Tag Archives: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

SBM Exclusive: The Worst Teams Of All Time

always next year

Here’s another feature from Sports Blog Movement. One of the things we love to do in sports is celebrate success, but in order to truly appreciate greatness, we must look at the other side of the coin.  This series, aptly enough called the Worst Teams of All Time, is dedicated to some of the worst teams in the history of sports.  Some were just truly bad, and some became bad at the wrong time.  Either way, all of them exemplify the opposite of greatness. Some had laughable regular seasons, and some had strong ones, only to die in the post-season. In any event, sit back and enjoy a good laugh or a good cry and celebrate the teams that were woeful so you can better appreciate the teams that weren’t.

Part 41: The Michigan Wolverines in the 1985 NCAA Tournament

Part 40:  The 1992 Seattle Seahawks

Part 39: The 1976 Montreal Expos

Part 38: The 2013 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Part 37: The 1982-83 Houston Rockets

Part 36: The 1992-93 Ottawa Senators

Part 35: The 2002 Saudi Arabian World Cup Soccer Team

Part 34:  The 1989 Dallas Cowboys

Part 33: The 1998 Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Part 32: The 1982 Pittsburgh Pirates

Part 31: The 1986-87 Los Angeles Clippers

Part 30: The 1977-78 Minnesota North Stars

Part 29: The 1998 U.S. World Cup Soccer Team

Part 28: The 1996 New York Jets

Part 27:  The 2007 Toronto Argonauts

Part 26: The 1982 Minnesota Twins

Part 25: The 2007-08 Miami Heat

Part 24: The 1984-85 Toronto Maple Leafs

Part 23: The 1994 Greek World Cup Soccer Team

Part 22: The 2004 San Francisco 49ers

Part 21: The 1985 Calgary Stampeders

Part 2o: The 1987 Cleveland Indians

Part 19: The 2000-01 Chicago Bulls

Part 18: The 2000-01 New York Islanders   

Part 17: The 2001 XFL Birmingham Thunderbolts

Part 16: The 1990 United Arab Emirates World Cup Soccer Team

Part 15: The 1980 New Orleans Saints

Part 14: The 2003 Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Part 13: The 1998 Florida Marlins

Part 12: The 2009-2010 New Jersey Nets

Part 11: The 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques

Part 1o: The 1986 Canada World Cup Soccer Team

Part 9: The 1976 Tampa Bat Buccaneers

Part 8: The 2003 Detroit Tigers

Part 7: The 1992-93 Dallas Mavericks

Part 6: The 1980-81 Winnipeg Jets

Part 5: The 1982 El Salvador World Cup Soccer Team

Part 4: The 2008 Detroit Lions

Part 3: The 1993 New York Mets

Part 2: The 1982-83 Cleveland Cavaliers

Part 1: The 1974-75 Washington Capitals

Stay tuned, there’s more to come…

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SBM Exclusive – The Deep Six: Six Reasons the New Tampa Bay Buccaneers Uniforms Are Atrocious


The last thing we want to do here at Sports Blog Movement is turn this thing into a fashion show. But whether or not we choose to admit it, sports is a very aesthetics-based science that preys on the eyes. This means when it comes down to something like uniforms, we do care.

Personally I was a big fan of the old school creamsicle uniforms that the Buccaneers wore during their not-so-glory days of the late 70s and 80s. Plus, who doesn’t love Donald Igwebuike on the Sports Blog Movement kicker’s roundtable? It reminds us of the days when you could sack someone without getting fined a quarter of a million dollars, and uniforms featured big block lettering. Men were men, and dressed for combat accordingly.

But in what I like to refer to as the “Under Armour Age”, a lot has changed. We’ve slowly (and painfully) eased into this futuristic approach of what a football player should look like when in full uniform. Although Nike now manufactures the NFL’s jerseys, this started with Under Armour and that ludicrous “We must protect this house” mantra that they shoved down our ear canals a couple of years back.

As you’ve probably already determined from the above image, the Buccaneers have new uniforms.  And they’re classy as hell, because I’m typing this blindfolded.  In all seriousness, they’re pretty bad.  Usually around here we only save the word “atrocious” for Raiders-Titans games and new Queensryche albums, but in this case we’ve made a special exception.  So here are the six worst things about Tampa Bay’s new threads. Continue reading


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10 Stages of an NFL Meltdown

TP_373300_WALL_35_Bucs09161.1_11575141_8colTeam meltdowns— we’ve all seen them happen. It happened to the Jets last year. The Buccaneers are in the middle of a meltdown as we speak. If you’re a Raiders or Browns fan, you get to experience a meltdown every year! But how does it happen? How does a perfectly decent NFL team go from a preseason favorite, to an unmitigated deteriorating sack of suck in the matter of a season? Actually, the process is quite simple. Here are the ten stages of an NFL team meltdown.

