Wednesday Morning QB (Week 12)

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It is rare to see an NFL franchise not able to fill their seats for a long time even with small cities like Buffalo and Green Bay. This has been the case for the Jacksonville as the franchise in Florida has been struggling for years. They have rarely ever sold out a game and it has all been a result of the poor performance on the field. In 1995 the NFL expanded to the Jacksonville area putting a total of 3 teams in the State of Florida along with a number of major college programs. With Miami engraining themselves in the NFL psyche as the only undefeated team in NFL history and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers making themselves a valuable franchise, Jacksonville was in tough to get their section of the market. From the start Jacksonville struggled to find a place among the Florida sports market but still managed to be a successful team making the playoffs five straight years at the beginning of their time (1996-1999) and two more times last decade. They have been a middling franchise who have made the playoffs multiple times but have not done much more. Still the Jaguars are more successful than some places have been in the past but they are the one team in the NFL that has struggled in the past years. With this struggling a lot of rumours have circled about the potential to move the team to another city. The best option for the move would be Los Angeles as they make another run at a franchise with the planning of a new stadium in the infancy stages. The move of the team has not been discussed seriously but after this week in Jacksonville there is a brand new set of people that could make that idea a reality. The Jaguars have been owned by Wayne Weaver since the beginning but with the struggles of the team lately Weaver has decided to sell the team. It was announced this week that they had found a new owner in Shahid Khan, who attempted to buy the St. Louis Rams last year. Khan will need to be approved by the ownership board before it becomes official but could be the new owner of the Jaguars as soon as January. There is no clause in the agreement that requires Khan to keep the team in Jacksonville but Weaver has claimed he is confident that the team will stay in Jacksonville after speaking with Khan during the process of selling the team. With no requirement in the deal who knows if Khan will resist the urge to move the team to L.A. especially after a few seasons with the team if they cannot bring in more fans to the stadium. This was not the only change this week though as the new owner was announced in a press conference about the new Jags coach. Jack Del Rio had been the coach of the Jaguars since 2003 and had some success but ultimately could not help the team be consistent. After more than eight years at the helm of the team Del Rio was fired this week and will be replaced by Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker for the rest of the season. The Jaguars announced that they would also be extended GM Gene Smith’s contract another three years. The Jaguars are going through a complete change throughout the organization although the executive staff is reportedly safe and so is Gene Smith. The rest of this season may not be a very good one for the Jags as they will simply be looking to get through to the offseason where they can find a new head coach and find out what kind of owner Shahid Khan will be. The Jags are still mathematically in contention for a playoff spot but their hopes are dwindling very fast as the season winds down. The Jaguars will be an interesting team to pay attention to in the next few years as the LA bid becomes more realistic and could see Khan move the team if he wishes. This of course will not bode well for the team on the field as distractions in the head offices are never a good thing.

With the firing of Del Rio the NFL Coaching Carousel was kicked into gear as there are a number of coaches expected to follow Del Rio into the unemployment line. The biggest name on the potential chopping block is Norv Turner who could be the next coach fired. Turner has not had much success in San Diego but it has not been his fault completely with GM A.J. Smith letting big talent leave and not replacing them. In the NFL the blame generally falls on the face of the front office which is the coach and Smith will likely try to save his job by firing Turner and putting the blame on him. Meanwhile another Florida team is probably going to be looking for a new coach at the end of the year as Tony Sparano has not been able to bring the Dolphins back enough to save his job. It is clear that the Dolphins would like Bill Cowher to be their new coach but with Cowher claiming he is not looking for a new job it may just be a dream. Another job that could be up for grabs will be in St. Louis as Steve Spagnuolo will be in the hot seat after going backwards after a pretty successful season in 2010. There is also a likely change in Indianapolis if they do end up going 0-16 as it will be hard to justify Jim Caldwell staying around after not winning a game all season without Peyton Manning. With so many potential openings the NFL will likely see the returns of some older coaches including Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Brian Billick, Jim Mora, and Mike Sherman as not every position will be able to be filled by rising Coordinators. With the first domino down the rest of the season will see a big playoff race and for those not in the race a big change in their front offices and coaches. If you are a fan of a less than stellar team than the entertainment will be whether or not your coach or GM will last and just what position you will get in the draft to begin rebuilding.

