Indianapolis Colts earn playoff berth with 20-13 win at Kansas City

Indianapolis_Colts

The Indianapolis Colts, against nearly all preseason odds, have secured perhaps one of the most remarkable one-year turnarounds in NFL history.

The Colts, who in 2011 endured a woeful 2-14 campaign and subsequently cleaned house to make way for No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck, clinched a Wild Card berth in the AFC playoffs Sunday with their 10th win of the 2012 season, a rather ugly 20-13 triumph against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

While he wasn’t pretty for much of the contest, Luck set all sorts of records with the win, including breaking Cam Newton’s single-season rookie passing yardage mark and tying the record of seven game-winning drives in a single season.

Indianapolis wraps up the regular season against the Houston Texans next Sunday at 1 p.m. at Lucas Oil Stadium, and coach Chuck Pagano, who has missed each game since Week 3 while successfully undergoing treatment for leukemia, is slated to return to his post on the sidelines.

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USA Gymnast Alicia Sacramone: national icon

Former Notre Dame golden boy Brady Quinn has a more athletically relevant than himself girlfriend in Team USA gymnast Alicia Sacramone. Quinn made a lot of news when he came into the NFL because he broke two very unofficial records on draft day. He set a new mark for most mediocre looking girlfriend to attend draft day, and broke a second record by becoming the prospect to fall farthest below draft projection.

I know, neither of these records are objectively measurable, but you know what I mean. Although Quinn’s on-the-field performance has done nothing to make us forget his tumbling draft stock, his off-the-field doings have shot up the charts. Meet Alicia Sacramone, the soon to be icon of team USA during the 2012 London Olympics.

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Brady Quinn attending Harvard Business School

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We’ve all heard about the struggles of former NFL players to keep their money once their playing careers are over. Playing days don’t last very long, and quite often former players found themselves in dire financial straits rather quickly. Former Notre Dame star, Cleveland Browns bust and current Denver Broncos third-stringer Brady Quinn leads a group of proactive players who are doing something to stop this trend.

Quinn, along with Byron Leftwich, John Beck, Charlie Batch, and Bruce Gradkowski are among the 66 players who have enrolled in the NFL Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program at Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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2011 NFL Signings and Trade Rumors: Olin Kreutz, Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson and more!

adrian peterson

The Chicago Bear’s Olin Kreutz has a new team, Brett Favre is not joining the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders replace Zach Miller. What are the latest 2011 NFL signings? NFL trade rumors? News from around the NFL?

The Sportsbank has NFL fans covered with the latest from around the league.

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The 2011 Minnesota Vikings Starting Quarterback is…

There isn’t really a sense in denying the fact that the 2010 NFL season has been an apocolypse for the Minnesota Vikings. After being mere seconds away from a game winning field goal attempt in the NFC Championship Game last January, the downward spiral of the team has been swift and painful.  The explanation for the demise is so multi-faceted that it would be more productive to shove your face into your computer monitor and then spend the next 24 hours tediously putting the screen back together by hand. Instead, let’s look forward at what can be different.

(note: this is being re-run from December 5th, it’s very topical today with that whole McNabb thing)

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Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees living the “dream”

Fighting Irish Football

Most of the luster has faded and the invincibility is gone, but for many young men, playing football at Notre Dame is still a dream.

Stepping on the to field at 18-years-old, masterfully engineering the game plan and leading the Irish to its first defeat of a ranked team in four years is a whole different thought. And that is exactly what freshman and Lake Forest, IL native Tommy Rees did last Saturday inside Notre Dame Stadium.

By Brian McCabe

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Bigger Bust: Jamarcus Russell vs. Brady Quinn

Raiders Russell Football

By Mike Gallagher

This bust matchup is much like the 2007 Sugar Bowl these two QBs met in: one sided.

Brady Quinn and Jamarcus Russell went into the game as the first and second rated quarterbacks in the nation, and Jamarcus Russell had a huge game on the way to LSU’s 41-14 demolition of Notre Dame.

Unfortunately for Russell, this time he comes out on the wrong end of the one-sided affair, as he is clearly the bigger bust of the two quarterbacks.

Some will make the argument that Jamarcus Russell was never that good in the first place and that his credibility is only based off that one BCS bowl game.  Don’t be fooled, that game had been in the works his entire college career.

Looking at his stats, his freshman year was very pedestrian, while his sophomore year showed signs of improvement, but his junior year was when he burst off the page.  He was learning and building on his experiences in college, and it all came together that junior year, ESPECIALLY in the bowl game.

Let’s be clear though, Brady Quinn was the better college quarterback.  Throwing for almost 10,000 yards and 86 touchdowns in only three years dwarfs the college numbers of Jamarcus Russell.

When Russell was taken first overall, it was a clear statement of the potential he had, rather than the body of work he had accrued at LSU.  Scouts saw the pro ready body, big arm, and clear growth in college as signs that he was the next great thing at the QB position.

The accolades of being the #1 pick also brings great responsibility and pressure, things Quinn didn’t have to face right away.

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When drafted 22nd overall by the Browns that same year, Quinn did have the same instant pressure and expectations.  Derek Anderson assumed the starter’s role ahead of Quinn in his rookie year.  Quinn only had to throw eight passes the whole year; against San Francisco in garbage time of the season’s last game.

Since then, Russell has been the starting QB in 25 games for the Oakland Raiders.  In those games, the Raiders are 7-18.  Some may say that the Oakland Raiders are not exactly exploding with talent around Russell.  This is true, but number one overall picks are cursed with having to turn around bad teams, whether it’s with help, or all on their own.

On top of that, Quinn’s supporting cast isn’t any better.  Josh Cribbs, Chansi Stuckey, and arguably the best of the group, Mohamed Massaquoi, leave much to be desired from the WR position.

Brady Quinn has started 8 games for the Cleveland Browns since he came to the league, and is 1-7.  Cleveland hasn’t been the same since 2007 when Derek Anderson led the Browns to a 10-6 record.  Injuries decimated them in 2008, leaving Bruce Gradkowski as their starting QB, and their defense hasn’t kept them in many games.

The plain and simple truth of it is that Jamarcus Russell was the number one overall pick.  He was taken based on all the potential he had to be a superstar.  Whether it’s the coaching staff or the player’s fault, that potential has never come close to  fruition.  He has now had a season and a half worth of starts under his belt and that should be plenty of time to get acclimated to the NFL.

Instead, Russell is having his worst season.  He is second to last among starting QB’s in touchdowns, passer rating, average per pass, and 29th in yards.  He has been benched for the aforementioned Bruce Gradkowski, who pulled an upset of the much feared Bengals last week.

That should show that a lot of the blame, contrary to Russell’s opinion, falls on him.  It won’t be long until he’s in the category of Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith as biggest QB busts of all time.

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Personally, I don’t think you can call Brady Quinn a bust yet.  Eight starts is not that many, and he has shown flashes of being able to captain a pro football team.  His performance last week, albeit against the Lions, was impressive, and something that he can possibly build off of.

The real giveaway that it’s not Quinn’s fault in Cleveland is Derek Anderson.  He’s been the only person worse than Russell in the categories I mentioned earlier.  This shows that Quinn is doing everything he can with the tools around him, and can’t be blamed for the poor performance of the team.

Brady Quinn still has time to prove himself in the pros.  Jamarcus Russell’s time is running out.