1. High Expectations

In order for it to be considered a meltdown, people actually need to think your team is talented. By people, I mean any sports writer or commentator not named Skip Bayless. I believe it was Mike Florio, Editor of Pro Football Talk—and a man whose opinion I respect— who picked the Kansas City Chiefs to win the AFC West last year. Instead, the Chiefs were the worst team in the NFL at 2-14. When a respected analyst makes that big of a gaffe, only then can it be considered a meltdown.

2. The Losses

At stage two, the team will begin to lose. Badly. Okay, so maybe the first couple games were close. Then comes the blowout. The QB throws five interceptions and the defensive gives up 40+ points. “It’s a long season,” coaches will tell the media. “We’ve dug ourselves a hole but I have confidence in our guys.”

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What We Learned From Week Six of the 2013 NFL Season

by J-Dub and Meehan

Yet another week has passed in the sportsgasm that is the NFL season, and that means it is time for us to tell you some things you need to know without the self-serving spin those assbags at ESPN will never give you. We know this because if you think you can get real football information from guys like Mike Greemberg and Mike Golic, you probably also don’t know that Alfred Kinsey, author of Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948), had a collection of 5 million wasps and could insert a toothbrush into his penis, bristle-end first.

You know that bit of knowledge just changed your life. Now, here’s some football facts that will do the same.

1) Your Official Dr. Kelly Brackett NFL Death Watch:

dr brackett ekg machine

We started this bit last week, and it’s already time to mail out some death certificates.

New York Giants:

  • Cause of Death: Chronic Turnover Syndrome
  • Autopsy Report:  After eight interceptions in the fourth quarters of the first six games, Eli Manning is once again reduced to being the one in the family who’s going through a rough stretch.  This has caused Eli and the Giants to let their injuries absolutely destroy their chances of being successful.  The 2012-2013 New York Giants season has become the longest tip drill in history.

Jacksonville Jaguars:

  • Cause of Death:  Self-inflicted gunshot wound to genital area
  • Autopsy Report:  Even when it appeared that they were hanging with a good team, the Jaguars proved that they have no real firepower, except when it comes to shooting themselves.

Atlanta Falcons:

  • Cause of Death:  Burst rectum from repeated anal rape with a sharp object
  • Autopsy Report: The Falcons training center is starting to look like Jonestown 15 minutes after they made the Kool-Aid.  With the popularity of companies using temp services to provide labor for their short-term needs combined with the fact the Falcons are blowing out their knees putting on their shoes, the Atlanta Falcons medical staff now employs 15% of the U.S. population.

Oakland Raiders:

  • Cause of Death: Hit by a semi loaded with flaming double-edged razor blades
  • Autopsy Report: The fact that their two “best” receivers are Denarius Moore and Rod Streater means the offense ranks 27th in passing.  That translates to  gets you 7 fucking points a game if they are lucky.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

  • Cause Of Death: Acute Schiano-itis
  • Autopsy Report: Forget about the fact this team has more problems with MRSA than John Holmes had with AIDS.  Do we really need to do an autopsy on a team that has gone 0-3 at home and probably couldn’t beat the Jaguars right now.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

  • Cause of Death: Old Age
  • Autopsy Report:  Most likely available on the entire server Drunkathlete.com has allocated to Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, that’s not new stuff, but losing means all your foibles get rehashed by bloggers who do little more than eat Hot Pockets and masturbate to pictures of Linda Cohn. This death is even stranger from a franchise that both has no sense of urgency and usually doesn’t put up with this kind of shit.

2) Teams that Dropped to the Critical List:

Houston Texans:

We know, we know…There’s still ten games left in the season, and a lot can happen in that time, but let’s not kid anybody here.  This team is one re-run of Grey’s Anatomy away from a dirt nap.  There is no conceivable way that the Houston Texans play past December.  Really, getting the Rams at home should have been a fucking gift; instead, the Texans turned it into the Christmas tree that burns the house down.  Not only did the Texans lick more taint than Andy Dick in a Turkish bath house, they did so in a stadium and in front of a crowd meant to scare the shit out of opposing teams.   The  Texans looked uninspired, uncaring, and unworthy of January football.  Right now, we are calling the Texans will not make playoffs; you have to remember that it only took us both six weeks to bail on the team we had in the Super Bowl from the AFC. The only question really left in Houston is this the year finally the one which ends with the “Koob” getting fired.

