The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on a bye last week as was Chicago.
But the rest of the league was in action. Here are my thoughts and opinions stemming from what we saw Week 5 while Dirk Koetter was golfing.OFFSIDES: Drew Brees’ escape from L.A. (Well Womens Carlton Davis Jersey
, San Diego)How excited would any franchise be to have the NFL’s all-time leading passer. There are other great quarterbacks out there, sure, but nobody has thrown a football for as many miles as Drew Brees has.Kind of makes you go back and think about what the Chargers could have been thinking when they set the table for Brees’ eventual departure from San Diego.Well, this is exactly what happened to me, so I googled it. What I found was a pretty good description of how everything went down from John Gennaro written for SB Nation’s Bolts From The Blue.I’ll let you read the details at your leisure, but let’s basically summarize this by saying Brees ended up leaving San Diego and landing in New Orleans because of an end of year shoulder injury suffered because Marty Schottenheimer didn’t want to play Philip Rivers out of principle. Then, when Brees got hurt, nobody wanted to pay him or promise him a starting job, but the Saints eventually did promise the starting job. Boom, Brees goes to the Saints, punts are blocked, onside kicks are recovered and now:Cinderella, and it hasn’t hit midnight just yet. Gennaro basically argues that letting Brees walk was actually a really good decision - or at least one which made sense. And he’s right.But I have the power of hindsight, and I’m going to use it.The bad decision made in San Diego wasn’t letting Brees go, it was drafting Rivers in the first place. Oh, wait. It was drafting Eli Manning, in the first place.I’m not going to get crazy in-depth N-if-L style here, but if the Chargers don’t draft Manning out of spite, then they likely draft either Robert Gallery, Larry Fitzgerald or Sean Taylor. Or they trade out all together.Players like DeAngelo Hall Authentic Ryan Fitzpatrick Jersey
, Will Smith, Vince Wilfork, Steven Jackson and Ben Watson were all first round picks in 2004. Any of them could have been Chargers. And any of them could have changed the trajectory of their own careers by getting drafted by San Diego as well as Brees’.But what about the injury? Well, there’s no guarantee the injury happens. Now, I’m not going to get into butterfly effect stuff and destiny and all of that.I basically wrote all of this to say:Congratulations, Drew! I’m not happy about the team you play for, but I’m truly happy to see you accomplish everything you have against the odds you’ve done them against.FALSE START: The NFL is failing.Quinn Harris-USA TODAY SportsMany predicted the downfall of the National Football League. No doomsday clock was set, but it was happening. The beginning of the end.TV ratings seem kind of like stock markets. It’s a long game. Today, you may lose some pennies, but tomorrow you may gain some nickels. Just stick it out.Well, according to the Wall Street Journal, the league’s viewership is actually climbing for the first time in three seasons.Why? Well, in part by the same rule which has had most of the fans watching up in arms for weeks now.For the last two weeks we’ve seen a shift in the way officials call the new roughing the passer penalty, and for good reason. If anything was threatening the legitimacy of the league, it was that.Apparently though, it will not do what CTE, domestic violence and social injustice before it couldn’t do, and that’s kill the league.As the article mentions, young faces like Patrick Mahomes are lighting up the score boards while team strife like those being experienced with the Pittsburgh Steelers are giving some new teams opportunities they haven’t had in a little while.The resurgence of the Cleveland Browns - sort of - can’t hurt either.Bottom line, the NFL is fine Authentic Ryan Smith Jersey
, for now. We’ll have to wait and see what the next controversy does though.FREE PLAY: I wish they all could be Ali Marpets.Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsI’m sure you’ve heard by now, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have made Ali Marpet a very well paid man.If you ask me, Marpet deserves to be paid higher up the chain. But you didn’t, and neither did the Bucs. Which is fine.Since joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Marpet has played three different positions, and has showed Pro Bowl potential in all three.If you could build a team of guys with Marpet’s ability to learn and re-learn, and rise above his challenges, you’d win a lot of rings and trophies.When I saw the news break across my phone screen, I literally let out a celebratory cheer. Not only is he critical to any kind of continued success the Bucs hope to have, he just seems like the kind of guy you want to be around and want on your team.Hawaiian shirts and tacos, folks. Those are the keys to a happy life. Even though they are one of the NFL’s least-successful franchises, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have found plenty of success on Monday Night Football. The Bucs are 11-10 all-time on Monday nights, with their most recent appearance ending in a 24-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in 2017. Tampa Bay has played host in 13 of those games, holding a 9-4 record - which is a good omen for tonight’s game. There have been plenty of memorable moments, but which ones stand out the most? Check out the Bucs’ top five moments on Monday Night Football below.5. The Bucs steal the spotlight - Tampa Bay 24, Green Bay 22The 1998 season gave Tampa Bay their first Monday Night Football game in 15 years. What better opportunity for the remade franchise to strut their stuff against the defending NFC Champion Green Bay Packers?Two early touchdown passes from Trent Dilfer and eight sacks - and eight forced fumbles, two were recovered - from the defense gave the Bucs a two-point victory and helped spark the team’s resurgence under Tony Dungy. 4. The eventual Super Bowl champs go down - Tampa Bay 22, Baltimore 10Everyone knows about the Ravens’ incredible defense during the 2001 season. They are arguably one of the best defenses of all-time. But when the Ravens came to Raymond James Stadium that year, it was the Bucs’ defense that showed up when it mattered most between the two eventual world champions. Ray Lewis and the Ravens’ defense were one of the best of all-timePhoto by Patrick Smith/Getty ImagesTampa Bay sacked Elvis Grbac five times, forced three turnovers, and held the Ravens to 4-of-17 on third down. Brad Johnson passed for just 90 yards on the day http://www.tampabaybuccaneersteamonline.com/ryan-jensen-jersey
, but a 32-yard run by Mike Alstott in the fourth quarter sealed the deal and gave the Bucs a huge win. 3. Warner throws four picks - Tampa Bay 26, St. Louis 14The 2002 season was a magical one and it was kick-started by the Bucs’ gigantic win over Kurt Warner and the St. Louis Rams on Monday night. The defense sacked Warner five times and picked him off four times. They held Marshall Faulk to just 36 yards and a touchdown on eight touches. It all came to fruition as the future 2002 Defensive Player of the Year Derrick Brooks picked off Warner and it took it to the house to end any hope of a Rams’ comeback. It was Jon Gruden’s first win at Raymond James Stadium and a special one at that. 2. Losers in the Linc - Tampa Bay 17, Philadelphia 0 Fresh off of their Super Bowl victory, the Bucs looked like they hadn’t skipped a beat after demolishing the rival Eagles in the season opener. Tampa Bay had previously shut down the Vet after Ronde Barber’s pick-six on Donovan McNabb punched the Bucs’ ticket to the Super Bowl and this time it was two amazing catches by Joe Jurevicius that helped win the game. The defense smothered McNabb and the Eagles to the tune of just 245 total yards, two turnovers, and a 2-for-11 conversion rate on third down. The Bucs also dominated in terms of time of possession, outpacing the Eagles by 15 minutes. Unfortunately for the Bucs, the rest of the 2003 season didn’t fare so well, but opening week was one to remember. 1. The comeback - Tampa Bay 38, St. Louis 35The Bucs and Rams have a pretty intense history on Monday Night Football and this game was the perfect example. Tampa Bay was up 24-14 at halftime before a 27-yard touchdown pass from Warner to Faulk brought the Rams back within three, 24-21.Warrick Dunn took a swing pass 52 yards to the house to put the Bucs up by 10, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Rams. Warner led a furious rally that saw St. Louis take the lead on a 72-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt that gave the Rams a 35-31 lead with just over five minutes left to play. If you know your Bucs history, then I’m sure you are quite aware of what happens next. Facing a 2nd-and-10 from their own 34-yard line, Shaun King tried to dump it off to Dunn, only to see him corralled in the backfield by the Rams’ Kevin Carter. Just as it looked like Dunn was about to go down, he famously lateraled it back to King, who then avoided about seven different Rams in spectacular fashion as he ran for a 15-yard gain to give the Bucs a first down. It was one of the more electric plays in franchise history and catapulted the Bucs to victory as Dunn punched it in from one yard out a few plays later.Arguably the most exciting regular-season victory, it was one that all fans will remember for a very long time.