Parity and the NFL go hand in hand in 2010
So we are 13 weeks into the 2010 NFL season, and one thing is clear, there is no one team that wants to claim themselves as the NFL’s “Team to Beat”. Sure we can make an argument for Pittsburgh, the Ravens, the Jets and New England in the AFC and the Saints, Falcons, Packers and the Eagles in the NFC
However, as we have learned throughout the years, on any given Sunday any team can win a football game, and we are seeing this firsthand at an alarming rate in 2010.
Look at the Bucs, Chiefs, Raiders, the Lions and the Rams – all cellar dwellers in year’s past. Not in 2010. All of these teams are playing much better football and we see it every single Sunday. The Bucs are led by a young QB in Josh Freeman, and the defense is back, helping them compete for a division crown in the NFC South as they sit with a 7-4 mark after falliing to the Ravens, 17-10 Sunday.
The Chiefs and the Raiders play hard every week. Oakland is 5-6 overall and was in the mix until recently in the AFC West. The Chiefs are proving once again that Arrowhead Stadium is a tough place to play in, as K.C. has posted a 5-0 mark at home.
As for the Lions and the Rams, well you better come prepared to play every week when you face these two teams. Detroit gave the Jets fits several weeks ago, while the Rams look reborn with rookie QB Sam Bradford and despite a 5-6 record are headed in the right direction.
Meanwhile teams like the Broncos, Vikings, and Cowboys (stop chuckling) have been struggling all season along. Sure, teams go through injuries, as the Cowboys, Vikings, and even the Giants are finding out the hard way. Hey, this is the NFL. and every team gets hit with the injury bug, some more than others.
Show of hands, if you had the Vikings or Cowboys possibly representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. Be honest!
Well the brutal truth is that these two teams have been major disappointments, resulting to head coaching changes for both squads. Wade Phillips was dead man walking for the Cowboys, who ironically enough had won two straight under interim head coach Jason Garret before coughing up the game to the Saints on Thanksgiving. The Vikings on the other hand, just look like road kill.
After last week’s humiliating 31-3 home loss to Green Bay it was clear that Brad Childress was going to be out of a job. Sure enough that Monday, Minnesota fired the coach known as “Chilly”, while naming Leslie Frazier interim coach.
Don’t get me wrong, the Saints are still the defending Super Bowl Champions, but they do not look unstoppable. Sure, the Chargers are trying to breathe life into their season, and their annual second-half surge began last night when they picked off Peyton Manning four times and routed the Colts, 36-14.
But the bottom line is this. Parity is fun. Cleveland blows out New England, while the Eagles win a tough hard fought games against both Manning brothers in as many weeks. The Giants get ambushed by Dallas and lose to the Eagles, but then squeak out a win against Jacksonville. The Bears can’t usually score, but they scored enough to beat the Eagles and lead the NFC North with a 8-3 clip.
Welcome to the 2010 version of the NFL, where you don’t need momentum, you just need to show up, strap on a helmet, mouthpiece and play 60 minutes on Sunday, and anything can happen. It already has.
Rich Quinones is a freelance sports broadcaster and sports writer. He has over 13 years of broadcasting experience, most recently spending the last three as afternoon drive-time host for 1290 The Ticket, a Fox Sports Affiliate in Delaware. He has worked for various news and sports radio stations in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Ohio and the “First State,” where he won numerous awards for his own-air work. A national freelance sports correspondent for several different media outlets across the country, Rich has covered every sport over the years as well as the local teams in our backyard, and is known for his “hard-hitting,” passionate style behind the microphone. His work has been published online as well as in SJ Magazine and South Jersey Magazine. He is also play-by-play voice for the NAFL and served as lead blow-by-blow announcer for Dave Tiberi’s T.N.T Boxing.
“Q” covers the sweet science on a daily basis and is set to launch his own show online. Rich is also an advocate for retired NFL Players, who are struggling in life since leaving the game and need some guidance. He has partnered up with several former NFL players, who also believe in this cause.
Contact Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org