Archive for the ‘NFL records’ Category

Greg is heading to Wembley in six months

Greg is heading to Wembley in six months

Last season the Minnesota Vikings relied so heavily on Adrian Peterson their second year quarterback Christian Ponder looked like he had forgotten the art of the forward pass.

So when the Seattle Seahawks signed the Vikes best receiving weapon at the start of Free Agency, WR Mr Percy Harvin, the situation got even uglier.

I was with a sense if relief that Minnesota did find a rapid replacement in the shape of Super Bowl winning wideout Greg Jennings.

The Vikings also signed former Patriots and Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel. Hardly the headline news, but putting him and Ponder in a head to head battle will mean whoever gets the starting gig will be playing extra hard as they will want to keep that starting role.

Jennings will be familiar with the purple uniform having faced off against the Vikings twice a year for the past seven seasons during divisional game-play.

Greg, a former Western Michigan Bronco, is one of only ten football players from that college to be drafted into the NFL in the past 20 years. Other Broncos to gain some degree of fame in the NFL include tight-end Tony Scheffler (also drafted in 2006) and Jason Babin the defensive end (selected in the first round in 2004).

Jennings had 17 100+ games in college, second all time on his college team to NFL 2012 draft pick Jordan White (21 games).

Jennings becomes the biggest named wideout in Minnesota since Randy Moss. He will be hoping to get back on track with a 1000+ yard season, following an injury filled 2012 in Green Bay, where he has his worst output both by catches and yardage.

The two time Pr0-Bowler has already registered three 1100+seasons and two 900+ seasons, along with three 100+ yard playoff games and a two-touchdown performance in helping the Packers to win Super Bowl XLV against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It will be the Steelers that Jennings will face again when the Vikings travel to London in September as part of the NFL’s first ever double dose of regular season football outside of America.

Of the two London games (Steelers @ Vikings and San Francisco 49ers @ Jacksonville Jaguars) on paper the Vikings game looks to be the most competitive, and was quicker to sell out.

Fans like myself (thanks to a Christmas gift from my beautiful wife) will be chomping at the bit to see the likes of Peterson and now Greg Jennings as they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers, the only team to win six Super bowls.

Both the Vikings and the Steelers will be hoping for string drafts, with some rookies that can make an immediate impact. Both teams need to improve their secondary, especially at cornerback. The Steelers lost the under-rated Keenan Lewis and the Vikings let veteran Antoine Winfield go.

With Greg Jennings looking to become not only a leader on the field, but also in the locker room, it will be fascinating to see what other pieces of the jigsaw the Vikings pick up en-route to the start of the 2013 season.

What other needs do YOU think are the most pressing for the Vikings?

kaep Cast your mind back to April 29 2011, the day the San Francisco 49ers introduced their rookie quarterback to the national media.

Asked if he was the Niners quarterback of the future Colin Kaepernick said: ““Well, I think I’m going to come in and just work as hard as I can and try to compete for that starting spot.

“When it comes down to it, that’s going to be Coach Harbaugh’s decision whether her feels I’m ready and he feels I’m the best quarterback for that. For me, I’m just going to try to do my part and work hard.”

Well barely 19 months later and all that hard work must have paid off as Kaepernick is not only the 49ers starting quarterback, he is also 60 minutes from an appearance in Super Bowl XLVII and is just about the hottest quarterback in the entire United States of America.

Kaepernick not only beat the Green Bay Packers last Sunday in the divisional playoffs he made them roll over and beg for a bone. Passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns in is playoff debut is enough for any mortal, but it appears Kaepernick is more Zeus that Perseus after he ALSO rushed for 181 yards, not only a playoff rushing record for a quarterback, but the greatest rushing performance by a quarterback in NFL history.

Just pause for a minute to suck that one in to your statistics filled male brain (sorry to all female NFL stats geeks) the most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history. More the Michael Vick, more than Randall Cunningham, more than Steve Young.

Talking of Steve Young, he was the last 49ers quarterback to lift a Vince Lombardi Trophy, way back in 1995.