Minnesota Vikings:

The horror that is the Vikings’ season really could be all 856 of those Friday the 13th movies. Just when you think it’s over, just when the sheriff shows up at the lakeside cabin and empties his 12-gauge through the face mask of the slasher, the killer pops back up, rips the sheriff’s face off and the horror continues. Put hockey masks on whichever heap the Vikings are trotting out as a quarterback and the concept becomes as clear as used Neutrogena.

Not only was getting slam-fucked by the Panthers the worst showing of this ghastly Vikings’ season so far, but let’s talk about the really scary question we won’t dare mention. Suffice it to say that we know Christian Ponder was not the answer. Matt Cassel is not the answer, and if anybody thinks Josh Freeman is the answer, this unmentionable question will keep coming back to life like the horror movie slasher.

There’s actually a simple reason for this.  Instead of putting the slasher through a wood-chipper and setting the bits on fire, the Vikings continually think they can solve the problem by giving the killer a shaving nick, then going back into the cabin to the naked, horny teen-agers who get machetes through their eyeballs. Josh Freeman is just another in a long line of shaving nicks that have finally bled the Vikings out.

3) Week Six proved to be the Bye Week for Offenses

Just look at all the teams who had offensive performances like watching a blind seal work a Rubik’s Cube…

Houston Texans: The progression from Matt Schaub to T.J. Yates is like going from HIV to full-blown AIDS (Yes, that’s the second AIDS joke we’ve made. Go dig up Ryan White and cry to him if you don’t like it).

Oakland Raiders: To make our “blind seal” analogy work for the Raiders, the seal is not only blind, but is wearing boxing gloves and it’s flipper’s are loaded with pharmacuetical-grade cocaine.

Minnesota Vikings: Time for this week’s “Fun with Homophones” moment.  The Vikings are describing their offensive situation as being “week to week,” largely because that’s really what their quarterback situation is all about. But, it really could also be called “weak to weak.”

Tennessee Titans: One of several teams with exactly zero offensive touchdowns.  Their only touchdown came from the Seahawks’ decision to have a “Garo Yepremien” moment.  Only touchdown was a result of a single play that was botched from the get go.

Pittsburgh Steelers: See above, with the difference being Pittsburgh’s only touchdown came from a play that came off the chalkboard broken. Sure, the Steelers won, but beating the Geno Smith-led Jets is really just getting a ribbon at the Special Olympics.  Honestly, the only time the Steelers looked good in the air was on a single play where the Jets’ coverage was worse than CNN’s quadrennial election special.  What we’re saying is even Wolf Blitzer could play man coverage against the Steelers and he wouldn’t even need to change his Fruit of the Looms. 

New York Jets: Geno Smith is just a fetal Josh Freeman. Next…

Washington Redskins: We said this last week, and we’ll say it again. The “read-option” concept without the threat of a running game is about as dangerous as a girl scout with rubber numchucks.  A while ago, J-Dub did a piece chronicling the connection between the Washington Redskins and Andre the Giant.  If the Redskins don’t figure out their lack of offensive prowess soon, Robert Griffin III might start looking more like Andre Ware. 

4) Joe Flacco Is Being Reduced to $120 million Plankton

whale shark eating flacco

Everybody is just eating Joe Flacco up, especially large marine filter-feeders. The man who rolled through the play-offs last year like an apex-predator shark has now been reduced to microscopic plankton the the seas of the NFL. sure, he showed a flash of the Flacco of old yesterday with that two-touchdown comeback in the 4th quarter quarter against the Packers, but the fact he and the Ravens came up short has been a microcosm of the Baltimore season, especially since Flacco started doing those god-awful McDonald’s commercials.

The Ravens offense, led by Flacco, has been as impotent as Wilford Brimley chuffing anti-Viagra; we all saw it Sunday against the Clay Matthews-less Packers.  Baltimore didn’t get a first rushing first down until the end of the third quarter, and they still should have won this game because the defense was handing out more knee damage than the baseball-bat scene at the end of Casino.  The failings of the Ravens so far this season is all about Flacco.

5) The whole “Tom Brady/Peyton Manning” conversation is ridiculous, because Brady can win when it matters.

