This weekend, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers take on the Buffalo Bills in what will likely be a battle for pride between two teams that won’t be in the postseason. One of the biggest things the Bucs will have to do is stop a 4th-ranked rushing attack led by Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller of Buffalo.
While the front seven is busy defending the run, Tampa Bay’s secondary can’t afford to get caught and give up a big play via play action. One of the guys that will be assisting in that effort is Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis, in his first season with the team — that is, if he plays.
Last week against the Carolina Panthers, Revis endured a couple of injuries. While defending a play on Steve Smith, Revis bruised both his chest and his shoulder. At the same time, he bumped his head pretty hard and revealed that his teammates told him he actually blacked out for a couple of seconds after the play.
“They were saying that I got knocked out for a second,’’ Revis said. “I’m fine, though.’’
Thankfully, Revis is fine. He also told the media that he had to go through the league’s protocol for concussions, but that he passed that as well. As for suiting up Sunday, Revis looks like he should be a go. He said that he’s still experiencing a bit of pain in his shoulder and chest, but in all likelihood he will be on the field.
Both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have been promoted, and they are one step closer to taking over the company once Vince decides to retire. Triple H is now in charge of the creative team, and any ideas that are pitched have to be approved by him. Vince still has the final say, but this makes Triple H more in charge of the company’s storylines and wrestlers.
The WWE isn’t as popular as it was in the ’80s and ’90s. It isn’t just the WWE, but professional wrestling in general too. The company usually increases ratings by bringing back old stars like the Rock and Brock Lesnar. This formula works in the short term, but isn’t something that will help the company in the long term.
Recently, the company has relied on John Cena and has made him the main focus for eight years now. Sadly, the company relied on Cena so much that they didn’t make opportunities for other wrestlers to shine. In the process of doing that, the product is where it’s at right now as we see Cena facing Randy Orton for the 100th time …
With Triple H now having a bigger role backstage, will he be willing to push new stars? He tried pushing Sheamus a few years ago, but that was a bust. His current favorite star now is Roman Reigns, and he’s getting a decent push. Hopefully Triple H will change the company and make it popular again. I feel that Vince has lost his touch and has relied on Cena too many times. Not to mention, Vince is still reluctant to turn Cena into a heel too.
During this past week leading up to the 2014 World Cup draw on Friday, there has been a lot written about the draw itself and about the teams that will be participating in next summer’s competition. I will be focusing on helping some of you out, whether you be a soccer fan or a casual fan, in debunking statements made about certain teams playing in the upcoming World Cup.
The first is that ‘x team will struggle because they have a core group of veteran players who will be on the team.’ Saying this shows a lack of insight. Let’s use Italy as an example. Some will say Italy won’t win because they have players like Gianluigi Buffon and Andrea Pirlo, who are north the age of 30 in the starting 11. Having a core group of players over the age of 30 complemented with younger players is actually a good formula to winning. Italy will always be a contender to win.
Along the same lines, another statement that needs to be doubted is ‘x team is being overlooked‘, especially when they are not being overlooked.
Such a statement can be applicable to a team like Germany, who might have been overlooked in some shape or form in the past three World Cups, whoever is trying to sell you this narrative for 2014 is selling you a mirage. The fact is that the Germans will be considered to be one of the favorites and if you look at any gambling website, they are one of the top five betting favorites to win the tournament.
Whether it be germany or any team like the Germans, don’t buy the statement that they are being overlooked to win the tournament — because they are not.
To add something to this, just because a European team may not be the odds-on favorite to win, that is not an insult. Until the last World Cup when Spain won, a European country had not won a World Cup outside the European continent.
The last statement I want to debunk is ‘because x team was so good in World Cup Qualifying, they will do well during the World Cup.’ This is applicable to the fans who root for the United States. Just because the U.S. did well in CONCACAF, this does not mean it will equal to a good showing in the tournament. The 2002 Argentina squad, a far superior team than the U.S., was knocked out during the group stage. The World Cup is a different animal.
That is no misprint. In fact, Lions running back Reggie Bush out-gained the Packers by himself. There is no doubt this team is loaded, especially offensively. Bush has given the Lions an added running dimension they have not had in recent seasons. Matthew Stafford is starting to come on as an elite quarterback in this league.
Calvin Johnson, aka “Megatron”, is simply the best receiver in football. He is in a class all his own — a dominant physical specimen that simply can’t be covered in 1-on-1 situations. This offense will be dangerous no matter where they travel in January, but are especially deadly on the fast track at Ford Field.
The question is the defense. The Lions’ secondary has been beyond bad over the past number of seasons. They simply didn’t do a thing to fix it in the offseason and it is showing. They rank 26th against the pass because their talent is simply nonexistent in the back end.
Lucky for them, they have some fierce defensive linemen in Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh. These guys stuff the run, get after the passer and lay the wood. Suh in particular is a beast inside. However, their dirty tactics have been noticed by other teams. This will need to be toned down in the playoffs. Head coach Jim Schwartz has this team firing on all cylinders. They have the talent to hang with anyone offensively.
Unfortunately, their defense is their Achilles’ heel and the ultimate reason why they will be sent packing come January.