Wednesday Morning QB (Week 10)

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It has quickly become a main focus in the NFL and throughout the sports world and is the leading cause to the drop in amateur football registrations. It is the concussion issue that has been the topic of conversation among analysts and fans alike. It took a major hold in the 2010 season when one Sunday saw a number of players get knocked unconscious. With the bad weekend the NFL had to scramble to find solutions. The results came quickly with new penalties for hits to the head and hits to defenceless players. More changes came with the new CBA as the lockout gave rise to new rules in an attempt to extend careers and prevent injuries. The concussions did not have a massive impact in 2011 but they were definitely there as the debate about what to do continued. The NFL once again changed rules for the preseason eliminating two-a-days and continuing to limit the amount of padded practices. The rules during the game remained the same as players would still receive a 15 yard penalty and a possible fine for a hit to the head. Before the 2012 season the concussion issue once again took focus when former players launched a lawsuit against the NFL. The lawsuit was based on the belief that the NFL had withheld information on concussions and knew about the dangers without telling the players. As the lawsuit moved on the NFL was hoping to avoid any major setbacks after an offseason of controversy. Halfway through the season the only controversy would be with the replacement referees but most everything else remained the status quo. That was until week 10 when the concussion issue came back to the forefront of the game on the field. There had yet to be a major weekend involving concussions in the season as the worst incident was Joshua Cribbs earlier in the year. Week 10 saw a much different picture though as two players went down with head injuries in the same week. The worst part of this weekend for head injuries was that they all happened to some of the most visible players on the field. The quarterbacks have always been a focal point to any team as the leader of the offence and the face of most franchises. When two QBs went down in week 10 it brought concussions back into the conversation of the season. Michael Vick and Jay Cutler both suffered concussions in week 10 showing that the concussion problem is still in the NFL. It was a sharp reality that concussions are still in the NFL and they told everyone else that the NFL is still not rid of their biggest issue. The biggest problem though is that the NFL cannot solve the problem no matter what they try. They have made some major improvements over the last few years and despite the fact that they were forced to make the changes they still did it. Changes to practice rules, to game rules, larger penalties for hits to the head, and concussion protocols have all made life better for the players. The fact is though that football is a contact sport and injuries will happen no matter what anyone does. The NFL is that much faster and the players are that much bigger than almost any other sport. With the game getting faster and stronger people will get hurt and players will get hit the wrong way. Mistakes will happen and people will be hit in the head and concussions will happen. It is the simple fact of the NFL and it will turn people off no matter what they do. The league is on the right path though as they are trying to reduce the damage that players take over time. By trying to eliminate players returning too fast from a concussion the damage can be reduced and hopefully can lead to a healthier life after football. Concussions will never go away and although people may start calling for more regulations after this week there is not much more they can do. The NFL is working on the right path towards better health for their players but the nature of the sport will never allow for head injuries to disappear. As for what effect that has on the NFL and the sport in general only time will tell.


Four Quarters
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 10)


Strange Week in the NFL
If it wasn’t strange enough that the Giants lost to the Bengals and the Falcons lost to the Saints what put it over the top was the tie between the 49ers and the Rams in an ending that not even the players expected


Can Texans Really be the Best?
The Bears had been getting a lot of press in recent weeks as one of the best teams in the league and the Texans seemed to take some offence to that as their defence held the Bears in check on Sunday Night proving that they need to be counted as the best team in the NFL


The Last one Falls
The Atlanta Falcons had a long run as the only undefeated team but it took their division rivals in the New Orleans Saints to end the streak and put the first loss on the record of the Falcons who will be watched closely now to see how they come back


One Man Against the Passing Game
With the passing game taking the man focus of the NFL in the past few years the running back is becoming less of a factor but don’t tell that to Adrian Peterson who is single-handedly leading the running game on an offence that focuses on the run unlike in Houston


NFL Standings 

American Football Conference
AFC East:
1. New England Patriots (.667)
2. Miami Dolphins (.444)
3. New York Jets (.333)
4. Buffalo Bills (.333)
AFC North:
1. Baltimore Ravens (.778)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (.667)
3. Cincinnati Bengals (.444)
4. Cleveland Browns (.222)
AFC South:
1. Houston Texans (.889)
2. Indianapolis Colts (.667)
3. Tennessee Titans (.400)
4. Jacksonville Jaguars (.111)
AFC West:
1. Denver Broncos (.667)
2. San Diego Chargers (.444)
3. Oakland Raiders (.333)
4. Kansas City Chiefs (.111)


National Football Conference:
NFC East:
1. New York Giants (.600)
2. Dallas Cowboys (.444)
3. Philadelphia Eagles (.333)
4. Washington Redskins (.333)
NFC North:
1. Chicago Bears (.778)
2. Green Bay Packers (.667)
3. Minnesota Vikings (.600)
4. Detroit Lions (.444)
NFC South:
1. Atlanta Falcons (.889)
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (.556)
3. New Orleans Saints (.444)
4. Carolina Panthers (.222)
NFC West:
1. San Francisco 49ers (.722)
2. Seattle Seahawks (.600)
3. Arizona Cardinals (.444)
4. St. Louis Rams (.389)


Key Scores:
Cincinnati Bengals 31 – 13 New York Giants
– The Giants went in to the week as a favorite but underneath the surface the G-Men had not been the same team they were when they started the season and the Bengals took advantage easily breaking down the pass defence for the win


New Orleans Saints 31 – 27 Atlanta Falcons
– The 1972 Miami Dolphins always watch for the undefeated teams who can challenge their perfect season and for another year it is safe as the Saints handed the Falcons their first loss of the season to continue their comeback


St. Louis Rams 24 – 24 San Francisco 49ers
– It was a strange ending to a strange game and a strange week as the Niners and Rams could not come to a decision on a winning team as they played overtime and still couldn’t get a decision for a rare tie in the NFL


Houston Texans 13 – 6 Chicago Bears
– It was what everyone thought it would be as the two best defences in the game faced off with bragging rights and another win on the line but it was the Houston Texans who came out on top limiting the Bears offence to only 6 points


Next Week:
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins (November 18th; 1:00 pm EST)
– Michael Vick will likely not play and if he does it will be very controversial after a bad concussion which can give the Redskins a chance to make up some ground in the NFC East behind the arm and legs of Robert Griffin III


Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots (November 18th; 4:25 pm EST)
– The Pats are not the same team they used to be but they are still a force and will be a big test for Andrew Luck and the Colts who are still riding motivation from their head coach Chuck Pagano who is still in the hospital


Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers (November 18th; 8:20 pm EST)
– It has become one of the best modern-day rivalries as the Steelers and Ravens always fight it out all season for the AFC North as the Ravens are coming off of a big win ending any injury woes making this game another classic


Chicago Bears vs. San Francisco 49ers (November 18th; 8:30 pm EST)
– Both teams were looking to be the two toughest teams in the league this year but both are coming off of a less than impressive performance as the Bears are coming from a loss and the Niners are coming off of a tie as both look to get back on track with a win

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