As a “big game” quarterback, Tom Brady is now, and will always be better than Peyton Manning.  Sunday was just the latest example why. And Sunday we saw exactly why. When 98% of guys who’ve started at quarterback in the NFL  since the mid-1980s would have hung their head and declared the moment a loss, especially after that bizarre Bill Belichick 4th-down call that should have lost the game for  New England, and after the Patriots’ most experienced wide receiver got hurt, Brady gutted up and led the shell of the Patriots’ on a game-winning drive over a legitimate Super Bowl contender in the New Orleans Saints.

Meanwhile, Peyton Manning went out and stumbled through an ugly win against an even uglier team in Jacksonville. It was obvious during large stretches during that Bronco-Jaguar game that Manning was mailing this one in, particularly when he gift-wrapped that pick-six to Jacksonville linebacker Paul Pozlusny. While we could, we won’t bore you with yet another rundown of Peyton Manning’s “big-game” failures. Instead, let’s just look at the moments of truth we saw on Sunday.

Peyton Manning looked pretty mediocre against a team of NFL rejects, all while he has an offense stocked with weapons suited to his liking; meanwhile Brady has an offense made from a slightly-better class of NFL rejects whom are 5-1 largely for no other fucking reason than Tom Brady. But the biggest moment came in the 4th quarter in New England, when not only did Brady pull out the most-improbable of victories, he did so after throwing one of the most hair-brained and confusing picks you’ll ever see leave his fingertips.  Brady is headed to the Hall of Fame based on his ability to be a big man in big situations, even if his team has done a wonderful job of failing him in the past few years.

Now, having said that, it is important to point out the Patriots may easily be the worst 5-1 team we’ve ever seen, and we sure as shit understand there are a ton of haters out who want to jump all over the Patriots, and to many of you, we have this to say…

6) There are far too many Patriots’ fans who are stupid Yuppie fuckwads who prematurely bailed on this team.

gillette stadium

Gillette Stadium in the 4th quarter.

What happened yesterday in Gillette Stadium proves what J-Dub said about a lot of Patriot fans a long time ago.  The fact the tens of thousands of “Patriots Fans” heard Brady’s comeback drive on their car radios is an absolute fucking disgrace.  The “wine and cheese” crowd in Foxboro decided “beating traffic” was more important that hanging around for the outcome of a game that could prove pivotal in New England’s entire season.  Yeah, we get they may be the worst 5-1 team ever, but the fact remains they are still 5-1.  Considering the fact the Patriots were within a score of winning against a Super Bowl contender, and that the Broncos are going to lose eventually means many so-called “Patriot Fans” bailed on a moment which looks to have HUGE play-off implications.

Despite that, they turned their back on a guy that has led them to three Super Bowls; a guy who got the ball back two separate times with a solid chance to win after the “fans” headed for the parking lot.  All you had to do was wait for the obligatory “crowd” shots during that game to see that least half the “crowd” left in the middle of the 4th quarter.  People like this make us here at SBM want to force feed them their own methane gas.

The “I want to beat traffic” people are all useless pieces of shit who shouldn’t even be at sporting events in the first fucking place.  They should all be at home looking up what Cat Stevens changed his name to after he converted to Islam. These are the same assholes who wanted to get out of that parking lot because despite their “hardcore big city mentality” there is a hole in their soul that would widen substantially if somebody were to scratch their Prius. Worse yet, their Dave Matthews Band CD might skip and they might spill some Samuel Adams “Autumn Northeastern Liberal Prick” all over their cargo shorts.

These people are not real fans. These people couldn’t name position players, they’re there because their cousin (who follows the remaining members of Grateful Dead around the country) got tickets. They figured since the dank from Vermont wasn’t coming in until later that night, they might as well go a football game because it would increase the number of times they said “Hell yeah, dude” without getting punched in the throat.


Filed under Sports

What We Learned From Week Five of the 2013 NFL Season

by J-Dub and Meehan

Yet another week has passed in the sportsgasm that is the NFL season, and that means it is time for us to tell you some things you need to know without the self-serving spin those assbags at ESPN will never give you. We know this because if you think you can get real football information from guys like Ron Jaworski and Chris Berman, you probably also don’t know that testing NFL players for human  growth hormone is a waste of time because they’ve already got a substance made in a lab somewhere in Eastern Europe that will turn punters into Rambo, it’s made from aborted Guatemalan fetuses, and there’s no test for it.

1) The Cleveland Browns May Have Been The Inspiration For The Movie “Major League.”

lou brown major league

Remember the scene in that movie when the manager calls the team together and tells them the owner is trying to tank the season? Remember the moment when Jake Taylor says “there’s only one thing left to do…win the whole fucking thing.” We really get that vibe off the Browns.  Picture them sitting in the locker room reading a local paper which has them dead and buried, when Brian Hoyer stands up and does his best Jake Taylor impression. They’ve ripped off three straight wins since that trade.

