Posts Tagged ‘Dan Marino’

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My god is that Leo Sayer in a Pitt uniform or is it the guy who passed for 5084 yards in 1984? (Pic from SI)

It’s the NFL equivalent of the Holy Grail, it’s a record that has not been touched until last season, and it’s a record owned by a guy who never won a Superbowl.

Yes the annual pilgrimage by 32 NFL quarterbacks to eclipse former Miami Dolphins qb Dan Marino’s single season passing yards record of 5084 (in 1984) has begun in earnest.

The 2009 NFL season has seen passers come out of the blocks faster than Usaine Bolt realising he needs the toilet after some dodgy jerk chicken.

So who are the contenders to Sayers…oops…Marino’s title?

1) Matt Schaub – Houston Texans (9 games played so far, 2653 yards)

Schaub is on pace for 4716 yards, so he is 369 yards of pace to break the record. This means he needs to improve production per game by 52 yards a game.

2) Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts (8 games played so far, 2545 yards)

Manning is on pace for 5090 yards, so he is on pace to beat the record by 6 yards.

3) Tom Brady – New England Patriots (8 games played so far, 2364 yards)

Brady is on pace for 4728 yards, so he is 357 yards of pace to break the record. This means he needs to improve production per game by 45 yards a game.

4) Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints (8 games played so far, 2336 yards)

Brees is on pace for 4672 yards, so he is 412 yards of pace to break the record. This means he needs to improve production by 52 yards a game.

Elsewhere Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers, Tony Romo and Kurt Warner are on pace for over 4000 yards but I think they are not going to be able to drastically improve production to get over the 5000 hump.

So coming into Week 10 the only person who is on pace is Colts Superbowl winning qb Peyton Manning. Miracle Manning has thrown for over 300 yards in 7 out of his 8 contests so far, and to top it off he has won every single encounter.

The Colts have a mega tough second half schedule, with games against the Patriots, Baltimore, Denver and the Jets.

Can Manning do it? Ill say yes. I said Brees could get the record last year, and whilst Brees had the bra off and the skirt hitched up, I see Manning breaking the seal on his pack of extra-large Trojans.

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It’s a long and somewhat depressing off-season. Six months of guessing, planning, bragging, but above all not a single minute of regular season NFL action that means a jot.

So what is there to do in the wasteland between March and September?

Well there is baseball and even basketball, but despite almost 20 years of trying I cannot emotionally attach myself to the likes of the Denver Nuggets or the New York Yankees.

As a six year old to relieve boredom I recall my father buying me a sticker album, Panini Football 1980. To my non-European readers I refer to the round ball variety of football.

It was there that I remember the initial joy of opening packets of stickers (which I recall cost 5 pence a packet) to see if I could pull out a shiny silver badge or a famous player such as Liverpool star Kenny Dalglish or my childhood football hero Viv Anderson (a defender for Nottingham Forest and the first African Caribbean player to play for England).

Growing up in a small town in Surrey (a county below London on a map) I did not live near to a major football team so I chose the team to support based on the team sticker that had the most trophies by the players feet.

Back in 1980 Nottingham Forest were the best team in England and Europe under the genius that was Brian Clough, so I said to myself that would be my team. Little did I know that almost 30 years later I and most other Nottingham Forest fans would still be harking back to those glory days, with little to show for it in terms of trophies earned in the past three decades.

So I have football stickers to blame for my love of Nottingham Forest starting in 1980, and 29 years later I still share the same childlike excitement for opening packets of cards to see if I can pull a rare card or a limited edition one.

It is interesting in England that children in 2009 will potentially commence their love for collecting stickers the same way I did all those years ago, just like American children will open their first pack of NFL trading cards and share the passion for collecting small pieces of card.

Somebody somwhere was happy when they opened a pack and got this Matt Ryan card - on sale for $500 on EBay today

Somebody somwhere was happy when they opened a pack and got this Matt Ryan card - on sale for $500 on EBay today

Growing up in the 1980s I became obsessed with all things NFL and I recall that in 1987 Topps released a set of NFL cards. They were smaller than the set issued in the United States in both physical size and collection size.

