6 L5 0-5
Kansas City Chiefs Chiefs 2 10 0 .167 188 322 1-6 1-4 0-4 0-8 W1 1-4

Did you notice the Chargers are in the midst of a 4 game losing streak, the Raiders in a 5 game losing streak, and even though the Chiefs won Sunday, it broke an 8 game losing streak for them?? So what does the crown in the AFC West really mean?? Against a group that had lost 17 straight games…

We need a litmus test that can tell us who the Broncos are and how strong they are. Now that they’re division champs, we have to assess if the Broncos are able to make a Super Bowl run. In actuality there is much in the way of substance but even more in the way of a mirage. Do you realize that aside from Sunday’s game with Tampa, the last time they played a team with a winning record was October 15th?? Even that game was against the backsliding Chargers who have lost 7 of their last 8 games. In their 7 game winning streak, only 2 have come against winning teams. In fact, the Broncos are only 4-3 against teams with winning records. One of the wins came against the Steelers who didn’t have Troy Palamalu, James Harrison, and Ryan Clark. You have to put an asterisk next to that one when assessing strength.

The Broncos are clearly a better team with Manning at the helm.  Denver’s offense is #5 in total offense and #3 in total defense but are they battle-hardened?? That is The Chancellor’s point. You have a team that is feasting on a lot of patsies and padding their record like an old Big 8 Nebraska college football team. They have losses to the Patriots and the Texans who have tie breaker advantages over them and Denver would have to travel to either in the playoffs. They are -3 in the turnover margin and the defense has only forced 10 turnovers on the road. Six of those came against the hapless Chargers.

Peyton Manning should be runaway NFL Comeback Player of the Year and in the thick of NFL’s MVP talks as well. He’s completed 304 of 447 (68%) for 3,502 yards, 29TDs with only 9 interceptions. He’s done this with a moderately talented receiving staff and has been the steadying hand for this year. Especially with the loss of Willis McGahee until the playoffs, teams are still gearing toward Manning. Wideout DeMaryius (what kind of name is that) Thomas is having a career year. His 69 receptions, 1,114 yards, and 8 touchdowns pace Bronco receivers. Thomas has more than doubled his 2011 output and still has 4 games to go.

Von Miller has been everywhere this year.

Von Miller has been everywhere this year.

There are some points of substance at individual positions. Von Miller has catapulted himself into the Taylor Blitz Time’s NFL Defensive Player of The Year award conversation. With 53 total tackles, 15 1/2 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, and an interception for a touchdown, this is a force. Those are Lawrence Taylor type stats and his highlights over the last month, no one has been able to match his play.

The secondary hasn’t forced a lot of turnovers and only have 5 interceptions for the year amongst the starters. How will this team fare in the playoffs in a game where they can’t generate a pass rush?? Most of these questions are going to go unanswered until we get into the thick of the NFL playoffs. What Coach John Fox hopes is the team can ride the wonderful wave of confidence once the playoffs start.

One game that now looms important is that week 15 match-up in Baltimore. Now that the Ravens lost to the Steelers, Denver is within striking distance of taking the #3 seed away with a win. If they lose in Baltimore, the Broncos worst fears could surface right before the postseason begins.  They’d have to be on the road for both the divisional playoff and conference championship games if they lose in Baltimore. That could send them to New England and Houston barring any upsets. Don’t forget they lost to both teams already and the nightmare loss to New England in last year’s playoffs could flash in the minds of Bronco players along with this year’s regular season loss. That could sap the confidence of the team if they fall behind early.

In other words…  no game will shape the 2012 AFC playoffs like the week 15 Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens matchup. The winner should at least make the AFC C hampionship…the loser?? Maybe the divisional round. Don’t look now but the Ravens are averaging 34 points per game at home. Buckle your chinstraps boys…the playoffs are coming

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