This is what we think happened.  At some point, Trent Richardson just started acting like too much of a bitch, demanded a trade, and then every media outlet in the country claimed that the Browns had sold their season. We mentioned that as well, but we said it in the sense that flushing the toilet is a GOOD thing.  Well, just look at what is going on in Cleveland.

Those very same guys in that very same locker who got pissed at Trent Richardson were unified by the fact that everyone thought they were a bunch of nobodies and have done nothing since but to take that fact, wrap it barbed wire, and shove it up the collective ass of all those who had them dead and buried. If you doubt that, then ask yourself if it is a coincidence that the Browns have won every game since that the Richardson trade. While asking that, remind yourself that winning streak includes a brute-force win over a Bengals team that made the playoffs last year and who just took down the Patriots.

If you still don’t want to buy this, consider the fact Brian Hoyer (who has clearly seemed to be the leader in this resurgence) got injured at the beginning of this game and Brandon Wheeden stepped right in like he’d been getting first team reps all week. Face it, we’ve been telling you for week the Browns aren’t as bad as people think, and a big reason for that is they have a chip on their shoulder, an axe to grind, something to prove, or whatever other bullshit hack cliché you want.  This team is going to be a real test for whoever lines up against them for the erst of this season.

Too bad that just like in Major League, this all ends after this season. Like we said in our Week 3 piece, the Browns are auditioning guys for draft day trades, because this team is obviously going to rebuild using the draft.

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Sports Blog Movement NFL Preview: NFC South

SBM NFL crystal ball

When people in the South talk about football, it usually revolves around the college game. After all, the SEC is widely regarded as the best conference in the NCAA, when it comes to the college game. However, in the last five seasons, the South has risen in the professional game, particularly the NFC South division. Teams such as Atlanta and New Orleans have become powerhouse clubs, (the Saints winning the Super Bowl in 2009 as an example) while Carolina and Tampa Bay are young teams on the rise. Here’s a closer look on how the NFC South could shape up in 2013.

1. New Orleans Saints (12-4)

Drew Brees

Additions: Keenan Lewis, CB (FA, Pittsburgh) Benjamin Watson, TE (FA, Cleveland) Luke McCown, QB (FA, Atlanta) Jim Leonhard, S (FA, Denver)

Subtractions:  Jermon Bushrod, T (FA, Chicago) Devrey Henderson, WR (FA, Washington)

The biggest boost for the Saints this season, is the return of head coach Sean Payton. The man who guided the Saints to the Super Bowl title in 2009, returns after a one year suspension, for his role in the Bountygate scandal. We all know that Payton is an offensive guru, but he also brings a sense of stability and leadership that the Saints sorely missed last season. No one felt Payton’s absence more than Drew Brees. The Saints quarterback, who is entering his 12th season, still put up gaudy numbers last season, completing 62.9% of his pass attempts for 5,177 and 43 touchdowns. However, Brees also had 19 passes picked off, which was the second highest of his career. Brees needs to cut down the interceptions, and many believe Payton’s schemes and play-calling will ease the burden off of the quarterback. The loss of Devrey Henderson will hurt the Saints passing game, but the pick up of tight end Benjamin Watson from Cleveland, could be a benefit on third down situations. The defense was and still is a work in progress. The Saints hired the uncivilized Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator, replacing the dismissed Steve Spagnuolo. Ryan is a blitz-happy maniac who won’t pull any punches, just like his father Buddy, and brother Rex. However, the defensive personnel for the Saints is still in need of an upgrade. That being said, the rules that are preventing defenses of using excessive force should be a benefit to the Saints high-powered offense. This team will need to outscore their opponents and it says here that they will most of the time.

