Weeeeee’re back! After yet another long hiatus (being poor entails not having a lot of leisure time), JiveHour is back just in time for us to show just how little we pay attention to sports leagues outside of the NFL. On this week’s edition we look back at Free Agency over the past two weeks, who and or what is going to stop the Heat from ruining our basketball season, and we see just how much we can incriminate ourselves by describing last Spring Break’s camping trip. All this, and more inside on JiveHour!
Fear not, Redskins fans, for tomorrow is another day! Anyways, this week we cover the snoozefest that was the 2012 wild card round, why Joey is more afraid of the Seahawks and Niners than the #1 seed in the NFC, and how we can possibly rationalize rooting for New England this weekend. This, and more, inside on Jivehour!
Well, 2012 and all its soul sucking responsibilities has come and gone. Not a moment too soon I might add, since we haven’t been providing quality sports entertainment since the beginning of November (damn you, rough economy)! At any rate, we ring in the new year on this week’s cast with a quick overview of the NBA Christmas extravaganza, look at just how awful our preseason NFL predictions were and a look ahead at the Wild Card weekend. So go ahead, make our days and come listen in on the fun!
And now it’s time to cover the inferior conference…
AFC MVP: Tom Brady, with Peyton Manning pulling up close behind him
It becomes monotonous after awhile placing Brady’s name at the top of the MVP lists every year, but given the composition of this year’s Patriots squad it is really hard not to give the man his props. Rest assured, this New England squad would probably be struggling mightily right now if it didn’t have Brady at the helm, and with last week’s destruction of the Rams in merry ole England it is looking like his best play is yet to come. I’m personally rooting for Manning to take this award by year’s end, but his uneven start to the season is leaving us in a “wait and see” mood for the next couple of weeks.
AFC Alt-MVP: JJ Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatt, with Von Doom closing in
Here at Jivehour, we’re equal opportunity employers. That’s why we have to give a shout out to second year phenom JJ Watt. While it is easy to give him this award based on pure pass rush numbers, his game goes much deeper than just sacks. Watt has become the anchor on a dangerous Houston line, which is really saying something given the departure of Mario Williams and the injuries that have been hitting the Texans defense hard this season. My own bias in favor of the lineman is helping out Watt as well, although one would not hear much argument from me if they chose Von Miller instead. We are some lucky jivers these days, being able to witness players such as Watt and Miller playing lights out defense so early in their careers.
AFC Offensive Rookie: Trent Richardson
To be honest, we’ve yet to be blown away by the play of many of the offensive rookies in the AFC this year. Sure, Tannehill could end up being the AFC Rookie of the Year if he continues to play like he has the past few weeks, and one could make a serious argument for Cordy Glenn up in Buffalo (even if those around him on the line are giving Buffalo fans much to cry about this year). However, Richardson is looking every bit the monster he was at Alabama, showcasing an almost AP like combination of size and speed that doesn’t come around very often in the draft. To be performing like he is, especially with the up and down nature of Weeden’s rookie campaign and the overall lack of playmakers available to take the heat off him, says a lot about his future in the league. Let us hope that he doesn’t get run into the ground before he’s accomplished what his talent says he is capable of!
AFC Defensive Rookie: Chandler Jones, with some competition from teammate Dont’a Hightower
Jones is turning out to be a great pick for Patriots so far, and it is not implausible to think that come this time next year he could find himself up there with the previously mentioned JJ Watt and Von Miller. When one factors in the struggles of the Patriots secondary this year, Jones’ production becomes even more impressive, since he ostensibly has less time to make a play on a weekly basis than a lineman on a team with even average secondary play. Teammate Hightower has also shown a great deal of promise, and we don’t think there is much to slow him down from being a dominant linebacker with increased playing time as the season goes on.
AFC Team of the Midseason: Houston Texans
It’s easy to forget that the Texans are 7-1, given the fact that they don’t seem to garner much media attention outside of JJ Watt’s production and Arian Foster’s diet these days. However, aside from an ugly loss to the Packers a few weeks back, the Texans are looking every bit like the team that many prognosticators pegged for the Super Bowl before the season began. No other team in the conference seems to be as well rounded as this year’s Texans squad, and it’s hard to imagine them not at least making it to the conference finals. It would be wrong of us to not mention Denver’s recent resurgence, and as always the Patriots are a dangerous team once playoff season starts and Tom Brady turns into some sort of football slinging cyborg. One thing’s for sure though, the Texans seem to have turned the corner as a franchise, and we may be witnessing the emergence of a perennial contender down in Houston.
AFC Jive Turkey’s of the first half: The Kansas City Chefs…because they haven’t earned the “I” in their name!
It brings me great joy to report that, were it not for a historically inept New Orleans defense, the Chiefs would most be the league’s only winless squad. One has to feel awful for Jamaal Charles, seeing him work his way back from last year’s ugly season ending injury only to end up as the starter for this high school team masquerading as an NFL squad. But when you’ve got a sieve like defense, paired with an offense that seems incapable of stringing together consecutive first downs, these are the sort of things one should expect to happen. Despite my belief prior to the season that Cassel could be an effective game manager, it is impossible to see the Chiefs going forward with any of the quarterbacks on this year’s roster once the season mercifully ends. Perhaps we will witness Matt Barkley underachieving in a Chiefs uniform come next season? At any rate, this squad is a mess, and we here at Jivehour extend our deepest sympathies to the poor Chiefs fans who have to endure this so-called “football team” this season.
