Getting Beastly Against the Trojans
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott decided to go Beast mode and tossed USC’s chances of competing for the national championship out of the window like worn lettuce. Scott, who passed for 369 yards and ran around Trojans’ defenders for an extra 100 yards in Arizona’s nail-biting 39-36 upset win, outdueled Matt Barkley, effectively dismissing USC’s quarterback’s hopes of winning the coveted Heisman Trophy.
This makes Barkley 0-2 on his personal goal’s list coming into the season. After an outstanding junior campaign, Barkley passed up the NFL Draft and a likely Top 2 pick to take care of “unfinished business.” With two Pac-12 losses-to Stanford and to Arizona, Barkley and USC have to worry about salvaging their season with a strong win against the mighty Oregon Ducks at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Good luck with that one.
Oregon has been playing lights out all season, and after being snubbed the last two weeks in the BCS rankings, the Ducks are going to be playing with more than a little chip on their shoulder when they tangle with the Trojans. And if they needed more incentive to further wreck the Trojans’ season, Oregon haven’t forgotten that huge win USC managed to pull off last year in Eugene that dashed their title aspirations.
Speaking of Heisman Trophy contention, don’t sleep on wide receiver Marqise Lee. As it turned out, Lee, who caught 16 passes for 345 yards against Arizona, is officially the best player on the field who gives USC the best opportunity to win each and every Saturday.
Leave Vick Alone
The Philadelphia Eagles have more glaring problems than at quarterback. Michael Vick is still the explosive and electrifying player all of us have been accustomed to. Any reasonable person can see Vick has almost no protection from his offensive line, which has had issues the past several years. But Philadelphia fans and media are not reasonable people.
They ran off Donovan McNabb. Eagles Coach Andy Reid bought into the pressure and unloaded borderline Hall of Fame quarterback McNabb like a piece of unwanted turd. McNabb didn’t deserve to be run out of the town no more than Vick deserves the kind of heat he’s getting. The talk that rookie Nick Foles can do a better job than Vick is simply idiotic and simply based on the same premise that black quarterbacks have dealt with for years, and I don’t need to spell it out.
Remember how Vick supposedly looked awful against the Cleveland Brown in the Eagles’ season opener when Philadelphia struggled to a 17-16 win.
At least Vick managed to lead his team to a victory, despite the four interceptions he had in the game. Well, the San Diego Chargers couldn’t even score a touchdown against the same Browns team and their rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden, losing 7-6. This comes one week after Chagers QB Philip Rivers tossed four interceptions and committed five turnovers in an ugly defeat at Qualcomm Stadium to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, blowing a 24-0 lead in the process.
Speaking of turnovers, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo has thrown five interceptions in one game this year. He tossed another four picks in the Cowboys’ 29-24 loss to the New York Giants. Chicago Bears signal-caller Jay Cutler threw five interceptions in a Monday night game this season. You don’t hear the loud clamoring coming from the media and fans for those quarterbacks to lose their jobs.
All Romo has done for the Cowboys in the eight years he’s been a starter is throw for a lot of yards and earn one playoff win in his only appearance in the postseason. That won’t get it done.
Last year, the Eagles were 1-4 at the beginning of the season after finishing the season before at 10-6, and making it to the playoffs. They’re 3-4 today, and very easily could be 5-2, if not for the mess that is called their defensive unit. After blowing late fourth quarter leads to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, the Eagles fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
So facing the Atlanta Falcons after a bye week, the Eagles were supposed to come out like gang busters. Well, the only thing that got busted in the Eagles’ 30-17 loss at home against the Falcons was their egos and pride. When the Eagles’ defense start to hit somebody and the offensive line actually learn how to block, Vick can do what he does.
Until then, expect more issues to arise in the City of Brotherly Love. Benching Vick won’t fix them, either.
OKC’s Big 3 Now the Talented Two
Just when you thought the NBA couldn’t top itself with one shakeup announcement after another, here comes the Oklahoma City Thunder dropping a bolt of news that could potentially alter how the regular season and the postseason is played out. Just days after NBA Commissioner David Stern announced he was calling it quits in 2014, OKC decided to part ways with James Harden, the league’s reining Sixth Man of the Year.
This startling news comes basically on the heels of the NBA’s regular season is about to begin. Talk about a replay of the Dumb and Dumber film, OKC effectively wiped out any prospect of contending for the NBA title this season. There is something to be said about team chemistry. If you mess with it, be prepared to deal with the consequences.
That’s precisely what Thunder management did, and they should embrace themselves for the backlash to follow if Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are not able to deliver on another run to the championship round. This latest move by OKC perhaps makes it a tad bit easier for the Los Angeles Lakers, with Dwight Howard in tow, to make a strong push to win the franchise’s 17th NBA title.
All the Thunder did with the trade of Harden to the Houston Rockets is clear the path for a Lakers-Miami Heat championship series. A Kobe Bryant-LeBron James NBA Finals is exactly the kind of bang Stern would like to leave the game out on.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”