2. Atlanta Falcons (11-5)

Matt Ryan

Additions: Stephen Jackson, RB (FA, St. Louis) Osi Umenyiora, DE (FA, New York Giants)

Subtractions: Michael Turner, RB (Released) John Abraham, DE (Released, Arizona) Dunta Robinson, CB (Released, Kansas City)

The Atlanta Falcons motto is “Rise Up.” During the regular season, the Falcons have done just that, going 36-12 over the last three seasons combined. However, the playoffs tell a different tale. Atlanta has choked worse than Greg Norman on the back-nine at Augusta, going 1-3 in the postseason during that span. The main culprit for the Falcons woes has been a pass rush that is weaker than a 1983 Ford Escort. The Falcons ranked 28th in sacks last season, and their lack of pressure on the opposing quarterback, left them vulnerable in other areas of the defense. This was exposed during the playoffs as Atlanta blew a 20 point fourth quarter lead against Seattle, (although they did win at the end) then followed that up by blowing a 17 point lead against San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, a game the Falcons lost 28-24. This prompted a change in Dixie. Oft-injured defensive end John Abraham was released, and in came  defensive end, Osi Umenyiora from the New York Giants. Umenyiora does bring a championship pedigree, as his two Super Bowl rings suggest. But he will need to show more consistency than he did last season in the Meadowlands. His six sacks were the lowest of his career since his rookie season, and he looked lost and disinterested throughout the season. The Falcons are hoping a change of scenery will revitalize Umenyiora’s career. The offense remains the strength of the team. Matt Ryan enjoyed an outstanding 2012 season, in which he completed 68.6% of his pass attempts for 4,719 yards, 32 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Ryan should be aided by the addition of running back Stephen Jackson, who came over from St. Louis via free agency. Jackson desperately wants to play for a winner, and feels that Atlanta is close to the Super Bowl. Roddy White and Julio Jones might be the best receiver tandem in the NFL, while the offensive line is solid. The Falcons have all the tools. But the psychological effect of past playoff failures still looms over the franchise. With an improved New Orleans team on the prowl, Atlanta will be in tough to repeat as division champions.

3. Carolina Panthers (6-10)

Cam Newton

Additions: Ted Ginn Jr. WR (FA, San Francisco) Drayton Florence, CB (FA, Detroit) D.J. Moore, CB (FA, Chicago) Mike Mitchell, S (FA, Oakland) Chase Blackburn, LB (FA, New York Giants) Domenik Hixon, WR (FA, New York Giants)

Subtractions: Chris Gamble, CB (Retired) Louis Murphy, WR (FA, New York Giants) Gary Barnidge, TE (FA, Cleveland) Mike Pollak, C (FA, Cincinnati) Antwan Applewhite, DE (FA, Miami) Ron Edwards, DE (Released) Andre Neblett, DT (FA, Tampa Bay) James Anderson, LB (FA, Chicago) Jason Phillips, LB (FA, Philadelphia)

The Panthers will go as far as Cam Newton can take them. There is no denying Newton’s talent and potential. However, putting your team’s hopes on Newton is akin to putting your retirement plan on the blackjack table at Caesar’s Palace. There is no high risk/high reward player in the NFL than the Panthers quarterback. The former Auburn star did put up decent numbers last season, completing 57.7% of his pass attempts for 3,869 yards, 19 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. But his attitude was called for questioning during the 2012 season. Many thought it was that Newton wasn’t called upon to run with the football as much as his rookie season, especially near the goal line. His 8 rushing touchdowns were six fewer than in 2011. Newton did play better in the second half of the season, and the Panthers are hoping that trend continues into 2013. Newton does have talent surrounding him, with DeAngelo Williams carrying the load at running back and Steve Smith as the number one receiver. Smith, though is 34 years old, and one wonders how long can the future Hall Of Fame wideout can last. The defense has a budding superstar in middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and are hoping that the additions of Chase Blackburn and Drayton Florence, can further stabilize the defense. Carolina’s biggest problem is the division itself. New Orleans and Atlanta are formidable foes and it will be difficult for Carolina to overtake them.

4. Tampa Bay (4-12)

Doug Martin

Additions: Dashon Goldson, S (FA, San Francisco) Darrelle Revis, CB (Trade, New York Jets) Brian Leonard, RB (FA, Cincinnati) Derek Landri, DT (FA, Philadelphia) Peyton Hillis, RB (FA, Kansas City) Rian Lindell, K (FA, Buffalo)

Subtractions: LeGarrette Blount, RB (Trade, New England) Eric Wright, CB (Released) Arrelious Benn, WR (Trade, Philadelphia) Dan Orlovsky, QB (Released) Ronde Barber, CB (Retired) Dallas Clark, TE (FA, Baltimore) Jeremy Trueblood, T (FA, Washington) Michael Bennett, DE (FA, Seattle)

