The Sentinel’s Midseason NFL Report

The snow hats on the sidelines, the raw hands of the quarterback, and the constant fumbles due to snowy conditions remind us that the end of the NFL season is rapidly approaching. The season is already more than half way done and, as the players continue to fight along the grueling road to the Lombardi Trophy, it’s time we take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly (so far) of the 2012 NFL season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers- possible Super Bowl contenders.

Let’s begin with the good. Two teams that particularly stand out this year are the Atlanta Falcons and the Houston Texans. The Atlanta Falcons, led by Boston College graduate Matt Ryan, have proven that they can compete with anyone in the NFL. Having defeat the Denver Broncos, Philadelphia Eagles and, most recently the Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons have proven that they (at 8-0) are a force to be reckoned with.  However, the “sports world” still questions whether the team that has never won a playoff game can win the Super Bowl, especially under such a young and inexperienced quarterback.Another positive is the 7-1 Houston Texans, who lead the AFC South- as well as the entire AFC. The Texans under quarterback Matt Schaub are second in the league in points scored, having rolled over the Jets, Ravens, and Bills. Yet, an unproven quarterback and an injury-prone runningback in Arian Foster, has some football analysts puzzled on what this team can do.

Now the bad. Despite being nicknamed “America’s Team,” and with a fanbase as committed as they come, six-time Super Bowl champs, the Cowboys, in a state of panic. An absurd payroll and only winning one playoff game since 1997 has long-time Cowboy owner, Jerry Jones, scratching his head. The 3-5 Cowboys have the talent to win football games, yet they find a way to beat themselves again and again, through constant turnovers and reckless penalties.

Another disappointment is Rex Ryan’s New York Jets. Behind the struggling quarterback, Mark Sanchez and one of the worst run games in the league, the 3-5 Jets are far away from making the playoffs, let alone a Super Bowl.

Oh yeah, and what is the deal with Tim Tebow? In the words of avid Jet’s fan Chris Shurr ’14 “Tim Tebow is a distraction and a waste of time. I could only hope that Mike Tannenbaum, the General Manager, had nothing to do with this ungodly trade. The only upside to having Tim Tebow on your team is that he is a good punt protector, but that’s all he’ll ever be.” Well, it seems that, not only has Tebow outraged Shurr and Jets fans everywhere, but he has also failed to get God on the Jets’ side.

Now we turn to perhaps the most interesting part, the ugly. We will start with the New Orleans Saints. The team led by MVP quarterback and winner of the 2010 Super Bowl, Drew Brees, has excited the most controversy this season. During the offseason, the team was busted for running a bounty scandal. The team was accused of paying its players to injure other teams’ stars. Several Saint’s players are in the process of appealing their suspensions, while the NFL tries to solve one of the most repulsive issues in its history. It seems that the 3-5 Saints were doomed from the start. Yet, the team is showing promise, as they have won three of their last four games after dropping their first three contests. The team that plays in “The Big Easy” certainly hasn’t had an easy time this season.

So, now the question remains: Who will win the coveted Lombardi Trophy come February? The Falcons and Texans prove that they can compete during the season, but do either of the powerhouses have what it takes to go the distance? You can’t forget the Super Bowl defending New York Giants or Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. But do the Giants, the team die-hard Giants fan Bobby Forese ’14 describes as, “a bunch of hooligans” have the drive to win another and can the Pat’s solve their defensive woes?

If I had to put money on it I would pick the Pittsburgh Steelers to beat the San Francisco 49ers in a defensive battle. If the past has taught us anything it is that defense wins championships and these two teams have the top defenses in the league. Hey, they also have two pretty good quarterbacks and an excellent run game.

— Ben Decatur, Sports Editor

 

Posted by on November 12, 2012. Filed under Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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