I used to save up money given to me to get the bus to school to buy these cards and I remember sending off for the small collection box to keep my collection safe.

I would read all the stats on the back of each card and flick through the collection in boring lessons such as Music or Religious Education.

My music teacher Mrs Nye in fact confiscated my collection for a whole term (semester) as I was paying more attention to them than I was to playing an electric keyboard.

I did get them back the very first day of the next term and vowed to never bring them back to school. I can proudly say that I still have that collection, featuring the likes of Joe Montana, Dan Fouts and Dan Marino.

Where my interest began - a 1987 Topps Dan Marino card

Where my interest began - a 1987 Topps Dan Marino card

From then for about the next 15 years that was the only interaction I had with NFL trading cards, until one day at work in 2002 I was talking to a rather beefy looking businessman about the NFL.

He shared my love for American football and told me that he had a signed Walter Payton shirt hanging up in his office that he won on an Internet auction site called EBay.

After he told me how much he payed I quickly gave up on the idea of collecting full size NFL players shirts.

He must have seen that I was not exactly wealthy and suggested that I bid for an NFL trading card which is signed or has a small piece cut from an NFL players shirt.

I was very excited to even think I could own a small (very small in fact) piece of shirt worn by an NFL athlete in a real NFL game.

He told me that rookie players are the ones worth the most money so I bid for a card featuring the 2001 Heisman Tropy winner Eric Crouch and a small piece of a brown leather football that he had held.

I won the auction, and from then on I have spent time over the last 6 years collecting various cards on Ebay, as well as purchasing packets (an even on one occasion a full box) of NFL trading cards when visiting the USA.

I have not made any bids in 2009 but I get the feeling my wife would kill me if she saw a return of the small brown bubble envelopes dropping through our letterbox with remarkable regularity.

I am still waiting for the day that I pull an amazing cad from a pack I have purchased, as opposed to bidding for the card I know I have a chance of winning on EBay.

Cards I have pulled include; one with a piece of ball used by the Dolphins Ricky Williams in 2003 v the Buffalo Bills; one with a piece of the shirt held up by Calvin Johnson when he was drafted by the Detroit Lions and an autograph of former Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller.

I have emailed all the USA based card companies in the past and they have been kind enough to send me free cards and even card buying guides.

It’s a fun hobby for sure, provided you do not become obsessed, and providing you have the spare cash to indulge.

Above all it’s something to do during the tedium of the off-season, and what with the 2009 NFL Rookie Draft just weeks away, my advice would be to snap up any Rookie cards when they come up on EBay.

You could get a signed rookie card for a quarterback drafted in the sixth round for a very reasonable price! And we all know which three time Superbowl winning quarterback was a 6th round pick don’t we!

So does anyone else admit to collecting NFL trading cards? And if yes what was your best ever pull?

402 yards gets a place in history

402 yards gets a place in history

I have to admit it I love NFL single season records.
Whenever I play Madden on my PS2 or Wii I only consider a season good if I break an NFL record, such as rushing yards or passing yards.
Playing on a console however is not reality, however Drew Brees the New Orleans Saints quarterback is real (trust me I saw him for real at Wembley Stadium earlier this year) and he has a chance to break a record that has stood since 1984 – Dan Marino’s 5,084 yards passing in 16 games.
Brees needs 402 yards against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday to break the record that has stood for almost a quarter of a decade.
The former Purdue QB has had four 400+ yard passing games in his career;
– 421 yards @ Denver (Sept 2008)
– 422 yards @ Atlanta (Nov 2008)
– 445 yards v Jacksonville (Nov 2007)
– 510 yards v Cincinnati (Nov 2006)
He has had a very mixed bag of Week 17 games in his career (yards passing);
2002  – 332 yards v Seattle (for Chargers)
2003 – 97 yards v Oakland (for Chargers)
2004 – 290 yards @ Indianapolis (for Chargers)
2005 – 68 yards v Denver (for Chargers)
2006 – 46 yards v Carolina (for Saints)
2007 – 320 yards @ Chicago (for Saints)
Carolina have only given up 300+ yards passing in one game in 2008 (375 yards v Kurt Warner’s Arizona Cardinals). The Panthers also have the #11 ranked pass defense (by yards).
With Deangelo Williams on fire and rookie Jonathan Stewart an excellent backup (who has slowed down towards the end of the season) the Panthers will in my humble opinion spoil the Brees ‘5085’ party.
If Brees does get 402 yards it will be a minor miracle. He does have an incredible supporting cast with Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Devery Henderson (bad hands good speed), Jeremy Shockey, Billy Miller and running backs Pierre Thomas and Deuce McAllister and even Aaron Stecker and Mike Bell. He does have a bloody quick release, but I think it will be lack of time of possession that will eventually kill off Brees attempt at the record.
My prediction – Brees gets 273 yards and two or three touchdowns passing but he throws one costly interception and ultimately fails to get the record.
Blame the Panthers running game for not giving Brees enough time.