When Tampa Bay won the Super Bowl in 2002, they were led by a ferocious defense. Last year, the Bucs defense was a ferocious as a teddy bear. The Bucs ranked 23rd in points allowed and were 29th in yards allowed. Their pass defense was atrocious, as the Bucs were dead last in defending the pass, giving up an average of 297.3 yards through the air. The Goodyear Blimp provided better aerial coverage than the Bucs in 2012. Cue the changes. The Bucs are hoping Dashon Goldson and Darrelle Revis can upgrade the secondary. The hard-hitting Goldson comes over from San Francisco via free agency in hopes to provide some physicality to the secondary. Revis was acquired from the New York Jets in hopes to shut down the opponents top receivers. The Bucs could also do with a better pass rush as well. Tampa were 29th in the NFL, with a mere 26 sacks. To make matters worse, their sack leader, Michael Bennett bolted to Seattle in the offseason. It is time for former first round pick Gerald McCoy to become the dominant defensive player, the Bucs were expecting the 2010 third overall pick to be. The Bucs offense was solid last season, thanks to productive seasons from quarterback Josh Freeman and running back Doug Martin. Freeman completed 54.8% of his passes for 4,065 yards, 27 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. Martin rushed for 1,454 yards and 11 touchdowns, and was hidden gem on the Bucs roster. Vincent Jackson is a big receiver who provides a sizeable target for Freeman to throw to. However, none of that will matter, unless the Bucs pass defense improves immeasurably. With pass-happy teams like Atlanta and New Orleans dominating the division, the Buccaneers could be in for a long season.

You can follow me on Twitter @jstar1973


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A Sports Blog Movement Exclusive: The Ex-Kicker’s Round Table on the NFL Draft – The “Manning Effect”

If you aren’t familiar with our Ex-Kicker’s Round Table, you can see their biographies here. The long story short is that here at Sports Blog Movement, we have retained this group of ex-Kickers as our own sporting version of the McLaughlin Group. With the NFL Draft approaching, we noticed that each member of our group just happens to be from a team who has some interesting choices to make when the draft rolls around in a few months.

As we said in the last installment of the Ex-Kicker’s Round Table,  SBM’s moderator of this group lives in Indiana where the Colts are easily the biggest story of all in this draft.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know the Colts dropped a bomb (albeit an expected one) on the draft/free agency market when they released Peyton Manning this past week. While that story has been seriously over-covered, what is not being said is how this move effects almost every other team in the league.

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A Sports Blog Movement Exclusive: The Ex-Kicker’s Round Table – Introducing a New Take on NFL Draft Coverage

If you aren’t familiar with our Ex-Kicker’s Round Table, you can see their biographies here. The long story short is that here at Sports Blog Movement, we have retained this group of ex-Kickers as our own sporting version of the McLaughlin Group. With the NFL Draft approaching, we noticed that each member of our group just happens to be from a team who has some interesting choices to make when the draft rolls around in a few months. We thought it might not be a bad idea to use those connections to offer some in-depth draft coverage on those teams. Not only that, but SBM’s moderator of this group, our very own J-Dub, lives in Indiana where the Colts are easily the biggest story of all in this draft.

Ex-Kicker: Ali Haji-Shiekh

Team He Is Covering: New York Giants

What They Need: Running Back, Linebacker

The Initial Assessment: The Giants have the thirty-second overall pick in the first round

J-Dub happens to believe Robert Turbin is the sleeper pick of the draft. J-Dub also drinks enough bourbon to float a battleship. This guy may very well be a sleeper, but there’s no way the Giants take him at this pick. If he’s still around in the third round, then maybe. As crazy as it seems, I think the G-men are going to draft to their strength, which means they take Andre Branch, DE/OLB from Clemson. Don’t forget, people thought taking Mathias Kiwinuka and Jean-Pierre Paul when they did was crazy too, and that seemed to work out just fine. Also, don’t forget that Osi Umeniyora could very well find himself traded before draft day, the Giants could use help at linebacker, and Jerry Reese has a history of not reaching for a guy in early rounds to fill needs. Branch shows outstanding speed and natural athleticism, and the fact he can play either DE or OLB offers versatility that defensive coordinator Perry Fewell loves.

Ex-Kicker: Rick Danmeier

Team He Is Covering: Minnesota Vikings

What They Need: Offensive Line, Defense in General

The Initial Assessment: The Vikings have the 3rd overall pick in the first-round

I reckon J-Dub already said this, and I agree if that Matt Kalil feller is still on the board at #3, the Vikings have to take him. Trouble is that a blue-ribbon hog like that ain’t gonna last until 3rd pick. As much as the Vikings need some big boys up front, there just ain’t another prize hog to take at this high of a pick. This is why I reckon the Vikings wilkl go defense, because they sucked ditch water there too. Here’s some stats that didn’t come from this weeks’ farm report.