Kaepernick will be hoping his bionic inked arms will be wrapped around a Super Bowl in early February, but first to the business of getting there, against an Atlanta Falcons team that finally won a big playoff game (as I correctly predicted last week).

The Falcons managed to blow a 20 point lead in a home playoff game against a rookie quarterback. I know Kaepernick has actually had less starts than the aforementioned rookie Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, but second year man Colin is currently the hottest property since T-Boz burnt down Andre Rison’s house back in the day. And yes I do remember Rison was playing for none other than the Falcons at the time.

Kaepernick is arguably even more mobile than Wilson, and has a supporting cast that is arguably better than the Seahawks.

The Falcons may be the home team, but it was the 49ers who were at this stage a year ago only to blow it against the Giants. I’m confident that Kaepernick is the missing link (no not a hairy cave beast) in enabling San Francisco to return to their holy land.

Nobody is seriously expecting Kaepernick to rush for another 150 yards, but with confidence sky high I am going to make the call now that I predict the 49ers to be representing the National Football Conference in the Super Bowl.

All we need to do now is get a catchy name for Colin Kaepernick. The Falcons have ‘Matty Ice’, the 49ers need something even better for Kaepernick. How about a having a Colinick ? Sounds painful for the Falcons this Sunday.

 

Calvin Johnson is simply not human

Calvin Johnson is simply not human

Not sure I can adequately put into words the effort that Calvin Johnson the Detroit Lions wide receiver has put into the 2012 season.

First though I have to stand up and take it like a man as I predicted the Motown Blue to make it all the way to the Super Bowl, on the back of Matthew Stafford, Calvin and a small series of miracles.

I wasn’t drinking or smoking the herb when I made this failed prophesy. I have witnessed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New Orleans Saints win a Super Bowl, as well as the Arizona Cardinals be just one play from winning their own Vince Lombardi Trophy, so the Lions making it wasn’t exactly the fairy story of all fairy stories.

What transpired this season was a pretty abysmal failure by the Lions defense to stop anything or anyone from rushing, passing and scoring.

With one game left the Lions are a pitiful 4-11 with a league leading 7 game losing streak. After making the playoffs in 2011 I thought the days of a top 5 draft pick were all over for the boys in blue – what did I know.

The only redeeming feature in such a shameful season has been the NFL’s single greatest receiving season (by yards) by the quite literally unstoppable force they call Megatron  – the man so dangerous they named him after a giant robot baddie.

Calving Johnson is no baddie though, he is one of the good guys, a player who does not shoot his mouth off or taunt opponents, he simply torches them silently with his giant eagle wingspan, panhandle sized fingers and arms and legs that look like they come from a heroic plastic action figure and not a mortal human being.

I stayed up until 1.30am last Saturday night to be able to record live onto my DVD recorder the Lions v Falcons on the BBC’s interactive service, because the NFL, NFLUK and BBC are that stupid they have not managed to work out a deal to actually broadcast the games on a recordable Sky channel.

Whilst it annoyed the hell out of me to wait up so late, I did indeed, somewhat blurry eyed, watch the game about six hours later and witnessed Calvin Johnson simply shred the Falcons single-handed, with a stupendous 11 catches for 225 yards.

This game would be special for any NFL wide-out, but for Johnson he not only had his 8th consecutive 100+ yard game (setting an NFL record) and his 11th 100+ yard game (tied an NFL record) he then went onto to break the all time NFL receiving yardage record with his tenth grab.

What makes this feat even more astounding is that he still has a whole sixty minutes of football on Sunday to obliterate the record that was previously held by Jerry Rice.

Johnson has 1892 yards in 15 games and can reach the ridiculous mark of a 2000 yard season with just an everyday 108 yards at home in Detroit against a fading Chicago Bears team who have lost three out of their last four games.

Everyone who loves the NFL and wallows like a happy pig in the mud of statistics will be hoping Calvin reaches 2000 yards.

Madden curse – what a load of old cobblers !!!