 

Standings

 

American Football Conference

Division Leaders:

1. Houston Texans (.727) [South]

2. New England Patriots (.727) [East]

3. Baltimore Ravens (.727) [North]

4. Oakland Raiders (.636) [West]

 

Wild Card:

5. Pittsburgh Steelers (.727)

6. Cincinnati Bengals (.636)

 

In the Hunt:

7. Denver Broncos (.545)

8. New York Jets (.545)

9. Tennessee Titans (.545)

10. Buffalo Bills (.455)

11. Kansas City Chiefs (.364)

12. San Diego Chargers (.364)

13. Cleveland Browns (.364)

14. Jacksonville Jaguars (.273)

15. Miami Dolphins (.273)

 

Out of the Running:

16. Indianapolis Colts (.000)

 

National Football Conference

Division Leaders:

1. Green Bay Packers (1.000) [North]

2. San Francisco 49ers (.818) [West]

3. New Orleans Saints (.727) [South]

4. Dallas Cowboys (.636) [East]

 

Wild Card:

5. Chicago Bears (.636)

6. Atlanta Falcons (.636)

 

In the Hunt:

7. Detroit Lions (.636)

8. New York Giants (.545)

9. Philadelphia Eagles (.364)

10. Washington Redskins (.364)

11. Seattle Seahawks (.364)

12. Arizona Cardinals (.364)

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.364)

14. Carolina Panthers (.273)

 

Out of the Running:

15. Minnesota Vikings (.182)

16. St. Louis Rams (.182)

 

POW Awards:

 

American Football Conference

Chris Johnson, RB (AFC Offensive POW)

23 rsh

190 yds

8.3 avg

0 TD

 

Terrell Suggs, LB (AFC Defensive POW)

3 tkl

3.0 sck

0 INT

1 FF

 

Sebastian Janikowski, K (AFC Special Teams POW)

6/6 FG

47 lng

1/1 XP

19 pts

 

National Football Conference

Drew Brees, QB (NFC Offensive POW)

63.2% cmp

363 yds

4 TD

0 INT

129.6 rtg

 

DeAngelo Hall, CB (NFC Defensive POW)

5 tkl

0 sck

6 PDef

1 INT

 

Patrick Peterson, PR (NFC Special Teams POW)

4 PR

23 avg

80 lng

1 TD

 

Key Scores:

Green Bay Packers 27 – 15 Detroit Lions

– In the Thanksgiving Classic Detroit hosted the Packers and had an opportunity to end the undefeated season but could not do it and lost Ndamukong Suh to a 2 game suspension after stomping on a Packers lineman

 

New York Jets 28 – 24 Buffalo Bills

– The Jets and Bills faced off in a matchup of New York as Buffalo looked to get back to their winning ways but couldn’t pull it off in a tight game

 

Pittsburgh Steelers 13 – 9 Kansas City Chiefs

– The Sunday Nighter was much closer than it needed to be as the Steelers won the game but were not very impressive in the win

 

New Orleans Saints 49 – 24 New York Giants

– The Giants’ playoff hopes took another massive blow as they were dominated by Drew Brees and the Saints who looked great in another primetime game

 

Key Week 13 Matchups:

Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (December 4th; 1:00 pm)

– The Bengals will try to increase their lead in the wild card against another wild card team in this division rivalry that might actually turn into a game with the Bengals playing well

 

Green Bay Packers vs. New York Giants (December 4th; 4:15 pm)

– Many are saying this will be the Packers toughest challenge yet and they will need to win to clinch the North division and continue their undefeated season

 

Detroit Lions vs. New Orleans Saints (December 4th; 8:20 pm)

– Detroit will try to gain back their wild card spot without Ndamukong Suh b and will be in tough against a Saints team that tends to play better in primetime

 

San Diego Chargers vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (December 5th; 8:30 pm)

– Jacksonville will play their first game in 8 years without Jack Del Rio on the sidelines as the Chargers try to save their season in a last chance game

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