So it has come to this: We’re at the halfway mark, and that means it’s time for our turn to award some superlatives to the guardians of the gridiron! So without further ado…
NFC MVP: Matt Ryan, with Aaron Rodgers running close behind him
For all you readers out there, you have NO idea how much it pains me to write this paragraph. However, here at Jivehour we can’t be haters all the time, and it is really hard to argue with Ryan’s performance up to this point in the season. Yes, I will argue that the Falcons are still not ready for postseason success until I’m blue in the face. But I won’t deprive Ryan of his justly earned rewards up to this point in the season.
NFC Alt-MVP: Charles Tillman, with Patrick Willis not far behind
We gotta give a little love to the defensive side of the game, since MVP awards almost always go to the sissies on offense (please don’t kill me, Steve Smith). It’s hard for me to give defensive backs as much credit as they routinely get, considering all the factors that are at play in regards to the performance of a secondary (it’s like giving receivers an MVP award). But having watched the Bears more this year than I can ever remember doing in recent history, it’s hard not to trace this unit’s performance back to Peanut and his uncanny ability to not only be in the right place at the right time, but force plays when they need to be made. We’ll see how they hold up down the stretch, but don’t expect Tillman or the Bears D to let up anytime soon (how can they, given that it’s impossible to tell which Bears offense will show up on a weekly basis)!
NFC Offensive Rookie: Robert Griffin III, and it’s not even close
One could make a decent argument for Griffin’s teammate Alfred Morris, but he hasn’t been seeing the type of holes that were open in the early weeks of the season. The “Musclehamster” could also catapult his way into play by the end of the season, but as of right now there’s no real argument who the NFC offensive rookie (and by extension, all around rookie for the NFC) is at the halfway point. Although he could stand to learn the art of sliding (unless he wants to follow in Mike Vick’s shoes and be perpetually injured), Griffin has continued to carry over his progress as a passer from his Baylor days, and is looking like the franchise quarterback that Washington has been lacking for going on two decades now.
NFC Defensive Rookie: Luke Kuechly, with some stiff competition from Casey Hayward and Lavonte David
This one is a much harder pick to make at this point, given the amount of defensive rookies who are making an impact league wide this year. Hayward is certainly showing an eye for the ball up north in Green Bay, and David is showing why many draft gurus considered him one of the steals of the draft at the linebacker position in Tampa Bay. However, it’s not just my homer goggles that are giving Kuechly the nod at this juncture. As of this week, Kuechly is now third in the league in tackles, and after shaking off the rookie jitters his first two weeks has looked every bit the monster he was at Boston College. He has shown an instinct for the ball that few linebackers in the league possess, and if he keeps it up he could quickly join the ranks of the elite linebackers in the league.
NFC Team of the Half Season: Atlanta Falcons, although Green Bay is nipping at their heels
Forgive me for excluding the Bears and their insane defense, but it’s hard to believe the Bears are playing their best football when the offense is as inconsistent as it has been up to this point. That may change, but for now we’re going to hate on their 7-1 record. Same goes for San Francisco, although again we could end up being very wrong by season’s end given their turnover-free ways and lights out defense. I, for one, absolutely hate the Falcons, and am convinced that they are going to lose their first playoff game (again). But good teams find a way to win games, even in the ugliest of fashions, and at 8-0 they’ve done it better than the teams mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph. Their offense has been clicking on all cylinders, and although their defense leaves much to be desired it has been coming through when they’ve needed it. As Jiver Joe pointed out in this week’s cast though, keep an eye out for the surging Packers, who have seemed to rebound from their surprise loss to the Colts earlier on and are starting to look very similar to the 2010 squad that won it all.
Jive Turkey’s of the First Half: Philadelphia Eagles, and it’s no contest
The records say my Carolina Panthers should be sitting here, but anyone who has watched them over the past five weeks knows that they are more unlucky than anything else. They’ve lost four of their games by a combined 12 points, with three of those games against Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago. Maybe Ron Rivera ran over a gypsy’s wife in the offseason near north Tryon and the husband has put a curse on the team in the final five minutes of games, but regardless they’ve played well enough to at least be 4-4. Philadelphia, on the other hand, seems to have blown their luck wad in the first four games of the season and is now in a complete freefall. What a precipitous drop it has been for the self anointed “Dream Team”, as anyone who has watched them play this year could tell you they are lucky to have won the three games they did manage to pull out. Vick is looking like a shell of the player that earned a $100 million extension after the 2009 season, and with Castillo already fired there are no other obvious scapegoats left on the coaching staff to explain the defense’s utter lack of resistance in recent weeks. Throw in a fan base that is historically as obnoxious as it is rowdy, and what you are left with is the NFC’s Jive Turkey’s of the first half!
Stay tuned tomorrow as we unveil our AFC midseason awards. Meanwhile, here’s Carl and his “Stone Cold Lock of the Century…of the Week!”
So we’re back after a month away from the controls. Inside this week’s podcast, the Jivehour crew takes a look at the rather level field of contenders in the NFL, while also marveling at just how bad the James Harden trade may end up looking for OKC. All this, and more, on Jivehour!
Sure, the “mainstream” media would have you believe that Green Bay lost on MNF, but here in the real world we know what really transpired! I personally think it was a giant conspiracy orchestrated by the Rothschilds, or the Bilderberg conference, or the Tri-lateral commission, or…chemtrails maybe? I don’t know, but what we do know here at Jivehour is that this has been one of the screwiest weeks in football we’ve witnessed in quite some time. So come on by for the hard hitting analysis, and stay for Joey’s pledge to “boycott” (ha ha) the NFL this week!