Merry Christmas everyone who has read my blog in 2008 – It has been a pleasure and an honour to have you read my words. 

Drew Brees could eclipse Marino's single season record

Drew Brees could eclipse Marino

Just an observation or maybe a prophecy? I believe that Drew Brees the New Orleans Saints gunslinger CAN beat Dan Marino, the former Miami Dolphins quarterback’s sing season passing yardage record.

In just six games Drew Brees has aired it out for an incredible 1,993 yards.

That is an average of 332 yards a game, which extrapolated over a 16 game regular season would equate to 5,314 yards.

Dan Marino’s phenomenal 5,084 yards in 1984, only his second season in the league, is a record that has held firm for almost a quarter of a decade.

Back then Marino led his team to a 14-2 record and an appearance in Superbowl XIX (an eventual loss to a Joe Montana led 49ers team) by passing to the Marx Brothers (wideouts Mark Duper and Mark Clayton) veteran Nat Moore and the likes of Tony Nathan and Dan Johnson (te).

In that season Marino averaged 317 yards passing a game, and his season included 7 300+ yard passing games and 3 400+ yards passing games. In fact the Fins lowest passing output was 183 yards in a win against bitter division rivals the New York Jets.

Brees has had his fair share of bad luck regarding his supporting cast in 2008 with injuries to stud wideout Marques Colston, veteran wideout David Patten, and tattoo’d tight end Jeremy Shockey.

Brees has got the deep threat covered with Devery Henderson, who has an insane 32.1 yards a catch, he also has an impressive support wr stepping up in a big way in the shape of Lance Moore.

It is the catching skills of the 2008 Saints running backs that is what is really helping Brees to look like a mastermind. Look at the evidence – 59 catches between them in 6 games – that’s almost 10 running back catches a game;
2008 Saints RB catches
• Reggie Bush – 41 catches – 361 yards
• Pierre Thomas – 7 catches – 48 yards
• Mike Karnery – 6 catches – 10 yards
• Deuce McAllister – 3 catches – 17 yards
• Aaron Stecker – 2 catches – 18 yards

I think Brees has the surrounding talent to pass for 5,200 yards in 2008 and break Marino’s record.

We in the UK have the pleasure and the honour of watching Breestake on the San Diego Chargers (the team that drafted Brees from Purdue in 2001).

Teams that come and play in London at Wembley tend to struggle to adapt to the cold weather and the rather neutral fan base, but we could be in for something pretty special as Breesgoes after the rather poorly performing Chargers pass defense.

Lets hope for everyone’s sake that the game features more that just two touchdowns (as was the case when the Giants beat the Dolphins in 2007 at Wembley).

We could be witnessing in London one chapter (chapter 8 of 16) of the book that crowns Drew Brees the single season highest passing yards champion.

Wouldn’t that be something swell to tell the grandchildren, and if it does happen, it could be a record to stay for another 25 seasons.

I think he can do it – do you think Brees can break Marino’s record ?…….