The Vikings’ defense allowed gave up 251.2 yards per game last season.  They also allowed opposing QBs to complete 68.2% of their passes, and only snagged 8 interceptions. I figure the Vikings take Morris Claiborne, the cornerback from LSU. The trouble is that while the Vikings have a league-leading pass rush (50 sacks last season), they still can’t defend the pass, which is why it makes sense to me to take the best corner in this here draft.

I also figure even though the offense runs like an inbred mule after it got into Uncle Burford’s corn-mash still, they somehow managed to finish 19th in the league in points per game scored, which put them ahead of two playoff teams, and that was with a rookie quarterback after gettin’ rid of that McNabb feller, and an offensive line that couldn’t push a feed trough. To me, that means you can deal with that problem later on down this draft.

Ex-Kicker: Donald Igwebuike

Team He Is Covering: Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What They Need: More Weapons on Offense

The Initial Assessment: The Buccaneers have the fifth overall pick in the first round

The first-round for the Buccaneers is straight-forward, fool! Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson. Whichever one is left on the board, that’s who the Bucs take. That offense needs more than Josh Freeman and LeGarrette Blount. Like gold chains, you can never have enough offensive weapons.

Ex-Kicker: Efren Herrera

Team He Is Covering: Dallas Cowboys

What They Need: Offensive Line, Quarterback, Defensive Secondary

The Initial Assessment: The Cowboys have the fourteenth overall pick in the first round

Ay, Los Cowboys got plenty of money under that gringo salary cap, so you can bet that pendejo Jerry Jones will go get some hired guns on the free-agent market. This is why I think they will take Dre Kirkpatrick, the defensive back from Alabama. I know he’s muy loco in the cabeza, but that hombre brings  size, speed, and he’s not afraid to tackle…these are things you don’t see in corners very often. Plus, Terence Newman is an old war horse, I think Los Cowboys will have to shoot…I mean release him to get out from under that 8 million salary.

Ex-Kicker: Uwe von Schamann

Team He Is Covering: Miami Dolphins

What They Need: Quarterback, Running Back, Defensive Help

The Initial Assessment: The Dolphins have the eighth overall pick in the first round

While it is true mein Dolphins have just hired an offensive coordinator as head coach, they have no offensive weapons. We made this same mistake at Normandy when we placed Rommel, a gifted offensive leader, in command of a defensive battle. Field Marshal Joe Philbin is no Rommel, but he is no dumbkopf either. He understands this team will need to improve its defensive capabilities at firsts; he is moving from the Maginot-like 3-4 to a more Ziegfried-like 4-3.  Expect the Dolphins to take Quinton Coples, the über-mann defensive end from North Carolina. At the Senior Bowl, he sliced through blockers like von Schlieffen went through Belgium. Matching him with Cameron wake give the Dolphins the ability to blitzkrieg the enemy rear areas. If the Dolphins get Coples, I expect our rematch with Stalingrad will have quite a different ending.

Moderator: J-Dub

Team He Is Covering: Indianapolis Colts

What They Need: Pretty Much Everything

The Initial Assessment: The Colts have the first overall pick in the first round

This is the biggest “no-brainer” in this draft. The Manning era in Indianapolis is over, and this is the Colts’ best opportunity to turn the page. It’s time to release Manning, draft Luck, and build for the future.

The big trouble with this situation is there is so much smoke to cut through before you can even see the fire. First off, there’s the medical drama “As The Neckbone Turns,” in which every day brings another rail car full of speculation as to Peyton Manning’s real status.

Then there’s the matter of what the Colts will do with this pick. Forget the trade talk, forget the Robert Griffin III talk; the Colts will take Andrew Luck or a civil war may break out in Indiana. Hoosiers from far and wide will arm themselves with torches and pitchfork and storm Jim Irsay’s house. Short of that, all this talk of doing anything other than drafting Luck is all another smoke-screen designed to get every other team in the league to waste time and effort screwing around in a never-ending “what if” game with their own draft boards.

The real key to what the post-Manning era in Indianapolis will be in the later rounds of this draft. Do the Colts employ a new philosophy in a post-Manning which includes a bigger emphasis on defense? Do they try to build a running game to help out their franchise quarterback? Or do they decide to control the line of scrimmage on one or both sides of the ball? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world will have to wait for April to know.

Stay tuned to Sports Blog Movement as we approach draft day. The Ex-Kickers will be updating as events dictate!

–  J-Dub


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